This post was published at World Alternative Media
21st Century Wire says…
John Pilger gives his customary, masterful talk during the 2017 Holberg Debate. He unmasks the corporate media as willing and criminal accomplices in the deadly war games played by successive world governments in their march towards supremacy over the prey nations in their crosshairs. Pilger reminds his audience, it is up to them to DO something to change the world they live in. We are all responsible for what is done ‘in our name.’
Taken from the Holberg Debate report on this groundbreaking event:
‘At the 2017 Holberg Debate, Julian Assange, John Pilger and Jonathan Heawood discussed the presence of propaganda in news and social media, and its democratic implications.
About 00:11:00 Julian Assange About 00:56:00 Questions for Julian Assange About 01:19:00Jonathan Heawood About 01:43:00 John Pilger About 02:17:11 Las Q&A Session
The event took place at the University of Bergen, Norway, on December 2nd, 2017.
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 8, 2017.
To the surprise of many, Saudi Arabia recently announced it would end its longstanding ban on women driving with the change set to come into effect from June 2018. That ban has served as a major symbol of female oppression throughout the world and it has also done huge damage to the kingdom’s reputation for years. The situation could improve even further in the years ahead with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pushing to implement more reforms in order to return the country to moderate Islam.
However, as Statista’s Niall McCarthy points out, Saudi Arabia isn’t alone in how it treats women and a new index has gauged the status of women in different countries.
The global Women, Peace and Security Index was launched by The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo.
It measures women’s well-being by assessing various factors such as inclusion, justice and security in 153 countries.
Iceland comes first, followed by Norway and Switzerland.
The U. S. is in 22nd position and its lack of paid-maternity leave is one possible reason it trails other developed countries. Along with Papua New Guinea, the U. S. is the only country worldwide that doesn’t offer new mothers paid maternity leave.
Countries that are less peaceful and unstable tended to score poorly in the index with Afghanistan and Syria both rock bottom.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 10, 2017.
Authored by Peter Korzun via The Stratgeic Culture Foundation,
US Defense Secretary James Mattis visited Helsinki on Nov. 6-7 to attend a meeting of the Northern Group, a multilateral forum of 12 countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Before the event, the secretary was received by Finnish President Sauli Niinist and then met his counterparts from Sweden and Finland. This is the first time a US Defense Secretary held talks in this format. Looks like the tripartite format talks are going to become a regular event as a similar meeting was announced to be planned for 2018.
Finnish Defense Minister Jussi Niinist explained that the goal of this format was meant to supplement, rather than replace, Finnish and Swedish bilateral relations with Washington. According to him, no new alliance is being built despite the expanded military cooperation with the United States. The minister also invited the US military to participate in large-scale military drills in 2020 or 2021. According to him, Finland started preparations for a major military exercise of a scale it had not arranged since the end of the Cold War. ‘If there’s a crisis, it will be good for us to practice receiving help,’ Jussi Niinist said. Formally a neutral country, Finland is offering a scenario which envisages receiving US-led NATO reinforcements, like if it were a full-fledged member of the North Atlantic Alliance to be defended in accordance with Article 5 of the Washington Treaty!
Erkki Tuomioja, a former foreign minister and member of the Social Democrat Party, said he believes the defense minister is skirting parliamentary procedures in pushing to host such a large exercise and that he intends to oppose the drills.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 10, 2017.
Norway’s coast guard has removed Greenpeace protestors from a safety zone near Statoil drilling operations in the Korpfjell field of the Barents Sea, according to a new report in the Maritime Executive.
The protestors used kayaks to infiltrate a 500-meter exclusion zone around the Songa Enabler on Thursday in order to attach a large globe to the rig. On it was a statement from environmentalists calling on Norway to end its drilling in the Arctic.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 22, 2017.
Authored by Alex Gorka via The Stratgeic Culture Foundation,
Much has been said about NATO reinforcements in the Baltic States and Poland perceived in Moscow as provocative actions undermining security in Europe, while very little has been said about gradual but steady militarization of Scandinavia. The theme does not hit headlines and it is not in focus of public discourse but one step is taken after another to turn the region into a springboard for staging offensive actions against Russia.
rland in southern Norway is being expanded to become Norway’s main air force base hosting US-made F-35 Lightnings – the stealth aircraft to become the backbone of Norwegian air power. Norway has purchased 56 of such aircraft. F-35 is an offensive, not defensive, weapon. The nuclear capable platforms can strike deep into Russia’s territory.
