EUROPE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

EUROPE

May 31 13:14

Denmark helped US spy on Merkel, EU officials during Obama administration: reports

US spying on European leaders has been previously reported; now Denmark under pressure for alleged assistance

Denmark’s intelligence service worked with its U.S. counterpart to collect information on European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to several reports in Danish media.

According to Denmarks Radio, the Danish foreign secret service helped the U.S. collect intelligence on European leaders, including Merkel, from 2012 to 2014 under the codename "Operation Dunhammer."

Efforts by the U.S. government to collect such intelligence during that timeframe were previously reported. But the role of Denmark's Defense Intelligence Service, known in Denmark by its acronym FE, was not previously known.

The U.S. National Security Agency reportedly worked with FE to gain access to text messages and phone calls with officials from European countries

May 31 06:04

In Hungary, a vicious antisemitic rant against Antony Blinken: Here’s why it matters.

It has been a traumatic time for world Jewry. If violence in Gaza and Israel were not bad enough, the fallout from the conflict has spurred physical attacks on Jews, vandalism and antisemitic rhetoric. The antisemitism this time has not been perpetrated by neo-Nazis and white nationalists but by elements of the left and pro-Palestinian protesters.

The culprits behind antisemitism include many sets of actors. Antisemitism associated with Israel has been the recent focus. Sometimes the culprits are government-associated actors and the rhetoric is aimed not at Israel but directly at Jews. When state actors are involved, the United States, its democratic allies and even civil society have efficient tools and the responsibility to demonstrate that there is a steep price to pay for employing Jew-hatred in the 21st century.

Recent rhetoric in Hungary is an example of what must be labeled unacceptable.

May 31 06:00

How Story of Broken NATO Non-Enlargement Pledge Upends West's Effort to Depict Russia as 'Aggressor'

NATO non-enlargement promises to Soviet leaders following the fall of the Berlin Wall have again prompted a debate in the media. What's behind the timing of the Western media's renewed attempt to downplay the famous "not one inch eastward" assurance as a myth?

Earlier this month two reports emerged concerning the "myth" of NATO's post-Cold War non-enlargement guarantees given to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his entourage in 1989-91.

The first one, published by the London-based think tank Chatham House on 13 May claimed that "the USSR was never offered a formal guarantee on the limits of NATO expansion post-1990" listing it as one of multiple "myths" in the debate on Russia.

May 31 05:54

Bump in the road: NATO drills in Estonia plagued by 3rd incident in just a week

An armored carrier ran off the road into a ditch during NATO drills in Estonia, leaving two people injured. As the military exercise enters its final phase, this marks the third incident in just a week.

According to local media citing the police department, the armored carrier ran off the road into a ditch in northeastern Estonia. Two men, including the driver, have been hospitalized in the town of Rakvere.

Earlier on Wednesday, a military vehicle caught fire after it hit an overhead power line with its antenna. Three people were injured as a result.

“The conscripts were taken to a health check at the East-Viru general hospital. Two of the conscripts received first aid and were allowed to return to their unit. One young man was left under medical care due to burns,” a spokesman from the Estonian defense forces said.

May 31 05:52

Denmark helped NSA spy on Merkel & other European leaders, new reports reveal, as Snowden says Biden was ‘deeply involved’

The US National Intelligence Agency received support from Denmark in spying on European politicians, according to a new joint media report, something President Joe Biden is well-informed to answer for, says Edward Snowden.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank Walter-Steinmeier are among those who were spied on by the NSA with the cooperation and help of the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE), according to the European media investigation.

The US spying on not only its own citizens, but also leaders in foreign countries is an accusation that came to light in 2013, mostly thanks to documents leaked by former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower – though he remains a fugitive in the US – Edward Snowden. Snowden’s leaks specifically revealed Merkel’s private cell phone had been monitored by US authorities.

May 30 10:18

Sweden Goes From Being One Of The Safest Countries In Europe To The Second Most Dangerous

A new investigation finds that Sweden has gone from being one of the safest European countries 20 years ago in terms of gun crime to the second most dangerous.

The study, published by the country’s National Council on Crime Prevention (Brå), reveals that Sweden is the only country on the continent where shootings have increased substantially since the start of the century.

“Most of the fatal shootings in Sweden (around 80 percent) had a link to organised crime, according to the study, a proportion which had risen from 30 to 50 percent in the early 2000s and less than 20 percent in the 1990s. Brå also compared the proportion to other countries: around 60 percent of fatal shootings were linked to organised crime in the Netherlands, while in Finland such events were extremely rare,” reports The Local.

After having been ranked 18th out of 22 countries for gun crime from 2000 to 2003, Sweden now ranks in second place, behind only Croatia.

May 30 09:43

Massive London Freedom march

May 30 09:13

Greenpeace Report Highlights Extent of European Nations’ Dumping of Waste in Turkey

By Doga Celik

Published on May 17, Greenpeace’s latest report, “Trashed: How the UK is still dumping plastic waste on the rest of the world,” has revealed that the UK exports most of its waste to Turkey. The report documents how trash from Britain was found in ten dumping sites around Adana, a city on Turkey’s southern coast.

The second part of the report focuses exclusively on Turkey, noting that “exports of plastic waste from the UK to Turkey increased by a factor of 18 in 4 years, from 120,000 tonnes in 2016 to 210,000 tonnes in 2020.” Almost 40 per cent of the UK’s waste ends up in Turkey.

Some the waste found in Turkey is of quite recent vintage...

May 30 06:16

Why EU Report Calling for Regime Change in Russia is Last Ditch Effort to Save the Bloc's Relevance

Earlier this month, EU foreign policymakers issued a draft report on the direction of the bloc's political relations with Russia. The document does not see Russia as an equal partner with the West and "legitimises" the EU to interfere in the country's domestic affairs and overhaul its political system, notes Norwegian Professor Glenn Diesen.

An EU document compiled by MEP Andrius Kubilius, a former prime minister of Lithuania, declares Russia a "threat" and calls for deterring it through different means, including Russia's expulsion from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), halting the Nord Stream 2 project, and stepping up sanctions against the country. It specifically targets the Russian government, proposing to launch international probes and trials against it as well as setting up "EU tribunals".

May 29 14:55

Criminal Investigation opened against Swiss ‘National Covid-19 Science Task Force’ for committing Covid Fraud

Criminal charges have been filed against Martin Ackermann, the head of the Swiss National Covid-19 Science Task Force and “possibly other parties involved”, for deliberately and successfully frightening the population in accordance with Art. 258 of the Criminal Code.

May 28 06:06

Is Europe Changing Its Strategy Toward China?

The answer might be yes... and no. The European Parliament’s May 20 resolution freezing any consideration of a long-awaited Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) with China, along with advocacy of a strengthened European Union screening regulations on foreign investment and increased cooperation with the United States on a Transatlantic Dialogue on China, certainly seemed to symbolize a changed European attitude toward China.

