Siemens to team up with Russian firm to make equipment for Arctic LNG 2 project in St. Petersburg

By ethan / February 19, 2019

German engineering giant Siemens is planning to produce compressors for the Arctic LNG 2 project near St. Petersburg. It will be a joint venture with Russia’s state-run firm Power Machines.

The compression machinery produced by Power Machines and Siemens will be supplied to the Arctic LNG 2 project developed by Russia’s biggest privately owned natural gas producer Novatek, according to the president of Siemens in Russia Alexander Liberov.

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“We have recently signed a contract for delivery of compression equipment to Novatek for its Arctic LNG 2 project,” Liberov said in an interview with TASS.

“It’s important that we won’t just supply the project with the necessary machinery, but we are going to localize its production at our factory in the Leningrad region. That’s not just export of equipment, but localizing of engineering solutions for the energy sector.”

Siemens and Novatek sealed the deal on compressor equipment for three liquefaction trains earlier this month. The agreement reportedly moved Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2 project closer to the final investment decision planned for the middle of this year.

Arctic LNG 2 is Novatek’s second plant for liquefying gas in the Arctic region after Yamal LNG. The company is planning to launch operations at Arctic LNG 2 at the end of 2022.

The plant is expected to produce 19.8 million tons of LNG per year when at full capacity. The project is estimated to cost around $ 22 billion.

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Will the new Silk Road make China a global superpower? – RT’s Keiser Report finds out

By ethan / February 19, 2019

China’s ambitious multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) could become a once-in-a-century geopolitical initiative if successful, according to politician and business strategist Bruno Maçães.

In his new book ‘Belt and Road: A Chinese World Order’ he wrote about the rise of China to superpower status through trade. BRI is the intention by China to create a Eurasian superpower with China at its center, Maçães said.

Engine of growth: Trade turnover across China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ exceeds $ 5 trillion since 2013

According to Max Keiser, there could be a new global economy with China at its center. “EU goes as a $ 17 trillion trading bloc into Eurasian trading bloc worth 60 percent of global GDP or $ 40 trillion.”

Stacy notes that China is doing that in a peaceful integrated way – via trade – and not through threats. “It’s just trade, the very old-fashioned way, the way the world used to work 200, 300, 400 years ago,” she says.

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Ex-Labour MP who quit party over ‘racism’ now embroiled in racism row, slammed on social media

By ethan / February 19, 2019

A UK MP who quit the Labour Party over alleged racism, has been caught on live TV appearing to refer to people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds as having a “funny tinge,” prompting widespread ridicule.

Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stockbridge has become involved in a racism row on her very first day as a member of the newly-formed ‘The Independent Group.’ Smith was appearing as a guest on the BBC’s Politics Live show, to discuss her resignation and, ironically, the scale of racism in the UK.

The recent history of the party I’ve just left suggests that it’s not just about being black or a funny tinge, you know, different, from the BAME community.

Fellow guest Ash Sarkar, Novara Media’s political commentator, looking slightly perplexed, interjected: “A funny what?” The BBC’s presenter, Jo Coburn did not pick up on Smith’s comment.

The remarks initiated much condemnation on social media as well as parody memes and videos mocking Smith’s choice of language, with many accusing the former Labour MP of casual racism.

Not the greatest of starts for Smith as an independent MP, who issued an apologetic video via her Twitter account, just hours later, in which she claimed she had misspoken badly and was sorry for any offence that she may have caused.

On Monday, Smith was one of seven Blairite Labour MPs to quit the party and formed The Independent Group.

In her resignation speech she highlighted anti-Semitism as one of the main reasons for leaving Labour, an issue, she claimed, was not being taken seriously enough by leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The new grouping of Independent politicians headed by prominent ‘People’s Vote’ advocate, Chuka Umunna, have appealed to all MPs, not just Labour, to join their group, as the current parties are ‘part of the problem, not the solution.’

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Mongolia may shut down all KFC restaurants after hundreds of food poisoning reports

By ethan / February 19, 2019

Outlets of American fast food giant KFC could be suspended in Mongolia pending inquiries after 247 people reported symptoms of poisoning, such as diarrhea and vomiting after visiting one of its restaurants.

