Nicolas Maduro Reelected President of Venezuela | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Nicolas Maduro Reelected President of Venezuela | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

21-05-18 02:05:00,

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stephenlendman.org 

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Nicolas Maduro won another six-year term overwhelmingly by a two-thirds majority – far greater than polls predicted, turnout disappointing at less than 50%.

His main adversary, Chavista turncoat Henri Falcon, fared much poorer than predicted with around 21% of the vote.

Businessman/evangelical pastor linked to the Panama Papers tax haven scandal got only about 11% support.

Addressing a late Sunday night crowd of supporters, Maduro hailed his triumph as a victory over “imperialism,” saying:

“How much have they underestimated our revolutionary people, and how much have they underestimated me. And here we are victorious,” adding:

“It has been a heroic, beautiful, popular victory forged in the struggle. I’m the president of all of the Venezuelans. I call for a dialogue process. Permanent dialogue is what Venezuela needs. The revolution is here to stay!”

Scores of international observers from 30 countries monitored Sunday’s elections, including former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, saying:

“I do not have any doubt about the voting process. It is an advanced automatic voting system. I come here to keep the peace, coordinate and promote dialogue to improve the democratic mechanism here,” adding:

“What I need to do here is to see whether people can cast their ballots at their own discretion. Now we all see how people vote, don’t we?”

Other international observers called Sunday’s vote open, free and fair, the atmosphere calm, no incidents reported, no irregularities other than minor ones corrected.

Venezuela’s democratic process is the world’s best by far, polar opposite America’s money-controlled system, one-party rule with two right wings, serving privileged interests exclusively, steadily eroding social justice, heading toward eliminating it altogether – planned demise since the neoliberal 90s.

The Trump administration rejects the result of Venezuela’s election, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told reporters, adding sanctions on the country’s oil industry may be imposed, saying “(t)hey are under active review.”

Falcon rejected his overwhelming defeat,

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Trump Threatens Merkel With Trade War Over Russian Gas Pipeline

Trump Threatens Merkel With Trade War Over Russian Gas Pipeline

21-05-18 02:05:00,

It became clear just how important it is to the US for Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project to fail two months ago when, as we described in “US Threatens Sanctions For European Firms Participating In Russian Gas Pipeline Project“, the U.S. State Department warned European corporations that they will likely face penalties and sanctions if they participate in the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 on the grounds that “the project undermines energy security in Europe”, when in reality Russia has for decades been a quasi-monopolist on European energy supplies and thus has unprecedented leverage over European politics, at least behind the scenes.

“As many people know, we oppose the Nord Stream 2 project, the US government does,” State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert said during a late March press briefing adding that “the Nord Stream 2 project would undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability. It would provide Russia [with] another tool to pressure European countries, especially countries such as Ukraine.” And speaking of Ukraine, recall that in 2014, shortly after the US State Department facilitated the presidential coup in Ukraine, Joe Biden’s son Hunter joined the board of directors of Burisma, Ukraine’s largest oil and gas company. Surely that was merely a coincidence.

Nauert also said that Washington may introduce punitive measures against participants in the pipeline project – which could be implemented using a provision in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Fast forward to today, when the dreadfully named CAATSA act just made a repeat appearance; around the time Europe made it clear it would openly defy Trump’s Iran sanctions, the WSJ reported that Trump told Merkel that if she wants to avoid a trans-Atlantic trade war, the price would be to pull the break on Nord Stream 2, according to German, U.S. and European sources.

The officials said Mr. Trump told German Chancellor Angela Merkel in April that Germany should drop support for Nord Stream 2, an offshore pipeline that would bring gas directly from Russia via the Baltic Sea. This would be in exchange for the U.S. starting talks with the European Union on a new trade deal.

While it had long been suspected that Trump would push hard to dismantle Nord Stream 2 just so US nat gas exporters could grab a slice of the European market pie,

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Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide

Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide

21-05-18 09:28:00,

As a Jewish Israeli descendant of Holocaust survivors, I believe the comparison of the conditions in Palestine to those preceding the Shoah is not only justified, but necessary. Israel is ideologically prepared to enact a genocide on Palestinians right now. If we do not act, it will march into its new decisive stage—up to the 6th million Palestinian and over.

I study and write speculative fiction. A lot of my writing contemplates Israeli future, envisioning brutally grotesque scenarios as a kind of warning for my culture. But these days, whenever I nail another period at the end of a new chapter, my sense of accomplishment is cut short, as reality towers over my imagination. No author could foretell insanities such as the split screen on live Israeli television on May 14th: the Netanyahus and Trumps smiling whitely on one side, the Palestinian protesters carrying their dead on the other, and that night—the Gazans weeping over corpses as tens of thousands of Israelis dance in Rabin Square, singing “I’m not your toy.”

In the novel I am currently working on, I contemplate what a full-fledged Israeli genocide (and resistance to it) would look like from the eyes of a perpetrator and a victim. But while I started this project inventing the conditions in which such an event would take place, they have, to my horror, already ripened in Israeli society. I have woken up to the situation in which a dystopian future has accelerated into existence, and I can’t hit pause and write ahead of the storm. The world is stuck on play, the news feed refreshes itself, and inexorably, the blood flows. I’m experiencing a peculiar, unnamed anxiety, witnessing a future which is too much like the past, crawling on the present.

The bleeding edge among Israeli politicians—MK Smotrich, Minister of Education Bennet, Jerusalem Mayor Barkat and their ilk—are nowadays advocating the move into the so-called “decisive stage” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To transgress from the status quo into a durable peace (incidentally, the title of PM Netanyahu’s one and only book): a Final Solution for the Palestinian Question. That vision, à la Smotrich,

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Maduro wins another term as Venezuela’s president

Maduro wins another term as Venezuela’s president

21-05-18 09:17:00,

US President Donald Trump has just lectured NATO on it member’s commitment performance and held a controversial meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and is next week to receive EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with trade matters being high up on the agenda.

Juncker is expected to present Trump with a package of proposals to help smooth relations and potentially heal areas of division, particularly those surrounding Europe’s trade relationship with America. Those proposals are precisely what is cropping up as another area of divergence between some members of the EU, specifically France and Germany, just after a major contention on migration has been driving discord within the Union.

This gets down to whether Europe should offer concessions to Trump on trade while Trump is admittedly describing the Union as a ‘foe’ and has initiated a trade spat with the Union by assessing trade tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, spurring retaliatory tariff measures from the EU Commission.

France, specifically, is opposed to any sort of compromise with Trump on the matter, where Trump is perceived as an opponent to the Union and its unity, whereas Germany is economically motivated to seek an end to the trade dispute under the threat of a new round of tariffs emanating from the Trump administration, and is therefore seeking to find some sort of proposal that Trump will accept and therefore back down on his protectionism against the EU, and Germany in particular.

Politico reports:

Only a week before European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker flies to Washington, France and Germany are divided over how much he should offer to U.S. President Donald Trump to end a deepening trade war, say European diplomats and officials.

But, they add, Germany has the upper hand. Berlin is shaping Juncker’s agenda, suggesting three offers that he could take to Trump on July 25 to resolve the dispute, according to people familiar with the plans.

The French are uneasy about the wisdom of such a conciliatory approach, however, and publicly accuse Trump of seeking to splinter and weaken the 28-member bloc, which he has called his “foe.”

Despite Paris’ reservations about giving away too much to the increasingly hostile U.S.

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Defenders Of Open Internet Deliver “Historic Win” As Senate Votes To Restore Net Neutrality | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

Defenders Of Open Internet Deliver “Historic Win” As Senate Votes To Restore Net Neutrality | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

21-05-18 09:06:00,

The open internet scored a huge victory on Wednesday, but you wouldn’t know it by watching America’s major corporate television networks.

