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ALERT Europe: Politics, Trade, NATO. June 2017
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Results 41 to 57 of 57
  1. #41
    Ilmavoimat‏ @FinnishAirForce · Jun 15

    Increased air activity over Baltic Sea. @FinnishAirForce F/A-18s have identified several Russian military aircraft

  2. #42
    marqs Retweeted

    Rudaw English‏Verified account @RudawEnglish · Jun 15

    #BREAKING: Alexanderplatz train station cordoned off over bomb threat in #Berlin, Germany.

  3. #43
    Strat 2 Intel‏ @Strat2Intel · 4h4 hours ago

    #NATO AWACS arrived on station SW of Gdansk, #Poland.

  4. #44
    Strat 2 Intelþ @Strat2Intel · 6h6 hours ago

    RAF Airseeker R.1 and Swedish Air force Korpen SIGINT a/c monitoring #Kaliningrad, US KC-135 tanker track for possible CAP sorties

  5. #45
    Defence Today‏ @DefenceToday · Jun 13

    Belarusian president says West-2017 drills will be large-scale despite outside pressure

  6. #46
    Germany, Austria slam US sanctions against Russia

    By Frank Jordans, Associated Press
    BERLIN June 15, 2017, 10:29 AM ET

    Germany and Austria voiced sharp criticism Thursday of the latest U.S. sanctions against Moscow, saying they could affect European businesses involved in piping in Russian natural gas.

    The United States Senate voted Wednesday to slap new sanctions on key sectors of Russia's economy and individuals over its interference in the 2016 U.S. election campaign and its aggression in Syria and Ukraine. The measures were attached to a bill targeting Iran.

    In a joint statement, Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern and Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it was important for Europe and the United States to form a united front on the issue of Ukraine, where Russian-based separatists have been fighting government forces since 2014.

    "However, we can't accept the threat of illegal and extraterritorial sanctions against European companies," the two officials said, citing a section of the bill that calls for the United States to continue to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would pump Russian gas to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea.

    Half of the cost of the new pipeline is being paid for by Russian gas giant Gazprom, while the other half is being shouldered by a group including Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell, French provider Engie, OMV of Austria and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall.

    Some Eastern European countries, including Poland and Ukraine, fear the loss of transit revenue if Russian gas supplies don't pass through their territory anymore once the new pipeline is built.

    Gabriel and Kern accuse the U.S. of trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their Russian rivals. They said the possibility of fining European companies participating in the Nord Stream 2 project "introduces a completely new, very negative dimension into European-American relations," they said.

    In their forceful appeal, the two officials urged the United States to back off from linking the situation in Ukraine to the question of who can sell gas to Europe.

    "Europe's energy supply is a matter for Europe, and not for the United States of America," Kern and Gabriel said.

    Follow Frank Jordans on Twitter at

  7. #47
    Sharp Rise in Violent Islamist Extremists in Sweden After Migrant Influx

    by Breitbart London
    16 June 2017

    STOCKHOLM (AFP) --- The number of violent Islamist extremists in Sweden has soared from 200 in 2010 to "thousands", intelligence agency Sapo said Friday, while noting that only a handful were deemed able to carry out a terror attack.

    “We would say that (the number) has gone from hundreds to thousands now,” Sapo chief Anders Thornberg told news agency TT in an interview, describing the situation as “serious”.

    “This is the ‘new normal’ … It is a historic challenge that extremist circles are growing,” he said.

    He stressed, however, that only a few of the “thousands” had both the intention and ability to carry out a terror attack.

    A 2010 Sapo report estimated the number of violent Islamist extremists in the Scandinavian country at 200.

    Thornberg attributed the rise primarily to the propaganda machine of the so-called Islamic State (IS), which has united different groups of Islamist extremists.

    “We used to have different circles. We had radicalised (people) from North Africa, the Middle East and Somalia, but they were all separate,” he said.

    Thornberg said Sapo now receives around 6,000 intelligence tips a month concerning terrorism and extremism, compared to an average 2,000 a month in 2012.

    Sapo has previously said that about 300 people from Sweden are known to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join IS since 2012.

    Jihadists or sympathisers from Sweden have been linked to several terrorist attacks in recent years.

    On April 7, an Uzbek national who had shown sympathies for jihadist groups including IS used a stolen truck to mow down pedestrians on a busy shopping street, killing five people and injuring 15.

    And a Swedish national, Osama Krayem, has been charged with terrorist murders over the 2016 Brussels metro bombing.

