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13 Jun 2018 05:51

More bloodshed & misery for civilians. Good news for armement companies ...
https://www.apnews.com/7dbf0973d01d4ebd8cd9279b6f029c80/Saudi-led-forces-begin-assault-on-Yemen-port-city-of-Hodeida

A Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen’s exiled government began an assault Wednesday morning on Yemen’s port city of Hodeida, a crucial battle in the 3-year-old conflict that aid agencies warned could push the Arab world’s poorest country into further chaos.

Iranian-aligned Shiite rebels known as Houthis and their allies for years have held the Red Sea port, crucial to food supplies in a nation on the brink of famine after years of war. The battle for Hodeida, if the Houthis don’t withdraw, also may mark the first major street-to-street urban fighting for the Saudi-led coalition, which can be deadly for both combatants and civilians alike.

Before dawn Wednesday, convoys of vehicles appeared to be heading toward the rebel-held city, according to videos posted on social media. The sound of heavy, sustained gunfire clearly could be heard in the background.

Saudi-owned satellite news channels and later state media announced the battle had begun, citing military sources.

Yemen’s exiled government “has exhausted all peaceful and political means to remove the Houthi militia from the port of Hodeida,” it said in a statement. “Liberation of the port of Hodeida is a milestone in our struggle to regain Yemen from the militias.”

The Houthi-run Al Masirah satellite news channel later acknowledged the offensive, claiming rebel forces hit a Saudi coalition ship near Hodeida with two land-to-sea missiles. Houthi forces have fired such missiles at ships previously.

“The targeted ship was carrying troops prepared for a landing on the coast of Hodeida,” the channel said. The Saudi-led coalition did not immediately acknowledge the incident.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

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13 Jun 2018 10:28

Vincenzo Nibali:
"I know how to ride a bike"

Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
User avatar King Boonen
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Re:

13 Jun 2018 13:57




I just read today that the meeting was yesterday - can't wait to watch the video of them talking
Succomm
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14 Jun 2018 09:22

Long article about Trump's "double" Netanyahu (worth a read if you have the time and interest)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-06-14/israel-s-netanyahu-could-be-heading-for-a-fifth-term-or-to-court

If the Israeli leader’s obsession with image, illiberal tendencies, and legal troubles have echoes with those of his American counterpart, they’ve also forced similar reckonings. Prominent Likud members and other would-be Netanyahu allies are asking such questions as: What moral flaws are acceptable in a prime minister whose agenda one otherwise supports? Which institutions must be shielded from partisan attack? When does political combat start to damage the fabric of the democracy?
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

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15 Jun 2018 04:38

Obama loved the drones but Trump has upped the ante.

https://www.axios.com/trump-drone-strikes-iraq-and-syria-8a242b2b-2387-4153-ad9d-68ecda71b344.html
Since President Trump took office, the U.S. has carried out more airstrikes in more places, expanded its use of drones and been increasingly willing to risk civilian casualties.

The bottom line: Under Barack Obama, the U.S. pounded ISIS from the air and made heavy use of drones. Trump seems to have taken those tactics into hyperdrive in pursuit of shock, awe and a quick victory. With a flood of other news to sift through, America has hardly noticed the shift.

By the numbers: The U.S.-led coalition carried out nearly 12,000 airstrikes (manned and unmanned) in Iraq and Syria last year. The uptick, which has since subsided, corresponded with a spike in civilian casualties.

Rachel Stohl of the Stimson Center writes for Axios Expert Voices that Trump has made U.S. drone policy "less restrained, transparent and accountable."

"The administration has reversed course on measures designed to bring drone use out of the shadows, eliminated the requirement that a target pose an 'imminent threat,' and loosened the requirement of 'near certainty' that the target is present — all while refusing to confirm or deny that changes to such policies and procedures have been made."
"It has also increased the frequency and geographic scope of lethal drone strikes, especially in areas where stricter rules around the use of force were previously in place." Those areas include Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

A recent Amnesty International report, which has drawn vehement objections from the Pentagon, accuses the U.S. of possible war crimes over "indiscriminate" attacks in the battle last year to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from ISIS.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
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16 Jun 2018 07:50

Trump sets tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods; Beijing strikes back
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-ministry/trump-sets-tariffs-on-50-billion-in-chinese-goods-beijing-strikes-back-idUSKBN1JB0KC?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Reuters%2FworldNews+%28Reuters+World+News%29

cant wait to see where this goes from here and if china is going to threaten its 'nuclear' option - the huge us debt it owns. saw nowhere good analysis as to how it might play out.
DJPbaltimore:'John Kerry is an honorable person and would not call out the Russians if there was not evidence', 'the 2 of you are russia stooges'
in foreign policy there are no eternal friendships or eternal enemies, only eternal interests
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16 Jun 2018 11:39

answering my own Q, found this very informative and written w/o a bias...though it is 2 month old article, i find it quite applicable today....
China's $1.2 trillion weapon that could be used in a trade war with the US
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/05/chinas-1-point-2-trillion-weapon-that-could-be-used-in-a-us-trade-war.html
DJPbaltimore:'John Kerry is an honorable person and would not call out the Russians if there was not evidence', 'the 2 of you are russia stooges'
in foreign policy there are no eternal friendships or eternal enemies, only eternal interests
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18 Jun 2018 05:27

http://www.france24.com/en/20180617-jihadist-group-al-sunnah-wa-jamaah-shabaab-violence-northern-mozambique-cabo-delgado
Since the end of May, Mozambique’s far northern province of Cabo Delgado has seen a surge in violence perpetrated by a new Islamist group that first came to the fore in October 2017.

Residents of the Muslim-majority Cabo Delgado province have been describing the same situation for several months: Armed men emerge from the forests to wreak havoc on local villages – including looting and decapitation.

Such violence has intensified over recent weeks, prompting around three thousand people to flee Cabo Delgado and leaving 30 people dead since the end of May, according to a provisional count. These killings have been attributed to a jihadist group known as Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah.

The group first appeared in the region in 2014, but stepped up its activities in October 2017 with an attack on a police station and barracks in the city of Mocimboa da Praia, in central Mozambique.


https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/09/africa/mozambique-us-warning-intl/index.html
The US Embassy in Mozambique has warned of "imminent attacks" against government and commercial centers in a northern province of the southeastern African nation and urged US citizens to leave the area.
The warning, issued Friday, applies to the Palma district of Cabo Delgado province, where a string of beheadings reportedly occurred last month. The government envisions the region as being a major industrial center for mining and the development of liquified natural gas.
"In light of information pointing to the likelihood of imminent attacks on government and commercial centers in the district headquarters of Palma, Cabo Delgado Province in the coming days, we strongly advise American citizens in the district headquarters of Palma to consider departing the area immediately," the US Embassy said.


http://allafrica.com/stories/201806150035.html
The upsurge in violence is also threatening Mozambique's $30 billion gas bonanza, Bloomberg reported last week. It said London-listed explorer Wentworth Resources hadn't been able to gain access to its onshore licences near Moćimboa da Praia due to safety concerns since the attacks. This week Reuters reported that US-based Anadarko Petroleum declined to comment on reports that it had suspended work on its massive natural gas project in Mozambique.

Some observers are suspicious about the coincidence of the upsurge in attacks and the awarding of a $750 million contract for protecting gas fields to a private security consortium. The consortium involves Erik Prince - founder of the famous US private security/military company - and a Mozambique company linked to government intelligence.


Erik Prince, energy resources, Islamic terrorists - have n't we been done this path before? Just send in the drones and Marines now so Trump can preen about on the White House lawn with "Fox & Friends" buddies before the mid-terms and boost about how tough he is.

Edit - more info - http://clubofmozambique.com/news/erik-princes-security-company-in-northern-mozambique-plot-or-coincidence/
A joint venture between ProIndicus, one of the three companies involved in the notorious hidden debts scandal, and Erik Prince’s Lancaster 6 Group, is believed to be about to provide security for the region. One question is whether this cycle of violence been purposely orchestrated by individuals or corporations to take advantage of the country’s resources – or is this just another conspiracy theory?

“We cannot rule out a conspiracy because it is real and exists in other places, and there have already been cases like that,” says Professor Patrick Chabal , who talks about the instrumentalisation of disorder as a political instrument to achieve special economic purposes, economic, geopolitical purposes.
...
A military intelligence and security project called Pro6, SA and valued at about US$750 million, could be implemented over the next five years. But as Mozambique does not have the capital to finance it, Eric Prince has proposed to cover 80 percent of the value, through the L6G, and be repaid with dividends of the country’s natural resources.

In the meantime, the security manager, who already has interests in Proindicus, would set up the joint venture through his L6G company to take advantage of a business opportunity. Or is that he is being opportunistic?
...
Who is Eric Prince?

Erik Prince’s Blackwater provided services to the United States government valued at about US$2 billion dollars during the war in Iraq, but was involved in the deaths of 18 people there.

After the scandal in Iraq, he disbanded Blackwater in 2010 and created Reflex Responses in the same field, and, soon after that, Frontier Services, which operates in different sectors, including logistics, air and security. It is through Frontier Services that Prince entered Mozambique in late 2017, to invest in the now-notorious hidden debt companies.

