925: Barry's Choice

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 3m
April 30th, 2017
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Executive Producers: Sir Mike Heck of the Eagleford Shale, Anton Emmerik, Kimberly Singelton, Sir Christopher Dolan, Sir James Catman

Associate Executive Producers: The Overland Knight, Seth Griffin, Rodney Eten, Morgan, Mark Malin

Cover Artist: Comic Strip Blogger

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New Biography Claim that Obama Once 'Considered Gayness' Opens Up Question Libs Didn't See Coming - Tea Party News
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:04
(Bizpac Review) '' If nothing else, the former president put to bed the left's claim that being gay isn't a matter of choice.
A new biography set for release early next month indicates that former President Barack Obama mentally toyed with the idea that he may be gay.
''Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama,'' was written by historian David Garrow, who is no sensationalist. He authored the Pulitzer Prize winning ''Bearing the Cross,'' a biography of the late civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. and is a regular contributor to The Washington Post and The New York Times.
Clip via The Daily Caller
In a chapter devoted to Obama's two years '-- 1979 to 1981 '-- at Occidental College, Garrow described a relationship he developed with an openly gay professor, Lawrence Goldyn.
''Goldyn made a huge impact on Barry Obama,'' Garrow wrote in the book. ''Almost a quarter century later, asked about his understanding of gay issues, Obama enthusiastically said, 'my favorite professor my first year in college was one of the first openly gay people that I knew'...He was a terrific guy'' with whom Obama developed a 'friendship beyond the classroom.'''
And Obama broached the subject a few years later.
''Three years later, Obama wrote somewhat elusively to his first intimate girlfriend that he had thought about and considered gayness, but ultimately had decided that a same-sex relationship would be less challenging and demanding than developing one with the opposite sex,'' Garrow wrote. ''But there is no doubting that Goldyn gave eighteen-year-old Barry a vastly more positive and uplifting image of gay identity and self-confidence than he had known in Honolulu.''
This revelation about the former president turned a few heads on social media '-- but most thought it only confirmed what they'd always suspected, especially given rumors about Obama and Reggie Love, his former personal assistant.
One person made this observation that goes against the grain of liberal thought: That being gay is a state one is born with '-- not a matter of choice.
During a recent radio interview on ''The Jamie Weinstein Show,'' Garrow began discussing the Obama biography at about the 45-minute mark.
At about the 56:25 mark, Weinstein asked the author about Obama's alleged experimentation with homosexuality. He declined to take the subject any further than what he did in the book.
''I think anyone and everyone, no matter what their role in life deserves a certain basic degree of privacy, in that context.''
Earlier in the interview Garrow stated unequivocally that Obama was heterosexual.
www.bizpacreview.com/2017/04/27/new-biography-claim-obama-considered-gayness-opens-question-libs-didnt-see-coming-480548
Chiner$
CPEC: China, Pakistan And Russia Bringing Multipolar World Order
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:57
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By Polina Tikhonova on April 27, 2017 9:37 am in Politics
China''Pakistan Economic Corridor - Wikipedia
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:56
China''Pakistan Economic Corridor(Chinese: 中国-巴基斯å'...ç>>æµŽèµ°å>>Š ; Urdu: پاكØ"تان-چین اقتصادی راہداری 'Ž; also known by the acronymCPEC) is a collection of infrastructure projects currently under construction throughout Pakistan. Originally valued at $46 billion, the value of CPEC projects is now worth $62 billion.[1][2][3] CPEC is intended to rapidly modernize Pakistani infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of: modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects, and special economic zones.[4][5][2][3] On 13 November 2016, CPEC became partly operational when Chinese cargo was transported overland to Gwadar Port for onward maritime shipment to Africa and West Asia.[6]
A vast network of highways and railways are to be built under the aegis of CPEC that will span the length and breadth of Pakistan. Inefficiencies stemming from Pakistan's mostly dilapidated transportation network are estimated by the government to cause a loss of 3.5% of the country's annual gross domestic product.[7] Modern transportation networks built under CPEC will link seaports in Gwadar and Karachi with northern Pakistan, as well as points further north in western China and Central Asia.[8] A 1,100 kilometre long motorway will be built between the cities of Karachi and Lahore as part of CPEC,[9] while the Karakoram Highway between Rawalpindi and the Chinese border will be completely reconstructed and overhauled.[10] The Karachi''Peshawar main railway line will also be upgraded to allow for train travel at up to 160 km per hour by December 2019.[11] Pakistan's railway network will also be extended to eventually connect to China's Southern Xinjiang Railway in Kashgar.[13] The estimated $11 billion required to modernise transportation networks will be financed by subsidized concessionary loans.[14]
Over $33 billion worth of energy infrastructure are to be constructed by private consortia to help alleviate Pakistan's chronic energy shortages,[15] which regularly amount to over 4,500MW,[16] and have shed an estimated 2''2.5% off Pakistan's annual gross domestic product.[17] Over 10,400MW of energy generating capacity is to be brought online by the end of 2018, with the majority developed as part of CPEC's fast-tracked "Early Harvest" projects.[18] A network of pipelines to transport liquefied natural gas and oil will also be laid as part of the project, including a $2.5 billion pipeline between Gwadar and Nawabshah to eventually transport gas from Iran.[19] Electricity from these projects will primarily be generated from fossil fuels, though hydroelectric and wind-power projects are also included, as is the construction of one of the world's largest solar farms.[20]
CPEC's potential impact on Pakistan has been likened to that of the Marshall Plan undertaken by the United States in post-war Europe.[21][22][23][24] Pakistani officials predict that CPEC will result in the creation of upwards of 2.3 million jobs between 2015''2030, and add 2 to 2.5 percentage points to the country's annual economic growth.[25] Were all the planned projects to be implemented, the value of those projects would be roughly equivalent to all foreign direct investment in Pakistan since 1970,[10] and would be equal to 17% of Pakistan's 2015 gross domestic product.[26]
History [ edit] Background [ edit] Plans for a corridor stretching from the Chinese border to Pakistan's deep water ports on the Arabian Sea date back to the 1950s, and motivated construction of the Karakoram Highway beginning in 1959.[27] Chinese interest in Pakistan's deep-water harbour at Gwadar had been rekindled by 1998 and in 2002 China began construction at Gwadar port which was completed in 2006. Expansion of Gwadar Port then ceased thereafter owing to political instability in Pakistan following the fall of General Pervez Musharraf and subsequent conflict between the Pakistani state and Taliban militants.[28]
The current form of the project was first proposed by General Pervez Musharraf,[29] however it was postponed owing to the political instability in the country that followed Musharraf's step down. The subsequent government of the Pakistan Peoples Party proposed it again when President Asif Ali Zardari invited heads of all the political parties to a Luncheon in honour of the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on 22 May 2013.[30] Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari have agreed to build an economic corridor between the two countries. Both sides have decided to further enhance mutual connectivity and both sides are connected to develop the long term plan for a China-Pakistan economic corridor.[30]
In February 2014, Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain visited China to discuss the plans for an economic corridor in Pakistan.[31] Two months later, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with Premier Li Kequiang in China to discuss further plans,[32] resulting in the full scope of the project to be devised under Sharif's tenure.[33] In November 2014, Chinese government announced its intention to finance Chinese companies as part of its $45.6 billion energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan as part of CPEC.
Announcement of CPEC [ edit] ''CPEC will be a strategic gamechanger in the region, which would go a long way in making Pakistan a richer and stronger entity than ever before.'''-- Firstpost (India) April 22, 2015[34]During the state visit of Xi Jinping to Pakistan in April 2015, he wrote in an open editorial stating: "This will be my first trip to Pakistan, but I feel as if I am going to visit the home of my own brother." On 20 April 2015, Pakistan and China signed an agreement to commence work on the $46 billion agreement, which is roughly 20% of Pakistan's annual GDP,[35] with approximately $28 billion worth of fast-tracked "Early Harvest" projects to be developed by the end of 2018.[36] As a gesture of friendship, the Pakistani capital at that time was dotted with slogans and signboards such as "Pakistan-China friendship is higher than the mountains, deeper than the oceans, sweeter than honey, and stronger than steel"[37] '' an oft repeated phrase coined by the Chinese to describe their deep ties to Pakistan.
Subsequent developments [ edit] On 12 August 2015 in the city of Karamay, China and Pakistan signed 20 more agreements worth $1.6 billion to further augment the scale and scope of CPEC.[38] Details of the plan are opaque,[39] but are said to mainly focus on increasing energy generation capacity.[40] As part of the agreement, Pakistan and China have agreed to co-operate in the field of space research.[41]
In September and October 2015, the government of the United Kingdom announced two separate grants to the Government of Pakistan for construction of roadways that are complementary to CPEC.[42][43] In November 2015, China included the CPEC into its 13th five-year development plan,[44] while in December 2015, China and Pakistan agreed on a further $1.5 billion investment to set up an information and technology park as part of the CPEC project.[45] On 8 April 2016, during the visit of Xinjiang's Communist Party chief Zhang Chunxian companies from Xinjiang with their Pakistan counterparts signed $2 billion of additional agreements covering infrastructure, solar power and logistics.[46]
The first convoy from China, carrying almost 250 containers meant for export to ports in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the UAE and the EU arrived in Gwadar on November 13, 2016, thereby formalizing operation of CPEC.[47] On December 2, 2016, the first cargo train, launching the direct rail route and sea freight service between China and Pakistan, departed from Yunnan. A cargo train loaded with 500 tonnes of commodities left Kunming for the port city of Guangzhou from where the cargo will be loaded on ships and transported to Karachi, marking the opening of the new route.[48] The new rail, sea freight will cut logistics cost, including that of transport, by 50 per cent.[49]
In November 2016, China announced an additional $8.5 billion investment in Pakistan with $4.5 billion allocated to upgrade Pakistan's main railway line from Karachi to Peshawar including tracks, speed and signalling, and $4 billion toward an LNG terminal and transmission lines to help alleviate energy shortages.[50] In February 2017, the Egyptian Ambassador to Pakistan expressed interested in CPEC cooperation.[51] In January 2017, the Chief Minister Pervez Khattak of Khyber Pakthunkhwha stated that he had received assurances from Chinese investment companies that they would invest up to $20 billion for projects.[52] In March 2017, an agreement was signed for the projects which include: a $1.5bn oil refinery, irrigation projects worth $2 billion, a $2 billion motorway between Chitral and DI Khan, and $7 billion worth of hydro-electric projects.[53]
Projects in Gwadar Port and City [ edit] Gwadar Port has been operational since 2007.A view of the Gwadar Promontory and isthmus.Gwadar forms the crux of the CPEC project, as it is envisaged to be the link between China's ambitious One Belt, One Road project, and its Maritime Silk Road project.[54] In total, more than $1 billion worth of projects are to be developed around the port of Gwadar by December 2017.
Gwadar Port Complex [ edit] Initial infrastructure works at Gwadar Port commenced in 2002 and were completed in 2007,[28] however plans to upgrade and expand Gwadar's port stalled. Under CPEC agreement, Gwadar Port will initially be expanded and upgraded to allow for docking of larger ships with deadweight tonnage of up to 70,000.[55] Improvement plans also include construction of a $130 million breakwater around the port,[56] as well as the construction of a floating liquefied natural gas facility that will have a capacity of 500 million cubic feet of liquified natural gas per day and will be connected to the Gwadar-Nawabshah segment of the Iran''Pakistan gas pipeline.[57]
The expanded port is located near a 2,282 acre free trade area in Gwadar which is being modelled on the lines of the Special Economic Zones of China.[58] The swathe of land was handed to the China Overseas Port Holding Company in November 2015 as part of a 43-year lease.[59] The site will include manufacturing zones, logistics hubs, warehouses, and display centres.[60] Businesses located in the zone would be exempt from customs authorities as well as many provincial and federal taxes.[61] Business established in the special economic zone will be exempt from Pakistani income, sales, and federal excise taxes for 23 years.[62] Contractors and subcontractors associated with China Overseas Port Holding Company will be exempted from such taxes for 20 years,[63] while a 40-year tax holiday will be granted for imports of equipment, materials, plant/machinery, appliances and accessories that are to be for construction of Gwadar Port and special economic zone.[64]
The special economic zone will be completed in three phases. By 2025, it is envisaged that manufacturing and processing industries will be developed, while further expansion of the zone is intended to be complete by 2030.[28] On 10 April 2016, Zhang Baozhong, chairman of China Overseas Port Holding Company said in a conversation with The Washington Post that his company planned to spend $4.5 billion on roads, power, hotels and other infrastructure for the industrial zone as well as other projects in Gwadar city.[25]
Projects in Gwadar city [ edit] China will grant Pakistan $230 million to construct a new international airport in Gwadar which is to be operational by December 2017.[65] The provincial government of Balochistan has set aside 4000 acres for the construction of the new $230 million Gwadar International Airport which will require an estimated 30 months for construction,[66] the costs of which are to be fully funded by grants from the Chinese government which Pakistan will not be obliged to repay.[67]
The city of Gwadar is further being developed by the construction of a 300MW coal power plant, a desalinisation plant, and a new 300 bed hospital.[68] Plans for Gwadar city also include construction of the East Bay Expressway '' a 19 kilometre controlled-access road that will connect Gwadar Port to the Makran Coastal Highway.[69] These additional projects are estimated to cost $800 million, and are to be financed by 0% interest loans extended by the Exim Bank of China to Pakistan.[68]
In addition to the aforementioned infrastructure works, the Pakistani government announced in September 2015 its intention to establish a training institute named Pak-China Technical and Vocational Institute at Gwadar,[28] which is to be developed by the Gwadar Port Authority.[70] The institute is to be completed by March 2016 at the cost of 943 million rupees,[28] and is designed to impart to local residents the skills required to operate and work at the expanded Gwadar Port.[28]
Roadway projects [ edit] A map of the CPEC roadway network.The CPEC project envisages major upgrades and overhauls to Pakistan's transportation infrastructure. Under the CPEC project, China has announced financing for $10.63 billion worth of transportation infrastructure so far; $6.1 billion have been allocated for constructing "Early Harvest" roadway projects at an interest rate of 1.6 percent.[71] The remainder of funds will be allocated when the Pakistani government awards contracts for construction of road segments which are still in the planning phase.
Three corridors have been identified for cargo transport: the Eastern Alignment though the heavily populated provinces of Sindh and Punjab where most industries are located, the Western Alignment through the less developed and more sparsely populated provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, and the future Central Alignment which will pass through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Balochistan.[72]
Karakoram Highway [ edit] Highlighted in red is the route of National Highway 35, which is to be completely rebuilt and upgraded under the CPEC agreement. Highlighted in blue is the 175 kilometre road between Gilgit and Skardu which is to be upgraded to a 4-lane highway.China and Pakistan already conduct trade via the Karakoram Highway.The CPEC projects call for reconstruction and upgrade works on National Highway 35 (N-35), which forms the Pakistani portion of the Karakoram Highway (KKH). The KKH spans the 887 kilometre long distance between the China-Pakistan border and the town of Burhan, near Hasan Abdal. At Burhan, the existing M1 motorway will intersect the N-35 at the Shah Maqsood Interchange. From there, access onwards to Islamabad and Lahore continues as part of the existing M1 and M2 motorways. Burhan will also be at intersection of the Eastern Alignment, and Western Alignment.
Upgrades to the 487 kilometer long section between Burhan and Raikot of the Karakoram Highway are officially referred to in Pakistan as the Karakoram Highway Phase 2 project. At the southern end of the N-35, works are already underway to construct a 59-kilometer-long, 4-lane controlled-access highway between Burhan and Havelian which upon completion will be officially referred to as the E-35 expressway.[73] North of Havelian, the next 66 kilometres of road will be upgraded to a 4-lane dual carriageway between Havelian and Shinkiari,[74] Groundbreaking on this portion commenced in April 2016.[75]
The entire 354 kilometres of roadway north of Shinkiari and ending in Raikot, near Chilas will be constructed as a 2-lane highway.[76] Construction on the first section between Shinkiari and Thakot commenced in April 2016 jointly with construction of the Havelian to Shinkiari 4-lane dual carriageway further south.[77] Construction on both these sections is expected to be completed with 42 months at a cost of approximately $1.26 billion with 90% of funding to come from China's EXIM bank in the form of low interest rate concessional loans.[77][78][79]
Between Thakot and Raikot spans an area in which the government of Pakistan is currently either planning or actively constructing several hydropower projects, most notably the Diamer-Bhasha Dam and Dasu Dam. Sections of the N-35 around these projects will be completely rebuilt in tandem with dam construction.[80] In the interim, this section of the N-35 is currently being upgraded from its current state until dam construction commences in full force at a later date. Improvement projects on this section are expected to be completed by January 2017 at a cost of approximately $72 million.[81][82] The next 335 kilometres of roadway connect Raikot to the China-Pakistan border. Reconstruction works on this section of roadway preceded the CPEC, and were initiated after severe damage to roadways in the area following the 2010 Pakistan floods. Most of this section of roadway was completed in September 2012 at a cost of $510 million.[83]
A large earthquake rocked the region nearest to the China-Pakistan border in 2010, triggering massive landslides which dammed the Indus River, resulting in the formation of the Attabad Lake. Portions of the Karakoram Highway were submerged in the lake, forcing all vehicular traffic onto barges to traverse the new reservoir. Construction on a 24 kilometre series of bridges and tunnels to Attabad Lake began in 2012 and required 36 months for completion. The bypass consists of 2 large bridges and 5 kilometres worth of tunnels that were inaugurated for public use on 14 September 2015 at a cost of $275 million.[84][85] The 175 kilometre road between Gilgit and Skardu will be upgraded to a 4-lane road at a cost of $475 million to provide direct access to Skardu from the N-35.[86][87]
Eastern Alignment [ edit] The term Eastern Alignment of CPEC refers to roadway projects located in Sindh and Punjab provinces - some of which were first envisioned in 1991.[88] As part of the Eastern Alignment, a 1,152 km long motorway will connect Pakistan's two largest cities, Karachi and Lahore with 4 to 6-lane controlled access highway designed for travel speeds up to 120 kilometres per hour.[89] The entire project will cost approximately $6.6 billion, with the bulk of financing to be distributed by various Chinese state-owned banks.[90]
The entire Eastern Alignment motorway project is divided into four sections: a 136 kilometre long section between Karachi and Hyderabad also known as the M9 motorway, a 296 kilometre long section between Hyderabad and Sukkur, a 387 kilometre long section between Sukkur and Multan, and a 333 kilometre section between Multan and Lahore via the town of Abdul Hakeem.[91]
The first section of the project will provide high speed road access from the Port of Karachi to the city of Hyderabad and interior Sindh. Upgrade and construction works on this section currently known as Super Highway between Karachi and Hyderabad began in March 2015, and will convert the road into the 4-lane controlled access M9 Motorway which will be completed in an estimated 30 months.[92] In February 2017, a completed 75 kilometre stretch of the motorway was opened for public use by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.[93]
At the terminus of the M9 motorway in Hyderabad, the Karachi-Lahore Motorway will continue onwards to Sukkur as a six lane controlled-access motorway known also as M6 motorway that will be 296 kilometers long,[94] The planned cost for this project is $1.7 billion,[95] and will provide high speed road access to interior Sindh '' especially near the towns of Matiari, Nawabshah, and Khairpur. The project will require the construction of seven interchanges, and 25 bridges on the Indus river and irrigation canals.[94] The planned route of the motorway runs roughly parallel to the existing National Highway and Indus Highway at various portions. In July 2016, the Pakistani government announced that the project would be open to international bidders on a build-operate-transfer basis, with Chinese and South Korean companies expressing interest in the project.[96]
The 392 kilometre Sukkur to Multan section of the motorway is estimated to cost $2.89 billion,[89] with construction works inaugurated on this section of roadway on May 6, 2016.[97] The road will be a six lane wide controlled access highway,[98] with 11 planned interchanges, 10 rest facilities, 492 underpasses, and 54 bridges along its route.[97] The Pakistani government in January 2016 awarded the contact to build this section to China State Construction Engineering,[89] but final approvals required for disbursement of funds were not granted by the Government of the People's Republic of China until May 2016.[79][89] 90% of the project's cost is to be financed by concessionary loans from China, with the remaining 10% to be financed by the government of Pakistan.[99] Construction on this segment is expected to last 36 months.[89]
Construction of the portion between Multan and Lahore costing approximately $1.5 billion[100] was launched in November 2015[101] as a joint venture between the China Railway Construction Corporation Limited and Pakistan's Zahir Khan and Brothers Engineers[102] The total length of this motorway section is 333 kilometres; however, the first 102 kilometres of the road between Khanewal and Abdul Hakeem is designed as part of the M4 Motorway, and is being funded by the Asian Development Bank.[103][104] The portion of motorway between Abdul Hakeem and Lahore that is under construction as part of CPEC will consist of the remaining 231 kilometers.[105]
Western Alignment [ edit] The CPEC project envisages an expanded and upgraded road network in the Pakistani provinces of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and western Punjab Province as part of the Western Alignment. The Western Alignment project will result in the upgrading of several hundred kilometres worth of road into 2 and 4-lane divided highways by mid-2018, with land acquisition sufficient for upgrading parts of the road to a 6-lane motorway in the future.[106] In total, the CPEC project envisages re-construction of 870 kilometres of road in Balochistan province alone as part of the Western Alignment. Of those 870 kilometres of road, 620 kilometres have already been rebuilt as of January 2016.[107]
The Western Alignment roadway network will begin at the Barahma Bahtar Interchange on the M1 Motorway near the towns of Burhan and Hasan Abdal in northern Punjab province.[108] The newly reconstructed Karakoram Highway will connect to the Western Alignment at Burhan, near where the new 285 kilometre long controlled-access Brahma Bahtar-Yarik Motorway will commence.[109] The motorway will terminate near the town of Yarik, just north of Dera Ismail Khan.[110] Groundbreaking for the project took place on May 17, 2016.[111] The motorway will traverse the Sindh Sagar Doab region, and cross the Indus River at Mianwali before entering into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It will consist of 11 interchanges, 74 culverts, and 3 major bridges spanning the Indus, Soan, and Kurram Rivers.[112] Total costs for the project are expected to be $1.05 billion.[113]
At the southern terminus of the new Brahma Bahtar-Yarik motorway, the N50 National Highway will also be upgraded between Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Zhob in neighbouring Balochistan province, with eventual reconstruction between Zhob and Quetta.[114] The upgraded roadway will consist of a 4 lane dual-carriageway spanning the 205 kilometre distance between the two cities.[115] The first portion of the N50 to be upgraded will be the 81 kilometre portion of the N50 between Zhob and Mughal Kot, with construction works having begun in January 2016.[116] Construction on this portion is expected to be completed by 2018 at a cost of $86 million.[117] While the project is considered a vital link in the CPEC's Western Alignment,[116] the project's cost will not be financed by Chinese state-owned banks, but instead by Asian Development Bank under a 2014 agreement which preceded CPEC,[118][119] as well as by a grant provided by the United Kingdom's Department for International Development.[120]
Heading south from Quetta, the Western Alignment of the CPEC will continue to the town of Surab in central Balochistan as the N25 National Highway. From Surab, a 470 kilometre long route known as the N85 National Highway will connect central Balochistan with the town of Hoshab in southwestern Balochistan province near the city of Turbat. The stretch of road between these cities was completed in December 2016,[121] as per schedule.[122]
Along the Western Alignment route, the towns of Hoshab and Gwadar are connected by a newly-built 193 kilometre long portion of the M8 Motorway '' the Hoshab to Gwadar portion of the motorway was completed and inaugurated in February 2016 by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.[123] The Western Alignment will be flanked by special economic zones along its route,[124] with at least seven special economic zones planned to be established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.[106]
Associated roadway projects [ edit] ADB funded projects [ edit] The 184 kilometre long M-4 Motorway between Faisalabad and Multan does not fall under the scope of CPEC projects, but is nevertheless considered vital to the CPEC transportation project. It will instead be financed by the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank,[103] and will be the first project jointly financed by those banks.[125] Further funding comes from an additional $90.7 million grant announced in October 2015 by the government of the United Kingdom towards the construction of portion of the M4 Motorway project.[126]
The Karakoram Highway south of the city of Mansehra will also be upgrade into a controlled-access highway to officially be known as the E-35 expressway. While it is considered to be a crucial part of the route between Gwadar and China, the E35 will not be financed by CPEC funds. The project will instead be financed by the Asian Development Bank[127] with a $121.6 million grant from the United Kingdom towards the project.[128] Once completed, the E35 Expressway, the M4 Motorway, and Karachi-Lahore Motorway will provide continuous high-speed road travel on controlled-access motorways from Mansehra to Karachi '' 1,550 kilometres away.
