Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Venezuelans Are Paying Black-Market Dealers A 100% Markup For Worthless Paper Bills

from ZeroHedge:

Since the wheels came off Venezuela’s economy back in 2013, the US financial press has displayed an at times unhealthy preoccupation with the fate of Latin America’s favorite “Socialist Paradise” – once the region’s wealthiest economy.

So it’s hardly surprising that Bloomberg, in an effort to unearth more gritty vignettes about the hardships endured by Venezuelans – particularly those who were once middle class who have now fallen into abject desperation in the streets of Caracas, or elsewhere – is publishing a series of first person essays called “Life in Caracas”.

And in its introductory installment, reporter Andrew Rosati points out one of the most dumbfounding ironies of hyperinflationThe need to pay insane mark-ups to obtain paper cash from grey-market dealers.

Rosati describes setting up a clandestine meeting with his “cash dealer” in language that could be used for a drug buy.

My most recent order arrived by motorcycle, a loaded, black trash bag tossed my way. “This is what’s available,” the courier said gruffly before zooming off. I nodded. There’s no begging in the bolivar business.

What he delivered was cash, 200,000 bolivars of it. I, in turn, wired 400,000 bolivars to his bank account. Why such a huge markup? Because in hyper-inflationary Venezuela, we’re all desperate for paper money, a ridiculously scarce commodity but a necessity, even for someone like me with plenty of credit cards. You need cash for gasoline, to use the metro or park your car in a garage, to buy fried fish on the beach or a cup of coffee on the street.

So this is the question that’s all over Caracas: “You got a guy?” I hear it, in dive bars and at posh dinner parties, and in line at the bank, which, invariably, is out of the desired product.

The guy, of course, is a cash dealer. My phone is filled with a half-dozen numbers. They’re cab drivers and restaurant owners and produce sellers, anyone with a bit of hustle. It’s a booming business. The 100 percent premium I paid that day isn’t unusual.

While conventional wisdom might lead one to believe that ordinary Venezuelans sought to settle transactions digitally, this couldn’t be further from the truth: While bitcoin, monero and other digital currencies have become crucial sources of badly needed foreign capital, most Venezuelan merchants prefer to accept cash for small goods. This is true for restaurants and most food vendors, also.

As Rosati explains, the difficulty of obtaining enough cash before the value of the bolivar further disintegrates isn’t just a headache – in the slums, it makes a desperate situation worse.

For me, it’s just another of the frustrations of living in an imploding economy. Low-denomination bills—anything below 100 bolivars ($0.0005 at the black-market rate)—are often used nowadays for such things as confetti at baseball games. And the government is so broke, it can’t afford to print bigger bills fast enough. It’s a curiosity, this whole mess, almost bordering on a Yogi-ism: Hyperinflation’s rendered paper money so worthless that it’s become incredibly valuable.

The paper chase is most intense in the slums, where many people have no other means of payment. Fixers are everywhere in these neighborhoods, eager to get their hands on all the cash swirling around.

One flipper, Orlando Villarroel, told me he positions himself at a bakery check-out. One by one, he pays for customers’ items with his credit card, giving them a markdown and collecting their banknotes until he’s chased out of the place.

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

Republican Senator Warns ‘War Of Biblical Proportions’ May Be Unavoidable: ‘If This Thing Starts, It’s Going To Be One Of The Worst Catastrophic Events In The History Of Our Civilization’

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by Stefan Stanford, All New Pipeline:

– And Once Again, We Have Hillary To Blame!

While the march towards world war 3 had largely been eclipsed recently with the latest ‘manufactured event’ in Florida taking over the news cycle for 2+ weeks now, several new stories that have come out over the past several days remind us of Trend’s Forecaster Gerald Celente’s warning to the world: “When all else fails, they bring us to war”

In this March 1st story over at the Daily Mail which Steve Quayle linked to on his website on Friday morning they report that Russian president Vladimir Putin has just revealed that Russia now has nuclear weapons that not only can strike almost any place in the world, but they cannot be intercepted. Claiming that his new nuclear-powered cruise missile will be able to penetrate any missile defense system in the world, Putin then told the world his arsenal includes a ‘fantastic’ nuclear-powered underwater drone and a hypersonic missile while showing computer generated video footage detailing the power and reach of his new weapons, “which included bombs raining down upon the U.S. state of Florida” as we see in the 3rd video below. 

And while ANP reader JJ brings up a great point about this latest news about Putin and Russia in his comment on this ANP story“it’s like they want us all afraid and put us all back in the Cold War fake threat zone”, knowing the information we learn below about HOW Russia came to acquire such new technologies have many people talking ‘treason’. As we hear from Republican Senator James Risch in the 1st video below, a “war of Biblical proportions may be unavoidable”. Much more on the Idaho Senator’s recent warning below. 

If President Trump needed any more reasons to avoid getting America into a war with Russia that could instantly lead to the end of America and the world as we know it, Putin also recently warned of ‘immediate’ retaliation for any nuclear strikes upon Russia or their allies and now we learn in this new story over at Gateway Pundit that it was none other than Hillary Clinton herself who gave Russia the technology they used to build their hypersonic intercontinental nuclear missile.

