Russia News: Sputnik International – Breaking News & Analysis – Radio, Photos, Videos, Infographics: Ecuador’s Court Remands Swedish National Linked to Assange in Custody

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MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) –An Ecuadorian court has dismissed an appeal launched by the defence of Swedish national suspected of having links to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, reaffirming that he should remain in pre-trial detention, the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement.

Sputnik International – Breaking News & Analysis – Radio, Photos, Videos, Infographics

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Russia News: Взгляд: Подростков в США обвинили в подготовке взрыва в школе

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В американском штате Нью-Йорк троим 16-летним подросткам предъявлены обвинения в подготовке взрыва в школе, сообщают СМИ.

Подростки в школьном автобусе обсуждали изготовление бомбы. Их услышали другие ученики и рассказали школьной администрации, которая вызвала полицию, передает РИА «Новости» со ссылкой на ABC7.

Предполагаемых злоумышленников задержали прямо в школе, при обысках в их домах нашли книгу с информацией об изготовлении взрывного устройства. 

Взгляд

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Russia News: Вести.Ru: Ассанж и WikiLeaks: Британия дала США 65 дней на обоснование выдачи

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Британский суд дал американским властям 65 дней, чтобы юридически обосновать запрос на экстрадицию Джулиана Ассанжа. Накануне состоялось первое заседание, где обсуждали запрос о его выдаче США.

Download video: https://redirect.vgtrk.com/go/video/2178253

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Russia News: Sputnik International – Breaking News & Analysis – Radio, Photos, Videos, Infographics: PepsiCo Says Dropped Cases Against Indian Farmers Over Lay’s Chips Potatoes

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Food and beverage giant PepsiCo said it had decided to drop lawsuits against Indian farmers over allegedly growing a potato type exclusively used for its Lay’s chips.

Sputnik International – Breaking News & Analysis – Radio, Photos, Videos, Infographics

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“fbi” – Google News: Aurora woman loses $250K to online dating scam; FBI shares red flags – WLS-TV

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Aurora woman loses $250K to online dating scam; FBI shares red flags  WLS-TV

An Aurora woman was swept off her feet and then taken to the cleaners, losing $250000. She thought she was falling in love but instead, was betrayed.

“fbi” – Google News


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FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): “fbi” – Google News: Aurora woman loses $250K to online dating scam; FBI shares red flags – WLS-TV

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Aurora woman loses $250K to online dating scam; FBI shares red flags  WLS-TV

An Aurora woman was swept off her feet and then taken to the cleaners, losing $250000. She thought she was falling in love but instead, was betrayed.

“fbi” – Google News

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): “house judiciary committee” – Google News: House Judiciary Cmte. work to get Mueller testimony – MSNBC

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House Judiciary Cmte. work to get Mueller testimony  MSNBC

NBC News is reporting that the House Judiciary Committee is now dealing directly with Robert Mueller’s team to try to get him to testify before the Committee.

“house judiciary committee” – Google News

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): “fbi scandal” – Google News: Baltimore mayor resigns amid scandal – Hawaii News Now

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Baltimore mayor resigns amid scandal  Hawaii News Now

Baltimore’s mayor resigned under pressure Thursday amid a flurry of investigations into whether she arranged bulk sales of her self-published children’s books …

“fbi scandal” – Google News

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites): The FBI News Review: Alerta de Google: fbi: NYT: FBI sent undercover investigator to meet Trump adviser

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Feedly Logo
May 02, 2019
Alerta de Google: fbi: NYT: FBI sent undercover investigator to meet Trump adviser
Alerta de Google: fbi: Woman pleads guilty to lying to FBI agents
2 days, 2 hateful acts: FBI probes Southern California synagogue shooting, Bay Area car attack – Fresno Bee
Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (10 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Why Californians Love to Hate – Capital and Main
Dems accuse Trump administration of trying to ‘obfuscate the white supremacist threat’ – The Advocate

Alerta de Google: fbi: NYT: FBI sent undercover investigator to meet Trump adviser

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
The New York Times reports that two months before the 2016 presidential election Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos sat down with an … Alerta de Google: fbi
Read More

Alerta de Google: fbi: Woman pleads guilty to lying to FBI agents

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
A Buffalo woman has pleaded guilty in federal court to making false statements to special agents of the FBI, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors said 48-year-old Rhonda Henderson lied to investigators during a June 19, 2014, interview, in which she claimed the title to a 1999 Honda two-door sedan had been mailed to her address.
Read More

2 days, 2 hateful acts: FBI probes Southern California synagogue shooting, Bay Area car attack – Fresno Bee

Fresno Bee
2 days, 2 hateful acts: FBI probes Southern California synagogue shooting, Bay Area car attack Rabbi describes Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting, returns to scene A rabbi who survived a shooting at Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego on April 27, 2019, returns to the scene of the attack, where he met congregants and spoke to the media.
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Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (10 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Why Californians Love to Hate – Capital and Main

