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Hier — 25 juin 2019Analyses, perspectives

Comment l'UE et l'OTAN créent des crises

Pourquoi les professeurs sont-ils en colère ?, par Claude Meunier-Berthelot / Epreuves d'allemand 2017 pour la vérification de l'atteinte des compétences fondamentales / Comment l'UE et l'OTAN créent des crises et préparent des guerres, Interview d'Ullrich Mies / Avec son procédé de traitement contre Julian Assange, l'Amérique creuse sa propre tombe, par Karen Kwiatkowski / Qu'est-ce que la classe moyenne ? Son importance pour la société et l'économie, par Eberhard Hamer / La Suisse, doit-elle à l'avenir reprendre automatiquement le droit de l'UE ? / Une démocratie plus directe pour l'Allemagne (3e partie). Fédéralisme, par Christian Fischer / Un pont culturel précieux. Au sujet du livre d'art récemment publié et intitulé « Julius von Klever – peintre à la Mare Balticum » d'Alfried Nehring, par Urs Knoblauch / La valeur pédagogique de la confiance, par Carl Bossard / Hilal commence à parler, par Ursula (...)

  • 25 juin 2019 à 17:28

Ce que Washington joue autour de l'Iran, par Thierry Meyssan

Plus que la Syrie, c'est désormais l'Iran qui est au cœur de l'affrontement Est-Ouest. Le public incrédule assiste à des volte-face quotidiennes de Washington dans ce qui paraît, à tort, être une montée vers une guerre entre les deux pays. Or, ce n'est pas ce dont il s'agit. Heureusement, les deux Grands ont montré depuis 75 ans qu'ils sont raisonnables et ont toujours su se retirer avant d'en arriver à se détruire mutuellement.

  • 25 juin 2019 à 17:28

Shale Pioneer: Fracking Is An "Unmitigated Disaster"

Par Tyler Durden

Authored by Nick Cunningham via OilPrice.com,

Fracking has been an “unmitigated disaster” for shale companies themselves, according to a prominent former shale executive.

“The shale gas revolution has frankly been an unmitigated disaster for any buy-and-hold investor in the shale gas industry with very few limited exceptions,” Steve Schlotterbeck, former chief executive of EQT, a shale gas giant, said at a petrochemicals conference in Pittsburgh.

“In fact, I'm not aware of another case of a disruptive technological change that has done so much harm to the industry that created the change.”

He did not pull any punches.

“While hundreds of billions of dollars of benefits have accrued to hundreds of millions of people, the amount of shareholder value destruction registers in the hundreds of billions of dollars,” he said.

“The industry is self-destructive.”

The message is not a new one. The shale industry has been burning through capital for years, posting mountains of red ink. One estimate from the Wall Street Journal found that over the past decade, the top 40 independent U.S. shale companies burned through $200 billion more than they earned. A 2017 estimate from the WSJ found $280 billion in negative cash flow between 2010 and 2017. It’s incredible when you think about it – despite the record levels of oil and gas production, the industry is in the hole by roughly a quarter of a trillion dollars.

The red ink has continued right up to the present, and the most recent downturn in oil prices could lead to more losses in the second quarter.

So, questionable economics is not exactly breaking news when it comes to shale. But the fact that a prominent former shale executive – who presided over one of the largest shale gas companies in the country – called out the industry face-to-face, raised some eyebrows, to say the least. “In a little more than a decade, most of these companies just destroyed a very large percentage of their companies' value that they had at the beginning of the shale revolution,” Schlotterbeck said. “It's frankly hard to imagine the scope of the value destruction that has occurred. And it continues.”

“Nearly every American has benefited from shale gas, with one big exception,” he said, “the shale gas investors.”’

The industry is at a bit of a crossroads with Wall Street losing faith and interest, finally recognizing the failed dreams of fracking. The Wall Street Journal reports that Pioneer Natural Resources, often cited as one of the strongest shale drillers in Texas, is largely giving up on growth and instead aiming to be a modest-sized driller that can hand money back to shareholders.

“We lost the growth investors,” Pioneer’s CEO Scott Sheffield said in a WSJ interview. “Now we’ve got to attract a whole other set of investors.”

Sheffield has decided to slash Pioneer’s workforce and slow down on the pace of drilling. Pioneer has been bedeviled by disappointing production from some of its wells and higher-than-expected costs.

But, as Schlotterbeck told the industry conference in Pittsburgh, the problem with fracking runs deep. While shale E&Ps have succeeded in boosting oil and gas production to levels that were unthinkable only a few years ago, prices have crashed precisely because of the surge of supply. And, because wells decline at a precipitous rate, capital-intensive drilling ultimately leaves companies on a spending treadmill.

Meanwhile, as the financial scrutiny increases on the industry, so does the public health impact. A new report that studied over 1,700 articles from peer-reviewed journals found harmful impacts on health and the environment. Specifically, 69 percent of the studies found potential or actual evidence of water contamination associated with fracking; 87 percent found air quality problems; and 84 percent found harm or potential harm on human health.

The health impacts have been a point of controversy for years, pitting the industry against local communities. The industry largely won the tug-of-war over fracking, beating back federal and state efforts to regulate it. However, the story is not over.

In many cases, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence pointing to serious health impacts, but peer-reviewed research takes time and has lagged behind the incredible rate of drilling. Now, the public health research is starting to catch up. Of the more than 1,700 peer-reviewed studies looking at these issues, more than half have been published since 2016.

One need not be an opponent of fracking to recognize that this presents a threat to the industry. For instance, a spike of a rare form of cancer has cropped up in southwestern Pennsylvania recently. The causes are unclear, but some public health advocates and environmental groups are pointing the finger at shale gas drilling, and have called on the governor to stop issuing new drilling permits. The Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group, said the request was “ridiculous.” The region is right at the heart of high levels of shale drilling, so any regulatory action coming in response the public health outcry could impact drilling operations. Time will tell.

In the meantime, poor financials are the largest drag on the shale sector.

“And at $2 even the mighty Marcellus does not make economic sense,” Steve Schlotterbeck, the former EQT executive said at the conference.

“There will be a reckoning and the only questions is whether it happens in a controlled manner or whether it comes as an unexpected shock to the system.”

  • 25 juin 2019 à 17:10

Trump Slams Iran's "Ignorant, Insulting" Statement, Warns Any Further Attacks Will Mean "Obliteration"

Par Tyler Durden

After Iran unceremoniously slammed the door on diplomacy, President Trump has decided to tweet his perspective on what happens next.

Trump began by going after the statement from Iranian leadership, blasting that they don't "understand the words “nice” or “compassion,” they never have," adding some threats: "Sadly, the thing they do understand is Strength and Power, and the USA is by far the most powerful Military Force in the world, with 1.5 Trillion Dollars invested over the last two years alone..."

Iran leadership doesn’t understand the words “nice” or “compassion,” they never have. Sadly, the thing they do understand is Strength and Power, and the USA is by far the most powerful Military Force in the world, with 1.5 Trillion Dollars invested over the last two years alone..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2019

Then Trump turned to the Iranian people, who are suffering due to his economic war being waged by sanctions: "....The wonderful Iranian people are suffering, and for no reason at all. Their leadership spends all of its money on Terror, and little on anything else," reminding his 61 million followers that "The U.S. has not forgotten Iran’s use of IED’s & EFP’s (bombs), which killed 2000 Americans, and wounded many more..."

....The wonderful Iranian people are suffering, and for no reason at all. Their leadership spends all of its money on Terror, and little on anything else. The U.S. has not forgotten Iran’s use of IED’s & EFP’s (bombs), which killed 2000 Americans, and wounded many more...

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2019

But he saved the best for last, unleashing a 'sound-and-fury'-esque warning that "

....Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration."

....Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2019

Finally, Trump took a shot at the previous administration, who he blames for creating this mess (and argues still interfere):

"No more John Kerry & Obama!"

  • 25 juin 2019 à 16:55

Russian Warship Docks In Havana As Kremlin Sees New Cuban Missile Crisis

Par Tyler Durden

At the very moment a Russian warship has docked in Cuba — a mere one hundred miles off the American coast, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has slammed US build-up of its weapons systems in Europe by invoking comparisons to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. 

Ryabkov made his comments early Monday, the same day the frigate Admiral Gorshkov, armed with Kalibr missiles, entered the port of Havana

The Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov in the port of Havana on Sunday. Image source: Reuters

“If things get as far as an actual deployment on the ground of these sorts of systems, then the situation won’t just get more complicated, it will escalate right to the limit,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying in RIA news agency.

“We could find ourselves in a situation where we have a rocket crisis close not just to the crisis of the 1980s but close to the Caribbean crisis,” Ryabkov said further while using the standard Russian term for the Cuban missile crisis.

Apparently Moscow wanted to provide Washington with a nice easy-to-understand visual of its warnings of a potential future escalating crisis in the form of its warship entering Cuban waters, which international reporters and cameras were on hand to capture. 

This also comes in the wake of the collapse of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was long credited with keeping US missile build-up out of Europe during the end years of the Cold War. 

Image source: Reuters

According to Russian media reports, the Admiral Gorshkov left the Russian port of Severomorsk in late February, making multiple stops including in China before docking on Cuba and is accompanied by multiple support vessels, including the logistics vessel Elbrus, the medium sea tanker Kama and the rescue tug Nikolai Chiker.

Cuban state media described the purpose of the ship's visit as carrying out “a program of activities that includes courtesy visits to the chief of the [Cuban] Revolutionary Navy, as well as touring places of historical and cultural interest.” 

Russian sources said that as the Gorshkov approached Cuba, "American warships loomed along Cuba’s coast, with the guided missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham keeping the closest watch just a few miles away."

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov had also warned of the following concerning NATO expansion and US weapons systems in Europe in conjunction with the warship's Cuba visit:

If things get as far as an actual deployment on the ground of these sorts of systems, then the situation won't just get more complicated, it will escalate right to the limit.

The Admiral Gorshkov entered service last year and is armed with cruise missiles, air defense systems and is even rumored to possess a "hallucination weapon" which reportedly makes targeted crews become disoriented, hallucinate, and vomit.

  • 25 juin 2019 à 16:45

Blain: "We're Nearing The Moment When Everyone Tries To Exit The Bond Market At The Same Time - It Will Be 2007 Again"

Par Tyler Durden

Blain's Morning Porridge, from Bill Blain of Shard Capital

“They agreed that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything.”

