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Why China's slowdown will lead to sustainable growth

© Jason Lee
In less than a week China's modest, by-the-book devaluation of its currency appears to have escalated into a full-scale political crisis, complete with reports of a Mao-style purge of top leaders and tanks in Tiananmen Square. Suddenly, the world's highest-flying economy appears headed for the brick wall of reality.

Reality doesn't mean early onset doom and gloom.

The danger of making 2 plus 2 equal 5 or 6 in this volatile interim is all too real. So is another week of panic in the bond and equity markets—as bad as or worse than the wholly unwarranted freak-out we've just been through.

Handcuffs

Clean slate: New Ferguson judge voids 10,000 arrest warrants

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© Kate Munsch / Reuters
Police guard the Municipal Court in Ferguson, Missouri, March 2015.
The new municipal judge in Ferguson has recalled all arrest warrants issued before 2015. The decision gives many residents of the troubled Missouri city a fresh start, just days before a court reform law is to take effect.

Issued by Ferguson Municipal Court Judge Donald McCullin, the order applies to all arrest warrants prior to December 31, 2014, whether for minor traffic violations or more serious offenses. Close to 10,000 warrants are affected by the decision, municipal prosecutor Stephanie Karr told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"These changes should continue the process of restoring confidence in the court, alleviating fears of the consequences of appearing in court, and giving many residents a fresh start," said McCullin, who was appointed to the post in June. His predecessor, Ronald Brockmeyer, resigned in March following a scathing Department of Justice report accused Ferguson of unconstitutional practices and racial profiling.

Comment: Wow, a town of 21,000 voids 10,000 arrest warrants! That is almost half of the population! This seems like great news but will do little to really change the town's image of racial profiling.


Light Saber

Lavrov: Russia and China are stalwart opponents of imposing will over sovereign states and attempts to rewrite history

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© Vladimir Astapkovich / RIA Novosti
Rewriting history shatters the pillars of the world order perpetuated by the UN Charter, Russia's foreign minister said in an article published in Russian and Chinese media. The world's fate cannot be held in the hands of just one state, he added.

Sergey Lavrov's article 'History Lessons and New Frontiers' has been published in Russian Rossiyskaya Gazeta and the Chinese People's Daily along with a piece by China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

"Today we see barefaced craving to falsify the history of war (WWII) and equalize victims and slaughterers. This urge does not only revolt feelings of our people, but also undermines the basis of the modern world order perpetuated in the United Nations' Statute," Lavrov wrote.

It is highly important that Russia and China present a united front in persistently presenting the historical truth, Lavrov stressed, paying special attention to the significance of Chinese leader Xi Jinping's visit to Russia on the Victory Day and the march of Chinese soldiers on Red Square during the celebrations.

Comment: It's easy to see why Russia and China are painted as villains by the West when you read Lavrov's words. The U.S. believes in the exact opposite of what they do. Since the leaders of the U.S. are bound and determined to hold full hegemonic control of the world, they cannot let either country get enough control to change the global geopolitical makeup. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for humanity, they are failing.


Light Sabers

The West continues spreading the myth of the Russian threat

© Flickr/ Michael Baird
Not a week goes by without the Pentagon carping about an ominous Russian "threat".

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey entered certified Donald "known unknown" Rumsfeld territory when he recently tried to conceptualize the "threat"; "Threats are the combination, or the aggregate, of capabilities and intentions. Let me set aside for the moment, intentions, because I don't know what Russia intends."

So Dempsey admits he does not know what he's talking about. What he seems to know is that Russia is a "threat" anyway — in space, cyber space, ground-based cruise missiles, submarines.

And most of all, a threat to NATO; "One of the things that Russia does seem to do is either discredit, or even more ominously, create the conditions for the failure of NATO."

So Russia "does seem" to discredit an already self-discredited NATO. That's not much of a "threat".

All these rhetorical games take place while NATO "does seem" to get ready for a direct confrontation with Russia. And make no mistake; Moscow does view NATO's belligerence as a real threat.

Eye 2

U.S. complicity in war crimes and genocide in Yemen met with media silence

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© Khaled Abdullah / Reuters
In the latest atrocity in Yemen, Saudi warplanes bombed a residential area, killing at least 65 people. Most of the victims are reported to be civilians from the Salah district of Taiz, Yemen's third largest city.

The apparent war crime committed has tragically become an almost daily occurrence during five months of relentless aerial bombardment of Yemen by a Western-backed coalition of foreign powers.

In recent days, there were similar air strikes on civilian centers in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida and the northern province of Saada. In the Hodeida strike, which killed several dock workers, the British charity Save the Children said it believed the attack was a deliberate bid by the Saudis to sabotage aid supplies to the civilian population.

