Apr 102024
 
 April 10, 2024  Posted by at 8:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Fall of the Rebel Angels 1562

 

(Hunter) Biden-Linked Burisma Used For Terror Attacks In Russia – Moscow (RT)
Burisma ‘Vehicle To Launder Taxpayer Money’ – Lawyer (RT)
Musk Warns Of Terrorist Threat To US (RT)
No Russian Misinfo On X, But Western Influence Ops Present – Musk (RT)
Musk: Starlink Free for Brazil Schools If Government Cancels Contract (ET)
‘Automated Murder’: Israel’s ‘AI’ in Gaza (Patrick Lawrence)
Ukraine ‘Losing The War’ – Chuck Schumer (RT)
Ukrainian NATO Membership ‘Fundamentally Unacceptable’ – Moscow (RT)
‘High-Intensity War In Europe No Longer A Fantasy’ – Borrell (RT)
China Sending Message That ‘It Has Russia’s Back’ If West Escalates (Sp.)
‘Russiagate’ About Seizing Power as Much as Stopping Trump (Sp.)
Jack Smith Urges SCOTUS to Reject Trump’s Presidential Immunity Claim (ET)
Trump Body-Slams Lindsey Graham For Insisting On Nationwide Abortion Limit (ZH)
Neom: Saudi Arabia ‘Scales Back’ Goals Of Megacity Project (MEE)
Boeing Shares Tumble After NYT Reveals Whistle-Blower Report (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Chasing Trump

 

 

Colbert AOC

 

 

 

 

RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777710201937732085

 

 

CIA contractor

 

 

Finkelstein
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777519791168696416

 

 

 

 

“The same company that hired Hunter Biden and paid Joe Biden to get the prosecutor fired who was investigating them.”

(Hunter) Biden-Linked Burisma Used For Terror Attacks In Russia – Moscow (RT)

Criminal probes into the financing of terrorist activities in Russia and abroad have been launched against several private companies, the country’s Investigative Committee announced on Tuesday. The list of suspects includes the Ukrainian industrial conglomerate Burisma Holdings, linked to a corruption scandal surrounding the Biden family that has been dragging on for years. The criminal investigation stems from a complaint filed by a group of Russian MPs and public figures in the aftermath of the deadly Crocus City Hall attack outside Moscow last month. The original complaint identified the US and its allies as allegedly organizing a string of attacks on Russian soil. So far, investigators have “established that the funds, flowing through commercial organizations, including the oil and gas conglomerate Burisma Holdings, operating in Ukraine, have been used in recent years to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia,” committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said.

Terrorist activities have also reached beyond the country, aimed at the “elimination of prominent political and public figures, as well as causing economic damage,” she added. The committee’s specialists have been working “in cooperation with other intelligence services and financial intelligence,” Petrenko noted. The scrutiny currently revolves around “checking sources of income and further movement of funds in the amount of several million US dollars,” and examining the potential involvement of “specific individuals from among government officials, people with civic and commercial organizations of Western countries,” the spokeswoman stated. Burisma is probably best known internationally for its controversial ties to the current first family in the US. In the spring of 2014, following the US-backed coup in Kiev, the Ukrainian energy firm hired Hunter Biden and his business partner Devon Archer on its board of directors, offering $1 million a year in pay.

Biden’s father Joe was President Barack Obama’s vice president at the time, and oversaw Washington’s Ukraine policy. He once famously bragged about getting a corruption prosecutor fired – which just happened to occur after that prosecutor began investigating Burisma. Nikolay Zlochevsky’s company also offered protection payments to the government in Kiev, according to former Ukrainian MP Andrey Derkach. Zlochevsky paid some “800 million hryvnias [over $21 million] for terrorism financing” in “various jurisdictions,” Derkach claimed in January. “The leaders of Ukraine’s security services make no secret of the fact that they carry out terrorist acts and political assassinations for extra-budgetary cash,” he said at the time. “Once again: Biden’s partners in the corruption business in Ukraine finance terrorist acts, thus avoiding responsibility for corruption in Ukraine.” Derkach claimed it was common practice for the owners of large businesses in Ukraine to ‘donate’ to the war effort in exchange for immunity from prosecution. He pointed to a criminal case against Zlochevsky relating to a $6 million cash bribe that ended with the Burisma owner paying a $1,800 fine.

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It’s ideally situated for the purpose.

Burisma ‘Vehicle To Launder Taxpayer Money’ – Lawyer (RT)

The Russian Investigative Committee on Tuesday said it launched a criminal probe into the financing of terrorism, naming the Ukrainian industrial conglomerate Burisma among the suspects. RT spoke about the unfolding scandal to Arnaud Develay, an international human rights advocate and the author of a book covering ties between the Ukrainian company and the family of US President Joe Biden. “This is something that the Russian Investigative Committee is going to have to determine to be sure, but this is nothing new,” Develay stated, describing the Ukrainian company as a “vehicle to launder taxpayers’ money.” The investigators have already “established that the funds, flowing through commercial organizations, including the oil and gas conglomerate Burisma Holdings, operating in Ukraine, have been used in recent years to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia” and beyond.

