Hundreds of fetishists hold erotic S&M party on German lake (VIDEO)

By ethan / June 24, 2018

Hundreds of pleather-clad S&M enthusiasts descended on Germany’s Lake Constance for a boat party with a difference on Saturday.

The ‘Torture Ship’ is the world’s largest BDSM [Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism] and fetish party to take place on a moving barge.

It set sail from the Friedrichshafen harbor as large crowds gathered to take in the spectacle of passengers decked out in full bondage, gimp masks, horse heads, and fishnet vests, with plenty of exposed skin.

READ MORE: Soros fund manager involved in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’-style BDSM lawsuit – report

Running for more than two decades, the Torture Ship is a firm favorite with S&M lovers from around the world. This year, organizers expected a slightly smaller turnout of about 500 passengers, due to the inconvenient clash with the Germany-Sweden World Cup match.

In 2015, the party was forced to get rid of its darkroom and bedrooms to comply with tightening government regulations, and the event is now officially dubbed a dance party.

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Rudy injury doubt for Germany in key South Korea clash after suffering broken nose against Sweden

By ethan / June 24, 2018

German midfielder Sebastian Rudy is an injury doubt for his team’s crunch Group F match against South Korea on Wednesday, after suffering a suspected broken nose in the dramatic win against Sweden.

READ MORE: Germany salvage World Cup hopes with late winner against Sweden in Sochi

The Bayern Munich midfielder was left bloodied after taking an accidental boot to the face from Sweden’s Andreas Granqvist 30 minutes into the game in Sochi, and was subsequently replaced by Ilkay Gundogan.

After the game German boss Joachim Low confirmed that Rudy could be among the enforced changes he has to make for the crucial game against South Korea on Wednesday in Kazan.  

“My players were tired at the end of the game and Marco [Reus] had cramps as early as 10 minutes before the end,” Low told reporters, according to Reuters.

“Jerome Boateng is suspended [after picking up a red card on 82 minutes] and Sebastian Rudy broke his nose. We will need a couple of days to recover. Rudy could potentially play on Wednesday but we will need to wait and see,” he added.

Low said he was optimistic that Mats Hummels, who missed the Sweden game, would be fit enough to face South Korea.

“Mats is likely to play and if he does then we have another option in defense,” Low said.

Four-time winners Germany rescued their World Cup hopes with a dramatic 95th-minute winner from Toni Kroos, who curled the ball into the top corner from a well-worked free-kick to hand Germany a 2-1 win.

Marco Reus had equalized shortly into the second half, after Ola Toivonen’s smart finish had given the Swedes a first-half lead.

Kroos’ late winner sparked wild celebrations from the German bench, but also led to a confrontation with Swedish staff and players after they appeared to be goaded by their rivals. 

Swedish boss Janne Andersson accused the German staff of “rubbing our faces in it.”  

READ MORE: ‘They rubbed our faces in it’: Sweden & Germany in touchline clash after late World Cup drama

A defeat for Germany would have spelled doom for their World Cup defence, and they now head into the game against South Korea with a chance of making the last 16 – but could still depend on the result of the Sweden-Mexico fixture.

The Germans have three points going in to the Group F finale, level with Sweden but three behind group leaders Mexico. South Korea are bottom of the pile with no wins from their two games in Russia.           

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US sends caskets to N. Korea in preparation for return of US war dead

By ethan / June 24, 2018

The US military has sent 100 wooden caskets to the border of North Korea in preparation for the repatriation of the remains of US soldiers killed in the Korean War.

More than 36,000 US troops died in the 1950-1953 war. Around 7,800 US military personnel still remain unaccounted for, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

The consignment of “100 wooden temporary transit cases” was confirmed by US Forces Korea, who said that the coffins, built in Seoul, had been transferred to the Joint Security Area (JSA) on Saturday so the remains can be moved in “a dignified manner” when the time comes.

“We are also moving United Nations Command (UNC) flags to the JSA and also trestles on which the boxes can stand as we prep them ready to move them to Osan,” a US Forces Korea (USFK) official said.

The Joint Security Area in the truce village of Panmunjom is the only site where both North and South Korean forces come face-to-face. It is not yet known when exactly the repatriation will occur but officials expect it to happen soon.