The incident happened at one of the fast food chain’s outlets in Ulaanbaatar last week because of the contaminated water supply, according to the city’s Metropolitan Professional Inspection Agency.

“We will carry out inspections for the other KFC branches from February 18-21 and suspend their operations when we do the inspections,” the official said, as quoted by Reuters.

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The agency had previously warned that it had called for the closure of all local KFC restaurants. Owned by Kentucky-based Yum! Brands, KFC has 11 outlets in Mongolia, all of them located in the capital, the company’s website says.

All the outlets, apart from the one where the incident occurred, are currently open for business, according to general manager of KFC Mongolia, Ganbat Danzanbaatar.

The company’s restaurants in Mongolia are operated by local conglomerate Tavan Bogd Group via a franchise cooperation. The company apologized for the incident, saying it had happened due to weak internal quality checks and poor implementation of daily standards and rules.

KFC Global said that its local branch in Mongolia was closely cooperating with the government’s investigation and submitted all the recommendations in addressing the incident.

“We deeply regret the negative impact that many people have suffered, especially to our guests of the Zaisan restaurant, and we are working to support our team members and customers during this difficult time,” a KFC Global spokesperson told Reuters.

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‘F**king P**i’: Anti-Islamist campaigner Maajid Nawaz assaulted in racially motivated attack

By ethan / February 19, 2019

Maajid Nawaz, vocal anti-Islamist and founder of the anti-extremist Quilliam Foundation was reportedly assaulted outside a theater in Soho, London, Monday night by a man who called him a “f**king P**i.”

The LBC Radio presenter alleges a white male attacker wearing “maybe a signet ring” struck him after he bent down to pick up his phone. Nawaz claims the attacker, whom he refers to as “just a racist,” then ran away “like a coward” and didn’t attempt to steal any of Nawaz’s personal belongings.

The anti-Islamist activist shared multiple images online in the aftermath of the assault.

Metropolitan Police confirmed that they received a report of a racially aggravated assault on Dean Street at 7:10pm local time Monday evening. No arrests have been made and Scotland Yard has confirmed that an investigation into the incident is underway.

Nawaz claims there is CCTV footage of the incident and that police already have the suspect’s face. Nawaz stated that there were multiple witnesses to the incident, of multiple ethnicities and faiths, who can confirm the racially aggravated nature of the assault.

“My forehead will probably be scarred for life. But we will find you, you racist coward, and you will face British justice,” Nawaz said in a social media statement.

On Tuesday, the activist shared another update in which he thanked all of those who came to his aid in the immediate aftermath of the assault as well as those who wished him well online.

Nawaz was careful to point out the ethnicities and faiths of all of the people who helped him, from eyewitnesses to first responders and medical staff, to “debunk the bigotry and cynicism of the extremes” from his detractors, namely, the far-right, far-left and Islamists.

View this post on Instagram

I just returned home from the hospital after having my wound glued up. I owe a huge debt to the two lovely young witnesses (both white non-Muslims) male and female who called the police, and waited with me to console me, and then provided a witness statement (I won’t identify them as I don’t wish to endanger them). Your kindness kept me sane. I also thank Soho Theatre for identifying the racist assailant on their CCTV footage. I thank the police first responders (all of whom were white non-Muslims) for their professionalism (even though after the kind policeman asked my profession, he did ask “what’s LBC 😆🤦🏽‍♂️?) I thank Stefanie Powell (also a white non-Muslim), manager of Hawksmoor Seven Dials, who was kind enough to re-bandage my head personally, in her restaurant, after it became apparent that my wound was still bleeding. I thank our doctors and nurses (all non-Muslims) who treated me with diligence and care. Some on the far-left are already politicising this attack on social media by making it about how my centrist views somehow “legitimise right wing hate”. Some on the far-right are callously casting doubt on the fact that this racist attack even happened (apparently referencing an American actor called Jussie Smollet?). Some Islamists online are openly celebrating this attack, wishing the racist had “finished the job”. So I mentioned above the white skin colour and non-Muslim background of most of those who helped me because their examples alone debunk the bigotry and cynicism of the extremes from these three wings, who all seek to use this attack to further their own agenda of division. People from all ethnicities and all faiths and none helped me yesterday. It’s in that spirit that I wish to carry on my work. I do not wish to harbour hate for my attacker. I’ve already been down that path at a younger age, and I have seen how it leads to nothing good. Finally, I thank you all for asking after me. I’m sorry I cannot reply to each of you personally. It is time to rest 🙏🏽

