SOPA takes new form: Say NO to ICANN proposal that threatens to eliminate online privacy rights

(NaturalNews) The non-profit organization responsible for managing domain names online is proposing new privacy guidelines that suggest an imminent resurrection of the ill-reputed “Stop Online Privacy Act,” or SOPA. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is pushing for sweeping changes to how domain holders’ private information is handled that would make it virtually impossible for domain holders to maintain their privacy online if enacted.

As it currently stands, an individual or company that purchases a website domain can opt for WHOIS privacy, which ensures that the general public won’t be able to identify the owner’s address or personal information. However, ICANN is attempting to eliminate this privacy option for domain holders who engage in so-called “commercial activity,” a vague designation that could theoretically be applied to anyone who owns a website.

The entire WHOIS protection process stands to be completely decimated by this change, making it easier than ever for website owners to be targeted by spammers. Owners of “controversial” websites would also face potential threats or harassment from opposing groups or even the government for publishing content deemed “politically incorrect.”

With all the recent hysteria over the Confederate battle flag, for example, websites that choose to exercise their right to sell Confederate flag memorabilia and merchandise in anonymity for their own protection would presumably no longer be able to do so. Hostile groups demanding that this major piece of American history be scrubbed from the web entirely would essentially have a much easier time harassing or threatening domain holders who choose to display or sell materials associated with the Confederacy.

“Under new guidelines proposed by MarkMonitor and other organizations who represent the same industries that backed SOPA, domain holders with sites associated to ‘commercial activity’ will no longer be able to protect their private information with WHOIS protection services,” warns RespectOurPrivacy.com about this covert attempt to eliminate online privacy rights.

“‘Commercial activity’ casts a wide net, which means a vast number of domain holders will be affected. Your privacy provider could be forced to publish your contact data in WHOIS or give it out to anyone who complains about your website, without due process. Why should a small business owner have to publicize her home address just to have a website?”

Tell ICANN that you won’t stand for unconstitutional violations of online privacy rights

One of the major offending tenets of the ICANN scheme is that website owners’ private data could be released without a proper court order and without due process. This is unconstitutional, plain and simple, and it represents a significant departure from existing statutory law that protects one’s personal information from being exploited or used for malicious purposes.

ICANN’s intent with such a move appears to be to silence domain holders who present what some might see as “controversial” content online. This includes news websites that expose government corruption, for example, or those that stand in opposition to police state tyranny. It would also presumably target websites that foster free speech in opposition to the status quo.

Every freedom-loving netizen is threatened by ICANN’s proposed new rules, which is why we need to band together and tell this group that we won’t stand for any further erosion of our online privacy rights. RespectOurPrivacy.com has created a simple contact form that you can use to tell ICANN to respect our online privacy by not exposing private WHOIS data at https://www.respectourprivacy.com.

“Some IP rightsholders and law enforcement authorities would like to use ICANN to shortcut the due process of law and other domestic legal safeguards,” warns Jeremy Malcolm, Senior Global Policy Analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). “The weakening of WHOIS privacy services is an example of this, and that’s why we’re speaking up to defend the privacy of domain owners.”

Sources for this article include:

https://www.respectourprivacy.com/

http://www.networkworld.com

Written by Jonathan Benson
Learn more: Natural News

U.S. government admits it poisoned soldiers with Agent Orange after decades of denial

(NaturalNews) At long last, following years of delay, the U.S. government has finally admitted that it poisoned its own troops in Vietnam decades ago through the mass use of the herbicide known as “Agent Orange.”

In recent days, federal officials agreed to provide millions of dollars in disability benefits to at least 2,100 Air Force reservists and active duty forces that were exposed to Agent Orange on airplanes used to spread it during the war.

NBC News reported:

The new federal rule, approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget, takes effect [June 26]. It adds to an Agent Orange-related caseload that already makes up 1 out of 6 disability checks issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The expected cost over 10 years is $47.5 million, with separate health care coverage adding to the price tag.

Herbicide used to defoliate jungle hideouts and destroy crops

“Opening up eligibility for this deserving group of Air Force veterans and reservists is the right thing to do,” VA Secretary Bob McDonald said in a statement, adding that he would announce the decision in private meetings with veterans’ groups in the coming weeks.

As noted by the non-partisan Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., the herbicide was a mixture used by the military to defoliate large swaths of Vietnamese jungle as a way of exposing North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops that were using the jungle as cover to move men and material into South Korea. It was part of a color-coded herbicide campaign that also aimed to deprive the enemy of food by destroying crops.

The mixture, which was used until the early 1970s, contained a chemical contaminant known as dioxin. Even though its use ended more than 40 years ago, the dioxin contaminant continues to have a harmful effect today. As many Vietnam vets know, dioxin has been linked to cancers, birth defects, diabetes and other ailments and disabilities.

“The Red Cross estimates that three million Vietnamese have been affected by dioxin, including at least 150,000 children born with serious birth defects,” said the institute on its web page. “Millions of Americans and Vietnamese are still affected, directly and indirectly, by the wartime U.S. spraying of Agent Orange and other herbicides over southern and central Vietnam.”

The new federal rule will apply to an expanded number of Air Force and other military personnel who either flew on or worked on C-123 aircraft from 1969 to 1986 and are thought to have been exposed to Agent Orange residue. Those planes were used to distribute millions of gallons of the chemical herbicide during the war, which was waged in various stages between 1955-1975.

Many more could qualify for compensation

According to an Institute of Medicine study that was released in January, some C-123 reservists stationed in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts were exposed to the herbicides resident in the planes and became higher risks for health problems as a result.

Following a review of military records, the VA said it was able to determine that C-123 pilots, mechanics and medical personnel who served at an additional seven locations around the U.S. and abroad might also have been affected by exposure. These locations include Florida, Virginia, Arizona, Taiwan, Panama, South Korea and the Philippines, NBC News reported.

The former military personnel affected by the new rule will become eligible to receive disability assistance including survivor benefits and medical care within the VA system. Vets will have to show that they worked on contaminated planes and then later developed one of 14 medical conditions such as prostate cancer, leukemia and others that the VA has determined are linked to Agent Orange exposure.

The VA said that affected veterans could start submitting applications for benefits right away, noting that it would process them as soon as the rule is formally issued.

Sources:

http://theantimedia.org

http://www.nbcnews.com

http://www.aspeninstitute.org

Written by J. D. Heyes
Learn more: Natural News

Land of the free? Governments increasingly make it illegal to live unplugged from the Matrix

(NaturalNews) As state and local governments increasingly stretch themselves to the financial breaking point with free services and taxpayer-supported benefits, in addition to offering their normal services as well, they have become even more reliant on citizen participation in the mainstream.

In short, governments need all the tax money and revenues they can get, and they get them when citizens remain part of “the system.”

That’s why it is becoming more and more risky for Americans who choose to live their lives “off the grid,” so to speak; anyone who does reduces cash flow to state and local governments that rely on every dollar they can get in order to stay afloat.

This phenomenon came to a head recently with one couple living in Huntsville, Alabama; the city has forbidden them from living off the grid, as they have attempted to do, and has threatened them with jail if they refuse to jump back in line.

‘100 percent self-sustaining’ is now a crime in some cities

As reported by the Activist Post, Tyler Truitt, a veteran of the U.S. military, found it ironic that he was forced to answer for his attempt to live off the grid to a judge at city hall.

“I just don’t see how we’re hurting anyone by being here,” he told Activist Post.

As the Post further reported:

Truitt and his girlfriend Soraya Hamar are within Huntsville city limits but lived self-sufficiently without city utilities. The city officials said that’s simply not allowed and filed a lawsuit. They are claiming care for the couple’s safety – however, the couple are not without utility comforts, but have found a way to provide for themselves without the city services.

They live on their own volition and devices 100 percent; they have homemade utilities such as solar panels and they collect rainwater for their water use, among other assets. But city officials have classified their dwelling as a trailer and, well, trailers aren’t permitted inside the city limits.

“We live out here off the grid, 100 percent self-sustaining,” Truitt told local news station WAFF 48. “So I basically made all my utilities: I have my solar panels, I have my rainwater collection and stuff.”

In addition, the city has condemned his house by claiming that it violated safety requirements because it did not have accommodations for water and power hook-up. The city has threatened the couple with arrest for trespassing (on their own land) if they come back on the property.

The property is paid for, and Truitt has said that he may risk arrest to fight for his rights to be there in court.

‘Property rights are human rights’

“You have to stand up for what you believe in,” he told WAFF. “They could come out here today if they wanted to and take us to jail for trespassing if that’s what they want to call it and, you know, that’d be fine with me. I’ll still come back the next day and the next day and the next day because it’s my home and because I live here. Where else am I supposed to go really?”

“I took an oath that I would support and defend the Constitution and the freedoms that entails, and I really feel like those are being trampled upon,” he stated.

Private property rights are a fundamental American liberty dating back to the founding of the country. As noted by conservative economist and syndicated columnist Walter Williams, property rights “are a Fundamental Human Right” as well.

“So where do property rights come in? Property rights are human rights to use economic goods and services. Private property rights contain your right to use, transfer, trade and exclude others from use of property deemed yours. The supposition that there’s a conflict or difference between human rights to use property and civil rights is bogus and misguided,” he wrote in a 2005 column.

Increasingly, however, governments around the country are claiming that they have more rights than individual property owners.

Sources:

http://www.activistpost.com

http://www.waff.com

http://capitalismmagazine.com

Written by  J. D. Heyes
Learn more: Natural News

ISIS CHILD EXECUTIONERS BRUTALLY SHOOT DEAD 25 SYRIAN SOLDIERS

Slaughter in the Roman amphitheatre

ISIS has released a significant new execution video from the historic city of Palmyra, in the Syrian desert.

Child executioners are shown in the video being forced to brutally slaughter a group of more than 25 regime soldiers.

The video shows the soldiers lined up on their knees on the stage of the Roman amphitheatre, which had formerly been used for an annual festival in the city.

A baying crowd of men and boys gathered in the restored ruin waiting for the slaughter, many wearing military uniforms and headscarves.

Written by IMOGEN CALDERWOOD Full report at Daily Mail

The Poverty of the Prosperity Gospel

The Book of Job has both shaken me and shaped me.

When I first read it, I found it troubling. It didn’t seem fair. Job was a righteous man. But over the years, this story has helped forge my understanding of God and my theology of suffering. It has taught me that God himself — not anything he gives me — is my greatest treasure.

Years ago, a colleague mentioned what he had learned from Job. I was surprised to hear that his study had yielded a markedly different conclusion than mine. In his words, “Job got everything back and more for his suffering. He was blessed with more children and more money than he ever had before. That’s what the story shows us — doing the right thing always brings blessing and prosperity.”

While the first part was true, I disagreed with his conclusion. He subtly was echoing the message of the so-called “health, wealth, and prosperity gospel” — that God’s goal for us in this life is perfect health, total happiness, and financial gain. In this life. “We simply need to name what we want,” it says, “live the right way, and then claim our victory. That is what living for God looks like.”

I contend that this approach is not living for God. Such thinking is idolatry. It is elevating God’s gifts above him, the giver. And that is a great assault on God’s value.

The Truly Abundant Life

Proponents of the prosperity gospel see things differently. They believe their position is biblical, citing Scripture to back up their claims. One such verse is John 10:10: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Jesus does give us abundant life, but his abundant life is independent of circumstances.

A diagnosis of cancer, a stock-market crash, and a child’s rebellion cannot diminish the abundant life we have in Christ. And a miraculous healing, a financial windfall, and a prodigal’s return don’t transform it either. True abundant life rests in the God who is Lord over the good things and the terrible things in our life. As Job says, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10)

Written by Vaneetha Rendall
Full story at Desiring God

New Classroom Curriculum Will Teach Gender Fluidity as Normative

Some schools are now teaching gender is fluid. (Flickr/Creative Commons)

One of the nation’s largest public school systems is preparing to include gender identity to its classroom curriculum, including lessons on sexual fluidity and spectrum—the idea that there’s no such thing as 100 percent boys or 100 percent girls.

Fairfax County Public Schools released a report recommending changes to their family life curriculum for grades 7 through 12. The changes, which critics call radical gender ideology, will be formally introduced next week.

“The larger picture is this is really an attack on nature itself—the created order,” said Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council.

“Human beings are created male and female. But the current transgender ideology goes way beyond that. They’re telling us you can be both genders, you can be no gender, you can be a gender that you make up for yourself. And we’re supposed to affirm all of it.”

The plan calls for teaching seventh graders about transgenderism and 10th graders about the concept that sexuality is a broader spectrum—but it sure smells like unadulterated sex indoctrination.

Written by Todd Starnes
Full report at Charisma

Bare Supermarket Shelves In Greece Should Be A Huge Wake Up Call To Millions Of Clueless Americans

What you are watching unfold in Greece right now is eventually going to come to your own neighborhood.  Someday, people living all around you will be storming the supermarkets in a desperate attempt to secure the food and supplies that they neglected to store up when they had the chance.  Of course the Greeks never thought that it would happen to them either.  Their civilization had endured for thousands of years, and they were a part of the most powerful economic alliance on the face of the planet.  Most Greeks never imagined that they would be plunged into a multi-year economic depression that would ultimately lead to “bank holidays”, long lines at ATM machines, and people diving into dumpsters in a frantic search for something to sell.  And this is just the beginning of the chaos in Greece – things are going to get much, much worse for them.  Hopefully, this will serve as a wake up call for millions upon millions of clueless Americans out there, because we are on the exact same path that Greece has gone down.  The sad truth is that no amount of “American exceptionalism” is going to prevent us from suffering the consequences of decades of very foolish decisions.  We are steamrolling toward our own version of economic collapse, and when that time arrives you don’t want to be caught totally unprepared for it.

In some cities in the United States, it only takes an inch or two of snow during the winter to set off panic hoarding at local supermarkets and hardware stores.

So what is going to happen during a real crisis?

The Greek people are just like us.  They are proud, sophisticated people that are highly educated.  But now that a full-blown collapse of their economy is imminent, they are feverishly hoarding cash and food

Greeks were hoarding cash and food Saturday amid mounting fears the economy could collapse, cracking open their wallets only to stock up on essentials and stripping supermarket shelves in the process.

Mothers, elderly men and university students were spotted pushing heavily overloaded trolleys or coming out of shops weighed down by bags of food, with essentials such as sugar, flour and pasta top of the list.

In the well-off area of Glyfada in Athens residents appeared to have panicked, thrusting everything from vast rolls of toilet paper to multiple packs of lentils into their carts.

If you do not believe that something like this could happen in the United States, you are being delusional.  And someday, we may actually experience a crisis in which the store shelves are emptied and they do not get resupplied.  What would you and your family do during such a scenario?  The following photo of what is happening in Greece right now comes from Twitter…

Clipboard03

But that could never happen in America, right?

After all, aren’t we “the greatest nation in the world”?

Sadly, what we experienced in 2008 was just a preview.  We have piled up the greatest mountain of debt in the history of the planet, our financial system has been transformed into a gigantic casino, and our leaders have been making some of the dumbest decisions imaginable for decades.

In the end, all of our foolishness is going to catch up with us in a big way.

But of course most Americans don’t want to believe it.  They want to believe that we will always be the biggest, baddest, most powerful nation on the entire globe.  The following are some actual comments that were left on some of my recent articles…

-“The dollar is not going to collapse. It is too big of a cog in the global order.”

-“We’re Americans! This could never happen to US.”

-“we will have a recession nothing more. Some people will see injustice from looters and some elderly will be meet their maker b/c no one will care to help anyone. But The recession will end and we will have a real recovery.”

-“There is no collapse coming, at least not in the U.S. There will be recessions and depressions, but the resiliency and the sheer economic power of this nation means there is no collapse in any reasonable time horizon. Doomsday prophets have a history of being wrong in the United States of America.”

-“C’mon guys look around. This is the best time to be alive ever. I believe in being prepared for what you can’t see coming, but the world is doing just fine. There’s no need to EXPECT some variation of a doomsday scenario. It’s highly improbable.”

Yes, there are a couple million Americans that are actively prepping, but for the most part it appears that most people still have a tremendous amount of faith in the system.  They arrogantly believe that we are just too smart, too powerful and too wealthy to ever fall.

But I am here to tell you that the greatest economic crisis in modern American history is imminent.  That is why the title of my new book is “Get Prepared NOW“.  On the cover of the book, the word “NOW” is in larger letters than everything else.  There is a reason for that.  I am not kidding when I say that you need to get prepared immediately.  If you wait, you are going to end up like the people rushing into the grocery stores at the last minute in Greece.

When it comes to preparation, it doesn’t have to be complicated.  Initially, it is good to focus on “the big five”…

1. shelter

2. food

3. water

4. power

5. security

During any major emergency, every single one of us is going to need a roof over our heads, food on the table, clean water to drink, a back up source of emergency power and a way to defend our families and our homes.

You would be surprised at how many Americans do not even have those basic things covered.  They just trust that Wal-Mart will always be open, that Obama has things under control, and that the federal government will swoop in and save them if some sort of emergency ever does happen.

To those that still trust in the system, I would urge you to look at what is happening in Greece.  A modern European nation is plunging into a full-blown economic collapse, and the same things that are happening over there will be happening over here someday.  It is just a matter of time.

So please, get prepared now, because time is running out.

Written by Michael Snyder – End Of The American Dream

Please visit our Christian Patriots Facebook Page

Greece Votes NO – Let The Chaos Begin…

The result of the referendum in Greece is a great victory for freedom, but it is also threatens to unleash unprecedented economic chaos all across Europe.  With almost all of the votes counted, it is being reported that approximately 61 percent of Greeks have voted “no” and only about 39 percent of Greeks have voted “yes”.  This is a much larger margin of victory for the “no” side than almost everyone was anticipating, and it represents a stunning rejection of European austerity.  Massive celebrations have erupted on the streets of Athens and other major Greek cities, but the euphoria may not last long.  Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is promising that Greece will be able to stay in the euro, but that gives EU bureaucrats and the IMF a tremendous amount of power, because at this point the Greek government is flat broke.  Without more money from the EU and the IMF, the Greek government will not be able to pay its bills and virtually all Greek banks will inevitably collapse.  Meanwhile, the rest of Europe is about to experience a tremendous amount of pain as financial markets respond to the results of this referendum.  The euro is already plummeting, and most analysts expect European bond yields to soar and European stocks to drop substantially when trading opens on Monday morning.

Personally, I love the fact that the Greek people decided not to buckle under the pressure being imposed on them by the EU and the IMF.  But amidst all of the celebration, the cold, hard reality of the matter is that your options are extremely limited when you are out of money.

How is the Greek government going to pay its bills without any money?

How are the insolvent Greek banks going to operate without any money?

How is the Greek economy going to function without any money?

Now that the Greek people have overwhelmingly rejected the demands of the creditors, it will be very interesting to see what the EU and the IMF do.  Prior to the referendum, European leaders were insisting that a “no” vote would put an end to negotiations and would force Greece to leave the euro.

Now that the results are in, are they going to change their tune?  Because the ball is definitely in their court

“This does two things: it legitimises the stance of the Greek government and it leaves the ball in Europe’s court,” ANZ Bank analysts said in a note.

Europe either folds or Greece goes bankrupt; over to you Merkel.”

So would they actually let Greece go bankrupt?

It is going to be fascinating to watch what happens over the next few days.  Right now, Greek banks are on life support.  If the European Central Bank decides to pull the plug, they would essentially destroy the entire Greek banking system.  The only thing that can keep Greek banks alive and kicking is more intervention from the ECB.  The following comes from the New York Times

Now that Greek voters have said no to the economic demands of its international creditors, the fate of the country’s struggling banks is in the hands of the European Central Bank.

Greece’s banks, closed since last Monday because they are perilously low on cash, have been kept alive in recent weeks by emergency loans from the European Central Bank. On Monday, the central bank’s policy makers plan to convene to determine how much longer they are willing to prop up the Greek banks, now that the country has essentially said no to the unpopular dictates of the other eurozone countries.

Of much greater concern to the rest of the world is how financial markets are going to respond to all of this.  As I write this article, things already appear to be unraveling.  The following comes from CNBC

Germany’s Dax is indicated sharply lower from Friday’s close at around 4 percent, while the euro was down 2 percent against the yen as the news emerged. U.S. stocks are expected to open around 1 percent lower Monday, according to recent stock futures data.

What could be most important for those worried about contagion from the Greek crisis is how Portuguese, Spanish and Italian government bonds perform in Monday morning trade.

If these peripheral euro zone countries, often lumped in with Greece, suffer a sharp spike in yields, this could cause alarm about whether Greece leaving the currency might cause further contagion to other weaker euro zone economies.

This could potentially become a “trigger event” that unleashes a wave of financial panic all over Europe.  And once financial panic begins, it is very difficult to end.

If the EU and the IMF want to avoid a crisis, they could just give in to the new Greek government.  But that would be politically risky for certain high profile European leaders.  For instance, Angela Merkel would face a huge backlash back home if she conceded to the new Greek government now.  And other German leaders are already calling the referendum result a “disaster”

German politicians branded the result a ‘disaster’, with the country’s economy minister Sigmar Gabriel Sigmar accusing Tsipras of ‘tearing down the last bridges on which Greece and Europe could have moved towards a compromise’.

He added: ‘Tsipras and his government are leading the Greek people on a path of bitter abandonment and hopelessness.’

And the president of the European Parliament, a German, told a German radio station over the weekend that a “no” vote would almost certainly mean that the Greeks will be forced out of the euro

If after the referendum, the majority is a ‘no,’ they will have to introduce another currency because the euro will no longer be available for a means of payment,” Martin Schulz, European Parliament president, said on German radio.

That is pretty strong language, eh?

Here is yet another quote from Schulz

Without new money, salaries won’t be paid, the health system will stop functioning, the power network and public transport will break down, and they won’t be able to import vital goods because nobody can pay,” he said.

So at this point it is all up to the EU and the IMF, and in particular the focus will be on the Germans.

What will they decide to do?

Will they give in, or will they force the Greeks to leave the euro?

If the Greeks do transition from the euro to a new currency, it will be a process that takes months (if not longer).  You just can’t change ATMs, computer systems, cash registers, etc. overnight.  So a move to the drachma  would not be as simple as many are suggesting…

British firms like De La Rue, which prints 150 currencies worldwide, are believed to have been contacted with a view to providing such services.

It’s done in great secrecy to prevent currency speculation. The other big problem is the logistical challenges of switching a currency. All ATMs, computers and other machinery of commerce that bears the euro symbol will have to be adjusted. It could, and would, take months.

And if Greece does leave, it will be a massive shock for global financial markets.  Faith in the European project will be shattered, the euro will drop like a rock, bond yields all over the continent will rise to unsustainable levels and major banks all over Europe will fail.

I think that the following quote from Romano Prodi sums things up quite well

Romano Prodi, former chief of the European Commission and Italy’s ex-premier, said it is the EU’s own survival that is now at stake as the botched handling of the Greek crisis escalates into a catastrophe. “If the EU cannot resolve a small problem the size of Greece, what is the point of Europe?

Meanwhile, we should all keep in mind that a financial crisis has already erupted over in Asia as well.  Chinese stocks have lost 30 percent of their value in just the last three weeks.  In fact, the amount of “paper wealth” wiped out in China over the past three weeks is approximately equivalent to “10 times Greece’s gross domestic product”

A dizzying three-week plunge in Chinese equities has wiped out $2.36 trillion in market value — equivalent to about 10 times Greece’s gross domestic product last year.

The great financial collapse of 2015 is well underway, and it should be a very interesting week for global markets.

But no matter what happens this week, we all need to keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

A “perfect storm” is on the way, and we all need to get prepared for it while we still can.

Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse

Please visit our Christian Patriots Facebook Page

EU warns of Armageddon if Greek voters reject terms

[Credit for above photo:  AP; featured on The Telegraph]

Greece risks a collapse of the medical system, power black-outs, and an import blockade, if the Greek people reject creditor demands in a make-or-break referendum tomorrow, the EU’s highest elected official has warned.

Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said the EU authorities may have to prepare emergency loans to keep basic public services functioning and to prevent the debt-stricken country spinning out of control next week.

“Without new money, salaries won’t be paid, the health system will stop functioning, the power network and public transport will break down, and they won’t be able to import vital goods because nobody can pay,” he said.

Mr Schulz earlier called for the elected Syriza government to be replaced by “technocrat” rule until stability is restored.

Written by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Full report at The Telegraph

Please visit our Christian Patriots Facebook Page

Greeks defy Europe with overwhelming referendum ‘No’

[Caption/Credit for above photo: A ballot box is emptied by a voting official at the closing of polling stations in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015.  Reuters/Marko Djurica]

Greeks voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to reject terms of a bailout, risking financial ruin in a show of defiance that could splinter Europe.

With nearly half of the votes counted, official figures showed 61 percent of Greeks rejecting the bailout offer. An official interior ministry projection confirmed the figure as close to the expected final tally.

The astonishingly strong victory by the ‘No’ camp overturned opinion polls that had predicted an outcome too close to call. It leaves Greece in uncharted waters: risking financial and political isolation within the euro zone and a banking collapse if creditors refuse further aid.

But for millions of Greeks the outcome was an angry message to creditors that Greece can longer accept repeated rounds of austerity that, in five years, had left one in four without a job. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has denounced the price paid for aid as “blackmail” and a national “humiliation”.

Hundreds of Greeks began pouring into the central Syntagma square in front of parliament to celebrate, after a week of building desperation as banks were shut and cash withdrawals rationed to prevent a collapse of the Greek financial system.

“This is an imprint of the will of the Greek people and now it’s up to Europeans to show if they respect our opinion and want to help,” said Nikos Tarasis, a 23-year-old student.

Officials from the Greek government, which had argued that a ‘No’ vote would strengthen its hand to secure a better deal from international creditors after months of wrangling, immediately said they would try to restart talks with European partners.

“The government now has a strong mandate, a strong negotiating card, to bring a deal which will open new ways.”

But euro zone officials shot down any prospect of a quick resumption of talks. One official said there were no plans for an emergency meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Monday, adding the vote outcome meant the ministers “would not know what to discuss”.

Many of Athens’ partners have warned over the past week that a ‘No’ vote would mean cutting bridges with Europe and driving Greece’s crippled financial system into outright bankruptcy, dramatically worsening the country’s economic depression

Written by
Full report at Reuters

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