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Better Earth

No, you can't go back to the USSR!

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One of the fake stories kept alive by certain American politicians, with the help of western media, is that Vladimir Putin (who, they vacuously claim, is a dictator and a tyrant) wants to reconstitute the USSR, with the annexation of Crimea as the first step.

Instead of listening to their gossip, let's lay out the facts.

The USSR was officially dissolved on December 26, 1991 by declaration №142-H of the Supreme Soviet. It acknowledged the independence of the 15 Soviet republics, and in the place of the USSR created a Commonwealth of Independent States, which hasn't amounted to much.

In the west, there was much rejoicing, and everyone assumed that in the east everyone was rejoicing as well. Well, that's a funny thing, actually, because a union-wide referendum held on March 17, 1991, produced a stunning result: with over 80% turnout, of the 185,647,355 people who voted 113,512,812 voted to preserve the USSR. That's 77.85% - not exactly a slim majority. Their wishes were disregarded.

Quenelle - Golden

The masks are off: Russian patriotism grows rapidly in the face of US and EU aggression

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© Host photo agency

The feeling of patriotism is rapidly growing in the Russian society. The US and EU policy towards Russia makes many people believe that Western countries are trying "to force Russia into a box" and that this is "a time of great opportunity" for the country, the Christian Science Monitor wrote.


Patriotism among Russian citizens is growing every day and an understanding that Western states are not friends of their country make Russians more consolidated than ever before, Christian Science Monitor correspondent Fred Weir wrote in his article.

The majority of Russian citizens approve of Crimea's entry into the Russian Federation and the protection of the interests of Russian-speaking population in Donbass by the Moscow government. The aggressive rhetoric of the West against Russia with regard to Ukrainian events revealed a huge gap between Russian and Western perceptions.

Comment: And check out what happened after the Victory Day celebrations:
If you try to dismiss any of this as Russian state propaganda, then here is something else you should be aware of. Did you hear of the spontaneously organized procession in which, after the official parade, half a million people marched through Moscow with portraits of their relatives who died in World War II? The event was called "The Eternal Regiment" (Бессмертный полк). Similar processions took place in many cities throughout Russia, and the total number of participants is estimated at around 4 million.Western press either panned it or billed it as an attempt by Putin to whip up anti-western sentiment. Now that sort of "press coverage," my fellow space travelers, is pure propaganda! No, it was an enthusiastic, spontaneous outpouring of genuine public sentiment. If you think about it just a tiny bit, nothing on this scale could be contrived artificially, and the thought that millions of people would prostitute their dead for propaganda purposes is, frankly, both cynical and insulting.

America's Achilles Heel and Russia's indomitable spirit



Eye 2

Police investigating 1,400 suspects in VIP child sex abuse inquiry

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© Various/PA/Getty/Wireimage/AFP/Reuters
Clockwise from top left: Fred Talbot, Gary Glitter, Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall, Max Clifford.
More than 1,400 suspects have been investigated by police looking into child sex abuse allegations against VIPs including politicians, celebrities and institutions.

A national police group, known as Operation Hydrant, released the figures at a briefing on its inquiry into possible links between child sex abuse investigations involving public figures currently being run by different forces across the country.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey, chair of the group, told the briefing that out of 1,433 alleged offenders identified nationwide, 76 were politicians, 43 were from the music industry, seven were from sport and 135 were from the TV, film or radio industries. Some 216 are now dead.

Comment: This disgusting rabbit hole is getting deeper and deeper!


Bad Guys

Lavrov: Events in Macedonia orchestrated from outside

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© Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov
Lavrov said that outside pressure is being put on current Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski for not agreeing to follow Western-backed sanctions against Russia and is being blamed for incompetency.
"There are attempts to pressure Gruevski's government for refusing to join in on sanctions against Russia and for backing the Turkish Stream [gas] pipeline [construction]."
Moscow is concerned over the situation in Macedonia, Lavrov said during a speech before the Russian upper house of parliament.
"The Macedonian events are quite brutal and are being orchestrated from outside."

Comment: Since Ukraine didn't work out well for the Western powers, how about creating a 'new' hotspot? The West are really getting desperate but people are seeing through these games.


USA

Why the US is finally talking to Russia

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© AP Photo/ Andrew Kravchenko, Pool
So a woman walks into a room... That's how quite a few jokes usually start. In our case, self-appointed Queen of Nulandistan Victoria "F**k the EU" walks into a room in Moscow to talk to Russian deputy foreign ministers Sergei Ryabkov and Grigory Karasin.

A joke? Oh no; that really happened. Why?

Let's start with the official reactions. Karasin qualified the talks as "fruitful", while stressing Moscow does not approve of Washington becoming part of the Normandy-style (Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France) negotiations on Ukraine. Not after the relentless demonization not only of the Kremlin but also of Russia as a whole since the Maidan coup.

Comment: The Russia and US situation is getting pretty messy with an "accident" waiting to happen.


Calculator

World debt to GDP ratio: 286 percent

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© theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Did you know that there is more than $28,000 of debt for every man, woman and child on the entire planet? And since close to 3 billion of those people survive on less than 2 dollars a day, your share of that debt is going to be much larger than that. If we took everything that the global economy produced this year and everything that the global economy produced next year and used it to pay all of this debt, it still would not be enough. According to a recent report put out by the McKinsey Global Institute entitled "Debt and (not much) deleveraging", the total amount of debt on our planet has grown from 142 trillion dollars at the end of 2007 to 199 trillion dollars today. This is the largest mountain of debt in the history of the world, and those numbers mean that we are in substantially worse condition than we were just prior to the last financial crisis.

