Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (50 sites): Eurasia Review: America, Will It Be Always Great? – OpEd

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America has always been great and generous towards the rest of the world. It unselfishly, helped Europeans, during the WWI a centenary ago. Without its help Germany would not have been defeated and brought to its senses.

American Generosity

Yet, again, without its massive intervention during WWII, with men, armor and funds, Germany would have conquered Europe. American generosity and humanity put forward the Marshall Plan in 1948 (Foreign Assistance Act of 1948) and without it Europe would not be what it is today, a power to reckoned with.

When the billionaire businessman Donald Trump went on the presidential elections campaign trail, he invoked the idea of making America great again, but it was already great with its political ideals, its technological advances, and human solidarity. For Trump “making America great” again was only a pretext for his “making America first”, whereby “first” , here, rhymes with “selfish” — and if one is selfish, he can, in no way, be a role model for the rest of the world.

A leader by definition is a tolerant, generous, loving and brave individual. Someone who thinks about the others more than he does about himself. This was America, until Trump came to power through the democratic process, of course.

America Inc. Or America Great?

Trump, a successful businessman, wants to turn America into America Inc. A country that makes money left and right and shuns anything that does not bring green bucks. He wants to turn his country into a big company, but what if this company does not make money will it go bust and disappear?
A country is a land, people, languages, culture, feeling, ideals that are not money-making concepts, but a supreme philosophy.

American Melting Pot

He does not want immigration because as the good WASP that he is, he is scared, to death, that the white race loses its supremacy in the near future, but America was always multi-colored and that is what highlights its strength and greatness.

At the entrance of the New York harbor there is a proud lady holding a torch of American greatness, welcoming migrants, wayfarers of all colors creeds and idioms, but since Trump arrived to the White House she is wondering what, on earth, is she doing there?

When the white Europeans came to America in the 15th century, the Native Americans did not chase them; on the contrary, they gave them food and welcomed them. But, as more whites came in and moved west, they grabbed the territories of the Indians and pushed them into reserves when they did not massacre them or made them addicted to alcohol, on purpose.

Trump wants to build a massive wall to keep Mexicans from migrating into America, but the strong American economy needs the cheap Mexican labor and the Mexicans need the little money they make in the US to feed their families back home.

No Free-Riders

Trump in his business drive does not like free-riders. Indeed, right after his election he traveled to the Gulf States and made them pay for American protection billions of dollars. He, also, made a very undiplomatic move, recently, when he said publicly that the Al-Saud household, in power in Saudi Arabia, will not last two weeks without American protection. Did he say that to put pressure on the Saudis to increase their oil output on the eve of the American oil sanctions on Iran, or to show American power?

He, also, wants Europeans to pay for the American nuclear umbrella and when, recently, Macron and Merkel spoke of creating a European army he did not like the idea, in the least. So, in many ways Trump seems to want his cake and to eat, too, as the saying goes.

Destroying America’s greatness

Is Trump’s erratic diplomacy destroying the greatness of America just to make a buck?

This question seems to have been answered by a big YES during the midterm elections. Indeed, the American people gave the House of Representatives to the Democrats to counterbalance the massive power of Trump.

This result leads the American public, at large, to two possible options:

Option 1: This is a prelude to booting out Trump out of office in the next presidential elections in 2020.

Option 2: This is a stern message to Trump to review and change his politics and course, to stay in power.

Will America remain always great?

What will be the results of the next presidential elections? “America is first” does not, in anyway, come first before “America is great”, for the following reasons:

  • America is the leader of the free world;
  • America is the beacon of democracy and human rights;
  • America is the country of democratic institutions; and
  • America is the country of checks and balances.

America is a country where anyone can come to power by democratic means, but will, also, be reminded by democratic means that he has gone too far.

You can follow Professor Mohamed CHTATOU on Twitter: @Ayurinu

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (50 sites)

Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (50 sites): Eurasia Review: America, Will It Be Always Great? – OpEd

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America has always been great and generous towards the rest of the world. It unselfishly, helped Europeans, during the WWI a centenary ago. Without its help Germany would not have been defeated and brought to its senses.

American Generosity

Yet, again, without its massive intervention during WWII, with men, armor and funds, Germany would have conquered Europe. American generosity and humanity put forward the Marshall Plan in 1948 (Foreign Assistance Act of 1948) and without it Europe would not be what it is today, a power to reckoned with.

When the billionaire businessman Donald Trump went on the presidential elections campaign trail, he invoked the idea of making America great again, but it was already great with its political ideals, its technological advances, and human solidarity. For Trump “making America great” again was only a pretext for his “making America first”, whereby “first” , here, rhymes with “selfish” — and if one is selfish, he can, in no way, be a role model for the rest of the world.

A leader by definition is a tolerant, generous, loving and brave individual. Someone who thinks about the others more than he does about himself. This was America, until Trump came to power through the democratic process, of course.

America Inc. Or America Great?

Trump, a successful businessman, wants to turn America into America Inc. A country that makes money left and right and shuns anything that does not bring green bucks. He wants to turn his country into a big company, but what if this company does not make money will it go bust and disappear?
A country is a land, people, languages, culture, feeling, ideals that are not money-making concepts, but a supreme philosophy.

American Melting Pot

He does not want immigration because as the good WASP that he is, he is scared, to death, that the white race loses its supremacy in the near future, but America was always multi-colored and that is what highlights its strength and greatness.

At the entrance of the New York harbor there is a proud lady holding a torch of American greatness, welcoming migrants, wayfarers of all colors creeds and idioms, but since Trump arrived to the White House she is wondering what, on earth, is she doing there?

When the white Europeans came to America in the 15th century, the Native Americans did not chase them; on the contrary, they gave them food and welcomed them. But, as more whites came in and moved west, they grabbed the territories of the Indians and pushed them into reserves when they did not massacre them or made them addicted to alcohol, on purpose.

