Rhondda Records logo 2
 
Rhondda Records Home Page
 
 
Peace Page
A Page from the Rhondda dedicated to Peace
 
 
One Union
A Page to help unity among working people
 
 
The Miners' Next Step and Donbass news
A pamphlet,a song and a future for loving people everywhere
 
 
Rhondda Records Cartoon Page
A page to help the Rhondda laugh
 
 
Quotations Page
Words said in truth or jest
 
 
Your Health Page
A page to help your health - be positive !
 
 
Penrhys, Rhondda Page
A page telling the story of a unique magical village - Penrhys, in the Rhondda !
 
 
Africa Page
Africa - news, progress, events
 
 
genuine leftwing Mass events Page
Some activities you just might like to aid Peace
 
 
Richard Gould's Page
Move over Titch Gwilym and Micky Gee, Richard Gould IS the new Welsh virtuoso
 
 
Discussion Page
Let's open up and share (communicate)
 
 
Efran Kaye's Page
The master of music, Efran Kaye is here!
 
 
Glynbyerful Male (voice) Choir's Very Own Page
a choir from all the Glyns of the Rhondda for nutters
 
 
Poisoning Earth and our terrible fate, if, if, if
Human degradation ruining our beautiful planet
 
 
Rhondda Records' Top Recommended Books Page
Great Thinkers point the way forward
 
 
FOLK REVOLUTION
A Page for those who DO care about true folk
 
 
Siarad Gwmraeg? A page for Welsh patriots
Wales News and our Welsh language News
 
 
Poetry and Literature in Wales & the World, Page
Poetry and Literature in Wales
 
 
Rhondda History Page
A page to help those who want to know the Rhonddas past
 
 
Poet's Page
music and opinion from Wales' wandering poet.
 
 

Rhondda Records Home Page


Rhondda Records is online - barring emergencies
-
every day except Sundays.... which are
devoted to love, 
music and rest. 


***********************************

'Peace Love' below
If you support its message --- and
we hope you do -- 
please show
how you feel.. by 
'sharing'
it, and/or 'liking' it.

Journalist: To end war ------
prosecute UK, US officials
who wage(d) it illegally
October 22nd, 10:12pm (PressTV)
 
The world must finally put an end to the impunity of war
 criminals, by holding US and UK officials responsible 
for launching the illegal war on Iraq, done without
 the approval of the UN Security Council, and 
prosecuting them --- under the Nuremberg 
principles, US journalist Don DeBar said.
 
DeBar made the remarks in an interview with Press TV while
commenting on a report which has revealed that the British
military inquiries into abuse against Iraqi nationals... have
been closed without a single prosecution being brought,
even though the credibility of many "shocking and 
shameful incidents" during the war in the Middle 
Eastern country, have been confirmed.
 
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement 
this week that the Service Police Legacy Investigations, 
which was looking at claims of abuse in Iraq, had now 
"officially closed its doors."
 
In March 2003, the US and Britain invaded Iraq in blatant
 violation of international law and under the pretext of 
finding WMDs; but no such weapons were ever 
discovered in Iraq.
 
More than one million Iraqis were killed - as the result of
 the US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq
--- according to the California-based investigative 
organization, Project Censored.
 
The US war in Iraq cost US taxpayers $1.7 trillion with
 an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war
veterans, 
expenses that could grow to more than
$6 trillion over the
 next four decades counting
interest, according to a study
 called Costs of
War Project  ---  by the Watson Institute for 
International Studies at Brown University.
 
DeBar told Press TV that the Iraq war 
was illegal from the very beginning.
 
"It is illegal for a nation to make war on another nation if it 
does not have the approval of the UN Security Council, if 
any of those nations are signatories to the original UN 
Charter. And it’s been adopted - that happened with 
the US, as a charter member of the UN -- and it was 
approved by the US Senate in the 1940s.

Consequently, 
the US involvement in Iraq from
the beginning, and 
the UK involvement in Iraq
from the beginning, 
was illegal,” he said.
 
“And under the Nuremberg standards, which would then
 apply, each and every death consequent – intentional 
or not - to either US or UK military action there, or 
condoning of the US action there, by the media 
or public officials, or any act facilitating that, 
is an individual war crime. And, by the way,
 there’s a death penalty for that,” the 
journalist noted.
 
“No one will prosecute these people. That’s why I started
 with the word impunity. And we might bookend with that
 because that’s the problem. And until the world puts an
 end to that impunity, until the world sees the major 
contradiction in all international relations, is US, 
UK, and EU imperialism, then it’s going to 
continue until this eats our species,” 
he stated.
 
A damning White House memo had revealed details of the
 so-called “deal in blood” forged by former British Prime
 Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush
 over the Iraq war.
 
The document, titled “Secret... Memorandum for the
 President”, was sent by then-US Secretary of State 
Colin Powell to President Bush on March 28th,
2002, 
a week before Bush’s summit with Blair
at his 
Crawford ranch in Texas.
 
The sensational memo, revealed that Blair had agreed to
 support the war a year before the invasion even started
 while publicly, the British prime minister was working
to
 find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
 
The document also disclosed that Blair agreed to act as a
 spin doctor for Bush and convince a skeptical public that 
Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass
 Destruction, which actually did not exist.
 
In response, Bush would flatter Blair and give the 
impression that London was not Washington’s 
poodle but an equal partner in the
 “special relationship.”
 
Powell told Bush that Blair “will be with us” on the 
Iraq war, and assured the president that “"the UK 
will follow our lead in the Middle East."
 
Blair has always denied the claim that he and Bush 
signed a deal “in blood”, at Crawford, to launch a 
war against Iraq that began on March 20th, 2003, 
that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.
 
The Powell memo, however, showed how Blair and 
Bush secretly prepared the Iraq war plot behind 
closed doors at Crawford.
 
Powell told Bush: “He will present to you the strategic, 
tactical and public affairs lines, that he believes will 
strengthen global support for our common cause.”
 

 Free Assange human chain  rocks British capital

FIGHT TODAY: FIGHT FOR
 ASSANGE'S FREEDOM !!! 

Verdict on Assange Appeal to
Be Announced at Later Date
February 22nd (teleSUR)
 
On Wednesday --- the United Kingdom High Court concluded 
its two-day hearing on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's 
appeal against his extradition to the United States on
 espionage charges ------ but the judges said they 
would give their decision.. at a later date.
 
Assange, 52, is wanted in the US on allegations of 
disclosing national defense information after
WikiLeaks's publication - of thousands of 
documents relating to the Afghanistan
 and Iraq wars --- which included an 
Apache helicopter video footage 
documenting the U.S. military 
deliberately gunning down -
Reuters 
journalists - and
children
 in Baghdad's
streets
 in 2007.
 
If the two judges at the UK High Court rule in Assange's 
favour, a full appeal hearing will be scheduled to 
consider his challenge and could lead to a 
new decision about his extradition.
 
If he loses the case, Assange could be extradited within 
weeks unless his legal team can get an emergency 
injunction at the European Court of Human
 Rights - in time.
 
Hundreds of supporters of Assange gathered outside
 the High Court on Wednesday despite rain, holding 
signs that read "Free Julian Assange" and 
chanting ----- "No extradition!." 
 
 
________________________________________


Julian Assange extradition 
an assault on journalism
February 22nd, 10:39am
 (PressTV)

''It will have a devastating blow to journalism worldwide 
if an Australian journalist that is publishing in Europe, 
can be imprisoned in the United States, not a single
journalist anywhere in the world, is safe.

''So this is the reason why all major press freedom 
organizations, human rights organizations and 
freedom of speech organizations in the world 
...are rallying behind Julian because they 
recognize the seriousness of the
 implications of this case, if
 it goes ahead.''

Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks, Editor-in-Chief

''The Australian Parliament at least, is muscling up a 
little, and prepared to be a little bit more assertive 
with Washington, at least on the Assange issue, 
and that's a good thing.

''That's Australia growing up a little and maybe it will, 
maybe it will have some influence in Washington 
and help to get a political resolution to this.''

Andrew Wilkie, Independent Australian MP

 

Help him now !!!!!!!!!


00000000000000000000000000


Gaza: ICJ ruling, UN failures, and US complicity 
with a plea for demonstrators
to press on......
 

 
Child shot dead in Ramallah
amid 
ongoing Israeli raids
into West Bank
March 2nd, 10pm
(Al Mayadeen English)
 
The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirms the martyrdom 
of the Palestinian child, Mohammad Khaled Zaid, by
Israeli gunfire - near Jalazone camp in Ramallah.
 
The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that the
 Palestinian child, Mohammad Khaled Zaid, 13 years 
old, succumbed to his wounds after being shot by 
Israeli occupation forces, on Saturday night, 
near the Jalazone refugee camp north of 
Ramallah in the central West Bank. 
 
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported, that its 
teams responded to a severe injury case -- caused by 
live bullets in the Jalazone camp. They administered
cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the injured 
individual and then transferred two boys
to 
Ramallah Governmental Hospital
for further treatment.
 
Palestinian media confirmed that the occupation forces 
shot the Palestinian child - along with another child - 
near the apartheid separation and expansion wall 
adjacent to the camp which is dozens of metres 
away from the Israeli settlement of "Beit El".
 
They left him bleeding for about an hour 
....before notifying ambulance crews.
 
Palestinian media added that Zaid was transferred to
Ramallah Hospital in serious condition, where he 
was later pronounced dead. Additionally, 
another child, aged 13, sustained 
injuries from shrapnel in 
his body.
 
Settler attacks in Burqa, Ramallah 
 
In a related context, this Saturday evening, settlers
 launched an attack on the homes and vehicles 
of citizens in Burqa, situated east of
the city 
of Ramallah.
 
A group of settlers stormed the outskirts of the village, 
attacked Palestinian homes and vehicles, burned 
several vehicles, and caused material damage.
 
 The Palestinian residents responded to the settlers’ 
attack and prevented them from advancing toward
the centre of the village, according to what local 
Palestinian media revealed.
 
This evening - Israeli occupation army forces closed the
 road between the cities of Ramallah and Nablus, near
 the eastern village of Luban. There was a heavy
deployment of settlers on the main road, 
blocking Palestinian vehicles.. and 
stopping their transit through.
 
The occupation forces arrested three brothers 
during their incursion into the town of Beita, 
south of Nablus in the West Bank.
 
This evening, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed 
responsibility for targeting the "Karmei Tzur" 
settlement with machine guns.
 
 
__________________________________


Hezbollah arrests 'Dutch
 armed group': Paper
March 2nd, 9:07pm
(PressTV)
 
Hezbollah has arrested a Dutch armed group in a suburb 
of the Lebanese capital Beirut amid efforts by foreign 
intelligence agencies to gather information leading 
to assassination of the resistance movement's
 members, paper says.
 
Lebanon's Al Akhbar daily carried the report on Saturday, 
saying that the arrest had taken place last Wednesday.
 
It described the arrestees as a six-member military 
detail in possession of military-grade arms, 
ammunition, and equipment.
 
The paper cited sources as saying that the group had 
claimed to be members of the Dutch armed forces.
 
They alleged to have been sent to Lebanon
 to purportedly simulate an evacuation of 
Dutch nationals.
 
The Dutch government has claimed to be wary of
 exacerbating the current crossfire between 
Hezbollah and the Israeli regime, which 
started after the regime began taking 
the Gaza Strip under a genocidal 
war, on October 7.
 
According to Lebanese journalist Hasan Illaik, 
however, the armed group did not coordinate 
the alleged simulation operation with the 
Dutch Embassy.
 
"It was also discovered that they launched their 
operation from Kaslik,” a coastal town north of 
Beirut, "rather than from the Embassy or a 
place affiliated with the Embassy," 
he added.
 
"The Dutch ambassador to Lebanon quickly arrived 
at the [foreign] ministry to [mount] pressure 
[towards] their release, under the pretext 
that they had not committed any 
crime," Illaik noted.
 
This is while the armed group had seriously 
violated the law by posing a "significant 
security threat," he said.
 
The report came amid intensifying efforts by the 
Israeli regime's spying apparatus and many of
 its counterparts around the world to dig up 
intelligence ----- that could potentially 
contribute to the assassination of 
members of Hezbollah and its
fellow regional resistance 
movements.
 
On January 8, a senior commander of the Lebanese 
resistance movement was assassinated in an 
Israeli airstrike on southern Lebanon.
 
Wissam Hassan al-Tawil was killed when a drone strike
 hit the vehicle transporting him in the village of 
Khirbet Selm on Monday.
 
Earlier that month, the regime assassinated Saleh 
al-Arouri --- a senior leader of the Gaza-based 
resistance movement Hamas --- in a drone 
strike on Beirut's Dahieh neighbourhood.
 
Hezbollah has warned the regime that such targeted 
killings will not go unanswered. It has also strongly
 cautioned Tel Aviv against waging an all-out war 
against Lebanon.
 
 
______________________________________________

 
Over 7,300 Palestinians arrested 
in West Bank since outbreak of
 Gaza war
March 2nd, 7:30pm
(PressTV)
 
Israeli military forces.. have arrested at least 7,335 
Palestinians in the West Bank - since the outbreak 
of relentless Israeli air & ground strikes against 
the Gaza Strip, which have killed more than 
30,000 Palestinians.
 
The Palestinian Prisoners' Club (PPC) said in a statement 
on Saturday that at least 10 people were arrested in the 
occupied territory... over the past 24 hours.
 
Israeli military forces raided homes and businesses in 
different West Bank areas overnight and kidnapped 
several Palestinians.
 
According to local sources, Israeli soldiers broke into two
 print houses in the northern West Bank towns of Jaba’ 
and Sanur, and confiscated their equipment.
 
Israeli forces stormed al-Dawha town, located 
two kilometres southwest of Bethlehem, and 
abducted a young man from his home.
 
In the northwestern West Bank city of Qalqilya, Israeli 
soldiers kidnapped a young man from his home.
 
Israeli troops also raided several homes in Azzun town, 
located 9 kilometres east of Qalqilya, and arrested 
a young man.
 
Israeli settlers attack Palestinian gatherings 
in the West Bank ---- causing injuries
 
Meanwhile, several Palestinians were injured on Friday 
as a result of attacks carried out by extremist Jewish 
settlers against gatherings and properties in several 
areas of the occupied West Bank.
 
“Israeli settlers attacked the Arab Mleihat Bedouin 
gathering, northwest of Ariha city, and raided 12 
homes,” Hassan Mleihat, the general supervisor
 of the al-Baidar organization for defending 
the rights of Bedouins, said.
 
Mleihat added that “a group of armed settlers, under 
the protection of the Israeli occupation army ---- 
stormed the gathering and raided the homes.”
 
He indicated that “12 homes were raided and forcibly 
searched and their contents were vandalized.”
 
Mleihat pointed out that the population of the gathering is 
estimated at about 1,200 Palestinians. He said that the
settlers ---- “physically assaulted several residents, 
leading to the injury of at least 5 of them with 
bruises, during the home searches.”
 
He further noted that the search and assault operations 
were accompanied by gunfire, tear gas, and assaults 
on residents.
 
The Tel Aviv regime has escalated its acts of 
aggression against Palestinians across the 
West Bank since October 7 last year,
 when it began a genocidal war 
on the besieged Gaza Strip.
 
Nearly 400 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli 
forces in the occupied territory since then.
 


________________________________________


 
‘Day after plan' for Gaza -- 
only to be determined by 
resistance: Islamic Jihad
March 2nd, 6pm
 (PressTV)
 
The Palestinian resistance movement of Islamic Jihad has
 warned Israeli prime minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu over 
the regime’s post-war scheme, saying the so-called 
“day after plan” for the Gaza Strip will only be
 determined by the resistance.
 
Abu Hamza, a spokesman for the al-Quds Brigades, 
the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, made the 
remarks on Saturday.
 
“Our message to the enemy and the leader of the herd, 
Netanyahu, is that the issue of 'the day after' in Gaza
 is determined by none other than the Palestinian 
resistance,” he said.
 
He went on to say that the end of the war in Gaza will be
 the prelude to the complete destruction of the Israeli 
regime throughout the occupied territories.
 
Hamza further noted that the resistance is able to
continue 
the fight with the Israeli regime with
full strength --- 
no matter how long it lasts.
 
The Israeli minister of military affairs complains of the
 heavy toll the ongoing Gaza war is inflicting on the 
regime’s army, calling for drafting ultra-Orthodox 
Jews amid manpower shortages.
 
He also called on Arabs and Muslims to provide Palestine 
with weapons, stressing that no one should make 
excuses about neglecting the battle that the 
Palestinian resistance groups are waging
 on behalf of the Islamic Ummah.
 
“Let Ramadan be a month of horror and anxiety for the
 occupation,” he said, calling for the first day of 
Ramadan “to be a day of global mobilization
 in all fields -- attacking the checkpoints, 
confronting the enemy ----- and
 intensifying the strikes.”
 
Back in January,  Israeli minister of military affairs Yoav 
Gallant released his “day after plan” for the Gaza Strip
 that would turn governance of Gaza over to unnamed
“Palestinian bodies,” while giving the Israeli regime 
security control over the Palestinian land.
 
This -- is after the Israeli forces complete their brutal
months-long attacks against the besieged territory. 

The Palestinian government has already rejected 
the scheme, indicating that it is not open to it.
 


____________________________________




Israeli forces shot ‘large number’ of 
Palestinians waiting for aid: UN
March 2nd,  2:38pm
(PressTV)
 
A United Nations team says “a large number” of Palestinian
 civilians seeking food aid have been shot in the Gaza Strip 
after Israeli military forces opened fire on an aid convoy in 
the besieged territory.
 
According to UN chief Antonio Guterres’s spokesman, the 
UN team visited some of the wounded from the incident 
at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on Friday, where they 
saw a “large number of gunshot wounds.”
 
The hospital received 70 of the dead, and around 200 
wounded were still there during the team’s visit,
 Stephane Dujarric said, adding that from what 
the team saw “in terms of the patients who 
were alive getting treatments is that there
 was a large number of gunshot wounds.”
 
Hossam Abu Safiya, director of Kamal Adwan Hospital, also
 said all the casualties it admitted were hit by “bullets and 
shrapnel” from Israeli occupation forces.
 
Daniel Hagari, spokesman for the Israeli military, claimed 
that the regime’s troops had fired “a few warning shots” 
to try to disperse a “mob” that had “ambushed” the 
aid trucks.
 
The military spokesman went on to say that a “stampede” 
occurred when thousands of Gazans surrounded the aid 
convoy, leading to dozens of deaths and injuries, 
including some who were run over.
 
On Thursday, at least 115 people were killed and more 
than 750 others wounded as the Israeli forces opened
 fire on Palestinians who had surrounded a convoy 
of 38 aid trucks in Gaza.
 
The incident drew widespread condemnation - with the 
chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa
 Faki Mahamat, accusing Israel of “the mass killing of 
Palestinians” seeking aid.
 
In a statement on X, the African Union said Mahamat 
strongly condemns the deadly Israeli attack, urging
 an international probe into the incident.
 
The latest Israeli crime comes as NGOs and UN experts 
have on several occasions voiced fears of famine in 
the besieged territory, which has been completely 
cut off from aid by the occupation since October
 last year.
 
Gaza’s Health Ministry has noted that thousands of people
 in north Gaza “are at risk of dying from dehydration 
and malnutrition.”
 
The ministry also reported on Friday that a total of 10 
children had died of “malnutrition and dehydration”.
 
The Palestinian ambassador to the UN pleads for the
 Security Council to condemn the Israeli attack on 
thousands of starving Palestinians awaiting 
food relief that left more than 100 dead 
and hundreds injured.
 
Jens Laerke - spokesman for the UN Office for the 
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has
 noted that “a famine is almost inevitable”
 in Gaza --------- unless things change.
 
The International Rescue Committee has also called for 
a “sustained ceasefire” and for land crossings into 
Gaza to be reopened, to aid shipments.
 
The Tel Aviv regime has imposed a “complete siege”
 on the territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food,
 and water to the more than two million 
Palestinians living there.
 
 
_________________________________________
 
 
 
UK ship attacked by Yemeni
army .........sinks in Red Sea
March 2nd,  2:43pm
 (PressTV)

A British container ship has sunk in the Red Sea 
almost two weeks after it came under attack 
by Yemen’s Armed Forces.
 
The Yemeni army said it attacked the Rubymar on Feb.18, 
with several naval missiles in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait — 
a strategic waterway linking the Red Sea and the Gulf 
of Aden.
 
The cargo ship had been drifting northward 
when it came under attack.
 
Yemen said the Rubymar sank late Friday as 
stormy weather took hold over the Red Sea.
 
The cargo ship was abandoned for 12 days, even after 
Yemen warned that the vessel “is in a tragic situation 
and is on the verge of sinking after water leaked into
 the engine room.”
 
Yemeni officials had warned ---- about “a 
major environmental disaster if it sinks.”
 
Yemen has targeted ships either owned by the Israeli 
regime or sailing toward Israeli ports in a strong 
gesture sympathetic to Palestinians in Gaza 
over the past few months.
 
The Yemenis have made it clear that they will not hesitate 
to carry out qualitative operations against all hostile 
targets in defense of their homeland and in 
reaffirmation of their unwavering support
 for the Palestinian nation.
 
They said earlier that strikes targeting those ships
 in the Red Sea will not stop --- unless the regime 
ends its genocidal campaign.
 
International shipping companies, however, are safe 
to sail in the area if they are neither owned by Israel 
nor destined for ports in the occupied Palestinian 
territories, state the Yemeni Armed Forces.
 

Palestinian child, Muhammad al-Deek, 16-year-old martyred  this morning

 
Israeli Occupation Forces Kill 
16-Year-Old Palestinian
in 
Ramallah Raid
March 2nd, 1:06pm
(al Manar)
 
Palestinian child, Muhammad al-Deek, 16-year-old martyred 
this morning during a raid by Israeli occupation forces in 
Ramallah. The young Palestinian was fatally wounded 
after being shot by the forces that targeted the town
of Kafr Ni’ma in the West Bank.
 
The raid in Ramallah was just one of many that occurred 
throughout the occupied West Bank, where several
 Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces. 
 
Among them was Ahmed Iyad Sweilem 
from Qalqiliya, along with four other 
youths from the same city.
 
The Israeli occupation forces also made their presence 
known in Nablus, storming houses and causing havoc 
while engaging in confrontations with Palestinian 
youths. Snipers were deployed in the town of 
Jaba’, where live fire and stun grenades 
were used during the clashes. 
 
The occupation forces even raided a printing press 
in Sanur ----- confiscating materials and leaving 
behind a leaflet titled “Cancer of Terrorism.”
 
This is just the latest in a series of aggressive actions 
by the Israeli occupation in the West Bank, as they 
continue to suppress Palestinian resistance. 
 
Despite the challenges, the spirit of resistance 
remains strong among the Palestinians
 in the face of such adversity.
 
 
Source: Palestine Today (translated 
by Al-Manar English Website team)
 
 
 
__________________________________
 
 
 
#HumansOfGaza

Gaza journalist went to get 
food for starving family, 
returned to see them
 killed
March 2nd, 12:44pm
by Humaira Ahad
 
On February 28, young Palestinian journalist Motasem 
Dalloul took a short break from his reporting to fetch 
food for his pregnant wife and little children, who 
were starving.
 
When Dalloul came back, he saw them lying under the 
rubble. They were killed in an Israeli bombing of a 
residential compound in Yafa Street, Gaza City.
 
“To Allah we belong and to Him we return My pregnant wife,
 Rahim, and my 3-year-old son, Abu Baker, have been Killed
 along with 20 other people in the Israeli bombing of a 
residential compound in Yafa Street, in the city of 
Gaza,” he posted on X, formerly Twitter.
 
The graphic picture of the lifeless bodies of the duo was 
attached to the post, which drew anger and outrage 
from netizens over the ongoing genocide of 
Palestinians in Gaza.
 
Journalists in the besieged coastal strip have borne the 
brunt of the Israeli genocidal war since October 7, with 
more than 130 scribes killed by the occupying regime 
so far.
 
However, more tragically, Gaza-based journalists have
 also lost their families and houses in what human 
rights activists believe are deliberate attacks
 to muzzle their voices.
 
The death toll in Gaza has already surpassed the mark of
 30,000, most of them children and women. Earlier this
 week, more than 100 people were killed after regime 
forces and tanks opened fire on a large crowd of 
people who were queuing up to collect aid.
 
This starvation that Palestinians in Gaza are 
facing......  separated Dalloul from his family.
 
“At night, she told me she was hungry. I said: I had nothing 
to do except risking my life to get some aid. She begged 
me not to go, but I insisted. I LOVED her too much. 
I LOVED her more than my soul,” he wrote in a 
post on X, overwhelmed by emotions.
 
“I went there and succeeded in getting flour and I was
 happy that she would eat with my little kids. Before I 
reached them, I was told they were bombed and 
wounded. I left the flour and rushed to the 
hospital, found my 6-year-old sim, Asem, 
wounded and her and my little angel 
Abu Baker martyred. I got 
very crazy.” 
 
Dalloul’s three-year-old son, Asem..... survived 
the attack and is now recovering from injuries.
 
In another post, the Palestinian journalist shared a 
picture of his house, razed to the ground, where 
his pregnant wife and child were killed.
 
“Here, from under this rubble, my beloved wife and 
little angel ascended to Heaven. My heart is 
completely broken,” he wrote.
 
UN special rapporteur on the right to food, Michael 
Fakhri, has repeatedly stressed that denial of 
food is a war crime and constitutes a 
"situation of genocide."
 
Israel has been intentionally starving Palestinians 
and should be held accountable for war crimes 
and genocide, according to the UN’s leading
 expert on the right to food.
 
“Intentionally depriving people of food --- is clearly a war 
crime. Israel has announced its intention to destroy the 
Palestinian people, in whole or in part, simply for being 
Palestinian. This is now a situation of genocide. This 
means…Israel in its entirety is culpable and should
 be held accountable – not just individuals or this
 government or that person,” Fakhri said.
 
A day before Dalloul’s family got killed; the journalist 
described their plight amid the worsening food 
situation in the besieged strip due to the 
crippling siege.
 
“We are hungry. I got sick after walking more than 
20 kilometres every day since the beginning of 
the week ..and got nothing.”
 
“Last night, was the worst since the start of the genocide 
as I was separated from my son. Two of my sons went to 
try collecting some aid today. I pray for their safety and 
wish they get something to eat,” he hastened to add, 
not knowing that the pain of separation would 
become permanent.
 
After spending hours in search of food, 
Dalloul’s sons returned empty-handed,
 
“Unfortunately, my sons could not get any 
humanitarian aid! I will go myself and do
 my best. Pray for me,” he wrote in a 
separate post.
 
As per a consensus among hunger experts across 
the globe, a huge civilian population like that of 
Palestinians in Gaza - has never been starved 
in such a brief period.
 
“Israel is not just targeting civilians, it is trying to damn
 the future of the Palestinian people by harming their 
children,” Fakhri was quoted as saying.
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday, said 10 
children have died of starvation in the besieged strip -- 
pointing to the gravity of the humanitarian catastrophe.
 
“The official records, yesterday or this morning, said that 
there was a 10th child officially registered in a hospital
 as having starved to death,” WHO spokesperson 
Christian Lindmeier said.
 
As per the statistics provided by Project Hope, a health and 
humanitarian NGO, 21 percent of the pregnant women and 
11 percent of the children in Gaza under the age of 5 that 
were treated by the organization in the last three weeks 
suffer from malnutrition.
 
As per a UN report released on February 19, one in six 
children under the age of 2 is acutely malnourished in 
the northern part of the coastal strip, “putting young 
children at highest risk of medical complications 
and death unless they receive urgent treatment.”
 
“The Gaza Strip is poised... to witness an explosion in 
preventable child deaths which would compound the 
already unbearable level of child deaths in Gaza,” 
said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director for 
Humanitarian Action and Supply 
Operations (ASG), Ted Chaiban
 
“If the conflict doesn’t end now, children’s nutrition will 
continue to plummet, leading to preventable deaths or 
health issues which will affect the children of Gaza 
for the rest of their lives and have potential 
inter-generational consequences,” 
Chiban added.
 
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 
regards intentionally starving a particular civilian 
population by denying them food, water and 
shelter ---- as a war crime.
 
The Geneva Conventions - also recognize starvation as 
a war crime. In 2018 --- the UN Security Council placed 
deliberate deprivation of food on the list of war crimes.
 
Experts say that Israel’s claim of exceptions in war crimes 
holds no ground. The regime is purposefully destroying 
the food system, holding humanitarian aid, to let 
hunger and diseases spread in Gaza.
 
Meanwhile, a day after losing his wife and son, 
Dalloul returned to his professional duty.
 
“Motasem Dalloul continues to cover the ongoing genocide
--- despite losses in his immediate family. If there is any 
journalist you should be following in Gaza, it's him,” 
wrote Wad Kosti.
 
The Gazan journalist asked the world to pray for his
children: recuperating from injuries and the shock 
of losing their mother and siblings.
 
“Pray for my son, Asem, who was left without a mother, 
due to Israeli bombing....... along with three little 
daughters: Habiba, 7, Hafsa, 5 and Halima, 2.”

