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Mon, 20 May 2019
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Russian LNG exports surge 20 percent, boosting revenues to $2 billion

LNG carrier
© Global Look Press
LNG carrier "Velikiy Novgorod"
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments from Russia increased to 11.7 billion cubic meters in the first three months of this year - a 19.7 percent growth compared to the same period of 2018.

The surge in the country's LNG exports ensured a year-on-year growth in revenue for Russian firms in the sector. Sakhalin Energy and Yamal LNG revenues spiked by 49.8 percent, reaching $1.95 billion, the Federal Customs Service (FCS) said on Monday.

In March alone the shipments amounted to 2.6 billion cubic meters and generated $510 million.

Meanwhile, Russian exports of natural gas decreased by 0.4 percent over the indicated period to 61.5 billion cubic meters, the FCS added. However, the profits from those exports still rose to $14 billion, posting a 10.7 percent increase compared to January-March 2018.

Stock Down

Roundup revenge: Bayer's stock continues landslide after $2 billion award in glyphosate cancer trial

monsanto und bayer
Shares in Bayer fell as much as 5% on Tuesday after a jury awarded more than $2 billion to a California couple in the largest U.S. jury verdict against the company over allegations its Roundup weed killer causes cancer.

That put the stock on course to close at its lowest level in almost seven years, even though the punitive damages award is likely to be reduced due to U.S. Supreme Court rulings that limit the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages to 9:1.

The jury set the total punitive damages at $2 billion and added $55 million in compensatory pay, concluding that Roundup - based on herbicide glyphosate - had been defectively designed, and that the company failed to warn of the herbicide's alleged cancer risk.

The shares were down 2.5% at 55.05 euros at 0905 GMT.

Bayer said in a statement on Monday that it was disappointed with the verdict and would appeal. A spokesman called the jury's decision "excessive and unjustifiable".

It was the third consecutive U.S. jury verdict against the company in litigation over the chemical, which Bayer acquired as part of its $63 billion purchase of Monsanto last year.

Comment: Recent Monsanto / Bayer news:

Arrow Down

Stocks crater: 3.5 Trillion dollars in global market cap gone, US trade policy badly hurting American farmers and food production

wall street crash
Wall Street responded to our escalating trade war with China by throwing a bit of a temper tantrum. On Monday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 617 points, and that was the worst day for the Dow since January 3rd. But things were even worse for the Nasdaq. It had its worst day since December 4th, and overall the Nasdaq is now down 6.3 percent in just the last six trading sessions. Of course it isn't just in the United States that stocks are declining. Since last Monday, a total of approximately $3.5 trillion in market cap has been wiped out on global stock markets. And since it doesn't look like we are going to get any sort of a trade deal any time soon, this could potentially be just the beginning of our problems.

China fired a shot that was heard around the world on Monday when they announced that they would be dramatically raising tariffs on U.S. goods...
China will raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods in retaliation for the U.S. decision to hike duties on Chinese goods, the Chinese Finance Ministry said Monday.

Beijing will increase tariffs on more than 5,000 products to as high as 25%. Duties on some other goods will increase to 20%. Those rates will rise from either 10% or 5% previously.
According to CNBC, these new tariffs are going to be particularly damaging for U.S. farmers...
The duties in large part target U.S. farmers, who largely supported Trump in 2016 but suffered from previous shots in the Trump administration's trade war with China. The thousands of products include peanuts, sugar, wheat, chicken and turkey.


'Largest cartel case in US history': Big Pharma collusion caused generic drug prices to rise by as much as 1,000%

pills Big pharma money
© REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic
Nearly every state in the US is part of a lawsuit against leading pharmaceutical companies which colluded to raise prices on generic medications by as much as 1,000 percent.

RT's Boom Bust talks to Mollye Barrows of America's Lawyer about the case with the big pharma companies which some are referring to as "the largest cartel case in the history of the United States."

She says executives of 20 companies met with each other to fix prices and divide the market share of profits for more than 100 generic drugs.

Comment: More on the pharma drug-cartel fraud:


Land of the free: Cops raid journalist's home and kidnap him after he refuses to name source for cop-damning article

arrest of journalist
Despite multiple laws on the books protecting journalists from revealing their sources, a journalist in California was raided after refusing to reveal his.

In the land of the free, journalists are now being raided by SWAT teams in an effort to find out their sources and this is in spite of the law protecting journalists from this very act. Freelance journalist Bryan Carmody just fell victim to the police state in California as multiple San Francisco cops with sledge hammers and weapons began breaking down his door last week in an effort to find out his source for a leaked police report.

As the Society for Professional Journalists points out, California's Shield Law protects journalists from being held in contempt for refusing to disclose their sources' identities and other unpublished/unaired information obtained during the news gathering process (California Constitution, Article I, § 2(b); California Evidence Code § 1070(a)). California Penal Code section 1524(g) provides that "no warrant shall issue" for any item protected by the Shield Law.

Despite this protection under the law, police still raided Carmody's home.

Mr. Potato

'What is wrong with the BBC': Farage blasts BBC in heated exchange on Marr show

nigel farage
© Jeff Overs/BBC/Reuters
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage on the BBC Andrew Marr show
Nigel Farage slammed the BBC in a combative and awkward interview with host Andrew Marr on Sunday. The fiery exchange saw the Brexit leader accuse the broadcaster of being "ridiculous" and in denial about the European elections.

The interview quickly turned tetchy when Marr asked Farage about his past comment that worrying about global warming was "the stupidest thing in human history." Farage said he thought it wasn't "terribly intelligent" to tax the UK "to the hilt" and put people out of work, but then blasted the host for not discussing the Brexit Party and the upcoming European Parliament elections instead of his previous statements.

Comment: The BBC's dirty tactics should come as no surprise to SOTT readers who may be familiar with some of their best work: More on Farage:

Farage's Brexit Party set to storm EU elections with shock win following surge in polls


Florida: Shootout near Trump resort leaves 1 dead, 2 injured

Trump resort shooting
Police are investigating a shooting near one of President Donald Trump's resorts in Florida that left one person dead and two others injured.

Miami Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said that a call came in at 1:41 p.m. on Sunday stating that shots were fired at the Trump International Beach Resort Miami in Sunny Isles Beach. Sunny Isles officers responded to the scene and found several vehicles with bullet holes.

A 19-year-old woman was found inside one vehicle with a gunshot wound to the upper extremities, Zabaleta said. She was transported to a hospital and listed in stable condition.

Moments later another 911 call came in reporting a male shot inside a vehicle at a shopping center across the street from the hotel. Sunny Isle officers immediately responded and discovered the man with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. The victim has been identified as 43-year-old Mohammed Jradi, Zabaleta said. It appears that a stray bullet traveled from the property of the Trump International across the street, through the parking lot and struck Jradi, who was working. "We have spoken to family members and of course our heart and our deepest condolences go to the family," he said.

Comment: Updates to the shooting were quickly Tweeted:

Георгиевская ленточка

Libyans increasingly look to Haftar and Russia to free their country from the Muslim Brotherhood's failed regime

bonbed building benghazi

New Opportunities

The stone-colonnade of the Benghazi embankment - the eastern capital of Libya, which became opposition stronghold during the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 - is filled with the light of streetlights. My Libyan friend Ramzi specially suggested to meet here in the evening to show me the level of security on the street: one can walk to one's heart's content. In fact, I remembered this embankment as such, when I left Libya 8 years ago. Only then was it full of people with weapons, machine-gunning everywhere because of the excess of feelings and revolutionary significance. Along the road there were pickups that were loaded in such a way that Hollywood decorators would burn with an envy cat at the sight of such an invoice. Recoilless guns, helicopter pads under unguided rockets, and MLRS systems were installed on chassis ...

The deafening holiday reigned in the city - the offensive of Gaddafi's forces was disrupted by concerted "humanitarian bombings" of the NATO coalition, the traces of which stretched along the road to the West - to Tripoli - along the coast.Tens, if not hundreds of miles of burned equipment, among which I with surprise did not find any air-defense vehicle. The leader of Jamahiriya was surely about his success - a little longer, and he will crush the flower of democracy that sprouted through the asphalt with this stupid amount of equipment. He did not even think to cover the military against the air. The country was flooded with weapons, but nobody was able to fight with a serious opponent. And also did not plan to. But the West dragged through the UN Security Council a resolution of a "no-fly zone" over Libya (formerly Russia abstained, without using the veto), which in practice meant that no one could fly, except the combat aircraft of NATO.

Bad Guys

Thousands in Poland march against US restitution demands to Jewish families of the Holocaust

polish protest
© AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
Thousands of Polish nationalists have marched to the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, protesting that the U.S. is putting pressure on Poland to compensate Jews whose families lost property during the Holocaust. The protesters included far-right groups and their supporters. They said the United States has no right to interfere in Polish affairs and that the U.S. government is putting "Jewish interests" over the interests of Poland.
Thousands of Polish nationalists marched to the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw Saturday, protesting that the U.S. is putting pressure on Poland to compensate Jews whose families lost property during the Holocaust.

The protest took place amid a dramatic rise in anti-Semitic hate speech in public life in Poland and it appeared to be one of the largest anti-Jewish street demonstrations in recent times. It also comes as far-right groups are gaining in popularity, pressuring the conservative government to move further to the right.

Protesters, including far-right groups and their supporters, say the United States has no right to interfere in Polish affairs and that the U.S. government is putting "Jewish interests" over the interests of Poland.


Fake blood flows at Extinction Rebellion protest in Paris

Climate activists Paris
Climate activists spilled fake blood on the famous Trocadero esplanade opposite the Eiffel Tower
Environmental protesters spilled fake blood Sunday on the steps of the Trocadero, a Paris tourist landmark, in a stunt to highlight the accelerated loss of biodiversity on Earth, AFP journalists reported.

As sightseers and police looked on, members of the Extinction Rebellion campaign group emptied canisters containing around 300 litres of red liquid on the famous esplanade across from the Eiffel Tower.

Brandishing banners with the slogan: "Stop the sixth mass extinction", the protesters then observed a few minutes' silence before cleaning the steps.

Comment: There is an environmental crises occurring on our beloved planet, but following the ideological and nihilistic solutions provided and followed by groups like 'Extinction Rebellion' are both wrong-headed and dangerous.

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