Sweden Stunned by Third Night of Rioting
Hundreds of youths set fire to cars and attacked police and rescue services in suburbs of Stockholm Tuesday night in Sweden's worst disorder in years. A police station in the Jakobsberg area in the northwest of the city was attacked, two schools were damaged and an arts and crafts center was set ablaze, despite a call for calm from Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. It was the third night of unrest, mainly in suburbs where many immigrants live. The riots, in one of Europe's richest capitals, have shocked a country that prides itself on a reputation for social justice, and fueled a debate about how Sweden is coping with both youth unemployment and an influx of immigrants. "We've had around 30 cars set on fire last night, fires that we connect to youth gangs and criminals," Kjell Lindgren, spokesman for Stockholm police, said on Wednesday.
New NASA Report Debunks
Climate Change Theories in Total
Practically everything you have been told by the mainstream scientific community and the media about greenhouse gases, and particularly CO2, appears to be false, according to new data compiled by NASA's Langley Research Center. As it turns out, all those greenhouse gases blamed for overheating our planet are actually cooling it. As reported by Principia Scientific International, Martin Mlynczak and his NASA colleagues tracked infrared emissions from the earth's upper atmosphere during and following a March solar storm. What they found was that the vast majority of energy released from the sun during this immense coronal mass ejection was reflected back into space rather than deposited into earth's lower atmosphere, resulting in an overall cooling effect, completely contradicts claims made by NASA's own climatology division about the cause of global warming.
Iran, Hezbollah Increasing
Support for Syria's Assad
The Jerusalem Post
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday Iran and its militant Shi'ite Lebanese ally Hezbollah were "propping up" Syrian Pres. Bashar Assad and giving him increasing support. "It is very clear that Syrian regime is receiving a great deal of support, increasing support in recent months from outside Syria from Hezbollah and Iran. This is a regime that is increasingly dependent on external support," Hague said in a news conference with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh. "The regime is being propped up by others outside, further undermining its legitimacy. It also shows that is a crisis that is increasing the threat to regional stability." Speaking before a meeting of the Friends of Syria alliance in the Jordanian capital, Hague said Britain would urge international powers to set a date for an international conference to try to end the two-year conflict engulfing Syria.
Thousands of French Households Taxed at 100 Pct.
More than 8,000 French households' tax bills topped 100 percent of their income in 2012, according to a French newspaper report. Citing data from France's finance ministry, the business newspaper Les Echos reported on Friday that in addition to those taxed at over 100 percent last year, almost 12,000 households paid taxes worth more than 75 percent of their 2011 income and that a further 9,910 households were taxed at more than 85 percent of their income. The paper said this was due to a one-off levy imposed on the 2011 incomes of households with assets of more than 1.3 million euros ($1.67 million). President Francois Hollande's government back-tracked in 2012 over a proposed 75 percent tax rate on earnings over 1 million euros that he had pledged to introduce when he came to power.
Al-Qaeda’s Syrian Wing Takes Over Oilfields
The London Telegraph
Al-Qaeda's Syrian wing is helping to finance its activities by selling the product of oilfields that once helped to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Up to 380,000 barrels of crude oil were previously produced by wells around the city of Raqqa and in the desert region to its east that are now in rebel hands, in particular Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda off-shoot strongest faction in this part of the country. Now the violently anti-Western jihadist group, which has been steadily extending its control in the region, is selling the crude oil to local entrepreneurs, who use home-made refineries to produce low-grade petrol and other fuels for Syrians facing acute shortages. The ability of Jabhat al-Nusra to profit from the oil locally, despite international sanctions, will be particularly worrying to the EU, which has voted to ease the embargo but marginalize the group.
Iran's Guard Warns
Against Post-Election Turmoil
A senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guard has warned that his forces will be on watch for possible unrest after next month's presidential election, calling the outcome "unpredictable" and sending the strongest message yet against any attempts to revive street protests. The comments by Col. Rasool Sanaeirad point to a wide-ranging effort by Iranian authorities to intimidate opposition groups that could use the June 14 voting for possible political demonstrations. Pro-reform groups have been under relentless pressure since major protests following the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009. Ahmadinejad is not running in this election because Iran's constitution bars him from seeking a third term. But the entry of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani into the race has re-energized reformists and brought backlash from hard-liners.
Chinese Tests Satellite-Killer Missile
The London Telegraph
China has tested a long-range missile capable of intercepting satellites, US intelligence sources have claimed. On Monday night local time a rocket was sent into space from a launch center in Sichuan province, southwest China. Beijing said the launch was part of a scientific data-collecting mission. But that version has now been called into question, with one anonymous US defense source telling Reuters: "It was a ground-based missile that we believe would be their first test of an interceptor that would be designed to go after a satellite that's actually on orbit." Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, declined to comment on the claim at a cybersecurity conference organized by Reuters but hinted at US anxiety over the launch. "Any time you have a nation-state looking to have a more aggressive posture in space, it's very concerning," he said.
Iranian Cleric Rules Out
Women Presidential Candidates
A constitutional body in Iran has ruled that women cannot run in presidential elections scheduled for 14 June. Mohammad Yazdi, a clerical member of the Guardian Council, said the constitution ruled out the participation of women. Thirty women registered as candidates but there had been little expectation they would be allowed to stand. The Guardian Council is charged with vetting election candidates according to their Islamic credentials. Observers say there is ambiguity in the constitution about the participation of women in presidential elections in Iran. However, the latest interpretation appears to put an end to the debate. The Mehr news agency quoted Mr. Yazdi as saying that the "law does not approve" of a woman in the presidency and a woman on the ballot is "not allowed." Women are able to stand for election to the Iranian parliament and have served as lawmakers..
Russia Building Up Missile
Defenses While Seeking to Limit US
Washington Free Beacon
Russia is engaged in a major buildup of both nuclear and conventional missile defense systems at the same time Moscow is seeking legal limits on US missile defenses, according to US officials. The Russian military is developing and deploying an array of new and modernized anti-missile interceptors that are part of a strategic doctrine that calls for defending against what Moscow believes to be an increasing threat posed by offensive ballistic missiles, said US officials with access to intelligence reports. New systems monitored by US intelligence agencies under development or in the deployment phase include an advanced S-500 missile defense system currently being built in addition to the already available, and very capable, S-400 and S-300 defenses. Additionally, the Russians are also upgrading the SH-08 nuclear-tipped anti-missile interceptors.
UK Parliament to Debate EU Referendum Bill
The London Telegraph
James Wharton, a Conservative MP who has suggesting leaving the EU, will introduce a Commons bill for a British referendum on Europe. Mr. Wharton topped the ballot for parliamentary time to debate private members' bills. This morning, he confirmed he will use that opportunity to propose the Conservatives' draft European Union referendum bill setting out plans for a poll before the end of December 2017. It will be a compulsory three-line whip for Tory MPs to vote in favor of the draft legislation published this week by Mr. Cameron. The Bill is likely to be opposed by the Liberal Democrats and Labour, so it would be difficult for the Conservatives to win enough votes to pass it into law. However, it is intended to show the Conservatives are serious about giving the public a say on Britain's EU membership and force the other parties to be clear about their positions.
No. Korea: Detained US Citizen
Begins Life at 'Special Prison'
North Korea says a US citizen sentenced to 15 years of hard labor has begun serving his sentence. The Korean Central News Agency said Kenneth Bae "started his life at a 'special prison' Tuesday." It did not elaborate. The 44-year-old Korean-American tour operator was found guilty last month of plotting to overthrow the Pyongyang government. He was arrested in November in the port city of Rason while in possession of what authorities said was anti-Pyongyang literature. Last week, the North's supreme court described Bae as a Christian evangelist who was trying to set up "plot-breeding bases" in China aimed at toppling the North's government. North Korea has detained at least six Americans since 2009. While some were given similarly harsh sentences, all were eventually released. In most cases, their release followed visits by high-ranking former US officials.