Cadillac disavows casting call for ‘neo-Nazi’ character in brand ad

By Joseph White

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co’s Cadillac brand on Saturday disavowed a casting notice that called for an “alt-right (neo nazi)” role in a Cadillac commercial amid a storm of outrage on social media.

The casting notice, circulated on Twitter and Facebook, said an agency was looking for “any and all real alt-right thinkers/believers” and indicated the call was for a Cadillac advertisement to be filmed later this month.

The alt-right is a loose grouping characterized by a rejection of mainstream politics that includes neo-Nazis, white supremacists and anti-Semites. The alt-right came to the fore during the U.S. presidential election.

Cadillac officials said on Saturday the brand “did not authorize or approve a casting notice for an ‘alt-right (neo-nazi)’ role in a commercial. We unequivocally condemn the notice and are seeking immediate answers from our creative agency, production company and any casting companies involved.”

The Cast Station, a casting service, on Saturday afternoon posted on its Facebook page that a casting notice “for an “alt-right” role in a Cadillac commercial was issued by mistake on Friday, Dec 9th. The notice was drafted by an employee, who was immediately terminated for her actions. Additionally an outside third party further altered the breakdown without our knowledge and posted it on social media. Cadillac unequivocally did not authorize this notice or anything like it, and we apologize to Cadillac for the ex-employee’s actions.”

The notice also called for “real current or retired military people,” as well as “real Olympian runner/cyclist” and “real taxi driver.” (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CzVrzx4XcAAXVFJ.jpg:large)

Another version of the casting call posted on social media described the planned “Cadillac – Real People” commercial as a “beautifully artistic spot that is capturing (sic) all walks of life in America. Standing together as a union. This is not meant to be offensive in any way. Just a representation of all sides.”

(Reporting by Joe White; Editing by Matthew Lewis and David Gregorio)

Source Article from http://news.yahoo.com/cadillac-disavows-casting-call-neo-nazi-character-brand-003040697–finance.html

Blast hits near Christian cathedral in Cairo, 20 killed, 25 wounded – Egyptian state TV

The latest attack comes two days after two roadside bombs, one in Cairo and one to the north of the capital, left six police officers dead and six others injured.

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/369924-cairo-coptic-blast-cathedral/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Over 78,000 civilians have escaped Aleppo since start of Syrian forces’ operation – Russia

The сenter is monitoring the evacuation of civilians from the blocked districts round-the-clock with the use of drones.

About 1,324 militants have laid down their weapons and crossed into areas of the city to surrender to Syrian government troops. In accordance with the Syrian president’s decision, 1,270 were amnestied,” the Russian Center for Reconciliation said in a statement on Sunday.

READ MORE: Drone footage shows civilians fleeing from militant-held E. Aleppo (VIDEO)

Bomb disposal specialists working in Aleppo have demined a total area of 24 hectares (2.6 square feet), including 162 residential blocks and 11 kilometers of roads, the statement added.

Russian crews have also helped to restore over 20 buildings – schools, hospitals, mosques, power substations, water pumping stations, and bakeries among them, according to the center.

In total, bomb disposal specialists have detected and destroyed about 1,340 explosive objects in the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo that have been liberated from rebel forces.

READ MORE: East Aleppo civilians report torture, executions by ‘moderate opposition’

On Thursday, the Syrian Army was said to have suspended active combat actions in Aleppo against Al-Nusra Front and other radical militants still controlling the area. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the evacuation of civilians was prioritized over the advance.

Active combat operations by the Syrian Army in eastern Aleppo have been suspended because another, largest operation of evacuation of civilians from East Aleppo is being carried out,” Lavrov said, adding that it’s a “colossal operation.”

The Syrian government now controls 93 percent of Aleppo, the head of operations for Russia’s General Staff, Lieutenant General Sergey Rudskoy, also said on Friday.

East Aleppo civilians report torture, executions by ‘moderate opposition’ – Russian military

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/369922-syria-aleppo-civilians-escape/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Syrian Army backed by Russian Air Force thwarts ISIS attack on Palmyra

“Over the past night, with active Russian air support, Syrian government forces repulsed all attacks by the terrorists on Palmyra,” the ministry said in a statement.

