New Gojira Album Is ‘Deeper, More Personal,’ Joe Duplantier Explains

Joe Duplantier of Gojira

Joe Duplantier of Gojira

Gojira Interview: Soundwave TV 2014

Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier gave an update on the upcoming new album, confirming plans to go more personal with the fresh material.

Discussing the follow-up to 2012’s “L’Enfant Sauvage,” Duplantier told Metal Hammer Magazine Show, “Something I started with ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’ was that I talked more precisely about my demons.

“Before, I was just talking about fear in general, when you get stuck in a situation inside. Now, I go deeper. It’s becoming more personal. I’m not scared to talk about my fear, my jealousy and my weaknesses in a more precise way,” the frontman concluded.

The record is tentatively due in 2014 and will hopefully mark the group’s strongest work to date. “We feel very optimistic [about] the future, and we’re already enjoying a lot the new stuff,” Joe said during a separate AMH TV chat. “We want to make the strongest album we can do. I mean, all the bands always say they try to make the strongest album, but this time, I think we will really do it.”

During the rest of the interview, Duplantier discussed leaving France and the experience of becoming a dad. Check out the full chat below.

Fiona Apple contributes new song “Container” to Showtime’s The Affair — listen

Singer/songwriter/musician Fiona Apple

Singer/songwriter/musician Fiona Apple

 

Fiona Apple has contributed a brand new song entitled “Container” to Showtime’s forthcoming original series The Affair. Produced by frequent collaborator, Blake Mills, the song will soundtrack the show’s main title sequence, which you can see and hear below.

In a statement, the show’s creator and executive producer Sarah Treem said, “Fiona Apple has been my favorite songwriter since I was 16. I am honored and humbled that she has chosen to lend her talent to our opening title sequence. If our show can approach one tenth of the depth and complexity of her song, I’ll be very happy.”

Starring Dominic West (aka “McNulty” from The Wire) and Ruth Wilson (Luther), The Affair “explores the emotional and psychological effects of an extramarital affair, and will be told separately from the male and female perspectives,” according to a press release. It will premiere Sunday, October 12th at 10 p.m. ET.

We’re very happy to see Fiona back,  a beautiful human being.

Fiona, who canceled a run of dates last November to be with her dying dog, seemed giddy to be back on stage,”  When she sang, it was like nothing else in the world existed for her: just the song and the microphone, a relationship she has mastered. …

Fiona made light of past blow-ups: ‘People come see me to see the crash,’ she said early on, and fell to the floor in a knowing pratfall.” Stereogum corroborates the night’s generally wonderful nature, reporting that the crowd “cheered as Fiona bent her body into all manner of uncomfortable looking shapes, and shouted the occasional word of encouragement and love. But they otherwise they kept mum out of respect or a simple fear that they could frighten the fragile 36-year-old away at any moment.”

No more. Fiona is in great shape both physically and emotionally. A woman who is kind at heart and caring.

Welcome back Fiona!

 

Thom Yorke’s new solo album receives one million downloads in six days

Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke

 

One week ago, Thom Yorke released his sophomore solo album Tomorrow Modern’s Boxes exclusively through BitTorrent, at a price of $6. “It’s an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can get its head around,” Yorke explained in his announcement of the innovative release. It appears that experiment was a success, as more than one million people have downloaded the album over the course of the last six days.

Update: According to a representative for BitTorrent, the 1.1 million download total includes the free bundle in addition to purchases of the full album. “By the artist’s request, we are not disclosing sales figures,” the rep said. “But we have been very happy with what is happening.”

Yorke’s sales total is likely even higher thanks to vinyl sales, but that information has also not been released. Either way, Yorke made good on his mission statement of creating an “effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to people who are creating the work. Enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves. Bypassing the self elected gate-keepers.” What remains to be seen, however, is whether artists of lesser stature can reap similar benefits with such a model.

Congratulations Thom.

 

Belgium: Odessa massacre remembered outside European Parliament

Belgium: Odessa massacre remembered outside European Parliament

 

 

 

 RIANOVOSTI –  4 October 2014

Scores of people in Brussels assembled to honor the memory of the victims of the May 2 Odessa tragedy. The participants were carrying black balloons.

Similar events took place in a number of European cities.

On May 2, 2014 a rally held by Antimaidan activists on Kulikovo Field in Odessa turned tragic when they were attacked by Right Sector radicals and football fans. Dozens of Antimaidan activists were killed when the Trade Union building they were taking shelter in was set on fire. According to the official estimates, 48 people were killed and over 250 were injured. Another 48 people are considered missing. Odessa regional councilman Vadim Savenko believes that the Kiev authorities have understated the number of casualties – he claims that 116 people were killed.

