FBI to Interview Hillary Clinton’s Top Aides in Email Investigation

by Patrick Howley27 Mar 2016

 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is kicking its Hillary Clinton email investigation into high gear.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that the FBI and federal prosecutors are setting up interviews with Clinton’s top aides, a group that presumably includes Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

Her attorney, David Kendall, declined to comment. Her campaign spokesman, Brian Fallon, said in an email that Clinton is ready to work with investigators to conclude the investigation.

‘She first offered last August to meet and answer any questions they might have,’ Fallon wrote. ‘She would welcome the opportunity to help them complete their work.’

Lawyers for her closest aides – Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan, Cheryl Mills, and Philippe Renes – either did not respond to messages or declined to comment.

The case hinges on whether Clinton violated a provision of the Espionage Act of 1913.

The law (18 U.S. Code & 793 subsection f) makes clear that anyone who has materials “relating to the national defense” cannot lose or give them away. The law is broken if “through gross negligence permits [materials] to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed.”

The penalty? A fine, a prison term of up to ten years, or “both.”

Clinton used a non-secure BlackBerry to conduct classified State Department business, and there’s evidence that her device was compromised on her very first official trip to China as Secretary of State.

On March 11, 2009, a State Department official whose name is redacted sent an email to another State Department official whose name is redacted. That email, obtained in a lawsuit by Judicial Watch, just might be the smoking gun in the Hillary Clinton email case.

The official stated that Hillary Clinton approached Boswell and asked him about Blackberry use. Specifically, Clinton asked about the fact that the Department had “intelligence concerning the vulnerability during her recent trip to Asia.”

The official wrote:

After this mornings “management meeting” with the A/Secys, Secretary Clinton approached Ambassador Boswell and mentioned that she had read the IM and that she “gets it”. Her attention was drawn to the sentence that indicates we (DS) have intelligence concerning this vulnerability during her recent trip to Asia.

Secretary Clinton has asked Ambassador Boswell for this information. Please prepare a short informal paper OR provide the A/Secy with a briefing on this matter. Your assistance is appreciated. The Secretary did not provide a “due date”…BUT the Ambassador would like to close this loop as soon as possible.

Since the FBI seized Clinton’s emails in August, the scandal has haunted her campaign.

Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett threw Clinton under the bus, saying that the White House provided guidance to the State Department, telling employees to use official government email accounts.

Breitbart News first reported, based on high-level government sources, that of seven emails originally being analyzed by investigators to determine their classification status, two were deemed “Top Secret” and at least two were already classified when they were sent. Meaning, Clinton was sending and receiving classified information that she knew to be classified. The classifications were made by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Our exclusive report galvanized our readers and other media outlets, quickly picking up more than 12,000 social media shares and 5,000 comments. The Clinton campaign could not find a suitable talking point on the issue. The campaign tried to claim that Clinton did not send emails that were classified “when originated.”

But Intelligence Community C, now under attack by Team Clinton, confirmed, “IC classification officials reviewed two additional emails and judged that they contained classified State Department information when originated.”

The inspector general went on to make a comprehensive report, filed earlier this month. He found that “several dozen” emails had classified information in them. “These declarations cover several dozen emails containing classified information determined… to be at the confidential, secret and top secret/sap levels,” McCollough wrote in a letter to Congress. That’s right. A “sap” level is an even higher classification status than “top secret.”

Clinton’s server was highly vulnerable to attack, like the kind that occurred to multiple of her email contractors and could have happened to her when she opened a virus-infected email from her friend.

Breitbart News reported that Clinton’s server was operating on the same email network, and was housed in the same exact physical space, as the server for the Clinton Foundation, indicating that they were sharing a server. Additionally, that space was in New York City, not in the basement of Clinton’s Chappaqua, New York, home, as she claimed. Daughter Chelsea Clinton’s office was also using the email network.

Mrs. Clinton promised, but does not deliver:

On the issues: Education

Hillary Rodham Clinton:
As president, I’ll work to ensure every child—from every ZIP code—has access to a world-class education, including access to high-quality preschool. We need to strike the right balance on testing—with fewer, fairer and better tests for elementary and secondary school students. And we must support teachers with the training and resources they need… and blah, blah, blah…Lie-la-lie… la la la… la-lie…

 

Numerous Clinton Foundation employees used the clintonemail.com server for their own email addresses, which means that they were using email accounts that, if hacked, would have given any hacker complete access to Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails, as well.

Clinton’s server had an open webmail portal that gave potential hackers unrestricted access to Clinton’s personal information.

In fact, Clinton’s server went down at least three times during her tenure as Secretary of State, including weeks after the Benghazi terrorist attack. Clinton never even told her own IT Help Desk at the State Department that she was using a private server, keeping them in the dark about her secret activities.

Clinton even went so far as to hide the identity of the people running her private server, paying a company called Perfect Privacy, LLC. That company, based in Jacksonville, enters its own meaningless contact information into official Internet databases so that its clients’ identities will not be exposed.

 

Comment count on this article reflects comments made on Breitbart.com and Facebook. Visit Breitbart’s Facebook Page.

 

 

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Why some people think Hillary Clinton is too old and sick to be the president of the United States?

Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state, left, speaks while her daughter Chelsea Clinton, listens during the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013. CGI's 2013 theme, mobilizing for impact, explores ways that members and organizations can be more effective in leveraging individuals, partner organizations, and key resources in their commitment efforts. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state, left, speaks while her daughter Chelsea Clinton, listens during the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013. CGI’s 2013 theme, mobilizing for impact, explores ways that members and organizations can be more effective in leveraging individuals, partner organizations, and key resources in their commitment efforts. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

 

By Red State

Ever since Hillary Clinton announced her run for the presidency concerns have been raised in many quarters, by people of all political persuasions, that she was simply too old to hold the office if she was elected. Hillary, if elected, would be the second oldest person to win the office after Ronald Reagan. But where Reagan was very active throughout his life, Hillary is a different story.

Hillary never participated in athletics when she was younger, something about being too ugly to participate. And now, as she approaches the BIG SEVEN-ZERO she is very out of shape. It is a safe bet that her BMI is over 30 — I base that not on having access to her weight but on the dimensions of her posterior and the girth of her ankles — which makes her obese; best casing it, she is at the upper bounds of overweight. With age and obesity comes Type II diabetes and hypertension. Together you have increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Lack of exercise and physical condition has also been documented to impair mental function.

We know that Hillary Clinton has suffered from fainting spells since at least 20o5. In that year she passed out, presumably sober, while giving a speech. In 2012, she passed out yet again and suffered a concussion. Radar Online has reported that sources close to Hillary Clinton say she has suffered minor strokes and may have multiple sclerosis. The book on Hillary by Ed Klein says that she suffers from depression and migraines.

Now we have an additional data point. This comes from JudicialWatch. It is an email from Hillary’s whatever, Huma Abedin, when she was her deputy chief of staff at State, to another Clinton go-fer suckling at the public teat, Monica Hanley:

“She’s often confused.”

And check the date/time stamp on the email. It is 4:59 pm and Hillary was taking a nap.

Keep in mind this isn’t me, here at RedState, aiming my Corcoran jump boot at Hillary Clinton’s oversized, cottage-cheese infused ass. This email is from someone who is probably her closest friend and confidant. It was sent on a private email account that was assumed to be free from discovery by FOIA.

There is little doubt, all fun aside, that Hillary Clinton is a physical wreck. The problems she has today will on be exacerbated by the stress of the presidency. When that call arrives at 3 am, Hillary will be saying “where am I, what day is it…what difference, at this point, does it make?”

But don’t forget Mrs Clinton likes to play the victim. That’s how she became a Senator after her husband’s many escapades.

 

“A Special Place in Hell”… For Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright?

