Edward Bawden Sahara 1928
Fires and riots in Paris overnight.
Sound of Freedom
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) June 30, 2023
RFK town hall
“Our very first goal is to achieve a ceasefire in Donbass.”
73% of Ukrainians voted for Zelensky because he promised them peace, he did the opposite, he brought them death and destruction instead…
This man will go down in history as the man who destroyed his own country for… pic.twitter.com/dGfoLUE9w7
— Gabe (@GabeZZOZZ) June 27, 2023
“..Biden’s “overall foreign policy may be at risk”should Kiev fail to deliver results on the battlefield..”
Ukraine’s foundering counteroffensive will mark a major embarrassment for the White House, Pulitzer-winning journalist Seymour Hersh has argued, suggesting President Joe Biden’s hardline support for Kiev could cost him the next election. Writing in his latest Substack article on Thursday, Hersh outlined the progress of Ukraine’s offensive operations, claiming it would need a “miracle” to reverse Russian gains after Moscow took “total control” of the Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. While a short-lived rebellion by Russia’s Wagner Group last weekend offered a brief distraction from “Ukraine’s failing counter-offensive,” Hersh went on to argue that Kiev is heading for “disaster.”He said that could be politically damaging for Biden, who will seek to sell Ukraine as a foreign policy success as he campaigns for re-election in 2024.
“It may be prudent for Joe Biden to talk straight about the war, and its various problems for America – and to explain why the estimated more than $150 billion that his administration has put up thus far turned out to be a very bad investment,” the journalist added. Pointing to battlefield statistics and other information provided by US intelligence sources, Hersh claimed that Kiev had reclaimed only 44 square miles of territory since launching its counteroffensive in early June, “much of it open land.” He said at the current pace, Kiev would take 117 years to completely repel Russian forces, attributing the figure to an unnamed official. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov has acknowledged the slow progress of the counteroffensive, but told the Financial Times this week that the operations so far were merely a “preview,” saying Kiev had yet to deploy the bulk of its Western-trained reserves.
While Ukraine and its Western backers insist victory is still on the table, Hersh said Biden’s “overall foreign policy may be at risk”should Kiev fail to deliver results on the battlefield. The journalist urged Democrats to take the “looming disaster” in Ukraine as a “wake-up call” as they enter the 2024 race, noting the president’s waning approval numbers. The Russian Defense Ministry, meanwhile, said that the repeated pushes by Kiev’s troops have failed to breach the Russian defenses and gain any significant ground. Moreover, multiple German-made Leopard 2 heavy tanks and US-made Bradley combat vehicles were either destroyed or abandoned on the battlefield. Videos shared by Russian and Ukrainian sources this month showed Ukrainian soldiers bogged down and retreating due to minefields and artillery fire.
“even more disastrous” than previously thought..”
Ukraine’s widely anticipated counteroffensive has seen Kiev’s forces lose a significant amount of armor, including dozens of Western-supplied tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, Forbes reported on Tuesday. According to the outlet, analysts believe that an attempt by the Ukrainian army’s 47th Assault Brigade and 33rd Mechanized Brigade to cross a minefield near the town of Malaya Tokmachka in Russia’s Zaporozhye region on June 8 proved to be “even more disastrous” than previously thought. Despite deploying de-mining vehicles, including several ex-Finnish Leopard 2R and one German-made Wisent, the Ukrainian battlegroup appears to have failed to thoroughly clear a path through the mine field. The Wisent and three Leopard 2R struck mines, as did several US-supplied M-2 Bradleys, while the brigade came under fire from Russian artillery and aviation.
As a result of the failed breakthrough, which lasted several hours, experts have estimated that no fewer than 25 Ukrainian vehicles were destroyed, including 17 M-2, four Leopard 2A6 tanks, three Leopard 2R and one Wisent. Forbes noted that while the loss of one Wisent is not important, as the Ukrainian army still has dozens of them, the other losses have proven to be more significant. The 47th-33rd Brigade battlegroup lost nearly a fifth of Ukraine’s M-2, a fifth of its Leopard 2A6 and half of its Leopard 2R, the outlet claimed, pointing out that Kiev lost the equivalent of an entire battalion in one single botched assault. Although Washington has already pledged to provide more M-2 vehicles to make up for Kiev’s June 8 losses, Ukraine’s European allies have yet to agree to provide more Leopard 2A6 and there are literally no more Leopard 2R left to send, Forbes noted.
