Monday, October 20, 2014

Joko Widodo Sworn In As Indonesian President

The 5th Estate congratulates our new President and wishes him the best while at the same time thanking outgoing President Yudhoyono for his leadership and service to Indonesia    


Joko Widodo was inaugurated as Indonesia's new president on Monday, facing the challenges of rebooting a slowing economy and working with a potentially hostile opposition that has already landed some early blows against his administration.

President Joko Widodo
Widodo, the first Indonesian president not to come from the ranks of the country's established political, business and military elite, took the oath of office in a ceremony at parliament in the capital, Jakarta, attended by regional leaders.

"To the fishermen, the workers, the farmers, the merchants, the meatball soup sellers, the hawkers, the drivers, the academics, the labourers, the soldiers, the police, the entrepreneurs and the professionals, I say let us all work hard, together, shoulder to shoulder, because this is a historic moment," said Widodo, popularly known as "Jokowi."

He ended his speech with a shout of "Merdeka!" or "Freedom," the independence-era rallying cry associated with the country's founding president, Sukarno.

A former furniture salesman, the 53-year-old Widodo rose from humble beginnings to become Jakarta's governor before winning July's presidential election with 53 percent of the vote. Polls showed most of his support came from lower-income, non-urban Indonesians attracted by his simple demeanour and record of honest, hard work.

Indonesia is the biggest economy in Southeast Asia, and about 90 per cent of its 250 million people are Muslims, more than any other nation. After years of dictatorship, the country was convulsed by political, ethnic and religious unrest in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Since then, it has consolidated its democratic transition. While most of the country remains poor, it is home to a rapidly expanding middle class.

Outgoing President Yudhoyono: legacy of stability
Outgoing president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's two terms in office saw democratic consolidation and a focused fight against Islamist militancy. But economic growth on the back of a commodities boom has slowed, and a recovery is being hampered by weak infrastructure, rampant corruption and red tape.

Economic growth is currently around five per cent, barely allowing enough jobs to be created. Widodo is targeting seven per cent growth in the coming years. 

To get close to that, he will need bold reforms to attract foreign investment and favourable external conditions. A looming problem is expected hikes next year in what are record-low U.S. interest rates, which could suck funds from the country, pressurizing the rupiah and spooking the markets.

Economists say Widodo must soon make a decision on how much to cut subsidies on fuel that unless trimmed will cost the government a budget-busting $30 billion-plus this year. The move will likely stoke protests from political opponents and could trigger street demonstrations.

He can also expect resistance from opposition parties still smarting from the election defeat of their candidate, Prabowo Subianto, a wealthy general with close ties to Indonesia's former dictator Suharto. The coalition against Widodo already has captured most of the important positions in parliament and last month voted to end direct regional elections, a key plank of the country's democratic transition since Suharto was ousted in 1998.

Subianto attended Monday's inauguration ceremony and met with Widodo last week to offer qualified support for his administration. Much uncertainty remains over how effective Widodo will be in negotiating with the opposition, and how much of a disruptive role it will play. Subianto's initial refusal to accept the election results and the comments of some of his supporters led to speculation among analysts that he would seek to topple Widodo midterm.

In his inauguration speech, Widodo pledged to maintain the country's "free and active" foreign policy, a stance that has seen it slowly taking up more of a leadership role in Southeast Asia. Working to stop the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria, managing relations with China and keeping often testy ties with Australia on an even keel will be key tasks.

"I'm very encouraged by everything that President Jokowi has said up until now. He's obviously a charismatic and inspirational figure," said Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who flew to Jakarta for the ceremony. "I think there's a wave of confidence and renewal sweeping Indonesia right now."

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Washington Post’s Slimy Assault On Gary Webb

It's once again open season on investigative reporters - dead and alive - by the Obama criminals and their "mainstream media" mouthpieces, no bag limit; The movie, “Kill the Messenger,” portrays the mainstream U.S. news media as craven for destroying Gary Webb rather than expanding on his investigation of the Contra-cocaine scandal: Now one of those “journalists” is renewing the character assassination of Webb    

By Robert Perry

Jeff Leen, the Washington Post’s assistant managing editor for investigations, begins his renewed attack on the late Gary Webb’s Contra-cocaine reporting with a falsehood.

The late investigative journalist Gary Webb
Leen insists that there is a journalism dictum that “an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof.”

But Leen must know that it is not true.

