2017 Predictions: Donald Trump's Presidential Victory Could Lead To World War 3 As Emboldened Russia Attacks Baltic States

The 2017 predictions are looking grim for Europe, with fears that Donald Trump’s presidency and his relationship with Vladimir Putin will lead to World War 3 in the Baltic states. Over the course of the last several years, Putin and Russia have taken an increasingly aggressive stance toward their Baltic neighbors. Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region and has undertaken military measures that rattled NATO neighbors, with some growing fearful that Putin may have plans to encroach further into the Baltic states. Those fears are growing greater with the election of Donald Trump as America’s next president, with predictions that 2017 could lead to more aggression from Russia. As Bloomberg noted, the deteriorating relationship between the United States and Russia during Vladimir Putin’s reign led to greater tension in this region. “But now there’s a different reason for worry. Campaign proclamations by Donald Trump that NATO states must pay more for defense, his ambivalence about Crimea, and allusions to how America may not defend members against Russian military action had already unnerved many before Nov. 8. Now that this self-professed fan of Vladimir Putin is headed for the White House, the wonder on both sides of the border is what happens next.” And Russian news outlets have done their part to spread predictions of World War 3 in 2017, Bloomberg added. “Over the past month, Russian TV channels widely watched in the Baltics filled airtime with apocalyptic rhetoric about world war,” the report noted, adding. “Russia recently made a show of moving short-range, nuclear-capable Iskander missiles into its militarized Baltic exclave, Kaliningrad, wedged between Lithuania, Poland, and the Baltic Sea. And a recent military exercise near the Latvian border involved Russian servicemen using loudspeakers to call on NATO soldiers to surrender.” [Image by Host photo agency / RIA Novosti via Getty Images] There is further tension after Russia’s alleged interference with with 2016 presidential election. Intelligence agencies in the United States concluded that the Russian government was behind a hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, in order to spill embarrassing secrets about Clinton. This was done with the intention of helping Trump win the election, the agencies concluded. Donald Trump has continued his relationship with Vladimir Putin after the 2016 election, with Putin even sending a letter to Trump asking to “restore the framework of bilateral cooperation” with the United States. The United States has imposed a series of harsh sanctions on Russia for its actions in Crimea and aggression with Baltic States. The letter was well-received by Donald Trump, who said that Putin’s “thoughts are so correct.” [Image by Host photo agency / RIA Novosti via Getty Images] “I hope both sides are able to live up to these thoughts, and we do not have to travel an alternate path,” he said (via the Washington Times). Trump had given public compliments to Putin’s leadership style during the campaign, and even publicly encouraged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s email. Putin also offered public praise of Donald Trump. The 2017 predictions of World War 3 in the Baltic states are not too far-fetched to some national security experts. The Rand Corporation, a group connected to the U.S. Army, issued a report this year that NATO’s military assets in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were so mismatched that Russia could overthrown the entire region in a little more than a day, the Independent noted. “With Russia outnumbering NATO ground battalions by almost two to one, and possessing much heavier weaponry than the Baltic defense forces, some simulations had the capitals falling in as little as 36 hours from the start of hostilities,” the report claimed. Other experts have hinted the 2017 predictions of World War 3 are right on the mark. Dmitri V. Trenin, a former Russian army officer now leading the Carnegie Moscow Center, told the Boston Globe that Vladimir Putin is determined to return Russia to a place of being a major power. [Featured Image by Host photo agency/RIA Novosti via Getty Images]

