Monday, October 31, 2016

Wikileaks To Launch 'Phase 3', The Dawn Of A New Era?



Wikileaks Warns It Is Launching “Phase Three” Of Its Election Coverage



On Sunday night, Wikileaks enigmatically tweeted that it would launch “phase 3 of [its] US election coverage” in the coming week. The site put politicians on notice Sunday evening in a tweet that also included a plea for donations.
“We commence phase 3 of our US election coverage next week. You can contribute: https://shop.wikileaks.org/donate  @WLTaskForce” the whistleblower website announced moments 




As the Hill noted, Wiki did not provide information about what the third phase entails or if there are still more revelations to come. As a reminder, Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange currently finds himself in the Ecuador embassy where his internet access has been revoked for the duration of the presidential campaign to avoid the appearance of intervention.

Wikileaks supporters, now including a number of disgruntled GOP nominee Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders supporters, promptly replied with tweets expressing hope that phase three would ultimately damage Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign. User “CorruptMedia” responded with a Photoshopped estimating what CNN coverage of Clinton being escorted to jail would look like.

A new archive of Clinton-related documents would further irk a campaign still reeling from FBI director James Comey’s announcement on Friday that new emails related to the Clinton server probe had been discovered.

A new archive of Clinton-related documents would further irk a campaign still reeling from FBI director James Comey’s announcement on Friday that new emails related to the Clinton server probe had been discovered.







[The sad thing is...as optimistic as we find this article (with good reason) - these ideas represent exactly why the internet has to be controlled and will be soon]




A New Era Dawns


Since the advent of the Internet in 1995, the Fifth Estate has been growing by the day. It has taken over 20 years for it to finally come into its own.  2016 will be long remembered as the year when the Fifth Estate became a force unto itself, so much so that it is profoundly affecting the outcome of this year’s U.S. presidential election.
The campaign season of this election cycle has been the most dynamic and electrifying, surprising and captivating in American history.  No one has ever seen anything like it. Because the nation still finds itself steeped in the depths of the Great Recession, there are millions of young adults out of work.  Many of them live at home with mom and dad and with very few possessions except a smartphone or a tablet, a laptop or a desktop.
It is in this environment that the citizen journalist has been born.  They are by and large unemployed, bored and angry that the American Dream has eluded them. Some of them believe that the dream has become an “American nightmare” and want to know why. As they seek answers to this inquiry, they are stumbling upon long-hidden truths that have made them deeply distrust the mainstream media (MSM)…with a vengeance.
The MSM is comprised not only of all print, video and audio forms of media
but also book publishing, movie production, music production, TV programming, social networks among others.

So here’s the current context: While the banksters bankrupted the USA in order to swell the ranks of the jobless and unemployed, especially among the youth who they intended to fight their unlawful and unprovoked wars of aggression around the world, something unexpected happened.  The banksters unwittingly created an army of writers and bloggers, e-book authors and essayists, Facebook posters and Twitter tweeters, YouTube video producers and Instagram photojournalists.

What else was there to post about this year but the exceedingly dramatic 2016 presidential election, as well as the coming Second American Revolution.  No matter what side of the fence these folks are on, they are busier than if they had a 9 to 5 with the local corporation. And they’re loving every minute of it because they are learning how the world really works. And, why they really have no job … or even a prospect of a job.

The rise of the citizen journalist

The Internet is the place where many will find their future job.  Not the one working for a Fortune 500 corporation; rather, a real job that will assist with the transformation of post-modern society.  As these young Internet practitioners expand their skill sets, deepen their knowledge base, and broaden their experience, they have quickly acquired the right stuff to function as a one-person, multi-media platform.  This single development has contributed significantly to the rapid establishment of the Fifth Estate.
As a matter of fact, the now defunct specialty of investigative journalism has seen a massive rebound.  These young journalists have no advertisers to appease and can therefore go after whatever they choose to investigate.  Bloggers and videographers are tearing up the terrain with their incisive blogs and documentaries, respectively.  Upstart authors are now writing Pulitzer Prize level reports and series on topics ranging from the Holocaust Industry to the rigged 2016 U.S. presidential election, from the US Government-coordinated terrorist attacks on 9/11 to the CIA-conducted assassination of John F. Kennedy.
These citizen journalists all share one thing, and that is a passion for the truth.  They see a world in total disarray and are desperately trying to make some sense of it.  In their ardent search for the truth they unwittingly find themselves becoming world-class journalists. And it is only their pursuit of the truth that has set them free from the ranks of the unemployed.


