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Heart - Black

Immigrant Woman in Ireland denied abortion at 8 weeks forced to give birth by cesarean at 25

Ireland Protestors
© Unknown
Immigrant saying she was suicidal was refused termination at eight weeks before court made her have the baby at 25 weeks
A young woman has been legally forced to give birth by caesarean section after being denied an abortion in Ireland, in a case experts say exposes flaws in recent reform meant to allow limited terminations.

The woman, who is an immigrant and cannot be named for legal reasons, was refused an abortion even though at eight weeks she demanded a termination, claiming she was suicidal.

After she then threatened a hunger strike to protest the decision, local health authorities obtained a court order to deliver the baby prematurely - at around 25 weeks according to some reports - to ensure its safety. The infant has been placed in care.

The case is the first proper test of the 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, which allows for limited abortions in Irish hospitals. The law provides for cases where the woman's life would be in danger if she goes full term, or in cases where she is suicidal in such instances as rape and incest. Critics say that in this instance the law has proved of no practical value to the woman concerned.

Saudi prince's Paris convoy robbed of 200,000Eu and 'sensitive documents' by 'commando-looking men'

Saudi ambassador
© Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Saudi Arabia's ambassador to France, H.E. Dr. Mohammed Ismail Al-Sheikh, celebrates with embassy staff and visiting Saudi dignitaries in this 2012 photo at the Saudi Embassy in Paris
French police are investigating a possible inside job after heavily armed men attacked a convoy of cars belonging to a Saudi Arabian prince, and stole cash amounting to 250,000 euros (US$330,000).

The prince, who was not immediately identified, was in a convoy of several vehicles headed to the Le Bourget airport from the Saudi embassy in Paris late Sunday, when it was attacked by men who were described as moving like "commandos."

Armed with Kalashnikov rifles and using two vehicles, about eight men targeted a Mercedes mini-van in the convoy at around 9:15 p.m. (1915 GMT), pointing their guns at the driver and forcing him to stop.

The whole convoy stopped by the wayside when the armed men stopped the mini-van.

The men then drove the mini-van with the driver and two passengers inside, leaving the other vehicles behind. French media reported that no shots were fired, and the Saudis were later released a short distance away from the northern ring at Porte de la Chapelle on the edge of the city.

The mini-van was later found incinerated. A French police spokesman said inside the van were roughly 200,000 euros in cash and some sensitive official documents from the Saudi embassy.

Another police source told the AFP news agency that it was "quite an unusual attack. They were obviously well-informed. It's true that it's quite a rare way of operating."

The Brigade de Répression du Banditisme (Banditry Repression Brigade), an elite police unit under the French Ministry of the Interior, is reportedly in charge of the investigation.

The Saudi prince has not been identified.

Comment: It's possible the theft of the money was meant to be a distraction from the theft of 'sensitive papers'. It's certainly downplayed in this article. Given the Saudi's penchant for being in the background of much of the trouble in the Middle East and elsewhere, those papers might be very interesting.


Strengthening ties: Russia to boost software imports to China, get more servers in return

© RIA Novosti / Taras Litvinenko
Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolay Nikiforov
Russia and China plan to increase technology cooperation
, with Moscow set to increase exports of software in exchange for data storage, Russia's Communications Minister said.

Nikolay Nikiforov, head of Russia's Ministry of Communications, announced via Twitter that Russia and China have agreed to increase the supply of Chinese servers and storage systems and production in Russia, and to boost the supply of Russian software to China.

The technology turn toward China is part of a larger overall pivot toward Asia after Western sanctions have endangered certain Russian industries, with technology feared to be next.

Comment: The "multilateral transparent model" translates into a world in which the biggest bullies on the block don't get to call the shots.

