Archive | January 3, 2017

Cannabis Medicine Will Soon be Legally Available in U.K.*

Cannabis Medicine Will Soon be Legally Available in U.K.*

One of the main ingredients in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), is to be classed as a medicine in the U.K. The decision by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) stems from claims that the drug successfully treats serious diseases.

The new classification means products containing CBD can now be legally distributed across the U,K. Gerald Heddel from MHRA told Sky News that the change came about

“based on the fact that we noted that people were making some quite stark claims about serious diseases that could be treated with CBD.”

Alongside Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is one of the main components of cannabis, accounting for 40 percent of the marijuana plant’s extract. Unlike THC, which is psychoactive, CBD is non-psychoactive, antipsychotic and does not cause anxiety.

The compound’s lack of a high makes it less appealing to recreational users but of particular interest to the medical community, with campaigners claiming it aids in easing pain related to diseases including cancer, depression, Crohn’s disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“It was clear that people are using this product with the understandable belief that it will actually help,” Heddel said.

 “MHRA will now work with individual companies and trade bodies in relation to making sure products containing CBD, used for a medical purpose, which can be classified as medicines, satisfy the legal requirements of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012,” an MHRA spokesperson said in a statement, adding that 18 companies have been advised of their change in opinion.

Last month, researchers from the University of Alabama found CBD reduces both the frequency and severity of epileptic seizures in both children and adults. In two-thirds of the 81 participants the severity was reduced by at least 50%.

During 2016, an increasing number of MPs called for “root and branch” reform of Britain’s “failing” drug policy, with a cross party report indicating that the exchequer could increase its tax revenue by as much as £1 billion (US$1.23 billion) a year through the legalisation of cannabis.

Source*

Related Topics:

From 700 Painful Seizures Daily to 90 Days of CBD 70-90% Reduction in Seizures*

Federal Government Works with PhCBDarmaceutical Companies to Prevent Natural Cures*

ALS Patient Treated with Medical Marijuana Outlives Anti-Marijuana Doctors*

Nine Year-Old Autistic Boy Speaks His First Words Thanks to ‘Controversial’ Cannabis Treatment*

U.S. Patent’s Pot*

Western Medicine Is Rockefeller Medicine*

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Al-Qaeda Cuts Water Supply to Damascus, Attempts to Break Ceasefire*

Al-Qaeda Cuts Water Supply to Damascus, Attempts to Break Ceasefire*

By Alexander Mercouris

As was bound to happen, Al-Qaeda in Syria is pulling out the stops to try to disrupt the Russian-Turkish sponsored ceasefire.

Al-Qaeda is in part doing it by attacking other Jihadi groups which have signed up to the ceasefire.  The Iranian news agency Fars reports that there has been fierce infighting between Jihadi groups in Idlib, where Al-Qaeda is in control, whilst Al-Qaeda is continuing to block the evacuation of wounded Shia fighters and civilians from two Shia villages, whose evacuation was agreed as part of the package negotiated by the Russians, the Iranians and the Turks, which led to the withdrawal of Jihadi fighters and civilians from east Aleppo.

The main flashpoint however is the Wadi Barada valley, which provides Damascus with drinking water.  Al-Qaeda has taken control there, ousting other Jihadi groups who have been in control of the valley since 2012.  Having gained control of the valley, Al-Qaeda is being accused by the Syrian government of poisoning the drinking water supplied to Damascus, forcing the Syrian government to restrict supplies of fresh water to the people of Damascus.

cd44d-syriawar-genocidalmass-murderousjewsbehindusgovtusingalqaedaterroriststokillsyrianspast2yearsThe Moon of Alabama has provided a detailed account of the incident, pointing out the complete indifference of Western governments and of the Western media to the plight of the people of Damascus, which contrasts with the relentless attention given to the plight of the civilians in eastern Aleppo during the siege there.

