Archive | February 10, 2017

TPP and TTIP are not Dead: now they’re called the Trade In Services Agreement*

TPP and TTIP are not Dead: now they’re called the Trade In Services Agreement*

By Pete Dolack

Opposing TISA: Global Trade in Services Strategy Meeting, October 2014. Photo: Public Services International via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Opposing TISA: Global Trade in Services Strategy Meeting, October 2014. Photo: Public Services International via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Opposing TISA: Global Trade in Services Strategy Meeting, October 2014. Photo: Public Services International via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

If there’s one good thing about Trump, it’s that he has put an end to the TPP and TTIP trade deals, right? Don’t celebrate yet, writes Pete Dolack. There’s another ‘trade deal’ waiting in the wings, TISA, and negotiators have been busy expanding its remit to include huge parts of TPP and TTIP, while giving free rein to the global behemoths of internet and finance to expand their monopolies.

One can hear the cry ringing through the boardrooms of capital: “Free trade is dead! Long live free trade!”

Think the ideas behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) or the so-called ‘free trade’ regime are buried just because Trump scrapped them? Sadly, no. Definitely, no.

Some of the countries involved in negotiating the TPP seeking to find ways to resurrect it in some new form – but that isn’t the most distressing news.

What’s worse is the TPP remains alive in a new form with even worse rules. Meet the Trade In Services Agreement, even more secret than the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And more dangerous.

The Trade In Services Agreement (TISA / TiSA), currently being negotiated among 50 countries, if passed would:

  • prohibit regulations on the financial industry;
  • eliminate laws to safeguard online or digital privacy;
  • render illegal any ‘buy local’ rules at any level of government;
  • effectively dismantle any public advantages to be derived from state-owned enterprises; and
  • eliminate net neutrality.
  • TISA negotiations began in April 2013 and have gone through 21 rounds. Silence has been the rule for these talks, and we only know what’s in it because of leaks, earlier ones published by WikiLeaks and now a new cache published January 29 by org.

The backup plan for the failure of TPP or TTIP

Earlier draft versions of TISA’s language would prohibit any restrictions on the size, expansion or entry of financial companies and a ban on new regulations, including a specific ban on any law that separates commercial and investment banking, such as the equivalent of the U.S. Glass-Steagall Act.

It would also ban any restrictions on the transfer of any data collected, including across borders; place social security systems at risk of privatization or elimination; and put an end to Internet privacy and net neutrality. It hasn’t gotten any more acceptable.

TISA is the backup plan in case the TPP and the TTIP don’t come to fruition. Perhaps fearful that the recent spotlight put on ‘free trade’ deals might derail TISA as it derailed TPP, the governmental trade offices negotiating it have not announced the next negotiating date. The closest toward any meaningful information found was the Australian government’s bland statement that the “Parties agreed to reconvene in 2017.”

The cover story for why TISA is being negotiated is that it would uphold the right to hire the accountant or engineer of your choice, but in reality is intended to enable the financial industry and Internet companies to run roughshod over countries around the world.

And while ‘liberalization’ of professional services is being promoted, the definition of ‘services’ is being expanded in order to stretch the category to encompass manufacturing. Deborah James of the Center for Economy and Policy Research laid out the breathtaking scope of this proposal:

“Corporations no longer consider setting up a plant and producing goods to be simply ‘manufacturing goods.’ This activity is now is broken down into research and development services, design services, legal services, real estate services, architecture services, engineering services, construction services, energy services, employment contracting services, consulting services, manufacturing services, adult education services, payroll services, maintenance services, refuse disposal services, warehousing services, data management services, telecommunications services, audiovisual services, banking services, accounting services, insurance services, transportation services, distribution services, marketing services, retail services, postal and expedited delivery services, and after-sales servicing, to name a few.

“Going further, a shoe or watch that measures steps or sleep could be a fitness monitoring service, not a good. A driverless car could be a transport service, not an automobile. Google and Facebook could be information services and communication services, respectively.”

Pressure from the Uruguay people saved the country from TiSA September 2015

Why are we kept in the dark?

Before we get to the details of the text itself, let’s take a quick look at how the world’s governments, on behalf of multi-national capital, are letting their citizens know what they are up to. Or, to be more accurate, what they are not telling you. Many governments have not bothered to update their official pages extolling TISA in months.

The European Union is negotiating TISA on behalf of its 28 member countries, along with, among others, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Norway, Switzerland, Pakistan and Turkey.

In the United States, the new Trump administration has yet to say a word about it. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative web site’s page on TISA still says

 “TiSA is part of the Obama Administration’s ongoing effort to create economic opportunity for U.S. workers and businesses by expanding trade opportunities.”

Uh-huh. President Donald Trump is not against ‘free trade’ deals; he simply claims he can do it better. The Trump administration has issued blustery calls for “fair deals” and braggadocio puffing up Donald Trump’s supposed negotiating prowess. A typical White House passage reads,

“To carry out his strategy, the President is appointing the toughest and smartest to his trade team, ensuring that Americans have the best negotiators possible. For too long, trade deals have been negotiated by, and for, members of the Washington establishment.”

