en Trump Seeks Historic $3.6 Trillion In Spending Cuts, Including Selling Half The US Strategic Oil Reserve <p>More details of President Donald Trump&#39;s first budget proposal were reported Monday by <a href="">Bloomberg</a> and <a href="">Reuters. </a>The leaks add to the picture of what we know about Trump&rsquo;s budget, which also includes a flurry of leaks published <a href="">by The Washington Post, the Associated Press and Bloomberg</a> late Sunday, which fleshed out Trump&rsquo;s plans to slash entitlement spending.</p> <p>In total, the budget <strong>plans to trim $3.6 trillion in spending over 10 years across all discretionary spending and non-discretionary spending </strong>lines, in order to enable tax reductions across the board: if enacted - and remember that the president&#39;s budget is just an initial blueprint which rarely passes in its original form - the Trump administration would implement the deepest cuts to government programs in a generation, delivering the opening salvo in a new round of budget battles in Washington.</p> <p>This is key to balancing the budget by the 10th year.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 332px;" /></a></p> <p>It also relies on rather rosy growth economic projections,&nbsp; estimating that U.S. gross domestic product will accelerate to 3% by fiscal year 2020. That&rsquo;s compared with Bloomberg&rsquo;s median projection of 2%, and the Congressional Budget Office&rsquo;s long-term projection of 1.9%. It also expects the 10-year Treasury yield to rise to 3.8% in that time, while CPI increases to 2.3% and unemployment holds more or less steady at 4.7%.</p> <p>Bloomberg also noted that Trump&rsquo;s budget been declared dead on arrival by many of his Republican allies in Congress,&rdquo; so Trump may be headed for another protracted legislative battle.</p> <p>The full proposal, titled &ldquo;<strong>A New Foundation for American Greatness</strong>,&rdquo; is expected at 11 a.m. Eastern. The proposal relies on a mix of cuts to anti-poverty programs, optimistic economic forecasting and deep cuts to nondefense discretionary funding to meet its targets. It would not touch Social Security and Medicare, which Trump promised to leave alone during his campaign. The budget would also dramatically shift spending to the Pentagon from domestic programs. In 2018, the budget would shift $54 billion from nondefense discretionary spending to defense by enacting major cuts to the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture and other agencies.</p> <p>Here&#39;s a rundown of the latest details to emerge:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>The budget will include $200 billion in new funding over 10 years for Trump&rsquo;s promised $1 trillion infrastructure investment program. The Trump administration has said the money will be used for loans, grants and other ways to secure investment by the private sector and state and local governments, Bloomberg noted. The $1 trillion target incorporates projects, like the Keystone XL Pipeline, that wouldn&rsquo;t have happened if the administration hadn&rsquo;t gotten involved.</li> <li>It includes an additional $25 billion budgeted over 10 years to give parents six weeks of family leave.</li> <li>budget also includes <strong>plans to sell off half the oil in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)</strong>, an unexpected announcement which has pressured the price of crude on Tuesday.</li> <li>The Department of Homeland Security&rsquo;s budget would increase $3 billion, while the Pentagon&rsquo;s budget would rise $6 billion.</li> <li>Domestic agencies&rsquo; budgets will be cut by 10% in 2018 and 40% in 2027.</li> <li>$2.6 billion for increased border security, including $1.6 billion earmarked for Trump&rsquo;s promised border wall. The other $1 trillion is for aircraft, equipment and surveillance technology, Bloomberg noted.</li> <li>The budget calls for steep cuts to federal workers&rsquo; retirement benefits. Per Bloomberg: &ldquo;Eliminating cost-of-living adjustments for retirees would save $42 billion while increasing required employee retirement contributions would save $72 billion. And the budget would save $72 billion through cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance.&rdquo;</li> </ul> <p>Bloomberg notes that the budget relies on sweeping tax cuts to strengthen economic growth, offsetting some of the drop in tax revenue. But so far, the administration has provided few details beyond the broad strokes revealed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn.</p> <p>Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Monday that the proposal wouldn&rsquo;t contain any new information about Trump&rsquo;s tax-reform plans; even still, the math is a little vague.</p> <p>The budget proposal, Bloomberg reports, also relies on &ldquo;several other classic accounting gimmicks,&rdquo; like this one:</p> <p>The budget &ldquo;assumes that the wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East will cause future Congresses to allocate $593 billion in extra war funding that won&rsquo;t be needed and then claims to save that amount by not spending it.&rdquo;</p> <p>It also assumes that the repeal of a section of Dodd-Frank that gives regulators the power to wind down the big banks during a crisis will lead to a savings of $35 billion. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects savings of just $14.5 billion.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p>Finally, with the OPEC Vienna meetingin two days, here are some more details on the biggest surprise in the budget proposal, the sale of half the US SPR oil holdings. As Bloomberg writes, the White House plan to trim the national debt includes <strong>selling off half of the nation&rsquo;s emergency oil stockpile. </strong>The sale would raise $500 million in fiscal year 2018 by draining the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and as much $16.6 billion in oil sales over the next decade.</p> <p>The Strategic Petroleum Reserve currently holds 687.7 million barrels of oil in salt caverns and tanks at designated locations in Texas and Louisiana. That allows for quick distribution when natural disasters or unplanned accidents occur, according to the Energy Department website.</p> <p>Measures passed in 2015 and 2016 call for the sale of nearly 190 million barrels of oil from the reserve between 2017 and 2025, to raise money for unrelated government programs. Those sales would cut the reserve by about 27 percent. Slashing the stockpile by half would require further sales, and would risk breaching the legally required inventory threshold. The reserve must contain a minimum of 450 million barrels.</p> <p>The budget summary document doesn&rsquo;t indicate the scope or timing of potential oil reserve sales, or whether a $2 billion program to modernize the stockpile&rsquo;s infrastructure would be affected.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="640" height="360" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan Bloomberg L.P. Business Congress Congressional Budget Office Congressional Budget Office CPI Crude Department of Agriculture Department of Energy Department of Homeland Security Department of State Discretionary spending Donald Trump Economic policy Economic policy of Donald Trump Economy Economy of the United States Environmental Protection Agency Finance Financial services Fiscal policy Gross Domestic Product Medicare Medicare Middle East Middle East National Debt New Foundation for American Greatness office of Management and Budget OPEC Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries Pentagon Politics Presidency of Barack Obama Presidency of Donald Trump Reuters Social Issues surveillance technology Tax Revenue Trump Administration Unemployment United States United States federal budget White House White House Tue, 23 May 2017 10:19:27 +0000 Tyler Durden 596455 at South Korea Military Fires "Warning Shots" At Unidentified Object Flying From The North <p>The South Korean fired warning shots Tuesday at an "unidentified object" flying across the heavily fortified border from North Korea Tuesday afternoon according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The military detected the object traversing the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) southward in the Chorwon area in the eastern province of Gangwon at around 4 pm.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="313" /></a><br /><em>South Korean army's K-55 self-propelled howitzers fire during the annual </em><br /><em>exercise in Paju, near the border with North Korea on Monday, May 22.