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Surly Newz / The staggering scale of China's Belt and Road initiative
« Last post by Surly1 on Today at 05:20:06 AM »
The staggering scale of China's Belt and Road initiative

Upwards of 40 world leaders will join Xi Jinping in Beijing for the second international gathering on his Belt and Road Initiative, a plan to build a massive network of ports, roads and railways across some 65 countries. When you can get that many powerful people to come to you in Beijing, you're starting to look a lot like a superpower.

China is embarking on the largest infrastructure project in history, spanning four continents and attempting to link the old Silk Road to Europe — and back to China.

Why it matters: China is increasingly asserting its economic power, and seeking to bolster its global influence. It is undertaking this project at a time when the U.S. can't pass a domestic infrastructure project, and is taking a step back from the world.



By the numbers

$1 trillion or more is the expected price tag, the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos reports. That's seven times as costly as the Marshall Plan, on which the U.S. spent $130 billion to rebuild Europe after World War II.
70 countries will be involved in the initiative, Chinese news outlet Xinhua reports.
At least 36 planned or existing ports outside of China are involved.
$786 billion in trade took place between China and Belt and Road partners in the first three quarters of 2017, a 15% increase from 2016.
In Pakistan: China is partnering with Pakistan to build $60 billion worth of infrastructure as part of the initiative, CNBC reports.
In Thailand: The Chinese partnership with Thailand is expected to yield a 542-mile railroad, carrying high-speed trains that’ll move at up to 150 miles per hour, per CNBC.
In Malaysia: One Belt, One Road will spend about $40 billion on four railroad projects, per Xinhua.
The rise: The U.S. controls 24% of the global economy and China 15%, compared to 31% and 4% respectively in 2000.

https://www.axios.com/staggering-scale-china-infrastructure-142f3b1d-82b5-47b8-8ca9-57beb306f7df.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosam&stream=top
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Golden Oxen Newz / Re: Golden Oxen's Newz Channel
« Last post by Eddie on Today at 05:18:34 AM »
Well done.
3
Democratic presidential hopeful insists he is ‘100 percent pro-Israel’ at town hall event; says if elected he would be more sympathetic to Palestinian concerns

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders excoriated the Netanyahu government as “racist” Monday night as he participated in a CNN town hall event with Democratic voters.

Without discussing specific details, the 2020 presidential hopeful called for a change in America’s policy toward Israel, describing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach toward the Palestinians as “oppressive,” and said that his administration, should he be elected, would be more sympathetic to Palestinian concerns.

“What I believe is not radical,” Sanders said. “I just believe that the United States should deal with the Middle East on a level playing field basis. In other words, the goal must be to try to bring people together and not just support one country, which is now run by a right-wing — dare I say — racist government.”

Sanders has been a fierce critic of Netanyahu. In the run-up to Israel’s election earlier this month, he castigated the Israeli premier for supporting a deal to allow the extremist Otzma Yehudit party to join his coalition and for his promises to annex West Bank settlements.

He told NBC News: “I’m not a great fan of his, and, frankly, I hope he loses his election.”

The self-declared democratic socialist has also in the past criticized Netanyahu’s 2015 election-eve warning that Arabs were “voting in droves.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a celebratory Likud event in Jerusalem, April 16, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Asked on Monday night how he would navigate the US-Israel relationship given his history of sharp criticism against Netanyahu, Sanders said that his views on the prime minister did not reflect his feelings toward the Jewish state.

“I spent a number of months in Israel. I worked on a kibbutz for a while. I have family in Israel. I am not anti-Israel,” Sanders said. “But the fact of the matter is that Netanyahu is a right-wing politician who I think is treating the Palestinian people extremely unfairly.”

That line was met with loud applause by the audience of mostly college students at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The event was a rare five-hour town hall with back-to-back hourlong segments with five Democratic presidential candidates: Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, California Senator Kamala Harris, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sanders.

