Numbers can lie: The best GDP report ever won’t mean the US economy has healed

The United States almost certainly just experienced its fastest three months of economic growth on record. That doesn't mean the economy is strong. The Commerce Department on Thursday (US time) will release its preliminary estimate of economic growth for the third quarter. Economists surveyed by FactSet expect it to show that gross domestic product — the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the United States — grew about 7 per cent from the second quarter, or 30 per cent on an annualised basis (more about that in a bit). Trump will use the growth figures as evidence of a strong economic rebound, but the economy remains in dire health. CREDIT:AP If those forecasts are even close to correct, it [...]

October 28th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Macron’s clash with Islam sends jolt through France’s long debate about secularism

President has become a hate figure in Islamic world over response to death of Samuel Paty Emmanuel Macron gives a speech on secularism on 2 October, before the death of Samuel Paty, in which he said Islam was ‘experiencing a crisis across the world’. Photograph: Eric Tschaen/SIPA/Rex/Shutterstock       On 6 October, when Samuel Paty, a popular history and geography teacher at a school in a quiet Paris suburb, presented a copy of the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that provoked the attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine five years ago, he self-evidently had no idea of the tragic consequence for his own life, French society or France’s relations with the Islamic world. What was intended as a classroom exploration of [...]

October 27th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Since 9/11, Iran And America Have Been More Than Foes

An examination of the post-9/11 era reveals that U.S.-Iranian dialogue has yielded valuable, yet imperfect, results. To avoid a future clash, Washington must talk with Tehran.AMERICAN RELATIONS with Iran have reached rock bottom. Once upon a time, the U.S. secretary of state could call his Iranian counterpart on the phone to avert a budding crisis. Now, all that is gone. Following Donald Trump’s May 2018 decision to withdraw the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the reinstatement of U.S. economic sanctions on Iran—the so-called “maximum pressure” campaign—has pushed the Iranians to renege on several of their nuclear commitments. Iran’s capability to build a nuclear weapon is now more advanced than at any time since the JCPOA was [...]

October 24th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

China vows retaliation if US proceeds with Taiwan arms sale

‘Plotting' with US would 'bring down a terrible disaster on the Taiwanese people,' Beijing warned Is it too little, too late for US to curb China’s military ambitions? Fox News national security analyst Walid Phares provides insight into U.S.-China relations and China’s global influence. China has vowed to retaliate if the U.S. proceeds with the sale of advanced weaponry to Taiwan worth more than a billion dollars. The statement from China’s defense ministry gave no specifics, but the development marks a further deterioration in ties between Beijing and Washington that have hit their lowest ebb in decades. The statement issued late Thursday night demanded the cancellation of the sale and an end to all interactions between the U.S. and Taiwanese militaries [...]

October 24th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Analysis: China struggles to fill Trump’s ‘America First’ leadership void

BEIJING (Reuters) - As Donald Trump has pulled the United States inward under his “America First” presidency, China has had only halting success at capitalising on a global leadership vacuum, presenting openings for a more internationalist Joe Biden administration if he wins next month’s election. FILE PHOTO: People's Republic of China President Xi Jinping speaks during the 75th annual U.N. General Assembly, in New York City, New York, U.S., September 22, 2020. United Nations/Handout via REUTERS     Under Trump, Washington abandoned the Paris climate pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the UN Human Rights Council and UNESCO, and ditched the Iran nuclear deal. It has announced that it will withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO) next July and has crippled the [...]

October 22nd, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Bangkok protests continue apace — is Thailand the next Hong Kong?

Thousands of people have been protesting on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand's capital, for months now demanding a new constitution, the dissolution of parliament, reforms to the monarchy and more. Though the actions have organisers and figureheads, much like the rolling protests in Hong Kong, these are protests driven from the ground up and inspired by ideas. In tactics reminiscent of the "be water" strategy adopted by Hongkongers, Thai youth are using social media such as Twitter and Facebook and encrypted apps such as Telegram to organise quickly, decide next steps, converge on a site, then melt away. Pro-democracy activists gather in Central Pinklao, suburbs of Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday.CREDIT:AP   Instead of occupying prominent locations in the capital and making [...]

October 21st, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Analysis: Rating agency scrutiny raises stakes for U.S. election process

BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - As Americans go to the polls, some of the more influential observers of the election process will be the agencies that determine the country’s credit rating. FILE PHOTO: U.S. dollars are counted out by a banker counting currency at a bank in Westminster, Colorado November 3, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo   The country’s nearly top-notch, coveted rating is partly a reflection of the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency and the fact that the roughly $20 trillion U.S. Treasury market is the largest and most liquid in the world. Yet two of the three major U.S. credit agencies, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service, which give the United States their top rating of AAA and Aaa [...]

October 21st, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Former NYPD Commissioner: I’ve Seen Hunter’s Hard Drive, The Bidens ‘Belong in Handcuffs’

Former New York Police Department Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik says he has “personally had the opportunity to review the hard drive belonging to Hunter Biden” and that Joe Biden and his family “belong in handcuffs“. Kerick says he’s seen the “images, emails, and other documents [that] were on Hunter’s cell phone and computer” – most of which has yet to be made public – and is now calling on the Department of Justice to arrest “Hunter, James [Joe’s brother], and Joe Biden.” New York City’s former top cop wrote on Twitter: “I personally had the opportunity to review the hard drive belonging to Hunter Biden.  “If the @FBI and @TheJusticeDept arrested Paul Manafort, then Hunter, James, and @JoeBiden belongs in handcuffs? “AND THAT, is just for [...]

October 20th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Analysis – ex-National voters opted for Labour as its own handbrake

Labour's overwhelming victory at the election has been greeted with rousing cheers on the left of New Zealand politics and the start of transformational demands. It's a multi-generational win for Labour, out-polling the Kirk, Lange and Clark victories. You have to go back to 1938 for a bigger percentage (55.8 percent) and to 1935 for a bigger bunch of new MPs (29). Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas Through a series of crisis, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has hugged New Zealand close, and this week New Zealanders from a range of viewpoints returned her embrace. As the first party to win a majority rather than a plurality under MMP, Labour is atop the political world. Given that the Greens also survived the [...]

October 19th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

The IMF Can’t Be Any Clearer: The Global Economy Is on the Brink of a Crisis

  The IMF is now warning in the clearest of terms that any slowing in the world economic recovery could cause serious problems to the global financial system. As a second wave in the coronavirus pandemic now appears to be threatening the United States and global economic recoveries, the world's economic policymakers would do well to pay attention to the International Monetary Fund’s latest warnings about the vulnerability of the global financial system. Maybe then they will become more focused on the urgent need to keep providing strong fiscal and monetary policy support to the global economic recovery. The IMF is now emphasizing that the very scale of the pandemic has caused financial market vulnerabilities to increase across multiple sectors of [...]

October 18th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

China Is Now the World’s Largest Economy. We Shouldn’t Be Shocked.

  China has now displaced the U.S. to become the largest economy in the world. Measured by the more refined yardstick that both the IMF and CIA now judge to be the single best metric for comparing national economies, the IMF Report shows that China’s economy is one-sixth larger than America’s ($24.2 trillion versus the U.S.’s $20.8 trillion). Why can't we admit reality? What does this mean? This week, the IMF presented its 2020 World Economic Outlook providing an overview of the global economy and the challenges ahead. The most inconvenient fact in the Report is one Americans don’t want to hear—and even when they read it, refuse to accept: China has now displaced the U.S. to become the largest economy [...]

October 17th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Would herd immunity stop the spread of coronavirus?

Even if achievable, the strategy would kill too many people, say scientists An electron microscope image shows Sars-Cov-2 virus particles emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. Photograph: AP Like the Covid-19 virus itself, the idea of herd immunity has surged back into public life having been suppressed for months. It was initially touted as a way to hold back the pandemic – by allowing sufficient numbers of infections to occur and so reduce numbers of non-immune potential hosts for the virus. The disease would then stop spreading, it was argued. The notion quickly fell out of favour when researchers highlighted the high death toll that would have to occur in the UK before herd immunity was achieved. [...]

