Some speculation is weaving through the airwaves that once its US-imposed sanctions are lifted in several months, Iran will shift its existing allegiance with Russia and instead double-cross the Great Russian Bear by doing gas and oil export deals that directly undercut Russia, especially Gazprom’s Turkish Stream gas pipeline aimed at the southern EU states. Were that to occur, perhaps at the same time a Pentagon and CIA backed rearming of the Ukrainian army and supply of massive heavy artillery to launch a far more effective military assault on the eastern Ukraine self-proclaimed republics, the Washington calculation would be a devastating blow to Putin and Russia’s economic stability. No matter what dreams may be floating around the Pentagon however, for many reasons an Iranian double-cross is highly unlikely.
The Chinese are in the process of displacing the monopoly of the US dollar. They are dropping their US Treasury bonds, stockpiling gold reserves, and opening regional distribution banks for their own national currency. This will give them easier access to capital markets and insulate them from financial manipulation by Washington and Wall Street.
This is truly stunning. The most blatant example of population replacement yet seen. This report from Ludwigshafen was made by a German TV station with liberal leanings and even they have to struggle to justify this atrocity.
The brutal murder of an elderly couple in Sicily has become a political issue in Italy following the arrest of an African asylum seeker who was allegedly implicated in the killings.
The accused killer, 18-year-old Mamadou Kamara from the Ivory Coast, has been a resident of the Mineo refugee centre in Sicily – the largest such facility in Europe – since 8 June. According to Italian media reports, Kamara was arrested on Sunday after he was found entering Mineo with a bag containing a phone that allegedly belonged to the victims. His pants were allegedly stained with blood.
European Union officials face charges of evasion and cover up after concealing basic information about their negotiations with tobacco companies over a pair of pending “trade” deals, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), in response to a freedom of information request from a corporate watchdog organization.
To be able to follow the twists and turns in the Greek drama, we need to remember that after the 2008 crisis, the Troika of creditors (the ECB, the IMF and the European Commission) imposed external economic governance on Greece, calling it “assistance” and “escape from default”. The Troika was not saving Greece, but the money of Greek government bond holders – German, French and American banks – by cutting social expenditure and selling state-owned property (first and foremost to Germans).
Eight months will have passed since the election of Syriza on January 25 up to the snap elections in September. During that time Syriza’s leaders play-acted their ‘opposition to austerity’ and then knelt down in submission to the ‘Troika’.
The dramatic collapse of the Shanghai stock exchange has been presented to public opinion as the result of a spontaneous “market mechanism”, triggered by weaknesses in China’s economy.
The Western media consensus in chorus (WSJ, Bloomberg, Financial Times) portend that Chinese stocks tumbled due to “uncertainty” in response to recent data “suggesting a downturn in the world’s second-largest economy”.
Out of fear of offending the power centers of Official Washington, Democrats won’t or can’t formulate a coherent foreign policy. Even Sen. Bernie Sanders says the solution to Mideast chaos is more Saudi intervention when Saudi intervention in support of Sunni extremists is the heart of the problem.
Israeli fighter jets have conducted airstrikes against an area in the besieged Gaza Strip following a claim by the Israeli military that a rocket was fired from the Palestinian enclave toward Israel.
US congresswoman Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) has written to the State Department to raise the case of two Palestinian teenagers killed by Israeli occupation forces in May 2014, asking whether the deaths should render the police unit responsible ineligible for US military aid and training.
The present capitulation of Syriza and its government will have the same or even worse consequences in Greece than those resulting from the betrayal of the SPD in Germany in that fateful August of 1914.
The encroachment of self-help kiosks and grocery store scanners has led doomsayers to suggest automation threatens the workforce of the future. A new report argues it will create new business sectors and new jobs as well.
By studying large companies in various industries, from Delta Airlines Inc. to Whole Foods Market Inc., as well as many startups, analysts have forecast that automation will erase 22.7 million jobs by 2025, or 16 percent of today’s total.
Privatizations are increasingly fashionable, such as in Greece, Ukraine, the U.S., and UK — and privatizations are a central feature of fascism.
The core of fascism is the idea that there is some elite, whether ‘Aryan’ or ‘chosen by God,’ or otherwise, who should run things, and that everyone else exists in order to serve that elite. Inevitably, this official elite consists of the people whom the powers-that-be assign as constituting the owners of almost everything that’s valuable. Increasingly, things become those people’s private possession — even what was formerly a public asset becomes now private. Beaches become private. Schools become private. Natural resources become private. It’s not just the art that was stolen by the Nazis and privatized to them and/or shown at museums that they control, which becomes private; it’s whatever the elite want to have, and to control: it’s all now private. That’s the fascist ideal.