2016 Boxing Day Hours: What Banks, Stores, And Attractions Are Open In The U.K. On December 26?

Boxing Day 2016 can be a tricky holiday for those in the U.K. looking to find what stores are open and which offices are closed for the day. The day-after-Christmas holiday is one that originated in the U.K. centuries ago, born out of the Victorian era as a break for servants who had to work on Christmas Day. As the Telegraph noted, the day after Christmas would end up being an even larger celebration for the working class. “According to some Boxing Day can be traced back to the Victorian era when churches often displayed a box into which their parishioners put donations.” “Also in Britain, on the day after Christmas Day, servants of the wealthy were given time off to visit their families because their services were required for the Christmas Day celebrations of their employers.” That same spirit of the holiday has carried into today, when public servants are given off on Boxing Day and government offices are closed. But many other stores and offices will be open, making it a bit difficult for anyone trying to schedule errands across the U.K. to know what store hours to expect Boxing Day and what offices will be shuttered for the day. So below is a list of what’s open and closed in the U.K. this Boxing Day 2016. What’s closed on Boxing Day in the U.K.? As an official bank holiday, all financial institutions are closed in the U.K. on Boxing Day and government offices are closed as well. Bank customers can probably make deposits or transfer funds at the ATM, but anything more complicated will have to wait. And while public transportation won’t be closed on Boxing Day, many are on special schedules so if you’re taking a train or a bus it’s best to check ahead for hours. What’s open on Boxing Day in the U.K.? Boxing Day is the official start of the post-Christmas shopping season, so many stores are not only open but actually open early on December 26 this year. While there are a few exceptions — the Metro noted that John Lewis stores are closed on Boxing Day 2016 — most every store will be back to business on Boxing Day. A more complete list of store hours for Boxing Day 2016 can be found here. Restaurants are also open on Boxing Day, as are attractions like movie theaters and museums. What to do on Boxing Day in the U.K.? For centuries, Boxing Day has been closely associated with entertainment, the Telegraph reported, starting with the traditional fox hunts and branching out into all kinds of other activities. “Boxing Day was a day on which families continued their Christmas celebrations by venturing out of their homes to enjoy entertainments including pantomimes, plays, variety shows, exhibitions, and sporting events such as football matches and hunts.” “In recent times, the day has become synonymous with many sports. Horse racing is particularly popular with meets all over the country. A full programme of football fixtures is also played on Boxing Day.” Here is a full list of football games scheduled in the U.K. (and beyond) for Boxing Day 2016. [Image by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images] Hunting is still quite popular, even if the traditional fox hunts were banned in 2004. As the Telegraph reported, an estimated 250,000 people will take to the countryside to support the annual hunts. [Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images[ If you’re not the sporting type, there’s still another favorite pastime to celebrate in the U.K. — shopping. There will be many Boxing Day sales, with the Metro offering a full list of all the best deals. And if you don’t want to bother figuring out what’s open or closed on Boxing Day 2016 in the U.K. but would rather just sit at home in front of the television, the Express has a full viewing guide for the day. [Featured Image by Adam Berry/Getty Images]

