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Propaganda

Propaganda Alert: Bloomberg News jumps on the "Blame Putin" train for the ruble's descent

On December 17th, Bloomberg News bannered "Putin's Secret Gamble on Reserves Backfires Into Currency Crisis" and reported that,
"As President Putin exulted at the Winter Olympics in Sochi 10 months ago, aides assured him Russia was rich enough to withstand the financial repercussions from a possible incursion into Ukraine, according to two officials involved in the talks. That conclusion now looks like a grave miscalculation. Russia has driven interest rates to punishing levels and spent at least $87 billion, or 17 percent, of its foreign-exchange reserves trying to prevent a collapse in the ruble from spiraling into a panic. So far, nothing has worked."
The team of three Bloomberg news reporters write there that, "Putin now confronts the nation's most serious economic crisis since 1998," and that the reason is "Putin's pride." They say that, "When rising crude prices were firing the economy, Russia's swelling reserves became a symbol of economic might and a point of pride for Putin."

This pride by Putin, they assert, came to the fore when he discussed in February with his advisors the following question: "Could Russia afford the economic blowback from taking over Crimea?"


Comment: As this article points out below, Russia did not "take over" Crimea. The citizens of Crimea chose to join Russia. Bloomberg News is clearly just producing government propaganda that contains no basis in fact.

Sherlock

Pakistan investigating British doctor's ties to Taliban school massacre

pakistan
© Reuters / Fayaz Aziz
A local cameraman films in front of an army soldier at the Army Public School, which was attacked by Taliban gunmen, in Peshawar, December 17, 2014.
As Britain's Pakistani community mourns the massacre of 132 children in Tuesday's school siege, a British doctor with links to the Taliban is being investigated by Pakistan's intelligence service, suspected of involvement in the attack.

Former NHS surgeon Mirza Tariq Ali fled the UK last year. He is reported to have become a senior Pakistani Taliban commander after his attempts to join Islamic State in Syria were hindered.

Comment: Let's get this straight. Ali is arrested in UK, somehow manages to 'flee' before trial, is then arrested in Croatia, deported to Pakistan, where he then joins up with the Taliban and "quickly rises" through its ranks?! Then, his prosecution in absentia is the first of its kind (how convenient!). Give us a break. His story is similar to Gladio operator Abdullah Catli and numerous other 'terrorists' who always manage to stay one step ahead of the law (e.g., escaping from military prisons). This just smacks of manufactured terror, with Anjem Choudary perhaps playing the role of a Fethullah Gulen-like handler.

Attention

Science and fraud are the same thing with biotech giant Monsanto

© nihongonews.wordpress
Imagine this. A killer is put on trial, and the jury, in a surprise verdict, finds him not guilty. Afterwards, reporters interview this killer. He says, "The jury freed me. It's up to them. They decide. That's what justice is all about."

Then the press moves along to members of the jury, who say: Well, we had to take the defendant's word. He said he was innocent, so that's what we ruled.

That's an exact description of the FDA and Monsanto partnership.

Comment: Another excellent example of The Corruption of Science in America:
Recent reviews of the GM food safety literature have found that research concluding that GM products were safe tended to come from industry and that research conducted by those with either financial or professional conflicts of interest was associated with outcomes favorable to the GM sector.

In fact, it appears in our case that consequences of conflicts of interests in science go beyond divergence in scientific interpretations and also rely on unscientific practices: confidentiality and censorship.


Green Light

Maui stands as a beacon of hope: Moving closer to beating Monsanto over new GMO Moratorium

An attorney for the SHAKA Movement in Hawaii that has been trying to uphold a democratically voted moratorium on GMOs on the island of Maui reports that residents and activists have won - an intervention in a federal lawsuit that was brought on by Monsanto and Dow trying to push their genetically modified agenda on islanders will not go through. In other words, "proponents of the recently passed GMO Initiative on Maui have been given the green light to intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging the measure."
"Honolulu attorney Michael C. Carroll, who is representing the authors of the Maui GMO initiative tells Maui Now that the group won standing on Monday to intervene in the lawsuit filed by Monsanto which seeks to delay any enforcement of the measure and ultimately to have it declared unenforceable."