October 11th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Anarchism: An Evil Ideology Behind Why Democrats Support the 2020 Riots

Introduction Today’s guest article on the ideology of anarchism was written by Professor Garrett Ward Sheldon, who has written a few excellent articles for the site in the past, most recently one on cultural Marxism in universities. This article should tie in well with my recent article on the fact that Democrats support the riots that are ripping America apart and are, in effect, fanning the flames of those riots. And, more importantly, it will show you what is wrong with America right now. While the problem of too much control would exist under Biden because we have forgotten the American creed, we also have the problem of too little government authority in the right areas. That lack of government authority [...]

October 9th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Week in Politics: Collins faces problem as Labour holds poll lead

Analysis: Judith Collins faces a problem created by one of her own MPs, Jacinda Ardern shows her strength in the third leaders' debate, and Labour holds its lead in the latest poll.                 Photo: Getty Images / RNZ   The last thing National needed this week was headlines saying "Collins denies caucus fractures after leak" (Stuff) and "Can Judith Collins keep a lid on it?" (RNZ). That's what it got after one of its MPs, Denise Lee, took exception to the way her party leader had announced a National-led government would launch a review of Auckland Council's operations. Lee, the party's local government spokesperson for Auckland, had been bypassed. She didn't know the announcement was [...]

October 9th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Barr’s Investigation Of ANTIFA Leads Directly To Barack Obama

DOJ head William Barr, at the request of President Donald Trump, started an investigation into the ANTIFA and it falls directly at Barack Hussein Obama’s feet. ANTIFA is the creation of Barack Obama and George Soros, and it is even partially funded with taxpayer money, something that will be coming to a swift end. While Barack Obama was a community organizer, George Soros saw something in him. He approached Obama with an idea. Soros had the money, and Obama was an expert community organizer. If Obama helped Soros get this off the ground, Soros would find Obama’s senate run, and then his presidential run as well. Soros groomed Obama into what he wanted! Joseph Barron, a lead investigator on Barr’s team, couldn’t [...]

October 8th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Turkey and Russia’s deepening roles in Libya complicate peace efforts

Libya’s Fayez al-Sarraj and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meeting in Istanbul on Sunday. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images   Plans for a durable Libyan ceasefire are to be endorsed by diplomats from 15 countries on Monday, but the value of the commitments made in the virtual meeting are belied by signs that deepening involvement in the country by rival external powers including Russia and Turkey could complicate efforts to form an interim government of national unity. The Libya conflict has to be seen as not only a long-running power struggle in the country itself but also part of a wider geopolitical dispute in which Turkey’s assertive foreign policy – ranging from the eastern Mediterranean to Azerbaijan – is an increasing factor. Before [...]

October 6th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

The politics of Saudi normalization with Israel: ANALYSIS

A Mideast expert assesses if the Saudis could normalize relations with Israel. As the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain move forward with their separate processes to normalize relations with Israel, the question that seems to be on the mind of many, both in Washington and in the region, is whether or when the Saudis will follow. I've long argued (most recently here) that Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS), the de facto ruler who's destined to govern the kingdom for decades to come, is hesitant to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel anytime soon because doing so is likely to generate significant political costs at home. For starters, his father, King Salman, is committed to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace [...]

October 5th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

US election: It’s too early to count Trump out

Analysis: With just a month left until the 3 November US presidential election, contracting the coronavirus could have politically positive or negative consequences for President Donald Trump. Donald Trump leaves the White House for a helicopter flight to a military hospital in Washington. Photo: AFP     These will, of course, be contingent on how severe the president's illness becomes, with Trump today transferred to a military hospital, the Walter Reed Medical Centre in Washington. But we should not count him out and Democratic challenger Joe Biden in just yet. Here are the ways the diagnosis could swing the election either way for Trump. Negative Trump's days in isolation will halt his intense campaign schedule. Trump was much better at energising [...]

October 5th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Confused messaging adds to angst over Trump’s COVID condition

Washington: Tens of millions of Americans awoke on Friday, local time, to discover that their president had tested positive for coronavirus. Donald Trump had revealed the startling news on Twitter just before 1am, when most Americans on the east coast were asleep. What followed during the rest of the day was no more reassuring. The official line on Trump's condition became increasingly dire, culminating in the news he would be taken to hospital in a helicopter. US President Donald Trump arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre, in Bethesda, Maryland on Marine One.CREDIT:AP The slow-drip of disturbing information – much of it revealed by the media rather than the White House – only increased the sense of distrust many Americans [...]

October 4th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Can the United States and the Vatican Help Taiwan to Avoid a War?

      The fear of the Vatican’s eventual recognition of China is a growing concern, especially given that the Holy See is the most important embassy in Taiwan among the remaining fifteen. When President-elect Donald Trump accepted a phone call from President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan just before his inauguration, “political warfare” between China and the United States had already begun. Now, evolving evidence suggests that Washington has departed from its 1972 “one China” policy and 1979 “policy of ambiguity” to one of resolve on defending Taiwan, leading to a “policy of strategic clarity.” The sales of advanced weaponry to counter perceived China threats and the two recent visits of high-profile American officials—who heralded the technologically advanced island as the [...]

October 4th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Analysis: Ardern’s popularity defies her track record

Analysis - Newmarket's gold mile has lost a bit of its burnish these days, with a number having been sucked into the new Westfield mall and others closed due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.   Labour leader Jacinda Ardern takes a photo with a member of the public in Newmarket, Auckland during the 2020 campaign trail. Photo: RNZ / Tim Watkin     And at first Jacinda Ardern, looking for a crowd to work after her housing announcement in Birkenhead yesterday morning, struggled to find one. She walked down from the mall, with only one or two children there for the cooing. But when she hit Teed St it all changed. She paused for a couple of quick chats and suddenly the [...]

October 3rd, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

COVID-19 Sets the Stage for the Democrat Plan for America

The Cabals Plan - Show Print View! - Please email for others! Only a Live Exercise The guy talking is Mike Pompeo The vid was altered only to loop and emphasize the phrase he used "a live exercise." See the source here Don't worry folks – had the media decided that it mattered you would have known! Don't worry folks the COVID 19 pandemic is only an "Live Exercise" as shown in this video and the information below. The Plan short verson This video was extracted from which is a couple hours   Curiously, the World Economic Forum, sponsored by the United Nations, World Bank, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Center for Disease Control and other global organizations, met last [...]

October 3rd, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

The other debate: Ardern and Collins clash in rapid-fire election hit out

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern would declare a climate change emergency if re-elected on October 17, while opposition leader Judith Collins has promised tax cuts and faster economic growth during a fast-paced and fiery second election debate. Labour's Ardern, who enjoys a strong lead in the polls ahead of the vote, admitted for the first time that she had smoked cannabis "a long time ago" - but still refused to say which way she would vote in the concurrent referendum on legalising recreational use. Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins clashed, and agreed, on much during a spirited New Zealand election debate.CREDIT:GETTY IMAGES   Collins, who opposes legalisation of recreational use (but supports medicinal cannabis) attacked Ardern's equivocation and pointed out [...]

October 1st, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Fact-checking Trump and Biden during 1st 2020 presidential debate

The candidates met live in Cleveland. Trump vs. Biden 1st presidential debate key moments   President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden debated on Tuesday night in the first presidential debate, which was filled with interruptions and arguing. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters Below, ABC News will fact check what both candidates say throughout the 90-minute debate, moderated by Chris Wallace of "Fox News Sunday." Jonathan Ernst/Reuters President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in their first 2020 presidential campaign debate held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Sept. 29, 2020. A vaccine is not likely weeks away, despite Trump's claim TRUMP'S CLAIM: "And now, we're weeks away from a vaccine." FACT [...]

October 1st, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Donald Trump ensures first presidential debate is national humiliation

Analysis: Only one man looked remotely presidential on the debate stage in Cleveland, Ohio, and it was not the incumbent Donald Trump at the first presidential debate with Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio, on 29 September. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters Cry, the beloved country. Donald Trump ensured Tuesday’s first US presidential debate was the worst in American history, a national humiliation. The rest of the world – and future historians – will presumably look at it and weep. More likely than not, according to opinion polls, his opponent Joe Biden will win the November election and bring the republic back from the brink. If Trump is re-elected, however, this dark, horrifying, unwatchable fever dream will surely be the first line of America’s [...]