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
Brian Levin is a criminologist, civil rights attorney and the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, a nonpartisan research and policy center, where he specializes in analysis of hate crimes, terrorism and legal issues.
Read More

Dems accuse Trump administration of trying to ‘obfuscate the white supremacist threat’ – The Advocate

The Advocate
Dems accuse Trump administration of trying to ‘obfuscate the white supremacist threat’ Felicia Sonmez, The Washington Post Published 7:04 pm EDT, Thursday, May 2, 2019 WASHINGTON – A group of Democratic senators, including three 2020 presidential candidates, on Thursday called for the FBI to rescind a recent change to the way it classifies domestic terrorist altercations, arguing that the move plays down the threat of white supremacy facing the country.
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Russia News: Lenta.ru : Новости: Осужденную за убийство брата Ким Чен Ына выпустили из тюрьмы

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Гражданка Вьетнама Зоан Тхи Хыон, которую осудили по делу об убийстве брата северокорейского лидера Ким Чен Ына — Ким Чен Нама, вышла на свободу. В апреле ее приговорили к 3 годам и 4 месяцам заключения, однако большую часть срока она уже отбыла в тюрьме в Малайзии. 3 мая девушка отправится домой во Вьетнам. Lenta.ru : …

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Russia News: Газета.Ru – Новости дня: В поисках связей с Россией шпионка пыталась соблазнить члена штаба Трампа

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Сотрудница американской разведки в сентябре 2016 года пыталась получить данные от Джорджа Пападопулоса, политического советника предвыборного штаба президента США Дональда Трампа, пишет The New York Times.

Отмечается, что она пыталась …

Газета.Ru – Новости дня

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Russia News: Взгляд: В Европарламенте призвали создать армию ЕС, а не надеяться на Трампа

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Евросоюз тратит на оборону в три раза больше, чем Россия, но не имеет собственной армии, заявил кандидат на пост главы Еврокомиссии, глава фракции либералов в Европарламенте Ги Верхофстадт.

По его словам, Европа тратит на оборону «половину того, что тратят США», передает РИА «Новости».

«Самая большая трата денег в ЕС, это то, как организована военная сфера», – заявил Верхофстадт, усомнившись, что деньги расходуются эффективно.

Верхофстадт призвал «работать над европейской армией» вместо того, чтобы постоянно рассчитывать на помощь главы американского государства Дональда Трампа.

Так называемые европейские боевые группы, по словам евродепутата, не используются и существуют только на бумаге «в кабинете госпожи Федерики Могерини».

Взгляд

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Russia News: Вести.Ru: В Мехико в отеле найдена мертвой “Мисс Уругвай – 2006”

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В одной из гостиниц Мехико найдена мертвой Фатими Давила, победившая на конкурсе красоты “Мисс Уругвай” в 2006 году.

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Russia News: Газета.Ru – Новости дня: Стало известно, как японцы относятся к императору

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Согласно проведенному по всей Японии опросу, 74% жителей страны поддерживают символическую роль императора, сообщает РИА “Новости” со ссылкой на местные СМИ.

Из исследования следует, что еще 7% японцев хотели бы упразднения …

Газета.Ru – Новости дня

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Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (85 sites): “Conspiracy Against US” – Google News: Julian Assange has refused to surrender himself for extradition to the US. What now? – The Conversation AU

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Julian Assange has refused to surrender himself for extradition to the US. What now?  The Conversation AU

Extradition is a heavily regulated and multi-stage process. For now, it’s impossible to say what awaits Assange.

“Conspiracy Against US” – Google News

Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (85 sites)


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Eurasia Review: Maldives: Post Parliamentary Election Scenario – Analysis

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By R M Panda

President Ibrahim Solih and his party MDP won the Presidential
election and also the Parliamentary elections back to back within a span
of six months. Election results of MDP’s super majority in
Parliamentary elections outshone the rest of the political parties. Out
of all total 87 Parliamentary seats MDP  won in 65 seats, (PPM + PNC)
got 8 seats, JP 5 seats, MDA 2 seats and (MRM + MRM supported
Independent) got 7 seats. Some 44 incumbent MP’s mostly from the
opposition and JP and some independent candidates failed to get
re-elected.  In this 100% Sunni Islamic country only four female
candidates were able to win in this election out of 37 female candidates
who contested.   The total number of candidates who participated in
this election was 386.

Though the present Speaker Gasim managed to win his parliamentary seat, his party-the JP performed poorly in this election as the number MPs elected came down to 5 from 15.  Gasim was a popular leader in his own right and had managed to have a good following because of his charity activities where poor people benefitted from his benevolence.  He lost all these in one stroke by aligning himself with the tyrant Yameen even after he was humiliated and persecuted by the latter during latter’s term of Presidentship.

The Opposition party PPM also shuffled its leadership after  defeats in the presidential and parliamentary elections. They have elected three new deputy leaders as  Vice Presidents to the party. Significantly it includes Ghasan Maumoon, son of former Presidednt Gayoom. The other two Vice Presidents of the Party are Ahmed Shiyam and Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.    Yameen, an autocrat as he is , chose the names himself without going through the rules of the party and did not let anyone else to contest.  Ghassan was not even present during the voting.

