Saudi and UAE pledge $3 billion aid to Sudan’s new junta

Above – Sudanese demonstrators use their mobile phone torches as lamps as they attend a mass anti-government protest outside Defense Ministry in Khartoum, April 21, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have announced a joint package of aid worth $3 billion for Sudan, where military leaders seized power from President Omar al-Bashir last week.

The two Persian Gulf Arab countries said in a statement carried by their state news agencies on Sunday that they would deposit some $500 million in Sudan’s central bank.

The Saudi Press Agency claimed that the aid was intended to strengthen Sudan’s financial position, ease the pressure on the Sudanese pound and increase stability in the exchange rate.

However, the package is being viewed as an attempt to prop up Sudan’s military rulers who are facing mounting pressure from protesters to cede power to a civilian government. 

The protesters, who remain camped out near the Defense Ministry in Khartoum since Bashir was ousted on April 11, have demonstrated in large numbers over the past three days, pressing for a rapid transition to a civilian rule.

Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been courting Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who was sworn in on Friday as the head of ruling junta, the Transitional Military Council (TMC).

Burhan said on Sunday the military council is committed to transferring power to a civilian body, but protesters are frustrated with the junta dragging its feet on its implementation. 

A coalition of protesters and opposition groups said the TMC is not serious about handing over power to civilians, describing the council as an “extension of the old regime”.

PressTV-Protest leaders vow to 'escalate' Sudan rallies

PressTV-Protest leaders vow to ‘escalate’ Sudan ralliesLeaders of the Sudan protests have vowed to escalate demonstrations to confront the country’s military rulers.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have ties with Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, through their participation in the kingdom’s protracted war on Yemen.

The two countries have expressed support for measures taken by the Transitional Military Council following Bashir’s ouster.

Last week, Burhan praised Sudan’s distinguished relations with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the official SUNA news agency reported.

PressTV-Saudis back new Sudan ruler and ex-Yemen war czar

PressTV-Saudis back new Sudan ruler and ex-Yemen war czarSaudi Arabia has expressed support for measures taken by Sudan’s transitional military council following the ouster of the African country’s longtime ruler, Omar al-Bashir.

Burhan met with a joint delegation from Riyadh and Abu Dhabi last week, and received a verbal message from their leaders.

Analysts warn that both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are striving to influence the transition process by backing the military council.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE had cultivated close ties with Bashir prior to his ouster and were reportedly exhorting him to forge relations with Israel.

PressTV-Mossad discussed Saudi plan to oust Bashir: Report

PressTV-Mossad discussed Saudi plan to oust Bashir: ReportThe head of Mossad met his Sudanese counterpart in Germany last month as part of a secret Saudi plan to oust President Omar al-Bashir, the Middle East Eye reports.

However, as Bashir’s position became precarious, the head of Mossad met with his Sudanese counterpart in Germany as part of a secret plan by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE to oust him, London-based Middle East Eye reported in March.

In January, Bashir lamented that he had fallen for advice from unknown parties to normalize ties with Israel in order to ensure stability in his country, but had seen the situation spiral out of hand.

Sudan, under Bashir, had forged close relations with Saudi Arabia in recent years after renouncing ties with Iran.

Faced with months of protests across Sudan, Bashir tried to backpedal on some of his policies, sacking a number of his close associates, but those measures made him even weaker and he was ultimately toppled on April 11.

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Americans Are Steadily Migrating West And South

The U.S. Census Bureau has just released their annual report on how the U.S. population is shifting, and there are some very clear patterns in the data.  If you look at this Census Bureau map, you will see lots of purple (areas where the population is growing) in the west and the south, and you will see lots of orange (areas where the population is declining) in the north and the east.  Of course this is a continuation of a pattern that we have been seeing for decades.  Given the ability to choose, many Americans would rather live in areas of the country that are warm and sunny, and that makes a lot of sense.  But that is not the only pattern that we see in the data.

From July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018 seven of the ten counties that had the largest percentage increase in population were either in Texas or Florida

McKenzie County, ND: 7.1 percent
Williams County, ND: 5.9 percent
Comal County, TX: 5.4 percent
Kaufman County, TX: 4.7 percent
Brunswick County, NC: 4.6 percent
Walton County, FL: 4.5 percent
Midland County, TX: 4.3 percent
Osceola County, FL: 4.3 percent
St. Johns County, FL: 4.2 percent
Hood County, TX: 4.1 percent

Texas and Florida do not have a state income tax, and so that could help to explain these numbers.

The top two counties on the list are both in North Dakota, and a lot of people are being drawn up there for energy industry jobs.  McKenzie County produces more oil than any other county in the state, and even though it can get bitterly cold, many workers find the very high wages paid by the industry very alluring.

Meanwhile, some of the biggest cities in the entire nation are shrinking.

New York City is losing people for the first time in a decade, and the population of Chicago has now fallen for four years in a row

The Chicago area’s population declined for the fourth year in a row in 2018, according to the latest Census Bureau estimates.

There were 22,000 fewer residents in the 14-county metro area than in 2017, a drop of 0.2 percent, and the first time since 2010 that the area’s population has slipped below 9.5 million people. Cook County, which accounts for 55 percent of the population in the metro area, lost 24,000 residents.

