Posted: April 23, 2017 Filed under: France, Global, History, Think Tank | Tags: 2003 invasion of Iraq, BBC, Brexit, British people, Chuka Umunna, Iraq War, Labour Party (UK), Liberal Democrats, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair
This weakness should give conservatives no pleasure.
Posted: March 16, 2017 Filed under: Breaking News, Foreign Policy, Global, Religion, Think Tank | Tags: Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, Brexit, European Union, Euroscepticism, Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen, Mark Rutte, Party for Freedom, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, United Kingdom
The patriotic revolution continues.
Daniel Greenfield writes: The Dutch Labor Party used to dominate Maastricht. The ancient city gave its name to the Maastricht Treaty that created the European Union. In this election, the Labor Party fell from a quarter of the vote to a twentieth.
Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, which advocates withdrawing from the EU, is now the largest party in the birthplace of the European Union.
And the growing strength of the Freedom Party can be felt not only on the banks of the Maas River, but across the waterways of the Netherlands. A new wind of change has blown off the North Sea and ruffled feathers in Belgisch Park.
In The Hague, where Carnegie’s Peace Palace hosts the World Court while the humbler Noordeinde Palace houses King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, the internationalist institutions colliding with the nationalist ones, the United Nations rubbing up against the Dutch parliament and Supreme Court, the Freedom Party has become the second largest party despite the 15% Muslim population.
In Rotterdam, where Muslim rioters shouted, “Allahu Akbar” and anti-Semitic slurs and where Hamas front groups are organizing a conference, the Freedom Party is now the second largest political party. In that ancient city on the Rotte that had the first Muslim mayor of a major European city, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of the Labor Party who was being groomed for Prime Minister, estimates are that Labor fell from 32 percent to just 6 percent. That is strikingly similar to what took place in Maastricht.
But nearly half of Rotterdam is made up of immigrants. Muslims make up 13% of the population. But turnout hit 72% and after the Muslim riots, the Freedom Party only narrowly trails the ruling VVD.
The Freedom Party has become the largest party in Venlo while the Labor Party has all but vanished.
And that is the real story of the Dutch election. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 26, 2017 Filed under: France, Global, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Brexit, Donald Trump, EUROPE, European Commission, European Parliament, European Union, France, Frauke Petry, History of far-right movements in France, Marine Le Pen
PARIS – With the polls narrowing and one of her main rivals embroiled in an expenses scandal, far-right leader Marine Le Pen could feasibly become French president in May, senior politicians and commentators say.
“I think Madame Le Pen could be elected.”
— Jean-Pierre Raffarin
At the headquarters of her National Front (FN) party in Nanterre, outside Paris, officials believe the same forces that led to last year’s Brexit vote in Britain and Donald Trump’s victory in November’s U.S. election could carry Le Pen to power.
Even some of her rivals concede a victory for the far-right firebrand is possible.
“I think Madame Le Pen could be elected,” former conservative Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said this month.
Another former premier, the Socialist Manuel Valls, has also warned of the “danger” of assuming that Le Pen cannot win.
Polls show that support for the anti-immigrant and anti-EU candidate has been consistent for four years now.
Since 2013, surveys have shown the blond 48-year-old will progress through the first round to reach the runoff stage in France’s two-stage presidential election.
Pollsters now note that although Le Pen is not currently forecast to win the all-important showdown on May 7, she has whittled down the projected gap between herself and her main challengers.
The legal woes of her conservative challenger Francois Fillon have especially played into Le Pen’s hands.
When Fillon saw off pre-contest favorite Alain Juppe to clinch the right-wing nomination in late November, polls showed he would win 67 percent of the vote in the runoff to 33 percent for Le Pen.
Then in January allegations surfaced that Fillon had paid his wife hundreds of thousands of euros for parliamentary work she might not have done. Surveys now show Le Pen would score 44 percent to 56 percent for Fillon if the second round were held today.
[Read the full story here, at The Japan Times]
The pressure on 62-year-old Fillon moved up a notch Friday when prosecutors announced he will face a full judicial investigation into the claims.
A similar picture emerges when Le Pen’s projected second-round score is compared to that of Emmanuel Macron, the pro-business centrist who has moved from outsider to genuine contender in the space of a few months.
Although Macron’s performance against Le Pen has only been tested since January, the winning margin has dropped from 30 points to around 20 in a month.
