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CHECKBOOK DIPLOMACY: China courts Latin America
May 23rd, 2015 by Warren Swil

Chinese premier wields

largesse in 4 strategic

nations as US snoozes

China’s head of government Premier Li Keqiang wielded his country’s checkbook in Latin America.

While US media paid scant attention, a top Chinese official swung through Latin America this week inking deals worth billions for both ends of the transactions.
The strategic significance is enormous.
With US attention focused on a tense confrontation in the South China Sea, the Chinese premier Li Keqiang was focused on the long term as he toured Brazil, Columbia, Peru and Chile.
Trade agreements worth billions – mostly involving huge infrastructure projects – were announced in each country.
China benefits two ways: it puts its lagging construction sector to work, and gains a more steady supply of raw materials for its economy.
Significantly, it deepens bilateral ties between China and the four countries, and further erodes US hegemony in the region. It’s a development we ignore at our peril.


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MIDDLE-FINGER SALUTE: Challenges mount to US leadership

AMERICA’S GLOBAL INFLUENCE WANES ALONG WITH ITS MORAL AUTHORITY
Domestically and internationally, it is becoming ever more clear to growing numbers of people that the US has lost the moral authority to claim leadership of the free world.
Not even Jeb Bush wants anything to do with his brother’s legacy. Its no wonder the US ability to influence global events is at its lowest ebb in generations. It is setting an example few should want to emulate.
We should not be surprised that America’s interests are playing second fiddle to those of dictator-wannabees like Russia’s Putin and religious zealots like King Salman.


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All you need to know about Baltimore strife (with video)

AMERICA’S EXPERT DAVID SIMON LAYS BARE ROOTS OF TRAGIC EVENTS
To truly understand the recent strife in Baltimore, one need consult only America’s foremost expert on the thoroughly corrupt criminal justice system in that city.
Former Baltimore Sun police reporter and acclaimed television producer David Simon almost predicted an explosion of resentment in Baltimore in his acclaimed five-season HBO dramatic series The Wire.
Just before Baltimore erupted in flames, in a conversation with President Obama on March 26, 2015, Simon nailed the problem and offered the solution: end the “war on drugs” immediately and redirect all the resources to treatment, job training and economic reindustrialization.


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