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Journal Archives

Putin: US-China Trade War Offers Great Opportunities for Russia

Published time: 28 Nov, 2018 14:00
Edited time: 28 Nov, 2018 14:53

The escalating trade friction between the United States and China is opening the door for Russian producers to enter the Chinese market, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the global investment forum in Moscow on Wednesday.

“According to WTO estimates, the mutual restrictions recently imposed by G20 countries reduced global trade by almost $500 billion. Is anyone interested in this, including such a large economy as the US? For us this creates certain opportunities,” Putin said, explaining that Russia will supply soybeans to China instead of the US.

“The United States supplied in huge quantities, now we will deliver. We agreed with our Chinese friends that we’ll supply poultry meat and some other goods. But in fact the Americans themselves voluntarily abandoned this market, a very huge one..,” the Russian president stressed.

Washington and Beijing have been locked in a standoff over the trade balance, technology secrets and market access since May, when US President Donald Trump approved tariff hikes on billions worth of Chinese imports. So far, Washington has imposed import duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods, while Beijing retaliated with levies on $60 billion of US imports, and stopped buying American oil.


Siding With Fascism: Western Ideologues Pose Greater Threat To The West's Security Than ISIS

by John WigBy
Published time: 29 Nov, 2018 13:09

A Western ideologue unravelling is no pretty sight. It’s like watching a lobster boiling in a pot. And like that lobster he or she eventually pops.

‘Popping’ recently over Russia have been key figures of the Western geopolitical and ideological firmament – people for whom the world is made of a Western bloc of nations divinely ordained to command, and the rest of the world condemned to obey.

A prime example of what I mean concerns the Atlantic Council in Washington, one of the more notorious of an ever expanding network of neocon think tanks in our world, within whose Washington offices you will find gathered cranks of inordinate dimension.

For such people Russia is not a country of 146 million people whose contribution to the world in the fields of art, science, culture and so on has been profound throughout its history and remains so today, but instead is a cancer that needs to be removed – preferably by force.

Take Mr Anders Aslund – economist, author and senior crank/fellow at the Atlantic Council. His outpouring of vituperation in response to the Kerch Strait incident involving Russia and Ukraine – calling for the West and NATO to “react sharply before it is too late” – is redolent of a man suffering emotional and psychological meltdown.


By Undermining Russia's Use of Dollar US 'Shooting Itself Not in The Foot But A Bit Higher' - Putin

Published time: 28 Nov, 2018 11:45
Edited time: 28 Nov, 2018 15:04

Russia is moving away from the US dollar, but not to the detriment of its own interests, Russian President Vladimir Putin said while speaking at the global investment forum in Moscow on Wednesday.
The Russian president called on the United States to abandon the policy of unilateral sanctions and seek common ground.

“We are not setting the target of moving away from the dollar – the dollar is moving away from us, and those who take respective (sanctions) decisions are shooting themselves not just in the foot, but slightly higher, as such instability in calculations in dollars creates a desire of many global economies to find alternative reserve currencies and create settlement systems independent of the dollar,” Putin said.

The Russian economy has adapted to difficulties and is feeling confident; investors have no doubts about its stability, added Putin.

“I think, there is an understanding that despite any crises and even artificially-created difficulties, the Russian economy is adapting to these difficulties, feeling confident, creating conditions for its own internal development,” said the Russian president.


Trump Vows Devastating Counterpunch To Angry Mueller Gang of Dems

Published time: 29 Nov, 2018 03:00
Edited time: 29 Nov, 2018 04:28

Donald Trump has threatened to deliver a devastating blow to his critics by declassifying documents related to Robert Mueller’s probe unless his political opponents stop harassing witnesses into lying about Russia collusion.
After securing the majority in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, the Democrats have vowed to launch investigations on a wide range of topics involving the administration, including Trump’s alleged attempts to influence the ongoing Russia probe. The Republican president, who earlier warned of a “war-like posture” if his opponents continue to gang-up on him, stressed on Wednesday that he is ready to challenge this “harassment.”

“If they go down the presidential harassment track, if they want go and harass the president and the administration, I think that would be the best thing that would happen to me,” Trump told the New York Post.
I’m a counterpuncher and I will hit them so hard they’d never been hit like that.

As a means of getting back at his opponents, Trump said he could declassify documents from Robert Mueller’s probe, the public release of which was shelved on Presidential orders in September.

“I think that would help my campaign. If they want to play tough, I will do it. They will see how devastating those pages are,” Trump stated, noting that it would be “more powerful” to release the documents when the new Congress takes over next year.

In September the White House said it would declassify the Russian probe documents –including surveillance warrant applications on former campaign adviser Carter Page– before Trump announced the delay of their release due to their sensitive intelligence content. Democrats and the intelligence community have both opposed declassifying the documents, saying that would interfere with Mueller’s probe into Trump's alleged collusion with Russia.


Twitter Suspends Account It Says "Impersonated" Russia's Putin

(Reuters) - Twitter Inc said on Wednesday that it suspended an account for impersonating Russian President Vladimir Putin on the social media platform.

"We suspended @putinRF_eng for impersonation based on a valid report we received from Russian officials," Twitter said Wednesday.

Twitter spokesman Ian Plunkett said in an email that the suspended account was not affiliated with Putin.

