Sarkozy: Too Many Foreigners

Sarkozy: Too Many Foreigners

The BBC reports that Nicolas Sarkozy was filmed in a televised debate stating that France has too many foreigners and that the system for integrating them is not working.

And the stunning declarations did not end there. Apparently, Sarkozy’s solution to the problem is equally radical: he has promised that if he is elected next month he will cut the number of new arrivals in half.

Right. So on the one hand there are too many foreigners, but on the other the solution is to bring more in.

This reminds me of the logic Western democratic politicians have employed in their efforts to understand the still unfolding economic crisis—a logic that sees the incurring of more debt as the solution to a problem that was caused by too much debt.

And of course this emerges in the context of an election campaign afflicted by voter apathy, where opinion polls give Sarkozy’s socialist opponent a clear lead.

Consider also that Sarkozy has been president of France for five years, and that before that he was—twice—Minister of Interior. If he now thinks France has too many foreigners, what is he telling us about his record of achievements in political office?

Sarkozy was one of three European politicians who some time ago declaimed that multiculturalism had failed.

David Cameron was another of them, Cameron being also a conservative politician who promised his voters drastically to cut the number of new arrivals in the United Kingdom.

Cameron’s record so far: net immigration at record high since he took office two years ago, and a call for ‘muscular’ liberalism.

Massive conservative victory in Spain.

Massive conservative victory in Spain.

The conservative People’s Party wins big in Spanish elections.

The Socialist party has been toppled as a result of Spain’s severe debt problem. The policies of the Socialist party has given Spain one of the worst economies in Europe.

In elections for the 350 member Spanish Congress, the People’s Party won 44% and the Socialist Party 28%. The People’s Party will gain 32 seats and the Socialist party will lose 59. The new president will be Mariano Rajoy of the People’s Party.

This dramatically changes the Spanish government.

The conservative Catalonia Nationalist party received about 5% and 16 seats. Another 12 seats will go to Basque nationalists split between a centrist party and a left-wing party. The rest of the seats went to centrist and left-wing parties.

The Coming European Superstate

The Coming European Superstate

That Germany Plans To Cram Down

The Throats Of The Rest Of Europe

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/

A lot of people were puzzled about what German Chancellor Angela Merkel meant when she recently stated that the ultimate solution to the financial crisis in the EU would “mean more Europe, not less Europe”.  Well, now we are finding out.  A leaked internal German government memo entitled “The Future of the EU: Required Integration Policy Improvements for the Creation of a Stability Union” actually proposes the creation of a “European Monetary Fund” which would be given the power to run the economies of troubled European nations.  This “stability union” would be quickly followed by the creation of a full-fledged “political union”.  Essentially, this leaked memo proposes the creation of a “European Superstate” which will be crammed down the throats of the rest of Europe whether they like it or not.  National sovereignty would be a thing of the past and European bureaucrats would run everything.  Of course this will never be accepted by the people of Europe until they feel the bitter pain of the coming financial collapse, but we are starting to see that there is already a clear plan for what the Germans wish to implement in the aftermath of the coming crisis.

A lot of people have just assumed that if there is a massive financial collapse in Europe and the euro crashes that it will mean that end of the euro and potentially the breakup of the EU.  But that is not what the Germans have planned at all.

An article in the Telegraph has posted details about the leaked internal German government memo mentioned above.  It really is startling to see that a full-fledged “political union” in Europe is being discussed at the highest levels of the German government….

The six-page memo, by the German foreign office, argues that Europe’s economic powerhouses should be able to intervene in how beleaguered eurozone countries are run.

The confidential blueprint sets out Germany’s plan to tackle the eurozone debt crisis by creating a “stability union” that will be “immediately followed by moves “on the way towards a political union”.

It will prompt fears that Germany’s euro crisis plans could result in a European super-state with spending and tax plans set in Brussels.

Can you imagine what Europe would look like under such a plan?

National sovereignty would be a thing of the past.

Another article in the Telegraph says that the leaked memo proposes that immediately a “European Monetary Fund” should be set up that would have the power to take over and run the economies of European nations that get into too much debt.  But according to the memo this would just be an intermediate step toward a full “political union”….

The six-page German foreign ministry paper sets out plans for the creation of a European Monetary Fund with a transfer of sovereignty away from member states.