Photo Credit: Jericho/Wikimedia
Libertarians see big government as an obstruction to a free-market economy.
Some Libertarians believe the FDA is unnecessarily restraining commerce by driving up the cost of drugs and slow-tracking the approval of new drugs.
This is not how the game works. The FDA has clients, and those clients are the drug companies. On the whole, the FDA speeds up its drug approvals and thereby unleashes a torrent of toxic compounds on the public, killing, at a conservative estimate, 100,000 Americans every year, or a million Americans per decade.
The stock market is not the economy. The stock market has fluctuations all the time that have nothing to do with the real economy. The most famous was the 1987 crash, which did not correspond to any real-world bad event that anyone could identify.
The BBC’s Nick Robinson has made a career out of telling the public what leading politicians say and do; sometimes even what they ‘think’. This stenography plays a key role in ‘the mainstream media’, given that a vital part of statecraft is to keep the public suitably cowed and fearful of threats from which governments must protect us. The ‘free press’ requires compliant journalists willing to disseminate elite-friendly messages about global ‘peace’, ‘security’ and ‘prosperity’, uphold Western ideology that ‘we are the good guys’, and not question power deeply, if at all.
But when a senior journalist complains of ‘intimidation and bullying’ by the public, making comparison’s to ‘Vladimir Putin’s Russia’, the mind really boggles at the distortion of reality. Those were claims made by Robinson, the BBC’s outgoing political editor, using an appearance at the Edinburgh international book festival to settle a few scores.
Germany on Monday became the latest country in the European Union to take a stand against genetically modified (GMO) crops in its food supply.
German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt told government officials that he will seek to implement the European Union’s “opt-out” rule to stop GMO crop cultivation in the country, including those varieties which may be approved by the EU, according to documents seen by Reuters this week.
The appointment by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu of one of his most hawkish and outspoken rivals as Israel’s new ambassador to the United Nations has prompted widespread consternation. As one analyst noted, Danny Danon’s appointment is a “cruel joke” on the international community. The new envoy “lacks even the slightest level of finesse and subtlety required of a senior diplomat”, the analyst said.
A shooting in northern France’s Roye has left four people dead and three seriously injured, including two policemen. The gunfire took place in a Roma camp. The circumstances of the deadly assault are yet to be established.
Photo Credit: Breaking3zero/Twitter
Ukraine is celebrating its Independence Day on August 24 amid martial law, its ruined economy and unprecedented inflation rates as a result of the rupture of ties with Russia.
Be it in Europe or the Arab world, the myth is growing and shaping people’s thinking. As a consequence, to the extent that a person is hostile to Israel’s policies and practices they run the risk of becoming hostile to “Jews”, which opens the way to stark anti-Semitism. This process can only aid and abet the ambitions of the Zionists. So let us strive for clear thinking on this matter and popularise the fact that Jews are quite diverse in their views and a growing number of them are not supporters of Israel or its practices. In this way we can undercut the myth that falsely connects them to Israel.
A profound and significant change has just occurred in the Levant – the Russian army has begun to engage against terrorism in Syria. Although Russia has been absent from the international scene since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and although it is moving with care, it has just created a Russo-Syrian Commission, has begun supplying weapons, sharing intelligence, and sending advisors. All of this is more or less coordinated with the White House.
World stock markets continued to plummet Monday, fueled by another steep decline in Chinese shares and concerns over a marked slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy and turmoil in emerging market economies.
Image Credit: Ars Electronica/Flickr
Last Friday’s stock market bloodbath was the worst one-day crash since 2008. The Dow Jones dropped 531 points, while the S&P 500 fell 64, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq slid 171. The Dow lost more than 1,000 points on the week dipping back into the red for the year. At the same time, commodities continued to get hammered with oil prices briefly dropping below the critical $40 per barrel mark. More tellingly, the market’s so called “fear gauge” (VIX) skyrocketed to a 2015 high indicating more volatility to come. The VIX has remained at unusually low levels for a number of years as investors have grown more complacent figuring the Fed will intervene whenever stocks fall too far. But last week’s massacre cast doubts on the Central Bank’s intentions. Will the Fed ride to the rescue again or not? To the vast majority of institutional investors, who now base their buying decisions on Fed policy rather than market fundamentals, that is the crucial question.
In the latest atrocity in Yemen, Saudi warplanes bombed a residential area, killing at least 65 people. Most of the victims are reported to be civilians from the Salah district of Taiz, Yemen’s third largest city.