(source: PressTV)



__________________________________________________
 
 
 
Israeli Aggression Against Gaza 
Continues for 148th Day: 
Palestinian Resistance 
Stands Strong
March 2nd, 9:08am
(al Manar)
 
For 148 consecutive days, the people of Gaza have endured
relentless Zionist aggression, resulting in widespread 
devastation and loss of life. The Palestinian Ministry
of Health in Gaza ---- reports a staggering 30,228 
martyrs as a result of the ongoing aggression.
 
In the past 24 hours alone, 193 individuals have lost 
their lives and 920 have been injured in 16 
separate massacres committed by the 
Israeli occupation forces.
 
Many victims remain trapped under the rubble, with 
limited access for emergency response teams 
due to continued attacks.
 
Despite facing overwhelming odds, the Palestinian 
resistance remains steadfast in their defense 
against Israeli aggression. With the support 
of groups such as the Al-Quds Brigades 
and the Al-Qassam Brigades, ongoing 
efforts to protect Gaza and its 
residents, continue.
 
The Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad
 movement, announced on Saturday --- that it shot down an 
Israeli drone with an anti-aircraft missile in northern Gaza.
 
As the Israeli aggression rages on, the silence of world 
leaders in the face of these atrocities raises concerns 
about human rights violations - and the ongoing 
suffering of the Palestinian people.
 
The resilience of the resistance against Israeli occupation 
forces serves as a reminder ------- of the strength and
determination of those fighting for freedom 
and justice in Gaza.
 
 
Sources: Palestinian media and 
Al-Manar English Website
 
 
 
_________________________________________
 
 
 
Hezbollah Attacks Israeli Occupation
Sites Close to Lebanon Border
March 2nd, 8:04am
(al Manar)
 
In support of the Palestinian people and resistance in Gaza
 and in light of the Israeli aggression on the various South
 Lebanon villages, the Islamic Resistance continued 
striking the Zionist occupation sites near 
Lebanon's border.
 
Hezbollah military media issued consecutive statements 
to illustrate the attacks and their outcomes.
 
The first statement mentioned that the Islamic Resistance 
fighters launched an aerial attack at 05:40 am on 
Saturday, March 02, 2024, targeting the 
leadership of the newly established 
strip in Liman with an assault 
drone, hitting its target
 precisely.
 
According to the second statement, the Islamic Resistance 
fighters targeted at 10:10 am on Saturday, March 02, 2024, 
a gathering of Israeli occupation soldiers in the vicinity of
 Jal Al-Alam site, hitting it directly.
 
Hezbollah military media also issued consecutive
 statements to mourn its fighters Mohammad Ali
 Ghabris, Mostafa Hussein Salman, Ali Abdul 
Nabi Qassem, Farouk Mohammad Harb, 
Abbas Ahmad Khalil and Hussein 
Mohammad Badawi...... who 
embraced martyrdom --- 
all the way to Al-Quds.
 
Hezbollah military media had also released a video 
which shows the Islamic Resistance rocketry 
attacks on the two settlements of Goren 
and Eilon as well as Al-Ramtha site.
 
 
Source: Al-Manar English Website


 
______________________________________


 
WAFA: Israeli strikes killed dozens
 of Gazans in the evening
March 2nd, 1:33am
(RT.ru)
 
Dozens of residents of the Gaza Strip have been killed 
in Israeli airstrikes this evening. This is stated in the 
publication of the Palestinian agency WAFA.
 
It is reported that Israeli soldiers attacked some 
houses and various areas of the enclave.
 
It is also known that a child was killed and other 
residents were injured in southern Gaza -- when 
fighter jets bombed a house in a refugee camp.
 
 
_________________________________________________
 
 
 
‘I’ve arrived with fresh mandate:
 to stop slaughter in Gaza’: 
George Galloway
March 2nd, 12:52am
(PressTV)
British politician George Galloway, who has registered 
a landslide victory in a parliamentary by-election 
advocating for Gaza, said he has “arrived
with
 a fresh mandate ---- to stop
the slaughter 
in Gaza.”
 
Galloway on Thursday claimed a stunning
 victory in the Rochdale by-election.
 
“The first thing I am going to do on Wednesday – Prime 
Minister’s Questions – is I’m going to tell the prime 
minister that I have arrived with a fresh mandate,
the only member of the House to do so, with the 
fresh mandate to stop the slaughter in Gaza,” 
Galloway said, in an exclusive interview 
with Press TV on Friday.
 
“A ceasefire is necessary, but not sufficient. A temporary 
pause, a humanitarian pause, a simple ceasefire, is not
 enough. We need ----- an end to the occupation.
We
 need ---- the total withdrawal of the
siege of Gaza,”
 he said.
 
“And we need the recognition of the Palestinian right 
to self-determination enshrined in international law, 
enshrined in the UN Security Council resolutions, 
enshrined in the Oslo agreements --- all ignored. 
And the Oslo agreement --- is now dead and 
buried. It’s been ignored for so long,” 
he said.   
 
“Some 700 thousand illegal settlers are now living on 
the parts of Palestine that was supposed to be the 
Palestine state,” he noted.  
 
“Some 30 years since the Oslo agreement - it’s time 
to raise the flag of one state. Call it the Holy Land 
--- in which Jews, Muslims and Christians live 
together, as equal citizens before the law. 
These are the kind of agreements I’ll be 
making in the Parliament,” he stated.
 
No words can capture the horrors
unfolding in Gaza: UN rights chief
 
No earlier than on Thursday, the United
Nations 
human rights chief expressed
dismay --
- concerning the brutality
with 
which the Israeli regime 
is waging the war.
 
"There appear to be... no bounds to -- no words to 
capture -- the horrors that are unfolding before 
our eyes in Gaza," Volker Turk told the UN
Human Rights Council in Geneva.
 
 

 #BanIsrael: Campaign to ban Israel  from intl. sports competitions  ---gets impetus

 
From Berlinale to Venice Biennale,
 boycott calls against Israel 
grow louder
March 2nd, 10:44am
by Reza Javadi
 
From political corridors to economic chambers, film 
festivals to art fairs, street rallies to cultural
 symposiums, calls for the boycott of the 
Israeli regime are growing louder 
and wider.
 
Recently, more than 12,000 individuals, including artists, 
curators, and museum directors, endorsed an online
 appeal that called for Israel’s exclusion from this 
year's Venice Biennale art fair over the ongoing
genocide in the besieged Gaza Strip.
 
"Any official representation of Israel on the international 
cultural stage is an endorsement of its policies and of 
the genocide in Gaza," read an online statement by
 the Art Not Genocide Alliance (ANGA), the 
collective organizing the appeal. 
 
"The Biennale is platforming a 
genocidal apartheid state."
 
The global artists criticized the Biennale ---- for being
“silent 
about Israel’s atrocities against Palestinians.”
 
“We are appalled by this double standard,” ANGA said 
in its online letter signed by more than 12,500 people
 as of Tuesday.
 
ANGA joined the growing campaign that has denounced 
the Israeli regime over its relentless aggression on 
Gaza, killing more than 30,000 people in less 
than five months, most of them children.
 
The international collective of artists and cultural workers 
noted that the Venice Biennale previously banned South 
Africa over its apartheid policy of white minority rule, 
and pointed to the fact that leading human rights 
groups today deem Israel’s illegal occupation 
of Palestine “a cruel system of apartheid 
and a crime against humanity”.
 
Signatories included Palestine Museum US director Faisal 
Saleh, US-based photographer Nan Goldin and British 
visual artist Jesse Darling, who won last year’s 
Turner Prize.
 
ANGA has consistently voiced support for Palestinians and 
condemned Israeli crimes against Palestinians, including 
the suppression of Palestinian poets, artists, and writers, 
citing actions such as imprisonment, torture, and travel 
restrictions imposed by the Israeli regime.
 
It characterized the Israeli regime's actions as
 a "cultural genocide" -- and questioned the 
acceptability of showcasing art - from a 
regime involved in horrendous crimes 
against Palestinians.
 
“There is no free expression - for the Palestinian poets, 
artists, and writers murdered, silenced, imprisoned,
 tortured -- and prevented from traveling abroad, or 
internally, by Israel. There is no free expression 
------- in the Palestinian theatres and literary
 festivals shut down by Israel,” 
the collective said.
 
“There is no free expression in the museums, archives, 
publications, libraries, universities, schools, and 
homes of Gaza bombed to rubble by Israel. 
There is no free expression in the war 
crime of cultural genocide,”
it 
hastened to add.
 
Known as the "Olympics of the art world," the Venice
 Biennale is a key event in the international arts 
calendar. This year's edition ---- themed 
"Foreigners Everywhere" --- is set to 
host pavilions from 90 countries 
between April 20, 2024 and 
November 24, 2024.
 
The shadow of the Israeli genocide in Gaza has fallen on 
the global art fraternity as well since October 7. Many 
awards have faced scrutiny, speakers have been 
snubbed, and staff members at various 
publications and venues have 
protested ---- against their 
employers' positions on 
the Gaza genocide.
 
Israel’s tourism sector is in tatters as travelers refuse to fly
 to the occupied territories, both due to security concerns 
and as a mark of protest against Israeli genocide in Gaza.
 
Rising calls for Israeli boycott
 
Petitions from several countries such as Finland, Iceland, 
and Sweden have in recent weeks advocated for Israel's 
exclusion from the Eurovision Song Contest.
 
One petition, with over 8300 signatures, emphasized the
 need for peace and contended that those not actively 
pursuing peace should be excluded from a 
celebration of diversity, like Eurovision.
 
“All of us ----- deserve peace. Those who are not acting to 
achieve peace should not be included in a celebration of 
diversity such as Eurovision!” the petition said, calling 
on the festival authorities to exclude the Tel Aviv 
regime from the international contest.
 
“Innocent Palestinian men, women and children - are losing
 their lives daily under a false narrative that labels all Arabs 
as terrorists, deserving of death or worse. This is not just 
an issue of politics; it's an issue of humanity,” the
 petition read.
 
Referring to the ongoing carnage in Gaza, the petition 
deemed the inclusion of the regime in Eurovision
 “contradictory” ....to its values of diversity, 
unity, and cultural exchange.
 
The petition which has gathered over 8300 signatures 
so far, also referred to the exclusion of Russia.
 
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) rejected two 
songs submitted by Israel for being "too political”,
 with over 1,000 Swedish recording artists 
urging the EBU to exclude Israel from 
the event.
 
The calls for the ban on participation of Israel in 
international sports competitions have gained 
momentum amid the genocide in Gaza and 
murder of many Palestinian athletes.
 
Calls for boycotting Israel from Germany’s cultural events
 
Initiated in January, 'Strike Germany' sees thousands of 
anonymous artists -- calling on filmmakers, musicians, 
writers, and artists to withdraw from cultural events 
in Germany, including the Berlinale International 
Film Festival.
 
The initiative states -- that state-supported cultural events in 
Germany prevent criticism of the Israeli regime, calling for 
a rejection of McCarthyist policies suppressing freedom 
of expression.
 
"It is a call to refuse German cultural institutions' use 
of McCarthyist policies that suppress freedom 
of expression, specifically expressions 
of solidarity with Palestine" --- the 
organizers said in a statement.
 
With 1,600 artists, including Nobel Prize winner Annie 
Ernaux, endorsing 'Strike Germany,' Berlin's CTM 
music festival --- recently witnessed several 
artists withdrawing ---- in solidarity with 
the initiative.
 
On the other hand, a Palestinian documentary film won two 
major prizes at the Berlin Film Festival, showcasing how 
the art world is finally waking up to the reality of the
 Israeli occupation.
 
No Other Land, a documentary directed by Palestinian
 activist Basel Adra and Yuval Abraham, received 
praise and appreciation --- at the Berlinale 
International Film Festival, clinching
 two major prizes.
 
The film depicts.. the forced expulsion of Palestinian 
villagers from Masafer Yatta in the occupied West
 Bank, with the Berlinale jury praising it for 
revealing the "inhumane, ignorant 
policies” of Israel.
 
Abraham, in his acceptance speech, spoke about the plight 
of Palestinians, emphasizing the apartheid-like conditions 
enforced by the Israeli regime in the occupied territories.
 
“We are standing in front of you now, me and Basel are 
the same age. I am Israeli; Basel is Palestinian. And 
in two days we will go back to a land --- where we 
are not equal,” Abraham was quoted as saying.
 
“I am living under a civilian law and Basel is under military
 law… I’m free to move where I want in this land. Basel is, 
like millions of Palestinians, locked in the occupied 
West Bank.”
 
Adra denounced what he said was Israel’s “massacre” 
of Palestinians --- and Germany’s arms sales to Israel.
 
The screening of "No Other Land" saw protesters chanting 
"From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free." Some 
protesters displayed "Free Gaza" signs at the opening
 gala. On February 18, protesters unveiled a banner 
at the European Film Market, stating,
 "Lights, Camera, Genocide."
 
During the closing event, artists, including 
US filmmaker Eliza Hittman, condemned 
the genocide.
 
(Source: PressTV)



No thanks to Israeli goods App

The "No Thanks" application's logo
 
Google reinstates app that 
helps boycott Israel-linked
 companies
December 5th, 9:15pm
(PressTV)
 
Google has reinstated a mobile phone application that helps
 people identify and potentially avoid the products that
 have been made by companies that are linked to the 
Israeli regime.
 
The application, named "No Thanks," was made available 
again on Google's Play Store on Sunday, days after it 
was removed.
 
The app was launched last month amid a genocidal and
 yet-ongoing war by the Israeli regime against the Gaza
 Strip, which has so far killed more than 16,000 people.
 
The developer, named as Ahmad Bashbash, is a Hungary-
based Palestinian from Gaza, who has lost his siblings
to 
the regime's campaign of bloodletting against the 
coastal sliver and its crippling siege.
 
"I made it (the app) on behalf of my brother and my sister 
who I lost, because of this brutal occupation, and my 
goal is to try to prevent what happened to me from
 happening to another Palestinian," he told 
German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
 
"No Thanks" allows customers to scan products'
 barcodes and be notified if they have been 
made by Israeli-linked companies.
 
It was taken off the Play Store on November 30th owing to 
its description that read, "Welcome to No Thanks, here 
you can see if the product in your hand supports 
killing children in Palestine or not."
 
Before being removed ------ it was 
downloaded over 100,000 times.
 
The new version's description says, "Our app simplifies 
the process of scanning barcodes and searching for 
products that are listed for the boycott movement."
 
A version designed for Apple products has reportedly 
been developed ----- and is currently under review.



 Ethiopian painting depicting the Battle of Adwa.

Ethiopian painting depicting the Battle of Adwa. 
Image by Unknown, via the ''British Museum''


 Today, March the 2nd, is
 
Adwa Victory Day, 2024
 
Adwa Victory Day is a national holiday in Ethiopia, which
commemorates Ethiopia's victory over Italy in 1896, 
which secured Ethiopian sovereignty and  is 
observed on March 2 every year. 
 
While most of Africa had come under colonial rule during
 the so-called scramble for Africa, Ethiopia remained
sovereign nation with a formidable army
and a 
strong monarchy.
 
That said, Ethiopia had looked to Italy for financial and
 military support, with Emperor Menelik II signing the 
Treaty of Wuchale in 1889, formalizing the support 
of Italy. 
 
It turns out that the treaty had significant wording
 differences between the Italian and Ethiopian 
versions, with the Italians ''interpreting''
the 
treaty as having made Ethiopia
protectorate of Italy.
 
This led to the First Italo-Ethiopian War in 1895, with the
 Italians having some initial success until Ethiopian 
troops counterattacked Italian positions and 
besieged the Italian fort of Meqele, 
forcing its surrender.
 
The decisive victory for Ethiopia came at the Battle of 
Adwa, a northern town, in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region.
 
The Italian troops were advancing towards Adwa over
 narrow mountain tracks. The Ethiopian forces - took 
up their position on the hills overlooking the Adwa 
valley - in order to ambush the Italians. 
 
The Italians comprised four brigades totalling 18,000 
troops... while the Ethiopians, led by Emperor 
Menelik II  ....comprised 80,000 soldiers 
armed with rifles, as well as 20,000
armed with spears and swords.
 
Heavily outnumbered and outmanoeuvred - about 7,000 
Italians were killed during the battle - with 3,000 taken 
prisoner. Ethiopian losses were estimated to be 4,000. 
 
This proved a decisive defeat for the Italians,
forcing 
their retreat ------ back into Eritrea.
 
In October 1896, Italy signed the Treaty of Addis Ababa, 
recognizing Ethiopia as an independent state.
 
The battle was notable ---- as it was the first victory by an 
African country over a colonial power and is seen as an 
inspiration for the pan-African movement that would 
sweep across the continent in the 20th century 
---- and oust the colonial powers. 
 
The defeat may have also helped sow the seeds that would
 result in the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini.  Indeed,  
when Italian troops occupied Addis Ababa in May 1936, 
Mussolini declared "Adwa has been avenged."
 
Did you know?
 
With the exception of the occupation by Benito Mussolini's 
military forces, between 1936 and 1941, Ethiopia is 
Africa's oldest independent nation.
 
On the Victory of Adwa day all schools, banks, post offices,
and 
government offices are closed. Shops may open... 
but may close earlier than usual.
 
The country celebrates this victory, with 
a procession in the capital Addis Ababa.
 
People pay tribute to their forebears, who
helped 
present-day Ethiopians to secure
their 
independence from European rule 
---- by coming out into the streets, 
having parades, and telling 
old tales. 


The victory turned Ethiopia into an icon of liberty 
for black people worldwide -------- while inspiring 
Africans and beyond to fight for independence.
 
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, says Adwa inspired 
Africans, Asians and South Americans to 
break the yoke of slavery and the 
burden of colonialism.
 
Above all, the Victory of Adwa is a bright monument
that taught the harsh consequences of trying to 
pose threats on Ethiopia, the PM says.
 
“We are fortunate to be able to celebrate the Victory 
of Adwa where our brave mothers and fathers 
registered a great triumph by rejecting 
colonialism and slavery ---- as well 
as inferiority and humiliation.”
 
Officials believe the current generation must draw
inspiration from that historic victory --- and now 
join forces, to defeat poverty in their nation.
 
Ethiopia's President:
 
“We must not forget that we are standing on the shoulders
 of our heroes - who have chosen death over colonialism 
and sacrificed their lives for the cause.”  
 
“We can only grow a country, and create a prosperous 
economy by strengthening our foundations, building 
consensus on our history, and not using history 
for expediency.” 
 
''The solution to our country’s current problems is through 
understanding one another, solidarity, and synergy, but 
above all...... when we act based on the spirit and 
heritage of Adwa and go beyond slogans.''
 

 0000000000000000000


Ethiopia’s Historic Aircraft, 
“Tsehai”, is Back Home
 
 “Tsehai”, the first-ever aircraft made in Ethiopia in the 
1930s, has returned home more than eight decades 
after it was taken to Italy.
 
The aircraft is named after the daughter 
of Emperor Haile Selassie I Tsehai. 
 
“Tsehai” is now in the newly 
built Adwa Victory Museum.
 
Its repatriation came, after the Italian government 
handed over the aircraft to Ethiopia's authorities, 
during PM Abiy Ahmed’s visit to Rome.
 
The historic aircraft was made in Addis Ababa in early 
1935 under the collaborative efforts of the German 
engineer and pilot of Emperor Haile Selassie I, 
Herr Ludwig Weber.... and Ethiopians.
 
“Tsehai” had flown only 30 hours, when the Italian 
Fascists invaded Ethiopia --- on 3 October 1935.

It was
 then ''appropriated'' --- and taken to Italy.
 
Sinc its return home, decades later, Ethiopians can
now visit “Tsehai” --- at the Adwa Victory Museum.




 
TORIES ARE STRIPPING & PRIVATIZING
the NHS 
--- Taking 
Away OUR RIGHTS:.

Since 2022 - OAPs and you
have to have ear-syringing
done ''privately'' and this
is just one example.



___________________________________________________________


 
Police in Britain need ‘significant 
overhaul,’ inquiry says, amid
 run of scandals
February 29th, 3:31pm
 (PressTV)
 
Police in Britain need “a significant overhaul,” an inquiry 
says, against the backdrop of the case of an officer 
who committed rape and murder in 2021.
 
Officer Wayne Couzens was off duty in March that 
year when he forced Sarah Everard, in her 30s,
 from London, into his car, using his police 
credentials. Couzens raped and 
murdered her, later.
 
Attorney Elish Angiolini, who led the two-stage inquiry, 
said on Thursday the investigation had found a total 
of eight similar incidents reported before the
tragic death of Everard. She was a 
marketing professional.
 
The police department, the inquiry said, had failed 
on multiple occasions to recognize indicators 
of Couzens’ unsuitability for the role of 
an officer.
 
“Wayne Couzens was never fit to be a police officer,”
 Angiolini said. “And without a significant overhaul 
----- there is nothing to stop another Couzens 
operating in plain sight.”
 
Couzens, the inquiry showed, had allegedly
committed
 a very serious sexual assault
against a child ---- 
before his policing
career began.
 
“Now is the time for change,” Attorney Angiolini said. 
The lawyer urged -- “all those in authority in every 
police force in the country to read this report 
and take immediate action.”
 
“Given the known under-reporting of sexual offences,
 I believe --- there may be even more victims of 
Couzens’ offending.”
 
In a statement released on Thursday, Everard’s parents 
and siblings said they hope the “significant findings”
 announced in the first part of the inquiry could
 lead to changes to keep other women safe.
 
“We believe that Sarah died because he was a 
police officer --- she would never have got
into 
a stranger’s car.”
 
“As a family, the inquiry has helped us, not just 
because of its significant findings, but 
because its implementation, made 
us feel Sarah’s life was valued 
and her memory honoured.”
 
The investigation into Couzens generated a major 
purge... which led to more findings in the police 
force, including a cop who had committed 
24 rapes.
 
Mark Rowley, the Commissioner of Police of the 
Metropolis, initiated the purge. “The scale of
 the change that is needed inevitably 
means.. it will take time,” the
 London police chief said.
 
In December 2023, over 1,100 police officers 
across England and Wales were under 
investigation for sexual or 
domestic abuse. 
 
Those serving with the Metropolitan police had the
bleakest record, with 657 individuals accused 
of sexual or domestic abuse --- or both.
 



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


United Nations Universal Declaration on Bioethics and 
Human Rights, Article 6 - Consent: Any preventive, 
diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention 
is only to be carried out with the prior, free and 
informed consent of the person concerned. 

Article 3 - Human dignity and human rights: 
The interests and the welfare of the 
individual should have priority over 
the sole interest of science 
or society.



VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV


ROGER WATERS
TO MUSICIANS:-
"BOYCOTT ISRAEL"


Roger Waters formerly of Pink Floyd, in an open letter,
 calls on his fellow musicians --- to boycott the Zionist
Israeli regime and follow the example of the cultural
boycott against the ex S. African Apartheid regime.

“Given the inability or unwillingness of our governments
 [to act] …. I write to you now, my brothers and sisters …
 to ask you to join with me, & thousands of other artists
 around the world, to declare a cultural boycott
on Israel,” 
Roger Waters says in his letter.

Waters says the Zionist regime has been found guilty of
 major breaches of human rights and international law
 by international organizations, UN officials and the
International Court of Justice.


He touches on two such cases, saying the regime has been
 identified as perpetrating the “crime of Apartheid”, including
 in a statement on March 9th, 2012 by the UN Committee on
the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the “crime of
ethnic cleansing” including in East Jerusalem (al-Quds).

Waters adds that he has been a member of the Boycott,
 Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the
 Israeli regime’s occupation of the Palestinian lands and
 Tel Aviv’s violations of Palestinian human rights for 7
 years, and now wants other musicians to also join
the
anti-Israeli front.


“Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global
 civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in
 Israel & occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform
 or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from
 any institution linked to the government of Israel, until
 such time as Israel complies with international law
and
universal principles of human rights.” 


The former Pink Floyd Musician also says he has recently
 faced a boycott by the US media after his November 29th,
 2012 address at the UN on behalf of the Russell Tribunal.

In the address, he sought accountability for the Zionist
 regime’s violations of the international law and the lack
 of United Nations resolve that prevents the Palestinian
 people from achieving their inalienable rights,
especially 
the right of self-determination.



____________________



AT THE FACTORY

Tickets from

www.wegottickets.com/thefactory

www.ticketweb.co.uk

browse venues in Wales

www.ticketlineuk.com

02920 230130

Cash tickets from:

The Factory, Porth
Instrumental Music, Penygraig
Spillers Records, Cardiff

For more details visit

www.factoryporth.com
www.facebook.com/TheFactoryVenue
Twitter @TheFactoryPorth
01443 687080


***********************************************


Daytime Delights...

Starts at 1pm
The Parc & Dare, Treorchy

Lunchtime Concerts in the Lounge Bar.

Indulge in a delicious cake and a cup of tea
while enjoying music and sing-along songs
from fantastic Welsh musicians.

Ticket information:
The Cultural Services Booking & Information Line:
08000 147 111
or book online at
www.rct-arts.co.uk 


 
*************************************************


Mid Rhondda Modelling Club...


7pm - 9pm

Tonyrefail Comprehensive School
Mid Rhondda Modelling Club
has been running for over 30 years.

We meet on a regular basis
& enjoy making models for display.

We encourage both Gentlemen
and Ladies to attend,
and also young people aged 12+.
However, Young people under 16,
must be accompanied by an adult.


Ticket information
£1 contribution every week. Under 16's free

Telephone Mr. Davies on 01443 686658


************************************************


 Comedy In The Laughter Lounge

The Park & Dare Theatre, Treorchy.

COMEDY IN THE LAUGHTER LOUNGE

Join us once a month in the intimate setting
of the Laughter Lounge for some
top notch comedy with some of the
biggest and brightest

rising comedians on the circuit.

Laugh? You'll snort like a pig!


Hilarious - TimeOut.

www.rct-arts.co.uk



Rhondda Records exists to express the Rhondda's
vision --- when it was confident, powerful, caring,
and socialist.

A Rhondda very aware
of the media's poisonous
tricks -- how they con working class people into
attacking each other, or racial groups, or, often,
even their best allies and friends... instead of
seeing their real enemies:--- an elite who hate
the very idea that working people can think,
create, or achieve a fairer society.

Thatcher said her proudest achievement was
Blair and New Labour - who parachuted in
careerists and expenses fiddlers - to stop
local Labour members having a say, and
who made genuine socialist MPs leave
the Labour party in disgust and many
members and voters to despair...
and the young to stop voting.

Jeremy Corbyn was always attacked because
he was trying to reverse all that New Labour
corruption --- that's why membership was
flooding in all over the UK.


______________________________________

Get Involved!

– If you feel you’ve been ‘purged’,
take this online survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/857YMDK


or this one:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc0du5YuhPZ8ahI
oxC_b6pvBprm
GA4XFdG-0r2dOVYyc4UNFg/viewform?c=0&w=1



– Request all your own data that
the Labour Party holds on you:

http://www.labour.org.uk/pages/privacy


– Sign the petition in support of
Jeremy Corbyn, if you agree:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/a-vote-
of-confidence-in-jeremy-corbyn-after-brexit



_______________________________________




IF - YOU THINK you HAVE
BEEN UNFAIRLY BARRED:


“Any member who is suspended & intends
to appeal the decision should throw in a
 ‘Subject Access Request in accordance
with the Data Protection Act’ --- for ALL
 data that the Labour Party hold on them.

The Labour Party are Data Controllers and
 therefore have to, by law, provide you with
 all material/information they hold on you.”

If anyone is in contact with anyone who
was barred from voting --- please can
you pass this info on:

The Labour leadership election was under the
jurisdiction of the electoral reform services.

If you were unfairly deprived of your vote you
can call them on 0208 365 8909 and lodge
 your complaint, and inform them of your
Data Protection request.

https://www.electoralreform.co.uk

The notification letters barring new members
did not give a clear reason, or information on
how to appeal, so Vox Political suggests that
 anyone in this situation, could also contact
 Liz Davies here: http://www.whycantivote.com

She is a barrister --- who can
advise members on what to do.


**************************************


CHILCOT REPORT:
SOME MAIN POINTS:

1)  "Military action was not a last resort".

2) UK government "undermined the
authority"
of the UN security council.


3) Weapons of Mass Destruction presented
 "with a certainty that was not justified".

4) UK forces were "ill-prepared".

5a) "The government failed to
achieve its stated objectives."


5b) Post-war planning: Blair "should
 have known what might happen".

6) Chilcot says Blair also "overlooked the
 threat the invasion would pose to Britain."

____________________________________

Blair to Face Law

The former prime minister has been put on notice
 by families of dead servicemen, that he will face
 legal action, for his part in the illegal Iraq war.

They are being crowd-funded now, and
have raised so much money, that Blair
is
probably heading for a big fall...


Shadow Commons leader Paul Flynn:
the Iraq Inquiry's findings are an "utter
 condemnation" of his terrible decision
 --- and his prosecution should now be
given "serious consideration".

Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond:
"I would like to see Blair investigated by
the
International Criminal Court (ICC),
for
the crime of a war of aggression,
and
face parliamentary action to
stop
him holding public office
ever again."

A former British ambassador to the UN:
 "The UK was pushed into entering
this
military action, too early."

Stop the War Coalition Convener Ms German:
“This is an incredibly damning report for Tony Blair.
It will not call for legal sanctions, but it says that
Blair is culpable for the war, in many ways.

“He needs to be driven out of public life. He is
still part of the Labour Party. We need to make
 sure that truth & justice prevails. There must
 be legal action against Blair, & he should no
 longer be considered fit for any office.”