The latest Ifop poll gives Macron 61.5 percent to 38.5 for the far-right standard bearer. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 2, 2017 Filed under: Law & Justice, Think Tank | Tags: Abortion, Abortion in the United States, Antonin Scalia, Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, Barack Obama, Brexit, DC, Donald Trump, President of the United States, Supreme Court of the United States, Washington
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement of the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States:
President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is a victory for Americans who are fed up with corrupt judicial activism. The judicial branch needs as much draining as the rest of the federal government swamp. President Trump avoided the temptation to nominate yet another politician to the Supreme Court. It is good we have a nominee who has a demonstrated record of applying the rule of law rather than legislating from the bench. The U.S. Senate should swiftly confirm him.
In Michele Gorman’s January 27 profile piece on Neil Gorsuch for Newsweekmagazine, Fitton provided the following:
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, tells Newsweek that Gorsuch fits the Scalia mold, which Trump has promised to adhere to in his replacement nominee. “I think conservatives would consider him to be an exciting pick. I think it’s fair to say he’s a leader in terms of conservative jurisprudence and I think he quickly would become a strong voice on the court for his constitutional approach to decision making,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 28, 2017 Filed under: Asia, China, Global, History, Politics, White House | Tags: Aftermath of World War II, Alex Padilla, Autocracy, Brexit, Communist China, Communist Party of China, Donald Trump, European Union, Golden Monkey, Great Leap Forwar, Mao, Mao Zedong, Peter Navarro, United States, United States presidential election, Uproar in Heaven
The January 13, 1967 issue of TIME magazine featured Mao Zedong on its cover with the headline “China in Chaos.” Fifty years later, TIME made U.S. President-elect Donald Trump its Man of The Year. With a groundswell of mass support, both men rebelled against the established order in their respective countries and set about throwing the world into confusion. Both share an autocratic mind set, Mao Zedong as Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, Donald Trump as Chairman of the Board. As Jiaying Fan noted in May 2016, both also share a taste for “polemical excess and xenophobic paranoia.” For his part, Mao’s rebellion led to national catastrophe and untold human misery.
[Order Peter Navarro’s book “Death by China: Confronting the Dragon – A Global Call to Action” from Amazon.com]
On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States of America. Although some of China’s New Leftists hailed Trump’s November 2016 win as a validation of ever-victorious Mao Zedong Thought, there is little reason to think that a Trump-led America will give much succor to China’s ideologues. In the two months since the U.S. election, through a phone call to Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen, repeated comments on China’s currency manipulation, the appointment of Peter Navarro (an economic hawk and author, among other things, of the 2011 book Death by China: Confronting the Dragon—A Global Call to Action) as director of the National Trade Council, and his intervention in a dispute over an underwater U.S. drone waylaid by the Chinese navy in the South China Sea, Trump has indicated that he is taking an unpredictable approach to the most important global bilateral relationship. Even long-standing friends and allies of the U.S. have been thrown off guard as they learn how to live with the Great Disrupter.
The Chinese Communist Party under its Chairman of Everything, Xi Jinping, hasn’t had to confront such an erratic and populist leader since Mao Zedong launched the Cultural Revolutionary 50 years ago.
Uproar in Heaven
In Official China, the anniversary of the Cultural Revolution passed in silence, even though today’s People’s Republic, whether in terms of its achievements or of its egregious failures, continues to live in the shadow of that political maelstrom.
[Read more here, at ChinaFile]
In 1966, Mao observed that his personality was a mixture of contradictory elements. There was the self-assured sense of destiny and confidence that led him to challenge and overturn earlier leaders of the Communist Party, confront Chiang Kai-shek, and lead the Chinese revolution. This was, he said, an expression of his “Tiger Spirit,” something that was in constant interplay with his “Monkey Spirit,” one that was skittish, paranoid, and unpredictable. The Monkey was always ready to take on the Tiger with devilish glee. In the last two decades of his life, Mao’s China reflected this deep-seated contradiction as the country lurched between authoritarian control and anarchic confusion. What for the Great Helmsman was his life force writ large would rend the fabric of the society he ruled and threatened everything he had worked to achieve.
