EUROPE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

EUROPE

Jan 19 09:55

President Trump DID threaten Britain, France and Germany with 25% tariff on car exports if they did not wage diplomatic war with Iran over broken nuclear deal, German defense minister claims

By Jack Elsom For Mailonline

Donald Trump tried to strong-arm Britain and its European allies into waging diplomatic war with Iran by threatening to impose 25 per cent tariffs on their lucrative car exports, the German defense minister revealed yesterday.

The US President was piling pressure on Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron to formally accuse Tehran of violating the 2015 nuclear deal.

At a press conference in London yesterday, Germany's Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer confirmed reports of such economic threats and said: 'This expression or threat, as you will, does exist.'

A 25 per cent tax on cars would particularly hurt Germany, which exports around £23billion worth of vehicles across the Atlantic each year.

Jan 18 10:42

The European Union May Ban Facial Recognition For 5-Year Review Of Tech

By Aaron Kesel

The European Union is considering banning facial recognition technology which has raised massive privacy concerns over the years since its inception, risking us walking into George Orwell’s nightmare 1984.

The European Commission is considering a ban on all facial recognition technology in public places for three to five years, the BBC reported.

The Commission hopes to examine the technology during these years with “a sound methodology for assessing the impacts of this technology and possible risk management measures could be identified and developed,” the EC’s 18-page white paper on facial recognition writes...

Jan 18 10:41

The European Union May Ban Facial Recognition For 5-Year Review Of Tech

By Aaron Kesel

The European Union is considering banning facial recognition technology which has raised massive privacy concerns over the years since its inception, risking us walking into George Orwell’s nightmare 1984.

The European Commission is considering a ban on all facial recognition technology in public places for three to five years, the BBC reported.

The Commission hopes to examine the technology during these years with “a sound methodology for assessing the impacts of this technology and possible risk management measures could be identified and developed,” the EC’s 18-page white paper on facial recognition writes...

Jan 17 12:14

China’s booming new Silk Road trade hits $1.34 TRILLION

China’s trade with countries participating in its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been expanding and totaled 9.27 trillion yuan ($1.34 trillion) in 2019, customs data shows.

It has outpaced the country’s aggregate trade growth by 7.4 percentage points, according to the data.

More than $60 billion in investments have been promised under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said Zou Zhiwu, vice minister of the General Administration of Customs.

Jan 16 14:44

Battle of the Ages to stop Eurasian integration

The Raging Twenties started with a bang with the targeted assassination of Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani.

Yet a bigger bang awaits us throughout the decade: the myriad declinations of the New Great Game in Eurasia, which pits the US against Russia, China and Iran, the three major nodes of Eurasia integration.

Jan 13 20:18

Europe has such beautiful architecture

Jan 11 12:02

The reality we must face: Our Country, the United States, is a Rogue Nation and Our Leaders are Criminals

For as long as I’ve been alive, my country has been a rogue state.

Actually, the US became a rogue state four years before my birth in 1949 when, in 1945, Washington decided to bomb two militarily insignificant cities in Japan with its new super weapon, the atomic bomb, instantly incinerating several hundred thousand Japanese civilians, including many, many children, and condemning at least that many more to slow agonizing deaths from resulting cancers and birth defects.

Jan 10 18:08

EU meeting to focus on bringing Iran back into nuclear deal – Slovakia

European Union foreign ministers at a meeting in Brussels will focus on finding ways on how to bring Tehran back into the nuclear deal, after its decision to scrap the deal's enrichment limits, Slovakia’s foreign minister said on Friday.

“The steps they announced are reversible and verification by the [nuclear watchdog] IAEA is ongoing, but we are not happy with the step five that was announced,” Miroslav Lajcakbut told reporters on arrival at the meeting.

“We hope that we can help Iran return to the game,” the minister added.

Jan 08 00:23

An Empire Self-Destructs

Empires are built through the creation or acquisition of wealth. The Roman Empire came about through the productivity of its people and its subsequent acquisition of wealth from those that it invaded. The Spanish Empire began with productivity and expanded through the use of its large armada of ships, looting the New World of its gold. The British Empire began through localized productivity and grew through its creation of colonies worldwide—colonies that it exploited, bringing the wealth back to England to make it the wealthiest country in the world.

