Joule Unlimited, a secretive green energy company that appears to have placed a big bet hiring Democratic insider John Podesta to its board, appears to have been doomed when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election. When the 2016 presidential election ended, senior company executives admitted the prospects for their renewable energy ‘biofuels’ company evaporated. ‘We had a lot of prospects last year,’ former Joule CEO Brian Baynes told BioFuels Digest in a rare interview in July. ‘But those new investor prospects walked away, particularly post-election.’ Dmitry Akhanov, the president and CEO of Rusnano USA Inc., a Kremlin-owned venture capital firm nicknamed ‘Putin’s child,’ oversaw the Russian government’s investment in Joule and sat on its board along with two other Russians with ties to the Kremlin. Akhavov agreed that Clinton’s loss doomed the company. ‘We lined up investors who were willing to buy the bonds, but after the elections, with some statements from the new administration regarding potential uncertainty, the future support of biofuels was stopped,’ he told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview. ‘The company was not able to do the deal and it was one of the reasons why the company was closed.’ Akhanov confirmed to TheDCNF his company invested and lost 1 billion rubles, worth $35 million when Joule closed its doors.
In 2016, long before the current news story broke about the FBI concealing a multi-year investigation into Russian bribery, the Clintons, US uranium, and Russia, I wrote about the scandal and spelled it out in simple terms. A writer for the Washington Post then called me and tried to extract a statement he could use to discredit the story. I declined to give him anything, except a link to a key 2015 NY Times piece, which he said he’d ‘read many times.’ I’m not sure why he had to read it more than once. Perhaps he suffers from a mental deficit. Anyway, here is the piece I wrote then. It’s more relevant than ever. Then I’ll make some comments on the present situation. – Cue the dawn sunrise and violins for the beautiful first couple of American politics (the Clintons). But what about the uranium scandal? The what? Before I quote a NY Times piece on this – -suppose, just suppose the beautiful first couple, Bill and Hillary, have been running a parallel operation to the government, in the form of a Foundation that is taking in major chunks of cash from people who want (and get) serious political favors. Well, current news stories confirm that. We already know that. But uranium?
What this story shows is that while there are some conscientious journalists at the New York Times who have made a concerted effort to discover the truth about President Trump’s somewhat outlandish claim that the Cuban government have deployed sonic attacks against US diplomats in Havana – the paper’s editors also ran with the predictable mainstream conspiracy theory that Putin might be behind this malicious high-tech assault on US foreign service officials. Is there an internal struggle underway in mainstream media institutions – between those who want to retain their integrity, and gatekeepers determine to use these outlets to peddle Establishment propaganda? Consortium News Exclusive: When the Trump administration blamed Cuba for a ‘sonic attack’ on U. S. diplomats, a New York Times reporter did something unusual for his newspaper: he tried objectively to assess the evidence, as Robert Parry reports…
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet formally declared his intention to seek another term as leader of Russia, but many observers noted that a sweeping speech he gave at the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi this week served as a template for his campaign ahead of the March election. The speech’s overarching theme was to burnish Putin’s accomplishments as the man who restored ‘power and respect’ to Russia. But in doing so, he heaped abuse on the US and its western allies, accusing them of selectively adhering to international law, and of taking advantage of Russia during the 1990s when the country was struggling to rebuild following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Bloomberg reported. He accused the US of abusing Russia’s trust, and seeking to take advantage of the political and economic chaos that persisted for much of the 1990s and early 2000s, according to Russia Today. ‘The biggest mistake our country made was that we put too much trust in you; and your mistake was that you saw this trust as a lack of power and you abused it,” he said during a question-and-answer session that was carried on national television. What was needed, he said, was ‘respect.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 20, 2017.
If President Trump or anyone even remotely close to his presidency, including his best friend from 2nd grade that he hadn’t seen in 40 years, sought to meet with key Russian nuclear officials, in Moscow, just months before the federal government approved a very controversial deal handing Vladimir Putin 20% of U. S. uranium reserves, despite an ongoing investigation into Russian fraud, bribery, extortion and money laundering, it would be the only story played on a 24 x 7 loop on CNN and MSNBC. Ironically, that is exactly what new emails dug up by The Hill show that Bill Clinton did in June 2010, just months before the Uranium One deal was approved by a committee on which his wife, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, sat. Oh, and did we mention that Bill’s Clinton Foundation just happened to collect millions of dollars in bribes donations from Russian sources and Uranium One shareholders shortly after his Moscow meetings? As you will recall, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), approved the Uranium One transaction in October 2010. According to new emails revealed by The Hill, just months before that approval, Bill Clinton sought permission from the State Department, run by his wife at the time, to meet Arkady Dvorkovich, a top aide to then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and one of the highest-ranking government officials to serve on Rosatom’s board of supervisors, the company which was ultimately approved to purchase Uranium One.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 20, 2017.