Approximately halfway between Zhob and Quetta, the town of Qilla Saifullah in Balochistan lies at the intersection of the N50 National Highway and the N70 National Highway. The two roads form the 447 kilometre route between Quetta and Multan in southern Punjab. While the N70 project is not officially a part of CPEC, it will connect the CPEC's Western Alignment to the Karachi-Lahore Motorway at Multan. Reconstruction works on the 126 kilometre portion of the N70 between Qilla Saifullah and Wagum are slated for completion by 2018,[129] and are financed as part of a $195 million package by the Asian Development Bank,[119] and by a $72.4 million grant from the United Kingdom's Department for International Development.[130]
Future Central Alignment [ edit] Long-term plans for a "Central Alignment" of the CPEC consist of a network of roads which will commence in Gwadar and travel upcountry via the cities of Basima, Khuzdar, Sukkur, Rajanpur, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, and terminating in Dera Ismail Khan, with onward connections to Karakoram Highway via the Brahma Bahtar''Yarik Motorway.[131]
Railway projects [ edit] Phase 1 of the ML-1 overhaul and reconstruction is highlighted black between Peshawar and Multan. Overhauling and reconstruction of the line will allow trains to travel at up to 160 kilometres per hour.Phase 2 of the ML-1 overhaul between Multan and Hyderabad is marked in orange. Phase 3 of the project is indicated by the green line between Hyderabad and Karachi.The CPEC project emphasises major upgrades to Pakistan's ageing railway system, including rebuilding of the entire Main Line 1 railway between Karachi and Peshawar by 2020;[132] this single railway currently handles 70% of Pakistan Railways traffic.[133] In addition to the Main Line 1 railway, upgrades and expansions are slated for the Main Line 2 railway, Main Line 3 railway. The CPEC plan also calls for completion of a rail link over the 4,693-meter high Khunjerab Pass. The railway will provide direct access for Chinese and East Asian goods to Pakistani seaports at Karachi and Gwadar by 2030.[133]
Procurement of an initial 250 new passenger coaches, and reconstruction of 21 train stations are also planned as part of the first phase of the project '' bringing the total investment in Pakistan's railway system to approximately $5 billion by the end of 2019.[134] 180 of the coaches are to be built at the Pakistan Railways Carriage Factory near Islamabad,[135] while the Government of Pakistan intends to procure an additional 800 coaches at a later date, with the intention of building 595 of those coaches in Pakistan.[135]
Main Line 1 [ edit] The CPEC "Early Harvest" plan includes a complete overhaul of the 1,687 kilometre long Main Line 1 railway (ML-1) between Karachi and Peshawar at a cost of $3.65 billion for the first phase of the project,[71] with the first phase expected to be completed by December 2017.[136] In June 2016, China and Pakistan unveiled plans for the second phase of the project, with a total cost of $8.2 billion for both phases of the project.[137] The second phase of the ML-1 overhaul project is expected to be completed in 2021.[137]
Upgrading of the railway line will permit train travel at speeds of 160 kilometres per hour, versus the average 60 to 105 km per hour speed currently possible on existing track,[138] and is expected to increase Pakistan Railways' annual revenues by approximately $480 million.[133][139] The upgrades are also expected to cut transit times from Karachi to Peshawar by half.[140] Pakistani railways currently account for 4% of freight traffic in the country, and upon completion of CPEC, Pakistani railways are expected to transport 20% of the country's freight traffic by 2025.[141]
The first part of the expedited first phase of the project will focus on upgrading the Multan to Peshawar section, which will then be followed by the Hyderabad to Multan section, and finally by the Hyderabad to Karachi section.[142]
At the time of CPEC's announcement, the ML-1 consisted of mostly dual track railway between Karachi, and the Lahore suburb of Shahdara, with long stretches of single track. From Shahdara, the track mainly consisted of a single track until the city Peshawar. Construction works to dualize the entire track between Karachi to Shahdara were completed and inaugurated in January 2016.[143] As part of the first phase of the CPEC railway project, the remaining stretch of track between Shahdara and Peshawar is to upgraded to a dual track railway.[144]
The 676 kilometer portion between Lalamusa, north of Lahore, and Peshawar will require complete reconstruction with the addition of tunnels, culverts, and bridges, while over 900 kilometers south of Lalamusa towards Karachi will be upgraded to handle cars with a 25-ton axle load capacity.[145] A spur from Taxila to Havelian will also be constructed, with a dry port to be established near the city of Havelian.[146] Further, the entire length of track will have computerised signal systems, with stretches of track in urban areas to also be fenced off to prevent pedestrians and vehicles from crossing tracks in unauthorised areas.[147]
Main Line 2 [ edit] ML-2 of Pakistan Railways is marked in purple, while ML-3 is marked in orange. Other lines are in blue.In addition to upgrading the ML-1, the CPEC project also calls for similar major upgrade on the 1,254 kilometre long Main Line 2 (ML-2) railway between Kotri in Sindh province, and Attock in northern Punjab province via the cities of Larkana and Dera Ghazi Khan.[148] The route towards northern Pakistan roughly parallels the Indus River, as opposed to the ML-1 which takes a more eastward course towards Lahore. The project also includes a plan to connect Gwadar, to the town of Jacobabad, Sindh[149] which lies at the intersection of the ML-2 and ML-3 railways.
Main Line 3 [ edit] Medium term plans for the Main Line 3 (ML-3) railway line will also include construction of a 560 kilometer long railway line between Bostan near Quetta, to Kotla Jam in Bhakkar District near the city of Dera Ismail Khan,[150] which will provide access to southern Afghanistan. The railway route will pass through the city of Quetta and Zhob before terminating in Kotla Jam, and is expected to be constructed by 2025.[133]
Lahore Metro [ edit] The $1.6 billion Orange Line of the Lahore Metro is under construction and is regarded as a commercial project under CPEC.[151] Construction on the line has already begun, with planned completion by Winter 2017.[152][153] The line will be 27.1-kilometre (16.8 mi) long, of which 25.4 kilometres (15.8 mi) will be elevated, with the remaining portion to be underground between Jain Mandir and Lakshmi Chowk.[154] When complete, the project will have the capacity to transport 250,000 commuters per day, with plans to increase capacity to 500,000 commuters per day by 2025.[155]
Khunjerab Railway [ edit] Longer term projects under CPEC also call for construction of the 682 kilometre long Khunjerab Railway line between the city of Havelian, to the Khunjerab Pass on the Chinese border,[156] with extension to China's Lanxin Railway in Kashgar, Xinjiang. The railway will roughly parallel the Karakoram Highway, and is expected to be complete in 2030.[133]
The cost of the entire project is estimated to be approximately $12 billion, and will require 5 years for completion. A 300 million rupee study to establish final feasibility of constructing the rail line between Havelian and the Chinese border is already underway.[157] A preliminary feasibility study was completed in 2008 by the Austrian engineering firm TBAC.[158]
Energy sector projects [ edit] Pakistan's current energy generating capacity is 24,830 MW,[159] though the country currently faces energy shortfalls of over 4,500MW on a regular basis[16] with routine power cuts of up to 5 hours per day,[17] which has shed an estimated 2''2.5% off its annual GDP.[17] Energy generation will be a major focus of the CPEC project, with approximately $33 billion expected to be invested in this sector.[15] As part of the "Early Harvest" scheme of the CPEC, an estimated 10,400 MW of electricity are slated for generation by March 2018 as part of CPEC's "Early Harvest" projects.[18]
The energy projects under CPEC will be constructed by private Independent Power Producers, rather than by the governments of either China or Pakistan.[160] The Exim Bank of China will finance these private investments at 5''6% interest rates, while the government of Pakistan will be contractually obliged to purchase electricity from those firms at pre-negotiated rates.[161]
Renewable-energy [ edit] Pakistan aims to produce 25% of its electricity requirements by renewable energy resources by 2030.[162] China's Zonergy company will complete construction on the world's largest solar power plant '' the 6,500 acre Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park near the city of Bahawalpur with an estimated capacity of 1000MW is expected to be completed in December 2016.[163][164] The first phase of the project has been completed by Xinjiang SunOasis, and has a generating capacity of 100 MW.[165] The remaining 900 MW capacity will be installed by Zonergy under CPEC.[165]
The Jhimpir Wind Power Plant, built by the Turkish company Zorlu Enerji has already begun to sell 56.4 MW of electricity to the government of Pakistan,[166] though under CPEC, another 250MW of electricity are to be produced by the Chinese-Pakistan consortium United Energy Pakistan and others at a cost of $659 million.[167][168] Another wind farm, the Dawood wind power project is under development by HydroChina at a cost of $115 million, and will generate 50 MW of electricity by August 2016.[169]
SK Hydro Consortium is constructing the 870 MW Suki Kinari Hydropower Project in the Kaghan Valley of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province at a cost of $1.8 billion,[170] SK Hydro will construct the project with financing by China's EXIM bank.[171]
The $1.6 billion 720 MW Karot Dam which is under construction is part of the CPEC plan, but is to be financed separately by China's Silk Road Fund.[172]
Pakistan and China have also discussed the inclusion of the 4,500MW $14 billion Diamer-Bhasha Dam as part of the CPEC project,[173] though as of December 2015, no firm decision has been made '' though Pakistani officials remain optimistic at its eventual inclusion.[174]
The $2.4 billion, 1,100 MW Kohala Hydropower Project being constructed by China's Three Gorges Corporation predates the announcement of CPEC, though funding for the project will now come from CPEC fund.[175]
Coal [ edit] Despite several renewable energy projects, the bulk of new energy generation capacity under CPEC will be coal-based plants, with $5.8 billion worth of coal power projects expected to be completed by early 2019 as part of the CPEC's "Early Harvest" projects.
Balochistan [ edit] In Balochistan province, a $970 million coal power plant at Hub, near Karachi, with a capacity of 660MW to be built by a joint consortium of China's China Power Investment Corporation and the Pakistani firm Hub Power Company as part of a larger $2 billion project to produce 1,320MW from coal.[176]
A 300MW coal power plant is also being developed in the city of Gwadar, and is being financed by a 0% interest loan.[68]
Punjab [ edit] The $1.8 billion Sahiwal Coal Power Project is an under construction project in central Punjab that will have a capacity of 1,320MW. It is being constructed by a joint venture of two Chinese firms: the Huaneng Shandong company and Shandong Ruyi Science & Technology Group, who will jointly own and operate the plant.[177] Pakistan will purchase electricity from the consortium at a tariff of 8.36 US cents/kWh.[178]
The $589 million project to establish a coal mine and a relatively small 300MW coal power plant to be built in the town of Pind Dadan Khan by China Machinery Engineering Corporation in Punjab's Salt Range.[179] Pakistan's NEPRA has been criticized for considering a relatively high tariff of 11.57 US cents/kWH proposed by the Chinese firm,[180] which had been initially agreed at 8.25 US cents/kWH in 2014.[181] The Chinese firm argued that coal transportation costs had greatly increased due to the nonavailability of coal from nearby mines which had initially been regarded as the primary coal source for the project. The company argued that coal would instead have to be transported from distant Sindh province, which along with inefficiencies in mining procedures, increased the cost of fuel by 30.5%.[182]
Sindh [ edit] The Shanghai Electric company of China will construct two 660MW power plants as part of the "Thar-I" project in the Thar coalfield of Sindh province, while "Thar-ll" will be developed by a separate consortium.[183][184] The facility will be powered by locally sourced coal,[185] and is expected to be put into commercial use in 2018.[186] Pakistan's National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has agreed to purchase electricity from both Thar-l and Thar-ll at a tariff of 8.50 US cents/kWh for the first 330 MW of electricity, 8.33 US cents/kWh for the next 660 MW, and 7.99 US cents/kWh for the next 1,099 MW as further phases are developed.[187][188]
Near the Thar-I Project, the China Machinery Engineering Corporation in conjunction with Pakistan's Engro Corporation will construct two 330MW power plants as part of the "Thar-ll Project" (having initially proposed the simultaneous construction of two 660MW power plants) as well as developing a coal mine capable of producing up to 3.8 million tons of coal per year as part of the first phase of the project."[189] The first phase is expected to be complete by early 2019,[190] at a cost of $1.95 billion.[191] Subsequent phases will eventually generate an additional 3,960MW of electricity over the course of ten years.[184] As part of infrastructure required for electricity distribution from the Thar l and ll Projects, the $2.1 billion Matiari to Lahore Transmission Line, and $1.5 billion in Matiari to Faisalabad transmission line are also to be built as part of the CPEC project.[18]
The 1,320MW $2.08 billion Pakistan Port Qasim Power Project near Port Qasim will be a joint venture of Al-Mirqab Capital from Qatar, and China's Power Construction Corporation '' a subsidiary of Sinohydro Resources Limited.[192][193] Pakistan's NEPRA and SinoHydro agreed to set the levelized tariff for electricity purchased from the consortium at 8.12 US cents/kWh.[194]
Liquified natural gas [ edit] Liquefied natural gas power LNG projects are also considered vital to CPEC. The Chinese government has announced its intention to build a $2.5 billion 711 kilometre gas pipeline from Gwadar to Nawabshah in province as part of CPEC.[195] The pipeline is designed to be a part of the 2,775 kilometre long Iran''Pakistan gas pipeline, with the 80 kilometre portion between Gwadar and the Iranian border to be connected when sanctions against Tehran are eased; Iran has already completed a 900 kilometre long portion of the pipeline on its side of the border.[19]
The Pakistani portion of the pipeline is to be constructed by the state-owned China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau.[196] It will be 42 inches in diameter, and have the capacity to transport 1 billion cubic feet of liquified natural gas every day, with an additional 500 million cubic feet of additional capacity when the planned off-shore LNG terminal is also completed[197] The project will not only provide gas exporters with access to the Pakistani market, but will also allow China to secure a route for its own imports.[198]
The project should not be confused with the $2 billion 1,100 kilometre North-South Pipeline liquified natural gas pipeline which is to be constructed with Russian assistance between Karachi and Lahore with anticipated completion by 2018.[199] Nor should it be confused with the planned $7.5 billion TAPI Pipeline which is a planned project involving Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.
Other LNG projects are currently under construction with Chinese assistance and financing that will augment the scope of CPEC, but are neither funded by nor officially considered a part of CPEC. The 1,223MW Balloki Power Plant is currently under construction near Kasur, and is being constructed by China's Harbin Electric Company with financing from the China's EXIM bank, is one such example. In October 2015, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also inaugurated construction of the 1,180MW Bhikhi Power Plant near Sheikhupura,[200] which is to be jointly constructed by China's Harbin Electric Company and General Electric from the United States.[201] It is expected to be Pakistan's most efficient power plant, and will provide enough power for an estimated 6 million homes.[201]
"Early Harvest" projects [ edit] As part of the "Early Harvest" scheme of the CPEC, over 10,000 megawatts of electricity-generating capacity is to be developed between 2018 and 2020.[18] While some "Early Harvest" projects will not be complete until 2020, the government of Pakistan plans to add approximately 10,000 MW of energy-generating capacity to Pakistan's electric grid by 2018 through the completion of projects which complement CPEC. Although not officially under the scope of CPEC, the 1,223 MW Balloki Power Plant, and the 1,180 MW Bhakki powerplants are also under construction,[200][202] which along with the under-construction 969 MW Neelum''Jhelum Hydropower Plant and 1,410 MW Tarbela IV Extension Project will result in an additional 10,000 MW being added to Pakistan's electricity grid by 2018 by a combination of CPEC and non-CPEC projects.[203] A further 1,000 MW of electricity will be imported to Pakistan from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as part of the CASA-1000 project, which is expected to be completed in late 2018.[204]
Table of projects [ edit] Other areas of cooperation [ edit] The CPEC announcement encompassed not only infrastructure works, but also addressed areas of co-operation between China and Pakistan.
Agriculture [ edit] The long-term plan for the period 2025-30 during the CPEC summit held in Islamabad on August 30, 2016. The plan includes coperation over livelihood, water resources, livestock, people-to-people communications and financial matters. Under the plan, agricultural information project, storage and distribution of agricultural equipment and construction project, agricultural mechanisation, demonstration and machinery leasing project and fertiliser production project for producing 800,000 tons of fertiliser and 100,000 tons of bio-organic fertiliser will be implemented.[208][209]
Science and technology [ edit] As part of CPEC, the two countries signed an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement,[210] as well as pledged to "China-Pakistan Joint Cotton Bio-Tech Laboratory"[210] The two countries also pledged to establish the "China-Pakistan Joint Marine Research Center" with State Oceanic Administration and Pakistan's Ministry of Science and Technology[210] Also as part of the CPEC agreement, Pakistan and China have agreed to co-operate in the field of space research.[211]
In February 2016, the two countries agreed to establish the "Pak-China Science, Technology, Commerce and Logistic Park" near Islamabad at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion.[212] The park will be situated on 500 hectares, which will be provided by Pakistan to China's Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, with all investments expected to come from the Chinese side over the course of ten years.[213]
In May 2016, construction began on the $44 million 820 kilometer long Pakistan-China Fiber Optic Project, an optical fiber cable that will enhance telecommunication in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, while offering Pakistan a fifth route by which to transmit telecommunication traffic.[214]
Other fields [ edit] The two nations also pledged co-operation in field ranging from anti-narcotic efforts,[210] to co-operation in an effort to reduce climate change.[210] The two nations also agreed to increase co-operating between the banking sectors of the two countries, as well as to establish closer ties between China Central Television and the Pakistan Television Corporation.[210]
Finance [ edit] Concessionary loans [ edit] Approximately $11 billion worth of infrastructure projects being developed by the Pakistani government will be financed by concessionary loans, with composite interest rates of 1.6%,[215] after Pakistan successfully lobbied the Chinese government to reduce interest rates from an initial 3%.[216] Concessionary loans will be dispersed by the Exim Bank of China, China Development Bank, and the ICBC.[217] For comparison, loans for previous Pakistani infrastructure projects financed by the World Bank carried an interest rate between 5% and 8.5%,[218] while interest rates on market loans approach 12%.[219]
The loan money would be used to finance projects which are planned and executed by the Pakistani government. Portions of the approximately $6.6 billion[90]Karachi''Lahore Motorway are already under construction.[220] The $2.9 billion phase which will connect the city of Multan to the city of Sukkur over a distance of 392 kilometres has also been approved,[221] with 90% of costs to be financed by the Chinese government at concessionary interest rates, while the remaining 10% is to be financed by the Public Sector Development Programme of the Pakistani government.[222] In May 2016, the $2.9 billion loan were given final approvals required prior to disbursement of the funds were given by the Government of the People's Republic of China on May 4, 2016, and will be concessionary loans with an interest rate of 2.0%.[79] The National Highway Authority of Pakistan reported that contractors arrived on site soon after the loan received final approval.[79]
The China Development Bank will finance the $920 million towards the cost of reconstruction of the 487 kilometer portion of the Karakoram Highway between Burhan and Raikot.[223][224] An addition $1.26 billion will be lent by the China Exim Bank for the construction of the Havelian to Thakot portion of this 487 kilometer stretch of roadway,[77][225] to be dispersed as low-interest rate concessionary loans.[79]
$7 billion of the planned $8.2 billion overhaul of the Main Line 1 railway is to be financed by concessionary loans, which extended by China's state owned banks.[226]
The long-planned 27.1 km long $1.6 billion Orange Line of the Lahore Metro is regarded as a commercial project,[210] and does not qualify for the Exim Bank's 1.6% interest rate. It will instead by financed at a 2.4% interest rate[152] after China agreed to reduce interest rates from an originally planned rate of 3.4%.[227]
The $44 million Pakistan-China Fiber Optic Project, a 820 km long fibre optic wire connecting Pakistan and China, will be constructed using concessionary loans at an interest rate of 2%, rather than the 1.6% rate applied to other projects.[228]
Interest-free loans [ edit] The government of China in August 2015 announced that concessionary loans for several projects in Gwadar totalling $757 million would be converted 0% interest loans.[229] The projects which are now to financed by the 0% interest loans include: the construction of the $140 million East Bay Expressway project, installation of breakwaters in Gwadar which will cost $130 million, a $360 million coal power plant in Gwadar, a $27 million project to dredge berths in Gwadar harbour, and a $100 million 300-bed hospital in Gwadar.[230] Pakistan will only repay the principle on these loans.
In September 2015, the government of China also announced that the $230 million Gwadar International Airport project would no longer be financed by loans, but would instead be constructed by grants which the government of Pakistan will not be required to repay.[216]
Private consortia [ edit] $15.5 billion worth of energy projects are to be constructed by joint Chinese-Pakistani firms, rather than by the governments of either China or Pakistan. The Exim Bank of China will finance those investments at 5''6% interest rates, while the government of Pakistan will be contractually obliged to purchase electricity from those firms at pre-negotiated rates.[161]
As an example, the 1,223MW Balloki Power Plant does not fall under the concessionary loan rate of 1.6%, as the project is not being developed by the Pakistani government. Instead, it is considered to be a private sector investment as its construction will be undertaken by a consortium of Harbin Electric and Habib Rafiq Limited after they successfully bid against international competitors.[231] Chinese state-owned banks will provide loans to the consortium that are subsidised by the Chinese government. In the case of the Balloki Power Plant, state-owned banks will finance the project at an interest rate of 5%,[232] while the Pakistani government will purchase electricity at the lowest bid rate of 7.973 cents per unit.[231]
ADB assistance [ edit] While the E-35 expressway is considered to be a crucial part of the route between Gwadar and China, the E35 will not be financed by CPEC funds. The project will instead be financed by the Asian Development Bank.[127]
The N70 project is not officially a part of CPEC but will connect the CPEC's Western Alignment to the Karachi-Lahore Motorway at Multan. The project will be financed as part of a $195 million package by the Asian Development Bank announced in May 2015 to upgrade the N70 National Highway and N50 National Highway.[119] In January 2016, The United Kingdom's Department for International Development announced a $72.4 million grant to Pakistan for roadway improvements in the province of Balochistan, thereby reducing the total Asian Development Bank loan from $195 million to $122.6 million.[233]
The M-4 Motorway between Faisalabad and Multan is not to be financed by the Chinese government as part of CPEC, but will instead be the first infrastructure project partially financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and will be co-financed along with the Asian Development Bank for a total of approximately $275 million.[103] Portions of the project will also be funded by a $90.7 million grant announced in October 2015 by the government of the United Kingdom towards the construction of the Gojra-Shorkot section of the M4 Motorway project.[126]
The importance of CPEC to China is reflected by its inclusion as part of China's 13th five-year development plan.[234][235] CPEC projects will provide China with an alternate route for energy supplies, as well as a new route by which Western China can conduct trade. Pakistan stands to gain due to upgrade of infrastructure and introduction of a reliable energy supply.[236][237]
On January 8, 2017, Forbes claimed that CPEC is part of China's vision to write the rules of the next era of globalization and help its export and investment engines run for years to come.[238] Writing in January 2017, Arun Mohan Sukumar of India's Observer Research Foundation claimed that "CPEC is an important enough project whose economic and strategic consequences require methodical assessment," adding that "CPEC may be a bilateral endeavour, but New Delhi cannot ignore its spillover effects on regional governance." Concluding that "India would be ill-advised to rely on the false comfort that profits alone will drive China's business with Pakistan."[239]
Pakistani economy [ edit] The CPEC is a landmark project in the annals of history of Pakistan. It is the largest investment Pakistan has attracted since independence and largest by China in any foreign country.[240] CPEC is considered economically vital to Pakistan in helping it drive economic growth.[241] The Pakistani media and government have called CPEC investments a "game and fate changer" for the region,[242][243] while both China and Pakistan intend that the massive investment plan will transform Pakistan into a regional economic hub and further boost the deepening ties between the two countries.[244] Approximately 1 year after the announcement of CPEC, Zhang Baozhong, chairman of China Overseas Port Holding Company told The Washington Post that his company planned to spend an additional $4.5 billion on roads, power, hotels and other infrastructure for Gwadar's industrial zone,[25] which would be one of the largest ever sums of foreign direct investment into Pakistan.
Pakistan currently faces energy shortfalls of over 4,500MW on a regular basis[16] with routine power cuts of up to 12 hours per day,[17] which has shed an estimated 2-2.5% off its annual GDP.[17] The Financial Times notes that Pakistan's electricity shortages are a major hindrance to foreign investment, and that Chinese investments in Pakistani infrastructure and power projects will lead to a "virtuous cycle" that will make the country more attractive for foreign investment in a variety of sectors.[245] Poor availability of electricity is considered by the World Bank to be a main constraint to both economic growth and investment in Pakistan.[246]
Pakistan's large textile industry has also been negatively affected by several-hour long power cuts, with almost 20% of textile factories in the city of Faisalabad shutting down on account of power shortages.[247] The CPEC's "Early Harvest" projects are expected to resolve shortages in power generation by 2018 by increasing Pakistan's power generation capacity by over 10,000 megawatts.[18] As a result of improved infrastructure and energy supplies, the Pakistani government expects that economic growth rates will reach 7% by 2018.[248]
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz also stated in May 2016 that predicted economic growth from CPEC projects would result in stabilization of Pakistan's security situation,[249] which has also been cited by the World Bank as hindrance to sustained economic growth in Pakistan.[250]
According to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying, the corridor will "serve as a driver for connectivity between South Asia and East Asia." Mushahid Hussain, chairman of the Pakistan-China Institute, told China Daily that the economic corridor "will play a crucial role in regional integration of the 'Greater South Asia', which includes China, Iran, Afghanistan, and stretches all the way to Myanmar."[31] When fully built, the corridor is expected to generate significant revenue from transit fees levied on Chinese goods '' to the tune of several billion dollars per annum.[251] According to The Guardian, "The Chinese are not just offering to build much-needed infrastructure but also make Pakistan a key partner in its grand economic and strategic ambitions."[252]
Moody's Investors Service has described the project as a "credit positive" for Pakistan. In 2015, the agency acknowledged that much of the project's key benefits would not materialise until 2017, but stated that it believes at least some of the benefits from the economic corridor would likely begin accruing even before then.[253] The Asian Development Bank stated "CPEC will connect economic agents along a defined geography. It will provide connection between economic nodes or hubs, centered on urban landscapes, in which large amount of economic resources and actors are concentrated. They link the supply and demand sides of markets."[254] On November 14, 2016, Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced plan's to open four properties in Pakistan, in partnership with Bahria Town Group, citing the investment of CPEC as the reason behind the $600 million investment.[255]
On March 12, 2017, a consortium of Pakistani broker houses reported that Pakistan will end up paying $90 billion to China over a span of 30 years with annual average repayments of $3''4 billion per year post fiscal year 2020. The report further said that CPEC-related transportation would earn $400''500 million per annum to Pakistan, and would grow Pakistani exports by 4.5% a year till fiscal year 2025.[256]
CPEC and the "Malacca Dilemma" [ edit] Map showing territorial claims in South China Sea. A high percentage of Chinese energy imports pass through this disputed region, rendering much of China's energy imports vulnerable to conflict.The Straits of Malacca provide China with its shortest maritime access to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.[257] Approximately 80% pass of its Middle Eastern energy imports also pass through the Straits of Malacca.[258] As the world's biggest oil importer,[35] energy security is a key concern for China while current sea routes used to import Middle Eastern oil are frequently patrolled by the United States' Navy.[259]
In the event that China were to face hostile actions from a state or non-state actor, energy imports through the Straits of Malacca could be halted, which in turn would paralyse the Chinese economy in a scenario that is frequently referred to as the "Malacca Dilemma."[258] In addition to vulnerabilities faced in the Straits of Malacca region, China is heavily dependent upon sea-routes that pass through the South China Sea, near the disputed Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands, which are currently a source of tension between China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and the United States.[260] The CPEC project will allow Chinese energy imports to circumvent these contentious areas and find a new artery in the west, and thereby decrease the possibility of confrontation between the United States and China.[261]
In addition to potential weaknesses in regards to the United States' Navy, the Indian Navy has recently increased maritime surveillance of the Straits of Malacca region from its base on Great Nicobar Island.[262] India has expressed fears of a Chinese "String of Pearls" encircling it.[263][264] Were conflict to erupt, India could potentially impede Chinese imports through the straits.[265] Indian maritime surveillance in the Andaman Sea could possibly enhance Chinese interest in Pakistan's Gwadar Port '' the Kyaukpyu Port, which is currently being developed in Myanmar by the Chinese government as another alternate route around the Straits of Malacca, will likely be vulnerable to similar advances by the Indian Navy. The proposed Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Corridor (BCIM) would also be vulnerable to Indian advances against China in the event of conflict, thereby potentially limiting the BCIM Corridor's usefulness to China's energy security, and thereby increasing Chinese interest in CPEC.
