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US and Hu Rights Violations - Russia Confronts US

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Published by Administrator in Russia United state
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by grtv

The United States and Russia have achieved many milestones when it comes to relieving tensions between the two superpowers after the Cold War, but it seems that lately those strains have been on the rise.

Russia has been more than vocal over its opposition of the US missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, and now Russia plans on implementing a visa ban on American officials to counter the US banning Russian officials for alleged human rights violations.

David Swanson, campaigner for Roots Action, joins us with more on the matter.

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Iran

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داعش و دام اسلامی کردن خاورمیانه Image

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داعش و دام اسلامی کردن خاورمیانه

 داعش و دام اسلامی کردن خاورمیانه
ژرفشی پیرامون ژاژخایی بارک الحسین آل اوباما در مبارزه علیه ددمنشان داعش.
نویسنده وگوینده: نیک پاکپور
به باور گوینده، آنچه را که ما امروز در میین استریم مه دییا ” Mainstream media” غربی، به عنوان جنجال جنگی غرب علیه جهادیزم جانی، وحشی ـ وهابی، اسلامی ـ ارتجاعی، در منطقه خاورمیانه شاهد هستیم، در اصل و اساسش چیزی به جز یک رجز خوانی ره توریک گونه یا تبلیغات تعفن بار و تهوع آور، آغشته و آمیخته به انواع ترفندها، تزویرها، تحریک ها و توطئه های تموچین گونه برای تسخیر، تقسیم و تصرف و سپس تهی کردن و تخلیه کردن خاورمیانه از منابع، معادن و مینرال سرشار نفتی و گازی اش نمی باشد که از سالها پیش توست استراتژیست های ”Anglo-American” آلبته با سروری و سردمداری سبعانه و ساویج گونه زایونیزم جهاتی بطور مکارانه و مزورانه و میرغضبانه، مهندسی و معماری شده است

نیک پاکپور - تراژدی تاریخی 28 مرداد Image

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نیک پاکپور - تراژدی تاریخی 28 مرداد

تراژدی تاریخی 28 مرداد

سیر و سیاحتی به مناسبت 61 مین سالگرد کودتای ننگین 28 مرداد

گوینده: نیک پاکپور

پیش از اینکه با سنبه وسوندی سنباننده به سفتن مدخل ومجرای، بحثی تاریخی، در مورد کودتای 28 مرداد سال 1332 خورشیدی ایران را، باز کنم، لازم می بینم که نخست بطور مختصر و مرخم ومفید، اشاراتی نیز داشته باشم به شیوها وشگردهای شیادانه و شعبده بازانه تعداد بسیار، بسیار اندکی از مائوئیست های متاسیون شده و کمونيیست های Quisling شده به همراه مونارکیست های منحط و متواری، مومیایی شده، که درطی دهه های گذشته، بویژه پس از انقراض و اضمحال یا انحطاط بساط سلطه و سیطره ارتجاع ، استعمار و استکبار جهانی در ایران، که اغلب بخاطر مزد و معاش در جهت ارتزاق و ارتشاف شخصی و شکمی، با تغذیه از اسناد استفراغ زده شده و آروغ زده شده ارتجاع جهانی، بسان رجاله گان سیاسی، با رجزخوانی رذیلانه، برای رضی و راضی نگهداشتن دشمنان دژنام ایرانی، در رسانه ها و روزنامه های باصطلاع فارسی زبان زیر سیطره و ساطور سیاه سازمان های اطلاعاتی lntelligency چون CIA امریکا و MI6 انگلستان و DGSE فرانسه، BND آلمان و موساد اسرائیل بنام صدای امریکا و رادیوی فریب و Fradulent فردا، بی بی سی، رادیوی RFI، رادیوی دویچه وله فارسی، صدای شوم Zionism جهانی، یعنی اسرايیل، البته با مدد سفسطه ولی با سکسکه سفیل ، سفیهانه و سالوسانه، علیه سیمای ستبر مردم ایران یا سخن پراکنی کرده یا با کمک مستقیم و غیر مستقیم Benefit سیاسی ارتجاع جهانی، مرتکب نسک و نشر و جهل، جوزن وجادوگری تاریخی شده اند، و بارها و بارها به کرات و مرات با کراهت و گژبینی گزند گونه در سنگر گزیزگاه دشمن با کرنش و کمر خم کنی خماننده ولی با نیش و نیشتر و نیرنگی فریبنده، برای توجیه و تطهیر و تبرئه عاملان و قاتلان و خائنان داخلی و خاری کودتای 28 مرداد، نوکربابانه یا نطق کرده یا نسک نگاشته اند. لطفآ بقیه را در video توجه فرمائید!

 


گوینده: نیک پاکپور - بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب Image

10,939 views

گوینده: نیک پاکپور - بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب
بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب
گوینده: نیک پاکپور
Reference:BRICS
1-Putin and BRICS form Seed Crystal of a New International Monetary Pole
William Engdahl | July 25, 2014
2-BRICS establish $100bn bank and currency pool to cut out Western dominance
By RT: Published time: July 15, 2014 18:14
3-BRICS against Washington consensus
BY By Pepe Escobar “Asia Times: Jul 15, '14”
4-Dollar dying; multi-polar world in offing
By F.William engdahl
4-US Dollar Suffers Serious Setback
By By Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
5-Throwing BRICS at Israel
By Johnny Punish

Europe

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25 views

'We are ready!' Tens of thousands of Catalans rally, demand early elections

About 110,000 people gathered in the center of Barcelona to call for snap regional elections after Catalonia was forced to cancel its November 9 independence referendum under pressure from Madrid. READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/7hadwcCOURTESY: RT's RUPTLY video agency, NO RE-UPLOAD, NO REUSE - FOR LICENSING, PLEASE, CONTACT http://ruptly.tvRT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

Turkey and Kurdish refugee on ISIS Image

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Turkey and Kurdish refugee on ISIS

The US Air Force has launched a new assault on ISIS positions outside Kobane. Turkey is providing limited support for the US operation. It has approved drone reconnaissance flights, but has not yet opened up its air bases for American warplanes. Many Kobane refugees are willing to go back and join the fight against Islamic State, however they are stuck in Turkey. RT’s Murad Gazdiev reports from just outside the warzone.RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

First military parade in decades: Serbia marks 70yrs since Soviets liberated it from Nazis Image

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First military parade in decades: Serbia marks 70yrs since Soviets liberated it from Nazis

To celebrate the anniversary of Belgrade's liberation from Nazi occupation, the Serbian capital hosted its first military parade in nearly 30 years. Some 4,500 troops participated in the event, which was attended by both Serbian and Russian leaders.COURTESY: RT's RUPTLY video agency, NO RE-UPLOAD, NO REUSE - FOR LICENSING, PLEASE, CONTACT http://ruptly.tvRT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

Middle east

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Islamic state

35 views

Islamic state 'sells women and child for $12' Girls Forced to Marry

The armed group Islamic State is holding hundreds of Yezidi men, women, and children from Iraq captive in formal and makeshift detention facilities in Iraq and Syria. http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/10/11/iraq-forced-marriage-conversion-yezidis The group has systematically separated young women and teenage girls from their families and has forced some of them to marry its fighters, according to dozens of relatives of the detainees, 16 Yezidis who escaped Islamic State detention, and two detained women interviewed by phone. They said the group has also taken away boys and forced captives to convert to Islam.

The Islamic State crime in Iraq Image

23 views

The Islamic State crime in Iraq

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, (ISIL), is a jihadist group active in Iraq and Syria seeking to establish a Islamic caliphate. Subscribe to our cha.The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI, Arabic: دولة العراق الإسلامية‎ Dawlat al-ʿIrāq al-ʾIslāmiyyah), is an umbrella organization of a number Iraqi insurgency grou.The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is the resulting entity from the merger of al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria, is seen in this video interce.