Authored by Tsvetana Paraskova via OilPrice.com, Neither sanctions nor persistently low oil prices are hindering Russia’s ambitions or plans to develop oil resources in its sections of the Arctic. In April, state-controlled oil giant Rosneft started drilling the northernmost well on the Russian Arctic shelf in the Khatangsky license area in the Laptev Sea. In June, Rosneft struck first oil in the Eastern Arctic in this license. Earlier this month, the oil firm said that recoverable reserves at the field exceed 80 million tons of oil, which is equal to around 586.4 million barrels. Geological data point to reserves at the field at 298 million tons of oil, or some 2.184 billion barrels, and the oil is high quality – light and low-sulfur, according to Rosneft. The Russian oil giant – whose CEO Igor Sechin is a close ally of Vladimir Putin – continues to drill at the field to study its geology, search for more oil, and define future drilling strategies at the license, Rosneft says.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 20, 2017.
Nobody puts little Rocket Man in a corner. As we’ve noted time and time again, tensions between the US and North Korea have only intensified since Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed last month that the two countries were on the verge of a nuclear conflict, a warning that the North’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN echoed on Monday, but has so far done little to dent the rally in global stock markets. But with Russia at least ostensibly reining in support for Kim Jong Un’s increasingly isolated regime, Putin inadvertently channeled the late, great Patrick Swayze during a speech at the annual Valdai Discussion Club meeting on Thursday when he warned that foreign powers should avoid “backing North Korea into a corner.” Doing so would risk provoking a desperate, violent response, he said. Putin added that the North is a ‘sovereign state’ and reiterated his call that the standoff between the US and its regional allies and the Kim regime could only be resolved with dialogue – a solution that Russia and China – the North’s primary benefactor – have been pushing for months, NBC reported.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 19, 2017.
In one of the most reckless and chilling attacks on free speech, the former chair of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Berkeley lecturer Ann Ravel is pushing for a federal crackdown on ‘disinformation’ on the Internet – a term that she conspicuously fails to concretely define. Ravel is pushing a proposal that she laid out in a a paper co-author with Abby K. Wood, an associate professor at the University of Southern California, and Irina Dykhne, a student at USC Gould School of Law. To combat ‘fake news,’ Ravel and her co-authors would undermine the use of the Internet as a forum for free speech. The regulation would include the targeting of people who share stories deemed fake or disinformation by government regulators. The irony is that such figures are decrying Russian interference with our system and responding by curtailing free speech – something Vladimir Putin would certainly applaud.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 19, 2017.
To summarize, in just the last few years the world has invented a way to create software services that have no central operator. These services are called decentralized applications and they are enabled with crypto assets that incentivize entities on the internet to contribute resources’ – ‘processing, storage, computing’ – ‘necessary for the service to function. It’s worth pausing to acknowledge that this is kind of miraculous. With just the internet, an open protocol, and a new kind of asset, we can instantiate networks that dynamically assemble the resources necessary to provide many kinds of services. – From Adam Ludwin’s: A Letter to Jamie Dimon I’m actually pretty optimistic about the future. I know some of you might be surprised to hear that, but it’s true. This might not be the case if I had only five years left on the planet, but assuming I’m fortunate enough to stay healthy for another few decades, I think the world will be a much better place when I leave it than when I came in. The simple fact of the matter is this. For things to get substantially better from any situation, it’s always easier to start from a pretty bad place. When I write articles describing the U. S. economy as a rent-seeking, oligarch controlled swindle, I don’t do this to fill you with a sense of insurmountable dread. Rather, the purpose of those posts is to shake as many people as possible out of their slumber. There’s simply no way we can come up with appropriate and conscious solutions to our problems unless we can identify the various scams that govern so much of life around us.
