Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: 3D Printing 100 Times Faster With Light

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Rather than building up plastic filaments layer by layer, a new
approach to 3D printing lifts complex shapes from a vat of liquid at up
to 100 times faster than conventional 3D printing processes, University
of Michigan researchers have shown.

3D printing could change the game for relatively small manufacturing
jobs, producing fewer than 10,000 identical items, because it would
mean that the objects could be made without the need for a mold costing
upwards of $10,000. But the most familiar form of 3D printing, which is
sort of like building 3D objects with a series of 1D lines, hasn’t been
able to fill that gap on typical production timescales of a week or
two.

“Using conventional approaches, that’s not really attainable unless
you have hundreds of machines,” said Timothy Scott, U-M associate
professor of chemical engineering who co-led the development of the new
3D printing approach with Mark Burns, the T.C. Chang Professor of
Engineering at U-M.

Their method solidifies the liquid resin using two lights to control
where the resin hardens–and where it stays fluid. This enables the
team to solidify the resin in more sophisticated patterns. They can make
a 3D bas-relief in a single shot rather than in a series of 1D lines or
2D cross-sections. Their printing demonstrations include a lattice, a
toy boat and a block M.

“It’s one of the first true 3D printers ever made,” said Burns, professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering.

But the true 3D approach is no mere stunt–it was necessary to
overcome the limitations of earlier vat-printing efforts. Namely, the
resin tends to solidify on the window that the light shines through,
stopping the print job just as it gets started.

By creating a relatively large region where no solidification
occurs, thicker resins–potentially with strengthening powder
additives–can be used to produce more durable objects. The method also
bests the structural integrity of filament 3D printing, as those objects
have weak points at the interfaces between layers.

“You can get much tougher, much more wear-resistant materials,” Scott said.

An earlier solution to the solidification-on-window problem was a
window that lets oxygen through. The oxygen penetrates into the resin
and halts the solidification near the window, leaving a film of fluid
that will allow the newly printed surface to be pulled away.

But because this gap is only about as thick as a piece of
transparent tape, the resin must be very runny to flow fast enough into
the tiny gap between the newly solidified object and the window as the
part is pulled up. This has limited vat printing to small, customized
products that will be treated relatively gently, such as dental devices
and shoe insoles.

By replacing the oxygen with a second light to halt solidification,
the Michigan team can produce a much larger gap between the object and
the window–millimeters thick–allowing resin to flow in thousands of
times faster.

The key to success is the chemistry of the resin. In conventional
systems, there is only one reaction. A photoactivator hardens the resin
wherever light shines. In the Michigan system, there is also a
photoinhibitor, which responds to a different wavelength of light.

Rather than merely controlling solidification in a 2D plane, as
current vat-printing techniques do, the Michigan team can pattern the
two kinds of light to harden the resin at essentially any 3D place near
the illumination window.

U-M has filed three patent applications to protect the multiple
inventive aspects of the approach, and Scott is preparing to launch a
startup company.

A paper describing this research will be published in Science Advances, titled, “Rapid, continuous additive manufacturing by volumetric polymerization inhibition patterning.”

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)

Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: 3D Printing 100 Times Faster With Light

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Rather than building up plastic filaments layer by layer, a new
approach to 3D printing lifts complex shapes from a vat of liquid at up
to 100 times faster than conventional 3D printing processes, University
of Michigan researchers have shown.

3D printing could change the game for relatively small manufacturing
jobs, producing fewer than 10,000 identical items, because it would
mean that the objects could be made without the need for a mold costing
upwards of $10,000. But the most familiar form of 3D printing, which is
sort of like building 3D objects with a series of 1D lines, hasn’t been
able to fill that gap on typical production timescales of a week or
two.

“Using conventional approaches, that’s not really attainable unless
you have hundreds of machines,” said Timothy Scott, U-M associate
professor of chemical engineering who co-led the development of the new
3D printing approach with Mark Burns, the T.C. Chang Professor of
Engineering at U-M.

Their method solidifies the liquid resin using two lights to control
where the resin hardens–and where it stays fluid. This enables the
team to solidify the resin in more sophisticated patterns. They can make
a 3D bas-relief in a single shot rather than in a series of 1D lines or
2D cross-sections. Their printing demonstrations include a lattice, a
toy boat and a block M.

“It’s one of the first true 3D printers ever made,” said Burns, professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering.

But the true 3D approach is no mere stunt–it was necessary to
overcome the limitations of earlier vat-printing efforts. Namely, the
resin tends to solidify on the window that the light shines through,
stopping the print job just as it gets started.

By creating a relatively large region where no solidification
occurs, thicker resins–potentially with strengthening powder
additives–can be used to produce more durable objects. The method also
bests the structural integrity of filament 3D printing, as those objects
have weak points at the interfaces between layers.

“You can get much tougher, much more wear-resistant materials,” Scott said.

An earlier solution to the solidification-on-window problem was a
window that lets oxygen through. The oxygen penetrates into the resin
and halts the solidification near the window, leaving a film of fluid
that will allow the newly printed surface to be pulled away.

But because this gap is only about as thick as a piece of
transparent tape, the resin must be very runny to flow fast enough into
the tiny gap between the newly solidified object and the window as the
part is pulled up. This has limited vat printing to small, customized
products that will be treated relatively gently, such as dental devices
and shoe insoles.

By replacing the oxygen with a second light to halt solidification,
the Michigan team can produce a much larger gap between the object and
the window–millimeters thick–allowing resin to flow in thousands of
times faster.

The key to success is the chemistry of the resin. In conventional
systems, there is only one reaction. A photoactivator hardens the resin
wherever light shines. In the Michigan system, there is also a
photoinhibitor, which responds to a different wavelength of light.

Rather than merely controlling solidification in a 2D plane, as
current vat-printing techniques do, the Michigan team can pattern the
two kinds of light to harden the resin at essentially any 3D place near
the illumination window.

U-M has filed three patent applications to protect the multiple
inventive aspects of the approach, and Scott is preparing to launch a
startup company.

A paper describing this research will be published in Science Advances, titled, “Rapid, continuous additive manufacturing by volumetric polymerization inhibition patterning.”

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)

The Global Security News


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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: 3D Printing 100 Times Faster With Light

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Rather than building up plastic filaments layer by layer, a new
approach to 3D printing lifts complex shapes from a vat of liquid at up
to 100 times faster than conventional 3D printing processes, University
of Michigan researchers have shown.

3D printing could change the game for relatively small manufacturing
jobs, producing fewer than 10,000 identical items, because it would
mean that the objects could be made without the need for a mold costing
upwards of $10,000. But the most familiar form of 3D printing, which is
sort of like building 3D objects with a series of 1D lines, hasn’t been
able to fill that gap on typical production timescales of a week or
two.

“Using conventional approaches, that’s not really attainable unless
you have hundreds of machines,” said Timothy Scott, U-M associate
professor of chemical engineering who co-led the development of the new
3D printing approach with Mark Burns, the T.C. Chang Professor of
Engineering at U-M.

Their method solidifies the liquid resin using two lights to control
where the resin hardens–and where it stays fluid. This enables the
team to solidify the resin in more sophisticated patterns. They can make
a 3D bas-relief in a single shot rather than in a series of 1D lines or
2D cross-sections. Their printing demonstrations include a lattice, a
toy boat and a block M.

“It’s one of the first true 3D printers ever made,” said Burns, professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering.

But the true 3D approach is no mere stunt–it was necessary to
overcome the limitations of earlier vat-printing efforts. Namely, the
resin tends to solidify on the window that the light shines through,
stopping the print job just as it gets started.

By creating a relatively large region where no solidification
occurs, thicker resins–potentially with strengthening powder
additives–can be used to produce more durable objects. The method also
bests the structural integrity of filament 3D printing, as those objects
have weak points at the interfaces between layers.

“You can get much tougher, much more wear-resistant materials,” Scott said.

