The Titanic - a US and EU 'Superdeal'

Mortal Mindy's picture

The Tories have been busy creating a new 'Superdeal' with the USA, which leaves no doubt why they want to opt out of full EU membership.  Thatcher wanted to align herself with the Americans over and above Europe, firstly with Regan and then Bush, linked with the oil industries control of global fuel supplies that led to the first war in Iraq. (best not to mention the Falklands) .  Thatchers de-regulation of the financial sector also led to the banking crisis of 2007/8.   Cameron Tory  rhetoric about  de-regulations, firstly via the EU and soon to be with the USA smells all too familiar, and recent history has shown us what aligning UK economic and trade policy with American policy can cost.  Both in social and financial terms.

With both the American Congress and British Govt, seeming to encourage and exploit the 'battle' against Russia over the Ukraine by increasing trade sanctions, Cameron continues to cheerlead the 'fracking' industry  by playing the energy security card. 

Of interest here in Scarbados are two themes to this Transatlantic deal, aka : TPP, TTIP & TISA

Fracking:   If agreed, a clause in the deal, known as the ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ mechanism could empower energy companies to take governments to private international tribunals if they attempt to regulate or ban fracking. Oil and gas giants could claim millions in compensation if they deem their investments (including future profits) are adversely affected by changes in regulation or policy. This would be regardless of the evidence of the environmental harm caused by fracking, and of the opposition by local residents and other citizens.   (source: )

Global Food Security :  to allow Monsanto to expand  GM foods into Europe and beyond:

After reading through some of the links, personally I prefer to call it The Titanic,  must be that sinking feeling .....



Mortal Mindy's picture

Political Context on TITP by Joy Johnson

re Food & Fracking and giving Andy 'Look into my Eyes' Burnham a tick up

"The consequences of TTIP

  • Around 70% of all processed foods sold in US supermarkets now contain genetically modified ingredients. Here in Europe we have resisted GM foods. Hardly any GM food is on sale and where it is it must be clearly labelled.  US biotech companies are using TTIP to launch an assault on EU regulations for GM foods.
  • US food producers have identified the EU’s system of controls (the EU enshrine the precautionary principle to control pesticides) as one of the prime set of standards to be downgraded under TTIP. 
  • Over 90% of US beef is produced with the use of bovine growth hormones that have been linked to cancers in humans, and EU restrictions on the import of such beef have been in place since 1988. The US government has already challenged these restrictions at the WTO, and business groups are calling for their removal in the TTIP agreement as ‘unnecessary’ barriers to trade’.
  • US producers of chicken and turkey regularly treat bird carcasses with chlorine before selling them on to consumers – a process that has been banned in the EU since 1997.  The US government has  challenged the ban through the WTO, and US companies are now calling for TTIP negotiations to put an end to it.
  • In the same way as North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rules are being used to sue the Canadian government over the moratorium on fracking in Quebec, TTIP would allow US companies to challenge bans on fracking in Europe.
  • The US government has confirmed that it will use TTIP to prise open the service markets of Europe for the benefit of US capital, and specifically that it will “address the operation of any designated monopolies” in the area of public utilities."



Mortal Mindy's picture

TTIP & the NHS

Labour MP John Healey has been chasing up the EU where the NHS stands in relation to TTIP:

The EU commissioner also implied that if Labour wanted to reverse the Health and Social Care Act TTIP shouldn’t limit them from doing so. He explained “if a future UK government, or a public body to which power has been devolved, were to reverse decisions taken under a previous government, for example by discontinuing services provided by a foreign operator, it would be entirely at liberty to do so. However, it would have to respect applicable UK law.”

Mortal Mindy's picture

Putin Brics it

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) was set up to challenge two major Western-led giants – the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. NDB's key role will be to serve as a pool of currency for infrastructure projects within a group of five countries with major emerging national economies - Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa.


Putin's Plot on the Ukraine:

on how Russia could not abandon Crimea.

Protectionism, tis everywhere ...  almost.


Mortal Mindy's picture

Putin's Middle East Tour

"Jordan has signed a $10bn deal with Russia to build the kingdom's first nuclear power plant, with two 1,000-megawatt reactors in the country's north.

The deal, signed in the Jordanian capital, Amman, on Tuesday caps efforts of the energy-poor kingdom to attain energy sufficiency and reduce imports in this area. Jordan lacks any local energy sources and imports 96 percent of its electricity."


