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giovedì 21 settembre 2017

All parties to Iran’s nuclear agreement remain in full compliance with the deal, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said after the Wednesday P5+1 powers’ meeting. She emphasized that the deal had potentially averted a military incursion into Iran....

No renegotiating Iran nuclear deal, all parties fully compliant – EU foreign policy chief


All parties to Iran’s nuclear agreement remain in full compliance with the deal, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said after the Wednesday P5+1 powers’ meeting. She emphasized that the deal had potentially averted a military incursion into Iran.
“This is an agreement that prevented a nuclear program and potentially prevented a military intervention,” Mogherini said, following a meeting of ministers representing the six world powers and Iran on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Calling the negotiations a “frank” discussion, Mogherini said that it boiled down to all sides agreeing that no country has breached the terms of the deal.
“We all agreed on the fact that there is no violation, that the nuclear program-related aspects, which is all the agreement, are being fulfilled,” she said.
In an apparent reference to the recent criticism of the deal by US President Donald Trump, who has labeled the landmark agreement“worst deal ever negotiated” while vowing to scrap it, Mogherini argued that “there is no need to renegotiate parts of the agreement.”
Among the issues raised at the meeting was Washington’s commitment to the deal, Mogherini confirmed.
Speaking on whether she considers the deal to be effective, Mogherini said the answer to this question should lie exclusively within the scope of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is tasked with watching over Iran’s compliance with the scaling down of its uranium enrichment.
A potential US withdrawal from the deal was not on the agenda of the meeting, she said, noting that the parties did not discuss any scenarios resulting from Washington walking out on the agreement.
"The scope of the nuclear deal is related to the nuclear program of Iran. There are other issues that are out of the scope of the agreement, and these issues might be tackled in different formats,"she told journalists, when asked about Trump’s frustration with the deal.
Tillerson reaffirmed the US commitment to the deal but said that Trump is now weighing arguments “from both sides” to make a final decision whether the existing agreement meets US interests.
"We’ve had sufficient time to get our own kind of direct understanding of this agreement and how it functions. I think the time has come for a decision to be made,” Tillerson said. He added that President Trump had told him he had already made up his mind on the matter, but did not disclose any details at the time.
Tillerson confirmed that the US acknowledged Iran’s compliance with the letter of the deal.
"From the technical standpoint, the IAEA reports continue to indicate and confirm that Iran is in technical compliance with the agreement," Tillerson said, adding that the US will keep on monitoring Iran’s nuclear activity and “take additional steps.”
While the top US diplomat did not provide any details on the nature of those “steps,” he insisted that “none” of them would leave the US “in any way contrary to our obligations under the JCPOA.”
Moscow once again voiced support for the deal, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying that Iran’s strict compliance with the agreement attested to by the IAEA allows Tehran to fully realize the deal’s potential in the economic, political and security spheres.
“Lavrov has confirmed that Russia will continue contributing to maintaining the stability of the JCPOA,” the Russian Foreign Minstry said in a statement after the meeting.

da "rt.com"

mercoledì 20 settembre 2017

Footage has emerged showing a controversial British drone strike on a sniper in Syria last May. The British military claimed the attack prevented a public execution, but monitors on the ground say civilians were injured.....

UK military shows off footage of drone strike on ISIS that caused ‘civilian injuries’ (VIDEO)


Footage has emerged showing a controversial British drone strike on a sniper in Syria last May.
The British military claimed the attack prevented a public execution, but monitors on the ground say civilians were injured.
The Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) gunman was patrolling a rooftop in the Syrian town of Abu Kamal when the Reaper drone, operated by pilots 2,000 miles away at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, struck by firing a single Hellfire missile.
At the time of the attack, Syrian civilians were being forced at gunpoint into a nearby town square to watch two prisoners being executed. Many were caught up in the blast.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) celebrated the strike, releasing the drone footage for the first time on Tuesday.
The drones, which are astronomically expensive, are rarely used in combat. When they are used, civilians are often hurt.
The missile was launched after a routine fly-by spotted two prisoners being unloaded from a truck.
The Royal Air Force (RAF) mission was overseen from the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) at Al Udeid airbase in Qatar, which revealed the footage.
“The individual who we engaged was a sniper in overwatch to shoot civilians who sought to move away from the execution, let alone to protect the planned execution itself,” Air Commodore Johnny Stringer, commander of all UK air operations in Iraq and Syria, told the Daily Mail.
“That particular example for us very much brought it home because civilians had been herded in, forced literally at gunpoint, to go and watch this going on in their hundreds.”
 
