Home » Posts tagged 'reuters'

Tag Archives: reuters

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Cataclysm
Click on image to purchase

No, Rate Cuts Were Not Discussed: ECB Insiders Out Draghi as Fabricator & Schemer, and Talk to Reuters

No, Rate Cuts Were Not Discussed: ECB Insiders Out Draghi as Fabricator & Schemer, and Talk to Reuters

Draghi’s shenanigans get hilarious, months before his term ends.

So here’s ECB President Mario Draghi, whose term ends in October, and he’s at the ECB Forum in Portugal, and in a speech on Tuesday titled innocuously, “Twenty Years of the ECB’s monetary policy” – so this wasn’t a press conference after an ECB policy meeting or anything, but a speech on history at an ECB Forum – he suddenly threw out a whole bunch of stuff…

How, “in the absence of improvement” of inflation, “additional stimulus will be required,” in form of “further cuts in policy interest rates” and additional bond purchases, and how “in the coming weeks, the Governing Council will deliberate how our instruments can be adapted commensurate to the severity of the risk to price stability,” and that “all these options were raised and discussed at our last meeting.”

Whoa! Wait a minute, said the good folks who were part of the ECB’s June meeting. These options were not discussed, they told Reuters on Tuesday.

Draghi had ventured out there on his own – apparently trying to push his colleagues into a corner single-handedly as his last hurrah.

His vision laid out on Tuesday was quite a change from the June 6 post-meeting announcement, which didn’t mention anything about even discussing rate cuts. It said that the ECB expects its policy rates to “remain at their present levels at least through the first half of 2020,” before the ECB would begin to raise them, with the bias still on raising rates, not cutting rates. That was less than two weeks ago, and there had not been another ECB policy meeting since then.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

This Assange Supporter Excoriating The Press Is The Best Thing You’ll Watch All Day

This Assange Supporter Excoriating The Press Is The Best Thing You’ll Watch All Day

Julian Assange’s latest US extradition hearing was a brief affair which saw the WikiLeaks founder’s next hearing scheduled for sometime after the end of February, nearly at the end of his 50-week sentence for a bail conditions violation. According to Reuters Assange was lucid and spirited enough to argue with the prosecution a bit, telling the American lawyer via videolink, “I didn’t break any password whatsoever.”

So that’s somewhat encouraging. A short time earlier, on the other side of the Westminster Magistrates courthouse wall, a far more animated scene had just been live-streamed to the world.

During a lively pro-Assange demonstration outside, independent reporter and political commentator Gordon Dimmack took the bullhorn, pointed it at the press crew which had gathered awaiting news from the courthouse, and delivered a scathing rebuke to them which is about the most delightful and cathartic thing that an Assange supporter can possibly watch.

“Today’s the day that journalism gets put on trial,” Dimmack said. “And it’s interesting that behind me there are this many cameras. There haven’t been this many cameras for quite a while. It’s interesting that when Julian was dragged out and kidnapped from within that Ecuadorian embassy, all of you guys had actually gone home, and it was a Russian TV station that actually caught it, Ruptly. It’s almost as if you don’t care.”

“For seven years you have smeared and slandered that man who is going to appear on video in that court in about fifteen minutes,” Dimmack told the mainstream press, right to their fucking faces. “You are all responsible for what has happened today! All of you in the media! Every one of you. You have got blood on your hands.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Condemns Russian-Syrian Airstrikes As “Rebels” Urge External Intervention

US Condemns Russian-Syrian Airstrikes As “Rebels” Urge External Intervention 

Here we go again in what now seems a yearly exercise: the United States has put Russia and the Syrian government on notice as both ramp up airstrikes on Idlib province in Syria’s northwest. The last time Russian jets and the Syrian Army prepared for a major assault on the al-Qaeda held province was in September of last year — an offensive that had been ultimately called off at the time when the Trump administration threatened another military strike against Damascus

The State Department on Tuesday slammed the renewed assault as “indiscriminate” and a “reckless escalation” of violence, according to Reuters. “Indiscriminate attacks on civilians and public infrastructure such as schools, markets and hospitals is a reckless escalation of the conflict and is unacceptable,” a spokesperson said. “The violence must end.”

International reports have cited over 200 civilian deaths since government operations gained in intensity this month, following a series anti-Assad insurgent attacks against government areas outside nearby Hama as well as Latakia province. 

Damascus says it’s retaliating for stepped up HTS terror operations (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham/Syrian AQ/formerly Nusra) in a pattern of escalation that looks to continue. Russia’s Khmeimim airbase has also faced more severe attacks in the past weeks via HTS rockets, mortars, and terror drones. 

Early this week an anti-Assad opposition official urged immediate military intervention by Turkey, a call which in the past also been requested of the United States and western allies. 

Meanwhile, international media reports have again begun spotlighting the potential for mass humanitarian disaster and refugee displacement. But the mainstay of al-Qaeda’s dominant force in Syria is now lodged among some three million civilians in the area — a fact which even the US government has previously recognized

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Lira Tumbles, Turkish Stocks Enter Bear Market After US Issues Ultimatum; Russia Furious

Lira Tumbles, Turkish Stocks Enter Bear Market After US Issues Ultimatum; Russia Furious

The Turkish Lira tumbled as much as 1% against the dollar, leading a decline across emerging markets…

… while Turkish stock market losses accelerated as the Borsa Istanbul 100 Index falls 1.5%, declining for a 6th day and 13 of the past 14, to touch the lowest level since January 2017, effectively entering a bear market, having tumbled 20% from the March highs.

While there wasn’t a specific event behind today’s mauling of Turkey, which to many investors has become the canary in the emerging markets coalmine, the selling picked up after Turkey said soldiers had been dispatched for training in Russia ahead of the delivery of the S-400 missile-defense system. As Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said additionally, as the deadline of S-400 system delivery looms, Turkey will send more personnel for training in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin on Wednesday condemned as unacceptable a US ultimatum delivered to Turkey meant to force Erdogan to cancel a deal to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems and purchase U.S. Patriot missile systems instead. According to Reuters, Moscow was responding to a CNBC report which said Washington had given Turkey just over two weeks to scrap the Russian deal and do an arms deal with the United States instead or “risk severe penalties.” More from CNBC:

Turkey has a little more than two weeks to decide whether to complete a complex arms deal with the U.S. or risk severe penalties by going through with an agreement to buy a missile system from Russia, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

By the end of the first week of June, Turkey must cancel a multibillion-dollar deal with Russia and instead buy Raytheon’s U.S.-made Patriot missile defense system — or face removal from Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program, forfeiture of 100 promised F-35 jets, imposition of U.S. sanctions and potential blowback from NATO.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Reuters: OPEC’s Oil Production Drops To Lowest Since 2015

Reuters: OPEC’s Oil Production Drops To Lowest Since 2015

oil storage

OPEC’s oil production in March 2019 fell to its lowest level since February 2015, as Saudi Arabia cut more than it had pledged under the output cut deal and Venezuela continued to struggle amid U.S. sanctions and a major blackout, the monthly Reuters survey showed on Monday.

The combined production of all 14 OPEC members stood at 30.4 million bpd last month, down by 280,000 bpd compared to February and the lowest level of OPEC production since February four years ago, according to the survey.  

Production in March beat the previous four-year-low record of the cartel’s oil production from February 2019. As per Reuters survey last month, OPEC’s oil production fell by 300,000 bpd in February compared to January to stand at 30.68 million bpd.  

The figures in the survey for March suggest that Saudi Arabia continues to over-deliver in its share of the cuts, as it has promised multiple times since the new OPEC+ deal began in January 2019.

Under the OPEC/non-OPEC agreement for a total of 1.2 million bpd cuts between January and June, Saudi Arabia’s share is a cut of 322,000 bpd from the October level of 10.633 million, to reduce output to 10.311 million bpd.

The rate of compliance from the eleven OPEC members bound by the pact—with Iran, Venezuela, and Libya exempted—also suggests that the Saudis and their Arab Gulf partners are deepening the cuts.

The eleven OPEC members with quotas had a combined compliance of 135 percent in March, surging from 101 percent in February, according to the Reuters survey tracking supply to the market and based on shipping data and information provided by sources at oil companies, consulting firms, and OPEC.

The survey did not provide figures for the Saudi production, but estimated that exempt Venezuela—under U.S. sanctions and suffering from a major power blackout in March—saw its oil production plummet by 150,000 bpd in March compared to February.

China Offers To Help Venezuela Restore Power As Maduro Accuses Trump, Guaido Of “Sabotage”

China Offers To Help Venezuela Restore Power As Maduro Accuses Trump, Guaido Of “Sabotage”

China offered on Wednesday to help Venezuela repair its power grid after the country was plunged into its worst blackout on record, now in its sixth day, reports Reuters

With the power blackout in its sixth day, hospitals struggled to keep equipment running, food rotted in the tropical heat and exports from the country’s main oil terminal were shut down.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang said China had noted reports that the power grid had gone down due to a hacking attack.

China is deeply concerned about this,” Lu said. –Reuters

“China hopes that the Venezuelan side can discover the reason for this issue as soon as possible and resume normal power supply and social order. China is willing to provide help and technical support to restore Venezuela’s power grid,” added Lu.

President Nicolas Maduro, who retains control of the country’s military and has the support of both Russia and China, has accused US President Donald Trump of cyber “sabotage.” 

The United States’ imperialist government ordered this attack,” Maduro said in a 35-minute televised address on Monday night accusing the White House of launching an imperialist “electromagnetic attack.” 

“They came with a strategy of war of the kind that only these criminals – who have been to war and have destroyed the people of Iraq, of Libya, of Afghanistan and of Syria – think up,” Maduro added. 

Maduro claimed that the Trump administration conducted the attack in coordination with “puppets and clowns” from the Venezuelan opposition in order to bring about a “a state of despair, of widespread want and of conflict” to justify a foreign invasion. 

Caracas-based political analyst Dimitris Pantoulas tweeted on Tuesday that Maduro appeared “worried, anxious and absolutely desperate,” adding that it’s clear that the government is not in control of the situation. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Chinese Data Leak Reveals Millions Of People Actively Tracked By Surveillance Network

Chinese Data Leak Reveals Millions Of People Actively Tracked By Surveillance Network

A data leak discovered by a Dutch internet expert has revealed over 2.5 million people who are under active surveillance by a Chinese government contractor, reports Reuters

FILE PHOTO – Security cameras are installed at the entrance to the Id Kah Mosque during a government organised trip in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, January 4, 2019. Picture via REUTERS/Ben Blanchard

An exposed database maintained by Shenzhen-based facial-recognition technology company SenseNets Technology revealed ID card numbers, birth dates and location data which went unprotected for months, according to Victor Gevers, co-founder of GDI.Foundation – a nonprofit organization which hunts for critical vulnerabilities around the internet. 

Exposed data also showed about 6.7 million location data points linked to the people which were gathered within 24 hours, tagged with descriptions such as “mosque”, “hotel,” “internet cafe” and other places where surveillance cameras were likely to be found. –Reuters

“It was fully open and anyone without authentication had full administrative rights. You could go in the database and create, read, update and delete anything,” said Gevers. 

SenseNets contracts with police departments across China, and is a subsidiary of Shenzhen-listed NetPosa Technologies Ltc, which has offices in several Chinese provinces and regions, including Xinjiang. 

Gevers said GDI.Foundation immediately alerted SenseNets to the vulnerability. While they did not respond, they took steps to secure the database. 

Beijing has been at the forefront of facial recognition technology, such as their “SkyNet” system deployed in over 16 provinces, cities and autonomous regions which can instantly scan faces and compare them to a database of criminal suspects at a speed of 3 billion times per second, according to People’s Daily

Maduro Urges Supporters To Hit Streets As Russian “Security Contractors” Arrive In Venezuela

Maduro Urges Supporters To Hit Streets As Russian “Security Contractors” Arrive In Venezuela

Update: Maduro – now backed by Russian military contractors, has urged his supporters to take to the streets to defend the legitimacy of his government. The Venezuelan leader has vowed that his country won’t turn into a “Syria or Libya” situation, and that the Venezuelan military must prepare for an invasion. 

According to Reuters, Maduro says he’s willing to travel to New York to discuss the situation with the UN Security Council. 

.@NicolasMaduro dice esta dispuesto a ir a Nueva York a debatir en Consejo de Seguridad de @ONU_es

***

As the international community splits along governments who continue to back embattled Venezuelan ruler Nicolas Maduro and governments, led by the US, who have officially recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate head of state, Reuters reported that a group of Russian mercenaries with ties to the Kremlin have been sent to Venezuela to provide security for Maduro as he struggles with the biggest threat to his rule in his six years in power.

Venz

The contractors are believed to be from the Wagner Group, a group of private contractors who have performed secret missions on behalf of the government, including fighting in Syria and the Ukraine (which brings to mind this incident from last February when US-backed forces killed 100 Russian mercenaries in what was the closest thing to a direct proxy conflict between Russia and the US in Syria). It’s unclear when the contractors arrived, or when they intend to leave. Russia has offered to mediate the conflict between Maduro and Guaido, while joining with China to criticize the US for interfering in Venezuelan affairs. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

German Business Blasts Trump’s NordStream 2 Sanctions As “Attack On EU Sovereignty”

A German business group said on Friday that any attempts by the United States to stop Europe from buying Russian gas in the form of additional sanctions against Moscow would be an attack on European sovereignty, reports Reuters.

“If the U.S. decided to sanction the use of Russian gas, that would be an attack on German and European sovereignty,” said Wolfgang Buechele, chairman of the German Committee on East European Economic Relations (GCEEER?) at a new year news conference.

The United States has threatened sanctions against European firms involved with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which would carry gas straight to Germany under the Baltic Sea. The project is being spearheaded by Russian state gas giant Gazprom, and has been driving a wedge between Germany and its allies over economic harm to Ukraine, which would be deprived of lucrative gas transit fees it currently charges.

“I believe the Nord Stream 2 project is in the pure interests of not just Germany but also of Europe,” said Buechele of the pipeline, which would branch off into Europe-wide gas transmission networks.

In July, President Trump slammed Germany at a bilateral breakfast in Brussels for being a “captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia.”

The former Chancellor of Germany is the head of the pipeline company that is supplying the gas,” Trump continued.

“Ultimately Germany will have almost 70 percent of their country controlled by Russia with natural gas. So you tell me, is that appropriate?” Trump asked. “It should have never been allowed to happen. So Germany is totally controlled by Russia.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Mainstream Media Join the US Government Offensive Against Iran: Case Study of Reuters

How Mainstream Media Join the US Government Offensive Against Iran: Case Study of Reuters

How Mainstream Media Join the US Government Offensive Against Iran: Case Study of Reuters

Summary: A 2013 news investigation of Iranian corruption by Reuters news service has been cited by at least four books published one after another, the most recently in 2018. 

It has also been cited by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2018 speech. Given the article’s ongoing influence, this article will scrutinize flaws in the reporting techniques and raise reasonable questions about several of its findings. The article will also mention, a piece of important historical context, that was long assumed, but made official in 2013 – the same year the story was published – when the US government released classified documents about its involvement in the overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected leader in 1953 and the establishment of the Shah. The purpose of this article is not to stain the reputation of an entire news agency – but to simply lay out an alternative context for interpreting a single, influential story. 

Ever since the beginning of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, the United States has been leading a propaganda campaign against Iran, minimizing own harmful role in key historical events, justifying an ousted monarchist regime, and demonizing the new political system. Frequently it is done in lighter forms, for example by claiming that new government is far from perfect or even the same as a previous one, but the methods can sometimes be so radical that the characteristics of the two systems are completely inverted.

While the Reuters claims Iran is active in spreading disinformation online, the history of the agency’s reports about Iran shows the opposite. The latest of such reports is a false report about Iran’s missile program. The falsehood of the article has been dissected here.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Wikileaks Warns Reporters Not To Publish 140 “False And Defamatory” Statements About Julian Assange

WikiLeaks is sick and tired of mainstream media outlets publishing inaccurate and at times defamatory claims about its founder, Julian Assange. So in a recent email to journalists who regularly cover the organization, Wikileaks described 140 “false and defamatory” claims about its founder, who has been living inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 2012.

According to Reuters, WikiLeaks accused the Guardian of publishing a false report about Assange, though it was not immediately clear what specific report prompted the warning. The Guardian has refused to comment on the allegations.

The 5,000 word email claimed it was defamatory to suggest that Assange had ever been an “agent or officer of any intelligence service,” or that he had ever been employed by the Russian government, or that he is – or has been – closely connected with the Russian state.

Assange

Some of the claims were more bizarre, like claiming that Assange was a pedophile, rapist, murder or a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Others pertained to personal hygiene, like that Assange bleaches his hair, or has poor grooming habits. They also said it was defamatory to claim that Assange is a hacker or that he is not an Australian citizen.

Assange has remained in the embassy for fear that he could be extradited to the US to face charges stemming from violations of the Espionage Act. According to reports from late last year, the DOJ is preparing to file an indictment of Assange. Meanwhile, speculation that Ecuador could soon withdraw its offer of asylum has been simmering since President Lenin Moreno took over from the seemingly more sympathetic Rafael Correa.

Though the email was marked “not for publication,” a copy leaked online in its entirety.

Read the full text below:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Commentary: 2019 will be the year of more state control

A signature theme of the new year is the possibility of a malign confrontation between the world’s greatly enhanced capacity for electronic surveillance and the weakening of democratic control. The antidote to that risk is the democratic spirit and civil freedoms – both of which are suffering world-wide. These are not dead, but they are unwell, at times untended.

A man goes through the process of eye scanning for Aadhaar, India’s national government database, at a registration centre in New Delhi, Jan. 17, 2018. REUTERS/Saumya Khandelwal

The world’s two most populous states, China and India –together, around 37 percent of the global population – have rolled out nationwide digital systems of monitoring and classification. These combine the collection of personal information needed for fuller citizenship with the capacity for fuller surveillance and intervention by the state.

China’s system overtly seeks to monitor the behavior of its 1.4 billion people and to reward those actions the state/Communist Party defines as “good” or punish those it defines as “bad.” It is the secular alternative to religiously-guided societies, substituting the commandments of a god mediated through a priesthood with the criteria of a state whose ruling party claims virtual infallibility through its interpretation of the philosophy of Karl Marx aided by a gloss provided by its president – the “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” now written into China’s constitution.

The country’s “social credit system” combines face, voice and fingerprint recognition technology with monitoring of public and private behavior such as internet use, educational choices and social networks, as well as a huge web of paid informants who report unusual activities.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

French Police Brace for Fifth Wave of Yellow Vest Protests

France is set to deploy tens of thousands of police and gendarmes across the country on Saturday, including 8,000 in Paris, to deal with a fifth weekend of Yellow Vest protests – just days after three people were killed and 13 injured after a mass shooting in the eastern city of Strasbourg.

Paris police chief Michel Delpuech said authorities are on watch for “violent groups” infiltrating the protests, and that riot officers will protect landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe and the presidential palace, reports Reuters.

We need to be prepared for worst-case scenarios,” Delpuech told RTL radio, who added that he doesn’t expect businesses in the capital to suffer the same level of disruption as they have over the past three weeks, when major stores and hotels suffered a dramatic drop in business as tourists avoided the area.

This weekend’s Yellow Vest protests, nicknamed “Acte V” – mark the fifth week of anti-government outrage which began over opposition to an announced fuel-tax designed to pay for climate change policies.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said it was time for the Yellow Vests to tone down their protests and acknowledge that they had achieved their goals after French President Emmanuel Macron rolled out a series of economic and tax incentives, including a minimum wage hike, no tax on overtime pay, tax-free year-end bonuses, and a six month delay to the fuel tax.

While most French people polled by Odoxa said they found Macron’s proposal “satisfactory,” 59% of those polled say they were “not convinced” by the measures.

54% of those surveyed said the Yellow Vest protests should continue.

Many of the Yellow Vests have flat-out rejected Macron’s proposals, according to European-Views.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mexico’s Oil Crisis Deepens

Mexico’s Oil Crisis Deepens

Pemex oil

Mexico’s state oil company Pemex said it produced an average 1.76 million bpd of crude in October, down 7 percent from October last year, Reuters reports, citing data released by the company. This is also one of the lowest monthly production rates since 1990 when records began.

The decline was attributed to the natural depletion of mature fields, highlighting the urgent need for new production in the country. The outgoing government of Enrique Pena Nieto launched a sweeping reform in Mexico’s energy sector, one of its aims being to open up the local oil wealth to foreign operators in order to stem this decline in production. The incoming government is currently reviewing oil contracts signed by the previous administration to make sure no corruption was involved in the deals.

Exports of crude also declined last month, and by a lot more than production. Pemex exported an average 1.03 million bpd, down by 25 percent from a year earlier. President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador earlier this year said Pemex should keep more crude for its refineries instead of exporting it to reduce Mexico’s dependency on imported fuels, but the country’s refining sector needs a lot of work to make this plan successful.

It was in October that Pemex’s refineries hit a record low utilization rate of 25.7 percent, according to an S&P Global Platts report, which also noted the causes of the drop included shortages of light crude and technical difficulties at some refineries. Pemex would need to upgrade its refineries to produce more gasoline to make local refining more profitable as currently its facilities produce a lot more fuel oil than would make economic sense.

Despite the problems, Obrador has ambitious plans, including an increase in crude oil production to 2.6 million bpd by the end of his six-year term in office and a lot more domestic refining.

China Ambassador Warns Of “Dire Consequences” If No Deal, Hints At “All Out” War

Earlier today, Trump’s chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow poured cold water on expectations for an imminent resolution of the US-China trade war when he said that negotiations in the run up to this week’s G-20 talks “haven’t yielded any progress”, and unless something changes, the “administration will move ahead with the next phase of tariffs.”

“Things have been moving very slowly between the two countries,” Kudlow said, adding that it was up to Xi to come up with new ideas to break the deadlock. And, echoing a report from the US Trade Representative published earlier this month, Kudlow said there hasn’t been much of a change in China’s approach. “We can’t find much change in their approach,” Kudlow told reporters. “President Xi may have a lot more to say in the bilateral [with Mr Trump], I hope he does by the way, I think we all hope he does…but at the moment, we don‘t see it.”

Just a few hours later, a report by Reuters confirmed that Kudlow won’t be “seeing it” for a long time, because according to China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, China is going to this week’s G-20 summit hoping for a deal to ease a damaging trade war with the United States, even as he warned of “dire consequences” if U.S. hardliners – read the trade hawks led by Peter Navarro – try to separate the world’s two largest economies.

China’s ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai 

Asked whether he though hardliners in the White House were seeking to separate the closely linked U.S. and Chinese economies, Cui said he did not think it was possible or helpful to do so, but warned that “I don’t know if people really realize the possible consequences – the impact, the negative impact – if there is such a decoupling.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Cataclysm
Click on image to purchase