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Netanyahu Faces Indictment on 3 Counts

by Oui Thu Nov 21st, 2019 at 07:47:57 PM EST

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is one of many rightwing leaders to face accusation or charges of corruption. Some of his close political friends Israel relies on ...

Donald Trump, U.S. President
Vladimir Putin, President Russia
Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine (also close to Pereshenko}
Andrzej Duda, Poland
Viktor Orbán, Hungary
Mohammad Salman, Crown-prince Saudi Arabia
Narendra Modi, India
Paul Kagame, President Rwanda

A-G Manderbilt: It is my duty by law to indict Benjamin Netanyahu | JPost |

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit announced his final indictment on Thursday against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, making him the first prime minister in Israeli history to be indicted while still in office.
Bezeq and Walla! owner Shaul Elovitch and his wife, Iris, were also indicted for bribery and obstruction of justice. In addition, the owner of Yediot Ahronot, Arnon Nuni Mozes, was indicted for bribery.

More below the fold ...

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Why the EU and UK will be enemies

by Frank Schnittger Wed Nov 20th, 2019 at 01:20:36 PM EST

Boris Johnson likes to talk about "our friends in Europe" when talking about the cooperative future he sees emerging between the UK and the EU post Brexit - where both will be competing as equals in a globalised world economy. But it is much more likely that the EU and the UK will end up being mortal enemies.

There are a number of reasons for this. Some are political: If Brexit succeeds in delivering a more prosperous UK, why would other countries wish to remain in the EU? Being part of a political union involves inevitable compromises and constraints on national polities. Why would they endure such constraints if there wasn't a demonstrable pay-off in terms of economic prosperity and political influence in the world?

But if Brexit is a threat to the future of the EU, so also would a relatively successful continuing EU be a threat to the UK: Not only might Scotland and N. Ireland secede to become part of that greater prosperity, but the divisions within England and Wales exposed by Brexit between Leavers and Remainers, north and south, and the winners and losers of globalisation would be exacerbated.

Brexit sets up a very dangerous dynamic whereby both the UK and the EU have a vested interest in securing their own stability by seeing the other fail. This is the stuff that wars are incubated in, even if, on this occasion, it leads to no more than an economic war. But there are also a number of reasons to suppose this economic war could be deep and long:

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The Arctic Melt: EU to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies

by Oui Fri Nov 15th, 2019 at 02:14:52 PM EST

Aligning Monetary Policy with the EU's Climate Targets

Detailed analysis of the Corporate Sector Purchase Programme (CSPP) of the European Central Bank  (ECB)  reveals  a  deep  misalignment  between  ECBs  policy  interventions  and  European Union's climate policy objectives. Whereas  EU climate  policies  try  actively  to  transform  the European  economy  to  make  it  more  sustainable, the  CSPP  merely  reproduces  the  current state of the corporate bond market. The ECB therefore mirrors investment choices made by financial  markets,  even  though  financial  markets  seem  misaligned  with  a  mitigation  path limiting the global warming to 1,5°.  The weight of the most carbon intensive sectors within the CSPP  portfolio  is  in  line  with  the  market  neutrality  principle  claimed  by  the  ECB,  yet  is profoundly  troubling  from  the  point  of  view  of  the  ecological  transition,  as  it  maintains  low capital costs and easy debt issuance conditions for the most polluting companies, without any assurance  that  these  financial  conditions  serve  the  purpose  of  adjusting  the  underlying business and industrial models.

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LQD - UK losing logisitic business

by ATinNM Wed Nov 13th, 2019 at 11:14:06 PM EST

Shadow of Brexit fuels Dutch warehouse logistics boom

"Post-Brexit, the U.K. cannot function any more as a key entry and exit gateway of the EU," Lehmacher said. "Too many factors may hinder the fluidity of the supply, ranging from administrative burden to potential delays."

He added, "Flows of goods that can, will avoid the U.K. and U.K. warehousing and distribution facilities will be closed and reopened in markets in the EU, mostly in the Benelux countries where most of the EU distribution centers are located."

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Twitter's Warning to Leftist Leaning Parties

by Oui Wed Nov 13th, 2019 at 02:41:25 PM EST

The Internet is for Western propaganda only ...