According to archived images of the account, it was created in November 2012, had about 1 million followers and mainly posted official government links to Putin’s public appearances.


It's Been One of the Most Miserable Starts to Winter on Record

By Jonathan Erdman

It's already one of the coldest and snowiest starts to the winter season in parts of the Northeast, Midwest and Plains, and we haven't finished November yet.

According to the Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index (AWSSI) from the Midwest Regional Climate Center, 74 cities from New England to the Plains and Rockies have seen an extreme season-to-date of cold and snow as of Nov. 27.

This index takes into account the "intensity and persistence of cold weather, the frequency and amount of snow and the amount and persistence of snow on the ground," the Midwest Regional Climate Center says. Wind and mixed precipitation, such as freezing rain, are not a part of the index.

The index uses five categories – mild, moderate, average, severe and extreme – to rate the severity of winter weather in cities across the U.S.

Winter Storm Avery hit New York City and the Barclays Center just prior to a game between the New York Islanders and the New York Rangers on Nov. 15, 2018 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. (John McCreary/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Winter Storm Avery hit New York City and the Barclays Center just prior to a game between the New York Islanders and the New York Rangers on Nov. 15, 2018 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
(John McCreary/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


Supreme Court Poised To Limit Police Power To Seize Property...

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court left little doubt Wednesday that it would rule that the Constitution’s ban on excessive fines applies to the states, an outcome that could help an Indiana man recover the $40,000 Land Rover police seized when they arrested him for selling about $400 worth of heroin.

A decision in favor of 37-year-old Tyson Timbs, of Marion, Indiana, also could buttress efforts to limit the confiscation by local law enforcement of property belonging to someone suspected of a crime. Police and prosecutors often keep the proceeds.


The court has formally held that most of the Bill of Rights applies to states as well as the federal government, but it has not done so on the Eighth Amendment’s excessive-fines ban.

Justice Neil Gorsuch was incredulous that Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher was urging the justices to rule that states should not be held to the same standard.

“Here we are in 2018 still litigating incorporation of the Bill of Rights. Really? Come on, general,” Gorsuch said to Fisher, using the term for holding that constitutional provisions apply to the states.


ISIS To Launch False Flag Chemical Attack On Syrian Kurds And Russian Military Is Watching Closely

Published time: 28 Nov, 2018 17:53

Islamic State terrorists are plotting to shell Kurdish-led militia with chemical-filled munitions in Deir ez-Zor, Syria, Russian military said. The terrorists want to frame Damascus for the attack to trigger new US-led airstrikes.

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) has launched production of toxin-filled mortar shells in the east of the Deir ez-Zor province, Russian military said on Wednesday. The shells are filled with chemicals by a crew of 11 terrorists, who received foreign training and came to Syria specifically to carry out the false-flag attack.

IS militants are seeking to shell positions held by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), framing Damascus for the attack. The terrorists seek to trigger massive airstrikes by the US-led coalition against the government forces, the military said.

Russia will send a nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) warning system to the location, as well as Russian NBC specialists, to monitor IS activities, it added.


Trump's Threat To Impose A 'Chicken Tax' On Cars Could Cause A Major Mess For The US Economy

President Donald Trump at an event welcoming truckers and CEOs to attend a healthcare meeting at the White House in 2017. Carlos Barria/Reuters

•President Donald Trump on Wednesday once again raised the specter of auto tariffs.

•Trump said the US could use a measure similar to its 25% tariff on light trucks, known as the "chicken tax," to prevent factory closings similar to General Motors' recent announcement.

•Economists estimate that auto tariffs would result in a net loss of US jobs and be harmful to the US economy.

by Bob Bryan 3h

President Donald Trump on Wednesday provided a big hint that the US could soon impose tariffs on cars, trucks, and auto parts coming into the US, a move experts say would cause significant economic damage.

"The reason that the small truck business in the US is such a go to favorite is that, for many years, Tariffs of 25% have been put on small trucks coming into our country," Trump tweeted Wednesday. "It is called the 'chicken tax.' If we did that with cars coming in, many more cars would be built here and GM would not be closing their plants in Ohio, Michigan & Maryland."

Trump was referring to President Lyndon B. Johnson's decision in 1964 to impose a 25% tariff on light trucks coming into the US. That was a response to a 50% German tariff on some chicken coming from the US. The tariff became known as the "chicken tax" on trucks.

While tariffs Johnson introduced on other goods (potato starch, brandy, and dextrin) were dropped, the restriction on trucks has persisted over the past half-century and helped US automakers hold a dominant market share on truck sales.


New-Home Sales Fall To A Nearly 3-Year Low; Inventory Surges As Housing-Market Outlook Darkens

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes tumbled to a more than 2½-year low in October amid sharp declines in all four regions, further evidence that higher mortgage rates were hurting the housing market.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday new home sales dropped 8.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000 units last month. That was the lowest level since March 2016. The percent drop was the biggest since December 2017.

September's sales pace was revised higher to 597,000 units from the previously reported 553,000 units. New home sales have dropped in four of the last six months.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for about 9.4 percent of housing market sales, rising 3.7 percent to a pace of 575,000 units in October.

New home sales are drawn from permits and tend to be volatile on a month-to-month basis. They decreased 12.0 percent from a year ago.

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