An earlier solution to the solidification-on-window problem was a
window that lets oxygen through. The oxygen penetrates into the resin
and halts the solidification near the window, leaving a film of fluid
that will allow the newly printed surface to be pulled away.

But because this gap is only about as thick as a piece of
transparent tape, the resin must be very runny to flow fast enough into
the tiny gap between the newly solidified object and the window as the
part is pulled up. This has limited vat printing to small, customized
products that will be treated relatively gently, such as dental devices
and shoe insoles.

By replacing the oxygen with a second light to halt solidification,
the Michigan team can produce a much larger gap between the object and
the window–millimeters thick–allowing resin to flow in thousands of
times faster.

The key to success is the chemistry of the resin. In conventional
systems, there is only one reaction. A photoactivator hardens the resin
wherever light shines. In the Michigan system, there is also a
photoinhibitor, which responds to a different wavelength of light.

Rather than merely controlling solidification in a 2D plane, as
current vat-printing techniques do, the Michigan team can pattern the
two kinds of light to harden the resin at essentially any 3D place near
the illumination window.

U-M has filed three patent applications to protect the multiple
inventive aspects of the approach, and Scott is preparing to launch a
startup company.

A paper describing this research will be published in Science Advances, titled, “Rapid, continuous additive manufacturing by volumetric polymerization inhibition patterning.”

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: New Policy Design Needed To Tackle Global Environmental Threat

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A pioneering new report has devised a seven-point plan to help
policymakers devise new, coherent and collaborative strategies to tackle
the greatest global environmental threats.

A team of international researchers, including experts from the
Land, Environment, Economics and Policy (LEEP) Institute at the
University of Exeter, has examined how politicians and legislators can
develop a new way to tackle the growing threat of climate change.

The perspective piece, which is published as the cover article in Nature Sustainability,
comes in response to advice from leading scientists, suggesting that
the human impact on the environment are already tipping the world into a
new geologically significant era.

Called the Anthropocene, this new era is defined by the effect
human-kind has already caused on Earth, from mass extinctions of plant
and animal species, polluted oceans and altered atmosphere.

In the new report, the scientists argue that while policies are
available, there also needs to be a new way to tackle the geographical,
boundary, spatial, ecological and socio-political complexities of the
issue; and that will require working together across disciplines.

Professor Ian Bateman of LEEP and co-author of the paper said: “The
paper shows that the integrated nature of the planetary boundary
problems requires an integrated policy response.

“Traditional policies tend to be highly piecemeal, highly
inefficient, prone to failure and can even be counterproductive. Such
policies take vital resources from key areas while providing short term
sticking-plaster efforts for high visibility, often politically
motivated causes.”

Recent research into the Anthropocene has suggested that there are multiple threats to the resilience of the Earth systems.

While the report acknowledges that there are no ‘simple solutions’,
it does outline seven guiding principles to help tackle the growing
environmental threat brought by man-made climate change.

These include selecting existing, robust policies to help formulate
policy decisions, the need for decisions to be made consistently across
regional, national and global boundaries, and a more conclusive look at
the true extent that the environment is being impacted.

The report is authored by Professor Bateman, Dr Donna Carless and
Amanda Robinson from Exeter, alongside some of the world’s leading
researchers in the field.

These include acclaimed natural scientists Professor Johan Rockström
(Stockholm Resilience Centre) and Professor Will Steffen (Australian
National University) – who pioneered the planetary boundary and
Anthropocene concepts – and eminent environmental economists including
Professor Thomas Sterner (University of Gothenburg), Professor Edward
Barbier (Colorado State University), Professor Carolyn Fischer
(Resources for the Future, Washington) and Professor Stephen Polasky
(University of Minnesota).

Together the team undertook the first unified assessment of the
policy options for tackling the challenges of the Anthropocene. These
include the integrated global problems of climate change; the pollution
of air, land, freshwater and sea; and the rapid loss of genetic
diversity around the world.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)

Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: New Policy Design Needed To Tackle Global Environmental Threat

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A pioneering new report has devised a seven-point plan to help
policymakers devise new, coherent and collaborative strategies to tackle
the greatest global environmental threats.

A team of international researchers, including experts from the
Land, Environment, Economics and Policy (LEEP) Institute at the
University of Exeter, has examined how politicians and legislators can
develop a new way to tackle the growing threat of climate change.

The perspective piece, which is published as the cover article in Nature Sustainability,
comes in response to advice from leading scientists, suggesting that
the human impact on the environment are already tipping the world into a
new geologically significant era.

Called the Anthropocene, this new era is defined by the effect
human-kind has already caused on Earth, from mass extinctions of plant
and animal species, polluted oceans and altered atmosphere.

In the new report, the scientists argue that while policies are
available, there also needs to be a new way to tackle the geographical,
boundary, spatial, ecological and socio-political complexities of the
issue; and that will require working together across disciplines.

Professor Ian Bateman of LEEP and co-author of the paper said: “The
paper shows that the integrated nature of the planetary boundary
problems requires an integrated policy response.

“Traditional policies tend to be highly piecemeal, highly
inefficient, prone to failure and can even be counterproductive. Such
policies take vital resources from key areas while providing short term
sticking-plaster efforts for high visibility, often politically
motivated causes.”

Recent research into the Anthropocene has suggested that there are multiple threats to the resilience of the Earth systems.

While the report acknowledges that there are no ‘simple solutions’,
it does outline seven guiding principles to help tackle the growing
environmental threat brought by man-made climate change.

These include selecting existing, robust policies to help formulate
policy decisions, the need for decisions to be made consistently across
regional, national and global boundaries, and a more conclusive look at
the true extent that the environment is being impacted.

The report is authored by Professor Bateman, Dr Donna Carless and
Amanda Robinson from Exeter, alongside some of the world’s leading
researchers in the field.

These include acclaimed natural scientists Professor Johan Rockström
(Stockholm Resilience Centre) and Professor Will Steffen (Australian
National University) – who pioneered the planetary boundary and
Anthropocene concepts – and eminent environmental economists including
Professor Thomas Sterner (University of Gothenburg), Professor Edward
Barbier (Colorado State University), Professor Carolyn Fischer
(Resources for the Future, Washington) and Professor Stephen Polasky
(University of Minnesota).

Together the team undertook the first unified assessment of the
policy options for tackling the challenges of the Anthropocene. These
include the integrated global problems of climate change; the pollution
of air, land, freshwater and sea; and the rapid loss of genetic
diversity around the world.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)

The Global Security News


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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: New Policy Design Needed To Tackle Global Environmental Threat

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A pioneering new report has devised a seven-point plan to help
policymakers devise new, coherent and collaborative strategies to tackle
the greatest global environmental threats.

A team of international researchers, including experts from the
Land, Environment, Economics and Policy (LEEP) Institute at the
University of Exeter, has examined how politicians and legislators can
develop a new way to tackle the growing threat of climate change.

The perspective piece, which is published as the cover article in Nature Sustainability,
comes in response to advice from leading scientists, suggesting that
the human impact on the environment are already tipping the world into a
new geologically significant era.

Called the Anthropocene, this new era is defined by the effect
human-kind has already caused on Earth, from mass extinctions of plant
and animal species, polluted oceans and altered atmosphere.

In the new report, the scientists argue that while policies are
available, there also needs to be a new way to tackle the geographical,
boundary, spatial, ecological and socio-political complexities of the
issue; and that will require working together across disciplines.

Professor Ian Bateman of LEEP and co-author of the paper said: “The
paper shows that the integrated nature of the planetary boundary
problems requires an integrated policy response.

“Traditional policies tend to be highly piecemeal, highly
inefficient, prone to failure and can even be counterproductive. Such
policies take vital resources from key areas while providing short term
sticking-plaster efforts for high visibility, often politically
motivated causes.”

Recent research into the Anthropocene has suggested that there are multiple threats to the resilience of the Earth systems.

