Brazilian Military Deployed To Break Up Trucking Strike As State Of Emergency Worsens

A nationwide trucking strike in Brazil entered day six on Saturday, as blocked roads have prevented critical food and supplies from reaching their destinations.

The protests, triggered by a 50% spike in fuel prices over the last year, have resulted in the declaration of a state of emergency across most major cities as shelves run bare and fuel supplies dwindle. Airports have reported running out of fuel, hospitals are running out of supplies, and public transport and trash collection have been reduced or halted across the country. Some food prices have also spiked as supplies dwindle. As we noted on Friday, a lack of livestock feed threatens a billion chickens and 20 million pigs who may starve to death.

Brazilian export group ABPA said that over 150 poultry and pork processing plants had indefinitely suspended production, while Brazil’s sugar industry – the world’s largest – is slowly halting cane harvest operations as their machines run out of fuel.

Despite a Thursday agreement with the truckers and the Friday deployment of the military to physically unblock roads, the government has only reported a few blockades being lifted on major highways. 

In an attempt to end the dispute, oil company Petrobas cut the price of diesel by 10% for two weeks – however all that did was scare investors. The truckers were not impressed, considering that they’ve been subject to fuel price increases of around 50% over the last year.

Petrobras shares plunged after the announcement and are down at least 20 percent this week, leading losses in the Ibovespa index, which has lost 4.3 percent in the period. That pushed the stock market’s monthly drop to 7.7 percent, one of the worst performers among major global benchmarks. –Bloomberg

The main entity representing truckers, ABCAM, said they haven’t changed their stance – and that they will call off protests only after federal diesel taxes are scrapped

truckers say they want a definitive solution, saying they will end the protest only when a decision to eliminate federal diesel taxes is published in the official gazette.

Local TV showed footage of federal forces being deployed over the night to some critical areas to help police remove trucks from highways.

There were no reports of violence, but main roads remained blocked in the morning, including a key transport ring around Sao Paulo, the country’s largest city. –Yahoo

Brazil’s auto production, which constitutes around 25% of industrial output, also ground to a halt on Friday. Authorities say that even after the strike ends, it will take several days to replenish vital supplies. 

The Dummies Guide To The Russia Collusion Hoax: Who, What, Where, When, & Why

Authored by Roger Kimball via Spectator USA,

For your eyes only: A short history of Democrat-spy collusion

How highly placed members of one administration mobilised the intelligence services to undermine their successors…

Who, what, where, when, why? The desiderata school teachers drill into their charges trying to master effective writing skills apply also in the effort to understand that byzantine drama known to the world as the Trump-Russia-collusion investigation.

Let’s start with “when.” When did it start? We know that the FBI opened its official investigation on 31 July 2016. An obscure, low-level volunteer to the Trump campaign called Carter Page was front and centre then. He’d been the FBI’s radar for a long time. Years before, it was known, the Russians had made some overtures to him but 1) they concluded that he was an “idiot” not worth recruiting and 2) he had actually aided the FBI in prosecuting at least two Russian spies.

But we now know that the Trump-Russia investigation began before Carter Page. In December 2017, The New York Times excitedly reported in an article called “How the Russia Inquiry Began” that, contrary to their reporting during the previous year, it wasn’t Carter Page who precipitated the inquiry. It was someone called George Papadopoulous, an even more obscure and lower-level factotum than Carter Page. Back in May 2016, the twenty-something Papadopoulous had gotten outside a number of drinks with one Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat in London and had let slip that “the Russians” had compromising information about Hillary Clinton. When Wikileaks began releasing emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee in June and July, news of the conversation between Downer and Papadopoulos was communicated to the FBI. Thus, according to the Times, the investigation was born.

There were, however, a couple of tiny details that the Times omitted. One was that Downer, an avid Clinton supporter, had arranged for a $25 million donation from the Australian government to the Clinton Foundation. Twenty-five million of the crispest, Kemo Sabe. They also neglected say exactly how Papadopoulos met Alexander Downer.

As it turns out, George Papadopoulos made several new friends in London. There was Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor living in London who has ties to British intelligence. It was Mifsud – who has since disappeared – who told Papadopoulos in March 2016 that the Kremlin had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

Then there is Stefan Halper, an American-born Cambridge prof and Hillary supporter. Out of the blue, Halper reached out to Papadopoulos in September 2016. He invited him to meet in London and then offered Papadopoulos $3,000 to write a paper on an unrelated topic. He also pumped him about “Russian hacking.” “George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?” Halper is said to have asked him. He also made sure Papadopoulos met for drinks with his assistant, a woman called Azra Turk, who flirted with him over the Chardonnay while pumping him about Russia.

Halper also contacted Carter Page and Sam Clovis, Trump’s campaign co-chair. Is Stefan Halper, the “spy” on the Trump campaign, at the origin of the Trump-Russia meme?

Not really. The real fons et origo is John Brennan, Director of the CIA under Obama. As Trump’s victories in the primaries piled up, Brennan convened a “working group” at CIA headquarters that included Peter Strzok, the disgraced FBI agent, and James Clapper, then Director of National Intelligence, in order to stymie Trump’s campaign.

So much of this story still dwells in the tenebrous realm of redaction. But little by little the truth is emerging, a mosaic whose story is gradually taking shape as one piece after the next completes now this face, now another.

There are details yet to come, but here is the bottom line, the irreducible minimum

A cabal of CIA and FBI operatives, including the Director of the CIA, John Brennan, along with other members of the intelligence “community,” prominently including James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, and various members of the Obama administration, colluded to undermine Donald Trump’s campaign.

Like almost everyone else, they assumed that Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in, so they were careless about covering their tracks.

If Hillary had won, the department of Justice would have been her Department of Justice, John Brennan would still be head of the CIA, and the public would never have known about the spies, the set-ups, the skulduggery.

But Hillary did not win. For the last 16 months, we’ve watched as that exiled cabal shifted its efforts from stopping Trump from winning to a desperate effort to destroy his Presidency. Thanks to the patient work of Devin Nunes, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and a handful of GOP Senators, that effort is now disintegrating.

What is being exposed is the biggest political scandal in the history of the United States: the effort by highly placed – exactly how highly placed we still do not know – members of one administration to mobilise the intelligence services and police power of the state to spy upon and destroy first the candidacy and then, when that didn’t work, the administration of a political rival.

It is banana republic behaviour, but it looks now as if those responsible for this effort to undermine American democracy and repeal the results of a free, open, and democratic election will be exposed. Let’s hope that they are also held to account.

The Story Behind $17 Billion Booty Found In 300-Year-Old “Holy Grail Of Shipwrecks”

Details have finally emerged surround a 2015 discovery of a 300-year-old Spanish galleon which went down after a battle with British ships off the coast of Cartagena, Columbia – considered the “holy grail of shipwrecks.” 

Using an unmanned underwater vehicle called the REMUS 6000 – funded by the Dalio Foundation and operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), researchers discovered the 62-gun, three-masted San José containing chests of gold, silver and emeralds minted in Peru – estimated to be worth up to $17 billion

“The REMUS 6000 was the ideal tool for the job, since it’s capable of conducting long-duration missions over wide areas,” said WHOI engineer and expedition leader Mike Purcell.

To confirm the identity of the San José, REMUS, celebrated for its ability to conduct long-duration missions over wide areas, descended near the suspected wreck, found about 2,000 feet underwater, capturing photos of a key distinguishing feature of the San José: bronze cannons engraved with dolphins, the WHOI said in its release. WHOI said it obtained authorization by Maritime Archaeology Consultants Switzerland AG and the government in Bogotá to release new details. –Marketwatch

Discovered on Nov. 27, 2015, a raging debate ensued over the legal ownership of the Caribbean bounty. Because of this, details of the discovery was shrouded in secrecy until this week. Spain defended their ownership in the vessel, arguing that it is a warship with a State flag that carries sovereign immunity under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Sea – to which Columbia is not a party. 

Spain also argues that the shipwreck is a maritime tomb to 570 Spanish nationals.

 

Columbia, however, says that the San José belongs to them because it’s on their seabed. They plan to build a museum and conservation laboratory to preserve and publicly display the wreck’s contents, including cannons, ceramics, and other artifacts.

The Colombian government has a long-standing disagreement with US-based salvage company Sea Search Armada (SSA) over who has the rightful claim over the treasure. A group now owned by SSA claims it located the wreck back in 1981. 

According to the BBC, the SSA has been claiming billions for breach of contract from Colombia, but four years ago a US court decided that the galleon was the property of the Colombian state. Further, the wreck is reported to fall within the UN’s definition of an underwater cultural heritage site. Nonetheless, a CNN report suggests that the SSA may demand half of the value of the ship’s sunken treasure. –Gizmodo

Upon its discovery, Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos tweeted “Great news! We have found the San Jose Galleon!” followerd by a press conference in which he said that the find “constitutes one of the greatest—if not the biggest, as some say—discoveries of submerged patrimony in the history of mankind.”

The rescue operation to raise the booty, announced in March, will cost around $71 million USD. 

Tommy Robinson Arrested Outside UK Court, Jailed For 13 Months As Judge Orders Orwellian Media Blackout

UK activist and English Defence Leage founder Tommy Robinson was arrested on Friday outside of Leeds Crown Court for reporting on a pedophile grooming trial. Within six hours of his arrest, Robinson was handed a 13 month prison term for violating a prior suspended sentence for a similar offense, while media outlets were banned from covering the incident by the court – with several removing reports which had already been published. 

Footage shows Robinson, 35, being arrested while livestreaming to his Facebook page outside the courthouse. He can be heard shouting to a friend “Please, George, get me a solicitor, I’m on a suspended sentence, you see.”

A big police van with about seven police officers pulled up and arrested [Robinson] and told him to stop live streaming,” Robinson’s producer told RT (before their article (archived) was scrubbed from the internet). “They said it was incitement and a breach of the peace.

“No peace has been breached – there were two other people there and he’s been perfectly quiet talking into his phone. [The police] said nothing about the court proceedings. It’s very strange.” 

Disturbingly, the judge who sentenced Robinson, Geoffrey Marson QC, ordered an Orwellian media blackout – which resulted in several publications deleting their articles from the web covering Robinson’s arrest.  

Robinson was admonished last year by Judge Heather Norton for filming outside a gang rape case in Canterbury, who slapped him with a three month suspended sentence on the condition that he cease his coverage of the trials. 

you should be under no illusions that if you commit any further offence of any kind, and that would include, I would have thought a further contempt of court by similar actions, then that sentence of three months would be activated -Judge Heather Norton

“This is not about free speech, not about the freedom of the press, nor about legitimate journalism, and not about political correctness,” the judge told Robinson at the time.

#FreeTommy

In response to Robinson’s arrest, a large group of protesters gathered outside Downing Street – while the hashtag #FreeTommy has been used to coordinate a response, express outrage and share information about the situation. 

Robinson’s arrest has also sparked a free speech debate over social media, with  supporters and detractors alike standing up for the controversial activist’s right (or lack thereof) to express his opinion.

Pedophile grooming gangs

A group of 29 defendants are being tried  for historical sex offences against children, split into three trials. Robinson was arrested at the second trial, while the first is ongoing.

For more on the grooming gangs which have abused over 700 women and girls, click here.

Meanwhile, enraged Britons have been harassing the defendants as they make their way to court in the ongoing trials. 

Here is the full list of defendants via The Sun

First Trial

Amere Singh Dhaliwal, 34, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., is accused of 54 charges, including 21 charges of rape and 14 charges of trafficking with a view of sexual exploitation. Dhaliwal is accused of charges against eleven different girls from 2004 to 2011.

Irfan Ahmed, 32, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with nine offences including making an indecent image of a child.

Zahid Hassan, 28, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with 20 offences including six charges of raping a girl aged 13 or under.

Mohammed Kammer, 32, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with two offences including rape of a girl under 15.

Mohammed Aslam, 29, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with two offences including rape of a girl under 15.

Abdul Rehman, 30, from Sheffield, South Yorks., was charged with seven offences including raping a girl under 15.

Raj Singh Barsran, 32, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with three offences including sexual touching of a girl over 13.

Nahman Mohammed, 31 from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with three counts including trafficking a person for sexual exploitation.

Zubair Ahmed, 30, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with two offences including raping a girl under the age 15.

Hamzha Saleem, 37, from Old traddford, Gtr Mancs., was charged with three counts including human trafficking.

Second Trial (Robinson’s arrest)

Mansoor Akhtar, 25, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with three offences including attempted rape of a girl under the age of 13.

Mohammed Asaf Akram, 31, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with 14 offences including four charges of raping a girl of thirteen or under and one charge of threatening to kill.

Wiqas Mahmud, 36 from Huddersfield, West Yorks.., was charged with three offences of rape of a girl under 15.

Nasarat Hussain, 28, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with five offences including rape of a girl under 15.

Sajid Hussain, 32, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with five offences including rape of a girl under 15.

Mohammed Irfraz, 28, from Huddersfield, West Yorks.., was charged with eight offences including false imprisonment.

Faisal Nadeem, 30 from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with three counts including raping a woman 16 or over.

Mohammed Azeem, 31, from Bradford, West Yorks., was charged with three offences including rape of a girl under 15.

Zulquarnian Dogar, 29, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with two offences including sexual touching of a female aged 13 or over.

Manzoor Hassan, 37, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with four offences including inciting the sexual exploitation of a child aged between 13-17.

Third trial set to last for six weeks.

Niaz Ahmed, 53, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with three offences including sexual assault on a female.

Mohammed Imran Ibrar, 32, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with four offences including arranging the commission of a child sex offence.

Asif Bashir, 32, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with five offences, including three counts of raping a woman 16 or over.

Everton la Bastide, 50, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with two offences including sexual touching a girl of 13 or over.

Saqib Raheel, 30, from Dudley was charged with two offences including trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Usman Khalid, 29, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with three offences including assaulting a girl under 13.

Aleem Javaid, 27, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with two offences including supply of a class B drug.

Mrs Naveeda Habib, 38, from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged on one count of neglect of a child.

Mrs Shahnaz Malik, 55 from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was charged with one count of neglecting a child.