Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Today's Links

1--Labour Party launches ‘radical & responsible’ election manifesto

It’s a program that will reverse our national priorities to put the interests of the many first. It will change our country, while managing within our means,” Corbyn said at the launch event in Bradford

2--Obama's abysmal immigration record

Obama’s promise to tackle immigrants having criminal history did not stand the reality check, the HRW report found. Forty-seven percent of people detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) between October 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 this period had no criminal history at all.
Most of the rest – 27 percent – had criminal histories that involved relatively minor offenses such as violation of immigration laws or drug use. And only 9 percent of immigration detainees could be identified as convicted of a violent felony according to California law, the report said, citing ICE data.
More than half of ICE detainees in California – 55 percent – were ultimately deported, while another 7 percent left the country through a “voluntary return or departure.” Apparently, detained immigrants barely had a chance to protect themselves as 68 percent of them were not represented by counsel.

However, there was much more behind pure statistics, the HRW report said. Nearly 47 percent of the California detainees forced out of the country had US-born children, meaning that mass deportations destroyed family links and local communities.
“Instead of focusing on violent criminals, US immigration policy has ripped apart American families and communities through the deportation of large numbers of lawful residents and undocumented immigrants with less serious criminal histories,” the report argues

3--Deadly rhetoric: Saudi Arabia opens war of words with Iran

4--Are They Really Out to Get Trump?

Ray suggests that Brennan and also Comey may been at the center of a “Deep State” combined CIA-NSA-FBI cabal working to discredit the Trump candidacy and delegitimize his presidency. Brennan in particular was uniquely well placed to fabricate the Russian hacker narrative that has been fully embraced by Congress and the media even though no actual evidence supporting that claim has yet been produced. As WikiLeaks has now revealed that the CIA had the technical ability to hack into sites surreptitiously while leaving behind footprints that would attribute the hack to someone else, including the Russians, it does not take much imagination to consider that the alleged trail to Moscow might have been fabricated. If that is so, this false intelligence has in turn proven to be of immense value to those seeking to present “proof” that the Russian government handed the presidency to Donald Trump.

Sometimes paranoia is justified

5--China hosts international launch of One Belt, One Road initiative

Powerful sections of the US political establishment regard China and its economic initiatives as the single most important threat to the global position of the United States.
These views were reflected in an opinion piece published on Fox News by John Moody in the forum headlined “China’s silky threat to American leadership.”
It said while the Sunday talk shows were obsessing about Trump and sacked FBI head James Comey, China was hosting a top-level gathering “which will kick off the biggest challenge ever to America’s place in the world economy.” The initiative was a “brazen attempt to seize worldwide economic leadership from the United States” binding emerging trading partners to Beijing “by offering them access to China’s vast consumer market.”....

There is no question that the unification of the Eurasian landmass through the most modern transportation systems could provide significant economic advancement.
But in a global socio-economic order dominated by the striving for private profit, together with the divergent aims of capitalist nation-states and imperialist great powers, the project has already become a mare’s nest of conflicting interests....

The forum, which included the heads of 28 states and representatives from 100 countries, was the international launch of the so-called One Belt, One Road project initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.
Invoking the history of the Silk Road of medieval times, the BRI envisages the construction of a series of ports, railway lines and roads connecting the major economic centres of China with Europe....

“Spanning thousands of miles and years, the ancient silk routes embody the spirit of peace and co-operation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and benefit,” he said, hailing the initiative as the “project of the century.”
“We should foster a new type of international relations featuring win-win co-operation; and we should forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation and of friendship rather than alliance.”
Under conditions where both Russia and China face increasing pressure from the United States, President Vladimir Putin was given pride of place among the international representatives at the forum’s opening.
Xi told his Russian counterpart that their countries were the “ballast stone” of world stability. Behind the smiles and handshakes however, there are tensions between the two powers. Russia has its own plan for extending its economic and political influence in central Asia and the former republics of the Soviet Union under its Eurasian Economic Union and there are fears that it could be subordinated to the BRI.
Both Xi and Putin sought to keep the issue in the background, with Putin emphasising that the Chinese and Russian projects were complementary and that Eurasian integration is a “civilisation project for the future.”...

Germany, which is regarded as a key player in the initiative because of its position as the major European economy at the head of the new Silk Road, sent the economics and energy minister Brigitte Zyrpies. She was accompanied by a significant representation of German big business.
But she expressed reservations about the project, saying at the outset that Germany would not sign a joint statement unless certain guarantees demanded by the European Union on free trade and the establishment of a “level playing field” were met.
“Germany does want to take part, but tenders need to be open to everyone; only then will German companies take part,” she said. “It must also be clear what is actually going to be built. At this point, it’s not clear.”
She also noted that Chinese restrictions on allowing foreign companies to buy assets were also a problem. “We want German companies to be able to operate in China in the same way Chinese companies can in Germany.” But at this point there was no clear timetable for dismantling restrictions.
In the event, Germany, along with other European powers, including Britain, did not sign a communiqué on trade because of concerns over transparency over procurement as well as social and environmental standards. There are also concerns among European officials about the growth of Chinese influence in central and eastern Europe.