While the report acknowledges that there are no ‘simple solutions’,
it does outline seven guiding principles to help tackle the growing
environmental threat brought by man-made climate change.

These include selecting existing, robust policies to help formulate
policy decisions, the need for decisions to be made consistently across
regional, national and global boundaries, and a more conclusive look at
the true extent that the environment is being impacted.

The report is authored by Professor Bateman, Dr Donna Carless and
Amanda Robinson from Exeter, alongside some of the world’s leading
researchers in the field.

These include acclaimed natural scientists Professor Johan Rockström
(Stockholm Resilience Centre) and Professor Will Steffen (Australian
National University) – who pioneered the planetary boundary and
Anthropocene concepts – and eminent environmental economists including
Professor Thomas Sterner (University of Gothenburg), Professor Edward
Barbier (Colorado State University), Professor Carolyn Fischer
(Resources for the Future, Washington) and Professor Stephen Polasky
(University of Minnesota).

Together the team undertook the first unified assessment of the
policy options for tackling the challenges of the Anthropocene. These
include the integrated global problems of climate change; the pollution
of air, land, freshwater and sea; and the rapid loss of genetic
diversity around the world.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Spain: Police Arrest 15 In Armenian Gang’s Tennis Match-Fixing Probe

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Spanish police arrested 15 people, and said another 68 have been investigated, as part of probe into tennis match-fixing by an Armenian criminal gang, Deadspin reports.

In a statement released on Thursday, January 10, the Spanish Civil Guard said that 28 of those 83 people are professional tennis players, one of whom took part in the last U.S. Open. The statement doesn’t name any of the individuals who have been investigated or detained.

“A group of Armenian individuals used a professional player who served
as the link between them and the other members of the network,” reads
the statement.

“Once the bribe had been paid, the Armenians went
to the match venues to use their imposing muscle to make sure that the
player kept their end of the deal. They then gave the order for bets to
be laid both nationally and internationally.”

The Civil Guard
said that the operation had been prompted by complaints from the Tennis
Integrity Unit, the sport’s anti-corruption body. Law enforcement began
to investigate a Spanish player, which led to the Armenian group.

According to the Civil Guard, which investigated the corruption along
with Europol and Spanish tax authorities, the match-fixing group had
been operating since at least February 2017, generating millions of
dollars in profit. During the operation, police searched 11 addresses in
Spain, finding €167,000, a handgun, stolen identity documents, jewelry,
more than 50 electronic devices, and five luxury vehicles. Law
enforcement froze 42 bank accounts.

As has been repeated in
numerous reports and investigations into corruption in tennis,
match-fixing is rampant in lower levels of professional tennis where
many thousands of players don’t make any money. Last month, yet another
report from the Independent Review Panel, which was tasked with finding
ways to clean up the sports after Buzzfeed and the BBC published a
report in 2016 that revealed widespread match-fixing, recommended that
there be no live streaming, or scoring data provided, at low-level
professional tennis tournaments.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)

Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Spain: Police Arrest 15 In Armenian Gang’s Tennis Match-Fixing Probe

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Spanish police arrested 15 people, and said another 68 have been investigated, as part of probe into tennis match-fixing by an Armenian criminal gang, Deadspin reports.

In a statement released on Thursday, January 10, the Spanish Civil Guard said that 28 of those 83 people are professional tennis players, one of whom took part in the last U.S. Open. The statement doesn’t name any of the individuals who have been investigated or detained.

“A group of Armenian individuals used a professional player who served
as the link between them and the other members of the network,” reads
the statement.

“Once the bribe had been paid, the Armenians went
to the match venues to use their imposing muscle to make sure that the
player kept their end of the deal. They then gave the order for bets to
be laid both nationally and internationally.”

The Civil Guard
said that the operation had been prompted by complaints from the Tennis
Integrity Unit, the sport’s anti-corruption body. Law enforcement began
to investigate a Spanish player, which led to the Armenian group.

According to the Civil Guard, which investigated the corruption along
with Europol and Spanish tax authorities, the match-fixing group had
been operating since at least February 2017, generating millions of
dollars in profit. During the operation, police searched 11 addresses in
Spain, finding €167,000, a handgun, stolen identity documents, jewelry,
more than 50 electronic devices, and five luxury vehicles. Law
enforcement froze 42 bank accounts.

As has been repeated in
numerous reports and investigations into corruption in tennis,
match-fixing is rampant in lower levels of professional tennis where
many thousands of players don’t make any money. Last month, yet another
report from the Independent Review Panel, which was tasked with finding
ways to clean up the sports after Buzzfeed and the BBC published a
report in 2016 that revealed widespread match-fixing, recommended that
there be no live streaming, or scoring data provided, at low-level
professional tennis tournaments.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)


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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Wuerl Knew McCarrick Abuse Allegations In 2004

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By Ed Condon and JD Flynn

An allegation of misconduct against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick was reported to Cardinal Donald Wuerl in 2004, despite Wuerl’s insistence he knew nothing about McCarrick’s alleged sexual misconduct until 2018.

Wuerl forwarded the report to the apostolic nuncio in Washington, DC, the Diocese of Pittsburgh said Thursday.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington confirmed to CNA that
an allegation against McCarrick was presented to Wuerl while he served
as Bishop of Pittsburgh, as part of a complaint made by laicized priest
Robert Ciolek.

In a statement, the Diocese of Pittsburgh said Jan. 10 that laicized
priest Robert Ciolek appeared in November 2004 before its diocesan
review board to discuss an allegation of abuse Ciolek had made against a
Pittsburgh priest.

During that meeting, “Mr. Ciolek also spoke of his abuse by
then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. This was the first time the Diocese of
Pittsburgh learned of this allegation,” the statement said.

“A few days later, then-Bishop Donald Wuerl made a report of the allegation to the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.”

The disclosure is the first confirmation by Church authorities that
Wuerl was aware of allegations against McCarrick before the Archdiocese
of New York announced in June 2018 a credible allegation of sexual abuse
of a minor made against McCarrick.

The news raises questions about 2018 statements from Wuerl that
denied he had even heard “rumors” about his predecessor as Archbishop of
Washington.

Ed McFadden, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington, told CNA
that in 2004 Ciolek “asked that his complaint against McCarrick be
forwarded to the [apostolic] nuncio. And it was.”

“Wuerl forwarded the file and his complaint to the nunciature in 2004.”

“At that time Ciolek asked for complete confidentiality, and that his name never be mentioned.”

The statement from the Diocese of Pittsburgh confirmed that Ciolek
had originally insisted on confidentiality, but also that he had
recently authorized the diocese to speak about the matter.

“Mr. Ciolek asked that the allegation regarding then-Cardinal
McCarrick be shared only with ecclesiastical – that is – Church
authorities,” the statement said.

“In November 2018 Mr. Ciolek authorized the Diocese of Pittsburgh to respond to press inquiries about this matter.”

The diocese confirmed that Ciolek visited Pittsburgh recently to
review files related to his complaint, and that diocesan officials were
aware that he intended to discuss the matter with the press.

Ciolek reached a settlement agreement with three New Jersey dioceses
in 2005 in connection with clerical sexual abuse allegations. The
settlement awarded Ciolek some $80,000 in response to allegations that
concerned both McCarrick and a Catholic school teacher.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh said it was not aware of the settlement
until July 2018. Similarly, the Archdiocese of Washington said Wuerl was
unaware of the 2005 settlement until that time.

Details of Ciolek’s settlement were first reported in September 2018. At that time, the Washington Post reported that the settlement agreement included references to Wuerl, and to the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Neither the Pittsburgh diocese nor McFadden offered detail on the
specific allegations made against McCarrick, but McFadden said they
concerned behavior by McCarrick at his New Jersey beach house, where the
archbishop is alleged to have shared beds with seminarians, and
exchanged backrubs with them.

