New Russia. Ukraine. Final map. 2020

Since 2014, the separatists have taken many key cities yard by yard, kilometer by kilometer.

Donetsk, Luhansk, have Fallen. The next city will be Mariupol.

Mikolayih, Kharkiv, Dnipro and Odessa will complete the New Russia.It will look like this at this end.

two ukraine

They will have “cleansed these areas of pro Kiev forces. Kiev will be glad to get rid of them. Perhaps there is a black payout to make the citizens accept this.

Kiev loses much of the minerals and harvest. Russian gains cheap Ukrainian labor at $100 a month at present amount. The Average Russian makes four times this in a month.

For everything has a price.

2.5 yrs of war in , by the numbers:

9,500 ppl killed

2,505 of them troops

300K Ukrainians have fought

75% of army contract soldiers

The Ukrainians are tired of war. They are tired of death and hardship. Some rather serve a Putin Russia and get jobs and Russian aid instead of the economy spiralling slowly to starvation.

political-map-of Ukraine

Kharkiv had 700 separatists arrested 2 years ago. They were supposed to have created a separatist movement and fail. Russia will encourage acts to bombings to get the citizens to flee west.

There is no hurry.  Famous Russian quote “The mills of God grind slowly.”

 

 

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Shelling has started in Shyrokyne. War imminent?

This is a quite a lengthy post. War is not imminent despite buildup.

Russia will do an exercise that can be used to provoke a short term attack. This attack would be to the city of Mariupol and withdraw testing the Western resolve.

Putin encouraged leaders of Eastern Ukraine cities to rebel, and demand a union with Russia.When the Ukraine government does an impulsive war act, Putin will threaten war. That alone can be a catalyst.

Putin has time to let the Eastern Ukraine regions stabilize and perform “separatist cleansing” of the area. This cleansing is in year two of four. by the end of 2018, the area should be 95% separatist population with any pro-ukrainian jailed, forced moved or homes burned.

NATO allies have not interested in fighting this appeasement process. They just want it to go away. This is very similar to Serbia and Bosnia.

Once a tourist resort, the village of Shyrokyne near the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol has been the scene of fresh clashes between Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists. On the night of August 19-20, an exchange of fire from machine guns and mortars lasted for more than three hours

The village has been the epicentre of fighting for months due to its proximity to the port city of Mariupol.

In the Mariupol sector, the enemy fired 122mm artillery systems near the village of Novoselivka, as well as 82mm mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns on the Ukrainian positions in the village of Taramchuk. The militants fired mortars, machine guns and small arms in the town of Maryinka and the village of Talakivka, as well as grenade launchers in the villages of Vodiane, Hnutove and Shyrokyne. Russia’s hybrid military force continued provocations with the use of small arms near the town of Krasnohorivka, and the villages of Starohnativka and Bohdanivka. They also actively used armored vehicles near Shyrokyne, Talakivka, Maryinka and Vodiane.

Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol), the terrorists applied grenade launchers and heavy machine guns.

Earlier. Russia has prepared an excuse for a military incursion to connect Crimea with rebel-held areas of the Donbass in eastern Ukraine. Fighting along the corridor has already heated up; the Ukrainian military reports that on the night of August 8 more than 200 artillery and mortar rounds fell on Shyrokyne, on the Azov Sea coast east of Mariupol.

skrokline aug 20 2016

War is coming, but unfortunately most Americans are completely oblivious to what is about to happen. In recent weeks, tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have been massing at eight staging areas along Russia’s border with Ukraine, and some Pentagon officials believe that this could represent preparations for a full-scale invasion.

Shyrokyne lies just 10 kilometres (six miles) east of Mariupol — a strategic industrial port whose control would provide the rebels with new financial resources as well as a potential land bridge to Crimea.

Russian and Russian-backed forces are encircling Ukraine from the north, east, and south.

The Pentagon has identified eight staging areas in Russia where large numbers of military forces appear to be preparing for incursions into Ukraine, according to U.S. defense officials.

