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EU migration deal eases political tension, but fails to address core issues

Europe is finally having to pay the piper, and paying is what EU bureaucrats do best

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Massive waves of refugees and migrants flooded Europe over the past few years, adding to the migration that Europe has been encountering now for decades. With a worsening demographic winter blowing over the region together with increasing poverty and income inequality, the refugee crisis brings with it a host of new liabilities, political, demographic, cultural, and economic in nature, to be faced by the bloc.

The issue has been somewhat of a political football game threatening the unity of the Union and the political stability of some governments. For this reason, it was necessary that some sort of talks went down to address the issue, whether it resolved the crisis itself or not, just as long as it relieved some political pressure, which is essentially what a recent summit in Brussels was able to achieve.

Euronews reports:

BRUSSELS — European leaders declared victory Friday, claiming to have set aside major differences over how best to handle migrant arrivals as they commissioned new plans to screen people in North Africa for eligibility to enter the continent.

But even as they met for a second day in Brussels, the coast guard in Libya — the main jumping off point for most migrants trying to reach Europe — said around 100 people were missing and feared dead in the Mediterranean Sea after their smugglers’ boat capsized.

Bickering over who should take responsibility for the tens of thousands rescued from the Mediterranean has undermined European unity and threatens the future of cross-border business and travel inside the E.U.

The summit underscored how the 2015 spike in immigration continues to haunt the continent, despite a sharp drop in arrivals of people fleeing conflict and economic hardship in the Middle East and Africa.

It also took place in an atmosphere of political crisis, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel under intense political pressure at home to take a firmer stance on migration.

At the summit, the E.U. leaders agreed upon a “new approach” to managing those who are plucked from the water. They would be “disembarked” from rescue ships into European nations that agree to share responsibility for handing migration with the main point-of-entry countries like Spain, Italy and Greece but also to centers in North Africa and possibly the Balkans.

“A complete approach was adopted,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters after a night of haggling to address vehement demands from Italy’s new anti-migrant populist government.

“We are not an island,” said Macron. “Europe will have to live a long time with such migratory pressures which come from countries in crisis, poor countries.”

No North African countries have agreed so far to sign on to the plan, though possible E.U. funding that could bring billions in aid may prove persuasive.

Italy long held up any interim agreements at the summit unless it received concrete commitments the country would get help managing the waves of newcomers that arrive from across the Mediterranean.

“Italy doesn’t need any more verbal signs, but concrete deeds,” Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte said, insisting that the responsibility needed to be shared more equitably across the E.U.

As with so many E.U. agreements, Friday’s deal stopped well short of being decisive in solving the problem but created enough of a platform to build on.

“Europe is going step by step, and this was necessary,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

But migrant experts and humanitarian aid groups fear the agreement is a political smoke screen aimed at addressing the concerns of the resurgent far-right and which will only leave vulnerable people once again at risk.

“At a time when E.U. leadership on global issues is needed more than ever, European heads of state and government continue to try to offload their responsibilities onto poorer countries outside the E.U.,” said Oxfam migration policy adviser Raphael Shilhav.

The International Organization for Migration estimates that some 80,000 people will enter Europe by sea this year, based on current trends. That’s around half as many as in 2017.

Yet anti-migrant parties have made significant political gains, most recently in Italy, which along with Greece and Spain is among the preferred landing destinations for people from Africa seeking better lives.

Merkel, for her part, is fighting a battle at home and abroad against critics who accuse her of endangering European security with her hospitality. Her conservative coalition is under pressure from the far-right Alternative for Germany.

But Merkel is deeply aware of the threat the issue poses to Europe, notably to its Schengen passport-free travel area — one of the jewels in the E.U. crown — that allows easy cross-border business and travel.

“Europe has many challenges, but that of migration could determine the fate of the European Union,” Merkel told German lawmakers Thursday before heading to the summit.

The meeting’s main accomplishment was removing a mandate that the refugees must be received and shared among the EU’s member nations, which has been a matter of major contention, especially with more anti-migrant governments cropping up in recent election cycles, such as that of Italy. An agreement was made that EU member nations should voluntarily receive migrants and strengthen the blocs external borders.

Receiving migrants is to be concentrated at ‘reception centers’ which are voluntary for each nation, and secondary movement of migrants between member states is to be discouraged. Additionally, the EU’s favourite means of dealing with problems is to throw money at them, so that a massive fund is being generated to basically donate to African countries.

In this case, how that is going to decrease migration is a really good question, as the ethical efficiency of African political entities is a little bit less than optimal and the migration issue from Africa really stems from both political and economic instability and inefficiency on the continent, largely due to Western meddling for resource exploitation.

Middle Eastern migration, of course, being a result of Western backed terrorism and regime change efforts, its no wonder that there is a migration and refugee crisis at all, so that it’s really more a matter of Europe finally having to pay the piper, and paying is what EU bureaucrats do best to solve their problems. Fostering functioning democracies in Africa with prosperous economies and at the very least cutting back on their intervention in the Middle East, Europe could improve the situation, but that would run counter to Washington’s interests, and that just won’t do. So, while some political crises may have been averted, the core problem remains unresolved and the problem will continue, but with a different political score board.

 

 

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Merkel needs to be a bit more attentive to where exactly the cameras are.

Nothing else new here.

Bill Spence
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Are reception centers going to evolve into concentration camps or reservations? No progress was made in the official agreement as to how the immigrants are to be incorporated in the EU.

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Aidi Deduction

“By the end of this decade we will live under the first One World government that has ever existed in the society of nations…..a government with absolute authority to decide the basic issues of survival . One world government is inevitable.” Pope John II ‘The human race is facing forms of slavery which are new and more subtle than those of the past. And for far too many people, freedom remains a word without meaning.’” Pope John II 1999 “Such is the ordinary man – an unconscious slave entirely at the service of all-universal purposes, which are alien to his… Read more »

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Clinton-Yeltsin docs shine a light on why Deep State hates Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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Bill Clinton and America ruled over Russia and Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. Yeltsin showed little love for Russia and more interest in keeping power, and pleasing the oligarchs around him.

Then came Vladimir Putin, and everything changed.

Nearly 600 pages of memos and transcripts, documenting personal exchanges and telephone conversations between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, were made public by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Dating from January 1993 to December 1999, the documents provide a historical account of a time when US relations with Russia were at their best, as Russia was at its weakest.

On September 8, 1999, weeks after promoting the head of the Russia’s top intelligence agency to the post of prime minister, Russian President Boris Yeltsin took a phone call from U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The new prime minister was unknown, rising to the top of the Federal Security Service only a year earlier.

Yeltsin wanted to reassure Clinton that Vladimir Putin was a “solid man.”

Yeltsin told Clinton….

“I would like to tell you about him so you will know what kind of man he is.”

“I found out he is a solid man who is kept well abreast of various subjects under his purview. At the same time, he is thorough and strong, very sociable. And he can easily have good relations and contact with people who are his partners. I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the nearly 600 pages of transcripts documenting the calls and personal conversations between then U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, released last month. A strong Clinton and a very weak Yeltsin underscore a warm and friendly relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Then Vladimir Putin came along and decided to lift Russia out of the abyss, and things changed.

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Here are five must-read Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges from with the 600 pages released by the Clinton Library.

Via RT

Clinton sends ‘his people’ to get Yeltsin elected

Amid unceasing allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, the Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges reveal how the US government threw its full weight behind Boris – in Russian parliamentary elections as well as for the 1996 reelection campaign, which he approached with 1-digit ratings.

For example, a transcript from 1993 details how Clinton offered to help Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by selectively using US foreign aid to shore up support for the Russian leader’s political allies.

“What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?” a concerned Clinton asked.

Yeltsin liked the idea, replying that “this kind of regional support would be very useful.” Clinton then promised to have “his people” follow up on the plan.

