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Leaked Memo Touts UK-Funded Firm’s Ability To Create “Untraceable” News Sites For “Infowar Campaign”

The hacking collective known as “Anonymous” has published more explosive documents detailing a UK-based psyop to create a “large-scale information secret service” in Europe in order to combat “Russian propaganda” — which has been blamed for everything from Brexit to Trump winning the 2016 US election to this month’s anti-Macron “Yellow Vest” protests. We previously detailed the first trove of documents which were dumped online November 5th to the site Cyberguerilla, revealing the private UK organization with deep government ties, the Integrity Initiative, to be engaged in an aggressive campaign to organize “clusters” of journalists across the West engaged in “counter-propaganda” efforts on social media networks and in media. And now a new trove of leaked Integrity Initiative documents has been dumped online Friday. “Combatting Russian Disinformation” – Screenshot from a bombshell newly leaked document published Friday and hosted on the Cyberguerilla site. This week the Integrity Initiative and its founding parent organization, the Institute for Statecraft — which is known for its close relationship with the UK military and defense officials — is at the center of debate in the House of Commons over its anti-Corbyn and anti-Labour smears involving labeling party leader Jeremy Corbyn a “useful idiot” for Moscow, even while the company is a recipient of official Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) funding.  The early November online leaks of confidential Integrity Initiative documents were the first to reveal the UK government’s relationship to the private project devoted to “fighting Russian disinformation”. According to The Guardian: FCO funding of the...

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Interior Secretary Zinke Stepping Down Amid Ethics Inquiry

Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke – who rode a horse to the Department of the Interior on his first day of work – has notified the White House he intends to step down amid an ethics investigation by the Interior Department’s inspector general into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest, Bloomberg reported on Saturday morning with the president confirming the departure by tweet moments later. Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years. Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation……. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018 …….The Trump Administration will be announcing the new Secretary of the Interior next week. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018 News of Zinke’s departure comes as Democrats, who are about to take control of the House of Representatives, have vowed to grill the him over his conduct raising the prospect of heightened oversight – and a flood of legal bills from defending himself. According to Bloomberg, concern about all the scrutiny and legal costs on the horizon were factors in Zinke’s decision to quit. Zinke’s impending departure also emerges as President Donald Trump grapples with other changes to his Cabinet that underscore the challenges of filling vacancies in a tumultuous...

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The Bank Of England And The Manipulation Of Sterling

Authored by Steven Guinness, In a recent article where I discussed the Bank of England being at the heart of the Brexit process, I mentioned how the fall in the value of sterling following the 2016 referendum was pigeonholed by the bank as being the sole cause for inflation breaching their 2% target. After the article was re-posted by Zero Hedge, a reader commented on something I did not make specific mention of, which was that six weeks after the referendum the BOE halved interest rates to 0.25%, prompting the pound to drop further in value. The reader pointed out that cutting interest rates usually results in currencies depreciating, and that the bank’s actions were the cause of a subsequent rise in inflation and not Brexit itself. Essentially, the premise here is that the BOE were responsible for devaluing the pound and creating the conditions to eventually raise interest rates a year later. A similar comment from another reader in October last year spoke of how the BOE extending quantitative easing by £60 billion, as well as lowering rates, were ‘two sure fire things to lower the value of the pound.’ Whilst I have touched upon this in previous articles, it is a subject that deserves more attention and fresh context. Let’s start by first going back to December 2007 when the Bank of England cut interest rates from 5.75% to 5.5%....