READ MORE: Trump praises Kim Jong-un’s leadership, wants Americans to stand to attention for him too

US Forces Korea spokesman, Col. Chad Carroll, however, denied a report from South Korean news agency Yonhap that US military vehicles carrying more than 200 caskets were planning to cross into North Korea Saturday.

He dismissed it as “completely false” and said plans were “still preliminary.”

Carroll also said 158 metal transfer cases were being sent to a US air base near Seoul and would be used to bring the remains home.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reached an agreement with US President Donald Trump to return the remains during their June 12 summit in Singapore. The repatriations will mark the first to the US in over a decade.

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‘They rubbed our faces in it’: Sweden & Germany in touchline clash after late World Cup drama

By ethan / June 24, 2018

Swedish boss Janne Andersson has accused German staff of “rubbing our faces in it” after the teams were involved in a furious touchline confrontation following Germany’s last-gasp World Cup win in Sochi on Saturday night.

Midfielder Toni Kroos grabbed victory for his team with a stunning strike in the 95th minute, handing Germany a 2-1 comeback win and sparking wild celebrations from the German players and touchline staff.

READ MORE: Germany salvage World Cup hopes with late winner against Sweden in Sochi

But the goal also prompted a furious reaction from the Swedes, who felt their German counterparts were taunting them after claiming the win to salvage their World Cup hopes.

Swedish coach Janne Andersson could be seen clashing with German staff at the final whistle, after one appeared to goad the Swedes over Kroos’ late winner.

A member of the Swedish backroom staff was seen racing over and shoving the perpetrator as players waded in and tensions boiled over.

After the game, Swedish boss Andersson accused the Germans of “rubbing our faces in it.”

“That got me really annoyed and angry,” the 55-year-old said, according to the Mail Online. “Some of the group leaders of their team celebrated by running in our direction, rubbing it in our faces by making gestures” 

In a thrilling game, Sweden appeared to be denied a clear early penalty when Marcus Berg was shoved over by Antonio Rudiger in the box, only for referee Syzmon Marciniak to wave play on, with no intervention from the VAR team – a decision which continued to irk Andersson.  

Ola Toivonen did subsequently give Sweden the lead in the 32nd minute, meaning the reigning champions Germany were staring a second defeat in the face after their shock opening game loss against Mexico in Moscow.

Marco Reus equalized early in the second half to give them hope, but their task appeared to get harder when defender Jerome Boateng was sent off for a second bookable offence on 82 minutes.

Then came the late drama as Real Madrid man Kroos curled home from a well-worked free-kick deep into injury time, sparking celebrations as well as the furious confrontation on the sidelines.  

READ MORE: ‘Never write off Germany’ – Reigning champs revive World Cup hopes after last-gasp win in Sochi

The Germans play South Korea in their final group stage game in Russia,  and could still face an early exit depending on the result of Mexico versus Sweden in the other Group F game.   

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Lyin’, Crazy, Wacky, Sloppy: Trump’s nicknames keep on coming

By ethan / June 24, 2018

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has a knack for nicknames. The US president has delivered a collection of catchy – and sometimes accurate – names for his rivals, enemies, and even friends.

Trump’s latest naming ceremony came Saturday at the Republican Party Convention in Las Vegas when he christened Representative Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada), ‘Wacky Jacky,’ and revived his much-used name for Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), ‘Pocahontas.’

It’s no wonder Trump loves a nickname. His supporters revel in the name-calling, as evidenced by the massive cheer erupting from the convention when he anointed Rosen ‘Wacky Jacky,’ and his chosen names have a way of sticking in your head. Here’s a roundup of some of Trump’s most memorable nicknames for his opponents.

Crooked Hillary

Hillary Clinton, Trump’s competition in the race for the presidency, earned the nickname ‘Crooked Hillary’ due to her use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state, and the Clinton Foundation’s alleged ‘pay for play’ with world leaders. Trump picked a winner with this nickname, as Clinton’s presidential run was mired in controversy and questions of trust throughout the campaign.

READ MORE: DoJ probing Clinton Foundation over alleged ‘pay-to-play’ schemes – report

Clinton wasn’t just called crooked; Trump also named her ‘Heartless Hillary’ and ‘Lyin’ Hillary.’

