US Officials Pushing for Sanctions on China Over Iranian Oil Imports, Trade Talks Be Damned

Senior administration officials now agree that China defied U.S. sanctions when it imported more than a million barrels of crude oil from Iran last month. But they are grappling with whether — and how — to hit back, according to three U.S. officials. The State Department had considered issuing a waiver allowing Chinese companies to … Continue reading “US Officials Pushing for Sanctions on China Over Iranian Oil Imports, Trade Talks Be Damned”

Podcast: WIll Trump Sanction Turkey?

I start FPF #375 with a huge announcement. Then, I discuss Turkey starting to receive the S-400 air defense system from Russia. Turkey is deploying the system near the Mediterranean Sea. The US has threatened to sanction Turkey for buying the S-400. We are now waiting to see if Trump will follow through on the threat.  … Continue reading “Podcast: WIll Trump Sanction Turkey?”

Empire’s Sanctions Are Now Driving Venezuela Toward Famine

No worries, we’ll just pin the dead children on Communism Warnings of famine are increasing in Venezuela, and U.S. sanctions are responsible for driving the country over the edge: In a new study, Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodriguez at New York brokerage Torino Capital set out evidence that US financial sanctions are associated with a 797,000 b/d drop … Continue reading “Empire’s Sanctions Are Now Driving Venezuela Toward Famine”

Ukraine’s Zelensky Calls Putin to Talk Peace as Electorate Demands, But Will the West and Nationalists Let Him?

Editor’s note: It is noteable that Zelensky did not wait until after the July 21st parliamentary election to make the call, but to the contrary hurried to make it ahead of it. This tells you he is aware that the war-weary public will welcome an effort at a peace settlement rather than punish it. Now … Continue reading “Ukraine’s Zelensky Calls Putin to Talk Peace as Electorate Demands, But Will the West and Nationalists Let Him?”

BRICS Now a Larger Share of World Economy Than G7

As a side note: the BRICS now have a bigger share of the world economy than the Euro area and the U.S. combined: In 2019, BRICS combined GDP will surpass (using PPP-adjusted GDP) that of G7 economies, and in 2020, based on IMF forecasts, it will exceed the combined share of the world GDP for … Continue reading “BRICS Now a Larger Share of World Economy Than G7”

Turkey Announces the Target of Its New Air Defense Missiles and It’s Uncle Sam

Today first parts of the Russian S-400 air defense systems arrived in Turkey. The Russian Ministry of Defense posted a video of the arrival on Facebook. The Turkish Ministry of Defense video showed the unloading of six support vehicles belong to a S-400 set. A complete S-400 set consists of two radars, a command post, … Continue reading “Turkey Announces the Target of Its New Air Defense Missiles and It’s Uncle Sam”

Are ‘Rogue Nation’ Nukes Good for Peace?

Nukes = respect. Good for preventing imperial wars of invasion and ending the worst of the sanctions Surrounded by trigger happy Tonkinesque gunboats and drowning in debt, the Islamic Republic of Iran has made the risky decision to play the last card left in their deck; to defy the P5+1 Deal in order to save … Continue reading “Are ‘Rogue Nation’ Nukes Good for Peace?”

Here Is What Is Really Going on in Hong Kong

Editor’s note: When China wants somebody from Hong Kong badly they’ll just go in and snatch him — so they do not urgently require this law. In the immediate sense the law was sought to allow a confessed murderer to be extradited to Taiwan, not Beijing. It would have been a law allowing extradition (not automatic extadition, … Continue reading “Here Is What Is Really Going on in Hong Kong”

More German Capital Now Flowing Into Russia Than Before Sanctions

Editor’s note: I wouldn’t get carried away with this news. A big net capital outflow is still a big problem for Russia, and German investments on the order of several billion per annum is not an immense number for either the Russian or the German economy. If anything that in 2018 and the first part … Continue reading “More German Capital Now Flowing Into Russia Than Before Sanctions”

Pirate Who Would Be PM Says Will Release Captured Tanker If Iran Pinky Swears It’s Not Headed to Syria