And last month, during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Egypt, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding to build Egypt's first nuclear power plant at an existing nuclear site in Dabaa, on the Mediterranean coast where a research reactor has stood for years."

Clearly not puttin all his eggs in one basket ...


Mortal Mindy's picture

Putin to Help Palestine

“Russia will continue contributing to the attainment of this goal [Palestine’s independence], working through bilateral channels and through multilateral channels, including in the ‘Quartet’ of international mediators,” Putin said.

The Quartet comprising Russia, the United States, the United Nations and the European Union, was established in 2002, aiming to reach a long-term peace agreement between Israel and Palestinians.


Whatever next York Potashki? No recent updates found on Uralkali ...

Mortal Mindy's picture

Trade Agreements & Pipe Dreams

Keystone Pipeline Decision to be testified :

"Two months after President Obama rejected TransCanada’s controversial plan to build the Keystone XL pipeline, the Canadian oil company announced Wednesday that it will sue the U.S. government for $15 billion dollars.

At first glance, that seems par for the course: investors and corporations sue the government all the time over decisions, rules and policies they don’t like.

But this case is a little different. That’s because one of TransCanada’s two lawsuits against the U.S. government won’t take place under U.S. law., nor unfold in U.S. courts. In fact, it won’t be heard by a court at all."

"TransCanada’s legal challenge could reignite a simmering debate over ISDS. The mechanism is also included in the two, giant new free trade agreements coming down the pike: the Transpacific Partnership (TPP), knitting together the U.S., Australia, Japan, and nine other Pacific Rim nations, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), linking the U.S. and the E.U."

Mortal Mindy's picture


Benefitz Betty's picture

Kain ... Tim Kaine...

The Virginian :

"If you want to be right, be a pessimist, if you want to do right, be an optimist," Mr Kaine said, recalling his time fighting housing discrimination as a young lawyer. "I like to do right."

Mrs Clinton said Mr Kaine was "everything Donald Trump is not".

"He is a progressive who likes to get things done. That's just my kind of guy," Mrs Clinton said."

Awwwe ... Wots a 'Running Mate'?



Benefitz Betty's picture

Fingers, Fringe & Pie

"Even in The Guardian’s own words, buried several paragraphs below the sensationalist headline, is a concession that “Walker said that, while he was grateful for the platform RT had given Jonathan Pie, he was now ready to move on.” Not quite the “severed links” and running for cover The Guardian wants you to imagine.

So there you have it. Here at RT, Tom and his “angry” character Jonathan Pie found a platform where his creative freedoms were never limited, and where he attracted an audience that we hope will last his entire career. We’re happy that RT was his launching pad and we will continue to nurture top media talent, as we have since the network’s launch. We wish Tom all the best with his live shows and in any new endeavors he takes on. We will also continue to bring our viewers top-quality, honest political satire, the likes of which you rarely see on languid British TV – so tune in for RT UK’s two other political comedy projects ... "


Oh. Hinkley Point ... UK Govt cannot cancel is not a Govt project.

Ah, so ... identity crisis :

Benefitz Betty's picture

Ham n Eggs

"Mr Hammond said that the government still supported the project, and that a final agreement would be signed "hopefully over the next few days" after an EDF board meeting to agree the details."

Erm ... so 'politcally' wot?

Is about to bore you with the US presidential elections ...

tis either that or Rio?

Oh, OK:

Captain Qahn's picture

Gibber Alta

"Friday's Komsomolskaya Pravda makes it clear:

"This is no tourist trip to the Med. It will strengthen Russia's current naval presence off the Syrian coast and provide air cover. The aircraft carrier planes and on-board weapons may also be used for strikes against terrorists."

But this is not just about boosting Russian firepower in Syria. If that was the case, it would be easier for Moscow to deploy more bombers to its airbase in Syria near Latakia.

Sending a large Russian flotilla through the North Sea and the English Channel sends a clear message to the West: anything you can do, we can do just as well - or even better..."

lol ... Erm... tis a tad late Ms May

"...Prime Minister Theresa May urged European leaders to send a "robust united message" to Moscow over its bombing campaign.

At a Brussels summit on Thursday, Mrs May told her counterparts the current assault on Aleppo was "particularly horrific" and Russia's actions had "undermined the West's efforts" to provide a political settlement, Downing Street sources said."

Mind ... how they gonna get out?


Benefitz Betty's picture

CETA Schunts to a Halt

"The European Parliament president has called for emergency meetings to try to save a free trade deal with Canada.