Jan 06 09:56

Swedish Govt Accused of Reclassifying Explosions to Distort Actual Figures

Authorities in Sweden have been accused of mislabelling explosions and bombings and classifying incidents as “damage” in order to distort the true extent of explosions across the country.

Jan 02 16:29

British Army fury as UN imposes gender quotas - 'It should be about who's best for role!'

At least 250 soldiers are expected to join the UN peacekeeping force helping France to contain the deadly jihadi threat in the Sahel region of Africa.

Drawn from the Light Dragoons and 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, the contingent currently includes six female soldiers, attached to medical, logistical and military police sections.

But a new UN directive for peacekeeping operations lays down quotas for the number of female soldiers deployed.

And last night senior officers expressed their frustration as they face having to include at least another 12 female soldiers for next year’s deployment while planning for what is anticipated to be a ”highly kinetic” operation - a euphemism for active warfare.

Jan 02 14:58

Automakers Face Tough New Standards In EU

Jan 02 14:50

US strategy and what the gas pipeline war is costing us

Although they were locked in a convoluted struggle concerning the impeachment of President Trump, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate laid down their arms in order to vote, in quasi-unanimity, for the imposition of heavy sanctions on the companies participating in the construction of North Stream 2, the doubling of the gas pipeline which delivers Russian gas to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The main victims were the European companies which had helped finance the 11 billion dollar project with the Russian company Gazprom. The project is now 80 % finished. The Austrian company Omy, British/Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, French Engie, German companies Uniper and Wintershall, Italian Saipem and Swiss Allseas are also taking part in the laying of the pipeline.

Dec 30 09:19

2019: A disastrous year for Trump’s foreign policy

Twenty-nineteen could best be described as a year when Donald Trump’s foreign policy unraveled on so many fronts. It became ever more erratic, one-sided and personalized, changing with the US president’s mood swings. The crisis, as many would call it, has been a long time in the making, and the implications will surely cast a long shadow over the new decade.

Trump, a self-proclaimed deal maker, is floundering as much internationally as he is domestically. The US, on his watch, arguably has less leverage with its allies than it has had at any time in modern history. Trump’s foreign policies—from the Middle East and North Korea to Venezuela— have largely failed

Dec 30 08:42

Nord Stream 2 – US Sanctions – Trump’s Economic Suicide?

Does Mr. Trump really not grasp that his sanctions left and right – and now on the Russian-German gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 – is committing economic suicide, not for himself, of course, but for the United States? He attempts to punish not only Russia, but all the corporations, construction companies, Russian, German and from everywhere, which collaborated and are still working on the final stretch of the1,250 km pipeline.

Dec 30 08:38

US Strategy and What the Gas Pipeline War Is Costing Us

Although they were locked in a convoluted struggle concerning the impeachment of President Trump, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate laid down their arms in order to vote, in quasi-unanimity, for the imposition of heavy sanctions on the companies participating in the construction of North Stream 2, the doubling of the gas pipeline which delivers Russian gas to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The main victims were the European companies which had helped finance the 11 billion dollar project with the Russian company Gazprom.

The project is now 80 % finished. The Austrian company Omy, British/Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, French Engie, German companies Uniper and Wintershall, Italian Saipem and Swiss Allseas are also taking part in the laying of the pipeline.

Dec 29 20:27

EU warning: Harold Macmillan's chilling prediction about the future of the bloc revealed

In a 2019 talk for Yale University, Vernon Bogdanor, one of Britain’s most famed constitutional experts claimed Mr Macmillan, who at the time was Housing Minister, chillingly predicted that Europe was going to transform into a fully-fledged federal state even before Britain joined the bloc.

Mr Bogdanor said: “In March 1953, Macmillan asked the Cabinet: ‘Are we really sure that we want to see a sixth power federal Europe with a common army, a common iron and steel industry, ending in a common currency and monetary policy?

“‘If such a federal state comes into being, will it be in the long run be in our interests whether as an island or as an imperial power?’

“‘Will not Germany ultimately control this state?’

“And may have we not created the very situation in Europe to prevent which in every century since the Elizabethan age we have fought long and bitter wars?’”