As many as 40,000 Russian troops, including tanks, armored vehicles, and air force units, are now arrayed along Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia.

On Thursday, Russian naval and land forces practiced swiftly moving military hardware and troops to Crimea, already one of the world’s most militarised areas, in a logistics exercise that foreshadows larger war games planned for next month. BI

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, around 2,500 troops and up to 350 armored vehicles were involved in the exercise, which unfolded as tensions have also flared in eastern Ukraine, where a truce that curbed fighting is looking increasingly shaky. BI

 

Moscow is also due to start fresh military exercises near Ukraine — such drills have in the past served as cover for offensives in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Russia-backed separatists fight government troops. The Russian defence ministry said overnight on Thursday that troops had practised a rapid deployment to Crimea as part of an upcoming exercise next month.  FT

Few buildings are left standing in the little village and the quaint sailing boats that once lined its sunny shore have long been destroyed.

“These attacks clearly began in response to Putin’s statement about Crimea,” the 45-year-old Ukrainian fighter told AFP as the echo of distant shelling shook the air.

“But I doubt that the Russian side is prepared for an all-out offensive.”

Tensions between Moscow and Kiev have been boiling over since President Vladimir Putin last Wednesday accused the pro-Western leadership in Kiev of attempting an armed incursion into Crimea that killed two Russian servicemen.

Kiev has furiously denied the allegations, and Ukraine asked Russia at an emergency UN Security Council session last Thursday to come up with the “proof” that any such attack happened.

Moscow responded by airing the alleged confessions of some of the captured purported Ukrainian plotters, and beefing up its forces on the Black Sea peninsula it seized in 2014.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has also put his troops on a heightened state of alert as Russia conducts naval exercises around Crimea that have NATO and the United States particularly concerned.

 

Now, following Russian claims of thwarted terrorist attacks in Crimea that the United States cannot confirm, Putin is vowing revenge. “We obviously will not let such things slide by,” he warned.

Putin met with his security council on August 11. According to a Kremlin spokesman, the group discussed “additional measures” for ensuring security. “Scenarios were carefully considered for anti-terrorist security measures at the land border, in the waters and in the airspace of Crimea.”

“It is clear that we have gathered for a well known reason after the infamous incident, after we thwarted attempts by groups of Ukrainian army saboteurs to break into (our) territory,” he said. BI

“Apparently, our partners in Kiev decided to aggravate the situation, and it is clear why — because they do not want to, or cannot for whatever reasons, fulfil the Minsk agreement and, secondly, [because they] struggle to explain to their own people their significant failure in social and economic policy,” Mr Putin said on Friday at a meeting with members of his security council in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol. FT

Separatists and the government believe a fresh outbreak in hostilities is imminent. “The situation remains tense, and at any moment it could break out and escalate into full-fledged clashes,” separatist leader Denis Pushilin worried.

It doesn’t seem like things will be tapering off anytime soon, either, since Russia has recently deployed an assortment of ground, air, and naval units around Ukraine. Included in the deployments is the S-400 air-defense system in response to Russian allegations that Ukraine had deployed special-forces troops to the contested region of Crimea in order to commit acts of sabotage.

Russia has said that two servicemen were killed in armed clashes during the alleged incident and threatened “exhaustive measures” in response.

“We obviously will not let such things slide by,” Russian President Vladimir Putin warned.

But the US has determined that their is no evidence of a Ukrainian incursion into Crimea. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine on March 18, 2014, after the peninsula held a referendum on independence. The referendum was held during a Russian occupation.

Field fires rage outside & east of Mariupol probably the result of shelling

Mr Putin also said that Moscow would not break off relations with Ukraine, a move that Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s prime minister, had threatened earlier this week. “Despite the unwillingness of the current authorities in Kiev to have full diplomatic relations on the level of ambassadors, we will still retain the possibilities for developing contacts, for their support,” Mr Putin said. FT
Mr Putin added that he was making Dmitry Livanov, who was replaced as education minister earlier on Friday, his special representative for the development of trade and economic, scientific and technical contacts with Ukraine. The creation of this new role marks a further blow to the two countries’ official interactions, despite the pledge to develop relations, as the post of Moscow’s ambassador in Kiev is now expected to remain vacant indefinitely.FT

ukraine aug 21 2016.png

A four-way meeting in the Normandy format had been in the works for the G20 summit in China in early September, but Mr Putin said last week that such a meeting was “meaningless” under the current conditions.