Over 300 militants were killed in the offensive.

The militants actively used cars filled with explosives, armored vehicles, and rocket artillery. Russian aircraft carried out 64 airstrikes on militant gatherings, positions, columns, and reserves as they advanced.”

The ministry added that 11 tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, and 31 cars equipped with heavy machine guns have been destroyed.

Recaptured from IS in March 2016, the unique UNESCO heritage site in central Syria has again become a battlefield.

Earlier on Saturday, there were reports that IS militants “re-entered Palmyra” for the first time since they were ousted by Syrian and Russian forces.

The activist-run Palmyra Coordination network told AP that jihadists allegedly entered Palmyra’s northern and northwestern neighborhoods. 

On Thursday, the Syrian Army was said to have suspended active combat actions in Aleppo against Al-Nusra Front and other radical militants still controlling the area. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the evacuation of civilians was prioritized over the advance.

The Syrian government now controls 93 percent of Aleppo, the head of operations for Russia’s General Staff, Lieutenant General Sergey Rudskoy, also said on Friday.

READ MORE: Russian Reconciliation Center evacuated 50,000 civilians from E. Aleppo in past 2 days – MoD

Over the past 48 hours, up to 50,000 people have been evacuated from eastern Aleppo, Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday, adding that “1,217 militants laid down their weapons.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/369920-syria-palmyra-isis-russian/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

29 killed in Al Shabaab bombing in Somali capital (PHOTOS)

The attack hit near the entrance to the busy port. “The bomber targeted a civilian area, there were porters and other small scale traders in the area when the blast occurred,” according to senior police officer Ibrahim Mohamed, as cited by AFP.

The militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to Reuters. 

Residents carry the dead body of a man killed after a suicide car bomb went off at the entrance of Somalia's biggest port in the capital Mogadishu December 11, 2016. © Feisal Omar

Al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters the blast targeted police officers stationed close to the port, and the attack was aimed at interfering with the upcoming presidential elections.

“We killed 30 security forces and injured 50. We targeted them because they had been trained to provide security at so-called elections,” he said.

The Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group often stages similar attacks in the country: in August, 14 people were killed in two separate suicide attacks – on the presidential palace and a restaurant, both located in the capital Mogadishu. In January, 20 people died when militants attacked the Beach View Café in the capital, employing the group’s usual tactic of car bomb followed by shootout.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/369919-somalia-port-bombing-shabaab/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

DARPA aims for simple way to control swarm of attack drones

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) aims to devise “an advanced human-swarm interface to enable users to monitor and direct potentially hundreds of unmanned platforms simultaneously in real time,” which is believed to be a key to supremacy at an urban battlefield, according to a statement US’s military tech designing agency published on Wednesday.

Swarms of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) can be controlled through computer programs, such as the Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) or Micro-Autonomous Systems Technology (MAST), but they do not provide an easy way of communication with drones for soldiers on a battlefield.

The brand new Offensive Swarm Enabled Tactics Program (OFFSET) is supposed to be a solution to human-drone swarm communication.

“With the technologies and tactics to be developed under OFFSET, we anticipate achieving a deeper understanding of how large numbers of increasingly autonomous air and ground robots can be leveraged to benefit urban warfighters,” said Timothy Chung, DARPA program manager.

© darpa.mil

The technology should ultimately enable interaction with drone swarm through augmented and virtual reality devices, as well as through voice gesture and even touch commands.

Swarm tactics are expected to be designed with help of a “real-time, networked virtual environment that would support a physics-based, swarm tactics game.”

“In the game, players would use the interface to rapidly explore, evolve, and evaluate swarm tactics to see which would potentially work best on various unmanned platforms in the real world. Users could submit swarm tactics and track their performance from test rounds on a leaderboard, as well as dynamically interact with other users,” the statement reads.

READ MORE: DARPA develops new game portal to combat ‘surprise’ security threats

Gathered feedback will result in a “community-driven swarm tactics exchange,” which is supposed to be tested every six months in an environment with “progressively increasing complexity.”

