RUSSIA CONSIDERING ‘SURGICAL STRIKE’ ON UKRAINE (Source RIA Novosti) Moscow is considering “surgical retaliatory strikes” on the Ukrainian territory after the standoff has led to first civilian victims among Russians on Russia’s territory, a Kremlin source told Kommersant Monday.
“Our patience is not boundless,” the source told the newspaper, stressing that “this means not a massive action but exclusively targeted single strikes on positions from which the Russian territory is fired at.”
The Russian side “knows for sure the site where the fire comes from,” the source said. The proposed plan echoes a statement by a deputy speaker of Russia’s upper house, Yevgeniy Bushmin, who told RIA Novosti Sunday that using precision weapons in response to Ukraine’s shelling would prevent further Kiev’s attacks of Russia’s territory.
‘You Can Conquer Vast Territories Without Big Armies’ (Source thetrumpet.com)”In the 21st century we have seen a tendency toward blurring the lines between the states of war and peace,” Russian Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov wrote . “The very ‘rules of war’ have changed,” Gerasimov wrote. “The role of nonmilitary means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown, and, in many cases, they have exceeded the power of force of weapons in their effectiveness.” He continued: The focus of applied methods of conflict has altered in the direction of the broad use of political, economic, informational, humanitarian, and other nonmilitary measures—applied in coordination with the protest potential of the population. All this is supplemented by military means of a concealed character, including carrying out actions of informational conflict and the actions of special-operations forces. The open use of forces—often under the guise of peacekeeping and crisis regulation—is resorted to only at a certain stage, primarily for the achievement of final success in the conflict. This is exactly what we saw in Crimea and Ukraine. Russian-controlled TV blared out the constant message that the new government in Kiev was packed with Nazis. Then Russia used special forces in disguise to take over the Crimean Peninsula, catching the West by surprise. This led to the rigged referendum and eventual annexation of Crimea into Russia.
BRICS ANNOUNCE $100 BILLION RESERVE TO BYPASS FED, DEVELOPED WORLD CENTRAL BANKS (Source Zero Hedge) The anti-dollar alliance among the BRICS has successfully created a so-called “mini-IMF” since the BRICS are clearly furious with the IMF as it stands currently: this is what the world’s developing nations just said on this topic “We remain disappointed and seriously concerned with the current non-implementation of the 2010 International Monetary Fund (IMF) reforms, which negatively impacts on the IMF’s legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness.” As Putin explains, this is part of “a system of measures that would help prevent the harassment of countries that do not agree with some foreign policy decisions made by the United States and their allies.” Initial capital for the BRICS Bank will be $50 Billion – paid in equal share among the 5 members (with a contingent reserve up to $100 Billion) and will see India as the first President. The BRICS Bank will be based in Shanghai and chaired by Russia. Simply put, as Sovereign Man’s Simon Black warns, “when you see this happen, you’ll know it’s game over for the dollar. The punchline, however, is that using bilateral swaps, the BRICS are effectively disintermediating themselves from a Fed and other “developed world” central-bank dominated world and will provide their own funding. We are pleased to announce the signing of the Treaty for the establishment of the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) with an initial size of US$ 100 billion. This arrangement will have a positive precautionary effect, help countries forestall short-term liquidity pressures, promote further BRICS cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements…. The Agreement is a framework for the provision of liquidity through currency swaps in response to actual or potential short-term balance of payments pressures.
France Calls for a ‘Rebalancing’ of the World Economy (Source thetrumpet.com) Last week French Finance Minister Michel Sapin spoke out against the United States’ dollar’s standing as the world’s reserve currency. Upset with a $9 billion fine leveled by the U.S. against French bank BNP Paribas for helping nations like Sudan and Cuba avoid U.S. sanctions, Sapin called for a “rebalancing” of currencies used to make global payments. Translation: The dollar has to go. America could eventually lose a lot of customers for U.S. dollars. The BRICS nations make up roughly one third of the world’s population and 25 percent of the global economy, and they are trying to move away from the United States as quickly as possible. It’s not only Asian nations like Russia, China and India that are becoming increasingly opposed to America. Europe is concerned too as it tries to right its struggling economy and now faces a belligerent Russia, which some nations feel U.S. policy has exacerbated. France has made its disgust known. The spying scandal in Germany has newspapers saying the U.S.-German relationship has never been lower. Poland reportedly claimed its relationship with America is “worthless.” Nation after nation is starting to turn away from America and looking for alternative allies. That may be the biggest threat to the U.S. dollar. It’s not that a grand rival currency currently exists, it’s that everyone is disgusted with America and its dollar. Even if alternatives are equally bad, or in some aspects worse, the political impetus to adopt them anyway—just to spite America—is growing.
The summer of Supermoons is here (Source cnn.com) What’s better than a “supermoon”? Three Supermoons! The full moons of summer this year — July 12, August 10 and September 9 — will all be Supermoons, as NASA calls them. The phenomenon happens when the moon becomes full on the same day as its perigee — the point in the moon’s orbit when it’s closet to Earth. Supermoon linked to supercreativity? We think so “Generally speaking, full Moons occur near perigee every 13 months and 18 days, so it’s not all that unusual,” Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory said in a statement from NASA. “In fact, just last year there were three perigee Moons in a row, but only one was widely reported.” Chester was talking about the Supermoon that happened in June last year. It was 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons of 2013, and garnered international headlines.
MONSANTO’S HERBICIDE LINKED TO FATAL KIDNEY DISEASE EPIDEMIC: COULD IT TOPPLE MONSANTO? (Source truth-out.org) Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup has been linked to a mysterious fatal kidney disease epidemic that has appeared in Central America, Sri Lanka and India. For years, scientists have been trying to unravel the mystery of a chronic kidney disease epidemic that has hit Central America, India and Sri Lanka. The disease occurs in poor peasant farmers who do hard physical work in hot climes. In each instance, the farmers have been exposed to herbicides and to heavy metals. The disease is known as CKDu, for Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology. The “u” differentiates this illness from other chronic kidney diseases where the cause is known. Very few Western medical practitioners are even aware of CKDu, despite the terrible toll it has taken on poor farmers from El Salvador to South Asia. David McQueen, a US delegate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who has since retired from the agency, explained the US position. “The idea was to keep the focus on the key big risk factors that we could control and the major causes of death: heart disease, cancer and diabetes. And we felt, the position we were taking, that CKD was included.” The United States was wrong. The delegates from Central America were correct. CKDu is a new form of illness. This kidney ailment does not stem from diabetes, hypertension or other diet-related risk factors. Unlike the kidney disease found in diabetes or hypertension, the kidney tubules are a major site of injury in CKDu, suggesting a toxic etiology.
Russia writes off 90% of Cuba’s debt ahead of Putin’s ‘big tour’ to L. America (Source RT)Russia has written down $32 billion of Cuba’s Soviet era debt. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law ahead of his official visit to Latin America, with Havana as his first stop. The agreement was first signed in October 2013 and draws a line under a twenty-year dispute. Cuba is now required to pay back $3.2 billion over the next 10 years. The first payment from Cuba is expected in October, and the money will be transferred to an account of the Russian Bank opened at the National Bank of Cuba. The agreement was signed into a law on Friday ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official visit to Latin America, where Cuba comes the first.
Cash-strapped Cuba has been feverishly trying to restructure its debt to jump start its economy and attract investment. Three years ago it restructured $6 billion it owes to China, and in 2012 Japan forgave about $1.4 billion. Mexico recently forgave $478 million of Cuban debt, and Havana agreed to pay back $146 million over 10 years. Cuba’s total debt was officially estimated at $13.6 billion in 2012 which is described s “active”. Other debt collected prior to its default in 1980s is referred to as “passive”. Cuba remains a strong ally of Russia, with trade between the two countries at about $200 million last year. After the Soviet Union broke up Russia became the legal successor to Cuba’s loans. Cuba in turn rejected this, saying that the debt was in a currency that no longer existed, and was to a country that had vanished.
Italian EU presidency backs South Stream (Source euobserver.com) The Italian EU presidency is in favour of a controversial Russian pipeline, South Stream, which would circumvent Ukraine to bring gas to south-east Europe. “We think South Stream should go ahead, as it would improve the diversification of gas routes to Europe,” Italy’s state secretary for EU affairs Sandro Gozi said on Thursday (10 July) during a press event in Brussels. He echoed statements made by Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini who visited Moscow on Wednesday and met with her Russian counterpart. She said the pipeline was “very important for the energy security of our country, as well as that of the entire European area”, but stressed that the project should comply with EU law. She also invited Russian leader Vladimir Putin to a meeting of Asian and European leaders in Milan in October. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said during that Mogherini press conference that Italy and Russia “confirm our goal on completing the construction project of the South Stream gas pipeline … and to continue active work in order to remove all issues that may arise, including in regard to the dialogue with the European Commission.” Work on the South Stream pipeline was halted in Bulgaria last month after the EU commission said it was in breach of the bloc’s energy and public procurement laws. Energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger said at the time that the ongoing Ukraine crisis has also made the EU wary of going ahead with the project. South Stream would deprive Ukraine of transit revenues from the gas pipelines that cross its territory and bring about 80 percent of Russian gas exports to EU countries. It would also enable it to cut off supplies to Ukraine to exert political pressure, without affecting its EU gas clients.
Germany asks top US intelligence official to leave country over spy row (Source theguardian.com)
Diplomatic relations between Germany and the US plunged to a new low after Angela Merkel’s government asked the top representative of America’s secret services in Germany to leave the country. While not formally amounting to a full expulsion, the move nonetheless sends a dramatic signal: after a year-long dispute triggered by the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Merkel seems to have finally run out of patience with Washington’s failure to explain itself. According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, the US embassy staffer who has been asked to leave is a CIA “chief of station” who coordinates secret service activity in Germany, and who emerged as the key contact for two German officials recently arrested for allegedly spying for the US.
According to German media reports, such drastic action had previously only been thinkable when dealing with “pariah states like North Korea or Iran”. Clemens Binninger, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democrats, who chairs the committee that oversees the intelligence services, said at a press conference in Berlin that the action came in response to America’s “failure to cooperate on resolving various allegations, starting with theNSA and up to the latest incidents”. It follows two reported cases of suspected US espionage in Germany and the year-long spat over reported NSA spying in the country, includingclaims that Merkel’s phone was tapped.
US ‘kidnaps’ Russian MP’s son to ‘exchange him for Snowden’(Source Ria Novosti) A Russian MP claims the US kidnapped his son from the Maldives on bogus cyber-fraud charges and may be preparing to offer him as bait in a swap deal for Edward Snowden. Roman Seleznyov, 30, was arrested at Male international airport as he was about to board a flight to Moscow. He was forced by US secret service agents to board a private plane to Guam and was later arrested. The Russian ministry slammed his detention as “a de-facto kidnapping.” Moscow considers the kidnapping “a new hostile move by Washington,” and accused the US of ignoring proper procedure in dealing with foreign nationals suspected of crimes. In an interview to RT Russian MP Valery Seleznyov, Roman’s father pointed to the illegality of the US kidnap. “For all I know they may be demanding a ransom tomorrow. Or try to exchange him for [NSA whistleblower Edward] Snowden or somebody. One can only wonder.” He cannot contact his son and claims American authorities are denying Roman his rights. “They took him to Guam because American law is not fully applicable there,” the lawmaker explained. The MP said that his son has scant computer skills and could not be involved in any sort of hacking.