Apologies about y’day’s outstandingly bad Typo! I was wrong when I wrote the volume of negative yielding Global Debt is around $12.5 bln. It is around $13 trillion! What’s a few zeros between friends? To make up for y’day’s mistake, a new edition of Blain’s Alternative Asset Outlook will be hitting the wires today. I’ll post a link to the website when it is up.

Back to reality.

These are thin and dangerous markets… We are marking time ahead of Friday’s G20 meeting. Then it will be summer. By then we will be anxious about Europe, Iran or whatever the next thing is. Traders have too much to worry about and too little to do. The geopolitical strains, fretting what Trump might tweet next (yesterday’s all-out assault on the Fed and calling it a “stubborn child” was sublime), or this week’s trade meeting at the G20 – which I expect will seriously under-deliver on market hopes. Remember – Hope is never a Strategy!

I do think we need to think a little more about the Trump effect on stability. The US ain’t doing so bad around 2.5% growth (3.1% Q1). Only an idiot would mistake a soar-away stock market with economic stability. A Dow a couple of “thousands points higher” would be massively overbought, and just a higher number to correct, and if “the Fed doesn’t know what its doing”.. well who does? Trump is noise. Get over it.

Yesterday’s lowlight wasn’t his infantile rant about the Fed – but his comments about pulling out the defence treaty with Japan. Hang on. This is a man contemplating economic war against China, and he wants to kick it off by sacking his most effective regional ally. Is it any wonder the Chinese are confused by the messages he’s sending?

Strip out the noise, and the market picture hasn’t really changed. Everyone is trying to arbitrage ultra-low rates. That’s why folk are buying bonds – they expect lower-for-longer and ease from the ECB and FED. That’s why people are buying stocks – they expect a demand boost from lower rates fueling a further round of corporate buybacks and more yield tourist money.

But a few cracks are appearing. We are beginning to see a measure of risk pricing back in the markets as junk bond relative spreads start to widen. I particularly like the quote: “We are deep into the credit cycle, with increasing leverage on Corporate balance sheets and fewer safeguards to protect against a worsening backdrop”. NSS award on its way to Citi’s credit strategy team. Even more interesting is the other side of debt coin – issuers rushing to issue before it breaks.  There is a deluge of low-grade junk debt hitting the US market.  Junk issuance is up around 16% over last year as companies look to fund at advantageous rates – and investors are biting today. They might not tomorrow.

The real issue isn’t just the worryingly toppy slew of supply at ultra low rates – it’s what happens when the market reverses. Let’s assume we do get a surprise trade agreement down the line, or the global economy isn’t so dire as bond markets seem to hope. Let’s assume the numbers get better. And the Fed doesn’t cut US rates in the face of signs of recovery. Let’s just wonder what happens when rates start to rise.. Ouch!

And… at that point.. the bond market has a massive coronary. What happens then? Everyone will try to exit – it will be 2007 again. Then everyone was trying to unload bank paper. This time it will be mispriced corporate debt. It will prove utterly and completely illiquid. There will be tears, but there will be bargain hunters.

Illiquidity has become a market theme lately – some very good articles about illiquid investments held by funds including Woodford, GAM and now, French fund H2O. The story is simple: in each case it looks like fund managers have been juicing returns in open-ended funds by buying illiquid assets that have proved difficult to sell. As soon as the market started to question their liquidity, these assets set like concrete. In Woodford’s case it was small cap equity. It was illiquidity and gating its Absolute Return fund that sank GAM last year - but it was a whole series of investments, including a large financing for the acquisition of a hydro-electric and aluminium smelter by an Indian commodities firm, that triggered the alarms.

Last week I was warning these examples of ignoring liquidity are likely to trigger significant regulatory action – and it looks to be happening. It will get increasingly difficult for any investor to purchase “illiquid” investments – which will further distort investment efficiency. When the crash comes, anyone holding long-term “alternative” style assets will find the market is likely to be closed – locked shut. Most Alternative buyers get that – they want uncorrelated risk. A panicked sell-off of illiquid assets is exactly what happened to esoteric assets in 2007/09. There was fear – and some speculators made off like bandits with illiquid, but perfectly performing assets.

The correct alternative investment strategy is to seek assets less distorted by QE and buy uncorrelated, delinked alternatives on an absolutely honest basis – and do the due diligence very carefully. The market will lock down again. In a market where distortions cause high-yield junk bonds at levels more appropriate to AA corporate risk, illiquidity is inevitable.

I suppose the bright side is that any rushed regulation of liquidity will simply make illiquid assets cheaper, and then even more attractive to buy! 

  • 25 juin 2019 à 16:25

Spying Police Robots (Daleks) Coming To A City Near You

Par Activist Post
By MassPrivateI Six years ago, I predicted that Knightscope robots (Daleks) might replace police officers, and it appears that I was right. According to CBS Los...

Consumer Confidence Collapses To 2 Year Lows

Par Tyler Durden

After a hope-filled bounce in May, The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence index plunged in June from a revised 131.3 to 121.5 (well below expectations of a modest drop to 131.0).

This is the weakest confidence print since July 2017...

 

Finally, we note that the gap between current and future confidence (DoubleLine's Jeff Gundlach's favorite recession indicator) is flashing big red recessionary signals...

The spread between savings and confidence is turning back down also - just as it did in 2007 and 2000...

You can only dis-save to spend (and juice confidence) for so long!

  • 25 juin 2019 à 16:17

Rostec reveals features of the brand new Russian reconnaissance drone Korsar

Par Paul Antonopoulos

MOSCOW – Korsar’s latest reconnaissance drone can fly at an altitude of more than 5,000 meters for 8 hours, the state-owned consortium Rostec said on Tuesday. A Korsar flight model is demonstrated for the first time in a way accessible to the public at the International Military Technical Forum ARMY 2019, near Moscow. According to […]

The post Rostec reveals features of the brand new Russian reconnaissance drone Korsar appeared first on Fort Russ.

Gillette Stadium’s Facial Recognition Can Identify Fans Before They Enter The Stadium

Par Activist Post
By MassPrivateI One of the NFL’s premiere franchises, the New England Patriots is using “Evolve Edge” millimeter wave/facial recognition scanners to identify fans before they enter...

New Home Sales Crash In May To Weakest Since 2018

Par Tyler Durden

After existing-home-sales rebounded modestly in May, hope was high that lower mortgage rates would spark a renaissance in the US housing market... but a shocking 7.8% crash in new home sales in May has blown that narrative out of the water.

Against expectations of a 1.6% MoM rise, new home sales plunged 7.8% in May to 626k, the weakest level since Dec 2018...

This collapse is happening despite the plunge in mortgage rates.

Median prices of new homes tumbled from $335.1K to $308K, lowest since Jan 2019...

Purchases of new homes fell in the Northeast and the West, where they dropped the most since 2010. Sales rose in the South and Midwest.

Along with the disappointing data from Case-Shiller, the rebound - on low rates - in US housing appears to be another dead cat bounce, not a phoenix.

  • 25 juin 2019 à 16:07

Hackers Hit Global Telcos, Steal Large Amounts of Personal and Corporate Data

Par Activist Post
By Sean Walton Hackers have broken into the systems of more than a dozen global telecom companies and taken large amounts of personal and corporate...

Porsche Recalling Over 100,000 Vehicles Due To Risk Of "Rolling Away" While In Park

Par Tyler Durden

Porsche recently announced that it would be recalling over 100,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada due to a risk of "fooling drivers into believing the transmission is in park", and rolling away, according to Car Complaints.

While a driver can move the gear shift to the "Park" position, and even remove the ignition key under the impression that the vehicle is in park, the transmission may not be moving along with it, according to the recall. 

Without any warning messages or chimes, a driver could wind up exiting the vehicle and watch it roll down the street unattended. Porsche says the issue could be due to the plastic bushing that attaches the cable connection between the gear shifter and the gearbox detaching. 

Porsche learned about the issue in December 2018 and promptly commenced an internal investigation that found "numerous incidents" of detached cable bushings. The company said it hasn't learned of any injuries or property damage reports as a result of the issue. The recall will begin August 11, 2019 and, as a result, Porsche dealers will replace the shifter cable bushings.

About 99,700 vehicles were recalled in the U.S. and 8,742 in Canada. 

The full list of vehicles potentially affected is lengthy:

  • 2003-2006 Porsche Cayenne S
  • 2003-2006 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
  • 2004-2010 Porsche Cayenne
  • 2006 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
  • 2010-2016 Porsche Panamera S
  • 2010-2016 Porsche Panamera 4 S
  • 2010-2016 Porsche Panamera Turbo
  • 2011-2016 Porsche Panamera
  • 2011-2016 Porsche Panamera 4
  • 2012-2013 Porsche Panamera Turbo S
  • 2013-2016 Porsche Panamera 4 GTS
  • 2014-2016 Porsche Panamera 4 S Executive
  • 2014-2016 Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive
  • 2014-2016 Porsche Panamera Turbo S G1 II
  • 2014-2016 Porsche Panamera Turbo S Executive
  • 2013 Porsche Panamera 4 Platinum Edition
  • 2013 Porsche Panamera Platinum Edition
  • 2016 Porsche Panamera 4 Edition
  • 2016 Porsche Panamera Edition
  • 2016 Porsche Panamera Turbo S Executive Luxury Sport
  • 25 juin 2019 à 15:55

Will Silver Soon Follow Gold’s Lead?

Par Activist Post
By Stefan Gleason Gold prices have broken out of a massive multi-year consolidation pattern to the upside. That suggests the possibility of a massive multi-year...

10Y Tumbles Below 2.00% As Stocks Fail At Friday Cliff-Edge Again

Par Tyler Durden

Just a quick note to show the various attempts to lift stocks in the last 24-48 hours continue to fail...

Dow futs back at Friday's lows...

We're gonna need more quad witches.

And 10Y Yields are slumping back towards post-Fed lows, back below 2.00%...

However, don't worry America...

Stock Market is heading for one of the best months (June) in the history of our Country. Thank you Mr. President!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2019
  • 25 juin 2019 à 15:40

Deputy Foreign Minister reveals why Russian military arrived in Venezuela

Par Paul Antonopoulos

MOSCOW – On Tuesday, Sergei Ryabkov, deputy foreign minister of Russia, stated that Russia does not intend to increase its presence in Venezuela. The Russian military has arrived in Venezuela to carry out technical maintenance of military equipment that was previously supplied, Ryabkov said. “We are doing a planned work that does not aim to […]

The post Deputy Foreign Minister reveals why Russian military arrived in Venezuela appeared first on Fort Russ.

