EU Must Develop “Appetite For Power” In Trump Era, Urges Foreign Policy Chief

eu-must-develop-“appetite-for-power”-in-trump-era,-urges-foreign-policy-chief

18-02-20 08:07:00,

The European Union’s foreign policy chief has issued a hugely provocative statement, urging the bloc to “develop an appetite for power” to better chart its own independent course and navigate various crises especially with Trump in the White House.

“European Union governments need to be willing to intervene in international crises or risk prolonging paralysis in their foreign policy, the EU’s top diplomat said on Sunday,” Reuters reports. The EU’s foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell made the statements at the Munich Security Conference, while underscoring he doesn’t only mean military power. 

The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, file image

The comments appeared tailored to the Trump era and the potential for another four years of him in the White House, which has witnessed the US administration tear up the Europe-backed Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), impose record tariffs on European goods, take drastic unilateral action on the question Israel-Palestine peace, pull out of the Paris climate accord, and ‘meddle’ in Europe’s energy affairs. 

“Europe has to develop an appetite for power,” Borrell stressed. “We should be able to act… not everyday making comments, expressing concern,” he told leaders, lawmakers and diplomats gathered for the annual forum on international security policy.

Borrell called for the bloc to speak powerfully with one voice, as opposed failing time and again on building consensus, in order to boost its “soft power” in the face of Trump’s “America First” policies. “When there is no unanimity (in the EU), the remaining majority have to act,” Borrell said. Borrell is former European parliament president and recently served as Spain’s foreign minister.

One immediate pressing EU foreign policy question which the continent has remain paralyzed on is coordinating to implement and monitor an arms embargo on Libya. Despite new recent commitments of EU members to uphold a United Nation arms ban, it’s lately been described as “a joke” due to Europe’s practical inability to implement it in the Mediterranean. 

“The arms embargo has become a joke, we all really need to step up here,” UN Deputy Special Representative to Libya Stephanie Williams said this weekend in Munich. “It’s complicated because there are violations by land,

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The CIA and the Media – Global Research

the-cia-and-the-media-–-global-research

18-02-20 07:48:00,

After leaving The Washington Post in 1977, Carl Bernstein spent six months looking at the relationship of the CIA and the press during the Cold War years. His 25,000-word cover story, published in Rolling Stone on October 20, 1977, is reprinted below.

***

In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America’s leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.

Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.

The history of the CIA’s involvement with the American press continues to be shrouded by an official policy of obfuscation and deception for the following principal reasons:

  • The use of journalists has been among the most productive means of intelligence‑gathering employed by the CIA. Although the Agency has cut back sharply on the use of reporters since 1973 primarily as a result of pressure from the media), some journalist‑operatives are still posted abroad.
  • Further investigation into the matter, CIA officials say, would inevitably reveal a series of embarrassing relationships in the 1950s and 1960s with some of the most powerful organizations and individuals in American journalism.

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Hegelian Dialectic – The No. 1 Tool of the Illuminati -with examples

hegelian-dialectic-–-the-no.-1-tool-of-the-illuminati-with-examples

17-02-20 09:58:00,

A Little TRUTH profile image

Illuminati, Freemasons and other Secret Societies use the Hegelian Dialectic extensively

Illuminati, Freemasons and other Secret Societies use the Hegelian Dialectic extensively | Source

Freedom of Choice

Freedom of Choice | Source

Do you watch the news and tear your hair out trying to make sense out of it? Learn the “Hegelian Dialectic”, and you will see the News with a whole new level of understanding.

Since 9/11, the threat of terrorism is a constant news item. Now, at the airport, we choose between irradiation and sexual molestation (sometimes we get both) before we can get on the plane – thanks in part to the underwear bomber.

The swine flu and bird flu scares came and went only to leave people sick or permanently disabled from the vaccinations, which were almost mandatory.

The US is always dropping bombs on someone, somewhere, in an undeclared war. The recent victims are Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, and the victim of the longest war in US history – Afghanistan.

Why does “Global Warming” (oops, I mean “Climate Change – no now we’re calling it global warming again) make headline news for years, but the real dangers to the environment such as poisoning from chemtrails and holes in the ionosphere from HAARP never make the news?

We have the never-ending, never-progressing war on drugs, war on poverty, war on terror, war on cancer, war on drunk drivers, war on distracted drivers, and even the war on dogs not wearing seat belts in the car.

There are riots and bombings and schoolhouse/theater/church mass shootings here and there. Peaceful protests get infiltrated and then turn violent.

Why?

Why is all this happening when the vast majority of people don’t want any of it to happen. On the contrary, most people would go out of their way to hold a door open for an elderly lady using a walker.

Understand the Hegelian Dialectic and emerge from the mass media choke-hold.

Understand the Hegelian Dialectic and emerge from the mass media choke-hold. | Source

Well, if you understand the Hegelian Dialectic you will understand why these things happen. You will look at the news with a whole new level of understanding. But far, far better and more important than that,

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WHO Holds Secret Talks With Tech Giants To Stop Spread Of Coronavirus “Misinformation”

who-holds-secret-talks-with-tech-giants-to-stop-spread-of-coronavirus-“misinformation”

17-02-20 07:45:00,

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

The World Health Organization has held talks with tech giants to stop the spread of coronavirus “misinformation,” despite the fact that some things once labeled “misinformation” have since turned out to be true.

The meeting was organized by the WHO but hosted by Facebook at its Menlo Park campus in California. Attendees included representatives from Amazon, Twilio, Dropbox, Google, Verizon, Salesforce, Twitter, YouTube, Airbnb, Kinsa and Mapbox.

According to the WHO’s Andy Pattison, an “infodemic” of misinformation has accompanied the coronavirus outbreak and big tech giants need to respond by censoring “fake news” content.

Both Facebook and Twitter already announced that they would remove content deemed to be misinformation regarding the virus, a dangerous new lurch to mass censorship given that what is considered “misinformation” is totally subjective and beholden to partisan bias.

Two clear examples of “misinformation” surrounding the coronavirus subsequently turned out to be true.

Once again, the media defamed anyone who even talked about the bio-lab in Wuhan as a fake news conspiracy theorist.

Now biological scientists from the prestigious South China University of Technology have concluded that coronavirus came from a bio-lab in Wuhan.

Retractions? pic.twitter.com/59jA1CCqzl

— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) February 17, 2020

The first example was claims that China was hiding the true number of coronavirus victims, once labeled a “conspiracy theory” by the media but subsequently proven accurate on Friday when 14,800 new coronavirus cases were reported in a single day.

The second example was suspicions that the virus could have emerged from a bio-safety level 4 research lab in Wuhan.

This contention has been aggressively attacked by the media and big tech giants – Zero Hedge was even banned by Twitter for reporting it – but a new study by scientists at the prestigious South China University of Technology in Guangzhou has confirmed that “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.”

Chinese dissidents and others have been defamed and in some cases imprisoned by authorities, but the media continues to treat any questioning of the official Chinese Communist Party narrative with disdain.

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The Death Of Free Speech: Zuckerberg Asks Governments For Instructions On “What Discourse Should Be Allowed”

the-death-of-free-speech:-zuckerberg-asks-governments-for-instructions-on-“what-discourse-should-be-allowed”

17-02-20 07:19:00,

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

I have written for years on the effort of European countries to expand their crackdown on free speech globally through restrictions on social media and Internet speech. It appears that Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has relented in what may prove the death knell for free speech in the West.

Zuckerberg seems to relent in asking governments for regulations stipulating what speech will be permitted on Facebook and other platforms. It is the ultimate victory of FranceGermany, and England in their continuing attack on free expression though hate speech laws and speech regulation.

Zuckerberg told an assembly of Western leaders Saturday at the Munich Security Conference that:

“There should be more guidance and regulation from the states on basically – take political advertising as an example – what discourse should be allowed?”