The 77-year-old lawmaker insisted that he was “pro-Israel” but that as president he would take a vastly different approach to the intractable conflict than the current administration.

US President Donald Trump is known for his close relationship with Netanyahu, and for giving Israel several diplomatic gifts: moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, cutting aid to the Palestinians, and recognizing the Golan Heights as sovereign Israel. Since the US announced the embassy relocation and the aid cuts, Palestinian Authority officials have written off the administration and have refused to engage with Washington.

“I am 100 percent pro-Israel,” Sanders said. “Israel has every right to exist, and to exist in peace and security and not be subjected to terrorist attacks. But the United States needs to deal with not just Israel, but with the Palestinian people as well.”

https://www.timesofisrael.com/bernie-sanders-israel-now-run-by-netanyahus-racist-government/

   

So, we're at this juncture in history, that is so fucking weird, that only a Jew can criticize Israel and get away with it. The question is, "Is Bernie Jewish enough to have the cred to do it and not get flamed?"

I doubt it. Not because he's wrong...but because he's right, but the US con-gress is bought and paid for by Israel, and if you thought Russia meddled in elections, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. And the average American loves Israel, because Jesus.
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Golden Oxen Newz / Re: Golden Oxen's Newz Channel - Surly's Back!!
« Last post by Golden Oxen on Today at 05:17:31 AM »
 :emthup: :emthup: :emthup:
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FBI Received Reports That Border Militia Was Training to Assassinate Prominent Democrats

Larry Hopkins, the leader of an extremist militia group known as the United Constitutional Patriots was arrested by the FBI last weekend after videos emerged of the group rounding up and detaining migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico.

According to the New York Times, the FBI first became aware of Hopkins activities in 2017, when they received reports that his group was “training to assassinate George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama because of these individuals’ support of Antifa,” according to newly unsealed court documents.

“My client told me that is not true,” Hopkins lawyer Kelly O’Connell said of the assassination claims.

Hopkins, it turns out, is not just a militia leader, but a career criminal and conspiracy theorist. The Times runs down some of Hopkins long list of offenses, which includes felony possession of a loaded firearm in 1996, impersonating a police officer in 2006, and failure to pay child support in 2009.

“Hopkins stated that he worked for the federal government directly under George Bush,” Officer Jack Daniel of Klamath County, OR wrote in a report when he encountered Hopkins in 2006. At the time, Hopkins was showing guns to teenagers in a gas station parking lot, wearing a uniform that made him look like a police officer and a badge that said “Special Agent.”

“Mr. Hopkins, the report said, claimed variously to be investigating a meth lab, hunting fugitives and undertaking unspecified ‘operations’ in Afghanistan,” the Times writes.

When the FBI arrested Hopkins last weekend, it was on charges of possession of firearms and ammunition as a felon. But the agency first learned of his stash of guns over a year and a half ago.

From the Times:

In an affidavit, David S. Gabriel, an F.B.I. special agent, said the bureau was made aware of the activities of Mr. Hopkins after receiving reports in October 2017 of “alleged militia extremist activity” in northwestern New Mexico.

Mr. Gabriel said that the following month, two F.B.I. agents went to a trailer park in Flora Vista, N.M., where Mr. Hopkins was living at the time. With Mr. Hopkins’s consent, the agents entered the home and saw about 10 firearms in plain view, in what Mr. Hopkins referred to as his office.

Mr. Hopkins, who has also used the name Johnny Horton Jr., told the agents that the guns belonged to Fay Sanders Murphy, whom he described to agents as his common-law wife, according to the affidavit. The agents collected at least nine firearms from the home as evidence, including a 12-gauge shotgun and various handguns.
It’s not clear why the FBI agents didn’t arrest Hopkins at the time, but instead waited till last week, when videos of his militia’s actions surfaced online.

O’Connell says Hopkins plans to plead not guilty to the charges of possessing firearms, and questioned why he was arrested at this time, suggesting that pressure from New Mexico Democrats might be a factor. O’Connell himself was a conservative talk show host until 2017.