Providing training to Norwegian pilots operating the planes carrying nuclear weapons, such as B61-12 glider warheads, constitutes a violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968. Article I of the NPT prohibits the transfer of nuclear weapons from NWS (nuclear weapons states) to other states: Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices. Article II requires NNWS (non-nuclear weapons states) not to receive nuclear weapons: Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transfer or whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices. How can Russia be sure that these aircraft don’t carry nuclear weapons when there is no agreement of any kind in place to verify compliance with the NPT?
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 1, 2017.
Update 3: Germany’s Merck also confirms it has been affected by the cyberattack:
We confirm our company's computer network was compromised today as part of global hack. Other organizations have also been affected (1 of 2)
— Merck (@Merck) June 27, 2017
Update 2: RUSSIAN CENBANK SAYS AS A RESULT OF ATTACKS THERE HAVE BEEN ISOLATED CASES WHERE IT SYSTEMS INFECTED
Update: in addition to the below listed companies, all of which appear to have been targeted in the global cyberattack including Russia’s Rosneft and metals giant Evraz, Danish shipper Maersk, UK ad company WPP, the Ukraine central bank, government and airport, more targets are emerging including Norway’s national security authority which has said that a Ransomeware attack is ongoing in Norway “similar to the attack on Maersk”, while Russia’s Home Credit Bank said all domestic branches are closed because of the cyber attack.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 27, 2017.
Authored by Peter Korzun via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
Norway is executing a drastic change in its military policy, towards a far more aggressive posture. A total of 330 US Marines have been stationed for a trial period from January at the Vaernes military base east of Trondheim. The deployment marks the first time since World War II that foreign troops have been allowed to station in Norway. Last year, the Norwegian Parliament approved a one-year trial period for the US military presence, including two six-month rotations. Now it is planned to double the Marines presence in the country from 330 to 650 soldiers. Norway and the United States are now discussing the usefulness of continuing this agreement beyond 2017.
The airport in Nord-Trndelag can become a major military air base. The US Marine Corps Prepositioning Program-Norway, already stores large amounts of military equipment in caves. The caves currently hold enough to equip a fighting force of 4,600 Marines. The US military plans to enlarge the stockpile allowing it to store enough weapons and equipment for a Marine Expeditionary Brigade (up to 16, 000 servicemen). Planners are completing an analysis of the current gear cache that should wrap up in the next 12 months.
There are other plans to increase US military presence in the country. Last summer, a study group from the US Navy visited both Andya and Evenes airports in northern Norway to see if they could host American P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 19, 2017.
21st Century Wire says…
In southeastern Syria, the region around al-Tanf has quickly become a focal point for the ongoing conflict in the region. Near to both the Iraqi and Jordanian borders, al-Tanf is currently the location of a contingent of US-led coalition forces, supposedly there for the purpose of providing training to ‘anti-ISIS’ militias, but also anti-Assad militias too – the fabled ‘moderate rebels’. Not surprisingly, the US-led coalition has unilaterally imposed a self-styled ‘deconfliction zone’ around their camp in al-Tanf and claim to be defending their position from ‘pro-Syrian forces’, otherwise known as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and allied militias. It has been reported by mainstream media outlets that coalition members represented at al-Tanf include not only the United States but also the British SAS, and also possibly Norway too.
Although coalition forces are also present in other parts of Syria, including the area around Raqqa, an ISIS stronghold, the last few weeks have seen coalition forces striking Syrian military targets on at least three occasions near the coalition training camp close to al-Tanf – including incidents on May 18th, June 6th and June 8th. It is now being reported that the US is supplying ‘truck-mounted long range missiles’ to its forces near al-Tanf, in a move that risks immediate escalation in the already-tense situation, and despite diplomatic efforts by Russia to calm the situation. All this comes as the US and its Kurdish proxy militia, the SDF, mount there attack on the ISIS stronghold Raqqa in Northeast Syria. The US have also seized the opportunity to invade more Syrian territory after an alleged sarin gas attack on April 4th that prompted President Trump to launch a missile strike on a Syrian airbase in retaliation.
