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Tue, 22 Oct 2019
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Brexit: DUP to reject customs union compromise, Speaker will block vote on "same" EU deal

© AFP / Daniel Leal-Olivas
(C) Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster (L) DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds and (R) DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the UK government's Northern Irish key allies, have indicated that they will not back a customs union amendment to the Brexit Bill, in a set-back for opposition parties.

In what is a crucial week in the Brexit process, with UK PM Boris Johnson's Tory government looking to get their Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) passed by lawmakers, the opposition parties appear to have hit a stumbling block as they seek to add amendments.

Labour and other parties opposed to Johnson's deal agreed with Brussels last week are expected to table a 'customs union' amendment as they look to secure a softer Brexit, but DUP MP Jim Shannon told Sky News on Monday that his party are against the proposition.

Comment: More from RT:
UK House Speaker Bercow blocks 'meaningful vote' on BoJo's Brexit deal

UK Speaker of the House John Bercow has rejected the UK government's request for a so-called "meaningful vote" on the Brexit deal agreed with the EU, in a further blow to PM Boris Johnson.

Bercow ruled that granting such a request would amount to debating the same matter twice. Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday he told MPs: "My ruling is that the motion will not be debated today as it would be repetitive and disorderly to do so."

He explained that it was clear that motions before the house are "in substance the same" and that the matter was ostensibly decided 48 hours ago.

Responding to Bercow's decision not to grant a "meaningful vote", the UK prime minister's spokesperson expressed their disappointment at the Speaker "yet again" denying "us a chance to deliver on the will of British people...[The] Public want Brexit done."

Attention now moves to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB), which will be published on Monday evening, as the UK government scrambles to tie up a Brexit deal before October 31 - when Britain is scheduled to leave the EU.

Voting on the bill, unamended and amended with a series of propositions, including a customs union and a second EU referendum, is expected to take place on Tuesday in the UK Parliament.

In the House of Commons on Saturday, an amendment proposed by former Tory cabinet minister Sir Oliver Letwin was passed by UK lawmakers. It ostensibly means that support for Johnson's deal with the EU will be withheld until formal ratification legislation of the WAB is passed by MPs in the lower house and by lords in the upper house.

It comes after the Court of Session in Edinburgh delayed ruling on whether Johnson acted unlawfully in his request for a Brexit delay from Brussels on Saturday.

Johnson sent European Council President Donald Tusk a total of three documents: an unsigned draft letter asking for a delay; a cover letter explaining that he was forced to do so; and a signed letter emphasizing that any extension would be a "mistake."
The public want Brexit, Parliament doesn't - that's democracy in 2019:


Turkey names banker US convicted of Iran sanctions-dodging as head of stock exchange

stock turkey
© Reuters / Murad Sezer
A Turkish banker convicted of helping Iran avoid US sanctions has been named head of the Turkish stock exchange in a defiant gesture to Washington as US President Donald Trump threatens Ankara with its own sanctions.

Hakan Atilla has been appointed general manager of Borsa Istanbul, Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak announced on Monday. Atilla, a former deputy general manager at Turkish state-owned Halkbank, returned to Turkey in July after serving part of a 32-month prison sentence. He was convicted in 2018 of five counts of conspiracy and bank fraud related to his alleged involvement in a multibillion-dollar sanctions dodging scheme, but Turkey maintained his innocence throughout the trial proceedings, slamming the guilty verdict as "scandalous."

Comment: If the sanctions were illegitimate to begin with then is he really guilty of what he's accused of? Nevermind the questionable 'evidence' the US used to convict him.

See also: Putin-Erdogan meeting crucial for the future of Syria

Pocket Knife

Hillary's attacks on Tulsi Gabbard offer more Democratic division than Moscow could ever imagine

© Reuters/Brian Snyder
"In her zeal!" Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in 2016.
In her zeal to beat off challengers to her party's hardline anti-Russia orthodoxy, Hillary Clinton has only succeeded in sowing discord between the crop of Democratic presidential contenders. How very 'Putin-esque' of her.

Unfounded blaming of Russia for her own woes is nothing new from Hillary Clinton, who still blames the Kremlin for denying her the presidency three years ago. If it wasn't 'Russian hackers' leaking her emails, it was 'Russian bots' backing Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, or Vladimir Putin convincing the Green Party's Jill Stein to mount a third-party challenge. Though none of these accusations were founded in reality, Russia-bashing has become Clinton's stock in trade.

