Category Archives: China

#Harper’s War(s): #Harpernomics, #C51 and the #NATO Cruz Missile! #cdnpoli #pnpcbc #ctvpp

Much can be gleaned about the rise and tightening grip of the far-right globally if one dares to look outside the box that is framed by the media conglomerates. The repetition that the “media” is somehow a soapbox for the “left” has run it’s coarse as is evident with the rise of the far-right phenomenon that finds the media on board, full steam ahead. At best the media may be a few steps away from the ultra-far right but it is closer to the far-right than ever and is certainly going along to get along. One question may be, are they willingly going along or have they been secretely legislated?.

This mashup summary will be a somewhat long rant that will pose some seriously neglected questions, expose some uncomfortable gaps and potential connections and exploit some rather historical similarities. This summary may be updated but more than likely will branch off into further research. If anything it should prompt many to delve deeper into any of the issues that are connected.

We intend to additionally explore if we are actually in an “official” state of war that has been secretly declared. Is it possible for a War Measures Act to be secretly or subversively implemented? If so, how do we actually know if this is the case and who the “enemy” is? Or is this where “Harper’s Enemies Lists” somehow fits in? This may explain the virtually one-sided presentations across the various conflict zones and hot spots that emanate from the same handful of global conglomerates. That’s just the tip of the iceberg for a much bigger glacier.

How can an ideological war between the ultra-far-right and the far-right politically or a cultural/tribal/civil war pitting nationalists vs ultra-nationalists militarily, be fought simultaneously at home and abroad?

How far to the “right” must one travel and give up personally to acquire perceived safety and security provided by the oppressive Harper Regime over real life freedom and liberty in the pursuit of prosperity provided by democracy and credible market based capitalism?

How much further to the “right” will the Liberal Party creep and how far will the NDP choose to follow behind?

We only ponder this because some circles are harder to square than others. The further to the right you travel, you’ll notice that moar war and less freedom are on the agenda while the less war factions simply go along to get along for the most part.

We are also beginning to contemplate how the destabilization in Ukraine and Iraq are not being used as some sort of “incentive” to members within the E.U. with regards to expediting and completing the pending cross-Atlantic Free Trade Agreements. Cutting of access to Eurasian markets under the cover of sanctions against Russia seems like a good strategy as is the display of how quickly organized violence against any State can be launched. Add that with the secret TPP and it gets much clearer but we might have to ask Nigel Wright since he has his fingerprints all over the place. The Duffy scandal forces one to consider how much access and influence really had and how he used it to further his own financial portfolio.

How do all of these tie in with the SPP and Bill C-51?

Who are Harper’s advisors anyway and who advises them?

Are these the same type of ideological “foreign policy” advisors that the G.W. Bush Iraq team “employed” to cherry pick reams of intel for a needle in a haystack, pie in the sky, unsubstantiated documents/clauses to fabricate the conditions that justify immediate and massive military intervention?

“We the People” are certainly being groomed for a war of unimaginable scale and consequences, but it will be very, very good for some global investors. The “Police State” conditions are being arranged via the Trojan Horse Bill C-51 to “legally” stifle any/all anti-war and/or anti-austerity protests. There will be no Ottawa Maidan, period. If we were to boil it down to it’s murky base, we would notice that all of the current conflict zones that require liberation are concentrated along various pipelines, energy, transportation, shipping and rail corridors. When the long dust settles, new borders will be redrawn to consolidate and secure trade routes. The real problem is that no State can control what it’s oligarchs invest in or how they invest it, move it, offshore it or divest it. Another thing that is certain is that professional mercenary alliances and the black market only serve those that provide the necessities of war and are loyal only to those that can provide them financing and armaments.

The key fact is that through the various narratives being weaved about Bill C-51, it is a massive Trojan Horse with the anti-war movements in it’s sights. All of the others that will be caught up in this dragnet operation that fall on the “left” side of the political spectrum will be either considered a “bonus” or as acceptable collateral damage and cannon fodder. Keep in mind that fear, intimidation and propaganda plague all cultures/regions and are utilized by multiple overlapping players with their own ultimate agendas. while violent persecution attempts to solve dissent abroad, the “West” achieves this control of dissent easily by way of economic persecution. In either case, the “life” of the individual involved is lost, one by loss of blood, the other by loss of assets/income/credibility/career.

One of the key provisions of Bill C-51 that needs to be examined is the “language” about the censoring of the interwebz of “terrorist” propaganda. If we harken back to WWI and ponder the implications of how propaganda and censorship are used to sell wars and interventions, we need to ask ourselves one fundamentally important question, who decides this opaque definition. Then we need to ask ourselves, where, why and how opaque definition based declarations are decided. The logical follow up question would be who has the most to benefit from the proceeds of the declaration?

If we look at the deteriorating situation in Ukraine from beyond the lens of the AP/Reuters reports, we see a nation that is spiraling into chaos and various oligarchs have their own loyal “volunteer” battalions. Many estimates put these far-right extremist “anti-Russia” mercenary groups at approx 17, each with it’s own vision, mandate and source of funding. The same might be presumably said for the “pro-Russian” side as well. These would be players that are being employed to either secure business interests or expand land claims.

Some other interesting points to ponder may be related to the bursting of the Commodities Super Cycle during a highly concentrated, uncertain, oversupplied and illiquid global market based upon unsustainable debt.

Have we reached peak energy?

How low can the price of oil/energy go before the serviceable-debt bubble pops?

Are these wars being waged to assure that the flow of energy profitability increases in an otherwise oversupplied market?

Since no Central bank or amount of austerity can ever balance the costs of misguided military interventions and the effects of previous omnibus budgets yet to be felt, let’s review a small segment of what has transpired since debt based Harpernomics has replaced surplus based economics.

Even with the massive downloading of costs onto the Provinces without balancing the tax system and revenue sharing, the Federal Debt has exceeded $600 Billion, with debt servicing alone growing daily at a steady clip. Since those costs are immediately download to the Municipalities/etc. the costs to service existing debts becomes an issue that rapidly prevents proper infrastructure maintenance and upgrade investments.

Since Harpernomics has replaced economics with selective inflation based shell-game budgetary tricks to acquire a magical surplus of everything just before an election, the fact remains that job creation continues to lag far behind the amount necessary to accommodate new entries into the work force, wages are stagnant at best and according to the Harpernomicists themselves, the average hours worked per week is in a steady decline and is projected to continue the trend downward.

Will the drop in oil and commodities afford the Harper Regime the “right” to encourage wage reductions throughout the energy sector like they did to the non-outsourced manufacturing sector?

At what point does using a sliding scale for the hours worked considered “full time” for job numbers presented by the Harpernomicists become a purely mythical and unreliable set of digits to an actual number?

Other than the Harper Loyalists, Harpernomicists and apologists, who actually thinks that misguided war waging is free?

Even though the Harper Regime cannot provide a final figure for the Afghanistan intervention, the costs estimates thus far range between $20-30 billion CDN + uncountable collateral damages. The results of the intervention, other than the huge short term gains by military contractors, are far from conclusive. No matter how hard anyone tries or how many times it is invaded and/or occupied it, Afghanistan is going to be whatever it wants to be based upon their own best interests within boundaries on a map that they had no voice in drawing. In the overall case of the invasion, on paper it looked all good and noble and just, but not far under the surface the truth existed. The entire process was manipulated and intelligence was distorted so that one of the more sinister and nefarious minority groups were given authority over the majority. Surely a group will accept “aid” to gain their own syndicate a competitive advantage but there will always be shifting of the balance of power between tribal alliances as power is gained. This is not the first rodeo of this kind for Afghans and they know that any “foreign” presence will be short  sights and short lived in the big picture and have pretty much decided where the boundaries lie between themselves.  The greatly under-reported violence that we see now in Afghanistan is the end result of external military intervention and occupation that allowed certain tribes to immediately fill the vacuum and consolidate “legal” authority by force. Not only that but, the blowback from the flourishing Poppy boom and trade is already being felt globally and the negative effects will be long lasting across the board.

In much the same way the Afghanistan costs were budgeted, contrary to the initial “estimates” provided by the Harper Regime, the Libya intervention Harpernomiced out several times higher at approx. 1/2 billion + uncountable collateral damages that has resulted in a completely insecure failed state embroiled in a civil/tribal war intermixed with various mercenary groups seeking weapons and training. The fact that there were no attempts by Canada or other NATO Allies to secure cooperation with the remnants of the Libyan Military to secure the armories and military facilities is highly suspicious at best. Has anyone pondered the thought that maybe John Baird was communicating about Libya/Syria with Hillary Clinton via her unsecured private email server? What happens if those communications get leaked?

Who is ultimately paying for this high, long-term debt-servicing-cost agenda?

What is the motivation, and what are the true long term costs in blood, currency value and purchasing power, behind the fascinating objective of creating an “invisible” self-perpetuating unsustainable debt burden?

How can Harper promise that 2 wars, in Ukraine and Syria/Iraq, can be fought and funded on the backside of lower oil revenues, stagnant at best wages, massive looming job losses, deflationary housing market pressures and lower tax revenues.

As the debates surrounding war and electioneering take center stage, Bill C-51 and the “delayed” budget simmer away. One affects our assets and the other affects our liberties bad both are being looted by the pro-war insiders. This brings us to a rather oddly timing of the NATO meeting, the U.S. Presidential campaign bid that was declared by Canada’s own export, far-right winger Ted Cruz and the devious election tactics used by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to court, fear-monger and rally the farther-right elements to assure his grip on power. These “faces” present the sell-siders of apocalyptic evangelical wars in their respective domains and propose, foster and initiate discontent within and interventions abroad to protect opaque “national” interests. Ultimately, since Cruz has zero chance just based upon the amount of cash he has, we conclude that he is simply strategic investment in the global game of consensual election engineering and a political pawn that posed no threat to the U.S. status quo. His entry is a pre-election campaign aimed at intended to influence and engage Canadians to bolster far-right support for the Harper Party in the short term from beyond the realm and jurisdiction of Election Canada. Since Cruz is staunchly anti-Obama, pay attention to which slogans and taking points get highlighted, accentuated and repeated by whom, on this side of the border. Then pay closer attention to how the media in the U.S. respond to hostile rhetoric from the anti-Obama/pro-Bibi Harper Loyalists. Then pay attention to how the Liberals respond.

This combination sets the stage for Harper’s  sell-side that supports NATO’s expansion into sovereign Syrian territory against “darker” ultra-far-right mercenaries for hire with the bonus prize of additional Ukraine territory to train “lighter” ultra-far-right mercenaries for hire that will eventually become a battle hardened menace to the E.U. and the West. Fear not, Harper’s Bill C-51 will protect us.

Is widespread war and discontent the Harper Regime’s reverse Soylent Green Solution for youth unemployment and lack of opportunity?

Are these strategic regions being justifiably destabilized in order to profitably reduce the stockpiles of Cold War era armaments and battle-harden the next generation of unaccountable and subcontract-able mercenary units?

What about the Yemen powder keg that is exploding and what about the current and ongoing collateral damages, dislocations and refugee crisis?

In one instance, international law isn’t relevant as Harper Loyalists proclaim that they are defending the autonomy of “Kurdistan” against a threatening “darker” ultra-far-right terrorist threat emanating from Syria that has no legal standing. One that, oddly enough, is fully armed with American equipment, hardware and armaments and has secured funding from several regional players with varied agendas. We need to remember that “Kurdistan” is a province within Iraq in what amounts to a breakaway region that has been planning and forming an independent State since at least 1991. It is rather obvious that the Sykes-Picot concept over and the position and/or agenda of the Kurds and that of the Iraq Government in Baghdad are not necessarily in sync. Their ultimate vision is the combination of the greater Kurdish regions that span across Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq or maybe the recreation of Assyria. This which would provide “space” for the Kurds to consolidate authority as well as provide regional protection for the remaining Christians and other targeted minorities. The only way for that to unfold would be if the primary players decided to seriously negotiate satisfactory representative regional agreements that settles the power/land dispute between the Sunni and Shiite populations in Iraq and Syria, below Kurdistan. These primary players would have to coordinate with Baghdad and Damascus and consider splitting off Sunni chunks into an independent state that lies between Syria and Iraq. With the hidden civil war in Iraq bubbling over and the chaos in Syria putting more pressure on the border, this seems like the most plausible end-goal as this strategically concentrated and central swath would be able to control the flow of resources and mercenaries between all of the surrounding nations and let the Sunni/Shiite and Islamaphobia battles ensue.

In another instance, in a quasi-mixed role reversal as far as international law is concerned, the autonomy of “Novorossiya” within the Ukraine is being denied to it’s inhabitants while they are being attacked by far-right mercenary groups funded international and regional players with diverging, converging and overlapping interests. Another odd twist with regards to interpretations and reinterpretations of international laws is in the way Crimean autonomy post 1991 has been interpreted

In a coinciding instance in Syria itself, much like the propaganda campaign to bomb freedom into Libya, an actual far-right terrorist threat was detected from a very small and problematic region and was identified as emanating from the same roots as the armed insurrection in Libya. In these cases, the media portrays these known terrorists as peaceful liberators and gives them a free pass to do their dirty deeds without question.

Then we have the Yemen civil war being reignited in what is a very strange play with regards to the loose application regarding international law, violating sovereignty and crossing borders. In this case, unlike Ukraine, the President that fled to safety abroad is given authority over the security situation. In some ways it almost seems as if there are some interesting energy power alliances behind the scenes that may be trying to isolate the House of Saud by drawing them into a trap in Syria or is the House of Saud is pursuing more calculated and nefarious deeds by isolating it’s own allies into convoluted quagmires with it’s adversaries and enemies.

Maybe Gaddafi was right, over the years he repeatedly told all of the Arab leaders that eventually they will all be deposed and replaced eventually, just like Saddam. It is probable that some of those leaders realized this threat existed, or quickly became aware with the prophetic demise of Gaddafi, and have been engaged in developing solid contingency plans for the stability of the most vital economic regions while destabilizing others in-between the regional economic hubs. This situation has the potential to close vital sea traffic between the Red Sea and Arabian Sea and if it accelerates quickly may well put the traffic thru the Persian Gulf at risk/mercy of counter measures since port and seaway blockades are typically dealt with with military means.

All of this will of coarse, allow the price of oil to rise. the problem is that the overall fuel savings did not provide any real measurable “spending the savings” injection into the economy. The price of fuel and energy went way up too fast and for far too long that it was a drain on the overall disposable income of everyone all along. We can now see what a negative effect the post economic crisis energy boom was really having. Considering actual inflation for necessities, Canadians have not seen any measurable savings in the retail, supply chain or transportation sectors due to the reduction in fuel costs, we know that any increases at the pumps, scales or meters will be felt hard by everyday Canadians.