China's stake in Gwadar will also allow it to expand its influence in the Indian Ocean, a vital route for oil transportation between the Atlantic and the Pacific. Another advantage to China is that it will be able to bypass the Strait of Malacca. As of now, 60 percent of China's imported oil comes from the Middle East, and 80 percent of that is transported to China through this strait, the dangerous, piracy-rife maritime route through the South China, East China, and Yellow Seas.
Council on Foreign Relations[266]Access to western China [ edit] The CPEC Alignments will improve connectivity to restive Xinjiang, thereby increasing the region's potential to attract public and private investment.[257] CPEC is considered central to China''Pakistan relations; its central importance is reflected by China's inclusion of the project as part of its 13th five-year development plan.[267][268] The CPEC projects will also complement China's Western Development plan, which includes not only Xinjiang, but also the neighbouring regions of Tibet and Qinghai.[269]
In addition to its significance to reduce Chinese dependence on the Sea of Malacca and South China Sea routes, CPEC will provide China an alternative and shorter route for energy imports from the Middle East, thereby reducing shipping costs and transit times. The currently available sea-route to China is roughly 12,000 kilometres long, while the distance from Gwadar Port to Xinjiang province is approximately 3,000 kilometres, with another 3,500 kilometres from Xinjiang to China's eastern coast.[258] As a result of CPEC, Chinese imports and exports to the Middle East, Africa, and Europe would require much shorter shipment times and distances.
Route to circumvent Afghanistan [ edit] Negotiations to provide an alternate route to the Central Asian republics by way of China predate the announcement of CPEC. The Afghanistan''Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement of 2010 provided Pakistan access to Central Asia via Afghanistan, however, the full agreement has yet to be fully implemented. The "Quadrilateral Agreement on Traffic in Transit" (QATT) was first devised in 1995, and signed in 2004 by the governments of China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan to facilitate transit trade between the various countries, with no inclusion of Afghanistan.[270] Despite signing of the QATT, the agreements full potential was never realised, largely on account of poor infrastructure links between the four countries prior to the announcement of CPEC.
During the visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to India in April 2015, he stated "We will not provide equal transit access to Central Asia for Pakistani trucks" unless the Pakistani government included India as part of the 2010 Afghanistan''Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement.[271] The current Transit Trade Agreement provides Afghanistan access to the Port of Karachi to conduct export trade with India, and allows Afghan goods to be transited up to any border of Pakistan, but does not guarantee Afghan trucks the right to traverse the Wagah Border, nor does the agreement permit Indian goods to be exported to Afghanistan via Pakistan.[272] Owing to continued tensions between India and Pakistan, the Pakistani government expressed reluctance to include India in any trade negotiations with Afghanistan, and as a result, little progress was made between the Afghan and Pakistani sides.
In February 2016, the Pakistani government signalled its intention to completely bypass Afghanistan in its quest to access Central Asia by announcing its intent to revive the QATT so that Central Asian states could access Pakistani ports via Kashgar instead of Afghanistan,[273] thereby allowing the Central Asian republics to access Pakistan's deep water ports without having to rely on a politically unstable Afghanistan as a transit corridor. In early March 2016, the Afghan government reportedly acquiesced to Pakistani requests to use Afghanistan as a corridor to Tajikistan, after having dropped demands from reciprocal access to India via Pakistan.[274]
Alternate route to Central Asia [ edit] The heads of various Central Asian republics have expressed their desire to connect their infrastructure networks to the CPEC project via China. During the August 2015 visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Kazakhstan, the Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov, conveyed Kazakhstan's desire to link its road network to the CPEC project.[275] During the November 2015 visit of Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon to Pakistan, the Tajik premier also expressed his government's desire to join the Quadrilateral Agreement on Traffic in Transit to use CPEC as a conduit for imports and exports to Tajikistan by circumventing Afghanistan;[276] the request received political backing by the Pakistani Prime Minister.[276]
With the advent of CPEC-related infrastructure projects, transit times between Kashgar and Pakistan's coast will be greatly reduced, which in turn will also reduce transit times to the Kyrgyzstan and hydrocarbon-rich Kazakhstan through already existing overland routes. The Chinese government has already upgraded the road linking Kashgar to Osh in Kyrgyzstan via the Kyrgyz town of Erkeshtam while a railway between Urumqi, China and Almaty, Kazakhstan has also been completed as part of China's One Belt One Road initiative.[277] Numerous land crossings already exist between Kazakhstan and China as well. Additionally, the Chinese government has announced plans to lay railway track from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, towards Kyrgyzstan with onwards connections to China and Pakistan.[278] Further, the Pamir Highway already provides Tajikistan access to Kashgar via the Kulma Pass. These crossings complement the CPEC project to provide Central Asian states access to Pakistan's deepwater ports by completely bypassing Afghanistan '' a country which has been ravaged by civil war and political instability since the late 1970s.
Comparison to Chabahar Port [ edit] In May 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, signed a series of twelve agreements in Tehran, in which India offered to refurbish one of Chabahar's ten existing berths, and reconstruct another berth the Port of Chabahar,[279] in order to allow Indian goods to be exported to Iran, with the possibility of onward connections to Afghanistan and Central Asia.[280] As of February 2017, the project remains delayed while the governments of Iran and India blame one another for delays.[281]
A section of the Indian media described it as "a counter to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,"[282] although the total monetary value of projects has been noted to be significantly less than that of CPEC.[283]
As part of the twelve memorandums of understanding signed by Indian and Iranian delegations as per text released by India's Ministry of External Affairs, India will offer a $150 million line of credit extended by the Exim Bank of India,[284] while India Ports Global also signed a contract with Iran's Aria Banader to develop berths at the port,[285] at a cost of $85 million [286] over the course of 18 months.[287]
Under the agreement, India Ports Global will refurbish a 640 meter long container handling facility, and reconstruct a 600 meter long berth at the port.[279] India further agreed to extend a $400 million line of credit to be used for the import of steel for the construction of a rail link between Chabahar and Zahedan,[288] while India's IRCON and Iran's Construction, Development of Transport and Infrastructure Company signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the construction and finance of the Chabahar to Zahedan rail line at a cost of $1.6 billion.[289]
India's Highways and Shipping Minister, Nitin Gadkari suggested that the free trade zone in Chabahar had the potential to attract upwards of $15 billion worth of investment in the future,[290] although he stated that such investments are predicated upon Iran offering India natural gas at a rate of $1.50 per million British Thermal Units,[291] which is substantially lower than the rate of $2.95 per million British Thermal Units offered by Iran.[292] The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the possibility of setting up an aluminum smelter at a cost of $2 billion,[293] as well as establishing a urea processing facility in Chahbahar,[294] although these investments are also contingent upon Iran supplying low-cost natural gas for operation of those facilities.[295]
India, Iran, and Afghanistan also signed an agreement with the intention of simplifying transit procedures between the three countries.[286] Despite the expressed desire to circumvent Pakistan in order to augment Iranian and Indian economic ties, Indian goods destined for Iran currently do not require transit through Pakistan, as those goods can be exported to Iran via Bandar Abbas, where India also currently maintains a diplomatic mission.[296] Bandar Abbas is also consider a key node on the North''South Transport Corridor, backed by India and Russia since 2002.[297][298] Indian goods also can be imported and transited across Iran upon arrival at Bandar-e Emam Khomeyni near the Iraqi border.
As per the Afghanistan''Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement, Afghan goods can be transited across Pakistan for export to India as well, though Indian goods cannot be exported to Afghanistan via Pakistan.[299] Upon completion of Chabahar, Indian exporters will benefit from the potential ability to export goods to Afghanistan, a country with an annual gross domestic product estimated at $60.6 billion.[300]
After signing the agreement, Iran's ambassador to Pakistan, Mehdi Honerdoost, stated that the agreement was "not finished," and that Iran would welcome the inclusion of both Pakistan and China in the project.[301] While clarifying that Chabahar Port would not be a rival or enemy to Pakistan's Gwadar Port,[302] he further stated that Pakistan and China had both been invited to contribute to the project before India, but neither China nor Pakistan had expressed interest in joining.[303][304]
Security Issues [ edit] While agreements have specifically cited improvements for Afghan connectivity to the world as a benefit of Indian investment in the region,[305] Afghanistan's politically instability could limit the potential usefulness of transit corridors to population centers near Kabul or Kandahar,[306] as those routes traverse southern and eastern Afghanistan, where the Taliban is most active.[307] The Chabahar plan relies upon connections to the Afghan Ring Road.[308] By August 2016, the Taliban was noted to have captured large swathes of land in Helmand Province, and threatened to capture the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah,[309] which lies on the portion of the Afghan Ring Road connecting Chabahar to Kandahar and Kabul. As a result, portions of the Afghan Ring Road were closed due to Taliban insurgent activity.[310] Also in August 2016, the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack which left twelve foreign tourists dead as they were traveling on an alternative route to the Afghan Ring Road, between Kabul and Herat.[311] In September 2016, Iran's president Hassan Rouhani expressed his country's interest in joining CPEC during a meeting with Nawaz Sharif.[312]
Security [ edit] Security Forces [ edit] Pakistan Navy and Chinese Navy ships are to jointly guard the safety and security of the trade corridor, as Pakistan seeks to expand the role of its maritime forces.[313] From December 2016, Pakistan's Navy established a special taskforce "TF-88" to ensure there is maritime security for trade.[314][315] Chairman Parliamentary Committee on CPEC confirmed that Sindh province will dispatch 2000 police officers, while Punjab will dispatch 5000 police officers for the project, while the Pakistani Army will deploy 12,000 troops to safeguard the route.[316] China plans to transfer 4 ships to the Maritime Security Agency with two ships called PMSS Hingol and PMSS Basol.[317] For territorial security, Pakistan has formed the Special Security Division.[318] Pakistan plans to train 12,000 security personnel to protect Chinese workers on the corridor.[319][320][321] As of August 2015, 8,000 Pakistani security officials were deployed for the protection of over 8,100 Chinese workers in Pakistan.[322] As part of CPEC, Pakistan has boosted its international engagement in terms of foreign policy with China, Iran, USA, Turkey and Malaysia are to be engaged for the maritime economy related to CPEC.[323] Iranian President Rouhani revealed his intentions to Pakistan to join CPEC in a meeting at the UN[324] Russia has also expressed support for CPEC.[325][326]
Baloch militants [ edit] Baluchistan province has been site of nationalist and separatist insurgencies,[327] which Pakistan alleges are supported by Indian intelligence services.[328] Exiled Baloch nationalist Hyrbyair Marri in 2016 warned the safety of Chinese nationals working on the project could not be guaranteed,[329] though violence in the region peaked in 2013 before sharply declining.[330] Between 2014 and 2015, acts of terrorism decreased by 50% in the province, while sharp decreases were also noted in deaths, kidnappings, and sectarian killings.[331]
The Pakistani government reported that over 800 Baloch militants surrendered to security forces in 2016 after the launch of a reconciliation programme,[332] including over 200 at a single ceremony in November 2016.[333] Balakh Sher Badini, a senior militant commander of the Balochistan Liberation Army, surrendered to Pakistani forces in January 2017.[334] Another 21 militants from another militant group, the Balochistan Republican Army, surrendered shortly thereafter along with 3 militant commanders.[335] A few days later, high-ranking militant commander Lal Din Bugti surrendered to Pakistani security forces, along with 6 other commanders.[336] Separatist violence had decreased in the province so much by 2017, that such groups had become much less of a threat compared to Islamist militants.[337]
Islamist militants [ edit] Pakistan faces Islamist insurgent violence that largely began in 2008 during the rule of General Pervez Musharraf. The outlawed terrorist organisation Tehrik-i-Taliban has claimed responsibility for past attacks on some Chinese nationals,[338] and Chinese commentators have raised concerns that the safety of construction workers could be under threat.[339] China reportedly also expressed concern that militant groups in Xinjiang could collaborate with Islamist militants in Pakistan.[35][340] In 2014, Pakistan launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb to eradicate Islamist militants from Pakistani territory, following an attack on Karachi's airport, and the 2014 Peshawar school massacre in which jihadists from Tehrik-i-Taliban killed 148 students.
Following the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, violence in Pakistan has drastically declined.[341] 2016 saw the lowest number of deaths from acts of violence since the current wave of violence began in 2007,[342] with total fatalities dropping nearly 66% compared to 2014.[343] Acts of terrorist violence fell 75% between 2014 and 2016.[344] According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, civilian fatalities from terrorist attacks in 2013 stood at 3,001, while the number had declined to 612 by 2016[345] - the lowest number since 2005.
Though terrorism-related deaths decline in Pakistan as a whole in 2016, the toll rose slightly in Baluchistan,[346] where Islamist militants maintain a degree of subversive capability. In August 2016, Quetta was struck by an Islamist suicide bombing which killed 70 people,[347] while sectarian militants still frequently target Baluchistan's Shia Hazaras.[344]
Alleged Indian subversion [ edit] CPEC passes though the disputed region of Kashmir where Indian and Pakistani border guards have occasionally exchanged fire across the Line of Control,[348][349] though no CPEC project is located near the line. Chinese intelligence agencies have also reportedly shared information with Pakistani authorities regarding alleged efforts by the India's Research and Analysis Wing to subvert CPEC.[350][350] In March 2016, Pakistan announced that it had arrested a suspected spy from India's Research and Analysis Wing, Kulbhushan Yadav, who Pakistan accused of entering Pakistan from Iran specifically to destabilize regions in Pakistan's Baluchistan province in order to hinder implementation of CPEC projects.[351] Former Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif in April 2016 accused India's Research and Analysis Wing of destabilizing Pakistan in an attempt to disrupt and stymie implementation of various CPEC projects.[352] Pakistan's Secretary of Defense Lieutenant General Alam Khattak stated in April 2016 that the arrest of Kulbhushan Yadav indicated Indian interference in CPEC, and further alleged that India's Research and Analysis Wing, in collusion with Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security, had set up a dedicated espionage unit with express intent to sabotage CPEC.[353]
Criticism and miscellaneous issues [ edit] KPK Provincial Assembly [ edit] Some planning aspects and technicalities associated with the route have been criticised in political forums and by the media.[354] The Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province adopted a resolution against the alleged decision of the central government to change the multibillion route of the proposed project by diverting it away from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.[355] The supposed change in CPEC routing was noted in an article published by China's Global Times newspaper,[356] two years before the official announcement of CPEC when levels of violence were much higher in that province, which he acknowledged could factor into any decision to re-route the corridor from KPK.[356]
The federal Minister of Planning Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal formally denied any change in the alignment.[33][357][358] As a rebuttal to this argument, Wu Zhaoli, an assistant research fellow at the National Institute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in his article also published in Global Times, stated that "security concerns are a critical cause which helps to determine the path of this corridor",[339] implying that security concerns, rather than political bias, would be responsible for any route changes. According to Dr Ahmad Rashid Malik, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSi), the route controversy is "baseless and an unfounded reality...".[359] As a result of objections to CPEC, the Chinese government in 2015 issued a statement urging Pakistani political parties to resolve their differences over the project.[360]
Finances [ edit] In addition to the aforementioned issues, some sources have suggested that the interest rate for CPEC related loans would be high, with India's Daily News and Analysis paper suggesting that Pakistan had unwittingly accepted loans that would "be offered at very high rates of interest,"[361] although the actual interest rates were negotiated prior to acceptance, and for most projects will be 1.6%.[362]
Several articles in Pakistan have criticised the project's finances as being shrouded in mystery, while one article suggested that "there is far too much secrecy and far too little transparency."[363] The Private Power and Infrastructure Board has also been accused of irregularities in the approval process for coal power plants and the tariffs at which Pakistan is contractually obliged to purchase electricity from those plants,[364] with special concern regarding potential irregularities in the tariff approved for the 300MW coal power plant to be built in Pind Dadan Khan by China Machinery Engineering Corporation.[365]
Baloch nationalists [ edit] Some Baloch nationalists have opposed the large-scale development projects envisioned by CPEC, fearing that such developments in the province would eventually result in local residents "losing control" over natural resources.[366] Others have alleged that CPEC is a "conspiracy" meant to stimulate the settlement of migrants from other regions of Pakistan in order to render ethnic Baloch a minority in the province.[367]
In reference to the Pakistani Government's announcement of its intent to issue resident cards to the city's inhabitants as a security measure to prevent the movement of firearms into the city,[368] former Chief Minister of Balochistan province, Akhtar Mengal, suggested at a political rally in November 2015, that execution of CPEC projects and the resident card policy would eventually result in ethnic Baloch being denied entry into the city.[369] The resident cards measure would require any non-resident visitor to the city to register at designated security checkpoints prior to entering the city by road,[368] without any reference to ethnicity. The former Chief Minister did, however, clarify that he would not oppose development projects in the province that he believed would uplift the plight of local residents.[370] Shortly thereafter, the Pakistani government announced its intention to establish a training institute named Pak-China Technical and Vocational Institute at Gwadar which is to be completed at the cost of 943 million rupees to impart skills to local residents to train them to operate machinery at the port.[28]
Gwadar residents' concerns [ edit] While nationalists openly oppose CPEC, some local leaders and residents of Gwadar city have also expressed concern in regards to the project '' the head of Gwadar's local fisherman association stated in an interview with NBC News that "Development is good, China is our great friend, this CPEC thing sounds amazing, but don't forget that this is our land, first."[371] Other residents doubt they will see any of the benefits promised by CPEC, while others fear they will be evicted from their homes in order to make way for infrastructure works.[372]
In response to concerns of local residents, Lt. General Amer Riaz who heads security operations in the province, stated that locals would not be deprived of benefits, and that local Gwadar residents would have "the first right to everything."[373] Pakistan's Minister of Planning, National Reforms, and Development, Ahsan Iqbal, further stated in May 2016 that Gwadar residents would be regarded as "main stakeholders" in the city's master plan, and that fishermen specifically would also be accommodated by the plan.[374] The developer of Gwadar Port, COPHC, has also announced that it will assist Gwadar's fishermen to help boost the region's seafood industry by developing programmes to improve the quality of local seafoods.[375]
Indian objections [ edit] The Government of India, which shares tense relations with Pakistan, regards portions of the CPEC project negatively as they pass through the Pakistani-administered side of Kashmir; territory that India disputes. Former Indian ambassador, Phunchok Stobdan, alleged that China and Pakistan intended to develop the corridor not just for its economic benefits, but also is motivated by the "strategic intent of besieging India", though he also stated that India can do little to scuttle CPEC, and that avoiding China's One Road One Belt project altogether would be to the detriment of India.[376]
During the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to China in 2015, the Indian Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj reportedly told Chinese Premier Xi Jinping that projects passing through Gilgit-Baltistan are "unacceptable" as they require construction in the claimed territory.[377][378] India's Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar also confirmed that the issue had been raised with the Chinese government on the trip.[379] Swaraj reiterated this stance during a meeting in August 2016 with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, stating India would "resolutely oppose" the corridor in Kashmir.[380]
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs in May 2015 also summoned the Chinese envoy in New Delhi to lodge India's opposition to the project.[381] The Chinese Premier dismissed the concerns, describing CPEC as a "commercial project"[382] that would not target any third party.[383]
In March 2016, Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, in reference to China's ambitious One Road One Belt project and CPEC, stated that India's vision of Asian connectivity was that of a consultative process rather than that of "unilateral decisions," and that they should not "add to regional tensions."[384]
In May 2016, India's Minister of State and External Affairs, Vijay Kumar Singh, stated that while India had raised its concerns regarding CPEC, that it was still awaiting a response from China.[385] Despite Indian objections, China and Pakistan initiated works on the $44 million Pakistan-China Fiber Optic Project on May 19, 2016 which will require passage through Gilgit-Baltistan; the same region for which India expressed concerns to China.[386] Former Indian National Security Advisor M. K. Narayanan also in May 2016 stated "CPEC must be viewed as a major threat. Both countries [China and Pakistan] have a common intention to undermine India`s position in the region."[385]
Despite objections, segments of the Indian public, as exemplified by former Indian Ambassador Melkulangara Bhadrakumar, regard the project as in India's interest vis- -vis Central Asia, and warn that India might "lose heavily" were India to remain opposed and isolated from the project.[387]
On August 28, the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations suggested that China will have "to get involved" if India disrupts CPEC.[388]Indian National Congress leader Manish Tewari said that if ultimately the CPEC is going to threaten India, then it should be opposed.[389]
On January 9th, 2017, Panos Mourdoukoutas writing for Forbes claimed that "Pakistan's gain is India's loss, as China cannot appease both countries at the same time."[390]
List of major projects [ edit] See also [ edit] References [ edit] ^ https://tribune.com.pk/story/1381733/cpec-investment-pushed-55b-62b/ ^ ab Hussain, Tom (19 April 2015). "China's Xi in Pakistan to cement huge infrastructure projects, submarine sales". McClatchy News. Islamabad: mcclatchydc. ^ ab Kiani, Khaleeq (30 September 2016). "With a new Chinese loan, CPEC is now worth $54bn". Dawn. Retrieved 19 November 2016 . ^ "CPEC: The devil is not in the details". ^ "Ecnomic corridor: Chinese official sets record straight". The Express Tribune. 2 March 2015. ^ Ramachandran, Sudha (16 November 2016). "CPEC takes a step forward as violence surges in Balochistan". www.atimes.com. Retrieved 19 November 2016 . ^ "Transport policy: need of the day". Dawn. 13 February 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2017 . ''Dr Nadeem-ul-Haque was deputy chairman of the Planning Commission '-- saying it would reverse a colossal loss of 3.5pc of GDP that Pakistan was incurring due to poor transport infrastructure. ^ Shah, Saeed (20 April 2015). "China's Xi Jinping Launches Investment Deal in Pakistan". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 April 2015 . ^ "Karachi to Lahore Motorway Project Approved". Dawn. The Dawn Media Group. 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014 . ^ ab Rakisits, Claude (Fall 2015). "A Path to the Sea: China's Pakistan Plan". World Affairs Journal. Retrieved 6 March 2016 . ^ "Railway track project planned from Karachi to Peshawar". Pakistan Tribune. 13 November 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2016 . ^ Zhen, Summer (11 November 2015). "Chinese firm takes control of Gwadar Port free-trade zone in Pakistan". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 11 December 2015 . ^ Salman, Rafi (23 October 2016). "A new 'East India Company' in the making?". www.atimes.com. Retrieved 22 November 2016 . ^ ab Malik, Ahmad Rashid (7 December 2015). "A miracle on the Indus River". The Diplomat. Retrieved 11 December 2015 . ^ abc "Electricity shortfall increases to 4,500 MW". Dunya News. 29 June 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015 . ^ abcde Kugelman, Michael (9 July 2015). "Pakistan's Other National Struggle: Its Energy Crisis". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 December 2015 . ^ abcde "Parliamentary body on CPEC expresses concern over coal import". Daily Time. 19 November 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015 . ^ ab Shah, Saeed (9 April 2015). "China to Build Pipeline From Iran to Pakistan". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 December 2015 . ^ "Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park: Solar energy's 100MW to arrive in April". The Express Tribune. 27 March 2015. ^ Sukumar, Arun Mohan (10 January 2017). "What the Marshall Plan Can Teach India About the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor". The Wire (India). Retrieved 22 January 2017 . The CPEC may be a bilateral endeavour, but New Delhi cannot ignore its spillover effects on regional governance. The inequities in the China-Pakistan relationship and the nature of proposed Chinese investment in the CPEC merit a comparison with the Marshall Plan, the most successful foreign assistance project of the 20th century. ^ Muhammad, Salim (6 November 2016). "Marshall Plan for Pakistan". The News on Sunday. Retrieved 22 January 2017 . ^ Curran, Enda (7 August 2016). "China's Marshall Plan". Bloomberg. Retrieved 22 January 2017 . China's ambition to revive an ancient trading route stretching from Asia to Europe could leave an economic legacy bigger than the Marshall Plan or the European Union's enlargement, according to a new analysis. ^ Haddad, Tareq (6 January 2017). "Pakistan builds state-of-the-art warships to defend new trade routes with China". International Business Times (UK). Retrieved 22 January 2017 . "Symbolically it would be potent evidence of what economic benefits a country that allies with Beijing can expect. A rough comparison would be the Marshall Fund, the programme by which the United States rebuilt war-torn Europe, reworked the very economic structure of that continent and showcased its arrival as a superpower. ^ abc Shah, Saeed. "Big Chinese-Pakistani Project Tries to Overcome Jihadists, Droughts and Doubts". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-04-10 . ^ Khan, Bilal (3 December 2015). "Pakistan's economy is turning a corner". Standard Charter Bank. Retrieved 14 March 2016 . ^ Mahnaz Z. Ispahani (June 1989). Roads and Rivals: The Political Uses of Access in the Borderlands of Asia (First ed.). Cornell University Press. p. 191. ISBN 978-0801422201. ^ abcdefg Abrar, Mian (4 December 2015). "Between the devil and deep Gwadar waters". Pakistan Today. Retrieved 6 December 2015 . ^ "The TFT guide to CPEC for incredibly smart people '¹ The Friday Times". www.thefridaytimes.com. Retrieved 2016-09-05 . ^ ab http://gbtimes.com/china/li-keqiang-china-pakistan-ties-unbreakable-economic-corridor-planned. ^ ab Tiezzi, Shannon (20 February 2014). "China, Pakistan Flesh Out New 'Economic Corridor' ". The Diplomat. Retrieved 23 April 2015 . ^ "Nawaz Sharif, Li Keqiang to firm up plans for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor". The Times of India. timesofindia-economictimes. ^ ab "Politicians hit out at 'unfair' Pakistan-China Economic Corridor". The Express Tribune. 