Monday 20th of May 2019

crossing red lines...


Relations between the US and its European allies have been strained since Washington imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe and withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

EU Payment System 

On Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that if Europe wants to save the Iran nuclear agreement, it  should reassess its partnership with the US and create an EU payment system to serve as a "counterweight" to the United States whenever Washington "crosses red lines," Deutsche Welle reported.

"Single-handedly, we will fail in this task. The main goal of our foreign policy is therefore to build a sovereign, strong Europe," Maas wrote in a guest article for the German business newspaper Handelsblatt.

"That's why it is indispensable that we strengthen European autonomy by creating payment channels that are independent of the United States, a European Monetary Fund and an independent SWIFT system," Maas wrote.


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Picture above by Gus Leonisky


You’re sanctioned! You’re bombed! You’re invaded! The US has plenty of punishments lined up for states which it claims are doing things wrong. But what if the rest of the world held the US to the same standards?

Last Thursday was quite an unusual day. The US didn’t impose new sanctions on anyone. Not unless I missed it while I was lying on my sofa with tendonitis (cured after a day, I’m pleased to say, by my wife’s ‘Two-Pointing’).

At present the US operates active sanctions programs against almost 20 countries: from Belarus to Zimbabwe. And guess what? By and large the reasons the US gives for sanctioning these countries could just as equally be used to sanction the US.

Let’s look at the recently re-imposed sanctions on Iran, some of which came into force on August 6, with others set for November 4. The financial punishments don’t just target Iran. In a particularly nasty, school playground-style bullying tactic they target countries and foreign financial institutions which trade with Iran too. The Islamic Republic is accused of “malign behavior.” Of being a leading, sorry, make that “THE world’s leading state sponsor of terror.”

In fact Tehran’s crime has been to help defeat the terrorism, euphemistically described as “rebel activity,”supported by the US and its regional allies in Syria.


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a taste of fat free regime change, state terrorism cheese and nuclear-deal curdle...

of furphies and tonnages...

The top five exporters of steel to the United States are:

1. Canada
2. Brazil
3. South Korea
4. Mexico
5. Russia

China ranks 11th among the countries that export steel to the U.S.

The top four exporters of aluminum to the U.S. are:

1. Canada
2. Russia
3. United Arab Emirates
4. China









EU industry steels itself for U.S. tariffs | Reuters

Mar 9, 2018 - Europe is the biggest exporter of steel to the United States, accounting for nearly 5 million tonnes out of total U.S. imports of about 35 million tonnes a year. ... adding that about one in every four jobs in Germany depends on exports. ... iron ore used in aluminum and steel manufacture, anything that hampers ...

"Europe is the biggest exporter of steel to the United States"... This statement can only be (BARELY) true if RUSSIA IS INCLUDED IN THE COUNT.

meanwhile, at the russian cheese factory...

Oleg Sirota, a cheese-making businessman, thanked Putin for the sanctions restricting imports. The sanctions imposed by Moscow in response to restrictive measures imposed by the West had helped Oleg develop his own business. Key factors in his success included the West enforced Russian government's protectionist policy, a low rouble, and some subsidies.

Vladimir Putin said he was not the one to thank. "Thank Washington!", he said, recalling that the United States was behind the sanctions imposed on Russia at the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014.

The businessman worried that such favourable conditions would disappear when the sanctions are lifted. The Russian President had to reassure him, not without irony, that the current state of Russian-American diplomatic relations did not allow any consideration of lifting sanctions in the near future.

As well, the entrepreneur told the Russian President that he had tried nine times to send him some of the cheese he had produced, but he was not sure if Putin had received it. Putin replied that his bodyguards had probably eaten the goods.


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Read from top. Translation by Jules Letambour.

uber germany in the kindy...

A 60-page advice brochure for German kindergartens instructs teachers on how to identify and deal with children from 'far-right' families. Critics say it encourages spying and equates wearing braids and dresses with nationalism.

The manual, titled 'Inequality and Early Education,' was published by an anti-racist NGO, Amadeu Antonio Foundation. It was co-funded by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs.

The guide is designed to help the kindergarten staff to detect and deal with children from far-right families in the wake of the "significant increase in the right-wing populist movements" in Germany, the Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Franziska Giffey wrote in the brochure's introduction.

The brochure suggests that the staff should be alerted of far-right views exhibited by the children and their parents. It offers advice on how to act in various scenarios. For example, what to do if a child draws swastikas in kindergarten and says it is "a good thing" at home.


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pipa the (gay) pig or masha the russian bear?...