In another exchange, Yeltsin asks his US counterpart for a bit of financial help ahead of the 1996 presidential election: “Bill, for my election campaign, I urgently need for Russia a loan of $2.5 billion,” he said. Yeltsin added that he needed the money in order to pay pensions and government wages – obligations which, if left unfulfilled, would have likely led to his political ruin. Yeltsin also asks Clinton if he could “use his influence” to increase the size of an IMF loan to assist him during his re-election campaign.

Yeltsin questions NATO expansion

The future of NATO was still an open question in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and conversations between Clinton and Yeltsin provide an illuminating backdrop to the current state of the curiously offensive ‘defensive alliance’ (spoiler alert: it expanded right up to Russia’s border).

In 1995, Yeltsin told Clinton that NATO expansion would lead to “humiliation” for Russia, noting that many Russians were fearful of the possibility that the alliance could encircle their country.

“It’s a new form of encirclement if the one surviving Cold War bloc expands right up to the borders of Russia. Many Russians have a sense of fear. What do you want to achieve with this if Russia is your partner? They ask. I ask it too: Why do you want to do this?” Yeltsin asked Clinton.

As the documents show, Yeltsin insisted that Russia had “no claims on other countries,” adding that it was “unacceptable” that the US was conducting naval drills near Crimea.

“It is as if we were training people in Cuba. How would you feel?” Yeltsin asked. The Russian leader then proposed a “gentleman’s agreement” that no former Soviet republics would join NATO.

Clinton refused the offer, saying: “I can’t make the specific commitment you are asking for. It would violate the whole spirit of NATO. I’ve always tried to build you up and never undermine you.”

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia turns Russia against the West

Although Clinton and Yeltsin enjoyed friendly relations, NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia tempered Moscow’s enthusiastic partnership with the West.

“Our people will certainly from now have a bad attitude with regard to America and with NATO,” the Russian president told Clinton in March 1999. “I remember how difficult it was for me to try and turn the heads of our people, the heads of the politicians towards the West, towards the United States, but I succeeded in doing that, and now to lose all that.”

Yeltsin urged Clinton to renounce the strikes, for the sake of “our relationship” and “peace in Europe.”

“It is not known who will come after us and it is not known what will be the road of future developments in strategic nuclear weapons,” Yeltsin reminded his US counterpart.

But Clinton wouldn’t cede ground.

“Milosevic is still a communist dictator and he would like to destroy the alliance that Russia has built up with the US and Europe and essentially destroy the whole movement of your region toward democracy and go back to ethnic alliances. We cannot allow him to dictate our future,” Clinton told Yeltsin.

Yeltsin asks US to ‘give Europe to Russia’

One exchange that has been making the rounds on Twitter appears to show Yeltsin requesting that Europe be “given” to Russia during a meeting in Istanbul in 1999. However, it’s not quite what it seems.

“I ask you one thing,” Yeltsin says, addressing Clinton. “Just give Europe to Russia. The US is not in Europe. Europe should be in the business of Europeans.”

However, the request is slightly less sinister than it sounds when put into context: The two leaders were discussing missile defense, and Yeltsin was arguing that Russia – not the US – would be a more suitable guarantor of Europe’s security.

“We have the power in Russia to protect all of Europe, including those with missiles,” Yeltsin told Clinton.

Clinton on Putin: ‘He’s very smart’

Perhaps one of the most interesting exchanges takes place when Yeltsin announces to Clinton his successor, Vladimir Putin.

In a conversation with Clinton from September 1999, Yeltsin describes Putin as “a solid man,” adding: “I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

A month later, Clinton asks Yeltsin who will win the Russian presidential election.

“Putin, of course. He will be the successor to Boris Yeltsin. He’s a democrat, and he knows the West.”

“He’s very smart,” Clinton remarks.

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New Satellite Images Reveal Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes On Syria; Putin Accepts Offer to Probe Downed Jet

The images reveal the extent of destruction in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport.

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Via Zerohedge


An Israeli satellite imaging company has released satellite photographs that reveal the extent of Monday night’s attack on multiple locations inside Syria.

ImageSat International released them as part of an intelligence report on a series of Israeli air strikes which lasted for over an hour and resulted in Syrian missile defense accidentally downing a Russian surveillance plane that had 15 personnel on board.

The images reveal the extent of destruction on one location struck early in attack in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport. On Tuesday Israel owned up to carrying out the attack in a rare admission.

Syrian official SANA news agency reported ten people injured in the attacks carried out of military targets near three major cities in Syria’s north.

The Times of Israel, which first reported the release of the new satellite images, underscores the rarity of Israeli strikes happening that far north and along the coast, dangerously near Russian positions:

The attack near Latakia was especially unusual because the port city is located near a Russian military base, the Khmeimim Air Force base. The base is home to Russian jet planes and an S-400 aerial defense system. According to Arab media reports, Israel has rarely struck that area since the Russians arrived there.

The Russian S-400 system was reportedly active during the attack, but it’s difficult to confirm or assess the extent to which Russian missiles responded during the strikes.

Three of the released satellite images show what’s described as an “ammunition warehouse” that appears to have been completely destroyed.

The IDF has stated their airstrikes targeted a Syrian army facility “from which weapons-manufacturing systems were supposed to be transferred to Iran and Hezbollah.” This statement came after the IDF expressed “sorrow” for the deaths of Russian airmen, but also said responsibility lies with the “Assad regime.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret over the incident while offering to send his air force chief to Russia with a detailed report — something which Putin agreed to.

According to Russia’s RT News, “Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event and the pre-mission information the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry condemned the “provocative actions by Israel as hostile” and said Russia reserves “the right to an adequate response” while Putin has described the downing of the Il-20 recon plane as likely the result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances” and downplayed the idea of a deliberate provocation, in contradiction of the initial statement issued by his own defense ministry.

Pro-government Syrians have reportedly expressed frustration this week that Russia hasn’t done more to respond militarily to Israeli aggression; however, it appears Putin may be sidestepping yet another trap as it’s looking increasingly likely that Israel’s aims are precisely geared toward provoking a response in order to allow its western allies to join a broader attack on Damascus that could result in regime change.

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“Transphobic” Swedish Professor May Lose Job After Noting Biological Differences Between Sexes

A university professor in Sweden is under investigation after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded”

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Via Zerohedge


A university professor in Sweden is under investigation for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and that genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone,” reports Academic Rights Watch.

For his transgression, Germund Hesslow – a professor of neuroscience at Lund University – who holds dual PhDs in philosophy and neurophysiology, may lose his job – telling RT that a “full investigation” has been ordered, and that there “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture or not give the lecture at all.”

“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.

Hesslow was ordered to attend a meeting by Christer Larsson, chairman of the program board for medical education, after a female student complained that Hesslow had a “personal anti-feminist agenda.” He was asked to distance himself from two specific comments; that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that the sexual orientation of transsexuals is “a matter of definition.”

The student’s complaint reads in part (translated):

I have also heard from senior lecturers that Germund Hesslow at the last lecture expressed himself transfobically. In response to a question of transexuallism, he said something like “sex change is a fly”. Secondly, it is outrageous because there may be students during the lecture who are themselves exposed to transfobin, but also because it may affect how later students in their professional lives meet transgender people. Transpersonals already have a high level of overrepresentation in suicide statistics and there are already major shortcomings in the treatment of transgender in care, should not it be countered? How does this kind of statement coincide with the university’s equal treatment plan? What has this statement given for consequences? What has been done for this to not be repeated? –Academic Rights Watch

After being admonished, Hesslow refused to distance himself from his comments, saying that he had “done enough” already and didn’t have to explain and defend his choice of words.

At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether,” Hesslow said in a written reply to Larsson.

He also rejected the accusation that he had a political agenda – stating that his only agenda was to let scientific factnot new social conventions, dictate how he teaches his courses.

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