`The New Economy'
Lyndon LaRouche delivered this webcast address on Sept. 24, 2010, in Northern Virginia. (The webcast is archived at www.larouchepac.com.)
This is going to be, while usual, in some sense, totally unusual, because the situation is totally unusual. We have entered into a situation internationally, but especially in the United States, in which none of the people who are in leading positions in government, have either the will, or the perspective, to deal with the problem. Everybody who is considered a leading person in government, that I know--and I've been scraping the ceilings to find out who might have the temperament to take this on: There is no one in charge now, in the Democratic Party, or in the Federal government, who is capable and ready to make decisions which must be made now, which can not be postponed!
The overall situation is that the world system, starting with the United States, the world economic system is about to go into a general collapse. This is not something gradual. It's something that can happen in a short period of a matter of days or even hours! The triggers can be triggered, and you will have a breakdown, which will be irreversible, on this planet, for generations to come.
We are at that point: We are at a point of an implosion of the entire international monetary-financial system. And it's now! And it will not wait, until after the November election!...
This Week's News
U.S. Economic/Financial News
Sept. 20 (EIRNS)Americans and Britons may be aghast at the reported 25-40% ministerial budget cuts slated to be announced by Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Oct. 20, but many U.S. states are already being hit with death-dealing cuts nearly as severe:
In Oregon, state agencies submitted their plans Sept. 16 to help Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski close a $377.5 million budget shortfall. The Statesman-Journal of Salem reported that the cuts "amount to 8% of the remaining nine months of the two-year budget cycle and ... are on top of 9% cuts earlier this year to eliminate a projected $577.1 million shortfall." That's even after Oregon voters raised taxes by $727 million this year.
In Washington State, Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire said Sept. 16 that she is cutting 6.3%, or about $520 million, from the current two-year budget, with the brunt of the reduction aimed at the state's Department of Social and Health Services, the Seattle Times reported.
In South Dakota, Gov. Mike Rounds (R.) is asking all state agencies to prepare budgets for next year that are 10% below this year's levels, the Capital Journal of Pierre reported. The state finance commissioner told the paper that the governor's cuts aren't binding and are only a request at this point, but...
In Tennessee, outgoing Gov. Phil Bredesen (D), is asking state agencies to trim their budgets by 1-3% ahead of next year, The Tennessean reported. That means overall state spending could decline by $45 million to $160 million.
In Texas, whose state budget is $21 billion in the red, state agency heads are being told to make 10% cuts.
Illinois has cut its budget 15% over the current biennium.
In the most extreme case, California, the state budget has been slashed from $104 billion to $68 billion over the past four yearsnearly 35%.
Sept. 20 (EIRNS)At the point that bankrupt U.S. cities are wiping out their firefighting capability in order to cut the budgets, arson of abandoned homes is rising, purportedly to scavenge any kind of materials that can be resold. A case in point is St. Louis, Missouri, featured by the New York Times on Sept. 20.
There are 8,000 vacant buildings in St. Louis, and abandoned homes are being burned down so that the bricks can be sold, where the top price is $100 for 500 bricks. In one incident, a handicapped man barely escaped a fire when the abandoned house next to his was set ablaze. For the last two years, foreclosed and abandoned homes in Detroit and Cleveland have been stripped of copper pipes, wires, and anything that can be resold. Royce Yeater, Midwest director for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, told the Times, "It is a crime that has increased with the recession. Where thieves in many cities harvest copper, aluminum and other materials from vacant buildings, brick rustling has emerged more recently as a sort of scrappers' endgame," once everything else is gone.
Sept. 24 (EIRNS)Film-maker Oliver Stone, producer of the 1987 blockbuster "Wall Street," who has just directed a sequel called "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," places much of the responsibility for the current crisis on deregulation and the repeal of Glass-Steagall.
In a Sept. 23 interview with Salon, the interviewer comments that Stone's latest movie seems to say that all the blame (this was in 2008) can't be put on George W. Bush, and that Bill Clinton deserves some of the blame, too. Stone agrees, and goes on: "I would say Ronald Reagan started the whole thing, [moving America] away from the New Deal. Look, under Clinton we had the Commodity Futures Regulation Act [of 2000]they always use 'modernization' as the great word. It's bullshit. Then they repealed a lot of the Glass-Steagall Act, which was crucial. Paul Volcker has criticized [the repeal] openly." Stone sees the long-term trend as America moving from making things, to making money, and that while wages have flattened since the 1970s, corporate and financial profits have gone from less than 10%, to over 40%.
Another reference to the fight over Glass-Steagall comes in a column by Richard Clark, a Silicon Valley technical writer and former college instructor, entitled "How we can take stolen profits back from banksters," published in OpEdNews on Sept. 23. Clark wrote: "We need a grass-roots money-reform movement to take banking away from private interests and put it back in the hands of government," like North Dakota, which has had a state-owned bank for nearly a century. Clark continued: "Last January, when Obama sided with Paul Volcker's plan to re-impose the Glass-Steagall Act, which would have led to a kind of breaking up of the big banksthey would have had to separate their investment/gambling operations from their traditional banking operationsthe stock market began to fall apart, almost as if it had been prompted to do so by powerful actors operating behind the scenes who wanted to send a message to Obama and the nation: 'Don't bring back Glass-Steagall, or else!'"
