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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Klein-Aaron

Israel’s Attack Coordinated With Syrian Rebels

Israel’s reported air strike in Syria on Sunday was coordinated with Turkey, which in turn coordinated rebel attacks throughout Syria timed to coincide with the Israeli strike, according to Egyptian and Jordanian intelligence sources speaking to this column.

The sources said the rebels did not know about the Israeli strike in advance but instead were given specific instructions for when to begin major assaults against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

“Almost the moment the Israel Air Force departed was the moment the rebel advance began,” added the Egyptian intelligence source.

The Egyptian and Jordanian sources said immediately after Sunday’s Israeli air strikes, jihadist rebels used access roads to advance toward Damascus and began heavy clashes with Syrian military forces throughout the country.

According to the sources, the rebels initiated clashes with Syrian forces in northeast Rankous in Damascus; Daraya city in the Damascus countryside; and also in the villages of Homms, al-Alqamieh, Tunaibeh, and Menneg in the Aleppo countryside. Syria claims it repelled most of the rebel advances.

 

Obama Nominee Sought Reconciliation With Cuba

President Obama’s nominee to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency went on a trip to Cuba in 2009 aimed at opening relations with the communist nation, KleinOnline has learned.

According to the Cuban media, Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.), along with his wife, was part of a delegation of five other lawmakers from the Congressional Black Caucus who held a four-and-a-half hour meeting in April 2009 with Cuban President Raul Castro, Fidel Castro’s brother.

Raul Castro previously led the Cuban army and was a rebel commander in the 1950s. The meeting served as Castro’s first face-to-face discussions with American elected officials since assuming office in 2008.

The delegation was headed by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). After the meeting, Lee told media, “All of us are convinced that President Castro would like normal relations and would see normalization, ending the embargo, as beneficial to both countries.”

Reuters reported that Lee’s delegation “avoided specifics” with Castro “but were struck by his humor, impressed by his involvement in Third World causes and firm in their belief that he wants to end U.S.-Cuba enmity.”

Politico reported that Lee and others heaped praise on Castro, calling him warm and receptive during their discussion. Politico also reported that the lawmakers disputed Castro’s later statement that members of the congressional delegation said American society is still racist.

The meeting reportedly took place in secret without the customary presence of a U.S. State Department official.

 

Who’s Handling Our Ballots?

SCYTL, an internationally headquartered company that recently purchased the leading U.S. electronic voting firm, has just announced the acquisition of the software division of a non-profit election organization tied to George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

SCYTL said it is purchasing the software division of Gov4U, described as a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and promoting the use of technology in the fields of governance and democracy.

Gov4U is currently partnered with Soros’ Open Society to support and develop a group called the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness. That group runs a website, OpeningParliament.org, which says it is a forum “intended to help connect the world’s civic organizations engaged in monitoring, supporting and opening up their countries’ parliaments and legislative institutions.”

Gov4U, meanwhile, has eight partners of its own listed on its website, including the Soros-funded and partnered National Democratic Institute, or NDI.

Aside from receiving financial support for Soros, the NDI has co-hosted scores of events along with Soros’ Open Society. The two groups work closely together. NDI and the Open Society, for example, worked together to push for electoral and legislative reform in Romania. The NDI boasts that with Open Society Institute funds it conducted a political leadership training series for Romanian activists to “bring tangible improvements to their communities.”

The NDI describes itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization working to establish and strengthen political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and promote citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

The NDI previously stated it was founded to draw on the traditions of the U.S. Democratic Party. This reporter found that NDI is also listed as the only U.S. associated organization of Socialists International, the world’s largest socialist umbrella group.

NDI was originally created by the federally funded National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, which itself founded joint NDI projects with the Open Society. Another NDI financial backer is the United States Agency for International Development.

In January 2012, SCYTL, based in Barcelona, acquired 100 percent of SOE Software, the leading software provider of election management solutions in the United States.  The sale garnered national attention after it was spotlighted by the popular Drudge Report.

With the purchase of SOE Software, SCYTL increased its involvement in the U.S. elections process. SOE Software boasts a strong U.S. presence, providing results in over 900 jurisdictions.

In 2009, SCYTL formally registered with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (AEC) as the first Internet voting manufacturer in the U.S. under the EAC Voting System Testing and Certification Program.

In the 2012 presidential elections, SCYTL was contracted by the states of New York, Arkansas, Alabama, West Virginia, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Mississippi to provide overseas ballots.

During the midterm elections in November 2010, SCYTL successfully carried out electoral modernization projects in 14 states. The company boasted that a “great variety” of SCYTL’s technologies were involved in the projects, including an online platform for the delivery of blank ballots to overseas voters, an Internet voting platform and e-pollbook software to manage the electoral roll at the polling stations.

The states that used SCYTL’s technologies during the midterm elections were New York, Texas, Washington, California, Florida, Alabama, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia and Washington D.C.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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