The PNC (branch of PPM) is also in the process of electing its
leaders as required party laws. As the founding member of the party
Mohamed Hussain Shareef’s statement, a president, two deputies and 20
council members will soon  be elected. There is no doubt that this party
is a sub group of PPM and all the members and the party will be under
tight  control of Yameen.

Former President Nasheed who had a big role to play in being
successful in the elections  had spoken extensively on many issues like,
changing of presidential system to a parliamentary system, on foreign
judges and judicial reform, MDP’s alleged anti-Islamic policies,
enacting the MDP’s Agenda-19, anti-defection law, environmental
protection and unity within MDP’s parliamentary group etc.  The list is
long and time is short.  But the priority of the new government should
be to tackle the corruption that has got embedded into this system and
is pervasive everywhere.

The next priority should be to strengthen independent bodies like
Anti-corruption commission, Human right commission, Elections
commission, Civil service commission and the Auditor General’s office.
The current administration is in the process to change the composition
of the Judicial Service Commission too. Yameen had successfully
destroyed  every independent organisation and it is going to take a long
time for such independent Commissions to gain some respect and
credibility.  The Judicial Commission needs special attention.

Much to the chagrin of the Chinese ,the foreign freehold policy
(leasing of Maldivian territory for 99 years to outsiders done under
Yameen) has been blocked successfully by this government.

Speaker Gasim ignoring the criticism of MDP MP’s managed to push
through new laws in the last days of this Parliament. Some lucrative
bills in  favour of the lawmakers who failed to win their re-election
have been passed. These need to be reviewed. 

MDP MP Eva Abdulla who is among one of the lucky female MP’s to have
won in this 2019 Parliamentary election condemned the urgency in passing
the bills and said that the new Parliament with MDP’s  majority should
repeal the controversial privileges granted under the bills rushed
through by Gasim in his last days as Speaker.

The ongoing 18th parliament which started in May 28, 2014,
concluded its final sitting last Monday and broke for a one-month
recess before the end of its five-year term. As per the regulations, the
newly elected MP’s will take their oath on the day the 18th parliament will officially end on 28th may 2019.

Maldives-China Relation

It will be a great challenge for this government to manage the
Chinese debts accumulated under Yameen’s regime. The debt is mostly in
the form of sovereign guarantees on Chinese loans to companies. Latest
finance ministry data shows that these guarantees amount to $935
million.

This Government has also till now kept in  abeyance the  free trade
agreement entered into with China . Maldives has also to reorient and
review the projects agreed to under the BRI as is being done by other
countries who are also facing the “debt trap.” It was interesting to
note that out of  eight SAARC member states, only Pakistan and Nepal
sent their heads of governments to 2nd BRI forum. It has
 been six months now since this new government has taken over but
neither  President Solih nor his Foreign minister has visited China so
far.

On the loan repayment issue, the Chinese Ambassador Zhang Lizhong
said that China is ready to address the Maldives’ concerns and it can be
discussed freely at a high level discussion between the governments.

President Solih has  expressed his concerns over the high interest
rates of Chinese loans and  has called for  re negotiation with the
Chinese government.

Maldives-India Relations

Since  President Solih came to power, many high level visits have
been exchanged between Maldives and India. India is committed to help
Maldives by addressing their development priorities and challenges.
Export Import Bank of India has signed an agreement with Maldives to
make available the credit worth $800 million for a variety of
development project out of the $ 1.4 billion financial assistance
committed by Indian Prime minister Modi.

President Solih made a short visit to India for two days that
concluded a week ago. During his visit he met with the BCCI (Board of
Control for Cricket in India) and  discussed  bout  building  a cricket
stadium in Maldives. He also watched the IPL cricket match in Bangalore.
India has agreed to support and develop the infrastructure in Maldives
for Indian Ocean Island Games 2023.

According to the agreement between both the countries, Indian Experts are in the process to restore and conserve the 17th century UNESCO World Heritage Listed ‘Hukuru Miskiy’ – Male’ Friday Mosque.

Maldives is the country with 1200 islands stretching over a latitude
distance of 850 kilometre and it claims a  huge exclusive Economic zone .
India is helping Maldives to protect its maritime boundaries by setting
up a coastal surveillance radar chain in the island nation. The radar
chain will provide a comprehensive live feed of ship movements in the
Indian Ocean Region.

The author can be reached at pandaradhamadhaba@gmail.com

Eurasia Review


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Eurasia Review: Better Batteries For The Connected World

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We could soon be using less flammable, longer-lasting and more powerful rechargeable batteries after a breakthrough made by EU project SUPER-Lion. With the support of a Marie Curie programme, Dr Knut Bjarne Gandrud developed a super-thin solid-state electrolyte for rechargeable batteries.