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Thanks to weeks of sustained grassroots pressure in the form of 16 million emails, over a million phone calls, and nationwide demonstrations both online and off, three Republicans voted with the Senate Democratic caucus on Wednesday to block the GOP-controlled FCC’s net neutrality repeal, clearing a crucial hurdle on the path to saving the web from the greed of the telecom industry.

In a statement applauding the 52-47 vote, Free Press Action Fund president Craig Aaron said the Senate’s passage of the so-called resolution of disapproval is “a historic win for supporters of net neutrality and a stinging rebuke to the army of phone-and cable-company lobbyists and lackeys trying to take away our internet freedom.”

“Today the Senate has taken a giant step toward unwinding the least-popular policy decision in the history of the FCC,” Aaron added.

Despite those and similar pronouncements by organizers about the significance of the victory, the news was virtually, if not completely, ignored by major cable outlets like MSNBC and CNN, respectively owned by Comcast and Time Warner — two of the major corporate powers lobbying against the CRA’s passage.

Meanwhile, as activists emphasized the importance of celebrating this crucial win given the tireless grassroots effort that produced it, open internet advocates and pro-net neutrality lawmakers noted that the same level of grassroots pressure — and likely even more — will be necessary to carry the resolution through the House of Representatives.

“The fight ahead is not going to be easy, but victory is within reach,” declared Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future.

“In the House, we’ll need 218 lawmakers to sign on to a ‘discharge petition’ in order to force a vote past leadership to the floor,” Greer observed. “That means we’ll need to convince all the Democrats, and about 25 Republicans, to support the CRA.

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Understanding the Fractal Nature of TIME | Armstrong Economics

Understanding the Fractal Nature of TIME | Armstrong Economics

21-05-18 09:04:00,

COMMENT: I attended your 2015 WEC where you laid out the future for the euro. I was skeptical, to say the least. All these people constantly focus on the dollar. Then your model gave buy signals on the euro and you said it would then rally into 2018 and that could form the slingshot down. It came close to your target and now here in France, the government has warned of a euro crisis blaming Italy. I attended your euro conference in Frankfurt and again you explained why the euro would decline.

I have come to understand that your model is really split into timing levels. I think you need to explain that better because the rest of us are used to what you would call I guess a flat forecast that is not relevant to the time. Just a suggestion. But a lot of people do not catch on that you can forecast the long-term yet also provide the forecast for the short term counter-trend moves.

I can’t make Singapore but will be there in Orlando.

merci et bonne chance

PV

REPLY: Thank you for the perspective. You are probably correct. The very reason why we are one of the largest institutional advisers in the world is because we can forecast not just time, but distinguish the short-term from the long-term. I suppose it can get confusing when the long-term warns the euro is crashing and yet you have a 13-month rally which is also necessary to create the energy for the resumption of the decline. This is how the energy in a market is created for the opposite direction.

It is always the false counter-trend move that creates the energy to swing back the other way. We did elect a Quarterly Bearish Reversal at the end of the 1st quarter 2018. That confirmed the counter-trend rally was over. On the weekly level, it was 57 weeks up to the February high.  There we were electing Weekly Bullish confirming the counter-trend rally would begin.

Take gold. Here too the line the model drew was 1362 on a monthly level and 1341 on a quarterly closing basis.

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Canada’s Debt Spiral: Does Justin Trudeau Live In An Alternative Reality?

Canada’s Debt Spiral: Does Justin Trudeau Live In An Alternative Reality?

21-05-18 09:00:00,

Authored by Lee Friday via The Mises Institute,

Living beyond our means requires us to borrow money to cover the difference between our income and our spending. Many Canadians now understand the financial consequences of this practice and regret the choices they’ve made. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Trudeau is not one of them, as evidenced by his government’s budget deficits which are further eroding the financial wellbeing of Canadians. He has broken a campaign promise, ignored basic economic principles, and seems hell-bent on setting an ignominious record.  According to the Fraser Institute: “Justin Trudeau is the only prime minister in the last 120 years who has increased the federal per-person debt burden without a world war or recession to justify it.”


The Broken Promise

The Liberals had won the 2015 federal election with a pledge to run annual shortfalls of no more than $10 billion over the first three years of their mandate, and to eliminate the deficit by 2019-20.

The deficit for 2016-17, Trudeau’s first full fiscal year, was $17.8 Billion. The forecast for 2017-18 is $19.9 Billion, and for 2018-19, the forecast is $18.1 Billion.

And now, from the government’s 2018 budget, we read this:

While austerity can come from fiscal necessity, it should not turn into a rigid ideology about deficits that sees any investment as bad spending.

The government says deficits are economically beneficial, and compares deficits to loans taken out by entrepreneurs and business owners. But here’s the rub: in order to spend, the government must first raise money by taxing or borrowing (deficits). This deprives the private sector of money which would otherwise be available for businesses to borrow and invest in new production, thereby creating jobs and raising our standard of living.

Moreover, government ‘borrowing and spending’ imposes a financial burden on future taxpayers who must pay pay back both the loan and the interest payments.  In contrast, repayment of private business loans imposes a burden on the entrepreneurs — and because entrepreneurs are held personally liable, they are incentivized to be prudent decision makers. Politicians,

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How Linear Thinking that has blinded most People | Armstrong Economics

How Linear Thinking that has blinded most People | Armstrong Economics

20-05-18 07:04:00,

COMMENT: I think I now see the light. It has been my linear thinking that has blinded me. Gold rallied and failed as was the case with the euro, British pound and so on. Putting them all together is why who said that the euro would rally because they all were indicating a pause in the trend of the dollar. If they all crash together, I can see the dollar rally easier for they are all lined up the same way on your model looking at the reversals. I hope you elaborate on this in Singapore.

SHV

REPLY: Yes you are starting to see the light. You cannot have just one market rallying beyond the reversals without the others. Everything is linked. You have to begin to look at the world as a hedge fund manager to see what others cannot. You did not elect a key Monthly Bullish in any of these markets. That is the key. The same model allows us to see the critical point across the financial spectrum and in that instant we can listen to the markets telling us the future.

Opinion means nothing, including mine. ONLY the model allows us to see everything in a black & white manner without prejudice. This is how we avoid Marrying the Trade!

Yes, at the Singapore WEC I will cover this interlinking process so the future is revealed by the markets, not my opinion.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Accuses George Soros Of Spreading Anti-Semitism Across Europe

Hungarian Prime Minister Accuses George Soros Of Spreading Anti-Semitism Across Europe

20-05-18 04:08:00,

Zionist plot? Of course. If there are lies, deception, and human exploitation with global events which no other people or nation can afford to pay for, then it probably has something to do with Zionists working on their Greater Israel project.  

The following is for people who have a hard time connecting the dots:

Fact #1 – Soros is an agent of the Rothschild syndicate. (Like Trump and others he would not have been able to afford a pair of shoes if not for Rothschild backing.)

Fact #2 – Soros is a lair and uses dishonest and illegal means to achieve his globalist ends. (Anyone disagreeing is a moron.)

Fact #3 – Soros pretends to be anti-Zionist. (Rothschild’s are not only arch Zionists but they personally take credit for the Zionist creation of the state of Israel. If Soros was not serving Zionist interests and was actually and anti-Zionist only his corpse would be wearing shoes at this time.)

Fact #4 – Under the guise of “Open Society Foundations” Soros has been instrumental in forcing open border globalist policies mainly on European countries. (He even complained in 2016 that European nations were not taking as many of the Muslim “refugees” from the Middle East as they should, and that they would have to take millions more.) 

Fact #5 – Soros groups coordinated most of the “herding” of displaced people mainly from Syria and Iraq out of their homelands into Turkey and Europe. (The MSM and the alternate media seem to be oblivious to the importance of this fact.)

