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Universal Basic Income Is Inevitable, Unavoidable, and Incoming”

The last time I saw universal basic income discussed on television, it was laughed away by a Conservative MP as an absurd idea. The government giving away wads of cash responsibility-free to the entire population sounds entirely fantastical in this austerity-bound age, where “we just don’t have the money” is repeated endlessly as a mantra. […]

In this world, universal basic income seems like a rather distant prospect. Yes, there are some proposals, like Switzerland and Finland, both of which are holding a referendum on universal basic income. But I expect neither of them to pass. The current political climate is just too patriarchal. We live in a world where free choice is unfashionable. The mass media demonizes the poor as feckless and too lazy and ignorant to make good choices about how to spend their income. Better that the government spend huge chunks of GDP employing bureaucrats to administer tests, to moralize on the virtues of work, and sanction the profligate.

But this world is fast changing, and the more I study the basic facts of economic life in the early 21st century, the more inevitable universal basic income begins to seem.

And no, it’s not because of the robots that are coming to take our jobs, as Erik Brynjolfsson suggests in his excellent The Second Machine Age. While automation is a major economic disruptor that will transform our economy, assuming that robots will dissolve jobs entirely is just buying into the same Lump of Labour fallacy that the Luddites fell for. Automation frees humans from drudgery and opens up the economy to new opportunities. Where once vast swathes of the population toiled in the fields as subsistence farmers, mechanization allowed these people to become industrial workers, and their descendants to become information and creative workers. As today’s industries are decimated, and as the market price of media falls closer and closer toward zero, new avenues will be opened up. New industries will be born in a neverending cycle of creative destruction. Yes, perhaps universal basic income will help ease the current transition that we are going through, but the transition is not the reason why universal basic income is inevitable.

So why is it inevitable? Take a look at Japan, and now the eurozone: economies where consumer price deflation has become an ongoing and entrenched reality. This occurrence has been married to economic stagnation and continued dips into recession. In Japan — which has been in the trap for over two decades — debt levels in the economy have remained high. The debt isn’t being inflated away as it would under a more “normal” rate of growth and inflation. And even in the countries that have avoided outright deflationary spirals, like the UK and the United States, inflation has been very low.

The most major reason, I am coming to believe, is rising efficiency and the growing superabundance of stuff. Cars are becoming more fuel efficient. Homes are becoming more fuel efficient. Vast quantities of solar energy and fracked oil are coming online. China’s growing economy continues to pump out vast quantities of consumer goods. And it’s not just this: people are better educated than ever before, and equipped with incredibly powerful productivity resources like laptops, iPads and smartphones. Information and media has fallen to an essentially free price. If price inflation is a function of the growth of the money supply against growth in the total amount of goods and services produced, then it is very clear why deflation and lowflation have become a problem in the developed world, even with central banks struggling to push out money to reinflate the credit bubble that burst in 2008.

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Much, much more is coming down the pipeline. At the core of this As the cost of superabundant and super-accessible solar continues to fall, and as battery efficiencies continue to increase the price of energy for heating, lighting, cooking and transportation (e.g. self-driving electric cars, delivery trucks, and ultimately planes) is being slowly but powerfully pushed toward zero. Heck, if the cost of renewables continue to fall, and advances in AI and automation continue, in thirty or forty years most housework and yardwork will be renewables-powered, and done by robot. Water crises can be alleviated by solar-powered desalination, and resource pressures by solar-powered robot miners.

And just as computers and the internet have made huge quantities of media (such as this blog) free for users, 3-D printers and disassemblers will push the production of stuff much closer to free. People will simply be able to download blueprints from the internet, put their trash into a disassembler and print out new items. Obviously, this won’t work anytime soon for complex objects like smartphones, but every technology company in the world is hustling and grinding for more efficiency in their manufacturing processes. Not to mention that as more and more stuff is manufactured, and as we become more environmentally conscious and efficient at recycling, this huge global stockpile of stuff acts as another deflationary pressure.

These deflationary pressures will gradually seep into services as more and more processes become automated and powered by efficiency increasing machines, drones and robots. This will gradually come to encompass the old inflationary bugbears of medical care, educational costs and construction and maintenance costs. Of course, I don’t expect this dislocation to result in permanent incurable unemployment. People will find stuff to do, and new fields will open up, many of which we are yet to imagine. But the price trend is clear to me: lots and lots of lowflation and deflation. This, ultimately, is at the heart of capitalism. The race for efficiency. The race to do more with less (including less productivity). The race for the lowest costs.

I’ve written about this before. I jokingly called it “hyperdeflation.”

And the obvious outcome, at the very least, is global Japan. This, of course, is not a complete disaster. Japan remains a relatively rich and stable country, even after twenty years of deflation. But Japan’s high level of debt — and particularly government debt — does pose a major concern.  Yes, as a sovereign currency issuer borrowing in its own currency the Japanese government runs no risk of actual default. But slow growth and deflation are stagnationary. And without growth and inflation, the government will have to raise taxes to cover the deficit, spiking the punchbowl and continuing the cycle of debt deflation. And of course, all of the Bank of Japan’s attempts at reigniting inflation and inflating away that debt through complicated monetary operations in financial markets have up until now proven pretty ineffectual.

This is where some form of universal basic income comes in: ultimately, the most direct stimulus for lifting inflation and triggering productive economic activity is putting cash in the people’s hands. What I am suggesting is that printing money and giving it away to people — as opposed to trying to push it out through the complicated and convoluted transmission mechanism of financial sector lending — will ultimately become governments’ major backstop against debt deflation, as well as the temporary joblessness and economic inequality created by technological acceleration. Everything else, thus far, has been pushing on a string. And the deflationary pressure is only going to become stronger as efficiency rises and rises.

Throw enough newly-created money into the economy, inject inflation, and nominal tax revenues can rise to cover the debt load. Similarly, if inflation gets too high, cut back on the money-creation or take money out of circulation and bring inflation into check, just as central banks have done for the last century.

The biggest obstacle to this, in my view, is the interests of those with lots of money, who like deflation because it increases their purchasing power. But in the end, rich people aren’t just sitting on hoards of cash. Most of them do have businesses that would benefit from their clients having higher incomes so as to increase spending, and thus their incomes. Indeed, in a debt-deflationary spiral with default cascades, many of these rentiers would face the same ruin as their clients, as their clients default on their obligations.

And yes, I know that there are legal obstacles to fully-blown helicopter money, chiefly the notion of central bank independence. But I am an advocate of central bank independence, for a variety of reasons. Indeed, I don’t think that universal basic income should be a function of fiscal spending at all, not least because I think that dispassionate and economically literate central bankers tend to be better managers of monetary expansion and contraction than politically motivated — and generally less economically literate — politicians. So everything I am describing can and should be envisioned as a function of monetary policy. Indeed, what I am advocating for is a new set of core monetary policy tools for the 21st century.

via Universal Basic Income Is Inevitable, Unavoidable, and Incoming — azizonomics

 

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Can We have A world without debt?

Can we have a world without debt?

debt-academy

For anyone currently in debt, a world without debt probably sounds like a great solution. Some debts – like those between friends or family members – can easily be written off, or at least delayed. But what about debts from financial institutions or between governments? They may be a little more difficult to simply wipe the slate clean.

Is that even a position we want to be in? The whole concept of money is built around a model of debt. A world without debt would require a really drastic change, both economically and morally. It could spell financial ruin for smaller countries and would dramatically impact our everyday lives.

This Payplan infographic investigate the history of debt, the current position in the world and answer the question.

 

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Do you think Debt itself is not evil.. ?

why this payplan infographic presenting Debt an essential system of modern economics. .?

Why they want to live your life in debts ?