Such drone strikes have won high praise among military figures. There are plans to increase spending on the technology.
However, their use has drawn huge controversy.
Monitoring group AirWars said it had received reports from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the strike may have also injured up to 20 civilians.
The Observatory said “the bombing killed at least three members of the organization [IS] and injured about 20 other people mostly civilians.”
In April 2016, the MoD claimed up to 1,000 jihadists had been killed in drone strikes – and not a single civilian.
According to figures collated by AirWars, between August 2014 and early 2016, 1,172 civilians were killed.
Months later, in October, the MoD confirmed an RAF Reaper was involved in an “accidental” attack on Syrian Army vehicles in which 60 soldiers were killed.
The Reapers, which cost £155 million (US$210 million) and millions more in upkeep, have also been criticized because they are so rarely used.
One drone made 271 missions over IS territory in 2014 and 2015, but only fired once, it was claimed in 2016.

da "rt.com"

The man shot dead by police in Oklahoma City on Tuesday was deaf, it has emerged. Witnesses say that bystanders told the officers the man could not hear, but they opened fire anyway....

Oklahoma City cops shoot & kill deaf man, despite warnings


The man shot dead by police in Oklahoma City on Tuesday was deaf, it has emerged. Witnesses say that bystanders told the officers the man could not hear, but they opened fire anyway.
Officers were responding to a reported hit-and-run on Tuesday night and sighted a vehicle matching the description they had been given.
They confronted a man standing near the car holding a stick, who did not respond to their warnings.
One officer shot Magdiel Sanchez, 35, with a Taser while another shot him with his handgun, Police Captain Bo Mathews told reporters.
Witnesses were yelling "he can't hear you" before the officers fired, but the officers didn't hear them, Mathews said.
Sanchez was pronounced dead at the scene.
Local residents later said that Sanchez was deaf, and that they tried to warn the police about his condition.
“We have lived in the neighborhood for 13 years so we knew him… and we knew that he was deaf,” one of the witnesses told the Daily Mail. “As the cops tried to approach him, my husband, my daughter and I were all screaming at the police that he was deaf.”
A neighbor told AP that Sanchez was either deaf or hard of hearing, and carried a stick with him as protection from stray dogs.
Another local resident said that Sanchez used written notes to communicate, adding that she often saw him with the stick.
The police have launched an investigation into the shooting, with the officer who fired his gun placed on administrative leave.

da "rt.com"

US President Donald Trump’s UN speech was a “violation” of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday, as cited by Reuters. He added that in case the deal collapses, Tehran could return to the high level uranium enrichment that is needed for its reactor fuel....

Iran’s President Rouhani says Trump's UN speech was violation of nuclear deal


US President Donald Trump’s UN speech was a “violation” of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday, as cited by Reuters. He added that in case the deal collapses, Tehran could return to the high level uranium enrichment that is needed for its reactor fuel.
Iran will respond “decisively” to any violation of the 2015 nuclear deal by “any party,” President Hassan Rouhani said in his speech at the UN General Assembly earlier on Wednesday, as he hit back at US President Donald Trump.
"I declare before you that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not be the first country to violate the agreement," the Iranian president said, adding that Tehran “will respond decisively and resolutely to its violation by any party.”
He went on to say that “it will be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by 'rogue' newcomers to the world of politics – the world will have lost a great opportunity,” apparently referring to Trump, who earlier called the Iranian nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions” and an “embarrassment” to the US.
Rouhani then warned that “by violating its international commitments, the new US administration only destroys its own credibility,” and once again said that Tehran does not plan to withdraw from the deal and return to nuclear weapons development.
However, in August, Iran’s president warned that Tehran is ready to withdraw from the deal within “not a week or a month but within hours” and return to its nuclear program should Washington impose new restrictions against it.
The Iranian leader then criticized the US president’s Tuesday speech to the General Assembly, calling it “ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric filled with ridiculously baseless allegations.”
In his speech, Trump called Iran a “depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos,” saying that it funds “terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.”
Last week, Trump hinted that the US might not re-certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement in October, adding that Tehran “violated the spirit” of the deal.
On Wednesday, the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, downplayed Trump’s statements by saying that the US president’s speech at the UNGA does not mean that the US plans to disown the deal.
At the same time, she said that the White House has “grounds” not to re-certify Iran’s compliance with the agreement in October.