Fact #6 – It was foreseeable to Soros and the other global elites, that herding hundreds of thousands hapless Muslims into European countries would cause severe culture shock in the host nations.

Fact #7 – It was foreseeable to Soros and the Zionist elites, that herding hundreds of thousands hapless Muslims into European countries would cause more friction and difficulties especially against against Jewish people living in those nations. (Most people in both Syria and Iraq largely blame the Zionists for the destruction of their nations.)

Fact # 8 – Agents of Zionist Rothschild/Soros organizations, have been working very hard in Europe to encourage more and more Jewish people to settle in Israel.

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Europe: National Sovereignty versus Partners of the American Empire. Conquest, at Stake over Iran | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Europe: National Sovereignty versus Partners of the American Empire. Conquest, at Stake over Iran | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

20-05-18 04:05:00,

Europe now faces its ultimate ideological fork-in-the-road, which it has thus far ignored but can no longer ignore: They need to decide whether they seek a world of nations that each is sovereign over its own territory but over no other (and this would not be a world at war); or whether they seek instead a world in which they are part of the American empire, a world based on conquests — NATO, IMF, World Bank, and the other US-controlled international institutions — and in which their own nation’s citizens are subject to the dictatorship by America’s aristocracy: the same super-rich individuals who effectively control the US Government itself (see this and this — and that’s dictatorship by the richest, in the United States).

Iran has become this fateful fork-in-the-road, and the immediate issue here is America’s cancellation of the Iran nuclear deal that America had signed along with 6 other countries, and America’s consequent restoration of economic sanctions against Iran — sanctions against companies anywhere that continue trading with Iran. First, however, some essential historical background on that entire issue:

The US aristocracy overthrew Iran’s democratically elected Government in 1953 and imposed there a barbaric dictatorship which did the bidding of the US and allied aristocracies, by installing the Pahlavi Shah there, just as they had earlier, in 1932, installed the Saud King in Saudi Arabia — which land never ever had known democracy. As Wikipedia says of Ibn Saud, who became King in 1932, “After World War I, he received further support from the British, including a glut of surplus munitions. He launched his campaign against the Al Rashidi in 1920; by 1922 they had been all but destroyed,” with Britain’s help. Similarly, the US and its British Imperial partner installed Pahlavi as Iran’s Shah in 1953. This was done by US President Dwight David Eisenhower.

After the death of the anti-imperialistic US President FDR, in 1945, the US Government quickly became pro-imperialistic under President Harry S. Truman (whom imperial England’s Winston Churchill wrapped around his little finger), and then even more so under Eisenhower, so that during the brief presidency of Ike’s successor President JFK, the anti-imperialistic ghost of FDR was coming to haunt the White House and thus again threaten the conjoined US-UK’s aristocracies’ surging global control.

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Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, May 19, 2018, #145

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, May 19, 2018, #145

20-05-18 04:02:00,

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, May 19, 2018, #145

Dane Wigington
GeoengineeringWatch.org

How many can cite verifiable facts to back up their opinions and conclusions? How many are looking through a completely colored lens of preconceptions, programmed ideology, and herd mentality bias? How much longer can the current course continue before the human race hits the wall at full velocity? The collective insanity that currently runs and rules the world continues to metastasize even as they are also increasingly infighting amongst themselves. Headlines of “it’s far worse than previously predicted” are coming in from all corners of the environmental front, and even now the majority of the masses are entertained and distracted by every imaginable form of power orchestrated structure theater. Biosphere collapse will force the hand of the most dangerous power centers on the planet. Which countries and governments are the most dangerous and out of control? The latest installment of Global Alert News is below.

Few are yet willing to make any meaningful commitment to the fight for the greater good, this must change. Many have convinced themselves they are helpless to affect the whole, such a conclusion is always false. No matter what individual circumstances any of us find ourselves in, no matter how difficult, there are always opportunities to share the truth (even if it is rejected for the moment). Unfolding global scenarios will soon enough force even the most ardent deniers of reality to face the full unvarnished truth. In the meantime, sowing the seeds of awareness is essential. All of us can make a difference, all of us are needed to try. Any one of us could be the last grain of sand to tilt the scale in the right direction, but only if we do our collective best to sound the alarm. Make your voice heard in this epic battle for the greater good, while you can, tomorrow is too late. 
DW

This week’s GeoengineeringWatch.org outreach booth is at the OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa, 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.

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Venezuela’s Highly Unusual Presidential Election | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Venezuela’s Highly Unusual Presidential Election | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

20-05-18 03:44:00,

Venezuela will hold its 24th electoral event in 20 years this Sunday, 20 May. The path to this election was perhaps one of the most convoluted and difficult of Venezuela’s now nearly 20-year Bolivarian Revolution.

First, there was a snap election in 2013, a mere five weeks after president Chávez died of cancer on 5 March. The opposition believed this was their best chance since 1998 to oust ‘Chavismo’ from power and so, when its candidate, Henrique Capriles Radonski, lost to Nicolas Maduro by a mere 1.5 per cent, they cried fraud and launched a wave of violent protests and riots that left at least nine dead.

The following year the opposition launched another wave of violent protests (known as ‘guarimbas’) that lasted about three months and left 43 people dead. This opposition tactic, which the opposition tried again in 2017, was immensely effective on an international level because every time it was applied, and people were killed (most of the time at the hands of the protesters themselves), the international perception of Venezuela – as mediated by international news outlets – was significantly worsened. It was thus only a small step to routinely begin to refer to Venezuela as a dictatorship, despite its more than annual electoral contests.

Meanwhile, following president Chávez’s death, Venezuela’s economic situation began to deteriorate significantly. The inflation rate rose from 21 per cent in 2012 to over 100 per cent in 2015 (and turned into hyper-inflation in 2018), basic consumer items and of food staples became increasingly difficult to purchase because of shortages, oil revenues dropped by two-thirds, from an estimated $77 billion in 2012 to $25 billion in 2016 – all of which gave the opposition additional reasons to launch ever-more uncompromising attacks on the government.

The reasons for the economic crisis are manifold, but its heart can be found in the confluence of: a fixed exchange rate, a concerted business sector effort to undermine the economy, declining oil prices, and – beginning in 2017 – US financial sanctions, all of which combined to create one of the worst economic crises in Venezuelan history.

Seeing its situation as increasingly precarious, the Maduro government decided to engage in a series of negotiations with the opposition,

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Chemtrails, Terraforming, Transhumanism and You | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

Chemtrails, Terraforming, Transhumanism and You | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

19-05-18 07:58:00,

by Zen Gardner

April 22, 2016

What most people are not allowing to coalesce in their consciousness is the grand scheme behind the so-called chemtrail program, also known on a more macro level as geoengineering.

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Geoengineering is an ongoing operation to steer and fabricate not only the world’s weather, but its food growing cycles, disasters, and the deliberate manipulation of economic and geopolitical trends, such as the weakening of governments and the placement of humanity to more controllable centers. Like any and all of these massive manipulative programs under way against humanity, these attack vectors have multi-fold purposes.

We know the slow and steady depopulation of especially the northern hemisphere is under way via a variety of programs, from chemical and genetic sterilization to growing food scarcity and outright sickness inducement. Instead of government or international agencies working to actually help and heal humanity, their agenda is clearly documented as being one of human impairment and reduction in numbers, easily accessible information on this being available in UN documents, tank papers and the stated goals of eugenicists for decades.

Even more nefarious is the introduction of nanotechnology into a wide range of these assaults. While transhumanism has been successfully popularized and embedded into mainstream culture and the robotization of our workforce made fashionable, little do people realize that amongst the chemtrail particulates have been found intelligent nanoparticles designed to make the human body and any living organism a micro transceiver of information. (See CarnicomInstitute.com)

Ray Kurzweil, a major proponent of artificial intelligence and the mis-named singularity and human so-called transcendence to machine status and supposed infinite longevity, is even more Orwellianly a top exec at the massive intelligence OP called GoogleInc. I say mis-named singularity as this term originally indicated a transition in consciousness and society when information met an apex in acceleration. They’ve since bastardized this notion to say it would indicate the takeover by artificial intelligence.

