Nato is to deploy its forces at new bases in eastern Europe for the first time, in response to the Ukraine crisis and in an attempt to deter Vladimir Putin from causing trouble in the former Soviet Baltic republics, according to its secretary general.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the organisations’s summit in Cardiff next week would overcome divisions within the alliance and agree to new deployments on Russia’s borders – a move certain to trigger a strong reaction from Moscow.
He also outlined moves to boost Ukraine’s security, “modernise” its armed forces and help the country counter the threat from Russia. Continue reading
The barbaric Islamic State regime marauding through Syria and Iraq has gained the Vatican’s full attention.
In recent weeks the world has finally started to pay serious attention to the barbarism of the Islamic State, the radical Islamist group taking over Iraq and Syria. The growing outcry includes voices from Pope Francis and the Vatican, who are concerned about the genocide of Christians in the Middle East.
Criticized for his weak, uncommitted response to the Islamic State, the pope appears to be changing his tune.
During his Sunday blessing on August 10, “Pope Francis used unusually strong language to condemn the actions of [the Islamic State],” according to the Guardian (emphasis added throughout). “Unusually strong language” is probably an overstatement by the Guardian. Compared to previous popes, and considering the dramatic cruelty of the terrorist group, it is easier to make the case that Francis’s remarks are merely stronger than they were before.
However, the pope’s remarks, and some recent decisions made by the Vatican, clearly reveal that the Vatican is toughening its stance. Continue reading
Radical Muslims in Spain have launched a social media campaign aimed at generating support for the jihadist group Islamic State [IS].
The campaign involves posters that include images of famous Spanish landmarks and monuments emblazoned with Arabic slogans such as, “We are all the Islamic State” and “Long Live the Islamic State.”
One poster includes an image of the medieval Islamic Aljafería Palace in the Spanish city of Zaragoza and the black flag associated with the IS. Another uses an image of the famous La Concha beach in the Basque city of San Sebastián. Yet another includes an image of the statue of Jesus Christ on Monte Urgull in San Sebastián, with the Arabic words “Al-Andalus Country” instead of “Basque Country.”
Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France that were occupied by Muslim conquerors (also known as the Moors) from 711 to 1492. As the Basque Country is surrounded by mountains, however, the Moors never succeeded in occupying it.
The poster campaign comes after IS jihadists produced a video in which they vow to liberate al-Andalus from non-Muslims and make it part of their new Islamic Caliphate.
The video shows a jihadist speaking in Spanish with a heavy North African accent. He says:
“I say to the entire world as a warning: We are living under the Islamic flag, the Islamic caliphate. We will die for it until we liberate those occupied lands, from Jakarta to Andalusia. And I declare: Spain is the land of our forefathers and we are going to take it back with the power of Allah.“
Kiev (AFP) – Ukraine said on Friday it had destroyed part of a Russian military convoy that crossed onto its territory in an incursion that has sent cross-border tensions rocketing.
NATO accused Russia of active involvement in the “destabilisation” of eastern Ukraine, where pro-Kremlin separatists have been fighting against Kiev for four months.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told British Prime Minister David Cameron that government artillery had destroyed a “considerable part” of a small military convoy that entered the country, the presidency said in a statement. Continue reading
France’s finance minister sends tremors through European capitals with a defiant warning that his country would no longer try to meet deficit targets
Eurozone strategy is in tatters after economic recovery ground to a halt across the region and France demanded a radical shift in policy, warning that austerity overkill is driving Europe into a depression.
Growth slumped to zero in the second quarter, with Germany contracting by 0.2pc and France once again stuck at zero. Italy is already in a triple-dip recession.
Yields on 10-year German Bunds fell below 1pc for the first time in history, beneath levels seen during the most extreme episodes of deflation in the 19th century. French yields also touch record lows. Much of the eurozone is replicating the pattern seen in Japan as it slid into a deflation trap in the late 1990s.
It is unclear whether tumbling yields are primarily a warning signal of stagnation ahead or a bet by investors that the European Central Bank will soon be forced to launch quantitative easing, buying government bonds across the board.
The hackers, according to Kaspersky, were likely backed by a nation state and used techniques and tools similar to ones employed in two other high-profile cyber espionage operations that Western intelligence sources have linked to the Russian government.
Kaspersky, a Moscow-based security software maker that also sells cyber intelligence reports, declined to say if it believed Russia was behind the espionage campaign.
Dubbed “Epic Turla,” the operation stole vast quantities of data, including word processing documents, spreadsheets and emails, Kaspersky said, adding that the malware searched for documents with terms such as “NATO,” “EU energy dialogue” and “Budapest.” Continue reading
The situation facing European Jewry is “simply intolerable, unacceptable and inexcusable,” Israeli Jewish Congress president Vladimir Sloutsker told MKs and foreign diplomats at a special session of the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee on Monday.