By Gloria La Riva
Global Research, February 09, 2016
Liberation 7 February 2016
Region: USA
Theme: Crimes against Humanity, US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: IRAQ REPORT, U.S. Election

images

Hillary Clinton screaming…

130612.jpgFeatured image: Albright, a fanatical advocate for genocidal sanctions and bombing campaigns, is in no place to lecture young women on “feminism.”

I am writing as a working woman, feminist, socialist, and candidate for President of the United States, and I want to condemn in the strongest possible terms the outlandish attacks by Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright on any woman working in support of the political campaign of Bernie Sanders. This attack, particularly on young women who are supporting Sanders in such large numbers, is a shameful and opportunist attempt to use the historic struggle for women’s rights for the narrowest political gains.

In a desperate attempt to reverse the growing support among young women and men for her opponent in the Democratic Party primaries, Hillary Clinton has enlisted the support of notorious war monger and advocate of mass murder, Madeleine Albright.

As Clinton looked on laughing and clapping, Albright told the media on February 6: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”

If indeed there were such a “special place,” Madeleine Albright would most assuredly be going. And going along with her would be candidate Clinton.

As UN Ambassador and the Secretary of State in the Bill Clinton regime, Albright was a fanatical advocate of the genocidal sanctions blockade that killed more than a million women, children and men in Iraq, and of the 1999 U.S./NATO bombing war against Yugoslavia.

On May 12, 1996, nearly six years into the U.S./UN sanctions, Albright was interviewed on CBS “60 Minutes” by Lesley Stahl, who had just returned from Iraq, about the impact on the Iraqi population:

Lesley Stahl: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”

Albright’s astoundingly flippant answer was nothing less than a confession to one of the most horrific war crimes in history, indicting not just herself but all the leaders of the Bush I, Clinton and Bush II administrations who were fully aware of the lethal impact of sanctions on the people of Iraq.

In 1999, Albright played a key role in the war on Yugoslavia, engineering the failure of the negotiations that preceded the war. Albright presented the Yugoslav government with an “agreement” that would have allowed NATO to forces to occupy the entire country, with the unheard of provision that Yugoslavia would pay for the expenses of the occupation!

After the talks broke off, a “top official” (Albright) told reporters in an off-the-record session: “We intentionally set the bar too high for the Serbs to comply. They need some bombing, and that’s what they are going to get.” When the Yugoslav government predictably rejected the ultimatum disguised as a “proposal,” the bombing began and continued for three months.

Thousands of civilians were killed, wounded and made homeless. As was true in Iraq, the entire population was traumatized, with women and children most severely impacted.

Like the assault on Iraq, the attack on Yugoslavia was a war crime, a “crime against peace,” the most serious of all violations of international law, a war of aggression against another state that poses no threat to the country launching the war.

According to her own words, Hillary Clinton joined in the war chorus: “I urged him [President Clinton] to bomb.”

In 2003, Senator Clinton supported invasion and occupation of Iraq. In 2011, as Secretary of State, she was chief advocate in the Obama administration in calling for the bombing war that killed, wounded and displaced unknown numbers of Libyans and devastated the country.

After the torture and murder of Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi, Clinton laughingly told a CBS interviewer: “We came, we saw, he died.”

Albright and Clinton thus share much in common both with each other and their far more numerous murderous male counterparts in the top levels of the U.S. imperialist state machine. That they who have worked to destroy the lives of so many millions of women would now presume to lecture young women on “feminism” and attempt to shame them into supporting Clinton is a despicable travesty.
The original source of this article is Liberation

Copyright © Gloria La Riva, Liberation, 2016

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s).  Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

What game is the House of Saud playing?

Pepe-EscobarPepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.

 

 

Published time: January 16, 2015 12:29

 

33.si

Reuters / Lucy Nicholson

The House of Saud now finds itself in times of extreme trouble. Their risky oil price war may eventually backfire. The succession of King Abdullah may turn into a bloodbath. And the American protector may be musing a change of heart.

Let’s start with oil – and some background. As much as US supply has increased by a couple of million barrels a day, enough oil from Iran, Kirkuk in Iraq, Libya and Syria has gone out of production; and that offsets extra US oil on the market. Essentially, the global economy – at least for the moment – is not searching for more oil because of European stagnation/recession and the relative China slowdown.