Germany needs to ban Hezbollah, US Ambassador Grenell says | DW |

Hezbollah TV channel says Twitter accounts suspended | AFP |

The television station of Lebanon's powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah protested Saturday that most of its Twitter accounts had been suspended.

Al-Manar accused the US-based social media platform of giving in to "political pressures".

"Account suspended," one such Arabic-language account, @almanarnews, read late Saturday.

"There is no place on Twitter for illegal terrorist organisations and violent extremist groups," a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.

Continued nelow the fold ...

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Poland Spinning the Shoah - Anti-semitism

by Oui Tue Nov 12th, 2019 at 02:38:55 PM EST

Poland asks Netflix to make changes to Nazi documentary

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Brexeternity

by Frank Schnittger Sun Nov 10th, 2019 at 04:02:49 PM EST

In all the sturm und drang around a no deal or a Boris deal Brexit, it is easy to forget that this is just the prologue. All the Brexit deal does is settle some outstanding details arising out of the UK's departure: It does very little to decide the shape of the future relationship between Great Britain and the EU.

I use the term "Great Britain" advisedly, because the one aspect of the future relationship between the EU and the UK that has been decided in the deal is that N. Ireland, will remain, for all practical purposes, in the Customs Union and Single Market (CUSM) - whatever Boris Johnson might say otherwise.

But for the rest of the UK, aka Great Britain, all options are still on the table - all the way from a no deal trade war, through trading rules dictated by WTO Treaties, to Canada+++ or Norway---; whatever that may mean. As Boris Johnson has demonstrated, it's all about the marketing: His slightly reheated and amended version of May's deal is suddenly acceptable to the hoards of hard-line ERG Brexiteers who voted against her original version three times.

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Pompeo On Tour Sowing Division

by Oui Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 03:58:15 PM EST

Just like his boss, Mike Pompeo is a loyal executioner of extreme rightwing policy. Pompeo has dismantled the art of diplomacy in the State Department and is converting foreign policy to Trump's bullying tactics ..

    It was Mr. Pompeo who helped Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani oust the respected American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, in April. Both Michael McKinley, a senior adviser to Mr. Pompeo and a four-time ambassador, and Philip T. Reeker, the acting assistant secretary for Europe, testified that they asked State Department leadership to defend Ms. Yovanovitch from false accusations, only to be rejected.

h/t Bernard

Macron referred to NATO as experiencing 'brain death' and the Atlanticist world goes apeshit crazy. Not that anyone has declared NATO obsolete before.

    I hope Macron's remarks do not lead to repair work in NATO HQ.  

    In the 1990s NATO was a walking dead man ... was saved by Article 5 plea from the USA after 9/11 ... fighting a full blown war and never ending "War on Terror" ... NATO regrouped to become proxy to fight wars for American Capitalism and expansion ... creating adversaries to increase weaponry and spending ... not heeding Eisenhower's Cold War warning of the military establishment. Time to rethink priorities to save the planet ... not increasing capacity to destroy our planet. Fortunately nr. 1 world power USA is exposing itself by electing a mad man as president ... the planet on precipice of destruction .. time to rethink European defense and Europe's interest. 😖🍀😄

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Spanish election thread

by IdiotSavant Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 06:17:20 AM EST

Spain will go to the polls on Sunday, November 10. Its the second election this year; an earlier one in April saw the Socialists - who had gained power in a confidence vote - gain an easy plurality, then refuse to negotiate a coalition with the left-wing Podemos (which would have allowed them, with the support of a few minor parties and the offered abstention of the Catalan Republican Left, to form a government). Instead, they gambled on new elections and winning a greater share of the vote.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

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City Agriculture - November 7, 2019

by gmoke Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 03:28:25 AM EST

Net Zero plant-filled Singapore pavilion for Dubai's 2020 World Expo
https:/www.dezeen.com/2019/08/29/woha-singapore-pavilion-dubai-expo-2020-architecture
https:/inhabitat.com/woha-unveils-a-lush-net-zero-singapore-pavilion-for-the-2020-world-expo
https:/www.woha.net

Forest planted in an Austrian stadium as an art piece:  For Forest - the Unending Attraction of Nature
https:
forforest.net/en

Curator getting death threats from far right because of it
https:/news.artnet.com/art-world/klaus-littmann-for-forest-controversy-1651549

Self-charging solar electric vehicle with air purifying moss interior
https:
sonomotors.com
https:
inhabitat.com/sono-motors-self-charging-solar-electric-car-will-feature-an-air-purifying-mos s-interior

UK's WWII Dig for Victory campaign, by 1943, most households had their own garden plot, with businesses and public parks also giving land to food growing
https:/www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-49715638
Editorial Comment:  The USA Victory Garden campaign produced up to 40% of the fruits and vegetables consumed on the Home Front by the end of just three growing seasons.