  8. #48
    BREXIT BRITAIN ����‏ @EUVoteLeave23rd · Jun 15

    Former #Czech President calls for #Czexit! The time has come to start preparing the exit of our country from the #EU

  9. #49
    British defense minister: Russian aggression to NATO growing

    By The Associated Press
    BUCHAREST, Romania June 15, 2017, 7:38 AM ET

    Britain's defense minister says Russian aggression toward NATO is increasing and the alliance was right to have agreed to a "very high readiness taskforce."

    Michael Fallon said Thursday that Russia had annexed Crimea, threatened the Baltic states and interfered in the democratic processes in Western Europe with "propaganda and other means," in the past three years.

    He also accused Russia of "aggression in the eastern Mediterranean, prolonging the conflict in Syria," adding "the threat to NATO particularly to the southeastern flank is growing."

    He said the alliance had rightly agreed at the 2014 Wales summit to "a very high readiness taskforce which is .... demonstrating the rapid response that NATO requires."

    Fallon is on a two-day visit to Romania, where he has stressed that Britain, which is leaving the European Union, remains committed to European security.

    NATO has stepped up its exercises in Eastern Europe in recent years as a response to Russian's increased presence in Ukraine and the Black Sea area. Fallon visited the Mihail Koglaniceanu air base in eastern Romania on Wednesday, where he met pilots and technicians servicing RAF Typhoon fighter jets that are beefing up NATO security around the Black Sea.

    He also visited the shooting range at Cincu, in central Romania, where 1,000 British troops are taking part in the "Noble Jump 2017" exercises.

  10. #50

    Terror threat in Finland investigated

    The Temppeliaukio Church is a popular tourist attraction in Finland's capital. Photo: Getty Images
    Finnish police said they had launched an operation on Sunday in response to the threat of a terror attack targeting a church in centre of Helsinki.

    "Police became aware of facts that gave a reason to suspect preparation of a terrorist act. According to the information, the Temppeliaukio church would be the target of a possible act. The police launched all possible measures to address the threat," the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said in a statement on Monday.

    Helsinki police on Sunday sent several units to patrol near the Temppeliaukio church, a popular tourist location, saying it was trying to apprehend a suspect in the area.
    The NBI statement said Sunday's specific operation was now over.

    Built directly into solid rock, the so called Rock Church is situated in the centre of Helsinki, less than a kilometre away from the Finnish parliament.

    The Finnish Security Intelligence Service raised its threat level on Wednesday, saying it had become aware of more serious terrorism-related projects and plans in Finland.

    The Nordic country has not witnessed attacks like other European countries, but Helsinki has grown more concerned after recent attacks in neighbouring Sweden and Russia.

  11. #51
    I guess that the devil will be in the details.

    Irish Taoiseach ‘reassured’ over Tory-DUP deal
    Leo Varadkar had expressed concern about a possible deal between the Conservative party and the DUP.
    6/19/17, 7:12 PM CET

    Updated 6/19/17, 8:29 PM CET
    LONDON — Ireland’s new prime minister said Monday he is “reassured” about a possible deal between the Conservative Party and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar last week said the British government should not get “too close” to any Northern Irish party, as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May tries to secure the backing of the Northern Irish unionist party after she lost her House of Commons majority in a general election at the beginning of June. Varadkar said he would emphasize to May the British and Irish governments must remain impartial in Northern Ireland, as stipulated by the Good Friday Agreement.

    During a visit to London Monday Varadkar, told a press conference he was “very much reassured by what the prime minister had to say that the agreement, once it is reached, will be published so it will be there for everyone to see.”

    He said the two prime ministers had spoken about the two governments’ “special role” as co-guarantors of Northern Ireland’s peace agreement.

    “I do of course accept and appreciate and understand the formation of government in Westminster is a matter of course for the MPs elected in Westminster and not for our government,” he added.

    May told journalists the U.K. government remained “absolutely steadfast” in its commitment to the Belfast Agreement and that discussions were continuing with the DUP over a confidence and supply agreement, which would see the unionist party’s 10 MPs back May’s government on key votes.

    “On reaching such an agreement we will make sure that the details of that are made public so that people can see exactly what that agreement is based on,” she said.
    Varadkar also said the two prime ministers had discussed Brexit “in some detail.”

    He said the Irish government’s focus would be on the rights of British and Irish citizens to “travel, live, work, study, reside, access healthcare, pensions and housing in each others countries as though we are citizens of both.”

    The Irish prime minister also wants “minimal or no disruption to trade between our two countries.”

    While there may be a political border between the two countries, there should be no economic border, he said.

  12. #52
    It will be interesting to see what happens when "green" has to start paying full freight on things.

    Is Electric Car Dream Fading in Norway?
    Electric cars in the Oslo region will pay road toll from March 2019.
    June 19, 2017

    Soon the generous electric cars incentive will be challenged with a new agreement. Electric cars will pay road toll from 2019.

    Norway has one of the world’s most generous incentives for electric cars. Electric cars are exempt from value added tax (VAT) and purchase tax, which on average in Norway add 50% to the cost of a vehicle. They are also exempt from road tolls, tunnel-use charges, and ferry charges. And they get free parking at municipal parking areas, free charging, and the freedom to use bus lanes.

    However, a new agreement between Oslo municipality and Akershus county municipality may worry the electric cars drivers.

    With the new agreement, the electric cars in the Oslo region must pay road toll from March 2019.

    Yet, the rate will be still lower than regular cars: Five NOK outside rush hours. The price will double to 10 NOK during the rush hours.

    The only group who do not have to pay road toll will be hydrogen car drivers.

  13. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Plain Jane View Post
    It will be interesting to see what happens when "green" has to start paying full freight on things.

    Is Electric Car Dream Fading in Norway?
    Electric cars in the Oslo region will pay road toll from March 2019.
    June 19, 2017

    Soon the generous electric cars incentive will be challenged with a new agreement. Electric cars will pay road toll from 2019.

    Norway has one of the world’s most generous incentives for electric cars. Electric cars are exempt from value added tax (VAT) and purchase tax, which on average in Norway add 50% to the cost of a vehicle. They are also exempt from road tolls, tunnel-use charges, and ferry charges. And they get free parking at municipal parking areas, free charging, and the freedom to use bus lanes.

    However, a new agreement between Oslo municipality and Akershus county municipality may worry the electric cars drivers.

    With the new agreement, the electric cars in the Oslo region must pay road toll from March 2019.

    Yet, the rate will be still lower than regular cars: Five NOK outside rush hours. The price will double to 10 NOK during the rush hours.

    The only group who do not have to pay road toll will be hydrogen car drivers.
    Many new technologies would fail with some investment that isn't exactly free market; that was true of railroads in the 19th century (built by private companies but with huge land grants and other "help" from the US and other governments); highways (built originally with Taxpayer funds as a "national security" measure to insure the rapid movement of troops and goods in wartime, especially nuclear war - again private companies were paid to build them, but taxpayers paid the bills).

    I'm not opposed to electric run cars and trucks; and I don't expect them to be totally self-sustaining yet - BUT they need to used where the technology actually works and in a sane maner with the goal of either the technology improving until it is cost effective or it is replaced.

    A perfect example is that smaller European countries (including Ireland) are places where electric cars can make sense; provided there are enough charging points and the whole thing is look at as rewards vs. costs over several decades (not the "long-term" five year plan of Western Corporations).

    The distances driven here tend to be much smaller and so the average person isn't commuting the entire distance of one charge just in the morning getting to work; on the other hand, electricity prices are sky high in Europe and the cost of generating it has to be figured in; especially if the technology is ever going to be viable.

    It may be that for the moment, it is better to start switching mass transportation (and the trucking industry) over to more modern technologies and get the kinks worked out before trying to mass sell them to the public before the infastructure was in place.

    By the time the Federal Highway system was built, many families (if not most) had access to a car or truck and were familiar with the concept of driving; sadly private companies also dismantled a lot of perfectly working public transit systems (like the on in Los Angeles my Mother used as a child in the 30's and 40's) to force people into cars so they would buy cars and gasoline. Of course, they didn't pay the taxpayers back for the road construction that made this possible; other than indirectly via their own (often underpaid) taxes.

    Electric may or may not be the ultimate way to go (though it will probably work for somethings) it has serious issues in the US where spaces are large and the power needed to run them alone makes for an iffy situations (unless the storage battery problem is solved).

    But I also don't think it is somehow unwise or "liberal" to look for alternative ways of getting around to just using the same technology that has been around now since the 1890's; that was decades over a hundred years ago; there is a point when shoring up an old technology becomes giving subsidies to the makers of buggy whips because people are now using cars rather than carriages.

    I suspect the modern car manufacturers and some of the petroluem companies are facing such a shift and understandably are not happy about it, they want to delay that sort of radical change as long as they can.

    They might even manage to drag it out until some totally new discovery bipasses electric cars completely like the jump from steam engines (originally used in cars too) to gasoline.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  14. #54
    German lawmakers vote to deny far-right party state funding
    By The Associated Press
    BERLIN June 22, 2017, 11:37 AM ET

    Germany's parliament voted Thursday to cut off public funding for parties with anti-constitutional aims, a move aimed at a far-right party that authorities tried unsuccessfully to ban.

    Lawmakers voted 502-57 in favor of the change, with 20 abstentions. A two-thirds majority was required to modify the constitution.

    In January, Germany's highest court ruled that the National Democratic Party, or NPD, is too politically insignificant to justify a ban but said its goals run counter to the German constitution. Officials then vowed to examine ways of cutting off funding.

    The NPD received just 1.3 percent of the vote in Germany's 2013 national election and its electoral fortunes have since declined further ahead of this year's federal vote on Sept. 24. It has no seats in the national parliament and lost its last seats in a state legislature in an election last September in the northeastern region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

    It still has representatives at local level and a single seat in the European Parliament, though, and receives money based on its electoral performance like other parties. Last year, the NPD received nearly 1.14 million euros ($1.27 million).

    That's a small fraction of the roughly 160.5 million euros that was handed out to all parties, but Justice Minister Heiko Maas argued that "tax money for the NPD is a state investment in radical right-wing agitation."

    "The state does not have to finance enemies of democracy," Maas said in a statement, though he added that it is up to everyone to "defend with determination our democracy and fundamental rights."

    The NPD said that "the established parties are once again showing their questionable attitude toward the rule of law, equality of opportunities and democracy."

  15. #55
    The Intel Crab‏ @IntelCrab · 54m54 minutes ago

    #US Marines are extending their deployment to #Norway, and it's already irked #Russia.

  16. #56
    Macron Accuses Countries Resisting Mass Immigration of ‘Betraying’ the EU

    by Jack Montgomery
    23 June 2017

    French president Emmanuel Macron has accused Central European countries resisting mass immigration of betraying EU principles and taking advantage of the bloc.
    The former banker and Socialist Party economy minister declared that “European countries that do not respect the rules should pay the full political consequences” – a reference to the bloc’s ongoing struggle primarily with Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic over its attempts to impose compulsory migrant quotas on member-states.

    The 39-year-old accused the countries of “a double betrayal”, alleging they had decided “to abandon EU principles, turn their back on Europe and have a cynical approach to the [European] Union which gives them money, without respecting its values”.

    Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski was unimpressed, saying: “I hope that President Macron, who will be at the European Council today and tomorrow and plans to meet [Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło], explains his words to Poles, Hungarians and the other nations of Central Europe.”

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has been Central Europe’s most persistent voice of defiance against the pro-mass migration consensus in Brussels, has previously claimed that politicians like Macron thank his government behind closed doors for their robust action against the migrant crisis, blaming “political double-dealing” and a “culture of hypocrisy” for the constant barrage of public criticism.

    “Hungary is situated on Europe’s external border,” he explained to Kossuth Rádió in April 2017. “So if Hungary’s external border is endangered, then Europe’s external border is endangered. Hungary is simultaneously protecting its own external borders and Europe’s external borders.

    “And if we weren’t protecting Europe’s external borders, the Austrians and the Germans would be in big trouble, [as] at that time Hungary was unable to protect Europe’s external borders and millions of migrants marched through Hungary towards Austria and Germany.”

    The Czech government, for its part, has indicated it would rather face EU sanctions than be forced to take in migrants, citing the security risks associated with taking in people who have not been properly vetted.

    “The Czech Republic does not plan to adopt more migrants,” said Interior Minister Milan Chovanec in April 2017.

    “It is then up to the government to assess if it’s worth paying the penalty or not. In my opinion – yes. You cannot let people here without running all the checks,” he added.

  17. #57
    EU moves to boost military cooperation
    By The Associated Press
    BRUSSELS June 22, 2017, 2:47 PM ET

    Weeks after being berated by U.S. President Donald Trump for failing to spend enough on defense, European nations vowed Thursday to boost military cooperation in their part of the world.

    At a summit in Brussels, the 28 European Union leaders 22 of them from nations that also are members of the U.S.-led NATO alliance agreed to jointly develop or purchase military equipment such as drones.

    "The objective is to deliver capabilities, ensure a competitive, innovative and balanced basis for Europe's defense industry across the EU," they said in a statement.

    EU countries plan to draw up criteria and binding commitments over the next three months for setting their defense cooperation goals in stone instead of relying on the vaguer promises of the past.

    The leaders also agreed to use EU funds to finance Europe's battlegroups - small, expeditionary forces that can be deployed quickly to crisis hotspots.

    The battlegroups were established in 2007. They never have been used, mostly because countries participating in them would have to foot the bill if they were deployed.

    The leaders also welcomed plans to set up a common European defense fund that is expected to generate around 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) a year from 2020 to invest in developing military equipment.

    While the moves are modest in comparison to NATO, they mark a sea change in the way the EU thinks about defense, faced with an increasingly belligerent Russia and an unpredictable partner in Washington.

    "I am not going to say this is a historic moment, because you would laugh in my face, but it is an important step," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said.


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