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the Iranian tanker detained by Royal Marines near Gibraltar could be released, if the UK is guaranteed the oil is not bound for Syria. The tanker, seized on 4 July, was suspected of breaking EU sanctions. Iran claimed the seizure was “piracy”. Iranian ships later tried to impede a … Continue reading “Pirate Who Would Be PM Says Will Release Captured Tanker If Iran Pinky Swears It’s Not Headed to Syria”

US Silent as Turkey Begins Taking Delivery of Russian Missiles

To CAATSA or not to CAATSA? After months of angrily condemning Turkey for buying the S-400 missile system from Russia over American alternatives, the Trump Administration broadly refused comment on Friday, as Turkey started taking the delivery of the first missiles in the system. Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper declined comment, but report are suggesting that … Continue reading “US Silent as Turkey Begins Taking Delivery of Russian Missiles”

US Can’t Let S-400 Armed Turkey Have F-35s Because It Would Expose How Easy They Are to Kill

So, Erdogan did stand his ground: Turkey has received the first shipment of S-400 air defense missile system equipment from Moscow, defying pressure from Washington to scrap the arms deal with Russia.The components arrived at the Murted military airfield outside Ankara on Friday, the nation’s Ministry of National Defense said in a short statement. Russia’s Defense … Continue reading “US Can’t Let S-400 Armed Turkey Have F-35s Because It Would Expose How Easy They Are to Kill”

Bill Clinton Lies About His ‘Lolita Express’ Flights — Will He Get Away With It (Again)?

Are we going to believe pilot logs and firsthand eyewitness testimony, or are we going to believe the desperate ramblings of a former president that would do anything to stay out of prison? After everything that he has gotten away with over the last several decades, Bill Clinton probably thought that he was free to … Continue reading “Bill Clinton Lies About His ‘Lolita Express’ Flights — Will He Get Away With It (Again)?”

Russia Has Stopped Accepting Dollars for Its Weapons Exports

Russia has stopped using SWIFT and US dollars in weapon export contracts, Head of Russian Defence Export firm (Rosoboronexport) Aleksandr Mikheev told journalists during Army-2019 forum. He said that Rosoboronexport is now using national currencies instead of US dollars and emplyos a “closed system” of payments. According to Mikheev, in 2019, Russia delivered $6bn worth weapons and equipment and signed $7bn … Continue reading “Russia Has Stopped Accepting Dollars for Its Weapons Exports”

Turkey Has Stockpiled F-16 Parts, Anticipating Sanctions by Its Cuddly NATO Ally

With 245 machines Turkey is one of the largest F-16 operators in the world Turkey, girding for the worst despite encouraging messages from President Donald Trump, has stockpiled crucial spare parts for American-made weapons in case Congress sanctions it over a contentious Russian missile purchase. It’s unclear when the stockpiling decision was first taken, but … Continue reading “Turkey Has Stockpiled F-16 Parts, Anticipating Sanctions by Its Cuddly NATO Ally”

‘Canada Adopts America First Foreign Policy,’ US State Dept Boasted in 2017, With Appointment of FM Chrystia Freeland

The US State Department boasted in a declassified memo in March 2017 that Canada had adopted an “America first” foreign policy. The cable was authored just weeks after the centrist government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Chrystia Freeland as foreign minister. The former editor of the major international news agency Reuters, Freeland has pushed … Continue reading “‘Canada Adopts America First Foreign Policy,’ US State Dept Boasted in 2017, With Appointment of FM Chrystia Freeland”

Poland Gobbles up Gold, Plans to Bring It Home

Poland has added 100 tons of gold to its reserves through the first half of this year and plans to move at least half of its hoard from England to National Bank of Poland vaults in Warsaw. We’ve reported extensively on gold purchases by central banks, particularly China and Russia as those countries seek to diversify … Continue reading “Poland Gobbles up Gold, Plans to Bring It Home”

Iran Won’t Let China’s Petroleum Giant Off The Hook Easy

Start developing it, or return shares to Iran — sounds fair Iran has denied China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) a request to suspend work on Phase 11 of the South Pars gas project, aiming for a clear-cut solution to the Chinese role in the huge gas field, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said over the … Continue reading “Iran Won’t Let China’s Petroleum Giant Off The Hook Easy”

