Compromised Code Names, Operations and Equipment / Recent and in progress ( Updated 12:37PM PST / 27OCT2013 )

Editors Note: (Ralph Turchiano) Requested Repost from the archives (Oct 2013)

EEV: Recently Compromised or exposed Code names, Operations, Software and facilities. The list is in no particular order and is being updated frequently. These are just the discoveries from the past 2 years.

* Details of ALL operations can be found through inputting the codename in the search bar. (Being Updated, will be formatted for easy access in the near future _ The most recently compromised will be at the top (for the first week) after 26 OCT 2013

Compromised Code Names, Operations and Equipment

_______________________ Recent

MUSCULAR – The NSA’s principal tool to exploit the data  links is a project called MUSCULAR, operated jointly with the agency’s British  counterpart, GCHQ.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2480411/NSA-broke-Yahoo-Google-data-centers-obtain-millions-records.html

 Einstein antenna system –  Can intercept cell phone signals while simultaneously locating people of interest.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/27/the-nsas-secret-spy-hub-in-berlin/

 Birdwatcher Program – intercepts microwave and millimeter-wave signals. Some programs,  deal primarily with encrypted communications in foreign countries and the search for potential access points. Birdwatcher is controlled directly from SCS headquarters in Maryland.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/27/the-nsas-secret-spy-hub-in-berlin/

Quantum –  NSA controls a set of servers that sit on the Internet backbone, and these servers are used to redirect targets away from their intended destinations to still other NSA-controlled servers that are responsible for the injection of malware.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/25/how-the-nsa-deploys-malware-an-in-depth-look-at-the-new-revelations/

FoxAcid –  NSA server that selects from a toolkit of exploits in order to gain access to the user’s computer. Presumably this toolkit has both known public exploits that rely on a user’s software being out of date, as well as zero-day exploits which are generally saved for high value targets.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/25/how-the-nsa-deploys-malware-an-in-depth-look-at-the-new-revelations/

Tailored Access Operations (TAO), the branch  of the US National Security Agency (NSA) which deals with cyber-attacks

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/25/was-israel-behind-the-hacking-of-millions-of-french-phones-and-not-the-u-s-extraordinary-twist-in-spying-saga-revealed/

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Opus Dei – International Roman  Catholic order, founded in 1928 and championed early by Spanish  dictator Francisco Franco, is dedicated to establishing its members in high  political, corporate, and religious offices all over the world.

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/11/08/the-penn-state-scandal-faces-off-2-mysterious-government-agents-with-top-secret-clearance/

Rossotrudnichestvo exchange program – Alleged exchange program used to recruit Americans to train as Russian spies

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/23/russian-representative-denies-us-media-claims-of-his-involvement-in-espionage-rossotrudnichestvo-exchange-program/

Shenguang (“Divine Light”) – China’s laser project for inertial confinement fusion, which aims to use high-powered lasers to produce a sustained nuclear fusion reaction ( lasers designed to damage or destroy US satellites )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/17/china-pursues-systems-to-keep-us-forces-at-bay/

Apstar-7 satellite (  APT Satellite Holdings )  – Chinese Satellite the Pentagon leases to oversee communications with its African bases

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/05/01/red-faces-as-pentagon-leases-chinese-satellite/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/04/30/pentagon-leaning-on-chinese-satellite-for-africa-command-communications-sparked-outcry-by-disclosing-its-lease-of-bandwidth-from-a-chinese-satellite/

Operation Socialist – An assault on Belgacom’s “core GRX routers”

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/20/uks-gchq-blamed-for-cyber-attack-on-belgian-telecoms-company/

“Man in the Middle” or “MiTM” operations “ –  highly-sophisticated deception which allows a third party to intervene in an electronic conversation and pretend to be each of the other two parties, obtaining valuable information or spreading disinformation without the targets realizing

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/20/uks-gchq-blamed-for-cyber-attack-on-belgian-telecoms-company/

US-985D – Text messages France

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/20/us-spy-agency-snooped-on-french-citizens-report-code-named-us-985d/

Unit 61398 –  Engages in harmful ‘Computer Network Operations’,” is located in Shanghai’s Pudong district, China’s financial and banking hub, and is staffed by perhaps thousands of people proficient in English as well as computer programming and network operations. Is considered a Chinese State Secret. The unit has stolen “hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations across a diverse set of industries beginning as early as 2006.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/02/18/security-group-suspects-chinese-military-is-behind-hacking-attacks-unit-61398/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/05/02/chinese-attack-sucks-secrets-from-us-defence-contractor/

Apalachee – EU/ UN Tapping

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/08/26/codename-apalachee/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/08/25/us-spy-agency-broke-encryption-on-un-communications-report/

Bumblehive – NSA Storage Facility

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/04/16/is-the-nsa-building-a-1-2billion-data-center-to-spy-on-americans-utah-desert-facility-code-named-bumblehive-will-monitor-emails-of-u-s-citizens/

Boundless Informant – NSA Data Mining program

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/08/boundless-informant-the-nsas-secret-tool-to-track-global-surveillance-data/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/16/i-have-watched-barack-obama-transform-into-the-security-president/

CHAMP ( Counter-Electronics High Power  Microwave Advanced Missile Project ) Boeings missile with  electromagnetic pulse capability

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/12/02/from-sci-fi-to-reality-the-computer-blitzing-drone-that-can-cripple-a-nations-electronics-at-the-touch-of-a-button/

Codeword – Currently Unkown

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/02/oops-its-another-biden-blunder-vice-president-unwittingly-reveals-cover-of-codeword-classified-document/

Swag Security – China’s hack group U.S. Medicaid system / Nuclear Codes ( Ironically also a Bank of America Code Word )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/02/28/bank-of-america-alleged-key-word-list/

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/10/01/chinese-government-hacks-into-white-house-office-in-charge-of-the-nuclear-launch-codes/

Tailored Access Operations – NSA Special Targets

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/20/nsa-accessed-mexican-presidents-email/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/16/nsa-monitors-financial-world/

Flatliquid – Tap Diplomatic Communications

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/20/nsa-accessed-mexican-presidents-email/

Whitetamale – Mexico e-mails

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/20/nsa-accessed-mexican-presidents-email/

Lugar Research Center – U.S. Top Secret Biologics lab ( Republic of Georgia )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/03/the-island-of-doctor-moreau-what-kind-of-monsters-does-us-raise-in-republic-of-georgia/

Special Collection Service – Secret eavesdropping posts in 80 US embassies and consulates around the world.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/08/26/codename-apalachee/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/20/nsa-accessed-mexican-presidents-email/