Reuters / Todd Korol

Reuters / Todd Korol

Since 2011, Saudi Arabia has been flooding the market to offset the decrease in Iran exports caused by the US economic war, a.k.a. sanctions. Riyadh, moreover, prevented OPEC from reducing country production quotas. The House of Saud believes it can play the waiting game – as fracked oil, mostly American, is inexorably driven out of the market because it is too expensive. After that, the Saudis believe they will regain market share.

In parallel, the House of Saud is obviously enjoying “punishing” Iran and Russia for their support of Bashar Assad in Damascus. Moreover, the House of Saud is absolutely terrified of a nuclear deal essentially between the US and Iran (although that’s still a major “if”) – leading to a long-term détente.

Tehran, though, remains defiant. Russia brushed off the attack because the lower ruble meant state revenues remained unchanged – so there will be no budget deficit. As for oil-thirsty East Asia – including top Saudi customer China – it’s enjoying the bonanza while it lasts.

Oil prices will remain very low for the time being. This week Goldman Sachs lowered their 2015 WTI and Brent Crude forecasts; Brent was slashed from $83.75 a barrel to $50.40, WTI was cut from $73.75 to $47.15 a barrel. Prices per barrel could soon drop as low as $42 and $40.50. But then, there will be an inevitable “U-shaped recovery.”

Nomura bets that oil will be back to $80 a barrel by the end of 2015.

Punish Russia or bust

US President Barack Obama, in this interview, openly admitted that he wanted “disruptions” in the “price of oil” because he figured Russian President Vladimir Putin would have “enormous difficulty managing it.” So that settles the argument about hurting Russia and US-Saudi collusion, after US Secretary of State John Kerry allowed/endorsed King Abdullah in Jeddah to simultaneously raise oil production and embark on a cut price strategy.

Whether Kerry sold out the US shale gas industry out of ignorance or incompetence – probably both – is irrelevant. What matters is if the House of Saud were ordered to back off, they would have to do it in a flash; the ‘Empire of Chaos’ dominates the Persian Gulf vassals, who can’t even breathe without at least an implicit US green light.

What is way more troubling is that the current bunch in Washington does not seem to be defending US national and industrial interests. If humongous trade deficits based on currency rigging were not enough, now virtually the entire US oil industry runs the risk of being destroyed by an oil price racket. Any sane analyst would interpret it as contrary to US national interests.

Anyway, the Riyadh deal was music for the House of Saud’s ears. Their official policy has always been to slash the development of all potential substitutes for oil, including US shale gas. So why not depress oil prices and keep them there long enough to make investments in shale gas a lunatic proposal?

But there’s a huge problem. The House of Saud simply won’t get enough in oil revenues to support their annual budget with oil at below $90 a barrel. So as much as hurting Iran and Russia may be appealing, hurting their own golden pocketbooks is not.

The long-term outlook spells out higher oil prices. Oil may be replaced in many instances; but there isn’t a replacement – yet – for the internal combustion engine. So whatever OPEC is doing, it is actually preserving demand for oil vs. oil substitutes, and maximizing the return on a limited resource. The bottom-line: yes, this is predatory pricing.

Once again, there’s an immense, crucial, complicating vector. We may have the House of Saud and other Persian Gulf producers flooding the market – but its Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Citigroup who are doing the shadow, nasty work via leveraged derivative short futures.

Oil prices are such an opaque racket that only major oil trading banks such as Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley have some idea who is buying and who is selling oil futures or derivative contracts – what is called “paper oil.” The non-rules of this multi-billion casino spell out “speculative bubble” – with a little help from those friends at the Gulf oil pumps. With oil futures trading and the two major London and New York exchanges monopolizing oil futures contracts, OPEC really does not control oil prices anymore; Wall Street does. This is the big secret. The House of Saud may entertain the illusion they are in control. They’re not.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama – (Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)

That dysfunctional marriage

As if this was not messy enough, the crucial succession of the House of Saud is propelled to the forefront. King Abdullah, 91, was diagnosed with pneumonia, hospitalized in Riyadh on New Year’s Eve, and was breathing with a tube. He may – or may not, this being the secretive House of Saud – have lung cancer. He won’t last long. The fact that he is hailed as a “progressive reformer” tells everything one needs to know about Saudi Arabia. “Freedom of expression”? You must be joking.