The odd denominator is that even if we were still able to ignore the armed foreign factions, the peaceful anti-regime factions that were caught in the crossfire were all declared terrorists by some and/or liberators by others. Either way, with complete disregard to civilian casualties entire villages and communities are being bombed into ruins by their own government forces vs foreign funded mercenaries that are both engaged in scorched earth policies. Whomever keeps fighting for the most piles of rubble the longest, wins and eventual gains access to various economic aid and stimulus packages with the high interest portion of the debt shifted off as a Government obligation and the next to zero interest portion to the private interests

These facts along countless fronts and lines in-between sides and within context “paints” pretty much anyone and everyone as a hostile target, enemy and/or terrorist threat. It’s only a matter of time before someone/something of importance is downed and the tragedy and chaos that follows. It’s only a matter of time until some politico spouts off the wrong thing that lights the fuse.

Does any of this sound familiar? What about the “geographical” turf being disputed? Look at the “lines” and former boundaries of nations and empires after the tumultuous 1800’s that were drawn on paper pre-WWI. Look for connections to the competing oligarchs, moguls, robber-barons and profiteers that supported the pro-war expansionist parties and lobbies, some of the links still exist today.  and then follow whomever eventually held/holds the war debts of the winners and losers for more insight.

As in the past, the financial structure will be recalculated based upon the final holdings of the competing oligarchs and the division of power that will have afforded themselves. With these “rights” they will reserve the “right” to redraw secure trade routes, “lines” and boundaries in order to forcibly open new markets for some and close them to others. As far as Iraq is concerned, Harper advocated, without question, the deceptive 2003 strategy and subsequent invasion and destabilization of Iraq. Harper Loyalists and apologists ideologically accepted the potential for collateral damage and to this day are committed to pursing an opaque end goal of Middle East liberation and democratization, by hook or by crook. The plan is several years behind and like ll government projects, grossly over-budget and rife with corruption.

Has anyone considered that the “national” interests in Libya that Harper sent the Military to protect were none other than those of Canada’s former spy watchdog, Arthur Porter and other SNC Lavelin insiders? The timing of it all behind the backdrop of the “Arab Spring” that followed the financial “crisis” is rather intriguing. War provides a very effective duck, dust and cover opportunity for those with the inside power to wage war to their own benefit. It is also rather revealing how deep the plot(s) really are and how many of Harper’s current and past advisers and insiders have run amuck or gone rogue.

Moving back a bit to Ted Cruz and the upcoming Harper campaign, let’s ponder a few facts/fictions. The first point is that, in case anyone has not noticed, the far-right Ted Cruz will never win, period, but his “views” on Iraq/Syria, NATO and Ukraine will provide a nice background for Harper’s campaign with it’s shared agenda of instigating hostilities and division and discrediting honest questions, dialog and diplomatic/political compromise. His entry will serve to rally and kettle the far-right fringe groups into more manageable small subgroups that can/will be pigeonholed within the current North American Conservative/Republican base. They will, at least in the short term, be given maximum exposure followed by a carefully controlled rhetoric that mimics the views of the far-right in Canada. This is important because these are the far-right fringe groups that have felt betrayed by the Harper Regime. This propaganda tactic cements them into the Conservative caucus and this empowerment and coverage gives the formerly fractured fringe groups a vast illusion that they will ultimately benefit if victory is achieved, which will further radicalize them. This of coarse, will only radicalize and encourage other far-right-wing anti-elements to thrive. This sets the stage for the able, mobile and nimble enemy of the future to be created and fostered in much the same way as how, what was framed initially as an al Qaeda offshoot, IS/ISIL/ISIS has mystically conquered the Middle East. Strip out the foreign fighters and interventionists and one might be surprised that “We the People” know how to live side by side for the most part and what our regional and national interests are based upon facts on the ground, not dreaming and pondering of right-wing thinktanks.

To truly this perspective one must, at least partially, appreciate how intricate these apparatuses are linked, since this pro-war vs anti-war propaganda phenomenon has often been repeated. One only needs to look back to the pre-WWI era though the various national lenses, media presentations and political rhetoric compared to the rush into the Afghanistan and Iraq quagmires and fiasco in Libya. Keep in mind that the declared military campaign was to be “over by Christmas” and lasted years beyond and effectively set the stage for the Stock Market Crash and WWII that set the stage for the Cold War, etc. Since most publications are/were heavily censored depending upon the “official” states of war in each of these cases, one does need to differentiate between the sell-side war players, the active-side war players and the instigating, agitating warmongering and escalation sided players. Combine those sides together and the un-holy trio radicalizes into an axis with the powers of the Wall Street insider syndicates behind them.

Is it possible to acquire a true cost vs benefit to overall society analysis that is not based upon the ideological zero-sum economy that transforms sovereign state wealth into publicly subsidized debt and then concentrates the usury proceeds to the upper percentile? When one considers the above it seems as if the governments of “sovereign on paper” Nations are really nothing more than fronts for various financial criminal cabals and those that require capital.

Until next time, we’ll leave you with the following press release that pretty much sums up the state of the “independent” and “free” press…

News Release Article from  Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Statement by Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO of the CRTC, on journalistic independence

March 25, 2015 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

One of the pillars of Canada’s broadcasting system—and, in fact, of our country’s democracy—is that journalists are able to report news stories independently and without undue editorial interference. This principle, along with other fundamental journalistic values, is enshrined in the Code of Ethics that was developed by RTDNA Canada (The Association of Electronic Journalists).

Further to section 2(3) of the Broadcasting Act, the CRTC has been entrusted by Canadians, through Parliament, to defend the principles of fair comment, freedom of expression and journalistic independence.

That a regulated company does not like one of the CRTC’s rulings is one thing. The allegation, however, that the largest communication company in Canada is manipulating news coverage is disturbing. Holding a radio or television licence is a privilege that comes with important obligations that are in the public interest, especially in regards to high-quality news coverage and reporting.

An informed citizenry cannot be sacrificed for a company’s commercial interests. Canadians can only wonder how many times corporate interests may have been placed ahead of the fair and balanced news reporting they expect from their broadcasting system.

The RTNDA Code of Ethics is administered by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. Canada’s private broadcasters, including CTV, are members of this independent body and must adhere to its codes of conduct. Complaints about this matter should be directed to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for investigation.

We expect Canada’s broadcasters to live up to their responsibilities and adhere to a high standard in their news and information programs.

– 30 –

Contacts

Follow us on Twitter: @CRTCeng

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/crtceng

Media relations:
Tel.: 819-997-9403; Fax: 819-997-4245

General inquiries:
Tel.: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423; Fax: 819-994-0218
Toll-free No.: 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
TDD – Toll-free No.: 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)
Ask a question or make a complaint

These documents are available in alternative format upon request.

source: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=955409


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@CBCNews BUSTED re #NATO vs #Ukraine vs #Russia! #GPC #NDP #LPC #CPC

We regret to inform our fellow Canadians and the rest of the World that our publicly funded broadcaster has seemingly and purposely selectively edited 2 (two) articles today with regards to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. This should be of great concern to everyone considering the implications and are calling on the RCMP to immediately conduct an investigation into this matter of National security. In addition, we would like the CBC Ombudsman, CRTC and any independent body to also launch an investigation so that those responsible may be immediately be held accountable.

This war-mongering propaganda campaign MUST stop and someone needs to be behind bars. This is not limited to those within the CBC, but also those that may be involved from the PMO as well as the Harper Regime’s Conservative Party of Canada along with any/all Opposition Members that may have knowledge of this travesty. Not only is this detrimental to the freedom of our press corp, but it is extremely damaging to our economy and the psychological well being of our citizenry.

Propaganda + Cold Wars + Free Trade = Trade Wars = Economic Wars = Currency Wars = Energy Wars = Real Hot Wars

This war against “We the People” of Canada MUST stop and we are issuing a cease and desist ultimatum. If the Opposition cannot stand by us, than they can and must stand down. We are NOT going to war for a bunch of neocon/neolib corporate globalists nor are we willing to pay the costs associated with this war you seek to start in our name. You may feel free to send your sons and daughters to fight your imaginary boogeyman and you may feel free to pay the financial costs as well, period.

Below you will find copypasta’s of what we have uncovered thus far along with a brief summary of each. Please note that these articles from the AP are really nothing more than Associated Propaganda and we have noticed and been tracking the selective editing of the AP articles published via the CBC for quite some time. These are not simply “updates”, they are narrative adjustments meant to cause confusion and conflict between viewers, readers, social media users, other independent researchers, bloggers and media the access them at different times of the day/night.

Article 1

UPDATED
Ukraine conflict: Shelling in rebel-held city kills 4
Fighting between government and pro-Russian separatists inches ever closer to the city centre

The Associated Press Posted: Aug 07, 2014 7:17 AM ET
Last Updated: Aug 07, 2014 10:17 AM ET

Sustained shelling in the main rebel stronghold in eastern Ukraine struck residential buildings and a hospital, killing at least four people and wounding 10 others, officials said, as government forces pressed forward in their campaign to rout the separatists.

Mortar fire struck the Vishnevskiy Hospital in Donetsk on Thursday morning, killing one and wounding five others, Donetsk city council spokesman Maxim Rovensky told The Associated Press.

“There was a sudden explosion,” witness Dr. Anna Kravtsova said. “A mortar round flew through the window.”

The shelling, which destroyed an array of equipment in the dentistry unit, also hit three nearby apartment buildings.

It followed a night of shelling in another neighbourhood as the fighting between the government and pro-Russian separatists is inching ever closer to the city centre. The mayor’s office said in a statement posted on its website that three people had been killed, five wounded and several residential buildings destroyed during those attacks.

The government denies it uses artillery against residential areas, but that claim has come under substantial strain in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have been fighting the Kyiv government since April. Ukraine and Western countries have accused Moscow of backing the mutiny with weapons and soldiers, a claim the Russian government has repeatedly denied.

The West has also accused Russia of most likely providing the insurgents with surface-to-air missiles that may have been used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over rebel-held territory on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

Clashes in Kyiv

Clashes erupted in central Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, as city authorities sought to clear away the remnants of a tent colony erected by demonstrators involved in the street uprising against pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych. At the time, protesters were angry about endemic corruption and wanted closer ties with the European Union.

In scenes reminiscent of that revolt, which climaxed with Yanukovych’s ouster in February, demonstrators set alight tires in their face-off against a volunteer battalion overseeing the clean-up operation.

In eastern Ukraine, government troops have made tentative progress in their strategy to retake Donetsk and other towns and cities. Armed forces have refrained from pitched urban battles, and instead favoured pushing back their opponents with artillery fire. It has led to a growing number of civilian casualties.

Vishnevskiy Hospital, one of the city’s larger medical treatment facilities, is around four kilometres from the main square. It has been used to provide treatment to civilian victims of the ongoing conflict.

“The hospital became a nightmare. This is absurd,” said 37-year old patient Dmitry Kozhur. “We came here to keep living, but now we are risking death.”

Kozhur said he now wants to join the 300,000 people that the mayor’s office says have already abandoned the once 1 million-person strong city.

As AP reporters were leaving the hospital, they heard the sound of four rounds of artillery being fired from a nearby neighbourhood under rebel control. Although it wasn’t immediately possible to confirm the sequence of events, it appeared that the shells that hit the hospital may have been a response to rebel fire.

‘New quality and quantity of arms’

Neighbours of a house struck by rockets Wednesday said their homes were also near a position used by rebel artillery forces.

http://i.cbc.ca/1.2729868.1407409768!/cpImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/original_300/ukraine.jpg  Special forces detain an activist during a clash in Kyiv's Independence Square on Thursday. (Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press)

http://i.cbc.ca/1.2729868.1407409768!/cpImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/original_300/ukraine.jpg
Special forces detain an activist during a clash in Kyiv’s Independence Square on Thursday. (Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press)

Special forces detain an activist during a clash in Kyiv’s Independence Square on Thursday. (Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press)

As the rebels struggle to push back Kyiv’s forces, fears of Russian intervention have grown. Western leaders have accused Russia of massing troops on the border with Ukraine and supplying rebels with weapons..

“We’ve noted with concern a new quality and quantity of arms and equipment flowing across the border from Russia into Ukraine, reports of shelling across the border as well as further attacks by illegal armed groups on targets in eastern Ukraine,” said Sebastien Brabant, a spokesman for the EU’s foreign policy chief.

Russia has always denied such claims.

The Ukrainian army strategy has focused on driving a wedge between Donetsk and the other main stronghold of Luhansk. Efforts to seal off the border with Russia have been thwarted as border troops come under sustained and heavy rocket fire. Ukraine says a lot of those attacks have been carried out by Russian troops, which Moscow also fervently denies.

source url: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine-conflict-shelling-in-rebel-held-city-kills-4-1.2729866

Article 1 EDITED

Article 1 was “updated” and the title as well as the “wording” associated with the url was changed. In addition this update actually swapped out some images and also removed the image of the crackdown at Maidan in Kiev that is included in the above version. It may also be noteworth that there were only 8 comments when we first reviewed the article above and only 11 when we relocated it, as it was removed from the main World News page and noticed the edits and updates.

UPDATED
Ukraine conflict: Russia must ‘step back from the brink,’ NATO chief says
Shelling in rebel-held city kills 4

The Associated Press
Posted: Aug 07, 2014 7:17 AM ET
Last Updated: Aug 07, 2014 11:26 AM ET

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Thursday called on Russia to pull its troops back from the border with Ukraine and “step back from the brink.”

Rasmussen, speaking in Kyiv after NATO said on Wednesday that Russia had amassed 20,000 troops near the border and could be planning a ground invasion of its neighbour, said Russia “should not use peace-keeping as an excuse for war-making.”

The downing of a Malaysian airliner on July 17 was a tragic consequence of Russia’s “reckless” policy of supporting the separatists and seeking to de-stabilize Ukraine, he said.

Meanwhile, sustained shelling in the main rebel stronghold in eastern Ukraine struck residential buildings and a hospital, killing at least four people and wounding 10 others, officials said, as government forces pressed forward in their campaign to rout the separatists.

Mortar fire struck the Vishnevskiy Hospital in Donetsk on Thursday morning, killing one and wounding five others, Donetsk city council spokesman Maxim Rovensky told The Associated Press.

“There was a sudden explosion,” witness Dr. Anna Kravtsova said. “A mortar round flew through the window.”