Trump Balked at Selling Taipei F-16s Lest It Ruined China Trade Talks

Aside from modern submarines modern aircraft is what Taipei wants most The U.S. government has approved a potential sale of more than $2.2 billion in M1 Abrams tanks, FIM-92 Stinger short-range surface-to-air missiles, and host of associated equipment, ammunition, and services to Taiwan. But there’s still no official word on whether or not the United States will finally … Continue reading “Trump Balked at Selling Taipei F-16s Lest It Ruined China Trade Talks”

Done Deal: Russian S-400s Begin Arriving in Turkey

Russian and Turkish state sources confirmed Wednesday that deliveries of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems are now underway, with parts for the advanced Russian systems already having arrived in Turkey via transport planes with a team of Russian specialists, reportedly in the eastern Anatolian city of Malatya as well as the capital of Ankara. Russian Presidential … Continue reading “Done Deal: Russian S-400s Begin Arriving in Turkey”

UAE Withdraws From Yemen in Failure and Defeat

Editor’s note: Saudis invaded Yemen from the north, UAE from the southern coast. Saudis made peace with the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood (Al-Islah party) as they were useful against Houthis, but the UAE declined and backed southern Yemeni seperatists instead. The differences between the two invading powers became so large that UAE no longer necessarily regarded … Continue reading “UAE Withdraws From Yemen in Failure and Defeat”

The EU Is a Zombified Japan-Style Economy and Lagarde Is Going to Make It Worse

Monetary policy since the GFC of 2008 has been characterised by the near-zero (and even negative) policy rates, negative bank rates, negative Government debt yields and rampant asset price inflation. The result has been zombification of the advanced economies. Here is the latest advanced estimate of the Eurozone real GDP growth based on the CEPR/Banca … Continue reading “The EU Is a Zombified Japan-Style Economy and Lagarde Is Going to Make It Worse”

Jeffrey Epstein Was an Intelligence Asset — But of What Agency?

I’m not saying you’re ruled by actual lizard-people, but if you were, what would be any different? A couple of years ago, I was interviewing a former senior White House official when the name Jeffrey Epstein came up. Unaware of my personal history with Epstein, this person assured me that the New York financier was no … Continue reading “Jeffrey Epstein Was an Intelligence Asset — But of What Agency?”

Putin Says US Under Obama Was Not Agreement-Capable

Former U.S. President Barack Obama did not keep his promises made while he was in office, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said in an interview with American filmmaker Oliver Stone. The interview appears in a Ukrainian-American director’s documentary scheduled to premiere on Russian state television next week. “You know, Obama is no longer president, but there are … Continue reading “Putin Says US Under Obama Was Not Agreement-Capable”

Iranian Boats Accused of Trying to Seize British Oil Tanker

Editor’s note: The ship wasn’t in Iranian waters and was being escorted by a British warship so it sounds unlikely to me the Iranians would attempt this. After the Brits made a show of having the tanker wait in Saudi waters for two days for the escort warship to arrive it seems the Iranians always … Continue reading “Iranian Boats Accused of Trying to Seize British Oil Tanker”

Arctic LNG Revolution Is Russia’s Answer to US Shale Boom

Last week saw Japan’s Mitsui and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation agree to buy a 10% stake in Novatek’s Arctic LNG (liquefied natural gas) 2 project for an officially undisclosed price, although Russia’s President Vladimir Putin independently stated that the investment would be around US$3 billion. The fact that Putin himself commented on the … Continue reading “Arctic LNG Revolution Is Russia’s Answer to US Shale Boom”

Philippine President Assures the Empire He’s Ready to Fight for the South China Sea — To the Last American

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte dared the US on Monday to send the entire US 7th Fleet into the South China Sea to confront China if it really wants to drive Chinese forces from the disputed waterway. His comments follow another speech, in which he accused the US of “egging on” the Philippines and using his … Continue reading “Philippine President Assures the Empire He’s Ready to Fight for the South China Sea — To the Last American”

Zero New Orders for 737 MAX – Airbus to Overtake Boeing as World’s Biggest Plane Maker

