Arizona Bill Forces People To Submit DNA… And Pay For It

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22-02-19 09:40:00,

New legislation working its way through the Arizona Senate would establish one of the country’s first statewide DNA databases in which wide swaths of residents would be forced to give up their genetic material.

State Senate Bill 1475, sponsored by Rep. David Livingston (R), would essentially collect DNA from anyone currently required to submit fingerprints, including teachers, safety inspectors, real-estate agents, anyone in law enforcement, and appraisers. Anyone who dies will also have their DNA collected and stored under the bill. 

Meanwhile, a $250 fee would be collected from people submitting biological samples under the bill.

AZ Rep. David Livingston (Photo: Michael Chow/The Republic)

The DNA database would be maintained by the Department of Public Safety, which would include a person’s name, social security number, date of birth and last known address – and could be accessed and used by law enforcement for investigations. The database can also be shared with other government agencies across the country for the purposes for “employment, licensing, death registration, missing persons identification,” and IDing people using aliases or multiple identities, reports AZ Central

No other state has anything this expansive in place, according to David Kaye, an associate dean for research at Penn State University who studies genetics and its application in law.

Kaye said the proposed bill is one step away from requiring DNA from anyone who wants a driver’s license. –AZ Central

DNA is currently collected from anyone convicted in Arizona of a felony or a misdemeanor sex crime. 

“It doesn’t seem like solving crimes is a big priority here,” says David Kaye. “It’s not focusing on the people most likely to be linked to crimes, it’s just spreading the net more broadly.”

Widespread opposition

The bill has been widely opposed by Arizona residents, including the West Maricopa Association of Realtors, who voiced their opposition last week, suggesting that Livingston “would do well to read Thomas Paine’s “Rights of Man”. His premise is as true today as it was 250 years ago: Man is given natural rights as part of his existence.

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Gene-edited Chinese CRISPR babies may have mental ‘superpowers’, researchers warn

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22-02-19 09:05:00,

The genetically-modified Chinese twins born resistant to HIV last year may also have mental ‘superpowers’ their creator has kept quiet – a cognitive superiority that could kick off a genetic arms race, according to new research.

Lulu and Nana, the genetically-modified Chinese twins reportedly born HIV-resistant courtesy of the CRISPR gene editing tool, may also have been born with markedly superior mental abilities linked to the same gene edit. New research has confirmed that deleting the CCR5 gene – the same modification performed on the girls’ DNA – significantly improves cognition, learning, and memory in mice and men.

Also on rt.com
‘Jaw-dropping moment’: Scientists discover mysterious new communication mechanism in the brain

“The answer is likely yes, it did affect their brains,” University of California at Los Angeles neurobiologist Alcino Silva told MIT Technology Review, after publishing a paper demonstrating CCR5 deactivation’s beneficial role in post-stroke recovery this week. 

Those mutations will probably have an impact on cognitive function in the twins,” but the effect is unpredictable, he said, and “that is why it should not be done.”

He Jiankui, a researcher at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, made headlines in November after claiming his team had created the first HIV-resistant babies by deleting the CCR5 gene from human embryos using CRISPR, then implanting the embryos in women.

My reaction [to the birth of CCR5-deactivated twins] was visceral repulsion and sadness,” Silva confessed, noting that his research on the link between CCR5 and cognition has made him a lightning-rod for Silicon Valley types hungry for super-intelligent designer babies and expressing concern that the genetic arms race was now underway.

Also on rt.com
Gene editing: What is it and should we worry?

But the Chinese researcher insisted that wasn’t his intention. “I am against using genome editing for enhancement,” He told a genetics conference a week after the twins were born, though he admitted he was aware of research on the effects of CCR5-deactivation on the brain.

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US Defeat in Syria: The Wrong End of “Might Makes Right” | New Eastern Outlook

us-defeat-in-syria-the-wrong-end-of-might-makes-right-new-eastern-outlook

22-02-19 09:02:00,

SYR45345211

With Damascus and its allies firmly in control of Syria and its future – the war having been decided on the ground rather than “politically” as envisioned by Western politicians, media, and policymakers – the US proxy war against Syria has all but failed.

Despite the obvious defeat – and as contemporary American history has illustrated – the US will unlikely relent and instead, do all within its power to complicate the war’s conclusion and disrupt desperately needed reconstruction efforts.

Encapsulating current American intentions in Syria is a Foreign Policy article titled, “The New U.N. Envoy to Syria Should Kill the Political Process to Save it.”

The article – written by Julien Barnes-Dacey of the NATO-Soros-funded European Council on Foreign Relations –  suggests the otherwise inevitable end of the conflict be delayed and that reconstruction aid be held hostage until political concessions are made with the militarily-defeated foreign-backed militants dislodged from much of Syria’s territory by joint Syrian-Russian-Iranian-Hezbollah efforts.

The article makes an unconvincing argument that maintaining Idlib as a militant bastion, delaying the conflict’s conclusion, and withholding reconstruction aid will somehow positively benefit the day-to-day lives of Syrian civilians despite all evidence suggesting otherwise.

Demands made toward “decentralizing” political power across Syria seems to be a poorly re-imagined and watered down version of America’s Balkanization plans rolled out in 2012 when swift regime change was clearly not possible. The article also indicates concern over Europe’s potential pivot toward Russia and an abandonment of European complicity with US regime change efforts.

But what is most striking is the article’s – and Washington’s insistence that Syria make concessions to a defeated enemy – funded and armed from abroad and with every intention of transforming Syria into what Libya has become in the wake of the US-led NATO intervention there – a fractured failed state overrun by extremists disinterested and incapable of administering a functioning, united nation-state.

It is striking because it has been the US who has for over half a century predicated its foreign policy on the age-old adage of “might makes right.” The US – no longer mightiest – now demands concessions despite no leverage to logically compel anyone to make such concessions.

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WikiLeaks Reveals US Military Use of IMF, World Bank as “Unconventional” Weapons | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

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22-02-19 08:53:00,

By Whitney Webb

(MPN) — In a leaked military manual on “unconventional warfare” recently highlighted by WikiLeaks, the U.S. Army states that major global financial institutions — such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — are used as unconventional, financial “weapons in times of conflict up to and including large-scale general war,” as well as in leveraging “the policies and cooperation of state governments.”

The document, officially titled “Field Manual (FM) 3-05.130, Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare” and originally written in September 2008, was recently highlighted by WikiLeaks on Twitter in light of recent events in Venezuela as well as the years-long, U.S.-led economic siege of that country through sanctions and other means of economic warfare. Though the document has generated new interest in recent days, it had originally been released by WikiLeaks in December 2008 and has been described as the military’s “regime change handbook.”

WikiLeaks’ recent tweets on the subject drew attention to a single section of the 248-page-long document, titled “Financial Instrument of U.S. National Power and Unconventional Warfare.” This section in particular notes that the U.S. government applies “unilateral and indirect financial power through persuasive influence to international and domestic financial institutions regarding availability and terms of loans, grants, or other financial assistance to foreign state and nonstate actors,” and specifically names the World Bank, IMF and The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as well as the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), as “U.S. diplomatic-financial venues to accomplish” such goals.

 

The manual also touts the “state manipulation of tax and interest rates” along with other “legal and bureaucratic measures” to “open, modify or close financial flows” and further states that the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) – which oversees U.S. sanctions on other nations, like Venezuela — “has a long history of conducting economic warfare valuable to any ARSOF [Army Special Operations Forces] UW [Unconventional Warfare] campaign.”