UKRAINE-CRISIS/KIEV

A protester sits in front of burning barricades during clashes with pro-government forces at Independence Square in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. The latest violence in the country’s east has killed at least four and wounded ten. (Konstantin Chernichkin/Reuters)

The shelling, which destroyed an array of equipment in the dentistry unit, also hit three nearby apartment buildings.

It followed a night of shelling in another neighbourhood as the fighting between the government and pro-Russian separatists is inching ever closer to the city centre. The mayor’s office said in a statement posted on its website that three people had been killed, five wounded and several residential buildings destroyed during those attacks.

The government denies it uses artillery against residential areas, but that claim has come under substantial strain in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have been fighting the Kyiv government since April. Ukraine and Western countries have accused Moscow of backing the mutiny with weapons and soldiers, a claim the Russian government has repeatedly denied.

The West has also accused Russia of most likely providing the insurgents with surface-to-air missiles that may have been used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over rebel-held territory on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

Clashes in Kyiv

Clashes erupted in central Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, as city authorities sought to clear away the remnants of a tent colony erected by demonstrators involved in the street uprising against pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych. At the time, protesters were angry about endemic corruption and wanted closer ties with the European Union.

In scenes reminiscent of that revolt, which climaxed with Yanukovych’s ouster in February, demonstrators set alight tires in their face-off against a volunteer battalion overseeing the clean-up operation.

In eastern Ukraine, government troops have made tentative progress in their strategy to retake Donetsk and other towns and cities. Armed forces have refrained from pitched urban battles, and instead favoured pushing back their opponents with artillery fire. It has led to a growing number of civilian casualties.

‘The hospital became a nightmare … We came here to keep living, but now we are risking death.’ – Dmitry Kozhur, patient at Vishnevskiy Hospital

Vishnevskiy Hospital, one of the city’s larger medical treatment facilities, is around four kilometres from the main square. It has been used to provide treatment to civilian victims of the ongoing conflict.

“The hospital became a nightmare. This is absurd,” said 37-year old patient Dmitry Kozhur. “We came here to keep living, but now we are risking death.”

Kozhur said he now wants to join the 300,000 people that the mayor’s office says have already abandoned the once 1 million-person strong city.

As AP reporters were leaving the hospital, they heard the sound of four rounds of artillery being fired from a nearby neighbourhood under rebel control. Although it wasn’t immediately possible to confirm the sequence of events, it appeared that the shells that hit the hospital may have been a response to rebel fire.

‘New quality and quantity of arms’

Neighbours of a house struck by rockets Wednesday said their homes were also near a position used by rebel artillery forces.

UKRAINE-CRISIS/
A Ukrainian serviceman uses a pair of binoculars as he guards a checkpoint in the Donetsk region. A mortar hit a large hospital in Donetsk Thursday. (Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)

As the rebels struggle to push back Kyiv’s forces, fears of Russian intervention have grown. Western leaders have accused Russia of massing troops on the border with Ukraine and supplying rebels with weapons..

“We’ve noted with concern a new quality and quantity of arms and equipment flowing across the border from Russia into Ukraine, reports of shelling across the border as well as further attacks by illegal armed groups on targets in eastern Ukraine,” said Sebastien Brabant, a spokesman for the EU’s foreign policy chief.

Russia has always denied such claims.

© The Associated Press, 2014

source url: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine-conflict-russia-must-step-back-from-the-brink-nato-chief-says-1.2729866

Alternative AP article

It is also worth noting that the article below was edited as well midway through the day. This is proof positive that this “story” is being consistently spun in order to confuse the citizens. Propaganda 101 states that it is not wise to edit article in such a way, not only does this cause doubt to how independent the “free press” is, but it discredits any and all reports from said “free” press.

Updated: 9:50 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 | Posted: 9:49 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014
Shelling in rebel-held Ukrainian city kills 4

By YURAS KARMANAU

The Associated Press

DONETSK, Ukraine —

Sustained shelling in the main rebel stronghold in eastern Ukraine struck residential buildings and a hospital, killing at least four people and wounding 10 others, officials said, as government forces pressed forward in their campaign to rout the separatists.

Mortar fire struck the Vishnevskiy Hospital in Donetsk on Thursday morning, killing one and wounding five others, Donetsk city council spokesman Maxim Rovensky told The Associated Press.

“There was a sudden explosion,” witness Dr. Anna Kravtsova said. “A mortar round flew through the window.”

The shelling, which destroyed an array of equipment in the dentistry unit, also hit three nearby apartment buildings.

It followed a night of shelling in another neighborhood as the fighting between the government and pro-Russian separatists is inching ever closer to the city center. The mayor’s office said in a statement posted on its website that three people had been killed, five wounded and several residential buildings destroyed during those attacks.

The government denies it uses artillery against residential areas, but that claim has come under substantial strain in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have been fighting the Kiev government since April. Ukraine and Western countries have accused Moscow of backing the mutiny with weapons and soldiers, a claim the Russian government has repeatedly denied.

The West has also accused Russia of most likely providing the insurgents with surface-to-air missiles that may have been used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over rebel-held territory on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

Clashes erupted in central Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, as city authorities sought to clear away the remnants of a tent colony erected by demonstrators involved in the street uprising against pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych. At the time, protesters were angry about endemic corruption and wanted closer ties with the European Union.

In scenes reminiscent of that revolt, which climaxed with Yanukovych’s ouster in February, demonstrators set alight tires in their face-off against a volunteer battalion overseeing the clean-up operation.

In eastern Ukraine, government troops have made tentative progress in their strategy to retake Donetsk and other towns and cities. Armed forces have refrained from pitched urban battles, and instead favored pushing back their opponents with artillery fire. It has led to a growing number of civilians casualties.

Vishnevskiy Hospital, one of the city’s larger medical treatment facilities, is around 4 kilometers (less than 3 miles) from the main square. It has been used to provide treatment to civilian victims of the ongoing conflict.

“The hospital became a nightmare. This is absurd,” said 37-year old patient Dmitry Kozhur. “We came here to keep living, but now we are risking death.”

Kozhur said he now wants to join the 300,000 people that the mayor’s office says have already abandoned the once 1 million-person strong city.

As AP reporters were leaving the hospital, they heard the sound of four rounds of artillery being fired from a nearby neighborhood under rebel control. Although it wasn’t immediately possible to confirm the sequence of events, it appeared that the shells that hit the hospital may have been a response to rebel fire.

Neighbors of a house struck by rockets Wednesday said their homes were also near a position used by rebel artillery forces.

As the rebels struggle to push back Kiev’s forces, fears of Russian intervention have grown. Western leaders have accused Russia of massing troops on the border with Ukraine and supplying rebels with weapons..

“We’ve noted with concern a new quality and quantity of arms and equipment flowing across the border from Russia into Ukraine, reports of shelling across the border as well as further attacks by illegal armed groups on targets in eastern Ukraine,” said Sebastien Brabant, a spokesman for the EU’s foreign policy chief.

Russia has always denied such claims

The Ukrainian army strategy has focused on driving a wedge between Donetsk and the other main stronghold of Luhansk. Efforts to seal off the border with Russia have been thwarted as border troops come under sustained and heavy rocket fire. Ukraine says a lot of those attacks have been carried out by Russian troops, which Moscow also fervently denies.

In Kiev, demonstrators confronted city workers clearing a main square of long-standing barricades in a standoff that turned violent. A group of men set light to fuel-drenched tires and remonstrated with armed men from a pro-government battalion charged with protecting clean-up workers.

Dark plumes of acrid smoke from burning rubber rose above Independence Square as workers in high-visibility vests worked fast to dismantle barricades surrounding the main stage.

The square and surrounding streets were the site of huge winter protests that led to Yanukovych’s ouster. Despite the election in May of a successor — 48-year old billionaire confectionery tycoon Petro Poroshenko — many said they would continue to squat on the square to ensure the new authorities lived up to their promise to usher in an era of transparent and accountable rule.

Many Kiev residents have fumed over the months-long sit-in, however, complaining that it severely disrupts traffic and blights the city’s main thoroughfare.

City authorities have been negotiating with the protesters to clear the square since a new mayor was elected, but have met strong resistance from the several hundred demonstrators still camped out there.

While many barricades were removed Thursday, numerous tents remain in place.

___

Peter Leonard reported from Kiev. Juergen Baetz contributed to this report from Brussels.

Copyright The Associated Press

source url: http://www.wftv.com/news/ap/top-news/3-killed-5-injured-in-east-ukraine-fighting/ngxGF/

Alternative AP article EDITED

The text and title of this version of the AP article was also changed and adjusted to the false propaganda narrative.

Updated: 2:04 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 | Posted: 2:03 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014
NATO pledges support to conflict-wracked Ukraine

By PETER LEONARD

The Associated Press

KIEV, Ukraine —

NATO’s chief defied mounting Russian belligerence Thursday with a pledge to provide assistance to Ukraine, which is battling to quash an insurgency being waged by pro-Russia rebels in the country’s east.

The show of support from Anders Fogh Rasmussen comes as government troops increasingly focus their push to claw back rebel-held territory on the stronghold of Donetsk. Ukraine appears to be ratcheting up the urgency of its onslaught against the backdrop of an alleged escalation of Russian troop presence on the border.

“In response to Russia’s aggression, NATO is working even more closely with Ukraine to reform its armed forces and defense institutions,” Rasmussen said during a visit to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

In a sign of sagging morale among rebel forces, separatist authorities issued a desperate plea for assistance Thursday, complaining in a statement that a “critical situation has developed with the militia’s food, uniform and ammunition supplies.”

In Donetsk, sustained shelling struck residential buildings and a hospital, killing at least four people and wounding 10 others, local officials said.

Mortar fire struck the Vishnevskiy Hospital on Thursday morning, killing one and wounding five others, Donetsk city council spokesman Maxim Rovensky told The Associated Press.

“There was a sudden explosion,” witness Dr. Anna Kravtsova said. “A mortar round flew through the window.”

The shelling, which destroyed an array of equipment in the dentistry unit, also hit three nearby apartment buildings.

It followed a night of shelling in another neighborhood as the fighting between the government and pro-Russian separatists is inching ever closer to the city center. The mayor’s office said in a statement posted on its website that three people had been killed, five wounded and several residential buildings destroyed during those attacks.

The government denies it uses artillery against residential areas, but that claim has come under substantial strain in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have been fighting the Kiev government since April. Ukraine and Western countries have accused Moscow of backing the mutiny with weapons and soldiers. The West accused Russia of most likely providing the insurgents with surface-to-air missiles that may have been used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over rebel-held territory on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

The Russian government has repeatedly denied all those charges.

More recently, Moscow has drawn accusations it is attempting to sow more instability with an intimidating show of force by dispatching what NATO estimates is 20,000 troops to Ukraine’s eastern border. That deployment has led many to speculate Russia may pursue an incursion under the guise of restoring stability to eastern Ukraine.

“I call on Russia to step back from the brink. Step back from the border. Do not use peacekeeping as an excuse for war-making,” Rasmussen said.

While stopping short of committing to direct assistance in Ukraine’s ongoing conflict, Rasmussen said that NATO would intensify its cooperation with Ukraine on defense planning and reform.

Hours before Rasmussen’s arrival, clashes erupted in central Kiev as city authorities sought to clear away the remnants of a tent colony erected by demonstrators involved in the street uprising against pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych. At the time, protesters were angry about endemic corruption and wanted closer ties with the European Union.

In scenes reminiscent of that revolt, which climaxed with Yanukovych’s ouster in February, demonstrators set alight tires in their face-off against a volunteer battalion overseeing the clean-up operation.

In eastern Ukraine, government troops have made tentative progress in their strategy to retake Donetsk and other towns and cities. Armed forces have refrained from pitched urban battles, and instead favored pushing back their opponents with artillery fire. It has led to a growing number of civilians casualties.

Vishnevskiy Hospital, one of the city’s larger medical treatment facilities, is around 4 kilometers (less than 3 miles) from the main square. It has been used to provide treatment to civilian victims of the ongoing conflict.

“The hospital became a nightmare. This is absurd,” said 37-year old patient Dmitry Kozhur. “We came here to keep living, but now we are risking death.”

Kozhur said he now wants to join the 300,000 people that the mayor’s office says have already abandoned the once 1 million-person strong city.

As AP reporters were leaving the hospital, they heard the sound of four rounds of artillery being fired from a nearby neighborhood under rebel control. Although it wasn’t immediately possible to confirm the sequence of events, it appeared that the shells that hit the hospital may have been a response to rebel fire.

Neighbors of a house struck by rockets Wednesday said their homes were also near a position used by rebel artillery forces.

The Ukrainian military’s strategy has focused on driving a wedge between Donetsk and the other main stronghold of Luhansk. Efforts to seal off the border with Russia have been thwarted as border troops come under sustained and heavy rocket fire. Ukraine says a lot of those attacks have been carried out by Russian troops, which Moscow also fervently denies.

___

Karmanau reported from Donetsk, Ukraine. Juergen Baetz contributed to this report from Brussels.

Copyright The Associated Press

source url: http://www.wftv.com/news/ap/international/3-killed-5-injured-in-east-ukraine-fighting/ngxGF/

Article 2

Below are two versions of another article published and edited today by the CBC that have seemingly been scrubbed to avoid mentioning the violent crackdown in Kiev today as well as title and url “wording” changes like Article 1 above. Since it was a little more subtle, other than adding irrelevant Harper Regime Minister photo-op vote pandering dribblings, and done behind the scenes within the slideshow scripts, we’ll present both for further review of the text portion. Of special concern is the image swaps (where the text 1 of 13 is located in the article) which are explained further down. The most noteworthy is image 1, the removal of the violent crackdown in Kiev. Please note that this article is a combo of files from the AP (Associated Propaganda) as well as Reuters in cahoots with The Canadian Press.

Russia bans food imports from Canada, other countries for 1 year
Ban covers meat, fish, milk, fruit, vegetables from Canada, the U.S., EU

The Canadian Press Posted: Aug 07, 2014 5:31 AM ET
Last Updated: Aug 07, 2014 9:53 AM ET

Russia is responding to fresh sanctions from Canada, the U.S. and other countries with a ban on food imports for a year.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says the ban covers Canada, the U.S. the European Union, Australia, Norway and covers:

Meat.
Fish.
Milk and milk products.
Fruit and vegetables.

The move announced Thursday was taken on orders from President Vladimir Putin in response to sanctions imposed over the crisis in Ukraine. The ban will cost Western farmers billions of dollars but also isolates Russian consumers from world trade to a degree unseen since Soviet days.

Russia’s sanctions will mostly affect Canada’s pork industry. Canada’s agricultural exports to Russia amounted to $563 million in 2012, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and most of them were frozen pork.