Chopping limbs, Islamic State crime Image

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Chopping limbs, Islamic State crime

American warplanes have carried out a new series of airstrikes on jihadists in the battle for the Kurdish town of Kobani in Syria. After months of fierce fighting, the defenders of the town have reportedly managed to halt the onslaught of Islamic State. Now, Kurds are slowly retaking the districts of Kobani, street by street. RT's Murad Gazdiev met with those who survived the jihadi occupation - and they've told him of the atrocities the group is committing.RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

United state

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48th Anniversary of the Founding of the Black Panther Party Image

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48th Anniversary of the Founding of the Black Panther Party

Former Black Panther Eddie Conway describes the political and social conditions that gave rise to the militancy and politics of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense

Bio
Marshall "Eddie" Conway was a Leader of the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party. Conway was released from prison on March 4, 2014 after having served 43 years and 11 months. He is currently a producer at the Real News Network.
Transcript
48th Anniversary of the Founding of the Black Panther PartySHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore.
This week is the anniversary of the formation of the Black Panther Party. That was 1966, 48 eight years ago. The original six members of the Black Panther Party were--and they are depicted in this photograph. From the top left is Elbert "Big Man" Howard; Huey P. Newton, the defense minister; Sherwin Forte; Bobby Seale, the chairman; and in the bottom row is Reggie Forte; Little Bobby Hutton, the treasurer.
To talk about all of this history, with us today is the former Black Panther Party member in Baltimore, is Eddie Conway. Eddie Conway was a member of the Baltimore Black Panther Party who spent 44 years in prison for an alleged crime of killing a police officer, a crime that he did not commit.
If you are curious--and you should be--watch the series that The Real News has with Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself, or you can make a donation to The Real News and get a copy of his book, Marshall Law: The Life & Times of a Baltimore Black Panther.
Thank you so much for joining us, Eddie.
EDDIE CONWAY, FMR. BLACK PANTHER, BALTIMORE CHAPTER: I'm happy to be here.
PERIES: Eddie, take us back in time and describe the conditions that the African Americans in this country were facing at the time the Black Panther Party was formed.
CONWAY: Well, I think the Black Panther Party grew out of the disappointment of the civil rights movement and its failure to make really significant changes. I think initially, from, like, the early '50s on up to the mid '60s, in the South there was a massive movement to desegregate things there, to make the buses, the interstate highways safe to travel on the buses for blacks and whites together. There was a number of bills and laws put in to get voting rights. And I think we thought in the black community that that would solve the problem of racism, that would solve the problem of police brutality, that would solve the problem of poverty, and that would solve the problem of a redline districting in terms of us being forced to live in ghettos.
After those bills were passed, after those minor victories were made, we found out that we still suffered the same conditions. Racism still existed. Poverty was still widespread through our community. We did not have enough money even though we had integrated our lunch counters. We had had the right then to send our children to college. We couldn't afford to do that. We didn't have the jobs that would afford us the kind of payrolls, paychecks that would allow us to do that.
So the brutality continued. Every week in some city, and in most cities across the country, young black men were being killed or beaten to death by the police department.
And as a result of all this, I think people decided that, well, they needed to organize a different way instead of nonviolent protests in order to change their conditions. And one of the things that they concluded, at least young people, is that if they were going to organize, they weren't going to allow theirself to be attacked by dogs or water hoses or be beaten in the street by police. So they decided to organize in a self-defensive manner.
PERIES: Eddie, this was a time that the civil rights movement had actually made some gains--the ending of Jim Crow and racial segregation. And they did it through civil disobedience, they did it through peaceful means, as far as the civil rights movement was concerned. It was known worldwide for being a fairly peaceful and nonviolent movement.
However, the African-American community that was so disenfranchised, especially in urban cities, felt the need to take up arms to defend themselves. And this was particularly because of the police brutality that they were experiencing. Tell us about that experience.
CONWAY: It was the police brutality, but it also involved attacks against the people who were organized in a nonviolent manner. Churches were being bombed. Buses were being burned by unruly mobs. People were being attacked in the middle of the night and dumped in the rivers in Mississippi and in other places. So to organize--some of the key organizers were being assassinated on their front steps.
So I think younger people that decided that they would take up the banner of continuing the fight to organize for social justice and human rights decided that if they wanted to organize, then they needed to organize in a way in which they could defend theirself. So a lot of organizations sprung up, but one of them was the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.
PERIES: And that was taking up arms to defend themselves against police and, at the time, KKK brutalities that they were also experiencing.
CONWAY: Yes. And it was legal to do that, because the laws in America said that everybody had a right to have weapons. And all the other organizations--the States' Rights Party, the Minutemen, the Nazis, the Ku Klux Klans, every organization was allowed to have weapons. And the individual citizens was riding around with weapons in the back of their truck on gun racks. So the reaction to the Black Panther Party was strictly a racist reaction, and it didn't have anything to do with their legality of us being armed.
PERIES: In addition to the racism, the situation for--African-Americans in urban cities were exasperated by the fact that the jobs that most of them had come to the city to acquire had actually by this time moved out of the cities and into the suburbs, along with white migration out of urban centers. And describe that for us, joblessness, access to housing. And housing at the time was in substandard conditions when it came to African Americans. That added to this desire for a more militant resistance.
CONWAY: Yes, because they--at that time was something we call white flight. Black people were allowed to move in, because of integration, into other neighborhoods. The white residents in those neighborhoods fled to suburbia. A lot of federal money, a lot of money government money was going to build up suburbia, the interstate highways and all the rest of that stuff. And consequently, jobs and factories moved out to those areas. And inner-city people could not get out there, because of lack of transportation or because they were just not desirable as the workforce.
So the community continued to be impoverished. It got more impoverished. And this created a lot of rage and frustration, which led to a lot of conflicts with the police and police brutality, and ultimately riots. And so there was a period from 65 to 70 where there were hundreds and hundreds of riots all across America. Almost every major city had a major riot--as a result of police brutality, primarily, but as a real result of the poverty and the conditions that people were living in.
PERIES: And the levels of poverty you were just talking about were grave. And I don't think enough people today realize the dire poverty that African Americans were living in. I know some stories that I've heard. You know, people actually used to just have one meal a day because they couldn't afford it. And these are the conditions in which you were working and organizing the Black Panther Party here in Baltimore.
CONWAY: Yes. Well, one of the things that we discovered early on was that children were going to school hungry. I mean, this was a national epidemic. And we decided to start free breakfast programs for children. And we had no idea it would be successful. We created those programs, we opened the door. Hundreds of thousands of children came every morning on their own accord to get something to eat, because we learned that if you send children to school hungry, they don't learn anything. They're miserable most of the day, and then they're not going to be very attentive in terms of finding out stuff. And I think that was one of the really--problems of poverty in our community.
But the other problem, which was a major problem, was the lack of health care. The only way you got medical care in the black community during that period was that you had to have some sort of a traumatic event, a wound or injury of--.
PERIES: An emergency.
CONWAY: Emergency. And then you could go to the emergency. Other than that, there was no health insurance for most of the population. There was no way to get medical care. There was no preventive health. So we organized health clinics in the cities and ambulance services. And also at that time, even though it was just beginning, the prison-industrial complex, the prisons were located out in rural white communities, and most family members could not afford to get out there, catch buses, have transportation back and forth, or make those long trips and stay overnight in those what was then very racist kind of communities. So we created free bus services and stuff. So there was a number of things that were going on. So we created a food co-op, say, for instance, because people were running out of food one week before they got their food stamps or whatever. Yeah.
PERIES: So the socialization that took place, I mean, the Black Panther Party is, of course, known for their militancy and taking up arms in order to defend themselves, but there was also a socialization that was taking place through the breakfast programs, and the politics were getting more radical and different than the civil rights movement. And take us through that path of the difference between the politics of the civil rights movement and the politics of the Black Panthers.
CONWAY: Well, the politics of the civil rights movement was pretty much we wanted a piece of the pie. We wanted to live the American dream. We wanted to have a black capitalist society. The Black Panther Party started off at the very beginning and said that this economic social arrangement wasn't working for the majority of poor people in the community and we needed to organize around collective kind of economics or organize where we could talk about economic democracy and we could share the wealth of the community. And we did story after story in the Black Panther Party paper about that.
But what we found out was that in our community, people learned from example. So we organized the resources in the community to feed the children. We showed how you could take the things that was available to us, we could harness those resources and then direct them to solving a problem. And it was socialism by example. And so even though people could read and understand those ideas, they could actually live and see those ideas when they realize that they could collectively pool their resources, get a mass amount of stuff, and then sell it very cheap and undercut the capitalist merchants, say, for instance. And that idea transferred itself into other communities.
And I think that's what made the Black Panther Party a pariah for the government is that the American Indian movement took up those ideas and principles. The Latino group the Brown Berets, they took up that idea. The White Panther Party sprung up, took up that idea. The Young Lords, the Puerto Ricans, they took up that idea. The Asian revolutionary groups, they took up that idea. And the Black Panther Party ideas of collective socialism and so on spread to India. So they end up with New Delhi Panthers. It spread to Australia. They end up with Australian Panthers. New Zealand Panthers. Israeli Panthers, of all things. The Panther Party sprung up in Africa. It sprung up in Europe.
And this became a problem for the American government, because those ideas were rapidly traveling around the globe. But they were also saying that the richest country in the world had a real problem of poverty in large segments of its population, white and black, and that it wasn't racist issue; it was really an economic issue.
PERIES: Let's fast-forward to today. I mean, the conditions that African-Americans were facing at that time--and you look at examples of Ferguson, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, and the list goes on. But some of the conditions that you were facing at that time is still present. You got out of prison 44 years later. The conditions seems to be more or less similar, with perhaps a few games.
What now for the young people that are organizing and working, trying to dismantle this horrid conditions, segregated conditions in large parts of Baltimore? What do you have to say to them?
CONWAY: Well, one, I'm going to disagree about the conditions being similar. No, the conditions are worse.
There is a segment of our population--I'm talking the black population right now--there's a segment of our population that has, quote-unquote, arrived, you know, the P. Diddys, the Oprahs, the Bill Cosbys, the Jay-Zs or Beyoncés, etc., entertainers pretty much or whatever. But for the most part, most of our population is impoverished, unemployed, suffering from drug epidemics. Even those that are working and are working for large places like Walmart or Target and whatnot, they are receiving food stamps. They need food stamps to augment their salaries. So even those hard-working people that work 40 hours a week still can't afford to live in America. So the conditions are far worse. And I think the brutality in Ferguson or Cincinnati or in New York or in Oakland--and there's case after case after case--in Houston, in Baltimore, has gotten completely out of control.
And I think young people today probably need to go back to the basics. They need to organize in their community in ways in which they can create food security. They need to create their own particular jobs. They need to start talking about community control of the police. They need to make a determination of what they can do to gain control of the housing stock, the unused land, etc. But most of all, probably--and I don't know how successful they will be with this, but they need to develop schools and academies, or even reading our study groups, where they can start studying history and studying what's going on and come up with some solutions of what to do.
PERIES: Also, the community control of the media. This is why you're at The Real News.
CONWAY: Yes, yes, yes, because obviously 85 percent of the media now in America is owned by six multinational corporations that certainly don't have the interests of people down on the ground, poor people in particular, at heart. They work in the interests of an elite, and most of the key reporters and stars of those things, they're millionaires theirself. And so they're certainly not going to report the news from the ground. And I think that's what The Real News does, anyway.
PERIES: Eddie, thank you so much for joining us.
CONWAY: Okay. Thank you.
PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
End

