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Eye 1

Spanish 'Gag Law' brings country one step closer to overt police state

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© AP Photo / Andres Kudacki
Protests are expected across Spain today as the government's controversial Citizen Safety Law comes into effect. While officials claim the measures will ensure demonstrations are safer, critics argue that the so-called 'gag law' will turn Spain into a police state, limiting the right to protest.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's Citizen Safety Law has been one of the most hotly-debated pieces of Spanish legislation in recent times, with political opponents and civil rights activists arguing that it will simply act as a tool for the government to shut down public unrest.

Despite assertions from the ruling Popular Party (PP) that "demonstrations will be freer because they will be protected from violent elements," political opponents say it will turn Spain into a "police state" and have vowed to repeal the measures if they win this year's national elections.

Comment: Society is burning and Western governments respond by increasingly draconian measures.


Wall Street

Greece becomes first developed country to default to the IMF

Faced with almost impossible choices...
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And just as promised earlier in the week, Greece has now passed the midnight deadline for repayment of the €1.6 billion bundled loans due to the IMF and is thus in default.

Yes we are fully aware that using the pejorative term 'default' makes us members of the ignorati, but what else do you call it when you fail to pay back a contracted debt in a timely fashion? (and don't say 'arrears') Anything else is semantics.
  • *IMF SAYS GREECE FAILED TO MAKE PAYMENT DUE TUESDAY
  • *IMF TO CONSIDER GREEK REQUEST FOR PAYMENT DELAY IN DUE COURSE
  • *IMF BOARD INFORMED THAT GREECE IS NOW IN ARREARS
"I can also confirm that the IMF received a request today from the Greek authorities for an extension of Greece's repayment obligation that fell due today, which will go to the IMF's Executive Board in due course," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice says in e-mailed statement.

This is the first time an advanced economy has defaulted to The IMF and is by far the largest default The IMF has ever faced.

Comment: So what will the question be for the upcoming referendum?


Handcuffs

Let the hounds loose: Over 1,200 inmates including Al-Qaeda suspects escape Yemeni prison

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© Reuters / Khaled Abdullah

Around 1,200 prisoners, including some Al-Qaeda suspects, managed to stage one of the biggest jailbreaks in years in Yemen's south-eastern town of Taiz, after violence broke out and guards abandoned their posts, according to officials.

"Groups of Al-Qaeda supporters ... today attacked the central prison in the city of Taiz and more than 1,200 of the dangerous prisoners escaped," the Saba state news agency quoted a security official as saying.

This marked one of the biggest prison escapes in the country in the last few years, signaling a lack of security, as various forces fight to gain control of the country.

Comment: This happens every time; the radicals that Libya and Syria had locked up were deliberately let loose. Yemen is going down in flames like Libya.


Bad Guys

Islamic State threatens to oust Hamas and Fatah from Gaza

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© AP Photo/ STR
As the self-proclaimed Islamic State continues to gain territory across not only Iraq and Syria, but Africa and Afghanistan as well, the terrorist group may now have set their sights set on the Gaza Strip.

"We will uproot the state of the Jews and you and Fatah, and all of the secularists are nothing and you will be over-run by our creeping multitudes."

That quote comes from a video statement released by the Islamic State and addressed to the "tyrants of Hamas." In the eyes of IS, Hamas is too lenient on both religious dogma and Israel, as is Fatah, the rival faction operating under support from the United States.

"The rule of sharia will be implemented in Gaza, in spite of you," the video continues. "We swear that what is happening in the Levant today, and in particular the Yarmouk camp, will happen in Gaza."

Comment: Well if the Palestinians weren't enough of a reason for Israel to attack then perhaps ISIS will fit the bill.


Control Panel

Ukraine's Naftogaz has a fit, suspends Russian gas purchases until new price deal

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© AFP 2015/ SERGEY BOBOK
Ukraine's Naftogaz said Tuesday it will suspend purchases of natural gas from Russia's Gazprom starting July 1 as the sides have failed to agree the price for the third quarter of 2015.

"Naftogaz suspends purchases of gas from the Russian company as the previous additional agreement to contract between Naftogaz and Gazprom expires on June 30 while the sides failed to agree new conditions for gas deliveries during today's trilateral talks in Vienna," the Ukrainian company said in a statement.

"The transit of gas through the Ukrainian territory to Gazprom customers in Europe under the existing contracts will continue in full," Naftogaz stressed.

Comment: Ukraine is broke and of course is trying desperately to get cheap gas from Russia. So to them Russia should bend over and comply while being accused of 'invading' Ukraine.


Dominoes

White House says no federal bailout for Puerto Rico

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© Reuters / Ana Martinez
The United States will not provide a federal bailout for Puerto Rico, which says it cannot pay its $72 billion public debt, the White House announced. Officials pushed Congress to allow the commonwealth to declare bankruptcy, however.

Speaking to reporters, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said the US will send experts from the Treasury Department and other agencies to consult with Puerto Rico and help guide it through its financial crisis. However, he specifically dismissed talk of a federal bailout.