In the following segment film two weeks ago, 21WIRE editor Patrick Henningsen speaks to RT International about the recent US strike on Syrian forces near Al Tanf. Henningsen explains how the US are taking advantage of the tension to secure its own territory inside of Syria:
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 16, 2017.
Kripos, Norway’s National Criminal Investigation Service, is reportedly examining the legal aspects of how police accounts could be given access to areas of Facebook that are not open to the public. It would mean police gaining access to closed groups and interacting with members as they search for evidence of criminal activity, the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv reported.
‘We have looked into the possibility of creating ‘uniformed accounts’. But we have not decided whether it is something we should do,’ communications officer Axel Wilhelm Due told Dagens Nringsliv, via the Local.
As The Telegraph reports, police in Norway and elsewhere have previously used fake Facebook profiles to investigate crimes including smuggling alcohol and tobacco.
Facebook has not given police profiles with enhanced access to private groups but they can apply for access to them in connection with criminal cases, Dagens Nringsliv reported.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 30, 2017.
On the eve of a summit in Beijing, and just hours after Pyongyang’s chief nuclear negotiator said North Korea is ready to hold talks with the United States “if the conditions are mature”, South Korea’s Yonhap reports that North Korea has fired a projectile believed to be a ballistic missile, from a region named Kusong located northwest of Pyongyang, where the North previously test-launched its intermediate-range missile.
The nature of the projectile was not immediately clear, a South Korean military official told Reuters.
The ballistic missile firing is North Korea’s seventh this year.
The launch comes just hours after The South China Morning Post reports Choe Son-hui, head of the North Korea’s Foreign Ministry’s North America bureau, offered the assurance in the Chinese capital after an informal meeting in Norway with Thomas Pickering, a former US ambassador to the United Nations.
“If conditions are mature, we will hold dialogue with the Donald Trump administration,” she said.
Choe made the remarks just days after Trump said he would be willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “under the right circumstances”.
But the comments also came as the US embassy in Beijing told China’s foreign ministry that North Korea’s attendance at the top-level gathering for the “Belt and Road Initiative” could send the wrong message as the world was trying to pressure Pyongyang over its repeated missile and nuclear tests. The foreign ministry said Beijing welcomed the participation of all countries in the summit.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 13, 2017.
The US House of Representatives voted to day to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Unfortunately, those who use the phrase “repeal and replace” are greatly exaggerating the extent to which the Affordable Care Act is actually repealed.
While perhaps a tiny step in the right direction, the new legislation signals no departure whatsoever from the long-established trend of expanding the role of government programs in subsidizing the regulating the health care industry.
Perhaps worst of all, since this is being called a “repeal,” many may be prompted to think that the US health care system is a “free market” system, or that government spending has only a very small role in the industry.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, the US is fourth in the world in terms of per capita government spending on health care, behind only Norway, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. That’s government spending, not overall spending:
In fact, those numbers from the World Health Organization (WHO) are from 2014, and with the expansion in Medicaid spending under Obamacare, it’s entirely plausible that the US has moved into third place in the past two years.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on May 4, 2017.
Norway seems to be making the same poorly thought-out choices as Britain. It has apparently not occurred to these authorities that encouraging Muslims in prison to study the Quran and hadiths, with their exhortations to jihad against the “infidels”, may in itself serve to radicalize the inmates. The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) just published in February its yearly threat assessment. It concluded — as did its threat assessment for 2016 — that Norway might experience an Islamic terrorist attack from Islamic State (ISIS) sympathizers acting upon ISIS’s call to carry out independent attacks. The PST explains:
“These calls to action are one reason why we have seen an increase over the last few years in the number of lone terrorist attacks in the West. The likeliest scenario for a terrorist attack in a Western country is an ISIL-/AQ-inspired attack carried out with a simple weapon against a target with little or no protection”.
“Lone wolf” attacks are rightly described as an actual terrorist strategy, rather than what the media likes to describe as random “mental illness”. In addition, this threat assessment now fits all of Europe.
The PST goes on to warn:
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 16, 2017.
Russia has warned Norway over consequences of joining NATO ballistic missile defense (BMD) plans. According to Russian ambassador to Oslo, Moscow will retaliate. Norway’s possible accession to NATO’s missile shield will be a new factor that will be considered in our strategic planning as the emergence of an additional problem in the Arctic region, Teimuraz Ramishvili told the Norwegian state media network NRK.
