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Sat, 19 Jan 2019
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Oil Well

Cornell professor: Vast biosphere exists deep under Earth's crust (and it's where oil comes from)

abiotic oil book
© Copernicus Books
The Deep Hot Biosphere, by Thomas Gold
The ideas come crowding in: Deep within the Earth's crust is a vast ecosystem of primitive bacteria nurtured by a reservoir of hydrocarbons of unimaginable size, much of it untapped. Even more: The microbes predate all of the planet's other life forms, existing even before photosynthesis became the preferred life-giving form.

In a new book, The Deep Hot Biosphere (Copernicus/Springer-Verlag, $27), Cornell professor emeritus of astronomy Thomas Gold argues that subterranean bugs are us -- or at least they started the whole evolutionary process, and that there's no looming energy shortage because oil reserves are far greater than predicted.

In the hands of anyone other than Gold, the reaction to all this might be a skeptical raised eyebrow. But Gold, as ever the Cornellian gadfly, makes his argument with erudition and conviction. Founder and director of Cornell's Center for Radiophysics and Space Research for two decades, Gold is hardly a stranger to sticking his neck out. He has been proven right in such diverse realms as a theory of hearing, the interpretation of pulsars and a theory of the Earth's axis of rotation.

But Gold's most controversial idea, as physicist Freeman Dyson notes in the book's forward, is that of the nonbiological origin of natural gas and oil, which he first proposed more than 20 years ago. These hydrocarbons, Gold postulated, come from deep reservoirs and are composed of the material from which the Earth condensed. The idea that hydrocarbons coalesced from organic material is, he says, quite wrong. The biological molecules found in oil, he avers, show only that the oil is contaminated by microbes, not that it was produced by them.

Comment: Dr. Gold's and others' research have been proposing this idea for decades. But it doesn't suit the elites to allow it into the mainstream. Power is maintained by creating the collective delusion that enables the 'hoarding of essential resources'. This article was published in 1999. The redoubtable Col. Fletcher Prouty was saying the same thing in the mid-90s.


The indiscreet charm of the Gilets Jaunes

Yellow vests
So it appears the privatization of France isn't going quite as smoothly as planned. As I assume you are aware, for over a month now, the gilets jaunes (or "yellow vests"), a multiplicitous, leaderless, extremely pissed off, confederation of working class persons, have been conducting a series of lively protests in cities and towns throughout the country to express their displeasure with Emmanuel Macron and his efforts to transform their society into an American-style neo-feudal dystopia. Highways have been blocked, toll booths commandeered, luxury automobiles set on fire, and shopping on the Champs-Élysées disrupted. What began as a suburban tax revolt has morphed into a bona fide working class uprising.

It took a while for "the Golden Boy of Europe" to fully appreciate what was happening. In the tradition of his predecessor, Louis XVI, Macron initially responded to the gilets jaunes by inviting a delegation of Le Monde reporters to laud his renovation of the Elysée Palace, making the occasional condescending comment, and otherwise completely ignoring them. That was back in late November. Last Saturday, he locked down central Paris, mobilized a literal army of riot cops, "preventatively arrested" hundreds of citizens, including suspected "extremist students," and sent in the armored military vehicles.

The English-language corporate media, after doing their best not to cover these protests (and, instead, to keep the American and British publics focused on imaginary Russians), have been forced to now begin the delicate process of delegitimizing the gilets jaunes without infuriating the the entire population of France and inciting the British and American proletariats to go out and start setting cars on fire. They got off to a bit of an awkward start.

Comment: See also:

Bad Guys

What a Coincidence. Gunman shoots up Strasbourg Christmas, city bans public demos, France on 'highest threat level' (UPDATES)

Strasbourg Christmas Market shooting
© Murielle Kasprzak/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers at the scene of gun attack near Strasbourg Christmas Market.
France has upgraded its security threat level as hundreds of police hunted a gunman who shot three people dead and injured 12 others in a terror attack on Strasbourg's celebrated Christmas market on Tuesday evening.

Six hours after the gunman disappeared after firing at passers-by in the busy city centre, the interior minister, Christophe Castaner, said the government had raised the risk level to the highest category.

The move would strengthen border controls and bolster protection of Christmas markets and other events.

In a statement, Castaner said the gunman had opened fire in three different places in the city before engaging in firefights with patrolling soldiers.

"He fought twice with our security forces," Castaner said.

French media reported the man, who was injured in one of the exchanges, then jumped in a taxi and disappeared.

Comment: He fled in a taxi??

Comment: NBC reports:

Authorities meanwhile were continuing to search for the suspect who is on a terrorist watch list and whose home police had raided earlier in the day in a burglary probe.

The shooting took place shortly before 8 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET) near a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, that attracts millions of tourists every year. Strasbourg is on the German border.

The suspect fled and engaged in a firefight with police between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. local time, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner. He said the suspect has a record in France and Germany for common crimes.

A prosecutor said earlier that officers are searching for the suspect for alleged criminal association with a terrorist group and attempted assassination.

Prior to the shooting Tuesday, police raided the suspect's home in connection to a burglary probe. The suspect wasn't there but resurfaced that night at the perimeter of the Christmas market when shots rang out, police said.

Of the 12 wounded, six have serious injuries.
strasbourg police
© Vincent Kessler / Reuters
Police secure a street and the surrounding area after a shooting in Strasbourg, France, on Dec. 11, 2018.
France's counterterrorism unit has opened an investigation into the shooting incident, a prosecutor told NBC News.

Morten Løkkegaard, a Danish politician and member of the European Parliament, which has one of its three locations in Strasbourg, told Euronews that he was on lockdown inside the Parliament building.

"The whole Parliament has been locked while the police are investigating this, so I think we will spend some hours here," Løkkegaard said. "Hundreds of people are still working in the Parliament at this time of the day."

Axel Schouteten, manager of a McDonald's in Place Kieber, said he was sheltering in place inside the restaurant with approximately 80 people, including families and children.

"I was in the back of the restaurant when I heard gunshots. I think it was the sound of an automatic weapon. There was a big movement of the crowd and then a few minutes later, I closed the doors, and saw three bodies on the ground," he said, adding that he didn't know if the people he saw were dead or alive.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said the United States condemns "in the strongest terms this horrific attack" and that "our thoughts are with the family and friends of those affected."

The State Department stands ready to provide all possible consular assistance should it become aware of any affected American citizens, the spokesperson said.
RT reports:
Inevitable threat? Strasbourg gunman was on terror watch list, had grenades at home

The gunman who shot multiple victims in Strasbourg had previously been convicted and was known to French intelligence as a possible 'security risk,' yet managed to slip through the cracks despite tightened security across France.

"The author of these acts, listed as a security threat, had been sought by police," the regional prefecture confirmed. Yet he has managed to escape arrest earlier in the day, before carrying out the attack near the Christmas market at around 8pm on Tuesday evening.

"There are so many people that are involved around the edges of this sort of terrorism if this is what it turns out to be, that you can't keep any sort of meaningful surveillance on them. Even just monitoring the use of communications and social media would be too much," Peter Kirkham, former London police inspector, told RT.

Aren't the security services regularly claiming to have 'foiled' terrorist networks thanks to their increased surveillance on ordinary citizens?

Despite tight security measures introduced by the French security forces across public holiday venues in the country, Christmas markets remain "attractive" soft targets. Strasbourg has since banned assemblies of people, to assist the security forces in tracking down their suspect.

Which will mean no more protests against government corruption by members of the legitimate Yellow Vest movement.

When you've got a large area of public space it is almost impossible to keep it totally free of weapons, especially if it is a temporary event.
The Strasbourg attack comes amid a major security presence across France, which has been gripped by the Yellow Vest protests over the past weeks. The sheer volume of work handled by the security services during the holiday season could have allowed the shooter to slip through the security cracks, Philip Ingram, a former senior military intelligence officer, told RT.
If we're going to protect the freedoms that we enjoy as part of society there's almost an inevitability of a level of terrorism that is going to come in there.
"The security forces have to be right 100 percent of the time and, remember, in France at the moment they are distracted with the Yellow Vest protests that are going on," Ingram said.

So, it's not the fault of the security services that the attacker 'slipped through', it's the fault of the Yellow Vests??

"There has been a lot of unrest in France over the last few weeks, so it would be early to call it a terrorist incident," Ingram noted, as the French counter-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident.

The attack left two people dead and and at least a dozen wounded. The suspect, swiftly identified on surveillance and video recordings, was known for his criminal activities. Authorities believe their target is listed on the 'Fiche S' list of potential security threats, was born in February 1989 in Strasbourg and may have been radicalized only recently. He was to be arrested Tuesday morning in a homicide-robbery case, yet when the investigators arrived at his home, he was not there. Grenades were found during the search, according to French media.

"If this person was recognized by the French secret service as a threat, he should have been put in jail right away," Denis Franceskin, a representative of the French National Rally political party in the US, told RT. "This guy was totally free to go anywhere. And this is a big problem. We have thousands of people that are under the S-file in France and our government is doing nothing."

"Certainly, there was a relationship to what the authorities were doing and the fact that he was on a list...and him going out and doing this," defense analyst Ivan Eland told RT. "They thought he was involved in some sort of robbery last summer and they had raided his house when he wasn't there, and therefore this could have triggered him to do this."

It's a repeating scenario where the perpetrators of these attacks are well known to security services but are somehow roaming free: Manchester suicide bomber revealed to have links to Libyan jihadist group with links to UK govt

RT reports on the immediate consequences of the attack:
'Total mobilization': Strasbourg bans public demos amid massive manhunt for Christmas market gunman 565
French President Emmanuel Macron
© Reuters / Pool / Etienne Laurent
French President Emmanuel Macron holds an emergency crisis meeting

The city of Strasbourg was subject to a "reinforced grid," French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Tuesday night, hours after the attack on the market left two people dead and 14 others injured. "We are currently in a reinforced vigipirate stance," he said, noting that demonstrations are now banned in the city to allow a "total" police mobilization to ensure public safety.

Announcing that protests and public demonstrations have been temporarily banned in the city, the minister explained this would allow the police to "totally mobilize" to ensure public safety.

"All assemblies, either stationary or as a march (cortege), are banned until the order is rescinded. Anyone in breach of the order will be subject to the penalties provided-for by law," Strasbourg authorities said in the official notice of the protest assembly ban, issued immediately after Castaner's statement.

Additional resources are being deployed to Strasbourg to help local units engage in a search for the suspect. More than 350 policemen and gendarmes were hunting down the attacker on Tuesday night. They were supported by helicopters and members of the RAID, the BRI and Opération Sentinelle forces, the minister said.


The government raised France's national security alert threat (Vigipirate) to "emergency attack" level. As an additional security measure boost, Paris plans to allocate extra resources to reinforce border control and ensure extra protection at Christmas markets across France.

Tuesday's shooting comes at a time when French security forces are overstretched in dealing with the anti-government demonstrations that have gripped the country for weeks. Paris deployed some 90,000 police officers across the country last weekend to deal with the Yellow Vests rallies and, with authorities focused on containing violence at the weekly rallies, extremists like the Strasbourg shooter might try to exploit security holes, some security experts pointed out.


There's no evidence the shooter exploited any 'security holes', as noted above, the market already had high security in place and it was being patrolled by armed offices.

UPDATE 12/12/2018 :

From Associated Press:
Two police officials have identified the suspected Strasbourg gunman as 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt.

One police source said Chekatt's criminal record mentions 25 judicial cases, including several serious cases of robbery.

The official said his apartment was searched by police on Tuesday morning - hours before the shooting - in an investigation for attempted murder. He was not at home at the time.

The two officials spoke anonymously because they were not allowed to speak publicly on an ongoing investigation.

The suspect was still on the run on Wednesday after he fired gunshots near the famous Christmas market of Strasbourg, killing three and wounding at least 13.


The suspected Strasbourg gunman was convicted of robbery in Germany in 2016 and sentenced to two years and three months in prison for breaking into a dental practice and a pharmacy.

The verdict from a district court in Singen, obtained by The Associated Press, says he was also sentenced to prison in France in 2008 and in Basel, Switzerland in 2013 for various robberies. News agency dpa reported that he was deported to France in 2017.

According to the verdict, the suspected attacker grew up with six siblings in Strasbourg, worked for local authorities after leaving school and had been unemployed since 2011. He said he had been traveling a lot and had already spent four years in prison. The German robberies took place in Mainz, near Frankfurt, in 2012 and in Engen, near the Swiss border, in 2016.

Isn't it odd that right after Macron gives some crumbs to the Yellow Vest's demands, a "terrorist attack" happens; in the home of the European Parliament, no less. Never waste a perfect opportunity to remind the people 'why they need us' (and centering the attack in the home of the EU Parliament should be a good signal to the rest of the EU who are thinking about joining the protests, for good measure).

UPDATE 12/12/18:

Four or five of Chekatt's relatives have been detained in connection with the shooting while the manhunt for the main suspect continues. Chekatt was born and raised in Strasbourg, and has served 2 years in jail for minor crimes. "According to the Daily Mail, Chekatt was sentenced to two years in prison in 2011 for a knife attack on a 16-year-old." Secretary of State for the Interior Ministry Laurent Nuñez insists that the attacks and manhunt are not a government plot to undermine the Yellow Vest protests:
"I don't understand how anybody could imagine this... We should call it for what it is - such ideas are obviously coming from conspiracy theorists," he told the media. "According to tweets and other remarks, such conspiracy theories flourish among the ranks of the 'Yellow Vests'. And this is yet another proof. Saying such things is, frankly speaking, disgraceful."
Remy Heitz, the Paris prosecutor, told a press conference on Wednesday: "Considering the target, his way of operating, his profile and the testimonies of those who heard him yell 'Allahu Akbar', the anti-terrorist police have been called into action," Heitz explained.

UPDATE 12/12/18 18:33:

According to a witness going by the name of DAAMACHE cedric, commenting on Rue89Strasbourgh.com, there were two shooters the journalist seems to dispute that it was him but cedric reassures him he was quizzed by a journalist and then reminds him that he told them there were two shooters (translate with Google plus editing for clarity):

Thank you not to distort my testimony, nice journalist in the blue cap and the iphone.

I had a black coat with an orange hood, and you interviewed me at the exit of the checkout Republic.

So, to help set the record straight, it's never the blues (police) who told us to take refuge in bars.

The police never took care of the people, we just ran to the first shooter's fire, which was not far from the place you mentioned, to take refuge in Kleber, and there the second began shooting around Grande Rue.

Yes, I told you about automatic gunfire, but it was the Licorne force's responses,[_Opération Licorne - Wikipedia] and seriously I wonder how someone injured by Famas was able to get to Neudorf, where I live, and can access it.

In any case a pity to report false information to reassure about the support of the police, because there was zero support


Published on 11/12/2018 at 23h41

Pierre France
Pierre answers to DAAMACHE cédric

Member of the editorial staff
Sir, we've never spoken before. This is another Cedric in the article (and probably another journalist since I was on the Halles side).


Published on 12/12/2018 at 00:03
daamache cedric answers Pierre

Send me a picture of you to be sure;) The coincidence is very disturbing;)

No hate or whatever, just be right in what you report.

The cops did not take care of people ...

I answer because I'm sure it's me being in shock, when a reporter approached me at checkout.

Once again, funny coincidence, because my name is Cedric.

I love rue89 (website), so I allow myself to correct (you), and I told you there were two shooters ...

So understand, it's still disturbing.
See also: Also check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: Révolution Jaune? France Revolts Against Macron


A very British coup: The spies who smear 'Russia-friendly' British politicians perceived to be 'Russia-friendly'

© Getty Images / Joseph Golby
It's cold in Auchtermuchty. Few people know it exists except as a Scottish tongue-twister involving Ecclefechan and Milngavie. It's particularly cold in a derelict mill there around Christmas time, but this year it's hotting up.

The British spies hiding out there have been brought in from the cold by good old-fashioned journalism. Or rather "ex-spies" if their legend is to be believed. Ex-military intelligence men who now work in the charity sector. Except their declared purposes are not charitable at all, however worthy some might think them to be.

The Institute for Statecraft is registered in Gateside, Fife, which is a long way from Whitehall and the RAC Club at Pall Mall where most espionage dramas are set. But the work of espionage in Britain must now be of a very significant level if the heads of MI5 and MI6 are prepared to allow millions of pounds worth of work to be subcontracted to amateurs in a mill in Auchtermuchty.

But amateurs make mistakes and the illegitimate child of the Institute for Statecraft, the so-called "Integrity Initiative" (II), has just made a very big one, at least according to the main Scottish newspaper the Daily Record/Sunday Mail.

Георгиевская ленточка

The reasons why Russia won't invade the Ukraine, the Baltic statelets - or anywhere else for that matter

saint petersburg, russia

Saint Petersburg, Russia
The AngloZionist propaganda machine is constantly warning us that Russia is about to invade some country. The list of candidates for invasion is long and ranges from Norway to the Ukraine and includes the Baltic statelets, Poland and even countries further West. Of course, we are also told that NATO and the US are here to prevent that. Well, thank God for them, right?

But what is conspicuously missing from this narrative is a discussion of the possible Russian motives for such a military move. Typically, we are merely told that Russia has broken the European post-Cold War order and borders by "annexing" Crimea and by sending military forces into the Donbass. Anybody with an IQ at room temperature or above by now realizes that both of these claims are total bunk. The ones who indeed broke the post-Cold War international order and borders were the NATO member states when they used military force, in complete illegality, to break-up Yugoslavia. As for the people of Crimea, they had the opportunity to vote about their future in a referendum, very much unlike the inhabitants of Kosovo which had no such opportunity. As for the 08.08.08 war, even the Europeans who eventually, and very reluctantly, agreed that it was, in fact, Saakashvili who started this conflict, not Russia.

But let's set all this aside and assume that the Russian leaders would not hesitate to use military force again if it was to their advantage. Let's assume that, yes, the Russians are up to no good and that they might well try to bite-off some other piece of land somewhere in Europe.

Such an assumption would immediately raise a crucial question: why would the Russians want to do that?

Comment: For those who dangerously, irrationally and ignorantly continue to spread the accusation that is the subject of this article, we can conclude that for many of them - stirring the pot or risking all-out-war with Russia through their respective places in political life - has become something of a pathological raison d'etre or purpose in life. In short, they have become expert at 'creating an enemy' for lack of anything intrinsically positive in them that would impel them to live and act with a semblance of humanity. Such is the pervasive culture of Western politics at this time in Washington, London and elsewhere at this time.


William Blum, renowned author and critic of US foreign policy, dead at 85

William Blum

William Blum (1933 – 2018)
William Blum died in Virginia early this morning on December 9, 2018. He was surrounded by friends and family after falling in his Washington D.C. apartment and sustaining serious wounds 65 days ago. He was 85 years old.

Bill was born March 6, 1933 at Beth Moses Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. and became an American author, historian, and critic of United States foreign policy. He worked in a computer-related position at the United States Department of State in the mid-1960s. Initially an anti-communist with dreams of becoming a foreign service officer, he became disillusioned by the Vietnam War.

Blum left the State Department in 1967 and became a founder and editor of the Washington Free Press, the first "alternative" newspaper in the capital. In 1969, he wrote and published an exposé of the CIA in which were revealed the names and addresses of more than 200 CIA employees. He worked as freelance journalist in the United States, Europe and South America. In 1972-1973 Blum worked as a journalist in Chile where he reported on the Allende government's "socialist experiment." Its overthrow in a CIA designed coup instilled in him a personal involvement and an even more heightened interest in what his government was doing in various corners of the world.


France's top military chief Pierre De Villiers quits after public bust-up with Macron

Comment: Gilets Jaunes protesters have appeared on French TV suggesting that Pierre de Villiers become the country's new leader. This military man was commander of the French Army until Macron fired him under acrimonious circumstances last year...

Emmanuel Macron and General Pierre De Villiers
© Photo: AFP
The chief of France's armed forces resigned on Wednesday just days after he was publicly hauled back into line by French president Emmanuel Macron after a public row over cuts to the military's budget.

General Pierre De Villiers, 61, presented his resignation to Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday morning.

In a statement De Villiers, who took over in February 2014, said he no longer felt able to command the sort of army "that I think is necessary to guarantee the protection of France and the French people".

He and Macron were due to meet on Friday in a bid to smooth over what had become a very public row over government cuts to the armed forces.

De Villiers, whose role as head of France's armed forces was prolonged by Macron back in June, had initially publicly complained about the government's plan to cut the military's budget by €850 million, predominantly by saving money on equipment.

Comment: The French protest movement of 1968 was a revolution to remove a general from power.

Is the French protest movement of 2018 a revolution to install a general in power!?


Watch turmoil unfold in France as Yellow Vest protests enter 4th weekend, with 125,000 protesters and 89,000 additional police - UPDATES

arc triumph yellow vests
© Reuters / Benoit Tessier
The "Yellow Vests" set fire during protests on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, on November 24.
Clashes, tear gas, barricades and broken windows have been the sights in the French capital as the Yellow Vest protests rage throughout the country for the fourth week in a row. Hundreds were detained and dozens injured.

A total of 125,000 people demonstrated across France, including 10,000 in Paris. Authorities said over 1,300 people were arrested throughout the country.

Saturday's clashes appeared to be even more heated and violent than last week's ones, RT's Charlotte Dubenskij, who has been reporting from the middle of Paris mayhem, said.

More than 70 people, including seven police officers, have been injured in Paris.


UPDATE: 13:15 Sunday 9th December 2018

According to some polls the protests currently have between 70-80% public support, and the same outcry over the cost of living and a variety of other complaints have spread to neighboring countries.

Police arrest 300+ in Paris ahead of mass Yellow Vest protests
Riot police search France
A yellow vest protestor is searched by Riot police forces as he arrives near the Arc de Triomphe early on December 8, 2018 in Paris
More than 300 people have been arrested ahead of Saturday's Yellow Vest rallies in Paris, police say. It comes a day after authorities warned about "radicals" trying to exploit the movement and topple the government.

The nation is preparing for a new wave of mass protests that are gripping France for the fourth consecutive weekend. Some 89,000 officers are patrolling the streets across the country. Armored vehicles belonging to military police were also deployed to the heart of the French capital.

Ahead of the major protests, police announced that at least 354 people were arrested in the city.Authorities did not elaborate on the exact reasons for the detentions.

Earlier, Johanna Primevert, a spokesperson for the police prefecture, told RTL that 34 people have been taken into police custody. The officers found masks, hammers and stones while searching them, French media says.

The detentions come a day after French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux warned that radicals are trying to exploit the Yellow Vest movement and overthrow the government. Reports in the French media also claim that Saturday's demonstrations may be hit by violence caused by both "radicalized... extreme right and extreme left."

France is still reeling after unprecedented violence on December 1, which resulted in street battles with law enforcement across the country. Over 130 people were injured and more than 400 arrested in the mayhem.

This Saturday, the Yellow Vest rallies continue unabated even after the government conceded to their demands and abandoned the fuel tax hikes and an increase to the fuel tax. The demonstrators are billing their planned action on Saturday as "Act IV. Stay on the course."
And there is increasing evidence emerging that some of these agent provocateurs are actually coming from the police's ranks:

Color of outrage: Yellow Vests rallies sweep across France and abroad

gilet jaune yellow vests
© REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Throughout France, over 1,300 demonstrators were detained as people in other regions have also risen up in protest.

A Yellow Vests leader detained in Grenoble.

One of the voices of the Yellow Vests, Julien Terrier, was detained during a rally in the city of Grenoble in southeastern France, the local police prefecture confirmed. He was among 18 people taken into police custody.

Later, up to 1,000 demonstrators marched to the local police station, chanting "free Julien Terrier."
tear gas gilet jaune yellow vest
1,000 march in Marseille

About a thousand protesters gathered in the center of the southern city of Marseille. The march was relatively peaceful. "We are not here to break anything, we have to march openly, if we see anyone who [violates the order], he will be excluded," one of the protesters said.

Yellow Vests occupied the center of the city, with police flocking to the area of the protest. "We want to ensure that people get together," one of the movement's leaders told the crowd.

Officers were seen in full gear getting ready to respond to clashes if necessary.

Unrest in Lyon

Residents in the country's second largest city of Lyon also seized their 'Yellow Vest' moment. While supporting the cause of the greater rallies, people also took to the streets against the rising cost of living. The demonstration has been marred by violence, with participants and police facing off with each other.

Amid the chaos, with tear gas and baton-wielding officers chasing down protesters, a woman - as bizarre as it may seem - was seen playing a fiddle.

The spirit of the Yellow Vests demonstrations has even reached neighboring Belgium.

At least 70 people were detained in Brussels this Saturday. Protesters gathered in Arts Lois and Porte de Namur districts in the center of the city. Police said the detentions were merely a "preventive measure."

Kneeling protester: A new symbol of the Yellow Vests?

Protesters kneel
© Reuters / Benoit Tessier
Protesters kneel in front French riot police near the Champs-Elysees Avenue at a demonstration by the "yellow vests" movement in Paris.
A yellow vest has firmly become a symbol of protest in France. Yet this Saturday demonstrators added something new - they kneeled in front of police, denouncing the humiliating arrests of high school students caught on video.

The town of Mantes-la-Jolie, west of Paris, has found itself at the center of a scandal after a controversial video showed police detentions of students from a local high school. The protesters were clashing with police and officers resorted to quite disputable measures during the arrests - they forced the detainees to kneel.

This fact may have been left unknown but for a camera which captured the teens, who were protesting the education reform, kneeling in mud with heads bowed and hands behind their heads. Some of them were lined up facing a wall. Police officers in full riot gear walked with batons among the students.

The footage stirred public anger, people compared it to an execution by firing squad and branded it as intolerable.

The situation found a receptive audience among Yellow Vest protests that are sweeping France and neighboring Belgium on Saturday.

People in yellow vests in Paris, Marseille and even Brussels are kneeling before officers, riot police and armored vehicles, amid tear gas.

That's how they express solidarity with these 150 teens with backpacks from Mantes-la-Jolie who were arrested.

The gesture has probably become another symbol of the whole movement, aimed to make the government finally listen to the voices of the people, not the rich.

Yellow vests' protest in Brussels kneel
© Reuters / Yves Herman
Yellow vests' protest in Brussels
protest kneel
© Reuters / Stephane Mahe
A protester faces off with French CRS riot police in Paris.
protest kneel
© Reuters / Jean-Paul Pelissier
Protesters as they take part in a demonstration in Marseille
kneel protesters
© Reuters / Benoit Tessier
Near the Champs-Elysees Avenue
Demonstrators kneel in front of French CRS riot police in Paris
© Reuters / Stephane Mahe
Demonstrators kneel in front of French CRS riot police in Paris
A woman kneels in front of police blocking the street during the
© Reuters / Yves Herman
A woman kneels in front of police blocking the street during the "yellow vests" protest against higher fuel prices, in Brussels, Belgium
People re-enact French students' arrest by police that sparked outcry

students paris
High school students re-enact student arrest in Mantes-la-Jolie during a demonstration in Paris
On their knees and with hands on heads, people in France have re-enacted the controversial arrest of high school students in Mantes-la-Jolie which stirred mass outrage.

Recent footage depicting rows of education reform protesters on their knees, with baton-wielding officers standing over them near Saint-Exupery high school, has gone viral. Uploaded on Thursday evening, it gathered thousands of angry comments online, with many likening the image to execution by firing squad.

On Friday, dozens of high school students showed up at the Place de la République in Paris to show their solidarity with the protesters. They re-enacted the arrest scene, kneeling with their hands behind their heads. Similar actions were held in Montreuil, an eastern suburb of Paris, and the city of Dijon in the east.

The students at Mantes-la-Jolie were forced to kneel by officers after being arrested for clashes with police. The unrest at high schools over education reform gripped the whole country. Some 700 sites were affected Friday, while 400 of them were completely shut down.

While speaking on the Mantes-la-Jolie case, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer admitted that the images were "shocking," but also urged that they be treated in the broader context.

Man has hand BLOWN OFF in explosion as Yellow Vest rally descends into chaos

yellow vest man hand blown off

Screenshot from the Facebook video
Gruesome footage distributed by a pro-protest Facebook group appears to show a man cradling the mangled stump of his hand after an explosion at a Yellow Vest rally in Bordeaux. A total of 26 people were injured in the city.

As Yellow Vest protests swept through France on Saturday, some 4,500 people flooded the streets of Bordeaux. The tension began building up around 16:00 when some of the protesters started throwing rocks at police who responded by firing flash-balls.

As the situation gradually descended into chaos, a man was captured on video running towards a group of protesters holding his right hand after a particularly loud bang went off. As the man approaches, it appears that his hand is completely blown off, with only a bloody stump left. The footage was released by Facebook group France en colere (Angry France) that covered the latest mayhem. (WARNING: THE LINKED VIDEO IS EXTREMELY GRAPHIC)

Screenshot from the Facebook video

In another video, he is shown being rolled into an ambulance on a stretcher.

The deputy public prosecutor in Bordeaux, Olivier Etienne, confirmed that one of the protesters had suffered a serious injury to his hand. His current condition is unknown.

The French Sud Ouest daily reported that the man allegedly tried to recover a crowd-control grenade to throw it back at police when it exploded.

During Saturday's tumult, protesters erected barricades, set them on fire and ransacked the offices of several banks, including Societe Generale and BNP, as well as an Apple Store. A post office has also reportedly been looted.

Update 9 Dec, 2018 13:32: More than 260 Injuries and 1.7K arrests have been reported as the police crackdown on the Yellow Vest protest as it intensifies.
The number of those detained in France's nationwide Yellow Vest protests on Saturday, has reached a staggering 1,723. In Paris, the major hotspot of unrest, scores were injured as rallies continued even after sunset.

Film from Ruptly news agency in the capital shows police facing off with demonstrators, who vented their anger well into the late hours. The footage captured officers chasing down demonstrators and later handcuffing them.

Some of them were dragged down the road by law enforcement and placed face down while surrounded by officers. Several people wearing the now iconic yellow vests are also seen in the video with their faces covered in blood.

According to the latest figures provided by the Interior Ministry, 135 people were injured in Paris alone, while the number nationwide has risen to 264. Police also took a beating, with at least 17 officers receiving injuries in the mayhem.
See also: And check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: Révolution Jaune? France Revolts Against Macron


Canada Takes A Hostage: Free Meng Wanzhou

Meng Wanzhou

Meng Wanzhou
"It is clear the US is pushing the battle line to our door ... We can completely regard the US arrest of Meng Wanzhou as a declaration of war against China."
So read an editorial in the Global Times of China on December 6, the day after Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of the Chinese company Huawei was taken hostage by the Canadian and American governments on December 1. The daughter of the founder of China's largest telecommunications company was arbitrarily arrested and detained by Canadian police in Vancouver in transit between planes on December 1 on the pretext of a US extradition request.

The arrest has shocked and angered China while in Canada the large Chinese population must wonder how safe they are. The background to the arrest is fairly simple. Huawei has become a global competitor in the global phone market and their 5G phones are cutting edge technology and so not welcomed by competing phone companies in, US, Japan, south Korea, France, and Sweden, who are so afraid of the competition that they and their governments have spread stories that the phones are loaded with spyware and are "a danger to national security."

The company has even been threatened by the US and allied governments with criminal charges in America's increasingly hostile economic war against China alongside its increasing military pressure, provocations and insults. It's one way to control the market. But now, acting as a mafia they have kidnapped, detained, and hold hostage a Chinese woman whose simple crime is going to work every day. The lack of outcry from women's rights groups in the west is not surprisingly, deafening.

Comment: In response to the arrest, China warned Canada on Saturday that there would be severe consequences if it did not immediately release Huawei Technologies' chief financial officer, calling the case "extremely nasty." China's Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said Canada's arrest of Meng at the request of the United States while she was changing planes in Vancouver was a serious breach of her lawful rights.

The move "ignored the law, was unreasonable" and was in its very nature "extremely nasty," he added.
"China strongly urges the Canadian side to immediately release the detained person, and earnestly protect their lawful, legitimate rights, otherwise Canada must accept full responsibility for the serious consequences caused."


Stephen Cohen: The New Cold War is more dangerous than the first one

nuclear explosion mushroom cloud
The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of dusk. - Hegel
War With Russia?, like the biography of a living person, is a book without an end. The title is a warning - akin to what the late Gore Vidal termed "a journalistic alert-system" - not a prediction. Hence the question mark. I cannot foresee the future. The book's overarching theme is informed by past and current facts, not by any political agenda, ideological commitment, or magical prescience.
This article is adapted from the concluding section of Stephen F. Cohen's War With Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate, just published, in paperback and e-book, by Skyhorse Publishing.
To restate that theme: The new US-Russian Cold War is more dangerous than was its 40-year predecessor that the world survived. The chances are even greater that this one could result, inadvertently or intentionally, in actual war between the two nuclear superpowers. Herein lies another ominous indication. During the preceding Cold War, the possibility of nuclear catastrophe was in the forefront of American mainstream political and media discussion, and of policy-making. During the new one, it rarely seems to be even a concern.