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Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti steps down

Mario Monti
© Agence France-Presse/Donato FassanoMario Monti
Mario Monti has resigned as Prime Minster of Italy, saying he no longer has the support he needs to govern. Monti replaced Silvio Berlusconi a little over a year ago after the previous govt proved unable to cope with the financial problems facing it.

Giorgio Napolitano, the Italian President, has accepted his resignation but has asked Monti to stay on as a head of a caretaker government until new elections in a couple of months.

His resignation comes as MPs passed the 2013 budget drawn up by his government with 309 votes in favor and 55 against.

Monti is widely credited with overseeing a recovery in Italy's bonds and repairing the country's tattered image abroad. His leadership has also been praised by Angela Merkel and other European leaders such as Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the group of euro area finance ministers.

When Monti took over, Italy's borrowing was approaching unaffordable levels. He introduced pension reform and raised the retirement age to 66 for men and 62 for women. He also did away with a system of seniority pensions, which allowed many civil servants to retire at 58.

Most importantly though was under Monti yields on Italian 10-year bonds fell to under 7%, now they are between 4 and 5%. Bonds are a key indicator of how much a country has to pay to borrow money and at over 7%, which they were before Berlusconi stepped down, they are unaffordable. However, Monti is unpopular with many Italians dealing with soaring unemployment, a shrinking economy and higher taxes. A poll conducted on November 17th showed that 62% of Italians had a negative view of Monti's government while 82% said they had little confidence in the economy improving.


U.S. marine pleads guilty to urinating on Taliban corpse

Hamid Karzai condemned the actions of Staff Sergeant Joseph Chamblin as inhuman, which came to light in a YouTube video.

© The Associated PressA YouTube video shows U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of dead Taliban fighters in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in July 2011.
Washington - A US marine staff sergeant who urinated on dead Taliban insurgents and posed for photographs with the bodies has pleaded guilty to two charges in a military court.

His sentence was a reduction in rank and forfeiture of $500 (£307) in pay.

Staff Sergeant Joseph Chamblin pleaded guilty on Thursday at a special court martial at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to dereliction of duty for failing to properly supervise junior marines. He also pleaded guilty to wrongfully urinating on a deceased enemy combatant.

The incident occurred during a counter-insurgency operation in Helmand province in Afghanistan in July 2011. It came to light in January this year when a videotape of the incident was posted on YouTube and other websites.

The video showed four men in camouflage marine combat uniforms urinating on three corpses. One of them joked, "Have a nice day, buddy," while another made a lewd joke.

The video was one of a series of offensive incidents involving US service members that roused Afghan ire and led to heightened tensions between Washington and Kabul earlier this year.

Eye 2

Patrick Clawson is RT's 'Villain of the Day': Lobbyist openly calls for U.S. to commit false flag attack to justify war against Iran

RT pretty much spells it out for you.

Magic Wand

Damage control? 911 Sandy Hook emergency services' live feed 'showed early confusion'

Newtown - In the frantic moments after a gunman stormed into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday and gunned down 26 people, most of them children, authorities expected to encounter a second shooter as they converged on the building, according to a recording of a 911 tape that was independently verified by Hearst Connecticut Newspapers on Tuesday.

"I have reports of two shooters running past the building, past the gym, which would be rear," a dispatcher said on the tape, before trailing off. Shortly afterward, the operator told a State Police trooper who was racing to the scene from the nearby Troop A barracks in Southbury to "make sure you have your vest on."

A review of the recording suggests that authorities were unaware of the grisly scene they were walking into.

Comment: This is the full-length version:

But here is an abridged version to save you listening to 'encrypted' chatter which dominates the back and forth radio calls:

Comment: The only "dead end" here is the place we are led to when we try to fit all the known facts of this crime into the official timeline.

Sandy Hook massacre: Official story spins out of control

Sandy Hook massacre: Evidence of official foreknowledge?


SOTT Focus: Sandy Hook massacre: Evidence of official foreknowledge?

© CBSThe moment it emerged that he was alive and was taken into police custody in Hoboken, New Jersey, many if not all of the statements previously made to the press by anonymous 'law enforcement officials' regarding Ryan Lanza and his connections could no longer have been known beforehand.
In the following passage of my previous article on the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, I made the following reference to Ryan Lanza being the named second suspect caught armed in the adjacent woods:
Perhaps most astonishingly, this suspect arrested in the woods was named in an Associated Press report as 24-year-old Ryan Lanza. The original report has long since vanished of course, but you can see it referenced here. This was despite the fact that Ryan had already been named as the deceased suspect inside the school, lying next to two handguns.
I have since found the original Associated Press report, which in fact states that it was "Ryan's younger brother", Adam Lanza, who was arrested in the woods. So let's take a closer look at this revealing report.


"And nobody dies in your prisons?" Russian fury at U.S. Magnitsky Act

Guantanamo a shinning example of an American prison

Barack Obama has signed into law a bill that establishes normal trade relations with Russia for the first time in decades, including the repeal of the 1974 Jackson-Vanick Amendment that denied "most favored nation" status to countries restricting human rights.

But the bill also included the so-called "Magnitsky" Act, which calls for sanctions against any Russian who was involved in the 2009 death of lawyer and whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky. Russia is incensed by what it considers interference with an internal matter.

