Full stream ahead: Bulgaria wants natural gas pipeline directly from Russia

Cape Kaliakra, Black Sea, Bulgaria

    

Amid talk of European energy security and diversification of gas supplies, Bulgaria has proposed building another pipeline to get gas directly from Russia, according to President Rumen Radev.

The Balkan nation currently gets Russian natural gas by transit through Ukraine and other Gazprom customers in Europe. Last year, sales of the blue fuel to Bulgaria reached 3.3 billion cubic meters, 4.7 percent more than in 2016.

“As for the supplies from Russia, Bulgaria needs drop shipment of the gas through the Black Sea. Let’s call it ‘Bulgarian Stream’,” Radev said in an interview with Russian business daily Kommersant.

“The approach is motivated by common sense, as well as by energy efficiency and security demand not only for Bulgaria, but for the entire European Union,” Radev told the media. “Such ambitions do not differ from Germany’s intention to implement the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project”.

At the moment, the Bulgarian authorities are wagering on the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, which is currently under construction. The country is supposed to get first shipments of Russian gas via the route after 2019. Turkish Stream is set to stretch across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and further to Turkey’s border with European neighbors.

The Bulgarian President is currently paying a two-day visit to Russia. Radev is scheduled to meet Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on Monday. On Tuesday, he will have his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/386109-Full-stream-ahead-Bulgaria-wants-natural-gas-pipeline-directly-from-Russia

End of multiculturalism? Swedes say immigration is top issue ahead of election

Some 20 percent of Swedes listed immigration as the main issue ahead of the country’s elections, followed by healthcare (19 percent), law and order (12 percent) and integration (10 percent).

Since refugees started pouring into Europe in 2015, Sweden has welcomed more asylum seekers than any other European country in relation to its population. Nearly 163,000 people sought asylum in Sweden at the height of the refugee crisis in Europe, according to the national migration agency. Sweden’s finance minister said in December that the influx of migrants had put a tremendous financial and social strain on the country.

“Integration is not working properly. It didn’t work before the autumn of 2015 either, but for me it is obvious that we cannot have a larger asylum reception than we are able to integrate,” Magdalena Andersson told the Dagens Nyheter.

As a result of the country’s controversial open-door migrant policy, Swedish politicians have found themselves battling to win the support of a growing number of anti-immigration voters.

Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats announced in January that it would court 350,000 undecided voters wavering between them and the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats with the slogan of “Better welfare, law and order, and faster integration.”

“There is a desire among voters for someone to take control over the way society is developing,” John Zanchi, the party’s election chief, said after unveiling the new strategy.

Restrictions imposed after the initial wave of refugees in 2015 resulted in less than 30,000 people coming to Sweden the following year, with even smaller numbers in 2017.

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Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/424590-sweden-immigration-issue-election/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Full steam ahead! Russian Navy gets new nuclear sub, warships, and Kalibr cruise missiles

russian tula submarine

    

The Russian Navy has expanded its strategic capabilities by commissioning a nuclear submarine, three new warships, two helicopters and a number of home-made Kalibr cruise missiles.

“The Navy took delivery of the repaired Project 667BDRM strategic underwater missile cruiser Tula, three warships and support vessels of the auxiliary fleet, two helicopters and 46 Kalibr tactical cruise missiles,” Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said Wednesday.

First commissioned in late 1980s, Tula is a Delta IV class submarine capable of carrying 16 massive Sineva intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). With a range of over 11,000 kilometers (around 7,000 miles), the missile can deliver four nuclear warheads to its targets after being launched from Tula.

The Russian Navy has also accepted logistics support ship Elbrus built in Murmansk in northwest Russia and was looking forward to the delivery of another batch of seaborne Kalibr cruise missile, Borisov said.

Kalibr missiles are nuclear-capable and can also carry 500 kilograms (1,100 lbs) of conventional explosives in their warhead. Russian military sources say the conventionally armed version has a range of 2,500 km (1,600 miles) while a nuclear armed Kalibr has a greater range of 2,600 km.

Russia retains 2nd place in military-technical cooperation

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Wednesday that his country has remained world’s second in terms of military and technical cooperation despite being subjected to several rounds of sanctions by the US and the European Union.

“Despite the sanctions, the Industry and Trade Ministry and other our structures responsible for the development of the defense sector have managed to keep the high level of military and technical cooperation. We are still in the second place and are retaining this position, despite the illegal sanctions and unfair competition with us on the arms sale markets,” Rogozin said during a meeting of the Industry and Trade Ministry.

