Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Putin and Trump. What does their relations mean to global security? Tuesday February 7th, 2017 at 8:25 PM

Putin and Trump. What does their relations mean to global security?

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Putin and Trump. What does their relations mean to global security?

Sun, 05 Feb 2017 05:39:00 +0300
After Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the United States of America, numerous representatives of the international expert community have been disputing over whether his policies are going to match those promised by him during the 2016 election campaign. Among other related issues, the experts have been actively discussing the threats to the international mass media and the entire global security coming from the possibility of closer ties between Moscow and Washington.
Among the key issues on the agenda are the hacker attacks on the 
USA
 that allegedly were initiated by Russia and helped Trump win the election in exchange for his loyalty to Russia. Some of the experts say that without getting familiar with the data provided by American secret agencies, it’s difficult to figure out whether this is really true. Without this, it’s too premature to say that Trump and Putin have been involved in some conspiracy against the 
USA
 the Western world in general.
Others underline the fact that the secret agencies were focused on the very fact of those hacker attacks instead of focusing on their degree of the impact made on the latest presidential election in the United States. That’s why they hope that the special investigation initiated by the Senate is going to find out the truth. For those of you who don’t know, the purpose of the investigation is to find out the degree of the impact. The public version of the CIA report doesn’t look consistent at best. Some experts believe that this has to do with the fact that the secret agency is reluctant to make public the sources of information and the ways of obtaining the information.
At the same time, some other experts draw our attention to the fact that the initial source of information about Russia’s involvement in the hacker attacks was a private company named CrowdStrike, not the CIA. To be more specific, they say that Putin and his mates are former members of the Russian secret service, which influenced the ways and means they had chosen to reach to goals in the international arena. They say, even Putin himself was surprised with the end result since he didn’t expect those attacks to be such a huge success. However, they experts say that now that everyone seems to have figured out what secret games Moscow has been playing so far, the EU and the rest of the Western world will be able to stay alert. There are experts that say that Putting has some compromising evidences on President Trump, which is why Washington is likely to stay loyal to Moscow.
Anyway, the international expert community is mostly inclined to think that Trump’s policies are going to be based on ideas and principles rather than deals. At the same time, they are afraid that the freedom of speech in America is in jeopardy since Trump is very sensitive about what they say about him in the media.
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Brexit. Which Way Will London Quit EU?

At this point, London is at the crossroads and choosing the way to quit the European Union. What are those possible ways the UK government is currently choosing from?
Just in case you still don’t know, we remind you that the High Court of London finally decided to reject the appeal made by the British Government regarding the High Court’s previous decision. The decision forces the Government to initiate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty only if the British Parliament approves it. In case the Parliament doesn’t support the Brexit scenario, any further related steps initiated by the UK Government will be considered a violation.
Publication date: 07 February 05:56 AM

UK Government Must Get Parliament’s Approval to Implement Brexit, High Court Insists

The High Court of London has ordered the British Government to get the Parliament’s approval first, if they want to initiate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to launch the process of quitting the European Union, which is also known as the Brexit.
Publication date: 06 February 03:14 AM

Beijing Placed Ballistic Missiles Close To Russia-China Border

According to Global Times, a Chinese media source, China has placed ballistic missiles close to the border with Russia. All in all, there are 3 missile units placed in several parts along the border. These are Dongfeng-41 (DF-41) missiles.
Publication date: 06 February 02:23 AM

Trump's Attempts To Calm Putin Down Will End Up With Another Munich Agreement

Several European experts say that President Trump’s attempts to pacify Vladimir Putin may well end up with another Munich Agreement. In other words, they say that in case Donald Trump assumes that it’s necessary to make concessions to Russia, this is even worth than doing nothing at all.
On top of that, they say that Donald Trump already made a stupid thing by offering Putin a deal, which is all about canceling the sanctions in exchange for Russia cutting its nuclear arms
Publication date: 06 February 01:43 AM

How Trumpism Is Going to Change the World

Since Donald Trump won the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, most representatives of the international expert community have been asking a lot of questions regarding his policies. Everyone seems to be concerned how President Trump is going to build relations with other nations, including Russia, as well as how Trumpism is going to change the entire world.
Publication date: 03 February 08:01 AM

How Trump Is Going To Surprise The World

Over the last few months, international media have been publishing intimidating articles about President Trump. Everyone now seems to be concern about how president Trump is going to act in the international arena.  Is Donald trump going to surprise the world as the 45th President of the United States?
The thing is, each time the 
USA
 elects a new president, the international community starts predicting cardinal changes in the 
USA
’s domestic and external policies. However, each time their predictions fail. The American policy haven’t changed a lot over the last few decades. After WWII, the 
USA
turned into a superpower. After the USSR ceased to exists in 1991, the US became the only true superpower in the world and has been the most decisive force in the international arena. As you can see, American politicians have been consistent in terms of trying to rule the entire world and dominate others.
Publication date: 31 January 04:10 PM

US-Russia Cooperation is Impossible due to Putin and Trump's Ambitions

Some experts say that the cooperation and friendship between Moscow and Washington is impossible because both President Putin and President Trump are too ambitious and those ambitions prevent them from establishing a long-term dialog.
Publication date: 31 January 11:19 AM

Trump May Worsen US-China Relations

Ever since Donald Trump became a candidate in the 2016 presidential election, he has been making controversial statements about China. This leads some experts to believe that he may well spoil the bilateral relations with China, escalating the situation all the way up to a serious confrontation.
Publication date: 31 January 03:39 AM

Russia Urgently Needs External Scapegoat Enemy

According to Ksenia Semyonova, Chief Editor of TheQuestion, assumes that Russia urgently needs an external enemy as a scapegoat to be blamed for all the misfortunes Russia is facing. To be more specific, she says that in 2015 President Putin quoted Emperor Alexander III, who liked to say that the Russian Empire had only 2 allies – the army and the navy – while other nations may turn into Russia’s enemies whenever they see the right moment. President Putin agreed with this opinion. That said, president Putin says that Western nations forced Russia to apply some force for the sake of defending personal interests.
Publication date: 29 January 11:02 AM

Trump May Turn Into Dictator, Soros Says

In case you don’t know, on January 20th, 2017, Donald Trump became the 45thPresident of the United States of America. This was the most expensive inauguration in the U.S. history. Donald Trump is a Republican.
He spent some 200 million dollars on the event. For the sake of comparison, Barack Obama spent just 124 million dollars on the same event.  The ceremony gathered the USA’s most influential politicians, including Barack Obama and his wife as well as President Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton and his husband. It’s interesting to note that the ceremony was sponsored by companies and individuals, which is something that you can rarely see in such cases. As a result, the ceremony turned out to be the most expensive inauguration in the U.S. history. The average cost per ticket was $150. However, those who paid $1.000.000 could watch everything from the VIP seats, and participate in all the events following the inauguration.
Publication date: 27 January 07:24 AM
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McCain knocks Trump's "terribly...

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McCain knocks Trump's "terribly misinformed" view of Putin

CBS News - ‎1 hour ago‎
Republican Senator John McCain slammed President Trump's assertion about the moral equivalency of the United States and Vladimir Putin's Russia in a speech on Tuesday calling that view “terribly misinformed” or “incredibly biased.” “Vladimir knew there ...

Trump Blasts 'Haters': 'I Don't Know Putin'

Yahoo News - ‎4 hours ago‎
President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted that he does not know Russian President Vladimir Putin, has no deals in Russia, and issued a reminder that former President Obama made a deal with Iran - "#1 in terror!" The president's tweet soon after The New ...

McCain: No Moral Equivalence Between Russia, United States

Sputnik International - ‎2 hours ago‎
US Senator John McCain said that there cannot be any comparison on moral grounds between Russia, led by President Vladimir Putin, and the United States. President-elect Donald Trump walks to his swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol in. © REUTERS/ J.