This section of the manual goes on to note that these financial weapons can be used by the U.S. military to create “financial incentives or disincentives to persuade adversaries, allies and surrogates to modify their behavior at the theater strategic,

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Washington Newspeak – PaulCraigRoberts.org

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21-02-19 10:08:00,

Washington Newspeak

Paul Craig Roberts

President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua has twice been elected to the presidency and has been a popular leader in Nicaragua since 1979.  The neoconservative war criminal, John Bolton, picked by President Trump to run US foreign policy, has declared that Washington is going to overthrow the duly elected Ortega and replace him with a puppet.  Then, Bolton says, the Nicaraguan people will be free.

What Bolton means is that Nicaragua will once again be under Washington’s control and free to be looted by American corporate interests.  In Washington’s version of Newspeak, Orwell’s “Freedom is Slavery” becomes “Freedom is Vassalage.”  “Democracy” becomes  its opposite—leadership appointed dictatorially by an outside power.

https://www.rt.com/news/452023-john-bolton-nicaragua-ortega-regime-change/ 

Meanwhile in Venezuela, the neoconservative war criminals Bolton and Elliott Abrams are trying to smuggle in arms to the person Trump has appointed president of Venezuela in order to have a go at violently overthrowing democracy in Venezuela and replacing it with another Washington puppet.  Venezuela’s state owned oil reserves, the largest in the world, are the target.  This money, Washington thinks, should be going to the American oil companies, not to Venezuela’s needs.

Americans should be very proud that their country stands up for freedom and democracy.  If it weren’t for Washington, surely freedom and democracy would have been stamped out by now.

https://www.rt.com/news/452105-venezuela-border-brazil-colombia/ 

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We Are All Anti-Semites, Racists, and Sexists – PaulCraigRoberts.org

we-are-all-anti-semites-racists-and-sexists-8211-paulcraigroberts.org

21-02-19 10:00:00,

We Are All Anti-Semites, Racists, and Sexists

“The degrading of political language to the point of absurdity isn’t accidental.”

Everyone Is an Anti-Semite; at Least That’s What the Media Says

The term has become so diluted that it has lost any meaning

Jonathan Cook 

Has anyone else noticed how almost anything you say nowadays can suddenly be cited as proof of your anti-semitism?

That is, if you haven’t already been denounced as a Kremlin stooge.

Oppose the regular neoconservative regime-change operations, such as the latest one targeting Venezuela, and point to the long record of war crimes committed by one of its current architects, Elliott Abrams, and that apparently is probable evidence that you’re an anti-semite.

Note, as Ilhan Omar recently did, that AIPAC, the well-financed and single-minded Israel lobby group, has so much influence in the US Congress that few representatives dare to publicly oppose it and you’ll come under relentless pressure to apologise for expressing an anti-semitic view.

If you don’t worship Israel, you’re basically Hitler

Never mind that the Senate just passed an AIPAC-driven law that blatantly violates Americans’ First Amendment rights by limiting their free speech – specifically to protect Israel from those who propose a boycott in support of Palestinian rights.

Want to criticise the bankers, who created a giant Ponzi scheme to enrich themselves and nearly destroyed the global economy – and are now being allowed to do it all over again? Or advocate for socialism and argue that there is a class war being waged against us by a “global elite”, or the 1 per cent? Yes, you’re definitely anti-semitic.

If you believe Jeremy Corbyn should be allowed to lead Labour into the next general election, as he was elected to do by party members, and that it should be possible to deselect Blairite MPs who wish to foil such an outcome and want to allow Theresa May to continue driving Britain over the cliff-edge, you are patently an anti-semite.

And of course, it hardly needs stating that if you criticise Israel,

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Global Research PDF Collection: 6 PDF Books for 1 Price – Global Research

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21-02-19 06:47:00,

Purchase six e-books from Global Research Publisher’s PDF collection at a discounted price. Download your order as a zipped folder straight to your computer and avoid shipping and handling costs.

Special Offer: Global Research PDF Collection – 6 PDF Books for 1 Price

Product Type: PDF

List Price: $53.85
Special Price: $39.00

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

The Global Research PDF Collection includes:

The Dirty War on Syria: Washington, Regime Change and Resistance (PDF)

Author: Tim Anderson

ISBN Number: 978-0-9737147-7-7

Year: 2016

Product Type: PDF File

The Dirty War on Syria has relied on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory. In seeking ‘regime change’ the big powers sought to hide their hand, using proxy armies of ‘Islamists’, demonising the Syrian Government and constantly accusing it of atrocities. In this way Syrian President Bashar al Assad, a mild-mannered eye doctor, became the new evil in the world.

As western peoples we have been particularly deceived by this dirty war, reverting to our worst traditions of intervention, racial prejudice and poor reflection on our own histories. This book tries to tell its story while rescuing some of the better western traditions: the use of reason, ethical principle and the search for independent evidence.

The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” against Humanity (PDF)

Author: Michel Chossudovsky

ISBN Number: 978-0-9879389-0-9

Year: 2015

Product Type: PDF File

America’s hegemonic project in the post 9/11 era is the “Globalization of War” whereby the U.S.-NATO military machine —coupled with covert intelligence operations, economic sanctions and the thrust of “regime change”— is deployed in all major regions of the world. The threat of pre-emptive nuclear war is also used to black-mail countries into submission.

This “Long War against Humanity” is carried out at the height of the most serious economic crisis in modern history.

It is intimately related to a process of global financial restructuring, which has resulted in the collapse of national economies and the impoverishment of large sectors of the World population.

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Blain: European Banks Are The Most Successful Ponzi Scheme Of All Time

blain-european-banks-are-the-most-successful-ponzi-scheme-of-all-time

21-02-19 06:29:00,

Blain’s Morning Porridge, submitted by Bill Blain

“Lenin was right. There is subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency.”

I must post this line from one of my favourite Financial sector commentaries – Duncan Farr of Jeffries who covers banks: “Here we are 5 weeks ahead of Brexit, and the top 2 performing banks in Europe are Lloyds followed by RBoS.” If you ever wanted a clearer hint the supposed Brexit crisis and imminent collapse of UK plc might just be a fictitious political construct, then there you are.  Its fascinating just how sanguine the markets have become about the divorce. Sterling is up and who cares?

I have often been told I worry about all the wrong things. According to BAML, (reported on BBerg), the biggest fear of European investors currently is a Worldwide Economic Slump, with 30% of respondents citing it as their primary worry. Yep. I can see why that would be an issue. Only 2% of European investors surveyed by BAML rank Brexit as their primary fear. It’s not even in the top 5! (For the record, my primary fear is a Global Liquidity Storm – the sudden and catastrophic drying up of liquidity following a shock..)

Politics and markets are intertwined, but… maybe no longer in the case of Brexit? It’s just become background noise – meaning it; doesn’t matter, or we’re overly complacent. UK politics has never looked so dire. Markets appear increasingly disinterested. A new UK political party, and unstated threats a whole slew of ministers are set to resign if we get/don’t get a Brexit deal. Rumours are a deal is already inked with Brussels. Rumours are the Tory Brexiteers will reject it – whatever it says. It Theresa May is capable of getting together a deal in parliament – then this would probably be a good time..

It’s beginning to get silly. If I was an Irish farmer, I’d be more than a little concerned by Michael Gove’s comments about imposing the 57% tariff allowed by WTO rules on the 37% of Irish food production sold to UK consumers. (Ouch!) The Irish have gone bleating to Brussels, where the Irish agri-kommitzar has already promised them aid.

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Vladimir Putin: 2019 State Of The Union Address To Russia’s Federal Assembly (Full Text)

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21-02-19 04:16:00,

This is the official translation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s State of the Union Address to Russia’s Federal Assembly as first published by the Kremlin’s website.

Members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies, citizens of Russia,

Today’s Address is primarily devoted to matters of domestic social and economic development. I would like to focus on the objectives set forth in the May 2018 Executive Order and detailed in the national projects. Their content and the targets they set are a reflection of the demands and expectations of Russia’s citizens. People are at the core of the national projects, which are designed to bring about a new quality of life for all generations. This can only be achieved by generating momentum in Russia’s development.

These are long-term objectives that we have set for ourselves. However, work to achieve these strategic goals has to begin today. Time is always in short supply, as I have already said on numerous occasions, and you all know this all too well. There is simply no time for getting up to speed or making any adjustments. All in all, I believe that we have already completed the stage of articulating objectives and outlining tools for achieving our goals. Departing from the targets that were outlined would be unacceptable. It is true that these are challenging objectives. That being said, lowering the requirements for specific targets or watering them down is not an option. As I have already said, these are formidable challenges that require us to undertake major efforts. However, they are in step with the scale and pace of global change. It is our duty to keep pushing ahead and gaining momentum.

If someone prefers to work in the business as usual mode, without challenges, avoiding initiative or responsibility, they had better leave immediately. I already hear that some things are “impossible,” “too difficult,” “the standards are too high,” and “it will not work.” With such an attitude, you had better stay away.

Besides, you cannot fool the people. They are acutely aware of hypocrisy, lack of respect or any injustice. They have little interest in red tape and bureaucratic routine. It is important for people to see what is really being done and the impact it has on their lives and the lives of their families.

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Trump Regime Pursuing Nuclear Technology Sales to the Saudis – Global Research

trump-regime-pursuing-nuclear-technology-sales-to-the-saudis-8211-global-research

21-02-19 03:56:00,

Saudi Arabia is a fascist dictatorship run in cahoots with religious extremists – the Middle East’s most dangerous regime after Israel. 

Other than nations already with nukes, it’s likely the last regime on earth anti-war activists would want to be nuclearized with a potential military component.

The possibility should terrify everyone, mass destruction regionally and beyond greatly heightened if the Saudis have this capability.

A US House Oversight and Reform Committee report raised the issue, saying the following:

“(M)ultiple whistleblowers came forward to warn about efforts inside the White House to rush the transfer of highly sensitive US nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in potential violation of the Atomic Energy Act and without review by Congress as required by law—efforts that may be ongoing to this day,” adding:

Trump regime relations with the Saudis are “shrouded in secrecy,” Jared Kushner involved with crown prince Mohammad bin Salman on what’s going on – MBS once saying he’s got Trump’s son-in-law “in his pocket.”

Saudi Arabla is a highly valued US client state, the most important in the Arab world one because of its huge oil reserves and around $750 billion of its wealth invested in US assets.

Trump has gone all-out to assure nothing interferes with US/Saudi business and political relations. He’s had longstanding business ties to the kingdom, including distress sales to royal family members when needing cash to meet debt obligations.

Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal earlier said he bailed Trump out twice. Businessman Trump created and registered eight companies to do business in Saudi Arabia.

During an August 2015 campaign rally, he said

“Saudi Arabia, I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”

According to the Wall Street Journal in January 2017, the Washington-based Trump International Hotel was paid about $270,000 by the Saudi lobbying firm Qorvis MSLGroup – for lodging, catering, and related expenses – plus another $200,000 spent at the hotel.

As president, Trump chose Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip, sealing what he called a $110 billion arms deal,

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Chinese news station unveils world’s first female AI news anchor

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21-02-19 12:59:00,

Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua has unveiled “the world’s first female AI news anchor.” The computer-generated journo will team up with Xinhua’s existing male AI anchors at an upcoming series of political meetings in China.

The virtual reporter, named Xin Xiaomeng, was developed by Xinhua, in conjunction with a search engine company called Sogou. Developers modeled her speech and mannerisms on Xinhua news anchor Qui Meng, and showed her off in a video released on Tuesday.

Xiaomeng is lifelike, blinking and adjusting her hands as she speaks into the camera. Save for some rigid mouth movement, she could pass for the real thing.

Before Xiaomeng, the Chinese network revealed a pair of male AI anchors last November, one speaking English and another speaking Chinese. While their speech is often stunted and their facial expressions limited, Xinhua said at the time that unlike their human colleagues, these reporters can “work 24 hours a day on its official website and various social media platforms.”

With both reporters set to cover China’s upcoming Two Sessions political conference next month, Xinhua revealed a series of upgrades to its male reporter. The anchor can now deliver pieces to camera from a standing position, and uses more expressive body language to fool the untrained eye.

Journalists fearful of the robot uprising can rest easy for now though. Both anchors still need human writers and editors to supply the copy they read.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

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Alert: This would be the plan for next February 23, 2019 | The Vineyard of the Saker

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21-02-19 11:41:00,

by Juan Martorano

translated by: Anasource: https://www.alainet.org/es/articulo/198211

Today we allow ourselves to alert everyone, through these lines, to alert of the possible actions to expect next Saturday 23rd of February of 2019, aimed at generating a “False Flag” Operation, with the purpose of justifying an eventual armed incursion into Venezuelan territory. This information has been gathered through social intelligence sources, hoping that the organs to which it corresponds will act accordingly.

The information referes to the call that some groups linked to the Venezuelan opposition have made to “pranes” (Venezuelan name for mafia bosses) as well as other members of criminal gangs which would take from Caracas and other states to San Cristóbal, in the Táchira (Colombian border) state. They would be paid in dollars in order to shoot the FANB troops guarding the border posts and against the people who will be receiving “humanitarian aid” in the demonstration called by Guaidó for that day.

Likewise, it should be noted that many young people from all states of the national geography and especially from border states have been summoned, in order to originate a high-impact triggering event, which has the potential to cause a great national commotion. That would be the signal for the military plan of aggression against Venezuela to be activated.

In that order of ideas, we have also proceeded to call many innocent people, the alleged volunteers announced by Juan Guaidó, and most of them from the western states of the country (do not forget the Venezuelan “half-moon”, ndt: States of Zulia, Tachira and Merida, all boarding Colombia). These people undoubtedly require medicines and other supplies, but the plan consists on using them as victims in the framework of the hidden agenda that the opposition handles for that day.

It is evident that just as on April 11, 2002, they are preparing an entire media scenario aimed at delegitimizing the current government led by Nicolás Maduro to justify the deployment of an armed action on Venezuelan territory, creating a supposed liberated zone in the Táchira state.

As several analysts have warned, and because the first plan failed for reasons beyond control of their planners, now this new attack is prepared based on following assumptions that we have received in the same way:

1.- Guaidó declared on February 23 that “humanitarian aid will enter through Cúcuta”.