September 30th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

President Trump’s tax returns show he has company: How rich Americans avoid taxes

Like President Donald Trump, rich Americans often deploy sophisticated tax avoidance strategies to maximize their wealth. Not to be confused with tax evasion, which is illegal, tax avoidance is entirely legal, even if many view it as unfair. A sweeping New York Times report published Sunday revealed numerous tax reduction strategies used by Trump. He's not alone. Affluent taxpayers often have more avenues than ordinary Americans to avoid paying Uncle Sam. Wealthy Americans are the largest source of underreported income, according to IRS data analyzed by researchers. The top 1% of American taxpayers account for about 34% of misreported income, according to a study published in the National Tax Journal. Many wealthy Americans deploy complex, arcane but wholly legal strategies to minimize their [...]

September 29th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Gold & Recessions: What to Know This Time Around

Gold has historically performed better than US stocks, bonds, and the dollar have during recessions for approximately the past 50 years. See Figure 1 below. As the US economy continues on its path toward recovery, gold shows signs of remaining strong and may play a key role in managing portfolios through ongoing uncertainty. A US recovery boding persistent low rates and accommodative policies will likely continue to benefit gold. This post was written with contributions from the SPDR Gold Strategy Team: George Milling-Stanley, Chief Gold Strategist, and Diego Andrade, Senior Gold Strategist.   With GDP posting a record low of -31.7% for Q2 2020,1the United States officially entered its first economic recession in over a decade. Gold is popularly associated with [...]

September 29th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Why more people are turning to medicinal cannabis

On a back country road in northern NSW, up a nondescript dirt driveway, sits a highly secret facility. Surrounded by strict security, thousands of cannabis plants are being carefully cultivated in state-of-the-art greenhouses for the medicinal cannabis market. Australian Natural Therapeutics Group CEO, Matthew Cantelo, surrounded by cannabis that is about to be harvested.CREDIT:JANIE BARRETT The Australian Natural Therapeutic Group facility, near Armidale, is about to start producing medicinal cannabis oil on a commercial scale – the first such manufacturing licence granted in the state. The company's chief executive Matthew Cantelo said he had noticed quite a large increase of approvals under the Special Access Scheme, as well as a rise in the number of authorised prescribers. "[That] tells us that [...]

September 28th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Will the New York Times taxes report sink Donald Trump?

His returns examined at last, the president stands exposed as a tax avoider and serial debtor. It raises serious questions – but also, most likely, the passions of his fervent supporters From the moment he rode down an escalator in the marble-clad, gold-trimmed Trump Tower to declare his candidacy for US president, Donald Trump was selling himself as a successful businessman who could run a successful economy. It was an image cultivated with voters for a decade on The Apprentice, the reality TV show in which Trump sat in judgment on aspiring entrepreneurs and told most: “You’re fired!” On Sunday the mask was finally torn off. According to a blockbuster New York Times investigation into his taxes, the self-proclaimed billionaire, a [...]

September 28th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

How the U.S. Military is Prioritizing Great-Power Competition

  A careful examination of deployments of carrier battle groups and amphibious ready groups on a month-by-month basis since mid-2017 using the U.S. Naval Institute’s remarkable “fleet tracker” database shows that there have been two main deviations are evident from the historical norm. Nearly three years into the implementation of the January 2018 National Defense Strategy, developed under Secretary Jim Mattis but still prominently emphasized by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, how much impact is the renewed focus on great-power competition actually having on U.S. military priorities?   One telling way to answer this question is to examine the deployment of Department of Navy assets—particularly, aircraft carrier battle groups, as well as amphibious ready groups and their associated “Marine Expeditionary Units”—to [...]

September 27th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Week in Politics: Collins needs a game-changer

Analysis - The latest poll, what it means for Judith Collins and National; the first leaders' debate doesn't go well for Jacinda Ardern, Paul Goldsmith fumbles his figures and National goes for the farmer vote. National's Judith Collins and Labour's Jacinda Ardern. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas The latest 1 News Colmar Brunton poll, released on Tuesday just ahead of the first leaders debate, showed National's leader Judith Collins just how much she has to do before October 17. It had Labour down five points to 48 percent. The fall wasn't surprising because it followed the Auckland outbreak of Covid-19 which dispelled any belief people might have had that New Zealand had beaten the virus and there wouldn't be any more [...]

September 26th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

What U.S. Troops Are Really Doing In Syria

U.S. policy toward Syria is defined by an absurdity that can’t be neatly untangled—a low-intensity regime change mission defined as anything other than its central mission. James Mattis famously resigned from his secretary of defense post citing opposition to President Donald Trump’s order to remove U.S. troops from Syria. So it came as a mild surprise when it was recently confirmed that Mattis opposed a plan to assassinate Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria. This opposition was a prudent move as deposing Assad would not end Syria’s civil war but throw the country into deeper chaos. But this seeming incongruity of Mattis the hawk contra Mattis the dove is representative of the larger contradictions in Washington’s Syria policy. These contradictions arise from the fact that U.S. policy [...]

September 25th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Uncertainty looms for business interruption insurance claims

Amid Covid-19 pandemic, many insurers argue these policies are not designed to cover government-imposed lockdowns Singapore ALREADY struggling for survival amid the deepest recession in years, some business owners have also discovered in recent months that the insurance policies they bought for cover against business interruption - and that they are paying thousands of dollars in annual premiums to sustain - will not be paying them a cent. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many insurers have argued that the business interruption policies were not designed to cover government-imposed lockdowns. However, the UK's High Court on Tuesday handed down a ruling, over a test case brought by the state's financial regulator, that is said to represent a "significant victory" for policyholders. Among other [...]

September 25th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Analysing the leaders’ debate: How did Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins fare?

The two women vying to govern New Zealand after the upcoming election faced off in the first leaders debate last night. Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and National leader Judith Collins. Photo: RNZ   New poll numbers show Jacinda Ardern remains the favourite for prime minister at 54 percent while Judith Collins follows with 18 percent. Jennifer Lees-Marshment and Lara Greaves from the politics department at the University of Auckland spoke to Morning Reportabout how the pair fared head-to-head.   Jennifer Lees-Marshment* "It won't shift votes ... but it gives Judith Collins and the National Party a chance, an opening if you like, to build on and to make a bit of a difference going forward. So I think it will get [...]

September 23rd, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

How Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death could affect Senate races – and Trump v Biden

Susan Collins of Maine is among vulnerable Republican senators as polls indicate voters trust Biden more on justice picks   Susan Collins talks with reporters after announcing her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, in October 2018. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters On the question of supreme court nominees, the Republican senator Susan Collins has repeatedly threaded the same political needle. It is one with a shrinking eye. A 64% majority of voters in Collins’ home state, Maine, believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases – yet Collins has voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, two justices nominated by Donald Trump who could roll back abortion rights. Collins has explained that based on her private impressions, the justices would [...]

September 20th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Study: Up To 95 Percent Of 2020 U.S. Riots Are Linked To Black Lives Matter

A report accompanying the data project, however, reads like an upscale attempt to blame the police for criminals’ decision to steal, kill, and destroy. Contrary to corporate media narratives, up to 95 percent of this summer’s riots are linked to Black Lives Matter activism, according to data collected by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED). The data also show that nearly 6 percent — or more than 1 in 20 — of U.S. protests between May 26 and Sept. 5 involved rioting, looting, and similar violence, including 47 fatalities. ACLED is a nonprofit organization that tracks conflict across the globe. Its U.S. project that collected the summer protest data is supported by Princeton University. The project’s spreadsheet collating tens [...]

September 19th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Trump approval continues surge, hits 53%, highest in year

President Trump is celebrating the one-year anniversary of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's impeachment push with his highest approval rating in a year. Today’s Rasmussen Reports said Trump’s approval rating is 53%, a height it has reached only three other times since his first month in office when support jumped to nearly 60%. Ironically, Rasmussen noted, the last time Trump was at 53% was when Pelosi announced that the House would begin impeachment proceedings. For the past few weeks, Trump has been on a steady climb in Rasmussen’s ratings. In its weekly rating of the presidential race between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, Trump, for the first time this week, had an edge over Biden, 47%-46%. At this stage of his reelection [...]