</em></p> <p>According to <a href="">Yonhap News</a>, a defense source said the military fired more than 90 K-3 machine gun rounds, adding it may have been a drone. The South's military is analyzing the object and its route and has beefed up its air defense posture, said the JCS. The incident added to already-high tensions between the Koreas following the North's continued ballistic missile launches.</p> <p>In January last year, a North Korean drone flew over the MDL into the western section of the demilitarized zone. The South opened machine gun fire on it.</p> <p>South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the South Korean military bolstered its air surveillance and broadcast a warning to North Korea in response to the object. It provided no other details.</p> <p>The Koreas face off across the world's most heavily armed border, and the two sides occasionally clash. In 2014, they traded machine gun and rifle fire after South Korean activists released anti-North Korean propaganda balloons across the Demilitarized Zone that bisects the Korean Peninsula, but no casualties were reported. Attacks blamed on North Korea in 2010 killed 50 South Koreans.</p> <p></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="720" height="450" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Aftermath of the Korean War Foreign relations of Korea Foreign relations of North Korea International relations Korean Demilitarized Zone Military Demarcation Line North Korea North Korea North Korea's Shelling of South Korea across Western Front North Korea–South Korea relations Paju Politics South Korean army South Korean military War Tue, 23 May 2017 10:09:41 +0000 Tyler Durden 596456 at Watch Live: Theresa May Press Conference On Manchester Terrorist Attack <p>UK Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the nation after the worst terrorist attack in the UK since 2005. Key highlights from her speech:</p> <ul> <li>'callous terrorist attack, an attack that targeted some of the youngest people in our society'</li> <li>'police and security services believe the attack was carried out by one man'</li> <li>'22 people have died in addition to the attacker'</li> <li>'deliberately choosing the time and place to cause maximum carnage'</li> <li>'police believe they know the identity of the perpetrator'</li> <li>'this attack stands out for its appalling sickening cowardice' </li> <li>'think of those people who are experiencing unimaginable worry' - contact police with info</li> <li>'terror threat level remains at severe'</li> <li>'the cowardice of the attacker met the bravery of emergency services and the people of manchester'</li> <li>'there will be difficult days ahead'</li> <li>'the terrorists will never win, and our values, our country and our way of life will always prevail'</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script src="//;w=466&amp;h=263" type="text/javascript"></script><p><noscript>Watch the latest video at <a href="//"></a></noscript></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="960" height="530" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Government Government of the United Kingdom Politics Politics of the United Kingdom Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Terrorism Theresa May War Tue, 23 May 2017 10:06:45 +0000 Tyler Durden 596457 at Suicide Bomber Kills 22 At Ariana Grande Concert In Manchester, Worst UK Terrorist Attack Since 2005 <p>What we know so far:</p> <ul> <li>The Manchester Arena was hit by at least one explosion during a concert by Ariana Grande</li> <li><strong>Police confirm 22 Dead, around 59 injured</strong></li> <li>Police state it is &#39;possible terrorist incident&#39;</li> <li><strong>UK officials suspect it was caused by suicide bomber.</strong></li> <li>Senior counter-terrorism officials meeting in London</li> <li>Police warn people to stay away from area</li> <li>Emergency services rush to scene</li> <li><strong>Ariana Grande &#39;Okay&#39; following the incident</strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Here is the summary: </strong>A man armed with an &ldquo;improvised&rdquo; bomb has killed at least 22 people and injured 59 outside a concert arena filled with teenagers in central Manchester on Monday night, in the worst terrorism incident in the UK since 2005. Police said the bomber, who died in the explosion, detonated the device shortly after the end of a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande at about 10.30pm. The incident adds the northern English city to the growing list of recent western targets that includes London, Paris, Stockholm and Berlin.</p> <p><a href="">Quoted by the FT</a>, Ian Hopkins, chief constable of Greater Manchester police, said they were still attempting to determine whether the attacker &ldquo;was acting alone or was part of a network&rdquo;.</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;This has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one that we all hoped we would never see,&rdquo; </strong>Mr Hopkins said at a news conference on Tuesday morning. &ldquo;Families and many young people were out to enjoy a concert at the Manchester Arena and have lost their lives... We believe, at this stage, the attack last night was conducted by one man,&quot; Hopkins told reporters. &quot;The priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.</p> <p>British political leaders, who were in the middle of a general election race, halted all campaigning. Prime Minister Theresa May was scheduled to chair a meeting of the cabinet&rsquo;s emergency Cobra committee on Tuesday morning.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack,&rdquo; Mrs May said. &ldquo;All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected.&rdquo;</p> <p>Prime Minister Theresa May called an emergency meeting with intelligence chiefs on the deadliest militant assault in Britain since four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London&#39;s transport system in July 2005.<strong> </strong>Witnesses related the horror of the blast which prompted a stampede just as the concert ended at Europe&#39;s largest indoor arena.</p> <p>&quot;We ran and people were screaming around us and pushing on the stairs to go outside and people were falling down, girls were crying, and we saw these women being treated by paramedics having open wounds on their legs ... it was just chaos,&quot; said Sebastian Diaz, 19.</p> <p>&quot;It was literally just a minute after it ended, the lights came on and the bomb went off,&quot; Diaz said.</p> <p><strong>U.S. President Donald Trump described the attack as the work of &quot;evil losers&quot;. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it &quot;will only strengthen our resolve together with our British friends against those who plan and carry out such inhumane deeds.&quot;</strong></p> <p><a href="">According to AP</a>, there was no immediate claim of responsibility. Online, supporters of the extremist Islamic State group, which holds territory in Iraq&#39;s Mosul and around its de facto capital in the Syrian city of Raqqa, celebrated the blast. One wrote: &quot;May they taste what the weak people in Mosul and (Raqqa) experience from their being bombed and burned,&quot; according to the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group.</p> <p>&quot;A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena,&quot; said concertgoer Majid Khan, 22. &quot;It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us as they were trying to exit.&quot; Added Oliver Jones, 17: &quot;The bang echoed around the foyer of the arena and people started to run.&quot; Video from inside the arena showed concertgoers screaming as they made their way out amid a sea of pink balloons.</p> <p>British Prime Minister Theresa May said the government was working to establish &quot;the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.&quot; May is due to chair a meeting of the government&#39;s COBRA emergency committee later Tuesday. She and other candidates suspended campaigning for Britain&#39;s June 8 election after the blast.</p> <p>Police advised the public to avoid the area around the Manchester Arena, and the train station near the arena, Victoria Station, was evacuated and all trains canceled.</p> <p>The Dangerous Woman tour is the third concert tour by 23-year-old Grande and supports her third studio album, &quot;Dangerous Woman.