Just the latest time that a move made by Hillary Clinton has put America in danger, isn’t giving aid and comfort to our enemies still considered treason? As GP reports, “Hillary Clinton gave the Russians this technology to destroy American cities. And she gets cheered at restaurants all over New York City.” More proof of liberal insanity? Certainly more evidence that the ‘real Russian collusion’ was happening between Hillary Clinton and her ‘crime crew’ and Russia. From the Gateway Pundit story which uses this story over at the Daily Caller as their source:

This shocking set of emails that the Examiner reported on shows the nexus of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s foundation, Hillary Clinton’s State Department, Bill Clinton, Russian oligarch Vekselberg, and Skolkovo, “Russia’s Silicon Valley,” the Putin project to transfer Western technology to Russia that was championed and driven by Mrs. Clinton — and, what do you know, 17 out of 28 tech companies that hitched up with Skolkovo also contributed to the Clinton Foundation? What a coincidence. Meanwhile, Barack Obama’s support for Russian WTO membership made the whole global flow so much easier. 

No wonder Herd Media, the Uniparty Congress and FBI Director James Comey never noticed a thing. Oh, except that Putin “hated” Hillary Clinton, “wanted to do her harm,” as Comey told Congress this week. Grrr. Maybe hypersonic technology wasn’t enough. But I’m getting ahead of the story. 

Let’s pick up with an Army report on Skolkovo written in 2012 (released in 2013) to assess “the implications … for U.S. policymakers.” 

Although military activities are not an official cluster of activity, the Skolkovo Foundation has, in fact, been involved in defense-related activities since December 2011, when it approved the first weapons-related project—the development of a hypersonic cruise missile engine. The project is a response to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, part of the Prompt Global Strike program.

Read More @ AllNewsPipeline.com

India’s Biggest-Ever Bank Fraud Unravels

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by James Corbett, The International Forecaster:

… let me tell you how delighted I am at your intimate knowledge of internal banking regulatory systems and the SWIFT protocol in general. And you’re exactly right. This is where the story gets interesting.

It has all the elements of a Hollywood heist movie: A well-known jeweler-to-the-stars and his shady accomplice. A risky gambit to exploit a banking loophole. Inside help from a high-ranking official. A $2 billion swindle. And the whole house of cards crashing down in spectacular, front-page fashion.

But here’s the Bollywood twist: The well-known jeweler is Nirav Modi. The high-ranking official is Gokulnath Shetty, deputy manager of the Punjab National Bank. And the amount pilfered is 11,700 crore rupees.

For those not in the know, Nirav Modi is known as the bold upstart who bought up a slew of top-shelf diamonds in the depths of the 2008 economic crisis and made a fortune designing and selling his own line of “haute diamantaire” for the Hollywood glitterati. Read any rundown of the red carpet in recent years and you’re likely to read descriptions of Ms. So-and-so wearing a “dazzling Nirav Modi statement necklace” or some such twaddle.

But Modi’s zero-to-hero, “Mumbai boy makes it big” story came to a crashing halt last month when India’s Central Bureau of Investigation unveiled a complaint from Punjab National Bank alleging a multi-billion dollar swindle allegedly run by Modi and his business partner, Mehul Choksi. Soon, Indian authorities were sealing off Modi’s expensive properties, seizing his diamond inventories, and beginning a game of “Where In The World Is Nirav Modi?” that took several eyebrow-raising twistsand turns, including the tidbit that his last known public appearance was at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

So what was the swindle, exactly? It all revolves around a financial instrument called a “Letter of Undertaking,” or “LoU” for short. An LoU is issued by an Indian bank to a foreign bank on behalf of one of its customers. It guarantees the credit-worthiness of the customer and puts the issuing bank on the line should the customer default.

As you can imagine, LoUs are not issued willy-nilly. They depend on the issuing bank’s pre-existing credit relationship with its customer, and naturally there is the assumption that the issuer has done its due diligence on the customer and secured some collateral for the credit that the foreign bank is extending. Strangely, that seems not to have happened in Modi’s case.

According to the information that is being dribbled out to the public about the Modi case, the bank that issued the LoU, the Punjab National Bank (PNB), did not have any record of having issued these LoUs. And yes, that’s LoUs plural because the instruments are only good for one year and the scam has been going on since 2011. That means that, somehow or other, the PNB issued nearly $2 billion worth of LoUs on behalf of Modi and his partner on multiple occasions without knowing it. Actually, let me rephrase that: “without ‘knowing’ it” (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

“But surely that’s impossible!” you contend. “The LoUs are issued through SWIFT, the international banking network that the US uses as its own personal battering ram in the geopolitical sphere (even though it’s ‘totally not political’). And we all know that SWIFT transactions require three separate inputs from three separate banking officers, the initiator of the transaction as well as a checker and a verifier. And even when the transaction is sent, the recipient bank sends a confirmation back to the sender, which is often processed by another party altogether. There’s no way a bank could issue LoUs via SWIFT without multiple people knowing!”

Well, dear reader, let me tell you how delighted I am at your intimate knowledge of internal banking regulatory systems and the SWIFT protocol in general. And you’re exactly right. This is where the story gets interesting.

We know that Modi and Choksi had inside help on the scam. The above-mentioned deputy manager of the PNB, Gokulnath Shetty, has admitted to giving Modi’s aides his “level 5” password that is used to issue LoUs on the SWIFT network. But that still doesn’t explain how the LoUs were approved or verified, or who was handling the confirmations that the foreign banks were sending back when they were issued.