September 19th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Week in Politics: Recession fires up the campaign

Analysis: The recession draws strong criticism from opposition parties, Labour dumps its fees-free policy, Jami-Lee Ross decides to try to slip into Parliament as a list MP, National delivers its health policy and why a former party leader thinks it's "the most boring election ever". Jacinda Ardern, Winston Peters, Judith Collins and David Seymour. Photo: RNZ Everyone knew it was coming but opposition parties reacted with shock and horror when the latest economic figures showed New Zealand was officially in recession. The GDP data released on Thursday showed two consecutive quarters of negative growth with a 12.2 per cent fall in the three months to June - better than forecast but still the worst on record. National's leader Judith Collins blamed [...]

September 18th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Hezbollah’s links with Irish terror group exposed

British and Irish security services suspect the New IRA’s links may have led to an importation of arms. (File/Shutterstock) New IRA suspected of procuring weapons during visit to Lebanon Hezbollah has fostered ties with terror groups regionally, internationally LONDON: Hezbollah provided the New IRA with finances and shipments of weapons, according to an undercover agent who infiltrated the Irish terror group. Former British secret service operative Denis McFadden made the assessment after spying on the New IRA from within for more than 20 years. Irish and British security services suspect that the New IRA’s links with Iran-backed Hezbollah may have led to the import of arms including mortars and assault rifles. MI5 agent McFadden is now in witness protection after his [...]

September 14th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Book Review: Has China Won? The Chinese Challenge to American Primacy

A seasoned Singaporean diplomat’s latest book injects much-needed realpolitik back into the U.S.-China relationship and asks painful questions about the state of America. Kishore Mahbubani is a Singaporean academic and former diplomat. Having worked at the Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs for thirty-three years, and then as president of the United Nations Security Council from 2001–2002, Mahbubani is a seasoned veteran of global affairs who now shares his experiences with lucky students as a distinguished fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute. Mahbubani’s latest book, Has China Won? The Chinese Challenge to American Primacy,published in 2020, is a crucial guide to understanding the modern U.S.-China relationship and why this relationship has been marred by such hostility in recent [...]

September 13th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Swedish PM U-Turns, Admits Connection Between Migration and Crime

ANDERS WIKLUND/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images  Minister Stefan Löfven has U-turned and admitted that there is a link between migration and Sweden’s rising levels of violent crime. The Social Democrat leader admitted that there is a connection between crime and migration during a debate in the Swedish Riksdag on Wednesday. Mr Löfven said: “With a large migration, where we cannot cope with integration, then there is also a greater risk of the kind of problems that we see. It’s crystal clear.” The prime minister’s statement came in response to questions posed by populist Sweden Democrats (SD) leader Jimmie Åkesson, who slammed the Swedish leader for refusing to admit any connection between migration and crime as recently as earlier this week, Nyheter [...]

September 13th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

China, US tensions: Next 10 months are ‘critical’ to avoid war

Analysis: With the US in turmoil, the world distracted by the pandemic mixed with China's unbridled ambition, the next 10 months will be the most dangerous since World War II, a top Australian strategic analyst warns. "The global economy may be in hibernation, but geopolitics is thriving and sprinting towards a potential crisis," Australian Strategic Studies Institute executive director Peter Jennings said in April. "The core of the security problem is the Chinese Communist Party's drive to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic strategically stronger in the Asia-Pacific than the US and its allies." Now he says his warning is rapidly panning out. "Since then, Chinese military and rhetorical pressure has significantly increased against Taiwan, and we have seen the US intervene [...]

September 13th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

7 Things We MUST Remember About 9/11; That Some Have Forgotten

1.) First Responders Are Necessary Ryan Johnson via( Wikipedia Commons First Responders, Firemen, Police officers, and EMTs are there to help and while they can not save every life they are there for tragedies when others run. Many In America have completely forgotten about this but on 9/11 it was firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and even ordinary Americans that jumped into action. Politicians and others did nothing on that day, while our first responders did everything.   2.) Terror Is Very Real White House [Public Domain]  19 years after this national tragedy we still have terror attacks and it does not look like it is going to settle down anytime soon. While there will always be fanatics in the world that [...]

September 12th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Labour’s tax plan framing around Covid-19 both clever and cynical

Power Play - Call it what you want - canny politics or a left-wing betrayal - Labour's tax plan is far from transformational. Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern with finance spokesperson Grant Roberston and small business spokesperson Stuart Nash. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas   Even National could barely muster much outrage, instead stoking fear about what else Labour might do if held ransom by the Greens. But the change promised here - a new tax bracket at 39 percent on income over $180,000 - is milder than what many Kiwis will remember under the Helen Clark-years. The plan promises to capture just the top 2 percent - 75,000-odd people - unlikely to find much sympathy among those fearing job losses [...]

September 10th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Chinese Navy May Be First To Get Ballistic Missiles

A Department of Defense report suggests that the Chinese Navy, formally known as the PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy), may put anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs) on its new cruisers. These are the weapons dubbed ‘Aircraft Carrier Killers’ because of their massive hitting power. It would be the first time any navy has put this category of weapon on a warship. Chinese Navy cruisers would then be arguably the most heavily armed surface combatants in the world. Artist's impression of a Renhai Class cruiser launching an anti-ship ballistic missile from its aft ... [+]H I SUTTON The 2020 China Military Power Report to Congress says that the new Type-055 Renhai Class cruiser “will likely be able to launch ASBMs and LACMs once [...]

September 9th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Economy emerges as No. 1 voter issue as Election Day nears, pandemic concerns wane: poll

“Big changes from our July survey, back then, the economy and health care were tied as the top issue,” says pollster Scott Rasmussen As coronavirus numbers trend downward and the November presidential election nears, the economy has emerged as the top issue among likely voters, with law and order also a major concern, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen Among 942 likely voters surveyed in this week’s poll, 31% said the economy was the most important issue when deciding whether to pick President Trump or Democratic challenger Joe Biden to occupy the White House for the next four years. The second-biggest issue was healthcare, at 17%, followed by law and order, at 16%, the latter result coming as state and [...]

September 7th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Christchurch mosque attacks: NZ spy chiefs called in for high-level meeting days after shootings

Spy chiefs pointedly told a high-level intelligence meeting days after the Christchurch terror attacks that domestic security investigations can't begin without a "lead" and stressed the difficulties in monitoring online extremism, newly-released documents show. The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) and Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) were sent scrambling after the March 15, 2019 mosque shootings, which left 51 people dead. Just 12 days after the country's worst-ever domestic terror attack, Andrew Little, the minister in charge of New Zealand's spy agencies, called in NZSIS director general Rebecca Kitteridge and GCSB director general Andrew Hampton for an urgent briefing. The two agencies were being publicly grilled over why they hadn't had Australian gunman Brenton Harrison Tarrant – last week jailed [...]

September 6th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Week in Politics: Shaw still feeling heat as funding issue bubbles on

Analysis: James Shaw apologises for his astonishing "error of judgement", National promises to help new parents if it wins the election, the Speaker orders the opposition to withdraw a "misleading" advert and Parliament limps to the end of its term, [Peter Wilson writes. James Shaw presented Judith Collins with a gift she has made the most of. Photo: RNZ "It didn't work out well." James Shaw's words will probably go down as the understatement of the year after his disastrous decision to fund a private school nearly $12 million of taxpayer money. Shaw issued a media release last week to announce the decision to fund the development of the Taranaki Green School. It sounded like good news, and Shaw clearly thought [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Week in Politics: National blames the government for not keeping NZers safe

  Analysis - Auckland's lockdown is extended but not the wage subsidy, which gives National new angles of attack as it tries to whittle away confidence in the government, Judith Collins pitches for rural votes by promising the new freshwater standards will be "gone by lunchtime" and Parliament's Health Select Committee decides to reconvene and put Ashley Bloomfield in the hot seat. A composite picture of Judith Collins and Jacinda Ardern. Photo: RNZ / Getty Images Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern set the agenda for the week by announcing on Monday that Auckland's lockdown would be extended by four days to midnight on Sunday. Asked at her press conference what could stop that happening she replied "exponential growth outside the cluster". By [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Study Shows Obesity Raises Risk of Coronavirus Death by 48%

Mortality is no joke and neither is being overweight. A new study out of the University of North Carolina (UNC) has revealed that obesity increases the risk of death from the coronavirus by 48% and may make vaccines against the disease less effective. The findings, which the lead researcher described as “scary,” were published in the journal Obesity Reviews. Moreover, their chances of ending up in the intensive care unit were 74% higher than non-obese people. Obesity was already pinpointed as a known risk factor for more severe cases of the coronavirus because of the underlying health conditions associated with the condition, which can include hypertension, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and chronic kidney and liver disease. The researchers cited one [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Four Reasons Why Regime Change Won’t Occur In Belarus

Russian influence will be critical in ending the crisis.   There is no reason to believe that the Belarusian opposition will come to power any time soon. Instead, there are numerous differences between what is occurring in Belarus and what occurred in Ukraine in 2014 and in Armenia in 2018. Here are four reasons why. First, President Alexander Lukashenko is a very sturdy and strong-willed person, ready to hold on to his power to the end. In contrast to other post-Soviet leaders, he was the only one who had the presence of mind to preserve the entire Belarusian production sector. All neighboring countries—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania—had their production sectors eliminated. The result is that a significant part of their populations, especially young [...]