Airbus is on track to overtake Boeing as the world’s biggest planemaker as the US company reported a slump in deliveries of new commercial jet airliner deliveries after two fatal crashes involving the 737 Max. Boeing, which has led its European rival since 2012, is struggling after safety regulators worldwide grounded its best-selling 737 Max following the Ethiopian Airlines and … Continue reading “Zero New Orders for 737 MAX – Airbus to Overtake Boeing as World’s Biggest Plane Maker”

US Agrees Deal With Taliban It Could Have Had in 2001

The Taliban also accept to enter into talks with the US-organized Kabul government on power-sharing: that is something they wouldn’t have accepted in September 2001, but something they could not even dream of when their leaders including Mullah Omar in December 2001 accepted to disband The latest round of talks between the US and the Taliban … Continue reading “US Agrees Deal With Taliban It Could Have Had in 2001”

Russia Approves a Private $10 Billion Europe-China Highway

Part of the planned 8,500 kilometer highway from Shanghai that could have goods in Europe in 11 days as opposed to 80 with a ship Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has approved the construction of a new tolled motorway across Russia designed to significantly shorten cargo routes, local media reported. The project is expected to cost … Continue reading “Russia Approves a Private $10 Billion Europe-China Highway”

No Way Will Epstein Be Allowed to Expose Political Class Pedos

I will be sincerely surprised if the latest effort to put away child sex ring leader Jeffrey Epstein results in outing members of the political class. And even if names are revealed—and quite a few already have—there is simply no way a criminal like Bill Clinton will be charged with raping minors and thrown in … Continue reading “No Way Will Epstein Be Allowed to Expose Political Class Pedos”

US Foreign Policy Is a War on Disobedience

“The US is constantly working to make sure that no other countries surpass it and gain the ability to treat America the way America treats other countries” In an excellent new essay titled “We’re Not the Good Guys — Why Is American Aggression Missing in Action?”, Tom Engelhardt criticizes the way western media outlets consistently … Continue reading “US Foreign Policy Is a War on Disobedience”

Beijing Begins Imagining a WeChat China Cryptocurrency

Facebook’s new Libra project has given China cryptocurrency policy makers a shot in the arm. If Facebook launches a coin to buy and sell things on its platform, how long before one of China’s biggest digital payments operators gets one too? The South China Morning Post reported Monday that the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is looking into … Continue reading “Beijing Begins Imagining a WeChat China Cryptocurrency”

US Steel Down 70 Percent: How Trump Tariffs Ended up Hurting American Steelmakers

President Donald Trump’s tariffs on foreign steel have sped the decline of some of the U.S. mills he vowed to help. Exuberance over the levies dramatically boosted U.S. output just as the global economy was cooling, undercutting demand. That dropped prices, creating a stark divide between companies like Nucor Corp., which use cheaper-to-run electric-arc furnaces … Continue reading “US Steel Down 70 Percent: How Trump Tariffs Ended up Hurting American Steelmakers”

London and Paris to Send Fully 30 Extra Soldiers to Syria After Trump Request

Editor’s note: France and the UK already have troops in Syria so they pay a smaller political price at home for increasing their number; especially since their presence is semi-secret, and the rise will be very marginal amounting to just dozens of soldiers more. This is not what Trump hoped for. In essence Paris and … Continue reading “London and Paris to Send Fully 30 Extra Soldiers to Syria After Trump Request”

Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims

At a May press conference capping his tenure as special counsel, Robert Mueller emphasized what he called “the central allegation” of the two-year Russia probe. The Russian government, Mueller sternly declared, engaged in “multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election, and that allegation deserves the attention of every American.” Mueller’s comments echoed a January … Continue reading “Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims”

Nobody Important Is Shaking Over Epstein. In Fact When He Goes Down and They Don’t It Will Serve to Exonerate Them

‘Lolita Express’ has been public knowledge for years. It there was real will to bag VIPs it would have been done ages ago. They’re already working to take control, assuming they weren’t the ones to restart it in the first place Are we about to see some of the biggest names from Hollywood, Wall Street … Continue reading “Nobody Important Is Shaking Over Epstein. In Fact When He Goes Down and They Don’t It Will Serve to Exonerate Them”