Global Economic News
Sept. 20 (EIRNS)As Ireland sinks into a sea of bailout debt, questions are being raised about why the names of those who are profiting from the bailout are being kept secret. The Irish Independent questions how many bondholders in Anglo Irish Bank had their bond holdings converted to a "deposit" between March 17, 2007, the day the Anglo bubble burst, and Sept. 30, 2008, when the Irish government extended its guarantee to all deposits and bond holdings in Anglo. The Irish Independent further reports that the names of senior bondholders, junior bondholders, and major institutional depositors also in the bank, remain secret. The daily writes: "Confidentiality, we are told, prevents the Irish public knowing who we are going into debt for a hundred years to rescue."
Now it turns out that among those for whom the Irish taxpayer is going into debt for is the European Central Bank (ECB), which has EU30 billion worth of guaranteed deposits in Anglo Irish. The Irish Independent notes the fact that "the EU is a benefactor of Irish state aid, a provider of EU aid to Ireland, through buying our government bonds, and the not insignificant matter of the ECB's huge 'deposit' in the bank that has suffered the biggest collapse of any bank in history, is the greatest story never told about our economic quagmire."
The day of reckoning for the Irish banks is rapidly approaching. On the eve of a new government bond sale, Moody's cut its rating on Anglo Irish Bank's covered bondsIOUs supported by loansby two notches, to Aa2 from Aaa, on the fear that timely interest payments were "unlikely," if the bank defaulted. Further rating cuts are possible. Moreover, Fitch placed covered bonds issued by AIB's mortgage bank on negative watch, putting them in line for a possible ratings cut.
Meanwhile, the collapse continues in other Eurozone countries: The Portuguese daily Diario de Noticias reported that three former Portuguese finance ministers said that the country might have to call in the IMF, saying the country had become sunk into "reckless reliance on foreign debt," and "runaway public spending."
In Greece, the International Monetary Fund is stationing a team in Athens for the duration of the IMF-European Union aid package, which could be increased to last until 2020. This extends it from three years to ten.
Sept. 20 (EIRNS)More and more nations are going nuclear, especially in Asia, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s new report. Since 2008, the number of countries interested in introducing nuclear energy or actively pursuing it has risen from 43 to 65, mainly in Asia and Africa; and there are currently 60 nuclear power reactors under construction worldwide, a figure that nearly doubled in the last two and a half years. The number of countries planning to phase out nuclear power, dropped from 10 to 6.
The IAEA forecasts that nuclear power plants, which last year produced 7.6% of global electric power (372 gigawatts), will produce 10.4% by 2030 and 11.9% by 2050. Just a year ago, that 2030 forecast was 9%.
United States News Digest
Sept. 26 (EIRNS)The coverup of voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), which has been the subject of two hearings by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and a civil law suit by Judicial Watch, continues to escalate, and now has directly implicated the White House. According to new postings on the Judicial Watch website, FOIA documents, including a Vaughn Index, itemizing 122 documents totaling more than 600 pages, that have been withheld by the Department of Justice, confirm that DOJ political appointees were deeply involved in the decision to drop the case against the NBPP. A hearing before Federal District Judge Reggie Walton will take place on Oct. 5, over whether the Justice Department will be forced to release the documents.
What has already been confirmed is that Sam Hirsch, a Deputy Associate Attorney General, and an attorney for the Obama campaign in 2008, was in the decision-making loop on the dropping of the New Black Panther Party case, despite denials by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez that any political appointees were involved.
According to Judicial Watch, news accounts confirmed that Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli visited the White House nine times between March 25 and May 27, 2009the time frame in which the decision was made to bury the NBPP case, even though the DOJ had already won a default ruling against the four defendants, who refused to appear in court for the scheduled trial.
The Vaughn Index, obtained by Judicial Watch, reveals a series of e-mail exchanges between Hirsch and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Steve Rosenbaum, reviewing details of the NBPP case, reporting on discussions with other Department attorneys, and providing recommendations for how to deal with the matter.
According to one senior U.S. intelligence source, one of the reasons for the coverup is that, during the 2008 campaign, members of the NBPP met personally with candidate Obama at his Chicago home. The source emphasized that the NBPP matter is part of a larger voter intimidation strategy that was pursued by the Obama campaign, and that a serious investigation would, minimally, quickly focus on David Axelrod, Obama's campaign manager, and now a top White House aide. One question that has surfaced in recent days is whether Axelrod's announcement this week, that he will leave the White House some time next year, to take charge of Obama's reelection campaign, is related to the new eruptions of the NBPP affair.
Sept. 26 (EIRNS)The Pentagon has destroyed 9,500 copies of Army Reserve Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer's memoir, Operation Dark Heart. The Army originally cleared the book for release, but the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) says national security could be breached if it were published in its current form. The Agency attempted to block key portions of the book, which claim that 9/11 pilot Mohammed Atta was identified as a threat to the U.S. before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Specifically, the DIA wanted references to a meeting between Lt. Col. Shaffer and the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, removed. In that meeting, which took place in Afghanistan, Shaffer alleges the Commission was told that the "data mining" operation known as Able Danger had identified Atta before the attacks. No mention of this was made in the final 9/11 report.
Shaffer, who was undercover at the time, said there was "stunned silence" at the meeting after he told the executive director of the commission and others that Atta had been identified as early as 2000 by Able Danger. "Dr. Philip Zelikow approached me in the corner of the room. 'What you said today is very important. I need you to get in touch with me as soon as you return from your deployment here in Afghanistan,'" Shaffer said.
Once back in the U.S., Shaffer says he contacted the Commission. Without explanation, the Commission was no longer interested. An Inspector General's report by the Department of Defense concluded there was no evidence to support the claims of Shaffer and others. But Fox News has obtained an unredacted copy of the IG report containing the names of witnesses who backed up Shaffer's story, when contacted for comment.