McFadden said Ciolek “never claimed direct sexual engagement with McCarrick” in his complaint to Wuerl.

The news that Wuerl received a formal complaint against McCarrick as
early as 2004, and forwarded it to the apostolic nunciature in
Washington raises serious questions about the intended meaning of
Wuerl’s 2018 statements concerning McCarrick.

Wuerl wrote in a June 21 letter that he was “shocked and saddened” by allegations made against McCarrick.

In the same letter, Wuerl affirmed that “no claim – credible or
otherwise – has been made against Cardinal McCarrick during his time
here in Washington.”  

In a Jan. 10 statement, the Archdiocese of Washington said that
“Cardinal Wuerl has attempted to be accurate in addressing questions
about Archbishop McCarrick.  His statements previously referred to
claims of sexual abuse of a minor by Archbishop McCarrick, as well as
rumors of such behavior. The Cardinal stands by those statements, which
were not intended to be imprecise.”  

“Cardinal Wuerl has said that until the accusation of abuse of a
minor by Cardinal McCarrick was made in New York, no one from this
archdiocese has come forward with an accusation of abuse by Archbishop
McCarrick during his time in Washington.”

“It is important to note that Archbishop Theodore McCarrick was
appointed to the Archdiocese of Washington in November 2000 and named a
cardinal in February 2001, years before Mr. Ciolek made his claims.
Then-Bishop Wuerl was not involved in the decision-making process
resulting in the appointment and promotion.”

Wuerl’s resignation as Archbishop of Washington was accepted October
12, 2018. The cardinal was appointed by Pope Francis as apostolic
administrator, or interim leader, of the archdiocese until a successor
is appointed.

The cardinal fell under heavy criticism in the second half of last
year, after a Pennsylvania grand jury report about clerical sexual abuse
released in July raised questions about his leadership while he served
as Bishop of Pittsburgh.

Despite earning a reputation as an early champion of “zero-tolerance”
policies and the use of lay-led diocesan review boards to handle
accusations of clerical sexual abuse, Wuerl faced questions about his
handling of several cases during his time in Pittsburgh after he was
named more than 200 times in the grand jury report.

The disclosure also raises further questions about how McCarrick was
able to remain in office and in apparently unrestricted ministry during
retirement. In July 2018, a priest named Fr. Boniface Ramsey told the
New York Times that he expressed to Church authorities concerns about
McCarrick’s conduct with seminarians as early as 2000, when McCarrick
was appointed Archbishop of Washington.

Concerned by the appointment, Ramsey said that he contacted
then-nuncio Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo Higuera to report allegations of
McCarrick’s misconduct with seminarians in his beach house. Ramsey said
that he had heard accounts of this misconduct from his own seminary
students.
 
Ramsey said he put his concerns in writing at the request of Montalvo, who promised to forward them to Rome.

Ramsey subsequently released a letter from the Vatican’s Secretariat
of State, dated 2006 and signed by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri,
acknowledging his complaint of 2000, apparently confirming that Montalvo
had sent Ramsey’s letter to Rome.

Montalvo was still in his position when Wuerl reportedly forwarded
Ciolek’s complaint in 2004, and would remain in Washington until August
2006, when he died suddenly.

McFadden told CNA that while he could confirm Wuerl sent Ciolek’s
complaint to the nuncio as requested, neither he nor Wuerl were aware
that any further action was taken on the matter.

“As far as we can tell, the nunciature never acted on that, but we don’t have any more information.”

Montalvo’s successor as nuncio in Washington was Archbishop Pietro
Sambi. CNA has previously reported that in 2008, acting on explicit
instructions from Pope Benedict XVI, Sambi ordered McCarrick to move out of the archdiocesan seminary in which he was living during his retirement.

That order, and other measures which may have been imposed on
McCarrick during his retirement, were a central feature of the
allegations of Sambi’s own successor, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.

In his now-famous “testimony,” released in August last year, Vigano
insisted that Wuerl had been aware of restrictions placed on McCarrick
during his retirement for several years, and that they directly
concerned his interactions with seminarians.

In a subsequent letter, Vigano said that these measures were not
technically “sanctions” but “provisions,” “conditions,” and
restrictions,” and they may not have been imposed in writing by Pope
Benedict.

In response to Vigano’s claims, Wuerl denied “receiving documentation
or information from the Holy See specific to Cardinal McCarrick’s
behavior or any of the prohibitions on his life and ministry suggested
by Archbishop Vigano.”

Eurasia Review

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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Gamblers Predicted Brexit Before Financial Traders

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nternational finance markets lagged behind punters having a flutter
when it came to getting the Brexit result right on EU referendum night,
according to research.

A study shows that gamblers sensed the Leave vote coming an hour
before the currency experts in the city – creating a window of
“arbitrage” during which the price difference between betting and FX
markets yielded up to a 7% return on the pound.

Economists from the University of Cambridge compared the behaviours
of the Betfair betting market and the sterling-dollar exchange rate from
closure of the polls at 10pm, when odds of 10 to 1 were being offered
on Brexit.

Both markets were “informationally inefficient”: very slow to react
despite the data already available, as well as that flooding in from
vote counts across the country. This meant there was money to be made by
trading early on either market, say researchers.

The study shows the betting market moved to a Leave result around
3am, by which time Brexit odds had reversed (1 to 10). Yet the foreign
exchange market didn’t fully adjust to the reality of Brexit until
around 4am. At 4:40am the BBC predicted a Leave victory.

The difference in efficiency between the two markets created an hour
when selling £1 and hedging the result of the referendum on Betfair
would have made up to nine US cents of profit per pound sterling – a
significant “unleveraged return” that, in theory at least, could have
seen astute traders make millions.

Researchers say the findings support the idea that gambling, or
so-called “prediction markets”, might provide better forecasts of
election outcomes than either experts or polls.

“Clearly, punters trading on Betfair are a different group of people
to those dealing in FX for international finance. It looks like the
gamblers had a better sense that Leave could win, or that it could at
least go either way,” said Dr Tom Auld, lead author of the study
published recently in the International Journal of Forecasting.

“Our findings suggest that participants across both markets suffered
a behavioural bias as the results unfolded. Initially, both traders and
gamblers could not believe the UK was voting to leave the EU, but this
disbelief lingered far longer in the city.”

Auld and his co-author Prof Oliver Linton used the expected outcomes
for each voting area – data that was publicly available prior to the
referendum – to create a “forecasting model”.

By adjusting it with each actual result in turn, they say that their
model would have predicted the final result from around 1:30am had it
been deployed on the night.

“According to theories such as the ‘efficient market hypothesis’,
the markets discount all publicly available information, so you cannot
get an edge on the market with data already out there,” said Auld.

“However, using data publicly available at the time we show that the
financial markets were very inefficient, and should have predicted
Brexit possibly over two hours before they actually did.”

“If there is a second referendum, the vote should be better
understood by markets – in line with a theoretical concept called the
adaptive markets hypothesis. Studies such as ours will mean that market
participants will be primed to profit from any possible opportunities
and inefficiencies,” he said.

The researchers compared their modelling with gambling and currency
market data from EU referendum night. The website Betfair provided data
from their exchange platform – the world’s largest betting exchange –
between 10am on June 23 and 5am on June 24.

More than 182,000 individual bets were placed with Betfair and over
88,000 trades were made in the GBP futures market during this seven-hour
window. Trading on Brexit broke records for a political event on
Betfair, with over £128m wagered including over £50m that was matched on
the night of the vote itself.

“Prediction markets such as betting exchanges are an ‘incentive
compatible’ way to elicit the private opinions of participants, as
people are putting their money where their mouth is, whereas what they
tell pollsters can be cheap talk,” added Auld.

“Prediction markets could in theory be used to help value or price
financial assets during events such as major votes. This is an area I
will be focusing on for future research.”