How convenient for those seeking maniacal control of absolutely everything. All of this speaks to the psychopathic depth of these control programs.

In addition, the earth, our beloved Gaia, is being inundated with toxic influences meant to break any and every natural cycle there is.

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The “Fake News” Story Is Fake News

The “Fake News” Story Is Fake News

19-05-18 07:48:00,

Authored by Philip Weiss via MondoWeiss.net,

Almost every day on public radio or public television, I hear reports about how fake news is undermining our democracy.

These high-minded reporters and anchors seem truly to believe that a feverish menace is overwhelming the minds of once-sensible people.

This story is itself fake news for several obvious reasons.

We’ve never had more good information than we have now; people are as well-informed as they want to be. There will always be outlets purveying lies; that is the nature of communication. And the insistence on the “fake news” issue is an effort to assign Trump’s victory not to those who brought it to us (the electorate, and the incompetence of the Clinton campaign) but on some nefarious agents.

The fact that we have more and better information today than ever almost goes without saying. When I started in the news business more than 40 years ago, few reporters carried tape recorders, largely because they worked for a guild and were never subject to correction. Today there are countless outlets, thanks to the internet, and important events are almost always recorded. The amount of data we have on public figures is vast compared to even ten years ago.

We can all argue about whether this is a good thing or a bad thing; but we are today awash in information. That information is more reliable than it has ever been before. My own work on Palestine and the Israel lobby has shown me that global consumers can get more accurate information about that conflict than they’ve ever had. Yes, as we assert here all the time, the mainstream US media is in the tank for Israel; but it’s not as if better information is not available at your fingertips, much of it from Europe and Palestine, often citizen video.

Before the internet, alternative sources were much harder to obtain. You had to subscribe to journals, or go to Hotaling’s newsstand in Times Square for out-of-town papers. The best example is  sports. I had to hope the newsstand had the late edition of the Times, or that the Times carried the box score for my hometown team.

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Netanyahu in Moscow for Victory Day: why did Putin invite him?

Netanyahu in Moscow for Victory Day: why did Putin invite him?

18-05-18 04:01:00,

News of the recent attendance of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Moscow’s 9th May Victory Day Parade provoked a predictable range of reactions ranging from anger, dismay, denial and – on the part of some of the US’s and Israel’s friends – even a certain amount of gloating.

For an example of the latter, see for example these words by the British historian Niall Ferguson in a lengthy article hailing Donald Trump’s supposed masterstroke in pulling out of the JCPOA.

Economically weak enough to suffer a wave of riots in December and January, the Iranians will not find it easy to withstand the snap-back of sanctions and the roll-back of its forces abroad. And if you think the Russians will help them, you must have missed Binyamin Netanyahu shaking hands with Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin last week.

By contrast The Saker – normally a supporter of Putin’s – sees the whole episode as disgraceful, and the Israeli missile strike on Syria which also happened on Victory Day, as a humiliation for Putin and for Russia

……Bibi Netanyahu [was] invited to Moscow to the Victory Day Parade in spite of him bombing Syria, a Russian ally, just on the eve of his visit. Once in Moscow, Netanyahu compared Iran to, what else, Nazi Germany. How original and profound indeed! Then he proceeded to order the bombing of Syria for a second time, while still in Moscow. But then, what can we expect from a self-worshiping narcissist who finds it appropriate to serve food to the Japanese Prime Minister in a specially made shoe? The man is clearly batshit crazy (which in no way makes him less evil or dangerous). But it is the Russian reaction which is so totally disgusting: nothing, absolutely nothing. Unlike others, I have clearly said that it is not the Russian responsibility to “protect” Syria (or Iran) from the Israelis. But there is no doubt in my mind that Netanyahu has just publicly thumbed his nose at Putin and that Putin took it. For all my respect for Putin, this time he allowed Netanyahu to treat him just like Trump treated Macron. Except that in the case of Putin,

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Sergei Skripal Discharged From Hospital After Exposure To “Deadliest Nerve Agent On Planet Earth”

Sergei Skripal Discharged From Hospital After Exposure To “Deadliest Nerve Agent On Planet Earth”

18-05-18 12:48:00,

It’s a miracle!

Yulia and Sergei Skripal were reportedly in a critical condition for weeks following the attack, at one point, their doctors feared that they would suffer brain damage if they managed to survive.

But, just weeks after his daughter was discharged, Sergei Skripal has been released from hospital despite being ‘attacked by Russia’ using one of the “deadliest nerve agents in the world” just two months ago.

Doctors gave no details on the condition of Skripal, and his current location is not known at this time.

As a reminder, the Russian double-agent was poisoned in Salisbury alongside his daughter, Yulia, in early March. As RT reports, her recovery was much quicker and she has been out of hospital since last month.

However, Yulia Skripal has not been seen in public since she was discharged, and the only public statement from her was issued by British police.  The Russian embassy says it has been refused access to the Russian citizens.

Citing patient confidentiality, a hospital spokesperson said they were unable to comment on any details about patients, but said: 

“Treating people who are so acutely unwell, having been poisoned by nerve agents, requires stabilizing them, keeping them alive until their bodies could produce more enzymes to replace those that had been poisoned.”

England’s National Health Service issued a statement this morning:

“Sergei Skripal has been discharged from Salisbury District Hospital. Mr. Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, were admitted to the hospital along with DS Nick Bailey after having been exposed to a nerve agent on 4 March 2018. All three have now been discharged.”

The Salibury hospital’s Chief Executive Cara Charles-Barks said:

“It is fantastic news that Sergei Skripal is well enough to leave Salisbury District Hospital,” 

Detectives from the UK’s Counter-Terrorism Policing network continue to investigate the attempted murders of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury in March this year.

“This is a complex investigation and detectives continue to gather and piece together all the evidence to establish the full facts and circumstances behind this dreadful attack,”

 » Lees verder

Hating on Putin by Jewish Owned Media – Part 1, TIME Magazine

Hating on Putin by Jewish Owned Media – Part 1, TIME Magazine

18-05-18 10:08:00,

An ongoing outrage. It’s time to call out this criminal deception of the Western public by a handful of influential magazines, which contributes so much to endless war, international instability, and insane and totally unnecessary defense budgets on all sides.

Charles is the founder and editor of Russia Insider. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter and on Steemit.

We will gradually be updating this post to include several collages representing about 15 publications. This one includes NEWSWEEK, TIME and THE ECONOMIST. Scroll down to see them all.

UPDATE 3, June 21: This is a final flourish from the UK, which houses some of the worst Russia-baiting / hating trash media out there. It’s sort of like a finale at the end of fireworks show. The images appear below after the Big 3, (Newsweek, Economist, Time). They include The Spectator, The New Statesman, The Week, and then a compilation of other covers from around the world.

So this is the last update. Scrolling through the whole thing really does make an impression – a narrow clique of people, mostly Jewish, who own and staff these publications, are frankly, obsessed with Putin. There is no other person since Hitler who has been vilified this way by them. It’s high time the West had a public discussion about this.

And these cover compilations just scratch the surface of the massive, world-wide Putin-hating print media machine, because far more articles are published but are not cover stories. The very worst offenders in this category are again, Americans, with The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic, and The Weekly Standard leading the charge. For some reason they are less partial to cover stories about Putin. We know, we watch these things.

Huge thanks to the reader who sent these in. It is a lot of work to create these. I never ceased to be amazed at what our RI community creates. It is remarkable.