The documents and exclusive interviews, including with an Army data collector on the Able Danger Project, are part of an ongoing investigation by the documentary unit "Fox News Reporting," which has also uncovered new details about American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and efforts by the FBI to recruit him for intelligence purposes after 9/11. This is the same al-Awlaki that Obama wants to assassinate. Obama reportedly intervened Sept. 24, demanding that a Federal Court dismiss a law suit by al-Awlaki's father to stop the assassination. Obama says hearing the case would reveal "state secrets."
Sept. 25 (EIRNS)Lacking any responsible leadership on the national level, the mass strike is lashing out at local officials, especially mayors, as cities and towns hit with budget shortfalls continue to cut services. Last month, what the New York Times calls "irate voters," claimed their first pelt, as the first-term mayor of rural Livingston, California, was dumped in a "landslide" recall, after he attempted to raise taxes to pay for upgrades in the city's water system. This follows a number of unsuccessful recalls over the last several years, many in areas hard hit by the economic collapse. Towns listed by the Times include Flint, Michigan; Akron and Toledo in Ohio; Kansas City, Missouri; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Portland, Oregon. The U.S. Conference of Mayors has started production of a video to warn mayors of the seriousness of the recall efforts. Recall efforts in smaller municipalities are inexpensive and easy to mount, and local Tea Party activists have been involved in several recall campaigns.
Sept. 23 (EIRNS)Six months after the passage of Obama's Nazi-style "health-care" bill on March 23, the Republican Party issued its electoral Pledge to America, which prominently includes the repeal of Obamacare. Unfortunately, the alternative they offer is to hand over health care to the predatory HMO insurers.
In addition, this morning, leading Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee led by Senators Charles Grassley (Iowa) and Orin Hatch (Utah), invited Donald Berwick to appear at a forum on how he had performed in his post as head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Obama appointed Berwick in a recess appointment in order to avoid a confirmation hearing, which would have centered on his advocacy of rationing and support for the British health-care system.
Sept. 22 (EIRNS)Just as Nerobama prepared to tout the first group of provisions of his Hitler health-care legislation, which will take effect Sept. 23six months after its passagethe major U.S. health insurers announced that they will not sell insurance for children with pre-existing medical conditions who are not already covered by child-only plans, family policies, or by parents' employers. This, according to the Los Angeles Times, will mean that 80,000 children in California, and 500,000 nationally, will not get the coverage they were promised under Obamacarebecause, the insurers say, the anticipated insurance payouts would create huge and unexpected costs for them!
Instead, Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, United Health, Cigna, and others have decided to stop selling child-only policies for children under 19 with pre-existing conditions, who are not already covered under a child-only policy, or a family policy. Aetna will discontinue coverage of this group in 32 states; Anthem in 10, and Cigna in 10. So, Obamacare's dictum that children under 19 with pre-existing conditions must have insurance has been rejected by the insurance companies.
Ibero-American News Digest
Sept. 24 (EIRNS)A wave of relief swept Colombia, with the announcement that the chief military commander of South America's killer FARC drug cartel, Jorge Briceño Suárez, alias "Mono Jojoy," was killed on Sept. 23 during an Armed Forces assault on what the government called the FARC's "mother camp," in the jungles of Meta. The FARC been testing President Juan Manuel Santos, who took office on Aug. 7, and had escalated its terror operations in Colombia since August. The strike was Santos's answer. He called the military operation his "welcome to the FARC," noting that "Jojoy" was "the symbol of the extreme cruelty ... the inhumanity" of that organization.
The fact that the last government, and now its successor, have fought to win against the FARC arm of the British Empire's new Opium War, has created an optimism in Colombia which is lacking today in most other Ibero-American nations. That optimism is reflected in the interest by numerous Colombian universities in having their students study Lyndon LaRouche's "NAWAPA concept," in using that North American Water and Power Alliance project to spark the construction of similar great biospheric engineering projects across the globe. People are eager to "think big," as they taste the possibility of ending the decades of warfare they have suffered.
Mono Jojoy was key in the FARC drug trade, and responsible for discipline in the narcoterrorist ranks. He had become the most hated man in Colombia since Pablo Escobar, as the man responsible for the FARC's most bestial actions, including the policy of seizing hostages and holding them in barbed wire concentration camps, starved to emaciation, often chained at the neck.
The Armed Forces succeeded in gaining the element of surprise, by opening the attack on the camp, which included a concrete bunker, with Air Force bombing sorties, after which Army, Navy, and police troops were helicoptered in for several days of hand-to-hand combat against the 600-man guerrilla force caught when the camp was attacked.
The government is now deploying to gain maximum advantage of the disarray this victory has struck in FARC ranks. Dozens of intelligence experts are already working round-the-clock working through the 14 FARC computers, 94 USB memory sticks, and 14 external hard drives seized in the destruction of the military headquarters of the FARC.
Sept. 24 (EIRNS)On the sideline of the 54th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency at Vienna, India and Argentina signed an agreement for cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Agreement was signed by Dr. S. Banerjee, chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission, and Dr. Norma Boero, president of the Atomic Energy Commission of Argentina (CNEA), on Sept. 23.
"This is an inter-governmental agreement, and the scope of cooperation is wide," Banerjee told PTI. "We have a lot of commonality and therefore possibilities of exchange of information on operation and maintenance of reactors," he said. In addition, there could be scope for service assistance to Argentina with the Indian expertise on en-masse coolant replacement of nuclear power reactors, Banerjee said adding, "We are also looking forward for cooperation in research and development (R&D) in various peaceful uses of nuclear energy."
Last October, Argentina's President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, during her state visit to India, issued a joint statement with Indian Premier Manmohan Singh, stating that India and Argentina will use the vast experience of their nuclear scientists and technologists. Taking into account their respective capabilities and experience in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, both India and Argentina have agreed to encourage and support scientific technical and commercial co-operation for mutual benefit in this field, said the joint statement.
Argentina has two nuclear power plants in operation and expects to complete work on another next year. It has announced plans to start building light-water reactors as of 2011. Work on previously announced plans has been delayed by poor financing. Argentina and South Korea last week signed a memorandum of understanding that will see Korean expertise being deployed in both new and existing nuclear power installations to bolster the national grid.
Western European News Digest
Sept. 25 (EIRNS)The Schiller Institute held a seminar on NAWAPA, in Berlin, Germany today, which drew approximately 60 guests, including from the diplomatic community, small and medium-sized businesses, and the international media. Helga Zepp-LaRouche's keynote address provided a broad strategic assessment. She demonstrated that the London-centered financial oligarchy, the European Union bureaucracy, and the green fascists were all essentially one and the same thing, and contrasted their drive for fascism with a push for massive infrastructure projects, best expressed in the NAWAPA plan.
Following Zepp-LaRouche were presentations by Dr. Sergei Cherkasov of the Vernadsky State Geological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Dr. Hal Cooper, who presented the Bering Strait project, from both the Russian and North American sides.
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)The New Dark Age is sending unwelcome greetings, through the surge of the radical ecologist movement in Germany (and not only there), in particular around the developments in Stuttgart, with the mass protestsnow almost daily, with a peak of up to several tens of thousands on weekendsagainst the Stuttgart 21 rail project. The immediate Green party interest there is all too evident: Having come out as the strongest group in the recent municipal elections, they also want to be the strongest group in the Baden-Württemberg state parliament after the elections in 2011, to be able to nominate the new state governor there (which would the first-ever Green governor in a German state).
Extensive media reporting on these campaigns has been a major factor in boosting the Greens in opinion pollsthe latest done by the FORSA institute for the (notoriously anti-nuclear) weekly Stern magazine. The polls have Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats down to 29% of the total vote (if there were national elections next Sunday), the Social Democrats down to 24%, and the Greens running equal with that, at 24%. The Linkspartei (Left Party) is at 10% in this poll, and Merkel's minor coalition partner, the Free Democrats, are below 5% (see InDepth Economics for more on the fascist green assault on Germany).
Sept. 25 (EIRNS)EU Commissioner Olli Rehn presented his proposal to tighten the Maastricht Treaty's rules, to the effect that countries which consistently violate debt limits should be fined 0.2% of their GDP. In order to eliminate any chance that national governments might exercise a veto, Rehn also proposed that a veto can only be imposed if it is supported by a qualified majority inside the EU Council (heads of government), and if this occurs within no more than 10 days from the time the fine is imposed.
This proposal is so outrageous that it probably won't go through. It must be discussed and approved by the other EU "bodies." But the stupidity of EU heads of government has proven to be infinite.
However, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, who is the ventriloquist for Rehn, had confessed in a recent interview in the Financial Times that such a new rule would need a change in the Lisbon Treaty, which currently codifies procedures for dealing with violations of the debt/deficit guidelines. Since this is legally impossible, current law should be stretched, Trichet said.
Sept. 25 (EIRNS)In the face of brutal austerity policies which will only get worse under the heel of the European Commission, the Irish government could fail by December when the new budget has to be approved by the Parliament. This danger was clearly signaled when independent MP Noel Grealish announced he would no longer support the government. Citing brutal cuts in the health budget while the bankrupt Anglo Irish Bank gets billions from the taxpayers, Grealish called for new general elections, "I have come to the conclusion that it is time for an election and let the people decide. The amount of money this government is pumping into Anglo Irish Bank is intolerable when we have a health system that is on its knees," he told the Connacht Tribune.
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)The Swedish elections, held Sept. 19, gave birth to a weak right-wing alliance of liberal market ideologues (49.3%) and the entrance of the first Swedish xenophobic party, Sverigedemokraterna (Sweden Democrats) into the Parliament (5.7%). The Greens advanced to 7.6%, and the Social Democratic Party, a formerly labor/industry-oriented party turned green/brown, made a historic loss, dropping to 30.8%.
As the LaRouche-associated European Labor Party (EAP) warned during the election campaign, the financial oligarchy controlling Swedish politics wanted to use the racist party as a bogeyman to stampede the political parties and people of Sweden into the arms of a liberal-green fascist economic dictatorship, a widespread phenomenon these days in almost all European countries.
This is exactly what is happening, since the large right-wing bloc is now calling upon the Greens to join the government coalition to form a "solid" government that could force through the "tough policies" to deal with the financial crisis in the coming period, i.e., fascist austerity, further bailout of the banks, and a green ideological dominance to make killing your grandma environmentally friendly!
Notably, the Greens' main condition for entering the right-wing coalition is to scrap all plans for building new nuclear reactors, which was the only positive promise made by the right-wing alliance.
PARIS, Sept. 24 (EIRNS)Yesterday, in a repeat of the giant demonstrations of Sept. 7, between 1 and 3 million people went on strike and demonstrated all over France against President Nicolas Sarkozy's program to reduce pensions. On-the-ground reports, however, indicate that the latest demonstrations were smaller than the previous one. What is being rumored is that the trade unions had already cut a deal with the government, in exchange for not making a show of force. The deal will apparently involve, according to Labor Minister Eric Woerth, offering better conditions in retirement for women, who are hit particularly hard hit by the "reforms" in pension plans.
PARIS, Sept. 25 (EIRNS)Vosges Matin, the major daily of the eastern department of the Vosges, ran a quarter-page feature article yesterday on French LaRouche associate Jacques Cheminade, who is touring France to meet mayors, to gather the required 500 signatures of Grand Electors, to put him on the ballot for President in the 2012 election.
With the headline "Jacques Cheminade in the Presidential Race," the article includes a picture of Cheminade sitting next to Mayor Jean-Pierre Mangin of Varmonzey, and the kicker, "Blasting short-term thinking, an immoral financial system and a moribund educational system, Jacques Cheminade hits the road for his Presidential election campaign."
Sept. 25 (EIRNS)According to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from the U.K. government, the Independent reports today, that in 2004, courtiers at Buckingham Palace, on orders from Queen Elizabeth II, tried to obtain £1 million from the £60 million fund set aside to pay home heating expenses for subjects with "low income." Courtiers were eventually told that the £60 million worth of energy saving grants was aimed at families on low incomes, and, if the money were given to Buckingham Palace, it could lead to "adverse publicity" for the Queen and the government.
The Royal Household complained that the £15 million given to maintain the Queen's palaces, was inadequate.
The Queen has a fortune estimated at £551 million and gets "insider trading tips," yet she pays nothing out of this sum for her maintenance.
Russia and the CIS News Digest
Sept. 22 (EIRNS)The international forum on "The ArticTerritory of Dialogue" opened today in Moscow. Organized by the Russian Geographical Society (RGS, founded 1845) and Novosti news agency, the two-day meeting covered the vast mineral and other resources of the Arctic shelf, many only recently discovered; potential cooperation among the Arctic nations; climate and environmental issues; and how best to develop and exploit this region.
"The Arctic's nature ... is becoming the common heritage of not only circumpolar countries, but of all mankind," Novosti quoted Prof. Yuri Mazurov of Moscow State University. Russia, which is claiming 1.2 million square km under the Arctic Seaa region which contains nearly 25% of the world's mineral wealth, exploitable using modern technologyinitiated the forum. It is to be addressed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Iceland's President Olafur Grimsson, and dozens of Arctic experts from the United States, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and the European Union, Novosti reported.
Russia, Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Finland, Iceland, and the United States are the seven nations with Arctic coastlines; Russia, Canada, and the U.S. are currently carrying out research expeditions to substantiate claims to the oil-rich undersea Lomonosov Ridge. There is potential for conflict in this region; however, Russia last week reached an agreement with Norway on the Barents Sea, and Russia and Canada are discussing rival claims.
Vladimir Kotlyakov, honorary president of the RGS, was quoted by the Moscow Times: "Russia does not want conflict with the other countries surrounding the Arctic." However, he said, "We will make a huge effort to hang on to the territory which we think belongs to Russia. Of course conflict is always possible, but I repeat that the politicians currently in power in Russia want compromise."
The RGS, in conjunction with the Moscow State University School of Geography, will produce a new comprehensive atlas of the Arctic, RGS President and Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said today.
A key to the Russian program for the Arctic, is development of floating nuclear power stations. The first of eight planned stations should be completed in 2012. "These [stations] have very good potential, creating the conditions for exploring the Arctic shelf and setting up drilling platforms to extract oil and gas," the BBC quoted Sergey Zavyalov, deputy director of Rosenergoatom. "Work in the Arctic is very complicated and dangerous, and we should ensure there's a reliable energy supply." Each station can supply electricity and heating for communities of up to 45,000 people and can stay on location for 12 years.
The forum website, www.arctic.ru, includes links to an article in Geochemical News, July 2009, which begins with the quote: The "Arctic must be conquered and it is especially important for direct industrial development of mankind, at least as much as the triumph of knowledge. The victory may be deemed complete, however, only if a vessel outfit[ted] in Europe goes rapidly and directly to the Bering Strait.... Russia crave[s] true victory over [the] Arctic Ocean even more than any other country, for none else owns [a] greater length of shore line in the Arctic Ocean...."from Arctic Ocean investigation by Dmitri Mendeleyev, 1901.
Sept. 24 (EIRNS)Russian President Dmitri Medvedev is making his second official visit to China Sept. 26-28, accompanied by high-level political and business delegations. He will discuss strategic relations with Chinese President Hu Jintao and other government leaders in Beijing Sept. 27, and then go to Shanghai, China's biggest industrial city and financial center, the next day. Medvedev's delegation will include two Deputy Prime Ministers, Igor Sechin and Alexander Zhukov, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina, and Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko, as well as governors of the regions closest to China. The economic representatives include Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko, chief of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Mikhail Dmitriyev, Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin, and heads of the big oil and gas companies, aircraft builders, and, on the down side, the head of the Skolkovo fundthe operation building Russia's very own Silicon Valley.
Medvedev will begin his visit in Dalian, the northeast Chinese port city which had been occupied by both Japan and Russia in the early 20th Century, under the name of Port Arthur. In Dalian, Medvedev will visit the memorial for the 12,000 Soviet soldiers who were killed in the liberation of northeast China from the Japanese Kwantung Army in 1945. Medvedev's visit to this memorial, which was restored several years ago, is part of the commemorations of the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II. The Red Army move into this regiona remarkable feat of arms, involving moving troops all the way from defeated Germanyagainst the largest Japanese force on the Asian mainland, was agreed to by Franklin Roosevelt and Josef Stalin at the Yalta summit in February 1945. The Kwantung Army was a hotbed of Japanese fascism, and launched the invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and China in 1937. Medvedev will also visit the Russian cemetery for soldiers killed in the Russian-Japanese War (1904-05), and meet a group of Russian and Chinese World War II veterans.
Today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov published an article in China's People's Daily, commemorating Russian-Chinese cooperation against fascism in World War II. He discussed the war's origins in Asia in the 1930s, and Soviet military support for China, while playing a key role in defeating Nazi Germany. Lavrov denounced current attempts to re-write the history of World War II and the Allies' wartime relations. He also called for Russian-Chinese cooperation to resolve continuing security issues in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Korean Peninsula, drug running, and terrorism.
Sept. 25 (EIRNS)On the eve of the Russian-Chinese summit, Sergei Novikov, spokesman of the Russian Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom), talked with Xinhua about the advancement of nuclear cooperation between the two countries. "The Chinese government has planned to build nuclear capacities up to 100 GW, that is, about 100 power-generating units. This is a huge and prospective market for us," he said. Novikov said that Rosatom was ready to compete in this market with all major world nuclear technology suppliers. "Our advantage is that we started cooperation with China before our competitors did, and now we may present the real fruits of the cooperation."
Beyond these current projects, Novikov sees Russian-Chinese cooperation in two other nuclear areas. This Summer, the world's first floating nuclear power station, the Lomonosov, set out from St. Petersburg, said Novikov. "There are many world companies interested in this unique technology that combines electricity generation with water desalination. We expect this project, the first in the world, will start working within 20 months," he added. "After that we can start negotiations with the Chinese companies about exporting this technology." The spokesman also named nuclear icebreaker-assisted escort of cargo ships through the Arctic Ocean as an area of future cooperation.
Sept. 26 (EIRNS)Former Soviet President, British agent Mikhail Gorbachov, has made good on his standing threat to launch a new political venture in Russia. RFE/RL's Russian Service reports that Gorbachov (the first Soviet Communist Party chief personally vetted by the Queen of England, though she surely approved of a couple of his predecessors, too) launched a project called "Civil Dialogue" on Sept. 15 at the offices of his foundation in Moscow.
Masquerading as a "nonpartisan democratic entity," the new outfit includes such friends of the British Empire as Soviet-era human rights figures Lyudmila Alekseyeva and Sergei Kovalyov, neoliberal "young reformer" ex-Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, politician Vladimir Ryzhkov and businessman Aleksandr Lebedev (partners of Gorbachov in his "Rygoletto" opposition project two years ago), and Dmitri Muratov, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, which Gorbachov co-owns.
Novaya Gazeta viciously attacked Russian Railways chief Vladimir Yakunin and Far East Presidential Representative Victor Ishayev for their promotion of railway construction in Siberia, earlier this year.
Southwest Asia News Digest
Sept. 23 (EIRNS)The Egyptian government announced its intention to build four nuclear power stations at El Dabaa, on the Mediterranean coast. The announcement follows the decision by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to designate El Dabaa as the site for Egypt's first nuclear power station.
The announcement was made by Minister of Electricity and Energy Dr. Hassan Younis, in an address before the 54th session of the conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Younis said that a financing committee will meet under Finance Minister Dr. Youssef Butros Ghali late this month to select the best means of funding the station, which is expected to cost $4 billion. While they hope that international agencies might finance the project, Egypt is prepared to fund it, itself, if that fails.
When the four stations are completed at El Dabaa, they will produce 4,000 megawatts of electricity. The committee in charge of drafting the tenders for the stations has not yet finished its work. According to Egyptian nuclear industry sources, the construction of nuclear desalination plants at the El Dabaa site is also planned.
While Younis called for taking practical steps for subjecting Israel to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a means of contributing to security and stability in the Middle East, he also said that Egypt has offered all its experience in the peaceful uses of atomic energy to other African and Arab countries.
On the sidelines of the same IAEA meeting in Vienna, Russia, and Kuwait signed a five-year nuclear cooperation agreement, according to World Nuclear News, Sept. 22. The memorandum of understanding was signed between the Kuwait National Nuclear Energy Committee and Russia's Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation.
Ahmad Bishara, the secretary general of Kuwait's National Nuclear Energy Committee, said, "The memo ... stipulated training cadres, exploration for metals, establishing a network of nuclear reactors in Kuwait, and building a relevant infrastructure." A few weeks ago, Kuwait announced that it intended to construct four 1,000-megawatt atomic energy reactors over the next decade.
Rosatom director general Sergey Kiriyenko said Russia is involved in bidding for building reactors in Jordan and Egypt, and has signed an intergovernmental civil nuclear cooperation agreement with Bahrain. It is actively developing its nuclear cooperation with the United Arab Emirates, and is pressing ahead with an agreement to build Turkey's first nuclear power station.
Sept. 27 (EIRNS)For the second time in 12 months, a fact-finding report by the UN Council on Human Rights has accused Israel of violating international human rights law. And for the second time in 12 months, Israel has refused to recognize the authority of a United Nations body that is investigating its conduct in the treatment of Palestinians and humanitarian groups that aid the Palestinians.
According to the Sept. 23 report of the "International fact-finding mission to investigate violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, resulting from the Israeli attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian assistance," established by the mandate of the UN Human Rights Council in June 2010, Israeli officials said point-blank on Aug. 18, that there would be no cooperation, access, or information provided to the UN on the flotilla incident of May 31, 2010, in which nine humanitarian workers, including an American citizen, were killed by Israeli commandos.
The mission, headed by Judge Karl T. Hudson-Phillips, Q.C., former Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, and a retired judge of the International Criminal Court, sought broad international cooperation, especially from Israel and Turkey. But repeated requests for Israel's cooperation were refused.
The report says, "Notwithstanding a most cordial meeting on the 18 August 2010, the Permanent Representative of Israel advised in writing at the end of the meeting that the position of his government was one of non-recognition of and non-cooperation with the Mission. In the hope that this position would change before the conclusion of its work, the Mission left with the Permanent Representative a list of requests for information." No response to the follow-up letter was received.
Israel's acting with impunity has the complete assent of the Obama Administration and the British government.
One year ago, a UN press release of Sept. 15, 2009 stated: "The UN Fact-Finding Mission led by Justice Richard Goldstone [today] released its long-awaited report on the Gaza conflict, in which it concluded there is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity."
Israel also had refused to cooperate with this investigation, and launched an international campaign of character assassination against Justice Goldstone. The conduct of the Netanyahu government presaged its refusal to comply with, or even acknowledge, the enforcement of agreements that Israel had made with the Palestinians such as the Oslo Accords, and the "Road Map."
But the record of Israel's outlaw actions stands as official evidenceand is growing. On Sept. 27-28 in Geneva, when the UN Human Rights Council meets, the official report of the mission that investigated the killing of the nine humanitarian workers on the Mavi Marmara, will add to that record.
The mission report notes that more than 100 witnesses were interviewed in Geneva, London, Istanbul, and Amman, Jordan. Thousands of documents, photographs, and media reports were reviewed, including the full scope of publicly released transcriptsonly a small portion of the totalfrom the "Turkel commission" which was set up to conduct Israel's own investigation.
"The report presents a factual description of the events leading up to the interception of each of the six ships in the flotilla as well as a seventh ship subsequently intercepted on 6 June 2010, the deaths of nine passengers and wounding of many others and the detention of passengers in Israel and their deportation."
It also contains "a legal analysis of facts as determined by the Mission," and "concluded that a series of violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, were committed by the Israeli forces during the interception of the flotilla and during the detention of passengers in Israel prior to deportation."
Sept. 27 (EIRNS)Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in an op-ed in the Sept. 24 Jerusalem Post, called for the holy sites of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, be put under a trusteeship controlled by Israel, the future Palestinian state, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. He also called for the non-Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem to become part of the capital of the Palestinian state. These proposals parallel those that former President Bill Clinton raised in the final weeks of his Presidency in 2000.
Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu and his British masters, however, have no intention of pursuing sanity. Netanyahu rebuffed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the so-called Quartet's call to extend the moratorium on building settlements, and is confident that Obama will continue to follow Britain's script for perpetual war in Southwest Asia. On Sept. 26, Netanyahu gave the green light for ending the moratorium on building of new settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, and bulldozers immediately went into actionclearing space for 2,000 new housing units in the settlement of Ariel outside Jerusalem, and allowing Israeli fanatics to set up their "hilltop outposts," which are used as para-military beachheads by the radical settlers.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and chief negotiator Nabil Shaath, have warned that the PA will end the direct talks if the settlements begin building again, but reportedly no action will be taken until after Abbas meets with leaders of other Arab nations on Oct. 4.
Asia News Digest
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)Since early Summer, violence in Kashmir has claimed almost 100 lives. On the one hand, the anti-India populationall are Muslims at this pointhave organized themselves to defy all the writs of the New Delhi government. On the other, New Delhi has failed miserably on two counts: it failed to bring the dissidents to the negotiating table and, instead, killed demonstrators. The blame lies fair and square with Indian Premier Manmohan Singh, who lives in a world of his own, where politics and economics are two different categories, and he considers politics to be for intellectually inferior people.
The dissidents are worked up by the British and the Saudis, who have stepped up their operations within Pakistan. The British want to separate Kashmir from both Pakistan and India, while the Saudis use the same British operators to spread Wahhabism in that part of Pakistan. It is the Wahhabis who are ready to give their lives fighting "Hindu India."
In addition, the jihadis have been boosted by their understanding that the Americans have been defeated in Afghanistan, through their efforts. They believe that a separate land can be carved out from Pakistan and India, in Kashmir. They have full support from the Saudi promoters of Wahhabism and the British, who want to have a regime serving the empire's interest, wearing a different garb, against China, India, and Pakistan, and at a stone's throw from Central Asia and Russia.
The solution lies in developing a clear understanding between India and Pakistan, in cooperation with regional forces, such as China and Central Asia.
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)Forty Tajik soldiers were killed on Sept. 19 in an ambush. Tajikistan's government said that foreign Islamist militants, including mercenaries from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Chechnya, were responsible for the ambush in the Rasht valley, and also blamed warlords with whom the government in Dushanbe had fought a civil war in the 1990s. The ambushed soldiers were part of a 75-man convoy moving through the Rasht Valley, an area known as a haven for Islamist insurgents. The soldiers were searching for members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), who escaped in a mass prison-break in Dushanbe on Aug. 25.
Novosti news agency today cited Russian anti-drug agency chief Viktor Ivanov, referring to the Rasht valley ambush, saying that the terrorist groups not only feed on drug trafficking, but are actually controlling it. Tajikistan lies north of Afghanistan, and is a key corridor through which huge amounts of opium and heroin move into Russia, addicting hundreds of thousands of youth and financing anti-Russia insurgent groups operating in Chechnya, North Ossetia, and Ingushetia, among other places.
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a terrorist group that operates in most of the Central Asian republics, is financed by Saudi Arabia, and its members are trained with various terrorist groups based in Pakistan's tribal areas. The IMU works hand-in-glove with the London-based Hizb ut-Tahrir (HuT), preachers of the orthodox Wahhabi version of orthodox Islam, the state religion of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Both HuT and IMU seek to establish an Islamic caliphate in Central Asia, and reports indicate that the IMU terrorists recruit exclusively from the "peace-loving" preachers of the HuT.
The attempt to destabilize Tajikistan, and the entirety of Central Asia in the process, is a British-Saudi move to further complicate the Afghan situation and threaten Russia. Since Tajikistan borders Afghanistan to its south, the IMU/HuT-led destabilization will provide the British-Saudi-led terrorists a base in northern Afghanistan, where insurgency against the foreign troops is still nominal.
Sept. 24 (EIRNS)The Secretary of India's Bharat Heavy Electricals, Bhawani Singh Meena, announced on Sept. 24 that the Indian companies Bharat Heavy Electricals and Nuclear Power Corporation of India (both state-owned), have agreed to set up a joint venture with France's Alstom to supply nuclear power plants. The plants will be supplied with the non-reactor equipment, such as the steam generation and supply systems, containment buildings, and power distribution systems. Alstom is a global major involved with manufacture of power equipment.
In a nuclear power plant, the cost of the nuclear reactor itself is about 30% of the overall cost. The rest is in the areas where this joint venture will contribute. Moreover, the construction time of a nuclear power plant diminishes significantly if there is another major supplier involved in the non-reactor supply area. Having a single supplier, for both the reactor and all non-reactor system, causes delay.
The investment details are being worked out, Meena said, adding that the joint venture was conceived a couple of years ago, but the Indian government was awaiting the passage of a nuclear liability bill for the joint venture to take off. Currently, nuclear power plants can be set up only by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India.
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)A three-day special joint anti-narcotics operation by the anti-drug services of Russia, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan netted a record-breaking amount of illegal drugs and dope runners, news services reported. The amounts seized in the Channel 2010 anti-drug program, which ended Sept. 16, are minuscule compared to the scope of the drug-running operations, but demonstrate the scale of the drug scourge in Central Asia and Russia.
The Russian Federal Drug Service (FKSN) announced that the anti-drug services seized 110 pounds kilograms of heroin, nearly the same amount of hashish, and 1.2 tons of marijuana. Tajikistan seized over 121 pounds of raw opium.
The results of the operation provide convincing evidence that "the phenomenal scale and intensity of drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Russia is still continuing," the Tajik news service Avesta.tj quoted Russian Federal Service for Drug Control Minister Viktor Ivanov, a leading advocate of using military operations, including eradication, against the Afghan opium traffic.
Sept. 20 (EIRNS)Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, the man who stood up to George Soros and the IMF to clamp currency controls on the Malaysian ringgit in 1998 during the speculative raid on the Asian currencies, has responded to the current Malaysian government's plan to lift those currency controls with a (typically) pointed and deadly accurate attack on speculators and the current global financial structure. Dr. Mahathir wrote in his daily blog (perhaps the most read publication in Malaysia):
"The present financial crisis in the world is due to the abuse of regulations in the financial market. No positive steps have been taken so far to regulate it. Certainly currency trading remains unregulated and selective. The latest report says that every day currency trading is valued at $4 trillion, equal to the total output of Germany in one year. Whereas Germany's $4 trillion yearly output creates millions of jobs, businesses big and small, and much trade, the $4 trillion a day currency trade creates practically no jobs, businesses or trade. Of course the currency traders make tons of money. In the process we know that they can cause a repeat of the crisis faced by the world when they lose. Why should the world allow such greedy people to put the world at risk?
"If we fully free our ringgit, the risk of being attacked by currency traders will once again be faced by us. Do we really want to have the financial crisis once again? So I hope the government will explain why it wants the ringgit to be traded again. I hope it is not because we want to be good boys who will always do what we are told to do."
Africa News Digest
Sept. 25 (EIRNS)Ghana President John Atta Mills signed more than $14 billion in development deals during a five-day state visit to China, which ended yesterday. The deals include the establishment of a Ghanaian industrial export capability, which will open the way for breaking out of the colonial model of exporting raw materials and cash crops. The deals also involve building infrastructure.
Some leading circles in the United States have expressed dissatisfaction with the growing role that China is playing in African development; they have also refused to promote this combination of industry and infrastructure development, and are instead promoting low-technology approaches to African development.
During the trip, Mills met with President Hu Jintao. The accords signed by Mills during his visit include $3 billion from the Chinese Development Bank to finance Ghana's oil-and-gas infrastructure and agricultural development.
A second deal for $9.87 billion was signed with Chinese Exim Bank for road, railway, and dam work. The last involved a $270 million loan facility from China to expand the Kpong Water Project, a water-treatment plant in Kpong, Ghana, as well as water distribution networks from the facility. China is involved in several other deals for water supply projects throughout Ghana.
Mills also signed a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese minerals group, Bosai, for a $1.2 billion investment to establish a modern alumina refinery plant in Ghana. Bosai recently acquired 80% of the Ghana Bauxite Company, which had previously been held by the British imperial Rio-Tinto-Alcan combine, which had exported ore. Since Ghana has substantial bauxite deposits, this is precisely the type of export industry that Ghana's founder, Kwame Nkrumah (1909-72) had intended to install. He had built the huge Akosombo hydroelectric installation for this purpose, but was overthrown in a British-orchestrated coup, which aborted what he had envisioned. But the vision was never totally extirpated, despite concentrated efforts by the IMF and World Bank.
Ghana will begin tapping huge off-shore oil fields later this year, which are expected to rank it in the group of Africa's big oil producers. This is providing a chance to restart its industrialization drive.
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