Dec 28 14:54

Washington's Unmasked Imperialism Towards Europe And Russia

Washington must think the rest of the world is as stupid as many of its own politicians are. Its passing into law – signed by President Trump this week – of sanctions to halt the Nord Stream-2 and Turk Stream gas supply projects is a naked imperialist move to bludgeon the European energy market for its own economic advantage.

Russia, Germany and others have defiantly told Washington its weaponizing of economic sanctions will not halt the Nord Stream nor the Turk Stream projects.

As German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said earlier this month, “it is unacceptable” for the US to brazenly interfere in European and Russian energy trade. The American pretext of supposedly “protecting” the national security of its purported European allies is frankly laughable.

Dec 26 11:36

The Trump-Biden and the Russia-Ukraine Saga: The Game is About Eurasia

Regarding the Bidens’ role in this fiasco, one surprising aspect is that it took so many years for the controversy regarding Burisma Holdings to go viral, even in alt-media. The facts that not only Hunter Biden but also Devon Archer, a former John Kerry campaign manager, sat on Burisma’s board of directors, and that Burisma was extensively invested in shale-gas extraction in the vicinity of the Donbas war-zone, had been public knowledge in the Russian-speaking world ever since 2014.

Dec 26 11:01

‘Cutting each other's throats’: Allies fear Russia will annex Belarus to save Putin’s life

Western allies fear that Russia will gain sovereignty over Belarus, a former Soviet satellite state that could help preserve Vladimir Putin’s grip on power and sharpen Kremlin threats against NATO members.

Russian expansion is on the table because Putin is trying to finalize the implementation of a union treaty that the two countries signed in 1998. Moscow and Minsk interpret the agreement differently, but Putin has begun to apply economic pressure to Belarus while scheduling a flurry of meetings with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko over the last year.

“I think this mild annexation will just happen, probably next year,” Alisa Muzergues, a foreign policy analyst at GLOBSEC in the Slovak Republic, told the Washington Examiner. “To be honest, my personal feeling is that it's already a done deal."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I wouldn't throw the alarm here; Putin has, by in large, been good for the Russian people; the American government, by in large, has been good...for large corporations, and the already monied.

And I strongly believe that if given the chance, the Russian people would vote for him again.

Has Russia got superior weaponry to NATO?!? The short answer is, yes; but that is completely NATO's fault, and they need to up their game here.

And can someone, please, articulate what these "threats" to NATO are, concretely?!?

Because I sure as heck cannot see these "threats" other than some conjured Codswallop, courtesy of NATO, which have no basis in reality. What I do see, however, are new NATO deployments close to Russia's borders, which has got to make the Russians more than a little nervous.

Dec 26 07:57

France Has Ground To a Halt

Dec 24 07:43

Turkey Can't Handle New Refugee Explosion & Greece Will Be First To Feel Impact: Erdogan

At a moment Erdogan has his hands dirty in Syria and is preparing to get more militarily involved in Libya, Turkey's president has yet again threatened Europe with a refugee horde so large no country will be able to handle it. He's now specifically threatened Greece as being among the first to bear the brunt of the first waves of refugees unleashed by Turkey.

His threats are now centering on the major uptick in airstrikes by Russia and Syria on Idlib province, said to number in the "hundreds" since a new operation began on Dec.16. Since then, tens of thousands of civilians living under al-Qaeda's Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) have reportedly fled.

"Turkey cannot handle a fresh wave of migrants from Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, warning that European countries will feel the impact of such an influx if violence in Syria’s northwest is not stopped," Reuters reports.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The people for whom I feel sorry the most, in this whole, sordid mess, generated by the US in a continuing (and failing) bid to unseat Al-Assad, are the people displaced by the fighting.

What is happening to them, should not be happening at all, but to the US government, these folks are simply "collateral damage", with no real human value at all.

Dec 24 07:36

European Firms Stop Work On NS2 Pipeline As Gazprom Readies Own Ships 'Immune' To US Sanctions

Trump's signing the 2020 NDAA into law on Friday, and with it sanctions targeting European and Russian companies laying the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, had the immediate impact of forcing a work stoppage over the weekend as Allseas, the Swiss company that is Nord Stream’s main contractor, confirmed its workers as well as partner contractors have laid down their tools.