Not only do many these folks now have control of their destiny, they are not bound to a corporate agenda like their parents and grandparents were.  Nor are they bound to the conventions of traditional, university taught journalism that keeps their MSM peers in a tighly controlled box.  They are free to think for themselves and to follow the truth wherever it leads them.


Such a liberation of genuinely creative energy has created a supernova in the firmament of worldwide media.  So many young journalists have been born into their Internet-based profession that there is now a crowded field of competition to be dealt with.  This has forced many into various specialty niches which has posed a real threat to the MSM journalists who are now primarily generalists because of the severe budget cuts over several years throughout that industry.

The MSM is soon to be overwhelmed by the Alt-Media.  Little did the controllers of this planetary realm know that one day — in the not-too-distant future — they will see a world transformed by the vast number of truth-speakers and fact-writers who they helped create. The readership and viewership of the Alt-Media will be filled with billions of souls who are likewise truth-seekers who know that the MSM is positively not the place to find it.

Truly, this rapidly evolving saga is “The Greatest Show on Earth” at this very moment in time. It is a global drama of such epic proportions that soon the entire planetary civilization will have gone through an unparalleled metamorphosis.  For as We the People of the American Republic find our voices and put our pens to paper and take to our keypads to speak truth to power, so, too, will the peoples of the world.


When the Alt-Media becomes an echo chamber of truth that replaces the MSM echo chamber of falsehood, the world will have taken a great leap forward toward the restoration of both personal and national sovereignty.  It is only in this global context that the world community of nations will experience a durable peace and genuine brotherhood. Then, many things like political integrity and social equality, economic stability and financial security, religious tolerance and racial respect, civil justice and environmental protection, will all occur naturally and spontaneously.






Propaganda, Repression And The Emerging Cynicism




‘Conspiracy Vs. Government’ Is Part of an Elite Wave of Propaganda Justifying Violent Repression




The rise of paranoid politics could make America ungovernable – and the FBI is fuelling the fire … Nothing can disprove the fears of a paranoiac. Indeed, everything confirms them …   It takes away politicians’ incentive to understand one another and get things done. It says that if you scream loud enough, established norms will buckle under the pressure. And while those norms might be annoying and flawed, we’ll all miss them if they go.  –UK Telegraph

