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Sri Lankan opposition party picks Gotabhaya Rajapakse as presidential candidate

World Socialist Web Site - Thu, 2019-09-19 12:00
The former defence secretary was directly implicated in war crimes and gross human rights abuses during final stages the war against the separatist LTTE.

So Much For Con Man Bill Browder: The Magnitskiy Myth Exploded

David Stockman's Contra Corner - Tue, 2019-09-17 22:54

The conscientious judges of the European Court of Human Rights published a judgement a fortnight ago which utterly exploded the version of events promulgated by Western governments and media in the case of the late Mr Magnitskiy. Yet I can find no truthful report of the judgement in the mainstream media at all.

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/09/the-magnitskiy-myth-exploded/

Categories: Economics

Probably Nothin’!

David Stockman's Contra Corner - Tue, 2019-09-17 22:46

Categories: Economics

‘Storm Area 51’ forces shutdown of Nevada airspace to protect top secret facility

RT - Tue, 2019-09-17 22:34

The US Federal Aviation Administration has banned all aircraft, including emergency vehicles, from the airspace near Area 51 ahead of the ‘Storm Area 51 event’ scheduled for Friday.

Everything from news helicopters to drones to private planes and even police vehicles have been barred from the airspace in anticipation of the viral event. The US Air Force (USAF) has also sternly warned people not to waste its time and energy, or even put their lives at risk, by attempting to flout the ban.

Only aircraft “working in support of the Department of Energy (DOE) Mission are allowed to enter the TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction)” zone.

Also on rt.com YouTubers arrested for trespassing near Area 51 ahead of planned ‘invasion’ of secret base

Both the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense share responsibility for the running of the secretive facility which has found itself the target of literally millions of online pranksters in recent months. The joke has even led to several arrests already.

Facebook event 'Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us' was initially created as a joke but went more viral than anyone could have anticipated, resulting in a visit by the FBI to the event creator's home as well as an official warning from the USAF. 

It spawned hundreds, if not thousands, of memes, much to the enjoyment of SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk, who couldn't resist but join in the revery.

Also on rt.com Musk breathes fresh life into Area 51 assault with cringeworthy math meme

Alienstock, an outdoor concert and festival that branched off from the initial storm Area 51 event, was cancelled amid concerns it too would go viral, but for all the wrong reasons, much like the oft-derided Fyre festival which would become the subject of two documentaries, such was the extent of its glaring failure and chaotic organisation.

The USAF previously told The Washington Post that Area 51 is “an open training range for the US Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces.” 

The base has been the subject of wild conspiracy theories regarding aliens for decades.

Also on rt.com ‘We don’t want another FyreFest’: ’Storm Area 51’ event canceled over ‘safety concerns’

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Categories: America, Forbidden, MENA, RT, World

INTERVIEW: David Ellis on EU Military Union and ‘The Brexit Paradox’

21st Century Wire - Tue, 2019-09-17 22:31

As Westminster battles itself and Europe over Brexit, another key issue is laying under the surface which will have profound implications on not only UK and European affairs, but on the entire global world order.

This week, SUNDAY WIRE radio host Patrick Henningsen talks with David Ellis, Defense Correspondent for the UK Column and founder of Strategic Defense Initiatives to talk about a verboten topic in Westminster: the adoption of European Military Unification, or Defense Union. This issue lies at the core of what he describes as the ‘Brexit paradox,’ come what may – Deal, or No Deal – the question still remains whether Britain will be able to reverse its current path towards continental military integration, effectively ceding its sovereignty to Brussels. Listen:

READ MORE BREXIT NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Brexit Files

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Categories: Foreign Policy, World

Is Arsene Wenger on his way to Russia? Shock reports link former Arsenal boss with Spartak Moscow job

RT - Tue, 2019-09-17 22:22

Spartak Moscow are set to sound out former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger over potentially taking over at the club, according to reports in Russia.

Wenger, 69, has been out of management since leaving Arsenal in the summer of 2018, calling time on 22 years at the London club.

According to claims in Russia, the Frenchman will be offered a route back into coaching at struggling Spartak Moscow, where he would take over from embattled boss Oleg Kononov.

© Global Look Press / imago sportfotodienst

Sport Express claims that Spartak’s German CEO Tomas Zorn has already left for London, where he will put out feelers to assess whether Wenger would be willing to take the reins at the Moscow club.

CEO Zorn with club owner Leonid Fedun. © Global Look Press / Dmitry Golubovich

Current Spartak boss Kononov is under fire after an uninspiring start to the season which has left the club sixth in the table and six points off the leaders.

Spartak failed to reach the Europa League group stage after being dumped out by Portuguese side Braga in qualifying, and lost their most recent game 2-1 at home to Ural in another insipid performance that left fans demanding Kononov’s exit.

Under-fire current coach Kononov. © Global Look Press / Maksim Konstantinov

Kononov stepped in following the sacking of popular Italian manager Massimo Carrera in 2018, but now appears to be on borrowed time.

Fans in attendance at Saturday’s defeat against Ural were heard chanting Carrera’s name, and the Italian – who previously served as assistant to Antonio Conte at Juventus – has said he is willing to return to the club he guided to the league title in 2017, ending a 16-year drought.

Spartak's charismatic former boss Carrera. © Global Look Press / Dmitry Golubovich

Spartak fans chanting 'A tutti! Avanti! Massimo Carrera!' pic.twitter.com/AImLUfjClK

— Liam Tyler (@tyler_lj) September 14, 2019

But reports suggest that Wenger would be the prime target for Spartak, should Kononov be given his marching orders.

The Frenchman has largely restricted himself to media work since stepping away from Arsenal, and despite the disappointment of the latter part of his time at the Gunners he is not likely to be short of potential suitors.

© GES-Sportfoto / Global Look Press / Markus Gilliar

Given his reputation and standing in the game it would seem a stretch for Wenger to step in at a club languishing in the middle of the Russian table, although Spartak boast impressive infrastructure with their 45,000-seater Otkritie Arena home, which hosted matches during last year's World Cup.

© Sputnik / Anton Denisov

They are historically the biggest and most successful club in Russia, with 22 Soviet/Russian league titles to their name.

During the summer they saw the departure of key players such as Cape Verdean striker Ze Luis – who left for Porto – and Brazilian midfielder Fernando, who headed to China to play for Beijing Guoan.  

They have brought in young faces such as Jordan Larsson – son of Celtic legend Henrik – Guus Til from Alkmaar, and most recently Alex Kral from Slavia Prague, as well as German World Cup winner Andre Schurrle on loan from Borussia Dortmund.

Former Chelsea and Fulham man Schurrle is in the Spartak ranks. © Global Look Press / Dmitry Golubovich

But results and performances continue to be disappointing, leading to Zorn’s supposed mission to London to test the waters with Wenger.

Categories: America, Forbidden, MENA, RT, World

Schools in Russia’s Sevastopol begin teaching Ukrainian language

RT - Tue, 2019-09-17 22:01

Ukrainian language has been added to the list of subjects taught at schools in Crimea’s largest city, Sevastopol. The classes were introduced in response to requests from parents.

Crimea, which reunited with Russia in 2014, has a majority Russian population, but the local authorities are working to make life more comfortable for Ukrainians and other national minorities.

“As part of native language classes, Ukrainian was added to Russian and Crimean-Tatar languages” in Sevastopol from the start of the new school year on September 1, a local education department official said.

The Ukrainian language lessons are optional, and students are required to have an application from their parents in order to attend the classes.

Around 13 percent of the city’s population of 443,000 are Ukrainian, and Ukrainian language classes are currently attended by 180 kids. Roughly the same number of children are learning Crimean-Tatar.

As for the Russian language, it’s studied by 41,000 school students in Sevastopol, a major port city in southern part of the Crimean Peninsula and the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

There have also been several requests for Armenian and Azerbaijani language classes, and the authorities are looking for qualified educators to teach them.

Also on rt.com Ukraine passes controversial language law, isolating Russian-speakers

The situation in Crimea stands in contrast to the ongoing crackdown on Russian and other languages in neighboring Ukraine, where a significant part of the population speaks the language.

Education in Russian will only remain available to primary school students in the country in 2019 and 2020. After that, all schools teaching in any other language than Ukrainian are to be shut down.

The decision by Kiev caused a major outcry not only in Russia, but also in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, which also have large diaspora in Ukraine.

A new law supporting Ukrainian as the only state language came into force in the country this July. It made the use of Ukrainian obligatory in education, medicine, culture, media and other areas, abolishing the status of Russian as the language of inter-ethnic communication.

Also on rt.com Ukrainian region bans Russian language songs, films, books… and more

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Categories: America, Forbidden, MENA, RT, World

Russia & Iran to switch to SWIFT-free banking system

RT - Tue, 2019-09-17 21:58

Russia and Iran will transfer payments using an alternative system to the internationally recognized SWIFT money transfer network, the governor of the Iranian central bank, Abdolnaser Hemmati, announced.