According to the vice-premier, the Russian military had fulfilled a record 97-98 percent of its state defense order, up from 80 percent last year.

In February, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would counter any instances of unfair competition in military and technical cooperation from the US and other powers.

Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, part of the hi-tech state corporation Rostec, said November last year that it had sold military hardware worth $140 billion over its 17 years of operation.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/383284-Full-steam-ahead-Russian-Navy-gets-new-nuclear-sub-warships-and-Kalibr-cruise-missiles

ABC, CBS Ignore High-Level U.S. Talks With North Korea Ahead of Possible Meeting

In remarks late Tuesday afternoon, President Trump revealed the United States was in high-level talks directly with the North Korean government and had given the okay for South Korea to negotiate an official end to the decades-long state of war. These were major developments on the world stage but the evening broadcasts of ABC, CBS and Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo flat out ignored them. Only NBC Nightly News thought it was importing enough to inform their viewers about.

There is breaking news from President Trump tonight at a critical meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida. The President revealing that high-level talks have begun between the U.S. and North Korea,” announced anchor Lester Holt at the start of the segment.

As NBC Chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson explained, the talks between the U.S. and North Korea were a “milestone” because it was the first time the two countries have spoken that way in “nearly two decades.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un face to face, maybe in May or June, the President says. As he confirms high-level direct talks happening now with the North Korean regime,” she reported. “No North Korean leader has ever met with a sitting U.S. president. So, if Donald Trump does, it would be a major milestone.” Even though it was a historic moment, Jackson had a lot to complain about.

 

 

She huffed that President Trump was “granting dictator Kim Jong-un the legitimacy he craves.” It was a point some say went out the window when three presidents let the rogue state obtain nuclear weapons and reportedly the ability to hit Washington, DC with them.

Jackson did, however, note that “to pave the way, the North Koreans are in talks with South Korea, apparently given the green light by the U.S.” “South Korea is meeting and has plans to meet with North Korea to see if they can end the war, and they have my blessing on that,” Trump said in a clip. The president also said that they have not picked a final location for the talks to occur but did have it narrowed down to five possible locations.

NBC also brought on George W. Bush-era National Security Council member Victor Cha to bemoan Trump’s negotiating tactics:

This is usually something that comes at the end of a negotiation process. It’s not something at the very beginning, which will only incentivize the North Koreans to believe they have been accepted as a nuclear weapons state and will keep their weapons.

That complaint came even though the U.S. had made it clear they wanted denuclearization.

Not long after the network evening broadcasts were off the air, The Washing Post reported that CIA Director Mike Pompeo actually made a secret trip to the communist regime to meet with Kim personally. “CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a top-secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend as an envoy for President Trump to meet with that country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, according to two people with direct knowledge of the trip,” the paper reported.

Instead of reporting on the historic talks, ABC’s World News Tonight reported on a baby gorilla at the National Zoo and CBS Evening News highlighted the North Pole Marathon. 

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read: 

 

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NBC Nightly News
April 17, 2018
7:07:05 PM Eastern [1 minute 55 seconds]

LESTER HOLT: There is breaking news from President Trump tonight at a critical meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida. The President revealing that high level talks have begun between the U.S. and North Korea. A lot of major issues to hammer out before a potential summit between the President and Kim Jong-un. Our White House correspondent Hallie Jackson is traveling with the President in Florida.

[Cuts to video]

HALLIE JACKSON: Dominating discussions tonight, not talks with Japan’s prime minister, but a different meeting that could come within weeks.

DONALD TRUMP: I look forward to meeting with Kim Jong-un and hopefully that will be a success.

JACKSON: Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un face to face, maybe in May or June the President says. As he confirms high level direct talks happening now with the North Korean regime. For the first time in nearly two decades.

TRUMP: We’ve also started talking to North Korea directly. We have had direct talks at very high levels. extremely high levels.

JACKSON: No North Korean leader has ever met with a sitting U.S. president. So, if Donald Trump does, it would be a major milestone. Granting dictator Kim Jong-un the legitimacy he craves.

TRUMP: We have not picked the site yet. But we picked five sites where it’s potentially going to be.

JACKSON: To pave the way, the North Koreans are in talks with South Korea, apparently given the green light by the U.S.

