Jun 252024
 

 

Assange Leaves UK Prison To Finalize Plea Deal With US (RT)
US Escalated Ukraine Conflict to New Level in Sevastopol (Sp.)
Russia ‘Can’t Not Respond’ To Crimea Attack – Ron Paul (RT)
Between Kremlin Cup And General Staff Lip After Sunday Attacks (Helmer)
Putin’s “War” To Re-shape The American Zeitgeist (Alastair Crooke)
Article 5 Won’t Save Ukraine if It Joins NATO (Sp.)
Desperate Ukraine Needs Massive Debt Bailout (Miles)
Von der Leyen Must Go – Orban (RT)
EU To Bypass Hungarian Veto On Tapping Russian Assets – FT (RT)
The Land that Law Forgot: SCOTUS and the New York Legal Wasteland (Turley)
Boeing Faces Possible Criminal Indictment – Reuters (RT)
Death Of The Petrodollar: What Really Happened Between The US and Saudis? (RT)
Here It Comes (Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Julian


https://twitter.com/i/status/1805485661102772656

 

 

CNN gag order

CNN apology
https://twitter.com/i/status/1805282114255892876

 

 

Kim

 

 

Orban

 

 

Stop it!
https://twitter.com/i/status/1805415390819824083

 

 

Disguise

 

 

 

 

“Julian Assange is free. He left Belmarsh maximum security prison on the morning of 24 June, after having spent 1901 days there..”

Assange Leaves UK Prison To Finalize Plea Deal With US (RT)

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange was released from a UK prison on Tuesday morning, his team has said. He has spent five years in the Belmarsh Prison in London while fighting extradition to the US, where he was indicted on 18 counts of disseminating classified information. According to the newly filed court documents, Assange will soon strike a plea deal in order to avoid further time behind bars. “Julian Assange is free. He left Belmarsh maximum security prison on the morning of 24 June, after having spent 1901 days there,” WikiLeaks wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “He was granted bail by the High Court in London and was released at Stansted airport during the afternoon, where he boarded a plane and departed the UK.” WikiLeaks said that the international campaign to free Assange has created “the space for a long period of negotiations with the US Department of Justice, leading to a deal that has not yet been formally finalized.”

“As he returns to Australia, we thank all who stood by us, fought for us, and remained utterly committed in the fight for his freedom,” WikiLeaks wrote. According to a letter from the DOJ, Assange will appear in court in Saipan, in the Northern Mariana Islands, a US territory in the Pacific, at 9 am local time on Wednesday. “We anticipate that the defendant will plead guilty to the charge… of conspiring to unlawfully obtain and disseminate classified information relating to the national defense of the United States,” the letter said. The DOJ said it expects Assange to return to his home country of Australia after the proceedings. Under Assange’s helm, WikiLeaks published multiple top secret files, including documents related to the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well a trove of US diplomatic cables.

In 2010, the organization published a video of a US military helicopter attacking civilians in Baghdad in 2007 after mistaking them for insurgents. Fearing extradition to the US, Assange spent seven years hiding inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He was ejected from the premises in 2019, when Ecuador revoked his asylum status. The activist was immediately arrested by British police and subsequently spent five years in Belmarsh after being found guilty of jumping bail. Assange’s legal team, family and associates have repeatedly described the conditions in Belmarsh as “torture” and warned that his health had significantly deteriorated behind bars.

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“Both ATACMS variants have cluster warheads, prohibited by the international Convention on Cluster Munitions — which the US declined to sign.”

US Escalated Ukraine Conflict to New Level in Sevastopol (Sp.)

Washington’s involvement in the Ukrainian missile strike on Sevastopol is undeniable, given that it was conducted with the US-made ATACMS missiles programmed by American specialists, while a US RQ-4 Global Hawk reconnaissance drone was operating near Crimea that day, Russia’s Foreign Ministry stated on June 24. “The US is very complicit in this,” Earl Rasmussen, a retired US Army lieutenant colonel and international consultant, told Sputnik, commenting on the Ukrainian missile attack. “It had cluster bombs as munitions as well. Typically, for most countries it is not acceptable.” The expert said it was “highly likely the Global Hawk was providing reconnaissance, targeting information and potentially guidance information for the ATACMS itself. “ATACMS… essentially needs to coordinate with something. So, typically a lot of times drones’ or satellite information are used to help guide the target and guide the missile,” Rasmussen explained.

“ATACMS is pre-programed to some degree. But to ensure that it gets to its destination, there’s definitely communication of some type with an aerial drone system.” On Sunday at 12:15 pm local time, Ukraine attacked the Russian city of Sevastopol with five ATACMS missiles equipped with cluster bomblets. Russian air defenses intercepted four missiles, but the explosion of the fifth cluster warhead led to the death of four civilians with 153 more injured, according to local authroirties. The US government admitted in October 2023 that it had covertly provided Ukraine with a model of ATACMS with a range 165 kilometers. Longer-range ATACMS, capable of striking targets at a distance of up to 300 kilometers, were secretly included in the $300 million aid package and delivered to Ukraine in April. Both ATACMS variants have cluster warheads, prohibited by the international Convention on Cluster Munitions — which the US declined to sign.

In May, Politico reported that after Ukraine received ATACMS missiles, it also expressed interest in obtaining MQ-9 Reaper spy drones from the US, stressing that it needs new surveillance capabilities to strike Russian targets “deep behind the front lines.” EurasianTimes commentators suggested that “with the acquisition of the 300-kilometer-range variant of ATACMS, the thinking in Ukraine is that pairing it with an established unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) is the only way to attain some gains in the large artillery and ground systems-centric war.” The Defense Post also reported that US-made ATACMS and MQ-9 Reapers “could work in tandem in Ukraine, with the Reaper collecting target information and the ATACMS ensuring precision strikes.”

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“Are they going to twiddle their thumbs and walk away? They might – for a day or two – ponder it, but there will be something that they’re going to do.”

Russia ‘Can’t Not Respond’ To Crimea Attack – Ron Paul (RT)

There is tremendous popular pressure on Moscow to retaliate against the US over Sunday’s ATACMS missile strike on a beach near Sevastopol, former US Congressman Ron Paul has said. Five civilians were killed and over 150 injured by cluster munitions from a US-supplied missile launched by Ukrainian forces. Among the dead were at least two children. Paul, a retired lawmaker from Texas, described the strike as “a Ukrainian and American attack on Russia” on Monday’s Ron Paul Liberty Report. He added that some kind of escalation was inevitable after the US supplied long-range missiles to Ukraine and gave Kiev permission to use them for strikes deep inside Russia. “What’s Russia going to do about this?” Paul asked. “Are they going to twiddle their thumbs and walk away? They might – for a day or two – ponder it, but there will be something that they’re going to do.”

While Moscow might prefer a “minimal response,” Paul continued, “They can’t not respond.” The Russian public simply demands that something be done, he added. Russian Foreign Ministry officials summoned US Ambassador Lynne Tracy on Monday and told her that the “bloody atrocity” in Crimea would “not go unpunished.” According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Ukrainian military fired five ATACMS missiles at Crimea. While Russian air defense systems destroyed four of the projectiles mid-air, the fifth was damaged, veered off course, and exploded over a packed beach.

The Kremlin has described the beach bombing as an act of terrorism that the US was as responsible for as Ukraine. The attack happened while a US drone loitered over the Black Sea, and ATACMS launches rely on targeting and intelligence provided by the Americans, Moscow’s ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said. Paul and his co-host, Daniel McAdams, wondered if the missile attack was a deliberate escalation to justify further direct involvement of NATO inside Ukraine. They approvingly quoted Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, who on Monday condemned the attack as something the US military should not be doing. “The only border our American military should be defending is our own border,” Greene wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

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“..the Special Military Operation is not in fact a war, and that Russian war tactics and strategy should be limited to retaliation, not to the defeat and demilitarization of the US and NATO on the Ukrainian battlefield.”

Between Kremlin Cup And General Staff Lip After Sunday Attacks (Helmer)

A salvo of five ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) missiles was intercepted over the Uchkuevka beach at Sevastopol just after midday. In celebration of the 30-degree sunshine and the Orthodox Trinity holiday, there were a large number of people in the water and on the sand. The missiles were intercepted in the air, but shrapnel from the detonating warheads struck the beach. At latest count, four people were killed, two of them children; 151 people, including 27 children, were wounded; 82 were hospitalized, 13 of them in serious condition. Boris Rozhin, editor in chief of the Colonel Cassad military blog, was in Sevastopol and he reported from one of the hospitals to which the casualties were taken. His reports started at 12:23 local time and continued for almost twelve hours. Rozhin is one of the independent Russian war correspondents calling on the Kremlin to remove the limit which has been placed on attacking the US Air Force (USAF) drones and other NATO aircraft which operate over the Black Sea, in international waters off the Crimean shore, to provide flight course, evasion of Russian air defence units, and target coordinates to the American and Ukrainian ground crews operating the ATACMS batteries and executing the fire orders.

