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Tag Archive: Europe


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BREITBART

EuroParliament Prez: Christians ‘Not Safe In Our Continent’

In a high-level meeting on religious persecution in Brussels, the President of the European Parliament (EP) said that Europe cannot afford to continue ignoring the fate of Christians, who are “clearly the most persecuted group” in the world.

In Wednesday’s meeting, EP President Martin Schulz said that the persecution of Christians is “undervalued” and does not receive enough attention, which has also meant that it “hasn’t been properly addressed.”

Schulz’s concerns were echoed by EP Vice President Antonio Tajani, who warned that Europe sometimes “falls into the temptation of thinking we can ignore this task,” referring to the protection Christians throughout the world who suffer persecution.

Speakers cited the work of Open Doors, a human rights organization that monitors the persecution of Christians, noting that 150 million Christians worldwide suffer torture, rape and arbitrary imprisonment. Christians in Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, North Korea and Nigeria are among those hardest hit.

The Open Doors report for 2015 found that “Islamic extremism is by far the most significant persecution engine” of Christians in the world today and that “40 of the 50 countries on the World Watch List are affected by this kind of persecution.”

 

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Natural Blaze

Two New GE Pigs Want to Go To the Market

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By Heather Callaghan

Did you think the genetically modified pig was gone? It is true that Canada’s “Enviro Pig” was scrapped in 2012 after consumer backlash and lack of university funding. That vacancy mainly left genetically modified salmon in the running to become the very first commercial GM animal.

But there are two new types of engineered pigs poised for approval in their respective countries. Now, with the secret Trans Pacific Partnership out in the open, it becomes clear that the deal opens the door for a swarm of global biotech ventures that can more easily glide their wares across country boundaries.

Whereas Enviro Pig’s genetic splicing was supposedly intended to cut down on phosphorous waste that kills waterways, two more pigs are vying for public acceptance.

It’s important to note that these animals aren’t “transgenic” like many of the GE crops on the market. That is, they do not contain genes from other species or kingdoms like bacteria. Biotech involves more than GMOs, and some methods currently fall outside of regulation or definition. However, we are still talking genetic engineering.

CBC News reports on them:

  • Bruce Whitelaw and his colleagues at the University of Edinburgh are developing a pig resistant to African swine fever, a devastating disease with no vaccine or cure that has led to hundreds of pigs being slaughtered in Europe to prevent its spread.
  • Jinsu Kim and his colleagues at Seoul National University have developed “double-muscle” pigs that produce twice as much muscle as a regular pig, resulting in higher protein, lower fat pork.

 

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CBC News

Genetically modified pigs raise concerns about food regulation

Regulatory system lacks transparency, critics say

CBC News Posted: Nov 03, 2015 11:50 AM ETLast Updated: Nov 04, 2015 8:59 AM ET

Two kinds of genetically modified pigs are on their way to becoming pork on our dinner plates. If they do, they'll be some of the very first genetically modified animals to enter our food system.

Two kinds of genetically modified pigs are on their way to becoming pork on our dinner plates. If they do, they’ll be some of the very first genetically modified animals to enter our food system. (Laszlo Balogh/Reuters)

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The Current: GMO pigs’ cautionary tale of genetically modified food research 24:43


Two kinds of genetically modified pigs are on their way to becoming pork on our dinner plates. If they do, they’ll be some of the very first genetically modified animals to enter our food system, along with genetically modified salmon that is also trying to gain regulatory approval.

But consumers are wary and lack confidence in governments’ readiness to regulate this new class of food product, researchers and activists say.

The genetically modified pigs under development are designed to improve pork production in different ways:

  • Bruce Whitelaw and his colleagues at the University of Edinburgh are developing a pig resistant to African swine fever, a devastating disease with no vaccine or cure that has led to hundreds of pigs being slaughtered in Europe to prevent its spread.
  • Jinsu Kim and his colleagues at Seoul National University have developed “double-muscle” pigs that produce twice as much muscle as a regular pig, resulting in higher protein, lower fat pork.

In both cases, researchers have precisely targeted an individual pig gene to create a mutation that turns up or turns down certain genes. The African swine fever resistant pig has an immune gene that is slightly more like a warthog’s. The double-muscle pig has a mutation similar to one produced by normal breeding in a muscly cow breed called the Belgian blue.

The pigs aren’t “transgenic” — that is, they don’t contain genes from other organisms. That makes them unlike some genetically modified crops already on the market, which may contain genes from organisms such as bacteria.

 

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France launches air strikes in Syria; Paris investigation widens

Reuters
By Emmanuel Jarry and Robert-Jan Bartunek 

French warplanes pounded Islamic State positions in Syria on Sunday as police in Europe widened their investigations into coordinated attacks in Paris that killed more than 130 people.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for Friday’s suicide bombings and shootings, which have re-ignited a row over Europe’s refugee crisis and drawn calls to block a huge influx of Muslim asylum-seekers.

French police have launched an international hunt for a Belgian-born man they believe helped organize the assaults with two of his brothers. One of the brothers died in the attacks, while the second one is under arrest in Belgium, a judicial source said.

A further two French suicide attackers have been identified, police said, while the identity of four other assailants, who all died in the violence, was still under review.

France has been bombing Islamic State positions in Iraq and Syria for months as part of a U.S.-led operation. Following Friday’s mayhem, Paris vowed to destroy the group. Underlining its resolve, French jets on Sunday launched their biggest raids in Syria to date, hitting its stronghold in Raqqa.

“The raid … including 10 fighter jets, was launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Twenty bombs were dropped,” the Defence Ministry said. Among the targets were a munitions depot and training camp, it said.

 

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France Drops 20 Bombs On IS Stronghold Raqqa

French jets carry out their biggest bombing raid in Syria after Islamic State gunmen massacre 132 people in Paris.

23:03, UK, Sunday 15 November 2015

Syrian airstrikes

French fighter planes have dropped 20 bombs on the Islamic State (IS) stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria.

The bombers hit a jihadi recruitment centre, training camp and arms depot run by the extremist group, according to the French defence ministry.

A spokesman described it as a “massive” attack and France’s biggest to date in Syria.

Raqqa in Syria is an Islamic State stronghold

The aerial raid was launched from air bases in United Arab Emirates and Jordan, and involved France’s 12 fighter bombers based there.

It follows Friday’s terror attacks which left 132 people dead in the French capital.

IS fighters said they carried out the gun and bomb massacre – calling Paris “the capital of prostitution and obscenity”.

Sky’s Sam Kiley, in northern Iraq, said the French airstrikes should not be seen as a “wanton act of revenge” or carpet-bombing campaign.

“I think it’s very clear that the French and the wider coalition have decided in a sense to give France the iron fist at least for the next 24 hours or so,” he said.

 

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Paris Attackers Communicated With ISIS, Officials Say

The New York Times

French Warplanes Strike Islamic State Militants in Syria


Police officers in the Molenbeek area of Brussels on Saturday.© Olivier Hoslet/European Pressphoto Agency Police officers in the Molenbeek area of Brussels on Saturday.

PARIS — French warplanes struck Islamic State militants in Syria on Sunday, a French government official said, two days after attackers linked to the terrorist group carried out a coordinated assault on Paris that killed 129 people.

Prior to the attack on Paris, France had been sparing in its strikes against targets in Syria.

News reports in France said the airstrikes were focused on Raqqa, the city in northern Syria that is the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State.

The attackers in Friday’s terrorist assault in Paris communicated at some point beforehand with known members of the Islamic State in Syria, officials on both sides of the Atlantic say, adding evidence to the assertions that the radical group coordinated or helped carry out the attacks rather than simply inspired them.

President François Hollande of France has characterized the attacks as “an act of war” carried out by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. He provided no specific information, but the Islamic State released statements on Saturday claiming responsibility for the attacks, part of increasing indications that the group is becoming more capable of extending its reach far beyond its base in Syria and Iraq.

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Police ‘Let Fugitive Suspect Go After Attacks’

A manhunt is under way for Saleh Abdeslam after he was reportedly questioned and released despite being identified by authorities.

21:29, UK, Sunday 15 November 2015

Salah Abdeslam

A man wanted over the Paris terror attacks had been questioned and released by police hours after the massacres, it is claimed.

Salah Abdeslam, 26, reportedly helped with logistics and rented a black Volkswagen Polo used by the gunmen who stormed the Bataclan concert hall and killed at least 89 people on Friday night.

He was apparently spoken to by officers on Saturday morning when they pulled over a car carrying three people near the Belgian border.

Police then checked Abdeslam’s ID and subsequently let him go, officials told the Associated Press.

The incident came just hours after authorities had identified him as the person who rented the Polo which was abandoned at the scene of the attack.

One of his brothers, Ibrahim Abdeslam, was reportedly among the seven suicide bombers in the co-ordinated assaults targeting six sites across the French capital.

A third brother was apparently arrested in Belgium and questioned before being released.

Salah Abdeslam, who was born in Brussels, is described as 1m 75cm (5ft 8in) tall and has brown eyes.

Police released a photo of him and warned the public he is dangerous and said “do not intervene yourself”. There are reports he may have fled to Spain.

Another man, Bilal Hadfi, has been named as among the attackers and he also lived in Belgium as did Salah and Ibrahim Abdeslam, said the Washington Post.

 

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The New York Times

Major events: Attacks directed by/linked to ISIS Attacks inspired by ISIS Arrests of suspected ISIS militants or supporters

Outlined countries are where ISIS is conducting regular military operations.

IRAQ

Libya

Egypt

ISIS Declares Provinces Across the Region

 Countries and regions in yellow are where ISIS has declared provinces.Algeria

Lybia

Egypt

Syria

Iraq

Saudi Arabia

YemenAfghanistan

Pakistan

Nigeria

See Detailed Map Here

If investigators determine that the Islamic State is responsible for the catastrophic attacks in Paris, as the group claims and France alleges, the assaults represent a major leap in the group’s abilities.

Until now, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has relied mainly on “lone wolf” followers to attack the West, with relatively low-tech assaults — shootings, the taking of hostages, hit-and-runs — that draw wide attention but do not cause mass casualties.

“This is much different than a normal lone wolf inspired attack,” said Patrick M. Skinner, a former C.I.A. operations officer now with the Soufan Group, a security consultancy. “This was choreographed.”

“The fact that they could do this, especially in Paris, where the intelligence service is really good, clearly there’s a hole somewhere,” Mr. Skinner said.

The Islamic State has been expanding beyond its base in Iraq and Syria since it declared a caliphate, or Islamic state, in June 2014. The group is focused on three parallel tracks, according to Harleen Gambhir, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War:

  • inciting regional conflict with attacks in Iraq and Syria;
  • building relationships with jihadist groups that can carry out military operations across the Middle East and North Africa;
  • and inspiring, and sometimes helping, ISIS sympathizers to conduct attacks in the West.
“The goal,” Ms. Gambhir said, “is that through these regional affiliates and through efforts to create chaos in the wider world, the organization will be able to expand, and perhaps incite a global apocalyptic war.”

 

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Trevor MacInnis petroli car:    Fuel barrels   Wikimedia.org

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Matt Clinch

It was a bruising day for Europe’s energy sector Thursday, with the full extent of the pain caused by low oil prices being laid bare in a series of earnings reports.

 

Anglo–Dutch multinational Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA-GB) reported a loss of $6.1 billion, compared with a gain of $5.3 billion for the same quarter a year ago, a decrease of 70 percent. This included a large $8.2 billion write-off due to a downward revision of its oil and gas price outlook and also a decision to halt projects in Alaska and Canada.

Oswald Clint, senior analyst at Bernstein, called these impairments a “necessary evil” which would allow a “new” Shell to emerge that could focus on natural gas and deep water drilling. James Sparrow, a credit specialist at BNP Paribas. called it a “kitchen sinking” exercise ahead of its merger with BG Group (@BGLFDC16J-GB).

The news didn’t stop there. French major Total (FP-FR) reported a 23 percent drop in third-quarter adjusted net income from the same quarter last year, although CEO Patrick Pouyanne spoke of “resilience” in the face of falling oil prices. Analysts were pleased with the results, too. Sparrow, called the numbers “encouraging” while Oswald noted that it had benefited from not having made any big investments into the U.S. shale sector.

 

 

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Vanessa Beeley
21st Century Wire



“The Ivy League
bourgeoisiewho sit at the helm of the non-profit industrial complex will one day be known simply as charismatic architects of death. Funded by the ruling class oligarchy, the role they serve for their funders is not unlike that of corporate media. Yet, it appears that global society is paralyzed in a collective hypnosis – rejecting universal social interests, thus rejecting reason, to instead fall in line with the position of the powerful minority that has seized control, a minority that systematically favours corporate interests.” ~ Cory Morningstar

In his recent speech Hezbollah leader, Sayyed Nasrallah, alluded to a multi-phase “soft war” which relies upon the mass media complex to disseminate propaganda and bias, propelling the Middle East into, primarily, a sectarian crisis before descending even further into regionalism and finally a devastating individualism.

Cory Morningstar’s body of work does more than any other to expose the bare bones of the non-profit propaganda industry that governs both our reactions – and inactions, through a network of multi-layered and multi-faceted media manipulation campaigns, of which the end result is mass thought control. She explains:

The 21st century NGO is becoming, more and more, a key tool serving the imperialist quest of absolute global dominance and exploitation. Global society has been, and continues to be, manipulated to believe that NGOs are representative of “civil society” (a concept promoted by corporations in the first place). This misplaced trust has allowed the “humanitarian industrial complex” to ascend to the highest position: the missionaries of deity – the deity of the empire.”

In a paper entitled, Foreign Aid and Regime Change: A Role for Donor Intent, written just prior to NATO intervention in Libya, Prof. Sarah Blodgett Bormeo describes the “democratization” process for target nations. Unwittingly or wittingly, Bormeo perfectly outlines the role played by NGOs in this process. Bormeo even goes so far as to pinpoint the lack of impartiality rife among NGOs large and small, the majority of whom, receive their funding directly from western government and major corporation sources – all of whom have a vested interest in the outcome of their NGO’s activities and ‘intervention’ in a particular location. Bormeo emphasises the importance of “picking winners” in this scenario, as opposed to respecting and supporting the will of the people in any sovereign nation.

 

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©
At least 100 people have been arrested in Brussels, where hundreds more protested against TTIP, an impending free trade deal between the US and the EU, as the next round of TTIP talks approaches.

Roads were paralyzed in the Belgian capital as a force of more than 600 activists descended on EU headquarters, blocking traffic and the venue of the EU leaders summit in protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

People carried signs and chanted slogans such as “Stop TTIP, stop austerity” and “Sorry for the inconvenience. We’re trying to save the world,” at the march in Brussels on Thursday. “TTIP is death” another sign read. One group of protesters displayed a balloon ‘Trojan Horse’ as an allegory for the deal.

 

 

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At best, the United States, its NATO allies and the regime they have collectively created in Kiev, Ukraine, will be able to claim Russia, or militants defending eastern Ukraine from Kiev’s armed incursions, accidentally shot down Malaysia Airlines flight 17 (MH17) after air controllers in Kiev recklessly sent it on a course over a battlefield other airliners had made a point to circumvent.

At worst, the US and its junior partners across Europe and the remnants of the British Commonwealth, will be implicated either in shooting it down accidentally themselves, or worse still, shooting it down on purpose in order to frame Russia and anti-regime militants in eastern Ukraine.

Russia certainly had nothing to gain by shooting down a civilian aircraft over a battlefield anti-regime militants have been aptly able to hold and defend. But what of NATO and its Ukrainian allies? In a war they are losing, could they have benefited from creating a pretext for NATO to intervene more directly?

The gain they have already wrought in terms of propaganda against Russia has been impressive. From the moment the airliner was shot down, the US, NATO and Ukraine have used the incident to indict Russia and more specifically, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the court of public opinion. It has used legal maneuvering and its well-oiled press to turn the investigation of the disaster into a witchhunt with an inevitable outcome already eagerly determined to implicate Russia.

The Western media has intentionally twisted the words of investigators to misrepresent evidence and preliminary and very cautious statements to portray them as definitive conclusions to establish Russia’s guilt.

 

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the guardian

Shell and Exxon’s €5bn problem: gas drilling that sets off earthquakes and wrecks homes

Groningen has been one of Europe’s richest gas fields for 30 years, and thousands of people say their homes have been damaged by the tremors that drilling sets off. Now a class action may finally bring them compensation – and force a rethink of European energy security

Annemarie Heite, whose home in Groningen has been scheduled for demolition after earthquakes caused by oil drilling.
‘Nobody is taking this seriously, not the school or the mayor, no one’ … Annemarie Heite, whose home in Groningen has been scheduled for demolition after earthquakes caused by oil drilling. Photograph: Hans Knikman/Demotix

Five years ago, Annemarie Heite and her husband, Albert, bought their dream home; a traditional 19th-century farmhouse in Groningen province in the northern Netherlands. The couple planned to raise their two young daughters in this charming corner of the Dutch countryside. “Then, the living was still easy, and affordable,” Annemarie says, her tone bittersweet and nostalgic. Today, their house is scheduled for demolition.

Hundreds of earthquakes have wrecked the foundations of the Heites’ home and made it unsafe to live in. Annemarie’s biggest fear is the safety of her daughters. She points to a room. “This is where my children sleep,” she says, “and everyday I’m just picking up pieces of bricks and stuff from the ceiling.”

Heite fears that her children may not be any safer at school. Her daughter Zara goes to a local primary school that has not been structurally reinforced to withstand strong earthquakes. “I feel powerless. It feels like I can’t do anything,” Heite says. “It’s not like I’m a frantic, hysterical person, but nobody is taking this seriously, not the school or the mayor, no one.”

Next door, Heite’s neighbour’s farmhouse is already a pile of rubble, which yellow JCBs are clearing away. “It’s collapsed. It’s gone,” Heite says. “They lived there for 30 years … and over there behind the trees, they demolished another house.”

Farmhouses like Heite’s are disappearing across the Groningen countryside as a peculiar, profound environmental crisis grips the province. At the heart of it are two oil companies, Shell and Exxon Mobil, and a government that, for two decades, denied responsibility for its actions and ignored the voices of citizens and scientists. The scandal has already cost the oil companies €1.2bn [£880m], but last month a landmark court ruling gave the victims fresh hope that their voices could be ignored no longer. And if they are right, the consequences could be profound: a compensation bill that could stretch to more than €5bn in Holland, an energy security headache for Europe, and an invocation for the world to think about the real cost of burning fossil fuels.

Annemarie Heite’s earthquake-damaged family home in Groningen
Pinterest
‘Everyday I’m just picking up pieces of bricks and stuff from the ceiling’ … Heite’s earthquake-damaged family home. Photograph: Hans Knikman/Demotix

 

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Sputnik News

Europe

18:31 01.10.2015Get short URL
015212

The EU is engaged in humanitarian efforts and victim assistance concerning the Syrian crisis, Federica Mogherini’s spokesperson said.

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – The European Union is ready to play a key role in the political settlement of the Syrian crisis under the auspices of the United Nations, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini’s spokeswoman said Thursday.

“The EU called again for renewed international effort led by the UN to bring an end to the war, and it confirmed that it is ready to put all its political weight to try and facilitate a solution to this conflict,” Catherine Ray told reporters.

Ray observed that the bloc is not involved militarily in airstrikes against the Islamic State extremist group, but is engaged in “complimentary” activities, including humanitarian efforts and victim assistance.