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Join date : 2015-05-29

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News -

Putin fires 17 times at Ukrainians yesterday. Update - One soldier injured.
Ruble in freefall again. 80 to a dollar - and falling.

Weather -
In a cool phase, but not too far from the average for this time of year.
-9 now at 0700. High maybe of -6. Comfortable. No new snow.
Update: 1400 - -5. Normal for time of year. Forecast looks better next week.

Last edited by Nelson on Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:06 am; edited 3 times in total
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On April 6, 2016, Dutch citizens for the first time will be able to test the long-awaited "direct democracy" tool they obtained last year - a referendum on legislative decisions.

As some may know, the subject of the referendum has become the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Although, The Netherlands claim it is not about Ukrainian interests, but about the Dutch Euroscepticism.

Anyway, the referendum results will have a direct impact on the Agreement's fate. The Institute of World Policy (IWP) tried, without fear or favour, to figure out what the Dutch law says about the referendum and what could be its legal consequences.

Some background

The idea of "direct democracy" - voters' ability to directly influence political decisions - is very popular in the Netherlands. The country's history records many legislative initiatives of the kind.

The current bill was submitted to the Dutch parliament back in 2005, but voted for only in 2014. However, it took effect on July 1st, 2015. Under the law, a referendum may take place if 300,000 signatures of supporters are gained. The full title of the law is 'the Law on correcting advisory referendum'.

Read also Netherlands suspends key EU-Ukraine deal ratification approval

What does it mean?

The term "advisory" (as opposed to "binding") in this context suggests the referendum outcome does not cancel the decision directly, yet is the basis for the government and parliament's future action. However, this does not mean that election results are not important, as many of Ukrainian politicians tend to think mistakenly .

To get the referendum recognized, the voter turnout should be at least 30%. Voters may only answer 'yes' or 'no' to the question.

What will happen on April 6?

Well, on April 6, 2016, the Dutch voters will answer the question: "Do you support or oppose the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement?"

There may be three referendum outcomes:

- The voter turnout is less than 30%, and the results are invalid (but not unimportant).
- The voter turnout exceeds 30%, and most people vote in favour of the Association Agreement.
- The voter turnout exceeds 30%, and most people vote against the Association Agreement.

Thus, the turnout is a matter of high priority. In the Netherlands, it can vary dramatically. When it comes down to national and the EU-related issues, the voter turnout substantially exceeds 30%. However, the Dutch people are not that enthusiastic about taking part in local elections.

63% of voters took part in the EU Constitution vote in 2005, while, for example, only 9% of people took part in the 2007 elections of the mayor for Utrecht - the fourth most populous city in that country.

The referendum on Ukraine goes to the first category of well-attended elections. Today's polls show the forthcoming referendum turnout will most likely exceed 30%.

Therefore - and this is vital - it is pointless to expect the low voter turnout. Ukraine has either to win the referendum with a majority of votes or otherwise - lose.

What the law says..................

Recommend to read further go to this link:
British-American financier William Browder, who has been deposed once already as a witness in the Prevezon case, declined to comment to RFE/RL for this story.

At first glance, it’s a case that could easily be misconstrued as a humdrum allegation of ill-gotten foreign money being laundered through dealings in American real estate.

Peel away a couple layers of The United States Of America vs. Prevezon Holdings Ltd., however, and you'll find all the makings of a modern international spy thriller.

The mind-boggling case currently making its way through U.S. District Court in Manhattan centers on money, power, and strange plot twists. The most eye-opening particulars of the case, however, aren't even officially on the docket: an audacious $230 million tax-fraud scheme, allegedly carried out with the complicity of Russian government officials, followed by the posthumous conviction of а whistle-blowing tax auditor and the trial in absentia of a crusading British-American financier.

But when U.S. vs. Prevezon opens as a "civil-asset forfeiture trial" on January 27, it will be the first case stemming from the original tax-fraud scheme -- which unfolded eight years ago in Russia -- to make it to trial in U.S. courts.

That means there may be more plot twists to come.

Shell Game.....................

To read further go to this link:
Elections in occupied Donbas can be held only if Ukraine media get access, weapons and foreign troops withdrawn, OSCE monitors allowed to supervise the Ukraine-Russia border controlled by Ukraine border guards, Iryna Herashchenko, Pres Poroshenko’s envoy to Donbas said Jan. 19 on Kanal 5 TV.

She stressed the Russians and their Donbas thugs do not implement the Minsk ceasefire agreements which can lead to the peaceful solution of the stand-off.

