President Obama is in Warsaw, Poland today where NATO members are holding a summit to show the alliance will stand firm against new threats, including a “resurgent Russia.” The Warsaw meeting is being held in a district of the capital, Praga, that Poles view as a symbol of Russian betrayal of their nation.
In the meeting, Obama called on NATO to “stand firm” against Russia, terrorism and other challenges even as a key member, UK, retrenches from Europe. In an op-ed published in the Financial Times on Friday, Obama says the U.S. and European nation “must summon the political will, and make concrete commitments” to affirm European cooperation. Continue reading »
The remains of the late Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and other victims of the 2010 presidential plane crash will be exhumed and examined by Polish prosecutors as part of a re-launched government investigation.
“Comprehensive post-mortem examinations, also using computer tomography in the field of toxicology and DNA will be important for determining the injuries of the victims and the causes of their deaths, as well as to reconstruct the final moments of the disaster and its causes. It is vital to clarify the underlying thread of the investigation, despite several years having passed since the disaster,” a prosecution spokesman told the victims’ relatives at a meeting on Tuesday, explaining the prosecutors’ decision, Radio Poland reports. Continue reading »
No refugees will be accepted in Poland, as they pose a threat to security, said the head Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party and former PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski, adding that Poland will oppose any law forcing EU members to pay €250,000 per refused refugee.
“After recent events connected with acts of terror [Poland] will not accept refugees because there is no mechanism that would ensure security,” Law and Justice (PiS) chair Kaczynski said on Saturday, as quoted by Radio Poland. Continue reading »
As Norway offers cash for refugees to leave, announcing that they won’t be accepting any more refugees from the EU, and Switzerland prepares its military to close down borders, the EU has seemingly had enough of every country acting as if it has any type of sovereignty left. The European Commission has announced that it is going to pull rank on everyone, and in Obama-like fashion, will be fining countries for not taking their fair share of refugees.
Here is a detailed summary of all that happened today in the ongoing European refugee crisis courtesy of Mish Shedlock.
* * *
EU Plans $290,000 Per Person Fine on Countries Refusing “Fair Share” of Refugees; Case For Brexit Crystallized
The European Commission plans fines of $290,000 per person on countries refusing to take in their fair share of refugees.
This plan is aimed straight at Poland, Slovokia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Austria. Continue reading »
Five generals resign ahead of major NATO exercise in Poland scheduled for July of this year
Originally appeared at Breitbart
The surprise resignations of several key Polish generals have rocked the new conservative government, which is facing a barrage of criticism at home and abroad over a host of controversial reforms.
“Five generals have submitted their resignations over the last few days,” Szczepan Gluszczak, spokesman for the general command of the Polish armed forces, told commercial television channel Polsat on Friday.
The generals quit just as tensions run high with Poland’s Soviet-era master Russia. Continue reading »
Punjab authorities have closed down schools from Jan 26 to 31 because of biting cold, a private TV channel reported.
Life is almost paralysed by the biting cold in nine upazilas of the district. The poor are burning hay and fallen leaves to keep them warm.
Nine deaths believed to stem from hypothermia reported in Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Tak, Rayong and Udon Thani provinces.
Along with severe cold
In addition, the accompanying low temperatures have caused disasters for farmers across the nation.
Buffaloes have recently died due to the extremely cold weather.
Guangzhou residents were excited Sunday to observe snow falling in their subtropical city for the first time in 88 years.
Schools light bonfires, army readies help
People and livestock in upland areas of northeastern Laos are struggling with the freezing cold.
Okinawa’s main island in southwestern Japan gets its first measurable snowfall in history.
In the south, sleet fell on Amami Oshima Island for the first time since 1901. Residents there usually enjoy temperatures of around 17 degrees Celsius this time of year.
Over the past week, Poland’s relations with Europe have gone from cordial to abysmal, when first Poland’s new Eurosceptic government compared the EU and Merkel to Nazis, with Polish weekly Wprost releasing the following cover saying “they want to supervise Poland again”…
… only for Brussels to retaliate and launch an “unprecedented” review of Polish media laws, a move which Poland angrily responded is far beyond the EU’s domain.
Well, as so often happens, whenever there is a political spat in Europe, the rating agencies are quickly involved (thing S&P and Moody’s downgrades and upgrades of Greece depending on how well the vassal nation is “behaving”), and moments ago S&P downgraded Poland from A- to BBB+ outlook negative, precisely due to Poland’s new media law which has been the topic of so much consternation over the past week.
In other words, S&P is now nothing more than a lackey for Brussels, threatening to send Polish yields higher if Poland does not fall in line. Continue reading »
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — European Union flags have disappeared from government press conferences. The constitutional court has suffered a huge blow to its authority. Grassroots initiatives have sprung up to protect the country’s young democracy.
