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Sun, 23 Jan 2022
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Gold Coins

Better safe than sorry: Russia's third largest bank moves money from Europe to Moscow for safe keeping

© Reuters / Leonhard Foeger
Gazprombank transferred client funds from Belgium and Luxembourg back to home turf, to protect against any future sanctions.

The securities were moved from Euroclear Bank (Brussels) and Clearstream Banking (Luxembourg) to the Russian Central Depository at the end of April.

The move is intended to protect customers from any forthcoming sanctions and prevent a situation where clients' funds are frozen, the statement on the website said.

"The transfer was done to prevent possible restrictions on transactions of customers' assets that are kept in international deposits and settlement systems," it stated. In preparation for sanctions, in March, the bank moved nearly $7 billion to Russia's Central Bank for safe keeping.

Russia's Central Bank held $486 billion in international reserves as of April 1 this year, $40 billion less than one year earlier, when holdings stood at about $528 billion.

The last round of US sanctions included 17 companies, but didn't target Gazprombank or Vnesheconombank (VEB), both state-owned lending institutions. In March, the US imposed sanctions on Bank Rossiya and its owner, Yury Kovalchuk - both have stakes in Gazprom subsidiaries.

Black Magic

Plans for satanic ritual at Harvard University draws outrage by the Boston Catholics

A Harvard University student group plans to hold a re-enactment of a satanic ritual on the school's historic campus, drawing criticism from local Roman Catholic officials, who expressed "deep sadness and strong opposition" to the plan.

The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club said in a statement posted online that it plans to host "a historical re-enactment of a black mass ceremony that has a narrator providing historical context and background."

It said the event was intended to be educational and would be preceded by a lecture on the history and origins of the black mass, a ritual that parodies the Catholic mass, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed.

The re-enactment will be performed by the Satanic Temple, a Satanist group that attracted attention earlier this year after it proposed the placement of a 7-foot (2.1-meter) tall statue of Satan next to an existing Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma.

"Our purpose is not to denigrate any religion or faith, which would be repugnant to our educational purposes, but instead to learn and experience the history of different cultural practices," the club said.

Comment: The Catholic Church worships its own demon god as it continues to hide and protect its network of pedophile priests. Their vengeful, jealous god must not like the competition!

Arrow Down

Turkey: At least 20 killed and another 300 trapped in coal mine

At least 20 miners have been killed and up to 300 are reported trapped after an explosion caused a fire triggering a collapse at a coal mine in the western Turkish province of Manisa.

Local member of parliament Muzaffer Yurttas said 20 workers had been killed at the mine in Soma, citing health officials.

"Twenty workers were killed and 30 were wounded in the accident. They died of choking and burns," Yurttas told local TV station NTV.

Al Jazeera's Serpil Karacan reporting from Istanbul said the mine employed more than 500 people and at least 200 people had finished their shift, leaving 300 still trapped at the site.

Fire officials are trying to pump clean air into the mine shaft for those who remain trapped some two kilometres below the surface and four kilometres from the entrance.

"Four separate rescue teams are currently working in the mine. The fire is creating a problem but oxygen is being pumped into the mine shafts that weren't affected."


Lodi, California police chief defends officers in shooting of Army vet, citizens not satisfied

© Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton
Lodi's police chief, meeting privately last week with a small group of residents about a case that has roiled the town and its Sikh community, strongly defended the two officers who shot and killed a mentally ill Army veteran as he walked toward his mother's home on a Saturday morning in January.

"You know, I have two very, very good police officers that are having a lot of trouble with this," Chief Mark Helms said in an audio recording of the meeting that The Sacramento Bee obtained from a source. "And nobody's thinking about them, either."

Helms asked for the meeting with Sikh leaders, according to those in attendance. He spoke for nearly two hours at the April 17 gathering, giving his first detailed public comments about the killing of Parminder Singh Shergill, a Sikh whose family has deep roots in Northern California.


$10,000 a head: Radicals put a bounty on UK journalist in Ukraine

Ukrainian radicals have put a bounty out on RT stringer Graham Phillips, who is currently working in the east of the country. Also a camera-man working for RT in Odessa has been informed about being on the radicals' radar.