September 5th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Why Has China Detained a CGTN Journalist?

The arrest of Chinese-Australian broadcaster Cheng Lei has prompted fears of hostage diplomacy.   Chinese police patrol outside the Australian embassy in Beijing on January 25, 2019. FRED DUFOUR/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES     Welcome to Foreign Policy’s China Brief. The highlights this week: A Chinese-Australian journalist has been detained in Beijing, ethnic Mongolians hold rare protests over language instruction in Inner Mongolia, and China blocks the sale of TikTok to Microsoft. Detained Journalist Prompts Fears of Hostage Diplomacy China’s foreign ministry has confirmed that the Chinese-Australian journalist Cheng Lei has been detained in Beijing on unspecified charges. Cheng is a prominent face on China’s English-language TV channel CGTN, where she hosted a daily business show. She disappeared on Aug.14, prompting fear among [...]

September 3rd, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Why Donald Trump’s Huawei Sanctions Could Backfire

  The Chinese have the money to get ahead of the rest of the pack—the Americans do not have the money to defend their position. The U.S. policy towards Huawei is in reality strategic warfare. Its goal is to prevent China from achieving the technological edge in high-tech communication network, which is vital for superpower status. The instrument chosen is to restrict Huawei’s use of sophisticated semiconductors crippling its production capacity. The underlying fear supporting this policy is that China, through Huawei, regarded as the prolonged arm of the Communist Party of China (CPC), will draw other countries including traditional U.S. allies into its sphere of interest. In strategic terms, it amounts to a pre-emptive strike. The United States tried to [...]

September 2nd, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

What we know about Trump’s trip to a hospital in November

President Trump on July 11, as he returned from a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP) Shortly before 3 p.m. on Nov. 16, President Trump arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. The White House pool reporter on duty described the president as leaving the White House a half-hour earlier, “wearing a long dark overcoat and carrying what looked like a tan rectangle-shaped folder or envelope under his arm.” Until the presidential motorcade arrived at the hospital, though, news of Trump’s departure wasn’t reportable. And with that, a mystery was born. Trump was there for about two hours, arriving at 2:47 p.m. and leaving at 5:03 p.m. When the [...]

September 2nd, 2020|Categories: Analysis|Comments Off on What we know about Trump’s trip to a hospital in November

China not ready for full assault: report

GEOLOGICAL CHALLENGE: The PLA lacks the landing vehicles and logistics required to launch an incursion into Taiwan via the Taiwan Strait, a defense ministry report said The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) does not yet have the military capability to wage an all-out war against Taiwan, given the demanding geological environment of the Taiwan Strait, a Ministry of National Defense report said. The China Military Power Report 2020, which the ministry yesterday submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review, said the PLA still lacks the landing vehicles and logistics required to launch an incursion into Taiwan via the Taiwan Strait. If Beijing were to wage a war now, its combat plans could take the form of military intimidation, blockades, firepower strikes [...]

September 1st, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Abe’s resignation creates uncertainty — and opportunity — in US-Japan relations

© Getty Images Shinzō Abe’s abrupt decision to resign as prime minister has already begun to fuel uncertainty about Japan’s long-term economic future, global presence, and even the state of its security alliance with the U.S. Abe’s second tenure in the post, the longest in Japanese history, was characterized from start to finish by his resolve to erase two “lost decades” of economic and strategic drift. He ostensibly succeeded at both — addressing the first issue until Japan’s economic downturn following a consumption tax increase late last year, and leaving an indelible mark with the second. Indeed, although Abe’s administration has been marred by multiple scandals and accusations of mishandling the initial government response to COVID-19, in many ways his most [...]

August 31st, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

‘Two visions of the US’: Trump and Biden offer contrasts on race, Covid and economy

Supporters of Donald Trump see the president as the protector of an American they cherish. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images One version told of a president who is callous and cruel. “My dad was a healthy 65-year-old,” said Kristin Urquiza, whose father voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and died from Covid-19 in June. “His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump – and for that he paid with his life.” The other spoke of a president blessed with compassion. Kayleigh McEnany recalled taking a phone call as she recovered from a preventative mastectomy. “It was President Trump, calling to check on me,” she said. “I was blown away. Here was the leader of the free world caring about me.” The contrast [...]

August 31st, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Is Donald Trump on the Comeback Trail?

  Biden has been put on notice. Trump has a plan for a crusade. The true battle between the two sides has only begun. With his lengthy speech last night, Donald Trump made it clear that he’s going on the offensive. His delivery was flat and he often clutched the podium like a man on a boat in heaving seas, but the pageantry was peak Trump. In a scene worthy of Citizen Kane—one of his favorite movies, incidentally—Trump turned around to face the White House and raised his arms and bathed in the glow of the lights. He was exultant. The message was clear: the White House is really the Trump House. It belongs to him—and he isn’t going anywhere. The [...]

August 30th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

The Chinese Navy Catches A Break As U.S. Marines Retire Anti-Ship Fighters

The U.S. Marine Corps expects in October to begin converting a second Japan-based squadron to new F-35B Lightning II stealth fighters. That’s good news and bad. Good because the two-seat F/A-18D Hornets that Marine All-Weather Fighter-Attack Squadron 242 currently flies are old, tired and lacking in radar-evading qualities. Bad because F/A-18s are the Marines’ main aerial ship-killers. And the F-35Bs can’t yet match that capability. This in a region teeming with Chinese warships. The two-seat F/A-18D is an oddity. While the U.S. Navy flew D-model Hornets as training jets, the Marines assign them combat roles. Especially forward-air-control and reconnaissance—missions that benefit from a second pair of eyes in the cockpit. Armed with pairs of Harpoon anti-ship missiles, the three-decade-old F/A-18Ds also [...]

August 30th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Could China Successfully Blockade Taiwan?

History suggests how Taiwan’s defenders can overcome not just a blockade but an amphibious onslaught. Could Communist China blockade Taiwan, which mainland boilerplate portrays as a wayward province? Sure. And the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would doubtless do so should Xi Jinping & Co. opt to settle the cross-Taiwan Strait stalemate by force. At the same time, it’s doubtful that PLA commanders would make a naval blockade their main effort to subdue the islanders. They would undertake a blockade as an adjunct to more decisive measures such as a cross-strait amphibious offensive. The PLA could deploy a blockade to stretch and thin out Taiwan’s defenders around the island’s perimeter while Chinese forces ready a concentrated blow across the strait. China hopes direct [...]

August 30th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

The UK economy in August: sales jump but tough choices lie ahead

As the national debt breaches the £2tn mark, here is our snapshot of what is happening Members of the Black Cyclist Network in Camden, London, this week. While public transport use remains 30% down, cycling has risen sharply. Photograph: Wayne Tippetts/Rex Increase in new daily Covid cases Daily new coronavirus infections peaked in early April and fell between May and early July. Since then there has been an increase in daily cases – although some of this can be attributed to increased testing. Infections have risen in some places more than others, leading to local lockdowns and other restrictions. Infections are also rising in some European countries including Spain and France, leading to quarantine controls for travellers arriving in Britain. In [...]

August 29th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Covid-19 coronavirus: More strategic approach to virus needed

NZ effectively eliminated Covid in its initial response to the outbreak but more tracing and management strategies are needed for a long-term fight, experts say. Photo / 123RF COMMENT: This week marks six months since New Zealand's first Covid-19 case was identified on February 26. So far New Zealand has been largely in reactive mode, initially during the first elimination stage which finished in early June and now in response to the ongoing Auckland outbreak. Given the vigorous response to controlling this current cluster, we have a good chance of eliminating community transmission again. But to maximise our protection against future border control failures and outbreaks, we argue it is time to take a far more strategic approach to this pandemic [...]

