Sunday, January 3, 2016

Today's links

1---Christmas Sales Are Struggling, Get Used To It

2---“Weaponizing Information”

Udo Ulfkotte’s bestseller Bought Journalists has been a sensation in Germany since its publication last autumn. The journalist and former editor of one of Germany’s largest newspapers, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, revealed that he was for years secretly on the payroll of the CIA and was spinning the news to favour U.S. interests. Moreover he alleges that some major media are nothing more than propaganda outlets for international think-tanks, intelligence agencies, and corporate high-finance. “We’re talking about puppets on a string,” he says, “journalists who write or say whatever their masters tell them to say or write. If you see how the mainstream media is reporting about the Ukraine conflict and if you know what’s really going on, you get the picture. The masters in the background are pushing for war with Russia and western journalists are putting on their helmets.” [8]
In another interview, Ulfkotte said: “The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia. This is a point of no return, and I am going to stand up and say…it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do, and have done in the past, because they are bribed to betray the people not only in Germany, all over Europe.”

3---Obama thinks his Syria strategy is right — and folks just don’t get it
Modify the message to hoodwink the sheeple

“The Sunday night address kicked off a new chapter,” the senior official said. Over the next two weeks, Obama would make highly publicized visits to the Pentagon and the National Counterterrorism Center for anti-
terrorism briefings capped with public remarks. He began a series of media interviews and delivered a Dec. 12 radio address titled “Standing Strong in the Face of Terrorism.”

4---Central Banks Out of Control
Is the U.S. Economy on the Brink?
The real U.S. economy since 2008 has grown at only roughly half to two-thirds its normal rate. Decent paying jobs in manufacturing and construction today are still a million short of 2007 levels. Median wages for non-managers are still below what they were in 2007, and households are piling on new debt again to pay for rising medical costs, rents, autos, and education. Retail sales are slowing. Construction activity is only two-thirds what it was and U.S. manufacturing is contracting again. The gas-oil fracking industrial boom of 2012-2014 – a major source of growth – has ended this past year and mass layoffs in the hundreds of thousands are now occurring in mining, manufacturing and transport. Reflecting the true weakness of the U.S. economy, prices are slowing and are now at a historic low of 1.3 percent and heading lower, as the United States – like Japan and Europe – is drifting toward deflation.

The Fed’s 0.25 percent rate hike will do nothing positive for this scenario for the U.S. economy. It can only have a further negative effect on all the already weakening trends. The only question is how much negative.

5--Syrian Army Attacks Daesh in Damascus and Deir Ezzur

6---ISIS strongholds in danger as Syrian Army and Kurdish militias advance | Al-Masdar News

Earlier today, government troops – spearheaded by the elite Tiger Forces – stormed Najarah in eastern Aleppo and quickly expelled all ISIS fighters defending the village. Effectively, a major buffer zone has been created around the previously besieged Kuweiris Airbase while the Syrian Arab Army now finds itself less than 12 kilometers from the strategic city of al-Bab. Meanwhile, Kurdish militias known as ‘People’s Protection Units’ (YPG) and a coalition of Free Syrian Army battalions known as the ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) have ensued on a blitz-like offensive during the past week, effectively capturing dozens of ISIS-held villages east of the Euphrates River. Rather remarkably, hundreds of Kurdish militants have also managed to cross the Euphrates River and capture the town of Tishreen; this maneuver completely overwhelmed local Islamist fighters loyal to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and forced them to flee towards Manbij. .adslot_3 { width: 300px; height: 250px; } @media (min-width:500px) { .adslot_3 { width: 300px; height: 250px; } } @media (min-width:800px) { .adslot_3 { width: 336px; height: 280px; } } (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The region in eastern Aleppo represents the last ISIS-held border area with Turkey and thus serves as a vital source of income and supplies for a caliphate which has been on decline since Russian airstrikes began in September of 2015. Currently, some 40 kilometers split government troops near Kuweiris from Kurdish militants near Tishreen. If these combined soldiers are able to capture al-Bab and Manbij, ISIS will be forced to retreat from the province of Aleppo entirely.


