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Stock Down

Free fall of Swedish Krona comparable to a country suffering a coup d'etat

swedish krona
Over the past seven years, the Swedish krona has lost almost 30 percent of its value against the euro and 50 percent against the dollar.

A dismal new forecast by the major Scandinavian bank Nordea predicts that the Swedish currency will depreciate further against the euro in the coming months.

"The total fall in the krona is similar to what one sees in countries where a coup d'état took place," Nordea chief strategist Henrik Unell wrote.

The new loss in value is predicted to continue the current devaluation trend which some have described as a "free fall". Over the past seven years, the Swedish krona has lost almost 30 percent against the euro and 50 percent against the dollar, the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet pointed out.

Comment: Evidently much more is going on here than China's increase in production. It appears that most of the problems originate with the 2008 financial crash, from which it appears no country, particularly in those in the West, eever truly recovered from, although some are better at covering it up more than others:


Briefcase

Top Mueller Report takeaways so far, and a few glaring omissions

mueller white house
© Associated Press
Special counsel Robert Mueller walks past the White House
Now that the redacted 448-page Mueller report has been released to the public, people on both sides of the aisle have been madly poring over the results of the special counsel's 22-month Russia probe.

Prosecutors closely examined whether Donald Trump or members of his 2016 campaign conspired with Russia to release emails which were damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC, and/or any involvement with the Kremlin's social media disinformation campaigns.

The investigation also covered whether Trump associates operated as unregistered Russian (and in one case Israeli) agents, and whether the infamous June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian attorney violated campaign finance laws as a "thing-of-value" offered by foreign governments, or crossed any other legal boundaries.

At the end of the day, Mueller and his team did not find that any Trump campaign associates were operating on behalf of a foreign government in connection with the 2016 election. Mueller did, however, find Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates guilty of crimes connected to their work for the Ukrainian government prior to their involvement with Trump.

Comment: The circus rolls on.


Oil Well

Rosneft wants Reuters banned in Russia for its 'sabotage' reporting of Venezuela oil deal

PDVSA tanks
© Reuters/Isaac Urrutia
PDVSA facility in Lagunillas, Venezuela
Russian oil giant Rosneft has lashed out at Reuters, calling the agency's claims the company helped Venezuela avoid US sanctions "informational sabotage" and promising to work towards banning it in its home country.

In its exclusive piece on Thursday, which was solely based on undisclosed "documents and sources," Reuters accused Rosneft of cashing in checks for the restricted Venezuela's state oil firm, PDVSA. It said the Russian company was allegedly getting Venezuelan oil with a discount, paying for it immediately in bypass of the usual 30-to-90 day transaction timeframe and then getting the full amount from the final buyers.

Rosneft blasted the report as "a blatant lie" and "a provocation" against the company in its response on Friday. The statement read:
"Reuters have ceased its operations as a news agency and a media outlet. This enterprise systematically engages in forging and spreading deliberate misinformation, legalization of rumors in the interests of its sponsors; invents news opportunities with the aim of damaging Russian economy, Russian companies and the Russian state."
Those actions by the international news organization constitute "informational sabotage," it said.

X

Russian meddling taken for granted in Mueller report, no evidence presented

born in the USSR
© Reuters/Eduardo Munoz
Special counsel Robert Mueller's 'Russiagate' report has cleared Donald Trump of 'collusion' charges but maintains that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election. Yet concrete evidence of that is nowhere to be seen.

The report by Mueller and his team, made public on Thursday by the US Department of Justice, exonerates not just Trump but all Americans of any "collusion" with Russia, "obliterating" the Russiagate conspiracy theory, as journalist Glenn Greenwald put it.

However, it asserts that Russian "interference" in the election did happen, and says it consisted of a campaign on social media as well as Russian military intelligence (repeatedly referred to by its old, Soviet-era name, GRU) "hacking" the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the DNC, and the private email account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chair, John Podesta.

As evidence of this, the report basically offers nothing but Mueller's indictment of "GRU agents," delivered on the eve of the Helsinki Summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in what was surely a cosmic coincidence.

Indictments are not evidence, however, but allegations. Any time it looks like the report might be bringing up proof, it ends up being redacted, ostensibly to protect sources and methods, and out of concern it might cause "harm to an ongoing matter."

Comment: More from RT, Peskov points out the obvious:
Commenting on the release of a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, Dmitry Peskov pointed out that "all this information has appeared before via different sources in one way or another."

The report still does not have any "substantiated evidence" of Russia's alleged interference in US elections. "What has US taxpayers' money been spent on?" he asked.

"We regret that documents of such poor quality have a direct impact on the Russian-US relations, which are already not at their best," Peskov added.



Arrow Down

North Korea slams Bolton for 'dim-sighted' denuclearization remarks

Bolton
© Reuters/Joshua Roberts
National security adviser John Bolton
A top North Korean diplomat has slammed US National Security Advisor John Bolton for his "nonsense" and "dim-sighted" call for denuclearization amid stalled talks between the two nations following the fruitless summit in Hanoi.

In an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, Bolton said that Washington could only proceed with further negotiations once there is "a real indication" that Pyongyang is ready to give up its nuclear program.

Bolton's words caused outrage in North Korea as the country's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui dubbed his remarks as "nonsense," adding that they were "devoid of discretion and reason," according to country's state-run KCNA agency.

