2nd explosion rocks Malmo, Sweden in less than a week

By ethan / January 22, 2018

Another explosion has rocked the Swedish city of Malmo, just days after a grenade attack directly targeted a police station.

No injuries have been reported in the blast that happened around 9pm local time outside a restaurant located in an office building in the Rosengard city district, police said. The facade of the building was damaged in the explosion, the Aftonbladet reported.

Police secured the area and a bomb squad was sent to the scene. An Audi was seen close to the area moments before the blast, according to reports.

The office building is located near the police station in Rosengard where an explosion rang out Wednesday. Several cars were damaged when an assailant detonated a hand grenade outside a precinct.

Rosengard is one of the locations in Sweden described as “a geographically-defined area characterized by a low socio-economic status where criminals have an impact on the local community.” Authorities have long struggled to quell the violence associated with conflicts erupting between various gangs and ethnic groups in recent years.

Two weeks ago on January 7, an explosion at a suburban Stockholm subway station left a man dead after he picked up a hand grenade which exploded in his hand. A 45-year-old woman was also injured in the blast.

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US govt shutdown continues for 3rd day as Senate fails to reach funding deal

By ethan / January 22, 2018

US Senate members have failed to strike a deal to end the government shutdown, pushing the deadline back by 11 hours.

After hours of deliberations, Democratic and Republican senators failed to reach a federal funding deal to end the government shutdown that started Friday. The vote, initially planned for 1am Monday, has been postponed until noon.

“It would be my intention to proceed to legislation that would address DACA, border security and related issues. It is also my intention to take up legislation on increased defense spending, disaster relief and other important matters,” Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.

At midnight, Friday, the federal government ground to a halt. Lawmakers, however, continued discussions on the Senate floor which have so far produced no results. Republicans and Democrats continue to disagree on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

DACA allows undocumented immigrants, the so-called ‘Dreamers’ who were brought to America as children to remain in the country. Democrats want the GOP to continue to support the “Dreamers,” and Republicans see a delay of the budget bill as an option that can influence a change in that policy. Other issues dealing with immigration also contributed to the stalemate.

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Antifa building torched in Thessaloniki, Greece (VIDEOS)

By ethan / January 22, 2018

A building occupied by left-wing Antifa activists in Thessaloniki has been torched by reported right-wing nationalists during a massive rally in the Greek port city demanding neighboring Macedonia change its name.

At around 3:30 in the afternoon, “a group of 60-70 fascists attacked our building with Molotov cocktails, causing its arson,” Libertatia, a left-wing political group said in a statement.

A witnesses said he “heard slogans from an organized group of people” who were walking around smashing things, a local news outlet reported. “The slogans I heard were fascistic. It looks like they threw some flammable material causing the fire to spread very quickly.”

Emergency services deployed six trucks and at least 15 firefighters to fight the massive blaze. It took firefighting crews around three hours to contain the flames in the two-story building. Despite their efforts, the building was destroyed. No casualties were reported.

The fire happened as over 100,000 Greeks rallied in Thessaloniki to denounce the use of the name ‘Macedonia,’ in what’s been a lengthy dispute between Athens and Skopje over the official name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

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Texas judge tells jury God wants not-guilty verdict in child trafficking trial

By ethan / January 22, 2018

A Texas state district judge reportedly told a jury that God asked him to direct them to a not-guilty verdict in a child trafficking case they were deliberating on.

Judge Jack Robison interrupted jurors’ deliberations to say God had been in touch, and told him that they should not convict 32-year-old Gloria Elizabeth Romero Perez, who was accused of continuously trafficking her teenage niece from the US to Honduras to an older man.   

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 © PeopleImages / Getty Images

Robison apologised to the jury for interrupting but told them: “When God tells me to do something, I gotta do it,” before recusing himself from the remainder of the proceedings, reports the Herald-Zeitung in New Braunfels.

