Piet Mondriaan The red cloud 1907
The West is buying up Ukraine. All of it.
Lock ’em all up
Days after a story about Hunter Biden’s laptop in 2020, Sec. of State Antony Blinken, then a Biden campaign adviser, reached out to a former CIA official + “set in motion the events that led” to a statement from intelligence officials say House Republicans.pic.twitter.com/wYQ3uAYFQd
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) April 21, 2023
Here’s all 51 of them:
.@TuckerCarlson: "In the one debate of the 2020 election, Joe Biden said on stage that his son's laptop was 'Russian disinformation'… That was a lie, and it was a lie that came from Joe Biden and Secretary of State Tony Blinken. That was election interference." pic.twitter.com/X7lXciENW9
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) April 22, 2023
Oath of Office
A lawsuit has been filed in Washington due to the fact that NONE of the Biden ‘Officials’ have an ‘Oath of Office’ on record which is mandatory. Not even Kamala Harris. If so…then who are these people? pic.twitter.com/SD1qvJ4OXb
— Liz Churchill (@liz_churchill9) April 21, 2023
MEDVEDEV: “The belief of the British degenerates in their exclusivity is magnificent. The Russian court that was hearing cases of grave crimes against our citizens was sanctioned, and a little earlier the ambassador of this country was yapping something outside our court building. It’s not even about the specific “case”, but about their holy confidence that this is a terrible punishment and that Russian officials will beat themselves up in hysterics about it.
Still, it is obvious that the conflict of outdated form (the degenerate British monarchy) and mocking content (look at the faces of their recent prime ministers – Boris Johnson, Theresa May and what’s-his-name, Sunack) creates some pretty bizarre creatures. I don’t give a damn about their decisions, though. Britain was, is and will be our eternal enemy. At least until their insolent and nasty, raw island is swept into the abyss of the sea by the wave created by Russia’s latest weapons system. ‘Let it be’, as the Beatles sang…”
Well, we can hope.
• Bobby Steps Up (Jim Kunstler)
Of course, Yahoo News, and all the rest of the in-the-tank news media greeted Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s presidential announcement by branding him a “noted-anti-vaxxer,” as if that’s a bad thing. Yes, noted, thank you very much. Reuters elaborated: “Kennedy has been banned from YouTube and Instagram for spreading misinformation about vaccines and the COVID-19 pandemic.” By now, whenever you see the agit-prop platitude spreading misinformation, does your brain not instantly translate that into telling the truth? And by now, does banishment from social media not tell you that certain guilty parties recognize a truth-teller when they see one?
Bobby Kennedy stepped up on Wednesday and gave a long and comprehensive speech so rich with historic resonance, intelligence, and flat-out bravery — in the face of, let’s face it, a Satanic opposition — that he made every other figure aspiring to high office within memory look like quality-control rejects from evolution’s Homo sapiens assembly line. For 90-minutes in a Boston ballroom, RFK, Jr. told America the truth: that its entire matrix of leadership has laid one trip after another on our country going all the way back to the murders of his father and uncle, and he did it plainly, gently, humorously at times, but with an unmistakable gravitas and decorum that must scare the beJeezus out of the low life-forms currently running things.
Most of all, Bobby demonstrated that there is a way out of the bad-faith wilderness America has been lost in for years. He spoke to the audience in the ballroom, and to the country, in an adult conversational tone, without notes, as if he expected that voters would actually understand the problems we face: the wicked partnerships of corporations and governments to swindle and gaslight the public; the reckless military adventurism-for-profit campaign that has bankrupted the USA, now culminating in the Ukraine fiasco; the botched response to the Covid-19 episode and the chicanery that induced it; the insults to our ecosystem that are destroying the other organisms who live with us on this planet; and the financial chicanery that is driving America into inflation and bankruptcy. He reminded the nation of the good-faith efforts sixty years ago to end racial injustice — which has lately turned into a series of dispiriting hustles to promote antagonism and separation.
