February 23, 2011. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/ahmadinejad-predicts-mideast-unrest-coming-to-america/ Iran's president said Wednesday he is certain the wave of unrest in the Middle East will spread to Europe and North America, bringing an end to governments he accused of oppressing and humiliating people. "The world is on the verge of big developments. Changes will be forthcoming and will engulf the whole world from Asia to Africa and from Europe to North America," Ahmadinejad told a news conference. Ahmadinejad said the world was in need of a just system of rule that "puts an end to oppression, occupation and humiliation of people." [and from another] This correlates with what the Zetas said about the 8 of 10, "These sociological and political dramas are part of the 8 of 10 scenarios, as well as geological and astronomical features. This is the next chapter." http://poleshift.ning.com/profiles/blogs/zetatalk-fame The Zetas did say that Ahmadinejad is STO . Did he got his information from reading ZT or is there more too it?


Ahmadinejad is speaking as a leader of a Muslim country, viewing the Arab Spring as an uprising against colonialism, imperialism, and western corporate influence. This stance is expected of him because of his political role in Iran. The article makes much of Ahmadinejad's criticism of Gaddafi and his brutal treatment of his people. This is to differentiate between an Arab leader who was considered a puppet, as was Mubarak, and Gaddafi who was considered a leader who resisted western influence and control and thus should be a brother to his people. Does Ahmadinejad read ZetaTalk and have an inside track on the Transformation, the pending 8 of 10 scenarios? Yes on both fronts, as despite disbelief that Ahmadinejad is a Service-to-Other individual, he is a sleeper like Obama, awaiting his opportunities to make a difference in the world. He gives a hint as to the sequence of revolt and discontent - from the Arab Spring to Asia, then Africa, then Europe and thence to N America.

Source: ZetaTalk for June 18, 2011


Note: This blog is about his prediction. Keep in mind that political debates are not allowed on the poleshift ning.

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Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on February 21, 2018 at 1:07am


Venezuela's Deepening Crisis Triggers Mass Migration Into Colombia

A crowd waits to cross the border into Colombia over the Simón Bolívar bridge in San Antonio del Táchira, Venezuela, in July 2016.

Venezuela's downward economic spiral has led to widespread food shortages, hyperinflation and now mass migration. Many Venezuelans are opting for the easiest escape route — by crossing the land border into Colombia.

There were more than half a million Venezuelans in Colombia as of December, according to the Colombian immigration department, and many came over in the last two years. Their exodus rivals the number of Syrians in Germany or Rohingya in Bangladesh. Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, a political risk consulting firm, calls it the world's "least-talked-about" immigration crisis.

"I appreciate the offers of financial and other aid from the international community," Santos said last week. "We need it because unfortunately this problem gets worse day by day."

Santos suggested that the crisis will last as long as Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela's increasingly authoritarian president, remains in power. His socialist economic policies have led to a collapse of the local currency and inflation expected to hit 13,000 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. Still, Maduro is widely expected to secure another six-year term in the April 22 election, in part, because the most popular opposition candidates have been banned from running.

Earlier this month, Santos announced measures to tighten the border but the immediate result has been a spike in new arrivals as Venezuelans rush to cross the frontier before the new rules take hold. Families clog the bridge spanning the Táchira River, the busiest border crossing between the two countries, as they push baby strollers, carry boxes and drag roller luggage into Colombia.

For many, their first stop comes a few feet inside Colombian territory, in the Norte de Santander region, where they unload their jewelry to dealers who purchase precious metals. At one shop, newcomers pull off their rings and unpin their brooches and necklaces. Workers use files and acids to check the purity of the metal. Then shop owner José Alvarado negotiates prices.

He offers the equivalent of about $7 for a woman's silver bracelet and $275 for a man's gold ring, but he rejects a watch for its dubious quality. A Venezuelan who fled his homeland two years ago, Alvarado says he understands what his compatriots are going through. He says the most heartbreaking case was a couple that sold their wedding rings after 40 years of marriage.

"People cry a lot when they sell their jewelry. But they have no choice," he says.

Indeed, Venezuelans need the cash as they travel deeper into Colombia or journey south to Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

On the border bridge, several Venezuelans employed by Colombian travel agencies hawk bus tickets. Passage to Lima sells for $241, while Buenos Aires costs twice as much. These freelance agents live on the Venezuelan side of the border and say they too want to get away. But lacking money and passports, they can only dream about the destinations they are trumpeting.

A few miles up the road, in the Colombian border city of Cúcuta, a new business has sprung up to take advantage of the crisis. In the city plaza, hair dealers are looking for clients to sell them locks for making hair extensions. They wear signs around their necks stating, "we buy hair," and shout out the same message.

Nearly all their customers are penniless Venezuelans, including Jefferson Márquez. He arrived two days ago from the Venezuelan city of Mérida with the hair of his 14-year-old cousin in a plastic bag. He sells it for about $4, which he plans to send back to his family.

Another potential vendor is Karelis Nieves. She worked at a supermarket in the Venezuelan city of Maracay but says the business collapsed after it was expropriated by the government. Nieves, 23, came to Colombia last month and is trying to scrounge up money to support her parents and 2-year-old daughter back home. But the hair broker requires locks that are at least a foot-and-a-half long. After pulling out his measuring tape, he informs Nieves that her flowing brown hair is a few inches too short.

There are other ways to get by, including selling street food, working construction and busking.

Street musician Jesús García says he fled to Colombia four months ago. Due to the collapse of Venezuela's currency, his salary as a mechanic on an oil rig was no longer enough to feed his family of four. Masterly on the harp, García has teamed up with a Venezuelan guitarist and the duo plays Venezuelan folk music, called llanero. The spare change people toss into their open guitar case adds up to about $10 a day — more than García made for a week's work in Venezuela.

But others resort to prostitution or street crime to survive, says Carlos Luna, head of the Cúcuta Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he points out that throngs of Colombians who moved to Venezuela during that country's periodic oil booms — or to escape from violence during Colombia's long-running guerrilla war — are now returning.

Luna says Cúcuta must not open refugee centers because he says they would only attract more Venezuelan migrants and exacerbate the problem. However, churches and charities now run a few soup kitchens and shelters where migrants are allowed to stay for 48 hours until they move on to their next destination.

One of the kitchens near the border bridge serves 1,000 lunches per day, including today's meal of chicken and spaghetti. Among the diners is Danny Márquez, who arrived the day before. He used to run a thriving business selling cleaning supplies in Venezuela. But the economic crisis drove him bankrupt. He used to be solidly middle class and is clearly distraught at having to ask for food.

"This is the first time in my life that I've set foot in a soup kitchen," says Márquez, who has tears in his eyes.

He plans to resettle in Chile. But Márquez is bitter about having to abandon his homeland.

"I resisted for two years," he says. "I vowed to myself: 'I'm not leaving. I'm not leaving. I'm not leaving.' But then things became impossible."

Comment by KM on January 12, 2018 at 1:17pm


Starving mob beat cattle to death with rocks in desperate search for food and four people are killed during looting in Venezuela as country's economic collapse continues

  • Dozens of men shout 'we are hungry' and 'people are suffering' as they beat cow
  • Opposition congressman Carlos Paparoni said as many as 300 cattle were killed
  • Four people died in recent protests against President Maduro's socialist regime 

A shocking video showing a starving Venezuelan mob beating a cow to death with stones has gone viral amid violent protests that have left four people dead.

Dozens of men shout 'we are hungry' and 'people are suffering' as they surround the cow in the field, throwing stones at it and beating it with a stick.

The helpless animal was slaughtered at the Hacienda Miraflores, in the fishing village of Palmarito in Merida, during a day deadly of civil unrest and looting in the state.

The locals chased the cow in a field before hitting it with objects

Dozens of men shout 'we are hungry' and 'people are suffering' as they surround the cow in the field (pictured), throwing stones at it and beating it with a stick

Pictured: The mob chasing it down

The helpless animal was slaughtered at the Hacienda Miraflores, in the fishing village of Palmarito in Merida, during a day of civil unrest and looting in the state. Pictured: The mob chasing it down 

Looting has been increasing in the provinces since Christmas, with food shortages and hyperinflation leaving millions of people hungry, though the capital, Caracas, has so far been largely unaffected. Pictured: Men appearing to loot a petrol tanker elsewhere in Venezuela 

Looting has been increasing in the provinces since Christmas, with food shortages and hyperinflation leaving millions of people hungry, though the capital, Caracas, has so far been largely unaffected. Pictured: Men appearing to loot a petrol tanker elsewhere in Venezuela 

When the animal finally falls to the ground in the footage, more villagers gather around - presumably to begin the distribution of its meat. 