Brisbane, Australia growing the largest urban farm network in the world
https:
www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-29/growing-a-vision-of-australias-largest-urban-farm-network/115 53622

Living Pavilion in Annecy, France
http://www.behinha.com/projects#/living-pavilion-v2

ReGen Village - a real estate developer planning to build food and energy self-reliant communities
https:
www.nytimes.com/2019/09/26/business/james-ehrlich-environment-neighborhood.html

Editorial Comment:  Davis, CA Village Homes completed in 1982 is an earlier example of a similar idea
 https:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Village_Homes

Mobile Food Lab in a refurbished bus
https:
www.core77.com/posts/90221/Mobile-Food-Lab-Is-a-Refurbished-Bus-Designed-to-Educate-Students -on-Healthy-and-Sustainable-Eating-Habits

Cities and Circular Economy for Food
https:
www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications/cities-and-circular-economy-for-food

Algae wall for water purification
https:
www.indiatimes.com/technology/news/indian-architect-has-created-an-algae-wall-to-purify-poll uted-water-without-harmful-chemicals-377848.html

MIT Media Lab Open Agricultural Initiative closed
https:
www.nytimes.com/2019/10/25/business/mit-media-lab-epstein.html
Editorial Comment:  MIT should be ashamed of itself for this fraud which may sully the reputation of genuine advanced agricultural research

Saving one of Manila's last urban fields through collective farming
https:
globalvoices.org/2019/11/03/will-collective-farming-by-artists-save-one-of-manilas-remaining -urban-fields

Boris off to a bad start

by Frank Schnittger Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 10:45:29 PM EST

Boris Johnson enters the first day of the official UK general election campaign with an average lead of 11% in the 11 polls published since the House of Commons voted to hold a general election. These poll leads range from 7 to 16% and there is no discernable trend over the past week. Not too bad a start, one would have thought, until one recalls that Theresa May's lead was 19% when she called the 2017 election.

Boris Johnson's campaign launch has also been dogged by no less than three scandals on the opening day of the official campaign:

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Trust In Government Big Loser By Disinformation

by Oui Mon Nov 4th, 2019 at 07:44:15 PM EST

Creating chaos in the world is a planner's delight to mould civilization in one's image. What we have seen and experienced during the last four decades, the expansion of capitalism to solve the ills of our world. The designers of this policy have flunked in my perception how the world has changed.

The fact that Western Democracy needs Disinformation to fight "evil" of adversaries we ourselves have fostered, is the ultimate proof of failure.

The armed forces investigate the use of disinformation | Time24 |

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DUP under pressure in Northern Ireland Election

by Frank Schnittger Thu Oct 31st, 2019 at 01:28:47 PM EST

Newton Emerson has a very interesting take on how the general election may play out in N. Ireland. The DUP currently hold 10 seats to Sinn Fein's 7, with one independent Unionist.  Essentially Northern Ireland has been re-partitioned East West between unionist and Nationalist representatives with a nationalist enclave in West Belfast.

By Furfur, Brythones - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

 

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Turkeys vote for Christmas

by Frank Schnittger Wed Oct 30th, 2019 at 11:29:11 AM EST

And so the turkeys have finally voted for Christmas. The House of Commons has overwhelmingly voted for an election on Boris Johnson's preferred date of 12th. December.

The vote gave Boris Johnson the date he was looking for and there were no amendments to expand the franchise to include EU nationals or 16- and 17-year-olds. But the prime minister is facing the voters with Brexit still not delivered and his pledge to leave the EU by October 31st in shreds.

Some Conservative MPs fear their constituents will punish them for spending five weeks campaigning rather than scrutinising and passing the withdrawal agreement Bill. And all Conservatives are conscious of the electoral mountain they must climb to return to power.