UPDATE 2, June 7: Newsweek is one of most shameful spreaders of vitriolic Putin hatred. It is a magazine which has gone from ownership by Katherine Graham’s (Jewish) Washington Post Group,

 » Lees verder

The U.S. Role in Removing a Revolutionary and in Restoring War to Colombia

The U.S. Role in Removing a Revolutionary and in Restoring War to Colombia

18-05-18 09:55:00,

Former FARC leader Jesús Santrich has been conducting a hunger strike since his arrest on April 9. His looming death ought to be big news in the United States whose government has responsibility for his fate. The U.S. State Department and DEA personnel did the groundwork in Colombia in manufacturing a case against him. The Southern New York District Court is requesting his extradition on a charge of drug-trafficking.  Santrich won’t be judged in Colombia.

Santrich’s case deserves continuing attention especially because his arrest and threatened extradition portend the return of civil war to Colombia. (See our earlier report here.)

Legislators, FARC comrades, the top UN representative in Colombia, and former Uruguayan President “Pepe” Mujica begged Santrich to end his hunger strike. This is his “last battle,” he replied. On April 26 prison authorities transferred a weakened Santrich from Bogota’s La Picota prison to a hospital. On May 10 they moved him to a Catholic Church facility for “humanitarian” reasons.”

FARC leader Iván Márquez,the insurgency’s top negotiator during four years of talks leading to the 2016 peace agreement, told reporters that Santrich’s death would mean the“death of the peace process.” The United States reportedly is looking to extradite Márquez and other members of the former FARC Secretariat.

Prosecutors in New York accuse Santrich of conspiring to sell cocaine to a Mexican cartel for shipment later to New York.  The charge ispreposterous, says academician Renan Vega Cantor.   He denounced so-called “preventative justice;” no crime had been committed. Three others arrested with Santrich weren’t FARC members: one is a paid informant and another is a DEA agent. Neither images of Santrich in the presence of the latter, nor an alleged contact with a Mexican drug impresario, prove much, says Vega Cantor.

He asks: “Where in Bogotá, in a middle-class district and surrounded by dozens of police, secret agents, and informers is a blind person [like Santrich] going to be able to process ten tons of cocaine?” He condemns the Colombian state’s “servile submission to the … the worst of the worst: big national capitalists.”

And “DEA agents move around in Colombia with no restrictions as if our country were part of U.S.

 » Lees verder

Frontrunning: May 17

17-05-18 09:39:00,

  • Japan Considers Retaliation Against U.S. Steel Tariffs (WSJ)
  • US sanctions war against Iran prompts fight-back from Europe (CNBC)
  • North Korea says won’t hold talks with ‘incompetent’ South unless differences settled (Reuters)
  • Trump Shows Flexibility on North Korea Talks (BBG)
  • Bolton Emerges as Potential Wrecking Ball for Trump’s Kim Summit (BBG)
  • Top Trump Adviser Peter Navarro to Take Part in China Talks After All (BBG)
  • Partial Surrender of Nukes Could Solve North Korea Impasse: Diplomat (WSJ)
  • Farms, Factories Won’t Meet U.S. Goal to Cut China Deficit (WSJ)
  • Einhorn Is Having a Hedge-Fund Midlife Crisis as Losses Mount (BBG)
  • Strong Earnings? Don’t Expect the Market to Rally (WSJ)
  • Taking Silicon Valley startups to China (Reuters)
  • U.S. weekly jobless claims rise; unemployment rolls smallest in 45 years (Reuters)
  • Walmart Holds Its Ground in U.S. Amid Unseasonable April Weather (BBG)
  • Oil Is Above $70, but Frackers Still Struggle to Make Money (WSJ)
  • Kroger Counters Amazon’s Grocery Offensive With Ocado Deal (BBG)
  • Harvard’s Reinhart Says Emerging Markets Are in Tougher Spot Than During ‘08 Crisis (BBG)
  • Dubai Aerospace in talks to place huge order for 400 jets (Reuters)
  • Takeda CEO prescribes surgical R&D cuts after $62 billion Shire deal (Reuters)
  • As Rosneft’s Vietnam unit drills in disputed area of South China Sea, Beijing issues warning (Reuters)
  • 40% in U.S. can’t afford middle-class basics (Axios)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

– U.S. President Donald Trump sought to counter criticism of his administration’s efforts to ease tough U.S. penalties on Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp . In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, Trump pushed back against critics who have accused him of going soft on China this week in the ZTE matter.

 » Lees verder

Frontrunning: May 16

16-05-18 06:00:00,

  • North Korea Bristles at U.S. Demands; Summit in Jeopardy (WSJ)
  • Trump Is ‘Ready to Meet’ Despite North Korea’s Threat on Summit (BBG)
  • Italian markets jolted by 5-Star, League coalition proposals (Reuters)
  • Italian Bonds Fall While Populists Debate $300 Billion Write-Down (BBG)
  • EU Readies Measures to Protect Firms From U.S. Sanctions on Iran (BBG)
  • Israel says Hamas curbed Gaza protests after Egyptian warning (Reuters)
  • Why the Credit-Card Boom May Have Just Peaked (WSJ)
  • How Rusal escaped the noose of U.S. sanctions (Reuters)
  • Military firms flourish in Sisi’s Egypt (Reuters)
  • Pennsylvania’s Voters Break Up All-Male Congressional Delegation (BBG)
  • EU leaders explore ways to save Iran economic ties from U.S. sanctions (Reuters)
  • Trump’s Goal for Nafta Rewrite Looks Unattainable in 2018 (WSJ)
  • Top Novartis lawyer exits over Trump attorney deal error (Reuters)
  • Justice Department and F.B.I. Are Investigating Cambridge Analytica (NYT)
  • Meet Tesla’s new bondholder: Billionaire George Soros (Reuters)
  • Tesla Workers Can Now Make Dinner With Vending-Machine Meal Kits (BBG)
  • You’ve Got Air Miles, but Can You Use Them? Top Frequent-Flier Programs for 2018 (WSJ)
  • Hundreds of thousands remain without power after deadly storm pounds U.S. Northeast (Reuters)
  • A Venezuelan paradox: Maduro’s critics long for change but won’t vote (Reuters)
  • Amazon cuts Whole Foods prices for Prime members in new grocery showdown (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

– Twitter Inc is turning to greater automation in its battle against abuse on its platform, saying its software will start automatically demoting response posts that it determines are likely to disrupt users’ conversations. on.wsj.com/2jYzxmR

– Kellogg Co, citing the “deterioration” of a country in the midst of an economic meltdown,

 » Lees verder

Gaza Killings: Names and Faces of Those Killed by Israeli Forces This Week | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Gaza Killings: Names and Faces of Those Killed by Israeli Forces This Week | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

16-05-18 03:58:00,

Eight-month-old Laila is the youngest Palestinian killed in Gaza on Monday, the deadliest day since 2014 war

.

.

