‘Since the Minsk II Agreement went into effect earlier this month, there have been many claims and counter-claims that both the Kiev government and the separatists in east Ukraine have violated the terms of the agreement. Both sides accuse each other, and the Kiev side accuses Russia of yet another invasion of Ukraine which Russia denies.
As difficult as it has been to prove many of these claims and denials, a potentially serious violation of the agreement may be taking place. Though the US and the UK governments were not actual signers of the Minsk Agreements, both have endorsed the Agreement and have strenuously demanded that the terms be observed in the fullest. Both have de facto become parties to the agreement by their insistence that the terms be upheld.
And both are blatantly breaking the agreements along with the government in Kiev.’
‘British security forces were facing difficult questions yesterday as it emerged that ISIS killer Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, was brought to their attention five years ago.
He was deemed to be so significant within terror circles that MI5 allegedly tried and failed to recruit him, and yet he was able to slip the net and begin his reign of terror in the Middle East.
Born in Kuwait, he moved to London with his family aged six and later graduated in computer programming at the University of Westminster.’
‘Islamic State thugs have destroyed a collection of priceless statues and sculptures in Iraq dating back thousands of years.
Extremists used sledgehammers and power drills to smash ancient artwork as they rampaged through a museum in the northern city of Mosul.
Video footage shows a group of bearded men in the Nineveh Museum using tools to wreck 3,000-year-old statues after pushing them over.’
‘When State Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, author of a bill to destroy informed consent and mandate vaccines, was confronted about medical choices she made against the advice and warnings of her physician and the pharmaceutical company, she became indignant. Why do we tolerate hypocritical, medical tyrants like her?’
‘Ministers and officials were “too dazzled or too intimidated” by Jimmy Savile to ask “hard questions” which could have unmasked the “evil predator we now know he was”, Jeremy Hunt admitted on Thursday.
The Health Secretary apologised again to the paedophile’s victims on behalf of the Government.
And he revealed investigations were underway at three more NHS trusts into the pervert’s activities.’
‘The anti austerity and anti water privatisation movements in the Republic of Ireland gathered momentum towards the end of 2014, culminating in large scale protests in the capital and many towns and cities around the country. The state owned television and radio broadcaster continuously downplayed the strength of the protests, and provided a negative portrayal of protesters on daily and evening news (see here).
Persistently focusing on incidental negative elements of this grass roots social movement. The Tanaiste, Ms. Joan Burton (Irish Deputy Prime Minister and member of the Irish Labour Party) met face to face with a minor demonstration at Jobstown, Dublin on November 15th 2014. Ms. Burton was initially struck with a water balloon as she entered the reception at An Cosan (Higher Education Centre. (see here.)
Afterwards, she became delayed in a parked car for more than 2 hours while attempting to leave the engagement, due mainly to a peaceful sit-in on the public road. She eventually left the scene after Gardai (police) reinforcements arrived.’
‘Next week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present his case against President Obama’s talks with Iran; he is expected to portray Iran as an untrustworthy actor and Obama’s diplomacy as naive and a distraction from more sanctions or even military action.
This case suffered a major setback this week as a major intelligence leak showed that Israel’s own intelligence service, the Mossad, privately contradicted Netanyahu’s public statements on Iran. The leaked secret cables show that as Netanyahu was presenting at the United Nations in 2012 a narrative that Iran that was just “weeks” away from producing enough enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb, Israel’s own intelligence service found a very different conclusion.’
‘US Secretary of State John Kerry has reminded American officials that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is against a nuclear deal with Iran, was also in the US in 2002 to push for the invasion of Iraq.
Netanyahu is set to use his next week’s address to a joint session of Congress to condemn a potential nuclear agreement with Iran.
During a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on Wednesday, Kerry warned Congress about the controversial speech.
“The prime minister, as you will recall, was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush, and we all know what happened with that decision,” Kerry said.’
‘French president François Hollande has said his government will soon announce a raft of tough criminal laws to crack down on anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia and Holocaust denial.
He made the announcements in a speech to CRIF, France’s main Jewish communal body and Israel lobby group, on Monday.
Hollande said that the Internet needed to be “regulated” to suppress videos and even search results deemed “anti-Semitic.”
The president said that the appropriate model would be the laws used to prevent the dissemination of child pornography.’
‘Canada’s embrace of Nazism should come as no surprise to conscious Canadians.
We are still reeling from the successful “renovation” of our indigenous Progressive Conservative Party, which has now been transformed into the extremist CPC government, dominated by its Prime Minister, or, as many would say, its Crime Minister, Stephen Harper.
