Archive | October 29th, 2019

New Report Reviews Changes in Bolivia’s Economy under Evo Morales’s Presidency

Bolivian Economy Has Been the Fastest-Growing in South America While Following Heterodox Policies

WASHINGTON – A new research report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) analyzes Bolivia’s economic changes since 2006 in the context of the Bolivian government’s main policy decisions. It finds that it has been policy choices, not merely a “commodities boom,” that have been the driving force in Bolivia’s surge to be the fastest-growing economy in South America over the past five years. Strong economic growth has allowed Bolivia to reduce poverty by 42 percent and extreme poverty by 60 percent since President Evo Morales took office in 2006.

“Bolivia has shown that it is possible for a small, poor country in South America to make substantial economic and social progress, with macroeconomic stability, solid income growth and redistribution, through a mix of state-led, heterodox economic policies, and markets,” said Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of CEPR and a co-author of the paper.

Notably, the Bolivian government ended 20 years of IMF agreements in 2006; many of the policies responsible for Bolivia’s economic success since 2006 were previously opposed by the IMF, including most importantly the renationalization of hydrocarbons (also opposed by former president Carlos Mesa, as the IMF noted in 2005).

The report finds that:

  • By 2018, real GDP per capita had increased by 50 percent above its 2005 level. While the region overall has experienced a sharp slowdown over the last five years, Bolivia’s per capital GDP growth was the highest in South America. Since 2006, Bolivia’s real per capita GDP has grown at double the rate for Latin America.
  • In the first eight years of the Morales administration, national government revenue from hydrocarbons increased nearly sevenfold, from $731 million to $4.95 billion. Most of the increased revenue resulted from nationalization and associated policy changes, including a doubling of production by 2013. These revenues were central to allowing the government to achieve macroeconomic stability and accomplish most of its other goals.
  • Bolivia’s unemployment was nearly halved (from 7.7 percent to 4.4 percent) in 2008, and has continued at roughly around that level through 2018.
  • Bolivia has recently held investment at very high levels as compared to the past, with investment averaging 21.8 percent of GDP annually in the past five years (2014–2018).
  • Public investment has increased with the growth of Bolivia’s economy, even during periods of unfavorable terms of trade. Bolivia has had the highest public investment, as a percent of GDP, in the region.
  • Starting in 2010, Bolivia’s Central Bank has applied unconventional monetary policy through a quantitative easing program, in order to purchase financial instruments issued by state-owned enterprises as well as government bonds. In December, 2018, almost half (44 percent) of the Central Bank’s balance sheet was invested in domestic assets (up from 12 percent in 2010).

The paper also notes that “significant challenges remain,” in diversifying Bolivia’s export markets and products and reducing current account and public sector deficits, but that Bolivia’s public debt is fully sustainable.

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The Antidote to Trump’s Corrupt G7 Deal? Impeachment and Conviction

This is a president who believes the powers of the presidency are bestowed on him to advance his own personal interests—political and profit-seeking—rather than those of the American people.

by: Robert Weissman

 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump makes an appearance prior to the start of play during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral Blue Monster Course on March 6, 2016 in Doral, Florida. (Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump makes an appearance prior to the start of play during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral Blue Monster Course on March 6, 2016 in Doral, Florida. (Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump no longer sees fit even to pretend that he is constrained by the law or the U.S. Constitution.

It’s hard to imagine a more blatant violation of the Constitution’s anti-corruption provisions than the president steering foreign governments to stay at his luxury resort.

Yet that is exactly what the Trump administration is doing by scheduling the next meeting of the G7 — the grouping of the seven leading rich countries — at the Trump National Doral resort near Miami.

But this is a line too far. The time for impeachment is now.

The country cannot have a president who awards contracts to himself and flagrantly advertises his disdain for the rule of law.

This is a president who believes the powers of the presidency are bestowed on him to advance his own personal interests—political and profit-seeking—rather than those of the American people.

Public Citizen@Public_Citizen

Trump

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 ̄ ̄┗┓ The U.S. Constitution
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This is the exact attitude that leads to foreign policy being outsourced to the president’s lawyer and his shady accomplices.

It is the exact attitude that leads to the president withholding military aid to Ukraine to pressure that country to intervene in our elections.

It is the exact attitude that has the president interfere with the location of the FBI headquarters because he fears competition with his Washington, D.C., hotel — a hotel operating in violation of the lease with the government and itself a violation of the Constitution’s anti-corruption provisions.