Draft Law Allows Russia to Seize Foreign Assets in Response to Sanctions

Russia's economy is set to stagnate in the next two years as the country pays the price for the Ukraine crisis.

Russia’s economy is set to stagnate in the next two years as the country pays the price for the Ukraine crisis.

Yevgeny Razumny / Vedomosti

The Moscow Times

September 26, 2014

Russian courts could get the green light to seize foreign assets on Russian territory under a draft law intended as a response to Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

The draft, which was submitted to parliament on Wednesday by a pro-Kremlin deputy, would also allow state compensation for an individual whose property is seized in foreign jurisdictions.

Italian authorities this week seized property worth about 30 million euros ($40 million) belonging to companies controlled by Arkady Rotenberg, an ally of President Vladimir Putin targeted by the U.S. and European Union sanctions.

The draft law, published on a parliamentary database, would allow for compensation for Russian citizens who suffer because of an “unlawful court act” in a foreign jurisdiction and clear the way to foreign state assets in Russia being seized, even if they are subject to international immunity.

Boris Nemtsov, a Kremlin critic who in the late 1990s was a senior member of government, said the bill was an attempt by Putin to shield Russian billionaires and officials from the impact of sanctions.

“What is a strongman’s friendship like?” he asked rhetorically on his Facebook page. “It is when your four villas, apartment and hotel are seized in Italy, and your accomplice in the Kremlin immediately introduces a bill to compensate for the losses from the Russian budget.”

Russia and the West are locked in their worst standoff in decades over the Ukraine crisis. Western powers have introduced several sets of sanctions against Moscow, ranging from visa bans and asset freezes to caps on access to overseas capital markets for Russian firms.

Russia responded by introducing food bans against EU agriculture producers and has threatened more retaliatory measures if the West presses ahead with sanctions.

Russia’s economy is set to stagnate in the next two years as the country pays the price for the Ukraine crisis, lack of structural reforms and uncertain economic policy, the World Bank said in a report this week.

Russian laws require three readings in the lower house and the approval of the upper house before going to Putin to be signed into law.

 

U.S. Vice President Biden Says U.S. Forced EU Countries to Impose Sanctions Against Russia

America persuaded Europe to impose sanctions against Russia, despite their initial reluctance, US Vice President Joe Biden was cited as saying at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government on Thursday.

America persuaded Europe to impose sanctions against Russia, despite their initial reluctance, US Vice President Joe Biden was cited as saying at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government on Thursday.

 

MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – The United States and US President Barack Obama personally forced the European Union members to introduce sanctions against Russian over its stance on the Ukrainian crisis, US Vice President Joe Biden announced.

Washington rallied “the world’s most developed countries to impose real cost on Russia” and introduce restrictive measures against Moscow, Biden said at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government on Thursday.

“It is true – they did not want to do that but again it was America’s leadership and the President of the United States insisting, oftentimes almost having to embarrass Europe to stand up and take economic hits to impose cost,” the vice president said.

“We don’t want Russia to collapse, we want Russia to succeed,” Biden added.

 

 

The relations between Russia and the United States have deteriorated amid the Ukrainian crisis, as Washington kept blaming Moscow for meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

Over the past few months, the United States has introduced several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia, with its allies later following the move and drawing up their own blacklists.

In response to western sanctions, in August, Moscow implemented a one-year ban on certain food imports from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway.

Why EU Sanctions Are Illegal and Why That Won’t Change Anything

The EU repeatedly boasts of its commitment to the rule of law. In reality, the legal basis of the sanctions it has imposed on Russia is extremely dubious. However, past experience shows that even when the EU’s own courts declare sanctions illegal, the EU, despite its fulsome proclamations, simply carries on with them anyway.

There is only one international body that is authorised under international law to impose sanctions: the Security Council of the United Nations. Its authority to impose sanctions is clearly set out in Article 41 of the UN Charter, which reads as follows:

The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.

Any decision by the UN Security Council to impose sanctions under Article 41 has the force of law. UN Member States (including the states that make up the EU) are legally bound to enforce them.

The EU has no international legal authority to impose sanctions without obtaining a mandate from the Security Council. Doing so challenges the authority of the Security Council to impose sanctions. It also violates the rules of the World Trade Organisation.

The EU nonetheless claimed for itself this power in a 2004 position paper:

If necessary, the Council will impose autonomous EU sanctions in support of efforts to fight terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and, as a restrictive measure, to uphold respect for human rights, democracy, the rule of law and good governance. We will do this in accordance with our common foreign and security policy, as set out in Article 11 TEU, and in full conformity with our obligations under international law.