If History Still Matters, Silver Is Poised For A Huge Move

Par Tyler Durden

Authored by John Rubino via DollarCollapse.com,

It’s been a pretty good couple of months for precious metals, but more so for gold than silver. Both are up but gold is up more, and the imbalance that this creates might be one of the major investment themes of the next few years.

The gold/silver ratio – that is, how many ounces of silver it takes to buy an ounce of gold – has bounced all over the place since the 1960s. But whenever it’s gotten extremely high – say above 80 – silver outperformed gold, sometimes dramatically.

As this is written, the ratio stands at almost 93x, which is not far from its record high. With precious metals finally breaking out of a five-year siesta – and the world getting dramatically scarier – it’s not a surprise that safe haven assets are catching a bid. And it would also not be a surprise if the current move has legs, as central banks resume their easing and geopolitical tensions persist.

Combine a chaotic, easy-money world with silver’s relative cheapness and the result is a nice set-up, for both the metal and the stocks of the companies that mine it. Here’s the one-month chart for First Majestic Silver (AG), a large primary silver producer. It’s up about 40%, even while silver underperforms gold. Let the metal start to outperform in the context of an overall precious metals bull run, and stocks like this will go parabolic.

Assuming, of course, that history still matters.

  • 25 juin 2019 à 15:35

Poll Shows Strong Majority of Americans Oppose Attacking Iran

Par Activist Post
By Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) — While officials have denied that there was any political component to the US not attacking Iran on Thursday, a newly released poll from...

NATO Tells Russia To Destroy New Missile Or Face Consequences

Par Tyler Durden

NATO defense ministers will hold talks on Wednesday over their next move if Russia doesn't destroy a new missile system that could allow for short-notice nuclear attacks throughout Europe, which the United States has said violates the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), according to Reuters

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg

"We call on Russia to take the responsible path, but we have seen no indication that Russia intends to do so," said Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at a news conference, adding "We will need to respond.

While he declined to go into further detail, diplomats have said their defense ministers will consider allowing more flights over Europe by nuclear-capable US warplanes, as well as more military training and the strategic repositioning of US sea-based missiles. 

Novator 9M729

The United States and its NATO allies want Russia to destroy its 9M729/SSC-8 nuclear-capable cruise missile system, which Moscow has so far refused to do. It denies any violations of the INF treaty, accusing Washington of seeking an arms race.

Without a deal, the United States has said it will withdraw from the INF treaty on Aug. 2, removing constraints on its own ability to develop nuclear-capable, medium-range missiles.

The dispute has deepened a fissure in East-West ties that severely deteriorated after Russia’s seizure of Crimea and its involvement in Syria. -Reuters

On Monday, Russia responded - warning of an ongoing standoff comparable to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis if the United States deploys land-based missile systems near Russian borders. Stoltenberg said there were no such plans according to the report. 

NATO Amabassador to the United States, Kay Bailey Hutchison, told reporters that the Trump administration would only consider conventional, not nuclear weapons as the only possible response. 

"All options are on the table but we are looking at conventional systems, that’s important for our European allies to know," she said. 

EU allies are also concerned about an escalation of capabilities in the region, similar to what occurred in the 1980s, and that competition between the Kremlin and the White House would put Europe at great risk. 

The INF treaty banning land-based missiles with a range between 300 - 3,400 miles was signed by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It was ratified in the US Senate, after which the medium-range arsenals of both countries downgraded their ability to launch short-notice nuclear strikes.

  • 25 juin 2019 à 15:15

Why I Refuse to Stay Home Despite Terrorists, Mass Shooters, Invasive Airport Security, and Other Villains

Par Activist Post
By Daisy Luther I like to travel to foreign lands and go to concerts. There are certain films I want to see at the theater...

Europe Won’t Admit the Mini-BOTs Are Coming

Par Andrey Areshev

Italy is in serious trouble financially. This is virtually common knowledge at this point. What isn’t common knowledge is its Euroskeptic government led by Lega’s Matteo Salvini and Five Star Movement’s Luigi Di Maio are preparing an assault on the foundation of the European Union itself to save Italy.

And that assault comes with the most innocuous name. Mini-BOT. Mini-BOTs were originally the idea of former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis to assist Greece get out of the stranglehold placed on it by the euro.

What is a mini-BOT? It is a small denomination (mini) Bill of Treasury (BOT) that can be issued by, in this case, the Italian government to act as a domestic currency for settling government debts, paying taxes, etc.

It would be a parallel currency which could circulate freely domestically at a discount to the euro which would work as a medium of exchange to reflect the reality of the Italian economy better than the euro does.

The euro’s value is dominated by Germany’s economy. And, in short, by being so the euro overvalues Italy’s labor pool and undervalues Germany’s. Gresham’s Law states under-valued money is hoarded and over-valued spent. In Italy the euro is hoarded. In Germany it is spent. This is why Germany runs such a massive trade surplus against the other members of the euro-zone.

Italy (and Greece, Portugal, Spain and others) need a currency that can circulate to properly support domestic trade.

By mispricing Italian labor via the euro it keeps the goods produced in Italy uncompetitive on the world market. Italy’s central bank can only issue euro-denominated debt which trades at rates far lower than it should, enhancing Germany’s position.

The Italian economy, like Greece’s, is also strangled by the cost of servicing its national debt denominated in euros. This keeps the demand for money within the economy high for debt servicing purposes and its circulation low.

Low circulation equals low trade and a sluggish economy. The EU’s budget rules favor paying off creditors first and tending to the Italian economy second. The ‘austerity’ imposed on euro-zone members, because of this mispricing of both the debt and the euro itself, becomes doubly harsh when the euro rises, sucking the life out of the debtor nation.

As the currency rises, the value of the debt rises versus the labor it is a claim against also rises. Then the country’s creditors need a bailout, which they get. The debt gets ‘restructured’ to put the debtor on an even-longer dated hamster wheel of repayment and some of it gets paid off in the form of national assets now trading at a fraction of its real value.

The mini-BOT seeks to reverse this process by allowing the Italian treasury to issue them as interest-bearing small bills which can be used to purchase goods and services in the Italian market but which will also be redeemable to pay for government services and taxes.

Doing this bypasses the euro completely and these will trade at a discount to the euro, thereby setting a proper exchange rate for Italy’s economy relative to Europe’s as a whole and increasing money velocity.

This is what Salvini and Di Maio are in favor of and what they will likely introduce soon.

And it is imperative that you understand what this means for the European Union. It is an existential threat to the current Germany-dominated political order. The main purpose of the euro was do to exactly what we have seen since its introduction, create a structural advantage for German industry through which Germany’s political class can dominate the EU itself. It was specifically designed to roll up the wealth of the continent in this way, bankrupt countries less competitive than Germany and keep them that way trapped within this single currency regime.

Laying aside my myriad and sundry libertarian and Austrian economics-based objections to this system of debt-based fiat currency, the current structure of the euro is even more monstrous than that of the individual currencies themselves. But, the Mini-BOT is a stop-gap measure on the road back to monetary and fiscal sanity. Not perfect, but the right first step.

Italy’s sovereignty-focused government, an outgrowth of the desperation of the Italian people, understand this dynamic at a deep level. It is why Salvini and Di Maio have attacked Brussels on the issue of the budget rules, tax cuts and infrastructure spending while soft-pedaling to the Italian people their radical agenda, which is to force a reorganization of power in Brussels or, failing that, take Italy out of the euro completely.

I have been arguing for over two years now since Matteo Salvini came onto the scene as a major player in Italian politics that his best path for success is to always and consistently put Brussels into the position of the bad guy.

Breach a budget rule here, detain some human traffickers there.

Each time the EU responds in the most predictable way, Salvini gains popularity and his arguments against Brussels’ unwillingness to listen gain credence.

And what scares Brussels the most is not what they say do – an increase in Italy’s debt, unsustainable spending, etc. Italy is nearly unsalvageable under a euro-only currency regime. No, what EU leadership fears the most is that this parallel domestic currency system of the mini-BOT actually works.

Because once it does it will show the rest of Europe just how corrupt and vindictive EU leadership is. As if Brexit talks haven’t exposed this fundamental truth to them already. And once that happens, the future of the EU itself comes into sincere doubt.

From what I understand, through anecdotal evidence, Salvini and Di Maio are going to move quickly on the mini-BOT, not just as a threat but as a real thing.

And their problems now lie with who I call the Troika of Technocrats who hold the positions to block their plans – President Sergei Mattarella, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Finance Minister Giovanni Tria.

These are all the epitome of the Italian Swamp. They work for the old guard political order in Italy who, like most of the political establishment in the U.K., work for Brussels.

They will try to take down the Italian government before the mini-BOT becomes more than a discussion in parliament. Conte already threatened to resign over this issue. You’ll notice he didn’t do so.

And that to me is a huge tell. Conte bluffed Salvini and lost. Because with Di Maio in charge of Five Star and the poll numbers where they are, the Troika could all easily be removed if they take down the government (see my article linked above for the tactical situation).

If Salvini did it, it would hurt him. But, again, Salvini is way too sharp an operator to fall for that trap. So it will have to come from President Mattarella and Prime Minister Conte, if it comes at all.

They have to move quickly to get the Mini-BOT in place. Europe’s finances are unraveling quickly. The ECB is looking at lowering rates again once Mario Draghi exits the stage to leave the mess for his replacement.

Deutsche Bank is looking to spin off a small portion of its bad assets into a Bad Bank while Germany’s economy continues cratering and a hard Brexit is looking more and more likely.

None of these things are euro positive and none of them help the EU in its fight to keep Italy in the fold.

Italy will need the mini-BOT once this huge move into sovereign debt is over. It is rapidly becoming the most over-crowded trade in history with nearly $12 trillion in debt now carrying a negative return.

For now, Draghi and the rest of the would-be oligarchs in Brussels are in denial about what Salvini and Di Maio are planning. They won’t be once the power struggle for Italy’s government takes center stage in September when the budget is proposed, Brussels tries to impose fines and Salvini starts selling mini-BOTs.

You shouldn’t have to wonder how the markets are going to respond to that.

