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Thu, 03 Dec 2020
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Eye 1

Israel 'using Facebook to recruit Gaza collaborators'

Facebook gaza
© BBC News
Social networking websites are becoming increasingly popular in Gaza
In a busy internet cafe in the centre of Gaza City, lots of people, mostly young, are typing and clicking away.

Some of them are engrossed in the world of Facebook. "I use it 10 hours a day," says Mohammed who owns the shop. "I have over 200 Facebook friends."

But Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip, believes the population's love of social networking websites is making it easier for Israel to recruit spies.

Israel has long maintained networks of informers in the West Bank and Gaza in its effort to derail the activities of militant groups.

Historically, collaborators have often been killed if discovered, and this week Hamas announced it would execute anyone caught acting as an agent for Israel.

Bad Guys

The Gold Market is a Ponzi Scheme

We've had a string of amazing revelations recently regarding the world's precious metals market. This is important stuff for anyone (like me) who holds gold as a means to avoid currency turmoil and counterparty risk.

(My earlier post on shenanigans at the Comex gold market.)

This news has been actively suppressed in the mainstream media.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a U.S. government regulatory agency, held hearings in Washington D.C. in late March regarding position limits in the futures market.

People involved in the markets have known/suspected for years that they have been manipulated by certain large entities, notably JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.

Magnify

Ukraine Geopolitics and the US-NATO Military Agenda

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The Ukrainian "orange revolution" lived through one presidential term. Like the rest of the coloured revolutions, it basically amounted to a coup d'état orchestrated by Washington through the manipulation of public opinion. As usual, it was the economic results of the team in power that sparked widespread disenchantment. While promising western prosperity, the government's only goal was Ukraine's accession to NATO. It's defeat - and Viktor Yanukovich's victory - deprives Washington of an indispensable piece to achieve the encirclement of Russia.

A decisive vote against NATO

On February 14 Ukraine's Election Commission declared Viktor Yanukovych the winner in that embattled country's Presidential runoff vote, defeating former Prime Minister and Orange Revolution instigator Yulia Tymoshenko. Contrary to the positive spin Washington is trying to put on the events, they mark the definitive death of Ukraine's much-touted "Orange Revolution."

Cult

Church in Ireland 'has lost all its credibility', says Archbishop of Canterbury

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has lost all credibility because of the child abuse scandal, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

timesonline Archbishop
© James Glossop/The Times
The Archbishop of Canterbury made the comments during an interview with Andrew Marr for the BBC Radio 4 programme Start the Week, to be broadcast on Monday
In a rare breach of ecumenical protocol, Dr Rowan Williams criticised the Catholic Church over its handling of the paedophile priests crisis and made plain his anger over the Pope's plans for a new ordinariate to tempt dissatisfied Anglicans over to Rome.

His comments will add to the cloud gathering over the Pope's four-day visit to Britain in September, when he is expected to give an address in Westminster on moral values in society. More than 10,000 people have signed a "Protest the Pope" petition on Downing Street's website against the £15 million cost of the visit, which is to be shared by the Government and the Church.

The Vatican's troubles mounted yesterday when Pope Benedict XVI's personal preacher likened the criticism of the Church over the sex abuse scandal to "collective violence" suffered by the Jews.

Cell Phone

Catholic church hotline in meltdown over paedophile priests

An abuse hotline set up by the Catholic Church in Germany melted down on its first day of operation as more than 4,000 alleged victims of paedophile and violent priests called in to seek counselling and advice.

The numbers were far more than the handful of therapists assigned to deal with them could cope with. In the end only 162 out of 4,459 callers were given advice before the system was shut down.

Andreas Zimmer, head of the project in the Bishopric of Trier, admitted that he wasn't prepared for "that kind of an onslaught." The hotline is the Church's attempt to win back trust in the face of an escalating abuse scandal that threates the papacy of German-born Pontiff Benedict XVI in Rome.

Cult

1963 letter indicates Vatican knew of endemic abuse in US going back to the 1950s

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© Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP
Did someone say k-k-kult? In Zamora, Spain, "Penitents" take part in the Procesion del Silencio by the Cristo de las Injurias brotherhood, during "Easter Holy Week". WIth this kind of carry on, is anyone really surprised to learn that the Catholic Church embraces evil with open arms?
Los Angeles - A 1963 letter to then-Pope Paul VI indicates the Vatican was aware of clergy abuse in the U.S. nearly five decades ago.