Many extraordinary claims, such as assertions in 2002-03 that Iraq was hiding arsenals of WMDs, were published as flat-fact without “extraordinary proof” or any real evidence at all, including by Leen’s colleagues at the Washington Post.

A different rule actually governs American journalism – that journalists need “extraordinary proof” if a story puts the U.S. government or an “ally” in a negative light but pretty much anything goes when criticizing an “enemy.”

If, for instance, the Post wanted to accuse the Syrian government of killing civilians with Sarin gas or blame Russian-backed rebels for the shoot-down of a civilian airliner over Ukraine, any scraps of proof – no matter how dubious – would be good enough (as was the actual case in 2013 and 2014, respectively).

However, if new evidence undercut those suspicions and shifted the blame to people on “the U.S. side” – say, the Syrian rebels and the Ukrainian government – then the standards of proof suddenly skyrocket beyond reach. So what you get is not “responsible” journalism – as Leen tries to suggest – but hypocrisy and propaganda. One set of rules for the goose and another set for the gander.

The Contra-Cocaine Case

Or to go back to the Contra-cocaine scandal that Brian Barger and I first exposed for the Associated Press in 1985: If we were writing that the leftist Nicaraguan Sandinista government – the then U.S. “enemy” – was shipping cocaine to the United States, any flimsy claim would have sufficed. But the standard of proof ratcheted up when the subject of our story was cocaine smuggling by President Ronald Reagan’s beloved Contras.

Scumbag, fraud "journalist," serial LIAR - WP's Jeff Leen
In other words, the real dictum is that there are two standards, double standards, something that a careerist like Leen knows in his gut but doesn’t want you to know. All the better to suggest that Gary Webb was guilty of violating some noble principle of journalism.

But Leen is wrong in another way – because there was “extraordinary proof” establishing that the Contras were implicated in drug trafficking and that the Reagan administration was looking the other way.

When Barger and I wrote the first story about Contra-cocaine trafficking almost three decades ago, we already had “extraordinary proof,” including documents from Costa Rica, statements by Contras and Contra backers, and admissions from officials in the Drug Enforcement Administration and Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council staff.

However, Leen seems to dismiss our work as nothing but getting “tips” about Contra-cocaine trafficking as if Barger and I were like the hacks at the Washington Post and the New York Times who wait around for authorized handouts from the U.S. government.

Following the Money

Barger and I actually were looking for something different when we encountered the evidence on Contra-cocaine trafficking. We were trying to figure out how the Contras were sustaining themselves in the field after Congress cut off the CIA’s financing for their war.

We were, in the old-fashioned journalistic parlance, “following the money.” The problem was the money led, in part, to the reality that all the major Contra organizations were collaborating with drug traffickers.

Besides our work in the mid-1980s, Sen. John Kerry’s follow-on Contra-cocaine investigation added substantially more evidence. Yet Leen and his cohorts apparently felt no need to pursue the case any further or even give respectful attention to Kerry’s official findings.

Indeed, when Kerry’s report was issued in April 1989, the Washington Post ran a dismissive story by Michael Isikoff buried deep inside the paper. Newsweek dubbed Kerry “a randy conspiracy buff.” In Leen’s new article attacking Gary Webb — published on the front-page of the Washington Post’s Sunday Outlook section – Leen just says:

“After an exhaustive three-year investigation, the committee’s report concluded that CIA officials were aware of the smuggling activities of some of their charges who supported the contras, but it stopped short of implicating the agency directly in drug dealing. That seemed to be the final word on the matter.”

But why was it the “final word”? Why didn’t Leen and others who had missed the scandal as it was unfolding earlier in the decade at least try to build on Kerry’s findings. After all, these were now official U.S. government records. Wasn’t that “extraordinary” enough?

In this context, Leen paints himself as the true investigative journalist who knew the inside story of the Contra-cocaine tale from the beginning. He wrote: “As an investigative reporter covering the drug trade for the Miami Herald, … I wrote about the explosion of cocaine in America in the 1980s and 1990s, and the role of Colombia’s Medellin Cartel in fueling it.

“Beginning in 1985, journalists started pursuing tips about the CIA’s role in the drug trade. Was the agency allowing cocaine to flow into the United States as a means to fund its secret war supporting the contra rebels in Nicaragua? Many journalists, including me, chased that story from different angles, but the extraordinary proof was always lacking.”