But don’t worry too much about that. We have a different problem to worry about, according to India’s banking regulators: the PNB’s outdated computer systems! You see, it seems the bank’s central system was not tied in to the SWIFT software itself. Instead, all SWIFT transactions had to be manually entered and reconciled, meaning that if an inside official “overlooked” this step, then SWIFT transactions could escape the bank’s records entirely.

Long story short: Modi and his partner had inside help in securing nearly $2 billion in loans from foreign banks that were never repayed, and the PNB is left holding the bag.

To put the scope of this problem in perspective, the 11,700 crore rupees allegedly netted in this scheme is equivalent to 1/3 of PNB’s entire market cap. Or should I say was equivalent to 1/3 of its market cap. Shares in the bank plunged when the news was released and the bank’s market value dropped almost 11,000 crore rupees in a matter of days. Oh, and since it’s a state-owned corporation, guess who’s ultimately left holding the bag to keep the whole thing afloat? Oops, sorry about that Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer. We promise that won’t happen again!

Read More @ TheInternationalForecaster.com

Is Washington Sufficiently Intelligent to Be Trusted with an Independent Foreign Policy?

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by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:

As I figured would be the case, Putin’s message to the West that Russia cannot be intimidated and that the nations must work together to deal with world problems was far over the heads of the dumbshit “exceptional” Americans. CNN rushed out an idiot named Samantha Vinograd who served as a staffer on Obama’s National Security Council to declare that Putin’s speech was only aimed at one person in the world—President Trump. https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/01/opinions/russia-missile-trump-opinion-vinograd/index.html

Putin, the idiot Samantha Vinograd says, is “poking at Trump’s insecurities” with the threat that “my missiles are bigger than yours.”

The stupid Samantha Vinograd repeats the lie that Russiagate was Putin’s plot “to destabilize the United States.” So, how is the US a superpower when Russia controls US elections? Doesn’t this mean that Americans are of no relevance whatsoever in the world?

I mean, really. With intelligence levels this low on Obama’s National Security Council, no wonder the neoonservatives were able to run over the Obama regime and resurrect the Cold War, thus returning the world to a high chance of nuclear Armageddon.

The idiot Samantha Vinograd says the solution is more sanctions on Russia. She is the epitomy of Einstein’s rule that “insanity is to continue doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

All the illegal sanctions did was to produce Russian military superiority over the utter fools in Washington.

Read More @ PaulCraigRoberts.org

Vladimir Putin just revealed 6 brand new Russian weapons – and they are impressive

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by Alexander Mercouris, The Duran:

The weapons are formidable and cutting edge, but affordable

By far the greater part of President Putin’s State of the Nation address on 1st March 2018 was devoted to economic issues.  However inevitably it was the part of his address which touched on new weapons systems which attracted the most attention.

Here they are

(1) Sarmat heavy ICBM

This is the best known of the new strategic nuclear weapons systems that President Putin touched on in his State of the Nation address.  In fact we have discussed it previously.

Here is what President Putin had to say about it

Sarmat will replace the Voevoda system made in the USSR. Its immense power was universally recognized. Our foreign colleagues even gave it a fairly threatening name.

That said, the capabilities of the Sarmat missile are much higher. Weighing over 200 tonnes, it has a short boost phase, which makes it more difficult to intercept for missile defence systems. The range of the new heavy missile, the number and power of its combat blocs is bigger than Voevoda’s. Sarmat will be equipped with a broad range of powerful nuclear warheads, including hypersonic, and the most modern means of evading missile defence. The high degree of protection of missile launchers and significant energy capabilities the system offers will make it possible to use it in any conditions…..

Voevoda’s range is 11,000 km while Sarmat has practically no range restrictions.

As the video clips show, it can attack targets both via the North and South poles.

Sarmat is a formidable missile and, owing to its characteristics, is untroubled by even the most advanced missile defence systems.

Sarmat’s range has previously been disclosed to be 17,000 km.  Putin says it weighs 200 tonnes – roughly the same as its predecessor Voevoda – and double what had been reported previously.

One aspect of the Sarmat which Putin did not touch on is that it may have revived a 1960s Soviet concept referred to in the US as ‘FOBS’ (‘Fractional Orbital Bombardment System’).

The idea behind FOBS was that an ICBM would place its nuclear warheads in low earth orbit from where, after orbiting for a short time, they would fall upon their targets on earth.

Such a system would have no range limit, whilst the orbital flight path of the warheads would not reveal the target location.

It would allow a path to North America over the South Pole, hitting targets from the south, which is the opposite direction to the one from which US early warning systems are oriented.

Putin’s references to the Sarmat having “practically no range restrictions” and being able to “attack targets via the North and South Poles” suggests strongly that it uses a FOBS system.

If so then there is a huge irony to this.

The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 was supposed to ban nuclear weapons being placed in earth orbit.  However the US government – presumably because at that time it had a FOBS programme of its own – decided that FOBS did not violate the Outer Space Treaty because a FOBS warhead was technically not in orbit as it did not make a complete cycle of the earth.

FOBS was then supposed to be banned by the SALT II Treaty agreed by US President Carter and Soviet President Brezhnev in 1979.  However the SALT II Treaty was never ratified by the US Senate, and never came into legal force.