Think and write 

 

source: https://www.payplan.com/can-we-have-a-world-without-debt/

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TRUMP WHAT NEXT

Trump has planned that immediately after the inauguration, which is a Friday, he’ll be taking the rest of the day off.

President Donald Trump speaks at inauguration ceremonies swearing him in as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington

“One of the first orders I’m gonna sign — day one — which I will consider to be Monday as opposed to Friday or Saturday,” Donald Trump has informed British newspaper The Times. “I mean my day one is gonna be Monday because I don’t want to be signing and get it mixed up with lots of celebration.” That’s right, Trump is admitting, to the foreign press no less, that he’s afraid to sign any legislation on his first (or second or third) day in office because he’s afraid he might get it “mixed up.”

As We know it’s complicated business, so shortly after he was sworn in as President of the United States, Donald Trump rounded up lawmakers and members of his family in a room near the Senate floor to watch him take his first presidential actions—signing some paperwork.

Trump put his signature on a few presidential documents, including a proclamation for a National Day of Patriotism and formal nominations for his Cabinet picks, just after he was officially inaugurated, his spokesman Sean Spicer said. Details about the National Day of Patriotism were not immediately clear.

Trump also signed a waiver allowing retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to become the new Defense Secretary, despite a law that would have required him to be out of active military duty for seven years. Mattis was later confirmed and sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence on Friday.

At the same post-inauguration ceremony, Trump also suspended a housing order that had benefitted people buying new homes. It will increase the amount of money that most non-wealthy mortgage holders must pay to the Federal Housing Authority’s insurance program.

He then doled out the signing pens to members of Congress.

About the same time, Trump fired off a series of tweets from his personal account, reiterating what he said during his first speech: that Americans have taken back power from the government. He said the day would be “remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again,” as he pledged to “bring back” America to its glory.

The Trump administration also updated the official White House website, writing that Trump is “committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies” of former President Barack Obama, including his Climate Action Plan and other environmental initiatives.

In his first executive order—signed in the Oval Office—Trump directed government agencies to scale back Affordable Care Act regulations, allowing agencies to delay or waive provisions of the law, thereby beginning to roll back it back before an official repeal by Congress, the New York Times reported.

Trump’s administration also ordered a freeze on all pending government regulations in order to review and approve them—a move that former Obama also took after he was inaugurated.

During the afternoon, Trump attended a luncheon hosted by Congress in the Capitol before heading to participate in the presidential procession and inaugural parade on Pennsylvania Avenue. Later in the evening, he attended three official inaugural balls.

Enter a caption

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk along Pennsylvania Avenue during the inaugural parade from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

After repeating the 35-word oath of office in the ceremony, Trump stretched his arms wide and hugged his wife, Melania, and other members of his family. Ceremonial cannon blasts fired.

The Trumps rode in a heavily armored limousine to lead an inaugural parade to the White House. The couple and their 10-year-old-son, Barron, hopped out of the limo and walked part of the parade route, waving to cheering well wishers.

Later, they watched some of the parade from a reviewing stand built on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

 

WORLD CONCERN

Trump’s election was greeted with concern by many countries around the world, in part because of the potential for an isolationist foreign policy.

In an interview after Trump was sworn in, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said, “What we heard today were high nationalistic tones.”

“I think we have to prepare for a rough ride,” Gabriel told public broadcaster ZDF, adding that Europe should stand together to defend its interests.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto congratulated Trump on his inauguration, but cautioned that the sovereignty, national interest and protection of Mexicans would be paramount.

Mexicans have been angered by Trump’s pledge to build a wall along the southern U.S. border to keep out illegal immigrants, and to make Mexico pay for it. Trump has also frequently criticized U.S. companies that have manufacturing operations in Mexico.

U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday in a modest advance, marking the first time in more than 50 years that a new commander-in-chief has been welcomed by a rising equity market on his first day in office.

U.S. President Trump and Vice President Pence stand for the singing of the U.S. National anthem during their inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

Pope Francis urged Trump to be guided by ethical values, saying he must take care of the poor and the outcast.

In Moscow, Russians hoping Trump will usher in a new era of detente celebrated his inauguration. Russian nationalists held an all-night party at what used to be the main Soviet-era post office in Moscow. In the city of Zlatoust, craftsmen released a limited series of silver and gold commemorative coins, engraved with “In Trump We Trust.”

ISLAMIC STATE OR TERRORISM

Trump signaled the possibility of a more aggressive approach to Islamic State militants.

“We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones, and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth,” he said.

In between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a statement posted in his name on the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, congratulated Trump. He added, “I look forward to working with him for the sake of peace, security and stability in a world that is troubled and in a region that lives a tragic era, and to contribute to creating a safe future for everyone.”

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted on Friday to confirm retired General James Mattis as defense secretary and retired General John Kelly as homeland security secretary, making them the first Trump Cabinet nominees to be approved. New Vice President Mike Pence swore both in Friday night.

QUICK ACTION

Trump’s to-do list has given Republicans hope that, since they also control the U.S. Congress, they can approve sweeping tax reform and roll back many federal regulations they say are stifling the U.S. economy, as well as repeal and replace Obamacare.

“He’s going to inject a shock to the system here almost immediately,” Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News.

Democrats, in search of firm political footing after the unexpected defeat of Clinton, are planning to fight him at every turn.

Trump’s critics have been emboldened to attack his legitimacy because his win came only in the Electoral College, which gives smaller states more clout in the outcome. He lost the popular vote to Clinton by about 2.9 million.

Trump’s critics also point to the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia used hacking and other methods during the campaign to try to tilt the election in the Republican’s favor. Trump has acknowledged the finding – denied by Moscow – that Russia was behind the hacking but said it did not affect the outcome of the election.

MARKET REACTION

Stocks were essentially flat Friday afternoon as President Donald Trump took the presidential oath, with the S&P 500 up five points, or 0.2%.

It’s not as if Trump’s presidency is sudden news, of course. Investors have had more than two months to predict what the new regime would mean for the stock market, and they’ve been generally optimistic. The S&P is up 6% since the election.

Investors think Trump’s administration will loosen federal regulations and lower the corporate tax rate, which could benefit companies across various industries.

Trump takes office with work to do to improve his image.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll this week found only 40 percent of Americans viewed him favorably, the lowest rating for an incoming president since Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1977, and the same percentage approved of how he has handled the transition.

Trump’s rise, while welcomed by Republicans tired of Obama’s eight years in office, raises a host of questions for the United States.

Trump campaigned on a pledge to take the country on a more isolationist, protectionist path and he has vowed to impose a 35 percent tariff on imports from U.S. companies that went abroad.

More than 60 Democratic lawmakers stayed away from the proceedings to protest Trump.

Many demonstrators participated in a “Women’s March on Washington” on Saturday. Protests are also planned in other cities in the United States and abroad.

 

As president of the United States, Trump should also realize he has become the leader of the free world – that’s why people all over the globe are watching his inauguration speech. And that’s why everyone hoped that he would also address the need for determined American global leadership.”

sources:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-inauguration-leaders-idUSKBN1542RU?mod=related&channelName=politicsNews
http://time.com/4641565/donald-trump-president-first-day/
http://www.barrons.com
http://fairbank.fas.harvard.edu/event/what-next-trump-and-asia/

 

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CIA Has Interfered With Over 81 Foreign Elections in the Past Century

 

The U.S. is no stranger to interfering in the elections of other countries

This number doesn’t include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn’t like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile.

The CIA has accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election (with absolutely zero evidence) by hacking into Democratic and Republican computer networks and selectively releasing emails.

But critics might point out the U.S. has done similar things.

The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it’s done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University.

That number doesn’t include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn’t like…

like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring.

Levin defines intervention as “a costly act which is designed to determine the election results [in favor of] one of the two sides.”