I don't know Putin, says Trump

Business Standard - ‎5 hours ago‎
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that "the haters are going crazy" even though he doesn't know Russian President Vladimir Putin and has no deals in Russia, while the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran happened with "no problem.".

How Fair Is It to Call Putin a Killer as O'Reilly Did?

BloombergQuint - ‎43 minutes ago‎
(Bloomberg View) -- Many Americans, including leading Republicans, were affronted by President Donald Trump's nonchalant response to Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly's characterization of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "killer." The Kremlin, for ...

O'Reilly shrugs off Kremlin demand for apology

The Hill - ‎11 hours ago‎
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly responded to the Kremlin's demand for an apology for calling Russian president Vladimir Putin “a killer” by suggesting they check back in “around 2023.” “The Putin administration in Moscow is demanding that I, your humble ...

'You Think Our Country's So Innocent?' Trump's 'Truth Bomb'

Sputnik International - ‎9 hours ago‎
"Putin's a killer." This was the claim made by Fox News "journalist" Bill O'Reilly during his recent interview with Donald Trump. Trump's reply came in the form of a simple question. "What, you think our country's so innocent?" It was a reply that ...

Merkel urges Putin to end Ukraine violence

The Australian - ‎10 hours ago‎
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Russia's Vladimir Putin to use his influence on separatists in eastern Ukraine to stop the violence there. Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists have both blamed each other for the latest flare-up in a ...

Conservatives Pounce on Trump Charge That US Is Morally Equivalent to Russia

Christian Post - ‎10 hours ago‎
(Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria)U.S. President Donald Trump attends the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, U.S., February 2, 2017. Trump compared the United States to Russia and its penchant for killing people saying that America is not "so ...

Bill O'Reilly: Putin will have to wait for apology over 'killer' remark

KERO 23ABC News - ‎11 hours ago‎
Copyright 2017 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Fox News host Bill O'Reilly responded late Monday, Feb 6, 2017 to an angry statement from the Kremlin over his ...

Kremlin says Fox News host's Putin remarks reflect badly on channel

Reuters - ‎15 hours ago‎
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference following the talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest, Hungary, February 2, 2017. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh. MOSCOW The Kremlin on Tuesday shrugged off a Fox ...

Kremlin protests Fox News host's 'killer' comment on Putin

Herald-Whig - ‎7 hours ago‎
MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin is indignant over the comments of a Fox News host who called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "killer" in an interview with President Donald Trump. In the interview broadcast over the weekend, Bill O'Reilly called the ...

Kremlin is miffed with Fox News anchor for calling Putin "a killer,” demands apology

Malaysia Sun (press release) - ‎11 hours ago‎
MOSCOW, Russia - The Kremlin is upset with comments made by Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly who called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "killer" in an interview with U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday. The Fox News anchor made the remark in ...

Putin, Merkel call for cease-fire in eastern Ukraine

Arab News - ‎12 hours ago‎
Tanks are seen near the government-held town of Bakhmut, Ukraine, on Tuesday. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich). MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have called on Ukrainian troops and separatist rebels to ...

Bill O'Reilly's Putin Comments Lead Kremlin to Call For Apology

Yahoo News - ‎14 hours ago‎
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly called Russian President Vladimir Putin "a killer" during an interview with President Donald Trump over the weekend, and the Kremlin wants an apology. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that O'Reilly's comments ...

Trump denies having any sort of relationship with Putin — again

New York Post - ‎11 hours ago‎
President Trump on Tuesday blasted “haters” of going ballistic over his relationship with Vladimir Putin, which he insisted is non-existent. “I don't know Putin, have no deals in Russia, and the haters are going crazy — yet Obama can make a deal with ...

World briefs: Kremlin seeks apology from Fox News

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - ‎20 hours ago‎
MOSCOW — Russia sought an apology from Fox News on Monday after the host Bill O'Reilly described President Vladimir V. Putin as “a killer” during an interview with President Trump. The Kremlin's spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told reporters that the ...

Evangelical Leaders Attack Vladimir Putin Just As Trump Praises 'Killer' Russian Leader

ChristianToday - ‎14 hours ago‎
Evangelical leaders Russell Morre and Kay Warren launched a scathing attack President Vladimir Putin just as US President Donald Trump praised the "killer" Russian leader. In a series of tweets on Sunday, Moore, who is president of the Southern Baptist ...

Kremlin to Fox News Channel: Say you're sorry

Media Life Magazine - ‎13 hours ago‎
He's no part of the U.S. government, but Bill O'Reilly has no problem standing up to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin demanded an apology from Fox News Channel after the host referred to Putin as “a killer” during an interview with ...

Republicans condemn Trump for Putin statements

New Europe - ‎16 hours ago‎
US President Donald Trump's latest comment about Russian president Vladimir Putin has sparked protest within his own party. Several senior Republicans were quick to condemned Trump after his interview with Fox News. As reported by the Independent, ...

Putin, Merkel Want Ukraine Cease-Fire

DTN The Progressive Farmer (registration) (blog) - ‎13 hours ago‎
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have called on Ukrainian troops and separatist rebels to cease fire in eastern Ukraine. In their first phone call since a flare-up in hostilities in the east which ...

Fox News' O'Reilly Refuses To Apologize For Calling Putin 'A Killer'

RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty - ‎19 hours ago‎
Fox News television presenter Bill O'Reilly has refused to say he was sorry after the Kremlin demanded an apology for describing Russian President Vladimir Putin as "a killer." "Apparently the Putin administration in Moscow [is] demanding that I, your ...

Kremlin wants apology from Fox News after Bill O'Reilly calls Putin a 'killer'

Chicago Tribune - ‎22 hours ago‎
The Kremlin says it would like an apology from Fox News after an interview between President Donald Trump and Bill O'Reilly, in which the Fox host described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "killer." "We consider such words by the Fox News company ...

The Latest: Labor nominee's housekeeper was undocumented

The Tand <a href="http://D.com" rel="nofollow">D.com</a> - ‎10 hours ago‎
President Donald Trump speaks to troops while visiting U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh). The Latest: Trump says 'haters' unfairly tie him ...

Mike Pence's Awkward - And Telling - Response To Whether The US Is 'Morally Superior' To Russia

NDTV - ‎21 hours ago‎
Mike Pence was asked on Donald Trump playing down Putin's alleged killing of political opponents. If you would like to see a man struggle, witness Vice President Pence. Pence was asked on "Face the Nation" to account for President Donald Trump having ...

Bill O'Reilly Responds to Vladimir Putin's Apology Demand: 'I'm Working on That'

Variety - ‎Feb 6, 2017‎
The Fox News host responded Monday on “The O'Reilly Factor” to a demand from a Russian government official that O'Reilly apologize for calling Russia's President Putin “a killer” during an interview with President Donald Trump. “Apparently the Putin ...

Donald Trump condemned by Republicans over 'respect' for Vladimir Putin

Yahoo News - ‎Feb 6, 2017‎
'What do you think, our country's so innocent?' Mr Trump replied when told Mr Putin is a killer: AFP/Getty. More. Several senior Republicans have condemned Donald Trump after he mounted a defence of "killer" Vladimir Putin and publicly attacked judges ...

No, Trump, the US is not the same as Putin

Washington Examiner - ‎22 hours ago‎
Tom Brady may have shocked the sports world Sunday with his 25-point comeback in the second half of Super Bowl LI, but it was President Trump who yet again shocked the political world during his interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. Yet again, Trump ...