May 28 04:08

Is Europe Changing Its Strategy Toward China?

Authored by June Teufel Dreyer via The Epoch Times,

The answer might be yes... and no. The European Parliament’s May 20 resolution freezing any consideration of a long-awaited Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) with China, along with advocacy of a strengthened European Union screening regulations on foreign investment and increased cooperation with the United States on a Transatlantic Dialogue on China, certainly seemed to symbolize a changed European attitude toward China.

May 28 04:04

Sweden Goes From Being One Of The Safest Countries In Europe To The Second Most Dangerous

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

A new investigation finds that Sweden has gone from being one of the safest European countries 20 years ago in terms of gun crime to the second most dangerous.

The study, published by the country’s National Council on Crime Prevention (Brå), reveals that Sweden is the only country on the continent where shootings have increased substantially since the start of the century.

“Most of the fatal shootings in Sweden (around 80 percent) had a link to organised crime, according to the study, a proportion which had risen from 30 to 50 percent in the early 2000s and less than 20 percent in the 1990s. Brå also compared the proportion to other countries: around 60 percent of fatal shootings were linked to organised crime in the Netherlands, while in Finland such events were extremely rare,” reports The Local.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

By not addressing the problem which is right in front of their faces, Swedish politicians appear to be bound and determined to enable the problem to get worse.

May 27 13:01

British Model Stephanie Dubois Dies From Brain Hemorrhage Days After Receiving AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine; Noted Feeling “Horrendous”

SOUTHWEST CYPRUS – Reports indicate that a British model who was living on the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus has suffered a fatal blood clot just days after receiving a shot of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, according to a health official on Monday.

Stephanie Dubois, 39, who was inoculated in Paphos, reportedly had no pre-existing health issues that could explain the occurrence of the blood clot that took her life. After receiving the first dose of the vaccine on May 6, she suffered what had been called a “serious thrombotic episode” and breathing issues and was taken to a hospital in Nicosia, officials say.

May 26 17:59

European Court on Human Rights Bought Spy Agencies’ Spin on Mass Surveillance

By Katitza Rodriguez and Cindy Cohn

The Strasbourg highest human rights court this week affirmed what we’ve long known, that the United Kingdom’s mass surveillance regime, which involved the indiscriminate and suspicionless interception of people’s communications, violated basic human rights to privacy and free expression. We applaud the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Grand Chamber, the court’s highest judicial body of the Council of Europe, for the ruling and for its strong stance demanding new safeguards to prevent privacy abuses beyond those required by the lower court in 2018.

Yet, the landmark decision, while powerful in declaring UK mass interception powers unlawful and failing to protect journalists and employ safeguards to ensure British spy agency GCHQ wasn’t abusing its power, imprudently bought into spy agency propaganda that suspicionless interception powers must be granted to ensure national security...

May 22 05:25

NATO’s war against Yugoslavia: the ghost that still haunts Europe

NATO’s war against Yugoslavia: the ghost that still haunts Europe
Rick Rozoff

Twenty-two years ago today the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was subjected to the 55th straight day of bombardment from the then 19-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with 23 days more to go. Many families in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš daily fled to bomb shelters during the aerial onslaught. The permanent trauma inflicted on millions of civilians, especially children, is perhaps impossible to calculate. And it has been denied or ignored by Europe and the world. As forgotten as the cluster bomb fragments and depleted uranium left behind by NATO’s “humanitarian intervention.”

May 20 06:11

EU agrees to open up to foreign tourists fully vaccinated against Covid-19, but NOT to those who've had Russia’s Sputnik V jab

The European Union’s agreed plan to re-open its borders to foreigners who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will exclude those inoculated with Sputnik V, with the bloc leaving the Russian jab off its approved list.

On Wednesday, ambassadors representing the EU’s 27 member states reached a consensus that people from outside the union may enter its territory if they have received a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the World Health Organization (WHO). This means that the Western Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines, as well as the Chinese Sinopharm jab, will all be accepted.

Despite beginning a rolling review two months ago, the EMA is yet to register Sputnik V. The decision not to accept the jab could inconvenience Russians who were looking to travel abroad in the summer.

May 19 07:27

European database shows 405,250+ covid vaccine injuries, 10,570+ deaths (so far)

The latest data from EudraVigilance, a European vaccine injury and death database, suggests that more people are now getting sick and dying from Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) injections than from the virus itself.

May 16 09:27

Switzerland Cancels it Currency

May 16 05:43

Italians hold large rally in Rome in solidarity with Palestinians

On Saturday, thousands of people flooded Piazza dell'Esquilino, a square in the heart of the Italian capital, to voice their support for Palestinians facing relentless lethal bombing campaigns by the Israeli military over the past days.

The initiative dubbed "Save Jerusalem al-Quds from ethnic cleansing" was called by a number of Palestinian associations based in Italy.

Demonstrators were holding up Palestinian flags, chanting “Free Palestine” and “Stop the killing in Gaza.”

Tel Aviv's relentless aerial bombardment of Gaza has so far killed dozens of Palestinians and injured hundreds of others.

At the protest, representatives of anti-war and humanitarian groups have accused Tel Aviv of using abusive and wanton force against largely peaceful Palestinian protesters. Many fear the tensions in Jerusalem al-Quds will reverberate throughout the region.

May 15 06:09

European Health Commissioner caught in flagrant act of corruption

According to the Audit Office of the Replublic of Cyprus, Health European Commissioner Stélla Kyriakídou, is unable to justify various payments made into a bank account held by her husband, Kyriakos Kyriakídou, on behalf of the Maralo Ltd company.

In her declaration of financial interests, Mrs. Kyriakídou had failed to declare that her husband is the CEO of Maralo Limited.

According to the Court, which has scrutinized the banking transactions of the Kyriakídou family under the “Politically Exposed Persons” (PEP) regulations, the unjustifiable sum would amount to 4 million euros.

European Commissioner Kyriakídou played a central role in the negotiations for the purchase of anti-Covid vaccines. The heads of state and government of the European Council had in fact given her instructions to make a group purchase of vaccines for their respective states, although this modality is not provided for by the Treaties.

May 15 06:04

US plans 'large exercise' in central Europe, attacks Russia

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby has announced multiple war games to be held across Europe, demanding that Russia should open up about its defense drills on its borders.

Kirby on Thursday described Defender Europe 21 underway in central Europe as “a large exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability among NATO allies and partners”.

The maneuvers, he said, are led by US Army-Europe, but has significant US Navy and US Air Force participation.

"The exercise continues with the Virginia class submarine USS New Mexico, arriving in Tromso, Norway, earlier this week," he said at the Pentagon.