Poland is in the grip of dizzying political changes since the nationalistic right-wing party, Law and Justice, took power last month and acted quickly to solidify its hold over this nation of nearly 38 million people. Their most controversial move has been an attempt to pack the Constitutional Tribunal — the only real check on the party’s power after it took control of the presidency and parliament in elections this year — with loyal supporters. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“Any politician daring to challenge the big EU plan must be exposed & ridiculed and subsequently forced back into line or else…”
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish leaders lashed out Monday at the head of the European Parliament for saying political developments under the new right-wing government in Poland are akin to a “coup d’etat.”
Martin Schulz, who is German, told Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio Monday: “What is happening in Poland has the character of a coup d’etat and is dramatic. I assume that this week or in January at the latest we will have to discuss this extensively in the European Parliament.” Continue reading »
– Nazis’ Gold Train Is Said to Have Been Found in Poland (RINF, Aug 27, 2015):
On 27 August, Polish Radio announced that two people have presented evidence that they have discovered Nazi Germany’s legendary “Gold Train,” containing art and that’s especially “laden with precious metals,” and that the pair are demanding a 10% cut of its value, for finding this nearly 200-yard-long train, in a hidden mountain tunnel in the Polish town of Walzbrych, formerly the German town of Waldenburg. Nazis had constructed the tunnel in 1943, to hide valuables from Soviet forces, in the event that Germany might lose the war. Continue reading »
– Poland, Czech Republic Won’t Join “Burning” Euro (ZeroHedge, July 27, 2015):
With the turmoil in Greece proving once and for all that in the absence of a fiscal union, the EMU simply cannot function or if it does, it will be subject to episodic crises stemming from endemic differences of opinion on fiscal policy, outsiders could be forgiven for looking upon the currency experiment as an abject failure.
Indeed, the struggle to secure a bridge loan for Athens last week underscored the degree to which non-euro countries are reluctant to put their taxpayers on the hook for problems which they believe are the result of an ill-fated attempt to unite fundamentally different economies and governments under a single currency.
Given the above, we weren’t surprised to learn that Poland and the Czech Republic are out voicing their reservations about running into what is effectively a burning building. Here’s The Telegraph on Poland:
Poland will not join the euro while the bloc remains in danger of “burning”, its central bank governor said. Continue reading »
– NATO & allies stage thousands-strong drills across Europe (RT, May 4, 2015):
Three sets of military exercises kicked off in Europe on Monday, involving thousands of servicemen from a variety of NATO nations and their allies, amid a wave of similar action across the area.
Estonia is holding its largest-ever military drills. Named Siil-2015 (Hedgehog), the maneuvers involve about 13,000 personnel. The number includes about 7,000 reservists, along with members of the volunteer Estonian Defense League.
Siil-2015, scheduled to last until May 15, also involves forces from the US, the UK, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands. American troops, who are staying in Estonia as part of the massive training operation Atlantic Resolve, will bring four Abrams main battle tanks to the exercise. British, Belgian and German air defense units, as well as several NATO warplanes, will also take part. Continue reading »
– The Economy Of The Largest Superpower On The Planet Is Collapsing Right Now (Economic Collapse, Nov 5, 2014):
How do you fix a superpower with exploding levels of debt, that has a rapidly aging population, that consumes far more wealth than it produces, and that has scores of zombie banks that could collapse at any moment. You might think that I am talking about the United States, but I am actually talking about Europe. You see, the truth is that the European Union has a larger population than the United States does, it has a larger economy than the United States does, and it has a much larger banking system than the United States does. Most of the time I write about the horrible economic problems that the U.S. is facing, but without a doubt economic conditions in Europe are even worse at the moment. In fact, there are many (including the Washington Post) that are calling what is happening in Europe a full-blown “depression”. Sadly, this is probably only just the beginning. In the months to come things in Europe are likely to get much worse. Continue reading »
– NATO asks US for more troops in Baltic states, Poland to counter ‘Russia threat’ (RT, Nov 4, 2014):
The North Atlantic bloc has asked the Pentagon to send more troops to Eastern Europe to counter the perceived threat of Russia. There are currently 750 US soldiers in Poland and the Baltic states, but the organization believes that this is not enough.
The alliance cites the current situation in Ukraine, as well as Russian military aircraft “incursions” into the airspace of the organization’s allies. Continue reading »
Radoslaw Sikorski — the speaker of the Polish Parliament and that nation’s former foreign minister — was forced to apologize after claiming that he overheard Vladimir Putin in 2008 suggest that Ukraine should be divided between Russia and Poland.
