Pope Francis and Russian Patriarch Kirill to meet in Cuba to heal 1,000 year rift

•February 9, 2016 • 7 Comments

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https://www.rt.com/news/331391-russian-patriarch-meet-pope/

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, is to meet his Roman Catholic counterpart, Pope Francis, during a historic visit to Latin America. The groundbreaking meeting is to happen in mid-February in Cuba.

The meeting between heads the two major Christian churches would be an unprecedented move to mend a millennium-long rift between the Western and Eastern branches of the religion, which started with the Great Schism of 1054.

The upcoming meeting confirms Russia’s status in the Christian world, according to Alexandr Avdeev Russia’s ambassador to the Holy See.  “In light of the Western sanctions, the meeting between the two celebrants is a confirmation of Russia’s role in Christian civilization,” he told TASS.

Persecution of Christians in the modern world is the main issue for the two leaders to discuss, the Russian Orthodox Church said. Christians are among the minorities suffering at the hands of groups adhering to radical Islamist ideology in places like Iraq, Syria and Somalia.

In addition to Cuba, Patriarch Kirill’s Latin American tour from February 11-22 includes Paraguay, Chile and Brazil. The meeting with Pope Francis will happen on February 12.

“The intersection of the routes allowed this meeting to be organized,” commented Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Foreign Relations Department.

“The situation in the Middle East, in northern and central Africa and in some other regions where extremists are perpetrating genocide of Christians, requires immediate action and even closer cooperation between Christian churches.

“In the current tragic situation, we need to put aside internal disagreements and join efforts to save Christianity in the regions where it is subjected to most severe persecution,” he said.

Sergey Brun from the Museum of Russian Icons told RT that the meeting could signal a possible warming of relations between Russia and the West.

“It is a sign that the relations are going to get warmer at least between one of the parts of the Orthodox church, namely the Russian Orthodox church, and the church of Rome…I hope it will positively influence the dialogue between Russia and the West.”

The pontiff will make a stop in Cuba on his way to Mexico.

————

another step down the path to a one world religion?

“The meeting between heads the two major Christian churches would be an unprecedented move to mend a millennium-long rift between the Western and Eastern branches of the religion, which started with the Great Schism of 1054.”

the “great schism”..cute..

next will be the lutherans? ;)

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UN Security Council vows new sanctions after North Korea’s rocket launch

•February 9, 2016 • 2 Comments

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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35518058

The UN Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket.

After an urgent meeting in New York, the council said it would soon adopt a new sanctions resolution in response.

Pyongyang said it fired the rocket to place a satellite in orbit – but critics believe the real purpose was to test a ballistic missile.

Sunday’s launch comes weeks after North Korea held a fourth nuclear test – both acts violate UN resolutions.

Speaking after the closed-door talks, Venezuela’s UN envoy Rafael Ramirez, the current council president, said: “The members of the Security Council strongly condemn this launch.”

He called it “a serious violation of the Security Council resolution”.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said Washington would now “ensure that the Security Council imposes serious consequences” on Pyongyang.

“There can be no business as usual,” she said, adding that “we’ll come up with something tough”.

Ms Power’s words were echoed by Japanese envoy Motohide Yoshikawa, who said sanctions must be strengthened.

“The existing sanctions have not stopped North Korea from developing nuclear weapons,” he said.

The council meeting was requested by South Korea, Japan and the US.

———-

seems to be an annual event..every January or February the kimbots get all frisky and let off some missiles..just to remind everyone they are a pariah state with a psychopath in charge..i wont lose any sleep over it..china has them under lock and key..dont buy the fear..

“There can be no business as usual,” she said, adding that “we’ll come up with something tough”

*yawn

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China’s currency reserves plunged in January

•February 9, 2016 • 2 Comments

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http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35516054

China’s foreign currency reserves plunged by $99.5bn in January, the People’s Bank of China reported.

China has been running down its vast foreign currency reserves in an attempt to boost the value of its own currency and stem a flow of funds overseas.

At $3.23 trillion, China still has the world’s biggest reserve of foreign currency holdings.

But that has declined by $420bn over six months and stands at the lowest level since May 2012.

“While the remaining reserves still represent a substantial war chest, the mathematics around this rapid pace of depletion in recent months is simply unsustainable for any length of time,” said Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific Chief Economist, IHS Global Insight.

The Chinese authorities fear a rapid devaluation of their currency, as it could destabilise the economy.

Many Chinese businesses hold debt in dollars and managing those debts with a severely weakened yuan could cause problems and some companies to fail.

So China has been trying to engineer an ordered devaluation of the yuan, but that is proving hard to deliver.

Investors have been trying to pull funds out of investments priced in yuan and speculators have been betting on further falls in the currency.

To stabilise the situation China has been selling dollars and buying yuan.

And it has been using other tactics, including curbing currency speculation and ordering offshore banks to retain their reserves of yuan.

Commenting on the decline, veteran economist, George Magnus noted that there is “confusion” over China’s foreign currency policy.

“Clearly this can’t go on for long,” he tweeted, referring to the fall in currency reserves.

———-

not as much currency wars..as currency manipulations..

“At $3.23 trillion, China still has the world’s biggest reserve of foreign currency holdings. But that has declined by $420bn over six months and stands at the lowest level since May 2012.”

six of one..half a dozen of the other..

“To stabilise the situation China has been selling dollars and buying yuan.”

from one side of the pond to the other..watch the ripples..

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US government to invest $120 million in developing & manufacturing the “Israeli invention” for detecting and identifying tunnels

•February 9, 2016 • 2 Comments

56b3bd35c36188eb3a8b4581

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4761192,00.html

The US government is set to invest $120 million in developing and manufacturing the “Israeli invention” for detecting and identifying tunnels, in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense, following Congress’ approval of the budget transfer. Israel is set to invest a similar amount. If there were even a shadow of doubt about the invention’s efficacy, Congress would not have approved a single cent.

The US deputy minister of defense visited Israel a few weeks ago and saw the anti-tunnel project in its early stages around the Gaza Strip. Impressed, he approved $40 million to cover its first year.

The US is in need of such a system on its Mexico border and with the Americans in the picture, there is a chance that the project here will start to make progress. The injection of American money and technology will shorten the process and the system will be upgraded, meaning that it will be deployed more quickly. How much faster? That’s a secret Hamas would pay a lot to find out.

It’s not just residents of the Gaza envelope who can hear noises coming from the ground. Those on the other side, too, can see and hear digging work on Israel’s side, planting something in the earth. From the perspective of Hamas’ military wing, this represents the drums of war. They understand that when the project is completed, it will neutralize their ultimate attack weapon: tunnels.

Israel is in a race against time to complete the project and get it operating at its optimum level. The system is supposed to detect digging, or any other activity, up to a depth of dozens of meters underground.

Hamas is in its own race against time. From the organization’s perspective, it’s already finished its preparations for a military entanglement with Israel and is now grappling with timing. And this timing will be greatly affected by the pace of the Israeli project’s progress.

Hamas is preparing a surprise attack. If they are led to believe for a moment that Israel has a solution that will bring its tunnels out into the open, it will push them to bring their attack forward. And therein lies the bad news: Two trains are speeding towards each other, and the collision is likely to take place within a few months. The IDF is already making estimates around this possibility.

———–

the super mole detector..

“Israel is in a race against time to complete the project and get it operating at its optimum level. The system is supposed to detect digging, or any other activity, up to a depth of dozens of meters underground.”

a race against time?

“The US is in need of such a system on its Mexico border and with the Americans in the picture, there is a chance that the project here will start to make progress.”

401

Obama to propose $10-a-barrel oil tax to fund rail and highway projects

•February 8, 2016 • Leave a Comment

US-WhiteHouse-Logo

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/obama-to-propose-10-a-barrel-oil-tax-to-fund-rail-and-highway-projects/2016/02/04/49b3ec5c-cb7f-11e5-88ff-e2d1b4289c2f_story.html

President Obama is proposing a $10-a-barrel oil tax, phased in over five years, to pay for a variety of transportation initiatives, including new rail corridors, highway projects, pilot projects for self-driving cars, and other technologies it said fall under the goal of a “clean transportation” system.

The White House announced Thursday that the budget presented to Congress next week would include an “oil fee” that would raise “the funding necessary to make these new investments, while also providing for the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund to ensure we maintain the infrastructure we have.”

Such fuel taxes have generally been hailed by economists and energy experts as economically sensible — but politically toxic.

Republican congressional leaders were quick to condemn it. “Once again, the president expects hardworking consumers to pay for his out of touch climate agenda,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. He said it was “little more than an election-year distraction” and that it would be “dead on arrival in Congress.”

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said “this is a backdoor gas tax hike and it’ll be hard-working American families that will have to foot the bill every time they go to the pump.”

The oil tax, which would work out to about 24 cents a gallon when fully in place, would create incentives for the private sector to use oil products more efficiently, thus reducing the amount of climate-changing carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Such a tax has even been supported by a handful of oil industry executives.

Jeff Zients, director of the White House National Economic Council, said that the tax would be paid by oil companies, but the companies would inevitably pass most or all of the tax to consumers of gasoline, diesel and heating oil. Zients said that the fee would apply to imported crude and petroleum products, but not to U.S. petroleum exports — to prevent U.S. producers and refiners from being put at a competitive disadvantage in foreign markets.

Zients did not say how much revenue the new tax would generate, but at the current rate of oil consumption, about 19 million barrels a day, the tax would raise about $65 billion a year when fully phased in.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/nec

———–

this is really just another CO2 tax by stealth..the oil companies will wear it and if you think they wont pass it onto consumers you are insane..

“the companies would inevitably pass most or all of the tax to consumers of gasoline, diesel and heating oil.”

how much per year?

“the tax would raise about $65 billion a year when fully phased in.”

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The post box in Bermuda numbered 666 which receives Google profits worth £8bn a year

•February 8, 2016 • 2 Comments

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3425097/Don-t-evil-Google-sends-profits-worth-8BILLION-year-post-box-number-666-tax-haven-island-Bermuda.html

Google has no office, no staff and little more than a plain PO Box numbered 666 on the sunny Caribbean Island of Bermuda.

But it still sends £8billion in profits a year to the island – which happens to have a 0 per cent corporation tax rate.

Google’s communications chief Peter Barron today insisted the billions of pounds funnelled from the search engine’s global network of subsidiaries had no impact on the firm’s tax bill in Britain.

But after a week dominated by criticism of an agreement between Google – which once had the slogan ‘Don’t be Evil’ – and HMRC to pay just £130million in back taxes for the past decade details of the company’s arrangement on Bermuda are set to shock.

Google’s tax bill in Britain is held down by the firm’s insistence it has no ‘permanent’ base here – on the basis all sales in Europe are made via Dublin.

But Google has five major offices in Britain and 5,000 staff working here.

The Sun on Sunday today revealed the Bermudan government’s Registrar of Companies, Google Bermuda Unlimited and Google Ireland Holdings are registered to the address of Conyers Dill and Pearman, a law firm at Clarenden House, 2 Church Street, Hamilton.

The firm is based just a few streets from the PO Box to which Google directs billions in profits.

But Derrick Ward, 51, told The Sun he had no idea Google was based at the building – despite working in the post room for the past four years.

He said: ‘Google don’t have an office in the lawyers’ building. I’m sure we’d know about it if they did.’

He added: ‘If there was a Google HQ on Bermuda it would be clear to see. I hear they have football pitches at their offices. I’ve never met anyone who works for Google in all my life.’

A receptionist at the windowless Bermuda office told the Sun: ‘Google doesn’t have an office here, they don’t employ any staff here.’

But after referring to her computer, the receptionist said that Google Bermuda Unlimited is registered at PO Box 666 through the law firm’s affiliate company, called Codan.

Mr Barron today told the BBC Andrew Marr programme: ‘In the UK we pay corporation tax at 20 per cent – there is no sweetheart deal.

‘We are taxed on the economic activities of Google UK. We pay corporation tax in the UK at 20 per cent.

‘Globally, our effective tax rate over the last five years is roundabout 20 per cent.’

Mr Barron said its new accounts showed Google UK paid £46.2million for the last year, plus £130million for the period of 2005 to 2014.

He insisted the additional payment was the result of six years of cooperation with HMRC to ensure the firm abided by the law.

Mr Barron – a former editor of the BBC’s Newsnight – claimed: ‘Everything we do across the business, we always try to do the right thing.’

He defended Google’s decision to headquarter its European businesses in Ireland and then operate ‘subsidiaries’ in the UK and other European countries.

———–

the coincidence is uncanny..666..really?

“Google don’t have an office in the lawyers’ building. I’m sure we’d know about it if they did.”

oh but they do..

“But after referring to her computer, the receptionist said that Google Bermuda Unlimited is registered at PO Box 666 through the law firm’s affiliate company, called Codan.”

tax haven..

401

Saudi Arabia ready to take part in any US-led ground operations in Syria

•February 8, 2016 • 6 Comments

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https://www.rt.com/news/331322-saudi-us-ground-operations-syria/

Saudi Arabia expressed its readiness to send ground troops to Syria if the US-led coalition decided that such operation is necessary, an adviser to the Saudi defense minister said.

The kingdom is ready to participate in any ground operations that the coalition [against Islamic State] may agree to carry out in Syria,” Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri, who is also the spokesman for the Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen, told al-Arabiya.

According to Asseri, Saudi Arabia has been an active member of the US-led coalition since the country’s warplanes carried out more than 190 aerial missions against Islamic State targets.

If there was a consensus from the leadership of the coalition, the kingdom is willing to participate in these efforts because we believe that aerial operations are not the ideal solution and there must be a twin mix of aerial and ground operations,” the spokesman stressed.

When asked to comment on the Saudi proposal, US State Department spokesman, John Kirby, said he had not yet seen it, but stressed that the coalition is generally supportive of having partners who contribute more in the fight against IS.

I would not want to comment specifically on this until we’ve had a chance to review it,” Kirby said at briefing.

The US-led coalition has been carrying out air strikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL) since mid-2014.

Over the course of the operation, US President Barack Obama has repeatedly stated that there will be no US boots on the ground in Syria.

————

very keen to get involved even more..and the uae has also offered to go and help their “rebel” force in syria..note the media calls anyone the russians attack..”moderate rebels”..and if the west is attacking they are isil..

401

 
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