&quot; Grande&#39;s role as Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon&#39;s high school sitcom &quot;Victorious&quot; propelled her to teen idol status, starting in 2010.</p> <p><script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></p><p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><strong><u>Update 14:</u></strong> No claim regaridng responsibility but several ISIS accounts celebrate the attack...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">1) No claim regarding blast in <a href="">#Manchester</a>, but <a href="">#ISIS</a> accounts celebrating the attack, disseminating media &amp; threats <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) <a href="">May 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p><u><strong>Update 13</strong></u>: Ariana Grande has tweeted she is &quot;broken&quot; following the suspected&nbsp; terrorist attack at Manchester Arena, adding: &quot;From the bottom of my heart, I&nbsp; am so so sorry.&quot;...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">broken.<br />from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don&#39;t have words.</p> <p>&mdash; Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) <a href="">May 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p><u><strong>Update 12:</strong></u> US Department Of Homeland Security has issued a statement:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="">@ABC</a> <a href="">@SadiqKhan</a> MORE: DHS on <a href="">#ManchesterArena</a> incident: &ldquo;No information to indicate a specific credible threat involving music venues&quot; in the U.S. <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) <a href="">May 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p><u><strong>Update 11: </strong></u>The moment of the explosion - from within the arena...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Moment bomb goes off at <a href="">#Manchester</a> concert. <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; ZeroPointNow (@ZeroPointNow) <a href="">May 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p><u><strong>Update 10:</strong></u> According to the Telegraph, <strong>the arena was packed with young children.</strong></p> <p>Jane Pearson, 46, a high school English language mentor from Chadderton, Greater Manchester, had gone to the concert with her daughter, Rachel, 21, as a birthday treat. She told PA the arena was packed full of young children. Mrs Pearson said: &quot;It&#39;s the worst kind of people who could even consider doing something like this and quite frankly those sort of people, they deserve the worst punishment ever.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;I can&#39;t imagine what goes in to the heads of these people that want to hurt children? And families who have come together for such a happy occasion. It&#39;s disgusting. It&#39;s absolutely disgusting.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Mrs Pearson said she was in the block of seats next to where the explosion occurred. She said: &quot;Well it was just at the actual final moment of the concert. Then all of a sudden this loud explosion, followed by a ton of smoke was coming up from the left of me.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;Then just absolute chaos. Disbelief, everybody running over each other not quite knowing what had gone on. Mad chaotic rush to nearest exit, lots of people crying and wailing. Really upsetting for everyone concerned.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;There was people bleeding, and lots of people being separated, very scary, very upsetting but obviously we believe there has been fatalities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;It&#39;s just a terrible thing. Who could do this at a concert where there&#39;s children and families? Its just unbelievable.&quot; </strong>Mrs Pearson added: &quot;I just feel for everybody that&#39;s been injured and those that have been killed.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Late on Monday night, Ariana Grande&rsquo;s music label Universal Media Group put out the following statement:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>We are deeply saddened to learn of tonight&#39;s devastating event in Manchester. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Update 9: </strong></u>UK PM Theresa May has confirmed her<strong> election campaign has been suspended</strong>, issues following statement:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><span id="cke_bm_123S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_124S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><u><strong>Update 8</strong><span id="cke_bm_124E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>:</u> A second suspect device has been found near the Manchester Arena, and the Greater Manchester Police have carried out a &quot;controlled explosion&quot; in the&nbsp; Cathedral Gardens area near Manchester Arena.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">There will be a controlled explosion in Cathedral gardens shortly if you hearing anything don&#39;t be concerned.</p> <p>&mdash; G M Police (@gmpolice) <a href="">May 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Officers carrying out a precautionary controlled explosion in Cathedral Garden confirm that it was abandoned clothing, not a suspicious item</p> <p>&mdash; G M Police (@gmpolice) <a href="">May 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p> </p><p><u><strong>Update 7</strong></u>: From Mancester Police - 19 dead, around 50 injured...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Latest statement on incident at Manchester Arena <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; G M Police (@gmpolice) <a href="">May 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong><u>Update 6:</u></strong> <a href="">NBC reports</a> US officials briefed on Manchester incident say <strong>UK officials suspect it was caused by suicide bomber.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">They used nail bombs at a kids concert in Manchester <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Tommy Robinson (@TRobinsonNewEra) <a href="">May 22, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong><u>Update 5</u></strong><span id="cke_bm_179E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_178E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_180E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_181E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>: Shocking first person description of the carnage <a href=";set=pcb.456413698028735&amp;type=3&amp;theater">(via Facebook)</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Just out of The Ariana Grande Concert in Manchester</strong>,I thought we would leave seconds before the last song finished in order too get home quicker instead of waiting longer for a taxi,As we where leaving a bomb or explosion went off centimetres infront of me.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Peoples skin/blood&amp;Feces where everywhere including in my hair &amp; on my bag,I&#39;m still finding bits of god knows what in my hair.</strong>I am fine &amp; back in my hotel I hope everyone involved and in front of me is okay.We are being told it was a balloon/sound system but I can assure you it was not,You never ever expect these things too happen too you but this proves it can happen too anybody.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>That sound,The blood &amp; those who where running around clueless with body parts &amp; bits of skin missing will not be leaving my mind any time soon or the minds of those involved.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Again, Hope everyone is alright I am very,Very lucky too be where I am just now</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I understand these images might be upsetting however I feel as though people should know what happened</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Update 4:</strong></u> Sky News reports <strong>another bomb located at Manchester&#39;s Victoria Metro Station - emergency units rushing. </strong>Bomb disposal units have arrived at the &#39;active crime scene&#39; at Manchester Arena.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Manchester&#39;s Victoria station, which backs onto the arena, has been evacuated and all trains cancelled. National Rail said in an online statement: &quot;Emergency services are dealing with an incident at Manchester Arena. As Manchester Victoria is located near the arena, the station has been evacuated and all lines closed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;Trains are currently unable to run to / from Manchester Victoria. Some trains will be cancelled throughout or start / terminate at alternative stations. Disruption is expected to continue until end of the day.