Frontrunning: February 19

19-02-18 02:29:00,

  • Russian Curler Fails Drug Test, Authorities Explore Sabotage Possibility (WSJ)
  • Here’s Who Is Winning in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics (BBG)
  • Russian magnate Deripaska to quit roles at his two biggest firms (Reuters)
  • Iranian Airline Bought U.S. Jet Parts Through Front Firms (WSJ)
  • One CEO Says Dalio Will Lose on European Bank ‘Big Short’ (BBG)
  • For timing of Aramco IPO, watch forward oil price curve (Reuters)
  • U.S. Oil Exports Go Up a Gear as Supertanker Sets Sail for China (BBG)
  • Family Who Housed Florida Shooter Describes the Days Before the Attack (WSJ)
  • This Short Seller Pressed ‘Tweet.’ Then the FBI Showed Up (BBG)
  • Latvia’s banking sector rocked by U.S. probe, central bank chief’s detention (Reuters)
  • Trump blasts Oprah over 60 Minutes episode (Reuters)
  • Why Was Facebook So Easy to Hijack? (WSJ)
  • Russia Warns U.S. Not to ‘Play With Fire’ in Syria (BBG)
  • The Russian journalist who helped uncover election interference is confounded by the Mueller indictments (WaPo)
  • Sweden Is Getting Worried About Its Cashless Society (BBG)
  • Why the iPhone Is Losing Out to Chinese Devices in Asia (WSJ)
  • U.S. Oil Exports Go Up a Gear as Supertanker Sets Sail for China (BBG)
  • This Trader Quietly Built a Real Estate Empire in Downtown New York (BBG)
  • Private Trades in Spotify Shares to Play Key Role in Debut (WSJ)

Overnight Media Digest

FT

UK millennials, those born since 1981, have seen a deterioration in living standard improvements compared to the previous generation, setting them apart from most other developed nations, according to research from the Resolution Foundation think-tank.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday will initiate an effort to rebalance post-secondary education away from universities towards vocational study as she announces a long-awaited review of all aspects of tertiary education.

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The US Is Executing A Global War Plan

The US Is Executing A Global War Plan

19-02-18 08:12:00,

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Washington is moving inevitably on a global war plan. That’s the grim conclusion one has to draw from three unfolding war scenarios.

Ultimately, it’s about American imperialism trying to assert hegemony over the international order for the benefit of US capitalism. Russia and China are prime targets for this global assault.

The three unfolding war scenarios are seen in Syria, North Korea and Ukraine.

These are not disparate, disassociated conflicts. They are inter-related expressions of the American war plans. War plans which involve the moving of strategic military power into position.

Last week’s massacre of over 100 Syrian government forces by American warplanes near Deir ez-Zor was an audacious overt assault by the US on the Syrian state. The US, along with other NATO allies, have been up to now waging a seven-year proxy war for regime change against Russia’s ally, President Assad. The massacre last week was certainly not the first time that US forces, illegally present in Syria, have attacked the Syrian army. But it seems clearer than ever now that American forces are operating on the overt agenda for regime change. US troops are transparently acting like an occupation army, challenging Russia and its legally mandated support for the Syrian state.

Heightening international concerns are multiple reports that Russian military contractors were among the casualties in the US-led air strike near Deir ez-Zor last week.

Regarding North Korea, Washington is brazenly sabotaging diplomatic efforts underway between the respective Korean leaderships in Pyongyang and Seoul. While this inter-Korean dialogue has been picking up positive momentum, the US has all the while been positioning nuclear-capable B-52 and B-2 bombers in the region, along with at least three aircraft carriers. The B-2s are also reportedly armed with 14-tonne bunker-buster bombs – the largest non-nuclear warhead in the American arsenal, designed to destroy North Korean underground missile silos and “decapitate” the Pyongyang leadership of Kim Jong-un.

American vice-president Mike Pence, while attending the Winter Olympics in South Korea, opening last week, delivered a blunt war message. He said that the recent detente between North Korea and US ally South Korea will come to an end as “soon as the Olympic flame is extinguished” – when the games close later this month.

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“Now, The Reckoning Comes” – The Media-Created Russia-Collusion Story Collapses

“Now, The Reckoning Comes” – The Media-Created Russia-Collusion Story Collapses

19-02-18 08:04:00,

Authored by Lee Smith via TheFederalist.com,

The press has played an active role in the Trump-Russia collusion story since its inception. It helped birth it…

Half the country wants to know why the press won’t cover the growing scandal now implicating the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice, and threatening to reach the State Department, Central Intelligence Agency, and perhaps even the Obama White House.

After all, the release last week of a less-redacted version of Sens. Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham’s January 4 letter showed that the FBI secured a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to search the communications of a Trump campaign adviser based on a piece of opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The Fourth Amendment rights of an American citizen were violated to allow one political party to spy on another.

If the press did its job and reported the facts, the argument goes, then it wouldn’t just be Republicans and Trump supporters demanding accountability and justice. Americans across the political spectrum would understand the nature and extent of the abuses and crimes touching not just on one political party and its presidential candidate but the rights of every American.

That’s all true, but irrelevant. The reasons the press won’t cover the story are suggested in the Graham-Grassley letter itself.

Steele Was a Media Informant

The letter details how Christopher Steele, the former British spy who allegedly authored the documents claiming ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, told the FBI he wasn’t talking to the press about his investigation. In a British court, however, Steele acknowledged briefing several media organizations on the material in his dossier.

According to the British court documents, Steele briefed the New York Times, Washington Post, Yahoo! News, The New Yorker, and CNN. In October, he talked to Mother Jones reporter David Corn by Skype. It was Corn’s October 31 article anonymously sourced to Steele that alerted the FBI their informant was speaking to the press. Grassley and Graham referred Steele to the Department of Justice for a criminal investigation because he lied to the FBI.

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All Pretence is Over in Persecution of Assange

All Pretence is Over in Persecution of Assange

19-02-18 07:54:00,

by Craig Murray, February 14, 2018

The “judge” who dismissed Assange’s case yesterday was “Lady Arbuthnot of Edrom”, wife to Tory peer, former Tory junior Defence Minister and government whip Lord James Arbuthnot. Not to mention Chairman of the Conservative Friends of Israel. Arbuthnot was naturally Eton educated, the son of Major Sir John Sinclair Wemyss Arbuthnot. Of course Lady Arbuthnot’s children were all sent to Eton too.

At the first hearing, I was stunned by reports of completely inappropriate comments by Lady Arbuthnot, including responding to representations about Assange’s health by the comment that medical care is available in Wandsworth prison. As the official charade is that Assange is wanted for nothing but jumping bail, for which a custodial sentence is rare, that callous attempt at gallows humour was redolent of Arbuthnot’s Tory mindset. She also remarked – and repeats it in yesterday’s judgement – that Assange has access to fresh air through the Embassy’s balcony. That is simply untrue. The “balcony” floor is 3 feet by 20 inches and gives no opportunity to exercise. Julian does not have access to it. He is confined to a small area within the Embassy, which still has to function. The balcony is off the Ambassador’s office. He has been given access to it on average about twice a year. But Lady Arbuthnot showed a very selective attitude to getting at the truth.