Canada on Wednesday slapped new sanctions and travel bans on several top Russian and Ukrainian politicians and groups with ties to Putin’s government. Those sanctions, imposed in co-ordination with the U.S. and the EU, came amid reports Russia is massing thousands of troops along the Ukrainian border.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has frequently said Russia’s occupation of the Crimean Peninsula and provocative military activity in eastern Ukraine is a “grave concern” to Canada and the world.

Harper said Canada is prepared to take further actions if Putin’s government continues its military aggression.

Russian economy already showing effects

The announcement saw Russian bond yields rise to their highest levels in years and Moscow’s already reeling share prices extend a sell-off.

Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov acknowledged that the measures would cause a short-term spike in inflation, but said he did not see a danger in the medium or long term. He said Russia would compensate with more imports of products from other suppliers such as Brazilian meat and New Zealand cheese.

Russia Sanctions

A woman shops at a supermarket in downtown Moscow on Thursday. Russia’s new sanctions were made in response to sanctions imposed on Russia by the West over the crisis in Ukraine. (Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press)

Russia depends heavily on imported foodstuffs — most of it from the West — particularly in the largest and most prosperous cities such as Moscow. In 2013 the EU’s agricultural exports to Russia totalled $15.8 billion US, while the U.S. Department of Agriculture says food and agricultural imports from the U.S. amounted to $1.3 billion.

Medvedev argued that the ban would give Russian farmers, who have struggled to compete with Western products, a good chance to increase their market share.

But experts said that local producers will find it hard to fill the gap left by the ban, as the nation’s agricultural sector has continued to suffer from poor efficiency and shortage of funds.

While the government claimed it will move quickly to replace Western imports by importing more food from Latin America, Turkey and ex-Soviet nations to avoid empty shelves and price hikes, analysts predicted that it will further speed up inflation.

Moscow will be hit hard

The damage to consumers inflicted by the ban will be felt particularly hard in big cities like Moscow, where imported food fills an estimated 60-70 per cent of the market.

Russians have relished imported food since the fall of the Soviet Union, when year-round supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables arrived and ubiquitous cheap American frozen chicken quarters became known as “Bush’s legs” after the then president.

Medvedev said Russia is also considering banning Western carriers from flying over Russia on flights to and from Asia — a move that would significantly swell costs and increase flight time. He said a decision on that hasn’t been made yet.

Protesters hold a Molotov cocktail during clashes with pro-government forces at Independence Square in Kyiv on Thursday. Tensions flared in the square, the scene of street protests that toppled a Moscow-backed president in February, when protesters still camped there clashed with city workers who tried to clear away their tents.

1 of 13

Russia may also introduce restrictions regarding imports of planes, navy vessels and cars, Medvedev said, but added that the government will realistically assess its own production potential.

Medvedev made it clear that Russia hopes that the sanctions will make the West revise its policy and stop trying to pressure Russia with sanctions.

“We didn’t want such developments, and I sincerely hope that our partners will put a pragmatic economic approach above bad policy considerations,” he said, adding that the ban could be lifted earlier if the West shows a “constructive approach.”

If the West doesn’t change course, Russia may follow up by introducing restrictions regarding imports of planes, navy vessels, cars and other industrial products, Medvedev warned, but added that the government will move carefully.

“The government understands how important such co-operation is, and naturally, we have a realistic assessment of our own capacities,” he said.

EU Commission spokesman Frederic Vincent voiced regret about the ban. He said the commission still has to assess the potential impact, and reserves “the right to take action as appropriate.”

With files from The Associated Press and Reuters
© The Canadian Press, 2014

source url: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/russia-bans-food-imports-from-canada-other-countries-for-1-year-1.2729821

Article 2 EDITED

This article was a little more subtly edited as the day progressed. While we are still sifting through the text, the most noteworthy edit was to the slideshow (13 of 13) contained towards the end. The first 2 images were swapped out, one was related to the violent crackdown in Kiev and the other was of the situation in the hospital (see below for the urls and captions).

Russia sanctions show Putin’s ‘short-sighted desperation,’ Canada says
Ban covers meat, fish, milk, fruit, vegetables from Canada, the U.S., EU

CBC News Posted: Aug 07, 2014 5:31 AM ET
Last Updated: Aug 07, 2014 2:56 PM ET

Canada will not be intimidated by Russia’s ban on its food imports, Industry Minister James Moore said Thursday, warning that the sanctions will hurt Russian consumers more than Canadians.

“We will certainly look at the impact of these sanctions on the Canadian economy, but they will in no way cause us to have any hesitation in the principled position we’ve taken in opposing [Russian President] Vladimir Putin’s regime,” Moore said during a news conference in Montreal.

Russia responded Thursday to fresh sanctions from Canada, the U.S. and other countries with a ban on food imports for a year. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced that the ban includes Canada, the U.S. the European Union, Australia, Norway and others. Banned items include:

Meat.
Fish.
Milk and dairy products.
Fruit and vegetables.

Moore said the sanctions show the importance of expanding free trade, including the Harper government’s drive toward a free-trade deal with the European Union.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz made similar comments in a statement Thursday, criticizing Putin’s “short-sighted desperation.”

“Our government will continue to put Canada’s national interests first, but we cannot allow business interests alone to dictate our foreign policy,” Ritz said.

Industry Minister James Moore

Industry Minister James Moore said Canada won’t back down in the face of sanctions from Russia. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Russia’s move was taken on orders from Putin in response to sanctions imposed over the crisis in Ukraine. The ban will cost farmers in North America, Europe and Australia billions of dollars but also isolates Russian consumers from world trade to a degree unseen since Soviet days.

Canada had on Wednesday slapped new sanctions and travel bans on several top Russian and Ukrainian politicians and groups with ties to Putin’s government. Those sanctions, imposed in co-ordination with the U.S. and the EU, came amid reports Russia is massing thousands of troops along the Ukrainian border.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has frequently said Russia’s occupation of the Crimean Peninsula and provocative military activity in eastern Ukraine is a “grave concern” to Canada and the world.

Russia’s sanctions will mostly affect Canada’s pork industry. Canada’s agricultural exports to Russia amounted to $563 million in 2012, though Jim Laws of the Canadian Meat Council said that number dropped to $260 million last year.

Laws told CBC News Network pork producers will start to feel the effects right away, with up to 1,000 container loads of pork on ships bound for Russia.

Laws was optimistic that much of the meat could be re-directed to other countries or back to Canada, but said that the redirection alone would cost the industry “quite a bit of money.”

“We’re fortunate that we have many markets for pork around the world. Last year, we sold some $3.2 billion worth of pork to over 120 different countries. Russia, however, was the fourth most important market” behind U.S., Japan and China, he said.

Geoff Irvine, head of the Lobster Council of Canada, said the Russian sanctions are “not good for Canada.”

“For lobster, Russia is a small but potentially good market. The biggest impact on seafood in Canada will be on northern shrimp, and maybe cheaper fish like Pacific hake and herring.”

Russia depends heavily on imports

Russian stock indexes initially fell by about 1.5 per cent on the news before recovering most of the losses a few hours later.

Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov acknowledged that the measures would cause a short-term spike in inflation, but said he did not see a danger in the medium or long term. He said Russia would compensate with more imports of products from other suppliers such as Brazilian meat and New Zealand cheese.

Russia depends heavily on imported foodstuffs — most of it from the West — particularly in the largest and most prosperous cities such as Moscow. In 2013, the EU’s agricultural exports to Russia totalled $15.8 billion US, while the U.S. Department of Agriculture says food and agricultural imports from the U.S. amounted to $1.3 billion.

Russia Sanctions

A woman shops at a supermarket in downtown Moscow on Thursday. Russia’s new sanctions were made in response to sanctions imposed on Russia by the West over the crisis in Ukraine. (Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press)

Medvedev argued that the ban would give Russian farmers, who have struggled to compete with Western products, a good chance to increase their market share.
But experts said that local producers will find it hard to fill the gap left by the ban, as the nation’s agricultural sector has continued to suffer from poor efficiency and shortage of funds.

While the government claimed it will move quickly to replace Western imports by importing more food from Latin America, Turkey and ex-Soviet nations to avoid empty shelves and price hikes, analysts predicted that it will further speed up inflation.

Chris Weafer, an analyst at Macro Advisory in Moscow, said the ban will likely speed up inflation and further cloud an already grim economic outlook. “Along with higher interest rates, higher food costs will mean that households have less money to spend and that will depress the economy,” he said.

Market watchers said consumers in the expensive food segment will suffer the most, losing access to goods like French cheeses and Parma ham, but others will also eventually feel the brunt as food variety will shrink and inflationary pressures increase. With retail chains stocked up for months ahead, the ban will take time to hurt, however.

The measure led to sardonic comments across Russian online media and liberal blogs, bringing reminiscences of empty store shelves during the Soviet times, but there was no immediate indication of consumers trying to stock up.

Moscow will be hit hard

The damage to consumers inflicted by the ban will be felt particularly hard in big cities like Moscow, where imported food fills an estimated 60-70 per cent of the market.

Russians have relished imported food since the fall of the Soviet Union, when year-round supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables arrived and ubiquitous cheap American frozen chicken quarters became known as “Bush’s legs” after the then president.

Medvedev said Russia is also considering banning Western carriers from flying over Russia on flights to and from Asia — a move that would significantly swell costs and increase flight time. He said a decision on that hasn’t been made yet.

A Ukrainian army sapper shows reporters an IED that pro-Russian separatists allegedly left behind during their retreat at a checkpoint outside the eastern Ukrainian village of Nikishyne on Aug. 1.

13 of 13

Russia may also introduce restrictions regarding imports of planes, navy vessels and cars, Medvedev said, but added that the government will realistically assess its own production potential.

Medvedev made it clear that Russia hopes that the sanctions will make the West revise its policy and stop trying to pressure Russia with sanctions.

“We didn’t want such developments, and I sincerely hope that our partners will put a pragmatic economic approach above bad policy considerations,” he said, adding that the ban could be lifted earlier if the West shows a “constructive approach.”

EU Commission spokesman Frederic Vincent voiced regret about the ban. He said the commission still has to assess the potential impact, and reserves “the right to take action as appropriate.”

With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters

source url: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/russia-sanctions-show-putin-s-short-sighted-desperation-canada-says-1.2729821

Article 2 Slideshow Images

Below are the original images that were in the slideshow. oddly enough they implicate the Kiev Regime. the first is from the violent crackdown that seems to be covered under a media blackout, while the second implicated the Kiev Regime’s ongoing aerial assault, bombardment and onslaught against Ukrainians in Donetsk.

Protesters hold a Molotov cocktail during clashes with pro-government forces at Independence Square in Kyiv on Thursday. Tensions flared in the square, the scene of street protests that toppled a Moscow-backed president in February, when protesters still camped there clashed with city workers who tried to clear away their tents

Local residents cry and hug each other as they sit in a hospital basement being used as a bomb shelter after shelling, in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on Aug. 7. Fighting in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk claimed more civilian casualties, bringing new calls from Russian nationalists for President Vladimir Putin to send in the army

People emerge the morning of Aug. 6 to inspect the rubble of damaged buildings following what was described as a airstrike by Ukrainian forces in Donetsk on Wednesday. NATO says it fears Russia is poised to invade under the pretext of humanitarian aid

A Ukrainian soldier mans a checkpoint in the eastern city of Debaltseve on Aug. 6. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday slapped a one-year ban and restriction on food and agricultural product imports from nations that have imposed sanctions on Russia over its defiant stance on Ukraine

People emerge the morning of Aug. 6 to inspect the rubble of damaged buildings following what was described as a airstrike by Ukrainian forces in Donetsk on Wednesday. NATO says it fears Russia is poised to invade under the pretext of humanitarian aid

Armed pro-Russian separatists stand guard at a checkpoint in the settlement of Yasynuvata, outside Donetsk, on Aug. 5. NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in an emailed statement that the treaty organization was concerned Moscow could use the pretext of peacekeeping as an excuse to send troops into eastern Ukraine

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, second from left, meets with heads of security and force services in Kyiv on Aug. 6. Kyiv denies launching an artillery barrage and air raids against residential neighbourhoods in Donestsk and accuses the rebels of firing at civilian areas, claims that Human Rights Watch and others have questioned

A man removes debris from a ruined building on the outskirts of the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk on Aug. 6

Ukrainian servicemen on board an armoured vehicle patrol the eastern Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk on Aug. 5. Airstrikes and artillery fire between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian troops in the region have brought the shadow of war closer than ever to the urban core of some of the east’s larger cities

Ukrainian servicemen fire artillery rounds against pro-Russian separatists near Pervomaisk, in the Luhansk region, on Aug. 2

A Ukrainian army sapper shows reporters an IED that pro-Russian separatists allegedly left behind during their retreat at a checkpoint outside the eastern Ukrainian village of Nikishyne on Aug. 1

Article 2 Image Swaps

Below are the 2 new replacements for images 1 and 2 that were edited midway through the day.

Boys play a game of war in the eastern Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk on Aug. 7, 2014. Russia responded Thursday to fresh sanctions from Canada, the U.S. and other countries with a ban on food imports for a year. The ban includes food stuffs like milk, fish, meat and vegetables.

Smoke billows from the flaming debris of a crashed Ukrainian fighter jet near the village of Zhdanivka, some 40 km northeast of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, on Thursday. The the Sukhoi warplane was blasted out of the air while flying low over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, An AFP crew reported, with the parachute of at least one pilot opening up in the clear blue sky.

Suspiciously Missing image

The image below seems to be intended as a thumbnail related to the violent crackdown against protesters in Kiev as it is also located in the alternative Associated propaganda article presented above.

 

We welcome any and all contributions to this summary so that we may present these findings to a much wider audience as well as various local, national and international media, NGO’s, public officials and law enforcement agencies at hom,e and abroad. It is our understanding that spreading propaganda that results in terrorist activities, recruitment, harm and/or death against innocent civilians is a serious violation of local, State, Provincial, National, Federal and International laws, depending on the jurisdictions.
 


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Is Canadian Democracy Just School Yard Stuff?

I thought the Boss said we were some kind of a beacon of Democracy or something to that effect?

Dear Steve Harper:

Many of us thought that the hallmarks of Democracy were openness and transparency, but you’ve shown us how silly we are Steve, committees disappearing behind closed doors for in camera meetings, omnibus bills that have grown so large that we really only need to have you folk in Ottawa for a couple of weeks to vote on it then take the rest of the session off.