The fund will have the power to take ailing countries into receivership and run their economies. Even more controversially, the document, entitled The future of the EU: required integration policy improvements for the creation of a Stability Union, declares that the treaty changes are a first stage “in which the EU will develop into a political union”. “The debate on the way towards a political union must begin as soon as the course toward stability union is charted,” it concludes.

As the crisis in Europe has gotten worse, the Germans have become more aggressive about throwing their weight around.  At this point, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the most important politician in Europe and she has been taking the lead in responding to this financial crisis.

As I have written about previously, there have been persistent rumors that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been “secretly plotting” to create a “new eurozone” that will fundamentally change the way that Europe is run.

For example, the following is from an article that recently came out  in the Telegraph….

France is drawing up plans to create a breakaway organisation of eurozone countries with its own treaty, parliament and headquarters – a move that could significantly undermine the existing European Union.

That same article also talked about the goals that France and Germany are hoping to achieve through all of this….

France and Germany are understood to want to strengthen the union between eurozone countries with new taxes and legal measures to stop nations borrowing and spending too much in future.

Of course it is important to note that there is no way that the people of Europe are going to go for any of this right now.

But after feeling the pain of a massive financial collapse for a while will they change their minds?

What is clear is that the status quo is not going to last much longer.  Something has got to change.  Unfortunately, Germany and France seem determined to push the rest of Europe in the direction of creating a European Superstate.

If you want to get a really good idea of what is happening in Europe right now, just check out this video of a recent speech by Nigel Farage on the floor of the European Parliament on November 16th, 2011.  Trust me, it is worth the couple of minutes that it takes to watch it.

But before fundamental structural changes take place in Europe, we are going to see an absolutely crippling financial collapse first.  With each passing day, there are more signs that things are rapidly unraveling.  The following are just a few of the noteworthy news items from Europe that have come out over the past week….

*In Italy there were violent clashes between protesters and police after Mario Monti unveiled his new austerity program.  To get an idea of how crazy things are getting over in Italy, just check out this video.

*Just like what happened when austerity was implemented in Greece, it looks like Italy is now headed down the road toward a major recession.  Industrial orders in Italy for the month of September declined by 8.5 percent.  That is really, really bad news.

*The EFSF has already been forced to buy up huge numbers of its own bonds.  That essentially means that the EFSF is already a bad joke.

*Dozens of big banks all over Europe have been downgraded in recent weeks.  Even German banks are getting downgraded now.  The other day, Moody’s downgraded the ratings of 10 major German banks.

An increasing number of people that work in the financial world are starting to get really freaked out about everything that is going on.

The following is what Mark Mobius, head of the emerging markets desk at Templeton Asset Management, had to say recently….

“There is definitely going to be another financial crisis around the corner, because we haven’t solved any of the things that caused the previous crisis.”

Willem Buiter, the chief economist of Citigroup, believes that if something is not done quickly, there will be a financial collapse in Europe in very short order….

“Time is running out fast.  I think we have maybe a few months — it could be weeks, it could be days — before there is a material risk of a fundamentally unnecessary default by a country like Spain or Italy which would be a financial catastrophe dragging the European banking system and North America with it. So they have to act now.”

Ann Barnhardt of Barnhardt Capital Management actually shut down her entire firm because she could no longer guarantee that the money her clients were putting into the futures and options markets would be safe.  Posted below are extended excerpts from the open letter that she recently released to the public.  Normally I would not post such extended excerpts, but in this case I believe that they are warranted.  What Barnhardt has written should be a huge wake up call for all of us.  It is refreshing (and a bit frightening) to get an honest assessment of the corruption in the financial world from someone that has made a good living in that world.  The following is how she began her letter….

It is with regret and unflinching moral certainty that I announce that Barnhardt Capital Management has ceased operations. After six years of operating as an independent introducing brokerage, and eight years of employment as a broker before that, I found myself, this morning, for the first time since I was 20 years old, watching the futures and options markets open not as a participant, but as a mere spectator.

The reason for my decision to pull the plug was excruciatingly simple: I could no longer tell my clients that their monies and positions were safe in the futures and options markets – because they are not. And this goes not just for my clients, but for every futures and options account in the United States. The entire system has been utterly destroyed by the MF Global collapse. Given this sad reality, I could not in good conscience take one more step as a commodity broker, soliciting trades that I knew were unsafe or holding funds that I knew to be in jeopardy.