Russian reports indicate the launch point for the Sevastopol beach attack was Nikolaev on the Ukrainian mainland. If so, the range of the missiles was at least 300 kilometres – longer than the US has publicly admitted. This also means that to be effective in defence against the repetition of such attacks against civilians, the proposed Russian demilitarized zone for the Ukraine, or “sanitary zone” as Putin has called it, must stretch from Nikolaev westward to Kiev. Rozhin has blamed the US explicitly in language repeated by other military bloggers. They mean to say, as they have been repeating in recent weeks, that the USAF drones used in the Sevastopol attacks should be destroyed. Just after 1600 Moscow time on Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry issued its bulletin. The text, auto- translated into English, reads:

Note that that the Ministry, and the General Staff behind it, target the US as directly engaged in the operation of the missile attack. However, they start by calling the attack a “terrorist” strike, not an act of war. The wording of the statement also avoids identifying the USAF drones and other airborne electronic warfare systems offshore from Crimea. Instead, it refers to “satellite intelligence”. These are ideological references, not military ones. The distinction between Ukrainian acts of terrorism and war is Kremlin policy. By terming such attacks, including the Crocus City Hall attack in Moscow in March, terrorism but not war, the policy follows that the Special Military Operation is not in fact a war, and that Russian war tactics and strategy should be limited to retaliation, not to the defeat and demilitarization of the US and NATO on the Ukrainian battlefield.

At 1715 the Kremlin followed with a communiqué headlined: “The President reached out to the Government’s social bloc and the military following the attack by the Ukrainian Armed Forces against Sevastopol.” The two-paragraph statement said: “Vladimir Putin has been in touch with senior officials from the Government’s social ministries and agencies and healthcare institutions on an ongoing basis considering the urgency of providing care to the attack victims. The President has also been interacting with the military. The Ukrainian Armed Forces targeted Sevastopol with an intentional missile strike in the afternoon of June 23, using five ATACMS US-made tactical missiles. The attack left at least 124 people wounded or injured, to a varying degree of severity, including 27 children.”

The president’s statement was issued from the Kremlin in Moscow. Putin, who had returned from his visit to North Korea and Vietnam on June 20, has remained in the Moscow area. As he prepared to leave Vietnam on June 20, Putin was asked by a Kremlin pool reporter from Kommersant what he has meant by his threats to attack the US and NATO sources of the Ukrainian missile and drone attacks on Russian targets in Crimea, the Donbass, and the hinterland regions. “Andrei Kolesnikov: Kommersant newspaper, Andrei Kolesnikov. Can the use of Western long-range weapons be viewed as an act of aggression? Overall, can the shelling of Belgorod and Russian territory in general be viewed as an act of aggression? Vladimir Putin: This matter requires further investigation, but it is close. We are looking into it. What are we dealing with in this case? Those who supply these weapons believe that they are not at war with us.

As I have already said, including in Pyongyang, we reserve the right to supply our weapons to other regions of the world. I would not rule out this possibility in terms of our agreements with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. We can also adopt the same position on the question of where these weapons end up. Take the West, for example. They supply weapons to Ukraine, saying: We are not in control here, so the way Ukraine uses them is none of our business. Why cannot we adopt the same position and say that we supply something to somebody but have no control over what happens afterwards? Let them think about it. Therefore, at this stage, our primary objective is to defend against these strikes.”

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“Putin dismisses devices such as ‘ceasefires’ or ‘freezes’. He is seeking something permanent..”

Putin’s “War” To Re-shape The American Zeitgeist (Alastair Crooke)

The G7 and the subsequent Swiss ‘Bürgenstock Conference’ can – in retrospect – be understood as preparation for a prolonged Ukraine war. The three centrepiece announcements emerging from the G7 – the 10 year Ukraine security pact; the $50 ‘billion Ukraine loan’; and the seizing of interest on Russian frozen funds – make the point. The war is about to escalate. These stances were intended as preparation of the western public ahead of events. And in case of any doubts, the blistering belligerency towards Russia emerging from the European election leaders was plain enough: They sought to convey a clear impression of Europe preparing for war. What then lies ahead? According to White House Spokesman John Kirby: “Washington’s position on Kiev is “absolutely clear”: “First, they’ve got to win this war”. “They gotta win the war first. So, number one: We’re doing everything we can to make sure they can do that. Then when the war’s over … Washington will assist in building up Ukraine’s military industrial base”.

If that was not plain, the U.S. intent to prolong and take the war deep into Russia was underlined by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan: “Authorization for Ukrainian use of American weapons for cross-border attacks extends to anywhere [from which] Russian forces are coming across the border”. He affirmed, too, that Ukraine can use F-16s to attack Russia and use U.S. supplied air defence systems “to take down Russian planes – even if in Russian airspace – if they’re about to fire into Ukrainian airspace”. Ukrainian pilots have the latitude to judge ‘the intent’ of Russian fighter aircraft? Expect the parameters of this ‘authorisation’ to widen quickly – deeper to air bases from which Russian fighter bombers launch. Understanding that the war is about to transform radically – and extremely dangerously – President Putin (in his speech to the Foreign Ministry Board) detailed just how the world had arrived at this pivotal juncture – one which could extend to nuclear exchanges.

The gravity of the situation itself demanded the making of one ‘last chance’ offer to the West, which Putin emphatically said was “no temporary ceasefire for Kiev to prepare a new offensive; nor was it about freezing the conflict”; but rather, his proposals were about the war’s final completion.= “If, as before, Kiev and western capitals refuse it – then at the end, that’s their business”, Putin said. Just to be clear, Putin almost certainly never expected the proposals to be received in the West other than by the scorn and derision with which they, in fact, were met. Nor would Putin trust – for a moment – the West not to renege on an agreement, were some arrangement to be reached on these lines. If so, why then did President Putin make such a proposal last weekend, if the West cannot be trusted and its reaction was so predictable?

Well, maybe we need to search for the nesting inner Matryoshka doll, rather than fix on the outer casing: Putin’s ‘final completion’ likely will not credibly be achieved through some itinerant peace broker. In his Foreign Ministry address, Putin dismisses devices such as ‘ceasefires’ or ‘freezes’. He is seeking something permanent: An arrangement that has ‘solid legs’; one that has durability. Such a solution – as Putin before has hinted – requires a new world security architecture to come into being; and were that to happen, then a complete solution for Ukraine would flow as an implicit part to a new world order. That is to say, with the microcosm of a Ukraine solution flowing implicitly from the macrocosm agreement between the U.S. and the ‘Heartland’ powers – settling the borders to their respective security interests.

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“..an attack on one is an attack on all” does not automatically trigger a US military response.”

Article 5 Won’t Save Ukraine if It Joins NATO (Sp.)

As NATO members prepare to celebrate the alliance’s 75th anniversary in Washington next month, the US and key allies including the UK and Germany are debating how strongly to commit to Ukraine’s NATO bid. Washington and Berlin rejected a European plan to provide Ukraine with an “irreversible” path to the organization earlier this week, instead offering a “lighter commitment” with no concrete timeline, according to British newspaper The Telegraph. The Kiev regime has repeatedly urged the West to accept it into NATO. However, even if Ukraine were admitted, it would not be guaranteed NATO boots on the ground or greater assistance than it already receives. It is widely believed that Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty unquestionably commits NATO members to provide military support should one of them be attacked. In reality it doesn’t, according to US academics, legal experts and lawmakers.

Article 5 reads: “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them . . . shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking . . . such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. But Article 11 further explains that the treaty’s “provisions [shall be] carried out by the Parties in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.” The treaty’s language actually means that it’s up to NATO member-states and their respective legislatures to determine whether and how to come to the rescue of their peers.

“It is possible for the US and other Western countries to stay out of a conflict that involves a NATO country without having to break their alliance commitments,” Dan Reiter, a professor of political science at Emory University, and Brian Greenhill, an associate professor of political science at the University at Albany of the State University of New York wrote for The Conversation earlier this week. “The NATO treaty’s language contains loopholes that let member countries remain out of other members’ wars in certain situations.” The political scientists draw attention to the fact that whereas the treaty envisions the possibility of using military force in the event of an external attack it “does not include a clear definition of what an ‘armed attack’ actually is.” Previously that allowed NATO to argue that a violent act against a member wasn’t necessarily “enough” to define it as an “armed attack,” the academics note. According to Reiter and Greenhill, NATO members “have only formally invoked Article 5 once” in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, helping Washington patrol its skies from mid-October 2001 to mid-May 2002.

Nonetheless most NATO member states chose not to send troops to Afghanistan when the US declared war on the Taliban*. The academics point out that NATO states who didn’t join Washington’s “war on terror” were neither seen as breaking the alliance’s treaty nor sanctioned or ejected from the alliance. Additionally, NATO members have also used the issue of geography to stay out of their peers’ conflicts, according to the academics. Thus when the UK and Argentina went to war over the Falkland Islands in 1982, the US and other NATO states referred to the fact that the treaty provides for restoring and maintaining security in “the North Atlantic area.” The Falkland Islands – also known as the Islas Malvinas – are a South Atlantic archipelago. Last June, Senator Rand Paul addressed the issue of Article 5’s common defense provision to underscore that “an attack on one is an attack on all” does not automatically trigger a US military response.

