Category Archives: European Union

Is the Bilderberg Group Picking Our Politicians?

Andrew Gavin Marshall writes:

clinton-thatcher‘When it comes to the secretive meetings of the world’s financial, corporate, political and technocratic elites at the annual Bilderberg conferences, a common criticism from conspiracy theorists and others is that the group pre-selects major politicians – choosing presidents and prime ministers in private before populations have a chance to vote themselves.

Bilderberg participants contest this framing, suggesting that Bilderberg participants simply invite up-and-coming politicians who appear to have a bright future ahead of them.

The truth is that it’s a bit of both. Bilderberg invites politicians who appear to have an influential future in their respective nations, but their attendance at the meetings (depending on their ability to impress Bilderberg members and participants) can itself have a very significant influence on their political futures. This is because the industrialists, bankers and media moguls in attendance hold significant individual and collective power over the political processes across much of the Western world.’

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Twenty-five years after Nicolae Ceausescu was executed, Romanians seek a ‘revolution reborn’

Emma Graham-Harrison writes for The Guardian:

Ceaucescu and his wife face television cameras during their trial. Some Romanians think life was better under the dictator.‘[…] On 22 December, 25 years after the “revolution”, Romania will swear in a new president. Supporters believe he can finally deliver the profound changes promised a quarter of a century ago. Klaus Iohannis is a political outsider who stunned the country by winning an election many voters assumed was all but delivered to his rival, prime minister Victor Ponta.

A former teacher and provincial mayor from an ethnic minority group, his second-round victory was due in part to Romanians abroad, who queued for hours at embassies but were still blocked from voting by arcane and apparently obstructive rules. Some of the enraged diaspora flew home to vote but, more importantly, their plight fired up thousands at home to take to the streets.

“Down with Ponta! Down with communism!” read banners at protests, even though Ponta, at 42, is too young to have held office in the communist government. But protesters see him as part of a regime that protected and promoted the old ruling class.’

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Russia Rejects South Steam Pipeline Through Europe: Interview with Michael Hudson

Editor’s Note: Michael Hudson is a Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and a former Wall Street analyst. He is the author of several books including he ‘Bubble and Beyond and Finance Capitalism and its Discontents.’

Spain passes anti-protest bill, to considerable protest

Reuters reports:

The conservative-led Spanish parliament passed an anti-protest bill on Thursday against heavy opposition from politicians and activist groups, who say the law violates the right to protest, limits freedom of expression and gives more power to police.

The measure essentially limits demonstrations to authorized gatherings and imposes heavy fines on unauthorized protesters. Although it was watered down from a draft introduced last year, opponents say it still disregards democracy in a country that only emerged from right-wing dictatorship in the late 1970s.’

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A Cold War Is On Between The West and Russia

A.G. Noorani writes for DAWN:

‘A Cold war is on between the West and Russia in right earnest. Its immediate cause is, of course, the Ukraine. But Prof John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, and one of the few dissenters in the US, points out in Foreign Affairs that “the taproot of the trouble is Nato enlargement”.

The West’s backing of the pro-democracy movement in Ukraine beginning with the Orange Revolution in 2004 aggravated the situation. “For President Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elec­ted and pro-Russian president — which he rightly labeled a ‘coup’ — was the final straw. He responded by taking Crimea, a peninsula he feared would host a Nato naval base.” He began working to destabilise Ukraine until it abandoned its efforts to join the West.

This provoked a slew of unprecedented sanctions on individuals; tensions mounted as charges were traded.

Ukraine is not a Nato member, and is not covered under its umbrella, but it has expressed interest in joining. Three other former Soviet republics have joined the alliance since the end of the Cold War, as well as the former Warsaw Pact states of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria.

Jack Matlock, former US ambassador to the then USSR is a scholar, who prizes objectivity over the claims of ‘patriotism’.

He said emphatically that “If there had been no possibility of Ukraine ever becoming part of Nato, and therefore Sevastopol becoming a Nato base, Russia would not have invaded Crimea. It is as simple as that. Why don’t we understand that other countries are sensitive about military bases from potential rivals not only coming up to their borders, but taking land which they have historically considered theirs?”’

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France: Marseille scraps plan to require homeless to wear yellow triangle ID cards

Haaretz reports:

Yellow trianglesOfficials in Marseille, France’s second largest city, have been forced to scrap a project requiring homeless people to wear yellow triangles pinned to their clothing after a public uproar.

Cards bearing the triangle had been introduced as part of an initiative to assist the homeless by making their medical information easily accessible to health workers in an emergency, the Independent reported.

But for many people, the bright yellow IDs were far too similar to the Star of David that Jews were compelled to wear by the Nazis before and during World War II.’

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Mikhail Gorbachev Blames American ‘Triumphalism’ For Bringing About A New Cold War

Paul Vale reports for The Huffington Post:

‘Mikhail Gorbachev has blamed America for bringing about a new Cold War, warning that “militarists” are pushing Europe to the brink of conflict by building fences around his country.

Speaking to the Russian state-owned news agency Tass on Monday, the 83-year-old former Soviet President said that “triumphalism” emanating from Washington had led to rising tensions between East and West, though he added there was still time to resolve the growing dispute before it led to direct conflict.

Reported by The Telegraph, Gorbachev said: “Now there are once again signs of a Cold War.” “This process can and must be stopped. After all, we did it in the 1980s. We opted for de-escalation, for reunification [of Germany]. And back then it was a lot tougher than now. So we could do it again.”

Gorbachev warned that building “fences” around Russia would only increase tensions. “Even Germany which after reunification presented itself very well and called for renovation is now just on the brink of a split [from Russia],” he said. “And now nothing takes place without the presence and a push from America.”‘

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Putin: Russia open to cooperation with West but will not be ‘dismantled like Yugoslavia’

Jack Moore reports for the International Business Times:

‘Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia will not cease cooperation with European nations and the United States, in his annual state of the nation address to the Russian parliament.

He warned that despite some countries’ wish to see Russia dismantled like Yugoslavia, he would not allow it to happen.

He criticised the “pure cynicism” of Western governments for attempting to install an iron curtain around Russia through sanctions, with Russia set to fall into recession next year.

The former KGB agent moved on to talk about Ukraine as a brotherly country but that the “tragedy” in the country’s eastern regions demonstrated that Russian policy was “right”.’

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The truth about Ukraine finally emerges

Patrick L. Smith writes for Salon:

‘[…] We have had, in the last little while, significant analyses of the Ukraine crisis, each employing that method the State Department finds deadly: historical perspective. In a lengthy interview with Der Spiegel, the German news magazine, none other than Henry Kissinger takes Washington carefully but mercilessly to task. “Does one achieve a world order through chaos or through insight?” Dr. K. asks.

Here is one pertinent bit:

KISSINGER. … But if the West is honest with itself, it has to admit that there were mistakes on its side. The annexation of Crimea was not a move toward global conquest. It was not Hitler moving into Czechoslovakia.

SPIEGEL. What was it then?

KISSINGER. One has to ask oneself this question: Putin spent tens of billions of dollars on the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The theme of the Olympics was that Russia is a progressive state tied to the West through its culture and, therefore, it presumably wants to be part of it. So it doesn’t make any sense that a week after the close of the Olympics, Putin would take Crimea and start a war over Ukraine. So one has to ask oneself, Why did it happen?

SPIEGEL. What you’re saying is that the West has at least a kind of responsibility for the escalation?

KISSINGER. Yes, I am saying that. Europe and America did not understand the impact of these events, starting with the negotiations about Ukraine’s economic relations with the European Union and culminating in the demonstrations in Kiev. All these, and their impact, should have been the subject of a dialogue with Russia. This does not mean the Russian response was appropriate.

Interesting. Looking for either insight or honesty in Obama’s White House or in his State Department is a forlorn business, and Kissinger surely knows this. So he is, as always, a cagey critic. But there are numerous things here to consider, and I will come back to them.

First, let us note that Kissinger’s remarks follow an essay titled “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault.” The subhead is just as pithy: “The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin.”

Wow. As display language I would speak for that myself. And wow again for where the piece appears: In the September-October edition of Foreign Affairs, that radical rag published at East 68th Street and Park Avenue, the Manhattan home of the ever-subverting Council on Foreign Relations.

