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Russia rejects Dutch court ruling to hand $5 BILLION of taxpayers’ cash to ex-oligarchs over collapse of Yukos

RT | July 29, 2021

Officials in Moscow have vowed to vigorously appeal a judicial ruling in an international arbitration court that would bind Russia to hand over billions of dollars to the former shareholders of the collapsed Yukos energy giant.

The office of the country’s Prosecutor General said on Thursday that it does not acknowledge the validity of the decision, by the International Arbitration Court in The Hague. Authorities said that Russia would “appeal the decision without fail,” questioning both the basis of the judges’ jurisdiction and the claims themselves.

Earlier that day, representatives of the shareholders who lost cash when the former oil and gas conglomerate collapsed claimed victory in legal proceedings that handed them a total of $5 billion in compensation. A separate claim, for a total of $57 billion, is currently being heard by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.

The ex-shareholders say that the Russian government “expropriated” the assets of Yukos when the firm was bankrupted by a multi-billion dollar tax bill. The private company had been formed after a controversial auction of state assets following the fall of the Soviet Union, and quickly became one of the world’s most valuable companies despite investors picking it up for a fraction of its worth.

The founder of the energy empire, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, later served time in prison on fraud charges, which he claims were a response to his political activity. However, the London-based businessman asserts he has no direct interests in the lawsuit, and the case has been brought by other financiers including influential businessman Leonid Nevzlin.

Russia has insisted that the judgements are “politically motivated,” and in December the country’s Justice Minister, Konstantin Chuychenko, told journalists that the case was part of a “legal war that has been declared on Russia.” He added that “Russia must adequately defend itself and, sometimes, even attack back.”

Moscow denies the charges and says that foreign courts have not considered that national laws around fraud and other wrongdoing might have been broken. However, in December, the Constitutional Court, one of Russia’s highest judicial authorities, ruled that Russia could refuse to pay any settlement imposed by Dutch judges. The basis for the arbitration is the terms of the Energy Charter Treaty, which Moscow signed but never ratified.

In their adjudication, the judges found that while the country’s government of the day began the process of signing up to the pact in 1994, they did not have the authority to make national laws inferior to international agreements, or to “challenge the competence” of Russian courts. Therefore, the jurists conclude, adhering to the Dutch court’s demands would be “unconstitutional.”

There have, however, been a number of attempts to confiscate Russian state assets in case the country refuses to honor any eventual settlement. To date, though, these have ultimately been rapidly overturned by courts. The case is expected to be settled by the Netherlands’ highest court later this year.

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

I’ve seen how climate change is being used by alarmist politicians to promote their own agenda

By Paul A. Nuttall | RT | July 28, 2021

Every time there is a so-called ‘freak’ weather event, we hear from politicians and scientists about how it is down to climate change. But my time as an MEP showed me how the issue is hijacked to further individual interests.

London, like parts of Germany and China, has suffered a series of flash floods over the past few weeks. Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, warned that the recent flash flooding “shows that the dangers of climate change are now moving closer to home.”

In an article penned for the Guardian newspaper, Khan also stated that the recent flooding “should be a wake-up call, spurring us all to take much more ambitious climate action.” Of course, Khan has a motive for linking the recent floods to climate change, as he is committed to making London carbon neutral by 2030. He plans to achieve this by pushing through a series of controversial measures, including even more cycle lanes, which have already turned London into a car park, and by extending the expensive ultra-low emission zone.

For politicians like Khan to get their way, the public has to accept that these floods are a recent phenomenon, and primarily caused by man. We all must be prepared to self-flagellate. People also must believe that London has never flooded before, because that would negate many of Khan’s arguments.

It is like some wacky Jedi mind trick: “This is the first time London has been flooded, and it is all a result of man-made climate change.” Oh, but hang on, Obi Wan Khan, London has flooded before – in fact, it has flooded loads of times. In the last century alone, London suffered serious flooding on many occasions, with 1928 and 1968 immediately springing to mind.

But it is not just last week’s floods that are being blamed on man-made climate change, it is also the recent heatwave. The Met Office head of civil contingencies, Will Lang, warned that “as a result of climate change, heatwaves are becoming longer and more extreme, and many people’s health and wellbeing will continue to suffer as a result.”

Now hang on Will, hasn’t there always been intermittent heatwaves in the UK? I remember the heatwave of 1990. I was a schoolboy and had a great summer playing cricket and tennis. In August 1990, temperatures hit almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit, beating the previous record which went all the way back to the heatwave of 1911.

Also, I was born in 1976, which is famous for its heatwave and drought. That year represented the driest in over 250 years and rivers literally became trickles of water. It did not rain between May and September and hosepipe bans were imposed. However, was the 1976 heatwave blamed on man-made climate change? No, of course not, because these same climate ‘scientists’ were not worried about warming back then, they were warning of global cooling and the onset of another ice age. They are, of course, now busy trying to row back on the theories, but it still represents an inconvenient truth, if you don’t mind the pun.

