December 31, 2015

Company to Offer First Medical Marijuana Certified as Kosher

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A New York company says it will soon offer the first certified kosher medical pot.

Vireo Health says its non-smokable medical cannabis products have been certified as conforming to the Jewish dietary law by the Orthodox Union. Read more.

NBC

Related,
Kosher-Certified Medical Marijuana Products Are Coming to New York - Vice

US sued over donations for illegal Israeli settlements

Lawsuit targets US Treasury Department for allowing billions in tax-exempt donations to support Israel's landgrabs.

A lawsuit has been filed in a US court seeking to stop non-profit groups from sending billions of dollars worth of tax-exempt donations to support illegal Israeli settlements and the Israeli army. Read more.

Al Jazeera

December 29, 2015

Putin extends economic sanctions against Turkey

Sanctions include limits on operations of several organizations under the jurisdiction of Turkey in Russia 

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed an order to extend Russian economic sanctions against Turkey, a statement from the Kremlin said. Read more.

AA

Related,
Turkey's president warns Russia not to 'play with fire' (video) - Al Jazeera
Russian sanctions hurting Ankara and Moscow, Turkey says - Hürriyet

Russians pay the price of new anti-Turkish measures - Al Jazeera
Turkey’s banking watchdog vows to help Turkish companies with ties to Russia - Hürriyet

Russians: Jet dispute an issue between gov’ts, not people - Today's Zaman

Turkey, Serbia ties vital for peace: PM Davutoglu - AA
Turkey Tries to Drag Russia, NATO Into Military Conflict – Serbian Leader - Sputnik

Clashes continue in southeast amid debate on ‘autonomy’

Clashes between Turkish security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have continued to claim more lives in southeastern Turkey, while the “autonomy” remarks by Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş have fueled debate and been met with a strong reaction from the government.

One soldier was killed during clashes with the PKK militants in Silopi district of Şırnak late Dec. 28. Read more.

Hürriyet

Related,
5 year-old boy killed in clashes in Turkey’s southeast - Hürriyet
Child, man killed, 9 security force members injured in Southeast - Today's Zaman

Turkish PM vows to continue military presence in Iraq until Mosul’s liberation

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has reiterated his government’s resolve to maintain a military presence in northern Iraq until Mosul is “liberated.”

The Iraqi central government and their armed forces have failed to take effective measures in the face of attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), .. Read more.

Hürriyet

Related,
Turkish soldiers injured in second attack at Bashiqa camp in Iraq - Hürriyet

Turkey says no normalization with Israel without end to Gaza blockade

Turkey sees no normalization regarding ties with Israel unless its conditions for ending the Gaza blockade and compensation for the deaths of 10 Turkish activists are met, a presidential spokesman said on Monday.

The comments dampen hopes of a long-awaited rapprochement. Read more.

Today's Zaman

Related,
Progress with Israel in talks for compensation - Hürriyet
- Turkey to normalize ties only if Israel meets conditions - AA

Palestinians fear Turkey will drop condition that Israel lift Gaza siege - Al Monitor

Saudi Arabia reports record high $98bn budget deficit on low crude prices

Saudia Arabia’s budget deficit swelled considerably in 2015, as plummeting oil prices have taken their toll on the kingdom’s revenues. Riyadh estimated the next year’s deficit at $87 billion, which will make the third consecutive budget shortage.

The deficit is "considered an acceptable figure" under the circumstances, with oil standing at multi-year lows,.. Read more.

RT

Related,
Saudi Arabia hikes petrol prices by 40% at the pump - Al Jazeera

Saudi Arabia unveils 2016 budget - Al Arabiya
King: Saudi economy strong enough to meet challenges - Saudi Gazette

Saudi Arabia's mounting security challenges - Al Monitor

Saudi Arabia's mounting security challenges

Saudi Arabia faces an increasingly complex web of security challenges at a time when its economy is depressed. With oil prices unlikely to rise in the next couple of years, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud will have to balance carefully his foreign policy priorities.

The kingdom announced its new budget Dec. 28 with a record $87 billion deficit. Revenues are projected at $137 billion and spending at $224 billion. Read more.

Al Monitor

Related,
Kuwait to send ground troops to protect Saudi Arabia from Houthi incursions – report - RT

How Big Oil Conquered the World



From farm to pharmaceutical, diesel truck to dinner plate, pipeline to plastic product, it is impossible to think of an area of our modern-day lives that is not effected by the oil industry. 


The story of oil is the story of the modern world. And this is the story of those who helped shape that world, and how the oil-igarchy they created is on the verge of monopolizing life itself. Read more.

Corbett Report

Proefproces wegens ‘dwangarbeid’

Vakbond FNV sleept twee gemeenten voor de rechter die uitkeringsgerechtigden jarenlang lieten werken zonder ze te betalen. De bond vindt dat ze recht hebben op een minimumloon.

Circa 240 mensen in de bijstand afkomstig uit Aalten en Oude IJsselstreek vouwden sinds 2012 in fabriekshallen in Dinxperlo kunstbloemen die vervolgens goedkoop bij tuincentra werden aangeboden. Lees meer.

Ravage

Gerelateerd,
FNV boos over werk zonder loon in bijstand - NU

December 27, 2015

Iraqi forces take control over last ISIS stronghold in Ramadi - military spokesman

Iraqi government forces have seized the government complex in the center of Ramadi – the last Islamic State stronghold in the western city, a military spokesman told Reuters.