6--French President Macron names right-wing PM, meets Merkel to plan austerity and war

Globalist puppet implements austerity-prowar agenda from Day 1

7-- Roaming Charges: Whitelash, White Heat?

There’s no doubt Clinton lost the white vote. Lost it big: 58-27. She was even trounced by Trump with white women voters by a stunning 53 to 43% margin. Think about that for a moment. More than half of the white women who bothered to vote preferred a serial sexual predator to Hillary Clinton. (Hillary won the total women’s vote 54 to 42 percent. But that’s one percent less than the 55% Obama got in 2012!)...

Clinton lost the white vote by almost the exact same margin that Obama did to Romney in 2012. ...

The problem, and this should come as a shock to the Whitelash Theorists, is that Trump did 2% better with blacks than Romney did and Hillary performed 5% worse than Obama for a total spread of 7% less than the 2012 margins...

Even more startling, given Trump’s vile Mexican-bashing, is that Trump won a higher percent of Hispanic votes (29%) than Romney (27%) and Hillary won a much smaller share of Hispanic votes (65%) than Obama (71%) for a total decline of 8% from 2012.
Even so, Hillary should have won the election. Why? Because Trump got 1.5 million fewer votes than Romney. There was no great white surge.
The fatal problem is that Hillary got 5.4 million fewer votes than Obama, many of those black and Hispanic voters, and lost 6 states that Obama won twice: Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio. That’s pretty conclusive evidence that Hillary didn’t lose because of racism.

8--FBI Agents Urge Senate Judiciary Committee to Question Comey on Torture, Indefinite Detention

9--12 times Dems, Repubs said no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion; 10 times people claimed there was

10--Russian Hacking American thinker

11--Putin takes Eurasia

12--McGovern: A Disgruntled Bernie Supporter Probably Leaked DNC Emails

13--Dec 16--A spy coup in America?

Who Did the Leaking?
At the center of this controversy is the question of who leaked or hacked the DNC and Podesta emails. The CIA has planted the story in The Washington Post, The New York Times and other mainstream outlets that it was Russia that hacked both the DNC and Podesta emails and slipped the material to WikiLeaks with the goal of assisting the Trump campaign. The suggestion is that Trump is Putin’s “puppet,” just as Hillary Clinton alleged during the third presidential debate.

But WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has publicly denied that Russia was the source of the leaks and one of his associates, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray, has suggested that the DNC leak came from a “disgruntled” Democrat upset with the DNC’s sandbagging of the Sanders campaign and that the Podesta leak came from the U.S. intelligence community.

Although Assange recently has sought to muzzle Murray’s public comments – out of apparent concern for protecting the identity of sources – Murray offered possibly his most expansive account of the sourcing during a podcast interview with Scott Horton on Dec. 13.
Murray, who became a whistleblower himself when he protested Britain’s tolerance of human rights abuses in Uzbekistan, explained that he consults with Assange and cooperates with WikiLeaks “without being a formal member of the structure.”

But he appears to have undertaken a mission for WikiLeaks to contact one of the sources (or a representative) during a Sept. 25 visit to Washington where he says he met with a person in a wooded area of American University. At the time, Murray was at American University participating in an awards ceremony for former CIA officer John Kiriakou who was being honored by a group of former Western intelligence officials, the Sam Adams Associates, named for the late Vietnam War-era CIA analyst and whistleblower Sam Adams.

Though Murray has declined to say exactly what the meeting in the woods was about, he may have been passing along messages about ways to protect the source from possible retaliation, maybe even an extraction plan if the source was in some legal or physical danger...

Murray has disputed a report in London’s Daily Mail that he was receiving a batch of the leaked Democratic emails. “The material, I think, was already safely with WikiLeaks before I got there in September,” Murray said in the interview with Scott Horton. “I had a small role to play.”
Murray also suggested that the DNC leak and the Podesta leak came from two different sources, neither of them the Russian government.
“The Podesta emails and the DNC emails are, of course, two separate things and we shouldn’t conclude that they both have the same source,” Murray said. “In both cases we’re talking of a leak, not a hack, in that the person who was responsible for getting that information out had legal access to that information.”