The US therefore had two opportunities to ban FOBS in 1967 and 1979, and passed up both.

The result is that with the coming of Sarmat it now quite possibly faces the prospect of having such a system deployed against it, which had it been less intransigent in pursuing its weapons programmes it might have prevented.

Needless to say, a nuclear warhead falling upon the US from space and coming towards the US from any direction is effectively impervious to interception by any of the missile defence systems the US has created or is planning.

The two next systems which President Putin discussed appear to use shared nuclear reactor technologies.  They are a nuclear powered cruise missile and a nuclear powered underwater drone.

(2) Nuclear powered cruise missile

Here is what President Putin had to say about this system

Russia’s advanced arms are based on the cutting-edge, unique achievements of our scientists, designers and engineers. One of them is a small-scale heavy-duty nuclear energy unit that can be installed in a missile like our latest X-101 air-launched missile or the American Tomahawk missile – a similar type but with a range dozens of times longer, dozens, basically an unlimited range. It is a low-flying stealth missile carrying a nuclear warhead, with almost an unlimited range, unpredictable trajectory and ability to bypass interception boundaries. It is invincible against all existing and prospective missile defence and counter-air defence systems. I will repeat this several times today.

In late 2017, Russia successfully launched its latest nuclear-powered missile at the Central training ground. During its flight, the nuclear-powered engine reached its design capacity and provided the necessary propulsion.

Now that the missile launch and ground tests were successful, we can begin developing a completely new type of weapon, a strategic nuclear weapons system with a nuclear-powered missile……

You can see how the missile bypasses interceptors. As the range is unlimited, the missile can manoeuvre for as long as necessary.

The key breakthrough is in miniaturising a nuclear reactor so that it can be fitted inside the engine of a cruise missile with dimensions similar to those of the US Tomahawk and the Russian Kh-101 cruise missiles.

This is a revolutionary breakthrough which – as President Putin says – gives Russia’s subsonic cruise missiles effectively unlimited range.

This incidentally negates any advantage the US might obtain by siting land based cruise missiles in Europe as it did in the 1980s.

In the 1980s when the USSR had no effective counter since whilst US land based cruise missiles based in western Europe could reach the territory of the western USSR, Soviet land based cruise missiles based on Soviet territory or in eastern Europe could not reach the territory of the continental United States.

With the imminent deployment of a Russian nuclear powered cruise missile with unlimited range – and therefore capable of reaching the continental United States from Russian territory – that advantage has now gone.

As President Putin says a subsonic nuclear powered cruise missile is moreover essentially invulnerable to the anti ballistic missile system the US is currently deploying.

However though small and stealthy cruise missiles are difficult targets, they are not immune to interception.

The effectiveness of these missiles may therefore depend on how many of these missiles Russia can build?

If it can build large numbers of them then it is possible that US defences might become overwhelmed.  However that depends on the cost of the nuclear motor.

(3) Nuclear powered underwater drone

The existence of this drone has been known about for some time, ever since November 2015 in fact when the existence of this drone (referred to as “Status-6”) was briefly – and perhaps intentionally – disclosed by Russian television.

Here is what Putin had to say about it

Now, we all know that the design and development of unmanned weapon systems is another common trend in the world. As concerns Russia, we have developed unmanned submersible vehicles that can move at great depths (I would say extreme depths) intercontinentally, at a speed multiple times higher than the speed of submarines, cutting-edge torpedoes and all kinds of surface vessels, including some of the fastest. It is really fantastic. They are quiet, highly manoeuvrable and have hardly any vulnerabilities for the enemy to exploit. There is simply nothing in the world capable of withstanding them.

Unmanned underwater vehicles can carry either conventional or nuclear warheads, which enables them to engage various targets, including aircraft groups, coastal fortifications and infrastructure.

In December 2017, an innovative nuclear power unit for this unmanned underwater vehicle completed a test cycle that lasted many years. The nuclear power unit is unique for its small size while offering an amazing power-weight ratio. It is a hundred times smaller than the units that power modern submarines, but is still more powerful and can switch into combat mode, that is to say, reach maximum capacity, 200 times faster.

The tests that were conducted enabled us to begin developing a new type of strategic weapon that would carry massive nuclear ordnance.

The purpose of the drone when launched against the continental United States its effect appears to be to create a tsunami wave 500 metres tall, which apart from causing massive loss of life would radioactively contaminate a large area of the US coast.

It is assumed that in its nuclear tipped form the drone carries a large thermonuclear cobalt warhead of up to 100 megatons – twice the power of the so-called ‘Tsar Bomb” detonated by the USSR in 1961 – which would be by a very great distance the most powerful nuclear warhead ever built.

Here is how Wikipedia describes the drone

It appears to be a torpedo-shaped robotic mini-submarine which can travel at speeds of 185 km/h (100 kn).[7][10][13] More recent information suggests a top speed of 100 km/h (54 kn), with a range of 10,000 km (5,400 nmi; 6,200 mi) and a depth maximum of 1,000 m (3,300 ft).[14] This underwater drone is cloaked by stealth technology to elude acoustic tracking devices.[10] Its size appears to be 1.6 metres in diameter, and 24 metres long.[8] The warhead shown in the leaked figure is a cylinder 1.5 meters in diameter by 4 meters in length, giving a volume of 7 cubic meters. Comparing this to the volumes of other large thermonuclear bombs — the 1961 Soviet-era Tsar Bomba itself measured eight meters long by 2.1 meters in diameter — indicates that the yield is at least several tens of megatons, generally consistent with early reports.

As Wikipedia rightly says, the indiscriminate nature of this weapon system when used in its nuclear tipped form means that it is intended to be a weapon of last resort intended to inflict maximum damage upon an enemy in case Russia’s land based missile arsenal is disabled by a first strike.

Two further points can be made about this drone.

The first is that its nuclear reactor almost certainly shares technologies with that used in the engine of the nuclear powered cruise missile discussed above.

The second is that President Putin’s words show that it also comes in a form with a conventional warhead, and that in this version it is intended to be used as an anti-carrier weapon.

 (4) Aircraft launched Kinzhal hypersonic missile

It has been know for some time that Russia is developing long range hypersonic missiles, and President Putin provided details of one of them

Read More @ TheDuran.com

‘Many Attacks Which Russia Gets the Blame For Are Not From Russia’ – Professor

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from Sputnik News:

Lithuania has called on EU countries to support the creation of a “cyber Schengen” to battle online crime and hacking. While NATO already has a cyber rapid reaction force, Lithuanian Defense Vice Minister Evinas Kerza said it is necessary to have a complementary force under EU auspices. The first meeting of such forces took place in Vilnius.

Sputnik talked about Lithuania’s calls for a joint European cyber task force with Kevin Curran, professor of Cyber Security School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems, Department of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment at Ulster University.

Sputnik: How different will this new cyber force be from the NATO Cyber Rapid Reaction Force?

Kevin Curran: It will have a different objective which is really to do with civilian infrastructure, of course, NATO has had a Cyber Rapid Reaction Force for several years now and it protects NATO’s own networks, they have a centralized and around-the-clock cyber support for various NATO sites, this handles report incidents and decimates important incident-related information to the management of security.

But this new initiative by Lithuania is more designed to protect civilian infrastructure which is under attack because when it comes to this NATO Cyber Rapid Reaction Force, that is more concentrated on secrets on government levels and military, but the fact is, that quite often with cyber attacks now, that other countries when they are attacking or even individual highly-skilled cyber hack teams, that they actually infiltrate civilian networks, civilian organizations and cause rapid damage within a country, so therefore, it’s more likely that if you have a cyber reaction force which allows information to be shared between countries similar to what NATO does and what the NATO Cyber Reaction Force does, but people are more likely to sign up because top secrets are not being passed around across the borders, but still the countries are coming together to collaborate and, of course, provide more effective plans to be able to protect their networks.

Sputnik: You speak of countries coming together, how likely is the new force to attract new members from the European Union countries besides the seven existing ones?

Kevin Curran: It has a chance, of course, again, maybe people will stick to what’s already there with the NATO Cyber Task Force, but I think the fact is that this has from the ground up, not concentrating on the secret, on the military aspects and again it’s more to do with protecting infrastructure within civilian populations, because in the past cyber-aggression was seen as a technical issue to be outsourced to technicians, but now we know that cyber space is an official domain of warfare, again, the state actors are increasingly meeting geopolitical goals, not only through military force like they did for centuries, but now through discreet cyber tools. And, of course we have disinformation campaigns, and Lithuania have given examples of fake news and cyber operations which are targeted at their government and infrastructure, and these need to be responded to, so countries need to collaborate really to be more effective in protecting what has become a modern problem really.

Especially, we’ve seen with the problem of ransomware now, even in the UK, last year the National Health Service was brought to its knees because there was a ransomware attack which demanded payment through Bitcoin and really what we had was a critical part of our infrastructure was wiped out for a number of days.

Sputnik: You’ve just mentioned fake news accusations, what about Russia, what response could it provide to accusations that its hackers are responsible for cyber-attacks against Europe?

Kevin Curran: It is difficult, because when it comes to cyber-attacks, attribution is very difficult, in other words, they will make it look like a particular attack is coming from another country, that they would pepper the code with comments, anything they can do to make sure that they are not pinpointed as a source, so therefore many attacks which Russia get the blame for, actually, are not from Russia, but likely there could be many other attacks, which other countries are blamed for, and they actually might have come from Russia, so it’s very difficult, because attribution, when it comes to looking through source code, it’s very hard to pinpoint which country was involved, because of course we have very highly skilled people to do this malware.

Read More @ SputnikNews.com

Putin Stunner #4: Mini, Nuke-Powered Engine for Invincible, UNLIMITED RANGE Guided Nuke Missiles (Video)

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from Russia Insider:

Putin’s historic, game-changing speech yesterday announced 5 key new technological weapons breakthroughs, putting Russia far ahead of NATO and the US, making its weapons, as Putin underlined many times, ‘invincible’.

We’ve excerpted the parts of the speech where he describes each weapon, and will be posting them here. The other weapons are:

And Putin’s explanation of why Russia developed all these weapons:

  • Epic Putin: We Warned You, You Wouldn’t Listen – ‘Listen to Us Now!’ (Video)

Transcript below:

Russia’s advanced arms are based on the cutting-edge, unique achievements of our scientists, designers and engineers.