TRUMP: South Korea is meeting and has plans to meet with North Korea to see if they can end the war, and they have my blessing on that.

VICTOR CHA: This is usually something that comes at the end of a negotiation process. It’s not something at the very beginning, which will only incentivize the North Koreans to believe they have been accepted as a nuclear weapons state and will keep their weapons.

[Cuts back to live]

JACKSON: In those talks here in south Florida, with the Japanese prime minister trade could be a tension point with President Trump pushing for a one on one agreement. Lester?

HOLT: All right Hallie Jackson, thank you.

Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/nicholas-fondacaro/2018/04/17/abc-cbs-ignore-high-level-talks-north-korea-end-war

Looking Ahead To $20,000 Bitcoin

In last week’s Investor Alert, our investment team shared with you a report from Morgan Stanley that says Bitcoin’s price decline since December mimics the Nasdaq tech bubble in the late 1990s. This isn’t earth-shattering news in and of itself. The main difference is that the bitcoin rout happened at 15 times the rate as the tech bubble.

Morgan Stanley has some good news for Bitcoin bulls, however: The 70 percent decline is “nothing out of the ordinary,” and what’s more, such corrections “have historically preceded rallies.” Just as the Nasdaq gained back much of what it lost in the subsequent years—before the financial crisis pared losses even further—bitcoin could similarly be ready to stage a strong recovery.

One research firm, in fact, believes Bitcoin and other digital coins, or “alt-coins,” have likely found a bottom. New York-based Fundstrat, headed by strategist Thomas Lee, issued a statement to investors last week saying that, though a cryptocurrency bull market isn’t necessarily underway, the worst of the pain could be “largely over.”

Fundstrat research shows that periods of cryptocurrency consolidation, or “purgation,” generally last 70 to 231 days. Bitcoin hit its all-time high in mid-December, almost 70 days ago as of March 26. Taking into consideration Fundstrat’s estimates, then, it’s possible the bear market could conclude sometime between now and early August.

Source Article from http://govtslaves.info/2018/03/looking-ahead-to-20000-bitcoin/

Gold breaking out with bigger rally ahead – analyst

After last week’s surge, the gold market extended gains on Monday to reach its highest level in five weeks before retreating slightly over the last two days. McDonald told CNBC that the rally can go on, as the “perfect storm” of rising gold prices is coming up. Gold has rallied more than 3.5 percent this year.

Though low interests rates are good for gold, and the Fed raised them last week, it did not show the hawks expected by the market. The turbulence around the US political situation and a possible trade war with China can also send gold prices higher, McDonald said.

The analyst also noted that shares in some gold mining companies are cheap at the moment, and investors could cash in, adding to the momentum.

Another analyst, Chief Executive Officer of US Global Investors Frank Holmes, has said that gold is heading to $1,500 this year from the current $1,340-$1,350 levels.

“Inflation could be growing a lot faster than what the government is telling us. No matter which gauge you look at… inflation is trending up,” he told Marketwatch. Gold is often used as a hedge against inflation.

A weaker dollar would also contribute to gold prices, according to Holmes. “Americans like to hear that the dollar is strong, but a weak dollar makes American exports and tourism rock, not to mention gold prices go up,” he said.

Singapore’s BullionStar precious metals expert Ronan Manly told RT that global central banks have been suppressing gold prices for decades.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/business/422570-gold-prices-rally-analyst/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

NBC Plays Mouthpiece for Lefty Students Ahead of ‘Powerful,’ ‘Remarkable’ March for Our Lives

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
March 23, 2018
7:01 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: “March for Our Lives”]

LESTER HOLT: And students from across the country descending on Washington preparing for a massive history-making March. 

GRACE CHRUPCALA: It’s not a red and blue problem. It’s a red, white and blue problem. It’s an American issue. 

HOLT: An American generation demanding action.

(….)

7:07 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Bump Stocks to Be Banned]

HOLT: A late move by the Justice Department tonight issuing a proposed ban on firearm bumpstocks that President Trump promised in the wake of the Parkland high School massacre. Under the proposal, anyone who owns a bumpstock would have to destroy it. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: 

This comes on the eve of what could be one of the largest protests in U.S. history called the March for Our Lives. Students from Parkland joining millions of other teens in cities from coast to coast to demand gun law reforms. NBC’s Kerry Sanders has more from Washington where they’re expecting a massive crowd. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Millions of Teens Prepare for “March for Our Lives”]

KERRY SANDERS: Today, hundreds of Marjory Stoneman Douglas students arrived in Washington fed up with school shootings in Parkland, Florida, and across the nation, upwards of 500,000 people here planning a March for Our Lives tomorrow. [TO DAVID HOGG] Are you touched by the fact that kids are coming from all over the United States for this? 