2016 Boxing Day Hours: What Banks, Stores, And Attractions Are Open In The U.K. On December 26?

Boxing Day 2016 can be a tricky holiday for those in the U.K. looking to find what stores are open and which offices are closed for the day. The day-after-Christmas holiday is one that originated in the U.K. centuries ago, born out of the Victorian era as a break for servants who had to work on Christmas Day. As the Telegraph noted, the day after Christmas would end up being an even larger celebration for the working class. “According to some Boxing Day can be traced back to the Victorian era when churches often displayed a box into which their parishioners put donations.” “Also in Britain, on the day after Christmas Day, servants of the wealthy were given time off to visit their families because their services were required for the Christmas Day celebrations of their employers.” That same spirit of the holiday has carried into today, when public servants are given off on Boxing Day and government offices are closed. But many other stores and offices will be open, making it a bit difficult for anyone trying to schedule errands across the U.K. to know what store hours to expect Boxing Day and what offices will be shuttered for the day. So below is a list of what’s open and closed in the U.K. this Boxing Day 2016. What’s closed on Boxing Day in the U.K.? As an official bank holiday, all financial institutions are closed in the U.K. on Boxing Day and government offices are closed as well. Bank customers can probably make deposits or transfer funds at the ATM, but anything more complicated will have to wait. And while public transportation won’t be closed on Boxing Day, many are on special schedules so if you’re taking a train or a bus it’s best to check ahead for hours. What’s open on Boxing Day in the U.K.? Boxing Day is the official start of the post-Christmas shopping season, so many stores are not only open but actually open early on December 26 this year. While there are a few exceptions — the Metro noted that John Lewis stores are closed on Boxing Day 2016 — most every store will be back to business on Boxing Day. A more complete list of store hours for Boxing Day 2016 can be found here. Restaurants are also open on Boxing Day, as are attractions like movie theaters and museums. What to do on Boxing Day in the U.K.? For centuries, Boxing Day has been closely associated with entertainment, the Telegraph reported, starting with the traditional fox hunts and branching out into all kinds of other activities. “Boxing Day was a day on which families continued their Christmas celebrations by venturing out of their homes to enjoy entertainments including pantomimes, plays, variety shows, exhibitions, and sporting events such as football matches and hunts.” “In recent times, the day has become synonymous with many sports. Horse racing is particularly popular with meets all over the country. A full programme of football fixtures is also played on Boxing Day.” Here is a full list of football games scheduled in the U.K. (and beyond) for Boxing Day 2016. [Image by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images] Hunting is still quite popular, even if the traditional fox hunts were banned in 2004. As the Telegraph reported, an estimated 250,000 people will take to the countryside to support the annual hunts. [Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images[ If you’re not the sporting type, there’s still another favorite pastime to celebrate in the U.K. — shopping. There will be many Boxing Day sales, with the Metro offering a full list of all the best deals. And if you don’t want to bother figuring out what’s open or closed on Boxing Day 2016 in the U.K. but would rather just sit at home in front of the television, the Express has a full viewing guide for the day. [Featured Image by Adam Berry/Getty Images]

2017 Predictions: Donald Trump's Presidential Victory Could Lead To World War 3 As Emboldened Russia Attacks Baltic States

The 2017 predictions are looking grim for Europe, with fears that Donald Trump’s presidency and his relationship with Vladimir Putin will lead to World War 3 in the Baltic states. Over the course of the last several years, Putin and Russia have taken an increasingly aggressive stance toward their Baltic neighbors. Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region and has undertaken military measures that rattled NATO neighbors, with some growing fearful that Putin may have plans to encroach further into the Baltic states. Those fears are growing greater with the election of Donald Trump as America’s next president, with predictions that 2017 could lead to more aggression from Russia. As Bloomberg noted, the deteriorating relationship between the United States and Russia during Vladimir Putin’s reign led to greater tension in this region. “But now there’s a different reason for worry. Campaign proclamations by Donald Trump that NATO states must pay more for defense, his ambivalence about Crimea, and allusions to how America may not defend members against Russian military action had already unnerved many before Nov. 8. Now that this self-professed fan of Vladimir Putin is headed for the White House, the wonder on both sides of the border is what happens next.” And Russian news outlets have done their part to spread predictions of World War 3 in 2017, Bloomberg added. “Over the past month, Russian TV channels widely watched in the Baltics filled airtime with apocalyptic rhetoric about world war,” the report noted, adding. “Russia recently made a show of moving short-range, nuclear-capable Iskander missiles into its militarized Baltic exclave, Kaliningrad, wedged between Lithuania, Poland, and the Baltic Sea. And a recent military exercise near the Latvian border involved Russian servicemen using loudspeakers to call on NATO soldiers to surrender.” [Image by Host photo agency / RIA Novosti via Getty Images] There is further tension after Russia’s alleged interference with with 2016 presidential election. Intelligence agencies in the United States concluded that the Russian government was behind a hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, in order to spill embarrassing secrets about Clinton. This was done with the intention of helping Trump win the election, the agencies concluded. Donald Trump has continued his relationship with Vladimir Putin after the 2016 election, with Putin even sending a letter to Trump asking to “restore the framework of bilateral cooperation” with the United States. The United States has imposed a series of harsh sanctions on Russia for its actions in Crimea and aggression with Baltic States. The letter was well-received by Donald Trump, who said that Putin’s “thoughts are so correct.” [Image by Host photo agency / RIA Novosti via Getty Images] “I hope both sides are able to live up to these thoughts, and we do not have to travel an alternate path,” he said (via the Washington Times). Trump had given public compliments to Putin’s leadership style during the campaign, and even publicly encouraged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s email. Putin also offered public praise of Donald Trump. The 2017 predictions of World War 3 in the Baltic states are not too far-fetched to some national security experts. The Rand Corporation, a group connected to the U.S. Army, issued a report this year that NATO’s military assets in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were so mismatched that Russia could overthrown the entire region in a little more than a day, the Independent noted. “With Russia outnumbering NATO ground battalions by almost two to one, and possessing much heavier weaponry than the Baltic defense forces, some simulations had the capitals falling in as little as 36 hours from the start of hostilities,” the report claimed. Other experts have hinted the 2017 predictions of World War 3 are right on the mark. Dmitri V. Trenin, a former Russian army officer now leading the Carnegie Moscow Center, told the Boston Globe that Vladimir Putin is determined to return Russia to a place of being a major power. [Featured Image by Host photo agency/RIA Novosti via Getty Images]

