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IMF: Ukraine Must Now Steal $1.5 Billion+ from Russia to Buy Arms

March 30th, 2015

Eric Zuesse

In December, a multi-billion-dollar loan [variously stated as $3-$3.5 billion] to Ukraine comes due, which Ukraine had received from Russia. The IMF has provided a new debt plan, however, dictating that existing loans to Ukraine that have an expiration-date are to be subjected to a haircut. Thus, the resource gap of the country totaling $40 billion is to be reduced.

Since the crisis, Ukraine has received several loans from the IMF and the EU [and the U.S.]. These loans must be repaid in a few years from now. However, the financial situation of the country remains vulnerable. Over the next four years overdue loans totaling $15 billion need to be paid [they’re mostly loans from Russia]. Only three billion of them are an old loan Russia that has to be paid in December of this year. The IMF might prevent it [from being repaid in full, even though it has seniority over the new loans that are coming from the West].

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The $160 Billion Cost: Why Ukraine's Viktor Yanukovych Spurned EU's Offer, on 20 Nov. 2013

March 30th, 2015

Eric Zuesse

“Burying the lede” is a way that ‘news’ professionals hide or "bury" things while ‘reporting’ on them; and the biggest example of this in modern times occurred when Germany’s Spiegel (Mirror) magazine headlined its cover-story on 24 November 2014, "Summit of Failure: How the EU Lost Russia over Ukraine.” On the magazine's front cover, it was instead bannered as "Kalte Krieger — Geschichte einer Machtprobe: Wie Merkel und Putin Europa an den Rand des Abgrunds brachten” which translates as: "Cold Warrior — History of a Showdown: How Merkel and Putin brought Europe to the Edge of the Abyss.” This was a very lengthy report, 7,000 words, but the historically blockbuster revelation in it, which the global press has ignored, and/or themselves buried by similarly mentioning it without headlining it or leading with it (nor even linking to it), was this (which would have been a fair headline for that news report, since it’s 99% of that news-report’s real value): “EU’s Offer to Ukraine Would Have Cost Ukraine $160B.” (I hope that the headline that I used above is even better, however.)

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Nuclear Armed and Dangerous Israel Blasts Iran's Peaceful Program

March 30th, 2015

by Stephen Lendman

Netanyahu and other Israeli officials suppress information on its longstanding nuclear weapons program - an arsenal with thermonuclear ones and long-range delivery capability able to incinerate entire cities.

On Sunday, Netanyahu railed against Iran's known peaceful nuclear program as a March 31 deadline approaches to reach a preliminary framework deal ahead of a June 30 final one.

The whole world knows Iran's program is peaceful. It conforms to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions.

It has no military component. US and Israeli intelligence assessments say so. No evidence suggests otherwise.

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Wyden Shows Connection Between Rigged Trade & Rigged Government

March 30th, 2015

By Kevin Zeese

A week with Wyden shows a secret fundraiser for a secretly negotiated corporate agreement

Note: We are still hoping that Senator Wyden will listen to the people and not his big money donors. He should announce now that he will not be supporting any fast track trade authority legislation. The three treaties being negotiated in secret by Obama are too far along and cannot meet the transparency and participation requirements that Wyden has said he supports. He should come out against fast track for all the deals currently being negotiated.

In recent town hall events Sen. Wyden has said that export from Oregon to Asia is a foundation of the Oregon economy. But, as he knows, the US already has trade deals with most of the countries involved in the TPP so it will make little difference on Oregon’s exports. What is will do is give these foreign corporations the ability to move to locations with cheaper labor and resources as well as the power to sue if Oregon takes action in the public interest to protect people and planet. The TPP is a loser for the Oregon economy and for the people of Oregon. KZ

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Fight Back! News Activism

March 29th, 2015

by Stephen Lendman

Humanity faces a struggle for survival today like never before. Lunatics in Washington risk mass annihilation in their quest for world dominance.

Minneapolis-based Fight Back! is on the front lines for progressive change. It publishes online and in print.

It features "news and views from the people's struggle" for equity and justice.

Community organizers and other activists are involved. "We are not 'neutral' or 'even-handed' in our coverage," it says.

"We are opposed to exploitation, discrimination, and oppression."

"We hold that the rich class of people who run the economy and government of this country are unfit to rule."

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Lies and Deceptions on the Left: The Politics of Self Destruction

March 28th, 2015

James Petras

Introduction

Over the past year, what appeared as hopeful signs, that Left governments were emerging as powerful alternatives to right-wing pro-US regimes, is turning into a historic rout, which will relegate them to the dustbin of history for many years to come. The rise and rapid decay of left-wing governments in France, Greece and Brazil is not the result of a military coup, nor is it due to the machinations of the CIA. The debacle of left governments is a result of deliberate political decisions, which break decisively with the progressive programs, promises and commitments that political leaders had made to the great mass of working and middle class voters who elected them.

Increasingly, the electorate views the leftist rulers as traitors, who betrayed their supporters at the beck and call of their most egregious class enemies: the bankers, the capitalists and the neo-liberal ideologues.

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Model Venezuelan Democracy v. US Imperial Lawlessness

March 28th, 2015

by Stephen Lendman

Venezuelan democracy is real. It's the hemisphere's best. It shames America's sham system.

It threatens no other country. It doesn't bully, harass, invade or terror-bomb them. It fosters good relations with all nations.

Its Constitution mandates governance of, by and for everyone equitably. Its policies are polar opposite US imperial lawlessness.

On Wednesday, President Nicholas Maduro initiated an international campaign challenging Obama outrageously calling Venezuela a threat to US national security.

It deserves universal support. He wrote an open letter to Americans affirming Venezuela threatens no one.

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Police State Israel on Steroids Under Netanyahu

March 28th, 2015

by Stephen Lendman

Expect ruthless Palestinian persecution to be worse than ever during Netanyahu's fourth term.

Institutionalized viciousness best describes it. Daily Israeli crimes against humanity persist - grave enough to shock anyone supporting right over wrong.

State terror haunts Palestinians - defenseless against Israeli ruthlessness. The price of praying to the wrong God is brutalizing treatment.

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Poroshenko: Declaring Peace, Waging War

March 28th, 2015

by Stephen Lendman

US-appointed, he serves at the pleasure of his puppet masters.

He's a convenient stooge - easily replaced if no longer serving US interests. In September 2014, he straightaway breached Minsk ceasefire terms.

On February 12, he agreed to Minsk II peacemaking measures. Terms include:

  • ceasefire effective midnight February 15;

  • withdrawal of heavy weapons from front line positions;

  • granting Donbass autonomous special status self-rule;

  • ending economic blockade;

  • Ukrainian constitutional reform;

  • other provisions relating to monitoring, border control, prisoner exchanges, amnesty and safe access for humanitarian aid.

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California Water Wars: Another Form of Asset Stripping?

March 27th, 2015

by Ellen Brown

In California’s epic drought, wars over water rights continue, while innovative alternatives for increasing the available water supply go untapped.

Wars over California’s limited water supply have been going on for at least a century. Water wars have been the subject of some vintage movies, including the 1958 hit The Big Country starring Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood’s 1985 Pale Rider, 1995’s Waterworld with Kevin Costner, and the 2005 film Batman Begins. Most acclaimed was the 1975 Academy Award winner Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, involving a plot between a corrupt Los Angeles politician and land speculators to fabricate the 1937 drought in order to force farmers to sell their land at low prices. The plot was rooted in historical fact, reflecting battles between Owens Valley farmers and Los Angeles urbanites over water rights.

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