Krauthammer: Trump's Putin Comments 'A Hammer That Any Sentient Being Would Seize'

Breitbart News - ‎20 hours ago‎
On Monday's broadcast of the Fox News Channel's “O'Reilly Factor,” columnist Charles Krauthammer argued that President Donald Trump's comments about the US and Vladimir Putin are “a hammer that any sentient being would seize immediately.”.

Bill O'Reilly Responds to Russia Demanding Apology for Him Calling Putin a 'Killer'

Mediaite - ‎Feb 6, 2017‎
Bill O'Reilly responded tonight to the Kremlin demanding he apologize for calling Vladimir Putin a “killer.” The comment came as O'Reilly spoke to President Trump about Russia––wherein Trump made a much-talked-about remark about how America isn't ...
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Putin and Trump. What does their relations mean to global security? - «Market Leader» - news and previews making you rich.

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«Market Leader» - news and previews making you rich.

Putin and Trump. What does their relations mean to global security?
«Market Leader» - news and previews making you rich.
After Trump's inauguration as the 45th President of the United States of America, numerous representatives of the international expert community have been disputing over whether his policies are going to match those promised by him during the 2016 ...
What Does Putin Want from a Bargain with Trump?Lawfare (blog)

all 1,229 news articles »

San Francisco Police Department Kicks FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force To The Curb - Techdirt

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San Francisco Police Department Kicks FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force To The Curb
Techdirt
By telling the feds to beat it, the SFPD is suggesting the FBI isn't doing much to acutally make San Francisco safer. The Joint Terrorism Task Force seems to be more about expanding surveillance and obtaining perpetual funding than preventing terrorist ...

and more »

New York mafia informant loses lawsuit against FBI - Reuters

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New York mafia informant loses lawsuit against FBI
Reuters
NEW YORK A former mafia informant for the FBI who sued his handlers for arresting him in a murder case lost his case on Monday after a New York judge ruled there was not enough evidence that the agents had conspired to punish him by falsely charging ...

and more »

The FBI Can Engage In All Sorts Of Surveillance And Snooping Without Actually Placing Someone Under Investigation - Techdirt

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The FBI Can Engage In All Sorts Of Surveillance And Snooping Without Actually Placing Someone Under Investigation
Techdirt
It's unclear how many Americans are under surveillance by the FBI. Not only would the agency be extremely unwilling to even provide a broad estimate, but the underlying basis for a preliminary investigation is so thin it could conceivably cover a ...

and more »
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FBI will stop accepting Freedom of Information Act requests via email March 1 - Digital Trends

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Digital Trends

FBI will stop accepting Freedom of Information Act requests via email March 1
Digital Trends
“The FBI's eFOIA portal was designed and developed to be the FBI's primary means for receiving FOIA and Privacy Act requests,” reads a statement sent to Digital Trends via email. “The portal provides the FBI with an automated process for the receipt ...
FBI axes FOIA requests by email, so dust off your fax machineTechCrunch
By March, the FBI won't let you email in FOIA requestsEngadget
Making A FOIA Request Is About To Get Tougher At FBIDaily Caller
The Daily Dot -Boing Boing -LawNewz
all 11 news articles »

Moscow’s Manipulation of Statistics Seen Getting Worse In Run-Up To Putin’s Re-Election – OpEd 

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Russian officials have always manipulated and sometimes totally falsified statistical information about their country, but in the coming months as Vladimir Putin prepares for his re-election campaign, they are certain to do so even more than in the past to suggest the country as flourishing even if it is not, Sergey Shelin says.
The Rosbalt commentator says that plans to release statistics showing Russia and Putin in one as well are already part of the pre-election planning, now in full-swing given that the voting is only 18 months away and that such data are needed to counter “rumors” that things aren’t so good (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2017/02/03/1588984.html).
In sum, “the pre-election 2017 despite anything must become a year of economic and social victories, at least on paper.” Some of this will be achieved by changing the way certain statistics are calculated, as has happened in the last few weeks when GDP was “corrected” upward by changing the rules for its calculation.
Another part will be achieved by changing the base lines against which the data are compared. If the situation in Russia looks bad compared to what it was in 2013, then Moscow statisticians will put out data comparing things to that in the crisis year of 2016 and say things are getting better and better.
But a least some of this will reflect open falsification, especially if the Kremlin decides it needs to claim not a one percent growth rate but “three or even four” in order to win over those who think things are not going well, Shelin continues.
One place where all these methods may be employed together, the Rosbalt commentator says, is to allow Putin to claim that he has fulfilled his earlier promise to “catch up and surpass” Portugal in terms of GDP. By using “progressive methods,” Shelin says, that can be achieved “without any difficulty. It is only a matter of sleight of hand.”
The Kremlin’s statisticians will face a somewhat more difficult but not insuperable problem in presenting data “directly connected” with the lives of ordinary Russians such as housing, food prices, and wages and salaries. There people have their own experiences to rely on; they must be convinced that what they see with their own eyes is an exception.
These statistical magicians have the following tasks: Their “minimum program is to forget about the miracles of 2015 but by any means to achieve some kind of growth in 2017 in comparison with the unsuccessful year of 2016.” Their “maximum program” is to do even more by changing statistical methods and simply putting out inaccurate information.
They may take such steps regarding demography, given that births are falling. They can claim, somewhat plausibly, that there are more births than counted because many are out of wedlock, but one can be sure that if they come up with figures including those now, they will compare them only against figures from the past that didn’t include such children.
The statisticians are likely to make similar efforts with regard to Putin’s much-ballyhooed “May decrees.” While most think these were fulfilled because that is what the media say, statistics show that they haven’t been; and so the statistics will have to be brought into line with the Kremlin’s “truth” in order to help Putin win support.
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President Trump And The Mexican Border Wall – Analysis