“The Constitution grants to Congress the sole authority to determine where and when we send our sons and daughters to fight. We cannot delegate that responsibility to the president, the courts, an international body, or our allies,” Paul said. The senator condemned those he claimed deceive the public about what America’s commitments under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty really are.

On December 6, 2023, US President Joe Biden urged American lawmakers to green-light a US aid package for Ukraine by claiming that otherwise “we’ll have something that we don’t seek and that we don’t have today: American troops fighting Russian troops — American troops fighting Russian troops if [Russia] moves into other parts of NATO.” “We’ve committed as a NATO member that we’d defend every inch of NATO territory,” Biden insisted. Moscow has resolutely rejected the idea of attacking any NATO member state as absurd. However, even if such a scenario occurred, it would be up to US lawmakers, not President Biden, to decide whether the US would put boots on the ground to protect its ally. “Any military confrontation between Russia and NATO would surely be of a substantial nature, scope, and duration — and would therefore require congressional authorization,” the Brennan Center for Justice (BCJ), a nonprofit law and public policy institute at New York University’s School of Law, explains.

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Bottomless.

Desperate Ukraine Needs Massive Debt Bailout (Miles)

With Kiev’s gloomy financial prospects showing no sign of improving, one British newspaper is insisting that Western bondholders must forgive a substantial portion of the country’s arrears. “Kiev was already in a complex debt situation going into the war, having restructured its private debt in 2015,” noted the Financial Times broadsheet in an editorial published Sunday. “The country must now balance borrowing to fund the war with managing old debt obligations.” “Doing so is a tricky juggling act,” the paper’s editorial board observed, claiming substantial Western investment would be needed as the country rebuilds. At stake in current negotiations is $20 billion owed to private bondholders, just a small portion of the government’s $152 billion in overall outstanding debt. Ukraine’s debt payments have been paused since the outbreak of the Russo-Ukraine conflict but are scheduled to resume in August.

A recent G7-backed deal to reduce the amount owed by 60% was rejected by investors last week, who counteroffered a 20% write-down. “The war has gone on longer than expected,” the paper noted. Multiple reports have revealed the United States intervened to quash peace talks between Moscow and Kiev early on in the conflict, with Volodymyr Zelensky eventually issuing an edict preventing the country from negotiating with Russia. Washington’s sabotage of efforts to end the war was finally acknowledged by The New York Times and other mainstream outlets earlier this month. The editorial proposes three options for Ukraine – a default, another pause of payments, and continued insistence on a more significant debt reduction. Another pause would see the interest on the debt continue to balloon, while a default would further damage the country’s reputation and distract from the country’s efforts on the battlefield as Moscow appears poised to deliver a knockout blow.

Kiev was widely acknowledged as a perilous environment for foreign investors for decades before the current conflagration, with British newspaper The Guardian calling Ukraine “the most corrupt nation in Europe.” Corruption has remained endemic among government officials since the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Last year, defense minister Oleksii Reznikov was fired after millions of dollars of fraud was uncovered in procurement deals for the country’s armed forces. Ukraine has meanwhile relied on aid from Western countries merely to continue funding basic government services, a fact that has created controversy as increasing numbers of Americans tell pollsters they believe the US is spending too much money propping up the Kiev regime. Controversial investment firms like BlackRock and JPMorganChase are set to receive billions of dollars in profit from reconstruction efforts, with Ukraine’s indebtedness set to perpetuate Western influence in the country for years to come.

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“I’m not happy about the way things are going,” Orban said. “We have a structural problem.”

Von der Leyen Must Go – Orban (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has called for Ursula von der Leyen to be replaced as president of the European Commission, describing the five years of her tenure as the “worst” in the history of the EU. He told reporters from the German media group Funke on Sunday that the EU’s green transition had gone against the economic and industrial interests of the bloc, while its migration package had also proven entirely unsuccessful. “The past five years have been perhaps the worst five years in the history of the EU. The successes of the European Commission and the Brussels elite are weak,” Orban said. The EU needs efficient leadership and there are “plenty” of talented politicians “capable of doing this job,” the Hungarian prime minister said. He claimed that the results of the recent European Parliament elections had also shown that people want change in Brussels.

Voters shifted significantly to the right in the elections earlier this month, with ruling coalitions in Germany and France being comprehensively trounced by right-wing parties. “But as it looks now, the same ruling coalition will remain in power. I’m not happy about the way things are going,” Orban said. “We have a structural problem.” Centrist parties retained a majority in the European Parliament, with von der Leyen’s European People’s Party (EPP) winning 190 seats. She is seeking a second term as European Commission president, declaring that her goal is to “build a broad majority for a strong Europe,” and to keep Brussels on a “pro-Ukraine path.”

Members of the European Parliament will have their say in confirming the next Commission president in a vote scheduled for 18 July. Von der Leyen will have to win a majority of MEPs’ votes. Orban also said that if Europeans want to “keep pace with the Americans,” they will have to “rise up again.” He lauded former US President Donald Trump, saying he has “101% confidence” in him, and described him a “man of peace” because he “didn’t start a single war.” Orban has long been a vocal critic of the West’s approach to the Ukraine conflict, particularly its arms shipments to Kiev.

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“..the bloc’s workaround was “sophisticated as every legal decision, but it flies.”

EU To Bypass Hungarian Veto On Tapping Russian Assets – FT (RT)

The European Union has developed a scheme to use profits from frozen Russian assets to secure a $50 billion loan for Ukraine, which will be used to purchase arms, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing the bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell and other sources. The loophole effectively bypasses Hungary’s opposition to legislation that would have allowed the EU to hand over interest accrued on Russian funds to Ukraine. In an interview with the FT, Borrell said that since Budapest had opposed an EU agreement to transfer revenue to Ukraine, it “should not be part of the decision to use this money.” He added that the bloc’s workaround was “sophisticated as every legal decision, but it flies.” The West froze around $300 billion in Russian sovereign assets when the Ukraine conflict escalated, trapping around $280 billion in the EU.

Earlier this year, Brussels proposed seizing the interest earned on the assets to acquire weapons for Ukraine. The suggestion faced resistance from Hungary, a vocal critic of the West’s approach to the Ukraine conflict, particularly its arms shipments to Kiev. Under the US-led initiative, proceeds generated by Russia’s frozen assets from next year will be used to pay off the loan. The legal loophole allowing the EU to tap Russian assets is likely to suffice in guaranteeing the payout of the loan, the outlet said, citing officials familiar with the matter. However, Budapest can still block an EU decision to extend sanctions on Russian funds, which has to be renewed every six months by the bloc’s 27 members, the officials added.

To placate Hungary, the EU proposed a deal under which its share of the bloc’s funds would not be used to purchase weapons for Ukraine in exchange for not vetoing other members transferring the revenue to Kiev, according to Borrell. “We have offered Hungary: your money will not be used to support Ukraine in any means. Not just lethal, but on anything,” Borrell said. The proposal, however, has been rejected by Budapest. Moscow has denounced the decision to transfer profits from its assets to Ukraine as a blatant and illegal “expropriation.”

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Note the Pacific Ocean in the cover. And Canada.

The Land that Law Forgot: SCOTUS and the New York Legal Wasteland (Turley)

In 1976, Saul Steinburg’s hilarious “View of the World from 9th Avenue” was published on the cover of the New Yorker. The map showed Manhattan occupying most of the known world with wilderness on the other side of the Hudson River between New York and San Francisco. The cartoon captured the distorted view New Yorkers have of the rest of the country. Roughly 50 years later, the image has flipped for many. With the Trump trial, Manhattan has become a type of legal wilderness where prosecutors use the legal system to hunt down political rivals and thrill their own supporters. New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) ran on a pledge to bag former president Donald Trump. (She also sought to dissolve the National Rifle Association.) Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg also pledged to get Trump. Neither specified how they would do it, but both were elected and both were lionized for bringing controversial cases against Trump.

Just beyond the Hudson River, the response to these cases has been far less positive. James secured an obscene civil penalty of almost half a billion dollars without having to show there was a single victim or dollar lost from alleged overvaluation of assets. Through various contortions, Bragg converted a dead misdemeanor case into 34 felonies in an unprecedented prosecution. New Yorkers and the media insisted that such selective prosecution was in defense of the “rule of law.” This week in the Supreme Court, a glimpse of the legal landscape outside of Manhattan came more sharply into view. It looked very different as the Supreme Court, with a strong conservative majority, defended the rights of defendants and upheld core principles that are being systematically gutted in New York. In Gonzalez v. Trevino, the court held in favor of Sylvia Gonzalez, who had been arrested in Castle Hills, Texas in 2019 on a trumped-up charge of tampering with government records. She had briefly misplaced a petition on a table at a public meeting.

This was a blatant case of selective prosecution by officials whom Gonzalez had criticized. She was the only person charged in the last 10 years under the state’s records laws for temporarily misplacing a document. She argued that virtually every one of the prior 215 felony indictments involved the use or creation of fake government IDs. Although the charges were later dropped, the case reeked of political retaliation and selective prosecution. There is no evidence that anyone else has faced such a charge in similar circumstances. Yet when she sued, the appellate court threw her case out, requiring Gonzales to shoulder an overwhelming burden of proof to establish selective prosecution for her political speech. The justices, on the other hand, reduced that burden, allowing Gonzalez to go back and make the case for selective prosecution.

