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Putin Prepares For War
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russia feeds off Trump trade war while US corn-belt farmers suffer
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/02/17/russia-feeds-trump-tra de-war-us-corn-belt-farmers-suffer/

David Millward 17 FEBRUARY 2019

For more than 30 years, Joe Peiffer has worked as a lawyer looking after farmers in Iowa, in the heart of the US corn belt.

He was raised on a farm and during the Eighties was a law clerk in a bankruptcy court during the last major US agriculture crisis.

Now he is watching history repeat itself with a wave of bankruptcies across the farm belt.

The number of Chapter 12 bankruptcies a mechanism that allows family farms to restructure their debts surged last year as the country paid the price for overproduction at a time when a rejuvenated Russia supplanted the US as the worlds leading wheat exporter.

Russia has muscled in on markets such as North Africa and the Middle East, which were once the preserve of the US. Thanks to its ability to undercut the US, Moscow is cementing its economic as well as diplomatic presence in the region.

The days of the collective farm and antiquated rusting equipment are long gone. Instead, the countrys farmers are boosting production with the aid of an iconic American company, John Deere, which opened a manufacturing plant in Domodedovo, 28 miles south of Moscow, in 2010.


Not only are American grain farmers battling against Russias lower production costs, but they are also falling victim to Donald Trumps trade war with China, which saw Beijing impose 25pc tariffs on US goods including corn and soya beans.

While arable farming has taken the biggest hit, there is growing concern among meat producers about the rising demand for plant-based substitutes, whose sales increased 22pc to $1.5bn (1.1bn) last year.

A report last year by the Congressional Research Service which provides information for members of the Senate and House of Representatives is pretty depressing reading.

It predicted that net farm income across the country as a whole would be substantially below the 10-year average and 31pc less than the record high of 2013 when it reached $135.6bn.

Farm expenses were forecast to increase by 4.2pc compared with 2017 and farm debt was predicted to hit a new high. In Iowa the picture is grim. In 2013 only four farms in the state sought Chapter 12 protection. By 2017, the latest year for which figures are available, the number had soared to 18.

It is like, here we go again, Peiffer says. In some respects, it is tougher than it was in the Eighties when the price of real estate dropped and farmers could come out of bankruptcy and repay the entire value of their farm through a bankruptcy.

Today land prices and rents have not dropped and there is really not enough profit raising corn and soybeans, which are the main crops here in Iowa.

I am seeing a lot of financial stress, with many farmers unable to procure crop input financing, which they need for the 2019 crop to pay for seed, fertiliser, rent, fuel and labour.

We are finding many banks have decided they are not going to make loans to their existing farm borrowers for 2019 inputs.

Many cannot get financing and those who can have to go to secondary sources, which are far more expensive. Distressed farmers are paying 12pc interest rather than around 6pc and also having to pay additional fees on top.

Stressed farmers are having to pay a lot more and that impacts on their ability to make money.

Elsewhere, the figures are equally stark. An analysis by the Wall Street Journal showed that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, recorded twice as many bankruptcies last year than in 2008.

A separate analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota reported 84 farms filing for Chapter 12 bankruptcy.

Bankruptcies have been spiking and the reason is because prices are low, and have been low, going on four years, says Ron Wirtz, the banks regional outreach director, who has investigated trends in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota.

When prices are low, farm finances will be under stress, and the longer prices are low, the more farms will be affected.

The halcyon days of only a few years ago are becoming a distant memory.


In 2013 prices were high for corn, wheat, soybeans and dairy, which led to overproduction as smaller operators chased yesterdays market, says Dec Mullarkey, managing director of investment strategy at Sun Life Investment Management.

Bankruptcies in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin have doubled since 2008. As we come into spring and farmers need access to funds ahead of the planting season, that is when failures could bubble up as banks become cautious.

Now Brazil and Russia have come online and they are forcing prices down. They also have the advantage of lower production costs. The pain is being felt by smaller businesses rather than the big conglomerates. In any case, the family farm is a dying species, with the number having fallen from six million just after the Second World War to two million today.

The human cost is very significant, says Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union in Washington.

There are increasing stress levels that have built up over time. There are a lot of reports suggesting mental health helplines are receiving a level of calls that are at least reaching, if not exceeding, that of the last farming crisis in the Eighties.

Farms are dispersed and you have increasing isolation out there. Small manufacturing businesses have gone, which means there arent off-farm jobs for farmers or their spouses.

Mr Johnson believes Donald Trumps administration should shoulder much of the blame for the problems farmers face.

The administration has picked trade fights all over the world and it is agriculture that has borne the brunt of those battles.