Battlefield sources told Al-Manar that the Syrian army continued on Friday advancing in Aleppo eastern countryside, controlling al-Najara village and killing a number of ISIL terrorists.

The Syrian Army units targeted a terrorist group, killing a number of its members and injured others in the vicinity of al-Sekak buildings to the northeast of Atman town in the northern countryside of Daraa province, a military source told SANA on Friday.

Later, Syrian army units destroyed a position for terrorist organizations in Daraa al-Mahatta and killed a number of terrorists and injured others in al-Nazeheen Camp as they destroyed a mortar launcher in al-Arbaeen neighborhood in Daraa al-Balad.

Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists have come under heavy attack from the Syrian Army and allied forces in recent days, Iran’s Fars News reported on Friday.

Dozens of Jabhat al-Nusra militants were killed in assaults on their positions in eastern Damascus, and the Liwa Fajr al-Ummah jihadi group were attacked at their command center in the northeast of Damascus

8--Syrian Army Attacks Daesh in Damascus and Deir Ezzur

9--Russia Adopts Updated National Security Strategy

10--Syria army advances against militants in several areas

11--Chicago PMI plummets to 42.9; lowest since 2009

12--Chicago PMI plummets to 42.9; lowest since 2009

Economic activity in the Midwest contracted at the fastest pace in more than six years in December, according to the Chicago Business Barometer, also known as the Chicago PMI.
The index fell to 42.9 from 48.7 in November. Economists had expected it to rise 1.3 points to 50 in the December reading. The index has spent much of the year below the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction.

Order backlogs were the biggest drag in December, dropping 17.2 points to 29.4. That’s the lowest since May 2009 and marked the 11th-straight month in contraction. The last time such a sharp decline was registered was 1951.

New orders also sank to the lowest level since May 2009. That’s bad news for activity down the road

13--The Record Merger Boom Won't Stop In 2016, Because Money Is Still Cheap

14--Where next for the three arrows of Abenomics?

15--Steve Keen-- peoples QE

16--Atlanta Fed--GDP

17--Private sector credit growth

18---Riad Haddad, Syria’s ambassador to Russia, spoke the plain truth in recent days when he said«We are at a turning point in the Syrian army operations against terrorists – namely the transition from defense to attack… [because of] the effective work of the Russian air force in Syria». But the ambassador’s comments were scarcely, if at all, reported in the Western media. Simply

19--Turkish labs turn Afghan opium into heroin for shipping to Europe - Russian anti-drug agency

20--Armed militia, incl. Bundy bros, occupy forest reserve HQ in Oregon, call ‘US patriots’ to arms

21--Saudi execution aimed at provoking regional bloodbath

After the law was passed, speculation quickly emerged suggesting that China could deploy its armed forces to Syria to combat jihadist militants, including radicals from the al-Qaeda-backed East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which operates in the western Chinese province Xinjiang. It was earlier reported that militants from this organization had gone to Syria to fight alongside jihadists there, and that some have returned home to carry out attacks in western China. But is there any truth to the rumors? Will China join the anti-Daesh coalition fighting in Syria anytime soon? Not likely, according to Russian journalist Anton Mardasov.Read more:

Similar lies and distortions are covering the depravity of Western policy in Syria. The West would have us believe that ISIS are our enemies, when in fact they are the West's "strategic assets"/proxies in Syria. I explain in "Unmasking The ISIS Psy Op' [ix] : "A recently declassified US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document provides clear evidence that ISIS terrorists are 'strategic assets'/proxies of the West in Syria. The document states, for example, that 'The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria' and that 'the West, Gulf countries and Turkey support the opposition.' Furthermore, it states 'There is the possibility of a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka And Der Zor). and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime ...

22--R+6 is advancing everywhere; south of Damascus they are approaching the Israeli occupied Golan Heights and are now just east of the Israeli demolished city of Quneitra.  R+6 is also pressing NE from Kuweires air base, SW from Aleppo and the Syrian Army with Russian support is grinding up rebel forces along the approaches to Idlib Province.  This attritional battle will result IMO in a breakthrough moment

23--Syrian Democratic Forces report new gains north Aleppo after clashes with al-Qaeda

24--Armed men, led by Bundy brothers, take over federal building in rural Oregon

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