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>British Transport Police confirmed <strong>the blast came from &quot;within the foyer area of the stadium at 10.30pm this evening&quot;.</strong></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Update 3: </strong></span>BBC is reporting that authorities are<strong> treating the explosion as a terror incident.</strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><strong>The North West Counter Terrorism Unit is treating the incident at <a href="">#ManchesterArena</a> as a possible terrorist incident.</strong></p> <p><strong>&mdash; Daniel Sandford (@BBCDanielS) <a href="">May 22, 2017</a></strong></p></blockquote> <p><strong></strong></p> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming,&quot; Catherine Macfarlane told Reuters.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>&quot;It was a huge explosion - you could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out of the area.&quot; </strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Update 2:</strong></span> NBC News confirms the BBC&#39;s report that there are at least 20 dead - <em><strong>Eye witness on BBC says 20 to 30 people injured and dead in the box office area of Manchester Arena.</strong></em></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Senior national Counter-Terrorism officers are assembling in London. Early estimates put fatalities at <a href="">#ManchesterArena</a> in double figures</p> <p>&mdash; Daniel Sandford (@BBCDanielS) <a href="">May 22, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">BREAKING: At least 20 dead, hundreds injured following possible explosion at UK&#39;s Manchester arena - NBC News <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) <a href="">May 22, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Update 1</strong></span>: British<strong> trainlines out of Manchester Victoria station are currently blocked</strong>.</p> <p>The explosions can be heard in the following clip... <em>(around 7 seconds in - look to the far left and notice the sudden light also)</em></p> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">If you look towards the left you see the explosion and hear the bang. I hope to GOD everyone is ok, and so glad Jess and Em are. <a href="">#manchester</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Joe Gregory (@JoeAaronGregory) <a href="">May 22, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>As we detailed earlier, &quot;two loud explosions&quot; were reported this evening at Manchester Arena by people attending a pop concert by Ariana Grande in an event that <strong>Greater Manchester Police is now describing as &#39;serious&#39;</strong> <strong>and involving a &quot;</strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>number of confirmed fatalities</strong></span>&quot;:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Police statement on incident at Manchester Arena <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; G M Police (@gmpolice) <a href="">May 22, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <p><strong>Members of the public have been advised to avoid the arena.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="373" src="" width="560" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img height="373" src="" width="560" /></a></p> <p>One Twitter user wrote: &quot;Honestly worst night of my existence. Just kept running from Manchester Arena for my life.&quot;</p> <p>Another added: &ldquo;Just got out of Manchester arena after seeing Ariana perform. There was a loud bang when the lights came on &amp; everyone ran out screaming.&rdquo;</p> <p>Here are videos of the scene from just after the explosion:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="">#Manchester</a>: Heavy explosions at the <a href="">#Manchester</a> Arena. There are casualties. Panic and chaos.<a href="">#England</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; WorldOnAlert (@worldonalert) <a href="">May 22, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><script src="//"></script><script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="">@SkyNews</a> When the bang went off <a href="">#Manchester</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Zach Bruce (@Zach_bruce) <a href="">May 22, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Ambulance crews make their way to Manchester Arena after major incident. Several injuries being treated and police cordon in place. <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Darryl Morris (@darrylmorris) <a href="">May 22, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="960" height="640" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Anschutz Corporation Ariana Grande Ariana Grande Police British Transport Police Cobra committee Counter Terrorism Unit Dangerous Woman Tour Disaster Donald Trump England G M Police Geography of England Greater Manchester Greater Manchester Police Greater Manchester Police Iraq Local government in the United Kingdom London police Loud Tour Mancester Police Manchester Manchester Arena Manchester Arena Manchester bombing Manchester police Manchester, New Hampshire North West England Sports US Department of Homeland Security Tue, 23 May 2017 09:45:17 +0000 Tyler Durden 596446 at Voters Slam Spain's Political Leadership: Are Snap Spanish Presidential Elections Coming Up? <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Mike Shedlock via,</em></a></p> <p><strong>Last year, the socialist party (PSOE) leadership ousted Pedro Sánchez as its head</strong> when Sánchez refused to allow a minority government of Mariano Rajoy to form. Susana Díaz took over as party head.</p> <p>Socialist party elections were held yesterday. <strong>Sánchez ran again as an outsider and shocked the POSE leadership winning an outright majority of votes in a three-way race. </strong>This was a clear smack in the face to the party leadership who backed Susana Díaz.</p> <p>With Sánchez back at the helm in Parliament, <strong>Rajoy has little chance of getting his legislation passed.</strong> Rajoy now has his eye on calling snap elections.</p> <p><a href=""><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-45943" height="350" src=";h=350" width="529" /></a></p> <p>The Guardian reports <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Spanish Socialists Re-Elect Pedro Sánchez to Lead Party</a>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Pedro Sánchez has regained the leadership of Spain&rsquo;s bitterly divided socialist party seven months after being ousted in a coup that laid bare the faultlines within the PSOE and left its status as the main opposition party in jeopardy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On Sunday night, Sánchez took 50% of the vote, sailing past his main rival, Susana Díaz, the president of the PSOE stronghold of Andalusia, who took 40%. The former Basque president Patxi López finished third with 10%.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The PSOE has been in the hands of a caretaker administration since October, when Sánchez stepped down after powerful factions within the party rebelled against his refusal to allow Mariano Rajoy&rsquo;s conservative People&rsquo;s party (PP) to form a government.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Following his resignation, the PSOE abstained from Rajoy&rsquo;s investiture debate, returning the PP to office and ending the 10-month political stalemate that had left Spain without a government after two inconclusive general elections.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Díaz, who was backed by party heavyweights including former PSOE prime ministers Felipe Gónzalez and José Luis Zapatero, had called for a more pragmatic approach to dealing with the PP.</p> </blockquote> <h3><u><strong>Snap Elections</strong></u></h3> <p><strong>Eurointelligence fills in the remaining pieces of the story with commentary on snap elections.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The party will now hold its congress over the weekend of June 18 to renew its executive committee and approve its political platform. The danger for the PSOE is that the party may emerge from the congress divided, or that MPs and regional premiers will actively undermine Sánchez&rsquo; leadership.