Below right: Black boxes being handed over to Malaysian delegation
Since the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH-17 in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, questions have been raised about why the plane was flying over a war zone. MH-17′s flight path on July 17 diverged from the path taken during its earlier flights over Ukraine. On previous occasions the plane flew a route further to the south, over the Sea of Azov – a route declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
According to flightaware.com on the day of the crash, MH-17′s flight path diverted northward taking the Boeing directly over (Read more…)
The presidential election in Ukraine was held on the same date as elections to the European parliament that resulted in an unprecedented showing by anti-immigration Euro-skeptic parties. The Ukraine election held in the midst of conflict and poll boycotts saw EU-friendly billionaire Pyotr Poroshenko – aka the “Chocolate King” – emerge the big winner, with rival Yulia Tymoshenko a distant second.
According to reports from Kiev, Poroshenko’s big win was a disappointment for many of the protesters who risked life and limb on Maidan holding out for the prospect of real change.
The victory by Ukraine’s “Willy Wonka” will be (Read more…)
by: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives | Press Release | May 28, 2014
OTTAWA – The proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will only exacerbate the Canadian auto industry’s recent decline, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
The study, by Unifor economist and CCPA vice-president Jim Stanford, analyses CETA’s likely effects on Canadian automotive trade, investment, and employment and claims the trade deal will make Canada’s current trade imbalance with the EU incrementally worse. The study estimates that the existing $5.3 billion trade deficit with Europe will widen significantly as (Read more…)
Back in 2003, when Colin Powell presented “evidence” at the UN to back up the White House claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, major US news outlets ran the story believing the Bush administration had the goods. During the UN presentation Russia’s ambassador at the time, Sergei Lavrov, greeted Powell’s “evidence” with a look of incredulous disbelief or perhaps disdain might be the better term. As we now know, the Russians were entirely right to cast scorn on Washington’s pack of lies about Saddam’s non-existent WMD.
In the current war of words-and-images on Ukraine, Russian media (Read more…)
There was a massive turnout in the Crimea referendum, with 81.3 percent of eligible voters participating. When the final tally was in 96.77 percent voted “yes” to integration with the Russian Federation. The way it breaks down in terms of numbers is 1,233,002 votes for integration out of a total of 1,274,096 ballots cast.
The head of the monitors’ commission, Polish MP Mateusz Piskorski, told RT: “The referendum has been organized professionally, considering there was very little time for all the institutions to prepare, all the staff for polling stations, for electoral commission… So when it comes (Read more…)
A leaked phone call between Estonian foreign minister, Urmas Paet, and EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, surfaced last week. It includes the suggestion that some party connected with the opposition – the current coalition in power in Kiev – was behind the lethal sniper attacks in Independence Square that killed scores of people.
Paet refers to a doctor who worked with those who had been shot by snipers in Independence Square… “Olga” by name. Russian media has identified her as Olga Bogomolets, chief coordinator of medical aid at the earlier main protest camp in Independence Square.
Paet to Ashton: (Read more…)
So the end-game plan for the US/NATO/EU alliance and the Western oligarchs and plutocratic elite who control it, in their bid to consolidate their present and highly precarious global dominance, seems to be, after encircling Russia and China with military bases and nuclear missiles, to eliminate Russia’s first strike response capability – which means, in […]
This week US president Obama raised concerns about Russian involvement in Crimea. He said he is “deeply disturbed” by the Russian move and that “Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing.” He made reference to “costs” facing Russia for its “military intervention” – adding to warnings coming from other quarters.
It’s unsettling to listen as Obama piously evokes “sovereignty” and “territorial integrity” given the American hand in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
The US is in a class of its own when it comes riding roughshod over other nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity… US (Read more…)
Beneath: Banner of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera hangs in Kiev City Hall / Yulia Tymoshenko
The forcible removal of Victor Yanukovych’s regime in what has been likened to a “fascist putsch” has led to an unstable and potentially dangerous situation in the Ukraine. Terms such as “democratic revolution” used by MSM to describe what has gone down in Kiev is both naive and misleading. It isn’t unlike the rose-tinted heralding of a democratic revolution in Egypt… even as general SiSi was waiting in the wings to bring down the hammer and female journalists were being subjected to sexual assault by (Read more…)
Into the Fire sends a powerful message about the xenophobia and violence faced by immigrants in Greece struggling to survive against steep odds. A large percentage were driven to seek asylum not as a matter of choice but because of war and other problems in their countries of origin. Many have been forced to live on the street with no legal papers. Too often they are targets of harassment and physical assault, not only by fascist thugs linked to the anti-immigrant Golden Dawn but even in some cases by police who have been filmed either actively participating in attacks on (Read more…)
The European Union has banned the selling of cosmetics that have been tested on animals. This will make the lives of many animals better and may encourage innovations in cosmetic testing .
The ban applies to all new cosmetics and their ingredients sold in the EU, regardless of where in the world testing on animals was carried out.
The 27 EU countries have had a ban on such tests in place since 2009. But the EU Commission is now asking the EU’s trading partners to do the same.
Read more at the BBC.
Merkel and dominoes …
One of the fascinating things about high level crises like the eurozone one, is the role played by the men and women who have the power or lack the power to influence events. And the key person in the past five years or so is a woman some nicknamed The Iron Lady – Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. Der Spiegel has a fascinating article describing her practical approach to the eurozine crisis, which includes this:
For months, Merkel wavered over whether or not Greece should remain in the euro zone. As recently as summer, she couldn’t decide
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Chancellor Merkel plumps for the domino theory over the ballast theory
United States of Europe?
Financial integration is one major step along the road towards eventual political integration into one massive new federal state, the USE (United States of Europe), and yesterday a significant move was made in this direction: Europe’s finance ministers have taken another major step towards closer integration, with a significant transfer of authority from national governments to the ECB, he says.
The EU had already agreed that the ECB would act as chief supervisor of eurozone banks. But the deal gives the ECB powers to close down eurozone banks that do not follow the rules. It also . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Europe takes another big step towards the United States of Europe
According to Internet freedom group European Digital Rights, provisions that would criminalize our Internet use may be dropped from the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA)! While the battle isn’t… . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: European Parliament Opposes Restrictive Measures in Both CETA and ITU
The European Union
A struggle for the future of Europe is being waged right now by the politicians of the EU.
Most of the fighting is being done by the leaders of France, Germany and Britain (the Big Three of Europe), with the other medium sized states putting the boot in every now and then but largely shouting encouragement from the sidelines. The big battle that is shaping up is over the contours of the future Europe. Germany: A tighter Union or Else: And the issue has been framed as a choice between two stark contracts: a move towards . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Anglo-Franco-German ménage à trois: A Federal Europe or a confederation of Nation States?
Despite all the hype in much of the Canadian media about this Harper-Merkel meeting featuring Canada-EU trade talks, the Germans are playing it right down: Mr. Jürgens said he doesn’t expect Mr. Harper and Ms. Merkel to have much detailed discussion about the ongoing trade talks between Canada and the European Union. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it was briefly touched upon, but it definitely is a thing that belongs to a multilateral arena and is not of main interest if you have bilateral talks,” he said. “We cannot talk for 26 other countries, that’s kind of the mandate
. . . → Read More: Impolitical: The German view of the Harper-Merkel bunfest
At last we see a serious move in Europe to start the much needed process of reining in the many useless financial transactions that are part of the unregulated morass that landed us in the 2008 financial meltdown. James Tobin
Hollande’s first budget is introducing a Tobin tax on trading and swap transactions:
The 0.2 percent tax, loosely modeled on the ideas of the U.S. economist James Tobin, will be applied to the purchase of shares in 109 French companies with market capitalizations of more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion). A similar levy will be . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: President Hollande of France leads the way with a Tobin tax
Whenever social and economic crises develop, those in power always try to blame somebody else. For example, what caused the recession in the U.S. in 2008? Simple, it was the selfish poor who had the gall to think that they could afford to own their own homes. (And don’t pay any attention to the man behind the curtain, aka Wall Street).
It’s the same kind of lie told about Greece today. Supposedly, the problem is that Greeks are lazy and spoiled by an elaborate and unaffordable welfare system. (The tone is sometimes close to racist.) The solution, therefore,
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Blaming the People
From democracy to banking, Europe has launched institutions that have shaped the world; with its recent financial crisis, Europe might be about to do it again.
The European financial crisis is only giving further legitimacy and urgency to greater European political integration. It is argued that with many economies dependent on each other, with a shared currency and shared markets, political decisions regarding spending and financial regulations need to be centralized or at least centrally moderated.
But if that argument has force, it stands to reason that a world financial crisis could justify a similar system of political integration, only
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Europe’s Export of Political Integration
It’s an ill wind that blows no-one any good, and the eurozone euro crisis is not such a wind, it seems. Having taken major steps in past decades to set up the European Union, including the euro and eurozone, the European states are now being asked to take a giant leap forward. European authorities have unveiled their vision for the future, which gives them much greater powers. It includes the creation of a European treasury, which would have powers over national budgets… The 10-year plan is designed to strengthen the eurozone and prevent future crises, but critics say it will . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: The New Roadmap to The United States of Europe (USE)
This is audio from an interview Mulcair did with Michael Enright on CBC radio this weekend where the eurozone financial crisis came up:
That is a brief excerpt but I think it might indicate that the Conservative p.r. effort on Europe against the NDP may have worked. Mulcair mocks the Conservatives as having made the question of contributing to the IMF funds into a domestic partisan political game, rightly so. But he nevertheless refuses to take a position on it by stating it’s not about a “bailout,” it’s about being at the table. A central question though, of the
. . . → Read More: Impolitical: Mulcair on the euro crisis
Yeah they did: “Tories made a ‘major mistake’ in their approach to the euro crisis, Paul Martin says.” “The major mistake that the government has made is the way that it’s characterized this,” Mr. Martin said.
“The role of the G20 is to strengthen the financial institutions and the other global institutions that exist. And so, for Canada to turn its back on the IMF when the IMF is saying ‘we want more money, not simply for Europe, we want to be able to deal with the huge imbalances that exist around the world,’ I think that was a
. . . → Read More: Impolitical: You go, Paul Martin
From the “Today’s Must Reads” on the Globe’s Politics page, an op-ed from Conservative Senator and former Harper campaign chair Doug Finley with a familiar refrain: “Europe needs to take responsibility for its own mistakes.” This is what we’ve been hearing from the PM, from Jim Flaherty and various other government supporters. It is interesting that they feel the need to keep saying it.
So what does Senator Finley have to add to the conversation? Well, not unexpectedly, he punches back at European Commissioner José Manuel Barroso who got a lot of attention in Canadian media this week when
. . . → Read More: Impolitical: More Europe bashing from the Harper crew