The front runner in Austria’s Sunday election ended his campaign with a familiar message : Sebastian Kurz pledged to make Austria great again. He is set to become the world’s youngest leader, ahead of France’s Emmanuel Macron, who is 39… oh and North Korea’s 34-year-old Kim Jong-un, of course. ‘I want to put Austria back on top,’ he told an adoring crowd in Wiener Neustadt according to the Telegraph. ‘I want to provide security and order, because the Austrian people deserve it.’ *** Austrians are voting Sunday in the country’s National Council elections, where according to recent polls the country’s 6.4 million voters are likely to ditch the current coalition in favor of a new government backed by anti-immigration nationalists and headed by a 31-year-old Millennial.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 15, 2017.
It didn’t take long for Europe’s biggest nations – the other signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka the Iran Nuclear Deal – as well as Russia, to slam Trump’s unilateral decision to decertify the Iran agreement and, in the process, put the entire deal in jeopardy. Moments ago, in a joint statement, Theresa May, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron all reiterated their commitment to the JCPOA, expressed their concern by the possible implications of Trump’s decision not to recertify the deal, and urged the US to think hard before taking further steps that might undermine it further. Here is the statement they released together moments ago: We, the Leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom take note of President Trump’s decision not to recertify Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to Congress and are concerned by the possible implications. We stand committed to the JCPoA and its full implementation by all sides. Preserving the JCPoA is in our shared national security interest. The nuclear deal was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and was a major step towards ensuring that Iran’s nuclear programme is not diverted for military purposes. The JCPoA was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2231. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with the JCPoA through its long-term verification and monitoring programme. Therefore, we encourage the US Administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the US and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the JCPoA, such as re-imposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 13, 2017.
In France, tens of thousands of people went to the streets for the first time in ten years in protest against Macron. All 5.4 million public employees went on strike. The protests are directed against the planned elimination of 120,000 official posts and the end of the welfare state as many see it. In addition, Parliament has authorized President Emanuel Macron to implement the disputed labor market reforms by means of regulations.
In May 2011, a New York grand jury indicted the powerful former head of the International Monetary Fund and the man presumed by many to be on his way to becoming the next President of France, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The indictment stemmed from allegations that he had sexually assaulted a maid, Nafissatou Diallo, in his hotel suite in New York. But then Strauss-Kahn unleashed his powerful legal team and global PR firm and by August the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, had dropped the case. (See our prior coverage here and here.) Strauss-Kahn, known as DSK, had much in common at the time with the Harvey Weinstein matter today. DSK was a powerful man with powerful political friends. He had lawyers and a major PR firm ready to spring into action over allegations of being a sexual predator when they arose. Now, it turns out that DSK had one other thing in common with Harvey Weinstein. The Manhattan DA, Cyrus Vance, also failed to prosecute a case against Harvey Weinstein brought to it by the New York Police Department in 2015. The failure to prosecute Weinstein by Cyrus Vance was detailed in an article yesterday at the New Yorker based on a 10-month investigation by writer Ronan Farrow. The article expands dramatically on the report last week in the New York Times and includes far more serious charges. Farrow writes: ‘Three women – among them [Asia] Argento and a former aspiring actress named Lucia Evans – told me that Weinstein raped them, allegations that include Weinstein forcibly performing or receiving oral sex and forcing vaginal sex. Four women said that they experienced unwanted touching that could be classified as an assault.’