Considering all of the gang violence, the absolutely insane politicians and the oppressive levels of taxation, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why people would want to leave the Windy City.

I guess the real mystery is why so many people would want to stay.

According to a report put out by North American Moving Services, Illinois is actually the top state for outbound moves, and Idaho is actually the top state for inbound moves…

Every year, roughly 14% of the US population moves from one state to another, according to Census Bureau data. But after a careful analysis of the data from 2018, North American Moving Services published its latest report on American migration patterns…and it contained some surprising conclusions.

For example, while Illinois was once again the top state for outbound moves (thanks, we imagine, to its dysfunctional state government, high taxes and massively underfunded pensions), the top state for inbound moves was…Idaho?

A quick glance at the data reveals a familiar pattern: Americans are leaving high-tax blue states in favor of red states with low taxes and low cost of living.

Hopefully the secret about how great Idaho is won’t get around too widely, because all the people from California that are moving up here have already driven home prices through the roof.

Another city that is seeing people leave in droves is Baltimore

“Thousands of people are fleeing the city each year as total population plummets to 100-year lows. There are about 46,000 vacant rowhomes scattered throughout the area, or roughly 15% of the housing stock is dormant. On a per capita basis, the city has the highest rate of homicides per 100,000 in the country. Opioids from Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland Medical Center continue to flood the poorest of neighborhoods, leaving the African American communities in a perpetual state of addiction, along with the need for constant government assistance programs. With the local economy basically a black market, gangs roam the streets like a third world country.”

I remember going to Orioles games as a kid, and at that time Baltimore was still somewhat of a vibrant city.

But now it is a rotting, decaying, drug-infested nightmare that is slowly dying right in front of our eyes.

And of course we continue to see an exodus from the California coastline, and one of the big reasons for that is because housing has gotten way too expensive

A full 43 percent of Californian voters, and an astounding 61 percent of those aged 18 to 34, feel they can’t afford to live in the state, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. And over three-quarters of voters agree that there’s a “housing crisis.”

The median value for a house in the Golden state is about $550,000, according to real-estate website Zillow. That’s more than twice the national median.

Of course there are many other reasons to leave California as well.  For much more on that, please see my previous article entitled “Nobody Does It Better: The Amount Of Human Feces On San Francisco Streets Is Going Up Every Single Year”.

Before I wrap up this article, I want to also say a bit about retirement migration.

As the Baby Boomers retire, millions of them are moving from cold weather states to warm weather states.

For ages, the state of Florida has been the number one destination for retirees, but now that has apparently changed.  According to Fox Business, this is the very first year that New Mexico is on top of the list…

This was the first year New Mexico topped the list. Forty-three percent of moves to New Mexico were related to retirement, while 60 percent of people moving there were between the ages of 55 and 74. The cost of living in the state is 3 percent less than the national average, while income taxes are low.

I never would have guessed that.

Perhaps the cost of housing is low and that is why a lot of retirees from California see it as a good option.

And yes, lots of Baby Boomers are still retiring in Florida, and the state is still number two on the list

While it did not make the top spot this year, Florida ranked second with 39 percent of moves into the state being retirement related. Aside from the warm weather and beach communities, Floridians are not subject to state income taxes.

In addition to everything that I have just shared, many Americans are migrating across the country for more ominous reasons.  They can see the direction this nation is headed, and they want to be positioned for what America is going to be like in the coming years.

The fabric of our society is unraveling right in front of our eyes, and a lot of people just want somewhere safe, secure and sane to raise their families.

Unfortunately that is not so easy to find anymore, and the social decay that is eating away at our country like cancer is spreading a little bit more with each passing day.

Economic collapse blog (USA – based)

EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker: The UK cannot keep delaying Brexit

The UK was meant to leave on 29 March, but it has been delayed twice, first to 21 April and now to 31 October.

Jean-Claude Juncker warned Britain that its departure from the EU must happen by the new 31 October deadline.

“I hope that the British will make use of this time and not waste it again. We cannot keep on putting off the withdrawal date indefinitely,” Mr Juncker said.

:: ‘Their first decision was to go on holiday’: EU’s Verhofstadt fears UK will waste Brexit delay

“The best solution would be for the British to adopt the withdrawal agreement during the extra time that has been agreed.”

ROGER WATERS “ASHAMED TO BE AN ENGLISHMAN” OVER ASSANGE SAGA

As the establishment attempts to paint a narrative of Julian Assange in cahoots with every thug and terrorist in the world – and definitely not a journalist – many ‘dissenters’ refuse to allow the whitewashing to go unanswered

One such voice is legendary Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, who told RT, in a wide-ranging interview this week, that he was “ashamed to be an Englishman” after seeing Assange being physically removed from his shelter at the Ecuadorian Embassy.

“To think that the UK has become such a willing accomplice and satellite of the American Empire that it would do such a thing in contravention with all laws, moral, ethical, and actual legal restrictions is absolutely, stunningly appalling and makes me ashamed to be an Englishman.