It appears the panel of seven men and five women were less obedient to God, as they convicted Perez anyway, sending her to prison for 25 years for trafficking her child. They acquitted her on the second charge of selling a child.

READ MORE: Accused cop-killer tells court he wishes he had ‘killed more’

Perez’s defence lawyer Sylvia Cavazo told AP she would be seeking a re-trial. Cavazo said she spoke about the incident with Judge Robison in his chambers afterward and confirmed that he thinks God has spoken to him and reaffirmed that he felt he did the right thing.

Robison has been reprimanded by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct before. The commission found Robison “exceeded the scope of his authority and failed to comply with the law” for jailing a man for contempt of court after he called him a “fool” during a child custody case, according to the Statesman.

Robison is scheduled to return to the bench on January 31.

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Topless FEMEN activists tackled by anti-abortionists during protest clash (EXPLICIT VIDEO)

By ethan / January 22, 2018

Topless FEMEN activists were forced to dodge blows from aggressive anti-abortionists after they crashed their demonstration in Paris.

The women had ‘FEMEN’ shirts painted on their bodies and carried buckets asking for ‘Christian charity sperm donations.’

READ MORE: Naked FEMEN activist goes full ‘Donald Trump’ in Kiev nuclear protest (VIDEO)

Charging men attacked the women by ripping the buckets from their hands, tackling them to the ground, and aggressively trying to wrestle them into foil blankets.  

WARNING: EXPLICIT, VIOLENT VIDEO

The activists were eventually swarmed by French police officers who huddled around them as they chanted for the watching crowd.

The FEMEN movement was founded in Ukraine in 2008, and quickly became notorious for their outrageous public stunts against religion, governments and other public institutions.

READ MORE: Topless FEMEN activist tries to kidnap baby Jesus from Vatican nativity scene (PHOTOS)

The group fled Ukraine in 2013, citing fears for their “lives and freedom” and have since branched out to a number of countries, and is now headquartered in Paris.

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Mattis says Turkey warned Pentagon before attacking US-backed Kurds

By ethan / January 22, 2018

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says Turkey gave advance notice that it was planning to launch an attack on US-allied Kurdish militias in Syria, but he did not specify if Washington tried to dissuade Ankara.

”Turkey was candid,” Mattis told reporters aboard a plane traveling to Asia from the US. ”They warned us before they launched the aircraft they were going to do it, in consultation with us.”

On Saturday, Turkey launched a series of air strikes on the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northwestern Syria, controlled by the YPG militia which Ankara considers to be a terrorist group. Turkish ground forces pushed into the territory Sunday, supported by loyal anti-Assad militants.

“Turkey is a NATO ally. It’s the only NATO country with an active insurgency inside its borders. And Turkey has legitimate security concerns,” said Mattis, who noted that gains against Islamic State did not soothe Turkey’s concerns over a breakaway Kurdish state on territory.

The US has spent millions of dollars to arm and train the Kurdish militias forming the backbone of a ground force that reclaimed parts of Islamic State territory, and took back the city of Raqqa last year.

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A Turkish military convoy arrives at a village on the Turkish-Syrian border in Kilis province on January 21, 2018. © Reuters

“They have proven their effectiveness. It has cost them thousands of casualties. But you have watched them, with the coalition support, shred the ISIS caliphate in Syria,” said Mattis.

The US defense chief then promised that US diplomats would “work this out.”

“We are very alert to it. Our top levels are engaged. And we’re working through it,” said Mattis.

Washington’s announcement earlier this month that it was planning to train a 30,000-strong Kurdish-led force in Syria appears to have been a major factor that triggered Turkey to move into Afrin, where it now plans to establish a safe zone 30 km deep into Syrian territory.

Syria, and its ally Moscow, have condemned the incursion, with Russia moving its troops out of the territory where the first fatalities have been recorded.

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Happy B-Day Fuhrer? Polish channel captures neo-Nazis’ antics in undercover doc, triggering probe

By ethan / January 21, 2018

Polish neo-Nazis held a birthday party for Adolf Hitler complete with a swastika cake, an investigation by a local TV station has revealed. A crew went undercover to unmask the secretive practices of an ultra-nationalist group.

Polish neo-Nazis held a birthday party for Adolf Hitler complete with a swastika cake, an investigation by a local TV station has revealed. A crew went undercover to unmask the secretive practices of an ultra-nationalist group.

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© Scherl / Global Look Press

The documentary aired on TV station TVN24 Saturday and sought to expose the activities of the Duma i Nowoczesnosc (Pride and Modernity) movement. Journalists from the station’s Superwizjer (Supervisor) program infiltrated the group over a period of months in 2017, exposing the neo-Nazi sympathies of the organisation.

One of its leading figures, Jacek Lanuszny, is an assistant to MP Robert Winnicki, the president of far-right party Ruch Narodowy (National Movement), an organisation that seeks to be the respectable face of Polish nationalism.

Lanuszny is also a regional president of Ruch Narodowy and in November 2017 organised a demonstration in which portraits of a number of Polish politicians – who decried the appearance of racist and fascist slogans appearing in a country occupied by the Nazis during the World War 2 – were symbolically hung from gallows.

READ MORE: Polish website allows residents to report ‘slander’ against country by foreign press

The undercover footage shows members of the group taking part in a number of bizarre rituals, including holding a party to celebrate what would have been Adolf Hitler’s 128th birthday party. During the shocking celebrations, Nazi flags were displayed on trees and members, some of whom were dressed in Wehrmacht and SS uniforms, constructed an ‘altar’ to their Fuhrer.

Followers gathered in front of a flaming swastika and made a toast “to Adolf Hitler and our homeland, beloved Poland.”

Immediately after the documentary was aired, Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro, ordered an investigation into the “public propagation of fascism” by Duma i Nowoczesnosc.

“After the attack of Nazi Germany, millions of people were murdered in occupied Poland, including three million Poles. So if someone honors Adolf Hitler, who is one of the greatest criminals in history, he deserves merciless treatment. In such situations, the prosecutor’s office will always be firm,” TVN24 reports Ziobro as saying.

Far-right nationalism is on the rise in Poland. Last November, tens of thousands of neo-Nazis, from both home and abroad, descended onto Polish streets during national independence day celebrations. Many demonstrators carried placards and signs with racist and anti-semitic slogans.  

Furthermore, US-owned TVN24 was fined $ 415,000 by Poland’s media regulator for it’s coverage of the protests, prompting allegations that the government aims to silence independent media in the country.

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‘US broken promises to stop arming Kurds triggered Afrin op’ – Turkey's ex-FM to RT

By ethan / January 21, 2018

Turkey would not have embarked on a military campaign in Afrin if Washington had honored its promises to cut off supplies and support to Kurdish militias, Yasar Yakis, Turkey’s former foreign minister told RT.

It was “to a very large extent” the US policy towards the Kurds which served as the catalyst for the Turkish offensive in northern Syria, the former diplomat and ambassador to the UN Office in Vienna, Egypt and Saudi Arabia said.

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A Turkish military convoy arrives at a village on the Turkish-Syrian border in Kilis province on January 21, 2018. © Reuters

“If the US wasn’t going to arm Kurds, Turkey wouldn’t have arrived to the point where it is.” Ankara “tried to draw attention of its ally, [telling the Americans] ‘You should not arm and train and provide ammunition to a terrorist group’,” Yakis said, referring to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) viewed by Ankara as a terrorist group.

With President Recep Erdogan pledging to take the military offensive beyond Afrin, extending it to Manbij, Turkey will engage the Americans, leading to the two powers clashing in a third country, he said. This would be “unacceptable in the alliance.”

Relations between the two NATO allies “have been going from bad to worse in the last several years,” noted Joshua Landis, Director at the Center of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “The US has begun to write Turkey off as a partner and a security ally in the region. Turkey felt increasingly that the US is siding with Kurdish nationalism in Syria, in Iraq, defying Turkish interests.” Landis believes.