The Spanish Government is clearly fascist and cannot escape that stigma. The day before the appearance of Carles Puigdemont in front of the regional parliament of Catalonia, the Madrid government has come out and warned of serious bodily threats that one would expect only from a dictator – not an elected democratic government. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s spokesperson, Pablo Casado, came out and rejected all calls for any dialogue in Madrid with Catalonia. ‘We will not give in, and there is nothing to negotiate with the putschists,’ said Casado. Casados boldly stated publicly: ‘Anyone who declares it (independence) will end up like the one who declared it 83 years ago.’ In Spanish history back in 1934, Llus Companys i Jover (1882-1940) was the head of Catalonia’s government, which proclaimed itself as an independent state back then as well. He and the entire regional government were arrested after a few hours by the Spanish army. He was exiled to France in 1939 but would not leave because his son was seriously ill. In 1940, Companys was captured and was handed over by the Nazi Gestapo to the dictator Francisco Franco (1939-1975). He was executed in Barcelona at 6:30 a.m. on October 15, 1940 for seeking Catalonian Independence. Llus refused to wear a blindfold, and was taken before a firing squad of Civil Guards barefoot. When they fired, his last words were ‘Per Catalunya!’ (For Catalonia!). Keep in mind that people were imprisoned for even speaking Catalonia’s language.
You are probably aware that you are incompletely informed about what is brewing in Myanmar, and you probably haven’t heard about the military coalition that is preparing to attack that country. And yet, as Thierry Meyssan reveals here, these current events have been in preparation by Riyadh and Washington since 2013. Don’t take sides before you read this article and digest the information. Pursuing its Grand Strategy of extending the theatre of war , the Pentagon is at the same time preparing the instrumentation of the Kurds in the Greater Middle East, a civil war in Venezuela and a war of attrition in the Philippines. However, these conflicts will have to wait for the implementation of a fourth theatre of operations – namely Burma, China’s next-door neighbour. During the meeting of the UN Security Council on 28 September, the US ambassador and several of her allies accused Myanmar’s coalition government of genocide . This loaded word – which, in European law, designates the massacre of a great number of people, but in US law applies to a method of killing, even if the criminal kills only one person – is enough for Washington to justify a war, with or without the backing of the Security Council, as we saw in Yugoslavia . The meeting of the Security Council was held at the request of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). In order to make the facts correspond to their narrative, the United States, the United Kingdom and France, which had celebrated Aung San Suu Kyi and the Buddhist monks for their non-violent resistance to the dictatorship of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) during the Saffron revolution in 2007 , simply redefined the Burmese army, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi , and all the Buddhists in the country  as ‘the bad guys’.
An unidentified group of assailants attacked and killed soldiers from both the US and Niger in an ambush near the Niger-Mali border on Wednesday, according to CNN and local French-language media. Three green berets were killed in the incident, the first US casualties in a mission to assist local troops against Al Qaeda’s African branch, and five soldiers from Niger were also killed. Specifically, the attack occurred in Niger about 120 miles from Niger’s capital Niamay in an area where militants have conducted cross-boarder raids, the New York Times reported. Two other green berets were wounded. The US has maintained a small military presence in the northwest African country with small groups of US Special Operations Forces advising local troops as they battle two terrorist groups: the ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram – which is based in neighboring Nigeria – and al Qaeda’s North African branch, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The group has maintained a presence in the Mali-Niger border area, despite a multi-year French-led military counterterrorism effort, Operation Barkhane, which began in 2014. “We can confirm reports that a joint US and Nigerien patrol came under hostile fire in southwest Niger,” Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, a spokesman for Africa Command, which oversees US troops in the region, told CNN. “We are working to confirm details on the incident and will have more information as soon as we can confirm facts on the ground,” Falvo added. CNN reports that the US military has largely played a supporting role in the battle against the regional Al Qaeda branch, providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets to support French and local forces. France has a presence of thousads of troops in the area, who are leading a coalition including forces from Germany, Mali, Niger and other countries in the region. The US is also building a drone base near Agadez in Niger to help bolster its counterterrorism efforts, just like it did in South Yemen, the reputed home of Al Qaeda.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 4, 2017.
