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USA

Putin congratulates Obama on Independence Day

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© ITAR-TASS/ALEXEY NIKOLSKY
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday congratulated US President Barack Obama on the US national holiday - Independence Day, the Kremlin reported Saturday.

"In his message of congratulations, the Russian President noted that, despite the differences between the two countries, Russian-American relations remain the most important factor of international stability and security," the report on the Kremlin's website said.

"Vladimir Putin expressed confidence that Russia and the USA can find solutions to the most complicated international issues and efficiently resist global threats and challenges as they base their dialogue on principles of equality and respect of each other's interests," it said.

Comment: Well, Putin is being human here but certainly has major obstacles with the US: Putin's phone call to Obama and its significance


Snakes in Suits

Governor of Odessa Saakashvili dismisses 20 senior officials

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© Mykola Lazarenko/Ukrainian presidential press service/TASS
The new chief of the Odessa regional state administration, Mikhail Saakashvili, has cracked down on the departments of internal audit and cooperation with law enforcement agencies and of the prevention of and struggle with corruption. Having heard 2014 performance reports by the heads of these two agencies last year Saakashvili said they were doing nothing and ordered the dismissal of all staff.

"You are being dismissed for doing nothing at all. People are complaining about bribers and extortions. In the meantime, you say everything is fine and nobody has been punished. We will rely on the public. We will find experienced auditors, accountants and other specialists, who will be addressing these issues instead of the negligent bureaucrats," local media quote Saakashvili as saying.

He promised that he would identify the sources of funds to pay public activists for their efforts and grant them appropriate powers.

Comment: Must be looking for more compliant people to run his office.


Attention

Egypt on the edge of a full blown civil war

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© Amr Nabil/AP
In the past days there have been dozens of separate attacks in Egypt, from the Sinai up to Cairo. Probably more than 60 people have died, when the Egyptian army used F16 fighter jets to protect itself against it disgruntled population. It is clear that the Egyptian rulers are not going to be able to contain the current situation, today could be marked as the start of Egypt's civil war.

Democratic elected governments have been violently overthrown, in Algeria, Egypt and Palestinian territories. In Algeria the FIS (Islamic Salvation Front) had won the first held elections with a convincing majority in 1990 and 1992. It has been removed from power in 1992 by a coup d'etat that was highly approved by the West. Probably 150,000 people died in the civil war that followed these events up.

HAMAS winning the 2006 elections in the Palestinian territories resulted in a war among Palestinians and ended up with a split of Gaza and the West Bank.

In 2011 Morsi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood won the first free elections in Egypt.

In 2013 the first elected president of Egypt was removed by the army. There are clear signs that anti-democratic forces were deliberately destabilizing Egypt before the coup d'etat in 2013. In the running up of the July 3th coup by General Sisi an artificial oil shortages was created that contributed to the mass protest against the elected president of Egypt.

Comment: And the violence in Sinai continues:
Egyptian armed forces have killed over 200 militants in North Sinai in the past three days, a military source told Sputnik Saturday.

The Egyptian forces launched a military operation against the radicals and targeted the terrorists' positions with airstrikes.

"The total number of militants killed after the attack on army checkpoints in North Sinai has reached 205 people in the past three days," the source told Sputnik.

Wilayat Sinai, translated as the Sinai Province, is a part of the Egypt-based Ansar Bait al-Maqdis jihadist group, which pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in November 2014.



Wall Street

An Economic Hit Man speaks out: John Perkins on how Greece has fallen victim to 'Economic Hit Men'

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© Peter Thompson / The New York Times

Comment: This interview was originally done on September 11, 2014 and hopefully the Greek people are listening to this and keep this in mind as they vote on the referendum tomorrow.



John Perkins, author of
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, discusses how Greece and other eurozone countries have become the new victims of "economic hit men."

John Perkins is no stranger to making confessions. His well-known book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, revealed how international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, while publicly professing to "save" suffering countries and economies, instead pull a bait-and-switch on their governments: promising startling growth, gleaming new infrastructure projects and a future of economic prosperity - all of which would occur if those countries borrow huge loans from those organizations. Far from achieving runaway economic growth and success, however, these countries instead fall victim to a crippling and unsustainable debt burden.

That's where the "economic hit men" come in: seemingly ordinary men, with ordinary backgrounds, who travel to these countries and impose the harsh austerity policies prescribed by the IMF and World Bank as "solutions" to the economic hardship they are now experiencing. Men like Perkins were trained to squeeze every last drop of wealth and resources from these sputtering economies, and continue to do so to this day. In this interview, which aired on Dialogos Radio, Perkins talks about how Greece and the eurozone have become the new victims of such "economic hit men."

