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Electric Car Industry: Honda (HMC) to Launch Electric Cars in Europe and China

Per Business Insider , Honda Motor CompanyHMC plans to launch two fully-electric vehicles in 2018. Of which, one will be unveiled in China and the other in Europe.

In June, Honda announced the upcoming model launch for the Chinese market, the world's largest market for electric vehicles. With the expected number of electric-vehicle sales in China to exceed 4 million by 2025, these vehicle launches will help Honda strengthen presence in the country.

Further good news is that the company will be launching Urban EV Concept, the first electric-vehicle to woo European customers.

Read more: Honda (HMC) to Launch Electric Cars in Europe and China -

Hurricane Harvey Energy Crisis Could Be Nightmare For U.S. Economy- by Ellen R. Wald

On Tuesday, August 29, over 26 inches of rain fell in Port Arthur, Texas. The 50,000 residents of that city, north and east of Houston, are suffering severe flooding and personal loss. Port Arthur is also the home of the largest refinery in the United States, Motiva, which has been shut down due to massive flooding. In addition, the nearby Valero Energy VLO -0.45% and ExxonMobil XOM +0.30% refineries were shut and the Colonial Pipeline (distributing refined products across the Southeast and north to Tennessee) has been disrupted. About 22% of U.S. refining capacity is offline due to the natural disaster. All told, it now appears that the impact Harvey will have on the energy industry is worse than expected and could very well, in a worst case scenario, lead to a serious macro-economic problem.

Read mor: Hurricane Harvey Energy Crisis Could Be Nightmare For U.S. Economy

US-Russia Relations:Russia Reacts to Closure San Francisco consulate: “We warned earlier that every action will elicit a response"

The United States on Thursday ordered the closure of a Russian consulate, describing it as a response to “unwarranted” actions taken by Moscow.

The order will see Russia's San Francisco consulate shuttered and embassy operations scaled back in Washington D.C. and New York by Sept. 2.

"The United States has fully implemented the decision by the government of the Russian Federation to reduce the size of our mission in Russia," the U.S. Department of State announcement says. "We believe this action was unwarranted and detrimental to the overall relation between our countries."
Read more: Russia Reacts to the Closure of Its San Francisco Consulate “We warned earlier that every action will elicit a response."

France Labor Laws: Macron government launches overhaul of France's labour laws - by Kim Willsher

Emmanuel Macron’s government has announced a “major and ambitious” transformation of France’s complex labour laws aimed at tackling mass unemployment and making the country more competitive in the global market.

Five decrees have been issued, containing what ministers said were “concrete and major measures” to overhaul and simplify the weighty Code du Travail, which covers every aspect of working life in France.

In an interview before the measures were unveiled on Thursday morning, the French president said the country was “turning the page on three decades of inefficiency”.

Read more: Macron government launches overhaul of France's labour laws | World news | The Guardian

Social Media: Facebook may have a grown-up problem: Young people leaving for Instagram and Snapchat - byJessica Guynn

Facebook will see a decline among teenagers in the U.S. this year, says market research firm eMarketer.

EMarketer predicts 14.5 million people ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook in 2017, a decline of 3.4% from the previous year, as they migrate to Snap's Snapchat and Facebook's Instagram.

Monthly Facebook usage among those under 12 and ages 18 to 24 will grow more slowly than previously forecast, too, according to eMarketer.

The forecast suggests young people are turning away from the world's most populous social network, which reached 2 billion users this year.

Read more: - by Jessica GuynnFacebook may have a grown-up problem: Young people leaving for Instagram and Snapchat


EU Policy Renewable Energy: opening markets for corporate renewable energy buyers

RE100 is a global collaborative initiative bringing together 102 influential and multinational businesses that are committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity globally. Together, they represent demand for over 146 terawatt hours of renewable electricity annually – about enough to power Poland.

These companies have made this highest-level commitment because they know that renewable electricity makes long-term business sense. The technology is ready, unsubsidized costs are competitive, and companies are ready to invest at scale.

Corporate sourcing of renewables represents a major new flow of capital and finance into Europe’s renewable electricity infrastructure. Much of the electricity used by our members in Europe is already from renewable sources, and they are leading the way through a combination of power purchase agreements (PPAs), on-site generation, green contracts and certificates.

IKEA Group, a founding member of RE100, owns more wind turbines than stores and is aiming to produce as much energy as it consumes by the end of the decade. The company has also invested an impressive $1.78 billion (€1.5 billion) in purchasing its own wind and solar power generation equipment since 2009 and in FY15 committed a further $715 billion (€600 million).

Last year, Mars, Inc. signed a PPA for a wind farm in Scotland to power its entire UK operations. Meanwhile, RE100 members Royal DSM, Google, Royal Philips and AkzoNobel joined forces to sign an exciting joint PPA for 350 gigawatt hours per year in the Netherlands.

RE100’s 102 members are:

AB InBev Equinix Philips Lighting
Adobe Facebook Procter & Gamble
AkzoNobel Formula-E Proximus
Alstria Gatwick Airport Rackspace
Amalgamated Bank General Motors RELX Group
Apple Givaudan Ricoh
AstraZeneca Goldman Sachs Royal Philips
Autodesk Google Salesforce
Aviva H&M SAP
AXA Heathrow Airport SAVE S.p.A. Group
Bank of America Helvetia SGS
Bankia HP Enterprise Sky
Biogen HP Inc. Starbucks
Bloomberg IFF Steelcase
BMW Group IHS Markit Swiss Post
British Land IKEA Swiss Re
Broad Group Infosys Tata Motors
BT Group ING TD Bank
Burberry Interface Telefonica
Caixa Bank J&J Tesco
Carlsberg J. Safra Sarasin AG Tetra Pak
Coca-Cola European Partners Kingspan UBS
Colruyt Group KPN Unilever
Commerzbank AG La Poste Vail Resorts
Corbion Landsec Vaisala
Credit Agricole LEGO VF Corporation
Dalmia Bharat Cement L’Occitane VMWare
Danske Bank Marks & Spencer Voya Financial
Dentsu Aegis Network Mars Walmart
Diageo Microsoft Wells Fargo
DNB Nestlé Workday
Ebay Nordea
Elion Novonordisk
Elopak Pearson    

For additional info – or to join the campaign – contact:

Read more: EU policy: opening markets for corporate renewable energy buyers | The Climate Gr

US Presidency: When will evangelical leaders dump Trump? by Jonathan Merritt

In the wake of President Trump’s waffling on white supremacy, his supporters and advisers have abandoned him in droves.

After a wave of prominent CEOs defected from the president’s Manufacturing Council and Strategy & Policy Forum, Trump decided to disband both. 

As their joint letter to Trump declared, “Ignoring your harmful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions.” The first letter of each paragraph spelled “resist.”

Amid the mass exodus, one group is somehow standing by its man: evangelical Christians. Pastors and activists on Trump’s informal faith advisory council have stated their unwavering support of a man whose statements and behavior consistently clash with the convictions they claim to hold. One has to wonder what, if anything, it will take for these evangelicals to finally dump Trump.

Read moere: When will evangelical leaders dump Trump?