He did add:

“Or, on the balance of free expression and some things that people call harmful expression, where do you draw the line?”

The problem is that his comments were received as accepting that government will now dictate the range of free speech. What is missing is the bright line rule long maintained by the free speech community.

As tragically demonstrated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, speech regulations inevitably expand with time. The desire to silence one’s critics becomes insatiable for both governments and individuals.

Zuckerberg is facing great pressure, including from Democratic leaders in the United States, to regulate political speech and he seems to be moving away from the bright-line position against such regulation as a principle:

“There are a lot of decisions in these areas that are really just balances between different social values. It’s about coming up with an answer that society feels is legitimate and that they can get behind and understand that you drew the line here on the balance of free expression and safety. It’s not just that there’s one right answer. People need to feel like, ‘OK, enough people weighed in, and that’s why the answer should be this, and we can get behind that.’”

Instead,

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EU nations bicker over Libya arms embargo fearing warships would encourage migrants to cross Mediterranean & FLOOD Europe

eu-nations-bicker-over-libya-arms-embargo-fearing-warships-would-encourage-migrants-to-cross-mediterranean-&-flood-europe

17-02-20 07:18:00,

Brussels has failed to revive an EU-led naval mission to uphold the arms embargo on Libya, with some dissenting voices in the bloc arguing that the ships’ presence would attract migrants setting out from African shores.

EU foreign ministers are unlikely to support the return of Operation Sophia – a maritime mission in the Mediterranean launched in 2015 to enforce the embargo – during a meeting on Monday, Europe’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell acknowledged.

Also on rt.com
UN deputy envoy to Libya at Munich conference: Ceasefire hangs by thread & arms embargo is a ‘joke’

“I don’t think today we are going to be able [to reach an agreement],” Borrell said, expressing hope that disagreements could instead be resolved by the next meeting in March.

Multiple countries had “some final reluctance,” he explained, without going into details. While Borrell said the situation on the ground in Libya “is very, very bad,” humanitarian considerations don’t seem to play a big part in the EU’s rationale.

Ahead of Monday’s talks, Borrell’s office distributed a memo urging EU nations to agree on the naval mission. The document warned that if the 27 members fail to reach agreement, “the EU will become irrelevant and others will continue to determine the development of events in Libya.”

However, not every EU nation shared that kind of geopolitical thinking. Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg insisted that “something new has to be put in place; a military operation, not a humanitarian operation.”

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EU declares migrant crisis over, but what do Europeans think? (VIDEO)

Later, he told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper that bringing Operation Sophia back on track would mean EU warships having to rescue illegal migrants crossing the Mediterranean in the hope of reaching European shores.

Austria supports increased aerial surveillance and even the deployment of EU border guards – but it still believes that a naval mission won’t help to keep the embargo in place. “At a meeting in Vienna a few days ago, my Libyan counterpart confirmed to me that a maritime mission is unsuitable for controlling the arms embargo,”

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US openly paves way for INF-banned missiles to be placed in Europe & Asia – Lavrov

us-openly-paves-way-for-inf-banned-missiles-to-be-placed-in-europe-&-asia-–-lavrov

17-02-20 06:23:00,

Just out of a milestone nuclear missile accord, the US is about to deploy short- and intermediate-range missiles in Europe and Asia, prompting Moscow to engage France and other partners to preserve security on the continent.

“In order to agree on specific solutions, we need multilateral talks and multilateral consultations involving, of course, the United States, who destroyed the treaty,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday, referring to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

This pact saw Washington and Moscow eliminate entire classes of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and missile launchers capable of carrying nukes back in the 1980s.

Now, they are actively creating the prerequisites for the deployment of these previously banned weapons in Europe, and indeed in Asia, they don’t hide it.

Japan, South Korea and some “Pacific islands” are the likeliest locations for these deployments, Lavrov noted.

Meanwhile, the minister, who unexpectedly met with his American counterpart Mike Pompeo at the Munich Security Conference, said he felt “certain shifts” in how the US approaches arms control now.

“We discussed a number of issues relating to the whole range of problems that are on the agenda of our strategic dialogue, including those that are within the competence of the five permanent members [of the UN Security Council], and those relating to arms control issues,” he revealed.

READ MORE: Russia is ready to extend New START arms control treaty & negotiate on new weapons, yet US ignores the offers – Lavrov

Lavrov and Pompeo have agreed “to continue pointed professional conversation on it.” But until US-Russia relations thaw, Moscow will reach out to other partners in Europe concerned about the fate of the INF.

“Of course, we will talk about this with the French,” the foreign minister added. France seems to be particularly responsive to Russia’s concerns. This month, President Emmanuel Macron insisted the Europeans cannot sit idle as they “could rapidly face a new race for conventional weapons, even nuclear weapons, on their own soil.”

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Macron warns that European nations ‘cannot remain spectators’ in the face of a potential nuclear arms race

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Chinese Banks Are Quarantining Cash, Destroying ‘Dirty’ Money

chinese-banks-are-quarantining-cash,-destroying-‘dirty’-money

17-02-20 05:48:00,

Authored by Mitchell Blatt via NationalInterest.org,

China’s widespread quarantine policy thanks to the coronavirus had been expanded from the city of Wuhan to a dozen other cities in Hubei province, to community quarantines for people returning from holiday, and now even inanimate objects must be quarantined. Paper currency, that is.

People’s Bank of China representatives said at a press conference on February 15 that currency deposited at banks must be disinfected with ultraviolet light and then held for a week or longer before being released back into the wilds of the economy. The Chinese central bank will provide new bills worth 600 billion yuan to banks. (Some of the currency will be destroyed.)

Those who work closely with cash are keenly aware of how filthy money is.

“When I’m at work, I realize cash is the dirtiest thing in the world,” Wang Zeyaun, a bank teller in Hangzhou, says.

It’s true. A 2002 study of American $1 bills found bacteria on over 90 percent, and a Swiss study found that the flu virus can survive from between a few days and two weeks on francs. (Metal coins are not as dirty as fabric bills.) Richard W. Rahn, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, hopes that paper currency will disappear.

In China, it is already on its way to extinction. According to eMarketer, a NYC-based online commerce research firm, China leads the world by far in mobile payment with 81 percent adoption by its smartphone users in 2020. Measured as a proportion of total population, China also leads the world, with 35 percent in 2019, according to Statista Digital Market Outlook.

Those who do not use smart phones, or, if they do, are less likely to use advanced features, are disproportionately the elderly. The elderly are also more likely to have compromised immune systems and less likely to survive serious illness. So many news articles in Chinese media point to their use of cash as an important reason to clean currency. During the Spring Festival period, the elders also customarily give cash in red packets to young children,

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The Terrorists Migrating Into Europe

the-terrorists-migrating-into-europe

17-02-20 05:40:00,

Authored by Judith Bergman via The Gatestone Institute,

A new report,What Terrorist Migration Over European Borders Can Teach About American Border Security“, by Todd Bensman, a senior national security fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, describes the extent to which terrorists disguised as migrants have entered the European Union to commit terrorist attacks.

Although the study was written primarily for an American audience to prevent the same mistakes from being made on US borders, the study is extremely relevant for the European public — especially as Germany recently warned of a repeat migration crisis, similar to the one that occurred in 2015. According to Bensman:

“Between 2014 and 2017, 13 of the 26 member states lining the so-called Schengen Area’s external land borders recorded more than 2.5 million detections of illegal border-crossings along several land and sea routes, an historic, mostly unfettered surge that came to be known as the ‘migrant crisis’. The Schengen Area, which generally encompasses the European Union, consists of countries that combined immigration enforcement of a common external border of 27,000 sea miles and 5,500 land miles while removing all interior border controls to facilitate the free movement of goods and people.

“During the 2014-2018 migrant crisis, the majority of travelers who crossed the external border and were then able to move unfettered between member nations came from nations in the Middle East, such as Syria and Iraq; South Asia, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan; and Africa, such as Somalia and Eritrea. It first became known that some ISIS terrorist operatives also were in the flows after some of them committed the November 2015 Paris attacks… and then the March 2016 Brussels attacks”.

According to Bensman “The totality of how migration and terrorism intertwined as a destructive force against Europe, and the continent’s response, remains largely unacknowledged, undocumented, and not analyzed“.

Nor does it get much — if any — prolonged attention in European public debates about migration.

According to Bensman:

“Between January 2014 and January 2018, at least 104 Islamist extremists entered Europe by way of migration over external sea and land borders among more than two million people who crossed external European Union borders.

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Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense Submitted Historic Case Against U.S. Government for Children Injured by Wireless Technology Radiation – Global Research

robert-f-kennedy,-jr’s-children’s-health-defense-submitted-historic-case-against-us.-government-for-children-injured-by-wireless-technology-radiation-–-global-research

17-02-20 05:31:00,

CHD Chairman, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., will lead the legal team with seasoned telecommunications and administrative law attorney Scott McCollough.

Children’s Health Defense (CHD) is leading a historic legal action against the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) for its refusal to review their 25 year old guidelines, and to promulgate scientific, human evidence-based radio frequency emissions (“RF”) rules that adequately protect public health from wireless technology radiation. The Petition contends the agency’s actions are capricious and not evidence-based. The Petition was filed on 2/2/2020 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The Petitioners include parents of children injured by wireless devices, a mother whose son died from a brain tumor from cell tower exposure, physicians who see the epidemic of sickness in their clinics and Professor David Carpenter, a renowned scientist.

“This action represents the first time in 25 years that we finally can expose the FCC fecklessness in court, and give those who have been injured by the FCC’s disregard for human health a voice,” says Dafna Tachover, CHD’s Director of Stop 5G & Wireless Harms.

In 1996, the FCC, responsible for regulating the safety of wireless technology, adopted guidelines which only protect consumers from thermal levels of wireless harm, ignoring substantial evidence of profound harms from non-thermal levels. The FCC hasn’t reviewed its guidelines since, despite clear scientific evidence and growing rates of RF related sickness.

In 2012, the General Accountability Office published a report recommending that the FCC re-assess its guidelines. As a result, in 2013, the FCC opened docket 13-84 asking for public comment. Despite overwhelming evidence in support of new rules submitted by hundreds of individuals and scientists, the FCC did nothing. On December 4, 2019, the FCC closed the docket and affirmed the adequacy of its guidelines without proper assessment. CHD’s action challenges that FCC decision.

The FCC’s obsolete guidelines and the false sense of safety they provide enabled the uncontrolled proliferation of wireless technology and the ongoing deployment of 5G, which will exponentially increase exposure to this harmful radiation.

CHD is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending the epidemic of children’s chronic health conditions.

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Queen Elizabeth won’t get involved in Julian Assange case because it’s a POLITICAL matter – Buckingham Palace

queen-elizabeth-won’t-get-involved-in-julian-assange-case-because-it’s-a-political-matter-–-buckingham-palace

16-02-20 08:26:00,

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman has said the Queen will not intervene to release Julian Assange, vowing to remain “non-political.” The statement seemingly confirms that Assange’s detention is a political, not criminal, matter.

With WikiLeaks founder Assange holed up in HM Prison Belmarsh awaiting extradition to the US, activist Chris Lonsdale penned a letter to Queen Elizabeth II last month, asking the monarch to “ensure that Mr. Julian Assange is freed from Belmarsh Prison unconditionally,” in the spirit of “justice, peace and fair-mindedness.”

In a reply posted by Lonsdale on Sunday, a spokeswoman for the Queen said that Her Majesty “remains strictly non-political at all times,” and Assange’s detention is therefore “not a matter in which the Queen would intervene.”

I have received a reply back from Buckingham Palace following my letter & petition to the Queen in support of #JulianAssange some weeks ago. The response says, basically, that the Queen cannot intervene in issues which are Political. This should be used in court. pic.twitter.com/GJVRiAXcTV

— Chris Lonsdale⏳ (@kungfu_mandarin) February 16, 2020

Assange’s supporters have long argued that his arrest and imprisonment are motivated by politics, not justice. Assange has languished in Belmarsh since his arrest inside London’s Ecuadorian embassy last April, ostensibly on charges of skipping bail in 2012. He is also facing extradition to the US to answer to a litany of espionage charges, related to WikiLeaks’ publication of classified US military documents detailing potential war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. If convicted, he faces 175 years in prison.

Buckingham Palace’s response seemingly admits that Assange is being persecuted on political grounds. 

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Australian senator calls on govt to bring Assange home as journalist faces ‘death’ if extradited to US

Assange’s health has been in steady decline since his incarceration. Following a visit to Assange in May, UN rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer declared that the former WikiLeaks boss showed “all the symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture.”

Melzer added that Assange could be “exposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights… including torture and other cruel,

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Zero-emission champion Tesla allowed to keep building Europe’s 1st Gigafactory by… sweeping out woods near Berlin

zero-emission-champion-tesla-allowed-to-keep-building-europe’s-1st-gigafactory-by…-sweeping-out-woods-near-berlin

15-02-20 10:22:00,

While Elon Musk advances his sustainability agenda, his ‘environmentally-friendly’ venture Tesla wages – and wins – a legal battle with locals who oppose leveling a pine forest to erect the company’s giant factory. 

Defying protests among locals and an appeal by environmentalist groups, a local court gave the green light to Elon Musk’s Gigafactory 4 construction in the middle of a serene forest in the Gruenheide municipality – a place that ironically has the word ‘Green’ in its name if translated from German.


1

The ruling in favor of Tesla sank a lawsuit by two local environmentalist groups claiming that chopping trees occupying almost 92 hectares (227 acres) would lead to deforestation and an exodus of wildlife. Explaining the verdict, the court said the government’s environment agency didn’t find any reason to stop the factory construction.

Musk repeatedly insisted that electric cars are the future of fossil-fuel free transportation, once telling the public that Tesla’s “fundamental good” is advancing “the advent of sustainable transport and energy production.”

But leveling woods in Gruenheide for the sake of a green future didn’t sit particularly well with locals. Last month, almost 200 people staged a protest, demanding that the construction plans be reversed. Their main concern was that making room for the Gigafactory would turn the idyllic neighborhood into a roaring, dirty industrial zone.

Others welcomed the news, meaning more jobs for the local youth – and also top-notch technology coming into the area. German environmentalists, on their part, say the factory could create problems with drinking water supply and waste water disposal.

Called Giga Berlin, or Gigafactory 4, it is poised to become the carmaker’s first plant in Europe. A number of European countries – including Finland, the Netherlands, Poland and Lithuania – competed to host it, but Germany was selected, according to Musk, because of its engineering prowess.

The plant will assemble Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, also manufacturing batteries, powertrains, seats and battery packs, effectively becoming a full-cycle enterprise. Now, Giga Berlin is expected to go online in 2021, with the aim of producing 150,000 cars per year.

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Teslas may produce as much CO2 as gasoline powered cars

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The Biometric Threat

the-biometric-threat

15-02-20 06:37:00,

Authored by Jayati Ghosh via Project Syndicate,

Around the world, governments are succumbing to the allure of biometric identification systems. To some extent, this may be inevitable, given the burden of demands and expectations placed on modern states. But no one should underestimate the risks these technologies pose.

Biometric identification systems use individuals’ unique intrinsic physical characteristics – fingerprints or handprints, facial patterns, voices, irises, vein maps, or even brain waves – to verify their identity. Governments have applied the technology to verify passports and visas, identify and track security threats, and, more recently, to ensure that public benefits are correctly distributed.

Private companies, too, have embraced biometric identification systems. Smartphones use fingerprints and facial recognition to determine when to “unlock.” Rather than entering different passwords for different services – including financial services – users simply place their finger on a button on their phone or gaze into its camera lens.

It is certainly convenient. And, at first glance, it might seem more secure: someone might be able to find out your password, but how could they replicate your essential biological features?

But, as with so many other convenient technologies, we tend to underestimate the risks associated with biometric identification systems. India has learned about them the hard way, as it has expanded its scheme to issue residents a “unique identification number,” or Aadhaar, linked to their biometrics.

Originally, the Aadhaar program’s primary goal was to manage government benefits and eliminate “ghost beneficiaries” of public subsidies. But it has now been expanded to many spheres: everything from opening a bank account to enrolling children in school to gaining admission to a hospital now requires an Aadhaar. More than 90% of India’s population has enrolled in the program.

But serious vulnerabilities have emerged. Biometric verification may seem like the ultimate tech solution, but human error creates significant risks, especially when data-collection procedures are not adequately established or implemented. In India, the government wanted to enroll a lot of people quickly in the Aadhaar program, so data collection was outsourced to small service providers with mobile machines.

If a fingerprint or iris scan is even slightly tilted or otherwise wrongly positioned, it may not match future verification scans.

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Chaos Is Coming: US To Start Testing People With Flu Symptoms

chaos-is-coming:-us-to-start-testing-people-with-flu-symptoms

15-02-20 06:34:00,

Brace for chaos: in a few weeks, the next person to sneeze may be arrested quietly pulled aside by the authorities and tested for coronavirus.

People in the US experiencing flu-like symptoms will be screened for the latest coronavirus that originated from China, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced during a briefing on Friday, adding that it will roll out 5 labs, in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle, to screen patients through the ominously sounding “national flu surveillance program”; if that wasn’t bad enough, they also said the program is likely to expand as more confirmed cases are expected in the coming days and weeks.

Justifying the move, CDC officials said that there could be undetected cases of the mysterious illness in communities across the US, as the country experiences a dramatic spike in flu as the season approaches its halfway point.

The agency plans to expand to more cities until it has achieved “national surveillance”.

“They are currently testing for influenza. The idea is they will test the influenza negative specimens,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. There are now 15 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US and more than 600 people remain in quarantine.

Which, of course is a prudent move, if only it weren’t for the fact that tens of millions of Americans are about to get sick as we enter the peak of flu season, and every sneeze or cough will lead to panicked phone calls to the local ER (or police), and potentially in self-imposed quarantine as more and more Americans await an “all clear” signal before life returns back to normal. Alas, with the coronavirus pandemic running rampang in China, this may not happen for many month.

Global cases of the virus have topped 64,000, including hundreds of health workers in China as it battles to contain the virus following its outbreak in Wuhan. In the US, there have been 15th confirmed coronavirus infections while more than 1,300 people have died in China (it would have been even more had China not somehow “double-counted” the dead).

The latest case in the US involves a patient who was among a group of people under a federal quarantine order in Texas following a US government-chartered flight that evacuated US citizens from China earlier this month.

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China Is Disintegrating: Steel Demand, Property Sales, Traffic All Approaching Zero

china-is-disintegrating:-steel-demand,-property-sales,-traffic-all-approaching-zero

14-02-20 10:09:00,

In our ongoing attempts to glean some objective insight into what is actually happening “on the ground” in the notoriously opaque China, whose economy has been hammered by the Coronavirus epidemic, yesterday we showed several “alternative” economic indicators such as real-time measurements of air pollution (a proxy for industrial output), daily coal consumption (a proxy for electricity usage and manufacturing) and traffic congestion levels (a proxy for commerce and mobility), before concluding that China’s economy appears to have ground to a halt.

That conclusion was cemented after looking at some other real-time charts which suggest that there is a very high probability that China’s GDP in Q1 will not only flatline, but crater deep in the red for one simple reason: there is no economic activity taking place whatsoever.

We start with China’s infrastructure and fixed asset investment, which until recently accounted for the bulk of Chinese GDP. As Goldman writes in an overnight report, in the Feb 7-13 week, steel apparent demand is down a whopping 40%, but that’s only because flat steel is down “only” 12% Y/Y as some car plants have ordered their employee to return to work (likely against their will as the epidemic still rages).

However, it is the far more important – for China’s GDP – construction steel sector where apparent demand has literally hit the bottom of the chart, down an unprecedented 88% Y/Y or as Goldman puts it, “construction steel demand is approaching zero.”

But wait, there’s more.

Courtesy of Capital Economics, which has compiled a handy breakdown of real-time China indicators, we can see the full extent of just how pervasive the crash in China’s economy has been, starting with familiar indicator, the average road congestion across 100 Chinese cities, which has collapsed into the New Year and has since failed to rebound.

Average Road Congestion across 100 Cities in China

Parallel to this, daily passenger traffic has also flatlined since the New Year and has yet to post an even modest rebound.

Daily Passenger Traffic

And the biggest shocker: a total collapse in passenger traffic (measured in person-km y/y % change),

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‘Burned at the Stake’ – The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Demolishes the Fake Claims Targeting Julian Assange – Global Research

‘burned-at-the-stake’-–-the-un-special-rapporteur-on-torture-demolishes-the-fake-claims-targeting-julian-assange-–-global-research

14-02-20 04:28:00,

On the face of it, the task seems almost hopeless. As Tolstoy wrote:

‘The power of the government is maintained by public opinion, and with this power the government, by means of its organs – its officials, law courts, schools, churches, even the press – can always maintain the public opinion which they need.’ (Leo Tolstoy, ‘Writings on Non-Violence and Civil Disobedience,’ New Society Publishers, 1987, p.111)

Last December, we witnessed the awesome capacity of state-corporate power to manipulate public opinion and undermine a democratic election with a ruthless propaganda campaign smearing Jeremy Corbyn, a passionate anti-racist. The campaign depicted Corbyn, not just as an anti-semite, but as someone who might ‘reopen Auschwitz’. The truth wasn’t just distorted, it was reversed.

Israeli-born academic and author Jamie Stern-Weiner has commented:

‘no mainstream reporter ever investigated whether the allegations against Labour were true.

‘Where journalists did not reflexively endorse the accusations against Labour, they were content to uncritically relay them alongside the party’s response.

‘Accusations by Jewish communal figures or anti-Corbyn MPs were considered inherently significant, whether or not they were accompanied by supporting evidence.’

Careful, credible analysis that made a nonsense of the claims here, here and here was simply ignored.

Vested interests may appear to hold all the cards – they work hard to give that impression – but this is only an appearance. The very fact that they work so relentlessly to shape public opinion indicates the precarious nature of their dominance.

The problem is inherent, structural – a ‘democratic’ society that subordinates the needs of the many to the needs of the few is a society based on lies. Propaganda obfuscating those lies can be disseminated endlessly, day and night, but it will always be vulnerable to individuals and groups with genuine expertise motivated by genuine concern for others. As the Buddhist sage Je Gampopa commented:

‘Even a single virtuous act overcomes many evils… a small good action can overcome a great wrong; it is highly efficient.’ (Gampopa, ‘Gems of Dharma, Jewels of Freedom,’ Altea, 1994, p.135)

Following in the footsteps of senior UN officials like Denis Halliday,

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Hungarian Foreign Minister Warns UN’s Push For Mass Migration Threatens “Whole Of Humanity”

hungarian-foreign-minister-warns-un’s-push-for-mass-migration-threatens-“whole-of-humanity”

14-02-20 09:01:00,

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjárt warns that the United Nations is spending money on facilitating a program of mass migration that threatens the “whole of humanity.”

Instead of spending money on counter-terrorism, the UN is funding programs that encourage people to leave their homelands and head to western countries, Szijjártó told a conference in Vienna on Tuesday.

This mass migration process poses “a very serious threat to the whole of humanity,” said Szijjártó.

We call on the UN to include in its budget counter-terrorism … and to spend less on migration,” the minister told the conference, which was organized by the UN.

Passed in 2018, the UN Compact on Migration is not legally binding, but governments are under international pressure to follow its mandates.

British MEP Janice Atkinson warned that the pact could lead to Europe being flooded with 59 million new migrants within the next 6 years.

Dutch MEP Marcel de Graaff also said that the pact would grease the skids for laws that would criminalize criticism of mass immigration as hate speech.

French generals who signed an open letter accusing President Macron of “treason” for committing France to the pact were later hit with disciplinary action.

While Britain and numerous other western countries signed the migration pact, the United States refused to do so.

A 2001 United Nations document entitled ‘Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations?’ outlined a plan to flood America and Europe with hundreds of millions of migrants in order to maintain population levels.

Under the most severe scenario, large numbers of migrants will be required to “maintain the potential support ratio” (of a population) at the highest level.

In the case of the United States, under the most extreme scenario, the report states, “It would be necessary to have 593 million immigrants from 1995 to 2050, an average of 10.8 million per year.”

“By 2050, out of a United States total population of 1.1 billion, 775 million, or 73 per cent, would be post 1995 immigrants or their descendants,” adds the report.

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Switzerland Stops 5G – Medical Association Concerned About Cancer and Damage to Nervous System – Activist Post

switzerland-stops-5g-–-medical-association-concerned-about-cancer-and-damage-to-nervous-system-–-activist-post

13-02-20 06:57:00,

By B.N. Frank

In 2017, doctors and scientists worldwide requested a 5G moratorium.  In 2018 5G was installed in some New York neighborhoods anyway and residents and their pets immediately started experiencing symptoms from exposure.  Some put their homes up for sale because of it.  This was reported on social media by Dr. Naomi Wolf.

People getting sick from 5G isn’t exclusive to New York (see 1, 2, 3).  Residents of Switzerland have been particularly vocal about their opposition especially after being exposed to it.  Now the country has stopped the use of all new towers.

From the Financial Times:

The country’s environment agency has called time on the use of all new towers

Sam Jones, Financial Times, Feb 12, 2020

Switzerland was among the first countries to begin deploying 5G, but health fears over radiation from the antennas that carry the next-generation mobile technology have sparked a nationwide revolt.

Switzerland, one of the world’s leaders in the rollout of 5G mobile technology, has placed an indefinite moratorium on the use of its new network because of health concerns.

The move comes as countries elsewhere around Europe race to upgrade their networks to 5G standards amid a furious rearguard diplomatic campaign by the US to stop them using Chinese technology provided by Huawei. Washington says the company, which is fundamental to most European networks’ upgrade plans, presents a grave security risk.

Read full article

Worldwide opposition to 5G continues to increase.  The first Global 5G Opposition Day was held in January.  Cities and countries have taken action against 5G – even banning it.  In December doctors, scientists, engineers, and public advocates asked President Trump for a moratorium on 5G because of biological, environmental, and safety risks (see 1, 2).  Multiple 5G lawsuits have also been filed in the U.S. (see 1, 2, 3,

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Where does Turkey stand in the Syrian Endgame? | New Eastern Outlook

where-does-turkey-stand-in-the-syrian-endgame?-|-new-eastern-outlook

13-02-20 05:51:00,

ERD23112

Whereas the mainstream western and Arab media have been claiming a ‘serious rift’ between Russia and Turkey over the death of Turkish soldiers in a Syrian offensive in Idlib, this is far from the case. While there is no gainsaying that Russian and Syrian interests do not always converge fully and that there are some contentious areas, this then is also quite equally true of Turkey’s relations with the US/NATO as well. Therefore, expecting Turkey to take a full wheel U-turn to the US/NATO as a result of the so-called ‘serious rift’ with Moscow/Damascus is not only an extremely unlikely event to happen but also geo-politically an unrealistic assumption; for, the major disagreement, as it stands, does not exit between Russia and Turkey per se, it exists, if at all, between an increasingly assertive Syrian army, ambitiously advancing to regain control of their country, and a Turkish a resolve to prevent the emergence of a ‘Kurdistan’ along its border with Syria.

Whereas both Syria and Turkey, as also Russia, aim to prevent the establishment of ‘Kurdistan’ along Syria-Turkey border, the disagreement remains over who will prevent this i.e., whether Turkey will do this through a direct military presence or the Syrian army through directly taking control of the territories.

It was this political disagreement that was at the heart of Putin’s visits to Damascus and Istanbul in the end of January 2020. As the reports suggest, the Russians had ‘strongly advised’ the Syrian army to halt their offensive and allow Turkey to relocate its troops. Assad, while he agreed to halt the offensive, did not want to break the momentum of battle ground victories. At the same, Moscow does not think that allowing al-Qaeda affiliate groups to continue to operate from Idlib and attack Syrian and Russian interests is going to work for them; hence, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s calculated response to the tensions arising out of the clashes between Turkey and Syria.

In particular, he stated:

“We don’t agree with this view [of Erdogan about attacking Idlib]. Russia is in full compliance with the Sochi agreements on the Idlib zone. At the same time, we regret to say that the situation is far from perfect”, adding further that “a large number of terrorists remain in the area and continue aggressive attacks on the Syrian army and Russia’s Hmeymim air base.

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Syria Imposes the Astana Deal by Force as Turkish, Russian Tensions Rise – Global Research

syria-imposes-the-astana-deal-by-force-as-turkish,-russian-tensions-rise-–-global-research

13-02-20 05:18:00,

Since 2012 the M5 Damascus-Aleppo had been under the control of jihadist forces. The Syrian Army has now liberated the M5 Damascus-Aleppo road and over 140 cities, villages and strategic hills. Turkey and the Uzbeks, Uighurs and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly al-Nusra) failed to protect their fortified positions, abandoning them and retreating towards the area surrounding Idlib.

This is the first time the Turkish Army has been shelled by the Syrian Army. Five Turkish officers were killed at Taftanaz military airport, the base used by Turkey and its jihadists gather. Ankara was forced to send its own army onto the battlefield to compensate for the weakness of its jihadist allies on the ground.

The liberation of the 432 km of the M5 from jihadists was stipulated in the Astana agreement signed in October 2018, a stipulation which Turkey failed to honour since then. The Syrian government carried out three major advances towards the M5 since then, but this time the decision to recover it was final. This is a Syrian-Russian message to President Erdogan that time is running out for Idlib. The Turkish-Russian bras-de-fer is also reaching beyond the Syrian borders. It is also evident in Ukraine and Libya, where Turkey is seeking a major role.

The Russians are providing the Syrian Army with advanced warfare equipment and dozens of T-90s, which help the Army to continue its military offensives at night. This, along with the hundreds of Russian Air Force strikes, helped to liberate the entire area on the east side of the road and many other areas on the west side where the military operation continues. Moreover, Russia offered unparalleled military intelligence and planning support to the Syrian Army in this successful operation, as well as bombing the jihadists’ lines, and behind their retreat position as well.

What was surprising was the discovery of kilometres of underground tunnels with field hospitals, ammunition and life support goods that could have sustained a very long siege in all liberated areas on both sides of the M5 and in main cities like Saraqeb and El-Eiss. These tunnels were linked together, linking villages under the ground and some even 20 metres deep, enough to protect from air bombardment. The Jihadists were in a rush–they evacuated all these positions leaving everything behind.

