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Report: Israel killed, injured more civilians with explosive weapons than any other state

© Mohammed Asad APA images
Damage caused by Israeli explosives remains visible in this mosque and many other buildings in Gaza.
Israel killed and injured more civilians with explosive weapons than any other state in the world in 2014 due to its military assault on Gaza. This is according to a new report by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), an organization that tracks the global impact of explosive weapons on civilians.

The report defines explosive weapons as "munitions such as air-dropped bombs, mortars, improvised explosive devices and artillery shells" which cause "deaths, injuries and damage by projecting explosive blast, heat and often fragmentation around a point of detonation."

While both state and non-state groups contributed to civilian casualties in 2014, states were responsible for 28 percent of civilian injuries and deaths, a sharp 17 percent rise from the previous year. This was due in large part to Israel's military assault on Gaza, which accounted for 44 percent of all explosive violence in 2014.

Comment: While Israel and its apologists continue to claim they do not deliberately target the civilian population, the facts speak otherwise:


Star of David

Israel to fully encircle itself with completion of fortified fence

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© Reuters / Juan Medina
The Security Cabinet of Israel has approved construction of new sections of the fortified fence on its border with Jordan. When finished, it will fence Israel off from the outside world completely.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is going to finalize fortification of the national borders with constructing a barrier on the remaining parts of the frontier.

The 30km border fence running north of the port of Eilat in the southern part of the Red Sea is supposed to prevent African migrants and "armed jihadi infiltrators" from entering Israel via Jordan, Reuters reports.

Netanyahu stressed that the fence will be constructed exclusively on Israeli territory, "without in any way harming the sovereignty or national interests of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan."


Comment: As if Netanyahu cares at all about harming the sovereignty of anyone. Puh-leeze!


Hardhat

Who needs the West? China begins construction of gas pipeline to Russia

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© Reuters / Sergei Karpukhin
China has officially started construction of its section of the eastern gas pipeline route known as the Power of Siberia that'll deliver up to 38 billion cubic meters of Russian gas annually.

The welding of the first joint on the pipeline was part of the opening ceremony in China Monday. It was held near the Chinese city of Heihe of the northern Heilongjiang province bordering Russia. The pipeline will stretch as far as Shanghai.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev took part via a video link. He called the pipeline the world's biggest infrastructure project.

The Vice Premier of the State Council of China Zhang Gaoli also took part in the ceremony via video link. He said that such large-scale projects are a good foundation for promoting a strategic partnership between the two countries and for social and economic progress.

The Power of Siberia gas pipeline is due to become fully operational in 2018 and will link with the Chinese gas infrastructure already in place, according to government papers.

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Yoda

Strengthening alliance: China to build joint Chinese-Russian dairy farm

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© RIA Novosti / Vitaly Timkiv
China has started to build a joint Chinese-Russian livestock agricultural complex. A hundred thousand cows are planned to be bred in a project costing one billion Yuan.

The farm is being set up in the Chinese city of Mudanjiang with production supplied to the Russian market, Zhang Chuntszyao, chairman of the Association of Applied Economics of the Heilongjiang Province told Interfax on Monday.

China's Zhongding Dairy Farming and Russia's Severny Bur are participating in the project. Feed for the cattle will be grown on 100,000 hectares of land in China and Russia.

Earlier this month, China's Huae Sinban Company inked an agreement to lease 115,000 hectares of land in Russia's Transbaikal region for agriculture. The company is expected to invest some $450 million into the project over the next 50 years. The deal has caused much discussion in Russia over its legacy and necessity. Huae Sinban plans to lease up to 200,000 hectares in Russia should the first stage of the project in 2015-2018 prove to be a success.

Last week Russia prolonged its ban on imports of various foods from the EU, US, Australia, Norway and Canada, including milk and milk products, till August 2016. This was in reaction to the EU extending its economic sanctions against Russia for another six months and against Crimea for another year.

Network

The West moves East: China to invest in reviving EU economy

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© Xinhua/Yao Dawei
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivers a speech during the European Union (EU)-China Business Summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 29, 2015. President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker also attended the summit.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Monday that China is considering to kick start a China-EU investment platform to support Europe's economic revival.

Addressing the opening ceremony of an European Union(EU)-China business summit, the visiting Chinese premier said his country is willing to interface with the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), a 315 billion-euro investment plan initiated by President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker for resuscitating Europe's economy and in particular building large infrastructure.

Seeing the China-EU relationship as one of the most important, stable and constructive relationships in the world, Li proposed to combine China's comparative advantages in production capacity and equipment manufacturing with the advanced technology of European economies.

He called on the two sides to join hands in exploring third-party markets with cooperation in priority areas such as equipment manufacturing.

China and the EU should carry out more advanced financial cooperation in a bid to meet the demand of industrial investments, said Li.

China, he added, will expand its purchase of bonds issued by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and improve the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) system.

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S&P downgrades Greek credit, says probability of a Grexit is 50%

© Reuters/Albert Gea
A man holds a banner supporting Greece during a protest in front of the European Union office in Barcelona, Spain, June 29, 2015.
Standard & Poor's has downgraded Greece's credit rating from CCC to CCC-, increasing the probability of an exit from the Eurozone to 50 percent.