The point about the incident at the Wadi Barada valley is that it is obliging the Syrian army, which has surrounded the valley, to press home its offensive there in order to regain control of the valley so as to restore the supplies of drinking water to Damascus.  Al-Qaeda is using this to claim that the Syrian government is breaking the ceasefire, and has persuaded other Jihadi groups to issue a statement saying they have halted their preparations for the pending peace conference in Astana on that basis.

The BBC has given an account of the incident, which refers to the Jihadi statement, but which otherwise tends to accept Jihadi claims that Al-Qaeda is not in control of the valley, and that the water supply to Damascus is being disrupted not because the water is being poisoned but because of Syrian army shelling.

There is in fact no reason to doubt the Syrian government’s account of the incident.  As the Moon of Alabama has pointed out, social media has been full of boasts by Jihadi supporters admitting to what they have done.

Latest reports from the area say that the Syrian army has already recaptured one of the springs, and given its importance it is a certainty the whole valley will once again be under Syrian government control before long.  It is most unlikely this incident will seriously delay preparations for the peace conference in Astana.  It is striking that the Turkish government has refused to weigh in strongly on the side of the Jihadis during this incident.

What the incident once again shows is the utterly implacable opposition the Syrian government has to face from Al-Qaeda in Syria, and the lengths to which Al-Qaeda is prepared to go.  Unfortunately it also shows the extent to which Western governments and the Western media continue by their silence to collude in Syria with Al-Qaeda’s actions.

Source*

Related Topics:

Nationwide Truce Reached Between Syria Army, Opposition Groups*

U.S. Moves to Arm Terrorists in Syria with Anti-Aircraft Weapons*

British Generals Arrive in Syria to Recruit Aleppo Terrorists*

Water Returns to Syria’s Aleppo after Daesh (ISIS) Stoppage*

Syrian Catholics Denounce Western Media Biased Reporting on Aleppo*

In Aleppo 4 Al-Qaeda Chiefs arrested; 1,000 Terrorists Surrender, and 50,000 Civilians Freed*

CIA “Journalist” Spy with Al-Qaeda Arrested In Turkey*

German Paper Admits Ghouta Sarin Attack in Syria Committed By U.S.- backed Al-Qaeda*

(Rothschild’s) Reuters Colludes With Al Qaeda Terrorists by Disguising Them as “Rebels”*

Did the West Fake an Entire Attack on their al-Qaeda for an Oil Pipeline?

CIA Agent Exposes How Al-Qaeda Doesn’t Exist*

 

Indonesia Terminates All Business Relationships with JPMorgan after Downgrade*

Indonesia Terminates All Business Relationships with JPMorgan after Downgrade*

By Tyler Durden

We officially have a new definition of “thin-skinned”.

In what may be one of the most dramatic retaliations to a downgrade report, Indonesia’s government said it has terminated all business partnerships with JPMorgan Chase after the U.S. bank downgraded its outlook on stocks in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. The finance ministry announced it would stop using JPMorgan as a primary dealer and as an underwriter of its sovereign bonds, Robert Pakpahan, the ministry’s director-general for budget financing and risk management told reporters in Jakarta on Tuesday. The reason: Pakpahan said a November research report issued by the bank was not “accurate or credible.”

JPMorgan downgraded Indonesia’s equity market by two notches to underweight from overweight in a Nov. 13 report as a “tactical response” to the Trump election win. The bank also downgraded Brazil, while noting that both countries may provide a “better buying opportunity” later, Bloomberg reported.

Perhaps Indonesia’s anger will promptly blow off once the warning shot has been fired: at least as of this morning, JPMorgan’s business in Indonesia continues to operate as normal, the bank said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday.

“The impact on our clients is minimal and we continue to work with the Ministry of Finance to resolve the matter,” it said.

The government doesn’t see it quite as innocently, however: any tax payments by Indonesian companies which were previously routed through JPMorgan will now be passed to the government via other banks, according to Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo.