Should the allegation prove to be true, the West will try its best to swipe the whole affair under the rug, as well as to derail any attempts to bring it before international bodies, Develay believes. “They would try to fight tooth and nail to basically deny it,” he said, adding that an attempt to establish a UN-backed tribunal to handle the affair is bound to get vetoed by the “Big Three” – the US, the UK and France. “This is something that is going to have to be handled a different way,” he warned. Develay’s work, titled ‘Foreign Entanglements: Ukraine, Biden & the Fractured American Political Consensus’ is set for public release on Wednesday.

Webb Burisma

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“..the ability of illegal migrants to cross the US-Mexico border and claim asylum without showing any identification “has turned America into a refuge for the world’s worst criminals.”

Musk Warns Of Terrorist Threat To US (RT)

Elon Musk has warned that a terrorist attack on the scale of September 11, 2001 could take place in the US unless the crisis at the southern border and the uncontrolled influx of migrants is addressed. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO made the remarks in response to an X post by former Republican presidential candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who called for mass deportations and the sealing of the US-Mexico border. “Even if only 0.1% of illegal aliens who’ve crossed our border have hostile intentions, that’s tens of thousands of would-be attackers,” Ramaswamy pointed out, suggesting that unless special attention is paid to the issue, “we’re paving the way for another 9/11-scale tragedy.” Musk replied, saying it is “only a matter of time” before such a disaster unfolds.

Previously, the billionaire argued that the ability of illegal migrants to cross the US-Mexico border and claim asylum without showing any identification “has turned America into a refuge for the world’s worst criminals.” His claim followed reports that Venezuela’s homicide rate had dropped to its lowest in 22 years – with some suggesting this was due to Venezuelan gangs moving to the US. Meanwhile, a Politico report published last month suggested that US President Joe Biden was considering offering permanent residency to millions of illegal immigrants. Musk responded to the news by accusing the US Democratic party of intentionally opening up the southern border in order to “import voters.”

There are currently thought to be around 10.5 million illegal immigrants living in the US, according to data compiled by Pew Research in 2021. However, according to figures from the Department of Homeland Security, at least 6.3 million more have entered the US in the years since. In February, Musk claimed Biden’s plan to keep the Democrats in power was a “very simple” one, which involves getting “as many illegals in the country as possible,” then legalizing those people “to create a permanent majority.” The state of the US-Mexico border has become one of the key issues in US politics over the past year amid a historic influx of millions of immigrants. Republican lawmakers have been demanding tighter controls and more money to be set aside to deal with the border crisis, prompting them to use a multi-billion-dollar aid package for Ukraine as leverage.

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“A lot of people still run under the illusion that the legacy newspapers they read are actually true. There is so much nonsense in them..”

No Russian Misinfo On X, But Western Influence Ops Present – Musk (RT)

The owner of X (formerly Twitter), Elon Musk, has rejected accusations that Russian misinformation was widespread on his platform. The entrepreneur, who describes himself as a champion of free speech, has been accused of making the social network vulnerable to Russian activities by changing its content moderation protocols after purchasing Twitter in 2022. His latest denial came on Tuesday, while he was discussing X on ‘In Good Company’, a podcast. Host Nicolai Tangen suggested that Russian activity via fake accounts was “huge” in Germany. “We don’t see a lot of Russian activity, to be frank, on the system. We see very little,” Musk responded. “We do see a lot of attempts to influence things, but they seem to be coming from the West, not from Russia.”

Tangen’s remark apparently referred to claims made by Berlin in January. The German government said that the use of specialized monitoring software had allowed it to identify an estimated 50,000 fake accounts engaged in a pro-Russian misinformation campaign on X. Local press claimed that the messaging was strikingly similar to that of the right-wing opposition party AfD. Germany is not alone in its wariness regarding Moscow’s influence; this week US Congressman Mike Turner, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, accused some fellow Republicans of repeating ‘Russian propaganda’ in the chamber.

“It is absolutely true we see, directly coming from Russia, attempts to mask communications that are anti-Ukraine and pro-Russia messages, some of which we even hear being uttered on the House floor,” the Ohio congressman told CNN’s Jake Tapper. Similar remarks came last week from House Foreign Affairs chair Michael McCaul, another Republican lawmaker. In his interview, Musk hailed X as arguably “the best source of truth on the Internet” that, he argued, by far surpasses traditional news outlets in terms of accuracy thanks to user-driven fact-checking tools. “A lot of people still run under the illusion that the legacy newspapers they read are actually true. There is so much nonsense in them,” he lamented.

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“We need to get our employees in Brazil to a safe place or otherwise not in a position of responsibility, then we will do a full data dump..”