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sánchez, who was never particularly to the left of the PSOE, rode a wave of members&rsquo; discontent about the party&rsquo;s decision to abstain last October to allow Rajoy to form a government, thus avoiding a third round of elections which would have fallen on Christmas Day. Rajoy has indicated that, if the 2017 budget does not pass the parliament next month, he would call early elections.</p> </blockquote> <p>Spain is likely headed for a third presidential election, but it&rsquo;s unclear if the results will be any different than the previous two elections that resulted in blocked governments with no party being able to form a coalition.</p> <p><strong>The problem with dissolving parliament now is the crisis in Catalonia. The region has threatened to declare independence immediately if the Spanish government does not allow a referendum.</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="484" height="294" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 2015–16 Spanish government formation Government José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero Mariano Rajoy Pedro Sánchez People’s Party Politics PSOE crisis Socialist Party Spain Spanish government Spanish Socialist Workers' Party Susana Díaz War Tue, 23 May 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596454 at Turkey Summons US Ambassador To Protest Brawl In Which Erdogan's Bodyguards Beat Up Protesters <p>Tensions stemming from last week's massive brawl, <a href="">caught on video</a>, between pro-Kurdish protesters and Turkish President Recep Erdogan's security detail, escalated on Monday after, paradoxically, Turkey lodged a formal complaint with John Bass, the U.S. ambassador in Ankara, <strong>over purportedly "aggressive" actions taken by American security personnel</strong>. The complaint accused U.S. law enforcement of failing to quell an "unpermitted" and "provocative" demonstration, and demanded a "full investigation of this diplomatic incident," <a href="">according to WaPo. </a>It failed to mention that Erdogan's entourage was more than fully equipped to deal with this "demonstration", by attacking and beating random protesters, sending a dozen of them in the hospital.</p> <p><a href="">Reuters added </a>that the Turkish government summoned the U.S. ambassador on Monday to discuss the treatment of Erdogan’s bodyguards following Tuesday's incident outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. It appears that in the span of just five days, the two sides developed drastically different accounts of what happened, with U.S. police accusing Erdogan's bodyguards of viciously attacking the allegedly peaceful protesters. The State Department called the conduct of Erdogan's body guards "deeply disturbing" and has "raised concerns about those events at the highest levels," according to a spokeswoman who spoke with WaPo.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the Turkish Embassy said last week that Erdogan's bodyguards had acted in self-defense, and that the protesters were affiliated with the Kurdish terrorist group PKK. Some of the protesters were waving the flag of the YPG, the Kurdish militia organization, that the U.S. recently pledged to arm and which Turkey accuses of being terrorist.</p> <p>The exact nature of the "mistreatment" to which Turkey is objecting remains unclear. Two people were arrested during the brawl, which Reuters is now reporting left 11 people injured, including a Washington police officer. It's been confirmed that one of those arrested was a protester. However, it's unclear if the second was a member of Erdogan’s entourage.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Since the incident, nothing but outrage has been building up at both the State Department and Capitol Hill. John McCain angrily (of course) <strong><a href="">accused Erdogan’s entourage of disrespecting their hosts, fuming to the press that the U.S. isn’t “a third world country”</a></strong> and that the Turkish ambassador should “get the hell out” of the U.S. And at least one Democratic Congressman asked President Donald Trump to officially expel the foreign minister.</p> <p>Footage of what the Washington police chief described as “a vicious attack” shows security guards dressed in suits viciously kicking and punching protesters. <strong>In one particularly grisly scene, a security official repeatedly kicks an injured protester in the face.</strong></p> <p>The brawl occurred just hours after Erdogan and Trump had wrapped up a historic meeting at the White House where both Trump and the Turkish leader, fresh from his power-enhancing referendum victory, <a href="">smiled during a press conference and pledged to renew frayed relations between the two countries.&nbsp; </a>Erdogan arrived in Washington with misgivings about the U.S.’s decision to arm the YPG, as well as the Trump administration’s refusal to hand over Fetullah Gulen, a cleric living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. Erdogan has accused Gulen, a former ally, or orchestrating the July coup attempt that left more than 200 Turks dead.</p> <p>While it remains unclear what triggered the melee, it no longer appears relevant: the ensuing diplomatic fallout has overshadowed talks that both Turkey and the U.S. had described as constructive.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="858" height="485" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Department of State Donald Trump Donald Trump Fethullah Gülen Gülen movement Interfaith dialogue Irregular military John McCain Kurdish militia Kurdish People's Protection Unit Kurdish separatism in Turkey Kurdistan Workers' Party Politics Politics Recep Tayyip Erdo?an Reuters Trump Administration Turkey Turkish embassy Turkish Foreign Ministry Turkish government US police Washington D.C. Washington police White House White House Tue, 23 May 2017 08:13:38 +0000 Tyler Durden 596441 at Time For The US To Take A Step Back From Afghanistan <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by James Durso, originaly posted op-ed via The Hill,</em></a></p> <p><a href=""><img height="307" src="" width="549" /></a></p> <p>Otto von Bismarck said, &ldquo;The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier.&rdquo;<strong> America should apply the same reasoning to Afghanistan.</strong></p> <p>This month we learned the U.S. Marines are back in <a href="">Helmand</a>, Afghanistan&rsquo;s most violent province and the center of opium poppy production, and their<strong> mission may expand. </strong>President Trump will soon decide if he should send 8,400 more troops there for the latest chapter in America&rsquo;s longest war. Should he?</p> <p>I think not. <strong>We gave Afghanistan out best effort: over <a href="">2,200 dead</a> soldiers, over 20,000 wounded, and over <a href="">$700 billion</a> for everything from ammunition to medical care for veterans. We need to face the fact that it&rsquo;s an endemically violent place and may never change and another &ldquo;whole of government&rdquo; effort may not make any difference.</strong></p> <p>And don&rsquo;t take my word for it: the Talban has <a href="">rejected</a> peace talks with the Afghan government as surrendering to the enemy and against Islam.</p> <p><em><strong>The Afghans have seen off every visitor and invader, from Alexander the Great to the U.S. Central Command, so why spend another dollar there?</strong></em> For example, the regional transport network has avoided Afghanistan and the enthusiasts for a New Silk Road or One Belt, One Road haven&rsquo;t absorbed that the world is avoiding Afghanistan not out of stupidity but out of hard-won experience.</p> <p><strong>Yes, there is wealth to be had: Russian, British, and American geologists have found that Afghanistan has enormous untapped <a href="">mineral resources</a>, valued at $1 to $3 trillion.</strong> The minerals are in the ground, sure, but there&rsquo;s no way to get them out so they&rsquo;re effectively worth nothing. And there&rsquo;s no way to get them out because the country is violent and corrupt which scares away prudent investors.</p> <p>In 2008, the Chinese won the rights to the <a href="">Aynak</a> copper mine for $3 billion and an alleged $30 million bribe to the minister of mines. In 2017, no copper has yet been mined and the Chinese executive heading the project has been <a href="">expelled</a> from the Communist party for corruption. The only good news, if you can call it that, has been the recent Taliban <a>green light</a> for the restart of the project.