Electrolytes are the chemical medium that separates a cathode and an anode in a battery, allowing the flow of an electrical charge between the two. Lithium Ion Batteries (LIBs) currently run on liquid electrolytes.

But SUPER-Lion’s new form of manufacturing solid-state electrolytes could pave the way for them to be used in slim batteries for devices being developed for the emerging market of the Internet of Things.

The electrolyte is super thin at 40 nanometres, making it ideal for microdevices.

Dr Gandrud’s research was supervised by Professor Philippe Vereecken, Scientific Director at the nanoelectronics and digital technologies hub IMEC, and professor at KU-Leuven in Belgium, and assisted by two Masters students.

“Our battery could operate at 120 degrees Celsius, a feat that today’s batteries with liquid electrolyte cannot do,” says Dr Gandrud. “The liquid electrolytes used today are flammable and the battery has a limited cycle-life partly due to side reactions between the electrodes and the electrolyte.”

Liquid electrolyte-run LIBs are used in most devices like mobile phones and laptops but also in electric cars. Most solid-state lithium batteries tend to be used in smaller applications that do not need much energy or where safety is key such as medical implants.

Small but powerful

That’s because many solid-state lithium batteries on the market have limited capacity or only operate at higher temperatures. SUPER-Lion’s fabrication method changes that. It developed a Nano Composite Electrolyte (NCE) that can be easily integrated into small batteries, allowing the energy of the battery cell to be easily increased.

The fabrication method is also easy to scale-up for mass-production at the right price. The team tested it in battery cells with lithium metal as the anode, the most challenging material since most materials are not chemically stable against it.

There are real benefits to using lithium since it has the potential to increase the energy density of rechargeable battery cells to beyond 1000Wh/L. The results showed the team haven’t reached all their goals yet but are on the right path.

For example, the battery had only 75 percent of a liquid electrolyte LIB’s reversible capacity – where the battery’s cell charge is restored after the battery has run down. However, crucially, the cell was more efficient than when it contained a liquid electrolyte and had a longer cycle-life.

“The new solid-state electrolyte did not suffer from any unwanted side reactions with the electrodes,” says Dr Gandrud.

Commercialising the product may take time. Developers are likely to create more small electronic devices once the micro-batteries needed to power them are available; if there were more devices needing powerful micro-batteries, there would be more private investment for manufacturing those batteries.

“It is the problem of the chicken or the egg,” says Prof. Vereecken.

The market potential for solid-state electrolytes makes it a hot topic for researchers.

“The EU funding was critical for us,” says Dr Gandrud. “Due to the tough competition it is difficult to get funding.”

Source: CORDIS

Eurasia Review


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Eurasia Review: Kim Jong-Un Is Meeting World Leaders, But Does It Matter? – Analysis

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By Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein*

(FPRI) — As leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un’s track record in international relations has been virtually unprecedented. On April 25, he met with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok, the Russian port city close to North Korea. He’s met with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in twice, and, of course, U.S. President Donald Trump twice as well. China’s leader Xi Jinping and Kim have met four times since March 2018.

In what looks like conspicuous timing, the Japanese government last week dropped the ambition to apply “maximum pressure”
on North Korea from its “Diplomatic Bluebook.” Japan’s attitude toward
North Korea has gradually seemed to change over the past few months. The
country has traditionally been one of the most hawkish powers involved
in negotiations around North Korea’s nuclear program, but over the past
few months, Prime Minister Abe has even floated the idea of a summit with Kim Jong-un.

In context, Japan’s decision to drop
“maximum pressure” from its strategy toward North Korea may not seem
nearly as remarkable as Kim’s various summits. But it is a big change.
The Abe government has been the staunchest skeptic of North Korea’s
denuclearization ambitions, and has pushed the U.S. to take a hardline
towards Kim Jong-un. It is unclear precisely what prompted the policy
change, but it may well be that Japanese business interests want to be
ready in case North Korea opens up to foreign investments.

On the one hand, this balance sheet is
pretty remarkable for Kim. His grandfather, Kim Il-sung (1912–1994), was
an avid traveler and met foreign leaders quite frequently, but times
were completely different during his life. North Korea was part of the
communist bloc during the Cold War, and its leader had more
international friends to visit. For North Korea in Kim Jong-un’s time,
international contacts have been much more hard-earned.

On the other hand, however, it’s not
entirely clear that any of this matters in practice. At least not yet.
There are clear quantitative indications that Kim’s visits to China may
have led the country to increase its fuel transfers to North Korea. In early April, a new bridge opened
between Jian in China and Manpo in North Korea. Construction began in
2012, and the opening was delayed from 2016 due to the UN sanctions
regime on North Korea. Not all political decisions are rational, but not
everyone expects the sanctions to last forever. Russia may also be
aiding North Korea in cushioning some of the burden from sanctions, and
it still has not repatriated all North Korean workers from the country.