Surely, this should be front page news, with CNN, the BBC and France 24, among other big Western media outlets, splashing it as their top story. The onus is on them because their governments are implicated in grave crimes. However, there has been no news coverage of the tragic events. Aside from some brief, vague reports of a generalized humanitarian crisis, there has been a wall of silence as to how the Western-backed Saudi-led coalition is pulverizing Yemeni civilians and creating the crisis. That suggests a deliberate blackout by Western media.


Eye 1

Police in Baltimore using 'Stingray' surveillance technology for common crimes and then conceal usage

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© Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
Baltimore PD, like many other US police forces, increasingly employs indiscriminate 'Stingray' surveillance technology for common, petty crimes while concealing that usage from suspects, their attorneys, and judges, according to a new report.

Long billed as a groundbreaking tool to thwart terror plots or other major crimes, a suitcase-sized cell-site simulator was used by the Baltimore Police Department to nab a phone thief, catch a woman who sent "threatening and annoying" text messages, and someone who stole credit cards to pay two months' rent at a self-storage unit.

Surveillance records show that Baltimore police used stingray technology in 837 criminal cases identified by USA Today. In addition, Baltimore authorities routinely hid proof of stingray usage in court, with about a third of cases ending up in dismissal and only about a 50-percent conviction rate.

Maryland state law requires defense lawyers to be told about any use of electronic surveillance.

Comment: See also:


Magnify

The Guardian continues to spread propaganda on Latin America

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The Guardian's columnist David Hill wrote an article on recent opposition riots in Ecuador. It is one-sided and full of misrepresentations. Here is why. A recent article by The Guardian's environment writer David Hill on the recent protests in the Ecuador was titled "Protests by 1,000s of Ecuadorians met with brutal repression." It claimed the police were teargassing and clubbing protesters in capital Quito, while in other regions the police were "specifically targeting female protestors' 'intimate parts.'"

While Hill's bio on The Guardian states that he is a "freelance writer based in the Amazon," teleSUR English is based in Quito and has been covering the protests in the country over the past few months and was on the ground and witnessed and reported significantly different scenes from this week's protests in Quito.

teleSUR English's team put together a video that demonstrates how Hill's article was riddled with errors and misrepresentations and how The Guardian got Latin America wrong, yet again.


Eye 2

Netanyahu's blunders: The latest Israeli false flag and 'the end of Israeli military power'

Israel's broad air assault on Syria has nothing to do with retaliation, no more than the massive assault on Gaza had anything to do with Hamas rocket assaults on Israeli villages, assaults confirmed only by Israeli sources.

There is a real purpose to the timing of this Israeli attack and that is the promise of Russia to deliver a fully upgraded S300 system to Iran, one that totally nullifies Israel's air advantage and even Israel's ability to hit Iran with nuclear armed ICBMs.

The recent attack on Syria is, in actuality, an attempt on Israel's part to discredit President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov. What few if any in the west understand is how thoroughly Putin has humiliated Netanyahu, a man whose mental stability has long been in question.


Comment: Yes, Russia is a big thorn in the side of the world's real terrorists:

Quenelle - Golden

'Unacceptable' - Lavrov blasts plans for Balkanization of Iraq

© Maxim Shemetov / Reuters
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
The idea of partition for Iraq would never be agreed by Moscow, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov said, stressing that this kind of 'state structure manipulation' is obsolete and Iraqis should define the future of their country themselves

"We would never adopt a position voiced without any constraint by US Vice President Joe Biden, who said directly that Iraq should be split into Shia and Sunni parts and that the Kurds should be given what they want," Lavrov told the participants of the youth forum 'Territory of meanings' near Moscow.

Lavrov labeled Biden's position as "highly irresponsible and what's more important - unacceptable," because someone from overseas is lecturing Iraqi people on what to do with their country.

Comment: Also see: Why Israel is in love with Kurdistan


Eye 2

Gaza still in ruins a year after Israeli destruction


File photo of Palestinian homes and buildings destroyed by Israeli airstrikes.
A year after Israel launched premeditated aggression on Gaza last July, the Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement said:
"(T)he Strip remains in ruins, light years away from the reconstruction many had hoped for.

Despite the growing recognition amongst the Israeli security establishment that Gaza's rehabilitation is a precondition to regional stability and security, Israel continues to impose sweeping, arbitrary restrictions on travel and on movement of commercial goods. Today, access remains the exception, rather than the rule."
Unemployment exceeds 40% - for youths around 60%. "(N)o significant rebuilding is taking place and civilian infrastructure has not even been restored to its state prior to the operation. Poverty and aid dependence are rampant." Widespread destruction was overwhelming.

Comment: Also see: The historical perspective of the 2014 Gaza Massacre