"In the next few days, there'll be exercises ongoing in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Germany and North Macedonia."

May 15 05:58

Sweden Receives First American Patriot Missiles as Part of Air Defence Upgrade

With a price tag of at least $1.2 billion in the first phase alone, this procurement is seen as being among Sweden's largest arms deals in modern history, if not the single-largest.

The first missiles for Sweden's new Patriot 103 air defence system have been delivered, Joakim Lewin, the responsible officer at the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has confirmed.

“We will receive further deliveries in 2021, 2022 and 2023,” Joakim Lewin, who oversees future projects, told national broadcaster SVT.

May 15 05:57

‘Together we stand by Israel’s side,’ says Austria’s Kurz & flies Israeli flag. What about dead Gaza children? Twitter users ask

A post by the Austrian chancellor has received a mixed response online. While some, including the Israeli prime minister’s son, welcomed Austria’s condemnation of Palestinian “terrorism,” others slammed Vienna’s side-taking.

“Today was used as a sign of solidarity with #Israel the Israeli flag is hoisted on the roof of the Federal Chancellery,” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz tweeted on Friday, adding “the terrorist attacks on Israel are to be condemned in the strongest! Together we stand by Israel’s side.”

His post, accompanied by a photo of the country’s Chancellery flying the Israeli flag, while supported by some, has drawn extensive criticism on social media, leading some to question ‘Austrian neutrality’.

May 14 10:15

Sweden records 30,000 suspected side effects from Covid vaccines, with AstraZeneca’s jab linked to more than half of all reports

According to the Swedish Medical Products Agency, as of last week, the Scandinavian nation had received 31,844 reports of adverse reactions linked to the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines. Sweden is currently offering three variants of the drug. There are currently 2,103 reports of side effects from the Moderna shot, while the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been associated with 9,117 health issues. But the number of suspected adverse reactions from the two shots seems relatively small when compared to the 19,961 reports linked to AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria.

The most common side effects for all three drugs were fever and headache. Other reported adverse reactions included nausea, joint pain, and dizziness.

May 14 10:13

More than a quarter of EU adults reluctant to get Covid vaccine, survey finds

Vaccine hesitancy rates in the EU are raising alarms, after a survey found that 27% of adults across the bloc said they’d be unlikely to accept a Covid-19 jab, amid a “failure” to persuade people of its efficacy and safety.

May 13 00:53

Plan for Preemptive Strike? Ukraine Says It Could Be Attacked From Belarus.

Speaking to a security forum in Kiev yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said of a potential armed conflict with neighboring Russia, “I think it could be a world war.”

He was responding to a question by a reporter who had asked whether a Russian attack against Ukraine – he specified in September – could be launched not only from the pro-Russian Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the Donbass but also from Crimea and Belarus. Russia and Belarus are scheduled to hold this year’s ZAPAD joint military exercise in September. (The last was conducted in 2017. Western officials and analysts beforehand warned of the participation of over 100,000 troops; in fact the number was closer to 12,000. We can expect to hear inflated figures again ahead of this year’s event.)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, this "telegraphing" in the part of Ukraine tells the world precisely where the next false flag regarding a potential attack against Ukraine is supposed to come from, in September?!?

High school, guys; HIGH SCHOOL!!

May 12 07:49

US submarine docks in Norway, protesters fear becoming ‘bomb target’

A nuclear-powered American submarine has docked at a civilian port in northern Norway, sparking concerns among protesters, who say the deployment would turn the city into a bomb target in the event of a war.

The USS New Mexico submarine arrived in Tønsnes municipal harbor, in Tromsø city, on Monday.

The Norwegian government imposed a no-fly zone over the port, strictly guarding access to the harbor area under tight security.

The military guarding of the port will only last for as long as the submarine stays, said the army.

People gathered at the port to protest the submarine's arrival and the government's failure to "take adequate preventive measures to avert a possible nuclear catastrophe.”

They held banners that read, “US Army out of Norway” and “No nukes in Tromsø.”

May 12 07:37

Lower Chamber of Russian Parliament Votes to Revoke Tax Agreement With Netherlands

At a plenary session on Tuesday, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament voted for revoking a Russian-Dutch agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion.

The Russian government submitted a bill to denounce the agreement to the lower chamber last month.

"If the Russian side submits a notification on agreement denunciation before 30 June 2021, it will be terminated on 1 January 2022", the explanatory note read.

At the same time, the Russian Finance Ministry said it would propose amending taxation deals with Hong Kong, Singapore, and Switzerland.

May 12 07:23

Michel Barnier Calls For 3-5 Year Suspension Of Immigration Into EU

Michel Barnier has called for a 3-5 year suspension of immigration into EU countries, warning that the bloc’s external borders have become a “sieve” for criminals and terrorists.

“I think we have to take the time for three or five years to suspend immigration,” Barnier told French media.

The EU’s former Brexit negotiator cited links between between immigration and “terrorist networks that infiltrate migrational flows” as part of his reasoning for calling for the shutdown, while also highlighting the issue of human trafficking networks.

The comments are particularly noteworthy because Barnier is known as a centrist – even a globalist in some ways – yet he is spouting rhetoric normally espoused by right-wing politicians.

May 12 06:46

With US Assurances, Ukraine Says NATO, EU Membership Main Strategic Goal of Nation

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today opened the All-Ukrainian Forum “Ukraine 30. National Security,” which will continue to May 13. A statement issued beforehand included discussion of “what steps it will take for NATO membership” among other matters.

Interfax-Ukraine reported that Zelensky instructed his cabinet ministers to approve this year’s iteration of the Annual National Program which NATO first granted it in 2008 to prepare the nation for full membership. The program is under the authority of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, established in 1997. The president stated that approval would expedite the achievement of one of the priority goals of his administration: “Ukraine’s integration into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.” The new annual program, he affirmed, would guarantee Ukraine’s “strategic course for the acquisition of Ukraine’s full membership in NATO, enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine.”

May 12 06:45

Massive British, NATO War Games Prepare Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group To Confront Russia and China

This year’s iteration of Britain’s biannual Joint Warrior exercise in the Irish Sea is subsumed under another exercise, Strike Warrior 21, being used to prepare the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, the flagship of the Royal Navy, and its carrier strike group for deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Asia-Pacific region.

Exercise Joint Warrior, held in the spring and autumn every year, is described by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as the largest military exercise in Europe and is organized jointly by the British army, navy and air force. It occurs off the northern and western coasts of Scotland in the Irish Sea. It is one of 95 NATO exercises scheduled for 2021 (113 were scheduled for last year), with 220 other national and multinational exercises conducted in conjunction with them.