Trump wants to build a massive wall to keep Mexicans from migrating into America, but the strong American economy needs the cheap Mexican labor and the Mexicans need the little money they make in the US to feed their families back home.

No Free-Riders

Trump in his business drive does not like free-riders. Indeed, right after his election he traveled to the Gulf States and made them pay for American protection billions of dollars. He, also, made a very undiplomatic move, recently, when he said publicly that the Al-Saud household, in power in Saudi Arabia, will not last two weeks without American protection. Did he say that to put pressure on the Saudis to increase their oil output on the eve of the American oil sanctions on Iran, or to show American power?

He, also, wants Europeans to pay for the American nuclear umbrella and when, recently, Macron and Merkel spoke of creating a European army he did not like the idea, in the least. So, in many ways Trump seems to want his cake and to eat, too, as the saying goes.

Destroying America’s greatness

Is Trump’s erratic diplomacy destroying the greatness of America just to make a buck?

This question seems to have been answered by a big YES during the midterm elections. Indeed, the American people gave the House of Representatives to the Democrats to counterbalance the massive power of Trump.

This result leads the American public, at large, to two possible options:

Option 1: This is a prelude to booting out Trump out of office in the next presidential elections in 2020.

Option 2: This is a stern message to Trump to review and change his politics and course, to stay in power.

Will America remain always great?

What will be the results of the next presidential elections? “America is first” does not, in anyway, come first before “America is great”, for the following reasons:

  • America is the leader of the free world;
  • America is the beacon of democracy and human rights;
  • America is the country of democratic institutions; and
  • America is the country of checks and balances.

America is a country where anyone can come to power by democratic means, but will, also, be reminded by democratic means that he has gone too far.

You can follow Professor Mohamed CHTATOU on Twitter: @Ayurinu

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (50 sites)


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (114 sites): Главные новости – Google Новости: Россия внесла в ГА ООН проект резолюции в поддержку ДРСМД – РИА Новости

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  1. Россия внесла в ГА ООН проект резолюции в поддержку ДРСМД  РИА Новости
  2. В Минобороны напомнили об использовании США ракет-мишеней в нарушение ДРСМД  Известия
  3. Россия призвала ООН сохранить Договор о ракетах — URA.RU  URA.Ru
  4. В российском МИД рассказали о последствиях выхода США из ДРСМД  РИА Новости
  5. «Юридически ничтожно»: в Москве прокомментировали решение США о выходе из ДРСМД  Рамблер/Новости
  6. Взгляд с разных сторон в приложении “Google Новости”

Главные новости – Google Новости

1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (114 sites)

Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (114 sites): Главные новости – Google Новости: Россия внесла в ГА ООН проект резолюции в поддержку ДРСМД – РИА Новости

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  1. Россия внесла в ГА ООН проект резолюции в поддержку ДРСМД  РИА Новости
  2. В Минобороны напомнили об использовании США ракет-мишеней в нарушение ДРСМД  Известия
  3. Россия призвала ООН сохранить Договор о ракетах — URA.RU  URA.Ru
  4. В российском МИД рассказали о последствиях выхода США из ДРСМД  РИА Новости
  5. «Юридически ничтожно»: в Москве прокомментировали решение США о выходе из ДРСМД  Рамблер/Новости
  6. Взгляд с разных сторон в приложении “Google Новости”

Главные новости – Google Новости

1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (114 sites)


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (50 sites): Eurasia Review: Russia Wades Into The Battle For Influence In Africa – OpEd

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The U.S. has sharply altered its strategy in Africa in response to growing foreign influence on the continent, restricting aid for countries which “take action counter to U.S. interests”. Announcing the new policy, national security advisor John Bolton particularly called out Russia’s efforts to “increase its influence in the region through corrupt economic dealings”.

Historically,
China has been the main global power ramping up its clout and
investment in Africa. Now, however, Yevgeny Prigozhin, one of Putin’s
closest allies who
has helped the Russian president pursue his covert operations around
the world, including in Ukraine and Syria— and who was indicted by
Special Counsel Robert Mueller for his interference in U.S. elections—is
spearheading what appears to be a focused attempt
to extend Moscow’s geopolitical reach in Africa.

Russia’s
historic Cold War alliances with African countries are providing a
fertile platform for Moscow’s new diplomatic incursions, as Prigozhin
shores up strongman
presidents and wages a weaponry-for-assets campaign in regimes
that are dissatisfied with the West, including the Democratic Republic
of the Congo, Sudan, Libya and the Central African Republic.

The
multifaceted push to gain influence in Africa comes as Putin prepares
to host dozens of the continent’s leaders next year at the first
Russia-Africa summit. Prigozhin’s
strategy to unleash his mercenaries and spin doctors on Africa is
likely to butt heads with China’s own crusade for leverage on the
continent— particularly in the tension-fraught Horn of Africa, site of
China’s only overseas military base.

The battle for Africa’s assets

Africa
has moved steadily up Putin’s list of priorities as he’s endeavored to
shore up Russia’s superpower status and stabilize his country’s economy.
Today, the continent
offers fresh possibilities not only for pressing Moscow’s political
suit in strategic locations but also for
opening
up

vast and profitable new markets for oil, gas and mining collaborations.
Local media in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), for
example, report that Russia is actively involved in installing
autocratic leader Joseph Kabila’s chosen successor with an eye on the
DRC’s enormous mineral deposits.

In addition to pursuing mineral wealth, Russia is gaining clout through energy partnerships: Moscow is negotiating nuclear cooperation agreements with at least 16 African countries. While some of these collaborations– like those in Angola and Ethiopia – are still in their infancy, Nigeria and Sudan have progressed towards detailed agreements, while Egypt has finalized a deal for the construction of a suite of reactors at El Dabaa.

Russia is challenging China’s dominance in Africa

Despite these initiatives, Russia has a long way to go to catch up with the empire of influence which China has built in Africa. China’s already-substantial $40 billion worth of investments in Africa is set to be dwarfed by Beijing’s pledge of a further $175 billion over the next ten years, primarily in the form of loans for infrastructure development. Much of the funding is intended to drive Beijing’s fabled Belt and Road initiative, including a bold new proposal in Tanzania to transform the country’s Bagamoyo coastline into the largest port in Africa.

