EIR Daily Alert Service

FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2017

Volume 4, Number 54

EIR Daily Alert Service

P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390


Krafft Ehricke’s Approaching Centennial Anniversary

March 16 (EIRNS)—Next Friday, March 24, the world will celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of the great German-American scientist-visionary Krafft Ehricke.  If only he were still alive today, at this unique but transitory moment in history, when finally, after wasted decades, his plans for the ennoblement of mankind can at last be carried forward.  Now that he is gone, it is up to us who remain, to study and assimilate his thought to the point that he becomes a part of us, so that he lives through us, to win the victories which he foresaw so clearly.

Although the world space program owes everything to Ehricke, he was much more than a space scientist.  Like every great scientist, like Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche with whom he worked very closely, Krafft Ehricke opened a new window into the reality of the human spirit.  He understood and explained how it is the fundamental, unique essence of man, which moves him to conquer every frontier of nature—now bringing him out to explore the Solar System, and subsequently even beyond it.  In his “Three Fundamental Laws of Astronautics,” he wrote that this is man’s “destiny as an element of life, endowed with the power of reason and the wisdom of the moral law within himself.”  And so it is. But in other writings, Ehricke went even further, to say in his own way, that mankind’s unique gift of creative reason, uniquely expresses the very inmost nature of the universe itself. From such an insight came Kepler’s great breakthrough.  He and Ehricke grasped along with Dante, “the love which moves the Sun and the other stars.”

The elaboration of this insight is Lyndon LaRouche’s Fourth Law, on the urgency of moving into a full-scale fusion economy so as to move out into the Solar System and beyond; in a sense this law encapsulates the other three of his “Four New Laws” of June 8, 2014.

After Obama’s disgrace and downfall, doomed like Macbeth by the enormity of his crimes, the British Empire has lost their enforcer, at least for now—just as Lyndon LaRouche had forecast. After the overthrow of the bloody tyrant, the new President is well-intentioned. The United States has the potential to join the New Silk Road. It can join with China, Russia, India and other nations in the conquest of space, from whence Krafft Ehricke will be smiling down at all of us.


Italian Finance Committee Will Hold Hearings on Banking Separation

March 16 (EIRNS)—The Finance Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies started the discussion of the 12 draft bills on banking separation yesterday. Rapporteur Marco Di Maio (of the governing Democratic Party) made a synopsis of the bills, all of which, in one form or another, push for complete separation between investment and commercial banks. Then, Di Maio presented the various “reforms” and proposals introduced in the U.S.A., in the U.K. and in the EU, from the Dodd-Frank Act, to the Liikanen proposal and the EU Commission fake separation scheme, giving support to opponents of strict separation.

He then concluded by proposing a round of hearings in order to help clarify the subject matter.

Deputy Alessio Villarosa (Five Star Movement) intervened by saying that the present discussion is of historical value, as, for the first time, an issue is being addressed, which the country has expected for years. Villarosa is in favor of hearings, but he said it is fundamental to know whether the rapporteur (the majority) is prejudicially against banking separation, or whether it was willing to have an open discussion.

Di Maio replied that his proposal to hold hearings is already evidence of willingness by the majority to discuss the issue. The definitive position of the majority will depend on the result of the investigation.

Pietro Laffranco (Forza Italia) said he was in favor of strict separation, as he had cosigned one of the draft bills, and he, too, requested a clear position from the majority, before organizing hearings that could be a waste of time.

Davide Zoggia (Democrats and Progressives) also demanded pre-emptive clarity and proposed to adopt a “basic text” before agreeing to have hearings.

Committee Chairman Maurizio Bernardo said that even a basic text could not be adopted before going deeper into the issue, and that hearings would aim at that.

The discussion was adjourned to a future date.

The large number of draft bills in the Chamber (and about the same number in the Senate) is a direct or indirect result of the years-long campaign by the LaRouche movement in Italy, whose milestone was the first bill introduced by Sen. Oskar Peterlini in 2012. At least four of the twelve draft bills have been directly influenced, or even co-drafted, by the LaRouche movement.

Rep. Walter Jones Welcomes Glass-Steagall Discussion in Italian Parliament

March 15 (EIRNS)—Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) sent a message of support to the Italian members of Parliament who met yesterday to discuss a Glass-Steagall reform bill in the Finance Committee of the Chamber of Deputies. The message was addressed to Maurizio Bernardo, the Committee Chairman, and to Alessio Villarosa, author of one among twelve draft bills filed at the Committee.

“I commend the Italian Parliament for their leadership in bringing forward the debate on the need for reinstatement of Glass Steagall legislation,” Representative Jones wrote.

