Tuesday, April 24, 2018
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President Bashar Al-Assad’s interview given to Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda

Question 1: Thank you very much, Mr. President. It's a big happiness for me, and I'm very proud. Okay, I will start from my questions. The situation in Syria become more dangerous and more unpredictable. Why? Because this conflict draws inside more participants and more players. For example, who...

BAE: secret papers reveal threats from Saudi prince

Spectre of 'another 7/7' led Tony Blair to block bribes inquiry, high court told. Saudi Arabia's rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday. Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they...

Saudi Arabia’s economic time bomb

Time is a luxury that Saudi Arabia can no longer take for granted. It faces an economic time bomb, which, if not defused, will have severe and possibly irreversible effects both nationally and internationally. The 2014-2015 collapse in oil prices has slashed the Kingdom’s main source of revenue which...

Iraqi Insurgents Stymied the NSA and Other Highlights from 263 Internal Agency Reports

Early in the fight against al Qaeda in Afghanistan and insurgents in Iraq, the National Security Agency was blindsided by enemy fighters’ frequent use of rudimentary wireless communications devices known as “high–powered cordless phones,” according to documents among 263 published today by The Intercep.

Russia sends S-300 advanced missile system to Syria, U.S. runs out of options

As US struggles to respond to Syrian army advances, reports circulate of Russia deploying advanced S-300 VM Antey-2500 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria. Shortly before the US announcement of its decision to suspend talks with Russia on the ‘cessation of hostilities’ agreement reached by US Secretary State Kerry and Russian Foreign...

Why a Saudi Aramco IPO Makes Absolutely No Sense for Saudi Arabia

The Saudi royal family’s total control of Arabia’s oil wealth is the root of all of its power, influence, and success. If Saudi Aramco goes public, Saudi Arabia will face an enormous existential dilemma. The Saudi royal family’s total control of Arabia’s oil wealth is the root of all of its...

Latest Estimate Pegs Cost of Wars at Nearly $5 Trillion

The total U.S. budgetary cost of war since 2001 is $4.79 trillion, according to a report released this week from Brown University’s Watson Institute. That’s the highest estimate yet. Neta Crawford of Boston University, the author of the report, included interest on borrowing, future veterans needs, and the cost of homeland security...

What’s Behind Turkey’s Coup & Purge?

With Turkey now undergoing the largest military/governmental purge in modern history, the question of Turkey's future in terms of its domestic stability and structure is in flux and the possibilities facing the world, especially Syria, in regards to any changes of Turkish foreign policy are shaky as well. But...

Uzbekistan: More Energy Deals as China’s President Tours Central Asia

China’s president clinched another round of multi-billion-dollar oil and gas deals in Uzbekistan on September 9 as he continued vacuuming up the region’s energy resources on his tour of Central Asia. Xi Jinping and his Uzbek counterpart Islam Karimov signed agreements worth $15 billion in Tashkent, AFP reported. Details were not...

Obama sharply criticizes China’s plans for new technology rules

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Monday sharply criticized China's plans for new rules on U.S. tech companies, urging Beijing to change the policy if it wants to do business with the United States and saying he had raised it with President Xi Jinping. In an interview with Reuters, Obama...

Israel to launch one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world,...

TEL AVIV — A joint exercise now being conducted between thousands of Israeli troops and the U.S. European Command represents a final test before Israel begins to deploy one of the most sophisticated missile defense systems in the world. When it is complete, Israel's multibillion-dollar rocket and missile air defense...

ISIS Caliphate meets China’s Silk Road Economic Belt

This report examines the clashing ambitions between ISIS and China. With ISIS’s declaration of a caliphate that encompasses China’s Muslim Xinjiang, Chinese strategists will now consider how ISIS’s Eastward pivot will impact China’s own Westward march to create a Silk Road Economic Belt across Eurasia. While the Western U.S.-led...

Russia Calling Off Dollar Buying Bolsters Ruble as Oil Gains

The ruble ended five days of losses as the Bank of Russia stopped daily purchases of foreign exchange, signaling policy makers don’t want to add impetus to the currency’s decline before an interest-rate decision this week. The ruble rallied as much as 1.8 percent after the central bank said it...

A World War has Begun: Break the Silence

I have been filming in the Marshall Islands, which lie north of Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they ask, “Where is that?” If I offer a clue by referring to “Bikini”, they say, “You mean the swimsuit.” Few seem...

HSBC: There’s Now a Very High Chance of a Severe Fall In U.S. Stocks

The technicals don't look good. Yesterday's big stocks drop may have just been the beginning. Or so says HSBC Holdings Plc technical analyst Murray Gunn. In a new note, Gunn says he is now on alert for a big dip in U.S. equities. "With the U.S. stock market selling off aggressively...

