Thursday, September 29, 2022

U.S. And Allies Want China And India To 'Talk Sense' Into Putin

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a meeting on the sidelines of a summit of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies in the Japanese city of Osaka, June 28, 2019. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)  

Politico: Calls grow for China and India to talk sense into Putin 

“They could let Mr. Putin know what a disastrously bad idea any use of nuclear weapons would be,” one U.S. official said. 

The U.S. and its allies are hoping to rally the international community to send an unmistakable message to Vladimir Putin: Using nuclear weapons would prompt a crippling economic and diplomatic response, even from Russia’s friends. 

 In particular, calls are growing inside and outside the Biden administration to enlist China and India, two major powers with close ties to Moscow, to amp up the pressure on Putin by signaling that even a limited nuclear strike in Ukraine would sever what few global lifelines Russia has left.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: India is going to stay neutral, and China is not going to undermine their strategic partner Russia. In fact. Chinese state media is now openly "hinting" that it was the US that sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines, and is the one that is escalating the Russia - Ukraine war .... Nord Stream pipeline leaks fuel West-Russia info war, intensify confrontation (Global Times).

China Opens Overseas Police Stations In US And Canada

FOX News: China has opened overseas police stations in US and Canada to monitor Chinese citizens: report  

Europe is home to the most Chinese 'overseas police service stations' 

China has opened dozens of "overseas police service stations" around the globe to monitor its citizens living abroad, including one location in New York City and three in Toronto. 

"These operations eschew official bilateral police and judicial cooperation and violate the international rule of law, and may violate the territorial integrity in third countries involved in setting up a parallel policing mechanism using illegal methods," reads a report by Safeguard Defenders, a human rights watchdog, released earlier this month. 

The report, titled "110 Overseas: Chinese Transnational Policing Gone Wild," details China's extensive efforts to combat "fraud" by its citizens living overseas, in part by opening several police stations on five continents that have assisted Chinese authorities in "carrying out policing operations on foreign soil."  

Read more .... 

Update #1: China Opened 30 Illegal Police Stations In 21 Nations To Promote Vested Interests: Report (Republic World)  

Update #2: China operating extrajudicial police stations in Canada (True North) 

Update #3: FIRST READING: Why Beijing is allegedly opening police stations on Canadian soil (National Post)  

WNU Editor: I am very uncomfortable with this. China is also expanding these police stations worldwide .... China Expands Its Secret Police Stations Around the World (Washington Free Beacon). More here .... China Opened 30 Illegal Police Stations In 21 Nations To Promote Vested Interests: Report (Republic World).

USS Gerald R Ford Is Expected To Deploy For The First Time Next Week

 

Business Insider: A first-in-class US Navy supercarrier is about to set sail on its maiden deployment for the first time in over 40 years 

* The US Navy is ready to deploy a new first-in-class supercarrier for the first time in over four decades. 

* The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford will set sail on its maiden deployment next week from Hampton Roads, Virginia. 

* The Ford's first deployment comes four years after the ship was first expected to deploy. 

The $13 billion lead ship of a new class of advanced US Navy aircraft carriers is about to finally set sail on its first deployment after years of costly setbacks and delays that have at times made it the target of fierce criticism. 

The first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford, which was commissioned over five years ago and has been over a decade in the making, will deploy for the first time next week on a short, service-retained deployment, Vice Adm. Daniel Dwyer, US 2nd Fleet commander, told reporters.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is going to be a very short deployment .... Much-Delayed Carrier Won’t Go Far in Its First Deployment (Defense One). 

USS Gerald R Ford Is Expected To Deploy For The First Time Next Week 

USS Gerald R Ford expected to deploy for first time in October -- Navy Times  

Carrier USS Gerald R. Ford to Embark on Short Cruise Ahead of Full Deployment Next Year - USNI News -- USNI News  

US Navy's newest carrier to deploy, train with NATO nations -- AP  

USS Ford Shakedown Cruise Set To Shake Up The Navy, Russia And NATO -- Forbes  

USS Gerald R .Ford to go on first deployment next week after yearslong delay -- CBS  

Bigger and better: Newest Navy carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford, will deploy from Norfolk on Monday -- Virginia Pilot

European Nations Tighten Energy Infrastructure Security After Nord Stream Gas Pipeline 'Attack'

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Equinor's Johan Sverdrup oilfield platforms in the North Sea © Reuters/Ints Kalnins  

Euronews: Nord Stream: Norway and Denmark tighten energy infrastructure security after gas pipeline 'attack' 

Norway and Denmark will increase security and surveillance around their energy infrastructure sites after the alleged sabotage of Russia's Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea. 

Major leaks struck two underwater natural gas pipelines running from Russia to Germany, with experts reporting that explosions rattled the Baltic Sea beforehand. 

Norway -- an oil-rich nation and Europe's biggest supplier of gas -- will strengthen security at its land and offshore installations, the country's energy minister said.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Nord Stream pipeline attacks occurred in a region where the maritime security was the responsibility of Denmark and Sweden. This is a major failure on their part, and not surprising they are now reacting to it. 