"By controlling the complex this means that they [Islamic State, IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] have been defeated in Ramadi,"... Read more + video.

RT

Related,
Iraqi army declares first major victory over Islamic State in Ramadi - Reuters
ISIL suffers setbacks on two fronts in Iraq - Al Jazeera

Russia envoy on Syria secretly visits Israel

Officials told Alexander Lavrentiev in no uncertain terms any int'l deal on Syria would need to spell end to attacks from there on Israel. 

Russia's special envoy on Syria secretly visited Israel last week, Haaretz reports Sunday,.. Read more.

Arutz Sheva

Related,
- Russian Envoy Secretly Visits Israel for Talks on Syria (paywall) - Haaretz 

ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Warns Israel: We're Getting Closer Every Day

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi releases new voice recording, including threats to attack Israel. 

ISIS commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi published a voice recording Saturday in which he threatened that Islamic State militants would attack Israel. Read more.

Haaretz

Related,
ISIS leader Baghdadi to Jews: Palestine will be your graveyard - JPost
ISIS leader threatens Israel, calls for revolt in Saudi Arabia - RT

Report: Israel treating al-Qaida fighters wounded in Syria civil war - JPost
- Israel Halts Medical Treatment for Members of Syria's Nusra Front - Haaretz

UN details Israel helping Syrian rebels at Golan Height - RT
- Reports by UN observers in the Golan submitted to 15 members of Security Council detail regular contact between IDF officers and armed Syrian opposition figures at the border (paywall) - Haaretz

Waking Life

Waking Life - Despertando a la vida from semillakosmica on Vimeo.



A man shuffles through a dream meeting various people and discussing the meanings and purposes of the universe. Read more.

December 25, 2015

Bram Vermeulen - Polonaise

“Bezetting Palestina is big business voor Israël”

Israëlische Jood Jeff Halper zet zich in voor de rechten van de Palestijnen in Israël en de bezette gebieden. Hij schreef het boek 'War Against The People - Israel, The Palestinians and Global Pacification' over de manier waarop Israël zijn 'ervaring' met de bezetting van Palestina wereldwijd weet te commercialiseren. DeWereldMorgen.be sprak met hem.

Jeff Halper, van oorsprong VS-staatsburger, woont sinds 1973 in Israël. Hij is oprichter van het Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), dat de systematische vernietiging van Palestijnse huizen op de voet volgt. Lees meer.

De Wereld Morgen

Gaza's Christians: 'Israel can't beat us down'

For the religious minority, celebrating Christmas is an act of defiance in the face of the ongoing Israeli blockade. 

Gaza City - Devout worshippers in the packed pews rise in unison as the Archbishop turns to face the congregation at Gaza City's ancient 1600-year-old Saint Porphyries Church. Read more.

Al Jazeera

Related,
IDF to ease travel restrictions for Palestinian Christians during Christmas - JPost
Netanyahu sends a 'very merry Christmas' greeting to Israel's Christians - JPost

The Christians of the Middle East - Al Jazeera

Jewish extremism: Stabbing killed Arab baby photo at wedding causes public outcry



Israeli police are investigating a wedding video in which ultra-Orthodox Jews can be seen brandishing weapons and stabbing a portrait of an 18-month-old baby who was brutally burnt to death in the summer.

The footage, which was taken at an Orthodox wedding at the start of December, was also condemned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said he was disgusted by the “shocking images.”

RT

Gerelateerd,
Scherpe kritiek in Israël om juichen over dood Palestijnse peuter - DM

Russia Reveals Oil Smuggling Route: Turkey Gets Daesh Oil From Iraq Through Zakho Checkpoint

Russian aviation has completed over 5,200 sorties in Syria since the operation began on September 30, the chief of the Russian Armed Forces said Friday.

"Since September 30 Russian aviation has conducted 5,240 sorties in Syria, including 145 sorties by long-range aviation,"... Read more + video.

Sputnik

Related,
Russian intel spots 12,000 oil tankers & trucks on Turkey-Iraq border - General Staff (video) - RT

Evidence reveals Turkish regime affair with ISIS as global threat – Iraqi militia to RT



Terrorists are freely crossing the Turkish border back and forth with Ankara providing militants with logistical support, military spokesman for the Iraqi militia told RT, citing “crystal clear” evidence gathered from prisoners and on the battlefield.

According to Karim al-Nouri, spokesman for the Popular Front’s Badr Organization,.. Read more.

RT

December 24, 2015

Americans Held Hostage in Iran Win Compensation 36 Years Later

WASHINGTON — After spending 444 days in captivity, and more than 30 years seeking restitution, the Americans taken hostage at the United States Embassy in Tehran in 1979 have finally won compensation.

Buried in the huge spending bill signed into law last Friday are provisions that would give each of the 53 hostages or their estates up to $4.4 million. Read more.

NY Times

Related,
Americans held in Iran during 444-day hostage crisis finally get compensation - Washington Post

Operation Ajax: Iran and the CIA Coup in 1953 Pt. 1/2 (video)
Operation Ajax: Iran and the CIA Coup in 1953 Pt. 2/2 (video)

History of Iran, Operation Ajax

Iraqi forces pushing ahead with Ramadi operation



Iraqi government forces are pushing ahead with their operation to liberate the city of Ramadi from Daesh terrorists.