Comment: Read more about the Maui GMO Moratorium:

Handcuffs

Turkey seeks warrant for CIA asset Fethullah Gulen

Gulen
© AFP Photo / Zaman Daily
Fethullah Gulen.
A prosecutor has asked a Turkish court to issue an arrest warrant for long-time Erdogan rival Fethullah Gulen, a US-based cleric, Reuters cited a government official as saying.

However, no court decision has yet been reached.

An earlier report by TRT Haber television, a Turkish state-run channel, stated that the court had already issued the warrant. The broadcaster removed the story from its website without explanation.

This comes in the wake of the last week's media raids, during which over 20 suspected Gulen supporters, including chief editors and media executives, were detained.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is accusing the self-exiled preacher of plotting to overthrow the state.

Comment: Another interesting development following Russia and Turkey's post-South Stream relationship. Gulen's U.S.-based madrassas, which span the globe (over 600 schools, with over 4 million followers), particularly in Central Asia, are widely regarded as CIA fronts. His 'schools' are banned in Russia. All signs point towards Gulen being a key player in the creation and maintenance of the U.S.'s radical Islam groups.

See also: Turkish-Russian deal taking effect? Turkey blocks 7000 ISIS supporters from entering Syria and Iraq

Piggy Bank

Russia's richest man first to bring foreign assets back home

© RIA Novosti / Maksim Bogodvid
President of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) Alisher Usmanov.
Tycoon Alisher Usmanov has become the first Russian businessman to bring the controlling stakes of his key assets, mobile phone operator Megafon and iron ore producer Metalloinvest, back to Russia, after President Putin urged companies to de-offshore.

"This step is related to the announcement by President Vladimir Putin of pursuing the de-offshorization of the Russian economy and the introduction to tax code clauses related to taxation of profits of foreign companies," USM Holdings said in a statement Friday.

On Thursday, the President reaffirmed his commitment to de - offshorization during his annual Q&A session with journalists. He stressed that his first goal was to legalize the money rather then add more money to the budget.

Bringing assets of Russian companies back and legalizing them has become one of the key points of Putin policy. There are some estimates that about US$2 trillion has fled the Russian economy in recent years. At the beginning of December President Putin announced an amnesty on all funds returning to Russia, a month after signing an anti-offshore bill curbing capital flight.

Comment: This is a promising start for Russia and Putin's amnesty plan.

Roses

The implications of renewed US-Cuba ties

Cuban President Raul Castro
© AFP Photo/Yamil Lage
Cuban President Raul Castro.
Raul Castro may have potentially made a fatal mistake that risks destroying everything the Cuban Revolution built over the past half century. By entering into a deal with the US, he's letting the wily Color Revolution fox into the hen house, and he's also betraying his multipolar Russian ally at the same time.

Havana and Washington entered into a surprise deal yesterday to historically restore their relations after engaging in a high-profile prisoner swap. Nobody was expecting such a major development to occur, making many wonder how such an impactful decision could be kept under wraps for so long. The reason being was likely that the US understood what a major hemispheric power play this was and wanted to do everything to safeguard its secret strategy. On the contrary, Cuba, whether its leadership realizes it or not, has everything to lose, and it's clear from the details that Washington was 'negotiating' from a position of strength. While Raul may have thought he could outmaneuver the imminent Color Revolution attempt that will occur after Fidel's death, he may have actually committed a Yanukovich-esque tactical mistake by trying to enter into agreement with the same forces obsessed with his ouster.