The truth is that just last week the evidence was published which inarguably proves that the questioning for sexual allegations was only ever a charade to secure Assange in custody for deportation to the US, to face charges for publishing the USA’s dirty secrets. In 2013 Sweden wished to drop the investigation and the arrest warrant, and was subject to strong persuasion from the Crown Prosecution Service to maintain the warrant. This included emails from the CPS telling the Swedes “Don’t you dare” drop the case, and most tellingly of all “Please do not think this case is being dealt with as just another extradition.” That last exposes the entire pretence in just one sentence.

It is worth noting it was not the servile UK corporate media, but the Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi and the Italian newspaper Le Repubblica which obtained these emails through dogged freedom of information requests and High Court proceedings.

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Trumponomics, BREXIT, German Politics & the State of the EU | With Yanis Varoufakis

Trumponomics, BREXIT, German Politics & the State of the EU | With Yanis Varoufakis

18-02-18 07:33:00,

Trumponomics, BREXIT, German Politics & the State of the Europe Union | With Yanis Varoufakis
(Aufgrund limitierter finanzieller Mittel stehen manche Videos ggf. derzeit nur auf Englisch zur Verfügung. Spenden Sie auf unser Crowdfunding-Projekt, um uns mit der Übersetzung zu unterstützen.)

In this exclusive interview with Yanis Varoufakis, founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 and former finance minister of Greece, we talk about the economic policies of the Trump administration and what effects they will have in the United States and abroad. In addition we discuss BREXIT and the solutions that could be pursued for the benefit of the British and European people. Lastly Yanis Varoufakis also examines pressing issues that confront the European Union today – the political situation in Germany and the socio-economic state of countries such as Greece and Spain.

To view our video playlist with Yanis Varoufakis & DiEM25, click here.

VIDEO: Trumponomics, BREXIT, German Politics & the State of the EU

To read the transcript of this interview, click here.

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ABOUT YANIS VAROUFAKIS & DiEM25

Yanis Varoufakis & DiEM25Yanis Varoufakis is a professor of Economic Theory at the University of Athens, former finance minister of Greece and founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25). Varoufakis is also the author of several books on the European debt crisis, the financial imbalance in the world and game theory. DiEM25 is a pan-European, cross-border movement of democrats that is focused on addressing the economic and social problems faced by Europe today. It provides an alternative to austerity policies that it  argues are dividing the continent and fueling the rise of “international nationalists“.

Featured Image Citation:

Citation-List of YouTube & Facebook Video: „Trumponomics, BREXIT, German Politics & the State of the EU | With Yanis Varoufakis“

  • www.euronews.com (22.09.2017) – „How the far-right Alternative for Deutschland became Germany’s third-biggest party“ – http://www.euronews.com/2017/09/22/the-afd-the-rise-to-power-of-germany-s-far-right – Author:  Euronews
  • www.ec.europa.eu (December 2017) – „Unemployment statistics“ – http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Unemployment_statistics – Author: eurostat
  • www.dw.com (29.01.2018 ) – „One in 10 German workers earn below minimum wage“ – http://www.dw.com/en/one-in-10-german-workers-earn-below-minimum-wage/a-42356571 – Author: Ben Knight – Source: Deutsche Welle
  • www.whitehouse.gov (12.02.2018) – „Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with State and Local Officials on Infrastructure Initiative“– Source: White House
  • www.flickr.com (29.09.2017) – „Theresa May,

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Hillary Clinton Outspent Russians 53-1… And Lost

Hillary Clinton Outspent Russians 53-1… And Lost

18-02-18 10:14:00,

The mixed messages from yesterday’s “shocking” indictments of some Russian trolls (while The FBI was busily ignoring potential mass murderers in Florida) need some context to calm the chaotic “told you so” narrative spewing from every orifice of every side in this debacle.

Hillary Clinton spent 53 times more money per month than Russians seeking to influence the 2016 presidential election.

As The Daily Caller’s Amber Athey details, according to reports, the monthly Russian budget for the operation to meddle in the election was $1.2 million. As Peter Hamby pointed out on Twitter, Clinton and supporting PAC Priorities USA spent approximately $800 million in 2016.

Not to diminish how awful this is, but $1.2 million is hardly mindblowing. Hillary Clinton + Priorities USA spent ~$800 million in 2016. https://t.co/CWpV7u8iip

— Peter Hamby (@PeterHamby) February 16, 2018

That means Clinton and her PAC spent about $66 million a month in 2016, a whopping 53 times more money than Russia’s $1.25 million monthly budget.

It’s also worth nothing that not all of the money spent by the Russian operation was used to campaign for President Donald Trump. According to the Mueller indictment released Friday, Russian trolls also supported Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders and even planted seeds for leftist groups like “Blacktivist” and “Woke Blacks.”

After the election, Russians continued to sow division in the United States by riling up “#Resist” groups involved in anti-Trump protests.

But none of that matters… Russians ‘meddled’ – end of story, Adam Schiff will no doubt be popping corks this weekend.

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Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, February 17, 2018, #132

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, February 17, 2018, #132

17-02-18 07:49:00,

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, February 17, 2018, #132

Dane Wigington
GeoengineeringWatch.org

Carefully crafted social conditioning has convinced the majority of the US population that their government and military is just and benevolent. Does the historical record in any way support such a conclusion? We are all living in a real life version of “The Truman Show”, in which public perceptions are almost completely manipulated by mainstream media weapons of mass deception. Biosphere implosion continues to accelerate by the day, the power structure is preparing for World War lll in response. How much longer till the denial of the majority is shattered? The latest installment of Global Alert News is below.

So many factors are already far past the breaking point, major links in the chain of our current reality are likely to fall soon. Though the collapse of the paradigm we have formerly known is inevitable and near, the collective efforts of the already awakened could still positively alter the composition of what is unfolding. The sooner the sleeping masses are awakened to the converging catastrophes that are closing in, the better our odds of salvaging some semblance of our formerly thriving planet. Sharing credible information from a credible source is the most effective way to break through the barriers of denial. What will each of us choose to do with the time we have been given? 
DW

This week’s GeoengineeringWatch.org outreach booth is at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, Santa Barbara, California, and is shown below. My most sincere and continuing gratitude to the Gem Faire exhibition organizers for facilitating and setting up this very effective booth in every week’s Gem Faire location. The schedule for upcoming Gem Faire events is HERE. A geoengineeringwatch.org booth will be at all events, thanks to the steadfast support of Gem Faire.

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Geoengineering Watch wishes to express our most sincere gratitude to Maciej Kocialkowski for his tireless work toward raising awareness on the critical issue of climate engineering. The geoengineering awareness booth in the photos below was recently set up in Punta Gorda,

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“Wipe the Soviet Union Off the Map”, 204 Atomic Bombs against 66 Major Cities, US Nuclear Attack against USSR Planned During World War II | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

“Wipe the Soviet Union Off the Map”, 204 Atomic Bombs against 66 Major Cities, US Nuclear Attack against USSR Planned During World War II | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

17-02-18 03:29:00,

To read this article in other versions, click: French, German, and Russian.

First published November 4, 2017. Revisions to the English Text, December 10, 2017

On March 1st, 2018 president Vladimir Putin unveiled an array of advanced military technologies in response to renewed US threats to wipe the Russian Federation off the Map, as contained in Trump’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review.

It should be understood that these US nuclear threats directed against Russia predate the Cold War. They were first formulated  at the height of World War II under the Manhattan Project when the US and the Soviet Union were allies. 

***

According to a secret document dated September 15, 1945, “the Pentagon had envisaged blowing up the Soviet Union  with a coordinated nuclear attack directed against major urban areas.