Based on the principle that transformative world events are not random, but are in fact predictable, Stratfor develops decade, annual and quarterly forecasts. These forecasts are built upon Stratfor’s geopolitical methodology, our framework for identifying and forecasting the fundamental trends shaping the international system. Below are the global trends highlighted in Stratfor’s forecast for the fourth-quarter of 2017. The complete forecast is available at Stratfor Worldview. Forecast Highlights North Korea’s nuclear ambitions will occupy most of the United States’ attention as Washington searches for ways to halt the progress of Pyongyang’s weapons program, even as China and Russia continue to subtly prop up their belligerent neighbor. Distracted by North Korea, the United States will not be willing to create another headache for itself by withdrawing from its nuclear deal with Iran. Russia, meanwhile, will deepen its involvement in several conflicts around the world to strengthen its own bargaining position in talks with the United States. The White House will keep putting its trade policies into practice in the fourth quarter, but despite its tough talk in the opening phase of NAFTA negotiations, the United States will have a hard time persuading Mexico and Canada to meet its steep demands. Across the Atlantic, Europe will turn to the difficult task of reforming institutions within the European Union and eurozone now that national elections in France and Germany have wrapped up.
I’ve seen a lot of videos and photos of the Catalonia attempt to hold a referendum today (Tyler has a ‘nice’ series of them), and what struck me most of all, apart from the senseless violence police forces were seen to engage in, is the lack of violence on the side of protesters. *** So when I see the Interior Ministry claim that 11 policemen were injured, that is hard to take serious. Not that the Catalans had no reason to resist or even fight back. That hundreds of protesters, including scores of grandma’s, are injured is obvious from watching the videos. Since rubber bullets were used in large numbers, fatal injuries are quite possible. Policemen hitting peaceful older ladies till they bleed is shocking, and we are all shocked. Many of us will be surprised too, but we shouldn’t be. Spain is still the land of Franco, and his followers continue to exert great influence in politics, police and military. And it’s not just them: one video from Madrid showed people singing a fascist theme from the France era.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 2, 2017.
San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting would like for you to know that he has every intention of introducing new legislation in 2018 that will (i) make it much more difficult for low-income Californians to buy affordable vehicles and (ii) increase greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, Ting didn’t word it in exactly that way but his proposal to ban combustion-engine vehicles will inevitably result in both of the unintended consequences above. As the Sacramento Bee points out this morning, Ting has promised to introduce his destructive legislation in January saying at some point you just need to “put a line in the sand.” France and the United Kingdom are doing it. So is India. And now one lawmaker would like California to follow their lead in phasing out gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. When the Legislature returns in January, Assemblyman Phil Ting plans to introduce a bill that would ban the sale of new cars fueled by internal-combustion engines after 2040. The San Francisco Democrat said it’s essential to get California drivers into an electric fleet if the state is going to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets, since the transportation sector accounts for more than a third of all emissions. ‘The market is moving this way. The entire world is moving this way,’ Ting said. ‘At some point you need to set a goal and put a line in the sand.’ ‘California is used to being first. But we’re trying to catch up to this,’ Ting said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 30, 2017.
With polls closing shortly, Germany voted on Sunday in the country’s federal elections, with long-serving Chancellor Angela Merkel looks certain to win a historic fourth term in office (see full preview here). Absent last minute drama, the poll is also expected to see the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) entering parliament for the first time. The only outstanding question today is which other party or parties will join the chancellor’s Christian Democrats coalition in her new government Polls opened at 8am (06:00 GMT) and first projections are expected when the polls close at 6pm. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged people to go vote. “Voting is a civic duty. Go and vote!” Steinmeier wrote in an opinion piece published in the Bild am Sonntag Sunday newspaper. “Every vote counts – your vote counts,” Steinmeier doubled down, hoping to avoid the recent plunge in voter participation observed in France. “People who don’t vote allow others to decide the future of our country.” Some 61.5 million people are eligible to vote, and turnout was expected to be higher than the 71.5% of voters who turned up at the polls at the last election four years ago, however amid overcast skies and rain in much of Germany, turnout was little changed from the previous election in 2013, reaching 41.1% at 2 p.m. Berlin time, four hours before the close of voting.
This post was published at Zero Hedge by Tyler Durden/ Sep 24, 2017.
