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Fri, 19 Oct 2018
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Purge of independent media: A coordinated attack by the MIC?

social media purge guy
© theorganicprepper.com
Social Media Purge
Victims of Facebook's most recent purge should not forget the connections between the social media giant and the Western Military-Industrial Complex.

On Thursday, Facebook announced they were unpublishing, or purging, over 500 pages and 200 accounts who are accused of spreading political spam. Several of these pages and writers were also removed from Twitter on the same day.

"Today, we're removing 559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior," Facebook stated in a blog post. Facebook states that the people behind this alleged spam "create networks of Pages using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names" and "post the same clickbait posts in dozens of Facebook Groups."

Essentially, Facebook is accusing these pages of writing articles related to politics and then using the social media platform to.... post the articles in as many places as possible to reach as many people as possible. Hardly dangerous or scary stuff. However, these actions are in violation of Facebook's Terms of Service. Facebook also accused the pages and accounts of using their fake accounts to generate fake likes and shares which may artificially inflate their reach and mislead people about their popularity. According to Facebook, "This activity goes against what people expect on Facebook, and it violates our policies against spam."

Comment: The Western media climate, and in particular the USA, is rapidly losing its independence and the freedom of the press in a war currently being waged by social media, MIC, NGOs and obscure change-agents. Without alternative news and the ability to freely report, the fight for these rights is all but lost. Sadly most Americans will hardly notice. See also:


Hammer

US may impose sanctions on firms engaged in Syrian reconstruction

Syrian blast
© Anadolu
The mess of war.
The US administration is designing a new strategy of actions in Syria that would envisage the possibility of imposing sanctions on Russian and Iranian companies engaged in the reconstruction of Syria after the civil war, the NBC News broadcaster reported, citing sources with knowledge of the situation.

The strategy would not provide for direct clashes with the forces controlled by the Iranian government, as the US military has a right to attack the Iranian troops only in case of self-defense, the NBC News broadcaster reported on Tuesday.

Instead, the strategy reportedly focuses on political and diplomatic efforts toward forcing Iranian armed forces out of Syria, namely, via putting financial pressure on them.

Three people with knowledge of the plan told NBC News that the United States was set to hinder Syria's reconstruction by withdrawing its aid from the areas where the Russian and the Iranian forces are present, and also introducing sanctions against the Russian and the Iranian companies engaged in the reconstruction.

Comment: Just plain crazy! Perhaps the US would like to carry the whole burden of Syrian reconstruction itself - not that it would do it justice, given US track record in reconstituting Iraq for example. The faux business of war: create a bogey, sell lots of expensive military equipment, ruin someone's country and then profit through the guise of contribution and restoration, along with dictates and mandates for the state and forever occupation by the military. What a horrid waste of energy, resources and devastation perpetrated on whole populations to appease this unending feeding machine.


Attention

G7 foreign ministers: Punish everyone responsible for Khashoggi disappearance!

Khashoggi pic
© AP/Jacquelyn Martin
G7 member states' foreign ministers are calling for punishing everyone responsible for the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, the joint statement said.
"We remain very troubled by the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Those bearing responsibility for his disappearance must be held to account. We encourage Turkish-Saudi collaboration and look forward to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia conducting a thorough, credible, transparent, and prompt investigation, as announced," the statement said on Tuesday.
The G7 foreign ministers as well as EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini have also affirmed their commitment to protecting the freedom of expression and free press.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, went missing on October 2. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he went to receive papers he needed to remarry.

Turkey has expressed concerns that Khashoggi could have been murdered inside the building, while the Saudi government has denied involvement in the case, claiming that the journalist disappeared after he left the consulate.

Comment: Punishment for 'a disappearance' is dubious without proof of foul play. As such, alleged evidence has not been made public nor confirmed.
See also:


Question

'Guilty until proven innocent'? Trump pads his bets by no rush to judgement in Khashoggi case

Pompeo/MbS
© Reuters/Leah Millis
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
US President Donald Trump is pushing back on accusations that Saudi Arabia killed a journalist inside a consulate in Turkey, calling them a case of holding Riyadh "guilty until proven innocent."

"Here we go again with you're guilty until proven innocent," the president told AP in an interview on Tuesday evening, when asked about the widespread condemnation of Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

He compared the outcry against the Saudis to the allegations of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation to the US Supreme Court. Kavanaugh was eventually confirmed after the FBI investigation found no corroborating evidence for the charges.

Comment: Compare this appeasing SA trajectory with the instantaneous and unending blame games on Russia. Interesting how posturing and politics dictates the excuse for truth that fits a need.


Dollar

Dollar's monopoly slides as China and Japan unload US treasuries

US treasuries BenF
© Thinking Aloud/KJN
China and Japan - the two main holders of the US Treasury securities - have trimmed their ownership of notes and bonds in August, according to the latest figures from the US Treasury Department, released on Tuesday.

China's holdings of US sovereign debt dropped to $1.165 trillion in August, from $1.171 trillion in July, marking the third consecutive month of declines as the world's second-largest economy bolsters its national currency amid trade tensions with the US. China remains the biggest foreign holder of US Treasuries, followed by long-time US ally Japan.

Tokyo cut its holdings of US securities to $1.029 trillion in August, the lowest since October 2011. In July, Japan's holdings were at $1.035 trillion. According to the latest figures from the country's Ministry of Finance, Japanese investors opted to buy British debt in August, selling US and German bonds. Japan reportedly liquidated a net $5.6 billion worth of debt.

Liquidating US Treasuries, one of the world's most actively-traded financial assets, has recently become a trend among major holders. Russia dumped 84 percent of its holdings this year, with its remaining holdings as of June totaling just $14.9 billion. With relations between Moscow and Washington at their lowest point in decades, the Central Bank of Russia explained the decision was based on financial, economic and geopolitical risks.