The apparent war crime committed has tragically become an almost daily occurrence during five months of relentless aerial bombardment of Yemen by a Western-backed coalition of foreign powers.
Photo Source: RT/Twitter
Germany’s strong job market and its positive economic growth trajectory have ensured that the country had a surplus of €21.1 billion in the first half of 2015, according to figures released by the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) on Tuesday.
Over the past 24 years, Ukraine’s real GDP has decreased by 35 percent, which is absolutely the worst in the world, according to World Bank data, Ukrainian newspaper Zerkalo Nedeli (ZN) reported.
As Ukraine is celebrating its independence day, economists should be worried, as the country’s economy has fallen to the point of no return.
A group of Greek MPs who want to take the debt-ridden country out of the eurozone and bring back the former drachma currency could form a Government within three days.
The Popular Unity party is a breakaway group from current ruling party Syriza and is led by former energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis.
In its choice of allies in the battle against IS, the U.S. is showing that defeating the jihadists might in fact not be its number one priority.
When waging war, picking the right allies is a careful business. You must make concessions, without giving in too much. You need to rely on someone else, without becoming too dependent. You need to stand firm, and be flexible at the same time. War-time allies can turn into bitter enemies after victory has been declared, and your worst enemy might in fact prove to be your best friend after all.
Financial experts warn of a pension shock in the UK, saying millions of Britons may have to work longer for a smaller state pension.
Many financial advisers expect the UK’s retirement age, already rising, to be go up even further.
Venezuelan authorities arrested ten alleged paramilitaries during the third day since Venezuelan armed forces were deployed in Tachira state, under the state of exception declared on Friday night.
President Nicolas Maduro issued the state of exception less than 48-hours after three Venezuelan soldiers were attacked by paramilitaries along the Colombian border. During the 60-day state of exception, the Venezuelan government hopes to combat illegal activities along the border including the paramilitaries and illegal smuggling.
Thousands of migrants, mostly Syrian refugees, travelled through Macedonia and Serbia on Sunday towards the EU.
More than 7,000 men, women and children crossed into southern Serbia from Macedonia overnight Saturday to Sunday alone, the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) said, with many more still expected to arrive.
Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas called for extension of anti-Russian sanctions during a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda, the country’s cabinet’s press service said.
Photo Credit: Riigikantselei/Wikimedia
About 150 asylum seekers protested on Monday over poor living conditions at a Red Cross refugee centre in the outskirts of Milan as Europe grapples with an unprecedented influx of migrants.
Jenan Moussa of Al-Aan TV is the first journalist to get an interview with the lieutenant in charge of Division 30, the 54 fighter force trained and funded by the United States with the ‘stated’ objective of fighting ISIS.
A lot of ridicule has surrounded the formation of this group. In September 2014, congress approved a budget of $500 million to train & equip a force of 5000 “moderate” Syrian rebels . To the amusement of everyone it took 10 months to train a mere 54 rebels. It proved very difficult for the Americans to find them because the majority of the anti-government rebels on the ground in Syria are Salafists and Takfiris whose priority is to remove Assad rather than fight ISIS. This difficulty was also due to the fact that most “moderate” Syrians actually supported the president.
On July 12, 2015 the 54 members of Division 30 entered Syria. As soon as they crossed the border a number of them were kidnapped by Jabhat al-Nusra, a Syrian rebel group affiliated with Al-Qaeda. When the remainder of the group reached their base, they were attacked by al-Nusra. There was a lot of speculation in the media over how many were killed and captured. In this interview 1st Lieutenant Abou Iskandar of Division 30 tells his version of events.
Dozens of people, mostly civilians, have been killed in fighting and air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s third city Taez.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said the Friday violence between Iran-backed rebels and pro-government forces had killed 80 people by late evening, adding that it was unknown if people in the city were “dead or alive under the rubble”.
We are living in a (western) world dominated by neoliberal dictators, criminals and crooks. And many of us, impregnated with the human idiocy, as so well described by Andre Vltcheck (The West Spreads Intellectual Idiocy) are every day deeper and deeper immersed into fear – fear of action, fear of what’s next – fear of losing our comfort zone. The western propaganda machine paid for by the corporate and financial oligarchy through the presstitute media is constantly indoctrinating the little we have left of our free-thinking brains.
Protests about the lack of proper city sanitation services have quickly escalated into full-blown calls for regime change.
Lebanese protesters demonstrated in Beirut this weekend as part of the “You Stink” movement, which was organized by citizens fed up with the garbage that had been piling up in their streets for weeks.
What began as an expression of legitimate grievances, however, quickly spiraled into the world’s latest Color Revolution attempt.