Her suggestion last week that "the Russians" were "grooming" 2020 candidate Tulsi Gabbard to run as a third-party candidate next year to split the Democratic vote was nothing surprising, especially as Gabbard's foreign policies - opposition to "regime change wars" and support for better Washington-Moscow ties - have seen her campaign smeared from the get go.

Aside from once again making Clinton the poster-child for 'Russiagate' delusion, that statement succeeded in causing some internal ructions within the party and its supporters in the media.

Comment: See also:


Putin-Erdogan meeting crucial for the future of Syria

syria russia
In the first week of the month of October the US informed Turkey and Russia of its intention to withdraw from north-east Syria (NES). Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan pulled out a plan prepared over a year ago to move forces into NES and take control of cities like Manbij, Ain al-Arab and Ras al-Ayn: an area 440 kilometres long and 35 kilometres wide. The US central command and the Russian military command, as well as other countries including Syria, were informed of the Turkish intention to move forward to fill in the gap. Turkey believes this incursion into the Syrian territory serves its national security and will relocate millions of Syrian refugees living in Turkey, and those who will move out of Idlib once the liberation of the city is in process. Erdogan considers it necessary to create a safe zone between the Turkish borders and that part of Syria under control of the Syrian branch of the PKK, the YPG, an organisation that figures in the US, Europe, NATO and Turkey lists of terrorism.

The quick reaction by Turkey caused alarm in Washington where President Donald Trump sent a letter - considered humiliating by Turkey - to his Turkish counterpart asking him "not to be a fool" and to wait before acting. Simultaneously, President Putin called a meeting for his National Security Council to discuss the US withdrawal and the Turkish intention to replace US forces in NES. Intelligence sources confirmed US withdrawal preparations. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was consulted and informed about US and Turkish intentions.

Comment: See also:


Everybody betrays everybody in Syria

© Atriidim News Journal/WordPress.com
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Just what have we witnessed in the recent events in Syria? It's hard to know, given the avalanche of superficial and over-the-top headlines in most U.S. media: betrayal of the Kurds, handing Syria over to Russia, caving to Turkey's President Recep Erdogan, bestowing a gift upon Iran, allowing ISIS to once again run wild, end of U.S. leadership.

Yet the bottom line of the story is that after some eight years of civil conflict, the situation in Syria is basically reverting to the pre-conflict norm. The Syrian government is now close to re-establishing its sovereign control again over the entire country. Indeed, Syria's sovereign control over its own country had been vigorously contested, in fact blocked, by many external interventions — mainly on the part of the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and a few European hangers-on — all hoping to exploit the early uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and overthrow it. In favor of what was never clear.

Much of this picture has a long history. The U.S. has been trying to covertly overthrow the Syrian regime off and on for some 50 years, periodically joined on occasion by Israel or Saudi Arabia or Iraq, or Turkey or the U.K. Most people assumed that when the Arab Spring broke out in Syria in 2011 that civil uprisings there too would lead to the early overthrow of another authoritarian regime. But it did not. This was in part due to Assad's brutal put-down of rebel forces, in part because of the strong support he received from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, and in part because large numbers of Syrian elites feared that whoever might take Assad's place — most likely one or another Jihadi group — would be far worse, more radical and chaotic than Assad's strict but stable secular domestic rule.


Is the Fed lying to us? 'When it becomes serious, you have to lie'

© peakprosperity.com
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell
The recent statements from the Federal Reserve and the other major world central banks (the ECB, BoJ, BoE and PBoC) are alarming because their actions are completely out of alignment with what they're telling us. Their words seek to soothe us that "everything's fine" and the global economy is doing quite well. But their behavior reflects a desperate anxiety.

Put more frankly; we're being lied to.

Case in point: On October 4, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell publicly claimed the US economy is "in a good place". Yet somehow, despite the US banking system already having approximately $1.5 trillion in reserves, the Fed is suddenly pumping in an additional $60 billion per month to keep things propped up.

Do drastic, urgent measures like this reflect an economy that's "in a good place"?

The Fed's Rescue Was Never Real

Remember, after a full decade of providing "emergency stimulus measures" the US Federal Reserve stopped its quantitative easing program (aka, printing money) a few years back.

Mission Accomplished, it declared. We've saved the system.