A post shared by Maajid – (Mājid) [maːʤɪd] ماجد (@maajidnawaz) on

He decried far-left commentators who commented that his centrists views “legitimise right wing hate,” while the far-right referenced the Jessie Smollett hoax, claiming Nawaz’s attack was also staged, before adding that he had seen comments from Islamists wishing the racist attacker had “finished the job.”

Nawaz has survived racially motivated assaults before. In September, he claimed to have tracked down the passerby who defended him from a mob of skinheads, armed with hammers and knives, who attacked him in Southend 25 years ago.

Also on Believe all victims? Cops now think Jussie Smollett faked ‘MAGA attack’ despite desperate denials

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SeaWorld ride malfunction sees passengers trapped 80 feet in the air for 4 hours (VIDEOS)

By ethan / February 19, 2019

A trip to SeaWorld in San Diego reached terrifying heights for 16 people who became trapped 80 feet in the air when a ride malfunctioned, leaving them suspended for almost four hours as rescue crews scrambled to free them.

The Bayside Skyride stopped working after a massive gust of wind tripped its circuit breaker on Monday night, leaving between 15 and 30 people trapped in five gondolas, with some suspended up in the sky.

The Bayside Skyride is a gondola ride that takes passengers from one side of Mission Bay to the other suspended 80 feet (24m) above the water.

READ MORE: PETA leads outrage after killer whale at SeaWorld dies in ‘prime of life’ from mysterious illness

The passengers were trapped for almost four hours after the device malfunctioned at about 7:20pm. Sixteen people had to be rescued, San Diego police said. One of those trapped was an infant and at least seven were juveniles. There was also a partially paralyzed passenger who had suffered a stroke last year.

Rescue workers managed to get the passengers down with harnesses and they were put in lifeguard boats and then examined by medical crews. SDFRD reported everyone was rescued safely by about 11pm.

SeaWorld for its part announced it would “conduct a thorough inspection of the ride prior to re-opening,” and apologized for the inconvenience caused.

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'F*** Sarri-Ball': Fans turn on Maurizio Sarri as pressure mounts on under-fire Chelsea boss

By ethan / February 19, 2019

The Stamford Bridge fans made no secret of their feelings towards beleaguered boss Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea crashed out of the FA Cup at home against Manchester United on Monday night.

Goals from Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba ended Chelsea’s FA Cup hopes as the pressure continued to mount on the 60-year-old Blues boss.

Fans chanted “F*** Sarri-Ball” as Chelsea exited the competition at the Last 16 stage as the Stamford Bridge faithful showed their discontent at the club’s current situation under the former Napoli boss.

Sarri’s tactics and team selection have come under criticism in recent weeks as the team has struggled to keep pace with the Premier League’s front runners.

They were thrashed 4-0 at Bournemouth, then hammered 6-0 at Manchester City – their biggest defeat in 28 years.

READ MORE: Man City apologize for ‘trolling’ Chelsea by playing Madness anthem after 6-0 hammering

Fans were hoping a return to the home comforts of Stamford Bridge for an FA Cup clash with United would prove to be a welcome distraction from some worrying displays in the league, but a 2-0 reverse to the Red Devils in a game where United held the Blues at arm’s length throughout the contest only served to make matters worse.

And now it seems only a matter of time before the former Napoli boss is handed his exit papers and shown the Stamford Bridge door.

After a turbulent end to the Antonio Conte era at Chelsea, hopes were high that Sarri’s arrival – and his high-pace, high-pressure ‘Sarri-Ball’ playing style – would be a good fit for the Premier League giants.

But Chelsea sit in sixth place in the Premier League table, outside the European qualification places and some 15 points off Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the division.

And fans and pundits alike are now queueing up to sound the death knell to the Italian’s tenure at the club.