May 12 06:07

Estonia Becomes Centre Stage of Anti-Russia Military Exercises

800 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army departed from Fort Bragg in North Carolina last Friday morning for a Swift Response exercise. They were dropped into Estonia in a “joint forcible entry” operation in the early hours of Saturday. The airborne exercise is designed to test the fast response capabilities of the U.S. to defend Estonia in case of a hypothetical war with Russia. It is also part of larger NATO exercises that includes the participation of 30,000 troops doing drills with battlegroups led by the UK in Estonia, Canada in Latvia, Germany in Lithuania and the U.S. in Poland.

In effect, NATO has mobilized tens of thousands of troops right onto Russia’s border. Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern about a NATO building up in Europe and Russian Presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated that Russia does not threaten anyone but will not ignore actions that could endanger its interests.

May 11 05:54

New Intermarium: Biden, NATO Pledge Support to NATO’s Nine-Nation Eastern Flank

The members of the Bucharest Nine (9) NATO eastern flank Allies (White House terminology) held a virtual summit today from the Romanian capital that lends it name to the group.

Participants also included President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The participation of that trio should establish whose interests the group serves.

Though established in 2014, the real history of the Bucharest 9 goes back more than a century as will be demonstrated below, and has ominous implications for the worsening conflict between NATO and Russia.

May 10 06:49

Official: Ukraine Certain of Receiving Lethal Weapons From NATO

Leonid Kravchuk, one of the three signatories to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Ukraine’s first president, told one of his nation’s television networks on May 7 that he was sure of the U.S. and other NATO delivering lethal weapons to Ukraine. Weapons required to continue the seven-year war against the Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the Donbass and for possible armed conflict with Russia.

May 10 05:46

The long shadow of Israel's arm in Europe

Israel has been allowed to get away with far too much for far too long.

As a self-proclaimed "outpost of civilisation in the jungle", Israel has been supported by the forces of European and US imperialism for decades.

The welcome decline of the European empires meant that Israel was – correctly – viewed by them as one of the last ongoing projects of European settler-colonialism in the world. Therefore, Israel has long had much success in appealing to European governments' systemic racism as a motive for political, military and intelligence support.

Western politicians, therefore, often publicly regard Israel to be a "friendly" country – an ally. In private, however, especially among Western intelligence officials, the story is quite different.

May 09 05:16

NATO Allies "Take Over" Black Sea For Military Exercises

The title is courtesy of the Hungary-based Transylvania Now news site. The Pentagon’s Special Operations Command Europe kicked off the Trojan Footprint 21 exercise on May 3; what is identified as its premier special operations forces drills.

The war games will be held until May 14 in five Black Sea and Balkans nations: Bulgaria, Georgia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Romania. Special forces from the U.S. – all branches of the armed forces including Green Berets – the five host nations, Britain, Germany, Spain and Ukraine are involved. With the exception of Turkey, all Black Sea littoral states but Russia are participating.

The exercise is designed for "enhancing interoperability between NATO allies" to prepare for “counter[ing] myriad threats.” Though there aren’t a thousand... only one threat. Russia.

May 07 06:16

EU Accepts US, Canada, Norway in Military Mobilization Project

The European Union (EU) on Thursday authorized the United States, Canada, and Norway to participate in the Permanent Structural Cooperation (PESCO), a project that seeks to streamline the cross-border mobilization of troops and military equipment by land, sea, and air.

Acceptance for the participation of these countries in this program was conditional on their acceptance of several conditions, including the exchange of military information with the EU.

PESCO was established in 2017 as the European response to then-President Donald Trump's threats to diminish U.S. cooperation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

It also emerged as a mechanism to enhance the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) after the consummation of Brexit and in the face of "threats" that might arise from Russia's actions.

May 06 11:33

American Duo Gets Life in Italian Prison for Killing Cop While on Summer Vacation

ROME—Two Americans have been sentenced to life in an Italian prison after a teenage vacation in Rome ended in a brutal fight that left a local police officer dead.

Finnegan Elder, 21, and Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, 20, from California, got themselves into trouble after trying to buy cocaine during their vacation in the summer of 2019. After a botched drug deal, they killed Carabinieri officer Mario Cerciello Rega, 35.

May 06 05:26

Belgian court has no jurisdiction over Iran diplomat: Embassy

Iran’s Embassy in Brussels discredits the self-proclaimed jurisdiction of a Belgian court that has sentenced an Iranian diplomat to 20 years in prison after accusing him of plotting an alleged attack against the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO) anti-Iran terrorist cult.

The embassy released the statement on Wednesday, reiterating the country’s position concerning the February 4 sentence against Assadollah Assadi, the third counsellor at Iran's Embassy in Vienna.

In June 2018, Belgian authorities said that the Belgian police had intercepted a car carrying homemade explosives and a detonation device, claiming that Assadi had handed the materials to two people in Belgium earlier.

Assadi, himself, was apprehended in Germany the next day and told he could not apply his diplomatic immunity.

May 05 05:37

$17.5 Million In Revenue And $5.4 Billion In Losses: Archegos Was A 300x-Levered Time Bomb For Credit Suisse

A bank's prime brokerage unit is supposed to be a safe, reliable and predictable generator of revenue, resulting from modest-margin transactions with a bank's hedge fund client base. It's safe because the bank's risk managers scour the bank's exposure to various hedge funds, and immediately flag any clients that become too big and a potential source of loss (it's also "safe" because the bank's prime brokerage management tends to make far less than the frontline Sales and Trading staff).

That is, at least, the theory. The practice, as the recent Archegos fiasco demonstrated, is anything but.

May 05 05:23

NATO summit to discuss Ukraine’s membership next month. Nuland accompanies Blinken to Kiev.

The president of Ukraine met with the presidents of NATO members Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in the latter’s capital, Warsaw, on May 3 to solidify cooperation against their common adversaries: Russia and Belarus. The five heads of state signed a joint declaration pledging multifaceted cooperation, including on security concerns.

Ukraine’s four partners in the meeting are to the north of it, are on the Baltic Sea and border Russia, its external territory of Kaliningrad and Belarus, Russia’s Union State partner. In fact two of them surround Kaliningrad on the land side, two border Russia proper and three border Belarus. All four nations host NATO Battlegroups and U.S. armed forces assigned to the Pentagon’s Operation Atlantic Resolve.

May 04 08:29

Denmark Ditches J&J COVID Vaccine, Says Benefits ‘Do Not Outweigh Risk’ of Blood Clots

The Danish Health Authority today said it won’t use the Johnson & Johnson shot, citing a possible link to blood clots. The move follows the decision last month to dump AstraZeneca’s vaccine over similar concerns.

May 04 06:29

EU Summons Russian Envoy to Condemn Travel Bans on Its Officials

The European Union summoned Russia's ambassador to the bloc on Monday to condemn Moscow's decision to bar eight officials from entering the country, which the Kremlin said was in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russian citizens by the EU.

