Two years after the European Commission carried out the bidding of German Chancellor Angela Merkel by approving a plan to distribute migrants entering the Schengen area through Greece and Italy evenly across the European Union, the people of Europe have made their displeasure with Merkel’s ‘open door’ policy abundantly clear. Last month, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union suffered its most embarrassing showing in a federal election in decades, allowing a far-right, anti-immigrant party into parliament for the first time since World War II. The Alternative for Germany party’s unexpectedly strong showing fractured the ruling coalition spearheaded by Merkel’s conservatives as her partners, the Social Democrats opted to rebuild in opposition, complicating Merkel’s attempts to form a ruling coalition. In what was widely celebrated by the right as an important public capitulation, Merkel announced that her government would consider implementing a refugee cap of 200,000 (far larger than the cap adopted by the Trump administration). While it’s unclear whether the cap will ultimately become law, the fact that Merkel has publicly acknowledged the failure of open doors was interpreted as a sea change in Europe’s response to the worsening migrant crisis. And now, French President Emmanuel Macron – Merkel’s de facto partner in leading the European project – has himself made a small but important concession to the growing anti-immigrant sentiment in France, which, like many of its neighbors in western Europe, has suffered a horrific string of terror attacks inspired or actively organized by the Islamic State, the South China Morning Post reported. In a wide ranging interview this week, Macron revealed a new policy whereby illegal immigrants who commit crimes in France will face deportation. Presently, being an illegal immigrant in France isn’t a criminal offense. Even without new legislation ‘we can take tougher measures’ and expel illegal immigrants if they commit a crime, ‘whatever it may be,’ Macron said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 21, 2017.
Authored by Brian Cloughley via The Strategic Culture Foundation, On October 4 in Niger in central Africa four American special forces soldiers were killed in an ambush by ‘fifty fighters, thought to be associated with ISIS [Islamic State], a US official said.’ In the course of the attack, one US soldier was left behind when the others withdrew, and was subsequently found dead. Nigerien soldiers were also killed, and it is interesting to examine how US media outlets recorded this aspect of what was obviously a disaster for US Africa Command, AFRICOM, the organisation headquartered, bizarrely, in Germany, that has 46 military bases (that we know of) in that continent. (Niger, incidentally, is twice the size of Texas.) ABC News reported that ‘a soldier from Niger also died from the attack’ while CBS thought that ‘four Nigerien soldiers died,’ and Stars and Stripes went with ‘several.’ CNN’s tally was five but the New York Times didn’t mention Nigerien soldiers at all. Fox News, surprisingly, said that four were killed, as did the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, which even expanded to record that there had been eight Nigerien soldiers wounded. It isn’t to be expected that the US media would ever concern themselves with deep research into how many foreign soldiers are killed in any of the countries in which the US is involved in armed conflict, but the sloppy reporting is a good indicator of the shrug factor.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 20, 2017.
The vanishing of insects around the globe is causing scientists to issue and ‘ecological armageddon’ warning. The abundance of insects has plunged by three quarters and scientists feel now is the time to sound the alarm. Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say. According to The Guardian, insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife. It was known that some species, such as butterflies, were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is ‘on course for ecological Armageddon’, with profound impacts on human society. ‘The fact that the number of flying insects is decreasing at such a high rate in such a large area is an alarming discovery,’ said Hans de Kroon, at Radboud University in the Netherlands and who led the new research which discovered the plummeting insect population. The research, published in the journal Plos One, is based on the work of dozens of amateur entomologists across Germany who began using strictly standardized ways of collecting insects in 1989.
This post was published at shtfplan on October 19th, 2017.
1966 was a big year… Miranda Rights came into being in America, Vietnam War protests raged, the US department of Transportation was created, the mini skirt was invented, Batman and Star Trek debuts, NASA launches Lunar Orbiter 1 – the first U. S. spacecraft to orbit the Moon, race riots raged in Atlanta, Ronald Reagan entered politics becoming Governor of California, and (for some) most importantly, England defeated Germany to win the ‘Football’ World Cup. However, there is one more thing – 1966 was the last time that the stock market ‘calmness’ was as low as it is today…
To put that into context…
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 19, 2017.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – who famously waited three months before offering a tepid endorsement of the JCPOA – largely echoed the threats of other Iranian government officials when he said Wednesday that Iran would adhere to the terms of the deal if other world powers respected it, but would ‘shred it’ if the US were to pull out. Speaking publicly about the future of the deal for the first time since President Donald Trump refused to decertify it five days ago, Khamenei confirmed that Iran would likely terminate the deal – and restart its nuclear program – if the US Congress decides to unilaterally rule that Iran is not in compliance, opening the door to reimposing sanctions. The ayatollah’s proclamation puts Iran at odds with the deals other signatories, who’ve maintained that the US doesn’t have the power to terminate a multilateral accord certified by the United Nations. Khamenei welcomed the support of the other signers – Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union – but said it would not be enough to convince Iran to stay, Reuters reported.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 19, 2017.