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By Gautam Sen*
The new President of the United States of America (USA), Donald Trump, seems to be intent on fulfilling his campaign pledge to erect a wall along his country’s border with Mexico to stall further illegal immigration from Mexico and other Latin American countries. On January 25, 2017, Trump signed an executive order for constructing a wall along the US – Mexico border stretching 3100 kms. Trump also demanded that Mexico bear the cost of the proposed wall. These announcements have not only caused deep consternation in Mexico, but also drawn opprobrium from Latin American leaders. An immediate casualty has been the cancellation of the first working-level visit of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to the US after President Trump assumed office.
The Mexican president has rejected outright, the demand for his country to pay for the construction of the wall, which obviously is not in Mexico’s interest. In the context of these developments, a scheduled meeting between the Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgara and the new US Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, on border management and immigration matters, has also been called off.
The Trump Administration is reported to be considering a set of punitive measures against Mexico if the latter does not agree to defray the construction cost of the wall. President Trump has issued an executive order directing all executive branches to identify all bilateral and multilateral development aid, economic assistance, humanitarian aid and military aid to Mexico over the past five years. This is obviously to identify the areas where Mexico’s dependence on the US is considerable, and pressure on Mexico could be effectively applied to accede to the US demands and cooperate towards construction of the border wall.
Trump also mentioned on January 26 that a 20 per cent tariff may be imposed on Mexican goods exported to the US to raise resources for building the wall. A 35 per cent border adjustment tax, in the garb of a border tax reform policy, on cross-border movement of goods has also been hinted at by the Republican congressional sources. It appears that there has been a repercussion to Trump’s threat. Ford has just cancelled a $1.6 billion automobile plant investment in Mexico. Earlier, Ford had planned to shift its Ford Focus small car plant from Michigan to Mexico which had drawn the ire of Trump. Similar pressure is building up on General Motors.
Tariff measures of the type aimed at Mexico, are likely to affect other western hemispheric countries also. Trump also proposes to tax remittances of Mexicans, and the US citizens of Mexican origin, to Mexico. Mexico’s economy minister has retorted that his government would respond immediately to any coercive trade action by the US administration. The Mexican Government has also indicated that it would not tolerate actions planned by the new US administration on the border wall and punitive taxation on the Mexican goods, as they impinge on Mexican dignity and pride.
Former US President George Bush had signed the Secure Fence Act in 2000 after congressional approval. The Act had approved construction of a fence along the US-Mexico border for approximately 700 of the total 1900 mile long border. As per the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), 652 miles of border fence-cum-wall has since been erected. The fence and other barriers that cover the 652 miles of the sanctioned border project, is actually a collection of walls, fence and other obstacles. The existing border wall is effective and strongest in places where large populations are concentrated e.g. San Diego, California on the US side, and Tijuana on the Mexican side. In some places, the wall passes through barren territory, and in many parts its condition is such that people can walk through. There are also portions of the border where the terrain conditions are difficult and it is extremely difficult to cross. The fence-cum-wall has been erected at a cost of US$ seven billion, and is not exactly impenetrable. This indicates the substantial effort and resources which will have to be deployed to cover the entire length of the border in an effective manner.
Though Trump has claimed that the erection of the wall would cost US$ eight billion, a realistic assessment is that it will be much more. Authoritative sources (like Bernstein Research Group), and the expenditure trend on the approximately 652 miles of wall-cum-fence constructed, indicate that actual cost of the entire border wall project will be in the range of US$ 15 – 25 billion. If the above-mentioned details are taken into account, the effort and expenditure on the border wall will be substantial, apart from the political and socio-economic fallout on American citizens in its southern border states like California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, as well as on its relations with Mexico. Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona has expressed deep concern on the proposed border wall and its serious implications on trade relations with Mexico, and also consequent economic consequences on his state of Arizona and the country as a whole. Republican Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, has tersely observed that ‘border security yes, but tariffs no’.
The reaction to Trump’s utterances and avowed policies on the border wall and tariff has attracted strong criticism from the Latin American governments. In the January 2017 summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) at Punta Cana in Dominican Republic, attended by ten heads of state and 33 foreign ministers, the consensus was that the Trump administration`s action was outrageous, and the CELAC group of countries have to respond to the new aggressive policy of prosecuting migrants. President Danilo Medina of Dominican Republic – the host country – and Rafael Correa of Ecuador took the lead in consolidating the CELAC countries’ position against Trump’s policy on the Mexican border wall – which they termed as a ‘wall of infamy’ , his anti-immigration plan and threat of escalated tariff.
Though the stance taken by Trump is not totally unexpected in the backdrop of his pre and post election utterances, it is surprising that he is rushing through his controversial policies soon after taking office. Actions which the US president has proposed before completing a month in office and even before delivering his first State of the Union Address, appear to indicate that he intends to take a posture of resoluteness on controversial issues, such as the US-Mexico border management and trade, in order to consolidate his domestic constituency. This forebodes political turbulence within the US, apart from introducing many imponderables in western hemispheric economic relations, and also undermining the existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which has served this hemispheric community reasonably well since its formation in 1994. It is also surprising that Trump, who is known to view developments and decide on policies in transactional terms, appears short-sighted and unwilling to view the implications of his policies on his country`s economy and international influence in a long-term perspective.
Mexico is the third largest import source and trade partner of the US. Mexico is also the second largest export market, and the third largest agricultural export market of the US. The Mexico-US trade is more than US$ 583 billion (US imports: $316 billion + exports $267 billion: as per 2015 US Trade Representative Office data), and the US foreign direct investment in Mexico is more than US$ 107 billion. It is not clear whether Trump has weighed the impact of a higher tariff barrier on Mexican exports to the US, and the consequent impact on the US consumers. There would also be supply chain problems because of the cost impact on the US intermediate components that are exported to Mexico, value-added there and re-exported to US, which would be affected by the proposed escalation in tariff.
Any constriction in Mexican exports and supply-chain problems, would have a huge negative impact on the US industry and its labour market. The US industrial goods sector, automobile market and even its agriculture, would be affected. Interestingly, the US upper middle country, mid-west and the southern states – the ‘rust belt’ which had voted overwhelmingly for Trump in the last presidential elections, would be impacted the most. This is because, Mexico would definitely retaliate by imposing countervailing tariffs on the US exports, particularly those which are leviable on goods to be imported and exported after value addition in Mexico. Mexico is also likely to raise tariffs on agricultural imports from the US of corn, dairy products, pork and beef estimated at more than $18 billion, which in turn will affect consumption in Mexico and the US farming community. Mexico is also likely to resort to fiscal measures to restrict profit plough-back from the US investments.
Trump has indicated on many an occasion that the US economy and jobs are his primary concern. The slew of actions which he is contemplating is unlikely to benefit either. A cost-benefit analysis seems to indicate that negative international repercussions and even domestic political fallout, would decidedly outweigh the economic gains which are difficult to assess at this stage.
*The author is a commentator on international affairs and a retired IDAS officer who has held senior positions in the Government of India and in a State Government. The views expressed are the author’s own. Originally published by Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (www.idsa.in) at http://idsa.in/idsacomments/president-trump-and-the-mexican-border-wall_gsen_030217
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Psychology Explains How To Win An Oscar 

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If you want to win an Oscar it is best to be an American actor in a film that portrays American culture.
That is the conclusion of a paper published Sunday, in the British Journal of Psychology by Dr Niklas K. Steffens from the School of Psychology at The University of Queensland and his fellow authors.
The researchers conducted a large-scale analysis of the distribution of the Academy Awards for best actor and for best actress in a leading role by the Los Angeles-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (i.e., the Oscars) as well as the award for best actor and for best actress in a leading role by the London-based British Academy of Film and Television Arts (i.e. the BAFTAs) since 1968.
This covered a total of 908 merit prize winners, comprising 97 winners and 383 (unsuccessful) nominees for the Oscars and 97 winners and 331 (unsuccessful) nominees for the BAFTAs. Both awards state that they aim to recognise best performances in films from all over the world.
The results show that US actors dominated the awards, winning more than 50 per cent of all prizes across Oscars and BAFTAs. Nevertheless, actors were more likely to win if they shared social group membership with the judges.
This meant that American actors won 52 per cent of all BAFTAs but 69 per cent of all Oscars, while British actors won 18 per cent of all Oscars but 34 per cent of all BAFTAs.
Dr Steffens said, “We know a lot about the factors that increase people’s capacity to show exceptional performances. However, a somewhat different question is what makes a given creative performance likely to be seen as exceptional. This was the question we addressed in this research.”
According to Dr Steffens, “These results show that whether we see a given performance as extraordinary is not just a function of the objective quality of that performance. For perceivers are much more likely to recognise a performance as truly brilliant when perceivers and performers share membership in a social group.”
The data also showed that nationality made a difference to actually winning an award. For the Oscars, American actors received 67 per cent of all nominations but 78 per cent of all awards. The same held true for the BAFTAs, where British actors won 31 per cent of all nominations but 42 per cent of all awards.
Commenting on this pattern, Dr Steffens said, “Shared social group membership becomes even more important when the diagnostic value of a quality indicator increases – that is, when we establish whether something is not just excellent but outstanding.”
“In this case, American actors win two out of three of all Oscar nominations but almost four out of five of all Oscar awards,” Dr Steffens said.
Another important determinant of success was the subject matter of the film. In the Oscars, American artists accounted for 26 per cent of award winners whose performance was in films about non-US culture but for 88 per cent of award winners whose performance was in films about American culture.
Dr Steffens said, “There is a widespread belief that our perception of makes a creation original and outstanding is given by its objective qualities, but in fact it is heavily influenced by the social groups we are members of, and which provide the basis for making sense of the world.”
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Has Iran Reinstated Executions By Stoning? 