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Another Drop In Energy Prices Leads To Negative US Inflation In December – Analysis

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The
overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell 0.1 percent in December due to a
3.5 percent drop in energy prices. This was the second consecutive
sharp drop in energy prices. This drop held the overall inflation rate
to just 1.9 percent over the last year, leading it to come in under the
core’s 2.2 percent year-over-year rate. In December, the core CPI
increased by 0.2 percent for the third consecutive month.

Rents
continue to be, by far, the largest cause of inflation in the core. The
shelter index rose by 0.3 percent in December and is up 3.2 percent
over the last year. The core index, excluding shelter, was up just 1.5
percent over the last year.

As
before, there are sharp differences in the rate of rental inflation
across cities. The West Coast cities continue to be the big problem
areas with Seattle and Portland both seeing rental inflation in the 5–6
percent range and Los Angeles having inflation in a 4–5 percent range.
In the last year there has been a sharp increase in the rate of rental
inflation in both Boston and Chicago, which has gone from near 2.0
percent to close to 4.0 percent. In contrast, rental inflation in the DC
area has remained near 2.0 percent.

Inflation
in most other areas of the CPI seems well under control. New vehicle
prices and apparel prices were both flat in December. Over the last
year, they are down 0.3 percent and are flat, respectively. Even
prescription drug prices seem under control, falling 0.4 percent in
December and dropping 0.6 percent over the last year. It is important to
remember that the CPI shows the change in the price of drugs already on
the market. It is not affected by new drugs being introduced at high
prices.

Auto
insurance prices, which had been a major factor driving inflation, fell
0.2 percent in December, the second consecutive decrease. They are now
up 4.6 percent over the last year. The drop in energy costs sent airline
fares down by 1.5 percent, following a drop of 2.4 percent in November.
They are down 2.6 percent over the last year.

Tuition
costs, which had been well contained earlier in the year, are showing
some evidence of acceleration. They rose 0.2 percent in December and are
up 2.7 percent over the last year. College tuition is up 2.8 percent
over the last year.

There
also is some evidence that medical care services are returning as a
problem area. The price of services increased 0.4 percent for the second
consecutive month. They are now up 2.6 percent over the last year.
Inflation in hospital services has been even higher, coming in at 0.5
percent the last two months and 3.7 percent over the last year.

Health
insurance costs (these are purely administrative costs, net of payments
to providers) also are becoming a bigger problem. They rose 1.3 percent
in December and are up 5.4 percent over the last year. This is the
highest year-over-year rate of increase in two years.

However,
in spite of the evidence of some acceleration of inflation in the
traditional problem areas of education and health care, there is zero
evidence of increasing inflation in CPI as a whole. While the sharp drop
in energy prices is a onetime occurrence that will not be repeated,
inflation is not accelerating at all in the core. The annualized rate,
comparing the last three months (October, November, December) with the
prior three (July, August, September), is just 2.0 percent, down
slightly from the 2.2 percent rate over the last year.

On
the whole, this report shows a very positive picture. Inflation is
well-contained almost everywhere, with the important qualification that
health care services and education may be returning as major problem
areas. The fact that inflation appears to be slowing, rather than
accelerating, indicates that the Federal Reserve has little to fear
about out-of-control inflation in the immediate future. And, the slower
rate of overall inflation is translating into healthy real wage growth.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)

Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: US To Maintain Military Presence In Syria After Withdrawal – OpEd

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The US Secretary
of State Mike Pompeo delivered contradictory messages in a speech in Cairo on
Thursday, January 18. On the one hand, he said Washington will withdraw
American troops from Syria in line with Donald Trump’s momentous announcement
on December 19, and on the other, he emphasized the US will continue fighting
the Islamic State and will also contain the influence of Iran in the Middle
East region.

Obviously, both
these divergent goals are impossible to achieve, unless Washington is planning
to maintain some sort of long-term military presence in Syria. In an exclusive
report
[1] by the Middle East Eye’s Turkey correspondent, Ragip Soylu, he
contends that the US delegation presented a five-point document to the Turkish
officials during National Security Advisor John Bolton’s recent visit to
Turkey.

“Those in
attendance with Bolton during the two-hour meeting at the presidential palace
in Ankara included General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, and James Jeffrey, the US special envoy to the anti-Islamic State
coalition,” according to the report.

A senior
Trump administration official briefed on objectives outlined at the meeting,
speaking to the reporter, said, “As the president has stated, the US will
maintain whatever capability is necessary for operations needed to prevent the
Islamic State’s resurgence.”

And then the
reporter makes a startling revelation, though hidden deep in the report and
mentioned only cursorily: “The US is not withdrawing from the base at al-Tanf
at this time,” the official said. The revelation hardly comes as a surprise,
though, as John Bolton alluded to maintaining long-term US military presence at
the al-Tanf base during his visit to Jerusalem on Sunday, January 6.

The al-Tanf
military base is strategically located in southeastern Syria on the border
between Syria, Iraq and Jordan, and it sits on a critically important
Damascus-Baghdad highway, which serves as a lifeline for Damascus. Washington
has illegally occupied 55-kilometer area around al-Tanf since 2016 and trained
a Syrian militant group Maghawir al-Thawra there.

Thus, for all
practical purposes, it appears the withdrawal of American troops from Syria
will be limited to Manbij and Kobani in northern Syria and Qamishli and
al-Hasakah in northeastern Syria in order to address the concerns of Washington’s
NATO-ally Turkey pertaining to the Kurdish militias which Ankara regards as “terrorists,”
and the fate of US forces operating alongside Kurds in Deir al-Zor in eastern
Syria and al-Tanf military base in particular is still in doubt.

The regions
currently being administered by the Kurds in Syria include the Kurdish-majority
Qamishli and al-Hasakah in northeastern Syria along the border with Iraq, and
the Arab-majority towns of Manbij to the west of the Euphrates River in
northern Syria and Kobani to the east of the Euphrates River along the Turkish
border.

The oil- and
natural gas-rich Deir al-Zor governorate in eastern Syria has been contested
between the Syrian government and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, and
it also contains a few pockets of the remnants of the Islamic State militants
alongside both eastern and western banks of the Euphrates River.

The Turkish
“east of Euphrates” military doctrine basically means that the Turkish armed
forces would not tolerate the presence of the Syrian PYD/YPG Kurds – which the
Turks regard as “terrorists” allied to the PKK Kurdish separatist group in
Turkey – in Manbij and Kobani, in line with the longstanding Turkish policy of
denying the Kurds any territory in the traditionally Arab-majority areas of
northern Syria along Turkey’s southern border.

Regarding
the evacuation of American troops from the Kurdish-held areas in northern
Syria, clearly an understanding has been reached between Washington and Ankara.
According to the terms of the agreement, the Erdogan administration released
the US pastor Andrew Brunson on October 12, which had been a longstanding
demand of the Trump administration, and has also decided not to make public the
audio recordings of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in
Istanbul on October 2, which could have implicated another American-ally the
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in the assassination.

In return,
the Trump administration has complied with Erdogan’s longstanding demand to
evacuate American forces from the Kurdish-held areas in northern Syria. Another
demand Erdogan must have made to Washington is to pressure Saudi Arabia to lift
the Saudi-UAE blockade against Qatar imposed in June 2017, which is
ideologically aligned to Erdogan’s AKP party since both follow the ideology of
the Muslim Brotherhood, in return for not making public the audio recordings of
the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

It bears
mentioning that after the Khashoggi assassination and the international outrage
it generated against the Saudi royal family, Saudi Arabia is already trying to assuage
Qatar as it invited Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to attend the
Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Riyadh on December 10, though Doha snubbed the
goodwill gesture by sending a low-ranking official to the meeting.

The reason
why the Trump administration is bending over backwards to appease Ankara is
that Turkish President Erdogan has been drifting away from Washington’s orbit
into the Kremlin’s sphere of influence. Turkey, which has the second largest
army in NATO, has been cooperating with Moscow in Syria against Washington’s
interests for the last couple of years and has also placed an order for the
Russian-made S-400 missile system, though that deal, too, has been thrown into
jeopardy after Washington’s recent announcement of selling $3.5 billion worth
of Patriot missile systems to Ankara.