[..] I think RFK, Jr. sees very clearly the historical moment he represents. He’s keenly aware of the shade thrown over this land by the murders of his father and President Kennedy, and he has said flat-out in so many words that our own CIA was behind the dastardly acts. He’s been in a position to know the animus between JFK and the founding director of the CIA, Allen Dulles, and the reckless blunders of the agency and its partners in the Pentagon who buffaloed President Kennedy into the Bay of Pigs farce and then tried to drag him deeper into the Vietnam quagmire. JFK resisted that, threatened to shred the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter them to the four winds… and Allen Dulles whacked him. He got away with it the same way that today’s Intel “community” got away with RussiaGate and all their subsequent crimes. In short, Bobby Kennedy knows what it looks like when a government is at war against its own people.
Ukraine has and is already lost. What victory?
• All NATO Allies Agree Ukraine Must Join, But After Victory – NATO Chief (TASS)
All NATO member countries have agreed that Ukraine should join the alliance, but a meaningful discussion of the issue is possibly only after it wins in the armed conflict with Russia, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday. He made the statement as he arrived at US Ramstein Air Base in Germany before a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group that will consider new supplies of weapons to Kiev. “All NATO Allies have agreed that Ukraine will become a member,” he said in comments broadcast by the alliance. But he said “if Ukraine doesn’t prevail as a sovereign, independent nation in Europe, there is no meaning in discussing membership.”
Stoltenberg also said the alliance will help Ukraine to build a “better and brighter future” for its people. The secretary general, who visited Kiev on April 20, said his message to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky was that NATO will support Ukraine over a long time. He pledged new weapons supplies to Kiev and assistance to ensure that the systems, which have already been provided, function well. The NATO chief said the Ukrainian president had asked the alliance to supply more air defense systems, heavy tanks and jets.
“..punish the residents of Crimea and Donbass for their wish to pin their future on Russia.”
• Kiev Extremism, Crimes Confirm Special Operation Must Go On – Russia (TASS)
The Kiev regime’s extremist statements and crimes confirm the need to continue the special military operation until all of its objectives have been achieved, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday. The ministry drew attention to “the latest portion of extremist statements by some Ukrainian officials,” in particular, Mikhail Podolyak, an advisor to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, who, “while discussing the situation involving the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, openly stated that today the Kiev regime has a unique chance to quickly and painlessly physically ‘mop up’ a large number of pro-Russian people.”
“Such rhetoric and criminal actions by the Kiev regime confirm the need for continuing the special military operation until the tasks of denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine and the elimination of threats to Russia’s security emanating from its territory have been fully accomplished,” the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out. It recalled that Podolyak “also promised to punish the residents of Crimea and Donbass for their wish to pin their future on Russia.” “He is echoed by the mayor of Dnepropetrovsk, renamed to Dnepr, Boris Filatov, who says that Ukraine does not forgive offenses,” the Russian Foreign Ministry added.
US cancel culture is domestic AND international.
• Relations With West Won’t Improve – Putin’s Special Representative (Az.)
The fractured ties between Moscow and the West will not improve anytime soon given that Russian artists continue to be blacklisted and joint projects canceled, said Mikhail Shvydkoy, President Vladimir Putin’s special representative for international cultural cooperation. “I don’t think relations with the European Union and the US, with unfriendly Western countries, will be ‘unfrozen’. So far, I don’t see any prospect for change,” Shvydkoy, a former culture minister, told the news agency RIA Novosti on Thursday. “On the contrary, they are expanding the lists of [Russians] working in the cultural field that have been sanctioned. There is still a ban in the West for cultural institutions to have contacts with Russian state institutions,” the official said. Shvydkoy added that, despite the tensions, some individual artists and scientists from the West are ready to interact with their Russian counterparts. Moscow, in turn, continues to be open to projects with other countries across the globe.
As part of the restrictions imposed on Russia in response to its military operation in Ukraine, the EU blacklisted a number of public figures who support the Russian government, including Oscar-winning filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov, actors Sergey Bezrukov and Vladimir Mashkov, singers Oleg Gazmanov, Grigory Leps, and Nikolay Rastorguyev. Some artists lost work in the West shortly after the armed conflict broke out between Moscow and Kiev in February 2022. Carnegie Hall in New York canceled a performance by famed conductor Valery Gergiev and pianist Denis Matsuev. Putin slammed the reprisals against Russian artists and works last year as “simply stupid,” and said that “attempts to cancel our culture are doomed to fail.”