So how did the MF Global collapse wreck the system?  Barnhardt went on to explain this….

The futures markets are very highly-leveraged and thus require an exceptionally firm base upon which to function. That base was the sacrosanct segregation of customer funds from clearing firm capital, with additional emergency financial backing provided by the exchanges themselves. Up until a few weeks ago, that base existed, and had worked flawlessly. Firms came and went, with some imploding in spectacular fashion. Whenever a firm failure happened, the customer funds were intact and the exchanges would step in to backstop everything and keep customers 100% liquid – even as their clearing firm collapsed and was quickly replaced by another firm within the system.

Everything changed just a few short weeks ago. A firm, led by a crony of the Obama regime, stole all of the non-margined cash held by customers of his firm. Let’s not sugar-coat this or make this crime seem “complex” and “abstract” by drowning ourselves in six-dollar words and uber-technical jargon. Jon Corzine STOLE the customer cash at MF Global. Knowing Jon Corzine, and knowing the abject lawlessness and contempt for humanity of the Marxist Obama regime and its cronies, this is not really a surprise. What was a surprise was the reaction of the exchanges and regulators. Their reaction has been to take a bad situation and make it orders of magnitude worse. Specifically, they froze customers out of their accounts WHILE THE MARKETS CONTINUED TO TRADE, refusing to even allow them to liquidate. This is unfathomable. The risk exposure precedent that has been set is completely intolerable and has destroyed the entire industry paradigm. No informed person can continue to engage these markets, and no moral person can continue to broker or facilitate customer engagement in what is now a massive game of Russian Roulette.

Even more frightening, Barnhardt says that the MF Global collapse is just the “tip of the iceberg” and that more collapses like this are about to happen….

I have learned over the last week that MF Global is almost certainly the mere tip of the iceberg. There is massive industry-wide exposure to European sovereign junk debt. While other firms may not be as heavily leveraged as Corzine had MFG leveraged, and it is now thought that MFG’s leverage may have been in excess of 100:1, they are still suicidally leveraged and will likely stand massive, unmeetable collateral calls in the coming days and weeks as Europe inevitably collapses. I now suspect that the reason the Chicago Mercantile Exchange did not immediately step in to backstop the MFG implosion was because they knew and know that if they backstopped MFG, they would then be expected to backstop all of the other firms in the system when the failures began to cascade – and there simply isn’t that much money in the entire system. In short, the problem is a SYSTEMIC problem, not merely isolated to one firm.

So what does Barnhardt say that we should all do?  She is actually recommending that everyone should completely abandon the futures and options markets….

And so, to the very unpleasant crux of the matter. The futures and options markets are no longer viable. It is my recommendation that ALL customers withdraw from all of the markets as soon as possible so that they have the best chance of protecting themselves and their equity. The system is no longer functioning with integrity and is suicidally risk-laden. The rule of law is non-existent, instead replaced with godless, criminal political cronyism.

Remember, a few weeks ago I warned you all that a massive derivatives crisis is coming.  Anyone that plays around with derivatives at this point is playing with fire.  Barnhardt says that she will never reopen her firm until Barack Obama is removed from office and fundamental reforms to the financial system have been implemented….

Finally, I will not, under any circumstance, consider reforming and re-opening Barnhardt Capital Management, or any other iteration of a brokerage business, until Barack Obama has been removed from office AND the government of the United States has been sufficiently reformed and repopulated so as to engender my total and complete confidence in the government, its adherence to and enforcement of the rule of law, and in its competent and just regulatory oversight of any commodities markets that may reform. So long as the government remains criminal, it would serve no purpose whatsoever to attempt to rebuild the futures industry or my firm, because in a lawless environment, the same thievery and fraud would simply happen again, and the criminals would go unpunished, sheltered by the criminal oligarchy.

We are on the verge of a financial crisis that could potentially be just as bad (or even worse) than the financial crisis of 2008.

Right now, 2012 is shaping up as a very, very bad year.

As I have written about previously, when European leaders proposed that private Greek bondholders should take a “50% haircut”, they massively undermined faith in the European financial system.

Now panic and fear are in the air and it is unlikely that financial markets will be calmed any time soon.