The protest is the latest in rising diplomatic tensions since the start of 2021, when Moscow expelled European diplomats during an official visit by the EU's high representative.

The EU has in turn angered Moscow by demanding that Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny should be released from prison, while blacklisting more Russian officials for human rights abuses.

Russia's ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, was summoned "to condemn the decision of the Russian authorities from last Friday to ban eight European Union nationals from entering the territory of the Russian Federation", the EU Commission said in a statement.

May 04 05:56

EU Lawmakers Pledge To Reject EU-China Investment Deal In First Meeting On Beijing's Sanctions

Members of European Parliament have vowed to reject the EU-China Investment Agreement that was awaiting ratification over China’s human rights abuses and sanctions by the ruling communist party.

More than 30 MEPs took the floor on April 28 to denounce China for demanding that the EU stop criticism of its human rights record, saying they won’t ratify the China investment deal unless human rights are addressed first. Some have said outright that they want the deal thrown out.

The comments were made during the European Parliament’s first meeting regarding the Chinese communist regime’s counter-sanctions against EU representatives and entities who sanctioned several Chinese communist officials over human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang in late March.

But the counter-sanctions imperiled the likelihood of the investment deal being ratified.

May 04 05:34

AS EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES VACCINE CERTIFICATE, DOCUMENT PROVES PLANS IN THE WORKS SINCE 2019

On Thursday, the European Union announced plans to move forward to the next phase of rolling out their version of controversial “immunity passports” across Europe. Representatives of the EU member states debated the roll out of the certificate on Wednesday and announced the results on Thursday morning. The vote was 540 yes, 119 no, and 31 abstentions. The implementation of the “EU Covid-19 certificate” is expected to happen in early June.

The EU COVID-19 certificate will be a digital and/or paper certificate with a QR code which allows anyone who has been fully vaccinated, has proof of a negative COVID-19 test, or has recovered from COVID-19, to travel across the European Union. So although these are often referred to as “immunity” passports, they do not necessarily represent immunity or even vaccine status since individuals can also use a negative COVID-19 test to receive one.

May 04 04:50

Ukrainian president to Baltic NATO allies: this is war in Europe

On May 3 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met in Warsaw with his counterparts from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, NATO’s member states on the Baltic Sea. The five heads of state signed a joint declaration on cooperation, including on what was termed common security.

The statement includes the phrase “Mindful of the historical experiences,” which is certainly a reference to domination by Czarist Russia and the Soviet Union in the past. It’s that common history that has united the political leaders of the Baltic states and Poland in the post-Cold War period, many of them American and Canadian nationals or married to such. (E.g., the former President Valdas Adamkus in Lithuania, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in Estonia, President Vaira V??e-Freiberga in Latvia, Foreign Minister and Defense Minister Rados?aw Sikorski’s wife Anne Applebaum in Poland as well as President Viktor Yushchenko’s’s wife Kateryna in Ukraine, etc., etc.)

May 04 04:47

Blinken: US, UK and Allies Must Work Against China’s Threat to ‘International Rules-Based Order’

On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab ahead of an in-person meeting of the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7).

At a joint press conference, Blinken and Raab discussed the need to rally the G7 countries against China and Russia. “We’ll talk about threats to the international rules-based order and to democratic values and human rights,” Blinken said of the G7 meetings that are happening over the next few days.

Blinken and other US officials often claim China is a threat to the so-called “rules-based order.” While the US is clearly following a policy of containment with Beijing, Blinken claims that is not the case. He said the Biden administration’s goal is not to “contain China or to hold China down” but to “uphold the international rules-based order.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Guess who makes up the rules!

May 04 04:47

Brussels Wants War!

As we all have been taught, at its creation what is today called the European Union was conceived as a “peace project.” True, its first iteration in a French-German understanding on managing trade in coal and iron was purely economic. True, a later iteration was the European Economic Community or Common Market, all of which call attention to the economic dimension. However, the framers of these institutional arrangements were motivated by the need to put an end to Europe’s century long civil war, to the cleavage between the biggest economies of the Continent, France and Germany.

Regrettably, that past is now being buried day after day as the European Institutions, in particular the Commission and the Parliament, turn the 27 into NATO by another name, that is, into a war-fighting alliance directed against….Russia under the micromanagement of Washington.

May 03 09:37

May 1st Freedom Rally in Brussels Belgium: Police Violently Assault Peaceful Protesters Without Warning

Labour day in Belgium. The day nobody works. Or at least only a small part does.

This day is traditionally a day when people meet each other and enjoy the changes spring brings to nature. Before 2020, a lot of things were happening on May 1. Things that brought people together, such as fairs and happenings. Things that brought laughter and joy into our lives.

This year, however, for the second time around, it is forbidden to meet each other, to enjoy the company of friends and family. Or more precisely, you can do that but under strict regulations. This so-called pandemic has altered our society in its very essence. Fun is no longer a part of it...

Here is what happened...

May 03 07:52

Dutch couple move into Europe's first 3D-printed home which can be built in just FIVE days - after a machine 'prints' 24 concrete elements in 120 hours

  • Elize Lutz and Harrie Dekkers, from the Netherlands, has moved into Europe's first fully 3D-printed house
  • Home's grey concrete walls look and feel natural, but they are at the cutting edge of construction technology
  • The houses can be built in five days, with the couple, from Amsterdam, receiving their digital key on Friday

A Dutch couple have moved into Europe's first 3D-printed home - which developers claim can be built from scratch in just five days.

Retired Elize Lutz, 70, and 67-year-old Harrie Dekkers' new home in Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, is a 94-square metre two-bedroom bungalow that resembles a boulder with windows.

May 03 06:47

No power, no water, no hope: inside Europe’s largest shanty town

Despite the daily trials her family has to endure – a pandemic, three months with no electricity and now days without running water since Storm Filomena froze the pipes and left Madrid under a lingering duvet of snow – Sara Benayad has not forgotten the importance of hospitality.

She would welcome the powers-that-be to join her in the novel ritual into which the absence of water has forced her. Every night before bed, Benayad fills saucepans and buckets with snow that must be melted on the gas stove the next morning so there is water for washing and for the dishes.

“I’d really like anyone who’s responsible for this to come and spend the night with us,” she says. “We’d be honoured to have them. They can sleep in my house and suffer and live what we’re living. Maybe then they’d do something.”

May 03 06:23

European Double-Think Blames China For Endangering Peace

The European Union excelled in double-think this week when it censured China for “endangering peace” in the South China Sea while at the same time European states are sending an unprecedented number of warships to the Indo-Pacific region.

Germany is soon deploying a frigate to the South China Sea for the first time since 2002.

France has just returned a nuclear-powered attack submarine after a 100-day patrol of the Asian region.