Musk: Starlink Free for Brazil Schools If Government Cancels Contract (ET)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said he will provide Starlink services free of charge for schools in Brazil if the government chooses to follow through and cancel a contract for the service in the country. Many schools in Brazil have reported using the company to provide internet access to their citizens. Starlink terminals connect to the company’s satellites in low Earth orbit and provide high-speed communications. Brazil’s government has reportedly announced plans to suspend all contracts with Starlink. Prompting Mr. Musk to offer the service free of charge. “Starlink will provide free Internet for schools in Brazil if the government won’t honor their contract,” he said in an April 8 social media post. The moves come amid a growing stoush between social media company X, also owned by Mr. Musk, and the Brazilian government.

According to an April 6 post on the platform, the global affairs team announced they were being “forced by court decisions to block certain popular accounts in Brazil.” “We do not know the reasons these blocking orders have been issued. We do not know which posts are alleged to violate the law. We are prohibited from saying which court or judge issued the order, or on what grounds,” the post said. The global affairs team claimed the company had been threatened with fines if they didn’t comply with the order. They also said they were unable to provide a list of which accounts were impacted. “We believe that such orders are not in accordance with the Marco Civil da Internet or the Brazilian Federal Constitution, and we challenge the orders legally where possible,” the post from the global affairs team said.

“The people of Brazil, regardless of their political beliefs, are entitled to freedom of speech, due process, and transparency from their own authorities.” The announcement came after a report by investigative journalist Michael Shellenberger and colleagues David Ágape and Eli Vieira, titled “Twitter Files Brazil.” Mr. Shellenberger said that sitting members of Brazil’s Congress and journalists were among those named by Brazil’s highest court for censorship. He has shared his findings on X. Mr. Musk announced soon after he had removed all content restrictions in Brazil in defiance of the order.

[..] Mr. Musk has made serious allegations of corruption against Justice de Moraes and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In a follow-up April 8 post, Mr. Musk claims that events have since escalated and all Twitter Brazil employees are in danger of arrest. Once safe, he will release the information proving his allegations. “We need to get our employees in Brazil to a safe place or otherwise not in a position of responsibility, then we will do a full data dump,” he said. “They have been told they will be arrested. Save the Brazilian X employees.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1777796067225989299

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“A second AI system, sadistically named “Where’s Daddy?”—and how sick is this?—was then used to track Hamas suspects to their homes..”

‘Automated Murder’: Israel’s ‘AI’ in Gaza (Patrick Lawrence)

ZURICH—“Technological change, while it helps humanity meet the challenges nature imposes upon us, leads to a paradigm shift: It leaves us less capable, not more, of using our intellectual capacities. It diminishes our minds in the long run. We strive to improve ourselves while risking a regression to the Stone Age if our ever more complex, ever more fragile technological infrastructure collapses.” That is Hans Köchler, an eminent Viennese scholar and president of the International Progress Organization, a globally active think tank, addressing an audience here last Thursday evening, April 4. The date is significant: The day before Köchler spoke, +972 Magazine and Local Call, independent publications in Israel–Palestine, reported that as the Israel Defense Forces press their savage invasion of the Gaza Strip, they deploy an artificial intelligence program called Lavender that so far has marked some 37,000 Palestinians as kill targets.

In the early weeks of the Israeli siege, according to the Israeli sources +972 cites, “the army gave sweeping approval for officers to adopt Lavender’s kill lists, with no requirement to thoroughly check why the machine made those choices or to examine the raw intelligence data on which they were based.” Chilling it was to hear Köchler speak a couple of news cycles after +972 published these revelations, which are based on confidential interviews with six Israeli intelligence officers who have been directly involved in the use of AI to target Palestinians for assassination. “To use technologies to solve all our problems reduces our ability to make decisions,” Köchler asserted. “We’re no longer able to think through problems. They remove us from real life.” Köchler titled his talk “The Trivialization of Public Space,” and his topic, broadly stated, was the impact of technologies such as digital communications and AI on our brains, our conduct, and altogether our humanity.

It was sobering, to put the point mildly, to recognize that Israel’s siege of Gaza, bottomlessly depraved in itself, is an in-our-faces display of the dehumanizing effects these technologies have on all who depend on them. Let us look on in horror, and let us see our future in it. We see in the IDF, to make this point another way, a rupture in morality, human intelligence, and responsibility when human oversight is mediated by the algorithms that run AI systems. There is a break between causality and result, action and consequence. And this is exactly what advanced technologies have in store for the rest of humanity. Artificial intelligence, as Köchler put it, is not intelligence: “It is ‘simulated intelligence’ because it has no consciousness of itself.” It isn’t capable, he meant to say, of moral decision-making or ethical accountability.

In the Lavender case, the data it produced were accepted and treated as if they had been generated by a human being without any actual human oversight or independent verification. A second AI system, sadistically named “Where’s Daddy?”—and how sick is this?—was then used to track Hamas suspects to their homes. The IDF intentionally targeted suspected militants while they were with their families, using unguided missiles or “dumb” bombs. This strategy had the advantage of enabling Israel to preserve its more expensive precision-guided weapons, or “smart” bombs. As one of +972’s sources told the magazine: “We were not interested in killing [Hamas] operatives only when they were in a military building or engaged in a military activity… . On the contrary, the IDF bombed them in homes without hesitation, as a first option. It’s much easier to bomb a family’s home. The system is built to look for them in these situations.”