It is an attitude that says, I’m above the law.

But Trump is not above the law.

There is a constitutional remedy for a president who believes and carries out policy as if he is above the law and immune from constitutional restraint: impeachment and conviction.

Take Action: Tell Congress to Impeach Trump Now! It’s hard to imagine a more blatant violation of the Constitution’s anti-corruption provisions than the president steering foreign governments to stay at his luxury resort.

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Trump’s Fake Withdrawal From Endless War

Despite his endless promises to end these wars, Trump has instead been dropping more bombs and missiles on other countries than Bush II and Obama put together—a terrifying feat.

by: Medea BenjaminNicolas J S Davies

Kurdish Syrian civilians flee the town of Kobane on the Turkish border on October 16, 2019 as Turkey and its allies continue their assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria. - Turkey rebuffed international pressure to curb its military offensive against Kurdish militants in Syria today as US President Donald Trump dispatched his deputy Mike Pence to Ankara to demand a ceasefire. (Photo: Bakr Alkasem/AFP via Getty Images)

Kurdish Syrian civilians flee the town of Kobane on the Turkish border on October 16, 2019 as Turkey and its allies continue their assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria. – Turkey rebuffed international pressure to curb its military offensive against Kurdish militants in Syria today as US President Donald Trump dispatched his deputy Mike Pence to Ankara to demand a ceasefire. (Photo: Bakr Alkasem/AFP via Getty Images)

On Monday, October 7th, the U.S. withdrew 50 to 100 troops from positions near Syria’s border with Turkey, and two days later Turkey invaded Rojava, the de facto autonomous Kurdish region of northeast Syria. Trump is now taking credit for a temporary, tenuous ceasefire. In a blizzard of tweets and statements, Donald Trump has portrayed his chaotic tactical relocation of U.S. troops in Syria as a down-payment on his endless promises to withdraw U.S. forces from endless wars in the greater Middle East.

On October 16, the U.S. Congress snatched the low-hanging political fruit of Trump’s muddled policy with a rare bipartisan vote of 354-60 to condemn the U.S. redeployment as a betrayal of the Kurds, a weakening of America’s credibility, a lifeline to ISIS, and a political gift to Russia, China and Iran.

But this is the same Congress that never mustered the integrity to debate or vote on the fateful decision to send U.S. troops into harm’s way in Syria in the first place. This vote still fails to fulfill Congress’s constitutional duty to decide whether U.S. troops should be risking their lives in illegal military operations in Syria, what they are supposed to be doing there or for how long. Members of Congress from both parties remain united in their shameful abdication of their constitutional authority over America’s illegal wars.    

“Members of Congress from both parties remain united in their shameful abdication of their constitutional authority over America’s illegal wars.” Trump’s latest promises to “bring the troops home” were immediately exposed as empty rhetoric by a Pentagon press release on October 11, announcing that the Trump administration has actually increased its deployments of troops to the greater Middle East by 14,000 since May. There were already 60,000 troops stationed or deployed in the region, which the Congressional Research Service described in September as a long-term “baseline,” so the new deployments appear to have raised the total number of U.S. troops in the region to about 74,000.

Precise numbers of U.S. troops in each country are hard to pin down, especially since the Pentagon stopped publishing its troop strength in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria in 2017.  Based mainly on reports by the Congressional Research Service, these are the most accurate and up-to-date numbers we have found:

14,000-15,000 (plus 8,000 from other NATO countries) in Afghanistan; about 7,000, mostly U.S. Navy, in Bahrain; 280 in Egypt; 5,000-10,000 in Iraq, mostly at Al-Asad air base in Anbar province; 2,800 in Jordan (some may now have been relocated to Iraq); 13,000 in Kuwait, the fourth largest permanent U.S. base nation after Germany, Japan and South Korea; a “few hundred” in Oman; at least 13,000 in Qatar, where the Pentagon just approved a $1.8 billion expansion of Al Udeid Air Base, U.S. Central Command’s regional occupation headquarters; about 3,500 in Saudi Arabia, including 500 sent in July and 2,500 more since September; 1,000-2,000 in Syria, who may or may not really be leaving; 1,750 at Incirlik and Izmir Air Bases in Turkey; and more than 5,000 in the UAE, mostly at Al Dhafra Air Base.