The Netherlands is to join a British flotilla in what could be the most provocative naval maneuver yet.

Next month, Britain is dispatching its largest naval fleet since the 1982 Falklands War, headed by its new flagship aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth. The carrier strike group will include two guided-missile destroyers, two anti-submarine frigates, and a nuclear attack submarine. Onboard the aircraft carrier are F-35 fighter jets. Warships from the United States and the Netherlands are also participating in the British expedition.

May 03 06:14

Belgian police detain 132 in virus restrictions protest

Police have detained 132 people who took part in an illegal party in a Brussels park to protest COVID-19 restrictions, authorities said Sunday.

About 15 people, including protesters and police, were injured in clashes, police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere said.

About 2,000 revelers and protesters had massed in the park Saturday for the second time in a month, and police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse them.

Scattered around, police and protesters clashed until deep in the evening. The government and police had warned people for a week to stay away from the party to no avail. Clashes erupted after big crowds started gathering late in the afternoon.

Some protesters gathered around a bonfire shouting “Freedom!” and “Where is the party? Here is the party!” Some pelted the police with objects.

Belgium still has strict rules banning major gatherings and insists on people wearing face masks in large crowds.

May 02 07:43

Countries Spending the Most on War

According to a new report, total global military expenditure rose to $1.8 trillion in 2018, a 2.6% increase from the previous year.

Military spending in China rose for the 24th year in a row. While overall military spending in the U.S. is down compared to a decade prior, due largely to the conclusion and de-escalation of two of the most expensive wars in its history, but military spending in the United States increased for the first time in seven years. These two countries account for such a substantial share of total global arms expenditure that their two increases in military spending alone largely explain the global increase.

The United States and China are by no means the only world powers that spend billions each year on the military. The top 14 military spenders, after the United States, can be found on five continents, and each has its own vast web of military and political alliances. Some are allies; others bitter enemies.

May 02 05:54

Protesters clash with police, set up GUILLOTINE with effigy of PM in Turin, Italy amid May Day protest (VIDEO)

Riot police clashed with protesters in Turin to prevent them from reaching Town Hall. Official Labor Day celebrations with Covid-19 restrictions were taking place indoors, while hundreds took to the streets.

More than a thousand people carrying red flags and banners gathered in Turin for the traditional May demonstrations, Italian news agency ANSA reported. Several processions moved through the streets and gathered in a square by Town Hall. One of the biggest banners read: “Health crisis, social crisis, ecological crisis, to save ourselves we must change the system.” Protesters also made an improvised guillotine with an effigy of Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

May 02 05:54

Police speed into Brussels protest with trucks, blast demonstrators with water cannon (VIDEOS)

Police in Brussels wasted no time in dispersing protesters and illegal partiers from a park, rushing in at breakneck speed in tanker trucks and dousing the demonstrators in water.

Last month’s April Fools ‘La Boum’ party drew thousands of people to a nonexistent concert in the Belgian capital of Brussels, for a gathering that turned into an impromptu protest against the country’s coronavirus restrictions. Police cracked down hard on the gathering, and shocking video footage showed mounted cops mowing participants down to the ground.

The revelers returned to the La Cambre woods on Saturday to show their displeasure with Belgium’s ongoing restrictions. While the country’s lockdown was relaxed last month, strict limits on gatherings remain in place.

May 01 18:37

Austrian Court Rules PCR Unsuited For COVID, Lockdowns Unlawful

Following the Portuguese, German and Dutch rulings, now the Austrian court has ruled that PCR tests are not suitable for COVID-19 diagnosis and that lockdowns has no legal or scientific basis.

The Vienna Administrative Court granted a complaint by the FPÖ against the prohibition of its meeting registered for January 31 in Vienna.

“The prohibition was wrong,” the court said says in the ruling (read judgement below).

The court stated on the basis of scientific studies that the grounds for the prohibition put forward by the Vienna State Police Department are completely unfounded.

Apr 30 14:00

Opera upgrades user access to decentralized web via Unstoppable Domains

Chromium-based web browser Opera is all set to fully integrate with blockchain domain name provider Unstoppable Domains in a bid to provide millions of its users with decentralized web access.

Opera users will now be able to access decentralized websites hosted via IPFS using Unstoppable Domains’ popular .crypto NFT addresses from the Opera browser. This will include platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows, Mac or Linux.

Right now, Opera has over 320 million monthly active users across its offerings, following the addition of a crypto wallet to its browsers in 2019.

Crypto domains
Users of Unstoppable Domains are granted full ownership and control when they claim a domain because it is minted as an NFT on the Ethereum blockchain.

Domain names such as .crypto replace complex wallet addresses for payments across over 40 cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges in addition to accessing the decentralized web through Opera.

Apr 30 08:24

The Grim Secret of Nordic Happiness

Is hygge still a thing? The Danish concept of comfortable conviviality and all things cozy is supposed to capture the essence of Danish culture and has been marketed as the secret for happy living. A few years back, there was a surge of hygge-related books, articles, and household products. Journalists from around the world were touring Denmark to document various aspects of this unique lifestyle. The enthusiasm around Denmark was stimulated by the nation’s reputation of being the happiest country in the world. However, last time I checked, the designer store across the street here in Ann Arbor, Michigan, had moved its selection of Hygge branded candles to the clearance corner.

Apr 30 08:01

Largest Since the Cold War: Massive US-Led War Games Move to the Balkans

The DEFENDER-Europe 2021 military exercises led by U.S. Army Europe and Africa which began a month and a half ago and are scheduled to run through June, are now concentrating on the Balkans. In all the Pentagon has reported that the drills were to occur at thirty locations in twelve nations, and involve anywhere from 28,000 to 31,000 to 37,000 troops from as many as 27 nations. By the very nature of such exercises we only learn what military press releases and their news agencies rewrites choose to disclose, but it’s evident that the DEFENDER-Europe exercises underway may well be the largest U.S. and allied war games in Europe since the Cold War.

Again, the exact location of each component of the exercises is not generally divulged, but it can be gathered by what has been released that airborne, missile defense and other drills have occurred or will occur from the Baltic to the Black to the Adriatic Seas; along Russia’s western sea borders (with Ukraine in between).

Apr 30 07:22

Why can’t the EU say the word apartheid?

Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch issued a landmark report concluding that Israel commits the crimes of apartheid and persecution against the Palestinian people.

Israel has “pursued an intent to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians throughout the territory it controls,” the group states.

The crime of apartheid is one of the crimes against humanity enumerated in the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court – putting it in the same category as enslavement and extermination.

With its report, Human Rights Watch joins growing calls for an approach based on rights and accountability, rather than the long dead “peace process” that has for decades provided an alibi for international inaction as Israel entrenches its colonial grip on the Palestinian people and their land.