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BUT: “.. if Kiev gets the money, “they will win the war and beat Russia.”

Ukraine ‘Losing The War’ – Chuck Schumer (RT)

Ukraine is failing on the battlefield because of a lack of American funding, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday. He demanded the House Republicans pass the $61 billion aid bill as soon as possible. Schumer, a New York Democrat, brought up Ukraine in a speech about the upcoming US legislative agenda. The Democrat-majority Senate passed the funding proposal in mid-February, but the Republican-majority House has not voted on it yet. “The situation in Ukraine is desperate,” Schumer said, claiming that the funding bill has been “collecting dust” for 55 days while “our friends in Ukraine fight and die on the battlefield with no support.” With each passing day, Ukraine is running out of more soldiers, ammunition and hope, he added. “Let’s be blunt: the biggest reason Ukraine is losing the war is because the hard-right in the Congress has paralyzed the US from acting. That’s it, that’s the reason,” Schumer said.

By passing the bill, House Speaker Mike Johnson would “do the right thing for Ukraine, for America, and for democracy,” the New York Democrat argued. Otherwise, he claimed, the Republicans would hand a “large victory” to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Schumer made much the same argument while visiting Ukraine in late February, claiming that if Kiev gets the money, “they will win the war and beat Russia.” Democrats have sought to split the GOP into “moderates” and “MAGA Republicans” – referring to former US President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ – to get support for their legislative agenda in both chambers of Congress. The tactic has paid off in the Senate, where 22 Republicans voted in favor of funding Ukraine, more than offsetting three Democrats who were opposed.

Republicans currently have a razor-thin majority in the 435-member House, with 218 seats to the Democrats’ 213. Johnson became speaker in late October, after a group of disgruntled GOP lawmakers voted to oust his predecessor Kevin McCarthy for striking a secret deal with the Democrats to pass Ukraine funding. The US has provided Ukraine with $113 billion in various forms of assistance since the start of hostilities. Meanwhile, Russia has repeatedly condemned Western arms shipments to Ukraine, saying these will only prolong the conflict, while making the West a direct participant in the hostilities.

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Everybody knows.

Ukrainian NATO Membership ‘Fundamentally Unacceptable’ – Moscow (RT)

Ukrainian accession to NATO would pose a threat to Russia’s national security and is fundamentally unacceptable, Moscow’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has said. The Russian envoy was responding to comments by US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, who claimed at a press briefing on Monday that Kiev could become a member of the military bloc once the conflict with Moscow has ended. “Ukraine’s accession to NATO is unacceptable to us under any circumstances,” Antonov stated on Tuesday. “This is a threat to Russia’s national security.” “Only politicians ignorant of the fundamental interests of the Russian Federation can expect that we could accept Kiev’s entry into a bloc which is hostile to us,” he added. Antonov further accused Washington of ignoring Moscow’s core interests and refusing to accept Russia’s “categorical opposition” to Kiev’s potential NATO membership.

Speaking at a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted that Ukraine will be allowed to join the bloc, claiming that the commitment of its members to Kiev remains “rock solid.” The purpose of NATO’s next summit in July will be to “help build a bridge to that membership and to create a clear pathway for Ukraine moving forward,” Blinken added. Russia has for years voiced concern about NATO’s expansion toward its borders, viewing the US-led bloc’s policies as an existential threat. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned for nearly two decades that NATO’s eastward expansion undermines Russian national security, and that moving the bloc’s forces into Ukraine would cross a “red line.” According to Antonov, Moscow offered the West a diplomatic way to defuse tensions over NATO expansion and Ukraine in 2021, but the appeal was rejected by Washington.

Arestovich

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All this ‘pre-war’ talk is crazy irresponsible. Kick ’em by the curb.

‘High-Intensity War In Europe No Longer A Fantasy’ – Borrell (RT)

A full-scale military conflict in Europe has become more likely due to the standoff with Russia, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has claimed, while warning member states against relying on the US to defend them. Several other European officials have cited a heightened military threat in recent months, with UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps saying last week that the world is moving from a “post-war to a pre-war” state due to the alleged threat emanating from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk made a similar “pre-war” assessment in March. Speaking at a Forum Europa gathering in Brussels on Tuesday, Borrell claimed that the “possibility of a high-intensity conventional war in Europe is no longer a fantasy” and that the bloc must “do everything to avoid it”.

The EU’s top diplomat alleged that Russia poses a growing threat to the continent, citing the conflict with Ukraine, and accused Moscow of seeking to destabilize the union. According to Borrell, while a military conflict in Europe is not imminent and “not going to start tomorrow,” citizens should understand that the “US umbrella that has protected us during the Cold War and after, may not be open all the time.” “Maybe, depending on who is ruling Washington, we cannot rely on the Americans’ support and American capacity to protect us,” he said. Describing the EU as being surrounded by a “ring of fires” and instability, Borrell called on member states to become more self-sufficient with their security and to ramp up their defense spending.