As for actually ending the wars that all these forces are waging or supporting, Trump escalated the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria in 2017, and these bombing campaigns rumble on regardless of peace talks with the Taliban and declarations of victory over the Islamic State. U.S. air wars are often more devastating than ground warfare, especially to civilians.

Between 2001 and October 2018, the U.S. and its allies dropped more than 290,000 bombs and missiles on other countries. This reign—or rain—of terror from above has not stopped. According to U.S. airpower statistics, from November 2018 to September 2019 the U.S. has now dropped another 6,811 bombs on Afghanistan and 7,889 on Iraq and Syria.

“It is up to the rest of us to grasp the horror, futility and criminality of the wars that three successive U.S. administrations have inflicted on the world and to organize effective political action to end them and prevent new ones.”In Donald Trump’s first 32 months in office, he is responsible for dropping 17,100 bombs and missiles on Afghanistan and 48,941 on Iraq and Syria, an average of a bomb or missile every 20 minutes. Despite his endless promises to end these wars, Trump has instead been dropping more bombs and missiles on other countries than Bush II and Obama put together.

When Congress finally invoked the War Powers Act to extricate U.S. forces from the Saudi-led war on Yemen, Trump vetoed the bill.  The House has now attached that provision to the FY2020 NDAA military spending bill, but the Senate has not yet agreed to it and Trump may find another way to exclude it.

Even as Donald Trump rails against the military-industrial complex that “likes war” and sometimes sounds sincere in his desire to end these wars, he keeps hiring arms industry executives to run his foreign and military policy. His first defense secretary was General Dynamics board member and retired General James Mattis. Then he brought in Boeing’s Senior Vice President Patrick Shanahan as acting secretary of defense, and now Raytheon lobbyist Mike Esper as Secretary of Defense. Secretary of State Pompeo made his fortune as the co-founder of Thayer Aerospace. Trump boasts about being the best weapons salesman of all, touting his multi-billion dollar deals to provide the repressive Saudi regime with the weapons to commit crimes against humanity in Yemen.

And yet withdrawal from endless wars is one Trump campaign promise that Americans across the political spectrum hoped he would really fulfill. Tragically, like “drain the swamp” and other applause lines, Trump’s promises to end the “crazy, endless wars” have proven to be just another cynical ploy by this supremely cynical politician and con man.

The banal truism that ultimately defines Trump’s foreign policy is that actions speak louder than words. Behind the smokescreen of Trump’s alternating professions of faith to both sides on every issue, he always ends up rewarding the wealthy and powerful. His cronies in the arms industry are no exception.

“Trump’s promises to end the ‘crazy, endless wars’ have proven to be just another cynical ploy by this supremely cynical politician and con man.”

Sober reflection leads us to conclude that Trump’s endless promises will not end the endless wars he has been waging and escalating, nor prevent the new ones he has threatened against North Korea, Venezuela and Iran. So it is up to the rest of us to grasp the horror, futility and criminality of the wars that three successive U.S. administrations have inflicted on the world and to organize effective political action to end them and prevent new ones.

We also need help from legitimate mediators from the UN and mutually trusted third parties to negotiate political and diplomatic solutions that U.S. leaders who are blinded by deeply ingrained militarism and persistent illusions of global military dominance cannot achieve by themselves.

In the real world, which does still exist beyond the fantasy world of Trump’s contradictory promises, that is how we will bring the troops home.

Posted in USA1 Comment

Blasts in Afghan Mosque Kill 62 as UN Says Violence Across Country Causing ‘Unprecedented’ Level of Civilian Casualties

“Civilian casualties are totally unacceptable, especially in the context of the widespread recognition that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.”

byAndrea Germanos,

A volunteer carries an injured youth to a hospital following a bomb blast in Haska Mina district of Nangarhar Province on October 18, 2019.

A volunteer carries an injured youth to a hospital following a bomb blast in Haska Mina district of Nangarhar Province on October 18, 2019. (Photo: Noorullah Shirzada/AFP via Getty Images)

Scores of people were killed Friday after blasts rocked a mosque in eastern Afghanistan—just a day after the United Nations said that civilian casualties in the country hit record levels.

The explosions in the province of Nagarhar came during Friday prayers. Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said that bombs had been placed inside the mosque. As of this writing, no group has claimed responsibility.

Children were among the 62 dead and 36 wounded, Khogyani said.