North Korea: What stopped Japan from intercepting North Korean missile?

In the aftermath of North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile across Japan early on Tuesday morning, the Japanese government went to great lengths to reassure the public that it is taking all the necessary steps to protect them. In truth, however, there was effectively very little that the Japanese military could have done to neutralize this latest provocation by Pyongyang.

The weapon is believed to have been a nuclear-capable Hwasong-12 intermediate range ballistic missile that was fired from a site close to Pyongyang at 5:57am local time. After ascending over the Sea of Japan, the missile passed over northern Japan at an estimated altitude of 550 kilometers before apparently breaking into three parts and falling into the Pacific Ocean around 1,180 kilometers east of Hokkaido.

The missile was detected within seconds of launch - almost certainly by one of four US-operated space-based infra-red early warning satellites in geosynchronous orbit above the equator - and Japan's automatic J-Alert system issued warnings to the public through mobile phones, radios and television across northern Japan.

Read more: What stopped Japan from intercepting North Korean missile? | Asia | DW | 30.08.2017

Does Heaven Exist ? : Scientists Found That the Soul Doesn’t Die – It Goes Back to the Universe

It turns out that the human brain could be similar to a “biological computer,” and that human consciousness may be like a program which is run by a quantum computer within the brain. What’s even more astonishing is that after someone dies, “their soul comes back to the universe, and it does not die.”

This is all according to American physicist Dr. Stuart Hameroff and mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose, both of whom argue that the soul is maintained in micro-tubules of brain cells. The two scientists refer to this process as “Orchestrated Objective Reduction,” or “Orch-OR.” Allegedly, when human beings are “clinically dead,” microtubules in the brain lose their quantum state but are still able to retain the information inside of them.

This theory was recently outlined on The Science Channel’s ongoing documentary show Through the Wormhole, in which Dr. Hameroff elaborates: “Let’s say the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing; the micro-tubules lose their quantum state. The quantum information within the micro-tubules is not destroyed, it can’t be destroyed, and it just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large.

If the patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the micro-tubules and the patient says ‘I had a near-death experience.’ If they’re not revived, and the patient dies, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body, perhaps indefinitely, as a soul”

Hameroff’s words suggest that human souls are much more than mere “interactions” of neurons in the brain. In fact, this theory indicates that these “souls” could have existed since the very beginning of time itself. And with all of the recent discoveries pertaining to dark energy and dark matter—substances which humans cannot see or interact with, but substances which we know exist, nevertheless—this theory could end up explaining things that are even more mysterious and fascinating.

Read more: Scientists Found That the Soul Doesn’t Die – It Goes Back to the Universe – iRelease ©

Cybersecurity: U.S. Government Cybersecurity Lags Behind That of a Fast Food Joint, Say Analysts - by Graham Lanktree

The American federal government and countless state and local governments throughout the U.S. are more vulnerable to cyberattacks than your local McDonald’s.

A new study ranking the cybersecurity of 18 industries “paints a grim picture” with the U.S. government 16th when it comes to protecting its computer systems and data from hackers.

At the top are retailers and the fast food industry.

Read more: U.S. Government Cybersecurity Lags Behind That of a Fast Food Joint, Say Analysts


EU's Juncker Slams U.K. on Brexit as Fractious Talks Resume - by Ian Wishart and Nikos Chrysoloras

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker joined the bloc’s chief negotiator in lashing out at the U.K. for failing to prepare for Brexit talks, as the third round of negotiations looked set to produce little progress.

“I’ve read all the position papers produced by Her Majesty’s government and none of them is satisfactory,” Juncker said on Tuesday at a conference in Brussels, as talks between the U.K. and the EU resumed. “There is still an enormous amount of issues that remain to be settled.”

The stage had already been set for an intense round of negotiations after chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Brexit Secretary David Davis met on Monday for the first time since July and candidly aired their frustration at each other’s approaches. Barnier said time was running out, as the U.K. continued in its bid to change the order of topics discussed.

Read more: EU's Juncker Slams U.K. on Brexit as Fractious Talks Resume - Bloomberg

Brexit: Davis wants legal clarification from EU over Brexit payout- by Heather Stewart and Jennifer Rankin

David Davis’s negotiating team is demanding legal clarification from Brussels officials over its demands that the UK pay a substantial financial settlement as part of the process of quitting the European Union.

A senior government source said British negotiators have peppered EU officials with queries about the legal principles Brussels believes should be used to calculate the final exit bill.

Davis’s team have been stung by suggestions the government should have published a paper setting out its own position on the withdrawal bill – pointing out that the commission has not yet produced a paper on the border in Northern Ireland, while Britain has done so.

Read more: Davis wants legal clarification from EU over Brexit payout | Politics | The Guardian

USA: Donald Trump press conference with Finish President Niinisto a total disaster

Donald Trump managed to mix up two female reporters at a press conference on Monday, forcing the Finnish president Sauli Niinisto to explain that the women were not actually the same person.

“Again?” Mr Trump asked the Finnish president, mistakenly believing he had called on a reporter who had already asked a question. “You’re going to give her the same one?”

“No, she is not the same lady,” Mr Niinisto replied, to the amusement of the two journalists.

“We have a lot of blonde women in Finland,” one of the reporters added, as Mr Trump laughed.

That was only the beginning of what was described by some attending the Press gathering as total "confused babbling" by President Trump.

President Donald Trump during the Press meeting also continued to insist that Mexico will pay for his proposed wall on the southern border, even though the country’s government released a statement over the weekend saying it would never do so.

“One way or the other Mexico is going to pay for the wall, that’s right,” Trump said at a this joint news conference alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in the White House. “It may be through reimbursement, but one way or the other Mexico will pay for the wall”, he said.

He also noted that the NAFTA agreement was completely unfair to America and would be renegotiated by America or ended.
Trump has threatened to shut down the government if Congress does not fund his border wall proposal, which virtually all Democrats and many Republicans oppose.

President Donald Trump also told reporters at the Press Conference  that he chose to announce his pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio just as Hurricane Harvey was hitting landfall because “I assumed the ratings would be far higher than they would be normally.”

Arpaio was convicted last month of criminal contempt of court for refusing to obey an official order barring his practices of detaining undocumented immigrants.

Trump said that Arpaio was treated “unbelievable unfairly” by the Obama administration. The Justice Department’s civil rights division issued a scathing investigative report in 2011 on Arpaio’s policing practices and that of his department.

After the meeting several journalists questioned the President's intellectual capability to handle a press conference. One journalist remarked. " this guy is completely "cookoo" .



Poland tells EU its overhaul of judiciary in line with EU standards

Poland said on Monday that the legislative process overhauling its judiciary is in line with European standards and called the European Commission’s concerns about rule of law in the country groundless.

On July 26, the Commission said it would launch legal action against Poland over the reforms and gave Warsaw a month to respond to concerns that the process undermines the independence of judges and breaks EU rules.

Last month, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed into a law a bill giving the justice minister the power to replace heads of ordinary courts, but after mass street protests blocked two other bills.