Again, what Leen says is not true. Leen makes no reference to the groundbreaking AP story in 1985 or other disclosures in the ensuing years. He just insists that “the extraordinary proof” was lacking — which it may have been for him given his lackluster abilities. He then calls the final report of Kerry’s investigation the “final word.”

But Leen doesn’t explain why he and his fellow mainstream journalists were so incurious about this major scandal that they would remain passive even in the wake of a Senate investigation. It’s also not true that Kerry’s report was the “final word” prior to Webb reviving the scandal in 1996.

Government Witnesses

In 1991, during the narcotics trafficking trial of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, the U.S. government itself presented witnesses who connected the Contras to the Medellin cartel.

Indeed, after testimony by Medellin cartel kingpin Carlos Lehder about his $10 million contribution to the Contras, the Washington Post wrote in a Nov. 27, 1991 editorial that “The Kerry hearings didn’t get the attention they deserved at the time” and that “The Noriega trial brings this sordid aspect of the Nicaraguan engagement to fresh public attention.”

But the Post offered its readers no explanation for why Kerry’s hearings had been largely ignored, with the Post itself a leading culprit in this journalistic misfeasance. Nor did the Post and the other leading newspapers use the opening created by the Noriega trial to do anything to rectify their past neglect.

In other words, it didn’t seem to matter how much “extraordinary proof” the Washington Post or Jeff Leen had. Nothing would be sufficient to report seriously on the Contra-cocaine scandal, not even when the U.S. government vouched for the evidence.

So, Leen is trying to fool you when he presents himself as a “responsible journalist” weighing the difficult evidentiary choices. He’s just the latest hack to go after Gary Webb, which has become urgent again for the mainstream media in the face of “Kill the Messenger,” a new movie about Webb’s ordeal.

What Leen won’t face up to is that the tag-team destruction of Gary Webb in 1996-97 – by the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times – represented one of the most shameful episodes in the history of American journalism.

The Big Papers tore down an honest journalist to cover up their own cowardly failure to investigate and expose a grave national security crime, the Reagan administration’s tolerance for and protection of drug trafficking into the United States by the CIA’s client Contra army.

This journalistic failure occurred even though the Associated Press – far from a radical news outlet – and a Senate investigation (not to mention the Noriega trial) had charted the way.

Leen’s Assault

Contrary to Leen’s column, “Kill the Messenger” is actually a fairly honest portrayal of what happened when Webb exposed the consequences of the Contra cocaine smuggling after the drugs reached the United States. One channel fed into an important Los Angeles supply chain that produced crack.

But Leen tells you that “The Hollywood version of [Webb's] story — a truth-teller persecuted by the cowardly and craven mainstream media — is pure fiction.”

He then lauds the collaboration of the Big Three newspapers in destroying Webb and creating such enormous pressure on Webb’s newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News, that the executive editor Jerry Ceppos threw his own reporter under the bus. To Leen, this disgraceful behavior represented the best of American journalism.

Leen wrote: “The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, in a rare show of unanimity, all wrote major pieces knocking the story down for its overblown claims and undernourished reporting.

“Gradually, the Mercury News backed away from Webb’s scoop. The paper transferred him to its Cupertino bureau and did an internal review of his facts and his methods. Jerry Ceppos, the Mercury News’s executive editor, wrote a piece concluding that the story did not meet the newspaper’s standards — a courageous stance, I thought.”

“Courageous”? What an astounding characterization of Ceppos’s act of career cowardice.

But Leen continues by explaining his role in the Webb takedown. After all, Leen was then the drug expert at the Miami Herald, which like the San Jose Mercury News was a Knight Ridder newspaper. Leen says his editors sought his opinion about Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series.

Though acknowledging that he was “envious” of Webb’s story when it appeared in 1996, Leen writes that he examined it and found it wanting, supposedly because of alleged overstatements. He proudly asserts that because of his critical analysis, the Miami Herald never published Webb’s series.

But Leen goes further. He falsely characterizes the U.S. government’s later admissions contained in inspector general reports by the CIA and Justice Department. If Leen had bothered to read the reports thoroughly, he would have realized that the reports actually establish that Webb – and indeed Kerry, Barger and I – grossly understated the seriousness of the Contra-cocaine problem which began at the start of the Contra movement in the early 1980s and lasted through the decade until the end of the war.

Leen apparently assumes that few Americans will take the trouble to study and understand what the reports said. That is why I published a lengthy account of the U.S. government’s admissions – both after the reports were published in 1998 and as “Kill the Messenger” was hitting the theaters in October. [See’s “The Sordid Contra-Cocaine Saga.”]

Playing It Safe

Instead of diving into the reeds of the CIA and DOJ reports, Leen does what he and his mainstream colleagues have done for the past three decades, try to minimize the seriousness of the Reagan administration tolerating cocaine trafficking by its Contra clients and even obstructing official investigations that threatened to expose this crime of state.

Instead, to Leen, the only important issue is whether Gary Webb’s story was perfect. But no journalistic product is perfect. There are always more details that a reporter would like to have, not to mention compromises with editors over how a story is presented. And, on a complex story, there are always some nuances that could have been explained better. That is simply the reality of journalism, the so-called first draft of history.

But Leen pretends that it is the righteous thing to destroy a reporter who is not perfect in his execution of a difficult story – and that Gary Webb thus deserved to be banished from his profession for life, a cruel punishment that impoverished Webb and ultimately drove him to suicide in 2004.

But if Leen is correct – that a reporter who takes on a very tough story and doesn’t get every detail precisely correct should be ruined and disgraced – what does he tell his Washington Post colleague Bob Woodward, whose heroic Watergate reporting included an error about whether a claim regarding who controlled the White House slush fund was made before a grand jury.

While Woodward and his colleague Carl Bernstein were right about the substance, they were wrong about its presentation to a grand jury. Does Leen really believe that Woodward and Bernstein should have been drummed out of journalism for that mistake? Instead, they were lionized as heroes of investigative journalism despite the error – as they should have been.

Yet, when Webb exposed what was arguably an even worse crime of state – the Reagan administration turning a blind eye to the importation of tons of cocaine into the United States – Leen thinks any abuse of Webb is justified because his story wasn’t perfect.

Those two divergent judgments – on how Woodward’s mistake was understandably excused and how Webb’s imperfections were never forgiven – speak volumes about what has happened to the modern profession of journalism at least in the mainstream U.S. media. In reality, Leen’s insistence on perfection and “extraordinary proof” is just a dodge to rationalize letting well-connected criminals and their powerful accomplices off the hook.

In the old days, the journalistic goal was to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” but the new rule appears to be: “any standard of proof works when condemning the weak or the despised but you need unachievable ‘extraordinary proof’ if you’re writing about the strong and the politically popular.”

Who Is Unfit?

Leen adds a personal reflection on Webb as somehow not having the proper temperament to be an investigative reporter. Leen wrote:

“After Webb was transferred to Cupertino [in disgrace], I debated him at a conference of the Investigative Reporters and Editors organization in Phoenix in June 1997. He was preternaturally calm. While investigative journalists are usually bundles of insecurities and questions and skepticism, he brushed off any criticism and admitted no error. When asked how I felt about it all, I said I felt sorry for him. I still feel that way.”

It’s interesting – and sadly typical – that while Leen chastises Webb for not admitting error, Leen offers no self-criticism of himself for missing what even the CIA has now admitted, that the Contras were tied up in the cocaine trade. Doesn’t an institutional confession by the CIA’s inspector general constitute “extraordinary proof”?

Also, since the CIA’s inspector general’s report included substantial evidence of Contra-cocaine trafficking running through Miami, shouldn’t Leen offer some mea culpa about missing these serious crimes that were going on right under his nose – in his city and on his beat? What sort of reporter is “preternaturally calm” about failing to do his job right and letting the public suffer as Leen did?

Perhaps all one needs to know about the sorry state of today’s mainstream journalism is that Jeff Leen is the Washington Post’s assistant managing editor for investigations and Gary Webb is no longer with us.

[To learn how you can hear a December 1996 joint appearance at which Robert Parry and Gary Webb discuss their reporting, click here.]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Hundreds Of College Kids Riot During New Hampshire’s "Pumpkinfest"

America sinks deeper into the abyss; mayhem erupted at a pumpkin festival near Keene State College on Saturday night - at least 49 people were arrested, and 235 calls were made to police  

By Alison Vinglano

In Keene, New Hampshire, there is an annual Pumpkin Festival each fall, which got off to its usual start yesterday as thousands of residents and tourists gathered to pick and carve pumpkins.

Last year, the festival hit a new world record after 30,581 pumpkins were carved, lit, and placed downtown at one time, the Boston Globe reported.

But by the evening, the event took a chaotic turn.

Hundreds of students gathered in the streets and backyards, drinking excessively and starting riots.

Witnesses said that college students started throwing “anything they could find.”