He added that while NATO is as “irreplaceable” as ever, Europeans should start building their own “pillar” within the US-led bloc. The diplomat acknowledged that Brussels’ stance on the conflicts in Gaza and in Ukraine is not fully shared by many non-Western audiences. Borrel’s remarks follow suggestions from numerous Western civilian and military officials in recent months that Russia could attack NATO within a few years. Speaking in late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed such speculation as “nonsense.” He argued that talk of a potential Russian attack on Poland, the Czech Republic, or the Baltic countries is propaganda coming from governments that seek to scare their citizens “to extract additional expenses from people, to make them bear this burden on their shoulders.”

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China’s been saying this for a while, but not many in the west seem to know it.

China Sending Message That ‘It Has Russia’s Back’ If West Escalates (Sp.)

On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, sending a strong message to the West that the two countries will continue their strategic relationship. The meeting came a day after US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to China and warned it against partnering with Russia. The meeting between Lavrov and Xi, particularly right after Yellen’s visit, is a “message” to the West that China “will have the back of Russia” if the conflict in Ukraine is escalated by the West, lawyer and journalist Dimitri Lascarus told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Wednesday. “The timing of announcements such as these tell you a lot,” Lascarus said, pointing to not only Yellen’s visit but the increasingly provocative attacks on Russia by Ukraine’s intelligence services such as the mass shooting outside of Moscow which Russia has blamed Ukraine and its backers in the US and UK for, among other provocations.

“Of course, we have this ongoing drama with little Napoleon in France [French President] Emmanuel Macron, talking about sending a few thousand French troops to their deaths in Odessa,” Lascarus recalled. “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it has been interpreted by both the Russian and Chinese governments as an attempt to provoke Russia into a direct attack on a NATO country.” “I think [China is] sending a message that China will have the back of Russia if this escalates. And, no one should have any illusions about that,” Lascarus explained. “They see, I believe, that there is a series of escalations happening here and there are no adults in the room, and they need to send an unequivocal signal that China will have Russia’s back in the event that this escalates out of control,” he added.

While neither government has any “reservations about the necessity” of their alliance, Lascarus argued that the West is forcing them to strengthen their relationship because of its aggressive actions. “Every day, Western governments are acting in a way which makes this partnership even more compelling to the Russian and Chinese governments.” With public sentiment turning against the “Ukrainian disaster” in both Europe and the US, Lascarus noted that polls show that the vast majority of French citizens think the country is heading in the wrong direction. “[France] has been one of the primary architects of this disastrous neocon policy in Ukraine,” he explained. “So we’re seeing already, that the political days of these characters are all numbered.” “The real question we have to confront as citizens of the West is, do we have an actual, competent, ethical, and principled alternative to these people? I don’t know that we do. But one thing is for sure, the public has enough and they’re on the way out the door.”

Lavrov
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777580903339876516

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“..to literally take over these social networks, [which] all these big tech people thought was going to be this lovely garden of earthly delights and turn it into a prison.”

‘Russiagate’ About Seizing Power as Much as Stopping Trump (Sp.)

On Sunday, US Rep. and chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Michael R. Turner (R-OH) claimed that it is “absolutely true” that members of the US Republican party are repeating “pro-Russia messages” on the House floor, without naming the members. The US establishment disproven conspiracy that former US President Donald Trump was controlled by the Kremlin is about seizing control of social media and the internet as much as it is designed to harm Trump’s political ambitions, Serbian-American journalist and columnist Nebojsa Malic told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Tuesday. Malic argues that the “completely fabricated” Russiagate conspiracy was “not just to sabotage the Trump presidency, but to literally take over these social networks, [which] all these big tech people thought was going to be this lovely garden of earthly delights and turn it into a prison.”

Last year, a panel of federal judges ruled that the US intelligence agencies’ contact with social media companies, urging them to take down specific posts and block or ban certain users, likely constituted government censorship. The administration of US President Joe Biden has appealed the case to the Supreme Court. “Russiagate was the pretext that started this entire ball rolling, and it wasn’t even based on anything real. And now they want to do it all over again,” Malic explained. “I was listening to [Senate Majority Leader, Senator] Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speak yesterday about how Ukraine is losing the war because [House Speaker, Rep.] Mike Johnson (R-LA) doesn’t want to give them money. No, Ukraine is losing the war because it has always been [losing] because it is fighting an industrial war it cannot win,” Malic continued. “The West can’t win because it doesn’t have the industrial capabilities because in the past 30 years, we shut down our industry and turned everything over to finance, but Chuck Schumer is too thick to understand that.”

The reality on the ground in Ukraine has turned many against US support for NATO’s proxy war in Russia, with more Americans (37%) saying the US spends too much on Ukraine than too little (27%) and only 13% responded that they were either “extremely confident” or “very confident” Ukraine will defeat Russia, compared to 49% who say they are “Not too confident” or “Not confident at all.” People are asking “How is this helping freedom and democracy, exactly?” Malic contended. “And [the establishment’s] response is ‘shut up, Russian Agent.’” “This is a breakdown. Because, again, the blob’s agenda is to use Russia’s phantom menace for a power grab at home on one hand, and to push for this geopolitical fantasy that Russia needs Ukraine to be a global empire,” Malic said, explaining that Russia doesn’t want a global empire.

“They voluntarily dissolved the Soviet Union in ‘91, believing all of these stories about freedom and democracy and capitalism and human rights, and they got taken advantage of. Demographically, the country was worse off in the ‘90s than during World War Two,” Malic explained. “When we talk about the golden age of the 1990s, post-Cold War, freedom, democracy, transition from socialism, this is a horror story to these people and nobody in America seems to understand this because they didn’t live through it.” However, Malic said that it is “theoretically possible” that the “blob” actually wants Trump to win the election to give them an excuse to get out of Ukraine. “Maybe they want to get out of this Ukrainian quagmire and blame somebody else for it. They might want Trump to get elected so they can say ‘Okay, well, it’s all his fault. Had we kept the Democrats in power, we would have totally won the war. But, oh, well, what can we do? We just have to move on to the next war,’ which will be China.”

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“..from 1789 to 2023, no former or sitting president has faced criminal charges for their official acts, and for good reason..”

Jack Smith Urges SCOTUS to Reject Trump’s Presidential Immunity Claim (ET)

Special counsel Jack Smith in his final filing before the hearing is urging the Supreme Court to reject former President Donald Trump’s presidential immunity claim and deny any motions to delay a trial on charges related to the 2020 federal election conspiracy case. Prosecutors from the DOJ allege President Trump attempted to overturn the 2020 election result on Jan. 6, 2021, charging him with four counts of conspiracy and obstruction. Former President Trump has denied he did anything wrong by calling for transparency and audits of the vote counts in swing states, and maintains presidential immunity for his actions on that day, which prevents prosecution for any actions he took while still in the top job. In a fresh court brief on April 8, Mr. Smith pressed that President Trump’s argument for presidential immunity over official acts as president has no grounding in the Constitution, the nation’s history, or Americans’ understanding that presidents are not above the law.

“The President’s constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed does not entail a general right to violate them,” Mr. Smith said in the brief. “The Framers never endorsed criminal immunity for a former President, and all Presidents from the Founding to the modern era have known that after leaving office they faced potential criminal liability for official acts.” According to Mr. Smith, former President Richard Nixon’s official conduct revealed during the Watergate scandal is the closest historical precedent for this situation. Mr. Smith says President Nixon eventually accepted a pardon from his successor, former President Gerald Ford, and that “his acceptance of a pardon implied his and President Ford’s recognition that a former President was subject to prosecution.”

“Since Watergate, the Department of Justice has held the view that a former President may face criminal prosecution, and Independent and Special Counsels have operated from that same understanding,” he said. Mr. Smith claims that despite President Trump’s claim of presidential immunity, all former presidents knew and wholly understood they were open to facing criminal charges for conduct while in the White House. [..] “The effective functioning of the presidency does not require that a former president be immune from accountability for these alleged violations of federal criminal law,” he said. “To the contrary, a bedrock principle of our constitutional order is that no person is above the law, including the president.”

Former President Trump has continued to argue that official acts by presidents should have immunity from criminal prosecution. Last month, he asked the Supreme Court to hold that he and other former presidents enjoy absolute criminal immunity from prosecution for official acts during their time in office. According to him, from 1789 to 2023, no former or sitting president has faced criminal charges for their official acts, and for good reason. “The President cannot function, and the Presidency itself cannot retain its vital independence if the President faces criminal prosecution for official acts once he leaves office,” President Trump’s brief to the Court says. “The threat of future prosecution and imprisonment would become a political cudgel to influence the most sensitive and controversial Presidential decisions, taking away the strength, authority, and decisiveness of the Presidency.”

[..] the Court has historically upheld a level of presidential independence and ruled in the 1982 decision of Nixon v. Fitzgerald that a president enjoys absolute immunity from civil liability for acts that fall within the “outer perimeter” of his official duties. A secondary issue that may be addressed is the demarkation between personal and official acts during President Trump’s tenure, and a possible separation of actions he can be prosecuted for, and actions covered by presidential immunity. The outcome for the case could impact President Trump’s other legal battles, in which he also argues presidential immunity as a defense. A federal appeals court recently ruled that several civil cases against President Trump related to Jan. 6 could go forward, finding that the actions cited personal acts of a candidate rather than official acts of a president. The question whether this immunity applies to former presidents is also new territory.

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He gets blamed for adhering to the Supreme Court decision.

“I blame myself for Lindsey Graham, because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!”