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A court in Lorestan province of Iran has convicted a man and a woman of adultery and has punished them to execution by stoning.
Since 2002 Iranian Judiciary has been indecisive about this cruel and inhuman punishment. At one time in 2003 the head of the Judiciary, Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, imposed a moratorium on execution by stoning.
The last documented case of stoning was in 2009 when two men were stoned to death in Mashhad. Yet it seems that stoning is back.
The most recent case in Lorestan involves a women and a clergy. The two had an extramarital affair that has become entangled in a local political dispute between competing factions.
The local intelligence officials, including the internet police, have secretly taped the clergy and the women having sex and have gathered other supporting documents. The tape and the documents were presented in the trial for the alleged adultery.
Branch 1 of Koohdasht’s Criminal Court in Lorestan has sentenced the two to death by stoning. The case has not yet been appealed and there is still a chance that the ruling will be overturned.
No information has yet been disclosed about the female defendant but since the punishment is stoning, one can only assume that she must have been married at the time of the affair.
Based on Shiite jurisprudence a married man is entitled to temporary marriages with as many unmarried women as he wishes. As such the punishment of execution by stoning only applies when the female party to sexual intercourse is married.
Despite the 2002 moratorium, stoning has taken place in Iran in 2007 and 2009. The recent ruling also shows that here is no ban on stoning.
The current head of the judiciary in Iran, Sadegh Larijani has defended stoning as the right punishment supported by the Shari‘a law. The current status of stoning in the Islamic Penal Code is as such that the judge with the permission of the Judiciary and supreme judges can use other methods of execution for adulterers.
According to the Islamic Penal Code in Iran an adulterous man and women are buried in a ditch up to the man’s waist and the woman’s chest and then stoned to death.
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A Future For European Union: Now More Critical Than Ever

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Amid rampant euroskepticism, it’s worth recalling the euro-optimism felt between 1985 and 2005. EU members were buoyed by hopes surrounding the euro, the union’s expansion, the draft Constitutional Treaty and the Lisbon Agenda, which promised an economy that would be competitive, sustainable, and above all, socially fair.
Then, in 2005, the proposed Constitutional Treaty was voted down in referendums in France and the Netherlands. In 2007, the financial crisis began, and in 2010, the debt crisis took hold, which many point to as a prelude to the end of the European Union, because it has spawned crises in EU institutions, its leadership, its narrative and its very legitimacy.
However, Europe’s future has yet to be written. So argues IESE professor Víctor Pou in his 2017 book, which analyzes the causes of this perfect storm.

An Ambitious Project

The European Union was born of a shared political vision based on peace, prosperity and the reconciliation of former enemies after World War II. With the welfare state and the redistribution of income as pillars to support economic growth and social peace, the EU combines idealism, technocracy and a decidedly economic focus.
Additional members and treaties, coupled with a greater transfer of sovereignty by the member countries, led to the current EU, governed by the Treaty of Lisbon since 2009.

Mounting Challenges

The Brexit vote has been one of the most resounding blows dealt in recent years: for the first time, a member country will exercise the exit clause. It may not be the last to do so: until Greece stabilizes its economy, the threat of Grexit will continue to linger.
Outside the EU, pressures also mount. The election of Donald Trump threatens the traditional U.S.-EU alliance; meanwhile, Putin-led Russia works to recreate the former Soviet empire at Europe’s expense. Terrorism, the failure of the Arab Spring, and the war in Syria and resultant migrant crisis also threaten European stability.
Faced with this reality, the EU has no choice but to revise its foreign and security policies — including the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), which looks to countries to the east and south. It must rise to the challenge of turning threats into opportunities: after all, both Russia and the countries of North Africa and the Middle East still have great potential for positive interaction with Europe.

Solutions to the Migrant Crisis

In 2014, the EU had 507 million inhabitants, of which only 20 million (4 percent) were non-EU residents. Therefore, says the author, taking in two million refugees is not only feasible; it is a legal and humanitarian imperative and an opportunity to rejuvenate an aging Europe.
However, this will be difficult without proper border control, which the EU has lost due to a lack of coordination. The Schengen Agreement, which had abolished border controls in 26 European countries, seems on the verge of collapse: Germany, France, Denmark, Austria, Norway and Sweden have restored border controls while others, such as Hungary and Slovenia, have put up fences and deployed armed forces along their borders.
To save Schengen, the EU must manage migration flows and ensure the security of Europeans by implementing a series of urgent measures, until longer term policies are in place. These include:
  • Sending money, other resources and personnel to immigration processing centers in Greece and Italy to ensure that immigration control and asylum claims are properly managed.
  • Convincing member countries to fulfill their commitments and take in their already-agreed-upon numbers of refugees.
  • Establishing better readmission agreements with non-EU countries to repatriate those who don’t have the right to be in Europe.
  • Establishing legal pathways to enter Europe, including establishing refugee processing centers in countries such as Turkey, Egypt and Jordan.
  • Making better use of Schengen, Eurodac (the EU asylum fingerprint database) and data exchanged per the Prüm Convention to reduce the threat of terrorists entering Europe from abroad.

The Road to Integration

There is a solution to the euro crisis, says Pou. Member countries must relinquish some sovereignty and adopt a fiscal union with the ability to transfer resources and mutualize at least part of the debt.
What’s essential, says the author, is that the founding members leave the door open for the rest to gradually settle into their respective levels of commitment until eventually constituting a real European federation.

Onwards and Upwards

As Pou says, the history of EU integration shows that its greatest crises have always been followed by great progress. Now the first step is to win back citizens’ trust and then work on rebuilding the EU based on its traditional values.
More European Union is needed: major crises will not be solved unless members agree to hand over more sovereignty. EU institutions must also become more transparent, more democratic, more efficient and closer to ordinary citizens. Crucially, imaginative institutional solutions must be translated into a new and improved treaty.
Brexit and the Trump phenomenon may be just the push the EU needs. Now more than ever, the world needs the EU to be a bastion of democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It must stand against the perils of populism, the autocracies of China and Russia, and the unpredictability of Trump’s United States.
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The Power Of Tea 

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A compound found in green tea could have lifesaving potential for patients with multiple myeloma and amyloidosis, who face often-fatal medical complications associated with bone-marrow disorders, according to a team of engineers at Washington University in St. Louis and their German collaborators.
Jan Bieschke, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the School of Engineering & Applied Science, studies how proteins fold and shape themselves, and how these processes can contribute to a variety of diseases. He says the compound epigallocatechine-3-gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol found in green tea leaves, may be of particular benefit to patients struggling with multiple myeloma and amyloidosis. These patients are susceptible to a frequently fatal condition called light chain amyloidosis, in which parts of the body’s own antibodies become misshapen and can accumulate in various organs, including the heart and kidneys.
“The idea here is twofold: We wanted to better understand how light chain amyloidosis works, and how the green tea compound affects this specific protein,” Bieschke said.
Bieschke’s team first isolated individual light chains from nine patients with bone marrow disorders that caused multiple myeloma or amyloidosis, then ran lab experiments to determine how the green tea compound affected the light chain protein.
Bieschke previously examined EGCG’s effect in both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and found it prevented dangerous buildups of protein present in both diseases. His team had a similar conclusion in this study: In bone marrow patients, the EGCG transformed light chain amyloid, preventing the misshapen form from replicating and accumulating dangerously.
“In the presence of green tea, the chains have a different internal structure,” Bieschke said. “The ECGC pulled the light chain into a different type of aggregate that wasn’t toxic and didn’t form fibril structures,” as happens to organs affected by amyloidosis.
While Bieschke is gaining a greater understanding at the intracellular processes involved, his partners at the University of Heidelberg are working in tandem with him, running clinical trials.
“My group is looking at the mechanism of the protein in a test tube; we are studying how it works on a foundational level. At the same time, clinical trials at the Amyloidosis Center in Heidelberg, with Alzheimer’s in Berlin and with Parkinson’s in China examine the process in people. We all want this compound to work in a patient.”
The research was recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
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President Trump’s Economic War Against Germany And The Euro – Analysis 

