Billionare Tells Americans to Prepare For ‘Financial Ruin’

Billionaire Tells Americans to Prepare For ‘Financial Ruin’ (Source newsmax.com) The United States could soon become a large-scale Spain or Greece, teetering on the edge of financial ruin. That’s according to Donald Trump, who painted a very ugly picture of where this country is headed. Trump made the comments during a recent appearance on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.” According to Trump, the United States is no longer a rich country. “When you’re not rich, you have to go out and borrow money. We’re borrowing from the Chinese and others. We’re up to $16 trillion in debt.” He goes on to point out that the downgrade of U.S. debt is inevitable. “We are going up to $16 trillion [in debt] very soon, and it’s going to be a lot higher than that before he gets finished. When you have [debt] in the $21-$22 trillion, you are talking about a downgrade no matter how you cut it.”
Ballooning debt and a credit downgrade aren’t Trump’s only worries for this country. He says that the official unemployment rate “isn’t a real number” and that the real figure is closer to 15 percent to 16 percent. He even mentioned that some believe the unemployment rate to be as high as 21 percent. “Right now, frankly, the country isn’t doing well,” Trump added, “Recession may be a nice word.”
While 15 percent to 16 percent unemployment, a looming credit downgrade, and ballooning debt are a bleak outlook for the United States, they are hardly as alarming as the scenario laid out by another economist. Without earning celebrity status or having his own television show, Robert Wiedemer did something else that grabbed headlines across the country: He accurately predicted the economic collapse that almost sank the United States. In 2006, Wiedemer and a team of economists foresaw the coming collapse of the U.S. housing market, equity markets, private debt, and consumer spending, and published their findings in the book America’s Bubble Economy.

Summer solstice traditions: why is Stonehenge so significant

Summer solstice traditions: why is Stonehenge so significant? (Source Yahoo)

Stonehenge in Avebury, Wiltshire is the most popular place for Pagans to celebrate the longest day because it famously aligns to the solstices. The rising sun only reaches the middle of the stones one day of the year when it shines on the central altar. Built in three phases between 3,000 B.C. and 1,600 B.C Stonehenge’s exact purpose still remains a mystery. The stones were brought from very long distances – the bluestones from the Preseli Hills more than 150 miles away, and the sarsens probably from the Marlborough Downs, 19 miles to the north. The day marks the ancient middle of summer. It has significance for pagans who have always believed that midsummer day holds a special power. Midsummer’s eve was believed to be a time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest, and when fairies were though to be at their most powerful.Over the centuries, the June solstice has inspired many festivals and midsummer celebrations involving bonfires, picnics, singing, watching the sun rise and Maypole dancing. Many towns and villages across Britain still mark the day. One ritual was the lighting of fires, heralding the start of shorter days, although this doesn’t really happen anymore. The idea was that flames would keep the dark away.

 

 

John Bolton heads to Moscow to plan potential Putin-Trump summit

John Bolton heads to Moscow to plan potential Putin-Trump summit (Source ABC News)

President Donald Trump may finally get his wish – a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin – as his National Security Adviser John Bolton heads to Moscow to discuss a potential meeting between the two leaders, a National Security Council spokesperson confirmed Thursday.
This would be the first formally-arranged meeting between Trump and Putin after they talked on the sidelines of two international summits in 2017, and it comes after the president’s repeated calls for stronger ties with Russia and warm words for Putin. But those calls have unnerved U.S. allies abroad and angered critics at home, who point out Putin’s abysmal human rights record; aggression in the U.K., Ukraine, Georgia, Syria, and other countries; and interference in U.S. politics, including Trump’s own election in 2016. Trump himself floated a possible meeting last Friday when speaking to reporters, saying that it “may” happen and that, “It’s much better if we get along with them than if we don’t.” Now, with Bolton traveling to Moscow, there are reports that the two sides are looking at a July meeting, possibly in a third-party country like Austria, which has a right-leaning populist leader that both Trump and Putin support.

 

 

 

1 in 3 Adults in the U.S. Takes Medications Linked to Depression

1 IN 3 ADULTS IN THE U.S. TAKES MEDICATIONS LINKED TO DEPRESSION (Source NPR)

If you take Prilosec or Zantac for acid reflux, a beta blocker for high blood pressure, or Xanax for anxiety, you may be increasing your risk of depression.

More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect. Sometimes, the risk stems from taking several drugs at the same time. Now, a new study finds people who take these medicines are, in fact, more likely to be depressed.

The list includes a wide range of commonly taken medications. Among them are certain types of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (used to treat acid reflux), beta blockers, anxiety drugs, painkillers including ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure), and anti-convulsant drugs.

“The more of these medications you’re taking, the more likely you are to report depression,” says study author Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University.

The study, which was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, included 26,192 adults who participated in a federal survey, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. All of the participants listed the medications they were taking at the time of the survey. In addition, they each completed a depression screening, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), which asks about sleep, mood and appetite.

More than a third of the people who took the survey were taking medications known to have depression or suicidal thoughts as potential side effects. Olfson and his collaborators wanted to determine whether those participants were more or less likely to be depressed, compared to participants who didn’t take any of these medications.

“What we found is that, in fact, they’re more likely,” Olfson says. And they found that people who took three or more of the medications were three times as likely to be depressed.

About 15 percent of participants who simultaneously used three or more of these drugs were depressed. By comparison, among participants who didn’t use any of the medications, just 5 percent were depressed. Even those who used just one of these medications were at slightly higher risk of depression: About 7 percent were depressed.

Olfson says the study does not prove that the medications caused the depression. “We’re just showing that if you’re already taking them, you are more likely to be depressed,” he says. To determine causation, he says, researchers would need to follow people over time — beginning at the time they start taking the medications — to see if they’re more likely to develop depression.

Nonetheless, Olfson says, he was surprised by the “strength of the association between the number of medications and the likelihood of being depressed.”

These findings may motivate people to ask their health care providers more questions. “People should always be ready to ask, ‘What are the risks and the benefits of me taking this medication?’ ” says Don Mordecai, a psychiatrist with Kaiser Permanente in San Jose, Calif. And he says doctors should be ready to have these conversations, too.

Mordecai says, if you start a new medicine it can be helpful to keep track of changes in how you feel.

“People who don’t have a history of depression and then, suddenly, start to have symptoms of depression should be concerned that it’s potentially due to a side effect, or potentially, an interaction,” Mordecai says.

It’s also worth having a conversation with your doctor about whether you might be able to stop a medication, Mordecai says. For instance, it may be possible to go off — or reduce — a medication for high blood pressure if you make other changes “such as changing your diet, limiting salt intake, or increasing exercise.”

Use of medications with depression or suicidal thoughts as potential side effects has been on the rise, according to the study’s lead author, Dima Mazen Qato, an assistant professor at the College of Pharmacy of the University of Illinois, Chicago.

“People are not only increasingly using these medicines alone, but are increasingly using them simultaneously, yet very few of these drugs have warning labels, so until we have public or system-level solutions, it is left up to patients and health care professionals to be aware of the risks,” Qato wrote in a release about the study findings.

Report on the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

REPORT ON THE SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANISATION QINGDAO MEETING (Source blacklistednews.com),

On June 9-10 2018, Quindao, China hosted a meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. The meeting was attended by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, President of the Kyrgyzstan Republic, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The Member States consistently advocate the settlement of crises in Afghanistan, Syria, the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula, as well as other regional conflicts within the framework of generally accepted norms and principles of international law. They noted the importance of the steady implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear programme. The Member States reaffirm their resolute support for UN efforts to ensure international peace and security. They noted the need for reaching a consensus on adopting the UN Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism and supported the Republic of Kazakhstan’s initiative at the UN to promote the Code of Conduct to Achieve a World Free of Terrorism.

The SCO continues to contribute to broad-based and mutually beneficial cooperation in the area of information security and to the development of universal international rules, standards and principles for the responsible conduct of states in the information space.

The SCO Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the central role of the United Nations in implementing the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development. They stressed the importance of improving global economic governance architecture and of consistently strengthening and developing the multilateral trade system with a nucleus in the World Trade Organisation in order to form an open world economy.

America’s Food Supply-Vulnerable

America’s Food Supply—Vulnerable (Source thetrumpet.com) It’s easy to take food for granted in the developed world. You go to the shops, and it’s always there. But that constant availability of food is not as secure as we’d like to think.

“Cutting off international and national food supply chains is, in fact, the easiest way to bring us to our knees,” wrote Elisabeth Braw, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, in Defense One last week. The United States produces a lot of its food at home—but far from all. Half of its fresh fruit and fruit juice comes from abroad. So does 95 percent of its fish, coffee and cocoa. Braw quoted British geographer Sir Nigel Thrift, who warned, “Our food is transported via increasingly long and complex supply chains that often involve ships; at any given time there are some 100,000 ships at sea transporting food and other commodities. Most of the ships pass through a small number of choke points, which are very easy to attack.” Braw also warned that: Our adversaries might seek to interdict naval choke points such as the straits of Gibraltar and Hormuz, disrupt the delivery hubs that feed major cities, or hack supermarkets’ logistics networks. The British grocery giant Tesco, for example, tracks its products using no less than 100 million data points. That’s challenging enough, but today most retailers operate on a just-in-time system that reduces stocks but requires constant deliveries. That makes the U.S. even more vulnerable: in case of an emergency, the apples from Chile, beef from Brazil, and milk from Austria won’t arrive in time, or at all. With U.S. enemies looking to disrupt computer systems and fuel delivery networks, “we urgently need to talk about food,” wrote Braw. Sir Nigel noted that “people talk about the consequences of the Internet being attacked, but we can live without the Internet. We can’t live without food.”

 

 

Putin: WWIII may be end of civilization, and that should restrain conflicts

Putin: WWIII may be end of civilization, and that should restrain conflicts (Source RT) A new world war could become “an end of civilization,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a live televised call-in show. Awareness of this should restrain international powers from engaging in global conflict, he added. While giving his take on the risks of a new global conflict, Putin recalled Albert Einstein. “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones,” he quoted the world renowned physicist and a Nobel Prize winner.

He went on to say that “understating of the fact that World War III could be an end of the modern civilization” should deter the world “from any radical and highly dangerous actions that could [threaten] the modern civilization.”

In a reference to the Cold War era, Putin said that “it was a fear of mutual destruction” that has always prevented the international actors from any radical moves and forced them to respect each other. The Russian leader then pointed out that recent US actions – in particular its unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty signed with the Soviet Union – are nothing but an apparent “attempt to disrupt this strategic parity.” He argued that Russia needs to develop its own state-of-the-art weapons systems to retain this condition.

 

Trump Has made the World a more dangerous and uncertain place

Trump Has Made the World a More Dangerous and Uncertain Place Says Ex-NATO Chief (Source Newsweek)

U.S. President Donald Trump will be exploited by the leaders of Russia and China because of his inexperience, making the world a more dangerous place, the former head of NATO has said. Anders Fogh Rasmussen was responding to questions over Trump’s actions like pulling out of the world climate change accord, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and sparking a possible trade war with key U.S. trading partners.

Rasmussen told Bloomberg TV: “He is a fully-fledged American isolationist and this is a clear disruption from what was seen created by President Truman immediately after the Second World War. “All presidents until President George W Bush adhered to that principle that we should have a rules-based world order led by the U.S. and this is exactly what is at stake now.” To mark the first 500 days of his presidency, Trump tweeted on June 4 that America “is winning on the world stage.” But Rasmussen, a former Danish prime minister who now runs his own consultancy, Rasmussen Global, said that under Trump, the U.S. was reneging on its role as a world leader. “The world needs a policeman to restore international law and order. The world is on fire…and I don’t see any other reliable candidate than the United States.

Bayer Wins U.S. Approval for Monsanto After Two-Year Quest

Bayer Wins U.S. Approval for Monsanto After Two-Year Quest (Source Bloomberg) Bayer AG won U.S. antitrust approval for its $66 billion takeover of Monsanto Co., clearing the last major regulatory hurdle to forming the world’s biggest seed and agricultural-chemicals provider after a nearly two-year review. The companies reached a settlement with the Justice Department that resolves the government’s concerns that the merger as initially structured would harm consumers and farmers, the U.S. said in a statement Tuesday. The agreement requires the sale of assets to BASF SE that Bayer has previously announced. The divestiture package is worth about $9 billion, the largest in a U.S. merger enforcement case, the government said. “America’s farm system is of critical importance to our economy, to our food system, and to our way of life,” Makan Delrahim, the head of the department’s antitrust division, said on a call with reporters. “American farmers and consumers rely on head-to-head competition between Bayer and Monsanto.”

For Bayer, acquiring Monsanto is the last step in a corporate transformation as the 154-year-old company shed its plastics business and remade itself as a life-science company with equally-sized health and agriculture units. Once the deal goes through, three global behemoths will dominate the world’s agriculture industry, a prospect that has left farmers worried about the possibility of higher prices and less choice. National Farmers Union, the second-largest American farmers group, criticized the Justice Department Tuesday for “continued rubber-stamping” of mergers in food and agriculture. “This extreme consolidation drives up costs for farmers and it limits their choice of products in the marketplace,” the group said in a statement. “We will now focus our efforts on ensuring the promises made by Bayer and Monsanto throughout this approval process are kept.”

 

Pentagon pledges to continue ops in South China Sea, ignoring Beijings’s Warning

Pentagon pledges to continue ops in South China Sea, ignoring Beijing’s warning (Source RT)

The US Navy has pledged to continue regularly sending warships and jets to the South China Sea, openly defying China’s accusations of violating its sovereignty.

American warships will continue to be deployed in the region “on an everyday basis,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Logan told the Russian media on Sunday. He said that the US Navy operated strictly within the international rules, exercising the freedom of navigation. The Pentagon statement contradicts strong words coming from Beijing. The Chinese Defense Ministry accused the US of “provocation” and infringing upon China’s sovereignty by conducting operations near the disputed Paracel Islands.

The islands remain a highly contested territory, with China being one the claimants. Two US warships, a destroyer and a corvette, sailed within 12 nautical miles of the islands on Sunday. In response to their voyage, China used its own armed vessels and aircraft to warn off the US forces.

The tensions between China and the US over maneuvers in the South China Sea escalated last week, when the Pentagon revoked the Chinese navy’s invitation to participate in the RIMPAC 2018 naval drills, accusing Beijing of ‘militarizing’ the region.