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Journal Archives

Not The Same: Twitter Erupts After Ocasio-Cortez Likens Migrant Caravan To Jews Fleeing Holocaust

Just as Jews sought refuge from Nazi Germany, members of the migrant caravan have every right to ask for asylum in the US, Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has argued, prompting both applause and jeers on Twitter.

The self-described “democratic socialist” expressed her outrage over a Sunday altercation on the US-Mexico border, in which US guards used tear gas to disperse migrants who tried to force their way into the United States. The San Ysidro crossing, a busy entry port between Tijuana and San Diego, was temporarily closed following the clashes, and several dozen migrants were arrested on the US side of the border.

China's CNPC takes over Iranian mega gas project from Frances Total

Published time: 26 Nov, 2018 09:30

China’s state-owned energy major CNPC has replaced France’s Total in Iran’s South Pars gas project, according to Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh. The French company withdrew from Iran under pressure of US sanctions.

The Chinese firm “has officially replaced Total in Phase 11 of South Pars but it has not started work practically,” he told ICANA news agency.

“Talks need to be held with CNPC… about when it will start operations,” Zanganeh added.

However, Total was pressured to leave Iran after the United States threatened to impose sanctions on firms that do business with the Islamic Republic. In August, Total told Iranian authorities it would withdraw from the project as it has failed to obtain a waiver from Washington’s sanctions against Iran.

The offshore South Pars field holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves ever found in one place. At current gas prices, the entire reserves of the South Pars can be estimated at around $2.9 trillion. Iran shares the field with Qatar.


Another Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack But This Time Western Media Is Silent

Published time: 26 Nov, 2018 16:43
Edited time: 26 Nov, 2018 16:56

Alleged Syrian gas attacks are typically met with heartbreaking media reports and US-led missile strikes but a suspected chlorine attack in Aleppo has gone largely ignored in the West. How could this be?

Shelling, which targeted residential areas of Aleppo on Saturday night, appears to have included a chemical attack. At least 46 people, including 8 children, were hospitalized with symptoms of chlorine gas poisoning, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The attack on the city, which was liberated by the Syrian government two years ago, is believed to have been launched from an area within Idlib, the last Syrian stronghold of jihadists affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

So where are the emergency UN Security Council sessions? The defiant New York Times op-eds? The retaliatory Tomahawk strikes against the last jihadist enclave in Syria?

“They don’t care, because the attack is coming from the wrong side, as it were. If you check the mainstream media coverage globally, it’s a non-event,” global affairs analyst and founder of the 21st Century Wire Patrick Henningsen told RT. Henningsen also noted that the incident demonstrated that “the so-called rebels have the means, the motive and the opportunities to carry out chemical attacks against Syrians.”


Farm Bankruptcies On The Rise According To New Fed Report

BY OWEN DAUGHERTY - 11/26/18 01:10 PM EST

Farm bankruptcies are on the rise in the Upper Midwest, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve, doubling from their recent lows in 2014.

At least 84 farms filed for bankruptcy from June 2017 to June 2018 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana, and North and South Dakota, according to analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

The report released earlier this month shows that over the same time period in 2014, 32 farms filed for bankruptcy.

Some experts fear the worst is yet to come amid falling commodity prices and the Trump administration's battles with China and other countries on trade.

“Current price levels and the trajectory of the current trends suggest that this trend has not yet seen a peak,” wrote Ron Wirtz, an analyst at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank.

More than 60 percent of the reported bankruptcy filings for the region were in Wisconsin, which could suggest a large number of dairy farm bankruptcies. Wisconsin is the country's second largest producer of milk.

Depressed prices on farm goods such as corn, dairy and soybeans are also likely leading to a spike in Chapter 12 filings, according to the report. China has also largely closed its market to U.S. soybeans amid the fight over trade.


The U.S. Housing Boom Is Coming to an End, Starting in Dallas

Empty lots and newly built homes in the Edgestone At Legacy development in Frisco, Texas, last week.


By Laura Kusisto
Nov. 26, 2018 11:01 a.m. ET

PLANO, Texas—A half-hour drive straight north from downtown Dallas sits one of the fastest-growing counties in the country. Cotton fields have been replaced with Toyota’s new North American headquarters, a Dallas Cowboys training facility and a sand-colored shopping strip with a Tesla dealership and a three-story food hall.

Yet even with the booming growth, Dallas’s once vibrant housing market is sputtering. In the high-end subdivisions in the suburb of Frisco, builders are cutting prices on new homes by up to $150,000. On one street alone, $4 million of new homes sat empty on a visit earlier this month. Some home builders are so desperate to attract interest they are offering agents the chance to win Louis Vuitton handbags or Super Bowl tickets with round-trip airfare, if their clients buy a home. Yet fresh-baked cookies sit uneaten at sparsely attended open houses.

The U.S. economy just had one of its best six-month stretches in a decade, as the unemployment rate hovers around its lowest level in half a century. Still, along with a recent swoon in the stock market, the housing market—which makes up a sixth of the U.S. economy—has been a troubling weak spot.

U.S. existing home sales have declined on an annual basis for eight straight months, the longest slump in more than four years, according to the National Association of Realtors report Wednesday. The slowdown has been driven by places that had earlier seen some of the strongest price growth during this recovery, including Seattle, Denver, New York City, Boston and the Bay Area.


Foreign Buyers Dump U.S. Treasuries...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Some overseas investors appear to be taking a pass on U.S. debt securities just as the administration of President Donald Trump embarks on a record sale of Treasury bills, notes and bonds to pay for its big tax cuts and spending increases.

Top foreign holders of Treasuries like China and Japan have shrunk their portfolios of U.S. government bonds this year, and a recent barometer of participation in Treasury auctions suggests overseas buyers have not been showing up in force, according to Treasury Department data.

Some auctions since late October had the weakest foreign participation rates in nearly a decade, a Reuters analysis of U.S. Treasury sales shows. At the same time, auction sizes are rising fast, with bond issuance this quarter projected to set a record of $83 billion after deducting maturing debt.

“We do worry about where demand for Treasuries is going to come from, given the ongoing significant increase in supply,” said Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank.


GM's Job Cuts Draw Angry Reaction in Heartland That Backed Trump

• Plant closures hit Ohio, Michigan -- states that Trump won
• Company says job cuts will enable it to invest in new products

By Ryan Beene and Ari Natter
November 26, 2018, 2:40 PM EST

General Motors Co.’s plan to cancel production at U.S. factories and cut thousands of jobs drew a swift rebuke in the industrial heartland where President Donald Trump posted surprising electoral wins premised on his pledge to restore manufacturing.

Members of both parties criticized the move announced Monday, citing the government aid the company has received in recent years, from the 2009 federal bailout of the auto industry to the $1.5 trillion tax cut that became law last December.

“The company reaped a massive tax break from last year’s GOP tax bill and failed to invest that money in American jobs,” Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown tweeted, calling GM’s move “corporate greed at its worst.”

GM said on Monday that it would cease production at vehicle assembly plants in Ohio, Michigan and Ontario, Canada, by the end of next year as part of a restructuring plan the company expects will include shedding some 14,000 salaried and factory workers. The plan also will end work at plants that make transmissions and other components in Maryland and Michigan.

Trump ran for the White House on a pledge to revitalize beleaguered industrial communities across America, promising more jobs and more factories. In a 2017 rally in Youngstown, Ohio, near one of the factories GM announced it would shutter, Trump said “after years and years of sending our jobs and wealth to other countries, we are finally standing up for our workers and for our companies.”


So It Begins: General Motors to Slash 14,700 Jobs in North America


DETROIT — General Motors will lay off 14,700 factory and white-collar workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure as it restructures to cut costs and focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles.

The reduction includes 8,100 white-collar workers, some of whom will take buyouts and others who will be laid off. Most of the affected factories build cars that won’t be sold in the U.S. after next year. They could close or they could get different vehicles to build. They will be part of contract talks with the United Auto Workers union next year.

Plants without products include assembly plants in Detroit; Lordstown, Ohio; and Oshawa, Ontario. Also affected are transmission factories in Warren, Michigan, as well as Baltimore.

About 6,000 factory workers could lose jobs in the U.S. and Canada, although some could transfer to truck plants.

Kiev Urges Moscow to Return Servicemen Detained in Kerch Strait Incident

07:03 26.11.2018(updated 08:08 26.11.2018) Get short URL605

KIEV (Sputnik) - Kiev is demanding that Moscow return sailors from the Ukrainian Navy ships seized for violating the Russian state border, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

"Ukraine demands to provide urgent medical assistance to the wounded and to ensure their immediate and safe return home. Ukraine also demands to return the captured navy ships and to compensate for the damages caused," the ministry said in a statement.

Kiev also urged its allies to provide military assistance.

"Ukraine is urging its allies and partners to take all necessary measures to deter the aggressor, i.e. by applying new and strengthening existing sanctions, as well as by providing Ukraine with military assistance to protect its territorial integrity and sovereignty within the internationally recognised borders," the ministry said.

A spokesman for the FSB Border Directorate for Crimea, Anton Lozovoy, said earlier in the day that the vessels seized were being convoyed to the port of Kerch and that three slightly wounded Ukrainian soldiers had received medical assistance.

READ MORE: Poroshenko Threatens to Impose Martial Law in Ukraine Amid Kerch Strait Issue

Ukrainian Naval Ships Ignored Calls to Stop, Violated Russian State Border - FSB
Earlier, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) reported that three ships of the Ukrainian Navy — Berdyansk, Nikopol and Yana Kapu — had been seized after violating Russia's state border.


Syria Calls for UN to Condemn Alleged Rebel Gas Attack on Aleppo

CAIRO – The foreign ministry of Syria called on Sunday for the United Nations to condemn the alleged poison gas attack by Syrian rebel groups a day earlier against the government-held city of Aleppo that reportedly injured 107 civilians, according to the state-run SANA news agency.

Warplanes bombed several positions Sunday on the outskirts of Aleppo in the demilitarized zone negotiated by Russia and Turkey, which separates rebel forces in the country’s north from the surrounding government-controlled areas, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Syria’s foreign ministry demanded that the UN take “deterrent, immediate and punitive measures against the states and regimes which support and fund terrorism,” without specifically naming which countries it held responsible.

“This terrorist act comes as a result of facilitating terrorists’ access to chemical substances by some states with the aim of using them against the Syrian people,” the statement claimed.

Military chemists from Russia, a key ally of the Syrian government, asserted that a chemical attack took place in Aleppo, the Russian state-run news agency Sputnik reported Sunday.

“According to preliminary confirmed data, in particular, by the symptoms of poisoned victims, the shells that were fired at residential areas of Aleppo had been filled with chlorine,” Russian defense ministry spokesperson Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov told Sputnik.

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