All major cities of the Soviet Union were included in the list of 66 “strategic” targets. The tables below categorize each city in terms of area in square miles and the corresponding number of atomic bombs required to annihilate and kill the inhabitants of selected urban areas.

Six atomic bombs were to be used to destroy each of the larger cities including Moscow, Leningrad, Tashkent, Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa.

The Pentagon estimated that a total of 204 atomic bombs would be required to “Wipe the Soviet Union off the Map”. The targets for a nuclear attack consisted of sixty-six major cities.

To undertake this operation the “optimum” number of bombs required was of the order of 466 (see document below)

One single atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima resulted in the immediate death of 100,000 people in the first seven seconds. Imagine what would have happened if 204 atomic bombs had been dropped on major cities of the Soviet Union as outlined in a secret U.S. plan formulated during the Second World War.

Hiroshima in the wake of the atomic bomb attack, 6 August 1945

The document outlining this diabolical military agenda had been released in September 1945, 

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Russia Deploys Missiles on Its Own Territory, NATO Goes Ballistic | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Russia Deploys Missiles on Its Own Territory, NATO Goes Ballistic | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

17-02-18 11:54:00,

Over the past few days, the “dispute” between NATO and Russia over the latter’s deployment of Iskander-M rockets in its own Kaliningrad region has heated up. In particular, on February 14th, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urged Russia to be “transparent,” although he also admitted that Moscow had announced its missile deployments to its border region a few years ago. In other words, Stoltenberg’s recent statement on the matter bore no semblance of transparency. 

Meanwhile, Russia is working to make this “issue” a transparent one. I believe it to be no coincidence that on last Sunday, February 11th, the popular program Voennaia priomka on the Zvezda TV channel of Russia’s Ministry of Defense, discussed in detail the tactical and technical characteristics of Iskander missile complexes. 

The real cause of NATO’s concern is not “transparency”, but the combat capabilities of Russia’s Iskanders and the political will to use them. Indeed, the putting of Iskanders in Kaliningrad on alert bears serious implications for the military and political situation in the Baltic region. 

On February 5th, Russia deployed Iskander-M operative-tactical rocket complexes near Kaliningrad. These “OTRC’s” are designed to destroy an opponent’s reactive volley fire systems, anti-missile hardware, air defenses, aircraft and helicopters at airfields, command posts, and infrastructural facilities. One OTRC Iskander-M is capable of hitting targets at ranges of up to 500 kilometers with two types of missiles – ballistic and cruise. 

It is obviously not spoken above a whisper, but the implied, hypothetical, main target of these Iskanders – if things reach this point – would the American missile defense systems in Eastern Europe that have been installed under the pretext of “defending against Iranian missiles.” 

In Romania, the Aegis US missile defense complex is already open and kept on combat readiness. In May 2016, the construction of an improved Aegis ground-system began in the Polish town of Redzikowo near the Baltic coast (150 kilometers from Gdansk), which is set to be ready in 2018.

Already during the initial phase of building these missile bases in Romania, Russia military experts argued that these systems would target Russian tactical rockets and other high-precision weapons. This is explained by the fact that the launch systems installed in Romania (and soon Poland) can launch not only missile defense system rockets,

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Trump Is Disposable, He’s The Doorman – “The Deep State Runs The Show”

Trump Is Disposable, He’s The Doorman – “The Deep State Runs The Show”

17-02-18 10:30:00,

Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,

Picture this: A tribal leader from a distant country visits the US. He’s brought to a large apartment building in New York City. When he gets out of the car, he looks up at the great building and is quite impressed. A uniformed doorman exits the foyer and comes out on the sidewalk. The tribesman sees the gold braiding and brass buttons of his coat and immediately decides that this is a very important person. Again he looks up at the building and says to the doorman, “This is a very great home you have. You must be very important indeed.”

Of course, if we were present, we might chuckle at the tribesman’s naiveté. The owners of such a great building would never greet people at the entrance. They leave such trivial tasks to hired servants, whilst they run the real business without ever needing any direct contact with visitors as they enter the building. And, in addition, doormen come and go – they are, after all, disposable. The owners – those who control what happens in the building – retain their positions over the long term… and may remain anonymous, if they so choose.

We find this simple concept easy enough to understand, and yet we chronically have difficulty in understanding that, in most countries, the president, or prime minister, is not by any means the man who makes the big decisions in the running of the country.

We assume that, because we were allowed to vote for our leader, he must actually be our leader. But, as Mark Twain has at times been credited as saying, “If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”

Similarly, the man whose family took over the financing of Europe, Meyer Rothschild, said, “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation and I care not who makes its laws.” His family has been calling the shots for centuries, but like the owners of the apartment building, they keep a low profile.

Remarkably, most people will nod their heads at the above quotes, yet somehow still imagine their elected leader to be in charge.

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The Dirty Big Secret Behind Warren Buffett’s Billions

The Dirty Big Secret Behind Warren Buffett’s Billions

17-02-18 10:29:00,

Authored by David Dyden via TheNation.com,

America’s favorite investor loves monopoly, not free markets…

After the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression, three officials from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission visited Warren Buffett at his office in Omaha, Nebraska. They wanted to ask America’s most successful investor about his 24 million shares in the credit-rating agency Moody’s. The commission would later identify Moody’s and other rating agencies as “key enablers of the financial meltdown,” for granting super-safe triple-A ratings to securities that were backed by junk mortgages. Trillions of dollars’ worth of rotten financial instruments—the fuel of the crisis—“could not have been marketed and sold without [the rating agencies’] seal of approval,” the commission concluded.

During that May 26, 2010, meeting, Buffett deflected responsibility for Moody’s actions. “I knew nothing about the management of Moody’s,” he told the federal investigators, explaining candidly why he owned so much stock: Moody’s faced practically no market competition.

“The single most important decision in evaluating a business is pricing power,” Buffett said. “If you’ve got the power to raise prices without losing business to a competitor, you’ve got a very good business.” The “big three” rating agencies—Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch—controlled 95 percent of the rating-agency market, an insurmountable advantage over would-be competitors.

“If you’ve got a good enough business, if you have a monopoly newspaper or if you have a network television station,” Buffett concluded, “your idiot nephew could run it.”

Warren Buffett is America’s favorite tycoon. The business community hangs on his every word. The annual meetings at Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett’s conglomerate, have been dubbed “Woodstock for capitalists.” Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton hailed his endorsements in their campaigns for president; even Bernie Sanders has supported Buffett’s position on taxes. The press treats him like a Kardashian, publishing quirky features about his bad eating habits, frugal spending, and hobnobbing with celebrities (an actual headline last November: “Katy Perry Wants to Know What Warren Buffett Thinks of Bitcoin”). An old cartoon show called Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club featured the so-called “Oracle of Omaha” teaching children how to get rich.

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Burger-Flipping Robot Set For Big Rollout In California

Burger-Flipping Robot Set For Big Rollout In California

17-02-18 10:27:00,

Miso Robotics, a Pasadena developer and manufacture of artificial intelligence-driven robots that assist chefs in making food at restaurants, has secured a $10 million Series-B from Acacia Research and Levy Restaurants in its latest round of VC funding according to Tech Crunch.

In total, Acacia Research has plowed about $14 million into the deal. The company, which has developed artificial intelligence-driven hamburger-cooking robots will begin flipping burgers at CaliBurger in Pasadena, California in the second-half of 2018 and expand to over fifty locations by the end of 2019.