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New Leaks Shatter OPCW’s Attacks On Douma Whistleblowers

new-leaks-shatter-opcw’s-attacks-on-douma-whistleblowers

13-02-20 07:55:00,

Authored by Aaron Maté via TheGrayZone.com,

Facing accusations that it issued a doctored report alleging a chemical attack in Syria, the OPCW has released an inquiry attacking two whistleblowers as rogue actors. Leaked documents obtained by The Grayzone reveal serious distortions in the OPCW inquiry as well as a campaign of intimidation against internal dissenters.

For the past year, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been roiled by allegations that it manipulated an investigation to falsely accuse the Syrian government of a chemical weapons attack. An OPCW report released in March 2019 lent credence to claims by Islamist militants and Western governments that the Syrian military killed around 40 civilians with toxic gas in the city of Douma in April 2018. The accusation against Damascus led to US-led military strikes on Syrian government sites that same month.

But leaked internal documents published by Wikileaks show that OPCW inspectors who deployed to Douma rejected the official story, and complained that higher-level officials excluded them from the post-mission process, distorted key evidence, and ignored their findings.

After months of virtual silence, the OPCW has responded with an internal inquiry that lambasts two veteran officials who raised internal objections, attacking their credibility and qualifications. The OPCW’s self-described “independent investigation” describes the pair as rogue, low-level actors who played minor roles in the Douma mission and lacked access to crucial evidence. In a briefing to member states, OPCW Director General Fernando Arias dismissed them as disgruntled ex-employees.

The two “are not whistle-blowers,” Arias said.

“They are individuals who could not accept that their views were not backed by evidence.”

But a leaked document calls Arias’ assertions into serious question. Ian Henderson, one of the two inspectors, recently addressed a special session of the United Nations Security Council with his concerns about the Douma mission. Henderson submitted a supplemental written account that was distributed among participating UN member states and obtained by The Grayzone. It offers the most extensive and detailed account of the internal dispute over the OPCW’s Douma investigation to date. 

The full leaked testimony can be read here (PDF)

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Venezuela: From Oil Proxy to the Bolivarian Movement and Sabotage. Abysmal Poverty under US Proxy Rule (1918-1998) – Global Research

venezuela:-from-oil-proxy-to-the-bolivarian-movement-and-sabotage.-abysmal-poverty-under-us-proxy-rule-(1918-1998)-–-global-research

12-02-20 08:34:00,

Warfare Tools

First published on February 10, 2019

Michel Chossudovsky talks to Bonnie Faulkner on Guns and Butter.

We discuss the economic and political crisis in Venezuela, its history as an oil proxy nation since the discovery of oil in 1918, through successive dictatorships, coups d’etats, a fake nationalization of the oil industry, the Chavista movement and destabilization through financial warfare, with a special emphasis on Michel Chossudovsky’s personal experience there conducting a study on poverty in 1975 as Advisor to the Venezuelan Minister of Planning.

The study commissioned by the Ministry of Planning (CORDIPLAN) (involving an interdiscilinary research team) headed by Michel Chossudovsky was entitled: “Venezuela: La Mapa de la Pobreza”.  (Venezuela: The Poverty Map)

The report provided detailed estimates of poverty, focussing on nutrition, education, health, housing, employment and  income distribution.

It also addressed the role of government policy. Venezuela’s oil wealth was not used to build schools and hospitals. The oil surplus was largely recycled into the hands of the oil giants and the local elites.

Upon its release, the draft report was confiscated by the Minister of Planning. It was subsequently  shelved on orders of the Cabinet (Consejo de Ministros) of President Carlos Perez.

Michel Chossudovsky brought it out as a book in 1978, which created a bombshell. It dispelled the myth of “La Venezuela Millionaria”.

In the period prior to the Bolivarian Revolution, extending into the 1990s, the levels of poverty were abysmally high.

“More than 70 percent of the Venezuelan population did not meet minimum calorie and protein requirements, while  approximately 45 percent were suffering from extreme undernourishment.

More than half of Venezuelan children suffered from some degree of malnutrition.

Infant mortality was exceedingly high.

23 percent of the Venezuelan population was illiterate. The rate of functional illiteracy was of the order of 42%.

One child in four was totally marginalized from the educational system (not even registered in the first grade of primary school).

More than half the children of school age never entered high school. 

A majority of the population had little or no access to health care services.  

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Australian senator calls on govt to bring Assange home as journalist faces ‘death’ if extradited to US

australian-senator-calls-on-govt-to-bring-assange-home-as-journalist-faces-‘death’-if-extradited-to-us

12-02-20 07:48:00,

The Australian government has been implored to urgently intervene in Julian Assange’s extradition plight and to bring its citizen home, by a senator who warned that the WikiLeaks founder faces death in a US prison.

Assange is currently in jail in the UK and fighting extradition from there to the US, where he has been charged with espionage for publishing sensitive leaked documents detailing potential American war crimes in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Also on rt.com
‘Yellow Vests’ march for Julian Assange outside Belmarsh Prison (VIDEOS)

Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is a member of the ‘Bring Assange Home Parliamentary Group’ campaigning for the journalist’s safe return to the country and voicing their alarm over his deteriorating health while in detention. In November, Whish-Wilson presented a petition to the Senate with 200,000 signatures backing the repatriation of Assange and, on Tuesday, he renewed his calls for the government to take action to protect Assange.

“This Australian journalist faces 175 years – that is, death – in a US jail,” Whish-Wilson said. 

And for what? For publishing truthful information in 2010 that embarrassed the US government about their wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and what they thought they could get away with in Guantanamo Bay.

Assange’s mother, Christine, tweeted a message of thanks to Whish-Wilson for his support, saying her son has already “endured nearly a decade of abuse of legal process and brutal persecution” by foreign governments in retribution for revealing evidence of US war crimes.

She has repeatedly called on the Australian government to help secure his release.

Thank you Mr Wish-WilsonMy Australian son is in dire need of his Govts protectionHes endured nearly a decade of abuse of legal process & brutal persecution by foreign govts in retribution for multi-award winning journalism revealing evidence of US war crimes & corruption

— Mrs Christine Assange (@MrsC_Assange) February 12, 2020

Part of the journalist’s extradition challenge is being heard this month, with the second half scheduled for May.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

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Technocracy: The Digital Panopticon Of The World Economic Forum – Activist Post

technocracy:-the-digital-panopticon-of-the-world-economic-forum-–-activist-post

12-02-20 07:48:00,

By Jacob Nordangård

The World Economic Forum is totally supporting all of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aka Technocracy. Here is an A to Z analysis of each SDG and what they really mean.Please take time to read through each point, listen to each short video and then share as widely as possible. Also note that this article introduces new TN contributor, Jacob Nordangård, PhD from Sweden. ⁃ TN Editor

A week before World Economic Forum’s 2020 meeting, the report Unlocking Technology for the Global Goals was released by WEF’s Global Future Council Working Group on 4IR for Global Public Goods. The report, written in collaboration with the audit and consulting firm PwC, reviews how the advanced technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) will contribute to meeting the objectives of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

The work is part of WEF’s new initiative Frontier 2030, led by Danish Anne Marie Engtoft Larsen (who also contributed to Klaus Schwab’s book Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution). Noteworthy is that six of the seven main authors of the report are women. Big Mother coming to our rescue?

The world, if all goes according to plan, is to be completely transformed over the course of a decade. Just like Maurice Strong at the first Stockholm Conference in 1972, the United Nations claims that we have “only ten years” to save the world, and both the UN and WEF have dubbed the next ten years the Decade of Action.

