Aug 30

- Has Ukraine Shot Itself In The Foot With Gas Pipeline Deal? (ZeroHedge, Aug 29, 2014):

Last week, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk pushed a bill through the Verkhovna Rada that would see his country’s gas transportation system sold off to a group of international investors. The provisions of the law would permit the transit of natural gas to be blocked. This decision may hurt the fragile industrial recovery in Germany and finish off Ukraine’s potential as a gas transit route to Europe.

 

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Aug 29

- ‘TTIP agreement is an attack on people, society and environment in both Europe and the US’ (RT, Aug 28, 2014):

In TTIP talks the US and the EU are working on behalf of big businesses trying to attack the most prized social and environmental standards that people have fought for years to uphold and develop, executive director of War on Want John Hilary told RT.

RT: Italy has written to its EU partners calling for the details of talks on the vast trade deal with the United States to be made public. What do you think about this initiative?

John Hilary: I think it is a very important initiative on the part of Italy because we have been told that the details of the EU-US trade deal are completely secret. They have put a 30-year ban on all the key documents that we would like to see to really open up the heart of these negotiations. The main [thing] what Italy is calling for here is absolutely right: there needs to be a great deal of transparency to shed light on that moment, to the completely secret negotiations. The problem really is though that Italy is only asking for a particular piece of information to be made public, which actually has been leaked many months ago. So in a way they are trying to deal with something which is no longer an issue. The key documents that we need to see are the US documents, which are completely and utterly barred to all members of the public. Continue reading »

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Aug 29

See also:

- “The Russian Aggression Prevention Act” (RAPA): A Direct Path to Nuclear War with Russia


- Dangerous Crossroads: US-NATO To Deploy Ground Troops, Conduct Large Scale Naval Exercises against “Unnamed Enemy” (Global Research, Aug 24, 2014):

The World is at a dangerous Crossroads.

The Western military alliance is in an advanced state of readiness. And so is Russia.

Russia is heralded as the “Aggressor”. US-NATO military confrontation with Russia is contemplated.

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Aug 28

Merkel-and-Putin

- Merkel Slams US Hegemony? “America Can’t Solve All The World’s Problems Anymore” (ZeroHedge, Aug 27, 2014):

First Russia and China, then UAE, Egypt, and Turkey… and now it appears Germany (following a phone call with Putin) is pulling the rug out from under US hegemony – just as Obama’s warmongery ramps up…

  • *MERKEL SAYS U.S. CAN’T SOLVE ALL THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS ANYMORE

Which is odd because just yesterday, President Obama (who never lies) stated The United States is and will remain the one indispensable nation in the world… adding that “no other nation can do what we do.” Perhaps he is wrong?

“Even a superpower can’t solve all of the problems alone anymore,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel says.

Merkel did not stop there… Continue reading »

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Aug 28

H/t reader M.G.:

“Another greedy gut, the IMF leader, is being investigated for fraud………………..she is the one who tried to make banks hold 5cents on deposit for every dollar they claimed as assets……the banks would have had to borrow the money, the idea was tabled forever.”

Flashback:

- Christine Lagarde – The Most Dangerous Woman in the World – IMF Advocates Taking Pensions & Extending Maturities of Gov’t Debt to Prevent Redemption

- IMF Boss Christine Lagarde Pays NO TAX

- Christine Lagarde: IMF May Need A BAILOUT


IMF chief Christine Lagarde

- Christine Lagarde to be investigated for alleged role in political fraud case (Guardian, Aug 27, 2014):

IMF chief and former finance minister says decision to investigate her for alleged negligence is unfounded

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has been charged with “simple negligence” over her handling of a controversial €400m payout to French business tycoon Bernard Tapie when she was finance minister.