Most of the damage was caused by students from surrounding colleges, not just Keene State students. Young people came from the University of New Hampshire, the University of Rhode Island, and the University of Massachusetts, reported theGlobe.

“Pumpkinfest has always been fun,” said Julie Conlon, a recent graduate of Keene State College. “Yeah, kids drink excessively, but it’s never been out of control. This year I watched thousands of kids pile into a backyard and kind of go crazy.”

“There were about 4,000 kids in this backyard, and it almost felt like a war zone,” Ellery Murray, a sophomore at Keene State, told the Boston Globe.

“People were just throwing everything they could find — rocks, skateboards, buckets, pumpkins. It was actually kind of scary.”

At least 30 people were injured near Keene State by Saturday evening, and 20 people were transported to hospitals, Keene Fire Chief Mark Howard told New England Cable News.

Police responded quickly and with force, bringing canine units, SWAT gear, and using tear gas, tasers, and pepper spray against the students, according to witnesses and reports on social media.

“I watched cops roll in, I watched the fire department roll in, I watched state troopers roll in with their batons out, ready to take on the crowd,” said Conlon. “It was crazy.

Between 2:30 a.m. Friday and 3:30 a.m. Sunday, there were 235 calls reporting disturbances or other offenses, and at least 49 arrests, the Associated Press reported.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said state and local police worked to mitigate the chaos, and Keene State College President Anne Huot said the college had “tried working with the city and campus to prevent unruly conduct.”

“We deplore the actions of those whose only purpose was to cause mayhem,” Huot said.

Many people on Twitter drew parallels to the rioting in Ferguson and the events at Pumpkinfest, critiquing the way both were handled by media.

It’s unclear if the event, which happens annually in New England, will be canceled in future years, but Keene State’s president stressed that the students responsible “will be held accountable.”

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

U.S. Economy Safety Margin Tested As Oil Prices Plummet

MSM shoots oil companies in the head with spastic Ebola coverage, bogus climbdown; Airlines, oil companies now to feel the bite as Americans shun all unnecessary forms of transportation, and oil - while still far too high - falls closer to realistic production prices: Shale oil environmental obscenity now DOA   

By Alexander Donetsky

Oil prices fluctuations is a routine matter for world economy. After the abrupt fall in 2009 sparked by global financial crisis, the «black gold» spiked to over 100 dollars a barrel to stay stable in February 2011 to September 2014. 

Criminal oil companies finally get the "shaft" from MSM
The current 20% price fall with the volume of sales remaining the same results in only 5,8-5,9% profit fall for Russia because in 2013 the oil accounted for only 29, 1% of all its national exports. A large part of oil income does not go straight to the budget but to the National Reserve Fund and the National Wealth Fund. The export duties make up 18-36% of the price. The resource rent from extraction also goes to the funds. As a result, the 20% price results in 2-3 % of the total volume of exports. 

The funds mentioned above are not parts of the state budget. The Reserve Fund (3 544, 83 billion rubles) and the Wealth Fund with 3 276, 79 billion rubles - the both figures as of October 2014 - are fed from the same sources as the budget but the income is nominated in foreign bonds and currencies. In fact, the funds provide Russian investments into other countries’ economies. The fall of prices does not affect the economy of Russia but rather the economies of the countries the funds invest into by buying the bonds. 

The situation has changed a bit recently. President Putin has taken a decision to redirect the income flows from the funds to the Russian state budget to spur the national economy. 

OOPS: MSM douchebags hit oil companies in the pocketbook
Normally the fall of oil prices is explained by great powers economic slowdowns, the increase of production by exporters or the forecasts predicting an emergence of a powerful actor able to dump the prices. 

Stock exchange rates immediately react to US economic indexes, but it’s not the case. According to Federal Reserve System’s report issued just a few days ago, the US economy goes through moderate, though not bright, economic growth against the background of much more vibrant rise in other countries. 

The European Union is going through rather hard times sparked by the US-imposed sanctions against Russia. There is no significant economic growth in Europe. The further pressure exerted by the United States and possible retaliatory measures taken by Russia may deteriorate the situation to make another European economic crisis a reality. 

Some time ago China was reported to overtake the U.S. to become the world's largest economy in accordance with the International Monetary Fund estimates (the analysis is based on one data point that recasts GDP based on consumer purchasing power adjusted for local prices and wages). It means that one of the largest oil consuming economies continues to make progress, so the exporters of "black gold" have nothing to worry about. 