Already, there are early signs of the kind of massive credit crunch that almost brought about “the end of the world” in financial markets back in 2008.

For example, a CNBC article that was posted on Friday reported that the flow of credit in Europe is seriously drying up….

Fear over European banks’ exposure to risky government debt stalked markets and harried bank executives on Friday, as unsecured lending between banks evaporated and the cost of secured loans rose.

And as a recent article posted on Zero Hedge discussed, a similar thing is starting to happen in the United States….

The entire dollar funding market is now at levels not seen since the Lehman collapse and is effectively frozen. Only this time it is much, much worse as never before has the global central bank cadre been assumed and implied to be backstopping the global liquidity cascade. Ex-out the implied backstop by the monetary authorities, and liquidity is now locked up more than ever in the history of capital markets.

So what should we do about this?

We should take action and get prepared for what is coming.

Unfortunately, an increasing number of Americans seem to be “checking out” instead.  According to a recent Gallup poll, alcohol consumption in the United States has hit a 25 year high.  More than one out of every ten Americans over the age of 12 is on prescription antidepressants, and most American families spend endless hours staring at the television in an attempt to escape the pain and the frustration that they constantly feel.

Hopefully by working together we can help more Americans (and more Europeans as well) to wake up, to get off their couches, and to take action in a positive way.

Time is running out and the economic crisis is rapidly getting worse.

We don’t have any time to waste.

The Battle of Athens

The Battle of Athens

A murder stirred up the trouble.

For the past three days, Athens has been rocked by violence. It all began on Tuesday morning, when a 44-year-old man, Manolis Kantaris, was killed by three Mahgrebs (Morrocan or Algerian according to the police), as they tried to rob him of a video camera he was carrying. The most shocking part, and that which infuriated Greek citizenry, was the fact that the victim carried the video camera because he was going to take his wife to the hospital where she was to give birth to their second child. It was five in the morning, and he was heading to pick up his car so he could transport his wife and mother-in-law. When they saw he was late, they searched for him and found him in a pool of blood. The security cameras of a nearby store showed three dark colored men attacking him and stabbing him in the body and neck as he tried to resist.

Neighbors and angry citizens started to gather around the killing spot after a few hours and used thrash bins to stop the traffic. Hundreds of them gathered. Then the first clashes began. At neighboring streets and plazas in the area, which is the most heavily populated by immigrants, various Africans and South Asians were attacked and beaten. There were also attacks on anarchist squats with the police intervening to protect them.

The next day, we had two more incidents. During a demonstration (organized by leftist parties and anarchists) a demonstrator was heavily injured, allegedly by the police, and moved to the hospital in a coma. Later in the night, an Asian man was attack and killed allegedly by three men talking Greek and wearing in hoods. The police are investigating “racist” motives for the attack (read: “hate crime”).

Those incidents led us to two simultaneous demonstration in the centre of Athens on Thursday, May 12.

The one earlier in the afternoon was called by residents of the area where Kantaris was killed. Somewhere around 4,000 people gathered. After the police did not let them march towards certain squares with a heavy immigrant population, they went towards the city hall of Athens. The police did not anticipate such a crowd, and having to deal with a second demonstration but as well with a football match between two major Athens clubs did not have the numbers to contain it.

Numerous immigrant-owned shops were smashed; there were a lot of clashes between black-clad youth and immigrants as well as with the police. There were also waves of attacks against anarchist-owned squats. About 50 people were taken in police custody.

At the same time, 3,000 leftists and anarchists were gathering in the centre of Athens. Molotov cocktails were tossed were thrown at banks and at the police. But these ended quite early. Up until the morning, the center of Athens was described as being a free for all situation with clashes everywhere, mainly attacks on immigrants.

The morning of Friday 13th, came with another Greek pensioner stabbed, possibly by immigrants, again after he withdrew some money from a bank. The tension is still building up, as the first murder spot has become vigil, with people there almost 24 hours a day; the police describe it as a rallying point for attacks on immigrants.

Greece is a country that has had to deal with immigrants only in the last 20 years. The first wave of immigrants were Europeans, mainly Albanians and other Eastern Europeans; they generally caused an increase in crime, but did not create major social clashes. The second wave of African and South Asian immigration has caused a great deal of tension, especially in the centre of Athens, which is sometimes described as a huge ghetto. For the past three years though, civilians in certain areas of the center have refused to move out, as so many have done; they have organized themselves into “committees” and actively resisted the “takeover of their neighborhoods,” as they call it.

What has happened over the last days was a precursor of what we can expect in the future in many European cities—that is, urban warfare.

France and Italy prepare to slam the border shut.

France and Italy prepare to slam the border shut.

Europe has reached its boiling point. Massive third world immigration has overwhelmed southern and western Europe with crime, welfare dependency, constant race riots, Islamic terrorism, and the rapid deterioration of large metropolitan areas.

France and Italy are preparing to defy EU mandates and slam their borders shut.

France has been defying EU rules already by diverting illegal aliens to Italy. Then Italy retaliated by “legally” putting Tunisians on trains for France. The French blocked the trains again with riot police, even though Italy had the right to do so under EU immigration rules, since the illegal aliens had been given temporary visas.

France now says they will openly suspend the EU’s open border policy and block all illegal aliens. Italy is suspected to follow suit.

The EU’s open border policy, known as the Schengen Agreement, is intended to allow EU citizens to move from country to country. However it makes it incredibly easy for illegal aliens to flood Europe.

Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Religion?

Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Religion?

Our Dutch correspondent H. Numan, who has been covering the Geert Wilders trial so lucidly for the last couple of weeks, contributes the following overview of the case and its larger ramifications.

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2011/04/freedom-of-speech-or-freedom-of.html#more

Geert Wilders as Galileo
Freedom of speech or freedom of religion?
by H. Numan

It seems that quite a few readers have lost track of what exactly is going on during the Wilders trial. The issue at stake is on what basis our society will come to rest: which is more important? Freedom of religion, or freedom of speech? Not just in The Netherlands, mind you. This trial has much broader consequences.

Let me start off by making it easy: freedom of speech does not mean you have the freedom to shout “FIRE!” in a cinema, for example. There is ample jurisprudence on that one. Freedom of speech has its limitations. You have the right to say what you feel about any religion, but you may have to clarify that in court. Again, there is ample jurisprudence about that topic as well.

Piss Christ by Andres SerranoThere is a current trend, both in Europe as well as in the USA to give freedom of religion far more importance than it actually deserves. That is what is at stake. Currently, someone put an image of Jesus in glass of urine, as an art form. Utterly tasteless, I fully admit. But it falls completely under freedom of speech.

I understand that some (not even that many) Christians are offended. None of them is burning down art galleries, beheading artists, or killing other Christians to show their dislike. That is in stark contrast with mohammedanism, which would go completely berserk if an artist were to place a koran in a jar of urine. They’d happily kill any number of people, including their own, to show their fury. It doesn’t matter at all where the artist lives: be it Nova Zembla, Antarctica, or anywhere between.

This has already happened many times. Offend mohammedanism — anywhere on the world — and we will take revenge. Terry Jones burned a koran, in America. Which is well within his constitutional right to do. It was not (yet) possible to kill that infidel, so they went berserk in Afghanistan. Much easier to do there anyway. Not that easy to kill infidels, sadly. Most infidels in Afghanistan wear flak jackets and carry M16s. So they picked a few of those that don’t and a large number of mohammedans as well. About 24 people killed altogether, as I recall.

The reaction is Chamberlainian: We have to change our laws, in order to compel to their religious beliefs. That is the world on its head. But many politicians will happily appease themselves into dhimmitude. The Dutch government is doing that right now, actually. All for oil…

The Wilders case is far more complicated than that. Wilders is an elected parliamentarian. He cannot be prosecuted for his words outside parliament. But he can be prosecuted for his statements made in public outside parliament. And that is what happened.

That seems not unreasonable, until you read the charge, and see how this circus progresses. The DA did not want to prosecute, because he considered it an impossible case to win. The court had to order the DA to do so, which he then unwillingly did. His demand was release from prosecution. A DA can do that. Normally, the court would by then understand that the case is utterly hopeless and dismiss it.

However, this is a purely political trial. Make no mistake about that. The court did order the prosecution to proceed, and put Wilders on trial. Fortunately, Wilders is defended by the best lawyer in the country. The first trial was dismissed into a re-trial. Not unprecedented, admittedly. However, this particular outcome was absolutely unheard of. Certainly in a trial of this magnitude.