22 April 2015. ^ "Here's why Indian strategists should worry about China's $46 billion funding to Pakistan". Firstpost. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015 . ^ abc "Pakistan lands $46 billion investment from China". CNN. 20 April 2015. ^ "Ministry of Planning, Development & Reforms" (Press release). pc.gov.pk. ^ Tharoor, Ishaan (21 April 2015). "What China's and Pakistan's special friendship means". The Washington Post. Retrieved 22 April 2015 . ^ "China, Pakistan Sign Deals Worth USD 1.6 Billion to Beef Up CPEC". Outlook India. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015 . ^ Tiezzi, Shannon (13 August 2016). "The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Gets Even More Ambitious". The Diplomate. Retrieved 5 February 2016 . ^ "China, Pakistan sign co-op agreements worth over 10 billion yuan". Xinhua News Agency. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2016 . ^ "Pakistan, China to cooperate in space as part of Karamay declaration". Dawn. 19 August 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2016 . ^ Shahbaz Rana (September 1, 2015). "UK to partner in CPEC, provide $121.6 million grant". The Express Tribune. ^ Shahbaz Rana (October 23, 2015). "Pakistan, ADB sign $178m agreement for M-4 section". The Express Tribune. ^ "CPEC made part of China's 13th 5-year development plan: Weidong". Pakistan Today. November 23, 2015. ^ "Pak-China 'Technology Park' on anvil". The Express Tribune. December 2, 2015. ^ "China's Xinjiang seals Pakistan ties with $2 billion in deals '' The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 2016-04-08 . ^ "With Gwadar set to go operational, CPEC dreams come true". DAWN.COM. 2016-11-13. Retrieved 2016-11-13 . ^ "Rail, sea freight service open with China - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2016-12-02 . ^ "First cargo train under CPEC leaves China for Karachi". Daily Pakistan Global. Retrieved 2016-12-02 . ^ http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-pakistan-economy-cpec-idUKKBN13I1Y2?il=0 ^ "Egypt Expresses Desire to Join CPEC". New Indian Express. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2017 . ^ "Chinese firms to invest $20b in KP: Khattak". The News. 7 January 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2017 . ^ "Khyber Pakhtunkhwa inks deals worth $20bn with Chinese companies". Dawn. 3 March 2017. 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Retrieved 9 April 2016 . include bonded warehouses, manufacturing, international purchasing, transit and distribution transshipment, commodity display and supporting services and where the federal, provincial and local taxes ^ "Industrial potential: Deep sea port in Gwadar would turn things around". The Express Tribune. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016 . ^ "Pakistan approves massive tax exemptions for Gwadar port operators". Express Tribune. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016 . In a major move, the ECC approved a complete income tax holiday for 23 years to businesses that will be established in the Gwadar Free Zone... / A 23-year exemption from sales tax and federal excise duty has also been granted to businesses that will be established inside the Gwadar Free Zone. However, if these businesses make supplies and sales outside the free zone, they will be subject to taxation. ^ "Pakistan approves massive tax exemptions for Gwadar port operators". Express Tribune. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016 . Under the move, the concession will extend to contractors and subcontractors and COPHCL companies for 20 years. ^ "Pakistan approves massive tax exemptions for Gwadar port operators". Express Tribune. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016 . Pakistan approved customs duty exemption for the COPHCL, its operating companies, contractors and subcontractors for a period of 40 years on import of equipment, materials, plants, machinery, appliances and accessories for construction of Gwadar Port and the associated Free Zone. ^ Sial, Amer (27 August 2015). "China converts Rs 23b Gwadar Airport loan into grant". Pakistan Today. Retrieved 6 December 2015 . ^ "China to build Pakistan's largest airport at Gwadar". Daily Times. November 12, 2015. Archived from the original on 14 November 2015. ^ "China converts $230m loan for Gwadar airport into grant". Geo.tv. September 23, 2015. ^ abc Haider, Mehtab (23 September 2015). "China converts $230m loan for Gwadar airport into grant". Geo TV. Retrieved 6 December 2015 . ^ "China kick-starts Pakistan's Gwadar East Bay Expressway". World Highway. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2016 . ^ "China Pakistan Economic Corridor". Gwadar Port Authority. Retrieved 9 April 2016 . ^ ab "PURCHASE OF POWER: PAYMENTS TO CHINESE COMPANIES TO BE FACILITATED THROUGH REVOLVING FUND". Business Recorder. Retrieved 6 December 2015 . ^ Shahbaz Rana (26 July 2015). "Eastern CPEC route unfeasible: report". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 8 June 2016 . ^ "Questions for Oral Answers and Their Replies"(PDF) . Senate Secretariat. Question 126: Senate of Pakistan. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2016 . From Havelian to Shah Maqsood Interchange, the proposed alignment of CPEC will overlap with alignment of E-35. This section will be 15 Km long and undertaken with ADB assistance as 4-Lane Motorway with 6-Lane structures... Shah Maqsood Interchange '' Islamabad section will be 50 km long and constructed along a new alignment as 4-Lane Motorway with 6-Lane structures. ^ "Questions for Oral Answers and Their Replies"(PDF) . Senate Secretariat. Question 126: Senate of Pakistan. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2016 . "Shinkiari '' Mansehra '' Abbottabad section will be 50 Km long and constructed as 4- Lane Expressway... Abbottabad '' Havelian section will be 11 km in length and constructed as 4-Lane Motorway with 6-Lane structures." | Portion between Abbottabad and Havelian is now to be a dual carriageway rather than motorway. ^ "Questions for Oral Answers and Their Replies"(PDF) . Senate Secretariat. Question 126: Senate of Pakistan. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2016 . Raikot '' Thakot section will be 280 Km in length and constructed as 2-Lane highway along a new alignment... Thakot '' Shinkiari section will be 74 km in length wherein existing 2-Lane KKH will be upgraded and improved. ^ "Questions for Oral Answers and Their Replies"(PDF) . Senate Secretariat. Question 126: Senate of Pakistan. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2016 . Raikot '' Thakot section will be 280 Km in length and constructed as 2-Lane highway along a new alignment... Thakot '' Shinkiari section will be 74 km in length wherein existing 2-Lane KKH will be upgraded and improved. ^ abc "PM Sharif performs ground-breaking of Havelian-Thakot Motorway". The News Pakstan. 28 April 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2016 . ^ 133 billion Pakistan rupees equivalent to $1.26 billion US dollars as of May 2016 ^ abcde "CPEC eastern alignment: Pakistan, China ink agreements worth $4.2b". Tribune (Pakistan). 4 May 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2016 . ^ "Questions for Oral Answers and Their Replies"(PDF) . Senate Secretariat. Question 126: Senate of Pakistan. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2016 . Raikot '' Thakot section (2-Lane) 255.8 km; Feasibility Study Completed by Chinese Side. However the Alignment falls under the Four Dams planned by WAPDA, namely; Bhasha, Dasu, Pattan and Thakot. The Road construction is planned to commensurate with Dam Construction activities. In the meanwhile the existing KKH is being improved in its present condition. ^ "NHA launches projects to improve KKH's condition". The News. 22 August 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2016 . ^ 7.5 billion PKR = 71.66 million USD as of 10 February 2016 ^ ab "PM LAUNCHES KKH PROJECTS THANKS CHINA FOR ROAD NETWORKS UPGRADATION HELP". Pakistan Observer. 29 September 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2016 . ^ "PM Nawaz inaugurates Pak-China Friendship Tunnels over Attabad Lake". Dawn. 14 September 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2016 . ^ "PM inaugurates tunnels over Attabad Lake in G-B". The Express Tribune. 14 September 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2016 . ^ "PM announces construction of Skardu-Gilgit road". 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Retrieved 10 February 2016 . ^ 50 billion PKR approximately US$480 million as of February 2016 ^ "Railway track project planned from Karachi to Peshawar". PakTribune. 13 November 2015. ^ "Pakistan to get Chinese funds for upgrading rail links, building pipeline". Hindustan Times. 10 June 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016 . Pakistan Railways currently accounts for less than 4% of the country's traffic volume, which the government intends to increase to at least 20% by 2025. ^ Alam, Iftikhar (19 November 2015). "China likely to invest Rs 600b to upgrade Railways track". Pakistan: The Nation. Retrieved 11 December 2015 . ^ "Doubling of Karachi-Lahore rail track completes". The Nation. 9 January 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2016 . ^ "New railway tracks planned under CPEC: report". Dawn. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2016 . ^ "Pakistan to get Chinese funds for upgrading rail links, building pipeline". Hindustan Times. 10 June 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016 . The major work will involve upgrading 1,598 km of double and single track and overhauling 930 km of double line. The construction of a 676-km new track from Lalamusa to Peshawar, construction of tunnels, bridges and culverts along with allied structures and facilities for 25-ton axle load capacity are also part of the project. ^ "KP governor terms CPEC game-changer for Hazara". The News Pakistan. 7 February 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2016 . ^ "Karachi-Peshawar railway track to be upgraded under CPEC". Daily Times. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2016 . ^ "Railway tracks to be built, upgraded as part of CPEC project: report". Dawn. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2016 . ^ "New railway tracks planned under CPEC: Report". Pakistan Today. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2016 . ^ "New railway tracks planned under CPEC: report". Dawn. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2016 . ^ ab "Orange Line part of CPEC, LHC heard". 22 January 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016 . 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Retrieved 17 December 2015 . ^ "Nepra accepts tariff petition of Chinese firm for power plant". Pakistan: The Nation. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2016 . ^ "TARIFF REVIEW PETITION FOR 1X330MW LOCAL COAL FIRED POWER PROJECT IN PIND DADAN KHAN, SALT RANGE, PUNJAB"(PDF) . NEPRA. pp. See table on pages 19''20. Retrieved 11 August 2016 . ^ "' Under pressure' Nepra may okay excessive tariff for CMEC". The Nation. Retrieved 11 August 2016 . ^ "TARIFF REVIEW PETITION FOR 1X330MW LOCAL COAL FIRED POWER PROJECT IN PIND DADAN KHAN, SALT RANGE, PUNJAB"(PDF) . NEPRA. Retrieved 11 August 2016 . In addition, the Authority did not include the transportation or beneficiation cost required for Salt Range in the assumed price of US$ 86.95/t (assuming the per Mmbtu price of Thar coal). Since the 6/20 Petitioner has assumed an average of 50km transportation distance from the coal mines to the power plant, the transportation costs will work out to be US$ 13.5, assuming the transportation cost of US$ 0.27/t/km approved for Thar coal. This plus the assumed levelized beneficiation cost of US$ 11/t required for Salt Range coal, will work out to be US$ 111.45/t. From the above analysis, it is clear that in light of the approved coal price for Thar Coal, and the much smaller production scale and additional transportation & beneficiation costs required for Salt Range coal, the Petitioner's assumed coal price US$ 111.86/t in its tariff petition is reasonable and justified. ^ "Progress on Thar coal projects". Dawn. 9 November 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2016 . ^ ab "Shanghai govt sign Thar coal power project". Dunya TV. 21 August 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2016 . ^ "LOI signed with Chinese company for 1320 MW project at Thar". Pakistan Today. 21 August 2015. 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The Tribune (Pakistan). Retrieved 23 January 2016 . During a visit to Pakistan in the middle of this month, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon praised the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), insisting the project would facilitate economic and trade links between Pakistan and Tajikistan as well as other Central Asian states. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on his part, made an offer to Tajikistan to use Pakistan's seaports for imports and exports as these provide the shortest route for movement of goods. The premier backed Tajikistan's request for being part of the Quadrilateral Agreement on Traffic in Transit among China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan '' an arrangement that will further improve regional connectivity. ^ "Belt and road initiative". The Daily Star. 9 May 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2016 . ^ Pantucci, Raffaello (12 February 2016). "The tangled threads in China's Silk Road strategy". Business Spectator. Retrieved 17 February 2016 . Similarly, in Uzbekistan, the plan to develop train lines from Tashkent through Ferghana to Kyrgyzstan points to a project that will help develop faster train links across Central Asia to China. ^ ab "India, Iran moving forward on redeveloping Chabahar port". The Journal of Commerce. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016 . According to the provisional deal, IPGPL will refurbish a 640-meter (2,100-foot) container handling facility through deployment of new equipment, including four rail-mounted gantry cranes, 16 rubber-tire gantry cranes, two reach stackers and two empty handlers. For the rebuilding of a 600-meter (1,969-foot) multi-purpose berth at Chabahar, Indian authorities will invest in six mobile harbor cranes, 10 forklifts and 10 trailers. ^ "India to invest $500 million on Chabahar port in Iran for easy access to Afghanistan, Europe". India Today. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016 . ^ Ghoshal, Devjyot (6 February 2017). "Unending wait for Chabahar: India and Iran squabble over a key port, under Trump's long shadow". Quartz. Retrieved 8 February 2017 . Nine months on, Chabahar seems dead in the water: The Indian and Iranian governments are now squabbling over delays, even as newly-elected US president Donald Trump's hawkish stance towards Tehran threatens to hamstring the project. The ongoing diplomatic finger-pointing is a curious affair. Indian officials insist that New Delhi has $150 million ready for disbursement but the Iranians haven't completed the paperwork necessary to release the funds, The Economic Times newspaper reported. The Iranians told the newspaper that the delay was from the Indian side, without explaining further. ^ Gupta, Shishir (23 May 2016). "Why the Chabahar Port agreement kills two birds with one stone". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 24 May 2016 . ^ "How significant is India's $500 million deal with Iran?". Christian Science Monitor. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2016 . But India's additional investment pales in comparison to China's pledge of $46 billion to develop the Pakistani port of Gwadar, not even 125 miles from Chabahar, along with an accompanying network of railways, pipelines, and roads to connect with western China. ^ "List of Agreements/MOUs signed during the visit of Prime Minister to Iran (May 23. 2016)". Ministry of External Affairs (India). Retrieved 26 May 2016 . MoU between EXIM Bank and Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization [PMO] oncurrent specific terms for the Chabahar Port project This MoU is intended for the purpose of credit of USD 150 million for Chabahar port. Mr. Yaduvendra Mathur, Chairman, EXIM Bank H. E. Mr Saeednejad, Chairman of Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran. ^ "List of Agreements/MOUs signed during the visit of Prime Minister to Iran (May 23. 2016)". Ministry of External Affairs (India). Retrieved 26 May 2016 . 6. Bilateral contract on Chabahar Port for port development and operations between IPGPL [India Ports Global Private Limited] and Arya Banader of Iran The contract envisages development and operation for 10 years of two terminals and 5 berths with cargo handling [multipurpose and general] capacities. ^ ab "India, Iran and Afghanistan sign Chabahar port agreement". Hindustan Time. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016 . ^ "Five things about Chabahar Port and how India gains from it". Economic Times. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016 . ^ "List of Agreements/MOUs signed during the visit of Prime Minister to Iran (May 23. 2016)". Ministry of External Affairs (India). Retrieved 26 May 2016 . Confirmation Statement between EXIM Bank and Central Bank of Iran This confirms the availability of credit up to INR 3000 crore for the import of steel rails and implementation of Chabahar port. ^ "List of Agreements/MOUs signed during the visit of Prime Minister to Iran (May 23. 2016)". Ministry of External Affairs (India). Retrieved 26 May 2016 . MoU between IRCON and Construction, Development of Transport and Infrastructure Company (CDTIC) of Iran MoU will enable IRCON to provide requisite services for the construction of Chabahar-Zahedan railway line which forms part of transit and transportation corridor in trilateral agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan. Services to be provided by IRCON include all superstructure work and financing the project (around USD 1.6 billion). ^ "India commits huge investment in Chabahar". The Hindu. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016 . ^ "India may invest Rs 2 lakh crore at Chabahar port in Iran: Nitin Gadkari". Economic Times. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2016 . "India is ready to invest Rs 2 lakh crore at Chabahar SEZ in Iran but the investments would depend on gas prices as India wants it to be lowered," Gadkari said... On talks on supply of natural gas, Gadkari said that Iran has offered gas to India at $2.95 per million British thermal unit to set up urea plant at the Chabahar port but India is negotiating the gas price, demanding lowering the same... India, which imports around 8-9 million tonnes of the nitrogenous fertiliser, is negotiating for a price of $1.5 per mmBtu with the Persian Gulf nation in a move which if successful will see a significant decline in the country's Rs 80,000 crore subsidy for the soil nutrient. ^ "India may invest Rs 2 lakh crore at Chabahar port in Iran: Nitin Gadkari". Economic Times. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2016 . ^ "Iran proposes JV to India's NALCO". Press TV. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016 . ^ "India, Iran ink pact to develop Chabahar port, aluminium plant". Business Standard. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016 . ^ "India, Iran ink pact to develop Chabahar port, aluminium plant". Business Standard. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016 . state-owned Nalco signed an MoU to look at possibility of setting up a 0.5 million tonne aluminium smelter at Chabahar free trade zone provided Iran gives cheap natural gas. ^ "Undeterred India for moving ahead with Iran". The Hindu. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2016 . ^ Tembarai Krishnamachari, Rajesh. "Entente Tri-parti : Triangular Alliances Involving India", South Asia Analysis Group, Paper 829, Nov 2003. ^ "North-South Corridor from Russia to India to compete with Suez Canal". Russia Beyond the Headlines. 12 April 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016 . ^ "Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement 2010"(PDF) . Pakistan Ministry of Commerce. p. 28. Retrieved 7 March 2016 . Pakistan will facilitate Afghan exports to India through Wagha. Afghan cargo will be off loaded on to Indian trucks back to back at Wagha and the trucks on return will not carry Indian Exports. ^ "2016 Index of Economic Freedom". Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 24 May 2016 . ^ "Chabahar deal 'not finished'; Pakistan, China welcome, says Iran". Indian Express. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016 . ^ "Gwadar and Chabahar not enemy ports: Iranian ambassador". Pakistan Today. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016 . Ahmed Safee, a research fellow at the ISSI, quoted the Iranian envoy as saying that the deal is still on the table for both Pakistan and China, assuring that 'Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar'. The ambassador added that both are sister ports, and Chabahar port authorities would extend cooperation to Gwadar. ''The deal is not finished. We are waiting for new members. Pakistan, our brotherly neighbours and China, a great partner of the Iranians and a good friend of Pakistan, are both welcome,'' said the envoy. ^ Yousaf, Kamran (27 May 2016). "Iran offers Pakistan to join Chabahar port deal". Express Tribune. Retrieved 27 May 2016 . 'Honardost went on to say that Pakistan and China were offered to join the Chahbahar port development deal before India. However, both Pakistan and China did not show any interest, he added." ^ "Chabahar deal 'not finished'; Pakistan, China welcome, says Iran". Indian Expres. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016 . The offer to cooperate had first been extended to Pakistan and then China, implying neither had expressed interest, he said while speaking on Pakistan-Iran relations at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad (ISSI) ^ "India, Iran sign MoU on developing Chabahar port". Live Mint. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2016 . ^ Jorisch, Avi. "Port Of Damaged Goods: India's Dangerous Investment In Iran's Chahabar". Forbes. Retrieved 11 August 2016 . But additionally, India's bet on Afghanistan or Chabahar may turn out to be a poor choice. Afghanistan remains politically unstable. Any government that comes to power after the 2014 elections, if led by the Taliban or another Pakistani-supported political faction, may not be as enamored of increased trade with Iran or India as the current government is. And Chabahar is located in one of Iran's most explosive regions, where the Sunni Baloch insurgents have carried out repeated attacks against the regime in recent years. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (19 April 2016). "More Than 14 Years After U.S. Invasion, the Taliban Control Large Parts of Afghanistan". New York Times. Retrieved 24 May 2016 . ^ "India, Iran and Afghanistan Sign Chabahar Port Agreement". Hindustan Times. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016 . From Chabahar port, the existing Iranian road network can link up to Zaranj in Afghanistan. This road can then connect to the 218-km Zaranj-Delaram road -- constructed by India in 2009 at a cost of Rs 680 crore '' and finally to Afghanistan's Garland highway. ^ "ALIBAN'S NEW COMMANDO FORCE TESTS AFGHAN ARMY'S STRENGTH". 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Express Tribune. 7 November 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2017 . Official documents show that acts of terrorism as well as sectarian and targeted killings have gone down by 50 per cent in Balochistan over the last two years under Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch's administration ^ "More than 800 suspected militants have surrendered in Balochistan during past year". Dawn. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2017 . ^ "202 militants surrender arms to Baluchistan CM". The Nation. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2017 . ^ "Top BLA commander surrenders". The Nation. 10 January 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017 . ^ "Mass surrender: Up to 24 militants lay down weapons". Express Tribune. 22 January 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017 . ^ "Top Baloch rebel commander, others surrender". The Nation. 29 January 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017 . ^ "Pakistani Security Forces Credited For Decline In Militant Attacks". 10 January 2017. 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Pakistan Gives China a 40-Year Lease for Gwadar Port
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:56
By MarEx 2017-04-27 17:44:44
On April 20, Pakistan's minister for ports and shipping announced that his ministry has given a Chinese firm a forty-year lease for the strategic Port of Gwadar.
The lessee, state-owned China Overseas Port Holding Company, has been building out the port's infrastructure since 2013. Under its new long-term contract, it will retain over 90 percent of revenue from marine operations, plus 85 percent of the revenue from the management of an adjacent free zone. It will also benefit from the deep tax exemptions that Pakistan has granted to Chinese companies for projects related to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a network of transportation infrastructure stretching from the Arabian Sea to the Chinese border.
''We hope to create a new economic development model for the port by transplanting China's experience in building special zones or economic development areas to Pakistan, in a bid to drive the country's industrial transformation,'' said COPHC CEO Zhang Baozhong, in recent comments to China Daily.
The port is strategically important for China for several reasons. First, it offers China's navy a convenient base of operations near the Strait of Hormuz. Its development was originally proposed for naval purposes, and China is already contributing military resources for its security needs. Second, it is the project cargo port for the construction of CPEC. And third '' perhaps most important of all '' it may become the receiving terminal for a one million bpd oil pipeline that would run across Pakistan into western China. If built, it would allow China to bypass the Strait of Malacca for a significant fraction of its Middle Eastern crude oil imports.
India moves ahead with Chabahar Port
Less than 100 nm away, at the Iranian port city of Chabahar, the Indian government is moving ahead with a small multipurpose port that will give Indian companies better access to Central Asian markets. The project is widely seen as a counterbalance to growing Chinese influence in the region.
India is investing $85 million in the construction of two berths at the port, one for containers and one for other cargo, and officials expect that the work will be completed by next year. India's transportation ministry has finished a first round of bidding for the selection of a port operator, and it plans to announce the list of qualified bidders for a second round at the end of the month. The winner will get a ten-year lease for the port's management. Industry sources tip the Adani Group and competitors J.M. Baxi Group as top contenders in the bidding process.
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CPEC | China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Official Website
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:56
The China Pak Economic Corridor is a fusion of multiple developments in the global, regional, bilateral and domestic contexts. The ultimate objective is peace, prosperity and well being of the peop...Read More
Prof Ahsan Iqbal Minister of Planning, Development & Reforms - Pakistan
China London Train: First direct London-China train completes 12,000km-run - Times of India
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 04:48
BEIJING: The first freight train to link China directly to the UK arrived in the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu Saturday after covering over 12,000-kilometres (7,500 miles), making it the second-longest route in the world.The journey is the latest effort in China's drive to strengthen trade links with western Europe along a modern-day "Silk Road" route.
The sign at the front of the train reads: 'First Sino-Euro Freight Train (Reuters).The world's top trading nation launched the "One Belt, One Road" strategy in 2013, and has since poured millions into constructing vast infrastructure links.
The train -- loaded with whisky, baby milk, pharmaceuticals and machinery -- departed London on April 10 and passed through France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan during its 20-day trip before arriving in Yiwu in eastern Zhejiang province, a major wholesale centre for small consumer goods.
The new route is longer than Russia's famous Trans-Siberian railway, but about 1000 kilometres shorter than the record-holding China-Madrid link, which opened in 2014.
London is the 15th city to be linked to a new freight network offered by the state-run China Railway Corporation, which says its services are cheaper than air transport and quicker than shipping.
A sign showing the distance to various destinations as a freight train transporting containers laden with goods from China, arrives at DB Cargo's London Eurohub rail freight depot in Barking.The journey should be 30 days faster than moving the goods by ship, the provincial government had said, but the pilot run took two days more than the 18 days expected.
And the train, named the East Wind, has much less carrying capacity -- just 88 shipping containers, according to the Yiwu government, compared to the 10,000 to 20,000 containers cargo ships can carry.
It is unclear how much the venture cost, and some experts have questioned whether the ambitious project makes economic sense.
Read this story in Bengali
"It is hard to say at this stage what the economic return will be, as the economic benefits will come over a long time," He Tianjie of Oxford Economics Hong Kong told AFP.
(AFP photo)"However, the train is in some aspects more convenient and flexible. It can make multiple stops, allowing for the pick up and offloading of cargo along the way. Rail transport is also less affected by adverse weather conditions. Therefore, there may be a role for such long-haul rail links," he said.
China already has a regular direct freight train service to Germany, Europe's largest economy.
One route links the Chinese megacity of Chongqing to Duisburg, a steel-making town and one of Germany's most-important transportation and commercial hubs.
The other route links Beijing, the Chinese capital, to Hamburg, Germany's second-largest city.
Roughly 80 percent of global trade is shipped by sea as freight train services face technical and bureaucratic hurdles which vary according to country.
The East Wind's locomotive and carriages had to be changed en route because of the larger gauge on railways in the former Soviet Union.
Prime Minister Theresa May will visit China later this year, with talks likely to include closer trade ties for when Britain leaves the European Union, according to British officials.
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Hillary's HitList
Chaffetz insiders story
Anonymous inside information. You can talk about the information here, but please do not use my name.