And Russia is now hitting back, first by promising Washington will not impede the project, and further with reports that Moscow is drawing up retaliatory sanctions against the US, while not citing specifics.

Majority stakehold Gazprom has indicated it's already taken measures to complete the project while circumventing the US measures. The WSJ continues:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To a small child, everything it it sees, is a nail, just waiting to be hammered in.

So it is with Trump's sanctions, which will only have the effect of pushing Europe ever more deeply into Russia's economic embrace, and insuring that Europe doesn't really want to have anything more to do with the Unhinged; surveilled State of Amerika.

Dec 24 07:26

Buchanan: Today France, Tomorrow America?

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

As that rail and subway strike continued to paralyze travel in Paris and across France into the third week, President Emmanuel Macron made a Christmas appeal to his dissatisfied countrymen:

“Strike action is justifiable and protected by the constitution, but I think there are moments in a nation’s life when it is good to observe a truce out of respect for families and family life.”

Macron’s appeal has gone largely unheeded.

“The public be damned!” seems to be the attitude of many of the workers who are tying up transit to protest Macron’s plan to reform a pension system that consumes 14% of GDP.

Macron wants to raise to 64 the age of eligibility for full retirement benefits. Not terribly high. And to set an example, he is surrendering his lifetime pension that is to begin when he becomes an ex-president.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We have a companion piece to this on this Christmas Eve, also from Zero Hedge, titled as follows:

Half Of France's National Train System "Grinds To A Halt" As Labor Unions Strike On Christmas Week

Dec 23 16:50

Brussels chaos: Spain follows Poland in shock threat to quit EU 'No more humiliation!'

Spain has joined Poland in becoming the second country this week to claim it could ditch the EU, amid growing fury at the power that Brussels holds over member-states. Spain’s third biggest party Vox is under huge pressure to back the Spanish version of the Brexit referendum, following growing fury at an ECJ ruling this week. Vox’s own party president lambasted the EU, claiming when the ECJ overruled Spanish courts, it had humiliated the country and its sovereignty.

On Thursday, the EU's top court ruled a jailed Catalan separatist leader should have parliamentary immunity.

Oriol Junqueras was one of nine pro-independence leaders jailed in Spain after an illegal independence referendum.

However, in May he was elected to the European Parliament as an MEP.

The ruling rejected Madrid's arguments that Mr Junqueras did not qualify as an MEP because he had not sworn an oath to the Spanish constitution.

Dec 23 10:59

NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg says alliance should seek better relations with Russia, signals willingness to meet with Putin

NATO should pursue dialogue and stronger relations with Moscow, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said, declaring that he is open to meeting with the Russian president.
Stoltenberg told German news agency dpa that a summit with Putin is feasible if the “context is right.” He said that dialogue with Moscow was important, even though the alliance has a “difficult” relationship with Russia.

Russia is our biggest neighbor, Russia is here to stay and we need to strive for a better relationship with Russia.

NATO and Russia have been at odds with each other on a number of key security issues and conflicts. The alliance’s eastward expansion, as well as troop and hardware buildups along Russia’s border, have further strained trust and cooperation between the two world players.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This feels both like an outreach to Russia, and a further "step away" from the US government's stance that no matter what it does, Russia always remains a villain of the highest order against both the US's and Western Europe's desired outcomes in world affairs.

Dec 23 10:38

This Texan Fighting with the Ukraine Rebels Thinks the West Will Force a Big Confrontation in April

First, I do not think Putin and Russia will abandon the Republics. It would be cowardly, unprincipled and futile to do so, and these are adjectives that simply do not apply to Putin or to Russia.

And Putin has also said, and I quote, "I learned on the streets of Leningrad as a kid, if a fight is inevitable, it is better to hit first." I am quite certain that Vladimir Putin will stand by his words, by his promises and his principles, and the Russian People will back him 100%.

Putin has promised that if Russia is attacked, he will destroy the places the attacks come from, and also the places where the orders for the attacks come from. And Vladimir Putin don't lie.

If you allow your corrupt and bloodthirsty rulers to attack us, understand that we will hit back, hard, where you live, and understand that you will have it coming.