“As a Republican in the United States Congress, I have joined with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (Ohio) in introducing legislation, H.R.790, for the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall. It is my hope that the United States Congress will follow the Italian leadership and bring a debate to the United States House of Representatives because I believe this to be in the best interest of the American people.”

China’s Role Key in Chilean Summit on Asia-Pacific Integration

March 16 (EIRNS)—At the conclusion of the March 14-15 summit in Vina del Mar, Chile, entitled “High-Level Dialogue on Integration Initiatives for the Asia-Pacific: Challenges and Opportunities,” participants agreed to pursue all opportunities to advance economic integration and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, noting specifically a desire for closer cooperation with China.

Chile’s Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz underscored China’s presence at the summit, emphasizing its status as a global economic power. Convened by Chile after President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the summit included representatives of the TPP’s 12 signer nations, plus South Korea, Colombia, and China.

The TPP was the centerpiece of Barack Obama’s anti-China policy along with his provocative “pivot to Asia.” While some of the summit’s participants suggested that establishing the TPP without the United States were still possible, China’s envoy to the summit, Yin Hengmin, Foreign Ministry official in charge of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, provided a different focus. “Our presence,” he told Xinhua, “aims to explore this process of integration with all of the parties present.” He said that China “is not part of the TPP, nor does it take part in TPP-related talks,” Global Times reported. The nations of the region “should continue to move toward regional economic integration… reaffirm the construction of an open economy in the region, and promote an Asia-Pacific free-trade zone.”

Yin pointed to the 10-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), as two key initiatives China backs, and in which several TPP signers have expressed interest. He also reported that his government is pursuing a Chinese-style free-trade agreement with the four-nation Pacific Alliance bloc (Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico), and with Colombia, in addition to existing agreements with Chile and Peru.

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray told the daily Excélsior that his government intends to strengthen its comprehensive strategic partnership with China, noting that “it will become increasingly important.”


Tillerson Urges, North Korea ‘Need Not Fear U.S.’

March 16 (EIRNS)—Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in Japan for the first stage of his Asia tour, which will include Seoul on Friday, March 17 and Beijing on the weekend, told the press that “North Korea and its people need not fear the United States or their neighbors in the region who seek only to live in peace with North Korea.”

Tillerson and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe concurred that the North Korean nuclear weapons program was “dangerous and unlawful,” but agreed that a “a different approach is required,” since “20 years of U.S. diplomacy towards North Korea had failed.”

This must be understood as an opening towards Pyongyang to begin talks—which Obama refused to do until Pyongyang gave up its nuclear program without preconditions. The North Korean government has made clear, repeatedly, that as long as the U.S. is threatening “regime change,” there could be no question of giving up the nuclear program. That is what Tillerson’s opening means.

Talks based on ending the Korean War (there was no peace agreement, only an armistice), and the U.S. acceptance of a non-aggression policy between normal nations, would provide the grounds for talks. China has proposed that a first step would be for the U.S. to end the massive annual military exercises (the largest ever are taking place now, with drills explicitly designed for an invasion of the North), in exchange for a freeze of the North’s nuclear and missile tests.

AP reports that a North Korean diplomat in Beijing said March 16 that Pyongyang must act in self-defense against the U.S.-South Korea military drills, “which he said have brought the region to the brink of nuclear war. He said the drills were aimed at using atomic weapons for a pre-emptive strike against North Korea.”

East-West Accord Committee Member Takes Heart at U.S.-Russian Military Cooperation

March 15 (EIRNS)—Gilbert Doctorow, a Russia expert and member of the American Committee on East-West Accord, had an article published in ConsortiumNews yesterday, recommending that the “many backers of Donald Trump’s planned foreign policy, which sought détente with Russia, [who are] are wringing their hands and shaking their heads over what looks like the policy’s defeat in the face of media and Democratic Party attacks,” reconsider their view.

Doctorow pointed to the significance of the March 7 meeting of the Russian, U.S., and Turkish military chiefs of staff in Antalya, Turkey in his article on “Trump’s Quiet Outreach to Russia”:

“Trump appears to have concluded that the way forward in relations between the U.S. and Russia is to make progress out of sight of the media. Whereas bringing Russia into the U.S.-run anti-Islamic State coalition meeting in Washington would have invited the U.S. media’s brickbats, a summit of generals in a provincial coastal town of Turkey could be far more productive and produce much less controversy.”

