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Mon, 20 Nov 2017
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Thousands of teens gather for apparent flash-mob in downtown Brussels - Event busted by riot police

© Nils Quintelier / Global Look Press
November 15, 2017 - riot police at the Muntplein - Place de la Monnaie, during a face-off between the police and youngsters, in the city center of Brussels
Violent clashes have erupted in central Brussels as police were confronted by "hundreds of young people" who had reportedly gathered to meet a social network star. The youths threw projectiles at police and damaged stores and cars in the area, local media report.

Comment: It was mostly teens, and the 'star' they apparently went to see - or who may have organized it - is also just a kid who is renowned on local social media networks for his pranks.

The clashes broke out at the Place de la Monnaie, a square near the Belgian federal opera house in central Brussels. The unrest reportedly began when police officers approached a large group of youths gathered at the square.

The gathering started throwing projectiles at the officers and even forced them to retreat, Belgian broadcaster RTBF reported. The police then called for backup and attempted to disperse the crowd.

Comment: So it escalated quickly then.

A video posted on Twitter shows police officers in riot gear supported by a water cannon moving along the streets of the Belgian capital.

Comment: The authorities are being ridiculous in their reaction to this particular incident, although it's easy to see why they're hysterical about large gathering in the city after going through cycles of terror attacks, martial law, and riots in recent years.

Just last weekend there was a riot nearby when thousands of Moroccan football fans celebrated their 'origin country's success on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The 'generalized chaos' out there could well be having cumulative effects, where one thing rolls into another - harmless flash-mobs will soon look, to the authorities, no different from riots, from protests, from pleas for food...


Sports Minister Kolobkov: 'Russia fulfilled all WADA criteria, should be reinstated'

© Denis Balibouse / Reuters
Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov
Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov believes the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has fulfilled the criteria set out for it to be reinstated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Kolobkov, along with the president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), Alexander Zhukov, represented Russia at the WADA Executive Committee Meeting on Wednesday in Seoul, South Korea.

"Together with the president of the ROC, we tried to explain our stance on RUSADA and its reinstatement. We spoke about what has been done in recent times," Kolobkov said, TASS reported.

Comment: See also:

Stock Down

Migrant crisis fail: Over 850k people hit by housing shortage in Germany - Homelessness up 150%

© REUTERS/Michaela Rehle
General view at residential building of village Groebenzell near Munich, Germany August 24, 2016.
A housing crisis is spreading in Germany, the Federal Homelessness Association said on Tuesday, forecasting that 1.2 million people could be living in shelters by 2018.

The report came amid heightened concern about Germany's rising poverty rate and ability to integrate 1.1 million migrants that have arrived over the past two years, drawn by the country's reputation for affluence, efficiency and stability.

The homelessness association said that more than 850,000 people lacked their own accommodation in 2016, up 150 percent from 2014, and half of those affected were migrants.

A total of 52,000 people were living on the streets in 2016, up a third from 2014, the group said in its report.

Comment: Migrants first, Germans last? And the German establishment wonders why its citizens are so fed up and turning to the right? It doesn't take a brain surgeon to follow the cause and effect here. Who wins in this migrant crisis? Not the migrants, not their home countries, not their destination countries. Who benefits from keeping Europe weak and polarized?

See: The Truth Perspective: Weapons of Mass Migration: Interview with Michael Springmann on Europe's Migrant Crisis


UAE minister warns all European mosques should be placed under state surveillance

© Odd Andersen / AFP
A loose oversight over mosques is what contributes to the rise of Islamist terrorism in Europe, an UAE minister warned. He then called on Germany and its neighbors to introduce stricter regulation over Muslim prayer halls to prevent radicalization.

"You can't just leave a mosque open and allow anyone to go there and to preach. You need to have licences," Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, the minister for tolerance of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), told Germany's DPA news agency as he commented on the security situation in Europe. He added that the governmental noninvolvement into the activities of religious communities is what has led to the rapid rise of extremism.

Muslims in Germany as well as in the neighboring France, Belgium and the UK had been radicalized exactly due to the fact that authorities in these countries did not pay enough attention to what happened in the mosques on their territory, the minister argued. "Germany and other European states must eventually exert stricter control over such meeting places of Islamists," he said.

Control Panel

Scottish Twitter user posting material critical of UK govt accused of being 'Russian troll'

© Kacper Pempel / Reuters
A Twitter handle alleged to be a prime example of a 'Russian troll' account was actually run from Glasgow by a Scottish security guard. Asked about his tweets, the Scotsman said he is "just anti-crony capitalism."

On Monday, crowdfunded journalism outlet Byline published an article detailing a "complicated" analysis of Twitter page @didgery77332nd, also known as 'Smoo,' concluding it's a "fair assessment" that Smoo is a "foreign-based troll pushing Russian messaging."

The supposed 'Russian troll' takedown comes amid recent unfounded claims that Russian bots sought to influence the Brexit referendum. However, the alleged foreign troll 'Smoo' has been tracked down and is actually a security guard from Glasgow, according to The Scotsman newspaper.

The man denied his page was anonymous, telling the Scottish newspaper that Smoo is a pet name from his childhood. "Smoo has been my nickname since I was six years old. It's not difficult to track me down. People might not agree with my opinions, but that doesn't make me a Russian troll," he said.

Comment: Where is this going to end? They are making ALL dissent synonymous with 'Russia'.


Sean Hannity warns of the 'clear and present danger' that anti-free speech groups like Media Matters for America pose

© Rob Kim/Getty Images
Fox News host Sean Hannity warned viewers Monday of the "clear and present danger" from anti-free speech groups such as Media Matters for America, in the wake of a controversy in which the left-wing activist group successfully got Keurig to stop advertising on Hannity's show.

"Conservative voices in this country for years we have been facing a clear and present danger. This is an unprecedented act that is happening in this country and it has to do with people, right now if you support this president, if you're a conservative...you're a target," he warned.

Keurig announced Saturday it had stopped advertising on Hannity after pressure from Media Matters - who claimed the Fox host had been sympathetic when interviewing Judge Roy Moore over allegations of sexual misconduct. Moore has denied the most serious of the allegations against him.

However, after a counter-protest that featured conservatives destroying their Keurig coffee machines, the company's CEO emerged Monday to walk back the boycott and apologize for its actions.

Comment: See also:


'Get back or you're next': Cops threaten mother when she asks them to stop punching her son in the face

A family is horrified and is seeking justice after watching multiple police officers manhandle and punching a teen in the face multiple times during a routine traffic stop. To make matters worse, the cop doing the punching threatened the mother of the teen for asking officers to stop.

An internal investigation is now underway after video of the incident surfaced and subsequently went viral on social media. In the short video, we see 18-year-old Aaron Kearney held up against a vehicle by several cops as a female officer repeatedly punches him in the face.

"Don't hurt my son," Kearney's mother cries to police. "You're punching my son."

"I am," a female officer is heard responding, "get back."

That unidentified female officer is the one who refuses to stop punching Kearney in the face.

Arrow Up

Credit-card delinquencies pile up and household debt rises by $116 billion

Household debt rose 0.9% in the third quarter
The numbers: Household debt rose by $116 billion, or 0.9%, to $12.96 trillion in the third quarter, the New York Fed said Tuesday. That's the highest level in nominal terms, though not when compared to the size of the economy. Credit-card debt rose by 3.1% while home equity lines of credit, or HELOC, balances fell by 0.9%. There were small gains in mortgage, student and auto debt.

Flows into credit-card and auto loans delinquencies rose, with 4.6% of credit card debt 90 days or more delinquent, up from 4.4% in the second quarter, and 2.4% of auto loan debt seriously delinquent, up from 2.3%. That's still nowhere near the 9.6% of student loan debt that is delinquent, which itself is understated because about half of those loans are currently in deferment, grace periods or in forbearance.

What happened: U.S. households aren't aggressively leveraging up, and the ones that are did so had better credit. The higher level of auto loan originations was mainly to prime borrowers, and the median credit score to individuals originating new mortgages ticked up to 760 from 754.

Comment: According to Paul Craig Roberts the job market is in the toilet:
What we are witnessing in the United States is the first country to reverse the development process and to go backward by giving up industry, manufacturing, and tradeable professional skill jobs. The labor force is becoming Third World with lowly paid domestic service jobs taking the place of high-productivity, high-value added jobs.


Child lead poisoning rates in New York and Detroit are worse than Flint

© Britta Pedersen / Global Look Press
New data shows kids in Detroit and New York City have higher levels of lead in their blood than their counterparts in Flint, Michigan. Flint has seen major improvements in lead levels since their water crisis, but the issue in the US has not gone away.

Data released on Tuesday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shows that 8.8 percent of children tested positive for lead city-wide in Detroit in 2016, including a lone zip code where 22 percent of all kids had a positive test result.

In terms of the rate at which children have been poisoned, Michigan's Jackson County came in second with 7.6 percent of children having high blood lead levels in 2016, and Calhoun, and St. Joseph counties, both came in third, with a rate of 6.4 percent, The Detroit News reported.

Only 1.8 percent of children in Genesee County, home to the city of Flint, tested positive.

Director of Wayne State University's Center for Urban Studies, Lyke Thompson, said, "The pattern is clear. We need to get these numbers down," the Detroit News reported.


Cuteness diplomacy: China falls in love with Trump's Mandarin-speaking granddaughter

President Trump may not speak Mandarin (and he does say "China" kind of funny), so on his trip to the big red nation, Trump brought along someone who does - Arabella Rose Kushner, his 6-year-old granddaughter.

During Trump's meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Wednesday, when the leaders strolled through the ancient Forbidden City, Trump showed Xi a video of his granddaughter. In it, Arabella greets "Grandpa Xi and Grandma Peng" and then sings several Mandarin ballads. She concludes by reciting an ancient Chinese poem - all in Mandarin.

Watch Arabella sing in the clip below.