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By Giancarlo Elia Valori*
Just a week after his official installation at the White House, Donald J. Trump lashed out at China, accused of manipulating its currency to “win the globalization game”, but also at Germany which, as the President of the new National Trade Council, Peter Navarro, said “is exploiting both its neighbours and the United States with the euro”.
The accusation is not new. In the early 1970s the United States accused the old European Monetary System (EMS) of keeping the currencies adhering to it artificially high.
Inter alia, the EMS – with fixed exchange rates but with predefined fluctuations within it – was the European response to the US-prompted end of the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement.
Nevertheless, it was also Europe’s reaction to the planned weakness of the dollar during Jimmy Carter’s Presidency, when precisely the dollar area sent huge capital flows into Germany, which had a “high” Mark, thus pressing it against the French Franc and hence destabilizing the entire European internal monetary exchange system.
Furthermore, in the early 1980s, the British Labour Prime Minister, Denis Healey, got convinced that the EMS was a real German “racket”, considering that the German Finance Minister had told him that his country planned to have a comparative advantage precisely by limiting the depreciation of the other European currencies.
This happened because Germany had lower labour cost-driven inflation rates and, hence, a currency with fixed rates would have anyway ensured export-driven surpluses only to Germany.
However also the G20 long negotiations have never led to any result: currently, in absolute terms, the German export-led surplus is much larger than China’s, namely 8.6% of the German GDP.
In fact, according to IMF estimates, the surplus is equal to 271 billion US dollars, a huge sum capable of changing all global trade flows.
Finally Chancellor Angela Merkel replied to Trump (and to Navarro) by recalling that the European Central Bank is the institution issuing the euro, but it is not lender of last resort. Nevertheless, she has not contradicted the US President about the fact that the Euro is really undervalued.
Furthermore, when we look at the currencies undervalued as against the US Dollar, we realize that the most undervalued currency is the Turkish Lira, followed by the Mexican Peso, the Polish Zloty, the Hungarian Forint, the South Korean Won and, finally, our own Euro.
Finally, when we look at the number and size of transactions denominated in euros, the European currency is already the second most traded currency in the world.
Hence, probably the undervaluation of the Euro against the US Dollar originates more from the expansionist policy of the European central Bank than from Germany’s actions for its exports and monetary parities.
Certainly Germany gains in having a currency that is much weaker than it would be if it were only a German currency but, on the other hand, with a Euro artfully devalued, the “weakest” Eurozone countries succeed in having lower interest rates than they could obtain with their old or new national currencies.
Moreover, it is worth recalling that Germany exports profitably both in countries where the currency is stronger than the Euro and in regions where the currency is even more depreciated as against the US Dollar, such as Japan.
According to last year’s data, the United States have a trade deficit with Germany equal to 60 billion US dollars.
Germany exports mainly cars, which account for 22% of their total exports to the United States.
It also exports – in decreasing order – machine tools, in direct competition with Italy, electronics, pharmaceuticals, medical technologies, plastics, aircraft and avionics, oil, iron and steel, as well as organic chemicals. All German exports are worth 35% of its GDP.
Why, however, is the Euro depreciated because of Germany?
Firstly, since 2000 the German cost of labour has grown by 20-30% less than in the Eurozone’s German competitors.
Hence German products were ipso facto 20% more competitive than those of the others, without any exchange rate manipulation.
If Germany still had had the Mark, it would have automatically appreciated by 20%.
The appreciation of this hypothetical Mark would have changed demand, by reducing exports and increasing imports by the same percentage.
In that case, the ideal would have been a floating exchange rate – and this should also be the case for a re-modulated Euro compared to the current situation.
A fluctuation prefiguring the creation of a new monetary “basket” with the major currencies, with exchange rates floating within a certain range, but much more realistic than the current ones.
A further cause of the current account surplus in Germany is the intrinsic strength of its exports – hence Germany does not suffer the competition of low-tech economies, such as Italy’s.
Another reason for the excessive German surplus is the low domestic demand, with the relative increase in private savings.
An additional cause of the surplus is the fact that savings have long been higher than investment.
In 2015, German savings amounted to 25% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while investment was worth only 16% of the GDP.
Obviously, another decisive reason for the accumulation of such a large German surplus was the fall in oil prices.
Therefore, the vast German surplus and the Euro undervaluation foster its exports, but block the exports of the other Eurozone countries.
In fact, according to our calculations, if Germany stimulated its domestic demand, thus allowing its inflation to increase, this would be enough for the final stimulus of global demand and, above all, it would make the Eurozone economies under crisis get out of their predicament.
Hence the real problem of too high a Euro is not so much for the United States, which can devalue as against the Euro whenever they want and anyway have still their own autonomous monetary policy, but rather for the single currency countries in the Mediterranean, which are experiencing a downturn caused by too low domestic demand.
Could we also do as Germany? No, we could not.
It is not possible for anyone in the Eurozone to create an 8% surplus, such as Germany, and not all countries could benefit from a devalued exchange rate of the European currency.
As many politicians say, restructuring the production system to increase productivity means – in a nutshell – years of deflation and high unemployment, which create a negative multiplier effect.
We cannot afford so – the social and economic conditions have already reached the breaking point.
Hence, let us put our minds at rest, the ”two-speed Europe” will last generations and it would be better if this could also be reflected in the single currency.
Or better in a series of two-three currencies deriving from the Euro with pre-fixed exchange rates floating within a range.
Furthermore, Germany will certainly replace China as the “bad” currency manipulator and there will be increasing competition between it and the rest of Europe.
Therefore, the German export surplus actually leads to an unfair competitive advantage over the Eurozone countries and, in other respects, over the North American exports.
This is the sense of the struggle against the Euro waged by President Trump and his future Ambassador to the EU, Ted Malloch, who has stated that the Euro may “collapse” over the next eighteen months.
The Euro is certainly undervalued.
According to a study carried out by Deutsche Bank, the Euro is allegedly the most undervalued currency in the world, according to the criteria of the Fundamental Equilibrium Exchange Rates (FEER).
And the Euro is undervalued even if we look at its external value and the mass of transactions of the individual countries currently adopting it.
Hence, not only can Germany be accused of managing an improper comparative advantage over the dollar and the other major currencies but, according to the FEER data, the accusation holds true even for Italy and for the other single currency European countries.
With a view to solving the issue, some analysts – especially North Americans – think it should be Germany to leave the Euro.
On the one hand, Germany cannot revalue its currency (which is also a political problem – suffice to think of German savers) without the Euro appreciating also for the Eurozone weak economies, such Italy and Spain.
The World Bank believes that the German trade surplus is at least 5% too high and, hence, the German exchange rate is largely undervalued by at least 15%.
In fact, the differential between the German Euro and the Euro of the Eurozone weakest countries is 20%.
This means that, in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), the Italian or Greek Euro is worth 20% less than the German one.
The issue could be solved with an equivalent 20% Euro revaluation, combined with an expansionary fiscal policy.
However, this cannot be done as long as Germany is within the Euro. This means that Germany cannot revalue the exchange rate without doing the same in the other 17 countries that adopt the European single currency.
This would mean definitively destroying the Italian, Greek, Portuguese and Spanish economies.
Therefore, if Germany came out of the Euro, its new currency would appreciate as against the non-German Euro and the other countries would have a devalued currency, which could help them in exports.
There are two ways in which the German trade surplus creates deflation – and hence crisis – in the rest of the Eurozone.
Obviously the first is by pushing up the value of the European currency.
A strong euro weakens the demand for European exports, especially for the most price-sensitive goods of the Eurozone Mediterranean economies.
Moreover, the high value of the European currency reduces the price of imported goods, thus negatively reinforcing the price fall – another deflationary mechanism.
And the German inflation which, as everyone knows, is lower than in the other Eurozone countries, further weakens the peripheral economies.
Hence a landscape marked by low domestic demand and national markets’ production crisis.
However, in Navarro’s and in Trump’s minds, there is the implicit belief that trade imbalances can be solved in a context of free-floating currencies.
It is not always so and, however, fluctuations apply only when there are structural changes in trade systems – in principle all players envisage and operate, for sufficient time, with fixed or maybe slightly floating rates.
Therefore, reading between the lines, what both Trump and Navarro really tell us is that the very Euro membership is an act of monetary manipulation.
Hence, what is done?
The unity of the European economy is broken, with unpredictable effects and further global chaos, while the United States acquire exports that were previously denominated in euros.
Or the United States could impose quotas or specific tariffs for Germany, which is illegal in WTO terms but, above all, would expose the United States to a series of reprisals and retaliation by Germany and probably also by the rest of the Eurozone.
There is no way out: therefore, again reading between the lines, probably Trump is telling to the Eurozone weak economies that they should leave the single currency, which is only in Germany’s interest, and create new post-Euro currencies, which will be somehow pegged to the US Dollar.
Or Trump and Navarro could define a new relationship between Euro, Dollar, Yuan, Ruble, Yen and some other primary currencies on the markets and impose a predetermined fluctuation between them, but obviously the Euro would enter this new “Bretton Woods” by being valued in line with the markets and not being overvalued as today.
Europe, however, shall put back in line and tackle all trade and political issues with Trump’s America, which will make no concession to anyone and, most importantly, does no longer want to favour Europe militarily, strategically, financially and commercially.
In particular, Donald J. Trump has in mind the big game with Russia and China. He is scarcely interested in a continent, such as Europe, which is not capable of defending itself on its own and shows severe signs of structural crisis.
About the author:
*Professor Giancarlo Elia Valori
 is an eminent Italian economist and businessman. He holds prestigious academic distinctions and national orders. Mr Valori has lectured on international affairs and economics at the world’s leading universities such as Peking University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Yeshiva University in New York. He currently chairs “La Centrale Finanziaria Generale Spa”, he is also the honorary president of Huawei Italy, economic adviser to the Chinese giant HNA Group and member of the Ayan-Holding Board. In 1992 he was appointed Officier de la Légion d’Honneur de la République Francaise, with this motivation: “A man who can see across borders to understand the world” and in 2002 he received the title of “Honorable” of the Académie des Sciences de l’Institut de France.
Source:
This article was published by Modern Diplomacy
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Trump Wants More Media Coverage Of Terrorism – OpEd