Dear Readers: I agree that the official Las Vegas story seems to be unraveling. A public mass shooting should be transparent, not opaque. I think we explored the story long enough to discover that without knowing the facts, we cannot arrive at an explanation with confidence. It is time to move on to another unraveling – that of US/Russian relations. This unraveling is far more serious as it threatens life on earth. I have warned of the consequences of Washington threatening Russia’s security by breaking agreement after agreement, by placing missile bases on Russia’s borders, by orchestrating anti-Russian coups in former Soviet provinces, and by a continuing volley of false accusations against Russia. There is no act more reckless and irresponsible than to make one nuclear power fear nuclear attack from another. Alert observers have become aware of the mounting danger. Canadian professor Michel Chossudovsky writes that Washington has taken nuclear war from a hypothetical scenario to a real danger that threatens the future of humanity. Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader who worked with President Ronald Reagan to end the Cold War and the threat of nuclear Armageddon, has appealed to President Trump and President Putin to hold a summit meeting and bring an end to the rising tensions. Gorbachev wrote in the Washington Post that ‘it is far from normal that the presidents of major nuclear powers meet merely on the margins of international gatherings.’ This is especially the case as ‘relations between the two nations are in a severe crisis.’
Authored by Dmitiry Minin via The Strategic Culture Foundation, The Turkish media is reporting that a staffer at the American consulate general in Istanbul was recently arrested under the serious charge of attempting the ‘destruction of the constitutional order,’ ‘espionage,’ and seeking ‘to overthrow the government.’ To be specific, ties have been uncovered between the man under arrest and some prominent members of Fethullah Glen’s movement (FET), which is banned in Turkey. Previous accusations had been made against General Joseph Votel, the commander of US CENTCOM and an expert in covert operations, alleging that he had cooperated with the conspirators who attempted a military coup in Turkey in July 2016. And this is only the tip of a very cold and growing iceberg that has gradually been disrupting the relationship between these formerly close allies – the US and Turkey. Not even President Erdo?an’s visit to the US this year could buck these trends. Observing that relations between the two countries have been deteriorating for more than a decade, US columnists, for example – Tom Rogan of the Washington Examiner – reflexively sum it all up as evidence of the deleterious influence of Vladimir Putin. In his assessment of the most recent meeting between the Russian and Turkish presidents in Ankara, that journalist points to the fact that Recep Erdo?an called Vladimir Putin ‘my dear friend’ and even ‘stroked his ego’ by speaking to him – horror of horrors! – ‘in Russian,’ as though that were a crime.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 13, 2017.
Somehow everything keeps coming back around to Russia. In one of its recent initiatives, the Justice Department (DOJ) appears to be attacking the First Amendment as part of the apparent bipartisan program to make Vladimir Putin the fall guy for everything that goes wrong in Washington. In the past month, the DOJ has revealed that the FBI is investigating Russian owned news outlets Sputnik News and RT International and has sent letters to the latter demanding that one of its business affiliates register as a foreign agent by October 17th. The apparent line of inquiry that the Bureau is pursuing is that both are agencies of the Russian government and that both have been spreading disinformation that is intended to discredit the United States government and its institutions. This alleged action would make them, in the DOJ view, a propaganda arm of a foreign government rather than a news service. It also makes them subject to Department of the Treasury oversight under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938. Sputnik, which is owned by a Russian government media group headed by Putin consigliere Dimitri Kiselyov, has been under investigation due to the accusations made by a fired broadcaster named Andrew Feinberg. Feinberg, the former Sputnik White House correspondent, reportedly took with him a thumb drive containing some thousands of internal business files when he left his office. He has been interviewed by the FBI, has turned over his documents, and has claimed that much of the direction over what the network covered came from Moscow.
Authored by M. K. Bhadrakumr viaThe Strategic Culture Foundation, The mishap at the Moscow airport on Wednesday when the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz arrived on a historic visit, was a wake-up call that even the most carefully choregraphed enterprises may hold unpleasant surprises. When Salman exited his plane and stepped out onto the special escalator he travels with, something went wrong. It malfunctioned halfway down, leaving the king standing awkwardly for about 20 seconds before he decided to walk the rest of the way. For ordinary mortals, this wouldn’t have been an uncommon occurrence but divinity ordains when a king is involved. The Russian-Saudi entente is not going to be smooth. The climactic event last week drawing Saudi Arabia into President Vladimir Putin’s Middle East sphere of influence, must be assessed with a sense of proportions. Salman had hardly departed from Russian soil when the Pentagon issued a statement announcing that the State Department had on Friday approved a possible US$15-billion sale of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems to Saudi Arabia. The statement recalled that Saudi Arabia had requested to purchase from America 44 THAAD launchers, 360 missiles, 16 fire control stations and seven radars. The US officials confirmed that the sale was part of the $110-billion package of defense equipment and services initially announced during US President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia in May. The Pentagon statement said, ‘This potential sale will substantially increase Saudi Arabia’s capability to defend itself against the growing ballistic missile threat in the region.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 11, 2017.
