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France & Germany Join UK’s Joint Maritime Security Mission In Gulf

Britain’s new call to establish a “European-led maritime protection mission” is gaining the support of key EU nations France and Germany. UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced on Monday that the new allied security force in the gulf would provide safe passage for international vessels in the vital oil transit waterway, protecting them from Iranian “state piracy”. But UK officials at the same time emphasized their continued commitment to the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), despite soaring tensions.  France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told lawmakers on Tuesday, “we are setting up a European initiative, with Britain and Germany, to ensure that there is a mission to monitor and observe maritime security in the Gulf,” but stopped short of backing the UK’s call for a deployment of joint naval forces, only calling it an “observation” mission for the purpose of “de-escalation”.   Image source: Fars News Like with Hunt’s initial introduction of the plan, France is seeking to distance itself from the United States’ build-up of military forces to counter Iran. “This is the opposite of the American initiative which is about maximum pressure to make Iran go back on a certain number of objectives,” Le Drian said. “In that respect, we should even go further and think about a joint securitisation approach in the Gulf, diplomatically speaking. This way, we’ll really be in a logic of de-escalation,” he added, but without specifying details. Previously US allies had rebuffed...

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European Union: A Massive Expansion Of Top-Down Powers

Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute, Former German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has been narrowly confirmed as the next President of the European Commission, the powerful administrative arm of the European Union. In a secret ballot in the European Parliament on July 16, von der Leyen, a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, received 383 votes, only nine more than the 374 required — the lowest margin since the position of President was established in 1958. She will take over from Jean-Claude Junker in November 2019 for a five-year term. Before the vote, von der Leyen promised an ambitious left-leaning policy program on climate change, taxes, migration and the rule of law. Many of her pledges — which would require transferring yet more national sovereignty to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels — appeared aimed at enticing support for her candidacy from Greens and Socialists in the European Parliament. In the final vote, however, the Socialists were divided in their support for von der Leyen and the Greens formally opposed her. Interestingly, von der Leyen won with the support of eurosceptics in Central and Eastern Europe after she publicly criticized the way the EU has treated them due to their opposition to mass migration. In the past, von der Leyen has called for the creation of a European superstate: “My aim is the United States of Europe, on the model of federal states such as Switzerland, Germany or...

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Russian Econ Minister Warns, Prepare For Economic Downturn By 2021

With the Russian stock market fading from all-time highs, the Russian economic minister has warned about a severe economic downturn that could start by 2021 amid current declines in personal lending, reported The Moscow Times. Consumer debt loads have exploded due to plunging real disposable incomes, an issue that President Vladimir Putin said could produce economic bubbles. The Russian economy is expected to cycle down through 2H19, partly due to a plunge in retail spending. Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin told the Ekho Moskvy radio station Sunday that GDP is expected to drop by 3% in the next year and a half. Demand for consumer loans is also expected to decline, ushering in a default cycle that will de-lever heavily indebted consumers that can’t get new financing. According to Oreshkin, many Russians are trapped in insurmountable debts. In the next crisis, he said, massive defaults on these loans will shock the economy. Oreshkin noted that it would be difficult to get out of the next recession painlessly. The economic minister said the government is developing mechanisms to cushion citizens if the economy crashes. Natalia Orlova, a chief economist at Moscow-based Alfa Bank, told the Vedomosti business daily, that Oreshkin’s comments were a sign by consumers to take out new loans. Moscow-based United Credit Bureau (OKB) reported that personal loans jumped by 46% compared to 2017, totaling $130 billion. The...

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French Military Flocking To Le Pen’s RN Party

Via FreeWestMedia.com, A French study on the electoral behavior of soldiers and gendarmes which examined the votes in several municipalities where their presence is significant, found that the National Rally is growing on Republicans party voters. Done by Ifop for the Jean Jaurès Foundation, the researchers focused on the electoral results in the garrison towns and polling stations where the mobile gendarmes barracks are situated, in an attempt to identify electoral behavior that is difficult to perceive through polls. With this technique, Ifop revealed the growing interest of soldiers and gendarmes in the National Rally (RN), observing communes “where the weight of the military and their family counts significantly, that is to say, places where the numbers are relatively large but where the communal population is relatively limited”. Therefore, among the municipalities where the army is established, the RN has collected 50,4 percent of the votes in the last European elections in Mailly-le-Camp, 17 points more than on the whole of the department of the Aube. In Suippes too, the RN convinced 45,5 percent of voters, about 15 points above the average recorded in the Marne. In the few communes selected, the vote for the RN has also largely progressed between the first round of the presidential election of 2002 and the last European elections. At the same time, the votes favorable to the Republicans (LR) decreased between the first round of the 2017 presidential...

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China Armed Forces Prepare For Massive International War Exercise

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is preparing for a massive war exercise, called International Army Games (IAG), expected to kick-off next week, reported China Military. The military exercise will be held in ten countries: Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan. More than 6,000 troops are expected to participate from August 3 to 17. In total, there will be 31 exercises spread across ten countries. A PLA Naval Aviation brigade will be participating in the Aviadarts drill, which involves 11 aircraft performing en-route flight aerial surveillance and aerial attacks of ground-based targets. China Central Television (CCTV) reported Sunday that a recent war exercise involved Xi’an JH-7 fighter bombers flew 62 miles and launched an attack on a target zone. “This will be the first time the Naval Aviation troops step out of the country’s border for the IAG, and we value this opportunity,” naval officer Feng Xianzheng told CCTV. Overnight, we reported that three Russian military planes (two Tu-95 bombers and one A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft) entered South Korea’s air defense identification zone off the country’s east coast. South Korean fighter jets scrambled in response, and fired 80 rounds of machine-gun fire and 10 flares – what they described as “warning shots.” Two Chinese bombers joined with the Russian planes on Tuesday and even violated South Korea’s airspace from the Southwest....

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The US-NATO Military Alliance Continues Confrontation Along Russia’s Borders

Authored by Brian Cloughley via The Strategic Culture Foundation, The Pentagon and its sub-office in Brussels, HQ NATO, in its new billion dollar building, are intent on maintaining military pressure around the globe. The US itself is much more widely spread, having bases tentacled from continent to continent, with the Pentagon admitting to 514 but omitting mention of many countries, including Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia. Independent researchers came up with the more realistic total of 883 bases, and examination of the current US defence budget shows that the Pentagon’s spending priorities are far from modest in regard to spreading its wings, hulls and boots-on-the-ground to maintain military domination by what Trump calls “the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth.” To this end its vast military spending programme includes: increasing the strength of the Army, Navy, and Air Force by almost 26,000; building another ten combat ships for $18.4 billion; increasing production of the most expensive aircraft in world history, the F-35, costing over eleven billion; and upgrading and expanding the triad of nuclear weapons deliverable from air, land and sea. The US military budget for 2020 is officially $750 billion. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, total US-NATO military expenditure in 2018 was “$963 billion, which represents 53 per cent of world spending.” In striking (no humour intended) contrast, Russia’s entire defence budget was $61.4 billion, its annual outlay having “decreased by 3.5 per cent,” which even the...

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Millennials Are Moving To These US Cities

Haven Life Insurance Agency LLC (Haven Life), an online life insurance agency, conducted a new study that reveals from 2012 to 2017, millennials moved to large metropolitan areas that already had large concentrations of them. The survey noted that millennials are living a life of luxury in expensive neighbors with high wages, rising home prices, and an overall increase in the cost of living. In these areas, the experiences are abundant, and some districts even cater to the lifestyle of these youngsters. Millennials flocked to large metro areas that have a high concentration of their fellow comrades despite higher home prices and cost of living. The data showed these folks aren’t moving to rural America nor the suburbs. The reason for an extended stay in the city could be due to the delay in marriage and starting families — thanks to insurmountable student loan debts, high-interest credit card payments, and 72/84 month auto loans — has made their financial mobility limited. Millennials are less price-conscious than any other generation, despite the fact that the 2008 financial crash was a little over a decade ago. Haven Life examined data from the Census Bureau to compile a list of the top 50 cities. The life insurance agency also examined data from Zillow to determine its median home prices and data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s Regional Price Parity dataset for...

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MH17 Evidence-Tampering Exposed: Cover-Ups, Hiding Records, Witness Misreporting, & FBI Seizures

Authored by John Helmer, A new documentary from Max van der Werff, the leading independent investigator of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 disaster, has revealed breakthrough evidence of tampering and forging of prosecution materials;  suppression of Ukrainian Air Force radar tapes;  and lying by the Dutch, Ukrainian, US and Australian governments. An attempt by agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to take possession of the black boxes of the downed aircraft is also revealed by a Malaysian National Security Council official for the first time. The sources of the breakthrough are Malaysian – Prime Minister of Malaysia Mohamad Mahathir; Colonel Mohamad Sakri, the officer in charge of the MH17 investigation for the Prime Minister’s Department and Malaysia’s National Security Council following the crash on July 17, 2014; and a forensic analysis by Malaysia’s OG IT Forensic Services of Ukrainian Secret Service (SBU) telephone tapes which Dutch prosecutors have announced as genuine. The 298 casualties of MH17 included 192 Dutch; 44 Malaysians; 27 Australians; 15 Indonesians.  The nationality counts vary because the airline manifest does not identify dual nationals of Australia, the UK, and the US.  The new film throws the full weight of the Malaysian Government, one of the five members of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), against the published findings and the recent indictment of Russian suspects reported by the Dutch officials in charge of the JIT;...

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Australia Designates Animal Rights Activists ‘Domestic Terrorists’ After Vigilante Farm Invasions

Australia’s south-eastern state government has declared Animal rights activists ‘domestic terrorists’ after several trespassing incidents, according to the Independent.  The New South Wales (NSW) government has introduced on-the-spot trespassing charges of $1,000 (£565) for each “vigilante” caught illegally entering private farmland. The new rules, which come into force on 1 August, could also see individuals charged up to $220,000 (£124,000) and corporations up to $440,000 (£248,000) for any major violations of the Biosecurity Act. –Independent “Vigilantes who are entering our farmers’ property illegally are nothing short of domestic terrorists,” said NSW deputy premier John Barilaro.  “Our farmers have had a gutful. They don’t deserve, nor have time, to be dealing with illegal trespass and vile harassment from a bunch of virtue-signalling thugs.”  According to the report, “Earlier this year clashes between farm owners and protesters forced the police to step in Western Australia, and the owners of a small goat farm in Victoria blamed closure on continual harassment by abusive “vegan activists”.”  Jail time is also under consideration as additional punishment.  “Today the government is putting these vigilantes and thugs on notice,” NWS agriculture minister Adam Marshall told Australia’s ABC News.  “This is just the first part of a broader package of reforms the government is working on, and jail time will be included in further legislation we are looking at.”  Marshall added that the new rules are “the toughest laws anywhere in Australia...

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Pennsylvania School Warns “Your Child May Be Taken From Your Home” Over Unpaid Lunch Debt

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com, A school in Pennsylvania is warning parents that their children can be taken from their homes and placed in foster care if the child has unpaid school lunch debt.  In a letter sent out to about 1,000 parents from the Wyoming Valley West School District, the warning stated that dependency hearings could occur if parents won’t pay their kids’ lunch bills. The letter’s ominous warning that failure to pay for their children’s school lunches could lead to dependency hearings and the removal of their children from their home came as the school district has multiple unpaid lunch bills. The bills reportedly range from $75 to $450 and total over $20,000, reported RT. Obvious fallout continues over the school district’s threats. Foster Care fallout! More reaction today to a letter sent to parents in the Wyoming Valley West School District threatening to send their kids to Foster Care unless they make good on delinquent lunch bills. A State lawmaker weighs in. Eyewitness News. https://t.co/DgMV2OFWhb pic.twitter.com/Xo64JxEzCh — Andy Mehalshick (@AndyMehalshick) July 19, 2019 Luzerne County child welfare authorities said the alarming threat was false and harmed those most vulnerable – such as those unable to make good on those bills. Responding to the outrage, the school district said the stern letter was simply a desperate attempt at collecting fees they are owed. Wyoming Valley West’s lawyer, Charles Coslett, said he...

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