This campaign is very well coordinated and includes governments, international organisations, and representatives of “civil society”. Also onboard are the big tech giants who all see great opportunities for profit (read: tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars) in “saving and improving the world”. All according to WEF’s principle of Public-Private Partnership (originating with Mussolini, implemented in Sweden, and successfully propagated internationally by David Rockefeller).

The United Nation’s 17 Global Goals give a blueprint for what we globally and collectively must do if we are to end extreme poverty, protect our natural environment,

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How Xi Jinping’s “Controlocracy” Lost Control

how-xi-jinping’s-“controlocracy”-lost-control

12-02-20 08:54:00,

Authored by Xiao Qiang via Project Syndicate,

Although the global coronavirus epidemic has only recently made international headlines, some in China have known about it since the beginning of December. Thanks to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s high-tech dictatorship, that information was not made public, and the virus was allowed to take off.

In his 2016 book The Perfect Dictatorship: China in the 21st Century, Norwegian political scientist Stein Ringen describes contemporary China as a “controlocracy,” arguing that its system of government has been transformed into a new regime radically harder and more ideological than what came before. China’s “controlocracy” now bears primary responsibility for the coronavirus epidemic that is sweeping across that country and the world.

Over the past eight years, the central leadership of the Communist Party of China has taken steps to bolster President Xi Jinping’s personal authority, as well as expanding the CPC’s own powers, at the expense of ministries and local and provincial governments. The central authorities have also waged a sustained crackdown on dissent, which has been felt across all domains of Chinese social and political life.

Under the controlocracy, websites have been shut down; lawyers, activists, and writers have been arrested; and a general chill has descended upon online expression and media reporting. Equally important, the system Xi has installed since 2012 is also driving the direction of new technologies in China. Cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence (AI) are all being deployed to strengthen the central government’s control over society.

The first coronavirus case appeared in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, on December 1, 2019, and, as early as the middle of the month, the Chinese authorities had evidence that the virus could be transmitted between humans. Nonetheless, the government did not officially acknowledge the epidemic on national television until January 20. During those seven weeks, Wuhan police punished eight health workers for attempting to sound the alarm on social media. They were accused of “spreading rumors” and disrupting “social order.”

Meanwhile, the Hubei regional government continued to conceal the real number of coronavirus cases until after local officials had met with the central government in mid-January.

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Will China Virus Trigger New Great Depression? | New Eastern Outlook

will-china-virus-trigger-new-great-depression?-|-new-eastern-outlook

11-02-20 09:25:00,

9766

Historically the greatest economic depressions have started with unexpected events on the periphery of major financial markets. That was the case in May 1931 with the surprise collapse of the Austrian Creditanstalt Bank in Vienna which brought the entire fragile banking system of postwar Germany down with it, triggering the Great Depression in the United States as major US banks were rocked to their foundations. Will it be again an unanticipated event outside the financial markets, namely the China 2029 Novel Coronavirus and its effects on world trade and especially on US-China trade that triggers a new economic depression?

Until around January 20 when the news broke about the coronavirus exploding in China’s Wuhan and surrounding cities, global financial markets and especially in the US were optimistic that the combined actions of the Federal Reserve to pump in more liquidity and of the Trump Administration to do all possible in an election year would keep the economy positive. Stocks continued their artificial climb as Fed liquidity fueled the fires of the most overvalued stock market in US history for January.

However since then, as official China infection numbers soar daily and the deaths attributed to the corona virus climb, it is beginning to sink in that the world’s major manufacturing center and source of a huge part of the global industrial supply chains, China, could face catastrophic economic consequences from the health emergency and resulting cordon sanitaire closings of cities involving at this point more than 77 million citizens and the manufacturing that is linked to it. That in turn could drag the entire world, most especially the USA, into a severe economic downturn at a time it is ill-prepared.

US Economy Already Fragile

What is usually downplayed in major media is the fact that the world’s largest economy, the United States, was already showing alarming signs of economic decline before the China virus shock.

One of the most alarming declines in the past months before January was the sector that many believed was the lead of an American energy renaissance, namely the once-booming shale oil and gas sector. Over the past decade, to the surprise of much of the world, the USA emerged as the world’s largest producer of oil,

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The Truth About Julian Assange – Global Research

the-truth-about-julian-assange-–-global-research

10-02-20 07:14:00,

Nils Melzer, why is the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture interested in Julian Assange?

N.M. That is something that the German Foreign Ministry recently asked me as well: Is that really your core mandate? Is Assange the victim of torture?

What was your response?

N. M. The case falls into my mandate in three different ways: First, Assange published proof of systematic torture. But instead of those responsible for the torture, it is Assange who is being persecuted. Second, he himself has been ill-treated to the point that he is now exhibiting symptoms of psychological torture. And third, he is to be extradited to a country that holds people like him in prison conditions that Amnesty International has described as torture. In summary: Julian Assange uncovered torture, has been tortured himself and could be tortured to death in the United States. And a case like that isn’t supposed to be part of my area of responsibility? Beyond that, the case is of symbolic importance and affects every citizen of a democratic country.

Why didn’t you take up the case much earlier?

Imagine a dark room. Suddenly, someone shines a light on the elephant in the room – on war criminals, on corruption. Assange is the man with the spotlight. The governments are briefly in shock, but then they turn the spotlight around with accusations of rape. It is a classic maneuver when it comes to manipulating public opinion. The elephant once again disappears into the darkness, behind the spotlight. And Assange becomes the focus of attention instead, and we start talking about whether Assange is skateboarding in the embassy or whether he is feeding his cat correctly. Suddenly, we all know that he is a rapist, a hacker, a spy and a narcissist. But the abuses and war crimes he uncovered fade into the darkness. I also lost my focus, despite my professional experience, which should have led me to be more vigilant.

Let’s start at the beginning: What led you to take up the case?

In December 2018, I was asked by his lawyers to intervene. I initially declined. I was overloaded with other petitions and wasn’t really familiar with the case. My impression, largely influenced by the media,

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9/11 Analysis: Carbon Nanotubes in World Trade Center Dust – Global Research

9/11-analysis:-carbon-nanotubes-in-world-trade-center-dust-–-global-research

10-02-20 05:34:00,

At the Toronto Hearings in 2011, Professor Niels Harrit described a new discovery related to the World Trade Center (WTC) dust. That new discovery was the presence of carbon nanotubes in the residues of nanothermite ignition. The importance of these results relates to the health of 9/11 first responders, whose fatal illnesses have remained largely a mystery to the medical profession.

Professor Harrit’s presentation in Toronto is available online in its entirety. Here is the shorter segment related to the finding of carbon nanotubes (CNTs).

As Harrit describes, the ignition residues he used were from experiments that I performed in my garage. Nanothermite was prepared using a formulation documented by researchers at a national laboratory and ignition was achieved simply by heating the nanothermite on a hot plate to the appropriate temperature. Here are video highlights of the process.

Harrit’s CNT results were duplicated by an independent commercial laboratory. The independent laboratory identified CNTs in the nanothermite ignition residues using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and comparison to reference CNT data. See the image below for an excerpt of the report on the sample submitted.

In 2010, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine reported the presence of high levels of carbon nanotubes in the lungs of WTC first responders as well as in WTC dust samples. They wrote, “The finding of CNT in both WTC dust and lung tissues is unexpected and requires further study.”

CNT formation requires three basic components: a very high temperature, a source of carbon, and the presence of certain metals. In particular, formation of the single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) found in the lungs of first responders requires the metals to be present. All of these requirements are met in the ignition of nanothermite. As Harrit stated in his presentation, it is the ideal environment for production of these CNTs.

Unfortunately, until medical professionals are willing to look at the evidence for the presence of thermitic materials at the WTC, which is extensive and compelling, the cause of 9/11 first responder illnesses will remain a tragic mystery.