Vladimir Putin flew into annexed Crimea on Friday a day after staging war games there, and said he hoped Ukraine would see “common sense” when it came to resolving a diplomatic crisis over the peninsula.

Although Kiev believes Putin is preparing for more fighting, some experts believe he is more interested in gaining diplomatic leverage, seeking to use the latest crisis to prod the West to press Ukraine into doing more to uphold the accords. BI

“Despite the strongly worded statements by Putin, and the continued Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s borders, IHS Markit continues to hold the view that Russia is not preparing for an imminent overt invasion,” said Alex Kokcharov, principal analyst at the London-based consultancy. BI

“By accusing Ukraine of terrorism and by building up military threats, Russia is attempting to weaken Western support for Kiev and to pressure both the West and Ukraine to agree to the Donbass settlement on Moscow’s terms.” BI

Also, Ukraine is weaken by this corruption.

Before Donald Trump’s campaign chairman started working for The Donald, he was a key operative in the corrupt government of Ukrainian President Vickor Yanukovych. A new ledger recently discovered by the country’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau listed $12.7 million in cash payments designated for Paul Manafort, The New York Times reported.

“Paul Manafort is among those names on the list of so-called ‘black accounts of the Party of Regions,’ which the detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine are investigating,” the organization reported in a statement. “We emphasize that the presence of P. Manafort’s name in the list does not mean that he actually got the money, because the signatures that appear in the column of recipients could belong to other people.”

Nevertheless, as the Times reported, handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in cash payments from Yanukovych’s pro-Russian Party of Regions designated for Manafort between 2007 and 2012. “Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials.” Criminal prosecutors are also investigating a group of offshore shell companies which helped fund the former president’s lavish lifestyle, which included a palace with a private zoo, golf course, and tennis court.

Manafort did not respond to requests from the Times. His lawyer, Richard A. Hibey, insisted he had not received “any such cash payments” discovered by the anti-corruption officials. He disputed any suggestion that Trump’s campaign chairman might have knowingly engaged in corruption or worked with those involved in illegal activities.

“These are suspicions, and probably heavily politically tinged ones,” Hibey said. “It is difficult to respect any kind of allegation of the sort being made here to smear someone when there is no proof and we deny there ever could be such proof.”

Vitaly Kasko, a former senior official with the general prosecutor’s office in Kiev, insisted otherwise. “He understood what was happening in Ukraine,” Kasko told the Times. “It would have to be clear to any reasonable person that the Yanukovych clan, when it came to power, was engaged in corruption. … It’s impossible to imagine a person would look at this and think ‘Everything is all right.'”

Yanukovych’s party relied heavily on Manafort’s advice to win multiple elections, before the former president fled to Russia in 2014. During that period, Manafort never registered as a foreign agent with the United States Justice Department, which is required of those seeking to influence American policy on behalf of foreign clients. Had Manafort only advised the Party of Regions in Ukraine, he may not have needed to register, but he also burnished Yanukovych’s image in the West.

Without such a registration, Manafort’s compensation remained a mystery, but these new documents — known in Ukraine as the “black ledger” — seem to reveal how handsomely the political consultant was paid. The ledger consists of 400 pages of “chicken-scratch” Cyrillic kept in a room in the former Party of Regions headquarters in Kiev. Manafort’s name appears in the ledger 22 times over five years, with payments totaling $12.7 million, according to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The room also held two safes stuffed with $100 bills, which reportedly were used for all sorts of occasions. “This was our cash,” said former party leader Taras V. Chornovil. “They had it on the table, stacks of money, and they had lists of who to pay.” He recalled receiving a “wad of cash” totaling $10,000 for a trip to Europe.