She also stressed the results of Nov. 2014 gun-point elections that proclaimed the formation of Luhansk and Donetsk breakaway republics are to be cancelled.
Really Kerry knows very little about the problems in Donbass. It would be better if he had somebody at the meeting from Ukraine to help him understand what is going on there.
on Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:14 pmNelson
It is expected that a total of 93,000 new HIV cases will have been registered in 2015, which is a historically high level, Pokrovsky said.
Up almost 100,000. That's an increase of about 10% in ONE YEAR. Massive. Saying the true figure is nearer 1.5 million people.
Ukraine also has a massive AIDS-HIV problem. Still not enough ads on tv, or posters. There are, however, more ads for condoms on tv now, especially the music video channels. That, at least, is better than nothing.
Antalya is the more normal destination for the summer. And hotels will be cheaper now that no Russians will be going there. (Unless Putin is removed from power).
on Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:41 amNelson
1 minute ago
Crude Oil & Natural Gas
WTI Crude Oil (Nymex)
USD/bbl. 27.23 -1.23 -4.32% FEB 16 10:04:32
Brent Crude (ICE)
USD/bbl. 27.77 -0.99 -3.44% MAR 16 10:03:58
The way Putin has structured the economy, so reliant on oil revenue, I can't see Russia lasting in its current form longer than a year.
Massive cuts will be needed in spending, and an increase in borrowing. But - for sure - AFTER the Russian "elections".
1 vote. 1 candidate. Putin. Any opposition eliminated by Kadyrov, or other terrorist groups operating under Putin's direction, in the RF.
Update 2000 hrs
WTI Crude Oil (Nymex)
USD/bbl. 26.47 -1.99 -6.99% FEB 16 12:23:15

Ruble -
Inverse: 81.9211 89.4741 116.177
Nearly 82 to a dollar.
Update - 2030 hrs
Inverse: 82.0758 89.5702 116.260

Last edited by Nelson on Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
on Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:27 amNelson

Whitmore's spiel. To the point, as always. How keen is Russia to reach an agreement in Donbass?
Not very, as far as I can see. Apparently Lavrov and Kerry are meeting today in Switzerland.
Last time Kerry was there I think he broke his leg, not skiing, but cycling!
Putin's favorite option, for sure. No sanctions, and he continues to occupy illegally seized territory.
The more fascist, or mega-left governments in Europe that might support this include Greece, Italy, and maybe France with Le Pen's nutters.
Also, of course, the nutcases in England - Seamus Milne, advisor to Corbyn, and his associates. Maybe Corbyn himself.

Russian businessman Konstantin Grigorishin is involved in funding anti-Ukrainian political forces and cooperates with the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.

Prime Minister Arsenii Yatseniuk said, Censor.NET informs referring to Interfax-Ukraine.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting, the prime minister elaborated on individuals who are likely to face Ukraine's sanctions in connection with the aggression of the Russian Federation.

According to Yatseniuk, Ukrainian law enforcers have already instituted criminal proceedings against some of them.

"They steal money from the budget, fund primarily anti-Ukrainian political forces and report to the FSB, as, for example, the case with Russian Federation citizen Grigorishin who has milked money from Ukrainian energy sector during last 10 years. He is a real agent," the prime minister said. Source: Source:

Yats talking about including more people on the sanctions list.
on Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:05 amNelson 1 minute ago

Rubles for one dollar / one euro / one pound
Inverse:  80.7362   88.1482   114.461

Well - the ruble goes through 80 - and shows no signs of stopping its fall at all!
Next benchmark - 90 rubles to the dollar.
Important for the power stations.
Much of the Donbass coal now goes to Russia.
Putin will want "Shaun Walker" observed elections, 1 candidate, I vote, 10,000 kalishnikovs in the hands of Walker's "DNR guys".
Frankly - more and more - I see Donbass becoming another "Transdniestr" - i.e. a wasteland, occupied by Russian military, and grannies (Soviet babushkas).
As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine boosted daily natural gas imports from Slovakia on January 16-17 to 34 million cubic meters, which was 23% up on the previous day. Nowadays, Slovakia covers about 90% of Ukraine's need for gas imports....
Obviously importing a little more gas now that it is colder. But hopefully - if the forecast is correct - it will be warmer by the end of the month.
Russia was wanting 212 dollars for gas. 10% higher! The usual "Russian discount". Lies, and more lies.
Original includes vodka and cigarettes.
Super photo at link!!
See also
for a little more detail.

Last edited by Nelson on Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:39 am; edited 1 time in total
Mining subway station in Kiev: the police said details
January 20, 2016,
Kiev police search for bomb that on Wednesday, January 20, reported the mining subway station and train station.
This was stated in the Department of Communication of the Main Administration of the National Police of Ukraine in Kiev.
"Law enforcement officials received information that one of the stations of the subway (at 5:36) and at the train station (at 8:05), laid explosives. In these places immediately drove explosive-service specialists and investigative team of district police departments," - reported in the police.
It is noted that from the territory of the railway station was evacuated about 900 people, and from the metro station - six workers underground.
As a result of a thorough examination of the territory of the subway station no dangerous items were found.