At the time of the Sino-Soviet split in 1961, Mao wrote a poem in praise of China’s most famous monkey, Sun Wukong, the hero of the popular late-Ming novel Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en. The international order established following WWII was under increasing pressure, and the Socialist Bloc, led by the Soviet Union, was riven by rebellion and disquiet as a result both of repressive Soviet expansionism in Europe and the ideological uncertainty generated by Nikita Khrushchev’s secret denunciation of Joseph Stalin in 1956. Mao, giving vent to his Tiger Spirit, would now lay claim to the mantle of world revolution.
A thunderstorm burst over the earth,
So a devil rose from a heap of white bones.
The deluded monk was not beyond the light,
But the malignant demon must wreak havoc.
The Golden Monkey wrathfully swung his massive cudgel,
And the jade-like firmament was cleared of dust.
Today, a miasmal mist once more rising,
We hail Sun Wu-kung, the wonder-worker.
Having delivered this challenge, Mao’s unpredictable Monkey Spirit would attempt to turn the world upside down. His poem and Uproar in Heaven, a 1964 film adaptation of Wu Cheng’en’s novel, struck a cord with the restive youth of China, many of whom closely followed China’s ideological contest with the Soviet Union. Like Mao, they too felt that their country was being stymied by a hidebound Soviet-style bureaucracy; the normalization of the revolutionary ardor of the past was frustrating China’s ability to lead history and achieve greatness. They related to Mao as he portrayed himself as an outsider who championed an uprising of the masses against a sclerotic system.
Chairman Mao Tse-tung, left, welcomes US President Richard Nixon at his house in Beijing (AFP)
When, in 1966, Mao both engineered and supported a grassroots youthful rebellion against the very party-state he had created, a group of middle-school students in Beijing responded by composing a series of manifestos declaring that they, like Monkey, would support the Chairman, create an uproar in heaven, and smash the old world to pieces. In particular, they proclaimed “Rebellion is Justified” and quoted a line from Mao’s 1961 poem:
The Golden Monkey wrathfully swung his massive cudgel,
And the jade-like firmament was cleared of dust.
Mao responded to the young rebels and, to use today’s parlance, an alt-left movement of radicalism was born. The students called themselves Red Guards.
[Read the full story here, at ChinaFile]
In August 1966, Mao and his deputy, Lin Biao, encouraged the Red Guards to Destroy the Four Olds and a wave of iconoclasm swept the country while the violence against people victimized as representing the old order were denounced, attacked, beaten, and even killed. During what would be known as Bloody August, Mao is said to have written to Jiang Qing, his wife and partner in revolutionary extremism, declaring that “Once heaven is in great disorder a new kind of order can emerge.” He believed that throwing the political establishment and social order into confusion would liberate the true potential of people to achieve what was otherwise seemingly impossible. A high-tide of revolutionary enthusiasm would allow people to cast aside the deadening bureaucracy and revitalize industry, agriculture, research, and society itself. Under the guidance of Mao Zedong Thought, the goal of making China great again could be realized on the world stage.
The Instincts of an Autocrat
The similarities between Mao Zedong and Donald Trump don’t end with the autocrat’s mindset touched on in the opening paragraph of this essay, or with the clash between tiger-like brio and the dyspathy of the monkey. The will to autocracy means that both figures share (with elected or self-appointed strong men historically and worldwide) some disturbing parallels:
Quotations Vs. Tweets: In the Mao era, the mysterious, contradictory, and yet powerfully inciting utterances of the Chairman were conveyed not by Twitter, but through quotations broadcast over national radio and carried in the newspapers. In the print media, Mao’s gnomic utterances were always highlighted by being printed in bold, while on radio they were recited in the stentorian voice of authority. A daily quotation called “The Highest Directive” featured in the top right-hand corner of the People’s Daily and was mimicked by every paper across the land. The quotations demanded a response and action and sent the country lurching in different directions while confusion reigned supreme in Beijing.
Progadanda Vs. the Lying Media: Like Mao, Trump has trouble sleeping, and his early morning Tweets reveal whatever has caught the leader’s flickering attention, alerting the world to some new twist or turn in his feverish thinking. With Twitter, Trump bypasses both the formal bureaucracy of Washington and what he and his followers dub “The Lying Media.”
Mao too distrusted the state media based in the capital, Beijing, and with the support of his wife, Jiang Qing, and her Shanghai comrades he got his message of rebellion out in other cities. He extolled The Right to Rebel and, in essence, he launched the Cultural Revolution to “drain the swamp” of the Chinese Communist Party bureaucracy. He called enemies within the Party nomenklatura “Capitalist Roaders,” the permanent political class, that is men and women who were pursuing policies that undermined his ideas and which, he believe, held back China’s productive capacity and frustrated the country’s global revolutionary preeminence.
[Read the full text here, at ChinaFile]
Climate Change Vs. Human Will: The effects of climate change and the mismanagement of natural resources were evident in Mao’s China. There was a profligate depletion of water resources; increasing desertification starting from Outer Mongolia; unmodulated industrial pollution from the Great Leap Forward era onwards; denial of contaminants in food and water supplies. . . the list goes on. Mao believed that “man can conquer heaven,” that human will could triumph over nature. China now faces the challenge of climate change and environmental degradation with sober clarity; Trump’s America will be led by climate skeptics, deniers, and those who would sign up for Mao’s axiom.
The Smartest Men in the Room: Like Trump, Mao thought he was “smart,” and he distrusted experts and the educated. An autodidact, he believed that he did not need to rely on others to understand complex issues and resolve problems. He declared that the more education you have, the more dangerous you may be. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 26, 2017 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Politics, Religion | Tags: BBC, Brexit, Chaplain, Christian Church, Christianity, European Union, Fox News, Islamism, Jihadism, media, Muslim, news, Queen's chaplain, Qur'an, Today (BBC Radio 4), United Kingdom, video
One of the Queen’s chaplains has resigned after criticising a Glasgow church for allowing a Koran reading during one of its services.
The Reverend Gavin Ashenden said he left his position in order to have more freedom of “speak out on behalf of the faith”.
“Because I think it a higher and more compelling duty to speak out on behalf of the faith, than to retain a public honour which precludes me doing so at this time, I resigned my post.”
In a blog post published on Sunday, he said: “After a conversation instigated by officials at Buckingham Palace, I decided the most honourable course of action was to resign.”
Mr Ashenden had criticised the reading of the Koran during an Epiphany service at St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow earlier this month in an attempt to improve interfaith relations in Glasgow.
A student read a segment relating to the birth of Jesus Christ in Arabic. Islam considers Christ to be a prophet but not the son of God.
Mr Ashenden, who has served as one of the Queen’s 34 chaplains for nine years, said the reading had caused “serious offence”. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 22, 2017 Filed under: France, Global, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Brexit, Donald Trump, EUROPE, European Union, President of the United States, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, The Guardian, United Kingdom, United States
Do they got it? Perhaps they do. The European parties hope for similar success in tapping anti-establishment and protectionist sentiment in elections this year.
KOBLENZ, Germany (AP) — European nationalist leaders came together Saturday in a show of strength at the start of a year of big election tests, celebrating Donald Trump’s inauguration as U.S. president and declaring themselves a realistic alternative to the continent’s governments.
Right-wing populist leaders from France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and elsewhere strode confidently into the Koblenz congress hall on the banks of the Rhine River ahead of a flag-waving escort, setting the tone for a gathering whose mood was buoyed by Trump’s swearing-in. The European parties hope for similar success in tapping anti-establishment and protectionist sentiment in elections this year.
“I believe we are witnessing historic times,” Dutch anti-Islam leader Geert Wilders told reporters. “The world is changing. America is changing. Europe is changing. And the people start getting in charge again.”
Wilders, speaking in English, declared that “the genie will not go back into the bottle again, whether you like it or not.”
The Netherlands will provide the next major test for populist parties’ support. Wilders’ Party of Freedom could win the largest percentage of votes in the March 15 Dutch parliamentary election, even though it is shunned by other parties and unlikely to get a share of power.
Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Front, is among the top contenders in France’s April-May presidential vote. In September, Frauke Petry’s four-year-old Alternative for Germany party hopes to enter the German parliament in a national election, riding sentiment against German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcoming policy toward refugees. Other German parties say they won’t work with the anti-immigrant group.
Those at the Koblenz conference Saturday are part of the Europe of Nations and Freedom group in the European Parliament, which was launched in 2015. The gathering also featured Matteo Salvini of Italy’s anti-migrant Northern League and Harald Vilimsky, the general secretary of Austria’s right-wing Freedom Party, which last year narrowly failed to win the country’s presidency. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 6, 2016 Filed under: Diplomacy, Economics, Global, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: Barack Obama, Brexit, Donald Trump, European Union, Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, President of the United States, The Heritage Foundation, United Kingdom, United States
Brexit Champion Daniel Hannan: ‘There Are Crybabies on Both Sides of the Atlantic’
“There are some crybabies on both sides of the Atlantic, who don’t accept the verdict of the people as final. And you can see this — it’s exactly the same kind of people on both sides (of the Atlantic). It’s the slightly spoiled millennials, it’s the generation of the safe spaces and the micro-aggressions and the trigger warnings, who have been taught from the moment they went to school that the correct way to deal with a difficult opinion is to try to silence it, and that someone disagreeing with them is a form of violence, rather than something that just happens in life.”
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 18, 2016 Filed under: Asia, Diplomacy, Global, Japan, Politics, White House | Tags: Americans, Barack Obama, Batchelor, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bill Morneau, Brexit, Donald Trump, Northern Territory, President of the United States, United States
After the talks, Abe gave a golf driver to Trump as a gift, while Trump gave a golf outfit to Abe.
NEW YORK — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump held a meeting in New York on Thursday evening.
It is believed that Abe emphasized during the meeting the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance and free trade mechanisms, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
After the meeting with Trump, Abe told reporters, “It gave me confidence that the two of us can build a relationship of trust.”
Abe and Trump agreed to meet again.
It was Trump’s first meeting with a foreign leader since winning the U.S. presidential election. It is extremely rare for a Japanese prime minister to meet with a U.S. president-elect.
[Read the full story here, at The Japan News]
The talks were held in Trump’s residence within Trump Tower in Manhattan. The meeting lasted about 90 minutes, longer than the initially scheduled 45 minutes. Abe had only his interpreter present.
Trump had the following people present: retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who is seen as likely to take the national security adviser’s post; Ivanka, Trump’s eldest daughter; and Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 11, 2016 Filed under: Asia, China, Global, Politics, White House | Tags: American Dream, Americans, Andrew Sheng, Bernie Sanders, Brexit, Disruptive technology, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, President of the United States, Republican Party (United States)
Andrew Sheng says the way of the tech age is ‘disrupt or be disrupted’, and achieving the unthinkable rests on sheer willpower, as exemplified by the rise from nowhere of Donald Trump and Shenzhen.
Andrew Sheng writes: I was going to write about disruptive technology, but the whole week has been taken up with the disruption of Donald Trump, as he upset the American establishment by winning the US presidential election.
“There was something quite Darwinian about the US election. Here was an alpha male challenging the establishment, both on the Republican and Democratic sides. Against all odds, he defeated the Bush dynasty and the Republican party leadership to win the nomination.”
Trump’s victory repeated the Brexit phenomenon: that the elites don’t get it. Trump basically tapped into the anger in the dominant American white voter that life has not been good the past 30 years – attributing this to globalisation, immigration, disruptive technology and, mostly, the failure of the elites to listen.
Two Iranian women surf the Internet at a cafe in Tehran, Iran, in September, when authorities briefly lifted blocks on social networks and then restored them. Ebrahim Noroozi / AP file
“Increasingly, societies are networks across which goods, services, information and value are traded, exchanged and created. Those who have access to these networks grow wealthier, outstripping those who are not.”
There was something quite Darwinian about the US election. Here was an alpha male challenging the establishment, both on the Republican and Democratic sides. Against all odds, he defeated the Bush dynasty and the Republican party leadership to win the nomination. Then he crushed the alpha female (Hillary Clinton), partly because somehow no one could quite trust what she really stood for.
“Hong Kong is a perfect example of how cities become successful by being a free port, with low transaction costs, rule of law and access to free information.”
We are likely to see some major changes affecting Wall Street. Remember how, in 1934, newly elected president Franklin Roosevelt sent Joseph Kennedy Senior to go after Wall Street?
“An American friend had this insight – most of his friends refused to tell anyone that they supported Trump. They did not want to appear politically incorrect in supporting a ranting candidate who was not singing along to the traditional songs. But they wanted change – and Obama had not delivered.”
How did Trump get here? Firstly, as a businessman, he understood that the old model was broken because he read the signals right – the average American voter was angry and wanted their issues fixed. Secondly, he knew that the mainstream establishment media was against him but they didn’t get what his pollsters were reading.
[Read the full story here, at South China Morning Post]
The web traffic was showing that his outrageous statements were touching raw nerves. Politics is, ultimately, about the gut rather than the rational mind. Thirdly, the pollsters were reading the old tea leaves, not appreciating how voters were refusing to show their hand till the last minute.
“How did Trump get here? Firstly, as a businessman, he understood that the old model was broken because he read the signals right – the average American voter was angry and wanted their issues fixed. Secondly, he knew that the mainstream establishment media was against him but they didn’t get what his pollsters were reading.”
An American friend had this insight – most of his friends refused to tell anyone that they supported Trump. They did not want to appear politically incorrect in supporting a ranting candidate who was not singing along to the traditional songs. But they wanted change – and Obama had not delivered.
“The election also showed that what concerns voters most is the need for good jobs. This is where globalisation and technology disruption have upset the status quo. Jobs either go abroad where wages are cheaper, or technology is such that most manufacturing can be done onshore, but robotics is replacing grunt labour.”
So, what next for Trump and for Asia? Based on his campaign language, Trump is likely to be quite tough on allies and competitors alike; essentially, everyone will have to look after their own interests. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 10, 2016 Filed under: Entertainment, Global, History, Humor, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: A Time for Choosing, Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, Brexit, David Cameron, Donald Trump, EUROPE, European Union, Hillary Clinton, United Kingdom, United States
The moment when Europe begins to suspect the progressive, welfare-state, open-borders, post-national cultural marxist technocratic fantasy was a fantasy. Was unreal. Was juvenile. Was irresponsible. Was a world-historical blunder. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 4, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, History, Russia, War Room | Tags: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Adolf Hitler, Albert Speer, Alexandra Shimo, Allies of World War II, Anne, Archibald McIndoe, Berlin, Bill Etheridge, Black comedy, Brexit, Princess Royal, Soviet Union, United States, World War II
James Rogers reports: Scientists at the Russian Arctic National Park have unearthed the remains of a secret Nazi base on the remote island of Alexandra Land that was abandoned during the latter stages of World War II.
“The station was called ‘secret’ because during the Second World War its existence was unknown in the USSR. Starting from 1952, Soviet polar explorers were living there, waiting for the opening of a new weather station. In 1956, the German station was destroyed.”
— Russian National Park Service spokeswoman
Due to this year’s warm Arctic summer, experts could fully explore the ground where the military weather station was located, finding more than 600 items.
“These artifacts unmistakably advise about the German identity of the station, and also suggest that its designation was both military and meteorological,” explained a spokeswoman for the Russian Arctic National Park, in an email to FoxNews.com.
Researchers found German mines, hand grenade fragments, cartridge boxes, cartridges for Mauser 98 rifles and boxes for MG-34 submachine gun feed belts. Parts of uniforms, overcoats, underwear, socks, and pieces of footwear, were also discovered, as well as sacks bearing the label of the German army.
[Read the full story here, at Fox News]
Scientific items found include pieces of weather balloons, thermometers, astronomic tables, journals with meteorological data and textbooks on meteorology stamped with the seal of Germany’s Navy. Books of fiction such as “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” were discovered, as well as packages for food and even toothpaste.
The German weather station Schatzgräber (Treasure Hunter) was located on Alexandra Land, an island in the Franz Josef Land archipelago, from September 1943 to July 1944, during which time it sent more than 700 meteorological reports. Military personnel at the weather station fell ill after eating polar bear meat contaminated with roundworms, forcing the base’s evacuation in 1944. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 11, 2016 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Russia, War Room | Tags: Bratislava, Brexit, Brussels, Bulgaria, Donald Tusk, EUROPE, European Union, François Hollande, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Jean-Claude Juncker, Military of the European Union, President of the European Commission, Turkey, United Kingdom
In Europe, when it gets serious, you have to lie… at least if you are an unelected bureaucrat like Jean-Claude Juncker. In Russia, however, when it gets serious, attention immediately turns to the children.
“On the one hand, this is all part of a package of measures to prepare the elites for some ‘big war’ even if it is rather conditional, on the other hand – this is another blow to the unity of President Putin with his own elite”
— Political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky
Which is why we read a report in Russian website Znak published Tuesday, according to which Russian state officials and government workers were told to bring back their children studying abroad immediately, even if means cutting their education short and not waiting until the end of the school year, and re-enroll them in Russian schools, with some concern.
[Read the full story here, at Zero Hedge]
The article adds that if the parents of these same officials also live abroad “for some reason”, and have not lost their Russian citizenship, should also be returned to the motherland. Znak cited five administration officials as the source of the report.
“People note the hypocrisy of having a centralized state and cultivating patriotism and anti-Western sentiment, while children of government workers study abroad. You can not serve two gods, one must choose.”
The “recommendation” applies to all: from the administration staff, to regional administratiors, to lawmakers of all levels. Employees of public corporations are also subject to the ordinance. One of the sources said that anyone who fails to act, will find such non-compliance to be a “complicating factor in the furtherance of their public sector career.” He added that he was aware of several such cases in recent months. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 4, 2016 Filed under: Asia, China, Diplomacy, Global, History, Politics | Tags: Abubakar Malami, Abuja, Brexit, Bugging, Chinese Spy, Conservative Party (UK), European Union, G20 Summit, Government of the United Kingdom, Hacking, Honey Trap, London, Memorandum of understanding, Spy, Surveillance, United Kingdom
British government aides have fallen victim to spying on previous official trips to China, with one Downing Street official reported to have had his mobile phone and secret documents stolen after he was seduced.
Government security chiefs are anxious to avoid a repeat of the incident, which took place during a visit by Gordon Brown in 2008, and have provided detailed guidance to Mrs May’s team.
The Prime Minister’s officials have been warned to take steps to protect themselves during the G20 summit, which begins on Sunday.
Officials travelling with Mrs May have been issued with temporary mobile phones and email addresses in an attempt to evade Chinese state hackers.
Security advisers are also warning staff not to keep gifts they receive and to be particularly wary of electronic devices, such as free computer memory sticks, mobile phone SIM cards or chargers which they are offered by their Chinese hosts.
One Whitehall source said security chiefs had warned them that hotel rooms used during the summit were likely to be bugged. “We have been told that if you feel uncomfortable about people seeing you naked, you should get changed under your bedclothes,” the source said.
Damian McBride, left, was then prime minister Gordon Brown’s special advisor CREDIT: BRUCE ADAMS/REX
British security agencies regard China as one of the most aggressive nations when it comes to launching cyber-attacks against western governments and businesses, as well as posing a major espionage threat to the UK.
Chinese technological expertise has prompted security concerns at the highest levels of government and British intelligence.
There are fears that Chinese intelligence agents will use their capability to intercept emails and phone calls and to install spy software on computers during the summit.
However, one of the gravest threats posed by foreign spies is also one of the oldest: the honey trap.
During Mr Brown’s visit to China in 2008, one of the No 10 officials accompanying the then Prime Minister reportedly fell prey to a “beautiful” female Chinese spy. She went back to his hotel room, drugged him, stole his mobile phone and documents from his briefcase.
The incident was described by Mr Brown’s former spin doctor, Damien McBride, in his 2013 memoir, Power Trip.
The No 10 team was “accosted on one side by a beautiful posse of Chinese girls and on the other side by an equivalent group of Russian blondes”, Mr McBride said.
Even before our resident security expert could warn us that their interest was not to be taken at face value, we looked up and saw one of our number disappearing up the stairs to the exit with one of the girls, beaming back at us.
He woke up the following morning “minus his Blackberry and half the contents of his briefcase”.
The official also had a “‘very bad headache, owning to the Mickey Finn nightcap his overnight companion had administered to him in his hotel room”.
The G20 summit in Hangzhou comes at a time of heightened tension between Britain and China. Within weeks of entering Downing Street in July, Mrs May put on hold a final decision on whether to approve a Chinese-backed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 26, 2016 Filed under: Diplomacy, Global, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: Brexit, Charles Krauthammer, England, EUROPE, Fox News, Great Britain, media, news, The Corner, video
“This is a problem that began long before the immigration wave. This is a result of what you talked about — the origins of the EU and how the idea, a very utopian idea and successful for a while, as corrupted.”
“The idea was, after the two world wars, the worst in human history, they wanted to create something … that would ultimately reconcile Germany and France. That was what began the European Coal Commission, which had to do with simply commerce. And it grew to encompass 28 countries. And it succeeded in the sense that, for the first time in a thousand years, the idea of intra-European war was inconceivable. Nobody could even imagine Germany, France, Italy at war against each other.”
“The problem is that the institution that was created to achieve that — and it was a great achievement — became a bureaucratic monstrosity, which tried to add on to the economic union a political union that the people were never asked for. And when they had the referenda, it was rejected and the EU would go around it.”
“So it created a super-nationalist institution that suppressed nationalism, which you can only do for so long, and this is the first exit.”
“But the one thing I think is that those who revel in this — and I understand why the British wanted to do it; it suppressed and supplanted their own democracy, the most venerable in the world — is that I think it will lead to the breakup f the United Kingdom. Apart from the EU, which I think will inevitably not survive as a result of this.”
“But Scotland wants out because it wants to be in the European Union. And think of Northern Ireland — it took decades to figure that out, to reconcile them, and as of today, for Northern Ireland, you can walk into the Republic of Ireland without a passport. It’s essentially your country. The minute that Britain leaves the EU, that frontier becomes one where you need a passport. The Northern Irish are going to want to secede and join Ireland.”
“We have — I think, in ten years, you could have a Britain that is only Wales and England. I think those who revel in the recovery of the sovereignty of Great Britain could find that it doesn’t exist in ten years.”
Read more at The Corner
Posted: June 25, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Diplomacy, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: Brexit, Britain, England, EU, EUROPE, journalism, media, New York, New York Post, news, Newspaper, Tabloid
Posted: June 25, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Economics, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: Brexit, Britain, England, EU, EUROPE, journalism, media, news, Newspapers, U.K., Wall Street Journal
front page of The Wall Street Journal’s weekend edition
Posted: June 24, 2016 Filed under: Global, Humor, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Brexit, David Cameron, England, EU, satire, UK
WASHINGTON—In the wake of Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement that he would leave office following the United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union, tens of millions of Americans expressed their confusion to reporters Friday about a system of government in which a leader would resign after making a terrible decision…(read more)
Posted: June 24, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Economics, Global, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Brexit, Finance, Hang Seng Index, Hong Kong
Hong Kong stocks dived on Friday morning after vote counting indicated a win for the “Leave” camp in the referendum on Britain leaving the European Union.
The Hang Seng index nosedived 4.67 per cent or 974.22 points, trading at 20,132.02 at Friday’s morning close. At one point, the index lost 1,023.34 points or 4.9 per cent. The H-share Index also fell 4.58 per cent or 402.21 points to 8,382.86.
Pound sterling fell sharply by more than 12 per cent in morning trade to its lowest level in 30 years on the Brexit news, with analysts believing the currency has no hope to bounce back in the near term.
Chinese yuan also fell to a five year low with onshore yuan down 0.54 per cent to trade at 6.6101 before bouncing back to 6.6091 yuan per US dollar at 12.30am, while the offshore yuan down 0.79 per cent to trade at 6.6360 yuan per US dollar. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 23, 2016 Filed under: Diplomacy, Global, History, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: Brexit, EU, EUROPE, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Thatcherism, UK, United Kingdom
As Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher defended Britain’s national interests within the EU and accepted modest steps towards Europe’s economic integration, but she became increasingly hostile to its political unification and the transfer of powers from London to Brussels that it entailed. Her downfall was in part precipitated by her resistance to “ever closer union.” After losing power she spoke and wrote extensively in opposition to European federalism and the concept of a European super-state that she felt would divide and weaken the West.
Margaret Thatcher arrives in Washington, November 1988 (courtesy Ronald Reagan Library)
Almost the first controversy of the Brexit campaign was over how she would vote if she had lived to see it. How would she vote? How will the Tory Party, traditionally the patriotic party, recover from a campaign that has bitterly divided it along unfamiliar lines? How will Mrs. Thatcher’s legacy of ideas – a.k.a. Thatcherism – influence the result? And how will her historical reputation be affected by whatever the British people decide?
Posted: June 23, 2016 Filed under: Art & Culture, Breaking News, Diplomacy, Humor, Politics | Tags: Brexit, David Cameron, England, EU, European Union, Great Britain, Ireland, Margaret Thatcher, Scotland, UK, United Kingdom
Posted: April 21, 2016 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: Barack Obama, Brexit, Britain, Douglas Murray, England, EU, EUROPE, media, news, Sarah Churchwell