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Sep 21, 2018, 12:25 PM
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 21 
 on: Sep 20, 2018, 10:42 PM 
Started by Linda - Last post by Linda
Upcoming EA Zoom Meetings . . .


Thursday, September 27th, 2018

(Date & Time: Pacific/USA)


ALL WELCOME!



Meeting 1 @ 1:00 PM Pacific  
Penelope Ryder – THE NATURE AND FUNCTION OF VENUS
Tags: Evolutionary Astrology (Jeffrey Wolf Green)
More info: www.peneloperyder.com

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Meeting 2 @ 2:15 PM Pacific
Melanie Dawn – MAKING THE MOST OF SATURN
With 6 volunteers  
Tags: Evolutionary Astrology (Ari Moshe Wolfe)
More info: www.stargarden.live

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Meeting 3 @ 3:30 PM Pacific
Linda Jonson – THE WHOLE VENUS ARCHETYPE IN THE NATAL CHART
With volunteer Tovah
Tags: Evolutionary Astrology (Jeffrey Wolf Green)
More info: www.facebook.com/groups/1673626642958879


🌸

 22 
 on: Sep 20, 2018, 06:23 PM 
Started by animatedoodle - Last post by animatedoodle
Hello Rad,

Once again thank you for taking the time to respond, I apologise if it seemed that I was asking for an interpretation, I have that downfall in expression.  I really was after what you provided in your answer.
To look at the cusp ruler as a conditioning influence to the planets within. Bless you, and hope you have a great day. - D


 23 
 on: Sep 20, 2018, 07:42 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
French court orders Marine Le Pen to submit to psychiatric evaluation

Agence France-Presse
20 Sep 2018 at 08:27 ET                   

A French court ordered Marine Le Pen to submit to a psychiatric evaluation as part of its investigation into her decision to post images of Islamic State executions on Twitter, the far right leader said on Thursday and denounced the order.

The investigation is one of a series that have distracted Le Pen’s National Rally, formerly known as the National Front, as it seeks to rebuild after her loss to President Emmanuel Macron in the second round of an election last year.

The investigation relates to three graphic images of Islamic State executions Le Pen posted on Twitter in 2015, including the beheading of American journalist James Foley.

The tribunal declined to confirm it had ordered the evaluation but said the assessments were a normal part of such probes.

“I thought I had seen it all: but no! For having denounced the horrors of #Daesh in tweets, the ‘justice’ is submitting me to a psychiatric evaluation! How far will they go?” Le Pen wrote on Twitter. “It’s UNBELIEVABLE.”

She later told reporters she would skip the test. “I’d like to see how the judge would try and force me do it,” she said.

Le Pen’s criticism fits the party’s narrative that it is persecuted by judges as part of an attempt by the establishment to undermine it politically.

Le Pen was placed under formal investigation in March on suspicion of disseminating violent images. The law states that medical evaluations must be carried out in such probes.

Le Pen and her party have been targeted by a series of other judicial probes, including over the alleged misuse of EU funds.

According to a copy of the court document dated September 11, which Le Pen published on Twitter, the judge wants the evaluation to assess if she suffers from any mental illness and, if so, if that could have affected her understanding of what she was doing when she posted the tweets.

The expert is also tasked with determining whether her mental health could be a risk to the public.

Le Pen’s hard-left rival Jean-Luc Melenchon said the evaluation was unnecessary because Le Pen was “politically responsible for her political acts.”

“This is not how we will weaken the far-right,” he said.

Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said in a statement: “A court orders a psychiatric assessment for Marine Le Pen. Words fail me! Solidarity with her and with the French who love freedom!”

Reporting by Ingrid Melander and Simon Carraud; Additional reporting by Crispian Balmer in Rome; Editing by Richard Lough and Matthew Mpoke Bigg

 24 
 on: Sep 20, 2018, 05:21 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Hi Stacie,

Thanks for sharing this.

God Bless, Rad

 25 
 on: Sep 20, 2018, 05:18 AM 
Started by animatedoodle - Last post by Rad
Hi animatedoodle,

First, please read one of the rules of the road for this mb. This is found right on top of where you posted your question ..  'if this is your first visit to the mb' ... when clicked on it reveals:

3) Policy on personal chart interpretation and analysis:

The message board is here to teach the principles of EA through example.   What is posted here is meant to be of general interest to all of our readers.   Individual analysis of your chart from a personal point of view is of interest mainly to you and not to most other readers.  Thus posting personal charts and asking for analysis or feedback on your chart is not appropriate here.  Asking questions about or posting your chart as an example of EA principles that will be of interest to many readers is acceptable.  
   At times there can be a fine line between what is of personal interest and what is of general interest.  Our moderators reserve the right to remove or to request that you remove any material posted they feel is personal chart interpretation.
  We have a number of qualified Evolutionary Astrologers associated with our school and this message board.  A more appropriate place for personal chart interpretation questions is a private reading with one of them

For now please know it is not uncommon to have charts where planets in a one sign are coming through another sign on the cusp of the house that those planets in the next sign are in. From an EA point of view this means the Soul has desired this for it's own evolutionary reasons. And what this means is that the planets within the house that are in another sign that is coming through the sign on the cusp of that house are being 'conditioned' by that sign on the cusp. The conditioning affect is the actual sign on the cusp of the house. From an EA point of view it is then necessary to determine why the Soul is needing this to happen for it's own evolutionary and karmic reasons. That starts with a firm understanding of the EA paradigm, the core of any chart, within the birth chart.