From left: Ahmed Alrantisi, Laila Anwar Al-Ghandoor, Ahmed Altetr, Alaa Alkhatib Ezz el-din Alsamaak, Motassem Abu Louley (screengrab)

From left: Fadi Abu Salah, Motaz Al-Nunu, Jihad Mohammed Othman Mousa, Mousa Jabr Abdulsalam Abu Hasnayn, Ezz Eldeen Nahid Aloyutey, Anas Hamdan Salim Qadeeh

From left: Mahmoud Wael Mahmoud Jundeyah, Ibrahim Ahmed Alzarqa, Musab Yousef Abu Leilah, Jihad Mufid Al-Farra, Saeed Mohamed Abu Alkheir, Mohamed Hasan Mustafa Alabadilah (screengrab)

From left: Shahir Mahmoud Mohammed Almadhoon, Khalil Ismail Khalil Mansor, Mahmoud Saber Hamad Abu Taeemah, Mohamed Ashraf Abu Sitta, Mustafa Mohamed Samir Mahmoud Almasry, Obaidah Salim Farhan (screengrab)

From left: Mohammed Hani Hosni Alnajjar, Yehia Ismail Rajab Aldaqoor, Mohammed Riyad Abdulrahman Alamudi, Ahmed Adel Musa Alshaer, Fadl Mohamed Ata Habshy, Ismail Khalil Ramadhan Aldaahuk (screengrab)

List of names and ages

1. Laila Anwar Al-Ghandoor, 8 months old

2. Ezz el-din Musa Mohamed Alsamaak, 14 years old

3. Wisaal Fadl Ezzat Alsheikh Khalil, 15 years old

4. Ahmed Adel Musa Alshaer, 16 years old

5. Saeed Mohamed Abu Alkheir, 16 years old

6. Ibrahim Ahmed Alzarqa, 18 years old

7. Eman Ali Sadiq Alsheikh, 19 years old

8. Zayid Mohamed Hasan Omar, 19 years old

9. Motassem Fawzy Abu Louley, 20 years old

10. Anas Hamdan Salim Qadeeh, 21 years old

11. Mohamed Abd Alsalam Harz, 21 years old

12. Yehia Ismail Rajab Aldaqoor, 22 years old

13. Mustafa Mohamed Samir Mahmoud Almasry, 22 years old

14. Ezz Eldeen Nahid Aloyutey, 23 years old

15. Mahmoud Mustafa Ahmed Assaf, 23 years old

16. Ahmed Fayez Harb Shahadah, 23 years old

17. Ahmed Awad Allah, 24 years old

18. Khalil Ismail Khalil Mansor, 25 years old

19. Mohamed Ashraf Abu Sitta, 26 years old

20. Bilal Ahmed Abu Diqah, 26 years old

21.

 » Lees verder

JFK Files Reveal US Biological Warfare Plans Against Cuba | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

JFK Files Reveal US Biological Warfare Plans Against Cuba | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

16-05-18 09:18:00,

JFK Files Reveal US Biological Warfare Plans Against Cuba

Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from US Air Force and Silsor / Wikimedia.

In the summer of 1975, congressional staffer Loch Johnson was searching through classified papers at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas, when he came across something he couldn’t believe — a covert plan by the US military to deploy biological weapons against Cuba.

This was more than Johnson was bargaining for, even though he was at the archive looking for files related to covert actions directed against Cuba. By July 1975, the Watergate hearings had finished, and three separate, high-level investigations were underway — all aimed at revealing covert and possibly illegal activities of US intelligence agencies, including assassination.

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Johnson was working as top aide to Sen. Frank Church (D-ID), chair of the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, the so-called “Church Committee.” The American public knew that their government had a tense relationship with Cuba, especially with its feisty leader, Fidel Castro. The US had unsuccessfully underwritten a Cuban-exile paramilitary invasion at the Bay of Pigs in 1961 — a disaster in every sense. And just a year later, the world came to the brink of nuclear apocalypse after a showdown with the Soviet Union over nuclear missiles it had placed in Cuba.

What the public was not aware of then, and would only discover in later decades, was that the CIA had attempted all manner of assassination plots against Castro, in addition to widespread sabotage actions —such as burning sugarcane fields and blowing up power plants —with the goal of undermining Cuba’s Communist government.

Photo credit: Periódico ¡ahora! / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Some of the assassination plots were exotic— a poisoned diving suit, an exploding shell, an exploding cigar, poison pills, and an exploding pen. One of the more startling revelations was that the CIA had been working closely with the Mafia in its efforts to eliminate Castro.

But that’s not what shocked Johnson that day.

Achieving “Ruination”.

He had come across a memo dated October 30,

 » Lees verder

What’s Trump’s Real Trade Target: China Or Europe?

What’s Trump’s Real Trade Target: China Or Europe?

16-05-18 06:51:00,

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

Do Trump’s endless trade volleys and sanctions have a clear target? Consider the possibility it’s the EU, not China.

Out of the blue, and with open rebuke form Democrats and Republicans, Trump reversed sanctions on China.

This was peculiar in and of itself, but his rationale raised more than a few eyebrows.

President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2018

All of a sudden. Trump is concerned about “too many jobs lost in China”!

One can rationalize this is about Rotting Cherries, Spoiled Pork, and Car Inspections, but could it be there is more than meets the eye?

Iran Sanctions

Bloomberg reports Iran’s Door to the West Is Slamming Shut, and That Leaves China.

China is “already the winner,’’ said Dina Esfandiary, a fellow at the Centre for Science and Security Studies at King’s College in London, and co-author of the forthcoming ‘Triple Axis: Iran’s Relations With Russia and China’.

Turning East

EU Disharmony

CNBC says Trump’s Iran sanctions will aggravate the French-German discord on EU reforms.

5,000 German Corporations Hit By Trump Policy

One can rationalize this all away, but a translation from Spiegel Online underscores the key idea: Trump’s Policies Hit Nearly 5,000 German Companies.

Sanctions on Europe. Not Iran

Eurointelligence fills in some blanks.

Over the last three days it gradually dawned on the Germans that Donald Trump’s sanctions against Iran are in reality sanctions against Europe, and Germany in particular. The combination of third-party sanctions and changes to US tax laws has led to a situation where a large number of German companies now have an overwhelming interest to shift their business to the US, according to Spiegel Online.

FAZ notes that the helplessness of the German government is becoming increasingly evident,

 » Lees verder

North Korea Cancels Meeting With South Over Military Drills

North Korea Cancels Meeting With South Over Military Drills

15-05-18 07:27:00,

Update II: North Korea’s decision to suspend talks with the South after abruptly cancelling an inter-Korean summit set for Wednesday has apparently rattled the US.

In what appears to be a concession to North Korea – or at least, a hypothetical one – Yonhap reported Tuesday night that the US is considering withholding its B-52 bombers from joint exercises with South Korea taking place this week.

In a return to its pre-detente rhetoric, North Korea said Tuesday that it felt threatened by the exercises, and threatened to retaliate.

* * *

Update: The State Department says it had not received any information from North Korea concerning a threat to cancel the historic US-North Korea summit set for June 12. The State Department said it’s still operating under the assumption that the Singapore summit is still happening.

* * *

North Korea has abruptly canceled talks with South Korea that had been set for Wednesday – and is threatening to walk away from talks with the US – over joint US-South Korea military drills, according to South Korean newswire Yonhap

Repeating a familiar line, North Korea’s Central News Agency said the “Max Thunder” drills involving South Korea and the US air force were a “rehearsal for an invasion” of the North and an unnecessary “provocation” amid warming inter-Korean ties.

Kim

The North has already made several gestures of sincerity, including releasing three US hostages and “closing” its ruined nuclear testing facility.

South and North Korea were expected to discuss “follow-up measures” after the two warring neighbors reached an historic agreement late last month. The talks were scheduled to take place on the southern side of Panmunjom, the village where the Korean War Armistice was signed, and where last month’s inter-Korean summit took place. 

The North had said it would send a five-member delegation led by Ri Son-kwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, according to Yonhap.

The delegation was to include Kim Yun-hyok, vice railroad minister, and Won Kil-u, vice sports minister, and will be accompanied by more than 20 staff and journalists, the North Korean ministry said.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s five-member delegation was set to be led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon.

 » Lees verder

Turn the Brexit page and let’s move on by uniting progressives in the UK and in the EU: Interview in BIG ISSUE NORTH, 22 APR 2018

Turn the Brexit page and let’s move on by uniting progressives in the UK and in the EU: Interview in BIG ISSUE NORTH, 22 APR 2018

15-05-18 05:35:00,

Progressive people and politicians in the UK should end the “idiocy” of wishing for a second referendum on Brexit and instead turn to what can be salvaged from leaving the EU, according to Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister. Even though the UK is likely to leave the EU with a bad deal, it can still work with other governments on the continent to end austerity and raise living standards, he said.