While OPEC mulls over further steps to once again support falling oil prices, tech startups are quietly ushering in a new era in oil and gas: the era of the digital oil field. Much talk has revolved around how software can completely transform the energy industry, but until recently, it was just talk. Now, things are beginning to change, and some observers, such as Cottonwood Venture Partners’ Mark P. Mills, believe we are on the verge of an oil industry transformation of proportions identical to the transformation that Amazon prompted in retail. According to Mills, the three technological factors that actualized what he calls ‘the Amazon effect’, which changed the face of retail forever, are evidenced in oil and gas right now. These are cheap computing with industrial-application capabilities; ubiquitous communication networks; and, of course, cloud tech. The Internet of Things is entering oil and gas, and so are analytics and artificial intelligence. These, Mills believes, will be among the main drivers of a second shale revolution, reinforcing the efficiency push prompted by the latest oil price crisis.
Even in this era of global paradigmatic changes, Saudi Arabia’s shifting grand strategy is perhaps one of the most surprising developments to occur thus far, but the fast-moving Russian-Saudi rapprochement is likely to provoke an Iranian ‘zero-sum’ reaction which could complicate Moscow’s multipolar efforts in managing the ‘New Middle East’. *** Most observers were taken aback by what to many seemed to be the inexplicable visit of Saudi King Salman to Moscow this week, wondering how and why the two long-standing Great Power rivals were able to get so close to one another in such a short period of time – and apparently without much public fanfare, too – in making this historic event possible. The usual Alt-Media demagogues decried this as a sellout of Russia’s fundamental national interests, with the most extreme pundit-provocateurs even ranting that it amounts to President Putin siding with ‘terrorists’ such as Daesh and Al Qaeda, especially in light of Moscow’s decision to sell the much-vaunted S-400 anti-air missile systems to Riyadh and even set up a Kalashnikov production plant in the Kingdom. Had the Saudi Arabia of 2017 been the same country as it was half a decade ago, or even last year for that matter as some could argue, then there might be some rhetorical substance to this outlandish claim no matter how false it would still be, but what most people don’t realize is that Saudi Arabia is in the process of comprehensive changes to its foreign and domestic policies, and that there’s a very high likelihood that it will moderate its traditional behavior in becoming a more responsible actor in international (and especially regional) affairs. A lot of this has happened away from the public eye, at least in the sense that the developments weren’t ‘sexy’ enough to draw widespread attention from most media outlets and commentators, but these piecemeal changes have altogether contributed to the formation of what looks to be a totally new grand strategy.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 6, 2017.
Looks like Russian President Vladimir Putin is back at it. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that hackers working for the Russian government have stolen data describing how US intelligence agencies infiltrate foreign computer networks and how they defend against cyberattacks. The data were stolen after a National Security Agency contractor removed the highly classified material and put it on his home computer, according to WSJ’s anonymous sources. News of the hack, which hasn’t been exposed previously, explains the federal government’s abrupt crackdown on Moscow-based security firms Kaspersky Labs. As WSJ explains, the contractor may have been targeted after hackers identified the files thanks to the contractor’s use of a popular antivirus software created by Kaspersky. According to WSJ, the hack is considered by experts to be one of the most significant security breaches in recent years. It offers a rare glimpse into how the intelligence community thinks Russian intelligence exploits the widely available software products. It appears to be one of the most harmful infiltrations of government servers since hackers purportedly sponsored by the Chinese military stole records about US intelligence assets from the Office of Personnel Management’s servers.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 5, 2017.
Two days ago, when we previewed the first ever visit by a Saudi King to the Russian capital – a move which prompted Bloomberg to call Russian president Putin the “new master of the Middle East” – we pointed out that according to Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, a joint Russian-Saudi fund to invest in the energy sector will be announced during the forthcoming visit of the Saudi King to Moscow, and that the preliminary agreement to establish the $1 billion fund has already been reached. Fast forward to today when diplomatic history was made on Thursday, when Putin met with the King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – the first state visit to Russia by a reigning Saudi monarch – and the launch of a new level of relations between the countries, as well as billions in new energy-focused deals (for more on the strategic implications from the summit, please read this).
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 5, 2017.