US Military Is a Bigger Polluter Than as Many as 140 Countries – Shrinking This War Machine Is a Must

Par Andrey Areshev

Benjamin NEIMARK, Oliver BELCHER, Patrick BIGGER

The US military’s carbon bootprint is enormous. Like corporate supply chains, it relies upon an extensive global network of container ships, trucks and cargo planes to supply its operations with everything from bombs to humanitarian aid and hydrocarbon fuels. Our new study calculated the contribution of this vast infrastructure to climate change.

Greenhouse gas emission accounting usually focuses on how much energy and fuel civilians use. But recent work, including our own, shows that the US military is one of the largest polluters in history, consuming more liquid fuels and emitting more climate-changing gases than most medium-sized countries. If the US military were a country, its fuel usage alone would make it the 47th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, sitting between Peru and Portugal.

In 2017, the US military bought about 269,230 barrels of oil a day and emitted more than 25,000 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide by burning those fuels. The US Air Force purchased US$4.9 billion worth of fuel, and the navy US$2.8 billion, followed by the army at US$947m and the Marines at US$36m.

It’s no coincidence that US military emissions tend to be overlooked in climate change studies. It’s very difficult to get consistent data from the Pentagon and across US government departments. In fact, the United States insisted on an exemption for reporting military emissions in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. This loophole was closed by the Paris Accord, but with the Trump administration due to withdraw from the accord in 2020, this gap will will return.

Our study is based on data retrieved from multiple Freedom of Information Act requests to the US Defense Logistics Agency, the massive bureaucratic agency tasked with managing the US military’s supply chains, including its hydrocarbon fuel purchases and distribution.

The US military has long understood that it isn’t immune from the potential consequences of climate change – recognising it as a “threat multiplier” that can exacerbate other risks. Many, though not all, military bases have been preparing for climate change impacts like sea level rise. Nor has the military ignored its own contribution to the problem. As we have previously shown, the military has invested in developing alternative energy sources like biofuels, but these comprise only a tiny fraction of spending on fuels.

The American military’s climate policy remains contradictory. There have been attempts to “green” aspects of its operations by increasing renewable electricity generation on bases, but it remains the single largest institutional consumer of hydrocarbons in the world. It has also locked itself into hydrocarbon-based weapons systems for years to come, by depending on existing aircraft and warships for open-ended operations.

Not green, but less, military

Climate change has become a hot-button topic on the campaign trail for the 2020 presidential election. Leading Democratic candidates, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, and members of Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are calling for major climate initiatives like the Green New Deal. For any of that to be effective, the US military’s carbon bootprint must be addressed in domestic policy and international climate treaties.

Our study shows that action on climate change demands shuttering vast sections of the military machine. There are few activities on Earth as environmentally catastrophic as waging war. Significant reductions to the Pentagon’s budget and shrinking its capacity to wage war would cause a huge drop in demand from the biggest consumer of liquid fuels in the world.

It does no good tinkering around the edges of the war machine’s environmental impact. The money spent procuring and distributing fuel across the US empire could instead be spent as a peace dividend, helping to fund a Green New Deal in whatever form it might take. There are no shortage of policy priorities that could use a funding bump. Any of these options would be better than fuelling one of the largest military forces in history.

theconversation.com

Démantèlement des services publics : une émission radio dresse le véritable bilan social des privatisations

Par Rédaction

Quel est le réel bilan des privatisations ? Celle de France Télécom se solde par un procès exceptionnel, ouvert le 6 mai et qui se conclura le 11 juillet : les trois principaux hauts dirigeants de la multinationale devenue Orange y sont accusés de harcèlement moral suite au profond mal-être social qui a frappé l'entreprise. D'autres services publics – Aéroports de Paris, La Poste, la SNCF, les hôpitaux, EDF – sont en cours de démantèlement, voire de privatisations. Comment les salariés vivent-ils cette (...)

- ça bouge ! / ,

Why Biden Is Wrong About the Rich

Par Andrey Areshev

On June 18th, Bloomberg News headlined “Biden Tells Elite Donors He Doesn’t Want to ‘Demonize’ the Rich” and reported Biden’s speech that day to “affluent donors … about 100 well-dressed donors at the Carlyle Hotel on New York’s Upper East Side, where the hors d’oeuvres included lobster, chicken satay and crudites”:

Remember, I got in trouble with some of the people on my team, on the Democratic side, because I said, you know, what I’ve found is rich people are just as patriotic as poor people. Not a joke. I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who’s made money. …

Nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living would change. Nothing would fundamentally change. …

I need you very badly.

The reporter, Jennifer Epstein, wrote: “Invoking Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’s goal of political ‘revolution,’ Biden suggested that he would be the antidote.”

Maybe this is like when King Louis XV of France, prior to the French Revolution, reportedly said “Après moi le déluge” (and some ‘historian’ then alleged that the phrase had been said instead by his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, and some other ‘historian’ then changed that phrase to “Après nous le déluge,” — changing “me” to “we” — in order to make this altered version seem credible as having been from her, and the King not seem so self-obsessed). Nobody actually knows whether the French King actually was that prophetic about the Revolution to come. But he could have been.

Biden needs the super-rich, because, in today’s American politics, ‘elections’ are instead s‘elections’, by those very few super-rich people, and he therefore needs them, to select him, so that his campaign will then have enough money to fool enough of the Party’s voters to vote for him. The bogeyman he normally cites is Sanders, because Sanders publicly insists upon representing the public, instead of the super-rich, and because Sanders says that there is a hot and heavy class-war raging now in this country — not between Karl Marx’s “bourgeoisie” versus “proletariat,” but instead between the aristocracy versus the public, which is to say, between America’s 585 billionaires versus everyone else. Biden’s answer to that (his answer to Sanders’s analysis), as paraphrased by Bloomberg’s Epstein, was that as President, Biden would be “making marginal changes that would improve the lives of working and middle class Americans without slapping onerous taxes on the rich.” (Oh, and how would that be possible, given that taxes on the rich are already near record-low? Perhaps by increasing the federal debt above its current $23T? So, it would need to be paid by future generations? Biden doesn’t care about them, at all?) In other words: he’d keep the public’s wool pulled over their eyes, at least enough so as to avoid any “revolution” to “fundamentally change” America’s status-quo (of declining public services and soaring government debt). This is certainly what the billionaires want, but does it really represent the interests of the American public? Does he really think it does?

Earlier, on 8 May 2018, Biden had given a speech at the billionaires’ neoconservative neoliberal Brookings Institution, in which he said, “We have to deal with income inequity. I love Bernie, but I’m not Bernie Sanders. I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason why we’re in trouble. … The folks at the top aren’t bad guys. I get in trouble in my party when I say wealthy Americans are just as patriotic as poor folks. I found no distinction. I really haven’t.”

As usual, he lies, because the nation’s 585 billionaires control its international corporations, and the public does not, and those corporations have enormous lobbies and they control and/or outright own all of the major media and so represent their interests exclusively, just like America’s Government does. He knows this, but he lies, in order to win.

Furthermore: he has enough experience with America’s super-rich so that he knows what they are really like. He doesn’t need to be told about this by the social scientists who have actually studied the matter. Here is what they have reported (but Biden would never tell you this):

Empirical studies find that successful people tend to be bad: it’s natural for the scum and not the cream to rise to the top in organizations or in any society. The richer they are, the more hostile toward the poor they become. So, the wealthier a person is, the worse the person tends to be. The scientific studies show this. And it’s not just this, but success itself tends to make a person worse than the person was before the success. Even if a person became rich purely by luck, that lucky event itself makes the person more inclined to blame the poor, instead of to blame the rich, for society’s problems. This isn’t only among Trump and other Republicans; it is also among most Democrats (which is why Biden scores now above Sanders in the Democratic candidate polls). In any aristocracy, praise goes only upward, and blame goes only downward. Look at the prisons — how many billionaires are found there? The percentage of them who are in prison, as compared to the total number of American billionaires, is far smaller than is the percentage of billionaires, as compared to the total American population (585/330 million=1.8 per million). The richest American in prison is Bill Cosby, but his net worth was only $400M or 0.4B, so, he’s not one. Therefore, the percentage of the 585 billionaires who are in prison is not 1.8 per million (as in the general US population); it is actually zero. None of the 585 is or ever was in prison. Are they really more honest than is the average American? This is another example indicating that it’s natural that, at the very top, the people tend to be the very worst, the least compassionate ones of all, the most psychopathic — and the most unaccountable of all. Their crimes (dangerous products, deceptive advertising, toxic air, global warming, etc.) normally affect millions (and nobody now in a US prison has done nearly so much harm), but they get off scot-free (and maybe their stockholders get fined, at most). In fact, globally, the richest 10%, 770 million people, produce 50% of the global-warming gases, and the poorest 50%, 3.9 billion people, produce 10% of the global-warming gases; so, those 770 million produce, per person, 25 times as much as does a person in that 3.9 billion. (And, yet, by far the people who will suffer the most horrifically from global warming — and who might try to escape it by heading north and getting slammed by rulers such as Trump — are the poorest. Nature isn’t just, at all. Justice is unnatural, and government is supposed to be that type of unnatural, but it almost never is. Trump is, in this sense, simply normal for his class. And Biden finds this anti-poor attitude (which Obama likewise had, though he pontificated to the contrary) to be acceptable. How often is Biden publicly even asked about such facts as these? Never. Our political contests are laughable, a farce and a fraud. And scientific study after scientific study shows that the US Government is controlled not by the voters — not by the public — but by the dollars — by the wealth (the few richest). The US Government is s‘elected’, by the few extremely rich, and is not actually elected, by the electorate (the public — the many voters). Usually, these s‘elections’ are done during the primaries, when the mass of voters aren’t even paying attention to political (i.e., governmental) matters, and this is precisely such a moment, when the electorate who don’t care about the issues are paying attention only to the personalities. Moreover, in America, the wealthiest 1% are, on average, extreme conservatives, and they are, on average, constantly and obsessively concerned with politics — vastly more obsessed with it than persons in the general public (the poorer 99%) are. The rich tend to be psychopaths, and the billionaires are extremely so.