The point I am trying to make is that none of these recent weather events is unique. They have happened before, and in our recent history. But if we go back even further, say to the medieval warm period, we find grapes being produced as far north as Scotland and we also know that the climate was warmer during the Roman period. And why was this? Julius Caesar’s gas-guzzling 4×4 perhaps? Of course not, it was all natural and mainly to do with the big yellow thing in the sky that we call the sun.

It is not just politicians who are using the man-made climate change hypothesis as a weapon; the media are equally culpable. Take, for example, the fact that April this year was the coldest since 1922, and the first week of May was the coldest since 1659. Did you see this sprayed all over the mainstream media? Of course not, because it does not fit with the warming agenda. If they had been the hottest weeks or months for a number of years, we would never have heard the end of it.

And when mainstream media outlets don’t play the game, they are forced to apologise. Take for example the fact that the RTÉ News and Current Affairs Managing Director Jon Williams had to say sorry for not linking the recent flooding to climate change. Williams said, “we were wrong not to make clear connection between recent extreme weather events and climate change.” You must be a good boy Jon, or you’ll be subjected to a lecture from Greta.…

Now I have, in the past, been called a “climate change denier.” This was a cheap shot because I am not, far from it. I believe that the climate has always changed, but I am not convinced by how great man’s role has been in that change. What I do know is that that the issue is being used by cynical politicians to further their own agendas. I saw all this first-hand when I sat on the European Parliament’s Environment Committee. You see, climate change is used as a principal reason why we need supranational organisations like the European Union. “The climate knows no borders”, you hear repeated as if it were a cult. It gives the organisation a reason to exist.

The United Nations takes a similar line, and yesterday we had the toe-curling spectacle of Joyce Msuya, the assistant secretary general of the UN, claiming that Covid-19 was somehow linked to climate change. Now, as someone who is sitting here writing this article with Covid, I guarantee the dreary weather outside has absolutely nothing to do with my condition.

The one thing I can guarantee is that if you give a politician an inch, they will take a mile. Especially when they are backed by well-funded scientists and given a free pass by the cowed media. But this should not be the case. The science around man-made climate change is far from settled and the theories should be tested through rigorous debate. This is sadly not the case, as those who make an alternative argument are shouted down and abused. And that is why the climate alarmists can freely omit historical weather events to prove that what is happening now is unique, when it clearly is not.

Paul A. Nuttall is a historian, author and a former politician. He was a Member of the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019 and was a prominent campaigner for Brexit.

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Belgium investigates possible manslaughter following deadly floods that killed over 40

RT | July 29, 2021

An investigation into fatal floods has been launched in Belgium’s Wallonia region, the worst hit by the disaster earlier this month. Prosecutors are looking into “involuntary homicide by lack of foresight or precaution.”

An investigative judge has been appointed to identify possible officials who allegedly may be responsible for manslaughter during this month’s deadly floods, a public prosecutor’s office in the city of Liege announced on Wednesday. A prosecutor has already taken note of various public positions relating to the chain of events preceding the floods, adding that those in charge might be responsible for the “lack of foresight or precaution,” according to local media.

The inquiry relates to the severe floods that hit the region in the south of Belgium on July 14. The province of Liege suffered the worst, and 41 deaths have been confirmed in Wallonia in total, with at least two more persons still missing, local media reported this week, citing regional government. At least 202 of 262 municipalities in Wallonia can claim support from the disaster fund, region’s prime minister Elio Di Rupo announced at a press conference earlier this week, saying that “this shows the scale of the disaster.

Locals have also called for an independent investigation. Residents and businesses in the town of Chaudfontaine in the Liege province have joined forces in a “People against flows” collective, planning to file a complaint against the state, according to local media. They suspect that the mishandling of dams in the region could have possibly led to the disaster, while also blaming officials’ negligence in terms of evacuation orders. At least some damage could have possibly been prevented by lowering water levels at a major dam following bad weather forecasts, specialists have suggested.

The flooding in Belgium has damaged infrastructure, leaving thousands without power and drinking water. In neighboring Germany, dozens were killed in the massive flooding, and the disaster has also hit Switzerland and Austria. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has said her country will continue to “oppose” the destructive forces of nature, while calling for a tougher climate protection policies.

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

Was Lockdown Illegal?

By Noah Carl • The Daily Sceptic • July 27, 2021

There has been much debate among lawyers as to whether the various “non-pharmaceutical interventions” (i.e., lockdown measures) that have been imposed over the past year and a half are actually legal.

In April of 2020, the barrister Francis Hoar wrote an article laying out the case for the illegality of Britain’s lockdown. While his piece is very much worth reading in full, I will do my best to summarise the main points here.

Hoar argues that lockdown measures were a “disproportionate interference with the rights protected by the European Convention on Human Rights”, and were therefore in breach of the Human Rights Act 1998.

To make his case, he appeals to the so-called Siracusa Principles, which were adopted by the UN Economic and Social Council in 1984. These principles stipulate that government responses to national emergencies that involve the restriction of human rights must fulfil certain criteria.

Specifically, they must be: carried out in accordance with law; directed toward an objective of general interest; strictly necessary to achieve that objective; the least intrusive way of achieving that objective; based on scientific evidence, and neither arbitrary nor discriminatory; of limited duration, respectful of human dignity and subject to review.

Hoar argues convincingly that lockdown measures failed to meet several of these criteria. For example, lockdowns were not strictly necessary, since the same outcomes could plausibly have been achieved with far less intrusive measures (i.e., a focused protection strategy).

And it’s highly doubtful that lockdowns were “respectful of human dignity and subject to review”, given that they initially proscribed all political gatherings and public demonstrations without exception – a measure unprecedented in British history.

Hoar suggests that, “were they challenged by judicial review”, the measures should be “disapplied if necessary”. (Recall that he was writing back in April of last year). Incidentally, a longer and more detailed version of his article is available here.

Another figure from the legal community to argue for the illegality of the UK’s lockdowns is Lord Sumption, the former Supreme Court Justice. In a lecture delivered to the Cambridge Law Faculty in October 2020, he claimed that lockdown measures were without legal basis, and described the U.K.’s response as “a monument of collective hysteria and government folly”.

As readers may be aware, there was in fact a major legal challenge to the U.K.’s lockdowns, brought by the entrepreneur Simon Dolan (and funded to the tune of £427,000). The challenge sought a judicial review of the lockdown measures. Unfortunately, it proved unsuccessful.

I’ve been told by people with legal expertise that mounting another challenge would be difficult, given the adverse judgement in the case brought by Dolan. It’s therefore unlikely the Government will be liable for claims from individuals and businesses who’ve suffered due to lockdown.

Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that legal bodies in each of the following countries have found at least some aspect of the lockdown policy illegal: FranceBelgium, the NetherlandsGermanyAustriaSpainFinlandCzechiaScotlandSlovakiaAustraliaNew ZealandSouth Africa and the United States.

So while the High Court in London did reject Dolan’s case against the Government, lockdown opponents have won important victories in a number of countries.

And given that the evidence against lockdown has only increased since the judgement in Dolan’s case, lockdown opponents will have plenty of ammunition if any future Government decides to lock down in response to a similar virus.

July 28, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Vaccinated To Have More Freedoms In Germany

By Richie Allen | July 26, 2021

Speaking to Bild newspaper yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff said that the vaccinated “will definitely have more freedoms.” Helge Braun said that if cases continue to rise in Germany, the unvaccinated would be barred from pubs, restaurants theatres and stadiums.

The chief of staff who is also a medical doctor told Bild :

“If we have a high rate of infection despite our testing procedures then the unvaccinated will have to reduce their contacts. Those who have been vaccinated will definitely have more freedom than those who have not been vaccinated.”

Braun went on to say that the unvaccinated wouldn’t even be allowed to take a covid test to gain entry to venues. When asked why, she replied: “The risk to everyone else is too high.”

As to the legality of introducing such discriminatory measures Braun said that, “the state has a duty to protect the health of its citizens.”

Neighbouring France has introduced Covid passes as a condition of entry to restaurants, café’s and supermarkets. From late September, anyone wanting to go to a nightclub or a concert in the UK, will have to prove that they’ve been double jabbed.

The UK government is also expected to say that anyone attending sports venues in the Autumn will also need to prove that they have been jabbed.

And from today, Irish citizens wishing to drink or dine inside a pub or restaurant, must show that they have been jabbed or that they recently produced a negative covid test.

Lockstep anyone?

July 26, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 1 Comment

Why the EU’s Carbon Border Tax will Fail to Stop Carbon Leakage

By Eric Worrall | Watts Up With That? | July 20, 2021

The EU is once again attempting to impose a carbon tax on all imports, to stop “carbon leakage”, the loss of manufacturing or other businesses relocating to lower cost countries. But a few simple economic calculations demonstrate why the EU’s plan will not stop the ongoing haemorrhage of business activity.

Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism: Questions and Answers

Why is the Commission proposing a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism?

The EU is at the forefront of international efforts to fight climate change. The European Green Deal sets out a clear path towards realising the EU’s ambitious target of a 55% reduction in carbon emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2030, and to become a climate-neutral continent by 2050.

The July 2021 package in support of the EU’s climate targets is an integral part of our strategy to achieve this, and will further seal the EU’s reputation as a global climate leader. As part of these efforts, the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is a climate measure that should prevent the risk of carbon leakage and support the EU’s increased ambition on climate mitigation, while ensuring WTO compatibility.

Climate change is a global problem that needs global solutions. As we raise our own climate ambition and less stringent environmental and climate policies prevail in non-EU countries, there is a strong risk of so-called ‘carbon leakage’ – i.e. companies based in the EU could move carbon-intensive production abroad to take advantage of lax standards, or EU products could be replaced by more carbon-intensive imports. Such carbon leakage can shift emissions outside of Europe and therefore seriously undermine EU and global climate efforts. The CBAM will equalise the price of carbon between domestic products and imports and ensure that the EU’s climate objectives are not undermined by production relocating to countries with less ambitious policies.

Read more: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_21_3661

Why does this tax put an EU producer at a disadvantage?

EU Border Tax – No Sale

Simple – selling to another EU entity is price competitive, so far, but selling outside the EU is impossibly expensive, because you are competing with other sellers who don’t pay EU carbon taxes. An exporter outside the EU has an advantage over a manufacturer inside the EU, even if they have to pay a carbon border adjustment.

What about if the EU tries to level the playing field for EU based exporters, and applies a tax credit to exports? This opens the door to massive global carbon carousel fraud.

EU Carbon Tax Carousel Fraud

EU Carbon Tax Carousel Fraud

Either the EU destroys their own exporters, in an attempt to protect their domestic industry, or they have a big firefight on their hands, trying to contain carbon carousel fraud, which will only get worse any time they try to ratchet up their carbon price.

What about the effect of carbon pricing on businesses inside the EU carbon tax zone?

Classic supply and demand graph

Classic supply and demand graph, showing the impact on quantity of a tax driven rise in price per unit.

In this case quantity is assumed to be a proxy for economic activity.

Ever visited a shopping centre, and wondered why all the interesting shops are slowly replaced by clothes shops or other high turnover businesses? The reason is all those interesting shops are not profitable enough to pay the rent, and over time they are replaced by simpler, less interesting businesses – safe, boring, profitable, but still a contraction in the diversity of life choices available to consumers.

Pretty much the same thing would happen to domestic high carbon businesses afflicted by EU carbon pricing.

The EU at least in principle likely hopes that revenue from the carbon tax will drop to zero, as people discover low carbon or zero carbon alternatives to the high carbon goods they currently use such as alumina, or simply learn to live without.

But this is a huge gamble. The only reason for carbon leakage in the first place is because the carbon intensive goods targeted by the EU are difficult to replace with low carbon alternatives, and difficult to live without.

If a carbon intensive good is irreplaceable, continued dependency on that high carbon good will be an ongoing anchor dragging on the European economy.

Of course you could make an argument that the benefits the people of the EU receive from reduced CO2 emissions outweigh the costs, that one day our descendants will thank us for giving them the opportunity to experience cold weather. But this does not help consumers and businesses today.

In conclusion, the EU carbon border adjustment will do nothing to prevent carbon leakage. The EU does not control enough of the global economy to make it more than an inconvenience for multinationals. The only people the EU border carbon adjustment will hurt are people living in the EU, who will see their choices and opportunities contract.

July 20, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Spain’s Top Court Rules That Lockdown Was Unconstitutional

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | July 14, 2021

Spain’s top court has ruled that the country’s national COVID-19 lockdown was unconstitutional following a lawsuit filed by the populist Vox party.

“While leaving intact most of the state of emergency’s terms, the court said that the key articles ordering the population off the streets except for shorts trips for shopping and unavoidable commutes for work and other official business were unconstitutional,” reports the Associated Press.

“According to TVE, the ruling said that the limitations on movement violated citizens´ basic rights and therefore the state of emergency was insufficient to give them constitutional backing. The six magistrates said that a state of exception, which does allow the government to suspend basic rights, would have been necessary.”

During the first six weeks of the lockdown, stay at home measures were so strict that Spaniards weren’t even allowed to go outside to exercise or walk their dogs.

In one case, police were called after a neighbor spotted two brothers playing soccer in their own back yard.

As we previously highlighted, Spain’s lockdown laws were so draconian that at one point authorities briefly told citizens that wearing masks while swimming in the sea was mandatory.

For many months during hot weather, wearing masks in every outdoor setting, even on beaches, was compulsory.

People were also issued fines of €2,000 euros for “disrespecting” a police officer during lockdown.

Numerous instances of police beating people for not wearing masks also emerged, while protesters at one point freed a woman from police arrest while cops were trying to handcuff her for not wearing a face covering.

Early on during the first lockdown, police helicopters fitted with loudspeakers were also used to aggressively order beachgoers to go home.

The Spanish government many now face multiple lawsuits as a result of the lockdown being declared unlawful.

July 14, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 2 Comments

Fit for 55 — EU Green Deal and the Industrial Collapse of Europe

By F. William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook – 12.07.2021

One of the rare honest statements by Bill Gates was his remark in early 2021 that if you think covid measures are bad, wait until the measures for global warming. The European Union is in the process of imposing, top-down, the most draconian measures to date, that will effectively destroy modern industry across the face of the 27 states of the European Union. Under cute names such as “Fit for 55” and European Green Deal, measures are being finalized in Brussels by unelected technocrats that will cause the worst industrial unemployment and economic collapse since the crisis of the 1930s. Industries such as automobile or transport, power generation and steel are on the chopping block, all for an unproven hypothesis called manmade global warming.

While most EU citizens have been distracted by endless restrictions over a flu-like pandemic called covid19, the technocrats at the EU Commission in Brussels have been preparing a program of planned dis-integration of the EU industrial economy. The convenient aspect of an unelected supranational group far away in Brussels or Strasbourg is that they are not accountable to any real voters. They even have a name for it: Democratic Deficit. If the measures about to be finalized by the EU Commission under German President Ursula von der Leyen and Vice President for Global Warming Dutch technocrat Frans Timmermans, are enacted, here is a hint of what will happen.

Fit for 55”

On July 14, the EU Commission presents its “Fit for 55” green agenda. While the title sounds more like an ad for a middle-ager health studio, it will be the most draconian and destructive de-industrialization program ever imposed outside of war.

Fit for 55 will be the central framework of new laws and rules from Brussels to reduce CO2 emissions dramatically, using schemes such as carbon taxes, emission caps and cap and trade schemes.

In April 2021 the EU Commission announced a new EU climate target: Emissions to be reduced by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990, up from the 40 percent as previously agreed. Hence the cute name “Fit for 55.” But the industry and workforce of the EU states will be anything but fit if the plan is advanced. Simply said, it is technocratic fascism being imposed without public debate on some 455 million EU citizens.

This Fit for 55 is the first time in the world that a group of countries, the EU, officially imposes an agenda to force an absurd “Zero” CO2 by 2050 and 55% less CO2 by 2030. EU Green Deal czar, Commissioner Frans Timmermans said in May, “We will strengthen the EU Emissions Trading System, update the Energy Taxation Directive, and propose new CO2 standards for cars, new energy efficiency standards for buildings, new targets for renewables, and new ways of supporting clean fuels and infrastructure for clean transport.” In reality it will destroy the transport industry, steel, cement as well as coal and gas fuel electric generation.

Here are major parts of the sinister Fit For 55.

Cars and Trucks

A major target of the EU Green Deal will be measures that will force internal combustion engine vehicles– gasoline or diesel cars and trucks—to adhere to such punitive CO2 emission limits that they will be forced off the roads by 2030 if not sooner. The plan will change the current target of a 37.5% reduction in vehicle CO2 emissions by 2030 to a rumored zero emissions by 2035.

On July 7 a coalition of trade unions, transport industry companies and suppliers including the European Trade Union Confederation and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, wrote an urgent appeal to EU Green Czar Frans Timmermans. They stated, “… we want to see industrial transformation and innovation in Europe, rather than de-industrialisation and social disruption.” The letter pointed out that the EU has no plans for a so-called “Just Transition” for the EU auto industry including no new skills training for displaced workers: “Currently, there is no such framework for the 16 million workers in our mobility eco-system, and notably Europe’s automotive sector which is a powerhouse of industrial employment.”

This is no minor issue as the transition from internal combustion engine cars and trucks to E-autos will mean a huge unprecedented disruption to the present auto supplier chains. The letter points out that EU-wide, the auto sector has 8.5% of all European manufacturing jobs and in 2019 produced nearly 10% of GDP in Germany alone, along with 40% of the country’s research and development spending. The EU today makes up more than 50% of the world’s exports of auto products. They point out that the transition to zero CO2 vehicles will mean a loss of at least 2.4 million skilled, high-wage jobs across the EU. Entire regions will become depressed. The letter points out that Brussels has yet to even map the consequences for the auto sector of the Green Deal.

In April German EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen indicated Fit for 55 could extend a draconian carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS) from beyond power plants or industry to cover road transport and buildings in a “polluter pays” add on. The tie to the ETS will automatically force financial penalties on drivers or home owners beyond the present carbon taxes despite a very limited impact of some 3% on emissions. This, on top of tighter auto emission standards, will deal a killer blow to consumers and industry. When the French government imposed such a carbon tax in 2018 it triggered the Yellow Vests national protests and forced Paris to withdraw it.

Steel

The drastic EU plan contains new provisions that will mean drastic change for the energy-intensive EU steel and cement industries. Steel is the second biggest industry in the world after oil and gas. Currently the EU is the second largest producer of steel in the world after China. Its output is over 177 million tons of steel a year, or 11% of global output. But the Timmermans plan will introduce new measures that ostensibly penalize steel imports from “dirty” producers, but that in fact will make EU steel less competitive globally. Leaks of the EU plan indicate that they plan to eliminate current free ETS pollution permits for energy-intensive industries such as steel or cement. That will deal a devastating blow to both essential industries. They call it the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. As the Center for European Policy Network points out, EU steel exporters will “not receive any compensation for the discontinuation of the free allocation. As a result, they suffer considerable competitive disadvantages compared to their competitors from third countries.“

Coal Carbon Taxes

The EU’s new 55% climate target for 2030 implies a near-complete coal phase-out by 2030 in the whole EU. This will hit Germany, far the largest EU coal power user. The German government, already with the world’s most expensive electric power owing to the Merkel Energiewende transition to unreliable solar and wind that will see the last nuclear power plant closed in 2022, has just recently dropped its plan to phase out coal by 2038. It will phase out far earlier, but for obvious political reasons in an election year, has not revealed its new “zero coal” date.

The absurdity of believing the EU, especially Germany, will be able to achieve zero coal by 2030, replacing not even with natural gas, but rather unreliable solar and wind, is already clear. On January 1, 2021 as part of the Government mandate on coal power reduction, 11 coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 4.7 GW were shut down. That phase out lasted eight days as several of the coal power plants had to be reconnected to the grid to avoid blackouts due to a prolonged low-wind period. The shut coal plants were ordered to operate on reserve status at the cost of the consumers. The Berlin government commission that drafted the coal phase-out plan included no power industry representatives nor any power grid experts.

With the new element of the destructive EU Commission Fit for 55 plan, the heart of European industry, Germany, is pre-programmed not only for severe industrial unemployment in steel, cement and auto sectors. It is also pre-programmed for power blackouts such as that that devastated Texas in early 2021 when wind mills froze. In 2022 in Germany, as noted, the last nuclear plant along with other coal power will be closed, removing 3% of the power. An added 6,000 wind turbines also will exit due to age, for a total cut of 7%. Yet planned addition of new wind and solar doesn’t come close to replace that, so that by 2022 Germany could have a shortfall of between 10% and 15% in capacity on the generation side.

WEF Great Reset and EU Green Deal

The hard thing for ordinary sane citizens to grasp with this EU Fit for 55 and the Davos Great Reset or the related UN Agenda 2030 globally, is that it is all a deliberate technocratic plan for dis-integration of the economy, using the fraudulent excuse of an unproven global warming danger that claims– based on dodgy computer models that ignore influence of our sun on Earth climate cycles– that we will see catastrophe by 2030 if the world does not slash harmless and life-essential CO2 emissions.

The ever-active Davos World Economic Forum as part of its Great Reset is also playing a significant role in shaping the EU Commission’s Europe Green Deal. In January 2020, the World Economic Forum at its Annual Meeting in Davos brought together leaders from industry and business with Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans to explore how to catalyze the European Green Deal. The July 14 unveiling by Brussels is the result. The WEF supports the CEO Action Group for the European Green Deal to get major corporations behind the Brussels dystopian plan

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University.

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , | 1 Comment

Alternative for Germany Party Leader Wants Exit From EU, More Cooperation With Moscow

By Ilya Tsukanov – Sputnik – 12.07.2021

The popularity of the nationalist Alternative for Germany (Alternative fur Deutschland – AfD) party shot up dramatically from a state of virtual obscurity in the mid-2010s as Germans struggled to deal with the migrant crisis of 2015-2016, with the party winning 94 seats and becoming the third largest party in the Bundestag in the 2017 elections.

Germany has no choice but to leave the European Union and to create a “new European space” in which Russia will also have a place, AfD parliamentary group co-chair Tino Chrupalla has said.

“Germany should exit today’s European Union, which simply cannot be reformed, and establish a new European economic and interest group,” Chrupalla said in an interview with Welt published on Sunday.

The politician lamented that Germany’s post-World War 2 national identity and culture had been heavily influenced by the “psychological warfare of the Allies, especially the Americans,” which he compared to the Nazis. As an example of such malign influence, the politician cited Washington’s strategy of trying to torpedo the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Germany and Russia, suggesting that the US was pursuing “strategic interests” via a “deliberate strategy of disinformation and the manipulation of public opinion” in Germany.

Chrupalla went into greater detail on his party’s vision of a new association of European nations to replace the EU in an op-ed in the Junge Freiheit newspaper, rejecting the concept of an EU “superstate” in favour of a ‘Europe of fatherlands’. The EU, he suggested, had failed utterly in tackling several major emergencies, including the euro crisis, and the migrant and coronavirus crises.

The politician also clarified that instead of the concept of a UK-style ‘Gexit’, AfD’s policy was to support ‘Neustart’, or ‘Reset’ – a “common reset for Europe” which includes an invitation for all AfD’s European sister parties “to join us.”

On the prospect of improved ties with Moscow, Chrupalla emphasized in his op-ed that “a good relationship with Russia is not negotiable,” and that Russia is “an integral part” of Europe economically, politically and culturally.

The politician accused EU elites of “sticking to old Cold War thought patterns” about Russia, and noted that while “communism in Eastern Europe has long been defeated, European opinion leaders were importing new Western ideologies from the US ‘New Left’,” such as identity politics and its promotion of positive discrimination, resulting in social unrest which he stressed “must be overcome.”

“With Russia, a large European state and an important trade partner has been excluded from the European Union. Furthermore, at the insistence of our US partners, we are constantly imposing new trade sanctions on the Russians for new reasons,” Chrupalla wrote.

According to the politician, these restrictions ultimately come back and hit the German economy and medium-sized businesses, causing them to lose out as Russia replaces its imports from Germany with new trade ties with Asia. “Trade between Germany and Russia fell by 25 percent between 2013 and 2019, and in Saxony by 70 percent. It cannot go on like this!” Chrupalla argued.

Ultimately, the politician suggested that both countries would benefit if sanctions are lifted and new ones are ruled out. “Russia is also an integral part of Europe culturally and politically, and Germany always does well when it has good relations with Russia,” Chrupalla stressed.

Chrupalla’s views on foreign policy aren’t representative of the AfD as a whole, with party co-chair Jorg Meuthen recently suggesting that a German exit from the EU is a “poorly thought out idea.” The party is also traditionally in favour of close ties to the US and Israel, and of keeping Germany a member of NATO. Since its emergence as a major political force in the Bundestag following the 2017 elections, the party has experienced an intense internal debate regarding these and other policies.