These acts, carried out in secret two-thirds of the time, include funding the election campaigns of specific parties, disseminating misinformation or propaganda, training locals of only one side in various campaigning or get-out-the-vote techniques, helping one side design their campaign materials, making public pronouncements or threats in favor of or against a candidate, and providing or withdrawing foreign aid.

In 59% of these cases, the side that received assistance came to power, although Levin estimates the average effect of “partisan electoral interventions” to be only about a 3% increase in vote share.

The U.S. hasn’t been the only one trying to interfere in other countries’ elections, according to Levin’s data.

Russia attempted to sway 36 foreign elections from the end of World War II to the turn of the century – meaning that, in total, at least one of the two great powers of the 20th century intervened in about 1 of every 9 competitive, national-level executive elections in that time period.

Italy’s 1948 general election is an early example of a race where U.S. actions probably influenced the outcome.

“We threw everything, including the kitchen sink” at helping the Christian Democrats beat the Communists in Italy, said Levin, including covertly delivering “bags of money” to cover campaign expenses, sending experts to help run the campaign, subsidizing “pork” projects like land reclamation, and threatening publicly to end U.S. aid to Italy if the Communists were elected.

Levin said that U.S. intervention probably played an important role in preventing a Communist Party victory, not just in 1948, but in seven subsequent Italian elections.

Throughout the Cold War, U.S. involvement in foreign elections was mainly motivated by the goal of containing communism, said Thomas Carothers, a foreign policy expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“The U.S. didn’t want to see left-wing governments elected, and so it did engage fairly often in trying to influence elections in other countries,” Carothers said.

This approach carried over into the immediate post-Soviet period.

In the 1990 Nicaragua elections, the CIA leaked damaging information on alleged corruption by the Marxist Sandinistas to German newspapers, according to Levin.

The opposition used those reports against the Sandinista candidate, Daniel Ortega. He lost to opposition candidate Violeta Chamorro.

In Czechoslovakia that same year, the U.S. provided training and campaign funding to Vaclav Havel’s party and its Slovak affiliate as they planned for the country’s first democratic election after its transition away from communism.

“The thinking was that we wanted to make sure communism was dead and buried,” said Levin.

Even after that, the U.S. continued trying to influence elections in its favor.

In Haiti after the 1986 overthrow of dictator and U.S. ally Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, the CIA sought to support particular candidates and undermine Jean-Bertrande Aristide, a Roman Catholic priest and proponent of liberation theology.

The New York Times reported in the 1990s that the CIA had on its payroll members of the military junta that would ultimately unseat Aristide after he was democratically elected in a landslide over Marc Bazin, a former World Bank official and finance minister favored by the U.S.

The U.S. also attempted to sway Russian elections. In 1996, with the presidency of Boris Yeltsin and the Russian economy flailing, President Clinton endorsed a $10.2-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund linked to privatization, trade liberalization and other measures that would move Russia toward a capitalist economy.

Yeltsin used the loan to bolster his popular support, telling voters that only he had the reformist credentials to secure such loans, according to media reports at the time.

He used the money, in part, for social spending before the election, including payment of back wages and pensions.

In the Middle East, the U.S. has aimed to bolster candidates who could further the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

In 1996, seeking to fulfill the legacy of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the peace accords the U.S. brokered, Clinton openly supported Shimon Peres, convening a peace summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheik to boost his popular support and inviting him to a meeting at the White House a month before the election.

“We were persuaded that if [Likud candidate Benjamin] Netanyahu were elected, the peace process would be closed for the season,” said Aaron David Miller, who worked at the State Department at the time.

In 1999, in a more subtle effort to sway the election, top Clinton strategists, including James Carville, were sent to advise Labor candidate Ehud Barak in the election against Netanyahu.

In Yugoslavia, the U.S. and NATO had long sought to cut off Serbian nationalist and Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic from the international system through economic sanctions and military action.

In 2000, the U.S. spent millions of dollars in aid for political parties, campaign costs and independent media. Funding and broadcast equipment provided to the media arms of the opposition were a decisive factor in electing opposition candidate Vojislav Kostunica as Yugoslav president, according to Levin.

“If it wouldn’t have been for overt intervention… Milosevic would have been very likely to have won another term,” he said.

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Source: CIA Has Interfered With Over 81 Foreign Elections in the Past Century

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The Dramatic Life of Refugees: Winter, Rejection, Crime, Radicalization, Terror and Death

Life of Refugees

THE BRUTAL WINTER is aggravating the situation of thousands of refugees (including children), who are living under extreme weather conditions along European borders.

The Dramatic Life of Refugees: Winter, Rejection, Crime, Radicalization, Terror and Death

 

THE BRUTAL WINTER is aggravating the situation of thousands of refugees (including children), who are living under extreme weather conditions along European borders. In Places like in Lesbos (Greece) and Belgrade (Serbia), the snow falls and the temperature is as low as 20-degrees celsius(-4°F).

Numerous European governments have offered shelter to an insufficient number of refugees (many of them children). UN’s and Medicines Sans Frontiers have criticised the European Union for not preparing properly for the life-threatening winter weather.

“Europe should stop making the lives of migrants and refugees more miserable,” a statement from Medicins Sans Frontieres read.

“Saving lives must be a priority and we urge state authorities across Europe to do more to assist and protect refugees and migrants,” a UNHCR spokeswoman, Cecile

The UN is warning that an important number of refugees may soon die if the European Union does not assist them. Refugees often do not have the adequate clothing, food and shelter to withstand the low temperatures.

“Children are particularly prone to respiratory illnesses at a time like this. It’s about saving lives, not about red tape and keeping to bureaucratic arrangements,” Sarah Crowe, a spokeswoman for the UN children’s agency UNICEF told a UN briefing in Geneva. “The dire situation right now is Greece.”

As if that were not enough, refugees are suffering abuse by police agents and criminal gangs, including kidnappings, physical abuse, threats and extortion.

UN’s has reported 5 confirmed deaths since the start of the year, two Iraqi men and a young Somali woman in Bulgaria, and a 20-year-old Afghan man, who was crossing the Evros river between Turkey and Greece.

The UN has reiterated its call on the European Union to assist all refugees as soon as possible before it becomes a catastrophe.

“The UN Refugee Agency is today reiterating its call to accelerate the moving of asylum seekers from the Aegean islands to the Greek mainland,” Edwards said at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.”The need for better protection will become all the more acute this weekend when temperatures on the islands are expected to drop. We are worried,” said UNHCR spokesman, Adrian Edwards.

“We are worried,” Adrian Edwards, a spokesperson for UNHCR said in Geneva.”Slowness in registration or identifying vulnerable individuals and, previously, a shortage of suitable spaces on the mainland have been factors delaying moves. Among other things this has contributed to serious overcrowding of facilities built for far fewer people, and increased protection risks,”

NGO’s and numerous international organisations are insisting that to refuse assistance to refugees isa violation of international law. Apparently, European countries are more interested in domestic affairs than in refugees. In countries like Germany, the growing social discontent against refugees has forced the government to debate whether to expel thousands of refugees or not.The decadence of Angela Merkel and the upcoming German presidential elections will influence the final decision.

In many cases, the traditional and far-right media are contributing to the criminalisation of all therefugees coming from the Middle East.

Brief Analysis of two cases:

1.BREITBART’S FALSE ARTICLE.

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ON JANUARY 3rd Virginia Hale, a journalist from Breitbart News, wrote the following false article:

“Revealed: 1,000-Man Mob Attack Police, Set Germany’s Oldest Church Alight on New Year’s Eve

“At New Year’s Eve celebrations in Dortmund, a mob of more than 1,000 men chanted ‘Allahu Akhbar’, launched fireworks at police, and set fire to a historic church,” Breitbart News reported.