While
many Africans have welcomed Beijing’s investment as a route to
strengthening the continent’s economy, analysts fear that a number of
African countries are becoming
excessively indebted to China: an eye-watering 72 percent of Kenya’s
$50 billion in debt, for example, is
owed
to creditors in Beijing.

As Russia ramps up its African interests in parallel with China, tensions between Moscow and Beijing will inevitably escalate. The battle for influence is likely to be particularly acute in the Horn of Africa, after Russia’s decision to place a so-called ‘logistics facility’ in Eritrea, which occupies a highly strategic location in a hotly contested region.

The Horn of Africa: a particular flashpoint

Russia had initially intended to open the installation in neighboring Djibouti, which has already become a noteworthy flashpoint in the struggle among great powers for influence in Africa. China has injected nearly $1.4 billion—equal to a staggering 75 percent of Djibouti’s GDP— in the country, which it is now touting as its ‘gateway to Africa’. The U.S. and China, among other nations, have set up duelling military bases in close proximity, while the tremendous amount of money Djibouti owes to Beijing has raised speculation that the country’s autocratic government intends to gift China with a key port, Doraleh, which it unlawfully seized from the Dubai-owned firm DP World.

Nowhere in the world are so many rival military installations situated in such tight quarters, but it’s China’s naval base—ironically, originally also referred to as a “logistics facility” until live-fire drills and an extraordinary four-layer security perimeter put paid to that façade— that has caused the most consternation among Western powers. Washington has been particularly concerned, warning of “serious consequences” if Doraleh fell into Chinese hands and worrying that a China-controlled port might restrict the U.S. military’s access to its only African base.

Tensions set to rise

In
an electric region where the slightest diplomatic vibration could set
off a political avalanche, any shift in the balance of power in the Horn
of Africa could see
the fur fly. Earlier this year political temperatures spiked
as the U.S. military laid the blame for an incident in which two pilots
on an American cargo plane were injured by exposure to a laser beam
squarely at the door of the Chinese military. The Horn of Africa, with
its foreign powers jostling for influence, is
already a powder keg; Russia joining the fray could provide a dangerous
spark.

It’s
doubtful that the new U.S. strategy to punish African countries who
draw too close to Beijing or Moscow’s orbit will do much to pour water
on the fire. As Russia
and China continue to build parallel influence networks in
Africa—Russia with its mercenaries and Moscow-friendly strongmen, China
with its railways and ports—it’s highly likely that more hotspots like
the Horn of Africa will pop up.

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (50 sites)

Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (50 sites): Eurasia Review: Russia Wades Into The Battle For Influence In Africa – OpEd

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The U.S. has sharply altered its strategy in Africa in response to growing foreign influence on the continent, restricting aid for countries which “take action counter to U.S. interests”. Announcing the new policy, national security advisor John Bolton particularly called out Russia’s efforts to “increase its influence in the region through corrupt economic dealings”.

Historically,
China has been the main global power ramping up its clout and
investment in Africa. Now, however, Yevgeny Prigozhin, one of Putin’s
closest allies who
has helped the Russian president pursue his covert operations around
the world, including in Ukraine and Syria— and who was indicted by
Special Counsel Robert Mueller for his interference in U.S. elections—is
spearheading what appears to be a focused attempt
to extend Moscow’s geopolitical reach in Africa.

Russia’s
historic Cold War alliances with African countries are providing a
fertile platform for Moscow’s new diplomatic incursions, as Prigozhin
shores up strongman
presidents and wages a weaponry-for-assets campaign in regimes
that are dissatisfied with the West, including the Democratic Republic
of the Congo, Sudan, Libya and the Central African Republic.

The
multifaceted push to gain influence in Africa comes as Putin prepares
to host dozens of the continent’s leaders next year at the first
Russia-Africa summit. Prigozhin’s
strategy to unleash his mercenaries and spin doctors on Africa is
likely to butt heads with China’s own crusade for leverage on the
continent— particularly in the tension-fraught Horn of Africa, site of
China’s only overseas military base.

The battle for Africa’s assets

Africa
has moved steadily up Putin’s list of priorities as he’s endeavored to
shore up Russia’s superpower status and stabilize his country’s economy.
Today, the continent
offers fresh possibilities not only for pressing Moscow’s political
suit in strategic locations but also for
opening
up

vast and profitable new markets for oil, gas and mining collaborations.
Local media in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), for
example, report that Russia is actively involved in installing
autocratic leader Joseph Kabila’s chosen successor with an eye on the
DRC’s enormous mineral deposits.

In addition to pursuing mineral wealth, Russia is gaining clout through energy partnerships: Moscow is negotiating nuclear cooperation agreements with at least 16 African countries. While some of these collaborations– like those in Angola and Ethiopia – are still in their infancy, Nigeria and Sudan have progressed towards detailed agreements, while Egypt has finalized a deal for the construction of a suite of reactors at El Dabaa.

Russia is challenging China’s dominance in Africa

Despite these initiatives, Russia has a long way to go to catch up with the empire of influence which China has built in Africa. China’s already-substantial $40 billion worth of investments in Africa is set to be dwarfed by Beijing’s pledge of a further $175 billion over the next ten years, primarily in the form of loans for infrastructure development. Much of the funding is intended to drive Beijing’s fabled Belt and Road initiative, including a bold new proposal in Tanzania to transform the country’s Bagamoyo coastline into the largest port in Africa.

While
many Africans have welcomed Beijing’s investment as a route to
strengthening the continent’s economy, analysts fear that a number of
African countries are becoming
excessively indebted to China: an eye-watering 72 percent of Kenya’s
$50 billion in debt, for example, is
owed
to creditors in Beijing.