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China Bans Millions From Flights, Trains In Social-Credit Crackdown

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21-02-19 11:30:00,

China has banned millions of people from any number of activities for being labeled as ‘untrustworthy’ on the country’s Orwellian social credit system

Banned from things such as air and train travel, blacklisted individuals are being punished in a broad effort to boost “trustworthiness” among the 1.4 billion Chinese citizens tracked by the massive system – which assigns both positive and negative scores to various metrics, reports SCMP.  

People with great social credit will get “green channel” benefits while those who violate laws will be punished with restrictions and penalties.

Hangzhou, the capital city of China’s Zhejiang province, rolled out its social credit system earlier last year, rewarding “pro-social behaviors” such as blood donations, healthy lifestyles, and volunteer work while punishing those who violate traffic laws, smoke and drink, and speak poorly about government. 

Human rights advocates have voiced concerns that the social credit system does not take into account individual circumstances, and has unfairly labeled people and companies as untrustworthy. 

Over 3.59 million Chinese enterprises were added to the official creditworthiness blacklist last year, banning them from a series of activities, including bidding on projects, accessing security markets, taking part in land auctions and issuing corporate bonds, according to the 2018 annual report released by the National Public Credit Information Centre. –SCMP

According to the NPCIC report, Chinese officials collected 14.21 million pieces of information of “untrustworthy conduct” by both business and individuals – including failure to repay loans, illegal fund collection, false and misleading advertising, swindling customers, and – for individuals, acts such as taking reserved seats on trains or causing trouble in hospitals, SCMP reports. 

Meanwhile, around 17.46 million people who are “discredited” were prevented from buying plane tickets, while 5.47 million were disallowed from purchasing tickets to China’s high-speed train system. 

Besides restrictions on buying tickets, local authorities also used novel methods to put pressure on untrustworthy subjects, including preventing people from buying premium insurance, wealth management products or real estate, as well as shaming them by exposing their information in public.

A total of 3.51 million untrustworthy individuals and entities repaid their debts or paid off taxes and fines last year due to pressure from the social credit system,

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Russia Long Looked West. That Is About to Change

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21-02-19 11:21:00,

Three almost uninterrupted centuries of Russian self-comparison, self-assessment, self-identification with the West and ever deeper involvement in the intra-Western geopolitical and imperial competition have come to an end. Harsh lessons Russians have drawn from its three centuries of intimate interaction with the West — its Occidental Era — were reinforced by the post-Cold War failure to create a ‘common European home’ from Vancouver to Vladivostok, leading to the conclusion that Russia had betrayed the meaning of its national seal – the double-headed eagle looking both west and east. Although Russia still references the West as a competitor as well as standard in some respects, Vladimir Putin’s Russia now rejects the post-modernist West and its neo-imperial civilizational, indeed, ‘civilizationalist’ ambitions in Russia’s neighborhood. Instead of seeking to be part of the West or defeat the Western geopolitical paradigm, it seeks along with China and, in some respects, India and several more regional powers in building an alternative global civilization to that in the post-modern West.

Three Centuries Facing West

Ever since Peter the Great cut his ‘window on Europe’ along the White Sea in 1703, Russia, with fits and starts, has been on a journey defined by, headed towards, and often driven by the West. Peter’s great, yet often culturally superficial and largely technical reforms set Russia off on its Western journey. Peter literally forced Russia to model itself on Europe and measure itself in European terms. This remained true whether Russia’s relations with the West were in a condition of comity and cooperation or were competitive, even conflictive. In other words, first Europe and then the larger West became Russia’s ‘significant Other’, which Russia constantly referenced. The Petrine reforms and the century of Russia’s Western-defined Enlightenment that followed consolidated Russia’s referencing its European Other. Moreover, by Empress Elizabeth’s reign (1740-1762) the Russian court and aristocracy viewed themselves as Europeans. From Peter the Great forward, Russia also oriented its foreign affairs on Europe, continuously shifting in its alliances between competing European powers in accordance with the structural and geographical vicissitudes of European geopolitics, Russian interests, and her domestic needs and inclinations in any given period under any given emperor or empress.

Russia’s turn West had its costs and benefits. Most of the latter affected Russia’s domestically. From Peter the Great’s reforms,

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The Fake News About Humanitarian Aid and Venezuela

the-fake-news-about-humanitarian-aid-and-venezuela

21-02-19 10:43:00,

The Fake News About Humanitarian Aid and Venezuela

Alan MACLEOD

In recent times the international media, including many who promised to “resist” the dangerous commander-in-chief Donald Trump, have been awash with stories about Nicolas Maduro blocking US “humanitarian aid” reaching Venezuela. Maduro is said to have even blocked a bridge in his desperation to starve his own people (see, for example, CNN, CBC, Associated Press, BBC, NPR, ABC, Bloomberg, The Guardian). A constant flow of stories such as this have served to establish a narrative of a dictator blocking a benevolent US government from helping its desperate people. Something must be done!

Virtually unreported in the humanitarian aid story are several inconvenient truths that contradict the official US government narrative the media is so closely parroting. Firstly, the “aid” is not recognized as such at all. For shipments to qualify as aid, they must be given indiscriminately. The US “aid” appears destined only for Juan Guaidó, the US-backed self-appointed president. The Red Cross and the United Nations have refused to help the US or to recognize Trump’s shipments as aid. Indeed, the United Nations has formally condemned the US’ actions in Venezuela. For their part, the Venezuelan government has been very eager to accept genuine aid, and is currently working with the UN to distribute supplies.

The UN Human Rights Council denounced Trump’s sanctions (illegal even under OAS law), noting that they specifically target “the poor and most vulnerable classes”, calling on all member states to break them and even began discussing reparations that the US should pay to Venezuela. The sanctions have had a devastating effect on the country’s economy, reducing its oil output by 50 percent, according to the opposition’s own economics czar.  Furthermore, Trump has threatened anyone breaking the sanctions with up to 30 years imprisonment. One UN special rapporteur described the sanctions as akin to a medieval siege and declared them a “crime against humanity.” Thus, much of Venezuela’s crisis is actually manufactured in Washington, though you would be extremely hard pressed to understand that from mainstream coverage.

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Is Venezuela On The Verge Of Becoming Another Syria?

is-venezuela-on-the-verge-of-becoming-another-syria

21-02-19 08:10:00,

Submitted by Brandon Smith from AltMarket

Establishment elites have always had a predilection for regime change. Obviously, this strategy helps weed out nation states that might be uncooperative with their future plans for a fully centralized global economic and political order. We have also seen regime change occur when former puppet leaders go rogue and refuse to follow the script they have been given. Most of these men have acted as dictators and are not very empathetic public figures, so we rarely care when they get overthrown or murdered. That said, there are always wider implications to such events.

I believe the reasons for regime change and the destabilization of particular countries have evolved in recent years. In the past it was about bringing each countries under the new world order umbrella. Today, the goal seems to be an attempt to create points of global contention. That is to say, the elites want to draw much of the world into various forms of conflict, and they are using special regions of the globe as nexus points for these conflicts.

Syria was and still is one of those nexus points. The transmutation of Syria began as an extension of the Arab Spring. Western funded and organized coups in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt inspired even more extremism as well as a vast flow of black market military grade armaments. The CIA under the Obama Administration in particular took advantage of this chaos to fill training camps in Jordan with “moderate rebels”, the same rebels that would go on to launch ISIS and start a civil war in Syria.