Still, for all the summits with world
leaders, it’s not clear what precisely Kim has gained, if anything. With
both Xi and Putin, Kim almost certainly brought up economic exchange
and trade, and likely asked for lenient sanctions implementation. Both
Russia and China advocate for North Korea on the international arena,
pushing the U.S. to give concrete sanctions relief in exchange for steps
taken by North Korea toward denuclearization (whatever that might
actually mean). Even so, Kim has received little in concrete reward from
the summits. Prestige is important, but you can’t really eat prestige,
or power your factories with it.

On April 12, at the First Session of the
14th Supreme People’s Assembly, Kim gave a speech expressing a great
deal of frustration at both the U.S. and South Korea. North Korea’s
strategy vis-à-vis the U.S. has, from the beginning, been to flatter
President Trump personally, while remaining critical of U.S. conduct.
The speech expressed a great deal of frustration with the sanctions
regime, and underscored that North Korea won’t take U.S. intentions
seriously before tangible, significant sanctions relief. There is news
of factories closing around the country as a result of North Korea’s
drastically decreased exports, and raw materials and equipment for
sectors, such as industry and construction, are likely in short supply.

Sanctions pressure can’t be measured on a
binary scale between “perfect” and “non-existent.” It’s much more
complicated than that, and North Korea is far from completely blocked
off from the world economy. At the same time, it’s impossible to deny
that sanctions are hurting the North Korean economy. How much is a
difficult question. Many industries are suffering badly, but there are
few signs of a large-scale, acute crisis.  

Whether that’s enough to push the
country to denuclearize is an entirely different question. It depends on
how the regime weighs economic development against national defense. It
still borders the impossible to imagine a scenario where North Korea
gives up its nuclear weapons altogether in exchange for economic gains.
The relevant question, then, isn’t “are sanctions working?,” but rather,
“are sanctions hurting North Korea enough economically to make the
gains from denuclearization worth the cost, in the eyes of the North
Korean regime?”

As of now, the answer remains a firm, resounding “no.”

*About the author: Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein is an Associate Scholar and 2019 Templeton Fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute, focusing primarily on the Korean Peninsula and East Asian region.

Source: This article was published by FPRI

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Eurasia Review: Why Social Democracy Is Failing Europe – OpEd

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By Alasdair Macleod*

There is a certain tension in the
phrase, “social democracy,” and the description of someone as a social
democrat. Social in this context is socialism by the state. A democrat
supports the freedom for individual electors to express and defend
personal interests in regular plebiscites. The two positions are
incompatible.

At this point we should note that in economic terms there is little
philosophical difference between European socialism and communism. Both
seek to relieve capitalists of the means of production in favor of the
state, either by ownership or control. Marx himself saw socialism as a
temporary phase on the way to full communism. However, we all know from
experience that communism fails by impoverishing everyone except a
coterie of leaders. The same problem of the state’s inability to
calculate prices, other than with reference to labor costs, and to
foresee what consumers require on the morrow bedevils both socialism and
communism. The principal difference between the two is the speed at
which economic disintegration takes place, tied to the rate at which the
socializing state removes personal freedoms and destroys wealth.

Social democrats assume that moderate socialism does not lead to those outcomes, which is a mistake1. They are deceived.

With social democracy we observe committed socialists and communists
using democracy as the pathway towards increasing socialism and eventual
communism. But there’s a problem, which in time becomes increasingly
obvious to the electorate. Electors become poorer over time, and the
more progressive among them seek to escape in order to participate in
more capitalistic economies. Lenin and Mao Zedong dealt with this
tendency by suppressing all freedom of expression and they redefined
democracy to permit only the election of communist officials.
Intellectuals, always the first to express discontent, were liquidated
or sent to the Soviet gulags and China’s penal labor camps. 

In Western Europe a different, more patient approach was needed for
the communist revolution. And this is where the concept of the social
democrat springs from.

The tactic was (and still is) to stand firm on socialism and force
compromises always to be made by the democrats. For decades it was the
basis of Soviet foreign policy, which employed “useful idiots” to spread
communism in both universities and political circles. Their influence
was what defeated Enoch Powell and still drives Ken Clarke and his
fellow appeasers towards greater socialism. It is clear that social
democratic politicians need not be communists, only appeasers. 

Social democratic political parties express a belief in social
justice. But social justice is a meaningless term used by the far left
to attract support for more extreme forms of socialism. In Europe,
social democrats advocating social justice have held sway since the
Second World War. But they are becoming victims of their success at
taking down capitalism, because they are losing electoral support. 

The era of social democracy appears to be coming to an end. Germany’s
SPD recently suffered its worst electoral result since the Second World
War, and France’s Socialist Party came fifth in the presidential
election won by Emmanuel Macron, a political outsider. Other social
democratic parties to have lost ground include the Netherlands’ Labour
Party, Italy’s Democratic Party and Austria’s Social Democrats. In the
United States there was a rejection of the Democrats in favor of
President Trump, who like Macron in France started as a political
outsider. 