Islamic State Urged Vehicular Attacks In Weeks Before Nice Terror Attack, Says 'Lone Wolf' Attacks In America Are Next

The Islamic State released a new propaganda video just weeks before the horrific Nice terror attack. The video called for supporters to “fill your trucks with gas” while encouraging hopeful jihadists to run down people in Europe and Australia. The disturbing video showed life-like images of Islamic State terrorists filling an SUV with gas before preparing to run down people in Australia. Similarly, the video called for “lone wolf” attacks against American Christians. The call was followed by images of a suicide vest attack in New York City. The Daily Mail reports that a disturbing propaganda video was released by the Islamic State in the weeks leading up to the Nice, France, terror attack. In the video, images of terrorists preparing to mow down a crowd with a vehicle were shown to depict a proposed attack in Australia. The terrorist organization encouraged followers to attack with vehicles and to “fill your trucks with gas.” I just uploaded ‘Inside ISIS Chat Rooms: ICSVE Obtains ISIS Video Calling for Attacks with Vehicles’ to @academia! https://t.co/vdvYZI1VCn — Ahmet S Yayla (@ahmetsyayla) July 15, 2016 The International Center for the Study of Violent Terrorism, ICSVE, reported that the video outlined numerous ways in which terrorists could cause the most damage in areas the Islamic State had targeted. The terrorist group encouraged attacks in Australia as well as European cities, specifically speaking to attacks in France. The ICSVE says that the video contained numerous images of various cities across the globe with various attacks taking place. For example, images showed a suicide vest “lone wolf” terrorist attacking New York City while terrorists loaded an SUV with gas cans before preparing to run over crowds in Australia. ISIS has claimed responsibility for Nice attack, according to unconfirmed reports https://t.co/OJgZ7ukcDk — Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) July 14, 2016 It is unclear if the terrorist responsible for the Nice terror attack had seen the most recent video, but ISIS has long encouraged followers to utilize vehicles in attacks and in 2014 spoke directly to the running down of non-believers in the streets. In fact, the ICSVE referred to a video by Mohammed al-Adani, the official spokesperson for the Islamic State, taken in 2014 in which he said told supporters to kill infidels in “any manner or way” possible. One of the methods mentioned was to “run him over with your car.” “Kill them in any manner or way however it may be. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife or run him over with your car or throw him down from a high place or choke him or poison him.” The group noted that they can no longer “wait for Westerners” to attack them. Instead, they said it was time to bring the fight to their homes and that “the terror is now.” ISIS immediately praised the Nice attack claiming responsibility for the devastation. The group is already using images from the horrific attack in new propaganda pieces indicating that Paris, France, and New York City are next. “ISIS has produced multiple graphic Internet memes with fiery images of the Eiffel Tower burning and ISIS flags flying in New York City with captions in which they warn Christians that ‘Lone wolves will hunt you in America’s streets.’” FLASHBACK: ISIS Instructed Followers To Use Vehicles As Weapons https://t.co/WUTLSgqVKA pic.twitter.com/yphV9COrSu — The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 15, 2016 Additionally, ISIS seems to claim that sleeper cells are waiting in London as they post images of London streets burning claiming “we are here.” Following the latest videos and analysis of attacks, the ICSVE says that military efforts are not enough to combat the Islamic State and that social media will play a key role in the fight against the group. “We must break the ISIS brand that readily draws in and radicalizes recruits online. ISIS is winning in the social media space where they are convincing disengaged people in the West that violence is the solution to bringing about their version of justice through a utopian Islamic ‘Caliphate.’” [Photo by Militant Media Arm/AP Images]

Flyers Calling For Death To Those Who Insult Islam Handed Out At London Mosque

Flyers calling for death for people who “insult Islam” have been handed out at a London mosque, and authorities are looking into whether or not a hate crime has been committed, The Independent is reporting. A worshiper who chose not to give his name said that he went for prayers at the Dar-ul-Uloom Qadria Jilania mosque in London’s Walthamstow neighborhood, and “two or three” people were handing out the flyer. On the cover of the flyer is the name and face of Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani, a London imam (an “imam” is a cleric in Islam). ” The Standard has learned that the leaflet carries the name of preacher Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani on its front… https://t.co/udmRHpt9i0 — Livio Pavone (@LivioPavone) October 8, 2016 Inside, according to The International Business Times, is a detailed account of the actions of a Pakistani man named Mumtaz Qadri. In 2001, Qadri was serving as a bodyguard to Pakistani politician Salmaan Taseer, when he assassinated his boss, shooting him 27 times with an AK-47 assault rifle. Authorities say Qadri was a “Muslim fanatic” who killed Taseer because he (Taseer) had spoken up against Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws, which called for death to anyone who insults Islam. Another Video of Mumtaz Qadri from Adyala Jail Before Execution https://t.co/vTvWVOVHdY pic.twitter.com/FYuVS4B3ds — 92Tube (@92_tube) September 21, 2016 The pamphlet praises Qadri, who was later hanged for his crimes, as a hero whom Muslims should emulate. The flier calls for death to anyone who insults Islam, says that “apostates” must be put to death, and says that being a “big shot” does not put someone above Islamic law. The flier also references an ancient Islamic law manual which calls for those who insult Islam to be killed. The unidentified worshiper who spoke to The Independent says he is outraged at the contents of the flier. “Two or three people delivered the leaflet. I am shocked. I think it gives a bad impression. Islam teaches when you live here you obey the law and the rule of law, but this is not doing that.” For his part, Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani, the imam whose name and image appear on the cover of the flier, denies having anything to do with it. “I am not aware of if, why or how, the booklet was distributed in Dar-ul-Uloom Qadria Jilania. If it was distributed… then this was done without any authorisation by either me or any member of the committee of Dar-ul-Uloom Qadria Jilania.” He also insists that he did not give anyone permission to use his face or name, and that he strongly disagrees with the message in the flyer. In fact, Jilani has been on the U.K. government’s radar since at least 2011, according to The Telegraph, when he made statements on TV that seemed to support killing non-Muslims. Speaking on the program Rehmatul Lil Alameen (“Mercy unto the Worlds”), Jilani said that killing “apostates” is not terrorism, and that Muslims musn’t wait for the courts to act when it comes to insulting Islam, but instead must take the matter into their own hands. “It is your duty, the duty of those who recite the holy verse, to kill those who insult Prophet Mohammed… An apostate deserves to be killed and any man may kill him.” Scotland Yard promised an investigation into the flyers to see if any crimes – hate crimes in particular – were committed in handing out the fliers. “We will be assessing the contents of these leaflets to establish whether any criminal offence has taken place. We are committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms and have long since recognised the impact of hate crime on communities.” [Feature Image by leolintang/Shutterstock]

Who Won The Brexit Vote? Early European Union Referendum Results Include Victories For 'Leave' But Exit Poll May Say Otherwise

Who won the Brexit vote? As results from the European Union referendum begin pouring in Thursday evening and into early Friday morning, the effort to leave the EU appears to be out to a fast start. While reports are rolling in throughout the night and the race is expected to be very fluid, the Telegraph noted that there were some early victories for Brexit. There was a larger-than-expected vote for Leave in Newcastle, and Sunderland also went heavily for Brexit. Sunderland was seen as something of a bellwether, with experts predicting that Brexit would fail if the Leave side won by five points or less. Thursday’s results showed that 61 percent of Sunderland voters favored Brexit against 39 percent to remain in the European Union. Follow the #Brexit vote as the ballots are counted https://t.co/mfFaHSbMJ4 pic.twitter.com/UcCsQCrv8e — Bloomberg (@business) June 24, 2016 But despite the early victories for Brexit, there are strong signs that Remain will win in the end. A same-day poll conducted by YouGov found that 52 percent of respondents favored remaining in the European Union. YouGov on-the-day poll: REMAIN 52, LEAVE 48 pic.twitter.com/TFlAcGcYIR — YouGov (@YouGov) June 23, 2016 As The Huffington Post noted, the poll was a strong sign for Remain. The poll, carried out by YouGov, shows the Remain side is set to win the referendum, with 52% of those asked backing the UK staying in the EU. If the poll is accurate, it would be a hammer-blow for Boris Johnson, whose backing of a Leave vote helped widen a split at the very top of the Conservative Party. As voters wait to see who won the Brexit vote, the world is preparing for the possible effects of Britain severing ties with the EU. Fredrik Reinfeldt, former Prime Minister of Sweden and a close ally of Remain backer David Cameron, said the Brexit could have wide-ranging effects across the continent. Reinfeldt said he believes Cameron’s approach has been the most sensible, with Britain remaining in the European Union while pushing the EU to reform. “I think what David Cameron actually achieved was to say that this one-size-fits all Europe which has created such a worry in Britain is not the Europe for the future,” he said (via the Telegraph).“This will be a European Union that actually could go in some kinds of different directions at the same time. “There will be, I hope, a British membership of the European Union but still a British pound and this is very like the Swedish debate, we want to be members of the European Union but we want to keep our own currency. And I think that he has established now that there could be different means to actually have different kinds of membership and I think that’s really important.” There are others who have supported the Remain campaign with the idea that Britain would address the issues important to the Leave voters, namely immigration. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a Remain supporter, agreed with those who believe that Britain should be looking at these issues closely. “They raise issues of poverty, they raise issues of housing, they raise issues of health; and yes they raise issues of immigration, all these issues are raised; but if you have a rational discussion with people, as I try to do, and don’t do it with rancor, you don’t do with personal abuse, then you get a hearing,” he said (via the Guardian). Those who want to know who won the Brexit vote can click here for updated local vote totals. A final tally and an answer on whether the European Union referendum went for Remain or Leave will known by Friday at breakfast time, officials in the UK have said. [Photo by Tim Ireland/AP Images]

United Kingdom Passes Sweeping 'Snooper's Charter' Surveillance Act

The United Kingdom has officially passed into law the Investigatory Powers Act, according to a report from The Independent. The Act, better known as the “Snooper’s Charter,” is, according to according to Jim Killock, director of the Open Rights Group, the “most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy.” And while it is still awaiting royal assent, according to anonymous sources, it is expected to receive it by the end of November. First introduced by then-home secretary (now Prime Minister) Theresa May in 2012, the Snooper’s Charter – billed as a counter-terrorism measure – grants the British government sweeping investigatory powers and forces internet service providers to store the details of what every customer does online for a full year, information which they must make accessible to a plethora of public authorities. Silkie Carlo, a Policy Officer at the Liberty human rights organization in the UK, called it “totalitarian” and “the most intrusive system of any democracy in history.” “The British state has achieved totalitarian-style surveillance powers.” “It now has the ability to indiscriminately hack, intercept, record, and monitor the communications and internet use of the entire population.” According to ZDNet, not only does the Snooper’s Act force ISPs to record customer history in real-time and preserve it for a full year, it also allows the government to force companies to decrypt data on demand and disclose new security features in their products before launch. Even more troubling, the act grants intelligence services the power to freely hack into computers and devices owned by citizens, and offers only marginal protection for certain “protected” professions, such as doctors or journalists. The Snooper’s Act will grant GCHQ, the British analogue to the NSA, unprecedented powers to spy on their own citizens. [Image by Ben Birchall – WPA Pool / Getty Images] The Act was opposed by every major privacy and human rights group in the UK, and many outside of it. It was also opposed by the United Nations, and by a significant number of Silicon Valley corporations, including Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. Apple in particular noted in their submission that the provisions could enable other jurisdictions to circumvent their own local restrictions. “For the consumer in, say, Germany, this might represent hacking of their data by an Irish business on behalf of the UK state under a bulk warrant – activity which the provider is not even allowed to confirm or deny. Maintaining trust in such circumstances will be extremely difficult.” Firefox developer Mozilla added that the Act’s provisions could be used to “compel a software developer, like Mozilla, to ship hostile software, essentially malware, to a user — or many users — without notice.” Meanwhile, according to Killock, the opposition Labour party was “simply failing to hold the government to account,” having failed to scrutinize any amendments and abstaining from the final vote on the Snooper’s Act. The UK government downplayed the Act’s far-reaching provisions, billing it as a reworking of the 2000 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). However, RIPA was first brought into play to legitimize various secret powers already held by British intelligence agencies, many of which came to light following the Edward Snowden leaks. A European Court of Human Rights Tribunal ruled that many of the British government’s actions which were revealed by the leak were unlawful; as Nick Williams, legal counsel for Amnesty International said, “It is ridiculous that the government has been allowed to rely on the existence of secret policies and procedures discussed with the Tribunal behind closed doors.” The Snowden leaks revealed cooperation between UK and American intelligence to circumvent both local and international espionage laws. [Image by The Guardian via Getty Images] The response seems to have been to pass a law that brings those surveillance powers out into the open – and in spite of considerable opposition, the British government has managed to do exactly that. [Featured Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]

World War 3 Ready: Russia Forms New Military Task Force To Match NATO 'Blow For Blow' In Crimea