Breitbart also claimed that a video posted by a Ruhr Nachrichten journalist showed them holding up a flag of al-Qaeda and Isis collaborators. In fact, the video shows the contrary, a man holding a flag widely flown by those opposing the current government.

The local newspaper, Ruhr Nachrichten, said that its online reporting on New Year’s Eve had been distorted by BreiBart to produce “fake news.”

The justice minister of Hesse state, Eva Kühne-Hörmann, said“the danger is that these stories spread with incredible speed and take on lives of their own.”

Tens of thousands clicked and shared the false Breitbart.com story with the headline,“Revealed: 1,000-man mob attack police, set Germany’s oldest church alight on New Year’s Eve”.

Pantallazo-2017-01-16 15-21-59.png

Days later, Breitbart supposedly amended the article to make a few corrections.

pantallazo-2017-01-15-17-54-55

However, it decided to keep all the falsehoods spilt over Syrian refugees about terrorism. Since its creation, Breitbart has become the American newspaper, which most fabricates false stories.

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NOTE: The chief strategist and Senior Counsellor for the presidency of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, is the co-founder of Breitbart. Com. It suggests that he will use his new position to amplify fake stories to criminalise honest immigrants.

2.MODAMANI’S CASE.

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MONTHS AGO, the far right propaganda, like Noch.info, from Germany and other countriessuggested that Angela Merkel had taken a selfie with a terrorist, “Anas Modamani, a Syrian refugee”, The false claims soon spread on social media and went viral.

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The 19-year-old was accused of terrorism and other criminal activities, including him being one of the perpetrators of the March bombings in Brussels, and was linked to the Christmas market attack in Berlin. The accusations were soon catalogued as false, but the people of social media refused to halt the spread of the false news related to his case, allowing many users to continue spreading it even in the present day.

On his part, Modamani has recently sued Facebook for not doing enough to stop the fake news and reestablished his honour.

Modamani Stated, “I was first linked to the attacks when my picture was circulated, claiming I was one of the Brussels attackers due to perceived resemblances between us,”

“When the claims started being circulated on social media, I was in Munich visiting friends.

“Some friends advised that I stay at home and avoid going out in public, which I did.

“Others encouraged me to go to the police and report what was being said about me.

“But I kind of just hoped it would go away on its own.”

“Facebook is doing a very poor job with fake news,”

“Not all fake news is illegal, but when it amounts to slander, as I believe this does, then it should be taken down.”

“Facebook has repeatedly refused to take the posts down, saying they do not violate the company’s rules,” Modamani’s lawyer said.

A Facebook representative said: “We received a takedown request from Mr Jun alleging that a specific item of content on our platform violates Mr Modamani’s right of personality.”

“Access to that reported content was quickly disabled, so we do not believe there is any basis for him to seek an injunction.”

Germany’s justice ministry is considering new policies to crack down on “fake news” by making Facebook and other social media companies criminally liable for failing to remove hate speech.

“Facebook should be treated as a media company rather than a technology company,” the justice minister said in November.

As in the previous case, some newspapers have amended the false articles, but Modamani’s honorability will never be fully restored.Thousands of people accused him of terrorism and spread it on the social media and not everyone who uses social media read newspapers, which means that there are still many people, who still think that he is a terrorist. Modami’s case shows the enormousinfluential capacity that social media has over people.

NOTE: The president-elect Donald Trump won the last U.S. elections thanks to several factors like the incompetence of Hillary Clinton. However, Trump would not have won the election without false news and the social media to spread them.

The cases of fake news mentioned in this article, represent a sample of hundreds of thousands that are spread everyday on social media.media. For many organisations, the main goal is to convince European citizens that refugees are terrorists and criminals. Unfortunately, there is a significant number of people, who already believe those falsehoods.

EUROPEANS POLITICAL LEADERS and citizens tend to forget that, during the WWII, thousands of Europeans fled to countries like Syria, Egypt and Palestine(the Middle East) seeking shelter. Therefugee camps in the Middle East were operated by MERRA (Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration) 

246f8479-6675-478c-905c-615e9602d7cd.pngUS Army General Allen Gullion and Fred K. Hoehler, Director of the United Nation’s Division of Displaced Persons predicting the movement of European refugees of World War II.

Seventy years ago, the Middle Eastern community warmly welcomed hundreds of thousands of European refugees who needed shelter. Today, to the contrary, European countries are neglecting refugees from the Middle East, alleging security issues. They believed that some terrorists are camouflaged among refugees. However, the facts show that majority of the terrorist attacks in Western countries were perpetrated by locals, who radicalised themselves.

Experience from many conflict zones teaches us that the longer these refugees are left to languish in despair in camps, the more prone they become to radicalization.

In fact, these camps are often used by terrorist organisations to attract new members. Without them, terrorism might soon be defeated. The best way to fight terrorism is by assisting refugees. European society should not forget the assistance that the Middle East gave them in the past.

The different communities in the world should work together to better understand each other regardless of their political and religion orientations.

After all, we are all human beings.

By Rester.

sources:

https://resterrestern.wordpress.com

via The Dramatic Life of Refugees: Winter, Rejection, Crime, Radicalization, Terror and Death — ALL THE TRUTH ABOUT POLITICS RESTER

 

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https://arresteddevelopments.wordpress.com

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Why Is Obama Moving Troops Into Poland And Provoking A War With Russia ?

Why Is Obama Moving Troops Into Poland And Provoking A War With Russia Right Before The Inauguration?

January 20th cannot come soon enough.  Instead of stepping back and trying to ensure a smooth transition for Donald Trump, U. S President Barack Obama has decided to go hog wild and use every ounce of presidential power still available to him.  

barack-obama-american-demagogue

He has been establishing a bunch of new national monuments, and on Thursday he even took time to give Joe Biden a Presidential Medal of Freedom.  

But one of the things that has people around the world  the most concerned is his endless provoking of Russia.  Every few days it seems like Obama is doing something else to aggravate Russia, and if he wasn’t leaving office in about a week I am sure that the mainstream media would be full of speculation about a possible war.

Out moving presidents are not supposed to make risky moves like this once a new president has been elected.

On Thursday, we learned that U.S. troops have been permanently deployed to Poland for the very first time

American soldiers rolled into Poland on Thursday, fulfilling a dream some Poles have had since the fall of communism in 1989 to have U.S. troops on their soil as a deterrent against Russia.

Some people waved and held up American flags as U.S. troops in tanks and other vehicles crossed into southwestern Poland from Germany and headed toward the town of Zagan, where they will be based. Poland’s prime minister and defense minister will welcome them in an official ceremony Saturday.

Poland was once a key member of the Warsaw Pact alliance, and the Russians are quite alarmed that U.S. troops will now be stationed so close to the Russian heartland.  The following comes from ABC News

“These actions threaten our interests, our security,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday. “Especially as it concerns a third party building up its military presence near our borders. It’s not even a European state.”

And it has also been announced that NATO troops will arrive in Lithuania in late January.  If you will remember, Lithuania was actually part of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

All of a sudden, Russia has become enemy number one.  Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton say that Russia is to blame for Clinton’s election loss, and so at the end of December Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the country.

That is the sort of thing that you do before a war starts.

Over in Europe, they are so freaked out about potential Russian interference in their elections that they are “erecting defenses to counter possible Russian cyber attacks”

Nations in Europe, where Germany and France this year hold elections, are erecting defenses to counter possible Russian cyber attacks and disinformation to sway Western politics, but intelligence experts say this might be too little and too late.

The issue of Russian “influence operations” has taken on new urgency after U.S. intelligence agencies released a non-classified assessment that President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to move the U.S. election in favor of Donald Trump.

European nations and NATO are setting up centers to identify “fake news”, bolstering cyber defenses and tracking use of social media which target Russian-speaking communities, far-right groups, political parties, voters and decision-makers.

