12/20/14

Permalink Dictator Obama "authorizes" economic embargo on Russia’s Crimea

US Dictator Barack Obama has "authorized" sanctions against individuals and entities operating in Russia’s Crimean peninsula, according to the White House statement. Obama has issued an executive order that “prohibits the export of goods, technology, or services to Crimea and prohibits the import of goods, technology, or services from Crimea, as well as new investments in Crimea,” according to the statement. The executive order also authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to impose sanctions on “individuals and entities operating in Crimea.”

ABC News/AP: Russia Dismisses New US Sanctions as Useless


12/19/14

Permalink Ukraine’s New American Finance Minister Lost $100 Mil of US Taxpayer Funds, Tagged with Financial Improprieties

Ukraine’s new Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko, a former U.S. State Department officer who was granted Ukrainian citizenship only this week, headed a U.S. government-funded investment project for Ukraine that involved substantial insider dealings, including $1 million-plus fees to a management company that she also controlled. Jaresco served as president and chief executive officer of Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), which was created by the U.S. Agency for International Development (U.S. AID) with $150 million to spur business activity in Ukraine. She also was cofounder and managing partner of Horizon Capital which managed WNISEF’s investments at a rate of 2 to 2.5 percent of committed capital, fees exceeding $1 million in recent years, according to WNISEF’s 2012 annual report. The growth of that insider dealing at the U.S.-taxpayer-funded WNISEF is further underscored by the number of paragraphs committed to listing the “related party transactions,” i.e., potential conflicts of interest, between an early annual report from 2003 and the one a decade later.

Sputnik News: What is Ukraine Freedom Act, and What Does It Imply?
Sputnik News: Stratfor: Ukraine Coup Plotted by US Over Russian Stance on Syria


Permalink Ukraine forms 'ministry of truth' to "regulate" the media

Ukraine has a new government ministry. This month, the parliament voted to create a ministry of information policy that will be led by Yuriy Stets, the head of the information security department of the national guard. According to the new minister, the information war against Russia cannot be won without it. But in resorting to such measures, does Ukraine not risk losing its battle for democracy?


Permalink Why the Western Media Will Never Show Putin's Three Hour Press Conference

Alex Christoforou Could President Obama speak in front of hundreds of journalists for over three hours, unscripted and without a teleprompter? Highly doubtful. How about Hillary? Can Mrs. Clinton take on the local and international press in an honest, nothing off limits, press Q & A….once again for over three hours and no teleprompter to assist. No chance. What about John McCain. Could Senator McCain field intelligent questions for over three hours (let alone 15 minutes) without resorting to name calling, warmongering or regime change rhetoric? Please! Cameron, Hollande, Merkel…no way. European leaders are puppets to US policy and could probably not even string together thirty minutes of independent thought, let alone three hours of live debate. What we saw today, for the 10th time, is about as transparent as any world leader can get…and western main stream media hates Putin, and Russia for this.

Pepe Escobar What Putin is not telling us
RT.com: Putin: Russian economy will inevitably bounce back, 2 years in worst case scenario


12/18/14

Permalink Latest Psaki gaffe no laughing matter - Video

Jen Psaki, the US State Department spokesperson, uttered yet another gaffe when she declared that the Obama administration signed off on more economic sanctions against Russia, setting off alarm bells in Russia. The bill, which provides some US$350 million in military and non-military assistance to Ukraine, is expected to be signed “by the end of the week,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Tuesday. Perhaps Jen Psaki thought that was not expedient enough. “He signed it yesterday,” Psaki said during the briefing, interrupting RT’s Gayane Chichakyan who was asking a question about the military aid tucked away inside the controversial legislation, called the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014.

RT.com: ‘Can’t stuff this bear’ & other Putin Q&A quotes
Itar-Tass: Key topics of Vladimir Putin's tenth annual press conference


Permalink What Obama’s Ukrainian Stooges Did

Eric Zuesse Here are highlights from a one-hour-and-thirty-seven-minute video documenting the ethnic cleansing or attempted genocide against the residents in southeast Ukraine, the Ukrainian area that had voted overwhelmingly for the man whom Obama overthrew on February 22nd. If the voters in that region were to stay in the then-existing territory of Ukraine, no nationwide Ukrainian vote (such as for Ukraine’s President) would favor the pro-U.S, anti-Russian, Government, that Obama had installed in February of this year. Even if new leaders would be elected, the government would then go back to being predominantly pro-Russian, as it had been under Yanukovych. That’s why Obama wanted the residents there slaughtered until enough escaped to Russia so as to eliminate enough of them from the voter-rolls in Ukraine so as to enable Obama’s Ukrainian coup d’etat to succeed (i.e., be stable) on a long-term basis. So, that’s what was tried; and one chooses for carrying out such a purpose racist fascists — or nazis — whose particular hatred is focussed against ethnic Russians: against the people who lived in the pro-Yanukovych region of Ukraine, Ukraine’s southeast.


Permalink UN claims of asylum seekers’ ‘inhumane’ treatment provoke Dutch ire

The Netherlands, in the throes of an immigration crisis, has accused the UN of publishing ‘one-sided information’ after its senior officials accused the government of “trying to score political points” by “forcing” failed asylum seekers into homelessness. "The Netherlands endeavors to prevent foreign nationals without lawful residence ending up on the street," immigration minister Fred Teeven wrote to AFP. The uproar from UN officials came after the central government recently refused to release €15 million in funds for local authorities to provide accommodation and food for those asylum seekers, who have been deemed to lack genuine humanitarian reasons for staying in the Netherlands without a visa. “In these dark days before Christmas, it is appalling that the Dutch Government will not even commit less than 0.01 per cent of its yearly budget to help people living in absolute misery and poverty,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty, Mr. Philip Alston.


Permalink Russia may seek China help to deal with crisis

Russia could fall back on its 150 billion yuan (HK$189.8 billion) currency swap agreement with China if the rouble continues to plunge. If the swap deal is activated for this purpose, it would mark the first time China is called upon to use its currency to bail out another currency in crisis. The deal was signed by the two central banks in October, when Premier Li Keqiang visited Russia. "Russia badly needs liquidity support and the swap line could be an ideal tool," said Bank of Communications chief economist Lian Ping. The swap allows the central banks to directly buy yuan and rouble in the two currencies, rather than via the US dollar. Two bankers close to the People's Bank of China said it was meant to reduce the role of the US dollar if China and Russia need to help each other overcome a liquidity squeeze. China has currency swap deals with more than 20 monetary authorities around the world. Swaps are generally used to settle trade. "The yuan-rouble swap deal was not just a financial matter," said Wang Feng, chairman of Shanghai-based private equity group Yinshu Capital. "It has political implications as it is a sign of mutual trust."


12/17/14

Permalink Russia's next financial option may be 'nuclear'

The Russian Central Bank has seemingly lost control of the ruble, which lost more than 20% in just hours on Tuesday. Currency interventions and interest rates both have failed to save the ruble. The next major step could be limiting the cash flow. After the Russian ruble fell to 1998 lows on Monday, the Central Bank met late into the evening and hiked the main lending rate to 17 percent to offset the tailspin ruble. It worked- for about four hours, then the ruble against nosedived against the dollar, euro, and sterling. On November 10, the bank introduced the ruble's free floating policy- which meant it would stop directl financial support, and would instead let the markets guide it. Before that, the Central Bank tried interventions, and after burning through $80 billion in foreign reserves, the ruble still went bust. The markets took it to to new depths and lows. On Tuesday the euro nearly touched 100 rubles and the US dollar 80 rubles, both more than this time last year.

RT.com: Ruble tempest, tries to make ground after traumatic turmoil
Itar-Tass: Russia has resources, market instruments to rectify economic situation — Medvedev
Russia Insider: Sergey Glazyev Blasts Russia Central Bank in Economic Manifesto
Vineyard of the Saker: Sergei Glaziev: Stupidity Is Worse Than Theft
BNE: Russia Central Bank Is Protecting Foreign Reserves. That's Why It Can't Defend the Ruble
Zero Hedge: China, Russia Dump US Treasurys In October As Foreigners Sell Most US Stocks Since 2007
Itar-Tass: Russia’s Finance Ministry ready to sell $7 billion on market to prop up ruble
Andrea Peters Russian ruble collapses amidst mounting social and political tensions


