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Germany Prepares for Trade Conflict with TrumpChina isn't the only nation with a big fat trade surplus with the United S...
Ballooning Surplus: Germany Prepares for Trade Conflict with Trump - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Germany Prepares for Trade Conflict with Trump

China isn't the only nation with a big fat trade surplus with the United States ... Germany's current account surplus has never been as high as this year and never before has that surplus represented such a significant share of the country's gross domestic product. Making matters worse is the fact that the US is the largest consumer of German exports.

As high as it is, though, the current surplus is likely to continue growing. The recent fall in the euro's value relative to the dollar following Trump's election makes German products and services even more competitive. And many economists believe that the value of the dollar will continue to climb, which means that the value of the euro against the dollar will shrink correspondingly. Their predictions are based on recent indications that Trump's announced economic stimulus policies will push up both America's sovereign debt load and its interest rates.

Germany's current account surplus is higher than ever before and the country is concerned that it could become a target of US president-elect Donald Trump's ire as a result. Berlin is already making preparations for the possible conflict.

If you are British, 48 government  agencies now have complete and legal real-time access to your entire Internet browsin...
Snooper’s Charter Passes into Law — What it Means (Financial Times, U.K.)

If you are British, 48 government agencies now have complete and legal real-time access to your entire Internet browsing history. Thanks to passage of what has come to be known as the "Snooper's Charter," government agencies can, with little or no fanfare, see precisely what sites you visit, what you purchase, what your interests are and what your curiosities are.

Is this the life of a "free people"?

These are the government agencies that can monitor the online behavior of all British citizens:

Metropolitan police force
City of London police force
Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
Police Service of Scotland
Police Service of Northern Ireland
British Transport Police
Ministry of Defence Police
Royal Navy Police
Royal Military Police
Royal Air Force Police
Security Service
Secret Intelligence Service
Ministry of Defence
Department of Health
Home Office
Ministry of Justice
National Crime Agency
HM Revenue & Customs
Department for Transport
Department for Work and Pensions
NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services
Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
Competition and Markets Authority
Criminal Cases Review Commission
Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland
Department of Justice in Northern Ireland
Financial Conduct Authority
Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
Food Standards Agency
Food Standards Scotland
Gambling Commission
Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
Health and Safety Executive
Independent Police Complaints Commissioner
Information Commissioner
NHS Business Services Authority
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board
Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation
Office of Communications
Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
Scottish Ambulance Service Board
Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
Serious Fraud Office
Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust

Surveillance powers include ability to hack into the emails of ordinary citizens

The obsession on the part of the CIA and their exile allies only had a modern equivalent in the hunt for Osama bin Laden...
Close but No Cigar: How America Tried and Failed to Kill Fidel Castro (The Guardian, U.K.)

The obsession on the part of the CIA and their exile allies only had a modern equivalent in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. As Wayne Smith, the former head of the US interests section in Havana, said a few years ago: “Cuba seems to have the same effect on American administrations that a full moon has on a werewolf. We may not sprout hair and howl but we behave in the same way.”

While the assassination attempts started under the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower and continued under John F Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, there were more – 184, to be precise – during Richard Nixon’s tenure than at any other time; many attempts were without the knowledge of the administrations but planned by Cuban exiles, often with CIA assistance.

The plotting began almost immediately after the 1959 revolution. In 1961, when Cuban exiles, with the backing of the US government tried to overthrow him in the Bay of Pigs debacle, the plan was to assassinate Fidel and Raúl Castro along with Che Guevara. At times it seemed as though the US security services were more interested in bumping off the Cuban head of state than protecting their own: on the very day that Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, an agent, who had been given a pen-syringe in Paris, was dispatched on a mission to assassinate Castro.

Plots seemingly straight from a James Bond novel include that of the famous exploding cigar, which was supposedly to have been given to Castro when he visited the UN in New York. Another idea was to contaminate a cigar with botulinum toxin but it never actually reached him and he quit smoking in 1985.
One former lover was recruited as a hitwoman and given poison pills by the CIA, which she hid in her cold-cream jar. The pills melted and the woman decided that the chances of forcing them into Castro’s mouth while he slept were limited. According to her, Castro guessed her intentions and chivalrously offered her his own pistol so she could finish the job. “I can’t do it, Fidel,” she told him.

From poison pills to exploding molluscs, the CIA and its allies tried everything to take out the Cuban leader

Head to Head - Who is to blame for the rise of ISIL?

Just once - would I like to see one of our mainstream journalist BS artists ask General Michael Flynn about classified documents released under the Freedom of Information Act that outline how in 2012 - the US and its Gulf allies helped create an "Islamic Caliphate in Eastern Syria" to keep Iran and Bashar al-Assad at bay. In this interview with Al-Jazeera, Flynn confirms all this. How its possible we could have passed through an entire presidential campaign without a single person asking Flynn a single question about this? About how the Only united States has in the past and continues today apparently - to fund terrorists as an arm of its foreign policy. Shameful!

Mehdi Hasan goes Head to Head with Michael T. Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, on how to deal with ISIL and Iran. Flynn was the form...

OK - here we go: The EU is in crisis over what to do about Trump's election victory. Notably - the first signs of the sp...
Britain and France Snub EU’s Emergency Trump Meeting -

OK - here we go: The EU is in crisis over what to do about Trump's election victory. Notably - the first signs of the split come between the EU's two leading military powers - France and the soon-to-be-leaving British, and its two leading policy-making centers - Brussels and Berlin. Here's the latest round-up on the shifting sands of trans-Atlantic ties. Watch the "souring ties" between (soon-to-be-cozy-with-Trump) UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier:

"Mr Johnson’s refusal to attend will add to an already difficult relationship with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who has told colleagues that he cannot bear to be in the same room as the British foreign secretary."

Split highlights difficulty EU faces coordinating response to US presidential election.

By Duncan Robinson in Brussels -
Britain and France on Sunday night snubbed a contentious EU emergency meeting to align the bloc’s approach to Donald Trump’s election, exposing rifts in Europe over the US vote.

Hailed by diplomats as a chance to “send a signal of what the EU expects” from Mr Trump, the plan fell into disarray after foreign ministers from the bloc’s two main military powers declined to attend the gathering demanded by Berlin and Brussels.

The meeting comes as Mr Trump appointed his key deputies. The president-elect chose the more moderate establishment figure Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, to be his chief-of-staff over campaign chairman Stephen Bannon, who becomes chief strategist and counselor. Mr Priebus’s appointment suggests Mr Trump is sweeping aside some of his campaign rhetoric to opt for a more traditional path.

The split in Europe highlights the difficulties European capitals face in coordinating a response to Mr Trump, who has questioned the US’s commitments to NATO and free trade and hinted at seeking a rapprochement with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Mr Trump at the weekend met Nigel Farage, the populist Brexit campaigner who has become the first foreign politician to meet the future US president. Carl Bildt, the former Swedish prime minister, tweeted: “If Trump wanted to look statesmanlike to Europe, receiving Farage was probably the worst thing he could [do].”

British foreign secretary Boris Johnson dropped out of the Brussels meeting, with officials arguing that it created an air of panic, while French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault opted to stay in Paris to meet the new UN secretary-general. Hungary’s foreign minister boycotted the meeting, labelling the response from some EU leaders as “hysterical”.

A combination of Mr Trump’s election and Britain’s vote to leave the EU had triggered calls for a total overhaul of the EU’s foreign and defense policy, with Berlin and Paris demanding greater integration. “If the US disengages from Europe, we need to look after our own security,” said one EU diplomat.

Ministers will discuss plans such as bolstering the EU’s ambition to mount joint operations during a scheduled meeting on Monday, which Mr Johnson and Mr Ayrault will attend.

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg at the weekend warned both the US and its European partners against “going it alone” on defense matters.

Paris and Berlin had been co-ordinating their response to Mr Trump’s election, while London has jockeyed to maintain its position as the US’s main European ally. The French president and German chancellor spoke before releasing two separate, guarded welcomes to the president-elect last week.

Mr Johnson’s refusal to attend will add to an already difficult relationship with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who has told colleagues that he cannot bear to be in the same room as the British foreign secretary.

Split highlights difficulty EU faces co-ordinating response to US presidential election

Many people, including myself, have called on the United States to restrain its tendency to move closer to Russia's bord...
Trump-Putin alliance sparks diplomatic crisis as British ministers demand assurances from US over Russia

Many people, including myself, have called on the United States to restrain its tendency to move closer to Russia's borders with NATO military forces rather than something more benign. For many years the United States has appeared reluctant to allow Russia and the rest of Europe to become closer allies since that has been perceived by Cold Warriors and neocons as a zero sum game. Well - now perhaps it isn't.

The turmoil over a reorganization that has the capacity to change the dynamic between Russia, The United States and Europe has begun and it now seems clear - If Europe wants to keep America engaged with NATO - it will have to pay its allotted share and play by Trump's rules on Russia and Syria.