da "rt.com"

Gioielli di bellezza sopraffina, per anni indossati dalla regina dei salotti romani, Maria Angiolillo, scomparsi nel nulla. Un tesoro fatto sparire in circostanze misteriose da Marco Oreste Bianchi Milella, figlio della signora Maria, moglie del senatore Renato Angiolillo, fondatore del quotidiano Il Tempo . Di questa ricostruzione è sicura la procura che ha avanzato una richiesta di condanna a 3 anni di carcere con l' accusa di appropriazione indebita per il 70enne, erede (solo) delle fortune della donna, deceduta nel 2009, la cui casa a Trinità dei Monti ospitò i protagonisti della Prima e Seconda Repubblica.






ANGIOLILLO MARZOTTOANGIOLILLO MARZOTTO
Giulio De Santis per il Corriere della Sera

Gioielli di bellezza sopraffina, per anni indossati dalla regina dei salotti romani, Maria Angiolillo, scomparsi nel nulla.
Un tesoro fatto sparire in circostanze misteriose da Marco Oreste Bianchi Milella, figlio della signora Maria, moglie del senatore Renato Angiolillo, fondatore del quotidiano Il Tempo . Di questa ricostruzione è sicura la procura che ha avanzato una richiesta di condanna a 3 anni di carcere con l' accusa di appropriazione indebita per il 70enne, erede (solo) delle fortune della donna, deceduta nel 2009, la cui casa a Trinità dei Monti ospitò i protagonisti della Prima e Seconda Repubblica.
princie apparteneva alla famiglia reale indianaPRINCIE APPARTENEVA ALLA FAMIGLIA REALE INDIANA

Chi potrebbe sapere dove è svanito per esempio il Diamante Rosa, noto come Prince Diamond, valore di mercato, 40 milioni di euro, è il gioielliere nato a Ginevra Hervè Louis Fontaine, che -per il pm Loredana Carillo - si sarebbe occupato di vendere l' intero tesoro. La procura ha avanzato una richiesta di condanna a 4 anni con l' accusa di ricettazione nei confronti dello svizzero, ritenuto responsabile di aver aiutato Bianchi Milella a occultare la collezione.

Danneggiati dall' operazione, se venisse accolta l' impostazione degli inquirenti, sono gli eredi del senatore: dal figlio Amedeo, ai nipoti Luigi, Olga, Patrizia e Renato. Oltre al famoso diamante, tra i 30 gioielli di cui si sono perse le tracce: una collana di rubini di van Cleef & Arples, un anello con zaffiro Winston, una collana di perle Bulgari, un bracciale orologio in oro sempre di Bulgari.
il princie diamondIL PRINCIE DIAMOND

La collezione, come emerso nel dibattimento, fu messa insieme dall' editore del quotidiano romano per essere destinata solo al suo asse ereditario. L' imputato, di conseguenza escluso dall' eredità, ne sarebbe entrato in possesso dopo la morte della madre, e, temendo di non ottenere benefici, avrebbe deciso di far sparire diamanti e collane.
ANGIOLILLO LETTAANGIOLILLO LETTA
il senatore e editore renato angiolilloIL SENATORE E EDITORE RENATO ANGIOLILLOTESTAMENTO ANGIOLILLOTESTAMENTO ANGIOLILLOs maria angiolillo conbrilloccoS MARIA ANGIOLILLO CONBRILLOCCO Convention gioielli Sen Renato AngiolilloCONVENTION GIOIELLI SEN RENATO ANGIOLILLO angiolilloANGIOLILLO Foto Maria Girani e figlio Marco Bianchi MilellaFOTO MARIA GIRANI E FIGLIO MARCO BIANCHI MILELLA 
Sentenza prevista per il 19 ottobre.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has lashed out at Morgan Freeman over a video the American actor made for a nonprofit, nonpartisan U.S. organization in which Freeman says the United States is "at war" with Russia and calls for investigations into Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election...

American actor Morgan Freeman (file photo)


Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has lashed out at Morgan Freeman over a video the American actor made for a nonprofit, nonpartisan U.S. organization in which Freeman says the United States is "at war" with Russia and calls for investigations into Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Speaking in Moscow on September 20, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin doesn’t take Freeman’s video seriously.
Peskov claimed the Kremlin does not consider the video to be a threat and then launched a personal attack on Freeman -- calling him "a victim of emotionally charged, self-exalted status."
Peskov told reporters in Moscow that "many performing artists easily succumb to becoming victims of emotional strain with no real information about the real state of things."
Putin has selectively embraced Western showbiz celebrities in the past, granting Russian citizenship to Western performing artists and sports figures who have publicly supported the Kremlin’s foreign policy agenda.
In November, Putin personally handed a new Russian passport to American action-film star Steven Seagal following Russia's military seizure and illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
That move came after Seagal called Putin "one of the great living world leaders" and performed with his blues band in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory.
French actor Gerard Depardieu, who had previously buddied up to Putin in a high-profile public appearance, was given a Russian passport in 2013 so he could avoid tax-rate increases in France and become a tax exile.
Putin also gave Russian citizenship to U.S. boxer Roy Jones Jr after sipping tea with him in Crimea, and to U.S mixed martial artist Jeff Monson.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov (file photo)
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov (file photo)
Peskov said Freeman’s video "can hardly be taken seriously" and claimed that it had "no real informational basis. It’s purely emotion."
In the video released on September 19 by the Committee To Investigate Russia, Freeman said the United States has "been attacked" by Russia and is now “at war.”
"Imagine this movie script," Freeman said. “A former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge. Taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way up through the ranks of a post-Soviet Russia and becomes president. He establishes an authoritarian regime. Then he sets his sights on his sworn enemy, the United States."
"And like the true KGB spy he is, he secretly uses cyberwarfare to attack democracies around the world," Freeman said. "Using social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political processes, even their neighbors. And he wins."
WATCH: Morgan Freeman On Vladimir Putin
Freeman said: "Vladimir Putin is that spy, and this is no movie script."
He said the United States needs President Donald Trump to "speak directly to us and tell us the truth."
“We need him to sit behind the desk in the Oval Office and say, ‘My Fellow Americans, during this past election, we came under attack by the Russian government. I’ve called on Congress and our intelligence community to use every resource available to conduct a thorough investigation to determine exactly how this happened,’” Freeman said.
Trump has derided as a "witch hunt" investigations by the FBI and several congressional bodies into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election and contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials.
The advisory board of the Committee to Investigate Russia includes Hollywood film director Rob Reiner and Atlantic senior editor David Frum, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush.
Both say they felt compelled to act and raise public awareness in the United States about the "gravity" of allegations from U.S. intelligence officials that the Russian state meddled in the 2016 election with a campaign aimed at influencing the outcome of the vote by manipulating public opinion in the United States.


da "Radio Free Liberty"

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka observed joint military exercises with Russia on their final day and said that all Russian troops in his country for the Zapad 2017 drills would go home after their conclusion. Lukasahenka watched a portion of the exercise on September 20 near the central city of Barysau...

Belarus's president, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, waves as he arrives to inspect joint Russian-Belarusian military exercises near the town of Borisov on September 20.


Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka observed joint military exercises with Russia on their final day and said that all Russian troops in his country for the Zapad 2017 drills would go home after their conclusion.
Lukasahenka watched a portion of the exercise on September 20 near the central city of Barysau.
The war games in Belarus and parts of western Russia have caused concern in neighboring NATO nations already wary of Moscow's intentions after its seizure of Crimea and military interference in eastern Ukraine.
Lukashenka reiterated that the maneuvers pose no threat to any country and that the Russian troops in Belarus for Zapad will not remain, remarks that appear aimed both to soothe the West and show Belarusians that there is no creeping Russian occupation.
"We are not planning to attack any country such as Germany, Poland, the Baltic states, or our beloved Ukraine," Lukashenka said. "But as they say it in Russian, if someone hits us in the muzzle we will answer back."
He said that all the goals of the exercises were achieved, without going into detail. 
Asked why he and Russian President Vladimir Putin observed the drill separately, Lukashenka quipped: "If a mortar strikes in one place, two [persons] are gone in an instant," 
Putin observed the exercise at a training ground in Russia's Leningrad Oblast on September 18.
The exercise came at a time of severe tension between Moscow and the West. 
Belarus is closely allied with Moscow but Lukashenka has sought to improve ties with the West -- strained by his authoritarian rule and poor human rights record over more than 22 years in power -- to balance out Russia's strong influence over his far smaller country.
Russia and Belarus said the Zapad maneuvers involved about 12,700 troops in the two countries combined, but Western officials have said the true number could be up to about 100,000.
"Even as we speak, around 100,000 Russian troops are engaged in offensive military exercise Zapad 2017 on the borders of the Baltic States, Poland, and even in the Arctic," Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said in her speech to the UN General Assembly on September 19.
"The Kremlin is rehearsing aggressive scenarios against its neighbors, training its army to attack the West," she said. "The exercise is also part of information warfare aimed at spreading uncertainty and fear."
Putin's spokesman has accused the West of "whipping up hysteria" over Zapad, which is held every four years in rotation with drills in other parts of Russia.
Western governments have responded to Russia’s 2014 seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and backing of separatists in eastern Ukraine with several waves of economic and other sanctions targeting Moscow.
NATO has also bolstered its presence in its easternmost member states that were dominated by Moscow during the Cold War and remain concerned about the Kremlin’s intentions in the region. 
Belarus borders Ukraine as well as NATO members Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. The drills were also held in Russia’s western Leningrad region and the western exclave of Kaliningrad, which lies between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea.
With reporting by BelaPAN, BelTA, Reuters, and tut.by

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Donald Trump apologized after charges were filed against Turkish security personnel for attacking peaceful protesters in Washington DC. However, a White House spokesperson says no apology was ever made...


Erdogan says Trump apologized for indictment of Turkish staff over brawl… but did he?


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Donald Trump apologized after charges were filed against Turkish security personnel for attacking peaceful protesters in Washington DC. However, a White House spokesperson says no apology was ever made.
Speaking to PBS NewsHour, Erdogan said that "President Trump called me about a week ago about this issue. 
"He said that he was sorry, and he told me that he was going to follow up on this issue when we come to the United States within the framework of an official visit."
Erdogan was referring to 15 Turkish security officials who were indicted by a US grand jury for attacking peaceful pro-Kurdish protesters in May. The incident took place outside the house of the Turkish ambassador to the US, where Erdogan was staying during a visit to Washington DC. 
However, the Turkish leader said the protesters weren't actually peaceful, but were "insulting us, and they were screaming and shouting.” 
"The police failed to intervene properly. And similar protests were seen around the White House as well when we were inside of the embassy residence. The protesters were very close to my car, to my vehicle."
He went on to accuse the protesters of being PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) and FETO (Fetullah Terrorist Organization) "terrorists."
Erdogan said that although the US police officers were "officers of the state, not the federal government," they were "in charge of maintaining safety around me and security. They failed to do that."
At that moment, according to Erdogan, his security guards "came to his aid" and "made sure that everything was safe and secure” around him.
Erdogan, who is currently in New York for the annual UN General Assembly gathering, said he will be meeting with Trump on Thursday to "talk about these developments in a very extensive fashion.
"I hope and pray that justice will be served as soon as possible, because I know that the United States is very sensitive in terms of judiciary and in terms of the rule of law and the legal aspects," he said.
Meanwhile, a White House official has spoken out against Erdogan's claim of a Trump apology, telling CNBC that the two leaders"discussed a wide range of issues but there was no apology." 
Erdogan's recollection of the event is far from what the District of Columbia Attorney's Office said in a statement at the time, noting that the defendants "were indicted on a charge of conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, with a bias crime enhancement."
Video footage circulated after the brawl showed men in suits viciously attacking the protesters, pushing them to the ground, and kicking some of them in the head.
The incident also led the US to pull out of a major arms deal with Turkey on Monday, which would have seen Ankara purchase $1.2 million in weapons for presidential security guards, including hundreds of semi-automatic handguns and ammunition. 
Washington's withdrawal from the deal prompted Erdogan to slam the US for choosing to instead "give weapons to terrorists," referring to its decision to arm Syrian Kurds – a move which the White House believes is essential to seizing the last major Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) stronghold of Raqqa.

da "rt.com"

Donald Trump does not want war with North Korea and Washington is not giving up on diplomatic efforts, the US ambassador to the UN has stressed. It comes just one day after the president threatened to "totally destroy" the country if necessary...

Trump does not want war with N. Korea – Ambassador Haley


Donald Trump does not want war with North Korea and Washington is not giving up on diplomatic efforts, the US ambassador to the UN has stressed. It comes just one day after the president threatened to "totally destroy" the country if necessary.
Nikki Haley told 'CBS This Morning' that the US has "lots of military options," but that "no one wants war, the president doesn't want war.
US President Donald Trump has made a decision on whether or not he will end the Iran nuclear deal, but won't announce it yet, Reuters reports.
"We have tried to do this through dialogue, we've tried to do this through sanctions, we've tried every diplomatic measure that we possibly can. We're not giving up on that. We have said to Kim multiple times, 'we don't want regime change, we don't want war, what we want you to do is stop testing and stop working on nuclear production.' They have chosen not to do that."
Haley noted that "no one knows how to get his (Kim's) attention,"adding that "all you can do is continue to let him know what could happen if he doesn't stop." 
"Everyone is trying to figure out how to get to Kim. That's the problem - we just don't know how."
When asked if Trump was referring to China and Russia in his speech when he said it was an "outrage that some nations" would trade, arm, and supply North Korea, Haley said: "I think he was talking to all countries.
"You know, we've got countries in Africa that do trade with North Korea, we've got countries around the globe that interact with North Korea, and what we're saying is this is a country who is threatening its neighbors, threatening the United States, continuing to use ballistic missile testing but now also nuclear bombs that they're testing, and we have to stop every ounce of funding that they use to do bad things."
In his Tuesday address at the UN General Assembly, Trump said "the United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."
He went on to refer to Kim Jong-un as "Rocket Man" - a term he had previously tweeted - and accused the North Korean leader of being "on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime."
"No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. It is time for North Korea to realize that the denuclearization is its only acceptable future," Trump said.

da "rt.com"

The phrase coined 25 years ago by Bill Clinton's campaign manager James Carville might well explain why Angela Merkel looks poised to extend her term as German chancellor on September 24....


It’s the economy, stupid – why Angela Merkel will probably win again


The phrase coined 25 years ago by Bill Clinton's campaign manager James Carville might well explain why Angela Merkel looks poised to extend her term as German chancellor on September 24.
Since taking the helm of one of the world's largest economies in 2005, Merkel’s political ideology has often clashed with domestic business interests. But the German economy has continued to prosper and persevere, giving the chancellor the support of the electorate.
Following years of anti-nuclear protests and the Fukushima accident in 2011, Merkel’s government announced a nuclear power phase-out in the country. Germany has permanently shut down eight of its 17 reactors and pledged to close the rest by 2022.
Large corporations running the country’s nuclear power plants lost billions in a move to renewable energy and were forced to scramble to save employees' jobs. But the decision was widely supported by the German public who were unsympathetic to large utilities in the wake of Fukushima.
"It is hard to understand for people outside Germany, that German politics is not driven by rationale, but by what they call morale. You see that when looking at the energy sector. Is it rational to shut down all atomic power plants and moving the energy sector fully toward green energy, making energy not competitive anymore? Markel’s politics is not driven by facts and rationale, it is following public opinions waves, made by left-wing journalists," former CDU politician Maximilian Krah told RT.
Merkel takes on country's biggest employer & exporter
During this election year, Merkel has taken on the German auto industry.
After chiding auto executives over the diesel emissions scandal in August, she hinted that it’s only a matter of time before Germany bans the sale of new cars running on gasoline and diesel.
The move has drawn criticism since it could damage an industry that provides 800,000 jobs domestically and exports worth over €400 billion last year.
For a while, it even seemed as though the attacks on the auto industry would threaten to undermine Merkel’s support base.
Earlier this month, Bavarian Prime Minister and the leader of Germany's Christian Social Union (CSU), Horst Seehofer laid down conditions for re-entering a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats after the elections.
Seehofer said he would not join the coalition if the chancellor insists on banning vehicles with internal combustion engines, as it could undermine the car industry. Merkel has hinted Germany should follow the likes of France, Britain, and India in this eco-friendly effort.
“A ban on the combustion engine puts the ax at the root of our prosperity,” Seehofer said as quoted by German daily Die Welt.
The move has also raised questions whether politicians should dictate to businesses on how and what they should produce.
“It should be upon free markets to decide about what products should be produced by whom, when and where. Politicians do not have superior knowledge in this regard compared to the combined intelligence of the free market. The chancellor suggesting what firms should produce, or not produce, does not appear to be helpful whatsoever,” Thorsten Polleit, an economist from Polleit & Riechert Investment Management told RT.
Sanctions against Russia
Despite protests by German business lobbies, Angela Merkel has actively supported anti-Russian sanctions introduced by the US, the EU and their allies in 2014. She has also supported new rounds of penalties imposed since.
German corporations along with the country’s local governments repeatedly expressed grave concerns over the measures, saying that sanctioning Europe’s third-largest trading partner was shattering both business confidence and profit-making capabilities.
Since 2012, German exports to Russia have almost halved from €38 billion to around €21.6 billion last year.
Some of the German high-value exporters felt a significant impact on their businesses after the first two rounds of sanctions. The collapsing ruble and inflation inevitably cut consumer spending in Russia, affecting German business in the country.
“It is equally, if not, even more, puzzling why the German chancellor allowed the US to dictate anti-Russian sanctions that mainly hurt German and European businesses, while at the same time US firms step in and, unimpeded by sanctions, take over much business with Russia. This is especially bewildering when one realizes that neither the political nor legal arguments for anti-Russian sanctions make any sense. There is no clear legal basis for the sanctions in international law. There is also no UN mandate,” Richard Werner, German economist, and professor at the University of Southampton told RT.
The volume of German exports to Russia in August 2014, five months after the introduction of sanctions, declined 26.3 percent year-on-year, according to the country’s federal statistical office.
German sports retailer Adidas notably lowered financial targets in Russia following the decision to impose penalties. The company closed over 50 stores in the market, with more than a hundred to be shut this year.
Europe’s largest carmaker, Volkswagen, reported a 12.7 percent drop in annual sales in Russia in 2014. The manufacturer even had to shut one of its Russian factories due to declining sales, while German-based retailer Metro postponed the IPO of its Russian subsidiary Cash & Carry.
In 2015, the Moscow-based German-Russian Foreign Trade Chamber released the results of a survey, which showed that 50 percent of executives were worried Russia might permanently turn away from Europe and toward Asia.
German Federal elections 2017
Ultimately James Carville’s words may be proved right once again. It’s the economy that will determine the elections. While Angela Merkel has seen her popularity drop by at least ten points, according to an Infratest Dimap opinion poll published in August, her approval rating now stands at 59 percent, which still allows the chancellor to be re-elected.
In terms of business support, German corporations donate mostly for Markel’s CDU party and the so-called liberals, which almost entirely follow Merkel, according to Maximilian Krah.
"They (business) fear both a left-wing government under Chancellor Schulz and instability caused by a strong right wing. For them, stability is more important than change, even if they are widely unsatisfied with the status quo."

da "rt.com"