Article: Can the US compete?

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Can the US compete?

Rod Kapunan, 10 April 2021

Many are speculating whether the US has the budget to sustain the cost for the long-delayed rehabilitation of America’s infrastructure. It was announced it will cost the Biden administration a whopping $2 trillion to undertake the repairs of the country’s mostly aging infrastructure.

As observed, the US economy is saddled with great contradictions. It is deeply mired in debt that it cannot just do all things at the same time. Some say the problem is for the US economy to undergo some kind of economic metamorphoses, similar to what China did to overcome the obstacle inherent in the US system.

One must remember that the greatest enemy of the US is the contradiction from within its own system. The US is hampered in what Marx says “internal contradictions” – that the interest of the various pressure groups could stymie most of its objectives. Continue reading “Article: Can the US compete?”

Article: The Next ‘Gamestop’: How China or Russia Could Attack Our Financial System

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The Next ‘Gamestop’: How China or Russia Could Attack Our Financial System

Robert Carlson, Gray Gaertner, 16 March 2021

Last week, the dramatic rise and fall in the price of Gamestop demonstrated how vulnerable the stock market is to social media speculation. U.S. regulators should now turn their attention to a greater risk—that in the near future, China, Russia, or another adversary could coordinate an unwitting mob to harm the American financial system.

The potential for financial warfare follows from a playbook that China, and especially Russia, have drawn from repeatedly to meddle in U.S. domestic politics. First, foreign state agents have used social media to spread disinformation or stoke existing grievances. Second, they have counted on naive users to share the original posts, allowing the content to reach a larger audience. Finally, they fan the flames to provoke action.

In 2016 and 2020, Russian propaganda decreased U.S. voters’ trust in their candidates and the political system. During last year’s protests over race and policing, foreign bots amplified instances of both racial discrimination and violent protests, further polarizing American society. Following Joe Biden’s electoral victory in November, Russian agents embraced false allegations of fraud, providing the rationale for an armed mob to assault the Capitol Building. China spends at least $10 billion per year on its own influence operations through the United Front Work Department, which promotes pro-Beijing narratives overseas.

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Article: Why Mitt Romney’s call for economic boycott of China Olympics comes as no surprise

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Why Mitt Romney’s call for economic boycott of China Olympics comes as no surprise

Dennis Romboy, 15 March 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mitt Romney’s call for an economic and diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing isn’t surprising given his political stances on China.

In his first speech on the Senate floor after taking office in 2019, the Utah Republican shifted his focus from Russia to China as America’s greatest geopolitical adversary. While running for president in 2012, he argued that Russia presented the biggest threat to the United States.

Romney said China’s economic strength and large population enable a military power that “could eclipse our own.”

“It is possible that freedom itself would be in jeopardy,” he warned. “If we fail to act now, that possibility may become reality.”

In his first two years in the Senate, Romney filed legislation to combat China’s economic aggression, condemned the Chinese Communist Party and sought sanctions over abuses of ethnic minorities. He pushed for a National Security Council task force to counter the Chinese government’s “sinister propaganda” about the origins of the coronavirus

Just last week, Romney and seven GOP colleagues reintroduced the Strengthening Trade, Regional Alliances, Technology and Economic and Geopolitical Initiatives Concerning China Act to advance a comprehensive strategy for U.S. competition with China.

“We must take decisive action now to confront China’s growing aggression, which includes linking arms with our friends and allies to dissuade the Chinese Communist Party from its predatory policies and demand that China abide by the norms and rules which the rest of us follow,” he said.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, of which Romney is a member, will hold a hearing on the issue this week.

Romney has accused China of unfair trade practices, stealing American jobs, currency manipulation and intellectual property theft.

“I think we have to hold China’s feet to the fire,” he said in 2019.

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Article: Newly Obtained Audit Report Details How Shady Clients from Around the World Moved Billions Through Estonia

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Newly Obtained Audit Report Details How Shady Clients from Around the World Moved Billions Through Estonia

Holger Roonemaa and Oliver Kund, KYC360News, 12 March 2021

On a warm Monday morning in June 2014, two auditors from Estonia’s financial regulator stepped into the Tallinn office of Danske Bank, armed with a single piece of graph paper handwritten with the names of 18 of its clients, and demanded to see their records.

At first glance, the customers on the list sounded boring. They were mostly obscure trading companies with generic names like Hilux Services and Polux Management. But the auditors — who had been tipped off by a police unit that tracks financial crime — didn’t have to dig too deep before things got very strange.

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Article: What We Talk About When We Talk About the Russian Mob

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What We Talk About When We Talk About the Russian Mob

IN ROBERT MUELLER’S famed “Iron Triangles” speech, given to the Citizens Crime Commission of New York on 27 January 2011, the then-FBI Director explains how 21st century transnational organized crime works. (He also, improbably, cracks a joke about Justin Bieber’s haircut, the only sentence in the speech that feels dated).

The so-called “mob” is no longer run by a few families, Mueller says, but rather “flat, fluid networks with global reach,” comprised of groups in countries all around the world, which are “more anonymous and more sophisticated.”

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Article: Russian Nationals Charged With Series of Hacking and Bank Fraud Offenses

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Russian Nationals Charged With Series of Hacking and Bank Fraud Offenses

Security Magazine, 05 December 2019

The US, through its Departments of Justice and State, and the UK, through its National Crime Agency (NCA), announced the unsealing of criminal charges in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Lincoln, Nebraska, against Maksim V. Yakubets, aka online moniker, “aqua,” 32, of Moscow, Russia, related to two separate international computer hacking and bank fraud schemes spanning from May 2009 to the present. A second individual, Igor Turashev, 38, from Yoshkar-Ola, Russia, was also indicted in Pittsburgh for his role related to the “Bugat” malware conspiracy. Continue reading “Article: Russian Nationals Charged With Series of Hacking and Bank Fraud Offenses”

Article: Russian Hacking Group Evil Corp. Charged By Federal Prosecutors In Alleged Bank Fraud

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Russian Hacking Group Evil Corp. Charged By Federal Prosecutors In Alleged Bank Fraud

BOBBY ALLYN, 05 December 2019

Federal law enforcement officials have announced criminal charges against two Russian nationals who operate a hacking organization known as Evil Corp., a group officials say is responsible for one of the most sweeping banking fraud schemes in the past decade.

The criminal indictments were unsealed in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Lincoln, Nebraska, against Maksim Yakubets, 32, and Igor Turashev, 38, both of whom live in Russia. The duo are accused of bank and wire fraud and computer hacking, among other counts. Continue reading “Article: Russian Hacking Group Evil Corp. Charged By Federal Prosecutors In Alleged Bank Fraud”

Article: Collusion with Trump over Russia inquiry ‘did not happen’, says Raab

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Collusion with Trump over Russia inquiry ‘did not happen’, says Raab

Patrick Wintour, 02 October 2019

No member of the British government, including the prime minister, would ever collude with Donald Trump to try to discredit the work of intelligence agencies uncovering Russian interference in the 2016 US election, the UK foreign secretary said.

Dominic Raab told the Commons that “any such collusion is entirely unacceptable, would never happen, and did not happen”.

The foreign secretary refused to say at prime minister’s questions whether Boris Johnson, or his predecessor, Theresa May, had spoken to the US president about any request to cooperate with the inquiry he had ordered into how the US intelligence agencies handled claims that Russia colluded with the Trump presidential campaign in 2016.

The collusion claim led to the lengthy report by Robert Mueller, which showed that Russia was attempting to swing the presidential election in favour of Trump but did not say whether there had been collusion between Russia and Trump.

Raab was asked whether, as reported in the Times, Trump had personally contacted Johnson to ask him to cooperate with the US inquiry.

The Labour MP Ben Bradshaw implied that the purpose of any Trump request might be “to undermine or smear British intelligence services, as well as damage cooperation with their US colleagues”.

Raab, deputising for Johnson at prime minister’s questions, said: “Neither the prime minister or, as then, the foreign secretary, would collude in the way that he described. That is entirely unacceptable and would never happen and did not happen.”

It is noticeable that the British government has been less willing than either the Australian or Italian governments to give details of help given to Trump’s inquiry into the role of the US intelligence services.

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Article: Trump’s Top Targets in the Russia Probe Are Experts in Organized Crime

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Trump’s Top Targets in the Russia Probe Are Experts in Organized Crime

Some of President Trump’s favorite targets in the Russia probe have spent their careers in the Justice Department and the FBI investigating organized crime and money laundering, particularly as they pertain to Russia.

Bruce Ohr. Lisa Page. Andrew Weissmann. Andrew McCabe. President Donald Trump has relentlessly attacked these FBI and Justice Department officials as dishonest “Democrats” engaged in a partisan “witch hunt” led by the special counsel determined to tie his campaign to Russia.

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Article: Russian mafia money laundering trial begins in Spain

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Russian mafia money laundering trial begins in Spain

The trial of a Russian Member of Parliament, Vladislav Reznik, and 17 other suspects started in Madrid’s National Court on Monday.
A number of the suspects are thought to have links to the Kremlin. Mr. Reznik is a member of President Putin’s United Russia party.

The suspects were arrested in 2008, charged with a €50m money-laundering operation linked to Spanish real estate. If found guilty, the suspects are looking at a €100m penalty and five years in jail.

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Article: WSJ editorial board calls for Mueller’s resignation and accuses Clinton campaign and DNC of collusion

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WSJ editorial board calls for Mueller’s resignation and accuses Clinton campaign and DNC of collusion

Sonam Sheth , 29 October 2017

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board called this week for a full Russia investigation — not into President Donald Trump’s campaign, but into the Democratic Party, the FBI, and the special counsel Robert Mueller. Continue reading “Article: WSJ editorial board calls for Mueller’s resignation and accuses Clinton campaign and DNC of collusion”

Article: Germany: Russian Mafia Plundering Billions Through Nursing Services

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Germany: Russian Mafia Plundering Billions Through Nursing Services

German authorities are investigating some 230 nursing services believed to be charging the government more than €1.2 billion annually for fictitious staff and hours spent on caring for the elderly and sick, media reported Tuesday.

maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com-Elderly-Old-Patient-Caring-Hospice-Healthcare-1761276Elderly Care (Max Pixel CC0 1.0)A police report leaked to Die Welt am Sonntag allegedly linked the services to the Russian mafia. Its network of companies allegedly routinely defraud insurance providers, patients and pharmacies by claiming for services they are not providing, falsifying documents, employing unqualified carers and making multiple claims for a single patient.

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Article: Russian mafia boss still at large after FBI wiretap at Trump Tower

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Russian mafia boss still at large after FBI wiretap at Trump Tower

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Article: Investing for Profit in the Russian Mafia States Stock Market, Goodbye Chinese Century?

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Investing for Profit in the Russian Mafia States Stock Market, Goodbye Chinese Century?

Wikileaks recently released U.S. Embassy cables that contained accusations of Russia being a defacto Mafia State that has ceased to be a democracy and is run by the secret services on behalf of an Oligarchy. Much of which comes as nothing of a surprise to either the Russian people, business men or foreign investors who know that whilst doing business with Russia can prove highly profitable,

however investors and business people have to be nimble footed by being prepared to pull their funds out at short notice, which mean investors need to be invested in highly liquid funds that aim to track or better the general Russian stock indices such as the RTS stock market index rather than in illiquid individual stocks.

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