As Russia ramps up its African interests in parallel with China, tensions between Moscow and Beijing will inevitably escalate. The battle for influence is likely to be particularly acute in the Horn of Africa, after Russia’s decision to place a so-called ‘logistics facility’ in Eritrea, which occupies a highly strategic location in a hotly contested region.

The Horn of Africa: a particular flashpoint

Russia had initially intended to open the installation in neighboring Djibouti, which has already become a noteworthy flashpoint in the struggle among great powers for influence in Africa. China has injected nearly $1.4 billion—equal to a staggering 75 percent of Djibouti’s GDP— in the country, which it is now touting as its ‘gateway to Africa’. The U.S. and China, among other nations, have set up duelling military bases in close proximity, while the tremendous amount of money Djibouti owes to Beijing has raised speculation that the country’s autocratic government intends to gift China with a key port, Doraleh, which it unlawfully seized from the Dubai-owned firm DP World.

Nowhere in the world are so many rival military installations situated in such tight quarters, but it’s China’s naval base—ironically, originally also referred to as a “logistics facility” until live-fire drills and an extraordinary four-layer security perimeter put paid to that façade— that has caused the most consternation among Western powers. Washington has been particularly concerned, warning of “serious consequences” if Doraleh fell into Chinese hands and worrying that a China-controlled port might restrict the U.S. military’s access to its only African base.

Tensions set to rise

In
an electric region where the slightest diplomatic vibration could set
off a political avalanche, any shift in the balance of power in the Horn
of Africa could see
the fur fly. Earlier this year political temperatures spiked
as the U.S. military laid the blame for an incident in which two pilots
on an American cargo plane were injured by exposure to a laser beam
squarely at the door of the Chinese military. The Horn of Africa, with
its foreign powers jostling for influence, is
already a powder keg; Russia joining the fray could provide a dangerous
spark.

It’s
doubtful that the new U.S. strategy to punish African countries who
draw too close to Beijing or Moscow’s orbit will do much to pour water
on the fire. As Russia
and China continue to build parallel influence networks in
Africa—Russia with its mercenaries and Moscow-friendly strongmen, China
with its railways and ports—it’s highly likely that more hotspots like
the Horn of Africa will pop up.

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (50 sites)


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. Podcasts from Michael_Novakhov (19 sites): NPR News Now: NPR News: 12-14-2018 11PM ET

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NPR News: 12-14-2018 11PM ET

Download audio: https://play.podtrac.com/npr-500005/npr-news.streaming.adswizz.com/2018/12/14/newscast230814.mp3?orgId=1&d=300&p=500005&story=677001751&t=podcast&e=677001751&ft=pod&f=500005

NPR News Now

1. Podcasts from Michael_Novakhov (19 sites)

Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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1. Podcasts from Michael_Novakhov (19 sites): NPR News Now: NPR News: 12-14-2018 11PM ET

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (50 sites): Eurasia Review: GCC Summit Wraps Up In Riyadh: An Uneasy Gathering – Analysis

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Six Gulf nations met in the Saudi capital of Riyadh to discuss cooperation on a wide range of issues from the economy to security. The summit comes at a significant time because the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council may be at stake for the first time since its founding in 1981. The blockade of Qatar, the War in Yemen, and the diplomatic crisis behind the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are only the few major issues that have overshadowed the summit in Riyadh, but now, many experts and analysts are wondering if the GCC can survive.

One notable absentee in Saudi Arabia was the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamid bin Hamad Al Thani. This is due to a few reasons. One reason is the ongoing blockade from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain on Qatar for two years.

But because the summit took place in Riyadh and not in a venue like Oman or Kuwait, it was not very likely that Qatar could have sent high ranking officials to the meeting. And secondly, the Qatari leadership was not very comfortable in sending its heads of states to Riyadh because they don’t want to see another fiasco like the kidnapping of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Before the GCC crisis, the land border between Qatar and Saudi Arabia was an incredibly busy traffic lane where people would be moving from one place to the other.

But now, the only land border Qatar has is now blockaded by three GCC states who have met in Riyadh. The GCC has been facing tremendous difficulties since the blockade of Qatar in June 2017, and just recently, Qatar’s withdrawal from OPEC as well. Qatar’s decision was mainly because it wanted to export more gas and move away from an economic model that was too dependent on oil. The blockading countries inside the GCC still believe that the current diplomatic crisis with Qatar will not affect the future of the organization, but this still remains to be seen.

Given the tensions between the different members of the GCC, the organization may not have any relevance left. Many people in the region are now questioning the future of the GCC and this may be the most serious crisis facing the six-nation organization since its establishment in 1981. The member countries are vying for different interests and face different threat perceptions.

In 1981, the GCC was established as a political organization that focused on creating a security umbrella to defend the member countries from Iran and its attempts to export the revolution at the time. But today, members like Qatar are facing existential threats from other members within the same bloc.

In terms of the ongoing crisis, there are three different groups. One group is Qatar and Oman, the other is Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, and we have Kuwait trying to mediate between the two.

The summit in Riyadh this weekend was merely a ceremonial meeting because nobody wanted to pronounce that the GCC was a dead organization but want to keep it alive without having any important role for the time being.

The GCC was designed to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. From the Iranian perspective, the GCC was a product for the United States to become more involved in the region. In fact, during the 1980’s, the United States along with its Arab partners supported Saddam Hussein against Iran during the Iran-Iraq War that killed thousands of Iranians and Iranian children were on the frontlines fighting the Iraqis.

Over the last few decades, the United States Israel, and Saudi Arabia have used geopolitical capabilities against Iran to weaken its economy and halt Iran’s growth as a regional power, nor can these countries accept Iran as a regional power that is going to have to be a part of the solution to the cancerous issues in the Middle East.

The hawkish policies coming out of Riyadh over the past few years, especially from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) have irritated many members in the GCC from the kidnapping of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, to the Khashoggi case, the blockade on Qatar, and the war in Yemen. Looking at these specific issues, it is obvious that Saudi Arabia’s policies in the region have totally backfired, and the Saudi leaders are discrediting themselves for only fueling the chaos in the region.