Today was the Utah County Republican Party Organizing Convention. This is the convention where we choose our Party leadership for the county. This is Jason Chaffetz biggest county. I as a former member of leadership get to listen in on conversations with nobody giving me a second thought, so you bet I listen in. Jason's inside circle was talking to some other County leadership about why he's really retiring. He's not retiring to run for Govenor, he's retiring because after the 2016 national election, his family has been threatened, he's been threatened, and his family's family have been threatened. These are the types of crazy threats that you can't ignore with plenty of detail on the torture, rape, etc of him and his family.
Representatives do not get any special protection when they are outside of Washington DC where Capital Police handle security in the District. Any security that he needs comes out of his pocket. Money isn't the biggest concern, the safety of those special to him is.
Later today, I asked Rep. Mia Love if she was receiving the same threats and she said no. She hasn't had any serious threats since she's taken office. But then again, she never crossed Hillary.
So, that's the inside scoop. This is what happens when you dare cross Hillary.
I hope this gives you some insight.
Finally Exposed: The Complete Clinton 'Kill List' Paper Revealed
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 09:57
(Neon Nettle) Finally Exposed: The Complete Clinton 'Kill List' Paper Revealed :
The Clinton 'Kill List' is something that has been brushed off as a conspiracy theory. The Clinton's reign of terror has lasted 8 years in America. ''The Clinton Chronicles'' is something that has been floating around the internet for a while now. but is there truth behind it?
According to govtslaves: Here is the comprehensive list of 53 mysterious deaths connected to the Clintons that have grave implications.
1 '' James McDougal '' Clinton's convicted Whitewater partner died of an apparent heart attack, while in solitary confinement. He was a key witness in Ken Starr's investigation.
2 '' Mary Mahoney '' A former White House intern was murdered July 1997 at a Starbucks Coffee Shop in Georgetown. The murder happened just after she was to go public with her story of sexual harassment in the White House.
3 '' Vince Foster '' Former white House councilor, and colleague of Hillary Clinton at Little Rock's Rose Law firm. Died of a gunshot wound to the head, ruled a suicide.
4 '' Ron Brown '' Secretary of Commerce and former DNC Chairman. Reported to have died by impact in a plane crash. A pathologist close to the investigation reported that there was a hole in the top of Brown's skull resembling a gunshot wound. At the time of his death Brown was being investigated, and spoke publicly of his willingness to cut a deal with prosecutors.
5 '' C. Victor Raiser II and Montgomery Raiser, Major players in the Clinton fund raising organization died in a private plane crash in July 1992.
6 '' Paul Tulley '' Democratic National Committee Political Director found dead in a hotel room in Little Rock, September 1992'... Described by Clinton as a ''Dear friend and trusted advisor.''
7- Ed Willey '' Clinton fund raiser, found dead November 1993 deep in the woods in VA of a gunshot wound to the head. Ruled a suicide. Ed Willey died on the same day his wife Kathleen Willey claimed Bill Clinton groped her in the oval office in the White House. Ed Willey was involved in several Clinton fund raising events.
8 '' Jerry Parks '' Head of Clinton's gubernatorial security team in Little Rock. Gunned down in his car at a deserted intersection outside Little Rock. Park's son said his father was building a dossier on Clinton. He allegedly threatened to reveal this information. After he died the files were mysteriously removed from his house.
9 '' James Bunch '' Died from a gunshot suicide. It was reported that he had a ''Black Book'' of people which contained names of influential people who visited prostitutes in Texas and Arkansas.
10 '' James Wilson '' Was found dead in May 1993 from an apparent hanging suicide. He was reported to have ties to Whitewater.
11- Kathy Ferguson, ex-wife of Arkansas Trooper Danny Ferguson, was found dead in May 1994, in her living room with a gunshot to her head. It was ruled a suicide even though there were several packed suitcases, as if she were going somewhere. Danny Ferguson was a co-defendant along with Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Kathy Ferguson was a possible corroborating witness for Paula Jones.
12 '' Bill Shelton '' Arkansas State Trooper and fiancee of Kathy Ferguson. Critical of the suicide ruling of his fiancee, he was found dead in June, 1994 of a gunshot wound also ruled a suicide at the grave site of his fiancee.
13 '' Gandy Baugh '' Attorney for Clinton's friend Dan Lassater, died by jumping out a window of a tall building January, 1994. His client was a convicted drug distributor.
14 '' Florence Martin '' Accountant & sub-contractor for the CIA, was related to the Barry Seal Mena Airport drug smuggling case. He died of three gunshot wounds.
15 '' Suzanne Coleman '' Reportedly had an affair with Clinton when he was Arkansas Attorney General. Died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, ruled a suicide. Was pregnant at the time of her death.
16 '' Paula Grober '' Clinton's speech interpreter for the deaf from 1978 until her death December 9, 1992. She died in a one car accident.
17 '' Danny Casolaro '' Investigative reporter. Investigating Mena Airport and Arkansas Development Finance Authority. He slit his wrists, apparently, in the middle of his investigation.
18 '' Paul Wilcher '' Attorney investigating corruption at Mena Airport with Casolaro and the 1980 ''October Surprise'' was found dead on a toilet June 22, 1993 in his Washington DC apartment. Had delivered a report to Janet Reno three weeks before his death
19 '' Jon Parnell Walker '' Whitewater investigator for Resolution Trust Corp. Jumped to his death from his Arlington, Virginia apartment balcony August15, 1993. He was investigating the Morgan Guarantee scandal.
20 '' Barbara Wise '' Commerce Department staffer. Worked closely with Ron Brown and John Huang. Cause of death unknown. Died November 29, 1996. Her bruised, nude body was found locked in her office at the Department of Commerce.
21- Charles Meissner '' Assistant Secretary of Commerce who gave John Huang special security clearance, died shortly thereafter in a small plane crash.
22 '' Dr. Stanley Heard '' Chairman of the National Chiropractic Health Care Advisory Committee, died with his attorney Steve Dickson in a small plane crash. Dr. Heard, in addition to serving on Clinton's advisory council personally treated Clinton's mother, stepfather and brother.
23 '' Barry Seal '' Drug running pilot out of Mena, Arkansas, death was no accident.
24 '' Johnny Lawhorn Jr. '' Mechanic, found a check made out to Bill Clinton in the trunk of a car left at his repair shop. He was found dead after his car had hit a utility pole.
25 '' Stanley Huggins '' Investigated Madison Guarantee. His death was a purported suicide and his report was never released.
26- Hershell Friday '' Attorney and Clinton fund raiser died March 1, 1994 when his plane exploded.
27 '' Kevin Ives and Don Henry '' Known as ''The boys on the track'' case. Reports say the boys may have stumbled upon the Mena Arkansas airport drug operation. A controversial case, the initial report of death said, due to falling asleep on railroad tracks. Later reports claim the two boys had been slain before being placed on the tracks. Many linked to the case died before their testimony could come before a Grand Jury.
THE FOLLOWING PERSONS HAD INFORMATION ON THE IVES/HENRY CASE:
28 '' Keith Coney '' Died when his motorcycle slammed into the back of a truck, July 1988.
29 '' Keith McMaskle '' Died stabbed 113 times, Nov, 1988
30 '' Gregory Collins '' Died from a gunshot wound January 1989.
31 '' Jeff Rhodes '' He was shot, mutilated and found burned in a trash dump in April 1989.
33 '' James Milan '' Found decapitated. However, the Coroner ruled his death was due to ''natural causes.''
34 '' Jordan Kettleson '' Was found shot to death in the front seat of his pickup truck in June 1990.
35 '' Richard Winters '' A suspect in the Ives / Henry deaths. He was killed in a set-up robbery July 1989.
THE FOLLOWING CLINTON BODYGUARDS ARE DEAD:
36 '' Major William S. Barkley Jr.
37 '' Captain Scott J. Reynolds
38 '' Sgt. Brian Hanley
39 '' Sgt. Tim Sabel
40 '' Major General William Robertson
41 '' Col. William Densberger
42 '' Col. Robert Kelly
43 '' Spec. Gary Rhodes
44 '' Steve Willis
45 '' Robert Williams
46 '' Conway LeBleu
47 '' Todd McKeehan
48 -World-renowned ''space economist'' Molly Macauly was brutally murdered in Baltimore park.
49-John Ashe- The former President of the UN General Assembly was awaiting trial on bribery charges when he turned up dead in June, apparently having crushed his own windpipe while lifting weights in his home'...
50-Victor Thorn-Prominent CLINTON Critic VICTOR THORN Found Dead Of Apparent Suicide On His Birthday
51-Seth Rich-Still No Clues in Murder of DNC's Seth Rich, As Conspiracy Theories Thicken
52- Joe Montano-Filipino American activist and aide to Sen. Kaine, dies at 47
53-Shawn Lucas-Death of DNC Lawsuit Processor Shawn Lucas Adds to Seth Rich Conspiracy Theories
Source : (Neon Nettle)
'--
Unintended Consequences
'Orange Is The New Black': Hacker Holding Netflix Show Hostage For Ransom - Hollywood Life
Sat, 29 Apr 2017 05:26
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Agenda 2030
Anti-Trump climate change march draws thousands in US - BBC News
Sat, 29 Apr 2017 20:26
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Thousands took to the streets in Washington and beyond Thousands of people have taken part in protests around the US against the Trump administration's attitude towards climate change.
The People's Climate March was timed to coincide with the symbolic 100th day of Donald Trump's presidency.
In Washington, marchers were planning to surround the White House.
However, Mr Trump was not there. Instead, he is marking the milestone 100 days at a rally in Pennsylvania.
Organisers of the march, which was estimated by Reuters news agency to have attracted some 15,000 people in the capital alone, are critical of Mr Trump's attitude towards climate change.
Mr Trump has called climate change a hoax, and has vowed to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption People braved the snow in Denver to march Image copyright Reuters Image caption In Washington, it was estimated 15,000 people attended Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Trump has called climate change a hoax. Pictured: Seattle They are also angry with the rollback of Obama-era environmental protections.
Reverend Leo Woodberry, of South Carolina, told a press conference ahead of the march: "We're going to rise up and let them know that we're sick and tired of seeing our children die of asthma.
"We're sick and tired of seeing people with cancer because of coal ash ponds. We're sick and tired of seeing sea-level rise."
Celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio and former Vice President Al Gore, were expected to march as well.
The sweltering heat has not deterred them. Their signs read "The seas are rising and so are we"; "Make America think again"; and "There is no planet B."
This eclectic crowd of old and young - Buddhist monks and native American groups - are angry at the Trump administration's attitude toward the environment.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption A protester dressed as Mr Trump in Washington Image copyright EPA Image caption This is the latest in a string of protests to take place against Mr Trump President Trump has called climate change a hoax. In his first 100 days, he has undone several of his predecessor's environmental regulations in the name of boosting American industry and energy.
Organisers say this march will help put the climate debate front and centre in forthcoming elections.
People's Climate March postponed in Colorado due to snow - Washington Times
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 09:11
At least one of the People's Climate March rallies scheduled for Saturday in Colorado was cancelled as a result of a major snowstorm, providing climate skeptics with a good chuckle.
The Colorado Springs march, one of 12 slated to take place in Colorado, was canceled late Friday after heavy snow began falling across the Front Range, with more than a foot accumulating in some areas, as reported by Western Wire.
''Sometimes Mother Nature throws you a curveball!'' said the Colorado Springs Council for Justice in a Friday post 350 Colorado Springs. ''We know we aren't in the business of risking anyone's safety. Dangerous conditions and wet heavy snow in the forecast for tomorrow.''
More than 100 marchers braved the cold at a rally Saturday at Civic Center Park in Denver, where the snow was so heavy that someone was able to build a snowman, as shown in photos posted online.
The website Complete Colorado ran a photo of a man on skis with the headline, ''Heading to the Global Warming Rally Today.''
The National Weather Service forecast six to 12 inches of snow, but the Denver metro area could see up to two feet.
In Washington, D.C., the weather was more in line with the marchers' global-warming message, with temperatures expected to hit 91 degrees.
The People's Climate March, sponsored by labor unions, environmental organizations and social-justice groups, is aimed at protesting the Trump administration on a host of topics, including climate change, social justice and the so-called ''travel ban.''
The Washington, D.C., event, which comes a week after the similarly climate-themed March for Science, featured a number of Democratic lawmakers, including Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Maria Cantwell of Washington.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who's locked in a legal battle with ExxonMobil, also spoke to the crowd.
''Let's get out there, let's raise our voices, let's make sure no one is standing above the law and we are all standing up for our planet and humankind,'' said Ms. Healey on Twitter.
Snopes says meme making fun of Bill Nye is true, but "problematic"
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 00:59
Remember how I said in a previous article that even when Snopes arrives at a conclusion that contradicts their worldview, they still find a way to show bias? Here's another example.
The fact checking website decided to investigate a viral meme that made fun of Bill Nye for being less educated than Dolph Lundgren. Even though Snopes admitted that the meme was ''mostly true'', they still managed to straw-man the point of the meme. Snopes is starting to look more and more like a personal blog than a fact-checking site. You would have to be extremely blind to not see this obvious bias.
The writer of the Snopes article starts by giving his opinion on Bill Nye, explaining that he is becoming a controversial figure and that people have been trying to ''discredit'' him. (This has nothing to do with the claim they are supposed to be investigating):
As scientific concepts such as climate change became contentious political topics, Bill Nye, the television host of shows such as Bill Nye the Science Guy, is becoming an unlikely controversial figure in certain circles. Shortly after the debut of his new Netflix show Bill Nye Saves The World in 2017, a series of memes have emerged attempting to discredit him. One such meme compares the educational background of Nye and action star Dolph Lundgren:
And then to the claim of the meme (Which the article should have stuck to in the first place). Snopes concluded that although one of the claims in the meme was slightly inaccurate, all the others are true, making the meme ''mostly true''.
They should have just ended it here:
This meme is largely accurate. Nye did study mechanical engineering at Cornell University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. And Lundgren, who may be best known as an action movie star, has an impressive educational background. The credentials listed in this meme, however, are slightly inaccurate.According to a biography on the actor's old web site, Lundgren did receive a Master's Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney and was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship at MIT:The University of Sydney said in a Facebook post that Lundgren was ''our only alumnus (that we know of) who's gone toe-to-toe with Sylvester Stallone.''However, Lundgren did not receive a BS degree in chemistry from Washington State University. The school says on its web site that Lundgren spent one year (1976-1977) studying chemical engineering there as an exchange student, but he didn't graduate from the school:Now brace yourself for the mental gymnastics you are about to read:
Comparing Nye and Lundgren is also problematic. The meme appears to insinuate that Nye is not qualified to host a television show since his educational background does not match or exceed Dolph Lundgren's. Yet, as far as we know, there is no ''Lundgren Standard'' for science television show hosts. This argument only makes sense if Lundgren, the more educated of the two, had criticized Nye or publicly disagreed with something Nye had said. Yet, we found no record of Lundgren expressing such a viewpoint.Why is it that whenever someone begins an argument by calling something ''problematic'', 99% of the time, they end up saying something stupid? This entire paragraph is a non-sequitur. Let's take this point by point:
The meme appears to insinuate that Bill Nye is not qualified to host a television show'.....If this is the conclusion you drew from the meme above, then you might need to have your brain checked. You have to be a special type of stupid to draw this interpretation from that meme. The meme suggests, literally, in block letters, that Bill Nye isn't qualified to be a scientist. Hell, it doesn't even say that, it says that Lundgren is better qualified to be a scientist (Which isn't the same as saying Bill isn't a scientist '' even though he really isn't). Nobody said anything about him being qualified to be a show host. Nowhere in the meme does it state that you need any form of qualification to host a TV show.
This meme isn't about Bill Nye being a TV host, it is about him being a scientist'....
Yet, as far as we know, there is no ''Lundgren Standard'' for science television show hostsReally? You mean in your several hours worth of research you didn't find any qualification that people need to possess in order to host a TV show? How ground breaking'...'...'...'...
This argument only makes sense if Lundgren, the more educated of the two, had criticized Nye or publicly disagreed with something Nye had said. Yet, we found no record of Lundgren expressing such a viewpoint.What? So comparing two people or suggesting that one person is more qualified than the other only makes sense if the two have disagreed with each other publicly? How can a fact-checking website actually type this out and be proud of themselves?
I think Snopes is scared of offending their mostly left-winged audience, so even when they publish an article that doesn't go in their favor, they need to find a way to add some extra paragraphs to convince them that even though are are wrong, they might have a point.
Commentscomments
Hate Trumps Love
Ivanka Trump in Berlin - There was no booing of Ivanka - International - Bild.de
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:23
Many people were surprised by Ivanka Trump's performance in Berlin. Contrary to the stereotype, the daughter of the US President made a sophisticated and level-headed impression at the panel discussion with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Queen Mxima of the Netherlands, and head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde. The glamorous White House ambassador also cleverly handled a controversial issue.
US media, however, are focusing on something else: they claim that Ivanka was booed and sneered at. BILD clarifies:
At the ''Women20 Summit'', there was in fact a moment during the panel discussion when the audience began murmuring. Panel moderator Miriam Meckel asked Ivanka whether she was speaking as the First Lady '' in Melania Trump's place '' or as the new advisor to the President. Ivanka replied in a disarmingly honest way: 'žThis role is quite new to me, it has been little under 100 days.'' She said that she would be happy to bring what she learned here home with her and that she would discuss it with her father.
She also said: ''I am very proud of my father. Long before he came into the presidency, he has been a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive.''
At this point, there was some unrest in the audience. There was no booing or heckling at all, however.
US media are outraged about the audience's reactionThis makes it even more surprising that US media are painting an entirely different picture of Ivanka's appearance in Berlin. The murmuring that could be heard as Ivanka defended her father against criticism was interpreted as massive booing of the President's daughter.
The alleged hostility toward Ivanka during her visit to Berlin was a lead headline at US outlets such as ABC, CNN, and Fox, along with several major newspapers.
In a discussion broadcast by the Trump-friendly TV station Fox on Tuesday night (local time), the audience of the Berlin event was heavily criticized. A report on the Fox website featured the headline: ''Germans jeer Ivanka Trump for defending her father''.
The fact is: Miriam Meckel pointed out that some of Trump's past utterances with respect to women do raise doubts about whether he in fact supports the empowerment of women.
In the US, it would be rather unusual to pose such a critical question to the President's daughter. Ivanka, however, reacted with confidence.
She stated that she did of course follow the media reports about this issue. She also emphasized that her own experience and the fact that ''thousands of women'' have been working with, and for, Donald Trump for decades when he was in the private sector ''are a testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man''.
She herself grew up in a liberal household, said Trump's daughter. ''There was no barrier to what I could accomplish beyond my own perseverance and my own tenacity. There was no difference between me and my brothers.''
Observers and participants agree that the relaxed mood at the summit in Berlin on Tuesday was somewhat rare.
Even the Chancellor seemed to be more relaxed than usual, as did the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, who often makes a tough impression. The great women of world politics welcomed the White House envoy with open arms '' and the latter clearly seemed to enjoy herself, laughing, joking, and whispering.
During the joint dinner, Merkel and the ''First Daughter'' also seemed to get along splendidly.
Merkel explicitly thanked the presidential advisor on Tuesday night for her participation in the W20 Summit. ''I am very happy that you travelled to Germany. I hope that we were a good audience for you and that you can also travel back with some new ideas,'' the Chancellor said during dinner on Tuesday night.
The Chancellor also promised Ivanka Trump that her idea for a new loan programme for women in emerging countries will be part of the German G20 presidency.
The brief wave of criticism during the podium discussion did not taint the further course of the debate and the subsequent talks with Chancellor Merkel in the slightest. On the contrary '' Ivanka Trump has proven that she can also confidently handle delicate questions.
PS: Sind Sie bei Facebook? Werden Sie Fan von BILD.de-Politik!
F-Russia
Facebook 'observed propaganda efforts' by governments - BBC News
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:11
Image copyright AFP Image caption The social network has published a new report about propaganda efforts it has detected Facebook has admitted that it observed attempts to spread propaganda on its site, apparently orchestrated by governments or organised parties.
The firm has seen "false news, disinformation, or networks of fake accounts aimed at manipulating public opinion", it revealed in a new report.
"Several" such cases during the US presidential election last year required action, it added.
Some of the activity has been of a "wide-scale coordinated" nature.
Fake accounts were created to spread information stolen from email accounts during the 2016 US presidential election, the firm noted, though it said the volume of such activity was "statistically very small".
But the company added that efforts to tackle "information operations" had led it to remove more than 30,000 fake accounts in France - where a presidential election is currently under way.
In general, Facebook said it faced a new challenge in tackling "subtle and insidious forms of misuse, including attempts to manipulate civic discourse and deceive people".
Facebook described much of the activity as "false amplification" - which included the mass creation of fake accounts; the coordinated sharing of content and engagement with that content (such as likes); and the distribution of "inflammatory and sometimes racist memes".
It added, however, that there was not much evidence that automated bots had been set up to do this, but humans appeared to be directly involved.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Facebook said it noticed "information operations" activity during the US presidential election last year "We have observed many actions by fake account operators that could only be performed by people with language skills and a basic knowledge of the political situation in the target countries, suggesting a higher level of coordination and forethought," the report explained.
The apparent objectives of those behind the propaganda efforts included one or more of the following:
Sowing distrust in political institutionsSpreading confusionPromoting or denigrating a specific cause or issueFacebook said that it was working on a variety of methods to curb the spread of propaganda on its platform.
These included building new products to help stamp out fake news and creating new systems - some with artificial intelligence capabilities - to help quicken the response to reports of fake accounts or spam.
FaceBag information manipulation report
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:11
Information Operations and Facebook By Jen Weedon, William Nuland and Alex Stamos April 27 , 2017 Version 1.0
2 Information Operations and Facebook Version History: 1.0 '' Initial Public Release, 27 APR2017 (C) 2017 Facebook, Inc. All rights reserved.
3 Information Operations and Facebook Introduction Civic engagement today takes place in a rapidly evolving information ecosystem. More and more, traditional forums for discussion, the exchange of ideas, and debate are mirrored online on platforms like Facebook '' leading to an i ncrease in individual access and agency in political dialogue, the scale and speed of information consumption, as well as the diversity of influences on any given conversation. These new dynamics present us with enormous opportunities, but also introduce novel challenges. In this context, Facebook sits at a critical juncture. Our mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Yet it is important that we acknowledge and take steps to guard against the risks that can arise in online communities like ours . The reality is that not everyone shares our vision, and some will seek to undermine it '-- but we are in a position to help constructively shape the emerg ing information ecosystem by ensuring our platform remains a safe and secure environment for authentic civic engagement. As our CEO , Mark Zuckerberg , wrote in February 2017:1 ''It is our responsibility to amplify the good effects and mitigate the bad -- to continue increasing diversity while strengthening our common understanding so our community can create the greatest positive impact on the world.'' We believe civic engagement is about more than just voting '-- it's about people connecting with their repres entatives, getting involved, sharing their voice, and holding their governments accountable. Given the increasing role that Facebook is playing in facilitating civic discourse, we wanted to publicly share what we are doing to help ensure Facebook remains a safe and secure forum for authentic dialogue. In brief, we ha ve had to expand our security focus from traditional abusive behavior, such as account hacking, malware, spam and financial scams , to include more subtle and insidious forms of misuse , includin g attempts to manipulate civic discourse and deceive people. These are complicated issues and our responses will constantly evolve, but we wanted to be transparent about our approach. The following sections explain our understanding of these threats and challenges and what we are doing about them. 1 https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark -zuckerberg/building -global- community/10154544292806634
4 Information Operations and Facebook Information Operations Part of our role in Security at Facebook is to understand the different types of abuse that occur on our platform in order to help us keep Facebook safe , and agreeing on definitions is an important initial step . We define information operations, the challenge at the heart of this paper, as actions taken by organized actors (governments or non -state actors) to distort domestic or foreign political sentiment, most frequently to achieve a strategic and/or geopolitical outcome. These operations can use a combination of methods, such as false news, disinformation, or networks of fake accounts aimed at manipulating public opinion (we refer to these as ''false amplifiers''). Information operations as a strategy to distort public perception is not a new p henomenon. It has been used as a tool of domestic governance and foreign influence by leaders tracing back to the ancient Roman, Persian, and Chinese empires, and is among several approaches that countries adopt to bridge capability gaps amid global compet ition. Some authors use the term 'asymmetric' to refer to the advantage that a country can gain over a more powerful foe by making use of non -conventional strategies like information operations. While much of the current reporting and public debate focuses on information operations at the international level , similar tactics are also frequently used in domestic contexts to undermine opponents, civic or social causes, or their champions. While information operations have a long history , social media platforms can serve as a new tool of collection and dissemination for these activities. Through the adept use of social media, information operators may attempt to distort public discourse, recruit supporters and financiers, or affect political or military outc omes. These activities can sometimes be accomplished without significant cost or risk to their organizers. We see a few drivers in particular for this behavior: ' Access - global reach is now possible: Leaders and thinkers, for the first time in history, can reach (and potentially influence) a global audience through new media , such as Facebook. While there are many benefits to this increased access, it also creates opportunities for malicious actors to reach a global audience with information operations. ' Everyone is a potential amplifier: Perhaps most critically, each person in a social media -enabled world can act as a voice for the political causes she or he most strongly believes in. This means that well -executed information operations have the potential to gain influence organically, through authentic channels and networks, even if they originate from inauthentic sources , such as fake accounts. Untangling ''Fake News'' from Information Operations The term ''fake news'' has emerged as a catch-all phrase to ref er to everything from news articles that are factually incorrect to opinion pieces, parodies and sarcasm, hoaxes, rumors, memes, online abuse, and factual misstatements by public figures that are reported in otherwise accurate news pieces. The over use and misuse of the term ''fake news'' can be problematic because, without common definitions, we cannot understand or fully address these issues.