And if the camera shots of chairman Bruce Buck during the United game are anything to go by, Sarri’s time at the club may soon be coming to an end.

Also on Sarri state: Will ruthless Roman Abramovich wield the axe at Chelsea? Here’s what you need to know

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US sanctions help India become No.1 buyer of Venezuelan crude

By ethan / February 19, 2019

Imports of Venezuela’s oil by India surged 66 percent in the first half of February to 620,000 barrels a day. The country boosted its purchases from the Latin American nation after US stopped shipments from Caracas.

Indian refiners Reliance Industries and Nayara Energy were driving the import boost. Venezuela has sent its oil minister, Manuel Quevedo, to India to convince refiners to double their oil purchases.

“We are selling more than 300,000” bpd to Indian buyers, Quevedo said on Monday in New Delhi, adding: “We want to double that amount.”

Also on India to continue buying Venezuelan oil despite US warning

Two supertankers sailed off late on Monday from Venezuela’s Jose terminal carrying cargoes to Indian ports.

The South American nation, which is sitting on the world’s largest crude oil resources, has turned its focus to its second-largest consumer, India, since the US imposed sanctions against Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA.

US President Donald Trump ratcheted up sanctions on January 28 which were designed to undercut financial support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Also on Russia vows to defend its Venezuelan oil assets

As a result, Venezuelan crude exports plunged to 1.12 million barrels daily in the first half of February, down 9.2 percent compared with the same period in January. According to Refinitiv Eikon data, Venezuela was exporting about 1.4 million bpd in the months before sanctions.

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Bernie Sanders announces 2020 presidential bid

By ethan / February 19, 2019

Published time: 19 Feb, 2019 11:36 Edited time: 19 Feb, 2019 11:48

Bernie Sanders, who lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016, says he will run again in 2020. The 77-year-old Vermont senator enjoys great popularity among millennials for his progressive ideas.

Sanders confirmed his plans in an interview aired on Vermont Public Radio on Monday. “I wanted to let the people of the state of Vermont know about this first,” he said.

His official announcement video is expected to be streamed on Tuesday.


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China-US trade spat may leave American kids without toys

By ethan / February 19, 2019

The growing uncertainty over trade between Beijing and Washington could affect the entire toy industry, boosting prices for American consumers and leaving Chinese producers out of the US market.

Chinese manufacturers make up nearly 85 percent of games and toys sold in the US, while China has a booming consumer market that is set to overtake the US as soon as in 2022, the South China Morning Post reports.

Profits from goods bearing the ‘Made in the USA’ label were hit by current US tariffs on raw materials from China, according to Aaron Muderick, founder of Pennsylvania firm Crazy Aaron’s Puttyworld, as quoted by the agency. At the same time, the toymaker expressed concern over losing momentum in the rapidly growing Chinese market.

Also on Chinese exports surge despite gloomy forecasts as trade spat with US remains unsolved

“We’ve invested a lot of time and dollars. If it creates a market where the product is not welcome, where there are retaliatory tariffs that make it impossible for me to reach that consumer, then I lose,” he said.

According to Muderick, 2018 profits were hit by tariffs on steel, but he managed to avoid big losses from tariffs on rubber silicone, as he purchased supply in anticipation of a levy. The producer reportedly expects more of a profit hit this year if Washington increases tariffs on $ 200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent.

“If it goes to 25 percent, companies will go out of business, or they will cut back jobs,” said Neil Helfand, a lawyer specializing in trade.

However, Chinese producers have reported no drop in interest among American buyers so far, according to May Liang, the president of the China Toy & Juvenile Products Association.

Also on Trump tariff fail? China’s trade surplus with US hits highest level in more than decade

“Some members feel uncertain, but the business is so far going OK,” she said. “We believe toys are really consumer-focused especially at holiday season, so we think toys should not be on the tariff list because it will harm consumers.”

The latest optimism expressed by US President Donald Trump over a potential trade deal with China shows that tariffs on toys are unlikely to be applied, according to the chief executive of the New York-based Toy Association, Steve Pasierb.

“This is a tweet-driven scenario we’re in here… so you could see that come back,” he told the agency.

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