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In London, West Bank activists mark 50 years of Israeli occupation

September 27, 2017 Hanaa Hasan, Middle East Monitor 0

Amnesty International and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign organised a joint event on the Israeli occupation on Monday evening, featuring activists from the West Bank Issa Amro and Farid Al-Atrash. The event marked the start of a new campaign initiated by Amnesty, in which it has called the UK government to ban sales of products from companies based in the occupied West Bank. Baroness Tessa Blackstone, a British peer and academic, chaired the four speaker panel event and welcomed the full house of attendees. She also briefly spoke of her experience in the occupied territories, during which she witnessed Amro being arrested by Israeli occupying authorities, and emphasised the importance of events like this for Palestinian activists to be able to […]

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Veresen Midstream commissions Montney gas processing plant

September 27, 2017 Latest News 0

Veresen Midstream LP, a 50-50 venture of Veresen Inc.,
Calgary, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP, New York, has
started up the first of three natural gas processing plants that will
support the Encana Corp.-Mitsubishi Corp. jointly owned Cutbank Ridge
Partnership’s (CRP) condensate-focused growth plan in the Montney area
of northeastern British Columbia’s Dawson region.

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UK Slams Tariffs On Bombardier: “This Is Not What We Expect From A Long-Term Partner”

September 27, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

It appears the Commerce Department’s preliminary ruling, issued late last night, to slap a 220% tariff on Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier could trigger an all-out trade war between the UK and Canada (on one side) and the US (on the other) as public officials in the UK and Canada blasted the ruling and threatened retaliation should the sanctions, which still need to be approved by the US International Trade Commission, become permanent.

Earlier today, the Commerce Department ruled that Bombardier’s jets should face the levy because the company received anticompetitive government subsidies. The ruling comes after Boeing said the Bombardier C-Series jet would not exist without hundreds of millions of dollars in launch funding from the governments of Canada and Britain, or a $2.5 billion equity infusion from the province of Quebec and its largest pension fund in 2015. Boeing brought the complaint after Delta Air Lines agreed in April 2016 to purchase 75 C-Series jets, an order worth some $5 billion.

The preliminary ruling – which comes as the US, Canada and Mexico are holding their fourth meeting to renegotiate Nafta – has met with praise from Boeing, and criticism from virtually everybody else involved.

The UK, which does a brisk business with Boeing, is threatening to cut ties with the company if the decision against Bombardier is finalized. The reason? Bombardier has a large plant in Belfast, employing some 4,200 people in Northern Ireland, a region that the UK’s ruling conservative party relies on heavily for support. If Bombardier, which is already struggling, takes another hit, those people could lose their jobs, potentially threatening the conservatives’ tenuous grip on power after losing their majority in snap elections over the summer, according to Reuters. 

UK Defense Minister Michael Fallon said in a TV interview today that the ruling could jeapordize Boeing’s business relationship with the UK government.

“This is not the behavior we expect from Boeing and it could indeed jeopardize our future relationship with them,” British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told reporters in Belfast at a briefing in the historic Harland & Wolff shipyard, a few hundred yards from the Bombardier plant.

 

“Boeing has significant defense contracts with us and still expects to win further contracts. Boeing wants and we want a long term partnership but that has to be two way.”

 

“Boeing is an important investor in the United Kingdom and an important employer in the United Kingdom but we would prefer this kind of issue to be settled on a negotiated basis,” Fallon said.

“This is not the kind of behavior that we expect from a long-term partner and I’ve made that very clear to Boeing,” Fallon told reporters.

Britain recently ordered the Boeing P-8 maritime surveillance plane and a new fleet of Apache attack helicopters. Its armed forces have deployed Chinook helicopters, the C-17 transport plane and the E-3 Sentry airborne early warning and command post.

Meanwhile, British Business Secretary Greg Clark said on Wednesday he was confident he would be able to have the U.S. anti-subsidy complaint against Bombardier dismissed.

“We’ve been working very closely with the Canadian government to make it clear that this is a complaint that is unjustified,” Clark told Sky TV.

 

“What needs to happen now by the trade commission is that they look to see whether there has been any detriment to Boeing,” he added.

 

“There hasn’t been because this aircraft does not compete with Boeing so we’re confident that we will be able to demonstrate that and have this case dismissed.”

Threatening language aside, the Gaurdian points out that Boeing has substantial leverage should the UK act to curtail its business relationship with the defense contractor. Boeing employs or supports more than 10,000 jobs in the UK; any tit-for-tat retaliation could affect them.

 

Even the labor party, which isn’t politically dependent on Northern Ireland and thus has less of an incentive to care about the potential closure of a Bombardier plant there, has joined in the Boeing bashing. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has just told his party conference in Brighton that the tariffs imposed on Bombardier planes threaten “thousands of jobs”. He called on Prime Minister Theresa May to leverage her “special relationship” with the US to try and protect workers in Northern Ireland.

“Thousands of jobs are now at stake…a Prime minister is betting our economic future on a deregulated trade deal with the US might want to take a moment to explain how 220% tarifsf are going to boost our exports from this country.”

Of course, once the ITC issues its ruling, the Trump administration will have the final say on tariffs. Will May’s relationship with the president be enough to save Bombardier? Or will Trump side with Boeing and spin the tariffs as a bid to protect US workers – throwing red meat to his base in the process?

What do you think?

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Who Cares? Headline Debates are Wasting Your Time

September 27, 2017 TDB 0

Via The Daily Bell

NFL players are kneeling, standing, sitting maybe, and probably laying down at times. Perhaps they are protesting police killings, or maybe they hate America, and some of them are very patriotic and do or do not support Donald Trump. I don’t know. Who cares?

How many headlines has this stupid manufactured controversy taken up? How many arguments and fights have ensued? Do people even know what they are arguing over?

North Korea is shooting missiles, and Trump is calling Kim Jung Un Rocket Man. Okay, this one seems a little more relevant to my life. I don’t want to be blown up. But is there anything I can do to stop Kim Jung Un or Trump from doing what they are doing? Is my worry going to solve anything?

Those are the big ones in the news right now, but there is still the usual cocktail of crime, death, and fear. And don’t get me wrong, it is great to stay up to date with what is going on. Knowing what crazy actions the Federal Reserve is going to take can help you protect your finances. Being aware of government abuses can help you steer clear of becoming a victim. Understanding what laws and regulations coming down the pipe can allow you to make a decision about how to structure your life to avoid the brunt of it.

But the big headlines, the “news” that is shoved down our throats doesn’t actually have to do with real life. It is all distraction. The news is just full of memes meant to elicit an emotional response and corral our behavior into one of a few pre-determined pens.

If you want the best dissection of cultural memes, watch South Park. Last season, in one episode the NFL announcers told fans and players to stand for the national anthem–or sit, or kneel–in order to show their support. Problem solved.

This season has shown the President taunting North Korea with tweets. Parodying distracted driving, the show urges, “if you are suddenly elected president, please put down your phone.”

Over the course of 20 years, almost 300 episodes of the crude politically incorrect cartoon have torn apart the mainstream popular culture. Almost invariably when I am discussing some popular issue, a scene from South Park comes to mind.

The creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, are particularly adept at calling out when people are being preoccupied with things that don’t really matter at all.

In an old episode where medical marijuana was legalized in Colorado, Randy Marsh purposely gives himself cancer in order to get a permit to smoke weed. “Can we just skip all this and legalize it?” he asks towards the end of the episode.

In another, the people of South Park are powerless to resist a WalMart that has come to town. They conclude that WalMart must possess some otherworldly power of manipulation. The only solution is to burn it down–rather than simply stop shopping there.

The point is, most of the things happening in politics and the media are basically theater. It is a soap opera or a reality tv show. What isn’t outright fake is highly stylized and organized into a performance. It is meant to distract, to keep you preoccupied. Instead of identifying and solving real problems in your own life, you are supposed to become overwhelmed, hopeless, scared, and take no meaningful action.

Powerlessness becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. They say there is nothing poor people can do to move up in the world. People get so discouraged that they don’t even try. They spend countless hours spouting off about injustices when they could have been learning and creating.

The media tells you are powerless to affect your own life, and you need to argue, campaign, and protest in order to live the life you want to live. But it is all a waste of time that you could be spending actually improving your own life.

Is North Korea really a threat? Probably. Is it something that we need to think about every day? Probably not. Is it something any one of us has control over? No.

We are much more likely to be murdered by a local thug than bombed by a third world dictator. You can move to a new neighborhood, or buy some personal protection. Real problem solved, fake problem ignored.

How likely is it that an Electro Magnetic Pulse from a nuke exploded in the atmosphere takes out all electronics? I honestly have no idea how likely that scenario is, but I know I can’t stop it.

I do, however, have a pretty good idea of the risk of natural disasters taking out the electric grid. That real scenario has affected many people recently. So what can I do?

I can make sure I have extra water, an alternative means of obtaining it, or a gravity fed filtration and rain collection system. I can make sure I have a generator and plenty of gasoline, or solar panels, or a windmill, or plenty of equipment that doesn’t need electricity.

Oh and look at that, by responding to a real threat, I mitigated some of the problems the maybe-threat could have posed.

Is some football player kneeling ruining the moral fabric of America? What exactly is the moral fabric of America? Do I actually have anything in common with these 320 million other people anyway? Am I forced to watch football?

Look at that, I guess it doesn’t really affect me, and I can’t really affect it. But you can dissociate from people who drag you back into the mainstream debates. You have that power.

 

So we can sit here and dissect memes, and get angry about them. But another solution is to turn off the news and stop paying attention to that drama. Go do something that makes you happy. Do something productive. Learn skills that give you options. Spend time researching investments, or better places to live.

These people–the NFL, Donald Trump, Kim Jun Il–are not truly in our lives. They enter our lives through the television and computer screen. It is that easy to cut them out.

I don’t want to waste my time trying to control something that is out of my hands.

Time is the most precious of human resources, and morbidly limited. The media is robbing you, they are stealing your time. But unlike the actions of football players and Presidents, you can control your own time. Spend it wisely.

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Change Healthcare Announces Enterprise Blockchain Solutions on Hyperledger Fabric

Today, at the Distributed Health 2017 conference in Nashville, Tennessee, Change Healthcare announced blockchain solutions on an enterprise scale. According to the company, which is one of the major independent healthcare technology providers in the…

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The pro-Israel lobby is losing its grip on Westminster

This has not been a good week for Israel, especially in Britain, where the Zionist lobbyists have spent millions in recent years oiling the cogs in Westminster to persuade politicians of all stripes to give their unconditional support to their favourite state. It has worked rather well for them, with Labour Party leaders like Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband joining their counterparts in the Tory Party as “Friends of Israel” along with the majority of their ministers and shadow ministers. However, after this week’s triumphant Labour Party conference in Brighton it looks as if the pro-Israel lobby has lost its grip on the party led by Jeremy Corbyn. If anyone had any doubt that the Zionist influence has […]

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Mauritania in talks to open new crossing with Algeria

September 27, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Mauritanian Minister of Culture and Government Spokesman Mohamed Lemine Ould Cheikh has expressed hope in the possibility of opening its border post with Algeria which is currently designated as a military zone. The idea is to open a new crossing point that will be secured and managed in a regulatory manner in order to ensure the transit of people and goods. For several years, the borders between Mauritania, Algeria and Mali have become a no man’s land of lawlessness in which a multitude of activities related to cross-border crimes including weapons, drugs, cigarettes, migrants and terror activities have become common place. The new crossing talks are likely to antagonise Morocco as there are reported discussions of a closure of […]

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