More typical of the TISA negotiators is the latest report from the European Commission, which summarized the latest round, held last November, this way:

“Parties made good progress in working towards an agreed text and finding pathways towards solving the most controversial outstanding issues at both Chief Negotiators and Heads of Delegation levels.”

The Canadian government’s last update is from last June and declares “Parties conducted a stocktaking session to assess the level of progress on all issues.”

Traveling across the Pacific brings no more useful information. Australia’s government offers this information-free update: “Parties agreed to a comprehensive stocktake of the negotiations, identifying progress made and areas which require ongoing technical work.”

New Zealand’s government can’t even be bothered to provide updates, instead offering only discredited, boilerplate public-relations puffery similar to other trade offices.

TISA may be in trouble – but we can’t afford to relax

The one hint that TISA negotiations are experiencing difficulty that could be found through an extensive online search is this passage in a US Congressional Research Service report dated January 3, 2017:

“Recognizing that outstanding issues remain and the U.S. position under a new administration is unclear, the parties canceled the planned December 2016 meeting but are meeting to determine how best to move forward in 2017.”

Given that the new administration is moving as fast as possible to eliminate the tepid Dodd-Frank Act financial-industry reforms, it would seem TISA’s provisions to dismantle financial regulation globally would not be a problem at all.

But that these talks are not progressing at the present time does not mean the world can relax. It took years of cross-border organizing and popular education to stop the TPP, and this effort will have to replicated if TISA is to be halted.

The details are the devils already known

Commentary accompanying Bilaterals.org‘s publication of several TISA chapters stresses that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, despite its apparent defeat, is nonetheless being used as the model for the Trade In Services Agreement. Thus we are at risk of the TPP becoming the ‘new norm’:

“Several proposed texts from the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement have been transferred to TiSA – including state-owned enterprises; rights to hold data offshore (including financial data); e-commerce; and prohibitions on performance requirements for foreign investors.

“While these texts originated with the United States, they appear to be supported by other parties to the TPP, even though those governments were reluctant to agree to them in the TPP and will no longer be bound by that agreement. That suggests the TPP may become the new norm even though it has only been ratified in two of the 12 countries, and that was done on the basis of U.S. participation that no longer applies.

“TPP cannot be allowed to become the new ‘default’ position for these flawed agreements.”

Some of the most extreme measures have been dropped (at least for now) and much of the text is not agreed. Nonetheless, there is nothing to cheer about, Bilaterals.org reports.

“The effectiveness of opposition to TiSA has led governments to conclude that they cannot sell some of the more extreme proposals, which have thus been dropped from previous leaked texts. But the fetters on the rights and responsibilities of governments to regulate in the interests of their citizens from what remains would still go further than any single other agreement.

“There are no improvements on the inadequate protections for health, environment, privacy, workers, human rights, or economic development. And there is nothing to prevent developing countries becoming even more vulnerable and dependent in an already unequal and unfair global economy.”

De-development in the poorest countries

Hypocritically, TISA would prohibit developing countries from adopting measures that countries like the United States used to facilitate its industrial development when it was an emerging country in the 19th century.

In an analysis for WikiLeaks, Sanya Reid Smith of the Third World Network, an international coalition specializing in development issues, wrote:

“[T]he proposals in this text restrict the ability of developing countries to use the development paths taken by many of the developed TISA countries. Some experts call this developed countries ‘kicking away the ladder’ after they have climbed up, to prevent developing countries from developing the same way …

“In TISA, the USA is proposing restrictions on host countries being able to require senior managers be citizens of the host country. Yet when it was a capital importer, the USA had the opposite law: its 1885 contract labour law prohibited the import of foreign workers, i.e. the USA required senior managers (and all other staff) be Americans, which increased the chances of skills being passed to locals.”

Letting banks decide what’s good for you

These proposals are more extreme than language in existing bilateral trade agreements. Many of TISA’s provisions are lifted from TPP, but some go beyond the latter’s already extreme proposals. For example, not even the TPP contemplated the entire elimination of regulations of any kind against the financial industry.

Article 14 of TISA’s annex on financial services, which had contained the most explicit language prohibiting regulation, has been removed, but Article 9 still contains language requiring no limitations beyond those applying to domestic financial firms. In other words, a smaller country would be required to allow a giant bank from a bigger country to take over its entire banking system.

Incredibly, regulations against financial derivatives yet to be invented would be illegal. A Public Citizen analysis states:

“TISA would require governments to allow any new financial products and services – including ones not yet invented – to be sold within their territories. The TISA Annex on Financial Services clearly states that TISA governments ‘shall permit’ foreign-owned firms to introduce any new financial product or service, so long as it does not require a new law or a change to an existing law.”

As another example, the financial-services annex (in article 21) would require that any government that offers financial products through its postal service lessen the quality of its products so that those are no better than what private corporations offer.

Article 1 of the financial-services annex states that “activities forming part of a statutory system of social security or public retirement plans” are specifically covered by TISA, as are “activities conducted by a central bank or monetary authority or by any other public entity in pursuit of monetary or exchange-rate policies.”

That social security or other public retirement systems are covered is cause for much alarm because they could be judged to be ‘illegally competing’ with private financial enterprises. It is conceivable that central banks could be constrained from actions intended to shore up economies during a future financial crisis if banks decide such measures ‘constrain’ their massive profiteering off the crisis.

Freedom of information – strictly for the corporations

Article 10 of the annex continues to explicitly ban restrictions on the transfer of information in “electronic or other form” of any “financial service supplier”.

In other words, E.U. laws guarding privacy that stop U.S.-based Internet companies from taking data outside the E.U. to circumvent those privacy laws would be null and void. Laws instituting privacy protections would be verboten before they could be enacted. These rules, if enacted, could also provide a boon to companies like Uber whose modus operandi is to circumvent local laws. The Bilaterals.org analysis accompanying the leaks notes:

“The main thrust of TiSA comes through the e-commerce, telecommunications, financial services and localisation rules and countries’ commitments to allow unfettered cross-border supply of services.

“Together they would empower the global platforms who hold big data, like Google, without effective privacy protections, and tech companies like Uber, who have become notorious for evading national regulation, paying minimal tax and exploiting so-called self-employed workers. Given the backlash against global deals for global corporations TiSA will simply add fuel to the bonfire.”

Who interprets the rule is crucial

The language of TISA, like all ‘free trade’ agreements, is dry and legalistic. How these rules are interpreted is what ultimately matters.

TISA contains standard language requiring arbitration by judges possessing “requisite knowledge”. That language means that the usual line-up of corporate lawyers who represent corporations in these tribunals will switch hats to sit in judgment. The tribunals used to settle these ‘investor-state disputes’ are held in secret with no accountability and no appeal.

The intention of ‘free trade’ agreements is to elevate corporations to the level of governments. In reality, they raise corporations above the level of governments because only ‘investors’ can sue; governments and people can’t.

‘Investors’ can sue governments to overturn any law or regulation that they claim will hurt profits or even potential future profits. On top of this, a government ordinarily has to pay millions of dollars in costs even in the rare instances when they win one of these cases.

Each ‘free trade’ agreement has a key provision elevating corporations above governments that codifies the ‘equal treatment’ of business interests in accordance with international law and enables corporations to sue over any regulation or other government act that violates ‘investor rights’, which means any regulation or law that might prevent the corporation from extracting the maximum possible profit.

Under these provisions, taxation and regulation constitute ‘indirect expropriation’ mandating compensation – a reduction in the value of an asset is sufficient to establish expropriation rather than a physical taking of property as required under customary law.

Tribunal decisions become precedents for further expansions of investor ‘rights’ and thus constitute the ‘evolving standard of investor rights’ required under ‘free trade’ agreements. TISA contains the usual passages requiring ‘equal treatment’.

What it’s really all about: deregulation and corporate empowerment

At bottom, ‘free trade’ deals have little to do with trade and much to do with imposing corporate wish lists through undemocratic means, including the elimination of any meaningful regulations for labor, safety, health or the environment. TISA is another route to imposing more of this agenda.

And the TPP itself isn’t necessarily dead – both Chile and New Zealand are holding discussions with other TPP countries to salvage some of the deal. Chile has invited TPP countries, plus China, to a March summit and the New Zealand trade minister is visiting Australia, Japan, Mexico and Singapore.

Working people around the world scored a major victory in stopping the TPP, at least in its current form. The activists who achieved this deserve much credit. But there is far more to do. Capital never rests; nor can we.

Here we have class warfare in naked fashion, and there is no doubt on which side the capitalist world’s governments lie.

Source*

Related Topics:

Secret TiSA Trade Deal Equally as Dangerous as TPP and TTIP*

How a Battle over Affordable Medicine Helped Kill the TPP*

TiSA: Uruguay Does Unthinkable, Rejects Global Corporatocracy*

 

Founder of George Soros backed Media Matters Caught Conspiring with Facebook and Google to Shut-down Independent Media*

Founder of George Soros backed Media Matters Caught Conspiring with Facebook and Google to Shut-down Independent Media*

Hard-left political activist David Brock, founder of Media Matters – the father of “Fake News” – is working with co-conspirators Google and Facebook to implement a strategy designed to ban conservative and libertarian websites, including HangTheBankers.com.

This is especially a problem given attempts being made by Eric Schmidt, the founder of the multinational conglomerate Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, to cozy up to the Trump administration.

On Dec. 14, 2016, Schmidt was included in a group of prominent tech industry executives that met with then President-elect Donald Trump in a much-publicized meeting.