The biggest U.S. bank was part of a underwriting syndicate when Indonesia sold 3 billion euros ($3.1 billion) of bonds in June. However, the lender wasn’t listed as a member of syndicates for two more recent offerings denominated in yen and U.S. dollars, according to Bloomberg data.

The government’s action illustrates some of the difficulties in producing balanced research reports, said Alan Richardson, an investment manager at Samsung Asset Management in Hong Kong.

“I don’t think it will affect investor interest in Indonesia but it does reflect the difficulty of sell-side analysts to provide independent and objective opinions to their clients without upsetting the government officials and regulators,” Richardson said.

Meanwhile, JPM’s assessment appears to have been right: foreign investors sold a net $2.8 billion of Indonesian stocks and bonds last quarter as investors dumped emerging-market assets following Trump’s victory. That drove local markets and the rupiah lower, forcing policy makers to intervene to stabilize the currency.

For now Indonesia remains furious, and blames JPM for the recent market volatility: banks should take responsibility for economic reports that “could influence fundamentals and psychology,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said Tuesday, when asked to comment on the termination of the JPMorgan relationship.

JPMorgan provides investment and commercial banking services to the public and private sectors in Indonesia, according to the bank’s website. It obtained an Indonesian banking license in 1968 in the name of Chase Manhattan, and opened a branch in Jakarta, followed by a representative office in 1978.

Curiously, in the aftermath of the last financial crisis, it was the rating agencies who got the bulk of the blame; that sellside equity research is now facing the proverbial “firing squad” when issuing negative research is rather troubling – this phenomenon is certainly not confined to the sovereign level – and indicates how banks, once caught with a Buy or Neutral rating on any given name, are loath to cut or downgrade, aware of the potential foregone future revenue opportunities as a result of telling the truth.

Source*

Related Topics:

Former Head of Morgan Stanley Indicted for Evading $45mn in Taxes*

Rothschild, Morgan and Stanley in Bitter Takeover Battle for Giant US Copper Mine*

America’s Biggest Banks are Closing Hundreds of Branches*

How to Contact the 17 Banks Funding the Dakota Access Pipeline*

Central Asian States are Reluctant to Make Friends with U.S. (a Wolf)*

US-Saudi Plague ISIS Reaches Indonesia? *

Indonesia: The Poor Die to Make the Rich, Richer*

How a United Iran, Russia and China are Changing the World – For the Better*

How a United Iran, Russia and China are Changing the World – For the Better*

By Federico Pieraccini

From the moment the Berlin Wall fell, the United States saw a unique opportunity to pursue the goal of being the sole global hegemon. With the end of the Soviet Union, Washington could undoubtedly aspire to planetary domination paying little heed to the threat of competition and especially of any consequences. America found herself the one and only global superpower, faced with the prospect of extending cultural and economic model around the planet, where necessary by military means.

Over the past 25 years there have been numerous examples demonstrating how Washington has had little hesitation in bombing nations reluctant to kowtow to Western wishes. In other examples, an economic battering ram, based on predatory capitalism and financial speculation, has literally destroyed sovereign nations, further enriching the U.S. and European financial elite in the process.

Alliances to Resist

In the course of the last two decades, the relationship between the three major powers of the Heartland, the heart of the Earth, changed radically.

Iran, Russia and China have fully understood that union and cooperation are the only means for mutual reinforcement. The need to fight a common problem, represented by a growing American influence in domestic affairs, has forced Tehran, Beijing and Moscow to resolve their differences and embrace a unified strategy in the common interest of defending their sovereignty.

Events such as the war in Syria, the bombing of Libya, the overthrowing of the democratic order in Ukraine, sanctions against Iran, and the direct pressure applied to Beijing in the South China Sea, have accelerated integration among nations that in the early 1990s had very little in common.

Economic Integration

Analyzing U.S. economic power it is clear that supranational organizations like the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and the World Bank guarantee Washington’s role as the economic leader. The pillars that support the centrality of the United States in the world economy can be attributed to the monetary policy of the Fed and the function of the dollar as a global reserve currency.