Smart man. Wise words.
“Mattarella stressed that culture does not lend itself to “convenient cataloging,” and aspires to offer itself as a vision that contrasts with the real world. “What kills culture is homogenization, conformity, even that to which we submit unconsciously or culpably due to mental laziness, due to opportunism..”
• Canceling Russian Culture Is A Mistake – Italian President (RT)
Russian culture is an inseparable part of European history, Italian President Sergio Mattarella said in an interview with Corriere Della Sera on Friday. The leader condemned the recent attempts to cancel Russian works of art amid Moscow’s conflict with Kiev. Asked if it is “right to abolish” Russian literature and art from Europe’s long cultural history, Mattarella stated that the ‘cancel culture’ against everything Russian is a mistake. “The attitude towards the cultures produced by man, by the most diverse intellectuals and artists, can only be openness, curiosity, knowledge, comparison,” he said. “Progress comes from this. Not from rejection, not from cancelation.” “The cancel culture towards Russian literature and art is a mistaken gesture,” the president said, adding that Russian culture is an inseparable part of European history.
Mattarella stressed that culture does not lend itself to “convenient cataloging,” and aspires to offer itself as a vision that contrasts with the real world. “What kills culture is homogenization, conformity, even that to which we submit unconsciously or culpably due to mental laziness, due to opportunism,” he said. Ever since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, there have been numerous calls and attempts in the West to boycott any and all Russian art in retaliation. Many Western cultural institutions have sought to completely remove Russian-linked works from their galleries and opera houses.
The Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra in Wales dropped the music of composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky from a concert, Britain’s Royal Opera House canceled a tour by the Bolshoi Ballet, and New York’s Carnegie Hall and Metropolitan Opera have stopped allowing Russian musicians and organizations to perform at their venues. The clampdown, which has been actively encouraged by Kiev, has affected Russian musicians, filmmakers, artists, and athletes, many of whom have been banned from performing or competing in the West, as well as being allowed access to Western markets. President Vladimir Putin slammed the reprisals against Russian artists and works last year while speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club forum, and suggested that it is reminiscent of the Nazi book burnings.
• Poll Reveals Level Of Russian Public’s Confidence In Putin (TASS)
The proportion of Russian citizens’ confidence in President Vladimir Putin amounted to over 80%, according to the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center that published the results of a survey conducted between April 10 and 16 among 1,600 respondents aged over 18. “When asked about trust in Putin, 80.1% of respondents answered positively (+0.4% over the week), the approval rate of the Russian president’s work was up by 0.4% and stood at 77.5%,” the pollster noted. “Positive assessment figures for the Prime Minister and the Russian government amounted to 54.8% (-0.1%) and 51.8% (-2.3%), respectively,” the report stressed. Mikhail Mishustin was trusted by 63.3% of respondents (-0.2% over the week).
Those surveyed also expressed their confidence in the heads of various parliamentary factions. Russia’s Communist Party (CPRF) leader Gennady Zyuganov was trusted by 33.5% of respondents (-0.1%), Sergey Mironov, the leader of A Just Russia – For Truth, received 30.7% (-0.6%), the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) Leonid Slutsky got 17.7% (+1.4%), and the leader of The New People party Alexey Nechayev procured 6.7% (-1.1%). The poll also revealed that the level of support for the United Russia party stood at 39.0% (-0.8%), with the CPRF supported by 10.2% (-0.1%). The LDPR got 9.3% (+0.4%), A Just Russia – For Truth procured 5.2% (-0.3% over the week), and The New People party’s figures came to 4.3% (-0.4%).
As I commented yesterday, this has no credibility. If only because, as Doug Macgregor has been saying for a long time now, and Bobby Kennedy confirms in the video below, 7-8 times more Ukrainian troops die than Russians. And I don’t believe 1.2-1.5 million Ukrainians have died to date. Better to stick with, also from the video, the 300,000 number Kennedy mentions. So, divided by 7 or 8, ± 40,000 Russians. And I do realize we’re not talking numbers here, we’re talking sons and fathers etc. Real people, with hopes and expectations and futures. And sons and daughters and spouses and parents. Deeply tragic.
