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Putin closes down Russia’s state news agency – Europe – Al Jazeera English

Putin closes down Russia’s state news agency – Europe – Al Jazeera English.

Putin named a controversial figure as the head of Russia Today news agency [Reuters]
Russia’s president has abolished the country’s state-owned Ria Novosti news agency with no explanation issued to its staff.

Vladimir Putin announced the surprise move on Monday through a decree published on his website, saying the organisation would be replaced by a news agency called “Rossiya Segodnya” (Russia Today).

The new company will focus on “coverage abroad of Russian state policy and public life” with multilingual services as a way of “raising efficiency of state media resources,” the document published on the Kremlin website said.

Putin named Dmitry Kiselyov, a controversial figure often accused of being a propaganda mouthpiece and known for openly anti-gay, anti-American, and anti-opposition views, as the head of Russia Today.

“Restoring a fair attitude towards Russia as an important country in the world and one with good intentions – that is the mission of the new structure that I will head,” Kiselyov told the state TV broadcaster Rossiya 24.

“When this news first appeared, everyone thought it was a joke,” Russian protest leader and widely-followed blogger Alexei Navalny wrote on his Live Journal page. “But no.”

The dissolved agency

The news reportedly came as a shock to the staff of RIA Novosti with one employee, who asked not to be named, saying they found out from the Kremlin’s website.

No explanation was given, with an internal email merely warning that a “liquidation committee” would be formed and asked that everyone remained calm.

“The move is the latest in a series of shifts in Russia’s news landscape which appear to point towards a tightening of state control in the already heavily-regulated media sector,” RIA said in an English-language article about Putin’s step.

The agency was one of the biggest in the world and was also an official sponsor of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi next February.

It also recently became known for its detailed live reporting from Russia’s most high-profile trials.

RIA Novosti traced its roots to 1941 when the Soviet Information Bureau was established by communist rulers.

 

1 In 4 Europeans At Risk Of Poverty | Zero Hedge

1 In 4 Europeans At Risk Of Poverty | Zero Hedge.

As bonds and stocks soar, and Europe’s leaders continue to proclaim victory, despite Draghi’s downbeat jawboning as EUR surges to growth-crushing levels, it is well known that the employment situation remains abysmal in the real economy. However, what is worse that the red-flashing-headlines of record youth (and total) unemployment is, as Bloomberg’s Niraj Shah notes, 125 million people in the EU were at risk of pverty or social exclusion. According to Eurostat, that is 24.8% of the population. Almost half of Bulgarians faced economic hardship and Greece had the highest poverty rate in the euro area at 34.6% (though if Stournaras was to be believed this weekend, their problems are solved).

 

 

Source: Bloomberg Brief (@economistniraj)

 

Exit Strategy… What Exit Strategy? | Zero Hedge

Exit Strategy… What Exit Strategy? | Zero Hedge. (source)

Crash Course creator Chris Martenson explains why it’s easier to start than to stop quantitative easing: “A lot of what we hear is the Fed’s exit strategy … what most people don’t know is that this thing doesn’t work in reverse very well at all.” In this excellent interview with RT, Martenson explains why Bernanke & Co. found it relatively simple to start their money printing, but why they will have a hell of a time getting off the runaway QE train.

VIDEO

 

Edward Snowden Releases “A Manifesto For The Truth” | Zero Hedge

Edward Snowden Releases “A Manifesto For The Truth” | Zero Hedge. (source)

While Edward Snowden may be reviled at the top echelons of Western developed nations and is wanted in his native US on espionage charges for peeling back the curtain on how the gargantuan government machine truly works when it is not only engaged in chronic spying on anyone abroad, but worse, on its own people, the reality is that his whistleblowing revelations have done more to shift the narrative to the topic of dwindling individual liberties abused pervasively in the US and elsewhere, than anything else in recent years. And alongside that, have led to the first reform momentum of a system that is deeply broken. Which also happens to be the topic of a five-paragraph opinion piece he released today in German weekly Der Spiegel titled “A Manifesto For The Truth” in which he writes that his revelations have been useful and society will benefit from them and that he was therefore justified in revealing the methods and targets of the US secret service.

In the Op-Ed we read that “Instead of causing damage, the usefulness of the new public knowledge for society is now clear because reforms to politics, supervision and laws are being suggested.”

RT adds“Spying as a global problem requires global solutions, he said, stressing that “criminal surveillance programs” by secret services threaten open societies, individual privacy and freedom of opinion.

“Citizens have to fight against the suppression of information about affairs of essential importance for the public,” Snowden said in his five-paragraph manifesto. Hence, “those who speak the truth are not committing a crime.”
Even with the existence of mass surveillance, spying should not define politics, Snowden said.

We have a moral duty to ensure that our laws and values limit surveillance programs and protect human rights,” he wrote.

The type of persecution campaigns that governments started after being exposed, and threats of prosecution against journalists, who blew the whistle, were “a mistake” and did not “serve the public interest,” Snowden concluded.

But “at that time the public was not in a position to judge the usefulness of these revelations. People trusted that their governments would make the right decisions,” he said.

Needless to say, all of the above points are spot on, which is why one hopes that Snowden does not intend on returning to the US to defend himself with only truth and justice to lean on, because the US Judicial system is just as broken, if not more, as every other aspect of a tentacular government, intent on growing to even more epic proportions and silencing anyone and everyone who stands in its way.

 

FBI Interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev In Early 2011: Suspects’ Mother Claims FBI Set Up | Zero Hedge

FBI Interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev In Early 2011: Suspects’ Mother Claims FBI Set Up | Zero Hedge.

 

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