Martin Schulz asked for separate talks with Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Paul Magnette, the head of Wallonia in Belgium, which has blocked a deal on the Ceta agreement.

Mr Magnette is seeking clarity on safeguards to protect labour, environmental and consumer standards.

Ms Freeland abandoned talks on Friday, after seven years of negotiations.

She said it was clear that the EU could not reach agreement even with Canada, a country that shared European values.

All 28 EU member states support the Ceta free trade agreement, but Belgium's constitution stipulates that each of its regional governments must back the deal before the federal government can sign it.

The French-speaking region of Wallonia has remained steadfast in its opposition to Ceta.

"We can't stop at last mile," saying he would meet Ms Freeland at 0730 (0530 GMT) on Saturday and Mr Magnette an hour and half later.

A spokesman for the Canadian trade minister was unable to confirm that the meeting would place.

The wide-ranging deal was to be signed next week...

The Canada-EU trade deal was seven years in the making but it took far less time to unravel."

"Bombardier has a strong presence in Northern Ireland, employing 6,000 people and is responsible for 10% of Northern Irish manufacturing exports."

Oh... more reading:

Ah, so ...

Benefitz Betty's picture

A Will & A Way

"The European Parliament president says he is optimistic that a free-trade deal between the EU and Canada can be signed soon despite last-minute obstacles.

Objections by a Belgian region, which opposes the deal, "are for us Europeans to solve", Martin Schulz said.

He was speaking after meetings in Brussels with Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and the head of Belgium's Wallonia region.

Ms Freeland said: "It's time for Europe to finish doing its job."


Benefitz Betty's picture

Seven Days A Week

People who work Saturdays:

"The US telecoms giant AT&T has announced that it will buy entertainment group Time Warner for nearly $86bn (£70bn).

The deal was agreed at a meeting of the two boards on Saturday but will still need to be approved by regulators.

Correspondents say it is the biggest deal in the world this year.

It reflects the desire of the telecoms company to acquire content to stream over its high-speed network and attract more online viewers.

If the deal is approved by regulators, AT&T would gain control of the HBO and CNN TV networks in addition to the Warner Bros film studio and other prized media assets."

"Americans love big dreams and candidates who, in Abraham Lincoln's words, appeal to the "better angels of our nature".

With just over two weeks left before election day, however, it is probably much too late for Mr Trump to make "faith and optimism" the focus of a campaign that has often been typified by darkness and anger." (Anthony Zurcher BBC said that bit)

... from Po to Wein ... The Dead Don't Sleep 


but they can wake us up at stoopid o'clock....

when do the clocks go back?

Ah, so ... GMT do we get to keep that as part of Brexit?

Oh... NTS :

Ooops ...

fascinating ...


Benefitz Betty's picture

Through The Earth

Curiosity ...

Smart Ass "Cool vid and cool technology, but you can do the same thing by plugging an audio amp's output directly into two ground rods spaced far apart... The farther apart the ground rods, the farther the signal will go through conductive ground. One could easily cover an entire city by placing the rods on either side of it."

.... wot no music?


crawls back into cave.

Festo ... The Internet of Things :-)

Benefitz Betty's picture

Schiaparelli ... Rocket Fuel

"The Schiaparelli lander is seen in greater detail than ever before, lying on the Martian surface.

It is well within its intended landing zone but obviously unable to function.

The images, gathered by Nasa, could provide important new clues about what went wrong.

They show a dark patch around the capsule - a possible hint that a fuel tank exploded - and the indication is that the impact gouged out a crater 50cm deep.

Last week's landing - a joint Esa-Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) endeavour - was billed as a "technology demonstrator" to pave the way for a far bigger venture in 2020 with a sophisticated rover to hunt for clues about life.

The loss raises difficult questions about the risks involved in that follow-on mission and whether Esa's member governments will be too nervous to pledge the funds needed to mount it.

The Schiaparelli spacecraft was meant to touch down last week using a combination of a heat-shield and a parachute to slow its fall and retro-rockets to lower it to the surface....

Instead communications were lost during what should have been the final minute of the descent and it is estimated that the spacecraft hit the ground at about 300kph.

It was quickly established that the parachute and back cover were released earlier than they should have been, according to a pre-programmed sequence of tasks.

It is also known that the retro-rockets, which should have fired for 30 seconds, only operated for three or four seconds, and the lander probably fell from a height of 2-4km.

In the aftermath of the attempt, Esa's Director-General, Jan Woerner, claimed that the mission was a success because the spacecraft transmitted data for five of the six minutes of its descent, providing useful information and proving that key stages of the operation had worked well.