It is a view shared by Ray Goldberg, professor of agriculture at Harvard Business School.

It has occurred suddenly because of the policies that have taken place when our president decided to get tough on trade. In the process of doing it, he obliterated long-term relationships in the food sector.

Once you lose these relationships, they are very hard to get back.

The people who are affected are farmers because we are an exporting nation in agriculture.


With the 2020 presidential election looming, Republican strategists are already showing signs of nervousness at the political damage a farming slump could do to Donald Trumps re-election prospects.

In 2016 an estimated 75pc of farmers voted for Donald Trump and it was their backing in swing states like Wisconsin that helped propel him into the White House.

A Farm Futures poll last August showed that his support had dropped to 60pc, with 24pc saying they would not support his re-election.

They were particularly alarmed about trade, with only 8pc agreeing with the presidents assertion that trade wars were easy to win, while 40pc said the trade war had done permanent damage to agriculture.

Brandon Barford, a partner at Beacon Policy Advisors in Washington DC, has noticed that Trump is sensitive to the threat posed by a slump in farmers support.

While we have traditionally thought of Trumps behaviour as being bound by the movement in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, he has also been known to alter behaviour and policy based on farmer and farm-state members of Congress voicing their displeasure to him directly.

Farmers are suffering even more now, so Trump is likely to use auto and auto parts tariffs to try to force the EU to include agriculture in the talks, to once again help to show his farming base that though it is bad now, he is fighting for them.

To use current political parlance, the optics of a farming crisis hitting some of his most loyal supporters are potentially disastrous.

Politically this could be significant, adds Mullarkey.

Agriculture is a significant lobby. There will be a rising number of hard-working people losing their livelihoods and that is a story that will grab the headlines.

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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russia Says U.S. Able to Carry Out Space Strikes
April 25, 2019
https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/04/25/russia-says-us-able-to-carry -out-space-strikes-a65375

The United States is capable of attacking Russia from space, a senior Russian general said Wednesday.

U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled a plan in January calling for the development of space-based sensors to shoot down missiles before they can threaten U.S. soil, among other capabilities. Moscow warned the new U.S. missile defense strategy would unleash a dangerous arms race in space, saying it amounts to a relaunch of the Cold War-era "Star Wars" program.

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Its possible that [U.S.] space assets could be used to launch a preemptive strike against Russian and Chinese targets, senior Russian general Viktor Poznikhir said.

Speaking at a security conference in Moscow, Poznikhir blamed the U.S. missile defense systems for enabling the country to deliver a surprise missile and nuclear strike on Russia.

Russia is responding to the perceived threat by arming its strategic offensive forces with the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile and the Avangard hypersonic missile, he was quoted by the state-run TASS news agency as saying.

President Vladimir Putin had said the Avangard would be deployed in 2019 and noted that the Sarmat known as Satan-2 in the West was in the final test phase.

Pentagon officials contend that U.S. missiles defenses are too few to be able to counter a first-strike on the U.S. homeland by a major nuclear power, like Russia or China. Washington hopes those countries will instead be deterred from attacks by Americas nuclear arsenal.

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

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www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russia threat: Putin shows off missile ‘60 times more powerful than Hiroshima bomb’
RUSSIA has successfully launched its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile from the Kremlin’s newest nuclear-powered submarine, the defence ministry has confirmed.
By LUKE HAWKER
PUBLISHED: 19:40, Wed, Oct 30, 2019 | UPDATED: 21:27, Wed, Oct 30, 2019
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1197808/Russia-news-nuclear-weapo n-missile-vladmir-putin-latest

The ministry has released footage of the ‘Prince Vladimir’ (Knyaz Vladimir) vessel shooting out the destructive Bulava missile in the White Sea, near the northwest coast of Russia. The test of Russia’s military power was carried out while the Borei-class vessel was submerged in the ocean. The test-missile successfully hit a target thousands of kilometres away in the region of Kamchatka.

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The advanced weapon is understood to be comprised of six independently targeted warheads - each with the equivalent to 150 kilotons of TNT.

The combined 900 kilotons of explosive chemicals is believed to be 50 to 60 times stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima by US forces in 1945, which was around 15 kilotons, Forbes reports.

The advanced weapon can also strike targets up to 5,000 miles away.

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The defence ministry said in a statement: “For the first time, the strategic submarine Knyaz Vladimir test-launched the sea-based Bulava ballistic missile.”

russia
Russia has successfully launched its latest weapon in the White Sea (Image: GETTY/RussiaN defense ministry)
The ministry added “its combat training units arrived at the training ground at a set time, which was recorded by means of objective control”.

The submarine is the first upgraded 955A model to be produced in the Borei class of Russian nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.

According to the Russian-state TASS news agency, the vessel will enter service with Russia’s Northern Fleet at the end of this year once it has completed trials including weapons tests.

russia

The advanced weapon is understood to be comprised of six independently targeted warheads (Image: Russian defence agency )
russia

The advanced weapon can also strike targets up to 5,000 miles away (Image: Russian defense agency )
The vessel’s name which translated to ‘Prince Vladimir’ was named after the Russian leader Vladimir the Great who ruled between 980 and 1015 A.D.

The newest acquisition to the arsenal of Russian weapons comes amid growing tension between Moscow and the west.

Earlier this year, the US pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty accusing Russia of violating the terms of the agreement, something the Kremlin denies.

donald trump

The US has pulled out of the INF treaty (Image: REUTERS)
The landmark treaty prohibits Russia and the US from possessing, producing or test-flying a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometres.

Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu has warned the US president may have trigger a new world arms race.

Mr Shoigu said: “The US withdrawal from the INF jeopardises the system of global strategic stability and may trigger a new arms race, remarkably not only in the European region, but in the Asia-Pacific region as well.”

READ MORE: Putin praises Trump for US strike on ISIS leader after Kremlin doubts

Vladimir Putin

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said he regretted the US decision to withdraw from the INF (Image: REUTERS)
Speaking last week, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said he regretted the US decision to withdraw from the INF treaty.

Mr Putin said: “I think it was a mistake and that they could have gone a different path.

“I do understand the US concerns. While other countries are free to enhance their defences, Russia and the US have tied their own hands with this treaty.

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A graphic of countries with the most nuclear weapons (Image: EXPRESS)
“However, I still believe it was not worth ruining the deal; I believe there were other ways out of the situation.”

He also urged Donald Trump to back a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to replace the one which is due to expire in 2021, in order to prevent a race to acquire strategic nuclear weapons.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Putin says Russia will target nations hosting US missiles
By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
October 24, 2018
https://apnews.com/26db0e2b99874d09b8b6d5504d9d0484

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a joint with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte meeting with Italian businessmen including attending by video link the opening of a high-voltage electric engine plant of the Russian Electric Engines company in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is holding talks with Russian officials on his first trip to Moscow. (Sergei Chirikov/Pool Photo via AP)
MOSCOW (AP) Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that if the United States deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Russia will have to target the nations that would host them.

The stern statement follows U.S. President Donald Trumps announcement over the weekend that he intends to opt out of a 1987 nuclear arms control pact over alleged Russian violations.

Putin said he hoped the United States wouldnt follow up by positioning intermediate-range missiles in Europe. Such a move would be a repeat of a Cold War showdown in the 1980s, when the U.S. and the Soviet Union both deployed intermediate-range missiles on the continent, the Russian leader said.


If they are deployed in Europe, we will naturally have to respond in kind, Putin said at a news conference after talks with visiting Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. The European nations that would agree to that should understand that they would expose their territory to the threat of a possible retaliatory strike. These are obvious things.

He continued: I dont understand why we should put Europe in such a grave danger.

I see no reason for that, Putin said. I would like to repeat that its not our choice. We dont want it.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that the Western military alliances members blame Russia for developing a new missile in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, but he doesnt expect them to beef up nuclear arsenals in Europe in response.

I dont foresee that allies will deploy more nuclear weapons in Europe as a response to the new Russian missile, Stoltenberg told reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Putin rejected Trumps claim that Russia has breached the INF treaty, alleging it was the United States that violated the pact.

He charged that U.S. missile defense facilities in Romania hold intermediate-range cruise missiles with just a quick tweak in computer software.

The Russian leader added that he hoped to discuss the issue with Trump in Paris when they both attend Nov. 11 events marking 100 years since Armistice Day.

We are ready to work together with our American partners without any hysteria, he said. The important thing is what decisions will come next.

The INF treaty signed in 1987 by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev prohibited the U.S. and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched nuclear cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (300 to 3,400 miles.)


The pact was lauded as a major safeguard for global security since they eliminated shorter-range missiles that take only a few minutes to reach their targets.

Trump said he planned to pull the U.S. out of the treaty due to the alleged Russia violations and also because China, which wasnt part of the pact, has intermediate-range missile capability.

Trumps national security adviser, John Bolton, spent two days in Moscow this week to discuss the move with Putin and his top lieutenants. Bolton said Washington hasnt served a formal withdrawal notice, but he voiced strong skepticism the treaty could be salvaged.

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