While there are no bank records corroborating Manafort’s receipt of the $12.7 million, his alleged involvement in off-shore businesses might explain how the money eventually reached his pocketbook.

Timeline 2014
27-28 February: Pro-Russian gunmen seize key buildings in the Crimean capital, Simferopol. Unidentified gunmen in combat uniforms appear outside Crimea’s main airports.

1 March: Russia’s parliament approves President Vladimir Putin’s request to use force in Ukraine to protect Russian interests.

16 March: Crimea’s secession referendum on joining Russia is backed by 97% of voters, organisers say, but vote condemned by West as a sham.

18 March: President Putin signs a bill to absorb Crimea into the Russian Federation.

7 April: Protesters occupy government buildings in the east Ukrainian cities of Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv, calling for a referendum on independence. Ukrainian authorities regain control of Kharkiv government buildings the next day

17 April: Russia, Ukraine, the US and the EU say they have agreed at talks in Geneva on steps to “de-escalate” the crisis in eastern Ukraine. Three people are killed when Ukrainian security forces fend off a raid on a base in Mariupol – the first violent deaths in the east.

2 May: Clashes in the Black Sea city of Odessa, leave 42 people dead, most of them pro-Russian activists. Most die when they are trapped in a burning building.

11 May: Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk declare independence after unrecognised referendums.

25 May: Ukraine elects Petro Poroshenko as president in an election not held in much of the east.

14 June: Pro-Russia separatists shoot down a military plane in the east, killing 49 people.

5 July: Rebels abandon their command centre at Sloviansk in the face of a government offensive.

17 July: Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam is shot down near the village of Grabove in rebel-held territory, with the loss of 298 lives.

22 August: A huge Russian convoy delivers humanitarian aid to the government-besieged city of Luhansk without Ukrainian permission.

27-28 August: Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko says there are 3-4,000 Russian civilians in rebel ranks as the separatists open up a front on the Sea of Azov and capture Novoazovsk.

1 September: Ukraine says 700 of its men have been taken prisoner as pro-Russian rebels advance in the east.

5 September: Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels sign a truce in Minsk.

24 September: Nato reports a “significant” withdrawal of Russian troops from eastern Ukraine.

12 October: President Putin orders thousands of troops stationed near the Ukrainian border to return to their bases

21 October: Human Rights Watch says it has strong evidence Ukraine attacked populated areas of Donetsk with cluster bombs, banned by many other states.

12 November: Nato commander Gen Philip Breedlove says Russian military equipment and Russian combat troops have been seen entering Ukraine in columns over several days.

 

 

 

 

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Bombing in Thailand

Five provinces in Thailand have been hit by 11 bombings in less than a day, authorities say.

At least four Thai nationals have been killed and about 36 others were injured, including 10 foreigners, according to Anurak Amornpetchsathaporn with the Ministry of Public Health.
Injured foreigners came from Austria, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands

“The acts were carried out by a group in many locations simultaneously, following orders from one individual,” Pongsapat Pongcharoen, a deputy national police chief, told reporters.

Mr. Pongsapat did not present any evidence, but ruled out the involvement of Islamic separatists who have been battling the government in three southern provinces for more than a decade.

“I can assure you that these current attacks aren’t linked to incidents that have occurred in the deep south of Thailand,” Mr. Pongsapat said.

Thai authorities have reportedly asked for help from Malaysia in tracking down the owner of a mobile phone used to detonate one of the explosives in the recent wave of bombings that targeted some of Thailand’s best-known tourist destinations.

Bernama, Malaysia’s state news agency, reported on Sunday that the owner of the mobile phone, recovered from one of the blast sites in the popular island of Phuket, was “said to be from Malaysia”.

The phone was only partly damaged in the explosion, leaving its serial number still visible to investigators, a security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Bernama.

 “We are working with MCMC and  will also be assisting the Thai police as we understand this could be a vital lead in their investigations,” he said.

Mohamad Fuzi said police had yet to establish if the owner of the mobile phone was a Malaysian or a foreigner who purchased it from here.

The MCMC labels became mandatory in June last year to show a device has met the Communications and Multimedia (Technical Standards) Regulations 2000.

MCMC senior director Aisharuddin Nuruddin told Malay Mail yesterday the labels could help them track down suppliers and buyers of devices.

“We have a system. Our technology department can track a phone to its supplier using a label. Our enforcement department can then find the buyer,” he said, refusing to comment on the investigation.

Bernama quoted a source as saying on Saturday that although the serial number was visible, it would not be easy to trace the owner because the phone might have changed hands several times.

“The explosions started in the beach city of Hua Hin on Thursday. Two separate bombs near a local bar went off within a few minutes of one another. Friday morning, twin bombs went off in Surat Thani, and other explosions hit Trang, Phang Nga and Phuket. All are located south of Bangkok and are popular with Thai and foreign tourists. In addition to dozens of Thais, the injured include tourists from Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.”

Thai voters went to the polls on Sunday and overwhelmingly backed a military-penned constitution, which critics say solidifies the power of the junta that seized power two years ago. Campaigning against the document was not allowed, and dozens were detained for speaking out against it. Its supporters argued it would promote stability in Thailand.

In Phuket, a tourist hot spot that sees an estimated 5 million visitors a year, two bombs exploded at around 8 a.m. local time in the beach town of Patong. Patong is the main tourist center on Phuket — a bustling, vibrant town known for its a rowdy nightlife and plethora of “girly” bars, restaurants, and clubs. One bomb exploded outside a police box close to the beach at the bottom of the busy Bangla Road, injuring a motorcycle taxi driver. Another was detonated 300 m away at Loma Park, the Bangkok Post reports. No one was wounded in the second blast.

Hua Hin is where Thailand’s royal family has a residence. The attacks came as Thailand had a national holiday marking the Thai Queen’s birthday

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About those Saudi Bombing in July

Four security officers were killed in 4 July 2016’s attacks that targeted U.S. diplomats, Shi’ite Muslim worshippers and a security headquarters at a mosque in the holy city of Medina. The attacks all seem to have been timed to coincide with the approach of the Islamic Eid holiday.

The U.N. human rights chief on Tuesday described the bombing outside the Prophet Mohammed’s Mosque in Medina as “an attack on Islam itself” and many Muslims expressed shock that their second-holiest site had been targeted.

Two of the attacks failed but four people were killed in the third, all of which appear to be coordinated — targeting both Saudi security forces and Western interests.

The first occurred before dawn near the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah. The attacker killed only himself after detonating an explosive according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency. Policemen were injured in the attack.
Saudi Interior Ministry names Qatif, Medina bombers; suspects arrested
The ministry said the 34-year-old man blew himself up with an explosives belt. He lived in Jeddah with his wife and one of her parents. He came to Saudi Arabia 12 years ago to work as a driver, Saudi officials said.
In Qatif in eastern Saudi Arabia, a suicide bomber attempted to launch an attack at a Shiite mosque but failed, killing himself in the process, according to an official with knowledge of the event. There were no injuries.
The deadliest occurred in Medina, where four people were killed and another person was wounded, according to an official with knowledge of the event.
The bomber, who died in the explosion, targeted security officers, but it is unknown precisely who was killed, the source said.
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Saudi authorities say they have arrested seven Saudi nationals and 12 Pakistanis in connection with the recent bomb attacks in the city of Medina and the eastern region of Qatif.

Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry, in a statement released late on Thursday, identified the Medina bomber, who carried out his attack near Masjid al-Nabawi, the second holiest site for Muslims, as 26-year-old Saudi national Na’ir al-Nujiaidi al-Balawi.

The statement added that Balawi, who had a “history of drug use”, crossed a parking lot next to Masjid al-Nabawi and detonated an explosive belt near a security headquarters, leaving four soldiers dead.

“When security guards intercepted him he blew himself up,” an unnamed Interior Ministry spokesman told state-run al-Ikhbariya television news network.

Several cars went up in flames, and thick plumes of black smoke were seen rising from the site of the attack.