5 Information Operations and Facebook We've adopted the following terminology to refer to these concepts: Information (or Influence) Operations - Actions taken by governments or organized non -state actors to distort domestic or foreign political sentiment, most frequently to achieve a strategic and/or geopolitical outcome. These operations can use a combination of methods, such as false news, disi nformation, or networks of fake accounts (false amplifiers) aimed at manipulating public opinion. False News - News articles that purport to be factual, but which contain intentional misstatements of fact with the intention to arouse passions, attract viewership, or deceive. False Amplifiers - Coordinated activity by inauthentic accounts with the intent of manipulating political discussion (e.g., by discouraging specific parties from participating in discussion, or amplifying sensationalistic voices ove r others). Disinformation - Inaccurate or manipulated information/content that is spread intentionally . This can include false news , or it can involve more subtle methods , such as false flag operations, feeding inaccurate quotes or stories to innocent int ermediaries, or knowingly amplifying biased or misleading information. Disinformation is distinct from misinformation, which is the inadvertent or unintentional spread of inaccurate information without malicious intent. The role of ''false news'' in information operations While information operations may sometimes employ the use of false narratives or false news as tools, they are certainly not one and the same. There are several important distinctions: ' Intent: The purveyors of false news can be motivat ed by financial incentives, individual political motivations, attracting clicks, or all the above. False news can be shared with or without malicious intent. Information operations, however, are primarily motivated by political objectives and not financial benefit. ' Medium: False news is primarily a phenomenon related to online news stories that purport to come from legitimate outlets. Information operations, however, often involve the broader information ecosystem, including old and new media. ' Amplification: On its own, false news exists in a vacuum. With deliberately coordinated amplification through social networks, however, it can transform into information operations. What we're doing about false news ' Collaborating with others to find industry solutio ns to this societal problem; ' Disrupting economic incentives, to undermine operations that are financially motivated; ' Building new products to curb the spread of false news and improve information diversity; and ' Helping people make more informed decisions w hen they encounter false news.
6 Information Operations and Facebook Modeling and Responding to Information Op eration s on Facebook The following sections lay out our tracking and response to the component aspects of information operations, focusing on what we have observed and how Facebook is working both to protect our platform and the broader information ecosystem. We have observed three major features of online information operations that we assess have been attempted on Facebook. This paper will primarily focus on the first and third bullets: ' Targeted data collection, with the goal of stealing, and often exposing, non -public information that can provide unique opportunities for controlling public discourse.2 ' Content creation, false or real, either directly by the information operator or by seeding stories to journalists and other third parties, including via fake online personas. ' False amplification, which we define as coordinated activity by inauthentic accounts with the intent of manipulating political discussion (e.g., by discouraging specific parties from participating in discussion or amplif ying sensationalistic voices over others). We detect this activity by analyzing the inauthenticity of the account and its behaviors, and not the content the accounts are publishing. 2 This phase is optional, as content can be created and distributed using publicly available information as well. However, from our observations we believe that campaigns based upon leaked or stolen information can be especially effective in driving engagement. Figure 1: An example of the sequence of events we saw in one operation; note, these components do not necessarily always happen in this sequence, or include all elements in the same manner.
7 Information Operations and Facebook Targeted Data Collection Targeted data collection and theft can affect all types of victims, includ ing companies, government agencies, nonprofits, media outlets, and individuals. Typical methods include phishing with malware to infect a person's computer and credential theft to ga in access to their online accounts.3 Over the past few years, there has been an increasing trend towards malicious actors targeting individuals' personal accounts - both email and social media - to steal information from the individual and/or the organization with which they're affiliated. While recent information operations utilized stolen data taken from individuals' personal email accounts and organizations' networks, we are also mindful that any person's Facebook account c ould also become the target of malicious actors. Without adequate defenses in place, malicious actors who were able to gain access to Facebook user account data could potentially access sensitive information that might help them more effectively target spear phishing campaigns or oth erwise advance harmful information operations. What we're doing about targeted data collection Facebook has long focused on helping people protect their accounts from compromise. Our security team closely monitors a range of threats to our platform, including bad actors with differing skillsets and missions , in order to defend people on Facebook ( and our company) against targeted data collection and account takeover . Our dedicated teams focus daily on account integrity, user safety, and security, and we have implemented additional measures to protect vulnerable people in times of heightened cyber activity such as elections periods, times of conflict or political turmoil, and other high profile events. Here are some of the steps we are taking: ' Providing a set of customizable security and privacy features4, including multiple options for two -factor authentication and in-product marketing to encourage adoption ; ' Notifications to specific people if the y have been targeted by sophisticated attackers5, with custom recommendations depending on the threat model6; ' Proactive notifications to people who have yet to be targeted, but whom we believe may be at risk based on the behavior of particular malicious ac tors; ' In some cases, direct communication with likely targets ; ' Where appropriate, working directly with government bodies responsible for election protections to notify and educate people who may be at greater risk . 3 https://www.secureworks.com/research/threat- group-4127 -tar gets -google -accounts 4 https://www.facebook.com/help/325807937506242/, https://www.facebook.com/help/148233965247823 5 https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook -security/notifications -for -targeted -attacks/10153092994615766/ 6 We notify our users with context around the status of their account and actionable recommendations if we a ssess they are at increased risk of future account compromise by sophisti cated actors or when we have con firmed their accounts have been compromised.
8 Information Operations and Facebook False Amplifiers A false amplifier's7 motivation is ideological rather than financial. Networks of politically -motivated false amplifiers and financially -motivated fake accounts have sometimes been observed commingl ing and can exhibit similar behaviors ; in all cases, however, the shared attribute is the inauthenticity of the accounts. False amplifier accounts manifest differently around the globe and even within region s. In some instances dedicated, professional groups attempt to influence political opinions on social media wi th large numbers of sparsely populated fake accounts that are used to share and engage with content at high volumes . In other cases, the networks may involve behavior by a smaller number of carefully curated accounts that exhibit authentic characteristics with well -developed online personas. The inauthentic nature of these social interactions obscures and impairs the space Facebook and other platforms aim to create for people to connect and communicate with one another. In the long -term, these inauthent ic networks and accounts may drown out valid stories and even deter some people from engaging at all. While sometimes the goal of these negative amplifying efforts is to push a specific narrative, the underlying intent and motivation of the coordinators a nd sponsors of this kind of activity can be more complex. Although m otivations vary, the strategic objectives of the organizers generally involve one or more of the following components : ' Promoting or denigrating a specific cause or issue: This is the most straightforward manifestation of false amplifiers. It may include the use of disinformation, memes, and/or false news. There is frequently a specific hook or wedge issue that the actors exploit and amplify, depending on the targeted market or region. This can include topics around political figures or parties, divisive policies, religion, national governments, nations and/or ethnicities, institutions, or current events. ' Sowing distrust in political institutions: In this case, fake account operators may not have a topical focus, but rather seek to undermine the status quo of political or civil society institutions on a more strategic level. ' Spreading confusion: The directors of networks of fake accounts may have a longer -term objective of purposefully muddy ing civic discourse and pit ting rival factions against one another. In several instances, we identified malicious actors on Facebook who, via inauthentic accounts, actively engaged across the political spectrum with the apparent intent of increasing tensions between supporters of these groups and fracturing their supportive base. 7 A fake account aimed at manipulating public opinion .
9 Information Operations and Facebook What does false amplification look like? ' Fake account creation, sometimes en masse; ' Coordinated sharing of content and repeated, rapid posts across multiple surfaces (e.g., on their profile, or in several groups at once) ; ' Coordinated or repeated comments, some of which may be harassing in nature; ' Coordinated ''likes'' or reactions; ' Creation of '' astroturf''8 groups. These groups may initially be populated by fake accounts, but can become self -sustaining as others become participants; ' Creation of G roups or Pages with the specific intent to spread sensationalistic or heavily biased news or headlines, often distorting facts to fit a narrative. Sometimes these Pages include legitimate and unrelated content, ostensibly to deflect from their real purpose; ' Creation of inflammatory and sometimes racist memes , or manipulated photos and video content. There is some public discussion of false amplifiers bein g solely driven by ''social bots, '' which suggests automation. In the case of Facebook, we have observed that most false amplification in the context of information operations is not driven by automated processes, but by coor dinated people who are dedicated to operating inauthentic accounts. We have observed many actions by fake account operators that could only be performed by people with language skills and a basic knowledge of the political situation in the target countries , suggesting a higher level of coordination and forethought. Some of the lower -skilled actors may even provide content guidance and outlines to their false amplifiers, which can give the impression of automation. This kind of wide -scale coordinated human interaction with Facebook is not unique to information operation s. Various groups regularly attempt to use such techniques to further financial goals, and Facebook continues to innovate in this area to detect such inauthentic activity .9 The area of information operations does provide a unique challenge, however, in that those sponsoring such operations are often not constrained by per -unit economic realities in the same way as spammers and click fraudsters, which increas es the complexity of deterrence. 8 Organized activity that purports to reflect authentic individuals but is actually manufactured, as in ''fake grass -roots .'' 9 https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook -security/disrupting -a -major -spam -operation/10154327278540766/ Figure 2: Example of repeated posts in various groups
10 Information Operations and Facebook What we're doing about false amplification Facebook is a place for people to communicate and engage authentically , including around political topics . If legitimate voices are being drowned out by fake accounts, authentic conversation becomes very difficult . Facebook's current approach to addressing account integrity focuses on the authenticity of the accounts in question and their behaviors, not the c ontent of the material created. Facebook has long invested in both preventing fake- account creation and identifying and removing fake accounts. Through technical advances, w e are increasing our protections against manually created fake accounts and using new analytical techniques, including machine learning, to uncover and disrupt more types of abuse . We build and update technical systems every day to make it easier to respond to reports of abuse, detect and remove spam, identify and eliminate fake accou nts, and prevent accounts from being compromised. We've made recent improvements to recognize these inauthentic accounts more easily by identifying patterns of activity '-- without assessing account contents themselves .10 For example, our systems may detect repeated posting of the same content, or aberrations in the volume of content creation . In France, for example, as of April 13 , these improvements recently enabled us to take action against over 3 0,000 fake accounts.11 10 https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook -security/improvements- in-protecting -the -integrity -of -activity -on-facebook/10154323366590766/ 11 This the figure annou nced in our last security note. We expect this number to change as we finish deploying these improvements and continue to stay vigilant about inauthentic activity . Figure 3: An example of a cluster of related accounts used for false amplification.
11 Information Operations and Facebook A Deeper Look: A Case Study of a Recent Election During the 2016 US Presidential election season, we responded to several situations that we assessed to fit the pattern of information operations. We have no evidence of any Facebook accounts being compromised as part of this activity, but, nonetheless, we detected and monitored these efforts in order to protect the authentic connections that define our platform. One aspect of this included malicious a ctors leveraging conventional and social media to share information stolen from other sources, such as email accounts, with the intent of harming the reputation of specific political targets. These incidents employed a relatively straightforward yet deliberate series of actions: ' Private and/or proprietary information was accessed and stolen from systems and services (outside of Facebook); ' Dedicated sites hosting this data were registered; ' Fake personas were created on Facebook and elsewhere to point to a nd amplify awareness of this data; ' Social media accounts and pages were created to amplify news accounts of and direct people to the stolen data. ' From there, organic proliferation of the messaging and data through authentic peer groups and networks was ine vitable. Concurrently, a separate set of malicious ac tors engaged in false amplification using inauthentic Facebook accounts to push narratives and themes that reinforced or expanded on some of the topics exposed from stolen data. Facebook conducted research into overall civic engagement during this time on the platform, and determined that the reach of the content shared by false amplifiers was marginal compared to the overall volume of civic content shared during the US election.12 In short, while we a cknowledge the ongoing challenge of monitoring and guard ing against information operations, the reach of known operations during the US election of 2016 was statistically very small compared to overall engagement on political issues. Facebook is not in a position to make definitive attribution to the actors sponsoring this activity. It is important to emphasize that this example case comprises only a subset of overall activities tracked and addressed by our organization during this time period; however ou r data does not contradict the attribution provided by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence in t he report dated January 6, 2017.13 12 To estimate magnitude, we compiled a cross functional team of engineers, analysts, and data scientis ts to examine posts that were classified as relate d to civic engagement between September and December 2016. We compared that data with data derived from the behavior of accounts we believe to be related to Information Operations. The reach of the content spread by these accounts was less than one -tenth of a percent of the total reach of civic content on Facebook . 13 https://web -beta.archive.org/web/20170421222356/https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf
12 Information Operations and Facebook The Need for Wider Efforts Information operations can affect the entire information ecosystem, from individual consumers of information and political parties to governments, civil society organizations, and media companies. An effective response, therefore, requires a whole- of-society approach that features collaboration on matters of security, education, governanc e, and media literacy. Facebook recognizes that a handful of key stakeholder groups will shoulder more responsibility in helping to prevent abuse, and we are committed not only to addressing those components that directly involve our platform, but also supporting the efforts of others. Facebook works directly with candidates, campaigns, and political parties via our political outreach teams to provid e information on potential online risks and ways our users can stay safe on our platform and others. Additionally, our peers are making similar efforts to increase community resources around security .14 However, it is critical that campaigns and parties also take individual steps to e nhance their cybersecurity posture. This will require building technical capabi lities and employing specific industry -standard approaches , including the use of cloud options in lieu of vulnerable self -hosted services, deploying limited- use devices to employees and volunteers, and encouraging colleagues, friends , and family to adopt s ecurity practices like two -factor authentication. Individual campaigns may find it difficult to build security teams that are experienced in this level of defense, so shared managed services should be considered as an option. Governments may want to cons ider what assistance is appropriate to provide to candidates and parties at risk of targeted data theft. Facebook will continue to contribute in this area by offering training materials, cooperating with government cybersecurity agencies looking to harden their officials' and candidate's social media activity against external attacks, and deploying in -product communications designed to reinforce observance of strong security practices. Journalists and news professionals are essential for the health of democracies. W e are working through the Facebook Journalism Project15 to help news organizations stay vigilant about their security . In the end, societies will only be able to resist external information op erations if all citizens have the necessary media literacy to distinguish true news from misinformation and are able to take into account the motivations of those who would seek to publish false news, flood online for ums with mani pulated talking points, or selectively leak and spin stolen data. To help advance media literacy , Facebook is supporting civil society programs such as the News Integrity Coalition to improve the public's ability to make informed judgments about the news they consume. 14 https://medium.com/jigsaw/protect- your-election -helping -everyone- get-the -full- story -faea40934dd2 15 https://media.fb.com/2017/01/11/facebook -journalism -project/
13 Information Operations and Facebook Conclusion Providing a platform for diverse viewpoints while maintaining authentic debate and discussion is a key component of Facebook's mission. We recognize that, in today's information environment, social media plays a sizable role in facilitating communication s '-- not only in times of civic events , such as elections, but in everyday expression. In some circumstances, however, we recognize that the risk of malicious actors seeking to use Facebook to mislead people or otherwise promote inauthentic communications can be higher . For our part, we are taking a multifaceted approach to help mitigate these risks: ' Continually studying and monitoring the efforts of those who try to negatively manipulate civic discourse on Facebook; ' Innovating in the areas of account access and account integrity, including identifying fake accounts and expanding our security and privacy settings and options; ' Participating in multi -stakeholder efforts to notify and educate at- risk people of the ways they can best keep their information safe; ' Supporting civil society programs around media literacy. Just as the information ecosystem in which these dynamics are playing out is a shared resource and a set of common spaces, the challenges we address here transcend the Facebook platform and represent a set of shared responsibilities . We have made concerted efforts to collaborate with peers both inside the technology sector and in other areas, including governments, journalists and news organizations, and together we will develop the work described her e to meet new challenges and make additional advances that protect authentic communication online and support strong, informed, and civically engaged communities. About the Authors Jen Weedon is the manager of Facebook's Threat Intelligence team and has held leadership roles at FireEye, Mandiant, and iSIGHT Partners. Ms. Weedon holds an MA in International Security Studies from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a BA in Gove rnment from Smith College. William Nuland is an analyst on the Facebook Threat Intelligence team and has worked in threat intelligence at Dell SecureWorks and Verisign iDefense. Mr. Nuland holds an MA from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown Unive rsity and a BA in Comparative Literature from NYU. Alex Stamos is the Chief Security Officer of Facebook, and was previously the CISO of Yahoo and co -founder of iSEC Partners. Mr. Stamos holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the U niversity of California, Berkeley.
Ministry of Truthiness
Ready For Wag The Dog: The TV Series? | News | Movies - Empire
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:42
Despite already skewering politics with Veep and seeing its last stab at satire,The Brink, cancelled after just one season, HBO thinks it can crack the latter format with an adaptation of Barry Levinson's 1997 film Wag The Dog.
The original comedy saw a political strategist (Robert De Niro) engaging the services of a film producer (Dustin Hoffman) to create a fictional war scenario, so as to distract from a sex scandal surrounding the present. Yeah, we can see why someone might think it's the right time for this sort of story to come back.
Levinson himself is aboard to develop and potentially direct the pilot for the new show, with Rajiv Joseph writing the script. According to HBO, the result should hopefully be "an ode to the classic film but moving the weapons of mass distraction beyond politics and into business, entertainment and, yes, nonprofits. In the 21st century with the tools of social media at their hands, nothing is off limits to a small group of operators when it comes to manufacturing reality. Fake news is so yesterday."
Advanced Talks Underway For New Conservative Network Amid Fears Fox News Moving Too Far Left | True Pundit
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 04:37
Advanced Talks Underway For New Conservative Network Amid Fears Fox News Moving Too Far Left | True Pundit
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On the heels of major shakeups at the Fox News Network, an alternative conservative network is being actively discussed amongst conservative fat cats.
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'Morning Joe' Scarborough Apologizes to Mika Brzezinski After On-Air Spat
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 09:08
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough apologized to ''Morning Joe'' co-host Mika Brzezinski via Twitter after calling her ''snotty'' during Wednesday's episode.
''I'm sorry,'' Scarborough tweeted Wednesday night, and then implied that Brzezinski punched him in the face and got one of his teeth caught in her fist. But it appears all is well with the MSNBC duo.
They aren't on air today, but it was planned time off and they're scheduled to be back on ''Morning Joe'' on Tuesday, according to an MSNBC spokesperson.
Also Read:'Morning Joe' Co-Hosts Spar Over Ivanka Trump 'Cheap Shot': 'You Don't Have to Be So Snotty'
The ''Morning Joe'' set probably became extremely awkward during commercial breaks on Wednesday when Scarborough sparred with his long-time co-host.
He was in the middle of explaining why he's actually more comfortable with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner having the President's attention than others close to the Commander in Chief '-- actual qualifications be damned.
''Better her and Jared than, let's say, some other people who had his ear through the end of the campaign.'' Scarborough said. ''Things are going better on the National Security Council. That didn't just happen. There was a battle inside the White House and guess what? Jared and Ivanka won.''
''It would be unreasonable to say that there are not any goods that might follow from nepotism, but it's still nepotism,'' panelist Eddie Glaude Jr. responded.
Of course, that's something that isn't unheard of in politics '-- or even the White House '-- and Scarborough has seen some good come from the frowned-upon practice.
Also Read:'Morning Joe' to Jeff Sessions: 'You Don't Talk About the NYPD That Way' (Video)
''My political hero was appointed Attorney General for his brother, and Republicans didn't like that back then,'' he said. ''I think if you looked at Bobby Kenendy's record, you'd say some good things came out of that.''
''So you're comparing Ivanka Trump to Bobby Kennedy?'' Brzezinski interrupted, which didn't go over too well with the main guy.
''You don't have to be so snotty. I was about to say, you din't let me get it out. You don't have to be so rude,'' Scarborough sassed back. ''The fact of the matter is that they are not Bobby Kennedy '-- as I was about to say '-- but you wanted to get your cheap shot in so you got your cheap shot in. No I am not saying Jared and Ivanka are Bobby Kennedy.''
Since taking office on Jan. 20, President Trump has boosted ratings for all the major cable news channels. But none more than MSNBC, which grew a whopping 55 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. In fact, the network has the 16 cable news shows that have shown the most growth.
TheWrap wondered on March 15 if Rachel Maddow would turn away viewers after the mixed reaction to her record-setting episode that revealed Trump's 2005 tax return. Three weeks later, it's safe to say that didn't happen. Using the week of Trump's inauguration as a base and comparing it to the three weeks since Maddow's reveal, here are MSNBC"s big winners, ranked:
16. ''For the Record with Greta''
Greta Van Susteren ditched Fox News for MSNBC and her new show has grown 23 percent compared to the week of Trump's inauguration, while CNN has remained stagnant over the same time period.
Getty 15. ''MSNBC Live with Katy Tur''
The midday newscast that airs from 2-3 p.m. ET has grown 28 percent compared to the week of Trump's inauguration, while rival networks have lost viewers over the same timelot.
NBC 14. ''MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle''
Ruhle's daily newscast airs directly after ''Morning Joe'' at 9 am E.T. and has gained 30 percent of total viewers compared to the week of Trump's inauguration.
Twitter 13. ''The 11th Hour with Brian Williams''
Williams' nightly program has grown 30 percent since the week of Trump's inauguration while CNN's 11 p.m. ET program has gained 10 percent over the same period.
NBC 12. ''All In with Chris Hayes''
Rachel Maddow's lead-in has delivered, growing 32 percent compared to the week of Trump's inauguration, while setting the table for one of television's hottest programs. Hayes has the only cable news program among the big three networks to see an increase over the timeslot.
TheWrap 11. ''MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin''
Melvin's daily newscast that airs from 1-2 p.m. ET has increased 33 percent compared to the week of Trump's inauguration, with Sean Spicer's White House press briefings being a hot topic this time of day.
NBC 10. ''Hardball with Chris Matthews''
''Hardball'' paves the way for MSNBC's red-hot primetime lineup and has seen an increase of 33 percent himself while rivals have lost viewers over the same span.
NBC 9. ''MSNBC Live with Kate Snow''
Snow's version of ''MSNBC Live'' airs from 3-4 p.m. ET and has increased viewership 34 percent compared to the week of Trump's inauguration, while both CNN and Fox News have dropped.
NBC 8. ''The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell''
O'Donnell has one of the best timeslot in cable news'... directly after Maddow. His audience has grown 35 percent since the week of her record-setting Trump reveal episode compared to the week of Trump's inauguration.
O'Donnell 7. ''Morning Joe''
Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist's ''Morning Joe'' trends on social media essentially every morning, as it appears to be the go-to morning program for political Twitter. ''Morning Joe'' has picked up a 35 percent bump in viewers compared to the week of Trump's inauguration.
NBC 6. ''MTP Daily''
Chuck Todd's daily version of NBC News' ''Meet the Press'' airs at 5 p.m. ET and has grown 37 percent among total viewers over the past three weeks compared to the week of Trump's inauguration.
NBC 5. ''Andrea Mitchell Reports''
Mitchell's daily program airs at noon ET and has grown 38 percent compared to the week of Trump's inauguration.
NBC 4. ''MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson''
Jackson's version of ''MSNBC Live'' airs at 10 a.m. ET and has grown 39 percent in total viewers compared to the week Trump was sworn in, while rival CNN has grown 16 percent over the same time period.
TheWrap 3. ''MSNBC Live with Steve Kornacki''
Kornacki's daily newscast has seen a 42 percent increase among total viewers compared to the week of Trump's inauguration.
NBC 2. ''MSNBC Live'' at 11 a.m. ET
Many version of ''MSNBC Live'' have a permanent host for a specific hour of the day, but the 11 a.m. edition features a rotating group of the network's talent and has seen a whopping 43 percent increase among total viewers since the week of Trump's inauguration.
NBC 1. ''The Rachel Maddow Show''
Was there really any question which show would occupy the top spot? Maddow's viewership has increased 44 percent compared to the week of Trump's inauguration. Maddow was already on fire when she revealed Trump's 2005 tax return and viewers have continued to flock to her program on a nightly basis ever since.
NBC Previous Slide Next Slide MSNBC has shown significant growth since Inauguration Day, particularly after Rachel Maddow revealed Trump's 2005 tax return
Since taking office on Jan. 20, President Trump has boosted ratings for all the major cable news channels. But none more than MSNBC, which grew a whopping 55 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. In fact, the network has the 16 cable news shows that have shown the most growth.
TheWrap wondered on March 15 if Rachel Maddow would turn away viewers after the mixed reaction to her record-setting episode that revealed Trump's 2005 tax return. Three weeks later, it's safe to say that didn't happen. Using the week of Trump's inauguration as a base and comparing it to the three weeks since Maddow's reveal, here are MSNBC"s big winners, ranked:
Elite$
Please, God, Stop Chelsea Clinton from Whatever She Is Doing | Vanity Fair
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 20:55
Chelsea Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in 2016.
By SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images.
Amid investigations into Russian election interference, perhaps we ought to consider whether the Kremlin, to hurt Democrats, helped put Chelsea Clinton on the cover of Variety. Or maybe superstition explains it. Like tribesmen laying out a sacrifice to placate King Kong, news outlets continue to make offerings to the Clinton gods. In The New York Times alone, Chelsea has starred in multiple features over the past few months: for her tweeting (it's become ''feisty''), for her upcoming book (to be titled She Persisted), and her reading habits (she says she has an ''embarrassingly large'' collection of books on her Kindle). With Chelsea's 2015 book, It's Your World, now out in paperback, the puff pieces in other outlets'--Elle, People, etc.'--are too numerous to count.
One wishes to calm these publications: You can stop this now. Haven't you heard that the great Kong is no more? Nevertheless, they've persisted. At great cost: increased Chelsea exposure is tied closely to political despair and, in especially intense cases, the bulk purchasing of MAGA hats. So let's review: How did Chelsea become such a threat?
Perhaps the best way to start is by revisiting some of Chelsea's major post-2008 forays into the public eye. Starting in 2012, she began to allow glossy magazines to profile her, and she picked up speed in the years that followed. The results were all friendly in aim, and yet the picture that kept emerging from the growing pile of Chelsea quotations was that of a person accustomed to courtiers nodding their heads raptly. Here are Chelsea's thoughts on returning to red meat in her diet: ''I'm a big believer in listening to my body's cravings.'' On her time in the ''fiercely meritocratic'' workplace of Wall Street: ''I was curious if I could care about [money] on some fundamental level, and I couldn't.'' On her precocity: ''They told me that my father had learned to read when he was three. So, of course, I thought I had to too. The first thing I learned to read was the newspaper.'' Take that, Click, Clack, Moo.