The last Gulf crisis in 2014 came to an end because the GCC states needed to show unity against the Islamic State, which, at the time had taken over huge sways of territory in their own backyard. The United States of course, wants to see a unified GCC to act as a counter to Iran in the region, but the current Gulf crisis seems to have no end in sight.

Since the ascendance of Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudis have backfired on every front. The Saudis want to counter Iran, but they have divided the GCC by constantly getting involved in areas like Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

In fact, Saudi misadventures in the Middle East have led to an increased Iranian influence in the region and forcing Qatar to move closer to Iran is a good example of this. Riyadh needs to rethink its foreign policy and how it is perceived in the region and the GCC itself has failed to bring different member states together on a unified front. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates already have an economic and military partnership, but Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar could form their own grouping which could perhaps bring in Iran and Turkey too.

A core reason for the success of the GCC has been its provision of the free movement of people and goods between member states, but with the current crisis between the blockading countries of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain against Qatar there are many who question the future of the organization.

We cannot necessarily say that the GCC is confidently dead, but it is probably more realistic to say that the GCC is ensuring very difficult circumstances in a constantly changing region of different geopolitical calculations. The GCC could return to being a relevant regional organization in the Middle East down the road, but it remains to be irrelevant right now given the current state of the current crisis with Qatar. Very little will change as a result of the Riyadh Summit, but the inspirations of a single currency, a defense force, and railway connections between member states remain to be distant ambitions right now.

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (50 sites)

Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (50 sites): Eurasia Review: GCC Summit Wraps Up In Riyadh: An Uneasy Gathering – Analysis

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Six Gulf nations met in the Saudi capital of Riyadh to discuss cooperation on a wide range of issues from the economy to security. The summit comes at a significant time because the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council may be at stake for the first time since its founding in 1981. The blockade of Qatar, the War in Yemen, and the diplomatic crisis behind the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are only the few major issues that have overshadowed the summit in Riyadh, but now, many experts and analysts are wondering if the GCC can survive.

One notable absentee in Saudi Arabia was the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamid bin Hamad Al Thani. This is due to a few reasons. One reason is the ongoing blockade from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain on Qatar for two years.

But because the summit took place in Riyadh and not in a venue like Oman or Kuwait, it was not very likely that Qatar could have sent high ranking officials to the meeting. And secondly, the Qatari leadership was not very comfortable in sending its heads of states to Riyadh because they don’t want to see another fiasco like the kidnapping of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Before the GCC crisis, the land border between Qatar and Saudi Arabia was an incredibly busy traffic lane where people would be moving from one place to the other.

But now, the only land border Qatar has is now blockaded by three GCC states who have met in Riyadh. The GCC has been facing tremendous difficulties since the blockade of Qatar in June 2017, and just recently, Qatar’s withdrawal from OPEC as well. Qatar’s decision was mainly because it wanted to export more gas and move away from an economic model that was too dependent on oil. The blockading countries inside the GCC still believe that the current diplomatic crisis with Qatar will not affect the future of the organization, but this still remains to be seen.

Given the tensions between the different members of the GCC, the organization may not have any relevance left. Many people in the region are now questioning the future of the GCC and this may be the most serious crisis facing the six-nation organization since its establishment in 1981. The member countries are vying for different interests and face different threat perceptions.

In 1981, the GCC was established as a political organization that focused on creating a security umbrella to defend the member countries from Iran and its attempts to export the revolution at the time. But today, members like Qatar are facing existential threats from other members within the same bloc.

In terms of the ongoing crisis, there are three different groups. One group is Qatar and Oman, the other is Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, and we have Kuwait trying to mediate between the two.

The summit in Riyadh this weekend was merely a ceremonial meeting because nobody wanted to pronounce that the GCC was a dead organization but want to keep it alive without having any important role for the time being.

The GCC was designed to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. From the Iranian perspective, the GCC was a product for the United States to become more involved in the region. In fact, during the 1980’s, the United States along with its Arab partners supported Saddam Hussein against Iran during the Iran-Iraq War that killed thousands of Iranians and Iranian children were on the frontlines fighting the Iraqis.

Over the last few decades, the United States Israel, and Saudi Arabia have used geopolitical capabilities against Iran to weaken its economy and halt Iran’s growth as a regional power, nor can these countries accept Iran as a regional power that is going to have to be a part of the solution to the cancerous issues in the Middle East.

The hawkish policies coming out of Riyadh over the past few years, especially from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) have irritated many members in the GCC from the kidnapping of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, to the Khashoggi case, the blockade on Qatar, and the war in Yemen. Looking at these specific issues, it is obvious that Saudi Arabia’s policies in the region have totally backfired, and the Saudi leaders are discrediting themselves for only fueling the chaos in the region.

The last Gulf crisis in 2014 came to an end because the GCC states needed to show unity against the Islamic State, which, at the time had taken over huge sways of territory in their own backyard. The United States of course, wants to see a unified GCC to act as a counter to Iran in the region, but the current Gulf crisis seems to have no end in sight.

Since the ascendance of Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudis have backfired on every front. The Saudis want to counter Iran, but they have divided the GCC by constantly getting involved in areas like Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

In fact, Saudi misadventures in the Middle East have led to an increased Iranian influence in the region and forcing Qatar to move closer to Iran is a good example of this. Riyadh needs to rethink its foreign policy and how it is perceived in the region and the GCC itself has failed to bring different member states together on a unified front. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates already have an economic and military partnership, but Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar could form their own grouping which could perhaps bring in Iran and Turkey too.

A core reason for the success of the GCC has been its provision of the free movement of people and goods between member states, but with the current crisis between the blockading countries of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain against Qatar there are many who question the future of the organization.

We cannot necessarily say that the GCC is confidently dead, but it is probably more realistic to say that the GCC is ensuring very difficult circumstances in a constantly changing region of different geopolitical calculations. The GCC could return to being a relevant regional organization in the Middle East down the road, but it remains to be irrelevant right now given the current state of the current crisis with Qatar. Very little will change as a result of the Riyadh Summit, but the inspirations of a single currency, a defense force, and railway connections between member states remain to be distant ambitions right now.

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (50 sites)


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Top stories – Google News: Trevor Ariza trade to Washington Wizards from Phoenix Suns in works, sources say – ESPN

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Top stories – Google News: North Carolina governor vetoes latest voter ID legislation – NBCNews.com

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The Global Security News: Trump digital operations from Michael_Novakhov (2 sites): “social media in trump campaign” – Google News: Here’s What Robert Mueller Has Uncovered So Far, In His Own Words – TIME

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Here’s What Robert Mueller Has Uncovered So Far, In His Own Words  TIME

When Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel in 2017, he was given several subjects to investigate: Russian meddling in the election, any coordination …

“social media in trump campaign” – Google News

Trump digital operations from Michael_Novakhov (2 sites)

The Global Security News


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Trump digital operations from Michael_Novakhov (2 sites): “social media in trump campaign” – Google News: Here’s What Robert Mueller Has Uncovered So Far, In His Own Words – TIME

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Here’s What Robert Mueller Has Uncovered So Far, In His Own Words  TIME

When Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel in 2017, he was given several subjects to investigate: Russian meddling in the election, any coordination …

“social media in trump campaign” – Google News

Trump digital operations from Michael_Novakhov (2 sites)


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The Global Security News: 1. World from Michael_Novakhov (22 sites): Reuters: World News: Australia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: PM Morrison

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Australia formally recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reversing decades of Middle East policy, but will not move its embassy there immediately, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday.

Reuters: World News

1. World from Michael_Novakhov (22 sites)

The Global Security News


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1. World from Michael_Novakhov (22 sites): Reuters: World News: Australia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: PM Morrison

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Australia formally recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reversing decades of Middle East policy, but will not move its embassy there immediately, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday.

Reuters: World News

1. World from Michael_Novakhov (22 sites)


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The Global Security News: 1. World from Michael_Novakhov (22 sites): Voice of America: US, Canada Promise Fair Judicial Process for Chinese Tech Executive

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The United States and Canada promised a fair judicial process for a Chinese tech executive who was arrested earlier this month in Canada. 

In talks at the State Department on Friday, the U.S. and Canadian foreign and defense ministers put on a united front, following a growing diplomatic dispute between the United States and China, in which Canada finds itself in the middle. 

Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland defended her country’s detention of Huawei…

Voice of America

1. World from Michael_Novakhov (22 sites)

The Global Security News


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1. World from Michael_Novakhov (22 sites): Voice of America: US, Canada Promise Fair Judicial Process for Chinese Tech Executive

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The United States and Canada promised a fair judicial process for a Chinese tech executive who was arrested earlier this month in Canada. 

In talks at the State Department on Friday, the U.S. and Canadian foreign and defense ministers put on a united front, following a growing diplomatic dispute between the United States and China, in which Canada finds itself in the middle. 

Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland defended her country’s detention of Huawei…

Voice of America

1. World from Michael_Novakhov (22 sites)


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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): Eurasia Review: Saudi Arabia ‘Racing Into The Future’ With Formula E

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By Rawan Radwan

Formula E is one for the books. Attracting fans from all
over the world, the mega event — held in the historic Saudi town of Ad
Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is set to revolutionize
motorsports by using only electric race cars. 

Officially known as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the race expects
to draw 40,000 attendees, with access not only to the race but also to
the Kingdom’s largest ever festival for music, entertainment and
cultural activities.

A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects
the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them
domestically and globally.

A milestone was marked as Bandar Alesayi and Ahmed bin Khanen became the
first Saudi I-Pace eTrophy racers, sponsored by the General Sports
Authority (GSA). 

Both drivers predict increased grassroots support in the Kingdom for youths to train in carting and race-car driving.  

At 1.76 miles long with 21 corners, the track is somewhat tricky for first-time Formula E drivers.

“The system is like Mario Bros when they get the little star and go
faster,” said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. The new electric
circuit in Saudi Arabia has been hailed as one of the best Formula E
tracks.

The three-day event is hosting some of the world’s top singers,
including Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, Amr Diab, Black Eyed Peas,
David Guetta and One Republic, along with DJ EJ. 

“This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

Outside the venue, Al-Bujairy, one of Ad Diriyah’s historic areas, hosts
high-end restaurants, cafes and local designer outlets overlooking the
historic district of At-Turaif, which was once home to the Saudi royal
family and has newly opened for visitors.

Another area of interest is the Family Zone, with many events and
activities to entertain all age groups. Men, women and children are
given different driving experiences.

In Ad Diriyah’s Formula E, only one car is allowed per driver instead of
two, making pit stops more crucial in terms of timing.  

“Attack mode” gives cars a temporary power boost from 200 to 225
kilowatts, equivalent to 268-302 horsepower. Drivers need to move to a
certain area on the track to activate this mode.

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E, as we open the
Kingdom to the world in a transformation that’s being supercharged by
the Vision 2030 plan, driven forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, vice-chair of
the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority, told Arab News.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites)

The Global Security News


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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): Eurasia Review: Saudi Arabia ‘Racing Into The Future’ With Formula E

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By Rawan Radwan

Formula E is one for the books. Attracting fans from all
over the world, the mega event — held in the historic Saudi town of Ad
Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is set to revolutionize
motorsports by using only electric race cars. 

Officially known as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the race expects
to draw 40,000 attendees, with access not only to the race but also to
the Kingdom’s largest ever festival for music, entertainment and
cultural activities.

A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects
the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them
domestically and globally.

A milestone was marked as Bandar Alesayi and Ahmed bin Khanen became the
first Saudi I-Pace eTrophy racers, sponsored by the General Sports
Authority (GSA). 