(The "hidden debt scandal" can be read about here http://clubofmozambique.com/news/no-repayment-of-ematum-proindicus-and-mam-debt-in-near-future-says-maleiane-aim-report/ )
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
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19 Jun 2018 06:41

....the tariff poker with china just went up another notch.

in response to the chinese $50 B mirror tariffs (for american $50B), trump has hiked his threat from an additional tariffs on $100 b chinese goods to $200 b. what makes this latest thump ultimatum different ?

cgtn explained...

1st, china is running out of the symmetrical mirror steps b/c the total american goods destined for china is only $120B,whereas america still has plenty of 'room' with the chinese imports over $500B
2nd, for the 1st times the chinese trade officials not only used a very harsh language within hours of thump opening his mouth ('trade war declared on china'), but also vowed to respond harshly and quickly .

putting aside the poker element, and assuming that by 6 july they wont find a negotiated out, what exactly can china respond with given their lack of purely trading tools ?

will china resort to the 'nuclear option' ? what is the trump next move besides the crude threats ?

me thinks they will likely get back to the original chinese proposal to increase imports by $70B. i doubt china is going to give in much if anything.

in the mean time, kim is back in china. for the 3d time within several weeks !

that he is being briefed on the next norkor 'retreat from the nukes' can be little doubt. the trump gesture of stopping the war games will be met by a blowup of some other remote 'nuclear facility' in the remote norkor country side :rolleyes:
'denuclearization'
DJPbaltimore:'John Kerry is an honorable person and would not call out the Russians if there was not evidence', 'the 2 of you are russia stooges'
in foreign policy there are no eternal friendships or eternal enemies, only eternal interests
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19 Jun 2018 07:08

http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/united-states/article/2151284/why-weaker-euro-means-trumps-trade-war-may-not
If a weaker euro again becomes a market trend, it might also mean a lower value for that currency versus the yuan. The Chinese currency might then fall somewhat against the US dollar as a counterweight, in line with the basket of currencies framework of China’s current managed floating exchange rate system.

The net effect would be that the currency market would have delivered a stronger US dollar, which renders American exports more expensive, but imports into the US cheaper.

Winning trade wars may not be quite as easy as Trump first tweeted.


2018 Trump -
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/25/trump-says-dollar-to-get-stronger-and-stronger.html
"The dollar is going to get stronger and stronger, and ultimately I want to see a strong dollar," Trump said in an exclusive interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "Our country is becoming so economically strong again and strong in other ways, too."


2017 Trump -
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/12/trump-tanks-the-dollar-after-saying-its-getting-too-strong.html
"I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that's my fault because people have confidence in me. But that's hurting—that will hurt ultimately," Trump said in the interview with the WSJ.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
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20 Jun 2018 12:12

got agrin when just watching an american intellectual answering the question of the trt anchor, 'what do you think of the us blaming their withdrawal from the un human rights council on the human rights abusers ?'

-'the council just got rid of 1 of its biggest human rights abusers' :lol:
DJPbaltimore:'John Kerry is an honorable person and would not call out the Russians if there was not evidence', 'the 2 of you are russia stooges'
in foreign policy there are no eternal friendships or eternal enemies, only eternal interests
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Re:

23 Jun 2018 13:20

python wrote:got agrin when just watching an american intellectual answering the question of the trt anchor, 'what do you think of the us blaming their withdrawal from the un human rights council on the human rights abusers ?'

-'the council just got rid of 1 of its biggest human rights abusers' :lol:


Who supports the other biggest human rights abuser.....Israel :surprised:
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01 Jul 2018 06:19

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-30/giuliani-promises-exiles-that-trump-will-bring-down-iran-regime
The collapse of Iran’s Islamic regime “is around the corner,” and the U.S. will keep increasing sanctions until it happens, President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani told an exiled Iranian opposition group.
...
Speaking to the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, [MEK] or People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, a group that for years was on the U.S.’s terrorism list, Giuliani said European nations and former President Barack Obama had appeased the Islamic regime and said “Trump doesn’t turn his back on freedom fighters.”

“This government is about to collapse, and this is the time to turn on the pressure,” Giuliani told a crowd of about 1,000 flag-waving MEK followers. “Thank God my president turned his back on that very dangerous nuclear deal with Iran. We are not going to do business with the world’s top sponsor of terrorism.”
...
Also on the podium on Saturday were former U.S. House Speaker and informal Trump adviser Newt Gingrich, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, two former French foreign ministers, and five members of the British Parliament.

The annual meeting is hosted by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which considers itself a sort of parliament in exile but is dominated by the MEK. NCRI leader Maryam Rajavi spoke before Giuliani, and said recent economic protests in Iran were signs the regime is near to collapse. The NCRI says it supports a democratic Iran with separation of religion and state.

Giuliani has spoken at MEK events for almost a decade. Trump’s current National Security Adviser John Bolton has attended their events in the past, as has James Jones, who held the same post under Obama.


There's a strange deja vu feeling about politicians teaming up with Middle Eastern exiles to call for regime change ...
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

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07 Jul 2018 13:47

while waiting for the sweden-england game to commence, i flipped thru my usual sample of international tv channels.

as i let known, my latest focus is the trade war CONSEQUENCES unleashed by the us. just heard a very interesting comment from a cgtn commentator (an american economist iirc royce almond ?). he said appr. this:

'china cant afford NOT responding. it must fight back hard and impose a MAXIMUM pain on the us. otherwise it will find itself in the same trouble and subdue like Japan ...... when the us imposed harsh tariffs on the Japanese exports some decades ago'. japan was recovering for 20 years...the tariffs are NOT about the trade deficit, BUT about trying to contain china from becoming the #1"

interesting. i was thinking about many parallels but not about japan :confused: he also said the us business community is bound to stop the trump madness at some point as the us self hurt will become obvious and intolerable...this guy is an american !
DJPbaltimore:'John Kerry is an honorable person and would not call out the Russians if there was not evidence', 'the 2 of you are russia stooges'
in foreign policy there are no eternal friendships or eternal enemies, only eternal interests
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13 Jul 2018 08:33

under the trump threats and ultimatums, the western companies, left unprotected by their mouthy and cowardly govts, are existing iran... and how is iran reacting ?

their threat of closing the hormuz strait in response to the american promise of zeroing the iranian crude exports, should not be taken seriously. they cant and they wont since it's the equivalent of a declaration of war...but to shift their business east to those who take pleasure in defying the us arrogance, is already taking place. last weak there were a series of meeting with china, which - in a typical eastern manner - the details are NOT revealed.

but the just ended meet of the supreme leader advisor with putin was made public and clearly serves to show a finger to trump 3 days before their face-to-face summit. vlad is as 'scared' as the eruo cowards and he acts it :cool:

Khamenei adviser says Russia to replace Western investors

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/07/iran-russia-velayati-putin-visit-investment-jcpoa-oil.html#ixzz5L7Wz7aeC
DJPbaltimore:'John Kerry is an honorable person and would not call out the Russians if there was not evidence', 'the 2 of you are russia stooges'
in foreign policy there are no eternal friendships or eternal enemies, only eternal interests
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16 Jul 2018 09:22

putin and trump are meeting in a matter of hours...the news outlets speculate widely on what they will talk about or conclude. i find it amazing that ANYONE would try to take seriously ANYTHING trump said, much less to try to read into it... :rolleyes: he just called the eu 'a foe' and some euro media already speculate how he is going to conclude a secret deal with putin to fork europe over...mental midgets.

a commentator on DW said that putin needs the meeting to ...'end russia isolation'. who is isolated ? putin after the football worlds or trump after declaring trade wars and exiting treaties ? the talking heads are empty.

the most rational speculation is that they may come to some common ground on syria where iran and israel may start a big war if not cooled off. both need to declare a victory after the meet. so, i can also see some aftermath empty declarations re. the north korea issues.

trump just cant do much bargaining with the russophobic congress over his neck and putin wont give much w/o a concrete commitment from the us..

it will be largely another trump show he loves to bask in ....
DJPbaltimore:'John Kerry is an honorable person and would not call out the Russians if there was not evidence', 'the 2 of you are russia stooges'
in foreign policy there are no eternal friendships or eternal enemies, only eternal interests
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16 Jul 2018 10:45

Whilst Donnie & Putin chat,
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5310680,00.html
9 Syrian soldiers said killed in Aleppo strike blamed on Israel -
Nine soldiers from among Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces—six Syrians and three others whose nationality was not made known—were reportedly killed in an attack attributed to Israel in Aleppo on Sunday night, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday.

The IDF said in a statement last Thursday that it hit three targets the night before in retaliation for an incursion on Wednesday of a Syrian drone which was shot down over northern Israel.

"The IDF holds the Syrian regime accountable for the actions carried out in its territory and warns it from further action against Israeli forces," the Israeli statement said at the time.

On Friday, Israel fired a Patriot missile at a UAV approaching its border from Syria, the second such an incident that week.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

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