With US belief in “conspiracy theory” over 50 percent (see our previous article here) elites are showing increasing concern that they have lost control of their narrative.
This article again illustrates elite push back. The article explains that if people grow paranoid about government, then the “norms” of government will collapse.
Conspiracy theory is called “paranoid politics” in this article but it amounts to the same thing.
The article also has parallels to an article we analyzed recently here by Cass Sunstein. His Bloomberg editorial suggested that nothing was more important from a political standpoint than returning “civility” to Congress and politics generally.
This article runs along the same lines: Negative perceptions of the US government can make the process of “governing” dysfunctional
Governments aren’t even important these days. The world from what we can tell is run by a small banking elite that controls the awesome power of  central banks and the money they print.
The trillions available to this small group has allowed it to change the nature of society around the world.
The goal is global government and every kind of violence and corruption is employed to achieve it.
Secrecy is still employed by those creating “one world.” Thus the world is bent on the task of creating global governance while never admitting it.
But in the past several decades, the Internet has credibly exposed plans for world government. As a result, people have lost faith in mainstream media, politicians and capitalism itself.
This is the reason for the rise in “conspiracy theory” and “paranoid politics.”
This is also the reason elites would like to shut down the Internet, or at least control it more thoroughly.
Part of the push for control involves making a case that the Internet needs to be better regulated and appropriately censored.
To this end, elite propaganda has been aimed at justifying various anti-‘Net actions.
One justification involves the “populism versus globalism” meme we’ve covered extensively. (Just use a search engine for the phrase and “Daily Bell.”)
Another justification – another emergent meme – is that government itself is jeopardized by pervasive distrust.
One would think the answer would be to lie less, but this is not the conclusion we’re being furnished.
Both Sunstein in his article, and now the argument in this article, show us clearly that the solution to pervasive electoral cyncism and worse is to better control one’s attitude.
In other words, paranoia and conspiratorial cynicism need to be damped for government to survive and perform its proper function.
Both the Sunstein article and now this one are erecting very specific kinds of arguments. Government, we are told, is fragile and must be protected from forces that will undermine its credibility.
But this conclusion is merely assumed. It is never proven.
This argument begins and ends with government. Yet the Internet and its recovered history shows us clearly that Western governments mostly provide concealment for the world’s real powers that prefer to operate behind the scenes.
This is the reason for so much cynicism. Many have realized that the society constructed around them is lie. They have reacted by distrusting almost anything associated with modern society.
But in these articles, we can see the forces being marshaled against this state of mind. The preferred antidote is simply to assert that people’s distrust is corrosive to government authority and democracy generally.
No logic bolsters this argument. That’s why it is an emergent elite meme.
The goal of an elite meme is to be convincing not truthful.
And if it is not convincing – and increasingly elite memes are not – then its function is, anyway, to provide a justification for what we call directed history. These are the authoritarian strategies that elites wish to inflict on the rest of us.
This latter meme is an outgrowth of “populism versus globalism.” Populists, as we’ve pointed out, are being cast as ignorant, violent and intolerant. The current meme – let’s call it “conspiracy versus government” – lumps in conspiracy with populism.
Populists, we learn, are apt to adopt an irrational distrust of government. And what is government? It must comprise all that is good and virtuous in an uncivil world.
Both populists and conspiracy theory are to be vanquished, eventually, by wise globalists who understand that the absence of government will lead to violent “anarchy.”
Would that it were true. It is not. Government is merely in this day-and-age a curtain hiding the world’s real controllers who use endless violence, monetary debasement and economic depression to get their way.

Conclusion: We are watching the emergence of a new, dangerous memes. Increasingly and forcefully, it is being argued that “government” is good and that the truths people have discovered about their lives and society are destabilizing to government, and therefore “bad.” The idea will be to use these memes to make a case for increased censorship and even, eventually, violent repression – and worse.

German Streets Descend Into Lawlessness




German Streets Descend Into Lawlessness 



  • During the first six months of 2016, migrants committed 142,500 crimes, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office. This is equivalent to 780 crimes committed by migrants every day, an increase of nearly 40% over 2015. The data includes only those crimes in which a suspect has been caught.
  • Thousands of migrants who entered the country as "asylum seekers" or "refugees" have gone missing. They are, presumably, economic migrants who entered Germany on false pretenses. Many are thought to be engaging in robbery and criminal violence.
  • Local police in many parts of the country admit that they are stretched to the limit and are unable to maintain law and order.
  • "Drug trafficking takes place right before our eyes. If we intervene, we are threatened, spat on, insulted. Sometimes someone whips out a knife. They are always the same people. They are ruthless, fearless and have no problems with robbing even the elderly." — Private security guard.
  • According to Freddi Lohse of the German Police Union in Hamburg, many migrant offenders view the leniency of the German justice system as a green light to continue delinquent behavior. "They are used to tougher consequences in their home countries," he said. "They have no respect for us."
  • "It cannot be that offenders continue to fill the police files, hurt us physically, insult us, whatever, and there are no consequences. Many cases are closed or offenders are released on probation or whatever. Yes, what is happening in the courts today is a joke." — Tania Kambouri, German police officer.

The rape of a ten-year-old girl in Leipzig, the largest city in Saxony, has drawn renewed attention to the spiraling levels of violent crime perpetrated by migrants in cities and towns across Germany — and the lengths to which German officials and the media go to censor information about the perpetrators of those crimes.
The girl was riding her bicycle to school at seven o'clock in the morning on October 27 when a man ambushed her, threw her to the ground and raped her. The suspect is described as being in his mid-thirties with short brown hair and a stubble beard.
Leipzig police have explicitly refused to say whether the suspect is a migrant, but have implicitly admitted that he is. They published a facial composite of the suspect with the politically correct warning:
The effort to censor information about the rape, in which German officials show themselves to be more concerned about protecting the identity of the rapist than the welfare of the victim or other girls he might attack, is almost unprecedented in Germany.


To its credit, the Berlin-based newspaper, Bildresponded: "BILD is ignoring this request. We want to ensure that the suspect is arrested as quickly as possible." Indeed, Bild has been one of the only newspapers in Germany even to publish not only the image but also report the story of this rape.
Violent crime — including rapes, sexual and physical assaults, stabbings, home invasions, robberies, burglaries and drug trafficking — has skyrocketed in Germany since Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed into the country more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Few, if any, of the migrants were vetted before being allowed to enter Germany.
Migrants committed 208,344 crimes in 2015, according to a confidential police report leaked to Bild. This figure represents an 80% increase since 2014 and is equivalent to 570 crimes committed by migrants every day, or 23 crimes each hour, in 2015 alone.
The actual number of migrant crimes is far higher, however: the report, produced by the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA), includes only crimes that have been solved (aufgeklärten Straftaten). According to police statistics, on average only around half of all crimes committed in Germany in any given year are solved (Aufklärungsquote). This implies that the actual number of crimes committed by migrants in Germany in 2015 may have exceeded 400,000.
During the first six months of 2016, migrants committed 142,500 crimes, according to a BKA report released on September 6. This is equivalent to 780 crimes committed by migrants every day, or 32.5 crimes each hour, an increase of nearly 40% over 2015. Again, the 2016 data includes only those crimes in which a migrant suspect has been caught. Crimes similar to the rape in Leipzig would not appear in the statistics because the suspects remain at large.
Migrant crime statistics for all of 2016, when they become available, are likely to show a significant increase over the 2015 numbers. One reason for this is that thousands of migrants who entered the country as "asylum seekers" or "refugees" have gone missing. They are, presumably, economic migrants who entered Germany on false pretenses. Many are thought to be engaging in robbery and criminal violence to sustain themselves.

Most of the crimes committed by migrants are being downplayed by German authorities, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments. For example, the BKA report states that most of the migrant crimes involve fare evasion — using public transportation without a ticket. As for other crimes, almost invariably they are said to be isolated incidents (Einzelfälle), not part of a nationwide problem.
Gatestone Institute has reviewed hundreds of reports of migrant crime in local police reports and local or regional newspapers. The evidence points to a nationwide surge in migrant crime: cities and towns in all 16 of Germany's federal states are affected. In fact, local police in many parts of the country admit that they are stretched to the limit and are unable to maintain law and order.
The growing sense of lawlessness is substantiated by an October 24 YouGov poll which found that 68% of Germans believe that security in the country has deteriorated during the past several years. Nearly 70% of respondents said they fear for their lives and property in German train stations and subways, while 63% feel unsafe at large public events.

In Hamburg, statistics show that migrants committed nearly half of the 38,000 crimes reported in Hamburg during the first six months of 2016, although migrants make up only a fraction of the city's 1.7 million inhabitants. Police say that many of the crimes were committed by "migrant gangs" (ausländischen Banden).
City police say they are helpless to confront a spike in crimes committed by young North African migrants. Hamburg is now home to more than 1,800 so-called unaccompanied minor migrants (minderjährige unbegleitete Flüchtlinge, MUFL), most of whom live on the streets and apparently engage in all manner of criminal acts, including purse snatching.


In nearby Bremen, police have effectively surrendered the fight against organized crime run by clans from the Balkans and Kurdistan because of the need to pour limited personnel resources into the fight against spiraling street crime by unaccompanied migrant youths.


Rainer Wendt, head of the German Police Union (DPolG) has criticized city officials for their lack of resolve. "Bremen has capitulated to extremely dangerous clans. The state's monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force [Gewaltmonopol des Staates] is now becoming the law of the jungle. Security continues to go down the drain."
In Berlin, criminal migrant clans "with strong group loyalties" are operating with impunity in the districts of Neukölln, Wedding, Moabit, Kreuzberg and Charlottenburg. The newsmagazine, Focusreported that the Kottbusser Tor area in Kreuzberg, an area with many migrants, has become a "legal vacuum" because of a reduced police presence. The place has been overrun with drug trafficking, crime and violence, and residents and shopkeepers report crimes every hour, every day on public streets. A shopkeeper said: "In the past, children could run around here freely. Also, no one paid attention to whether the bag or backpack are secure. Today all this is no longer possible."
According to Focus, "During the day the area is full of heroin corpses, and at night pickpockets are on the go." A private security guard said:

In the Rhine-Ruhr region, the largest metropolitan region in Germany, police statistics show that Algerians committed more than 13,000 crimes in 2015, more than twice as many as in 2014. Moroccans committed 14,700 crimes, and Tunisians more than 2,000 crimes.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, a report by the interior ministry revealed that Moroccans committed 6,208 crimes in 2015. Algerians committed 4,995 crimes and Tunisians 1,084. These are significant increases compared to previous years.
According to the NRW Interior Ministry, "Immigrants from North African are increasingly disproportionate as offenders — mainly in large cities. The suspects are most often single young men. Their criminal specialties are robbery and assault."
In Düsseldorf, local politicians have been accused of ignoring the growing threat posed by violent gangs of migrants from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. The city is home to a total of 2,244 criminal suspects from North Africa, the majority of them (1,256) from Morocco. On average, they commit an offense every 3.5 hours. A police inspector said: "The group as a whole is disrespectful and absolutely without shame."
In Stuttgart, police are fighting a losing battle against migrant gangs from North Africa who are dedicated to pickpocketing. In the Rems-Murr district near Stuttgart, rival gangs of migrant youth from the Balkans are "stealing anything that is not nailed down." Roma and Kosovar youth skip school to go on daily forays systematically to break into cars to steal cell phones and other valuables. They also enter doctor's offices, residences for the elderly, kindergartens and schools to ransack handbags and jackets.
In Aalen, a 14-year-old Kosovar has a police file with more than 100 entries. A local newspaper reports: "All attempts by the police, judiciary and youth welfare office to instill in him a sense of right and wrong and to re-socialize him have so far failed. On Facebook he brags about his undertakings and his love for gangster rap."
In Leipzig, the public transportation system has become a magnet for criminals. The number of reported cases of theft on public transport jumped 152% between 2012 and 2015. The number of physical and sexual assaults on public transportation are also up. Overall, the number of reported crimes in buses and trams jumped 111% between 2012 and 2015, and the number of reported crimes at bus stops during that period were up by 40%.

Leipzig police attribute the spike in crime to the rapid increase in the city's population. They could not confirm the nationality of the perpetrators, however, because that would require a review of each of the crimes, a task that would "exceed the personnel-time capacity."
In Dresden, migrants from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia have effectively taken control over the iconic Wiener Platz, a large public square in front of the central train station. There they sell drugs and pickpocket passersby, often with impunity. Police raids on the square have become a game of "whack-a-mole," with a never-ending number of migrants replacing those who have been arrested.
In Schwerin, roving bands of migrant youths armed with knives have made the city center increasingly dangerous day and night. City officials have drawn up an action plan to regain control of the streets. A centerpiece of the plan calls for the deployment of more social workers (Straßensozialarbeit) to promote integration.
In Bavaria, Sigrid Meierhofer, the mayor of the resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen complained that local police have responded to more migrant-related crimes during the past six weeks than in all of the previous 12 months combined. In a letter to the Bavarian government, she threatened to close a shelter in the town that houses 250 mostly male migrants from Africa if public safety and order cannot be restored. She has also warned female residents of the town to avoid being outside after dark.


According to Freddi Lohse, Vice Chairman of the DPolG German Police Union in Hamburg, many migrant offenders view the leniency of the German justice system as a green light to continue delinquent behavior. "They are used to tougher consequences in their home countries," he said. "They have no respect for us."














'Aleppo Violence Would End In 10 Days If West Stopped Financing Militants'




Aleppo Violence Would End in 10 Days if West 'Stopped Financing the Militants'




Syrian Air Force Intelligence Directorate head said that violence in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo could be ended within 10 days if the United States and the European Union end their practice of applying double standards to Syria and supporting militants in the country.


Violence in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo could be ended within 10 days if the United States and the European Union end their practice of applying double standards to Syria and supporting militants in the country, Syrian Air Force Intelligence Directorate head Jamil Hassan told Sputnik on Monday.

"It is solely US and European double standards, which are the reason behind terrorist activity in Aleppo. If they stop financing [the militants] for 10 days in a row, the Aleppo problem will be resolved and the militants will take their weapons and depart to join their friends in Turkey," Hassan said.


"US support for terrorist organizations is unprecedented, it includes informational backing and the stirring up of conflicts in the UN Security Council," he said, accusing the West of keeping silent about militant bombardment of civilian areas in government-held western Aleppo.


Hassan was sanctioned by the European Union and the United States in 2011 over allegations of crimes against civilians and human rights abuses.
Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting opposition groups who seek to overthrow Assad's government.
Over recent months, Aleppo has been a battlefield between government forces, jihadists, and numerous opposition groups. Militant-held eastern Aleppo is encircled by government forces and the fighting has affected thousands of civilians still trapped in the city.




Italy Trembles: Over 200 Aftershocks Follow Devastating Earthquake, Russia Sends Nuclear Subs To Syria, Spotted In Irish Sea





Italy trembles: Over 200 aftershocks follow devastating earthquake (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)




The danger of a major new jolt remains in Italy, as over 200 aftershocks were registered following a devastating 6.6 magnitude earthquake in central regions of the country.
Sunday’s earthquake in central Italy was followed by numerous aftershocks, 15 of which had a magnitude ranging from 4.0 to 4.6, according to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).

“Unfortunately, we’re unable to predict in which order the other jolts will occur. Theoretically speaking, though, we cannot rule out that other earthquakes of the same power, or even more devastating, will happen in the regions next to the ones already affected,” said INGV seismologist Alberto Mikelini.

The scientist noted that the current chain of seismic events in the region had started with the previous major earthquake in August, which killed 300 people and devastated several towns.

The seismic activity is intensive enough to affect an area of at least 20-25km in radius, according to INGV seismologist Alessandro Amato.


“It [seismic activity] affects a wide area located between the epicenters of the August 24 and October 26 earthquakes,”Amato added.

A number of historical buildings, including a 14th century basilica in Norcia, were destroyed in the disaster.
"This morning's quake has hit the few things that were left standing. We will have to start from scratch," Michele Franchi, the deputy mayor of Arquata del Tronto, told RAI TV.

The earthquake on Sunday claimed no lives, but 20 people were injured and multiple buildings destroyed, according to the head of Italy’s Civil Defense, Fabrizio Curcio.
“No one among the injured is in a life-threatening condition, there are neither dead, nor missing” said Curcio.
He stressed, however, that “it was an important earthquake,” since Italy’s rescue services had to transport the injured by helicopters, due to roads being blocked by rubble.
The governor of the Marche region said that over 100,000 people in his region alone were in need of help.







On Wednesday, when we reported on the latest set of powerful, shallow quakes to strike central Italy, which themselves were aftershocks of the deadly August 24 earthquake which killed 300 people and injured many more, we quoted Salvatore Mazza, the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology who said that "The earthquake today has further disrupted the tectonic plates, and in the coming hours we may see aftershocks of today’s earthquake on top of those from August 24", and concluded that it is likely that more quakes are coming. 
We didn't have long to wait, and overnight central Italy was hit by another powerful earthquake Sunday, toppling buildings that had recently withstood other major quakes and sending panicked residents back into the streets, but luckily causing no immediate loss of life. That there were no reports of deaths was largely due to the fact that thousands of residents left their homes after two strong jolts last week shook the same mountainous area.
As AP reportsthe quake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 was the strongest to strike the country in nearly 36 years. 

The Apennine Mountain region of central Italy, located along a major fault line, has been the site of dozens of significant earthquakes, including an Aug. 24 quake with a 6.1 magnitude that killed nearly 300 people.  Back-to-back jolts on Wednesday left thousands more people homeless, but the only death reported resulted from a heart attack.
Closest to the epicenter was the ancient city of Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict, the father of monasticism and famed for its Benedictine monastery. Witnesses said the 14th Century St. Benedict cathedral collapsed in the quake, with only the facade still standing.