If you had watched the judges blunder along, the DA making a fool of himself and most important: if you had seen the complainants utterly misbehave and show their unprofessional hatred, you’d be disgusted. This was not a trial, this was being put on the stake. If the court had any decency, as one might expect from a court, it should have ordered all the complainants inadmissible.

Wilders trial — Mohammed Enait and Nico Steijnen
One of the councillor-complainants was arrested the day after the trial for climbing over a fence into a military facility. The man is a professional hippie (with filthy hair and ponytail), but he’s pushing 60… He behaved exactly like that in court: as a hippie high as a kite on grass demanding that his (unreasonable) demands be met. Not professional at all. An angry fishmonger would have presented his case more clearly and less revoltingly. Another one already showed his blatant hatred for the entire legal system (in which he actually works) by appearing with a muslim headdress and refusing to remove it. (One is not allowed to wear funny hats in Dutch courts; only a magistrate has that privilege.)

So now we see the Wilders-show Part II: “The hanging continues”.

Wilders must be found guilty. Anything goes to get his head into the noose. After the murder of Pim Fortuyn, having him popped by accident is rather difficult to do. Although the murder of Fortuyn was all too obvious, the organizers got away clean. I doubt if they can do it again. Nobody would believe for a minute that Wilders had been murdered for the sake of poor baby seals. (The murderer of Fortuyn claimed to have murdered him for animal welfare.)

Bram MoszcowiczSo we have to open the dirty tricks book, and see what we can use. The phone call for Moszcowicz was a set-up. He didn’t fall into it, but barely so. Only after seeing the entire clip second by second, many times, did I begin to understand the set up. It was very cleverly done. If you watch the clip just once, you won’t spot it. Certainly not if you don’t understand Dutch. Because the whole trick was linguistic.

What many people — amongst others minister Piet Heijn Donner — do not understand is that shariah law does not have to be implemented as one single package. Muslims would be perfectly happy to see it become enforced in little steps. Piet Hein Donner made himself ridiculous in the previous government by stating he saw no problem with Shariah law, provided it was democratically approved.

Rotterdam Mosque, Geert Wilders
Sheer ranting nonsense: that implies he has no problems with gas chambers, either, or cannibalism, provided a legal majority (in both parliamentary chambers) approve of it. Of course that’s impossible. But the big difference is that shariah law can be applied without even changing the constitution at all. If I can understand that, why has the minister of justice such a hard time understanding this? He has a much better legal training then I’ll ever have.

Nobody will ever come up with a shariah book of law and propose that it become Dutch law in parliament. First both houses must approve, then both must be dissolved, after new elections the matter is put to both houses and only then would shariah law be Dutch law. It won’t happen that way, because it never happened anywhere on this planet that way. Yet, the minister seems to think so.

The first step is already taken. Both in the USA and in The Netherlands. We have to make any religion more important than freedom of speech. That is what is on trial in The Netherlands, and that is why the left-wing powers behind it go full steam to get Wilders convicted. Once any religion can no longer be insulted, it’s a tiny step to forbid questioning of all religions. After all, have you ever met a fundie who is not offended by serious questions regarding his beliefs? And from there we simply enforce that new law, but only to the maximum when the religion is mohammedanism. After all, mohammedans have no problem at all insulting any other religion. They do so daily.

It seems so innocent: in order to protect innocent lives, we have to act when somebody burns any religious book. But nobody will legally act if someone places a crucifix in a jar of piss. Cover a koran with bacon, however, and it’ll be the electric chair for you. Maybe not today, but it is well on its way.

— H. Numan

Southern Italy’s angry white youth.

Southern Italy’s angry white youth.

Casa Pound is named after the American poet Ezra Pound and calls itself a 3rd Position youth oriented political party. They have rowdy demonstrations with heavy metal and American style southern rock. Its sudden rise to prominence is similar to the English Defense League in England.

Like the EDL, the main issue for Casa Pound appears to be anger over multi-culturalism. With African and Arab immigrants rioting across Europe and then getting rewarded for it by the government, countries like England, Italy, Russia, and Australia have seen a dramatic rise in organized angry young white males.

RT is a left-wing international English language news source based in Russia.