Across the globe, the spread of right- and left-wing populism and authoritarian politics have shaken the very foundations of democracy. As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, a new survey from Pew Research has found that people across the globe are generally unhappy with the functionality of their political systems, though levels of satisfaction with democracy vary hugely between countries. As can be seen from the following infographic which shows a selection of countries from the survey, people in India have tremendous faith in democracy. 79 percent of those polled said they are satisfied with the way democracy is working in India compared to 11 percent who are dissatisfied. Germany also recorded a high level (73 percent) of satisfaction with democracy. In many other developed countries, however, faith is waning. In the United Kingdom and Japan, 47 percent of people are not satisfied with how democracy is working in their countries while in the U. S., that rises to 51 percent. France, South Korea and Brazil all recorded dissatisfaction levels of 65 percent or higher… but Greece tops the charts with only 21% of its citizenry ‘satisfied’ with the weay democracy is working.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 18, 2017.
The following is an interview with ANDRE VLTCHEK by ALESSANDRO BIANCCHI, Chief Editor of the Italian political magazine Anti-Diplomatico: ALESSANDRO BIANCHI: Self-determination of peoples and respect for the borders and sovereignty of a country. This is of the most complicated issue for international law. How can it be articulated for the case of Catalonia? ANDRE VLTCHEK: Personally, I’m not very enthusiastic about smaller nations forming their own states, particularly those in the West, where they would, after gaining ‘independence’, remain in the alliances that are oppressing and plundering the entire world: like NATO or the European Union. Clearly, the breaking of the great country of Yugoslavia into small pieces was a hostile, evil design by the West, and particularly of Germany and Austria. The dissolution of Czechoslovakia after the so-called ‘Velvet Revolution’ was a total idiocy. But Catalonia (or Basque Country), if it became independent, would become one of the richest parts of Europe. I don’t think it would have any great positive or negative impact on the rest of the world. As an internationalist, I don’t really care if they are separate from Spain or not, or whether they are even richer than they already are, as I care much more about what is happening in places such as Afghanistan, Venezuela or North Korea. READ MORE
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.
EU lawyers have sided with Germany and effectively told the European Commission their bid to regulate a new Russia-Germany gas pipeline known as- Nord Stream 2 (NS2) is seriously flawed. The now former German Chancellor Gerhard Schrder is working with the Russians to push this project forward. This clearly demonstrates that Germany has the upper-hand in Brussels.
After German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted late last year that she had ‘lost control’ of Germany’s refugee crisis after adopting an ‘open door’ policy that fueled an unprecedented spike in crime, her weakened ruling coalition announced Monday that it would seek to impose new restrictions on the number of refugees admitted to the country. Germany famously admitted nearly one million refugees from Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and other war zones in 2015, a five-fold increase over the previous year. Migrants repaid Germany for its openness by committing 142,500 crimes during the first six months of 2016, including several high-profile sexual assaults. And now it seems Merkel has hit a wall and folded… Merkel announced the policy change on Monday during a joint news conference with Horst Seehofer, leader of the Bavarian Christian Social Union – the more conservative partner to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union – following discussions in which the two parties sought compromises on a number of issues following poor results in the federal elections two weeks ago, according to CNN.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 9, 2017.
According to this report, YouTube has shut down all independent media coverage of the Las Vegas shooting in a desperate maneuver to protect the official narrative. I cannot attest to the truth of this report. However, it has been brought to my attention that the video made from inside the hospital, which I provided in a link in my article , of what appears to be crisis actors carrying pretend wounded into the hospital has been taken down by YouTube. Clearly, if there are real wounded carried to the hospital, why at the same time have crisis actors acting the part? It seems obvious to me that the video was taken down, because those being carried are clearly not wounded and are not being handled in a professional way. I am aware of books by former insiders that describe the CIA’s alliance with members of the media. When I was a member of the congressional staff, I was warned of the Washington Post’s collaboration with the CIA. And we have the case of Udo Ulfkotte, whose book, ‘Purchased Journalism,’ was a best seller in Germany, but the English translation was yanked from the market. Ulfkotte, an editor with one of Germany’s main newspapers, wrote that he and most European journalists post articles handed to them by the CIA.
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.
In the 1970’s we heard the earth was going to get so crowded we’d be falling off. Now the panickers have flipped to population decline. They were wrong in the 70’s, so are they wrong again? Is a declining population catastrophic? Countries from Germany to Japan are investing in mass immigration or pro-birth policies on the assumption that they must import enough warm bodies to stave off economic collapse. I think this is mistaken. Falling population on a country level is certainly no catastrophe and, indeed, may be positive. I’ll outline some reasons here. Historically, the first question is why population declined. If it’s the Mongols invading again then, yes, the economy will suffer. Not because of the death alone, but because wholesale slaughter tends to destroy productive capital as well. On the other hand, if the population is declining from non-war, we have a well-studied natural experiment in the Black Plague. Which is generally credited with the ‘take-off’ of the West. Because if the population declines by a third while capital including arable land stays the same, you get a surplus. Same resources divided by fewer people. Think of zombie movies where dude’s running around with unlimited resources at his disposal – free cars, riverfront penthouses. That, in diluted form, is what a declining population gives us – more land, more highways or buildings, more resources per person.