“I’m not a militia specialist,” O’Connell told the Times. “They believe they are helping to enforce the laws of America on immigration.”

The UCP plans to remain in their encampment along the border in Sunland Park, NM, despite their leader’s arrest.

“We’re not leaving,” UCP spokesman Jim Benvie told the Times.

But rail transportation company Union Pacific says the group has trespassed on their land.

“They have trespassed on our property to access this camp,” a Union Pacific spokesman, Tim McMahan, told the Times. “While we cannot make them move their camp, we have asked them to not trespass on our property.”
6
Democratic presidential hopeful insists he is ‘100 percent pro-Israel’ at town hall event; says if elected he would be more sympathetic to Palestinian concerns

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders excoriated the Netanyahu government as “racist” Monday night as he participated in a CNN town hall event with Democratic voters.

Without discussing specific details, the 2020 presidential hopeful called for a change in America’s policy toward Israel, describing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach toward the Palestinians as “oppressive,” and said that his administration, should he be elected, would be more sympathetic to Palestinian concerns.

“What I believe is not radical,” Sanders said. “I just believe that the United States should deal with the Middle East on a level playing field basis. In other words, the goal must be to try to bring people together and not just support one country, which is now run by a right-wing — dare I say — racist government.”

Sanders has been a fierce critic of Netanyahu. In the run-up to Israel’s election earlier this month, he castigated the Israeli premier for supporting a deal to allow the extremist Otzma Yehudit party to join his coalition and for his promises to annex West Bank settlements.

He told NBC News: “I’m not a great fan of his, and, frankly, I hope he loses his election.”

The self-declared democratic socialist has also in the past criticized Netanyahu’s 2015 election-eve warning that Arabs were “voting in droves.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a celebratory Likud event in Jerusalem, April 16, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Asked on Monday night how he would navigate the US-Israel relationship given his history of sharp criticism against Netanyahu, Sanders said that his views on the prime minister did not reflect his feelings toward the Jewish state.

“I spent a number of months in Israel. I worked on a kibbutz for a while. I have family in Israel. I am not anti-Israel,” Sanders said. “But the fact of the matter is that Netanyahu is a right-wing politician who I think is treating the Palestinian people extremely unfairly.”

That line was met with loud applause by the audience of mostly college students at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The event was a rare five-hour town hall with back-to-back hourlong segments with five Democratic presidential candidates: Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, California Senator Kamala Harris, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sanders.

The 77-year-old lawmaker insisted that he was “pro-Israel” but that as president he would take a vastly different approach to the intractable conflict than the current administration.

US President Donald Trump is known for his close relationship with Netanyahu, and for giving Israel several diplomatic gifts: moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, cutting aid to the Palestinians, and recognizing the Golan Heights as sovereign Israel. Since the US announced the embassy relocation and the aid cuts, Palestinian Authority officials have written off the administration and have refused to engage with Washington.

“I am 100 percent pro-Israel,” Sanders said. “Israel has every right to exist, and to exist in peace and security and not be subjected to terrorist attacks. But the United States needs to deal with not just Israel, but with the Palestinian people as well.”

https://www.timesofisrael.com/bernie-sanders-israel-now-run-by-netanyahus-racist-government/

   
7
Marking your tires with chalk is trespassing, not law enforcement, the federal appeals panel said in a Michigan case.

That parking officer who swipes a chalk mark on your tire to keep track of how long you've been parked is violating the Constitution, a federal appeals court panel found Monday.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati reinstated a 2017 case brought by Alison Taylor, who was issued 15 parking tickets in three years in Saginaw, Michigan, by the same parking enforcement officer, who's described in the suit as the city's "most prolific issuer of parking tickets."

