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
WASHINGTON – U.S. and European energy companies have become the target of a “Dragonfly” virus out of Eastern Europe that goes after energy grids, major electricity generation firms, petroleum pipelines operators and energy industrial equipment providers.
Unearthed by the cyber security firm Symantec, Dragonfly has been in operation since at least 2011. Its malware software allows its operators to not only monitor in real time, but also disrupt and even sabotage wind turbines, gas pipelines and power plants – all with the click of a computer mouse.
The attacks have disrupted industrial control system equipment providers by installing the malware during downloaded updates for computers running the ICS equipment. Continue reading
The United States could soon become a large-scale Spain or Greece, teetering on the edge of financial ruin.
According to Trump, the United States is no longer a rich country. “When you’re not rich, you have to go out and borrow money. We’re borrowing from the Chinese and others. We’re up to $16 trillion in debt.”
He goes on to point out that the downgrade of U.S. debt is inevitable.
“We are going up to $16 trillion [in debt] very soon, and it’s going to be a lot higher than that before he gets finished. When you have [debt] in the $21-$22 trillion, you are talking about a downgrade no matter how you cut it.” Continue reading
Your new post-America superpower:
Süddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and WDR have turned up secret documents belonging to the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s counterpart to the NSA. It seems the BND is jealous of the digital espionage capabilities of the NSA and the U.K.’s GCHQ, and wants to up its game.
The documents warn that, if the BND doesn’t get the €300 million ($409 million) it needs to run expanded surveillance activities until 2020, Germany will fall behind even Italy and Spain in the spook stakes. They also suggest the spies hope to get their funding in the coming weeks. Continue reading
May 13 (Reuters) – People can ask Google to delete sensitive information from its Internet search results, Europe’s top court said on Tuesday.
The case underlines the battle between advocates of free expression and supporters of privacy rights, who say people should have the “right to be forgotten” meaning that they should be able to remove their digital traces from the Internet. Continue reading
The Spanish Government plans to collect data on all of the country’s 34 million bank accounts in what it calls a bid to crack down on money laundering and terrorist activity. But the move has drawn plenty of fire.
Spain plans to set up a German-style archive of data on the financial activity of Spaniards and residents in Spain, national daily El País reported on Sunday
The move will see banks having to supply details of all the personal and business current accounts, savings accounts and fixed-term accounts they hold to the Secretary of State for the Economy.
Groups including the Tax Office, the military, the General Council of the Judiciary and the secret services will then be able to access that information.
Transactions over €1,000 ($1,370) will be flagged if suspicious, while all transactions over €30,000 can be checked. Transfers of over €3,000 a month will also come under the spotlight, according to the new rules. Continue reading
The great mystery is why the voting public of debtor states continue to put up with an arrangement that ensures years of mass unemployment
If Europe’s elites seem nonchalant about the deflation threat staring them in the face, it is because they do not share the Anglo-Saxon and Japanese orthodoxy that letting it happen is an unforgivable policy failure.
The handful of officials calling the shots at the European Central Bank and Germany’s finance ministry — with applause from Italy’s hard-money “Bocconi Boys” and Spain’s “Austrian School” ultras — do not think deflation would be traumatic even if it were to happen. Some rather like the idea.
The Spanish Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing, Rafael Catalá, said that, “Spain aims to become the major logistics platform for southern Europe and northern Africa, serving the global east-west trade routes, as well as the emerging north-south.”
To achieve this goal, which is part of the Logistics Strategy, Spain can offer “its geostrategic position and its credentials in infrastructure and transportation systems,” stressed Catalá.
The official also said that Spain has the largest motorway network in Europe and the world’s fifth best rail infrastructure, as well as the second most extended high-speed network in the world and a port system characterised by its excellent management and results. Continue reading
The EU would extend the route for supplies through the Southern Gas Corridor and its pipes will make their way further into Europe’s mainland, according to reports.
Russia’s Vedomosti, which cites sources from the European Commission, suggests that pipes could lead into France and Spain and this could increase the amount of Azerbaijani gas received from the Union.
According to the same EC representative, the prospects of importing from Turkmenistan and Iran are also on the agenda. Continue reading
Head of German Institute for Economic Research demands €60bn of bond purchases each month to halt contraction of credit and avert Japanese-style trap
A leading German institute has called for full-blown quantitative easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) to head off a deflation spiral, marking a radical shift in thinking among the German policy elites.
Marcel Fratzscher, head of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin, demanded €60bn (£50bn) of bond purchases each month to halt the contraction of credit and avert a Japanese-style trap. Continue reading
Lets be absolutely clear: As history has shown us through repetition, there is no such thing as a “one-off” capital levy, which is a fancy and whitewashed term for stealing from the citizens — yet it is spinned in such a way that the people perceive it as their government working hard in their interests. Once the government has confiscated a piece of wealth, it will consider it a test of the public’s patience, and likely do it again. We saw it in Cyprus, Greece, Hungary and Poland the last few years — and these are only examples during modern times. As the economies continue to plunge, they will take more and more until everything has imploded.
(Reuters) – Germany’s Bundesbank said on Monday that countries about to go bankrupt should draw on the private wealth of their citizens through a one-off capital levy before asking other states for help.
The Bundesbank’s tough stance comes after years of euro zone crisis that saw five government bailouts. There have also bond market interventions by the European Central Bank in, for example, Italy where households’ average net wealth is higher than in Germany. Continue reading
Spain saw its youth unemployment rate rise to a staggering 57.7% in November as the country registered the worse youth jobless rate in the eurozone area.
Eurostat, the statistical information arm of the European Union, also revealed the youth unemployment rate across the eurozone remained steady at 24.2% for the second consecutive month – meaning there were 3.5 million unemployed under-25s across the region.
“There is a real danger that these young people will get trapped in the ranks of the long-term unemployed,” James Howat, a European economist at Capital Economics, told IBTimes UK. Continue reading
The 100-year period from 1815 until World War I began in 1914 was one of Europe’s greatest periods of peace ever. But consider what happened during those years: France invaded Spain; Russia fought Turkey; various German states fought with Denmark, Austria and France; Britain and Turkey fought Russia; and Greece fought Turkey. Those are just the “highlights”—and they don’t include the numerous internal conflicts, uprisings, declarations of independence and other political unrest that occurred. Even Switzerland had a civil war.
That is what “peace” in Europe looked like before the latter half of the 20th century. Continue reading
BRUSSELS – Seven EU countries have formed what France calls a “club” to produce military drones from 2020 onward.
The scheme was agreed in Brussels on Tuesday (19 November) at a meeting of the European Defence Agency (EDA), the EU’s defence think tank, by France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. Continue reading
SPY agencies in Germany, France, Spain and Sweden are carrying out mass surveillance of online and phone traffic in collaboration with Britain, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
The Guardian newspaper reports Britain’s GCHQ electronic eavesdropping centre – which has a close relationship with the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) – has taken a leading role in helping the other countries work around laws intended to limit spying.
The report is likely to prove embarrassing for governments including those of Germany and Spain, which had denounced earlier reports that the NSA was electronically spying on their citizens. Continue reading