While the billion dollar program to arm and supply Syrian rebel groups, many of which were closely tied to ISIS, was finally “officially ended” under the Trump administration in 2017, more covert US support continued for these groups as well support for Israeli incursions into sovereign Syrian air space.

Syria has had the potential to draw multiple nations into close and hostile proximity with each other, including the US, Russia, Israel and Iran. This was not a mistake, it was entirely deliberate.

I warned of the potential exploitation of Syria as a global point of contention for years before the actual insurgency took place because of the unique military alliances in the region.

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A secret clause that accompanies the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle

a-secret-clause-that-accompanies-the-treaty-of-aix-la-chapelle

20-02-19 03:42:00,

According to the Germany weekly, Der Spiegel, Germany and France have signed a secret clause at the side of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle [1]. It provides that neither party will oppose the sales of arms produced as a joint venture, except on grounds of national security.

Following the fall of Nazism, Germany has kept up its pacifist ideal and placed a strict ban on exporting arms to States that could use them for evil ends. However, during the Conference on Security that has just taken place in Munich, Angie, the German Chancellor, has indicated these restrictions are too narrow. They only allow very few exports and consequently prevent the sales of arms from being a profitable activity.

Under the provisions of this secret clause, France will be able to continue exporting to Saudi Arabia something which the Bundestag, the German Parliament, prohibits. The profits derived from the Saudi sales will be divided between the two States but we do not know in what proportions.

Translation
Anoosha Boralessa

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Labour MP split is a cheap and final ploy to derail BREXIT (Video)

labour-mp-split-is-a-cheap-and-final-ploy-to-derail-brexit-video

20-02-19 03:41:00,

Authored by Wayne Madsen, via The Strategic Culture Foundation:

Showing that he is adopting the neoconservative playbook every day he remains in office, Donald Trump handed the neocons a major win when he appointed Iran-contra scandal felon Elliott Abrams as his special envoy on Venezuela. Abrams pleaded guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information on the secret sale of US weapons for cash to help illegally supply weapons to the Nicaraguan right-wing contras, who were battling against the government of President Daniel Ortega. Abrams would have headed to a federal prison, but President George H. W. Bush, an unindicted co-conspirator in the scandal, issued pardons to Abrams and his five fellow conspirators – former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, and former Central Intelligence Agency officials Alan Fiers, Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, and Clair George – on Christmas Eve 1991, during the final weeks of Bush’s lame duck administration.

Abrams escaped being charged with more serious crimes by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh because he cut a last-minute deal with federal prosecutors. Trump, who has made no secret of his disdain for cooperating federal witnesses, would have normally called Abrams a “rat,” a gangster term meaning informant. The man who helped engineer the pardons for Abrams and his five convicted friends was none other than Bush’s Attorney General, William Barr, who has just been sworn in as Trump’s Attorney General. Trump, who is always decrying the presence of the “deep state” that thwarts his very move, has become the chief guardian of that entity.

During a recent hearing of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, newly-minted congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, reminded her colleagues and the world about the sordid background of Abrams.

Omar zeroed in on Abrams’s criminal history:

“Mr. Abrams, in 1991 you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful.”

Abrams, as is the nature of neocons, refused to respond to Omar and cited her comments as “personal attacks.”

Abrams’s and his fellow criminals’ use of mercenaries and “death squads” to conduct secret wars in Nicaragua,

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DARPA aims to develop next-generation of mind-controlled tech for US soldiers

darpa-aims-to-develop-next-generation-of-mind-controlled-tech-for-us-soldiers

20-02-19 02:09:00,

The Pentagon has been recruiting teams to develop neural interfaces which will allow humans to control machines with their minds, in a combination of telekinesis and artificial intelligence.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has requested proposals for “next-generation neurotechnology” to help bolster its pre-existing neural interface research.

Existing neural interfaces have been used to allow humans to control prosthetic limbs, reproduce thoughts as text and even fly drones with their minds. By combining these types of technologies, DARPA is hoping to augment and improve their capabilities, making the systems more efficient and effective.

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One particular issue the agency is hoping to overcome centers around the brain’s constant loss and regeneration of neurons; neural interface technology must hone in on specific sections of the brain to function and, due to this cycle of loss and regrowth, current systems require near-constant recalibration.

DARPA is hoping that AI might be able to anticipate these neuronal changes and recalibrate systems automatically, allowing for continuous use.

The other main issue that DARPA is looking to solve is to reduce the “noise” of sensory information sent to the brain from nerves throughout the human pilot’s body.

Teams working on this project will be required to build an AI-powered interface capable of stimulating nerves within the body to send “artificial” signals, such as burning or a sense of touch without physical contact with a stimulus, to “maximise information content” along the body’s major nerves.

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Brain hacking, freezing time & weaponized insects: Meet US military’s dystopian plans

Teams hoping to win a DARPA contract, worth up to $1 million, have until March 5 to apply and will have 18 months to produce a prototype according to a post by the agency.

All told, DARPA is planning to invest $2 billion over the next five years to advance so-called “third wave” AI projects.  

Think your friends would be interested?

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Zuesse: Is America An International Rogue Nation?

zuesse-is-america-an-international-rogue-nation

20-02-19 11:22:00,

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Unz Review,

In 2003, America (and its lap-dog UK) invaded and destroyed Iraq on the basis of lies to the effect that the U.S. (and UK) regime were certain that Saddam Hussein had and was developing weapons of mass destruction. These U.S. allegations were based on provable falsehoods when they were stated and published, but the regime’s ‘news’-media refused to publish and demonstrate (or “expose”) any of these lies. That’s how bad the regime was – it was virtually a total lock-down against truth, and for international conquest (in that case, of Iraq): it was mass-murder and destruction on the basis of sheer lies.

That’s today’s U.S. Government – that’s its reality, not its ‘pro-democracy’ and ‘human rights’ myth. (After all: its main ally is the Saud regime, which the U.S. regime is now helping to starve and kill by cholera perhaps millions of Houthis to death.)

In 2011, the U.S. regime, then under a different nominal leader than in the Iraq invasion, invaded and destroyed Libya — also on the basis of lies that its press (which is controlled by the same billionaires who control the nation’s two political Parties) stenographically published from the Government and refused ever to expose as being lies.

In 2011-2019 (but actually starting undercover in 2009), the U.S. regime (and its then allies King Saud and Tayyip Erdogan, and the Thanis who own Qatar) hired tens of thousands of jihadis from around the world to serve as foot-soldiers (the U.S. regime calls them ‘rebels’), in order to bring down Syria’s secular, non-sectarian, Government, and thereby, via these jihadist proxy-forces, they invaded and destroyed Syria — likewise on the basis of lies that the ‘news’-media hid, secreting from the public such facts as that “The US Government’s Interpretation of the Technical Intelligence It Gathered Prior to and After the August 21 Attack CANNOT POSSIBLY BE CORRECT.” But the lies are never publicly acknowledged by any of the participating regimes and their press.This is an international empire of death and destruction based upon lies.

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Would Facebook Still Be Purging Dissent If Not Pressured by the Government?

would-facebook-still-be-purging-dissent-if-not-pressured-by-the-government

20-02-19 11:21:00,

‘Facebook is a private company and can do what it wants’ screech precisely the people using the might of the state to twist Zuckerberg’s arm into censoring dissent for them

Once upon a time, Facebook espoused idealistic notions of making the world a more open and connected place. But when it comes to views the US establishment doesn’t like, Facebook magically remembers it’s also a “private company.”