Heavy fighting is underway around the city’s former government headquarters. Army officials say they are advancing in the southern neighborhood of Hoz. However, the military says their advance is slowed due to large number of explosives planted by ISIL and the possible presence of trapped civilians being used as human shields.

Iraqi officials say the number of terrorists left in Anbar’s provincial capital is estimated to be smaller than 400. The operation to retake Anbar started months ago with Iraqi forces cutting ISIL supply lines to parts of the province before gradually closing in on Ramadi. The city was captured by the terrorists in May.

PressTV

Related,
Two Steps to Victory: ISIL Ringleaders Fleeing Ramadi - Fars
8 ISIL commanders killed in Iraqi airstrikes (video) - PressTV

Roadside bombs slow Iraqi forces' advance on Ramadi (video) - Al Jazeera
The fight for Ramadi: A turning point against ISIL? (video) - Al Jazeera

'Israeli planes spray crop-killing chemicals on Gaza farms'



Israeli planes have reportedly sprayed chemical substances on farmlands across the besieged Gaza Strip, killing off the crops in the already impoverished Palestinian territory.

“Several farmers informed us that Israeli planes had sprayed their lands with pesticides," Wael Thabet, head of the plant protection department at Gaza Agriculture Ministry, said on Wednesday. Read more.

PressTV

US generals supplied Syria with intel over ISIS to avoid toppling Assad – Seymour Hersh



The Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff has been indirectly providing Syrian military with intelligence on Islamic extremists fearing the Obama administration’s agenda to oust Bashar Assad will engender total chaos in Syria. 

A new investigation in the London Review of Books by renowned American journalist Seymour M. Hersh exposes the divide between the US top brass and the politicians in the White House when it comes to dealing with Islamic extremists in Syria and Iraq.

RT

Related,
Military to Military - LRB
Seymour Hersh's Latest Bombshell: U.S. Military Undermined Obama on Syria with Tacit Help to Assad (video) - Democracy Now

December 23, 2015

$100 Billion in Tax Revenue Lost Every Year Due to Loopholes for Multinationals



On 60 minutes, Apple CEO Tim Cook says accusations of tax avoidance schemes are ‘total political crap’, but economist James Henry says it’s unfair for corporations to simply wash their hands of having to share the costs of government.

TRNN

Related,
Obama Seeks $100 Billion in New Taxes on Multinationals - Bloomberg
Report: Offshore tax havens cost U.S. $100B - CBS

Tax dodging by big firms ‘robs poor countries of billions of dollars a year’ - Guardian
Multinational companies cheat Africa out of billions of dollars - OXFAM

5 Ways to Make the Taxation of Multinationals Fairer - UN
- UNCTAD: multinational tax avoidance costs developing countries $100 billion+ - UNCTAD

Amnesty’s report on Russian ops in Syria groundless, written ‘remotely’ - MoD



Russia's Defence Ministry has slammed a damning Amnesty International report, calling it "groundless". 

The human rights group claims Russia's bombing campaign in Syria has killed 200 civilians in at least 25 attacks. Read more.

RT

Related,
Syria: Russia’s shameful failure to acknowledge civilian killings - AI
Hundreds of civilians killed in Russian airstrikes in Syria -- Amnesty (video) - CNN

Russia rejects accusations of killing Syrian civilians - Al Jazeera
Russian defense ministry: Amnesty International’s report on Syria full of ‘stock phrases’ - TASS

Mogelijk compensatie voor slachtoffers griepvaccin

Kinderen die ziek zijn geworden van de inenting tegen de Mexicaanse griep krijgen mogelijk compensatie van de Nederlandse staat. Op dit moment voert het ministerie van Volksgezondheid al gesprekken met ouders van wie het kind een ernstige slaapziekte ontwikkelde na een inenting in 2009.

In Nederland zijn meer dan een half miljoen kinderen met het middel Pandemrix van fabrikant Glaxo Smith Kline gevaccineerd. Lees meer + video/audio.

Eenvandaag

Ex-president Burkina Faso gezocht voor moord op Thomas Sankara

De regering van het West-Afrikaanse land Burkina Faso heeft een internationaal aanhoudingsbevel uitgevaardigd tegen ex-president Blaise Compaoré, op verdenking van moord op president Thomas Sankara in 1987. Compaoré was na die staatsgreep onafgebroken aan de macht tot oktober 2014, toen hij werd afgezet door een volksopstand.

Thomas Sankara heeft 27 jaar na zijn dood nog steeds een heldenstatus in Afrika voor wat hij in de amper vier jaar dat hij president was voor zijn bevolking gedaan heeft. Lees meer.

De Wereld Morgen

December 22, 2015

Arab-Jewish Hadash party condemns killing of terrorist Kuntar as Israeli ‘thuggery’

The party accuses Israel of supporting ‘the forces of terrorism in Syria’

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog strongly condemned on Tuesday the Arab-Jewish Hadash party’s Arabic Facebook post depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an Islamic State fighter. Read more.

JPost

Related,
- Is Russia’s Hidden Hand Somewhere in the Samir Kuntar Assassination? (paywall) - Haaretz

Solidarity! Jeremy Corbyn heads to Portugal, heralds anti-austerity victory

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn will hammer home the victory of Portugal’s new leftist government and promote its fight against austerity by embarking on a solidarity tour of the country.

The veteran socialist had struck up a friendship with Portugal’s new Prime Minster... Read more + video.