DAVID HOGG: I’m absolutely touched by it. I think it shows that there’s a massive amount of support for this movement. 

EMMA GONZALEZ: We call B.S. 

SANDERS: They say they’re protesting legislative inaction. 

CHRUPCALA: It’s not a red and blue problem. It’s a red, white and blue problem. It’s an American issue. It’s a public issue that we need to get that through everyone’s, like, mind. 

SANDERS: This movement still raw for many of the kids coalescent in a remarkable five weeks and three days. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine telling the teens too young to vote this just doesn’t happen in Washington like this. 

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TIM KAINE (Va.): You have started something that is incredibly powerful. 

SANDERS: Former Vice President Joe Biden today.

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN [TO MARIANA ATENCIO]: They’re going to change the gun culture because they have no agenda. 

SANDERS: With rallies in 800 locations in the nation and around the world, there’s a sense what’s happening now is not far removed from another powerful movement. 

HOGG: I absolutely think this is kind of like the protests of the Vietnam War because we’re having a war on our streets. Blood, American, young blood is being spilled every day. 

SANDERS: Hoping their message takes root from the streets of Washington all the way back home. Kerry Sanders, NBC News, Washington. 

HOLT: In a tragic reminder of why these students are protesting, one of the victims wounded in a shooting at a Maryland high school on Tuesday has died. 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey’s family took her off life support overnight. She was shot by a fellow student. Police say the two had a relationship that recently ended. The shooter died at the scene. 

Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/curtis-houck/2018/03/23/nbc-plays-mouthpiece-lefty-students-ahead-powerful-remarkable-march

Putin: ‘Absurd’ to believe Russia poisoned Skripals ahead of elections & World Cup

Putin za američki NBC: Nismo mi započeli utrku u naoružanju - započeo ju je Bush 2002. godine i od onda traje

    

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed allegations that Russia was behind the early March poisoning of former double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.

It is “nonsense and absurd to claim that Russia would do anything like that before the elections and the World Cup,” Putin said, touching on the subject for the fist time since the incident. He was responding to a reporter’s question in his campaign headquarters, as early results of Sunday’s presidential election indicated his landslide victory.

“Concerning this tragedy that you’ve mentioned, I learned about it from the media,” Putin told reporters.

He dismissed the theory that it was a military-grade toxic agent that was used in the poisoning, because if that were the case “people, of course, would have died on the spot.”

“It’s an obvious fact, you should simply understand that,” he said.

The Skripals, 66-year-old Sergei and 33-year-old Yulia, were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury on March 4. They remain in hospital, in critical but stable condition.

Moscow is open to working with London to investigate the poisoning, provided the UK is willing, which is not the case at the moment.

“We have not seen this so far, but we keep that on the agenda while planning our bilateral work,” Putin said, adding that Russia is ready “to discuss any issues and overcome any difficulties” with London.

Moscow does not possess any chemical weapons stockpiles, Putin said.

“Russia doesn’t have such means, and we have destroyed all our chemical weapons under the supervision of international observers,” he stated, adding that Russia was the first to get rid of its arsenals while other countries “have promised [to do the same], but have not met their commitments yet, unfortunately.”

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that, contrary to UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s claims that there could be “no alternative conclusion other than the Russian state was responsible,” the toxin could have originated from the UK itself, Slovakia, the Czech Republic or Sweden.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated on Saturday that the project “is not the creation of Russia or the Soviet Union,” pointing to the fact that several countries have been researching the substance since the 1990s, when many former Soviet scientists fled to the West.

On Sunday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson doubled down on his accusations that Russia was complicit in the incident, claiming that the UK has been collecting evidence “over the past 10 years” of Moscow devising deadly nerve agents for the purpose of assassination.


Comment: Boris, why not release this evidence if it’s so damning? Possibly because it’s bogus?

Moscow has requested samples of the alleged nerve agent to be provided to Russia through Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) channels, but the request has been repeatedly rebuked by the UK.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/380416-Putin-Absurd-to-believe-Russia-poisoned-Skripals-ahead-of-elections-World-Cup