Instead of SWIFT, a system that facilitates cross-border payments between 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries worldwide, the two countries will use their own domestically developed financial messaging systems – Iran’s SEPAM and Russia’s SPFS.

Also on rt.com Russia & Iran ditching dollar for trade in favor of national currencies – Moscow’s envoy to Tehran

“Using this system for trade and business exchanges between EAEU [Eurasian Economic Union] member states can help develop and expand trade exchanges between the member states as well,” Abdolnaser Hemmati said, as cited by Mehr News Agency on Tuesday.

Tehran is set to officially join the Russia-led free-trade zone, the EAEU, next month. The document on Iran’s participation was ratified in June by the nation’s parliament (Majlis) and President Hassan Rouhani has already ordered that the free trade zone agreement be implemented.

Earlier this month, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said that Tehran and Moscow are developing an alternative to SWIFT.

Also on rt.com Foreign banks willing to join Russia’s alternative to SWIFT

Russia began development of SPFS in 2014 amid Washington’s threats to disconnect the country from SWIFT.

The first transaction on the SPFS network involving a non-bank enterprise was made in December 2017. Around 500 participants, including major Russian financial institutions and companies, have already joined the payment channel, while some foreign banks have shown interest in joining.

Last year, Belgium-based SWIFT cut off some Iranian banks from its messaging system. It came after US President Donald Trump abandoned the landmark nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic and resumed US sanctions against Tehran.

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

Categories: America, Forbidden, MENA, RT, World

SYRIA: Heavy Infighting Breaks Out Between Turkish-backed Terrorists in Afrin

21st Century Wire - Tue, 2019-09-17 21:52

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:35 P.M.) – Heavy clashes broke out between two Turkish-backed militant factions in the Afrin region of Aleppo on Tuesday, local activists reported this afternoon.

According to the reports, one militant faction from Deir Ezzor and another from the East Ghouta began clashing in Afrin for unknown reasons.

This latest infighting has resulted in the death of one militant and a few injuries among the Turkish-backed factions.

The Turkish-backed Euphrates Shield forces captured the Afrin region in northern Aleppo in March 2018; this came after a two-month-long operation to expel the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG).

The operation led to the displacement of thousands of residents of Afrin to neighboring governorates in order evade the Turkish-backed militants.

Since the capture of Afrin by the militant forces, many areas have been looted and several arrests have been made of residents .

SOURCE: AL MASDAR NEWS

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files

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Categories: Foreign Policy, World

What’s the future of digital currencies and FinTech regulation? Boom Bust explores…

RT - Tue, 2019-09-17 21:48

As cryptocurrencies continue to expand on the global payment space, governments across the world are seeking to assess and mitigate the perceived risks in using them.

RT’s Boom Bust talks to Matthew Roszak, co-founder and chairman of Bloq, on the sidelines of the Invest Asia 2019 summit in Singapore.

“Cryptocurrencies [are] still generally are a very speculative ballgame right now. And that’s OK,” he says, adding that “over the near term we’ll see more [of] these blockchains show throughput and value coming through.”

Talking about the future of digital currencies, Roszak said that it could take some time for people to get used to them, like in the early stages of the internet.“It’s challenging a lot of different models, such as money, identity, privacy, and security of your data. That takes time,” he said.

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

Categories: America, Forbidden, MENA, RT, World

Scientists Create Innovative New Tech That Generates Renewable Electricity at Night

Interesting Engineering - Tue, 2019-09-17 21:29

The low-cost tech could be used as a standalone solution, or in combination with solar power.
Categories: Science News

NASA Wins Two Emmy Awards for Its Coverage of Space Missions

Interesting Engineering - Tue, 2019-09-17 21:14

The space agency won Emmys for its coverage of the Insight Lander Mars mission and for the co-coverage of SpaceX's Crew Dragon test flights.
Categories: Science News

Lawrence Wilkerson ‘I’d Bet on’ President Trump Choosing Douglas Macgregor as National Security Advisor after a Job Interview

Ron Paul Institute - Tue, 2019-09-17 21:10
Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel and the chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in President George W. Bush’s administration, places good odds on President Donald Trump choosing Douglas Macgregor, also a former Army colonel, for the national security advisor position recently held by John Bolton.

Wilkerson, in a new interview with host Aaron Maté at Push Back, puts the odds of Trump choosing Macgregor, who tends to recommend non-interventionist foreign policy actions much like those supported at times by Trump, at “50/50.” But, says Wilkerson, “if there is a personal interview, Trump talking to Doug and Doug to Trump, I’d raise that to 70/30, and I’d bet on it.”

Explaining his conclusion, Wilkerson states Macgregor is “very persuasive” and points to a speech Macgregor presented at an August 24 Ron Paul Institute conference near Washington, DC. Anyone who saw Macgregor’s speech at the conference, says Wilkerson, would understand why it looks like Macgregor would be a good replacement for Bolton.

You can watch that speech by Macgregor at the Ron Paul Institute conference here:



Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here, in which Wilkerson also criticizes Bolton’s record as national security advisor:



Wilkerson is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute.
Categories: America

Lawrence Wilkerson ‘I’d Bet on’ President Trump Choosing Douglas Macgregor as National Security Advisor after a Job Interview

Ron Paul Institute - Tue, 2019-09-17 21:10
Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel and the chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in President George W. Bush’s administration, places good odds on President Donald Trump choosing Douglas Macgregor, also a former Army colonel, for the national security advisor position recently held by John Bolton.

Wilkerson, in a new interview with host Aaron Maté at Push Back, puts the odds of Trump choosing Macgregor, who tends to recommend non-interventionist foreign policy actions much like those supported at times by Trump, at “50/50.” But, says Wilkerson, “if there is a personal interview, Trump talking to Doug and Doug to Trump, I’d raise that to 70/30, and I’d bet on it.”

Explaining his conclusion, Wilkerson states Macgregor is “very persuasive” and points to a speech Macgregor presented at an August 24 Ron Paul Institute conference near Washington, DC. Anyone who saw Macgregor’s speech at the conference, says Wilkerson, would understand why it looks like Macgregor would be a good replacement for Bolton.

You can watch that speech by Macgregor at the Ron Paul Institute conference here:



Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here, in which Wilkerson also criticizes Bolton’s record as national security advisor:



Wilkerson is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute.
Categories: America

Lawrence Wilkerson ‘I’d Bet on’ President Trump Choosing Douglas Macgregor as National Security Advisor after a Job Interview

Ron Paul Institute - Tue, 2019-09-17 21:10
Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel and the chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in President George W. Bush’s administration, places good odds on President Donald Trump choosing Douglas Macgregor, also a former Army colonel, for the national security advisor position recently held by John Bolton.

Wilkerson, in a new interview with host Aaron Maté at Push Back, puts the odds of Trump choosing Macgregor, who tends to recommend non-interventionist foreign policy actions much like those supported at times by Trump, at “50/50.” But, says Wilkerson, “if there is a personal interview, Trump talking to Doug and Doug to Trump, I’d raise that to 70/30, and I’d bet on it.”

Explaining his conclusion, Wilkerson states Macgregor is “very persuasive” and points to a speech Macgregor presented at an August 24 Ron Paul Institute conference near Washington, DC. Anyone who saw Macgregor’s speech at the conference, says Wilkerson, would understand why it looks like Macgregor would be a good replacement for Bolton.

You can watch that speech by Macgregor at the Ron Paul Institute conference here:



Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here, in which Wilkerson also criticizes Bolton’s record as national security advisor:



Wilkerson is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute.
Categories: America

Lawrence Wilkerson ‘I’d Bet on’ President Trump Choosing Douglas Macgregor as National Security Advisor after a Job Interview

Ron Paul Institute - Tue, 2019-09-17 21:10
Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel and the chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in President George W. Bush’s administration, places good odds on President Donald Trump choosing Douglas Macgregor, also a former Army colonel, for the national security advisor position recently held by John Bolton.

Wilkerson, in a new interview with host Aaron Maté at Push Back, puts the odds of Trump choosing Macgregor, who tends to recommend non-interventionist foreign policy actions much like those supported at times by Trump, at “50/50.” But, says Wilkerson, “if there is a personal interview, Trump talking to Doug and Doug to Trump, I’d raise that to 70/30, and I’d bet on it.”

Explaining his conclusion, Wilkerson states Macgregor is “very persuasive” and points to a speech Macgregor presented at an August 24 Ron Paul Institute conference near Washington, DC. Anyone who saw Macgregor’s speech at the conference, says Wilkerson, would understand why it looks like Macgregor would be a good replacement for Bolton.