One of them is a small-scale heavy-duty nuclear energy unit that can be installed in a missile like our latest X-101 air-launched missile or the American Tomahawk missile – a similar type but with a range dozens of times longer, dozens, basically an unlimited range.

It is a low-flying stealth missile carrying a nuclear warhead, with almost an unlimited range, unpredictable trajectory and ability to bypass interception boundaries. It is invincible against all existing and prospective missile defence and counter-air defence systems. I will repeat this several times today.

Read More @ Russia-Insider.com

Stunning. Hillary Clinton Gave Russia the US Technology for Hypersonic Intercontinental Nuke Missiles

by Jim Hoft, The Gateway Pundit:

On Wednesday Russian leader Vladimir Putin threatened the West with unstoppable intercontinental nuclear missiles.

Putin announced that Russia had developed an intercontinental nuclear missile that can’t be stopped or shot down by any country’s defence system

The Russian leader said the rocket travels 20 times the speed of sound and has unlimited range.

Now we know where Putin gained the technology to build the missiles.
–Hillary Clinton.

Diana West at The Daily Caller reported, via Andrew Bostom:

This shocking set of emails that the Examiner reported on shows the nexus of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s foundation, Hillary Clinton’s State Department, Bill Clinton, Russian oligarch Vekselberg, and Skolkovo, “Russia’s Silicon Valley,” the Putin project to transfer Western technology to Russia that was championed and driven by Mrs. Clinton — and, what do you know, 17 out of 28 tech companies that hitched up with Skolkovo also contributed to the Clinton Foundation? What a coincidence. Meanwhile, Barack Obama’s support for Russian WTO membership made the whole global flow so much easier.

No wonder Herd Media, the Uniparty Congress and FBI Director James Comey never noticed a thing. Oh, except that Putin “hated” Hillary Clinton, “wanted to do her harm,” as Comey told Congress this week. Grrr. Maybe hypersonic technology wasn’t enough. But I’m getting ahead of the story.

Let’s pick up with an Army report on Skolkovo written in 2012 (released in 2013) to assess “the implications … for U.S. policymakers.”

Although military activities are not an official cluster of activity, the Skolkovo Foundation has, in fact, been involved in defense-related activities since December 2011, when it approved the first weapons-related projectthe development of a hypersonic cruise missile engine. The project is a response to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, part of the Prompt Global Strike program.

Fast forward to November 2016, shortly after Donald Trump was elected president when the US Air Force released a report on — no way — the Russian and Chinese hypersonic missile threat to the United States.

The United States is vulnerable to future attack by hypersonic missiles from China and Russia and is falling behind in the technology race to develop both defensive and offensive high-speed maneuvering arms, according to a new Air Force study.

“The People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation are already flight-testing high-speed maneuvering weapons (HSMWs) that may endanger both forward deployed U.S. forces and even the continental United States itself,” an executive summary of the report says.

“These weapons appear to operate in regimes of speed and altitude, with maneuverability that could frustrate existing missile defense constructs and weapon capabilities.”

Read More @ TheGatewayPundit.com

We Never Could Have Imagined (or Prepped For) What Actually Happened in Venezuela

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by J. G. Martinez D., The Organic Prepper:

Can we prepare for everything?

We never could have imagined…or prepped for…what happened in Venezuela.

In this article, I wanted to analyze my preps, and the nature of the apocalypse we have been forced to face. I don’t know about you, but anything that kicks you out of your place, of your warm bed, your pets, kids, wife, and the rest of your family, for me does not have another better word to describe it.

My comfort bubble was destroyed, my work of an entire life was thrown out by the window, my family insurance full coverage policy is gone with the wind (although with no medications to be had and doctors running away to Argentina and Colombia, it’s not like it was very useful though), and the few preps I had for 4 or 5 months are history now. Of course, they worked pretty well, and we stretched it a little bit, but once the system collapsed, there is nothing else we can do but close the place and bug out to some other place where we can at least buy food.

What happened was something entirely different from what we had prepared for.

I guess that what I mean is, that, within our means, we prepared more or less adequately, but what really happened was something entirely different that we had not prepared for.

We prepared for some of the consequences of turmoil, unrest, riots, crime. We were able to hunker down for a while and able to defend ourselves silently and seriously, without having to leave our haven. The scarcity problems started back there around 2013-2014. Those years were the last time I remember we could buy large amounts of wheat flour, corn flour for arepas (yes, those yellow packages you see people fist fighting each other for on the web), pasta, powdered and UHT packaged milk, rice, and other staples.

An economic collapse this long seemed like something that was entirely out of the question. It was entirely unpredictable. I would have expected a pandemics or a coup d’etat long before this hungry zombie-like scenario.

We knew something disturbing was going to happen sooner or later. We could feel it in the atmosphere…but nothing like this. We never thought it would be impossible to find a battery, or engine oil, or gasoline (Jeez, this was an oil-producing country!!) or that kids were going to be endangered in the very door of their schools. In the worst of our nightmares we could have imagined that one of our rescued cats that we relocated with one of our friends in a barrio was going to suffer a horrendous death (please don’t ask for details).

We never could have imagined that the oil and electricity state companies employees were going to be threatened with imprisonment for treason if they tried to quit their jobs to leave the country. Because THAT IS HAPPENING. When I found about this, I felt a deep sensation of relief as never in my life because I had left. The only similar feeling I can think about, was when my last son was born, and the doctors told me he was just fine, like a champion, and no reasons to worry about.