Germans will go to the polls on 26 September for general elections to the Bundestag and multiple state parliaments. Longtime German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to retire after the elections. A recent INSA/YouGov poll indicated that Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union alliance enjoys a plurality of 28 percent support at the moment, with the Social Democratic Party and the Greens second with 17 percent support each. 12 percent of respondents said they plan to support the Free Democratic Party, 11 percent said they would vote for the AfD, and 8 percent said they plan to give their vote to the democratic socialist Die Linke. Like the AfD, Die Linke supports an improvement in Germany’s relations with Russia. The party also has a firm policy of opposition to NATO and proposes to replace the alliance with a new collective security system for Europe with Russia as a member. Despite their ideological differences, AfD and Die Linke occasionally cooperate on certain issues.

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

Putin: Kiev would rather play the ‘victim’ than work for peace

Reunification with Donbass now nearly a lost cause

RT | July 12, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin has blasted Ukraine’s apparent lack of interest in striking a deal to resolve the bloody civil war in the east of the country, saying that Kiev politicians are using it to score political points.

In a lengthy article published on the Kremlin’s website on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that much of modern Ukraine had been formed out of his country’s historical territories, and at Moscow’s expense. Arguing that the two nations shared deep historical and cultural roots, he said that modern conflicts were derived from the fact that Ukraine was “the brainchild of the Soviet era” and effectively an experiment by “Bolsheviks” who drew its borders.

However, Putin said, the implications of ongoing disputes within the Eastern European nation were catastrophic. “According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the total number of victims associated with the conflict in Donbass has exceeded 13,000 people,” he said. “Among them are elderly people and children. Terrible, irreparable losses.”

“Russia did everything to stop fratricide,” he went on, arguing that Moscow sees no other way out of the bitter dispute than for Kiev to honor the Minsk Agreements that were intended to provide a roadmap to ending the conflict. However, he said, talks with Ukrainian officials have fallen flat because “they prefer to exploit the image of a ‘victim of external aggression’ and trade in Russophobia.”

Insisting that Kiev is using the conflict to its advantage in dealing with the West, Putin also claimed that “they arrange bloody provocations in the Donbass” and, “in a word, are trying to attract the attention of their external patrons and masters by any means necessary.”

“I am more and more convinced that Kiev simply does not need Donbass,” the president went on. “Why? Because, firstly, the inhabitants of these regions will never accept the rule they are trying to impose by force, blockades and threats.” In addition, he said, the Minsk protocols could be readily implemented but, in his words, “contradict the whole logic of the anti-Russia project” and would undermine “the constant cultivation of the image of an internal and external enemy.”

Fighting between Kiev’s forces and those loyal to the two breakaway self-proclaimed Donbass Republics has escalated in recent months, with a number of civilian casualties reported. A tense standoff between Ukrainian forces and Russian soldiers across the frontier sparked concerns of an all-out conflict earlier this year, until Moscow announced that its units would be redeployed and that readiness exercises had been concluded.

Last month, Putin said that he saw little point in meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, to discuss the situation in the east of Ukraine given, he alleged, that much of the country’s policies were imposed from abroad.

“Why should I meet Zelensky?” the Russian leader asked. “If he has given up his country to full external control, the key issues about life in Ukraine are resolved not in Kiev but in Washington, and, to some extent, in Berlin and Paris. What then would we talk about?”

July 13, 2021 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , , | 3 Comments

‘They Make Unsubstantiated Accusations’: Venezuela Calls UN Report Fallacious

Orinoco Tribune | July 6, 2021

In a communiqué, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela rejected the fallacious content and highlighted the biased nature of a report published about the country’s situation by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, on July 1, 2021.

This report is the result of a Resolution promoted by a small group of governments with serious domestic human rights violations, that conspired to satisfy the policy of “regime”-change promoted by the US against Venezuela.

Despite the attacks, Venezuela is distinguished by its harmonious constitutional system that guarantees and defends human rights. The state provides a protective shield for its people against the barbarous criminal blockade imposed and directed from Washington and the European Union, that constitutes a serious crime against humanity.

It is especially worrying that this report is based on information provided by individuals with unknown motivations, and has not been duly verified with the authorities of Venezuela, despite the extensive facilities that the Venezuelan Government has provided for the performance of the OHCHR functions within the country.

On this occasion, based on a handful of alleged complaints of human rights violations, unverified accusations are made against the Venezuelan institutions, further manipulating the false narrative constructed to artificially supplement the file currently before the International Criminal Court, with the political objective of destabilizing the democratic institutions of Venezuela.

In addition to this, the report omits mention of the 26 visits made to detention centers and headquarters of intelligence agencies during which the Office of the High Commissioner has been able to interview hundreds of prisoners, according to its own guidelines of operation. In the Office’s conclusions, delivered to the State, the people interviewed confirmed that their personal integrity was respected during their incarceration.

Venezuela has asked the Office of the High Commissioner to share information with the national authorities on the alleged cases referred to in the report, in order to carry out rigorous investigations and determine their veracity and, if applicable, the corresponding responsibilities, in full consistency with its policy of absolute respect for human rights. Similarly, the Office of the High Commissioner has been invited to accompany the investigation processes developed by local authorities.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in order to continue intensifying due cooperation with this office, ratifies its willingness to maintain channels of communication and dialogue with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the basis of strict adherence to the principles of objectivity, impartiality, non-politicization, respect for sovereignty, commitment to constructive dialogue, and—as required by international law—free from geopolitical agendas at the service of hegemonic powers.

July 9, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 2 Comments

Global Vaccine Passports Have Arrived Courtesy of Google, EU

Image Credits: Google
Privacy To Go | July 8, 2021

On June 30th, 2021, the Google Developers blog announced the launch of vaccine passports in Android through its Passes API.

Less than 24 hours later, the European Union, long mired in a sea of national standards for digital jab records, rolled out its EU-wide vaccine passport.

Two completely different vaccine passport schemes unveiled on the same day, encompassing the whole of the Western world? What are the odds!

Exceedingly low, of course. This level of coordination belies yet another blitz in the ongoing rollout of a global, technofeudal control grid. The EU has arguably been at the forefront of this rollout – its standardized digital jab certificate is little more than an aggregator for the draconian technology now operating at the Nation-State level.

Adoption of this unified standard is already approaching 100% of EU Member States. Doublethink rhetoric of restoring the Schengen Area’s “freedom of movement” abounds, even as additional barriers to travel are erected.

In this sense, Google and the US are playing catch-up. While de facto vaccine passports have been implemented sparingly in places like New YorkCalifornia, and Hawaii, an ever-expanding number of States have banned the notion outright.

Yet herein lies the insidiousness of the public-private partnership model: Technocrats can use governments where it suits them, corporations where it does not, and an increasingly bizarre fusion of the two where necessary. Even the propaganda rollout surrounding jab passports is bifurcated by this model, with the EU using official government bulletins while Google syndicates the news via trendy tech blogs.

And though many States in the US have passed legislation or executive action to curb the implementation of vaccine passports, Google could care less.

Google Passes: Vaccine passports for all, regulation be damned

Like the contact tracing API before it, political resistance alone is proving ineffective against the technological implements of the Great Reset. Even the staunchest State level opponents to this agenda have done nothing to halt the hyperactive Bluetooth surveillance grid running on Android and iOS devices – on the contrary, many have used taxpayer money to help finance its data harvesting operations.

Similar political action against digital vaccine passports will not halt Google’s rollout via the Passes API, either.

In fact, Google’s selection of the Passes API to implement vaccine records is telling in its own right, given the information it already stores: Boarding passes for airlines. Travel tickets. Event tickets.

While legislative action in States like Florida may allow you to attend a Miami Dolphins game with your biological privacy intact, the same may not be said for travel. The battle over Federalization of airline travel was lost on November 19th, 2001 with the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, whose influence has been expanding ever since – the latest privacy affront being the REAL ID Act, which mandates highly insecure RFID technology for interstate air travel.

Even more dangerous are biometric companies with government contracts, like CLEAR, whose terminals are already widely used at TSA PreCheck terminals and event centers.

Google Passes and other digitized jab certificates are simply a competing product. One that is already in the pocket of 85% of Americans alone, with similar adoption levels in Europe.

Products marketed for “convenience” like TSA PreCheck biometrics will, over time, become mandatory – the REAL ID Act itself is a perfect example of this Fabian creep. Passed all the way back in 2005, its full implementation has been pushed back multiple times due to individual State holdouts, most recently until 2023.

But these delays are immaterial – the framework’s existence is all that matters, as despite not being enforced, privacy-violating RFID technologies are now the norm for US driver’s licenses. Jab certificates like Google Passes will be no different. Once in place, they will be utilized – if not immediately, then in the future.

Not only can the Passes API integrate with third-party pharmaceutical companies to track jab history, it is also capable of storing results from dubious PCR tests. This level of biodigital convergence sets an unsettling precedent, as Silicon Valley’s expectation is that your medical history will now be in your pocket at all times, integrated with their servers, and subject to whatever authority may ask for it.

Passes is not an isolated product, either – it’s a development suite within the broader Google Pay SDK.

There are technical reasons why Google may have chosen to use the Pay SDK as opposed to a health-focused API like Google Fit – QR code generation, limited use passes, and encrypted keyrings are already present in the Passes API. However, despite Google Pay’s scant consumer use at present, the long-term intent is crystal clear: Access to financial services and medical records will be intertwined.

In Closing

The post-2020 era has pushed humanity to the precipice of a longstanding dream of our would-be comptrollers. Whether it is Newt Gingrich’s Age of Transitions or the late Zbignew Brzezinski’s Between Two Ages, the kind of biodigital convergence represented by digitized medical passports has been at the forefront of the Technocratic agenda for decades.

As Silicon Valley attempts to bridge the “last mile” of mandated biometric surveillance, resistance to these aims on an individual level remain multivariate – ditch your smartphone, or at least utilize a privacy-respecting alternative that is incompatible with Google or iOS services. Starve the business of travel and entertainment industries that would see us become serfs in exchange for bread and circuses.

If you’re in the EU, use paper records instead of digital equivalents, or better yet, refuse to comply at all.

Educate well-meaning policymakers to the threats represented by the pseudo-private sector and impress upon them that the dangers of State surveillance are rapidly being outpaced by Terms and Conditions mandated by smartphone companies.

Neofeudal Technocracy is desperately trying to extract humanity’s consent to these draconian efforts before the next phase of the so-called Great Reset.

Don’t let them.

July 8, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 1 Comment