In a radio interview, former Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak revealed that the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was on the verge of attacking Iran on 3 separate occasions in 2010-2012, but was consistently blocked by other (even far right wing) cabinet ministers or by the military chief of staff.
Although Netanyahu consistently depicts Iran as a military aggressor, that country hasn’t attacked another in a conventional war in modern history, whereas Israel has repeatedly launched wars of aggression, including 1956, 1967, 1982, 2009 and 2014.
Are we witnessing the corruption of central banks? Are we observing the money-creating powers of central banks being used to drive up prices in the stock market for the benefit of the mega-rich?
These questions came to mind when we learned that the central bank of Switzerland, the Swiss National Bank, purchased 3,300,000 shares of Apple stock in the first quarter of this year, adding 500,000 shares in the second quarter. Smart money would have been selling, not buying.
Turkey is a beautiful land, rich in resources, with many highly intelligent and warm people. It also happens to have a President who seems intent on destroying his once-proud nation. More and more details are coming to light revealing that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, variously known as ISIS, IS or Daesh, is being fed and kept alive by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish President and by his Turkish intelligence service, including MIT, the Turkish CIA. Turkey, as a result of Erdoğan’s pursuit of what some call a Neo-Ottoman Empire fantasies that stretch all the way to China, Syria and Iraq, threatens not only to destroy Turkey but much of the Middle East if he continues on his present path.
The long saga on Greece is apparently over – European institutions have given Athens a third bailout of 86 billion euros which, combined with the previous two, makes a grand total of 240 billion euros.
There is no doubt that the large majority of European citizens are convinced that this is a great example of solidarity, and that if Greece is not now able to walk on its own feet, the responsibility will lie solely with Greek citizens and their government.
But this is only due to the fact that the media system has, by and large, ceased to provide alternative views … and some people even ignore that the bailout is a loan, and therefore increases the country’s debt.
Most of the migrants crossing the Mediterranean arrive in Greece and Italy first. Their governments say they cannot cope with the numbers. Under Schengen, many migrants then head north, hoping for asylum elsewhere in the EU. The officials in Brussels say this is the worst refugee crisis since WWII.
Germany considers the possibility of introducing border controls to reduce the number of migrants coming to the country. Besides, Berlin is preparing amendments to the Schengen Agreement. The German Minister says he supports free movement but new solutions are needed because other states don’t adhere to the law and the principles enshrined in the Dublin System are not observed. The Dublin accords proclaim the principle that responsibility for processing claims lies with the country that played the biggest part in the applicant’s entry to the EU. Often that is the first EU country that the migrant reached.
Recent reports have suggested that Ireland is set to become the most obese country in Europe.
Estimates of obesity, projected out to 2030, are part of the World Health Organisation’s Modelling Obesity Project and were presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Prague, Czech Republic during May 2015. The figures for Ireland have huge implications for the seriously financially-squeezed Irish health system:
Tens of thousands anti-government protesters clashed with police in central Beirut on Sunday evening just hours after Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam hinted he might step down following violence triggered by the month-long ‘You Stink’ trash protests.
Gunfire was heard as government riot police opened fire in an apparent effort to drive protesters away from central Beirut government offices, witnesses said.
August 2013 – In the wake of the Syrian chemical weapons attack, shocking footage of the victims of that attack were widely circulated in an effort to raise the ire of the public and spur support for military intervention.
Now, a new report on that footage finds troubling inconsistencies and manipulation with the video that calls the official narrative of the attack and its victims into question.
The August 16, 2015 attack on a market in the Syrian town of Douma, just outside the capital Damascus, has caused international outrage. Condemnations of the Syrian government have poured in from seemingly all corners of the globe as President Assad and the Syrian military have been declared responsible for the attack, convicted in the court of media opinion. Interestingly, such declarations have come well before any investigation has been conducted, and without any tangible evidence other than the assertions of the rebel spokespersons and anti-government sources. Indeed, there has been an embarrassing dearth of investigative questions asked as corporate media, who have been far from objective these last four and half years, have rushed to fit the facts to their long-standing narrative of “Assad the Butcher.”
An unprecedented terror attack unfolded Monday evening in Bangkok, Thailand leaving 20 dead and over a hundred injured. No single attack of this scale has been carried out in Bangkok before, prompting fears that Thailand’s enemies have raised their campaign of sedition and violence to grisly new levels.
The Western media has floated several possibilities, attempting first and foremost to focus on the prospect of terrorists, either from Thailand’s troubled southern-most provinces, or from China’s Xinjiang region.
On Friday, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that Israeli warplanes bombed a military post near Quneitra in Syrian controlled Golan killing one soldier and injuring eight others.