Meanwhile, Kiev has admitted that its much-lauded counteroffensive is not proceeding as quickly as it had hoped. Speaking to Ukrainian media on Wednesday, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Aleksey Danilov stated that Russian troops have shown stiff resistance and acknowledged that the huge minefields laid by Russian forces have proven to be a challenging obstacle. The Russian Defense Ministry has also reported that Kiev’s large-scale assault has so far failed to achieve results. Russian President Vladimir Putin has described Ukraine’s losses as “catastrophic” and claimed on Tuesday that Kiev had lost 259 tanks and 780 armored vehicles since the start of the advance.
“The West made a colossal blunder, which it and many others are not done paying for.”
Much more in the article.
The conventional wisdom about the war’s origins is that Putin launched an unprovoked attack on 24 February 2022, which was motivated by his grand plan to create a greater Russia. Ukraine, it is said, was the first country he intended to conquer and annex, but not the last. As I have said on numerous occasions, there is no evidence to support this line of argument, and indeed there is considerable evidence that directly contradicts it. While there is no question Russia invaded Ukraine, the ultimate cause of the war was the West’s decision – and here we are talking mainly about the United States – to make Ukraine a Western bulwark on Russia’s border. The key element in that strategy was bringing Ukraine into NATO, a move that not only Putin, but the entire Russian foreign policy establishment, saw as an existential threat that had to be eliminated.
It is often forgotten that numerous American and European policymakers and strategists opposed NATO expansion from the start because they understood that the Russians would see it as a threat, and that the policy would eventually lead to disaster. The list of opponents includes George Kennan, both President Clinton’s Secretary of Defense, William Perry, and his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Shalikashvili, Paul Nitze, Robert Gates, Robert McNamara, Richard Pipes, and Jack Matlock, just to name a few. At the NATO summit in Bucharest In April 2008, both French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel opposed President George W. Bush’s plan to bring Ukraine into the alliance. Merkel later said that her opposition was based on her belief that Putin would interpret it as a “declaration of war.”
Of course, the opponents of NATO expansion were correct, but they lost the fight and NATO marched eastward, which eventually provoked the Russians to launch a preventive war. Had the United States and its allies not moved to bring Ukraine into NATO in April 2008, or had they been willing to accommodate Moscow’s security concerns after the Ukraine crisis broke out in February 2014, there probably would be no war in Ukraine today and its borders would look like they did when it gained its independence in 1991. The West made a colossal blunder, which it and many others are not done paying for.
The home of the brave lets others do its fighting.
US President Joe Biden has no intention of sending American troops to Ukraine, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters on Thursday. However, while its forces may not be openly fighting Russians, an unknown number of US military personnel are reported active in the zone of hostilities. “The president has been very clear that US troops will not be on the ground in Ukraine,” Miller said at a press briefing in Washington. Miller had been asked whether the US supported former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s suggestion earlier this month that individual NATO members – likely Poland and the Baltic states – could deploy troops to Ukraine without involving the entire bloc.
Rasmussen said that such a scenario would be likely if NATO fails to agree on “security guarantees” for Ukraine at a summit next month in Lithuania. Miller’s answer did not directly address the issue of a potential Polish or Baltic mission to Ukraine. Meanwhile, the EU has rejected the idea of any such mission. “To send ground troops to Ukraine is to be a party in a war, to be at war with Russia, and nobody wants that, neither the EU, nor NATO,” the director general of the European Union Military Staff, Vice Admiral Herve Blejean, said two weeks ago.
Despite Miller’s insistence that the US will stay at arm’s length from the Ukrainian conflict, US forces are already operating in the country. The Pentagon acknowledged in November that a “small number” of American troops were guarding the US embassy in Kiev and inspecting weapons deliveries away from the front lines. In April, leaked Pentagon documents suggested that 14 US special forces personnel were deployed in Ukraine as of mid-March, along with 50 from the UK. Aside from active-duty troops, there are an unknown number of US citizens fighting alongside Kiev’s forces. Multiple Americans have been captured by Russian soldiers, and several hundred were listed as fighting in Ukraine by Russia last summer.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday that as many as “20 foreign mercenaries and military advisers” were killed in a missile strike on a temporary base of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Donbass city of Kramatorsk on Tuesday. Unverified images and videos circulating on social media after the strike purportedly showed English-speaking military personnel in American uniforms recovering the dead and wounded from the base. Moscow already considers the US and NATO to be involved in the conflict by proxy, with Russian President Vladimir Putin accusing the West last week of waging war against Russia “to the last Ukrainian.”
There will be no Ukraine left.
The US might approve sending Ukraine long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing American and European officials. The White House feels it must urgently boost Kiev’s military capabilities, the outlet said, weeks into a much-touted Ukrainian counteroffensive which has thus far failed to yield any big gains. Capable of striking targets as far as 300 kilometers (190 miles) away, ATACMS are capable of hitting facilities deep inside Russia. The missiles can be launched from US-made HIMARS launchers, which have already been supplied to Kiev by Washington. The US has so far been reluctant to provide the longer-range munitions to Ukraine out of concern for possible escalation of the fighting.
Last July, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that President Joe Biden’s administration would never supply Ukraine with such weapons as they could provoke a wider conflict if used to attack Russian territory. Officials now say that the issue is “pending approval at the highest levels,” according to the WSJ. Both American and European sources told the newspaper that the White House might change its position on the matter. The European officials also said they had been pressing the US privately on the need for longer-range missiles for Ukraine. A senior Ukrainian defense official told the WSJ that Kiev had received “positive signs” on the issue in recent weeks. Certain variants of the ATACMS can strike any targets on the territory of the Crimean Peninsula and as far as the Russian city of Voronezh located more than 240 kilometers from the nearest border with Ukraine.
In early June, a group of US lawmakers urged Biden to provide even more advanced weaponry to Ukraine, including the ATACMS. The bipartisan group, led by Representative Jason Crow (D-Colorado), dismissed concerns that such weapons could escalate the conflict or leave US missile supplies too depleted. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh has said that Kiev’s inability to penetrate Russia’s defenses should serve as a “wake-up call” for the US. America’s estimated $150 billion military aid package for Ukraine “turned out to be a very bad investment,” the veteran journalist has argued, adding that the Ukrainian military might need more than a century to take back the territories newly-acquired by Russia, if its offensive continues at the current pace.
“For A Hot Minute..”
Western figures who have long dreamed of Russian regime change saw an open window with the Wagner mutiny, and apparently saw a prime opportunity to toss their credibility out of it. They couldn’t stop grafting their disaster porn fantasies onto the events, even as facts and reality started distancing themselves from all the wishful thinking. Who cares that Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin himself had said that his beef was with Russian military leadership – Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and chief of the general staff, Valery Gerasimov, about whom he previously complained for insufficient ammunition and support. Or that his armed march towards Moscow was for “justice” for his men who he said had done the heavy lifting in the grueling months-long battle of Artyomovsk (Bakhmut), leading to an eventual Russian victory.
So what if Prigozhin explicitly denied that he was mounting a coup, and hadn’t at all evoked Russian President Vladimir Putin as his target? This whole drama, viewed from here in Moscow, where people continued to go about their daily lives as usual, just seemed like a tiff between siblings, one of whom was hell-bent on getting Daddy Putin’s attention by tossing his toys out of the pram – at Rostov-on-Don and Moscow. Putin ended up striking a deal to send the tantrum boy to Belarus, where the Russian President said his Wagner comrades could join him. This conveniently places them all closer to Kiev than they ever were to Moscow on their march – and right as the Russian tactical nukes are set to arrive, too.
However, regime change proponents don’t seem too interested in these facts or analysis. Instead, they can’t stop dreaming of chaos, since they used Prigozhin to project their anti-Putin fantasies – like he’s Pamela Anderson and they’re teenage boys in the 90s. And let’s just say that some of their musings are…out there. “Do we worry about Russia falling into the arms of China? Is there going to be disintegration? Will it go full on fascist? Will we have a long period of confusion and chaos? Will they use their nuclear weapons as a bargaining chip to try and get things?” asked the Center for European Policy Analysis’ Edward Lucas on BBC radio. Woah, slow your roll there. The babushkas who feed the pigeons at the local park are busy making plans for lunch tomorrow and haven’t yet received your memo that perhaps they should be considering adopting the fascist ideology against which their country has actively fought in its biggest historical battles.