Lagarde announced that she had been placed under investigation by a magistrate on Tuesday – the French equivalent of being charged in the UK – after being questioned for 15 hours at the court of justice in Paris, which deals with cases of alleged ministerial wrongdoing. Continue reading »

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Aug 28

NATO Delivering Democracy Since 1949

NATO chief eyes more bases in E. Europe to confront Russia (RT, Aug 27, 2014):

Under the pretext of an ‘overt’ Russian threat, NATO is pushing for a ‘readiness action plan’ that will bring the Cold War military bloc closer to Russian borders than ever – even despite objections from some NATO members.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the 28-nation military bloc, which meets next week in Cardiff, Wales, would attempt to overcome internal opposition and agree to the deployment of military bases near the Russian border. Continue reading »

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Aug 28

- The Greatest Depression? German Yields Now Negative Through 2017 (ZeroHedge, Aug 27, 2014):

Another night, another sell-side bank suggests European QE must be getting closer and, along with more un-de-escalation in Russia-Ukraine, the bid for German bonds continues to surge as Europe’s greater depression appears increasingly priced into bonds. Yields on all German bonds out to 3 years are now negative and 10Y Bunds have collapsed to 90.5bps – record lows. This in turn – as we explained here - is dragging Treasury yields lower (10Y 2.36%) but leaves the spread to Bunds at record highs.


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Aug 28

- So, I Asked the Russian Ambassador What He Thinks of NATO (RINF, Aug 27, 2014):

The Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, spoke at the University of Virginia on Tuesday evening, in an event organized by the Center for Politics, which no doubt has video of the proceedings. Kislyak was once ambassador to Belgium and to NATO.

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Aug 26

- French goverment resigns amid rancor over German austerity pressure (RT, Aug 25, 2014):

The French government has resigned despite being formed just 4 months ago. They quit after ministers slammed President Francois Hollande’s plans for taxation and cuts, while also being critical of Germany’s austerity program. Continue reading »

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Aug 25

- MH-17 ‘Investigation’: Secret August 8th Agreement Seeps Out (Washington’s Blog, Aug 24, 2014):

Perpetrator of the Downing in Ukraine, of the Malaysian Airliner, Will Stay Hidden

Regarding what caused the downing of the Malaysian airliner MH-17 in Ukraine on July 17th, the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN, reported in a brief Russian-language news story on August 12th, that four days earlier (August 8th) a representative of that nation’s Prosecutor General office, Yuri Boychenko, had said that (as auto-translated by google), “the results [of the investigation] will be announced upon completion of the investigation and with the consent of all the parties who signed the corresponding agreement.” This UNIAN report said that, “As part of the four-party agreement signed on August 8 between Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia [all of which nations are allies of the United States and are cooperating with its new Cold War against Russia], information on the investigation into the disaster Malaysian ‘Boeing-777’ will not be disclosed.” In other words: the official ‘investigation’ is being carried out by four nations that, as U.S. allies, are hostile toward Russia. One of those four nations, Ukraine, is not only a prime suspect in possibly having shot this airliner down, but is currently waging a hot war to ethnically-cleanse the pro-Russian population out of southeastern Ukraine; and the initial ‘news’ reports in Western ‘news’ media regarding the downing of MH-17 had said that this airliner was probably downed by the local rebels there, who were trying to shoot down the Ukrainian Government’s bombers that are constantly bombing them. Some Western ‘news’ reports even speculated that perhaps Russia itself had shot this airliner down. If the UNIAN news-report is correct, then there is no way that the ‘investigation’ will be able to be released to the public if it indicates that the Ukrainian Government (which, according to that news-report has veto power  over the making-public of the study’s findings) is blamed for having shot the airliner down. Continue reading »

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Aug 25

- Brutal charge: Swedish horse police trample anti-Nazi rally (RT, Aug 24, 2014):

At least 10 people were injured in the Swedish city of Malmö after local police unleashed a mounted charge at participants of a rally against Sweden’s neo-Nazi party. Clashes with police erupted as anti-fascist activists attempted to block a rival rally.

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Aug 24

‘I regret Russian aid convoy issue became highly-politicized’ – UN humanitarian chief (RT, Aug 23, 2014):

The UN recognizes the dire situation in east Ukraine, and underlines the importance of avoiding politicizing humanitarian issues, as happened with the Russian aid convoy, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told RT.

The situation in east Ukraine, where fighting between the Kiev troops and militia continues, is deteriorating, Valerie Amos, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator said in an interview with RT Saturday.

“We are very concerned that the situation is getting worse because the fighting has not stopped. In the east, where the fighting continues, we still have a lot of people in need of humanitarian aid,” she said. Continue reading »

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Aug 24


23.08.2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev. Willy Wimmer, the former State Secretary of the Minister of Defence of Germany, joins RT for analysis of the joint statements by the leaders of both countries.

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Aug 23


19.08.2014

Subtitles in english, french and german
Konstantin Semin’s interview with Russian Presidential Advisor Sergei Glazyev on July 24 2014.
Translation & Transcription: Marina / Subtitling in English: Augmented Ether / Bruce,Vaughan & Michael – English editing / French: Dominique / Gerrman: Dagmar

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Aug 23

- Putin to Merkel: Further delays of aid delivery to Ukraine would have been unacceptable (RT, Aug 22, 2014):

Further delays in the delivery of Russian aid to eastern Ukraine, which is facing a humanitarian disaster, would have been unacceptable, President Vladimir Putin has said in a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Given the obvious protractions by Kiev on the issue of the delivery of Russian aid to southeast regions of Ukraine, which are suffering a humanitarian catastrophe, a decision was made on sending the convoy. Further delaying it would have been unacceptable,” Putin told Merkel on Friday, the Kremlin’s press service reported.

The Russian and German leaders also discussed possible steps to stop the fighting between the warring sides in Ukraine as soon as possible, and to establish a political dialogue. Continue reading »

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Aug 23

- Facebook given deadline in ‘largest privacy class action in Europe’ (RT, Aug 22, 2014):

Facebook has been given four weeks to respond to a class action, launched against it by an Austrian activist and supported by 60,000 users. The suit claims Facebook violated users’ privacy, by cooperating with the NSA’s PRISM program.

The class action initiated by Max Schrems, an Austrian lawyer, data privacy activist and founder of Europe vs. Facebook group has passed its first review in the Vienna Regional Court.

Facebook Ireland, which runs the social network’s activities outside the US and Canada, has been given four weeks to respond to the action.

The order is very likely on the way to Facebook. The first step in the legal procedure is hereby taken,” said a statement by Europe vs. Facebook on Thursday

The group has described the suit, joined by 25,000 users, as “the largest privacy class action in Europe” and specified that 35,000 more users have registered on www.fbclaim.com, expressing their will to join the action should it expand. Continue reading »

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Aug 23

wealth-confiscation

- Is Portugal Next In Line For Wealth Confiscation? (Doug Casey’s International Man, Aug 22, 2014):

The pattern should be seared in your memory by now. If you fail to recognize it, you could be struck with a huge financial blow.

It’s a pattern that has played out over and over throughout history: a government gets into financial trouble, then denies there’s a problem, which is followed by a surprise wealth grab.

That’s exactly what happened when bank deposits in Spain and Cyprus were raided. We’ve also seen retirement savings confiscated in some form in Poland, Portugal, and Hungary. Capital controls have been imposed in Cyprus and Iceland.

Of course these aren’t the only examples of blatant government thievery. These examples are just within Europe and just within recent years. They can and will happen anywhere. Continue reading »

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Aug 23

- Russia Busts European Sanctioned-Fruit Smuggling Ring (ZeroHedge, Aug 22, 2014):

Just days after Russia banned the import of various foods from sanctions-supporting nations, VZ reports Russia’s food safety ministry Rosselhoznadzor has discovered fruit being smuggled in via Belarus that was restamped as being from Zimbabwe and various other non-sanctioned nations. It appears the smuggling nation culprits are Poland, Slovenia, and Greece and Russia is now “actively monitoring the situation,” suggesting they may extend import bans to Belarus also if the situation continues. In addition, Rosselhoznadzor intends in the future to move to a system of electronic certification of goods in transit.

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Aug 21

- EU farmers complain €125mn compensation is just drop in the ocean (RT, Aug 20,  2014):

The €125 million in emergency EU support to its food producers may not be enough to cover the damage, as some estimates have it more than a hundred times higher.

On Monday, the European Commission announced €125 million in emergency funding for European farmers hit by the Russian trade ban. Continue reading »

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Aug 21

- Switzerland to EU: We don’t want to sidestep Russian food ban (RT, Aug 20,  2014):

Switzerland has said it will not re-export European agricultural products to Russia that now can’t get access to the country’s market.

“We have had requests from European countries, including the producers of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meat, but we didn’t give permission to have their products imported to Switzerland and then exported to Russia,” as ITAR-TASS quotes Jurg Jordi, a spokesman at the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture. Continue reading »

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Aug 20

- Wall Street banks ‘may desert UK for Ireland’ if Britain leaves EU (RT, Aug 19, 2014):

Wall Street banks could abandon Britain for the Republic of Ireland if the UK decides to leave the EU, senior figures in the industry have reportedly said. This is despite a Forbes report that names London the world’s ‘most influential city’.

Changes to EU banking rules could see London stripped of its financial preeminence. Some major institutions including Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are believed to be drawing up plans to desert the City amid concerns the UK is drifting further from the EU.

This is despite a Forbes list of “The World’s Most Influential Cities 2014″ which ranked London as the most influential city in the world, because it attracts more than double the amount of foreign direct investment deals than New York, which came in second. Continue reading »

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Aug 19

Planned and orchestrated … civil war coming to a country near you?


- 15% of French people back ISIS militants, poll finds (RT, Aug 18, 2014): 

Up to 15 percent of French people said they have a positive attitude toward the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The share of ISIS supporters is largest among France’s younger generation, a new poll says.

Twice as many French people expressed a positive reaction to Islamic State (IS) militants than in Britain, where the number of people favorably disposed to the IS stands at 7 percent, and Germany, where a meager 2 percent of the respondents sided with the IS, according to a poll carried out in July among 1,000 people aged over 15 years (over 18 in Britain) in each country. The poll was conducted by ICM Research for the Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya.

france_isis

The Islamic State is a jihadist group, widely regarded as a terrorist organization and designated as such by the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia and several other countries. Continue reading »

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Aug 19

- Europe unveils €125mn in ‘exceptional support’ to food producers (RT, Aug 18, 2014):

The European Commission said it will provide up to €125 million from Monday till the end of November to compensate food producers coping with Moscow’s food ban.

“The exceptional measures announced today will include market withdrawals especially for free distribution, compensation for non-harvesting and green harvesting. The financial assistance will cover all producers whether they are organized in producers organizations or not,” the European Commission said in the statement. Continue reading »

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Aug 18

- Germany tapped John Kerry’s phone, spied on Turkey for years – report (RT, Aug 17, 2014):

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency eavesdropped at least one telephone conversation of US Secretary of State John Kerry and spied on NATO ally Turkey since 2009, Der Spiegel newspaper revealed on Saturday.

Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) picked up the phone call “by accident” in 2013, the weekly newspaper reported in a pre-publication citing unnamed sources. Kerry was discussing the Middle East tensions between Israelis, Palestinians and Arab states in a satellite link, according to Der Spiegel.

The new revelation comes after German media – Daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and regional public broadcasters NDR and WDR – reported on Friday that BND intercepted at least one phone call made by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The date of the call was not given and the media said that it was also picked up “by accident”. Continue reading »

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Aug 17

putin smile_0

- “Anti-Putin” Alliance Fraying: Germany, Slovakia, Greece, Czech Republic Urge End To Russian Sanctions (ZeroHedge, Aug 16, 2014):

Last week Germany reported that in the second quarter, its GDP declined by 0.2%, worse than Wall Street consensus. This happened a few shorts days after Italy reported a second consecutive decline in its own GDP, becoming the first Europen country to enter a triple-dip recession. What’s worse, Europe’s slowdown took place before the brunt of Russian sanctions hit. Surely in the third quarter the GDP of Germany, a nation whose exports accounts for 41% of GDP, will be even worse, with whisper numbers of -1% being thrown casually around, but one thing is certain: Europe is about to enter its third recession since the Lehman collapse just as we forecast at the end of 2013, a “triple-dip” which may become an outright depression unless Draghi injects a few trillion in credit money (which will do nothing but delay the inevitable and make it that much worse once the can can no longer be kicked), and unless normal trade ties with Russia are restored. Continue reading »

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Aug 16

- Europe Says Would Consider Any “Unilateral Military Action By Russia A Blatant Violation Of International Law” (ZeroHedge, Aug 15, 2014):

While we await to see any actual proof of either a Russian armed convoy entering Ukraine territory, or that this convoy was shelled by Ukraine artillery, because as a reminder this is first and foremost a war of relentless propaganda on all sides, here is the latest from Europe, which moments after stating it may roll back sanctions just announced it is now considering even more actions against Russia. From Reuters:

  • EU FOREIGN MINISTERS SAY WOULD CONSIDER ANY UNILATERAL MILITARY ACTIONS BY RUSSIA IN UKRAINE AS BLATANT VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW

And from Bloomberg: Continue reading »

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Aug 16

checkmate

- Europe Blinks – May Cancel Russian Sanctions (ZeroHedge, Aug 15, 2014):

It appears the pain that Europe is already suffering post-Russian sanctions, is too much to bear (as we explained here). While NATO admits it saw Russian military forces cross the Ukraine border, European leaders, after discussions on widespread ‘aid’ for nations suffering from Russia’s food ban, have said they are ‘ready to review Russia sanctions’ if the situation stabilizes. Furthermore, snubbing Washington, European leaders said they do not want to impose more sanctions on Russia. Obama alone again?