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.
Imagine the following scenario: Texas votes to secede from the United States, sparking bitter negotiations between Austin and Washington. A neo-Nazi party wins seats in the California legislature. Cook County, home to Chicago, threatens to break away from Illinois to form its own state, while government officials, worried about losing such an economically vibrant region, furiously try to prevent the election from taking place. The federal government, meanwhile, vows to suspend North Carolina’s voting rights in Congress simply because it didn’t approve of its behavior. It considers doing likewise for Arizona. In such a scenario, one might rightly conclude that something is terribly wrong with the United States. The thing is, this is pretty much what is happening in Europe. The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union, and the negotiations over its departure are unpleasant, to put it mildly. Alternative for Germany, a party whose members have been compared to neo-Nazis, has won a surprising number of seats in Germany’s parliament. Catalonia, which is home to Barcelona, a large and economically vital city in Spain, held an independence referendum Oct. 1, something the government in Madrid has tried to stop. (Early reports indicate physical altercations between regional and national forces.) And the European Commission has threated to suspend Poland’s voting rights over actions taken by the Polish government, and has previously attacked the Hungarian government.
Even as Europe’s political establishment professes its liberal ideals by accepting – or in the case of the ongoing spat between Brussels and Central Europe, forcing others to accept – as many refugees as humanitarian virtue signalling will require, the true face of Europe is gradually emerging behind the scenes, and according to The Local.de, starting today armed soldiers from the Danish Armed Forces (Forsvaret) will replace police officers at both Denmark’s southern border to Germany and at potential terror targets in Copenhagen. *** According to the Danish National Police (Rigspolitiet) and Copenhagen Police, 160 soldiers will patrol the border and take over guard duties at Jewish institutions including the Great Synagogue in central Copenhagen. The synagogue has been under constant police protection since a Danish-born terrorist of Palestinian descent shot and killed 37-year-old Dan Uzan, a volunteer security guard, outside the building in February 2015. The gunman, Omar El-Hussein, had earlier in the night opened fire with an automatic rifle outside a cultural centre hosting a free speech event, killing 55-year-old Finn Nrgaard and injuring police officers. El-Hussein was later shot and killed by police. The soldiers’ role at the German border was described as ancillary and will not entail actively checking the IDs of those entering the country. That role will still be filled by police officers and members of the Danish Home Guard (Hjemmevrnet), which has been active in border checks since April 2016.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 29, 2017.
According to Eurostat, at the end of 2016 there were almost 1.2 million migrants waiting for a decision on their asylum applications. Already, about 880,000 people were granted asylum with only 66,000 being returned to their home country. Then there were 110,000 people whose whereabouts are just unknown. This means that by the end of 2016, some 52% of 2.5 million refugees were still waiting for their asylum to be granted. The bulk or 53% of all asylum seekers come from only 3 countries – Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, according to what they claimed. About 50% of all asylum applications were filed in Germany. Armstrong Economics
Several months after an unprecedented collapse in relations between two NATO member states, on Thursday Germany’s military announced it has finished its withdrawal from Turkey’s strategic airbase Incirlik, which as a reminder was prompted by Ankara’s refusal to allow visits by German parliamentarians. Going forward, Bundeswehr planes will instead be based in Jordan. As we reported at the time, in June Germany’s parliament, which ultimately decides on deployments, voted overwhelmingly to leave Incirlik amid a multifaceted dispute with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over his post-coup crackdown. As a “parliamentary army,” the Bundeswehr requires a vote of approval from Bundestag lawmakers for each foreign deployment and a parliamentary committee regularly evaluates Germany missions abroad. As Deutsche Welle reports, Germany’s transfer of reconnaissance and refueling aircraft from Incirlik to Jordan’s al-Asrak airbase had been “an unprecedented, mammoth task” according to German contingent commander Stefan Kleinheyer said Wednesday.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 28, 2017.
Trying to form a government in Germany is not so easy. Green leader, Simone Peter, says they and the FDP agree with Merkel that there should be no limit to refugees. He said’ ‘In a coalition with us, there will be no upper limit for refugees, just as with the CDU and FDP. The CSU has to adjust to this if it wants to seriously question Jamaica,’ he told the Rheinische Post. The CSU, normally the sister party of the CDU in Bavaria, saw what they lost to the AfD. Even Merkel is vowing to bring back the right into the fold.
There German election was on par with the global trend that is rising up against the establishment as we have known it. Angela Merkel has been accused of weakening her respective coalition partner. The election result of the Bundestag election shows that not only the SPD has to worry about losing ground, but the Union of the CDU and the CSU in Bavaria has been substantially weakened. Merkel has always created a coalition by incorporating the key program points of the other parties into the Union. However, the election saw the Union lost nearly 9%, which is a historic defeat. In addition, there is a real rift emerging now with the CSU in Bavaria, where the CSU fell below 40% for the first time. In both cases, this has been caused by the refugee issue Merkel has tried to pretend is not a crisis.