Local media say the attacker planned to target the sacred site as thousands had gathered for the sunset prayer on the last day of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The Saudi Interior Ministry further named the three bombers behind an attack outside a Shia mosque in Qatif as Abdulrahman Saleh Mohammed, Ibrahim Saleh Mohammed and Abdelkarim al-Hesni. No civilians or police were wounded in the second Monday attack.

Saudi officials claimed the assailants were all in their early 20s and had earlier taken part in anti-regime rallies.

None of them had obtained Saudi identification cards, and it was not immediately clear what country or countries the trio hailed from.

The Jeddah attacker was a Pakistani man identified as Abdullah Qalzar Khan, a driver who had been living in the city for 12 years, the ministry said earlier.

Militant attacks on Medina are unprecedented. The Prophet Mohammed’s mosque, which was built by him in the 7th century and also houses his tomb, is the second most sacred site in Islam.

“The Saudi king’s tiles include ‘Protector of the two Holy Cities,” said one senior U.S. counterterrorism official. “The message of the attack is that that protection doesn’t exist.”

The kingdom’s two holy cities, Mecca and Medina, are home Islam’s two holiest sites, the Qabba in Mecca, which millions of pilgrims visit every year, and the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina, which holds Mohammed’s tomb.

Said the counterterrorism official, “If [the royal family] can’t protect those places — and people traveling to those cities from across Islam – it calls in to question the fitness of their ruling power and its legitimacy.”

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Turkey repels attack July 30. 35 dead

Turkey’s army killed 35 Kurdish militants after they attempted to storm a base in the southeastern Hakkari province early on 30 July 2016.

The overnight attack came hours after clashes in Hakkari’s Cukurca district between soldiers and militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that left eight soldiers dead, the officials said.

The militants attempted to take the base in three different groups, but were spotted by aerial reconnaissance. An air operation was launched, killing 23 of them, the officials said.

Four more were then killed in a ground operation, they said. The remaining eight were killed in clashes in Hakkari’s Cukurca district.

Friday’s clashes in Cukurca also left 25 soldiers wounded, the officials said.

Turkey’s military – NATO’s second-largest – is grappling with the insurgency in the mainly Kurdish southeast as its senior ranks undergo a major shake-up in following a July 15-16 coup attempt.

On Thursday, Turkey announced an overhaul of the armed forces, with 99 colonels promoted to the rank of general or admiral and nearly 1,700 military personnel given dishonourable discharges over their alleged roles in the coup.

About 40 percent of all generals and admirals in the military have been dismissed since the coup.

In the southeast, the military has frequently carried out air strikes after a 2 1/2-year ceasefire and peace process between the government and the PKK broke down last summer.

Thousands of militants and hundreds of civilians and soldiers have been killed since then. Some cities in the predominantly Kurdish southeast have been engulfed in the worst violence since the 1990s.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the PKK – designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – began its insurgency in 1984.

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Unrest in China, Waiting for a spark.

Two massive explosions in August 2015 in the port of Tianjin, northern China, killed more than a hundred people, left hundreds more injured and devastated large areas of the city.

People in the Chinese city of Tianjin whose homes were damaged by the huge explosions on 12 August 2015 have staged protests to demand compensation from the government.
Scores gathered outside the Mayfair Hotel, where officials have been giving news conferences.
Residents say the chemical storage warehouses which blew up had been built illegally close to their homes.

China blocks almost all US social media. Facebook, twitter, google. The chinese use VPN bypasses to get outside news.

July 2016, as many as 225 people have been killed or missing in heavy torrential rain and floods in China as thousands of angry residents took to the streets over late disaster warning and ineffective rescue efforts. Local authorities have evacuated nearly 3.10 lakh people due to rainstorms this week that have flattened homes and caused huge economic losses.

The toll in heavy rains this week mounted to 105 people dead and 104 others listed missing in north China’s Hubei Province, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

Crop damage, house collapse

Flooding and rain-triggered landslips have caused the collapse of more than 52,000 houses and damage to 1.60 lakh houses. Over seven lakh hectares of crops have also been destroyed, leading to direct economic losses of over 15 billion yuan (USD 2.2 billion), the report said.

