Real estate mogul Trump says he is running for president

U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

June 16, 2015

Reuters:

Real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump said on Tuesday he is a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” Trump said in a launch speech at his Trump Tower skyscraper in Manhattan.

The outspoken billionaire, widely seen as having little chance of winning the nomination, will certainly enliven proceedings as he joins an unusually large group of Republicans vying for the presidency.

 

Eleven Republicans have announced they are running for next November’s election, the latest being former Florida Governor Jeb Bush who launched his candidacy on Monday.

Trump, 69, who owns several hotels and hosts the reality show “The Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC, toyed with running in past elections but decided against doing so.

Trump features 12th in a Reuters/Ipsos online poll of 13 Republicans who have either declared their candidacies or are likely to. Bush led the poll.

In other surveys, Trump has high negative ratings, with more than 50 percent of Americans saying they will never consider voting for him.

(Additional reporting by Emily Stephenson Wise; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by James Dalgleish)

More at Reuters

Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.

China Is Building The Most Extensive Global Commercial-Military Empire In History

dJune 9, 2015

Quartz(Reuters/Stringer)

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the sun famously never set on the British empire. A commanding navy enforced its will, yet all would have been lost if it were not for ports, roads, and railroads. The infrastructure that the British built everywhere they went embedded and enabled their power like bones and veins in a body.

Great nations have done this since Rome paved 55,000 miles (89,000 km) of roads and aqueducts in Europe. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Russia and the United States established their own imprint, skewering and taming nearby territories with projects like the Trans-Siberian and the Trans-Continental railways.

Now it’s the turn of the Chinese. Much has been made of Beijing’s “resource grab” in Africa and elsewhere, its construction of militarized artificial islands in the South China Sea and, most recently, its new strategy to project naval power broadly in the open seas.

Yet these profiles of an allegedly grasping and treacherous China tend to consider its ambitions in disconnected pieces. What these pieces add up to is a whole latticework of infrastructure materializing around the world. Combined with the ambitious activities of Chinese companies, they are quickly growing into history’s most extensive global commercial empire.

China views almost no place as uncontested. Chinese-financed and -built dams, roads, railroads, natural gas pipelines, ports, and airports are either in place or will be from Samoa to Rio de Janeiro, St. Petersburg to Jakarta, Mombasa to Vanuatu, and from the Arctic to Antarctica. Many are built in service of current and prospective mines, oilfields, and other businesses back to China, and at times to markets abroad.

But while this grand picture suggests a deliberate plan devised in Beijing, it also reflects an unbridled commercial frenzy. Chinese companies are venturing out and doing deals lacking any particular order. Mostly, they’re interested in finding growth abroad that is proving difficult to manage at home. This, too, is typical for a fast-growing power.

“This is very much in line with what we would expect from other great powers whose military posture follows its economic and diplomatic footprint,” Lyle Morris, a China specialist with Rand, told Quartz.

Below are snapshots of components that are either already in place or on the way

The story starts with a reimagined Silk Road …

Map showing the planned Maritime Silk Road route and Silk Road Economic Belt.
Map 1. The Silk Road economic belt and its maritime counterpart.(Reuters)

In September 2013, newly anointed Chinese leader Xi Jinping visited Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana. He was in town to seal the Chinese purchase of a $5 billion stake in Kashagan, one of the world’s largest oilfields. On that trip, he unveiled a plan ultimately dubbed “One Belt, One Road”—a land-and-sea version of the fabled East-West Silk Road trading route.

The idea is audacious in scope.

(Map 2. The Kunming-Singapore rail link. Classical Geographer/Wikimedia Commons)

On land, Beijing has in mind a high-speed rail network (map 2). It will start in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, and connect with Laos and on into Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Another overland network of roads, rail and energy pipelines will begin in Xi’an in central China and head west as far as Belgium (see dotted brown line above). As we’ve written previously, Beijing has already initiated an 8,011-mile cargo rail route between the Chinese city of Yiwu and Madrid, Spain. Finally, another 1,125-mile-long bullet train will start in Kashgar and punch south through Pakistan to the Arabian Sea port of Gwadur. The thinking behind this rail-driven plan isn’t new–as we have written previously, Beijing has been piecing it together for awhile.