“We’re interested in developing practical swarm systems in an agile way, so future operators will have the tools they need to outsmart and outperform urban adversaries,” Chung said.

Further details of the OFFSET programming concept are set to be disclosed by DARPA early next year.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/usa/369916-darpa-swarm-attack-drones/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

At least 29 killed, dozens injured in Al Shabaab bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia

    

At least 29 people have been killed, and dozens more injured in a suicide blast that has hit the port area of Somali capital Mogadishu, Reuters reports citing police. Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda-linked militant group, has claimed responsibility.

The attack hit near the entrance to the busy port. “The bomber targeted a civilian area, there were porters and other small scale traders in the area when the blast occurred,” according to senior police officer Ibrahim Mohamed, as cited by AFP.

The militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to Reuters. The Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group often stages similar attacks in the country.

    

In August, 14 people were killed in two separate suicide attacks – on the presidential palace and a restaurant, both located in the capital Mogadishu. In January, 20 people died when militants attacked the Beach View Café in the capital, employing the group’s usual tactic of car bomb followed by shootout.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/336309-At-least-29-killed-dozens-injured-in-Al-Shabaab-bombing-in-Mogadishu-Somalia

Two ‘ISIS-inspired’ teens arrested in Germany, planning public institutions attack

    

Authorities in the southern German state of Baden-Wurttemberg have detained two teenagers aged 15 and 17 who allegedly plotted to stage Islamic State-inspired attacks on “public institutions.”

The arrests of the teenagers took place during raids on Thursday near Aschaffenburg and Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, all in the vicinity of Frankfurt.

Both teens “were planning an Islamist-motivated attack on a public institution in the district of Aschaffenburg, for which they wanted to procure firearms,” Karlsruhe prosecutor’s office announced on Friday.

While the identities of the arrested teenagers have not been disclosed, the prosecutors did point out that at least one of those detained had displayed “indications” of mental illness.

However, the authorities said that there were no signs that the accused “at this time had been able to implement the suspected plans.” However, they noted that the very planning of an attack still amounts to a crime.

Police said that during the arrests, they recovered extremist propaganda and ISIS flags. The suspects’ electronic data storage devices and mobile phones were also confiscated, but no firearms were found.

Germany has been on high alert following a number of terrorist attacks on its territory and across the EU this year.

On July 24, 15 people were injured in a suicide bombing outside a wine bar in Ansbach. The bomber, identified as Mohammad Daleel, was a 27-year-old Syrian refugee who had pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

Prior to that, some nine days earlier, Pakistani national Riaz Khan Ahmadzai attacked passengers on a train in Wurzburg with an ax and a knife, wounding five.

Anti-terror raids across the country have intensified since then and have led to arrests of suspected IS operatives and people believed to have been influenced by jihadist ideology.

Overall, Europe remains on guard, especially for the holiday season, following a series of deadly terrorist attacks stretching back to 2015.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/336308-Two-ISIS-inspired-teens-arrested-in-Germany-planning-public-institutions-attack

SOTT FOCUS: Real News Trumps Fake News! SOTT’s Annual Fundraiser: Get your SOTT Calendar!

    
******Anyone who donates 30 US dollars (or 30 EUR) or more will receive a calendar.******

(NOTE: If you wish to receive the calendar, please MAKE SURE TO SEND US A MESSAGE USING OUR CONTACT FORM

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Dear Readers,

The end of 2016 is approaching, and if you’ve been following SOTT closely, you’ll know that this has been a year full of surprises! The world keeps changing, and us with it. The planet has been speaking loud and clear, as you can see in our monthly weather videos, and the sociopolitical stage had some surprises in store.

This year could be described as a year of division and polarization. From the US elections, to the debate over “progressive liberal ideologies”, people seem to be making a choice, for better or for worse. Some are aligning themselves with the increasingly blatant lies peddled by the mainstream media and the pathological governments of our world, and some have taken a stand against those lies and are reaching a point where they finally see that there is something terribly wrong with the version of reality with which they are presented. More than minorities vs. majorities of all kinds, that is perhaps the biggest division: the choice between aligning oneself with lies or truth. We think that many of our readers have naturally chosen the latter, and we hope that that knowledge will always protect you.