Both drivers predict increased grassroots support in the Kingdom for youths to train in carting and race-car driving.  

At 1.76 miles long with 21 corners, the track is somewhat tricky for first-time Formula E drivers.

“The system is like Mario Bros when they get the little star and go
faster,” said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. The new electric
circuit in Saudi Arabia has been hailed as one of the best Formula E
tracks.

The three-day event is hosting some of the world’s top singers,
including Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, Amr Diab, Black Eyed Peas,
David Guetta and One Republic, along with DJ EJ. 

“This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

Outside the venue, Al-Bujairy, one of Ad Diriyah’s historic areas, hosts
high-end restaurants, cafes and local designer outlets overlooking the
historic district of At-Turaif, which was once home to the Saudi royal
family and has newly opened for visitors.

Another area of interest is the Family Zone, with many events and
activities to entertain all age groups. Men, women and children are
given different driving experiences.

In Ad Diriyah’s Formula E, only one car is allowed per driver instead of
two, making pit stops more crucial in terms of timing.  

“Attack mode” gives cars a temporary power boost from 200 to 225
kilowatts, equivalent to 268-302 horsepower. Drivers need to move to a
certain area on the track to activate this mode.

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E, as we open the
Kingdom to the world in a transformation that’s being supercharged by
the Vision 2030 plan, driven forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, vice-chair of
the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority, told Arab News.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites)


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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): Eurasia Review: Washington Post Columnist Gets It Wrong – OpEd

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Washington Post
columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote a particularly flawed piece that
appeared on the front page of the Style section in yesterday’s edition
of the newspaper.

She is not happy that the conviction of Australian Cardinal George Pell
on charges of sexual molestation didn’t get more news coverage. A
retrial was ordered after the first trial resulted in a hung jury (10 of
the 12 jurors concluded he was not guilty), though Sullivan failed to
mention this. His case is almost certain to be appealed. It should be.
Anyone who has studied his ordeal knows how bogus the charges are (click
here for my account).

Sullivan acknowledges that the Australian courts are guilty of censoring
the news about Pell’s trial, but still finds a way to drag the Catholic
Church into this. “The secrecy surrounding the court case—and now the
verdict—is offensive. That’s especially so because it echoes the secrecy
that has always been so appalling a part of widespread sexual abuse by
priests.”

Sullivan then goes on to praise the Boston Globe for its
stories on the Catholic Church, applauds the victims’ group SNAP
(Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests), and concludes by touting
journalists “whose core mission is truth-telling.”

This is hard to stomach. I just got stiffed by the truth tellers at the Boston Globe—they
refused to allow me to see the raw data upon which their “study” of
bishops was made. When I confined my request to reading the transcripts
of the interviews they conducted, I was again stiffed.

To be sure, there are lots of good journalists who are driven by truth
telling, but they sure don’t include the top editors at the Boston Globe. They are masters of secrecy.

SNAP is thoroughly corrupt—I exposed them
as a monumental fraud years before they crashed (their latest
incarnation is a joke). That is why it is shocking to read Sullivan
quoting one of their Aussie agents. Their credibility is totally shot.

The Washington Post also has a flawed record when it comes to truth telling. Just this month, I slammed them and the New York Times
for not publishing a story on the court decision overturning the
conviction of Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson. Yet both newspapers
ran a story on his conviction in July. This is inexcusable.

“Washington Post Makes False Claims” was the title of my November 13 news release
showing how the newspaper was factually wrong in reporting on the
progress made by the Catholic Church on sexual abuse. I provided the
data; they offered opinion.

There are noble journalists in America. There are also plenty of frauds.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites)


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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): Eurasia Review: Growth Hormones May Be Spreading Alzheimer’s Proteins

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Growth hormones given to children decades ago appear to have spread proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The finding adds to evidence that Alzheimer’s proteins can be transmitted between people, New Scientist reports.

Between 1958 and 1985, approximately 30,000 children around the world
received injections of human growth hormone extracted from dead bodies
to treat genetic disorders and growth deficiencies.

Three years
ago, while examining the brains of eight people who had received such
injections and later died of the rare brain disorder Creutzfeld-Jakob
disease (CJD), John Collinge at University College London and his
colleagues noticed they all had beta-amyloid proteins in their brains.

Beta-amyloid is known to accumulate and form sticky plaques in the
brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. These eight people didn’t
have this condition, as they all died from CJD at a young age, but
Collinge says that had they lived, it’s possible that they would have
gone on to develop it.

“That led us to hypothesise that the
reason they got this [amyloid] is because those growth hormone batches
that were prepared many years ago with human tissue were contaminated
with this protein,” says Collinge. Before synthetic alternatives were
available, human growth hormone was extracted from the pituitary glands
of cadavers.

“Another suggestion was maybe it’s the growth
hormone itself that stimulates the amyloid beta pathology, and not any
contaminant,” he says. To investigate, Collinge and his team used
samples of the human growth hormone that were given to these eight
people, which had been archived by a health body in the UK.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites)


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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): Eurasia Review: EU Leaders Wrap Up Year-Long Euro Reform With Face-Saving Package

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By Jorge Valero

(EurActiv) — EU leaders concluded on Friday (14 December) a year-long discussion to bolster the eurozone by approving extra money to resolve failing banks and additional powers for the European Stability Mechanism, the EU’s rescue fund.

“A year ago, we promised concrete steps to strengthen the economic
and monetary union”, European Council President Donald Tusk said after
the euro summit. “Today, leaders delivered on this promise,” he added.

But some arrived unhappy to the end station, as the results were far from the original ambition to bolster the common currency.

The ‘window of opportunity’ seen by many in Brussels and in the
capitals to bolster the euro concluded without the risk-sharing
instruments, key to complete the monetary union.

Germany succeeded in watering down the euro summit conclusions as the
country continues to oppose the completion of the banking union with a
European-wide guarantee for bank depositors.

An agreement reached by finance ministers early this month set up a
high-level group to come up with proposals to progress on this guarantee
by June.

The ministers’ text was the basis for the summit conclusions.

The EU heads of state and government also mandated their finance
ministers to work on the details of a new fund to support reforms in
member states.

However, they did not contemplate any stabilisation function for this
new instrument to address sudden economic shocks, seen as the first
step toward a eurozone budget.

“I have the impression that we move forward, but not fast enough”, said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

“Unsatisfied”

“We do not feel satisfied,” said Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro
Sánchez. The decisions went “in the right direction”, he said, but are
“incomplete and not enough”. 

Spain, France and Portugal were among the countries pushing for more
ambition to deepen the eurozone, by completing the banking union to
protect depositors or setting up a eurozone budget that could protect
European jobless in the future.

French President Emmanuel Macron was the biggest promoter of the
eurozone budget, which would represent the first step toward a fiscal
union.

Macron said it was the first time that “a clear mandate” had been
given to finance ministers for creating a eurozone budget, with a target
date set for June 2019.

“One year ago, many considered it impossible,” Macron remarked,
saying Franco-German cooperation had made it possible “to convince our
most reluctant partners”.

“France continues to consider that it is important also to have a
stabilisation function, but there was no consensus today on this
function,” Macron said. “However, I do not give up on the idea,” he
continued.

Germany accepted part of Macron’s agenda to reform the euro area.
However, a dozen countries led by The Netherlands opposed any additional
fiscal transfers in Europe as they perceive that some countries need to
put their house in order first.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that the Franco-German
proposal for a eurozone budget “has been controversial” and it was
explained once again to the leaders.

“We have adopted substantial parts of what Macron has proposed, the
French president was quite satisfied, we made a good contribution with
the Franco-German cooperation,” she told reporters after the summit.

Details

EU leaders endorsed the creation of a ‘backstop’ to support the pot
to resolve Europe’s ailing banks with around 60 billion as from 2024.

The euro summit also supported strengthening the powers of the ESM,
the EU’s rescue fund, to provide precautionary credits to countries in
trouble but under strict conditionality.

But this package came only after a year of hard discussions and
excluded the most ambitious reforms: a European guarantee for banks’
deposits under €100k and a eurozone budget to stabilise countries
suffering sudden shocks.

The European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS) is the remaining pillar
of Europe’s banking union and would help to avoid bank runs as
depositors would feel protected by a European umbrella.

This guarantee was not even mentioned in the summit conclusions
because of Berlin’s opposition. The text only refers to a letter in
which finance ministers called for more technical work on this front
earlier this month.

As leaders were discussing the elements of the final package, a
Spanish diplomat said with a hopeless face that they were fighting,
together with France and Portugal, to protect the agreement reached by
the finance ministers.

In a vague reference, leaders called “to advance work on the Banking
Union and for ambitious progress by spring 2019 on the Capital Markets
Union, as outlined in the Eurogroup report to leaders.”

As regards the new instrument to support reforms, the leaders
mandated their finance ministers to work “on the design, modalities of
implementation and timing of a budgetary instrument for convergence and
competitiveness for the euro area”. Candidates to adopt the euro could
participate too.

The conclusions stated that the features should be agreed by June
2019, as it will be part of the next EU’s long-term budget (the
Multi-annual Financial Framework).

The fund would regroup European Commission’s proposals to support
reforms and stabilise eurozone economies, totalling €55 billion,
although the leaders did not specify the size of the new fund.

“I am relatively happy about today’s discussion, although I would
like a more enthusiastic response to the stabilising function we
propose,” Juncker said.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites)


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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): Eurasia Review: France: Yellow Vests Prepare For Massive ‘Macron Resign’ Protest On Saturday

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Paris is bracing for yet another round of Yellow Vest protests,
with demonstrators planning to take to the streets on Saturday. More
than 10,000 people have already RSVP’d on Facebook to the ‘Acte 5:
Macron Démission’ march.

The demonstration is scheduled to take place in the French capital on the Champs-Élysées. 

The
organizers, consisting of some 15 groups, have outlined their list of
demands on Facebook, saying they will continue their action against
Macron until all their demands are met.

“Our organizations support the demands of tax and social justice brought by the movement of yellow vests. They call for demonstrations Saturday, December 15, for social justice and tax, for a real democracy, for equal rights, for a true ecological transition…” the planners said in a statement, as quoted by Le Parisien. 

Similar demonstrations are also expected to take place in other cities across the country.

Security officials are gearing up for the protests, with Paris Police
Chief Michel Delpuech stating that tens of thousands of cops will be
deployed across France, and some 8,000 in Paris.

“We need to be prepared for worst-case scenarios,” he said.

Delpuech told RTL that authorities are aiming to be in “better control”
of the situation than they were last weekend, when more than 125,000
people hit the streets of France, 10,000 of whom protested in Paris.

Those
demonstrations saw clashes between protesters and police, with officers
deploying tear gas and water cannon on people who threw Molotov
cocktails, burned cars, and vandalized stores. Over 260 people were injured and 1,700 detained across the country.

Ahead of the demonstrations planned for Saturday, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said it was time for the Yellow Vest protesters to scale down their demonstrations and accept that they had achieved their aims, as Macron has granted concessions as a result of the rallies.

“I’d rather have the police force doing their real job, chasing criminals and combating the terrorism threat, instead of securing roundabouts where a few thousand people keep a lot of police busy,” he said, just days after an attack at a Christmas market in Strasbourg killed four people and injured around a dozen others.

Earlier this week, Macron spoke to the nation in a televised address,
saying he understood the concerns of protesters. In addition to
canceling fuel tax increases that were scheduled to kick in next month,
he said he would increase the minimum wage by 100 euros a month from
January and reduce taxes for poorer pensioners, among other measures.

Even despite those concessions, Macron’s critics are still demanding that he resign, continuing to refer to him as “President of the Rich.”

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites)


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