The Fed has unlimited ability to print money to finance further economic power of the private and public sector as well as to pay the bill due for very costly wars. The U.S. dollar plays a central role as the global reserve currency as well as being used as currency for trade. This virtually obliges each central bank to own reserves in U.S. currency, continuing to perpetuate the importance of Washington in the global economic system.

The introduction of the yuan into the international basket of the IMF, global agreements for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and Beijing’s protests against its treatment by the World Trade Organization (WTO) are all alarm bells for American strategists who see the role of the American currency eroding. In Russia, the central bank decided not to accumulate dollar reserves, favouring instead foreign currency like the Indian rupee and the Chinese yuan. The rating agencies – western financial-oligarchy tools -have diminishing credibility, having become means to manipulate markets to favour specific U.S. interests. Chinese and Russian independent rating agencies are further confirmation of Beijing and Moscow’s strategy to undermine America’s role in western economics.

De-dollarization is occurring and proceeding rapidly, especially in areas of mutual business interest. In what is becoming increasingly routine, nations are dealing in commodities by negotiating in currencies other than the dollar. The benefit is twofold: a reduction in the role of the dollar in their sovereign affairs, and an increase in synergies between allied nations. Iran and India exchanged oil in rupees, and China and Russia trade in yuan.

Another advantage enjoyed by the United States, intrinsically linked to the banking private sector, is the political pressure that Americans can apply through financial and banking institutions. The most striking example is seen in the exclusion of Iran from the SWIFT international system of payments, as well as the extension of sanctions, including the freezing of Tehran’s assets (about 150 billion U.S. dollars) in foreign bank deposits. While the U.S. is trying to crack down on independent economic initiatives, nations like Iran, Russia and China are increasing their synergies. During the period of sanctions against Iran, the Russian Federation has traded with the Islamic Republic in primary commodities. China has supported Iran with the export of oil purchased in yuan. More generally, Moscow has proposed the creation of an alternative banking system to the SWIFT system.

Private Banks, central banks, ratings agencies and supranational organizations depend in large part on the role played by the dollar and the Fed. The first goal of Iran, Russia and China is of course to make these international bodies less influential. Economic multi-polarity is the first as well as the most incisive way to expand the free choice before each nation to pursue its own interests, thereby retaining its national sovereignty.

This fictitious and corrupt financial system led to the financial crisis of 2008. Tools to accumulate wealth by the elite, artificially maintaining a zombie system (turbo capitalism) have served to cause havoc in the private and public sectors, such as with the collapse of Lehman Brothers or the crisis in the Asian markets in the late 1990s.

The need for Russia, China and Iran to find an alternative economic system is also necessary to secure vital aspects of the domestic economy. The stock-market crash in China, the depreciation of the ruble in Russia, and the illegal sanctions imposed on Iran have played a profound role in concentrating the minds of Moscow, Tehran and Beijing. Ignoring the problem borne of the centrality of the dollar would have only increased the influence and role of Washington. Finding points of convergence instead of being divided was an absolute must and not an option.

A perfect example, explaining the failed American economic approach, can be seen in recent years with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), two commercial agreements that were supposed to seal the economic trade supremacy of the U.S. The growing economic alternatives proposed by the union of intent between Russia, China and Iran has enabled smaller nations to reject the US proposals to seek better trade deals elsewhere. In this sense, the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) proposed by Beijing is increasingly appreciated in Asia as an alternative to the TPP.

In the same way, the Eurasian Union (EAEU) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have always been key components for Moscow. The function these institutions play was noticeably accelerated following the coup in Ukraine and the resulting need for Russia to turn east in search of new business partners. Finally, Iran, chosen by Beijing as the crossroad of land and sea transit, is a prime example of integration between powers geographically distant but with great intentions to integrate vital structures of commerce.