The worst-hit area was reported to be Xingtai city where at least 25 people were killed and another 13 missing, including children, after which people took to the streets to protest over inadequate rescue efforts.

The news of heavy casualties in Xingtai, just 400 kms south of Beijing, only began emerging over the past 24 hours when thousands of local residents took to streets to protest against the allegedly late disaster warning and ineffective rescue efforts, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Saturday.

The Chinese government had meetings to discuss how to control the protests. this is the deepest fear is that these protests gain momentum like Egypt, Syria, and other countries.

Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have formally arrested the former head of a rebel village government, amid ongoing protests over a bitter land dispute in the coastal village of Wukan.

Lin Zuluan, who was detained amid renewed protests last month, has been formally arrested on suspicion of “accepting bribes,” according to an online statement by the Shanwei municipal government, which oversees Wukan but was sidelined by provincial authorities in the resolution of 2011 clashes in the village.

“Lin Zuluan has been formally arrested on suspicion of taking bribes, and investigations continue,” the statement said.

Prosecutors have accused Lin of pocketing a large sum of money through contracting village infrastructure projects, and he has “confessed” on local television.

But local people remember earlier clashes in 2011, when Lin directed a series of nonviolent protests over the mass selloff of land by his predecessor Xue Chang, during which protester Xue Jinbo died in police custody, igniting mass displays of public mourning that further kindled public anger.

“Every day, about 5,000 or 6,000 people march through the streets to demand justice for party secretary Lin,” a Wukan resident surnamed Zhang told RFA on Friday. “They gather every day at about 5.00 p.m. outside the village government offices.”

“Lin was framed,” Zhang said. “We will keep doing this until they let him go. All of the villagers are behind him.”

He said police hadn’t yet tried to stop the protests, but were patrolling the village on a daily basis, watching the proceedings.

China’s millions of migrant workers are bearing the brunt of the country’s ongoing economic slowdown as strikes and worker protests reach record levels, new statistics reveal.

According to the most recent annual report from China’s National Bureau of Statistics, more than 2.7 million migrant workers — around 1% of the total — weren’t paid on time last year, the highest number in five years.
In the same period, China saw more than 2,700 strikes and protests, more than double the number the year before, according to China Labor Bulletin (CLB), a Hong Kong-based rights monitor.
As the country marks International Workers’ Day on May 1, the number of strikes and protests this year has already passed a thousand, and looks set to climb much higher. The government has announced plans to cut more than 1.8 million jobs in state-run coal and steel industries.
Private employers have also been laying off workers as the country’s economic growth slows to its lowest rate in years.

 

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Venezuela plagued by shortages

A drop in oil prices has left Venezuela’s economy in tatters, and the lack of hard currency and inflation have starved the country of food, medicine and consumer goods.

McDonald’s Corp.’s largest franchisee has had to stop selling the Big Mac in Venezuela as it can’t source the bread it needs to make the famous sandwich.
Buenos Aires-based Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc., which operates more than 2,000 McDonald’s restaurants throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, said on Thursday that the problem was temporary and that other menu options were available.
“McDonald’s Venezuela is working to resolve this temporary situation,” Daniel Schleiniger, a spokesman for Arcos Dorados, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “Together with our supplier, we are evaluating the best options that will allow us to continue serving high quality food to our customers.”
Shortages of everything from rice to toilet paper have worsened over the past several months in Venezuela, with reports of looting and protests on the rise. Venezuela’s economy will contract 10 percent in 2016, according to the International Monetary Fund, with inflation accelerating to around 700 percent.
Gabriel Perales arrived in Caracas looking for a Big Mac because the McDonald’s in his town of Zaraza in Guarico state is always closed. “This is wrong, like everything in Venezuela, because of shortages,” Perales, 36, said at the McDonald’s in the Ciudad Tamanaco shopping mall. “I just found out there are no Big Macs. They gave me the other burger. Now McDonald’s has problems with flour shortages. Who would have thought?”

hile most advanced economies struggle to lift inflation, none would want Venezuela‘s situation: Consumer-price inflation is forecast to hit 480% this year and top 1,640% in 2017, according to the International Monetary Fund.