Read more: Poland tells EU its overhaul of judiciary in line with EU standards

USA: Trump Vows ‘Very Rapid Action’ on Funding for Harvey Response

“You’re going to see very rapid action from Congress — certainly from the President,” Trump said.

Addressing Texans, he added: “We’re going to get your funding.”

Trump said he has “spoken to Congress” and said he believes funding for relief efforts will be approved “very, very quickly.”

“We think Congress will feel very much the way I feel and in very much a bipartisan way,” Trump said.

 Trump also signaled the disaster funding would be addressed separately from a broader budget deal.

Note EU-Digest:  the US President, made these comments  during the joint press conference with the President of Finland.

 Read more: Trump Vows ‘Very Rapid Action’ on Funding for Harvey Response | KTLA


Turkey: American pastor imprisoned in Turkey faces new charges - by Joshua Keating

Andrew Brunson, the American pastor who has been imprisoned in Turkey for nearly a year on dubious terrorism charges, is now facing new charges:  “gathering state secrets for espionage, attempting to overthrow the Turkish parliament and government, and to change the constitutional order.”

Brunson and his family had lived in the Turkish city of Izmir for 23 years, where he was the pastor of a small Presbyterian church. He was arrested, initially without charges, amid the crackdown on Turkey’s political opposition following last summer’s failed coup attempt.

He was eventually charged with membership in what the Turkish government calls the Fethullahist Terror Organization—the followers of the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government blames for the coup. (Gulen and his followers deny playing a role. The true story is uncertain and extremely complicated.) Brunson was also accused of giving a sermon to Kurds with “a special purpose” at his church, implying that he is a Kurdish nationalist sympathizer as well as a Gulenist. There’s not a lot of overlap between those groups, other than the fact that Erdogan’s government is hostile to both.

There’s little to no evidence that the Christian minister is a member of an Islamic social movement, much less proof that he plotted to overthrow the Turkish government.

As I wrote in May, there’s been speculation that the Turkish government is using Brunson’s case to put pressure on the U.S.  government, which it wants to extradite Gulen himself. The imam has asylum in the U.S. and lives in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

There also has been speculation that Turkey might release Brunson to the U.S. in exchange for Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian businessman the feds arrested in Miami in 2016 for evading sanctions against Iran.  

President Trump, who has praised Erdogan’s counterterrorism efforts and actions to consolidate power, raised Brunson’s case during a meeting with the Turkish president at the White House in May. And a State Department report released by Secretary Rex Tillerson this month rapped Turkey for its treatment of religious minorities.

Brunson is being represented by the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative Christian legal advocacy group led by attorney Jay Sekulow, who is also part of Trump’s personal legal team.

So far, there doesn’t seem to be any movement toward an agreement to free Brunson, and the latest charges don’t bode well.

Read more: American pastor imprisoned in Turkey faces new charges.

Hungary severs diplomatic ties with the Netherlands

Hungary is suspending high-level diplomatic ties with the Netherlands in a row over the relocation of asylum-seekers from Greece and Italy.

The country is recalling its ambassador to the nation following remarks made by the Dutch ambassador which criticised Hungary for its stance.

The Hungarian foreign minister said his country’s decision was "one of the most radical steps in diplomacy" and that it would ask the Dutch foreign ministry for its position on the statements of Ambassador Gajus Scheltema, published Thursday in Hungary by the 168 Ora magazine.

Peter Szijjarto said Scheltema - already scheduled to leave Hungary soon - was no longer welcome at any Hungarian ministry or state institution.

"We won't settle for an explanation behind closed doors," he added.

In the interview, Scheltema was critical of Hungary's unwillingness to participate in a European Union plan to relocate asylum-seekers from Greece and Italy.

He also criticized the Hungarian government's campaign against billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros and drew parallels between the government's efforts to "create enemies" and those of the Islamic State group.

Note EU-Digest: It seems the Hungarians are only interested in the benefits of being a member of the EU and not in living up to the obligations. Shame on them. 

 Read more: Hungary severs diplomatic ties with the Netherlands - The National

France: Brigitte Macron: A 'first lady' in all but title

Mrs Brigitte Macron and President Emmanuel Macron
In an interview with the French magazine Elle — published recently — French President Emmanuel Macron's wife Brigitte declared that her official role would “not be specified by a law, but by a transparency charter.”

The forthcoming transparency charter, expected within the next few days, will most likely provide official detail on the current makeup of Brigitte Macron’s staff. She currently has three assistants at her disposal, including two presidential attachés (communications director Pierre-Olivier Costa and Tristan Brome, her chief of staff) and a secretary. That’s fewer than her past three predecessors. Valérie Trierweiler, the former partner of François Hollande, had five assistants; Nicholas Sarkozy’s wife, Carla Bruni, had eight; and Bernadette Chirac, wife of former French president Jaques Chirac, had a staff of twenty people at her disposal.

Brigitte Macron, a former schoolteacher, plans to become deeply involved in issues surrounding education and disabilities.

Read more: Brigitte Macron: A 'first lady' in all but title - France 24

USA: Infrastructure neglect by Federal and State governments major cause of Texas flooding caused by hurricane Harvey

USA Infrastructure the root of all evil
Arcadis, the Dutch consultancy, recently released an analysis of the world’s built assets, aka the value of physical structures, buildings, and infrastructure.

Basically, it’s all the money a country spends publicly or privately on physical development, from “infrastructure investment, construction, investments in plant and machinery and improvements in ‘natural assets’ such as land reclamation.”

The study relies data from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and from individual countries’ statistics offices.

It’s an interesting snapshot since it deals only with the stuff that has tangible physical value, rather than investments in less tangible stuff like intellectual property or software. More money spent on improving a country’s built environment, from new subway systems to flood-proofing coastlines, means stronger and more productive cities, which contribute to a country’s overall growth.

All in all, the report pegs the value of those physical assets–computed for 32 of the top-spending countries–at a whopping $218 trillion worldwide. So how does the US stack up against other countries? In terms of straight value, we’ve been eclipsed by China over the past two years:

While Arcadis points out that Qatar bowls every other country over when you look at it per capita value, that’s pretty unsurprising for a small country investing massively in its cities and infrastructure.

By that metric, the US doesn’t even make this list.  The US is actually slipping down in the rankings in general.

Arcadis says that the problem in the US isn’t real estate–the US is doing “solid” in terms of private assets like buildings. But US is in a mess when it comes to infrastructure, especially in high-growth cities that contribute to the overall productivity of the country.

“There is increasing concern about the negative impact an underperforming built environment has on the economic prosperity of US cities,” Arcadis’ Julien Cayet writes, citing a survey by Politico that showed that many US mayors say better infrastructure is the biggest hurdle in their cities.

In other words, if cities don’t figure out a way to upgrade their roads, parks, and transit systems, their growth is going to stall out.

One other problem the US is facing? Severe weather. Arcadis continues:
"The situation in the US is further complicated by the consequences of severe weather. From drought in California to hurricanes in New Orleans and New York – there is an urgent need to build more resilient cities to protect the public and the economy from these devastating events. The economic impact of Hurricane Sandy alone is estimated at over $70 billion".
Sadly, accepting the existence of climate change doesn’t necessarily mean politicians will be ready to spend on resilient infrastructure, unless the number of Harvey type storms increase .



EU-China Space Cooperation: ESA and Chinese astronauts train together

ESA astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti and Matthias Maurer joined 16 Chinese astronauts earlier this month for nine days of sea survival training off China's coastal city of Yantai. The ultimate goal is for ESA to establish a long term cooperation with China and ESA astronauts to fly on China's space station.

Read more at:
China's soon to be operational Space Station
ESA astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti and Matthias Maurer joined 16 Chinese astronauts earlier this month for nine days of sea survival training off China's coastal city of Yantai.

The ultimate goal is for ESA to establish a long term cooperation with China and ESA astronauts to fly on China's space station.

Returning from space, astronauts need to be prepared for any eventuality – including landing in water. Sea survival is a staple of all training but this is the first time that other astronauts had joined their Chinese counterparts.

Working in groups of three, the astronauts donned pressure suits and entered a mock Shenzhou capsule that was then released into the sea. The astronauts had to swap their flightsuits for insulation and buoyancy suits before jumping into inflatable boats. They then practised rescue procedures with both a ship and a helicopter.

Samantha says: "The training was superbly planned and conducted. It was a great opportunity to refresh my skills and a first time practising capsule egress in the ocean with decent waves.

"Most importantly, we were welcomed as colleagues and friends by the 'taikonauts' and the instructors. Language and cultural differences are obviously a challenge, but also adds value, as we are all focused on the common goal of space exploration."

ESA astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti and Matthias Maurer joined 16 Chinese astronauts earlier this month for nine days of sea survival training off China's coastal city of Yantai. The ultimate goal is for ESA to establish a long term cooperation with China and ESA astronauts to fly on China's space station.

Read more at:
Read more:ESA and Chinese astronauts train together

USA: 'A middle finger to America': What people are saying about Trump's first presidential pardon

President Donald Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa C0unty, Arizona, sheriff Joe Arpaio received some mixed reactions on Friday night, but lawmakers and civil-rights advocates largely condemned the move.

Arpaio, a staunch Trump supporter and compatriot in Trump’s yearslong and fruitless quest to disprove President Barack Obama’s citizenship, was found guilty last month of criminal contempt for violating the terms of a 2011 court order in a racial profiling case.

Here’s what other people are saying about Trump’s pardon of Arpaio:

Sen. John McCain of Arizona: Trump “undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law” with the Arpaio pardon.

Trump’s “pardon of fellow birther Arpaio makes mockery of rule of law, & says communities of color can be targeted & abused w/ total impunity,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Twitter.

Read more: 'A middle finger to America': What people are saying about Trump's first presidential pardon

Spain Terrorist Attacks: King Felipe joins thousands on anti-terrorism march

Hundreds of thousands marched in Barcelona in a show of unity on Saturday evening, with chants of “I am not afraid”, after two terrorist attacks in the Spanish region of Catalonia last week left 15 dead.

The march was led by shopkeepers and residents of the city’s central boulevard, Las Ramblas, where a van ploughed into pedestrians on 17 Aug, killing 13 and injuring over 100.

The crowd applauded representatives of the police, fire services and medical professions, who were also prominent.

Spain’s King Felipe VI, prime minister Mariano Rajoy and the head of Catalonia’s regional government, Carles Puigdemont, dressed in dark suits, walked in the throng as people cheered while carrying red, yellow and white roses – the colours of Barcelona.

Read more: Spain attacks: King Felipe joins thousands on anti-terrorism march | World news | The Guardian

Iran-EU Trade Value Doubles

EU-Iran Trade 95% increase
Iran’s trade with the European Union topped €9.9 billion in the first half of 2017, registering a 95% rise compared with last year's corresponding period.

Exports to EU’s 28 nations exceeded $5 billion, indicating a 227% rise year-on-year, Eurostat data shared with Financial Tribune show.

Eurostat is a directorate general of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide statistical information to institutions of the European Union and to promote the harmonization of statistical methods across its member states and candidates for accession.

Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials accounted for a majority of Iran’s exports to the EU during the period, with a total value of €4.4 billion.

Iran has been ramping up exports, particularly hydrocarbons, over the past year to regain a market share it lost during the years it was under trade sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council over Tehran's nuclear energy program.

Efforts have been underway to restore traditional markets such as Greece and Italy, alongside a push to win new customers ever since the sanctions were lifted in January last year, as part of a landmark nuclear deal Tehran clinched with world powers in 2015.

Italy was the biggest importer from Iran in H1 among all the European states, as it bought €1.54 billion worth of Iranian goods during the period.

France, Greece and Spain followed with €1.26 billion, €638.5 million and €609.4 million worth of imports respectively.

Iran imported €4.94 billion worth of commodities from the European Union during the same period, recording a %38.5 YOY rise.

The imports mainly included manufactured goods and chemicals.

 Read more: Iran-EU Trade Value Doubles | Financial Tribune

USA - HURRICANE HITS TEXAS" Videos show Hurricane Harvey pummeling Texas coast - by Adam Kelsey

As Hurricane Harvey continues its path over Texas on Saturday after making landfall just before midnight Friday, video and images are emerging on social media showing the rain and winds that hammered Texas’ Gulf Coast. 

The massive hurricane is now a Category 1 storm as of early Saturday after making its initial landfall as a Category 4 storm. It unleashed a vicious wrath of torrential rain and 130 miles per hour maximum sustained winds with even stronger gusts, according to the National Weather Service.

Read more: Videos show Hurricane Harvey pummeling Texas coast - ABC News


Electronic Data: The Clash of the Data Titans-by Christopher Smart

Most economic activity today depends on data, much of it gathered and analyzed across borders. And yet the European and American policymakers now deciding the rules on how data should be exchanged and stored are focusing more on privacy considerations and national-security concerns than on efficiency and innovation.

Relations between the United States and Europe are already strained over issues such as taxation, trade, and climate change – not to mention US President Donald Trump’s general unpredictability. But they are about to become even rockier, owing not to populist forces in the US and Europe, but rather to the rapidly expanding flow of data between the two jurisdictions.

Data collection and analysis are rapidly becoming the key driver of global economic innovation. Even as the growth of international trade has slowed, the exchange of personal, commercial, and industrial data among countries continues to increase at a stunning speed. And although endearing videos of pets account for a large chunk of these flows, an even larger and growing share comprises information used to make better medical diagnoses, ensure safe air travel, and improve mining efficiency, to name just three examples. 

Read more: The Clash of the Data Titans by Christopher Smart - Project Syndicate

European Railways: Why interrailing as an adult is the best way to explore Europe - by Chris Beanland

Interrailing should be a compulsory teenage rite of passage – no wonder the EU recently floated the idea of giving out free passes to all 18-year-olds. What better way to protect this beautiful, but fragile union than by showing the next generation what they have in common with each other and how many hi-jinks they can get up to in neighbouring European countries?