August 27th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Little coronavirus but lots of Trumps: Republicans shatter norms at convention

Washington: The second night of the Republican National Convention was a norm-defying reality television episode featuring a presidential pardon for a former bank robber, a live citizenship ceremony at the White House and a controversial appearance by the nation's top diplomat. Absent for the bulk of the night was the issue that still dominates American life: the coronavirus pandemic. When White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow mentioned it in a video message he used the past tense. It was as if the pandemic was in the rear view mirror when, in fact, it is still claiming more than 1000 American lives a day. Melania Trump has given a rare public address at the Republican National Convention. Featuring far more prominently over [...]

August 26th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Alexei Navalny tests point to possible nerve agent attack, experts say

Raised levels of cholinesterase are important piece in the puzzle of Kremlin critic’s sudden illness. Alexei Navalny was on a trip to Siberia when he was apparently poisoned last week. Photograph: Pavel Golovkin/AP High levels of the chemical cholinesterase in tests on Alexey Navalny are a compelling clue that he was poisoned with a nerve agent, experts have said. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a chemical and biological counter-terrorism expert, said the presence of cholinesterase inhibitors suggested Navaly was suffering from nerve agent poisoning. Raised levels of cholinesterase were an important “jigsaw piece in the puzzle”, he said. Navalny was admitted to the Charité hospital in Berlin on Saturday, two days after he was apparently poisoned with a cup of tea while on [...]

August 25th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Christchurch massacre gunman Brenton Tarrant faces day of reckoning

Brenton Tarrant killed 51 people and wounded 40 more at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, last year. An act of hate and terrorism unlike anything the remote island country had ever seen. He will be sentenced this week in a courtroom filled with people whose lives he sought to destroy. The four-day sentencing hearing for Brenton Tarrant starts on Monday.CREDIT:NINE Tarrant, 29, pleaded guilty to murder, attempted murder and terrorism in March. He is expected to be sentenced to life in prison, possibly without eligibility for parole. But the case's final phase — which will begin on Monday and is scheduled to last at least four days — presents complex legal and logistical challenges, and, for his victims, the emotional [...]

August 24th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Great power competition and global supply chains

© Getty Images In his mid-July speech, Secretary of State Mike Pompeocalled for an end to “the old paradigm of blind engagement” characterizing U.S. China policy for the last five decades. Pompeo’s speech reflected the increasingly combative language between the U.S. and China, fanning fears of a new Cold War. Given the interconnectedness of the two economies, it is clear that such a competition would look quite different from its 20thcentury counterpart. However, as tensions rise, more facets of the international system meant to bind the world together are likely to become new arenas for great power competition. Among the most consequential of these new battlegrounds are the supply chains that underpin the world economy. These complex and globe-spanning networks spread [...]

August 24th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

The great defender: PM must rethink his superpower of stubbornness

Prime ministers can take the English language to some intriguing places when they try to dodge a simple question. This week, Scott Morrison effectively reduced himself to the status of bystander in the pandemic; a national leader in name only, who was powerless to stop a rogue socialist state from unleashing the coronavirus on the most vulnerable Australians. It was a logical nadir of his blame-shifting with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. To insist on his own innocence, Morrison had to plead a form of impotence. Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses the media at Parliament House on Friday.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN Asked on ABC News Breakfast if the buck for the crisis in aged care stopped with him, Morrison was at pains to draw [...]

August 21st, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Learning to Live with a Nuclear North Korea

Despite vague commitments made at the 2018 Trump-Kim Singapore Summit, Pyongyang has taken no concrete steps since then to dismantle or substantively disable its nuclear weapons program. An era is ending, though many are in denial and floundering over the next steps. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appears to have chosen a path that will end meaningful denuclearization diplomacy with the United States for the foreseeable future and usher in a new chapter in the North Korea saga: living with a nuclear North Korea. This raises the stakes on a longstanding challenge: how the US, South Korea, and Japan can best work together to contain and constrain a permanent and growing North Korean nuclear threat to peace and stability in Northeast [...]

August 20th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

We may have just seen the world’s highest recorded temperature ever. Has that sunk in?

Death Valley’s forbidding landscape registered a preliminary high temperature of 129.9F on 16 August. Don’t look away.                          A sign in Death Valley national park warns visitors of extreme heat danger. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images How hot was it at the Furnace Creek visitor center at Death Valley national park on 16 August 2020? It was so hot that the huge electronic temperature display (which serves as a ubiquitous selfie backdrop) went on the fritz. Parts of the blocky digital display malfunctioned, resulting in numbers even higher than the actual mind-melting high on what turned out to be a landmark day. An automated weather station at the visitor center recorded [...]

August 20th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Foe of a foe – the shared interests that make UAE a ‘friend’ of Israel

Common ground rests on a ‘peace plan’ aided by splintered Arab solidarity over Palestine. Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, centre, at a press briefing on the Israel-UAE agreement on 13 August. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters The peace deal that few saw coming had been gathering steam in plain sight. Even before the election of Donald Trump, Israel and the UAE had been inching closer, drawn together by three factors – enmity with Iran, a loathing of the Muslim Brotherhood, and a mutual belief that the agreed formula for peace with Palestinians was no longer working. More than anything else, combating Iran became the conduit for the two sides. The adage of a foe of a foe becoming a friend [...]

August 14th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

As the US moves out of Afghanistan, Iran cements ties with the Taliban and officials

Gone are the days that the Islamic Republic of Iran played Afghanistan war games in the shadows. As the United States draws down its troops from the conflict-beleaguered Afghanistan, cracks are emerging that neighboring Iran is entrenching itself into – shoring up ties with formal government officials and ethnic minorities, as well as the Taliban and disgruntled new Taliban offshoots. Tufail Ahmad, a senior fellow for the Middle East Media Research Insitute (MEMRI) Islamism and Counter-Radicalization, told Fox News this week that Iran has been emboldened to create "cultural, political and strategic influence" inside its neighbor. "[Iran] has engaged in targeted assassinations of Afghan officials. Iran sheltered Al Qaeda terrorists. Also, Iran's relations with the Taliban are long standing and deep," Ahmad continued. [...]

August 12th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Why Putin wants to be first to the vaccine

CNo, Russia is not having a Sputnik moment. The announcement yesterday by President Vladimir Putin that his country was the first to approve a coronavirus vaccine did not provoke the awe and wonder of the Soviet Union's launch of the first satellite into orbit in 1957. Instead it was met by doubts about the science and safety. But it also underscored how, like the space race, the competition to have the first vaccine is about international rivalries as well as science. The first nation to develop a way to defeat the novel coronavirus will achieve a kind of moonshot victory and the global status that goes along with it. That's valuable to Putin, whose popularity at home has declined amid a [...]

August 12th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

July Iran Protests Report: 237 protests in 85 cities

According to collected reports by sources affiliated with the Iranian Resistance in the month of July, Iranians held 237 recorded protests in 85 cities and 26 provinces, with an average of eight protests a day.  Some protests were organized, while some were held for consecutive days, such as the Haft Tappeh workers protests, which continued for more than a month. There was an increase in the number of involved cities and provinces in protests compared to June. Last month, there were 72 cities and 24 provinces involved in protests compared to this month’s 85 cities and 26 provinces. Workers Workers staged 122 protests in 54 cities in July. The gatherings were in protest to delayed paychecks, lack of insurance and benefits, [...]

August 11th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Will Sweden get the last laugh?

Ian Birrell travelled to Stockholm to investigate how Sweden's response to Covid-19 is panning out. As she sat dangling her legs over the water while waiting for the ferry back to Stockholm, Carolinne Liden looked a picture of contentment after a day out on a sunny Swedish island. But the pandemic has been tough for this young mother. She works in film production, so all her contracts were cancelled and she had to take a job in an equine shop to make ends meet. Customers sit at a cafe in Stockholm, Sweden. The country was unable to escape its worst economic contraction despite adopting one of Europes softest responses. Photo / Getty Images Her partner Tobias Moe, a freelance photographer, also [...]