• Russia’s Losses In Ukraine Exceed 185,000 Soldiers (Az.)
The Ukrainian army has liquidated 630 Russian soldiers over the past day, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said, Report informs via RBC-Ukraine. Besides, the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed 6 armored fighting vehicles and 8 drones. The total number of losses of the Russian army since the beginning of the war is 185,050 soldiers.
.@RobertKennedyJr joined us to announce his 2024 presidential campaign. pic.twitter.com/1k45Wu19vQ
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) April 20, 2023
“I wonder what the residents of this nation would say when they see the newest example of Russian weapons in possession of their closest neighbors..”
• Russia Could Arm North Korea If South Sends Weapons To Ukraine – Medvedev (RT)
Moscow could offer advanced weapons to North Korea if South Korea begins to supply military aid to Ukraine, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has suggested. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol indicated a possible policy shift regarding the Ukraine conflict in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, ahead of a state visit to the US next week. “If there is a situation the international community cannot condone, such as any large-scale attack on civilians, massacre or serious violation of the laws of war, it might be difficult for us to insist only on humanitarian or financial support,” Yoon said. “Considering our relationship with the parties engaged in the war and developments in the battlefield, we will take the most appropriate measures,” he added.
Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chair of the Russian National Security Council, noted that Seoul had thus far refused to supply lethal aid to Kiev. “I wonder what the residents of this nation would say when they see the newest example of Russian weapons in possession of their closest neighbors, our partners from the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea]?” Medvedev wrote on social media. Yoon told Reuters that he plans to discuss with US President Joe Biden how the two nations can achieve “tangible outcomes” in deterring North Korea. He added that Seoul is developing “ultra-high-performance, high-power weapons” to fend off perceived threats from its neighbor. Last week, Pyongyang reported testing its first solid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile.
South Korea, which is a major arms producer, has refrained from sending lethal aid to Ukraine, citing its policy against supplying weapons to war zones. President Yoon’s office said his remarks to Reuters did not signal a policy change by the government, according to the Yonhap news agency. South Korean media claimed last week that the country had considered “loaning” the US some 500,000 rounds for 155mm artillery guns. Ukraine is reportedly in desperate need of this type of munition for the conflict with Russia. A government official described the arrangement to the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper as “indirect aid to Ukraine” which would supposedly show that Seoul was a responsible member of the international community “without provoking Russia.”
They have a hard time giving it away. Or rather, to get it where it’s needed.
• Russia To Deliver Free Fertilizer To Africa – Foreign Ministry (RT)
Moscow is preparing two batches of fertilizers to be shipped to Kenya and Nigeria free of charge, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin has revealed. The announcement comes amid uncertainty over the prospects for an extension of the Black Sea grain deal. “So far, one shipment [of Russian fertilizers] of 20,000 tons, has been transported to Malawi, and it took six months. More [deliveries of fertilizers] to Kenya and Nigeria are being prepared, but they have not yet been implemented,” Vershinin told Russia 24 TV on Friday. The deputy foreign minister noted that he was speaking about supplies of Russian fertilizers which fell under Western sanctions and were delivered at the expense of Moscow. “This is the real picture of what’s happening today, which, unfortunately, many are trying to conceal,” Vershinin said, expressing confidence that “they won’t succeed.”
The Western sanctions do not directly target Russian agricultural goods, but affect payments, insurance, and shipping. With many Russian banks disconnected from SWIFT, direct settlements for exports have been made difficult. Under the Black Sea grain deal – which was brokered last July by the UN and Türkiye to help keep agricultural shipments from Ukraine going – Russia was to receive a sanctions reprieve for its own agricultural goods. However, Moscow has expressed discontent with UN efforts to lift Western restrictions affecting the sector. According to the Kremlin, only half of the agreement is currently being implemented because not all parties have kept their side of the bargain.
The deal has already been extended once but is now set to expire on May 18, and there is uncertainty about the prospects for an extension. Moscow has said it would only consider another extension if the demands regarding its own exports are met. Last September, President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was ready to transfer 300,000 tons of Russian fertilizers – stuck in EU ports due to Western sanctions – to developing countries free of charge. While Putin welcomed the decision to allow Russian fertilizers into the EU, he criticized Brussels for only allowing the bloc’s member states to buy them.
“Ukraine is burning through more artillery rounds each month than the US can produce in six months..”
• US Lawmakers Demand Halt To ‘Unrestrained’ Ukraine Aid (RT)
A coalition of 19 Republican legislators in the US Senate and House has urged President Joe Biden to focus on seeking a diplomatic solution to the Russia-Ukraine crisis rather than continuing to prolong the bloodshed by sending billions of dollars’ worth of weaponry to Kiev. “Our national and economic security demand an alternative,” Senators Mike Lee, Rand Paul and other Republicans said on Thursday in a letter to the president. “Unrestrained US aid for Ukraine must come to an end, and we will adamantly oppose all future aid packages unless they are linked to a clear diplomatic strategy designed to bring this war to a rapid conclusion.”
Biden’s push to impose sanctions on Moscow and supply weapons to Kiev creates more risk of escalating the crisis and lacks “much-needed strategic clarity,” the lawmakers said. They warned that Biden has offered no clear strategy to end the fighting. “A proxy war with Russia in Ukraine is not in the strategic interest of the United States and risks an escalation that could spiral out of control.” Congress has approved $113 billion in military, economic and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the conflict began in February 2022. Some of the weapons recently committed to Kiev, including M1 Abrams tanks, require months of training and transport – suggesting that Biden’s administration is “settling in” for a long-term conflict, the lawmakers said.
“With every new aid package and every new weapon provided to Ukraine, the risk of direct conflict with Russia climbs,” said the letter, which was also signed by Senator J.D. Vance and Representatives Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Anna Paulina Luna and Andy Biggs, among others. The legislators added that escalating US involvement in the conflict, including military training and intelligence support, “makes it increasingly difficult to deny Russian accusations of US complicity in a proxy war.” Ukraine is burning through more artillery rounds each month than the US can produce in six months, according to the letter. Washington has given Kiev more Javelin anti-tank missiles than it can make in four years. “The US is in no position to expend $113 billion reinforcing a foreign military as our own military atrophies,”
The Republicans also argued that Biden’s tactics have brought Russia and China closer together, giving credence to allegations that Washington is “inextricably opposed” to the interests of Moscow and Beijing. Biden and the Pentagon also have disregarded their top responsibility, keeping Americans safe, by pushing the limits of America’s security readiness to arm Ukraine, the letter said. Open-ended aid to Ukraine is “fundamentally incompatible” with US interests, the Republicans said, adding, “There are appropriate ways in which the US can support the Ukrainian people, but unlimited arms supplies in support of an endless war is not one of them. Our national interests, and those of the Ukrainian people, are best served by incentivizing the negotiations that are urgently needed to bring this conflict to a resolution.”
• Reuters Interviews Soldier ‘Adolf’ In Ukraine (RT)
International news agency Reuters has published an interview with a Ukrainian recruit codenamed “Adolf.” The footage is the latest in a long line of videos, photos, and stories linking Kiev’s forces with Nazi ideology. In a post to Twitter on Friday, Reuters described how “newly recruited servicemen for the Spartan storm brigade” were practicing at an undisclosed location in Kharkov Region. “A serviceman with the nom-de-guerre ‘Adolf’ said they had been trained in ‘first aid, tactics, [and] firing drills’,” the agency added. In an accompanying video, ‘Adolf’ spoke to Reuters about the drills. A caption identified him by his apparently Nazi-influenced moniker, a title that was also visible on a patch on his vest. In comments below the video, Twitter users wondered how an agency like Reuters did not notice the obvious reference to Adolf Hitler.