RT

Related,
Corbyn Will Tour Portugal To Support Anti-Austerity Drive - Morning Star

Hunger, homelessness on the rise in major US cities, study finds

Officials in surveyed cities attribute rising number living on street to low wages and lack of affordable housing

Many of America’s largest cities continue to grapple with rising food insecurity and homelessness, according to a report released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Tuesday. Read more.

Al Jazeera

Related,
The Shocking, Unacceptable Levels of Hunger and Homelessness in American Cities - Alternet

Iraq says army storming centre of ISIL-held Ramadi

Iraqi forces launch offensive to dislodge ISIL from centre of the capital of Anbar province, army spokesman says.

Iraq's armed forces have started an attack to dislodge the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group from the centre of the key city of Ramadi, the Iraqi army said. Read more

Al Jazeera

Related,
- Iraq forces liberate more districts in Ramadi - PressTV

Report: 'Islamic State' loses 14 percent of territory

The "Islamic State" (IS) has lost 14 percent of the territory it held at the start of the year, suggesting the group may have overstretched. 

The Syrian Kurds have increased territory under their control by 186 percent. Read more.

DW

Related,
Daesh Controls About 70% of Syria - Russian Defense Ministry - Sputnik

Ankara must come clean & address mounting evidence of links with ISIS – Iraqi MP to RT



Turkey needs to be much more proactive in countering terrorism in Syria and Iraq, stop turning a blind eye and aiding the Islamic State terrorists through illegal oil trade, Iraqi MP and a former national security adviser, Mowaffak al Rubaie told RT.

Ankara is “smuggling Iraqi oil and Syrian oil through the borders and selling it on the black market in Turkey,” Rubaie told RT. Read more.

RT

Turkish labs turn Afghan opium into heroin for shipping to Europe - Russian anti-drug agency

Afghan opium is being processed into high-grade heroin in clandestine Turkish drug labs for distribution in Europe and Russia, Russia’s anti-drug chief has revealed. 

The trafficking route was exposed after a joint Russian-Afghan anti-drug operation. Read more.

RT

Related,
The “Hidden” geopolitics: The case of the Afghan heroin production and the aftermath of NATO exit - Serbianna
Turkey at the drugs crossroads - BBC

Assassination of Dilek Doğan by the Turkish state



This leaked Footage show the killing of Dilek Doğan, 24 year old Kurdish-Alevi activist who was shot at her home in Istanbul in front of her family during Turkish Police raid. 

Following the shooting, Turkish media alleged that she has been killed in armed clashes with the police and called her "Terrorist". This footage from the police camera record the moment Dilek was killed and the panic of the family. The family staged a press conference to show the film to the press.

While policemen were searching the house, a special operations police shot 24-year-old Dilek Doğan with his rifle at the entrance of her home, after she had insisted that officers put on galoshes to avoid dirtying the floor. The police officer claimed in his testimony that she had resisted them and provoked them. “The police jumped into our home and shot my daughter. I know the police officer’s face. They should bring my daughter’s murderer here. They’re cowards, these people. I will not be cowed, I will find the killer,” said her mother, Aysel Doğan, during her funeral ceremony.

Related,
Footage of Dilek Doğan’s shooting released, added to case file (video) - Hürriyet
Scores of Kurdish civilians among hundreds killed in Turkey's southeast – HRW - RT

Imperialism and Capitalism: Rethinking an Intimate Relationship

Prof. James Petras & Prof. Henry Veltmeyer - The literature on imperialism suffers from a fundamental confusion about the relationship between capitalism and imperialism. The aim of this paper is to remove this confusion. The paper is organised in three parts.

In Part I we state our own position of the capitalism-imperialism relation. In part II we discuss some major points at issue in the Marxist debate on imperialism. And in Part III we review the changing forms that imperialism has taken in Latin America in the course of the capitalist development process. Read more.

Global Research

December 21, 2015

The Empire Files: Ralph Nader & Abby Martin on the Corporate Elections



On this week’s episode of The Empire Files, Abby Martin interviews American political figure Ralph Nader about the 2016 presidential race—from the “Brown Shirt” Trump movement to “corporate criminal” Hillary Clinton—and the reality of who has power in America.

Known for his widely-popular presidential run in 2000, he also ran presidential campaigns against corporate power in 1996, 2004 and 2008.

A consumer advocate since the 1950’s, his work against auto industry giants forced the creation of mandated safety measures that saved millions of lives from for-profit auto production. His contributions span disability rights to exposing corporate pollution.

teleSUR

Marcel Cartier & Agent Of Change - War Criminals

West can’t impose values on rest of the world: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized some Western powers for trying to impose their values and version of “democracy” on the rest of the world.

Putin said in a documentary aired on Russian state television on Sunday that the leaders of certain Western countries had no right to force their ways on African and Middle Eastern nations. Read more.

PressTV

Spain Election: Anti-austerity party makes gains, ruling party loses majority



Spain’s ruling People’s Party won 123 seats in the national parliament, but lost an absolute majority to an expected left-wing block including the Socialist Party (90 seats) and anti-austerity Podemos (42/69 seats). 

PP said it will try to form a government. Read more.

RT

Related,
- Popular Party wins Spanish election but will find it difficult to govern - El País
Podemos Breaks Two-Party System in Spain (video) - TRNN

'Breaking the Silence': IDF whistleblowers expose reality of occupation to Israelis



An Israeli politician has proposed new legislation against an organization of Israeli veterans called 'Breaking the Silence'. It's mission is to expose the reality of everyday life in occupied territories to the Israeli public.