Brexit was the rejection by the British voter of the socializing
controls imposed by a remote super-state. The British parliament
initially paid lip-service to the electorate’s wishes, before rallying
round its socialist credentials and is now conspiring to stop Brexit. So
strong is Parliament’s collective socialist instinct that May’s
appeasing government is prepared to destroy its electoral base rather
than stand against the socialist tide. It comes at a time when the
Labour Party has been captured by a Marxist clique which appears
increasingly likely to form the next government. 

Commentators attribute the decline in social democracy to events such
as the great financial crisis. This and other reasons are why
traditional working-class and blue-collar workers have drifted away. The
philosophical conflict between socialism and democracy is at the heart
of the rebellion, if only the voters themselves knew it. Instead of
rejecting socialism, they are embracing extremes, and the extremes are
always socialist extremes. Notably, almost none of the disillusioned
social democrats support free markets.

The point missed by most analysts is that social democracy is failing
because of the contradiction between personal freedom and state
control.

As a form of mild socialism, it fails for the same reason as did communism. It all plays into the hands of the communists, for whom the failure of social democracy is an opportunity. They encourage the rank and file to blame capitalism. The collapse of capitalism is inevitable, as Marx wrote. And its collapse hastens full-blooded communism. Communism is a broken philosophy, as has been clearly demonstrated. But ruthless leaders still see it as the means of obtaining power over their fellow humans.

*About the author: Alasdair Macleod is the Head of Research at GoldMoney.

Source: This article was published by the MISES Institute

  • 1. Link added by editor.

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Eurasia Review: The World Shouldn’t Save China’s Belt And Road Project – OpEd

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China doesn’t have the money to fulfill its infrastructure-building ambitions. That doesn’t mean the West should pay up.

By Mihir Swarup Sharma

China’s second Belt and Road Forum, convened
by President Xi Jinping in Beijing last week, looked less like an
imperial celebration than a summit meeting. Xi’s tone had also become less
triumphant. Instead, he spoke about a commitment to zero corruption. He
promised to make the environment a central concern for any
infrastructure projects included in his globe-spanning Belt and Road
Initiative. He even adopted a term used by archrival Japan to denigrate
Chinese projects, vowing that Chinese companies would build only
“quality” infrastructure.

That last
rhetorical change is indicative. Japan has long been the biggest builder
— and funder — of infrastructure in emerging Asia. Faced with Chinese
competition, the Japanese refused to participate in the Belt and Road,
while insisting that their “quality” projects were of a different class
than China’s. This slighting comparison seems to have penetrated. First
the Chinese leadership declared an armistice with
the Japanese on infrastructure last September. Now, at least
rhetorically, they’re acknowledging doubts about the viability and
motivations of Chinese projects.

A
chastened Beijing is a gratifying thing to see, given that it has spent
the last few years pushing the Belt and Road in every possible forum and
every bilateral relationship, with very little concern for how the
initiative would be perceived in host countries or how their politics
would be disrupted. Still, it would be very unwise to assume, first,
that Xi’s rhetorical shift will lead to genuine changes in procedure,
policy or even principle; and second, therefore, that the Belt and Road
is now a safe partner and destination for foreign capital.

Many
assume that Beijing has moderated its approach in response to the
headwinds that its initiative has encountered across Asia, where project
after project has run into financial and political trouble. But that’s
not the real story — or, at any rate, not the whole story. It matters
just as much that the People’s Republic isn’t quite as rich as everyone
likes to think.

While Beijing has deep pockets, certainly, they aren’t deep enough to
finance the trillions of dollars of infrastructure that Chinese leaders
have promised at one time or another. The numbers so far haven’t been
encouraging; at the Forum, it was announced that Chinese companies had
invested $90 billion in Belt and Road countries, which sounds like a lot
but is only a drop in the bucket. Moreover, we can’t be sure how much
of that investment eventually had to be supplemented by equivalent
amounts of domestic financing in each country.

The
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS — or “New
Development” — Bank have $150 billion on hand and the Silk Road
Infrastructure Fund has $40 billion. Chinese companies can access, according to Gavekal Research, just under $600 billion from the state-controlled financial sector.

If
they soak up all that excess capital, though, development plans within
China might run short. It’s safe to assume the latter will be assigned a
higher priority by Beijing.

Thus, the
fact that Beijing wants to reboot the Belt and Road and bring in foreign
partners doesn’t necessarily reflect a change of heart. The real issue
seems to be that China’s ambitions overshot its purse. What Chinese
leaders want, above all, is for global private capital, including from the West, to help sustain the initiative.

Certainly,
more private finance, especially institutional finance, should be
flowing into infrastructure in the global South. That said, the Belt and
Road is the wrong destination for Western capital. While there may be
some opportunities for profit-making, the initiative as a whole is set
up to benefit Chinese companies. Worse, engaging with China means that
banks and institutional investors will be signing up to a project that
has multiple and varied objectives, not all of them economically
rational. That is a deeply risky thing to do — and far from the most
sensible way for private finance to fund infrastructure.