“We’re super stoked to use this funding to develop and scale our capabilities of our kitchen assistants and AI platform,” CEO/co-founder Dave Zito said on a call with TechCrunch ahead of the announcement.

“Our current investors saw an early look at our progress, and they were so blown away that they doubled-down.”

Flippy, an industrial robotic arm mounted to the ground and modified for use in a commercial kitchen, is really nothing more than a knock-off of Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci Surgical System, but instead of the EndoWrist performing complex surgeries, there is a metal spatula flipping burgers. The core of the robotic arm is manufactured by Fanuc America and incorporates “Miso Robotics’ cloud AI platform to operate the robot using a combination of cameras, thermal scanners, and lasers,” said Venture Beat.

Miso cofounder David Zito told VentureBeat in a phone interview:

“Flippy can detect cheeseburgers and remove cheeseburgers. After they’re flipped, it can change spatulas while it’s working so that we’re actually adhering to food safety guidelines, and will switch to a grill scraper and be able to clean off portions of the grill after it’s done cooking burgers,” he said.

“The proceeds for this will allow us to build a robotic kitchen assistant,” Zito said. “You’re not going to see BB-8 coming out of our shop; you’ll likely see us continue to refine this — the general hardware platform that we have, but then we will see it beginning to get more collaborative and adaptable.”

In October,

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Father Of Artificial Intelligence: “Singularity Is Less Than 30 Years Away”

Father Of Artificial Intelligence: “Singularity Is Less Than 30 Years Away”

17-02-18 10:24:00,

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

The father of artificial intelligence has sounded the alarm, and the clock is ticking down to the singularity.  For those who haven’t been following the advancements in AI, maybe now’s the time, because we are approaching the point of no return.

Singularity is the point in time when humans can create an artificial intelligence machine that is smarter. Ray Kurzweil, Google’s chief of engineering, says that the singularity will happen in 2045

Louis Rosenberg claims that we are actually closer than that and that the day will be arriving sometime in 2030. MIT’s Patrick Winston would have you believe that it will likely be a little closer to Kurzweil’s prediction, though he puts the date at 2040, specifically.

Jürgen Schmidhuber, who is the Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at AI company NNAISENSE, the Director of the Swiss AI lab IDSIA, and heralded by some as the “father of artificial intelligence” is confident that the singularity “is just 30 years away. If the trend doesn’t break, and there will be rather cheap computational devices that have as many connections as your brain but are much faster,” he said.

“There is no doubt in my mind that AIs are going to become super smart,” Schmidhuber says.

When biological life emerged from chemical evolution, 3.5 billion years ago, a random combination of simple, lifeless elements kickstarted the explosion of species populating the planet today. Something of comparable magnitude may be about to happen.

 “Now the universe is making a similar step forward from lower complexity to higher complexity,” Schmidhuber beams.

“And it’s going to be awesome.”

But will it really be awesome when human beings are made obsolete by their very creations?

Artifical intelligence has already had an impact on humanity. A recent warning from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) declared that thousands of jobs are being lost to robots and those with those on lowest wages are likely to be hardest hit. As it becomes more expensive to hire people for work because of government intervention like minimum wage hikes and overbearing regulations,

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Guns Are the Issue in America, Not Mental Health

Guns Are the Issue in America, Not Mental Health

16-02-18 05:57:00,

Don’t tell me the issue is mental health. Save the nonsense about “good guys” with weapons somehow being the answer. The truth is this: There would have been no tragic shooting Wednesday in Parkland, Florida, if a troubled young man had not gotten his hands on a military-style assault rifle and as much ammunition as he wanted.

Many people knew that Nikolas Cruz was troubled, violent and liable to explode. Yet nothing kept him from acquiring the gun he allegedly used to kill 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in yet another senseless slaughter of the kind that still shocks but no longer surprises.

President Trump addressed the nation, saying we must “

answer hate with love

” and vowing to “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.” But he made no mention of gun control—meaning he might as well have said nothing at all.

According to news reports in The Washington Post and other outlets, Cruz, 19, had been repeatedly suspended and then expelled from the high school for disciplinary problems. He had sought and received treatment at a mental health clinic, but stopped attending. He showed signs of depression. His posts on social media were so unsettling that they scared acquaintances away. His father died several years ago and his mother, with whom he was close, passed away around Thanksgiving. According to The Associated Press, he had joined a white nationalist group.

And he had a fetish for guns.

To say there were warning signs about Cruz is a gross understatement. There were flashing red lights and blaring sirens.

“I think everyone in this school had it in the back of their mind that if anyone was supposed to do it, it was most likely going to be him,” a former classmate told the Post—“do it” meaning the kind of homicidal rampage we saw Wednesday. A math teacher at the school told the Miami Herald that Cruz had threatened students before being expelled, and that “he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him.”

It was obvious that a tragedy might be coming. Yet, as a society, we refused to take the steps that could have prevented it.

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Frontrunning: February 15

15-02-18 01:38:00,

  • Global Stocks Power Ahead, Unfazed by U.S. Inflation (WSJ)
  • Florida community seeks answers after 17 killed (Reuters)
  • Florida Teen Charged With 17 Murder Counts in School Attack (BBG)
  • Shooting suspect was ‘crazy about guns’ (Reuters)
  • Hedge fund Bridgewater makes $22 billion bet against European firms (Reuters)
  • Number of crypto hedge funds soars amid bitcoin volatility (Reuters)
  • Publishers Warm to Google’s Ad Blocker—but Cautiously (WSJ)
  • Shifting Alliances Make Syria’s Tangle of Wars More Dangerous (WSJ)
  • Trump’s Tax Law Could Make Divorces Bitterer (BBG)
  • EU tells Facebook, Google and Twitter to do more for users (Reuters)
  • Rise of Private Assets Is Built on a Mountain of New Debt (WSJ)
  • Doesn’t Anyone Care About Deficits Anymore? (BBG)
  • Cyril Ramaphosa elected President of South Africa (Reuters)
  • Republican Foes of Health Law Try Patch Job Ahead of Midterms (WSJ)
  • How Ramaphosa Pulled the Strings and Toppled a President (BBG)
  • Qualcomm meets Broadcom to discuss $121 billion acquisition offer (Reuters)
  • Lebanese presidency denies U.S. Secretary of State kept waiting at palace (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

– AT&T Inc is considering an unusual gambit in the coming trial over its $85 billion bid to buy Time Warner Inc , seeking testimony from the Justice Department’s antitrust chief Makan Delrahim, who wants to block the merger. (on.wsj.com/2EFXB9W)

– Cisco Systems Inc said Wednesday it would repatriate $67 billion of its foreign cash holdings to the U.S. this quarter, in one of the largest repatriation plans yet revealed. (on.wsj.com/2o0H9HX)

– British officials blamed Russia for last June’s massive “Petya” cyberattack, which crippled computer networks at multinational firms including FedEx Corp and Merck & Co Inc. (on.wsj.com/2o8vuGf)

– India’s Punjab National Bank said it had uncovered an alleged scam involving some $1.77 billion in transactions at a Mumbai branch.

 » Lees verder

Corporate Giant Demands Crackdown on Independent and Alternative Internet Content, Call for Online Censorship | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Corporate Giant Demands Crackdown on Independent and Alternative Internet Content, Call for Online Censorship | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

15-02-18 12:26:00,

The drive to censor the Internet took another step this week with a public statement by Keith Weed, the chief marketing officer for the London-based multinational Unilever, threatening to withdraw advertising from social media platforms if they fail to suppress “toxic content.”