So who’ll be next? The first in the line of succession should be Crown Prince Salman, 79, also defense minister. He was governor of Riyadh province for a hefty 48 years. It was this certified falcon who supervised the wealth of private “donations” to the Afghan mujahedeen in the 1980s jihad, in tandem with hardcore Wahhabi preachers. Salman’s sons include the governor of Medina, Prince Faisal. Needless to add, the Salman family controls virtually all of Saudi media.

To get to the Holy Grail Salman must be proven fit. That’s not a given; and on top of it Abdullah, a tough nut to crack, already survived two of his crown princes, Sultan and Nayef. Salman’s prospects look bleak; he has had spinal surgery, a stroke and may be suffering from – how appropriate – dementia.

It also does not bode well that when Salman was promoted to Deputy Defense Minister, soon enough he was shown the door – as he got himself mixed up with Bandar Bush’s atrocious jihadi game in Syria.

Anyway, Salman already has a successor; second Deputy Prime Minister Prince Muqrin, former governor of Medina province and then head of Saudi intelligence. Muqrin is very, very close to Abdullah. Muqrin seems to be the last “capable” son of Ibn Saud; “capable” here is a figure of speech. The real problem though starts when Muqrin becomes Crown Prince. Because then the next in line will be picked from the grandsons of Ibn Saud.

Enter the so-called third generation princes – a pretty nasty bunch. Chief among them is none other than Mitab bin Abdullah, 62, the son of the king; cries of nepotism do proceed. Like a warlord, Mitab controls his own posse in the National Guard. Sources told me Riyadh is awash in rumors that Abdullah and Muqrin have made a deal: Abdullah gets Muqrin to become king, and Muqrin makes Mitab crown prince. Once again, this being the “secretive” House of Saud, the Hollywood mantra applies: no one knows anything.

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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.(Reuters / Brendan Smialowski)

Abdullah’s sons are all over the place; governor of Mecca, deputy governor of Riyadh, deputy foreign minister, president of the Saudi Red Crescent. Same for Salman’s sons. But then there’s Muhammad bin Nayif, son of the late Crown Prince Nayif, who became Interior Minister in 2012, in charge of ultra-sensitive internal security, as in cracking down on virtually anything. He is the top competitor against Mitab among the third-generation princes.

So forget about family “unity” when such juicy loot as an oil hacienda impersonating a whole country is in play. And yet whoever inherits the loot will have to face the abyss, and the same litany of distress; rising unemployment; abysmal inequality; horrendous sectarian divide; jihadism in all its forms – not least the fake Ibrahim Caliphate in “Syraq”, already threatening to march towards Mecca and Medina; the unspeakably medieval Council of Ulemas (the lashing/amputating/beheading-loving bunch); total dependency on oil; unbounded paranoia towards Iran; and a wobbly relationship with His Masters Voice, the US.

When will they call the cavalry?

And it so happens that the real ‘Masters of the Universe’ in the Washington-New York axis are debating exactly the erosion of this relationship; as in the House of Saud having no one to talk to but the “puppets”, from Bush Two minions to Kerry at most on occasion. This analysis contends that any promises made by Kerry over the House of Saud “cooperation” to damage Russia’s economy really mean nothing.

Rumbles from ‘Masters of the Universe’ territory indicate that the CIA sooner or later might move against the House of Saud. In this case the only way for the House of Saud to secure its survival would be to become friendly with none other than Moscow. This exposes once more the House of Saud’s suicidal present course of trying to hurt Russia’s economy.