“It’s time to turn the page, to accept that it’s happening,” Varoufakis told Big Issue North. “It’s happening in a disastrous way but Theresa May is going to be allowed to see it through because the Cabinet does not want to fell her until she delivers something that they can then shoot her over.

“So there won’t be a general election, there won’t be a referendum, there won’t be a parliamentary debate over it.”

“In but against” EU

Varoufakis negotiated the most recent EU bailout for Greece but resigned from the government because he believed his one-time ally and prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, climbed down in the face of demands by the troika of financial institutions that the government impose even more austerity on its people.

He is a co-founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, or DiEM25, a progressive movement seeking to reform the EU by being “in but against”, and has recently launched a new political party in Greece that will stand in elections promising to end the country’s “debt bondage”.

As one example of a policy DiEM25 would support, Varoufakis suggested co-operation between European state investment banks on a massive green new deal that would boost renewable energy supplies and bring many new well paid jobs.

He said investment in Europe was at a 60-year low even though rich individuals and corporations were sitting on more wealth than ever before.

“Lift all boats”

“How could we emulate a democratic European union when there is none?” he said. “Jeremy Corbyn is talking about creating an investment bank along the lines of the Post Office savings bank – which used to be an investment bank. Let’s say he does. It won’t be enough because there won’t be enough investment capital in it.

“But we have the European Investment Bank in Europe.

 » Lees verder

THE NATION: Yanis Varoufakis’s vision for a more democratic Europe – a review of ‘Adults in the Room’, ‘Talking to My Daughter About The Economy’ & ‘And the Weak Suffer What They Must?’ by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian

THE NATION: Yanis Varoufakis’s vision for a more democratic Europe – a review of ‘Adults in the Room’, ‘Talking to My Daughter About The Economy’ & ‘And the Weak Suffer What They Must?’ by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian

15-05-18 05:32:00,

The idea of a unified Europe didn’t always elicit the current mixture of exasperation, boredom, and rage, in politicians and ordinary people alike. In fact, there was a time when the European Union seemed like a great initiative, especially on a continent ravaged first by two hot wars, then broken in half by a cold one. A permanent peace between neighboring nations founded on a common market and sealed with freedom of movement for all might have required bureaucratic impositions, but it also functioned as an insurance policy. Besides, there was something for everyone in this new idea of Europe. Students, through Erasmus programs, learned new languages and made friends in foreign countries. Blue-collar workers could go abroad for better jobs. Manufacturers could import and export goods with no fees and less paperwork. Children of the European elite found positions in Strasbourg and Brussels. Billionaires no longer had to worry about the power of their country’s home currency while vacationing in Courchevel or Monaco.

That isn’t to say the union would be problem-free: Unresolved conflicts between national sovereignty and a supranational bureaucracy were baked into its very structure. And the EU never totally figured out a unified fiscal policy, or how it would deal with large-scale bank failures. Indeed, it took until the financial crisis of 2008 for one of the most fundamental tensions of all—that sovereign nations sharing a currency could not make their own decisions about borrowing, lending, and spending—to become a cause for alarm. When banks went on a continent-wide lending spree in good times, the economy hummed along happily. In the grim post-2008 years, Europe’s political and economic union appeared to be in a state of imminent disintegration. When European leaders began pushing austerity on countries like Greece as the only way out of bankruptcy—and when their counterparts farther west felt like they were still picking up the bill—freedom of movement and a common market and currency didn’t seem like such a good trade-off.

REVIEWED

Greece was not the only country to rebel against these conditions. Nationalist politicians throughout the continent began to speak of Europe not as one people, but as a hodgepodge of countries bound by pesky supranational rules. Brexit put this notion to a referendum: Why help faceless Europeans when there are Brits down the street who need help too?

 » Lees verder

Frontrunning: May 15

15-05-18 12:44:00,

  • Gazans bury their dead after bloody day of protests (Reuters)
  • U.S. Embassy Move, Bloodshed Add to Friction With Allies (WSJ)
  • Britain calls for investigation into Gaza violence (Reuters)
  • China Data Shows a Hint of Slowdown While Factories Still Hum (BBG)
  • Iran’s Zarif meets EU foreign policy chief as Europe tries to save nuclear deal (Reuters)
  • Volcker Rule Rewrite Is Said to Drop Key Trading Burden on Banks (BBG)
  • North Korea Starts to Dismantle Nuclear-Test Site (WSJ)
  • Safety, verification questions hang over North Korea’s plan to close nuclear site (Reuters)
  • A World Apart: Charting the Gulf Between Chinese and U.S. Tariffs (WSJ)
  • US, China still ‘very far apart’ on trade: ambassador Terry Branstad (SCMP)
  • Investors Are Wary as Companies Ramp Up Capital Spending (WSJ)
  • Thomson Reuters to move forex derivatives to Ireland from London due to Brexit (Reuters)
  • How to Lease a $50,000 BMW for Less Than a Subway Pass (BBG)
  • Soros’s Foundation Quits Hungary Under Government Pressure (WSJ)
  • Second Wynn Picasso Yanked From Christie’s Sale After Mishap (BBG)
  • Uber Ends Forced Arbitration for Harassment Claims (WSJ)
  • Allianz making plans to wind down Iran business (Reuters)
  • Forget Florida—More Northern Retirees Head to Appalachia (WSJ)
  • Japan’s SoftBank to open Saudi Arabian office (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

– The United States and China are closing in on a deal that would give China’s ZTE Corp a reprieve from potentially crippling U.S. sanctions in exchange for Beijing removing tariffs on billions of dollars of U.S. agricultural products, said people in both countries briefed on the deal. on.wsj.com/2IgCRsb

– Ted Eliopoulos, the investment chief of the California Public Employees’

 » Lees verder

Iran Sanctions: A Reminder Of How America Militarized The Financial System

Iran Sanctions: A Reminder Of How America Militarized The Financial System

15-05-18 07:17:00,

Authored by Tho Bishop via The Mises Institute,

Only CNN was surprised by Donald Trump’s recent announcement that he was pulling the United States out of the Iran Deal negotiated by his predecessor. Following the same failed approach of the last Republican administration, the President opted for confrontation with the Iranian regime rather than uplifting more moderate factions within the country through trade. The decision has already increased tensions in the volatile region, with Iran and Israel exchanging fire in Syria.

Meanwhile European leaders are meeting Iranian officials to try to design a way to bypass new American sanctions. Others have vocally attacked Trump’s actions and attacked the US playing the role of “economic policeman.”

As French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said after the decision:

Do we want to be vassals who obey decisions taken by the United States while clinging to the hem of their trousers? Or do we want to say we have our economic interests, we consider we will continue to do trade with Iran?

According to reports, European officials are looking at a few different options to help salvage their economic relationship with Iran.

One is by reviving “blocking statues” such as the ones the EU threatened in response to sanctions on Cuba, Libya, and Iran in the 1990s. The mechanism works similar to the anti-commandeering doctrine, ordering European officials to refuse to comply with US sanctions. As Reuters notes, blocking statues have “never been used and is seen by European governments more as a political weapon.” They were successful in the past because the Clinton Administration simply backed down, something that seems unlikely with President Trump.

The other is to establish new financial institutions with no connection to the US financial system. Iran has already made the euro the official reporting currency for foreign exchange, so on the surface this seems like a viable alternative.

The problem European decision makers face, however, is that the US has gone to great lengths to militarize the banking industry in recent years.