On Jan. 17, 2017, Politico reported that Schmidt was sited at an unannounced visit to Trump Tower, where he lunched privately with Jared Kushner, Trump’s real estate magnate son-in-law married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka in 2009, who has emerged to be named a Senior Advisor to his father-in-law in the White House

In briefing book entitled “Media Matters, The Top Watchdog Against Fake News and Propaganda: Transforming the Media Landscape” (obtained by the Free Beacon) that Brock published privately in January to solicit donors, Brock asserts in the first sentence,

“The onslaught of well-funded right-wing media brings with it significant challenges.”

This first sentence telegraphs that by creating and advancing the narrative of “Fake News,” Brock is trying to launch what the hard-left calls “a meme.”

That “meme” or theme is designed to discredit news media that dare publish conservative views differing from the hard-left news reported by CNN and MSNBC, as well as increasingly by the New York Times – the object of several recent President Trump tweet attacks.

On the first page, Brock targets Breitbart.com as having received

“millions in funding from extremist billionaires close to the Trump administration,” while providing

“a nexus point for the so-called alt-right (the newest branding for white nationalism, anti-Semitism, and misogyny) to exploit vulnerabilities through the media landscape.”

Note here that Brock is also creating a narrative – adding to the meme – that the “alt-right” (another term created by Brock and the hard-left to attack conservatives) are haters – characterized as “white nationalists, anti-Semites, and misogynists” – the new hate tags Brock and his co-conspirators on the hard-left intend to apply (along with the accusation of being “racists”) on any news agency that refuses to uncritically parrot a hard-left ideological interpretation of current events.

Brock leaves no doubt that Google and Facebook are his co-conspirators in advancing the “Fake News” meme against news organizations like Infowars.com.  Consider Media Matter’s clearly articulated strategy that Brock lays out on page two of his briefing book:

“Over the next four years, Media Matters will focus on achieving the following outcomes:

“Serial misinformers and right-wing propagandists inhabiting everything from social media to the highest levels of government will be exposed.

“Internet and social media platforms, like Google and Facebook, will no longer uncritically and without consequence host and enrich fake news sites and propagandists.

“Toxic alt-right social media-fueled harassment campaigns that silence dissent and poison our national discourse will be punished and halted.”  (Bold type in the original document)

Clearly, Brock intends to continue directing Media Matters as a hard-left attack machine with no respect for the First Amendment that will inevitably target news organizations like Infowars.com not only to shut Infowars.com down, but also to punish Alex Jones and all others associated with Infowars.com

On Nov. 14, 2016, six days after Donald J. Trump was elected president, the New York Times reported Google announced a policy that would ban websites “that peddle fake news” from using its online advertising service.  Hours later, Facebook updated the language in its Facebook Audience Network policy amending the policy to specify that Facebook “will not display ads in sites that show misleading or legal content, to include fake news sites.”

On Jan. 25, 2007, Recode.com reported that Google, since declaring the policy against “fake news,” has banned 200 publishers from using its AdSense network, an ad placement service that automatically places text and display ads on participating sites based on audience characteristics. Recode further reported Google declined to provide a listing of the banned sites.

On Jan. 26, 2017, Lachan Markay reported in the Washington Free Beacon that Media Matters had launched a petition campaign during the 2016 presidential campaign aimed at pressuring Facebook into prohibiting “Fake News” website to accept Media Matters goal of getting Facebook to “adjust its model to stem the flow of damaging fake news from its platform pages.”

In his briefing book, Brock acknowledged that while Google was a relatively easy sale on “fake news,” Facebook was a much harder sale, with Mark Zuckerberg initially calling the notion that “fake news is a problem” is “crazy.”

So what did Media Matters do?

“In November, we launched a campaign pressuring Facebook to:

1) acknowledge the problem of the proliferation of fake news on Facebook and its consequences for our democracy and

2) commit to taking action to fix the problem.”

Brock reported that “as a result of our push for accountability,” Facebook was responsive to both requests.

Source*

Related Topics:

Google Emerges As Financial Sponsor Behind Tech Giants’ Anti-Trump Crusade*

Google Permanently Bans 200 ‘Fake News’ Sites*

‘Google is Doing Things the CIA Cannot*

Eliminating Alternative Media: Soros and Gates behind Facebook’s “fake news” Detector*

Anonymous To Facebook: “For Every Palestinian Account You Ban, We Will Hack an Israeli Website”*

British Connection to the ‘Anti-Trump fake news’*

$17k per Month for Journalists Could Have Spent on the NHS was used for Fake News on Syria*

Ron Paul Publishes Real List of ‘Fake News’ Websites*

U.S. Claim of Killing 50,000 ISIS Terrorists ‘Fairytale’ says Ex Diplomat*

Fake News on Muslim Attack on German Church*

Amnesty Int’l Admits Syria’s ‘torture prison’ Report Fabricated Entirely in U.K.*

The Telegraph Pays Compensation after Lying about a Woman’s Terrorism Links*

Rothschild’s Reuters Pays Damages to Finsbury Park Mosque after Falsely Linking it to Terrorism*

Leaked Trump Presidential Memo Would Free U.S. Companies to Buy Conflict Minerals from Central African Warlords*

Leaked Trump Presidential Memo Would Free U.S. Companies to Buy Conflict Minerals from Central African Warlords*

By Lee Fang

The leaked draft of a presidential memorandum Donald Trump is expected to sign within days suspends a 2010 rule that discouraged American companies from funding conflict and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo through their purchase of  “conflict minerals.”