Otherwise, your masters will proceed with this diabolical scheme and the whole world may well come crashing down around your heads.

Dec 23 10:29

Sweden: The Wages Of Self-Loathing Is Civil War

Authored by David Archibald via The American Thinker,

The Danes have put extra resources into controlling the country’s links to Sweden because of bombs going off in Denmark due to people coming from Sweden. The people from Sweden are Islamist criminals. The Swedish government reacted to the Danish move by calling the Danes Nazis. Swedish society has changed for the worse, and the Swedish people are aware of what they have lost.

All this is known, but what is interesting is that a former head of the Swedish truck-maker Scania, a Mr. Leif Ostling, has said Sweden is headed for civil war because of the problem of its violent migrants who have no inclination to integrate into Swedish society. As a successful businessman, his views can’t be dismissed as being from some sort of antisocial loon living in his mother’s basement.

All in all, there are plenty of guns to go round to have a civil war with. This won’t be a brutish affair conducted with knives and sticks.

Dec 23 05:16

Russia's Gazprom to pay $2.9 billion in new Ukraine gas deal

The Russian energy giant has agreed to settle its long running dispute with Ukraine over transit fees. A new five-year Moscow-Kyiv gas deal will also reduce European concerns over the loss of access to Russian fuel.

Russia and Ukraine have agreed to continue to send gasoline through Ukraine to Europe for a further five years.

The new deal, outlined by Moscow and Kyiv on Saturday, eases concerns over whether Europe could lose access to a large portion of Russian gas, which the region depends on to fuel industry and heating.

Russia sends roughly 40% of its gas deliveries destined for Europe through Ukraine.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears now, that both countries want responsible leadership to bury old hatchets, and go about taking care of their citizens; this is a very positive turn of events.

Dec 22 23:55

Nordstream Sanctions a Sad Coda to U.S. Foreign Policy

The U.S. crossed the Rubicon this week. And I’m not talking about the ridiculous impeachment of President Trump for doing his job.

I’m talking about passing the NDAA with provisions to sanction ‘from hell’ anyone associated with completion of the Nordstream 2 pipeline. The U.S. is now openly dismissive as a matter of law any ally or partner who engages in economic activity it disapproves of.

Dec 21 09:39

All white for some! Skiers heading to Europe's top resorts this Christmas are in for a treat after bumper snowfall brings 'best start to season in 20 years'

Editor of InTheSnow magazine, Patrick Thorne, told The Times: 'This is turning into one of the best starts to a season this century for most of the ski world.

'This is thanks to large and regular snow dumps since early November, the latest of which is coming this weekend.'

At least 15cm of snow is expected to fall over the alps across three days next week, according to forecasters, and resorts in France could receive as much as 25cm tomorrow and on Monday.

In the Austrian alps snow fall is expected every day from Sunday to Friday, except Thursday, and in the Italian alps snowfall is expected right through until Tuesday. Switzerland is also expecting snow in places over the next five days.

Dec 20 12:02

Dutch government is ORDERED to cut greenhouse gases by 25 per cent by supreme court judges following landmark case brought by climate campaigners

The Dutch supreme court on Friday ordered the government to slash greenhouse gases by at least 25 per cent by the end of 2020 in a landmark case brought by an environmental group.

Campaigners from the Urgenda group cheered as judges dismissed an appeal by Prime Minister Mark Rutte's government against two earlier rulings telling it to cut emissions.

Dec 20 11:59

Swedish judges refuse to deport two Eritrean refugees who gang-raped a woman for hours - because they ran away from the army there and would face punishment

The men, aged 30 and 32, were convicted in a Stockholm court this week of raping the woman for hours in an apartment in the city while threatening her with a knife.

The pair were sentenced to five years in jail and ordered to pay the victim £11,000 each, and prosecutors also requested they be deported for a minimum of 15 years.

But the court ruled against it after a migration board warned they would face obstacles over human rights concerns.

Dec 20 11:05

Belgium’s army is forced to use drivers no taller than 5ft 7in for its armoured vehicles after refit reduced the size of the interior (and the typical Belgian is 5ft 10in!)