The recent fraudulent “Fake News Furor” emphasizes this Truth vs. Lies factor; indeed, SOTT.NET was defamed by The Washington Post along with many other respectable Alt News sites, some not so respectable, and some of dubious origins. As our attorney wrote in a demand for retraction letter,

…SOTT is one of the accused organizations in a PropOrNot report referenced by the Post, which, contrary to Fake News’ claim that the report had not been published, was available on the Internet well before Fake News ran. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, SOTT’s tax returns are publicly available and transparent, such that allegations of Russian government support due would have been known as false given even casual inquiry by your publication. …

Your identification of SOTT as a “fake news site” and as an agent for Russian propaganda designed to undermine American democracy is defamatory per se. You accuse SOTT of spreading “Russian-backed phony news to outcompete traditional news organizations for audience.” These serious allegations have caused and will continue to cause great harm to SOTT, including but not limited to damage to policy impact and reputation, diversion of scarce reporting and managerial resources to respond to concerned inquires and debunk this smear, loss of readers, and damage to the site’s financial sustainability. Moreover, writers and editors associated with SOTT face ridicule, emotional distress, loss of reputation, and risk to future career advancement, including for example, difficulty passing background and security checks. …

Your article did not provide even a single example of “fake news” allegedly distributed or promoted by SOTT or indeed any of the other 200-plus sites on the PropOrNot blacklist….

As our readers know, and as empahsized by our attorney above, SOTT.NET is TOTALLY reader supported and anyone can view our non-profit tax returns to verify this claim. We don’t carry ANY paid advertising and we are beholden to no one except YOU, the reader, and our consciences (something that seems to be seriously in want at MSM news sites.) Obviously, we may have a legal battle ahead of us and that means we need your support more than ever as we sail into these turbulent waters of attempts to totally stifle free speech. With your help, we won’t go down without a fight!

We should also tell you that those of us here at SOTT who daily monitor the news in order to bring together the most complete picture of the “State of the Planet” often find it difficult to keep going in the face of the apparent lack of hope in spite of the confidence that some have in the abilities of Donald Trump to get the USA back on course. We are painfully aware of the struggle that must take place in order to right the wrongs and set things back on a positive footing; we are also aware that it will have to be a decision of the masses, not just 10% or 20% or 48% of the people. And that is why it is so important to continue to share knowledge. As conditions across all spheres of life continue to degrade, there will inevitably be more pain and suffering. With that, there will be more and more people who, having believed the chaos would never enter their lives, find that this is not the case: chaos is coming everywhere; and that makes it ever more important that we continue to fire the lighthouse for as long as we can.

Saying goodbye to the year 2016, we’d like to tell you a little bit about our accomplishments, since you may not be aware of them all. We have reason to be proud of our stamina and perseverance, and much more reason to be thankful for you, our readers and supporters, who make it all possible because, frankly, if we did not receive so many messages of thanks and support, we would have no hope either! There is always much more we can do, but this year, just as we thought our plates were too full, thanks to our readers’ support, and the impetus from many new volunteers around the world, we did even more!

Our radio shows, “Behind the Headlines” and “The Truth Perspective” (Sundays) and “The Health and Wellness Radio Show” (Fridays) continued to grow in popularity with listeners from all over the world tuning in and participating in the discussion. This year we moved to our own in-house radio channel, where you will find all our live and archived shows. If you haven’t tuned in yet, you’re missing out! In other languages, the Spanish radio show has been reaching a larger audience as well, and in 2016 we also launched a weekly radio show in German.

Some of our content that ‘went viral’ in 2016 is:

We have also been producing much more original content, SOTT Exclusives, SOTT Focus pieces and videos in our SOTT Media Youtube Channel. Our message has also been reaching a wider and more diverse audience with Joe Quinn appearing regularly on Iranian state broadcaster Press TV. Meanwhile, our Earth Changes Summary monthly videos are being translated into multiple languages and requested by more and more viewers. Recognizing how important these “signs of the times” are, people have been sharing these videos far and wide on social media.