Weed reportedly told an annual leadership meeting of the Interactive Advertising Bureau in Palm Desert, California that the company “will not invest in platforms or environments” that “create divisions in society, and promote anger or hate.” He added,

“We will prioritize investing only in responsible platforms that are committed to creating a positive impact in society.”

Excerpts of Weed’s remarks—the most explicit of their kind from a major corporate executive—were leaked to several media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian. They were immediately featured on NBC News and other major American news outlets on Sunday. The Journal’s report was accompanied by an interview with Weed.

The coordinated release was designed to escalate the propaganda offensive by the Democratic Party and US intelligence agencies, together with the corporate media, for Internet censorship. The fraudulent premise for this assault on freedom of speech, both in the US and across Europe, is the claim that political opposition and social tensions are the product not of poverty, inequality and policies of austerity and militarism, but of “fake news” spread by Russia through social media.

Weed’s statements preceded yesterday’s US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing, which witnessed a series of hysterical denunciations of Russia by politicians and intelligence agents. The Democratic vice-chairman of the committee, Mark Warner of Virginia, declared that Russia “utilized our social media platforms to push and spread misinformation at an unprecedented scale.”

Facebook responded to Weed’s threats by declaring,

“[W]e fully support Unilever’s commitments and are working closely with them.”

The Journal stated that Unilever “has already held discussions” with Facebook, Google, Twitter, Snap and Amazon “to share ideas about what each can do to improve.”

Weed absurdly framed his demand for censorship, made on behalf of a multibillion-dollar global corporation, as the expression of popular anger over the supposed spread of “fake news.” He referred to research showing a decline in trust in social media and a “perceived lack of focus” in the form of “illegal,

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New Data Shows Yellowstone Supervolcano “Strained” – Magma Chamber Under Immense Pressure

New Data Shows Yellowstone Supervolcano “Strained” – Magma Chamber Under Immense Pressure

15-02-18 10:30:00,

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

According to a group of seismologists who are monitoring the potentially catastrophic supervolcano, Yellowstone is “under strain.” This new report has reignited fears that the caldera could erupt at any moment.

Experts were alerted to the volcano’s strain after noticing deformation. This process, where subsurface rocks subtly change shapes, is occurring beneath the surface of Yellowstone right now. Researchers state deformation occurs when there is a change in the amount of pressure in the magma chamber and experts are keeping an eye on the development.

Seismologists from UNAVCO, a non-profit university-governed consortium, are using “Global Positioning System (GPS), borehole tiltmeters, and borehole strainmeters” to measure minute changes in deformation at Yellowstone. In an article for the Billings Gazette, David Mencin and Glen Mattioli, geodesists with UNAVCO, say “the strain signal is larger than would be expected if the crust under Yellowstone were completely solid.”

“What that means, at least in their eyes, is that there’s lava flowing that’s allowing pressure to build in the chamber,” says Joe Joseph of The Daily Sheeple.  “I don’t know if this is good or bad!”

These independent observations agree with other instruments at Yellowstone, like seismometers, that indicate a zone of semi-molten rock starting about 3 miles beneath the surface. The term “semi-molten” is used because the entire zone contains only between 5 and 15 percent liquid rock that occupies small pockets of space between the solid rock.

But the scientists want to assure the public that these observations are no cause for alarm. “Of course, they’re always gonna say that,” says Joseph. “It’s about 700,000 years ago they say when it erupted and it’s long overdue. So here we are, Yellowstone, yet again, thrust into the news because of some of this new data coming out…,” Joseph said.

If the Yellowstone volcano nestled mostly in  Wyoming were to erupt, an estimated 87,000 people would be killed immediately and two-thirds of the USA would instantly be made uninhabitable.  The large spew of ash into the atmosphere would block out sunlight and directly affect life beneath it creating a “nuclear winter.”

Is this a cause for alarm?

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The World’s Largest Migration Is About To Begin

The World’s Largest Migration Is About To Begin

15-02-18 10:24:00,

This Friday, China is going to celebrate its new year, kicking off one of the planet’s great migrations.

Also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes that this the event sees hundreds of millions of people leave their cities in order to visit their families in more rural parts of the country. In fact, practically all of China takes holiday at once, making the new year the biggest human event on earth.

Infographic: The World's Largest Migration Is About To Begin  | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

This year, the number traveling to welcome the Year of the Dog will be approximately 385 million, marking a 12 percent increase on 2017 according to China News. 

Comparing China’s largest annual migration with North America’s is a good way to gauge its sheer size.

Thanksgiving 2017 saw 50.9 million travelers negotiate long tailbacks on the interstate and overcrowded airports. Even though Thanksgiving is a major travel event, China’s new year is still seven times bigger, with its massive population making a big difference of course.

Known as “chunyun”, the annual new year migration in China also easily surpasses the world’s biggest pilgrimages in scale with Arba’een and the Hajj not even coming close.

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A Trip Down Memory Lane, Pentagon-Style

A Trip Down Memory Lane, Pentagon-Style

15-02-18 10:03:00,

If you’re in the mood, would you consider taking a walk with me and, while we’re at it, thinking a little about America’s wars? Nothing particularly ambitious, mind you, just — if you’re up for it — a stroll to the corner.

Now, admittedly, there’s a small catch here. Where exactly is that corner?  I think the first time I heard about it might have been back in January 2004 and it was located somewhere in Iraq. That was, if you remember, just nine months after American troops triumphantly entered a burning Baghdad and the month after Iraq’s autocratic ruler, Saddam Hussein, was captured near his hometown, Tikrit.  Yet despite President George W. Bush’s unforgettable May 1, 2003, “mission accomplished” moment when, from the deck of an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego, he declared “major combat operations in Iraq… ended,” the American war there somehow never actually stopped.  An insurgency had already flared, U.S. bases were being periodically mortared, and American officials feared that some kind of civil war was in the offing between the country’s formerly reigning Sunni minority and its rising Shiite majority.

It was then that Major General Charles Swannack Jr., commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, mentioned that corner (and as you’ll gather from his comments, it wasn’t even the first time he’d brought the subject up).  Here, as New York Times correspondent John Burns reported it, was Swannack’s assessment of the situation:

“The general, a large, imposing figure renowned among his troops for his no-nonsense ways, began his remarks by reminding the reporters that he had appeared in Baghdad six weeks ago, about the time of the insurgents’ Ramadan offensive, and had said he believed [troops] in his area were ‘turning the corner.’

“Now, he said, ‘I’m here to tell you that we’ve turned that corner. I can also tell you that we are on a glide path towards success, as attacks on our forces have declined by almost 60 percent over the past month.’”

As it happened, Americans would remain on the glide path to that corner of ultimate success for some time, not just in Iraq but in Washington, too.  There, as Rowan Scarborough reported more than a year later,

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Orban Fights Back: Hungary Pushes Anti-Immigration “Stop Soros” Bill

Orban Fights Back: Hungary Pushes Anti-Immigration “Stop Soros” Bill

15-02-18 08:42:00,

Last month, members of the global financial and political elite listened with rapt attention as George Soros, the famed money manager and purported champion of “open” societies, blasted “mafia states” like Russia and his native Hungary, while also criticizing US President Donald Trump, with Soros admitting that his “goal in the United States” for this year’s midterm election was “to reestablish a functioning two-party system”…

Indeed, octogenarian Soros is showing no signs of dialing back his meddling in the affairs of European nations, and the US as well. And nowhere has his interference been more visible than in Hungary, where his former protege Viktor Orban has sought to close the country’s borders to intruding refugees – a decision that has enraged Soros, who recently dedicated most of his eleven-figure fortune to erasing all national boundaries via his “Open Society” foundations.

