Puppet Masters

Piggy Bank

Bad ole Putin: Russia helping Cyprus overcome debt crisis aftermath

© RIA Novosti/Michael Klimentyev
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades during a joint news conference following Russian-Cypriot talks at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, 25 February, 2015.
Russia will continue to help Cyprus to get over its debt crisis said President Putin after talks with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades in the Kremlin. Moscow has already provided the country with a €2.5 billion loan.

"Russia will continue to provide assistance to Cyprus in liquidating the aftermath of the debt crisis," Vladimir Putin said. Russia has already given Cyprus a €2.5 billion stabilization loan on favorable terms, the president added.

Russia's VTB Capital investment bank and the Cyprus Finance Ministry successfully placed Cypriot sovereign Eurobonds worth €750 million for the first time since the crisis, Putin said. "We think that consequently Russia has contributed and continues to contribute to the normalization of the situation in the eurozone after the difficult 2011-2012 period," the President commented.

Comment: Once again Putin is showing the world how to properly interact with other countries and mutually benefit. Unlike the EU and US who only dictate, rape, steal, and plunder.

Star of David

The 15 billion dollar Israel-Jordan gas deal that will increase Israeli regional dominance

Activists outside the Jordanian Embassy in London protest the Israel-Jordan gas deal.
In the past week, international efforts have grown to prevent an Israeli-Jordanian gas deal. Jordan BDS has called upon its counterparts in the international boycott movement to stand against the deal, and on Friday, February 20th activists in Denver, London and South Africa took to the streets to join the call to action. If it goes through, the gas deal will increase Israeli dominance in the region by controlling the energy supply to bordering countries, and undermine the growing BDS movement.

The Jordan-Israel gas deal

In September 2014, Jordan's National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) signed a letter of intent with US company Noble Energy to import natural gas from the Leviathan field, located in the Mediterranean off the shores of Haifa. The Leviathan field, the largest offshore gas field found in the last decade, is co-owned between US-based Noble Energy, with only 39% shareholding of the field, and a consortium of three Israeli companies namely Delek Drilling, Avner Oil and Ratio Oil, owning majority shares in the Leviathan.

Israel is attempting to expand its hegemony in the region through energy as one of its many reactions in the face of its declining economy and worldwide boycott efforts. Israel's plan to export natural gas from the Leviathan to Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority could not only mean an economic boom, but in the in the opinion of activists and boycott proponents "would also massively undermine our collective efforts to isolate Israel."

A possible Israeli deal with the Palestinian Authority comes as Palestinians are being prohibited from extracting their own natural resources. In response, the Palestinian Boycott National Committee (BNC) held a press conference on Tuesday 17th of Feb. calling upon the PA to cancel the letter of intent it has signed with Noble and the consortium of Israeli companies to import natural gas from the Israeli-controlled gas field.

The proposed natural gas deals comes in the aftermath of Israel's atrocious attack on Gaza, which killed over 2,100 Palestinians. It is priced at $15 billion, of which $8.4 billion will go directly to the Israeli treasury that sustains occupation and apartheid and funds Israeli terror operations and atrocities.
Eye 1

CIA to increase spying on Twitter and Facebook

Buried in a news article Tuesday is a nugget of a story that could send privacy advocates reeling: the CIA is planning to increase spying on Facebook pages and tweets.

What's more, the plan to increase cyber espionage has set of an intradepartmental feud. According to the Washington Post, the head of the agency's clandestine service recently resigned, in part over objections to the plan. CIA director John Brennan "quickly replaced him with a longtime officer who had led an internal review panel that broadly endorsed [his] reform agenda."

The CIA has long spied on Facebook and Twitter in its research on foreign governments and potential terrorists. The agency's cyber espionage arm employs staff with master's degrees in library science and languages who try to detect trends of public opinion; reportedly they caught whiff of the recent Egyptian uprising before it occurred. It also oversees the "Open Source Center," which is charged with scouring publicly available data.
War Whore

FBI busts 3 immigrants in Brooklyn for 'attempting to join ISIS' - Meanwhile the Pentagon drops them weapons and supplies...

© Reuters/Lucas Jackson
Knock Knock... we heard you're looking to join ISIS?
Three Brooklyn men accused of planning to join Islamic State in Syria have been arrested by authorities in the United States. Had they failed to join the extremist group, the men allegedly planned to return to the US and wage attacks there.

The men — Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, also known as "Abdulloh Ibn Hasan," Akhror Saidakhmetov and Abror Habibov, according to an affidavit — were arrested overnight Tuesday evening and named in a criminal complaint unsealed in the Eastern District of New York on Wednesday. They are expected in court later that day.