The position paper however fails to explain the legal basis upon which the EU claims this power. It refers to Article 11 of the Treaty on the European Union. This is has been replaced by Articles 21 and 24 of the amended Treaty on the European Union. Neither the original Article 11 nor Articles 21 and 24 of the amended Treaty on the European Union, however, refer to sanctions.

Reference is sometimes also made to Article 28 of the Treaty on the European Union, which reads:

Where the international situation requires operational action by the Union, the Council shall adopt the necessary decisions. They shall lay down their objectives, scope, the means to be made available to the Union, if necessary their duration, and the conditions for their implementation.

Reference is also made to Article 215 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which says:

Where a decision, adopted in accordance with Chapter 2 of Title V of the Treaty on European Union, provides for the interruption or reduction, in part or completely, of economic and financial relations with one or more third countries, the Council, acting by a qualified majority on a joint proposal from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commission, shall adopt the necessary measures.

None of these provisions however say the EU has the power to impose sanctions without a mandate from the Security Council.

The EU says the sanctions it imposes are intended to influence policy rather than punish people. In the words of an EU guidance document:

Sanctions are an instrument of a diplomatic or economic nature which seek to bring about a change in activities or policies such as violations of international law or human rights, or policies that do not respect the rule of law or democratic principles.

The same document goes on to say that EU sanctions must respect human rights and fundamentals freedoms.

The EU has, however, sanctioned Russian businesses and individuals who play no part in deciding Russian policy. It is impossible to see these sanctions as anything other than a punishment. As such, they appear to violate the principle that there should be no punishment without law. In the case of the journalist Dmitry Kiselyov, the violation of human rights looks even worse since it seems he is being punished for his opinions, contrary to Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which says:

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

No one however should be under any illusions. The EU, for all its boastful claims about upholding the rule of law, will not allow mere concerns about legality to stand in its way. Consider what happened when the EU imposed sanctions on various people in Iran. In a series of Judgments, the European Court of Justice – the EU’s own court – ruled many of these sanctions illegal. These Judgments were enthusiastically welcomed in Iran, which assumed the EU actually cared as much about the rule of law as it says it does. In fact, the EU simply overrode the Judgments by re-imposing the same sanctions on the same individuals, on a slightly different basis.

One hardly needs to guess how the EU would react if Iran or Russia were to do the same thing.

EU Failed Again to Break ‘Vicious’ Sanctions Circle: Russia’s EU Envoy

The European Union has failed again to break the vicious circle of sanction mentality by refusing to lift the current sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, Russia’s Ambassador to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said Tuesday.

The European Union on Tuesday decided keep in place economic sanctions on Russia over its alleged backing of independence supporters in eastern Ukraine despite some “encouraging developments” in the situation.

“Unfortunately, it is still not happening, despite mounting signals indicating EU’s attempts to look at the prospects and review the strategy of development of relations with Russia,” Chizhov said, commenting on the EU decision.

“Let’s see how our partners will act in the future, but at present we are not really ‘inspired’ by their behavior,” the diplomat said, adding that the EU would most likely return to the discussion of the issue at the end of October.

The European Union, alongside the United States, has introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russia over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis, an allegation Moscow has repeatedly denied. The latest batch of sanctions targeted Russian energy and defense companies, as well as certain individuals.

On September 25, the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations, comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union High Representative, said the economic sanctions against Russia could be lifted if the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine holds.

On September 28, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said ultimatums were an inefficient way of communicating with Russia, a country open to cooperation. Moscow also said that sanctions posed a threat to international peace and stability and contradicted the principles of international law.

Czech President Urges to Lift Russian Sanctions, Fight Islamic State

Czech President Milos Zeman urged during the 12th Rhodes Forum Friday to lift the sanctions imposed on Russia and to combine the efforts of developed countries to confront the real enemy – international terrorism and the dangers of the Islamic state (IS) plans.

We need to lift the sanctions, which are not only useless, but also cause the opposite effect and prevent dialogue … We need to develop … the dialogue based on the exchange in the fields of religion, capital and information. We have to fight international terrorism,” Zeman said.

The president recalled that long-term sanctions against Cuba only strengthened the Castro regime. The European Union and the United States have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis, a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied.

The main contemporary problem, according to Zeman, is not the Ukrainian crisis but international terrorism. It originates in states with no real government, such as Somalia, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria, he said.

There is a danger … it’s called the Islamic State,” Zeman stated. He also said that the plans of the IS to occupy vast territories of Central Asia and even Europe may sound “crazy” just like Hitler’s plans, which were also initially considered to be “crazy”.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting against Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories over which it had control.