You can watch that speech by Macgregor at the Ron Paul Institute conference here:



Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here, in which Wilkerson also criticizes Bolton’s record as national security advisor:



Wilkerson is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute.
Categories: America

India will eventually take control of Pakistan Kashmir, Indian FM predicts

RT - Tue, 2019-09-17 21:07

India’s foreign minister says he expects Pakistan-controlled Kashmir to one day become Indian territory, fanning the flames of an escalating territorial dispute between the two nuclear rivals.

The region of Kashmir currently administered by Pakistan “is part of India and we expect one day that we will have physical jurisdiction over it,” Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told a news conference on Tuesday.

He added that India faces a “unique challenge” from Pakistan, accusing Islamabad of “openly” using terrorism as part of its foreign policy.

His inflammatory statements come a day after a chief minister in the Indian state of Gujarat warned Pakistan that New Delhi was ready to take back Kashmir in order to “reunite” India.

Islamabad “should be ready to lose Pakistani-occupied Kashmir,” Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was quoted as saying by local media, using the Indian term for the disputed territory.

Also on rt.com ‘It is ours’: India ready to ‘move forward’ & reclaim Pakistan’s share of Kashmir, minister warns

The bloody territorial dispute traces its roots back to 1947, following the partition of British India. Both of the newly-independent states of India and Pakistan laid claim to Kashmir, triggering the sectarian violence which continues to the present day.

The nuclear-armed neighbors have fought a number of conventional wars over Kashmir’s status, with border skirmishes becoming almost routine. In February, Indian jets bombed what New Delhi said was a Pakistan hideout of Islamist insurgent group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which had carried out numerous terrorist attacks on Indian soil. Islamabad retaliated by shooting down an Indian fighter jet.

Tensions spiked in August, after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

New Delhi says that the decision was motivated by a desire to stamp out terrorism and corruption in the region. Both sides have warned that the tense situation could spark war – or even a nuclear conflict.

Also on rt.com Pakistani pop star faces 2 years in jail after ‘threatening’ Modi with snakes in viral video

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Categories: America, Forbidden, MENA, RT, World

Chinese-Thai Military Cooperation Expanding Yahoo

New Eastern Outlook - Tue, 2019-09-17 21:01

Recent news of Bangkok signing a 6.5 billion Thai Baht deal with China to procure a naval landing ship (a landing platform dock or LPD) further illustrates growing ties between Beijing and Bangkok in the sphere of military matters.

The Thai Royal Navy’s only other ship of similar capabilities is the HTMS Angthong, built by Singapore, Bangkok Post reported.

The deal comes in the wake of several other significant arms acquisitions made by Bangkok in recent years including 39 Chinese-built VT-4 main battle tanks (with another batch of 14 being planned), China’s Type-85 armoured personnel carriers and even the nation’s first modern submarine made by China expected to be in service by 2023.

These are more than merely arms deals. The purchasing of sophisticated weapons systems like submarines and ships will require closer military cooperation between Beijing and Bangkok in order to properly train crews, transfer critical knowledge of maintaining the vessels and operate them at sea.

There are also joint Thai-Chinese weapon development programmes such as the DTI-1 multiple rocket launcher system.

The interoperability that is being created between Thai and Chinese armed forces (and arms industries) ensures ample opportunity for joint training exercises and weapon development programmes in the future, several of which have already been organised, with many more on the horizon.

The Myth of Thai Subservience to Washington 

Thailand is often labeled a close “non-NATO ally” of the United States by both the United States itself and many analysts still clinging to Cold War rhetoric.

However, today’s Thailand is a nation that has significantly expanded its cooperation with China and not only in military matters, but across economic spheres as well.

Thailand’s lengthy history of weathering Western colonisation that otherwise consumed its neighbours is a story of adeptly playing great powers against one another and ensuring no single nation held enough power or influence over Thailand to endanger its sovereignty. This is a balancing act that continues today, with Thailand avoiding major confrontations and overdependence on outsiders by attempting to cultivate a diversity of ties with nations abroad.

Thai cooperation with nations like the United States, particularly now, is done cynically and as a means to keep the US from investing too deeply in the disruptive regime-change methods it has aimed at other nations including neighbouring Myanmar but also distant nations like Syria and Libya ravaged by US meddling.

Despite these efforts to appease Washington, the US still backs opposition parties determined to overthrow the current Thai political order and replace it with one openly intent on rolling back progress between Thailand and its growing list of Eurasian partners, especially China.

What little the US has to offer has been reduced to deals bordering bribery, such as offering free military hardware.