Among the revelations are claims that Israeli soldiers deliberately targeted Palestinian civilians and demolished homes during the Gaza war in 2014.

RT

Greek parl. to recognize state of Palestine



Greek lawmakers are set to vote on recognition of Palestine as a state on Monday

Government sources say Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will attend the parliamentary session. The vote will serve as a symbolic move that will not be binding for the country’s government.

Last week, the Greek parliament's foreign affairs committee unanimously approved a motion to recognized Palestine, calling on the country’s government to do the same. The parliaments of other countries such as the UK, France, Spain, Ireland Belgium and Portugal have already recognized Palestine symbolically. Sweden, however, officially recognized Palestine last year.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade the status of the Palestinians to that of a non-member observer state.

PressTV

Related,
Abbas in Athens for talks with Tsipras, Pavlopoulos - eKathimerini

December 20, 2015

Turkey: 110 PKK terrorists killed in southeast

Clashes in anti-PKK operations in Diyarbakir and Sirnak provinces also leave two soldiers martyred

A total of 110 PKK terrorists have been killed in ongoing anti-terror operations in Turkey’s southeastern provinces over the last four days, local security sources said Saturday. Read more

AA

Related,
68 PKK militants killed in operations in Şırnak: Official - Hürriyet
Toll 'Tops 100' as Turkey Presses Major Offensive against PKK - Naharnet

Hezbollah: Samir Kuntar Killed in Israeli Airstrike on Damascus

Strike reportedly killed several people, among them Hezbollah field commanders; Kuntar was imprisoned in Israel for murder of Nahariya family, but was freed in prisoner swap.

Hezbollah announced on Sunday morning that one of its top officials, Samir Kuntar, was killed in an Israeli airstrike on a Damascus suburb. Read more.

JPost

Related,
Israel said to be behind Damascus strike that killed Lebanese terrorist Kuntar (video) - JPost

Lebanese fighter Samir Quntar assassinated in Israeli strike (video) - PressTV
Lebanese militant leader killed in Syria, Israeli airstrike and terror attack suspected - RT

Jumblat, Hamadeh Denounce Quntar's Assassination - Naharnet
- Zionist Entity Wary after Jaramana Strike, Waiting for Sayyed Nasrallah Response - Al Manar

Art Corrected: Iconic Dutch museum renames 'racially charged' paintings



Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum has been exposed to widespread criticism after taking the decision to change offensive terms used in the titles and descriptions of works of art to more neutral ones. Read  more.

RT

December 19, 2015

US lifts 40-y.o. ban on crude export amid plummeting oil price



USA has lifted a 40-year-old ban on exports of crude oil - despite historically low prices and a saturated global market.

The measure is part of a budget plan for 2016. It's seen as a victory for the Republicans and oil companies, which claim it would boost the American economy and job market. Some Democrats are strongly against the lift.

RT

Related,
Congress kills U.S. oil export ban, boosts solar, wind power - Reuters

The Irony of Ending the U.S. Oil Export Ban Is Imports May Rise (video) - Bloomberg
U.S. Oil Exports Boost Prospects for Small Foreign Trading Houses - WSJ

Ministerie Buitenlandse Zaken ondersteunt met miljoenen terrorisme in Syrië

Het buitenlands beleid van de Nederlandse regering is altijd al vooral niet in het belang van de eigen bevolking, maar heeft daarbij ook nog vaak sinistere kanten. 

Minister Koenders van Buitenlandse Zaken heeft begin december besloten om 4 miljoen euro te schenken aan de organisatie White Helmets, wat volgens de eigen berichten reddingswerkers in Syrië zijn. Maar wat blijkt nu; ze zijn gelieerd aan de terroristische organisatie Jabat al Nusra. Lees meer.

Vrije Tribune

Gerelateerd,
Vier miljoen euro voor helden met de witte helm in Syrië - AD
‘Nederlandse staat financiert terrorisme’ - De Stille Waarheid

Soros-Backed NGO Fakes Photos To Blame Russia For Dead Civilians - Activist Post
US Propaganda War In Syria: Report Ties White Helmets To Foreign Intervention - MintPress

Soros Plays Both Ends in Syria Refugee Chaos

F. William Engdahl - Since John D. Rockefeller was advised to protect his wealth from government taxation by creating a tax-exempt philanthropic foundation in 1913, foundations have been used by American oligarchs to disguise a world of dirty deeds under the cover “doing good for mankind,” known by the moniker “philanthropy” for mankind-loving. 

No less the case is that of George Soros who likely has more tax-exempt foundations under his belt than anyone around. His Open Society foundations are in every country where Washington wants to put ‘their man’ in, or at least get someone out who doesn’t know how to read their music. Read more.

NEO

Friday missile attack kills 90 Saudi hirelings in Mareb

MAREB, Dec. 19 (Saba) - Around 90 mercenaries were killed by a Tochka missile attack conducted on Friday by the army and popular committees on Tadawil camp in Mareb province.

Dozens of the mercenaries were wounded in the attack,.. Read more.

Saba

Related,
Missile attack kills at least 180 Saudi-led troops - PressTV
'Minstens 75 doden bij vechtpartijen Jemen'  - NU

'Tis The Season For Vaccine Suspensions



Well, 'tis the season, again. And no, I don't mean Christmas and the holidays. 'Tis the season for vaccinations and vaccine propaganda.