UK authorities will soon decide whether to deport Assange to Sweden, where he faces possible rape charges, or to the US, where he is wanted for conspiring with former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer.

The second scenario would be worse, Waters believes.

Citizens “barely have rights anymore” after the Patriot Act was adopted, and “everything is at the whim of the commander-in-chief.”

“If we let the UK get away with allowing him to be extradited to the United States, we allow the United States government, at their whim, to torture him and to detain him possibly for the rest of his life.”

ANOTHER RECORD BREAKING YEAR FOR OPIUM PRODUCTION IN U.S. OCCUPIED AFGHANISTAN

Now officially a national federal emergency, the opioid crisis is gutting America. The roots of this complex issue lie in supply, not demand, and while we are beginning to see major pharmaceutical executives being indicted for conspiracy and bribery of doctors, we have a long way to go to turn this thing around.

Pharmaceutical and synthetic opioids are a major part of the catastrophe, but the other side of the supply chain is actual opium, and the world’s biggest opium market just happens to be occupied Afghanistan, the epicenter of the global heroin trade. The United States military has been operating in Afghanistan as part of the war on terror for over 16 years now, and opium production in the war-torn nation continues to increase, year-over-year, coinciding with the rise of the opioid crisis.

2017 looks to be another record year for opium production in Afghanistan. As reported by Business Insider:

“The country has produced the majority of the world’s opium for some time, despite billions of dollars spent by the US to fight it during the 16-year-long war there. Afghan and Western officials now say that rather than getting smuggled out of Afghanistan in the form of opium syrup, at least half of the crop is getting processed domestically, before leaving the country as morphine or heroin.” [Source]

This particular article goes on to attribute the high production of opium, morphine and heroin on the Taliban, suggesting that the U.S. has been spending billions in taxpayer dollars directly fighting the drug war in Afghanistan.

“Those forms are easier to smuggle, and they are much more valuable for the Taliban, which reportedly draws at least 60% of its income from the drug trade. With its increasing focus on trafficking drugs, the Taliban has taken on more of the functions a drug cartel.” [Source]

WAKING TIMES

Derry riots before good friday

New IRA blamed after Lyra McKee shot during riots sparked by police weapons search

Journalist Lyra McKee was shot and killed during riots in Londonderry on Thursday night

The police have not identified or charged the men. The force said earlier that there had been a single gunman who had been backed by an “organisation.” On Friday night police released CCTV footage showing the man suspected of firing the shots that killed McKee.

Officers have appealed for help from the community, saying people knew the shooter and should help police identify him. McKee, 29, was shot during rioting on Thursday night that followed a major security operation by the police. Political leaders expressed revulsion, saying her death, on the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, was an attack on peace and the democratic process.

The killing comes amid a long political crisis, made worse by Brexit, that has left the region without a devolved government for more than two years. Amid anger at the death, dissident republicans cancelled a march in the city next week to mark the 1916 Easter rising against British rule.

A rally in Belfast on Saturday in support of the Good Friday pact will observe a minute’s silence for McKee.

There will also be a vigil in Omagh, County Tyrone, where a 1998 dissident republican bomb attack killed 29 people. Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionists, and Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Féin leader, attended a vigil in Londonderry on Friday. Sara Canning, McKee’s partner, told the vigil: “Our hopes and dreams and all of her amazing potential was snuffed out by this single barbaric act.

Fearing violence over the Easter weekend, police had raided houses searching for weapons and ammunition in the Creggan area of the city, also known as Derry. Mark Hamilton, PSNI assistant chief constable, said more than 50 petrol bombs were thrown and two cars hijacked in the rioting that followed. McKee was wounded by shots fired towards police and she died shortly afterwards in hospital.

“We believe this to be a terrorist act,” Mr Hamilton said. “Our assessment at this time would be that the New IRA is the most likely to be behind this and that forms our primary line of inquiry.” Sara Canning, McKee’s partner, told a Londonderry vigil: “Our hopes and dreams and all of her amazing potential was snuffed out by this single barbaric act.”

Although it has only limited public support, the New IRA is the most potent of the dissident republican factions that reject the 1998 peace pact. It has recently stepped up attacks, claiming responsibility in March for parcel bombs sent to three London transport hubs and a Scottish university.

The group was also blamed for a car bomb blast in January in Londonderry in which fatalities were only narrowly avoided. Denis Bradley, a nationalist former vice-chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, who lives in the city, said the “great outrage” at McKee’s death would not help the dissidents build small pockets of support.

“It means that the limited support they have will put its head down for the next period,” he said. However, he added: “It doesn’t mean they’re going to go away.” Mr Bradley said McKee’s death reminded him of killings during the three-decade-long unrest known as the Troubles that had made the associated paramilitaries less acceptable.

“I think this is one of those moments,” he said. “Derry people like people who like them and this girl fell in love with the city. She came to live here.”

A political party with dissident links, claimed McKee was killed accidentally by a “republican volunteer” and said the rioting was the consequence of house raids before Easter commemorations. Theresa May, the UK prime minister, described the death as shocking and truly senseless. She added: “She was a journalist who died doing her job with great courage.”