At sea, a companion 21st-century Maritime Silk Road (see dotted blue line in map 1) would connect the South China Sea, and the Indian and South Pacific oceans. China would begin to protect its own sea lanes as well. On May 26 it disclosed a strategy for expanding its navy into a fleet that not only hugs its own shores, but can wander the open ocean.

China does not need to build all of these thousands of miles of railroads and other facilities. Much of the infrastructure already exists; where it does, the trick is to link it all together. 

Everywhere, new public works will be required. And to make its vision materialize, Beijing must be careful to be seen as generously sharing the big engineering and construction projects. Up to now, such contracts have been treated as rare, big profit opportunities for state-owned Chinese industrial units. These include the China Railway Group, whose already-inflated share prices have often gone up each time another piece of the overseas empire has fallen into place. If local infrastructure companies are excluded from the largesse, there will be push-back on almost every continent.

More at Quartz

Disclaimer: This article was not written by Silent Soldier.

“The Islamic State Is, Or Is On The Verge Of Becoming, What It Claims To Be: A STATE”

(Screenshot credit, Jihad Watch)

(Screenshot credit, Jihad Watch)

May 22, 2015

President Obama would not lie about the Islamic State being on the brink of actually becoming a state, would he? Perhaps Reuters report may have you thinking otherwise, or at least have you wondering if it could actually come to fruition…

Almost a year after Islamic State’s shock capture of Mosul, Iraq’s second city, the black flags of the jihadis have been raised over Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province to the west of Baghdad, seat of Iraq’s increasingly theoretical central government.

Nobody talks of Mosul or recapturing it from Islamic State. It is a forgotten city. Now it is all about the fall of Ramadi, the neighboring ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in central Syria and beyond – the Libyan city of Sirte, hometown of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

To the eyes of many in the region, the real strategic loss behind the IS seizure of two Sunni cities in Iraq and Syria in a week is the evaporation of any Sunni alternative to the jihadis.

Although many leaders dismissed IS as vainglorious when it declared its cross-border caliphate in eastern Syria and western Iraq last summer, in its cohesion and purpose it is now seen by some – particularly Iraq’s minority Sunnis – as more of a state than the Iraqi government it is fighting.

“Simply put, the Islamic State is, or is on the verge of becoming, what it claims to be: a state,” wrote David Kilcullen who was a key player in the US 2007-08 Iraq troop ‘surge’ and a close observer of the rise of Islamic State.

He argues that unless Washington and its allies urgently change their counter-terrorism strategy the threat will only get worse. A coalition including the United States has been engaged in air strikes against Islamic State last summer, yet the group’s advance has continued.

“ISIS fights like a state… It fields more than 25,000 fighters, including a hard core of ex-Baathist professionals and Qaeda veterans. It has a hierarchical unit organization and rank structure, populated by former regular officers of Saddam Hussein’s military,” added Kilcullen in the Australian Quarterly Essay.

The Islamic State already has the foundations of a state.

It controls territory that includes major cities and covers a third each of Iraq and Syria; it has its own military and security force, a self-proclaimed administration that runs daily life – schools, government offices, utilities, hospitals, taxation and a judiciary system that follows sharia law.

Its resources are vast, including oilfields, refineries and agricultural land. It operates more like a regular army with a recruiting network, training camps and a propaganda machine.

In videos released by IS, its fighters and leader Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi confidently predict “the liberation of Anbar is the start of the liberation of Baghdad and Kerbala from the rawafed” – a derogatory term Sunni jihadis use to describe Shi’ites they condemn as infidels and idolaters.

The jihadis, who intersperse these propaganda films with shots of their training, along with religious slogans, look young, fit, well-armed and clad in crisp new military uniforms – not the picture offered by their opponents.

DEVASTATING DEFEAT

The Iraqi army crumbled in Ramadi in much the same way as it evaporated last summer when IS seized Mosul and overran swathes of north and central Iraq.

Iraq’s security forces were not “driven from” Ramadi, Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff said acidly in Brussels, they “drove out of Ramadi”.