An expensive upgrade to a fleet of armoured vehicles in Belgium will disqualify most soldiers from using it because the modifications have drastically reduced the size of the interior.

With some of the tallest people in the world, an average Belgian man measures 5ft 10in but the internal cabin will hold no one above 5ft 7in.

In a drive to improve safety of their fleet of 44 Pandur armoured cars, the Belgian military spent £26 million but made them too small.

Dec 20 10:27

Is It Time to “Duck and Cover” in the Eastern Med?

How badly does Washington want NATO to survive? Bad enough to betray the Greeks again and to reignite the Cyprus killing fields, that’s how bad. News the US Congress is expected to approve a bill lifting an arms embargo on Cyprus, which has been in place since 1987, can mean only one thing.

According to the news from Washington, the embargo on arms sales will be lifted once Congress passes the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020. Once President Trump signs the bill, US exports to the Republic of Cyprus of “defense-related” materials will add guns to what has always been a volatile situation. Recent Turkey-Greece friction already signaled a rekindling of old war fires, and now the US comes out and flatly admits that the Republic of Cyprus needs to be part of the “Partnership for Peace” NATO program.

Dec 19 13:58

Italian Bonds Tumble On Fears Another Government Collapse Is Imminent

For years, reformers have been pushing for changes to the Italian government structure that would, among other changes, reduce the number of seats held by lawmakers. Back in October, Giuseppe Conte's coalition government voted in favor of a plan to reduce the number of lower house members from 630 to 400, and the number of senators from 315 to 200.

Throughout modern political history, examples of legislative bodies voluntarily accepting reforms that would knowingly curtail the powers and privileges of its members are few and far between, and Italy is no exception. Not long after the vote, a group of mostly opposition members tried to crash the government and hold a new snap election to save their seats. I mean, what other choice did they have? They're politicians...do you really expect them to go out and get a real job?

Of course not.

Dec 19 13:35

OSCE, ECHR 'Should Dissolve Themselves' If Estonia Prosecutes Sputnik Staffers - Margarita Simonyan

The Rossiya Segodnya International News Agency said that employees of Sputnik Estonia received letters from the Baltic country’s Police and Border Guard Board with a warning of possible criminal prosecution unless they stopped working for the news agency by 1 January 2020.

Sputnik and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) should be dismantled if the employees of Sputnik Estonia were jailed.

“Estonia officially threatens to jail our journalists unless they resign. If the authorities of this country were not stopped, the OSCE, the ECHR and any other European organization responsible for [protecting] the freedom of expression should dissolve themselves”, Simonyan wrote in her Telegram channel.

Dec 19 13:33

‘European values’? Czech think tank funded by NATO govts calls for EU BLANKET BAN on Russian outlets like RT

A pro-NATO Czech think tank has another piece of unsolicited advice for Western governments. Now they should refuse to give access or interviews to Russian media, who are ”not real journalists”, according to the ”wise censor”.
At first blush, the ‘Kremlin Watch Strategy’ paper published last week by the Prague-based ‘European Values Center for Security Policy’ sounds like another self-serving attempt to cash in on the anti-Russian hysteria that has gripped many a Western capital for the past several years.

There are some two dozen mentions of “funding,” mostly in the context of urging the European Union to spend more money on “independent” NGOs – such as themselves, obviously – to battle “hostile Russian interference” the authors see under every bed.

Dec 19 13:32

Clashes with police after Barcelona v. Real Madrid game as tens of thousands protest for Catalan independence (VIDEOS)

Thousands of pro-Catalan independence protesters gathered at Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium for a heated demonstration amid the highly anticipated El Clasico match of La Liga. It ended in clashes and a tough police response.
The crowd of demonstrators filled the streets around the stadium on Wednesday, blocking a major avenue and disrupting traffic as they shouted pro-independence slogans and waved banners, despite a heavy police presence in the area.

Dec 19 10:25

The Baltic states are horrified of losing the Russian transit

The Balts with their typical sluggish thinking have started figuring out the consequences of losing the Russian transit. The horror of the realization forced the head of Latvia’s State Railway Administration to announce that the situation is close to critical.