Good government is not natural; bad government is natural. Good government is unnatural. Biden, both in his voting record in the US Senate, and in his actions as the US V.P., has already proven that he is entirely satisfied with America’s having a natural government, a government by the richest, the greediest, the most psychopathic, the mega-donors. These are the people who are unfortunately also the most obsessed with government — not that it should be better than it is, but that it must be made even worse than it is, and maybe even privatized so that they can control it more directly. Biden tells them “I need you very badly,” because they know that, without their buying him, he won’t stand even a chance of becoming the next President — he won’t be s‘elected’. And he’s telling them that he knows, that it’s a farce. He wants them to know that he knows.

But they also know that Pete Buttigieg is like Obama was, a much slicker version of Biden, and so they are also pouring millions into Buttigieg’s campaign. The New York Times recently headlined “Wall Street Donors Are Swooning for Mayor Pete. (They Like Biden and Harris, Too.)”, and reported that “Even a donor who recently put together an event for one of Mr. Buttigieg’s rivals said that, these days, ‘the easiest event to sell out is a Buttigieg event.’”

Apparently, America will continue to have a natural government, and only the face of it is at stake in the 2020 Presidential campaigns.

The Balkans and Their Consequences – Serbia in Focus, A Veritable Tinderbox

Par Guest Author

By Aleksandar Pavic – from Strategic Culture – Where to start with today’s Balkans… Now, or almost three decades ago, when the victorious West decided, as its strategic and ideological foe disintegrated, that it could fearlessly flout the post-WW II international order standing on the key pillars of respect for the territorial integrity of states […]

The post The Balkans and Their Consequences – Serbia in Focus, A Veritable Tinderbox appeared first on Fort Russ.

Iranian President: White House suffers from “mental retardation”

Par Joaquin Flores

TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani sharply criticized the US administration after it introduced new sanctions against the political and military leadership of the Islamic Republic. The head of the Iranian government (the posts of president and prime minister in Iran are combined) called the new sanctions “outrageous and idiotic”, and the White House and its current […]

The post Iranian President: White House suffers from “mental retardation” appeared first on Fort Russ.

Elon Musk Is Gaslighting America

Par Andrey Areshev

Robert SCHEER

Tesla, from the get-go, has sold itself as a green dream in our era of rapidly-worsening climate change. But there’s a lot about the electric car company that’s more nightmarish than many of its fans or even the California government, which heavily subsidizes Tesla’s operations with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax exemptions and other incentives, would like to admit.

Will Evans, an award-winning journalist with the Center for Investigative Reporting, published a hard-hitting series about Tesla’s flagrant labor violations, exposing Elon Musk’s purportedly progressive business for what it truly is: a green mirage. In the series, Evans reports on the clash between the manufacturing elements of the company and the management that operates like a tech startup, and how this contradiction has created often dangerous conditions for Tesla factory workers. Rather than address these very real issues, however, Musk and his company have chosen to brush them off and hide reports of injuries in order to maintain the illusion its customers buy into when they purchase their luxurious Tesla cars.

“We started looking into Tesla because we were hearing that there was safety problems there, people getting hurt,” Evans tells Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer in the latest installment of “Scheer Intelligence.” “It has this great reputation for being this futuristic, forward-thinking, world-saving company that’s going to bring sustainable energy to transportation and revolutionize how we do things. And a lot of people go there because of that.

“What we found was that, under pressure to meet its production goals, it was really leaving safety, worker safety, by the wayside, and had prioritized cranking out cars as fast as possible, and left its workers dealing with all kinds of serious injuries. And then was actually trying to hide those injuries in order to make its safety record look better.”

The revelations should have jolted Musk and California officials to take a deeper look into the company’s operations, but quite the opposite took place. While state officials did in fact grill Tesla after the investigative reports were published, according to Evans, they are mostly afraid regulating the company could push Tesla—with its factory and the jobs it creates—out of the state. As for the CEO, he had a response that anyone reading any news about the arrogant tech baron might expect.

“The company and its supporters, and Elon, sees this all as sort of an attack on him and on the company—that people want to see it fail,” Evans tells Scheer. “[Tesla] went as far as to say that [the Center for Investigative Reporting” is] an extremist organization … working on a disinformation campaign. [Musk] went on to attack journalists in general for being beholden to the fossil fuel industry because of advertisements, and gthat that’s why journalists are out to get Tesla.

“When someone pointed out that, hey, over here at the Center for Investigative Reporting we don’t even have advertisements, we’re a nonprofit, he went on Twitter and he called us just a bunch of rich kids from Berkeley who took their political science professor too seriously. That was his diss.”

Scheer points out how stories about Tesla aren’t so different from other troubling stories coming out of Silicon Valley.

“These companies have escaped serious regulation—antitrust, [accountability, occupational standards],” says the Truthdig editor in chief. “We’ve kind of anointed these new industrialists as somehow prophets of a future, whether it’s at Apple or Google or Tesla or Facebook. They’ve got the magic wand; they know where it’s all headed. What you have in Elon Musk is sort of the poster boy for that arrogance. He just shrugged it off. You could do investigative reporting, you had the facts, it’s solid as can be—and they just don’t have to care, because they’re the wave of the future, right?”

Listen to the full discussion between Scheer and Evans as they talk about the wider issue with Silicon Valley and green washing, as well as the hypocrisy behind tech barons’ libertarian approach to government. You can also read a transcript of the interview below the media player and find past episodes of “Scheer Intelligence” here.

—Introduction by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

Robert Scheer: Hi, this is Robert Scheer with another edition of “Scheer Intelligence,” where the intelligence comes from my guests. In this case, it’s Will Evans, a highly regarded investigative reporter with Reveal, which is basically a radio investigative program carried on, I think, 450 stations. And it’s part of the Center for Investigative [Reporting] in Emeryville, California, which has filled in for the void left by the weakening of mainstream newspapers and news organizations, and does terrific work. And what Will Evans does, and what I want to talk to him about, is basically he’s looked into the sausage of internet life and how that sausage is made. He evaluated Uber and got all sorts of prizes for it, and the question of Silicon Valley’s discrimination against different categories of employees. And the one that’s gotten the most recent attention is he dared to look into the inner workings of Tesla, the electric car company that has been celebrated widely. And found, you know what, it ain’t that different than horrible working conditions at lots of assembly-line businesses, no matter how nouveau the product. So why don’t you really tell us what you found in this investigative series?

Will Evans: Sure, thanks for having me on here, appreciate that. We started looking into Tesla because we were hearing that there was safety problems there, people getting hurt. And it had this, as you say, it has this great reputation for being this futuristic, forward-thinking, world-saving company that’s going to, you know, bring sustainable energy to transportation and revolutionize how we do things. And a lot of people go there because of that. And what we found was that, under pressure to meet its production goals, it was really leaving safety, worker safety, by the wayside, and had prioritized cranking out cars as fast as possible, and left its workers dealing with all kinds of serious injuries. And then was actually trying to hide those injuries in order to make its safety record look better.

RS: You know, in a way, this sort of investigative series that you’re doing, and other people at the Center for Investigative [Reporting], really goes to the heart of how do we make things these days. And how does Apple make iPhones in China, and are people paid, what, two bucks an hour, or less or more, and what are the working conditions? And people are so enamored with the product, the slickness, the style. Tesla cars, you know, came in as high product, high quality and very expensive. They don’t want to look under the hood; they don’t want to look at how the sausage is made. And so give us the specifics. Because reading your series, it’s a guy gets his back busted when the, trying to assemble a car, or all sorts of bad products are consumed; paint destroys their health, and what have you. And we forget, it’s still–yes, robots are involved, but there are still human beings out there popping in and out of cars as they’re moving down an assembly line. And it has a lot of the downside of traditional manufacturing, and actually you pointed out Tesla had a worse record than the industry standard.

WE: Yeah, and what you see is, you know, all the–in manufacturing, you have a ton of manual labor, and a lot of heavy machinery and dangerous, potentially dangerous conditions. And a lot of, thousands of people working in that factory. And then you have the tech company operating almost like a startup that’s going very fast, growing very fast, changing things on the fly, as if it were as easy as to change some software. And you end up, those two things clash with each other, and people start getting hurt. And yeah, exactly, you have the guy who has the trunk of a Model X Tesla fall on his back when he’s inside, and he ends up getting sent back to work; you know, they tell him to just go back to work, he can barely walk. You have people, everything from getting your finger cut off, or they had an incident where people were sprayed with molten metal, electric explosions that burned people, breathing toxic fumes from chemical fires or from paint and adhesives, to just a lot of repetitive injuries.

RS: So you know, really what we’re talking about is a glamour industry of Silicon Valley in which very often they don’t even make money, but there’s a lot of venture capital goes into that. And then to justify it, they have to cut corners and squeeze. And in Tesla’s case, they’ve raised a lot of money, they’ve spent a lot of money, and they haven’t made a lot in the way of profits, and they’ve missed their production schedules. And so in a way, you have an old-fashioned assembly line speed-up, don’t you? Trying to get these workers to work harder, when in fact the conditions are not good. And then you rig the system: you have an in-house medical system that, as you documented, is involved in sort of cover-up and corruption of these injuries. Workers are not sent to care that they’re entitled to under workers’ comp. And then finally, a very aggressive medical practitioner, doctor, takes over this business, and he becomes complicit with their profit motives, rather than the health of the workers. Does that sort of summarize what you found?

WE: Yeah, that’s a good summary. I mean, I think they are under the gun to produce these incredible production goals that–I mean, it’s very difficult to meet those.

RS: You can say his name, you can say the name of the man who keeps promoting it.

WE: [Laughs] Well, right, so Elon Musk, right? He’s making a lot of promises, he’s got a lot riding on it. It’s a tremendously valuable company that’s not had a great record at actually making a profit, and has missed goal after goal after goal. And so, yeah, his future is riding on this, the future of the company is riding on this, and the answer has been to just work the hell out of these workers, and do things so fast that precautions aren’t being taken. And safety is not going to get in the way of something that–that’s what, we would talk to these safety professionals who worked in the factory, and they’re hired by Tesla to evaluate the–why people are getting hurt, and try to solve that. And they would come up with these fixes or make these warnings, and say hey, look, someone’s going to get really hurt, someone’s going to die. And they were told again and again that, look, we need to do this this way, Elon wants it, we need to keep the cars moving. And some of them left in disgust, and some of them were fired after raising concerns over and over again. And so, and these are people who, some of them come to Tesla because they really believe in the vision, and believe in Elon Musk. And then they’re disillusioned when they see, on the factory floor, people getting hurt in the name of progress.