CND general secretary Kate Hudson:
 “The report shows that Tony Blair had
no respect for cabinet procedure, no
respect for Parliament, & no respect
for international law.

“Chilcot reveals the evidence that must now be
 used to bring Tony Blair to justice. This is our
 demand. Only when justice is served, can we
prevent disasters like the Iraq war from ever
happening again.”

 Iraqi journalist Juma al-Quraishi:
"Everyone who took part in the war against Iraq
should be condemned, either Britain, or others."

Baghdad resident Ali al-Saraji:
"Ex-UK prime minister, Tony Blair, destroyed
 our country. From 2003, to now, our country
has been the scene of destruction, killing,
massacres, explosions and sectarianism."

A defiant Blair refuses to accept accusations
 from service families that he was wrong and
reckless, and he insists that he would make
 the decision again, 'come what may'.

 Families of some of the 179 military personnel
 killed in Iraq, say the former PM is "a terrorist".


____________________________________



PONCY LABOUR MPS PROBLEM?

A huge drop in working-class Labour MPs,
caused a massive drop in support among
 voters with similar backgrounds, reveals
 research seeking to explain why support
has dwindled in the party’s heartlands.

The study says past leaders like Kinnock
 and Blair made a concerted effort to pick
 “more and more middle-class candidates
to run for office, during the 80s and 90s,
 as part of an effort to rebrand” -- which
had initial successes at the ballot box.

But this “conscious electoral strategy”
stored up problems, as working-class
 voters who initially, just didn’t vote in
response, now seek an alternative.

The solution? Trust each constituency to put
forward its own candidates, and don't impose
 ‘party-approved’ choices who can't do the job.


Now, unfortunately, there are "entryist"  MPs who, for
decades, have been groomed by CIA cold war relic
organisations -- like the Atlantic Council -- and are
now trying to misdirect the Labour Party towards
cuts, a militarised police, and a US war agenda...

- and their anti-Corbyn slant is hobbling Labour.


‘How Can I Deselect My Labour MP?’ A Short Guide
to Reselection and Democratic Accountability
by Eric Sim, excellent free advice here:

http://novaramedia.com/2016/07/13/how-can-i-
deselect-my-labour-mp-a-short-guide-to-
reselection-and-democratic-accountability/


CHRIS BRYANT - SUPPORT THE MEMBERS'

LEADERSHIP CHOICE & POLICIES - OR GO!

Chris Bryant, the Rhondda's dodgy MP,
was on TV -- as soon as the PLP coup
started -- telling us that Jeremy MUST
go, because it was the ONLY way to
act in the Labour Party's interest...


Chris Bryant's voting record:
from TheyWorkForYou.com

On Tuition Fees:

On 27 Jan 2004:
Chris Bryant voted in favour of university tuition
fees increasing from £1,125 per year, to up to
£3,000 per year.

On 31 Mar 2004:
Chris Bryant voted to allow university tuition fees
 to increase from £1,125 per year, to up to £3,000
 per year.

On 31 Mar 2004:
Chris Bryant voted for the introduction of variable
university tuition fees (top-up fees) of up to £3,000
per year in place of the previous fixed fee of £1,250
per year.

On 31 Mar 2004:
Chris Bryant voted to allow university tuition fees
to increase from £1,125 per year to up to £3,000
per year, and to make other changes to higher
education funding and regulation arrangements.

On 14 Sep 2004:
Chris Bryant voted against: the immediate abolition
 of all tuition fees, the re-introduction of maintenance
grants of up to £2,000 for students from low-income
homes, and changes to the country's higher
education system.

On 14 Sep 2004:
Chris Bryant voted to reject the Liberal
Democrat policy of abolition of tuition fees.

On 25 May 2016:
Chris Bryant was absent for a vote on Queen's
Speech - Forcing Schools to Become Academies
- Further Rises in University Tuition Fees


On Human Rights:

Consistently voted for introducing ID cards

Almost always voted for requiring the mass
retention of information about communications

Generally voted for mass surveillance of
people’s communications and activities


On the Environment:

Generally voted against greater regulation
 of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract
 shale gas


On Special Interests:

Almost always voted against limits
 on success fees paid to lawyers in
no-win no fee cases

Generally voted against a
statutory register of lobbyists


On War or Peace:

Generally voted for use of UK military
 forces in combat operations overseas

Consistently voted for the Iraq war

Consistently voted against an
 investigation into the Iraq war

Generally voted for replacing Trident
 with a new nuclear weapons system

On 2 Dec 2015:
Voted to support UK airstrikes in Syria
[without UN authorisation]

On 2 Dec 2015:
Voted to support UK airstrikes in Syria
[without UN authorisation]


On Independence:

Generally voted for more EU integration

____________________________
   

Chris Bryant Labour MP
From Wikipedia

(aka 1962-1986: Mr Christopher John Bryant
1986-1991: The Reverend Christopher John
Bryant, 1991-2001: Mr Christopher John
Bryant, 2001-: Mr Christopher John
Bryant MP.)

Born in Cardiff, to a Scottish mother & a Welsh
 father, Bryant grew up in Cardiff, Wales (where
 his father worked for 5 years), and Cheltenham.

He was educated at Cheltenham College, an
independent school for boys in the spa town
of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, where he
was captain of the school swimming team,
and Mansfield College at the University of
Oxford, where he graduated in 1983, with
 a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in English.
 This was later promoted to a Master of
Arts degree (MA (Oxon)), as per tradition.

After completing his first degree, Bryant began
 training to be a priest in the Church of England
at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, in Oxfordshire.
There, he obtained a degree in theology.

Although a member of the Conservative
 Party, and an elected office-holder in the
 Oxford University Conservative Association,
he joined the Labour Party in 1986, after
leaving Oxford.

He was ordained deacon in 1986 and priest in
1987. He served as a Curate at the Church of
 All Saints, High Wycombe, from 1986 to 1989;
then as a Youth Chaplain in Peterborough,
as well as travelling in Latin America.

In 1991 Bryant left the ordained ministry, after
deciding that being gay and being a priest,
were incompatible. Statements made by
 Richard Harries, then Bishop of Oxford,
 also influenced his decision.

After leaving the priesthood in 1991, Bryant
worked as the election agent to the Holborn
 and St Pancras Constituency Labour Party,
 where he helped Frank Dobson hold his seat
 in the 1992 general election.

From 1993, he was Local Government officer
for the Labour Party; he lived in Hackney and
 was elected to Hackney Borough Council in
1993, serving until 1998. He became Chair of
the Christian Socialist Movement.

 He is both a member of the Labour Friends
 of Israel and Labour Friends of Palestine &
 the Middle East. From 1994 to 1996 he was
 London manager of the leader-grooming
 "charity", Common Purpose.

 He was Labour candidate for Wycombe, in the
 1997 general election (he lost by 2,370 votes),
and Head of European Affairs for the BBC,
from 1998.

His selection for the very safe Labour seat of
Rhondda, South Wales in 2000, shocked many
 people given Bryant's background – gay, an ex-
Anglican vicar, and someone who was a Tory,
while studying at Oxford, and a member now,
of the Henry Jackson Society 'think tank' ---
 described by The Guardian newspaper as
 'neoconservative'. It is pro-US, pro-NATO
and pro-military intervention, as well as
being fundamentally anti-socialist.

 Fifty-two people applied for the candidature
and a local councillor was hot favourite to
 win, before Bryant was parachuted in.

In 2004, a photograph of Mr Bryant in his
 underpants, which he had posted to a gay
 dating website, was published in 'papers.

When an interviewer suggested he was
 a 'disgrace to the Rhondda', he replied:
"They can't get rid of me."


His pay, allowances and some expenses:

The basic annual salary for an MP, from
April 1st, 2016 is £74,962.  MPs also get
 expenses: to cover the costs of running
 an office, employing staff, having some-
where to live in London, plus, in their
constituency and travelling between
 Parliament and their constituency.


His MP's expenses story:

Chris Bryant changed second home
 twice to claim £20,000: the deputy
leader of the House of Commons,
 "flipped" his second home twice,
 in 2 years, allowing him to claim
 almost £20,000 for renovations
 and fees.

Chris Bryant, MP for the Rhondda, split over
 £92,000 of expenses between 3 properties
 in Wales and London --- within five years.

In 2004, he attempted to claim £58,000 to
 overhaul his second home in Wales, after
allegedly complaining that properties in
his constituency were "terrace or mine
 owners' houses".

Mr Bryant, a former Church of England clergyman,
wanted the money for a new bathroom & kitchen,
 and to demolish his conservatory. He'd bought the
 detached house for £97,500, under a year earlier.

 He submitted a claim to the Commons fees office for
 £58,493.26 --- almost 3 times the annual maximum.
 He noted that the claim exceeded his allowance.

His alleged justification was disclosed... in
 correspondence between Commons officials.
 By email, an official wrote: "He had problems
finding a suitable property because in the
Rhondda there is a choice mainly of terraced
 property or mine owners' houses." When
approached by the Daily Telegraph,
Mr Bryant said: "I have never said
 or thought anything of the sort".

 In all, he successfully claimed over £13,000
 for renovations, repairs & appliances, in 2004.
Along with other bills, his annual claim was
 £20,902.

In April 2005, he flipped his expenses to his flat in
 west London, which he bought for £400,000 in April
 2002. He also claimed £630 a month for mortgage
 interest, along with other bills. After claiming over
 £3,600 over 3 months, he sold the flat in July 2005
 for £477,000.

Mr Bryant used his profits to buy a more expensive
 flat in west London, which was valued at £670,000.
 He immediately flipped his second home expenses
 there, claiming almost £6,400 in stamp duty, legal
fees and mortgage fees, incurred in the purchase.

He then began claiming interest of £1,000 a month
on the mortgage. He also claimed a further £6,000
 a year for the flat's service charge and ground rent.

In all, he claimed £92, 415 in second
home expenses, from 2004 to 2009.

Mr Bryant said at the time: "I moved flat in
 London, so as to be closer to Parliament."

Research by Channel 4 News in 2015 found that
at least 46 MPs had this kind of system in place
– a move one Labour backbencher described as
“a new fiddle”. Channel 4 reported then:

“Our investigation found that many of the MPs
 bought their London properties with the help of
the taxpayer, when a previous expenses system
 allowed them to claim back mortgage payments.
But when those claims were banned, following
 the expenses scandal, they switched to letting
out their properties, in some cases for up to
 £3,000 a month. They then started claiming
 expenses for rent and hotels in the capital.”

Among those identified was Chris Bryant, shadow
leader of the House of Commons. He had already
 bought a penthouse in London back in 2005 and
 claimed around £1,000 a month in mortgage
claims under the old system.

But after the expenses scandal, he started renting
the property out. It’s since been advertised by estate
 agents as having a private lift and a porter, with rent
 at about £3,000 a month. Meanwhile, Bryant moved
 into a new flat;- claiming his own rent on expenses.


Figures released by The Office for National Statistics
(ONS) reveal that UK pensioners are 4th worst off....
out of all of the countries in the European Union.

_______________________________________


Survey Finds UK
Failing on Childcare
September 13th, 11:13am (FNA)


Tens of thousands of working parents said the government
 is failing them with inadequate childcare policies that leave
 them financially crippled, stymied in their careers and 
desperate for radical change, according to a 
major survey.
 
The survey of more than 20,000 working parents, which was 
shared with the Guardian and involved more than a dozen 
organisations, found that 96% believed ministers were 
not doing enough to support parents with the cost 
and availability of childcare while 97% said 
childcare in the UK was too expensive.
 
One-third of parents said they paid more for childcare than 
their rent or mortgage. This proportion rose to 38% for 
both those in full-time work or were single parents, 
and to 47% of respondents from a black ethnic 
background.
 
The survey comes before a debate on childcare in parliament 
on Monday that was triggered after over 100,000 parents 
signed a petition calling for an independent review of 
childcare funding and affordability.
 
According to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-
operation and Development, the UK has the third most 
expensive childcare system in the world, behind only 
Slovakia and Switzerland; a full-time place costs 
£12,376 a year on average.
 
Research by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) found that 
between 2008 and 2016 the cost of a one-year-old child’s 
nursery provision grew four times faster than wages in 
England. In London, it was more than 7 times faster.
 
Warnings that the early years sector is at risk of collapse have 
been largely ignored and morale is low: research by Nursery 
World, found that one in 10 childcare workers, is living
 in poverty.
 
Justine Roberts, the chief executive of the online forum Mumsnet, 
said, “This is a problem that’s been hiding in plain sight for years,
 and parents know exactly how badly they’re being failed. The 
government must not ignore the misery and stress this 
issue causes for parents across the whole country.”
 
The survey found that people who were struggling the most were 
on the lowest incomes, on universal credit, were single parents,
 had disabilities or had a black ethnic background. One in three 
parents with a household income of less than £20,000 has had 
to cut back on essential food or housing as a direct result of 
childcare bills, while four in 10 single parents have had to
 use credit cards to pay for essential items.
 
Ninety-two percent of parents said the cost of childcare had 
affected their standard of living, while 50% said the cost was 
completely unaffordable or had resulted in a substantial 
impact. Ninety-four percent of parents who changed their 
working patterns after having children... said childcare 
costs were a factor in the decision.
 
The survey also revealed how heavily parents relied on family 
for childcare – while 75% used private nurseries for childcare,
 56% of parents said they relied on grandparents for help. 
Overall, the survey found 99% of all respondents agreed 
that childcare should be recognised as a vital part of the
 UK’s economic and social infrastructure.
 
Joeli Brearley, the founder of the charity Pregnant Then Screwed, 
said, “All we want from the government is transparency. The cost 
of childcare continues to increase, forcing more parents out of 
their jobs, and the quality of our early years settings decrease, 
which will have serious long-term consequences for all of us.
 We don’t believe the government has a grasp of how big the 
issue is... and the impact it is having on families and
 the economy.”
 
The survey was produced and distributed by.. Mumsnet, Pregnant 
Then Screwed, the TUC, the Fawcett Society, the Women’s Budget 
Group, Gingerbread, Working Families, the Fatherhood Institute, 
Maternity Action, Music Football Fatherhood, Mother Pukka, 
Tova Leigh, Black Mums Upfront, the Young Women’s Trust 
and Cathy Reay (That Single Mum).
 
The data, which was not weighted, was collected from 20,046 parents
 in the UK with at least one child aged 18 or under, carried out 
between 20 July and 31 August 2021 – with 97% of the
respondents being women.
 
It presented compelling evidence, that lack of access to childcare 
was preventing progress on gender equality. Only 16% of women 
said childcare had not affected their seniority or income at work, 
compared with 42% of men. Of the female respondents, 83% 
said childcare costs and availability affected mothers more 
than fathers; 41% of male respondents said it affected 
parents equally. Two-thirds of female respondents 
reduced their hours after having a baby,
 compared with 26% of men.
 
Felicia Willow, the chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said, 
“Our government cannot drop the ball on this – it’s clear that 
a lack of access to childcare is stopping women both going 
to work and progressing at work.”
 
The survey also suggested the government’s flagship shared 
parental leave policy was a particular failure; only 17% of 
respondents said it was useful for their family.
 
Ros Bragg, the director of Maternity Action, said, “The deeply 
flawed shared parental leave has been about as helpful to 
working parents as a chocolate teapot. Take-up rate 
among eligible families is now less than 4% in its 
fifth year of operation. It’s clear that we need to 
start again.”
 
Elliott Rae, the founder of Music Football Fatherhood, said...
“Extortionate childcare costs reinforce traditional gendered
parenting roles and make it difficult for dads to have 
flexibility in their work and be fully active and 
engaged fathers.”
 
The survey suggested that respondents wanted to see a radical
 overhaul of the childcare system: 90% of all parents supported 
at least three months of “use-it-or-lose-it” parental leave for 
fathers, paid at at least minimum wage level, while 94% 
believed subsidised childcare should start from the 
end of paid maternity leave.
 
Frances O’Grady, the TUC secretary general, said, “We don’t 
want tinkering around the edges. Our broken parental leave 
system is in need of a complete overhaul.”
 
The Department for Education said parents’ ability to claim 30
 “free” hours a week during term time for three- and four-year
-olds could save them up to £5,000 a year and the number of
 childcare places offered by providers was stable.
 
A spokesperson said early years providers had been given 
financial support during the pandemic, and the government 
had invested £3.5bln yearly in childcare since 2018, adding,
 “We’re making millions more available through our 
recovery fund to level up children’s early 
outcomes, raising the quality of early 
education even further.”
 
 
_____________________________________




Watchdog Finds UK Police 
Tasering Children and
Mentally ill People
August 25th, 1:37pm (FNA)
 
Police must be trained to use Tasers only when “absolutely 
necessary”, a watchdog said, after a review found the
weapons were being used against children and
mentally ill people.
 
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) reviewed 
around 100 of the most serious cases involving Tasers in 
England and Wales, including 16 where people died, The 
Independent reported.
 
Inquests found that the use of Taser contributed to four 
of those deaths, and inquiries are ongoing in others, 
including the killing of former footballer, Dalian 
Atkinson, by PC Benjamin Monk.
 
Last year, a coroner who examined the death of 30-year-old 
father Marc Cole, warned that “future deaths will occur,
unless action is taken”, but the Home Office rejected 
his call for a review of the physical effects of Tasers.
 
The IOPC said they had been used on people with underlying 
health problems, including epilepsy and heart conditions, 
and that, in some cases – including three where people 
died – officers had suspected they were “feigning 
being unwell”.
 
A report published on Wednesday also raised concerns about 
the “increasing use of Tasers on children and vulnerable 
people with mental health, drug and alcohol issues”.
 
The review warned that police had used the weapons in 
unsafe locations, and had not always considered the 
“risk of injury”, properly.
 
In a quarter of the cases examined, Tasers had been wrongly 
used to make people “comply with instructions”, and in a
third, officers had missed opportunities to de-escalate 
situations.
 
The IOPC said that current Taser use was threatening public 
trust in the police, especially over the disproportionate use 
against Black men.
 
IOPC director general Michael Lockwood stated, “Tasers are 
available to more officers than ever before, but engagement 
with communities has highlighted a stark difference 
between their expectations about when a Taser 
should be used, and the situations in which a
Taser can be used, under current national 
guidance, particularly on those who 
are vulnerable.
 
“Police forces must be able to explain this clearly, or risk
further eroding public confidence,” Lockwood added.
 
Lockwood said that although Tasers were a valuable tool 
for protecting both the public and police officers... 
independent scrutiny must ensure that they
are 
used appropriately.
 
“Clearer national guidance on the circumstances in which Tasers
should and should not be used - and better training - will improve 
officer safety, as well as give the public reassurance that Tasers
are being used, only when absolutely necessary,” he added.
 
“Police forces must be able to justify to the public the 
circumstances in which a Taser is deployed, 
particularly when children and vulnerable 
people are involved. Forces must also 
respond to the disproportionate use 
of Tasers against Black people,” 
he said.
 
The IOPC made 17 recommendations, including improvements 
to police guidance and training, the scrutiny and monitoring 
of Taser use and data and research.
 
The Inquest charity said they do not go far enough and called for
“systemic change”, saying Tasers were dangerous weapons, 
that had resulted in serious injury and death.
 
“They are increasingly used, as a first, not last resort,” added 
Director Deborah Coles, adding, “Ultimately to prevent further 
deaths and harm, we must look beyond policing and redirect 
resources into community, health, welfare and 
specialist services.”
 
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the College of 
Policing announced research on racial disproportionality in 
police use of Tasers last year.
 
A National Taser Stakeholder Advisory Group in this area has 
also been set up, and there are new conflict management 
guidelines and training proposals.
 
The NPCC said the IOPC’s review only covered 0.1 percent of
all Taser use, because so few cases had been referred to 
the watchdog.
 
Home Office figures record Taser use if the weapons are 
drawn, used to plant a red target dot on a suspect, or 
fired. In 86 percent of recorded Taser incidents, 
they are not fired.
 
Chief Constable Lucy D’Orsi, the national police lead on 
Tasers, said work was already underway... to make
 improvements.
 
“Focusing on these smaller number of cases missed an 
opportunity to consider Taser use more broadly and, 
unfortunately, has resulted in recommendations 
which are mostly out of date and not based
on
 the realities of policing,” she added.
 
“Policing is not easy and in many violent situations I believe 
Taser is a viable, less lethal option for officers, between 
using a baton and the lethal force of a gun. Taser has 
a critical place in protecting the public and our 
officers,” she said.
 
The IOPC said it could only investigate “the most serious 
and sensitive cases” because of its remit, and aimed to 
contribute to the growing evidence base around 
Taser use.
 
The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners said
it 
would act as a bridge between police forces and the
public, 
to ensure concerns were addressed.
 
The watchdog also uncovered evidence that some officers made
inappropriate comments, including derogatory remarks, during 
these incidents, in an analysis of 101 investigations involving 
Tasers, between 2015 and 2020.
 
Some 60 percent of Black people involved in Taser discharges 
were subjected to continuous discharges of more than five 
seconds, compared with 29 percent of White people.
 
The longest length of continuous use, was 67 seconds.
 

_________________________________
 

Watchdog Finds UK Police
 Failing to Impose Orders 
on Men Accused of Abuse
August 24th, 12:05pm (FNA)
 
Police are failing to impose restraining orders
or 
bail conditions on men accused of rape,
domestic abuse, harassment and 
stalking, a watchdog found --- 
placing women and girls at
 increased risk of harm.
 
A police super-complaint, submitted by the Centre
 for Women’s Justice (CWJ), raised concerns that 
police were failing to use protective measures
in 
cases involving violence against women
and 
girls, The Guardian reported.
 
A joint investigation between HM Inspectorate of 
Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, the 
Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), 
and the College of Policing found there was
lack of understanding in police forces of 
how and/or when to use such protective 
measures, which could lead to women
and girls being 
harmed, or victims 
being less likely to report crime 
in the future.
 
However, the CWJ expressed disappointment that 
the recommendations did not go far enough.
 
Nogah Ofer, a solicitor at the CWJ, stated, “The super-
complaint recommendations are welcome. However, 
they do not get to grips with the severity of the 
problem, or go far enough to ensure that 
police forces make real changes 
in practice."
 
 “Some recommendations, require improved data-gathering,
 and tell chief constables in general terms to prioritise and 
monitor use of orders, but there is a lack of specifics and 
no discussion of under-resourcing, which is the elephant 
in the room. We fear that in five years’ time the situation 
will not be much different to today,” Ofer added.
 
The report made several recommendations, including that 
chief constables should ensure their officers understand 
all the protective measures available & the Home Office 
and Ministry of Justice should intensify and accelerate 
their consideration of creating a bespoke offence, of 
breaching pre-charge bail.
 
The director general of the IOPC, Michael Lockwood, said: 
“Police have a key role in protecting vulnerable people 
and this super-complaint has highlighted clear gaps 
where improvements must be made in protecting 
vulnerable women and girls."
 
“The right training, support, guidance... and leadership, is 
critical to police using protective measures to help keep 
women and girls safe from harm," Lockwood added.
 
“However, this is a community-wide issue and one that 
needs not just a policing response, but a response 
from the whole criminal justice sector, non-
government organisations and others," 
he said.
 
“More than ever, we need a consistent approach to 
stopping appalling crimes of violence against 
women and girls, from occurring in the
first 
place,” Lockwood added.
 
[Rhondda Records adds:
 Damned if you do, and damned if you
don't... think, change, and improve!!!]


________________________________

UK head teacher prompts outrage, 
heated debate -- after revealing her 
school ban on ‘sexist’ expressions
 like ‘boys and girls’
April 29th, (RT)
 
UK head teacher prompts outrage, heated debate 
after revealing her school ban on ‘sexist’ 
expressions like ‘boys and girls’.
 
A UK primary school headmistress has kicked off a storm 
after revealing that she has instructed her teachers not to
 use a number of “sexist” phrases, including ‘let’s go, 
guys’ and ‘boys and girls’.
 
Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, who heads the Anderton Park 
primary school in Birmingham, told the Good Morning 
Britain show on Thursday that students as young as 
three are taught to reject the use of the banned
 expressions by holding up posters.
 
The program – which has stoked fierce debate among 
parents – rewards the two students who flag the ‘best’
 instances of such usage with certificates at the end 
of the week.
 
“If our boys and girls grow up and in school we don’t 
challenge this sexist language and boys are told, 
‘man up’, ‘grow a pair’ and ‘boys don’t cry’, it’s 
very damaging for them...abusers later on 
potentially, or bullies, will also use this 
fear,” Hewitt-Clarkson said.
 
“Fear is the biggest weapon that abusers have and if 
boys are told, ‘boys don't get scared’, ‘boys don’t talk 
about their feelings’, then where are they going to go 
when they are afraid and they are frightened?” 
she added.
 
“Fast forward a little bit to when the children are older
 just to see why this is so important because it’s a tiny
 part of a huge jigsaw,” said Hewitt-Clarkson, who had 
previously said that there was a thread tying tragic 
outcomes like the murder of Sarah Everard to 
casual ‘banter’ and the examples adults set.
 
When asked how the school handled the resulting issues
 in addressing students in a classroom setting, Hewitt-
Clarkson said that the preferred greeting should be 
“good morning everyone” since that does not 
create a gender divide and includes people 
who might not identify as either sex.
 
Journalist Nana Akua, who was also part of the show, 
called the move “absolutely ridiculous” and warned
 that “we’re creating a generation of wallflower kids 
who are listening for an offence.”
 
Noting that the “context of language” was important, 
Akua told Hewitt-Clarkson her “energy is in the 
wrong place.”
 
Social media users were divided on the school’s emphasis
 on gender identity and inclusion with as many supporters
 defending the program as important as there were critics
 who called it unnecessary.
 
Describing it as “absolutely ridiculous”, one person, a p
rimary school teacher, tweeted, “Let kids be kids. They 
grow up too fast as it is.”
 
Another user, identifying herself as an academic, said 
Hewitt-Clarkson was right since “we do segment” 
others based on lessons learned early on.
 
A number of users suggested she stick to teaching 
students “reading, writing, arithmetic and also how 
to be kind” instead of “any of this other stuff.”
 
The majority of users agreed with the need to “phase 
out” some phrases like ‘man up’ and ‘grow a pair’ but 
called for “balance and some common sense”. Some
 also expressed concern about the long-term effects 
of the program.
 
But some denounced the program as evidence 
of “brainwashing” and “stifling freedom of 
speech” in schools, while others said the 
problem lay with the English language,
which doesn't use gender.
 
Tweeter: The problem is English Language. 
Only English and Turkish do not assign 
gendered pronoun & cases in discourse.
English denotes 
everything as Male with
few 
satisfactory gender neutral alternatives,
Learning non-gendered language early is 
the best solution and avoids confusion
 
If you like this story, share it with a friend!
 
 
_____________________________________


UN hits out at UK decision
to 
cut family planning aid
from 
£154 million to £23m
April 29th, 2:39pm (PressTV)
 
 
The UK faces criticism from a UN agency, over
the 
government's decision to cut aid for family 
planning by 85 percent.
 
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has 
launched a scathing attack on the UK’s decision
to 
cut family planning aid from £154 million to 
£23m this year, warning that women and 
girls around the world, will suffer as
 a result.
 
The aid cut, which indicates a reduction by 85% 
could have helped prevent “250,000 maternal 
and child deaths.”
 
Prior to this decision, Britain was the biggest 
donor to the initiative, run by the UNFPA.
 
UNFPA provides contraception and maternal health 
medicine to millions of women in some of the world's
 poorest nations, as well as training maternal health 
staff and promoting efforts to prevent child 
marriage, unintended pregnancies and 
unsafe abortions.
 
Natalia Kanem, UNFPA executive director, accused 
Britain of “stepping away from its commitments at 
a time when inequalities are deepening and 
international solidarity is needed more 
than ever.”
 
She branded UK government’s decision as “devastating” 
& said that "with the now-withdrawn £130m, the UNFPA
 Supplies Partnership would have helped prevent around
 250,000 maternal and child deaths, 14.6 million
 unintended pregnancies and 4.3 million 
unsafe abortions.”
 
Kanem said the UN agency “deeply regrets” the UK’s 
decision, before adding that - upon slashing funds -
“women and girls suffer, especially the poor, those 
living in remote, underserved communities and 
those living through humanitarian crises.”
 
In response to a UN statement on Thursday, Liz Sugg, 
the former Foreign Office minister, who resigned in 
protest of the cuts, said that Britain's withdrawal 
of financial funding for the women's health 
organization was a "double hit on the 
world's poorest."
 
“This is money the UK committed to in the UN chamber, 
signed an agreement and now we’re walking away from 
it – it’s pretty unheard of," Sugg told the BBC Radio 4 
Today program on Thursday.
 
The UK declared this year that it would reduce its total 
foreign aid budget from 0.7 percent to 0.5 percent of 
national income, a £4 billion cut.
 
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he did
 not recognize the figures, but admitted no area was
 immune to cuts.
 
The move has triggered an outcry from charities and aid
organizations that argue it will harm poor communities 
already reeling from COVID-19 and could also hamper
efforts to curb climate change.
 
UKAid has long been a cover for the government’s foreign
policy deployment in the poorer countries and its drastic
aid cuts happen, even as the British military and 
intelligence services step up their activities in
the subject countries.
 
