Tag Archives: 17 December

1998 And 2014: Russian Crisis In Perspective – 17 December 2014

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Russian banks have warned against hysterically jumping to the conclusion that the current ruble crisis will follow the trajectory of 1998, when the country was forced to default.

The ruble’s spectacular 22 percent plunge on Monday and Tuesday has prompted investors to liken the crisis to 1998, when the ruble lost 27 percent on August 17, 1998. However, these days, Russia’s balance sheet is strong enough to weather the ruble sell-off.

On Tuesday, the ruble grazed the 80 ruble to the US dollar benchmark. Compared to its price of 32.9 to the dollar on January 1, 2014, it signaled a 58 percent loss in value.


In 1998, over a six month period, the currency lost more than 70 percent of its value. Inflation skyrocketed, banks and enterprises across the country collapsed, and Russians were left jobless.

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Laura Bruno – From The Land Down Under – 17 December 2014

laura-of-the-rocksTwo emails have come through from two separate readers from Australia:

The first comes from reader Maggie:

Hi Laura,

Perhaps you remember me from Australia.. I enjoy your posts so much, thank you!! I’m hoping you will post this on your blog.

There was a siege in a city coffee shop in Sydney Australia, where one man seemingly held several people hostage. People were killed including that man, but I don’t know the details because I just can’t get too deeply into details of these types of stories. The truth is never stated of course. However there was a phenomenal response to the situation which had the potential to incite violent reactions against Muslim people in this county. The link below shows what happened instead via twitter. (I’d say the agenda backfired here !! ) Continue reading

Australia’s Interventionist Foreign Policy – Time For A Rethink – 17 December 2014

RT logoThe tragic Sydney café siege of earlier this week, which resulted in the death of three people, raises quite a few serious questions.

Why on earth was Man Haron Monis, the hostage taker who faced more than 40 sexual assault and indecency charges, and who had been charged with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, still at liberty? Why did the Australian authorities refuse to send Monis back to Iran, his home country, who it has been reported, repeatedly requested his extradition via Interpol to answer charges of fraud? And why wasn‘t a man who had sent hate mail to the grieving families of members of the Australian armed forces who had been killed in actionand who had publicly pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State, under any form of monitoring by Australia‘s security services?

These questions are very important and need to be answered pretty quickly, but there‘s something else we ought to be discussing too. While we can all agree that Monis was an evil man who should not have been at liberty, it seems that this already volatile and disturbed character was radicalized further by Australian foreign policy, and in particular Australia’s unconditional support for US military adventures in the Middle East. Our disgust at what has happened on Monday and our unequivocal condemnation of Monis’s actions should not stop us from having an honest, grown-up debate about Australia’s interventionist foreign policy in recent years and where it has led the country.

Read the full story at: www.rt.com / link to original article

Upper House Plans Probe Into Central Bank Role In Ruble Crash – 17 December 2014

RT logoFederation Council Chair Valentina Matviyenko has ordered a vote on a parliamentary investigation into the recent activities of the Central Bank and its alleged role in the worst-ever plunge of the ruble rate.

The motion was initiated by Senator Evgeny Tarlo (Tambov Region) who sits in the Upper House committee for economic policy.

I suggest to start a parliamentary investigation into activities of the Central Bank that has allowed violations of the citizens’ Constitutional rights, including the right for property,” the RIA Novosti quoted Tarlo as saying on Wednesday.

Read the full story at: www.rt.com / link to original article

Steve Lendman – Jeb Bush Exploring White House Bid – 17 December 2014

StevelendmanAnother possible Bush presidency should rile freedom-lovers  everywhere. He’s forming a leadership political action committee.

On Facebook, he said he’s doing so to “discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation.”

With “support leaders…” Exploring “ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.” More on his bid below.

The Bush family dynasty reflects a legacy of crime. Deceit. Serial lying. Public betrayal. Neocon extremism. Serving wealth, power and privilege exclusively. At the expense of social justice.

Disdain for human and civil rights. Mindless of rule of law principles. Imperial wars called liberating ones. Mass murder and destruction.

Anti-democratic color revolutions. Torture as official US policy. Operating the world’s largest gulag. At home and abroad. Waging war on humanity. For unchallenged world dominance. Continue reading

11 Trillion Gallons Of Water To Relieve California Drought – NASA – 17 December 2014

RT logoNASA scientists say it would require 11 trillion gallons of water – more water than California’s 38 million residents use each year for domestic purposes – to relieve the state’s record drought, currently in its third year.

A team of NASA scientists, using the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, discovered that the state’s Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins were 11 trillion gallons (41.6 trillion liters) below normal seasonal levels. The researchers say that since the launch of GRACE in 2002 water levels have steadily dropped.

READ MORE: California drought worst in 1,200 years – study

Californians use an average of 181 gallons of water each day, a state total of around 2.5 trillion gallons a year, according to data from the UGSC website.

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Russia ‘Forced To Accept’ €1.86Bn Compensation For Former Shareholders Of Oil Giant – 17 December 2014

RT logoRussia has agreed to pay €1.86 billion in compensation to former Yukos shareholders after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) refused its appeal, said Russian Justice Minister Aleksandr Konovalov.

“The judges have made the decision. We are forced to accept it. We believe it is unreasonable, but there’s nothing we can do,” said Konovalov as quoted by RIA.

At the same time he said Russia is not obliged to abide by the decisions of the ECHR, adding that the enforcement of decisions is ‘goodwill’ on the part of a member country of the Council of Europe.

“Life will show to what extent this decision will be enforced in Russia,” he said.

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Jon Rappoport – Imagination Is A Spiritual Path – 17 December 2014

jon7Living through and by imagination is a path.

But no one defines it for the individual who is moving along it. No one lays it out. No one is in charge of “the end result.”

And no one explains exactly what discoveries will be made along the way.

Philosophies, metaphysical and spiritual systems, and religions are all about content. They fill in “the reality behind the reality.”

They depict places you will arrive, and what you will find when you get there. They present cosmologies. They paint pictures. Continue reading

‘Collective Self-Delusion’: UK Diplomat Slams Afghanistan Strategists – 17 December 2014

RT logoPoliticians were so ignorant of military affairs during the Afghan war they “did not know the difference between a Tornado [aircraft] and a torpedo,” a senior UK diplomat has said. He claimed officials were engaged in an “act of collective self-delusion.”

Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, a former British ambassador to Afghanistan, told the House of Commons Defense Committee on Tuesday that ministers were in awe of the military and had allowed it to lead their decision-making.

Military information was sometimes hidden from politicians by military leaders and key decisions, such as the deployment of extra troops, were made without consulting the government.

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European Parliament Votes To Recognize Palestine Statehood ‘In Principle’ – 17 December 2014

RT logoThe European Parliament has adopted a resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood in principle. A total of 498 MEPs voted in favor, while 88 were against.

A parliamentary session in Strasbourg on Tuesday could not decide on the matter, opting for further negotiations, but on Wednesday the European Parliament eventually adopted a resolution that “in principle” grants the troubled region statehood.

[The European Parliament] supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced,” the motion said. The vote also saw 111 abstentions.

Read the full story at: www.rt.com / link to original article