Reading between the lines of the interview, one could interpret Murray’s comments as suggesting that the DNC leak came from a Democratic source and that the Podesta leak came from someone inside the U.S. intelligence community, which may have been monitoring John Podesta’s emails because the Podesta Group, which he founded with his brother Tony, served as a registered “foreign agent” for Saudi Arabia.
“John Podesta was a paid lobbyist for the Saudi government,” Murray noted. “If the American security services were not watching the communications of the Saudi government’s paid lobbyist in Washington, then the American security services would not be doing their job. … His communications are going to be of interest to a great number of other security services as well.”
Leak by Americans
Scott Horton then asked, “Is it fair to say that you’re saying that the Podesta leak came from inside the intelligence services, NSA [the electronic spying National Security Agency] or another agency

“I think what I said was certainly compatible with that kind of interpretation, yeah,” Murray responded. “In both cases they are leaks by Americans.”
In reference to the leak of the DNC emails, Murray noted that “Julian Assange took very close interest in the death of Seth Rich, the Democratic staff member” who had worked for the DNC on voter databases and was shot and killed on July 10 near his Washington, D.C., home...

Official Washington’s “group think” holding Russia responsible for the Clinton leaks does draw some logical support from the near certainty that Russian intelligence has sought to penetrate information sources around both Clinton and Trump. But the gap between the likely Russian hacking efforts and the question of who gave the email information to WikiLeaks is where mainstream assumptions may fall down.
As ex-Ambassador Murray has said, U.S. intelligence was almost surely keeping tabs on Podesta’s communications because of his ties to Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments. So, the U.S. intelligence community represents another suspect in the case of who leaked those emails to WikiLeaks. It would be a smart play, reminiscent of the convoluted spy tales of John LeCarré, if U.S. intelligence officials sought to cover their own tracks by shifting suspicions onto the Russians

14--Conspiracy Unravels: Seth Rich May Have Been Killed For Ties To Wikileaks: “We Were Told To Stand Down On This Case

15--Putin admits US Saudi plan to push down oil prices Long interview

Forbes has put you at the top of the list of the world’s most influential people for the second consecutive year…

- You know, this is still less significant that internal ratings

They (Washington) proceeded from a false assumption that I have some personal business interests due to ties with the people on the list. And by pinching them, they were kind of hitting me. This does not absolutely correspond to reality. I believe, we have to a great degree put an end to the so-called oligarchy. What is this? This is money influencing upon power. Today I can definitely say that we have no such situation in Russia. No oligarchic structures substitute state power or influence upon state decisions in their interests. This fully refers to those people whom you have mentioned. All of them are rich and they made their fortunes a long time ago

Truth is power. When a Russian feels he is right, he is invincible. I am saying this with absolute sincerity, not for boasting's sake. Had we known we had done something bad and unfair some place, then everything would be hanging by a thread. When you lack the inner certainty your cause is right, some hesitations are bound to follow, and these are dangerous. In this particular case I have none

You already have everything one may dream of?
- In terms of serving for my Motherland. I know that I have sincerely served and keep serving, and I do everything possible to realize myself in this. But I repeat that clutching at something is counterproductive, detrimental and in no way interesting. There is the Constitution and it is necessary to act and live within its framework. Yes, there is a possibility of my nomination for a new term. But I don’t know for the moment if it will be realized....

Have you been thinking about what comes afterwards?
-When afterwards?
- When Heaven calls you for an answer.

- You know if one gets there, there is only one phrase that is appropriate to say, “Glory to you o Lord!” What else?...

it is necessary to give thought to mechanisms of supporting population growth. We have the perinatal centers, we have the maternity capital, we have a network of extra medical institutions, and we have benefits not only for families but also for medical establishments for the quality of services provided to expectant mothers. A great deal depends on their opinion… The package of measures has brought about a result that has surpassed our expectations. The demographic rates are positive and stable. Why am I discussing this in detail? I was the one who made a final decision, because there were votes for and against.

- What are we doing now?
- We simply need to calmly implement our agenda. Many say that oil prices are falling, including because a tie-up is possible between traditional producers, in particular, between Saudi Arabia and the United States. They say this is being done specially to sink the Russian economy.
If you talk to specialists now, I mean true specialists and not specialists like me...

Let’s assume that there are also partners’ purposeful steps on the world energy market. Can we presume this? Yes, we can. What is the result? This leads to the depreciation of the ruble, our national currency. This is one of the factors, not the sole one, but one of them. And what does this mean for the Russian budget? We don’t calculate the budget in dollars. The ruble’s value has fallen and it has depreciated a little..

We talk about falling oil prices. This occurs, among other things, because the United States has started to extract shale oil and shale gas. The US now provides itself with its own raw materials to a considerable extent. Not fully so far, but to a considerable extent. But what is the breakeven point of this production? It differs in various regions of the United States. Estimates range from $65 per barrel to $83. Now the oil price has fallen below $80 per barrel. Shale gas production is becoming unprofitable. Perhaps, the Saudis specially want to “kill” their rivals…
- But would it be better for us, if a neighbor’s horse died?
- It depends on the neighbor, his horse and how he used it.

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