In order to
understand the significance of relationship between Washington and Ankara, it’s
worth noting that the United States has been conducting airstrikes against
targets in Syria from the Incirlik airbase and around fifty American B-61
hydrogen bombs have also been deployed there, whose safety became a matter of
real concern during the foiled July 2016 coup plot against the Erdogan
administration; when the commander of the Incirlik airbase, General Bekir Ercan
Van, along with nine other officers were arrested for supporting the coup;
movement in and out of the base was denied, power supply was cut off and the security
threat level was raised to the highest state of alert, according to a report
[2] by Eric Schlosser for the New Yorker.

Perceptive
readers who have been keenly watching Erdogan’s behavior since the foiled July
2016 coup plot against the Erdogan administration must have noticed that
Erdogan has committed quite a few reckless and impulsive acts during the last
few years.

Firstly, the
Turkish air force shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jet on the border
between Syria and Turkey on 24 November 2015 that brought the Turkish and
Russian armed forces to the brink of a full-scale confrontation in Syria.

Secondly,
the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was assassinated at an art
exhibition in Ankara on the evening of 19 December 2016 by an off-duty Turkish
police officer, Mevlut Mert Altintas, who was suspected of being an Islamic
fundamentalist.

Thirdly, the
Turkish military mounted the seven-month-long Operation Euphrates Shield in
northern Syria immediately after the attempted coup plot from August 2016 to
March 2017 that brought the Turkish military and its Syrian militant proxies
head-to-head with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and their US backers.

Fourthly, Ankara
invaded Idlib in northwestern Syria in October 2017 on the pretext of enforcing
a de-escalation zone between the Syrian militants and the Syrian government,
despite official protest from Damascus that the Turkish armed forces were in
violation of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

And lastly, Turkey
mounted Operation Olive Branch in the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin in
northwestern Syria from January to March 2018. And after capturing Afrin in
March last year, the Turkish armed forces and their Syrian jihadist proxies
have now set their sights further east on Manbij and Kobani.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)

Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Belarusian President Has Begun To Speak Belarusian – OpEd

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It is the most obvious indication of the unique problems Belarus faces that it is a headline for an article by Yuiya Telpuk on the Belsat.eu portal that “Aleksandr Lukashenko has begun to speak Belarusian” (belsat.eu/ru/in-focus/aleksandr-lukashenko-zagovoril-po-belorusski/). 

As she points out, this is how it should be. “Trump speaks English. Macron speaks French.” And now “Putin and Lukashenka are losing a common language” because Belarusian President Lukashenka has shifted from Russian to his own in order to stress that “we are proud of our history and land. We know our roots and honor our traditions.”

But what makes this newsworthy is that Lukashenka has rarely used Belarusian and has even slandered it by saying all too publicly that “One can’t express anything great in Belarus. The Belarusian language is a poor language. In the world, there exist only two great languages, Russian and English.”

After becoming president, he orchestrated a referendum which deprived Belarusian of its unique status as a national language and “adopted a course in the direction of Russia,” according to Sergey Naumchik, who was a deputy in the country’s Supreme Soviet between 1991 and 1996.

“In a situation when the Kremlin is beginning the swallowing up of Belarus or more precisely accelerating that process,” he says, “[Lukashenka] intuitively feels that he must do something to save himself … through national identity, the foundations of which are language, history, the coat of arms and the flag.”

But if Lukashenka is serious, he is going to have to give more than a three-minute speech in the national language, Naumchik continues. He must “return the status of Belarusian as the only state language, return the coat of arms and the white-red-white flag, open in Minsk and the oblasts Belarusian language schools” and monitor pro-Russian groups in all parts of the country.

“For a quarter of a century,” the former deputy says, “the language has been developing in the non-governmental sector and is widely sued in the media. It is fighting for users through special projects, literature and the Internet.” Ever more is being achieved, “but a quick result will be achieved only via Lukashenka.”  And Belarus needs that.

Vitaly Tsygankov, a Belarusian commentator for Radio Svoboda, agrees.  If Lukashenka does make these moves, “this would be a signal” that even more could be done to build up the unity of Belarus against foreign occupation. And importantly it would send a signal to the officials in the country that a new wind is blowing, one away from Moscow rather than toward it.

Eurasia Review

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Rewards And Risks In Philippines’ China Gambit – Analysis

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Renewed ties between the Philippines and China are
bearing fruit, but questions about the sustainability of this policy,
especially after 2022, linger. Notwithstanding delays in agreed
infrastructure projects, the upswing in relations spurred trade,
tourism, investments and other functional areas of cooperation,
including law enforcement. China can have a transformative impact on the
Philippine economy. The challenge is ensuring such engagement does not
diminish the country’s foreign policy independence and harm its
interests in the West Philippine Sea. Manila is not alone in this
dilemma: it is also debated in other Southeast Asian capitals. While
good-neighbor relations are critical, a diversified trade and security
portfolio remain effective cushions against coercive economic
statecraft.

Underrated gains outside infrastructure

President Xi Jinping’s Nov. 20-21 visit to Manila
reaffirmed the commitment of both countries to manage disputes, build
confidence, and expand economic cooperation. Twenty-four of the 29 cooperation documents signed during Xi’s visit implement seven of the 13 agreements signed during President Duterte’s October 2016 state visit to China. Plainly, both sides are working to sustain the momentum
in relations. The leadership of both countries is under pressure to
deliver gains from better relations. China seems to have responded well
to the call.

Infrastructure is an insufficient yardstick to
assess Philippine gains from improved ties. Project delays are
attributable largely to domestic factors, such as poor absorptive
capacity, administrative bottlenecks, and difficulties in procuring
right-of-way. These problems are not endemic to China-backed projects
but hinder most infrastructure projects regardless of funder or builder.
The Metro Rail Transit System Line 7 project awarded to a
Filipino-Korean consortium in 2008 did not reach financial closure until
2016 and did not break ground until 2017. Moreover, right-of-way issues on the planned depot in Bulacan may delay project completion to 2020.

Recognizing these hurdles, a 2016 Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) between the Philippines’ Finance Department (DOF)
and China’s Ministry of Commerce Supporting the Conduct of Feasibility
Studies for Major Projects was signed. A similar MOU was inked between
DOF and China’s newly-established International Development Cooperation
Agency during Xi’s visit. Two feasibility study implementation
agreements for the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridge and the Davao
City Expressway Project were also signed.

The windfall from warmer ties is evident in other areas. China became the Philippines’ largest trade partner in 2016, its second largest source of tourists in 2017 and, in August this year, the country’s top export market. Chinese tourists recorded the fastest growth with a 34.9 percent yearly increase. In the first three quarters of 2018, over 972,000 Chinese visitors arrived and the total is forecast to reach 1.5 million by year’s end. Exports of Philippine tropical fruits increased by 50 percent in 2017. Filipino companies bagged $124 million
worth of sales in China’s first international import expo held in
Shanghai last month. Chinese company 51Talk already employs 15,000
Filipinos teaching English to Chinese students online and plans to hire 100,000
more in the next five years. Given the huge China market, this promises
to be a sunrise industry for the world’s third largest English-speaking
nation. China also intends to hire 10,000
Filipino household workers with salary offers higher than those in Hong
Kong on direct government-to-government arrangements that can ensure
greater protection for workers.

China has become the major driver of the Philippines’ real estate boom. Mainland buyers account for half
the international sales of local real estate companies Ayala Land and
DMCI. Construction and tourism have a strong trickle-down effect on
local and informal economies, creating jobs and opportunities in food,
transport, retail, services, and hospitality sectors.