"Myself I have received threats putting a bounty on my head to be kidnapped and that has been offered from [the city of] Dnepropetrovsk, as I understand, connected to the Right Sector," Graham Phillips confirmed while reporting live from the city of Slavyansk.

The Right Sector reportedly offered $10,000 for the capture of "a Russian spy."


Eradicating beauty: The destruction of art


Image from WWI. Injured soldiers and the remains of those not so 'fortunate' share the same space.
My Grandma is a ninety-nine-and-half-year-old French lady. She was born in 1914 at the outbreak of WWI. Her father died on the Western Front in August 1918; it was only three months before the armistice.

Grandma was just one out of 6 million French children who lost their fathers. Her mother had a small sewing shop in Southern France, specializing in widows' dresses, by far the most popular garment at the time.

When she was in her 30s, my Grandma also lived through WWII, and in 1945, she went to Germany with her husband, a military man who was part of the French occupation forces that were stationed there until the 1960s.

Grandma didn't like living with Germans; they reminded her of her lost father. She still doesn't like the Germans much. I guess she never thought about the fact that both German and French soldiers were used as cannon fodder, manipulated into fighting wars that profited only the heartless, greedy politicians and bankers.

One could reasonably argue that during her long life, Grandma, like many of her contemporaries, experienced the full horror of the 20th Century and the steady devolution of humanity.

Star of David

Western hypocrisy: Crimea and Israeli war crimes

Dome of Rock
Billions of dollars to fund the Third Temple are set aside and ready to literally blast away the Dome of the Rock and the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, writes Vlazna

The velocity with which the US and EU imposed economic sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea is equal to the mass of hypocrisy on Israel's creeping annexation of Palestinian land through colonial-settlement expansion. The ongoing expansion is seen as a war crime "falling into the provision of Article 8 of the International Criminal Court statutes".


The random Muslim scare story generator: Separating facts from fiction

muslims take over britain
© Agence France-Presse/Shaun Curry
"We'll take over Britain with our dastardly Muslim plots … but there's all this paperwork to get through first." Members of the Sharia Council of Britain at work
Halal meat is on every menu; sharia law is taking over; the niqab is undermining the nation. Ever noticed how often the same old stories keep appearing about Muslims in Britain? Here's the truth about these and other media myths

In Britain, there is now a cycle of Islamic scare stories so regular that it is almost comforting, like the changing of the seasons. Sadly, this rotation is not as natural, or as benign, although it is beginning to feel just as inevitable. We had the niqab winter last year, as the country lurched into the niqab debate for the second time in three years. Now we are in the spring of halal slaughter.

Comment: As Gilad Atzmon once said:
The Israelis and their allies know very well why they promote Islamophobia. But what is Islamophobia? What, and who, does it serve? It serves Zio-centric Capitalist interests. Islamophobia is the true face of Hasbara (Israeli propaganda). It is there to make sure that Israel's "survival war" is actually a Western war.


Russia to support Serbia's stance on Kosovo

Russian parliament
© RIA Novosti/Vladimir Fedorenko
Russia will support Serbia in its ongoing diplomatic efforts to solve the Kosovo and Metohija issue, a speaker of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament said during a visit to Serbia Tuesday. "Russia has always supported stances based on norms of the international law. We will always support a decision that would benefit the Serbian people" State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said.

Kosovo, a landlocked region with a population consisting mainly ethnic Albanians, declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008. More than 90 nations, including the United States and leading European Union members, acknowledged Kosovo's independence. Both Serbia and Russia do not recognize Kosovo as an independent state.


Russia and China on verge of signing massive 30 year gas deal

gas pipeline
© Reuters/Gleb Garanich
A historic, long-term deal for the delivery of Russian gas to China that has been 10 years in the making is 98 percent ready, Russia's Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky has said. All that's needed are the two countries' signatures, he added.

"We hope that the negotiations will be completed as scheduled," Reuters quoted Yanovsky as saying.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is due in the Chinese capital next week where the nations are widely expected to sign the deal. The contract's been in the making for the last 10 years and in March 2013 resulted in signing of a delivery memorandum between Russia's Gazprom and China's CNPC. The terms of the pipeline delivery contract outline Russia's intention to supply China with 38 billion cubic meters of gas per annum for 30 years, starting in 2018.