So when Facebook abruptly suspended pages belonging to Maffick Media — a company which is 51 percent owned by RT’s video agency Ruptly — critics of RT were quick to argue the social platform could ban anyone it wants.

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Who Gains from Turning Europe into a Potential Nuclear Battlefield? | New Eastern Outlook

who-gains-from-turning-europe-into-a-potential-nuclear-battlefield-new-eastern-outlook

20-02-19 11:20:00,

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The United States and its NATO partners are attempting to make the case for Washington’s decision to abandon the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Claims that the Russian Federation has been violating the treaty have yet to be substantiated with anything resembling credible evidence. Also missing is any rational explanation as to why Russia would develop or deploy nuclear weapons capable of launching a nuclear strike on Europe without warning – a scenario the INF Treaty was created to deter.

Bloomberg in its article, “Nuclear Fears Haunt Leaders With U.S.-Russian Arms Pact’s Demise,” would claim:

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s top civilian, cited recent Russian deployments and evoked a Cold War-style threat of nuclear destruction at a global conference of security and defense officials this weekend in Munich, the baroque German metropolis that’s one of Europe’s richest cities.  

“These missiles are mobile, easy to hide and nuclear-capable,” Stoltenberg said. “They can reach European cities, like Munich, with little warning.”

Stoltenberg, the rest of NATO, Washington, and the many media organizations that work for and answer to both have failed categorically to explain why Russia would ever use nuclear-capable missiles against cities “like Munich, with little warning.”

Would Moscow Nuke Russia’s Closest Trade Partners? 

While Russia has invested greatly in recent years to expand its economic trade with Asia, it is still heavily dependent on trade with Europe.

The Harvard Atlas of Economic Complexity reveals not only Europe as the most important region for Russian trade, particularly for Russian exports, but nations like the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy as among Russia’s top trade partners.

Russia is currently working with Germany on its Nord Stream 2 pipeline – a pipeline transporting Russian hydrocarbons to Western Europe without passing through politically unstable nations like Ukraine. The project is a keystone of recent Russian efforts to modernize and adapt its hydrocarbon industry around complications arising from US interference across Europe – particularly in the form of the US-engineered 2014 coup in Ukraine and NATO’s constant US-led expansion along Russian borders.

And Russian companies aren’t the only ones benefiting from Nord Stream 2 or other economic ties between Russia and Europe.

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Here’s How You Can Be Profiled Even If You’ve Never Used Social Media | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

heres-how-you-can-be-profiled-even-if-youve-never-used-social-media-light-on-conspiracies-8211-revealing-the-agenda

20-02-19 11:13:00,

By Dagny Taggart

The days of having a fully (or even mostly) private life are long gone, it seems, and social media is largely to blame.

Even if you have deactivated all of your social media accounts – or never had any in the first place – your privacy is not guaranteed.

That’s because your privacy on social media is not controlled by you, but by the people around you, according to an alarming new study that, according to one report, “shows that privacy on social media is like second-hand smoke. It’s controlled by the people around you.”

Here’s how your behavior can be predicted.

A team of researchers from the University of Vermont and the University of Adelaide wanted to find out if fundamental limits exist when using information from social networks “to predict the activities and interests of individuals, and to what accuracy such predictions can be made using an individual’s social ties.”

This may not sound like a big deal, but think about the worrisome nature of different types of predictive technology. You don’t have to actually be guilty of anything if the tech says that one day you might be. The stuff we’re discussing here takes “guilt by association” to an entirely new level.

Remember the McCarthy era trials when they search for “subversives” started out with just a handful of people but soon every person the initial suspects knew or were in contact with then became suspects themselves? We already know about the ramifications of an internet witch hunt. Now add the tendency of an online mob to try and ruin someone’s life on the basis of an old photo or a 10-second video clip and then loop the whole thing together with YOU becoming a predictable statistic just because of your circle of friends.

It is surprisingly easy to predict a person’s behavior on social media.

The researchers gathered more than thirty million public posts on Twitter from 13,905 users for their study.

Here’s what their analysis revealed:

With this data, they showed that information within the Twitter messages from 8 or 9 of a person’s contacts make it possible to predict that person’s later tweets as accurately as if they were looking directly at that person’s own Twitter feed.

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Billionaire Behind eBay and Euromaidan Is Bankrolling a Global Info War for Empire and the Deep State

billionaire-behind-ebay-and-euromaidan-is-bankrolling-a-global-info-war-for-empire-and-the-deep-state

20-02-19 11:13:00,

If anything Pierre Omidyar is even more influential and unscrupulous than George Soros but manages to fly under the radar

A select group of national news “stakeholders” gathered at an undisclosed location for what was described as a “semi-secret” workshop somewhere in Canada on January 26. The meeting had been convened to determine how and to whom a “news industry bailout” of $645 million in Canadian government subsidies to private and supposedly independent media outlets would be disbursed. It was a striking event that signaled both the crisis of legitimacy faced by mainstream media and the desperate measures that are being proposed to answer it.

Jesse Brown, a Canadian journalist who participated in the meeting, complained that the first thing he noticed about it “was that one major public ‘stakeholder’ wasn’t represented: the public.” Inside what amounted to a smoke filled room that was off limits to most Canadian citizens, Ben Scott — a former Obama administration official who also served in Hillary Clinton’s State Department — presided over the discussions. Today, as the director of policy and advocacy for the Omidyar Network, Scott works for one of the most quietly influential billionaires in helping to shape the media landscape and define the craft of journalism itself.

His boss is Pierre Omidyar, the ebay founder best known for his sponsorship of The Intercept, a flashy progressive publication that possesses the classified documents exfiltrated by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Unlike rival Silicon Valley billionaires Peter Thiel, Jeff Bezos, and Eric Schmidt, Omidyar has mostly managed to keep his influential role in media below the radar. And while he directs his fortune into many of the same politically strategic NGOs and media outlets that George Soros does in hotspots around the globe, he has never been subjected to the public scrutiny and often ugly attacks that dog Soros. And yet Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the UN and liberal interventionist guru, has explicitly praised Omidyar as someone who is following in the footsteps of Soros.

The almost total absence of critical coverage that Omidyar enjoys is partly the product of his aversion to publicity. Unlike Soros, who seems to yearn for the media limelight, Omidyar is an eccentric figure who owns a “safe house” in the wilds of the American West;

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Russia’s reserves fully cover nation’s internal & foreign debt for 1st time ever – Putin

russias-reserves-fully-cover-nations-internal-amp-foreign-debt-for-1st-time-ever-putin

20-02-19 11:09:00,

Russia’s foreign exchange reserves can now cover all of the debt owed by both the government and domestic businesses, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced.

“For the first time in history our reserves fully cover foreign debt, including government and commercial sector debt,” Putin said addressing the Federal Assembly in Moscow on Wednesday.

The country’s external debt amounts to $453.7 billion, while its international reserve funds stand at $475 billion as of February 8, 2019, according to infographics presented by the president.

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Russia’s gold reserves smash Soviet-era record as part of Moscow’s de-dollarization drive

Putin added that money allocated by Russia’s sovereign wealth fund also greatly contributes to the national budget, amounting to more than $1 billion last year.