Germany Rejects US Request to Pull Its Chestnuts From Syria Fire as Soon as It Is Made

Editor’s note: Foolish of Trump to ever think this could go through, and doubly foolish to make the request public. Now he just has egg on his face. At most Berlin was thinking of offering some kind of air patrol — which is extremely troubling in the sense that Berlin is willing to thread on Syria’s sovereignty … Continue reading “Germany Rejects US Request to Pull Its Chestnuts From Syria Fire as Soon as It Is Made”

US Has Been Evicted From 64 of Afghanistan’s 398 District Centers

Editor’s note: Guerrillas aren’t supposed to be able to hold territory, particularly not valuable, urban territory but here we are. Before things became so bad that the US stopped reporting the extent of Afghanistan actually under the control of the US and its local clients, the figure was that one half of the country was … Continue reading “US Has Been Evicted From 64 of Afghanistan’s 398 District Centers”

South China Sea Missile Test a Reminder That China Rules the Waves — With Ballistic Missiles

China has reportedly carried out at least one anti-ship ballistic missile test in the hotly contested South China Sea as part of a larger exercise. If true, it would be the first time the Chinese military has carried out this kind of activity in this region that we know of and it would represent a significant escalation in that … Continue reading “South China Sea Missile Test a Reminder That China Rules the Waves — With Ballistic Missiles”

US Blocks the UN From Condemning Libya Bombing by Haftar’s Forces Which Killed 44

Out with the phony government shipped in by foreigners, in with the ex-CIA asset sold to Trump by the Muslim Brotherhood-hating Saudis The decision could prove damaging for the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj – as well as for the UN’s influence and human rights in war-torn Libya. Washington’s move … Continue reading “US Blocks the UN From Condemning Libya Bombing by Haftar’s Forces Which Killed 44”

US Calls for German Ground Troops in Syria to Help Maintain Partition

US wants Germany in so they can get mostly out so Trump can sorta kinda keep the promise of getting out. Also that way Berlin gets the heat from Turkey for protecting Kurds from Erdogan instead of Washington, while eastern Syria continues to be denied to Damascus US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey … Continue reading “US Calls for German Ground Troops in Syria to Help Maintain Partition”

New European Commission President Is a Euro Neocon

The “Americanization,” meaning the trivialization of European politics, is proceeding apace, as we saw yesterday when Council President Donald Tusk announced the nominations to the four highest positions in the European Institutions agreed by the 28 heads of state meeting in Summit.  Tusk directed attention to one feature relating to the nominees for Council President, … Continue reading “New European Commission President Is a Euro Neocon”

US Upgrades Ukrainian Ports to Fit American Warships

As tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine on the Black Sea, the US is upgrading several Ukrainian naval bases to give American and NATO warships the ability to dock just miles from Russia-controlled Crimea.  Centered at the Ochakiv Naval Base and the military facility at Mykolaiv — 40 miles east of Odessa and less than 100 … Continue reading “US Upgrades Ukrainian Ports to Fit American Warships”

Adviser to the Supreme Leader Urges Iran to Seize a British Ship in the Hormuz

Mohsen Rezaei is ex-IRGC and head of the Expediency Discernment Council which makes him one of the chief advisers to the Supreme Leader Iran should seize a British oil tanker if an Iranian tanker detained off Gibraltar earlier this week is not released immediately, two influential Iranian figures said in tweets on Friday. British Royal … Continue reading “Adviser to the Supreme Leader Urges Iran to Seize a British Ship in the Hormuz”

China Trembling With Fear After Jeremy Hunt Threatens Sanctions by an Obscure Island Known for Bad Weather and Vindaloo

UK to sanction…China British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has refused to rule out sanctions on China, as he is keeping his “options open” over how the United Kingdom could respond to developments in Hong Kong. In an interview with the BBC on Thursday (Jul 4), Hunt also repeated a warning he made on Tuesday, saying there would be “consequences” … Continue reading “China Trembling With Fear After Jeremy Hunt Threatens Sanctions by an Obscure Island Known for Bad Weather and Vindaloo”