Under the current situation, being accused of such terrible charges is a complete nightmare. But with the income from the online freelance work, we have been able to at least keep the home running, without the tiny salary that once was more than enough for a good living. Without it…our family would have been condemned to doom, no matter our preps.

So quitting and leaving the country (and my family) behind was one of the choices that have been the hardest in our lives, but the most sound, and the most assertive in the long run. Just by avoiding the potential danger of being (falsely of course) accused of treason and getting in a messy problem, it’s already a huge benefit. I have always given trust to female intuition. When my wife and I discussed about how bad things were going, and the decision for me to leave first, I knew it was her intuition speaking.

We never imagine that cash was going to be another commodity, and that the prices were going to be much different if you tried to pay with debit card instead of cash. If you pay with a debit card, the price will be double than if paid in cash. This is not surprising: the rate of the circulating cash to the non-circulating is deeply distorted. There are people even SELLING the cash: you transfer them one million BsF to their bank accounts, they will give you 500 or 600.000 cash. And that is barely enough for two dozen eggs and some cheese.

In retrospect, what could we have done to prepare for the current situation?

Let’s see.

  • A 5 years antibiotics supply, for each family member (please include pets, they could be sick or get wounded too, and we consider them members too), with the assistance of good will, close doctors. This should be considered as an insurance policy; a non-transferable, secret stash of medications for the worst scenario. Cefadroxil, penicillin, and some other similar stuff.
  • Diarrhea stopping meds
  • Serum
  • Needles and tubing
  • Surgical gloves
  • Breath cover masks, and a couple of reusable syringes that you could sterilize in a small backpack stove or a bonfire in the backyard…
  • A solar power array with a small battery pack just for lighting
  • A large, buried diesel custom-made aluminum tank with a proper sized generator (there is not too much space left in our place: we live in a subdivision, houses are wall to wall next to each other) with a homemade silencer, and adequately rigged to the wiring of the house for the largest systems, like freezers and air conditioning. Specially designed plastic diesel tanks would have been best as they don’t rust and they are cheap and strong; but the aluminum seemed a better idea because they make it with the size you want, and as the space is limited I would have optimized it. It could have been possible even designing an aesthetically attractive setup, something like a strong wood frame with the tank on top, and with a small hanging plants gardening to obstruct the view of the tank, and wrapping the feeding lines to the generator in ivy.
  • Enclosing our garage before the steel rebar disappeared from the white market and the production was destined to the black and grey market. (I hate fencing, it is like living in a birdcage, but this would helped a lot for peace of mind).
  • A sun-protected small herb garden in the roof of the small workshop in the back of the house, with spices and medicinal plants. The excess of production (These are the tropics, plants here grow like weeds from one week to another, remember, lots of sun and rain) could be exchanged for some staples.
  • Perhaps a chicken coop with a couple of hens. The eggs price has been so inflated this days that a single egg costs more than the minimum wage. A hen produces more than a laborer. Do you remember that stories about the eggs, chocolate, and potatoes acting as currency in the WWII? It is becoming currency here too.
  • Perhaps even growing our own sugar cane to squeeze, grind and get what we call here “papelon” (solidified sugar cane juice) for sweetening would be possible in our small front garden
  • A couple of corn rows, not the hybrid Monsanto genetically modified crap that needs industrial fertilizer, weed killers and unable to generate seed, but the Amazonic variety: larger production in much smaller time, just needs sun (we have more of it than what we would like) and water.
  • Another SUV, with a much taller ground clearance, larger tires, diesel-powered with no electronics and a huge front fender. Something heavy, strong, black or dark grey, windows covered by that plastic clear bullet proof sheeting, able to plow a pack of thugs in motorcycles out of the way without a blink.

Yes, I know how it sounds. But I don’t care after some things I have known these MFs can do, like a guy being shot 30 meters from the person who told me the story by a criminal in a motorcycle, and me and my family almost being stopped in a desert road at 8pm in the middle of nowhere with a log in the middle of the way (I just push it to the floorboard, and we jumped over it).

There is no possible way to have stockpiled pasta and other dry goods for such a long period without buying another house, or building a second floor adding about 60 or 70 square meters to the house. And even so it would have been risky: someone watching in the wrong moment and we would have been in deep trouble, accused of “hoarding” and yadda yadda (insert your favorite “socialist” excuse for stealing private property here). Our goods seized, the 10% sold in public to “the poor people” for the government-owned newspapers and the 90% stolen by you-know-who.

Self-supplying proteins with our current setup in a subdivision is much harder. There is not too much space. Rabbits and other rodents are out of the question as the flies their poop attract here in the tropics are a problem, and economically not viable by the way. The cleaning products and food are too expensive and, as you must suppose, scarce. The people in country cottages already will be much better prepared than we nerdy, espresso-addicted, city dwellers.

Read More @ TheOrganicPrepper.ca

What’s Going Down in China is Very Dangerous – Part 2

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by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:

One of the more concerning ramifications of China’s recent turn toward a more totalitarian stance at home is what it means for the geopolitical environment in the years ahead. Several people asked in the comment section of Part 1 why I care about what’s going on in China when we have so many serious problems in the U.S. The reason is because a major shift in the polices of the second largest economy in the world, populated with over a billion people and run by leadership intent on establishing a far more dominant position on the world scale militarily and politically, will affect everyone.