Lyin’ Ted

Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz found himself dubbed ‘Lyin’ Ted’ during the party’s presidential primaries, and it stuck. Cruz had made a number of less than accurate statements on the campaign trail, and Trump called him out. Perhaps the biggest was Cruz’s claim he’d never endorse Trump, as the Texas senator found himself stumping for the former reality star soon afterwards.

Low Energy Jeb

Poor Jeb Bush. Trump’s nickname for another of his Republican primary rivals was sadly accurate, and there was nothing Bush could do to turn that one around.

Sleepy Eyes Todd, Crazy Mika & Megan

Trump received a lot of attention when he named NBC’s Chuck Todd  ‘Sleepy Eyes.’ Many were offended that Trump went after someone’s physical appearance, and others claimed the name is anti-Semitic.

A former Trump friend, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, received the harsh names ‘Crazy Mika’ and ‘Dumb as a Rock Mika.’ Her partner Joe Scarborough didn’t fare much better, being dubbed ‘Psycho Joe’ by the president.

Megyn Kelly, formerly of Fox News, earned herself a place at the top of Trump’s enemy list when she asked him a tough question at a Republican primary debate and found herself dubbed ‘Crazy Megan,’ among other insults.

Sloppy Michael Moore and Sloppy Steve Bannon

Trump named both his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and documentary filmmaker Michael Moore ‘sloppy.’ The shared nickname is about the only thing these two men have in common.

Little Rocket Man

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un earned the nickname ‘Little Rocket Man’ when tensions between the US and Pyongyang were at their most tense, with Kim launching ballistic missiles, and the US engaging in military exercises with South Korea and threatening North Korea. In Kim Jong-un, Trump may have met his match, as the North Korean leader fired back – verbally – calling Trump a “mentally deranged US dotard.”

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Blaster beats lightsaber: Han Solo’s iconic weapon from Return of the Jedi sold for $550,000

By ethan / June 24, 2018

Han Solo’s legendary blaster that he used to confront stormtroopers in Return of the Jedi has been sold for a truly out-of-this-world price, leaving Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber from the first two films light-years behind.

“Sold for $ 550,000! An original Han Solo blaster used in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi! Sold today in our ‘Hollywood Legends’ memorabilia auction,” Julien’s Auctions, an LA-based auction house that features entertainment memorabilia, tweeted.

The hefty price backs Han Solo’s bravado in brushing off lightsaber-wielding Luke Skywalker: “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” He was right: Skywalker’s wildly popular Jedi weapon was sold for $ 100,000 less in 2017. 

The famous blaster, which in reality is made mainly of wood, was put on display in May this year, after gathering dust in the collection of Return of the Jedi art director James Schoppe for over 30 years. Schoppe finally decided to part with the gun, as well as some of the saga’s other legendary props, Martin Nolan, the auction house’s executive director said

Among other galactic ‘ammunition’ of the sci-fi franchise are a stormtrooper gun and an original prop axe used by teddy-bear-like Ewoks, who ally with Luke and the team to confront the forces of the Empire in Episode VI.

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Russian dating app traffic surges as football World Cup fever rises

By ethan / June 24, 2018

The Moscow fan area set up in the iconic Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills) for the World Cup has been dubbed the “flirt-zone” with both Russian and foreign fans vying for each others’ attention.

Dating apps have seen a significant surge in users since the tournament kicked off in the Russian capital last week.Tinder experienced a big boost in those seeking dates, according to Russian mobile operators, as quoted by Vedomosti daily.

In June, traffic of the dating service tripled among the clientele of Russia’s mobile operator Tele2, and increased fourfold among the users of mobile service provider MTS. Megafon said that one percent of the provider’s entire traffic accounted for Tinder during the opening match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

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© Maksim Bogodvid

The number of foreign men using Tinder has grown as well with more people from Argentina, Israel and Mexico entering the app every day, says an active female Russian user of the service, as cited by Russian business daily Kommersant.

“Nearly 70 percent of male users on Tinder are foreigners at the moment… They are ‘liking’ photos and start conversations,” she said, adding that she might meet with someone.

Accounts in Tinder are tied to their accounts on Facebook. The app can match couples, allowing people to filter other users in accordance with their age range, gender and certain distance from their location.

The 2018 World Cup triggered users’ uptake for Badoo, a Russian alternative to Tinder. The number of daily registrations in Russia surged by 16.7 percent, according to Ariana Dzhanbaz, PR manager of the service.