Dec 19 07:06

Farage: Anti-EU Revolt Is Spreading Across Europe

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage celebrated the results of the UK election in the European Parliament, saying they were proof faceless EU bureaucrats are being rejected and that the revolt is spreading.

Dec 18 16:03

That’s what the man says: Kremlin backs top general’s assessment that NATO is drilling for large-scale war

The Kremlin has said that it trusts the opinion of a senior Russian general, who has said that NATO's intensified drills this year are an indication that the military bloc is preparing for a major conflict.

Valery Gerasimov, the chair of the Russian General Staff, shared the wary view that the Russian military have about NATO's maneuvers on Tuesday as he gave a year-end briefing to foreign military attaches in Moscow.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the opinion was based on analyses of data collected by the Russian military and should not be dismissed.

"In this case the professional opinion may be the only correct one, so the presidential administration is in no position to put forward its own military assessment," he said.

Gerasimov said the increased number and scale of military exercises conducted by NATO members this year indicates that the alliance "is purposefully training its troops to be engaged in a major military conflict."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Russian leadership may be many things; stupid, however, is not one of them.

I would like to very politely, but strongly, urge caution, on the part of NATO, to please define what it believes are its "enemies" with a great deal of care and consideration.

Dec 18 15:56

Germany ‘won’t back down’ under threat of US sanctions over Nord Stream 2 pipeline with Russia – Merkel

Chancellor Angela Merkel has insisted that Berlin will not give into pressure from Washington after the US Senate approved a bill sanctioning German companies working on a pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Russia.
During Wednesday’s Q&A session in parliament, lawmakers asked Merkel about the possibility of the US slapping sanctions on German companies building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The chancellor said that she firmly opposes such sanctions because they have an extraterritorial effect. They will not push Berlin to abandon the project, however, she said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As the American comedian Ron White frequently mentions, "You can't fix stupid."

And in terms of being one of the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly idiotic things President Trump could have possibly done, just after attempting to shake down NATO members for more money, President Trump wins the crown for complete, abysmal stupidity, relative to both Germany and Europe, with this move.

Dec 18 15:12

Moscow and Europe Dislike US Sanctions on Nord Stream 2, Measures Violate Int'l Law - Kremlin

The US Senate on 17 December passed a $738 billion defence bill for the 2020 fiscal year that, in particular, includes sanctions against Nord Stream 2, TurkStream, and bars military-to-military cooperation with Russia.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has slammed US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 as “a perfect example of unfair competition", saying that Washington is imposing more expensive gas on Europe. He continued on by saying that both "Moscow and Europe dislike US sanctions on Nord Stream 2, as these measures violate international law".

"We assume that this project will be completed", Peskov told reporters, when asked whether the construction of the pipeline could be halted due to the sanctions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Congrats, President Trump, for pushing Europe and Turkey closer into the Russian orbit, well done, sir!!

The heights of absurdity have absolutely been breached and reached, with the passage of these sanctions, and President Trump may well have absolutely inflicted the "coup de grace" on NATO, with this bone-headed, tone-deaf move, coupled with his screaming at NATO members for more money, at the Conference earlier this month.

Does the man actually play checkers?!?! And I ask this, because he seems to be completely maladroit at any action which resembles any real diplomacy, and that takes a vision of the long term, as chess does.

Dec 18 14:34

America’s illegal alien population is three times Europe’s

American conservatives are concerned that we are a step or two behind Europe in committing open-borders suicide. But if you actually look at the numbers, in many respects America is blazing the trail to destruction much more swiftly than Europe.

A recent Pew Research report estimated the entire illegal immigrant population of Europe is 3.9-4.8 million. That is for an entire continent of 747 million people. The U.S. is less than half the size, yet the estimates of the illegal alien population range from 11 million to as high as 22 million.

Dec 18 08:43

Poland may leave EU due to simmering row over judicial reform – supreme court

Poland may be forced to part ways with the EU if a controversial judicial reform championed by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) comes to fruition, despite vocal opposition from Brussels, Poland’s Supreme Court warned on Tuesday.

“Contradictions between Polish law and EU law... will in all likelihood lead to an intervention by the EU institutions regarding an infringement of the EU treaties, and in the longer perspective [will lead to] the need to leave the European Union,” said the court, which has been at odds with the right-wing government since 2015, when PiS rose to power.