Permalink German TV Shows Nazi Symbols on Helmets of Ukraine Soldiers

A news broadcast by German ZDF station on September 8 showed soldiers of the Ukraine Azov Battalion near Mariupol with Nazi symbols on their helmets. The Azov Battalion, ascribed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs is led and commanded by members of the neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly and its paramilitary wing “Patriots of Ukraine”. ZDF Moscow correspondent Bernhard Lichte used pictures of a soldier wearing a combat helmet with the “SS runes” of Hitler’s infamous black-uniformed elite corps and another one with a swastika. The footage had been shot by Norwegian team from TV2 station. “We were filming a report about Ukraine’s AZOV battalion in the eastern city of Urzuf, when we came across these soldiers,” Oysten Bogen, a correspondent for the private television station, told NBC News. Norwegian TV station TV2 also broadcast the footage as part of a report on Norwegian volunteers going to fight in Ukraine (see here).

Harry J. Bentham Ukraine: The great lie of our time || In Ukraine, the United States has carried out a total U-turn from supporting democracy to justifying military dictatorship. If nothing else does, this should prove to everyone that the United States is concerned least with democracy or freedom and most with installing dictatorial strongmen to back up its military dominance in each region.


12/16/14

Permalink What’s behind the astonishing rise of an anti-Islam movement in Germany?

Rick Noack In a country that is still haunted by World War II, the protests have come as a shock to many politicians and left-leaning activists. In an interview on Monday, Germany's justice minister Heiko Maas called the movement "a shame for Germany" and warned of a new "level of escalation of agitation against immigrants and refugees." About 6,500 human rights campaigners joined two separate counter-demonstrations on Monday that were organized in opposition to the anti-foreigner movement. The protests have revealed a deep divide between many citizens and their political elite. Half of Germany sympathizes with the anti-Islam protesters, according to a ZEIT ONLINE-YouGov poll that was released on Monday. Supporters can be found all over the country, but protests in western Germany have so far failed to attract large numbers of supporters. In eastern Germany, however, the rallies against immigrants have quickly gained steam – despite the fact that only few foreigners currently live there.

RT.com: Groundswell: 15,000 join anti-Islamization rally in Dresden


Permalink Sergei Glaziev: Stupidity Is Worse Than Theft

(Translation: Alice, S, Gideon, Marina. Editing: D.M. Pennington, Michael, Peter, Heather, Bernie, Patricia, Tom, Kristin.) Why did the Central Bank raise the interest rate and let the ruble flow? Another increase in key interest rates on loans issued by the Bank of Russia, for the purpose of refinancing commercial banks, made loans completely inaccessible for the majority of enterprises of the real sector of the economy. When the average profitability of the manufacturing industry is 7.5-8%, credit issued at rates of 10% or higher cannot be used by most businesses, either for investment or for replenishing working capital. Such decisions cut off the real economy, with the exception of some sectors of the oil, gas, and chemical-metallurgical sector, from credit issued by the State. Prior to that, the consumer lending boom drove millions of citizens into a 10-trillion ruble debt and the real economy lost the savings of the population, becoming a net debtor. Also, the Government withdrew pension savings from the economy. Sanctions imposed by NATO countries deprive the economy of the bulk of external credit. Most businesses have only their own funds to finance working capital and investments, which is clearly not enough to provide even simple reproduction, never mind an expanded one. The amount of profit of enterprises this year (taking into account the fall in the prices of export goods) will be no more than 10% of the required rate of investment of 25-30% of GDP. It’s no surprise that as a result of such decisions amidst the economic recovery in almost all countries of the world this year, Russia is experiencing an unexpected decline in investment and production. According to the Central Bank’s report, On the key rate of the Bank of Russia, October 31, 2014, its decision to raise interest rates was made because of external circumstances: “In September-October the external environment has changed significantly: oil prices dropped significantly while there has been a tightening of sanctions imposed by individual countries to a number of large Russian companies. The ruble has been weakening in this environment, which, against the backdrop of August’s restrictions on import of certain food products, led to a further acceleration of growth of consumer prices”. To support its previous decision to raise interest rates, the Central Bank argued that “inflationary risks had increased, including rising geopolitical tensions and their possible impact on the dynamics of the course of the national currency, as well as changes in the tax and tariff policy.” In the same policy statement, the Central Bank explained its decision to raise interest rates by “a stronger than expected effect of exchange rate dynamics on consumer prices, rising inflation expectations, as well as the unfavorable trends in the market for certain goods.” This reasoning does not stand up to criticism.


12/15/14

Permalink US uses Ukraine for WWIII against Russia: Investigative historian

American investigative historian Eric Zuesse has said that the United States is using the crisis in Ukraine to wage an all-out war against Russia. “Washington isn’t out to help the Ukrainian people; it’s solely using Ukraine as a launching-pad for WWIII against Russia,” he wrote in an article published by Global Research on Sunday. The famous author explained that President Barack Obama was expected to sign the “congressional authorization for war against Russia” and the Pentagon was shipping “military supplies into Ukraine for use against Ukraine’s ethnic Russians.” Zuesse also noted that Moscow would respond to Washington’s measures against the Kremlin after a leading Russian parliamentarian said Americans wanted to turn Ukraine into a fighting platform against his country. The historian finally urged the American people to question US authorities about the reason that they voted to approve sending weapons to Ukraine.

ukraine.ru: Stratfor: Ukraine is an important prize in the US vs Russia arena
ukraine.ru: Washington urges all countries not to do business with Russia


12/13/14

Permalink Russia says will react if U.S. imposes new sanctions

Russia will take counter measures if Washington imposes new sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Saturday. The U.S. Congress has readied new sanctions on Russian weapons companies and investors in the country's high-tech oil projects, but U.S. President Barack Obama has yet to sign a corresponding bill into law. "We will not be able to leave that without an answer," Russia's Interfax news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying. He did not say what form of counter-measure Moscow might take.

Patrick L. Smith These Are Lies The New York Times Wants You to Believe About Russia


Permalink Secret surveillance detected in Oslo

Norway’s prime minister and members of parliament may be subject to secret surveillance by means of fake mobile base stations in the centre of Oslo. Investigations made by Norwegian daily Aftenposten during the past weeks have revealed a number of fake base stations on several locations, in and around the Norwegian capital. They were detected around the parliament building Stortinget, near several ministries and the prime minister’s residence in Parkveien. Conversations and data may be monitored - The fake mobile base stations, known as IMSI-catchers, may be used for listening in on conversations and monitoring all kinds of mobile activity in the areas affected. The person running the equipment may in principle register anyone entering parliament or the government offices. The operator can easily select certain persons for eavesdropping. National Security Authority also found «something» - After being alerted by Aftenposten the Norwegian National Security Authority (NSM) started their own investigation. On Friday they confirmed that they had found traces of «something».

Aftenposten: Stortinget og statsministeren overvåkes - Video


Permalink French neo-fascist National Front defends CIA torture

Alex Lantier The defense of CIA torture by Marine Le Pen, the president of France’s neo-fascist National Front and 2017 French presidential hopeful, testifies to the bankruptcy and criminality of Europe’s political establishment. Asked about the US Senate’s torture report on BFM-TV, she said the United States should stop “giving morality lessons to the whole world,” but defended the CIA: “I am not going to condemn this ... On such subjects, it is pretty easy to come on television and say ‘Oh my God, that’s awful.’” Asked if one could use torture, she replied: “Yes, yes, of course, it has been used historically. I think people who take care of terrorists and therefore of getting information out of them that saves civilian lives are responsible people.”

Le Monde: Torture: les propos de Marine Le Pen, dans la lignée de son père
DW: CIA morale 'deeply hurt' following Senate report
Malaysia Insider: US may have had ‘black site’ in Romania, says ex spy chief
The Guardian: US hid UK links in CIA torture report at request of British spy agencies
Wayne Madsen U.S. Senate Torture Report Exposes Eastern European Torture Lackeys of Washington
Melvin A. Goodman Torture Report Exposes Sadism and Lies
Scott McPherson Torture Report Reveals Brutality, Dishonesty


Permalink East Ukraine death toll crosses 4,600: UN

The UN says the death toll from fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine has exceeded 4,600 in nearly eight months. The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on Saturday the conflict has left more than 300 people dead in less than a month, taking the overall toll to 4,634. The statement said some 10,243 people have been wounded since the fighting erupted in mid-April. Moreover, it said, more than 1.1 million people have since been displaced. According to the statement, as many as 488,466 people have fled to Russia. It also said that some 5.2 million people live in war-torn areas. In its last report on November 20, the UN rights office put the number of fatalities at 4,317.


12/12/14

Permalink Police State: Spain Sets Stiff Fines for "Unauthorized Protests"

Spain's lower house of parliament approved legislation Thursday that allows for the summary expulsion of migrants entering the country's North African enclaves illegally and hefty fines for protests outside parliament buildings or strategic installations. The Public Security Law was approved in a 181-141 vote after being heavily criticized by opposition parties and rights groups as an attempt by the conservative government to muzzle protests over its handling of the economic crisis. The measures, which update a 1992 law, also include fines of up to 30,000 euros ($37,000) for disseminating photographs of police officers that endanger them or police operations. Spanish cities have been the scene of weekly protests, which are mostly peaceful, since the onset of the crisis in 2008. The bill was passed easily because the conservative Popular Party has an absolute majority. Opposition parties have pledged to scrap it if elected to office.

PressTV: Spain parliament passes bill restricting protests
DWN: Fotografieren von Polizisten ist ab sofort per Strafe verboten
El Diario: Plataformas ciudadanas, ONG, activistas: las voces que se rebelan contra "la mordaza"
El País: El PP aprueba su ‘ley mordaza’ en solitario y entre protestas


Permalink "Er zerstört alles": Merkel's Putin-Bashing Gets Shriller. German Media Displays Stunning Collusion

Merkel fires accusations at Putin through her subordinates. In obvious collusion and scripted interviewing, German TV interviewer completes the attack by making all sorts of innuendo in loaded questions which Merkel refuses to contradict. An absolutely priceless article, for pointing out the crazy obseqiousness of the German TV "journalist" in a Merkel interview - where he practically announces that Putin is about to invade the Baltics. The German media is really one of the funniest things we have seen in a long time. First we thought, well, this is evidence of CIA infiltration of the top media, which seems to be an actual fact, and we still think this is widespread, and you can find many articles about it on this site. But it goes beyond that. It has something to do with the German national psyche. Their incapacity for subtleness and tact. It's quite entertaining. We think Merkel is going to completely self-destruct on this Russia thing. She is the Titanic and the Ukraine crisis and Russia policy is her iceberg. The fun is just beginning. This article comes originally form German Economic News, which is one of the very few German publications that allows this kind of criticism of the German media. We just run their stuff through Googletranslate, so its sometimes hard to read, but worth it, we think.


Permalink US threatens Russia with deploying nuclear missiles in Europe

The Pentagon has threatened Russia with redeploying nuclear cruise missiles to Europe, accusing Moscow of violating two arms control treaties. “We don’t have ground-launched cruise missiles in Europe now obviously because they’re prohibited by the treaty,” said Brian McKeon, principal deputy undersecretary for policy at the Department of Defense. “But that would obviously be one option to explore,” he added. Washington says claims Moscow violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. However, Russia denied the allegation and said the testing of a ground-launched cruise missile in July 2014 was in compliance with the INF treaty.

RT.com: US tanks, APCs, Humvees roll through Latvia


Permalink Stortinget og statsministeren overvåkes

Utenfor Stortinget, regjeringskontorene og boligen til statsminister Erna Solberg befinner det seg avansert spionutstyr som kan overvåke alle mobiltelefoner i området. Spørsmålet er: Hvem står bak? De falske basestasjonene kan overvåke bevegelsene til statsråder, politikere, embetsmenn og vanlige mennesker som går inn, ut og rundt sentrale bygninger i Oslo. Om det er kriminelle, utenlandsk etterretning eller andre som står bak, er ukjent. orges største hemmeligheter forvaltes her. Innenfor en radius på én kilometer i Oslo sentrum ligger Statsministerens kontor, Forsvarsdepartementet, Stortinget og Norges Bank. Statsråder, statssekretærer, stortingspolitikere, embetsmenn, næringslivstopper og andre samfunnsviktige personer som arbeider med landets sikkerhet, vårt forsvar eller vår oljeformue på over 6000 milliarder kroner, jobber i dette området. Men de som går forbi, vet trolig ikke dette: Flere steder står små, hemmelige sendere som høyst sannsynlig opptrer som falske basestasjoner. De er såkalte IMSI-catchere, som kan overvåke all mobilaktivitet i området. De som styrer overvåkingsutstyret, vil i prinsippet kunne finne ut hvem som beveger seg forbi og inn i Stortinget, regjeringskontorene eller andre steder i området. De kan også plukke ut bestemte personer for avlytting og tapping av data fra mobiltelefonen.

Aftenposten: NSM jakter spionutstyr etter Aftenpostens avsløringer


Permalink Letting The Fox Guard The Henhouse: For cyber safety, UK turns to Israeli tech

British minister in Israel to shore up online defenses and further technology partnerships. The United Kingdom has a goal of becoming “one of the safest places to do business online in the world,” according to British Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude. To help achieve that goal, Britain is seeking Israeli help. On a visit to Israel this week, Maude met with top government officials involved in cyber security and visited start-ups working in the field to discuss possible investments. “It was a pleasure to be back in Israel to see more of Israel’s impressive cyber and digital innovation first hand,” said Maude. “Both countries face enormous challenges in securing our cyber spaces and supplying the best digital services to our citizens, so cooperation between the UK and Israel is of great mutual benefit.”


12/11/14

Permalink Iran calls Senate report on CIA torture ‘shocking’

The content of this shocking report shows violence, extremism, and secrecy as institutionalized in the US security system,” Afkham said in a statement on Wednesday. She voiced concerns that the “illegal processes and inhumane measures” presented in the report “still continue and there has been no guarantee from the US government to prevent the repetition of such disasters.” The report has drawn harsh criticism from the United Nation and prominent rights groups, which have called for prosecution of those responsible for the use of torture during the George W. Bush administration.

PressTV: Russia slams CIA torture revelations as ‘shocking’
HuffPo: More Than A Quarter Of The World's Countries Helped The CIA Run Its Torture Program
CNN: World reacts to U.S. torture report
PressTV: CIA operates outside law, without oversight: Barry Grossman
ABC.net.au: Poland hosted CIA 'black sites'; China joins countries condemning US actions
"U.S. Tortured and Killed Innocent People for the Specific Purpose of Producing False Propaganda"
Chris Floyd Obama and the Senate Report: Torture is Good?


Permalink Confusion about AngloZionist sanctions against Russia

[The] thing which those who stick to a simplistic assessment of the sanctions are missing are the following:

1) Whom are these sanctions hurting more, Russia or the West?
2) What is the Russian staying power to put up with these sanctions?
3) Will time make these sanctions harder or easier for Russia to put up with?

I would argue that these sanctions are much more damaging to the the US European colonies (known as the "EU") than for Russia. I would argue that the Russian people have a formidable resistance to hardship and that western societies are, in comparison, soft, hedonistic, lazy, spoiled and generally weak. Russians have a staying power which is simply unimaginable for a west European person (the horrible siege of Leningrad lasted 900 days!!!). Lastly, I believe that time will allow Russia to take adaptive measures to basically render these sanctions irrelevant. Furthermore, the Russian staying power under AngloZionist sanctions needs to be compared with the staying power of the Ukrainian Nazi junta to keep control of the situation. It is one thing to put up with hardship and quite another to sit on a sinking ship.


12/10/14

Permalink Merkel-Vertrauter verschärft Ton gegen Putin: „Er zerstört alles“

Angela Merkel lässt den Ton gegen Russlands Präsident Putin verschärfen. Ihr Russland-Beauftragter Gernot Erler wirft Putin vor, die europäische Friedensordnung in Frage zu stellen. Im ZDF braucht Merkel die einschlägigen Fragen des Moderators Claus Kleber gar nicht zu beantworten: Sie enthalten alle Klischees, die Merkel immer schon mal zu Putin loswerden wollte.


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