“We see that people are planning to meet someone despite a highly eventful program in Moscow and tight schedule of matches,” she told the media. “We also noticed boosted activity for such options as ‘Double’ that allows searching for people who look like celebrities or someone they know.”

Football stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Fyodor Smolov, Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos are currently at the top of search requests on Badoo, according to the PR manager.

“After the match between Russia and Egypt I saw several foreigners in a restaurant. They have been browsing photos of girls via a dating service,” Dzhanbaz said. “Russian women in their turn are compiling so-called rankings of foreign fans — Australians, Swedes, Britons.”

According to the poll cited by the Daily Mail earlier this month, some 33 percent of fans want to ‘mingle with local women’ while in Russia for World Cup 2018. Half of that number reportedly hoped to strike up an intimate relationship during the tournament.

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Art of distortion: Misleading images fire up immigration debate

By ethan / June 24, 2018

Time magazine faced backlash for misleading readers after the revelation that the crying toddler on its cover was not separated from her parents. This iconic image is not the only one that MSM misused covering immigration limbo.

The powerful cover shows President Trump towering above the sobbing Honduran child with the caption: ‘Welcome to America.” In an accompanying tweet, Time states: ‘A reckoning after Trump’s border separation policy: What kind of country are we?’

The two-year-old child’s father, Denis Valera, has since come forward, however, claiming that his daughter was never separated from her mother, with US and Honduran authorities confirming it. Time has also issued a correction, admitting that the original version of the story misstated what happened to the girl after she was taken from the scene.

“The girl was not carried away screaming by U.S. Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.”

Despite the correction, Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal is standing by the cover, saying that it is “the most visible symbol of the ongoing immigration debate in America.”

But this is not the first time that impressive images of children were used to tell a story different from the reality to highlight views in the immigration debate, as RT’s Caleb Maupin reports. Thus a picture from a protest happened to represent an image from a detention center, and pictures from Syria were used in a story about the US border.

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US tells rebels not to count on its help as Syrian army advances into country’s southwest – report

By ethan / June 24, 2018

The US military has reportedly warned the rebels it backs in Syria that it will not help them thwart a large-scale offensive of the Syrian Army, which is rapidly gaining ground in the southwest of the country.

In a letter to the commanders of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a loose umbrella group of armed rebels, Washington wrote that they should not base their decisions “on the assumption or expectation of a military intervention by us.”

The message, which was reported by Reuters on Sunday, calls on the group to decide for themselves on their response to the rapidly-advancing Syrian forces that continue their assault eyeing to reclaim the swathes of land along the border with Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

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FILE PHOTO. © Aboud Hamam

“We in the United States government understand the difficult conditions you are facing and still advise the Russians and the Syrian regime not to undertake a military measure that violates the zone,” the message states.

There have been mounting concerns that the new push by the Syrian army might drag the US troops, especially those deployed in Al-Tanf military base along the Jordanian border, into the showdown with the Syrian forces.

Tensions have flared up amid reports by Syrian state media about the spike in the US-led coalition attacks on its military. At least eight people were killed in the alleged strike by the coalition in Deir ez-Zor on Thursday, the same day the US military claimed that its Al-Tanf base was targeted by unknown hostile forces. 

The message comes after Washington accused Damascus of “unambiguously violating” the ceasefire agreed between Russia, the US and Jordan last July.

The deal paved the way for the establishment of a de-escalation zone in Syria’s southwest, where rebels and the Syrian government forces are barred from fighting each other. The truce was ultimately aimed at separating ‘moderate’ opposition from terrorists, as terrorist groups were excluded from the agreement.

 “The Syrian regime’s violations of the ceasefire in southwest Syria need to stop,” Ambassador Nikki Haley said at a UN meeting on Friday. On Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert warned the Syrian government of “serious repercussions,” without elaborating.

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А Syrian soldier surveys weapons surrendered by rebels from Eastern Qalamoun, Syria April 22, 2018. © Omar Sanadiki

Some 2,000 US troops have been stationed in Syria, some of them are embedded with Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the others are in Al-Tanf. While US President Donald Trump floated the idea of a withdrawal earlier this year, now the Pentagon says that its troops are to stay in Syria for as long as needed, meaning it can be indefinitely.

While Washington does not seem eager to engage in a direct confrontation with the Syrian troops now, the US has a long history of using Syrian rebels as proxies, supplying them with weapons that occasionally fall in the wrong hands.