Comment: Well, thankfully for the FBI they all have thoroughly muslim-sounding names, which should mean an easy conviction.

Juraboev, 24, Saidakhmetov, 19, and Habibov, 30, are all residents of Brooklyn. Saidakhmetov is a Kazakh national while Habibov and Juraboev are Uzbek nationals. All three face charges of attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to the group calling itself Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

"The defendants looked to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant by flying to Turkey in a vain attempt to evade detection," said Diego Rodriguez, the Federal Bureau of Investigation assistant director in charge.

"And several of the defendants planned to commit acts of terror here - in America - if they could not travel, to include killing FBI agents. The defendants violated the true tenants [sic] of their faith in pursuit of their radical, violent agenda."

Comment: Not anyone, Loretta, in fact very few threatening folks are actually prosecuted. Let's not forget that cops are killing and sexually assaulting people left and right, beating up cookie-bearing grandma's, tasering and beating elderly men, and getting away with it.

Heck, that last link tells the story of a man who was shot 16 times, while he slept, by an officer on duty.... no charges will be filed against the officer. A swat team flash-banged a sleeping baby in a crib - disfiguring him for life - no charges, the department is even refusing to cover his medical bills. Aiyana Stanley-Jones, age 7, was shot and killed during a police raid on her home, no charges against the officer there either. Even teenagers making out in cars are at risk from trigger-happy police.

Obviously, these arrests are more about perception management and public relations... it's brilliant marketing. Arrest three muslim sounding guys who 'pledged' their support for ISIS and it's a huge victory for the 'good guys'. Meanwhile the pentagon continues to drop supplies, weapons and ammo directly to ISIS... perhaps the FBI should head over there and make some arrests.


Top international banks under investigation for precious metals price fixing

Gold is poured into a mould during processing at the PT Antam Tbk. precious metal refinery in Jakarta January 15, 2009.
The US Department of Justice is in the early stages of an investigation into at least 10 international banks—including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Barclays—over alleged manipulation of the precious metals market.

HSBC included in its annual report, published Monday, that the antitrust division of the Justice Department asked the bank to submit documents related to an investigation into the price setting of gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

The report added that the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) subpoenaed HSBC Bank USA for information on its precious metals trading. The bank said it was cooperating with American officials.

According to reports, the other banks involved in the investigation include Bank of Nova Scotia, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Societe Generale, Standard Bank and UBS.

The banks have yet to comment, although HSBC confirmed the investigation was "at an early stage." Barclays will have to reveal if they are involved when it releases its annual report next week, accordingto The Independent newspaper.

Investors and jewelers in the US have already sued a handful of top financial firms for an alleged eight-year manipulation of platinum and palladium prices. Those accused include units of Goldman Sachs Group (the world's biggest global investment bank), HSBC Holdings (Europe's largest bank by market value), the metals unit of the world's largest chemical company, BASF and Standard Bank Group from South Africa — the world's largest producer of platinum and second largest producer of palladium after Russia.

Documentary: Зaшto? (Why?) - Revisiting NATO atrocities in Yugoslavia

Marking 15 years since the NATO invasion of Yugoslavia, Russia Today aired "Zashto?" ("Why?"), an exclusive documentary film produced by the channel's journalists.

Serbian Jelena Milincic and American Anissa Naouai talk to witnesses of the tragic events of 1999. The bombings of present-day Serbia were part of Operation Allied Force, which lasted 78 days and resulted in more than 2,000 civilian casualties, including 88 children. The Serbian government estimates that at least 2,500 people died and 12,500 were injured.

"Zashto?" premiered on RT International on March 24, 2014.


Putin: Gas supplies to Europe could suffer in 3-4 days if Kiev doesn't pay

Russian President Vladimir Putin
© RIA Novosti/Sergey Guneev
Russia will cut off gas supplies to Ukraine if Kiev fails to pay in "three or four days," President Vladimir Putin said, adding that this "will create a problem" for gas transit to Europe.

"Gazprom has been fully complying with its obligations under the Ukraine gas supply contract and will continue doing that," Putin told reporters after talks with the president of Cyprus on Wednesday. "The advance payment for gas supply made by the Ukrainian side will be in place for another three to four days. If there is no further prepayment, Gazprom will suspend supplies under the contract and its supplement. Of course, this could create a certain problem for [gas] transit to Europe to our European partners."

However, Putin expressed the hope that it would not come to that, stressing that "it depends on the financial discipline of our Ukrainian partners."

Comment: Will this be the last week Ukraine receives gas from Gazprom? Europe hopes not.