Washington’s announcement to create a predominantly Kurdish thousand-strong border force in Syria was “the final straw” Landis said. Although the US later backtracked on the so-called “Border Security Force,” its stated intention to maintain a military presence in Syria further fuelled the flames.  

“They don’t have to stay and arm and train a Kurdish-dominated security force,” Landis pointed out. Referring to President Donald Trump’s reluctance to end military support to the Kurds and Washington’s recent announcement that US troops will remain in Syria, Landis said “this change in American foreign policy is what has really driven Turkey to take this step.”

READ MORE: ‘US managed to betray both Turks and Kurds’

With the Turkish offensive in full swing, the US is going to face “a tough sledding ahead,” while its Kurdish allies “will see America having let them down,” Landis outlined. “What this is going to demand of the Kurds, is that they sacrifice their brothers in Afrin in order to build up autonomy in the eastern part of the country.”

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‘Russia’s all we talk about but voters don’t care’: CNN reporter admits network’s obsession on air

By ethan / January 21, 2018

CNN political reporter Maeve Reston half-joked about her network’s obsession with all things Russia, but at the same time admitted that the voting public simply doesn’t care about the “Russiagate” conspiracy.

Reston was discussing voter sentiment with CNN’s White House Correspondent Sara Murray on Sunday’s ‘Inside Politics’ show when she made the surprising on-air remark.

“I’m so interested to see how the Russia investigation affects things, because so far, out in these districts when you talk to people about Russia, and that’s all we talk about at CNN basically, they say they don’t care,” Reston said.

She added that the lack of interest is down to the fact that the alleged “Russian collusion” doesn’t have any effect on people’s lives. Reston also admitted there is less fear about the state of economy today than during the 2016 election campaign. “You are starting to see that uneasiness about the economy sort of dissipate,” she said.

Donald Trump, himself, has stated that Americans don’t care about the Russia investigation and has been consistently critical of the “dishonest” media’s preoccupation with the subject.

READ MORE: From bombshell to dud: CNN botches report on Trump, Wikileaks

CNN has been relentless on their coverage of alleged Russian interference in the US election and supposed collusion between the Trump administration and Russia. The network frequently interviews contributors who speculate about possible collusion, without offering proof, despite apparently being aware of the public’s lack of interest in the matter.

CNN has been regularly called out by Trump as a ‘fake news’ outlet for their reports tying him to Russia. The network took third spot in the president’s much anticipated ‘Fake News Awards’ this week for a story claiming Donald Trump Jr. received advanced exclusive access to documents published by Wikileaks via email. The report was debunked when it was revealed the network got the date of the email wrong.

The news outlet was also forced to retract two stories in June 2017 relating to the Trump administration and Russia.

CNN reported that former FBI director James Comey was going to deny Trump’s claims that Comey had told him on three occasions that he was not under investigation. It was forced to correct the story, however, after Comey’s testimony was released in advance and revealed that this was not the case.

Later that month, CNN reported that Congress was investigating links between Trump’s former communications director Anthony Scaramucci and a Russian Direct Investment Fund managed by a Kremlin-controlled bank. The story, based on an anonymous source, was later retracted and the three journalists involved in the report resigned.

READ MORE: CNN retracts story on investigation into Trump campaign adviser’s meeting with CEO of Russian fund

Despite a litany of blunders and admissions that the continuous Russiagate coverage is out of touch with the America public, CNN’s penchant for boosting Russia hysteria doesn’t look like it’s going to fade any time soon.

CNN announced this week it was expanding its Moscow bureau, headed by Wall Street Journal reporter Nathan Hodge. “The fact that CNN is doubling down on its commitment to Russia was a big factor in me taking on this role,” Hodge said.

READ MORE: Trump reveals ‘Fake News Awards,’ website crashes

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