Three Russian submarines armed with cruise missiles joined a group of Russian warships led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. The submarines are heading to Syria, The Sunday Times wrote with references to naval sources. 
According to the publication, the UK Royal Navy detected two "Akula" ("Shark") class nuclear submarines and a "Kilo" class diesel-electric submarine as the subs were entering the North Atlantic from the direction of Russian naval bases in the Murmansk region.
The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier and its support group reportedly remain in the "standby mode" off the coast of North Africa, the newspaper said. NATO military officials  fear that the "Caliber" cruise missiles that the submarines carry may strike targets in Syria. 
On Friday, 28 October, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta, citing a source, reported that the patrol ship "Smetliviy" ("Sharp-witted") of the Black Sea Fleet was heading to Syria. However, officials with the Russian Defense Ministry said that the ship set off to the Greek port of Piraeus.
The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier  and its support group set off for a journey to the Mediterranean Sea was in mid-October. The group that consists of the heavy nuclear missile cruiser Peter the Great, large anti-submarine ships Severomorsk and Vice-Admiral Kulakov and smaller maintenance vessels. The goal of the mission, as it was said, was to  "ensure Russia's naval presence in operationally important areas of the oceans."







Russian submarines have been detected in the Irish Sea as tensions rise between Moscow and Britain over the Kremlin's aggression in Syria and Eastern Europe.
The news comes as a Russian flotilla of battleships makes its way through the Mediterranean on its way to attack Aleppo, and it is believed the submarines were going to join them.
News of the ships in British waters will will further fuel already tense relations with Russia after Britain decided to send tanks, aircraft and up to 800 troops to Estonia to deter aggression from Moscow.  

The decision comes amid increasing concern over Putin, after claiming territories in Crimea and the Ukraine, and numerous shows of force in  recent months. 
The nuclear-powered Akula-class submarines, armed with Kalibr cruise missiles capable of hitting land targets, were picked up on radar by a Royal Navy vessel, the Express reports.
Another submarine, a Kilo-class vessel from the same fleet, is believed to have travelled through the English Channel after it was spotted by Norwegian ships when it surfaced further north.
The three ships were being closely watched by a Royal Navy submarine - which has Russian speaking technicians - and tracked them closely for six hours.
The Royal Navy submarine is due to be joined by another from Nato, which earlier this week advised Spain to refuse Russia's request to land its flotilla at a Spanish port on the African coast.
'In the South West approaches, the Russian submarines made it clear that they wanted us to know they were there. Then, after a period of time, they went deep. They were located once more with support from a Nato partner,' said a naval source.








States and cities are drowning in pension debts

One of the purest mysteries in public policy these days is that while there’s a clarion call from every class of political leadership to do something about sea-level trends, one sees only a bare occasional mention about the rising tide of red ink that impacts our future in ways most people will find to be a lot more threatening.

Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and former Commerce Secretary Pete Peterson – who together represent 179 years of combined experience – tried again this week to break through the public consciousness about the likely impact of adding another $1 trillion of public obligations to our load, as we have done every year since 2009. They point out that neither of the two candidates for the White House have offered plans that would help much, particularly if interest rates normalize. And so, it must once again be up to the states to show the way toward responsibility.

Ever ready to demonstrate interest in the sorts of pressing issues the presidential campaigns ignore, the American Legislative Exchange Council released a study last week finding that state public pensions have nearly $5.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities. The findings are based on a methodology that assumes a risk-free rate of return of 2.344 percent, rather than the simple, unweighted discount rate of 7.37 percent, which ALEC found to be the completely unrealistic average of the roughly 280 state plans they analyzed. According to ALEC, more than 70 percent of the cost of state pension benefits currently are financed out of investment earnings.

The $5.59 trillion in unfunded liabilities were $900 billion more than were found in the 2014 State Budget Solutions report. With an average funding level of 35 percent across the states, the price tag for unfunded pension liabilities is now $17,427 for every man, woman and child in the United States, according to the authors.