The memo, distributed inside the administration on Friday afternoon and obtained by The Intercept, directs the Securities and Exchange Commission to temporarily waive the requirements of the Conflict Mineral Rule, a provision of the Dodd Frank Act, for two years — which the rule explicitly allows the president to do for national security purposes. The memorandum also directs the State Department and Treasury Department to find an alternative plan to “address such problems in the DRC and adjoining countries.”

The idea behind the rule, which had bipartisan support, was to drain militias of revenue by forcing firms to conduct reviews of their supply chain to determine if contractors used minerals sourced from the militias.

The impending decision comes as Trump held a meeting Wednesday with Brian Krzanich, the chief executive of Intel, one of the leading firms impacted by conflict mineral regulations. At the White House today, Krzanich appeared with the president to announce a new manufacturing plant in Arizona.

Thank you Brian Krzanich, CEO of @Intel. A great investment ($7 BILLION) in American INNOVATION and JOBS! #AmericaFirst???????? pic.twitter.com/76lAiSSQ1l

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017

Human rights advocates — who had celebrated the conflicts rule as a major step forward — were appalled.

“Any executive action suspending the U.S. conflict minerals rule would be a gift to predatory armed groups seeking to profit from Congo’s minerals as well as a gift to companies wanting to do business with the criminal and the corrupt,” said Carly Oboth, the policy adviser at Global Witness, in a statement responding to a Reuters article that first reported the move.

“It is an abuse of power that the Trump administration is claiming that the law should be suspended through a national security exemption intended for emergency purposes. Suspending this provision could actually undermine U.S. national security.”

Advanced computer chips, including technology used in cell phones and semiconductors, contain minerals often sourced from war-torn countries in central Africa. Firms such as Intel, Apple, HP, and IBM use advanced chips that contain tantalum, gold, tin, and tungsten — elements that can be mined at low prices in the DRC, where mines are often controlled by militias fuelling a decades long civil war.

Publisher: Venkel  Designer: Brock Jones

Publisher: Venkel Designer: Brock Jones

American tech companies, such as Intel, lobbied directly on the rule when it was proposed. But since passage, tech firms have largely used third party business groups to stymie the rule. Trade groups representing major U.S. tech firms and other manufacturers, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable, attempted to block the rule through a federal lawsuit. In 2014, a federal court struck down a part of the rule that forced firms to reveal DRC conflict minerals on their corporate websites.

Intel is also one of the firms that has touted its effort to comply with the law, publishing a report that notes the company has conducted 40 on-site reviews of smelters in the eastern DRC.

Reuters also reported that acting SEC chief Michael Piwowar has taken steps to also weaken enforcement, asking staff to “reconsider how companies should comply.”

Read the draft memo here:

Source*

Related Topics:

How the World Runs on Looting the Congo*

U.S. Sponsors Rape in Congo*

French Terrorists Dispatched to Sub-Saharan Africa*

Sponsoring Terrorism in Burundi to Rebalkanize Resource-rich Great Lake’s Region*

Engineered Chaos in Burundi is Spiraling as Pathocratic World Leaders Wait for the Prize*

Global Pathocracy*

Rothschild Billion Dollar Money Laundering Plot in Africa*

Hiding Africa’s Looted Funds and the Silence of Western Media*

In the Midst of an Ugly Presidential Race in France, an Untainted Leader is Emerging*

In the Midst of an Ugly Presidential Race in France, an Untainted Leader is Emerging*

By Jean-Michel Cosnuau

The mainstream media and the so-called elites have decided to bear the responsibility for choosing what is right for the country and the world, since the people, i.e the middle and working classes are too uneducated to make the right choice. Or so they think.

The Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory in the United States have demonstrated a backlash against this elitist way of thinking, but the elites, so far, are pretending not to notice or care.

What we are witnessing now in France is the assassination of presidential candidate François Fillon by the mainstream media.
 Every single day new revelations involving his wife, children, and the so-called consultant fees are being made public. Are they true? Probably. Are they illegal? probably not.

Fillon was simply profiting from a system that the entire political class is using. Why so much hate? Because Fillon upset the plans of the game. He was never supposed to win the primary, which was promised to the very consensual Alain Juppé, supported by a part of the left bourgeoisie and the think tank Terra Nova, the spearhead of globalism and the new world order.

A second presidential runoff between Fillon and Le Pen was the establishment’s worse nightmare. Having two candidates who are putting the nation ahead of European federalism and speaking in favor of close cooperation with Russia was simply unacceptable, and they had to put an end to it.

Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron

After losing Juppé, the establishment has found a new candidate who matches their liberal globalist agenda – Emmanuel Macron. A former banker, Macron studied at l’ENA, like François Holland and the vast majority of the professional politician from both sides, backed up by influent French CEOs.

To clear the road for Macron, the decision and plans to tarnish Fillon were taken at the highest level of the state, the president. The documents which started the scandal surrounding Fillon came from the Ministry of Finance and were given to Hollande by the deputy secretary of the Elysée Palace, who happens to be the former director of Macron’s cabinet.

After been vetted by the president, the documents were leaked to the press through a network of people close to Macron. The next step was to select a prosecutor close to the Socialist Party. 
And while it is very unlikely that Fillon will actually be indicted – the damage has already been done. He took a big dive in the polls. For now, he won’t withdraw from the election, but his chances of making it to the second round to face Marine Le Pen are getting thinner.

Now it’s up to the right to find dirt on Macron.

The attacks on Macron are thus far focused on the fact that he undervalued his wealth to escape ISF, the French tax for the wealthy, and that he financed his campaign with public money.
 What’s even more striking, however, is that until now, the media spared the private lives of all candidate, but is now releasing rumours, likely founded, on both Fillon’s and Macron’s sexual orientation.

All this dirt and ugliness of the campaign should benefit Marine Le Pen, but she is staying quiet. She and the National Front have their own friction with the French justice.

Throughout this campaign, the political microcosm is looking more and more like a stinking swamp, and France seems ready for a systemic change. The Socialist Party is dead in the water and the UMP vaporized. The polls are putting Macron in the second round and handing him the election.

Macron may, in fact, win the election, but if he does – what will he do? While many from the right, the left, and the center are now gathering to join him – the result is guaranteed to be a disaster. With his victory the country’s political system will be absolutely discredited, paving the way for France’s new saviour and Joan of Arc, Marion Maréchal.

Source*

Related Topics:

Protests against anti-Labour Reform in France Continue with Clashes, Teargas*

IMF’s Christine Lagarde Free after French Court Convicts her of Losing 400mn Euros*

France’s Zionist Prime Minister, Manuel Valls*

Hollande Calls for Transfer of Sovereignty to a United States of Europe*

False Flag Terror Attack in France Sees Harsh Military Rules Imposed Following Massive Civil Unrest*

Tyranny in France*

French Caught Planning an ISIS False Flag Terror Attack on the French*

France Imposes Widely Despised Anti-Labour Bill by Decree*

France, U.K., and Germany produce the most ISIS Terrorists from Europe*

French Draft Resolution on Syria Reflects its Longing for its Colonial History in Africa*

Should a Country Like France Be Indicting African Leaders?

DAPL Approved a Week After Co-Owner’s Pipeline Spilled 600,000 Gallons of Oil in Texas*

DAPL Approved a Week After Co-Owner’s Pipeline Spilled 600,000 Gallons of Oil in Texas*

By Steve Horn

On January 30, 600,000 gallons (14,285 barrels) of oil spewed out of Enbridge’s Seaway Pipeline in Blue Ridge, Texas, the second spill since the pipeline opened for business in mid-2016.

Seaway is half owned by Enbridge and serves as the final leg of a pipeline system DeSmog has called the “Keystone XL Clone,” which carries mostly tar sands extracted from Alberta, Canada, across the U.S. at a rate of 400,000 barrels per day down to the Gulf of Mexico. Enbridge is an equity co-owner of the Dakota Access pipeline, which received its final permit needed from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on February 7 to construct the pipeline across the Missouri River and construction has resumed.

The alignment of Native American tribes, environmentalists, and others involved in the fight against Dakota Access have called themselves “water protectors,” rather than “activists,” out of concern that a pipeline spill could contaminate their drinking water source, the Missouri River.

Just Spewing”

Brittany Clayton, who works at a nearby gas station in Blue Ridge, which is 50 miles from Dallas, Texas, was close to the scene of the spill when it occurred.

“You could just smell this oil smell. A customer walks in and says ‘nobody smoke.’ You could see it just spewing,” Clayton told KDFW-TV, the local Fox News affiliate in the area.

“It was just super huge. It was like a big cloud. The fire marshal said, ‘This is like a danger zone. You guys have to evacuate immediately.’ I was totally freaked out. I kept texting the boss man.”

Enbridge and co-owner Enterprise Products Partners said in press release that the spill had been contained and it resumed service on February 5.

“The incident … resulted in no fire or injuries and the pipeline has been shut down and isolated,” the companies said.

“Seaway has mobilized personnel and equipment to the site and is working closely with emergency responders, law enforcement and regulatory authorities to conduct clean-up operations and develop a plan to resume operations as quickly and safely as possible.”

Government Reaction

According to KDFW, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intend to do water and environmental testing in the coming days. TxDOT also told the local National Public Radio affiliate, KETR-FM, that it would take “several weeks” to complete a full cleanup.