In the letter, obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, the head of a Roman Catholic order that oversaw treatment of pedophile priests tells the pope he recommends removing pedophile priests from active ministry.

The letter is a summary of the Rev. Gerald M.C. Fitzgerald's thoughts on problem priests that appears to have been requested by the pope after Fitzgerald's 1963 visit to the Vatican. Fitzgerald headed the New Mexico-based Servants of the Holy Paraclete.

The letter was among several hundred pages of Paraclete documents given to the AP by attorneys for California clergy abuse victims who obtained the document during litigation. The documents were first made public last year after attorneys pursuing clergy abuse claims in Los Angeles got them unsealed.

A message left with the Paraclete was not immediately returned.

Cowboy Hat

Africa May Have Lost £1 Trillion in Illegal Flows of Money

More than £1tn may have flowed out of Africa illegally over the last four decades, most of it to western financial institutions, according to a new report.

Even using conservative estimates, the continent lost about $1.8tn (£1.18tn) - meaning Africans living at the end of 2008 had each been deprived of an average of $989 (£649) since 1970, according to the US-based research body Global Financial Integrity (GFI).

The report says globally in recent years much attention has been focused on corruption - the proceeds of bribery and theft by government officials - and this only makes up about 3% of the cross-border flow of illicit money around the world.

Eye 2

Pedophilia in the Catholic Church: Coverup Operation at the Vatican?

Pope Ratzinger's Swan Song

global reseach Pope
© Unknown

Pope Benedict should do everyone a favor and resign. By hanging on, he's just making matters worse. Who does he think he's fooling anyway? Everyone knows that he was involved in the sex-scandal cover up. Does he really think that a few papal apologies will make a difference? He was in charge and knew everything that was going on. That makes him responsible. His best option now is to "man up" and face the consequences. He needs to arrange a press conference, tell the truth, and resign. End of story.

It's clear that the problem isn't going to go away. In the last week, three more incidents have surfaced adding more fuel to the fire. In Wisconsin, Father Lawrence Murphy abused as many as 200 boys at a Milwaukee school for the deaf. One of the victims, Arthur Budzinski, has been all over TV telling his story and blaming the pope. It's pretty heart-wrenching stuff, too. According to Budzinski's daughter Gigi:

"The pope knew about this. He was the one who handled the sex abuse cases. So, I think he should be accountable, because he did nothing."

Cult

Vienna Boys' Choir caught up in sex abuse scandals

Georg Ratzinger
© Alberto Pellaschiar/AP
Georg Ratzinger has admitted hearing of cases of ill-treatment during his time as director of the Regensburg choir
The most famous choir in the world has been caught up in the wave of paedophile scandals sweeping Germany and Austria, with eight former choristers denouncing their teachers in the past few days.

An open letter from the management of the Vienna Boys' Choir to parents expressed regret at the incidents, which were recounted by former singers now aged between 40 and 70.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, called yesterday for truth and clarity in investigating paedophile abuse not only in church institutions but everywhere within the educational system. "We all agree that sexual abuse against children is a despicable crime," she told parliament.

So far about 300 claims of sexual abuse have been made by former pupils of German church schools and of non-denominational boarding schools.

Bomb

Double car bombs kill 12 in Russia's Dagestan

Several of the dead are police officers. Putin denounces 'a crime against Russia.'

Double suicide bombings struck the strife-ridden Russian republic of Dagestan on Wednesday morning, killing 12 people and injuring dozens.

The attacks came as violent punctuation to this week's bombings aboard Moscow's subway, which killed 39 and stirred fresh fears that volatility in Russia's mostly Muslim Caucasus region is seeping deep into the rest of the country.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin again lashed out at militants, saying this week's bombings could be linked and calling for reinforcement of police ranks in the north Caucasus.

"I don't rule out that the same terrorists were involved," Putin told a government presidium in Moscow. "It does not matter for us in what part of the country these crimes have been committed, or who -- people of what ethnicity or religion -- have fallen victims to these crimes. "We see this as a crime against Russia."