Apr 12

H/t reader M.G.:

“Here is an excellent article about the rising power of Russia (as perceived by the EU) and why the US is losing. Thanks to the idiots who have run everything good we had into a tomb, here is the new view of America. Since Bill Clinton, we have been going downhill, and the corporate fool we now have in charge has completed the job.
The US is no longer seen as #1, by its people or the world.”


- U.S. influence hits new lows (Al Jazeera, April 12, 2014):

Obama’s trips to Europe and Saudi Arabia reveal the limits of American power

President Barack Obama spoke with condescension last week at The Hague when he identified the Russian Federation as a “regional power that’s threatening some of its immediate neighbors not out of strength but out of weakness.”

From Moscow’s point of view, Obama’s embassy to world capitals at the end of March demonstrated that the United States has also become a regional power, one that can no longer get its way in Europe and the Middle East.

In The Hague and in Brussels, Obama spoke of economic sanctions against Russia while definitely ruling out military force to resolve the Ukraine crisis. No European leader disagreed. It’s not just that severe sanctions would damage the fragile recovery underway in the EU. The Europeans have long since accepted that the U.S. cannot do more than talk of an Atlantic-based alliance. Moscow regards NATO as a shell of its 20th century presence and doesn’t worry much about military exercises or provocative NATO meetings chaired by the NATO and European Command leader, Gen. Phillip Breedlove, who had scheduled testimony on Capitol Hill canceled so he could consult with allies.

Continue reading »

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Apr 11

putin smile_0

- Europe Folds As Putin Tells It To Pay Ukraine’s Gazprom Bill, Or Else (ZeroHedge, April 11, 2014):

Another day ending in “y” means another day in which Putin plays the G(roup of most insolvent countries)-7 like a fiddle.

The latest: Europe should provide aid to Ukraine to ensure uninterrupted natural-gas deliveries to the region, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said as reported by Bloomberg. Continue reading »

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Apr 10

Vladimir-Putin1

- Putin Warns Europe “No Alternative… Will Cut Gas Supplies” (ZeroHedge, April 10, 2014):

European partners have left Russia with “no alternative” but to halt supplies of gas to Ukraine and Europe, according to a letter from Russian president Putin to European leaders.

  • *EUROPEAN PARTNERS LEAVE RUSSIA ‘NO ALTERNATIVE,’ PUTIN SAYS
  • *RUSSIA TO HALT UKRAINE GAS IF PAYMENT VIOLATIONS GO ON: PUTIN
  • *PUTIN: RUSSIA UKRAINE GAS SUBSIDY WORTH $35.4B IN PAST 4 YEARS

The remarks, as Reuters reports, were the strongest sign yet that Russia could curtail supplies of gas to (and through) Ukraine affecting supplies of gas to Europe (as they fear Ukraine will siphon off Russian gas meant for Europe). Russia is already reducing its delivery through Ukraine but it stil represents 39% of Europe’s demand. Gazprom has also been forced to move to pre-payment terms on any future deliveries (there’s your IMF bailout). Continue reading »

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Apr 10

- Dmitry Kiselev: “Western behavior borders on schizophrenia” (RIA Novosti, April 5, 2014):

Director General of the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency Dmitry Kiselev, host of the popular television program Vesti Nedeli (News of the Week), is the only journalist in the world to be targeted by political sanctions. The European Union included the prominent TV journalist on a list of Russians barred from travelling, owning property or banking in the EU. The World Press Freedom Committee, one of the leading organizations on the rights of journalists, has come to his defense.

In an interview with Izvestia, Kiselev said that the sanctions against him threaten the rights of all journalists in the world. He also explained that Russia and the West have switched roles and now Russia has become the main defender of democratic principles and freedom of speech. Continue reading »

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Apr 09

Emmanuel-Giboulot

- Organic Wine Producer Nearly Imprisoned for Refusing to Spray Pesticides (Activist Post, April 8, 2014):

I still don’t feel guilty. It’s intolerable today to be forced to hide and to be frightened for taking a stand. -Emmanuel Giboulot

Last year I wrote about a major pesticide problem in French wines. One that had unfortunate results. For instance, 90% of those wines, even vintage, were contaminated with unsafe pesticide chemical levels. One farmer died from exposure, and wine farmers there were shown to have much higher rates of brain cancer and dementia.

One would think organic wines would be the way to go. French labels depict organic with the words Vin Biologique. But now, with a new directive that completely undermines “organic” – it is uncertain. That is, if this normally very American, Canadian and English trend on choking out organic small farm freedom continues in France. Continue reading »

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Apr 07

- CEO Of Liechtenstein Bank Frick Murdered In Broad Daylight (ZeroHedge, April 7, 2014):

Over the weekend the world was gripped by the drama surrounding the mysterious murder-homicide of the former CEO of Dutch bank ABN Amro and members of his family, and whether there is more foul play than meets the eye. However, that is nothing compared to what just happened in the tiny, and all too quiet Principality of Lichtenstein, where moments ago the CEO of local financial institution Bank Frick & Co. AG, Juergen Frick, was shot dead in the underground garage of the bank located in the city of Balzers.


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Based on preliminary reports, the murder is the result of a disgruntled fund manager, Juergen Germann, who had previously been embroiled in a “bitter dispute” with the government and the bank.

Bloomberg has more:

A 48-year-old man was shot dead in the underground garage of a financial institution in Balzers at 7:30 a.m. local time, the principality’s police said on its website. The suspect, Juergen Hermann, fled the scene in a Smart car with Liechtenstein number plates, according to police. Neither the victim nor the institution were identified in the statement.

The deceased was Juergen Frick, CEO of Bank Frick & Co. AG, Switzerland’s Radio 1 said in an e-mailed statement, citing employees of the bank. Calls to Bank Frick were answered by a voice-mail message saying the company is closed because of “a death.” It gave no further details.

Continue reading »

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Apr 05

Spain-And-Italy-Are-Toast-Unless-Germany-Allows-The-ECB-To-Print-Trillions-Of-Euros

- European Central Bank “models” €1 trillion in money printing (ZeroHedge, April 4, 2014):

Update: in direct flashback from the summer of 2011 when the ECB leaked news only to retract it within minutes, this just happened:

  • CONSTANCIO: DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT 1 TLN-EURO QE MODEL REPORT

For those who have forgotten, here is the ECB playbook: leak “false” rumor, gauge market reaction, then promptly deny said rumor knowing quite well how the market will respond when the real news hits. Rinse repeat.

* * *

When in desperate need to crush your currency (being bought hand over fist by the Chinese), so urgently need to boost German exports, since you are unable to actually do QE as per your charter, what do you do if you are Mario Draghi? Well, you leak, leak, leak that you are contemplating QE, and then you leak some more. Such as today.

From Bloomberg: Continue reading »

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Apr 04

Related info:

- The Importance Of Owning Your Own Bullion And Storing It Outside The Banking System

- States Seize Citizens’ Safe Deposit Boxes To Balance Their Budgets (ABC News Video)

- US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY HAS TOLD BANKS – IN WRITING – IT MAY INSPECT SAFE DEPOSIT BOXES WITHOUT WARRANT AND SEIZE ANY GOLD, SILVER, GUNS OR OTHER VALUABLES IT FINDS INSIDE THOSE BOXES!

- James G. Rickards of Omnis Inc.: Get Your Gold Out Of The Banking System

- Roosevelt Gold Confiscation In 1933: ‘No American Could Visit A Safe Deposit Box For Some Time Without A Government Agent Accompanying Him’


deposit-boxes

Original article in German down below.

Google translation:

- EU wants to deposit crack (MMNews, March 31, 2014):

Secret paper: Brussels plans this summer to allow EU-wide open all the boxes by force. . Reason: In addition to cash tax evasion investigators also search for precious metals – EU Finance Commissioner. “He who has nothing to hide, you need fear nothing.” Green: “An important step toward tax fairness and social justice.”

Holders of safe deposit boxes in banks threatens Affliction. According to a secret document Brussels wants to still be in this year Open all lockers EU-wide force. Preparations are already in full swing. By the summer of the action should be carried out with the name “lockbox2014″. Background: The EU Commission suspected there billions in black money and other valuables that were probably acquired illegally. In addition to cash it have apart on precious metals like gold and silver to the authorities.

Continue reading »

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Apr 03

- Russia Summons German Ambassador After Schaeuble’s Hitler-Putin Analogy (Zerohedge, April 3, 2014):

Hitler took over the Sudetenland with such methods,” warned German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble over the weekend, drawing parallels between Putin’s push into Ukraine and the start of the Nazi occupation of Europe. This did not go down well in Moscow and German Ambassador Ruediger Freiherr von Fritsch was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry as the Russians lodged an official protest. Merkel was quick to distance herself from the remarks (which Russia calls a “trick”) demanding that “a high-ranking official should take more responsibility for his words.”

Schaeuble’s comments…

Nobody will be there to maintain order [in Ukraine],” Schaeuble said. Should such chaos ensue, Russian authorities may reason that “now we have some fascists threatening the population; now we have to protect them. We all know this from history. Hitler took over the Sudetenland with such methods.”

Continue reading »

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Apr 02

- US to boost troops at Romania airbase increasing NATO’s military presence in Eastern Europe (Voice of Russia, April 1, 2014):

US has asked to boost the number of troops and aircraft stationed at an airbase in NATO ally, Romania, President Traian Basescu said. The request would add up to 600 US troops to the roughly 1,000 currently stationed in Romania, and would increase the number of military aircraft there, Reuters reports.

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Apr 02

- NATO suspends civilian and military cooperation with Russia (RT, April 1, 2014):

NATO has announced that it is suspending all military and civilian cooperation with Russia over the Ukrainian crisis, the bloc said in a joint statement.

We have decided to suspend all practical civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia. Our political dialogue in the NATO-Russia Council can continue, as necessary, at the Ambassadorial level and above, to allow us to exchange views, first and foremost on this crisis,” the statement reads. The alliance plans to review its relations with Russia at a meeting in June.

Continue reading »

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Apr 01

Bilderberg-2014

- Bilderberg Found: 2014 Confab to Take Place at Marriott Hotel, Copenhagen (Infowars, April 1, 2014):

5 star hotel fully booked for end of May

The 2014 Bilderberg Group meeting of secretive global power brokers will almost certainly take place at the 5 star Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark from May 29 to June 1.

Continue reading »

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Apr 01

Why Did BRICS Back Russia on Crimea

- Why Did BRICS Back Russia on Crimea? (The Diplomat, March 31, 2014):

The BRICS’s support for Russia shows the Western-dominated post-Cold War order is eroding.

There’s been no shortage of reports and commentaries on the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea, and Russia’s role in it. Yet one of the more notable recent developments in the crisis has received surprisingly little attention.

Namely, the BRICS grouping (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) has unanimously and, in many ways, forcefully backed Russia’s position on Crimea. The Diplomat has reported on China’s cautious and India’s more enthusiastic backing of Russia before. However, the BRICS grouping as a whole has also stood by the Kremlin.

Continue reading »

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Mar 31

See also:

- Britons Rate Russia More Favorably Than European Union, Israel


UKIP-leader-Nigel-Farage
Nigel Farage: ‘As an operator, but not as a human being, I would say Putin. The way he played the whole Syria thing – brilliant.’

- Nigel Farage: I admire Vladimir Putin (Guardian, March 31, 2014):

Ukip leader praises Russian president’s handling of Syria crisis, but describes Germany’s chancellor as ‘incredibly cold’

Nigel Farage has named Vladimir Putin as the world leader he most admires, praising the Russian president’s handling of the crisis in Syria.

But the Ukip leader had less kind words for Angela Merkel, describing the German chancellor as “incredibly cold”.

He also said he saw little to choose between the leaders of Britain’s three major parties, telling GQ magazine he does not give a damn whether David Cameron or Ed Miliband wins next year’s general election.

Continue reading »

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Mar 31

Italy

- More than 40% of Italians want to quit euro (The Local, March 31, 2014):

As Europeans prepare to go to the polls in the EU elections in May, the study, conducted by Ixè institute for the Italian broadcaster Rai3, found that 43 percent of Italians would like to return to the Italian lira, the news agency Ansa reported.

The survey, which polled 1,000 people, found that the majority of those in favour (70 percent) were voters of Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement and 56 percent supported Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.

Meanwhile, just 28 percent of voters of the centre-left Democratic Party wanted out of the euro.

Continue reading »

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Mar 31

- Politicians ‘wasted €2m’ on fine wine and caviar (The Local, March 31, 2014):

Sixty-four politicians from the regional council of Lombardy, one of Italy’s wealthiest regions, have been accused of squandering almost €2.14 million worth of public funds on everything from premium wine and caviar to jars of Nutella and placing bets.

In the latest expenses scandal to hit Italian politics, prosecutors in Milan discovered that between 2008 and 2011, the politicians, mainly from Silvio Berlusconi’s former party, the People of Freedom (Pdl), claimed reimbursements worth 70 percent of their wining and dining costs.

The expenses included eating out in the priciest restaurants, hosting banquets for hundreds of people and quaffing wine worth €1,094 a bottle.

Continue reading »

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Mar 31

Far-Right Gains In French Election As Hollande’s Socialists Admit “Unquestionably A Defeat” (ZeroHedge, March 30, 2014):

A week after initial votes showed the far-right anti-Euro National Front party gaining ground in French municipal elections, it appears the ongoing disappointment in the ruling Socialists is increasing (amid record joblessness).

  • *FAR RIGHT MAKES FURTHER GAINS IN FRENCH MUNI ELECTIONS
  • *MOSCOVICI SAYS TODAY’S  ELECTIONS ‘UNQUESTIONABLY A DEFEAT’
  • *MOSCOVICI SAYS IT’S ‘DIFFICULT TO REFORM FRANCE’

These are the first nationwide elections in France since Hollande took office and point to rather concerning lack of support for his party and his policies (and the core of the EU); but a record high 38.5% of votes abstained suggesting major apathy as the country’s north-south divide grows. Continue reading »

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Mar 31

- German Executives Denounce EU/US Leaders Over Russia Confrontation (ZeroHedge, March 30, 2014):

With at least 300,000 German jobs dependent on business relations with Russia, it is hardly surprising that, as Reuters reports, several top German executives have criticized the strategy of the U.S. and Europe in dealing with Russia fearing the consequences for their businesses. On the heels of Siemens CEO’s comments (as we noted here) that “you don’t want to sanction anyone you depend on,” a number of other senior German executives have commented that that great change could be achieved if the West cooperated with Russia rather than being confrontational. Deutsche Post’s Appel summed it up, “Since we don’t have major sources of raw materials in Europe, we will always be dependent on others… and it seems questionable to me whether dependence on the Middle East or Venezuela would be better than that on Russia.”

As Reuters notes,

Russia is Germany’s 11th biggest commercial partner, with trade reaching 76.5 billion euros ($105 billion) last year, according to the trade association Ost Ausschuss.

Continue reading »

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Mar 30

Lavrov_0

- “They Never Learn” – Russia’s Take On The “West” And The Shifting Geopolitical Balance Of Power (ZeroHedge, March 30, 2014):

Over the past month, there has been a lot of “Hilsenrathing”, or the biased media urgently “explaining” to the Western world, just what Russia’s actions mean both tactically in response to Ukraine developments, and strategically as part of Putin’s global perspective. So instead of relying on the broken media narrative which serves merely to perpetuate US corporate interests and rally the public behind this or that company’s geopolitical interests, here, straight from the horse’s mouth, in this case Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, how Russia sees itself in a world in which it is allegedly “isolated”, and “threatening Ukraine” with further invasion but more importantly, how the Russians view the rapidly changing global balance of power, in which post-USSR Russia has emerged from the backwood of slighted nations and stormed to the stage of nations who dare defy the former global hegemon, the US.

Some notable highlights by Lavrov from the interview conducted with Rossiya 24: Continue reading »

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Mar 30

Hinweise auf US-Überwachung von Merkels Handy
Merkel was an NSA target. But so too were private companies in Germany.

- ‘A’ for Angela Merkel: GCHQ and NSA Targeted Private German Companies (Der Spiegel, March 29, 2014):

Documents show that Britain’s GCHQ intelligence service infiltrated German Internet firms and America’s NSA obtained a court order to spy on Germany and collected information about the chancellor in a special database. Is it time for the country to open a formal espionage investigation?

The headquarters of Stellar, a company based in the town of Hürth near Cologne, are visible from a distance. Seventy-five white antennas dominate the landscape. The biggest are 16 meters (52 feet) tall and kept in place by steel anchors. It is an impressive sight and serves as a popular backdrop for scenes in TV shows, including the German action series “Cobra 11.”

Continue reading »

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Mar 30


Mar 29, 2014

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Mar 29

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

- Western Looting Of Ukraine Has Begun (Paul Craig Roberts, March 29, 2014):

It is now apparent that the “Maiden protests” in Kiev were in actuality a Washington organized coup against the elected democratic government. The purpose of the coup is to put NATO military bases on Ukraine’s border with Russia and to impose an IMF austerity program that serves as cover for Western financial interests to loot the country. The sincere idealistic protesters who took to the streets without being paid were the gullible dupes of the plot to destroy their country.

Politically Ukraine is an untenable aggregation of Ukrainian and Russian territory, because traditional Russian territories were stuck into the borders of the Ukraine Soviet Republic by Lenin and Khrushchev. The Crimea, stuck into Ukraine by Khrushchev, has already departed and rejoined Russia. Unless some autonomy is granted to them, Russian areas in eastern and southern Ukraine might also depart and return to Russia. If the animosity displayed toward the Russian speaking population by the stooge government in Kiev continues, more defections to Russia are likely.

Continue reading »

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Mar 29

group

- The PBOC and Bundesbank Sign Pact to Turn Frankfurt into Yuan Hub….Meanwhile Obama Heads to Saudi Arabia (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 28, 2014):

I haven’t paid too much attention as of late to agreements between China and other nations intended to expand the use of the yuan (renminbi) internationally, because the near-term implications always seem to be exaggerated by many market commentators. That said, this deal between the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and Germany’s Bundesbank seems quite significant given the importance of Germany within the global economy generally and the E.U. specifically.

From Bloomberg via BusinessWeek:

Germany’s Bundesbank and the People’s Bank of China agreed to cooperate in the clearing and settling of payments in renminbi, paving the way for Frankfurt to corner a share of the offshore market.

Continue reading »

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Mar 28

- French jobless rate surges to new record (The Local/AFP, March 26, 2014):

The number of jobless in France surged by 0.9 percent in February to a new record of 3.34 million, the labour ministry said on Wednesday.

The number of new jobseekers rose by 31,500 last month, it said, admitting there had been a “marked progression” in unemployment.

The rise is likely to put increased pressure on President Francois Hollande, with the overall number of jobseekers having increased by more than 420,000 since he took office in May 2012.

Continue reading »

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Mar 27

Greece-01

- Greek Supreme Court Rules “Bank Deposit Confiscation” Against The Constitution (ZeroHedge, March 27, 2014):

While we are sure the governments and their IMF handlers will find a way around such annoyances as the rule of law, the Greek Supreme Court just ruled that the seizure of bank deposits due to debts to the state without previous notice was against the Constitution. We humbly suggest the Ukrainian courts be rapidly brought to a decision on the same ruling, before IMF hands start dipping into pockets.

As Keep Talking Greece explains,

Greece’s Supreme Court ruled that the seizure of bank deposits due to debts to the state without previous notice was against the Constitution. The judges had taken up a debtor’s complaint filed in 2006. The debtor had seen his pension being grabbed from his bank account due to debts to the tax office.

Continue reading »

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Mar 27

Here comes the financial MAFIA …


- And Now The Real Economic Pain Begins As IMF Unleashes $27BN Bailout In “Near Bankrupt” Ukraine (ZeroHedge, March 27, 2014):

Gazprom must really be demanding payment on overdue Ukraine invoices which is the only way we can explain the unprecedented speed with which the IMF has managed to cobble together a makeshift bailout package of up to $27 billion – the bulk of which will naturally go to Russia – which has just made Ukraine its latest vassal state.

Continue reading »

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Mar 27

Putin-Gold


- German Industry Goes To See Uncle Putin (Testosterone Pit, March 27, 2014):

President Barak Obama went to Belgium – a trip planned long ago but repurposed since the Crimean debacle – to meet with European leaders, commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I, draw iffy parallels between then and now, and announce that more sanctions against Russia were being concocted and would soon be forthcoming, even if Russia made no additional moves on the Ukraine. The EU and the US must not sit on their hands as Russia pursues “the old way of doing things,” he said. “That message would be heard not just in Europe but in Asia and the Americas, in Africa and the Middle East.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin might have had a field day listening to the speech. But he was busy. He was at his official residence in Novo-Ogaryovo near Moscow, meeting with German industry tycoons, including Joe Kaeser, CEO of multinational engineering conglomerate Siemens. It wasn’t an emergency response to the current sanctions spiral but had been planned during their last meeting in October.

Continue reading »

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Mar 27

- Obama says ‘bigger nations cannot simply bully smaller ones’. Wait… what? (RT, March 27, 2014):

President Obama’s key speech in Brussels on Ukraine and attempts to isolate Russia appears to be an exercise of omission, mutually-exclusive statements and unveiled double standards.

Here’s a quick look at what Obama told an audience of some 2,000 people in his damning 30-minute speech.

“Each of us has the right to live as we choose.”

But it’s true only for those good pro-European protesters in Kiev, who used firebombs and batons to make their point. The bad pro-Russian residents of Crimea are not allowed to, right?

 “Together, we’ve condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rejected the legitimacy of the Crimean referendum.”

That’s right. Referendum = bad. Firebombs = good.

Well, Obama says Russia invaded Ukraine while the US and the EU stayed at arm’s length and allowed things to settle down.

“Make no mistake, neither the United States nor Europe has any interest in controlling Ukraine.”

Continue reading »

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Mar 27


Added: Mar 20, 2014

Description:

Andrew Malcolm and Terry Jones of Investor’s Business Daily join Glenn Reynolds to discuss the Ukrainian crisis. Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded the Crimean peninsula notwithstanding warnings from President Obama. Obama announced sanctions against Russia, but will they work? Could these sanctions ultimately hurt the west more than Russia? Find out.

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Mar 25

Im Atommülllager Asse lagert auch Arsen

- Abyss of Uncertainty: Germany’s Homemade Nuclear Waste Disaster (Der Spiegel, Feb 21, 2013):

Part 1: Germany’s Homemade Nuclear Waste Disaster

Some 126,000 barrels of nuclear waste have been dumped in the Asse II salt mine over the last 50 years. German politicians are pushing for a law promising their removal. But the safety, technical and financial hurdles are enormous, and experts warn that removal is more dangerous than leaving them put.

It’s hot and sticky 750 meters (2,500 feet) underground, and the air smells salty. Five men are standing in front of an oversized drill. They have donned orange overalls and are wearing bulky special shoes, yellow hard hats and safety glasses. They turn on the machine, and the rod assembly slowly eats its way into a gray wall.

For over seven months now, the team has been trying to drill a hole with a diameter of eight centimeters (three inches). They are attempting to reach one of the former excavation chambers of Asse II, an old salt and potash mine near the northern German town of Remlingen, in the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony. Behind a barrier 20 meters thick, thousands of drums filled with nuclear waste have been rotting away for over three decades.

It’s dangerous work. Over the years, experts warn, explosive gases may have collected in underground cavities — and one spark could trigger a disaster. Consequently, the drill head is only allowed to turn extremely slowly. After the machine has barely advanced another 10 centimeters, the men pull the drill pipe out of the hole and insert a probe. They thus manage to inch their way forward about 20 centimeters per shift.

Continue reading »

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