Brexit: EU considers migration emergency brake for UK for up to seven years

Diplomats working on deal to give Theresa May greater concessions than those won by David Cameron, despite French doubts. Plans to allow the United Kingdom an exemption from EU rules on freedom of movement for up to seven years while retaining access to the single market are being considered in...

Oil Price Treachery: Are the Saudis Blackmailing Putin for Concessions on Syria?

Here’s what you need to know about the Syria peace talks: Four of the most powerful militias currently operating in Syria have been excluded from the negotiations. The Islamic State (ISIS), Jabhat al Nusra, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have all been banned...

Reform the Fed

Janet Yellen has betrayed the American people and will go down as one of the worst chiefs of the Federal Reserve in history. Her decision to raise interest rates earlier this week guarantees a continuing weak recovery, suppressed wages, and entrenched inequality. In response, the left should add a central...

Turkey’s urban war leaves thousands of Kurds without homes

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — In his 1853 travelogue about Diyarbakir, German orientalist Julius Heinrich Petermann described how he reached the city after sunset to find the fortress gates locked and had to wait for the morning to enter the city. More than 160 years later, those waiting at the gates...

UN: ISIL executes civilians en masse in Iraq

UN details series of reported ISIL abuses and warns that the armed group is stockpiling chemicals in civilian areas. ISIL fighters have reportedly shot and killed scores of civilians in Mosul in recent days, according to the UN, which has also confirmed the discovery of a mass grave in the nearby...

Khamenei says US pushing Iranphobia to block foreign investment

During a speech April 27, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all foreign policy decisions, delivered one of his most critical assessments of what he considered US duplicity in removing sanctions on Iran post-nuclear deal. “Sometimes the Americans complain from afar that why are you...

China and Russia Continue to Add to Gold Reserves

Last week we reported that central banks were jettisoning US debt and buying gold. Figures released by the IMF this week indicate central bank gold hoarding has not abated. Russia and China both extended their prolonged buying spree in April. Russia added 16.2 tons to its reserves. China increased its holdings...

Putin, Erdogan Mend Ties as Post-Coup Turkey Turns to Russia

Turkey and Russia will seek to speed up the repair of frayed relations when Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets Vladimir Putin for talks in St. Petersburg next month in the wake of the failed military coup against the Turkish president. Russia “isn’t just our close and friendly neighbor, but also a...

U.S. Lawmakers Blast Delay on Iran Sanctions

Critics say White House U-turn on missile-test penalties hurts nuclear deal’s enforcement. WASHINGTON—Leading lawmakers, including supporters of President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, rapped the White House for delaying fresh sanctions on Tehran over its missile program, warning that the move would embolden it to further destabilize the Middle...

DoD Admits US Global Hegemony Threatened By China, Russia in Persistently Disordered World

By 2035, the US could find itself in an environment where Russia or China may match or even exceed the West's military and economic might in some areas, taking advantage of a “disordered and contested world,” the Pentagon’s research unit said... Conflict and war in 2035 cannot be understood by...

The classified 28 pages: A diversion from real US-Saudi issues

The controversy surrounding the infamous “28 pages” on the possible Saudi connection with the terrorists that were excised from the joint Congressional report on the 9/11 attacks is at fever pitch. But that controversy is a distraction from the real problems that Saudi Arabia’s policies pose to the United...

Retailers Seek U.S. Help With Shipping Crisis

Rates soar as Hanjin Shipping’s bankruptcy filing strands goods, causes confusion at ports. U.S. retailers, bracing for a blow as they stock up for the crucial holiday sales season, asked the government to step in and help resolve a growing crisis caused by the near-collapse of South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping...

EU enforces sanctions against Libyan leaders opposing unity govt

Three Libyan political leaders opposing the U.N.-backed unity government are from Friday subject to European Union's economic sanctions, the EU official journal said. Fearful of derailing peace efforts, EU governments hesitated for months before agreeing in March to move on with restrictive measures. The asset-freeze measures were formally adopted on Thursday...

IMF Cuts Global Growth Forecasts on Brexit, Warns of Risks to Outlook

Brexit causes ‘substantial’ increase in economic, political, institutional uncertainty Global forecast for 2017 cut by 0.1 percentage point, to 3.4 percent If not for Brexit, global forecast would have been slightly higher The International Monetary Fund cut its forecasts for global economic growth this year and next as the unexpected U.K. vote...

Many of the NSA’s Loudest Defenders Have Financial Ties to NSA Contractors

The debate over the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records has reached a critical point after a federal appeals court last week ruled the practice illegal, dramatically raising the stakes for pending Congressional legislation that would fully or partially reinstate the program. An army of pundits promptly took to television screens, with...

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