RS: So really what it’s about is hype. And these events go unexamined. I mean, why did it remain for you to do this kind of investigation? You got wind of these things, but basically these people were rigging or undermining a system that is supposed to protect workers. If you’re injured, it’s supposed to be reported; you’re supposed to get treatment, right? You’re supposed to–what’d they do? They send people in a Lyft or an Uber to get care?

WE: [Laughs] Right, to the emergency room.

RS: And really, cover up–the whole thing reeks of kind of just old-fashioned cover up, you know. And yet using professionals, doctors and others, to look the other way. And the few people who object, the whistleblowers, they end up getting fired.

WE: Yeah. I mean that, I think that’s why it is hard to unearth this stuff, and some companies get away with it, is because the people who know what’s going on are very fearful that they will, their careers will be ruined if they speak up, that they’ll be sued. I mean, Tesla is very aggressive against whistleblowers. The people who worked for the medical clinic that I talked to have faced threats of legal action; they’ve been reported to the medical board; various forms of retaliation, really, for speaking up about what they saw. And many of them don’t want to talk at all–or will say I’ll talk, but don’t use my name. And so you need to find–you know, I need to find, like, those few courageous individuals who were so upset at what was going on that they’re just willing to risk it. That’s how you know that it really is extreme and serious, where you’d have this medical clinic that was seemingly designed to avoid having any record of these injuries, and a doctor who is operating under a lot of pressure to keep these injuries dismissed, or off the books, or not on workers’ comp. And you have this profit motive driving that. And a lot of people are afraid of both that doctor, they’re afraid of Elon Musk, they’re afraid of the power of Tesla. And so it’s hard to get that out.

RS: And they’re also afraid that it’s a lousy job market for good-paying jobs. You know, we have a lot of young people graduating now, getting out there in the field, and they can’t find–and here you have a glamour job. But let me ask you something about an old-fashioned check and balance that we used to have with labor unions. And that’s sort of not dealt with extensively in your articles, but there is a sort of subtext of keeping a strong union out. Now, it used to be if you were on the Ford assembly line, or General Motors or something, you had shop stewards; you had people, and if somebody was injured, they’d go to their shop steward and say, hey, you know, I just busted my arm, I got to go to emergency, they don’t want to send me. There was a check on the power of the people running the factory. Here, Elon Musk, according to your article, was able to say I don’t want yellow caution tape used around the scene of an accident, because it’s depressing. How do you get that kind of power? What kind of union, what kind of check and balance do they have within the Tesla plant?

WE: Well, so there is no union. That’s the short answer. The UAW was trying to organize, and the company was, fought that effort. And the union has claimed that a lot of its supporters were let go under the guise of layoffs and firings for, you know, production reasons. And then you have, I think there’s still some pending labor relations complaints in terms of how the company dealt with that. But the bottom line is that there is no union. The company and its supporters, and Elon, sees this all as sort of an attack on him and on the company, that people want to see it fail. He argues that, you know, the unionized plants don’t have better records for their workers, and that workers would be worse off with the union. And so far has gotten away with that, and has used the union as this sort of bogeyman–they tried to attack our reporting by saying it was part of some coordinated attack with the union. Which, I mean, we had nothing to do with that, but it’s a convenient excuse. They went as far as to say that we were an extremist organization when we came out with that first piece.

RS: “We” being the Center for Investigative Reporting?

WE: That’s right, yeah. They called Reveal an extremist organization.

RS: OK–

WE: –working on a disinformation campaign. And then another point, he went on to attack journalists in general for being beholden to the fossil fuel industry because of advertisements, and that that’s why journalists are out to get Tesla. And there’s this sort of a complex of, like, that they’re being persecuted. And when someone pointed out that, hey, over here at the Center for Investigative Reporting we don’t even have advertisements, we’re a nonprofit, he went on Twitter and he called us just a bunch of rich kids from Berkeley who took their political science professor too seriously. That was his diss. [Laughs]

RS: So let me–I mean, I want to get at that. Because there’s an aspect of this that relates to green washing, PR, how you spin. And this is not the old Ford company, Henry Ford, and you know, he’ll break the union and call the National Guard out and have his own police force and so forth–no! These people are on the side of enlightenment. And in the enlightened state of California, which is supposed to be deep blue, and you have these progressive governors like Jerry Brown was there during this critical period–the question I want to ask, we’re going to take a break for a minute, but when I come back with Will Evans from the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Reveal series, you can get this on their website. But basically, this is not happening in the Deep South with runaway shops, you know. This is happening in California. And what about all the laws that exist to protect workers when they’re injured, and their rights, and so forth? [omission for station break] I’m back with Will Evans, and we’re talking about his incredible series, really, on how the sausage is made in Silicon Valley. In this case we’re talking about Tesla cars; they’re shiny, they’re wonderful, people like looking at them, they’re expensive, now there’s actually one that’s more reasonably priced. And as with Apple phones, as with all of these products from the new tech industry, they’re not examined very carefully. And when you read this series you understand, no, people get their backs broken, they inhale dangerous fumes, all sorts of bad stuff happens, and it’s covered up. So I want to ask you, what about the state? The state of California has been very pro-electric car. And they actually have given Tesla, through various breaks and so forth, in one of your articles I think it said a $200 million state subsidy. And there’s also federal subsidy. So this is not just free enterprise doing what it has to do; this is a highly subsidized government entity, on the one hand, and yet government is not doing its due diligence of protecting workers in these plants in terms of occupational health and safety. Is that not a big contradiction?

WE: Yeah, there’s a couple of things working here. One is the focus in California on combating climate change and wanting to incentivize sustainable energy, and having these programs to provide tax exemptions to encourage that. They’re using a lot of–you know, Tesla’s the biggest recipient of these tax exemptions. And it’s because it’s like the–you know, it’s this huge hope for electric transportation. And so I think there’s a reluctance to turn that off, because of what it means for–what it promises for sustainable energy, but also in terms of what it promises for jobs. It’s the only car maker here in the state; it provides a lot of jobs. And so it has a lot of support, and powerful support, because of that. And people don’t want to see it leave, and they don’t want to see it go to another state or country. And so you might see a little bit of a lighter touch there. You also have the issue of worker protections, in terms of health and safety protections. They’re not all that strong, here or anywhere else in the country, in terms of how much you get fined for a–you know, when a worker dies, or gets maimed, and it’s deemed the company’s fault and a safety violation. I mean, these are–at most, you’re talking about like over $100,000, or maybe you get tens of thousands of dollars. Maybe you get much less than that, and then it gets reduced because of other, you know, in settlement negotiations. And that’s just not enough to change a company’s practices, I don’t think.

RS: You know, there’s a kind of a, there’s an important cultural critique in your articles. This is a very important series on Tesla, but in the other articles that I’ve read by you, whether it’s Uber or just generally in Silicon Valley, there’s a conceit that they are enlightened. They’re not like the old, industrial barons, and they’re not the people who do strip mining and so forth. That they’re on the side of the angels. So when a lot of, when people were jumping, workers in China jumping out of the window of their dormitories and so forth in desperation, and when we read about the low salaries paid for most of these shiny gadgets–people love the Tesla, and you give fairly wealthy people a tax break to buy one. And let me just, full confession, I own an electric car. I even own a Chevy Bolt, I hope the working–maybe you should tell me about the working conditions, better there, do they still have some check and balance of unions? I don’t know. But the fact is, we’re intrigued–we have an aura of progress, and yet they’re these shiny toys, and we–it’s too good to check. We really don’t want to know how they’re made. Isn’t it–and the reaction to your series was not one that brought about major change or scrutiny. They kind of shrugged it off. And they attacked, they shot the messenger; they attacked you for doing the series, the Tesla folks.

WE: That’s true, and there’s a lot of Tesla supporters, and I don’t think this is unique to Tesla, although I think there is more of a sort of cult following and a belief in the inherent wonderfulness of its leader. But there is a lot of people who just don’t want to hear any criticism, and who see any criticism as an attack, and a cynical attack, and something that is trying–you know, from the forces of darkness that are trying to undermine this great, progressive company that’s going to, you know. And it’s certainly not the only Silicon Valley company that says it’s doing good. So I think it is interesting, and representative in some ways of these, the image, the sleek image of do-gooder companies with an underside that no one wants to hear about. I think you’re right about that.

RS: Well, and it’s also the modern economy. I mean, you know, this is how things are going to be made, and if you don’t like–if the company says well, you’re enforcing these–like you say, they’re afraid in California they’ll take the company elsewhere. They’ll take it overseas, and they’ll find a [workforce], they’ll find governments that look the other way. And that’s really the challenge here. No one denies that we should move to a different kind of transportation, and that electric cars are critical to that. And you can even applaud the effort put into that by different engineering groups, and what have you. But at the end of the day, your description is one that–I wouldn’t say quite comes out of Dickens [Laughter]. But it’s certainly, I mean, people get their bodies destroyed, and they’re told to what, take a Lyft or an Uber and go check it out, and it’s got nothing to do with us, and the government looks the other way? The same government that, I mean, the figure you used I think was $200 million California has given in subsidies? And that government says we’ll subsidize you, but we don’t really care how you make this thing, and the working conditions, and so forth? I mean, that–that’s a prescription for disaster if that becomes the norm in production. And Silicon Valley is certainly the trend center.

WE: Yeah, I mean, I think there’s a–there’s probably people who think that, well, it’s better, even with the current conditions, it’s probably better that it’s being produced here in California than in China. So, you know, and these jobs do pay, and are seen as good jobs by many in the Central Valley. But that’s like only a good job until you get hurt and can’t work anymore, and you end up losing, sleeping in your car, as one of our, one of the people we talked to, had happened to him. I mean, it’s–you know, some people love it, but then, yeah, if you get destroyed by it, that–it’s not worth it.

RS: Well you know, just as a final point, we’ve kind of anointed these new industrialists as somehow prophets of a future, you know, whether it’s at Apple or Google or Tesla or Facebook. They’ve got the magic wand; they know where it’s all headed. And now, there’s sort of, there’s a pushback even from those same people. Tim Cook at Apple, for instance, has said look, we can’t exploit privacy, and we have to care about individual freedom, and we’re going too far. And what you have in Elon Musk is sort of the poster boy for that arrogance. He just shrugged it off. You could do investigative reporting, you had the facts, it’s solid as can be–and they just don’t have to care, because they’re the wave of the future, right?