He also highlighted that the lander's mother ship, known as the Trace Gas Orbiter, had been successfully placed in an orbit that would allow it to sniff the Martian atmosphere for hints of methane.

Soon after the mission, Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter gathered pictures of the landing zone which revealed the presence of two new dots in the Martian landscape - a dark one for the spacecraft and a white one for the parachute.

Now the same spacecraft has used its more powerful HiRise camera - with a resolution of 30cm per pixel - to focus on the landing zone and produce the images released today.

In a bitter irony, it was the same US orbiter that managed to spot Europe's earlier attempt at a Mars landing, with the Beagle-2 mission in 2003.

Those images showed how the tiny craft had made it to the surface in one piece but then failed to fully open its solar panels which meant that it could not communicate or survive."


Earth I : Mars O

Sniffing methane ... not all its cracked up to be.



Benefitz Betty's picture

Sugar Plums

"British Sugar will be swapping tomato plants for cannabis seedlings after signing a long-term contract to supply the crop to drugs company GW Pharmaceuticals.

The marijuana plants, which are of a non-psychoactive variety, will be grown in British Sugar’s 18-hectare glasshouse in Wissington, Norfolk, where the company, a subsidiary of Associated British Foods, is currently cultivating tomatoes. The space is the equivalent of 23 football pitches...."

Benefitz Betty's picture

Big Bangs

Jobbers ;-)

"... "I was used to the hustle and bustle, the crowd on the floor," says Alasdair Haynes.

"And on the Monday there was no one there. There was a complete hush, it was extraordinary," says Mr Haynes who used to work on the floor of the London Stock Exchange, and is now chief executive of the trading venue Aquis Exchange.

The Monday he's referring to was 30 years ago. It was the day of the Big Bang - when, in one fell swoop, the City of London was deregulated, revolutionising its fortunes and turning it into a financial capital to rival New York.

London's switch in 1986 from traditional face-to-face share dealing to electronic trading helped it outpace its European competitors and became a magnet for international banks..."


Three & some ... Stowaways. 


Captain Qahn's picture

March Forth

"They are about to lose - depending on your point of view - a curmudgeonly whinger who was dragging the whole project down or one of their largest economies and the most powerful defence and security power in Europe.

So what to do?

There are those who think, genuinely, good riddance.

"General de Gaulle was right all along," they mutter. "We should never have let them join in the first place.

"Freed from the shackles of British ministers objecting to integration here and integration there, we can get on with it."

"In 1997, a Russian political scientist named Aleksandr Dugin and a serving Russian General named Nikolai Klokotov sat down and wrote a text that would become the foundation of Russian geopolitical strategy over the next 20 years. It was called “Foundations of Geopolitics” and it was all about how Russia could reassert itself in the world.

Chillingly, the book now reads like a to-do list for Putin’s behaviour on the world stage.

Perhaps surprisingly, the document is not a secret. It has long been known to observers of Russian foreign policy, and has served as a text book among a generation of military strategists. But with the scandal over Russian influence in the US elections, growing by the day, it’s surprising how little coverage this important text has been given...."

"It’s now clear to everyone but Sean Spicer that Trump’s campaign was in communication with the Kremlin for a year leading up to his election victory. The revelation on Thursday about Jeff Sessions means that this is the story that will dominate Trump’s first term. Putin: 7, Rest of World: 0."

"..what will Putin do next?"

Ah , so ...  Arrivals

lololol  @  Boris... don't s'pose they call him 'hysterical' ;-)

Boris, Brexit & .... The Blonde


Captain Black's picture

Article 50 - Deliverance?

"Theresa May has signed the letter that will formally begin the UK's departure from the European Union.

Giving official notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, it will be delivered to European Council president Donald Tusk later.

In a statement in the Commons, the prime minister will then tell MPs this marks "the moment for the country to come together".


"Mrs May's letter will be delivered at 12:30 BST on Wednesday by the British ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow.

The prime minister, who will chair a cabinet meeting in the morning, will then make a statement to MPs confirming the countdown to the UK's departure from the EU is under way.

"She will promise to "represent every person in the whole United Kingdom" during the negotiations - including EU nationals, whose status after Brexit has yet to be settled.

"It is my fierce determination to get the right deal for every single person in this country," she will say.

"For, as we face the opportunities ahead of us on this momentous journey, our shared values, interests and ambitions can - and must - bring us together."

lol ;-)

One day rudders ...