A study conducted by Conflict Armament Research group in December found that the arms sent by the US to what it claimed are “vetted” rebel groups “have significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to (Islamic State) forces.” While it’s hard to determine whether terrorist groups, such as ISIS or the former Al-Nusra front, seized the weapons from US-backed forces, or that the so-called “moderate” rebels blended in with them and handed over the deadly supplies, the tendency has been a source of major concern for Moscow.  

The cooperation between the US forces and militants stretches beyond that, and it includes false flag attacks and provocations with chemical weapons, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry, citing intelligence.

In one of its latest warnings, the military said that the US Special Forces were helping the FSA militants to set up a chemical incident, that can serve as a pretext for a new bombing campaign.

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Kushner touts ‘deal’ to Palestinians as Middle East peace process in tatters after US Embassy move

By ethan / June 24, 2018

US President Donald Trump’s special adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner has been touting a US-designed peace deal to Palestinians “soon” to be revealed after the US Embassy’s move to Jerusalem derailed relations in the region.

Kushner, who is on the last leg of his Middle East tour, spoke to the popular Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, claiming he is “ready to work” with leader Mahmoud Abbas, who, in his turn, is refusing to meet with Kushner as long as Washington is “changing the rules of the game” midway.

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A demonstrator holds a sign with a Palestinian and Israeli flag during a demonstration by Palestinian and Israeli activists calling for a better future for both people, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. © Ammar Awad

“If President Abbas is ready to go back to the negotiations table, then we are ready to participate in the discussion, but if it’s not the case, then we are going to make the plan public,” Kushner said, according to Reuters. He was referring to the US “deal of the century” on how to forge peace in the Middle East. Without shedding any additional light on its details, the adviser said that the deal will bring “ large investments in the infrastructure from both the private and the public sectors” to improve the Palestinian economy. Kushner pointed the finger at Abbas, as the party that is unwilling to take up negotiations.

“I question President Abbas’ ability, or desire, to finish the deal. He has the same talking points that haven’t changed in the past 25 years. A peace hasn’t been achieved during that period,” he said.

Kushner represented the White House at the grand opening of the newly-inaugurated US Embassy in Jerusalem in March, which saw fierce clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinian protesters that left over 100 people dead and thousands injured. The decision, which drew the ire of the whole Muslim world, dealt a blow to the already feeble Israel-Arab peace process.

A Palestinian negotiator said on Friday that Palestine is not buying into the US peace proposal anymore, since Washington’s deeds on the ground speak louder than its words.

“If there’s any plan, this it’s being implemented on the ground: with moving the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem, withdrawing support for the two-state solution, cutting funds to UNRWA [UN Relief and Works Agency] and, eventually trying to normalize the Israeli apartheid in Palestine,” Saeb Erekat said, as cited by Middle East Eye.

UNRWA has had to scale back its assistance to Palestine refugees in Gaza after the US, which was the agency’s biggest donor, slashed its contribution by $ 250 million. The agency is “weeks away from painful cuts to its emergency assistance for Gaza and elsewhere in the region,” UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov said at a UN Security Council meeting this week.

Erekat also dismissed the argument that the Palestinian side was to blame for the peace process stalling. “If anyone walked away, it was the Trump emissaries whose plan has nothing to do with a just and lasting peace and a lot to do with normalizing the Israeli apartheid regime,” he stressed.

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White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner © Ronen Zvulun

Capital issue

Kushner said that the proposal is still in the works, only promising that it will be ready “soon.” Speculations have long been swirling that the plan might include terms deemed unacceptable by Ramallah.

In December, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh claimed that the plan would involve making the tiny Arab village of Abu Dis in the West Bank the capital of the future Palestinian State instead of East Jerusalem.

Abbas, meanwhile, insists that any talks should be based on the Arab Peace Initiative, an Arab League-sponsored proposal to end the conflict that was adopted in 2002. The document clearly states that the future Palestinian State should be established in territories occupied by Israel since 1967, with East Jerusalem as the capital.

It’s unknown if the US is still pushing for its initial proposal, with Kushner, who has been on a Middle Eastern tour that included Jordan, Egypt and Qatar, saying that the countries’ leaders made it clear to him that “they want to see a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

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