More than 30 seats short of a working majority of 320 as they go into the campaign, the Conservatives expect to lose seats to the Scottish National Party (SNP) in Scotland and to the Liberal Democrats in the southeast and southwest of England. At odds with the DUP over the Brexit deal and with no other potential coalition parties, the Conservatives will need to win a majority if they are to form the next government.

Labour is on 25 per cent in an average of opinion polls, 11 points behind the Conservatives and just 7 per cent ahead of the Liberal Democrats. Labour started the 2017 election campaign polling 25 per cent too, but more than 20 points behind Theresa May's Conservatives.

Corbyn's allies draw comfort from the outcome in 2017, which saw Labour draw almost level with the Conservatives with 40 per cent of the vote. And Labour has more coalition options than the Conservatives, so it does not need a majority or even to emerge as the biggest party to have a chance of forming the government.

On the other hand Corbyn is by far the most unpopular of the party leaders and the Conservatives are targeting Labour-held seats that voted Leave in 2016, particularly in the midlands and northeast England, and in Wales.

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American Cyber Security Cowboys

by Oui Tue Oct 29th, 2019 at 12:06:11 PM EST

Came across this article today ...

    Tiversa dominated an emerging online market
    --before it was accused of fraud, extortion, and
    manipulating the federal government.

A Cybersecurity Firm's Sharp Rise and Stunning Collapse | The New Yorker - Nov. 4, 2019 |

Boback is a storyteller. Words pour out of him in cascades that, depending on the listener, can register as beguiling, slick, questionable, or bullshit. One colleague described him as "very confident, sometimes bordering on cocky." Another told me, "He was a master manipulator. Watching him was like watching van Gogh use oils."

As Boback began marketing his system, he landed a big meeting with lawyers representing the Recording Industry Association of America, but the lawyers said they already had a strategy to combat file sharing: sue the problem into oblivion. Undeterred, he and Hopkins flew to Los Angeles, where they met with Darcy Antonellis, the head of anti-piracy efforts at Warner Bros.

Continued below the fold ...

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US Iraq Asset Killed In Idlib

by Oui Sun Oct 27th, 2019 at 09:34:52 AM EST

Baghdadi became a leader while imprisoned during US occupation of Iraq.

His jihadist militia were part of a four-pronged attack on the sovereign state of Syria under cover of the so-called insurgency started in Daraa in 2011, just north of the border from Jordan on the road to Damascus. The southern city of Daraa was called the "Cradle of the Revolution".

Turkey allowed foreign fighters to cross its border at Jisr al-Shughur into Syria, supplied by weapons transported from the Libyan tragedy and funded by ally nation Qatar of the Muslim Brotherhood. This crossing was an important trade route into the Euphrates valley.

Sunni fighters from Lebanon crossed into Syria from the West, indoctrinated by Wahhabism from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for decades. Hariri the son and the Elder were Saudi citizens and proxies for the Sunni cause in a fractured Lebanon.

King Hussein of Jordan joined the cause of Saddam Hussein in 1990 and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The control of all of the Hashemite's kingdom was his ambition. Jordan wasn't in a position to make such a miscalculation again and Abdullah II permitted the US and British special forces to set up jihadist trainings camps in Northern Jordan. Once Hama and Daraa would fall into the hands of the insurgents, a foothold will make expansion easier.

Once the foreign insurgency was well underway, US and Turkey's NATO partners chipped in with political and military aid from all sides: intelligence, weapons, training, and especially weaponized propaganda.

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LQD: U.S. humanitarian concern for Syria

by Cat Fri Oct 25th, 2019 at 09:10:35 PM EST

The essay, "Trump & the Turkish Invasion of Northern Syria," challenges a few closely held beliefs in the honor of so-called Atlanticist foreign policies and coordinated military alliances. Domestic controversy regarding tangible and intangible returns from investment in such adventures recurs with somewhat alarming frequency. One may note here that the measure of returns from prosecuting a Global War on Terror in the "Greater Middle East" was from its start undermined by the failure of its leadership to identify reliable foreign agents ("proxies") and reduce or eliminate likely agency problems. The Management of Democratic Forces for The Good of the Planet today are no more astute in sorting sectarian mercenaries from sectarian rivals, genocides from undeclared wars, or civilians from combatants and collaborators than they were 100 years ago or more. For those observers, safely nested thousands of miles from "harm's way," the results are a disheartening testament of Allied commitment to humanitarian relief. For other observers manifest calumny is yet another opportunity to recruit arms (with or without legs), another fighting "round," to recover ground covering marketable resources, profiteering.
[ED. typo at "Atlanticist". 03.11.2019]

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Flynn Hires New Attorney for Get-out of Jail Card

by Oui Fri Oct 25th, 2019 at 08:20:44 PM EST

A new attorney as Mike Flynn tries to limit his sentencing before judge Emmit Sullivan. Multiple views on the procedure, need to wait to see how this turns out.