As Richard Goldberg noted at Foreign Policy:

[In 2010] Congress passed a new law leveraging America’s greatest strength against the fulcrum of global commerce with Iran: financial transactions.  » Lees verder

Israel uses live rounds in Gaza after US opens embassy in Jerusalem, 52 dead, THOUSANDS injured

Israel uses live rounds in Gaza after US opens embassy in Jerusalem, 52 dead, THOUSANDS injured

14-05-18 07:28:00,

Latest



The main issue is the disparity of force, which we always see when Israel “defends” itself

Published

2 months ago

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May 14, 2018

1,589 Views

Immediately after the highly controversial U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem was opened, with Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka, and her husband Jared Kushner in attendance, Israel attacked Gaza, reports from the local health ministry indicating around 50 were killed, and upwards of 2400 were injured. The health ministry and local officials referred to the assault on a Palestinian protest, as a “terrible massacre”, as RT covers in this report.

That number climbed from over 1000, a number which even Israeli media reported on, therefore hinting Tel-Aviv doesn’t even care to cover up the details. Amnesty International has also confirmed that around 2000 people were injured.

We are witnessing an abhorrent violation of international law & human rights in #Gaza. 38 confirmed dead, including 6 children, with close to 2000 people injured. Many are reporting injuries to the head and chest. Over 500 injured with live ammunition. This must end immediately.

— AmnestyInternational (@amnesty) May 14, 2018

Reports say that half of the injuries were caused by live bullets, and hundreds more were targeted with tear gas.

Israeli forces showering Palestinians with tear gas grenades! #GreatReturnMarch pic.twitter.com/fdSE5jPUEK

— Great Return March (@GreatReturnMa) May 14, 2018

Among those injured were six journalists, according to the journalist support committee. It is worth noting that all comes after a very turbulent week, as we have reported of other Israeli bombings here.

The toll of injured Journalists in #Gaza so far amounted 6:
Ettihad Press correspondent Mohammad Al Dweik
Reuters Journalist Ahmad Zaqout
Photojournalist Omar Hamdan
Journalist Farhan Abu Hadayed
Al-Aqsa Cameraman Ashraf Shamiyeh
Al Esteklal correspondent Abedallah Al Shourbajy pic.twitter.com/uK6kDrw0Gn

— JSCommittee (@jscommittee) May 14,

 » Lees verder

The Salisbury Poisonings. What Was the Agent Used? Who Could Have Produced It? When and Where were the Skripals Exposed? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

The Salisbury Poisonings. What Was the Agent Used? Who Could Have Produced It? When and Where were the Skripals Exposed? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

14-05-18 02:31:00,

The following briefing note is developed by academics researching the use of chemical and biological weapons during the 2011-present war in Syria. The note reflects work in progress. However, the substantive questions raised need answering, especially given the seriousness of the political situation in the Middle East and UK-Russian relations. The authors welcome comments and corrections.

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What was the agent used?

An early report that the hospital was dealing with poisoning caused by an opiate such as fentanyl was most likely based on the initial working diagnosis. Signs of organophosphate poisoning – constricted pupils, vomiting, reduced consciousness and reduced breathing – could easily be mistaken for opiate overdose, usually a more likely diagnosis.   OPCW has stated that the BZ detected by the Swiss Federal Institute for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection in one of the samples sent by OPCW was not from Salisbury but was in a control sample.

The Russian ambassador reported that on 12 March the Foreign Secretary had told him that the nerve agent used against Mr and Ms Skripal had been identified as A-234.   The OPCW report issued on 12 April did not identify the agent but stated that they had confirmed the identification made by the UK and that this identification had been included in the confidential report provided to “States parties”. On 14 April the Russian Foreign Minister stated that A-234 had been reported by the Swiss Federal Institute for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection that was one of the four accredited labs used by OPCW to analyse the Salisbury samples.

Based on public reports, a ChemSpider record for A-234 has been created which assigns it the IUPAC name ethyl [(1E)-1-(diethylamino)ethylidene] phosphoramidofluoridate. Its predicted vapour pressure is very low indicating that it is predicted to be non-volatile. No information on its stability is available.   The OPCW director Uzumcu stated in a newspaper interview that the agent “seems to be very persistent,” and “not affected by weather conditions”. This was confirmed the next day by an OPCW press statement that: “the chemical substance found was of high purity, persistent and resistant to weather conditions”. Ian Boyd, the chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment,

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Can We Just Use Cryptocurrencies, stop Bank Lending & end Central Banks & Survive? | Armstrong Economics

Can We Just Use Cryptocurrencies, stop Bank Lending & end Central Banks & Survive? | Armstrong Economics

14-05-18 10:17:00,

QUESTION: Socrates did an amazing job. It called the high in BitCoin right to the day. That makes me wonder. After thinking quietly about the claim that cryptocurrencies will replace everything as a new world monetary system because it will not be centralized and created by a central bank, this seems to be complete BS if the majority of money is created by lending banks. I asked a diehard proponent and he said we have to stop banks from doing that and suddenly the world will be a better place. I think that means no credit and everything would collapse. Am I far off here or are these people at least partially correct? Am I missing something?

DT

ANSWER:  No, you are correct. These people do not understand the monetary system and they take one simple fact and they blame everything on that and the solution is a cryptocurrency to eliminate central banks and the creation of money by lending. That is so impractical it just shows the lunacy of it all. If you stop the creation of money by lending, do you realize property values would crash? We would be back to the Dark Ages where if you wanted to sell your house, the price would be ONLY what cash someone has. That is why FDR created the 30-year mortgages. Real estate fell to virtually zero. It was being auctioned off at 10 cents on the dollar or less.

All pension funds would be wiped out. The savings accounts would not be there for probably 80%+ of banks would close if not 100%. To suggest that the solution is the end of central banks and bank lending, you are talking about blood in the streets. The riots would be incredible if not revolution. The Dark Age was a period where there was no banking and no trade. The Dark Ages was originally classified as the 10th and 11th centuries. There was no lending. People worked for food. They were given land to cultivate and the “landlord” took 80% of the production. They received no wages prior to the Black Death.

The coinage of this period reflects how the economy functioned. The coins are rarely found more than 30 miles away from where they were struck.

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War On Cash Goes Into Full Effect – Purchases Over $10,000 Illegal In Australia | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

War On Cash Goes Into Full Effect – Purchases Over $10,000 Illegal In Australia | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

14-05-18 10:06:00,

Canberra, Australia – The Australian government announced that it will soon be illegal to use more than $10,000 cash to purchase anything, forcing individuals who wish to buy more expensive items to use a cashier’s check or electronic transfer, ostensibly in the name of fighting organized crime and money laundering.

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The move reportedly comes in response to the government’s Black Economy Standing Taskforce. In addition to the cash purchase ban, the government has allocated a $319 million package to the Tax Office to develop new strategies to target the black economy.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the Black Economy Standing Taskforce will include a rigorous identification system and “mobile strike teams,” in an effort to detect people making suspicious cash transactions, as well as a black economy hotline for citizens to report anyone suspected of engaging in illegal transactions.

“Cash provides an easy, anonymous and largely untraceable mechanism for conducting black economy activity,” the response said. “Cash payments make it easier to under-report income and avoid tax obligations. This allows businesses transacting in cash to undercut competitors and gain a competitive advantage.”

It said the task force had identified examples of “large undocumented cash payments being made for houses, cars, yachts, agricultural crops and commodities,” which contribute to the $50 billion black economy and “hurt honest businesses.”

Revenue Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said the ban on cash purchases of more than $10,000 would begin on July 1 of next year.

“This cash payment limit will capture high-value transactions and help stamp out opportunities for criminals to launder the proceeds of crime into goods and services, or for businesses to hide transactions to reduce their tax liabilities,” she said.

This of course is not a phenomenon unique to Australia, as there is an ongoing international “war on cash.” In the United States, Larry Summers, a former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Harvard president, pushed and effort during the Obama administration to abolish $50 and $100 bills. There has also been talk within the EU of doing away with the €500 note. India has already made such moves. 

While the publicly stated reason for these policies is to fight criminals,

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