The Chinese model of development, called Silk Road 2.0, poses a serious threat to American global hegemonic processes. The goal for Beijing is to reach full integration between the countries of the Heartland and Rimland, utilizing the concept of sea power and land power. With an investment of 1,000 billion U.S. dollars over ten years, China itself becomes a link between the west, represented by Europe; the east, represented by China itself; the north, with the Eurasian economic space; the south, with India; Southeast Asia; the Persian Gulf and Middle East. The hope is that economic cooperation will lead to the resolution of discrepancies and strategic differences between countries thanks to trade agreements that are beneficiary to all sides.

The role of Washington continues to be that of destruction rather than construction. Instead of playing the role of a global superpower that is interested in business and trade with other nations, the United States continues to consider any foreign decision in matters of integration, finance, economy and development to lie within its exclusive domain. The primary purpose of the United States is simply to exploit every economic and cultural instrument available to prevent cohesion and coexistence between nations. The military component is usually the trump card, historically used to impose this vision on the rest of the world. In recent years, thanks to de-dollarization and military integration, nations like Iran, Russia and China are less subject to Washington’s unilateral decisions.

Military deterrence

Accompanying the important economic integration is strong military-strategic cooperation, which is much less publicized. Events such as the Middle East wars, the coup in Ukraine, and the pressure exerted in the South China Sea have forced Tehran, Moscow and Beijing to conclude that the United States represents an existential threat.

In each of the above scenarios, China, Russia and Iran have had to make decisions by weighing the pros and cons of an opposition to the American model. The Ukraine coup d’état brought NATO to the borders of the Russian Federation, representing an existential threat to the Russia, threatening as it does its nuclear deterrent. In the Middle East, the destruction of Iraq, Libya and Syria has obliged Tehran to react against the alliance formed between Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States. In China, the constant pressure on South China Sea poses a serious problem in case of a trade blockade during a conflict. In all these scenarios, American imperialism has created existential threats. It is for this reason natural that cooperation and technological development, even in the military area, have received a major boost in recent years.

In the event of an American attack on Russia, China and Iran, it is important to focus on what weapon systems would be used and how the attacked nations could respond.

Maritime Strategy and Deterrence

Certainly, U.S. naval force place a serious question mark over the defense capabilities of nations like Russia, China and Iran, which strongly depend on transit via sea routes. Let us take, for example, Russia and the Arctic transit route, of great interest not only for defense purposes but also being a quick passage for transit goods. The Black Sea for these reasons has received special attention from the United States due to its strategic location. In any case, the responses have been proportional to the threat.

Iran has significantly developed maritime capabilities in the Persian Gulf, often closely marking ships of the U.S. Navy located in the area for the purposes of deterrence. China’s strategy has been even more refined, with the use of dozens, if not hundreds, of fishing boats and ships of the Coast Guard to ensure safety and strengthen the naval presence in the South and East China Sea. This is all without forgetting the maritime strategy outlined by the PLA Navy to become a regional naval power over the next few years. Similar strategic decisions have been taken by the navy of the Russian Federation. In addition to having taken over ship production as in Soviet times, it has opted for the development of ships that cost less but nevertheless boast equivalent weapons systems to the Americans carrier groups.

Iran, China and Russia make efficiency and cost containment a tactic to balance the growing aggressiveness of the Americans and the attendant cost of such a military strategy.

The fundamental difference between the naval approach of these countries in contrast to that of the U.S. is paramount. Washington needs to use its naval power for offensive purposes, whereas Tehran, Moscow and Beijing need naval power exclusively for defensive purposes.