Finally and most recently, we have Katrina vanden Heuvel weighing in on the Washington Post’s opinion page the other day with “Rethinking the Cost of Western Intervention in Ukraine,” in which the Nation’s noted editor asserts, “One year after the United States and Europe celebrated the February coup that ousted the corrupt but constitutionally elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, liberal and neoconservative interventionists have much to answer for.”’

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Witness: German intelligence helped NSA to tap Internet hub

AFP reports:

Symbolbild USA Geheimdienst Überwachung Internet Spionage Datenspionage‘A witness told a German parliamentary inquiry on Thursday that America’s NSA was fed filtered data from an internet exchange point in Frankfurt, after an OK from the Chancellery in Berlin.

The Eikonal project leader within Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency – identified only as S.L. – said the exchange’s own operator had legal doubts, but was convinced once confirmation came from the-then chancellery.

Germany’s federal intelligence service (BND) delivered filtered information from 2004 until 2008, when the “Americans saw that we could not extract anything more for them,” said the witness, who was quoted by Germany’s main news agency DPA.’

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How China And France Plan To Cash In Together In Africa

Wong Ling reports for World Crunch:

‘Britain, France and Germany have recently been extending olive branches to China, but France has at least one major advantage over its neighbors: It’s particularly well poised to cooperate with China on investment in Africa, with historical advantages to serve as a springboard for the Asian power’s ambitions on the continent.

“France has long experience in Africa,” says Muriel Pénicaud, president of the French Agency for International Investments. “A growing number of Chinese enterprises produce goods in France to export to Africa.”‘

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Land of Waste: How Albania Became Europe’s Rubbish Tip

‘Albania is slowly sinking under the weight of Europe’s waste. This report investigates an industry of waste that is both necessary for survival, yet a threat for many Albanians. For how long can it continue? “For us, the Roma, it is our only work, because nobody will hire us”, says Renato, a scavenger earning half the average national wage. In the “dustbin of Europe”, countries such as Serbia, Slovenia and Russia dump their scrap in vast quantities. Yet Albania’s infrastructure is insufficient for dealing with this often toxic waste. Despite efforts to restrict imports, waste continues to enter under the guise of “raw material”. In towns such as Elbasan, home to a large metallurgical plant, the poor control on the industry is beginning to destroy the health of its workers. As one doctor describes, “On one hand, the community has been here for a long time, and needs work. But on the other, it cannot afford the sacrifice”.’ (Journeyman Pictures)

Secret mafia initiation society captured on camera for the first time

Hannah Roberts reports for the Mail Online:

Police in Italy have captured a secret initiation ritual by Italy’s most feared and powerful mafia on camera for the first time near an old farmhouse near Lake Como‘Police in Italy have captured a secret initiation ritual by Italy’s most feared and powerful mafia on camera for the first time.

In a scene seemingly straight out of the Godfather films, the ‘men of honour’ met at an old farmhouse near Lake Como to swear an oath of allegiance to a secret society within the mafia known as the ‘Santa’ .

In a separate ceremony recorded by police, the alleged mafiosi took oaths in the presence of a revolver and cyanide capsules to symbolise the penalty for betraying the clan.

The rituals were captured as part of an investigation which led to 38 arrests in the north of Italy this morning.

Three mafia clans based north of Milan, in the provinces of Como and Lecco in the Lombardy region were being investigated.’

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France’s Hollande praises peaceful Burkina Faso transition as model for Africa

Emma Farge and Elizabeth Pineau report for Reuters:

French president Francois Hollande (R) talks to Burkina Faso's interim president Michel Kafando in Dakar, Senegal, on November 30, 2014, as part of the 15th ...‘French President Francois Hollande warned African leaders on Saturday against trying to hang on to power, praising peaceful political transitions in Burkina Faso and Tunisia as positive examples to the continent.

Addressing African heads of state at the opening of a two-day summit of Francophone nations in the Senegalese capital Dakar, Hollande also said that France would continue to support regional efforts to fight Islamic militants.

Massive street protests toppled Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore in late October when he attempted to push through constitutional change to prolong his 27-year rule. His overthrow spurred talk of an ‘African Spring’ in the image of the uprisings in several Arab nations.’

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Other Burkina Faso related news from the past month:

U.S. and British Intel Agencies Attacked European Union With Malware

Morgan Marquis-Boire, Claudio Guarnieri, and Ryan Gallagher report for The Intercept:

‘Complex malware known as Regin is the suspected technology behind sophisticated cyberattacks conducted by U.S. and British intelligence agencies on the European Union and a Belgian telecommunications company, according to security industry sources and technical analysis conducted by The Intercept.

Regin was found on infected internal computer systems and email servers at Belgacom, a partly state-owned Belgian phone and internet provider, following reports last year that the company was targeted in a top-secret surveillance operation carried out by British spy agency Government Communications Headquarters, industry sources told The Intercept.

The malware, which steals data from infected systems and disguises itself as legitimate Microsoft software, has also been identified on the same European Union computer systems that were targeted for surveillance by the National Security Agency.

The hacking operations against Belgacom and the European Union were first revealed last year through documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The specific malware used in the attacks has never been disclosed, however.’

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The Coming Blackout Epidemic

Nafeez Ahmed writes for Motherboard:

‘​Industrialized countries face a future of increasingly severe blackouts, a new study warns, due to the proliferation of extreme weather events, the transition to unconventional fossil fuels, and fragile national grids that cannot keep up with rocketing energy demand.

“We need a fundamental re-think about how electricity is generated and distributed and who controls this,” said lead author Prof Hugh Byrd of Lincoln University, a specialist in international energy policy and urban sustainability. “It is not in the interests of the privatized power industry to encourage less electricity consumption.”

Every year, millions of people around the world experience major electricity blackouts, but the country that has endured more blackouts than any other industrialized nation is the United States. Over the last decade, the number of power failures affecting over 50,000 Americans has more than doubled, according to federal data.’

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Czech president pelted with eggs on revolution anniversary

BBC News reports:

Protesters show symbolic red cards during a protest in Prague, Czech Republic on 17 November 2014Thousands of people have protested against Czech President Milos Zeman on the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which ended communist rule.

Demonstrators carried football-style red cards as a warning to Mr Zeman, while others threw eggs. One accidentally hit the German president.

[…] Some Czechs feel that certain aims of the revolution, such as the promotion of human rights, have been sidelined by Mr Zeman.

They also worry that the president, a former communist, is too close to both Russia and China.’

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Thousands of Hungarians protest to demand prime minister’s resignation

Al Jazeera reports:

People protest in front of the Hungarian parliament in Budapest, Hungary on 17 November 2014More than 10,000 Hungarians rallied in Budapest on Monday to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, accusing him of employing corrupt public servants and cosying up to the Kremlin.

The numbers who turned up at Parliament for the rally — billed by organizers as a “Day of Public Outrage” — were much smaller than the crowds that protested a planned tax on the Internet last month and forced Orban to shelve the plan.

Alleged corruption has become a new rallying cry for Orban’s opponents after the United States said it was barring entry to six Hungarian public servants, including the head of the tax authority, on suspicion of being associated with graft.

Although Hungary — like many former Eastern Bloc countries — adopted the form and institutions of a liberal democracy following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Orban’s government has tilted in a more authoritarian direction. In late July, he said publicly that he wanted to construct an “illiberal state” in the mold of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.’

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Romania’s next president says he may try to topple government

Luiza Ilie and Radu-Sorin Marinas report for Reuters:

Romania’s incoming president Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday his party might try to topple Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s government next year, an early sign of the instability that might follow his surprise victory.

A national vote is not due until 2016 but Iohannis, speaking in his capacity as leader of the center-right opposition National Liberal Party, said his party might look to forge new alliances to unseat Ponta as early as next year.

Iohannis beat frontrunner Ponta in the weekend’s presidential election, promising in his campaign to step up Romania’s fight against corruption and make it a more attractive place for foreign investors.

He scored an early victory on Tuesday when parliament bowed to his calls to scrap legislation aimed at keeping politicians out of jail, which was introduced last year to relieve pressure on overcrowded prisons but sparked outrage.’

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Stephen Walt’s Top 5 Foreign Policy Lessons of the Past 20 Years

Stephen Walt writes for Foreign Policy:

‘Tell me, friend: do you find the current world situation confusing? Are you having trouble sorting through the bewildering array of alarums, provocations, reassurances, and trite nostrums offered up by pundits and politicos? Can’t tell if the glass is half-full and rising or half-empty, cracked, and leaking water fast? Not sure if you should go long on precious metals and stock up on fresh water, ammo, and canned goods, or go big into equities and assume that everything will work out in the long run?

Today’s world is filled with conflicting signals. On the one hand, life expectancy and education are up, the level of violent conflict is down, and hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty over the past several decades. Private businesses are starting to take human rights seriously. And hey, the euro is still alive! On the other hand, Europe’s economy is still depressed, Russia is suspending nuclear cooperation with the United States, violent extremists keep multiplying in several regions, the odds of a genuine nuclear deal with Iran still looks like a coin toss, and that much-ballyhooed climate change deal between the United States and China is probably too little too late and already facing right-wing criticisms.

Given all these conflicting signals, what broader lessons might guide policymakers wrestling with all this turbulence? Assuming governments are capable of learning from experience (and please just grant me that one), then what kernels of wisdom should they be drawing on right now? What do the past 20 years or so reveal about contemporary foreign policy issues, and what enduring lessons should we learn from recent experience?’

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French government opposes ISDS, will not sign TTIP agreement in 2015

EurActiv reports:

‘Matthias Fekl, France’s Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, has made it clear that France will not support the inclusion of the Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) in a potential TTIP agreement. The ISDS is a point of heated debate between the EU and the United States. EurActiv France reports.

Europe’s fears over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are not abating, while America is beginning to show signs of impatience. Europe and the United States have reached a standoff in the TTIP negotiations, over the question of the Investor State Dispute Settlement.

This mechanism could give companies the opportunity to take legal action against a state whose legislation has a negative impact on their economic activity.

“France did not want the ISDS to be included in the negotiation mandate,” Matthias Fekl told the French Senate. “We have to preserve the right of the state to set and apply its own standards, to maintain the impartiality of the justice system and to allow the people of France, and the world, to assert their values,” he added.’

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In Prague, toys talk to kids about Velvet Revolution

Karel Janicek reports for the Associated Press:

‘The Velvet Revolution that kicked off in Prague 25 years ago Monday was a seminal event in the collapse of communism. Try explaining that to children who have only known democracy.

That’s the challenge tackled by two veterans of the uprising as the massive student protests faded ever further into the past. They wanted to capture the excitement of the rallies, the brutality of police beatings and the surreal repression of a nation that Vaclav Havel — later president — dubbed “Absurdistan.”

So renowned puppet designer Miroslav Trejtnar and filmmaker Tatana Markova teamed up to present the Velvet Revolution in a 30-minute movie that tells the story of more than a dozen children of the revolution — now parents — through the magic of animation.’

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Former NATO General Harald Kujat: I have doubts over evidence of Russian invasion in Ukraine

Editor’s Note: Harald Kujat is a retired general officer of the German Air Force. He served as Chief of Staff of the German armed forces from 2000-2002 and as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee from 2002-2005. This clip is taken from one of the most popular political talk shows in Germany. Below is a brief summary of what Kujat said.

  • That there’s a lot of speculation but so far proof of Russia’s involvement with regular military forces has not come to his attention
  • He cites the example of when the Ukrainian President announced that 23 armed Russian vehicles had been destroyed on Ukrainian territory, but no photos of any surviving or killed Russian soldiers were ever produced
  • That we have been shown five satellite photos as proof that Russian Forces are operating in Ukraine (three of them were marked as being ‘on Russian territory’ and two of them were marked as ‘on Ukraine territory’): the three Russian photos were marked with exact locations, whereas the two Ukrainian photos contained no location
  • Not only do we have to be careful of what the Russian’s say, but we also have to be careful about what the Ukrainian government and the West says (US and NATO)

NATO Says Russian Troops, Tanks Near Ukraine

Editor’s Note: The Russian’s are clearly involved in supporting the Eastern Ukraine rebellion, but take everything NATO says with a large dose of salt. They have been hyping up an imminent Russian invasion of Eastern Ukraine and even Eastern Europe for much of this year and we still haven’t seen one. That’s not to say that the Russian’s wouldn’t, but NATO also have a military budget to justify.

EU Scrutinizes Spyware Exports To Sketchy Regimes

Cora Currier writes for The Intercept:

Featured photo - EU Scrutinizes Spyware Exports To Sketchy RegimesThe European Union will start paying closer attention to sales of invasive surveillance software, which has previously flowed from European companies to countries with questionable human rights records.