Stock Down

Déjà vu: Current Chinese stock market crash presages another financial crisis


As The South China Morning Post explains, a series of lifelines from Beijing failed to stop the slide in the mainland's stock market on Thursday, with the key Shanghai Composite Index closing below the critical 4,000 mark for the first time in almost three months.
The second largest stock market in the entire world is collapsing right in front of our eyes. Since hitting a peak in June, the most important Chinese stock market index has plummeted by well over 20 percent, and more than 3 trillion dollars of "paper wealth" has been wiped out. Of course the Shanghai Composite Index is still way above the level it was sitting at exactly one year ago, but what is so disturbing about this current crash is that it is so similar to what we witnessed just prior to the great financial crisis of 2008 in the United States. From October 2006 to October 2007, the Shanghai Composite Index more than tripled in value. It was the greatest stock market surge in Chinese history. But after hitting a peak, it began to fall dramatically. From October 2007 to October 2008, the Shanghai Composite Index absolutely crashed. In the end, more than two-thirds of all wealth in the market was completely wiped out. You can see all of this on a chart that you can find right here. What makes this so important to U.S. investors is the fact that Chinese stocks started crashing well before U.S. stocks started crashing during the last financial crisis, and now it is happening again. Is this yet another sign that a U.S. stock market crash is imminent?

Comment:

Chinese stock plunge leaves state media speechless
Preview? Greece crisis deepens, stock markets tumble


Star of David

Coincidence? Israel hit with rockets from Egypt's Sinai, ISIS affiliate claims responsibility

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© Reuters / Amir Cohen
A member of Egypt's security forces gestures as he stands on a watchtower in North Sinai as seen from across the border in southern Israel July 2, 2015.
Several rockets have struck Israel, with an ISIS-affiliated group in Egypt's Sinai claiming responsibility. There were no casualties. Some view the assault as a follow-up to July 1, the Sinai Province group's biggest one against Egyptian forces in years.

The group released a statement through its Twitter supporters claiming to have launched three Grad missiles in the direction of "occupied Palestine." The authenticity of the statement has not been verified.

Sinai, which borders the Gaza Strip, is thought to be the origin of the attack, according to an unnamed Israeli military source speaking to Reuters. The Israelis say they have so far found fragments from two rockets in the Negev region.

Comment: Interesting how these rocket attacks occur after something happens to Israel that they don't like.


Eye 2

More Congressional theater? Samantha Power's feet held to the fire over roots of Ukrainian crisis, commits felony by lying to Congress

© Unknown
The Queen of Mean - Her proxies are murdering defenseless civilians in East Ukraine and she is willing to lie under oath about it

The US Ambassador to the UN, she claims she believes majority of civilian shelling casualties are victims of the separatists.


The penalty for lying to Congress is up to 8 years of imprisonment.

Ambassador Power's testimony was the subject of a story we ran on Monday of this week, and a helpful reader got back to us and pointed out that we had missed the most important part of it.

Apparently, Ambassador Power lied to the committee she was testifying before, thereby committing a felony.

Comment: Representative Rohrabacher holds Samantha Power's feet to the fire, insisting that she recognize that the [Washington-instigated] Maidan coup was the cause of all subsequent chaos in Ukraine. But is it any more than theater at this point?


Chess

The significance of Putin's choice of words at Friday's Security Council Meeting

© Global Research
Not a man who minces words
When Vladimir Putin spoke to a meeting of Russia's Security Council on Friday he used a phrase which should have immediately caught the attention of anyone who has kept a close eye on the deteriorating relations between Russia and the West.

Referring to the sanctions imposed on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, Putin said:
"We cannot expect a change in the hostile policies of some of our geopolitical opponents in the immediate future."
Geopolitical opponents.

A Google search for that exact phrase along with Putin's name indicates that this is the first time he has used it publicly in such a context, at least in the last year, which is the timeframe the search covered.

Comment: Things are taking a turn for the even-worse. Check out: Putin's phone call to Obama and its significance


Eiffel Tower

SOTT Exclusive: UNESCO bemoans culture cleansing committed by US/NATO jihadists in Syria

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The US along with their partners in crime, which includes their terrorist mercenary proxy puppets, have been engaged in a multilevel war against their targets. Attempts at erasing the history of the targeted country is part of that strategy. The general idea seems to be a revision of history and replacing it with a more suitable version for the colonizers. Cutting the ties of targeted nations to their history makes people feel more and more alienated from their environment and contributes to the ponerization of society.

When not engaged in attacks on the population of Syria, armed with weapons supplied by the West and protected by US and Israeli Air Force, the terrorist organization known as ISIS has been busy destroying Syrian historical sites, which prompted a reaction from UNESCO.
The head of the UN cultural organisation on Wednesday called for a campaign against the "culture cleansing" being carried out by Islamic State jihadists.