The UK’s retreatment from its financial commitments 
comes after other world powers’ increase their aid 
spending to the poorest, because their need is 
increasing, given the global health crisis.


__________________________




UK: Domestic Abuse Victims 
‘Forced to Sell Homes or Rack
 Up Debt to Get Justice’
April 28th 5:08pm (FNA)


Domestic abuse victims who can’t get legal aid
 are being forced to sell their homes or rack up 
debts, to bring perpetrators to justice,
 campaigners warned.
 
New legislation introduced in January eradicated 
the cap -- previously used -- when determining 
eligibility, but charities say domestic abuse 
survivors are still being refused help, due 
to owning their home, The Independent 
reported.
 
Experts say victims who cannot afford legal representation 
are being forced to face their abusive former partners 
alone in court, due to the changes not being
properly 
rolled out.
 
The warning flies in the face of a December 2020 High Court 
ruling that stopped a legal loophole that blocked a domestic 
abuse survivor who was a single mother from obtaining 
legal aid, despite her only having £28 in her bank 
account. Legal aid helps people pay for legal 
advice and representation in court.
 
Lola, a domestic abuse survivor, said she reapplied for legal 
aid twice after learning the law had changed but has been
 rejected both times, due to owning her home.
 
The 36-year-old, who is unemployed and struggling for money, 
added, “I was also rejected before the law change. I meet all 
the criteria, except for the fact I own my house."
 
“They asked: ‘Why haven’t you got a loan out? and ‘Why haven’t
 you asked friends and family?’ The process is re-traumatising.
 But my ex has got full legal aid," she added.
 
“He manipulated a professional by saying he had suffered 
domestic abuse from me and got them to write this down 
in a letter, which he then used to apply for legal aid. You 
don’t need any proof for this. He’s taking me to court 
for nothing,” she said.
 
Lola, who has had two restraining orders against her ex-
partner, said she qualifies for free school meal vouchers.
 
“I have to represent myself alone in court,” she said, adding, 
“I’m not legally trained. It's the most triggering, traumatising
 experience. He has a barrister. They talk to me like I’m the 
lowest form of humanity. Like I’m scum. He’s got an 
endless pit of my money to keep taking me to 
court. It’s like I’m his plaything.”
 
Lola criticised the legal aid agency which gave her ex money 
for not even checking if there were legal proceedings or a 
restraining order against him - adding it should be 
standard practice.
 
She warned the “injustice” of the situation was “so huge” it 
means she is “consumed by anger” every day, and warned
an individual as dangerous as her ex-partner, who refuses 
to pay child maintenance, should not be granted “all that 
power” in the courts.
 
Lola, who is being supported by domestic abuse charity 
Women’s Aid, recalled the abuse suffered during her
 relationship.
 
“It was never physical,” she said, adding, “But it was getting 
to that point. It was emotional and financial abuse. He 
starting reading up on conspiracy theories and 
taking an interest in flat earth theories. He 
completely lost his grip on reality.”
 
Lola said he would regularly scream at her in front of their son 
for trivial issues such as leaving lights on and constantly 
ringing her when she was at home due to his 
“possessive nature”.
 
She said her son is keen to do school activities but she has 
had to request grants from charities to afford them — 
adding she is terrified she won’t be able to “afford 
to let him pursue his passions”. Money set aside
 for her son’s future is being spent on solicitors 
and barristers, she said.
 
“I’m in a horror film,” Lola said, adding, “This man has got all 
his support. He is hunting me down. I’m going from room to 
room and there is no escape. He was bad enough but now
 the legal aid is abetting him to do this to me.”
 
Refuge found 1,780 women seeking help – more than a third of 
the total – had faced economic abuse from their partner. On 
average, the mistreatment, which includes being denied 
access to money or a bank account, as well as having 
debt placed in their name, lasted more than six years.
 
Charlotte Proudman, a family law barrister, told The Independent 
she had referred domestic abuse survivors to solicitors since
 the changes were in introduced but they had nevertheless 
not been eligible for legal aid.
 
Dr Proudman added, “Solicitors have said it hasn't come into 
force. On the ground, it is not happening. The legal aid 
agency might be refusing because they own 
properties, which defies logic and law."
 
“There is one woman in particular, who because she owns half 
of the family home, they have said she is not eligible for legal 
aid even though she is on benefits. She is a domestic abuse 
victim. It is awful," Dr Proudman said.
 
“If victims haven't got any money to seek protection through 
courts, it leaves them in a vulnerable situation, unable to 
escape abusive partners and seek court protection. 
Such as, orders which block the abusers 
contacting them or approaching them 
in person,” she said.
 
Dr Proudman warned women who are not legally trained do 
not know how to “navigate” the legal system - with victims 
of domestic abuse being particularly scared to face their 
abuser in court alone.
 
“It is a process of them being re-traumatised without the 
protection of a lawyer to speak on their behalf,” she said, 
adding, “An abuser can continue abuse by taking them 
back to court as a way of continuing harassment and
 stalking them.”
 
Legal aid for domestic abuse victims needs to be non-means
 tested and universally available for all irrespective of their
 finances with no delays, she added.
 
“Sometimes it can take weeks to get a legal aid agency to 
decide if they are going to get funding,” Proudman said, 
adding, “In that time serious physical or psychological 
harm could have been caused.”
 
Olive Craig, senior legal officer at Rights of Women, a 
leading women’s legal rights charity, told The 
Independent recent changes to legal aid are 
“applied inconsistently and do not go far 
enough to address the many problems
 presented by the legal aid means test”.
 
She added, “We expect the government’s long overdue review 
of the means test to address those deficiencies and ensure 
access to justice for all.”
 
While Lucy Hadley, of Women's Aid, said they have been 
“disappointed” to learn domestic abuse victims who 
own their own homes are still being blocked from 
getting legal aid, in spite of the High Court’s
 key ruling.
 
She demanded the legal aid means test to be completely 
axed for domestic abuse survivors to make sure “no 
woman who needs to access legal advice and 
representation when escaping an abuser 
is barred from justice“.
 
The Home Office has been contacted for comment.
 
 
____________________________



UK breakup? Welsh
independence
 more popular
than ever
April 8th, 8:56pm  (Press TV)
 
New polls suggest that support for Welsh independence 
from the UK is at an all time high. This has created fear 
in Downing Street, over the real threat of a Kingdom 
breakup, with the Welsh parliament elections on 
the way. 
 
The idea of a Welsh breakaway from the United 
Kingdom is high on the agenda, ahead of this 
year's Welsh elections.
 
With the country’s biggest pro-independence party 
Plaid Cymru, pledging to secure a vote on Welsh 
independence within the next five years.
 
The idea of Wales going alone has traditionally been 
an obscure viewpoint, however, since Brexit, public 
support for an independence vote has skyrocketed.
 
One poll conducted this year actually suggested that 
Welsh support for independence, could be as high 
as 39 percent, that would be the highest level 
ever recorded.
 
No.10 has reportedly become very aware of the growing 
anti-Westminster sentiment outside of England, and are
 drawing up plans to counter the trend.
 
The Welsh elections are taking place in May. Plaid Cymru 
have been recording great successes in past votes, and
 hopes are high of major gains.
 
Although support for independence is not yet near a 
majority view, Westminster’s poor handling of the 
coronavirus crisis, and the negative effects 
Brexit has had for Wales, appears to have 
created greater belief in the virtues of 
self-government. With Scotland also 
pushing hard for a UK divorce... 
No.10’s concerns are growing
 as fast as Welsh patriotism.
 
 
____________________________

 
Hello darkness my old friend
...Peter Mandelson is back 
advising Labour, why not 
just go the whole hog & 
bring back Tony Blair?
by Chris Sweeney
February 15th (RT)
 
Chris Sweeney is an author and columnist who has written 
for newspapers such as The Times, Daily Express, The 
Sun and Daily Record, along with several international-
selling magazines. Follow him on Twitter
@Writes_Sweeney
 
 
Keir Starmer is so devoid of original ideas he is bringing back 
the Prince of Darkness to help him crowbar his way into 
Number 10, but if the plan is Blair 2.0, why settle for an 
impersonator when the original is still available?
 
Lord Peter Mandelson is not a name that will resonate beyond
 the UK, but he is one of Britain’s most infamous spin doctors. 
The type of character who has seemingly exerted an extended
 sphere of influence without it ever being clear exactly what he 
does. He arrived into the Labour Party in 1985 and it’s now 
been revealed he is still pulling strings today, 36 years later.
 
Tony Blair adored his style but some of the left-wing union 
devotees had no time for the man who became known as 
‘The Prince of Darkness’. So, to appease them, and to 
keep his involvement in Blair’s leadership campaign 
secret, he was issued a code name – 'Bobby'. 
 
Since then, he’s inhabited a range of roles; minister without 
portfolio, secretary of state for Northern Ireland, European
 commissioner, business secretary --- and then Baron 
Mandelson as he entered the House of Lords. After 
Blair left - and was replaced by Gordon Brown - 
Mandelson retained an iron-grip on the levers 
of power. In that period, he was a member of 
35 cabinet committees, and some referred 
to him as the “unelected prime minister.”
 
Mandelson likes a frontman, a lead singer to shield him while 
he writes the lyrics. So it’s business as usual now that’s he 
back in alongside current Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. 
There is only a decade or so in age between the two, but
 the level of experience in the dark arts of politics, is 
heavily tipped in Mandelson’s favour. The notoriety
 is why he chooses to remain in the shadows, as a 
lot of voters detest him. He represents the back-
room dealmaking and media manipulation that
 turns so many off politics.
 
Mandelson is like a lightning rod, he takes the surge and 
allows his ‘stooge’ to carry on. He ended up in the public 
court of shame, for spending a New Year’s Eve, on Paul 
Allen’s yacht, while Microsoft was at the centre of an 
EU investigation.
 
Another yacht trip got him in hot water, this time,
with 
oligarch Oleg Deripaska, as Mandelson had
been 
part of a decision to cut aluminium tariffs.
At the 
time, Deripaska owned United Company
Rusal, 
one of the world’s biggest producers of
the metal.
 
Mandelson was also friendly with Jeffery Epstein,
 and has been pictured with the disgraced financier. 
 
So for Keir Starmer to bring in a man with that amount of 
baggage, proves how desperate he must be. Starmer 
replaced Jeremy Corbyn - the most socialist main-
stream figure seen in British politics for decades - 
but has as yet done nothing of substance. He's a 
more centrist figure, but Boris has that sewn up:
 he won the last election, with an affirming 80-
seat majority. The so-called Red Wall, fell to 
the Conservatives, proving that the working 
class heartlands, no longer had faith in 
their old ally Labour. And still there’s 
no spark or idea from Labour, to 
turn that around.
 
Since Blair left office, the party hasn’t won an election. Their
 last victory was in 2005 and before Blair led them to victory
 in 1997 they hadn’t won an election since 1974. Blair is the 
only person who has led the Labour Party to victory in the 
last 47 years, and it seems they’ve simply decided to 
revert to what worked then and hope it does now.
 
So welcome back Mandelson, who is right in his sweet spot, 
without an official position but is there to “broaden the party’s
 appeal.” It seems a redundant mission, as you’re asking 
Mandelson to recreate the old magic. For that, he needs 
his protege and the man who brought those ideas to life
 – Blair. Why bother trying to copy him, when he is still 
out there, sitting around not doing very much? Blair 
has been quite vocal and made quite a few public 
interjections into the Covid-19 effort. It was his 
idea to stagger the two vaccine doses, which 
Britain and other countries are now 
actually doing. 
 
If Labour's desperation is so great they need to face facts. 
Starmer is keen to paint himself as a paragon of the good 
and just. He created a big spectacle over the investigation
 into anti-Semitism within Labour and also fired a member 
of his shadow cabinet for making a remark that was
 judged to slight the Jewish faith.  
 
Starmer’s previous profession was as a barrister where he 
worked on human rights cases before becoming a QC and 
the Director of Public Prosecutions. He also spoke out 
and protested against the Iraq war. 
 
Yes, the same war that Blair led Britain into, after years of 
working with Mandelson. So if Starmer is so willing to 
embrace Mandelson, is he really as principled and 
motivated by integrity as he’d like to have us think?
 
All of this also reflects an extremely depressing facet to 
British politics. The country has suffered the most 
deaths in Europe due to incompetent leadership.
 
The list of ludicrous decisions has been recounted many
 times and if the opposition cannot muster up a feasible 
counter after all these months, they really are 
beyond hope.
 
The vaccination rollout is the only thing Boris has handled 
well, but it won’t erase the number of families left to rue the 
unnecessary loss of loved ones. There is also the much-
covered resurgence in support for independence in 
Scotland and a growing movement in Wales. Brexit 
was another shambles, with a deal agreed days 
before everything went into meltdown. How is it 
possible that an allegedly well-run, professional, 
perceptive political party ,can’t muster up a 
credible opposition?
 
Winding the clock back 20 years and hoping that the same 
things will work is, in my view, a fantasy. Society and 
attitudes have changed, there was no social media 
in 1997 and simply looking plausible and playing
 'Things Can Only Get Better' on a loop isn’t 
going to win you 80+ seats. But let us 
suppose, for a minute, that it might, 
if the Labour party & it’s leadership 
really believe that’s their greatest 
hope and the best plan they have 
for the British people is New 
Labour 2.0, then why isn’t 
Blair involved?
 
Starmer talks a bit like him, has a similar presence, they were 
even both barristers before entering politics, but trying to 
‘out Blair’ Blair is futile. If Starmer isn't able to lead and 
create his own vision, then why did he put himself
up 
for the job? Trying to get Peter Mandelson to 
Svengali you into some sort of Blair tribute act
is never going to work. As Queen fans
 know,
Adam Lambert, is no substitute for 
Freddie Mercury.
 
Step up or step aside, don’t be a down-
market 
copy of your predecessor.
 
Think your friends would be interested? 
 
Share this story!
 
 
_________________________________


Boris Defends Bully Patel
but Not Pensioners –
 His
Govt is Morally Repugnant
by Tommy Sheridan
22/11/2020  (Source - Sputnik)


Anyone surprised by BoJo’s decision to condone shameful bullying at
 the heart of his government and order a “square” of defence be formed
 “around the prittster” after he decided to keep Priti Patel in his cabinet
 despite her being found guilty of breaching the Ministerial Code and
 bullying, has plainly been sleeping over the past eleven months.


That period has exposed the rancid hypocrisy, corruption, cronyism, 
and lack of integrity which characterises Johnson and the Tories 
under his leadership.


Priti Patel was accused of disgraceful conduct and bullying while an 
employment Minister under Theresa May in 2015, behaviour which 
drove a female civil servant to attempt suicide on at least two 
occasions and ended with a Department of Work & Pensions
 pay-out of £25,000 in April 2017 to avoid the scrutiny of an 
Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal, harassment, 
discrimination, and victimisation.


Patel the Bully Became Patel the Liar


Patel was then moved to the role of International Secretary only to be
 found out as a devious liar whom May had to sack after her deliberate
 misleading of the PM and Parliament over secret meetings with Israeli 
officials, business representatives and lobbyists was exposed. She
 lied and was caught. She had to go.


Being a dishonest bully presented no barrier to Boris Johnson’s 
cabinet however and he appointed Patel as his Home Secretary 
in July 2019 after he became Tory leader.


Within weeks the top civil servant in the Home Office, Sir Philip Rutnam, 
felt compelled to warn her about her conduct and lack of respect for 
staff before eventually resigning from his post at the end of February
 this year in a move which caused shock waves in the civil service 
and government. He accused Patel of lying about a “vicious” 
campaign orchestrated against him and creating a climate 
of fear in her department.


Patel Investigation Handicapped from the Outset


A high-level investigation was reluctantly ordered into the allegations
 made by Rutnam, and he vowed to pursue a constructive dismissal 
claim against the government which is yet to be concluded. It is 
increasingly clear that the investigation has been less than 
rigorous as the senior civil servant appointed to conduct 
it was refused access to Rutnman despite him being the 
best equipped to inform the investigation. 


However the report that was compiled was laid on Johnson’s desk 
in April and he refused to act on it for months before recently 
contacting the author, Sir Alex Allan, and leaning on him to 
water down the conclusions. Despite the limited access to 
witnesses the investigation still found Priti Patel "shouted 
and swore" at staff in actions "that can be described 
as bullying" and that she had indeed breached the 
Ministerial Code which is normally an automatic 
resignation offence.


The fact Sir Alex Allan, former chair of the prestigious Joint 
Intelligence Committee, chose to resign rather than alter his
 report to save Patel’s reputation is admirable, but the full 
report is being kept secret. It must be revealed in full and 
the fact it was severely handicapped by the barring of 
access to Rutman’s input must also be highlighted.


Johnson Willing to Protect Patel
but not Pensioners in Care Homes

Patel was ordered to issue an apology on camera on Friday but all
 it did was rub salt in the wounds of the campaign against bullying
 as she smugly smirked and smiled when she claimed to have no
 knowledge of bullying but apologised anyway. Please watch and
 remember - her conduct drove a lowly paid civil servant to 
attempt suicide on two occasions and compelled a very 
senior civil servant to resign. The lack of contrition for 
her actions and empathy for her victims is truly
 frightening.


If Johnson and his Tory gang of millionaires and spivs showed an iota 
of the concern and commitment to defend elderly care residents as
they have shown to defend lying bully Patel at least 20,000 lives 
could have been saved. A shocking report compiled by Amnesty
 International last month received very little media attention but 
condemned the Tory Covid19 response as a dereliction of duty 
and care towards elderly citizens.


Read the document and understand just how complicit this Tory
 government is in the deaths of thousands of senior citizens. It 
presents evidence that the government’s policy of herd immunity
 was responsible for mass murder. The government was entirely 
aware of the probable outcome of their policy and went ahead
 regardless of the risk to thousands of lives.


The report, “As if expendable: The UK government’s failure to protect 
older people in care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic”, details 
how, between March 2 and June 12, 18,562 residents of care homes
 in England died with COVID-19. The vast majority (18,168) were 
aged 65 and over, representing almost 40 percent of all deaths 
involving the virus in England during this time frame. Of these, 
76 percent (13,844 deaths) occurred within care homes for
 the elderly.


During this brief period, 28,186 “excess deaths” were recorded
 in English care homes, a 46 percent increase in comparison 
with the same period over previous years.


Amnesty conclude that the Tory government together with its 
agencies at national and local level have “taken decisions and 
adopted policies during the Covid-19 pandemic that have directly
 violated the human rights of older residents of care homes in
 England—notably their right to life, their right to health, and 
their right to non-discrimination”.


The report argues that the decisions and policies of the Tory
 government “impacted the rights of care home residents to 
private and family life, and may have violated their right not 
to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment”.


Johnson was determined to “form a square around the prittster”
 to defend his lying bully Patel at the Home Office but didn’t lift a 
finger to defend thousands of pensioners in care homes. That is
 the warped and putrid priorities which define this government.


A Litany of Government Failures but No Resignations
Their top advisor broke lockdown rules but there was no resignation.


They have been caught awarding contracts worth over £20 billion of 
public money without proper scrutiny or tendering processes to
 friends of senior Tories and companies known to donate to the 
Tory party and no one has resigned.


The UK government’s late response to Covid-19 and failure to 
impose lockdown measures caused the unnecessary deaths 
of 20,000 --- but no one resigned from government.
International law will be broken because of the government’s
 Internal Market Bill --- but no one resigns.


The Johnson government backs bullies, liars, public contract 
cheats and international law breaking. It is morally repugnant 
and thoroughly incompetent. No wonder Scotland is so keen 
to break away as soon as possible.


_________________________________________________


Report: Patients Discharged from 
UK Hospitals without COVID Test
Results
October 28th, 2020 (FNA)


Almost half of hospital patients have been discharged 
without receiving the results of their coronavirus test 
– including some patients who were sent to care 
homes, new research revealed.


Independent national patient body Healthwatch England 
said it had learned many patients were discharged from 
hospitals between March and August this year without 
proper assessments with many vulnerable people sent 
home without medication, equipment or the care they 
needed, The Independent reported.


At the start of the pandemic thousands of patients were 
discharged to care homes as NHS England instructed 
hospitals to free up 15,000 beds ahead of the first 
wave of coronavirus.


Approximately 25,000 patients were sent to care homes 
with some not tested, sparking fears this helped seed 
care homes with the virus. There have been around 
16,000 care home deaths linked to COVID-19.


According to a survey of almost 600 discharged patients 
and interviews with 60 NHS staff, Healthwatch England 
said it had found serious flaws with the way hospitals 
had followed NHS England’s instructions.


In joint research with the British Red Cross, shared with 
The Independent, it found that 44 percent of patients were 
discharged without knowing the result of their corona-
virus test - including some to care homes.


It said, “Despite the policy stating that all patients 
discharged to a care home should be tested for 
COVID-19, we found that 26 percent of our 
survey respondents who were discharged 
to a care home were not tested.”


While the numbers involved were small, only 13 out of 50 
patients, the report added that this was “still a significant 
proportion of people who were required to be tested 
but did not receive one”.


Healthwatch added that while patients going to care homes 
must have the results available and shared with the home
it was still not national policy to test everyone being 
discharged. It argued this should now be an 
''ambition'' for the government.


Its report also raises concerns about the wider care 
of vulnerable patients sent home from hospital.


88 percent of patients reported having care needs 
after being discharged that have still not been met.  


82 per cent did not receive a visit or any
assessment from a health professional


Almost one in five of those who did not 
receive a visit, reported unmet needs.


In total 45 percent of people with a disability and 
20 percent of people with a long-term condition 
had support needs that were not being met, 
following their discharge.  


Healthwatch England criticised the national discharge 
policy put in place by NHS bosses, as “confusing” in 
places which it said may have contributed to some 
patients missing out on the care they needed.


Robert Francis QC, chair of Healthwatch England, said, 
“In March, hospitals were asked to discharge patients 
with little or no notice and the speed with which this 
took place was important, but led to mistakes."


“We do not want to detract from the heroic efforts of
t
hose on the frontline, who often put themselves at 
great risk to care for their patients, but services 
and system leaders have now had more time 
to prepare," he said.


“It’s essential that we learn from what people have 
shared with us about the impact that a poorly 
handled discharge can have on them and 
their loved ones. Taking action now will 
not only reduce the risk to patients but 
will also help improve the way people 
leave hospital in the future,” he added.


The British Red Cross and Healthwatch England said 
assessments for patients needed to be prioritised.


They also called for discharge checklists to make 
sure patients were asked if they needed help with 
transport and equipment.


Other recommendations included making sure carers 
and patients had a single contact for support, which 
was already national policy but still not fully adopted.


The report also said community services needed 
to be boosted, to cope with increased demands.


British Red Cross Chief Executive Mike Adamson said, 
“We’ve seen first-hand the huge efforts made to 
improve the discharge process for patients and 
their families. However, we also know, despite 
good intentions and hard work, there are still 
barriers to making the ideals of discharge 
policy a reality."


“The Red Cross has been bearing witness to these 
issues for years, and we hope that the increased 
urgency of the situation will bring lasting change. 
Many of the people we support are older or more 
vulnerable, & fall into the higher-risk categories
 for COVID-19," Adamson said.


“Simple interventions, like getting equipment and 
medicine delivered, or follow-up visits, can make 
the difference between a good recovery or some-
one regressing to the point of readmission - 
precisely at the time we want people to 
stay well, and stay at home,” he said.


Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, 
said, “There has long been a wide consensus about the 
benefits for patients of being able to return home as 
soon as their specialist hospital care is complete, 
and it is good that delays have been reduced in 
recent times. While this is a very small snap-
shot survey, local hospitals will want* (sic) 
to take account of the points it makes.”


 (*No they won't!)


_________________________________________
 

By backing housing charity’s
‘Jewish only’ rule, 
UK court drops
the ball. Aren’t we all equal in Britain?
by Chris Sweeney October 17th, 2020 (Source: RT)


A small legal challenge has turned into a precedent-
setting case about whether someone in today’s 
Britain can be prioritised or denied housing on 
the basis of their religion.The law isn’t always 
right and it’s not just people who can be 
taken hostage.


In a disgraceful decision deemed legitimate by the UK’s
 highest court, a single mother with four children was 
refused social housing – because she wasn’t a Jew.


It’s that simple. 


The charity Agudas Israel Housing Association (AIHA) 
owns 470 houses in the London borough of Hackney.
 Local authorities promised, in October 2017, the 
next available home to the woman and her kids, 
two of whom are autistic.


AIHA refused to hand over the keys to any 
of its SIX four-bedroom, unoccupied flats.


Their argument was it makes offers “only to members 
of the Orthodox Jewish community.” As Britain is a 
secular nation, the woman’s legal team found this 
claim astonishing and argued it had the same 
sentiment as the ‘No Dogs, No Blacks, No Irish’ 
signs that were once displayed in some pubs. 


Lord Sales stated the charity’s use of positive discrimination 
was lawful, under the Equality Act 2010, in order to correct 
the disadvantage faced by the community. The issue 
apparently was not racism, but discrimination on 
the grounds of religious observance. The court 
considered the “widespread and increasing 
overt antisemitism in our society.”


Intolerance or hate speech of any form is unacceptable. 
But it’s hard to believe the courts and public reaction 
would have been the same, if this had been Islam or 
a group of Pashtuns from the Iranian border region.


Jewish affairs are treated differently. There's a 'kid gloves' 
approach and they’re deemed to be culturally valuable, 
while other communities are sometimes dismissed as 
interlopers. AIHA’s founder Ita Cymerman-Symons, 
speaking last year about the legal action, offered 
the view: “Which non-Jewish person, honestly 
speaking, wants to live in the midst of a 
building full of Haredi men with all the 
beards, and all the chanting on a 
Friday night and all the children?”


A homeless single mother with four children 
for one, along with many others.


Plenty of people in social housing endure noisy neighbours, 
potent cooking smells and screaming kids. But isn’t that 
wonderful? Diversity and living cheek by jowl with 
people who see, think and believe different
things 
to you.


That’s a rich learning experience for anyone.


The fallacy of the AIHA’s superiority complex of viewing 
Orthodox Jews above others is, every public service is 
available to their members. And, of the charity’s 2019 
income of £105,710, the sum of £39,716 came from 
British government grants. They won’t be stone-
walled at hospital or refused entry on a bus, so 
why should they be allowed to create their 
small-minded kingdom with impunity?


These Jewish community leaders seem to be shutting out 
anyone who doesn’t align with their beliefs. It’s unhealthy 
and depressing, especially in a multicultural metropolis 
like London.


The judgement also referenced issues that Orthodox Jews 
don’t like to live outside of the Stamford Hill area and they 
tend to be poorer than the wider Jewish community. Many 
of us would prefer not to live outside of the millionaire’s 
playgrounds of Kensington, Knightsbridge and Mayfair – 
but we tend to be poorer, so can’t afford it. That doesn’t 
mean the courts would support us founding the 
Republic of Poverty Housing Association, and 
letting us administer who can move in.


Even if we concede that Orthodox Jews appear to support 
AIHA’s ghetto-isation, aren’t the courts supposed to rule 
for the greater good? It makes no sense to encourage 
people to live in self-imposed enclaves. How are they 
going to progress in life, or do they never plan to 
leave the streets around their homes?


There’s also a wider impact of the judgement. It raises the 
hackles of the population. It hacks away at the concept of 
respecting every other citizen. The far-right will jump on 
this and sadly there’s no defence. It will birth more 
discontentment and raise tensions. 


The law lords have dropped the ball, because they are the 
highest court in the land, they had the chance to set a 
precedent. They seem to have been influenced by 
Jewish sensitivity, that labels anyone who 
disagrees with the faith an anti-Semite.
 It’s hard to see how justice, fairness, 
compassion and understanding are 
applicable. But superiority, tokenism 
and favouritism have been advanced.


Why?


Well one of the court’s final points was AIHA was "a small 
housing provider, but similar discrimination by a larger one 
might not be allowed.”


We’re all equal, right?

Chris Sweeney is an author and columnist who has 
written for newspapers such as The Times, Daily 
Express, The Sun and Daily Record, along with 
several international-selling magazines. Follow 
him on Twitter @Writes_Sweeney



______________________________________




Brits should be ashamed of the casual cruelty 
we show towards over-60s, and shrugging it 
off as ‘banter’, does nothing to excuse it.
by Damian Wilson
9th October, 2020


Two-thirds of UK over-60s say they have been abused in 
public because of their age, with a fifth saying insults 
come from within their own families. It seems the 
idea that we should ‘respect our elders’, is no 
longer in fashion.


We live in a society where everyone just loves to talk 
about ‘respect.’  Even primary school children are 
indoctrinated with the concept, told they are due 
it by right and can demand it from others, if it’s 
not forthcoming. It’s all one-way traffic.


That’s why, as they grow older, and insist on enforcing 
their entitlement, it becomes increasingly evident that 
while they assume that right is a given for them, they 
actually don’t give a toss about it applying to 
anyone else.


Every now and then, research will put this into sharp relief, 
as is shown in the results of a survey undertaken by the 
University of the Third Age (u3a). The study found that 
the more senior members of society, basically those 
aged 60 and over, are frequently insulted by younger 
people, and they don’t like it.


Clueless Millennials, Zoomers and even Gen X’ers told the 
u3a pollsters that they don’t mean anything by slinging 
ageist insults, they were simply being “friendly” and 
the name-calling was just “banter.” Everyone 
does it.