Calling the rise in anti-Semitic incidents accompanying Israel’s invasion of Gaza an “SOS situation,” Sloutsker warned that if left unchecked, such behavior could lead to another European genocide.
“Never before since the Holocaust, have we seen such a situation as today,” he said, referring to the continent-wide demonstrations by pro-Palestinian activists, a number of which have generated into violence and many of which have featured racist rhetoric.
“We are potentially looking at the beginning of another Holocaust now. These events [violent demonstrations and expressions of anti-Semitism] will only grow in scale across Europe,” he asserted. Continue reading
- Yakov Hadas-Handelsman has expressed fears over attacks on Jews
- Germany: pro-Palestinians are chanting race-hate slogans against them
- Recent Israeli military action in Gaza has killed hundreds of Palestinians
Jewish people are being attacked and abused on the streets of Germany as though the country were back in the Nazi era, political and religious leaders warned yesterday.
Murderous slogans dating back to the days of Hitler have been chanted at pro-Palestinian rallies in Germany. Jewish-owned shops were attacked and burned in riots in France at the weekend.
The Israeli ambassador to Germany, Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, said: ‘They pursue the Jews in the streets of Berlin… as if we were in 1938.’ Continue reading
The rise of the BRICS countries–Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa–may challenge the world order and lead to the end of US domination.
The five countries set up the New Development Bank during a recent summit in Brazil, which offers an alternative to the US-led International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
The five countries participating in the economic cooperation forum are likely to deepen their cooperation in various fields, which may rival the dominance of the United States and G7 countries in the world.
The BRICS countries will also increase their sway if they can improve their governance, considering the fact that they account for 42% of the global population and their GDP and trade volume each make up for about 20% of the world’s total. Continue reading
A giant U.S.-led naval exercise with 22 nations from around the world got an unexpected visitor on Sunday — a Chinese spy ship perched in international waters.
The 24th Rim of the Pacific exercises (RIMPAC) in and around the Hawaiian Islands features more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. China is part of a host of nations taking part, which also includes Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, the United Kingdom and others. Continue reading
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Gendarmerien are police forces, although they take on tasks of internal security. In contrast to the police but they are subordinated to the ministries of defense. Used in the interior they are under the authority of the Interior Ministries. They are described as “robust police issues” because they have a better weaponry, armored vehicles and military training. Therefore, they can also be used on the edge of military hostilities. There they are under the command of the responsible Department of Defense.
The EGF was originally planned around the turn of the millennium by Italy and France as EU force. Several Member States, including Germany, but had objections to such a paramilitary unit. The governments in Rome and Paris stuck to the plan and eventually founded the EGF as a multilateral, independent of EU unity. According to its statutes, the capabilities of NATO, the OSCE, the UN and the EU can be borrowed. In the foreground, however, are inserts of the European Union. Continue reading
At Asia’s biggest rail cargo base in Chengdu in south-west China, the cranes are hard at work, swinging containers from trucks onto a freight train. The containers are filled with computers, clothes, even cars.
Until last year, all of it would have first gone more than 1,000 miles east to Shanghai and then to Europe by sea. Continue reading
The 65,000-ton Royal Navy aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, launched by Her Majesty on July 4 and praised as “a national instrument of power,” is in fact “a ship with no real purpose other than to act as the monument to yet another failed dream of EU integration,” according to historian and journalist Christopher Booker.
Even before the launch, there were questions raised over the ship’s purpose. No aircraft will be able to fly off it until 2020. Despite a vast flight deck, it is not designed to handle fixed-wing aircraft, only the American-built vertical take-off F35, which is still in development with chronic design problems.
The F-35 seen on board the ship at the launch was in fact a fibre glass replica, a plastic kit plane defence giant Lockheed Martin assembles for air shows and exhibitions.
Other questions have been raised that HMS Queen Elizabeth should be nuclear powered like American aircraft carriers, not by diesel and gas. More, the Royal Navy no longer has enough surface craft to provide escort for an aircraft carrier. Continue reading
The use of the renminbi in trade settlements increased sharply this year, according to HSBC’s annual renminbi survey.
The survey which began last year covered eleven countries, four of which were added this year. All seven markets surveyed in both years posted increases, the largest of which were in Germany, Hong Kong and the U.S.
Of the German companies profiled, 23 percent are using the renminbi to settle trades, up from 9 percent last year, while usage in Hong Kong rose to 58 percent from 50 percent and to 17 percent from 9 percent in the U.S.
Usage of the renminbi among French companies – a new addition to this year’s list – was high at 26 percent.
Prospects for next year are bright as nearly 60 percent of global companies plan to increase their cross border activity with China over the next 12 months. Currently, 22 percent of companies globally trade in renminbi. Continue reading