The Ottawa Public Health authority has been demanding proof from parents that their children have been vaccinated. Read more.

Press For Truth

The Last GOP Debate of 2015 *Condensed & Edited for Accuracy



The sad part about this video is it's not really edited that much... more just cut into a lot of little chunks so two hours can fit into 4 ½ mins.

Watching Sheldon Adelson's dream team up there clamor over themselves for war, blood, and death and like little puppets on strings (with, perhaps, the exception of Rand on this particular evening) might make you throw up in your mouth a little. Sorry.

Truthstream Media

"Secret" Norwegian Report Details ISIS-Turkey Oil Trade As UN Vows To "Cut Off" Terrorist "Funding Sources"

“The resolution gives us more flexibility to go after those who are helping Isil [Isis], whether to move funds, to store funds or to earn funds”.

That’s from Adam Szubin, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the US Treasury. Szubin is referencing a Security Council resolution proposed by Washington and Moscow that calls for a crackdown on Islamic State’s access to the international financial system. Read more.

Zero Hedge

Related,
Norway knew ISIS oil ends up in Turkey back in July - newly leaked report (video) - RT

Syria demands decisive action to stop Turkey’s violations - SANA
Assad: With terrorist support cut, Syrian war would be over in year - RT

'ISIS stole sarin gas from Libya stores & already used it' - Gaddafi’s cousin



Islamic State in Libya has apparently obtained the nerve agent, sarin - which is a weapon of mass destruction.

Akhmed Gaddafi al-Dam, the cousin of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, said it in the interview to RT.

RT

Violent clashes in Ajdabiya: council member among dead

Continuing heavy clashes in Ajdabyia which broke out on Wednesday between the pro-Islamist Adjabiya Revolutionaries’ Shoura Council (ARSC) and Salafist fighters supporting the Libyan National Army (LNA) have left some 17 people dead, according to the local reports.

A further 27 have been wounded; they include non-comnbatants..  Read more.

Libya Herald

Related,
Two days of clashes kill 14 in eastern Libya - PressTV

US deliberately hindering Iraqi advances: Lawmaker

A senior Iraqi officer says the US is deliberately hindering his country's military advances after an American airstrike kills at least 20 soldiers in the Anbar province.

Hakim al-Zamili, the head of Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee, blamed the US for the inability of Iraqi troops to enter Ramadi and Fallujah in the western province. Read more.

PressTV

Related,
Carter: U.S. strike ‘appears’ to have killed Iraqi soldiers - Al Arabiya
Pentagon: US strike that killed Iraqi soldiers could be 'mistake' by both sides - RT

UN Security Council agrees on Syria peace plan

Draft resolution calling for peace conference in January and ceasefire adopted unanimously by council's 15 members.

 The UN Security Council has unanimously agreed on the text of a draft resolution for peace talks in January and a ceasefire aimed at ending the war in Syria. Read more.

Al Jazeera

Related,
UN Security Council unanimously adopts Syrian roadmap resolution - RT
U.N. Security Council unanimously approves resolution for Syrian peace process (video) - Washington Post

Syria unity government ‘possible’ within 6 months, political transition within 1.5yrs – Lavrov (video) - RT

No agreement on main issues in Syria talks: Zarif - PressTV
'After Syria peace deal US will overthrow Assad by different means' - political analyst (video) - RT

Syria demands decisive action to stop Turkey’s violations - SANA
Assad: With terrorist support cut, Syrian war would be over in year - RT

Wederom zet Poetin het westen in hun hemd

Wanneer er weer eens een eclatante overwinning wordt geboekt door Rusland dan zie je daar zo goed als niets van terug in de Westerse media.

Terwijl er afgelopen week een aantal zaken fundamenteel is veranderd na het bezoek van de Skull and Bones man John Kerry aan Moskou. Lees meer + video.

Niburu.co

President al-Assad to DUTCH NPO2 TV: The western policy towards counter-terrorism file is not objective

Damascus, SANA-President Bashar al-Assad affirmed that the majority of international reports about Syria are politicized, incredible and financed by the Qataris and Saudis.

President al-Assad added in an interview given to DUTCH NPO2 TV that the western policy towards counter-terrorism file is not objective and not stable. Read more.

SANA
Related,
Netherlands hits back at "completly absurd" Assad assertions - NL Times
Assad: With terrorist support cut, Syrian war would be over in year - RT

Koenders: uitspraken president Assad absurd (video) - NOS
Assad in interview met Nieuwsuur: IS-bombardementen illegaal (video) - Nieuwsuur

Assad tegen Nieuwsuur: 'Waarom neemt Nederland geen contact met ons op?' - Volkskrant

December 18, 2015

The Elephant in the Room at the Last GOP Debate



Are the debates for the 2016 GOP primaries really about the candidates, their positions, the polls and the memorable statements that voters will connect with – or is it just about the one man they can't ignore?

The 5th GOP debate was hosted by Sheldon Adelson at his Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas – and as every gambler knows, the House always wins. Adelson has bankrolled many of the candidates, and nearly all of them have met with the multi-billionaire to seek his favor and funds.

