Just one month after conducting joint military exercises, Russia and China are set to sign an agreement which would boost the use of their national currencies in bilateral and international trade in an attempt to mmove away from the current dollar-denominated financial system, according to Russian state-owned news outlet TASS.
It is planned that Russia and China will be developing bilateral payments in national currencies, encourage and expand the use of national currencies, particularly through promotion of their use when signing international trade contracts. According to the draft agreement, the sides will also assume required measures to lift barriers for payments in national currencies. –TASS
The Kremlin released a draft decree on Wednesday outlining “settlements and payments for goods, service and direct investments between economic entities of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China are made in accordance with the international practice and the legislation of the sides’ states with the use of foreign currency, the Russian currency (rubles) and the Chinese currency (yuan).”
According to the draft, Moscow and Beijing will cooperate to develop a national payments system, along with cross-border payments in national and other currencies. …
Oh well. There goes the enlightenment. But it’s for our own safety, you see.
Less than two months after the arrest of journalist Julian Assange, and two weeks after his indictment under the Espionage Act, emboldened governments have sent the police after journalists who’ve challenged the state. Joe Lauria reports.
Following the arrest and Espionage Act indictment of Julian Assange a number of police actions against journalists for publishing classified information and other journalistic activity has heightened fears among mainstream journalists that they could be next.
Police in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday raided the offices of the taxpayer-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation, copying thousands of files related to a 2017 ABC broadcast that revealed allegations of war crimes by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.
Three Australian Federal Police officers and three police technicians entered ABC’s Sydney headquarters with a search warrant that named two ABC investigative journalists and the network’s news director. The police demanded to look through the journalists’ emails, ABC reported.
David Anderson, the ABC managing director, said it was “highly unusual for the national broadcaster to be raided in this way”….
Just vote harder. That’s it. Brute force has always responded to reason.
The USA used to be in the eye of the hurricane. But now that eye is closing and we’re falling under the gaze of the eye in the capstone.
Normal people might think that this has to be some kind of self-limiting process. The bureaucrats who carry out the system’s dictates surely see the effects such tyranny has on their communities and ultimately their own families. But see the movie “The Death of Stalin” to see how such dramas play out at the pinnacles of power. Fear itself becomes the tyrant, and everyone is expendable.
Are western governments actually sovereign? No, the central banks are the sovereigns.
The Australian Federal Police have conducted two raids on journalists and seized documents in purportedly unrelated incidents in the span of just two days.
Yesterday the AFP raided the home of News Corp Australia journalist Annika Smethurst, seeking information related to her investigative report last year which exposed the fact that the Australian government has been discussing the possibility of giving itself unprecedented powers to spy on its own citizens. Today they raided the Sydney headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corp, seizing information related to a 2017 investigative report on possible war crimes committed by Australian forces in Afghanistan.
In a third, also ostensibly unrelated incident, another Australian reporter disclosed yesterday that the Department of Home Affairs has initiated an investigation of his reporting on a story about asylum seeker boats which could lead to an AFP criminal case, saying he’s being pressured to disclose his source….
“Why has AFP suddenly decided to carry out these two raids after the election?” tweeted Australian Sky News political editor David Speers during the Sydney raid. “Did new evidence really just emerge in both the Annika Smethurst and ABC stories?!”
“If these raids unconnected, as AFP reportedly said, it’s an extraordinary coincidence,” tweeted The Conversation chief political correspondent Michelle Grattan. “AFP needs to explain ASAP the timing so long after the stories. It can’t be that inefficient! Must be some explanation – which makes the ‘unconnected’ claim even more odd.”
It is true that the AFP has formally denied that there was any connection between the two raids, and it is in fact difficult to imagine how the two could be connected apart from their sharing a common theme of exposing malfeasance that the government wanted kept secret. If it is true that they are unconnected, then what changed? What in the world could have changed to spark this sudden escalation of the Australian government’s assault on the free press?
Well, if as I suggested recently you don’t think in terms of separate, individual nations, it’s not hard to think of at least one thing that’s changed….
“The criminalization and crack down on national security journalism is spreading like a virus,” WikiLeaks tweeted today in response to the ABC raid. “The Assange precedent is already having effect. Journalists must unite and remember that courage is also contagious.”
“The arrest and espionage charges against Assange was just the beginning, as many in the media, even those who hate Assange, feared,” tweeted Consortium News editor-in-chief Joe Lauria in response to the News Corp raid. “The home of a mainstream Australian journalist was raided Wed. morning by police because of a story she worked on.”
“Shameful news from Australia as the police raid journalists’ offices and homes,” tweeted legendary Australian journalist John Pilger. “One warrant allows them to ‘add, copy, delete or alter’ computer files at the ABC. The assault on Julian Assange was a clear warning to all of us: it was only the beginning.”
If you think about it, it would have been far less disturbing than the alternative if there were a connection between the two raids, because the alternative is vastly more sinister: that the Australian government’s attitude toward the free press has changed. And that it has perhaps done so, as Australia has been doing for decades, in alignment with the behavior of the rest of the US-centralized empire.
In an article for Consortium News titled “After Assange’s Espionage Act Indictment, Police Move Against More Journalists for Publishing Classified Material”, Joe Lauria reminds us that Australia is not the first nation within the western power alliance to see such an escalation since the paradigm-shifting imprisonment of Julian Assange in the UK….
“Police in Paris arrested two journalists who were covering Yellow Vest protests on April 20,” Lauria writes. “One of the journalists, Alexis Kraland, said he was taken into custody after refusing to be searched and to turn his camera over to police at Gare du Nord train station. The largest journalism union in France demanded an explanation from police.”
“And on May 10 in San Francisco, police using sledgehammers to break down the door, raided the home of Bryan Carmody, a freelance journalist, to get him, while handcuffed, to reveal his source who leaked him a police report into the sudden death the city’s elected public defender,” Lauria added. “Police took away computers, cameras, mobile phones and notes.”
So we’re seeing a pattern already. You can choose to ignore it or dismiss it with a pleasant story, or you can acknowledge that we appear to be in the midst of a rapidly escalating shutdown of the free press in the western world.
There does not necessarily have to be any centrally-planned conspiracy behind this trend; it can simply be the natural result of an ailing empire seeing that it’s going to need a lot more war, lies and deception in order to keep from collapsing, and responding accordingly. Once the Assange line was crossed, it could simply have served as a precedent for the other governments within the empire to begin doing things they’d already wanted to do anyway…
Each part starts with the same lead-in, about 1 minute long.