The Russian president said he wants the national economy to grow more than 3 percent in 2021, with foreign investment in the country set to rise 6-7 percent. To reach such figures, the president set several tasks for the government, such as increased productivity, making Russia attractive to foreign companies, and improving regional infrastructure.

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Russia shifts $100bn of its reserves into yuan, yen & euro in a great dollar dump

Russia’s external debt has fallen by $64.4 billion or 12.4 percent from the beginning of last year to the lowest level in a decade, the Central Bank of Russia announced in January. Moscow has reduced its foreign debt by $280 billion since mid-2014, when it reached a peak of nearly $733 billion due to the initial impact of Western sanctions.

Meanwhile, Russia’s foreign exchange reserves have been growing for three consecutive years, increasing 8.3 percent to over $468 billion in the beginning of this year.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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Massive LED swastika displayed at Kiev shopping mall. Are ‘hackers’ to blame?

massive-led-swastika-displayed-at-kiev-shopping-mall.-are-hackers-to-blame

20-02-19 08:56:00,

A swastika has been displayed in a Kiev shopping mall, located at a street named after Nazi collaborator-turned Ukrainian ‘hero’ Stepan Bandera. The mall itself denied involvement in such a shocking display and blamed hackers.

The offensive display appeared on the LED-illuminated staircase of the Gorodok Gallery mall in the Ukrainian capital on Saturday and was caught on video by some baffled shoppers.

Footage from the scene shows the massive swastika over a red and white field, with the whole display closely resembling the state flag of Nazi Germany. While the woman who captured the video was seemingly offended by the sight, some other visitors to the mall appeared to stroll casually past the display like nothing was wrong at all.

Indeed, it could have been just a design change and in keeping with the location of the mall, which is situated on Stepan Bandera Avenue. The street used to be called Moscow Avenue but, in 2016, was renamed after Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist and Nazi collaborator, hailed in modern Ukraine as a national hero.

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The mall vehemently denied links to the appearance of the Nazi symbol, stating that the LED staircase was swiftly turned off after the huge swastika was noticed by security. Management blamed unknown “hackers” for the incident, adding that it is fully cooperating with law enforcement to capture the culprits behind the shocking display.

Subscribe to RT newsletter to get stories the mainstream media won’t tell you.

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Brussels Cries ‘Conspiracy’ Over Hungary’s Ads Showing Smiling Soros Behind EU Immigration Agenda

brussels-cries-conspiracy-over-hungarys-ads-showing-smiling-soros-behind-eu-immigration-agenda

20-02-19 08:49:00,

EU officials offer outrage but no attempt at debunking

(RT) 33 min ago | 600 words 89

A new media campaign by the Hungarian government accuses globalist billionaire George Soros and the EU of pushing open-borders policies. Brussels indignantly dismissed the campaign as a conspiracy theory and fake news.

Billboards with the images of Soros and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tell Hungarians that Brussels officials “are launching experimental immigration projects with African countries; want to introduce mandatory settlement quotas; want to reduce financial assistance for countries opposed to migration,” that last part specifically referring to Hungary.

Further accusations appeared on the government of Hungary’s Facebook page, which says the EU wants to impose settlement quotas, weaken EU members’ border protections and make immigration easier.

The EU Commission rushed to outright dismiss the ad campaign, calling it a conspiracy and “fake news,” without going into detail in addressing Budapest’s concerns.

“It is shocking that such a ludicrous conspiracy theory has reached the mainstream to the extent it has. There is no conspiracy, Hungarians deserve facts, not fiction,” spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday. The facts, according to Schinas, are that the EU has “zero plans” for humanitarian visas, while member states get to decide on the level of legal migration.

On the other hand, Brussels has repeatedly clashed with Budapest over Hungary’s immigration policy – or rather, its refusal to support the open-borders approach ushered in by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015. Time and again Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has rejected EU demands to admit migrants, building a fence with Serbia and even EU member Croatia in order to secure his country’s border.

Last week, Orban proposed a program of subsidizing Hungarian birthrates, arguing that “We need Hungarian children” rather than immigrants.

Meanwhile, Soros has openly advocated immigration as the solution to Europe’s dwindling birthrates, and berated Hungary and other “populist” members for endangering the survival of the EU, comparing it to the Soviet Union circa 1991.

With elections for the European Parliament scheduled for May, Orban’s Fidesz party does not hide the desire to have the anti-migration bloc become a majority.

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Democracy and the Corrupt Seven – Craig Murray

democracy-and-the-corrupt-seven-8211-craig-murray

20-02-19 08:36:00,

I have heard it argued again and again on television this last 48 hours that it is deeply undemocratic for the electorate to be offered a choice that is any more complicated than between Red Tories and Blue Tories. It is apparently unthinkable and deeply wrong that Corbyn’s standard German style social democracy – which is routinely labeled “hard left” and “communist” – should be proffered to voters for them to support, or not.

The overwhelmingly Blairite MPs have put this case again and again to Labour Party members in repeated leadership elections, and have been roundly and repeatedly defeated. But now, according to no less a person than Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the party, the losers’ policies must be embraced by the Party and adopted by its leadership, as to do otherwise is an affront to democracy. I confess I find this argument impossible to follow.

Corbyn has compromised already to a huge extent, even accepting that a Labour government will retain massive WMDs, in deference both to the imperialist pretensions of the Blairites and the personal greed of the demented Strangeloves who comprise the membership of the GMB Union. Labour’s pro-Trident stance will persist, until such time as enough Blairites join this forced march, or rather chauffeur driven drive, across their personal caviar and champagne strewn desert to their promised land of media contracts, massively remunerated charity executive jobs, and non-executive directorships.

Democracy is a strange thing. This episode has revealed that it is apparently a democratic necessity that we have another referendum on Brexit, while being a democratic necessity not to have another referendum on Scottish Independence, while the notion that the MPs, who now have abandoned the party and manifesto on which they stood, might face their electorates again, is so disregarded that none of the fawning MSM journalists are asking about it. In rejecting this option, the Corrupt Seven are managing the incredible feat of being less honorable than Tory MPs defecting to UKIP, who did have the basic decency to resign and fight again on their new prospectus.

Dick Taverne is a more directly relevant precedent, particularly as he was deselected as sitting Labour MP precisely because of his support for the EU. Taverne resigned, and fought and won his seat in a by-election in 1973,

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They Think They are the Magnificent Seven – They are Actually the Tawdry Seven

they-think-they-are-the-magnificent-seven-they-are-actually-the-tawdry-seven

20-02-19 08:36:00,

The 1960 film ‘The Magnificent Seven’ was apparently based on the true story which formed the basis of the 1954 Japanese movie the ‘Seven Samurai’. ‘The Magnificent Seven’ was in fact a Hollywood re-make of that film and was full of heroism, self-sacrifice and human integrity. I loved it.

Charles Bronson and Yul Brynner were immense. Yesterday I watched the polar opposite of all those virtues when ‘The Tawdry Seven’ walked into a pre-arranged press conference in London full of giggles and self-importance to denounce the very political party they had been elected to represent less than 24 months ago.

Seven individuals who would struggle to be recognised in their own households took it in turn to savage the man under whose leadership every single one of them had been re-elected to Parliament with increased majorities. Jeremy Corbyn stood as the Labour leader in 2015 after Ed Miliband stood down. He won a convincing victory with 59% of the votes cast. He stuck to his election pledges and began to re-position the Labour Party as a genuine socialist party instead of the pale imitation of the Tories it had become under Blair and Brown.