We also have several improvements to SOTT coming in 2017, including:

  • Improved Reader Comment system with WYSIWYG editor, Preview feature, smileys, basic formatting, MicroComments, and more!
  • Shareable “Search URLs” that let you link to specific search results from SOTT’s search engine
  • Better spam protection (yeah, those spam comments are very annoying…)
  • More speed, of course!

Sott.net and YOUR contribution

Over the years, we’ve held fund-raisers for specific goals, and the response has always been gratifying; obviously, many people do appreciate our work. YOUR contributions – whether as direct donations or product purchases – keep us up and running on a daily basis and we are immensely thankful to all. What you have helped us accomplish over the past fourteen years is amazing. Thanks to you, our readers and your support, SOTT readership has reached an average of 5.3 million unique visitors a month. In addition, you have spoken via Facebook, and we currently have over 147,000 likes across our 12 SOTT sites.

Together, we are making a difference!

As already mentioned, SOTT.net refuses corporate advertising and sponsorship, and achieves its objectives via its own resources and reader donations. Any and all ‘advertisements’ you see on our site are either ads for our own products, which directly support our work, or non-commercial support for others engaged in the fight against psychopathy and its effects on our world. This is how we manage to keep this website going, and try to provide you with as objective a picture of the global reality as possible – day in, day out via dozens of volunteer editors around the globe.

All of this highlights how important YOUR SUPPORT is, especially in the face of a tanking economy. The Fight Against Lies goes on and we very much need your help to keep the lighthouse going until we reach that point where knowledge and awareness goes exponential, at which point, that Happy New Year we all hope for might become a real possibility. This is why your help now is more important than ever. And so, before the end of the fiscal year, we would just like to remind you that if you have extra income this year, donating to SOTT, a program of Quantum Future Group, Inc., a U.S. non-profit organization, is tax-deductible in the US. Wouldn’t you rather give your money to a good cause, to the fight for truth and real information, than be funding War and Corruption?

Make your (tax deductible in the US) donation today. You can send a check or money-order by mail to:

SOTT/Quantum Future Group, Inc.

295 Scratch Branch Road

Otto, NC 28763

USA

Or you can donate via Credit Card or Paypal. (For direct bank transfer details please feel free to contact us.)

The SOTT Calendar 2017

Thanks to the creative talents of SOTT.net editors Maja Rasic and Jörg Klingenbach, we are excited to announce a new, unique 2017 SOTT.net desk calendar, which features a selection of inspiring quotes.

******Anyone who donates 30 US dollars (or 30 EUR) or more will receive a calendar.******

(NOTE: If you wish to receive the calendar,

please MAKE SURE TO SEND US A MESSAGE USING OUR CONTACT FORM


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Check it out!

    
    
    

Another way to contribute is to visit our stores and purchase one of our many books or a DVD set for yourself or your loved ones.

All our books and DVDs are listed on QFG’s Online Store and Pilule Rouge, and are also available on Amazon.com, Amazon.fr, Amazon.de, Amazon.es, Amazon.it, and Amazon.co.uk, in paperback and electronic format.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, dear readers, and let’s keep shining the light for as long as we can!

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all. May 2017 bring you all good health, much love and even more knowledge. Onwards and upwards!

    

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/336307-Real-News-Trumps-Fake-News-SOTTs-Annual-Fundraiser-Get-your-SOTT-Calendar

Massive Istanbul explosions kill 29, injure 166

    

Some 29 people, including 27 police officers, have been killed and 166 other injured in a car bomb and a suicide bombing that shook Istanbul on December 10, the country’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced. Soylu announced that ten suspects in the deadly attacks have been taken into custody.

Earlier authorities reported about 15 deaths and 38 injuries. ​Two massive explosions rocked Turkey’s largest city after a football match at Vodafone arena. The target was a van full of police leaving the stadium after having provided security, Soylu said.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Nurman Kurtulmus said the attack comprised a car bomb outside the stadium in the city’s Besiktas district, followed 45 seconds later by a suicide bomber nearby.

Soylu called the attacks “a cruel plot” and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement after tragedy that it had been designed to “maximize” casualties.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/336306-Massive-Istanbul-explosions-kill-29-injure-166