August 10th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Italian Explosives Expert: The Beirut Blast’s Massive Red Cloud is Indicative of Lithium Metal Which is a Propellant in Military Missiles — IT WAS AN EXPLOSIVES STORAGE FACILITY

Massive protests took place in Beirut, Lebanon Saturday following the mega-blast earlier in the week that tore through Lebanon’s capital with the force of an earthquake. More than 100 people were killed and 4,000 injured after a warehouse exploded near the port in Beirut. On Saturday tens of thousands took to the streets in Beirut denouncing Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists and their leader Hassan Nasrallah. And now an Italian explosives expert is speaking out about the massive blast that he says was likely a military missile warehouse. Italian Danilo Coppe spoke with Heshmat Alavi about the nature of the Beirut blast. Coppe believes the red plume is a sign of lithium metal used as a propellant in military missiles. And, of course, [...]

August 9th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

China and Russia ditch dollar in move toward ‘financial alliance’

Greenback's share of neighbors' trade falls below 50% for first time China and Russia have roughly halved their use of the dollar in trade settlements over the past five years. (Source photo by AP)   MOSCOW -- Russia and China are partnering to reduce their dependence on the dollar -- a development some experts say could lead to a "financial alliance" between them. In the first quarter of 2020, the dollar's share of trade between Russia and China fell below 50% for the first time on record, according to recent data from Russia's Central Bank and Federal Customs Service. The greenback was used for only 46% of settlements between the two countries. At the same time, the euro made up an [...]

August 9th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Trump Has Alienated Allies—but Has Them Acting in America’s Interest (and Their Own)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. FRIEDEMANN VOGEL - POOL/GETTY IMAGES Henry Kissinger is supposed to have written that “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.” He didn’t; it was actually Dinesh D’Souza channeling his inner Kissinger. But even that inner Kissinger turns out to have been Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, who really did sayabout England: “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.” As a statement of foreign-policy realism, that seems conclusive. At least until you hear what Palmerston thought those interests were. Scroll [...]

August 8th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Activists are furious people are driving through their protests held on streets where cars go

Black Lives Matter activists around the country are livid after it has become apparent that people are driving through their protests held on public streets where cars go. “I can’t believe that people would stoop so low as to drive on our perfectly normal protest on a public road where cars go. It’s really a hate crime worse than any we’ve faced,” BLM volunteer Dante Johnson said. Hundreds of protests have taken place in several US cities since the police killing of George Floyd—none with permits and all on streets where cars go. “And these white supremacists just come here and drive all up in our protest as if this is some kind of KKK parade,” Johnson said. “It ain’t.” New [...]

August 7th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

JCPOA fifth anniversary, celebration, or tragedy for the Mullahs?

  July 15, 2020, marks the fifth anniversary of the Iranian regime’s nuclear deal with 5+1 countries, a deal woven through with appeasement policy, leading to nothing but instability in the region and the spread of terrorism. During the first three years, from 2015 to 2018, the Iranian regime’s proxy groups continued to be developed unchecked, in the regime’s hands turning into an apparatus for the killing of Iraqis, Yemenis and the people of Lebanon. The deal also enabled the regime to support Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship in Syria, giving it an open hand in chemically bombing its own people.  The Assad regime’s war against the Syrian people with the help of Qasim Soleimani, the late chief of the Qods force, led [...]

August 7th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

The Three Perils Threatening the United States

People are looking for crisis leadership that comprehends the dangers, is prepared to deal with them, and most importantly realizes that America is worth defending. The Republic is in grave danger. There, I said it. Does anyone really doubt it? America is stumbling and the vultures are circling. What is the nature of these perils that afflict us? America sits atop a global system created at the outset of the 20th century. That century saw the United States elevated to the status of global imperial power, having been victorious in two world wars and the beneficiary of an international monetary system that, post World War II, provided for a vast global, if not regional, peace. Sure, there was a Cold War [...]

August 7th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Thousands of Iranian workers strike across Iran

by Shahrokh Tavakoli Thousands of Iranian workers, including workers in the lucrative oil and gas sector, have taken strike action to demand higher or unpaid wages. Iran’s impoverished workers, who were already struggling to make ends meet as the country’s most vulnerable class, were met with increased pressure during the coronavirus outbreak. Many workers have become unemployed or are forced to work in dangerous conditions while receiving very low wages or no wages at all. Iran’s Oil and gas workers Thousands of Iranian workers took strike action in Iran’s petrochemical and economic regions as well as refineries in Iran’s oil-rich southern regions on Saturday. Oil and gas workers in Abadan, Ahvaz, Qeshm, Mahshahr, Lamerd, Dasht-e Azadegan and Kangan in southwestern [...]

August 6th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|Comments Off on Thousands of Iranian workers strike across Iran

MUST READ: Ukraine Burisma Story is Massive – Involves BILLIONS of IMF and US Funds Looted and Lost by Bank Connected to Burisma Holdings!

The Biden (and now Kerry) scandal in the Ukraine is much more than about the money paid to Hunter Biden for being a Board member at the largest gas producer in the Ukraine, Burisma Holdings.  The real scandal involves billions in funds from the IMF and US in aid that has gone missing. Burisma (Ukraine’s largest oil and gas provider) has been the subject of many recent news articles because of its scandalous close-knit ties with President Obama’s Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Kerry.  (Yes, Kerry is involved here too. A controlling shareholder of Burisma is believed to be held by an entity called Privat Group: The Privat Group, or PrivatBank Group (Ukrainian: Група “Приват”, Grupa “Privat”) is a global business group, [...]

August 6th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Hydroxychloroquine Scandal Spurs Hundreds of Thousands to Protest in Europe, While Americans Mostly Just Comply

Berlin, Germany, August 2, 2020. Source.   Berlin, Germany, used to be the most famous city in the world representing tyrannical rule, as for decades after World War II the city was divided between “west” and “east” with a wall and guards preventing people from going from one side of the city to the other. During this “Cold War” period between Russia and the U.S., Americans were taught that the “west” side of Berlin stood for “freedom,” while the “east” side represented tyrannical communist rule. This past weekend, (first weekend of August 2020), citizens of what was once Nazi Germany led the world by turning out in the tens of thousands to protest against the tyranny of the COVID response by [...]

August 6th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Economy is entirely at will of coronavirus’ ‘bad behavior’: John Bussey

The performance of the U.S. economy is currently a function of the coronavirus pandemic's "very bad" behavior and how America is managing it, Wall Street Journal Associate Editor John Bussey told the “Fox News Rundown" podcast. Bussey said the country as a whole is seeing a lack of plans to address the pandemic’s uncertainty, leaving it up to the states to act individually. “It's led us to rather substantial and worrisome outbreaks in one set of states after another, inability for planners to say, ‘we're going to go back to school, we're not going to go back to school... It's safe to go back to work or it's not,’” he said. “And all of that's being defined by the failure of the [...]

August 4th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Poll: Trump Takes Lead over Biden

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty A new poll released this weekend shows President Donald Trump, the incumbent GOP president, has taken a national and battleground states lead over his Democrat challenger presumptive nominee former Vice President Joe Biden. The survey, from the Democracy Institute commissioned by the Sunday Express newspaper, shows Trump leading Biden 48 percent to 46 percent. What’s more, Trump has opened up a bigger lead according to this poll in the crucial battleground states, meaning the president by this pollster’s estimates currently is projected to win 309 electoral votes—more than he did in 2016. Overall, this poll has Trump nationally at 48 percent to Biden’s 46 percent with six percent undecided. Among white voters, Trump leads 53 percent to 46 percent. [...]

August 2nd, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

When It Comes to China, Americans Think Like Trump

Recent data suggests that most voters share the White House’s hawkish approach to China.   U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping leave a business leaders' event in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2017. NICHOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES Large majorities of the U.S. public, both Democrats and Republicans, align with the Trump administration’s dismal view of China, giving the embattled president a potential appealing drum to bang in an increasingly uphill reelection campaign, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. According to the survey, 73 percent of Americans hold an unfavorable view of China, up from 47 percent just two years ago. The main complaints echo President Donald Trump’s: the nature of the two countries’ economic relationship and [...]