The growing tendency of young people to airily dismiss their 
elders as over the hill old fogeys, and to even insult them in 
public because of their age, is not ‘banter,’ it’s insulting 
and rude.


The misuse of ‘bants’ as a term is one of modern life’s 
great irritations, because while young people have 
co-opted the word to (mis)represent the sort of 
behaviour that borders on bullying, with a thin 
coating of vicious humour, they are 
deeply mistaken.


Banter, in its traditional form, is an exchange between 
two people, a battle of wits, a game of intellectual 
ping-pong, like those nerdy folk on Channel 4 panel 
shows. Usually, those engaging in banter finish 
their jousting with a smug, self-congratulatory 
smile. It’s showing off, it’s proving how clever
you are. It’s not calling someone an old fart 
and shoving them out of the way.


Where’s the give and take, or clever verbal sparring, in 
a teenager shouting at an elderly woman in the street, 
“You dozy old biddy, move it!”. Or standing behind a 
chap of a certain age at a shop checkout, as he 
searches for his wallet and complaining,
“C’mon 
grandpa, hurry up!”?


That’s not banter. That’s something completely different. 


A new sort of passive-aggressive behaviour combined 
with name-calling, is increasingly common among 
young Brits these days, thinking that getting one 
over another person is some sort of achievement 
proving their superiority, particularly if it
belittles 
their victim as a result.


Of those surveyed, 63 per cent of over 60s said they 
had been verbally abused in public, with an ageist 
insult, while others had also noticed an increase 
in insults on television (65 per cent) social media
(33 per cent) and even from their own family 
(21 per cent).


My 11-year-old  thinks it’s funny to call me a ”boomer” 
when I can’t find the TV remote. She has a very clear 
idea of what the insult suggests, even if she’s 
actually out of range by a few years. I’m 56 -- 
so borderline Gen X’er, thank you very much.


Unfortunately for me, British families in general 
are not the sort of multi-generational dynasties, 
such as in Italy or India,  in which patriarchs 
& matriarchs, are given lifelong roles at the 
head of their family and afforded a respect 
that other members ignore at their peril.


Break the rules in one of these families, cause offence 
to an elder, and you will bring down the wrath of 
generations upon your head, face humiliation 
and even ostracisation. There is a sense of 
honour woven into the fabric of the family. 
These families are, sadly, not common 
amongst the British.


So most kids and young adults have no hesitation 
in freely hurling abuse at someone they consider 
a geriatric, past it, a fuddy duddy, over the hill, a 
fogey, a crone, an old dear, a codger, a biddy or 
a fossil, which by the way, are those insults 
most frequently employed, according to u3a.


This sort of casual cruelty, and the disregard 
it displays towards our seniors, is hugely 
disrespectful & we should be ashamed 
that it’s so widely accepted as nothing 
out of the ordinary.


We’re all guilty here. Causing offence like this should 
provoke more concern than it does, because it is an 
unwelcome sign of a breakdown in social and family 
hierarchies. Ignoring the concepts of seniority and 
wisdom --- we treat human beings like any other 
consumable, in our consumer-driven world ---
with a finite shelf-life & built-in obsolescence.


Many people feel no qualms about calling out an older 
person, in public, to remind them their time is up as a 
useful contributor to society and they need to shift 
it or risk being steamrolled by those behind them. 
While maybe not articulated quite like that as a 
traffic queue forms behind an elderly motorist 
showing excessive caution at a road junction, 
that, sadly, is often the underlying sentiment 
and we should be ashamed.


But most often, we’re not. We’re just annoyed at 
the inconvenience that someone older than us,
is causing to ourselves. Nearly 10 years ago, 
Age UK made a study of ageism & identified
it as the most widely experienced form of 
discrimination across Europe, affecting 
164 million senior citizens at that time.


Nothing much has changed in the UK in this regard 
since 2011, it seems. And if the latest study is 
anything to go by, things have become 
even worse. 


Damian Wilson is a UK journalist, ex-Fleet Street 
editor, financial industry consultant and political 
communications special advisor in the UK & EU.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in 
this column are solely those of the author and do 
not necessarily represent those of RT.



__________________________________________



 Figures Reveal 17,000 Elderly People in UK 
Forced to Sell Home to Pay for Care Costs 
in Just One Year
October 5th, 2020 (Fars news agency)


More than 17,000 pensioners were forced to sell their homes 
to pay for social care last year, research by Money Mail reveals.


The shocking figure means that 330 elderly residents each 
week are taking the desperate step despite Prime Minister 
Boris Johnson’s promise to fix the social care funding crisis.


The calculations reveal the scale of the emergency, showing 
that the numbers forced to sell their hard-won homes have 
soared 45 percent since 2000.


Last night campaigners called for urgent action and 
demanded a "national fund" to pay for social care.


Morgan Vine, of charity Independent Age, said, "The 
pandemic is not a reason not to act – it is the reason 
why action has never been more vital."


On his first day in No 10 in July 2019, Johnson vowed to 
make social care a priority and end the crisis "once and 
for all".


But he has since admitted action would be delayed and 
the coronavirus crisis has made immediate reform a 
remote possibility.


The cost of residential care has risen dramatically 
and now stands at more than £33,000 a year.


Anyone with more than £23,250 in funds, including their 
house value, is denied state help, leaving thousands 
having to sell their homes to pay soaring care bills.


The Daily Mail has campaigned to end this injustice 
for the families of those with dementia, as well as 
other patients.


MoneyMail’s calculations, verified by Independent Age, 
are based on Department of Health data indicating that 
30 percent of those who pay for their residential care 
have to sell their homes.


The total was produced by comparing the numbers of 
self-funders in care provided by analysts Laing Buisson.


The research assumes the average stay is two-and-a-half 
years, as concluded in a study by the Personal Social 
Services Research Unit and Bupa.


It means around 350,000 elderly people are estimated to 
have sold their homes to pay for residential care since 1999.


Caroline Abrahams, director at charity Age UK, said, "When 
the threat from coronavirus finally recedes, Age UK will 
certainly be holding the Government to account on its 
promise to fix social care. The obvious solution is for 
us all to pay into a national fund, like we do with 
the NHS."


She added" |Most people dread the idea of having to sell 
the family home to pay their care bills and the fact that 
this is the reality for substantial numbers is very sad."


Vine, head of policy at Independent Age, said, "These latest 
figures are a timely reminder of the need to fix the funding 
crisis that has plagued the social care system for decades, 
long before COVID-19.


"When taking office, the Prime Minister promised to solve 
the crisis, including preventing people from having to sell 
their homes to pay for care," Vine said, adding, ‘Although 
he couldn’t have predicted the challenges we now face, 
we can all predict the long-term consequences of failing 
to keep his promise."


Liz Kendall, Labour’s social care spokesman, said, "The 
Prime Minister said, on the steps to Downing Street, that 
he has a plan to fix the crisis in social care and that no 
one should have to sell their homes to pay for their care."


"Yet we have seen neither sight nor sound of 
any long-term plan for reform," Kendall said.


"This must be an absolute top priority for the Government. 
People who have worked hard and saved all their life have 
seen their savings wiped out," Kendall added.


A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said, 
"We have committed to end the injustice that some people
have to sell their homes to finance care whilst others don’t. 
We know there is a need for a long-term solution and are 
looking at proposals."



_____________________________________________________




UK’s chief scientific adviser has
£600,000
 of shares in vaccine
maker contracted by govt
– reports
 
UK Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance reportedly 
holds a bonus of tens of thousands of shares in a pharma 
giant developing a Covid-19 vaccine for the government. 
Yet, London says there is no conflict of interest.


Vallance, who also chairs the government’s expert advisory 
panel on vaccines, appears to have retained over 43,000 
shares in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) – a UK-based 
multinational pharmaceutical company – 
worth £600,000, The Telegraph reports.


The shareholding appears to be the legacy of his previous 
job as the head of research and development at the very 
same company. Over his tenure from 2012 to 2018, 
Vallance accumulated a total of 404,201 GSK 
shares worth a whopping £6.1 million in his 
hands, according to the British media.


However, he sold more than £5 million worth of shares 
after being appointed to the government. GSK, mean-
while, has entered the global race to provide the world 
with a vaccine against coronavirus – alongside some 
20 other drug manufacturers and research centres. 
The endeavour might prove quite lucrative, should 
the company succeed.

The pharma giant working together with another drug 
manufacturer – Sanofi – has already struck deals with 
the UK and the US governments to supply them with 
a Covid-19 vaccine in case its efforts are fruitful. 
The contract would see GSK providing as many 
as 60 million doses to the UK and 100 million 
doses to the US. Washington has already 
reportedly paid the two companies 
£1.65 million to accelerate 
their efforts.

Since it received the government contracts, GSK’s 
share price rose by some two percent. Vallance 
has meanwhile been busy ensuring that the UK 
would get enough vaccine doses - if GSK is 
successful and contributing to the vaccine 
development efforts.


Earlier this week, he said that the first doses could 
be ready as early as by the end of this year, 
warning, however, that the first half of 2021
 would be a more realistic prospect.The 
revelations sparked suspicions of a 
potential conflict of interest.


However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock denied the 
possibility of this. “No, there are rules around these 
kinds of things and I'm sure that Sir Patrick has 
been fully advised by them,” he told LBC Radio. 
“If you know Sir Patrick Vallance as I do, any 
suggestion that he is doing anything other 
than his level best to try and tackle this 
virus is wrong,” he added.

A government spokesman confirmed that Vallance holds 
a deferred share bonus that would mature in April 2021 
without revealing its exact value. The spokesman also 
said that “appropriate steps were taken to manage the 
government chief scientific adviser’s (GCSA) interests 
in line with advice provided at the time.”


He added that the chief scientific adviser also has “no input”
 into the commercial decisions on vaccine procurement, 
which are taken by the government following a “robust” 
approval regime.


The developments come as the UK braces for a second wave 
of coronavirus. The number of new cases is on the rise once 
again and some places in the UK witness it increasing at a 
pace not seen since the peak of the epidemic in spring.


More than 6,100 people were confirmed to have contracted 
the disease overnight and Hancock said that up to 10,000 
people might get ill a day. The situation prompted London 
to introduce a new set of restrictions, which according to 
Prime Minister Boris Johnson might stay in place for up
to 
six months.

Some companies, including the British-Swedish AstraZeneca 
are, meanwhile, seeking emergency approval for their 
vaccines from the relevant regulators.


(originally appeared in RT.)



________________________________________________________


UN probes UK's
disabled rights violations


The UN is to send a delegation to the UK
as part of an inquiry into the “grave and
systematic violations” of the rights of
disabled people --- allegedly taking
place under London’s austerity
measures.

 A visit of the UN Committee Rights of Persons
with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is taking place at
the request of the campaign group, 'Disabled
People Against Cuts' using a legal mechanism
 known as the Optional Protocol. The request
was made at the start of 2012. Britain is the
first country to face a high-level inquiry by
 the UN committee.

“This is the first time any country has been
investigated by the UN using the Optional
 Protocol so it will be, if nothing else, a very
 historic event,” Linda Burnip, co-founder of
 Disabled People Against Cuts says, adding
that the process is “long and arduous,”
with strict rules for proof of any claims.

News of the investigation was leaked
back in September. UN inquiries are
usually "confidential", but UNCRPD
confirmed it would be visiting the
UK, after the revelation.

“The inquiry follows a string of scandals
involving disabled people in the UK,
including a rise in hate crimes, which
have been overlooked by police and
 the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS),”
 former director of prosecutions, Lord
 Kenneth MacDonald, says.

Disabled people have been affected
by cuts, nine times more than most
other citizens, according to a report
by the Centre for Welfare Reform,
 in 2013.


__________________________



AND WHERE IS WALES' BLOSSOMING...?

Imagine the Rhondda using wind and sun energy
to create new rate and rent free business units,
  that encourage new enterprising companies,
which pay well and market under a "brand"
with a superb reputation for quality.

Everything to help hitting the ground running,
with hot-desking, science, and agriculture,
  to employ our youth.




Russian scientists and Scottish ones



Russian/Scottish scientists hail long-range
secure quantum communication system.

A group of scientists from ITMO University
 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, has developed
a new
approach to constructing quantum
communication
systems for secure data
exchange.


 The experimental device based on the results of the
 research is capable of transmitting single-photon
 quantum signals across distances of 250 klmtrs
 or more, which is on par with its cutting edge
analogues, the ITMO press-service says.

"Now researchers are on a mission -- to create
 a fully-fledged quantum cryptographic system,
that will generate & distribute quantum keys
 and transmit useful data simultaneously",
 ITMO says.

Information security is becoming more and more
 of a critical issue not only for large companies,
banks and defense enterprises but even for
small businesses and individual users.

But the data encryption algorithms we currently
 use for protecting our data are imperfect - in the
 long-term, their logic can be cracked. Regardless
 of how complex and intricate the algorithm is,
 getting around it, is just a matter of time.

Unlike algorithm-based encryption, systems
 that protect information, by making use of
 fundamental laws of quantum physics, can
make data transmission totally immune to
 hacker attacks, in the future.

Information in a quantum channel is carried
by single photons that change irreversibly
 if an eavesdropper tries to intercept them.
The legitimate users will instantly know
 about any kind of intervention.


Researchers at the Quantum Information Centre
 of the International Institute of Photonics and
 Optical Information Technology at ITMO Uni.,
Russia, along with their colleagues from the
Heriot-Watt University, in Edinburgh, have
 devised a new way to generate and
 distribute, quantum bits.

This makes it possible to share quantum signals
--- via optical fibres --- 250 kilometres in distance.

"To transmit quantum signals, we use the so-
called side frequencies," says Artur Gleim,
head of the Quantum Information Centre, 
at
 ITMO University,

 "This unique approach gives us a number
 of advantages -- such as a considerable
simplification of the device architecture
 and the large pass-through capacity of
the quantum channel. In terms of bit rate
 and operating distances, our system is
comparable to absolute champions in
the field of quantum communications."

According to Robert Collins, research associate
 at the Institute of Photonics & Quantum Sciences
 at Heriot-Watt University, and one of the authors
of the study, this may become a pivotal point for
 the whole field of quantum communication and
 cryptography:

 "Down the track, this new approach can enable
 smooth coexistence of numerous data streams
 with different wavelengths in one single optical
 cable. On top of it, these quantum streams can
 be fed into the already existing fibre optic lines
 --- along with conventional communications."

The research paper is published
in the Optics Express journal.


Scottish universities are to be
congratulated for their strong
& growing links with Chinese
and Russian universities....

What a shame, that Wales is
lying low --- with academics
too scared to break from
US 
military research.


China sent 30 missions
 into space in 2017
- a record!

January 4th, 2017 !!!

China conducted 30 space launch missions in 2017 
--- a record-breaking number in
 the country's
space history, said China Aero-
space
Science &Technology Corporation.


Long March-5 and Long March-7 rockets are
used
to carry out most space missions,
the China News Service reported.


Long March-5 is China's largest carrier rocket. The
successful test launch of the vehicle in November,
 in S. China's Hainan Province, has paved the way
for space station construction, analysts said.

Wang Yu, the general director of the Long March-5
 program, said 2017 was a critical year for China's
 new generation of carrier rockets - and Long
March-5 rockets carried Chang'e-5 probe to
space. The probe has landed on the moon,

 collected samples and returned to Earth.

On the other hand, Long March-7, the more powerful
 version of Long March-2, sent China's 1st cargo
 spacecraft Tianzhou-1 into space, in the first
half
of 2017, according to Wang Zhaoyao,
director of
China Manned Space
Engineering Office.

Tianzhou-1
docked with Tiangong-2 space lab
conducting experiments on propellant
supplements.


China conducted 22 launch missions in 2016 and 19
 in 2015. The country successfully tested its Long
 March-7 rocket in June 2016, and has gradually
 shifted to new generation rockets that reduce
the
use of toxic rocket fuels.


China released several white papers on its space
 activities, announcing plans to soft land Chang'
e-5
on the moon, by the end of 2017, and launch
its
first Mars probe, by 2020.


After Chang'e-5, China would launch Chang'e-4
 lunar probe in about 2018 to achieve mankind's
 first soft landing on the far side of the moon - 
and conduct in situ and roving detection and
 relay communications at Earth-moon L2 point.

The white paper also said that iover the next 5
years, China would provide space & aviation
-
related services to countries involved in the

One Belt and One Road initiative -- such as
satellite communications, navigation and
weather forecasting analysis.

It has now, in 2021, done so.

BRICS


US expert views BRICS as testbed
for new kind of global governance
27/8/2017

 
Xinhua - The BRICS bloc grouping Brazil, Russia, India, China and
South Africa serves as "a testbed" for a "sharing governance" of
 global affairs, a leading US expert said.

"BRICS makes that kind of contribution to the world governance
by providing diversity," said Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chair of the
Kuhn Foundation, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"I think it would be a mistake, given the nature of humanity, to
have only one organization like the United Nations... " he said,
 adding that a diversity of structures seems to be what makes
 the most sense over time in global governance, since there is
 no perfection.

"It engages them (BRICS nations) to be a sort of hub for broader
 global interaction," Kuhn said, "So Brazil is in South America.
 South Africa is obviously in southern Africa. These become
vehicles to engage more of the world, so that's all positive."

The longtime China observer noted that a greater participation
of the five major emerging economies with "very different
 characteristics" also strengthens momentum for a multi-
polar world, which is crucial for promoting world stability.

"I am all for the key countries, whether judged economically,
 or through other mechanisms, to have greater participation
 in (global) organizations," Kuhn said.

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), which is intended
 to focus on infrastructure and sustainable development
projects, stands as a good example, showing "what a
new kind of world governance would look like," he said.

"Everybody has equal voting power. So that's a good sign,"
 he added, referring to the NDB'S distinctive feature -- the
absolutely just distribution of votes between members,
 different from the quota system of other international
 financial institutions, based on the role of a certain
 member.

Although with the overwhelmingly largest economy in BRICS,
 China "does not use that power in an aggressive way to take
 control" of the NDB, he noted, "I think that's a good signal.
 And China's doing it because it wants this greater
participation in international affairs."

All BRICS countries should have "a greater say" in the
international financial activity of the World Bank and
 the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said.

In the World Bank, the BRICS countries, home to 42.6 percent
 of the global population and nearly half of the world's foreign
 exchange reserves, have a total of only 13% of voting rights,
 while the United States alone, holds 15 percent.

The IMF agreed in 2010 to give emerging economies a greater
vote in decision-making, but the reform has been blocked by
 the United States, despite the fact that more than 140
countries have approved it.

"These should be adjusted... that's just not aligned
 with today's world, in the same way," he said.

Since the first foreign ministers' meeting in 2006, BRICS countries
have seen ten years of rapid expansion in trade and economies.
 
They currently account for nearly a quarter of the world economy
 and contributed more than half of global economic growth in 2016.

The 9th annual summit of the bloc, scheduled for Sept. 3rd-5th, in
Xiamen City of southeast China's Fujian Province, is expected to
 produce a declaration that lays out both the progress BRICS has
made so far and its vision of future cooperation.

A "BRICS Plus" mode, is expected to expand the bloc's partnership
-- especially with developing countries -- providing opportunities for
other economies and injecting impetus into economic globalization,
and will help make it a leading platform for South-South cooperation.


_____________________________________________________




West shocked at success
of Russian economy
- despite sanctions
August 14th, 2017
 Fort Russ News - KtovKurse
translated by Inessa Sinchougova

Despite the sanctions and the fall in oil prices,
the Russian economy has grown at its fastest
pace since the third quarter of 2012, German
'paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung states.

According to Rosstat, the growth rate of economic
development in the second quarter of this year by
 2.5%, exceeded similar indicators in 2016. Since
the end of last year, the country's GDP has
 increased again, which wasn't observed
 for seven quarters, before.

According to analysts interviewed, monthly indicators
of economic activity, suggest a recovery of Russia's
 economy on a broad basis. "There was a sharp rise
in construction and industry," commented Rosstat's
data to Capital Economics research company.

Growth was also observed in the sphere of trade. At the
 same time, it was noted that agriculture is the only
sector of the economy that has not yet fully
recovered. This area in the 2nd quarter,
 showed a decline.

In general, however, GDP growth during the second quarter
was lower than the government's forecast (2.7%), the news-
paper stated.

Sanctions taught Russia to count "on oneself", in the
development of its own industries, small, & medium-
sized businesses.

The representative of the Institute of Contemporary
Development, Nikita Maslenikov, agrees that Russia's
economy has already adapted to the imposed external
constraints and the latest US sanctions will not have
a significant impact. In his opinion, because of these
sanctions, Russia will lose only "a few tenths" of
the annual rate of its GDP growth.


_________________________________________



Donetsk revives local bus
 manufacturing industry
August 11th, 2017
 Fort Russ News - DNR News
 by Inessa Sinchougova

The Head of the Donetsk Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko,
paid a working visit to the state enterprise Donetskgormash,
 where the first Donbass buses have been assembled. The
plant was also visited by the Deputy Chair of the Council of
Ministers of the DPR, Alexander Timofeev, and the Acting
 President. Minister of Industry & Trade, Alexey Granovsky.

The managers of the enterprise conducted a tour of the
 plant, where Zakharchenko got acquainted with the
 technological characteristics of the "Donbass" bus
- and the stages of its assembly. The Republic's
demand for city and suburban needs for 2017,
 is about 400 units, due to a lack of transport
options because of the conflict.
 
_______________________________________________



Russia plans to abolish preferences
 to foreign aircraft makers from
2019 - deputy PM
August 6th

Dmitry Rogozin said that a plan of replacing all
foreign aircraft by Russian-made analogues
 has already been drafted and submitted
to President Vladimir Putin

TASS - Russia plans to begin abolishing preferences to
foreign aircraft manufacturers from 2019, to regain
control over the domestic civil aircraft market,
 Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin said
 on Sunday.

"Today, we produce 30 planes a year, which is 25 less
 than Airbus or Boeing but by 2025 we plan to already
manufacture 110 planes a year," he said in an
 interview with the Sunday evening news
 roundup on Rossiya-1 tv channel.

 "As production of domestic aircraft increases - we
will abolish the privileges foreign aircraft-makers
are enjoying, say, from 2019."

According to official statistics cited by Rogpzin, Russia
 strongly depends on foreign aircraft manufacturers.
 Thus, in his words, it has bought 367 foreign-made
  planes since 2013. Apart from that, he noted that
 big funds are spent to lease foreign planes.

 "Being dependent on foreign aircraft makers, we spend
 and pay abroad some 470 billion rubles (7.83 billion US
 dollars) a year. It is an insult to the nation, an insult to
our aviation power and we couldn't stand such a state
 of things any longer," he said, adding that it was the
 reason to encourage the development and
 production of new Russian aircraft,
 including the MC-21 and Sukhoi
Superjet 100 planes.

The deputy prime minister said that a plan of replacing
all foreign aircraft by Russian-made analogues, has
already been drafted and submitted to President
Vladimir Putin.

"We will regain this market. If we did it in the defense
 sector, we can do it in the civil sector as well," he
stressed.

___________________________________________



BRICS countries strike fatal
 blow on US dollar supremacy
August 4th 2017
 
The United States has declared a war of sanctions
on Russia and continues putting trade pressure on
 China. It is not ruled out that the USA will restrict
supplies of steel products from China. In return,
Moscow and Beijing intend to abolish the US
dollar in settlements within the scope of
the BRICS organization. The move will
mark the end of the era of undivided
 financial domination of the United
States of America, in the world.

As soon as the US Congress adopted a package of
 new sanctions against Russia, the Deputy Foreign
Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Ryabkov
 issued a formidable warning to Washington.

"US sanctions against Russia will only encourage
 Russia to create an alternative economic system,
in which dollars will not be needed," the Russian
 diplomat said.

Interestingly, the statement was made on the eve
 of the two-day summit of BRICS trade ministers,
which opened on August 1, 2017 in Shanghai.
This organization, which includes Brazil,
Russia, India, China and South Africa,
becomes a powerful counterweight
 to the Group of Seven.

Today, the BRICS countries account for 26% of the
Earth's territory, 42% of its population (almost
three billion people) and 27% of world GDP.

According to experts' forecasts, the share
 of BRICS countries will account for more
than 40% of world GDP, by 2050.

However, BRICS trade ministers chose
not to put the horse before the cart.

Russia's Minister for Economic Development Maxim
 Oreshkin stated that BRICS countries, in particular
 Russia and China, may switch to settlements in
national currencies already in the near future.
The minister also said that trade turnover
 between Russia and China may reach
$200 billion by 2020.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the Shanghai summit,
the ministers discussed opportunities for creating a
 new monetary system to exclude the use of the US
dollar. In 2015, President Vladimir Putin said that
Russia was opting for settlements in national
 currencies and has created currency pools
with several countries.

Today, not only does Russia need to abjure the dollar -
 the country needs to ensure financial independence
 from the West. BRICS countries have coordinated
 basic principles of the New Development Bank's
work, which is seen as a counterbalance to the
 World Bank, in which it is the US who sets the
 rules of the game.

In addition, Russia considers the possibility of
 setting up a separate payment system similar
 to SWIFT.

More than 300 Russian banks have switched to an
alternative to SWIFT - the system known as SPFS
 (System for Transfer of Financial Messages).

Elvira Nabiullina, Chairwoman of the Central Bank of
 Russia, said: "Threats were voiced that Russia could
 be cut off from SWIFT. We have completed the work
 on our own payment system, and --- if something
happens --- all operations in SWIFT format will
work inside the country."

One of the main conditions for switching to settlements
in national currencies, is the stability of the national
currencies of the BRICS members. The Russian
ruble exchange rate may decrease due to
relatively low world oil prices (within
$52 per barrel).

The unstable exchange rates of national currencies, is
not the only obstacle to abjure the US dollar in mutual
settlements. BRICS countries account for only 10%
of global trade. Therefore, the alliance needs to
increase its indicators of mutual trade.

Moscow and Beijing have already introduced mutual
settlements in yuans. Russia's Central Bank has
opened its first foreign office in Beijing.

Thus, the war of sanctions against Russia consolidates
 and boosts relations between Russia, China and other
BRICS members.
 
Aydin Mehtiyev

Pravda.Ru


__________________________________________________





China to continue to be key
 driver of global growth -
IMF chief economist
July 24th, 2017
 
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday,
 revised upwards, China's growth forecast for 2017
 and 2018...  to 6.7% and 6.4%, respectively.

China's growth will continue to be a key driver for a
 (firming) recovery of the world economy, the chief
economist of the International Monetary Fund
 (IMF) said on Monday.

The updated World Economic Outlook report published
by the IMF on Monday, which came days after China
 posted a stronger-than-expected second quarterly
 performance, Is a reflection of a solid first quarter,
 underpinned by previous policy easing and supply
-side reforms, including efforts to reduce excess
capacity in the industrial sector, according to
the IMF.

"We have seen very strong growth and, especially
beyond our update, the second quarter's figure of
6.9& is also above expectation. So clearly growth
 is proceeding at pace," Obstfeld said.

"Strong Chinese growth drives growth, particularly
in the Asia region, but also throughout the world,"
Obstfeld added, noting that China is a big
contributor to overall growth, and has
a very large spillover effect, on the
world's economy.

(Source - Xinhua)

____________________________________________




EU warns US of ‘unintended
consequences’ over fresh
anti-Russia sanctions
Saturday July 22nd, at 10:34pm

The EU has warned the US over “unintended consequences”
which may result from imposing more sanctions on Russia.

The European Commission released a statement on Saturday,
warning that imposing new sanctions against Russia without
coordination with the G7 countries, may have "wide and
indiscriminate" "unintended consequences."

The statement was released after Republicans & Democrats
 in the US Congress, reached a deal which could result in
 further anti-Russia sanctions.

Germany has already announced that it may engage in
 retaliatory moves, if the US sanctions German firms
 involved in the construction of a new Baltic pipe-
line for Russian gas.

"We understand that the Russia/Iran sanctions bill is
driven primarily by domestic considerations," read
the statement, in reference to last month's bill
passed by the US Senate.

"As we have said repeatedly, it is important that any
possible new measures are coordinated between
international partners to maintain unity among
 partners on the sanctions that have been
# underpinning the efforts for a full
 implementation of the Minsk
 Agreements," it added.

The economic sanctions against Moscow were
originally introduced in March 2014, after the
 strategic Black Sea peninsula of Crimea
 rejoined Russia after a referendum.

Since then, the EU, the US and some other Western
countries have imposed several rounds of sanctions
against Russia over accusations that Moscow has
 been involved in the deadly crisis in Ukraine,
which has so far killed over 10,000 people.
The Kremlin has, however, strongly
 rejected the accusations.

Ukraine’s armed conflict broke out when Kiev
launched military operations to crack down
on pro-Russia anti-US coup forces in the
eastern sector of the country.

In September 2014, the government in Kiev and the
pro-Russia anti-US coup forces signed a ceasefire
 agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, in a
 bid to halt the clashes in Ukraine’s eastern regions.

The warring sides also inked another truce deal,
 dubbed Minsk II, in February 2015, under the
supervision of Russia, Germany and France.

"Sanctions are at their most effective when they are
 coordinated. Currently our sanctions regimes are
coordinated. As a result their impact on the ground
 is increased and through coordination we are able
 to avoid surprises, manage any potential impact
 on our own economic operators, and address
 collectively, efforts to circumvent such
 measures. Unilateral measures would
 undermine this," it notes.