Chelsea, people were quietly starting to observe, had a tendency to talk a lot, and at length, not least about Chelsea. But you couldn't interrupt, not even if you're on TV at NBC, where she was earning $600,000 a year at the time. ''When you are with Chelsea, you really need to allow her to finish,'' Jay Kernis, one of Clinton's segment producers at NBC, toldVogue. ''She's not used to being interrupted that way.''
Sounds perfect for a dating profile: I speak at length, and you really need to let me finish. I'm not used to interruptions.
What comes across with Chelsea, for lack of a gentler word, is self-regard of an unusual intensity. And the effect is stronger on paper. Unkind as it is to say, reading anything by Chelsea Clinton'--tweets, interviews, books'--is best compared to taking in spoonfuls of plain oatmeal that, periodically, conceal a toenail clipping.
Take the introduction to It's Your World (Get Informed! Get Inspired! Get Going!). It's harmless, you think. ''My mom wouldn't let me have sugary cereal growing up (more on that later),'' writes Chelsea, ''so I improvised, adding far more honey than likely would have been in any honeyed cereals.'' That's the oatmeal'--and then comes the toenail:
I wrote a letter to President Reagan when I was five to voice my opposition to his visit to the Bitburg cemetery in Germany, because Nazis were buried there. I didn't think an American president should honor a group of soldiers that included Nazis. President Reagan still went, but at least I had tried in my own small way.
Ah, yes, that reminds me of when I was four and I wrote to Senator John Warner about grain tariffs, arguing that trade barriers unfairly decreased consumer choice.
At first glance, of course, Chelsea seems to be boasting that at age five she was interpreting the news with the maturity of an adult. But we should consider whether it's instead a confession that as an adult she still interprets the news with the maturity of'--well, let's just submit that perhaps she thinks what other people tell her to think. Which brings us to Chelsea's Twitter feed.
Since Chelsea has 1.6 million followers, we can only conclude that some people enjoy ideas like ''Yes. Yes. Yes. Closing the #wagegap is crucial to a strong economy.'' And maybe there's no sin in absorbing and exuding nothing but respectable Blue State opinion. But it's another thing to insist on joining each day's designated outrage bandwagon. Did we need to slap down a curmudgeonly Charlotte Rampling, age 71, for griping about #OscarsSoWhite activists? Yes, and here's Chelsea: ''Outrageous, ignorant & offensive comments from Rampling.'' Is gender identity not going to be included on the 2020 census? Here's Chelsea: ''This is outrageous. No one should be invisible in America.'' Not that there aren't breaks for deeper thoughts: ''Words without action are ... meaningless. Words with inaction are ... just words. Words with opposite action is ... hypocrisy.''
That is '... beautiful.
The crude conventional wisdom is that Bill Clinton craved adoration and Hillary Clinton craved power. But Chelsea Clinton seems to have a more crippling want: fashionability'--of the sort embraced by philanthropic high society. So you tellThe New York Times that your dream dinner party would include James Baldwin, Shakespeare, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Jane Jacobs, and Jane Austen, and discussion would be about how ''people and communities can evolve to be more inclusive, more kind, have a greater and broader sense of solidarity, while still respecting individual liberties; what provokes or blocks those changes; and what stories might resonate today to encourage us toward kindness, respect, and mutual dignity.'' You almost have to bow down before someone who could host Shakespeare for dinner and make the agenda wind up sounding like a brochure for the Altria Group. At least Kafka would be on hand to capture the joy of the evening.
To find fault with the former First Daughter is to invite the wrath of thousands. Love of Chelsea correlates closely with love of Hillary, toward whom her fans have long felt an odd protectiveness, as if she were a stroke survivor regaining the power of speech rather than one of the most influential people in the world. That goes even more for Chelsea, who is often treated less like an independent 37-year-old multi-millionaire and more like the 12-year-old who still deserves to be left alone.
But let's have a reality check. No one bothers George W. Bush's daughter, Barbara Bush, who quietly works on her nonprofit, Global Health Corps. On the other hand, if you're posing for magazine covers, granting interviews, doing book tours, placing your name on your parents' multi-million-dollar foundation, and tweeting out daily to 1.6 million people, then'--guess what'--you're a public figure. And if you've openly entertained the possibility of running for office if ''it was something I felt called to do,'' then assurances to the contrary aren't quite good enough. You're a public hazard.
God has decreed that American political dynasties decline sharply in suitability for office with each iteration. Call it the George H.W.-George W.-Jeb rule. Quit after the first iteration. Don't trot out the second one. And, for the love of God, don't trot out the third. Forgetting that rule harmed the Democratic Party in 2016 and blew up the Republican Party entirely. The Democratic Party is surprisingly cohesive these days, thanks to anti-Trump sentiment, so a Jeb-style destruction is unlikely. But never say never. If anyone could make it happen, Chelsea could.
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MILLENNIAL CROWFUNDING-A Little Help by Del Angharad - GoFundMe
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 10:19
Jaco quit work last August, when we had an advanced royalty payment through from my book which gave us enough money to live off for five months - time Jaco planned to spend working on developing his 'indie game studio' to make videogames full time. Unfortunately, at the same time, he became ill - when I eventually managed to convince him to get checked out he was at the point of fainting when he stood up. Turns out he had a bleeding stomach ulcer and his blood count had dropped significantly. The doctor wanted him to get a transfusion immediately but he declined and went for taking strong iron supplements instead (while treating the ulcer). It's stopped bleeding now, but anyone who's had anaemia knows how long it takes to recover from even a little anaemia, and his was terrible. His blood levels are climbing, but he hasn't had the energy needed to work full time so we're behind on our plans. He's started freelancing for the company he left last year, on a part-time basis, but we're still struggling.I've put this off as long as I can but we really need the help. Jaco still can't work fast enough on his game projects to get stuff out there for sale to support us. We're close to being okay, but when you're poor the world works against you - missed payments mean more bank fees, bouncing fees, people nagging you for money, etc.
Our car is close to being paid off, and if we can clear that monthly payment every month we'll be in a much more stable place financially. There's only five more payments to go on it, but the extra monthly payment is just tipping us over our limit every month on our reduced income.
So if we can clear that, and not have to make that payment every month, it'd be a huge help. I hate asking, I know so many people who are struggling right now and I wish we were in the position where we could help and not ask for it. But such is life. :( If you can help us, there are no words for how grateful we'd be.
Millennials attitude blamed on Parents-Baby Boomers
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:20
Long before millennials were dubbed the ''Me Generation,'' journalist Tom Wolfe used the label to describe the young baby boomers coming of age in the mid-1970s, a time of heightened focus on the self and personal development.
''The new alchemical dream is: changing one's personality '-- remaking, remodeling, elevating, and polishing one's very self ... and observing, studying, and doting on it,'' Wolfe wrote in a 1976 New York magazine cover story.
To the extent that millennials really are self-absorbed and narcissistic, it may be because they learned from the masters: their parents. Baby boomers '• the unusually large generation born during a wave after World War II '• grew up in a time of historic prosperity. In many ways, the world they'll leave for their children couldn't be more different from the one they knew as children.
Boomers blew through resources, racked up debt, and brought an end to economic growth, using their enormous voting power to elect politicians who enacted policies that typically benefitted boomers' interests, rather than future generations. Now, millennials face more debt, fewer resources and higher levels of unemployment than their parents, and are likely to see the fallout of runaway environmental destruction within their lifetimes.
In his new book, A Generation of Sociopaths, writer and venture capitalist Bruce Gibney puts forth the controversial hypothesis that baby boomers '• specifically the large subset of white, middle-class boomers '• are, both individually and as a group, unusually sociopathic. Gibney cites mental health data showing boomers have significantly higher levels of antisocial traits and behaviors '• including lack of empathy, disregard for others, egotism and impulsivity '• than other generations.
As a result, boomers have used their substantial voting power to create a society and government that don't work very well. Or, as Gibney puts it, boomers' ''private behaviors congealed into a debased neoliberalism.''
The factual basis for Gibney's case isn't perfect. Data on generations prior to boomers is thin, because widespread psychological testing wasn't as common, and younger generations haven't been around long enough for long-term data. It's possible that other generations have major issues as well, but we simply don't have enough information to assess them properly. Gibney, however, insists that there's something unique with boomers.
We sat down with Gibney, a Gen-Xer, to learn more about why he says boomers are a generation of sociopaths, and how the boomer agenda has gotten us into the precarious political and economic situation we're in today.
I imagine that a lot of people have taken issue with the title of your book. Is it really possible to apply a psychological label to an entire generation?
Well, I think you can match the behaviors and the policies to certain diagnostic criteria. For the boomers '• the youngest are in their 50s and the oldest are in their 70s '• we have a coherent body of data, collected over decades, that map onto this diagnostic criteria of sociopathy.
So we can see sociopathy-associated traits like improvidence '• there is no greater improvidence than failing to save for your retirement. We can postulate the checklist that way. We have an enormous amount of data about the boomer mainstream, and it matches up surprisingly well with the description of antisocial personality disorder.
It's a good diagnostic label, because what we're really dealing with is an anti-social society. And that highlights the inherent paradox: Can you have an anti-social society? I don't actually think you can.
You argue that boomers aren't genetically predispositioned to be dysfunctional, but instead were conditioned to be that way. What do you mean by that?
I focus mainly on the white, middle-class boomers who constitute the substantial majority of the boom '• it's a pretty homogenous group, and they were raised in a fairly homogenous way. They were the first generation in the U.S. to be raised permissively. And the evidence strongly suggests that highly permissive parenting leads to some problems later on in life. These people have higher self-esteem, but they tend to be more rebellious and messy, both in the literal sense and in their approach to their own affairs.
They were also the first generation to be raised with television, and there really weren't parental reservations about screen time. The literature on TV and cognitive and behavioral development is almost universally negative.
They came of age in a time of fairly effortless prosperity ... They really just assume that things are going to work out, no matter what. That's unhelpful conditioning." Bruce Gibney
And finally, there are certain assumptions that are built up throughout their early lives. For the first half of the boomers particularly, they came of age in a time of fairly effortless prosperity, and they were conditioned to think that everything gets better each year without any real effort. So they really just assume that things are going to work out, no matter what. That's unhelpful conditioning. You have 25 years where everything just seems to be getting better, so you tend not to try as hard, and you have much greater expectations about what society can do for you, and what it owes you.
So what's been the fallout of that, in terms of policy and economics?
There's obviously been a substantial deceleration of economic growth. The Great Recession arguably began in 2001 and we've never entirely recovered '• so that's 16 years of lost opportunity.
The second big thing on the economic front is the intergenerational passing of burdens, and the most salient one is the debt. Gross debt to GDP 40 years ago was 34 percent, and today it's around 105 percent. It's projected by [the Congressional Budget Office] to exceed the World War II highs by the early 2030s. When boomers start taking control and influencing policies, the policies get worse on the debt, so that now we haven't seen these levels of debt in more than 70 years.
There are consequences to these levels of debt. ... But that's not really relevant for the boomers. This is not their problem and they have not been serious about it. The debt wasn't discussed as a serious issue during the 2016 presidential election, but Social Security was '• because we know that this program is going to be partially insolvent by 2034. And this is the only thing that Trump and Clinton could agree on: Social Security '• untouchable. Medicare '• untouchable. These things are sacred. They couldn't even agree where to stand on the stage together, and they agreed on Social Security.
But the boomers must have done some good things, right?
Toward the end of the book, there's a chapter called, ''The Myth of Boomer Goodness.'' Some of the pushback I've gotten on the book is people saying, well, didn't boomers do all these wonderful things, like fighting for civil rights? But there's no way that chronology works out. The Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act were 1964 and 1965, and only the very oldest boomers could have voted for the congressmen who pushed through that act. So they played no part in those foundational victories. What we have seen instead is the Voting Rights Act gutted.
Or you can take the environment, which is going to affect everybody. This has just not been a serious item for the boomers ... They can't take credit for these enormous civil rights and environmental victories that we saw in the '60s and the early 1970s.
Are boomers responsible for the rise of Trump?
Well, he is a boomer, and the leading candidates in the primaries were all boomers. Who's responsible for the rise of Donald Trump? We could slice and dice the exit polls, or we could blame the FBI, or Putin.
But what I think is really remarkable is that he was ever considered a viable candidate at all. Only after years of disappointment '• economically and otherwise '• could a Manhattan vulgarian with no prior experience emerge as a candidate for the highest office in the United States. So, older white groups were the most enthusiastic about Trump, but there had to first be the conditions that allowed him to even be plausible.
This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
'Rape-Adjacent': Imagining Legal Responses to Nonconsensual Condom Removal by Alexandra Brodsky :: SSRN
Sat, 29 Apr 2017 13:22
28 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2017 Last revised: 23 Apr 2017
Date Written: 2017
AbstractNonconsensual condom removal during sexual intercourse exposes victims to physical risks of pregnancy and disease and, interviews make clear, is experienced by many as a grave violation of dignity and autonomy. Such condom removal, popularly known as ''stealthing,'' can be understood to transform consensual sex into nonconsensual sex by one of two theories, one of which poses a risk of over-criminalization by demanding complete transparency about reproductive capacity and sexually transmitted infections. Adopting the alternative, preferable theory of non-consent, this Article considers possible criminal, tort, contract, and civil rights remedies currently available to victims. Ultimately, a new tort for ''stealthing'' is necessary both to provide victims with a more viable cause of action and to reflect better the harms wrought by nonconsensual condom removal.
Keywords: Feminism, Gender Violence, Sexual Violence, Feminist Law, Gender, Sex Equality
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation:Suggested Citation
Brodsky, Alexandra, 'Rape-Adjacent': Imagining Legal Responses to Nonconsensual Condom Removal (2017). Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2954726
LGBT advocates seek to label opponents as U.S. hate groups | Reuters
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 00:44
Tue Apr 18, 2017 | 3:58 AM EDT
By Daniel Trotta | NEW YORK
NEW YORK A liberal coalition on Thursday started a campaign to label socially conservative organizations that oppose transgender rights as hate groups, ratcheting up the antagonism between opposing sides on one of America's most contentious debates.
The Eliminate Hate Campaign seeks to draw attention to groups it sees as extreme and hateful against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, accusing them of hiding behind ostensibly Christian or family values.
Alarmed by a surge in reported hate crimes tied to the 2016 presidential campaign, the campaign will pressure the media to use the hate-group designation for about 50 organizations in the United States, based on designations already made by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has long monitored extremist groups.
It also will encourage the public to oppose extremism and seek to diminish the prestige of groups it believes spread fear and lies about LGBT people.
Conservatives have promised to dig in for a long fight in the debate over whether transgender people deserve legal protection against discrimination and the right to use the public bathrooms of their choice.
Several of the targeted groups said they reject any hate designation as an attempt to silence them.
They also see transgender advocates as out of step with the public even as celebrities and the Democratic Party champion the transgender cause.
Among those singled out by the liberal coalition was the Alliance Defending Freedom, a self-described religious freedom organization that has sought to halt the expansion of transgender rights by arguing before school boards and in court.
"ADF doesn't have time to respond to organizations who do nothing more than call names, create division and incite violence across the country in order to raise money," spokesman Greg Scott said in a statement.
Peter Sprigg, spokesman for the Family Research Council, another of the targeted groups, said gender identity should not be protected from discrimination.
"We believe that it's really not possible for a person to change their sex, that biological sex at birth is essentially immutable," Sprigg said.
The campaign is led by Media Matters For America and includes the National Center for Transgender Equality, The National LGBTQ Task Force, SoulForce, The Equality Federation, and The Matthew Shepard Foundation.
"I have seen first hand what can happen as a result of hate and how it feels to have the hate and discrimination that people face dismissed or denied," said Judy Shepard, president of the foundation and the mother of Matthew Shepard, a gay teenager who was beaten to death in Wyoming in 1998.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Bill Trott)
Ottomania
US Deploys Troops Along Syria-Turkey Border
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 06:44
Just three days after Turkish warplanes killed at least 20 US-backed Kurdish fighters along the Turkey-Syria border as well as several Kurdish peshmerga troops on Mount Sinjar in northwestern Iraq, footage posted by Syrian activists showed the US has deployed troops and APCs in the contested region, in a move that could potentially drag the US in a conflict where it already finds itself mediating between two so-called US ally forces in the proxy war against Syria.
The Turkish airstrikes also wounded 18 members of the U.S.-backed People's Protection Units, or Y.P.G., were criticized by both the U.S. and Russia. The YPG is a close U.S. ally in the theatrical fight against the Islamic State (whose real purpose is destabilizing the Assad regime); it is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group because of its ties to Turkey's Kurdish rebels. The problem is that Turkey is also an ally of the US, although over the past two years relations between Turkey and all western NATO allies have deteriorated substantially for numerous familiar, and extensively discussed in the past, reasons.
On one hand, further clashes between Turkish and Kurdish forces in Syria could potentially undermine the U.S.-led war on the Islamic State group. On the other, it risks taking an already unstable situation in Syria and escalating it substantially, should Turkey again find itself invading Turkey and/or Iraq.
Which is why the US appears to have deployed troops along the border: to serve as a deterrent to further Turkish attacks.
A senior Kurdish official, Ilham Ahmad told The Associated Press that American forces began carrying out patrols along the border Thursday along with reconnaissance flights in the area. She said the deployment was in principle temporary, but may become more permanent. Another Kurdish activist said the deployment is ongoing, adding that it stretches from the Iraqi border to areas past Darbasiyah in the largely Kurdish part of eastern Syria.
''The U.S. role has now become more like a buffer force between us and the Turks on all front lines,'' he said. He said U.S. forces will also deploy as a separation force in areas where the Turkish-backed Syrian fighting forces and the Kurdish forces meet.
As noted above, the US intervention is meant to send a ''a message of reassurance for the Kurds and almost a warning message'' to the Turks, he said.
Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, did not dispute that U.S. troops are operating with elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) along the Turkish border, but he would not get into specifics. The SDF is a Kurdish-dominated alliance fighting IS that includes Arab fighters.
''We have U.S. forces that are there throughout the entirety of northern Syria that operate with our Syrian Democratic Force partners,'' Davis said. ''The border is among the areas where they operate.'' He said the U.S. wants the SDF to focus on liberating the IS-held town of Tabqa and the extremist group's de facto capital, Raqqa, ''and not be drawn into conflicts elsewhere.''
* * *
Confirming that the proxy war in Syria is becoming ever less so, the U.S. has recently shifted from working quietly behind the scenes in Syria's conflict toward overt displays of U.S. force in an attempt to shape the fight. Last month, about 200 Marines rolled into northern Syria backed with howitzers, significantly widening America's footprint in a highly toxic battlefield. The Marines' deployment came days after another intervention, when dozens of army troops drove outside the town of Manbij, riding Stryker armored vehicles, following an earlier conflagration of fighting between Syrian Kurdish troops and Turkish troops. The U.S. deployment in Manbij intentionally put Americans in the middle of that rivalry, hoping to cool it down.
The SDF retook Manbij from IS control, and Turkey said it won't allow the town to be under Kurdish control, threatening to move on it. The American presence appears intended to reassure Ankara the Kurds don't hold the town.
But the new deployment puts U.S. troops directly along the border with Turkey, another flashpoint, and immerses Washington into that increasingly hot fight. Should Erdogan happen to launch a strike against a zone containing US troops, he can simply say he was aiming elsewhere, although the retaliation by his NATO ally would be prompt.
It remains unclear if the US is now actively seeking to engage Turkey on the combat field, and is looking for a politically correct, and media friendly pretext to do so. It is also unclear what a conflict between the US and Turkey would mean for the rest of NATO: it certainly would set a precedent, as never before has fighting broken out between two alliance members.
___
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-28/us-troops-deployed-along-syrian-turkey-border
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United Airlines new incentives
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H.R.1180 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 09:25
Tracker:This bill has the status Introduced
Here are the steps for Status of Legislation:
IntroducedArray ( [actionDate] => 2017-04-28 [displayText] => Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Education and the Workforce. H. Rept. 115-101. [externalActionCode] => 5000 [description] => Introduced )
Passed HousePassed SenateTo PresidentBecame Law
EuroLand
France election: New far right leader quits in Holocaust row - BBC News
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:52
Image copyright AFP Image caption Jean-Fran§ois Jalkh, left, is being replaced by Steeve Briois after only three days at the helm of France's far-right National Front party France's far-right National Front (FN) has replaced its leader for the second time in three days after a row erupted about Holocaust denial.
Jean-Fran§ois Jalkh had been named as the interim president on Tuesday after Marine Le Pen stepped down to fight for the French presidency.
Mr Jalkh denies claims that in past remarks he questioned the reality of Nazi gas chambers.
He is being replaced by Steeve Briois, one of the party's MEPs.
Like Mr Jalkh, Mr Briois is also one of the party's five vice-presidents. He is mayor of the National Front-run town of Henin-Beaumont in northern France.
"Mr Briois will take over the interim leadership and there'll be no more talk about it," fellow FN vice-president Louis Aliot - who is also Ms Le Pen's partner - told BFMTV news channel.
It is an unwelcome development for Ms Le Pen, who has worked hard to distance her party from its anti-Semitic roots - expelling her father from the party he founded over his comments that the gas chambers were a "detail of history".
But Ms Le Pen drew strong criticism on 9 April when she suggested France was not responsible for a 1942 wartime round-up of 13,000 Jews, who were sent from France to Nazi death camps.
Opinion polls taken since the first round on Sunday suggest Emmanuel Macron, candidate of the En Marche (On The Move) movement, will easily beat Ms Le Pen in the second round on 7 May.
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Last updated April 25, 2017
*Polling results up to this date show how people said they would vote on 7 May, if Macron and Le Pen reached the second round About the polling average lineThe polling average line looks at the five most recent national polls and takes the median value, ie, the value between the two figures that are higher and two figures that are lower.
In a move widely decried by her critics as a stunt, Ms Le Pen announced she was temporarily stepping down as FN leader on Monday. She said she wanted to remain "above partisan considerations" as she campaigned for the second round of the presidential vote on 7 May.
But when Mr Jalkh was announced as her replacement on Tuesday, excerpts surfaced of an interview conducted with academic Magali Boumaza in 2000 in which Mr Jalke questioned whether the Nazis had used the cyanide-based pesticide Zyklon-B in the gas chambers.
"I consider it technically impossible - I repeat, impossible - to use it... in mass murder," Le Monde daily (in French) quoted him as saying. "Why? Because you have to wait several days before you can decontaminate a place where Zyklon B was used."
He also praised the "seriousness and rigour" of arguments put forward by Robert Faurisson, who has multiple convictions for Holocaust denial.
Mr Jalkh denies making these remarks.
"He feels that the climate is not conducive for him to carry out this interim role," Mr Aliot told BFMTV. "He wants to defend himself and he will be filing a legal complaint because he feels that his honour has been attacked and I can tell you that he firmly and formally contests what he is accused of."
NA-Tech News
Google and Facebook duped in huge 'scam' - BBC News
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:10
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The two tech giants succumbed to a well known type of scam, in which an attacker tricks the victim via innocent-looking emails Google and Facebook have confirmed that they fell victim to an alleged $100m (£77m) scam.
In March, it was reported that a Lithuanian man had been charged over an email phishing attack against "two US-based internet companies" who were not named at the time.
They had allegedly been tricked into wiring more than $100m to the alleged scammer's bank accounts.
On 27 April, Fortune reported that the two victims were Facebook and Google.
"We detected this fraud against our vendor management team and promptly alerted the authorities," a spokeswoman for Google said in a statement.
"We recouped the funds and we're pleased this matter is resolved."
However, the firm did not reveal how much money it had transferred and recouped.
Nor did Facebook - but a spokeswoman said: "Facebook recovered the bulk of the funds shortly after the incident and has been cooperating with law enforcement in its investigation."
"Sometimes staff [at large firms] think that they are defended, that security isn't part of their job," said James Maude at cyber-security firm Avecto, commenting on the phishing threat facing big companies.
"But people are part of the best security you can have - that's why you have to train them."
He also told the BBC that Avecto's clients have recounted phishing attempts that used senior staff's hacked email accounts to convince employees that a request to wire out money was genuine.
The sophistication of phishing scams has increased lately, according to a recent Europol report.
In order to avoid succumbing to such fraud, firms are advised to carefully verify new payment requests before authorising them.
YouTube's 'Controversial' Video Creators Are Planning An Exit - Motherboard
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:20
For some independent video creators, YouTube's dependability as a primary revenue stream has abruptly come to a close thanks to its new advertising regulations, forcing people who make a living off the platform to consider a future without it.
Last month Google'--YouTube's owner'--announced a range of "expanded safeguards for advertisers " in the wake of mounting complaints from the likes of AT&T, Walmart and the British government , all of whom staged a boycott of advertising on the platform after their ads appeared next to offensive and in some cases extremist content (in some cases terrorist recruitment videos or KKK propaganda). In rectifying the situation, Google made it easy for brands to pull their advertising from content that was "potentially objectionable," leading to a huge drop in income for creators whose videos did not fit into the safest content bracket, a group including political talk shows and many comedians.
It's the latter who are now starting to voice their concerns over the restrictions which this places on their content, and articulating a desire to move elsewhere. In one example, hosts of the 3.8 million subscriber channel h3h3Productions explain the "crossroads" that the ad restrictions have brought them to, and run through the range of their videos that have been demonetized following the change:
While YouTubers are still reeling from the swiftness of the change, other digital media creators had seen the problem coming and moved to find alternatives.
Ralph Sutton and Luis J. Gomez are the founders of GaS Digital Network, a podcasting network that is currently home to ten shows that they describe as "slightly off-center" and "adult-driven lifestyle entertainment." In a phone call from their East Village recording studio, Sutton and Gomez explained that the decision to start their own distribution network, which is supported mainly by paid subscriptions, came from a sense that independent income was important for taking creative risks.
"We felt a long time ago that we didn't want to be beholden to advertising dollars, because we saw the writing on the wall," said Sutton. "So many times things got pulled or people lost sponsors because of what they said, and we never wanted to be in that position again."