Government propaganda is one of the most insidious and dangerous things that regularly occurs within human society, and it’s been pervasive in essentially all civilizations to-date. The media’s always a key ally in the dissemination of propaganda, something much of the American public has finally come to understand. The election of Donald Trump despite the U.S media’s unanimous support of Hillary Clinton was the real wakeup call, and has led to incessant calls for platform monopolies like Google and Facebook to censor speech that questions the dominant intelligence agency narratives. There’s nothing more terrifying to an entrenched power structure than a loss of the narrative, and the election of Trump proved to them that they lost it. The American establishment isn’t really afraid of Trump, it’s far more concerned that his election signified a loss of narrative control.

Narrative is particularly important to lunatics who run a global empire, and the U.S. media’s almost always happy to oblige. For example, the media’s enthusiasm to swallow government propaganda is what led to the Iraq war disaster, in addition to so many other societal tragedies I write about here on a daily basis. While the marriage between U.S. government propaganda and a complicit corporate media has been a demonstrable danger to the world, we shouldn’t for a moment think American propaganda is the only threat. Other powerful governments use it as well, and China is no exception.

With Russia obsession dominating almost every domestic media headline these days, Americans are woefully ignorant regarding the explicit intentions the Chinese government has for the world. Fortunately, you can get into the mindset of China’s leadership via their state-sponsored media channels. Global Times is one example, and I want to call attention to two recent opinion pieces published there.

First, from the piece: Constitutional Amendment Responds to New Era:

It can be argued that the current ruling team of China is progressive and ambitious with clear goals and willingness to take on responsibilities. They want to make contributions to this nation which can stand the test of time.

Interestingly, in the era of globalization and the internet, although China has stunning economic might, it has not yet become a leading power in terms of ideology and information.

The most influential value system in the world now is the Western value system established by the US and Europe. It has shaped and affected quite a few Chinese people’s mind-sets. But some key parts of the Western value system are collapsing. Democracy, which has been explored and practiced by Western societies for hundreds of years, is ulcerating.

As is clear, Chinese officialdom see their anti-democratic, one-party, command and control paradigm with no political freedom as a rival model for the world to accept. They believe the vacuum that will be left by a decadent and declining U.S. empire will provide a perfect opportunity to promote this vision globally. Ignore this all you want, but it’s explicit.

As interesting as that is, the extremely defensive and insecure way in which the paper subsequently lashed out at Western criticism over its decision to scrap presidential term limits is equally illuminating.

A perfect example can be seen in the excerpts from the following pieceGlobal Times piece, Solidarity Cornerstone of China in New Era:

No sooner had the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee made public its proposal to amend the country’s Constitution than the Western media began bad-mouthing China in their usual and various ways. It is worth noting that for some time the Western media have been growing strident in their abuse of Beijing, almost using curse words.

The biggest reason for all this is that the rise of China has reached a critical point where some Westerners cannot psychologically bear it any longer. They wish to see misfortune befall the country. Even if it might hurt their own interests, they are willing to see China crumble first.

Such hysteria by some people in the West will subtly influence the way their countries interact with China. It will increase the risks Beijing faces while emerging, and complicate communication between Chinese society and the outside world.

The author talks about hysteria, but where do you see hysteria? From Westerners criticizing this creepy move toward forever rule, or in the above three paragraphs?

Here’s some more.

It is believed that cooperation between China and the West will continue. The normal pattern of Sino-US and Sino-European relations will remain fundamentally unchanged.

But in the days to come, tough stances against China will find more support in Western nations. Friction between China and the West will become more likely.

The solidarity of Chinese society will face tests. Pressure from the outside world may activate negative factors at home, which in turn, increase the costs of China maintaining stability.

Facing external impacts and hostility, the Chinese nation is a community of common destiny. All Chinese people, whether they work for State-owned institutions or not, whether they support the nation’s path or not, even dissidents, are enjoying development opportunities as well as the might of China, which did not come easily. If China collapses the way the outside world wishes, all Chinese people will lose.

Solidarity is a necessary precondition for China to successfully complete the second half of its modernization. It is the cornerstone of China in the new era. The CPC has made us Chinese all closely connected to each other. Over the years, the authority of the CPC Central Committee and the prosperity of our Chinese society have both risen. The authority of the Central Committee is the most outstanding part of China’s competitiveness. It is the source of the country’s efficiency and ability to mobilize people and make adjustments. It is the thing the outside world most envies about China and the target of Western anti-China rhetoric.

Chinese society must strengthen its resolve. We must be aware that the world is full of competition. Solidarity is for Chinese the nation’s most crucial political resource and firm support for the CPC Central Committee is the lifeline of China’s long-term unity.

This is some serious propaganda, with two principle objectives. First, there’s this notion (stated as fact) that the Chinese people would be incapable of progress without the authority of the “outstanding” Communist Party leadership. Second, the author prepares readers for tough times ahead, while also offering assurances that any problems faced within Chinese society are the fault of foreigners, especially Westerners, who apparently want China to collapse. It’s fostering increased nationalism ahead of difficult times, and then lays out who the Chinese should blame. This is very dangerous.

Read More @ LibertyBlitzkrieg.com