"There's no one in the administration or in DC that's contemplating a federal bailout of Puerto Rico," Earnest said. "But we do remain committed to working with Puerto Rico and their leaders as they address the serious challenges."

Comment: More economic dominoes falling!


Mr. Potato

SOTT Exclusive: Israeli PM Bibi "I'm a Yahoo" loses mental faculties, writes fantastical letter to flotilla activists


"Bibi, this is your conscience speaking!" "Does not compute! Does not compute!"
A top secret anonymous source has just informed me: Netanyahu is taking the day off after suffering a more-acute-than-usual bout of "dis-connection from reality", during which - his moral adviser Aineeda Conscience later told him - he wrote an ill-advised, sarcastic, and downright mean letter to a group of social activists attempting to break Israel's permanent siege of Gaza. Because Bibi never takes her advice, Ms. Conscience is currently visiting her analyst 5 days a week to deal with feelings of inadequacy and job stress resulting from the fact that Bibi seems to need constant advice on the very basics of morality. "What's the point?" she reportedly told close friends after Bibi once again rebuked her, telling her she wasn't even real and should get a real job in the IDF killing Palestinian babies.

This all came to light after the IDF illegally assaulted (in the friendliest of fashions) another flotilla attempting to break the siege of Gaza. (See here and here, for example.) Here's some coverage from RT...

[Warning: listening to the Israeli spokesperson may induce vomiting]


Propaganda

Poroshenko claims there are 200,000 Russian troops in Ukraine without a shred of evidence

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© RT
The Ukrainian president has named an entirely new, wildly different figure for the number of Russian troops allegedly in Ukraine: over 20 times higher than he claimed earlier this month.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko claimed there is a whopping 200,000 Russian troops in Ukraine. "Today, on Putin's order, there are 200,000 men and an arsenal of armored vehicles, sophisticated missile systems and anti-air arms amassed in our territory,"Corriere della Sera quotes Poroshenko, who went on to say: "One of these shot down the Malaysian civilian plane last year."

It is unclear where Poroshenko got the enormous figure, which constitutes about a quarter of the entirety of Russia's troops, and is almost the size of the entire Ukrainian army. But if Poroshenko's claims are true, the forces would have to possess incredible stealth capabilities, as no surveillance or intelligence service has detected the numerous troops crossing the border. Neither have the OSCE observers stationed at the border.

The figure is also wildly different from the number Poroshenko himself gave less than a month ago. Speaking to Ukraine's parliament on June 4, he claimed there were some 9,000 Russian troops in Ukraine, and that the number of Russian forces near the border had increased by 50 percent over the preceding year. The newest number would mean a more than 22-fold increase.

Just four days after Poroshenko's June 4 statement, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak named his own figure, which brought further confusion to attempts to count the alleged "Russian aggressors." He claimed there were as many as 42,500 men and an impressive 558 tanks.


Light Sabers

China's Silk Road initiative ruins U.S. plans to impose blockade of China

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© Flickr/ Peter Mackey
Beijing's One Belt, One Road initiative, a viable alternative to China's vulnerable sea routes through the South China Sea, is aimed at bolstering China's economy and preventing the US from imposing a distant blockade of the country, Stratfor notes.

China's Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative is not just a "sum of infrastructural projects," but rather a carefully thought-out strategy aimed at pursuing China's geopolitical objectives in Eurasia, Stratfor's analysts pointed out.

Beijing's "Belt and Road" will be in fact a sum of six transport corridors across Eurasia, comprising of both land and maritime components, the analysts elaborated.

"The strategy behind the Belt and Road Initiative is to diversify transit lines, thereby mitigating China's vulnerability to external economic disruption and reinvigorating China's slowing economy. Ideally, China would like to link its inland cities to global markets with a diversified network of transit routes and energy pipelines, many of which would take inland routes and serve as alternatives to existing sea-lanes," the Stratfor report stated.

Since China's economy is heavily reliant on foreign trade and energy supplies through the country's "vulnerable" sea routes, it would be "relatively easy" for a potential adversary to disrupt China's trade and block the country.

USA

U.S. creating crises around the globe to maintain totalitarian control

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© AFP 2015/ FILIPPO MONTEFORTE
The US' totalitarian national-security state apparatus created during the Cold War in order to counter the Soviet Union is now doing whatever it takes to stay in power, by enflaming new crises across the world, Jacob G. Hornberger notes.

American author and founder of The Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF) Jacob G. Hornberger asks what if Moscow announced that it was restoring the Warsaw Pact, involving Cuba, Venezuela, Chile, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Grenada, and Bolivia into its fold, and established new military bases along the US southern border, toppling the democratically elected president in Mexico.

"What would be the reaction of President Obama, Republican and Democrat presidential candidates, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the US mainstream press? I'll tell you: They would all be screaming like banshees! It would be a monumental crisis," Jacob G. Hornberger elaborated.

In that case Washington would have forced Russia to dismantle all of its bases near the United States and remove all of its missiles.

Surprisingly, when the roles are reversed nobody in the West is calling into question the legitimacy of NATO's rapid expansion to Russia's borders, he emphasized.