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Mon, 18 Feb 2019
The World for People who Think


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.


New research shows methane emissions from livestock have no detectable effect on the climate

global methane distribution map
© Glatzle, 2018

Agrobiologist and scientific researcher Dr. Albrecht Glatzle, author of over 100 scientific papers and two textbooks, has published research that shows "t
here is no scientific evidence, whatsoever, that domestic livestock could represent a risk for the Earth's climate" and that the "warming potential of anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions has been exaggerated".

Glatzle, 2018

Domestic Livestock and Its Alleged Role in Climate Change


"Our key conclusion is there is no need for anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and even less so for livestock-born emissions, to explain climate change. Climate has always been changing, and even the present warming is most likely driven by natural factors. The warming potential of anthropogenic GHG emissions has been exaggerated, and the beneficial impacts of manmade CO2 emissions for nature, agriculture, and global food security have been systematically suppressed, ignored, or at least downplayed by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and other UN (United Nations) agencies. Furthermore, we expose important methodological deficiencies in IPCC and FAO (Food Agriculture Organization) instructions and applications for the quantification of the manmade part of non-CO2-GHG emissions from agro-ecosystems. However, so far, these fatal errors inexorably propagated through scientific literature. Finally, we could not find a clear domestic livestock fingerprint, neither in the geographical methane distribution nor in the historical evolution of mean atmospheric methane concentration."

Comment: So cow farts don't cause climate change. What a shocker. Guess the Guardian will have to find a different reason to tell us we all need to become vegan.

See also:


Fake News outlet The Guardian ups its vilification of Julian Assange

luke harding
It is welcome that finally there has been a little pushback, including from leading journalists, to the Guardian's long-running vilification of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks.

Reporter Luke Harding's latest article, claiming that Donald Trump's disgraced former campaign manager Paul Manafort secretly visited Assange in Ecuador's embassy in London on three occasions, is so full of holes that even hardened opponents of Assange in the corporate media are struggling to stand by it.

Faced with the backlash, the Guardian quickly - and very quietly - rowed back its initial certainty that its story was based on verified facts. Instead, it amended the text, without acknowledging it had done so, to attribute the claims to unnamed, and uncheckable, "sources".

The propaganda function of the piece is patent. It is intended to provide evidence for long-standing allegations that Assange conspired with Trump, and Trump's supposed backers in the Kremlin, to damage Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential race.

Comment: The Guardian... guardian for whom and what? Not the people's voices anyway.

Eye 2

The Pentagon's massive accounting boondoggle exposed

The Pentagon building in Washington, DC
© Agence France-Presse
How US military spending keeps rising even as the Pentagon flunks its audit.

On November 15, Ernst & Young and other private firms that were hired to audit the Pentagon announced that they could not complete the job. Congress had ordered an independent audit of the Department of Defense, the government's largest discretionary cost center - the Pentagon receives 54 cents out of every dollar in federal appropriations - after the Pentagon failed for decades to audit itself. The firms concluded, however, that the DoD's financial records were riddled with so many bookkeeping deficiencies, irregularities, and errors that a reliable audit was simply impossible.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan tried to put the best face on things, telling reporters, "We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it." Shanahan suggested that the DoD should get credit for attempting an audit, saying, "It was an audit on a $2.7 trillion organization, so the fact that we did the audit is substantial." The truth, though, is that the DoD was dragged kicking and screaming to this audit by bipartisan frustration in Congress, and the result, had this been a major corporation, likely would have been a crashed stock.



Ding-dong, another witch is dead: Deep State bagman George Bush Sr. finally croaks

Comment: First McCain, and now Daddy Bush. Not a bad end to the year.

Cue another round of gushing obituaries for another powerful crook...

bush senior cheney

The Endless War of the Endless Terror of the Endless Bush Regime... has finally come to an end
Former US President George H.W. Bush, credited for helping to end the Cold War, passed away on Friday at the age of 94, a family spokesperson confirmed. Bush governed the nation from 1989 to 1993.

The 41st president died at 10:10pm (local time) on Friday. Funeral arrangements will be announced some time later, the spokesperson for the Bush family, Jim McGrath, said in a statement.

His health deteriorated in recent years, as he suffered from lower-body Parkinson's disease and was confined to a wheelchair. In April, Bush was discharged from a hospital after receiving treatment for low blood pressure.

Former US leader as well, George W. Bush, called his late father "a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for."

Current President Donald Trump praised Bush for his "essential authenticity" and "disarming wit." His "unflappable leadership" brought the US and the world "to a peaceful and victorious conclusion of the Cold War," Trump said.

Comment: Sarah McLendon, a Texas journalist, asked Daddy Bush in 1992:
"What will the people do if they ever find out the truth about Iraq-gate and Iran-Contra?"
His answer:
"Sarah, if the American people ever find out what we have done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us."
Iraq-gate was the exposure of US-UK weapons sales to Saddam right up until invading his country the first time around. Iran-Contra was the covert sales of weapons to the other side in that war. Both were arranged - or signed off - by the CIA's man in the White House; VP, later president, George HW Bush.

The Iran-Iraq War, Iraq-gate, Iran-Contra, the first invasion of Iraq, anti-Iraq sanctions, the second invasion of Iraq, anti-Iran sanctions, and ISIS... all share the same underlying strategic rationale, greatly facilitated, if not publicly articulated, by Bush Sr.:

"If we (America) can't have it (domination of world energy markets), they (the Russians and the Chinese) can't either."

Bush Sr. was an oil man from the time he graduated Yale (and Skull 'n' Bones), and it's interesting that he was in Florida running an oil operation while being an errand boy for the CIA's Cuban 'rebels', right around the time of their involvement in the JFK assassination. The last co-conspirator of that crime may have died today...

See also: Dark Legacy Documentary: Bush Senior was Central Figure in Plot to Kill JFK


Britain has been at war continuously for 104 years

british malay beheading

British special forces behead Malay villagers while 'spreading democracy' in the 1950s
War-weariness among the public and wariness among politicians mean next year could be the first since at least 1914 that British soldiers, sailors and air crews are not engaged in fighting

When British forces pull down the union jack for the last time in Afghanistan this year, it will be a hugely symbolic moment. It is not just that the departure marks the end of 13 years of British involvement in combat in that troubled country. The surprise is that it could also signal the end of a century or more of unbroken warfare by British forces.

Comment: It didn't. 'ISIS' suddenly arrived on the scene in Syria, then Iraq, and British soldiers were back in 'expeditionary' mode...

Next year may be the first since at least 1914 that British soldiers, sailors and air crews will not be engaged in fighting somewhere - the first time Britain is totally at peace with the rest of the world.

Since Britain's declaration of war against Germany in August 1914, not a year has passed without its forces being involved in conflict. It is a statistic that has been largely overlooked, and not one about which the government is likely to boast.

Comment: Indeed. In the entire time since then the whole world has been daily informed (largely through anglophone media) about these dictators and those tyrants, but the backdrop - British and American warmongering - is so ubiquitous and monotonous that it's like white noise, or wallpaper no one notices.

The past 100 years have seen two world wars, large-scale conflicts in Korea and Iraq, and small-scale actions in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. There have been punitive operations in defence of empire, cold war operations, post-9/11 support for the US, and the Troubles in Ireland.

Comment: 'War-weariness' is not a problem for the British elites: they can rely on media creating fictitious enemies (the Russians, currently).

Heart - Black

Former Greek foreign minister: 'Diplomats are issuing visas to unaccompanied children so their organs can be harvested'

Nikos Kotzias
© Dimitrios Karvountzis/ZUMAPRESS.com
Former Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias during his speech
Diplomats from Greece have been blasted as "traitors" by the country's former foreign minister, after he shockingly repeated allegations that visas were issued "to unaccompanied children to illegally traffic their organs".

Nikos Kotzias, who resigned last month in a row over Macedonia's name, damningly said last week - and for the second time - that some 93 cases had been sent for prosecution, with a string of "highly respected ambassadors" already behind bars.

"Do you know what visas for unaccompanied minors mean? It means the organ trade."

Comment: Crikey!

Comment: As we've been pointing our for years now, illicit trafficking in organs for transplant is a world-wide problem. Destitute children are the easiest target. The do-gooders facilitating the migrant movements have no idea what evil they're facilitating.