DishFire – Text message filtering / the intelligence agency collects information on credit card transactions from some 70 banks worldwide.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/20/nsa-accessed-mexican-presidents-email/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/16/nsa-monitors-financial-world/

Sophia – Industrial Control System Computer Networking Fingerprinting Tool ( Powergrid )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/14/security-of-the-nations-power-grid-threatened-by-theft-company-says/

Visdom – Competing Industrial Control System Computer Networking Fingerprinting Tool ( Powergrid )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/14/security-of-the-nations-power-grid-threatened-by-theft-company-says/

FunVax – Biological pacification of individuals through vaccination

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/08/08/commentary-on-the-video-fundamentalist-vaccine-penatgon-using-vaccines-to-alter-human-behavior-followed-by-ann-epidemiol-201020729-733-change-in-human-social-behavior-in-response-to-a-co/

Section 6103 – IRS abuse

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/09/white-house-irs-exchanged-confidential-taxpayer-info/

IceFog – Advanced Persistent Threats ( China ? )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

Tel Shahar – Where the state-of-the-art facility to host the new ballistic-missile  defense system (  Arrow 3 ) in Israel – Accidentally disclosed by the Penatgon

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/04/us-discloses-israels-top-secret-military-base-outraging-tel-aviv/

Privacy & Civil Liberties Board (PCLOB) – Board set up to oversee domestic spying whose meetings and members are difficult to confirm and may not exist

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/21/mysterious-privacy-board-touted-by-obama-has-deep-government-ties-even-worse-may-all-be-a-lie/

Spearfishing – Emailed viruses

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

Hidden Lynx – Chinese Haking Group / Cyber-Mercenaries

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/29/hacking-firm-hints-at-cybercrimes-professional-elite-cyber-mercenaries-hidden-lynx%e2%80%af/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

Operation Aurora – General mass espionage

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/02/27/apt1-that-scary-cyber-cold-war-gang-not-even-chinas-best/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

NetTraveler – Espionage Programhttps://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

Red October  ( Rocra ) – Espionage campaign against military personnel in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and dozens of other nations (U.S., Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Brazil, Spain, South Africa, Japan, and the UAE.) . Features include an advanced cryptographic spy-module designed to lift data from Acid Cryptofiler, which is known to be used by NATO, the European Union, European Parliament and European Commission since the summer of 2011 to encrypt classified information.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/01/14/red-october-has-been-spying-on-world-leaders-for-5-years-researchers/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

DarkSeoul – Hacker Group (North Korean / China ? )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/21/kimsuky-and-the-secret-menace/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

Shadow Network – Chinese Espionage Group

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

Team Cymru – Monitor Criminal Activty ( non profit )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/29/hacking-firm-hints-at-cybercrimes-professional-elite-cyber-mercenaries-hidden-lynx%e2%80%af/

Follow the Money – Financial Intelligence division NSA

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/16/nsa-monitors-financial-world/

SWIFT – European Financial Network

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/16/nsa-monitors-financial-world/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/24/europe-furious-over-us-spying-allegations-worse-than-orwells-1984-emergency-meeting-called/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/24/nsa-monitored-calls-of-35-world-leaders-after-us-official-handed-over-contacts/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/30/europe-furious-over-nsa-spying-on-eu-facilities-the-us-he-added-once-the-land-of-the-free-is-suffering-from-a-security-syndrome/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/02/28/bank-of-america-alleged-key-word-list/

GHCQ Cheltenham – Processes Middle East  emails, telephone calls and web traffic

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/05/nsa-and-gchq-unlock-encryption-used-to-protect-emails-banking-and-medical-records-%e2%80%a2-250m-a-year-us-program-works-covertly-with-tech-companies-to-insert-weaknesses-into-products-%e2%80%a2-sec/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/08/22/exclusive-edward-snowden-leaks-reveal-uks-secret-middle-east-internet-surveillance-base/

XKeyscore – spying program is used to skim regional data from the Visa network

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/07/31/xkeyscore-nsa-tool-presentation/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/07/31/xkeyscore-nsa-tool-collects-nearly-everything-a-user-does-on-the-internet/

SOD ( Special Operations Division )- Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/08/05/secret-us-drug-agency-unit-passing-surveillance-information-to-authorities/

Total Information Awareness ( TIA ) – Pentagon intelligence gathering

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/05/05/are-all-telephone-calls-recorded-and-accessible-to-the-us-government/

ThinThread – Software correlated data from emails, phone calls, credit card payments and Internet searches and stored and mapped it in ways that could be analysed.

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/09/15/nsa-whistleblower-illegal-data-collection-a-violation-of-everybodys-constitutional-rights-the-story-of-thinthread/

TrailBlazzer – Relaced Thinthread Software to correlated data from emails, phone calls, credit card payments and Internet searches and stored and mapped it in ways that could be analysed.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/11/laptops-snowden-took-to-hong-kong-russia-were-a-diversion/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/02/28/bank-of-america-alleged-key-word-list/

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/09/15/nsa-whistleblower-illegal-data-collection-a-violation-of-everybodys-constitutional-rights-the-story-of-thinthread/

Going Dark -FBI initiative to extend its ability to wiretap virtually all forms of  electronic communications.

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/11/03/fbi-ordered-to-disclose-going-dark-surveillance-program-police-can-place-surveillance-cameras-on-private-property-without-a-search-warrant/

International Mobile Subscriber Identity locator  ( IMSI ) – These devices allows the government to electronically search large areas for a particular cell phone’s signal—sucking down data on potentially thousands of innocent people along the way.

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/10/26/stingrays-the-biggest-technological-threat-to-cell-phone-privacy-you-dont-know-about/

Stingrays – Another name for International Mobile Subscriber Identity locator

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/10/26/stingrays-the-biggest-technological-threat-to-cell-phone-privacy-you-dont-know-about/

Tripwire or Trapwire – information collection software OR lines in the sand which, if crossed, cover  personnel levels, security measures, and in this case, the extreme step of  suspending operations.

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/09/21/u-s-government-wreckless-use-of-trapwire-may-have-compromised-highly-senesitive-private-information-on-millions-of-citizens-to-corporations/

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/08/15/cities-use-surveillance-systems-that-identify-potential-terrorists-with-facial-recognition/

Voice Grid Nation ( VoiceGrid program ) – is a system that uses advanced algorithms to match identities to voices. Brought to the US by Russia’s Speech Technology Center, it claims to be capable of allowing police, federal agencies and other law enforcement personnel to build up a huge database containing up to several million voices.

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/09/22/speak-up-us-law-enforcement-to-use-russian-software-to-store-millions-of-voices/

Prism ( Discovered prior to Snowden ) – NSA direct access to the servers of nine prominent Internet companies, enabling the spy agency to track e-mails, photographs, and video, among other forms of digital communications .

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/06/by-the-numbers-the-nsas-super-secret-spy-program-prism/

Bullrun ( Edgehill GHCQ version ) –  NSA’s abilities to defeat the encryption used in specific network communication technologies. Bullrun involves multiple sources, all of which are extremely sensitive.” The document reveals that the agency has capabilities against widely used online protocols, such as HTTPS, voice-over-IP and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), used to protect online shopping and banking.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/05/nsa-and-gchq-unlock-encryption-used-to-protect-emails-banking-and-medical-records-%e2%80%a2-250m-a-year-us-program-works-covertly-with-tech-companies-to-insert-weaknesses-into-products-%e2%80%a2-sec/

Cheesy Name –  aimed at singling out encryption keys, known as ‘certificates’, that might be vulnerable to being cracked by GCHQ supercomputers.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/05/nsa-and-gchq-unlock-encryption-used-to-protect-emails-banking-and-medical-records-%e2%80%a2-250m-a-year-us-program-works-covertly-with-tech-companies-to-insert-weaknesses-into-products-%e2%80%a2-sec/

Humint Operations Team (HOT) Humint, short for “human intelligence –  Information gleaned directly from sources or undercover agents.The old fashion way.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/05/nsa-and-gchq-unlock-encryption-used-to-protect-emails-banking-and-medical-records-%e2%80%a2-250m-a-year-us-program-works-covertly-with-tech-companies-to-insert-weaknesses-into-products-%e2%80%a2-sec/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/02/28/bank-of-america-alleged-key-word-list/

Sigint [signals intelligence] enabling – The program “actively engages US and foreign IT industries to covertly influence and/or overtly leverage their commercial products’ designs”

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/05/nsa-and-gchq-unlock-encryption-used-to-protect-emails-banking-and-medical-records-%e2%80%a2-250m-a-year-us-program-works-covertly-with-tech-companies-to-insert-weaknesses-into-products-%e2%80%a2-sec/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/17/obama-nsa-secret-data-gathering-transparent/

Kimsuky – North Korean Hacking group

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/21/kimsuky-and-the-secret-menace/

GENIE –  US computer specialists break into foreign networks so that they can be put under surreptitious US control.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/02/nsa-spied-on-brazilian-and-mexican-presidents-media/

WABASH – Tapping French offices U.N.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/02/nsa-targeted-french-foreign-ministry/

Blackfoot – Tapping French offices New York

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/02/nsa-targeted-french-foreign-ministry/

Tempora – GCHQ’s Tapping transatlantic  fibre-optic cables

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/16/british-spies-hid-activities-from-mps/

Sensitive relationship teams – Staff that were urged in one internal guidance paper to disguise the origin of “special source” material in their reports for fear that the role of the companies as intercept partners would cause “high-level political fallout”.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/21/gchq-taps-fibre-optic-cables-for-secret-access-to-worlds-communications/

Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire – NSA intercept station

Atlas International Trading – Company in the Pentagon’s Foreign Materiel Acquisition and Exploitation program

Advanced Persistent Threat Groups – Nitro, Aurora, ElderWood, Sykipot, Comment Crew (APT1), NightDragon, FlowerLday, Luckycat, Pitty Panda.

Western Tradition Partnership, or WTP – Compromise U.S. Politicians – Dark Money

Obama.com – Major campaign bundler to the Obama campaign Shanghai based domain owned by Robert  Roche with strong  commercial ties to the  Chinese government. He has made 19 visits to the  White House since 2009, including a personal meeting with Obama.

Stuxnet , Duqu , Wiper, Flame – Tilded Platform malware used for cyberespionage and cybersabotage in the Middle East.

WildSage – NSA database. The system “provides a mechanism for cybersecurity centers to share signatures at the SECRET classification level

Port reader software – FBI desire to harvest information on users’ “dialing, routing, addressing, or signaling information associated with a target’s communications”. And, as the FBI stated, this information will only include source, destination IP addresses and port numbers.

Dynamo – Dutch name in COMINT

Richter – German name in COMINT

One-End Foreign (1EF) solution – system, the NSA is able to direct more than half of the internet traffic it intercepts from its collection points into its own repositories

EvilOlive – NSA’s attempt to broaden 1EF Doubling its capacity

ShellTrumpet – NSA’s processor

MoonLightPath – Metadata collection for  Special Source Operations

Spinneret – Metadata collection for  Special Source Operations

Transient Thurible -GHCQ headquarters that manages  XKeyScore (XKS) and Deep Dive metadata collections

Project Riverside – found that rich individuals and private companies had been hiring unscrupulous private detectives to obtain sensitive information on targets for years.

QinetiQ North America (QQ/) – Hi-Tech U.S. defense contractors, which are the favorite target of Cyberpillaging

Acoustic vector sensor – sensor measures the movement of air, disturbed by sound waves, to almost instantly locate where a sound originated. It can then identify the noise and, if required, transmit it live to waiting ears.

Anti-austerity Syriza storms to historic Greek victory

Election victory puts the country on a collision course with the EU and international creditors

Radical left party Syriza swept to power in Greece on Sunday promising to end years of painful austerity policies, in an election victory that puts the country on a collision course with the EU and international creditors.

In a result that exceeded analysts’ expectations, Syriza and its 40-year-old leader Alexis Tsipras won 149 seats in the 300-seat Greek parliament, just two short of an absolute majority, with most of the votes counted.

The New Democracy party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the former party of government, was routed and reduced to around 76 seats.

Syriza will become the first anti-austerity party to take power in Europe and Tsipras will be Greece’s youngest prime minister in 150 years.

S.Ramis/J.Jacobsen, jj/ (AFP)
S.Ramis/J.Jacobsen, jj/ (AFP)“Conflict and economic crisis: Greece in the post-war years”

He told thousands of flag-waving supporters in Athens: “Greece is leaving behind disastrous austerity.” Continue reading “Anti-austerity Syriza storms to historic Greek victory”

Greece’s stock market just suffered its worst collapse ever

Greek stocks fell more than at any point during Europe’s debt crisis today after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras gambled his political future on bringing forward a parliamentary vote on a new head of state.

Greek stocks are now down 13% – the biggest single-day drop since (drum roll please) the crash of 1987… led by total carnage in Greek banks (down 15-25% on the day). Greek bond yields exploded, 3YR +183bps to a new post-bailout high at 8.32% (and inverted to 10Y).
Unless Samaras can persuade 25 opposition lawmakers to support his presidential choice, Samaras will be forced to call a parliamentary election that anti-austerity party Syriza would be favorite to win. Continue reading “Greece’s stock market just suffered its worst collapse ever”

Secret Malware in European Network Traced to NSA & GCHQ

 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Complex malware known as Regin is the suspected technology behind sophisticated cyberattacks conducted by U.S. and British intelligence agencies on the European Union and a Belgian telecommunications company, according to security industry sources and technical analysis conducted by The Intercept.

Regin was found on infected internal computer systems and email servers at Belgacom, a partly state-owned Belgian phone and internet provider, following reports last year that the company was targeted in a top-secret surveillance operation carried out by British spy agency Government Communications Headquarters, industry sources told The Intercept.

The malware, which steals data from infected systems and disguises itself as legitimate Microsoft software, has also been identified on the same European Union computer systems that were targeted for surveillance by the National Security Agency.

The hacking operations against Belgacom and the European Union were first revealed last year through documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The specific malware used in the attacks has never been disclosed, however.

The Regin malware, whose existence was first reported by the security firm Symantec on Sunday, is among the most sophisticated ever discovered by researchers. Symantec compared Regin to Stuxnet, a state-sponsored malware program developed by the U.S. and Israel to sabotage computers at an Iranian nuclear facility. Sources familiar with internal investigations at Belgacom and the European Union have confirmed to The Intercept that the Regin malware was found on their systems after they were compromised, linking the spy tool to the secret GCHQ and NSA operations. Continue reading “Secret Malware in European Network Traced to NSA & GCHQ”

Ukraine Admits Its Vast Gold Reserves are Gone

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Back in March, at a time when the IMF reported that Ukraine’s official gold holdings as of the end of February, (just as the US State Department-facilitated coup against former president Victor Yanukovich was concluding), amounted to 42.3 tonnes or 8% of reserves…

… and notably under the previous “hated” president, Ukraine gold’s reserves had constantly increased hitting a record high just before the presidential coup… Continue reading “Ukraine Admits Its Vast Gold Reserves are Gone”

Ukrainian PM and Cabinet Resign

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk resigned after two leading political parties said they would pull out of the governing coalition.

The far right Svoboda party and the UDAR movement led by former boxer Vladimir Klitschko both pulled out of the ruling block which has governed the country since the ouster of former President Viktor Yanukovich.

Yatsenyuk said his resignation was connected to the collapse of the coalition, saying parliament could no longer carry out its work as a legislative body.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk
Continue reading “Ukrainian PM and Cabinet Resign”

Top Polish Diplomat: Our Alliance with US is worthless

Monday, 23 June 2014

A Polish magazine said Sunday it has obtained recordings of a private conversation in which the foreign minister says Poland’s strong alliance with the U.S. was worthless and “even harmful because it creates a false sense of security.”

In a short transcript of the conversation, a person identified as Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski also allegedly criticized Poles as naive in a conversation with a former finance minister — in the latest recorded revelation from magazine Wprost to rattle Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s government. Continue reading “Top Polish Diplomat: Our Alliance with US is worthless”

Modern slavery generates $150 billion in profits globally per year – ILO

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation – Tue, 20 May 2014 07:44 AM

Author: Astrid ZweynertMore news from our correspondents

March 24, 2014. REUTERS/Sigit Pamungkas

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Millions of forced labourers around the world are generating an estimated $150 billion a year in profits for those who exploit them, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said on Tuesday.

Two thirds, or $99 billion, came from commercial sexual exploitation, while another $51 billion resulted from forced economic exploitation, including domestic work, agriculture and other economic activities, according to the ILO report, Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labour.

chain

Continue reading “Modern slavery generates $150 billion in profits globally per year – ILO”

‘Zombie parliament:’ British MPs set for 223 days off work in 2014

The British House of Commons will sit for just 142 days this year, that’s 223 days off. During their time away from the parliament MPs claim they are working hard in their constituencies but this is not always the case.

 

MPs have just started a 19 day early summer holiday, right after they had an 18 day Easter break, RT’s Sara Firth reports. They’ll then sit for seven weeks before a six week fully paid summer holiday. And if that’s not enough they get a month off in the autumn for party conferences. Continue reading “‘Zombie parliament:’ British MPs set for 223 days off work in 2014”

Russian envoys outline plan to ‘take over world’ in unauthenticated tape of leaked conversation

EEV: No current validation, two video sources posted in case one goes down….

Crimea is just the start, warn ambassadors, in unauthenticated tape of leaked conversation

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 April, 2014, 1:34am

The Guardian in Moscow

A recording has surfaced online purporting to be a leaked conversation between two Russian ambassadors discussing which parts of the world they would like to annex after Crimea.

The five-minute recording, laden with expletives, has been posted on YouTube and claims to be a telephone call between Igor Chubarov, Russia’s ambassador to Eritrea, and Sergei Bakharev, the ambassador to Zimbabwe and Malawi. It has not been authenticated.

“We’ve got Crimea, but that’s not f****** all folks. In the future we’ll damn well take your Catalonia and Venice, and also Scotland and Alaska,” says the voice labelled as Chubarov.
Continue reading “Russian envoys outline plan to ‘take over world’ in unauthenticated tape of leaked conversation”

Koch ally to introduce Monsanto-backed bill to bar state GMO labeling laws

 

Published time: April 04, 2014 04:00

(AFP Photo / Dieter Nagl)

(AFP Photo / Dieter Nagl)

Rep. Mike Pompeo will introduce legislation backed by powerful trade groups to prevent states from passing laws requiring the labeling of genetically-modified foods, according to reports. The bill is linked to biotech giant Monsanto and Koch Industries.

Pompeo will offer the bill in the US House before Congress leaves for Easter recess later this month, The Hill newspaper reported, citing industry sources. Politico also reported on the impending proposal. Pompeo’s office would not comment on the congressman’s intentions for a labeling restriction. Continue reading “Koch ally to introduce Monsanto-backed bill to bar state GMO labeling laws”

Athens bans protests for EU meeting

Athens bans protests for EU meeting

 

Greek police have banned protests in central Athens ahead of a meeting of EU finance ministers in the capital.

Demonstrators will be barred from areas including Syntagma Square, the focus of recent anti-austerity protests.

EU finance ministers are expected to sign off the next instalment of Greece’s bailout when they meet in the city later. Continue reading “Athens bans protests for EU meeting”

Europe says No to drug data access ” arguing that this would undermine commercial interests and that there was no overriding public interest in disclosure”

Public release date: 10-May-2011 – Request Repost

rethink

Drug regulators are protecting profits over patients, warn researchers Analysis: Opening up data at the European Medicines Agency

Medicines regulators are protecting drug company profits rather than the lives and welfare of patients by withholding unpublished trial data, argue researchers on bmj.com today.

They call for full access to full trial reports (published and unpublished) to allow the true benefits and harms of treatments to be independently assessed by the scientific community. Continue reading “Europe says No to drug data access ” arguing that this would undermine commercial interests and that there was no overriding public interest in disclosure””

Venice: 89% vote for independece from Italy

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Over 89 percent of residents in Italy’s Veneto region have voted in an unofficial referendum in favor of independence from the rest of the country as Venetians seek to restore the glory of the old days by creating a state of their own. Continue reading “Venice: 89% vote for independece from Italy”

EU Bans European Council President from visitng Moscow

 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

English: President of the European Council, He...
English: President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, at the Europe edition of the World Economic Forum in Brussels, Belgium in May 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Russia on Wednesday mocked a European Council decision to bar its president from visiting Moscow.

President Herman Van Rompuy requested an urgent visit to Russia on Monday to hear the Russian opinion about the crisis in Ukraine ahead of an EU summit, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Continue reading “EU Bans European Council President from visitng Moscow”

Warning shots fired to turn monitors back from Crimea

KIEV/SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Warning shots were fired to prevent an unarmed international military observer mission from entering Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea on Saturday, as new confrontations between Russian and Ukrainian troops raised tension ever higher.

Russia’s seizure of the Black Sea peninsula, which began about 10 days ago, has so far been bloodless, but its forces have become increasingly aggressive towards Ukrainian troops, who are trapped in bases and have offered no resistance.

Tempers have grown hotter in the last two days, since the region’s pro-Moscow leadership declared it part of Russia and announced a March 16 referendum to confirm it. Continue reading “Warning shots fired to turn monitors back from Crimea”

Russian soldiers training in Canada given 24 hours to leave country ( 9 Soldiers but Symbolic )

Andrea Janus, CTVNews.ca
Updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 10:34PM EST

Nine Russian soldiers who were participating in military exercises in Canada have been expelled from the country, as Ottawa continues to denounce Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, CTV News has learned.

A government source confirmed that the soldiers were informed Thursday afternoon that they had 24 hours to leave Canada.

Six of the soldiers were in Saint-Jean, Que., where they were leaning English and French. Another two soldiers were participating in a training program at CFB Gagetown, and the ninth soldier was teaching Canadian soldiers Russian in Gatineau, Que. Continue reading “Russian soldiers training in Canada given 24 hours to leave country ( 9 Soldiers but Symbolic )”

Serb assemblies worried over forming of Kosovo army

EEV: Next anticipated Flash point
“We see this as an act of open threat to security in the region and the safety of Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija”,
Published On: Thu, Mar 6th, 2014
Politics | By InSerbia Team

ZVECAN – The members of the four municipal assemblies in northern Kosovo-Metohija on Thursday voiced concern over the announced plans of the Pristina authorities to form a Kosovo army.

Zvecan Photo: Wikipedia | Andrija.b

Zvecan Photo: Wikipedia | Andrija.b

“We see this as an act of open threat to security in the region and the safety of Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija”, North Mitrovica mayor Goran Rakic said at the assemblies’ joint session in Zvecan.

Forming a Kosovo army “is unacceptable and contrary to UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which envisions no army in the province whatsoever”, Rakic warned.

“It is an UN-administered territory and there can be only one armed force there – Kfor,” Rakic explained. Continue reading “Serb assemblies worried over forming of Kosovo army”

Russia to confiscate US and European assets should sanctions be applied

05.03.2014 13:19

Russia to confiscate US and European assets should sanctions be applied. 52319.jpeg

Russia’s Federation Council is preparing a bill that provides for the confiscation of property, assets and accounts of European and American companies, including private ones, should the United States decide to impose sanctions against Russia.

The author of the bill, the head of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation, Andrei Klishas, said that the bill would empower the president and the government with such opportunities to protect Russia’s sovereignty from attacks.

According to the official, legal experts currently study the issue to see to which extent such possible confiscation of assets and accounts of foreign companies, including public, private companies and individuals, complies with the Constitution of Russia.

Klishas also stressed out that the Russian authorities were confident such a move clearly met European standards. It is enough to recall the example of Cyprus, when confiscation was one of the conditions for the provision of assistance to the country from the European Union. Continue reading “Russia to confiscate US and European assets should sanctions be applied”

EU matches Putin’s €11 billion financial offer to Ukraine

The Auction Block
The Auction Block (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Published 05 March 2014

Commission President José Manuel Barroso announced today (5 March) a financial package for Ukraine of approximately €11 billion, matching Russian President Vladimir Putin’s previous offer, which led to Kyiv not signing the Association Agreement with the EU. Moscow has since withdrawn the offer.

Barroso announced the aid package after a meeting of EU commissioners, just before EU heads of state and government were set to meet in Brussels on 6 March for a summit aimed at defusing tensions surrounding Ukraine in recent days (see background).

Without mentioning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, Barroso said the events of the last few days had “shocked” the Union. He added that the EU’s message had always been that it is for the Ukrainian people to decide their own future. Continue reading “EU matches Putin’s €11 billion financial offer to Ukraine”

Ukraine crisis: bugged call reveals conspiracy theory about Kiev snipers

 Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet tells EU’s Cathy Ashton about claim that provocateurs were behind Maidan killings

Continue reading “Ukraine crisis: bugged call reveals conspiracy theory about Kiev snipers”

Russian army holds exercises on Polish and Lithuanian borders ( First reported 3.03.2014 )

 First reported 3.03.2014

– Polish General Marek Dukaczewski said to TVN24 in an interview that the military exercises in the Kaliningrad region violated the international norms

– The general called on NATO to react urgently to the situation near the EU borders calling it a direct threat to the security of Lithuania and Poland.

 Russian army holds exercises on Polish and Lithuanian borders

Russian army holds exercises on Polish and Lithuanian borders
Large-scale tactical exercises have started in the Kaliningrad region.

The coast guard troops of the Baltic Sea Fleet are involved in the maneuvres. According to Russian media, the exercises began following a snap check of the armed forces ordered by Vladimir Putin. More than 3,500 servicemen of mechanised infantry regiments and the guards naval infantry brigade take part in the drills. Continue reading “Russian army holds exercises on Polish and Lithuanian borders ( First reported 3.03.2014 )”

EU to help Ukraine pay Russian gas bill

EEV: ?

04 Mar   2014
Brussels (AFP)

The European Union will help Ukraine pay the $2.0 billion it owes to Russian gas giant Gazprom, a top official said Tuesday, as part of an aid package reportedly worth more than one billion euros.

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said that “payment of the outstanding Ukraine bills is high up in the Commission’s aid package,” expected to be adopted on Wednesday.

Ukraine’s state gas firm Naftogaz “owes about two billion dollars to Gazprom and we are going to help it pay this bill,” he said, adding the EU could even supply the country with gas. Continue reading “EU to help Ukraine pay Russian gas bill”

Russia tells US to settle down, may abandon Dollar

dollars
dollars (Photo credit: Tddy)

Tuesday, 04 March 2014

Russia could reduce to zero its economic dependency on the United States if Washington agreed sanctions against Moscow over Ukraine, a Kremlin aide said on Tuesday, warning that the American financial system faced a “crash” if this happened.

“We would find a way not just to reduce our dependency on the United States to zero but to emerge from those sanctions with great benefits for ourselves,” said Kremlin economic aide Sergei Glazyev. Continue reading “Russia tells US to settle down, may abandon Dollar”

Russia Tries to Woo Back Moldova

Moldova Transnistria Gagauzia
Moldova Transnistria Gagauzia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Christian Neef

As Moldova prepares to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union, Russia is stepping up attempts to keep the country in its fold. It has found some willing helpers in the country.

If Mihail Formuzal had his way, the revolution in Kiev never would have happened. Then, Moldova would choose Russia instead of Europe, and the planned Association Agreement with the EU would already be history. The 54-year-old Formuzal is president of the autonomous Gagauzia region in Moldova. In early February he carried out a referendum by polling the approximately 155,000 members of the Gagauz Orthodox Christian minority here.

He wanted to know if they’d rather be part of the Russia-led Customs Union or work with the European Union. The result: 98.5 percent of the participants voted for Russia — 68,000 votes to 1,900. Continue reading “Russia Tries to Woo Back Moldova”

Poland’s fear of ‘the Russian Bear’

–  Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk warned that the world “stands on the brink of a conflict” that would affect states everywhere. The consequences could be dire, and a matter of survival for his country

Poland, which borders Russia and Ukraine, played an active role in the deal that ended the violent conflict in Ukraine. But this time, Poland’s shot at successfully mediating between its neighbors is slim, experts say.

Poland’s increasing anxiety over the situation in neighboring Ukraine became evident as Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk warned that the world “stands on the brink of a conflict” that would affect states everywhere. The consequences could be dire, and a matter of survival for his country, the Prime Minister told reporters on Sunday in Warsaw.

Poland, which borders the Russian exclave Kaliningrad in the north and shares more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) of border with Ukraine in the southeast, is arguably the EU member state most vulnerable to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Poland and Ukraine share more than a border, though; they also look back at similar experiences in the past. Both states were used as pawns in international politics, and both were always positioned between Russia and the West. The two countries’ borders have been repeatedly redrawn. Entire ethnic groups were expelled from each of the two nations. Continue reading “Poland’s fear of ‘the Russian Bear’”

Russian S-400 AIR DEFENCE heading to UKRAINE Latest News

EEV: Video is not confirmation, but if accurate the Russians are for more fortified than currently analyzed. If the date on the video is accurate, than the EU has the worst Intel ever.

ScreenHunter_151 Mar. 01 19.10

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Ukraine nationalist leader calls on ‘most wanted’ terrorist Umarov ‘to act against Russia’

Published time: March 01, 2014 18:12                                                                             

A leader of the Ukrainian radical group Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), Dmitry Yarosh, has called on Russia’s most wanted terrorist Doku Umarov to act against Russia in an address posted on Right Sector’s page in VKontakte social network. Continue reading “Ukraine nationalist leader calls on ‘most wanted’ terrorist Umarov ‘to act against Russia’”

Belgium must pay for asylum-seeking families to rent on the private market when federal housing facilities are full

–  the EU high court noted that respect for human dignity requires providing asylum seekers with housing, food and clothes, regardless of the cost to the state.

european union stars
european union stars (Photo credit: notarim)

EU Touts Human Dignity for Asylum Seekers

By WILLIAM DOTINGA

ShareThis

(CN) – Belgium must pay for asylum-seeking families to rent on the private market when federal housing facilities are full, Europe’s highest court ruled Thursday.

After the Saciri family came to Belgium in 2010, they found themselves unable to find public housing and could not afford to rent a private home. Welfare agents rejected the family’s request for financial aid, saying they should have stayed in a federal reception facility – the same facility officials said was full when the family first arrived in Belgium. Continue reading “Belgium must pay for asylum-seeking families to rent on the private market when federal housing facilities are full”

Russia: Fracking To Free Ukraine / What a Russian invasion of the Ukraine may look like

February 22, 2014: Since late November 2013 Russian efforts to gain more control over the Ukrainian government have been running into growing popular opposition. Now the pro-Russian government has surrendered to the protestors and if Russia wants to turn this around they will have to move fast and in violation of international law. Over a hundred died, mostly in the last week, as the government ordered the soldiers and police to open fire and not enough of the Ukrainian security personnel would do so. If the Russians invaded the Ukrainian armed forces would probably resist in an organized fashion. In 2008 Russia had a hard time scrounging up enough troops to invade Georgia. But Ukraine has more ten times the population of Georgia and Russia still has a largely dysfunctional armed forces with fewer than 100,000 troops (paratroopers and special forces) that they can really rely on. Russian military staffs are quite good at calculating the “correlation of forces” for an operation and predicting the probability of success and that math does not look good when it comes to invading Ukraine. The Russians Stavka (general staff) famously warned against going into Afghanistan in 1979 on the grounds that the lack of roads and railroads there prevented Russia from putting enough troops (the “correlation of forces”) into Afghanistan to quickly crush opposition. Russian political leaders ignored this and less than a decade later withdrew from Afghanistan because the general staff had been right.

English: Map of what was called New Russia dur...
English: Map of what was called New Russia during the Russian Empire (now southern Ukraine). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Russia is still angry over losing Ukraine in 1991 and is using the fact that 17 percent of Ukrainians (mainly in the southeast) are ethnic Russians and another five percent are various minorities (mainly Turkic Tatars) to create a pro-Russian political block in Ukraine. Southeastern Ukraine is Continue reading “Russia: Fracking To Free Ukraine / What a Russian invasion of the Ukraine may look like”

Switzerland rejects Croatia free movement deal after immigration referendum

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Switzerland has refused to sign a protracted deal with Croatia, initially agreed over a year ago, which would have given Croatians unrestricted access to the Swiss employment market. The Swiss say it’s not viable “in its current form”. Continue reading “Switzerland rejects Croatia free movement deal after immigration referendum”

Green MEP Staes: ‘GMO clearly not wanted by majority of members’

Despite 19 out of 28 EU member states opposing a genetically modified crop, it was authorized due to the bloc’s voting system. Green MEP Bart Staes says the Commission would be ill-advised to go against the majority.

The European Food Standards Authority has declared the genetically modified organism (GMO) variety safe, but critics warn the crop type could endanger butterflies and moths and ultimately human health. Nineteen of the 28 EU countries opposed  the measure on Tuesday (11.02.2014), but that wasn’t enough to reject the crop since the bloc’s voting system weighs member states according to size. Continue reading “Green MEP Staes: ‘GMO clearly not wanted by majority of members’”

EU rules “mean children can’t get life-saving cancer drugs”

Source: Reuters – Mon, 10 Feb 2014 10:00 PM

Author: Reuters

* Adult medicines not licensed for children under system

* Yet such drugs may be effective in paediatric cancers

* Researchers want children’s trial opt-out abolished

european union stars
european union stars (Photo credit: notarim)

Continue reading “EU rules “mean children can’t get life-saving cancer drugs””

Switzerland bucks European Union, votes to limit immigration

GENEVA – Voters in Switzerland on Sunday narrowly backed a plan to limit immigration, in a blow for the government after it had warned that the measure could harm the Swiss economy and relations with the European Union.

Swiss public television SRF reported that some 50.3 percent of voters backed a proposal by the nationalist People’s Party to introduce quotas for all types of immigrants. About 49.7 percent voted against the plan. The difference between the two sides was fewer than 30,000 votes, with a turnout of about 56 percent. Continue reading “Switzerland bucks European Union, votes to limit immigration”

EU to force Britons to publish details of wills and property

A bill being debated in Brussels would force UK citizens to disclose ‘reams’   of private, financial information on a public register

Mark Field MP said the EU proposals “threaten a family’s right to keep their affairs confidential”

6:55AM GMT 09 Feb 2014

New legislation planned in Brussels is set to heap fresh costs and paperwork   on families’ financial planning, as well as leaving their affairs open to   unwanted public scrutiny.

A European law is being drafted whose original aim was to prevent corporate   money-laundering. The objective, supported by the UK, was to force companies   to disclose on a register the money and other assets held inside trusts or   equivalent legal arrangements.

But officials in Brussels have widened out the proposals as the bill has   evolved, to include trusts. The effect could be to force millions of   families to compile elaborate accounts of their assets and financial   arrangements including insurance policies, property and bequests made in   their wills, for entry into a register. And that register, if legislators   get their way, could be made available to any member of the public. Continue reading “EU to force Britons to publish details of wills and property”

Referendum to keep foreigners out of Switzerland?

On Sunday, the Swiss vote on whether to restrict immigration to their country. The ramifications of a yes vote, experts say, could be huge. To their shock, the referendum has a decent shot at passing.

When Germans hear Switzerland, they first think of the children’s book “Heidi”, snow-covered mountains and secure bank accounts. Their neighbor to the south is a popular vacation destination, but more and more Germans also come to Switzerland to work. They can do so because the small, neutral state entered a freedom of movement agreement with the European Union in 1999. Even though Switzerland isn’t a member of the union, EU citizens have been allowed to immigrate to Switzerland with  hardly any restrictions since then.

That might change soon. In a nationwide referendum, the Swiss are voting on an “initiative against mass-immigration” this Sunday (09.02.2014). The initiative was put forward by the nationalist-populist Swiss People’s Party (SVP). The party wants to restrict the number of immigrants and allocate a limited number of slots to certain national or occupational groups.

Switzerland ‘bursting at the seams’ Continue reading “Referendum to keep foreigners out of Switzerland?”

US lead in science and technology shrinking

– U.S. and Europe has decreased, respectively, from 37 percent to 30 percent and from 26 percent to 22 percent.

Press Release 14-022 

Emerging economies shifting global S&T landscape

Cover of 2014 Science and Engineering Indicators report.

Indicators is a widely-used resource, reporting on R&D trends, the STEM workforce, and more. Credit and Larger Version

February 6, 2014

The United States’ (U.S.) predominance in science and technology (S&T) eroded further during the last decade, as several Asian nations–particularly China and South Korea–rapidly increased their innovation capacities. According to a report released today by the National Science Board (NSB), the policy making body of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and an advisor to the President and Congress, the major Asian economies, taken together, now perform a larger share of global R&D than the U.S., and China performs nearly as much of the world’s high-tech manufacturing as the U.S. Continue reading “US lead in science and technology shrinking”

US official apologises to EU counterparts for undiplomatic language

EEV: Report contains profanity: Low impact story

Victoria Nuland reportedly said ‘F**k the EU’ speaking of Ukraine crisis, though department didn’t confirm it was her voice on tape

in New York

theguardian.com,     Thursday 6 February 2014 18.18 EST

Victoria Nuland and Viktor Yanukovych
Victoria Nuland, right, meeting the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, in Kiev. Photograph: Markiv Mykhailo/Itar-Tass Photo/Corbis

The frustration of the Obama administration at Europe’s hesitant policy over the pro-democracy protests in Ukraine has been laid bare in a leaked phone conversation between two senior US officials, one of whom declares: “F**k the EU”.

Continue reading “US official apologises to EU counterparts for undiplomatic language”

EU members consider selling residency to attract wealthy Chinese

Financially troubled EU countries are reaching out to wealthy foreigners – particularly from China – to offer residency in return for investment

UPDATED : Thursday, 06 February, 2014, 3:28am
Benjamin Robertson and Patrick Boehler
  • b4f87c6a8a870e4cd0cc8fd9b73bb420.jpg
Illustration: Sarene Chan

Jason Wu of Shanghai says he loves Portugal’s scenery and climate. He admires Europe’s education system. He’s so enamoured that he bought a 1,200-square-foot apartment in Lisbon’s riverside Parque das Nacoes district for €520,000 (HK$5.5 million), which gave him another benefit: permanent residency in the European Union. Continue reading “EU members consider selling residency to attract wealthy Chinese”

EU gives US six months to lift visas

Wednesday, 05 February 2014

The European Commission has requested that the US lift visas for citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania.

If within six months the problem is not solved, the EU could introduce visas for US diplomats, the Commission warned, reports EurActiv.

The development comes as a result of the entry into force of a new EU regulation, which requires EU member states to “react in common” on visa matters, especially when third countries have differing treatments for EU citizens from different member states. Continue reading “EU gives US six months to lift visas”

Passports for profit: British company to make ‘disgusting amounts of money’ from controversial EU passport sale

Eric Major, H&P’s Canadian chief executive
The Malta Independent (www.independent.com.mt)
Cahal Milmo   Chief Reporter

Wednesday 29 January 2014

A British company has been accused of making “disgusting amounts of money” from a controversial scheme by Malta to sell European Union passports to tycoons and celebrities ranging from a former Formula One world champion to a Chinese billionaire.

Henley & Partners, a private company registered in Jersey which specialises in “citizenship solutions”, stands to make at least €60m (£49m) from its role as the designer and principal contractor for the scheme, which will sell passports for €1.15m a piece.

The programme, which is due to begin processing its first applicants next month and will provide a right to reside anywhere in the EU, including Britain, has attracted sharp criticism both within the Mediterranean island and abroad. Continue reading “Passports for profit: British company to make ‘disgusting amounts of money’ from controversial EU passport sale”

EU has secret plan for police to ‘remote stop’ cars

The EU is developing a secret plan to give the police the power to control cars by switching the engine off remotely

 EU has secret plan for police to 'remote stop' cars

A French police officer watching for road traffic infringements in Paris Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Bruno Waterfield and Matthew Day

9:50PM GMT 29 Jan 2014

The European Union is secretly developing a “remote stopping” device to be fitted to all cars that would allow the police to disable vehicles at the flick of a switch from a control room. Continue reading “EU has secret plan for police to ‘remote stop’ cars”

Goldman Sachs made more money from its investment banking division in 2013 than any point in its 145-year history (except 2007 when the credit crunch hit)

EEV : To my Greek friends: It is time to bring forward legal action against Goldman Sachs for the debt manipulation that magnified your financial hardship.

  • The boost fuelled an average gold-plated payout of £234,000 per worker
  • The bank plans to pay staff even more in light of European bonus laws
  • New rules state bankers can receive bonuses equal to their salary

By Becky Barrow

PUBLISHED:          14:32 EST, 16 January 2014       | UPDATED:          15:13 EST, 16 January 2014

Goldman Sachs made more money from its investment banking division last year than any point in its 145-year history, except 2007 when the financial crisis struck.

The $6billion (£3.6billion) bonanza helped to fuel an average gold-plated payout for its workers of £234,000 each. The average full-time salary in the UK is £27,000.

To add to their good fortune, it emerged Goldman Sachs, yesterday dubbed ‘Sacks of Gold’, plans to pay its workers even more to get round controversial new European bonus laws.

Goldman Sachs (Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein pictured) made more money in its investment banking division in 2013 than in any other year in its history

Goldman Sachs (Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein pictured) made more money in its investment banking division in 2013 than in any other year in its history Continue reading “Goldman Sachs made more money from its investment banking division in 2013 than any point in its 145-year history (except 2007 when the credit crunch hit)”

Europe to Ditch Climate Protection Goals

Green Fade-Out

By Gregor Peter Schmitz in Brussels

The EU’s reputation as a model of environmental responsibility may soon be history. The European Commission wants to forgo ambitious climate protection goals and pave the way for fracking — jeopardizing Germany’s touted energy revolution in the process.

The climate between Brussels and Berlin is polluted, something European Commission officials attribute, among other things, to the “reckless” way German Chancellor Angela Merkel blocked stricter exhaust emissions during her re-election campaign to placate domestic automotive manufacturers like Daimler and BMW. This kind of blatant self-interest, officials complained at the time, is poisoning the climate. Continue reading “Europe to Ditch Climate Protection Goals”

Welfare debate stokes Germany-EU tensions

“The German social welfare system is not a self-service convenience store for all the Europeans that come to our country,”

Does the German social welfare system contravene European law? The EU seems to think so. It has made a statement regarding the rights of migrants that has caused quite a stir in Germany.

european union stars
european union stars (Photo credit: notarim)

Christian Social Union (CSU) General Secretary Andreas Scheuer has called the EU Commission’s statement making the rounds in German newspapers since Friday (10.01.2013) “Eurocratic madness.” The document has been interpreted as claiming that Germany should not be permitted to deny immigrants from the EU welfare assistance. Continue reading “Welfare debate stokes Germany-EU tensions”

‘Parliament makes decisions, not the people’ – anger as Peers say public cannot be trusted on EU vote

Lords accused of ‘arrogance and contempt’ after claiming British public cannot be trusted on Europe

By , Political Correpsondent

7:12PM GMT 10 Jan 2014

Peers have been accused of showing “contempt” for British voters over the proposed EU referendum, saying the public cannot be trusted to make the right decision.

Dozens of members of the House of Lords today attacked Conservative plans to set in law an in/out vote on Britain’s membership of the European Union by 2017.

There are growing fears the bill will be killed at committee stage by Labour and Liberal Democrat peers, despite it sailing through the Commons and receiving an unopposed second reading in the Lords. Continue reading “‘Parliament makes decisions, not the people’ – anger as Peers say public cannot be trusted on EU vote”

It Begins: Campaign to create United States of Europe underway

Friday, 10 January 2014

A campaign for the European Union to become a “United States of Europe” will be the “best weapon against the Eurosceptics”, one of Brussels’ most senior officials has said.

Viviane Reding, vice president of the European Commission and the longest serving Brussels commissioner, has called for “a true political union” to be put on the agenda for EU elections this spring.

“We need to build a United States of Europe with the Commission as government and two chambers – the European Parliament and a “Senate” of Member States,” she said. Continue reading “It Begins: Campaign to create United States of Europe underway”

Lord Wolfson warns European Union has become ‘hungry for power’

Chief executive of Next says European Union must change focus to free trade

Lord Wolfson warns European Union is 'hungry for power'

Lord Wolfson is chief executive of Next and a Conservative peer Photo: Stephen Lock

3:26PM GMT 30 Dec 2013

The European Union has become “hungry for power” and must be reformed to focus on free trade, the chief executive of high street retailer Next has warned.

Lord Wolfson, a Conservative peer, said that Europe “needs to change” and must be pointed in the “direction of free trade rather than a government of governments”.

The Next boss is part of a group of more than 50 European business leaders backing calls from think tank Open Europe to reform the EU ahead of a referendum in the UK, which is scheduled for 2017. Continue reading “Lord Wolfson warns European Union has become ‘hungry for power’”