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Sat, 04 Dec 2021
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Ukrainian parliament repeals anti-protest laws

© AP/Sergei Chuzavkov
In this Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 file photo, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov gestures while speaking at a cabinet meeting in Kiev, Ukraine. The prime minister of crisis-torn Ukraine has submitted his resignation. In a statement Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 on the government website, Mykola Azarov offered his resignation in order to encourage what he called "social-political compromise."
Ukraine's parliament has repealed anti-protest laws that set off violent clashes between protesters and police after they were put in place this month.

The vote on Tuesday came hours after Prime Minister Mykola Azarov submitted his resignation. He is one of the government figures most disliked by opposition supporters who have held protests for two months.

The protests turned violent after President Viktor Yanukovych pushed through laws to crack down on protests and raise possible prison sentences for creating mass disorder.

The prime minister of protest-torn Ukraine submitted his resignation on Tuesday, saying he hoped the move would help bring peaceful resolution to the crisis that has gripped the country for two months.

Mykola Azarov's resignation would remove one of the figures most despised by the opposition. It came as the parliament opened a special session that is expected to repeal harsh anti-protest laws that were imposed this month. Those laws set off the police-protester clashes in which at least three protesters died.


After billions in U.S. "investment", Afghan roads are falling apart

© Kevin Sieff / The Washington Post
The Afghans say they are working to keep up the roads but are hamstrung by a cutoff in American funds.
They look like victims of an insurgent attack - their limbs in need of amputation, their skulls cracked - but the patients who pour daily into the Ghazni Provincial Hospital are casualties of another Afghan crisis.

They are motorists who drove on the road network built by the U.S. government and other Western donors - a $4 billion project that was once a symbol of promise in post-Taliban Afghanistan but is now falling apart.

Western officials say the Afghan government is unable to maintain even a fraction of the roads and highways constructed since 2001, when the country had less than 50 miles of paved roads. The deterioration has hurt commerce and slowed military operations. In many places, the roads once deemed the hallmark of America's development effort have turned into death traps, full of cars careening into massive bomb-blast craters or sliding off crumbling pavement.

Comment: 12 years on, Afghanistan is in worse condition than it ever was. Thanks for nothing America.


Gerald Celente: Disastrous global collapse and riots will engulf the world

© King World News
Gerald Celente
Today the man who remarkably predicted months ahead of time that the Fed would taper in December, and then again in January, warned King World News that people need to brace themselves for a disastrous global collapse and riots that will engulf the entire world.

He also discussed exactly what will trigger and then accelerate this tragic collapse and ensuing chaos. Below is what Gerald Celente, founder of Trends Research and the man many consider to be the top trends forecaster in the world, had to say in this remarkable interview.

Eric King: "Gerald, so far this has proceeded exactly as you predicted, with the first taper in December and the second taper here in January. How bad will this get for the emerging markets?"

Celente: "This selloff in the emerging markets, with their currencies going down and their interest rates going up, it's going to be disastrous and there are going to be riots everywhere....


The Superbowl is the biggest human trafficking event of the year, says law enforcement

Human Trafficking
© ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock

Federal officials are descending on New Jersey this weekend, in anticipation of a major spike in human trafficking that is rumored to accompany the Super Bowl every year. It is believed that America's biggest game is also the largest concentration of human slave laborers of the year.

When a dense mass of humanity converges on a city like bees to a honeycomb, there are certain needs that arise.

The shrewdest of human traffickers know which ones must be fulfilled and which ones can be indulged: toilets have to be cleaned and food has to be served, but sex can also be provided for those with the money to pay for it.

Every year, many people (there are no official numbers) from within the country and abroad are seduced by the promise of paid labor to travel to the city hosting the big game. Often, these jobs do not exist, and many victims are forced to enter into slavery without any means of escape.

"Whether it be the Olympics, the World Cup, or the Super Bowl, any high-profile event that brings a large influx of visitors to a new locale can also create circumstances conductive to human trafficking and sexual exploitation," said Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, to USA Today.


Masked and radical, Ukraine protesters blockade justice ministry

© AFP/Aris Messinis
An anti-government protester walks near a road block in Kiev on January 27, 2014.
They stood like a unit from a paramilitary army, in camouflage fatigues and clutching baseball bats, their faces concealed underneath helmets and black balaclavas.

Radical activists Monday blockaded the Ukrainian justice ministry in Kiev, in a provocative move that risked derailing talks to end Ukraine's crisis and was condemned even by some within the opposition.

Activists from the Spilna Sprava (Common Cause) radical group had late on Sunday stormed the building, bursting past the token protection provided by three guards and occupying the building.

They symbolically smashed the official sign of the building, destroyed one of the ground floor windows and set up a table outside with two icons and the Ukrainian constitution.

Two barricades several metres high were set up on the adjacent roads manned by activists with motorcycle helmets whose heads peered over the sacks of snow forming the blockade.