Russia appears to be readying itself for a very serious confrontation with NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), a confrontation that, if it should come to pass, many believe will be the opening stage of World War 3. And that confrontation just might occur in the Crimea, so Russia has not only increased its troop strength in the area, but it also created a new military task force just to go head-to-head with NATO forces. Daily Star reported over the weekend that Russia’s defense minister, Sergey Shoigu, had informed the Defense Ministry in Moscow that a military task force comprised of four divisions, nine brigades, and 22 regiments had been formed in order to match the massing of alliance forces along the borders of the disputed region. Describing the task force as “self-sufficient,” Shoigu also told the Ministry that, due to the more than 200 military exercises conducted in the area since 2013, the new Russian task force would be able to match NATO blow for blow should hostilities begin. The announcement of the new military task force came just days after the unsettling Atlantic Group report that warned, because of the heightened number of military drills conducted by Russia, President Vladimir Putin could order an attack “overnight” using the exercises as a cover, attacking without warning. As Inquisitr reported, the report went on to warn that NATO should not underestimate Russia’s willingness to take advantage of the West’s unwillingness to engage in battle, thereby testing also the mutual defense pact of the treaty. The Baltic States were of particular concern for potential invasion, and it was suggested that NATO counter Russia’s increased troop maneuverings with the bolstering of defenses, especially in Poland, a nation that would be increasingly vulnerable if Russia were to invade the Estonia, Latvia, and/or Lithuania. But even as worries of a Russian invasion mount in the northern part of the continent, tensions have risen in the south as well. To add to those tensions, it is known that two of the divisions in the newly created task force were equipped with Iskander ballistic missile launchers, weapons capable of launching nuclear missiles. In addition to the ground forces committed to Crimea, Shoigu said that air defenses in Russia’s southwest had been increased by 50 percent. He added that Russia’s troop strength had been doubled. The show of force, Shoigu insisted, would help to stabilize an unsteady Ukraine. It would also aid in facing “growing terrorist activity.” That “terrorist activity” undoubtedly refers to the ongoing and growing threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) and its call for its sympathizers to wage war in their home nations. Shoigu may also have been responding to ISIS’ latest threat, where the extremists issued a propaganda video in which they threatened, according to Newsweek, “listen Putin, we will come to Russia and will kill you at your homes.” ISIS aside, the United States and NATO do not seem to be shaken by Russia’s posturing. Responding to Sergey Shoigu’s announcement, U.S. State department spokesman John Kirby said, according to Daily Star, “If true, we believe that this would appear to run counter to ongoing efforts to stop violence and de-escalate the tensions in eastern Ukraine. Crimea is and always will remain part of Ukraine. We’re not going to allow the borders of Europe to be redrawn at the barrel of a gun.” For all intents and purposes, Kirby’s words ring hollow considering that Russia annexed Crimea in February 2014. And they did it by moving troops into the area, effectively “redrawing” the borders of Europe “at the barrel of a gun,” claiming that Russians in the region were being unfairly treated and poorly represented by Ukraine’s government. Ukraine, not to mention a number of nations around the world, has decried the military takeover as an illegal act against a sovereign nation and does not recognize Russia’s authority over Crimea. Regardless, Russia announced the full integration of Crimea into the Russian Federation in July 2015, according to International Business Times. Rumors of an imminent World War 3 have become quite commonplace in the past few years, given the increased re-militarization of Russia, the country’s annexation of Crimea, and the saber-rattling going on along the Ukraine/Russia border. And all of it within a relatively short distance from Russia’s western borders with several NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) nations, where new missile deployments and military exercises have kept all of eastern Europe tense. But often rumors of war are generated by the very real threat of war, or at least the perception that the threat of war is real. And when that perception is reinforced by hardline rhetoric from military officials, the fears of a coming conflict, perhaps the ignition point of World War 3, seem even closer to becoming actualized. [Image via Shutterstock]

French Teenager Commits Suicide Live On Periscope Video Streaming App [Breaking]

A French teenager live-streamed her suicide Tuesday afternoon on video streaming service Periscope, according to reports from French newspaper Info France. An investigation has been opened by French police. Content warning: this story discusses sensitive subjects including suicide and rape. Also note that all quotes have been translated from French and may not be completely accurate. According to the report, the young woman, age 19, threw herself in front of an RER C line train at the train station in Égly, Essonne, hours after announcing that she had to do something live. Reports indicate that more than 1,000 fans connected to watch the broadcast. According to MetroNews, just before the teen’s suicide, she appeared on video, smoking a cigarette and stating that she intended to send “a message” with her act. “Just now, I’ll explain everything. You will understand why this happens. It may be very shocking video. It is not made for the buzz, but for a message.” Moments later, the screen went black, and the sound of rescuers could be heard in the background. Rescuers (doctors from SAMU, the French emergency medical services, or Service d’Aide Médicale Urgente,) arrived on scene, too late to do more than record the death of the teenage victim. Eagle-eyed observers of the Periscope video had managed to identify the site as Égly station, but were unable to notify rescuers in time to stop the suicide. According to le Parisien, which first broke the story, rail traffic was interrupted in both directions for 18 hours while police reconstructed what had happened. The teenager allegedly explained the reasons for her actions by admitting that she had been the victim of rape, and reports indicate that she gave the name of her alleged rapist before jumping. The act was also recorded by the Égly station’s CCTV cameras, and, after the arrival of firefighters, police seized the young woman’s phone, which is now in the hands of Égly prosecutors and the local Brigade Territorial Gendarmerie, who will attempt to determine the exact circumstances which led to this tragedy. This story is still developing, and the Inquisitr will continue to update as more details become available. [Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images]