"In our view, the probability of Greece exiting the eurozone is now about 50 percent," S&P said in a press release. "Also, we believe that, absent unanticipated favorable changes in Greece's circumstances, a commercial default is inevitable within the next six months."

S&P downgraded Greece's rating with a negative outlook, meaning a likely selective default within half a year, probably due to non-payment of commercial debt, including treasury bills.

Comment: This referendum is a fight between the Greeks and the West's cruel capitalism


Eye 1

West establishes rapid reaction force against Russia, while ISIS goes scot-free

© Reuters / Agencja Gazetai
More than five thousand air, sea and ground troops take part in a multinational NATO maritime exercise BALTOPS in the Baltic Sea to demonstrate the resolve of allied and partner forces to defend the Baltic region near Ustka, Poland June 17, 2015.
As ISIS and ISIS-style terror erupts across the globe, Western governments are busy making plans to establish a rapid reaction force in Eastern Europe to 'contain Russia', thus qualifying them for an annual 'you couldn't make it up' award.

It calls to mind one of Britain's worst military defeats, suffered at the hands of the Japanese, when 100,000 troops and sailors were marched into captivity after the fall of Singapore on February 15, 1942. Winston Churchill called it "the largest capitulation in British history." Many of the British troops never even fired a shot before surrendering, thus adding to the humiliation and ignominy of their defeat at the hands of a much smaller force. The British commander responsible for the surrender, Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, earned himself a cold place in history as a consequence.

Comment: We already have a bloody disaster on our hands because the barbarians are in power:


Che Guevara

This referendum is a fight between the Greeks and the West's cruel capitalism

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Greek protesters support their government against EU-IMF austerity
On Sunday the people of Greece can hit back at the eurozone's busted economic system that is slowly strangling them. Their battle is ours too

Europe's top politicians agree that the Greeks will vote this Sunday on one of the most important questions facing any nation. Yet they can't settle what that question actually is. For Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, it is about whether his people will tolerate any more "strict and humiliating austerity". Not so, says Germany's Angela Merkel. She reckons the Greeks are choosing between staying in the euro and returning to the drachma. The stakes are raised higher still by the boss of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker: come next weekend, "the whole planet" will find out whether Greece wants to remain in Europe.

All of these may be correct, but each swerves the central importance of the moment. The reason to watch Greece this week is because a population of 11 million will hold a contest that the rest of us may one day also get to stage: a fight between democracy, and a broken political and economic system.

That battle - between what people want and what their rulers force down their throats, supposedly for their own good - can be glimpsed at every dramatic moment in Greece's recent history.

It was already there in spring 2010, when the then prime minister, George Papandreou, begged Merkel not to crush his country with austerity, and she coolly replied: "We want to make sure nobody else will want this." It marched into clear view in summer 2011 as ordinary Greeks swarmed cities demanding an alternative to their venal political elite and the Eurocrats and financiers who pulled the strings.

Take 2

Repeat a lie often enough: US refloats Assad 'chemical weapons' trial balloon as Russia promises 'economic and military' aid

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© UNRWA
It has been a while since the US State Department, with the help of the UK-funded and US-supported Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, floated doctored YouTube clips of hundreds of Syrians dead as a result of Assad's chemical attacks. In fact, it has been almost exactly two years since the last time the US nearly launched an all out proxy war in Syria, one involving an axis of western powers and Qatar (whose natural gas this whole charade is all about) against another axis of Russia and China who were supportive of the Syrian government. Luckily, a last minute snafu by John Kerry allowed a de-escalation, which in turn resulted in the appearance of ISIS, whose entire purpose has been, as leaked Pentagon memos have revealed, to topple Assad.

And with collective memories short, and with the "diplomatic" playbook of the US State Department even shorter, the time has come to once again rekindle this particular fabulation.

Comment: This Assad has and will use chemical weapons rhetoric is getting pretty worn out. It is clear who really has chemical weapons and why.


Bulb

Greece open to becoming BRICS member - Defense Ministry

© REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis
Greece is open to the possibility of becoming a member of the BRICS group of developing nations as part of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), Greek Deputy Defense Minister Kostas Isychos told Sputnik.

In May, Russia invited Greece to become an NDB member, with discussions on Athens' membership in the bank expected to take place at the July 9-10 BRICS summit in the Russian city of Ufa.

"Greece has also been invited to become a BRICS member within the Development Bank of the BRICS. We are still open to that," Isychos, who is also the co-chair of the Russian-Greek Intergovernmental Committee, said.

According to him, Greece has always been in favor of good European-Russian relations and of European-Eurasian relations. Athens is currently in talks over joining the BRICS bank with the group's members.

Comment: Greece has to face that the EU, IMF and Western governments are predatory and have no interest in helping the country and its people to recover from the 'shock doctrine' they have experienced these last few years. Greece has the choice to turn east toward the BRICS and being treated with respect and integrity. Although the transition and recovery would take time if they do so, what choice is there really to make? They can either keep getting abused by the West and its varied institutions or move away from the abuse. What Greece should keep in mind if it does decide to pursue the BRICS is, much like the batterer in domestic violence, the West is going to be enraged and dangerous to the country and its people when the are told "No". The West will in all likelihood pull out their bag of dirty tricks and try to undermine the process of recovery at every opportunity. This includes using assassinations and terrorism.