The editor-in-chief of a well known pro-government newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda, was the first high-profile individual to be affected. He received a fax on Friday Dec. 14, the same day the law was enacted, informing him that his visa to the United States had been revoked due to the provisions of the Magnitsky Act. It is not clear what his connection to the Magnitsky case is.

What happened to Sergei Magnitsky?

Sergei Magnitsky, the auditor of the Hermitage Capital fund, was accused of tax evasion. He was held in prison for nearly a year, during which time he told doctors on several occasions that he was feeling ill. In spite of his complaints, he never received medical treatment, and his health got worse. He died on Nov. 16, 2009 after having finally been transferred to a medical facility and treated for chronic hepatitis and diabetes.

Star of David

The truth will out: Declassified Intel files prove U.S.-Israel relations to be ongoing tragedy

gaza bombing
This Intel report is the Rosetta Stone for everything that Israel has done since before its so called birth, but which was more like letting a Frankenstein monster loose on the land. We had loyal Americans who saw the trap back then, yet we walked right into it. Why have we done it, and for whom?

The history of America's involvement with Israel has been an ongoing tragedy. The Palestinians have of course suffered the most, having been invaded by legions of atheist and communist Jews, primarily from Eastern Europe. And yes, they claim 'God gave us the land'.

They teamed up with the 5th column Zionists already there who had been carefully and methodically laying plans for taking over the land and doing to the Palestinians what they claimed the Nazis had done to them--killing and kicking the Palestinians out to make more lebensraum (growing space) for more Jews.
Generations of Israeli Lobby fellow travelers have worn the sordid mantle of 'Palestinian holocaust Deniers', to coin a phrase, with no shame whatsoever. Golda Meir was their Hebrew Klan Grand Dragon. She produced a low cost and instant holocaust hat trick. "There are no Palestinian people," she said.
One of the main tasks of Israeli espionage has always been to protect Israel from judgment day for their crimes against humanity against the Palestinian people. To them this is a war, and they take no prisoners. When are we going to figure this out, when it comes to dealing with them?
Today I begin a series of articles to pin the holocaust tails on their correct donkey. I am going to use sources with which the general public is unfamiliar, the declassified American Intel files on Israel. And yes, these have been open since the early 1980's, but might as well have been in a library on the moon.
Israeli penetration into not only our media and publishing, but also our political arena has virtually banished these documents from the historical narrative. The fear is that they could be used to deprogram pro-Israeli zombies and expose all the treasonous Americans who have aided and abetted the Israelis in hiding their crimes.

Let us start at the beginning. A crime against an entire people, to holocaust them from their own land, has to have a plan. Here it is

Red Flag

Global perspective on American culture of murdering children

'You come from a culture where it is okay to kill children,' the Iraqi woman said. We were sheltering against the wall of a building in Fallujah in April 2004 while the city was under attack by US forces.

I began to protest, but she continued, in broken English: 'Let me say it another way. You come from a culture where your people think it is okay to kill our children.'

What could I say? There were several little bodies at my feet, bloodied remains laid out on the footpath and covered with thin sheets. The children had been shot by US snipers that day, among at least 1000 civilians killed in that ferocious attack.

This Iraqi woman knew there would be no collective outrage at the killing of Fallujah's children. No front-page headlines. We would not know their names, see their faces or hear their stories. Their killers would not be pursued, labelled 'mad' or 'evil', or made to face a court. There would be no calls for 'change.'

Some commentators have compared the response to deaths of the children in the small American community of Newtown with the young victims of US wars. The point is valid. A life is a life, and all life is precious; a fact that has enough weight of its own without the need to draw comparisons.

Newtown kids v. Yemenis and Pakistanis: What explains the disparate reactions?
We have become death

Star of David

Illegal Occupation: Israel plans another 6,000 Settlement Homes

west bank
Despite International Criticism, Interior Ministry Pushing Through More Schemes

Yesterday's announcement for 1,500 more settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem took a lot of people by surprise. Israel usually staggers such announcements so they can finish diplomatic damage control on the one before announcing another, and the dispute over E1 is still fresh in everyone's minds. It seems this is just the new normal for Israel heading into the election.

That's because the Interior Ministry is now reporting that its panel didn't finish with the 1,500, and in fact is going to keep meeting throughout the week to rubber stamp expansions in two more settlements in East Jerusalem, making this week's announcements up to 6,000 units.

Heart - Black

In the US, mass child killings are tragedies. In Pakistan, mere bug splats

Sandy Hook memorial
© Spencer Platt/GettyA memorial to the victims of the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut. The children killed by US drones in north-west Pakistan 'have no names, no pictures, no memorials of candles and teddy bears'.
Barack Obama's tears for the children of Newtown are in stark contrast to his silence over the children murdered by his drones

"Mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts ... These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change." Every parent can connect with what President Barack Obama said about the murder of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut. There can scarcely be a person on earth with access to the media who is untouched by the grief of the people of that town.

It must follow that what applies to the children murdered there by a deranged young man also applies to the children murdered in Pakistan by a sombre American president. These children are just as important, just as real, just as deserving of the world's concern. Yet there are no presidential speeches or presidential tears for them, no pictures on the front pages of the world's newspapers, no interviews with grieving relatives, no minute analysis of what happened and why.