It was my first taste of independent travel too – 17 summers ago, though it seems like yesterday. Back then it was a Karrimor loaded with band T shirts, Lonely Planet Europe On A Shoestring and bank robber sacks of change for telephone boxes. This time, instead of sleeping cars, hostels and that tangy scent of socks, there were nice hotels and the scent of understated luxury. Three’s Feel At Home free roaming contract and my iPhone brought the whole experience into the 21st century, and meant home was only the touch of a button away.

It was a cultural whip round the first time, but it was also a piss up – getting out of your tree being the sine qua non of teenage travelling – that resulted in lost cash cards, nearly getting into fights on night trains and passing out on deck chairs on Positano Beach. And I met so many people – this was social networking avant la lettre, coming across fellow flaneurs from Australia, Canada, Finland, and making firm friends, if not for life then at least for a night.

Interrailing as an adult was much more relaxed and even more cultured, with less boozing and earlier mornings. I sped through Rotterdam’s Docklands on a watertaxi, climbed all over Tomas Saraceno’s incredible spiderweb netting art installation five floors above the ground of Dusseldorf’s Modern Art Gallery, had a sneak preview of some of the exhibits at Kassel’s famous art festival, Documenta (, saw Eileen Gray furniture at Munich’s Design Museum, drank at Wes Anderson’s Bar Luce in Milan’s Fondazione Prada, and explored Novi Belgrade’s mind-blowing brutalist architecture.

The food was better this time around too. Back in 2000 I had inadvertently explored the premise “how can a human function on pizza alone for three weeks?” shortly after enduring the very worst meal of my entire life (do not ever accidentally order the minced heart and lung soup at Worgl station buffet).

This time I ate mushroom arancini with a vegetable mayonnaise in an old swimming pool in Rotterdam ( and fresh white asparagus at the BMW Welt’s restaurant. Even the train food was good – on Deutsche Bahn’s ICE I chowed down on lamb kofte with yoghurt and mashed carrots in the Bordrestaurant.

Read more: Why interrailing as an adult is the best way to explore Europe | The Independent


Netherlands - Terrorism: Rotterdam incident: Police stop van containing gas cylinders as rock concert cancelled over 'terror threat'

City of Rotterdam
Police in the Netherlands say they have stopped a van with Spanish number plates containing a number of gas bottles, as a terror alert in Rotterdam triggered the cancellation of a concert by an American rock band.

The band, Allah-Las, was due to play on Wednesday evening at the Maassilo venue.

Concert organizer Rotown released a statement saying they had been advised by the authorities to cancel the show.

It came after the van, parked near the venue, was discovered by police.

Rotterdam's mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, said the van's driver had been detained and was being questioned.

Mr Aboutaleb said the concert was cancelled after a tip-off from Spanish police, who are continuing to investigate a twin terror attack in Catalonia that left 15 people dead.

A counter-terrorism official said late on Wednesday the detained van was not connected to the recent vehicle attacks in Spain.

Definition of Terrorists: "A group of mentally disturbed, brain-washed people, who do not respect  "democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs."

Read more: Rotterdam incident: Police stop van containing gas cylinders as rock concert cancelled over 'terror threat' | The Independent

The Netherlands: Dutch MPs slam handling of egg crisis, say food safety body has failed -

MPs have been highly critical of the way the Dutch food safety body NVWA has handled the growing contaminated egg scandal during a debate with ministers on Thursday afternoon. Party agriculture spokesmen were recalled from holiday early to take part in the debate and used the occasion to slam the lack of communication and the slow speed at which the food body has reacted as the scandal unfolds.

In particular, they want to know why the NVWA failed to take action when tipped off that the Dutch company Chickfriend was using the banned chemical fipronil in a de-licing agent in November 2016.

The confusion surrounding the scandal became apparent on August 1 when the NVWA’s deputy chairman told a television programme that people should not eat eggs until more was known about the scale of the contamination.

Read more: Dutch MPs slam handling of egg crisis, say food safety body has failed -

European Populists Who Aped Brexit and Trump Rethink Their Approach -by S.Meichtry, A,Troianovski and M,Walker

Europe’s populist politicians hoped this would be the year they rocked the Continent’s establishment. Instead, their assault on the European Union has brought election defeats, recriminations and self-doubt.

Read more: European Populists Who Aped Brexit and Trump Rethink Their Approach - WSJ


Spain: Suspect in Spain terrorist attacks says imam planned to blow himself up in Barcelona

A judge ordered two of the four surviving suspects in the extremist attacks in Spain held without bail, another detained for 72 more hours and one freed with restrictions Tuesday after the men appeared in court to answer questions about the events that killed 15 people.

National Court Judge Fernando Andreu issued his orders after quizzing the four about the vehicle attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, as well as about the fatal explosion at a bomb-making workshop that police said scuttled the group's plot to carry out a more deadly attack at unspecified Barcelona monuments.

The judge said there was enough evidence to hold Mohamed Houli Chemlal, 21, and Driss Oukabir, 28, on preliminary charges of causing homicides and injuries of a terrorist nature and of belonging to a terrorism organization. Houli Chemlal also has an additional charge of dealing with explosives.

Read more: Suspect in Spain attacks says imam planned to blow himself up in Barcelona - World - CBC News

North Korea : China demands U.S. immediately withdraw North Korea sanctions

China urged the United States on Wednesday to immediately withdraw sanctions that Washington imposed on Beijing as part of its efforts to pressure North Korea into halting development of its missile and nuclear weapons program.

In a news conference, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that the country "especially opposes any country conducting ‘long-arm jurisdiction' over Chinese entities and individuals."\

Hua added: "Measures taken by the United States are not helpful in solving the problem and unhelpful to mutual trust and cooperation. We ask the United States to correct its mistake immediately."

Read more: China demands U.S. immediately withdraw North Korea sanctions

Karl Marx: 150 years of 'Das Kapital': How relevant is Marx today?- by Jayati Ghosh

 It is quite amazing that Karl Marx's Capital has survived and been continuously in print for the past century and a half. After all, this big, unwieldy book (more than 2000 pages of small print in three fat volumes) still has sections that are evidently incomplete. Even in the best translations, the writing is dense and difficult, constantly veering off into tangential points and pedantic debates with now unknown writers. The ideas are complex and cannot be understood quickly. In any case, the book aims to describe economic and social reality in 19th-century northwestern Europe - surely a context very different from our own.

Read more: 150 years of 'Das Kapital': How relevant is Marx today? | History | Al Jazeera


US Economy: U.S. Economic Forecast by the Conference Board

US GDP grew by 2.6 percent in the second quarter, after a rocky first quarter featuring just 1.2 percent growth.

A combination of rising investment growth, an improved external demand environment, and plenty of firepower coming from consumer spending suggests that the economy can grow by 2.6 percent for the rest of 2017 and by 2.4 percent in 2018, which is above the current trend.

Business investment gained momentum last quarter, growing at a 5.2 percent annual rate echoing stronger first quarter growth.

This brings investment growth in line with higher levels of business confidence that have prevailed since the end of 2016.

A large portion of investment growth occurred in the energy sector which may make it difficult to sustain over the next few quarters unless oil prices continue to show an upside. Still, equipment spending was an important source of strength, which signals upward momentum for industrial production over the next few quarters.

