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Russia Facing Long Recession, World Bank Says

russian recession
© International Monetary Foundation
The recession in Russia will run deeper and longer than it appeared even a few months ago, the World Bank concluded in a report released Wednesday, underscoring the impression that Russia has been one of the countries hit hardest in the downturn.

The Russian economy, which seesaws from boom to bust along with commodity prices in the best of times, has experienced the most extreme swing from growth to contraction of any large economy in the current downturn.

The bank's new projection showed that the Russian economy would contract by 7.9 percent this year and not recover to precrisis levels until at least 2012. Just before the crisis reached here, in the first quarter of 2008, Russia had been growing at an annual rate of 8.7 percent.

The bank's estimate was all the more remarkable because oil prices have recovered recently, a positive sign for resource-dependent Russia. About two-thirds of exports, for example, are made up of oil and natural gas. Yet the International Monetary Fund, the Russian government and private banks all project slower growth.

Vader

Soros, the CIA, Mossad and the New Media Destabilization of Iran

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© Unknown
It's the 2009 presidential election in Iran and opposition leader Mir-Houssein Mousavi declares victory hours before the polls close, insuring that any result to the contrary will be called into question. Western media goes into overdrive, fighting with each other to see who can offer the most hyperbolic denunciation of the vote and President Ahmadenijad's apparent victory (BBC wins by publishing bald-faced lies about the supposed popular uprising which it is later forced to retract). On June 13th, 30,000 "tweets" begin to flood Twitter with live updates from Iran, most written in English and provided by a handful of newly-registered users with identical profile photos. The Jerusalem Post writes a story about the Iran Twitter phenomenon a few hours after it starts (and who says Mossad isn't staying up to date with new media?).

Now, YouTube is providing a "Breaking News" link at the top of every page linking to the latest footage of the Iranian protests (all shot in high def, no less). Welcome to Destabilization 2.0, the latest version of a program that the western powers have been running for decades in order to overthrow foreign, democratically elected governments that don't yield to the whims of western governments and multinational corporations.

Comment: Sound analysis from the author, but what is reprehensible about a man who defends his country's right to nuclear energy and condemns Zionism on the world stage where no other dares to tread?


Red Flag

China and US head for trade war

China could face censure at the World Trade Organisation after the US and Europe lodged a joint complaint over its restrictions on raw materials exports

Europe and the United States announced last night co-ordinated action against China for busting World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules by restricting exports of essential raw materials, raising fears of a damaging east-west trade war in the depths of the global recession.

MIB

CIA has Distributed 400 Million Dollars Inside Iran to Evoke a Revolution

Former Pakistani Army General Mirza Aslam Beig claims the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has distributed 400 million dollars inside Iran to evoke a revolution.


Cult

American Al Qaeda™ spokesman, grandson of former ADL board member, covers his roots in latest CIA-Mossad propaganda video

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© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Adam Yahiye Gadahn, a.k.a. Azzam the American, formerly known as Adam Pearlman, is seen in an earlier al Qaeda video.
In a new anti-Israel, anti-U.S. video, an American al Qaeda member makes reference to his Jewish ancestry for the first time in an official al Qaeda message.

In the video, Adam Yahiye Gadahn, also known as Azzam the American, discusses his roots as he castigates U.S. policies and deplores Israel's offensive in Gaza that started in late December 2008 and continued into January.

"Let me here tell you something about myself and my biography, in which there is a benefit and a lesson," Gadahn says, as he elicits support from his fellow Muslims for "our weapons, funds and Jihad against the Jews and their allies everywhere."

"Your speaker has Jews in his ancestry, the last of whom was his grandfather," he says.

Growing up in rural California, Gadahn embraced Islam in the mid-1990s, moved to Pakistan and has appeared in al Qaeda videos before.

Comment: We already know this of course, but perhaps his handlers encouraged him to confess in an effort to extend his thinning credibility?




Chess

Netanyahu calls Mubarak to clarify comment of no-support

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu telephoned Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday night to clarify Israel's stance on a Middle East peace agreement, according to a report on Egyptian television.

It came after Mubarak blasted the prime minister for Sunday night's policy speech, saying that "Netanyahu's demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state is ruining the chance for peace."

According to Egyptian news agencies, Mubarak further added that "not Egypt, nor any other Arab country would support Netanyahu's approach" to the peace process.

Vader

Monsanto Buys 'Terminator' Seeds Company

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The United States Government has been financing research on a genetic engineering technology which, when commercialized, will give its owners the power to control the food seed of entire nations or regions. The Government has been working quietly on this technology since 1983. Now, the little-known company that has been working in this genetic research with the Government's US Department of Agriculture-- Delta & Pine Land-- is about to become part of the world's largest supplier of patented genetically-modified seeds (GMO), Monsanto Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri.

Chess

The shadow war in Balochistan

Just when Iran and Pakistan had reached a key Pipelineistan breakthrough, regional violence exploded involving, once again, "the greatest prize" Balochistan (Please see Balochistan is the greatest prize, May 9, 2009, Asia Times Online.)

The key question to ask is, as usual, cui bono?, or "Who profits?" What's behind this new, bloody intersection of Pipelineistan and the former "global war on terror" - a key theme US President Barack Obama would not dare touch in his Cairo address on Thursday to the "Muslim world"?

Document

Report Ties Dubious Iran Nuclear Docs to Israel

A report on Iran's nuclear program issued by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month generated news stories publicizing an incendiary charge that U.S. intelligence is underestimating Iran's progress in designing a "nuclear warhead" before the halt in nuclear weapons-related research in 2003.

That false and misleading charge from an intelligence official of a foreign country, who was not identified but was clearly Israeli, reinforces two of Israel's key propaganda themes on Iran - that the 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran is wrong, and that Tehran is poised to build nuclear weapons as soon as possible.

But it also provides new evidence that Israeli intelligence was the source of the collection of intelligence documents which have been used to accuse Iran of hiding nuclear weapons research.

Chess

Syria to Allow Visit of U.S. Military Leaders

Insurgency in Iraq Is Topic at Hand

After fits and starts, Syria and the United States have taken steps in recent days that could lay the groundwork for a greatly improved relationship, officials from both countries said yesterday.

Syria has agreed to let a delegation of U.S. military commanders visit Damascus in the coming weeks, when they will discuss joint efforts to stem the insurgency in Iraq. The Obama administration's Middle East peace envoy, George J. Mitchell, is also planning a trip to Damascus this month. Mitchell, the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Syria in four years, will probe whether it is ready to engage in serious peace talks with Israel.

The visits were sealed in a phone call Sunday between Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, though Syria has not yet confirmed a date for the military visit. State Department spokesman Robert Wood said yesterday, "They agreed to have ongoing conversations about a full range of issues."

U.S. officials said the administration was not committing to drafting a formal plan for improving relations, but the two visits could form the building blocks of a new relationship. Although officials from U.S. Central Command have met their Syrian counterparts at regional security meetings on Iraq, military officials have been unable for years to have a thorough, joint discussion on the situation in Iraq.