*

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‘Military Schengen’: NATO’s Russia fearmongering aims to attract neutral EU countries into the fold — Russian FM

‘military-schengen’:-nato’s-russia-fearmongering-aims-to-attract-neutral-eu-countries-into-the-fold-—-russian-fm

10-02-20 11:20:00,

NATO fans fears of the “resurgent” Russia and drags neutral countries into its orbit, but the fact is that Moscow’s military potential is only half the size of the bloc’s forces in Europe, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Although the European continent has already been “oversaturated with military facilities and weapons,” NATO is “continuing to merge with the European Union,” and has its sights on those EU nations that declared themselves neutral, Lavrov told Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.

Read more

1

“NATO states are trying to conduct joint exercises, attracting neutral states, such as Finland and Sweden, under the pretext of [their] EU membership,” Russia’s chief diplomat explained.

One of such exercises is Defender Europe 2020, which will involve up to 20,000 US troops along with 37,000 soldiers from 18 countries. NATO claims the war games are not being aimed against any particular country, but the justification is far from convincing, Lavrov said.

We ask – who [do you intend] to defend yourselves against? They say it’s not Russia but other enemy whose military potential is comparable to that of NATO.

All in all, Moscow does understand there is “a small but very aggressive group of countries” in both NATO and the EU that “escalate historical phobias regarding Russia.”

Now, this appetite for expansion doesn’t reflect the strategic posture in Europe, since the North-Atlantic bloc has “two times more” conventional weapons — among them tanks, combat aircraft, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, warships, submarines — in Europe alone.

Russia is definitely not the dominant military force in Europe. That is NATO.

Brussels strategists have also come up with a notion of “military Schengen” — which explicitly mirrors the free-movement area within the EU — which involves upgrading all transportation routes “so that any large-size military equipment could freely pass eastward.“

I think this [fact] alone is enough to understand the danger of such games.

Russia will, of course, push back against such pressure, but will do it “in such a way that this does not create unnecessary risks,” Lavrov stated.

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German TV Exposes the Lies that Entrapped Julian Assange – Global Research

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09-02-20 09:17:00,

Truth has broken through for those confused about how a publisher ended up in a maximum security prison in London with a one-way extradition ticket to court in the U.S. and the rest of his life behind bars.

One of the main German TV channels (ZDF) ran two prime-time segments on Wednesday night exposing authorities in Sweden for having “made up” the story about Julian Assange being a rapist.

Until last night most Germans, as well as other consumers of “major media” in Europe, had no idea of the trickery that enmeshed Assange in a spider-web almost certainly designed by the U.S. and woven by accomplices in vassal states like Sweden, Britain and, eventually, Ecuador.

ZDF punctured that web by interviewing UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer. One ZDF “Heute Sendung” segment (in German) is especially telling from minute 13:00 to 15:30 . The second is ZDF “Heute Journal” (minute 25:49 to 30:19.)

Both ZDF programs show Melzer being interviewed, with minimal interruption or commentary, letting his findings speak for themselves about how allegations against Assange were “made up” and manipulated to hold him captive.

The particularly scurrilous allegation that led many, including initially Melzer, to believe Assange was a rapist — a tried and tested smear technique of covert action — was especially effective.  The Swedes never formally charged him with rape — or with any crime, for that matter.  ZDF exhibited some of the documents Melzer uncovered that show the sexual allegations were just as “invented” as the evidence for WMD before the attack on Iraq.

Melzer had previously admitted to having been so misled by media portrayals of Assange that he was initially reluctant to investigate Assange’s case.  Here is what Melzer wrote last year in an op-ed marking the International Day in Support of Torture Victims, June 26.

No major media would print or post it. Medium.com posted it under the title “Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange.”

Excerpts:

“But surely, I found myself pleading, Assange must be a selfish narcissist, skateboarding through the Ecuadorian Embassy and smearing feces on the walls? Well, all I heard from Embassy staff is that the inevitable inconveniences of his accommodation at their offices were handled with mutual respect and consideration.

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Three Extraordinary Australian Journalists: Burchett, Pilger and Assange – Global Research

three-extraordinary-australian-journalists:-burchett,-pilger-and-assange-–-global-research

09-02-20 09:15:00,

Australia has produced extraordinary journalists across three generations: Wilfred Burchett (deceased in 1983), John Pilger (80 years old but still active) and Julian Assange (48 years old, currently in London’s Belmarsh prison).

Each of these journalists made unique contributions to our understanding of the world. Although Australia is part of the western world, each of these journalists exposed and criticized Western foreign policy.

Wilfred Burchett

Wilfred Burchett lived from 1911 to 1983. He was a farm boy and his experience in the depression shaped his dislike of oligarchs and preference for the poor.  He went to Europe trying to volunteer for Republicans in the Spanish Civil War but that did not work out.  Instead, he assisted Jews escaping Nazi Germany.

Image result for Wilfred Burchett

Burchett became a journalist by accident. Having seen the reality in Germany, he started writing many letters to newspaper editors. One of the editors took note of his fluid writing style and intensity. They contacted him to ask if he would like to report for them. Thus began a forty year writing career.

He covered WW2, first stationed with British troops in India then Burma. Then he covered the Pacific campaign stationed with U.S. troops.  He was the first international journalist to report on Hiroshima after the atomic bomb. He evaded US military restrictions to go to Hiroshima and see reality for himself. In his story “The Atomic Plague”, published in the London Daily Express, Burchett said,  “I write this as a warning to the world” and “Doctors fall as they work”.   Immediately the US launched a campaign to smear his reputation and deny the validity of his story. The US military was intent on preventing people from knowing the long term effects of nuclear radiation.

Burchett’s report from Hiroshima was broadcast world wide and called the “scoop of the century”. It exemplified his career based on first hand observation and experience.

Over his 40 year career he reported the other side of the story from the Soviet Union, China, Korea and Vietnam. He wrote thousands of articles and over 35 books.  On China he wrote “China’s Feet Unbound” in 1952. Two decades later he wrote (with Rewi Alley) “China: The Quality of Life”.

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Politics and Corruption at the World Health Organization (WHO) – Global Research

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09-02-20 05:10:00,

Like other world organisations born from the ashes of the war of 1940-45 (the WTO, successor to GATT, the IMF, the UN, successor to the League of Nations), the WHO is a sort of transnational superministry, in this case for health.

Its power overrides that of its national equivalents. It is not subjected to genuinely democratic electoral procedures, in the sense of representing the choice expressed by the populations of its member countries. This is true of all these organisations that in fact control our daily lives in their respective fields. Its constitution came into force on 7 April 1948.

All these organisations are in a way like the arms, the tentacles of an enormous octopus whose purpose is to coordinate, improve and reinforce significant action on a planetary scale.

To clarify a crucial point: it would be misleading to think that these organisations undertake anything at all independently of each other. One could as well imagine that the liver can go on doing its own thing without being at all involved with the heart or the kidneys.

All of them work towards the same goals, each in their own specialist sphere, and all of them answer to the UN and to those who provide their funding.

If you go to the official WHO site, you will of course get the impression that this organisation has a spotless record, and deserves to be praised for its humanitarian deeds.

It’s a bit like Monsanto, this multinational that dominates the market in agribusiness and wants to impose on the whole world its GM seeds complete with the Terminator gene (1), yet which tries to make you believe that the well-being and development of poor countries is its main concern.

Anyway, as in any court of law, it’s democratic, enlightened, modern, to give the “accused” party the chance to put its case.

As for the accusations of corruption and collusion with the pharmaceutical companies in the context of the worldwide vaccination campaign of 2009, it is Margaret Chan in person who has stepped up to the plate to defend the reputation of the WHO.

It’s important to realise that the accusations are weighty, well argued,

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