Fox News corporate fraud, drunken fruitcake Shep Smith belatedly tries to put the kibosh on Ebola panic he helped to create

The increase of Russian oil production could not affect the world prices much because the extraction grew by only 1, 2% during the recent 9 months. In September, when the oil prices fell to the lowest level, the OPEC production increased by only 1, 3%. 

There is one more factor to influence the price – an alleged emergence of a competitor using dumping tactics. In theory there is one - the US companies involved in shale oil extraction. The US oil producers say the reserves are enough to last for 200 years (58 billion tons). The Russian reserves are estimated to be 75 billion tons. In the near future neither Russia, nor the United States with its shale energy boom can increase the volume of sold oil to produce a significant price fall. 

Oil companies finally get justice they so richly deserve - from their own MSM frauds and hacks

Then there is only one cause left – politics. We saw it in the 1970s. Arab states brought down the oil prices as a result of US pressure inflicting huge losses on the Soviet budget. Almost each and everything became a deficit for Soviet citizens. I wouldn’t like to accuse the United States it is doing the same thing without a substantiated reason, but this situation is pretty similar to what happened then. The Cold War against Russia appears to return, there are attempts made to suffocate it economically by delivering a strike to affect the people’s well-being. 

Speaking at the ASEM forum in Milan, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the world economy will not sustain oil prices at around 80 dollars per barrel. He is confident that in a short time the price of oil settles, adjusts, because "none of the market participants are interested in the price drops below $ 80." Putin also reminded that the Russian budget is planned on the basis of $96 per barrel. "In any case, I want to stress that Russia, the Russian Government, will undoubtedly fulfil all its social obligations. We have enough of a safety margin. Maybe we will need to adjust something in the budget. Maybe. Maybe we will even reduce some of our spending. But this will certainly not involve cuts in social spending. The Government of the Russian Federation will fulfil all its social obligations, and it is capable of doing this without any particular losses," said the President. 

Corporate airline ripoff artists taking a massive, richly deserved hit

80 dollars a barrel is not only a psychological index. For many OPEC members the further fall of prices may entail significant budget cuts and the following deterioration of living standards. Social instability is a direct threat to a state. 

Of course, China will benefit in case the energy prices go down but it does not serve the United States and Europe’s interests as they have become the consumers of China-produced commodities since a long time ago. It will hinder the plans to re-industrialize the United States and the European Union. 

US shale oil producers will suffer most. According to experts’ estimates, the cost of production is around 80-90 dollars a barrel, 4-5 times more than the traditional oil. It means that the current price – 85 dollars a barrel as of October 17 – makes the companies operate in the red. Some producers will have to suspend operations facing mass bankruptcy in case the oil price falls lower than 80 dollars as shareholders start getting rid of zero profit bonds. The shale oil "soap bubble" will blow like the housing construction industry "bubble" blew in 2008. Of course, as time goes by oil prices will go up but it’ll be a different world with some US oil producers non-existent anymore.

"Mainstream media" frauds finally do unwitting service to humanity
The oil has more negative surprises for the US, or the oil dollar to make it more precise. Prominent US trader Jim Sinclair called it the only valuable thing in the world. He believes that Russia can retaliate to badly damage the dollar, "Russia could retaliate in a way that would have a phenomenal impact on the U.S. dollar.

Russia has the upper hand. They have it in their ability to turn the U.S. economy upside down and into collapse". Actually that’s what is happening: the fall of oil price calculated in dollars took place simultaneously with the rise of the dollar rate to ruble benefiting Russian exporters who spend rubles not dollars. They win big. Russia has made the first tentative deals to sell energy in rubles to China. China has concluded a number of agreements switching from dollar to national currencies. The recent BRICS summit decided to switch to national currencies in mutual payments.

Nobody is interested in the impetuous collapse of US economy as a result of the dollar being pushed aside from the position of world reserve currency because the world financial system may go down crumbling. That’s why Russia and China are implementing the plan to create a new world reserve currency without haste and unneeded excitement responding to the US attempts to destabilize international situation by unleashing the full-scale war in Ukraine, making fall the oil prices critically important for Russian budget and staging the unrest in Hong Kong. As the sanctions were introduced, some Russian banks have already switched to Chinese banks granting credits in yuan and supporting the Chinese national UnionPay system as an alternative to US Visa and MasterCard.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of



The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.



Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.



By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...



UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak


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Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...



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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .



By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.