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Spanish King lines up with Prime Minister to condemn Catalonia

No words of reconciliation, only more threats and bullying.

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Spain’s King Felipe VI has made a televised address in which he offered heavy handed words of condemnation for the leaders of the Catalan independence movement.

Felipe VI began by stating that, “We find ourselves at a critical juncture as a democracy”, before explaining why Madrid thinks that the Catalan exercise in democracy deserved carpet condemnation.

Like Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the King of Spain proceeded to call the referendum an outlaw act and calling a would-be declaration of independence “illegal”.

As a result of this particular statement from the King, Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan leader has publicly stated that Catalonia will declare its independence within a matter of days.

The remainder of the Spanish King’s short speech was largely a diatribe against Catalan leaders and the wider Catalan independence movement.  In many respects, what the King did not say was more telling than what he did say. There was no call for dialogue, for deescalation or the offer of any proposal for reconciliation or mediation. As is the case with Premier Rajoy, the King stated Madrid’s official position that the referendum is illegitimate and that any subsequent declaration of independence is illegal, but no solutions were offered apart from a commitment to a status quo that has clearly failed.

In many ways, Madrid’s attitude towards Catalonia mirrors post-2014 Kiev’s attitude towards Donbass. It is an attitude that seeks to ‘re-claim’ territory that in the case of Donbass has separated and in the case of Catalonia appears to be on the verge of official separation, but without regard for the wishes of the people in that territory. It’s as though to say, “we still want your region and its abundant resources, but we don’t want nor care for you, the people”.

While the regime in Kiev proceeded to attempt and ‘win Donbass back’ through an ongoing war of ethnic cleansing, Madrid has not crossed that Rubicon yet. The EU is supposed to have mechanisms in place to avoid such a catastrophe, but frankly, the EU was supposed to have mechanisms in place to prevent violent police brutality against peaceful voters and this clearly failed.

While the leadership in Madrid are well known to harbour latent neo-Francoist tendencies, the prevailing hope is that they will stop short of unleashing the kind of violence that marred Spanish society during the Civil War of the 1930s.

Ultimately, no matter what one’s position on Catalan independence, rejecting dialogue is now, not only dangerous, but absurd. Madrid’s attitude has only entrenched Catalan opinion against Spain, whereas allowing the vote to proceed peacefully may well have allowed for some Catalan voices for unity to also have their say. As things stand, many more Catalans joined the independence movement than ever before in 21st century history, as a direct result of the disparaging attitude of Madrid and the heavy handed policing tactics on voting day.

As I wrote shortly after the final vote,

“In respect of Brussels, it may be a matter of far too little, far too late and inversely for Madrid, it may be a matter of crossing a red line for Catalonia by using such heavy handed policing and political techniques to try and suppress Catalans from conducting an exercise in regional democracy and peaceful free speech.

It is however, not too late to try and create an atmosphere of dialogue and reconciliation between Madrid and Barcelona. What is clear however, is that Mariano Rajoy, the current Spanish Prime Minister cannot be the man to conduct such talks, nor do many of his front line government ministers seem up to the task. Rajoy’s arrogant remarks and his apparent praise of clear police brutality against unarmed people including young women and the elderly, means that he has no leg to stand on in would-be respectful discussions with the leaders in Catalonia.

This too exposes the hypocrisy of western mainstream media. In countries that the western mainstream media tends not to understand and have likely never even visited, pundits are quick to say that certain non-western leaders ‘must go’.

In Spain, a country in the heart of western Europe, about which western MSM journalists ostensibly have a great deal of knowledge about, little is being said about the figure of Mariano Rajoy and has terrible handling of the referendum in Catalonia.

If Rajoy resigns and is replaced by a more moderate figure, there is a chance that a special conference organised by the EU, an institution to which Spain belongs and which an independent Catalonia seeks to join, could be held in order to reach some sort of agreement. Even if independence is inevitable, surely it is in the interest of the EU, Madrid and Barcelona to foster an atmosphere where Spain and a Catalan Republic could be good neighbours rather than perpetual foes.

There is no other reasonable solution. The question therefore is: who has the moral and political courage to unapologetically call for such a solution and make sure that it becomes a new reality?”

CATALONIA: Now is the time for dialogue

Rather than offering consolation through unity, the Spanish King merely acted as a mouthpiece of the Rajoy regime. Madrid is doing everything it can to lose Catalonia, whether the speech writers and policy makers realise it or not.

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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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Despite Pledge Not to, Germany Approves Sale of Arms to Saudi Arabia

Germany is the latest to renege on promises to ban weapons sales for use in the Yemen War.

The Duran

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Authored by Jason Ditz via AntiWar.com:


With Saudi Arabia forever escalating their war in Yemen, the growing calls by human rights groups to stop selling them arms with which to commit war crimes are struggling to compete with the vast sums of money the Saudis are offering for those arms.

Germany is the latest to renege on promises to ban weapons sales for use in the Yemen War, announcing Wednesday that the Economy Minister has greenlit a new round of artillery systems for sale to the Saudis.

The systems are designed for precise counterattack, and are clearly being bought explicitly to use in Yemen. Yet the Merkel government, as part of its coalition deal, announced a full export ban to “any sides fighting in Yemen,” including the Saudis.

While this was at the time supposed to be a condition of the Social Democrats joining the government. So far, Merkel has not explained why the sale was approved over the putative ban, and the Social Democrats have not complained either.

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FBI Had “Two Sets Of Records” On Trump Investigation; Comey, McCabe Implicated: Carter

Sara Carter: FBI/DOJ had ‘two sets of books’ in the Russia investigation.

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Via Zerohedge


Journalist Sara Carter told Sean Hannity during his Wednesday radio show that the FBI has two sets of records in the Russia investigation, and that “certain people above Peter Strzok and above Lisa Page” were aware of it – implicating former FBI Director James Comey and his #2, Andrew McCabe.

Hannity: Sara, I’m hearing it gets worse than this–that there is potentially out there–if you will, two sets of record among the upper echelon of the FBI–one that was real one that was made for appearances. Is there any truth to this?

CarterAbsolutely, Sean. With the number of sources that I have been speaking with as well as some others that there is evidence indicating that the FBI had separate sets of books.

I will not name names until all of the evidence is out there, but there were certain people above Peter Strzok and above Lisa Page that were aware of this. I also believe that there are people within the FBI that have actually turned on their former employers and are possibly even testifying and reporting what happened inside the FBI to both the Inspector General and possibly even a Grand Jury.

Listen:

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