Unlike the Trump case, the criminal charges against Gonzales were thrown out before trial. For Trump, selective prosecution claims were summarily dismissed, even though no case like Bragg’s appears to have ever been brought before. The Bragg case is raw political prosecution. No one seriously argues that Bragg would have brought this case against anyone other than Trump. Indeed, his predecessor rejected the case. Yet people were literally dancing in the streets when I came out of the courthouse after the verdict against Trump. In fact, the selectivity of the prosecution was precisely why it was so thrilling for New Yorkers. [..] It all comes down to the legal map. As even CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig observed, this case of contorting the law for a selective prosecution would not have succeeded outside of an anti-Trump district. On the New Yorker map circa 2024, once you cross the Hudson River eastward, you enter a legal wilderness.

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“..FAA investigators found dozens of quality-control shortcomings, including the use of dish soap and a hotel key card as makeshift tools.”

Boeing Faces Possible Criminal Indictment – Reuters (RT)

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly considering a criminal indictment of aerospace giant Boeing for allegedly violating the terms of a 2021 settlement that shielded the company from charges over airliner crashes that killed 346 people. Prosecutors have recommended to senior DOJ officials that charges be filed against Boeing, Reuters reported on Sunday, citing unnamed people familiar with the department’s deliberations. A decision on whether to prosecute the company is due by July 7. The DOJ claimed in a court filing last month that Boeing had breached a 2021 agreement over allegations that the company defrauded federal aviation authorities in connection with fatal 737 MAX airliner crashes in 2018 and 2019. Under the settlement, the aircraft maker avoided prosecution by agreeing to pay a $2.5 billion fine and implement new compliance and ethics practices to prevent violations of US fraud laws.

Boeing responded by arguing that it had honored the terms of the 2021 agreement. However, the company has suffered a spate of safety incidents in recent months, including an inflight blowout of a door panel on a 737 MAX 9 operated by Alaska Airlines. The Alaska scare occurred just two days before the DOJ settlement was scheduled to expire. Prosecutors had previously agreed to seek formal dismissal of the deferred fraud charge as long as Boeing complied with the deal’s terms over a three-year period. Apart from the legal compliance issues, Boeing has reportedly failed a federal safety audit of its manufacturing processes in the wake of the midair door blowout. The New York Times reported in March that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigators found dozens of quality-control shortcomings, including the use of dish soap and a hotel key card as makeshift tools.

The FAA also launched a probe of possible falsification of inspection records at a Boeing factory in South Carolina. No final decision has been made by the DOJ on indicting Boeing, and internal discussions remain ongoing, Reuters said. Potential charges could go beyond the scope of the 2021 fraud settlement. One of the sources said other options include extending the earlier settlement agreement or imposing stricter compliance terms on Boeing. While the manufacturer might accept having an outside compliance monitor or paying a financial penalty, facing criminal charges or being forced to enter a guilty plea could be “too damaging” to its business, Reuters said. Boeing is a major defense contractor, and its government revenue might be jeopardized by a criminal conviction.

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“..when its economic foundation has eroded, it can only be maintained for so long by bluster and smoke and mirrors.”

Death Of The Petrodollar: What Really Happened Between The US and Saudis? (RT)

It is said that works of fiction can often convey certain truths better than a newswire. That is perhaps the light in which to view reports circulating around the internet recently about the expiration of a 50-year ‘petrodollar’ treaty between the US and Saudi Arabia. The agreement is a piece of fiction. The spurious reports appear to have originated in India or in the murky tangle of websites aimed at crypto investors. There was an official agreement between the US and Saudi Arabia signed in June of 1974 and another, secret one reached later that year according to which the Saudis were promised military aid in exchange for recycling their oil proceeds into US Treasuries. The deal whereby Riyadh would sell its oil in dollars was informal, and there was no expiration date. The petrodollar system as we have come to known largely grew organically.

However, this fiction points to an underlying truth: the petrodollar has entered a long twilight from which there will be no return. No other economic arrangement has done more to ensure American preeminence over the last half-century. Yet in its essence it represented an implicit oil backing to the dollar that would be maintained. To borrow an idea originally expressed by financial analyst Luke Gromen, it is ultimately America’s inability and unwillingness to maintain this backing that is gradually dooming the system.

[..] We are now accustomed to the proliferation of unbacked currencies, so it’s hard to appreciate just how unusual the petrodollar arrangement was for a world long used to dealing with some form of gold standard. It’s one thing for a government to insist that a currency be accepted within its own borders, but to propose that another country part with real goods – such as oil – for money backed by absolutely nothing would have been a tough sell in past eras. Yet the US managed to do that and more. But such an arrangement would never have been sustainable for so long – longer than the gold-backed Bretton Woods lasted – based on military power and backroom dealings by cabals of diplomats alone. While Washington has always acted with a certain sense of impunity, believing there to be no viable alternative to the dollar, for the several-decade-long golden age of the petrodollar there was at least an economic justification for it. It worked well enough for the rest of the world that, until recently, no major bloc emerged to oppose it. There also was the long shadow of Paul Volcker to give it credibility.

However, just as the US reneged in 1971 on its obligation to convert dollars into gold, it later reneged on its implicit obligation to maintain the value of the dollar against oil. Since then, Washington has shed all semblances of fiscal restraint and any pretense of managing the dollar in the best interests of everyone. Instead, it now wields the greenback as a weapon in a desperate bid to roll back the very events it helped set in motion by not preserving the integrity of the currency in the first place.The US is now fighting to maintain all the benefits of this broken system, the responsibility for which it is neither equipped nor willing to take any longer. If the dollar isn’t pegged to gold and isn’t even implicitly backed by oil, and Washington won’t preserve its integrity, then it is hardly up to the task of facilitating trade in critical resources. A system as deeply entrenched as the petrodollar won’t disappear overnight, but when its economic foundation has eroded, it can only be maintained for so long by bluster and smoke and mirrors.

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“A decision against the government should lead to the release of many J-6 prisoners and perhaps lawsuits for malicious prosecution under the Federal Tort Claims Act..”

Here It Comes (Kunstler)

Did you entertain feelings of doom during last week’s brain-withering heat-wave? The sheer anxious waiting and wishing for it to end was a nice analog to the stifling psycho-political miasma oppressing this nation — alternately known as the republic (for which we stand) and “our democracy,” as “Joe Biden” likes to style his regime of lawfare, warfare, and garish state-sponsored depravity. Well, rejoice and ring them bells! The political weather is breaking. The week ahead looks like an all-you-can-eat, steam-table banquet of consequence. The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) teased last week with an opening round of lesser decisions on bump stocks for rifles, abortion pills for women inconvenienced by motherhood, and a few other interesting cases. The court’s term draws to a close with the end of June. Pending are several cases liable to rattle the windows and shake down the walls.

One is the question as to whether the government can use private company proxies to censor constitutionally protected free speech (Murthy v. Missouri). The case has been simmering for years, with lower court actions that took a dim view of the intel blob’s coercive intrusions into social media. Probably the most galling part of the story is that virtually every act of censorship and de-platforming was committed against those telling the truth about some vital public issue, whether it was the danger and ineffectiveness of the Covid vaccines, or the probity of the 2020 elections, or the existence of Hunter Biden’s laptop and its dastardly contents. That is, the government’s actions were entirely in the service of lying to the American people. This raises a greater question that redounds from the courts onto the November election: just why is the US government so deeply invested in all that lying?

The answer is obvious: it has been engaged in nefarious activities that it seeks to hide and deny. And all of that has served to wreck the country. Even worse, the government has gaslit half of the public into cheerleading and rolling over for all that dishonesty, so as to keep them “safe” from hobgoblins such as “misinformation.” Considering “Joe Biden’s” cratering poll numbers, it looks like the public is tired of this incessant lying and is fixing to vote his regime out of office. We begin to see evidence that even some hardcore regime hacks are breaking out of that consensus trance, for instance, the Cuomo brothers denouncing the lies around lawfare and Covid. Andrew, once the New York state AG himself, told the shocked studio audience on Bill Maher’s HBO gabfest, beloved by Wokesters, that the Alvin Bragg case never should have been brought to trial. His brother Chris has been telling his podcast followers that Covid policy was a fiasco and the vaccines were harmful, and he apologized for his prior shifty reporting on all that when he had a CNN show.

Also upcoming at SCOTUS: Fischer v the United States, as to whether the DOJ tortured a federal statute on shredding financial records to overcharge J-6 rioters. In 2015 the court limited the scope of that law (part of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act), but Attorney General Merrick Garland used it anyway as an all-purpose dragnet to prosecute hundreds of people who merely paraded through the US Capitol — which provided legal footing for the House J-6 committee to color that event dishonestly as “an insurrection.” A decision against the government should lead to the release of many J-6 prisoners and perhaps lawsuits for malicious prosecution under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). It would also toss out the pertinent charges in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s DC case against Donald Trump for supposedly fomenting an “insurrection.”