READ MORE: Jeremy Corbyn Sets Out Labour’s Requirements for Backing May’s Brexit Deal

Many of the Labour MP’s didn’t like Corbyn. He was too left wing for them. He actually stood for redistributing wealth and power away from the billionaires and multi-national corporations. He was serious. It wasn’t just rhetoric. Many in Parliament had become accustomed to being the Tories in red, the Tory 2nd team, and were shocked and alarmed at the audacity of this guy actually challenging the consensus and hegemony which meant nothing ever changed election after election. The rich got richer no matter who was in power.

Aided and abetted by the billionaire owned press and media many Labour MP’s sought to undermine Corbyn at every turn. He didn’t just face Tory enemies in front of him he had to cope with backstabbers behind him as well. Eventually the Parliamentary Labour Group of MP’s ganged up on him and forced him to face another leadership contest within a year of winning the first one. Again the billionaire press and their obedient columnists and opinion writers railed against Corbyn to try and convince everyone in the Labour party how unsavoury,

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‘Nothing to do with aid or democracy’: Roger Waters slams ‘humanitarian’ concert for Venezuela

nothing-to-do-with-aid-or-democracy-roger-waters-slams-humanitarian-concert-for-venezuela

20-02-19 08:34:00,

Pink Floyd ex-frontman Roger Waters is slamming Virgin tycoon Richard Branson’s aid concert for Venezuela as a sham, warning fans and performers not to be “led down a garden path that ends in regime change.”

Branson’s “Venezuela Aid Live” concert “has nothing to do with the needs of the Venezuelan people, it has nothing to do with democracy, it has nothing to do with freedom, and it has nothing to do with aid,” Waters declared in a video released on Tuesday.

The musician and political activist tore into the western media narrative depicting Venezuela as the victim of a humanitarian crisis created by socialism. “There is no civil war, no mayhem, no murder, no apparent dictatorship, no mass imprisonment of opposition, no suppression of the press” under President Nicolas Maduro, he said, citing friends “on the ground” in Caracas who could confirm this.

Venezuela Aid Live will take place on Friday in the Colombian border city of Cucuta. Branson has announced a fundraising target of $100 million to purchase food and medicine for Venezuelans suffering the privations of socialism – or US sanctions, depending on which version of the narrative one prefers.

Waters reserved special scorn for Branson himself, “with his bleeding heart worn openly upon his Virgin Airways t-shirt,” claiming the magnate has bought into US propaganda. A spokesperson for Branson told the National Post that the US was “not involved in any aspect of this” and that the concert was “not a political statement.” 

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Venezuelan military rejects Trump threats, reiterates loyalty to Maduro

The US-backed would-be regime change in Venezuela has not gone as smoothly as planned, with the country’s military still loyal to Maduro despite National Assembly leader Juan Guaido having declared himself an ‘interim president’ over a month ago. On Monday, US President Donald Trump gave a speech warning the Venezuelan military to follow Guaido or “lose everything.”

Waters finished his speech with a warning to friend and fellow musician Peter Gabriel not to fall for the US line,

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Vesti Exclusive! Evo Morales Shares His Insight Into the Venezuelan CIA Coup Situation! | The Vineyard of the Saker

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20-02-19 08:29:00,

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House Oversight Whistleblowers Claim Trump Trying To Transfer US Nuke Technology To Saudi Arabia

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19-02-19 06:54:00,

The House Oversight committee now chaired by Democrat Elijah Cummings issued an interim staff report after several whistleblowers came forward “to warn about efforts inside the White House to rush the transfer of highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in potential violation of the Atomic Energy Act,” spearheaded by Jared Kushner, according to a press release by the House Oversight Committee.

The press release is in conjunction with the announcement of an investigation into the allegations. 

The plan, which reportedly involved former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Kushner and Trump fundraiser Thomas Barrack, would see the development of “dozens of nuclear power plants” in a “Middle East Marshall Plan” through IP3 – a private US company which has “assembled a consortium of US companies to build nuclear plants in Saudi Arabia.” 

The whistleblowers allege that the efforts were made without review by Congress “as required by law,” and may be ongoing to this day. 

“The whistleblowers who came forward have expressed significant concerns about the potential procedural and legal violations connected with rushing through a plan to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.  They have warned of conflicts of interest among top White House advisers that could implicate federal criminal statutes.  They have also warned about a working environment inside the White House marked by chaos, dysfunction, and backbiting.  And they have warned about political appointees ignoring directives from top ethics advisors at the White House who repeatedly and unsuccessfully ordered senior Trump Administration officials to halt their efforts.” -Interim Staff Report

According to the report, efforts to transfer the sensitive US nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia may be accelerating following White House meetings last week ahead of Jared Kushner’s planned visit to the Middle-Eastern country. 

“The Committee’s investigation is particularly critical because the Administration’s efforts to transfer sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia appear to be ongoing.  On February 12, 2019, the President met with nuclear power developers at the White House about sharing nuclear technology with countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.  In addition, next week Mr. Kushner will be embarking on a tour of Middle Eastern capitals—including Riyadh—to discuss the economic portion of the Administration’s Middle East peace plan.” -Interim Staff Report

The report notes that the White House has failed to submit a report on the murder of Washington Post columnist and political operative Jamal Khashoggi. 

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Staged Chemical Attack Videos And Other Trends In Modern Propaganda | The Vineyard of the Saker

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19-02-19 06:54:00,

Staged Chemical Attack Videos And Other Trends In Modern Propaganda

The scandal regarding the fake hospital video published by the White Helmets as a proof of the Douma chemical attack has reached its peak in the media and has caused reaction on the diplomatic level.

On February 13, BBC Syria’s producer Riam Dalati came out with a statement that “After almost 6 months of investigations” he “can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged” and “no fatalities had occurred in the hospital.” Dalati added that he believes that “the attack did happen” but no Sarin was used and “everything else around the attack was manufactured for maximum effect.”

“I can tell you that Jaysh al-Islam ruled Douma with an iron fist. They coopted activists, doctors and humanitarians with fear and intimidation. In fact, one of the 3 or 4 people filming the scene was Dr. Abu Bakr Hanan, a “brute and shifty” doctor affiliated with Jaysh Al-Islam. The narrative was that “there weren’t enough drs [doctors]” but here is one filming and not taking part of the rescue efforts. Will keep the rest for later,” he wrote in a tweet chain on the topic.

An interesting fact that despite the confidence that the attack did take place and no Sarin was used, Dalati was not able to name the chemical substance used and said that it is up to the OPCW to make conclusions.

Even this halfway contradiction to the “Assad did it” version caused a wide attention because BBC was among the mainstream media organizations fueling anti-Assad hysteria when the video first appeared in April 2018. This joint propaganda effort became a formal justification of the US-led cruise missile attack on Syria.

Dalati’s statement widely circulated independent media organizations and was even commented by the Russian defense and foreign ministries. Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described the revelation as a “theater of absurd.”

“Over the past years, and not only in Syria, we have seen just a tragic farce performed by the Western community and mass media, which on the one hand, speak about the high democratic goals and how they care about the civilians of a sovereign state, and on the other hand, they just do not give a damn about all laws,

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