Camille Otrakji Creative Syria – 2015 [Editor’s note: this article was written in 2015] ‘America and France should broaden their outreach to Syrian dissidents, human rights groups, artists, professors – indeed, almost anyone who’s willing to talk with outsiders. They should convey the message that the West is standing with the Syrian people as they move into the future. When Syria is truly ripe for change, these helping hands can ensure a safe passage.’ ~ David Ignatius, a 2005 article titled ‘Careful with Syria’ The ‘America and France’ that Mr. Ignatius called on to motivate Syrians to rebel against their government was actually a group of westerners residing in Damascus: Diplomats, NGO management and staff, resident journalists and professional photographers, students studying Arabic in Damascus. Not all of course, but many. There are three different headings under which countries in the Middle East are classified as far as the United States is concerned; Most valuable allies; Israel and Saudi Arabia Well-behaved allies; Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt (and many more) Pressure/destabilization targets; Syria, and Iran. If Syria’s authoritarian leadership (‘regime’) had an inherent propensity to distrust the intentions of resident foreigners eager to befriend Syrians, their extensive experience with the consequences of such contacts turned their caution into paranoia. They would question or detain anyone who travels to attend private meetings, workshops or conferences without prior arrangements with the Syrian security services. Syrians who frequently visited foreign embassies in Damascus (4thof July events, dinners at Ambassador’s house …etc.) were never trusted again.
Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org, If a U. S. president calls an adversary ‘Rocket Man … on a mission to suicide,’ and warns his nation may be ‘totally destroyed,’ other ideas in his speech will tend to get lost. Which is unfortunate. For buried in Donald Trump’s address is a clarion call to reject transnationalism and to re-embrace a world of sovereign nation-states that cherish their independence and unique identities. Western man has engaged in this great quarrel since Woodrow Wilson declared America would fight in the Great War, not for any selfish interests, but ‘to make the world safe for democracy.’ Our imperialist allies, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, regarded this as self-righteous claptrap and proceeded to rip apart Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Ottoman Empire and to feast on their colonies. After World War II, Jean Monnet, father of the EU, wanted Europe’s nations to yield up their sovereignty and form a federal union like the USA. Europe’s nations would slowly sink and dissolve in a single polity that would mark a giant leap forward toward world government – Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s ‘Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.’ Charles De Gaulle lead the resistance, calling for ‘a Europe of nation-states from the Atlantic to the Urals.’ For 50 years, the Gaullists were in constant retreat. The Germans especially, given their past, seemed desirous of losing their national identity and disappearing inside the new Europe.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.
An 18-year-old man was arrested by British police in the city of Dover in connection with Friday’s rush hout “terrorist” bombing of a London subway train, calling the arrest ‘significant’ but warned that the country’s threat level remained at its highest, “critical” point. ‘We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning. Although we are pleased with the progress made, this investigation continues and the threat level remains at critical,’ Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said. It was unclear if the man arrested was the person believed responsible for the attack, which has been classified as terrorism. Late on Friday, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the improvised bomb attack via its news agency, Amaq, saying it was carried out by a ‘detachment.’ There was no independent indication of the group’s role. In another separate statement, Islamic State said it had deployed several explosives but only one detonated. That too couldn’t be independently verified. The man was arrested in the port area of the city, a major hub for ferry transport between the U. K. and France. Authorities have been urgently tracking down leads in the attack, searching through security camera footage and other information. ‘The 18-year-old man was arrested by Kent Police in the port area of Dover this morning, Saturday, 16 September, under section 41 of the Terrorism Act,’ police said in a statement. The man remains in custody at a local police station. He will be transferred to a south London police station in due course.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 16, 2017.
Two days after a Muslim religious fanatic attacked a family in Toulouse, moments ago two women were among the people injured after a hammer-wielding man assaulted them while screaming “Allahu Akbar” in Chalon-sur-Saone, near Lyon, France, according to media reports. The attacker, wearing all black, is reportedly still on the run. The first victim was attacked at noon, and the other some 15 minutes later at a nearby location, Le Journal reports. And, as has so very often been the case in recent weeks, according to a source close to the investigation, preliminary indications are that “the act was carried out by a mentally unstable person,” Le Journal reported. It was unclear if the “mentally unstable person” also had any affiliation to a terrorist organization. Following the attack, the Police force launched a vast search for the assailant, including a low-flying helicopter.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 15, 2017.
