Puppet Masters


Chinese president travels to Latin America: secures oil, gold deals with Venezuela; visits Argentina, Cuba

© AFP/Leo Ramirez
Chinese President Xi Jinping has signed a row of oil and mineral deals with Venezuela. The Chinese leader is on a four-country tour of Latin America aimed to increasing influence in the region.

The 38 economic agreements are related to the production and development of Venezuelan oil and agriculture, as well as social and cultural expansion, says the BBC. The deals provides a credit line of $4 billion in return for Venezuelan oil and oil products, as well as allocating $691 million to explore Venezuela's gold and copper reserves, and an agreement to develop the countries' third jointly-owned satellite.

China is the second-largest market for Venezuelan oil after the United States.

The underlying purpose of the visit has been to secure more natural resources from Latin America to fuel China's long term economic expansion, BBC cites analysts. The Venezuela negotiations were preceded by visits to Brazil and Argentina.

At the BRICS summit in Brazil the Chinese leader, along with the other emerging powers Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, launched a $100 billion BRICS Development Bank and a reserve currency pool worth over another $100 billion. Both will counter the influence of Western-based lending institutions and the dollar.

  • De-Dollarization of world in process: BRICS nations forming anti-dollar alliance


BRICS establishes fairer alternative in global economic system dominated by greedy Western powers

© AFP Photo/Yasuyoshi Chiba
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (R) makes a speach during the 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, on July 15, 2014
By creating their own multilateral financial institutions, the BRICS emerging-market powers are shaking up global economic governance but remain far from dismantling the post-war system dominated by the West.

For the past 70 years, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have been the pillars of the world's economic system, coming to the rescue of countries in trouble and supporting development projects, respectively.

Comment: The idea that the IMF and World Bank "came to the rescue of countries in trouble" is one much espoused through the mainstream media, but the reality is that they do anything but rescue those countries. The truth is that those institutions have been at the heart of allowing foreign corporations to invade poor countries and strip them of their natural resources and raw materials, all for the gain of the greedy 1%. The only thing these institutions have been the pillar of is increasing the wealth and power of the psychopathic elite.

But the Bretton Woods institutions are regularly criticised for their inability to reflect the growing and important contributions of the major emerging economies to the global economy.

China, the world's second-largest economy, continues to have just slightly more voting power in the IMF than Italy, about five times smaller. And, since their creation in 1944, the IMF and the World Bank have only been led by Americans and Europeans.

UK police frequently deploy tasers at point-blank range - 'purely a means of pain compliance'

© AFP/Carl De Souza
Police Tasers are under scrutiny in the UK after a report revealed they are frequently deployed at point-blank range, contrary to official training, leading to a spike in complaints. The report called the practice "purely a means of pain compliance."

Britain's Independent Police Complaints Commission said a technique known as "drive stun", when a Taser is applied directly to the flesh and the trigger pulled with no probes being fired, is still being used in 16 percent of firings, despite officers no longer being trained to use it in this fashion.

In 2013, Tasers were deployed 10,380 times across England and Wales, provoking 154 complaints, 15 of which related to "drive stun" incidents.

The report also raises concerns about the use of Tasers on people in police custody, and on vulnerable people such as the mentally ill and young people. It also questioned why some smaller police forces were more likely to use them.
Snakes in Suits

IRS testifies to Congress that even more computer crashes and lost emails exist

© AP
Lois Lerner
IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total number of crash victims to "less than 20," and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are still backed up somewhere.

The new round of computer crash victims includes David Fish, who routinely corresponded with Lois Lerner, as well as Lerner subordinate Andy Megosh, Lerner's technical adviser Justin Lowe, and Cincinnati-based agent Kimberly Kitchens.

"You stated at the time that document was produced to Congress, the document, the white paper in Exhibit 3[the June 13 memo], that it was accurate to the best of your knowledge. Is it still accurate?," a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigator asked Kane.

"There is an issue as to whether or not there is a ‑‑ that all of the backup recovery tapes were destroyed on the 6‑month retention schedule," Kane replied.

"So some of those backup tapes may still exist?," the investigator asked.

"I don't know whether they are or they aren't, but it's an issue that's being looked at," Kane said.