As everyone is inexorably an outsider when faced with the totally opaque House of Saud, there’s an analytical current that swears they know what they’re doing. Not necessarily. The House of Saud seems to believe that pleasing US neocons will improve their status in Washington. That simply won’t happen. The neocons remain obsessed about the House of Saud helping Pakistan to develop its nuclear missiles; some of them – once again, that’s open to speculation – might even be deployed inside Saudi Arabia for “defensive purposes” against that mythical Iranian “threat.”

Messy? That doesn’t even begin to describe it. But one thing is certain; whatever game Riyadh thinks it’s playing, they’d better start seriously talking to Moscow. But please, don’t send Bandar Bush on another Russian mission.

Pepe Escobar’s latest book is Empire of Chaos. Follow him on Facebook.

 

No Saudi-Russian talks to bump up oil price in return for disowning Assad – Moscow

PutinFinger1-400x547

Russian President Vladimir Putin

RT News

Published time: February 04, 2015 09:57

Moscow denies a report claiming that Saudi Arabia had offered to adjust its oil production and create a crude price rise in exchange for Russia withdrawing support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The report in the New York Times cited an anonymous Saudi and US diplomatic sources as saying that Riyadh used its large oil market share as leverage in negotiations with Moscow.

“If oil can serve to bring peace in Syria, I don’t see how Saudi Arabia would back away from trying to reach a deal,” a Saudi diplomat was quoted as saying.

The report was denied by Aleksey Pushkov, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Russian State Duma.

“The New York Times distorted information so many times, especially since the Ukrainian crisis started. I wouldn’t advise you taking it as a reliable source. There were no talks of such exchange,” the official told RSN radio station.

Saudis kinda admit to keeping oil prices low to screw Russians and gain influence in Syria. No mention of ISIS. http://nyti.ms/1z8iOL6

The New York Times @nytimes

 

He added that the Russian delegation headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, which visited Saudi Arabia for the funeral of late King Abdullah, did discuss oil-related issues, but no shady deals were proposed.

“We discussed oil, pricing, coordination between OPEC members and non-member states. The talks were positive and constructive. There was no Syrian dimension in them,” Pushkov said.

He added that Saudi Arabia is in the process of changing its position on the Syrian crisis and distancing itself from the armed conflict.

 

President of Russia Vladimir Putin (L) and Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) of Saudi Arabia talk through their interpreters during a plenary session at the G20 leaders summit in Brisbane November 15, 2014 (Reuters / Rob Griffith)

President of Russia Vladimir Putin (L) and Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) of Saudi Arabia talk through their interpreters during a plenary session at the G20 leaders summit in Brisbane November 15, 2014 (Reuters / Rob Griffith)

The report was denied by Aleksey Pushkov, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Russian State Duma.

“The New York Times distorted information so many times, especially since the Ukrainian crisis started. I wouldn’t advise you taking it as a reliable source. There were no talks of such exchange,” the official told RSN radio station.
He added that the Russian delegation headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, which visited Saudi Arabia for the funeral of late King Abdullah, did discuss oil-related issues, but no shady deals were proposed.

“We discussed oil, pricing, coordination between OPEC members and non-member states. The talks were positive and constructive. There was no Syrian dimension in them,” Pushkov said.

He added that Saudi Arabia is in the process of changing its position on the Syrian crisis and distancing itself from the armed conflict.

 

READ MORE: Oil can recover to $200 if supply dries up – OPEC head

The report was also denied by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who called it “nothing more but speculation by the paper.”

Saudi Arabia has been an outspoken critic of the Syrian government over the years of civil war there. It was reported to supply weapons to various opposition groups seeking to topple Assad.

Russia remained an ally of Assad and negotiated a deal with the US, which led to dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. The deal saved face for Washington, having pledged to use military force against Damascus due to alleged use of chemical weapons, but being reluctant to actually do it.

The oil market experienced the biggest drop in price in years in 2014, imperiling the economies of oil exporters, including Russia and Saudi Arabia. Riyadh said it would not reduce its output regardless of the price do protect its market share.