“It was a heartbreaking scene I witnessed,” said tribal elder Malik Mohammadi Gul Shinwari.

On Thursday, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released new figures showing “an unprecedented number of civilian casualties.”

During the three-month period from July 1 to September 30, UNAMA documented 4,313 civilian casualties, comprised of 1,174 deaths and 3,139 injured. That tally, said UNAMA, marks “the highest number of civilian casualties that it has recorded in a single quarter since it began systematic documentation in 2009.” The figure also represents a 42 percent increase compared to the same three-month period in 2018.

UNAMA attributed the increase mainly to anti-government forces, especially the Taliban. The U.N. noted that in the first half of the year, pro-government including U.S.-backed forces caused more civilian deaths.

The latest figures bring UNAMA’s total so far in 2019 to 8,239 civilian casualties, representing 2,563 killed and 5,676 injured.

“Civilian casualties at record-high levels clearly show the need for all parties concerned to pay much more attention to protecting the civilian population, including through a review of conduct during combat operations,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, head of UNAMA.

“The harm caused to civilians by the fighting in Afghanistan signals the importance of peace talks leading to a ceasefire and a permanent political settlement to the conflict; there is no other way forward,” he continued.

“Civilian casualties are totally unacceptable,”said Yamamoto, “especially in the context of the widespread recognition that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.”

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‘Absolutely No Respect for Human Life’: Trump Compares Turkish Assault on Kurds to Two Kids Fighting in a Parking Lot

“The president is talking about genocidal slaughter and hundreds of thousands of war victims like it’s a playground squabble.”

by; Jake Johnson

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the American Airlines Center on October 17, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

During a campaign rally in Dallas, Texas Thursday night, President Donald Trump compared the Turkish assault on Kurds in Syria that he enabled—which has killed dozens and displaced an estimated 160,000 civilians—to two kids fighting in a parking lot.

“Sometimes you have to let ’em fight,” Trump said to cheers from his supporters. “Like two kids in a lot, you gotta let ’em fight, then you pull ’em apart.”

Trump’s callous and mocking remarks about an attack in which people were maimed, tortured, and executed left observers appalled.

“This little quip speaks volumes,” tweeted S.V. Dáte, White House correspondent for HuffPost. “The president is talking about genocidal slaughter and hundreds of thousands of war victims like it’s a playground squabble.”

The comments, wrote another critic, show the president “has absolutely no respect for human life.”

Watch:

“This is outright horrifying,” tweeted Daniel Nichanian, fellow at the Justice Collaborative. “The Kurds have suffered decades of systematic state-sponsored violence and repression (physical, cultural, political).”

The president’s comments came just hours after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced what they called a “ceasefire” agreement with Turkey that would require Kurds with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to leave a 20-mile area near the border of Turkey.

The deal, which critics condemned as “ethnic cleansing,” was celebrated by Turkey as a near-total victory.

“Turkey isn’t even calling it a ceasefire—it’s calling it a win,” noted Vox‘s Jen Kirby. “It is not clear the Syrian Kurds were consulted at all about this arrangement, and the extent to which they’ll comply remains unclear.”

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Trump openly used the language of ethnic cleansing to describe the U.S. agreement with Turkey:

“Donald Trump is defending the notion that a historically oppressed ethnic minority had to be ‘cleaned out,'” tweeted The Nation‘s John Nichols. “Anyone who defends this language is either wholly ignorant of the past or wholly evil.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said in response to Trump’s comments: “The president of the United States is using the language of ethnic cleansing. If we allow him to continue, who would he use it on next?”

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Lebanon: Popular movement How poison is trapped in honey?


Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

The movement, which began “popularly and spontaneously by good people who carried the right demands,” as Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah described it, was accompanied by a wave of interference by embassies, regional and western countries, political parties and anyone who works to settle its scores. Sayyed, who stressed that “the situation in Lebanon has entered the circle of international and regional political targeting, which employs internal actors,” warned that there are “working to raise social, security and political tensions that will take the country to civil war.”

Information, data and doubts about luring the country into chaos and civil war, which Nasrallah spoke about, which confirms that external parties are preparing a plan to target Lebanon, taking advantage of the demands of the people and their poverty and hunger.

In this context, writer and political analyst Johnny Munir believes that “what the movement achieved in its early days of mass mobilization, attracting foreign and Arab bodies and intelligence services to exploit it in order to achieve its interests,” explaining that “the movement that began spontaneously and began from the pain of people, began external He used it to create chaos and drag the country towards escalation. ”

Mounir points out that “Gulf funds are paid and advanced, in all fields, in order to poison the honey and turn people’s demands from living demands to political demands that affect Hezbollah and its weapons in the first place,” adding that “the Gulf side is working to pressure Hezbollah in all ways. Whatever the cost of the accounts.

Mounir, in his interview with Al-Ahd news site, said that “the Western parties have a different vision and methods from the Gulf sides in dealing with the movement.” Chaos, for complicated regional considerations. ”

He explains that “several things prevent the Westerners from taking any step that explodes the situation, starting with:” First: the tone of calm adopted by the West to resolve the Syrian crisis recently, secondly: their concern to keep the Lebanese border with the occupied territories calm, and third: their consideration Any chaos in Lebanon will open the border for Syrian refugees towards Europe. Fourth, the choice to go to chaos is not the best option to put pressure on Hizbullah and the experiences have proved that, and fifth, the tendency of French and American companies to invest in Lebanese gas at sea.

Mounir pointed out that “the American position explained by Mr. Nasrallah, all what is said in the embassies, not to support the overthrow of the government is a liar, unimportant what they say, and importantly what their intelligence services work on the ground and under the table.”

Mounir expects that the current situation will be directed towards the government reshuffle, especially as “Hezbollah refuses to change the government,” saying that the government can not return the country to “before the movement as if nothing, so the seriousness of the government amendment and the reform paper is a test before The government at the moment. ”

On the street’s acceptance of the government amendment, Munir believes that part of the street may reject the proposal, but the other part will say: “We have achieved what we can achieve,” adding that “this situation may prompt the Americans to ask the Gulf to stop providing suspicious support to the movement, what It will lead to the decline of his masses gradually. ”

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Lebanon: Al-Akhbar Exposes Funding of the Revolution

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

The involvement of regional states in supporting specific groups of protesters, personalities and the media is increasing and unfolding every day, and pushing the streets towards high ceilings reaches the point of no return, Al Akhbar Al Youm reported.

Despite all the conflict between the camps of Qatar and Turkey on the one hand and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on the other, these American tools, which agree only among themselves on the security of Israel and sabotage the Arab world, gradually engaged in the game of financing its mercenaries, which is implemented on the ground a coup-like scenario, exploiting A popular uprising erupted at the moment of power making its deadly mistake.

LBCI Chairman Pierre Daher admitted to Prime Minister Saad Hariri a few days ago that he had received money from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with his colleagues Tahseen Al-Khayyat and Michel Al-Murr. Other, especially European ones. The Saudis and the Emiratis also financed the head of the Lebanese Forces Party, Samir Geagea, to return and remind the Lebanese of his “peaceful” militias and checkpoints. Qataris recently entered the Lebanese incitement market, at the request of the Turks, who are focusing on Tripoli and Akkar, to expand their growing influence since last year through Turkish associations, and to balance the UAE money distributed by Yahya Mawloud, the representative of Tahseen Al-Khayat in Tripoli, and former Minister Ashraf Rifi. Commander of the City Guards.

Qatari money is not absent from the prominent activity of Hizb ut-Tahrir and Jemaah Islamiyah, which, while not participating in large numbers of demonstrators, provides organized groups and manages banditry in a number of areas. It is not yet clear who supports the movement of former minister Nihad al-Mashnouq, who is moving some Future Movement officials to influence the street in Beirut and the central Bekaa to Majdal Anjar. However, Prime Minister Hariri asked the Minister of Interior and Municipalities not to use internal water cannons to disperse demonstrators in more than one area, knowing that future supporters are blocking roads and demonstrating.

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Lebanon: LBCI recognizes receiving funding with «new» and «mtv»

Eleven days, paralysis hits the country on the brink of financial collapse, from end to end. The collapse, which was supposed to take place in a year or two, is approaching at record speed, and the possibilities of the unknown and chaos are closer to believing.

The day after the WhatsApp session, a popular uprising began to overwhelm the corruption of power and to a historical accumulation not only of three decades, but also from the moment the quota system was established. But what is happening today, the prevalence of the logic of the “revolution of the revolution”, and the organized banditry in very precise geographies have become an open play to bring about great civil chaos.