God Bless, Rad

 26 
 on: Sep 20, 2018, 05:07 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
“A Lot of Agendas but No Strategy”: Trump’s Lawyers Are Dangerously Unready to Face Robert Mueller

Legal experts say there should be at least 15 to 20 investigators working on Trump’s defense. Instead, the president’s team is desperately understaffed and seemingly unprepared to face the special counsel. “It seems though that there really isn’t an appreciation for the seriousness of the potential problem and the amount of coordination and work that has to be done,” says one attorney. “There are very significant legal and political threats to the president and those around him.”

by Abigail Tracy
September 20, 2018 2:01 pm
Vanity Fair

The sexual assault accusation shadowing Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court has consumed the White House this week, temporarily distracting from Donald Trump’s own hair-raising legal troubles. But the Mueller investigation, immune to the churn of another chaotic news cycle, continues apace. Last Friday, Washington was convulsed by the news that Paul Manafort had agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department probe and that Michael Cohen, as my colleague Emily Jane Fox reported, has also begun to talk. Days later, in a move that seemed anything but coincidental, the special counsel’s office filed court documents clearing the way for a judge to sentence Michael Flynn.

It is curious, then, that the White House isn’t acting troubled at all. “We’ve talked to their side,” Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told The Washington Post, shrugging off the fact that Manafort—Trump’s former campaign manager, who was present at an infamous 2016 meeting with a host of Kremlin intermediaries peddling dirt on Clinton, and who Trump had called “brave” for refusing to break—is now spilling his guts for a reduced sentence. “The statement is, there is nothing that is adverse to the president, the Trump family, the Trump campaign.”

For veterans of the D.C. bar, however, Mueller’s most recent victories don’t look like “nothing”—and they can’t help but rubberneck at the White House’s bewildering response. On the one hand, Giuliani’s primary goal appears to be winning a public-relations battle to tar the Justice Department and F.B.I. as corrupt. He has repeatedly referenced D.O.J. guidance that says a sitting president cannot be indicted, only impeached by Congress. At the same time, explained Ross Garber, a professor at Tulane Law School, Giuliani and his colleagues seem to be discounting the many other ways in which Mueller could upend Trump’s life. “Rudy has suggested that he sees impeachment as the only threat here, [but] I don’t think that is even close to being true,” Garber told me. “There are very significant legal and political threats to the president and those around him.” The Mueller probe, for instance, has already birthed multiple parallel investigations into Trump’s businesses and associates in New York, where the president’s pardon power is limited. And then there are the dozens of investigations Democrats are likely to launch if they retake the U.S. House of Representatives in November. “One of the biggest issues here is there is no one point [of legal vulnerability]. The president is now fighting battles on several fronts, and they will no doubt be more fronts opened up,” Garber added. “This isn’t anywhere close to being over.”

Making matters worse is the dilapidated state of Trump’s personal legal defense. The New York Times, citing interviews with more than a dozen individuals close to Trump, pinned much of the blame on Trump’s former attorney John Dowd:

    Mr. Dowd took Mr. Trump at his word that he had done nothing wrong and never conducted a full internal investigation to determine the president’s true legal exposure. During Mr. Dowd’s tenure, prosecutors interviewed at least 10 senior administration officials without Mr. Trump’s lawyers first learning what the witnesses planned to say, or debriefing their lawyers afterward—a basic step that could have given the president’s lawyers a view into what Mr. Mueller had learned. And once Mr. Dowd was gone, the new legal team had to spend at least 20 hours interviewing the president about the episodes under investigation, another necessary step Mr. Dowd and his associates had apparently not completed.

Regardless of whether another lawyer would have fared better, it seems clear that Trump’s legal team is in trouble and operating largely in the dark. “The reality is that you have got to get to exactly what happened,” said Andrew Hall, who represented former Richard Nixon adviser John Ehrlichman during the Watergate scandal. “You don’t know what happened and then you don’t know what version is being told because like all other things, no two witnesses see the exact same event exactly the same way.” During the Watergate scandal, the best thing you could do is “you get in and you keep digging and digging and digging,” he explained. “You are never going to know what the prosecutors know or not but actually you want to know more than what they know. You want to find out what everybody has said about your client and where that fits in the big picture.”

Garber, who also serves as a criminal defense attorney, concurred. “It seems though that there really isn’t an appreciation for the seriousness of the potential problem and the amount of coordination and work that has to be done,” he said. “And ultimately it is the client who controls that. It is the client who controls who the lawyers are and how many there are and at the end of the day, how they work together—or how they don’t.”

Of course, collating the testimony of dozens of witnesses—all of whom may be fearful of their own legal exposure—is no easy task. “Every one of these witnesses need private, retained counsel—every single one,” Hall told me, noting that Dowd’s ability to communicate with witnesses would have been limited by tampering laws. “They are government employees, they need to have lawyers and those lawyers need to coordinate with other lawyers that are representing other witnesses,” he said. “You have to have each one of these witnesses basically feel safe that they have somebody only in their camp and that if they are about to do something harmful to the president, then the president’s lawyer needs to find it out but it can’t be tampering with evidence—there is a big difference. That’s what gets you into trouble, the tampering and the cover-up.”

That process has been made all the more difficult by the rapid turnover within Trump’s team. Dowd and Ty Cobb, who formerly represented the White House in the Russia probe, reportedly pushed for cooperation with Mueller, betting that he would be exonerated. Other members of Trumpworld strenuously disagreed: former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon told the Times that Trump “finds himself in a legal mess today because of their incompetence.” Since then, Emmet Flood, a veteran of the Bill Clinton impeachment proceedings, is said to have taken a less cooperative approach to Mueller and reportedly blocked Chief of Staff John Kelly from speaking with the special counsel.

The result, as Hall put it to me, has been a patchwork legal defense without any unifying theory of the case. “They seem to have a lot of agendas but no strategy so far has been forthcoming.” (Another Washington defense attorney disagreed, arguing that Mueller would likely have successfully subpoenaed all the information he needed anyway.)

The graver mistake, according to legal experts I spoke with, is that the Trump team underestimated the Mueller threat and failed to staff up in the face of it. “I have been surprised by the apparent small size of the legal team representing the White House and the president and other witnesses,” Garber told me. “In past investigations of the White House under other administrations, the legal teams were quite large and well-resourced and even in much less significant cases, you see legal teams with better resources. . . . This is a complicated investigation.” Hall echoed the sentiment, noting that beyond the personal lawyers for Trump and other witnesses, there should be a team of 15 to 20 investigators either working for Trump in a personal capacity or the Republican National Committee trying to glean as much information as Mueller.

If the Trump team has, in fact, failed to do a deep dive into what witnesses know and what they might spill to Mueller, it might be too late to make up lost ground. As Garber explained, getting information from witnesses “gets more complicated because typically people move from cooperating together to splintering off and some becoming cooperators for the government . . . at the point that somebody becomes a cooperator for the government, the flow of information back to folks that are not cooperating with the government generally ceases.”

*************

Bombshell book claims Putin is directly feeding Trump’s delusions of a ‘deep state fighting against our friendship’

Brad Reed
Raw Story
20 Sep 2018 at 09:22 ET                   

The Washington Post has printed an excerpt of reporter Greg Miller’s new book — called “The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy” — and it contains some shocking new revelations about the relationship between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to Miller’s reporting, Putin regularly feeds Trump’s paranoia about a secret “deep state” that is preventing him from achieving his goals of forming a lasting alliance with Russia.

“In phone conversations with Trump, Putin would whisper conspiratorially, telling the U.S. president that it wasn’t their fault that they could not consummate the relationship that each had sought,” reveals Miller. “Instead, Putin sought to reinforce Trump’s belief that he was being undermined by a secret government cabal, a bureaucratic ‘deep state.'”

White House aides also tell Miller that Putin once told Trump to be wary of “the subordinates fighting against our friendship.”

The book also reveals that White House aides — including chief of staff John Kelly — had to scramble to convince Trump to sign off on expelling Russian diplomats after Russian agents allegedly poisoned Sergei Skripal and his daughter on British soil.

According to Miller’s sources, “Trump worried that Putin would see him as the aggressor and accused aides of misleading him.”

***************

Trump feels angry, unprotected amid mounting crises

President Trump listens to Polish President Andrzej Duda speak during a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House on Sept. 18, 2018. (Calla Kessler/The Washington Post)

By Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker
September 20 2018
WA Post

President Trump’s declaration that “I don’t have an attorney general” was not merely the cry of an executive feeling betrayed by a subordinate.

It was also a raw expression of vulnerability and anger from a president who associates say increasingly believes he is unprotected — with the Russia investigation steamrolling ahead, anonymous administration officials seeking to undermine him and the specter of impeachment proceedings, should the Democrats retake the House on Nov. 6.

In a freewheeling and friendly interview published Wednesday, Trump savaged Attorney General Jeff Sessions, mocking the nation’s top law enforcement official for coming off as “mixed up and confused” during his Senate confirmation hearing and for his “sad” performance on the job.

Though Trump has long railed against Sessions, both publicly and privately, for recusing himself from overseeing the Justice Department’s Russia probe, the president’s comments to Hill.TV brought his criticism to a new level.

“I don’t have an attorney general,” Trump said. “It’s very sad.”

Publicly, at least, Trump is going through the ordinary motions of being president. He met with the visiting president of Poland and on Wednesday toured the flood-ravaged Carolinas to survey damage from Hurricane Florence. He also prepared to hit the campaign trail with rallies in Nevada on Thursday and in Missouri on Friday, and next week he will host scores of foreign dignitaries at the United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan.

When asked about an interview where he said "I don't have an attorney general," President Trump said he's "disappointed" with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (The Washington Post)

Behind the scenes, however, Trump is confronting broadsides from every direction — legal, political and personal.

The president, as well as family members and longtime loyalists, fret about whom in the administration they can trust, people close to them said, rattled by a pair of devastating, unauthorized insider accounts this month from inside the White House. A senior administration official penned an anonymous column in the New York Times describing a “resistance” within to guard against the president’s impulses, while Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear,” offers an alarming portrait of a president seemingly unfit for the office.

“Everybody in the White House now has to look around and ask, ‘Who’s taping? Who’s leaking? And who’s on their way out the door?’ It’s becoming a game of survival,” said a Republican strategist who works in close coordination with the White House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly.

Some of Trump’s allies believe he has legitimate cause for worry.

“The president should feel vulnerable because he is vulnerable — to those that fight him daily on implementing his agenda,” Stephen K. Bannon, a former chief White House strategist, wrote in a text message.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at Valor Survive and Thrive Conference in Waukegan, Ill., on Sept. 19, 2018. (Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters)

“The Woodward book is the typed up meeting notes from ‘The Committee to Save America,’ ” he added, referring dismissively to a loose alliance of advisers who saw themselves as protecting the country from Trump. “The anonymous op-ed is the declaration of an administrative coup by the Republican establishment.”

In some respects, Trump has maintained a sanguine outlook. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort last week became the latest former member of the president’s inner circle to agree to cooperate with federal prosecutors. But Trump has been uncharacteristically calm about the plea deal for Manafort, whom he had praised only a month ago for refusing to “break” under pressure from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Asked if he was worried about Manafort’s cooperation agreement, Trump told reporters Wednesday: “No, I’m not. . . . I believe that he will tell the truth. And if he tells the truth, no problem.”

Trump has been similarly restrained this week as federal judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, his pick for the Supreme Court, fights to save his nomination amid an accusation of sexual assault, which Kavanaugh denies. Trump has publicly defended Kavanaugh, though he has refrained from attacking the judge’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.

White House officials, who began this week reeling from the assault allegation, said by midweek that they have concluded Kavanaugh would probably still win confirmation, especially given Ford’s reluctance to testify at a public Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled by Republicans for Monday.

Nonetheless, Trump’s screed against Sessions underscored the president’s sense of anger and what he considers to be a betrayal by his attorney general, who, despite executing much of the president’s hard-line, law-and-order agenda, has never been able to recover from what Trump views as an unforgivable sin: his recusal from the Russia investigation for a conflict of interest, which ultimatelyled to Mueller’s appointment.

Trump told Hill.TV that he appointed Sessions out of blind loyalty, a decision he now regrets. Sessions’s aggressive and controversial immigration actions — including emphasizing “zero tolerance” for those who come to the country illegally and defending the administration policy of separating families — have been cheered by Trump allies. But the president criticized his attorney general even on this front, in a striking expression of his deep dissatisfaction.