As for Russia “falling into the arms of China” – they’re just buddies, and aren’t really into that kind of thing. Maybe it’s time for a cold shower? Lucas didn’t stop there either. In the wake of Putin’s non-demise, the expert has since doubled down, looking right past Putin to a “post-Putin junta” with “a weak central government battling powerful criminal warlords.” In reality, the same kind of regional figures, separatist minorities, and corporate heavyweights he evokes constantly wrestle for power in every country that has any resources or power worth arguing about. He could just as easily be talking about France, or the US. So why do few such experts ever do so, despite the fact that life in inflation-hit Western Europe right now is far more taxing than life in Moscow? And I say that as someone who pings back and forth between both.
“The European Union was established for two purposes..”
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban offered a downbeat assessment of the current state of affairs within the European Union, before departing Budapest on Thursday for the bloc’s annual summit in Brussels, lamenting that neither peace nor prosperity prevailed in the bloc. “The European Union was established for two purposes. First, for peace, and now a war is raging there. Second, for prosperity, and the economy is now increasingly a matter for concern,” Orban wrote on the Hungarian government’s page on Facebook (prohibited in Russia due to its ownership by Meta, which has been designated as extremist).
At their two-day summit that kicks off later on Thursday, the EU leaders are planning to discuss the attempted armed mutiny in Russia and the military conflict in Ukraine, and the bloc’s further support for it, as well as how to legally tap frozen Russian assets. The bloc’s relationship with China and regulating migrant flows from Asia and Africa will also be on the agenda.
“an agent in the EU” who is working to protect Russian values in the bloc..”
Ukrainian MP David Arakhamia, who leads the faction of President Vladimir Zelensky’s Servant of the People party in parliament, has accused Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban of being a pro-Russian “agent,” according to Austrian media. Orban is a vocal critic of the EU’s Ukraine policy. The Hungarian leader is “an agent in the EU” who is working to protect Russian values in the bloc, Arakhamia was quoted as saying by the newspaper Kleine Zeitung. This came during the lawmaker’s meeting with liberal MEPs on the sidelines of the ongoing summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday. Kleine Zeitung said the Ukrainian MP failed to provide any examples of Orban’s purported actions as a Russian agent but expressed overall disappointment with the Hungarian leader’s behavior.
Arakhamia was present at an event organized by the liberal faction of the European Parliament, the report said. French President Emmanuel Macron and the leader of Germany’s Free Democratic Party, Christian Lindner, were also invited. EU leaders, including Orban, have gathered in Brussels this week to discuss several issues, including support of Ukraine. Earlier in the week, the Hungarian prime minister argued that the EU’s failure to provide peace and prosperity to citizens was fueling the popularity of “protest parties,” such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD).
The Orban government has been highly critical of the European response to the crisis in Ukraine. It has argued that arming Kiev and imposing unprecedented economic sanctions on Russia have failed to end the hostilities and have caused enormous damage to the bloc’s member states. Hungary also has a bilateral beef with Ukraine, after in May Kiev branded a top Hungarian financial institution, OTP Bank, a “sponsor of war” for refusing to stop operations in Russia. The Hungarian government has been blocking EU aid to Ukraine in retaliation. Arakhamia traveled to the Belgian capital to meet EU Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarcic and discuss ways in which Brussels could assist his country, according to public statements.
“Their effectiveness is limited when enemy aircraft are equipped with modern countermeasures..”
Retired Raytheon employees enjoying their golden years have been brought back to train the current workforce to make FIM-92 Stingers, with the MANPADS’ production process so antiquated that its seekers must be assembled by hand, Raytheon President Wesley Kremer has revealed. In an interview with defense media this week, Kremer confided that the US defense giant is pulling old Stinger “test equipment out of warehouses” and literally “blowing the spider webs off them” as a weapon that hasn’t been in demand for decades suddenly finds itself at the heart of a powerful political narrative. Stingers – envisioned as a favorite weapon of anti-Soviet Mujahedeen ‘freedom fighters’ during the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s, returned to the spotlight in 2022, after Washington and its allies sent nearly 3,000 of them to Ukraine.
Developed in the 1960s and introduced into the US military in the early 1980s, Stingers are a 15.7 kg, 1.5-meter long portable missile system with a 1-3 kg high explosive fragmentation warhead which detonates on impact. They home in on their target using an infrared homing guidance system, locking on to sources of heat generated by aircraft engines. Their effectiveness is limited when enemy aircraft are equipped with modern countermeasures such as flair dispensers. Operated by over two countries around the world, over a dozen variants of the Stinger were made during their initial production run between 1981 and 2003, including Stingers with improved seekers, better software, and the ability to target drones.
The US military has had little use for Stingers in the wars it has fought over the past quarter century, Russian military expert Viktor Litovkin pointed out, recalling the US preference for invading, bombing and occupying nations with little to no airpower. “They fought in Afghanistan, which had no unmanned aircraft or aviation whatsoever. The same goes for Iraq, Yugoslavia, Libya. Therefore, the need for Stingers disappeared,” the retired Russian Army colonel told Sputnik. Moreover, he recalled, after the US invaded Afghanistan in the 2000s, “they began buying the Stingers that the Taliban had, which the US shipped to the country while [Soviet] forces were there, because they understood that a Stinger in the hands of terrorists could mean catastrophe for any civilian plane.” And so the US stockpile grew and grew.
According to Litovkin, the Stingers shipped to Ukraine have not proven as effective as Washington and its allies might like, given Kiev’s propensity for selling off its Western military aid to third countries, plus the countermeasures available aboard Russian fixed wing and rotary aircraft which can disarm these systems. “Furthermore, some of our helicopters are equipped with radioelectronic warfare systems, allowing them to evade Stingers. Therefore Stingers have had had limited success or effect in Ukraine,” Litovkin said.
Russian partners within the BRICS bloc understand the futility of discussing the settlement of the Ukraine conflict without Moscow, Pavel Knyazev, an ambassador at large of the Russian Foreign Ministry and sous-sherpa of Russia in BRICS, told Sputnik on Friday. Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, said Sunday that national security and political advisers from Brazil, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Italy, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, Turkey and Japan attended a meeting in Copenhagen to discuss the settlement of the Ukraine conflict, adding that the sides agreed to continue consultations in this format.
Yermak also said that Ukraine wanted to host a so-called global peace summit for the discussion of Kiev’s peace plan. “About this initiative – this is, as you know, an attempt to promote the ultimatums that Zelensky is proposing and the line that his patrons in the West are promoting. Everyone, including our BRICS partners, understands the futility of such discussions of the situation in Ukraine or a settlement between Ukraine and Russia without Russia,” Knyazev said, commenting on the meeting in Copenhagen.
How to please Erdogan.
It is not necessarily a crime to burn the Koran in public, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday, responding to a question about the recent incident in Sweden, which caused outrage among the Muslims. The issue is especially sensitive, given that the Muslim-majority country of Türkiye is one of the two member states that has so far refused to ratify Sweden’s bid to join the US-led military bloc. “I understand the emotion and the depth of feeling this causes,” Stoltenberg told reporters at a press conference on Thursday. He added that the burning of the Koran was “offensive and objectionable [but] not necessarily illegal.” Stoltenberg also addressed the anti-NATO protests in Sweden that took place earlier this month. “I do not like them. But I defend the right to disagree. This is part of the freedom of expression,” he said.
“What is important for me is that we have to make progress on finalizing the accession of Sweden into the alliance,” NATO chief explained. “I spoke with [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan recently and we agreed to convene a high level meeting of officials here in Brussels, Thursday, next week.” On Wednesday, an Iraqi citizen living in Sweden burned a copy of the Koran outside a mosque in Stockholm amid the celebrations of Eid al-Adha, a major Muslim holiday. Türkiye, which is one of the two member states that have so far not ratified Sweden’s bid to join the bloc, strongly condemned the Swedish authorities for allowing the book-burning to go ahead. “We will eventually teach Western monuments of arrogance that insulting Muslims is not freedom of thought,” Erdogan said on Thursday, according to Anadolu news agency.
“As [for] those who commit this crime, those who allow it under the guise of freedom of thought, those who turn a blind eye to this baseness will not achieve their goals,” the Turkish leader said. Ankara previously objected to anti-Turkish demonstrations in Stockholm that were organized by Kurdish and left-wing groups. Erdogan has threatened to block Sweden’s accession to NATO unless the Nordic country extradites people linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist organization. The Swedish authorities have condemned the public burning of the Koran in the past, but argued that such actions are protected under the country’s liberal laws. “Sweden has a far-reaching freedom of expression, but it does not imply that the Swedish Government, or myself, support the opinions expressed,” Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said in January.
If this privilege is not absolute, what use is it?