For a detailed discussion of how the US decided it could pulverize the rest of the world, check out SOTT Talk radio:

Untold History of the US: Interview with Peter Kuznick

No Entry

Bulgaria halts South Stream gas pipeline project for second time under pressure from the EU

© RIA Novosti
All operations on Russia's Gazprom-led project South Stream have been suspended, as they do not meet the requirements of the European Commission, Bulgaria's Ministry of Economy and Energy said on its website.

"Minister of Economy and Energy Vasil Shtonov has ordered Bulgaria's Energy Holding to halt any actions in regards of the project," the ministry said. This specifically means entering into new contracts.

There has been mounting pressure from the EU to put the project on hold, and now the European Commission will be consulted each step of the way to make sure it complies with EU law.

Comment: The EU has been shooting itself in the foot with the trade war against Russia, but this action tops all else. The fact is that the EU needs to buy Russia's gas much more than Russia needs to sell it to them. It will not be long into the winter before people in the EU wake up to that fact.

Top Secret

​Turkey Foreign Ministry sez German spying 'unacceptable' if confirmed

© AFP/Michael Kappeler
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has called in Germany's ambassador in Ankara to explain media reports that Germany's secret services had been spying on its NATO ally.

"This is a grave situation that needs to be explained by Germany if there is slightest truth to these allegations," the ministry said in a statement Monday. "Such practices in relations among friends and allies, which should be built on mutual trust and respect, are in no way acceptable."

"It is expected that the German authorities present an official and satisfactory explanation on the claims reported by German media and end these activities immediately if the claims are true."

Turkey's acting Foreign Ministry undersecretary, Erdogan Iscan, met German Ambassador Eberhard Pohl to voice Turkey's concerns.

Germany said that its ambassador had not been "summoned" but rather invited for a discussion, which was conducted "in a friendly manner."

Earlier, German media reported that the national Federal Intelligence Service (BND) had been spying on its NATO ally Turkey since at least 2009.
No Entry

Moscow court issues 4 more sentences in Bolotnaya riot case

© AFP/Vasily Maximov
A file picture taken on April 24, 2014 shows opposition activist Alexey Gaskarov, one of the anti-Putin protesters accused of instigating mass riots at Bolotnaya square, standing inside the defendant cage in Zamoskvoretsky district court in Moscow, during his trial.
A Moscow court has found four people guilty of rioting and attacking police, sentencing two of them to prison terms of three and a half years, one to two and a half years, and letting the fourth protester go free under a suspended sentence.

As the verdict was pronounced, about 100 people protested near the court building, prompting police to carry out several detentions.

The only convict to receive a suspended sentence was Elena Kokhtareva, who had pleaded guilty during the court proceedings. Opposition activist Ilya Gushchev, who pleaded guilty to some of the charges, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison - six months less than the minimum punishment of three years behind bars ordered by the criminal code for participation in mass unrest.

The maximum sentence allowed for the crime is eight years.

Two more opposition activists were sentenced to three and a half years in prison each.

As the sentences were pronounced on Monday afternoon, around 100 people held an unsanctioned protest near the court building, shouting "Freedom!" and unfurling a banner reading "Russia is not a prison." After repeatedly asking the protesters to disperse, police officers detained several people.

Comment: Vlad the Merciful: Putin issues amnesty for 25,000 political prisoners


EU will provide financial support to food producers struggling with Russia food ban

© AFP Photo / Dominique Faget
A view of the Berlaymont building, headquarters of the European Union Commission
The European Commission said it will provide up to €125 million from Monday till the end of November to compensate food producers coping with Moscow's food ban.

"The exceptional measures announced today will include market withdrawals especially for free distribution, compensation for non-harvesting and green harvesting. The financial assistance will cover all producers whether they are organized in producers organizations or not," the European Commission said in the statement.

Among the products that will get the special support are in season varieties that have no immediate storage option or market available. They include tomatoes, carrots, white cabbage, peppers, cauliflowers, cucumbers, and gherkins, mushrooms, apples, pear, red fruits, table grapes and kiwis.