A recent deal included Thailand buying discounted, refurbished Stryker armoured vehicles under the condition that the US would provide 40 more for free.

However the Stryker is not a particularly sophisticated weapon system and will do little to bolster fading Thai-US military cooperation and interoperability. The Stryker system will likely be absorbed into Thailand’s own growing domestic defence industry which is already manufacturing wheeled armoured vehicles.

Blurring of Lines between Military and Economic Cooperation 

So far has the balance of power shifted in Asia, that demands by the US for its “allies” to boycott China’s telecom giant Huawei have gone ignored. Thailand, as well as Malaysia and the Philippines, have included Huawei in their efforts to develop national 5G infrastructure.

While something like telecom appears to be more a matter of economics than of national defence, so entwined recently has telecom and information technology become with national security that choosing partners for developing telecom infrastructure really is a matter of defence.

How far will this peripheral cooperation go? The US is still using its control of Thai information space, particularly through Facebook’s primacy across Thai social media, to influence public opinion and sow political instability across Thai society.

The idea of Thailand cooperating further with China to develop domestic social media networks to regain control over this aspect of Thailand’s information space seems plausible. Thai cooperation with Russia for similar reasons has already been openly discussed by Thai policymakers.

A Shifting Global Balance of Power 

Many analysts have tried to reduce growing cooperation between Thailand and China as a temporary trend spurred by the Thai military’s 2014 ousting of a US-backed government and the US decision to reduce ties with Bangkok.

However, Thailand’s pivot eastward is one made with the rest of Southeast Asia and in fact, with much of the non-Western world. It is part of the wider trend away from Western-dominated unilateralism and toward greater mulipolarism. It is also a process that began long before 2014.

The ability for Thailand to move its dependence away from US markets and financial systems dominated by Washington will be key in avoiding more aggressive attempts by the US to coerce Thailand politically or economically in the future as it is nations like North Korea, Iran, Syria, Russia and now even China today.

Thailand is a relatively large Southeast Asian state with ASEAN’s second largest economy. What it does in regards to building military ties with China and strengthening its economic and political resilience against US “soft power” may set trends that are followed by others in ASEAN, opening up opportunities not only for China, but other Eurasian powers like Russia who can fulfill the role of balancing power not only against America’s dominant position in the region, but also against China from acquiring too much power and influence once US primacy collapses.

Expanding Thai-Chinese military cooperation is a sign of the times. It is a sign of US primacy fading, of China’s rise and of a shifting balance of power. It is a time when nations must carefully execute this shift, ensuring the threat the US poses to regional peace and prosperity is reduced but also that China is never tempted with the opportunity to simply replace the US as a regional and global menace.

So far, mulipolarism has shaped China’s policies in a much different manner than those pursued by the US over the past half century. Only time will tell of the success of multipolarism, but it is important to understand that Thai-Chinese cooperation is not a temporary trend. It is a new reality and one that reflects a fundamental shift in geopolitics from the Atlantic consensus to a much more global one.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Jaws drop online as blue shark paraded through streets of UK town before being cooked and eaten

RT - Tue, 2019-09-17 20:42

The Twittersphere is up in arms after a blue shark was put on parade then cooked and eaten at a fish festival in Plymouth, sparking outrage and disbelief from both the public and from conservation charities alike.

Visit Plymouth’s official Instagram account posted an image of the blue shark being paraded before the crowds at the Plymouth Seafood Festival, before it was later served up to the masses at the event.

© Instagram / Visit Plymouth

In the photo, two men can be seen raising the shark up above their heads in front of onlookers near the Shark Trust’s stall.

While blue sharks are considered “near-threatened” globally, there are currently no limits on catches in the UK. The shark offered to the crowds at the Plymouth festival had reportedly been caught inadvertently by a commercial fishing trawler. 

Even so, the organizers of Plymouth Seafood Festival said they were “surprised and disappointed.”

Also on rt.com Surfer bitten by shark, casually heads to local bar instead of hospital

One commenter online claims the shark was already dead when caught and that it is, in fact, against the law to return a dead catch to the sea once landed. He also insisted that the shark was authorised for human consumption by officials before it was distributed to revellers at the festival. 

Many online were disgusted by what some, albeit mistakenly, saw as the consumption of an endangered species by an unwitting public. 

And just like that, one less blue shark. These heartless fools. Very disgusting and very sad.#SaveBlueSharks #SaveSharks

— Curiosity Cat
Categories: America, Forbidden, MENA, RT, World

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