Back in 2012, Barack Obama mocked Mitt Romney for saying that Russia was a serious threat to our national security.  He even joked that the 1980s were calling Romney because they wanted their foreign policy back.

At that time, Barack Obama boldly declared that the Cold War had been over for 20 years.  But now here we are just four years later and Barack Obama has gotten us into a new Cold War.  The crisis in Ukraine, the civil war in Syria, the price of oil, cyber-espionage and a whole host of other issues have brought tensions between the United States and Russia to a boiling point.

Many are hoping that relations with Russia will improve during the Trump administration, but the truth is that things could go either way.

It is important to remember that Trump will be surrounded by military people that are virulently anti-Russia.  For example, retired Marine General James Mattis has been nominated to be Defense Secretary, and this week he told Congress that Russia is the “principal threat” to U.S. security…

While much of the hearing has so far been without controveries, in the most striking moment so far, Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russia stands as the “principal threat” to the United States’s security. He said this is because of its actions and efforts to “intimidate” other countries.

Senator John McCain questioned Mattis to get his opinion on how much of a threat Russia represents. Mattis response was that the world order is “under biggest attacks since WW2, from Russia, terrorist groups, and China’s actions in the South China Sea”, agreeing with the neocon senator that Russia is trying to break up NATO.

“I’m all for engagement” with Russia, “but we also have to recognize the reality of what Russia is up to,” Mattis told Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island).

There is a great deal of concern that Trump’s view of Russia could be significantly shaped by strong military men such as Mattis.  Both Democrats and Republicans want Trump to become much more anti-Russia, and let us hope that he does not give in to the pressure.

Over in Russia, they view U. S very negatively as well.  A Gallup survey taken in mid-2016 found that current U.S. leadership (the Obama administration) only had a one percent approval rating in Russia.

Yes, you read that correctly.

You can’t get much lower than one percent.

The Russians consider themselves to be the great force for good in the world, and they consider the United States to be the great force for evil.  They openly talk about the possibility of nuclear war on their news broadcasts, and on one recent broadcast people were actually encouraged to locate the closest nuclear bomb shelter to their homes.

And in response to U.S. troops being deployed to Poland, the Russian government has deployed advanced anti-aircraft missile systems around Moscow

Russia has deployed anti-aircraft missile systems around Moscow to protect the capital from attack in the latest sign Vladimir Putin is preparing for war.

The s-400 Triumph air defence system has been providing air cover for Russian forces in Syria since November, and is now being deployed on home soil.

It is capable of hitting moving airborne targets including planes and incoming missiles and has a range of 400km.

We should be very thankful that Barack Obama is leaving office, because right now we are on a path that leads to war between U. S and Russia.

Every one should be hoping that Donald Trump will work to greatly improve relations with the Russians, but all it would take is one wrong move for things to start deteriorating once again.

A new Cold War has begun, and the stakes are incredibly high…

Sources:

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives

http://abcnews.com


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https://arresteddevelopments.wordpress.com

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s Declaration of War’ II

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Declaration of War’ Part-II

United Nations Security Council’s resolution condemning Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory has triggered a brutal and messy diplomatic fight between President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and now President-elect Donald Trump,  the U.N and the Countries voted for it. 

The war of words got even nastier, when Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a high-profile speech warning that Netanyahu’s settlement policy could doom any chance at a peace deal and threaten Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state.

“The status quo is leading toward one state and perpetual occupation,” Kerry warned. “The Israeli prime minister publicly supports a two-state solution, but his current coalition is the most right-wing in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by its most extreme element.”

Netanyahu immediately shot back that Kerry’s speech was “biased against Israel” and “obsessively focused” on settlements, and “barely touched upon the root of the conflict — Palestinian opposition to a Jewish state in any boundaries.”

So who’s right? And why are both countries so angry? 

It’s a complex answer that involves geopolitical maneuvering, international legal issues, and a healthy dose of seemingly nonsensical diplomatic language, so you’d be forgiven for feeling a little bit lost trying to sort out exactly what’s going on.

What follows is a simple guide to the issue:

1) What did the Obama administration do at the UN?

The United States on Friday abstained on a vote over a UN Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory. By abstaining — instead of vetoing the resolution, as the United States has reliably done to similar measures for decades — the Obama administration allowed the highly symbolic measure to make it through the chamber by a unanimous 14-0 margin.

It was the first time in nearly 40 years that the Security Council has passed a resolution critical of Israeli settlements. It was also a firm rebuke of both Netanyahu, who had strongly argued against the resolution, and Trump, who had taken the highly unprecedented move of weighing in on Thursday, before the vote, and pressing for the measure to be vetoed.

The Jewish communities in question are in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, both of which were captured by Israel during 1967’s Six-Day War. They range in size from small outposts of just a few dozen people to Ariel, home to some 20,000 people and a thriving university. Two of the more controversial settlements lie inside and adjacent to Hebron, a large Palestinian city that houses the burial place of Abraham, making it one of the holiest sites in both Judaism and Islam. Dozens of Jews and Muslims have been killed in political violence there in recent decades.


Israel’s construction of new neighborhoods throughout East Jerusalem is technically as illegal as its settlement building elsewhere in the West Bank, but many American policymakers from both parties have long acknowledged that Jewish neighborhoods in that part of the city would remain under Israeli control in any peace agreement. That’s particularly true of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, home to the Western Wall, the most religiously important place in Judaism.

It’s important to note that the settlement population is enormous and rapidly growing; nearly 600,000 Jews live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, a figure that has grown by 100,000 just since Obama took office in 2009.

Citing those statistics, administration officials pretending they had to act now because the population is so big that it would soon be basically impossible for Israel to withdraw from any meaningfully large parts of the West Bank — helping to doom the already faint chances of a peace deal.

2) What did the resolution actually say?

UN resolution 2334 is a long document full of diplomatic jargon (you can read the full text here), so we’ll just skip to the important parts.

The resolution demands that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” and declares that the establishment of settlements by Israel has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”

This is far stronger language than the United States has ever officially used to describe Israeli settlement activity before. Although the standard US position has for three decades been that such settlements, which are built on land intended to be part of a future Palestinian state, are “obstacles to peace,” the United States has always stopped short of describing them as “illegal” under international law.

The resolution condemns “all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem.” It lists among those measures “the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions.”

The text also calls on all member states “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967”.

Finally, the measure includes a request that the UN secretary general report to the Security Council every three months on the resolution’s implementation — all but guaranteeing that there will continue to be regular engagement on the issue.

3) What practical effect (if any) does the resolution have?

The resolution’s effects are primarily diplomatic and political, though there are some potential legal implications in the longer term.

To begin with, it’s a non-binding resolution. That means it’s basically just a strongly worded statement that doesn’t impose any sort of sanctions or other punishments on Israel for its past settlement activity, nor does it put in place such measures to punish Israel for any future settlement activity. Those would have to be included in a separate Security Council resolution, and it’s virtually certain that both Obama and Trump would veto such a measure.

The whole point of the resolution is to further solidify the longstanding international consensus that Israel’s settlement activity is illegal and a roadblock to achieving a peaceful solution to the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict — in other words, to isolate Israel and show it that the whole world thinks what it is doing is wrong. The hope is that this will make Israel change its policies in order to get back into the good graces of the international community.

But Israel is free to completely ignore the resolution and tell the international community to stuff it. And indeed, Israel’s government initially looked like it would do just that, announcing Monday that it planned to move ahead with the construction of nearly 6,000 new homes in the predominantly Palestinian eastern Jerusalem, with 600 settlements due to be approved Wednesday.