(Source - PressTv)

________________________________________________



Africa has potential to have e-commerce
 bigger than EU and US: stresses Jack Ma
 July 22nd 2017

Chinese billionaire entrepreneur Jack Ma on Friday
advised African youth entrepreneurs to think out
of the box and create a bigger e-commerce on
 the continent.

He made the remarks while delivering his keynote
 address at the inauguration of the YouthConnekt
Africa Summit, in the Rwandan capital Kigali,
which focuses on promoting job creation
through entrepreneurship and skills
development with Africa's youth.

"Africa is the home & solution for the inclusive economy
the world needs. Think big, and think about the future.
You have great potential: the future of e-commerce
in Africa, is bigger than for Europe & the US," said
Ma, founder of China's e-commerce giant, Alibaba.

"Think big for the future. It took me 18 years to build
e-commerce, but it could take you 5 to 8 years to
build e-commerce in Africa, since the continent
has already laid a conducive environment for
 you to thrive," said the special advisor of the
 United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development (UNCTAD).

He said that African entrepreneurs should learn from
 failure. "Africa has to get used to failure. If you can't,
then how can you succeed?"

The three-day summit is organized by the government
of Rwanda, the United Nations Conference on Trade
 and Development (UNCTAD) and UNDP. The summit,
 from July the 19th to the 21st, is dubbed:
 "Realizing Africa's Youth Potential."

It has attracted more than 3,000 participants including
top executives from multinational companies, leaders
of civil society organizations, Africa's development
partners, members of the academia, and youth
 entrepreneurs from 90 countries across Africa
 and beyond, to interact & discuss enhancing
 the potential of youth in Africa, according
 to the organizers.

At the summit, Ma announced four projects to support
 African entrepreneurs, African young people and the
efforts of conservation in Africa.

The four projects are:

 supporting 200 African entrepreneurs
over the next five years;

working with universities and governments
to develop training programs for African
young people on e-commerce and
cloud computing;

setting up a conservation award
for conservation rangers;

 and donating 10 million US dollars to establish
 a young entrepreneurs development fund.

(Source: Xinhua)

_________________________________________



EU trying to solve its problems
by targeting Iran and others'
steel
exports with huge
law-breaking duties
July 19th, 2017

The European Union is targeting Iran’s hot-rolled
 steel --- planning to hit imports from the country
with punitive trade tariffs. 

According to a document cited in the European
media, the European Commission is proposing
duties of up to 23 percent for steel from Iran's
Mobarakeh Steel Co.

European steel lobby group Eurofer is at the centre
 of the campaign and has forced Europe’s trade
 policy oversight European Commission,
to intervene and check imports.

Brazil, Russia & Ukraine, are the other countries
the Commission is planning to target with duties
of up to 33%.   

There is no immediate reaction to the plan from
 the countries being targeted. In June, China
reacted furiously after the European Union
set duties of up to 35.9 percent on
Chinese hot-rolled steel.

Eurofer says Iranian exports to Europe have leapt
 to more than 1 million tonnes annually, accusing
Mobarakeh of "trade distorting measures."

Mobarakeh Steel Co is Iran’s largest steel
producer with 7.2 million tonnes per year. 

Europe’s tough stance, including its more than 40
 restrictive measures, aimed at aiding European
 steel producers --- has sparked accusations of
protectionism by international steel exporters.

The bloc’s steel producers have been pressuring
the European leaders to copy the US’s draconian
 regulations, including levies of more than 500%
 on steel imports, in some cases.

Steelmakers across Europe are faced with mass
 redundancies because of their high energy costs.
Their leaders say 320,000 jobs in the European
 steel industry, are ''at risk from imports''.

Steel is the second biggest industry in the world
after oil and gas. The commodity was Iran's
 largest export item after oil, gas and petro-
chemicals last year, partly because of
 the slump in domestic construction.

The country has been boosting steel production,
targeting an output plateau of 55 million tonnes
per year by 2015.

Iran enjoys an advantage because production
costs at the majority of its steelworks are
 internationally competitive, because of
 low energy prices in the country.

It exported 4 million tonnes of steel last year,
according to director of the Iranian Mines and
 Mining Industries Development & Renovation
 Organization (IMIDRO), Mehdi Karbasian.

Currently, the nation produces 16 million tonnes,
 which is 1% of the world total. A statement on
IMIDRO’s website says exports are expected
to hit 20-25 million tonnes by 2025.

Steel is a strategic commodity for the country of
80 million, which has the Middle East’s biggest
carmaker. It is also key to Iran's massive oil
and gas industry, transportation network,
water supply, urban centres and
mammoth construction sector.

Last month, Austria said it had allocated a credit
line of 1 billion euros for a major steel production
 project in southern Iran.

(Source - PressTv)

_____________________________________________


Russia China Trade B(l)ooming
July 1st, 2017


China's General Administration of Customs states that
China-Russia trade grew 33.7% in the first five months
 of this year, to 223.1 billion yuan ($32.8 billion).

(Source - Xinhua)

______________________________________________



AIIB approves membership of

Argentina, Madagascar, Tonga
June 17th 2017
 
Xinhua - The China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment
 Bank (AIIB) on Friday approved the memberships of
Argentina, the Republic of Madagascar and the
Kingdom of Tonga at its second annual
meeting of governors.

The AIIB's board of governors adopted resolutions approving
the three applicants to join the bank at the second annual
meeting, which kicked off earlier in the day in South
 Korea's southern resort island of Jeju.

The first meeting was held in Beijing last year.

The approved applicants included one regional prospective
member, Tonga, and two non-regional members, Argentina
and Madagascar.

"Well-integrated infrastructure and enhanced connectivity
between Asia and the rest of the world has far-reaching
benefits for the global economy," said AIIB President
 Jin Liqun.

Tonga was well known as the friendly islands in the South
 Pacific, while Argentina and Madagascar are important
 economies in South America and Africa each, said Jin.

The AIIB chief expressed his anticipation of the role the
 3 new members will play, once they fully join the bank.

The three prospective members will officially join the AIIB
 once they complete the required domestic processes and
 deposit the first installment of capital with the bank.

Shares allocated to the new prospective members come
 from the bank's existing pool of unallocated shares.

"Since launching only 18 months ago, the bank has
welcomed 23 new members from around the
world," said Sir Danny Alexander, vice
president and corporate secretary
at the AIIB.

The vice chief said interest in the AIIB remained high and
that the bank's door remained open to the new members
that will be joining later this year.

Officially launched in January 2016, the Beijing-based AIIB
 is a multilateral development bank initiated by China and
supported by a wide range of countries and regions,
which will provide financing for infrastructure
 improvement in Asia.

The international infrastructure bank owned about 100 billion
 US dollars of subscribed capital, including some 20 billion
dollars in paid-in capital.

This year's annual meeting gathered about 2,000
participants, including delegations of founding
members and the new members, international
organizations and academia...  as well as
 businessmen, financiers and journalists.

The attendees included over 20 finance ministers
of approved AIIB members, according to South
Korea's finance ministry.

The second annual meeting was held under the theme of
"Sustainable Infrastructure," seeking strategic directions
 of the international infrastructure bank and making
major decisions on the bank's management.


________________________________________________



Israel’s economy heading
for disaster, experts warn
May 29th, 2017

A report released by the Taub Center for Social Policy
 Studies in Israel shows the country has the highest
poverty rates among OECD countries --- and faces
 “worrisome trends” that could have disastrous
 effects on its growing population.

According to the Picture of the Nation 2017 report,
with Israel’s aging population and rising costs
 across the board, its “current sources of
 economic growth are not sustainable.”

The country ranks 22nd out of 34 of the OECD
(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development) regarding GDP and takes 24th
 spot within the market income poverty rate.

Among developed countries, Israel has the highest
 percentage of its population below the poverty line.

“The past year has seen a decline in unemployment
 and a large rise in GDP,” however, “unfortunately, it
appears that this positive trend will not continue
 and new sources of growth must be found,”
 said the report.

The Taub Center described Israel’s 4% GDP
 growth as an “outlier and not a trend.”

A separate report which was released earlier this month
 by the Shoresh Institution for Socioeconomic Research
 looked at economic trends in the whole 69-year history
 of the country. It concluded the economy shows deep-
seated and long-term shortcomings that threaten to
weaken the army and constitute an “existential
threat” to the country’s future.

In terms of GDP, Israel has been falling further and further
 behind the G7 average since the mid-1970s, with a more
 than threefold increase having developed in the gap
between them. This, says the report, “reflects a
steadily widening disparity between what an
employed person living in Israel can attain
 and what that person could attain in the
 countries that are pulling away
 from Israel.”

Professor Dan Ben-David, founder and chair of the
Shoresh Institution and co-author of the report,
warned if Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu
“continues to ignore the future” the
 country could face a catastrophe
 of massive proportions.

Netanyahu has recently held some meetings with Israeli
 media outlets, claiming the reports do not reflect “what
 the public feels.”

“It's an industry of despair. Where they see unemployment,
I see full employment. Where they see an economy in ruin,
 I see a flourishing economy. Where they see traffic jams,
I see junctions, trains, and bridges. Where they see a
crumbling state nearing collapse, I see Israel as a
 rising global power,” he was cited as saying
 by the Times of Israel.

(Source - RT)

________________________________________





'Finance Curse'
Scheduled to Tighten
 Its Grip on UK Significantly by 2022
May 2nd 2017, at 8:01pm

The UK Trades Union Congress (TUC) has published projections
 suggesting the UK economy will be highly unbalanced by 2022
– economic activity heavily skewed towards London, and the
wider economy dependent on finance. The Tax Justice
Network (TJN) has said such a development would be
a symptom of the UK's "Finance Curse."

In all, the TUC forecasts S. East England will produce 40.1 percent
 of the UK's gross domestic product by 2022, of which London will
 provide 25 percent (or 62.5 percent of the South East's total
 economic share). This represents a rise of 2.5 percentage
 points from 2015, and over seven percent from 1997.

The Congress projects the most significant falls in the share of the
 economy come in 2022 and will be suffered in Yorkshire (dropping
0.5 percentage points to just 6.1 percent), the North West (down 0.4
 to nine percent%) and Scotland (falling 0.4 to 7.2 percent).

Given the importance of the City of London's offshore financial centre
 to the region, the Tax Justice Network believes the TUC's forecasts
are a vivid demonstration of the "Finance Curse" in action —
organization directors John Christensen and Nicholas Shaxson
 argue the City of London has been a major contributing factor
to the dramatic decline in British manufacturing since the
1970s, and the impoverishment of non-South East
 regions of the country.

The emphasis on finance in the UK has, they believe, resulted in flows
of foreign capital into the UK going straight to the City, for the purpose
 of mergers and acquisitions and real estate purchases rather than
 investment. Moreover, it has produced a "brain drain" effect in
many industries, with upper tier university graduates being
 enticed by finance, and eschewing other valuable sectors
 of the economy.

The UK's bloated financial sector has also helped to disguise the
damage the industry itself has caused, by smoothing over
 declining wages and falling levels of employment, via
borrowing. When downturns and recessions occur,
 the long-term damage inflicted on other sectors
 of the economy by a myopic national focus on
 finance are revealed — but those sectors are
 harder to resuscitate than finance, and may
 end up being irrecoverable.

(source - Sputnik)

_________________________________________





European Union demands
UK must repay Fraud cash

March 8th 2017

 The European Office of Struggle against Fraud (OLAF)
demanded today that the United Kingdom pay for two
billion euros of customs fraud.

An official report adds that the claim is due to the fact
 that London ignored, for years, this type of practice,
 above all, in the importation of textiles and Chinese
 shoes, thereby affecting the community budget.

The text says this protest is regardless of Brexit
 or a British exit from the European Union (EU),
scheduled to become a reality this month.

Research carried out from 2013 to 2016, revealed
 a customs fraud of expanded reach --- carried out
by a group of criminal gangs, who systematically
 declared lower values for the imported products.

According to OLAF, the United Kingdom was the main
 centre of that fraudulent trade. Other countries of the
 European Union fought against that problem, while
 the illegal business grew in the British isles.

In that period, that practice inflicted losses on the EU
 of one billion 987 million euros, concludes the probe.
 The customs tariffs are one of the main sources of
financing the EU budget.

OLAF launches severe accusations against the United
 Kingdom and assures that, for years, authorities were
 alerted about the losses, without doing anything to
 prevent them, or open investigations on this issue.

(source - Prensa Latina)

__________________________________



China Usurps US As Germany’s
 Biggest Trade Partner
25/2/2017 at 03:36

China has taken another step in global economic
 dominance: becoming Germany’s most significant
 international trading partner: a place the US had.

Germany sent and received with China, goods and
 services worth approximately $180 billion in 2016,
 according to recent Federal Statistics Office data.
France was Germany’s second-largest trade ally,
 while the US ranked third.

 In 2015, the US enjoyed a brief stint as Germany’s
 top trade partner, a spot occupied by France, for
 the previous half-century.

Optimism among exporters in China, the world’s
 third-largest economy, is “rising further,” says
Clemens Faust, of Ifo Institute for Economic
 Research, a Munich-based think tank.

(source - Sputnik)

_____________________________




Politician: European-style reforms
to degrade Ukraine’s economy
 January 23rd
   
Ukraine’s economy has been degrading as its
 dependence on commodity exports grows as
a result of "European-style reforms", leader
of the Ukrainian Choice public movement,
 Viktor Medvedchuk said Monday, in
a LiveJournal post.

"Rather than developing innovations to achieve
 a technological breakthrough, we have been
witnessing destruction of the country’s high
 tech industries. In 2013, the share of various
 machines, equipment and transport vehicles
in our exports was 16.3%, but, in 2014, it
 dropped to 13.2% and to 12.1% in 2015.
 During the first 11 months of 2016, this
share fell to 11.6%," he elaborated.

At the same time, Medvedchuk stressed that
agricultural exports had grown, reaching 41.6%
during the January to November period of 2016.

"However, there is nothing to celebrate: we
export only agricultural commodities while
 'ready-to-use' food products’ share is 6.6%.
 Where agriculture is concerned, structural
problems have been growing: it would be
enough to say that livestock population
has been decreasing, which may create
serious problems in the next few years,"
 he added.

The politician also pointed to the planned
education reforms, bound to "contribute to
 the process of turning Ukraine into a banana
republic." The country’s education ministry...
"has decided that children in 10th and 11th
 grades do not need that many physics,
 chemistry, mathematics & informatics
 classes so it is better to declare
those subjects, as optional."

"Really --- why build nuclear power plants and
produce machines? This reformed education
will be enough to grow sunflowers and
rapeseeds," Medvedchuk concluded.

(source - TASS)

____________________________________



Russian, Armenian PMs to discuss
integration cooperation within EAEU
January 24th, 2017
   
Integration cooperation between Russia & Armenia
 within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will be
the focus of talks between Russian Prime Minister
 Dmitry Medvedev and his Armenian counterpart,
Karen Karapetyan, who arrives in Moscow on
 Tuesday, at the invitation of the Russian
 government.

The agenda of the talks will include issues of
 Russian-Armenian cooperation in the area of
trade-and-economic relations, and in such
 sectors as energy, transport, and the
 humanities.

 The 2 prime ministers will also discuss the
implementation of joint investment projects
Russia's government's press service said.

The talks are expected to yield a number
 of intergovernmental & inter-ministerial
documents.

(source - TASS)

________________________________



All countries observing oil output cuts
 agreement — Russian energy minister
January 22, 17:04
   
TASS - All countries are observing the agreement
on cutting output, Russia's Minister of Energy
 Alexander Novak told media on Sunday.

The IMF expects oil prices to grow
 by almost 20% in 2017.

"On the agreement's fulfilment - I can
 say, we see with satisfaction, the
successful implementation of the
agreement & joint action of OPEC
 & non-cartel countries, stabilizing
 the situation on the oil market,"
he said.

"We have seen the statement made by Saudi
Arabia’s minister claiming the country cut
output by more than the agreement
reads,"
he said.

"Russia observes its obligations faster - and
cuts are almost twice faster than planned.
The ministers' committee will be meeting
 every other month and, prior to the next
 (in May) OPEC summit, it will have two
meetings," the minister said.

"Today, we have noted that the situation on
the market is approaching balance, stock is
 lowering already. Most importantly", he said
 "we can see stability and lower volatility.".

"I think the statistics data for January will show
 cuts of over 1.7 million barrels a day," he said.

"The potential for price growth is exhausted.
 In general, the situation can be viewed as
 follows: oil prices are going to be from
 $50 to $60 per barrel," he said.

__________________________________




Goldman Sachs evacuates UK
19th of January, 2017. 

US bank Goldman Sachs will move 1,000 staff from
 London to Frankfurt as a post-Brexit reorganisation
 that will reduce its City headcount by half, German
business daily Handelsblatt reports on 19 January.

“The bank is weighing transferring up to 1,000 employees
 to Frankfurt, including traders as well as top bankers,”
the paper reports, citing financial industry sources.

In total, Goldman Sachs will cut its head-
count in London, from 6,000...  to 3,000.

(source - Katehon)

_______________________



Moldova's New President Hopes to
Cancel EU Association Agreement
January 17th, 2017
 
Moldova’s President said on Tuesday that he
 hopes the country’s association agreement
with the European Union will be cancelled..
 if his party obtains a parliamentary majority,
 paving the way for an alliance with Moscow.

“I don’t exclude that, after the next parliament
polls, this agreement will be annulled,” if the
 socialist party wins the majority of seats in
 the next election, Igor Dodon noted on his
first foreign trip to Moscow, after meeting
with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

(source - Al Manar)

________________________________


Hughes
Metallurgical Plant

 - relaunched in spring 2017
January 12th, 2017

One of the biggest industrial enterprises of the
Donetsk People’s Republic, founded by a Welsh
entrepeneur in the 19th century, was relaunched

 in the spring of 2017, the press-service of the
DPR's Ministry of Industry and Trade, reports.

Also, DPR's industrial enterprises, Donfrost
 and Nord, are now producing 51,000 fridges.

It's necessary to point out that the production
 of fridges in Nord factory stopped completely
 in August 2016, and the Donfrost plant was
 established at that time. Now this plant is
 working with FSR states (Former Soviet
 Republics) and in Asia, where 70% of
DPR's production, is imported.


_______________________



World Economic Forum director calls
on EU: to reset relations with Russia
December 31st, 2016

"A reset in the complicated situation of the kind
could be a very important step" - Philipp Rosler

The World Economic Forum’s Managing Board
 Member and Director, Philipp Rosler, calls on
 the EU to improve relations with Russia. The
former German chancellor's statement came
in an interview with the Neuer Osnabrucker
 Zeitung newspaper, published on Saturday.

"A reset in the complicated situation of the kind
could be a very important step," he said, adding
both sides now, should offer respective signals.

"Achieving mutual understanding on the European
 continent is necessary and is, first of all, the affair
 of Europeans, not Americans," Rosler said. "Using
 these approaches, we should structure policies."

The official said the issue of how to behave with
 Russia after the Soviet Union collapsed, has not
 been cleared up, and "today, we can see what
conflicts have arisen from this negligence,"
 he added.

(Source - TASS)

_____________________________________





WEALTHY GAZPROM
TELLS IT LIKE IT IS


TASS - Gazprom sees some risks for gas transit
 through Ukraine to Europe, and in the case of
unsanctioned gas tapping by Ukraine, it may
cut off supplies to the EU, Gazprom's CEO,
 Alexei Miller, told reporters.

"Indeed there are risks for gas transit to Europe (via
 Ukraine). In the contract, which was signed in 2009,
we clearly fix all cases of force majeure. If Ukraine
 starts gas tapping, then we can either cut supply
 by the volume of illegally taken gas, or can carry
out a disproportionate reduction. But we may
stop deliveries all together, even after a
single unauthorized tapping of gas,"
 Miller said.

More:
http://tass.com/economy/920492


_____________________________________________________




IMF Data Shows China’s GDP
Outpaces US's --------- in 2016

In purchasing power parity, China’s gross domestic
 product (GDP) will exceed that of the US by some
 $2.7 trillion, in 2016.

The figures come from a recent International
 Monetary Fund (IMF) estimate, and serve to
shift the canon that the US is the world’s
 primary economic superpower.

Economists forecast that US GDP will measure
 some $18.5 trillion, while China is expected to
 net $21.2 trillion in GDP, as per IMF data.


______________________________________




Russia's 'Syria countersanctions' 
will hit the West below the belt

The West and Russia are entering the third year
 of a war of sanctions. Washington threatens to
  impose new sanctions against Russia, this time
 for Syria. Russia will take "painful measures" in
 response, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister,
 Sergei Ryabkov, says.

 Pravda.Ru offers a list of counter sanctions that
 we compiled on the basis of experts' opinions.

1. Russia's first answer would be the abolition of
neo-liberal economic policies and a transition to
 a new economic development strategy. This can
block Western influence channels on our country
 & thus become the most asymmetric, but tough
answer, to any new Western sanctions, noted
Ruslan Dzarasov, Doctor of Economics, head
 of the department of political economy, at
 Russia's 'Plekhanov' Economic University.

The expert noted that "we continue to adhere to the
 export growth model, taking capital to the West and
forming a budget on the basis of financial interests
 of capital rather than domestic consumers." Russia,
the expert said, should introduce a combination of
 state planning and a market sector, "similar to
 what the USSR was doing during the 1920s."

"The state should ensure the financial transparency
 of corporations, expand the rights of trade unions
 and workers, strengthen social control over big
 business, & show influence on the formation of
prices in the economy, to stop price disparities
 in favour of the mining export sector, and to
 the detriment of manufacturing industry,"
 Ruslan Dzarasov told Pravda.Ru.

2. Russia could refuse to save its reserves in US
dollars. Russia doesn't take first place in terms
 of dollar savings in the world - but it could still
give a serious blow to the Western financial
system, Dr Valentin Katasonov, Economics
 Professor at the Moscow State Institute of
 International Finance, and head of Russia's
Sharapov Economic Society, told Pravda.Ru.

"A lot of Russia's liabilities in national gold
 and currency reserves, are denominated
in US dollars. Should they be put on the
market --- the dollar will suffer greatly,"
 leading expert at the Union of Oil and
Gas Industrialists, Rustam Tankan said.

Noteworthy: some private Russian companies
have already abandoned the US dollar in their
 activities. Megafon, one of Russia's 3 leading
 cellular providers, converted about 40% of its
dollar deposits to euros & Hong Kong dollars.
The company transferred the funds to major
 Chinese bank accounts. Norilsk Nickel took
similar measures. The Hong Kong dollar is a
Chinese foreign clone of the dollar, and the
 US is unable to impose any sanctions on
 this currency.

 Russia has started abandoning the US dollar as
 a reserve currency, by opening a Raw Materials
 Exchange in St. Petersburg, where Russian
energy carriers are traded in rubles.

3. Russia could freeze US investors' assets in
the Russian economy. "Foreign citizens are
the ultimate beneficiaries of our shadow
 holdings. There are 'tricky' financial
mechanisms in the timber industry,
for instance," Igor Gerasimov, a
member of the Committee for
Business Security at the
 Chamber of Commerce,
 and security expert,
told Pravda.Ru.

The shadow mechanism works as follows...
A
wood-working firm does most of the work,
while most of the profit goes to a "general

contractor." The latter pays the company a
relative price for production, & a minimum
 profit. Most of the profit goes to specific
 individuals, to the accounts of foreign
 companies. Therefore, Russia could
adopt laws over the nationalization
of natural resources & city-forming
 enterprises, said Igor Gerasimov.

4. The State Duma of the Russian Federation
 has already discussed a draft law to relieve
both state-run and privately-owned Russian
companies of $700 billion of debts... which
are held by Western banks in countries
now threatening sanctions on Russia.

5. Sanctions in the field of high technology, will
be no less sensitive. "Russian titanium will stop
 arriving at European companies, and this will
 certainly be a very significant act of pressure
on our partners," Alexei Mukhin, general
 director of the Centre for Political
Information, told Pravda.Ru.

Boeing & United Technologies, as well as Europe's
 Airbus Group, purchase most of their titanium from
 Avisma, a Russian company, which happens to be
 the world's largest titanium producer. Yet this
covers only about 30% of their needs. The US,
however, is entirely dependent on Russia for
its rocket engines. RD-180 is a 6-ton liquid
 rocket engine, with a thrust of 400+ tons.
 The US has used Russian rocket engines
since 2000. The US Congress passed a
 budget which provides for the allocation
 of 100s of millions of dollars... to buy an
  "unlimited" number of RD-180 engines.

6. Russia's sanctions against Western airlines
would lead to their elimination. A great deal
of airlines fly across the territory of Russia
and save a lot of money on this, chair of
the Federation Council Committee on
International Affairs, Andrei Klimov,
told Pravda.Ru.

"If all of a sudden, the Russian authorities try
 to do something in this field, it will generate
huge profits to companies from such states
 as the United Arab Emirates, & at the same
 time, it will cause serious financial damage
 to German, French and other air carriers,"
 said the expert.

7. Many large companies in the West have strong
 lobbies in legislative authorities. Therefore, the
 input of targeted sanctions... under the pretext
of rules and regulations violations, would be a
very strong response. Starting from 1 Nov 2016
Russia banned imports of salt from the EU, the
 US, Canada, Australia, Iceland, Liechtenstein,
 Montenegro, Albania and Ukraine.

 On 15 February 2016, Russia banned imports
 of soybeans and corn from the US, including
 through third countries. Russia still imports
 various US food products, spending millions
 of US dollars a year (PepsiCo, Starbucks,
Cargill, McDonald's), pharmaceuticals
 (Pfizer), cosmetic products (Procter &
 Gamble, Johnson & Johnson), plastics,
 machinery, textiles, footwear, auto-
mobiles (Ford, General Motors), as
well as products under a "secret
code" worth $554 million --- in
 the first half of 2016, alone.

Lyuba Lulko
Pravda.Ru


_______________________________________


World Central banks get

rid of US securities
Thursday, 20th of October, 2016. 

The number of US bonds shrank dramatically
 last month (27.5 billion dollars). This decline
is the biggest this year. As a result, the
value of US securities, has fallen.

Now their total cost is about $3 trillion.
This is the lowest level in five years.

China & Saudi Arabia are the leaders among
 those countries which are selling US bonds.


____________________________________________





IMF heralds catastrophe for

major banks of EU and US
Source: REX

The International Monetary Fund said in a report
 published on October 5th 2016, that a significant
number of major banks in the wealthiest states
of the world, are so weak, that neither growth
in the world economy, nor an increase in
interest rates, will help them solve
their problems.

The problematic credit organizations include one-
third of Europe's banks with assets totaling $8.5
 trillion and a quarter of US banks with assets
worth $3.2 trillion.

According to the IMF, financial stability now
 depends, on how well financial institutions
can adapt themselves to the new era with
tougher regulation and supervision,
restrained growth and low
interest rates.

Experts note that despite an improvement in the
 structure of bank assets and equity indices, low
 profitability remains a significant problem, that
 can not be solved through cycles of economic
 recovery.

The report, in particular, draws attention to the
euro-zone banks, profits of which, have halved,
since the average levels of 2003-2006.

Experts believe that Europe lags behind the US
 in terms of the disposal of bad loans. Both the
IMF and the European Central Bank see loose
 monetary policy as the main cause of bank
 problems.

IMF experts also remained concerned about
the financial stability of Japan and China. At
 the same time, experts point out decreasing
 pressure on emerging markets, against the
backdrop of higher prices on raw materials
and a certain stabilization of the Chinese
 economy.

_______________________________



Vietnam joins Russia-led
free trade zone


A free trade agreement between the Russian-led
 Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Vietnam
 takes effect now with its ratification. The
deal opens the EEU's market of 181

million people to Vietnam.

The EEU countries – Russia, Armenia, Belarus,
 Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan – get the opportunity
 to sell goods in Vietnam on a preferential basis.

The free trade deal covers more than 90 percent
 of all goods traded between the EEU & Vietnam.
It will save exporters from the EEU about $40-60
million in the first year. Vietnamese companies
can expect savings of up to $5-$10 million a year.

With the deal Hanoi expects to significantly raise
 its foreign trade. Trade with Russia is expected
to
more than double to $10 billion by 2020.

"Specific conditions will be created for Russia in
 order to increase the supply of its products on
the Vietnamese market. It concerns not only
high value-added products, but also agricultural
produce, consumer goods and so on," said the
Russian Trade Mission in Vietnam.

Russia’s exports to Vietnam, include, nuclear
 reactors, mineral fuels, oil and its distillation
products and fertilizers. Imports from Vietnam
include electrical machinery, boilers & knitwear.

In terms of the agreement, Russian automotive
 companies GAZ, Kamaz & Sollers will be able
 to create joint ventures to produce buses,
trucks, special vehicles, and passenger cars.
 The localization of production is expected to
 reach 40 to 50 percent over the next decade.

Vietnam signed the free trade zone agreement
 with the EEU in 2015, becoming the first non-
regional country to join the bloc.

More than 40 countries and international
organizations, including China, Indonesia,
 Israel and Iran, have expressed interest
 in a free trade deal with the bloc.

Establishment of the EEU was signed by the
 presidents of Russia, Belarus & Kazakhstan
in 2014. Armenia & Kyrgyzstan, joined later.

 The bloc was designed to ensure the free
movement of goods, services, capital and
 workforces, between member countries.