This “quiet expansion of military-to-military cooperation” can be successful, in Doctorow’s view, because “Trump can also expect the greatest loyalty in the U.S. government’s hierarchy from the military as well as fewer leaks from holdovers hostile to any rapprochement with Russia. Indeed, many senior U.S. officers had constructive relations with their Russian counterparts for years on crucial issues such as supplying U.S. troops in Afghanistan and in sharing intelligence on terrorism.” By removing many of Barack Obama’s political nominees at the top of the Pentagon and in the State Department, the coalition of neoconservatives and liberal interventionists which opposed such constructive military-to-military relations is weakened.

Russian sentiment is still confident that U.S.-Russian relations will improve under President Trump, Doctorow reports, citing recent radio and TV discussions between some of Russia’s top legislators and heads of key policy think tanks. “Unlike many American news shows where the ‘talking heads’ are often journalists imparting second-hand information, the key panelists on these Russian programs tend to be well-connected legislators or other government insiders,” he drily wrote.

Russian Foreign Ministry Denounces ‘Catastrophic’ Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

March 16 (EIRNS)—Once again, Russia must speak of the humanitarian situation in Yemen, where “The situation has become even more catastrophic following the latest escalation in combat,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated on March 13.

She cited UN Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien’s March 10 briefing to the UN Security Council, in which he characterized Yemen as the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. She held the Saudi-led coalition responsible for its involvement in combat which has killed at least 7,500 since March 2015, and wounded more than 40,000 people; left more than 7 million, mostly children, malnourished; displaced more than 2 million people (62,000 in the last six weeks alone), with many of these living out in the open.

Zakharova added this horrific warning: “Plans to launch an offensive against Yemen’s biggest port, Hodeida, are especially worrying. Combat in this region will not only cause mass flight of the population, but will essentially cut the capital, Sana’a, off from food and humanitarian aid supply routes. There is no need to say what disastrous consequences this would have.”

This, as she pointed out, is the situation to which Western media and NGOs pay little attention, and indeed pass it over in silence.


Greece’s Creditors Demand Billions More in Cuts, While Children Suffer Bitterly

March 15 (EIRNS)—The Greek press reports that the country’s creditors are demanding that even more billions be cut from the budget in order to achieve an unattainable 4.5% budget surplus, up from the 3.5%, which was already impossible. According to Greek daily Protothema, this would mean an extra €1-€1.5 billion in cuts on top of the already-demanded €3.6 billion.

These demands are being made at a time when half the workers in the private sector are paid less than €800 a month.

Figures from the annual report of the Work Institute (INE) of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) show that the salaries of nearly 52% of workers in the private sector have been reduced below €800 per month, equivalent to $851.50, according to a report in Xinhua. Some 51.6% earn less than €799, with 15.2% earning less than €499 a month.

With only slightly better-paid public workers included, only 22% of Greek’s total workforce earn over €1,300 a month.

These figures compare with the average monthly salary in Germany of €3,600.

Those are the people who have jobs, however. Real unemployment is 29.6%, with 68.1% of the unemployed being on the threshold of poverty. The disaster is such, that increasing numbers of Greek mothers are turning their children over to orphanages and homes for abused children, because they can no longer feed and care for them, Reuters reports.

Dutch Elections: Turning a Defeat into ‘Victory,’ EU-Style

March 16 (EIRNS)—The pro-European Union government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte just suffered a devastating defeat, which the pro-European Unionists claim as a great victory against Euro-skeptics. Rutte’s liberal VVD party “won” the Netherlands elections taking a mere 33 seats in the 150-seat parliament, a loss of 8 of their previous seats. He beat Geert Wilders’ ”populist” party, the PVV, which got 20 seats, an increase of 5 seats over the previous elections. In reality, the government lost dramatically, since its coalition partner, the Labor Party, plunged from 38 seats to just 9. Thus Rutte’s coalition lost more than half of its mandates!

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faces elections in September, and French President François Hollande, whose political career ends in May, proclaimed this so-called “defeat” of Wilders, as a great “victory” for Europe. (With victories like this, we have to wonder what defines a defeat.) Furthermore, the Eurogroup of euro area finance ministers is about to lose its President, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is a member of the Labor Party, which just lost three-quarters of its mandates, which makes it unlikely the party will be able to hold onto the Finance portfolio, assuming in any case that the Labor Party joins the next government.

Voter turnout was 81%, the highest in 20 years, which indicates how politicized the population is, with 75% voting against the government. The votes were distributed across the party spectrum.

Now Rutte will have an even more difficult time forming a government, because he must find at least three coalition partners.


Latest Budget Plans To Restart Licensing Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Disposal

March 16 (EIRNS)—The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste depository, located in Nevada, had hit a roadblock last year when President Obama and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, mothballed the idea of using it as a nuclear waste disposal center.  Now the White House’s 2018 budget plan for the U.S. Department of Energy has revived the idea and allocated $120 million to restart licensing the project.