Apr 30 06:45

EU Parliament Passes Resolution Proposing Anti-Russia Sanctions in Case of ‘Ukraine Invasion’

The resolution, which recommends cutting Russia off from SWIFT, halting the purchase of Russian energy, and other tough measures, was tabled by a group of Eastern European lawmakers in the European Parliament. Along with claims that Russia may be preparing to "invade Ukraine," the resolution goes on to blame Moscow for a litany of other crimes.

The European Parliament in Brussels has passed a resolution threatening a series of tough anti-Russian measures in the event of a Russian "invasion" of Ukraine.

The measure, tabled by MEPs hailing from Poland, the Baltic states, and Romania, was passed on Thursday with 569 of the legislature's 705 members voting in favour, while 67 opposed, and 46 abstained.

Apr 30 05:33

Russia Expels Diplomats From Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia

The tit-for-tat response follows last week's decision by the three Baltic republics to expel several Russian diplomats from their respective embassies "in solidarity" with the Czech Republic amid the spat between Moscow and Prague over Russia's alleged involvement in ammunition depot explosions in 2014. Moscow has vocally denied the allegations.

Moscow made good on its promise to respond to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia's move to expel Russian diplomats on Wednesday, accusing the three countries of pursuing an "overtly hostile course" in relations vis-a-vis Russia.

The expulsions come in the wake of the summoning of diplomats from the three Baltic nations to the Foreign Ministry building, where the Russian side expressed its "resolute protest" to the respective heads of each country's diplomatic mission about their "provocative and groundless" decision to expel Russian diplomats last week.

Apr 29 09:31

EU crisis: Eurozone facing a bankruptcy ‘tsunami’ – economists issue dire warning

The European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) has delivered a damning assessment of the economic crisis in Europe as much of the continent continues to battle a third wave of coronavirus infections. The finance body, chaired by European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde, warned firms may struggle to stay afloat as they continue to rely on emergency life-support funding from the state.

Thousands of businesses across the eurozone, including in France and Germany, remain closed due to strict lockdown rules.

The dire outlook from the ESRB comes despite firms across the bloc claiming grants, tax breaks and loans to the tune of £1.3trillion.

The latest report by the ESRB said: “In a worst-case scenario, the postponed insolvencies would suddenly materialise and trigger a recessionary dynamic, potentially causing further insolvencies.

“The current low rate of insolvencies would then be similar to the sea retreating before a tsunami.”

Apr 29 05:58

Europe rejects candidate for human rights court with ties to George Soros

A recent report by the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) shows that numerous judges at the Council of Europe’s Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have close connections with left-wing billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundation. Now, in a remarkable victory against the packing of the Court with Soros affiliates, the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe rejected the candidacy of yet another Open Society employee. Instead, Frédéric Krenc was chosen, a Belgian lawyer, “less political and more competent,” according to the ECLJ.

Apr 27 13:51

Scandinavian Countries Tighten Requirements For New Citizens

All three Scandinavian nations are making the process of gaining citizenship more challenging for foreign-born residents. The governments of Denmark, Norway and Sweden have all made or are proposing changes to their respective citizenship laws this year.

All three counties now permit citizens to hold other citizenships, following a law change in Norway that entered into force in 2020. But the process by which someone can apply for Danish, Norwegian or Swedish citizenship varies considerably.

Controversial changes in Denmark
Denmark already has strict immigration laws but a cross-party parliamentary majority has agreed to a series of legislative changes to tighten requirements even more.

The measures will prevent people who have been sentenced for a crime from ever obtaining Danish citizenship, while people fined for a range of lesser crimes will have to wait six years before applying.

Apr 26 10:53

Lest we forget: Israel’s armed aggression against the Christian Church

Stuart Littlewood reminds us of the gratuitous brutality visited upon the Church of the Nativity – the most famous of Christian churches — by the Israeli occupation army and the wanton, murderous brutality inflicted by the Israelis on the church's occupants.>>

Apr 26 09:33

Most of Holland's 11million doses of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine will go UNUSED after government restricted its use on under-60s despite soaring cases

Jaap van Deldon, who heads the vaccination department at Holland's public health institute, admitted that millions of the ordered Covid-19 doses will not be needed after the government restricted its use on under-60s due to concerns about incredibly rare blood clots.

Apr 23 08:05

Marine Le Pen Looking Like a Win

Apr 22 09:56

Three New York City men allegedly stole more than $30 million in cash and other valuables as part of an elaborate money-laundering scheme that involved using spy cameras to break into safe deposit boxes around the world. The Department of Justice on Tues

Three New York City men allegedly stole more than $30 million in cash and other valuables as part of an elaborate money-laundering scheme that involved using spy cameras to break into safe deposit boxes around the world.

The Department of Justice on Tuesday charged Val Cooper, 56, Alex Levin, 52, and Gari Smith, 49, with money laundering and conspiracy, as well as conspiracy to violate the Travel Act after they allegedly stole the massive sum from banks’ safe deposit boxes between March 2015 and October 2019. Some of the banks were in Ukraine, Russia, North Macedonia, Moldova, Latvia, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan—businesses that “appeared to lack security features, including video surveillance cameras in certain areas,” prosecutors said.

Apr 22 06:22

RISK: Do EURO BANKS Hide Risk As The ECB Says?

Apr 21 04:32

Several Dozen US Fighter Jets Land in Poland for Air Combat Drills

U.S. Air Force and Polish government sources confirm that American F-15 and F-16 fighter jets have arrived in Poland for joint exercises with host country aircraft; as a Radio Poland report phrases it, “amid concerns over a Russian troop build-up on the border with neighbouring Ukraine.” The exercises are preplanned though the message they send against the backdrop of Ukrainian-Russian tensions can’t be misinterpreted.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz B?aszczak announced that several dozen of the F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons landed at Polish airfields and will operate out of air bases in Lask and Krzesiny. The warplanes were accompanied by C-130 military transport planes. U.S. fighter jet squadrons typically consist of twenty-four planes each.

While in Poland the aircraft will participate in an Agile Combat Employment exercise. Last year Defense News described the nature and purpose of Agile Combat Employment:

Apr 21 04:10

Proposal to ban ALL Russians from EU would hurt bloc’s economy, Moscow warns, after ex-Estonian president pitches radical policy20 Apr, 2021 13:47

An iron curtain has descended across Europe. Or at least it will if Estonia’s former president is able to convince Brussels to completely close its borders to Russian students, workers and tourists amid growing political tensions.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who led the Baltic nation for a decade until 2016, proposed the policy on Saturday. “Maybe there should be a ‘time out’ for any and I mean any visits from Russia,” he said. “Just freeze visas except for family emergencies. It is Europe’s security at stake.”