________________________________________




WESTERN BANKS
CRACKING


4 of the biggest banks are reported as going down:
HSBC, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and Wells
 Fargo, are all reported by eminent experts as
"about to fail."

_______________________________________



Chinese yuan becomes IMF reserve
currency, first new addition since 1999

The Chinese yuan is now added to the IMF reserve
 basket, becoming the first currency to be added to
 the list, since the emergence of the euro, in 1999.

The official entry brings to a close, at least partly,
Beijing’s years-long struggle
for international
acceptance on the sort of level
enjoyed by
the US dollar. The currency now
joins the
big four: the US dollar, the euro,

the yen, and the UK's pound.

The decision means the Chinese yuan will now be
 used as one of the International Monetary Fund’s
 lending currencies, in emergency bailouts. This
 sort of internationalization is in line with
 China’s wish for an increase in the
 legitimacy of its currency.

The move also evidences China’s growing role
as a power to challenge the global economic
 dominance of the United States.

The IMF has fixed the relative amounts of
the five main currencies in its basket for

five years, based on the exchange rate
of
each, over the last three months.

__________________________________________




Deutsche Bank to fight
US $14bn claim


Deutsche Bank says it will challenge a $14 billion
claim by the US Department of Justice on alleged
mis-selling of mortgage-backed securities during
the 2008 financial crisis.

“Deutsche Bank has no intent to settle these
potential civil claims anywhere near the number
cited. The negotiations are only just beginning.
The bank expects that they will lead to an out-
come similar to those of peer banks which
have settled at materially lower amounts,”
Deutsche Bank says in its statement.

No details on the case have been publicized.
 Yet reports say sales of mortgage securities
 before the 2008 financial crisis, lie at the
 heart of the case.

The claim against Deutsche Bank far exceeds
 its expectations that the DoJ would look for
 a figure of only up to 3 billion euros ($3.4
billion), Reuters reported.

European stocks wrapped up in negative territory
on Friday in reaction to the case against Deutsche
Bank. Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays both
fell over 5%, while Credit Suisse and UBS fell
over 3%. French lenders BNP Paripas and
Societe Generale both fell over 2%.

Deutsche Bank’s shares stumbled 8.5%, wiping
 off roughly €1.5 billion from the German lenders’
 market capitalization.

Other big banks have reached deals in recent
years with US authorities over their mortgage
 activities in the run-up to the financial crisis.
Earlier in 2016, Goldman Sachs agreed to pay
 $5.1 billion to settle claims on its dealings.


________________________________





Banking giants reverse predictions
 of post-Brexit ‘Brecession’, proving
 it was the Remain Camp, who lied:

Two of the City’s biggest powerhouses have
scrapped their predictions:  of a post-Brexit
recession which would see the UK economy
 collapse, following the EU referendum - and
now envisage better-than-expected results
 in the third financial quarter.


 But investor Jim Rogers warns that the US
policy of printing money will soon hurt us:

"You should be very worried. There's going to be a
serious economic crisis --- in the next year or two.

We all are going to pay a horrible price for the
artificial money coming out of America, and
 other central banks. We’re all going to have
a huge problem. Be worried, be worried."


______________________________________

 

China welcomes Canada's decision
 to apply for AIIB membership: Xi

Xinhua - Meeting Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau, Xi
says China is willing to improve communication
 and coordination with Canada, protect an open
& inclusive multilateral trade system with the
 country and deepen cooperation in areas
such
as climate change, peacekeeping
and marine
protection.

This is the first official visit by Trudeau since
taking office in November 2015. His father,
former Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau, was
the first Canadian PM to visit China, after
the establishment of diplomatic relations.

After his stay in Beijing, Trudeau flew
 to Hangzhou, to attend the G20 summit.

____________________________________________



World seeing ‘greatest monetary policy
experiment in history’ - Rothschild

 Low interest rates, negative yields on government
 debt & quantitative easing, are part of the biggest
 financial experiment in world history, and the
 consequences are as yet, unknown, says RIT
Capital Partners Chair, Lord Rothschild.

“The six months under review have seen central
 bankers continuing what is surely the greatest
experiment in monetary policy in the history of
 the world. We're therefore in uncharted waters
 and it is impossible to predict the unintended
 consequences of very low interest rates, with
 30% of global government debt --- at negative
 yields, combined with quantitative easing on
 a massive scale,” Rothschild writes, in the
company's semi-annual financial report.

The banker says this policy has led to a rapid
growth of stock markets --- US stocks have
grown 3-fold since 2008 - with investments
 growing and volatility remaining low.

However, the real sector of the economy didn’t
 enjoy such profits, as “growth remains anemic,
 with weak demand and deflation in many parts
 of the developed world,” says Rothschild.

The billionaire stresses that many risks remain
 for the global economy, with the deteriorating
geopolitical situation. Among those risks, he
includes the UK's vote to leave the EU, the
 US' presidential election & China's slowing
economic growth. Another risk is global
terrorism, which Rothschild says is a
consequence of continuing 'conflict'
 in the Middle East.

A Bank of America Merrill Lynch report in June,
shows interest rates in developed countries,
 in particular America’s 0.5%, are now at
their lowest level in 5,000 years.

 In their battle with deflation, countries such
 as Sweden, Switzerland or Japan, have even
 turned to negative key lending rates.

Another woe is negative yields on government
bonds. In June, 10-year German government
bonds dipped below 0% for the first time in
 history.

Janus Capital estimates that global yields
are the lowest in 500 years, and the total
amount of such bonds, is $10 trillion.

The investment group’s lead portfolio manager,
 Bill Gross, is calling it a “supernova, that will
 explode one day.”

___________________________________




GOOD "POST BREXIT" NEWS !?!


EU mulls abolishing "non-market economy" list


Xinhua - The European Union (EU) is mulling
abolishing its "non-market economy" list, on
which China & 14 other states are included,
to set up a new, "country-neutral" method,
 & reform its anti-dumping and anti-subsidy
 legislation, it announced, on July 29th.

The decision was made after the EU Commission
held another orientation debate on the treatment
 of China, in anti-dumping investigations, as a 15-
year-old EU "surrogate system" is set to expire,
 in December, 2016.

"Colleagues have agreed to propose changes to
 EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy legislation --
with the introduction of a new anti-dumping
 methodology," said EU Trade Commissioner
Cecilia Malmstrom in a press briefing.

"We're eliminating the existing list of non-
market economy countries," Malmstrom
 told reporters. "This is a new method, it
will be country-neutral, and applied to
all WTO member countries, equally."

 "This new methodology, would lead to
approximately the same level of anti-
dumping duties as the EU has now"
-- the commissioner said.

EU officials say... the new method will mark
 a "huge change" to the bloc's anti-dumping
& anti-subsidy laws, & the EU Commission
 will have to shoulder the burden, & prove
 there is "market distortion" in its future
 investigations, on a case-by-case basis.

Besides China, other countries on the
 EU "non-market economies" list, are:

 Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus,
 Georgia, the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan,
 Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia,
 Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,
Uzbekistan and, last but
not least, Vietnam.


_____________________________




Deficit in UK's Current Account
Remains Unaltered 
  
 
 
 The deficit in the current account of the United
 Kingdom -- after all this austerity -- remains at
an historic maximum.

The need to finance the country from abroad, was
high before the yes for Brexit. The British National
 Office of Statistics shows no change in its initial
 growth estimate for the first quarter -- but shows
that the economy still depends mostly on home
 expenditure and services, for any expansion.

On the other hand, the growth of foreign trade,
 investment and manufacturing, slowed down.

In global terms, the UK economy grew 0.4 %
 in the first three months of 2016, in line with
 forecasts, and was 2% higher than last year.


_________________________________




Americans and Europeans Divided

Over Sanctions Against Russia
 
Prensa Latina - Almost half of Europeans (47%)
 --- believe that sanctions against Russia should
be lifted --- according to a recent Sputnik Poll.

The poll found that 51% of Italians, 48% of Germans,
& 43% of French respondents, said they agree with
 the lifting of sanctions; according to the consultant
 firms, Ifop and UK Populus.

In contrast, when asked about the same topic, only
 29% of US people, said that they would like to see
 sanctions against Russia lifted.

The poll was conducted by the French opinion and
 marketing research company, Ifop, and UK polling
 agency Populus, for Sputnik News Agency & Radio.

The poll also found that respondents in the US,
are most likely to support extending sanctions.

When asked if sanctions against Russia should
be lifted or extended :  42% of US citizens said
they support extending them.

However, only 31% of respondents in Germany,
 29 per cent in France, and 27 per cent in Italy
agreed with extending sanctions.

The EU's economic sanctions against Russia
 were imposed in 2014.

Analists say that, since the sanctions were
 applied, the EU has had to pay 10 times
more than the US.


_______________________________




 “The Most Corrupt Country
in the World”.

 Journalist & world-renowned expert on the
 Italian mafia Roberto Saviano calls the UK
 “the most corrupt country in the world”.

“If I asked, what's the most corrupt place on
 Earth, you might well tell me it’s Afghanistan
 or maybe Greece, Nigeria, the South of Italy:
 and I will tell you --- it’s the UK,” Saviano told
 the audience at Wales’ Hay Literary Festival.

“It’s not the bureaucracy, it’s not the police,
 & it’s not the politics, but what is corrupt is
the financial capital. Ninety percent of the
 owners of capital in London, have their
headquarters offshore,” he added.

The UK is Europe’s “criminal capital” when it
comes to allowing corruption, the journalist
 thinks, with trust funds in Jersey and British
 Overseas Territory the Cayman Islands,
 being its “access gates.”

“That is why it is important, why it is so crucial
for me to be here today & talk to you;- because
 I want to tell you, this is about you, this is about
 your life, this is about your government,” the
36-year-old journalist told the audience.


_____________________________




Surprise! US Should Be Considered

 as a Tax Haven, EU Report Suggests

New research by the Green/EFA group in the
 European Parliament calls for the USA to be
 considered as a tax haven, following claims
 that it has fallen behind in tax transparency.

The research — which was published ahead
of a special visit to the US by the European
 Parliament's special committee, looking at
 tax avoidance this week, could also cast a
 shadow on the ongoing TTIP negotiations
-- which aim to secure closer trade agree-
ments between Europe and the US.

The report is critical of what it sees as inaction
 on the part of the US ---- in tackling the issue of
 transparency of company ownership and bank
 account info' between tax administrations
 --- arguing that, whilst the EU has made
progress, the US has not.

The report, 'The Role of the US as a Tax
Haven — Implications for Europe' says:

"The US is a major financial centre. It holds almost
 20% of the financial services' world market share
 for non-residents. Foreign assets amounted to
US $16,745 billion in 2013, and foreign direct
investment reached US$2.9 billion in 2014.

However, its transparency legal framework
is not consistent with the responsibility
involved in being a major financial hub."

The German Green MEP Sven Giegold comments
 on the report -- claiming the US has failed to live
 up to standards it requires of other countries:

"The US has made bold moves on the exchange of
 financial information but it is just a one-way street:
its exchange of tax information with other states,
 is more limited and full of loopholes," Giegold says.

Molly Scott Cato - a Green MEP for the UK - argues
 that the US is becoming increasingly attractive --
as a "tax haven" for the world's most wealthy.

Responding to the recent report, she argues for
 greater scrutiny of the US tax regime by the EU:

"The EU should carefully scrutinize the US, in the
 upcoming process of creating a common blacklist
 of tax havens. We should introduce a withholding
 tax on US banks not exchanging information -- as
 the US has done with European banks. We need
the US to sign up to the highest international
standards of transparency."

A fact-finding delegation visited the US between
 17-19 May, as part of the European Parliament's
 special committee investigating tax avoidance
 in the US.

__________________________________



Worst is Yet to Come? US Billionaire
 Warns of Crisis Worse Than 2008

The current situation in the global economy
 is similar to the situation on the eve of the
 crisis of 2008, billionaire trader Stanley
 Druckenmiller says.

According to the businessperson,
the main risk stems from actions
  by the US Federal Reserve.

He criticizes the Federal Reserve for a
 "myopic policy" of low interest rates,
which has led to fast-growing
bullish sentiments, in
the market.

"The bull market is exhausting itself,"
 he said, at the Ira Sohn Investment
Conference, in New York.

The Fed’s easy monetary policy has
 resulted in companies taking on big
debt loads... which they then use to
buy back their shares -- instead of
increasing capital spending.

By keeping interest rates low, the Fed is
 'raising the odds of an economic tail risk
 they are trying to avoid', Druckenmiller
points out.

A big concern, is the uncontrollable growth
of US debt, the investor adds. According to
 him, US corporations are "stuck in the mud,
forlorn of growth, unwilling to invest, and
 addicted to share buybacks, to gin up
 their stocks."

"The Fed has borrowed from future
 consumption more than ever before.
It is the least data-dependent Fed
 in history. This is the longest
 deviation from historical norms
 in terms of Fed dovishness that
 I have ever seen in my career,"
Druckenmiller is quoted as
saying, by CNBC.

"This kind of myopia causes
 reckless behaviour."

According to media reports, Druckenmiller -
 whose net worth is estimated at $4.4 billion
- is making long-term investments in gold...
 while holding short positions on US
companies’ shares.

At the same time, some economists believe
 that the current state of the global economy
 indicates that it may be facing a structural
adjustment - and isn't just the downward
 part of an economic cycle.

In April, the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) announced that the global economy
was expecting growth at 3.2 percent, in
2016, & a further growth of 3.5% in 2017.

"Maybe it is not just an economic cycle
 we are facing, but a kind of structural
adjustment of the world economy that
we do not understand, yet: what the
consequences are, and how to deal
 with this," European Commission
 Europe-Aid head, Jose Correia
Nunes, notes.


____________________________





Bankers in Prison
--- New Rule?


In October 2015, courts in Iceland handed down
 sentences against 5 bankers who helped usher
in the country’s 2008 financial crisis. Among
the convicted were 3 senior managers from
 Landsbanki Íslands and 2 senior managers
 from Kaupthing Bank. Then suddenly, with
no big hooha, sentences were pronounced
against more bankers working in Iceland.

A total of 26 have been convicted. This is
 the world’s first ruling against the bankers
 who oversaw the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Is the jig up yet?

On Jan. 11 eleven former employees of Deutsche
 Bank, Barclays, and Société Générale, appeared
in a London court, accused of manipulating the
 Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor), which
sets interest rates on many financial
products, including mortgages.

The Libor and Euribor interbank rates, which
 determine the cost at which banks lend to one
 another, are used to price over $450 trillion of
financial products. Over three years since the
UK bank Barclays, admitted, in 2012, that its
traders had tried to manipulate the Libor &
Euribor rates, between 2005 and 2009,
legal proceedings have begun.

 For many bankers the start of the trial
in London --- was a genuine shock.

In the banking world, where the London law-
suit's currently a hot topic, there're those who
 point out, that only the managers of European
banks are in the dock and they hope that Wall
 Street banks are not next. Others claim that
 the trial in London...  is just the beginning.

 And, finally, a third group is suggesting that it is
 not that hard to figure out which bank managers
 and employees are responsible for misbehaving.

The long silence on the part of the banks and
 regulators, can only be explained by the well-
established bonds of corruption:-  financial
 regulators are always guided by 2 unwritten
 rules in their work. One rule applies to the
banks as legal entities: Too big to fail.

The other applies to the managers
of large banks: Too big to jail.

The lawsuits in Iceland and London are
 the first exceptions to the second rule.


______________________________________



62 billionaires now control
half of world’s wealth


The 44-page report, ‘An Economy for the 1%’,
 published by Oxfam GB for Oxfam International
 (ISBN 978-1-78077-993-5, Jan. 2016, Oxford,
UK) says:

“The gap between rich and poor is reaching new
 extremes: Credit Suisse has recently revealed that
the richest 1% have now accumulated more wealth
than the rest of the world put together. Meanwhile,
 the wealth owned by the bottom half of humanity,
has fallen by a trillion dollars in the past 5 years.
This is just the latest evidence that today we live
 in a world with levels of inequality we may not
have seen for over a century.”

The poorest 50% of the world’s population is now
 worth an estimated $1.76 trillion --- which is also
 the estimated net worth of the richest 62 people.

In 2010, it required the richest 388 persons to
 make up the wealth of the bottom 50%. Since
then, the world’s richest 62 persons have added
 44% to their cash and assets -- while the wealth
of the bottom half has dropped by 41%, despite
the rise in the global population by 400 million.

In the same period, the wealth of the richest 62
 persons increased by $500 billion to $1.76 trillion.

 Within 5 years, the majority of the world’s wealth
 has been consolidated into the hands of less than
 one-sixth of the number of persons who used to
 control it.

Nine out of 10 World Economic Forum corporate
 partners had a presence in at least 1 tax haven.

 It's estimated that tax dodging by multinational
 corporations costs developing countries at least
 $100 billion every year. Corporate investment in
 tax havens almost quadrupled from 2000 to 2014.

The report cited estimates that billionaires have
 $7.6 trillion in offshore accounts. This amount
 is more than the joint GDP of the UK & Germany.

 It is said that, if tax were paid on the income this
 wealth generates, an extra $190 billion would be
 available to governments --- every year.

_________________________________



  EU Tries ending Tax
              Evasion by Multinationals  
   
          
 
 Prensa Latina - The European Union loses up to
 70 billion euros a year --- due to tax evasion by
 multinationals --- estimates the regional bloc,
and
it announces measures to contain this.

According to the Economic Affairs Commissioner,
 Pierre Moscovici, the transnationals' aggressive
 fiscal engineering, reduces the public coffers of
 the 28 member countries of the EU, by amounts
 fluctuating between 50 - 70 billion euros a year.

In remarks to journalists, Moscovici says these
practices generate a competitive disadvantage
 for local businesses -- and increase the fiscal
 burden for all other tax payers.

Moscovici says the Commission's plan needs
the approval of the 28 member countries and
 considers that the negotiations, as is usual
 over fiscal matters, will not be easy.

Under the proposal, 6 tax practices linked
to aggressive fiscal engineering, would be
 banned - including the transfer of benefits
 to subsidiaries placed in countries where
 lower taxes are paid.

The initiative also tries to prevent dividends
 or profits arriving to the EU from third states
 from enjoying tax exemption, when it hasn't
 been charged in the nations of origin.

Under the package, multinationals will 
have to give specific information to the
 fiscal authorities of the country where
 the headquarters are based and, if it is
 outside the EU, the responsibility will
 fall on the subsidiary.


_________________________________




Europe Bank Rout
Erases $434 Billion,
 Twice Greek Economy.

The plunge in European bank stocks over the past
six months, has wiped out about 400 billion euros
 ($434 billion) in market value --- over twice the
 annual output of Greece at current prices.

The STOXX Europe 600 Banks Index, grouping
 46 lenders, has dropped twice as much as the
 region’s benchmark share index since late July.

 Banking stocks have fallen 14% in January alone,
 heading for their worst monthly performance since
 the depths of Europe’s 2011 sovereign-debt crisis.

Deutsche Bank AG and Standard Chartered Plc
are each down by over 40 percent, since July.

______________________________________



US Companies Led the World in
Debt Defaults in 2015, S&P Says
 
More US companies defaulted on their debt in 2015
than issuers from any other country or region, S&P
 analysts say, in their December reports.

111 companies worldwide defaulted on their
 obligations, the highest tally since 2009 when
 the figure hit 242 for the same period.

 About 60 percent of last year’s global defaults
came from US borrowers, up from 55 percent in
 2014, when 33 of 60 defaulters, were US ones.

After the US, companies from emerging markets
 were the second-largest defaulters, accounting
for 23 percent of the pool, which was a smaller
share than in 2014, according to S&P's data.

Plummeting oil prices and speculation about
how the Federal Reserve’s plan to tighten
monetary policy would affect corporate
borrowing costs has made companies
 more vulnerable, expert Vazza says.

“The current crop of US speculative-grade
issuers appears fragile, and particularly
susceptible to sudden, or unanticipated
 shocks,” she wrote, on December 24th.

Arch Coal Inc. was the most recent,
 with its credit rating downgraded to
“speculative default” by Standard &
Poor’s last week -- after the coal
producer missed about $90 million
 in interest payments, & exercised
 a 30-day grace period, with the
 holders of some of its notes.

Bloomberg.com reports that shale is now
running out of survival tricks, as OPEC
ramps up the pressure.

Looking ahead, S&P expects the US corporate
 default rate to rise to 3.3 percent by September
 2016 from 2.5 percent a year earlier.

The bulk of the failures to come from companies
 in the oil and gas sector, which accounted for
about a quarter of 2015’s defaults.


____________________________




A CRISIS WORSE THAN ISIS?
BAIL-INS BEGIN


While the mainstream media focus on ISIS
 extremists, a threat that has gone virtually
 unreported is that your life savings could be
 wiped out in a massive derivatives collapse.

 Bank bail-ins have begun in Europe, and the
 infrastructure is in place in the US. Poverty
also kills. At the end of November, an Italian
 pensioner hanged himself after his entire
 €100,000 savings were confiscated, in a
bank “rescue” scheme.

 He left a suicide note blaming the bank,
 where he'd been a customer for 50 years
and had invested in bank-issued bonds.

 But he might better have blamed the EU
 and the G20’s Financial Stability Board,
which imposed an “Orderly Resolution”
 regime, to keep insolvent banks afloat
--- by confiscating the savings
of investors and depositors.

 Some 130,000 shareholders and junior
 bond holders suffered losses by “rescue.”   

http://www.blacklistednews.com
/January_1%2C_2016%3A_The_New_

Bank_Bail-In_System_Goes_Into_Effect_
In_Europe/48057/0/38/38/Y/M.html

_______________________________________



Obama agrees - signs IMF Reform

A special communique of the G20 on the subject
of the IMF adopted at the G20 summit in Turkey
 --- and signed by US President Obama --- urges
the US to ratify IMF reforms agreed in 2010.

This reform implies that the US will have to give
 up its blocking stake of votes in the IMF and the
 fund itself, will cease to depend on Washington
politicians.


___________________________________




US saddled with
debts of $65 trillion:

Former US comptroller

When all the US's unfunded liabilities are added up,
 the national debt is 3 times more than the oft-cited
 figure of $18 trillion, states Dave Walker, former
US' Comptroller General.


The real US national debt is about $65 trillion,
says Mr Walker, who headed the Government
 Accountability Office (GAO) --- under former
Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

“If you end up adding to that $18.5 trillion -- the
 unfunded civilian & military pensions & retiree
 healthcare, the additional underfunding for Social
 Security, the additional underfunding for Medicare,
and the various commitments and contingencies
 that the federal government has, the real number
is about $65 trillion rather than $18 trillion, and it’s
growing automatically --- absent reforms,” Walker
 tells John Catsimatidis on “The Cats Roundtable”
on New York’s AM-970.

Walker, in charge of ensuring federal spending is
 fiscally responsible, says a large national debt
hinders the US government’s ability to conduct
both
domestic and foreign policy initiatives.

“If you don’t keep your economy strong, and
that means to be able to generate more jobs
 and opportunities, you are not going to be
strong internationally, with regard to
 foreign policy,” he notes.

He adds that such a problem prevents
 the country from investing “in national
defense and homeland security.”

Walker goes on to say that US citizens
 have “lost touch with reality”, when
it comes to spending.

He calls on Democrats and Republicans
to set aside partisan politics in order to
band together to tackle the problem.

“You can be a Democrat or a Republican,
you can be unaffiliated, you can be what-
ever you want, but your duty of loyalty
needs to be to country, rather than to
 party, & we need to solve some of the
 large, known, and growing problems
 that we have,” he says.


___________________________________




IMF warns: Saudi Arabia
may go bankrupt by 2020


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warns in a
 report, that Saudi Arabia may run out of financial
 assets within 5 years, if the government keeps to
its current policies.

Saudi Arabia is expected to run a budget deficit
of 21.6% in 2015 and 19.4% in 2016, according to
the IMF’s latest regional economic outlook. The
 state needs to adjust its spending, the IMF urges.

The IMF says the region’s outlook is currently
 being shaped by several key factors ---- the
 most important of which include deepening
regional conflicts, and slumping oil prices.

The conflicts have given rise to large numbers
of displaced people and refugees, on a scale
not seen since the early 1990s, according
to the report.

“Achieving fiscal sustainability over the
medium-term will be especially challenging
 -- given the need to create jobs for the over
 10 million people anticipated to be looking
 for work by 2020 in the region’s oil exporting
 countries,” IMF Middle East and Central Asia
 Department Director, Masood Ahmed, told
media, after unveiling the report in Dubai.

“For the region’s oil exporters, the fall in
prices has led to a large fall in revenue,
amounting to a staggering $360 billion
this year alone,” Masood Ahmed said.

OPEC members Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq,
Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Algeria and Libya
have all seen revenues drop sharply,
 as a result of a decline in oil prices.

Saudi Arabia is currently facing a
 budget deficit for the first time
since 2009.

Oil sales account for 80% of revenues.
 It has prompted the government to cut
spending, delay projects and sell bonds.

The country’s net foreign assets fell by
 about $82 billion from Jan. to August.

The government sold state bonds worth
 $15 billion (55 billion riyals) this year.

The budget deficit has caused project
 layoffs in Saudi Arabia.

Firms working on infrastructure projects
 haven’t been paid for 6 months, or more.
Payment delays increased lately, as the
government wants to cut prices on
 contracts, in order to preserve cash.


______________________________




Growth momentum still huge in
 Chinese economy: People's Daily
             
China's economy still has huge momentum,
 "as structural readjustment will transform
 challenges into strengths in the long run,"
says a commentary in the People's Daily,
the flagship newspaper of the Communist
 Party of China.

China's GDP last year posted its weakest
annual expansion in 24 years, mainly
 resulting from a housing slowdown,
 weakening domestic demand and
unsteady exports.

Economic growth slowed further,
to 7% in the first half of this year.

A 7% rise is not an easy achievement in
 a slowing world economy, & the rate is
among the highest in major economies,
 Premier Li Keqiang says, at the Summer
Davos forum in northeast China's Dalian.

"China is the source of global growth," Li says,
 adding the country has sufficient policy tools
 to reform the macro-economy, and will keep
rolling out targeted & innovative measures
 to counter downward pressure.

China contributed roughly 30 percent of world
 economic growth, in the first half of this year.


______________________________




UN Principles Against Vulture Funds,
Victory for Argentina    

It was worth the fight, said president Cristina
 Fernández on TV, after the UN voted by a big
majority, to approve a resolution with the
principles that create a legal framework
 to protect the process of exchange in
paying off debts.

The UN principles of sovereignty are:

 good faith, transparency, impartiality,
 equitable treatment, sovereign immunity,
 legitimacy, sustainability, & restructuring
 of the majority.

Cristina Fernández --- over the year it took ---
 defended the need to establish a legal frame-
work that protects restructuring of sovereign
debts --- from speculation by financial groups
known as 'vulture' funds.

The proposal was received and sponsored by the
 Group of 77 plus China, which upheld it until now.

Argentinean Minister of Economy, Axel Kicillof
said this approval not only favors his country,
 but all the rest, including developed countries
going through a process of crisis.

Although the resolution by the General Assembly
 isn't obligatory, it constitutes a fundamental step
 against the attacks of vulture funds, like those
 Argentina is suffering today and other countries
 too, affirmed Kicillof.

Cristina Fernandez thanked the 136 nations who
voted 'yes' and the 41 states which abstained,
 "as we know of the pressures they're against."
She also congratulated the diplomatic and
economic teams that made it possible.

__________________________



The World Bank, using PPP calculations,
 has Russia's economy above Germany's.

 Its top five -- in order -- are:
China, the US, India, Japan
 and Russia.

 It puts BRICS GDP at 96% of the G7's.

 The world is changing.


___________________________________




'Largest-ever' Mediterranean
gas field discovered

Italian energy company Eni says it's discovered the
 Mediterranean Sea's "largest-ever" gas reservoir ---
off Egypt.


_______________________




Justice Ministry drafts bill proposing
legalizing seizure of foreign state assets

Kommersant business daily writes that Russia's
 Justice Ministry has developed a bill, according
to which, any state’s property in Russia can be
seized, in proportion to the amount of Russian
 assets frozen in that country.  Presently, the
bill is approved by a designated committee.

"The number of lawsuits against Russia in
foreign courts is steadily rising," says the
Justice Ministry, "and no one is asking
Russia to agree to participate."

The ministry notes that in several countries
 Russian property now has "limited juridical
immunity," which is why a special law is
needed to guarantee a "balance" on the
basis of the "reciprocity principle."

"Currently, it is possible to seize foreign
government assets when there is a court
 order," says Dmitry Matveyev, executive
 partner of Dmitry Matveyev & Partners
 Law Firm.

 He does not see a special law as necessary,
 but notes that if the law is passed, it will not
 contradict international law.

"Any court or arbitration institute can ‘deprive’
 a foreign government of immunity if it is guided
 by the applicable law," says Marat Davletbayev,
partner from Nektorov, Saveliev and Partners
 Law Firm.

But Davletbayev also warns that the court of
the country whose property was deprived of
immunity, can refuse to recognize this, and
implement the decision of the Russian court.

_________________________________




Transit Gas Through Ukraine
Politically Motivated by EU

Sputnik – The EU is trying to maintain the transit
of Russian gas via Ukraine, for political reasons,
 Russia's Envoy to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, says.