Does that sound familiar? It should, it’s pretty much what you had to say after a Liberal omnibus bill a few years ago. It seems you want everyone else to be transparent but not when it comes to government. Or at least Your government…

Every time people try to find out what’s going on with Canada there are brick walls thrown up in their faces. The treatment of detainees in Afghanistan, the cost of the F 35 jets that may or may not ever come to fruition, the list goes on, and on, and on…

Certainly not open or transparent by any stretch of the imagination.

But I guess the real irony is when you send your MPs to far off places to ensure they have open and fair elections, but when someone takes your people to task over Robocalls and voter suppression, well they clam up, drag their feet, and generally make asses of themselves.

From what I gather, no one in the Party speaks without clearance from the PMO. Funny thing, we don’t get to vote on who is in the PMO do we?

And no one gets to ask questions without clearance from the PMO either?

It certainly looks like that. You can correct me if I’m mistaken, but I heard that the Press Pool decided to give up one of their valued questions to a foreign correspondent from China, a fellow named Li Xue Jiang. When Mr. Li stepped up to ask his question, your staff pulled the microphone away from him and when he had the temerity to try and grab the microphone back he was promptly wrestled away by four of your security detail.

Thoughtfully, the Globe and Mail has the video here.

Way to show those commies how the leader of an open and democratic society handles inconvenient questions. That’s sarcasm; I know it doesn’t always carry well in writing.

You want us to believe that you are in the “big leagues” internationally, but you’re not. This is just school yard stuff being played out by someone who should know better. Don’t like the question? Don’t let the Chinese guy ask it. (And have your minions drag him away) Too hot in Ottawa? Just yell “Prorogue”! That’s the parliamentary equivalent of picking up the ball and running away isn’t it?

We’re used to it here. We’ve seen how you have acted for the last seven years. Now you’ve gone and shown the world your management skills.

By the way Steve, yelling “Prorogue” from Whitehorse, in the middle of the summer break is pretty much like yelling “I’m telling my mom” and running away.

School yard stuff, and the saddest part is how many people don’t care.

Laters, BC

ATTN: @pmharper + #CPC re: #FirstNations + #Aboriginals + #ReconciliationActionPlan = #cdnpoli #NurembergSolution

Before this gets outta hand it may be time to begin the act of reconciliation in Canada NOW, as opposed to delivering empty apologies. Here is what may be a simple initial solution that may, possible, potentially, maybe, kinda, sorta acceptable, if you are lucky. while that simmers a bit, we utilized a hashtagged tweetable title to remind ya when we share this article around the interwebs, so be sure to have Harper’s Kiddies lots o’ RedBull and other keep awake and alert remedies. Continue reading ATTN: @pmharper + #CPC re: #FirstNations + #Aboriginals + #ReconciliationActionPlan = #cdnpoli #NurembergSolution

#Harper #Gold #Davos #Soros and #CurrencyWars

#Harper #Gold #Davos #Soros & #CurrencyWars

By @livewordcanada 2013/01/24 via #Ottawapiskat… The birth of a hashtag

We are perplexed and puzzled about the timing of why Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s wife Laureen [1], “liquidated her entire portfolio of stock market investments late last year.” Oddly enough, several other “global” factors, central banks [2], investors [3] as well as other anomalies that add to the confusion. This brings us to another topic and point to ponder, Why is Deutsche Bundesbank demanding it’s gold reserves back and will this escalate and initiate more global currency wars? Then we consider the rather bleak announcement and admission from Bank of Canada’s outgoing Mark Carney “The slowdown in the second half of 2012 was more pronounced than the Bank had anticipated”. One thing is certain, something is rotten in #Ottawapiskat and Martha Stewart comes to mind for some reason. For our next chapter in the #Ottawapiskat for #Upsettlers: #ShagTheDog series featuring #Bundesbank, #Gold and #CurrencyWars.

Continue reading #Harper #Gold #Davos #Soros and #CurrencyWars

Prime Minister’s Wife Sells Off Entire Stock Portfolio

Prime Minister’s Wife Sells Off Entire Stock Portfolio

By GLEN MCGREGOR, Ottawa Citizen January 10, 2013

According to an ethics disclosure filed in December, Stephen Harper’s wife, Laureen, has liquidated her stock market investments.
Photograph by: Sean Kilpatrick , The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — An ethics disclosure filed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper shows that his wife Laureen liquidated her entire portfolio of stock market investments late last year.

The prime minister last month amended a disclosure of assets and liabilities he had filed with Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson and removed its reference to his wife’s investments.

Previous versions of Harper’s MP disclosure said his wife held an “investment account with Raymond James Ltd. partly composed of publicly traded securities.”

That line item was not found in an updated December 8 version of the document, which lists no other declarable assets.

“Mrs. Harper’s updated disclosure reflects the fact this account was liquidated,” explained Andrew MacDougall, Harper’s director of communications.

MacDougall did not respond to a follow-up email asking why she had suddenly sold off her portfolio at a time when the economy is still recovering from a deep recession.

Unlike his apparently bearish wife, the prime minister has been an enthusiastic booster of Canadian equity markets, and once advised investors to increase their stake in public securities during the darkest days of the global economic downturn.

“I think there are some great buying opportunities out there,” Harper said during a 2008 interview with the CBC.

Since then, the TSX index has climbed by about 32 per cent.

Harper’s disclosure did not itemize the individual stocks his wife owned.

The prime minister declared no stock investments of his own, suggesting that those made in his wife’s name may effectively be joint assets. The disclosure notes that the Harpers share a joint line of credit from the Bank of Nova Scotia.

In October, the Prime Minister’s Office declined a Citizen request to provide a list of equities in Laureen Harper’s portfolio. The PMO also refused to say whether any of her stocks were among the resource sector companies that would be affected by her husband’s decision on foreign investments by China’s CNOOC and Malayasia’s Petronas.

Under federal ethics rules, cabinet ministers are required to either sell their shares in publicly-traded companies or place them in blind trusts while in office. But, as the Citizen reported, there is no such requirement for equities held in their spouses’ names. The specific contents of their stock portfolios are not revealed in the disclosures they sign as cabinet ministers or as MPs, and it is unclear if even the ethics commissioner knows which equities the spouses hold.

The spouses of seven other ministers in Harper’s cabinet currently have publicly-traded securities not governed by any blind trust agreements — among them, the wife of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and the husband of Labour Minister Lisa Raitt.

Flaherty’s wife, Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP Christine Elliott, is required to make her own disclosure under the separate provincial ethics regime, which requires her to list in more detail her stock holdings.

Elliott’s 2012 provincial disclosure showed that she owns shares in the Bank of Nova Scotia, BCE Inc., and Leon’s Furniture Ltd., among others. Flaherty’s office says he and wife do not discuss cabinet confidences so there is no conflict of interest with her holdings.

It is unclear whether Laureen Harper simply saw last year’s rise in stock prices as a good time to cash in her portfolio or if the move was made in response to the Citizen story pointing out the apparent loophole in the ethics rules.

Under an agreement with ethics commissioner, Harper is required to step aside from any decision involving Talisman Energy, where his brother Grant works as an accountant.

gmcgregor@ottawacitizen.com
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Original source article: Prime minister’s wife sells off entire stock portfolio

continue reading source: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:8VHxBQIk3t0J:http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/prime%2Bminister%2Bwife%2Bsells%2Bentire%2Bstock%2Bportfolio/7802376/story.html


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Canada blocks $5.2 billion Petronas bid for Progress Energy

By Euan Rocha and Stuart Grudgings
TORONTO/KUALA LUMPUR | Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:57pm EDT

Related News

Analysis & Opinion

Related Topics

Motorists pump natural gas at a Petronas station in Kuala Lumpur July 1, 2010. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad
Motorists pump natural gas at a Petronas station in Kuala Lumpur July 1, 2010. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

(Reuters) – Canada has blocked Malaysian state oil firm Petronas’ C$5.17 billion ($5.2 billion) bid for gas producer Progress Energy Resources in a surprise move that could signal problems for a much larger Chinese deal in the country’s energy sector.

Canada’s announcement late on Friday, minutes before a deadline, was a blow to Petronas, whose domestic oil supplies are shrinking and which has been seeking to boost its resources beyond Malaysia and volatile areas such as Sudan.

It also raises doubts over Chinese oil group CNOOC’s C$15.1 billion offer for oil producer Nexen and could weigh on other Canadian firms hoping for foreign investment to tap their vast energy reserves.

A rejection of the CNOOC bid would likely damage trade ties Canada has been trying to build with China, underlining political sensitivity to Chinese corporate expansion in North America.

“I have sent a notice letter to Petronas indicating that I am not satisfied that the proposed investment is likely to be of net benefit to Canada,” Industry Minister Christian Paradis said in a statement.

continue reading source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/20/us-progress-petronas-idUSBRE89J02X20121020


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Canada rejects $5.9-billion Petronas bid for Progress Energy

By Jameson Berkow
Oct 20, 2012 8:42 AM ET
Last Updated: Oct 20, 2012 5:44 PM ET
More from Jameson Berkow | @crudereporter

Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg

Malaysian state-owned Petronas, which said on Saturday it was not ready to comment, has 30 days to make its offer more palatable. Otherwise the deal will not be allowed to proceed.” alt=”Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg

CALGARY — In a surprise late night move on Friday, Ottawa rejected Petronas’ $5.9-billion bid for Progress Energy Resources Corp., marking the third foreign takeover Canada’s federal government has blocked.

Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, issued a brief statement three minutes before midnight ET on Friday, saying he was “not satisfied that the proposed investment is likely to be of net benefit to Canada.”

Mr. Paradis refused to comment on the deal earlier Friday, telling reporters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec only “when the decision is … made, I will announce it properly.”

Malaysian state-owned Petronas, which said on Saturday it was not ready to comment, has 30 days to make its offer more palatable. Otherwise the deal will not be allowed to proceed. It was not clear what it could put on the table.

Progress Energy chief executive Michael Culbert said in a statement released Saturday afternoon that Petronas will appeal the federal government’s ruling and Progress will help “determine the nature of the issues and the potential remedies.”

“The long-term health of the natural gas industry in Canada and the development of a new LNG export industry are dependent on international investments such as Petronas.” Mr. Culbert said.

 

The government’s decision sheds some light on whether the far more controversial $15.1-billion offer from CNOOC Ltd. to buy Nexen Inc. will be approved. CNOOC’s status as a wholly-controlled entity of China’s Communist Party has generated widespread public concern over the proposal, which represents China’s largest attempt at a foreign acquisition to date.

Ottawa has promised its decision on China’s bid for Calgary-based Nexen would provide a framework for how future takeover bids from state-owned companies would be reviewed. CNOOC has made several promises — including retaining all of Nexen’s approximately 3,000 Canadian staff and listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange — in hopes of passing the government’s test. However, the law is unclear on what exactly defines a “net benefit.”

The decision on CNOOC’s bid for Nexen is expected in mid-November.

Maybe Canada is using this to attach more conditions to the Nexen deal

continue reading source:


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The Chinese are coming! And other challenges to Canadian self-determination….maybe

Some analysts say a little bit of economic imperialism isn’t all that bad.

By Massoud Hayoun
Posted: Oct 19th, 2012

They’re coming – The Chinese. The Americans. And of course, experts in empire, the British.

They want to slice a nation into concessions. They want to guzzle its fresh water and pump its oil into their cars, tractors and factories – extract more and more of its fuels for their burgeoning economies. Even move into its embassies abroad.

Surprisingly, the nation victim to this frenzied rush for resources isn’t in the so-called ‘developing’ or post-colonial world. It’s Canada.

Canadian politicians, environmentalists and media are perennially abuzz with news of a pending imperialist takeover. But the kind of imperialism they describe isn’t imperialism in the traditional sense, where the oppressor pushes an economic agenda – a wholesale heist of natural resources – after a political takeover.

The kind of economic imperialism Canadians seem to fear starts off with business and spills over into politics.

Red scare?

Some politicians and environmentalists say China – once bent into submission by Western nations, which divided Shanghai into colonial ‘concessions’ and forbade ethnic Chinese (except nannies and cooks) from entering certain parts of Central, Hong Kong – is now guilty of going after Canadian land, oil and politics.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May maintains Chinese enterprises bidding for Canadian natural energies represent a threat to national sovereignty.

“Chinese state-owned enterprises are an extension of the Communist Party of China and threaten to erode sovereignty in different ways than other foreign investors,” May told The Vancouver Observer in an article on Chinese energy company CNOOC’s bid for Canadian gas and oil giant Nexen last month.

While the CNOOC bid awaits approval until November on Parliamentary Hill, it seems Chinese Communism has yet to infiltrate Canadian politics.

Still, in an unpublished segment of May’s interview, she argued business deals with the People’s Republic have already harmed Canadian self-determination.

“We are experiencing a loss of decades of environmental laws in order to satisfy the Chinese government and state-run oil companies,” she said.

“Harper defied expert advice to ensure all foreign takeovers were reviewed against an objective definition of ‘national security.’ In the 2009 amendments to the Investment Canada Act, Harper and the PC refused to define “national security” saying the term was too fluid to be capable of definition.”

What May described then was a kind of economic imperialism.

“We will lose sovereignty and the ability to regulate to protect the environment if Harper follows through with a free trade deal with China,” she said.

The Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA), slated to come into effect at the end of the month, will allow Chinese enterprises to sue the Canadian government for any measure seen as discriminatory to its operations, analysts say.

“If we have state-owned enterprises operating in Canada and if – on top of that — they get the same rights to sue Canada as the US and Mexico do under the Investor-State provisions of Chapter 11 of NAFTA, then we will have given away the store, lock stock and barrel,” May said.

Old friends

China is only the new kid on the block when it comes to Canada’s sovereignty woes.

May noted in the same interview that “Under NAFTA, [Canada] is hard-wired to be the number one supplier of foreign oil to the US,” and the United States has, in its ongoing presidential debates [see Republican candidate Mitt Romney on what he considers a kind of domestic supply] and legislative documents repeatedly referred to Canadian energy as part of its domestic ‘North American’ reserves.

Questions of sovereignty have colored the debate on various multi-billion-dollar bids to funnel more Canadian natural resources into the US – Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline expansion and the Keystone XL pipeline.

And of late, Britain has entered the mix of allegedly nefarious super powers. Canadian commentators criticized a joint Ottawa-London initiative to collocate several Canadian and British embassies, saying the move, while economically sound in its gesture to cut back on public funds in the aftermath of a crippling global recession, would jeopardize “the ability of Canadian diplomats to act fully independently in certain foreign countries,” as The National Post writes.

The ebb and flow of the Canadian sovereignty woe

A sense of sovereignty under siege appears to be a kind of defining feature of Canadian national identity.

“Fears about Canadian sovereignty are as old as our country,” UBC political science professor Kathryn Harrison told The Vancouver Observer.