This is happening a lot now.
Pure disruption. Another of Putin's games, for sure. Amazingly I was at Voksalna station yesterday, and also on Monday.
It is perhaps the busiest metro station in Kiev after Kreschatik - Maidan. I am guessing... Normally busy most of the time.
This story makes sense to me now. Somebody in the armed forces said to me yesterday that several countries had dropped the need for visas for Ukrainians.
I said that I doubted the story. Looks like somebody started a rumour on purpose... Likely a Russian source, in my opinion
Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 12:52
Day in the zone of the antiterrorist operation passed without loss, injury suffered 1 fighter.
This at a traditional briefing on Wednesday, spokesman for the Presidential Administration Andriy Lysenko ATO.
"For the past day because of fighting among Ukrainian soldiers nobody died there, but one guy was injured," - he said.
According to the spokesman ATO, it happened because of shelling by militants Marinka.
20 января 2016, 05:22
В Забайкалье уничтожили 14 тонн американского салата
More than 14 tons of the American lettuce, imported from China, were destroyed in the Trans-Baikal region. It is reported by local news agency by Agency «Chita.Ru" referring to the chief of the regional department of Rosselkhoznadzor Evdokia Khudyakov.
According to her salad with the American label was detained at the border. In Russia he tried to smuggle disguised as Chinese. After the paperwork salad destroyed for landfill in the village of Zabaikalsk...

Clearly some American agents maybe hiding in the salad. Whatever, American salad - very dangerous. People might start liking it!
P.S. This story is real - not a joke! Only in Russia!
Photo of the dangerous salad from TASS, the Russian news agency. (seriously). Clearly a danger to Russian security!

....Martin Luithle told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle that the report, aired at prime time on Jan. 16, violated German laws and was incitement to racial hatred.
It detailed the disappearance and rape of a 13-year-old Russian-speaking girl in Berlin by Arab migrants and a supposed coverup by German police.
Luithle said the report was filmed as a piece of propaganda....
The incident has been compared to an infamous Channel One report from eastern Ukraine in 2014, which offered an eyewitness account of the public crucifixion of a 3-year-old boy by Ukrainian soldiers. The report was exposed as a fraud. Channel One never apologized...

More Russian lies. More Russian propaganda.
The partisans had another successful sabotage in the occupied village of Carl Marx in the suburbs of Yenakiyevo...
Says members of the "armed underground" Killed 6 of Putin's Russian terrorists.
..."Under this legislation we tried people and executed the convicted," Girkin said.
"While I was in Slovyansk four people were executed. Two among the military for looting, one local for looting, and one for killing a serviceman," he said on the Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda, which is affiliated with a leading pro-Kremlin Russian tabloid.
One of the people killed was an "ideological" supporter of the Ukrainian nationalist group Right Sector, he said...
on Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:19 amNelson
1 minute ago - all figures in the red - i.e. falling.

Crude Oil & Natural Gas
WTI Crude Oil (Nymex)
USD/bbl. 27.60 -0.86 -3.02% FEB 16 00:43:43
Brent Crude (ICE)
USD/bbl. 28.20 -0.56 -1.95% MAR 16 00:44:19
Natural Gas (Nymex)
USD/MMBtu 2.09 0.00 -0.24% FEB 16 00:45:00
and the ruble continues to fall - edging towards 80 to a dollar.
rubles for one dollar / euro / pound
Inverse: 79.3342 86.9243 112.264
on Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:02 amNelson
Amazing - rally in Novosibirsk. via Whitmore twitter.
What does it mean? He is a better dictator? Better murderer? The Russians love a dictator.

Special monitoring mission of the OSCE in Ukraine recorded howitzers and tanks militants outside certain places to store heavy weapons in the Donbas.
Included howitzers, at least 17 tanks...
A lot of meetings, but nothing ever happens. It all depends on Putin. When will he realise that his dreams of conquering the world - like Hitler - are not going to work, and are simply leading Russia to isolation and ultimately self-destruction?
Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 6:58
At night, the bandits fired again Ukrainian strongholds for the purpose to provoke a Ukrainian military on fire.
The press center informs Staff ATO page on Facebook.
"Near the Donetsk airport situation remains tense. The enemy opened fire on positions near Ukrainian Pisky. Strongholds of forces at ATO Opitnoe gunmen fired from grenade launchers, and near mines Module bandits applied mortar" - said in a statement.
In Mariupol sending Ukrainian military who hold positions near the village of Water, militants fired mortar and grenade launcher.
In just the past day registered 17 cases when gunmen opened fire on positions of strength ATO.
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