Czech President Milos Zeman urged during the 12th Rhodes Forum Friday to lift the sanctions imposed on Russia and to combine the efforts of developed countries to confront the real enemy – international terrorism and the dangers of the Islamic state (IS) plans.

We need to lift the sanctions, which are not only useless, but also cause the opposite effect and prevent dialogue … We need to develop … the dialogue based on the exchange in the fields of religion, capital and information. We have to fight international terrorism,” Zeman said.

The president recalled that long-term sanctions against Cuba only strengthened the Castro regime. The European Union and the United States have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis, a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied.

Foreign Affairs Analyst: Russia Should ‘Show Some Teeth’ in Response to Western Sanctions

Russia needs to react differently to the challenges it is currently facing brought on by Western sanctions and “show some teeth” or face running the risk of appearing weak causing measures to escalate, foreign affairs analyst, Srdja Trifkovic told RIA Novosti.

“Russia is facing serious challenges and it’s high time to show some teeth, because that is the only way. If you take hits and blows and respond inadequately or half-heartedly the other side will only escalate because it will not be taken as conciliatory attitude, it will be taken as weakness,” author, editor, and professor Trifkovic said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Russia needs to go through a regime change and show the West, particularly the United States, its power and capabilities in the international world, according to the professor. Continuing to deliver engines for the American Saturn V rocket used to launch US spy satellites into space, for example, counters Russia’s retaliation against Western sanctions.

Trifkovic explained, “a serious reply to the sanctions should have been, “we’re selling all of our treasury bills now, and … we never buy any treasury bills again, and … by 2020 all of oil and gas transactions of the Russian Federation will be accounted in a basket of currencies that will include the euro, the Swiss franc, the Yuan, but not the US dollar.”

The United States currently retains its power by printing dollars with impunity. Should Russia eliminate the US dollar from major transactions, the international financial market would go through some “interesting” changes.

“If the Russians had announced before the second round of EU sanctions that they were imposing a surtax of 25 percent on all cars imported from the European Union, then there would have been no second round of sanctions,” Trifkovic said.

A 25 percent tax would cause powerful European car manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Jaguar, and BMW to influence political leaders into cooperating with Russia.

Trifkovic also suggested Russia “just impose a tax, 2,500 percent” on all airline carriers from countries imposing anti-Russian sanctions. An impossibly high 25-fold tax would cause passengers and businesses to shift to Asian airlines, leading taxed carriers to pressure political leaders into talks with Russia to lift sanctions.

According to the professor, no rational deal can be made between Russia and the West as the struggle is existential. A complete regime change, re-education of the country, and firmness is the way to sanction relief.

The West’s latest sanctions imposed on September 12, target Russia’s largest banks, oil and defense companies, as well as certain individuals. The companies were denied access to the European capital markets, while a number of individuals were subject to entry bans and asset freezes.

 

 

 

 

 

Alexander Mercouris is a London-based lawyer. The views expressed in this article are the author’s and may not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

US Now Admits it is Funding “Occupy Central” in Hong Kong

 

 

Region:
 
 
Just as the US admitted shortly after the so-called “Arab Spring” began spreading chaos across the Middle East that it had fully funded, trained, and equipped both mob leaders and heavily armed terrorists years in advance, it is now admitted that the US State Department through a myriad of organizations and NGOs is behind the so-called “Occupy Central” protests in Hong Kong. 

The Washington Post would report in an article titled, “Hong Kong erupts even as China tightens screws on civil society,” that:

Chinese leaders unnerved by protests elsewhere this year have been steadily tightening controls over civic organizations on the mainland suspected of carrying out the work of foreign powers.

The campaign aims to insulate China from subversive Western ideas such as democracy and freedom of expression, and from the influence, specifically, of U.S. groups that may be trying to promote those values here, experts say. That campaign is long-standing, but it has been prosecuted with renewed vigor under President Xi Jinping, especially after the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych following months of street demonstrations in Kiev that were viewed here as explicitly backed by the West.

The Washington Post would also report (emphasis added):

One foreign policy expert, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive subject, said Putin had called Xi to share his concern about the West’s role in Ukraine. Those concerns appear to have filtered down into conversations held over cups of tea in China, according to civil society group members.

“They are very concerned about Color Revolutions, they are very concerned about what is going on in Ukraine,” said the international NGO manager, whose organization is partly financed by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), blamed here for supporting the protests in Kiev’s central Maidan square. “They say, ‘Your money is coming from the same people. Clearly you want to overthrow China.’ ”

Congressionally funded with the explicit goal of promoting democracy abroad, NED has long been viewed with suspicion or hostility by the authorities here. But the net of suspicion has widened to encompass such U.S. groups as the Ford Foundation, the International Republican Institute, the Carter Center and the Asia Foundation. 

Of course, NED and its many subsidiaries including the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute do no such thing as “promoting democracy,” and instead are in the business of constructing a global network of neo-imperial administration termed “civil society” that interlocks with the West’s many so-called “international institutions” which in turn  are completely controlled by interests in Washington, upon Wall Street, and in the cities of London and Brussels.

NEDcorporateInterests_1

Just as the US admitted shortly after the so-called “Arab Spring” began spreading chaos across the Middle East that it had fully funded, trained, and equipped both mob leaders and heavily armed terrorists years in advance, it is now admitted that the US State Department through a myriad of organizations and NGOs is behind the so-called “Occupy Central” protests in Hong Kong. 

The Washington Post would report in an article titled, “Hong Kong erupts even as China tightens screws on civil society,” that:

Chinese leaders unnerved by protests elsewhere this year have been steadily tightening controls over civic organizations on the mainland suspected of carrying out the work of foreign powers.

The campaign aims to insulate China from subversive Western ideas such as democracy and freedom of expression, and from the influence, specifically, of U.S. groups that may be trying to promote those values here, experts say. That campaign is long-standing, but it has been prosecuted with renewed vigor under President Xi Jinping, especially after the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych following months of street demonstrations in Kiev that were viewed here as explicitly backed by the West.

The Washington Post would also report (emphasis added):

One foreign policy expert, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive subject, said Putin had called Xi to share his concern about the West’s role in Ukraine. Those concerns appear to have filtered down into conversations held over cups of tea in China, according to civil society group members.

“They are very concerned about Color Revolutions, they are very concerned about what is going on in Ukraine,” said the international NGO manager, whose organization is partly financed by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), blamed here for supporting the protests in Kiev’s central Maidan square. “They say, ‘Your money is coming from the same people. Clearly you want to overthrow China.’ ”

Congressionally funded with the explicit goal of promoting democracy abroad, NED has long been viewed with suspicion or hostility by the authorities here. But the net of suspicion has widened to encompass such U.S. groups as the Ford Foundation, the International Republican Institute, the Carter Center and the Asia Foundation. 

Of course, NED and its many subsidiaries including the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute do no such thing as “promoting democracy,” and instead are in the business of constructing a global network of neo-imperial administration termed “civil society” that interlocks with the West’s many so-called “international institutions” which in turn  are completely controlled by interests in Washington, upon Wall Street, and in the cities of London and Brussels.

Image: US Senator John McCain on stage in Kiev, Ukraine cheerleading US
funded sedition in Eastern Europe. In 2011, McCain would famously taunt
both Russia and China that US-funded subversion was coming their way.
“Occupy Central” is one of many waves that have hit China’s shores since.

 

Pro-war and interventionist US Senator John McCain had famously taunted both Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and President Xi Jinping’s predecessor in 2011 that the US subversion sweeping the Middle East was soon headed toward Moscow and Beijing. The Atlantic in a 2011 article titled, “The Arab Spring: ‘A Virus That Will Attack Moscow and Beijing’,” would report that:

He [McCain] said, “A year ago, Ben-Ali and Gaddafi were not in power. Assad won’t be in power this time next year. This Arab Spring is a virus that will attack Moscow and Beijing.” McCain then walked off the stage.

Considering the overt foreign-funded nature of not only the “Arab Spring,” but now “Occupy Central,” and considering the chaos, death, destabilization, and collapse suffered by victims of previous US subversion, “Occupy Central” can be painted in a new light – a mob of dupes being used to destroy their own home – all while abusing the principles of “democracy” behind which is couched an insidious, diametrically opposed foreign imposed tyranny driven by immense, global spanning corporate-financier interests that fear and actively destroy competition. In particular, this global hegemon seeks to suppress the reemergence of Russia as a global power, and prevent the rise of China itself upon the world’s stage.

The regressive agenda of “Occupy Central’s” US-backed leadership, and their shameless exploitation of the good intentions of the many young people ensnared by their gimmicks, poses a threat in reality every bit as dangerous as the “threat” they claim Beijing poses to the island of Hong Kong and its people. Hopefully the people of China, and the many people around the world looking on as “Occupy Central” unfolds, will realize this foreign-driven gambit and stop it before it exacts the heavy toll it has on nations that have fallen victim to it before – Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Egypt, and many others.