Chinese investments, while still lagging others, registered a 67 percent annual increase.
While the first major wave of Chinese investments since the improvement
of ties largely focused on the gaming sector, there is great potential
to diversify and scale-up. Technical vocational education and training
exchanges can help upgrade Filipino skills. A signed MOU on Basic
Education can facilitate this. With the first batch of K-12 students
graduating this year, some of whom are already looking for work
opportunities, skills training and incoming investments are welcome.

Mitigating risks, measured responses

Apart from bureaucratic impediments to
infrastructure projects, other challenges beset reinvigorated ties. They
include debt sustainability, corruption and institutional
vulnerability, and concerns about China’s increasing military footprint
in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). Despite bilateral and regional
dialogues and confidence-building measures, the public remains wary of
China’s presence in waters close to home. A joint oil and gas
exploration project may revive upstream activities suspended since
tensions erupted in 2012, but the agreement still has to pass
constitutional scrutiny.

Meanwhile, responding to hyped fears of a debt
trap, Secretary of Finance Dominguez reassured the public that soft
loans from China for the Philippines’ Build, Build, Build program will
only constitute 0.65 percent
of government debt this year and will increase to just 4.5 percent by
2022. Such debt is in fact lower than Japanese concessional loans, which
will grow from 8.9 percent this year to 9.5 percent by 2022. He also said that government will not seek funding for projects that will not pay off.

The surge in Chinese workers in the Philippines also triggered a Senate probe. Estimates
of 50,000 to 115,000 alien employment permits were issued to Chinese
nationals from 2015 to 2017. While many work in the online gaming sector
that caters to the Chinese market, which requires Chinese language
proficiency, there were reports that they were also working in
construction, giving rise to charges of stealing jobs from locals.
However, efforts to crack down on foreigners violating immigration and
labor laws should be done with caution to ensure they do not scare
legitimate investors and tourists – in other words, the majority of
Chinese people flows to the country. President Duterte also said that
rash actions may trigger a backlash against the estimated 200,000 Filipinos illegally working in China, mostly as household workers and tutors.

The involvement of Chinese nationals in criminal
activities, such as the drug trade, illegal online gambling, and
financial fraud largely targeting their fellow Chinese back home
increases the salience of bilateral law enforcement cooperation. A
tip-off from Xiamen Customs authorities, for instance, resulted in the biggest drug bust in Philippine history last year.

Chinese criminals may ride the wave of warmer ties
to migrate illegal activities, thinking they can bribe their way out of
the local justice system. To this end, both sides are fast-tracking
discussions for an agreement on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This
was taken up in the Joint Statement issued during Xi’s visit. While it
may not be foolproof, harsher penalties and strict enforcement may deter
Chinese nationals from engaging in crimes while in the Philippines. The

PRC claim for custody even over Taiwanese may
present irritants in Manila’s relations with Taipei, especially given
souring cross-strait ties.

In sum, economic convergence is driving relations between the Philippines and China closer. Both sides realize the value of cooperation in addressing issues of mutual concern. It remains a challenge, however, to translate that top-level understanding to bureaucracies and to reassure the public.

This article was published by Pacific Forum

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)

Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Gloomy Outlook For Syria As Assad Consolidates Power – OpEd

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By Mohamed Chebaro*

If 2018 is to be recorded in history as the year the Syrian uprising against the rule of the Assad dynasty was defeated, 2019 is likely to be the year that will see steps to rehabilitate the regime of Bashar Assad, who is likely to continue as the head of the Syrian state for a long time to come thanks to Iranian and Russian help.

Arab countries have convinced themselves that containment is better than confrontation if they are to continue to oppose Iranian meddling in Arab affairs, as well as to contain Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s resurging ambitions to lead the Islamic world.

In 2019, European countries will also likely join the overtures that were started by Arab countries to re-engage with the Damascus regime. But, make no mistake, Syria after the rebellion and subsequent war will be a fractured country for a long time; mentored and manipulated by an array of forces with divergent interests. Assad and his cronies are likely to rule indefinitely, aided by Russia, Iran and, to a lesser extent, Turkey and an absent America under President Donald Trump. The US is racing to create new realities on the ground that will weaken Syria further, but will stop short of eclipsing the Assad family’s rule.

Russia under Vladimir Putin has made no secret of its resurgent voice in the Middle East and on the international stage. Russian military power and diplomacy worked to prop up and consolidate the Assad regime’s grip on power and to rehabilitate its state institutions following its decisive air power deployment in September 2015, which helped pulverize the opposition groups.

The Iranians are also working parallel to the Russians, seeking to modify the composition of the Syrian demographic by resettling, in depopulated areas, the families of imported sectarian militia fighters from Iraq, Lebanon, Iran and Afghanistan as a thank you for helping to prevent the fall of Assad.

The Syrian opposition groups have, for a long time, warned that paramilitary units working alongside regime forces will become the norm in the Syria of the future. Opposition sources allege that a model similar to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces and Yemen’s Houthis will see such militia units trained and armed by Tehran. The militias have the organization and the lethal force capabilities to check the authority of the national armed forces, the police and other internal security organs.

Turkey, on the other hand, would be content to see that Syria’s Kurdish minority is tamed and not granted any autonomous areas that could, in future, fuel similar demands north of the border, where Turkey’s 10 million Kurds reside. Turkey is also likely to push to keep its 10-20 km buffer zone inside Syria as a safety valve against any Syrian government plans for a Kurdish autonomous area, even if backed by Moscow.

The Arab countries that initially supported the rebellion against Assad have shown pragmatism. Sudanese President Omar Bashir’s recent visit to Damascus and meeting with Assad is a clear indication that the anti-Assad Arab countries are ready to do business with him again. The UAE was the first to announce it would resume work at its embassy in Damascus, with Bahrain swiftly following suit.

Syria under Assad is in no hurry to turn the page and commit to political reform and power-sharing, which would pave the way for reconstruction efforts and the return of the millions of Syrians who fled the violence. That is why it is no surprise to hear Syrian opposition figures and activists speak of the need to repatriate the largest possible number of Syrian refugees to their country, even with limited or no international, regional or local safety guarantees. Those opposition figures warn of controversial efforts to encourage Syrian refugees in neighboring Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey to emigrate West rather than return to their homeland without proper security guarantees.

So there is a gloomy outlook for Syria and half of the Syrian people for 2019. As UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said recently: “The British long-standing position is that we won’t have lasting peace in Syria with that (Assad-led) regime, but regretfully we do think he’s going to be around for a while.”

Statements such as this give credence to the dark Syrian humor that has been circulating lately that Assad might as well start prepping his 17-year-old son Hafez (named after the late president and Bashar’s father, who ruled Syria from 1971 to 2000) to succeed him as president one day.

Mohamed Chebaro is a British-Lebanese journalist with more than 25 years’ experience covering war, terrorism, defense, current affairs and diplomacy. He is also a media consultant and trainer.

Eurasia Review

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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1. World from Michael_Novakhov (22 sites): World: Top US Navy officer to visit China amid heightened tensions

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The U.S. Navy’s top officer will visit China beginning Sunday amid increasing frictions between the two militaries in the South China Sea and other issues pointing to their rivalry for dominance in Asia

World

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1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (114 sites): Настоящее Время: Спустя 23 года в Свердловской области расселили жильцов дома, пострадавшего от взрыва газа

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В Свердловской области спустя почти четверть века расселяют многоквартирный дом, в котором взрывом газа разрушило подъезд. Все эти годы люди, по их собственному признанию, жили как на пороховой бочке. Конструкцию дома повело, в квартирах сдвинулись стены, а обои отклеивались от плесени.

В 1995 году в поселке Вересовка в Свердловской области из-за взрыва газового баллона обрушился крайний подъезд пятиэтажки. Его жильцов переселили в том же году. Обитатели других подъездов ждали расселения 23 года.

“Вот сколько люди ждали и в итоге дождались, только, господи, на кладбище. Не дождались 15 квартир из старых жильцов, из 45”, – говорит Татьяна Михалева.