Comment: US monies are in global course-correction mode (finally). There is no long-term upside to increasing the value gap for the over-extended US nor savvy international holders.


Jet4

Putin, Sisi to sign strategic partnership treaty

Sisi,Putin
© Sputnik International
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi • Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin has opened official talks with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Putin said at the start of the talks that bilateral trade rose by 62 percent last year.

The two are set to sign a comprehensive strategic partnership treaty on October 17 that would further boost Russian-Egyptian ties, Putin's foreign-affairs adviser, Yury Ushakov said.

Ushakov added that Putin and Sisi were to discuss international issues, focusing on the situations in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and the Palestinian-Israeli settlement.

Sisi on October 16 urged Russia to resume direct flights to Egyptian resorts even as the Kremlin urged Egypt to purchase more Russian arms during bilateral talks in Moscow.

Russia suspended direct flights to Egypt in November 2015 after a bomb planted by an Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State extremist group brought a Russian passenger plane down over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.

Comment: 'Arms'ageddon: the hot ticket items in current trade deals between nations. A seller's market is not a good sign.


Snakes in Suits

Lavrov: UK trying to keep EU on the short leash despite Brexit

Brit Cop and dog
© AFP/Daniel Leal-Olivas
A British police officer works with his sniffer dog in Salisbury.
While the UK negotiates its divorce from the EU, it's still trying to keep the bloc on a short leash, to influence its policies towards Moscow and on other issues, Sergey Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister, has told Euronews.

The Foreign Minister called it a paradoxical situation that the UK, "a country that's leaving the EU, is frantically trying to influence the EU's policy towards Russia."

After groundlessly blaming Russia of the chemical poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March, "the British persuaded not everybody, but many [countries] to expel our diplomats," Lavrov recalled. As another example, he talked about hair-trigger chemical weapons sanctions that were pushed by UK to be adopted in EU.

"And not only Russia, I think, regarding other international issues the British want to keep the EU on a short leash," he added."How does it relate to the interests and dignity of the European Union isn't for me to judge."

Comment: International mechanisms and their parameters are meant to include all nations under the same format, conditions and rules in order to uphold a non-biased conformity to problem solving and determinations. Clearly the West, while giving lip-service to these constructs for others, has no interest in participating via acceptable channels and abiding by the protocol themselves. Are the mechanisms archaic and in need of revision or does the West reserve the right to participate only when it is in their interest to do so.


Footprints

Armenia's Prime Minister resigns, early parliamentary elections to follow

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan
© Armenian Prime Minister Nikol PashinyanREUTERS/Hayk Baghdasaryan
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan
Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has resigned in order to pave the way to early elections or, as he put it, to "complete the revolution," that led him to power after protests this spring.

"The goal of my resignation is to complete the revolution, through holding early elections and returning the power to the people," Pashinyan said in a televised address, adding that he and his government would continue to fulfill their duties until the elections, despite his resignation. He also voiced his intention to become the prime minister once again after the elections, if Armenians support his party during the vote.

Earlier, Pashinyan told the France 24 TV Channel that he expected the elections to be held in December. Under the Armenian constitution, the parliament has two weeks to choose a new prime minister after the government's resignation. If the legislature fails to do so, it is dissolved automatically and new parliamentary elections are held.

All Armenian parliamentary factions said they would not put forward a candidate for the post of the head of the government, thus triggering an early vote. The Prime Minister's resignation comes less than a week after his meeting with France's President Emmanuel Macron and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as part of a summit of the International Organization of Francophonie (IOF) in Erevan, attended by the leaders of some 40 countries.


Comment: See also:


Piggy Bank

Vassal state Poland claims that paying more for US LNG over cheaper Russian gas 'increases sovereignty'

Big ship
© REUTERS/Agencja Gazata/Cezary Aszkielowicz
Poland's state natural gas company has signed a 20-year deal to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US. In order to cut dependence on Russian energy, the country is willing to pay more for gas from America.

PGNiG, Poland's gas company, said on Wednesday that the US would provide two million tons of LNG per year, or 2.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas after re-gasification. The deliveries will start from 2022.

The country's prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the deal would increase "sovereignty" and the "competitiveness" of Poland's energy sector. PGNiG Deputy CEO Maciej Wozniak added that by the end of 2018 the company will sign at least one new long-term contract to secure LNG gas supplies for Poland.

PGNiG claimed that LNG from the US would be almost 30 percent cheaper than Russian natural gas. Official studies say otherwise. For example, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies has published a memo saying that US LNG is more expensive than Russian gas, which is the cheapest option for Europe. The study also said that pumping gas through Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines would be cheaper than transit through Ukraine.

Arrow Down

While media focuses on missing journalist Khashoggi, Saudi created famine in Yemen ignored

Saudi created famine Yemen
© Reuters / Abdul Jabbar Zeyad
Yemen is on the verge of a devastating famine as it continues to endure Saudi coalition airstrikes. Despite this, most of the criticism levied at the Kingdom is about missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

UN REPORT

The UN's World Food Program (WFP) has warned that 12 million people are expected to face the worst famine in 100 years in mere months, as fighting around the vital port of Hodeidah continues.

It has called on the Saudi-led coalition - which has been bombing the country since March 2015, with arms supplied by the US and UK - to halt airstrikes on the country which ordinarily imports 90 percent of its food.

More than eight million Yemenis are currently severely food insecure. The 2017 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan warned 3 million children and pregnant or nursing women are acutely malnourished, including 400,000 children under the age of five.

Comment: ICYMI looks at why the Middle East's poorest nation just can't get any attention:

See also: