Friday, October 20, 2017

Trump Reverses Obama’s Mortgage Fee Cuts on First Day

Soon after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, his administration undid one of Barack Obama's last-minute economic-policy actions: a mortgage-fee cut under a government program that’s popular with first-time home buyers and low-income borrowers. The new administration on Friday said it’s canceling a reduction in the Federal Housing Administration’s...

China’s Xi Jinping At Davos, World’s Most Powerful Beggar

Xi Jinping will address the World Economic Forum on Tuesday in Davos, the first time a Chinese leader has done so. Chinese state media tells us he will speak strongly in favor of globalization. That message will be difficult to accept, however, as his country is closing off its market,...

Xi Jinping’s Swiss visit to present positive Chinese message: ambassador

Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming Swiss visit will present a confident, open, responsible and positive Chinese voice to the world, Ma Zhaoxu, China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) and Other International Organizations in Switzerland, wrote in a signed article published on People’s Daily on...

China’s Xi to promote globalization at Davos, not war and poverty

China's President Xi Jinping will promote "inclusive globalization" at this month's World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos and will warn that populist approaches can lead to "war and poverty", Chinese officials said on Wednesday. This year's forum, from Jan. 17-20, is expected to be dominated by discussion of a surge...

Hungary Plans to Crack Down on All Soros-Funded NGOs

Hungary plans to crack down on non-governmental organizations linked to billionaire George Soros now that Donald Trump will occupy the White House, according to the deputy head of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party. The European Union member will use “all the tools at its disposal” to “sweep out” NGOs funded...

Summers Warns of Financial-Crisis Risk From Trump Economic Plans

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers attacked the policy proposals of Donald Trump on several fronts, saying the president-elect’s plans for deregulation were setting the stage for the next financial crisis. “The deregulation in some areas like finance is hugely dangerous,” Summers said Sunday in an interview on Fox News Channel....

China Reserves Hover Above $3 Trillion on Government Support

China's foreign currency holdings remained above $3 trillion in December even as the yuan capped its steepest annual decline in more than two decades. Reserves fell $41.08 billion to $3.01 trillion, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement Saturday. That matched a $3.01 trillion estimate in a Bloomberg survey...

China Considers Options to Back Yuan, Curb Outflows

China has studied possible scenarios for the yuan and capital outflows this year and is preparing contingency plans, according to people familiar with the matter. The offshore yuan surged the most in a year. The authorities have used stress tests, models and field research, said the people who asked not...

SoftBank’s First U.S. Investment After Trump Talk Generates 3,000 Jobs

SoftBank Group Corp. Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son told President-elect Donald Trump this month he would create 50,000 jobs in the U.S. Money for the first 3,000 positions was announced on Monday. Satellite startup OneWeb Ltd. said it raised $1.2 billion from SoftBank and existing investors, with the Japanese technology...

UK secretly selling arms to Saudi Arabia and elsewhere under opaque licencing system

Campaigners say licensing system designed for ‘less sensitive’ trade deals is being abused, The UK is secretly selling arms to Saudi Arabia and other countries under an opaque type of export licence, it has been reported. The military and defence industry is a major player in the UK economy, worth about...

Over 3,400 Militants Surrender to Syrian Army in Aleppo

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian General Staff announced that over 3,400 terrorists have surrendered themselves to the Syrian authorities since the beginning of the military operations in the city of Mosul. "A total number of 3,406 militants of the so-called moderate opposition groups have surrendered during the liberation of Eastern Aleppo,...

EU summit lines up against Russia

On Thursday, the 28 leaders of the European Union gathered in Brussels at their final summit of the year. The EU is in deep crisis. Following the British decision to leave the EU, the election of Donald Trump as US president, and the rise of right-wing nationalist forces in...

Donald Trump’s Israel ambassador is hardline pro-settler lawyer

David Friedman opposes two-state solution, backs undivided Jerusalem as capital and has acted for Trump's failing hotels. Donald Trump has named as his ambassador to Israel a pro-settler lawyer who has described some US Jews as worse than concentration camp prisoner-guards. David Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer who represented the president-elect over...

Why Are the Media Taking the CIA’s Hacking Claims at Face Value?

Despite the CIA’s uninspiring record for the past 70 years, the media are defending the agency for all it’s worth. In 1977, Carl Bernstein published an exposé of a CIA program known as Operation Mockingbird, a covert program involving, according to Bernstein, “more than 400 American journalists who in the...

Making Russia The Enemy

The rising hysteria about Russia is best understood as fulfilling two needs for Official Washington: the Military Industrial Complex's transitioning from the “war on terror” to a more lucrative “new cold war” – and blunting the threat that a President Trump poses to the neoconservative/liberal-interventionist foreign-policy establishment. By hyping the...

Long-shot bid to block Trump arrives at Electoral College Monday

The Electoral College's 538 members gather Monday at 50 state capitols to cast the ballots that matter the most when it comes to electing a U.S. president. Normally sedate affairs that pass with little notice, this year’s proceedings have been injected with a bit of drama and a dash of...

Israel sells $5 billion of weapons to Iran’s neighbour

Israel agreed on Tuesday to sell nearly $5 billion of its infamous 'Iron Dome' defence system to Iran’s northern neighbour, Azerbaijan, in a mutually beneficial trade deal. Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev told reporters that historical trade between the two countries was strong, as Israel buys a large proportion of its...

WikiLeaks figure says disgusted Democrat leaked Clinton campaign emails

A WikiLeaks figure is claiming that he received leaked Clinton campaign emails from a “disgusted” Democratic whistleblower, while the White House continued to blame Russian hackers Wednesday for meddling in the presidential election and asserted that Donald Trump was “obviously aware” of Moscow’s efforts on his behalf. Craig Murray, a...

Congress Votes To Give Jihadists Anti-aircraft Missiles

On Thursday, the Senate passed a bill that puts every American who travels by plane at risk. It is among the stupidest pieces of legislation ever written and it explains-- to a great extent-- why the US Congress has a public approval rating of 13 percent and is among the...

There is More Than One Truth To Tell In The Awful Story of Aleppo

Western politicians, “experts” and journalists are going to have to reboot their stories over the next few days now that Bashar al-Assad's army has retaken control of eastern Aleppo. We’re going to find out if the 250,000 civilians “trapped” in the city were indeed that numerous. We’re going to...

Top U.S. spy agency has not embraced CIA assessment on Russia hacking

The overseers of the U.S. intelligence community have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election, three American officials said on Monday. While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA's...

Congress authorizes anti-aircraft missiles for Syrian opposition

Washington, D.C. – Congress for the first time authorized the Department of Defense to provide vetted-Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles. The provision is contained within the $619 billion Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the Senate on Dec. 8 and the House on Dec. 2. Under the bill,...

More Special Operations forces are headed to Syria. Here’s what they’re going to do.

As Syrian fighters push toward the Islamic State’s de-facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter announced Saturday that additional U.S. Special Operations forces will head into the country to help the fledgling offensive. The additional 200 troops will bolster the 300 or so already in...

How War Propaganda Keeps on Killing

The “fake news” hysteria has become the cover for the U.S. government and mainstream media to crack down on fact-based journalism that challenges Official Washington’s “Group Thinks.” A key reason why American foreign debacles have been particularly destructive mostly to the countries attacked but also to the United States is...

Can Corporate Raider Wilbur Ross Deliver on Trump’s Blue-Collar Promises?

Trump's pick for commerce secretary has a track record of saving American jobs. Whether he can bring many back to the Rust Belt remains to be seen. A decade ago, cheap Chinese cloth was hammering American textile makers. Companies like Burlington Industries and Cone Mills, two big U.S. makers of...

Swamp or no swamp, Goldman swims on

The investment bank’s network reaches the White House, again. Consider just this very partial list: Henry Fowler, Robert Rubin, and Hank Paulson, former US Treasury secretaries. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England. Mario Draghi, European Central Bank president. Malcolm Turnbull, prime minister of Australia. Bill Dudley, president of...

Saudi Central Bank Systems Said to Be Struck by Iran Malware

State-sponsored hackers who unleashed a digital bomb in key parts of Saudi Arabia's computer networks over the last two weeks damaged systems at the country’s central bank, known as the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, according to two people briefed on an ongoing investigation of the breach. The central bank said...

Lagarde Says Globalization Needs to Have a More Inclusive Face

Supporters of globalization need to develop a new way to promote open markets that relies on smaller trade deals and helps people who are feeling left out, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said. “I certainly hope there is not a move toward deglobalization,” Lagarde said Friday in an...

The Coming War on China

When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open. At a quarter...

Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong

The Iraqi army, backed by US-led airstrikes, is trying to capture east Mosul at the same time as the Syrian army and its Shia paramilitary allies are fighting their way into east Aleppo. An estimated 300 civilians have been killed in Aleppo by government artillery and bombing in the...

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