Trump Body-Slams Lindsey Graham For Insisting On Nationwide Abortion Limit (ZH)

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham dared to criticize Donald Trump’s new stance advocating that abortion law should be left to individual states — and was promptly subjected to withering fire from the former president. On Monday morning, Trump posted a video in which he implicitly rejected the idea of creating a federal limit on abortions, saying that, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v Wade, abortion is now a state-by-state issue: “States will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land; in this case, the law of the state. Many states will be different…many will have a different number of weeks, or some will [be] more conservative than others, and that’s what they will be. At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people.”

The announcement disappointed proponents of a federal ban who had been encouraged by February media reports that Trump had told his advisors and others that he favored a 16-week federal limit on abortions, with exceptions for rape, incest or to save the mother’s life. Graham quickly posted a tweet-thread declaring his “respectful” disagreement with Trump’s new stance, saying that a states’ rights rationale against a federal limit “will age about as well as the Dred Scott decision,” which helped perpetuate slavery. Trump responded via Truth Social, writing that “Senator Lindsey Graham is doing a great disservice to the Republican Party, and to our Country.” He elaborated on the political realities: “[Democrats] love this Issue, and they want to keep it going for as long as Republicans will allow them to do so. Terminating Roe v. Wade was, according to all Legal Scholars, a Great Event, but sometimes with Great Events come difficulties. Many Good Republicans lost Elections because of this Issue, and people like Lindsey Graham, that are unrelenting, are handing Democrats their dream of the House, Senate, and perhaps even the Presidency…”

A few hours later, Trump was back for more, this time chiding both Graham and Marjorie Dannensfelser, who leads SBA Pro-Life America. Dannensfelser had issued a statement saying her organization was “deeply disappointed in President Trump’s position.” With that particular scolding message, Trump took a more philosophical tack, saying Graham and Dannensfelser “should study the 10th Amendment.” A cornerstone of federalism, that final component of the Bill of Rights states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” By deferring to the states on abortion, Trump is taking the truly “conservative” position on the issue, compared to those who advocate for national regulation. As James Madison summed up the federal system:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. [Federal powers] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce… The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people.” In a third Truth Social posting, Trump threw in another jab at Graham while also boasting about the power of a Trump endorsement: “I blame myself for Lindsey Graham, because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!”

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Live 500 meter high in a flat in a 170km straight-line city. No thanks.

Neom: Saudi Arabia ‘Scales Back’ Goals Of Megacity Project (MEE)

Saudi Arabia has scaled back some of its ambitions for its desert megacity Neom, according to a report by Bloomberg. The $1.5 trillion megacity project, which organisers claim will be 33 times the size of New York City, is due to include a 170km straight-line city. When launching The Line in 2021, the Saudi government had announced that 1.5 million people would be living in the city by 2030. Officials now expect there to be fewer that 300,000 residents by that time, according to a source cited by Bloomberg on Friday. The source said that officials expected only 2.4km of the 170km city to be completed by 2030. As a result of the scaling back, one contractor dismissed some of the workers it employs on site, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.

Neom – part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy and move away from oil reliance – is being built in the northwestern Tabuk province. Middle East Eye reported last year that construction was under way on The Line, based on satellite imagery. The Line is due to have no cars or roads, and a high-speed rail service running across the length of the city, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced three years ago. Two parallel, mirrored buildings that are nearly 500 metres tall and 120km wide are also planned as part of the project, according to designs uncovered in 2022.

In addition to the horizontal city, Neom is also touted to include an eight-sided city that floats on water, a ski resort with a folded vertical village, and a Red Sea luxury island resort called Sindalah. The Sindalah project is due to open later this year. Sources told Bloomberg that work was continuing on other parts of the Neom project, and Saudi officials still backed the overall aims of The Line. The sources added that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which is providing most of the funding for the project, has yet to confirm its 2024 budget for Neom. The scaling back of the megacity project comes as the Public Investment Fund cash reserves dropped to $15bn in September, its lowest levels since 2020.

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Fell just 2%? Barely a tumble.

Boeing Shares Tumble After NYT Reveals Whistle-Blower Report (ZH)

Shares of Boeing are moving lower in early afternoon trade following a report from The New York Times of an engineer at the airplane manufacturer turned whistle-blower, revealing that sections of the 787 Dreamliner fuselage are improperly fastened together, posing structural integrity risks. Sam Salehpour, who worked on the 787 Dreamliner fuselage for more than a decade, detailed to NYT in a series of interviews that were packaged into documents and sent to the Federal Aviation Administration that the widebody plane is produced in several large sections by different manufacturers, and not all pieces were the same shape when they were fitted together. He said this could create structural issues over time. On April 17, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat of Connecticut and the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s investigations subcommittee, will hold a hearing featuring Salehpour to address his concerns about the 787 Dreamliner.

