The headline here is that Russia won't let Trump isolate North Korea, which is already as isolated as it can be... Sergei Lavrov's visit with Kim Jong Un in Korea coincided with the plan for US/N.Korea summit getting back on the timeline for June 12. Kim Jong Un will meet with Vladimir Putin sometime soonish. Throughout the (brief) history of North Korea, Russia/USSR has been the best friend and ally of all, until the Soviet Union collapsed. China cut off grain when Koreans were starving, and has been a hard overlord over many centuries. Russian diplomacy has been very impressive in recent years. it seems that Russia, North Korea and China are all saying "nuclear free Korean peninsula". Even the US is saying it, but it's like saying "terrorist". Meanings differ. To me the obvious solution is to baby-step to a unified, nuke-free Korea, with no foreign forces, but some harbor arrangements for various navies.
“China welcomes Russia's positive role in advancing the denuclearization of the Peninsula and promoting the political settlement process of the Peninsula issue.”
Secretary of Defense Mattis says that the presence (absence) of US troops in South Korea will not be part of June 16 negotiations.
“Any discussion about the number of US troops is subject to the ROC’s invitation to have them there, and the discussions between the US and the ROC are separate and distinct from the negotiations that are going on with the DPRK. That issue will not come up in the discussions with DPRK… That issue is not on the table here in Singapore on the 12th nor should it be,” he said. (Oh, I see the way around that wording. Also, "ROC" usually means "Republic of China".) "On the Korean peninsula, we hold the line with our ally," he said. "Our objective remains a complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula." (Nothing but details, in that case...)
Syrian President, Bashar Al Assad says he will travel to North Korea to meet Kim, too.
Mr Assad was also quoted as saying that he was sure Mr Kim would "achieve the final victory and realise the reunification of Korea without fail". (He sees)
Pay very close attention to what India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, said after meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier this week in New Delhi: “Our foreign policy is not made under pressure from other countries … We recognize UN sanctions and not country-specific sanctions. We didn’t follow US sanctions on previous occasions either.” After fellow BRICS members China and Russia, India left no margin for doubt. And there’s more; India will continue to buy oil from Iran – its third top supplier – and is willing to pay in rupees via state bank UCO, which is not exposed to the US... It’s clear that fellow SCO/BRICS members China, Russia and India will refuse to isolate Iran. And there’s nothing the Indo-Pacific Command can do about it.
Indian national policy does not force Indian banks and businesses to continue trade with Iran, as US sanctions kick-in this August. Some won't. German export businesses are also avoiding the risks or rankling the US.
The US military base just agreed in Poland is about adjusting the balance of power between China and the US in Europe, as the Belt and Road initiative develops, and also about increasing the non-German national powers within the EU. Poland can lead a nationalist wing against the third generation warfare carried out by liberal globalists. The answer to refugees streaming from the war-torn middle east and Afghanistan is to stop paying to make war on their nations.
Italy is finally staged for the inevitable debt restructuring, going into this summer, with a populist and anti-euro government taking office. At the outset of the 2008 global financial crisis (part-1) Italian national debt was just a little behind that of Greece. Both have vastly increased since then. There are a lot of specifics, which will influence who takes the hit of debt restructuring. Greek people were beaten up and left by the side of the rod by the entire rest of the world, a sacrifice for every debt of the financial elites. The elites handed that bag to the citizens of France and Germany, for nice cash. That does not look feasible this time. Italy is much bigger and Greece was never fixed.
Whether you call it "Italeave" or "Quitaly", JP Morgan's financial analysis, fairly extensive, determines that leaving the Euro (currency) is the best course for the nation of Italy. Leaving quickly and decisively is also best.
More on the inevitability of financial reset for Italy, and for Greece, Spain, Portugal, France, Britain, etc. ("Devastating" is easy to say when it is somebody else.)
"I warned my interlocutors at a Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers:
'If you insist on policies that condemn whole populations to a combination of permanent stagnation and humiliation, you will soon have to deal not with Europeanist leftists like us but, instead, with anti-Europeanist xenophobes who see it as their vocation to disintegrate the European Union.
'By crushing our Europeanist government in the summer of 2015, Germany sowed the seeds of today’s bitter harvest: a majority in Italy’s parliament that dreams of exiting the euro. The causal link between Germany’s two political headaches has an economic basis. Trump understands one thing well: Germany and the eurozone are at his mercy, owing to their increasing dependence on large net exports to the US and the rest of the world. And this dependence has grown inexorably as a result of the austerity policies that were first tried out in Greece and then implemented in Italy and elsewhere.