A shortage of medical supplies means infants and other sick patients are dying of treatable illnesses. Soldiers guard empty grocery store shelves. Inflation is so bad, the government has had to order bolivars by the planeload.

The fight for food has begun in Venezuela. On any day, in cities across this increasingly desperate nation, crowds form to sack supermarkets. Protesters take to the streets to decry the skyrocketing prices and dwindling supplies of basic goods. The wealthy improvise, some shopping online for food that arrives from Miami. Middle-class families make do with less: coffee without milk, sardines instead of beef, two daily meals instead of three. The poor are stripping mangoes off the trees and struggling to survive.

“This is savagery,” said Pedro Zaraza, a car-oil salesman who watched a mob mass on Friday outside a supermarket, where it was eventually dispersed by the army. “The authorities are losing their grip.

As Caracas extends its declared state of economic emergency, it’s no wonder many economists say the nation will soon have to ask the IMF for a bailout. It’s gotten so bad, the government this month handed over control of food stocks to the military, ceding even more power to the armed forces.

But Venezuela, whose government severed ties with the IMF nearly a decade ago under its former socialist autocratic leader, Hugo Chávez, hasn’t tried to restore relations with the world’s emergency lender.

“There has been no change in Venezuela’s relationship with the fund,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said Thursday. While the IMF has urged Caracas to reestablish a relationship, “the Venezuelan authorities have not contacted us,” he said.

China, seeking to take advantage of poor political relations that many African and Latin American nations have with the U.S. and Western-based institutions like the IMF, has been giving Venezuela and other commodity exporters cheap loans to help tide them through the commodity slump. Last year, the country supposedly secured $10 billion in cheap credit to help keep it afloat.

More than 100,000 Venezuelans, some of whom drove through the night in caravans, crossed into Colombia over the weekend to hunt for food and medicine that are in short supply at home.

It was the second weekend in a row that Venezuela’s socialist government opened the long-closed border with Colombia, and by 6 am Sunday, a line of would-be shoppers snaked through the entire town of San Antonio del Tachira. Some had traveled in chartered buses from cities 10 hours away.

Venezuela’s government closed all crossings a year ago to crack down on smuggling along the 1,378-mile (2,219 kilometer) border. It complained that speculators were causing shortages by buying up subsidized food and gasoline in Venezuela and taking them to Colombia, where they could be sold for far higher prices.

here has been a 24 percent increase in protests — roughly 19 demonstrations a day — throughout Venezuela in which six people have died in the first half of 2016 when compared to last year, according to a report by the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict.

The local non-governmental organization on Wednesday reported 3,057 protests have been recorded in Venezuela within the first six months of 2016. The figure does not include 416 incidents of looting or attempted looting nationwide.

Security forces clash with people trying to reach Venezuela's presidential palace to protest against the severe food and medicine shortages in Caracas in June.

“In these six months the Venezuelan streets have been the scene of many massive demonstrations to demand the human right to food,” the OVCS writes in the report. “The government’s response to these protests has been repression.”

About 24 percent of protests were to “demand basic services in residential dwellings,” the OVCS said. Water shortages, electricity blackouts, and little to no Internet or phone services have affected millions of Venezuelans.

Eighteen percent of protests were held over labor rights, while 15 percent of protests were held over crime. Venezuela has one of the highest murder rates in the world, which is estimated to be up to one killing for every 28,000 people.

About 10 percent of protests were related to politics while 6 percent were related to education rights.

Anti-government demonstrators accuse Maduro of clinging to power as his country crumbles.
People throughout the country lack access to food and basic healthcare.
At times, they can’t even turn on the lights — the government says extreme drought has hampered the country’s hydroelectric capabilities.
There are product shortages; there is raging inflation that has annihilated salaries; and there is rampant violent crime.”

 

 

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