"Extremists don't destroy heritage as a collateral damage, they target it systematically to strike societies at their core," Irina Bokova said in a speech at the Chatham House think tank in London.
Let's just hope this campaign doesn't include more US/NATO involvement and bombs. When NATO bombed the hell out of former Yugoslavia in order to restore 'peace and prosperity', they and their terrorist organization, KLA, caused a vast cultural cleansing alongside the cleansing of thousands of people of their lives.
The willful destruction of institutions dedicated to religion, charity, works of art and sciences and historical monuments by NATO's political and military leaders is a violation of the laws and customs of war as recognized by Article 3(d) of the ICT Statute and the Geneva Convention of 1949. UNESCO's ICOMOS identified 12 historic monuments in Kosovo, central Serbia and Vojvodina that have been totally destroyed and 39, many of which are listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List, have sustained substantial damage by NATO air raids, as of May 1, 1999.

Churches, monasteries, mosques, forts, fortresses, monuments, cemeteries, memorials, archeological sites, museums and various historic or cultural sites and their contents have been damaged and even destroyed by NATO's campaign of devastation. In addition to the structural damages sustained by these buildings, priceless and irreplaceable ancient frescos, literature, art, artifacts, and relics in many churches and monasteries are now compromised by the tremors and blasts of the NATO explosions. This damage inflicted by NATO is reprehensible and irreparable.

Furthermore, the situation has been exacerbated by the KLA. KFOR, under the auspices of NATO, is circuitously allowing the KLA to destroy, loot, burn, demolish and vandalize these sites by not enforcing the peace.

NATO's political and military leadership and its responsible personnel have demonstrated a marked disregard for Serbia's historical and religious heritage by targeting and destroying religious and historical landmarks that serve as an integral part of Serb national and religious heritage and history.
So the destruction is nothing new, it has been happening for a long time, but don't expect much outcry from Western officials when it comes to US/NATO activities, even though the actions of NATO are just as destructive as those of ISIS: "Extremists don't destroy heritage as a collateral damage, they target it systematically to strike societies at their core."

MIB

How dare they vote: False-flagging Greece into submission and chaos?


As we move closer to the 5 July referendum, it becomes clearer every day - Brussels, Washington and Berlin are waging an open "class war" against Greece, because the Greek people, the citizens of a sovereign country - the first democracy in Europe, the country that gave Europe her name - these people have had the audacity to democratically elect a socialist government. Now they have to suffer. They do not conform to the self-imposed rules of the neoliberal empire of unrestricted globalized privatization of public services and public properties from which the elite is maximizing profits - for themselves, of course - it is outright theft of public property.


The weapon is finance; the instruments are the mega-banksters of Europe and Washington. They are like dehumanized missiles. The fight is no-holds-barred - all out, no scruples. The savages of Brussels have the audacity to call for Mr. Tsipras' resignation in case the Greek referendum rejects the austerity package. - Can you imagine!

Madame Lagarde, the heartless Iron Lady of the IMF, keeps referring to the Greek government as 'children'. She keeps asking to talk to 'adults' - inferring that what Greece suggests and proposes as an alternative to the killer plan of the troika is mere child's talk. - What an abject arrogance.

And that in the face of senior IMF economists who have already months ago declared that austerity doesn't work in the case of Greece - and, in fact, in no case. To revive the economy of a country, the economy needs oxygen to breathe, to recover - just the contrary of an austerity program. Austerity is strangulation by debt and suffocation by complete annihilation of a nation's social safety net.

In the early 2000's the independent Evaluation Department of the World Bank issued an analysis of structural adjustment and so-called budget support loans of the 1990s around the world. The report was negative throughout. It was an internal report and, as far as I know, never hit the road, i.e. the media. Even as an internal report it disappeared quickly form the Bank's intranet. A 'structural adjustment' loan is exactly that - a blank check against severe austerity. Austerity doesn't work. And less so with a heavy debt burden at 6% or 7% interest, money that the ECB generates electronically (as all banks do), lends it to European predator banks in Germany, France - you name it - for 1% or less - which in turn onlend the money at usurious rates of up to 7% to Greece and other which are in the crosshairs of the troika.

Madame Lagarde of the IMF knows it; the Goldman Sachs banker who heads the European Central Bank (sic) knows it - and even in the European Commission there must be some economists who understand 101 of economics.

Comment: All eyes are on Greece at the moment - a pivotal moment in time. If the Greek vote NO, then this will force the EU - proxy for their US masters - to take the gloves off - for all people to see clearly and openly. If the Greek vote YES, this will only prolong their agony, as it is mathematically impossible for Greece to ever service the debt, which has been loaded on the Greek people by banksters of Goldman Sachs, amongst other things. And now an (ex?)Goldman Sachs shill is heading the ECB! When the fox is guarding the hen house ...

True to the motto: "Create a problem, react to it, and then offer a solution"!