The details of the involvement of regional states in supporting specific groups of protesters, personalities and media are increasing and unfolding every day, and pushing the street towards the high ceilings reaches the point of no return.

Despite all the conflict between the camps of Qatar and Turkey on the one hand and the UAE and Saudi Arabia on the other, these American tools, which agree only among themselves on the security of Israel and sabotage the Arab world, gradually engaged in a game of financing its mercenaries, which is implemented on the ground a coup-like scenario, exploiting A popular uprising erupted at the moment of power making its deadly mistake.

LBCI Chairman Pierre Daher admitted to Prime Minister Saad Hariri a few days ago that he had received money from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with his colleagues Tahseen Al-Khayyat and Michel Al-Murr. Other, especially European ones. The Saudis and the Emiratis also financed the head of the Lebanese Forces Party, Samir Geagea, to return and remind the Lebanese of his “peaceful” militias and checkpoints.

Qataris recently entered the Lebanese incitement market, at the request of the Turks, who are focusing on Tripoli and Akkar, to expand their growing influence since last year through Turkish associations, and to balance the UAE money distributed by Yahya Mawloud, the representative of Tahseen Al-Khayat in Tripoli, and former Minister Ashraf Rifi. Commander of the City Guards. Qatari money is not absent from the prominent activity of Hizb ut-Tahrir and Jemaah Islamiyah, which, while not participating in large numbers of demonstrators, provides organized groups and manages banditry in a number of areas.

It is not yet clear who supports the movement of former minister Nihad al-Mashnouq, who is moving some Future Movement officials to influence the street in Beirut and the central Bekaa to Majdal Anjar. However, Prime Minister Hariri asked the Minister of Interior and Municipalities not to use internal water cannons to disperse demonstrators in more than one area, knowing that future supporters are blocking roads and demonstrating.

So far, as elsewhere in the world, Americans are reassuring the ruler and preparing to topple the state. They patted Hariri for not resigning, but they are unleashing their tools to fund parties and some associations that manage the movements to pressure him and demand his resignation. They demand that Hariri implement reforms and prevent the Lebanese army from opening the roads that paralyze the country, especially the South Road on the coastline and the North Road.

Today, the scenario of blocking roads, which began last night through parking and assembling them on the roads, looks ahead of the army’s implementation of any step promised by President Michel Aoun, at a time when the army presented the Authority with a “model” of trying to open roads by force in the Beddawi area yesterday. The army’s confusion has become a concern for the political forces, because the absence of the military establishment will inevitably lead to a confrontation in the street between bandits and the rest of the Lebanese, who pay the bill of destruction twice, once by the PA, and the second by agendas.
What is incomprehensible is that Minister of Education Akram Shuhaib committed to unjustifiably close schools and universities in a number of areas, while former MP Walid Jumblatt has adhered to the ceiling of not paralyzing the country and the “official” exit from the roads for socialist progressive partisans. Leave the appreciation to the heads of educational areas to assess the situation in their areas, what prevents the opening of schools and universities in the south and the Bekaa, North and South Mount Lebanon, but the minister’s decision «until further notice»?
Yesterday, President Nabih Berri called for the opening of schools and universities where it was possible after his agreement with Hezbollah on the matter, and began issuing a statement announcing the Amal schools open their doors to students today. So did the Lebanese American University, announcing the opening of its doors to its students in Beirut and Jbeil, after the American University and the Jesuit University agreed to participate in the path of disruption, after decades of disagreement between the two universities on any unified position.

The French are negotiating with Aoun about some of the influential figures in the moves

Regarding the reshuffle or the formation of a new government, the Palestinian Authority seems ready to remove obscene faces from the government, including Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, if this action leads to the withdrawal of the street fuse and concessions to demonstrators who are not controlled by political agendas. But such a move will not happen now by the PA, with the explicit support of Hezbollah, for several reasons. First, the party and President Aoun refuse to negotiate any changes before opening the roads, which is being rejected by the Lebanese forces, which are negotiating the demonstrators in North Mount Lebanon. Fear of Hezbollah and Aoun that those who move the street towards the point of no return, will demand more concessions that reach the downfall of President Aoun, which Hezbollah considers a red line. Moreover, any option to form a new government, even if there is a prior agreement, is not guaranteed, with scenarios that leak from the American diplomatic staff in Beirut on the intention of the Americans in the event of the resignation of the government and the reassignment of Hariri, prevented him from forming, and keep the state amputated. So far, negotiations between Hariri and Aoun with some of the figures moving the street, through a French mediator, have not reached any horizon, as long as the animators did not respond to Aoun’s call for dialogue.
Hizbullah is strongly pushing for a swift re-activation of government and parliamentary action, as the head of the party’s executive council, Mr. Hashim Safi, said in a clear warning: “We will have a clear and decisive position before all the Lebanese.” “When people started their protests, we found ourselves closest to them. Today we are not at odds with the movement, we appreciate and respect their goals and what they are doing. Those who participated in the movement, who said that he did not receive funding and paid from his own money believe him, but those who are accused and known did not deny this ».
The prime minister did not specify the date of the cabinet session, which is said to be held on Tuesday to complete the translation of the reform paper. North and Bekaa in particular.