“We remain unfazed by the UN vote, or by any other entity that tries to dictate what we do in Jerusalem,” the city’s deputy mayor, Meir Turgeman, told the newspaper Israel Hayom. However, on Wednesday, Netanyahu reportedly instructed the Jerusalem municipality to wait on approving new housing units in an attempt to avoid further inflaming US-Israeli relations.

Still, the resolution could potentially have some longer-term legal and economic implications for Israel. For instance, Tel Aviv University law professor Aeyal Gross writes at Haaretz that the resolution could encourage the International Criminal Court to be more aggressive in its examination of settlement construction.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is currently working on a report on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it is not a full-scale investigation, and no criminal case has been brought against Israel. Gross explains that this could potentially change due to the new UN resolution.

“The consensus that the resolution represents on the illegality of the settlements and the description of their construction as a ‘flagrant’ violation of international law may convince Bensouda that she has strong grounds to pursue the matter before the ICC,” writes Gross.

And indeed, Palestinian leaders are already saying that they’ll use the resolution to seek International Criminal Court indictments of Israeli leaders, push for a formal probe into whether Israel is violating the Geneva Conventions, and get foreign governments to ban the import of any products made in Israeli settlements.

4) Why is this resolution happening now?

The push to bring this resolution before the Security Council in the last few remaining days of Obama’s term as president seems to have been a calculated move by Palestinian diplomats.

The Wall Street Journal reports, “As early as October, Palestinian diplomats at the UN began assessing prospects for a Security Council resolution. They drafted two resolutions: one that would condemn Israel’s rapid expansion of settlements in disputed territories of West Bank and East Jerusalem, and another that would recognize Palestine as a state at the UN.”

Arab diplomats told the Journal that the Palestinians ultimately decided to drop the statehood resolution because they believed it would inevitably be vetoed by the Obama administration.

The Palestinians appear to have seen a path forward all the same, believing that Obama’s long-held opposition to the Israeli settlements — and deep animosity toward Netanyahu — meant the US president might allow a slightly watered-down resolution to make it through the Security Council.

James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute and an influential pro-Palestinian activist, told Al Jazeera, “Knowing that the Obama administration was not going to restart the peace process, we told them that the least they could do is resurface the issue surrounding the illegality of settlements, something which hasn’t been said since the Carter administration.”

It was decided that Egypt, as the only Arab member of the Security Council, should be the one to sponsor the resolution. And indeed, Egypt was the measure’s initial sponsor. However, on Thursday, just one day before the vote was scheduled to take place, Egypt suddenly announced that it was delaying the vote indefinitely.

This was apparently in response to an unprecedented intervention by Trump, in the form of a personal phone call to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi urging him to table the vote. Netanyahu, who has developed a close relationship with Sisi, also pressed the Egyptian leader to withdraw the measure.

The resolution was then reintroduced on Friday by four of the other non-permanent members of the Security Council — New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela, and Senegal — but not Egypt. That resolution is the one that the US abstained on, and which ultimately passed.

5) Why didn’t the US veto the resolution?

1948146316

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said in a statement after the vote that “it is because this resolution reflects the facts on the ground — and is consistent with U.S. policy across Republican and Democratic administrations throughout the history of the State of Israel — that the United States did not veto it.”

Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, explained further to PBS Newshour:

We’ve had failed peace processes after failed peace process, and the pace of settlement construction has accelerated significantly. And just recently, you had the Israeli prime minister saying that this is the most pro-settlement in administration in Israeli history, the Israeli government that is currently in place.

We believe that at this pace, a two-state solution could be put at risk. We believe that would be profoundly bad for Israel and its security. And so, that’s why the president took the position that he did.

But beyond the White House’s formal statements on the matter, the move was widely seen as Obama’s parting shot at Netanyahu, with whom the president repeatedly clashed throughout his tenure.

Zeeshan Aleem of Vox writes, although the Obama administration gave Israel a bigger military aid package than any US president in history, and has vetoed past UN condemnations of settlements, Obama had a “tense and at times outright hostile relationship with the right-wing Netanyahu.” Among other things, they clashed over Israeli settlement expansion and the terms of the controversial Iran nuclear deal.

But Obama’s parting shot was also aimed at Trump, who has indicated he wants to take a much stronger pro-Israel stance. For instance, he has said he wants to move the US embassy to Jerusalem — a step “every US government has refrained from doing because the future of the disputed city is meant to be resolved as part of direct talks between the two sides for a final status peace deal.”

And Trump’s newly named ambassador to Israel, David Friedman — who has been a personal friend of Trump’s for about 15 years — is staunchly pro-settlement and has said he opposes the two-state solution that has been a cornerstone of US policy about ending the conflict for decades.

It’s possible that Trump’s stunning intervention — directly meddling in a major US foreign policy decision before he has even taken office — may have played a role in ultimately pushing Obama to take the dramatic step of abstaining on Friday’s vote.

But even if so, it’s almost certainly not the main reason. As Kerry stated in his speech defending the decision to abstain on the vote, “We did not take this decision lightly.” The resolution is directly in line with Obama’s own view on Israeli settlements, and the vote was essentially Obama’s way of making a symbolic last stand on an issue that has long concerned him but that he proved wholly unable to do much of anything about during his time in the White House.

6) How did the Israeli government react to the vote?

Not particularly well. In fact, they’re royally pissed.

Speaking in a televised address at a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony on Saturday, Netanyahu angrily denounced the Obama administration for having carried out what Netanyahu termed a “disgraceful anti-Israel maneuver.”

“The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement. The statement also said that Israel “looks forward” to working with the incoming Trump administration to “negate” the resolution’s “harmful effects.”

Then over the weekend, Israeli officials went even further. David Keyes, a spokesperson for Netanyahu, told Fox News on Sunday that Jerusalem had gathered “iron-clad information from sources in both the Arab world and internationally that this was a deliberate push by the United States and in fact they helped create the resolution in the first place.”

Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer later told CNN that they would present this evidence of Obama’s plot against Israel to the incoming Trump administration. “If they want to share it with the American people, they are welcome to do it,” Dermer said.

Netanyahu immediately summoned US Ambassador Daniel Shapiro as well as ambassadors from 10 of the 14 countries that voted in favor of the resolution and have embassies in Israel — Britain, China, Russia, France, Egypt, Japan, Uruguay, Spain, Ukraine, and New Zealand — to protest the resolution. The prime minister also instructed the Foreign Ministry to suspend any Israeli diplomatic trips to countries that supported the resolution and reduce contact with their embassies.

The Israeli government also lashed out at the UN, announcing a series of retaliatory moves aimed at correcting what it sees as unfair anti-Israel bias within the institution and declaring it would halt 30 million shekels — about $7.8 million — in funding to five United Nations institutions that are “particularly hostile to Israel,” such as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Finally, Netanyahu warned nations against taking any further actions on this issue, declaring that “Israel is a country with national pride, and we don’t turn the other cheek.”

The Israeli leader capped off his attacks at the Obama administration with his blistering public response to Kerry’s speech Wednesday. What the secretary of state did, Netanyahu charged, “was spend most of his speech blaming Israel for the lack of peace.”

7) Why does Israel care so much about this?

There is strong international consensus on the illegality of Israeli settlements. This is based on the Fourth Geneva Convention, which bans nations from the moving of populations into and the establishing of settlements in the territory of another nation won in war.

Israel’s right-wing government, however, disputes that settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are illegal, and maintains that their final status should be determined in future negotiations on Palestinian statehood, not by the United Nations.

The government’s rightward shift toward a more pro-settlement stance in recent years is in part a result of the rapid growth of Israel’s settler population.

According to data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, the annual growth rate for the settler population (excluding East Jerusalem) in 2013 was more than two and a half times higher than that of the overall population in Israel: 4.4 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. Kerry, in his speech Wednesday, noted that the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, not including East Jerusalem, has increased by nearly 270,000 since the Oslo peace accords (signed in 1993 and 1995), including 100,000 just since 2009, when Obama took office.

