Uzbekistan

So, You Thought Slavery Was Dead? Think Again

Nearly 46 million human beings are subject to slavery, a new report released this week concluded. According to the third annual Global Slavery Index, which gathers and analyzes surveys conducted by Gallup, the number of people forced into “modern slavery,” or “human trafficking, forced labour, debt bondage, forced or servile marriage or commercial sexual exploitation,” rose from 35.8 million to 45.8 million since 2014 — a 28 percent increase.

Buchanan: If There's A 2nd Cold War, Did Russia Really Start It?

Putin may top the enemies list of the Beltway establishment, but we should try to see the world from his point of view. Did we not ourselves slap aside the hand of Russian friendship, when proffered, when we chose to embrace our “unipolar moment,” to play the “great game” of empire and seek “benevolent global hegemony”? If there is a second Cold War, did Russia really start it?

Frontrunning: February 19

  • Stocks knocked back as oil rally falters (Reuters)
  • Still no deal for Britain on EU reforms after all-night talks (Reuters)
  • Oil Falls Near $30 as Rising U.S. Crude Stockpiles Expand Glut (BBG)
  • PBOC to Raise Reserve Ratios for Banks That Don't Meet Criteria (BBG)
  • China’s Top Securities Regulator to Step Down (WSJ)

Islamic Radicalism: A Consequence Of Petro-Imperialism

The mainspring of Islamic extremism and militancy isn’t the moderate and democratic political Islam, because why would people turn to violence when they can exercise their right to choose their rulers? The mainspring of Islamic militancy is the despotic and militant political Islam of the Gulf variety. The Western powers are fully aware of this fact, then why do they choose to support the same forces that have nurtured jihadism and terroris?

Playing Chess With Putin

"What’s it like playing chess with Obama?" asks a top aid of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Putin replies, "It's like playing chess with a pigeon. First it knocks over all the pieces, then it shits on the board, and finally it struts around like it won."

Paul Craig Roberts Warns "The Entire World May Go Down The Tubes Together"

Neoliberal economics is blind to reality and serves to justify the destruction of the economic prospects of the Western World. It remains to be seen if Russia and China can develop a different economics or whether these rising superpowers will fall victim to the “junk economics” that has destroyed the West. With so many Chinese and Russian economists educated in the US tradition, the prospects of Russia and China might not be any better than ours. The entire world could go down the tubes together.

Airline Begins Weighing Passengers, Will 'Exclude' Heavy Flyers

In 2013, Samoan Air became the world's first airline to charge passengers according to their their weight. Now, two years later, Uzbekistan Airways has gone one further than the pay-by-weight model. The Tashkent-based airline has installed special weighing machines in the departure gate zones to weigh people and their hand luggage, noting that some overweight people could be excluded from busy flights on smaller planes if limits are exceeded... "We are not selling seats, we are selling weight."

The Eurasian Big Bang: How China & Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington

Tehran, Beijing, Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi have been actively establishing interlocking security guarantees. They have been simultaneously calling the Atlanticist bluff when it comes to the endless drumbeat of attention given to the flimsy meme of Iran’s "nuclear weapons program."  And a few days before the Vienna nuclear negotiations finally culminated in an agreement, all of this came together at a twin BRICS/SCO summit in Ufa, Russia -- a place you’ve undoubtedly never heard of and a meeting that got next to no attention in the U.S.  And yet sooner or later, these developments will ensure that the War Party in Washington and assorted neocons (as well as neoliberalcons) already breathing hard over the Iran deal will sweat bullets as their narratives about how the world works crumble.

No, You Can't Go Back To The USSR!

One of the fake stories kept alive by certain American politicians, with the help of western media, is that Vladimir Putin (who, they vacuously claim, is a dictator and a tyrant) wants to reconstitute the USSR, with the annexation of Crimea as the first step. Instead of listening to their gossip, let's lay out the facts...  “He who doesn't regret the collapse of the USSR doesn't have a heart; he who wants to see it reborn doesn't have a brain.”

Sweden Slides Further Into NIRP: Cuts To -0.25%; Expands QE

Ahead of The Fed's 'impatience' today, and amid a tumbling EUR, the oldest central bank in the world has decided it is time to go further into the illustrious ranks of NIRP/QE'ers:

*RIKSBANK CUTS KEY RATE TO -0.25%, TO BUY GOVT BONDS FOR SK30 BLN

So as opposed to Denamrk's roundabout QE, Sweden just jumps in and monetizes that debt direct by expanding their QE program and shifts from small NIRP to bigger NIRP. All this while suggesting the labor market is strengthening and inflation has bottomed out. The reaction - SEK is plunging and OMX surges.