Read more …

 

 

 

Lion
https://twitter.com/i/status/1805479152293708084

 

 

Hero
https://twitter.com/i/status/1805023820769550376

 

 

Newborn
https://twitter.com/i/status/1805227011545178183

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 012023
 
 June 1, 2023  Posted by at 8:31 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  37 Responses »


Odilon Redon Wild Flowers in a Vase c1910

 

Zelensky Issues Ultimatum To NATO – FT (RT)
Macron Wants ‘Tangible’ Security Guarantees For Ukraine (RT)
West May Change Aid To Ukraine If Conflict Becomes Protracted – Macron (TASS)
Zelensky and Macron Planning ‘Peace Summit’ Without Russia – WSJ (RT)
US Statements On Moscow Drone Attack Encourage Kiev Terrorists – Envoy (TASS)
Britain ‘De Facto’ At War With Russia – Medvedev (RT)
Russian Forces Wipe Out Last Ukrainian Combat Ship In Odessa (TASS)
Annexation Of Kharkov – Ukraine To Shrink Westward (Helmer)
OPEC Snubs Major Western News Outlets (RT)
Xi Jinping Warns Of ‘Worst-Case’ Situation (SCMP)
The Sultan 2.0 Will Heavily Tilt East (Pepe Escobar)
Epstein Pal Jes Staley Throws Jamie Dimon Under The Bus (ZH)
Jamie Dimon Hints At Run For Public Office; Bill Ackman Endorses Him (ZH)
Six Texas Attorney General Aides Take Leave Of Absence To Defend Paxton (JTN)
Judge Breathes New Life Into Clinton Foundation Whistleblower Case (JTN)
FBI Chief Wray Rolls Dice With Congress Over Contempt (JTN)
Fifty Years Later, Free Speech No Longer Exists In The West (Rabkin)
Australian Garlic Kills Covid-19, Says Doherty Institute (AFR)

 

 

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Death wish in disguise- Patrick Moore

 

 

 

 

Dan Bishop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Zelensky, but the US.

Zelensky Issues Ultimatum To NATO – FT (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky will skip a NATO meeting in Lithuania in July unless the alliance provides Kiev with the security guarantees it wants, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Zelensky has “made clear to NATO leaders that he will not attend the Vilnius summit without concrete security guarantees and a road map for accession,” the newspaper said. Ukraine formally applied to join the US-led bloc in September 2022, arguing that the collective defense it provides to members is necessary for Kiev’s security against Russia. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty stipulates that an armed attack against one NATO member “shall be considered an attack against them all.”

While Ukraine’s bid has been strongly endorsed by the Nordic and Baltic states, as well as Poland, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested on Wednesday that Kiev could be offered “something between the security provided to Israel and full-fledged membership.” FT cited four unnamed officials in April as saying that the US and Germany were against offering Kiev “deeper ties” to the alliance, including a potential roadmap. “We will look for ways to support Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations but right now the immediate needs in Ukraine are practical and so we should be focused on building Ukraine’s defense and deterrence capabilities,” Dereck Hogan, the top State Department official responsible for European affairs, said last month.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, who will host the NATO event on July 11-12, was quoted by Reuters as saying on Friday that it would be “very sad” if anyone could interpret the outcome of the Vilnius summit as “a victory of Russia.” Moscow views NATO’s eastward expansion as a threat to its national security and has cited the bloc’s open-door policy as a reason for the military conflict with Ukraine. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said recently that Ukraine’s neutrality was one of the conditions for a lasting peace between Ukraine and Russia.

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Macron wants Article 5 without mentioning it.

Macron Wants ‘Tangible’ Security Guarantees For Ukraine (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron has argued that Ukraine is “protecting Europe” and should be provided security guarantees by NATO. “That is why I’m in favor .. to offer tangible and credible security guarantees to Ukraine,” Macron said on Wednesday at a forum in Bratislava, Slovakia. He added that it would be in the interest of NATO members to provide such assurances while Kiev awaits approval to join the Western military alliance. France and other Western powers have provided billions of dollars’ worth of military aid to Ukraine since the conflict with Russia began in February 2022. But they have stopped short of offering the blanket protection afforded to NATO members. Article 5 of the bloc’s founding treaty stipulates that an attack on one member is considered an attack on all.


“We have to build something between the security provided to Israel and full-fledged membership,” Macron said. The French president, who once described the Brussels-based alliance as “braindead,” said the Ukraine crisis had “jolted NATO awake.” Macron called on the bloc’s members to “intensify” military aid to Kiev so it would have everything it needs for an effective counter-offensive against the Russian forces. While acknowledging that US contributions have been key in enabling Ukraine to defend itself, Macron argued that Europe must build up its own defense industry rather than relying on Washington for protection. Polish leaders have criticized Macron in the past for negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin and suggesting that the West should avoid “humiliating” Russia. Moscow, meanwhile, has repeatedly said that it views NATO’s expansion eastward as a threat and has named Ukraine’s neutrality as one of the conditions for a lasting peace.

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It will. It can’t afford it.

West May Change Aid To Ukraine If Conflict Becomes Protracted – Macron (TASS)

The West may reconsider its aid for Ukraine, if the conflict turns into a protracted one, French President Emmanuel Macron said during the Globsec international security conference in Bratislava, adding that high hopes are being placed on the potential Ukrainian counter-offensive. “We prepare for this conflict to become protracted, to the consequences of such development of events,” he said. “We must prepare the public opinion for long-term support of Ukraine in a high-and medium-intensity conflict in accordance with the situation. To that extent we must reconsider and analyze the nature of our support together with our partners during this summer, and to realize what we need to achieve the desired result.” Meanwhile, the French leader refrained from publicly discussing the perspectives in case of failure of the expected Ukrainian counter-offensive, expressing his hope that it will be successful.

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Everything about this is certifiably nuts. Take this beauty:

“..Zelensky’s top adviser, Mikhail Podoliak, demanded that China “make a choice” to back Ukraine and the West or “lose its influence” in world affairs..”

Zelensky and Macron Planning ‘Peace Summit’ Without Russia – WSJ (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelennsky and his European patrons are organizing a summit to build support for Kiev’s peace plan, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. The plan’s demands have been deemed unacceptable by Russia, and the document has been met with indifference by non-Western leaders. French President Emmanuel Macron has offered to host the summit in Paris, while the governments of Denmark and Sweden have also put themselves forward as hosts, the newspaper reported. Although no guest list has emerged, European officials have reached out to Brazil, India, China, and other non-Western countries, with one anonymous diplomat stating that “no Russians” would be invited, “but everybody else will be welcomed.”

“We require a unified plan of the responsible civilized world that really wants to live in peace,” Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, told the Wall Street Journal. Russia has already emphatically rejected Ukraine’s so-called pace plan. Published late last year, the plan demands that Russia hand back the territories of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye to Kiev, while also relinquishing control of Crimea, which voted overwhelmingly to join the Russian Federation in 2014. The plan also demands that Russia pay reparations to Ukraine and hand over its officials to face international tribunals. It is highly unlikely that a European summit to which Russia is not invited, organized by countries currently bankrolling the Ukrainian military, will change any minds in the Kremlin. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated last week that the Ukrainian plan essentially involves “the capitulation of Russia.”

European officials are aware of this, and told the Wall Street Journal that they plan on watering down Ukraine’s plan to “make it more acceptable” to non-Western powers such as Brazil, China, India, and Saudi Arabia, if not to Russia itself. Yermak acknowledged that the peace process “is not possible without the whole world, including the leaders of the Global South,” and Zelensky has recently made overtures to the non-Western world, addressing the Arab League in Saudi Arabia this month and speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping the month before. However, this outreach has come across ham-fisted at times, with Zelensky accusing Arab League members of succumbing to “Russian influence,” before skipping out on a meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at the G7 summit in Japan.

Last month, Zelensky’s top adviser, Mikhail Podoliak, demanded that China “make a choice” to back Ukraine and the West or “lose its influence” in world affairs. China has released its own 12-point peace plan, which despite being rejected by the US and its NATO allies, has found favor in much of the world, including Russia. Lula has backed Beijing’s plan, while a coalition of African leaders has urged Ukraine to agree to a ceasefire followed by peace talks, which Kiev has refused to do unless Moscow’s troops withdraw to Russia’s pre-conflict borders.

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“The United States is consciously and irretrievably descending into the abyss of hostilities in Europe. By the way, to generate confrontation between NATO and Russia is an old-cherished dream of Nazi radicals in Kiev.”