But that relationship comes with a price – whose interests will the Republican party serve? It will have little to nothing to do with the American people, despite the rhetoric, and much to do with Adelson's priorities – which are pledged to Israel first. Adelson, who just purchased the Las Vegas Review Journal in secret and who owns the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom – has a great deal of influence over U.S. foreign policy through its puppet candidates, and it will have great consequences for negotiations and developments regarding Syria, ISIS, Iran, Russia and the entire Middle East region.

As a result, every candidate on stage – with the exception of Rand Paul – demonstrated how high they could jump in heightening fears over ISIS and calling for war and bellicose strategies in the Middle East that guarantee the situation will only become further inflamed.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is also heavily backed by another Israel-centric billionaire, Haim Saban, and is AT LEAST as much a war-monger as those in the GOP...

Who will serve America first? And why should the United States cater to the interests of any other nation but its own?

Perhaps one can give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt, but he too has met with Adelson, considers him to be a friend, and may prove to be no more trustworthy than the rest of the lot. Only time will tell on that account.

Truhstream Media

Over 30 Iraqi Soldiers Killed in US Air Force Strike, 20 Others Injured

At least 30 Iraqi soldiers were killed and 20 others injured in US air strike, Hakim al-Zamili, the head of Iraqi parliament's Security and Defense Committee said.

"Thirty soldiers from the Iraqi Army's 55 brigade were killed and 20 were injured in a US airstrike on the town of al-Naimiya in the al-Fallujah province," al-Zamili's statement obtained by Sputnik reads. Read more.

Sputnik

Related,
Iraqi army gains more ground against Daesh (video) - PressTV
VIDEO emerges purporting to show deadly US airstrike against Iraqi forces (video) - RT

Western Media Finally Admits: Fierce Russian Air Bombardment Cuts Daesh Oil Revenues in Half

Russian airstrikes have halved Daesh's (also known as ISIL/ISIS) proceeds from its illegal oil trade, according to America's Fox News channel quoting unnamed sources from the ground.

Retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney suggested that the jihadist group might be tempted to take more fields,.. Read more.

Sputnik

Experts criticize US, Saudi role for rise of ISIL



The US and Saudi Arabia have been claiming to be battling against terrorist groups, including ISIL

Experts, however, deem the US and Saudi role in the Middle East as the main reason behind the rise of such terror groups in the region.

PressTV

Related,
US seeking to undercut Putin’s campaign in Syria: Analyst (video) - PressTV
Riyadh suffers setback as confusion clouds "anti-terror coalition" (video) - PressTV

15 civilians killed in Saudi strikes against Yemen

More than a dozen civilians have lost their lives in a string of new Saudi airstrikes against various areas across Yemen.

Saudi warplanes on Friday struck a residential neighborhood in the al-Kitaf district of Sa’ada some 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of Sana’a,.. Read more.

PressTV

Related,
Saudi Arabia invasion in Yemen escalates during the UN ceasefire (video) - PressTV

Yemen's Peace Talks Amid New Saudi-Led Coalition to Fight IS (video) - TRNN
Yemen Peace Talks Turn into Crisis Management (video) - TRNN

Dutch court: Shell can be liable for Nigeria spills

Activists say the ruling sets landmark precedent for legal action against Dutch-based companies across the world. 

Four Nigerian farmers will have the chance to sue Shell, the multinational oil and gas company,.. Read more.

Al Jazeera

Gerelateerd,
Shell mag in Nederland worden berecht voor vervuiling Nigeria - NU
Shell kan in Nederland worden vervolgd voor schade Nigeria - NRC

Wat Schippers verzwijgt: Nederlands zorgstelsel geen groot succes

Er wordt geregeld verkondigd door bepaalde politici en zorgbobo’s dat het Nederlandse zorgstelsel het beste van Europa is. Zonder aarzelen nemen veel media deze uitspraak over. Maar klopt het wel? FTM raadpleegde de lijstjes die mevrouw Schippers niet met u deelt.

Met een minzame glimlach staat premier Rutte begin dit jaar de verslaggever van Nieuwsuur te woord. Lees meer.

FTM

Gerelateerd,
De zorg kost ons echt steeds meer - RTL
Nederlander jaarlijks 5.300 euro kwijt aan zorg - NU

Zorgpremie in 2016 lager dan paar jaar geleden - Rijksoverheid

Koenders niet eens met Assad over legaliteit bombarderen in Syrië

Minister Bert Koenders (Buitenlandse Zaken) vindt het absurd dat de Syrische president Bashar al-Assad heeft gezegd dat bombardementen op IS-doelen in Syrië in strijd zijn met het internationaal recht.

Assad deed zijn uitspraak donderdagavond in een interview met Nieuwsuur. Lees meer.

NU

Gerelateerd,
Koenders: uitspraken president Assad absurd (video) - NOS
Assad in interview met Nieuwsuur: IS-bombardementen illegaal (video) - NOS

President al-Assad to DUTCH NPO2 TV: The western policy towards counter-terrorism file is not objective - SANA

Libya: “US special forces team” told to go away

There was bemusement tonight following reports that a US special forces team had landed unexpectedly at the Al-Wattiyah Airbase, controlled by forces loyal to the Thinni government and were told by local forces to go away.

The Libyan Air Force has claimed that 20 well-equipped Americans arrived at the airbase to the south-west of Tripoli with what appeared to be a dune buggy. Read more.

 Libya Herald

December 17, 2015

Aussie Police, Dutch Prosecutors Break with Dutch Gov't Over MH17 Crash

The Australian Federal Police and Dutch police and prosecutors investigating the cause of the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH17 believe the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) has failed to provide “conclusive evidence” of what type of munition destroyed the aircraft, causing the deaths of 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.