</p> <p><strong>Wise Western investors should temporarily cede the field to the Chinese, Pakistanis, and Iranians &mdash; our enemies and frenemies &mdash; and let them try to make something of it.</strong> Afghanistan will still want friends in the West and we should exercise some of that recently derided &ldquo;strategic patience&rdquo; until the time is right and the Chinese have worn out their welcome when the Afghans realize they won&rsquo;t create any jobs. Dealing with Afghanistan should be like buying a used car &mdash; let someone else take the loss and get it later at a savings. In this case, the savings of American lives and the bandwidth our leaders can devote to tractable issues. &nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>What should the U.S. do?&nbsp;</strong></u></p> <ul> <li>Ensure the Afghans who helped our military and diplomatic effort as translators or other helpers get visas to the U.S. Yes, that will cause a brain drain, but as it stands now, they&rsquo;re not being given the chance &mdash; by their own government or the Taliban &mdash; to do what they&rsquo;re capable of, so their talent is being wasted. It won&rsquo;t be wasted in the U.S.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Enact a soft cordon to protect the neighboring Central Asian states. They have less transparency than we like but have functioning governments and moderate, secular societies. The U.S. should increase military-to-military and cop-to-cop relationships with Central Asia, both for security sector reform and border security to stanch the flow of drugs. If the effort works, and the flow is diverted via Pakistan and Iran, it will increase addiction and public corruption and give the U.S. another lever to use when dealing with Tehran and Islamabad. Central Asia has a lot of human potential, mineral and energy resources, and is an East-West transport route. The transporters will lose a north-south route to the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea via Afghanistan and Pakistan, but the Central Asian states can continue to trade to the Persian Gulf via Iran.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Focus our effort on the narcotics trade and its twin, money laundering. Afghanistan has one successful export: poppy, which accounts for <a href="">90 percent</a>&nbsp;of worldwide production of heroin, and the area under cultivation has <a href="">increased</a> in fits and starts since 2002. Destinations for drug proceeds and stolen government funds, like the United Arab Emirates, are more interested in being word-class business centers than hosting crash pads for narcos, so we can count on their continued cooperation and assistance. U.S. assistance to Afghanistan&rsquo;s counter-narcotics effort, which will be centered in Helmand Province &mdash; the destination for all those Marines &mdash; can be refashioned to technical intelligence support to supplement HUMINT networks.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><u><em><strong>We did our best in Afghanistan, but it&rsquo;s time to move on.</strong></em></u></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="549" height="307" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghan government Afghanistan Afghanistan Asia Balkans Central Asia Communist Party Copper Corruption Geography of Asia Indian Ocean Iran Islam Persian Gulf Taliban Taliban Taliban insurgency Transparency U.S. Central Command War in Afghanistan Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan Tue, 23 May 2017 07:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596450 at Visualizing The Rise Of Young Asylum Seekers In Europe <p>As highlighted in today&#39;s UNICEF report<a href="" target="_blank">&nbsp;&#39;A Child is a Child&#39;</a>, the number of young children applying for&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">asylum in Europe</a>&nbsp;has continued to rise, <strong>reaching a new peak last year.</strong></p> <p><a href="" title="Infographic: The Rise of Young Asylum Seekers in Europe | Statista"><img alt="Infographic: The Rise of Young Asylum Seekers in Europe | Statista" height="428" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><em>You will find more statistics at <a href="">Statista</a></em></p> <p><a href=""><em>As Statista&#39;s Martin Armstrong notes, </em></a>according to figures from&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Eurostat</a>,<em><strong> there were almost 290,000 first time applicants in 2016 that were under the age of 14.&nbsp;</strong></em> Of all child asylum seekers in Europe, 170,000 were not accompanied by an adult in 2015-2016. In fact, 92 percent of all minors arriving in Italy by sea in 2016 and the first months of 2017 were unaccompanied. Globally, children account for around 28 percent of all trafficking victims.</p> <p><strong>We are unsure how many of these children were in attendance at last night&#39;s Ariana Grande concert suicide bombing...</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="697" height="370" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Child custody Children's rights Family law Human migration Italy Martin Armstrong Social Issues Social work United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund War Tue, 23 May 2017 06:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596448 at Shaping The Future: Moscow And Beijing's Multipolar World Order <p><em><a href="">Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Stratgic Culture Foundation,</a></em></p> <p><em>Once in a while, think tanks such as the Brookings Institute are able to deal with highly strategic and current issues.&nbsp;Often, the conferences held by such organizations are based on false pretences and copious banality, the sole intention being to undermine and downplay the efforts of strategic opponents of the US.&nbsp;Recently, the Brookings Institute&#39;s International Strategy and Strategy Project held a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">lecture</a>&nbsp;on May 9, 2017 where it invited Bobo Lo, an analyst at Lowy Institute for International Policy, to speak.&nbsp;The topic of the subject, extremely interesting to the author and mentioned in the past, is the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">strategic partnership</a>&nbsp;between China and Russia.</em></p> <p><em><a href=""><img height="348" src="" width="600" /></a></em></p> <p>The main assumption Bobo Lo starts with to define relations between Moscow and Beijing is that <strong>the two countries base their collaboration on convenience and a convergence of interests rather than on an alliance. </strong>He goes on to say that the major frictions in the relationship concern the fate that Putin and Xi hold for Europe, in particular for the European Union, in addition to differences of opinions surrounding the Chinese role in the Pacific. In the first case, Lo states that Russia wants to end the European project while China hopes for a strong and prosperous Europe. With regard to the situation in the Pacific, according to this report, Moscow wants a balance of power between powers without hegemonic domination being transferred from Washington to Beijing.</p> <p><strong>The only merit in Lo&rsquo;s analysis is his identification of the United States as the major cause of the strategic proximity between Moscow and Beijing, certainly a hypothesis that is little questioned by US policy makers. </strong>Lo believes Washington&#39;s obsession with China-Russia cooperation is counterproductive, though he also believes that the United States doesn&rsquo;t actually possess capabilities to sabotage or delimit the many areas of cooperation between Beijing and Moscow.</p> <p>What is missing in Lo&rsquo;s analysis are two essential factors governing how Moscow and Beijing have structured their relationship. <strong>China and Russia have different tasks in ushering in their world order, namely, by preserving global stability through military and economic means. </strong>Their overall relationship of mutual cooperation goes beyond the region of Eurasia and focuses on the whole process of a sustainable globalization as well as on how to create an environment where everyone can prosper in a viable and sustainable way. Doing this entails a departure from the current belligerent and chaotic&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">unipolar world order</a>.