It’s
not the private sector’s responsibility to fix the Belt and Road or to
get it to work. That’s China’s job, and Beijing should be busy scaling
down projects to a size that’s affordable.

It
isn’t surprising that some in the West might find Xi’s appeal
attractive. That’s because neither Western governments nor multilateral
agencies such as the World Bank have worked hard enough to get private
finance involved in building infrastructure in the developing world.
That needs to change, in part by relaxing regulations that induce large
pools of capital to keep their money unproductive at home, and in part
by forcing development agencies such as the World Bank to work more closely with Western finance.

Beijing
has realized it cannot finance its attempt at hegemony with its own
cash. It would be ironic if it ends up doing so with Western money,
simply because the West is too lazy to create its own pipelines for
investment in infrastructure.


This commentary originally appeared in Bloomberg.

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“Peter Strzok” – Google News: Sen. Josh Hawley: Prejudiced FBI Officials Tried to Overturn Results of a Democratic Election – Breitbart

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Sen. Josh Hawley: Prejudiced FBI Officials Tried to Overturn Results of a Democratic Election  Breitbart

Hawley said officials like Strzok tried to overturn the results of the election by launching an investigation into the Trump campaign.

“Peter Strzok” – Google News


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Eurasia Review: Second World War’s Legacy Of Racism – Analysis

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The US helped defeat fascism during World War II, but also relied on racial segregation as an instrument of wartime politics.

By Ruth Lawlo*

May 8 marks the anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. Although Western nations remember this conflict as “the good war,” one in which the forces of freedom and democracy triumphed over fascism and racism, the truth is more complicated.

When the United States sent troops to Europe in 1942, both government and military shared a set of racist attitudes and a belief in America’s mission in the world. US President Franklin D. Roosevelt had declared that this was a war for four freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. The language of this declaration, laid out in the Atlantic Charter of 1941, was well known to European civilians and Americans, from top brass to lowest grunts, government ministers to ordinary people.

Yet despite Roosevelt’s condemnation of Adolf Hitler’s ideology, the
government segregated its armed forces by race. US military and
political leadership had declared African Americans unfit for combat
service, relegating them to menial jobs. Black Americans served in the
same proportion as their numbers in the population, ultimately forming
about 10 percent of American troop strength. They were organized into
separate units, training centers and clubs. Until 1950, the American Red
Cross segregated black and white blood.

This Jim Crow segregation, a defining feature of US society since the
late 19th century, was exported overseas during World War II. At home,
wartime America experienced
six civilian race riots and more than 20 military riots and mutinies.
Abroad, soldiers often fought with one another, frequently a result of
arguments over women or because white soldiers harassed black soldiers.
One white soldier, responding to a postwar survey,
described these incidents as “nigger hunts.” Many white soldiers,
particularly those from Southern states, resented that the color line
was more fluid in Europe than it had been in the United States.

Allegations of violence against civilians in Europe also dogged the military. Complaints
of rape peaked in summer 1944 after the D-Day landings in northern
France and again in spring 1945 as the Allies advanced into Germany.
Omar Bradley, commander of the largest group of armies on the continent,
warned Allied Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower in April 1945 that
“certain conditions of looting, pillaging, wanton destruction, rape and
other crimes” were widespread in enemy territory. A postwar report,
“History of the Judge Advocate General’s Office” held in the Library of
Congress, confirmed these concerns: “We were members of a conquering
army and we came as conquerors. The rates of reported rapes sprang
skyward.” Evidence of these admissions are in army records at the National Archives in Washington, DC.

Commanders in Europe recognized rape as a problem, but did not treat it seriously – instead blaming sexual crimes on black soldiers. In this way, the army’s race and gender problems became intertwined. Black GIs represented more than 40 percent of soldiers tried for rape and two thirds of those found guilty. In some countries, these figures reached staggering proportions: In France, black soldiers were 77 percent of those convicted of rape; 80 out of the 96 men the military executed for crimes in Europe and North Africa were black.

Army commanders described black soldiers as “bestial” and “barbarous,”
while explaining away sexual crimes of white soldiers as
“boisterousness” or “blowing off steam.” When white soldiers were
accused of raping women and children in France in August 1945, just
before the victory over Japan was declared, commanders held an investigation but did not prosecute.  

After the war, politicians put trumped-up stories about the rape of
white European women by men of color to political use. Rape allegations
in the hands of white supremacists served to underline the unsuitability
of black Americans for full citizenship – an effective way to forestall
inevitable post-war battles for civil rights.

These racialized rape myths gained new traction with World War II. A 1945 letter from a white Southern woman to her local Georgia newspaper reflected this: “Read of how many of them had to be disarmed because of their attacks on defenseless white women of European countries,” she wrote, “read of their desertions from their ranks… Go read how many of those white boys died while the Negroes cowered in the rear.” 