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“You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe it’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported,” Trump told military leaders and troops during his first visit as president to U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla.
“And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons and you understand that.” — USA Today
The White House then followed up with “evidence” to prove Trump’s point — a list of terrorist attacks that the media deliberately failed to adequately report.
The list includes Amedy Coulibaly’s attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris (Wall Street JournalUSA TodayCNNHuffington PostNew York Daily NewsNew York TimesFox News etc).
In fairness to Trump, media coverage of the supermarket attack was indeed overshadowed by coverage of the Charlie Hebdo shooting (with which it was connected) that happened two days earlier.
It’s possible Trump feels like that attack, in which three times as many people were killed, got too much coverage since the victims were mostly journalists. Does Trump mourn the deaths of people who he despises and denigrates every day? Surely not.
Moving down the list we come to another attack in Paris — this one occurred in November 2015 resulting in 129 deaths and 400 wounded.
When Trump says “you’ve seen what happened in Paris,” this is the attack he’s referring to… the one we’ve “seen”… on media reports… lots of them — but apparently not enough for Trump.
It’s hard not to wonder whether, more than two weeks into his presidency, Trump is disappointed that there has yet to be a major act of terrorism in the United States.
The only attack that has taken place is one that has indeed received inadequate attention both from the U.S. media and Trump himself: the Quebec City mosque massacre carried out by Trump/Le Pen supporter, Alexandre Bissonnette.
In spite of the criticism Trump has faced as a result of the chaotic nature of his first days in office, he and those around him have remained resolute and focused on promoting terrorism.
It is surely just a matter of time before Trump declares to those gathered in excitement around him: “this is what we’ve been waiting for.”
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US ups support for Syrian Kurds; DoD wants more 2017 funds; Escalation in Ukraine; How lifting sanctions could help Russia’s military; and just a bit more...

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CIA, ODNI Get Exemption from Trump's Hiring Freeze

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President Donald Trump signs an executive order implementing a federal government hiring freeze, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

How the Navy’s Warship Shop Uses Data to Do More with Less

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The USS Detroit (LCS 7), one of the United States Navy's newest warships, during trials near Marinette, Wisc., July 14, 2016.
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Don’t Blame Trump for the Yemen Raid’s Outcome

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There’s more to the story, from special operators who chafed at Obama administration micromanagement to the unexpected well-prepared enemies who lay in wait.

Faces of Defense Intelligence: The Honorable James R. Clapper, Jr. 

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“Whatever I did or people think I did or didn't do, I'm not sure I can gauge that personally very well as I walk out the door,” said LtGen James Clapper upon leaving DIA in 1995.” You do leave with somewhat of a sense of unfulfillment because there are still things to be fixed, problems to be resolved, etc. I guess I would rather leave it as modest as I can and say I hoped that people would think of me as someone who cared a lot about the mission, about the people that do it and try to make a difference, and let others judge whether I did or not.”



National Intelligence University Begins Historic Move; Main Campus leaving Washington, DC after 55 Years

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National Intelligence University (NIU) is relocating to a new facility on the Intelligence Community Campus in Bethesda, Maryland (ICC-B). The phased move of the NIU main campus out of the District of Columbia to Bethesda began in December and will be completed in late February. 

DIA announces death of former director, Lieutenant General Leonard H. Perroots, USAF (Retired) 

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Lt.Gen. Leonard H. Perroots, U.S. Air Force who served as 8th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from October 1985 to December 1988, died January 29, 2017 after a short illness.

Lavrov: Iran was never seen with links to terrorist groups

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February 7, 2017, 1:21 PM (IDT)
“Iran has never been seen having any ties with Daesh or al-Nusra Front, or any other structure affiliated with these terrorist organizations and included in the relevant UN Security Council list”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday. Indeed, “Iran contributes to combating IS” and must be a member of the “anti-terrorist front.”
DEBKAfile: Lavrov omitted to mention Tehran’s sponsorship of Shiite terrorist groups created as its surrogates, such as the Lebanese Hizballah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as well as Al Qods, the terrorist arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
Lavrov was responding to Saturday’s claim by US Defense Secretary James Mattis that Iran was the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism, and President Donald Trump’s remark Sunday that Iran was the “number one terrorist state, sending money all over the place and weapons.”
The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later announced that Russia’s disagrees with Trump’s remarks.

Iran prepares a Safir for launch, then removes it from launch pad

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February 7, 2017, 7:51 PM (IDT)
Fox News Tuesday obtained images from ImageSat International showing a Safir launch missile being prepared for launch. This was confirmed by US officials. A few hours later, they were surprised to discover that the missile had been removed from the launch pad. It was not immediately clear why. The Pentagon was closely monitoring the flurry of activity because Safir uses the same components as those needed to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles. It was also used in the past to put a satellite in space.
 