The move by President Donald Trump to consider the site will help extend the lifespan of existing U.S. nuclear power plants which lack places to get rid of their spent nuclear fuel, since Wall Street’s anti-nuclear lobby succeeded in shutting down used-fuel reprocessing in the United States Thus, as Sarah Zhang of Wired reported last July: “The U.S. has close to 75,000 tons of high-level radioactive waste, spent reactor fuel and the byproducts of processing that now sit in pools or dry casks at nuclear power plants, facilities never intended for long-term storage. The risk of leaks is high. Because the stuff stays radioactive for millennia, the safest course of action is supposed to be entombed in rock like at Yucca Mountain, where it can remain inaccessible to future humans.”

Last December, in an open letter written by Environmental Progress to President-elect Donald Trump and his choice for Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and 38 other nuclear professionals and organizations urged both leaders to take strong action to save and grow America’s nuclear energy sector. The signers, evoking President Dwight Eisenhower’s 1953 Atoms for Peace initiative, urged “developing and exporting of U.S.-made nuclear reactors by expanding the financing through the Export-Import Bank, World Bank and other development agencies.”

On March 13, World Nuclear News carried an appeal by the USNIC, a business consortium that advocates for new nuclear and global engagement of the U.S. nuclear supply chain. The group said: “It is crystal clear that decisive, swift and tangible action is needed to re-establish a comprehensive program to address the federal government’s statutory and contractual obligations for disposition of growing inventories of [used] nuclear fuel and high-level waste—as well as to provide a path forward for the backend of the fuel cycle for currently operating reactors and pave the way for new nuclear energy plants required for U.S. energy independence, jobs, exports, made-in-America clean energy leadership and national security.”

Kenya Wants Nuclear Power

March 16 (EIRNS)—Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB) said this week that it was in the final phase of drafting the regulatory framework to guide the proposed set-up of a nuclear electricity plant with a capacity of 1,000 MW, with construction to start in 2022 and to be put on the grid in 2027.

“We are targeting to have a nuclear policy and legislations in place by next year. In two years, we will conduct a feasibility study which will give us a document that will guide us on building the plant,” said KNEB technical affairs acting director Winnie Ndubai. She spoke during the ongoing three-day Kenya Nuclear Energy Regional Conference that started in Nairobi yesterday. Russia, China, and the Republic of Korea have each pitched tents to lure Kenya into a deal to construct the plant.

KNEB chief of staff Charles Keter said the government was keen on tapping into nuclear electricity, which is part of its “Vision 2030” of meeting industrial growth goals through reliable and affordable energy. He said the decision to incorporate nuclear energy was informed by the growing demand for electricity, which will not be sustained by the current renewable sources in the near future. “We will require 30,000 MW by 2030. The potential for geothermal will be 15,000 MW while thermal capacity will be 1,000 MW. Together with other renewables, we will have 20,000 MW,” Keter said. “It may sound like a dream but reality will come.”

As Rosatom Africa business development manager Zakhele Madela said during the meeting, “Kenya’s ambitious industrialization goals need massive energy. Nuclear energy will be the best if you want to secure a base. You cannot continue relying on renewables.”

German Astronaut Endorses Mining Helium-3 on the Moon

March 15 (EIRNS)—Matthias Maurer, German nominee for astronaut on one of the next European Space Agency (ESA) missions, hopes he will have the chance to get to the Moon. Being a materials researcher, he has worked for ESA on lunar materials already for several years, with a particular interest in helium-3, which, he said in an interview with the AKTIVonline website, “could be the potential fuel for fusion power reactors.”

Maurer is also very interested in radio astronomy, saying, “Some highly interesting wavelengths of these low-frequency signals are filtered out by the terrestrial atmosphere, but on the Moon they can be received with appropriate telescopes.”


Corrupt Philippine Vice President Leads Anti-Duterte Campaign Internationally

March 15 (EIRNS)—Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo, the darling of the Wall Street agents in the country who was elected through vote fraud against the expected Vice Presidential winner Ferdinand Marcos Jr., is not only leading a campaign against the nation’s President Rodrigo Duterte, but taking it out internationally.

Robredo, elected from the party of former President Noynoy Aquino and just as much a puppet of the Obama crowd, has issued a tape accusing Duterte of mass murder in his war on drugs. She intends to have the tape shown in Vienna at a forum organized by the Washington-based Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet) on the sidelines of the ongoing 60th United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs annual meeting, at the Vienna International Center, reports the Philippines Inquirer today.

DRCNet, well-funded (over $1 million per year) by George Soros and the “usual suspects” on Wall Street, is committed to fully legalizing all drugs.

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