"I think they have the ultimate goal of keeping
 Ukrainian transit, as a purely political stance.
 It doesn't have any economic basis," he says,
 answering questions in an interview with RIA
Novosti, on why Brussels is not seeking to
enhance co-operation with Russia on the
Turkish Stream gas pipeline project, via the
Black Sea and Greece, bypassing Ukraine.

The European Union won't be able to continue
 giving Kiev financial support, if Ukraine now
announces a default, due to the EU's own
legislation, Vladimir Chizhov says.

"Yes, if a default is announced, they cannot
continue financial support according to the
EU's legislation," he says, in the interview.

The EU is -- to a certain extent -- standing on
the sidelines in Ukraine's conflict settlement
 process, Russia's Envoy to the EU, says.

"Two EU members are participating in the
Normandy format negotiations on the
settlement of the situation in Ukraine,
 and they are both operating in their
national capacity.

"The European structures, as well as US
 representatives -- for obvious reasons --
are not engaged [in the talks]," he says.

The EU is supporting the Kiev authorities,
 who have repeatedly violated the Minsk
agreements, instead of putting pressure
on them, Russia's Envoy to the EU says.

“It's not the first time Kiev has violated the
Minsk agreements. I think this is obvious
 to every unbiased observer, but here [in
 the European Union] they do not even
 think about it. Instead [of imposing
sanctions on Ukraine], they just repeat
 their support for the authorities in Kiev,”
he says, in an interview with RIA Novosti.

___________________________________




‘No mandate or moral right tosay yes’:
Greece rejects ‘generous’ EU bailout

It’s up to the Greek people, Tsipras says,
to
make a fateful decision on Greece’s
sovereignty, independence and future.

_________________________________




If Anti-Russia Sanctions Stay...

According to WIFO’s assessment, Germany will
shoulder the main burden. 500,000 jobs now are
under the threat of liquidation in Germany. The
 German economy will lose €27 billion and its
GDP will contract by 1% in the coming years,
according to experts’ estimates.

Italy will lose over 200,000 jobs and 0.9% of GDP
 while France’s losses will amount to 150,000 jobs
 and 0.5% of GDP. Poland, Estonia and Spain will
suffer too. Germany has already lost 175,000
 working places with 290,000 more to be lost,
 if the sanctions war continues.

The unemployment rate may rise by 185,000
 in Poland, 135,000 in Italy, 115,000 in Spain,
95,000 in France, 80,000 in the UK & 75,000
 in Estonia. If we include Switzerland, the EU
 has already lost 950,000 working places.
 With the sanctions in force, unemployment
 will rise by 1,460,000.

____________________________________



Anti-Russian Sanctions Can Cost EU
 Up to $114 Billion - Austrian Study
 
Sputnik - The European Union could lose up to
 €100 billion ($114 billion) over its anti-Russian
 sanctions if things remain unchanged, a study
by Austria's Institute of Economic Research,
 reveals.

Die Welt newspaper reports that the research,
conducted exclusively for the Leading European
 Newspaper Alliance (LENA), considers a worst-
case scenario, if the sanctions remain in place.

“If the situation does not change fundamentally,
 our most pessimistic scenario will come true,”
one of the research authors, Oliver Fritz, is
 quoted as saying, by Die Welt.

According to their calculations, the current
 political situation could also affect over 2
 million EU jobs, through declining exports.

In contrast to the analysts’ forecast, the
European Commission says the losses of
 the European Union are “relatively small
 and manageable,” the newspaper says.

Since March 2014, the US, EU, and other
 western countries have sanctioned Russia’s
 banking, defense & energy sectors, over its
 alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis. Moscow
 has repeatedly denied those allegations.

In August, Moscow imposed a year-long food
embargo on the countries that sanctioned it.

The decision on the extension of anti-Russian
 sanctions is due to be made next week at the
 meeting of EU foreign ministers. Moscow vows
new countermeasures -- if sanctions are kept.


_______________________________________




Two Can Play This Game: Russia Warns:
 Belgium Asset Freeze Works Both Ways
 
Sputnik - Russia's Foreign Ministry summoned
 the Belgian ambassador, informing him that
Russia may adopt reciprocal measures --- if
 the recent asset seizures are not reversed.

A Belgian court instructed Wednesday, that
47 Belgian & Russian companies be stripped
 of assets of 1.65 billion euros ($1.87 billion),
 in connection with a settlement awarded to
 exYukos shareholders by a Dutch arbitration
 court. Russia's Justice Minister, Alexander
Konovalov, says Belgium's legal arguments
 for seizing Russian property are unclear, &
Russia has requested information on this,
through diplomatic channels.

"Belgium's ambassador was informed that
 the Russian side considers such acts by
competent authorities of the Kingdom of
Belgium, as openly unfriendly acts and
flagrant violations of the universally
recognized norms of international
law,"
the ministry statement says.

The ministry calls on Belgium to take
immediate acts to restore the property
 of Russian organizations. The seizures
 appear to be made under the auspices
 of the European Energy Charter Treaty,
which Russia signed, but did not ratify.

"Otherwise, the Russian side will be
 forced to consider adopting appropriate
 response measures, regarding assets
 of the Kingdom of Belgium," it adds.

French authorities also began seizing
Russian state-owned property earlier
 on Thursday. France seized the bank
 accounts of Rossiya Segodnya news
 agency, of which, Sputnik is a part.

The organization's real estate wasn't seized,
as the organization does not own any real
 estate in France, & employees continue to
 access rented buildings without hindrance.

French economist and professor at Moscow
 School of Economics, Jacques Sapir, says
the French government's decision threatens
 to create a "cold war" climate between the
 two countries, and the attacks show how
the West intends to deal with the rise in
influence of Russia's alternative media.

_________________________




India confirms bid to
join Russia-led bloc


India has confirmed that it will sign a free trade
 agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union
(EEU) -- a Russia-led bloc which is attracting
more emerging powers. 

TASS news agency quotes a senior diplomat at
 the Indian embassy in Russia, saying that New
Delhi will be “definitely signing this agreement".

Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and
Kyrgyzstan are members of the EEU which
started operation on January 1st, with the
 aim of regional economic integration.

China, Vietnam, Iran, Egypt & Israel, have
 also indicated their interest in joining the
 EEU free trade zone which guarantees the
free transit of goods, services, capital and
 workers, among its members.

Last month, the union gave the initial go-
ahead to signing a free trade agreement
with Iran, a senior EEU official says.

Russia's representative on the Eurasian
Economic Commission board, Andrey
Slepnev, says the Iran proposal was
 approved by all the panel members, 
at an expert-level meeting, held
 in Armenia's capital, Yerevan.

He adds that discussions with China
on joining the union will begin soon,
Xinhua news agency says.

Currently the EEU has a combined population
 of 170 million people, and a gross domestic
 product of $2.7 trillion, and is being tipped
 as a major economic force to challenge the
 might of the European Union and the US.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is also
 calling for a regional currency union, as
it will make it "easier to react to external
 financial & economic threats, & protect
 our joint market".

___________________________




Australia, China sign landmark
 free trade agreement

Xinhua - The Australian & Chinese governments
 signed a long-awaited, "monumental" free trade
 agreement in Canberra, last month, lifting most
 of the import tariffs between the two countries.
 
The landmark signing by Australia's Trade Minister
 Andrew Robb and China's Commerce Minister Gao
 Hucheng finalized negotiations that began 10 years
 ago and follows the Declaration of Intent signed in
 November by the countries' leaders, Tony Abbott
 and Xi Jinping.
 
PM Abbott says the "unprecedented" and
 "monumental" pact is the "next chapter"
in strong relations between the countries.
 
On full implementation of the wide-ranging
 agreement, tariffs are to be lifted on 95%
of Australian exports, hurdles for Chinese
businesses to invest in Australia will be
 lowered, and more visas for Chinese
holidaymakers will be granted.
 
China is Australia's largest trading partner,
with trade in goods and services last year
exceeding 135 billion U.S. dollars - almost
a quarter of Australia's total world trade. 

Australia FTA to spur more regional deals

 China and Australia's landmark free trade
 agreement, with a recent deal with South
Korea, is expected to serve as a positive
example --- and help advance economic
 integration in the Asia-Pacific region.

Under the deal, 85.4% of bilateral exports will
be tariff-free immediately after it takes effect.

When ChAFTA is fully implemented, 97%
 of Australian products to China and all
Chinese products to Australia, will
enjoy tariff-free entry. 

China has been Australia's largest trade
partner since 2010, and Australia was
China's eighth largest trade partner in
2014, says MOFCOM's statement.

Compared with other free trade agreements
 with China, ChAFTA has a broader tariff-free
 coverage, Tu Xinquan, executive director of
 the China Institute of WTO Studies, tells the
 Global Times.

China & South Korea signed a free trade
agreement on June 1 which will remove
 tariffs on about 90% of products traded
 between the two countries, in 20 years.

Australia & China have complementary
industries, so removing tariffs won't put
 undue pressure on China's enterprises,
 Chen Fengying, research fellow, China
Institute of Contemporary International
Relations, tells the Global Times.

China mainly imports minerals, such as iron
 ore, from Australia & exports manufacturing
 products like clothing & telecommunications
 equipment to the country, according to the
 website of the Australian Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade.

As for agriculture, Tu says Australian products
 can meet the needs of China's growing middle
class and spur domestic producers to improve.

China's dairy industry, for example, is expected
to work harder for survival as it faces Australian
 competition, when tariffs gradually reduce.

Australia first country to open service
sector to China.

In addition to the removal of tariffs, Australia is
the first country in the world to open its service
sector to China, with a negative list.

The two countries have mutually granted most-
favored-nation status, and reduced the review
 threshold for corporate investments.

"ChAFTA is a comprehensive and high-level
free trade agreement," Chen says.

Most free trade agreements mainly focus on goods
 and services, yet ChAFTA includes lowering review
 thresholds for investments, & in some other areas
 such as e-commerce, & government procurement,
 she says.

China's FTAs with Australia & South Korea, are
 expected to persuade more in the Asia-Pacific
region to join the trend, observers say.

China, South Korea and Japan have discussed
a trilateral free trade agreement since 2013...
 but have not reached a final agreement.

If bilateral ties between China and Japan can
 be improved, it is possible to have a trilateral
 free trade zone, Chen says, noting that the
China-South Korea FTA, has placed some
 pressure on Japan.

Also on Wednesday, the Japanese Chamber
 of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) released its
 2015 Japanese Business in China White Paper,
which says the JCCI expects China, Japan &
S. Korea to OK a free trade agreement 'soon'.

Japan has been involved in talks on the US-led
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), but
 this trade initiative has not progressed much,
 in recent years.

________________________________




NZ to invest $87m in
Asian infrastructure bank


New Zealand's government announces that
the country will invest NZ$125 million ($87.27
million) in the Asian Infrastructure Investment
Bank (AIIB), over five years.


________________________________




Hungary becomes 1st EU country
to join China’s Silk Road project
 
Hungary has become the first European country
 to join the Chinese 'Silk Road’ project, aimed at
 strengthening ties between Asia and Europe &
 developing trade & infrastructure in the region.

The foreign ministers of China and Hungary
have signed a memorandum of understanding
on the New Silk Road, also known as the"One
Belt, One Road" project in Budapest, the
Chinese Foreign Ministry states on its
web-site, Reuters reports.

In March, Chinese President Xi Jinping said
trade among the project’s participants would
he hoped, exceed $2.5 trillion in one decade.

Hungary hopes to intensify cooperation with
 China that can speed up the construction of
 the Hungarian-Serbia railway & other projects,
says the country’s President Janos Ader, as
 quoted by the Chinese foreign ministry.

China is financing and constructing a rail-
way between Hungary and Serbia.

The Chinese government is to inject dozens of
 billions of dollars to support the project via the
building of railways, highways, power grids, oil
& gas pipelines, maritime & infrastructure links
 across Central, West and South Asia to Europe,
increasing the connection between the East
 and the West.


________________________




US to Lose Its Ground
Under BRICS Pressure

 © Sputnik/ Alexei Druzhinin

Blind adherence to US policies & introducing
 anti-Russia sanctions, was fatal for Europe,
as the Russia-China-BRICS axis is about to
overturn the global economic system, and
prevail over US' hegemony, states the chief
 economist of Germany's Bremer Landesbank.

The real damage to EU countries caused by
 the launch of anti-Russian sanctions is much
 more comprehensive than that estimated by
 statistics, Folker Hellmeyer, chief economist
of Germany's Bremer Landesbank says, in
an interview with the German publication,
Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten.

“The slump in German export volumes of 18% in
 2014 and by 34% for the first two months of 2015
 is just the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “There are
many more side-effects.”

“European countries, like Finland and Austria,
with strong developing businesses in Russia,
are placing fewer orders within Germany.
 Moreover, Europe's corporations are evading
 these sanctions and creating high-efficiency
 production facilities in Russia. We, therefore,
 lose this potential capital stock -- the basis
 of our prosperity -- and Russia wins.”

The relationship of trust between Russia and
 Germany and the EU is somewhat broken. And
 it will take years to rebuild it. As a result, such
 companies as Siemens and Alstom have lost
 major Russian projects, he says. The potential
 damage -- not only for Germany but the whole
 EU -- therefore, is much more comprehensive
 than what's being shown by current figures.

Meanwhile, Moscow, Beijing and other BRICS
 countries, are looking forward to building the
largest project in modern history: construction
 of new Eurasian infrastructure, from Moscow
 to Vladivostok, in South China, and in India.

Participation by Western countries in these
 mega-projects looks quite uncertain, he says.

“For me, the conflict has already been set,” he says.

“The Moscow-Beijing-BRICS axis, has won......
 The West has had enough. In 1990, the BRICS
countries were 25% of the world's economic
 output. Now, they are 56% of world economic
output, and 85% of the world's population.

 They control about 70% of the world's foreign
 exchange reserves. They grow annually, by
 an average of 4% to 5%. Since the US hasn't
 been prepared to share power, worldwide,
nor build the emerging market sector on
its own financial system --- it has lost.”

Neither problem in the world, now,
can be solved, without Moscow
or Beijing, says the economist.

The lack of its own agenda, makes
the EU & Germany look like losers.

“The longer we pursue this policy in the EU,
 the higher the price and the less anyone will
take us seriously as interlocutors,” he adds.


_______________________




BREAKING US

The rating agencies, like Moodys and S&P, are very
 powerful, because practically all lawmakers around
 the world have made it a national law -- that certain
 investment groups must follow the agencies' ratings.

Example: Life Insurance (huge investors) in the EU
 must, by law, invest in Class A Investments (those
with the lowest risk). This requires a rating of no
 lower than AA+, otherwise money from such funds
 can't be invested by law. If an insurance company
 does it, it will be fined and the whole Board sacked.

The Rating Agencies are all US controlled. They're
 a typical power multiplier. There's no need for the
 US Government to come out into the open. They
 just tell their Rating Agency Puppets what to do,
 and a large part of the investment world will act
 as per the law, fully automatically and without a
single brain cell as to why, being set in motion.

It's for this reason that each country needs to de-link
 the legal link between US controlled Rating Agencies
 and its own legal structure regulating the investment
 companies. This would be way more important than
 a separate currency or a separate investment bank.

 China has done it and Russia is preparing for it. The
 EU has been talking about it, but has not acted on it.


________________________




Japanese and US
"Difficulties"


China  will always welcome the US & Japan
 joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment
Bank (AIIB), and has kept them informed on
 all relevant information, China's Finance
 Minister Lou Jiwei says.

"The United States and Japan have not been
 able to join AIIB due to their own difficulties,"
 Lou tells Xinhua on the sidelines of the World
 Bank-IMF Spring Meeting, without elaborating.

The United States and Japan decided to stay
out of China's initiative by the March 31 dead-
line, as both countries worry that the AIIB may
 challenge the Japan-led Asian Development
Bank (ADB) & the US-dominated World Bank.

However, China has underlined that the AIIB
 will take an open and inclusive attitude and,
as complementary to existing development
banks, able to strengthen the whole region's
 communications plus its social & economic
 development.


______________________________




German Media Reveals
             Mass Layoffs by the World Bank               

German media say now that over 3.4 million people
 worldwide, have been displaced over the last years,
 or lost their livelihoods, due to World Bank policies.

According to research by public TV networks NDR
 and WDR, and the journal Sueddeutsche Zeitung,
 many of the people affected by 972 World Bank
 projects, were laid off, or suffered other kinds of
 human rights violations.

The media analyzed over 6,000 documents of
the WB, in collaboration with the International
Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation
 and Development, reacts with "great concern"
to the reports and demands a change in policy
by the international financial institution.

However, the media also finds that the German
 government, through its development policy, is
 involved in some of the controversial projects.

Since the end of 2013, German representatives
on the top Board of Directors at the World Bank
 have voted just once against a project, out of
 its 600 initiatives each year.


______________________________




The new Chinese rating agency set up
to counter US agencies' obvious bias:

They give Russia - an A rating = stable.

But the US gets - an A rating negative
(because of its gigantic debt and deficit)


_____________________________________




CHINA SIDE-STEPS
DOLLAR -- AGAIN


China's central bank signs a currency swap
 agreement -- valued at 30 billion yuan ($4.9
 billion) -- with South Africa's central bank.

The agreement lasts for three years and can
 be extended upon agreement, by both sides,
 says a spokesperson for the People's Bank
of China (PBOC).

The deal aims to facilitate bilateral trade and
 investment and to maintain regional financial
stability, Xinhua news agency reports.

South Africa's Reserve Bank (SARB) states
 the agreement's purpose is to support trade
 and investment between South Africa and
China, and act as a mitigating resource for
short term balance of payment pressures.

The PBOC also signed swap agreements
 with Armenia & the Republic of Suriname
 in March.

To promote international use of the yuan,
China has currency swap agreements now
with over 20 countries & regions since the
 start of a global financial crisis in late 2008.


_______________________




AIIB having tremendous influence

 on shift of power from West to East.

The popularity of the China-proposed Asian
 Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) shows
 that Asia in general, and China in particular,
are leading the world in another -- and more
 relevant -- direction, a Dutch expert says.

Rien T. Segers, a Dutch expert on the political
 economy of east Asia, believes that the world
 is undergoing a transition from "the financial,
 economic and political dominance of the US,
 towards the dominance of a number of Asian
 countries, led by China."

"If dominance is a politically incorrect word,
leadership is not nice either. I would prefer
'cooperative influence'", says Segers.

"The rich and old economies have no other
choice, but to go for a development which
 is a reflection of the cooperative influence
 of Asian countries on the West - and vice
versa", he adds.

Over 40 countries, so far, have shown an
interest in becoming members of the AIIB.

 European countries, including France, Italy,
the UK, Germany, Spain & the Netherlands,
 have all stated that they want to become
founding members of the new bank.

The Netherlands has now applied to join
 the AIIB as a founding member.


__________________________________________




WEST's MONOPOLY
WEAKENING FASTER


Russia, Australia, the Netherlands and Brazil
have all announced that they plan to join the
 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).   

Despite US criticism, more countries from
the heart of Washington’s camp, say they
too, are considering joining. They include
 diehard allies like Turkey & South Korea.

China says it has already accepted the
application of Brazil, its largest trading
 partner, to the AIIB, adding that Austria
has also applied to join.

The AIIB is a multinational lender. It has
30 founding members with applications
still coming in.

Other nations will still be able to join
 the bank, but as common members.


__________________________________




US SEES EUROPE
SHIFT TO CHINA

France, Germany and Italy have all joined
the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
 - and the UK joined it the week before.

Their choice is a vote of confidence in China,
which has achieved 3 decades of economic
 success and readied itself to make greater
 contributions to world development. How-
ever, what makes the AIIB so popular,
does not end there...

Unlike existing world lending bodies like
the World Bank, in which the US has the
dominant role and a veto, the AIIB gives
China no such privileges.

Instead, all members participate in the
decision-making process, in order to
 achieve win-win results.

The AIIB doesn't seek to weaken present
 institutions, but to strengthen them, and
 vigorously push forward the global
economy.

The World Bank welcomes the AIIB, says
 World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani
Indrawati, adding: "the WB will cooperate
closely" with the AIIB.

The US may be embarrassed that so many
 allies braved its warnings, and embraced
 the AIIB, but as a NYT editorial says: "this
 is a problem of America's own making."

The US has been too sluggish in reforming
 global financial institutions it controls, as
 their power distribution no longer reflects
 reality in the global economic landscape.

Decision-makers in the United States truly
do have to be reminded - that if they don't
 jump on the bandwagon of change in time,
they'll soon be overrun by the bandwagon.

 Meanwhile, South Korea and Australia
are also applying for membership, but
Japan, wishing to keep its relationship
exclusively with the US, has said 'no'.

AIIB --- launched last year --- is a China-led
 international development bank, targeting
 investment in Asian infrastructure such as
transport, energy and telecommunications.

 Analysts consider the new institution as a
 rival to the Western-controlled World Bank
 and the (US-led) Asian Development Bank.


________________________




Money Pouring into Russia
despite Sanctions


The net inflow of money into funds investing in
 Russian shares continued its six-week streak,
 $40.7 million between 26 February – 4 March,
the Emerging Portfolio Fund Research shows.

The leader among BRICS countries is India,
whose inflows totaled .55% ($678.1 million)
over the course of the week (the 12 month
 total was 7.4%, or $7.4 billion).

China had comparatively weak results—
an outflow of .12% ($341.1 million) in the
week, or 3.8% ($11.1 billion) over the year.

Investors continued to withdraw assets
 from Latin America--.75% ($216.3 million)
 in the week, reports Vesti Ekonomika.

Russia is in 2nd place among the BRICS.
Its total capital influx over the year
reached 1.1% ($525.2 million).

Therefore Russia is continuing to outpace
 developing markets, concludes Sberbank
 Investment Research.

Most are funds oriented toward Russia
 (inflow of .11%, $34.3 million). Passive
 funds attracted .47% ($54.2 million),
active funds lost .02% of assets ($4.6
million). In the week ending March 4th,
RTS index increased by .1% and Brent
crude rose by 3.2%.

J.Hawk:

'To put it in plain English, Russia is
considered to have an attractive
investment climate, no mean feat
after a decade of sanctions, credit
 rating downgrades, threats of more
 sanctions, even threats of military
 action and provocative NATO
exercises on its border.'

'All of these measures were intended,
 not to hurt Russia’s economy directly,
 but to create the impression Russia
 is surrounded, isolated, starved of
 capital, and with its economy “in
tatters”, to quote Barack Obama.

 International investors know
 when they see a winner.

_______________________




US Frenzy at Chinese ad of yuan
 as new world reserve currency
 
In Thailand, China has recently erected a
curious billboard. The words on the billboard
 announce a new "world currency" called the
 Renminbi. The US dollar is nearing the end
 of its global power and dominance.

Renminbi's trading hubs have appeared all
over the world, from Singapore to London
 to Luxembourg to Frankfurt and Toronto.

Transnational corporations like McDonald's
 issue bonds in renminbi. Sovereign states,
including the UK, issue debt in renminbi.

The renminbi is the official currency of the
 People's Republic of China. Renminbi literally
 means "people's currency." The yuan is the
 basic unit of the renminbi, but is also used
to refer to the Chinese currency generally,
 especially in international contexts.

A historic look at dominant reserve currencies
 shows that reserve currencies run in cycles
 that last somewhere between 80 and 110
 years per cycle.

The US Dollar has held its status as a reserve
 currency since 1921, bringing it to a 94 year
long streak, indicating that the US Dollar has
almost run its course.

The US prints money in an attempt to postpone
 the crisis, creating currency wars with nearly
 all major central banks in the world. As history
 shows, money printing will only aggravate the
 problem, making the transition more painful
 and costly.

Many international experts in finance believe
that the US Dollar is on its last legs. Central
banks simply manipulate events to help the
dollar maintain its status for a little longer.
However, the time when the US Dollar
crashes is not too far away.

China and other countries, including Russia,
 have been calling for the US Dollar to be
 replaced by another world reserve currency.

More and more countries are deciding to
do without the dollar in their settlements.


________________________




Rothschild warns of 'chaos, extremism'
 and 'horrendous' problems in Europe

Jacob Rothschild, 78-year-old banker & chair of
RIT Capital Partners, warns of global instability
 and the fragility of any hope for future incomes,
Richard Dyson writes, in The Telegraph.

In his statement on the economic year 2014,
 Rothschild expresses his concern about the
complicated economic background investors
 will face in the future.

According to Jacob Rothschild, the current
 geopolitical situation is perhaps even more
 dangerous than it was during the Second
World War, Pravda.Ru reports.

He stresses that the current state of affairs
 exists, as a result of the rampant chaos and
 extremism in the Middle East, the crisis in
 Ukraine and a general weakening of Europe
 -- which faces horrendous unemployment --
 against the backdrop of the EU's inability
 to conduct necessary reforms.


_________________________________




The US is Completely Bankrupt.

Some time ago, a summary of a report by the
 authoritative Washington-based Cato Institute
 was published. According to this institute, US
 government debt in 2014, was not USD 18
 trillion, but was in fact, USD 91 trillion.

The huge difference arises from the fact that
 official estimates do not include “unfunded
 liabilities of programs like Social Security
 and Medicare.”

“While those liabilities don’t show up on official
 balance sheets, they nonetheless, represent
the legal obligations of the US government.”

 “The expected shortfall from these programs
 brings the true debt to an unfathomable
USD 90.6 trillion,” notes the Cato Institute’s
 brief summary. The full version of the report
-- including all calculations -- was in March.


_______________________




US Investment Advisor, Ron Holland:


"Americans should take advantage of the
recent dollar strength to diversify into gold,
 investments, real estate and safe havens
outside the US dollar & the United States.

"Better to be early than too late, because
 eventually the consequences of aggressive
 military actions, central bank manipulation,
 uncontrolled government debt & unfunded
 liabilities, will come home to the American
 people.

"Neither the guilt of our political and banking
 leadership nor the innocence of our citizenry
 will protect you, your assets or your family."


________________________________




China outstrips
US foreign investment


More foreign direct investment flowed into
 China than the US in 2014, bumping the US
off its top spot for investment in the world,
 a position it has held since 2003.

China's $127.6 billion in foreign investment
 in 2014, was far more than the $86 billion
flowing into the US, according to figures
published by the UN Conference on Trade
and Development (UNCTAD).

The difference between 2013 is staggering,
 when $123.9 billion poured into China and
 $230.8 billion into the US.

The US saw foreign direct investment (FDI)
falling to its lowest since 2009, when the
market was wiped out by a financial crisis.

 The US ‘lost’ so much investment because
 of Verizon’s $130 billion purchase of Voda-
fone in the UK, which counted against it in
 the UNCTAD tally.

China, the 2nd largest economy, has been
 steadily gaining ground in FDI, which has
accelerated since the yuan's exchange
rate became flexible, and other reforms
made it easier for Western businesses
to operate in main-land China.

“There were structural changes in inflows
 to China, from manufacturing, to services,
& from labour-intensive to tech-intensive,”
according to the Director of Investment
 and Enterprise at UNCTAD, James Zahn.

After China, Hong Kong too, passed the US
--- into second spot, followed by Singapore
 and Brazil. The US is the only developed,
 and not developing, nation in the top five.

The UN survey notes a major shift favoring
 investment in the developing economies ---
which saw investment rise 4% in 2014 ---
while developed economies fell by 14%.

The biggest losers are the EU --- and the
former Soviet bloc.

 (Russia lost 70% of its foreign investment,
 and Ukraine lost out on $200 million. Both
 as a result of the conflict in E. Ukraine.)

Another title China took from the US in
October 2014, was the world’s biggest
economy in terms of purchasing power.

“China's been steady with modest growth
over the past few years -- & it's expected
to continue,” Zhan tells the WSJ.


__________________________________




Iran stops using dollar
in international settlements

Iran is stopping the use of the US dollar in
settlements
with foreign countries, Iran's
Central Bank said, on
Saturday (24th of
January, 2015).


“In foreign trade from now on, we'll be
using other
currencies, including the
yan, euro, Turkish lira,
Russian rouble
and South Korean won,” the Central

 Bank’s deputy head, Gholam Ali
Kamyab, tells
Tasnim News Agency.


He says Iran is presently considering
bilateral
currency agreements with
several countries on
the use of other
currencies. The agreements
favour
trade and economic operations, he

 says, and are planned for in the
"near future".



__________________________________



GERMANY FALLING

Economists say the Ukrainian conflict and
Western sanctions imposed against Russia
 have contributed to the geopolitical crisis,
 limiting growth.


_______________________________



S&P cuts Ukraine’s rating to
 triple C-, spurring default fears

Standard & Poor (S&P) has lowered Ukraine’s
 credit rating from CCC to CCC-, 9 rungs
below
investment grade.

S&P warns that Ukraine, which is in dire need of
 international financial assistance, may be on the
 brink of default, as Central Bank reserves shrink
and bailout funds are delayed.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says that
- despite productive talks with Kiev - the parties
failed to reach an agreement.

Though the country has received billions in aid
from the IMF, the US and the EU, a tumultuous
year has left Ukraine’s economy in ruins.

The IMF estimates that Ukraine would need
$15 billion in the short term to avoid a full-
blown financial crisis.


_______________________________



UNASUR Rejects IMF Criticism
          of Regional Pro-Integration Processes               
 
The Secretary General of the Union of South
American Nations (Unasur), ex Colombian
president Ernesto Samper, says that the
 International Monetary Fund lacks the
moral authority to make recommendations
 about regional pro-integration processes.