“After all, concern about a potential US invasion was one of the motivations for Confederation. I don’t think it’s surprising that there’s persistent anxiety either, though usually at a pretty low well. We are next door to a country with ten times more people and the largest economy in the world.”

Canadians worry about national sovereignty at some times more than others.

“There are some periods when economic or policy developments bring those concerns to the fore than others.  For instance the debate about Canada-US free trade in 1988. The proposed expansion of shipments of natural resources – coal, oil, natural gas — towards Asian markets is new, at least in scale,” she said.

High-profile pipeline expansion deals, slated to bring more Canadian fuels to the US have in turn fueled polemics on Canadian self-determination, Harrison argues.

“Export of large quantities of oil and gas is not new, but as long as we could rely on existing pipelines to do so, it was under the public’s radar. With the debate in the US over the Keystone XL pipeline and in Canada over the Enbridge Northern Gateway and, potentially, the Kinder Morgan pipeline [expansion] as well, people are more aware of those exports,” she added.

The problematic politics of polemics

Some analysts at both ends of the political spectrum say the debate on Canadian national sovereignty – directed most often against international business deals and pitting politics against profit – works against the national interest.

“They are classic know-nothing arguments. They are in some cases suicidal — maybe suicidal is too strong a word, but they certainly don’t support Canada’s national interest,” said renowned libertarian and McGill University economics and public policy professor Tom Velk.

Velk believes that what has been worded as an argument against economic imperialism is in fact a blow to globalization and economic development.

“Politically imposed isolation have been costly and unwise. I suppose the extreme examples are places like North Korea or Cuba,” Velk said.

“The word imperial has an automatic negative notion or weight attached to it. Great nations large and small are far more likely to benefit from working with one another,” Velk added.

“Where would we be without Roman empire and its language?” he asked.

Velk believes that the arguments for Canadian sovereignty are economically unsound, because various gestures to develop stronger economic ties with the Chinese and non-traditional partners will lessen Canada’s dependence on US business – and political directives.

“We don’t have the ability to pursue national goals against those of the United States… [but] Canada does have some levers,” Velk said.

“What Canada has been doing with the rest of the world is trying to expand a range of trading partners in Asia and Europe that may give Canada some limited degree of flexibility vis-a-vis the US markets,” he added.

Not only does Chinese business offer Canada a way out of a politically compromising tie to its neighbors down South, but there is a moral imperative behind selling natural resources to countries like China, Velk says.

“Canada has an enormous surplus of fresh water… China is in great need of water. They are trying to get water from the Tibetan highlands, at great political costs to the places that supply it. So it would be in the world’s interest, as well as in the Canadian interest to trade bulk water across the ocean,” he said, explaining that the “know-nothing” sovereignty crowd is “immoral.”

Double standards

On the other end of the political spectrum but equally opposed to sovereignty scares is Yves Engler, a liberal historian and political commentator and recent author of The Ugly Canadian, a book on the Harper administration’s foreign policy.

“It’s in the interest of Canadian companies to have local communities and the national government have greater control over natural resources,” Engler said, “Most Canadians want higher royalty rates and national control over resources. The more that becomes internationalized, the less likely that is.”

“But it’s a bit hypocritical of Canadian politicians to criticize foreign enterprises – and not to be critical of Canadian purchasing of international resources.”

Nexen, the Calgary-based Canadian energy giant at the heart of the China debate, owns oil operations in places like Colombia, Europe’s North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and beyond.

What’s to lose?

Much of the discussion on sovereignty, as Engler noted, is about Ottawa and Canadians being able to dictate the destiny of their natural resources. But inherent in claims from politicians and media that the ostensibly communist Chinese government’s companies threaten Canadian sovereignty is the idea that they are threatening a Canadian way of life

The implicit fear is a loss of individual rights that set Canada apart from both China and the United States – healthcare, marriage for all and relatively unthreatened women’s reproductive freedoms.

Engler believes this idea bespeaks a fundamental misunderstanding of those rights.

“Those gains are won by unions, farmers’ groups, feminist groups, LGBTQ organizations – I certainly wouldn’t frame it in the kind of Canada sovereignty angle,” he said.

Civilian fights for basic human rights go both ways between Canada and the US.

“The influence is beyond borders. It’s no coincidence that you find most progressive states are border states- what Vermont is doing with health care, for instance.”

Analysts like Engler note that Canadian and US activists often work beyond borders for various social causes. The anti-corporate economic justice movements that swept the world in the Occupy movement that started last year were a cross-border, continental affair, for instance.

What is unclear from reactions against Canada’s various international business deals is what the alternative would look like in practice — a Canada where Canadians are empowered to determine the destiny of their own natural resources, or, as Velk says, something akin to hyper-isolated states like “North Korea or Cuba.”

 

Massoud Hayoun is a North African American writer and speaker on Middle East, North African and Chinese affairs. He has written for The Atlantic, TIME Magazine…Read Massoud Hayoun’s bio » http://www.vancouverobserver.com/contributors/massoud-hayoun

continue reading source: http://www.vancouverobserver.com/politics/commentary/chinese-are-coming-and-other-problematic-canadian-sovereignty-woes

 

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This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. and intend its use to be for education and instructional purposes only. Therefore, we believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond “fair use,” you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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The end of the New World Order

The upheavals of the early 21st century have changed our world. Now, in the aftermath of failed wars and economic disasters, pressure for a social alternative can only grow

By
The Guardian
Friday 19 October 2012 18.00 BST

lehman-new-world-order
Culture shock … the collapse of Lehman Brothers ushered in the deepest economic crisis since the 1930s. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

In the late summer of 2008, two events in quick succession signalled the end of the New World Order. In August, the US client state of Georgia was crushed in a brief but bloody war after it attacked Russian troops in the contested territory of South Ossetia.

The former Soviet republic was a favourite of Washington’s neoconservatives. Its authoritarian president had been lobbying hard for Georgia to join Nato’s eastward expansion. In an unblinking inversion of reality, US vice-president Dick Cheney denounced Russia‘s response as an act of “aggression” that “must not go unanswered”. Fresh from unleashing a catastrophic war on Iraq, George Bush declared Russia’s “invasion of a sovereign state” to be “unacceptable in the 21st century”.

As the fighting ended, Bush warned Russia not to recognise South Ossetia’s independence. Russia did exactly that, while US warships were reduced to sailing around the Black Sea. The conflict marked an international turning point. The US’s bluff had been called, its military sway undermined by the war on terror, Iraq and Afghanistan. After two decades during which it bestrode the world like a colossus, the years of uncontested US power were over.

Three weeks later, a second, still more far-reaching event threatened the heart of the US-dominated global financial system. On 15 September, the credit crisis finally erupted in the collapse of America’s fourth-largest investment bank. The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers engulfed the western world in its deepest economic crisis since the 1930s.

The first decade of the 21st century shook the international order, turning the received wisdom of the global elites on its head – and 2008 was its watershed. With the end of the cold war, the great political and economic questions had all been settled, we were told. Liberal democracy and free-market capitalism had triumphed. Socialism had been consigned to history. Political controversy would now be confined to culture wars and tax-and-spend trade-offs.

In 1990, George Bush Senior had inaugurated a New World Order, based on uncontested US military supremacy and western economic dominance. This was to be a unipolar world without rivals. Regional powers would bend the knee to the new worldwide imperium. History itself, it was said, had come to an end.

But between the attack on the Twin Towers and the fall of Lehman Brothers, that global order had crumbled. Two factors were crucial. By the end of a decade of continuous warfare, the US had succeeded in exposing the limits, rather than the extent, of its military power. And the neoliberal capitalist model that had reigned supreme for a generation had crashed.

It was the reaction of the US to 9/11 that broke the sense of invincibility of the world’s first truly global empire. The Bush administration’s wildly miscalculated response turned the atrocities in New York and Washington into the most successful terror attack in history.

Not only did Bush’s war fail on its own terms, spawning terrorists across the world, while its campaign of killings, torture and kidnapping discredited Western claims to be guardians of human rights. But the US-British invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq revealed the inability of the global behemoth to impose its will on subject peoples prepared to fight back. That became a strategic defeat for the US and its closest allies.

This passing of the unipolar moment was the first of four decisive changes that transformed the world – in some crucial ways for the better. The second was the fallout from the crash of 2008 and the crisis of the western-dominated capitalist order it unleashed, speeding up relative US decline.

This was a crisis made in America and deepened by the vast cost of its multiple wars. And its most devastating impact was on those economies whose elites had bought most enthusiastically into the neoliberal orthodoxy of deregulated financial markets and unfettered corporate power.

A voracious model of capitalism forced down the throats of the world as the only way to run a modern economy, at a cost of ballooning inequality and environmental degradation, had been discredited – and only rescued from collapse by the greatest state intervention in history. The baleful twins of neoconservatism and neoliberalism had been tried and tested to destruction.

The failure of both accelerated the rise of China, the third epoch-making change of the early 21st century. Not only did the country’s dramatic growth take hundreds of millions out of poverty, but its state-driven investment model rode out the west’s slump, making a mockery of market orthodoxy and creating a new centre of global power. That increased the freedom of manoeuvre for smaller states.

China’s rise widened the space for the tide of progressive change that swept Latin America – the fourth global advance. Across the continent, socialist and social-democratic governments were propelled to power, attacking economic and racial injustice, building regional independence and taking back resources from corporate control. Two decades after we had been assured there could be no alternatives to neoliberal capitalism, Latin Americans were creating them.

These momentous changes came, of course, with huge costs and qualifications. The US will remain the overwhelmingly dominant military power for the foreseeable future; its partial defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan were paid for in death and destruction on a colossal scale; and multipolarity brings its own risks of conflict. The neoliberal model was discredited, but governments tried to refloat it through savage austerity programmes. China’s success was bought at a high price in inequality, civil rights and environmental destruction. And Latin America’s US-backed elites remained determined to reverse the social gains, as they succeeded in doing by violent coup in Honduras in 2009. Such contradictions also beset the revolutionary upheaval that engulfed the Arab world in 2010-11, sparking another shift of global proportions.

By then, Bush’s war on terror had become such an embarrassment that the US government had to change its name to “overseas contingency operations”. Iraq was almost universally acknowledged to have been a disaster, Afghanistan a doomed undertaking. But such chastened realism couldn’t be further from how these campaigns were regarded in the western mainstream when they were first unleashed.

To return to what was routinely said by British and US politicians and their tame pundits in the aftermath of 9/11 is to be transported into a parallel universe of toxic fantasy. Every effort was made to discredit those who rejected the case for invasion and occupation – and would before long be comprehensively vindicated.

Michael Gove, now a Tory cabinet minister, poured vitriol on the Guardian for publishing a full debate on the attacks, denouncing it as a “Prada-Meinhof gang” of “fifth columnists”. Rupert Murdoch’s Sun damned those warning against war as “anti-American propagandists of the fascist left”. When the Taliban regime was overthrown, Blair issued a triumphant condemnation of those (myself included) who had opposed the invasion of Afghanistan and war on terror. We had, he declared, “proved to be wrong”.

A decade later, few could still doubt that it was Blair’s government that had “proved to be wrong”, with catastrophic consequences. The US and its allies would fail to subdue Afghanistan, critics predicted. The war on terror would itself spread terrorism. Ripping up civil rights would have dire consequences – and an occupation of Iraq would be a blood-drenched disaster.

The war party’s “experts”, such as the former “viceroy of Bosnia” Paddy Ashdown, derided warnings that invading Afghanistan would lead to a “long-drawn-out guerrilla campaign” as “fanciful”. More than 10 years on, armed resistance was stronger than ever and the war had become the longest in American history.

It was a similar story in Iraq – though opposition had by then been given voice by millions on the streets. Those who stood against the invasion were still accused of being “appeasers”. US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld predicted the war would last six days. Most of the Anglo-American media expected resistance to collapse in short order. They were entirely wrong.

A new colonial-style occupation of Iraq would, I wrote in the first week of invasion, “face determined guerrilla resistance long after Saddam Hussein has gone” and the occupiers “be driven out”. British troops did indeed face unrelenting attacks until they were forced out in 2009, as did US regular troops until they were withdrawn in 2011.

But it wasn’t just on the war on terror that opponents of the New World Order were shown to be right and its cheerleaders to be talking calamitous nonsense. For 30 years, the west’s elites insisted that only deregulated markets, privatisation and low taxes on the wealthy could deliver growth and prosperity.

Long before 2008, the “free market” model had been under fierce attack: neoliberalism was handing power to unaccountable banks and corporations, anti-corporate globalisation campaigners argued, fuelling poverty and social injustice and eviscerating democracy – and was both economically and ecologically unsustainable.

In contrast to New Labour politicians who claimed “boom and bust” to be a thing of the past, critics dismissed the idea that the capitalist trade cycle could be abolished as absurd. Deregulation, financialisation and the reckless promotion of debt-fuelled speculation would, in fact, lead to crisis.

The large majority of economists who predicted that the neoliberal model was heading for breakdown were, of course, on the left. So while in Britain the main political parties all backed “light-touch regulation” of finance, its opponents had long argued that City liberalisation threatened the wider economy.

Critics warned that privatising public services would cost more, drive down pay and conditions and fuel corruption. Which is exactly what happened. And in the European Union, where corporate privilege and market orthodoxy were embedded into treaty, the result was ruinous. The combination of liberalised banking with an undemocratic, lopsided and deflationary currency union that critics (on both left and right in this case) had always argued risked breaking apart was a disaster waiting to happen. The crash then provided the trigger.

The case against neoliberal capitalism had been overwhelmingly made on the left, as had opposition to the US-led wars of invasion and occupation. But it was strikingly slow to capitalise on its vindication over the central controversies of the era. Hardly surprising, perhaps, given the loss of confidence that flowed from the left’s 20th-century defeats – including in its own social alternatives.

But driving home the lessons of these disasters was essential if they were not to be repeated. Even after Iraq and Afghanistan, the war on terror was pursued in civilian-slaughtering drone attacks from Pakistan to Somalia. The western powers played the decisive role in the overthrow of the Libyan regime – acting in the name of protecting civilians, who then died in their thousands in a Nato-escalated civil war, while conflict-wracked Syria was threatened with intervention and Iran with all-out attack.

And while neoliberalism had been discredited, western governments used the crisis to try to entrench it. Not only were jobs, pay and benefits cut as never before, but privatisation was extended still further. Being right was, of course, never going to be enough. What was needed was political and social pressure strong enough to turn the tables of power.

Revulsion against a discredited elite and its failed social and economic project steadily deepened after 2008. As the burden of the crisis was loaded on to the majority, the spread of protests, strikes and electoral upheavals demonstrated that pressure for real change had only just begun. Rejection of corporate power and greed had become the common sense of the age.