Russia to cancel duty-free trade with Ukraine after Kiev's decision to sign economic pact with EU


Russia reported to be cancelling duty–free trade with Ukraine — RT Business
The duty-free trade deal between Russia and Ukraine is coming to an end. Russia says fundamental changes mean that it will invoke Article 62 of the Vienna Declaration to terminate the understanding.

The move comes as Russia insists it needs to protect domestic markets after Ukraine signed the Association Agreement on June 27, which gives Kiev duty-free trade status with the European Union.

The cancellation of the duty-free relationship with Ukraine will lead to higher import tariffs of around 7.8 percent.

"The circumstances that existed in the time when the CIS free trade area agreements were signed have significantly changed for Ukraine which is historically the main trade partner of Russia being deeply integrated in many areas of the economy," RIA quotes a source from the government familiar with the situation.

Comment: Russia previously warned the Ukrainian government that there would be significant economic consequences to signing this pact with the EU:

Ukraine trade agreement with EU will mean economic suicide says Putin's aide

To deal or not to deal? Ukraine's EU-Russia crossroads in facts and numbers

Eye 1

Britain does U-turn on ex-KGB spy Litvinenko murder inquiry

© Unknown
poisoned former spy Alexander Litvinenko
Britain announced on Tuesday it would hold a public inquiry into the death of a former Russian spy who accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder, but denied the decision was linked to the Ukraine crisis.

A year ago, the British government declined to order an inquiry into the killing of ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died after drinking tea poisoned with a radioactive isotope in a London hotel in 2006. That led to accusations Britain was appeasing the Kremlin, which has always denied involvement.

Tuesday's announcement comes as Prime Minister David Cameron leads calls for hard-hitting sanctions against Russia, including freezing the assets of Putin's close allies, after the downing of Malaysian airliner MH17 in a pro-Russian rebel-held part of Ukraine last week.

A spokesman for Cameron denied there was a connection between the decision to hold an inquiry and the Ukraine crisis.

"I can very clearly and firmly say there isn't a link," he told reporters.

Litvinenko's wife Marina said she too believed the decision had not been taken as a result of events in Ukraine.

"I am definitely sure it was not taken because of this (the Ukraine situation)," she told reporters. "I was waiting for this since February. I believed one day it would happen."

She told a news conference she did not expect the inquiry would lead to the extradition of her husband's suspected killers from Russia, but would reveal what happened to him.

"I do this not against Russia. I do this for justice, for truth," she said.

The inquiry will be chaired by Robert Owen, the judge in charge of the inquest into Litvinenko's death who has said there is evidence indicating Russian involvement in the murder, Home Secretary Theresa May said in a statement.

Owen himself had called for an inquiry, saying the inquest - a British legal process held in cases of violent or unnatural deaths - could not get to the truth because he could not consider secret evidence held by the British government.

Comment: With the current anti-Russia rhetoric in Westminster (and abroad), of course there "isn't a link" Mr Cameron!
see also:
Litvinenko - By Way Of Deception - Part 1
Litvinenko - By Way Of Deception - Part 2
Litvinenko And The Apartheid State Of Israel


Russia has 10 more questions to pose to Ukraine, U.S. over MH17 crash

Media conference in Moscow over mh17
© RIA Novosti / Vadim Savitsky
Head of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov ( left) and chief of the Air Force Main Staff Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev ( right) at a media conference in Moscow, July 21
Russia has released military monitoring data, which shows Kiev military jets tracking the MH17 plane shortly before the crash - and posed yet another set of questions to Ukraine and the US over the circumstances of the tragedy.

Military officials - chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov and chief of the Air Force Main Staff Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev - posed a number of questions to Kiev and Washington concerning the possible causes of the catastrophe in Eastern Ukraine that killed almost 300 people last Thursday.

1. Why did the MH17 plane leave the international corridor?

"Please note that the plane stayed within the corridor until it reached Donetsk but then it deviated from the route to the north," said Kartopolov.

2. Was MH17 leaving the route a navigation mistake or was the crew following instructions by Ukrainian air traffic controllers in Dnepropetrovsk?

"The maximum deviation from the left border of the corridor was 14 km. Following that, we can see the plane maneuvering to return to the corridor, yet the Malaysian crew did not get a chance to complete the maneuver. At 17.20, the plane began to lose speed, and at 17.23 it disappeared from Russian radars."