US Statements On Moscow Drone Attack Encourage Kiev Terrorists – Envoy (TASS)

Washington’s statements on the terrorist drone attack on Moscow encourage Ukrainian terrorists, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said. “We have taken note of Washington’s statements regarding the terrorist attack in Moscow involving drones. In fact, they sound like an encouragement for Ukrainian terrorists,” the envoy said, “Just consider the US officials’ attempts to hide behind the phrase that they are gathering information about what happened! And then they immediately switch to a media attack against our country.” “So really, doesn’t the administration understand that no one believes their slogans about non-support of Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory?! Especially, when these words are pronounced somehow bashfully and hesitantly,” the ambassador pointed out,

“The United States is consciously and irretrievably descending into the abyss of hostilities in Europe. By the way, to generate confrontation between NATO and Russia is an old-cherished dream of Nazi radicals in Kiev.” According to Antonov, the abovementioned terrorist attack of the Kiev regime “was senseless from a military perspective.” “The assault was inflicted on the residential buildings of ordinary Russian citizens. This onslaught unequivocally and without exaggeration must be considered as an act of terrorism,” the Russian diplomat pointed out. Ukrainian drones attacked Moscow and the Moscow Region on Tuesday morning.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the attack involved eight unmanned aerial vehicles, five of which were shot down by the Pantsir-S missile system and the remaining three were suppressed by electronic warfare. Two people in Moscow sought medical attention for minor injuries. A number of buildings sustained minor damage. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a regular briefing on Tuesday that the American side does not support Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory with the use of US-made weapons. According to the press secretary, Washington publicly and privately communicates this to Kiev. Jean-Pierre also pointed out that the US is allegedly gathering information on the incident.

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“..based on international law, “including the Hague and Geneva Conventions with their additional protocols,” Britain “can also be qualified as being at war.”

Britain ‘De Facto’ At War With Russia – Medvedev (RT)

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has described the UK as waging an “undeclared war” against Russia. The comment came after Britain’s foreign secretary condoned a large-scale drone attack on Moscow earlier this week. In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Medvedev accused London of being Moscow’s “eternal enemy.” The former leader, who currently serves as deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council, claimed that based on international law, “including the Hague and Geneva Conventions with their additional protocols,” Britain “can also be qualified as being at war.” The former president argued that by providing Ukraine with weapons and training, the UK “de facto is leading an undeclared war against Russia.” Medvedev hinted that this could have direct ramifications for “public officials” in Britain.

His tweet cited remarks made on Tuesday by UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who said Ukraine has the right to “project force beyond its borders to undermine Russia’s ability to project force into Ukraine itself.” Cleverly further claimed that striking “legitimate military targets” in Russia is an acceptable part of Ukraine’s self-defense. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, eight UAVs were detected in Moscow’s airspace on Tuesday morning, in what officials described as a “terrorist attack” by Kiev. The ministry reported that three drones were suppressed by electronic warfare measures and deviated from their intended course before crashing, while the other five were shot down by Pantsir-S air defense systems outside the city.

Several residential buildings sustained superficial damage and two people suffered minor injuries as a result of the raid. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Kiev of launching the attack in an attempt to avenge a recent series of Russian missile and drone strikes on Ukrainian airfields, ammunition dumps, and “decision-making centers.” Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed on Tuesday that the headquarters of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) had been among the targets hit in the strikes.

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“The Ukrainian Navy operated about 25 combat ships, including five patrol and six artillery boats before Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine.”

Russian Forces Wipe Out Last Ukrainian Combat Ship In Odessa (TASS)

Russia’s Aerospace Forces destroyed the last Ukrainian combat ship in the Odessa port in the special military operation in Ukraine, Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov reported on Wednesday. “On May 29, the Ukrainian Navy’s last combat ship Yury Olefirenko was destroyed as a result of a strike by the Russian Aerospace Forces’ precision weapons against the anchorage of naval ships in the Odessa port,” the spokesman said. The Ukrainian Navy operated about 25 combat ships, including five patrol and six artillery boats before Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine.


In addition, the Ukrainian Navy’s combat assets included the Gola Pristan anti-saboteur boat and the Svatovo assault boat. Upon Kiev’s attempt to storm Snake Island in the Black Sea on May 9 last year, Russian forces sank three Ukrainian Centaur-class armored assault boats and each of them could have carried a marine infantry platoon. The Ukrainian Navy also operated nine armored gunboats, one of which, the Akkerman, was abandoned by the crew in Berdyansk, according to information of the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily. The Vinnitsa corvette and the Yury Olefirenko medium amphibious assault ship were sunk.

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Cato: Carthago delenda est – “Carthage must be destroyed” – was a Roman strategic aim 2,200 years ago. It was regularly repeated in his public speeches by Marcus Porcius Cato in his advocacy of putting an end to the Punic Wars by destroying the Carthaginian adversary entirely, not just militarily, so that it could never rise again to challenge Roman power. The opposition slogan was Carthago servanda est – “Carthage must be saved”. Its author, Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum, meant don’t rule by force if it can be avoided..

Annexation Of Kharkov – Ukraine To Shrink Westward (Helmer)

Because Russia is the only functioning democracy on the two sides of this war, where military tactics and war aims are openly argued in parliament and the media, the debate between the Cato delenda war aim, and the Corculum servanda war aim is an active one. Sworn to destroy President Vladimir Putin, the Russian army and economy, the US, European and western allies misinterpret this debate to be vacillation and vulnerability. Dialectically speaking, this encourages the Cato line faction in Moscow at the expense of the Corculum line faction. In this way the US and NATO axis provokes its own defeat. This process has taken the war well beyond the 300-kilometre range of some of the US, French or British weapons which have been deployed and fired to date. The debate over the 300-km westward defence line was winding up in Russia, not beginning, when winter started last year.

Medvedev made this official last week, following the intensification of artillery, rocket, and drone attacks on Russian cities, including Moscow. This week the governor of Belgorod, Vyacheslav Gladkov, went further. Then yesterday President Putin tried to pull Gladkov and Medvedev back in line — that’s the Corculum line, not the Cato line. “We live in a state of de facto war. Whether we like it or not, it’s happening,” Gladkov said on the Rossiya 24 television channel. Asked what can be done to increase public security in the Russian border regions, he said one option is “to attach Kharkov to Belgorod Region. This is the best way to solve the issue of the shelling of Belgorod Region.” That was a public, political challenge to the Kremlin. It was polite compared to those who use other names when they mean to criticize Putin’s conduct of the war.

Governor Gladkov is a southerner by birth, education, and career. Born in the Penza region, he has worked in high administrative posts in Penza, Crimea, Stavropol, and for almost three years now in Belgorod. The first Kremlin reply to Gladkov was Dmitry Peskov’s, the spokesman. He was opposed, he intimated, to annexation of more regions along the front line by repeating the restrictive limits of the war. “This already belongs to the category of issues related to the conduct of Special Military Operation. Therefore, I cannot comment on this in any way.” Peskov said in his piece on Monday morning. On Tuesday afternoon, after Ukrainian drones had landed in Moscow, Putin said more; he also said the same thing. “We all had to respond by launching the special military operation. We are striking at the territory of Ukraine, but with long-range precision weapons, at military infrastructure facilities only, either at ammunition or fuel and lubricants warehouses used for combat operations. We have talked about the possibility of striking at decision-making centres. Of course, the headquarters of Ukrainian military intelligence is one of them, and a strike at this target was carried out two or three days ago.”

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“..Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman was behind the exclusion of prominent news organizations..”

OPEC Snubs Major Western News Outlets (RT)

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has refused to invite reporters from Bloomberg News and Reuters to its event in Austria later this week, both outlets said on Wednesday. Correspondents from the Wall Street Journal were also snubbed, according to Reuters and Bloomberg. Though staff from the three media agencies typically cover major OPEC meetings, Bloomberg said that this time organizers decided to send invitations directly to reporters, as opposed to providing accreditation to any journalist seeking to attend an event. “We are disappointed that Reuters has not been invited,” a spokesperson said, adding that the agency has “reached out to OPEC for clarity on the matter.” “We believe that a free press serves readers, markets and the public interest,” the spokesperson added.

Bloomberg said it had contacted the OPEC secretariat, but received no reply. The agencies are still expected to send reporters to Austria, even if they cannot access the OPEC Secretariat, where ministers meet, according to the Financial Times (FT), which noted that it did receive an invitation. The newspaper added that Dow Jones was also denied an invitation. FT cited people familiar with the matter as saying Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman was behind the exclusion of prominent news organizations. Reporters from other outlets, including CNBC, as well as pricing agencies Argus and Platts, told Reuters that they were invited to the Vienna event.

OPEC – along with its partners in the broader OPEC+ bloc, which includes Russia – have been under pressure to support Western sanctions imposed on Moscow in response to its military operation in Ukraine. OPEC members have worked with Russia to reach an agreement on coordinated production cuts, which drew criticism from Washington. OPEC members will gather on Saturday and Sunday for a regular biannual meeting to determine next steps after US crude prices dropped below $70 per barrel this week. The decline comes despite an agreement to further slash production in April, expanding output cuts initially set last year.

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“No matter how many dialogues, there will be no fundamental improvement [they have said]. I think it is a very honest assessment.”

Xi Jinping Warns Of ‘Worst-Case’ Situation (SCMP)

China is facing more complex and difficult national security concerns, President Xi Jinping warned on Tuesday, in comments analysts said showed the country harboured no “illusions” about the possible damaging effects of its rivalry with the US and had little hope of a lasting improvement in ties. The remarks from Xi came as he chaired a meeting of the National Security Commission, his first since securing an unprecedented third term as leader of China’s ruling Communist Party at its 20th congress in October. Xi heads both the commission and the Chinese military. He said the country’s security apparatus needed to stay “keenly aware” of the complicated and challenging circumstances facing national security, and correctly grasp major related issues, according to state news agency Xinhua.