When it comes to debt, a lot of fingers get pointed at the United States, and rightly so. Just prior to the last recession, the U.S. national debt was sitting at about 9 trillion dollars. Today, it has crossed the 18 trillion dollar mark. But of course the U.S. is not the only one that is guilty. In fact, the McKinsey Global Institute says that debt levels have grown in all major economies since 2007. The following is an excerpt from the report...
Seven years after the bursting of a global credit bubble resulted in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, debt continues to grow. In fact, rather than reducing indebtedness, or deleveraging, all major economies today have higher levels of borrowing relative to GDP than they did in 2007. Global debt in these years has grown by $57 trillion, raising the ratio of debt to GDP by 17 percentage points(Exhibit 1). That poses new risks to financial stability and may undermine global economic growth.
What is surprising is that debt has actually grown the most in China. If you can believe it, total Chinese debt has grown from 7 trillion dollars in 2007 to 28 trillion dollars today. Needless to say, that is absolutely insane...

Comment: Mega-Banks are on the brink of failure again: 'The damage will not be contained'


Cow

'Ag-gag' law targeting undercover workers adopted in North Carolina

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© Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images/AFP
Senators in North Carolina passed a bill penalizing all video and audio recording in restricted workplace areas. Critics say it unfairly targets whistleblowers. Previously passed by the House, the bill is now headed to the governor for signature.

The state Senate passed House Bill 405, titled the "Property Protection Act," by a vote of 32-13 on Monday night. The bill would allow business or property owners to press charges against employees who intentionally enter restricted areas to record sound or video, reported Raleigh television station WRAL.

North Carolina governor Pat McCrory is expected to sign the bill into law.

Comment: Yup, can't have anyone exposing what psychopaths do.


Snakes in Suits

From sugar to Monsanto

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Today's occupation of Hawaii by the Agrochemical Oligopoly

Hawai'i's year-round growing season is purportedly the main reason that the global agrochemical-seed industry has located itself in the islands. Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, Syngenta and BASF claim that they operate in Hawai'i solely because of its "natural resource competitive advantage," and that their "contributions ... are at no cost to the State." It is certainly true that Hawai'i's climate is favorable for speeding up the cultivation of herbicide-resistant seeds and testing other agricultural technologies. But a lot more than sunshine makes Hawai'i's soils ideal to growing agrochemical industry products, and the social and political arrangements that facilitate the industry's occupation of the islands are neither "natural" nor without public costs.

Comment: Pesticide & GMO companies spend big in Hawai'i
Hawai'i has become "ground zero" in the controversy over genetically modified (GMO) crops and pesticides. With the seed crop industry (including conventional as well as GMO crops) reaping $146.3 million a year in sales resulting from its activities in Hawai'i, the out-of-state pesticide and GMO firms Syngenta,Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, Dow Chemical, BASF, and Bayer Crop Science have brought substantial sums of corporate cash into the state's relatively small political arena.

These "Big 6" pesticide and GMO firms are active on the islands in a big way, making use of the three to four annual growing seasons to develop new GMO seeds more quickly. The development of new GMOs by these pesticide and seed conglomerates goes hand-in-hand with heavy pesticide use in some of the islands' experimental crop fields, new data show.

Of the "Big 6" chemical and seed companies and their trade associations lobbying and/or contributing to political candidates in Hawai'i, Bayer, Dow,CropLife America (a pesticide and agricultural chemical trade association), and the American Chemistry Council have ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

ALEC approved a "model" bill in 2013 for states to override the ability of counties and cities to democratically determine how they will regulate GMOs at the local and regional level, as CMD has reported.



Roses

Beemageddon: White House reveals national strategy to tackle honeybee decline

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© Reuters / Dominic Ebenbichler
The dwindling number of honeybees in the US has been a constant worry for farmers in recent years - and now the White House is buzzing into action. On Tuesday, the Obama administration unveiled a new strategy aimed at protecting honeybees' habitat.

The National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators will seek to manage the way forests are burned by wildfires and replanted, how offices are landscaped, and how roadside habitats where bees feed are preserved.

Drawing on the work of 14 agencies, along with the private sector, it aims to reduce honeybee colony losses during winter to no more than 15 percent within a decade. It also states that the government and private entities will restore or enhance 7 million acres of land for pollinators over the next five years.

Comment: If it wasn't for the massive loss of profit for the food companies relying on bee pollination, nothing would be done. By the time the government gets around to do anything, it may be too late.


Briefcase

The IMF leaks Greece

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© Reuters
Whenever secret or confidential information or documents are leaked to the press, the first question should always be who leaked it and why. That's often more important than the contents of what has been leaked. And since there's been a lot of hullabaloo about a leaked document the past two days, here's a closer look. Spoiler alert: the document(s) don't reveal much of anything new, despite the hullabaloo.

On Saturday, Paul Mason at Channel 4 in Britain posted an IMF document(s) that according to him says, among other things, that the IMF expects a June 5 Grexit - in one form or another - if there is no agreement before that date between Athens and its creditors, 'the institutions' (of which the IMF itself is one).

The leaking is simply what it is as long as we don't know the how and why. But the question will remain why somebody takes the risk to leak something only a small and select group of people are privy to. Is it leaked because it's politically important, does Paul Mason pay a lot of money for leaks? Or is it perhaps an intentional leak, in this case ordered by IMF higher-ups? And if so, for what reason? A veiled threat?