Most recently, Canada distinguished itself by voting against a U.N resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism. No doubt CPC apologists will use any number of convoluted rationalizations to approve the decision, but such a vote remains antithetical to what Canada should be.’
‘The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism, whose Nazi iconography is embedded in our consciousness. Fascism is preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism.’
‘Chancellor George Osborne’s claim to have halved a £1.7 billion EU surcharge in negotiations in Brussels last year is “not supported by the facts”, MPs say today.
The demand from the European Union – relating to a recalculation of Britain’s income dating back almost 20 years – sparked fury when it was issued last October.
David Cameron, Prime Minister, voiced “downright anger” and insisted he would not pay up by the December 1 deadline set by the European Commission.
Days later, Mr Osborne emerged from an Ecofin meeting with fellow EU finance ministers to declare that Britain would pay just £850 million, telling reporters: “We have halved the bill … it’s a result for Britain.”’
‘Apple is set to buy up one third of the world’s gold in order to meet the demands of the new up-market Apple Watch, according to reports.
Following the prediction in The Wall Street Journal that Apple plans to sell one million top-of-the-range 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition units a month, a new report reveals the massive impact that would have on the gold market and world economy.
The report in TidBits crunches the numbers working on the reasonable figure that each gold watch will contain 2 troy ounces (62.2 grams) of gold.’
‘NBC anchor Brian Williams, as famous in America as Jeremy Paxman is in Britain, has been suspended after it was revealed he had “misremembered” events involving himself while covering the war in Iraq; Bill O’Reilly, an anchor on Fox News, the most watched cable news channel in the US, has been accused of being on similarly vague terms with the truth.
News of the Fox News anchor probably sounds like “dog bites man” to most Britons, who remember that this network recently described Birmingham as a no-go area for non-Muslims. But this latest scandal involving O’Reilly reveals something quite telling about journalism in America.’
‘One of my most recent blog entries(1) summarized roughly 10 years of research related to the consequences of inflammatory processes in the periphery of the body, such as the gut, and how this was driving brain degenerative inflammatory processes within the brain.
One of the key findings from that research was how pathogenic bacterial waste products known as “lipopolysaccharides” , (LPS) would trigger an immune response, and this immune response would then trigger the brains immune cells, the microglia, to become overly active and degrade brain cells. (LPS is basically small parts of the cell wall of the bad bacteria.)
This response is called “microglial activation”. You’ll be hearing a lot more about it over the next 10 -20 years, because stopping this overactivation is central to correcting all degenerative neurological conditions, including Alzheimers, Autism, Anxiety, ALS, Insomnia, non-situational Depression, MS, and many endocrine system disorders including the unbiquitous adrenal and thyroid disorders that so many people are struggling with right now.’
‘I’m watching The Newburgh Sting, a fabulous documentary about the FBI’s operation to ensnare four impoverished, naive New York men into an informant-driven fake terror plot. In the film, former FBI assistant director Thomas Fuentes defends the FBI’s conduct in the Newburgh Four case. He also says this:
“If you’re submitting budget proposals for a law enforcement agency, for an intelligence agency, you’re not going to submit the proposal that ‘We won the war on terror and everything’s great,’ cuz the first thing that’s gonna happen is your budget’s gonna be cut in half. You know, it’s my opposite of Jesse Jackson’s ‘Keep Hope Alive’—it’s ‘Keep Fear Alive.’ Keep it alive.”‘
‘The United Nations revealed Wednesday it has “credible and reliable” evidence that people recently detained at U.S. military prisons in Afghanistan have faced torture and abuse.
The UN’s Assistance Mission and High Commissioner for Human Rights exposed the findings in a report based on interviews with 790 “conflict-related detainees” between February 2013 and December 2014.
According to the investigation, two detainees “provided sufficiently credible and reliable accounts of torture in a U.S. facility in Maydan Wardak in September 2013 and a U.S. Special Forces facility at Baghlan in April 2013.”‘
‘It’s a good day for proponents of an open internet: The Federal Communications Commission just approved its long-awaited network neutrality plan, which reclassifies broadband internet as a Title II public utility and gives the agency more regulatory power in the process.
And unlike the FCC’s last stab at net neutrality in 2010, today’s new rules also apply to mobile broadband. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler laid out the basic gist of the plan earlier this month — it’ll ban things like paid prioritization, a tactic some ISPs used to get additional fees from bandwidth-heavy companies like Netflix, as well as the slowdown of “lawful content.”
But now Wheeler’s vision is more than just rhetoric; it’s something the FCC can actively enforce.’
‘While faith in Japanese ‘economics’ is starting to falter (borne out by the split in the BoJ and endless macro data disappointments), trust in TEPCO and its governmental operators must be about to hit a new record low.
Having promised and given up on the ice-wall strategy to stop radioactive water leaking into the ocean, Bloomberg reports TEPCO officials have admitted that it’s investigating the cause of a spike in radiation levels (23,000 becquerels/liter vs the legal limit of 90) in drainage water that it believes subsequently leaked into the Pacific ocean from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant.
The bigger problem, as NBC reports, TEPCO failed to report the leak for 10 months!’
‘Fast-food chain McDonald’s has been accused of avoiding over €1 billion in European corporate taxes between 2009-2013. A report by a coalition of European and American trade unions has revealed the company’s alleged tax avoidance strategy.
McDonalds paid a total of €16 million in tax on royalties of €3.7 billion for a period of 5 years (2009-2013), according to a report from the charity group War on Want.
The company’s tax structure allowed McDonald’s to draw revenue away from Europe and its major markets, the report says. McDonald’s was routing revenues through a Luxembourg based subsidiary; it also moved the company’s European headquarters from the UK to Switzerland.’
‘In recent years, the process of ‘restorative justice’ has been used more and more frequently as a way of dealing with crime. As a part of the process, offenders are brought face to face with the victims of their crimes, to hear how they have suffered as a result. The aim of this encounter is to bring healing, for both victim and offender. The victim transcends their rage with some understanding and forgiveness towards the offender, and the offender empathises with the victim, becoming aware of the real meaning of their crimes.
This process changes lives. Victims feel free of the weight of hatred and are able to move on; offenders have a wider sense of perspective, and are less likely to re-offend. Sometimes offenders don’t meet their specific victims, but just the victims of similar crimes. But this still leads to a new awareness, and new patterns of behaviour.
This highlights the amazing power of empathy.’
‘As with me and the sheep, so with Malcolm Rifkind and the citizens of Great Britain. Sure he hears us bleating, but he seems to have no idea how we feel, how we experience the world. He does not seem capable of interpreting what the noises we make (to him distant and indistinct) are supposed to be communicating. So he guesses. And his guess is that we are concerned about his low income and applaud his efforts to better himself. Us outside in the storm, him warm indoors, entertaining the rich at our expense.
Jack Straw, meanwhile, has emerged from this all much more as sheep than shepherd. While Rifkind met the revelations of offering himself for hire to private lobbyists with outrage and indignation, apparently unable to see what the fuss was about, Jack Straw at least appeared immediately to grasp the seriousness of his position. Which seems to me an almost perfect encapsulation of his entire political career – to be fully aware that what he was up to was basically crooked but to proceed anyway on the basis of expediency and the belief that he was probably going to get away with it.
I fear that these are the two poles around which Westminster politics now revolves – utter cynicism and complete detachment.’
‘Nigel Farage warned Thursday night in America that the U.S. Republican party will become a dinosaur – not an elephant – if it continues to embrace the political center.
‘I suspect that if the Republican Party sticks with the establishment it will lose,’ he told Daily Mail Online after a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
The GOP ‘has got to reach the Hispanic community, but it’s also got to reach that blue-collar community that Reagan got to vote for him in huge numbers. I’m not sure at the moment that they’re positioning themselves to do that.”
‘Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) chief Ross McEwan has conceded the 80 percent state-owned bank will pay staff lucrative bonuses from a pool of £421 million, despite the fact it faced losses of £3.5 billion in 2014.
McEwan took control of the scandal-ridden bank in 2012 after it became insolvent and received a £45 billion bailout at UK taxpayers’ expense.
The RBS chief told BBC Radio 4 he would not be taking a £1 million bonus this year. 2015 marks the second year he has declined to accept the annual financial reward.
Commenting on bonuses awarded to other RBS staff, McEwan admitted people are “quite right” to view them as “outrageous.”’
‘Is this the calm before the storm? We are in the midst of an earth shattering revelation about Chicago Police detaining protestors, minorities, and unidentified enemies of the state in a secret detention warehouse in the Homan Square area of Chicago. From Anti-Media;
The Guardian has reported that Chicago Police are operating a secret detention facility that mirrors the CIA’s “black sites.” From violations of due process to torture, the revelations raise serious concerns about the deteriorating state of freedom and justice in the United States.
Meanwhile, local media outlets continue to downplay the severity of the facilities, literally repeating the department’s PR talking points.
The most important part about this revelation may be the likelihood of there being several more locations like this all across America where police can secretly detain, disappear, and kill people illegally or legally under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).’