The historian Eric Hobsbawm described the crash of 2008 as a “sort of right-wing equivalent to the fall of the Berlin wall”. It was commonly objected that after the implosion of communism and traditional social democracy, the left had no systemic alternative to offer. But no model ever came pre-cooked. All of them, from Soviet power and the Keynesian welfare state to Thatcherite-Reaganite neoliberalism, grew out of ideologically driven improvisation in specific historical circumstances.

The same would be true in the aftermath of the crisis of the neoliberal order, as the need to reconstruct a broken economy on a more democratic, egalitarian and rational basis began to dictate the shape of a sustainable alternative. Both the economic and ecological crisis demanded social ownership, public intervention and a shift of wealth and power. Real life was pushing in the direction of progressive solutions.

The upheavals of the first years of the 21st century opened up the possibility of a new kind of global order, and of genuine social and economic change. As communists learned in 1989, and the champions of capitalism discovered 20 years later, nothing is ever settled.

This is an edited extract from The Revenge of History: the Battle for the 21st Century by Seumas Milne, published by Verso. Buy it for £16 at guardianbookshop.co.uk

continue reading source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/19/new-world-order

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#FIPPA: The Canada-China Investment Treaty

If Stephen Harper gets his way with FIPA the Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement, it would pave the way for foreign investors to sue the Canadian government if it puts in regulations that may interfere with their profits! Sign the petition and spread the word!

Chinese companies can sue BC for changing course on Northern Gateway, says policy expert: http://www.vancouverobserver.com/sustainability/chinese-companies-can-sue-bc-changing-course-northern-gateway-says-policy-expert

Sign the petition: http://leadnow.ca/canada-not-for-sale

Watch “United We Fall”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQsyCLXYsd8



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continue reading source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHwKOJ2AiCc


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China Propaganda Chief Makes Secretive Visit to Canada

China Propaganda Chief Makes Secretive Visit to Canada

Missteps with Chinese officials shows Canadian PM getting bad advice on China, says ex-secretary of state

By Matthew Little
Epoch Times Staff Created: April 26, 2012 Last Updated: October 15, 2012

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets with Chinese Communist Party propaganda chief Li Changchun in Ottawa on April 19. (Jill Thompson/PMO)
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets with Chinese Communist Party propaganda chief Li Changchun in Ottawa on April 19. (Jill Thompson/PMO)

OTTAWA—Normally when the prime minister of Canada receives a high-ranking foreign official, the visit follows a predictable protocol. There are press releases, advanced agendas, and photo ops.

When Li Changchun, the fifth-ranked member of the Chinese regime’s ruling Standing Committee, came to Ottawa last week, there was none of that. Instead, the entire visit was kept under wraps. Details of the meeting emerged only via Chinese press likely in Li’s entourage.

Even after the visit, few details were released by the Prime Minister’s Office save for a photo of Stephen Harper and his guest facing each other in armchairs.

Li is the head of the Chinese regime’s notorious propaganda and censorship system.

Bad Advice

The Canadian prime minister appears to be getting some bad advice.

Those were former member of Parliament David Kilgour’s first words when he heard Stephen Harper had met with another senior Chinese cadre who is among the most notorious rights abusers in China today.

It simply has got to stop or Canada is going to be a laughing stock among the people that believe in human dignity and rule of law.
—David Kilgour

“I am very sad to hear that. It simply has got to stop or Canada is going to be a laughing stock among the people that believe in human dignity and rule of law,” said Kilgour, a former secretary of state for Asia-Pacific.

Kilgour said the fact that Li was making the rounds in Ottawa while trying to keep his presence unknown to the Western press should have tipped off Harper’s staff that Li had something to hide.

Meetings With Top-Level Targets for Ousting

Li comes to Canada amid factional infighting in the highest ranks of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which is claiming some of Li’s most powerful allies.

Li has long been counted among the core members of the faction loyal to former chairman Jiang Zemin, as opposed to the faction headed by current leader Hu Jintao and his premier, Wen Jianbao.

Several top members of Jiang’s faction are now targets for ousting. It’s a messy process that has caught the attention of the international press as former Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, another Jiang ally, comes under investigation.

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (L) and his wife Laureen wave as they disembark from their aircraft after arriving at Beijing international airport on Feb. 7. While in China, Harper met with Chongqing City's Party Secretary Bo Xilai, a notorious rights abuser now ousted from his position and under investigation. Harper's meeting with Chinese propaganda chief Li Changchun has raised questions over how much the PM knows about the people he is meeting with. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper (L) and his wife Laureen wave as they disembark from their aircraft after arriving at Beijing international airport on Feb. 7. While in China, Harper met with Chongqing City’s Party Secretary Bo Xilai, a notorious rights abuser now ousted from his position and under investigation. Harper’s meeting with Chinese propaganda chief Li Changchun has raised questions over how much the PM knows about the people he is meeting with. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

Harper met with Bo on Feb. 11, just weeks before Bo was purged from his position, a move The Epoch Times predicted before Harper’s meeting. Once considered a rising star, Bo is now under investigation for “serious discipline violations.”

“[Harper] should never have gone to see Bo in Chongqing, that was colossally bad advice. It was abundantly clear to everybody that follows China closely that Bo was on his way out,” said Kilgour.


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Kilgour also noted Bo’s leading role in the organ harvesting crimes against Falun Gong practitioners, arguing he is not someone Canada should have been looking to build ties with.

“Our PM is supposed to get better advice than that. He’s got a lot of stuff to keep track of and he’s not supposed to be an expert on all these nuances that are happening in China at breakneck speed,” said the former parliamentarian.


Chinese Regime in Crisis

Click www.ept.ms/ccp-crisis to read about the most recent developments in the ongoing power struggle within the Chinese communist regime. In this special topic, we provide readers with the necessary context to understand the situation. Get the RSS feed. Get the Timeline of Events. Who are the Major Players? Chinese Regime in Crisis RSS Feed


Abrupt Terminations

Kilgour said the prime minister needs capable China advisers able to understand the situation unfolding in that country now. Otherwise, Canada will look absurd as events play out and its closest China connections continue to be cadres with careers marked by brutality and abrupt termination.

Those terminations are climbing ranks, and Epoch Times analysts are expecting Bo’s former protector and one of the regime’s most powerful figures, Zhou Yongkang, will be next to fall. Zhou heads China’s all-powerful internal security apparatus, which controls a massive surveillance network as well as China’s police and courts.

For several weeks, The Epoch Times has been pointing to evidence that Zhou is on the ropes, and recently many large media organizations have also reported that the sharks appear to be circling the communist security chief. It’s all bad news for Li, a close ally of both Bo and Zhou.

Li may have left China for a trip to four nations to escape the fallout of those struggles, said Sheng Xue, a prominent Chinese democracy activist in Toronto.

“He wants to keep his power after the struggle, so he chose to leave,” said Xue, adding that Li may actually have connections on both sides of the struggle and so left the country to avoid having to position himself.

Li has already been forced to oust his past ally Bo after his fellow eight members on the regime’s ruling Standing Committee supported purging Bo.

While Li may now wish to avoid stating allegiances, he has traditionally been associated with Jiang’s clique. According to one news report from Hong Kong’s Apple Daily, Li has already come under censure amid the fallout surrounding Bo.

Propaganda Czar Zealous in Persecutions

A spokesperson from the Prime Minister’s Office said Thursday’s sit-down with Li was a courtesy meeting, a casual chitchat with Li to exchange niceties with no formal business agenda.

Li is due to be retired from the Politburo’s Standing Committee, the nine-member organ that rules China, due on an age limit put in place by Jiang. Though Li has no official government role, his position within the Party—and the Party’s control of the government—makes him one of the most powerful people in China.

In his role as head of the Orwellian-titled Central Guidance Commission for Building Spiritual Civilization and Central Leading Group for Propaganda and Ideological Work, Li controls what 1.3 billion Chinese people see, hear, and speak.

Like Bo and Zhou, who Jiang raised from lesser positions, Li climbed through the ranks by making zealous efforts in Jiang’s campaign to crush Falun Gong. Before being banned in 1999, the spiritual group had attracted 100 million adherents pursuing spiritual enlightenment via its tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

As the regime’s propaganda czar, it has fallen to Li to maintain the demonization of Falun Gong necessary to justify the crackdown. Meanwhile, he must also ensure all media in China follow the Party line, regulate censorship, and carry out propaganda campaigns as needed.

In March 2008, it fell on Li to formulate propaganda to justify a violent crackdown on protests in Tibet on the eve of the 2008 Olympics.

Fear of Protests, Lawsuits Abroad

Li’s propaganda responsibilities include enhancing China’s soft power abroad.

During his trip, Li opened another Confucius Institute in Canada at Carleton University in Ottawa.

The schools have come under criticism from experts in the intelligence community for possible espionage work while others criticize the institutes for giving students a distinctly communist perspective on contemporary issues.

The institutes are a central plank in the regime’s efforts to extend its soft power.

But even that ribbon cutting ceremony was not announced. A spokesperson from the university said it was because it was a private ceremony and the public was not invited.

Lucy Zhou with the Falun Dafa Association of Canada said she suspects Li is afraid of attracting critics if his agenda is known in advance.

“I can certainly understand when officials heavily involved in persecution come overseas, they want to keep their itinerary secretive because they are afraid of protests and lawsuits,” said Zhou.

Efforts to sue Li for persecuting Falun Gong adherents were made when Li went to Ireland in 2010 and France in 2004.


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Such lawsuits against Bo Xilai caused his downfall in 2007, according to U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks.

Premier Wen Jiabao argued at the 17th National Congress that Bo, then the minister of commerce, should not be promoted to the Standing Committee because of the bevy of lawsuits against him. Bo was instead demoted to Party chief of Chongqing.


Chinese Regime in Crisis

Click www.ept.ms/ccp-crisis to read about the most recent developments in the ongoing power struggle within the Chinese communist regime. In this special topic, we provide readers with the necessary context to understand the situation. Get the RSS feed. Get the Timeline of Events. Who are the Major Players? Chinese Regime in Crisis RSS Feed


continue reading source: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/china-news/china-propaganda-chief-makes-secretive-visit-to-canada-227636-print.html

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Canada needs to take threat of Chinese cyberespionage more seriously: former top spy

Colin Freeze
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Oct. 09 2012, 1:28 PM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, Oct. 09 2012, 2:24 PM EDT

A cleaner wipes the glass door of a Huawei office in Wuhan, Hubei province October 9, 2012. (DARLEY SHEN /REUTERS)

 
One of Canada’s former top spies says that the damage done by economic espionage is now on par with the threat posed by al-Qaeda and other radical groups.

“It has become equal to the threat of terrorism. Why? It has such long-term repercussions. The future prosperity of Canadians,” says Ray Boisvert, who had served as the assistant director of intelligence for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service until his retirement six months ago.

More Related to this Story

 

Telecom: Video: U.S. report slams China’s Huawei, ZTE

Mr. Boisvert made his remarks to The Globe and Mail after Washington released a scathing report about the cyberespionage threat posed by China’s Huawei Technologies Co.

The expanding telcom giant simply “cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence,” according to the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The report suggested Huawei and the billions of dollars worth of Internet-infrastructure equipment that it sells could facilitate “the ongoing onslaught of sophisticated computer network intrusions that originate in China.”

Citing classified and unclassified intelligence, the lawmakers – versed in Washington’s own clandestine hacking efforts – recommended that Huawei be kept far away from contracts to install sensitive U.S. government systems. Their fear? Chinese spies could prevail on Huawei to install backdoors that would allow for sneak peeks at propriety data – or worse, allow them to mess with U.S. infrastructure.

Huawei remains opaque about its ongoing ties to the one-party Communist state that nurtured it. So much so that the House intelligence committee is also telling private companies to give Huawei a wide berth.

continue reading: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-needs-to-take-threat-of-chinese-cyberespionage-more-seriously-former-top-spy/article4598561/

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Nexen takeover bid raises difficult policy questions for government, Harper says

Nexen takeover bid raises difficult policy questions for government, Harper says

By Jason Fekete, Postmedia News October 4, 2012

A security officer keeps watch outside the headquarters of China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) in Beijing in this February 19, 2008 file photograph. China's top offshore oil producer CNOOC, is hoping to buy Calgary energy company Nexen.
A security officer keeps watch outside the headquarters of China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) in Beijing in this February 19, 2008 file photograph. China’s top offshore oil producer CNOOC, is hoping to buy Calgary energy company Nexen. Photograph by: REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV , Postmedia News

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper says CNOOC’s takeover bid for Canadian energy company Nexen “raises a range of difficult policy questions” for his government as it decides whether to approve the $15-billion transaction.

The prime minister’s comments Thursday — some of his strongest yet on the issue — added more intrigue to a day that saw the NDP announce it opposes the deal as currently structured, due to what it says is a secretive review process, government’s history of “rubber stamping” deals and CNOOC’s poor track record.

The Conservative cabinet is currently reviewing, under the Investment Canada Act, whether China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s (CNOOC) $15.1-billion takeover of Calgary-based petroleum producer Nexen is of “net benefit” to Canada.

The government’s review — and the ramifications of its decision on future foreign investment and takeovers, especially in the oilsands sector — is proving to be a somewhat divisive issue within the Tory cabinet and caucus.

Harper said his government is generally welcoming of foreign investment, but he noted it has significantly modified some previous takeover bids and rejected a couple of others.

The prime minister has previously indicated public opinion, which repeated polls have shown is quickly souring on the deal, will be a factor in the government’s decision, and he reinforced that again Thursday.

continue reading: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/National/Nexen+takeover+raises+difficult+policy+questions/7343396/story.html


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Hackers infiltrate Calgary-based technology firm

By Greg Weston, CBC News
Posted: Sep 28, 2012 9:47 PM ET
Last Updated: Sep 28, 2012 9:41 PM ET

A leading international expert on computer hacking says cyber-attacks are increasingly targeting the heart of Canada’s infrastructure, including oil pipelines and major public utilities.

CBC News has confirmed a recent cyber-attack successfully breached a Calgary-based supplier of control systems for electrical power grids, municipal water systems, public transit operations, and most of Canada’s major oil and gas pipelines.

Sources say the incident was serious enough to spark action from Canada’s spy service, the RCMP, military intelligence, and the federal government’s special cyber response agency.

Cyber-security expert Daniel Toboc tells CBC News that computer hacking aimed at the control systems of major utilities is becoming both common and potentially among the most serious of all cyber-attacks.