All of this was predictable – and in fact was predicted. So no one should be surprised by the position in which Merkel and Europe find themselves today. But only a dangerous fool would celebrate.
The Swiss Banking Referendum Explained. Thanks Jada.
This is Part 1 of 3. It explains the current status quo of western banking.
(Jada and I take exception to the assertion that central banks are part of the government, implying that they are not privately owned profit centers. Mostly, they are, specifically the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve are privately owned and "independent" of control by elected officials. The Bank of China is an organ of the State.)
There are "2 kinds of money" state-created money, like bills and coins and the "reserves" that banks hold to loan against, and credit-money, called "deposit money" here. This is the money created when a bank makes a loan, and declares the existence of the amount of money it loans out, and writes it down as an "asset", which is a "liability" to the borrower. It is very damned profitable to do this, and bankers/financiers would completely (not just mostly) own the world by now if they had not overshot and created financial crises so very often. In the 1930s the Chicago school of Economic thought had not yet been contaminated by neoliberalism. The "Chicago Plan" of the 1930s was to take the creation of money completely into the hands of the State (NOT the "Federal Reserve"). (Lincoln had done this when he printed "greenback dollars" during the Civil War, and the "Continental dollar" had also been printed-into-existence and spent into circulation by the government (and counterfeited by England, to destroy it). John Kennedy had started upon this path with his printing of some low-denomination "US Treasury Notes" and "silver certificates". Lincoln and Kennedy came to untimely ends, and it is reasonably argued that bankers financed those "investments".)
The Swiss, not part of the Euro, understand banking and monetary theory pretty well. They have a referendum to basically change over to the creation of money only by the Swiss Central Bank, which would pay the bills of the government, and provide "reserve money" that banks would loan out at interest. It would feel the same to bank patrons, but bankers would simply be clerks, not rich money-printers. (I think the Swiss bankers see what's coming and want to jump off the current global financial ship before it capsizes.)
The Big Con, How Neoliberals Convinced Us There Wasn't Enough To Go Around
Bayer moves ahead to buy Monsanto, and will retire "Monsanto" name.
"Sinister Choreography of MH-17 Probe to Smear Russia", Finian Cunningham.
The international investigative team failed to present any "conclusive evidence" to pin the blame on Moscow for its alleged role in downing MH17 over Ukraine, according to Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke. "But who's responsible - you can't just pinpoint Russia," the minister stated, adding that "any further actions will be based on conclusive evidence." He also stressed that it is important to safeguard good diplomatic relations. (Failure to salute...)
Georgia has technically legalized cannibis for treating seizures, but there is no legal way to get it, and so on. The State of Georgia has taken a 15 year old with frequent seizures, daily and more, away from his parents, for giving him pot, which let him ride a bike and go for walks without a seizure for a couple of months. ("We went easy on them", says the Sheriff.)
Paul Craig Roberts points out that the USA has standardized cruelty to children and parents of undocumented families Currently, about 1500 children are "unaccounted for" or lost by the US government. There is a market for young humans, a very real market, which point he makes. The US is as cruel an overlord to south and central America as England was to India, and that's a lot of cruelty. Thanks Eleni.
Cruelty is the theme again, as the tattered American social safety net is staged to be cut up into pieces. The industrial society that paid for the safety net was offshored. The financial-capitalism which sucked the blood out of it is thirstier by the day. There are no local alternatives in the gutted economies of rust-belt cities and Appalachia, so this is the last rug to pull out.
If you try to board a plane with your life savings in neatly wrapped stacks of $100 bills, it will be taken without any real recourse, as 64 year old, Cleveland resident, Rustem Kazazi discovered when he tried to fly with this cash to his native Albania, because you just can't trust the banks in Albania. 7 months later, he is not charged with any crime, and does not have any of his money, which somebody under-counted by $770 (Where did that go?) Strip searched, too.
Indian heat waves are worse than Texas heat waves. They kill thousands of people. India is there again, and is saving lots of lives by painting roofs white, giving out free water, and letting people sit in the parks in the heat of the day.
More on Time Restricted Eating to improve health: To be a healthy weight, and not diabetic, get up early, have a little breakfast, get outside and work in the morning sun, eat a hearty lunch, a light and early "supper", then take it fairly easy until dark, and go to bed. If you eat early in the day, but go 16 hours between "supper" and the next breakfast, you'll probably be less hungry at night, too. (I have to figure out how to pull something like this off. Our work schedules don't really allow it.)