Under new EU rules issued recently, certain kinds of monitoring software will require a license to export. Those license applications would provide more transparency about where the software is going, and could potentially allow governments to block unsavory sales.

As The Intercept has reported, companies like Milan-based Hacking Team or FinFisher, of Munich, sell to countries where authorities appear to have used the software to spy on dissidents and the press. Hacking Team implants have been discovered on the devices of Moroccan and Ethiopian journalists, while leaked FinFisher documents showed that activists and political opposition members in Bahrain had been targeted.’

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The Rise of Europe’s Far-Right: Interview with John Weeks

Editor’s Note: John Weeks is a professor emeritus of the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. He is author of ‘The Economics of the 1%: How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy’.

Anti-Fascists Rise Against Golden Dawn in Greece

‘In September 2013, Greek authorities took the unprecedented action of arresting a number of members of the far-right political organization Golden Dawn — including its leader, Nikos Michaloliakos. In the wake of the economic crisis, Golden Dawn has risen to become Greece’s third major political party, despite regular reports linking the organization to hate crimes. The trigger for these arrests was the murder of Pavlos Fyssas a.k.a. Killah P, a rapper whose songs often carried anti-fascist sentiments. His death sparked an investigation into Golden Dawn, leading to members being charged with crimes including murder, running a criminal organization, weapons offenses, and reported assaults on immigrants. In the days surrounding the first anniversary of Fyssa’s death, VICE News traveled to Greece to attend a protest in the rapper’s memory and see how the events of the past year have affected Greece’s anti-fascist movement.’ (VICE News)

Mass protests against austerity in Brussels

SEE ALSO: Nazi row rattles Belgium’s new ‘kamikaze coalition’

Alex Lantier reported for WSWS:

‘Approximately 130,000 people (100,000 according to police and 200,000 according to the marchers) from both Flemish- and French-speaking regions marched in one of Belgium’s largest mass protests since the general strike of 1960-1961. Workers in the chemical, pharmaceutical, transport, public transit, port, steel and aerospace industries struck and joined the protests.

Members of several youth groups and pseudo-left organizations broke into and briefly occupied the headquarters of the Federation of Belgian Corporations (FEB) in Brussels.

Workers were protesting the Michel government’s plans to raise the pension age to 67, carry out a 10 percent cut in the public sector wage bill, force long-term unemployed workers to work for their unemployment benefits, cut health spending, and push through a €3 billion wage cut by delaying the indexation of wages on prices. This last measure would cost the average worker €336 (US$417.27) per year.’

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Polish independence day turns violent

What Happened to the Humanitarians Who Wanted to Save Libyans With Bombs and Drones?

Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain write for The Intercept:

‘Just three years after NATO’s military intervention in Libya ended and was widely heralded by its proponents as a resounding success, that country is in complete collapse. So widespread is violence and anarchy there that “hardly any Libyan can live a normal life,” Brown University’s Stephen Kinzer wrote in The Boston Globe last week. Last month, the Libyan Parliament, with no functioning army to protect it from well-armed militias, was forced to flee Tripoli and take refuge in a Greek car ferry. The New York Times reported in September that “the government of Libya said . . . that it had lost control of its ministries to a coalition of militias that had taken over the capital, Tripoli, in another milestone in the disintegration of the state.”

Sectarian strife and economic woes destroyed efforts by the U.S. and U.K. to train Libyan soldiers, causing those two nations last week to all but abandon further programs: “not a single soldier had been trained by the U.S. because the Libyan government failed to provide promised cash.” AP reports this morning that an entire city, Darna, has now pledged its allegiance to ISIS, “becoming the first city outside of Iraq and Syria to join the ‘caliphate’ announced by the extremist group.” A report issued by Amnesty International two weeks ago documented that “lawless militias and armed groups on all sides of the conflict in western Libya are carrying out rampant human rights abuses, including war crimes.” In sum, it is almost impossible to overstate the horrors daily faced by Libyans and the misery that has engulfed the country.

All of that prompts an obvious question: where did all of the humanitarians go who insisted they were driven by a deep and noble concern for the welfare of the Libyan people when they agitated for NATO intervention?’

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