After declaring Hungary “a mafia state” last summer and suggesting that he will do everything in his power to remove Orban from power, the country’s ruling party has engaged in a heated propaganda battle against Soros and his agents that has included erecting anti-Soros billboard messages around the country.

Soros

Now, that battle is escalating as Orban and his party are gearing up for national elections in April. As Reuters reported Wednesday, the country’s nationalist government introduced legislation to empower the country’s interior minister to ban NGOs – like those funded by Soros – that support policies that might compromise national security – policies like open borders and unrestricted immigration.

The bill would impose a 25% tax on NGOs that back migration that are operating in Hungary…

The bill, submitted to parliament late on Tuesday, is a key part of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s anti-immigration campaign targeting U.S. financier George Soros whose philanthropy aims to bolster liberal and open-border values in eastern Europe.

The government says the bill, which would also impose a 25 percent tax on foreign donations to NGOs that back migration in Hungary, is meant to deter illegal immigration Orban says is eroding European stability and has been stoked in part by Soros.

Hungary and Poland are both under nationalist governments that have clashed with the European Union leadership in Brussels over their perceived authoritarian drift deviating from EU standards on democracy and rule of law.

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Did the judge who refused to withdraw Julian Assange’s arrest warrant labour under a gigantic conflict of interest?

Did the judge who refused to withdraw Julian Assange’s arrest warrant labour under a gigantic conflict of interest?

15-02-18 08:35:00,

“I find arrest is a proportionate response.” That was the judgement delivered in court last Tuesday by Judge Emma Arbuthnot, presiding over the case brought to court by Julian Assange’s lawyers. Their argument had been that the warrant for his arrest ought to be withdrawn because arresting him (after the extradition request from Sweden had been rescinded)  “was no longer proportionate or in the public interest“.

The elephant in the room is, of course, the fact that the whole affair was always about the thinly veiled US plan to apprehend Julian, throw him into the type of unfathomable cell in which Chelsea Manning was incarcerated for 18 months, and deny him any opportunity to defend himself from ludicrous spying charges. Given that both sides of US politics have confirmed that this is indeed their intention (a rare occasion when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have agreed), it was quite interesting to read Judge Arbuthnot’s response:

“I accept that Mr Assange had expressed fears of being returned to the United States from a very early stage in the Swedish extradition proceedings but, absent any evidence from Mr Assange on oath, I do not find that Mr Assange’s fears were reasonable.” 

As remarkably circular statements come, this is truly extraordinary: Judge Arbuthnot is dismissing as unreasonable Julian’s fears that if he were to exit the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to be arrested by police he would be extradited to the US before being thrown into the US supermax, Guantanamo-like, system. And why did she dismiss his fears? Because Julian did not step out of the Ecuadorian Embassy and into her court to express them!

Now, of course, I am no lawyer and most certainly have no expertise, or right, to pass judgement on the good judge – except to state my puzzlement at the logicality – or otherwise – of her verdict. However, there is a serious matter on which all of us, who were observing with interest this case, have a duty to bring to the fore. It is a matter that concerns a potentially mind boggling conflict of interest afflicting  Judge Arbuthnot.

If my sources are correct (and I do stress this if), Judge Arbuthnot is the wife of Lord Arbuthnot,

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WATCH: Former UK ambassador to Syria on how imperialism is being redefined as a liberal ideal

WATCH: Former UK ambassador to Syria on how imperialism is being redefined as a liberal ideal

14-02-18 05:07:00,

Peter Ford, former ambassador to Syria (2003-6) speaking at the “Imperialism on Trial” symposium in Derry, Ireland. He describes the weasel words and manipulative language used to redefine old ideas of imperialism as a liberal ideal. “Defending human rights”, he says, is simply a modern construct of the Victorian meme of the “White Man’s Burden” – the mendacious idea that the countries invaded by the British Empire needed and welcomed the invaders as a civilising and educational force.
If you have a Youtube account please take the time to follow Eva Bartlett there. This video is shared from her

PLEASE SHARE TO HELP COMBAT SOCIAL MEDIA CENSORSHIP

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Regime Change Fails: Is a Military Coup or Invasion of Venezuela Next? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Regime Change Fails: Is a Military Coup or Invasion of Venezuela Next? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

14-02-18 04:11:00,

Speaking at his alma mater, the University of Texas, on February 1, Secretary of State Tillerson suggested a potential military coup in Venezuela.  Tillerson then visited allied Latin American countries urging regime change and more economic sanctions on Venezuela. Tillerson is considering banning the processing or sale of Venezuelan oil in the United States and is discouraging other countries from buying Venezuelan oil. Further, the US is laying the groundwork for war against Venezuela.

In a series of tweets, Senator Marco Rubio, the Republican from Florida, where many Venezuelan oligarchs live, called for a military coup in Venezuela.

The world would support the Armed Forces in #Venezuela if they decide to protect the people & restore democracy by removing a dictator

— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 9, 2018

How absurd — remove an elected president with a military coup to restore democracy? Does that pass the straight face test? This refrain of Rubio and Tillerson seems to be the nonsensical public position of US policy.

The US has been seeking regime change in Venezuela since Hugo Chavez was elected in 1998. Trump joined Presidents Obama and Bush before him in continuing efforts to change the government and put in place a US-friendly oligarch government.

They came closest in 2002 when a military coup removed Chavez. The Commander-in-Chief of the Venezuelan military announced Chavez had resigned and Pedro Carmona, of the Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce, became interim president. Carmona dissolved the National Assembly and Supreme Court and declared the Constitution void. The people surrounded the presidential palace and seized television stations, Carmona resigned and fled to Colombia. Within 47 hours, civilians and the military restored Chavez to the presidency. The coup was a turning point that strengthened the Bolivarian Revolution, showed people could defeat a coup and exposed the US and oligarchs.

US Regime Change Tactics Have Failed In Venezuela

The US and oligarchs continue their efforts to reverse the Bolivarian Revolution. The US has a long history of regime change around the world and has tried all of its regime change tools in Venezuela.

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“US Foreign Policy Is the Greatest Crime Since WWII,” Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

“US Foreign Policy Is the Greatest Crime Since WWII,” Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

14-02-18 03:18:00,

This week, the present US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, during his trip to five Latin American nations, made headlines world wide when he made the following barely veiled threatening statement, “In the history of Venezuela and South American countries, it is often times that the military is the agent of change when things are so bad, and the leadership can no longer serve the people.” and shortly afterward referring to the elected president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro added, 

“If the kitchen gets a little too hot for him, I am sure that he’s got some friends over in Cuba that could give him a nice hacienda on the beach and he could have a nice life over there.”

There are few countries in Latin America that have not experienced the USA both secretly and overtly backing a right wing military government coup.[1]

The US Secretary of State’s criminally insane back handed remarks favoring a civil war, with all the probable loss of lives a civil war would bring, seems to fit as appropriate within a US foreign policy of world domination.  Human suffering has never been of any  consequence to the financial interests of that 1/10 of 1 per cent of Americans who, to one degree or another, rule us all.

That is the way it has been since the end of the Second World War, a war made possible by US investments and joint ventures in the rearming of Nazi Germany,[ 2] a war that made the USA rich and the first all powerful single superpower.  