“It remains too early in the investigation to know where final blame lies for the accident,” wrote KETR, also noting that

“it is also too early to tell how much the cleanup and loss of product will cost.”

TxDOT referred DeSmog to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for details on the spill, cleanup, and related issues. We have reached out to TCEQ and will update the article as details come in and have also filed open records requests to learn more about the spill.

Chris Havey, Lieutenant Sheriff for the Collin County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed with DeSmog that a spill investigation is ongoing under the umbrella of the EPA and the Texas Railroad Commission, which is the state’s oil and gas regulatory agency.

“The Sheriff’s office is not conducting any parallel investigation,” said Havey.

“As to whether or not the line has been shut off/capped, it’s my understanding that within an hour after the line ruptured it was successfully shut off.”

Neither the EPA Region 6 Office nor the Texas Railroad Commission responded to a request for comment. EPA, though, has been ordered not to speak to media by President Donald Trump‘s White House until the agency has a new administrator, likely nominee Scott Pruitt, and senior-level staff in place.

As momentum and tensions alike mount surrounding oil and gas pipeline projects around the country, this oil spill is a reminder of the risks and consequences that come with them.

Source*

Related Topics:

Buffet, Gates Foundation, Bono’s RED and the Dakota Access Pipeline

Army Corps Clears Way for DAPL Construction*

Trump Blocked From Addressing U.K. Parliament for ‘Racism and Sexism’*

Standing Rock Sioux Speak Out Following Violent Removal of Water Protectors*

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Message to Water Protectors and Allies*

Call on Feds to Consult with Tribes, Follow the Rule of Law before Moving Forward on Oil Pipeline*

Jury Finds Eight #NoDAPL Protectors Guilty*

Jury Refuses to Convict Activist for Shutting Down Pipeline*

Seattle Council Votes to Divest Billions from Wells Fargo over DAPL Support*

NGO Fleet Bussing Migrants into The E.U. Has Ties To George Soros, Hillary Clinton Donors*

NGO Fleet Bussing Migrants into The E.U. Has Ties To George Soros, Hillary Clinton Donors*

By William Craddick

In November 2016, a number of NGO’s were revealed by independent European news source GEFIRA to be smuggling migrants from the northern coast of Africa across the Mediterranean into the E.U. using a ramshackle fleet of ships. Research by Disobedient Media shows that a number of the organizations sponsoring ships in the armada are funded in part by Hillary Clinton donors and organizations run by billionaire George Soros. The actions taken by sponsors of ships in the fleet may be illegal under E.U. law and possibly run the risk of aiding ISIS operatives hiding among the migrant population.

A Fleet Of NGO Operated Ships In The Mediterranean Operate Around The Clock Delivering Migrants From North Africa To Italy

On November 15, 2016 GEFIRA published evidence they had gathered that various NGOs were utilizing a fleet of more than a dozen boats in the Mediterranean to illegally transport migrants from the North African coast to Italy. GEFIRA used AIS Marine Traffic (Ship-tracking software) signals, Twitter and the live reports of a Dutch journalist on board of the ship Golfo Azzurro to document alleged collaboration between NGOs, the Italian Coast Guard and smugglers coordinate their actions. The ships were caught on radar moving between the Italian and Libyan coast moving migrants into the EU.

The Italian coast guard directed ships in the fleet to Libyan territorial waters, where they would engage in “rescue operations” and take migrants on-board before delivering them to the Sicilian coast of Italy. This would allow migrants to bypass Malta, which is used as a major processing centre for immigrants and refugees entering the E.U. GEFIRA speculated that the Dutch, Maltese and German based NGOs’ facilitation of human smuggling made them, in effect, operations of international criminal organizations.

Source: GEFIRA

Source: GEFIRA

 

The NGOs tied to boats involved in the operation were Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), Jugend Rettet, Stichting Bootvluchting, Médecins Sans Frontières, Save the Children, Proactiva Open Arms, Sea-Watch.org, Sea-Eye and Life Boat.

  1. Several Organizations Operating Ships in The Fleet Have Ties To George Soros, Hillary Clinton Donors

Information uncovered in an investigation by Disobedient Media has revealed that several of the NGO groups involved with the migrant fleet have received funds from George Soros aligned organizations or financial backers of Hillary Clinton.

The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) was founded in 2014 by entrepreneurs Christopher and Regina Catrambone. MOAS operates the ships the Topaz Responder and the Phoenix in the migrant fleet. Mr. Catrambone was listed as a major donor to Hillary Clinton, giving over $416,000 to her presidential campaign bid in 2016. Another major supporter of MOAS is avaaz.org, who donated €500,000 to MOAS’ “search and rescue operations.” Avaaz.org was founded by Moveon.org, an American organization owned by George Soros. Avaaz.org acts as the European branch for Moveon.org.

NGO group Save the Children operates the Astral in the migrant fleet. Save the Children is supported in part by George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.