Ilves, who was raised and educated in the US, served as the head of the Estonian desk for Washington’s state-run overseas media service Radio Free Europe during the final years of the Cold War. He was later appointed as Tallinn’s ambassador in Washington. Since stepping down from his country’s top job, he has taken a number of roles with prestigious think tanks and as a co-chair of the World Economic Forum.

Apr 19 11:33

EU estimates 150,000 Russian troops near Ukraine’s borders

The European Union’s foreign policy chief has estimated that more than 150,000 Russian troops have already amassed for the biggest military buildup ever near Ukraine’s borders and that it will only take “a spark” to set off a confrontation.

Josep Borrell also said Monday that the condition of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was “critical” and that the 27-nation group would hold the Kremlin accountable for his health and safety.

Despite the developments, Borrell said after a virtual meeting of the EU foreign ministers that, “for the time being, there is no move in the field of more sanctions” to be imposed on Russia.

He also said there wasn’t a request for a synchronized EU diplomatic move of expulsions in the standoff between Czech Republic, an EU member state, and Russia following Prague’s accusation that Moscow was involved in a 2014 ammunition depot explosion.

Apr 19 05:39

Norway: 40,000 Troops in Arctic To Train for ‘Larger Global Conflict Involving Russia in the North-Atlantic

The Barents Observer reports that next year’s Cold Response war games in northern Norway will include the participation of 40,000 troops. The biennial exercise has been conducted since 2006 when 10,000 military personnel were involved. The last iteration in 2020 included 15,000 service members but was cancelled after two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak. So next year’s Cold Response will feature a qualitative increase in the number of soldiers involved. In fact that number will be the largest in any Arctic exercise since the Cold War.

Cold Response 2020’s 15,000 participants came from NATO members Norway, the U.S., Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands and NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner Finland and Sweden. Traditionally invitations have been extended to all NATO members and partners to participate.

Apr 17 05:08

EU Parliament session gets chaotic as MEP accused of 'fake news' for daring to question OPCW on whistleblower scandal (VIDEO)

Despite whistleblower leaks casting doubts on the OPCW’s findings, the EU Parliament is determined to enforce the organization’s anti-Assad line on Syria. MEP Mick Wallace was accused of spreading “fake news” when he spoke out.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has taken an intense interest in Syria’s civil war, and has accused President Bashar Assad of deploying chemical weapons against his own people on several occasions. Its conclusions have twice been used to justify US military action against Syria, and a new OPCW report on Monday found “reasonable grounds” to suspect that a Syrian Army helicopter dropped chemical weapons on the town of Saraqib in 2018.

The OPCW’s reports are good news for Western interventionists, but the organization is not without its critics.

Apr 16 06:59

EU 'unlikely to buy any more AstraZeneca jabs' after blood clot fears while Merkel tries to push through curfews in Germany despite admitting they are 'not a bullet proof solution'

The European Union is unlikely to order any more AstraZeneca vaccines despite the continent's slow jab roll-out after data showed it very rarely causes blood clots.

While no decision has been confirmed, French industry minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said today that 'it is highly probable' no further doses will be ordered.

Apr 15 04:50

China's Threat To Free Speech In Europe

China has imposed sanctions on more than two dozen European and British lawmakers, academics and think tanks. The move comes after the European Union and the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on Chinese officials for human rights abuses in China's Xinjiang region.

China contends that its sanctions are tit for tat — morally equivalent retaliation — in response to those imposed by Western countries. This is false. The European sanctions are for crimes against humanity, whereas the Chinese sanctions seek to silence European critics of the Chinese Communist Party.

The current standoff is, in essence, about the future of free speech in Europe. If notoriously feckless European officials fail to stand firm in the face of mounting Chinese pressure, Europeans who dare publicly to criticize the CCP in the future can expect to pay an increasingly high personal cost for doing so.

Apr 15 04:47

Italy Expels Russian Diplomats Over "Extremely Serious" NATO Spy Case

What's being described as an "extremely serious incident" and fast escalating spy case has resulted in the Italian government expelling two Russian diplomats from the country on Wednesday. Russian Ambassador Sergei Razov had been immediately summoned and informed of the drastic punitive action.

The case reportedly involves an Italian navy captain who was caught passing secret documents belonging to the NATO member state to a Russian military official on Tuesday night. The Italian navy officer is alleged to have received money in return.

Apr 13 06:17

Foreign Ministry spokesman: Iran mulls reciprocal sanctions on EU, suspends all talks with bloc

The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry says the Islamic Republic is considering counter-sanctions in response to new bans imposed on several Iranian individuals and entities by the European Union while suspending all talks with the bloc in various fields.

Saeed Khatibzadeh made the remarks on Monday after the European Union announced it has imposed sanctions ranging from travel bans to asset freezes on eight Iranian individuals, including the chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami, and three prisons on baseless human rights-related grounds.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is considering reciprocal sanctions in reaction to the EU’s measure, whose details will be announced later,” the spokesman said, adding, “Iran strongly condemns this measure and considers it as lacking any credebility.”

Apr 11 19:41

‘Up to 80%’ of people in Sicily refusing AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine over safety concerns

The vast majority of people offered the Oxford/AstraZeneca anti-Covid vaccine Vaxzevria on the southern Italian island of Sicily are refusing to take it, according to the region’s president, Nello Musumeci.

“In Sicily, there is an 80% refusal rate of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Every 100 people, 80 say no,” Musumeci said late Saturday night, according to media reports.

Apr 11 07:30

European Plans For ‘Vaccine Passports’ Were In Place 20 Months Prior To The Pandemic. Coincidence?

With the world being told that so-called ‘vaccine passports’ will be required for all international travel in future, and in many countries even to enter shops, restaurants, bars, gyms, hotels, theatres, concerts and sports events, the impression we are being given is that the measure is a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. In Europe, however, which hosts 8 of the top 10 pharmaceutical exporting countries, planning for vaccine passports began at least 20 months prior to the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Apparently, the pandemic conveniently provided European politicians with the ‘excuse’ they needed to introduce the idea.

The ‘European Commission’ – the executive body of Europe – first published a proposal for vaccine passports on 26 April 2018. Buried deep in a document dealing with ‘Strengthened Cooperation against Vaccine Preventable Diseases’, the proposal was essentially ignored by the mainstream media.

Apr 10 11:42

Despite vaccination success, Hungary sets daily record COVID deaths

Hungary is suffering a devastating surge in COVID-19 deaths, despite the fact it has the highest vaccination rate in the European Union.

It set a new daily death record on Wednesday with 302 fatalities and currently has the highest weekly death rate per one million inhabitants in the world.

The country is in its fourth week of a new round of lockdown measures as the government tried to get hospitalisations and deaths under control.

The deaths come in spite of its ambitious vaccination programme that is leading the way in the EU, with the country boosting its supplies with China’s Sinopharm and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines.

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