Cell Phone

UK sim cards tie Mifsud's phones to the UK, spy agency Hakluyt and back to John Brennan

© The Moscow Times
Former CIA Director John Brennan
General Michael Flynn's attorney Sidney Powell a few days ago requested that the DOJ turn over the contents of two phones related to Joseph Mifsud. We now know those phones were from the UK, the country that is more suspect than Russia ever was!

Sidney Powell on Tuesday demanded the DOJ "produce evidence that has only recently come into [the DOJ's] possession. This evidence includes the data and metadata of the following two devices:"
Flynn document
Powell wrote in her request -
"This information is material, exculpatory, and relevant to the defense of Mr. Flynn, and specifically to the "OCONUS LURES" and agents that western intelligence tasked against him likely as early as 2014 to arrange — unbeknownst to him — "connection" with certain Russians that they would then use against him in their false claims. The phones were used by Mr. Joseph Mifsud."

Comment: See also:


Kadyrov: ISIS fighters will get 'tickets to the cemetery' if they return to Chechnya from Syria

© Sputnik/Said Tsarnaev
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov
Chechnya has trained special military units to deal with Islamic State militants if their Western 'puppeteers' decide to send them to Russia's North Caucasus from Syria, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has warned.

The Turkish operation against the Kurds in northern Syria has led to the abandonment of a dozen jails holding Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) prisoners, as well as eight camps containing their family members, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said. He expressed concern that this may cause "a surge of so-called reverse migration of terrorists back to their homeland."

Some of these IS fighters were from Chechnya and other republics in southern Russia, but Kadyrov says they should think twice about coming back.

"Chechnya is ready to ensure security in our region. We have prepared special units to do so," he told Russia's Channel 1. "We're not what we used to be in the 1990s," the Chechen leader added, referring to a large-scale radical Islamist insurgency in the republic during that period. "We'll gladly accept [IS militants], but it's unclear if they'll get tickets to the theater or the cemetery."


'Foreign-instigated' color revolutions fueling global unrest - Beijing veiled attack on US

Hong kong protester
© Reuters/Jorge Silva
Anti-government protesters hold placards and a US flag during a rally at the University of Hong Kong, China September 20, 2019.
Beijing has taken a not-so-subtle swipe at Washington, lambasting unnamed countries for using color revolutions and "big sticks" to meddle in the internal affairs of China and other nations.

Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe took aim at the United States - without calling out Washington by name - during an address at the Xiangshan Forum, China's annual conference on security and defense issues, on Monday.
Wanton interference in other countries' affairs will never win. Interfering in other countries' domestic affairs, instigating a color revolution or even attempts to subvert the legitimate governments of other countries are the real causes of wars and unrest in different regions [around the world].
Without getting into specifics, he decried nations which "wield their big sticks", such as sanctions, to exert "maximum pressure" on their rivals.



Iran ready for next phase of reducing nuclear obligations - unless EU gets its act together

iran nuclear facility
© AP Photo / Vahid salemi
In July, a deadline expired for the JCPOA signatories to butt in decisively facilitating business ties, including oil trade with Iran, for the sake of the landmark nuclear deal. It prompted the Islamic Republic to announce preparedness to cut its obligations under the deal, which the US withdrew from on 8 May 2018.

The 4th stage of cutting obligations under JCPOA has been worked out, with the Iranian authorities expressing hope that no need will occur to implement it, and that Europe will fulfil its commitments, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told a briefing on Monday.

Washington reinstated a series of harsh economic sanctions against Tehran and its businesses last year, following President Trump's unilateral 2018 pullout from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - the deal that guaranteed easing of anti-Iran sanctions in exchange for Tehran cutting its nuclear programme in line with the standards explicitly stated in the deal.

Several rounds of such limitations ensued Trump's withdrawal from the landmark nuclear agremeent, with the latest one coming as late as at the end of September, following drone attacks on Saudi Aramco oil facilities, blamed by the US on Iran, that caused major fires and partially disrupted the country's oil production, affecting global oil prices.

Comment: Due to Trump's Zionist ball and chain, and the EU's weakness, Israel is getting what it wants. It doesn't matter whether or not Iran pursues nuclear weapons - as long as they aren't limited by international controls, Israel can continue to make up nonsense about Iran being "just weeks away!" from getting the bomb. Israel needs absolute regional dominance in order to survive as an apartheid state. And the only way to keep that is to keep countries like Syria and Iran down. They tried and failed with Syria. They're trying the same thing with Iran, and with any luck, they'll fail there too.