Dallas Attorney Sidney Powell Takes Over Michael Flynn Defense | Texas Lawyer - June 12, 2019 |

    Sidney Powell is author of the new book "Licensed to Lie, Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice." The book's description reads, "Licensed to Lie reveals the strong-arm, illegal, and unethical tactics used by headline-grabbing federal prosecutors in their narcissistic pursuit of power to the highest halls of our government" and focuses on the conduct of the Justice Department during the Enron investigation in the mid-2000s. [Source: The Hill]

Michael Flynn's Deep State Strategy Is Failing in Court. He May Not Care | Mother Jones - Sept. 10, 2019 |

More below the fold ...

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Krugman-Admits-He-Was-Wrong! (Pt. 1?)

by ARGeezer Fri Oct 25th, 2019 at 05:56:09 PM EST

Paul Krugman -- finally -- admits he was wrong!  Lars Syll RWER Blog

Paul Krugman has never suffered fools gladly. The Nobel Prize-winning economist rose to international fame--and a coveted space on the New York Times op-ed page--by lacerating his intellectual opponents in the most withering way. In a series of books and articles beginning in the 1990s, Krugman branded just about everybody who questioned the rapid pace of globalization a fool who didn't understand economics very well. "Silly" was a word Krugman used a lot to describe pundits who raised fears of economic competition from other nations, especially China. Don't worry about it, he said: Free trade will have only minor impact on your prosperity.

Now Krugman has come out and admitted, offhandedly, that his own understanding of economics has been seriously deficient as well. In a recent essay titled "What Economists (Including Me) Got Wrong About Globalization," adapted from a forthcoming book on inequality, Krugman writes that he and other mainstream economists "missed a crucial part of the story" in failing to realize that globalization would lead to "hyperglobalization" and huge economic and social upheaval, particularly of the industrial middle class in America. And many of these working-class communities have been hit hard by Chinese competition, which economists made a "major mistake" in underestimating, Krugman says.

Michael Hirsh  -  The Economist

It was quite a "whoops" moment, considering all the ruined American communities and displaced millions of workers we've seen in the interim. And a newly humbled Krugman must consider an even more disturbing idea: Did he and other mainstream economists help put a protectionist populist, Donald Trump, in the White House with a lot of bad advice about free markets?

Too important not to frontpage - Frank Schnittger

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Brexit has broken the UK's democracy

by IdiotSavant Fri Oct 25th, 2019 at 12:20:13 AM EST

The fundamental rule of democracy is that we settle issues by voting (and if you don't get your way, you just keep pushing for another vote). But thanks to Brexit, a large majority of the UK population is now willing to accept political violence:

Voters on both sides of the Brexit divide believe that violence against MPs and members of the public is a "price worth paying" to secure their favoured outcome, a new study has found.

A majority of both Leave and Remain voters would be happy to accept attacks on politicians and violent protests in which members of the public are badly injured if it meant they got Brexit outcome they want, according to a new polls.

Researchers said they were "genuinely shocked" by the findings, which come amid concerns about threats against MPs.

71% of English Leave voters and 58% of Remainers think violence against MPs is now acceptable. They've already had one MP murdered over this, and you'd think that would be a red light. Instead, it seems to have incited public bloodlust. Meanwhile, 69% of Leavers and 59% of Remainers think injuring members of the public is a worthwhile price to pay (it is unclear if they asked the natural followup of "what about a member of your family?")

This is not a sign of a healthy democracy. Instead, it is a sign of own spiralling down into violence and authoritarianism. And no matter which way Brexit goes - and does anybody outside the UK even really care anymore? - the damage to the political system is going to last a long, long time.

So this is what its coming to... Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

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