Curious complications come up when the attorney-client privilege is breached. When Donald Trump was arraigned in Florida on federal charges, a condition of the former president’s bail was that he not discuss the case with anyone who might be a witness. But did that mean Trump couldn’t speak with Evan Corcoran? One of Trump’s lawyers, Corcoran has already testified before the federal grand jury in Florida about his interactions with his client. The testimony was not, it appears, to his client’s benefit. A charge of obstruction was brought against Trump based on the allegation that he misled Corcoran, leading the lawyer, in turn, to make false claims to the federal government. Corcoran “memorialized” the instructions the former president gave him. That is, he took notes – notes the attorney eventually turned over to the special counsel seeking an indictment.
“One of the key witnesses that we know is still the president’s lawyer,” argued one of Trump’s attorneys, Todd Blanche. He told the federal judge that “a special condition that President Trump cannot communicate with his lawyer, obviously doesn’t work, respectfully, your honor.” It wasn’t the first time Donald Trump has found he couldn’t rely on the attorney-client privilege, or on other expectations of confidentiality in his communications with lawyers. Michael Cohen, it will be remembered, was Trump’s long-time personal lawyer. He had a central role in the Stormy Daniels affair, which led the FBI to search not only Cohen’s office but also the hotel suite where he lived. The documents seized were in the thousands, if not more. Trump turned to Twitter to declare, “Attorney-client privilege is dead!”
Trump may not be wrong if he thinks the Department of Justice, and Democrats more broadly, have demonstrated a willingness – an eagerness – to put the screws to lawyers representing him. It’s not just Evan Corcoran who looks likely to be called as a witness against him, but also Christina Bobb, who found herself under Justice Department scrutiny within months of joining the Trump legal team last year. Like Corcoran, Bobb was required to testify before a grand jury. Trump White House lawyers Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin were compelled to give evidence to a grand jury not once but twice, despite Trump asserting both executive privilege and attorney-client privilege.
Corcoran reportedly did assert the attorney-client privilege in an effort not to testify regarding his client and the disposition of boxes storing documents from Trump’s presidency, but federal judge Beryl Howell ruled in favor of the government, which argued Trump had forfeited the protection of the privilege by using his lawyer to break the law, in what is known as the “crime-fraud” exception to the privilege. The crime-fraud exception holds that a “lawyer may not counsel or assist the client in conduct the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent.” Even so, that exception is limited, according to the American Bar Association. It does not, for example, “require the lawyer to reveal the client’s misconduct” other than in certain circumstances. The narrowness of those circumstances is a measure of the protection the privilege has traditionally been afforded, a protection needed for lawyers to do their job at all.
Is Rumsfeld still alive?
A cancer research branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) is set to designate the popular artificial sweetener aspartame as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” next month, according to Reuters. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) will deliver its ruling on July 14, after reviewing 1,300 studies, the news agency said on Thursday. It stated the impending announcement had been leaked by two insiders. The IARC does not account for consumption levels when assessing whether a substance poses cancer risk. Reuters said the ruling is intended to push for additional research into the matter. A separate opinion is expected to come on the same day from an expert committee called the JECFA (the Joint WHO and Food and Agriculture Organization’s Expert Committee on Food Additives), alongside rulings by national regulators.
The body made its own review of aspartame safety this year. Since 1981, the JECFA has considered the sugar substitute safe for humans within generous daily consumption limits. This view is globally shared by food safety regulators today. An IARC spokesperson told Reuters that the two rulings were “complementary.” Some national health bodies asked the WHO to release them on the same day to avoid “confusion and concern among the public,” as a letter to the organization’s leadership from Japanese health officials put it. Frances Hunt-Wood, the secretary general of the International Sweeteners Association (ISA), which has major food producers among members, referred to the IARC as “not a food safety body,” the report noted. He claimed that the review was “not scientifically comprehensive” and “based heavily on widely discredited research.”
In the past, IARC rulings have been used as evidence in court cases filed by cancer patients against manufacturers. One example would be glyphosate, the herbicide used in Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup, which the IARC classified “probably carcinogenic in humans” in 2015. Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sucrose, the primary component of regular sugar, which means a much smaller amount is required in a food recipe. The substance is broken down into components during digestion and absorbed by the body.
Here's Johnny Carson calling Joe Biden a fraud 36 years ago! pic.twitter.com/i5jlOG2i9k
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) June 29, 2023
Among the things a Beluga can do there's even playing with a seagull and offering fish for friendship
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) June 29, 2023
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