Consumer spending is also continuing to make large positive contributions to GDP growth thanks to rapid employment growth and high levels of consumer confidence. Further increases in spending may be on the horizon if tight labor markets induce new acceleration in wages.

For now though, wage and price inflation are contained, meaning that the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates only once more in 2017. Capital costs are therefore unlikely to rise quickly which will help perpetuate the current upward moment in investment.

Finally, improved global conditions are also helping US economic performance in 2017, especially through exports and improved investment opportunities. The Conference Board’s Global Leading Economic Index suggests that emerging economies are also picking up some speed.

The Euro Area has been growing above a 2 percent rate, its fastest pace time since 2011. For the first time since the Great Recession, the US faces an external environment where all major global economies are performing well. Should these conditions persist, along with a weaker dollar, demand for exports and a healthy profit environment for MNCs will be sustained.

Read more: U.S. Forecast | The Conference Board

Internet: Saudi royals seek ban on .virgin, .sex, .catholic, .wtf and 159 more - by Kevin Murphy.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has objected to the proposed new top-level internet domains .virgin and .baby – applied for by Virgin Group and Johnson & Johnson respectively – on the grounds that they will encourage pornography.

The bizarre claims are among 163 complaints about new dot-word gTLD applications that the Saudi Communication and Information Technology Commission has filed with domain name gatekeeper ICANN over the last few days.

“We consider there is a risk that this string is used in the same way as .XXX to host pornographic websites,” the commission wrote in its objection to Johnson & Johnson's .baby application.

Read more: Saudi royals seek ban on .virgin, .sex, .catholic, .wtf and 159 MORE • The Register

North Korea: ‘The fate of the sinful U.S. ends here’: North Korea threatens to envelop Guam in missiles in new video

The Trump administration should be “keeping its eyes and ears open from now on,” North Korea has warned in an incendiary new video that shows senior security officials being engulfed in flames and U.S. President Donald Trump looking over a field of white crosses with the warning: “The fate of the sinful United States ends here.”

North Korea is not known for subtlety in its propaganda videos, and the latest clip, published by the Uriminzokkiri outlet, shows a North Korean missile headed toward the U.S. territory of Guam, which Pyongyang has been threatening to “envelop” with missiles.

The video was released on the eve of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises between the American and South Korean militaries, which started Monday. The annual drills are mainly computer-based, but they nevertheless annoy North Korea and come at a particularly sensitive time.

Read more: ‘The fate of the sinful U.S. ends here’: North Korea threatens to envelop Guam in missiles in new video | National Post

Afghanistan: Trump to expand US military intervention in Afghanistan - by Julian Borger

In a televised address to troops at Fort Myer in Virginia on Monday night, Trump outlined what he claimed was a new strategy for Afghanistan and south Asia. But he did not say how many more troops he would send, how long they would stay, or what their ultimate objective was.

Before standing for the presidency and privately since entering the Oval Office, Trump had argued for a military withdrawal, but in his speech he made a rare admission that he had changed his mind. He avoided saying directly that his about-turn would lead to more soldiers being sent to Afghanistan, but his speech made clear that would be the outcome.
“The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory,” Trump said. “They deserve the tools they need, and the trust they have earned, to fight and to win.”

In June the Trump White House gave the Pentagon authority to deploy another 4,000 more troops to bolster the 8,400 there already, but the defence secretary, James Mattis, delayed ordering the deployment until there was a clearer expression of the administration’s strategy.
In his own statement issued after Trump’s speech Mattis said he had ordered US military chiefs to “make preparations to carry out the president’s strategy” and that he would be talking to Nato allies, “several of which have also committed to increasing their troop numbers”.

“Together, we will assist the Afghan security forces to destroy the terrorist hub,” Mattis said.

Note EU-Digest: There they go again, as if they have not learned that US military "interventions or expansions" for the sake of "democracy", as the US likes to call it, has not worked anywhere in the world, with very few exceptions. In Europe these ongoing NATO military operations have only resulted in a massive refugee problem for the EU and Turkey. 

Unfortunately many of the EU member states still continue to support these totally destructive US military policies in the Middle East. As someone said recently: "The sentence "collateral damage" to cover-up millions of innocent civilians killed in US bombing raids was invented by the US military". 

Democracy never can come out of the barrel of a gun, it only comes by example and war is not one of those examples. 

Hopefully the EU will stop supporting these unwinnable wars.   

Read more: Trump to expand US military intervention in Afghanistan | US news | The Guardian


ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery

European Central Bank (ECB) governors are concerned that a further hike in the value of the euro, making exports less attractive and imports cheaper, could derail the economic region’s recovery. In minutes from their meeting on 19-20 July 2017, released on Thursday, they said there is a "risk of the exchange rate overshooting in the future". Some concerns were also voiced about "policy uncertainty in the United States".

Read more: ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery

Canada: Survey finds ‘dramatic shift’ in Canadian perception of U.S. approach to human rights - by Michelle Zilio

For the first time in 13 years, Canadians think they have more in common with Britain and Germany’s approach to human rights than that of the United States, a new survey suggests.

The finding is the latest in a 13-year tracking of Canadian and American perceptions of the bi-national relationship by Nanos Research and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Survey participants on both sides of the border were asked which countries are closest to theirs on human rights. Forty-four per cent of Canadian respondents said Canada most closely aligns with Britain on human rights, followed by Germany at 25 per cent and the U.S. at 16 per cent.

Read more: Survey finds ‘dramatic shift’ in Canadian perception of U.S. approach to human rights - The Globe and Mail

Russia-US Relations: Kremlin hardliner to be next Russian ambassador to the US

Russian President Vladimir Putin has picked a career diplomat, considered a hard-liner, to be Moscow's next ambassador to the United States.

Anatoly Antonov, 62, spent 33 years working in the foreign ministry, before jumping to the defense ministry in 2011, where he became a deputy minister in charge of international relations.

He takes the job at a particularly tense time in US-Russian relations. Late last month the US imposed sanctions against Kremlin insiders in response to Moscow's interference in last year's US presidential election - a charge the Kremlin denies.

Read more: Kremlin hardliner to be next Russian ambassador to the US | News | DW | 21.08.2017

Spain: Police shoot fugitive city’s van attack wearing possible bomb belt

A police operation was underway Monday in an area west of Barcelona, and a Spanish newspaper reports that the fugitive in the city’s van attack has been captured.

Regional police said officers shot a man wearing a possible explosives belt in Subirats, a small town 45 kilometres (28 miles) west of Barcelona.

Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, has been the target of an international manhunt since Thursday’s van attack in Barcelona. Authorities said Monday they now have evidence he drove the van that plowed down the city’s famed Las Ramblas promenade, killing 13 pedestrians and injuring more than 120 others.

Abouyaaqoub then is suspected of carjacking a man and stabbing him to death as he made his getaway, raising the death toll between the Barcelona attack and a related attack hours later to 15.

Read more: Spain: Police shoot man wearing possible bomb belt - Campbell River Mirror

The Afghanistan Cesspool: The case against Trump’s decision to continue the war in Afghanistan, explained by Trump - by Zack Beaucham

President Donald Trump will address the nation about the war in Afghanistan in a rare primetime speech on Monday night. He is expected, per the New York Times, to “open the door to the deployment of several thousand troops.” The exact number is unclear — most reports put it at 4,000 — but it’s clear that the speech will signal another escalation in America’s longest-running war.

The striking thing is that the war in question is one that Trump vocally and repeatedly criticized in the harshest possible terms for years before taking office.

“I think the same as what I’ve been thinking for the past couple of years: What are we doing there? These people hate us,” Trump said in a 2012 Fox News appearance. “We’re spending hundreds of billions of dollars, trillions of dollars, on this nonsense — and the minute we leave, everything blows up, and the worst guy gets it. The one who hates this country the most will end up taking over Afghanistan.”

Read more: The case against Trump’s decision to continue the war in Afghanistan, explained by Trump - Vox


Mobile Phones: EU -Wide Free Roaming Charges A Boost For European Tourism And Users

EU-Wide no more roaming charges
Whether you voted remain or leave, the European commission has come to your aid. Holidaymakers are about to get free mobile phone roaming across Europe and a host of other destinations from 15 June – for the next two years, at least.

Following a long campaign and a series of staged roaming price cuts, the EU Commission has finally put in place a long-cherished aim – the ability of Europeans to make same-cost mobile calls and data downloads irrespective of which EU country they are in.

But fears remain that once Brexit takes place the gains could be reversed for Britain. And holidaymakers will still need to be careful about getting caught out in some non-EU countries such as Switzerland, Andorra and even the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, which are not formally part of the EU or even the European Economic Area (EEA).

Some mobile operators are choosing to include these areas in their new roaming-free packages, but others are not. What’s more, Turkey appears to be half in, half out – Vodafone is treating it the same as the EU but others are not.

Already initial reports show that free roaming in the EU since June 15 has been a huge success for consumers and tourism.


Bio-Economy:the Netherlands Is Taking Aim at One of America's Fastest-Growing Sectors

One of the fastest growing and most important pieces of the American economy is also often one of the most overlooked. Despite accounting for an estimated $324 billion in GDP in 2012 -- over 2% of the total economy -- growing at annual clips that exceed 10%, and accounting for over 5% of the total economy's growth from 2007 to 2012, the biotech sector doesn't get the policy attention it deserves.

While Uncle Sam has taken a hands-off approach to nurturing one of its prized economic drivers, the tiny Netherlands is doing things quite a bit differently. I recently had the chance to meet with representatives and entrepreneurs from Holland at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Montreal to learn more. Turns out, the United States could learn a thing or two.

The biotech sector, or bioeconomy, is defined as all revenue generated from genetically modified microbes, plants, and cell lines. Although the word "biotech" is often used interchangeably with "biopharma", that's an insult to the power of biology. And in fact, biopharma is the smallest part of the biotech sector!

Read more: The Netherlands Is Taking Aim at One of America's Fastest-Growing Sectors | Business Markets and Stocks News |

France-EU: Macron to show Eastern Europe how much he cares – by Philippe Wojazer

The French president will also use a trip through Central and Eastern Europe to show French voters that he hasn’t given up on a key electoral pledge: changing the European Union to make it more “protective” of its citizens — in order to better tackle populism and Euroskepticism.

The French president has long promised to spend part of the summer on a tour of European capitals to explain his proposals to improve the EU and defend his push for reforming the bloc’s controversial directive on posted workers, which he denounced as unfair during his election campaign.

However, Macron has a limited schedule with only three stops planned — Austria, Romania and Bulgaria — and a further two EU leaders are traveling to meet the French president.

In Vienna next Wednesday, Macron will meet Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern as well as Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Slovakia’s Robert Fico. In Bucharest the next day, he will meet Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Mihai Tudose. Then, on August 25, he will meet President Rumen Radev and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in Varna, Bulgaria.

A Macron aide insisted the trip “also has a symbolic dimension. [Macron] wants to show France’s intent to rekindle links with the former Eastern Europe after years of neglect” under the presidencies of Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande.

Read more: Macron to show Eastern Europe how much he cares – POLITICO

Britain: Brexit realities dawn in UK - by Lisbeth Kirk

Just over a year after a small majority voted for Britain to leave the EU, new realities are dawning on both the in and the out camps.

On the remain side, Brexit looks increasingly inevitable, but on the leave side, it looks more painful than previously imagined.

Read more: Brexit realities dawn in UK


Total Solar Eclipse Aug. 21, 2017: Live Webcasts from NASA & More

NASA will follow the total solar eclipse live Aug. 21 as it crosses the United States from ground, aircraft, balloon and spacecraft, beginning at 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT). You can watch it online here in the window above, courtesy of NASA. "Eclipse Across America: Through The Eyes of NASA" will begin with a preview in South Carolina, and then the agency will broadcast from the path of totalty starting at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT). [Total Solar Eclipse 2017: When, Where and How to See It (Safely)]

Read mofe: Total Solar Eclipse Aug. 21, 2017: Live Webcasts from NASA & More

Doomsday or fake ? Planet X: 'Earth-destroyer' Nibiru to appear September claims 'code hidden in pyramids' - by Jon Austin

Is Planet X, or Nibiru on the way to earth ?
Christian numerologist David Meade claims he has discovered a “date marker” that reveals when Planet X – and the reported resulting apocalypse – is coming.

Planet X, or Nibiru, is reportedly a huge planet with a vast orbit that conspiracy theorists claim will one day pass so close to Earth that its gravitational pull could wreak havoc on our planet, triggering earthquakes and other catastrophic events.

The myth was born in 1976, when writer Zecharia Sitchin claimed that two ancient Middle Eastern cultures – the Babylonians and Sumerians – told of a giant planet – Nibiru – that orbited the Sun every 3,600 years.

Earlier this year, Mr Meade claimed to match the positions of celestial bodies with Bible verses, and worked out when Planet X would cause the end of the world - on September 23.

He claims the same timeframe for its arrival is shown by the pyramids.

The pyramids, built nearly 5,000 years ago, have long generated conspiracy theories due to mysteries over how they were built and their purpose.

The most far-fetched include that they were built with the aid of aliens who visited our ancient ancestors.

There are claims some hieroglyphics depict aliens and space craft that visited Earth who were worshipped them as gods.

However, many Egyptologists agree the Pharaohs were interested in space and the pyramids were aligned with the planets.

Mr Meade claims Nibiru will first be seen in the sky on September 23, and will not actually hit or pass us until October.

Many evangelical Christian fanatics claimed the rare total solar eclipse, due on August 21, is a sign of what is to come.

Mr Meade said: “It is very strange indeed that both the Great Sign of Revelation 12 and the Great Pyramid of Giza both point us to one precise moment in time – September 20 to 23, 2017.

“Is this the end of the Church Age and the transition to the Day of the Lord?
“There couldn’t be two greater witnesses.”

Of the pyramid, he said: “It faces true north with only 3/60th of a degree of error and is located at the center of the land mass of the Earth.