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Lebanon: Who pays for the direct transport of demonstrations on local screens?

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

I wrote Nadine Canaan

Ten days have elapsed since the start of the street demonstrations across the country. Local media are “entrenched” in the squares, pursuing a policy of “open air” throughout the day and night, posing themselves as a “key partner” in leading the “revolution” over the mold that is gnawing at the body of the homeland.

It is undeniable that some of the important positions taken by reporters on the ground, especially the accompanying demonstrators at the beginning of the movement and portraying the attacks of security forces against them. But it is necessary not to forget the nature of the relationship between the media and power in our country, where these institutions are subject to money lords and barons of corruption, militias and sectarianism, and we are aware of their keenness to distort the street discourse towards settling political calculations at the expense of real aches and demands. Even its platforms have often become, over the years, what resembles TimeLine, filled with good Twitter and Facebook posts, which are often subjected to filtering by reporters.

For years, the stations have been complaining of difficult financial conditions that “prevent” them from making profits and have recently led one of them to seriously consider the dismissal of employees, while occasionally introducing and implementing steps that enable them to “withstand”, such as the main resort (lbci, “new”, mtv). To online TV and on-demand viewing (VOD), or obtaining through the Banque du Liban huge financial loans that ended up in the pockets of the owners of these institutions.

A financial crisis that has cast a shadow over programming in terms of quality, quantity and birth deficit. This autumn, for example, fading, lack of appeal and recurring ideas prevailed over television projects that came into being or were being prepared, with social programs dominating and competition in the drama dominated.

What has happened in the street may have rested those on the screens that have opened their air to keep up with what is going on and distributed its correspondents to different geographical spots, at a time when all the programs except political ones were frozen. News from the scenes suggests that the situation will remain as it is until things are clear.

Regardless of the performance of the TV delegates in the protest squares, intuitive and fundamental questions arise to the forefront, perhaps the most important of which is: What is the cost of open air, and who covers it?

A round of contacts on TV production practitioners in Lebanon will answer the first question, albeit roughly.

The talk here relates exclusively to the technical cost of direct transport. This can be done either via Satellite News Gathering (SNG), or via Wireless Multiplex Technology (WMT) wireless devices for 3G and 4G systems from the mobile Internet.

On the SNG level, Lebanese stations usually operate with their own devices instead of resorting to rent, which is often the highest cost (about US $ 1,500 per 8 hours), especially as foreign institutions operating here enter the demand line. The space rental on the satellite (Space Segment), for a minimum of $ 3 per minute, remains on television.

Most of the time, the purchase is a full day, equivalent to $ 1,000 a day. Because the field coverage points of the three main stations are at least 12, visual institutions also employ a previously acquired WMT set (priced between $ 15 and $ 20,000), which costs between $ 30 and $ 40 per hour.

In short, without drowning in the figures, our sources report that the average cost of each SNG per day is $ 1200, compared to $ 800 for 4G. In other words, the technical financial burdens on the ground for MTV, LBCI and Al-Jadeed daily amount to more than $ 15,000 ($ 150,000 to date), excluding other broadcasting expenses inside and outside the studios.

At a time when our visual media says that it is financially “crisis” and denies that it drowned in the funds of politicians, states and businessmen with political ambitions, its screens are mobilized to keep up with the movement around the clock, putting aside any projects that may generate some money. Does this do a victory for the “oppressed” and the owners of the case? More importantly, how (or who) covers his expenses?

Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper

Posted in LebanonComments Off on Lebanon: Who pays for the direct transport of demonstrations on local screens?


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