War Games in the Pacific

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) – German soldiers will soon participate in maneuvers in the Pacific and will be on hand as observers on patrols in the South China Sea, according to announcements by the US Navy and the French Minister of Defense, Florence Parly. At a top-level conference in Singapore last weekend, Parly declared that Paris will dispatch warships to the South China Sea in the next few days and will also navigate through the territorial waters of Islands China claims as its territory. According to Parly, German military observers will embark on these ships. At the same time, German soldiers are preparing their participation in the US led RIMPAC 2018 maneuver, taking place mainly near Hawaii. RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise. During RIMPAC 2016 German soldiers trained in “liberating” an island, which, according to the scenario, was held by the “Draco” militia. “Draco” is the Latin term for “dragon” – a symbol for China.

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Latin America’s new geopolitical reality

Professor Niall Ferguson visited São Paulo in April to address Itaú’s annual MacroVision conference, and found time to sit down with Euromoney to talk fintech, social media and trade. In particular he focused on China and how it will impact Latin America’s future.

Experience

Euromoney meets with Ferguson later that day, a little uncertain about Ferguson’s range of knowledge and experience of Latin America. Such concerns were laid quickly to rest with Ferguson’s response to the opening question, which picked up on a point that he had made in his speech about the relative speeds of adoption of mobile payments in Asia (and China in particular) compared with the US. Could emerging markets in Latin America reach Asian levels of near-universal adoption of new payment technologies?  Continue reading

‘Breathtaking homicidal violence’: Latin America in grip of murder crisis

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An activist paints the silhouette of a murder victim at the Coque slum in Recife, Brazil. The report’s authors fear voters may look to strongman-style populists to solve the crisis. Photograph: Eraldo Peres/AP

 

Region has experienced 2.5 million murders since 2000 and report paints bleak picture of extreme violence and deteriorating security

Latin America has suffered more than 2.5m murders since the start of this century and is facing an acute public security crisis that demands urgent and innovative solutions, a new report warns.

“The sheer dimensions of homicidal violence are breathtaking,” says the report by the Igarapé Institute, a Brazil-based think tank focused on security and development issues. Continue reading

If War Comes, Russia Could Disconnect from the Internet. Yes, the Entire Country

ALEXEI DRUZHININ, SPUTNIK/AP

 

Robust internal networks will keep the military and government operating, says Putin’s top IT advisor.

A two-year-old effort to allow the Russian military to rely solely on internal networks during wartime has apparently blossomed into support for a digitally isolated government and civil society as well, a top advisor to Vladimir Putin said this week. Continue reading

Russia, China, India Unveil New Gold Trading Network

Deputy Governors of the People’s Bank of China and Bank of Russia sign Memorandum on Gold Trading, Sochi, September 2017. Photo: Bank of Russia

 

One of the most notable events in Russia’s precious metals market calendar is the annual “Russian Bullion Market” conference. Formerly known as the Russian Bullion Awards, this conference, now in its 10th year, took place this year on Friday 24 November in Moscow. Among the speakers lined up, the most notable inclusion was probably Sergey Shvetsov, First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s central bank, the Bank of Russia.

In his speech, Shvetsov provided an update on an important development involving the Russian central bank in the worldwide gold market, and gave further insight into the continued importance of physical gold to the long term economic and strategic interests of the Russian Federation.

Firstly, in his speech Shvetsov confirmed that the BRICS group of countries are now in discussions to establish their own gold trading system. As a reminder, the 5 BRICS countries comprise the Russian Federation, China, India, South Africa and Brazil. Continue reading

Russia plans to create an ‘independent internet’ by 2018 to protect it from ‘global internet malfunctions’ – but critics say the plan could make it easier to launch its own attacks

The Russian government has revealed plans to develop an ‘independent internet’ that operates separately from the Domain Name System used worldwide. According to Russian news site RT, Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured) is targeting August 1, 2018 for its completion

 

  • Russian Security Council met in October to discuss an ‘independent internet’
  • Would cover Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa with alternative DNS
  • Currently, a global Domain Name System (DNS) is used to connect to internet
  • While they cited security concerns, others suggest it could be used maliciously

The Russian government has revealed plans to develop an ‘independent internet’ that operates separately from the Domain Name System used worldwide.

During a recent meeting of the Russian Security Council, officials discussed an initiative to create an alternative to the DNS, claiming the move could protect Russia and a handful of other nations in the event of a large-scale cyberattack. Continue reading

Cracks in Dollar Are Getting Larger

 

Many Daily Reckoning readers are familiar with the original petrodollar deal the U.S made with Saudi Arabia.

It was set up by Henry Kissinger and Saudi princes in 1974 to prop up the U.S. dollar. At the time, confidence in the dollar was on shaky ground because President Nixon had ended gold convertibility of dollars in 1971.

Saudi Arabia was receiving dollars for their oil shipments, but they could no longer convert the dollars to gold at a guaranteed price directly with the U.S. Treasury. The Saudis were secretly dumping dollars and buying gold on the London market. This was putting pressure on the bullion banks receiving the dollar. Continue reading

America’s Weapons: “The Dollar and the Drone”

 

It was said that “the guinea and the gallows” were the true instruments of British imperial power.

The guinea represented the coined wealth of Great Britain.

The gallows represented its… constabulary zeal in policing restless natives.

This is the 21st century of course… a time of enlightenment.

Today’s instruments of imperial power are no longer the guinea and the gallows.

No. Today’s instruments of imperial power are “the dollar and the drone.” Continue reading

Talks in the Chancellery

BERLIN/CARACAS (Own report) – Chancellor Merkel will meet one of Venezuela’s leading government opposition politicians today in the Chancellery. Julio Borges, who, according to reports, supported the 2002 putsch attempt in Caracas, will discuss the political development in Venezuela with the chancellor. Fierce power struggles are being waged in that country. The opposition, mainly composed of representatives of the traditional wealthy elites, has ties to Western powers und is also supported by Berlin. With its operational assistance, for example in advising Borges’ Primero Justícia (Justice First) party in “political communication,” the CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation has been playing a special role. Primero Justícia had also participated in the 2002-attempted putsch. Berlin is pursuing an approach similar to that used in other Latin American countries, wherein it regularly supports the traditional elites. This resembles the German authorities’ interventions in the run-up to the putsch in Ukraine.

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Colombia: Venezuela Crumbles Into Uncertainty

While Venezuela is drifting towards mass starvation, government collapse and civil war Colombia has managed to avoid all that and then some. What Colombia did was not easy. It required nearly two decades of effort to reach the point where a peace deal was agreed to and succeeded in disbanding the major leftist rebel group FARC. With that accomplished (as of the end of June) the second largest leftist rebel group (ELN, a third the size of FARC) now wants to talk peace as well. All these leftist rebels got going in the 1960s but by the 1990s were rapidly losing popular support. It got worse after 2000 because by then the drug gangs and leftist rebels had merged in many parts of the country, and the war was increasingly about money, not ideology. A new reform government took advantage of this and organized an offensive that sharply reduced crime and gave the economy a chance to become the most successful in South America. Continue reading

This Region Is China’s Next Target For Resource Deals

Brazil

 

South Africa’s chamber of mines officially filed suit this week to block the country’s challenging new mining charter. But elsewhere in the world, some of the biggest investors in natural resources are ramping up their financial commitments — to a new target region for mining and energy deals.

Latin America.

Specifically, Brazil. Where government officials announced that a major new infrastructure fund backed by China will begin accepting investment proposals this week. Continue reading

Russia and China Move to Dump the Dollar, Threatening the New World Order

 

As long predicted, the dollar’s dominance on the world’s economic stage is wavering and likely to completely collapse soon given the move away from the dollar by Russia, Iran, and China. 

Many have been predicting it. This writer spoke of it as early as 2004. The elite have dreaded it. It’s finally happened. The dollar is soon to be removed as the trading currency for oil and other commodities among Russia, Iran, and China. The effect on the U.S. economy will be catastrophic. However, in the long run it will serve to force the U.S. into a regional, rather than a global role. Continue reading

World Leaders Gather in Beijing While the US Sinks into Irrelevancy

The United States is fractured and permanently scarred with very little diplomatic room to maneuver, and as the article states, doesn’t even know it. We’re looking at a new world shaping up within the next 10 years… a new world without the United States having a voice in its affairs. This is an unprecedented new chapter in world history that the old order doesn’t recover from. If you’re an American, get used to second or third-rate living standards and all the problems that come with it.

To add clarification: President Trump has a great chance in saving America from ruin, and let’s hope he will. Where he has almost zero chance is in saving it’s standing in the world. An alternative world structure has already been built and members are being filtered in. The ‘on button’ is waiting to be pushed. All that needs to happen is an event, such as global economic collapse, that sets America back and simultaneously provides the new world structure a window of opportunity to spring into first place.

 

World Leaders Gather in Beijing While the US Sinks into Irrelevancy

 

While vaudevillian comedy-like shouting matches broke out in the West Wing of the White House between President Donald Trump and his senior advisers and between the White House press secretary and various presidential aides, world leaders gathered in Beijing to discuss the creation of modern-day land and maritime «silk roads» to improve the economic conditions of nations around the world. Nothing more could have illustrated the massive divide between the concerns of many of the nations of the world and those of the United States, which is rapidly descending into second-rate power status, along with its NATO allies Britain, France, and Germany. Continue reading

Royal Navy to Lose Amphibious Capabilities

HMS Ocean sails into the sunset

 

Possible cuts will leave Britain incapable of the offensive.

Under the cover of darkness on May 21, 1982, British forces landed on the beaches of San Carlos in the Falklands. The 2 Para, 40 Commandos, and the 3 Para and the 41 Commandos conducted an unopposed amphibious assault, assisted by special forces, in a campaign to retake the capital city of Stanley. By the time the sun rose, the rest of the 3rd Commando Brigade was onshore to repulse the Argentinian counterattack.

The British could not have won the Falklands War without using their amphibious capabilities. The Thatcher government received a great deal of praise for the war, and it was a moment that made Britain believe in itself again as a major power. Ironically, all of that would have been impossible if the Conservative government’s plan of cutting the aircraft carriers and amphibious fleet had come about earlier. The Falklands War saved the Royal Navy.

Remarkably, the current Conservative government is planning similar cuts, by retiring the Royal Navy’s last aircraft carrier, the hms Ocean. Continue reading

Driven into their Arms

MEXICO CITY/BERLIN (Own report) – The Mexican government is pushing to rapidly modernize its free trade agreement with the EU and has declared its “close affinity” to Germany, following US President Trump’s threats of massive reprisals by building a wall at the border and imposing punitive tariffs. Because of its extreme dependence on the USA, Mexico can only hold its ground by intensifying its relations with other countries, according to Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray. Mexico’s enticements are greeted with sympathy by German business circles. The majority of German firms active in Mexico had already decided on new investments and is planning to carry these out, despite expected disadvantages from the projected US trade policy. Experts assume that the US administration cannot afford excessive punitive tariffs or other exorbitant escalations. At an appearance last week in Mexico, Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser ostentatiously announced investments worth US $200 million and signed an agreement of intent with Mexico’s Minster of Economics for infrastructure and industrial projects with a possible volume of up to US $36 billion. Continue reading