Modern Lessons

Before diving in to the nitty-gritty of Raul's decision, it is necessary to quickly take an overview of two monumental lessons of the past few years that should not have been lost on any global leader:

The Gaddafi Gamble:
The Libyan leader thought that he could safeguard his state by getting rid of his weapons of mass destruction without a Great Power negotiating on his side (as Russia did for Syria), but in reality, he unwittingly sold his country out.

The Yanukovich "Yes!":
By saying "Yes!" to working with the Color Revolutionary forces inside the country, Yanukovich guaranteed that his days would be numbered from then on out.

Lessons Lost

Raul somehow managed to not learn any of these lessons and risks the colossal mistake of abrogating both of them. Cuba is suspected of having some type of limited biological weapons program, although the true extent of it is unknown. Nonetheless, if Cuba does have some element of this (which the US has accused it of), then it's all but assured that it was a bargaining chip in the deal with the US. Although it is only speculative at the time, it could be that the US changed its regime change precondition for the restoration of ties to an ultimatum over getting rid of that Cuba's bioweapons program. If this was the case, the Raul's fate will be as good as Gaddafi's.

Comment: The following analysis is from Tim Anderson's facebook post.
It is touching to see so many people giving advice to Cuba, in view of the tsunami of US tourists - and the mini-tsunami of delegations, NGOs and spies - about to arrive on the little island. People will have to get used to this 'new' US rhetoric (it was tried in the 1970s) of 'converting them through our freedom', etc.

The corporate media will argue this for years. Cuba has seen it all before. They never wanted to cut trade and relations with the USA. They know their huge neighbour has wanted to annex them for the past 200 years. They also know these neighbours never go away.

Cuba has more experience in resistance and revolution than any of us. Almost 150 years ago they freed the slaves and began to eject all foreign powers. 130 years ago Jose Marti told them they had to fight for a 'second independence', even before the USA intervened in their independence wars. Then Fidel led them to that 'second independence', building a revolution which was never dependent on foreign powers.

When their trade with the Soviet Union collapsed, everyone thought they were finished, but they shared poverty and survived. They built one of the best health systems in the world, and are now the biggest trainers of doctors in the world. They have THE best disaster management system in the world and their closely linked civil defence is second to none.

With the greatest military power in human history less than 100 miles away, they resisted invasion and blocked 600 attempts to assassinate the leader of the revolution. In the same year they resisted invasion (1961) their mass literacy campaign did not miss a beat. Their education system is free for all for life and they are keeping it that way. They are now doing some economic reforms, but they are doing it their way. They always wanted to dismantle the US blockade and open 'normal' relations with the empire, and now they are winning. If your own experience comes close to this, fine. Otherwise, maybe we should all just take a small humble pill and observe?


Quenelle

China will not give up its partnership with Russia

Although a direct handout is unlikely, China might help the Russian economy by boosting funding for projects, mainland analysts say
© SCMP
A "Russian-doll" building in Inner Mongolia. China will not give up its partnership with Russia, an analyst says.
China is preparing to flex its financial strength amid the economic crisis in Russia as it closely watches how the slump of the Russian rouble affects cooperation between the two countries, mainland analysts have said.

They said Beijing was unlikely to send aid to Moscow, but it would boost infrastructure and investment projects to stop the collapse of the Russian economy, a result that would hurt the two nations' joint attempts to build influence in international affairs.

China and Russia have both described their relationship as reaching a "new stage" after the signing of massive cooperation deals in recent months, including an agreement for Beijing to import 38 billion cubic metres of gas annually, starting in 2019. Companies have already started talks about building the necessary pipeline to deliver the gas.

But a continued drop in the Russian economy could leave Moscow unable to complete the pipeline, and Chinese capital - possibly a concessionary loan - could be required, analysts said.

"This will affect delivery of the gas," said Wang Haiyun, a former attaché at the Chinese embassy in Moscow.

"China will actively consider whether Russia demands more Chinese investment input into the project."

In remarks seen as signaling Beijing's support for Moscow, foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Russia had enough reserves and resources to resolve the crisis.