As Vox’s Johnny Harris notes, “Over time, and especially as Israeli politics has shifted rightward, the settler movement has become an institutionalized part of Israeli society.”

But there’s another reason the Israeli government cares so much about what happens at the United Nations in particular: Israel government and Policy makers believes that they are meant to rule the world and in fact they are doing so, since long with America always in their backing and United Nations Mute role on Israel’s atrocities.

Now, as the things are gone a bit out of hand Israel is blaming the international community as biased against Israel, and that it unfairly singles out Israel for censure while ignoring egregious actions by other countries. (which countries they are talking about?).

This latest action by the UN, then, is interpreted by the Israeli government as part of a broader campaign to delegitimize Israel on the international stage. That the United States, Israel’s closest and most powerful ally, stood aside and let the resolution pass — and, according to Netanyahu, may have even been instrumental in bringing the measure to the Security Council in the first place — makes it even more painful.

8) Could Trump overturn the resolution when he takes office?

Trump has indicated that after he takes office on January 20, “things will be different” at the United Nations.

Donald J. Trump 

@realDonaldTrump

not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!

And once in office, Trump could theoretically repeal the resolution by introducing a new resolution at the UN that completely revokes this one. He would then need to get at least eight other countries to vote for it, as well as ensure that none of the Security Council’s other permanent members — Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China — veto it.

Trump’s pick to be the next US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, would almost certainly support such a move. Haley is perceived as being staunchly pro-Israel: As governor of South Carolina, she passed legislation against the so-called BDS (boycott, divest, sanctions) movement — an international campaign aimed at punishing Israel economically for its actions and policies toward the Palestinians.

She also publicly supported Netanyahu’s objections to the Iran nuclear deal when she delivered the Republican Party’s official response to Obama’s last State of the Union back in January. Haley said that if the GOP were to control the White House, “we would make international agreements that were celebrated in Israel and protested in Iran, not the other way around.”

But it is extremely unlikely that Haley and the Trump administration would actually be able to get eight other countries on the Security Council to support a measure revoking this most recent resolution. That’s because, as mentioned above, the truth that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law is widely held by UN member countries.

Finally, even if the Trump administration did manage to get eight other countries to support such a measure, a permanent member veto would be likely, as Russia, China, Britain, and France — all of whom have veto power — all supported this measure, which passed 14-0.

9) What does this mean for US-Israel relations going forward?

Republican lawmakers immediately condemned the UN resolution and threatened consequences. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who heads the Senate panel in charge of US payments to the UN, said he would “form a bipartisan coalition to suspend or significantly reduce” funding. He added that countries receiving US aid could also be penalized for supporting the resolution.

Sen. Ted Cruz vowed on Twitter to cut US funding to the United Nations until the vote is reversed.

An array of powerful Democrats have also condemned the move. Sen. Chuck Schumer, the incoming Democratic minority leader, took to Twitter to argue that it was “[e]xtremely frustrating, disappointing & confounding that the Administration has failed to veto the UN resolution.”

Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he was “very disappointed by the United States’ acquiescence to a one-sided, biased resolution at the United Nations Security Council.”

“This resolution places the blame for the current impasse in negotiations entirely on Israel, asking nothing of the Palestinians,” Engel added.

However, by directly accusing the Obama administration of being behind this UN move, Israeli officials made the fight personal.

As Vox’s Yochi Dreazen explains, “That puts Israel’s allies in the Democratic Party in a bind. Many of those lawmakers would normally condemn the UN vote, but Netanyahu’s attacks on Obama mean that criticizing the measure would look like they were criticizing their own president, too.”

“Netanyahu has also publicly embraced the incoming administration to a degree never done before by an Israeli leader,” writes Dreazen, “leaving no doubt that he believes the new president will be friendlier to his country than Obama had been.”

Benjamin Netanyahu 

@netanyahu

President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support for Israel! 🇮🇱🇺🇸@IvankaTrump@DonaldJTrumpJr https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/814114980983427073 

Kerry spent much of his speech repeatedly noting his personal support for Israel, and stressing that “[n]o American administration has done more for Israel’s security than Barack Obama’s.”

“Regrettably, some seem to believe that the US friendship means the US must accept any policy, regardless of our own interests, our own positions, our own words, our own principles,” Kerry said, adding, “Friends need to tell each other the hard truths, and friendships require mutual respect.”

“This administration has been Israel’s greatest friend and supporter,” he insisted. The ferocity of Netanyahu’s response, however, showed that those feelings don’t appear to be mutual.

Read:

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Declaration of War’

https://arresteddevelopments.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/benjamin-netanyahus-declaration-of-war/

sources:

http://www.vox.com/world

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s Declaration of War’

 

Benjamin Netanyahu ‘warned UN settlement a declaration of war’

un-sec-general

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told New Zealand’s foreign minister that his country’s sponsoring of the UN anti-settlement resolution was a “declaration of war“.

Netanyahu has also lashed out at President Barack Obama after Friday’s Security Council vote, on which the United States’ abstention marked a break with tradition, and called the action a “shameful ambush”.

The Security Council voted to condemn settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a “flagrant violation of international law” and demanded Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory”, pointing out that the international community views any Israeli construction over the agreed 1967 Green Line as illegal.

According to Haaretz, in a personal phone call Mr Netanyahu told New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully: “This is a scandalous decision. I’m asking that you not support it and not promote it.

“If you continue to promote this resolution from our point of view it will be a declaration of war. It will rupture the relations and there will be consequences.”

Mr McCully reportedly refused to back down and said the resolution was consistent with New Zealand policy

Israel has recalled its ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal, and cancelled aid to the latter country.

The resolution was put forward by New Zealand, Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela, taking place just a day after Egypt withdrew it following significant pressure from both Israel and President-elect Donald Trump.

Mr Netanyahu has said Israel will not abide by the ruling.

He added: “At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall ‘occupied territory’.”

Defending New Zealand’s vote on Saturday, Mr McCully said: “We have been very open about our view that the [UN Security Council] should be doing more to support the Middle East peace process and the position we adopted today is totally in line with our long established policy on the Palestinian question.

“The vote… should not come as a surprise to anyone and we look forward to continuing to engage constructively with all parties on this issue.”

The vote was welcomed by Palestinian representatives. A spokesperson from Palestinan Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ office called it a “big blow to Israeli policy, a unanimous international condemnation of settlements, and a strong support for the two-state solution”.

Settlement building – which has accelerated year-on-year under current right-wing Prime Minister Netanyahu – is viewed as one of the major stumbling blocks to a lasting peace deal.

Settlements

• Settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are built on land seized by Israel during the 1967 Arab-Israeli Six-Day War.
• Many in the international community believe that such settlements are illegal and a barrier to any future “two-state” peace deal. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
• The UN Security Council resolution states that Israel’s settlement program has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” Israel disputes this.
• A “two-state solution” envisages a Palestinian state existing alongside Israel, based on territory in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem — but Israel’s continued building threatens its viability.
• Settlements are controversial within Israel too. While they are widely supported by right-wing and ultra-Orthodox groups, other Israelis see them as an obstacle to peace.

 

 

ISRAEL EVEN ‘SUSPENDS WORKING TIES WITH 12 UN SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS’

 

The Jerusalem Local Planning and Construction Committee is expected to approve permits to build 618 new homes in Jewish neighbourhoods across the Green Line today – and at the same time US Secretary of State John Kerry is due to lay out his vision for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The speech, less than a month before President Barack Obama leaves office, is likely to be the administration’s last word on a decades-old dispute that Mr Kerry had hoped to resolve during his four years as America’s top diplomat.