</p> <h3><u>Moscow and Beijing: Security and Economy</u></h3> <p><strong>Beijing has been the world&#39;s economic engine for over two decades and shows no signs of slowing down, at least not too much.</strong> Moscow, contrary to western media propaganda, has returned to play a role not only on a regional scale but as a global power. Both of these paths of military and economic growth for China and Russia have set things on a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">collision course</a>&nbsp;with the United States, the current global superpower that tends to dominate international relations with economic, political and military bullying thanks to a complicit media and corrupt politicians.</p> <p><strong>In the case of Beijing, the process of globalization has immensely enhanced the country, allowing the Asian giant to become the world&#39;s factory, enabling Western countries to outsource to low-cost labor.</strong> In this process of economic growth, Beijing has over the years gone from being a simple paradise for low-cost outsourcing for private companies to being a global leader in investment and long-term projects. The dividends of years of wealth accumulation at the expense of Western nations has allowed Beijing to be more than just a strategic partner for other nations. China drives the process of globalization, as recently pointed out by Xi Jinping in Davos in a historic speech. China&#39;s transition from a harmless partner of the West to regional power with enormous foreign economic investments place the country on a collision course with Washington. Inevitably, Beijing will become the Asian hegemon, something US policymakers have always guaranteed will not be tolerated.</p> <p><strong>The danger Washington sees is that of China emerging as a regional superpower that will call the shots in the Pacific, the most important region of the planet. </strong>The United States has many vested interests in the region and undeniably sees its future as the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">leader of the world order</a>&nbsp;in jeopardy. Obama&#39;s pivot to Asia was precisely for the purposes of containing China and limiting its economic power so as to attenuate Beijing&rsquo;s ambitions.</p> <p><strong>Unsurprisingly, Washington&#39;s concerns with Moscow relate to its resurgence in military capabilities. </strong>Russia is able to oppose certain objectives of the United States (see Ukraine or Syria) by military means. The possibility of the Kremlin limiting American influence in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Eurasia in general is cause for concern for American policy makers, who continue to fail to contain Russia and limit Moscow&rsquo;s spheres of influence.</p> <p>In this context, the strategic division of labor between Russia and China comes into play to ensure the stability of the Eurasian region as a whole; in Asia, in the Middle East and in Europe. To succeed in this task, Moscow has mainly assumed the military burden, shared with other friendly nations belonging to the affected areas. In the Middle East, for example, Tehran&#39;s partnership with Moscow is viewed positively by Beijing, given its intention to stabilize the region and to eradicate the problem of terrorism, something about which nations like China and Russia are particularly concerned.</p> <p><strong>The influence of Islamist extremists in the Caucasian regions in Russia or in the autonomous region of Xinjiang in China are something that both Putin and Xi are aware can be exploited by opposing Western countries.</strong> In North Africa, Egypt has signed several contracts for the purchase of military vehicles from Moscow, as well as having bought the two Mistral ships from France, thereby relying on military supplies from Moscow. It is therefore not surprising that Moscow and Egypt cooperated with the situation in Libya and in North Africa in general.</p> <p><strong>In Southeast Asia, Moscow seeks to coordinate efforts to reach an agreement between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. </strong>The entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) of New Delhi and Islamabad (Tehran will be next), with the blessing of Beijing as the protagonist of the 2017 SCO meeting, is a keystone achievement and the right prism through which to observe the evolution of the region. Moscow is essentially acting as a mediator between the parties and is also able to engage with India in spite of the dominating presence of China. The ultimate goal of Moscow and Beijing is to eradicate the terrorist phenomenon in the Asian region with a view to what is happening in North Africa and the Middle East with Iran and Egypt.</p> <h3><u>Heading to a Multipolar World Order</u></h3> <p><strong>The turning point in relations between Moscow and Beijing concerns the ability to engage third countries in&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">military or economic ways,</a>&nbsp;depending on these countries&rsquo; needs and objectives.</strong> Clearly in the military field it is Moscow that is leading, with arms sold to current and future partners and security cooperation (such as with ex-Soviet Central-Asian republics or in the Donbass) and targeted interventions if needed, as in Syria. Beijing, on the other hand, acts in a different way, focusing on the economic arena, in particular with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at its center.</p> <p>Initiatives such as the One Belt One Road (OBOR) and the Maritime Silk Road have the same strategic aim of the Russian military initiative, namely, ensuring the independence of the region from a geo-economic perspective, reaching win-win arrangements for all partners involved. Naturally, the win-win agreement does not mean that China wins and then wins again; rather, a series of bilateral concessions can come to satisfy all actors involved. An important example in this regard that explains the Sino-Russian partnership concerns the integration of the Eurasian Union with the Chinese Silk Road. The Russian concerns over the predominant status of the Chinese colossus in Central Asia have been assuaged by a number of solutions, such as the support of the OBOR infrastructure program to that of the Eurasian Union. Beijing is not interested in replacing Moscow&#39;s leading role the post-Soviet nations in Central Asia but rather with providing significant energy and economic development to particularly underdeveloped nations that are in need of important economic investment, something only Beijing is able to guarantee.</p> <p><strong>The linking of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with the One Belt One Road initiative guarantees Moscow a primary role in the transit of goods from east to west, thereby becoming the connecting point between China and Europe while expanding the role and function of the EEU. </strong>All participants in these initiatives have a unique opportunity to expand their economic condition through this whole range of connections. Beijing guarantees the money for troubled countries, and Moscow the security. The SCO will play a major role in reducing and preventing terrorist influence in the region, a prerequisite for the success of any projects. Also, the AIIB, and to some extent the BRICS Development Bank, will also have to step in and offer alternative economic guarantees to countries potentially involved in these projects, in order to free them from the existing international financial institutions.</p> <p>One Belt One Road, and all the related projects, represent a unique occasion whereby all relevant players share common goals and benefits from such transformative geo-economic relationships. <strong>This security-economy relationship between Moscow and Beijing is &nbsp;the heart of the evolution of the current world order, from the unipolar to the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">multipolar world</a>.</strong> The US cannot oppose China on the economic front and Russia on the military front. It all comes down to how much China and Russia can continue to provide and guarantee economic and security umbrellas for the rest of the world.