Note EU-Digest: A NASA paper which was originally published in 1988 is said to reveal that there is a mysterious unnamed planet beyond the tiny ice planet of Pluto. It is believed by many that the Planet X referred to by NASA could be the fabled Planet Nibiru which many thinks could be the initiator of a major, imminent apocalyptic event for the people of Earth 
A NASA paper which was originally published in 1988 is said to reveal that there is a mysterious unnamed planet beyond the tiny ice planet of Pluto. It is believed by many that the Planet X referred to by NASA could be the fabled Planet Nibiru which many thinks could be the initiator of a major, imminent apocalyptic event for the people of Earth READ MORE:
A NASA paper which was originally published in 1988 is said to reveal that there is a mysterious unnamed planet beyond the tiny ice planet of Pluto. It is believed by many that the Planet X referred to by NASA could be the fabled Planet Nibiru which many thinks could be the initiator of a major, imminent apocalyptic event for the people of Earth. READ MORE:
A NASA paper which was originally published in 1988 is said to reveal that there is a mysterious unnamed planet beyond the tiny ice planet of Pluto. It is believed by many that the Planet X referred to by NASA could be the fabled Planet Nibiru which many thinks could be the initiator of a major, imminent apocalyptic event for the people of Earth. READ MORE:
A NASA paper which was originally published in 1988 is said to reveal that there is a mysterious unnamed planet beyond the tiny ice planet of Pluto. It is believed by many that the Planet X referred to by NASA could be the fabled Planet Nibiru which many thinks could be the initiator of a major, imminent apocalyptic event for the people of Earth. READ MORE:

Read  more: Planet X: 'Earth-destroyer' Nibiru to appear NEXT MONTH claims 'code hidden in pyramids' | Weird | News |

Kazakhstan: EXPO-2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan, is worth a visit

Kazakhsta Capital Astana is a modern and friendly city
After a build-up lasting five years, Kazakhstan has finally opened EXPO-2017. If you’re in Astana between now and mid-September when it closes, you should go.

It might feel excessively corporate and you’ll probably come out of the EXPO-2017 site none-the-wiser on what exactly its Orwellian-tinged ‘Future Energy’ means, but don’t dwell on this — it’s not the real point of the exposition.

In reality it is putting Kazakhsta on the map for many people and they will be very positively surprised.

EXPO-2017 is a source of national pride and a must-do event for most ordinary Kazakhs this summer, at least for the ones who live in and around Astana.

And this pride and sense of fun is evident throughout EXPO-2017. The dozens and dozens of uniformed guides are courteous, speak excellent English and are genuinely helpful. The student volunteers beam with joy and are relishing the internationalism of the whole event.

As for the visitors, at the beginning of the expo it must have been 95% Kazakh. These were groups of families and friends touring the pavilion, drinking in each country’s take on EXPO-2017. This ranges from Britain’s glowing yurt to Iran’s focus on promoting its carpets.

The visiting Kazakhs, armed with selfie sticks and aging smartphones, weren’t the super rich who travel effortlessly around the world, these were Kazakhs who may never have left Central Asia, or been on a solitary trip to Europe. EXPO-2017 feels as if it has returned the international exposition series to its original mid-19th century Victorian era roots of bringing the world to a particular city.

And make sure you don’t miss out on the Caribbean pavilion, the least scripted section. The women from Belize, Haiti and Dominica will tell you how they are coping with four months in Kazakhstan, a country they hadn’t heard of until earlier this year.

Many Airlines are flying into  Kazakhstan with some special fares of less than euro 100.00 rt.. including:
Lufthansa flightsUkraine International flightsPegasus Airlines flights
Aeroflot flightsEtihad Airways flightsTurkmenistan Airlines flights
Air France flightsAir India flightsHainan Airlines flights
S7 Airlines flightsAtlasglobal flightsUzbekistan Airways flights



Germany: Turkey's President Erdogan calls German leaders enemies and meddles in election there

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called Germany's ruling politicians "enemies of Turkey" who deserve to be rejected by German-Turkish voters.

Germany will hold a general election on 24 September, and about one million ethnic Turks living in Germany can vote. A majority of them backed Mr Erdogan in an April referendum.

"The Christian Democrats [CDU], SPD [Social Democrats], the Green Party are all enemies of Turkey," he said.

German ministers protested angrily.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Mr Erdogan's comments were an "unprecedented" act of interference in Germany's sovereignty.

Note EU-Digest: the list of "looney" world political leaders is getting longer by the day.

Read more: Turkey's Erdogan says German leaders are enemies - BBC News


EU: Exports and low unemployment fuel rapid growth in central Europe - by James Shotter

Central Europe’s economies have continued their rapid expansion, outpacing their peers in western Europe as rock bottom interest rates and record low unemployment fuel consumer spending.

With the eurozone’s recovery also pushing up exports from the region, Romania’s economy grew at the fastest annual rate in the EU in the second quarter.

The Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary also reported strong growth, according to preliminary data on Wednesday.

Romania grew by 5.7 per cent year on year in the second quarter. The Czech Republic grew by 4.5 per cent, Poland by 4.4 per cent, Hungary by 3.6 per cent and Slovakia by 3.1 per cent. The EU grew by 2.3 per cent.

Read more: Exports and low unemployment fuel rapid growth in central Europe

Spain: Barcelona and Cambrils attacks: why was Spain targeted by Deranged Islamic terrorists? - by S. Jones and G.Tremlett

Images of the aftermath of the attack on Barcelona’s most famous street on Thursday will stir different images in the minds of different people. For those in France and the UK, they will be reminders of the attacks on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice and on Westminster Bridge in London.

For many Spaniards, they will bring back memories of 11 March 2004, when 191 people were killed and more than 1,800 others injured in a series of train bombings in Madrid carried out by al-Qaida.

Older Spaniards will also remember Eta’s violent struggle for Basque independence, a failed campaign that killed more than 800 people in bombings and shootings over a period of decades.

But if the spectre of Eta has faded six years after the group began giving up its weapons – and 20 years after its murder of a young politician marked a turning point in Spanish society – the same cannot be said of the threat of cowardly radical Islamic terrorism

Read more: Barcelona and Cambrils attacks: why was Spain targeted by terrorists? | World news | The Guardian

USA: Bannon is gone from the White House, but he has already laid eggs in everything - by Alexandra Petri

Stephen K. Bannon is out. After seven months as the chief strategist to the president of the United States, Bannon is gone.

I would have been more excited about this seven months ago. It is better to get rid of the termites before they have successfully laid eggs in all your possessions.

You cannot muster much enthusiasm over the fact that a man who promised he would take a sledgehammer to everything you held dear is finally, months later, not in the house any longer. It is hardly as though he did not get the chance to put cracks in all the things he wanted broken.

Besides, it is less than consoling to hear that someone has evicted the rat-king, when you can see full well that that “someone” is just a tangle of cockroaches hissing to themselves under an ermine robe.

Fine: There is one less hideous tangle of rats affixed to one another by the tails running amok in your home, but it is not as though you can fumigate.

And when the word comes that it was because the rat-king was too vocal in its complaints to the media about the cockroaches’ handling of household affairs, you wonder.

Read more: Bannon is gone from the White House, but he has already laid eggs in everything - The Washington Post