In this sense, among the greatest weapons these three recalcitrant countries possess are anti-ship, anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic systems. To put things simply, it is enough to note that Russian weapons systems such as the S-300 and S-400 air-defense systems (the S-500 will be operational in 2017) are now being adopted by China and Iran with variations developed locally. Increasingly we are witnessing an open transfer of technology to continue the work of denying (A2/AD) physical and cyberspace freedom to the United States. Stealth aircraft, carrier strike groups, ICBMs and cruise missiles are experiencing a difficult time in such an environment, finding themselves opposed by the formidable defense systems the Russians, Iranians and Chinese are presenting. The cost of an anti-ship missile fired from the Chinese coast is considerably lower than the tens of billions of dollars needed to build an aircraft carrier. This paradigm of cost and efficiency is what has shaped the military spending of China, Russia and Iran. Going toe to toe with the United States without being forced to close a huge military gap is the only viable way to achieve immediate tangible benefits of deterrence and thereby block American expansionist ambitions.

A clear example of where the Americans have encountered military opposition at an advanced level has been in Syria. The systems deployed by Iran and Russia to protect the Syrian government presented the Americans with the prospect of facing heavy losses in the event of an attack on Damascus. The same also holds for the anti-Iranian rhetoric of certain American politicians and Israeli leaders. The only reason why Syria and Iran remain sovereign nations is because of the military cost that an invasion or bombing would have brought to their invaders. This is the essence of deterrence. Of course, this argument only takes into partial account the nuclear aspect that this author has extensively discussed in a previous article.

The Union of the nations of the Heartland and Rimland will make the United States irrelevant

The future for the most important area of the planet is already sealed. The overall integration of Beijing, Moscow and Tehran provides the necessary antibodies to foreign aggression in military and economic form. De-dollarization, coupled with an infrastructure roadmap such as the Chinese Silk Road 2.0 and the maritime trade route, offer important opportunities for developing nations that occupy the geographical space between Portugal and China. Dozens of nations have all it takes to integrate for mutually beneficial gains without having to worry too much about American threats. The economic alternative offered from Beijing provides a fairly wide safety net for resisting American assaults in the same way that the military umbrella offered by these three military powers, such as with the the SCO for example, serves to guarantee the necessary independence and strategic autonomy. More and more nations are clearly rejecting American interference, favouring instead a dialogue with Beijing, Moscow and Tehran. Duterte in the Philippines is just the latest example of this trend.

The multipolar future has gradually reduced the role of the United States in the world, primarily in reaction to her aggression seeking to achieve global domination. The constant quest for planetary hegemony has pushed nations who were initially western partners to reassess their role in the international order, passing slowly but progressively into the opposite camp to that of Washington.

The consequences of this process have sealed the destiny of the United States, not only as a response to her quest for supremacy but also because of her efforts to maintain her role as the sole global superpower. As noted in previous articles, during the Cold War the aim for Washington was to prevent the formation of a union between the nations of the Heartland, who could then exclude the U.S. from the most important area of the globe. With the fall of the Iron Curtain, sights were set on an improbable quest to conquer the Heartland nations with the intent of dominating the whole world. The consequences of this miscalculation have led the United States to being relegated to the role of mere observer, watching the unions and integrations occurring that will revolutionize the Eurasian zone and the planet over the next 50 years. The desperate search to extend Washington’s unipolar moment has paradoxically accelerated the rise of a multipolar world.

Source*

Related Topics:

Reflections on Islam, Liberty and Development IV

The Real Secret of the South China Sea*

U.S. Provoking War in South China Sea*

World Rushes to De-Dollarize Oil Trade Before U.S. Economy Crashes*

Asian Bank Threatens the Dollar, so U.S. Threatens China*

The Dollar’s in Serious Trouble*

Dumping the Dollar, the World Bank, and IMF

Whoever Controls Eurasia Controls the World*

Russia and UNESCO Push for a generation without racial, ethnic, religious prejudice*

Washington won’t Accept Syrian Defeat by Iran and Russia*

Between the State of the City of London and the Crown*

Queen Elizabeth Warns Of ‘Holy War To End All Wars’ *

17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement Declare their Opposition to Unilateralism and Militarism*

War Is a Racket*

90yo Claimant to Head Romanov Family Dies in Denmark*

What can be made of this Royal Conundrum?*