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="607" height="352" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan AIIB Beijing Belt and Road Initiative BRICs Brookings Institute Central Asia China Davos Eastern Europe Eastern Europe Eurasian Economic Union Eurasian Economic Union Eurasian Union European Union European Union Fail Foreign relations of China France India International relations Iran Lowy Institute Middle East Middle East Moscow North Africa Politics PrISM Russia Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Shanghai Cooperation Organization Sino-Russian relations since Southeast Asia Stratgic Culture Foundation Ukraine United Nations General Assembly observers Xi Jinping Tue, 23 May 2017 06:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596449 at "Let's Burn Down The Universities" <p><a href=""><em>Authored by JC Collins via Philosophy of Metrics blog,</em></a></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>An Offensive Act of Self Defence to Save the Great School of Western Thought</strong></span></em></p> <p>It should be clear to all reasoning people with the ability for critical thinking that <strong>a pattern of cultural warfare has been unfolding against the Western world since at least the end of World War Two. </strong>The contrast between what was then and what is now is stark and frightening. It should serve as all the evidence we require to make the final determination about what has been happening.</p> <p>The complete destruction of the traditional family unit has taken place through a process of indirect and direct attacks against the proven characteristics of Western civilization. It should be obvious that media and art have orchestrated a well-thought out strategy of cultural warfare against the masculine and feminine ideals and support columns of culture.</p> <p>This strategy has attacked the natural and instinctual strengths of both men and women while promoting the weakness from within each of us as individuals. <strong>The battles of this cultural attack have been orchestrated and waged from inside the once great structures of Western thought.</strong></p> <p>Our educational buildings and curriculums have been used to erode and shatter all the ideals of natural and instinctual existence which have developed within the Western mind.<strong> The more we remember and rediscover, the more we realize that almost everything which is taught in our schools is either a corrupt twisted version of truth, or is an outright lie and fabrication.</strong></p> <p>If our curriculums were based on truth they would not need the constant changing and tweaking which takes takes place. Nor would it require involvement of government controls. All are tell-tale signs that something smells rotten in Denmark.</p> <p>Over the years there have been various exposé and theories surrounding everything from the Frankfurt School, the Tavistock Institute, Lucis Trust, Freemasonic control of all things, Satanism, Bilderberg, Trilateral, Rhodes, and so on and so on. The plethora of culprits and evil organizations run the gambit of all human elitism and consolidation of wealth and power.</p> <p>Not withstanding some truth to this large list of nefarious actors, and not to mention that the stated longterm goals of these groups and organizations match with the results which have been achieved since the end of the war,<strong> there is much more to the expanding collapse of Western civilization which needs to be considered.</strong></p> <p>In the posts <a href="">The Wisdom of the Ancients &ndash; Part One</a> and <a href="">How Your Brain is Turned Against You</a>, we reviewed our own accountabilities and responsibilities alongside some of the techniques which are used against us. It should be clear that we may have to listen to the sales pitch of a huckster but it doesn&rsquo;t mean we have to believe that huckster. <strong>The theme from those posts is that if we don&rsquo;t plan our own lives someone else will plan it for us. This is in essence what is happening.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>We have been conditioned to follow and plan our lives along a very specific path which forces us further down into the systemic control mechanisms which have taken hold of our culture. </strong></u>You are left to plan your life within this strategic grid. This grid contains multiple pathways which all lead through the false teachings and methodologies which have been manufactured by those who wish to devolve and re-engineer Western civilization. The trap ensures you continue bouncing around inside the construct with an ever growing sense of confusion and hopelessness.</p> <p><strong>Those who do not agree with the teachings of the construct are made to feel regressive and are told they are the problem in society for which the construct exists in the first place.</strong> This script is supported by all forms of media, including movies, music, social media, both mainstream and alternative media, as well as school curriculums, from the early pre-school sessions to the &ldquo;advanced&rdquo; learnings which are communicated and rehearsed in colleges and universities.</p> <p><u><em><strong>Please ask yourself a question. Does it feel like our culture has been progressive? </strong></em></u>Everything that has a seed in human weakness and depravity has been promoted and expanded across the decades. Our culture is over-sexualized. We thieve and betray one another over the smallest rewards. The murder of unborn children is accepted as righteous even though it ruins the emotional spirit of the mother. Racism against anything rooted in traditional Western culture is out of control. Our children are taught at an early age about the degenerate sex world. Massive migration has undermined the Western ideals and systems of belief which have been a part of its growth and greatness for thousands of years. Alcoholism is both openly promoted and applauded through the subtle insinuations in the media. The rampant fragmentation of the family unit and a corrupt and unreliable system of law which supports that fragmentation are the greatest loss we have experienced. This is all supported by an educational system which is reducing critical thinking and dumbing down generations.</p> <p><strong>This does not feel progressive. </strong>When we consider the stark changes which have taken place over the last eight decades we should come to the conclusion that it is in fact regressive. All of the technological advancements would still have taken place without the corruption of Western civilization, so any form of counter-argument about science and the advancement of medicine and technology being possible because of this &ldquo;progressive&rdquo; culture stands in opposition and denial of the leaps made during the agricultural and industrial revolutions.</p> <p>Similar lines of thought regarding colonialism and the slave trade are often made by the regressive left educational institutions and supporting media. But these arguments also stand in opposition to the truthful history of the world where we find that all cultures had forms of colonialism and slave trades are wide and diverse, with there being more slavery in the world today than at any other time in world history.</p> <p><strong>The disease has burrowed itself so deep into our institutions that it is hard to imagine how we would remove it without completely destroying the host. </strong>But what choice to we have at this late hour? Continuing as we have been is tantamount to surrender and shackling our descendants with an unthinkable ideology of absolute sameness and collectivism.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s interesting that more and more students are coming out of the university system and understanding that they in fact understand nothing. <strong>The loss of critical thinking and a cultural anchor point, both of which have been a part of the collective-socialist strategy, are now beginning to awaken more of those who have been traversing through the system. </strong>It&rsquo;s almost as if nature and instinct are re-emerging from within the individual minds of the construct and attempting to establish new anchor points.</p> <p><strong>Now is the time to act and reverse the momentum which has thus far worked against us. </strong>We need to tear down the institutions and framework of the simulated world which has built up around us. <strong>The great school of the Western mind cannot be destroyed and it will never stop learning.</strong> In fact, this challenge, the one we have been faced with now for generations, could very well end up being one of our greatest lessons and opportunities for advancement.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="784" height="437" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Corruption Political philosophy Terminology Tue, 23 May 2017 03:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 596444 at