Behind America

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Behind America's Store Fronts -- Drugs, Homelessness and Abandonment

In an original TRNN series, conservative residents of the working class town of Westminster, Maryland paint a different political landscape than is depicted in the mainstream media

Bio
Jessica Desvarieux is a multimedia journalist who serves as the Capitol Hill correspondent for the Real News Network. Most recently, Jessica worked as a producer for the ABC Sunday morning program, This Week with Christianne Amanpour. Before moving to Washington DC, Jessica served as the Haiti corespondent for TIME Magazine and TIME.com. Previously, she was as an on-air reporter for New York tri-state cable outlet Regional News Network, where she worked before the 2010 earthquake struck her native country of Haiti. From March 2008 - September 2009, she lived in Egypt, where her work appeared in various media outlets like the Associated Press, Voice of America, and the International Herald Tribune - Daily News Egypt. She graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism with a Master of Science degree in journalism. She is proficient in French, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and has a working knowledge of Egyptian Colloquial Arabic. Follow her @Jessica_Reports.
Transcript
Behind America's Store Fronts -- Drugs, Homelessness and AbandonmentJESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: We're here in the town of Westminster, Maryland. It's about 45 minutes northwest of Baltimore. And here on Main Street, where most business is taking place, the population of about 18,000 residents could be considered working-class. Most of the folks here, they make around $48,000 a year.
And although polls show that in this upcoming election Maryland congressional representation will mostly be in the hands of Democrats, this town votes Republican. In the last presidential election, 66 percent voted for Mitt Romney. So we wanted to start off the series asking one simple question: why? And what issues really matter to the people of Westminster? And do they think the Republican Party is serving their interests?
Ernie's Place has been a staple of Westminster for 35 years. We sat down with Ricky Jones, who was born and raised in this town. He works in the construction industry and said he tends to vote Republican, since the party speaks to the issues that matter to him.
RICKY JONES, WESTMINSTER RESIDENT: The biggest thing here in Westminster is a lot of drugs. A lot of drugs. You see a lot of drug guys standing on the corners selling drugs. You can go anywhere in Westminster city and see it. The police do a great job, but sometimes their hands are tied. You know, they go to court, get their hands slapped or whatever, and the jail's are just so full and stuff that I guess they don't have room for any more. They need to build some more, new jails, I guess.
Definitely a lot of heroin, a lot of crack. I think Westminster's got really bad in the last 20 years, I'd say.
DESVARIEUX: So far this year there have been more than 20 heroin deaths and hundreds of heroin overdoses of young people in Carroll County. Westminster sits in the heart of that county.
To address this problem, the town has built methadone clinics. This is one out of the two clinics built in the last three years.
Jones also said that public assistance is contributing to the destruction of this small town.
JONES: And it should be stopped, really. It's just someone needs to step in and just take control of this and probably save the state of Maryland billions of dollars in a ten-year course. Back in my day, when you couldn't make things meet, you went and got another job. But today it's so much assistance out there that people just say, hey, you know, if I can get it free, why should I have to go work for it?
DESVARIEUX: The number of Westminster residents on public assistance has gone up in the last ten years. For example, since 2000, the number of Carroll County residents receiving temporary cash assistance has jumped 52 percent. A 2012 study by the University of Washington School of Social Work found that it's become more difficult for people to meet costs and more people have had to rely on public assistance. The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Maryland found that costs related to housing, child care, and food have gone up 65 percent in the last ten years. But according to census data, the median income has only gone up 41 percent.
Small business owner Mark Brown says public assistance is necessary but thinks drug testing should be required.
MARK BROWN, WESTMINSTER RESIDENT: Well, personally, I was on DSSI [SSDI (?)], permanent disability, because I got paralyzed. Learned how to walk again, all that good stuff. So, I mean, that was very beneficial. But then, obviously, I'm not on it now.
So it's not supposed to be a crutch, like, that you lean on the rest of your life. You know, as soon as you can get off of it, get off of it. But then you're just talking about people's work ethic. You're talking about people's personality, their character, like, who wants to actually work and feel pride about doing a good day's work, or would just rather be content and laying back and getting welfare. You know.
And then, like, I don't--I've never been on welfare, and I'm not going to put my two cents too much, but there's been talk of drug testing to get on welfare, to stay on welfare. And I know that would be more money in the tests themselves, but then if half the people who are on welfare are on drugs and then they don't get it, there's a lot more money.
DESVARIEUX: Brown said he's on the fence politically and could vote for either a Democrat or Republican. He said especially on the issue of taxes, Republicans don't represent his interests.
BROWN: Taxes are history necessary to fix your roads, to make sure your schools are run properly, pay your teachers, to support the military. I mean, we're in, like, 18 wars or whatever. You know, I'm just joking. But seriously, they've got to eat. They've got to have gun. I mean, it's a necessary evil, where how much--regardless how much I complain, is that going to change that I--I still have to pay taxes. So just accept it and move on. Like, that's it.
DESVARIEUX: Joe Nash has been living in Westminster since the '80s. He said homelessness has been one of his main concerns.
JOE NASH, WESTMINSTER RESIDENT: Some would rather I be a wino or a bum. You know. And, I mean, there's no life there. There's more you can do for yourself. But you've got to want to do it before you can do it.
DESVARIEUX: In 2009, the Rosewood Center Mental Institution closed down. Residents say many patients were just released on the streets.
Also, we found that many residents we spoke to were concerned with unemployment. According to the Maryland Department of Labor, Carroll County's unemployment rate is at 5.8 percent. That's below the Maryland state average of 6.4 percent.
Currently, publisher Penguin Random House is one of the largest private employers in Westminster. Its distribution center employs more than 800 people. Workers are not unionized, and a starting salary in the warehouse pays $8 an hour. Men's apparel retailer JoS. A. Bank has its corporate headquarters in Carroll County. And, also, major defense contractor Northrop Grumman currently employs 400 people.
But major industries in the past ten years have been downsizing. Toolmaker Black & Decker used to employ 2,000 workers, but now only retains a small warehouse and distribution center with 130 employees.
But for Ricky Jones, he said the economy may be in a recession, but it's up to the individual to find work.
JONES: What you growed up with is basically what you're going to be. If your family grew up working hard and they had to work two or three jobs to make ends meet, to feed your children or whatever, they did that. But there's so many families today that's on the systems that don't work, and then their kids see the same thing, and it's like, we don't need to work; you know, mom and dad, they was on this stuff all their lives; let's us be on it. The amount of people that's a couple of years old that's getting disability and stuff like that for their children, you know, how can you do that? It's just way out of hand.
DESVARIEUX: "Way out of hand" is how many residents are describing the issues plaguing this small town. And this just the beginning of a series where we'll take a close look at the issues raised and go back to the residents to show them what we uncover.
Reporting from Westminster, Maryland, this is Jessica Desvarieux for The Real News Network.
End

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  • Guess Who’s Profiting From the Destruction of Gaza
    Guess Who’s Profiting From the Destruction of Gaza October 19, 2014   AFP • Israelis will make $7 billion off rebuilding projects.By Richard Walker —Just when you think you’ve heard it all about Israel’s murderous bombardment of Gaza, you discover there is much more to the tragedy. Yes, there was a massive loss of innocent life and the utter destruction of tens of thousands of homes, schools and public buildings, but it now transpires Israel will profit handsomely from the $7 billion or more it will take to rebuild Gaza over the next 20 years. The scandalous fact is Israel will continue to control the flow of all building materials into Gaza and will insist they must be bought from Israeli companies.An unnamed European Union (EU) official quoted in news outlets said it was outrageous a country that had just demolished 25,000 homes was “demanding its construction industry rebuild them at the expense of the international community.” That rebuilding project will have to include at least 5,000 homes not repaired from the previous Israeli bombardments and replacing Gaza’s only power station, leveled by Israeli missiles.Also to be considered is the damage to agriculture that has left a wasteland of what were once farms. The fishing industry was destroyed and needs to be rebuilt as well as thousands of public buildings and amenities.Even before this latest Israeli aggression, half the population of Gaza was surviving on United Nations (UN) food rations and Israel had frozen all funds to the Hamas government.Another scandal uncovered in documents leaked to the UK’s Guardian newspaper shows the UN is preparing to cede authority to Israel for the rebuilding of Gaza, thereby reinforcing its right to control the transfer of all materials into Palestinian territory and the right to decide what is rebuilt and where.Donate to us“Critics argue that plans for monitoring the import, storage and sales of building materials—including installing video cameras, setting up a team of international inspectors and the creation of a database of suppliers and consumers—are more appropriate for a suspect nuclear program than a postwar reconstruction effort,” reported The Guardian. “The agreement would also cede to Israel the right to approve, and potentially veto, major rebuilding projects, including their location.”Unfortunately, the UN does not clearly speak with one voice on the issue, probably due to pressure from Washington to back what Israel wants. In contrast, the UN chief human rights figure in the region, Pierre Krähenbühl, warned Israel could no longer impose a “collective punishment” on Gaza with a blockade “illegal under international law.”The EU is the one body entirely familiar with how Israelis use the blockade to benefit enormously from aid going to Gaza. In past years, materials shipped from Europe were held up for months in Israeli ports and airports. It was Israel’s way of making the point that if all construction materials were provided by Israeli companies they would get to Gaza on time. It had the effect of EU aid being spent with Israeli outlets. It was and remains a classic scam benefiting the Israeli economy. In this latest rebuilding effort, billions of dollars will flow through Israeli companies in what will be a long, drawn-out and very costly reconstruction process.In the wake of the Gaza tragedy, a further embarrassment for Israel was the Israeli historian Shlomo Sand naming Israel as “one of the most racist societies in the Western world.” Sand said he wanted to cease considering himself a Jew. Writing for The Guardian, he blasted Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.“That oppressed population, which has lived under the occupation for close to 50 years, deprived of political and civil rights, on land that the ‘state of the Jews’ considers its own, remains abandoned and ignored by international politics,” he wrote.He compared Israel’s 47-year occupation of Palestinian land to a mythological serpent that had “swallowed too big a victim but prefers to choke rather than abandon it.”
  • Islamic state 'sells women and child for $12'
    Humiliation replaces fear for the women kidnapped by Isis Widow with child sold for marriage after raiding Isis militants shot her husband and took them into captivity Annabell Van den Berghe in Duhok"The Guardian, Sunday 19 October 2014 18.32 BST" Human Rights Watch believes hundreds of women, many of them Yazidi, are being sold into forced marriages by Isis.They sold Amsha for $12. Other girls and women went for more, much more. But Amsha had a small son and was pregnant with her second child. She had already seen Islamic State (Isis) militants execute her husband in front of her. Now the terror of that crime and the fear of captivity was to be replaced by the indignity and humiliation of being traded like cattle.“A 50-year-old man with a dark beard came to buy me,” she recalls. “From that day on, I didn’t want to live any more.”Amsha is one of hundreds of Yazidi women from northern Iraq captured during Islamic State’s rapid advance this year. Interviews with women who escaped reveal that Isis corralled the women into halls and other detention centres and gradually sold them off to fighters as the spoils of war.Isis said in an online article that it was reviving an ancient custom of enslaving enemies and forcing the women to become wives of victorious fighters.“One should remember that enslaving the families of the [non-believers] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the sharia, that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur’an and the narrations of the prophet,” the article said, adding that mothers were not separated from their young children.For Amsha, the only mercy is that she managed to retain her son, who is 21 months old. He sits on her lap, holding on tightly, as she recounts the story of the past three months.The fighters attacked her town in early August, around sunset. Thousands fled to nearby mount Sinjar, but those who weren’t fast enough faced a fate that was sudden and savage.“When we heard that [Isis] was approaching, we left everything behind and started running,” Amsha says. She and her husband joined a group of tens of other families before they found themselves face to face with Isis.“The men were then separated from their families and we were forced to follow orders from these men who had just captured the village,” she recalls. “They were told to lie down and face the ground. My husband and brother-in-law laid there shoulder to shoulder.”Amsha’s voice cracks as she resurrects a terrible memory. “I thought they would rob them. Steal their phones or something like that.”For a brief moment, Amsha looks up from under her headscarf. It is covering a face full of tears. She plays with the tips of the scarf between her fingers.“But they killed them. They shot them in the head, one by one.”After Amsha witnessed her husband’s death, she was forced alongside other women and girls into one of several minibuses that brought them to Mosul, the Iraqi stronghold of the self-proclaimed caliphate.“I was held prisoner in a dark hall together with hundreds of other women, and girls. Some of them children who were not more than five years old.”For Amsha, it was not the killing of her husband nor the imprisonment that broke her, but the marriage she would be forced to succumb to.“Nobody was allowed to leave the prison, unless they were sold,” she says. “On a daily basis, men entered the room to pick out a girl. First the most beautiful girls, the young ones.”Amsha remembers how mostly Iraqis, but frequently foreigners as well, entered the room to choose themselves a treat. “One day, a 10-year-old got separated from her mother, because a group of men decided to buy the girl. I am constantly worrying for that girl, and all the other girls that are still stuck in that prison.“When the young girls were sold, I knew my time had come,” Amsha says. Her 50-year-old husband, a man called Zaid, was rough with her. “When I didn’t obey, he’d hit me. You can still see the scars on my back,” she says, pointing at her shoulder blades. “He humiliated me to the bone.“I was forced to call my mother to tell her I was married. A shame for our family,” she says.In a recent report, Human Rights Watch said the precise number of women being enslaved and sold into marriage was unknown. But it cited several escaped women saying they had personally seen hundreds in captivity.The principal centres for the trade appear to be the main cities under Isis control – Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.Fred Abrahams, special adviser at Human Rights Watch, said his group had heard of forced religious conversions, forced marriage, sexual assault and slavery, with some of the victims being children. “The Islamic State’s litany of horrific crimes against the Yazidis in Iraq only keeps growing,” he said.Dozens of women have escaped and are in hiding. Amsha is one of them.“Muhanned was thirsty and didn’t stop crying,” she says. “I was banging the door but nobody answered. When I opened the door, I found the guards sleeping,” Amsha says. “I ran away with my son, as fast as I could.”Without knowing which direction to go, she kept running until she met a man who offered his help. “I wasn’t convinced, but what could I do?” Amsha asks rhetorically. “I decided to put my fate in his hands, and he kept his word.”The man smuggled her out of Mosul that week, using his daughter’s papers. But, for Amsha, the ordeal isn’t over.“My parents are happy that I’m here. But I don’t have the courage to continue. At this moment, I only wish to die.”
  • Eurozone fails to benefit from weak currency as oil price slides
    Eurozone fails to benefit from weak currency as oil price slides By Delphine Strauss in London and Claire Jones in Frankfurt "FT" Pity the policy makers given the job of rescuing the eurozone from deflation.The unorthodox steps the European Central Bank has taken since June – including a programme of private-sector asset purchases – have caused a steep fall in the euro. The single currency is down 8.4 per cent against the dollar and 4.75 per cent on a trade-weighted basis from its peaks this year. The weaker exchange rate will ease pressure on the ECB in its fight to raise inflation back to its target of just below 2 per cent. Mario Draghi, the central bank’s president, has said the currency’s earlier strength explains 0.4 percentage points of the fall in inflation since 2012. In that year, prices were growing 2.7 per cent a year.But just as this depreciation is starting to fuel inflation, the ECB must contend with a fall in oil prices that all but wipes out the effect of a sliding currency. A weaker euro should swiftly raise the cost of imported energy. Instead, Brent crude has fallen 9 per cent in euro terms this month alone. This is the main reason why eurozone inflation fell again in September to 0.3 per cent, a five-year low – a figure confirmed by data on Thursday.“The drop in oil prices is a problem for the ECB,” says Marco Valli, an economist at UniCredit, adding, however, that the situation would have been far worse without the single currency’s fall.“The impact on inflation is already visible and significant – if you still had the euro at 1.40 to the dollar, eurozone inflation would probably be zero.”A cheaper euro will also please business leaders who have long called for action to curb the value of the currency. But economists warn it is hard to tell how far this bout of depreciation will help the region’s anaemic recovery.In theory, a rise in company profits should support business investment, hiring and consumption. But analysts warn that the relationship between exchange rates and export volumes is far from clear-cut.In the UK, despite sterling’s plunge at the onset of the global financial crisis, exports only regained their pre-crisis level in 2011. In Japan, profit margins have soared since the central bank launched its large monetary stimulus in 2013, but export volumes have not risen much. There are also doubts over just how much difference the euro’s fall will make to exporters in different countries.“Rich people in the Middle East will continue to buy Mercedes,” Mr Valli argues. “Italian or Spanish companies may care more about price competitiveness . . . if their products have a lower technological content and are more exposed to emerging markets competition.”He estimates that the 5 per cent fall in the trade-weighted exchange rate could add 0.4-0.5 percentage points to eurozone growth, mostly in the first half of next year.But others warn that countries on the southern periphery may be the least likely to benefit from a sliding euro: Jacques Cailloux, an analyst at Nomura, says the French export sector is “structurally damaged” and hence unlikely to benefit much from a cheaper currency.Countries where exports account for a bigger share of gross domestic product stand to gain most. Nomura estimates that a 10 per cent fall in the euro’s effective exchange rate would boost Germany’s GDP by 0.43 percentage points. Italy could benefit almost as much as Germany, but France’s GDP would rise just 0.2 percentage points and Spain would see little change.Moreover, while a weaker euro can give eurozone inflation and growth a one-off leg-up, the effects will dissipate unless they are reinforced by reforms.“A weaker euro is going to help exporters. At the same time, the fall in the price of oil will help offset the rise in the cost of imports,” said Guntram Wolff, director of Bruegel, a think-tank. “But it’s not sufficient – the eurozone needs domestic sources of growth. That’s the big issue.”Analysts point out it would take a much bigger depreciation than the one that has occurred so far to bring eurozone inflation back to the ECB’s target.Instead, last week, the recent rally of the US dollar has stalled, as doubts grow over the future path of US inflation and interest rates. On Wednesday, the euro had its biggest bounce against the greenback in more than a year.“It seems the next front in the global currency war will be a European one,” writes Peter Kinsella, strategist at Commerzbank.
  • François Hollande’s reform road is long, slow and tortuous
    François Hollande’s reform road is long, slow and tortuous By Hugh Carnegy in Paris "FT" France’s president has accelerated change, but too slowly to avoid a clash with Brussels over deficit reductionIf you want to make a coach journey from Paris to Perpignan in southern France, you have to take a bus going to Barcelona, in neighbouring Spain. And if the allocation for domestic passengers is full, strictly speaking you cannot travel, even if there are free seats on the bus.Such is the state of regulation in France of passenger road transport, a legacy of protection of the railway system that in effect prohibits domestic intercity coach services. That is set to change under a dose of deregulation promised last week by Emmanuel Macron, the thirtysomething economy minister and former Rothschild banker who is leading President François Hollande’s belated drive to tackle structural reforms long urged on France by its European partners and the panoply of international economic institutions.The need for reform has never been more pressing, not simply because of the lack of growth in Europe’s second-largest economy. A convincing reform programme is essential if Mr Hollande is to have any chance over the next few weeks of persuading the European Commission in Brussels, and especially Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, to accept yet another delay in France meeting its budget deficit obligations.Government insiders say they are confident of avoiding a big bust-up with Brussels and Berlin over the budget, which postpones France meeting the EU deficit limit of 3 per cent of national output until 2017. “It is not in anyone’s political interest,” says one official.But Mr Hollande’s case is hampered by the slow pace of reform he has so far enacted, which he moved to accelerate in January.So what are the prospects? The pillar of the government’s efforts to date is the so-called responsibility pact, which groups tax cuts for business due to be worth €40bn by 2017 to restore France’s damaged competitiveness. This started out in late 2012 with a tax credit set to be worth €20bn a year. So far this year it has delivered just €8bn, according to official figures.A plan is under way to reduce the number of regional authorities to make the multi-layered local government structure more efficient; a series of programmes is in the works to simplify business bureaucracy; some flexibility has been introduced into the hiring and firing process for companies.There was encouragement for Mr Hollande from a study released last week by the OECD, the club of mainly rich countries, showing that these measures, along with other deregulation steps, would boost output by 1.6 per cent in five years and 3.7 per cent in a decade. Not negligible for an economy forecast to grow just 0.4 per cent this year and 1 per cent in 2015."In other words, we are in for six months of talking, announcements, progress and backtracking"- Bruno Cavalier, Oddo SecuritiesTweet this quoteBut the results are painfully slow in coming – and the OECD stressed that much more needs to be done. Mr Macron moved to up the momentum last week. Along with allowing intercity bus services, he promised deregulation covering the retail sector, the legal profession, the pharmacy trade, employee share incentives and others.But legislation on these is not due to be passed until next year. “In other words, we are in for six months of talking, announcements, progress and backtracking,” wrote Bruno Cavalier of the Paris broker Oddo Securities in a note to clients.The government is also hesitant in the face of the really big issue: reform of the highly regimented labour market. This challenge was spelt out by Jean Tirole, France’s newly crowned Nobel economics prize winner. The labour market, with more than 10 per cent jobless, was “catastrophic”, he declared, pointing particularly at the dual contract system that discourages permanent employment, especially for the young.Prof Tirole called for an overhaul of the system – similar to the one approved by the Italian parliament last week – as long ago as 2003. But Mr Hollande has given little indication of being willing to take on the unions over the issue.Mr Macron and Manuel Valls, the reformist prime minister, have meanwhile called for action on the other big labour market issue – overhauling the unemployment benefit system to increase incentives to work. But that has provoked furious reaction across the ruling Socialist party. Any negotiations are unlikely before next year, and possibly not until 2016.The road to reform in France is proving as tortuous as trying to take a long-distance bus.
  • US Economy Safety Margin Tested as Oil Prices Go Down
    US Economy Safety Margin Tested as Oil Prices Go Down Alexander DONETSKY | 20.10.2014 | 00:00 "Strategic Culture Foundation" Oil prices fluctuations is a routine matter for world economy. After the abrupt fall in 2009 sparked by global financial crisis, the «black gold» spiked to over 100 dollars a barrel to stay stable in February 2011 to September 2014.The current 20% price fall with the volume of sales remaining the same results in only 5,8-5,9% profit fall for Russia because in 2013 the oil accounted for only 29, 1% of all its national exports. A large part of oil income does not go straight to the budget but to the National Reserve Fund and the National Wealth Fund. The export duties make up 18-36% of the price. The resource rent from extraction also goes to the funds. As a result, the 20% price results in 2-3 % of the total volume of exports.The funds mentioned above are not parts of the state budget. The Reserve Fund (3 544, 83 billion rubles) and the Wealth Fund with 3 276, 79 billion rubles - the both figures as of October 2014 - are fed from the same sources as the budget but the income is nominated in foreign bonds and currencies. In fact, the funds provide Russian investments into other countries’ economies. The fall of prices does not affect the economy of Russia but rather the economies of the countries the funds invest into by buying the bonds.The situation has changed a bit recently. President Putin has taken a decision to redirect the income flows from the funds to the Russian state budget to spur the national economy.* * *Normally the fall of oil prices is explained by great powers economic slowdowns, the increase of production by exporters or the forecasts predicting an emergence of a powerful actor able to dump the prices.Stock exchange rates immediately react to US economic indexes, but it’s not the case. According to Federal Reserve System’s report issued just a few days ago, the US economy goes through moderate, though not bright, economic growth against the background of much more vibrant rise in other countries.The European Union is going through rather hard times sparked by the US-imposed sanctions against Russia. There is no significant economic growth in Europe. The further pressure exerted by the United States and possible retaliatory measures taken by Russia may deteriorate the situation to make another European economic crisis a reality.Some time ago China was reported to overtake the U.S. to become the world's largest economy in accordance with the International Monetary Fund estimates (the analysis is based on one data point that recasts GDP based on consumer purchasing power adjusted for local prices and wages). It means that one of the largest oil consuming economies continues to make progress, so the exporters of «black gold» have nothing to worry about.The increase of Russian oil production could not affect the world prices much because the extraction grew by only 1, 2% during the recent 9 months. In September, when the oil prices fell to the lowest level, the OPEC production increased by only 1, 3%.There is one more factor to influence the price – an alleged emergence of a competitor using dumping tactics. In theory there is one - the US companies involved in shale oil extraction. The US oil producers say the reserves are enough to last for 200 years (58 billion tons). The Russian reserves are estimated to be 75 billion tons. In the near future neither Russia, nor the United States with its shale energy boom can increase the volume of sold oil to produce a significant price fall.Then there is only one cause left – politics. We saw it in the 1970s. Arab states brought down the oil prices as a result of US pressure inflicting huge losses on the Soviet budget. Almost each and everything became a deficit for Soviet citizens. I wouldn’t like to accuse the United States it is doing the same thing without a substantiated reason, but this situation is pretty similar to what happened then. The Cold War against Russia appears to return, there are attempts made to suffocate it economically by delivering a strike to affect the people’s well-being.* * *Speaking at the ASEM forum in Milan, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the world economy will not sustain oil prices at around 80 dollars per barrel. He is confident that in a short time the price of oil settles, adjusts, because «none of the market participants are interested in the price drops below $ 80». Putin also reminded that the Russian budget is planned on the basis of $96 per barrel. «In any case, I want to stress that Russia, the Russian Government, will undoubtedly fulfil all its social obligations. We have enough of a safety margin. Maybe we will need to adjust something in the budget. Maybe. Maybe we will even reduce some of our spending. But this will certainly not involve cuts in social spending. The Government of the Russian Federation will fulfil all its social obligations, and it is capable of doing this without any particular losses», said the President.80 dollars a barrel is not only a psychological index. For many OPEC members the further fall of prices may entail significant budget cuts and the following deterioration of living standards. Social instability is a direct threat to a state.Of course, China will benefit in case the energy prices go down but it does not serve the United States and Europe’s interests as they have become the consumers of China-produced commodities since a long time ago. It will hinder the plans to re-industrialize the United States and the European Union.US shale oil producers will suffer most. According to experts’ estimates, the cost of production is around 80-90 dollars a barrel, 4-5 times more than the traditional oil. It means that the current price – 85 dollars a barrel as of October 17 – makes the companies operate in the red. Some producers will have to suspend operations facing mass bankruptcy in case the oil price falls lower than 80 dollars as shareholders start getting rid of zero profit bonds. The shale oil «soap bubble» will blow like the housing construction industry «bubble» blew in 2008. Of course, as time goes by oil prices will go up but it’ll be a different world with some US oil producers non-existent anymore…* * *The oil has more negative surprises for the US, or the oil dollar to make it more precise. Prominent US trader Jim Sinclair called it the only valuable thing in the world. He believes that Russia can retaliate to badly damage the dollar, «Russia could retaliate in a way that would have a phenomenal impact on the U.S. dollar... Russia has the upper hand. They have it in their ability to turn the U.S. economy upside down and into collapse». Actually that’s what is happening: the fall of oil price calculated in dollars took place simultaneously with the rise of the dollar rate to ruble benefiting Russian exporters who spend rubles not dollars. They win big. Russia has made the first tentative deals to sell energy in rubles to China. China has concluded a number of agreements switching from dollar to national currencies. The recent BRICS summit decided to switch to national currencies in mutual payments.Nobody is interested in the impetuous collapse of US economy as a result of the dollar being pushed aside from the position of world reserve currency because the world financial system may go down crumbling. That’s why Russia and China are implementing the plan to create a new world reserve currency without haste and unneeded excitement responding to the US attempts to destabilize international situation by unleashing the full-scale war in Ukraine, making fall the oil prices critically important for Russian budget and staging the unrest in Hong Kong. As the sanctions were introduced, some Russian banks have already switched to Chinese banks granting credits in yuan and supporting the Chinese national UnionPay system as an alternative to US Visa and MasterCard.
  • Economic Jihad Waged on Russia
    U.S. Using Oil to Punish Russia October 19, 2014 AFP • Geopolitical machinations in the oil market benefiting Americans at the pump.By Dave Gahary —With its sanctions regime failing against Russia, is Washington now trying to wage economic war on the Russian government by pressuring its allies in the Middle East to keep crude oil prices at the lowest levels seen in years?As the price of oil continues its four-month swoon to almost $80 a barrel from $104 at the start of the summer, news out of New York last week that Saudi Arabia will not interfere with the price decline is good news for American motorists, but bad news for Russia, whose economy is dependent upon crude priced at $100 per barrel or more.The Saudi move, which is counter to the interests of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), may be in response to pressure applied to the Mideast kingdom by Washington, to assist their failing sanctions regime against the Russian Federation. Russia relies heavily on oil revenues to fill government coffers.Pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine this year precipitated U.S. and European Union (EU) economic sanctions against Russia and Ukraine, the latter responding with their own sanctions, including a total ban on food imports from the U.S., EU, Canada, Australia and Norway.Donate to usOn Sunday, October 12, 2014, the vice president of Russian oil giant Rosneft, which is majority-owned by the Government of Russia, took a swipe at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s move and suggested the U.S. was pulling their strings and that the American- and Israeli-created “terrorist” group, Islamic State, aka ISIS, is also playing a part.“Prices can be manipulative,” Mikhail Leontyev said. “First of all, Saudi Arabia has begun making big discounts on oil. This is political manipulation, and Saudi Arabia is being manipulated, which could end badly. The second factor is the stolen [Islamic State] oil, which reaches the market through Turkey and Israel with a triple discount. It is not much, but it is stolen, so it is cheap.”Crude oil tumbled nearly 5% on Tuesday, October 14, 2014, “its biggest drop in more than two years,” to $81.84 a barrel, and its “biggest percentage drop since November 2012 and the lowest settlement since June 28, 2012.” Petroleum analysts blame anemic demand from Europe and China and the booming U.S. shale oil industry, which has “pushed [oil] production to its highest level since the 1980s.” Global markets are figuratively swimming in a glut of crude, as “Libya’s production has recovered strongly,” and “Iraq’s oilfields have remained insulated from the violence in the north.” Shale is sedimentary rock that contains shale oil which has become an increasingly important source of oil in the U.S.Helping to accelerate the slide in oil prices, on Tuesday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) cut its oil demand forecast, saying that in 2015 it “will grow far slower than previously forecast,” and that OPEC “may no longer be willing or able to adjust production as the market has been transformed by the U.S. shale oil revolution,” when it meets next on November 27 “to discuss output policies and whether to act to stem the price slide.” The IEA was created after U.S. support for the Zionist state of Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur war brought on the Arab oil embargo and subsequent crisis.“At current production levels,” said the IEA in its monthly report, “supply growth will outstrip demand growth and this is adding to the current negative sentiment in the market.”How far the oil decline will go is anyone’s guess, but “some think oil prices don’t have much further to fall, because the price is too close to the cost of drilling.”“If we get to the price point where it’s not profitable to operate marginal wells, that’s going to provide a bit of a price floor in terms of the oil market,” said an economist and portfolio manager interviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
  • The Ebola Enigma
    The Ebola Enigma October 19, 2014 AFP • Former CIA insider warned of staged Ebola outbreak.• Academic alleges EVD a result of bio-terror experiment.By Victor Thorn —There has been a lot of talk that the mainstream media is exaggerating the threat to the United States from the African Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic so that the U.S. government can impose draconian new medical decrees on the American public. There can be no doubt that strange things are occurring.On October 9, at an International Monetary Fund/World Bank Group annual meeting in Washington, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Thomas R. Friedan, who has been under fire from Congress for his handling of the Ebola crisis, compared EVD to the 1980s HIV/AIDS [human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome] epidemic. The day before, near North Carolina’s Marine Corps Air Station New River, U.S. Marines and Navy corpsmen held the largest pandemic outbreak drills in their history. And, finally, World Health Organization Assistant Director General Dr. Bruce Aylward warned on September 16, “This [Ebola] health crisis we’re facing is unparalleled in modern times.”Despite these alarming developments, a number of researchers are convinced that EVD shock stories are being exploited to further the global government’s nefarious agenda. One of these doubters is Jeff Murray, a researcher and businessman who belonged to the same research group as former Los Angeles Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Ted Gunderson.Murray told this reporter on October 8: “In September, Robert David Steele, a former CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] clandestine services case officer, predicted that a staged Ebola outbreak would ensue within a few weeks. His timing was perfect.”Steele was referring to the case of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person in the U.S. to come down with Ebola.“Considering Steele’s status within the CIA, when someone says things that are potentially detrimental to their well-being, we should pay attention,” added Murray.During a September 18 interview, Steele, who ran for president in 2012 on the Reform Party ticket, said: “The false flag I’m hearing about is a simulated Ebola attack in which they use biochemical weapons that dissipate, but then pretend it’s Ebola.”Earlier, on September 9, Dr. Cyril E. Broderick, a Delaware State University (DSU) associate professor in the agriculture and natural resources department, revealed to the Liberian Observer, Liberia’s largest newspaper, that Ebola resulted from bioterrorism experiments initiated by the U.S. Department of Defense. Since then, Broderick has been attacked by the usual suspects for being a “conspiracy theorist,” but a DSU spokesman said, “The university is not going to abridge his First Amendment rights to give his opinion about the issues of the day.”Murray believes there is merit in Broderick’s speculation.______________________________________________________________________TheHotZoneRSThe Ebola virus kills nine out of 10 of its victims so quickly and gruesomely that even biohazard experts are terrified. It is airborne, it is extremely contagious and, in the winter of 1989, it seemed about to burn through the suburbs of Washington, D.C.At Fort Detrick’s Army research facility outside the nation’s capital, a SWAT team of soldiers and scientists wearing biohazard suits was organized to stop the outbreak of the exotic “hot” virus. The grim operation went on in secret for 18 days and has been covered up ever since.THE HOT ZONE: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus tells this dramatic story in depth, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their threat to the human race. From a remote African cave hot with Ebola virus, to an airplane over Africa that is carrying a sick passenger who dissolves into a virus bomb, to the confines of a military lab where scientists risk their lives studying substances that could kill them horribly, THE HOT ZONE describes situations that a few years ago would have been taken for science fiction.As the rain forests of the world are destroyed, unknown viruses that have lived there for eons are entering human populations. The implications for the future of the human species are terrifying, yet science might not be able to save us next time.Horror writer and amateur historian Stephen King said, “The first chapter of THE HOT ZONE is one of the most horrifying things I’ve read in my life—and then it gets worse. That’s what I keep marveling over: it keeps getting worse. What a remarkable piece of work.”Softcover, 320 pages, $24Buy Book Button______________________________________________________________________“We’ve seen an endless stream of false flags. The people behind this orchestrated panic have a plan, and they’re moving on it,” said Murray. “I don’t believe a word that comes from politicians or the mainstream media’s propaganda machine, especially when they try to perpetually keep us in reactionary mode.”And if that’s not enough, Naomi R. Wolf, the well-known author of the bestselling book The End of America, caused quite a stir on October 4 by claiming that U.S. troops dispatched to Liberia weren’t intended to combat Ebola but to militarize the African continent. Ms. Wolf’s original Facebook post has apparently been removed by her.This possibility is particularly interesting in light of President Barack Hussein Obama sending 3,000 troops to Africa in mid-September to establish a military command center in Liberia.Murray viewed such a move with suspicion.“China has already staked a claim in Africa,” he said. “Is the Obama administration using this disaster as a way to follow suit in order to get Africa’s natural resources? These missions always begin under the guise of ‘humanitarian aid’ before turning into a military operation.”Economically, Africa may soon become the planet’s most prized battleground. With its population expected to double by 2050, could a two-pronged approach be at hand where massive numbers of citizens are eliminated by a fatal pandemic while superpower nations seize African land?China certainly sees the potential.In 2009 China surpassed the U.S. as Africa’s largest trading partner. China has also tapped into an unlimited wealth of low-priced labor as well as constructing infrastructure that includes power stations, telecom outlets, highways and railroads. Even more prized are Sudan’s vast oil fields that China covets to satisfy its energy needs.Putting this matter into perspective, activist and 2004 Socialist presidential candidate Bill Van Auken wrote on September 17, “The militarized response to the deadly epidemic has underscored Washington’s increasingly heavy reliance on its residual military superiority in what has become a second “scramble for Africa,” pitting the U.S. against China in a struggle for control of the continent’s markets and resources.”If the Ebola epidemic is real, as the Obama administration claims, why haven’t they sealed the U.S. southern border and restricted flights from African airports into this country? On October 9, Border Patrol agents apprehended an East African man illegally crossing the Rio Grande Valley border sector. Although this criminal hadn’t contracted EVD, Border Patrol Agent Albert Spratte complained about the Obama administration’s refusal to deter illegal aliens.“I can’t imagine what will happen when we get a real case of Ebola,” Spratte said. “We simply are not equipped to handle it.”These dangers crossing America’s southern border are real, former CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson wrote on October 4. Take the mysterious enterovirus respiratory illness, which has popped up in 43 states. The spread of that virus follows in close proximity to the 50,000-plus Central American illegal aliens who have been secretly relocated throughout many American states. Ms. Attkisson wrote that Obama’s cronies will not divulge where these illegals are currently being housed.Obama has shirked his responsibility to protect the American public by not urging the Federal Aviation Administration to place a travel ban on Africans. Hundreds of airline cabin cleaners at New York’s LaGuardia Airport walked off the job in protest on October 9, saying that they have been forced to clean vomit, blood and other bodily fluids in restrooms where they could be exposed to Ebola from African flyers.A final claim about the Ebola pandemic questions if top-level Big Pharma elitists want to exploit the fearmongering around Ebola in order to profit from mandatory Ebola vaccinations. Amid the frenzy surrounding alleged anthrax mailings following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, sales of the antibiotic Cipro skyrocketed 1,000%.
  • UK finally sanctions Qatari's Islamic terror funder – 10 months after US
    UK finally sanctions Qatari terror funder – 10 months after US By RT The UK has added a Qatari financier to its sanctions list - 10 months after he was blacklisted as a ‘global terrorist’ by the US. The British government now faces scrutiny over its sanctions regime and calls to tighten up.Abd Al-Rahman Bin Umayr Al-Nuaymi is accused of sending £1.25 million ($2.1 million) a month to jihadists in Iraq at one stage, as well as £375,000 ($603,466) to an Al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria. He also sent money to Al-Shabaab in Somalia and other terrorist groups in the Middle East. Al-Nuaymi was at one time an advisor to the Qatari government, the Sunday Telegraph reports.The decision 10 days ago by the UK Treasury to slap sanctions on Al-Nuaymi means any of his assets in the UK will be frozen, and British banks or foreign banks with offices in the UK will be barred from doing business with him.The move follows the Stop the Funding of Terror Campaign by the UK newspaper, the Sunday Telegraph. It’s designed to make government ministers turn the screw on Qatar and other Gulf states accused of turning a blind eye to their citizens accused of funding terrorism.The US sanctioned Al-Nuaymi in December last year and branded him a “global terrorist”. The British government’s comparatively tardy response has led to questions. MPs have warned the delay in barring terrorist financiers from Britain could mean others have slipped under the radar.Al-Nuaymi was “considered among the most prominent Qatar-based supporters of Iraqi Sunni extremists” and “reportedly oversaw the transfer of over $2 million per month to Al-Qaeda in Iraq for