WE: [Laughs] Yeah, I mean, he not only shrugged it off, but said it just wasn’t true. Said we were, you know, just basically lying, and that’s all. You know [Laughs], there was no, sort of–you know, you’re right, we could do better; it was just, ah, these guys are just lying, and don’t pay any attention to that. And that is scary. That is a scary thing, where there are so many people who are just willing to believe whatever he says on any subject. And I think it is a lesson for, you know, don’t believe the hype, for a lot of these tech leaders.

RS: Well, let me ask you a question structurally about the news business. You were honored by the Investigative Reporters and Editors with an award; your work is highly regarded. So in this case, the character assassination–attacking you, and challenging your motives–didn’t quite work. But I think what you do at Reveal, you know, goes out very wide. I know in fact the station that I’m doing this for, KCRW, carries Reveal; most of the NPR stations do. I think the figure is like 450 or something stations carry it. Do people care? Or is this just, you know, OK, nice, glad you called attention to it, but I want one of those shiny objects and I really don’t care how my iPhone is made or how my electric car is made. Is that what you’re getting?

WE: I think, I actually think there’s a lot of people who care. I don’t know how to measure it, but there was a lot of interest in this story. You know, a lot of pickup, a lot of other publications, a lot of people wrote in. There–it’s partly because it’s one of those companies that is fascinating, and that people are paying attention to, and does represent in some way the future. And so even people who don’t, who aren’t in the market to buy a Tesla, are kind of intrigued and interested in it. And there was–I mean, I definitely hear from people who are upset about this, and who have had their opinions changed, either by this in conjunction with other stories, but just sort of–they have come around to the idea that maybe, maybe some of these tech leaders–and you see it with Facebook, too, right? They’ve had their bubble pierced. You know, that these tech leaders are no longer, should no longer be seen as invincible or that they can’t do, that they can do no wrong. I think that they’re, that people are sort of waking up to the idea that there are problems with even companies that you want to believe in.

RS: So that leaves us, finally, with the big idea that I got out of your series. And it’s not the only place, as you say, with the Facebook controversy now; with the, you know, controversy about how Google uses our data. But it goes to a larger question. These companies have escaped serious regulation–antitrust, you know; accountability. Whether it’s occupational standards on a state level, tax subsidies, communities have fallen all over themselves to attract these companies, and so forth. And there are two questions to raise about it. First of all, who’s going to buy these products if they’re not able to make a decent living, or if they’re not able to sustain their life, or they sacrifice their bodies to make it? I mean, what world are you creating? But also, they have actually, out of a kind of a libertarian ideology, denied the value of government. Assumed that government is something just old-fashioned, and regulation just gets in the way of progress. And yet, as you point out in your articles, without government subsidy we wouldn’t have had Tesla move to this point. And in fact, companies like Google came out of defense department research and, you know, a lot of government funding. And you really, at the end of the day, came up against the basic contradiction for Silicon Valley: is this thing too shiny, a distraction from the reality of life, of how things are produced, how people make a living, and how they can survive.

WE: Well, I think you hit on something that I think is interesting for a lot of the Silicon Valley industry, which is this idea that they’re–you know, it’s a cliché now, but that they’re disrupting this, and revolutionizing that. And a lot of it is new, and this disruption and this sort of “we’re breaking the rules” is seen as a good thing, and a driver of innovation. And the only way that many of these companies–Uber, or whatever it is–can, made it in the first place, and can survive, is by breaking a lot of rules. And some of those rules maybe we’re OK with breaking. And then when you start breaking labor regulations and things like that, then you know, are we still OK with it? I don’t know. And how do you regulate it? Now, when it’s something where you’re talking about gig workers, who aren’t, don’t have minimum wage or all kinds of other protections, or when you’re talking about autonomous vehicles, how do you, what do you do with that? When you’re talking about the tremendous power that Facebook has, that’s something we haven’t dealt with before. And I think there’s probably a lot of grappling that needs to be done with that. But in the meantime, if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re thinking, like, I need to break things in order to succeed. And so the more things that get broken, you might see some troubling things come out sooner or later.

RS: And we seem to be on the cusp of that now, because actually there is, you know, the Federal Trade Commission is–there’s a lot of movement to take a second look at how these companies operate. And some–as I say, Tim Cook is one–have even suggested maybe that’s a good thing. So why don’t we leave it at that–maybe the long-run impact of this kind of reporting will be quite beneficial, hope so. If people want to follow this article, they should go to the Center for Investigative Reporting. What’s the quickest way to get it? Go to Reveal, CIR?

WE: Yeah, RevealNews.org.

RS: OK. RevealNews.org. Thanks again, Will Evans. And our producer for “Scheer Intelligence” is Joshua Scheer. Our engineers at KCRW are Mario Diaz and Kat Yore. Sebastian Grubaugh here at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism provided another exemplary engineering effort. See you next week with another edition of “Scheer Intelligence.”

truthdig.com

Ukraine aims to join NATO ‘despite’ election results – Meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Inter-Parliamentary Council continues in Lviv

Par Joaquin Flores

LVIV – The meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Inter-Parliamentary Council began on Monday in Lviv. Speaking with a welcoming speech to the participants of the event, the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Parubiy noted that the meeting of the council was held at a difficult time for Ukraine to change the government – after […]

The post Ukraine aims to join NATO ‘despite’ election results – Meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Inter-Parliamentary Council continues in Lviv appeared first on Fort Russ.

The Economic Entrails at the Heart of the ‘Deal of the Century’

Par Andrey Areshev

It is nothing new to say that the ‘Deal of the Century’ is – and always was – in essence an economic project. Indeed, it seems that its political ramifications are viewed by the White House as little more than the ineluctable consequences to an a priori economic architecture, already in the process of being unfolded.

In other words, it is the economic facts on the ground that are intended shape the political outcome — an attenuated political landscape that anyway has been minimised by Trump’s pre-emptive removal of key pieces of any Palestinian negotiating leverage.

The financial squeeze on the Palestinians is well attested. On the one hand, the Palestinian Authority (historically dependent on Saudi subvention) is gently slipping into bankruptcy; whilst Gaza is held in virtual abject dependency through the drip-feed of subventions channelled into Gaza by Qatar, with Israeli permission — the size of this latter monthly ‘lifeline’ subvention being carefully adjusted by Israel according to what it judges to be the norms of (generally Hamas) ‘good conduct’.

So, on the one hand there is the financial siege that is intended to make the Palestinians pliant to the ‘quality of life package’ which the ‘deal’ is supposed to bring — the Bahrain summit later this month being its shopfront. But there is another less well recognised side to the Deal which is summarised in the title to a McClatchy article entitled, White House sees Egyptian energy forum as a ‘roadmap to Middle East peace’.

In a later piece, McClatchy publishes the newly declassified map of the US East Mediterranean energy ‘roadmap’. And here the fuller picture becomes clear: the US sponsored ‘gas forum’, “according to three senior administration officials, that map [the] declassified one, obtained by McClatchy – has motivated members of the [US] National Security Council to prioritize the formation of a gas forum in the Eastern Mediterranean that would simultaneously boost and entangle the economies of several countries that have been at odds for decades”.

Well, let’s translate that little euphemism: ‘boost and entangle’. What that formula translates into is — the means to integrate Israel into the economic regional sphere is firstly, through energy. Yet, it is not intended to integrate Israel alone into this Egyptian economic sphere, but also to make Jordan, the PA (and maybe even Lebanon), too, partially dependent on Israeli energy – alongside putative partners, Italy, Greece, and (the Greek-linked part) of Cyprus — with the US offering to help flesh out the structure of the ‘gas forum’ with U.S. expertise.

This is the heart of ‘the deal’. Not just political normalisation for Israel into the region, but the making of economic dependency of the Egyptians, Palestinians, Jordanians (and possibly – but not so likely – Lebanon) on the US East-Med gas ‘hub’.

Source: McClatchy

And, inevitably there is a sub-plot to all this, (as McClatchy notes):

“On this front, the administration enjoys support from unlikely allies. Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee … said the Mediterranean gas forum project was a strategic opportunity for the U.S. to stymie Russian influence efforts over local energy resources. “I think that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and Russia can’t and should not be able to control the situation,” Engel stated”.

So, the US Administration is pursuing two bipartisan congressional efforts to ‘stymie’ Russia in the region: One is a bill promoting energy partnerships in the Eastern Mediterranean; and a parallel bill which threatens to sanction European firms supporting the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline taking Russian gas into Germany.

There are however, two obvious big ‘catches’ to this notion of both ‘stymying’ Russia, whilst simultaneously normalising Israel economically into the region. The first, as Simon Henderson of the Washington Institute notes, [is the notion that] the area’s underlying geology could help Europe offset, or even replace, its dependence on Russian gas “seems farfetched at the present level of discoveries. Several more giant fields like Leviathan or Egypt’s Zohr would have to be found before this reality changes”:

“The idea that East Mediterranean energy could impact on the European energy balance in such a way as to dent Russian market share is a fantasy – Europe’s thirst for gas is so huge, and Russia’s ability to provide that gas is so great, that it’s a wild dream to even hope we can achieve it given the limited reserves discovered thus far,” Henderson said. “Hoping you can find gas is not the same as finding gas”.

In short, an Egyptian ‘hub’ serving exports, might only ‘work’, as matters stand, through patching some of the smaller East-Med discoveries – together with a large Israeli contribution – through pipelines into the two Egyptian gas liquefying plants near Port Said and Alexandria. But LNG availability globally is high, prices are hugely competitive, and it is by no means certain that ‘the hub’ can be commercially viable.

And here is the main catch: Geo-politics. Anything aimed at integrating Israel into the region is bound to be sensitive. So, whilst US officials are optimistic about Egypt’s leadership of their ‘gas forum’ in the wake of President Sisi’s April meeting with Trump – Egypt – a mainstay to the separate US Iran confrontation plan – shortly afterward the visit, rather notably withdrew from the strategic military alliance the Trump administration was trying to build to confront Iran: The Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), to the consternation of US officials.

When it comes to energy deals, however, even having a treaty with Israel does not put an end to public sensitivities about rapprochement with Israel, Henderson notes. Notwithstanding any ‘peace treaty’, many Jordanians still oppose the prospect of using (Israeli) Leviathan gas to provide for large-scale electricity generation, beginning early next year. Amman has tried to deflect such anger by calling the supplies “northern gas” or “American gas”, emphasizing Noble’s role in producing it.

But here is the other side to the issue: Clearly, Egypt does not want to be a part of any anti-Iranian US-led alliance (MESA). But equally, why should Egypt – or Jordan, or for that matter, or any other member of the ‘gas forum’ – wish to be tightly aligned with an US anti-Russian strategy for the region? Egypt may have signed up to the US ‘gas hub’ project. But at the very same time, Egypt also was signing a $2 billion contract to buy more than twenty Russian Sukhoi SU-35 fighter aircraft. Do ‘hub’ members really judge an Egyptian ‘hub’ to be a rival to Russian gas in Europe?

Probably not: For ultimately, the idea that a putative energy hub can ‘stymie Russia’ indeed is fantasy. Europe’s thirst for gas indeed is so huge, and Russia’s ability to provide that gas so great, that it is a wild dream to even think it. The EU shows, for example, no particular interest in the US supported $7 billion mooted pipeline linking the eastern Mediterranean through Cyprus, to Greece. The undersea terrain is too problematic, and the cost too high.

Israel too, hopes to find more gas (of course). But the deadline for bids on nineteen of its offshore blocks has been pushed back to mid-August – seemingly reflecting a lack of investor interest. For now, the oil majors seem more tempted by the Cypriot blocks – up for bid.

But politics again: being a part of America’s ‘gas forum’ in which the Nicosia (i.e. the Greek-linked) government is a key member, explicitly places the forum and its members on a potential collision course with Turkey, who will not readily yield on its ambitious claims on the East Med basin (it has just announced that it will establish naval and air bases in Northern Cyprus). Nor will Lebanon, either. Sisi and Erdogan share a mutual, personal dislike, but will the others wish to be drawn into that quarrel?

Russia anyway, seems not greatly interested in the production possibilities of the Mediterranean Middle East. Rather it is focused on a pipeline corridor stretching from Iran and Iraq to Europe via Turkey or (eventually) Syria.

In sum then, the Kushner – Trump ‘Deal’, in respect to the integration of Israel into the regional energy economy seems destined to draw the same skepticism and distrust, as does the ‘Deal’s’ other parts.

La 5G ignore les enjeux écologiques

Par Laury-Anne Cholez, Mathieu Génon

L'efficacité énergétique promise par le nouveau réseau 5G devrait rapidement être dépassée par la voracité de notre consommation de données. Sans compter l'absence totale de réflexion sur la fin de vie des téléphones et des millions d'objets connectés.
Cet article est le cinquième et dernier volet d'une enquête que Reporterre consacre à la technologie du réseau sans fil de cinquième génération, ou 5G. Le premier volet : « Plongée dans l'univers de la 5G : merveille ou cauchemar ? ». Le deuxième : « La 5G, des (...)

Lire la suite - Enquête / , ,

Sur l'quai de Nantes, un bal y est donné….

Ouest France, 24 juin 2019 : « Quatorze personnes qui participaient à une soirée électro, dans la nuit du vendredi 21 au samedi 22 juin, ont chuté en Loire après l'intervention des forces de l'ordre lors de la Fête de la musique à Nantes. Mais un jeune homme est toujours porté disparu. Des recherches (...)

Editorial
  • 25 juin 2019 à 10:22

La dignité du présent contre le naufrage généralisé

Corinne Morel Darleux, chroniqueuse à Reporterre, propose, dans « Plutôt couler en beauté que flotter sans grâce », un choix radical : refuser de parvenir et instaurer la dignité du présent pour endiguer le naufrage généralisé.

Lire la suite - On en parle
  • 25 juin 2019 à 10:14

Les lecteurs de Reporterre ont tiré le portrait de militants écolos

Par Marie Astier (Reporterre)

Samedi 15 juin, Reporterre fêtait ses 30 ans. Pour l'occasion, l'équipe de journalistes a organisé des ateliers avec les lecteurs. Voici les portraits et interviews qu'ils ont réalisés : un regard vivant sur Oxfam, Zéro Waste, Résistance à l'agression publicitaire, Sea Shepherd, Enercoop... et même Reporterre, qui milite pour le bon journalisme !
Jean-Christophe Martin : traiter les causes plutôt que d'essayer de réparer les dégâts
Au cœur du Ground Control, pour les 30 ans de l'écologie, nous avons (...)

Lire la suite - Reportage /

Malgré la destruction de l'Amazonie, les dirigeants européens négocient un traité commercial avec le Brésil

Par Sophie Chapelle

Les discussions entre l'Union européenne et les pays du Mercosur (Brésil, Argentine, Uruguay, Paraguay), ouvertes il y a 20 ans, pourraient aboutir cette semaine à un vaste accord de libre-échange. Dans une lettre ouverte, plus de 340 organisations appellent les présidents des institutions européennes, en amont de la réunion des ministres des affaires étrangères, à interrompre immédiatement ces négociations commerciales. En cause : la détérioration des droits humains et de la situation écologique au (...)

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Contre la canicule, l'habitat bioclimatique

La France connaît cette semaine un épisode de canicule précoce et intense. Dans ces conditions, il est difficile de trouver un peu de fraîcheur, au travail ou à la maison. Pourtant, des bâtiments conçus pour se protéger de la chaleur existent : les habitats bioclimatiques.
Nous ne sommes pas tous égaux face à la canicule. Pendant cette période de chaleur, certains Français vont se retourner sans cesse dans leur lit, ne pouvant trouver le sommeil à cause des températures élevées de leur logement. Tandis (...)

Lire la suite - Info / ,

Semaine 26 de l’année du calendrier grégorien

Par Chall Acc
Ça se sait ou pas mais ça s’est passé… * C’est la Saint-Jean en ce 175ème jour de l’année du calendrier grégorien. Nous fêtons donc chaleureusement tous les Jean et ses variantes (ça fait nom de groupe de bals populaires qui se tiendraient lors de fêtes de la Saint-Jean, justement), sans oublier tous ceux qui ont […]

Poutine a surpris l’armée russe en ordonnant un exercice militaire dès l’aube !

Par Réseau International
L’armée russe a lancé un exercice de grande envergure pour simuler une réponse aux menaces potentielles à sa sécurité en Asie centrale. En effet, aujourd’hui, lundi, 24 juin 2019, le président russe, Vladimir Poutine a ordonné de façon surprise à l’armée un exercice militaire de grande envergure. Le ministre russe de la Défense, Sergueï Choïgou […]

Massacre d’un avion malaisien : Un faux drapeau de l’Ukraine avec l’OTAN, 007 et l’ONG de Soros

Par Réseau International
par Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio Un rebelle du Donbass et 3 russes accusés pour le missile Buk mais Moscou blâme Kiev : « Les preuves ont été fabriquées. La roquette faisait partie de l’armement ukrainien ». L’ancien chef du renseignement britannique forme des jeunes dans le cadre du projet pro-occidental de la Fondation Open Ukraine. Plus que […]

Le Missile de Tel-Aviv, l’Avion d’Hormuz et l’Accord sur le nucléaire…

Par Mouna Alno-Nakhal
Par Nasser Kandil Lorsque Israël se préparait aux élections anticipées entre fin 2018 et avril 2019, nombre d’analyses prévoyaient une guerre de Netanyahou sur Gaza afin de garantir sa victoire. La guerre n’ayant pas eu lieu, ces prévisions ont été renvoyées au-delà des élections afin de faciliter la formation du gouvernement. Puis, lorsque Netanyahou a […]

Pour mieux comprendre les politiques de défense et la diplomatie au Proche et Moyen-Orient

Par Général Dominique Delawarde
Sous le titre « Pour mieux comprendre les politiques de défense  et la diplomatie au Proche et Moyen-Orient » , j’expose en 3 pages les raisons qui expliquent, selon moi, les positions et objectifs de la coalition occidentale dans cette région du monde ainsi que ceux du camp opposé. Ce point de vue est partagé par nombre […]

Comment l’Iran a décidé d’abattre un drone des Etats-Unis et évité de justesse la guerre en épargnant un autre de leurs appareils

Par Réseau International
par Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai L’Iran a évité de justesse une guerre totale au Moyen-Orient grâce à la décision du commandement central et du contrôle opérationnel de son armée et du Corps des Gardiens de la révolution iraniens (Pasdaran) de ne pas abattre un avion de guerre de renseignement, de surveillance et anti-sous-marin, de type […]

Cinq leçons de la crise du Golfe Persique…

Par Réseau International
Après la destruction d’un drone américain1 – jeudi 20 juin -, qui se trouvait bien dans l’espace aérien iranien, Donald Trump a réagi en deux temps : il a d’abord déclaré que l’Iran avait commis « une grave erreur », laissant entendre qu’il y aurait des représailles. Dans un second temps, et pour faire baisser la pression, il […]

MH17 – Un expert russe doute de l’authenticité des informations

Par Christelle Néant
Les nouvelles informations, révélées mercredi par l’équipe commune d’enquête (JIT) sur l’accident du vol MH17 de la Malaysian Airlines dans l’est de l’Ukraine, démontrent que l’enquête a été menée de manière très négligente, a déclaré un éminent expert politique russe à l’agence TASS. « Il est évident que l’enquête sur l’accident du Boeing a été menée […]

The Lübcke murder and the return of the “Nazi problem” in Germany

The far-right murder of German politician Walter Lübcke has exposed the dirty truth of German politics: Nearly 75 years after the end of World War II and the downfall of Hitler’s Third Reich, Germany once again has a real Nazi problem.
  • 25 juin 2019 à 07:00

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Various union organizations held a one-day nationwide strike in Chile in June to protest regressive economic legislation, while educators across Peru are continuing strikes and protests over pay, working conditions and ongoing privatizations.
  • 25 juin 2019 à 07:00

Artists, writers, film scholars protest Bowling Green State University decision to remove Lillian Gish’s name

More than 50 filmmakers, actors, writers, academics and film scholars have signed a petition urging Bowling Green State University in Ohio to restore the names of famed actresses Lillian and Dorothy Gish to its film theater.
  • 25 juin 2019 à 07:00

Oregon legislature shut down by right-wing militia threats

The Oregon State Capitol building in Salem was shut down after right-wing militias made violent threats in defense of 11 Republican senators who fled the state to prevent a vote on a carbon-emissions bill.
  • 25 juin 2019 à 07:00
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