Bolton's stunt also made the Pyongyang diplomat wonder whether the claims stemmed from the "incomprehension of the intentions of the top leaders" or if the national security adviser was trying to add his own vision to the debate. "All things considered, his word has no charm in it and he looks dim-sighted to me."

Comment: See also:


Star of David

Departing IDF General Strick: Israel shall win any conflict against enemies to the north

Strick
© Avihu Shapira
Outgoing Northern Command Chief General Yoel Strick
General Yoel Strick warns Lebanon will pay for Hezbollah cross-border incursions; threatens Israel will take out Russian S-300 system if used by Syria against IAF warplanes

Israel will win the next conflict with those who pose a threat from the north, says the outgoing head of the IDF Northern Command, General Yoel Strick, as he marks the end of a two-year stint in the position.

Strick says it would be a mistake separating Lebanese-based terror group Hezbollah from the rest of Lebanon since it is a political player and part of the establishment. It would be wise, in his view, to declare war on Lebanon to demonstrate the price they will have to pay, should Hezbollah attack.

Light Saber

Trump on what real obstruction would look like: 'I could've fired EVERYONE, including Mueller!'

Trump
© Reuters / Lucas Jackson
Donald Trump said the best proof of 'no obstruction' was the fact that he generously allowed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to conclude his futile Russiagate witch hunt, even though as president he had the power to end the probe.

"I had the right to end the whole Witch Hunt if I wanted. I could have fired everyone, including Mueller, if I wanted," Trump tweeted, after the publication of the redacted version of the two-year probe. "I chose not to. I had the RIGHT to use Executive Privilege. I didn't!"

Trump has long accused the Democrats of conducting a "witch hunt" against him. But, while the investigation exonerated the US president of any collusion with Moscow, his critics keep on insisting that Trump could still have been complicit in obstructing the investigation.

Comment: The manuverings of the deep state have been so blatant, they're going to have a difficult time diffusing the investigations and inquiries that need to at least appear to take place.The question is whether Nunes, Jordan and others who have pursued the truth in these matters, will be able to carry it through. The next year should be very interesting.


Whistle

Nearly 100,000 Pentagon whistleblower complaints have been utterly silenced

pentagone
I don't know if I'd have the nerve to be a whistleblower. I'd like to think I would. We all like to think we would, just like we all like to think we could catch the game-winning touchdown, triumph on "America's Got Talent," and fold a fitted sheet quickly and without cursing.

But to blow the whistle on a huge organization with a lot of power, likely drawing that power to come crashing down on your head - that takes some serious spine-age. Now, imagine the organization you're calling out is arguably the largest, most powerful, most secretive and most violent organization on planet Earth. I'm speaking, of course, of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Yet thousands, even tens of thousands, of people have taken that step over the past five years. (More on this in a moment.)

All the while our organized human murder machine continues its work around the world. Every day. Every hour. Never a moment of rest. Never pausing to clip their toenails or scratch their ass. Bombs dropped. Buildings blown up. People killed or imprisoned. No end in sight.

By the way, that's the term I like to use instead of "military"-Organized Human Murder Machine.

Mr. Potato

After months of promising collusion, Schiff says it doesn't matter because Trump's unpatriotic or something

schiff
© ABC
Schiff now says President Trump's exoneration does not matter because the president is unpatriotic.

Rep. Adam Schiff has both claimed he has unseen evidence of President Donald J. Trump colluding with Russia, and hinted that the Mueller Report would be damning for the president.

After the Mueller Report's redacted release, Schiff appeared before cameras to downplay its importance. The Russia hoax believing congressman now believes that none of it matters, because President Trump is unpatriotic.

Schiff started by lamenting that special counsel Robert Mueller chose to use legal definitions instead of the "colloquial" definition of collusion, which he did not offer, and thus President Trump and his campaign committed no crimes and should not be charged.

Quenelle - Golden

Middle East states join Iraq summit in blow to US-led 'Arab NATO' initiative

Iraq
© AP Photo / Hadi Mizban
The summit marks a shift in Iraq's foreign policy, with the country assuming the role of a mediator in the region as US President Donald Trump has revived the Obama-era concept of an anti-Iranian alliance of Gulf nations.

Iraq is hosting a one-day summit, which brings together the country's neighbours: Syria, Turkey, Jordan, and Kuwait, as well as two long-time rivals - Saudi Arabia and Iran - in a blow to the US-led "Arab NATO" initiative, Press TV reported.

"This is a positive message to all neighbouring countries and the world that Iraq is determined to regain its health and return to its Arab, regional environment and assume its rightful place in the map of the balance of power", Bashir Haddad, deputy parliamentary speaker said.

Comment: Al Masdar News reports:
Iran, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia set to meet for first time at Baghdad Summit

The Baghdad Summit is scheduled to take place on April 20th with several Middle Eastern countries set to participate in this conference organized by Iraq.

The parliamentarian heads of these seven countries will be the primary participants of the Baghdad Summit.

For Syria, this is a big meeting because it will mark the first time since the start of the Syrian Conflict that they will be participating in a non-Syria related conference with Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Furthermore, the conference will see two major regional foes participating: Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic relations and both nations are pitted against each other in a number of proxy wars in the region, most notably Yemen.

Despite these rivalries, the Baghdad Summit conference will be an important step for Iraq to build their diplomatic and economic ties with their neighbors.
This seems to be just one of many high profile meetings in the Middle East where the West and its allies are unsurprisingly not invited: See also: And check out SOTT radio's