As Bloomberg notes, Continue reading »

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Aug 16

NATO Accuses Russia Of Escalating Ukraine Conflict, Demands Withdrawal Of Russian Troops From Border (ZeroHedge, Aug 15, 2014):

Update: it just got interesting:

  • RASMUSSEN ASKS RUSSIA TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM UKRAINE BORDER
  • RASMUSSEN SAYS RUSSIA RESUPPLIED MATERIALS TO SEPARATISTS
  • RUSSIA CROSSED UKRAINE BORDER LAST NIGHT, RASMUSSEN SAYS
  • NATO SEES CONTINUOUS FLOW OF RUSSIAN WEAPONS INTO UKRAINE

And now, we await tweets of more de-escalation while Putin is laughing, even as the world officially enters Cold War 2.0:

  • NATO COUNTRIES MUST GRADUALLY RAISE DEFENSE SPENDING: RASMUSSEN

… first for conventional weapons, then for tactical and strategic ICBMs? Continue reading »

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Aug 15

Gazprom To Europe: We Own You (At Least Until 2016) (ZeroHedge, Aug 14, 2014):

It is no secret that in scrambling to find an alternative to Russia’s energy-export dominance, Europe is actively seeking to recreate the US shale miracle (at least superficially, recall that a month ago Germany shelved shale-gas drilling plans until at least 2021, when it would again reassess the shale ban). Curiously, one of the few places that features as a most probable candidate for shale drilling, is none other than Ukraine itself whose Dnieper-Donets basin is a place targeted by local energy company Burisma, where as we have reported extensively in the past, none other than Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, has been strategically placed as a director to give the US a front line of sight into drilling developments.

There is one problem, however, and a rather major one at that: it will take Europe years, in a best case scenario at that, before it can bring its shale output online. In fact, according to Gazprom’s quarterly report released on Wednesday, shale gas production in Europe could be possible in Europe not earlier than in 2016-2018. Which, of course, is Gazprom’s polite way of saying that for at least the next two years, and likely far longer, European marginal gas needs will be met by the dreaded Russian semi-nationalized monopoly, which in turn means that for all the posturing, the Kremlin will have an exclusive “right of first refusal” to determine European economic growth with the literal push of a button.

“Commercial shale gas production in Europe can begin not earlier than in 2016-2018 even with positive geological surveys. But production volumes will not bring about major changes in the European gas market due to a decline in conventional gas production,” the report said. Continue reading »

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Aug 14

Putin chess

- Putin Says The Petrodollar Must Die, “The Dollar Monopoly In Energy Trade Is Damaging Russia’s Economy” (ZeroHedge, Aug 14, 2014):

On one hand, despite initial weakness following Europe’s triple-dip red alert, futures declined only to surge higher after some headline or another out of Russia was again spun to suggest imminent Ukraine de-escalation (something which Russia whose only interest is to keep crude prices high, has absolutely zero interest in), perpetuating a rumor which was set off by a Russian media outlet tweet last week that has sent S&P futures over 50 higher in less than a week on… nothing.

On the other, Putin just said the following, which no matter how one spins it, shows precisely how Russia is inclined vis-a-vis future (un-de-counter) escalations.

PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA SHOULD AIM TO SELL OIL AND GAS FOR ROUBLES GLOBALLY, AS DOLLAR MONOPOLY IN ENERGY TRADE IS DAMAGING ECONOMY

Reuters adds:

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Russia should aim to sell its oil and gas for roubles globally because the dollar monopoly in energy trade was damaging Russia’s economy.

“We should act carefully. At the moment we are trying to agree with some countries to trade in national currencies,” Putin said during a visit to the Crimea region, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine earlier this year. Continue reading »

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