In the latest indication that the US is desperate to reach a diplomatic compromise over North Korea, even if it means appeasing Beijing and Moscow, Reuters reports that while the UN Security Council is set to vote on Monday afternoon on a U. S.-drafted resolution to impose new sanctions on North Korea over latest nuclear test, as discussed on Friday, the new draft no longer proposes blacklisting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, while also dropping a proposed oil embargo – something Beijing had vocally opposed – and instead intends to impose a ban on condensates and natural gas liquids, a cap of 2m barrels a year on refined petroleum products, and a cap on crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels. *** In short: the US has materially weakened its proposed North Korea sanctions, “in an attempt to appease” Pyongyang’s allies Beijing and Moscow following negotiations over the past few days. In order to pass, a resolution needs nine of the 15 Security Council members to vote in favor and no vetoes by any of the five permanent members – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 11, 2017.
Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute, The September 6 ruling, which has been hailed as a victory for European federalism, highlights the degree to which the European Union has usurped decision-making powers from its 28 member states. The ruling also showcases how the EU’s organs of jurisprudence have become politicized. Many so-called asylum seekers have refused to relocate to Central and Eastern Europe because the financial benefits there are not as generous as in France, Germany or Scandinavia. “Let us not forget that those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims. This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity. Is it not worrying in itself that European Christianity is now barely able to keep Europe Christian? If we lose sight of this, the idea of Europe could become a minority interest in its own continent.” – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbn. The European Union’s highest court has rejected a complaint by Hungary and Slovakia over the legality of the bloc’s mandatory refugee quota program, which requires EU member states to admit tens of thousands of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the European Commission, the powerful executive arm of the European Union, has the legal right to order EU member states to take in so-called asylum seekers, and, conversely, that EU member states have no legal right to resist those orders. The September 6 ruling, which has been hailed as a victory for European federalism, highlights the degree to which the European Union has usurped decision-making powers from its 28 member states. The ruling also showcases how the European Union’s organs of jurisprudence have become politicized.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 8, 2017.
After urging its supporters in the west to turn cars into weapons, guidance that inspired terror attacks in the UK, Spain and France, ISIS is now calling for sympathizers to poison the food in US supermarkets with cyanide, according to SITE. In recent days, channels associated with the terrorist army have posted calls for attacks on Europe, Russia and the United States to mark the occasion of the Islamic “Sacrifice Feast” Eid al Adha. In the third part of an English-language series on jihad, IS advised would-be attackers to inject food for sale in markets with cyanide poison. According to Spiesa, the organization has tested these methods on prisons, causing horrifically painful deaths. ‘The Islamic State group used prisoners as ‘human guinea pigs,’ carrying out chemical weapons experiments in order to plan for attacks against the West, documents found in Mosul have revealed. The papers detailing the tests, which led to the agonizing deaths of prisoners, were discovered at Mosul University in January when it was recaptured by Iraqi special forces. The documents verified by United States and British forces were detailed by The Times in a report published Saturday. Prisoners had their food and water contaminated by the sprinkling of chemicals found in easily accessible pesticides. The US and Britain now fear that the same methods could be used on a larger scale to contaminate food supplies in the West.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 5, 2017.
With the rest of the world once again seeking a peaceful solution to the escalating North Korean crisis, and having scheduled yet another United Nations Security Council emergency meeting for 10am on Monday to achieve some diplomatic breakthrough… We along w/Japan, France, the UK and S. Korea have called for an emergency Security Council meeting on N. Korea in the open tomorrow at 10am — Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) September 3, 2017
… US defence secretary Jim Mattis was somewhat less diplomatic moments ago when speaking to reporters in front of the White House, when he warned that “any threat to the US or its territories including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response” and said that while the US is “not looking to the total annihilation” of North Korea, it has “many options to do so.” Mattis also said that President Trump “wanted to be briefed on the many military options available to the US in response to the North Korean provocation”, suggesting that Trump will likely end up picking one.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 3, 2017.