Dec 18 08:24

Britain plans to have ‘new EU relationship’ ready for January 2021 – PM Johnson’s spokesman

The British government plans for its new relationship with the European Union to be ready to be implemented in January 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said on Tuesday.

The government also plans to outlaw any extension of the Brexit transition period beyond December 2020, Reuters reports.

The spokesman added that Johnson had spoken to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the pair had agreed to work with “great energy” to agree a future relationship by the end of next year.

Dec 17 17:33

Italian Bank Still in Trouble

Dec 17 12:51

U.N. Climate Talks Collapse

Dec 17 10:34

Euro plunged into crisis by Germany after 11TH month of contraction - and worse to come

Figures form IHS Markit showed the country’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 43.4 in December from 44.1 the previous month, the first downward movement in three months. The result was worse than the 44.5 reading predicted by economists in a survey by Reuters. And the eurozone also saw a drop in the PMI, an index of prevailing direction of economic trends in manufacturing and services.

A survey showed it fell from 46.9 in November to 45.9 in December, marking 11 months in a row of contraction.

Dec 16 10:25

‘Largest PEACETIME evacuation’ kicks off in Italy as unexploded WWII bomb puts 54,000 at risk

An unparalleled evacuation operation is underway in Italy’s southern city of Brindisi, after a heavy British bomb was found near a local cinema. This is the second bomb discovery that has put Italians on alert in just one month.

Roughly 54,000 people were told to leave the so-called “red zone” on Sunday morning as local authorities and the military prepared to defuse a 500-pound bomb which Britain's Royal Air Force dropped on the city in 1941.

Over 60 percent of locals were affected by the evacuation, which turns out to be the largest since the war, according to Corriere della Serra.

Dec 16 09:05

European Space Agency is forced to ask NASA for HELP after ExoMars parachute tests 'fail catastrophically' - putting 2020 mission in jeopardy

Two parachutes on the ExoMars rover are supposed to deploy as part of an intricate design to slow its descent onto the surface of the Red Planet.

Delay caused by the flunked tests has put the timeline of next year's timeline in jeopardy, with engineers only giving the mission a 50 per cent chance of launching on time.

ESA space engineers are hoping that colleagues across the Atlantic will be able to help solve the problem in time for the scheduled window of July 26 and August 12, 2020.

If this window is missed, the already escalating costs will continue to soar, and a launch will not go ahead until at least 2022.

Dec 16 08:19

How to Win Friends and Infuence People: Trump Weighing 100% Tariffs on $10bn of EU Goods

The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has published a new list of additional European products that it’s reviewing in the Section 301 investigation involving the enforcement of US WTO rights.

The notice contains a list of products, initially published in April 2019 and July 2019. The extended list is weighing the idea that 100% tariffs could be seen on products from almost every country in Europe. Some of these products include whiskeys, virgin olive oil, yogurt, cheese, knives, tools, liqueurs, and dozens of other products.

Dec 15 09:46

EU plot to punish UK exposed - Macron and Merkel plan to thwart Boris' Brexit success

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel has issued a stark warning to Boris Johnson as EU negotiations revealed details of an “uncompromising” bullying approach to the trade talks next year.

Dec 14 06:45

Greece To Help Tripoli 'Block Turkish Ships' As Libyan War Spills Into Mediterranean

The years-long war for post-Gaddafi Libya now threatens to spill over into the Mediterranean as Turkey and Greece line up on either side of the conflict. Each side is now threatening the others' allied ships in southern waters after a controversial maritime deal expanded Turkish claims off Libya's coast.

On Thursday Benghazi-based General Kalifa Haftar declared his Libyan National Army has begun its "final decisive battle" to wrest control of the capital of Tripoli from the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

"Zero hour has come for the broad and total assault expected by every free and honest Libyan," Haftar said in a televised address, reports Al Jazeera. "Today, we announce the decisive battle and the advancement towards the heart of the capital to set it free... advance now our heroes." Beginning eight months ago Haftar launched a siege of Tripoli, which has been stalled in recent months.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This could spin out of control horrifically rapidly; prayers for all the innocent Libyans impacted, or who will be impacted.

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