In 2017, Norway may become a part of BMD. The Norwegian government has appointed an expert group to consider a possible Norwegian contribution to the missile shield. A detailed report on the issue is currently being prepared by experts from the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment and the US Missile Defense Agency to be submitted the year.
Norway has no interceptors on its soil but there are other ways to contribute into the anti-missile plans. Denmark does not host missiles but it committed itself to the bloc’s BMD in 2014, working to equip its frigates with advanced radar systems capable of detecting and tracking ballistic missiles. The missile defense program continues to be implemented despite the fact that after the nuclear agreement with Iran in 2015, there is no rationale for it.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 24, 2017.
Record-priced salmon has helped Norway counter plummeting incomes from oil. During 2016, the average price of wild salmon jumped 40 percent compared to the year before, writes Dagens Industri.
The price of a 4,5 kilo salmon has now surpassed the price of a barrel of Brent crude.
Norway is by far the world’s largest producer of salmon, with some 50 percent of the market. Last year, it exported almost a million tons of the fish that makes up sushi dinners all over the world, which amounted to a value of 61,4 billion NOK (US$7,5 billion).
In spite of fantastic demand, Norway’s fish producers may have a tough time to increase their supply, which may cause further price increases.
‘The thing with salmon is that it takes about three years from when you decide to increase production until the fish reaches the market. So there are relatively long lead times,’ Kolbjrn Giskedegaard, fish analyst at p Nordea, told Dagens Industri
This post was published at Business Insider
Quebec, like the entire West, is facing an existential demographic and religious crisis. Quebec’s death spiral is explicitly linked with the calls for increased immigration. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who put an end to the military campaign against the Islamic State, just called on Muslim migrants to come to his country. Resistance to Quebec’s dramatic collapse of Christianity does not necessarily require a new embrace of an old Catholicism, but it certainly does need a sane rediscovery of what a Western democracy should be. That includes an appreciation of Western identity and Judeo-Christian values — everything Trudeau’s government and much of Europe apparently refuse to accept. Welcome to Quebec, with its flavor of an old French province, with its beautiful landscapes, where streets are named after Catholic saints, and where a gunman just murdered six people in a local mosque. Violence can be the consequence of societal convulsions, as in the 2011 massacre on Norway’s island of Utoya, in a country that prided itself of being ultra-secularized, and part of the global “good society”. Quebec, also, like the entire West, is facing an existential demographic and religious crisis.
George Weigel, writing in the American publication, First Things recently called Quebec “Catholicism’s Empty Quarter”. “There is no more religiously arid place,” he wrote, “between the North Pole and Tierra del Fuego; there may be no more religiously arid place on the planet”.
Sandro Magister, one of Italy’s most prominent journalists on Catholic affairs, wrote, “while Rome talks, Quebec has already been lost”.
Quebec’s Catholic buildings are empty; the clergy is aging. Today, inside the Church of Saint-Jude in Montreal, personal fitness trainers take the place of Catholic priests. The Thatre Paradoxe in Montreal now sits where the church of Notre-Dame-du-Perptuel-Secours was before it shut. The former Christian nave is now used for concerts and conferences, while Christian hymns on Sundays are replaced by disco shows.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 6, 2017.
In what will likely be interpreted as the latest “test” by the Kremlin to gauge western military preparedness, Reuters reports that Russia has quietly unleashed the biggest military build up targeting the Arctic since the fall of the Soviet Union. “It is part of a push to firm Moscow’s hand in the High North as it vies for dominance with traditional rivals Canada, the United States, and Norway as well as newcomer China.” It is also part of the ongoing scramble for resources above the commodity rich arctic circle.
As Reuters notes, under Putin, Moscow is scrambling to re-open abandoned Soviet military, air and radar bases on remote Arctic islands and to build new ones, as it pushes ahead with a claim to almost half a million square miles of the Arctic. It regularly releases pictures of its troops training in white fatigues, wielding assault rifles as they zip along on sleighs pulled by reindeer.
“History is repeating itself,” Vladimir Blinov, a guide on board the icebreaker Lenin, which is named after communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, told a recent tour group. “Back then (in the 1950s) it was the height of the Cold War and the United States was leading in some areas. But we beat the Americans and built the world’s first nuclear ship (the Lenin). The situation today is similar.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 30, 2017.