‘Greg Wise, the actor married to Oscar winner Emma Thompson, has said he and his wife will refuse to pay tax until those involved in the HSBC scandal go to prison.
Wise spoke of his disgust with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the bank after the Guardian and other news organisations published leaked details of 100,000 accounts held by HSBC’s Swiss arm which showed how the bank had helped clients to move cash out of the country.
“I want to stop paying tax, until everyone pays tax,” Wise told the Evening Standard. “I have actively loved paying tax, because I am a profound fucking socialist and I believe we are all in it together. But I am disgusted with HMRC. I am disgusted with HSBC. And I’m not paying a penny more until those evil bastards go to prison.”’
‘The recent hysteria propagated by the dinosaur media regarding the latest measles outbreak is beyond illogical and simply based on a patchwork of lies and misinformation. News of the recent “Disneyland measles outbreak” has brought forth a sudden myriad of self-proclaimed “experts” on measles and vaccines, particularly the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella).
Aside from expressing a know-it-all attitude, vaccine proponents have viciously attacked and threatened anyone in favor of, or even on the fence about, not vaccinating. One of the most classic (and also completely unreasonable) threats insist that parents who choose not to vaccinate should be arrested and charged with child abuse, a concept that infringes not only on natural health freedom but freedoms rooted in the framework of a true democracy.’
‘Four children, aged 10 and under, may have MMR vaccinations forced on them in Michigan. The reports all say measles vaccinations, but single measles vaccines aren’t used anymore. Merck is making multi-milllions off the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine in the USA, while GlaxoSmithKline is making hay in the EU with its MMR. More on the relevance of this later.
The four children are actually involved in a Michigan Child Protection Services (CPS) case for reasons other than vaccination issues. The parents have a history of drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence. Their car was searched once, and crack pipes were found. There is no street drug worse than crack.’
‘Imagine a world without waste. A place where the train always comes on time, where streets are plowed before snow even stops falling, and watchful surveillance cameras have sent rates of petty crime plunging. Never again will you worry about remembering your keys because your front door has an iris recognition system that won’t allow strangers to enter.
To some people, this kind of uber-efficient urban living sounds like a utopian dream. But to a growing number of critics, the promise of the “smart city” is starting to seem like the stuff of nightmare.’
‘This past week, Haitians in Port-au-Prince were already grieving after at least 18 people died in a Carnaval stampede at around 2 a.m. on Feb. 17.
Daniel “Fantom” Darius, the lead singer Barikad Crew, was standing atop a towering Carnaval float when his head struck a high-voltage wire strung across the street, producing an electrical explosion that panicked the tightly packed crowd below. (Ironically, Darius survived.) Some 76 other people were hospitalized with serious injuries, bringing this year’s toll of Carnaval wounded to 123, even though the final day’s celebration was cancelled and replaced with an official memorial ceremony where the tragedy struck.
Many blame the government of President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Evans Paul, already beleaguered by massive demonstrations demanding their resignations, for the accident, citing “criminal negligence.”’
‘Thousands of students have poured into the streets of the Spanish capital, Madrid, and the city of Barcelona to protest against planned government education reforms.
The students staged the rallies on Thursday to show their anger at a new plan of the Education Ministry – known as the 3+2 Decree – that will reduce the duration of undergraduate studies from four years to three years while extending the duration of master’s programs from one year to two years.
The demonstrators called for the resignation of Education Minister José Ignacio Wert Ortega, and the cancellation of the government plan.’
‘A seminary building belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church has been set on fire in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in a hate crime attack by Israeli extremists.
According to reports on Thursday, the extremists torched an annex of the church building, writing graffiti that insulting Jesus Christ.
No one was injured or killed in the incident, the reports added.
Israeli authorities imposed a gag order on an investigation into the vandalism case, ordering that no detail of the probe should become publicized.’
‘At least nine civilians have been killed in an airstrike by the US-led coalition against the ISIL Takfiri terrorists in a border town in Iraq’s western Anbar province.
The attack also killed 17 members of the Takfiri terrorist group and wounded over two dozen others in the Iraqi town of Qaim near the Syrian border on Thursday.
The terrorist group’s leader, Ibrahim al-Samarrai aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was reported to be operating in the border area.’
‘One of three Al-Jazeera journalists detained for allegedly flying a drone in the French capital, Paris, will appear in court next week, a judicial source says.
Only the reporter who actually flew the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will face judicial proceedings, the source, whose name was not mentioned in reports, said on Thursday.
On Wednesday, three journalists working for the Qatar-based satellite TV channel were taken into custody in Paris on suspicion of flying a drone in the Bois de Boulogne park on the western edge of Paris.’