Trans-Pacific Partnership’s benefit to Australia ‘very small’

Resurrected trade deal will bring just 0.5% of real national income, economists say

The revived Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement will produce a “very small” benefit for Australia but the “symbolism” of the deal should not be underplayed, economists say.

Paul Dales and Katie Hickie from Capital Economics have written to clients saying the resurrected Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), announced by Malcolm Turnbull this week, will not produce the large benefits people think.

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Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe All Named In FISA Memo, According To First Leak

A bombshell four-page “FISA memo” alleging egregious surveillance abuse by the FBI, DOJ and Obama administration, specifically names FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to the Daily Beast

The GOP-authored memo made waves last week after it was made available to the full House of Representatives for viewing. With over 60 GOP lawmakers calling for its release, Capitol Hill sources on both sides of the aisle tell The Daily Beast that it’s only a matter of time before the general public is allowed to view the document – which is likely to stoke already-inflamed tensions between GOP lawmakers and the individuals named in the leak. 

The facts contained in the Republican majority-authored report are said to be “jaw-dropping and demand full transparency,” according to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), while the top ranking Democrat on the House Intel Committee, Adam Schiff (D-CA) dismissed the memo as “profoundly misleading” talking points drafted by Republican staffers. 

Several other GOP Congressmembers have weighed in. “I have read the memo,” tweeted Rep. Steve King (R-IA), adding “The sickening reality has set in. I no longer hold out hope there is an innocent explanation for the information the public has seen. I have long said it is worse than Watergate. It was #neverTrump & #alwaysHillary. #releasethememo.”

Along with the four-page memo, Congressional investigators learned from a new batch of text messages between anti-Trump FBI investigators that several individuals within the Department of Justice and the FBI may have come together in the “immediate aftermath” of the 2016 election to undermine President Trump, according to Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) who has reviewed the texts.

This is particularly interesting since the memo allegedly names Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who created Robert Mueller’s special counsel after former FBI Director James Comey was fired. 

While the “secret society” reference may have been in jest (“Are you even going to give out your calendars? Seems kind of depressing. Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society,” Page wrote to Strzok), a whistleblower has allegedly confirmed the existence of clandestine, of high ranking U.S. intelligence officials which met “offsite” to conspire against a sitting President, according to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). 

we have an informant talking about a group holding secret meetings off-site,” Johnson said.

“We have to continue to dig into it,” he added. “This is not a distraction. This is biased, potentially corruption at the highest levels of the FBI.” –The Hill

On Monday night, Reps. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) and Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told Fox News what they had learned from the new batch of communications between FBI investigators Peter Strzok and Lisa Page – contained within a 384-page batch of text messages delivered to Congress from the DOJ last Friday. Of note Ratcliffe says that Strzok and Page were included in the clandestine anti-Trump cabal at the highest levels of the American intelligence community

In response to the memo, Congressional Democrats led by Adam Schiff (D-CA) drafted a “counter-memo” to “correct the record” regarding alleged FISA abuse contained within the GOP memo. 

Schiff’s “counter-memo” came on the heels of an absurd letter written by Schiff and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to Facebook and Twitter executives, calling for the Social Media giants to combat “Russian bots” which were promoting the hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo.

The letter’s claims were immediately shot down by Facebook, which told the Daily Beast that #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag has been pushed by actual Americans

a knowledgeable source says that Twitter’s internal analysis has thus far found that authentic American accounts, and not Russian imposters or automated bots, are driving #ReleaseTheMemo. There are no preliminary indications that the Twitter activity either driving the hashtag or engaging with it is either predominantly Russian.

In short, according to this source, who would not speak to The Daily Beast for attribution, the retweets are coming from inside the country.

Supersonic Air Drills: Russia’s Pacific Fleet Prepares For Enemy Incursion

Russian military jets of the Pacific Fleet’s naval aviation unit (Pacific Fleet) in Kamchatka, a peninsula in the Russian Far East, have been drilling at supersonic speeds along the country’s Pacific coastline preparing for a rapid enemy incursion.

Earlier this week, fighter-pilots conducted supersonic air battles as high as 20km (12.4274-miles) in the stratosphere, while they simulated intercepting enemy fighter aircraft at high rates of speed, said Itar-Tass. One of the fighter jets had to find and intercept the second, who played the violator, without using land-based technologies such as air defense weapons, the official representative of the Pacific Fleet, Nikolai Voskresensky, stated.

The high-altitude fighter-interceptor MiG-31, flying at an altitude of about 20 km, acted as a violator of the air border, before the crew of the ‘intruder’ was to penetrate at the maximum speed into the airspace of Russia, to go through the established line and escape from possible persecution. On the alert from the Yelizovo air base (Kamchatka Krai), the MiG-31 interceptor was raised . In order to complicate the task, the search for and destruction of the “offender” was ordered by the MiG-31 crew independently, without the involvement of ground agents Defense “

– said the Resurrection via Itar-Tass.

According to Itar-Tass, the pilots of the Mig-31s cruised at supersonic speeds of more than 2200 km/h (1367 mph) and located the “intruder” aircraft at an altitude of nearly 20km (12.4274-miles) in the stratosphere. The Russian paper further says all “intruders” were eliminated and the mission ended in success. Voskresenskiy said the intercepting aircraft fired on the intruding aircraft from a distance of 100km (60 miles). In pace of actual missiles, the planes used special electronic signaling to simulate the kill.

The Mikoyan MiG-31 is a Cold War-era jet, designed by the Mikoyan and Gurevich Design Bureau, which is now called Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG. NATO codenamed the Mig-31 “Foxhound,” after its impressive acceleration and interception abilities to deter and attack high-altitude intruders.

The air drill serves as a warning sign that Russia is preparing its air defenses for conflict, especially in the Russian far east. More importantly, the type of exercise signals that Russia is making adjustments for high altitude combat. Russian Pacific Forces on the Kamchatka peninsula, are some of the first lines of defense against an enemy incursion in the air or by sea on its Pacific Coast.

While the Trump administration prepares the American people and its allies for war on the Korean Peninsula, the Russians have taken note and have conducted wartime preparations before the powder-keg ignites in North Korea. The countdown has started, the writing is on the wall, otherwise, why are militaries in the region all rushing at the same time to prepare for war?