Все эти годы власти не признавали дом аварийным. Жильцы писали депутатам Госдумы, губернатору, президенту и во все надзорные органы и получали стандартный ответ – дом не аварийный, в нем можно жить. Хотя жильцы утверждают обратное.

“И стены дрожали, и вода лилась, и потолок вот 23 года как “бежал”, так и бежит”, – рассказывает Алена Паульс.

Квартира Максима Луткова находится через стенку от разрушенного подъезда. Тонкая перегородка постоянно промерзала зимой, протекала весной и осенью, а летом покрывалась грибком. Однако формально, по бумагам, жилье Луткова от взрыва не пострадало. После магнитогорской трагедии Максим сочувствует жителям подъездов, которые власти признали пригодными для жизни. Мужчина, проживший в полуразрушенном доме много лет, уверен, что у жильцов дома в Магнитогорске могут быть проблемы.

“Мы прожили тут, грубо говоря, 25 лет, и мы понимаем, что это такое. Постоянная протечка труб, постоянная протечка крыши, потому что дом будет гулять, стояки будут гулять. Все это будет гулять, потому что после взрыва в любом случае нарушилась геометрия дома. Постоянная плесень, промерзание стен”, – рассказывает Максим Лутков.

Сейчас все мысли жителей многострадального дома в Вересовке о скором переезде. Спустя 23 года после взрыва газа власти наконец решили демонтировать разрушенный подъезд, при этом не расселяя жильцов уцелевших подъездов. Но Следственный комитет нашел в этом нарушение закона и возбудил уголовное дело по статьям “Халатность” и “Превышение должностных полномочий”. В областном бюджете тут же нашлись 100 млн рублей, и в конце декабря 45 семей получили ключи от новых квартир.

Однако их старый дом, несмотря на все разрушения, сносить никто не планирует. В следующем году здесь хотят сделать капитальный ремонт и передать многоэтажку в маневренный фонд. Это значит, что в ближайшие годы туда снова могут заселиться люди.

Настоящее Время

1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (114 sites)


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The FBI News Review: NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing – MyDaytonDailyNews

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January 11, 2019
NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing – MyDaytonDailyNews
Report: FBI probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russia – Philly.com
NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing | FOX13 – FOX13 Memphis
What if the Obstruction Was the Collusion? On the New York Times’s Latest Bombshell – Lawfare
Trump seeks to enlist a key surrogate in political fight over his wall — Border Patrol agents – The Washington Post

NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing – MyDaytonDailyNews

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NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing
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Report: FBI probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russia – Philly.com

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Report: FBI probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russia  Philly.comThe New York Times reports that law enforcement officials became so concerned by President Donald Trump’s behavior in the days after he fired FBI Director …
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NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing | FOX13 – FOX13 Memphis

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What if the Obstruction Was the Collusion? On the New York Times’s Latest Bombshell – Lawfare

Lawfare
Shortly before the holidays, I received a call from New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt asking me to meet with him about some reporting he had done. Schmidt did not describe the subject until we met up, when he went over with me a portion of the congressional interview of former FBI General Counsel James Baker, who was then my Brookings colleague and remains my Lawfare colleague.
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Trump seeks to enlist a key surrogate in political fight over his wall — Border Patrol agents – The Washington Post

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In his political fight for a border wall, President Trump has enlisted a new group of surrogates to join conservative talk show hosts and Republican allies in making a public case — Border Patrol agents.
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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): The Global Security Review from Michael_Novakhov (11 sites): The FBI News Review: NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing – MyDaytonDailyNews

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January 11, 2019
NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing – MyDaytonDailyNews
Report: FBI probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russia – Philly.com
NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing | FOX13 – FOX13 Memphis
What if the Obstruction Was the Collusion? On the New York Times’s Latest Bombshell – Lawfare
Trump seeks to enlist a key surrogate in political fight over his wall — Border Patrol agents – The Washington Post

NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing – MyDaytonDailyNews

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NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing
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Report: FBI probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russia – Philly.com

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Report: FBI probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russia  Philly.comThe New York Times reports that law enforcement officials became so concerned by President Donald Trump’s behavior in the days after he fired FBI Director …
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NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing | FOX13 – FOX13 Memphis

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0 NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing
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What if the Obstruction Was the Collusion? On the New York Times’s Latest Bombshell – Lawfare

Lawfare
Shortly before the holidays, I received a call from New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt asking me to meet with him about some reporting he had done. Schmidt did not describe the subject until we met up, when he went over with me a portion of the congressional interview of former FBI General Counsel James Baker, who was then my Brookings colleague and remains my Lawfare colleague.
Read More

Trump seeks to enlist a key surrogate in political fight over his wall — Border Patrol agents – The Washington Post

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In his political fight for a border wall, President Trump has enlisted a new group of surrogates to join conservative talk show hosts and Republican allies in making a public case — Border Patrol agents.
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The Global Security Review from Michael_Novakhov (11 sites): The FBI News Review: NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing – MyDaytonDailyNews

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January 11, 2019
NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing – MyDaytonDailyNews
Report: FBI probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russia – Philly.com
NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing | FOX13 – FOX13 Memphis
What if the Obstruction Was the Collusion? On the New York Times’s Latest Bombshell – Lawfare
Trump seeks to enlist a key surrogate in political fight over his wall — Border Patrol agents – The Washington Post

NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing – MyDaytonDailyNews

MyDaytonDailyNews
NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing
Read More

Report: FBI probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russia – Philly.com

Philly.com
Report: FBI probed whether Trump secretly worked for Russia  Philly.comThe New York Times reports that law enforcement officials became so concerned by President Donald Trump’s behavior in the days after he fired FBI Director …
Read More

NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing | FOX13 – FOX13 Memphis

FOX13 Memphis
0 NYT: FBI began investigating Trump as possible threat to national security after Comey firing
Read More

What if the Obstruction Was the Collusion? On the New York Times’s Latest Bombshell – Lawfare

Lawfare
Shortly before the holidays, I received a call from New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt asking me to meet with him about some reporting he had done. Schmidt did not describe the subject until we met up, when he went over with me a portion of the congressional interview of former FBI General Counsel James Baker, who was then my Brookings colleague and remains my Lawfare colleague.
Read More

Trump seeks to enlist a key surrogate in political fight over his wall — Border Patrol agents – The Washington Post

The Washington Post
In his political fight for a border wall, President Trump has enlisted a new group of surrogates to join conservative talk show hosts and Republican allies in making a public case — Border Patrol agents.
Read More
Feeling mobile? Get the Feedly app and read on the go
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FBI News Review: “fbi movies on netflix” – Google News: Friday, Jan. 11: Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ Is Comic Therapy – Channel Guide Magazine

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Friday, Jan. 11: Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ Is Comic Therapy  Channel Guide Magazine

This comedy follows Otis (Asa Butterfield), an inexperienced, socially awkward high school student who lives with his mother (Gillian Anderson), a sex therapist.

“fbi movies on netflix” – Google News

FBI News Review


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Stars and Stripes: Iraq War vet Rep. Tulsi Gabbard says she will seek Democratic nomination for president

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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, listed criminal justice reform, climate change and health care as issues that she was interested in solving if elected.

Stars and Stripes

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (114 sites): Voice of America: Report: FBI Probed Whether Trump Secretly Worked for Russia

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The New York Times reported late Friday that law enforcement officials became so concerned by President Donald Trump’s behavior in the days after he fired FBI Director James Comey that they began investigating whether he had been working for Russia against U.S. interests. 

The report cites unnamed former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

Special counsel Robert Mueller took over the investigation when he was appointed soon after Comey’s firing. The Times said it was unclear whether Mueller was still pursuing it.

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the Times that he had no knowledge of the inquiry but said that since it was opened a year and a half ago and they hadn’t heard anything, apparently “they found nothing.”

Voice of America

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