Taylor argued that marking tires with chalk constituted an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. But a U.S. district judge in Michigan dismissed the suit in 2017, writing that even if chalking a tire is a search, it's a reasonable one, because a piece of chalk isn't an "information-gathering device" that could violate Taylor's privacy, like a GPS tracker, for example.

Two of the three members of the appeals panel on Monday agreed that chalking a tire is a search. But they disagreed that it was a reasonable search.

U.S. Circuit Judge Bernice Bouie Donald wrote that when drivers pull into parking spaces, "the city commences its search on vehicles that are parked legally, without probable cause or even so much as 'individualized suspicion of wrongdoing' — the touchstone of the reasonableness standard."

Moreover, overstaying your welcome at a parking space doesn't cause "injury or ongoing harm to the community," she wrote, meaning the city is wrong to argue that parking enforcement is part of its "community caretaking" responsibility, potentially justifying a search without a warrant.

In fact, she wrote, "there has been a trespass in this case because the City made intentional physical contact with Taylor's vehicle."

While Saginaw is entitled to regulate public parking, "the manner in which it chooses to do so is not without constitutional limitation," Donald wrote.

Orin Kerr, a law professor at the University of Southern California, tweeted one suggestion: Take a picture of the car or its tires without "trespassing" on it with chalk.

Monday's ruling sends the lawsuit back to U.S. District Court in Bay City, Michigan.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/chalking-tires-enforce-parking-rules-unconstitutional-court-finds-n997326
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Exclusive: US warns it will reject measure over language on sexual health in latest example of hardline abortion stance

The US is threatening to veto a United Nations resolution on combatting the use of rape as a weapon of war because of its language on reproductive and sexual health, according to a senior UN official and European diplomats.

The German mission hopes the resolution will be adopted at a special UN security council session on Tuesday on sexual violence in conflict.

But the draft resolution has already been stripped of one of its most important elements, the establishment of a formal mechanism to monitor and report atrocities, because of opposition from the US, Russia and China, which opposed creating a new monitoring body.

Even after the formal monitoring mechanism was stripped from the resolution, the US was still threatening to veto the watered-down version, because it includes language on victims’ support from family planning clinics. In recent months, the Trump administration has taken a hard line, refusing to agree to any UN documents that refer to sexual or reproductive health, on grounds that such language implies support for abortions. It has also opposed the use of the word “gender”, seeing it as a cover for liberal promotion of transgender rights.

“We are not even sure whether we are having the resolution tomorrow, because of the threats of a veto from the US,” Pramila Patten, the UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict, told the Guardian.

In cases of disagreement in the security council, member states often fall back on previously agreed text, but the US has made it clear it would no longer accept language from a 2013 resolution on sexual violence.

“They are threatening to use their veto over this agreed language on comprehensive healthcare services including sexual and reproductive health. The language is being maintained for the time being and we’ll see over the next 24 hours how the situation evolves,” Patten said.

“It will be a huge contradiction that you are talking about a survivor-centered approach and you do not have language on sexual and reproductive healthcare services, which is for me the most critical.”

In a draft of the resolution seen by the Guardian, the contentious phrase is only mentioned once, in a clause that “urges United Nations entities and donors to provide non-discriminatory and comprehensive health services, including sexual and reproductive health, psychosocial, legal and livelihood support and other multi-sectoral services for survivors of sexual violence, taking into account the specific needs of persons with disabilities.”

A spokeswoman for the US mission said it “does not comment on draft resolutions that are under active negotiation”.

European states, led by Germany, the UK and France, have been resisting abandoning the language on access to family planning and women’s health clinics, as they believe it would mean surrendering the gains of recent decades in terms of international recognition of women’s rights.

“If we let the Americans do this and take out this language, it will be watered down for a long time,” a European diplomat, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, said. “It is, at its heart, an attack on the progressive normative framework established over the past 25 years.”

“Until the Trump administration, we could always count on the Americans to help us defend it. Now the Americans have switched camp,” the diplomat said. “Now it’s an unholy alliance of the US, the Russians, the Holy See, the Saudis and the Bahrainis, chipping away at the progress that has been made.”