“I’m not happy at the border, I’m not happy with numerous things, not just this,” Trump said, referring to the Russia probe.

The president’s attack on Sessions raised concern in the law enforcement community and also prompted reactions ranging from exasperation to outright dismay.

“Trump doesn’t just blur the lines, he flat out tries to eradicate those lines,” said Joyce Vance, a former U.S. attorney in Alabama nominated by President Barack Obama. “He wants a consigliere, not an attorney general. On the one hand, it’s a pitiful thing to watch, but it’s also deadly serious, because the attorney general does not protect the president. The attorney general protects the American people. And the fact that we have a president who doesn’t understand that is alarming.”

A former White House official was similarly disturbed. “It is a complete disgrace the way that Trump is acting like a schoolyard bully against Sessions,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to share a critical opinion.

In the interview, Trump belittled Sessions, whom he has previously dubbed “Mr. Magoo” and, according to Woodward’s book, dismissed as “mentally retarded.”

“He went through the nominating process and he did very poorly,” Trump said of Sessions’s Senate confirmation hearing. “He was giving very confusing answers, answers that should have been easily answered. And that was a rough time for him, and he won by one vote, I believe. You know, he won by just one vote.”

Trump went on to question Sessions’s self-recusal from the Russia investigation.

“He said, ‘I recuse myself, I recuse myself,’ ” Trump told Hill. TV. “And now it turned out he didn’t have to recuse himself. Actually, the FBI reported shortly thereafter any reason for him to recuse himself. And it’s very sad what happened.”

It was not clear what Trump meant.

Career Justice Department ethics officials had told Sessions he had to step aside from any ­campaign-related investigations because he had been a top campaign surrogate and met with the Russian ambassador.

FBI officials would not have been among those providing advice. Then-FBI Director James B. Comey said at a congressional hearing that he was aware of nonpublic information that he believed would force the attorney general to step aside before Sessions did so, though he declined to specify what those facts were.

After taking yet another public tongue-lashing from the president, Sessions gave a speech Wednesday to law enforcement officials in Waukegan, Ill., in which he effusivelypraised Trump.

“Under his strong leadership, we are respecting police again and enforcing our laws,” Sessions said, according to his prepared remarks, which a DOJ spokesman said he delivered. “Based on my experience meeting with officers like you across the country, I believe that morale has already improved under President Trump. I can feel the difference.”

Even as Sessions was dutifully showering compliments upon his boss, Trump was unwilling to throw him a lifeline.

“I’m disappointed in the attorney general for many reasons,” Trump told reporters before leaving for North Carolina. “You understand that.”

Devlin Barrett, John Wagner and Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report. 

 27 
 on: Sep 20, 2018, 04:55 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Donald Trump urged Spain to 'build the wall' – across the Sahara

Spanish foreign minister says US president advised tactic to stem migration across the Med

Sam Jones in Madrid
20 Sep 2018 19.19 BST
Guardian

Donald Trump suggested the Spanish government tackled the Mediterranean migration crisis by emulating one of his most famous policies and building a wall across the Sahara desert, the country’s foreign minister has revealed.

According to Josep Borrell, the US president brushed off the scepticism of Spanish diplomats – who pointed out that the Sahara stretched for 3,000 miles – saying: “The Sahara border can’t be bigger than our border with Mexico.”

Trump wooed voters in the 2016 election with his promise to build a “big, beautiful wall” across the US/Mexico border, which is roughly 2,000 miles long.

A similar plan in the Sahara, however, would be complicated by the fact that Spain holds only two small enclaves in north Africa – Ceuta and Melilla – and such a wall would have to be built on foreign territory.

Borrell’s comments were made at a lunch event in Madrid this week and widely reported in the Spanish media. “We can confirm that’s what the minister said, but we won’t be making any further comment on the minister’s remarks,” said a spokesman for the foreign ministry.

Trump is thought to have made his frontier recommendation when Borrell accompanied King Felipe and Queen Letizia to the White House in June.

Spain has found itself on the frontlines of the migration crisis, with more than 33,600 migrants and refugees arriving by sea so far this year, and 1,723 dying in the attempt.

The increase in arrivals, amounting to three times the total for the same period last year, has meant Spain overtaking Italy and Greece as the main destination for migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

Spain’s socialist prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, was widely praised for announcing that Madrid would take in the 630 refugees aboard the rescue ship Aquarius. The refugees had been turned away by Italy and by Malta.

But the high number of arrivals on Spain’s southern coast has strained reception facilities and infrastructure. The issue has also been used as a political weapon by rightwing parties who accuse Sánchez’s government of double standards and of being too soft on immigration.

Borrell, a former president of the European parliament, has previously accused Europe of “ostrich politics” over migration and called for perspective on the matter. “We’re talking about 20,000 migrants so far this year for a country of more than 40 million inhabitants,” he said in July. “That’s not mass migration.”

He also said Spain’s problems were dwarfed by those of some Middle Eastern countries hosting refugees from the war in Syria, adding: “We’re trivialising the word ‘mass’.”

Speaking at the event in Madrid this week, Borrell said the 1990s political maxim “it’s the economy, stupid”, had given way to “it’s about identity, stupid”.

“We’ve sorted the economic problem, but not the migration problem because it’s an emotional problem and not one you fix with money,” he said, according to reports by El País and Europa Press. “European societies aren’t structured to absorb more than a certain percentage of migrants, especially if they are Muslims.”

 28 
 on: Sep 20, 2018, 04:53 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Global economic growth has peaked, warns OECD

Leading thinktank scales back forecasts and warns escalating trade war is denting investment

Larry Elliott
Guardian
Thu 20 Sep 2018 10.00 BST

The west’s leading economic thinktank has warned that the expansion in the global economy may have peaked after cutting its growth forecasts for an array of rich and developing countries.

In its latest update on the health of the world economy, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said the outlook for both 2018 and 2019 was less good than it had predicted in May.

The Paris-based OECD called for immediate action to halt the “slide towards protectionism”, noting that trade tensions were already having an impact on confidence and investment.

“The expansion may now have peaked,” the OECD said in its interim economic outlook. “Global growth is projected to settle at 3.7% in 2018 and 2019, marginally below pre-crisis norms, with downside risks intensifying.”

The OECD said it was cutting its 2018 forecast by 0.1 percentage points and its 2019 forecast by 0.3 points.

Britain has had its growth forecast shaved by 0.1 points in both years to 1.3% and 1.2%, respectively – with the OECD saying the squeeze on living standards was affecting consumer spending and uncertainty about Brexit leading to soft investment.

It also cut its forecasts for the two biggest eurozone economies. Germany was downgraded by 0.2 points to 1.9% in 2018 and 0.3 points to 1.8% in 2019, while France was cut by 0.3 points to 1.6% in 2018 and by 0.1 points to 1.8% in 2019.
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“The recent increase in risk spreads on Italian government bonds, and the associated decline in the equity prices of Italian banks, provide a demonstration of the pace at which continued vulnerabilities in the euro area can re-emerge,” the OECD said.

The US is expected to be the fastest growing of the G7 group of industrialised countries in both 2018 and 2019, and the OECD said that in contrast to the broad-based expansion in late 2017 there were widening differences in growth performance between countries.

“Confidence has also eased and investment and trade growth have proved softer than anticipated. Business survey data point to slower growth in both advanced and emerging-market economies, and incoming new orders have eased, especially manufacturing export orders,” the interim economic outlook said.

Recent problems in Argentina and Turkey have led to big cuts in the OECD’s growth forecasts, but the 34-nation rich country club said that so far there was no sign of the contagion that swept through emerging markets at the end of the 1990s.

It warned, however, that the recovery since the recession of 10 years ago had been slow and only possible with an exceptional degree of stimulus from central banks. “A decade after the financial crisis, vulnerabilities remain in financial markets from elevated asset prices and high debt levels. Reforms have strengthened the banking system, but risks have shifted towards less tightly regulated non-bank institutions.”

The thinktank expressed concern about the effects of the protectionist measures imposed since the start of the year.

“Global trade growth slowed in the first half of 2018, with trade tensions already having adverse effects on confidence and investment plans. Additional trade restrictions will harm jobs and living standards, particularly for low-income households.”

The OECD said increased trade tensions and uncertainty about trade policies were a “significant source of downside risk to global investment, jobs and living standards”.

In a week in which another round of tit-for-tat tariffs was announced by the US and China, the thinktank said uncertainty was leading to some firms delaying international orders or changing their supply chain and production locations to minimise the impact of trade barriers.

“An immediate need is to arrest the slide towards protectionism and reinforce the global rules-based international trade system through multilateral dialogue, providing business with the confidence to invest and preventing the harm to longer-term growth prospects that would result from a retreat from open markets.”

 29 
 on: Sep 20, 2018, 04:51 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Macron urges EU leaders to stand firm against Theresa May

French president says EU should resist prime minister’s calls for compromise on Brexit

Daniel Boffey and Dan Sabbagh in Salzburg
Guardian
Thu 20 Sep 2018 10.46 BST

Emmanuel Macron has appealed to his fellow European leaders to maintain their tough approach to Brexit in response to Theresa May’s demand for compromise and accusations that the French president wants to make Britain suffer.

Macron, who is fighting a rearguard action against the rise of populism in Europe, said blocking any attempt by the UK to pick and choose elements of EU membership had to be the priority in the dying days of the Brexit negotiations.

“May spoke last night,” Macron said of the UK prime minister’s presentation to the leaders in Salzburg. “My first wish is to stay united and to have a common approach, the 27. It is essential. The second thing is that we remain coherent. The solution must be found. The third thing is that we need to have a real retirement agreement by November.”

A number of fellow EU leaders have conceded that compromise from both sides is needed to reach a deal both on avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland and on the future framework of a trade deal.

The nationalist prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, who has sparred with Macron over migration, told reporters he was getting close to building a majority of member states in opposition to “a camp of prime ministers” who believe the “British must suffer”. “I don’t like that approach at all,” he said.

Over coffee at the end of a dinner that finished after midnight, May insisted the UK had moved its position and it was the turn of Brussels to reciprocate.

Trying to strike a tough tone the prime minister told her counterparts “that the UK will leave on 29 March next year” and as a result “the onus is now on all of us to get this deal done” by the end of an emergency summit that the EU confirmed would happen in mid-November.

May met the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, over breakfast in the morning, as the two leaders held further talks over how to resolve the Irish border question and what customs arrangements would be necessary after Brexit.

Both sides reiterated the need to agree on some form of backstop if it did not prove possible to reach agreement on a future trading relationship, although there remain considerable differences between UK and EU approaches. The meeting between the two leaders is understood to have been amicable.

However, there is a consensus among the 27 member states that the central planks of May’s Chequers plan on trade are not workable, but with the encouragement of Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, some have suggested the EU should seek to bridge the gap with fresh proposals.

Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian prime minister, said: “You know that, as before, the approaches are very different. But to report something positive, inside the room, away from the hard media statements outside, I think both sides are aware that they will only reach a solution if they move towards each other.”

Xavier Bettel, the prime minister of Luxembourg, told reporters as he arrived at a summit that he believed “compromise from both sides, not from one side” was necessary. But when asked why the EU had not budged, he added: “We have some colleagues around the table who think the same about Theresa May.”

The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, whose country is an advocate for offering May a counter-proposal in the coming weeks, said that avoiding cherry-picking by the British while keeping them close and avoiding a no-deal scenario was a difficult balancing act.

The EU is aware of the domestic dangers facing May as she approaches the Conservative party conference and beyond. The usually outspoken European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said of May’s brief speech: “It was interesting, it was polite, it was not aggressive. She is doing her job.”

Earlier, the Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, said he would like to see Britain hold a second referendum on membership of the EU – even though May pointedly told EU leaders that one was not on the table.

May specifically ruled out a second vote in her comments at dinner. But Babis told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We hope that finally we will reach a deal but I am very unhappy that the UK is leaving, so it would be better maybe to make another referendum and maybe the people in the meantime could change their view.

“Europe has a lot of problems. We have problems with Mr Trump about tariffs, sanctions with Russia, Brexit, migration and so on. For Europe, it’s quite a difficult time. We were shocked when the referendum was announced that there were so many people practically unhappy. Even the chief of commission didn’t understand.”

Babiš said a second referendum would “solve the problem quite quickly”, but he also said there would “hopefully” be a deal.

 30 
 on: Sep 20, 2018, 04:50 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
A very Australian coup: Murdoch, Turnbull and the power of News Corp

In the first part of a series, Guardian Australia reveals the outsize influence of a media mogul two Australian prime ministers blame for their demise

by Anne Davies
Guardian
Thu 20 Sep 2018 04.05 BST

In his farewell speech as prime minister last month, Malcolm Turnbull pointed to “an insurgency” in his own party and “outside forces in the media” as the architects of his demise.

If there was any doubt at all who the media forces Turnbull was referring to during those final minutes in the prime mister’s courtyard in Canberra, there is, after the events of the past 24 hours, none now.

Rupert Murdoch is the name firmly in the frame along with his ubiquitous News Corp empire – an organisation which is accused of playing a major role in orchestrating the removal from office of not just Turnbull but also Labor’s Kevin Rudd.

In the case of Turnbull he believed his Liberal colleagues had been gripped by “a form of madness” so the only way they could see to end the unrelenting internal turmoil and negative coverage in the media was to cave into it and replace him as leader.

Rudd, equally, believes the cacophony of negativity from News Corp undermined his first prime ministership, then that of successor Julia Gillard. He has called for a “full-throated inquiry” into News Corp and branded the company “a cancer on democracy”.

But the details that have emerged over the past 48 hours of the role the US-based Murdoch played during last month’s visit to his Australian assets raise serious questions about how Australian politics can be swayed by a concentrated media industry where News Corp dominates.

Turnbull certainly believes he was the target of a News Corp campaign. When he narrowly fended off Peter Dutton in a party room spill on Tuesday 21 August, Turnbull phoned Murdoch to ask him why he was trying to replace him with the home affairs minister.

    Rupert Murdoch intends to transform Australia into a conservative nation and he wants to put it on the Trump road
    Associate Professor David McKnight

Turnbull had watched horrified as shortly after Murdoch’s arrival in Australia, News Corp, the most powerful media organisation in the land, turned on him. The Daily Telegraph warned of “a toxic brawl” over energy policy and that Dutton was preparing to challenge him. On Sky the night-time commentators Peta Credlin and Andrew Bolt ramped up their negative coverage of the national energy guarantee and Turnbull’s performance.

“There was no doubt there was a marked shift in the tone and content of the News Corp publications once Rupert arrived,” one of Turnbull’s former staff told Guardian Australia. “And there was no doubt in our minds that News was backing Dutton.”

The prime minister had another reason to believe the octogenarian media mogul was driving the negative coverage – Turnbull had been warned by another media mogul that Rupert wanted him replaced.

According to both the Australian Financial Review and the ABC, Murdoch had told fellow media billionaire Kerry Stokes, owner of the Seven Network, a few days before that Turnbull should be replaced. Guardian Australia also reported that Turnbull was warned in a phone call from Stokes that Murdoch and his media company News Corp were intent on removing him from power.

Stokes is said to have replied that the likely result of such a campaign would be to deliver government to Labor and Bill Shorten. But Murdoch is reported to have brushed aside such concerns, saying it would only be for three years and he made money under Labor in the past.

    If this is accurate, it underlines everything I've written recently about the Murdoch media behaving effectively as a political party in pursuit of its financial interests. It would also undermine everything said in Murdoch's defence by his henchman. https://t.co/oWD1aTZjIH
    September 18, 2018

By that week’s end the deed was done. Turnbull was out as prime minister, replaced by Scott Morrison after Dutton’s much hyped candidacy failed to get the numbers.

‘A form of madness’

As the dust settled over the carnage in the Liberal party many began to question the role of News Corp in destabilising Turnbull’s leadership and the “form of madness” that had overtaken his party.

“This is familiar territory, and it’s gone on many times before,” says Associate Professor David McKnight from the University of New South Wales, who has written extensively on Murdoch and how he wields political power.

“In my view, Rupert Murdoch intends to transform Australia into a conservative nation and he wants to put it on the Trump road,” he says.

“A cancer on democracy,” is the verdict of Rudd, who also fell out of favour with News Corp during his time in office.

He found the media giant lined up against him in 2010, midway through his first term as prime minister, and again in 2013 at that year’s general election. Who could forget the Daily Telegraph’s contribution to political debate on the day the election was announced? “KICK THIS MOB OUT” was its front-page headline.

    Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd)

    Turns out there may be more to all this than Murdoch wants us to know. Murdoch ran a vicious campaign in 2013 to elect Abbott. Same in 2018 for Dutton/Morrison. Time for a #MurdochRoyalCommission. https://t.co/bh4nXSCVXn pic.twitter.com/pLfpWpVtE1
    September 18, 2018

A big fish in a small pond

Australia has the world’s third-most concentrated media market after Egypt and China, according to a major international study by the US researcher Eli Noam.

News Corp Australia dominates the country’s media sector, with 58% of daily newspaper circulation; a swathe of regional newspapers, the only national broadsheet, the Australian; the only pay TV network, Foxtel, which broadcasts the Murdoch-owned Sky News; and the most-viewed website, news.com.au.

    News Corp commentators lined up to warn Liberals to 'stand against Turnbull’s global warming idiocy'

After the media ownership law changes in 2017, the industry is set to become more concentrated. Nine and Fairfax Media are merging their television and newspaper businesses, and more deals are likely. These could see News extending its influence in regional publishing and further into TV and radio. It was Turnbull who pushed for the changes.

The argument is that Australians can now get their news from websites around the world and from Facebook and Google. The problem is though that as the world opens up, the gathering of local news – whether it be national or for a capital city or a local community – is becoming more concentrated.