Médicins Sans Frontiéres (MSF) also operates several ships in the migrant fleet – the Dignity 1, the Bourbon Argos and the  Aquarius. MSF has also received funding from the Open Society Foundation.

Other organizations running ships in the fleet, such as Sea Eye, have denied to news sources that they were delivering migrants to Italy, despite being caught by GEFIRA doing exactly that.

No matter what good intentions might be behind the decisions of these various NGO groups to operate ships in this fleet, they are likely illegal and are in effect subverting European law. The financial involvement of George Soros and other big name supporters raises questions about the true intentions of various sponsors operating ships within the fleet.

Many of the migrants seeking entry to the E.U. are not refugees and are attempting to enter for purely economic reasons. Even more concerning are recent reports that terror group ISIS has begun to dominate the trafficking networks in North Africa and is actively recruiting members from among the migrant population with promises of small amounts of cash and guaranteed safe passage into the E.U. The involvement of ISIS in human trafficking and recruitment indicates that there is a very real possibility that the NGO groups operating ships within this fleet may be (intentionally or not) aiding and abetting terror by transporting undercover operatives into the EU.

Source*

Related Topics:

On Western Terrorism*

E.U. Foreign Affairs Chief Says aging Europe Needs Migration*

Soros Partners with MasterCard to Profiteer from his Engineered Mass Migration*

Mass Migration as Weapons of War*

Israel is the Organ Harvesting and Human Trafficking Global Ringleader, with Help from U.S. and Turkey*

Israel Helps Refugee Pawns Migration as Weapons of War in Europe*

High Court Denies Trump Request to Immediately Restore Travel Ban*

LA Judge Issues Most Sweeping Order Yet against Trump Immigration Ban

Trump Blocked From Addressing U.K. Parliament for ‘Racism and Sexism’*

U.S. Cop Stops Innocent Woman for Walking, Demands to See her ‘Papers’*

Cop Stops Innocent Woman for Walking, Demands to See her ‘Papers’*

Jews give Muslims Key to their Synagogue after Town’s Mosque Burns Down*

Iran Finally Ditched the Dollar: Here’s Why It Matters*

Jewish Members of Trump Administration Might Explain a Few Things*

Argentina Trumps U.S. on New Immigration Laws*

Nusra Militants Suffer Heavy Death Toll in Clashes with Rival Terrorists in Idlib, Aleppo*

Nusra Militants Suffer Heavy Death Toll in Clashes with Rival Terrorists in Idlib, Aleppo*

The Al-Nusra Front (that has recently renamed to Fatah al-Sham Front) lost 35 members in clashes with three other terrorist groups in Aleppo and Idlib provinces.

Nusra fighters engaged in heavy fighting with Soqour al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham near the town of Ahsam in Idlib to capture the town.

Fierce clashes are reported between Jeish al-Mojaheddeen and Soqour al-Sham with al-Nusra terrorists.

Nusra has reportedly suffered a total number of 35 casualties in the clashes with rival militants in Aleppo and Idlib so far.

In the meantime, reports also said that militants of Jondullah in the town of Sarmada in Idlib joined Ahrar al-Sham to fight against the al-Nusra Front.

In relevant developments in Northern and Northwestern Syrian on Thursday, intense infighting continued among the terrorist groups in Syria with al-Nusra launching heavy attacks on Idlib’s Central Jail in the Western parts of the city.

The al-Nusra Front intensified its attacks against other militants and was attempting to take control of Hayyan town in Northern Aleppo by surrounding Faylaq al-Sham and Jabha al-Shamiya terrorists’ positions in the region.

Meantime, a field commander of al-Nusra Front, namely Taha al-Khatib, along with 5 members of the terrorist group were killed in clashes with Soqour al-Sham militants in Jabal al-Zawiya region in Southern Idlib.

After clashes intensified between the al-Nusra Front and other militants, the terrorist groups of Soqour al-Sham, Jeish al-Islam (in Idlib), Jeish al-Mujahedeen, Istaqam Kama Amart and al-Jabha al-Shamiya (in Western Aleppo) declared unity with Ahrar al-Sham terrorist group, FNA reported.

Source*

Related Topics:

Israel Moves to Restructure Fatah Al-Sham/al Nusra Command in Quneitra*

Video Footage of Syria Aid Convoy Released Shows Convoy Accompanied by Al Nusra Terrorists*

U.S. Working to Block Syrian Liberation of Aleppo from al-Nusra*

Nusra Disintegrate as Hezbollah, Syrian Army Capture Tal Jibbin in Aleppo*

Turkey Caught on Camera Protecting and Aiding Al-Nusra Rebels*

Syrian Government Forces Storm Terrorist Strongholds in Eastern Aleppo, Russian Missile Strikes against ISIS and Al Nusra*

Syrian Army Kills Scores of ISIS and al-Nusra Terrorists in Deir Ez-Zor and Homs*

Trump to Send ISIS Fighters to Guantanamo*