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White House says list of terror attacks proves media downplaying the danger 

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White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that the Trump administration released a list of 78 terror attacks that were underreported by the media to show "the Earth is a very dangerous place right now."
The White House issued the list of attacks from 2014 to 2016 after Mr. ...

PHOTO: Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 7, 2017, before the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on border security.

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PHOTO: Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 7, 2017, before the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on border security.

Russia's apparent meddling in US election is not an act of war, cyber expert says

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Russia's hacks of the Democratic National Committee and its election meddling were alarming but not an act of war, said a leading scholar of international law in cyber operations.
     

Brexit, Trump and $100 billion trade push Poland to Merkel

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As German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed Europe's future on a visit to Poland, she won an unlikely endorsement from her sometimes prickly eastern neighbor.
     

First Navy SEAL to become admiral dies at 93 - Veterans

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SAN DIEGO — Richard Lyon, the first Navy SEAL to rise to the rank of admiral, has died. He was 93.
Lyon died Friday surrounded by family and friends at his beachfront home in Oceanside, north of San Diego, said lifelong friend Kelly Sarber, who met Lyon as a child because her father was also a SEAL.
Sarber recalled photos of Lyon and the other SEALs during the elite military team's beginnings, showing them swimming with knives.
"He reminded me of James Bond," she said. "I never saw him lose his cool. I never saw him be nothing but kind and treat people with manners. He was a real class act."
Lyon enlisted in the Navy in 1942 while studying at Yale University. He was among the first to endure the SEAL training known as "Hell Week" in which trainees spend seven days with almost no sleep, running, swimming and doing other drills.
He served four decades in the Navy, including World War II and the Korean War, and was among the first U.S. troops to enter Japan after the atomic bomb was dropped. He went on to work as a Scout intelligence officer in northern China. He later served in Korea.
An award-winning swimmer, he continued to body surf in competitions into his 70s, Sarber said. He stayed active in the SEAL community until his death and mentored young SEAL candidates until recently.
Retired Rear Adm. Garry Bonelli, who became a SEAL in 1968, said he never knew SEALs had such high-ranking officers among them until being told as a young SEAL that he was going to be briefed by an admiral.
"I thought there are no Navy SEAL admirals, and then I saw him in his white uniform, big gold bars and thought 'Wow, that's a Navy SEAL admiral!' " Bonelli said. "Dick Lyon personifies what it is to be a Navy frogman and Navy SEAL. He had the smarts, the athletic ability and the heart to do special maritime operations."
Bonelli said Lyon inspired sailors aspiring to be a SEAL and would give talks to the would-be candidates at the SEALs training school in Coronado until recently.
Bonelli recalled that Lyon told them the most important tool to success is "the ability to listen to your troops and make decisions."
Lyon retired from the Navy in 1983 and worked as a retail marketing and financial executive. He served two terms as mayor of Oceanside in 1992 and 1996, and served on various boards, including as president of the Oceanside Unified School District board of trustees.
In 2013, Lyon was the recipient of the prestigious Yale University George H.W. Bush Lifetime of Leadership Award.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Cynthia Gisslin Lyon; nine children; 14 grandchildren; and two great grandchildren. A service honoring his life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at New Venture Christian Fellowship in Oceanside. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Lyon's name be made to the Navy SEAL Foundation at <a href="http://navysealfoundation.org" rel="nofollow">navysealfoundation.org</a>.
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First Navy SEAL to become admiral dies at 93

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Richard Lyon, the first Navy SEAL to rise to the rank of admiral, has died. He was 93.
     
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Put 'On Notice' by US National Security Adviser, Iran Once Again Launches Missiles in Exercise - Iran News Update

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Put 'On Notice' by US National Security Adviser, Iran Once Again Launches Missiles in Exercise
Iran News Update
In an article published by Fox News on February 06, 2017, Lucas Tomlinson, Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel, writes that two U.S. officials revealed to Fox News that Iran fired off five advanced surface-to-air missiles as ...

Peru prosecutors seek arrest of ex-president Toledo in graft inquiry

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LIMA (Reuters) - Prosecutors in Peru asked a judge to order the arrest of former President Alejandro Toledo on Tuesday for suspected involvement in a bribery scheme linked to scandal-plagued Brazil construction conglomerate Odebrecht SA.
  

Condition of hospitalized suspect in Louvre attack worsens

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The health of an Egyptian man suspected of charging soldiers at the Louvre museum with a machete has taken a turn for the worse, French authorities said Tuesday.





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Trump Defends Putin, Says U.S. Has 'Killers' Too

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U.S. President Donald Trump has shrugged off a description of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "killer," saying the United States has "a lot of killers" as well.

Trump Discusses NATO Visit, Ukraine In Call With Stoltenberg

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The White House says President Donald Trump discussed the conflict in eastern Ukraine during a call with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and agreed to attend a meeting of alliance leaders later this year.

Kremlin Wants Apology From Fox News Over Putin 'Killer' Comment

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The Kremlin says it wants an apology from Fox News over what it said were "unacceptable" comments one of the U.S. channel's presenters made about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Page 7

From Confines Of Russia, Stem-Cell Pioneer Tries To Weather Scandal

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Paolo Macchiarini rode groundbreaking surgeries to global fame, but patients died anyway. With his methods still under fire in the West, he continues to work in Russia.

Wife Says Sweden-Based Researcher Sentenced To Death In Iran On Spy Charges

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The wife of a Swedish-based academic and researcher says Iran has sentenced her husband to death on espionage-related charges.

From Russia With Love For Trump

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In January, Russian media mentioned Donald Trump more often than Vladimir Putin, according to the Interfax news agency. What are Russian news outlets saying about the new U.S. president? (RFE/RL's Russian Service)

Wife Says Kremlin Critic Diagnosed With ‘Acute Poisoning’; Blood Samples Sent To Israeli Lab

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The wife of well-known Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr., who fell critically ill last week in Moscow for the second time in two years, said doctors have diagnosed him with "acute poisoning by an undetermined substance."

Iran's Supreme Leader Says Trump 'Reveals America's Real Face'

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Unlike what U.S. President Donald Trump thinks, the nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers is a "win-win agreement," Iranian President Hassan Rohani has said.

Putin Signs Law Decriminalizing Some Domestic Violence

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that decriminalizes some forms of domestic violence.

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Page 8

Russian Filmmakers Protest Attempts To 'Censor' Film About Young Tsar

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Filmmakers in Russia say a State Duma deputy and Russian Orthodox activists are trying to prevent a romantic film about Tsar Nicholas II from being screened in Russia.

U.S. Appeals Court To Hold Hearings On Trump Travel Ban

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A U.S. appeals court will hear testimony on February 7 over whether to restore President Donald Trump's temporary ban on all refugees as well as travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Louvre Museum Evacuated After French Soldier Opens Fire

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A man with a large knife was shot by a French soldier after he lunged at police officers and soldiers, shouting “God is great” near the Paris institution.

Op-Ed Contributor: Bangladesh’s Creeping Islamism

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Religious conservatives have managed to paint secularism as anti-Islamic. The new textbooks prove it.

Jim Mattis Says U.S. Is ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ With Japan

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The American defense secretary, Jim Mattis, left; Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, second right; and the Japanese defense minister, Tomomi Inada, right, in Tokyo on Friday.

Iran Treads Cautiously With Trump. So Far.

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Iranian Hard-liners have been critical of President Hassan Rouhani. With President Trump in power, some dismiss him as a figure of the past, the right answer in the Obama era but the wrong one now.



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Page 9

No Extra Forces Needed in Gulf Now, Defense Chief Says

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday in Tokyo. “We stand firmly, 100 percent, shoulder to shoulder with you and the Japanese people,” he told Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.