A bombshell report published by Politico Magazine over the weekend called “Putin’s Coup” alleged that Sikorski heard that the Russian president told Donald Tusk, then the Polish prime minister, that Poland should “become participants in the divide of Ukraine” during a Polish delegation’s 2008 visit to Moscow.
“He wanted us to become participants in this partition of Ukraine… This was one of the first things that Putin said to my prime minister, Donald Tusk, when he visited Moscow,” Politico’s Ben Judah quoted Sikorski as saying following an interview that formed the basis of the Sunday article.
– Poland to move thousands of troops to border with Ukraine (RT, Oct 27, 2014):
Warsaw has decided to relocate troops from the west of the country towards its eastern border due to “the biggest security crisis since the Cold War.” It is a major realignment of the military structure, Poland’s defense minister told the AP.
“The geopolitical situation has changed, we have the biggest crisis of security since the Cold War and we must draw conclusions from that,” Poland’s Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak told The Associated Press on Monday.
He explained that the number of troops stationed at three military bases in the east will triple in two years. Siemoniak added that the quantity of military hardware stationed at the bases will also be increased. Continue reading »
– US Chopper Squadron Invades Poland, Accidentally (ZeroHedge, Sep 10, 2014):
No, this is not from The Onion. Bloomberg reports that six U.S. army helicopters landed in a rapeseed field in northern Poland to ask for directions after veering off course on their way back from military exercises. Locals were alarmed and explained, “we know that security is the most important thing right now… But thank God it was the Americans.” We wonder how long before Sikorski proclaims this an invasion and demands NATO react…
Five Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and one tandem-rotor Boeing Co. Chinook chopper touched down near the village of Gruta, 220 kilometers (140 miles) north of Warsaw at about noon yesterday, according to local eyewitnesses. Some residents were at first spooked at the sight of the aircraft, Halina Kowalkowska, the village’s head, said by phone.
“We know that security is the most important thing right now,” Kowalkowska said. “But thank God it was the Americans.” Continue reading »
– Poland Blocks Flight Of Russian Defense Minister’s Plane (ZeroHedge, Aug 29, 2014):
The last time Poland ‘spoke’ it was to accuse Russia of invasion (and the time before that it was to accuse the government of giving the USA blow jobs), but this time actions speak louder than words:
- *POLAND BLOCKS FLIGHT OF RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER’S PLANE: RIA
Defense Minister Soigu’s plane was forced to U-turn and land back in Bratislava.
As RIA reports, Continue reading »
– Russia Busts European Sanctioned-Fruit Smuggling Ring (ZeroHedge, Aug 22, 2014):
Just days after Russia banned the import of various foods from sanctions-supporting nations, VZ reports Russia’s food safety ministry Rosselhoznadzor has discovered fruit being smuggled in via Belarus that was restamped as being from Zimbabwe and various other non-sanctioned nations. It appears the smuggling nation culprits are Poland, Slovenia, and Greece and Russia is now “actively monitoring the situation,” suggesting they may extend import bans to Belarus also if the situation continues. In addition, Rosselhoznadzor intends in the future to move to a system of electronic certification of goods in transit.
– World Reserve Currencies: What Happened During Previous Periods Of Transition? (Economic Reason, Aug 11, 2014):
The decline of the US dollar hegemony is ever so clear today and this article aims to provide the reader with what exactly happened during past periods of reserve currency transitions. Historically, when a reserve currency transitioned over to a new one, it marked a pivotal change for the world. The economic paradigm shifted and the rules of the game changed. This time will be no different when the US dollar loses its status as the reserve currency!
The transition process of the world reserve currency brings much uncertainty
– Russia Sanctions Blowback: Finland’s Largest Dairy Lays Off 800, Spain Seeks EU Aid, Poland Complains To WTO (ZeroHedge, Aug 13, 2014):
Well that didn’t take long. Mere day after Russia announced its ban on Western nation food imports, European countries are scrambling (as we explained why here). Greece has already expressed dismay, but now Spanish officials will meet with EU leaders to discuss offsetting the country’s estimated up to $800 million in food and agriculture losses due to sanctions. Poland is pissed and has complained to the WTO claiming “Russia has broken international law in both its embargo;” and Finland’s largest dairy producer has announced 800 layoffs due to the sanctions. When does Europe tell Washington – enough!
Spain demands aid… (despite Rajoy’s support for anti-Russia sanctions)
Spanish Agriculture Minister Isabel Garcia Tejerina said the restrictions have prompted her ministry to convene a meeting with the European Commission in Brussels on Thursday.
The Spanish government has estimated that agricultural losses will amount to €337 million, or about 1.8 percent of Spanish exports. Other groups, like Spain’s opposition Socialist Party, have estimated the losses to be higher- €581 million. Continue reading »
– JFK Wished He Could Splinter The CIA ‘Into A Thousand Pieces And Scatter It Into The Winds’ (Crooks And Liars, Jan 8, 2014)
– End Torture, Shut Down the CIA! (Ron Paul Insitute, July 27, 2014):
By Ron Paul
Remember back in April, 2007, when then-CIA director George Tenet appeared on 60 Minutes, angrily telling the program host, “we don’t torture people”? Remember a few months later, in October, President George W. Bush saying, “this government does not torture people”? We knew then it was not true because we had already seen the photos of Iraqis tortured at Abu Ghraib prison four years earlier.
Still the US administration denied that torture was torture, preferring to call it “enhanced interrogation” and claiming that it had disrupted so many terrorist plots. Of course, we later found out that the CIA had not only lied about the torture of large numbers of people after 9/11, but it had vastly exaggerated any valuable information that came from such practices.
However secret rendition of prisoners to other places was ongoing.
– Leaked tape has Polish FM comparing ties with US to giving oral sex (RT, June 23, 2014):
The Polish Foreign Minister believes his country’s alliance with the US is worth nothing and compared his government’s stance to giving oral sex and receiving nothing in return, a Polish magazine said, citing a leaked recording of a private conversation.
Excerpts from the alleged exchange between FM Radoslaw Sikorski and Jacek Rostowski, an MP and former finance minister, were published Sunday by Wprost, which promised a full transcript and audio files later on Monday or Tuesday. The same magazine triggered a political storm in Poland this month by releasing a recording of a conversation between the head of Poland’s central bank and the interior minister, implying a link between the two violating the bank’s independence. Continue reading »
– In Explosive Scandal, Head Of Polish Central Bank Recorded Promising Assistance To Government If Minister Fired (ZeroHedge, June 15, 2014):
Remember when conventional wisdom said central banks are apolitical and impartial, and anyone who claimed that the world’s money printers (which in the New Normal of failed fiscal policy means the only source of stimulus, and thus infinite political leverage and an existence “above the law”) are in fact the most political and partial entities was, what else, a conspiracy theorist? Well, there goes another conspiracy theory, replaced by conspiracy fact.
Yesterday, Polish magazine Wprost released a recording of a meeting between Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz and central bank Governor Marek Belka which took place in a Warsaw restaurant in July 2013. In the recording, Belka told the minister he would be willing to help the government out of its economic troubles if the finance minister was fired.
From the video:
“We are on track with our missile defense program.”
Watch the video here:
– European Reassurance Initiative: Obama announces $1bn fund (BBC News, June 3, 2014):
President Barack Obama has announced plans for a $1bn (£600m) fund to increase US military deployments to Europe, during a visit to Poland.
Mr Obama, who will meet Nato leaders amid concerns over the Ukraine crisis, said the security of America’s European allies was “sacrosanct”. Continue reading »
– Poland, Estonia exercises part of plan to increase presence in eastern Europe (Stripes, April 19, 2014):
STUTTGART, Germany— A small contingent of U.S. soldiers will deploy to Poland and Estonia for a series of upcoming ground exercises aimed at reassuring allies shaken by Russian intervention in neighboring Ukraine, according to a report.
The U.S. is planning to send a company sized Army element of roughly 150 troops to conduct drills with allies, spanning roughly two weeks respectively in both Poland and Estonia, The New York Times reported Friday.
– Poland Is Quietly Mobilizing Its Army Reservists (Zerohedge, March 24, 2014):
It seems the words of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk warning that “the world stands on the brink of conflict, the consequences of which are not foreseen… Not everyone in Europe is aware of this situation,” are a little more real than some (US equity buyers) might suspect. As The Week’s Crispin Black reports, at least 7,000 Polish workers in Europe have received call-up papers as army reservists in the last few weeks. Polish authorities dismiss it as “routine” but the men note this has never happened before.
At least 7,000 reservists have been recalled to the colours for immediate exercises lasting between 10 and 30 days.
– NATO starts air drills close to Ukraine’s borders (RT, March 11, 2014):
NATO has begun wargames in Poland as recently dispatched US jets are set to take part in the exercises. Poor weather has delayed naval maneuvers in the Black Sea, with the US saying both drills were planned before the outbreak of unrest in Ukraine.
The air drills began on Tuesday at the Lask Air Base in central Poland. Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski was present as the exercises commenced, standing by as four Polish F-16s lifted off. A US Hercules transport plane landed with support staff, while at least 12 US F-16 fighter jets and 300 personnel are due to arrive by Thursday.