 European Nations Tighten Energy Infrastructure Security After Nord Stream Gas Pipeline 'Attack'  

Norway to deploy military to protect its oil and gas installations -- Reuters  

Denmark’s defense minister concerned about security situation in Baltic Sea region -- AFP  

"Heightened vigilance" at Swedish nuclear plants after Nord Stream leaks -- (Sveriges Radio)

China Tells State Banks To Prepare For A Massive Dollar Dump

Chinese Yuan banknotes are seen in this illustration taken February 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration 

Market Insider: China tells state banks to prepare for a massive dollar dump and yuan buying spree as Beijing's prior interventions have failed to stem its currency's worst year since 1994 

* Reuters reported that China told state-owned banks to get ready to sell dollars and buy yuan in an effort to prop up the local currency. 

* The move could stem the yuan's fall, as it remains on track for its largest annual loss against the dollar since 1994. 

* A hawkish Fed has pushed the dollar to 20-year highs this year, pressuring currencies around the world. 

The People's Bank of China has told major state-run banks to prepare to shed dollar holdings while snapping up offshore yuan, which has continued to fall despite prior interventions, sources told Reuters. 

The scale of this latest effort to prop up the yuan will be big and could provide a floor to the Chinese currency, according to the report. 

The amount of dollars to be sold hasn't been decided yet, but Reuters said it will primarily involve the state banks' currency reserves. Their offshore branches, including those based in Hong Kong, New York and London, were ordered to review offshore yuan holdings and check to see that dollar reserves are ready.  

Read more ....  

Update: Exclusive: China's state banks told to stock up for yuan intervention (Reuters).  

WNU Editor: IMHO there are three reasons why China will start to dump the US dollar. (1) The first is to prop up the yuan. (2) The second is to not possess US dollar reserves. China saw how the U.S. seized Russia's foreign currency holdings, and Beijing does not want to be positioned to have the same thing happen to them. (3) The third reason is that many in China believe the U.S. economy is on the road to a slow collapse, and what better way to bail-out is when the US dollar is as high as high as it is right now .... Is the US economy about to tank? (Gregory K. Tanaka, China Daily).

OPEC+ To Meet On October 5 To Discuss Production Cuts

Reuters: OPEC+ has begun talks on output cut at Oct. 5 meeting - OPEC source 

DUBAI, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Leading OPEC+ members have begun discussions about an oil output cut at the group's next meeting on Oct. 5, three sources told Reuters. 

 One OPEC source told Reuters a cut was "likely", while two other OPEC+ sources said key members had spoken about the topic. 

A source familiar with Russian thinking told Reuters earlier this week that Moscow could suggest a cut of up to 1 million barrels per day (bpd). The latest comments suggest that key OPEC members have started communicating over the matter, although the volume of any potential cut is still unclear. 

Next week's meeting takes place against a backdrop of falling oil prices from multi-year highs hit in March, and severe market volatility.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: My gut tells me that there will be a push at this OPEC+ meeting to cut production that will deliberately and significantly raise oil and gas prices to impact the US midterm elections, while bleeding the US strategic oil reserves at the same time. 

OPEC+ To Meet On October 5 To Discuss Production Cuts  

OPEC+ Is Considering A Substantial Oil Production Cut -- OilPrice.com  

Russia seen suggesting OPEC+ cuts oil output by 1 million bpd - source -- Reuters  

Crude Rallies on Reports Russia Will Push for OPEC+ to Cut Output -- Barchart  

How OPEC+ Could Send Oil Prices Soaring Again -- OilPrice.com

Afghan Taliban Signs Deal For Russian Oil, Gas And Wheat

Taliban fighters (C) stand guard along a road near the Russian embassy after a suicide attack in Kabul, on 5 September 2022 (AFP)  

Reuters: EXCLUSIVE Afghan Taliban sign deal for Russian oil products, gas and wheat 

KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban have signed a provisional deal with Russia to supply gasoline, diesel, gas and wheat to Afghanistan, Acting Afghan Commerce and Industry Minister Haji Nooruddin Azizi told Reuters. 

Azizi said his ministry was working to diversify its trading partners and that Russia had offered the Taliban administration a discount to average global commodity prices. 

The move, the first known major international economic deal struck by the Taliban since they returned to power more than a year ago, could help to ease the Islamist movement's isolation that has effectively cut it off from the global banking system.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is not a business deal. This is Russian aid to prop up the Taliban. 

Afghan Taliban Signs Deal For Russian Oil, Gas And Wheat  

Islamic Emirate Signs Deal for Russian Oil, Gas and Wheat -- TOLO News  

Taliban Sign Deal With Russia to Buy Cheap Oil, Gas and Wheat -- Bloomberg  

The Taliban strike a deal with Russia for supplies of key commodities including oil and wheat -- Market Insider  

Taliban signs ‘preliminary’ deal with Russia for oil, gas, wheat -- Al Jazeera  

Afghanistan's Taliban sign import agreement with Russia: Report -- Middle East Eye

NATO Issues A Warning That Any Deliberate Attack Against Critical Infrastructure Will Be Met With A United And Determined Response

 

NBC: NATO issues warning about pipeline 'sabotage' after gas pipeline explosions  

"Any deliberate attack against allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response,” the military alliance said after the Nord Stream explosions. 

LONDON — NATO on Thursday left the door open to possible military action in response to what it said was deliberate sabotage after explosions on underwater natural gas pipelines between Russia and Europe. 

“All currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage,” it said in a statement. 

Western governments have pointed the finger of blame for the leaks at Russia, which has flatly denied any suggestion it was responsible for explosions that caused them.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The NATO statement is brief and very clear (link here) .... 

.... The damage to the Nordstream 1 and Nordstream 2 pipelines in international waters in the Baltic Sea is of deep concern. All currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage. These leaks are causing risks to shipping and substantial environmental damage. We support the investigations underway to determine the origin of the damage.  

“We, as allies, have committed to prepare for, deter and defend against the coercive use of energy and other hybrid tactics by state and non-state actors. Any deliberate attack against allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response. 

Even though Russia is the majority owner of the Nord Stream pipelines, it has European partners in what is (was) a critical part of Europe's energy infrastructure. 

Because some NATO and EU leaders are already pointing their finger at Russia being responsible for this attack, will this be used as a justification to respond .... Spain says Nord Stream gas leaks likely a deliberate act — and points the finger at Russia (CNBC). 

Is this a Reichstag moment

Will this be used to escalate NATO's involvement in Ukraine? 

Or is this a warning to Russia to not retaliate after the destruction of their pipelines? 

Bottom line. We are sliding down a very slippery slope. 

NATO Vows Retaliation for Attacks on Infrastructure, Blames Sabotage for Pipe Blasts  

NATO believes Baltic Sea gas leaks were sabotage -- AP  

NATO Vows Retaliation for Attacks on Infrastructure, Blames Sabotage for Pipe Blasts -- VOA NATO Formally Blames Sabotage for Nord Stream Pipeline Damage -- WSJ 

NATO condemns ‘deliberate, reckless’ sabotage of Nord Stream pipelines after fourth leak discovered -- FOX News  

NATO Sees 'Deliberate, Reckless' Sabotage In Nord Stream Leaks -- Barrons  

NATO labels Nord Stream pipeline leaks result of "sabotage" -- Axios

Brazilians Go to The Polls On Sunday

 

CNN: Brazil’s presidential vote is just days away. Voters are comparing it to ‘war’ 

Brazil’s upcoming presidential election has been shrouded by an unprecedented climate of tension and violence. 

As the Oct. 2 vote approaches, episodes of harassment and attacks have intensified, with even neutral players like poll institutes turning into targets. 

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who aims to be reelected, is currently lagging in the main polls behind leftwing former President Luiz InĂ¡cio “Lula” da Silva. 

And the battle between these two very different household names has divided the nation – with experts saying the level of political anger is different this year.  

Read more ....

Brazilians Go to The Polls On Sunday  

Brazil election: A clash of titans as Bolsonaro faces Lula -- AP  

Lula Outright Brazil Win in Sight, DataFolha Poll Shows -- Bloomberg 

Lula Leads Bolsonaro by 14 Points Ahead of Brazil Vote -Datafolha Poll -- Reuters  

Lula’s lead over Bolsonaro widens days before Brazil election -- Al Jazeera

Bulgarians Go to The Polls To Elect A New Government On Sunday

Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev called for a snap election after Kiril Petkov's government collapse | Nikolay Doychinov/AFP 

Reuters: Weary Bulgarians Fear More Political Turmoil After Latest Election 

DAVIDKOVO, Bulgaria (Reuters) - Bulgarians bracing for their fourth election in less than two years face a winter of want amid soaring inflation driven by the war in Ukraine, making many yearn for good government and stability after years of political turmoil. 

At stake is the next government's ability to tackle rocketing energy costs and secure gas supplies at affordable prices after Russia's cutoff in April over Bulgaria's refusal to pay in roubles following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

But fractious coalition-building is expected to drag out after the Oct. 2 vote amid deep rifts within the political elite over how to root out entrenched corruption, and the failure of a smattering of new parties to build a sustainable voter base.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is the fourth election in two years, and there are 28 political parties on the ballot. And while more than half are defending or actively promoting the Kremlin’s positions, the expectation is that there will be no clear winner when the results are finalized. 

Bulgarians Go to The Polls To Elect A New Government On Sunday  

Bulgaria to hold election overshadowed by war in Ukraine -- AP 

Bulgaria's election: What's in store ahead of a difficult winter? -- DW 

”Trend” Survey: 77% of Bulgarians want Affordable Gas, Electricity and Fuel Prices from the New Government -- Novinite  

East and West clash in Bulgaria’s snap general election -- BNE