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Brazil’s real House of Cards continues

After ousting the legitimately elected President Dilma Rousseff, her successor Michel Temer is losing the support of the public and his political base.

The Duran




Since Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment confirmation by the Brazilian Senate on August 31st, the propagated stability is still just a distant concept on the Brazilian political scenario. President Michel Temer has numerous challenges ahead, while both the public opinion and his support base is starting to challenge his capability of handling the task.

The left-wing parties that left the Government are creating a narrative to oust the new president, calling for new direct elections for president, meanwhile Temer’s own parliamentary base is pressing him to carry on with the necessary reforms on Brazil’s economy and political system.

During Rousseff’s trial, some of the recordings made by the Brazilian Justice Department have been leaked to the mainstream press. In one of those recordings, political figures were commenting about the need of “containing the bleed” of the corruption investigations, and among them was one of the most high profile Ministers of Temer’s Government, Romero Jucá, that had to resign his position.

From the initial investigations that targeted corruption in Petrobras, several parallel investigations have been launched, including a large-scale operation that is investigating similar corruption schemes on the largest state-run pension funds.

There is a notion among the Brazilian public that most of the parties involved in federal government over the last years have been beneficiaries of some sort of corruption schemes. In a kind of “allotment”, each party has received a different state-run company in order to receive advantages and bribes, all being centrally orchestrated by the parties in power.

Some of the testimonies of the construction companies implicated in the Petrobras scandal provided additional insights that this “practice” dated back to the Military Governments in the 70’s but gained an exponential scale during the Democratic governments since José Sarney’s Presidency in 1985.

Since then, the major actor on the Brazilian political stage is Michel Temer’s “Brazilian Democratic Movement Party”. It is  the largest Brazilian party both in the number of affiliates and parliamentary seats.

The gigantic size of the party is its main advantage and risk at the same time. With several different leadership groups and interests, it is extremely difficult to draw any kind of consensus among the party itself in order to provide the necessary “security network” that Temer will require to keep carrying on with the promised reforms.

Without these reforms moving at the necessary pace, and with the casting shadow of the corruption schemes being investigated by the Brazilian Federal Police and Justice, very turbulent times lie ahead of the new president.

These large stability issues directly impact the Russian and Chinese interest in the region. China is currently the largest commercial partner for Brazil, having billions of dollars invested in infrastructure and industries in the country. Russia also became a relevant commercial and strategic partner for Brazil carrying out several treaties and agreements in the last years as well as the BRICS forums.

Brazil’s new foreign minister, José Serra, declared that Brazil will seek for a new approach at its international relations, and is already reconnecting ties with Washington in a similar fashion that Mauricio Macri’s Argentinian President did after assuming office.

During the Lula’s and Rousseff’s Governments, the relationship with the USA has been kept in good terms, but slowly lost its importance with the Brazilian diplomacy seeking to open new ties with African and Eurasian countries. Brazilian Social Development Bank for instance, loaned large sums of money in infrastructure projects in Angola, Mozambique, Cuba and Venezuela.

The waves of instability reached new levels this week with a bizarre event concerning the currently investigated Brazilian Senate President, Renan Calheiros. One Minister of the Brazilian Supreme Court tried to rule him out from the Senate presidency but Calheiros was “not found” to have received the notification, giving him time to contest the decision in the very same Supreme Court that in a session with all Ministers decided to keep his Presidency position.

Calheiros is known to hold “reports” about almost everyone involved with the politics in Brasilia. There are allegations that Calheiros used the Senate police to covertly investigate and even bug some of his opponents in order to produce these reports. This can make him the man that can destroy the entire Republic if he releases such reports to the public view.

With the several actors involved in the entire crisis, what is clear is that the institutional instability in Brazil seems to be far away from a happy ending.

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou



The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”





Via RT

Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career



Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.


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