"All farmers of the concerned products - whether in producer organisations or not - will be eligible to take up these market support measures where they see fit. Acting early will provide an efficient support to the price paid to producers on the internal market, help the market adjust and be cost effective," said EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner.

The EU member states are scheduled to meet for further discussions on Friday.
War Whore

Britain won't send troops to Iraq but Cameron vows "tougher action"

© AFP Photo / Ahmad Al-Rubaye
Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters celebrate sitting on the back of a truck as they head to the Mosul dam on the Tigris river that they recaptured from Islamic State jihadists on August 17, 2014 near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
David Cameron said the UK won't deploy "boots on the ground" in Iraq, but could arm Kurdish fighters in its efforts to aid the fight against IS jihadists. Meanwhile, the Defence Secretary said British involvement in Iraq could last for months.

"We are not going to be putting boots on the ground, we're not going to be sending ine British Army," Cameron said.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Monday, Cameron reiterated that British troops would not be sent to Iraq to combat the threat of Islamist extremists.

"Britain is not going to get involved in another war in Iraq," the prime minister said. He added that Kurdish forces were the "first line of defence" against Islamic State fighters.

However, while ruling out ground troops, he promised tougher action.
Eye 2

Business as usual: British arms manufacturers supplying Israel with weapons during its Gaza offensive

© Image from londonpalestineaction.tumblr.com
A UK arms factory was recently occupied by nine British activists in protest against the company's alleged complicity in Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.
Against a backdrop of widespread bloodshed and devastation in Gaza, a mounting body of evidence indicates military equipment used by Israel during Operation Protective Edge was made in the UK.

As violence wanes in the besieged Palestinian enclave, scrutiny of UK arms exports to Israel is amplifying. While Cairo peace talks between Israel and Hamas bring a sense of reprieve to Gaza's rubble-laden streets, damning evidence indicates Israel used UK military wares during Operation Protective Edge. UK government statements, photographic evidence, IDF commanders' recent praise of drones deployed in Gaza, and Israel's purchasing patterns of foreign military equipment all appear to indicate this is the case.

Britain's arms trade relations with Israel are extremely lucrative. Since 2010, British authorities have presided over the sale of £42 million worth of military produce to the Middle Eastern state. And on an annual basis, the British government grants up to £15 million worth of licenses to UK defense firms for the export of military equipment to Israel. These figures stem from in-depth research conducted by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), a London-based NGO dedicated to tackling the global arms industry's impact on human rights.

Approximately 44 defense companies spanning Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland broker UK arms exports to Israel, according to the CAAT. Four such firms are Raytheon, Schleifring Systems, Selex Galileo, and UAV Engines. Each of these defense factories epitomize an acutely profitable yet contentious set of military trade relations between Britain and Israel. Amidst nationwide concern over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, there is strong reason to surmise drone engines, bomb components and other parts produced by these firms were deployed by the IDF during its recent military attacks on the region.

Ukraine Interior Minister asks to be left alone over missing Russian journalist

© RIA Novosti
Andrey Stenin
An adviser to Ukrainian Interior Minister, Anton Gerashchenko, has demanded on his Facebook page that journalists - especially Russian - do not disturb him concerning missing Russian journalist Andrey Stenin.

"As soon as we find him, dead or alive, we will inform the media. Meanwhile, I am asking reporters, especially Russian ones, not to disturb me on this matter," Gerashchenko posted on the social network.

In the video interview to channel 112 which was attached to the post, Gerashchenko repeatedly mispronounces Stenin as "Senchin," and describes the journalist's photos of injured soldiers - quite typical pictures from a war zone - as "the photos of tortures." Then, Gerashchenko goes on to say that "those aren't photojournalists, those are accomplices in the crimes of terrorists."

Earlier on Saturday, the adviser told the same channel that Stenin was on the wanted list.

On Tuesday, however, Gerashchenko told Latvian media that Stenin "was arrested by our security service."