The national security issues facing China were “considerably more complex and much more difficult” to deal with, Xinhua reported Xi as saying, as he urged officials to be ready to deal with “worst-case and most extreme scenarios”, so that they could withstand “high winds and waves and even perilous storms”. Xi’s remarks come as rival powers China and the United States continue to lock horns on many fronts. Both sides have stepped up national security scrutiny, especially in the technology sector, with the US slapping sanctions on a slew of Chinese companies in the past few years citing security concerns. In March, in a rare public comment on the US tech rivalry, Xi directly named Washington for leading the Western suppression of China. China recently prohibited its key infrastructure operators from buying products made by US memory chip maker Micron Technology, citing “relatively serious” cybersecurity risks.

[..] Xi had also sounded a warning then about choppy waters and “dangerous storms” ahead, as he highlighted the challenges and risks facing the country. According to Xie Maosong, senior fellow at Beijing’s Taihe Institute and a senior researcher at Tsinghua University’s National Strategy Institute, Xi’s latest remarks showed China had “no rosy illusions” about the potentially devastating outcome of the US rivalry and was making serious efforts to prepare for it. “The ‘worst-case scenarios’ might include a nuclear war, a devastating war that ruins China’s coastal economic belts [or] Western sanctions on China’s energy, finance and food supply,” Xie said. [..] Alfred Wu, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said Xi’s remarks meant Beijing was convinced that recent minor improvements in Sino-US relations would be short-lived.

“Xi has named the US as the culprit behind China’s problems,” Wu said. “Some mainland scholars have also openly expressed pessimism about the Sino-US relationship, saying the deterioration was due to domestic political dynamics in China and the US. No matter how many dialogues, there will be no fundamental improvement [they have said]. I think it is a very honest assessment.”

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On Twitter Escobar calls him the Sultan of Swing.

The Sultan 2.0 Will Heavily Tilt East (Pepe Escobar)

The collective west was dying to bury him – yet another strategic mistake that did not take into account the mood of Turkish voters in deep Anatolia. In the end, Recep Tayyip Erdogan did it – again. Against all his shortcomings, like an aging neo-Ottoman Sinatra, he did it “my way,” comfortably retaining Turkiye’s presidency after naysayers had all but buried him. The first order of geopolitical priority is who will be named Minister of Foreign Affairs. The prime candidate is Ibrahim Kalin – the current all-powerful Erdogan press secretary cum top adviser. Compared to incumbent Cavusoglu, Kalin, in theory, may be qualified as more pro-west. Yet it’s the Sultan who calls the shots. It will be fascinating to watch how Turkiye under Erdogan 2.0 will navigate the strengthening of ties with West Asia and the accelerating process of Eurasia integration.

The first immediate priority, from Erdogan’s point of view, is to get rid of the “terrorist corridor” in Syria. This means, in practice, reigning in the US-backed Kurdish YPG/PYD, who are effectively Syrian affiliates of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – which is also the issue at the heart of a possible normalization of relations with Damascus. Now that Syria has been enthusiastically welcomed back to the Arab League after a 12-year freeze, a Moscow-brokered entente between the Turkish and Syrian presidents, already in progress, may represent the ultimate win-win for Erdogan: allowing control of Kurds in north Syria while facilitating the repatriation of roughly 4 million refugees (tens of thousands will stay, as a source of cheap labor).

The Sultan is at his prime when it comes to hedging his bets between east and west. He knows well how to profit from Turkiye’s status as a key NATO member – complete with one of its largest armies, veto power, and control of the entry to the uber-strategic Black Sea. And all that while exercising real foreign policy independence, from West Asia to the Eastern Mediterranean. So expect Erdogan 2.0 to remain an inextinguishable source of irritation for the neocons and neoliberals in charge of US foreign policy, along with their EU vassals, who will never refrain from trying to subdue Ankara to fight the Russia-China-Iran Eurasia integration entente. The Sultan, though, knows how to play this game beautifully.

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Zero Hedge labels Epstein a “pedophile”??

Epstein Pal Jes Staley Throws Jamie Dimon Under The Bus (ZH)

Former JPMorgan Chase executive Jes Staley has thrown CEO Jamie Dimon under the bus over the bank’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein – claiming in legal documents that he and Dimon communicated about the convicted sex offender. Dimon maintains he had no such conversations, the Wall Street Journal reports, while Staley claims he knew about Epstein’s sex trafficking operation and that he regrets his friendship with Epstein. According to the filing, Staley says that he and Dimon communicated when Epstein was arrested in 2006 and 2008 when Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution, and served 13 months in a work-release program. Staley also claims that Dimon communicated with him several times through 2012 about whether to maintain Epstein as a client.

“There is no evidence that any such communications ever occurred—nothing in the voluminous number of documents reviewed and nothing in the nearly dozen depositions taken, including that of our own CEO,” said a spokeswoman for JPMorgan, adding that Dimon doesn’t believe such conversations with Staley ever happened. “The one person who claims this to be true is currently accused of horrific acts and dishonesty.” “The statements arose as part of a pair of lawsuits against the bank in a federal court in Manhattan. The government of the U.S. Virgin Islands and an unnamed woman, who said she was abused by Epstein, sued JPMorgan last year, claiming that the bank facilitated Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking. The bank has sought to pin the bulk of the relationship on Staley and sued him claiming he misled executives about Epstein. The bank in its lawsuit identified Staley as the “powerful financial executive” accused of sexual assault by the woman who is suing JPMorgan. Staley’s lawyers have said the allegations against him are baseless.”: -WSJ

“Rather than mislead anyone about what was or was not said, why don’t they just agree to release the whole transcript?” said an Epstein accuser’s attorney, Brad Edwards, referring to Dimon’s deposition. [..] The pedophile, who became a JPMorgan client around 1998 – bringing the bank hundreds of millions of dollars, formed a close bond with Staley, who eventually oversaw JPMorgan’s investment bank. In August 2008, a few weeks after Epstein’s guilty plea, a JPMorgan employee sent an email that suggested Dimon would review the Epstein relationship, according to the U.S. Virgin Islands lawsuit. The email states, “I would count Epstein’s assets as a probable outflow for ’08 ($120mm or so?) as I can’t imagine it will stay (pending Dimon review).” The bank has said that there is no record of such a review and that Dimon doesn’t recall one.” -JPMorgan

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“..all that will be needed to avoid long-term “legal complications” will be a check with several zeroes on it… or maybe some political immunity..”

Jamie Dimon Hints At Run For Public Office; Bill Ackman Endorses Him (ZH)

JPMorgan’s CEO may be getting swept up in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, but for a billionaire like Jamie Dimon, whose catch phrase is “that’s why I’m richer than you” and may as well be “that’s why I will always be freer than you”, all that will be needed to avoid long-term “legal complications” will be a check with several zeroes on it… or maybe some political immunity. Which may be why the head of the largest US bank is already hinting that after he is done gobbling up all the small and regional banks and gets tired of running JPM, he is considering running for public office. “I love my country, and maybe one day I’ll serve my country in one capacity or another,” he said in a Bloomberg Television interview, when asked if he’s ever considered a public office position.

His comments, made at the bank’s annual Global China Summit in Shanghai on Wednesday, come as the US gears up for its 2024 presidential race. For now, he’s focused on his job running the largest US bank, a role he’s “quite happy” in. “I love what I do,” he said. JPMorgan does “a great job for helping Americans, for helping countries around the world.” Dimon also reiterated his view that “business can be a force for good,” and said he’s an American patriot who would follow the US government: “Everyone knows I am a patriot,” he said. “I am a red-blooded, full-throated, free enterprise capitalist.”

As BBG notes, the billionaire Wall Street banker is among a group of long-tenured Wall Street chiefs that also includes Brian Moynihan, 63, who’s led Bank of America Corp. since 2010, and Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman, 64, who became CEO at the start of 2010 and is stepping down within 12 months. Dimon, 67, who has been head of JPMorgan since 2005, has repeatedly said that he plans to remain atop the biggest US bank for five more years. And while in the past, Dimon has been quick to publicly shut down speculation that he planned a presidential run, shortly after the story about Dimon’s “public run” broke, none other than weepy Bill Ackman, who one year ago sold his NFLX impulse buy locking in losses of $400 million when he would have broken even had he sold it yesterday, endorsed Dimon for president in one of his lengthy, trademark Twitter posts.

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He does a good speech.

Six Texas Attorney General Aides Take Leave Of Absence To Defend Paxton (JTN)

Six staffers from the Office of the Texas Attorney General have taken a leave of absence to defend their former boss, Ken Paxton, who was impeached by the Texas House on Saturday. Their temporary departure was first reported by The Daily Wire and independently confirmed by Hearst Newspapers. Paxton was suspended from office until the outcome of a Senate trial determines if he returns to or is removed from office. In the interim, First Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster is the acting head of the agency. Six employees taking leaves of absence include Solicitor General Judd Stone, Assistant Solicitor General Joseph N. Mazzara, Assistant Solicitor General Kateland Jackson, Senior Attorney Allison Collins, Executive Assistant Jordan Eskew, and Division Chief of the General Litigation Division Chris Hilton, who’s been outspoken in Paxton’s defense.