Diplomats at the security council expect a long night of negotiations on the wording.

The latest version of the draft resolution recognises the work of the informal expert group on women, peace and security, but Patten had argued that the current system does not provide a consistent channel to bring violations on sexual violence to the attention of the security council.

A formal mechanism, with a panel regularly assessing compliance and recommending sanctions, would have given her more leverage on states and non-state groups.

“In the current draft as it stands, the formal mechanism is gone,” she said. “It’s very, very weak.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/22/us-un-resolution-rape-weapon-of-war-veto
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Knarfs Knewz / Exticntion Rebellion : Day 6 & 7 – A New Phase Begins
« Last post by knarf on Today at 04:23:59 AM »


Days 6 and 7 of International Rebellion (Sat 20 – Sun 21 Apr)

As spring now spreads its (record-breaking) warmth across the global north, London’s International Rebellion is entering a new phase of its own. After leaving four of five locations in good order, rebels will meet at Marble Arch on Monday to decide where they go next.

Being Easter, it’s a time for renewal and rebirth. The past few days have brought their share of sadness, as we’ve left behind spaces so lovingly cultivated and so bravely defended, each with its own story and style: the serene Parliament Square, the giddy Piccadilly, the joyous Oxford Circus and, the flourishing garden bridge. These spaces were amazing creations – but let us not forget: we came here to transform not London, but the world.

‘Phase One’ has been a huge success. Holding the locations brought enormous attention to our cause: from press to politicians to punters. As all of these examples show, we’ve succeeded in getting our message across – even to our critics.

This success can be expressed in numbers: at the most conservative estimate we’ve welcomed 30,000 new members, and have received almost £300,000 in crowdfunding, the great majority of donations being around of £10. And if it’s a metric you’re into, we’ve had almost 1,000 brave people arrested.

But our deeper success is something past the quantitative: the innumerable moments of love, empowerment and belonging fostered in and between our lovely London spaces; car-streaked streets converted to oases of calm; friendships made and strengthened in a common struggle; and the international solidarity brought about by acting in unison with brothers and sisters all over the planet.

And that’s just Phase One.

Where we go with Phase Two is up to us. A proposal has been circulated for entering a “negotiations” phase. Despite being presented otherwise in the media, this idea remains only a proposal – and is entirely subject to the feedback and consideration of the countless members who’ve done so much to get us to where we are now. The primary forum for this feedback will be a people’s assembly held on Monday between 3pm and 5pm at Marble Arch. There will be food after this. If you’d like to understand more about how the decision process looks as things stand, please watch this short video.

As XR UK begins a moment of reflection (however long or short!), rebellions across the world continue to thrive. To give just a taste: we’ve seen a disco in Denver, glue-ons in Chicago, the exciting arrival of XR Pakistan and XR Austria, and outreach events in Uganda and Ghana. Like in London, XR Australia has also made space to take stock, and XR New Zealand remains as subversively/submersively creative as ever.

Before any other news, we would first like to pay our sincere condolences and respects to the family and friends of Polly Higgins, who recently passed away. Our cause is her cause. She remains an inspiration to us all.

very long with pictures from around the world

https://rebellion.earth/2019/04/22/update-6-a-new-phase-begins/?preview=true&link_id=0&can_id=d4e96a888a65b26abfffc48652b2e679&source=email-day-6-7-a-new-phase-begins&email_referrer=email_533193&email_subject=day-6-7-nil-a-new-phase-begins
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Bingo!!  Thought of a way to maybe bring Surly and his pal AG out of lurkerville.

Hey guys any truth to the rumors you saw the light and turned right?? 

Your in good company, nothing to be ashamed of. These two pals of mine are really great guys when you get to know them, trust me. They will welcome you with open arms.

Hurry back lads, your seats have a reserved sign on them.    :hi:


                                     


                                     



                                       
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