“How many times is something like this going to happen before reporters start probing a bit?” documentary filmmaker Jake Hanrahan wrote. “Speaking from experience, the number of guys you encounter with straight-up neo-Nazi tattoos/patches/callsign is not small,” CNN and CBC reporter Neil Hauer, who has reported from Ukraine over the last year, commented. The ‘Spartan’ brigade is one of several new units being hastily assembled by the Ukrainian military ahead of an anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces. The new brigades will include a replenished Azov regiment, an infamous neo-Nazi paramilitary force that was formally incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard in 2014 before being destroyed by Russian forces in Mariupol last summer.
According to Reuters, some 40,000 new “storm brigade” troops are being trained at the moment. It is unclear if “storm brigades” is a deliberate reference by the Ukrainian military to the Nazi “Sturmabteilung,” or SA, paramilitaries of the 1920s and 1930s, or whether “Spartan storm brigade” is a deliberate nod to “SS Brigade,” referring to the elite Nazi units most responsible for implementing the Holocaust. Since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine last February, countless photographs and videos have emerged of Ukrainian soldiers wearing Nazi regalia, some of which were posted to social media by President Vladimir Zelensky, who is Jewish. In February, Zelensky bestowed the honorary title ‘Edelweiss’ upon the 10th Separate Mountain Assault Brigade of the Ukrainian army. The title was previously used by Nazi Germany’s 1st Mountain Division, which took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 and raised a swastika flag on Mount Elbrus.
There’s only one.
• UK Minister Calls for Jailing Social Media Bosses Who Don’t Censor (Turley)
As previously discussed, after Musk decided to buy Twitter, Hillary Clinton called upon European countries to force social media companies to censor Americans. The European Union quickly responded by threatening Musk and other executives. Now, Technology and Science Secretary Michelle Donelan has announced plans to jail social media executives if they fail to censor so-called “harmful” content on their websites. The government, of course, will determine what is deemed too harmful for citizens to see or hear. Donelan is seeking speech arrests under the UK’s Online Safety Bill, a draconian censorship bill that would effectively ban end-to-end encryption for private internet users.
The bill uses Britain’s broadcasting regulator Ofcom to censor “all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred” based on various progressive characteristics, including transgenderism. So the government can censor anyone who it views as promoting or justifying hatred against virtually any group. Those who do not censor can now be rounded up by Donelan and her minions. According to a report by The Telegraph, companies will also face fines of up to 10 per cent of their global revenue should they dare to ignore Britain’s demands to preemptively delete or obscure posts violating its coming censorship regime. The decline of free speech in the United Kingdom has long been a concern for free speech advocates. A man was convicted for sending a tweet while drunk referring to dead soldiers. Another was arrested for an anti-police t-shirt. Another was arrested for calling the Irish boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend a “leprechaun.”
Yet another was arrested for singing “Kung Fu Fighting.” A teenager was arrested for protesting outside of a Scientology center with a sign calling the religion a “cult.” Recently we discussed the arrest of a woman who was praying to herself near an abortion clinic. English courts have seen criminalized “toxic ideologies” as part of this crackdown on free speech. Donelan is only the latest voice of a rising generation of censors. These officials proudly parade their intent to silence or jail those with dissenting views. Yet, they do so in the name of tolerance. This is why free speech is in a free fall in Europe and why we must remain vigilant in this country to resist figures like Clinton who want to bring European censorship to our shores.
Indonesia would add another 275 million people to BRICS. The country with the single largest population of Muslims.
• BRICS De-Dollarization Push Gaining Momentum – Indonesia (RT)
Indonesia is following the lead of the BRICS group of developing nations in its policy of shifting away from the US dollar in trade and financial transactions, according to the country’s central bank. Jakarta has introduced transactions in the local currency to settle cross-border trades, the portal SINDOnews has reported, citing Bank of Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo. “Indonesia has initiated diversification of the use of currency in the form of LCT [local currency trading]. The direction is the same as the BRICS. In fact, Indonesia is more concrete,” Warjiyo said on Friday, addressing a press conference with the board of governors meeting. Indonesia has already implemented the practice with a number of countries, such as Thailand, Malaysia, China, and Japan, he added.
It also plans to sign a cooperation agreement with South Korea regarding local currency trading in early May. Warjiyo’s statement comes as the BRICS economic bloc – comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – claims to be working on establishing a joint payment network to cut reliance on the Western financial system, and on the dollar in particular. The member countries have been increasing the use of local currencies in mutual trade and also working on establishing a new reserve currency. Last month, Brazil and China signed an agreement to trade in their own currencies, thus abandoning the greenback as an intermediary. China’s attempts to ditch the greenback in international trade have intensified against the backdrop of the sweeping sanctions introduced by Western nations against Russia, a major global energy producer and exporter.
Indian policymakers have also taken several steps towards shifting away from the greenback to rubles and rupees in mutual trade with Moscow. Russia began de-dollarizing its economy in 2014, when the West introduced the first round of sanctions against the country over Crimea. Moscow has been boosting the use of alternative currencies in transactions since last year, with President Vladimir Putin suggesting earlier that the Chinese yuan should be used more widely, not only in trade with China, but also in Russia’s transactions with countries in Africa and Latin America. The latest data from the Bank of Russia shows that the yuan has become a major player in Russia’s foreign trade.
They still need cooperation. We could still see a coup. Unless perhaps China gets involved.
• Chile Nationalizes Lithium Industry Overnight (ZH)
The weaponization of commodities in a world that is increasingly turning multipolar and where legacy trade links and commercial bridges are burning down metaphorically (and in some cases literally) is accelerating. Chile’s President Gabriel Boric stunned the world on Thursday when he said he would nationalize the country’s lithium industry, the world’s second largest producer of the metal essential in electric vehicle batteries, to boost its economy and protect its environment. The shock move in the country with the world’s largest lithium reserves would in time transfer control of Chile’s vast lithium operations from industry giants SQM and Albemarle to a separate state-owned company. The nationalization poses a fresh challenge to electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers scrambling to secure battery materials, as more countries look to protect their natural resources.
Mexico nationalized its lithium deposits last year, and Indonesia banned exports of nickel ore, a key battery material, in 2020. “This is the best chance we have at transitioning to a sustainable and developed economy. We can’t afford to waste it,” Boric said in an address televised nationwide. Future lithium contracts would only be issued as public-private partnerships with state control, he said, hoping to extract far more profits from lithium demand by EV giants such as Tesla and well, everyone else these days. The government would not terminate current contracts, but hoped companies would be open to state participation before they expire, he said, without naming Albemarle and SQM, the world’s No.1 and No.2 lithium producers respectively. In other words, they can volunteer to hand over control of their assets. SQM’s contract is set to expire in 2030 and Albemarle’s in 2043.
SQM, formally called Sociedad Quimica Y Minera de Chile, and Albemarle supply Tesla Inc, LG Energy Solution Ltd and other EV and battery manufacturers. Albemarle said the announcement would have “no material impact on our business” and it would continue talks on investing in further growth and using new technologies in Chile. South Korean battery maker SK On, which has a long-term supply contract with SQM, said it would monitor the development and respond with a long term view. The announcement by Chile did not trigger a reversal in lithium prices which as we noted previously, have plunged more than 70% from a November peak due to weakening EV demand in China, the world’s biggest auto market. The most-traded lithium carbonate futures on the Wuxi Stainless Steel Exchange in China fell 3.4%.
Jesus Fuck! Super smart kid. pic.twitter.com/4YfQFTQ7Wy
— Michael Warburton (@MichaelWarbur17) April 21, 2023
Crows have proven themselves to be excellent problem-solvers. Some studies state that their intelligence can be comparable to that of a seven-year-old child
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) April 21, 2023
Puppy helps duckling who's flipped over while human watches and films it.
This is why Dogs are better than humans. pic.twitter.com/p4XyjzKoxA
— Nature is Amazing ☘️ (@AMAZlNGNATURE) April 21, 2023
On this day in 1939, Billie Holiday recorded the first great protest song of the Civil Rights Movement, 'Strange Fruit’
The Chilling Story of Strange Fruit and Billie Holiday.
A THREAD! pic.twitter.com/mVDCfmjxWT
— AFRICAN & BLACK HISTORY (@AfricanArchives) April 20, 2023
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