Hilton attempted to present evidence to the House General Investigating Committee, which refused to interview Paxton or anyone from his staff as part of its investigation. Hilton told reporters last Thursday that the committee was engaged in an “illegal investigation” and a report it issued was “filled with falsehoods and misrepresentations.” One week ago, the committee held a three-hour hearing at which four attorneys hired by the committee presented the findings of their investigation. The attorneys, some of whom are registered Democrats, had all worked in the offices of the Harris County District Attorney and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas in Houston. They presented no sworn testimony and no documentation; no witnesses were interviewed by the committee.

On Thursday, the committee issued 20 articles of impeachment and within 24 hours the full House voted to impeach Paxton by a vote of 121-23. The Texas GOP, Paxton and others argue the impeachment didn’t follow basic due process, was political, illegal, unethical and unjust. An outside law firm also found that Paxton didn’t break any laws or violate procedure. The House has announced its prosecutorial team and the Senate its committee to establish trial rules. The rules are expected to be announced June 20. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has said the trial will start no later than August 28.

Paxton
https://twitter.com/i/status/1663727925789589504

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“..The foundation “began acting as an agent of foreign governments early in its life and throughout its existence..”

Judge Breathes New Life Into Clinton Foundation Whistleblower Case (JTN)

Just a few weeks after Special Counsel John Durham revealed significant failures to investigate allegations against Hillary Clinton’s family charity, a U.S. Tax Court judge has once again breathed new life into a years-long whistleblower case alleging IRS improprieties involving the controversial Clinton Foundation. U.S. Tax Court Judge David Gustafson has already once before denied an IRS request to dismiss the whistleblower case, first brought in 2017. And three years ago, he ordered the tax agency to reveal whether it criminally investigated the foundation, citing a mysterious “gap” in its records. The IRS filed a new motion to dismiss, and all parties filed arguments over the last year.

But on Monday, Gustafson postponed ruling on those motions, instead asking for new arguments in light of three recent precedent-setting court rulings, once again frustrating IRS efforts to make the case go away. The three recent rulings in other tax cases “may affect the parties’ positions as to the pending motions,” Gustafson wrote. “We will order further filings so that the parties may address those recent opinions.”The judge gave whistleblowers John Moynihan, a former federal agent, and Larry Doyle, a corporate tax compliance expert, until June 30 to update their arguments and the IRS until July 28 to respond. That means the case will almost certainly stretch on for many more months.

The judge also noted the IRS hasn’t responded to a request to update the court record with new evidence. Monday’s ruling adds new intrigue in a case that first surfaced nearly five years ago when Doyle and Moynihan, two respected forensic financial investigators, revealed the existence of their 2017 IRS whistleblower complaint against the foundation during a congressional hearing. Moynihan and Doyle testified to a House committee in December 2018 that they believed the foundation wrongly operated as a foreign lobbyist by accepting overseas donations, then trying to influence U.S. policy. The foundation “began acting as an agent of foreign governments early in its life and throughout its existence,” Moynihan testified at the time. “As such, the foundation should’ve registered under FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act).

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”..he would allow lawmakers to visit FBI headquarters and look at it in a private room..”

FBI Chief Wray Rolls Dice With Congress Over Contempt (JTN)

Just hours after informing Congress he wouldn’t comply with a subpoena and turn over an informant document on the Biden family investigation, FBI Director Christopher Wray hopped on the bureau’s Gulfstream jet and ferried off to the more friendly confines of Las Vegas. The flight manifest for the FBI’s official jet shows Wray left the Washington suburb of Manassas, Va., at about 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday and landed about four hours later in Nevada’s most famous tourist city. Agency officials said the jaunt was for official business and that Wray would be speaking to a conference of counterterrorism officials, meeting with the FBI’s Las Vegas field office, and attending a law-enforcement memorial ceremony.


[..] The trip allows the FBI boss to escape an increasingly hostile atmosphere for himself in Washington, where congressional Republicans announced Wednesday that they would seek to hold Wray in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over a subpoenaed memo that lays out bribery allegations against President Biden. The memo, known as a FD-1023 form, includes information provided to the bureau in June 2020 by a confidential human source alleging a bribery scheme involving Biden when he was vice president. Lawmakers learned about the existence of the memo from FBI whistleblowers.

Wray tried to defuse the situation earlier Wednesday in a phone call with House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, saying that while he would not comply with the subpoena by turning over the memo to Congress, he would allow lawmakers to visit FBI headquarters and look at it in a private room. The two lawmakers, who have been leading an investigation into the Biden family’s foreign business dealings, said Wray’s offer was unacceptable and that Congress had every right to demand at the memo be turned over under a subpoena. Comer made clear he plans to seek a contempt vote as early as next week in Congress.


“While the FBI has apparently leaked classified information to the news media in recent weeks, jeopardizing its own human sources, it continues to treat Congress like second-class citizens by refusing to provide a specific unclassified record,” Grassley said. Comer said lawmakers scored one victory Wednesday: Wray confirmed the existence of the FD-1023 memo the whistleblowers identified. “Today, FBI Director Wray confirmed the existence of the FD-1023 form alleging then-Vice President Biden engaged in a criminal bribery scheme with a foreign national,” the powerful House committee chairman said. “However, Director Wray did not commit to producing the documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1663988796600340481

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” .. I was excited by the opportunity to engage in free political debate and to make my contribution as a citizen and a scholar.”

Fifty Years Later, Free Speech No Longer Exists In The West (Rabkin)

Fifty years ago I left the Soviet Union for one reason: My desire for freedom. I was disgusted by the one-sided world view fostered by the banning of foreign publications and the jamming of Western radio stations. The obedient media, toeing the party line, repulsed me and made me laugh. Fear of the authorities (even if they were far more “vegetarian” than in Stalinist times) restricted open discussion of politics to the “kitchen cabinet,” with a small circle of trusted friends. I left behind my hometown (then Leningrad, now St Petersburg), my friends, my brother and the graves of my parents and grandparents. Applying to emigrate meant taking a risk, because you almost always risked losing your job, many friends and even relatives, with no guarantee that you would even be granted an exit visa.

[..] What struck me most in the newspapers and on television was the diversity of opinion. Letters to the editor offered a wide range of viewpoints, some of which not only criticized Western policies but also offered alternatives. It wasn’t long before I began to express my own views, first in letters to publications and then in articles. I was excited by the opportunity to engage in free political debate and to make my contribution as a citizen and a scholar. After all, society had created the conditions for me to share the results of my research and observations broadly. However, things have changed. Today, when it comes to some important issues of international politics, freedom of discussion is severely restricted.

[..] An even more important issue that has disappeared from rational discussion is policy towards Russia. This issue is all the more important because Moscow has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Long before February 2022, when President Vladimir Putin announced the military campaign in Ukraine, most NATO countries (as well as Kiev itself) had restricted access to Russian media, something that did not happen in the West even during the Cold War. Just as the Soviets justified their jamming of Western radio broadcasts with the need to protect against “ideological sabotage,” many institutions have been created in recent years by NATO and its member states to protect citizens from, so-called, “Russian disinformation.”

[..] Freedom of speech is not just a democratic right. It is also a way of defining and weighing alternatives. When conflict becomes an epic struggle between good and evil, rationality is replaced by moral judgment and noble indignation. This undermines all diplomacy and, in turn, exacerbates the danger of nuclear war, the inevitable consequence of which, as US military strategists recognized as early as 1962, is Mutually Assured Destruction, or ‘MAD’. Unanimity, una voce, one-sided debate – call it what you like. But this is about more than just the denial of free speech. The climate it has created threatens the very survival of humanity.

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Maybe Pfizer can grow some.

Australian Garlic Kills Covid-19, Says Doherty Institute (AFR)

Garlic might not just be good for keeping vampires away, but also COVID-19 and the common flu, according to new research being released on Wednesday by The Peter Doherty Institute. Scientists at Doherty have been researching garlic properties over the past 18 months and have discovered a certain Australian grown garlic variety demonstrates antiviral properties with up to 99.9 per cent efficacy against the viruses which cause COVID-19 and the common flu. The world-first research, commissioned by the Australian Garlic Producers organisation, involved in-vitro testing against the SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza type A viruses, using garlic ingredients extracted from exclusive Australian grown garlic varieties.


The most efficacious garlic varieties and their extracted proprietary garlic ingredient are being commercialised. They will be able to be taken as a soft capsule supplement similar to vitamin C or fish oil and are subject to a recently lodged International Patent. Dr Julie McAuley, manager of the Doherty’s high containment facility COVID-19 research lab, said the results were striking. “We wanted to know if these strains had the possibility of killing COVID-19,” she told The Australian Financial Review. “I thought it might fail miserably. We blindly tested over 20 varieties. We found one of AGP’s products could reduce the infectious titre of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza by 3-log-fold (99.9 per cent). We barely detected any remaining virus genome, indicating nearly complete virucidal activity.”

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Impaw
https://twitter.com/i/status/1663916994691776515

 

 

Anthill

 

 

Odd couple

 

 


The Taiwan blue magpie is a species of bird of the crow family. Also known as “long-tailed mountain lady”, is considered a rare and valuable species and has been protected by Taiwan

 

 

 

 

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