China and Russia have long sought to present a united front on the global stage, often as a counterweight to the United States.

Comment: Despite what we may hear in the mainstream news, Russia isn't isolated. The Western propaganda is getting increasingly isolated from objective reality.

See also:

Putin's annual marathon press conference: What he isn't telling us

Paul Craig Roberts on the collapse of the ruble and the meaninglessness of markets

On economic warfare and ruble exchange rate fluctuations

Dollar

Financial market manipulation is the new trend - driving the system to collapse?

A dangerous new trend is the successful manipulation of the financial markets by the Federal Reserve, other central banks, private banks, and the US Treasury. The Federal Reserve reduced real interest rates on US government debt obligations first to zero and then pushed real interest rates into negative territory. Today the government charges you for the privilege of purchasing its bonds.

People pay to park their money in Treasury debt obligations, because they do not trust the banks and they know that the government can print the money to pay off the bonds. Today Treasury bond investors pay a fee in order to guarantee that they will receive the nominal face value (minus the fee) of their investment in government debt instruments.

The fee is paid in a premium, which raises the cost of the debt instrument above its face value and is paid again in accepting a negative rate of return, as the interest rate is less than the inflation rate.

Think about this for a minute. Allegedly the US is experiencing economic recovery. Normally with rising economic activity interest rates rise as consumers and investors bid for credit. But not in this "recovery."

Comment: Felony = serious crime

From Wikipedia:
"In the United States, where the felony/misdemeanor distinction is still widely applied, the federal government defines a felony as a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year. If punishable by exactly one year or less, it is classified as a misdemeanor."

Banks nowadays are above the law. When the banks get caught in felonies, they avoid prosecution by paying a fine. You try doing that - not a fat chance!

Radar

Those maniacs! U.S. government is seeking any excuse to go to war with Russia


The probable future of Washington D.C. and home to the most concentrated populations of psychopaths on the planet.
The world is more nervous about the drift toward nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia than at any time since 1962's Cuban Missile Crisis. When French President Francois Hollande urgently side-tracked his return-flight from a diplomatic mission recently, in order to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport, at a private room that had been scoured ahead of time to eliminate any possible bugging devices, there was speculation as to what had caused Hollande's sudden detour, and there were even rumors of a possible cause being an American "false-flag" event in the works to be blamed on Russia as a pretext for going to war against Russia, just as Russia had been falsely blamed for the Ukrainian military's downing of Malaysia's airliner MH17 on July 17th. All that was publicly released about the two-hour meeting were platitudes, hardly anything that would have justified side-tracking Hollande's flight so as to surprise intelligence agencies and be able to meet the Russian leader in an untapped room.

The level of fear is certainly rising on both sides. On the U.S. side, the CBS News Poll in summer 2007 found 6% of Americans calling Russia an "enemy"; seven years later, that same figure was 22%. However, what is not rumor nor fear, but proven fact, by Obama's own actions as will be documented here, is that he wants a war against Russia and is trying hard to get Europe (including Hollande) onboard with this goal in order to win it; and that America's Republican Party want this at least as much as he does, though the American public do not.

Comment: Can we know with dead certainty what President Vladimir Putin was actually thinking and feeling in this picture as he received this gift? Not really, of course. But one might imagine or hope that, in the knowledge of everything stated in the above article (and the knowledge of much more and much worse), arrayed against him, the country he leads, and the people he has taken responsibility for, that he enjoyed and was touched by this small moment of recognition and generosity from one of his own.

At the time of this writing over 58,000 people world-wide have have also been able to provide President Putin with a small moment of recognition; they have done so by adding their names to a letter sent to him in over 19 languages. The letter and website is called DearPutin.com. Join the chorus of conscience and let the man know that there are people in this world who see what's really happening, and care.
© Mikhail Klimentiev/RIA NOVOSTI/EPA
Russian President Vladimir Putin receives a globe during the Seliger 2014 National Youth Forum in the Tver Region, last summer.


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