Comment: 10 questions the Russians have for Ukraine after crash of MH17


Accusations Israel using flechette weapons on Palestinian civilians

Israeli tanks firing
© rt.com
Israeli tanks firing on Gaza, stand accused of using flechette weapons on civilians.
The Israeli military has been accused of using flechette shells during its offensive in Gaza, which can cause widespread harm and death to civilians. The weapons, though legal in Israel and internationally, have been slammed as inhumane by rights groups.

Flechette shells
© www.scmp.com
Flechette dart weapons
The munitions are normally fired by tanks and contain thousands of small darts, which are released when the shell explodes in midair. The flechette shells are only four centimeters in length.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reported that Israel has already used six shells, which were fired towards the village of Khuzaa in the Gaza Strip. Nahla Khalil Najjar, a 37 year-old women, suffered injuries to her chest, it said. PCHR provided a picture of flechettes taken by a fieldworker last week, the Guardian reported.

The Israel Defense Forces have not denied using the shells during the two week long conflict. "As a rule, the IDF only employs weapons that have been determined lawful under international law, and in a manner which fully conforms with the laws of armed conflict," a spokesman for the Israeli army stated.

The shells are not illegal under international humanitarian law, while the internet site, electronicintifada, which champions the Palestinian cause, reports that Israel has been using the munitions since March 2000. Flechette shells were declared legal by the Israeli Supreme Court in 2002.

Comment: Otherwise known as "deadly metal rain," armor-piercing steel flechettes inflict wounds indiscriminately. As a Direct Injection Antipersonnel Chemical Biological Warfare Agent, microflechette projectiles deliver toxins in addition to ballistic wounds. They were air-dropped in WWI by Allied forces and used in the Vietnam War by the U.S. infantry and tank divisions. Claims that flechette shells were used in the Russia-Georgia war are still under investigation. They can be fired from rocket launchers or hand-held firearms and a variety of shapes can increase wounding capacity.

Black Magic

Poroshenko ceasefire doesn't stop Ukraine air force striking 30km from plane crash site

Wreckage of flight mh17
© AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic
Ukrainian State Emergency Service employees search for bodies amongst the wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Grabove, in the region of Donetsk on July 20, 2014.
The Ukrainian air forces have carried out a missile strike in 30 kilometers from the Malaysian MH17 plane crash site - despite the 40-kilometer ceasefire, Ria Novosti news agency reported.

About 11.30 local time (8.30 GMT), two Ukrainian military planes, thought to be Su-25s, were spotted in the skies above the town of Shakhtersk, which is 30 kilometers from the crash site.

Missiles hit a field near the town - one of them exploded 200 meters from a check-point, according to a Ria Novosti correspondent.

A crater was seen at the spot of the explosion. As yet, there have been no reports of any victims.

On Monday Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered a ceasefire within a radius of 40km from the crash site of Malaysian Airways flight MH17 in Donetsk Region.

Comment: All that comes out of Kiev is just lies! A ceasefire is double-speak for ceasefire for the federalists only. The junta is seeing this ceasefire as an opportunity to hit back agressively at the federalists and take this area over. There is also a lot pointing to that Poroshenko is not in control of the nazis in control of the Ukrainian army.

And the U.S. is only blaming and blaming with no evidence forthcoming, just like in the Syria gas attack and further back with the non-existing WMD of Saddam Hussein.

MH17: Putin's missile? Nope
10 questions the Russians have for Ukraine after crash of MH17
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 downed over warzone Ukraine. Who was behind it? Cui Bono?

Heart - Black

The slaughter continues: 600 deaths in Gaza, Israeli military hits mosques, stadium, homes, hospital

Gaza bombed
© Agence France-Presse/Said Khatib
Palestinian boys walk past debris, including Korans and other items from a mosque destroyed in an overnight Israeli military strike, on July 22, 2014, in Rafah the southern Gaza Strip
Israel kept up attacks on Gaza on Tuesday, killing three Palestinians and hitting over 70 targets, including five mosques, a sports stadium and the home of the deceased Hamas military chief.

The latest casualties in the fortnight-long violence have brought the Palestinian death toll to 570, according to AP.

Almost 100 of them are children and many others are civilians.

Comment: I doubt that the murdered children agree with Ismail Haniyeh on that one, or that the blockade will ever come to an end, unless he means the blood of every single one of them. Because the Israeli government has shown repeatedly that this is exactly what they mean.