It could also be seen in Israel as another parting shot at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had an especially acrimonious relationship with Mr Obama since they both took office in 2009.

A State Department official said: “We believe that with the two-state solution in peril, it is important to share the deeper understanding we have developed of both sides’ bottom lines during intensive consultations in recent years.”

Benjamin Netanyahu is in fact challanging the whole world, and is a big threat to World Peace.

The international peace conference scheduled for January 15 in Paris could be the forum for discussing such a resolution. That would give the international community time to introduce the resolution at the UN Security Council before the end of Obama’s time in office.
Israel has vowed not to attend the conference. The Palestinians say they will attend.
Settlement building in the occupied West Bank is considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this. The United States considers settlements “illegitimate” and “an obstacle to peace.”

sources:

The Independent, U.K http://www.independent.co.uk

CNN http://edition.cnn.com/

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World Bank Secretly Supporting Adani’s Carmichael Coal Mine

World Bank Accused of Secretly Supporting India based Adani’s Carmichael Coal Mine

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The World Bank has been accused of secretly funding a massive new Indian backed Queensland coal mine. But the back story behind this strange development goes far deeper – it began with a brutal attempt by President Obama to use US influence to defund fossil fuel resource development in poor countries.

Adani coalmine ‘covertly funded’ by World Bank, says report

The bank’s private sector arm is accused of subsidising loans that funded the Indian firm’s Queensland exploration bid.

Adani’s Carmichael mine has been “covertly funded” by the World Bank through a private arm that is supposed to back “sustainable development”, according to a US-based human rights organisation.

Adani Enterprises acquired exploration rights for Australia’s largest proposed coalmine in 2010 with a US$250m loan from banks including India’s ICICI, which was in turn bankrolled by the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, a report by Inclusive Development International says.

The report accuses the World Bank of using “back channels” to conceal its support for a company that “would have little chance of receiving direct assistance from the IFC”, which has a “mandate for sustainable development”.

ICICI was among six Indian banks that received US$520m from the IFC between 2005 and 2014.

This means the World Bank has exposure to the contentious Carmichael project, from which a growing number of Australian and overseas banks are shying away.

 

Back in April 2015, WUWT reported how an attempt by the Obama administration to push the World Bank into choking off finance for coal projects in the third world had backfired. China stepped into the breach, and used its enormous state resources to create a new bank, to provide the fossil fuel finance the Obama influenced World bank was no longer willing to provide, effectively sidelining the renewables obsessed world bank into international irrelevance.

Japan joined the coal rush, offering Japanese financial services as an alternative to the new Chinese Infrastructure Investment Bank. Japan added to the humour of the situation, by demanded the UN classify the Japanese financial offering as “climate finance”, on the grounds that Japan were financing supercritical coal plants. Japan wanted recognition for the difference between the reduced CO2 output of their supercritical plants, and the CO2 a traditional coal plant emits.

The sidelining of the World Bank was a catastrophic blow to President Obama’s attempts to influence international energy development, and a substantial loss of US influence and prestige on the world stage.

If these new accusations are true, if the World Bank did knowingly secretly finance the Carmichael Coal Project, my interpretation is that the World Bank has quietly ditched its alleged commitment to defund fossil fuel projects, and is now fighting for survival, secretly funding coal projects in an effort to claw back market share and international relevance from their upstart Japanese and Chinese rivals.

Adani coalmine ‘covertly funded’ by World Bank, says report

The World bank’s private sector arm is accused of subsidising loans that funded the Indian firm’s Queensland exploration bid

Adani Enterprises acquired exploration rights for Australia’s largest proposed coalmine  with a US$250m loan from banks including India’s ICICI, which was in turn bankrolled by the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, a report by Inclusive Development International says.

The report accuses the World Bank of using “back channels” to conceal its support for a company that “would have little chance of receiving direct assistance from the IFC”.. As per the private sources the company is heavily backed by Power Holders in New Delhi.

ICICI was among six Indian banks that received US$520m from the IFC between 2005 and 2014.

The Adani group is also embroiled in several Indian criminal investigations into possible fraud and corruption, including the alleged siphoning of money offshore through an invoicing rort and the alleged profiteering on imported coal through inflated valuations.

An Indian subsidiary of the Australian project’s parent company, Adani Enterprises, was accused by its own lawyer this year of fraud, illegal land purchases and other violations over a solar project.

Environmentalist are also concerned over the support to a company despite its Mundra coal plant and port being blamed in an Indian Ministry of Environment investigation for flouting public consultation requirements, and creating ecological and social harms, including air and water pollution, destruction of mangroves and curtailing the livelihoods of local fishers.

The Inclusive Development International report said Adani Enterprises’ sister company, Adani Power, received US$1.18bn in financial support from IFC “intermediaries” through loans, bonds and share issues.

 

sources:

World Bank Accused of Secretly Supporting Adani’s Carmichael Coal Mine

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/22/adani-coalmine-covertly-funded-by-world-bank-says-report

 

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Mobile vs Desktop Internet Usage

Mobile vs Desktop Internet Usage

All digital growth now coming from mobile usage

Now more and more users are accessing the web from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets than they did from desktops or notebooks.

Mobile vs Desktop Internet graphic presentation
Mobile vs Desktop Internet graphic presentation

“Mobile internet is now growing at the expense of all other media,” said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s head of  Zenith’s Media Consumption Forecasts. “Seventy percent of internet use is now on a mobile, and the use of a desktop for internet will fall by almost 16 percent, this year.”

However, the research paints a different picture for individual countries:

In America, for example, the development of new apps and competitive pricing options is behind the “dramatic” increase in internet use on phones, the research said.

The average American spends much longer on the internet compared to the global daily average, with each person spending two hours and 25 minutes on their phones, and 52 minutes at their desktop. By 2018, that gap is predicted to grow to people spending three hours and 20 minutes using the net on their phone, compared to just 40 minutes on the computer.

In Japan, the average time spent on phones and computers in 2016 is significantly less than in America, at 34 and 29 minutes, respectively, but the same trend is occurring, driven by young people’s use of smartphones, the research said.

Their use of messaging apps like Facebook and LINE is behind the forecast growth in mobile use, which a number of luxury and fashion brands are trying to cash in on, while a plateau of laptop and PC sales is behind the decline for computer use.

In China, the use of mobiles for internet access soared last year, with a rise of 63 percent, and the total number of mobile internet users hit 620 million people by the end of 2015.

The research pointed to the Chinese Government’s “internet plus” policy as a main factor, which encouraged more industries and companies to introduce digital tech.

In the United Kingdom this year, mobile and desktop internet is roughly equal, at one hour and 46 minutes a day, but the research suggests it’s at this point they’ll go their separate ways.

By 2018, it’s expected people will spend more than two and a half hours on their phones and an hour and 2o minutes on their computers.

The exploded adoption of smartphones due to declining Average Selling Price is resulting in an enormous surge in the number of mobile internet users in India. According to the latest report from IAMAI, titled Mobile Internet In India 2016, the country is estimated to have 400 million mobile internet users by the end of 2016.

However, it also makes clear that mobile is now the growth driver, while the desktop is rapidly becoming a secondary touch point for a large percentage of the digital audience.

Thats not to say the desktop isnt important anymore; most e-commerce transactions are still taking place on the PC, and a multi-platform strategy is critical. However, many marketers and brands still treat the desktop as the primary area of focus, which is way out of alignment with consumer behavior.

sources:

https://tfetimes.com/mobile-vs-desktop-internet-usage/

https://dazeinfo.com/2016/02/08/mobile-internet-users-in-india-2016-smartphone-adoption-2015/

http://marketingland.com/digital-growth-now-coming-mobile-usage-comscore-171505

http://digiday.com/publishers/mobile-overtaking-desktops-around-world-5-charts/

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