“On a scale of one to 10, I’d give that an eight or nine. God forbid, we ever get a 10.”

continue reading: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/09/28/cyber-attacks-canada-infrastructure.html


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Tories quietly table Canada-China investment treaty

By Bill Curry and Shawn McCarthy
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Thursday, September 27 2012

The Conservative government is poised to adopt a sweeping new investment treaty between Canada and China without a single Parliamentary vote or debate.

The text of the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement was released for the first time this week and members of Parliament are just starting to work their way through the legal document.

Canada and China first announced a draft deal in February during a visit to Beijing by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The final version was signed Sept. 9 in Vladivokstok, Russia, on the sidelines of the 2012 APEC leaders summit.

The treaty promises to set clear investment rules for Canadians in China and Chinese investors in Canada, but questions are already being raised over the treaty’s provisions for resolving disputes.

It allows companies to file claims for financial damages against other firms or against Canadian or Chinese governments for failing to abide by the agreement.

The claims would be resolved by a tribunal, but the hearings would only be open to the public if both sides agree that it is “in the public interest.”

Such dispute provisions are common in agreements of this type, but opposition MPs warned Thursday that the treaty merits much closer debate and scrutiny given the fact that many Chinese investments come in the form of companies that are directly controlled by China’s communist government.

“I think we should have a full debate about this,” said NDP trade critic Don Davies.

“Surely we can take the time to make sure the agreements we sign are sound and good for Canadians.”

The proposed $15.1-billion takeover of Canada’s Nexen Inc. by China’s CNOOC Ltd., a state-owned energy firm, has triggered a debate across the country and inside government over how Canada should respond to China’s huge appetite for investment opportunities.

Yet there is no government-sanctioned debate planned on the new treaty that will govern investment between the two countries for at least the next 15 years.

The Conservative government is of the view that adopting the treaty does not require it to introduce legislation in Parliament.

Instead, it is following a process approved in 2008 that allows treaties to be adopted by cabinet without a vote in Parliament 21 days after the text of the treaty has been tabled.

The text of the Canada-China treaty was quietly tabled in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Adam Taylor, a spokesman for Trade Minister Ed Fast, said the opposition is free to use one of its “opposition days” to debate the treaty.

Unlike other trade promotion and protection deals, the Canada-China version contains provisions that only apply to investors who are already operating in the other’s country and not to investors who wish to enter.

“It’s a fairly weak deal,” Carleton University trade specialist Michael Hart said Thursday.

“It’s not the desirable version; it’s the ‘we’ve got started’ version. And with China, that’s where we’re at,” he said.

Mr. Hart said it is not unusual for trade agreements to include closed-door arbitration hearings in the event of a dispute.

“Arbitration panels are closed door or else you don’t get amicable agreement.

“Once you make the thing open to the public, you make it far more difficult to get it resolved,” he said.

Dispute-panel hearings under the North American free-trade agreement are often held in private, though there is typically a public record of the facts and arguments of the case, he said.

Similar dispute provisions in Chapter 11 of NAFTA agreement have provoked considerable controversy, as critics say the provisions limit the ability of governments to approve regulations in areas like the environment and health.

Mr. Hart said governments are free to impose new environmental or other regulations on foreign investors, so long as the regulations don’t discriminate against them or single them out.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tories-quietly-table-canada-china-investment-treaty/article4573635/


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CSIS warns of foreign takeover risks in annual report

CSIS warns of foreign takeover risks in annual report

Report comes as shareholders approve Chinese $15B Nexen oil takeover bid

The Canadian Press
Posted: Sep 20, 2012 9:27 PM ET
Last Updated: Sep 21, 2012 12:17 AM ET

Canadas spy agency warned Thursday that purchases, like that of the Nexen takeover by the China National Offshore Oil Co., could pose a threat to national security.
Canada’s spy agency warned Thursday that purchases, like that of the Nexen takeover by the China National Offshore Oil Co., could pose a threat to national security. (Canadian Press)

The same day shareholders of the Calgary-based energy company Nexen agreed to a takeover bid by a state firm from China, Canada’s spy agency is warning such purchases can pose a threat to national security.

In its latest annual report, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says the majority of foreign investment in Canada is carried out in an open and transparent manner.

However, certain state-owned enterprises and private firms “with close ties to their home governments have pursued opaque agendas or received clandestine intelligence support for their pursuits here.”

The CSIS report for 2010-11, tabled in Parliament on Thursday, says that when companies with links to foreign intelligence agencies or hostile governments try to acquire control over strategic sectors of the Canadian economy, it can represent a threat to security interests.

The spy service’s report came just as shareholders of oil-and-gas company Nexen Inc. solidly voted to support the high-profile takeover by the China National Offshore Oil Co., a deal that still requires federal approval.

Foreign interference

Two years ago, CSIS director Dick Fadden made headlines by openly speaking of provincial cabinet members and municipal politicians coming under foreign influence. Though Fadden was cagey about the alleged foreign interference, he broadly suggested that China posed concerns.

While it does not name specific countries or companies, the newly released CSIS report says foreign entities involved in takeovers might try to exploit newfound control in an effort to make illegal transfers of technology “or to engage in other espionage and other foreign interference activities.”

“CSIS expects that national security concerns related to foreign investment in Canada will continue to materialize, owing to the increasingly prominent role that (state-owned enterprises) are playing in the economic strategies of some foreign governments.”

The report says CSIS continued in 2010-11 to investigate foreign interference — the attempt by governments or their agents to clandestinely influence Canadian policies and opinions, or to spy on and intimidate diaspora groups in Canada.

“Foreign interference is particularly nefarious because it can have the effect of disrupting the multicultural harmony that is central to Canadian identity,” CSIS says.

The spy service report underscores other threats to Canada, including cyberattacks, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the lingering possibility of terrorist attacks in the post-9-11 era.

It notes that in January 2011 online attackers targeted the networks of the Finance Department and Treasury Board.

‘While the technological hurdles to such efforts remain significant, the possibility that a terrorist group could acquire crude capabilities of this kind cannot be discounted.’ —CSIS report

“Unfortunately attacks like this are not a rare exception. The government of Canada is now witnessing serious attempts to penetrate its networks on a daily basis.”

The main target of cyberspies is the aerospace and high-technology industry, with the oil-and-gas business and universities involved in research and development also eliciting interest, CSIS says. “From the attackers’ perspective, it is significantly cheaper and often less difficult to steal research than to develop it.”

In addition to pilfering intellectual property, state-sponsored attackers are also seeking information that would give them an advantage, such as inside knowledge of coming negotiations and the personalities involved, the report says.

“Foreign intelligence agencies use the Internet to conduct espionage operations, as this is a relatively low-cost and low-risk way to obtain classified, proprietary or other sensitive information.”

The danger of nuclear proliferation remains acute, says the spy agency, singling out the activities of Iran and North Korea as particularly worrisome.

CSIS also points out that terrorist groups have pursued the means to use biological agents or improvised radiological explosives known as “dirty bombs.”

“While the technological hurdles to such efforts remain significant, the possibility that a terrorist group could acquire crude capabilities of this kind cannot be discounted.”

© The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

source:

Related Stories

Chinese $15B Nexen oil takeover approved by shareholders
China’s Nexen offer hard for Ottawa to refuse

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Mr. Harper’s new diplomacy

By Jeremy Paltiel
The Globe and Mail
Tuesday September 11 2012

What a difference six years make.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s initiation into summit diplomacy came in 2006 at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meeting in Hanoi. There, he buttonholed Chinese President Hu Jintao over the detention of Husseyin Celil, a Canadian citizen imprisoned on terrorism-related charges, and was given a cold shoulder and a brushoff. It took two years for Sino-Canadian relations to reach room temperature.

On the weekend, Mr. Harper met formally in what’s likely to be a valedictory meeting with Mr. Hu on the margins of the APEC summit in Vladivostok. By now, the two are old friends, with Mr. Harper’s having visited Mr. Hu twice in Beijing and Mr. Hu’s having travelled to Canada for a state visit ahead of the G8/G20 meetings in 2010. Mr. Hu will be stepping down as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party later this year and as President early next year.

This time, Mr. Harper signed a key deal on investor protection with his Chinese counterpart. The Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement is likely to temper any criticism of China’s growing footprint in the oil sands and Canada’s resource and energy sector.

For good measure, Mr. Harper put China’s leader on notice over issues of reciprocity in our bilateral trade and investment relationship but deftly stopped short of linking these to pending cabinet approval of China National Offshore Oil Corp.’s $15.1-billion takeover of Calgary-based oil and gas producer Nexen Inc. Mr. Hu knows how to take a hint.

Mr. Harper also raised human-rights concerns, as well as Canadian impatience with Iran’s nuclear program and dismay over the slaughter in Syria. No cold shoulder this time, and no break in the smiles before the cameras. Canada and China are once and future strategic partners.

Our Prime Minister has learned to align our interests when he should, and speak directly and frankly when he must. Mr. Harper’s performance at APEC is a telling benchmark of his emergence as a statesman and as an interlocutor for Canada’s interests on the global stage. For this, he should be applauded.

Jeremy Paltiel is a professor of political science at Carleton University.

source:


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Harper quietly holds face-to-face talks with Chinese propaganda chief

Harper quietly holds face-to-face talks with Chinese propaganda chief

CAMPBELL CLARK
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Last updated Monday, Sep. 10 2012, 2:03 PM EDT

Li Changchun arrives at the London Book Fair on April 15, 2012. Mr. Li, head of propaganda and member of the Communist Party of China’s Standing Committee of the Politburo, later met British Prime Minister David Cameron. (PAUL HACKETT /Reuters)

One of China’s most powerful figures slipped into Ottawa unannounced. Unless you were watching Chinese TV.

Li Changchun is ranked No. 5 in the Chinese hierarchy, one of the nine members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, and the party’s propaganda chief. When he arrived in Ottawa Thursday, he met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The government of Canada had never announced the powerful official was coming.

However, Mr. Li’s visit was covered widely by Chinese television and print media like state news agency Xinhua. And then, after Mr. Li’s meeting with the Prime Minister, Mr. Harper’s PMO sent out a photograph of the two men chatting, just before 8:30 on Thursday night. It was the first time they’d told the press about Mr. Li’s visit.

On Friday, the PMO would not say what the two discussed and played down the face-to-face meeting as a “courtesy call.”

Chinese officials said Mr. Li’s visit was to discuss a variety of topics, notable cultural exchanges. Mr. Li issued a statement on Canada-Chinese relations. He also met Governor-General David Johnston and was to meet Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird Friday night, as well as witnessing the signing of an agreement on “cultural co-operation” and the official opening Carleton University’s Confucius Institute. He is to travel to Kingston on Saturday.

Mr. Li has been on a tour. He’d just come from London, where he’d met British Prime Minister David Cameron to talk about relations. But he was also there to talk about the case of Bo Xilai, another ranking Communist Party official who has been suspended from his Politburo amid accusations his wife killed British businessman Neil Heywood. There have also been rumours Mr. Li is reassuring foreign leaders that the change in China’s leadership will go ahead smoothly this fall.

Mr. Harper’s government, however, barely mentioned the three-day visit of the powerful Communist Party official. How powerful? Forbes ranked Mr. Li No. 19 on a list of the world’s most powerful people. In their words, he “controls what 1.3 billion Chinese see, hear, speak.” As chairman of the party’s Central Guidance Commission for Building Spiritual Civilization, he is the de facto controller of media and information censorship.

continue reading source: http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/harper-quietly-holds-face-to-face-talks-with-chinese-propaganda-chief/article4101798/


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Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada at the conclusion of the APEC Leaders’ Meeting

9 September 2012
Vladivostok, Russia

Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered the following remarks at the conclusion of the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Vladivostok, Russia :

“It has been a pleasure to attend this APEC meeting, here in Vladivostock.

“APEC provides us the opportunity to engage with the growing economies of the Pacific Rim.

“We are, for example, negotiating with the Trans Pacific Partnership, conducting exploratory talks with Thailand, and are undertaking free trade negotiations with Japan and South Korea.

“Today, with President Hu, we witnessed the signing of a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, something that offers greater protection for Canadians doing business in China

“We also had a range of meetings with our APEC partners on economic matters.

“Finally, I’d like to acknowledge the warm hospitality that we have received here on our visit to Russia.”

source: http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?category=3&featureId=6&pageId=49&id=5023


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Harper, Chinese leader wrap APEC summit with trade deal

Harper, Chinese leader wrap APEC summit with trade deal

The Canadian Press
Posted: Sep 8, 2012 7:39 PM ET
Last Updated: Sep 8, 2012 11:55 PM ET

Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with Chinese President Hu Jintao on the final day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit on Sunday, after witnessing the signing of a wide-ranging investment pact.

The two leaders watched as Ed Fast, Canada’s minister of international trade, and Chen Deming, China’s minister of commerce, signed the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, which was announced during Harper’s visit to China in February.

“Our government is committed to creating the right conditions for Canadian businesses to compete globally,” said Harper. “This agreement with China — the world’s second largest economy — will provide stronger protection for Canadians investing in China, and create jobs and economic growth in Canada.”

The Sunday morning meeting is considered the centrepiece of the prime minister’s trip to the APEC summit in Russia because of his government’s focus on expanding trade with the Asian economic giant.

“Mr. prime minister, we attach great importance to the China-Canada relationship,” said Hu, as the two leaders took up seats opposite a long table, flanked by their officials.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper looks on as ministers exchange documents being signed at the APEC Summit in Vladivostok, Sunday. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper looks on as ministers exchange documents being signed at the APEC Summit in Vladivostok, Sunday. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

“I look forward today to discussing with you a range of issues and finding ways to further strengthen our relationship,” Harper replied.

The meeting also comes at a key time because Industry Canada’s ongoing review of the China National Offshore Oil Co.’s $15.1-billion deal to buy Calgary-based Nexen Inc.

China has already invested heavily in Canada’s natural resources sector, but the Nexen bid has sparked concern because CNOOC is a state-owned company, not a private company.

Prior to arriving at the summit, Harper said the onus is on China to show that its state-run enterprises can be trusted to play by the same rules that apply in Canada.

Harper’s other big meeting at the summit came Saturday with his host, Russian President Vladimir Putin, when the two men essentially agreed to disagree on the crisis in Syria.

The summit is being held in the Pacific port city of Vladivostok.

Harper told a business audience in Vancouver that Canada can conduct its relations with China respectfully, “but (is) not afraid to further our own interests and to raise our own concerns on things like human rights.” He added that Canada has “important things that the Chinese want.”

Harper said he wants to deepen economic relations with China but that relationship must be a two-way street, or “win-win to use the Chinese expression.”