Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Foreign Firm Funding U.S. Green Groups Tied to State-Owned Russian Oil Company - Freebeacon

A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
One of those executives, Nicholas Hoskins, is a director at a hedge fund management firm that has invested heavily in Russian oil and gas. He is also senior counsel at the Bermudan law firm Wakefield Quin and the vice president of a London-based investment firm whose president until recently chaired the board of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.
In addition to those roles, Hoskins is a director at a company called Klein Ltd. No one knows where that firm’s money comes from. Its only publicly documented activities have been transfers of $23 million to U.S. environmentalist groups that push policies that would hamstring surging American oil and gas production, which has hurt Russia’s energy-reliant economy....



http://freebeacon.com/issues/foreign-firm-funding-u-s-green-groups-tied-to-state-owned-russian-oil-company/ 

6,000 Receivers Destroyed In Iran's War On Satellite Dishes -Radio Free Europe

Six thousand satellite receivers and dishes have been destroyed in a stadium in the city of Shiraz, according to reports by Iranian news agencies that posted photos of the police action, in the latest phase of Iran's ongoing war on banned satellites....

Despite all their efforts and warnings, officials have acknowledged that the use of satellite dishes to access news and entertainment channels has been on the rise.

Last year, Ezatollah Zarghami, the head of Iran's state broadcasting entity at the time, said that 40-50 percent of Iranians use satellite dishes.
According to Culture Minister Ali Jannati, in the Iranian capital, Tehran, 70-80 percent of citizens watch satellite channels.

http://www.rferl.org/content/iran-media-satellites/26805535.html

-bth: So dishes are illegal but 40+% have them.

Lukashenko Says Belarus Is in Peril as Army Trains for Invasion

Belarus’s future is at risk as its neighbors reel from economic and currency crises, according to President Aleksandr Lukashenko.
“We should be fearing for the normal life of our people, the existence of our country,” Lukashenko said in Minsk after appointing new government officials, according to his press service. While the economic situation isn’t yet critical, the government has its work cut out for it to avoid further deterioration, said Lukashenko, who has ruled the nation of 9.5 million people for two decades.
Collapsing demand in Russia, the destination for half of Belarusian exports, has “seriously” affected the Belarusian economy, forcing the country to seek new markets for its products, Lukashenko said. Contagion from the Russian ruble’s worst crisis since 1998 has spilled into the rest of the former Soviet Union, putting pressure on currencies and choking trade.
As economic strains are growing more acute, the conflict in neighboring Ukraine is also making Belarus more uneasy. Belarus, which borders both Ukraine and Russia, overhauled its legislation on martial law this year, allowing authorities to deem the appearance of unmarked irregular troops as “military invasion.”...
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-27/lukashenko-says-belarus-is-in-peril-as-army-trains-for-invasion.html

-bth: so it appears that Putin is scaring the neighbors, friend and foe alike. 

Russian war trophy video of Ukrainian soldiers



A very disturbing propaganda video displaying dead Ukrainian soldiers as war trophies

[eng subs] Givi shares details of his tank fight on Putilovsky bridge on...

[eng subs] 17/10/14 Donetsk airport sitrep by Givi after another combat ...

[eng subs] Interview with Matros "It's only the beginning" New Terminal ...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Civilian Residents Are Massively Escape From Donetsk, Jan 20 2015

Massive Russian Military Hardware Convoy Moves Towards Ukrainian Border,...

Special Report: For Islamic State, wheat season sows seeds of discontent -Reuters

ARBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - As the season for wheat planting in Iraq wound down early last month, farmers in areas under the control of Sunni militant group Islamic State grew worried.
More than two dozen farmers told Reuters they had not planted the normal amount of seed, because they could not access their land, did not have the proper fertilizers or adequate fuel, or because they had no guarantees that Islamic State would buy their crop as Baghdad normally does....

 Iraqi farmers have long complained of Baghdad's neglect and mismanagement of agriculture. International sanctions and the U.S. invasion further hurt the sector. But many farmers say this planting season marks an all-time low.
Across the border in Syria, where Islamic State has controlled the city of Raqqa since May 2013, wheat production last year was down almost 70 percent from the level before the civil war, according to the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)....http://news.yahoo.com/special-report-islamic-state-wheat-season-sows-seeds-101623044.html

-bth:  Many variables at play here but it seems likely that the cost of food will go up with its scarcity and the lack of hard cash for purchases in the ISIL controlled territories.