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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (30 sites): 1. World from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): BBC News – World: Trudeau conveys Keystone pipeline ‘disappointment’ to Biden

Despite the revoking of the Keystone XL permit, the Canadian PM hails “a new era” in bilateral ties.

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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: Iranians Lose Savings In Stock Market, Threaten Riots

Iranian stock market investors demand justice. Photo Credit: Iran News Wire

According to a state-run daily the more than two million Iranian stock market investors who lost their savings in the stock market will “riot” if their demands are not met.

The Jahan-e-Sanat daily warned that in order to prevent protests the executive official responsible for the stock market must resign.

Another state-run daily, cited the political interference in Iran’s stock market, and said yesterday only people certain “information” would be able to take advantage of the “political” market.

The daily wrote that a quick glance at the stock market trend from the beginning of the year shows interference which initially led to stocks soaring and then plunging very quickly.

“After certain interactions, institutional investors lined up to buy stocks. It was as if they knew the stocks had an expiration date and wanted run away with their profits. The current protests are a desperate measure. Those who have lost (their savings) and cannot do anything. Their investments are gone”, the report said adding that no court would be willing to issue an indictment for the culprits.

The report indirectly cited the Iranian government and wrote “those who planned for the big profits and compensation for their deficits” are neglecting Iranian stock market investors who are reeling from their losses.

In the past two weeks, Iranian stock market investors held large gatherings outside the Securities and Exchange Organization to demand their lost money. Despite the peaceful nature of the protests, videos on January 19 showed police trying to violently arrest protesters. Other protesters cried out for the police to let them go and prevented the arrests.

Protesters chanted against Rouhani and his administration calling them dishonorable, liars and thieves.

Iranian stock market investors also held several protests for consecutive days in November 2020 to demand their lost savings.

On January 17, Iran’s Deputy Speaker of Parliament said the government had taken advantage of the country’s stock market which has been mostly in the red for the past few days.

“The government has been inadequate, has had misconducts and has taken advantage of the stock market,” Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh said in comments carried by the state-run Mehr News Agency.

In comments carried by the IRGC affiliated Tasnim News Agency on October 20, 2020 Minister of Finance Dejpasand implied that the government used the stock market to compensate for its budget deficit.

“I would like to inform you that fortunately, as a result of the measures devised by the government, in the last six months, we have been able to make up for the shortfall of our resources from the sale of securities and the transfer of shares of state-owned companies.”

In an October 3, 2020 article, the state-run Aftab-Yazd daily also stated that Iran used the stock market to make up for its deficits.

Two days ago, on January 19, Hassan Ghalibaf Asl, the CEO of Tehran’s Stock Exchange resigned.

The article Iranians Lose Savings In Stock Market, Threaten Riots appeared first on Eurasia Review.

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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: Abbas And Biden: A Workable Partnership? – OpEd

Mahmoud Abbas with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Joe Biden knows as much about the background to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute as anyone, and more than most.  Over the eight years 2008–2016 that the Obama-Biden team headed the US administration, there were two major efforts to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and Biden was heavily engaged in both. 

In setting them up, Washington got very close to Arab leaders in general, and Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas in particular.  Washington during the Obama years advocated the two-state solution, considered Israel’s borders to be the 1948 armistice boundaries, regarded settlement activity in the West Bank as illegal, and was equivocal about Jerusalem, refusing to implement the law requiring the US to site its embassy there.  There is little doubt that Abbas and the PA leadership will attempt to build on that old relationship, and are hoping that Biden will pick up where he left off, thus blocking any attempt to implement Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century”.  

During his time as US vice-president, Biden made countless trips to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and was well aware that Abbas’s term as PA president, due to expire in January 2009, was being extended time and again.  Abbas is doubtless hoping that his attempt to hold elections for the Palestinian legislature and presidency later this year will win brownie points with the new US president.

Coming into office, Barak Obama was a devout believer in the gospel of the time ‒ that the key cause of disharmony in the Middle East was the Israel-Palestinian dispute.  Solve that, the doctrine maintained, and peace would follow as the night the day.  Determined to build bridges with the Muslim world Obama, within days of taking office, appointed George Mitchell his “special envoy to the Middle East”, and charged him explicitly to seek a comprehensive Arab-IsraeIi peace.  Step one, in accordance with the creed of the time, was obviously to broker peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.  

Mitchell, negotiating very skillfully with all the parties concerned, obtained the Arab League’s blessing to open negotiations, and persuaded Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to obtain the Knesset’s agreement to a 10-month freeze on all construction in the West Bank.  By early March 2010 a new peace initiative seemed a done deal. On March 10, 2010 vice-president Joe Biden flew to the Middle East to inaugurate the first phase. 

Then everything went wrong.  Virtually as Biden emerged from the plane, Israel’s Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, leader of the Shas party, authorized final approval of a scheme to construct 1600 new housing units in what Washington considered an illegal settlement.  The Obama administration was outraged.  The move was seen as an insult not only to the vice-president, but to the US itself.  

It was all eventually smoothed over, but to no effect.  The 2010 peace initiative eventually ran into the ground.  Abbas delayed coming to the table for direct talks month after month, until the 10-month building freeze drew to a close. He then demanded an extension of the freeze as the price of continuing to talk – but achieving Knesset approval to an extension was beyond even the political skills of Netanyahu. 

 It took three years before the Obama White House was able to renew its attempt to get the parties round the negotiating table.  Biden was pretty fully involved in that effort as well.