End of the affair as Francois Hollande vows to live the single life for the rest of his Élysée term

© Independent
Wave goodbye: Francois Hollande and Valerie Trierweiler have officially separated.
President Francois Hollande, the man who never married, is a bachelor again.

After ending his seven-year partnership with Valérie Trierweiler with a phone call to a French news agency on Saturday, the President plans to have no more live-in lovers at the Élysée Palace for the remaining 40 months of his presidency.

Friends assume that his relationship with the actress Julie Gayet, 41, will continue but that she will remain in her own apartment with her two teenage sons.

Ms Trierweiler flew from Paris to Mumbai today on a humanitarian visit, travelling as a "private citizen".

Some hope.

It emerged that Ms Trierweiler, 48, has negotiated a financial settlement with Mr Hollande to compensate for loss of status and her loss of earnings since she abandoned part of her journalistic career when he became president 20 months ago. It is believed that part of the agreement is a "gagging clause".

The couple are said to have parted "on good terms". But even friends of President Hollande, 59, have been surprised by the business-like manner in which he has dealt with his former partner since his love affair with Ms Gayet was exposed by Closer magazine.

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UK media alarmed by govt bill allowing seizure of journalists' notes, files

UK Media
© AFP Photo/Saeed Khan
UK media organizations have warned that if a government bill authorizing police to seize journalists' notebooks, photos and digital files is passed Monday, it could seriously endanger press freedom in the country.

Currently, requests for reporters' notebooks and files must be made in open court, and representatives of news organizations are allowed to be present in the courtroom. However, if Clause 47 in Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Letwin's deregulation bill is passed February 3, secret hearings could authorize the seizure of journalists' files.

Under the bill, the police will be basically given carte blanche to access journalists' information without their consent.

Although the rules stating whether police can have access to material or not will remain unaltered, without media groups present at hearings judges could be more easily persuaded to authorize police seizures of journalistic material, The Guardian reported.

The voice of Britain's media, the Newspaper Society, which represents 1,100 newspapers, 1,600 websites and other print, digital and broadcast channels, has protested against the controversial bill's provisions.

"Reporters are put at risk, whether reporting riot or investigating wrongdoing, if perceived to be ready sources of information for the police and media organizations too vulnerable to police demands for journalistic material," the society warned in a statement.

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Vodka to blame for high death risk in Russian men

© Alexei Sazonov, AP

London - Russian men who down large amounts of vodka - and too many do - have an "extraordinarily" high risk of an early death, a new study says.

Researchers tracked about 151,000 adult men in the Russian cities of Barnaul, Byisk and Tomsk from 1999 to 2010. They interviewed them about their drinking habits and, when about 8,000 later died, followed up to monitor their causes of death.

The risk of dying before age 55 for those who said they drank three or more half-liter bottles of vodka a week was a shocking 35%.

Overall, a quarter of Russian men die before reaching 55, compared with 7% of men in the United Kingdom and less than 1% in the United States.

The life expectancy for men in Russia is 64 years - placing it among the lowest 50 countries in the world in that category.

It's not clear how many Russian men drink three bottles or more a week. Lead researcher Sir Richard Peto of Oxford University said the average Russian adult drinks 20 liters of vodka per year while the average Briton drinks about three liters of spirits.

"Russians clearly drink a lot, but it's this pattern of getting really smashed on vodka and then continuing to drink that is dangerous," Peto said.

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Amanda Knox extradition attempts 'doomed to fail', say diplomats


Amanda Knox reacting to an interviewers questions about a Florence court upholding the guilty verdict for her and her former boyfriend during her recent interview on ABC's Good Morning America show in New York

Knox was sentenced to 28 years in prison by a court in Florence for murder. She already served four years for the crime, returning to Seattle in 2011. The U.S. Supreme Court has to confirm the guilty verdict before extradition. Critics say no Secretary of State will ever send her back to Italy.

Attempts by Rome to extradite Amanda Knox from the United States are doomed to failure, diplomatic sources have warned.

The 26-year-old American is at the centre of a diplomatic tug of war after an Italian court on Thursday sentenced her to 28 years prison for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.


Behind the Headlines: Into the Mystic - Interview with Laura Knight-Jadczyk

We recently interviewed author and SOTT.net founder Laura Knight-Jadczyk on SOTT Talk Radio. Laura shared some stories from her past, explained how her life's work came into being, discussed her current research interests and answered listeners questions about the state of the world and what's on the horizon for humanity.

Running Time: 02:02:00

Download: MP3

Comment: Further reading

Andrew Bard Schmookler: Moral Endo-skeletons and Exo-skeletons: A Perspective on America's Cultural Divide and Current Crisis

Bob Altemeyer: Amazing Conversions: Why Some Turn to Faith & Others Abandon Religion

Frrancesco Carrota - The Gospel of Caesar

Roger Beck - The Mysteries of Mithras - A new account of their genesis

Gary Courtney - Et tu, Judas? Then Fall Jesus!

Joseph Atwill - Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus