Italy’s new prime minister backs easing Russia sanctions


In his first address to the parliament on Tuesday, Italy’s newly sworn-in Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte emphasised his government’s commitment to dialogue with Russia, with an intention to review the EU sanctions policies.

“We will promote openness towards Russia that has in the last years reaffirmed its international role in various geopolitical critical situations,” Conte told the parliament in a plea for confidence for the newly formed Euroskeptic government.

The 53-year-old PM voiced his support for the new Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s pro-Russia stance, and he promised that Italy will take steps to lift the sanctions against Russia.

“We will promote the revision of the sanctions system, starting with those that threaten Russian society,” the Italian prime minister said. He was heartily applauded by members of the parliament who welcomed his words.

With these words, Conte confirmed the intention that had earlier been outlined in the agreement between Salvini’s League and Luigi Di Maio’s Five Star Movement, the two pillars of the present coalition.

Flanked by Di Maio and Salvini, who didn’t hide their approval of his speech, Conte also reaffirmed another point that had been highlighted by the coalition earlier – Italy intends to remain a NATO member, with the United States as its privileged ally.

In light of the growing criticism of the new government’s anti-immigrant feeling, Conte explained that what the coalition wanted was to “end the immigration business, which has grown out of all proportion under the cloak of fake solidarity.”

“We are not and will never be racists,” he said, but added that the EU has failed to handle the flow of migrants and pinned the blame on the community for having allowed the “egotistical closures” of the boundaries to some European states, which had serious repercussions for Italy.

The closures, combined with the Dublin rule that requires migrants to file for asylum in the first EU state in which they arrive, have forced Italy to receive over 700,000 refugees since 2013.

The new PM vowed to solve this problem by “forcefully seeking to overcome the Dublin rule to have the system of equally shared responsibility and automatic reallocation of asylum-seekers.”

Dispelling rumours of his government’s resentment of the EU leadership, Conte said “Europe is our home,” but added that Italy has to negotiate its own interests in the EU.

With a pronounced emphasis on solving domestic problems, the Euroskeptic government led by Giuseppe Conte will move to introduce a “flat tax” to solve the problem of excessive taxation, which, “combined with an excessive amount of bureaucracy,” has been seriously damaging to the country’s competitiveness. Conte has also promised to introduce pension cuts for members of the parliament and to boost spending on welfare for the poor.

Unlikely as it seemed at first, the League and the Five Star Movement government, which collectively won the majority in nationwide elections on March 4, moved from signaling their unwillingness to cooperate at all to signing an agreement with a plan of action to tackle various internal and international issues. The two party leaders had been impatient to fulfil their election promises in what they defined to be “the government of change.”



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EU army looms? Merkel backs Macron’s European Defense Force initiative

“I am in favor of President Macron’s proposal for an intervention initiative,” the German chancellor told Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper on Sunday.

“However, such an intervention force with a common military-strategic culture must fit into the structure of defense cooperation,” she said.

Merkel said that the German military, the Bundeswehr, “must, in principle, be part of such an initiative,” but added that her statement “doesn’t mean that we are to be involved in every mission.”

During his key speech at Sorbonne University last September, Macron proposed a European military “intervention force” that would protect the continent by taking action in hotspots around the globe. It’s a crucial element of the French leader’s defense reform, which is aimed at integrating European defense capacities. But the talks on implementing the European Defense Force have so far been complicated due to Berlin’s cautions approach to the initiative.

“European defense cooperation is very important. Of the 180 weapon systems that currently co-exist in Europe, we must move to a situation like the United States, which has only about 30 weapons systems,” Merkel said.

Following Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, which the EU considers crucial, and a tariff war unleashed by Washington against Brussels, the European leaders began questioning the ability and desire of the US to be the guarantor of security for Europe.

READ MORE: Time to ‘take fate into its own hands’: Europe can’t rely on US protection anymore, says Merkel

“It’s no longer the case that the United States will simply just protect us,” Merkel said in early May. “Rather, Europe needs to take its fate into its own hands. That’s the task for the future.”

The German chancellor was fully backed by Macron, who urged the European Union “not to be weak.” Last week, Austrian chancellor also called on Europe to “remain united” because “the US has [recently] become more and more unreliable for us.”

READ MORE: Trump vows to ‘deal with’ Germany & other NATO allies ‘not contributing enough’

Trump also promised to “deal with” Germany as a country that “has not contributed what it should be contributing” to the US-led NATO military block. The statement came after German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said last month that Berlin will only increase its military spending by 1.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2025 instead of the 2 percent desired by Washington.

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Whole Foods Backs Off Mandatory GMO Labeling

DS–Whole Foods Market (WFM) was caught in a blatant, brazen lie today after Natural News published a report that showed Whole Foods joining with Monsanto to support a GMO “fake labeling” bill in the U.S. Senate. The proposed new law would outlaw GMO labeling nationwide for up to two years, then roll out a GMO labeling “compromise” that would allow companies to use QR code (machine language) labeling that isn’t readable by humans.

The proposed law, in other words, is a fraud. It would not require any sort of GMO labeling that’s readable by human beings, and it would destroy the only existing labeling law that requires real, honest labeling (the Vermont law).

As news of the betrayal spread across the internet, the Whole Foods Big Lie machine went into action, deliberately spreading false and misleading information via social media to deny the fact that Whole Foods’ own CEO, Walter Robb, is on the record openly supporting this Monsanto-engineered GMO fake labeling law (see below).

Today, in response to a widely publicized article on Natural News that quoted a breaking story from Food Democracy Now, Whole Foods posted the following lie on its Facebook page:

There is no truth to these claims. We have always advocated for more transparency in the marketplace, because we believe people have a right to know what’s in their food… Our commitment is to true transparency, and our policy will not accept QR codes or 1-800 numbers as valid ways of identifying foods that may contain GMOs.


Whole Foods CEO contradicts the Whole Foods social media liars who try to deceive the public

Yet, this fraudulent denial flies in the face of Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb’s own statements to the media, reported in Politico Pro and also recorded on video (see video link below). In this article entitled, “‘Good food’ industry leaders back Senate GMO compromise” by Helena Bottemiller Evich, Politico published the following: (bolding added)

ASPEN, Colo. – Three leading voices in the so-called “good food” sector today urged support for the Senate’s bipartisan compromise on GMO labeling, a bill that would preempt Vermont’s labeling law and provide options for companies to disclose genetically modified ingredients.

Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, Jeff Dunn, president of Campbell Fresh, and Sam Kass, a former White House adviser who now works with food tech companies, all praised Sens. Pat Roberts and Debbie Stabenow for coming to an agreement on a national solution during a panel discussion at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

“It’s not perfect, but it’s progress not perfection,” said Dunn, who noted that Campbell’s was the first major food company to voluntarily label its products. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

[Walter] Robb said it was an “incredible thing” that the senators came together and compromised during a dysfunctional time. He said he hopes that lawmakers can soon move on to other things.

…Kass, who has already lauded the Senate for the compromise, said he’d prefer on-pack labels, but argued that advocates got 75 percent of what they wanted and the deal should be supported.

Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb captured on video openly supporting Monsanto-engineered GMO fake labeling law

For further proof that Whole Foods’ deceptive spin social media team is lying to your face, just watch this Aspen Institute video recorded three days ago.

Go to 36:21 in the video to watch Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb talk just like a Monsanto operative, claiming the Vermont labeling law is too complex to follow and therefore a federal labeling compromise needs to become law (even if it only requires labeling in machine code that’s unreadable by humans): (bolding added)

Question: What’s your take on is this a bill that should get passed or not?

Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb:

My view on the bill is that, and I’m pretty intimately aware of it, is that I think it’s an incredible thing that Sen. Stabenow has put together with Sen. Robert, when you take a look at the atmosphere up there on Capitol Hill, that this much was accomplished together.

Whether it passes or not is an open question of the next couple of weeks. The alternative is that Vermont goes into effect and then there’s a number of other states behind that, it makes it difficult for manufacturers to be able to label and label to that different standard… and frankly the Vermont bill while it’s… the national bill would have never happened if Vermont had not passed. There just wouldn’t have been the pressure… it’s a very imperfect bill. It doesn’t cover a lot of products, there’s gaps and inconsistencies that ultimately are probably better addressed through some sort of a national standard.

And I think the way she’s put the bill together, which is to give manufacturers choices, is I think the marketplace and the customers will take it from here… so obviously, I think she’s done a great piece of work… we are already are out there further with our commitment to full transparency by 2018. We’re not gonna… we’re looking at how these two live with each other, but we’re already past that, but I think in this day and age, to come together, to create some sort of a reasonable standard that manufacturers can… and gives the customer a lot more information is a pretty good thing.

Walter Robb, in other words, loves the idea that the new federal mandate would “give manufacturers choice” instead of requiring mandatory, clear labeling. And he praises the compromise just as Monsanto operatives do. It’s a huge WIN for Monsanto, and Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb just can’t praise it enough!

ACTION ITEM: Go to the Whole Foods Facebook page now and tell them to stop lying

Click here for the Whole Foods Facebook page. Tell them to stop lying to their customers. Walter Robb has been caught red-handed, on video, admitting to his support for the Monsanto GMO “fake labeling” law. Yet the Whole Foods social media people just keep on LYING, hoping nobody will notice…

Indisputable FACTS about the Whole Foods supported law: It would kill the existing Vermont labeling law (and worse)

Even the Politico story was very mild in its description of what this Monsanto / Whole Foods law actually does. Here are some irrefutable facts about the new law:

• The new law would immediately kill the Vermont GMO labeling law due to kick in this Friday, denying the citizens of Vermont the right to know whether they are eating GMOs.

• It would permanently outlaw state GMO labeling laws nationwide.

• It allows NO LABELING for up to two years while the USDA figures out what sort of labeling to require.

• It gives food manufacturers “choices” to use non-human-readable labels that can only be read by bar code scanners. This allows food companies to hide the truth about GMOs behind digital machine code.

• It does not require the GMO labeling of meats or dairy products from animals raised entirely on GMO feed.

• It allows the USDA to arbitrarily decide what percentage of GMOs in a food item trigger a required GMO label (or bar code). This level could theoretically be set at 50% or even 90%.

• The proposed law was masterminded by Monsanto-influenced lawmakers as a way to destroy state GMO labeling laws while falsely claiming to have a “national GMO labeling mandate” that’s pure fraud.

• Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb fully supports this proposed law, calling it an “incredible thing” that was “accomplished together.”

The Whole Foods LIE MACHINE goes into overdrive while betraying its own customers over GMO labeling

As is obvious here, Whole Foods own CEO Walter Robb is on the record supporting the GMO fake labeling “compromise” that was pushed through the Senate by Monsanto. This is undeniable. Yet the Whole Foods social media liars and deception artists ridiculously proclaim “There is no truth to these claims. We have always advocated for more transparency in the marketplace…”

It’s complete B.S., of course, but that’s what Whole Foods is peddling these days. Remember: This is also the same retailer that trained its managers to lie to the public about GMOs, all while selling protein powders containing alarming levels of toxic heavy metals (and refusing to do anything about it). Whole Foods has a long history of being so deceptive about GMOs that some people now call it Wholesanto.

The truth on this is simple: For the last two decades, Whole Foods has been selling unlabeled GMOs, heavy metals and pesticides to health-conscious customers who now demand honest labeling. And now when Monsanto twists the U.S. Senate into advancing a law that would outlaw the existing Vermont GMO labeling law, Whole Foods’ own CEO Walter Robb publicly praises it, followed by the Whole Foods propaganda liars denying any such thing ever happened. Just WOW.

Watch the video yourself here (forward to 36:21)

The truth about Whole Foods is finally coming out: Pro-Monsanto, anti-labeling and LYING to its own customers at every opportunity

Now we finally see the truth come out as Whole Foods joins Monsanto in supporting a GMO labeling bill that would deny consumers the right to know what they’re eating with clear, human-readable labeling. Not only is Whole Foods joining forces with Monsanto to destroy the courageous, pioneering Vermont labeling law, it’s also blatantly lying to its own customers and denying any of this is true.

As an investigative journalist and food lab science director, the one thing I’ve learned about Whole Foods over the last few years is that Whole Foods has long abandoned integrity and seeks only profit via deception.

In other words, Whole Foods is just like Monsanto. Except that instead of selling poisons to farmers, Whole Foods is selling GMO poisons to the end customer, all while working hard to support a law that would destroy Vermont’s existing GMO labeling law. I think I’m going to write an entire chapter about the lies and deceptions of Whole Foods in my next edition of Food Forensics, coming out in 2017. I’m told the book will not be available at Whole Foods Market stores, for some reason…

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How They Do It–After issuing video, Sanders won’t say if he backs Palestinian ‘right of return’

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Obama Backs Sen. Dianne Feinstein As She Faces Challenge From The Left

Former President Barack Obama endorsed Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in her re-election bid, Feinstein’s campaign announced Friday.

It’s Obama’s first endorsement in a Senate race this year.

“I’m proud to give Dianne Feinstein my strong endorsement for her reelection to the United States Senate,” Obama said in a statement. “She’s always been an indispensable leader for California, and we became dear friends and partners in the fight to guarantee affordable healthcare and economic opportunity for everybody; to protect our planet from climate change, and our kids from gun violence.” 

“President Obama had the grace, wisdom and even-handedness that we quickly came to expect from a president ― and that we’re now so sorely disappointed by its absence,” said Feinstein of the former president’s endorsement. “I’ll do my level best every day to build on President Obama’s accomplishments and carry his torch forward, no matter the obstacles that stand in our way.” 

Obama is the latest high-profile Democrat to back Feinstein in her first serious challenge from a member of her own party. While the longtime senator has won support from former Vice President Joe Biden, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and fellow Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Feinstein’s most competitive Democratic opponent, state Sen. Kevin de León, has garnered support from some of the state’s leading progressive groups and activists. He boasts endorsements from powerful labor groups, including the Service Employees International Union and the California Nurses Association, as well as progressive PAC Democracy for America and many of his colleagues in the California State Legislature. 

“We have a great deal of respect for President Obama. His endorsement of Sen. Feinstein is likely a reflection of the time they spent working together while he was in the White House,” said de León spokesman Jonathan Underland. “Luckily, the deciding votes in this race are in the hands of the people of California, not Washington D.C.”

Due to California’s primary system, in which the top two vote recipients advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation, there’s a strong possibility that Feinstein and de León will face off in November. 

Feinstein, who was elected to the Senate in 1992 and is the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, currently leads de León in the polls by 26 points. Her campaign coffer has also eclipsed de León’s — at the end of March, Feinstein had $10.4 million in the bank, compared with de León’s total of $672,000. 

Despite trailing in the polls and funds, de León, who until recently served as president pro tempore of the California Senate, hopes to seize on growing progressive frustration with Feinstein, arguing that the senator’s views no longer represent those of her constituents. Feinstein has faced some criticism from the left for not standing up to President Donald Trump enough and for being too moderate. Protesters frequently pop up at her public events as well as outside her San Francisco home, and in February she failed to secure her own party’s endorsement at the California Democratic Party convention. No candidate received a high enough percentage of the convention’s vote to warrant an endorsement.

De León has raised his own political profile by spending much of the last 18 months publicly opposing Trump’s political agenda. Last year he helped pass legislation to make California a “sanctuary” state and has introduced a bill to protect the state from the rollbacks of environmental regulations pursued by the Trump administration.

Feinstein, perhaps pressured by de León’s challenge, has inched to the left on several issues in recent months. In March, she said she was “very wary” of Gina Haspel, Trump’s nominee for CIA director, after initially praising Haspel’s career. (Haspel has faced scrutiny for her ties to brutal interrogation tactics used by the CIA on terrorism suspects.) 

And earlier this week, Feinstein said she opposed federal crackdowns on California’s legal marijuana market. It marked a major reversal for the senator who has long opposed legalizing pot for recreational use. 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Bill Gates Backs Space Based Video Surveillance System for Entire Planet

Bill Gates Backs Space Based Video Surveillance System for Entire Planet

April 20th, 2018

Via: TechCrunch:

A new space imaging startup called EarthNow aims to provide not just pictures of the planet on demand, but real-time video anywhere a client desires. Its ambition is matched only by its pedigree: Bill Gates, Intellectual Ventures, Airbus, SoftBank and OneWeb founder Greg Wyler are all backing the play.

Its promise is a constellation of satellites that will provide video of anywhere on Earth with latency of about a second. You won’t have to wait for a satellite to come into range, or worry about leaving range; at least one will be able to view any area at any given time, so they can pass off the monitoring task to the next satellite over if necessary.




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Avigdor Liberman backs IDF sniper in video, slams soldier who filmed shooting

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