Black Magic

Why Minsk 2.0 was dead on arrival: U.S. wants war, not peace

When the Minsk II agreement was officially announced on February 12, 2015, there was, for the first time in many months, a real belief that a cessation of hostilities was at the very least possible, if only conceptually. It seemed that the parties to the conflict finally had a framework within which they could move toward a peaceful settlement to end the dreadful war that has claimed the lives of thousands of innocent civilians in Donetsk, Lugansk, and surrounding areas. But perhaps this was simply wishful thinking.

While the "Normandy 4" (France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine) were negotiating the terms of the agreement, developments on the ground in Donetsk and Lugansk told quite a different story. Ukrainian forces continued their criminal shelling of civilians in Donetsk, while the anti-Kiev rebels continued sporadic fighting around Debaltsevo. Of course a war is always messy, and one cannot expect fighting to halt, or even necessarily decrease, while political leaders sit around the table.

But the continuation of military hostilities was not the only issue. Rather, actions taken by Kiev's military and fascist paramilitaries, in addition to their patrons in Washington, demonstrated that, rather than peace, the US-Kiev faction was interested in escalation.

Comment: If the Minsk agreements were followed, the conflict could be over. Ukrainians want that. Novorossiyans want that. But the U.S. doesn't. In that case, the U.S. might get what they've been provoking: a Russian response. But if the past sets any precedents, chances are it will be in a form they do not expect. See: Putin interviewed by VGTRK: "Extreme measures" if Kiev violates Minsk agreements?

But despite Kiev's intransigence, Novorossiya continues to follow the agreements, and have begun withdrawing heavy weaponry after Saturday's prisoner exchange:

Stock Down

Ukrainian supermarkets impose rationing as falling hryvnia causes shopping binge

© Reuters/Eduard Korniyenko
Ukrainian supermarkets have imposed rationing of basic products after the drastic fall in the value of the hryvnia. The currency has lost 70 percent of its value causing people to stockpile food and buy electronics as a hedge.

Restrictions apply for goods such as cooking oil, flour and sugar, Ukraine's news agency UNN reports Wednesday. Retailers may sell no more than two bottles of sunflower oil, and two packs of buckwheat per customer and, depending on the store, from 3 to 5 kilograms of flour and sugar.

Bread, rice, potatoes, meat and milk are not yet rationed, but are not so plentiful on supermarket shelves.

Stores have also seen higher demand for household appliances, as people consider consumer electronics an investment as prices increase on a daily basis, RIA reports. Inflation in Ukraine is expected to reach 27 percent by the end of 2015.

Comment: It's not looking good for the Kiev government as the economy spirals out of control and no consensus on how to solve the problem.

Ukraine PM demands urgent parliament coalition meeting on stabilizing financial system:
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has demanded on Wednesday an urgent meeting of the parliamentary coalition for adopting a number of laws to stabilize the country's financial system.

"I request the parliamentary coalition to immediately gather for an extraordinary parliament meeting on stabilizing the Ukrainian financial system," the premier said at a meeting of the Ukrainian government.

"The whole package of bills for getting IMF assistance part of which will be used for gold and currency reserves and make it possible to stop the panic and recover the [hrivnya] exchange rate is already in the parliament," Yatsenyuk said. "We've held consultations with all coalition factions, except the largest [Petro Poroshenko bloc]. There was no major disagreement on these bills."

"Together with Finance Minister [Natalya Yaresko] we'll go to [Petro] Poroshenko now and ask him to invite [National Bank head Valeria] Gontareva to report the real state of affairs - which measures are being taken and how to restore Ukrainians' confidence in the national banking system," said Yatsenyuk.

Gold Seal

Turn yourself in, Mr. Secretary of State! A Ukrainian's open letter to John Kerry

John Kerry
© Unknown
US Secretary of State John Kerry in 1971 protesting the war in Vietnam. When it comes to selling out John Kerry has no equals.
I am a citizen of Ukraine - a poor country, located in Eastern Europe. They say that George Bush Jr. couldn't find it on the map. Maybe that's why the war here began only now, after Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other countries were freed from authoritarianism and to which the great USA brought democracy and prosperity.

But our time has now come. Desperate Ukraine is becoming more and more like the good old USA of your youth - the USA of Senator Joseph McCarty, Dr. Strangelove and the war in Vietnam. Our economy is in deep crisis, the Euromaidan 'reforms' are bringing catastrophic success, and the army is heroically retreating before the enemy.

Comment: The US has a very long and complex history of instigating unconstitutional coups d'etat. But this time, in Ukraine, they are actively working with neo-Nazis to 'ethnically cleanse' the country. For more info, check out: