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Did the government cause the Venezuelan coup to be sprung early

Venezuelan journalist Luz Mel Reyes, who co-founded Efecto Cocuyo, is reporting that Guaidó had planned “Operación Libertad,” for another day.

Other shocking information in Mely Reyes’s tweet includes a claim that the protest was brought forward because the government was about to arrest Guaidó and that he had at one point had more support from the military.

Brian Winter

One of Venezuela’s best journalists reporting that today’s action was planned for another day, and had strong military support - but they had to bring it forward because Guaido’s arrest was imminent, and then the military backed out

Luz Mely Reyes

Lo que indican fuentes de la previa.
1 Operación Libertad estaba prevista para otro día.
2 Fuentes aseguran que habían contactado a altos mandos militares e incluso TSJ
3 Adelanto de levantamiento obedeció a que iban a detener a Guaidó
4 Militares contactados recularon

1:19 PM - Apr 30, 2019
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Possibly the government also allowed Leopoldo López to escape today in order to cause the coup to happen early. If so, they would have countermeasures in place.

Leopoldo López appears to be the real thing, and not a US stooge like Juan Guaidó.

Baltimore Mayor Bolts -- Pugh Missing After FBI-IRS Raid

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has gone missing after the FBI and IRS raided her home, according to Baltimore CBS affiliate WJZ.

Jason Bentley, Pugh's spokesman, told the Associated Press on Thursday that he has no clue where the Mayor is, while her defense attorney, Steve Silverman, routed calls to voicemail.

According to the report, "Pugh was at her home when the raid began, but has since left the state."

Where Is Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh? Source Says She Left Home, State After FBI Raid

Bank of Japan risks going the full China

If you are trying to beat China, it’s best not to act too Chinese. Japan might want to heed this warning as it edges toward effectively nationalizing its stock market.

Currently, the biggest holder of Japanese shares is Japan’s state-run pension fund, which is also the world’s largest, but the Bank of Japan is on course to overtake the Government Pension Investment Fund by 2020.

That raises prickly questions about government authorities’ out-sized role in the capital markets, marring Japan’s free-market street cred.

What about market forces?

The BOJ’s holdings of exchange-traded funds were $250 billion as of the end of March. That’s nearly 5% of the total market capitalization of the first section – which lists blue chips – of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. At the current pace of ETF purchases, its stockpile will head toward roughly $360 billion by November 2020.

That would put the BOJ above the Government Pension Investment Fund, which now has a 6% share of the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section.

From this, two big takeaways spring to mind. One: Forget fantasies about BOJ “tapering” or even an interest rate hike. Two: Tokyo officialdom is pushing its tentacles deeper into the financial system, deadening the market forces any Group of Seven economy needs to thrive.

By November 2020 the BoJ and the Pension Fund would own 13% of the Japanese stock market. Looks like Japan's one-party political system is moving towards socialism.

Kim-Putin summit proves anti-climactic

The first summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin ended on Thursday with platitudes but with little concrete apparently having been agreed upon – at least, in public.

While the only new option placed on the table was Putin’s suggestion for a multilateral framework to convene to guarantee North Korea’s security, it still appeared to be an optical win for both leaders.

Kim was seeking to expand his range of personal diplomatic contacts, while Putin wants Russia to have a louder voice in regional affairs. That voice may be heard on Friday, when the Russian president attends the Belt and Road Initiative forum in Beijing, hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Russia, as a core member of the UN Security Council, is severely constrained as it has agreed to a series of UNSC resolutions sanctioning North Korea. While Russia, as well as China and even South Korea, are known to favor an easing of sanctions, unless the United States, which holds veto power in the UNSC chamber agrees, the sanctions will remain.

Kim traveled to the Russian Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok on his private train on Wednesday. Putin arrived slightly late on Thursday afternoon in a fleet of helicopters, then welcomed Kim – who had, in fact, arrived earlier – at the venue, the Far Eastern Federal University.

Set on an island off Vladivostok, it is – like Sentosa, an island off Singapore that was the setting of 2018’s year’s first North Korea-US summit – an easily secured location.

OTOH, if Russia and China made a treaty with North Korea providing Nato Article 5 like security guarantees in return for demilitarization, that would change things considerably.

Pepe Escobar: War On Iran & Calling America's Bluff

Vast swathes of the West seem not to realize that if the Strait of Hormuz is shut down a global depression will follow...

The Trump administration once again has graphically demonstrated that in the young, turbulent 21st century, “international law” and “national sovereignty” already belong to the Realm of the Walking Dead.

As if a deluge of sanctions against a great deal of the planet was not enough, the latest “offer you can’t refuse” conveyed by a gangster posing as diplomat, Consul Minimus Mike Pompeo, now essentially orders the whole planet to submit to the one and only arbiter of world trade: Washington.

First the Trump administration unilaterally smashed a multinational, UN-endorsed agreement, the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal. Now the waivers that magnanimously allowed eight nations to import oil from Iran without incurring imperial wrath in the form of sanctions will expire on May 2 and won’t be renewed.

The eight nations are a mix of Eurasian powers: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece.

Apart from the trademark toxic cocktail of hubris, illegality, arrogance/ignorance and geopolitical/geo–economic infantilism inbuilt in this foreign policy decision, the notion that Washington can decide who’s allowed to be an energy provider to emerging superpower China does not even qualify as laughable. Much more alarming is the fact that imposing a total embargo of Iranian oil exports is no less than an act of war.

San Francisco's War Between The Rich And Homeless Is At "Boiling Point"

San Francisco - thanks to its balmy year-round climate and hospitable reputation - has long suffered from growing homelessness which, despite the city's nosebleed-inducing taxes, it has been unable to curtail. This led to articles such our recent piece documenting the city's 132,562 cases of human feces on city streets. As we noted then, San Francisco hosts an estimated homeless population of 7,500 people. As a result, affluent sections of the city have become borderline dangerous with open-air drug use, tens of thousands of discarded needles, and, sadly, overflowing human excrement.

And the city's residents, like many liberals, seem to want to help only to a degree. For instance, angry residents have been recently packing public meetings to rally against Mayor London Breed's new proposal for a homeless shelter on San Francisco's waterfront, according to Bloomberg. The proposed center in the Embarcadero is a part of the mayor's campaign to open 1,000 new shelter beds by the end of 2020. It'll be put to a vote of commissioners on Tuesday.

The homes that surround the proposed shelter are pricey. A 3 bed, 3 bath condo sold nearby recently for about $2.5 million in February. The monthly HOA dues are $1,200.

After the plan was announced, opponents of it started a GoFundMe account to combat it, called "Safe Embarcadero for All." A nasty battle ensued on social media between proponents and opponents on the project. The GoFundMe against it has raised $100,000 while the campaign for the shelter is at $175,000. The campaign for the project includes $25,000 from Twitter's Jack Dorsey and $10,000 each from Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and Twilio chief executive Jeff Lawson.

This uproar marks the most recent example of the virtue-signaling struggle of the city, which is overwhelmed with tech wealth and is oh so very passionate about social justice. Or maybe it is all for show, as San Franciscans tend to be so very vocal when it comes to welcoming homeless people and migrants to American cities... just not their city.

Russia to start deliveries of S-400 to Turkey in July: Ifax

Russia will start delivering its S-400 missile defence systems to Turkey in July, the head of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said, according to Interfax news agency.

Mother of Satan explosive used in Sri Lanka bombings

The ISIS-directed terrorists in Sri Lanka used an explosive highly favored by terrorists called TATP

Sri Lanka’s suicide bombers are thought to have used TATP, chemically known as triacetone triperoxide, an explosive made from commonly available household ingredients including nail polish remover – acetone – and hydrogen peroxide.

The eight or more suicide bombers in Sri Lanka must have purchased large amounts of these two ingredients, yet despite being on the police “radar screen,” no one picked it up. According to news reports, it is suspected they made the stuff in a copper factory in Wellampitiya, a suburb of Colombo.

The factory was owned by Inshaf Ahamad, who is believed to have blown himself up at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo.

Middle-class bombers

While the full scale of the conspiracy is not yet known, the suicide bombers appear to have been successful middle-class people. The father of Inshaf Ahamad is known as a successful spice trader and he was arrested after bombs in his home went off, killing three policemen.

It has long been the case that many top terrorists are, in fact, successful entrepreneurs or professionals, including doctors and dentists such as George Habash, known as al-Hakim, or “the doctor,” who was educated at the American University in Beirut.

He famously headed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and also for a time the PLO. Likewise, Yasser Arafat was a university graduate and came from a middle-class family.

But perhaps the most famous was Osama Bin Laden, who came from a well-connected and influential family of millionaires in Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden attended the secular Al-Thager Model School and King Abdulaziz University. He studied business administration and had a degree in civil engineering.

Sri Lankan bombers unmasked amid intel fiasco

Three days after the bomb attacks in Sri Lanka that killed more than 350 people, investigators have come up with names of at least three suicide bombers – and a plot that stretches from Afghanistan to India and Bangladesh.

The attack has been claimed the Islamic State (ISIS), which posted videos of the suicide bombers swearing their bayat (allegiance) to ISIS on their official news channel, Amaq.

Intelligence sources say that Zahran Hashim was the key conspirator and lead bomber in the attacks. They have also identified Imsath Ahmed Ibrahim and his younger brother Ilham as two of the other suicide bombers.

Long article about networks from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Actual conflict levels are much greater between Muslims and Hindus or Buddhists than they are between Muslims and Christians. The South and Southeast Asian arc between Pakistan and the Philippines is where the real bloodletting will be over the next decade.

Populists are the most democratic of voters

Populists are voting for their own self-interest and the interests of their immediate ethnic or social group.

They are not voting for supra-national or global ideologies promoted by the political, economic and intellectual elites.
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