Supporter funding has allowed GaS Digital the freedom to launch shows with names like "Legion Of Skanks"'--currently the network's most popular'--and promote a podcast hosted by UFC motormouth Michael Bisping . And though the YouTube restrictions have no bearing on their network, the founders are still sharply critical of the effect it will have on others in the same field.
"In my opinion it's anti-art, it's anti-comedy and it's anti-creation," Gomez said. "People are obviously going to look for a new platform because they want to have the freedom to find great content... and in order to do that they need to explore, take chances and fail a bunch."
For most of its existence, the content on professional YouTubers' channels has been far more varied than on broadcast television: unpolished, anarchic and characteristic of the free-for-all nature of the Web. Some fear that with this move YouTube takes a step closer to the ranks of the safe, bland programming that millennials have largely rejected '--and it remains to be seen how many younger viewers will desert it to follow "controversial" creatives elsewhere.
'10 Concerts' Facebook Meme May Reveal More Than Musical Tastes - NYTimes.com
Sat, 29 Apr 2017 15:49
It's all fun and games until someone's password security question gets hacked.
A meme making the rounds on Facebook asks users to list 10 concerts '-- nine they've attended and a fabricated one '-- and invites others to identify the fake one.
But the post '-- ''10 Concerts I've Been To, One is a Lie'' '-- might also be an invitation to a midlevel threat to your online privacy and security, experts said.
The meme, which surged in popularity this week, is the kind of frivolous distraction that makes up social media interactions, similar to other viral memes, such as the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Privacy experts cautioned it could reveal too much about a person's background and preferences and sounds like a security question '-- name the first concert you attended '-- that you might be asked on a banking, brokerage or similar website to verify your identity.
Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, said on Friday that the meme posed a moderate security risk, adding that not every website relied on a security question about a person's first concert.
He said the greater danger is what such a list might broadly reveal through social engineering. It could telegraph information about a user's age, musical tastes and even religious affiliation '-- all of which would be desirable to marketers hoping to target ads.
He said it is similar to users who take quizzes on Facebook. The answers can reveal specifics about a person's upbringing, culture or other identifying details. ''You are expressing things about you, maybe in more subtle ways than you might think,'' he said.
Mark Testoni, a national security and privacy expert who is chief executive of SAP National Security Services, said in an email that he recommended exercising ''vigilance bordering on a little paranoia'' in online posts.
''We need to understand how we interact can disclose not only specific details but patterns of behavior and often our location, among other things,'' he wrote.
Alec Muffett, a software engineer and security researcher, wrote in an email that he is sympathetic to polls like the concert question. ''They are cute, a little bit fun, you learn new things about your friends, and sometimes you get a surprise or two,'' he wrote.
''There are certainly also polls that are geared towards collecting information which could be used to fraudulently 'recover' an account,'' he added.
He said companies, governments and other groups rely on so-called authenticators, such as ''What is your mother's maiden name?'' Such answers are not truly authenticators, but are facts.
''The usual aphorism is: 'Your password should be secret, but 'secrets' make really bad passwords' '-- especially when they are just discoverable or guessable facts,'' Mr. Muffett wrote.
Mr. Kaiser agreed. In cases where the answer to a security question is easily obtained '-- what high school did you attend? '-- it's best to make up an answer, even if it's not as easy to recall.
He said his advice about online quizzes and memes was not meant to be a killjoy, though he encouraged social media users to consider the consequences of what they share.
''People always have to have their eyes wide open when they're on the internet,'' he said. ''It's the way of the world.''
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO - Bill Maher Goes Off On UC Berkeley's Treatment Of Ann Coulter: "Now The Cradle Of F*king Babies!" HD - YouTube
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 05:17
VIDEO - CBS Trashes White House's Tax Plan, Critique Divorced from Reality | MRCTV
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 05:11
***To read the full blog, please check out the complete post on NewsBusters***
The White House on Wednesday released the outline for the President's proposed tax plan that would drastically cut taxes and simplify the filing process, among other things. CBS's resident Trump critic and anchor, Scott Pelley kicked off the show smearing it. ''Today the Trump administration rushed out a plan for historic tax cuts high on hyperbole, but with only a dollop of detail,'' he declared at the top of CBS Evening News. His critique was loaded with snide attacks at the President and at one point divorced itself from reality, something Pelley once chastised Trump for.
''The list of aspirations looked more like an attempt to beat the 100-day mark in the Trump presidency rather than a serious proposal to reform the tax code,'' he slammed. From there, he unleashed a torrent of condemnation with little substance:
On paper, everyone is in for a break, personal income taxes, corporate taxes, savings for the rich and the dead, but nothing on how to implement it or pay for it. Far from legislation, the President's bullet points today were loaded into a starting gun that signals the beginning of a race of lobbyists and special interests to rewrite America's 70,000-page tax code.
Pelley's mischaracterization of the plan is obvious upon reading the document. The plan aims to provide savings for all of America. It even says the plan aims to: ''Eliminate targeted tax breaks that mainly benefit the wealthiest taxpayers.'' And the smug remark about ''the dead'' getting a tax break dismisses the tragedy of family farms, businesses, and land having to be broken up and sold in order to please the hungry IRS.
...
VIDEO - WH: Obama Administration Issued Flynn's Security Clearance | MRCTV
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 04:58
The White House said Thursday that it was ''appropriate'' for the Defense Department's inspector general to launch an investigation into the payment that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn received prior to joining the Trump team from Russia Today - an entity of the Russian government. Read Full Story
VIDEO - First Step To 'Eco-Grieving' Over Climate Change? Admit There's A Problem : NPR
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 04:26
The "talking piece" is held by whoever has the floor at the moment to share their feelings on climate change with the Good Grief group. Judy Fahys/KUERhide caption
toggle captionJudy Fahys/KUER The "talking piece" is held by whoever has the floor at the moment to share their feelings on climate change with the Good Grief group.
Judy Fahys/KUER Just thinking about the impacts of a shifting climate is making some people feel anxious and overwhelmed. A support group in Utah is helping people cope, and the idea has drawn interest in other states.
In a split level outside Salt Lake City, eight people gather for a weekly meeting. The group, called Good Grief, has members ranging from millennials to grandparents.
As they sit in a circle in the living room, Dick Meyer talks about why the problem of climate change made him emotional. Just thinking about the impacts of a shifting climate is making some, like Meyer, feel anxious and overwhelmed. This support group, which began meeting last year, is helping people cope.
Meyer used to be skeptical.
"And I think I came to the conclusion that it was the loss of the future '-- the future that I had lived knowing was going to be there '-- all of a sudden is gone," he says. "And that is really disorienting."
Meyer spends his winters in Utah but has run a landscaping business in Nebraska for decades. That's where he's seen a few common tree species dying out '-- something scientists trace to heat and drought.
"At some point, you come to a conclusion if you're paying attention, I think, where you just say, 'Whoa, this is serious,' " he says. "And then you suffer for a while, you grieve."
Humboldt State University in California also recognizes so-called "eco-grief." Sarah Jaquette Ray, head of the environmental studies program, says her students find their study of climate change so depressing that she's added lessons to help them cope with their emotions.
"They need the emotional skills and the emotional tools" to actually address the climate problem, she says.
When the idea for this group first came to LaUra Schmidt, she was also struggling. She was an undergraduate student then, studying species extinction and melting ice caps. The human impacts of all that made her feel heartsick and powerless. Then Schmidt remembered the 12 steps that self-help groups use for problems like drugs and overdrinking.
She says she has been an avid participant in an Adult Children of Alcoholics group, "and I realized that that group could be co-opted."
So she wrote her own nine steps, which are still being solidified and possibly expanded by the group. The first step is the standard, "Admit there's a problem."
"It's a lot about understanding your power and what you're capable of but also your limitations as a single human being on this planet," she says.
Lise Van Susteren, a psychiatrist and climate activist in Washington, D.C., says people have climate anxiety.
"Every single day we are told about what disasters are just around the corner," she says. "And this is being processed whether we know it consciously or not."
Van Susteren calls the Utah group's approach brilliant since it helps people cope with their feelings and makes their community ties stronger. The American Psychological Association suggests both strategies in its new report on climate and mental health.
Alli Harbertson says she comes to the Utah meetings to mourn the past and reimagine her kids' future. It helps, she says, to talk about it with people.
"We don't do chitchat," she says. "We go right to what's on your heart. And I cry like every week, which is ... no big thing for me. I'm a huge crier. But still, feeling like I can do that with almost complete strangers is amazing."
People in other states who've heard about this program are asking if they can use it too. The Utah group is planning to share it.
Judy Fahysis a reporter with NPR member station KUER. You can follow her@judyfutah.
VIDEO - Journalists Discuss Press Freedom Fake News | Video | C-SPAN.org
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 01:28
April 28, 2017 State of the News Media The USC Annenberg School hosted a panel discussion with journalists, including CNN's Jake Tapper, NBC's Katy Tur, Univision's Jorge Ramos, and'... read more
State of the News Media The USC Annenberg School hosted a panel discussion with journalists, including CNN's Jake Tapper, NBC's Katy Tur, Univision's Jorge Ramos, and CNN's Brian Stelter, on the state of the news media. They talked about covering President Trump, the importance of accurate news reporting and the impact of social media on journalism. The featured panelists are recipients of the 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism. close
*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
VIDEO - Military Experts Laugh At North Korea's ''Fake Weapons'' & Garbage Sunglasses '' MILO NEWS
Sat, 29 Apr 2017 17:12
Military experts are poking fun at North Korea's attempts at displaying military, stating the 'weapons' used by the communist country in parades are nothing but fakes. The Mirror, citing western intelligence, reports that ''even sunglasses worn by despot Kim Jong-Un's elite troops are flat-lensed '' making them useless in battle, as they give little sun-glare protection.''
The outlet goes on to cite former US intelligence officer Michael Pregent, who allegedly examined images from North Korea's military parade earlier this month.
''The display was more about sending a message than being combat-effective,'' said Pregent according to The Mirror.
Pregent allegedly added that many of the guns carried by the military members were toys and that the launchers were just ''bullet-storage magazines.''
Image via The Mirror
Pregent made his remarks to Fox News, poking fun at even the suggestion that North Korea would be able to manufacture ammunition for all the weapons paraded earlier this month. ''Even the fingerless gloves being sported by some of those soldiers are more for show,'' reads the Fox News article highlighting Pregent's analysis.
''Some of our guys do have them, but most guys go all the way with full gloves based on the heat of the barrel from a round,'' he reportedly added. ''Not to mention, they're fire resistant if you need to pick up something.''
Even Very Fake News CNN is calling BS on Kim Jung-Un's weapons. Most Viewed
VIDEO - Revolutionary solar company Rayton Solar gets a boost from Bill Nye | Inhabitat - Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building
Sat, 29 Apr 2017 17:06
One of the coolest guys in science, Bill Nye is turning his attention to new solar technology that could cut the cost of panels by 60 percent. Rayton Solar has devised a system that cuts Float Zone Silicon, a crucial component of solar panels, with a particle accelerator. Their groundbreaking technique results in less waste and lower costs, making solar power more financially competitive than fossil fuels.
Solar panels are largely made with silicon, but the typical process to cut silicon results in a lot of waste. By utilizing a particle accelerator, Rayton Solar uses 50 to 100 times less silicon than other industry processes. As silicon is the most expensive component of a solar panel, Rayton Solar's process allows them to make solar panels 60 percent cheaper. The type of silicon they cut makes a difference too: Float Zone Silicon is the highest grade and is the type NASA uses.
Related: Rayton's new super-efficient, affordable solar panels could trump fossil fuels
Solar power has benefited from subsidies in the past, but Rayton Solar CEO and founder Andrew Yakub wants to make the renewable energy cost effective without subsidies. With their process, ''subsidies are not needed for solar energy to be the cheapest source of energy,'' according to the company.
In his video discussing Rayton Solar, Bill Nye compared the current pivotal moment in history to that of when oil overtook coal as the primary energy source around 100 years ago. He said, ''We stand on the cusp on a new era, in which the paradigm for energy is changing'...An opportunity to back a disruptive solar technology represents a path to enabling change to a renewable future, and an investment with very bright economic prospects. Join us as we begin the solar age.''
Rayton Solar is currently ''testing the waters'' on Start Engine; those interested in their technology can reserve shares so the company can gauge interest. So far the reservations have amounted to over $4 million.
+ Rayton Solar
+ Rayton Solar Start Engine Campaign
Images via screenshot and Rayton Solar
VIDEO - "Why Is She Far-Right?" Tucker Analyzes Marine Le Pen's Candidacy for French President - YouTube
Sat, 29 Apr 2017 13:38
VIDEO - UC Davis Rolls Out "Morning After Pill" Vending Machines - "It Encourages Responsibility"
Sat, 29 Apr 2017 06:02
The University of California at Davis has a revolutionary solution for all their binge-drinking students who find it difficult to control their primal urges after a night of frat-hopping...the 'Plan B' vending machine. For $30 a box students can now flush that pesky, potentially-fertilized egg without the hassle of having to walk all the way to a pharmacy.
Of course, the female students on campus seem to love the idea, saying..."It's like useful"....yeah, totally, and stuff.
"It's easier to take a Plan B than have to tell your parents that you're pregnant."
"It's like useful....so that you don't have to go to a pharmacy..."
Meanwhile, one parent actually told CBS Sacramento that the vending machine "encourages responsibility."
"It encourages responsiblity. I mean if you mess up then you mess up. It's better than waiting to see if you get pregnant and have an abortion."
We suspect many other parents might have a slightly different definition of "responsibility"...but what do we know?
But the machine isn't just for emergencies...it also offers condoms for those who prefer to plan ahead.
The vending machine was the brain child of UC Davis student, Parteek Singh, who said he came up with the idea after his "friends" had a close encounter one Friday night when the local pharmacy ran out of Plan B pills.
"There was an incident where my friends went to the one pharmacy that was open 24/7 in town on a Friday night. And they were all out of emergency contraceptive."
''I want to see this on every college campus."
What more is there to say really?
VIDEO - Bill Nye vs. the World - YouTube
Sat, 29 Apr 2017 05:39
VIDEO - FCC chair Ajit Pai explains why he wants to scrap net neutrality | PBS NewsHour
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:23
JUDY WOODRUFF: A political fight is brewing about access to the Internet. The new head of the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission, wants to clear away regulations about who controls and polices the flow of content on the Internet.
William Brangham has that.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: We're talking here about what's known as net neutrality, not the easiest concept to grasp, so bear with me.
Almost all of us in America get our Internet access via one main provider. These are the telecom and cable giants like Verizon, Comcast, Charter, Time Warner. They provide the infrastructure that delivers the bounty of the Web to our homes and phones: sites and apps like Google, Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, you name it.
The telecoms build the highway. The others guys are like the cars traveling that highway.
The idea of net neutrality is that the telecoms have to treat that highway as an open road. They can't pick and choose which Web sites or services get to you faster or slower. The fear is that, if they do have that power, they will be tempted to favor their content, their sites, their own videos over a competitor's.
But the telecoms argue that's not fair, they should be able to control that flow, and be able to charge more for faster access.
In 2014, the Federal Communications Commission under President Obama wanted to lock in these net neutrality rules, but it faced intense pushback by the industry.
The fight even spilled into pop culture, with this from HBO's John Oliver:
JOHN OLIVER, Host, ''Last Week Tonight With John Oliver'': If we let cable companies offer two speeds of service, they won't be Usain Bolt and Usain Bolt on a motorbike. They will be Usain Bolt, and Usain bolted to an anchor.
(LAUGHTER)
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But those net neutrality rules did pass and have been in place for the last three years.
But Ajit Pai, President Trump's new FCC chairman, now wants to get rid of those rules, arguing they're too burdensome. And this week, he began the process of rolling them back.
And FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai joins me now.
Welcome to the NewsHour.
AJIT PAI, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission: Thank you for having me.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, you, I understand, are not a fan of these net neutrality rules from a few years ago. What is your principal concern?
AJIT PAI: Well, I favor a free and open Internet, as I think most consumers do.
My concern is with the particular regulations that the FCC adopted two years ago. They are what is called Title II regulations developed in the 1930s to regulate the Ma Bell telephone monopoly.
And my concern is that, by imposing those heavy-handed economic regulations on Internet service providers big and small, we could end up disincentivizing companies from wanting to build out Internet access to a lot of parts of the country, in low-income, urban and rural areas, for example.
And that, I think, is something that nobody would benefit from.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Is there evidence, though, that these rules have disincentivized those companies? There are '-- businesses are doing very, very well. They're spending billions on the spectrum.
AJIT PAI: There is significant evidence that investment in infrastructure has gone down since the adoption of these rules.
For example, there is a study by a highly respected economist that says that among the top 12 Internet service providers in terms of size, investment is down by 5.6 percent, or several billion dollars, over the last two years.
And amongst smaller providers as well, just literally this week, 22 Internet service providers with 1,000 customers or less told us that these Title II regulations have kept them from getting the financing that they need to build out their networks. And, as they put it, these net neutrality regulations hang like a black cloud over our businesses.
And so what we're trying to do going forward is figure out a way that we can preserve that free and open Internet that consumers want and need and preserve that incentive to invest in the network that will ultimately benefit even more consumers going forward.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: I know there is a whole other group of Internet companies, Facebook, Google, Instagram, those types of companies that have said to you, these rules are not a hindrance to us. We have been able to thrive and survive under these rules. Don't change them.
What do you say to them when they argue this to you?
AJIT PAI: Well, two different points.
First, if you look carefully, a lot of those companies don't say that they like Title II specifically, these particular regulations. What they say is that they care about the principles of a free and open Internet.
And so I actually think there is a decent amount of common ground there. And it's just a matter of finding the appropriate legal framework to reach that common ground.
But the second point I would make is that these companies are the best evidence of the success of the light-touch regulatory framework that originated in the Clinton administration, and that's something that I favor.
From the dawn of the commercial Internet in the 1990s until 2015, we had light-touch regulation, where the agency or where the country monitored the market, let it develop organically, and then took targeted action if necessary, if there was an example of anti-competitive conduct.
And it's under that light-touch framework that the companies like Google, like Facebook, like Netflix were able to become globally known names. And that's the kind of success that we want to promote in the future with light-touch regulation.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: One of the issues here is whether or not we treat broadband like a utility. And if it's treated like a utility, the requirement is that you as the provider are not allowed to put your finger on the scale and slow one person down or speed somebody else up.
And I just want to pose a hypothetical to you.
AJIT PAI: Sure.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Let's just say Comcast created a new TV series, and it just so happened that that competed with a Netflix series very similarly.
If these rules go away, how is there not an incredible incentive for Comcast to slow Netflix down coming into my house and make their video, the Comcast video, very robust?
AJIT PAI: So, under that hypothetical, one of the things that's important to remember is that it is a hypothetical.
And we don't see evidence of that happening in the marketplace on a widespread level.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: There have been some examples of ISPs blocking certain things. The Google Wallet was blocked. Skype was blocked. One Canadian telecom blocked pro-labor sites.
I mean, they're '-- it's not like this doesn't happen.
AJIT PAI: Well, there are isolated cases, but if you look at the FCC's own records, there are only scattered anecdotes to support this.
And the argument I have made is that, in order to justify preemptive regulation of all 4,462 Internet service providers, you should have pretty concrete evidence of an overwhelming market failure.
But, secondly, the other argument I would make is that the hypothetical is a classic question of competition and consumer protection law.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, you would feel comfortable telling consumers, you can trust the Comcasts, the agencies, the Verizons, to not do that, to not put their finger on the scale and promote their stuff, at the expense of someone else's?
AJIT PAI: Not at all.
I would say, as a government regulator, that we don't put faith in any single particular sector of the economy, a particular company. We put our faith in the rule of law. And the rule of law, which includes antitrust law and consumer protection law, is basically administered by the federal government agencies and state agencies that are charged with executing that law.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Back when the FCC was first talking about changing these rules a few years ago, there was something like four million comments posted. And the overwhelming majority of those were people saying, we want net neutrality. We want to know that these protections are in place.
Does that evidence not sway you that maybe these rules shouldn't be dismantled?
AJIT PAI: Well, I certainly understand that there is a wide variety of public interest in this particular issue.
But when I meet with consumers '-- and I have met with folks from Kalamazoo, Michigan, down to Carthage, Mississippi, from Barrow, Alaska, to Diller, Nebraska, what they tell me is that the concern is not that their Internet service provider is blocking lawful traffic or doing something like that. It's that they want more competition. They want better, faster and cheaper Internet.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, thank you very much for being here.
AJIT PAI: It's great to be with you.
VIDEO - Trump talks about what he misses from previous life - BBC News
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:09
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VIDEO - Female Game Developer's response to Tropes vs Women - YouTube
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:57
VIDEO - Flat Earth | 100% Proof Space Travel is Fake & Mars Missions are Too '–¶¸¸ - YouTube
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:49
VIDEO - The Europe Song - YouTube
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:41
VIDEO - CNN Panel Meltdown Over Trump Speech in Harrisburg PA - YouTube
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 10:31
VIDEO - Ahead of May Day, the eight-hour work day under attack in Congress | KUOW News and Information
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 09:23
When you're out marching on May Day in Seattle on Monday, remember how the tradition began: as an attempt to get workers an eight-hour day.
And then think about this: Some labor advocates say the eight-hour day is under attack in Congress.
University of Washington historian James Gregory explained that the movement to cut the length of the workday started in the 19th century, when 10- or 12-hour work days were the norm. Gregory said the labor movement tried to fix that:
"The celebration of May Day commemorates a general strike that started on May 1, 1886," he said. "Hundreds of thousands of workers across the United States walked out demanding shorter work days. This was the start of the eight-hour day movement, which years later resulted in legislation."
Eventually, the Fair Labor Standards Act passed during the New Deal, in 1938. So nowadays if your boss asks you to work more than eight hours in a day, or 40 hours in the week, you get paid extra.
But are we headed for a rollback?
"The May Day marches that are going to be taking place on Monday actually circle back to the originating cause," Gregory said, "because right now Congress is considering effectively abolishing the Fair Labor Standards Act: the eight-hour, or time-and-a-half overtime provision, that has been a workplace right for the last 80 years."
The bill before Congress now is called the Working Families Flexibility Act.
If it passes, instead of overtime, employers could give compensatory time or ''comp'' time. Republican Cathy McMorris-Rodgers of Spokane supports that because she says it gives employees options so ''they can be present in their family's lives.''
Democrat Suzan DelBene, who represents the 1st Congressional District north of Seattle, disagrees.
"I think we want to make sure that workers do have flexibility, but that doesn't mean presenting a false choice like this bill where you aren't guaranteeing that employees can even use their accrued comp time,'' she said. ''There's no remedy if they're denied being allowed to use that.''
The Working Families Flexibility Act is expected to be brought to the floor in the House next week.
VIDEO - 023 Ben Liebrand In The Mix Oldskool-Mix-Tape-Style on Vimeo
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 09:22
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VIDEO - POWERFUL: Alex Jones Destroys MSM At Austin Child Custody Press Conference >> Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 09:20
POWERFUL: Alex Jones Destroys MSM At Austin Child Custody Press Conference >> Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!POWERFUL: Alex Jones Destroys MSM At Austin Child Custody Press Conference >> Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
VIDEO - Trump Campaign Chair Arrested For Child Sex Trafficking - #NewWorldNextWeek - YouTube
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 06:46
VIDEO - MTV Top 20 Countdown with commercials (October 9, 1988) - YouTube
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 06:25
VIDEO - I sexually identify as an Attack Tyronecopter. - YouTube
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 06:24
VIDEO - First Britain to China Train arrives in Yiwu - YouTube
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 06:22
VIDEO - Bill Maher Goes Off On UC Berkeley's Treatment Of Ann Coulter: "Now The Cradle Of F*king Babies!" HD - YouTube
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 05:17
VIDEO - CBS Trashes White House's Tax Plan, Critique Divorced from Reality | MRCTV
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 05:11
***To read the full blog, please check out the complete post on NewsBusters***
The White House on Wednesday released the outline for the President's proposed tax plan that would drastically cut taxes and simplify the filing process, among other things. CBS's resident Trump critic and anchor, Scott Pelley kicked off the show smearing it. ''Today the Trump administration rushed out a plan for historic tax cuts high on hyperbole, but with only a dollop of detail,'' he declared at the top of CBS Evening News. His critique was loaded with snide attacks at the President and at one point divorced itself from reality, something Pelley once chastised Trump for.
''The list of aspirations looked more like an attempt to beat the 100-day mark in the Trump presidency rather than a serious proposal to reform the tax code,'' he slammed. From there, he unleashed a torrent of condemnation with little substance:
On paper, everyone is in for a break, personal income taxes, corporate taxes, savings for the rich and the dead, but nothing on how to implement it or pay for it. Far from legislation, the President's bullet points today were loaded into a starting gun that signals the beginning of a race of lobbyists and special interests to rewrite America's 70,000-page tax code.
Pelley's mischaracterization of the plan is obvious upon reading the document. The plan aims to provide savings for all of America. It even says the plan aims to: ''Eliminate targeted tax breaks that mainly benefit the wealthiest taxpayers.'' And the smug remark about ''the dead'' getting a tax break dismisses the tragedy of family farms, businesses, and land having to be broken up and sold in order to please the hungry IRS.
...
VIDEO - WH: Obama Administration Issued Flynn's Security Clearance | MRCTV
Sun, 30 Apr 2017 04:58
The White House said Thursday that it was ''appropriate'' for the Defense Department's inspector general to launch an investigation into the payment that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn received prior to joining the Trump team from Russia Today - an entity of the Russian government. Read Full Story

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SJW BLM LGBBTQQIAAP

Instagram CEO Marne Levin - SAFE SPACE AND POSITIVE EXPERIENCE.mp3
Jordan Peterson vs Trans Woman - Candanavia going full Pronoun.mp3
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WHCD

CNN Paul Begala Meltdown Over Trump Speech in Harrisburg PA .mp3
State of the News Media-CSPAN-1-Tur in facts lead into Brian Selter on Alternate Universes.mp3
State of the News Media-CSPAN-2-Trump supporters are minority-lists Trump’s fact check false.mp3
Trump Harrisburg-Blacks for Trump.mp3
Trump Harrisburg-CNN Sucks.mp3
Trump Harrisburg-Don't call China a currency manipulator.mp3
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