August 1st, 2020|Categories: Analysis|1 Comment

China and Iran are about to Become Allies—Here’s What We Should Do about It

The United States should undertake a global strategic review, with all of its allies and partners in the democratic world as well as those that play by the rules, to develop a more effective collective strategy for dealing with China in the post-coronavirus era. “Two ancient Asian cultures, two partners in the sectors of trade, economy, politics, culture and security with a similar outlook and many mutual bilateral and multilateral interests will consider one another strategic partners.” So begins a new secret bilateral agreement reportedly in its final stages between Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping’s China and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s Iran. On the assumption that this agreement is implemented, it should cause U.S., European, and Asian strategic planners [...]

August 1st, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

The Great Paradox of Donald Trump’s Plan to Combat China

The most telling word Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used to describe the CCP was “Frankenstein.” This word implies that a monster was now threatening America. It would be reasonable for an American to feel scared after hearing the speech. The great paradox about the Trump administration’s response to the challenge from China is that it is both overestimating and underestimating this challenge. The overestimation is clear; the underestimation, which is more dangerous, less so. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spelled out clearly his case for overestimation in his speech of the Nixon Library on July 23, 2020. “We’re seeing staggering statistics of China trade abuses that cost American jobs and strike enormous blows to the economies all across America, including [...]

July 30th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Would Donald Trump Run in 2024 If He Loses? Grover Cleveland Did.

If Trump loses, he will not squat in the White House, surrounded by a Praetorian Guard of MAGA-hat-wearing gun enthusiasts. He will, however, retreat to Trump Tower, rename it Barad-dûr, and spend the next four years plotting his revenge Jimmy Carter may only have served one troubled term as president, but he has served the four decades since as the most respected of elder statesmen. George H.W. Bush quietly retired in 1993, passing his family's political ambitions on to George and Jeb. It is said that Gerald Ford seriously considered returning as vice president for a second time around in 1980, before committing to the clubhouse and the boardroom.  But all of them could have made another tilt at the presidency [...]

July 30th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

How Google harvests and uses your data, and what you can do about it

US technology giant Google’s business model is built on collecting data about consumers when they use its services. But what you might not be aware of is how deep, detailed and intrusive some of this collection is, and how you can take steps to control it. Asking Google for answers has become second nature for many of us and whether we do that on our phones, PCs or with our voices, our queries are likely stored and tied to our specific Google accounts. Whenever you have a question for Google, Google will remember it. If you have an Android phone, or use your Google account with certain apps or services on the iPhone, there's a good chance the data associated with [...]

July 29th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Mike Pompeo Challenges China’s Governing Regime

The Secretary of State’s approach to Beijing risks confirming its suspicions about U.S. subversion while simultaneously alienating the very Chinese people that he aspires to “engage and empower.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a speech on the Trump administration’s China policy at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library on July 23. It was the culmination of a series of speeches on the subject over the past several weeks by National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Attorney General William Barr. Pompeo confirmed he had orchestrated the speeches and explained that their purpose was “to make clear the threats to Americans that President Trump’s China policy aims to address, and our strategy for securing our freedoms.” In many respects, [...]

July 28th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

China’s Export Performance Will No Longer Threaten the U.S. Economy

Beijing’s very rapid economic growth of the past three decades will give way to a prolonged period of relative economic stagnation following a bout of the coronavirus pandemic. Under the Trump administration, a major shift in U.S. international economic policy has been the characterization of China as a strategic economic threatrather than as a potential long-run economic partner. This has been the primary motivation for the U.S.-China trade war. However, this begs the question as to whether today America has any more reason to fear Chinese economic domination over our economy than it earlier had to fear Soviet or Japanese economic domination. It would be an understatement to say that America’s earlier fears in the 1960s and 1970s about Soviet or [...]

July 27th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

China’s ‘Wolf Warrior’ Tactics Mixed With Trump’s Jungle Diplomacy Ratchets Up Risk Of Conflict

Paramilitary police stand on guard in front of the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, southwestern China's ... [+]NOEL CELIS/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES The Trump Administration’s sudden shuttering of China’s Houston consulate was followed in short order with Beijing announcing Friday that it would close the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, further ratcheting up tensions in the escalating Sino-U.S. conflict. News of the expulsions featured firefighters outside the building in Houston as diplomats torched documents inside the complex’s courtyard. Strong TV drama. And good fuel for tweets. Hardline U.S. Senator Marco Rubio proclaimed that the site was “the central node in the Communist Party’s vast network of spies and influence operations in the United States.” Wow. How come no one noticed until it was [...]

July 26th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

‘Mugged by Reality,’ Trump Finds Denial Won’t Stop the Pandemic

A president who once claimed that “the worst days of the pandemic are behind us” now acknowledges that it has surged through much of the country and will “get worse before it gets better.” As President Trump revived his coronavirus briefings this week, he still insisted that most of the country was doing well and offered upbeat predictions about conquering the virus.Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times WASHINGTON — He insisted that it was safe, that people could go back to work, that schools could reopen, that he could hold packed indoor campaign rallies, that he could even hold a full-fledged, boisterous, bunting-filled nominating convention as if all were well. Only now, it is all crashing down around President Trump. The president [...]

July 25th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Bill Gates warns that multiple doses of any coronavirus vaccine may be necessary, schools could be closed until fall 2021 and says ‘serious mistakes were made’ by the US with the handling of COVID-19

Bill Gates spoke to CBS News's Norah O'Donnell on Wednesday night Gates said that 'serious mistakes' were made by the Trump administration He said silencing experts like Dr Anthony Fauci and CDC chiefs was illogical Gates said that getting pupils back to school was of immense importance He pushed for more to be done to reassure teachers and parents about schools Gates addressed conspiracy theories, saying he hoped the truth would come out Bill Gates has warned that any vaccine against coronavirus could take several doses to be effective, as he described 'serious mistakes' made by the Trump administration and said some schools may not be back to normal until the fall of 2021. The Microsoft founder, who now directs much [...]

July 24th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Did Donald Trump Close a Chinese Consulate to Boost His Poll Numbers?

This presumably will allow Trump to deflect attention away from his failure to effectively confront the coronavirus pandemic and toward an external enemy which, among other things, can be held accountable for the pandemic. The State Department announced on Wednesday that it had directed the closure of the Chinese Consulate General in Houston “in order to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information.” China, the State Department added, “has engaged for years in massive illegal spying and influence operations” that have “increased markedly in scale and scope over the past few years.” The Chinese Foreign Ministry condemned the directive. Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin described it as a “political provocation unilaterally launched by the U.S. side, which seriously violates international [...]

July 23rd, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

US, China may ‘stumble’ into conflict in South China Sea, war game scenarios suggest

The volatile waterway rather than Taiwan may be the spark to military action between the two powers Increasing number of encounters heighten risk Beijing and Washington could accidentally escalate into armed confrontation This is the second in a series examining the growing tensions between China and the United States and how the situation could escalate into a full-blown military conflict. You can read part one here As diplomatic relations between China and the US deteriorate to their lowest point since they were established in 1979, a military conflict between the two countries no longer seems a far-fetched possibility. Their last direct engagement was during the Korean war, from 1950 to 1953, at a time of sparse trade and no diplomatic relations between [...]

July 23rd, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

China puts US tensions aside to boost phase one trade deal, food security with record corn purchase

China bought 1.762 million tonnes of corn for delivery in the 2020-21 marketing year beginning in September, which was its largest-ever daily purchase of US corn It has also bought large quantities of soybeans amid a backdrop of escalating tensions over the coronavirus, Xinjiang and the national security law in Hong Kong. China has been able to put aside its growing tensions with the United States at least in the area of agricultural purchases, with a record purchase of US corn reinforcing the phase one trade deal as well as Beijing’s need to bolster its food security. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Tuesday that China bought 1.762 million tonnes of corn for delivery in the 2020-21 marketing year [...]

July 22nd, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments

Iran politician says Iranians will revolt against regime as toman hits new low

A former Iranian official said that Iranians would revolt against the regime in the near future as Iran’s currency hit a new low against the dollar today. Mostafa Tajzadeh, a former minister of interior and culture during the government of Khatami in the late 90s, warned the regime that “a new phenomenon of rebellious citizens who have become disillusioned with the ballot box and reforms” has appeared in Iran and that “they may take to the streets at any moment.” “As was witnessed during the January 2018 and November 2019 protests, this social and political rebellion will not only target the President but will target the whole system and will lead to a crisis in the whole political system,” he told Hamdeli state-run daily today. [...]

July 11th, 2020|Categories: Analysis|0 Comments