The Sydney Morning Herald recently published 260 online headlines from News Corp websites and 2GB (majority-owned by Fairfax Media, also the publisher of the SMH) about politics, inviting readers to “judge for themselves” whether there had been a conservative media conspiracy against Turnbull. A few were neutral but many were laden with the message of incompetence or impending disaster under Turnbull.

After Murdoch arrived in Sydney on 4 August to attend the annual in-house News Corp awards (the top award went to Sharri Markson of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph for exposing the impending birth of the Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce’s love child), the tempo of negative coverage increased.

News Corp commentators lined up to warn Liberals to “stand against Turnbull’s global warming idiocy” – as the columnist Andrew Bolt termed it. They gave large amounts of coverage to the small group of Coalition MPs, including the former prime minister Tony Abbott, who were opposing the national energy guarantee – Turnbull’s attempt to find a way to placate his divided party.

Then News Corp began promoting the views of a minority in the Coalition who saw Dutton as the antidote.

Bolt warned that the Liberal party should look for new leaders who had the guts to stand up to Turnbull’s plan. Dutton went on the Sydney radio station 2GB to talk to Ray Hadley, also part of the anti-Turnbull cabal, warning that the Liberals’ plummeting primary vote in July’s Longman byelection would spell disaster if repeated at a general election.

The day after the News Corp awards, Markson wrote: “The energy policy has thrown the prime minister into his own world of woe and there are now live discussions about his leadership.” She was joined by Bolt and his fellow columnist Janet Albrechtsen and the “Sky News after dark” team in talking up Dutton and slamming Turnbull.

Just how close are these relationships? Bolt acknowledges he is friends with Abbott, as is Murdoch’s son Lachlan. The Sky commentator Peta Credlin, Abbott’s former chief of staff, is close to both her old boss and a number of the Liberal party’s conservatives. And insiders at News say Credlin and Bolt have direct lines to Lachlan and Rupert Murdoch.

The good, the bad and the downright vicious

Rudd, now out of politics, is one of the few politicians who has dared to speak out about News Corp.

“Time and time again in cabinet I would raise the need to fully take on News Ltd as a political force in our country,” Rudd tells Guardian Australia. “The entire cabinet, including [Julia] Gillard, would say, ‘You can’t do that. They will just destroy us.’ That’s where we have got to – when an entire government thinks it’s so powerless in dealing with a force like that.”

    Why don’t politicians speak out? Because they are frightened
    Kevin Rudd

Since leaving politics Rudd has made it his mission to call out, on Twitter and in public, what he sees as the dangerous and vindictive role that News Corp plays in politics around the world.

Rudd’s campaign comes in the wake of the UK inquiries into News Corp and the phone-hacking scandal, and subsequent inquiries into whether News is a fit company to further extend its influence by acquiring the whole of the UK satellite TV company Sky TV.

“Why don’t politicians speak out? Because they are frightened,” Rudd says. “Because the organisation has the capacity for comprehensive retribution.”

In a statement News Corp responded: “Mr Rudd again demonstrates his failure to understand the role of the media in a democracy – it is to challenge, question and hold to account those in public office on behalf of the communities they serve. A free press is critical to a free society. This often means telling uncomfortable truths but we have a long and proud history of telling the stories that matter to Australians.”

News Corp clearly makes positive contributions to Australian journalism. Back in 1964 Murdoch created a national daily and over the years he has poured resources into creating a newspaper that does its level best to cover national affairs. Together with Telstra he built Foxtel – a pay-TV network with a 24-hour news channel, Sky.

News Corp’s investment in serious, in-depth journalism has been justly recognised by Australia’s Walkley awards throughout the years. The Australian has won nearly 80 Walkleys, while Sky News has been recognised for its election coverage, and the News Corp tabloids often scoop up gongs for sports coverage, photography and their coverage of breaking news. The Australian has devoted extensive resources to Indigenous reporting and to investigations, such as its dogged pursuit of the millionaire politician Clive Palmer or the current investigation into the Lynette Dawson case.

But mingled with the exceptional reporting is the accusation of an agenda driven by ideology, vindictiveness and a sense of grievance held against so-called elites.

Last year, in a 13-part series entitled Holy Wars, the independently owned website Crikey documented the Australian’s approach, where perceived enemies are singled out and subjected to an unrelenting campaign of daily stories and personal attacks backed up by a blizzard of criticism from commentators. Often these targets had been critical of News.

Crikey detailed campaigns against the former human rights commissioner Gillian Triggs, whose job included investigating cases under 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. This section, which outlaws racial vilification if it causes offence, insult, humiliation or intimidation, is particularly hated by News Corp because it sees it as too broadly drawn and therefore an improper brake on free speech – and because some of its own have fallen foul of it, including Bolt.

Some 30,000 words were written about Triggs in the Australian. Other figures targeted for special treatment included the head of the Australian Press Council, Julian Disney, who supported enhanced powers for the watchdog in the wake of the UK hacking scandal, and Paul Barry, the presenter of ABC’s Media Watch, who has criticised News on his program alongside other media outlets.

“Almost all the players in politics, government, academia, science, media and policy know how it works,” wrote Crikey’s publisher, Eric Beecher. “And every month or two they see it unfold, embarrassed, like watching a public flogging where you turn your head away.”

Some of these campaigns are part of News Corp’s culture wars, campaigns that sell newspapers and reinforce the worldview its editors believe Murdoch wants to see reflected in his Australian publications.

As Crikey pointed out, these can be devastating for their targets but often do not cause the government of the day to kowtow, and are frequently ignored by the rest of the media. Yet they do have consequences. They crowd out important issues and, in the case of the campaign for the repeal of 18C, outlawing hate speech, they have created a sense in some sections of the Liberal party that this is an issue of great importance to Australians.

How News Corp influences politics in a declining print market

It has been suggested that the demise of print media means newspapers – and News Corp in particular – are no longer as influential as they once were. But while print media might be losing its direct clout, news is increasingly being pushed out on other platforms.

McKnight says the decline in newspaper circulation does not necessarily mean News’ influence is waning.
Tonight on Sky News After Dark, our guest is this racist carrot

News still controls nearly 60% of the daily newspaper sales in Australia and controls the dominant news websites in several capitals as well as the national daily broadsheet.

“Newspapers achieve their agenda-setting role because they have the biggest newsrooms and every day they originate far more stories than any other news medium,” McKnight says.

“These stories provide the raw material for others, which includes radio shock jocks, TV talkshows, other newspapers and the Twitterati. Newspaper-generated stories are still the largest source of online news.”

Newsrooms may be shrinking and the original reporting of issues that matter to Australians is being crimped by the dwindling resources, but it has become exponentially easier for a story to be picked up and rebroadcast, finding its way to the airwaves or social media at lightning speed.

So should we no longer worry that Australia has one of the most concentrated media industries on the planet? Recent events suggest otherwise.
How News turned on Rudd

Some see clear motivations in News Corp’s campaigning.

“I think it’s their clear pattern around the world,” Rudd says. “Rupert was completely locked into Thatcher and then, when he formed a view that Blair was going to win, he locked into Blair.

    I was in the throes of handling the GFC in 2008. They unleashed a full fusillade
    Kevin Rudd

“Rupert was completely locked into Howard and, when he formed a view that Howard was going to lose to me, they didn’t lock into me, but they at least gave me – not even balanced treatment – but I wasn’t completely attacked through the 2007 campaign.

“Once they sense that you can lose, their standard operating procedure was to go back to the conservatives who are going to do deals on industrial relations, which suits Rupert both ideologically and commercially.”

Rudd thought, at least in the early days, that he could tame the beast. He travelled to New York as the 2007 election loomed to seek an audience with Murdoch. By that stage a Labor victory was looking to be a certainty.

Chris Mitchell, a former editor of the Australian, details many of his interactions with Rudd in his autobiography, Making Headlines. Written after his personal relationship with Rudd had irretrievably broken down, his tales raise questions about the relationship between politics and the press in Australia.

Among the more extraordinary revelations is Mitchell’s claim that in the lead-up to the 2007 election, Rudd consulted him about Labor’s industrial relations policy, drafted by Rudd’s deputy Gillard, after the Australian’s editor-at-large, Paul Kelly, wrote “devastatingly” about it.

Mitchell writes:

    Rudd sensed that he needed to massage the policy and asked me to think about whether there were a change, particularly to the proposed individual contract forms – that the paper would find acceptable. I asked Kelly and our industrial editor Brad Norington to come to my office and explained the situation. It was a bizarre request and one none of us had ever received from previous political leaders. But we decided that the best way to preserve the spirit of individual contract reforms … was to exempt all workers earning above $100,000 from Gillard’s plans.

Mitchell claims that a couple of Sundays later Rudd and his wife visited his house at Roseville. In a private chat next to the sandpit in the backyard, Mitchell says Rudd asked whether the paper had given any thought to proposed changes to the legislation.

    He wanted to be certain that Kelly and Norington supported whatever change I suggested. When he had the detail clear, he said: ‘Let’s go back in and have another coffee.’

Once he was elected, Rudd’s honeymoon was short-lived. He traces the first warning signs in the relationship to his first weeks. Mitchell told him that the Australian’s political editor, Dennis Shanahan, would be expecting an exclusive every Sunday so that the broadsheet could lead the news agenda.

Rudd was not keen. He wanted to do the right thing by Fairfax and the ABC and rejected the idea.

Mitchell and Rudd had been friends, dating back to their mutual time in Queensland, when Rudd worked for the Queensland premier and Mitchell was the editor of Brisbane’s Courier-Mail. They were so close that Rudd was godfather to one of Mitchell’s children.

What caused the end of the bromance differs, according to whose version you believe. Rudd puts it down to his refusal to play the News Corp game. Mitchell puts it down his refusal to attend Rudd’s signature policy forum, the 2020 summit, followed by a strange incident at Kirribilli House in 2008, in which Rudd allowed Mitchell to sit in on a call with the US president George Bush. Mitchell later briefed his reporters who wrote about it; there is a dispute about whether its publication was authorised by Rudd.

Perhaps both are true in the sense that a breakup often has many explanations. What is not in dispute is that the Rudd government’s relationship with News Corp went downhill as the prime minister defied the Australian’s orthodoxy during the global financial crisis and spent up in an attempt to avert a recession.

“That’s when they unleashed John Lyons, how I was a dysfunctional PM – a four-page extravaganza,” Rudd says. “I was in the throes of handling the GFC in 2008. They unleashed a full fusillade.”

The articles, one headlined “Captain Chaos and the workings of the inner circle”, were, Mitchell says, commissioned by him, because he’d had several conversations with cabinet ministers, and eight months into Rudd’s prime ministership he could see the leader repeating his controlling ways that had brought problems in Queensland.

Lyons himself also refutes Rudd’s claim as “completely untrue”. He says history has shown that many of Rudd’s colleagues soon afterwards came to the same conclusion – that the first Rudd government was one riven by dysfunction and chaos.

“I’d done many stories looking at prime ministers’ offices - beginning with Bob Hawke’s so-called ‘Manchu Court’. That’s the reason editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell asked me to look at who was really running the Rudd office. I was not directed to write either a positive or a negative story, and would not have accepted any such direction,” he says.

The breakdown between News and Labor was absolute by the time Rudd returned to the prime ministership in time for the 2013 election, as evidenced by the Daily Telegraph’s opening front page of the election campaign. “Kick this mob out,” the front-page editorial screamed.

While Murdoch stays in touch with his editors on a regular basis, often it is the editors who are driving the agenda. In this case Murdoch had sent his most trusted tabloid editor, Col Allan, to Sydney to oversee the election coverage of News’ dailies. With all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, Allan didn’t leave anyone guessing who News wanted as the next prime minister.

Tony Abbott won handsomely in 2013, though how much News can claim credit in the face of a Labor party that was at war with itself is hotly debated.

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