Just as important, the fall of this strategic city comes only weeks after IS itself was pushed out of Tikrit further north, exciting premature speculation that the jihadis might be on the run. The group’s capture of Ramadi happened in tandem with its seizure of Palmyra, with its two millennia-old Roman columns and priceless antiquities.

IS needed no more than a few hundred fighters to take Palmyra, highlighting the acute manpower shortage faced by Bashar al-Assad’s government, now into its fifth year of a civil war that has claimed more than 220,000 lives and displaced around half of Syria’s population.

by Samia Nakhoul

More at Reuters  HatTip Jihad Watch

Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.

Oh Hell, Everybody in Media Donated to the Clinton Foundation: Here’s a List

(Screenshot credit, Pundit From Another Planet)

(Screenshot credit, Pundit From Another Planet)

May 16, 2015

Pundit From Another Planet: by 

Clinton Foundation donors include dozens of media organizations, individuals

Josh GersteinTarini PartiHadas Gold and Dylan Byers report:

…The following list includes news media organizations that have donated to the foundation, as well as other media networks, companies, foundations or individuals that have donated. It is organized by the size of the contribution:

$1,000,000-$5,000,000

Carlos Slim
Chairman & CEO of Telmex, largest New York Times shareholder

James Murdoch
Chief Operating Officer of 21st Century Fox

Newsmax Media
Florida-based conservative media network

Thomson Reuters
Owner of the Reuters news service

$500,00-$1,000,000

Google

News Corporation Foundation
Philanthropic arm of former Fox News parent company

$250,000-$500,000

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publisher

Richard Mellon Scaife
Owner of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

$100,000-$250,000

Abigail Disney
Documentary filmmaker

Bloomberg Philanthropies

Howard Stringer
Former CBS, CBS News and Sony executive

Intermountain West Communications Company
Local television affiliate owner (formerly Sunbelt Communications)

$50,000-$100,000

Bloomberg L.P.

Discovery Communications Inc.

George Stephanopoulos
ABC News chief anchor and chief political correspondent

Mort Zuckerman
Owner of New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report

Time Warner Inc.
Owner of CNN parent company Turner Broadcasting

$25,000-$50,000

AOL

HBO

Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Presenters of the Golden Globe Awards

Viacom

$10,000-$25,000

Knight Foundation
Non-profit foundation dedicated to supporting journalism

Public Radio International

Turner Broadcasting
Parent company of CNN

Twitter

$5,000-$10,000

Comcast
Parent copmany of NBCUniversal

NBC Universal
Parent company of NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC

Public Broadcasting Service

$1,000-$5,000

Robert Allbritton
Owner of POLITICO parent company Capitol News Group

$250-$1,000

AOL Huffington Post Media Group

Hearst Corporation

Judy Woodruff
PBS Newshour co-anchor and managing editor

The Washington Post Company

Politico

######

More at  Pundit From Another Planet

Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.

Megan Kelly Nails Hillary Clinton For Lying About Signing Form OF-109: Friends Gather In Support

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March 19, 2015

crew-2231Comment by Jim Campbell, Citizen Journalist, Oath Keeper and Patriot.

After being smacked very hard by Megan Kelly at Fox News

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Hillary Clinton’s friends gather in overwhelming support for her.

Many Democrats want independent Clinton email probe:

Reuters

WASHINGTON Thu Mar 19, 2015

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They have grown far to weary of her scandals and would like her to fade away.

Democrats’ support is softening for Hillary Clinton, their party’s presumed 2016 presidential front-runner, with many favoring an independent review of her personal email use when she was secretary of state.

Support for Clinton’s candidacy has dropped about 15 percentage points since mid-February among Democrats, with as few as 45 percent saying they would support her in the last week, according to a Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll.

Support from Democrats likely to vote in the party nominating contests has dropped only slightly less, to a low in the mid-50s over the same period.

Even Democrats who said they were not personally swayed one way or another by the email flap said that Clinton could fare worse because of it, if and when she launches her presidential campaign, a separate Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.

(GRAPHIC: Hillary Clinton’s emails here)

HARMFUL POLITICALLY

(Reuters) – Democrats’ support is softening for Hillary Clinton, their party’s presumed 2016 presidential front-runner, with many favoring an independent review of her personal email use when she was secretary of state.

Support for Clinton’s candidacy has dropped about 15 percentage points since mid-February among Democrats, with as few as 45 percent saying they would support her in the last week, according to a Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll. Support from Democrats likely to vote in the party nominating contests has dropped only slightly less, to a low in the mid-50s over the same period.

Even Democrats who said they were not personally swayed one way or another by the email flap said that Clinton could fare worse because of it, if and when she launches her presidential campaign, a separate Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.

The polling showed that nearly half of Democratic respondents – 46 percent – agreed there should be an independent review of all of Clinton’s emails to ensure she turned over everything that is work-related.

There was also sizable support among Democrats for the Republican-controlled congressional committee’s effort to require Clinton to testify about the emails. Forty-one percent said they backed its efforts to force Clinton’s testimony.

“Bottom line is if she didn’t do anything wrong, she’s fine,” said North Carolina resident Renetia Lowery, 48, a Democrat and survey respondent.

The online poll of 2,128 adults from March 10 to March 17 showed that Americans, including two-thirds of Democrats, were aware of the controversy surrounding Clinton’s decision to use her personal email rather than a government account, along with a personal server, when she was the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013.

Clinton has tried to tamp down accusations that she used her personal email account to keep her records from public review, which would support an old political narrative that Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, are secretive and seek to play by a different set of rules.

More than a third of Democrats and 44 percent of political independents agreed that the email issue has hurt the former secretary of state politically.

Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.

CHINA HAS ANNOUNCED PLANS FOR A ‘WORLD CURRENCY’

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March 6, 2015

Christian Patriots:  Written by MICHAEL SNYDER-ECONOMIC COLLAPSE

The Chinese do not plan to live in a world dominated by the U.S. dollar for much longer

Image Credits: Nicolas Raymond / Flickr

The Chinese do not plan to live in a world dominated by the U.S. dollar for much longer.  Chinese leaders have been calling for the U.S. dollar to be replaced as the primary global reserve currency for a long time, but up until now they have never been very specific about what they would put in place of it.  Many have assumed that the Chinese simply wanted some new international currency to be created.  But what if that is not what the Chinese had in mind?  What if they have always wanted their own currency to become the single most dominant currency on the entire planet?  What you are about to see is rather startling, but it shouldn’t be a surprise.  When it comes to economics and finance, the Chinese have always been playing chess while the western world has been playing checkers.  Sadly, we have gotten to the point where checkmate is on the horizon.

On Wednesday, I came across an excellent article by Simon Black.  What he had to say in that article just about floored me…

When I arrived to Bangkok the other day, coming down the motorway from the airport I saw a huge billboard—and it floored me.

The billboard was from the Bank of China. It said: “RMB: New Choice; The World Currency”

Given that the Bank of China is more than 70% owned by the government of the People’s Republic of China, I find this very significant.

It means that China is literally advertising its currency overseas, and it’s making sure that everyone landing at one of the world’s busiest airports sees it. They know that the future belongs to them and they’re flaunting it.

This is the photograph of that billboard that he posted with his article…

image

Everyone knows that China is rising.

And most everyone has assumed that Chinese currency would soon play a larger role in international trade.

But things have moved so rapidly in recent years that now a very large chunk of the financial world actually expects the renminbi to replace the dollar as the primary reserve currency of the planet someday.  The following comes from CNBC

The tightly controlled Chinese yuan will eventually supersede the dollar as the top international reserve currency, according to a new poll of institutional investors.

The survey of 200 institutional investors – 100 headquartered in mainland China and 100 outside of it – published by State Street and the Economist Intelligence Unit on Thursday found 53 percent of investors think the renminbi will surpass the U.S. dollar as the world’s major reserve currency.

Optimism was higher within China, where 62 percent said they saw a redback world on the horizon, compared with 43 percent outside China.

And without a doubt we are starting to see the beginnings of a significant shift.

Just consider this excerpt from a recent Reuters report

China’s yuan broke into the top five as a world payment currency in November, overtaking the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar, global transaction services organization SWIFT said on Wednesday.

The U.S. dollar won’t be replaced overnight, but things are changing.

Of course the truth is that the Chinese have been preparing for this for a very long time.  The Chinese refuse to tell the rest of the world exactly how much gold they have, but everyone knows that they have been accumulating enormous amounts of it.  And even if they don’t explicitly back the renminbi with gold, the massive gold reserves that China is accumulating will still give the rest of the planet a great deal of confidence in Chinese currency.

But don’t just take my word for it.  Consider what Alan Greenspan has had to say on the matter…

Alan Greenspan, who served at the helm of the Federal Reserve for nearly two decades, recently penned an op-ed for the Council on Foreign Relations discussing gold and its possible role in China, the world’s second-largest economy. He notes that if China converted only a “relatively modest part of its $4 trillion foreign exchange reserves into gold, the country’s currency could take on unexpected strength in today’s international financial system.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese have also been accumulating a tremendous amount of U.S. debt.  At this point, the Chinese own approximately 1.3 trillion dollars worth of our debt, and that gives them a lot of power over our currency and over our financial system.

Someday if the Chinese wanted to undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar and in the U.S. financial system, they have a lot of ammunition at their disposal.

And it isn’t just all of that debt that gives China leverage.  In recent years, the Chinese have been buying up real estate, businesses and energy assets all over the United States at a staggering pace.  For a small taste of what has been taking place, check out the YouTube video posted below…

For much, much more on this trend, please see the following articles…

-“The Chinese Are Acquiring Large Chunks Of Land In Communities All Over America

-“Meet Your New Boss: Buying Large Employers Will Enable China To Dominate 1000s Of U.S. Communities

-“Not Just The Largest Economy – Here Are 26 Other Ways China Has Surpassed America

-“The Chinese Want To Spend Billions Constructing A 600 Acre ‘China City’ In New York State

-“45 Signs That China Is Colonizing America

-“Will Detroit Be The First Major Chinese City In The United States?

On a purchasing power basis, the size of the Chinese economy has already surpassed the size of the U.S. economy.

And there are lots of signs of trouble ahead for the U.S. economy at this point.  I like how Brandon Smith put it in one recent article…

We are only two months into 2015, and it has already proven to be the most volatile year for the economic environment since 2008-2009. We have seen oil markets collapsing by about 50 percent in the span of a few months (just as the Federal Reserve announced the end of QE3, indicating fiat money was used to hide falling demand), the Baltic Dry Index losing 30 percent since the beginning of the year, the Swiss currency surprise, the Greeks threatening EU exit (and now Greek citizens threatening violent protests with the new four-month can-kicking deal), and the effects of the nine-month-long West Coast port strike not yet quantified. This is not just a fleeting expression of a negative first quarter; it is a sign of things to come.

In addition, things continue to look quite bleak for Europe.  Once upon a time, many expected the euro to overtake the U.S. dollar as the primary global reserve currency, but that didn’t happen.  And in recent months the euro has been absolutely crashing.  On Wednesday, it hit the lowest point that we have seen against the dollar in more than a decade

The euro last stood at $1.1072, off 0.90 percent for the day and below a key support level, Sutton said. It fell to as little as $1.1066, which was the lowest level for the euro against the dollar since September 2003, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The euro also declined to one-month lows against the Japanese yen, which was flat against the dollar at 119.72 yen to the dollar.

As the U.S. and Europe continue to struggle, China is going to want a significantly larger role on the global stage.

And as the billboard in Thailand suggests, they are more than willing to step up to the plate.

So will the road to the future be paved with Chinese currency?  Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

Written by MICHAEL SNYDER-ECONOMIC COLLAPSE
Read more at ECONOMIC COLLAPSE

HILARY CLINTON ASKS STATE TO RELEASE ALL HER EMAILS

March 5, 2015

#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON UPDATE: March.05: Hillary Clinton has broken her silence over a controversy involving her use of personal email for work when she was secretary of state, Reuters said.

“I want the public to see my email,” the potential 2016 presidential candidate said in a tweet. “I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.”

The move is aimed at cooling a political firestorm over allegations that she inappropriately used her personal email for work from 2009 to 2013.

Disclaimer: This article is not written by ACE NEWS GROUP.

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