a period of time,” said the US Treasury Department.Al-Nuaymi is by no means an isolated case: five other Qataris have been blacklisted by the US, but are still free to do business in the UK and use British banks.READ MORE: RT exclusive: From London banker to ISIS militant - one man's terror trailREAD MORE: US imposes anti-terror financial sanctions on 21 individuals, 3 companiesThe Prime Minster David Cameron has come under pressure in recent days to deal with the UK’s lax sanctions regime. During a meeting of Conservative MPs on Tuesday night, Cameron said it was “unequivocal” that there should be no differences between the US and UK anti-terrorist sanctions.But the Treasury select committee is considering if a full investigation needs to be launched into why the UK has not properly sanctioned the Qatari terrorist financier, The Telegraph reports.The spotlight is on the commercial secretary of the Treasury, Lord Deighton, who as well as overseeing the sanctions regime is also leading efforts to attract investment to the UK from Qatar, Kuwait and other wealthy Gulf States. Qatar owns Harrods, the famous London department store, and co-owns the London Shard, Western Europe’s tallest building.A series of investigations by the Sunday Telegraph have revealed that Gulf states, which have major trade links to Britain, have been “turning a blind eye” to individuals thought to finance jihadists, some of whom have close links to the regimes of these countries.But whereas seven of these individuals have been blacklisted by the US, only two of them have been added to the UK Treasury’s sanctions list.Stephen Barclay, a Conservative MP, has written to the prime minister’s chief of staff Ed Llewellyn to explain the situation. Llewellyn apparently agreed to examine the situation.“Parliament does need to be told why a known funder of global terrorism, on whom there was already considerable evidence, was not included in the UK sanctions list for 10 months,” wrote Barclay.Labour MP John Mann went further and suggested Lord Deighton’s responsibilities should be split, so he was no longer trying to attract billions of investment to the UK from the Gulf, while at the same time overseeing sanctions.“The roles should be split and the government should give the responsibility for financial sanctions to somebody else,” said Mann.READ MORE: ISIS daily profits from oil, theft, human trafficking exceed $3mn – reportREAD MORE: ISIS ‘making millions’ out of stolen oil revenues in IraqA spokesman for the Treasury said most sanctions are imposed through the European Union and the UN. The Qatari government denies it turns a blind eye to terrorist funding.Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah, the Qatari foreign minister, told the Telegraph he did not “in any way” support those “terrorizing innocent civilians and destabilizing the Middle East.”He added that the Qatari finance ministry worked closely with other governments and international security forces to counter terrorist financing.
  • Germany’s intel agency says MH17 downed by Ukraine militia – report
    Germany’s intel agency says MH17 downed by Ukraine militia – report By RT Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency says a local militia shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine in July, Der Spiegel reports. The BND is said to possess “ample evidence," though none of it has been made public.The statement was made on October 8, when Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) president Gerhard Schindler was holding a secret meeting with members of the parliamentary control committee, the German daily reported on Sunday.He claimed the militia fired a rocket from a BUK defense missile system which it had captured from a Ukrainian base. It then exploded next to the plane, according to the report.“Schindler provided ample evidence to back up his case, including satellite images and diverse photo evidence,” the report added.However, no “evidence” has yet been made public, and the BND has not made any official statements on the matter.READ MORE: $30mn bounty set to identify who shot down MH17 in UkraineAt the same meeting, Schindler reportedly said that certain intelligence on the crash provided by the Ukrainian side was false, adding that “this can be explained in detail.” However, he did not give much credit to Russia’s evidence either.The German Federal Prosecutor's Office told the newspaper that an investigation has been launched into unknown perpetrators under the possibility that the downing had been a war crime. President of the German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) Gerhard Schindler.(Reuters / Michaela Rehle)First deputy prime minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Andrey Purgin, refuted claims made by the German intelligence agency. He told Interfax that Kiev forces could have downed the plane, mistaking it for a spy jet.Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was downed over eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 passengers and crew. Nearly two-thirds of the passengers were from the Netherlands.The ongoing international probe led by the Dutch has not yet established who the perpetrators were. A preliminary report issued in September said only that the plane crashed as a result of structural damage caused by a “large number of high-energy objects" that struck from outside.READ MORE: No haste in MH17 tragedy probe despite media hype, Lavrov saysPolitical analyst Aleksandar Pavic told RT that he believes Berlin is trying to influence the Dutch investigation – the results of which are to be released next year.“Germany has now the obligation to show the evidence to the official investigation,” he said. “This is like during trial: if you release bits and pieces of evidence before while the trial is still ongoing, you are trying to influence the outcome of the trial.”Russia has been repeatedly denied accusations, mostly from the US, which claim that Moscow was connected to the tragedy in some way or another. The Russian Foreign Ministry has called Washington’s accusations “unsubstantiated innuendos."The US State Department has accused Russia of firing artillery across the border into Ukrainian territory after the plane crash.“We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine, and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters during a briefing in July. But she refused to provide any evidence when grilled by an Associated Press reporter.Meanwhile, Moscow has posed a series of questions to the US that have been left unanswered. Russian military officials urged their US colleagues to release satellite images that prove their claims. Members of the recovery team work at the site where the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, October 13, 2014. (Reuters / Shamil Zhumatov)"If our US colleagues have imagery from this satellite, they should release it for the international community to examine it in detail. This may be a coincidence, but the US satellite flew over Ukraine at exactly the same time when the Malaysian airliner crashed,” a ministry spokesman said in a July statement.READ MORE:10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crashThe US has accused local militia forces of shooting down the plane. However, it has provided little to no evidence in support of such claims.Following the crash, Harf was asked at a press briefing if the US could back up its claims regarding the role of such militias in the tragedy. Harf responded that she “can’t get into the sources and methods behind it” and “can’t tell you what the information is based on.”In late July, the US State Department released satellite images via email, claiming the pictures acted as “evidence” that Russia was firing rockets at Ukrainian troops across the border. The images were posted on Twitter by the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. Russia’s Defense Ministry said the authenticity of the images was impossible to prove.Meanwhile, Russia has said that its military detected a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet gaining height towards the MH17 Boeing on the day of the catastrophe. No explanation was given by Kiev as to why the military plane was flying so close to a passenger aircraft.
  • ‘Even animals don’t do it’: Kobani siege survivors on ISIS brutality
    ‘Even animals don’t do it’: Kobani siege survivors on ISIS brutality By RT A Kurdish activist and his wife, who have witnessed ISIS atrocities in Kobani for several months and documented some on photo and video, met RT’s Murad Gazdiev to speak about what they’ve seen.On the ISIS front line with RT's correspondentsBazran Halil, a Kurdish rights activist and freelance journalist briefly crossed into Turkey with his wife from Kobani for an interview. His laptop is full of graphic videos, lending credence to rumors of the Islamic State’s (IS, or ISIS, or ISIL) trademark brutality.“There was a man with Down Syndrome,” he says. “He couldn’t understand the situation, to flee, or to run away from the frontline. When ISIS arrived they beheaded him and took photos, shared them on social media and said ‘we killed an atheist, a Kaffir’.” Bazran alleges the IS militants used chemical weapons. To prove the case, he provided pictures from a Kobani morgue with bodies reportedly burnt by white phosphorous.No matter how small the injury, death is almost certain, according to the activist, who says the victims literally burn from the inside out once the chemical enters their blood stream Bazran’s wife, Raushan, says it’s horror not merely fear, which the IS inspires in Syrian.“For smoking, they chop your fingers off,” she says. “Drinking is punished by jail. And if a woman is seen in the company of a man who is not her relative, she is stoned to death.” Raushan also described the way the Islamic State trains new fighters.“In May, 9th year pupils went to Aleppo for examinations,” she said.“The Jihadists kidnapped all the boys, confined them to a mosque and made them study Sharia Law. Those who did not learn the Koran quickly enough were shocked with electric cables.”“Animals never do this,” Bazran concludes.Having spent a week in Turkey, Bazran and his wife are now heading back to Syria to continue their journalist work in Kobani, which, despite having been retaken by Kurdish forces this week, is far from peace and stability.