According to local media, dozens of cows were killed by the crowds at several different ranches.   

'They're hunting. The people are hungry!' says the narrator of the video, who filmed the incident from his car.

When the animal finally falls to the ground in the footage, more villagers gather around - presumably to begin the distribution of its meat. Pictured: A man carrying what looks like part of the cow away from the field 

When the animal finally falls to the ground in the footage, more villagers gather around - presumably to begin the distribution of its meat. Pictured: A man carrying what looks like part of the cow away from the field 


Comment by SongStar101 on January 9, 2018 at 9:36am

‘Crime minister’ Netanyahu seems unmoved by 6 weeks of protests


Protests are continuing against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He remains defiant in the face of corruption cases against him, but his allies have pushed through a new law that would impede any possible prosecution.

Thousands of people marched against the Israeli PM in Tel Aviv over the weekend, denouncing Netanyahu as a “crime minister.” There are currently two cases against him being investigated by the police: one alleges that Netanyahu improperly accepted luxury gifts, while the other alleges that he abused power by cracking down on a newspaper in exchange for favorable coverage from its competitor.

Protests have now continued for six weeks, although demonstrations last weekend were attended by fewer people than in its first weeks. Activists say the protests against the PM will continue.

Read more

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister since founding father David Ben-Gurion, was dismissive about the protests and the cases that triggered them. He denied any wrongdoing and said that, even if Israeli police recommend indictment in either of the cases, it may be simply thrown out, which happens to 60 percent of such recommendations.

The Israeli parliament passed a bill on Thursday, which forbids the police from submitting written recommendations to the state prosecutor’s office. The bill was somewhat watered down after protest and will not apply to current cases, but critics of Netanyahu see it as undermining the rule of law in Israel and potentially shielding him from future accusations.

Netanyahu and his allies have accused the police of engaging in a campaign to undermine the prime minister by leaking details of the probe to the media. 

Comment by SongStar101 on January 3, 2018 at 9:31am

Israelis continue protests against Netanyahu ‘corruption’


This is the fifth week of protests against the Israeli Prime Minister

Thousands of Israelis have continued to protest in Tel Aviv against Benjamin Netanyahu’s alleged corruption, Quds Press reported on Sunday. This is the fifth week of protests against the Israeli Prime Minister.

The demonstrators have been calling for the speeding-up of legal procedures related to the investigations into the allegations of bribery and the misuse of public funds. Demonstrators are reported to be calling for Netanyahu to step down after accusing him of sitting on top of official corruption in Israel.

According to reports, financial and ethical corruption among senior Israeli officials has reached a record level. As well as Netanyahu, the former Chairman of the Government Coalition, David Bitan, and Interior Minister Arie Deri are implicated.

Netanyahu first served as Prime Minister of Israel from 1996. On 31 March, 2009, he was sworn in for the second time and is now serving his fourth term in office.

Comment by KM on December 31, 2017 at 2:22am


'Death to the Ayatollah': Iranian protests get bloody as two demonstrators are 'shot dead' after angry crowds burn down a government building and torch cars while thousands take to streets to call for revolution in biggest revolt since 2009

  • Protests spreading across Iran at night after earlier clashes at Tehran University
  • Video appears to show two young men shot dead in the western city of Dorud
  • Government offices set fire to, Supreme Leader's picture pulled down by crowd 
  • Donald Trump tweeted speech in which he said oppressive regimes can't last

A videos posted on social media appeared to show two young Iranian men lying motionless on the ground and covered with blood and a voiceover said they had been shot dead by police.

It claimed security forces fired on protesters in the western town of Dorud and killed at least two as other protesters in the same video were chanting, 'I will kill whoever killed my brother!'.

Other videos showed protesters setting fire to a government office in the city of Khorramabad while in the capital Tehran, demonstrators were filmed tearing down a picture of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Protesters set fire to a government office in the city of Khorramabad as the protests continued into the night 

Protesters set fire to a government office in the city of Khorramabad as the protests continued into the night 

Demonstrators burnt cars in Tehran after violent clashes earlier in the day at the city's university

Demonstrators burnt cars in Tehran after violent clashes earlier in the day at the city's university

Demonstrators attacked a town hall in Tehran as protests spilled into a third night despite government warnings against any further 'illegal gatherings' and moves to cut off the internet on mobiles.

After a day of clashes between rock throwing protesters and riot police, who responded with tear gas, at Tehran University, the demonstrations continued after dark and spread across the country.