The racialization of rape had material consequences in the United States. Southern Democrats filibustered
the Senate in 1945, in opposition to the Fair Employment Practices
Committee, which had promised to end racial discrimination in federal
employment. These politicians invoked rapes of European women in support
of their arguments – and succeeded. Senator James Eastland from
Mississippi repeated a well-worn lie, suggesting that black soldiers had
disgraced the country: “I have been told that in any number of cities
that decent white girls could not go out on the street because they
would be accosted by groups of drunken Negro soldiers.”

These myths persisted despite fierce contestation by civil rights
groups like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People. When 14-year-old Emmett Till was lynched for whistling at a
white woman in Mississippi in 1955, his killers were spared a second
trial after white supremacists, among them Eastland, leaked details
about his father, Louis Till, and his execution for rape in Italy during
the war. The media portrayed Emmett as a rapist – “father like son like father,” as writer John Edgar Wideman reflected. The men who murdered the teenager walked free.

The US military’s success in racializing rape in Europe is evident in
the extent of collective ignorance about sexual crimes committed by
Americans during World War II. The military scapegoated black soldiers
for rape while downplaying or ignoring the crimes of many white
soldiers. While 4 million American soldiers passed under the
jurisdiction of US military courts in Western Europe between 1942 and
1945, according to a June 1945 letter from General Eisenhower to Under
Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson, 3.5 million of whom were whites of
varying ethnic and religious identities. Ultimately, 461 were held
responsible for rape: 205 white, 256 black. This is not evidence of an
army’s exemplary conduct but of a concerted effort to sweep history
under the rug.

The legacies of this history persist to this day. White supremacy, a
perpetual feature of American history, is newly emboldened. Civil rights
are under attack and violence against people of color is increasing.
Black men remain overrepresented in rape allegations in the United
States. In 2018, a white woman
called the police on a 9-year-old African American boy whom she accused
of sexually assaulting her when his backpack brushed against her in a
convenience store. Racialized rape myths persist.

World War II was a race war.
Nazi Germany fought for white supremacy and slaughtered millions of
Jewish men, women and children. European nations conscripted African and
Asian men to fight in support of their empires, which they ruled
according to brutal racial hierarchies. Race similarly defined the war
in the Pacific theater, where the United States and Japan deployed
animalistic images of the other side in their wartime propaganda; during
the war President Roosevelt signed executive order 9066, which led to incarcerationon
American soil of 120,000 people of Japanese descent, two thirds of whom
were US citizens. And for millions of African Americans, segregation of
the military during the 20th century brought the race war to the home
front.

The race war also had a gendered dimension. As writer Lillian Smith observed:
“whenever, wherever race relations are discussed, sex moves arm in arm
with the concept of segregation.” Rape was the fertile ground on which
issues of racial segregation were weaponized and used as an instrument
of wartime politics. The history of the good war is incomplete without
acknowledging this aspect of our past.

*Ruth Lawlor is a Fox International Fellow at Yale and a PhD candidate in history at the University of Cambridge. Her research in US foreign policy focuses on conflict-related sexual violence and is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Cambridge Trust and the Robert Gardiner Memorial Fund.

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Eurasia Review: Kazakhstan: Protestors Call For Boycott Of June 9 Presidential Vote – Election

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Hundreds of people demonstrated in Almaty and Nur-Sultan [Astana], shouting “Nur-Sultan is not my capital, [Kasym-Zhomart] Tokayev is not my president, and Dariga [Nazarbayeva] is not my speaker” and calling for a boycott of the presidential elections slated for June 9 in which Nazarbayev’s chosen successor Tokayev is to be confirmed.

The unsanctioned meetings show that however much respect most Kazakhs have for Nazarbayev, many are not prepared to accept his right to choose his own successor. Consequently, the protests, albeit relatively small, are an indication that the transition may be far harder than many imagine.

The best reportage on the events is provided by Radio Liberty’s Kazakh Service. It notes that the police told the demonstrators to disperse and when they did not detained some of them, adding to the number of political prisoners in Kazakhstan that the protesters also demanded be released (rus.azattyq.org/a/kazakhstan-nur-sultan-almaty-rally-1-may/29914075.html).

In response to those demands, the police in Nur-Sultan did release those detained on their own recognizance.  Some of those released said they had been beaten. After this, the demonstrators began to disperse.   Meanwhile, some 300 Kazakhs demonstrated in Almaty. Their agenda appeared somewhat broader.

In addition to calling for a boycott of the presidential elections and freedom for political prisoners, they also demanded that the construction of an atomic power station in Kazakhstan be stopped, that the current capital retain the name of Astana, and that the authorities consult with the people about the changes that the country needs now and in the future.

The authorities in the second capital tried to drown out the speeches of protest leaders with music from an officially organized celebration of the Day of the Unity of the People of Kazakhstan taking place in the same park.  The police also tried to restrict the movement of protesters by locking the gates.

When the police unlocked the gates, some people began to leave but others remained to talk about the many problems they face, Radio Liberty reported. Later, the police detained “about 100: of the protesters. They were loaded on buses and taken to police stations, other protesters said.

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