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European Auto Registrations Plunge Third Month In A Row, Down 8.1% In November

Automakers in Europe saw new car registrations plummet an ominous 8.1% in November according to ACEA data provided by Bloomberg. This is now the third month in a row that registrations have declined, as the overseas market – already in a precarious position – shows yet another indication of continuing weakness into 2019. Shares of automakers fell overnight after the November numbers hit the wire. The decline in November helped drag down year to date growth to just 0.6% in the European Union in the European Free Trade Association area. This downturn earlier this year began with the introduction of new emission standards across Europe. EY Consultancy had previously predicted that levels would pick up toward the end of the year this year, but now partner Peter Fuss believes that December is going to be negative also. He notes the fewer shopping days in the month as a convenient excuse for the tanking numbers. If December comes in similar to November, it could throw all of 2018 into negative territory. In order to keep pace with 2017, automakers would need to sell 1.05 million cars this month. If December registrations drop more than 8% – as the November ones did – the 1 million car mark will be impossible to hit. Contributing to the ugly numbers are the United Kingdom and Italy, two areas currently in the midst of both economic and political unrest. Both...

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“Absolute Mayhem” In DC Court As Mueller May Have Made A Move 

Reporters who had descended on a DC courthouse on Friday grew frustrated as a “dramatic scene” unfolded which may or may not have something to do with special counsel Robert Mueller, according to BuzzFeed News.  The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit heard Friday morning arguments involving a grand jury matter that is currently sealed – a typical practice while cases are pending. The publicly available information on the case offer little clues as to what’s going on, as there are no description of the subject of the case, no information on the parties or their lawyers, and no public access to the documents.  The tight-lipped approach of Mueller and his team has led to rampant speculation and curiosity. In October, Politico reported that on the day a filing was due in the sealed grand jury case, a journalist overheard a man in the clerk’s office request a copy of the special counsel office’s latest sealed filing so that the man’s law firm could put together a response. Several hours later, a sealed response was filed in the grand jury case. It was not confirmation that the sealed grand jury case was indeed related to Mueller’s investigation, but it was enough to make Friday’s arguments a must-attend event. –BuzzFeed What makes this interesting is that the federal court in DC is where Mueller’s team has brought most of their cases – as there have...

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US Demands Europe Join Its War Against Russia

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation, In recent decades, the US Constitution’s clause that requires a congressional declaration of war before invading any country, has been ignored. Furthermore, ever since 2012 and the passage by Congress of the Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia, economic sanctions by the US Government have been imposed against any company that fails to comply with a US-imposed economic sanction; a company can even be fined over a billion dollars for violating a US economic sanction. And, so, sanctions are now the way that the US Congress actually does authorize a war — the new way, no longer the way that’s described in the US Constitution. However, in the economic-sanctions phase of a war — this initial phase — the war is being imposed directly against any company that violates a US-ordered economic sanction, against Russia, Iran, or whatever target-country the US Congress has, by means of such sanctions, actually authorized a war by the US to exist — a ‘state of war’ to exist. For the US Congress, the passage of economic sanctions against a country thus effectively serves now as an authorization for the US President to order the US military to invade that country, if and when the President decides to do so. No further congressional authorization is necessary (except under the US Constitution). This initial phase of a war penalizes only those other nations’ violating companies directly — not the...

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Bah, Humbug

In the midst of all the new Christmas books that every year brings us, in the midst of the made-for-Netflix holiday programs, in the midst of the productions of The Nutcracker, in the midst of the seasonal movies (from It’s a Wonderful Life to Die Hard), in the midst of the Yuletide television specials, it might be worth remembering an indisputable truth about Christmas art: The single most successful bit of seasonal fiction is Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Over 40 film versions of the thing exist, and it’s been dramatized for the stage in dozens of different versions. Children’s editions, radio plays, cartoon encapsulations, parodies, takeoffs, retellings: What Dickens achieved with A Christmas Carol is unmatched by any other attempt to add a little post-gospel storytelling to the season. Of course, it’s also a mess of a story—a fact that, once every four or five years, I seem compelled to remind readers, usually during that surfeited, frantic period when the season briefly inverts me into a grumpy, pre-transformation Scrooge. Come December, as P.G. Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster observed, and “Christmas was again at our throats.” Back in the days when Freudianism dominated literary criticism, the critic Edmund Wilson complained of those who gave psychological explanations of Scrooge’s conversion. The story is essentially a fairy tale, and it’s as meaningless to psychoanalyze Scrooge as it is to ask about penis...

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The Bombay Club Turns 30

In 1961, Cecilia Chiang opened a tiny restaurant in San Francisco called the Mandarin. It offered authentic Chinese cuisine that attracted a devoted following. Victor Bergeron of Trader Vic’s fame was a fan. But more important was man-about-town Herb Caen of the San Francisco Chronicle. On the one hand he called it a “little hole in the wall.” On the other, he said it had “the best Chinese food east of the Pacific.” Seven years later the Mandarin moved to Ghirardelli Square—expanding from 65 seats to 300—becoming one of San Francisco’s premier dining destinations. “From the start she was determined to offer something other than the standard, bland chop suey and egg foo young,” writes Paul Freedman in Ten Restaurants That Changed America. Indeed, Chiang’s menu featured Peking Duck and then-novel fare like kung-pao chicken, twice-cooked pork, and chao tzui (potstickers). “Cecilia Chiang and the Mandarin had significantly transformed American appreciation of Chinese food.” Ashok Bajaj / Photo by Greg Powers When it comes to Indian cuisine, Ashok Bajaj has done something similar. Born in New Delhi, Bajaj entered the hospitality industry at a young age and in his 20s moved to London to run the luxurious Bombay Brasserie. In 1988, he set his sights on America. “I did go to New York first,” Bajaj told me last month. “Remember the mugging, the crime, and all the stuff? Way...

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Chicago, Suburban Mayors Call for Hike That Could Make Illinois’ Gas Tax Highest in Nation

Suburban mayors joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to ask Illinois lawmakers to raise the state’s gas tax by 20 to 30 cents a gallon, a proposal that could make Illinois’ motor fuel tax the highest in the nation and ensure that per gallon taxes increase yearly with the rate of inflation. Outgoing mayor Emanuel joined other mayors from suburban Chicago on Tuesday to push the General Assembly should pass a gas tax hike in January. He said the costs and use of roads have increased while funding to maintain them has been stagnant. “We’re calling on the lawmakers, when they convene starting in January, to start to work on a number of issues that have not been addressed over the years, calling for an increase to the gas tax by 20 to 30 cents,” he said. “If you took the low range of the 20 to 30 cents that we’re talking about, the 20 cents would reflect just inflation.” The money, Emanuel said, should go to fund a new infrastructure bill. Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker has said the state needs a new transportation funding bill. “We’ve talked about all of the options that are available to us and haven’t eliminated any of those options at the moment,” Pritzker said Monday in Springfield. Illinois has the 10th highest gas taxes in the nation, according to the nonprofit Tax Foundation. A 30-cent...

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The War Against Globalism

Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation, We are the Little Folk—we! Too little to love or to hate. Leave us alone and you’ll see How we can drag down the State! A Pict Song, Rudyard Kipling Belgium has joined the list of countries that are rebelling against their elected leadership. Over the weekend the Belgian government fell over Prime Minister Charles Michel’s trip to Morocco to sign the United Nations Migration Agreement. The agreement made no distinction between legal and illegal migrants and regarded immigration as a positive phenomenon. The Belgian people apparently did not agree. Facebook registered 1,200 Belgians agreeing that the Prime Minister was a traitor. Some users expressed concern for their children’s futures, noting that Belgian democracy is dead. Others said they would get yellow vests and join the protests. The unrest witnessed in a number of places is focused on some specific demands but it represents much broader anger. The French yellow vests initially protested against proposed increases in fuel taxes that would have affected working people dependent on transportation disproportionately. But when that demand was met by the government of President Emmanuel Macron, the demonstrations continued and even grew, suggesting that the grievances with the government were far more extensive than the issue of a single new tax. Perhaps not surprisingly, the French government is seeking for a scapegoat and is investigating “Russian interference.” The US State Department inevitably...

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