Now that China is about to replace the USA as the most powerful economy in the world,[3] maybe the days of such arrogance from a US Secretary of State are numbered, though the all powerful criminal media owned by the US military industrial complex would have us think otherwise. The CIA overseen mainstream media is preparing its audience for a probable future ‘necessary’ war with US designated ‘adversaries’ Russia and China. 

However, although ‘Might makes right!’ might continue to prove to be axiomatic and to assure US capability to make war whenever and wherever, there is a countering ultimate truth that whoever has the most money can buy the most guns.

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Who is Behind Fake News? The Brussels Terror Attacks: Fake Videos and Images. “The Man in the Hat” | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Who is Behind Fake News? The Brussels Terror Attacks: Fake Videos and Images. “The Man in the Hat” | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

14-02-18 01:58:00,

The mainstream media is currently waging a campaign against the alternative and independent media including Global Research.

Progressive online media is accused of propagating “fake news”. Are these allegations justified?

Read this April 20, 2016 Global Research report on the MSM coverage of the March 2016 Brussels terror attacks. The corporate media routinely use fake images and videos with a view to misleading the public in its coverage of controversial events including the “war on terrorism”.

After a month of exhaustive police investigations, the Belgian authorities have identified and arrested the alleged (surviving) terror mastermind of the airport bombing, the “man in the hat” Mohamed Abrini. The other four alleged terrorists involved in the kamikaze bombing attacks at the airport and the metro station are reported dead. 

According to reports, Abrini was identified on a Brussels airport still photo released by one or more airport video security surveillance CCTV cameras.

This photo –which identifies three of the terror suspects– has become a central piece of evidence in the police investigation.

In this still photo, the mystery “man in the hat” allegedly Mohamed Abrini is seen accompanying the two alleged suicide bombers, who according to reports blew themselves up in Brussels airport.

Moreover, Abrini happens to be, according to French police investigators, the main surviving suspect of the Paris November attacks.

The official story is that the attacks in both Paris and Brussels were ordered by the ISIS, which just so happens to be supported by Turkey and Saudi Arabia in close liaison with Washington and NATO headquarters in Brussels. (The issue of US-NATO-Israel support of the Islamic State is amply documented).

Abrini is said to have confessed “his presence at the crime scene,” according to the official communique

The Authenticity of the Still Photo of the Three alleged Terrorists at Brussels Airport 

Our analysis below will largely focus on the authenticity of the still photo allegedly from the Brussels airport CCTV surveillance cameras.  CCTV systems are able to to take high resolution images on a time lapse basis.  The still picture could also have taken by closed-circuit digital photography (CCDP), which is used to generate still digital images.

TIMELINE [March 22,

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And the name of DiEM25’s Greek political party is…

And the name of DiEM25’s Greek political party is…

14-02-18 01:43:00,

We have white smoke! DiEM25’s members overwhelmingly approved the name of our new Greek electoral wing – the political party with which DiEM25 will contest elections in Greece, returning the spirit of the Greek Spring to the place of its birth. As with all major DiEM25 decisions, members voted from across Europe, confirming once again that another Europe is not just possible – but that it is here, within DiEM25! This is the splendid innovation that DiEM25 has ushered into European and national politics, turning European Internationalism into a reality and a European Demos into a tangible possibility.

And the name of our Greek party?

EUROPEAN REALIST DISOBEDIENCE FRONT | DiEM25
Why ‘front’?

  • Because Greece is suffocating in a Europe that is deconstructing itself
  • Because, as long as countries like Greece are suffocating, Europe will be deconstructing itself, thus reinforcing the suffocation of Greece

Only a broad, unifying, pan-european front against our Oligarchy-Without-Borders, that is responsible for Greece’s debt-bondage, can ever give breathing space to Greece and relief to its citizens.

Why ‘European realist disobedience’?

  • Because the only way to be a responsible Greek citizen today is to disobey the ludicrous policies that are responsible for Greece’s dessertification
  • Because the only way of respecting Greece’s Parliamentarianism, Constitution and… common sense is to end the blind obedience to the directives of the troika and its domestic agents

Authentic Greek Europeanists, today, understand that they have a duty to disobey the incompetent pseudo-technocrats who, on the altar of narrow oligarchic interests, are sacrificing Greece while de-legitimising Europe.

Why MeRA?

Because ‘mera’ in Greek translates into ‘day’, or ‘diem’ in Latin. And because Greeks have had enough of the long night of debt bondage to which they have been condemned for so many consecutive years.

Over the next days and weeks, our members’ decision to create MeRA25 will lead to our new Greek party’s Manifesto. On Tuesday 20/2 a pre-inauguration public meetings will take place in Kalamata (Municipal Cultural Centre, at 7.30pm) while, on Monday 26/3, MeRA25’s inauguration will take place in Athens.

Until then, we call upon all European democrats who were cheered by the news of MeRA25’s impending birth, and who think this is a beginning worthy of their support,

 » Lees verder

Frontrunning: February 14

14-02-18 01:31:00,

  • Stocks Gain, Treasuries Steady Before Key Inflation Data (BBG)
  • AT&T Targets DOJ Antitrust Chief in Time Warner Fight (WSJ)
  • German SPD leader invokes Europe to sell coalition deal with Merkel (Reuters)
  • Why Today Could Be Huge for the VIX (BBG)
  • South African police raid Gupta home, ANC to sack Zuma via parliament (Reuters)
  • An Uber Driver’s Investment Tip Confirmed Paul Britton’s Doubts on XIV (BBG)
  • Short Sellers’ Favorite Stock Bets Backfire (BBG)
  • Chipotle Picks Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol to Be Its New Chief (WSJ)
  • Walmart goes to the cloud to close gap with Amazon (Reuters)
  • Kelly’s Handling of Ex-Trump Aide Scrutinized After FBI Account (BBG)
  • GOP Split in Senate Primary Fights, Even Without Bannon (WSJ)
  • For one U.S. immigrant family, short-term public aid meant long-term security (Reuters)
  • Here’s How Many Model 3s Tesla Is Really Making (BBG)
  • Hungary submits anti-immigration ‘Stop Soros’ bill to parliament (Reuters)
  • Sponsor An Immigrant Yourself (Politico)
  • Netflix Hoards TV Talent in $300 Million Deal for ‘Glee’ Creator (BBG)
  • Netflix Signs Producer Ryan Murphy to Multimillion-Dollar Deal (WSJ)
  • UK tells charities: no more cash if you don’t come clean on abuse (Reuters)
  • Zuma Calls South African ANC’s Push for Him to Resign ‘Unfair’ (BBG)
  • As DACA Deadline Looms, Young Immigrants Plan for the Unknown (WSJ)
  • Physical oil market sends warning to OPEC: Rout might not be over (Reuters)
  • Influence Game: Bezos Comes to Washington (BBG)
  • South Korea union says GM plant closure is ‘death sentence’, threatens strike (Reuters)
  • European Banks Have a $1.2 Trillion Bad-Loan Problem (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

 » Lees verder

Deel 5: Ronald Bernard-interview: Local powers that be

Deel 5: Ronald Bernard-interview: Local powers that be

13-02-18 07:48:00,

ENGLISH VERSION, click here

Zojuist hebben we op de site van DVM-TV deel 5 van het interview met Ronald Bernard gepubliceerd. In dit interview vertelt Ronald Bernard hoe ook de lokale overheden macht uitoefenen achter de schermen en hoe hij tot het inzicht kwam hoe het hele spel in elkaar zit, nadat hij in de gevangenis een boek kreeg overhandigd door een vrouwelijke cipier…

Zie hier deel 5 van het interview:

© Irma Schiffers/DVM-TV

Alle artikelen op deze site worden belangeloos geschreven ten bate van ‘hue-manity’ en mogen gedeeld en gerepubliceerd worden, mits de bronnen worden gerespecteerd.

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The Problem with Conspiracy Theories | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

The Problem with Conspiracy Theories | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

13-02-18 01:37:00,

People today spend a lot of time talking about conspiracy theories.

These theories often do harm because they divert attention away from the facts and thereby allow real crimes and other harmful effects to continue.

Such conspiracy theories can be spotted based on three basic characteristics.

  1. They lack evidence.
  2. They spread widely before the facts are examined.
  3. Much simpler alternatives are not considered.

For example, take the most popular conspiracy theory of recent times—the official account for the crimes of 9/11.

  1. This theory was produced by mythologist Philip Zelikow, who, before the investigation began, created an outline that was kept secret from his own Commission staff. Zelikow’s outline determined the outcome of the investigation before any facts were examined. Moreover, the 9/11 Commission claimed sixty-three times in its report that it could find “no evidence” related to important aspects of the crimes. Evidence that the Commission did rely on, as a basis for its report, was later found to be false. Similarly, the evidence collected and held secret by World Trade Center investigating agency NIST was later found to contradict the agency’s conclusions. Much of that evidence is still being held secret including the computer model data that NIST was forced to substitute for physical testing that contradicted its conclusions.
  2. The conspiracy theory reports provided by the 9/11 Commission and NIST spread quickly before anyone could examine them. Getting government representatives to commit to any explanation for what had happened on 9/11 took years but, once ready, news media sources were prepped in advance to allow rapid parroting of the official line. The timing of NIST’s reports coincided with political events, like each anniversary of the 9/11 crimes, so that media could quickly present the official story while public interest was high but critical review was not possible. With the report on WTC 7, the public was given just three weeks to comment on a report that was nearly seven years in the making. The report was later found to be unscientific and false.
  3. The official conspiracy theory for 9/11 calls for belief in unbelievable things.

 » Lees verder

Frontrunning: February 13

13-02-18 01:34:00,

  • GOP’s Silence on Deficits Under Trump Marks Turnabout (BBG)
  • Investors start looking abroad (Reuters)
  • Cold War Rivals Risk Direct Conflict in Syria (BBG)
  • Ex-Prosecutors Take Frustrations With Trump to the Campaign Trail (WSJ)
  • Amazon’s Latest Ambition: To Be a Major Hospital Supplier (WSJ)
  • In Shift, U.S. Signals Readiness to Talk With North Korea (WSJ)
  • Volatile Markets Make Tomorrow’s CPI Report a Reason to Worry (BBG)
  • Shale Output Hasn’t Grown This Fast Since Oil Was at $100 (WSJ)
  • Exxon Sues Its Antagonists in a Fierce Climate-Change Lawsuit (BBG)
  • PepsiCo beats sales estimates on snacks boost (Reuters)
  • OPEC Revises Crude Supply Forecasts on Higher U.S. Production (WSJ)
  • U.S. to push for ‘reciprocal tax’ on trade partners (Reuters)
  • U.S. Tax Provision May Sting Foreign Firms (WSJ)
  • Israel Says U.S. Not in Syria ‘Game’ (BBG)
  • The Biggest Political Spender at Trump Properties Is Trump (BBG)
  • Iraq says $4 billion needed for new downstream oil investments (Reuters)
  • Harley CEO asks investors for patience as sales, stock slide (Reuters)
  • Don’t take the president literally, aide says, after women deride ‘macho-fascist’ Duterte (Reuters)
  • Icahn, Deason urge Xerox shareholders to oppose Fujifilm deal (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

– Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc has made a takeover approach to drug distributor AmerisourceBergen Corp in a move that could help boost profitability at the drugstore giant and insulate it against external threats. on.wsj.com/2Ch5Gg9

– A special committee of the Wynn Resorts Ltd board said it hired Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP to investigate allegations against Steve Wynn and to conduct an “expanded and comprehensive review” of the company’s internal policies to ensure “a safe and respectful workplace for all employees.”

 » Lees verder

The “Gig Economy”: Global Unemployment, Low Wages, Migration and the Future Workplace | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

The “Gig Economy”: Global Unemployment, Low Wages, Migration and the Future Workplace | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

13-02-18 11:02:00,

The author tracks key economic forces that have resulted in technological innovations which have given birth to the gig economy that is threatening job security, the gigzombie who is the alienated worker in the gig economy, and misguided anger directed at immigrants.

“A gig economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. The trend toward a gig economy has begun. A study by Intuit predicted that by 2020, 40 percent of American workers would be independent contractors.”

Introduction

This article explains sweeping changes that have resulted in the gig economy and migration patterns. The gig economy is the future workplace, once associated with less industrialized countries in the 1970s, where temporary, unstable employment is commonplace and companies tend toward hiring employees who are all but in name performing the work of permanent workers, but are denied permanent employee rights. It undermines the traditional economy and will aggravate unemployment, poverty and immigration. The gigzombie is the alienated gig employee, whose vitality has been sapped by rapid technological advancements that are changing the nature of work and increasingly threatening job security. Mr. Doug Scfifter, a New York City livery driver, wrote before he recently killed himself in front of New York’s City Hall, the gig economy “is the new slavery…I am not a slave and I refuse to be one.” 1

Since the end of the post WW II economic expansion in the 1970s2 capitalism has been struggling with slow growth and flat wages. The gig economy, which is driven by technological innovation, is a restructuring response to cut production costs and increase profits. It is not a solution for unemployment and forced migration, yet estimates show that the gig economy will soon account for more than one half of all jobs.3 Capitalism manufactures unemployment which is necessary for its existence. Immigrants are not the cause of unemployment and the gig economy is not the solution for unemployment; they are manifestations of the logic of this system.

Explaining the Underlying Economics Forces of the Sweeping Changes

To understand these sweeping changes in the U.S. and global economies and migration patterns,

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The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan. U.S. Recruitment of “Islamic Terrorists” Started in 1979. Zbigniew Brzezinski | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan. U.S. Recruitment of “Islamic Terrorists” Started in 1979. Zbigniew Brzezinski | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

13-02-18 10:33:00,

This text was among the first articles published by Global Research in October 15, 2001, in the week following the US-NATO led invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001.

According to this 1998 interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, the CIA’s intervention in Afghanistan preceded the 1979  the entry of Soviet forces into Afghanistan in the context of a military cooperation agreement with the Kabul government similar in form to that reached between Damascus and Moscow in the context of the ongoing war in Syria. 

Confirmed by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Soviet forces were fighting the Al Qaeda mercenaries who had been recruited by the CIA.  

Amply documented, the recruitment, training and indoctrination of the Mujahideen was financed by the drug trade which was supported covertly by the CIA.

The terrorists were recruited starting in 1979. They were used to undermine and destroy Afghanistan’s secular government. 

The decision of the Carter Administration in 1979 to intervene and destabilise Afghanistan is the root cause of Afghanistan’s destruction as a nation-state.

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research Editor, 15 October 2001, updated February 13, 2018

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Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [“From the Shadows”], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahideen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

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