Of course, one cannot ignore the possibility - and it is real - that Russian espionage, if it was responsible for handing WikiLeaks the DNC and Podesta files - helped engineered Trump's victory.

His supporters may not mind - but if true - the ramification are deep and wide. Telegraph column on this below:

-- William Kern

By Steven Swinford, deputy political editor Ben Riley-Smith, assistant political editor

Britain is facing a diplomatic crisis with the US over Donald Trump’s plans to forge an alliance with Vladimir Putin and bolster the Syrian regime.

In a significant foreign policy split, officials admitted that Britain will have some “very difficult” conversations with the President-elect in coming months over his approach to Russia.

It comes after Mr Trump used his first interviews since winning the US election to indicate that he will withdraw support for rebels in Syria and thank Vladimir Putin for sending him a “beautiful” letter.

Mr Trump said that he will instead join forces with Russia and focus on defeating Isil. He has previously said it would be “nice” if the US and Russia could work together to “knock the hell out of Isil”.

His views are in stark contrast with those of Theresa May, who has accused President Assad’s regime of perpetrating “atrocious violence” and said that the long-term future of Syria must be “without Assad”.

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has accused Russia of perpetrating war crimes over the deaths of hundreds of civilians.

The dramatic shift in US policy has prompted significant concern in the Foreign Office, and Britain will use the next three months before Mr Trump enters the White House to try to convince him of the importance of removing President Assad.

Mr Johnson is expected to fly to the US within weeks to meet with senior figures in Mr Trump’s administration and make clear that Britain believes that Mr Assad must go.

The diplomatic tensions emerged as a flotilla of Russian warships which passed through the English Channel has now arrived off the coast of Syria ahead of a major offensive against Isil.

In other developments:

Sir Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, warned that European members of Nato have become “too dependent” on the support of the US after Mr Trump accused them of failing to pull their weight.
Mrs May will on Monday highlight the importance of globalisation to international security in an ever-changing World. She will also compare the US election to Brexit and say that that the West must recognise the concerns of people who have “seen their communities changed" by migration.

Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, met with members of Donald Trump's inner circle at Trump Tower in New York after saying Theresa May must "mend fences" with the President Elect.

Marie Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right Front National, praised President Putin for “defending the interests of his own country” as she criticised US and European aggression towards Russia.

Mr Johnson boycotted a “crisis” meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels to discuss how Europe will deal with the aftermath of the US election.

Mr Trump said on Twitter yesterday: "This will prove to be a great time in the lives of all Americans. We will unite and we will win, win, win!"

In his first interview Mr Trump told the Wall Street Journal that his administration will prioritise defeating Isil in Syria rather than removing President Assad.

He told the Wall Street Journal: "I've had an opposite view of many people regarding Syria. My attitude was you're fighting Syria, Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS.

“Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria. Now we're backing rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who these people are."

He added that if the US attacks President Assad’s regime “we end up fighting Russia”.

The Sunday Telegraph understands that Britain will spend the next two months trying to convince Mr Trump's team of the need to remove President Assad. The issue will be the “number one” priority.

The Government had hoped that Mr Trump would be prepared to soften his stance on the issue after winning the election, as he has with several other flagship plans including his pledge to repeal Obamacare. However his interview signalled that he will pursue the alliance with Russia.

Foreign Office officials believe that it will be “incredibly difficult” but emphasised that Britain will not change its position.

“We have been very clear that Assad has no place in the future of Syria,” the official said. “He has the blood of 400,000 people on his hands.”

Another Foreign Office source said that there is hope that Mr Trump will be forced to change his position when he deals with Mr Putin directly.

“There is no doubt that he looks upon Putin as a person who he thinks he can do business with,” the source said. “When he discovers that Putin is not a rational or reasonable guy he might change his mind. This will take time to settle down.”

It came as Vladimir Putin urged Donald Trump to encourage Nato to withdraw its forces from Russia's borders as part of a bid to improve relations.

Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin's official spokesman, said in an interview with The Associated Press that Russia now sees "NATO's muscles getting bigger and bigger and closer and closer to Russian borders." He said that as a "confidence-building measure" between the US and Russia Mr Trump could help relations between the US and Russia by "slowing down" or "withdrawing" Nato's military presence entirely from its borders.

There are also mounting concerns over the future of Nato after Mr Trump suggested that the US may withdraw support from the organisation because European members are failing to “pay their bills”.

Britain is facing a diplomatic crisis with the US over Donald Trump’


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