This time the task was placed in the hands of US Secretary of State John Kerry.  Kerry was notably vigorous and enthusiastic in tackling his formidable task.  On the last day of April 2013, Kerry and Joe Biden hosted an Arab League delegation to obtain cover for the new effort. History records that this initiative, like its predecessor, quickly ran into the sands.  It lasted barely the optimistic nine months that the negotiating teams had allowed.

Abbas, apparently appreciating that there can be no simple return to the Obama era, is signaling a change of direction.  He can see that the PA’s violent reaction to the Abraham Accords and Arab-Israel normalization produced precisely no effect and, changing tack, has embarked on an attempt to mend relations with Arab nations and win the goodwill of the Biden administration. 

On November 17, 2020 the PA suddenly announced that it was restoring suspended relations with Israel and resuming security coordination on the West Bank. It also resumed accepting the tax revenues which the Israeli government collects on its behalf.  

Two days later, the PA returned its ambassadors to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain (they had been recalled in protest at the normalization with Israel).  Then, when first Sudan and later Morocco subscribed to the Abraham Accords, the PA offered no reaction at all.  Abbas doubtless calculates that the normalization process seems likely to continue whether the Palestinians like it or not, and if the PA were to withdraw its ambassadors from every Arab state that signs up, it would risk its isolation deepening even further.

Meanwhile, ahead of the transition to a new US administration, Jordan, Egypt and the PA are apparently preparing the ground for a common stand on resolving the Palestine-Israel issue. A trilateral meeting in Cairo on December 19 involving the foreign ministers of the three countries resulted in a joint statement calling for the resumption of peace negotiations.

PA foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said that the PA is ready to cooperate with the new US president to achieve a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, on territory captured by Israel during the 1967 war. He added that coordination with Cairo and Amman would establish a “starting point” in dealing with the incoming Biden administration in Washington.  Al-Malki urged Israel to return to the negotiating table for peace talks based on the two-state solution.  Significantly, perhaps, during a conversation with King Abdullah in November, president-elect Joe Biden reaffirmed his support for the two-state solution. 

Can Abbas, backed by Jordan and Egypt, forge an effective working relationship with the new US president ‒ and if so, what might be the outcome?

The article Abbas And Biden: A Workable Partnership? – OpEd appeared first on Eurasia Review.

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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): “Get FBI out of Counterintelligence” – Google News: Restaurants challenged by reopening amid COVID-19 – Yahoo News

Restaurants challenged by reopening amid COVID-19  Yahoo News

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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: European Mints For Georgian Money – Analysis

georgia mint euro coin currency europe

Georgia’s relations with the West have a “financial” history.

By Prof. Dr. Tedo Dundua and Dr. Emil Avdaliani*

In history books, it is fashionable to talk about Georgia’s political, military and economic ties with the West in the light of various recent agreements signed between Tbilisi and the EU/NATO, or cooperation the Medieval Georgian kings had with their western counterparts. Far smaller ties are rarely mentioned, though over millennia they have constituted a significant bond between Georgia and the West. Minting is one such sphere, and is a testimony to the country’s cultural, technological and economic cooperation with the West.

Georgia’s relations with the West also have a “financial” history. On April 9, 1991 the Supreme Council of Georgia declared the independence of the country. The National Bank of Georgia was established on August 2, 1991. Since October 2, 1995, Lari, the national currency of Georgia, has been in circulation. This was a revival of a national minting tradition which started in the 6th c. B.C.

With no technologies left by the Soviets, Georgians had to order from Western companies both banknotes and commemorative coins. For example, banknotes dated 1995, and commemorative gold coins dedicated to the 50th anniversary of victory in World War II, were produced by the French company “François Charles Oberthure”, following the Georgian design. In 2000, the National Bank of Georgia ordered from the Royal Mint, UK, silver, copper-nickel alloy and bimetallic coins dedicated to 2000 A.D. and 3000 years of Georgian statehood.

Collaboration of the same type existed in the past. Not because they lacked mint technologies, but for a higher level of Greek art, some Georgian (Colchian and Iberian) rulers ordered their coins to be struck in the bilingual (Graeco-Colchian) cities of Phasis (Modern Poti, Western Georgia) or Trapezus (Modern Trabzon, Turkey).

Coin evidence and narrative clearly demonstrate that throughout the second half of the 3rd c. B.C. Bagrat Pharnavaziani, Duke of Klarjeti (Southwest Georgia), issued the coins with a proud Aramaic legend. Saurmag, the second king of Iberia (East, South and Southwest Georgia), had to deal with a revolt of the dukes. Was ambitious Bagrat among them, did he secure southern principality for himself? Perhaps, we need more records for the full picture. But still, his coins are present, ordered, maybe, from the nearest Greek community. And that could be either Phasis, or Trapezus.

Aka stater is an exact copy of the gold coins struck with the name of Lysimachus (after his death), Alexander’s general. Aka stater was issued in the beginning of the 2nd c. B.C. Two specimens are known. Stylistically, technically and artistically, the coin is no less than its prototype.

The topography of the coin findings proves their local, Colchian origin – they were found in Trabzon/Trapezus and in Western Georgia. The name of the king on the reverse of the coin is in possessive case and can be translated (from the Greek) as “of king Akes/Aka or Akos”.

Thus, Georgia’s association with the West can be traced in numerous spheres of life, and minting is one of them.

*Prof. Dr. Tedo Dundua, Dr. Emil Avdaliani, Institute of Georgian History, Ivane Javakhishvili, Tbilisi State University

The article European Mints For Georgian Money – Analysis appeared first on Eurasia Review.

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