There was chaos earlier around the capital's university as hundreds took to the streets, blocking traffic and shouting slogans against the regime.

Travel restrictions and a near-total media blackout from official agencies, made it difficult to confirm the reports.

The demonstrations appear to be the largest to strike the Islamic Republic since the protests that followed the country's disputed 2009 presidential election.

Thousands already have taken to the streets of cities across Iran, beginning at first on Thursday in Mashhad, the country's second-largest city and a holy site for Shiite pilgrims.

Comment by SongStar101 on December 24, 2017 at 9:33am

Israel: Thousands take to the streets to protest corruption


Hundreds of protesters in Jerusalem call out 'We deserve clean politics,' while in Tel Aviv thousands chant 'Bibi Netanyahu go to Maasiyahu Prison'; protests also held in Haifa, Afula, Rosh Pina and the Tzemach Junction.
Thousands of Israelis took to the streets on Saturday night in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and other cities to protest government corruption.

As the evening began, some 500 people arrived at Zion Square in Jerusalem. They held up signs saying "We want a personal example," and "We deserve clean politics" and called out "Shame, shame!"

Protest organizer journalist Yoaz Hendel was the first to speak, clarifying: "I'm here today not because I'm against Netanyahu, but because I'm in favor of the State of Israel. I'm here because this is how I was raised in the religious Zionist sector, with a mix of Jabotinsky and Rabbi Kook. I'm here because we cannot live with 'divide and conquer.' We cannot live while my leadership doesn't see the value of setting a personal example and walking humbly."

"There is no contradiction between supporting the settlement enterprise and supporting morality," Hendel stressed.

Protesters in Jerusalem (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)

Former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon called for unity. "When we fought, was wounded and lost soldiers and family members, we didn't ask, nor did our enemies, whether we were Right, Left, or from other ethnicity," he said.

"This kind of unity is needed not just in the IDF and not just in war, but unfortunately short-term political interests led to division. Leadership needs to unite and not divide," Ya'alon continued.

Former defense minister Ya'alon speaking at the rally (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)

"Why do politicians turn the issue of morality into a matter of Left and Right?" he lamented. "We need to demand our leaders to set a personal example. In my experience, setting a personal is a condition of trust. And I'm warning that when this trust is shaken, state security is also shaken."


Ya'alon added that when asked what keeps him up at night, it is not the Iranian nuclear threat, but rather "the corruption that is chipping away at society, hurting equal opportunities, and comes at the expense of our health," he said. "Corruption gives citizens the feeling injustice is being done. This is a bigger danger than the threats posed by Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas or ISIS." 

Signs at the Jerusalem protest, including Bible quotes: 'Walk humbly,' 'Be a pure 'May our camp be pure' (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)


Former Otzma LeYisrael MK Aryeh Eldad, meanwhile, asserted that "No honest man can agree with a corrupt government. Netanyahu is trying to convince us that if he falls, the Left wing will rise to power, and I share this fear. If the national camp chooses a trustworthy candidate, there is no reason the exchange of government will lead to the rise of the Left."


The Likud Party rejected the Jerusalem protest: "The right-wing is not buying this bluff. Everyone knows this is not a protest against corruption, but rather a satellite protest of the left-wing demonstration on Rothschild Boulevard, the entire purpose of which is to bring down the Likud government. Right-wing voters are unimpressed by a handful of naïve and interest-driven people who collaborate with the Left, and they will not repeat the mistake of bringing down a Likud government and leading to a disaster of another Oslo Accod."

Protesters in Tel Aviv (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

In Tel Aviv, several thousand people gathered on Rothschild Boulevard for the fourth week of protests, calling out "Mandelblit is a failure, he won't get to the Supreme Court," "We'll send the mafia to history's garbage can," "the country is ours, not Netanyahu's" and "Bibi Netanyahu, go to Maasiyahu Prison."


They held up signs saying "Corrupted, go home" among others.

Social justice activist Aybee Binyamin, one of the organizers of the Tel Aviv protests, praised the rally in Jerusalem. "The victory this week is much bigger because the moral right-wing realized it must join us and fight corruption and the corrupted," he said.

"A year ago, outside Mandelblit's home in Petah Tivka, there were only a few of us. Today, we're here and in 16 other locations, more determined than always," Binyamin added. "The gatekeepers, the Knesset and the opposition let us down."

Protesters in Tel Aviv (Photo: Motti Kimchi)


Some 300 people gathered in Haifa to protest, including elderly people, parents with children, national religious Jews. They chanted slogans such as: "Corrupted Bibi, we'll see you in court" and "Mandelblit, we'll never forgive or forget the cover up." 

"This struggle is not just against corruption, but in support of a different kind of culture to serve democracy," said one of the speakers, Motti Ashkenazi, who spearheaded a protest against the government following the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

"It's not about whether the prime minister is corrupted, but whether Netanyahu's conduct corrupts others," he added.

Ashkenazi noted in regards to the Haifa Bay ammonia crisis that the prime minister "allows endangering the lives of the residents of Haifa, only to increase the profits of the Trump brothers (who own Haifa Chemicals). It's not just corruption, but horrible disregard of human lives."

Also in northern Israel, close to 200 people also demonstrated at the Tzemach Junction, some 300 in Afula and some 100 in Rosh Pina.

Comment by SongStar101 on November 27, 2017 at 9:59am

As America Gives Thanks, Homelessness Continues To Set New Records In Major Cities All Over The Nation


If the economy is doing just fine, then why is homelessness at levels not seen “since the Great Depression” in major cities all over the country?  If the U.S. economy was actually in good shape, we would expect that the number of people that are homeless would be going down or at least stabilizing.  Instead, we have a growing national crisis on our hands.  In fact, within the past two years “at least 10 cities or municipal regions in California, Oregon and ... have declared a state of emergency because the number of homeless is growing so rapidly.

Things are particularly bad in southern California, and this year the Midnight Mission will literally be feeding a small army of people that have nowhere to sleep at night…

Thanksgiving meals will be served to thousands of homeless and near-homeless individuals today on Skid Row and in Pasadena and Canoga Park amid calls for donations and volunteers for the rest of the year.

The Midnight Mission will serve Thanksgiving brunch to nearly 2,500 homeless and near-homeless men, women and children, according to Georgia Berkovich, its director of public affairs.

Overall, the Midnight Mission serves more than a million meals a year, and Berkovich says that homelessness hasn’t been this bad in southern California “since the Great Depression”

Berkovich said the group has been serving nearly 1 million meals a year each year since 2013.

“We haven’t seen numbers like this since the Great Depression,” she said.

And of course the official numbers confirm what Berkovich is claiming.  According to an article published earlier this year, the number of homeless people living in Los Angeles County has never been higher…

The number of homeless people in Los Angeles has jumped to a new record, as city officials grapple with a humanitarian crisis of proportions remarkable for a modern American metropolis.

Municipal leaders said that a recent count over several nights found 55,188 homeless people living in a survey region comprising most of Los Angeles County, up more than 25% from last year.

If the California economy is truly doing well, then why is this happening?

We see the same thing happening when we look at the east coast.  Just check out these numbers from New York City

In recent years the number of homeless people has grown. Whereas rents increased by 18% between 2005 and 2015, incomes rose by 5%. When Rudy Giuliani entered City Hall in 1994, 24,000 people lived in shelters. About 31,000 lived in them when Mike Bloomberg became mayor in 2002. When Bill de Blasio entered City Hall in 2014, 51,500 did. The number of homeless people now in shelters is around 63,000.

For New York, this is the highest that the homeless population has been since the Great Depression, and city leaders are trying to come up with a solution.

Meanwhile, things are so bad in Seattle that “400 unauthorized tent camps” have popped up…

Housing prices are soaring here thanks to the tech industry, but the boom comes with a consequence: A surge in homelessness marked by 400 unauthorized tent camps in parks, under bridges, on freeway medians and along busy sidewalks. The liberal city is trying to figure out what to do.

Are you noticing a theme?

Homelessness is at epidemic levels all over the U.S., and this crisis is getting worse with each passing day.  Some communities are trying to care for their growing homeless populations, but others are simply trying to force them to go somewhere else.  They are doing this by essentially making it illegal to be homeless.  In some cities it is now a crime to engage in “public camping”, to “block a walkway” or to create any sort of “temporary structure for human habitation”.  These laws specifically target the homeless, and they are very cruel.

Many of us tend to picture the homeless as mostly lazy older men that don’t want to work and that instead want to drink or do drugs all day.

But the truth is that women and children make up a significant percentage of the homeless.  In fact, the number of homeless children in our country has increased by about 60 percent since the end of the last recession.

And there are thousands upon thousands of military veterans that are homeless.  For example, a 34-year-old man named Johnny that served in the Marine Corps recently used his last 20 dollars to buy fuel for a woman that had run out of gas and was stranded along I-95 in Miami

Pulled over on the side of I-95, McClure, 27, was approached by a homeless man named Johnny. She was apprehensive at first, but Johnny told her to get back into her car and to lock the doors while he walked to get her help. He went to a nearby gas station, used his last $20 fill a can and brought it back to fill up her car.

Grateful, but without a dollar to repay him, McClure promised she would come back with something.

In the weeks since, she’s returned to the spot along I-95 where Johnny stays with cash, snacks and Wawa gift cards. Each time she’s stopped by with her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, they’ve learned a bit more about Johnny’s story, and become humbled by his gratitude.

Deciding that they wanted to do even more for Johnny, they started a GoFundMe page for him and have since raised approximately $250,000.

So it looks like there is going to be a happy ending to Johnny’s story, but the truth is that more people are falling into homelessness with each passing day.

If things are this bad now, how much worse will they become as the economy really starts slowing down?  Already, we have shattered the all-time yearly record for retail store closings, and we still have more than a month to go.  The following is from a CNN article entitled “Is This The Last Black Friday?”

A record number of store closures — 6,735 — have already been announced this year. That’s more than triple the tally for 2016, according to Fung Global Retail and Technology, a retail think tank.

And there have been 620 bankruptcies in the sector so far this year, according to BankruptcyData.com, up 31% from the same period last year. Prominent names such as Toys R Us, Gymboree, Payless Shoes and RadioShack have all filed this year, and Sears Holdings (SHLD), which owns both the iconic Sears and Kmart chains, has warned there is “substantial doubt” it can remain in business.

Sadly, analysts are projecting that the number of store closings could be as high as 9,000 next year.

Yes, there are some areas of the country that are doing well right now, but there are many others that are not.

Let us always remember to have compassion on those that are struggling, because someday we may be the ones that end up needing some help.

Comment by KM on October 27, 2017 at 5:17pm


Madrid imposes direct rule on Catalonia just 40 minutes after the region FINALLY declared independence as Spanish Prime Minister calls for 'calm' amid fears of violence on streets

  • The Catalan parliament has voted 70 to 10 - with two blank ballots - to declare its independence from Spain 
  • In response, the Spanish senate in Madrid has dismantled Catalonia's autonomy by invoking article 155
  • Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy said he wanted to 'shut down' the Catalan regional parliament in a speech today  
  • Catalan MPs opposed to the region's independence stormed out of parliament before the vote in protest
  • Jubilant Catalans were seen dancing in the streets of Barcelona in response to the news of the declaration
  • But shares in Catalan banks fell sharply in response to the news - dragging the entire stock market with them
  • Both EU and USA, meanwhile, have backed Spain after the vote - with the US also backing use of article 155

The Catalan Parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain, prompting the national government to impose direct rule on the region just 40 minutes later. 

But before the vote, opposition parties stormed out of parliament in protest - with pro-independence MPs draping their empty seats with Catalan flags. 

In response, the Spanish government in Madrid has invoked article 155 of the country's constitution, dismantling Catalonia's autonomy. 

Carles Puigdemont may now face arrest for sedition following the vote.

Independence was approved with 70 MPs in favour, 10 against and two blank ballots in the 135-member parliament.

After the vote, Puigdemont said: 'Today our legitimate parliament, that came out of a democratic election, has taken a very important step. The legitimate representative of the citizens have followed the people's mandate.

'Now we are facing times when we will need to keep calm and peaceful and always keep dignity, as we've always done.

'Long live Catalonia!' 

Pro-independence groups have vowed a campaign of civil disobedience to protect public buildings on the event of a crackdown by Madrid, which may involve the feared national riot police and even the army.        

Thousands of Catalans gathered outside the parliament building and cheered and danced after the motion passed.

The Spanish prime minister wrote on Twitter immediately after the vote: 'I ask all Spaniards to remain calm. The rule of law will restore legality in Catalonia.' 

Spain's government will meet at 5pm UK time to discuss the crisis.

Thousands of protesters in Barcelona cheer in response to the news that the Catalan parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain

Thousands of protesters in Barcelona cheer in response to the news that the Catalan parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain

President Puigdemont and Vice President Oriol Junqueras exchanged congratulatory embraces and handshakes after the vote.

He added in his remarks after the vote: 'It is the institutions and also the people who have to work together to help build a country, a society…'

The European Union will only deal with the central government in Madrid, according to the president of the European Council Donald Tusk.

'For EU nothing changes. Spain remains our only interlocutor. I hope the Spanish government favours force of argument, not argument of force,' Tusk wrote on Twitter. 

The US State Department, meanwhile, said Catalonia is an integral part of Spain and backed the Spanish government's measures to keep the country united. 

There are fears the developments could lead to violence as Spain attempts to impose direct rule on the rebellious region. 

The main secessionist group in Catalonia, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), called on civil servants not to follow orders from the Spanish government after Madrid authorised direct rule over the region. 

The ANC called on Catalan civil servants to respond with 'peaceful resistance'. 

Shares in Catalan banks fell sharply in response to the news - dragging the entire stock market with them.

CaixaBank, Spain's third largest lender, fell by around five per cent while Sabadell, the country's fifth biggest bank, fell roughly six percent.   

Nearly 1,700 companies have moved their headquarters outside of Catalonia since the referendum.  

Speaking to senators earlier today, Rajoy said Spain had to force Catalonia to submit to the Spanish constitution.

He also attacked the region for 'mocking democracy' in a way reminiscent of the era of fascist Spanish leader Francisco Franco, and said he wanted 'a return to legality'.

The prime minister urged lawmakers to 'proceed to the dismissal of the president of the Catalan government, his vice-president and all regional ministers' during a widely applauded speech.

It comes after the region held an independence referendum on October 1 that the Spanish government deemed illegal and during which over 800 people were hurt in clashes.  

The approved proposal for independence made by the ruling Catalan coalition Junts pel Si (Together for Yes) and their allies of the far-left CUP party said: 'We establish a Catalan Republic as an independent and sovereign state of democratic and social law.' 

MPs from the opposition Socialists and Citizens parties, who walked out before the vote, had announced earlier that they would boycott the vote.

Comment by KM on October 8, 2017 at 3:08pm


Spain braces for an explosive week as thousands join the great white tide to halt potential bloodshed: IAN BIRRELL reports from Catalonia as the region's push for independence puts Spain on the brink

  • More than 5,500 protesters chanted 'Let's talk' in Catalan during one protest 
  • Demonstrations have been held in some 50 Spanish cities by opposing sides
  • In Madrid, protesters were wearing the Spanish colours calling for unity 
  • Catalan leaders have described the results of last week's referedum as binding 

They came in their thousands wearing white, releasing balloons and begging their leaders to start peace talks to prevent Spain’s crisis over Catalonia’s push for independence spiralling out of control.

Demonstrations in 50 Spanish cities highlighted the seriousness of the situation confronting one of Europe’s most important nations.

In Barcelona 5,500 protesters chanted ‘Let’s talk’ in Catalan.

Thousands of people gathered yesterday in Sant Juame square in Barcelona urging 

Thousands of people gathered yesterday in Sant Juame square in Barcelona urging 

There were violent scenes last week as riot police tried to prevent people voting in Catalonia

There were violent scenes last week as riot police tried to prevent people voting in Catalonia

Thousands of people wearing white took to the streets of Barcelona calling for talks rather than a unilateral declaration of independence in front of the Generalitat of Catalonia

Thousands of people wearing white took to the streets of Barcelona calling for talks rather than a unilateral declaration of independence in front of the Generalitat of Catalonia

Comment by Tracie Crespo on September 14, 2017 at 3:11pm


Threats close multiple NW Montana schools

MISSOULA, Mont. - Update: The Flathead Valley Community College campus is closed and classes are canceled Thursday. All offices and the Early Childhood Center are closed.


Multiple school districts are closed in northwest Montana for Thursday morning because of threats to schools.

Steve Bradshaw, the superintendent of Columbia Falls schools, would not elaborate on what those threats were but he told NBC Montana Wednesday night that his main concern is the safety of students and staff, so he has canceled all classes for Thursday.

Bradshaw said that the threats are being investigated by the Columbia Falls police and the Flathead County Sheriff's Office.

All schools in Columbia Falls, Kalispell, Whitefish, Evergreen, West Valley, and Bigfork are closed, according to Flathead County Superintendent of Schools Jack Eggensperger. 

Here is the full list of closures:



































































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