Testifying for the first time in an international court, Detective Superintendent Andrew Donoghoe, the senior Australian policeman in the international MH17 investigation,.. Read more.

John Helmer

Related,
MH17: Australia Say Russia Not To Blame, Evidence Tampered With - YourNewsWire
MH17: Victorian coroner accepts Dutch findings into downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight - ABC

Problemen met bewijzen MH17 - Telegraaf

Turkey sends tanks & troops, ‘raiding civilian houses’ in Kurdish areas



The Turkish Army has reportedly sent military vehicles, including tanks, into civilian areas in its predominantly-Kurdish southeast.

Local activists have posted frightening photos on social media. Read more.

RT

Related,
- ‘Struggle’ in Turkey’s southeast to go on, vows Erdoğan - Hürriyet
Soldiers use heavy weaponry in Southeast ops, 25 PKK terrorists killed - Today's Zaman

Crackdown on Kurds: Turkish PM promises more ops, locals fear massacre (video) - RT

Earthquake State



Fault Lines travels to Oklahoma to find out what, or who, is to blame for the state's daily earthquakes.

Earthquakes have become a daily occurrence in Oklahoma, which has replaced California as the most seismically active part of the United States. Read more.

Mensen komen moeilijker uit de armoede

Huishoudens die onder de armoedegrens leven, lijken daar steeds moeilijker weer uit te komen. Het aantal huishoudens dat langdurig in armoede leeft, steeg in 2014 met 24.000 tot 217.000.

Niet-westerse huishoudens zijn oververtegenwoordigd in deze groep. Lees meer.

NOS

IMF Board Recognizes Status of Ukraine’s $3Bln Debt to Russia as Sovereign

IMF board has recognized Kiev’s outstanding $3 billion debt to Moscow as official.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) board has recognized Kiev’s outstanding $3 billion debt to Moscow as official, an IMF official told RIA Novosti. Read more.

Sputnik

Related
IMF recognizes Ukraine’s contested $3bn debt to Russia as sovereign - RT
Ukraine's talks with Russia on debt restructuring mediated by Germany - Ukrainian finance minister - Interfax

Russia reiterates Ukraine must pay off debt or face court - UT
Russia’s Finance Minister: Out-of-court settlement of Ukraine’s debt hardly possible - TASS

The IMF, Ukraine’s debt to Russia, and the international order - Kyiv Post

Putin orders end of free trade zone with Ukraine (video) - UT
Russia suspends FTA with Ukraine from January 2016. DOCUMENT - Censor.net

Russia suspends free-trade deal with Ukraine (video) - DW

Ukraine ready to pay price for freedom, European choice: Poroshenko - Unian
Ukraine to suspend trade with Crimea in 30 days: PM Yatseniuk - Reuters

Ukraine resumes FTA talks with Turkey - Ukrinform

December 16, 2015

Finally! Fed raises interest rates



America's first interest rate hike in nearly a decade is here. The Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate on Wednesday from a range of 0% to 0.25% to a range of 0.25% to 0.5%.

The rate hike is a small one, but it will affect millions of Americans, including investors, home buyers and savers. Read more.

CNN

Related,
Fed Raises Key Interest Rate for First Time in Almost a Decade (video) - NY Times
Federal Reserve hikes interest rates seven years after financial crisis – business live - Guardian

How the Fed’s interest rate hike could hit your wallet (video) - Washington Post
US interest rates will rise – and hit 3.5pc by the end of 2017 - Telegraph

- Corporate America has quietly DOUBLED its debt levels since 2008 - Business Insider

Global Debt Now $200 Trillion! - Zero Hedge
World record debt of $199trn could drag economies into another crisis - study - RT

Argentine Central Bank Issues a 40% Currency Devaluation

Argentina’s newly elected president, Mauricio Macri has taken several steps this week laying the groundwork for a currency devaluation.

Argentina's Central Bank is expected to implement economic measures on Wednesday that will lift restrictions on foreign currency trade prompting a more than 40 percent devaluation of the the country’s currency. Read more.

teleSUR

Related,
Government announces end of currency controls, exchange rate unification - Buenos Aires Herald

Argentina on track to end import restrictions by end of the year - MercoPress
Macri slashes agriculture export duties; farmers promise 30% larger crop next year - MercoPress

President Mauricio Macri Takes Office - Argentina Independent
Meet the Board: The Indy’s Guide to Macri’s Government - Argentina Independent

Massive Mobilizations in Brazil Against Rousseff's Impeachment

The Landless Workers Movement and other social movements are denouncing the impeachment attempt aimed at taking down President Dilma Rousseff.

Brazilian social movements are taking to the streets on Wednesday to reject an impeachment process launched by embattled opposition leader Eduardo Cunha against President Dilma Rousseff. Read more.

teeleSUR

Related,
Brazilian Social Movt's Rally Behind Rousseff (video) -  teleSUR
Brazil: Social Movt's Call National Day Against Impeachment Protests (video) - teleSUR

Brazilian Federal Police Raid Cunha's Home (video) - teleSUR
Brazilian Lower house speaker closer to losing his job than embattled Rousseff - MercoPress

Brazil's Central bank Focus weekly negative report - MercoPress
Brazil in recession, but farming is booming with the 29% fall of the Real - MercoPress