“Repeated, shocking allegations about Boeing’s manufacturing failings point to an appalling absence of safety culture and practices — where profit is prioritized over everything else,” Blumenthal said in a statement. Recall, in 2014, an Al Jazeera undercover report found that workers at the 787 factory in South Carolina were not confident in the plane’s manufacturing quality, with at least one worker callin it “f**king sh*t.” “This is the culture that Boeing has allowed to exist,” Katz said, adding, “This is a culture that prioritizes production of planes and pushes them off the line even when there are serious concerns about the structural integrity of those planes and their production process.” Boeing responded to the NYT report and said it was “fully confident in the 787 Dreamliner,” adding, “These claims about the structural integrity of the 787 are inaccurate and do not represent the comprehensive work Boeing has done to ensure the quality and long-term safety of the aircraft.” Investors were spooked by the report, which is yet another issue for Boeing. Shares in New York tumbled 2% around noon.

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Heroes

 

 

Cloud seeding

 

 

Red Wolf

 

 

Humpback

 

 

Parkour
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777445115415482483

 

 

Swan

 

 

Dolly

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 082024
 
 April 8, 2024  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


James McNeill Whistler Arrangement in Pink, Red and Purple 1883-4

 

Facing Nuclear War (Paul Craig Roberts)
Take up the NATO Man’s Burden. Send Forth The Worst Ye Breed (Hayes)
US Reluctant to Cut Off Israel’s Arms Pipeline (Sp.)
Ex-German Chancellor Calls For Diplomatic Solution To Ukraine Conflict (RT)
Ukraine May Have To Compromise With Russia – Stoltenberg (RT)
Stoltenberg’s Dido Moment Might Put A Halt To West’s Lies (Jay)
Kiev ‘Hostage’ To US Politics – Zelensky (RT)
UK To Pressure US House Speaker On Ukraine Aid (RT)
FSB Reveals Crocus City Attackers’ Plan To Escape To Ukraine (RT)
IAEA Chief Calls Attack on Zaporozhye NPP Violation of Security Principles (Sp.)
Morality Challenged (Michael Brenner)
Col. Macgregor Urges US to Stop ‘Marching’ Into Foreign Countries (Sp.)
Appeals Court Vacates ‘Disinformation’ Monitoring Of Jan. 6 Defendant’s Computer (ET)
Elon Musk Says X Will Defy Order From Brazil’s Supreme Court (ET)
Outgoing Boeing CEO Bags $33 Million Pay-Off Despite 737 Max Accidents (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Fundraiser

 

 

Palestine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776811771376111937

 

 

Pepe
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775855559012434117

 

 

Putin Macron
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776833714820989431

 

 


Temperance is a tree which has for its root very little contentment, and for its fruit calm and peace. – Buddha

 

 

 

 

“..that the US needs to defend against a Russian or Chinese invasion is an absurdity when the US is being overrun daily by immigrant-invaders..”

Facing Nuclear War (Paul Craig Roberts)

The invention of nuclear weapons was an act of total insanity. If the massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons are not dismantled and destroyed, sooner or later they will destroy planet Earth. We have survived so far because the Cuban Missile Crisis awoke President Kennedy and Soviet leader Khrushchev to the danger of distrust between nuclear powers. For the remainder of the 20th century Washington and Moscow worked to defuse tensions and to build transparency and trust. Sufficient success was achieved to avoid false indications from warning systems showing incoming ICBMs from resulting in the launch of nuclear war. Today there is no trust. In the 21st century all of the arms agreements hammered out over the decades of the Cold War have been abandoned, first by Washington and then in response by the Kremlin. The Soviet collapse in 1991 gave rise to the neoconservative doctrine of US hegemony, an assertion of American unilateralism, a claim of American supremacy. Such an absurd and unrealistic claim is totally inconsistent with the existence of nuclear weapons.

All trust has been erased. In the US Russia has been demonized to an unprecedented extent. It is so extreme that anyone who gives an objective analysis is branded a “Putin agent/dupe.” This makes realistic assessments impossible. In Russia trust of Washington has been completely destroyed by broken promises, such as NATO will not move one inch to the East, broken arms agreements, deceit over the Minsk Agreement, and by Washington’s endless rejections of Russian requests for a mutual security agreement. Today all it takes for the world to end is one false warning of incoming missiles. It was Washington, not Russia, that created this situation, and nothing is being done about it. The world is content with the Sword of Damocles hanging by a thread over the planet. Whenever I raise this most serious of all issues, a gaggle of idiots pronounce that nuclear weapons will never be used because there can be no winners. All the while Putin is warning that Washington and its NATO puppets are pushing Russia into nuclear war. There is no end of people too stupid to see the dire threat.

If Biden, the defense secretary, anyone in Washington had any sense, they would call Putin and declare that we need more than a mutual security agreement. We need to dismantle and destroy all nuclear weapons–the US, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, France and the UK. To demonstrate our newly acquired good intentions, Washington should announce that it is closing its worldwide network of illegal bioweapon research laboratories and abandoning its effort to substitute Washington’s self-serving “rule-based order” for established international law. The notion that the US needs to defend against a Russian or Chinese invasion is an absurdity when the US is being overrun daily by immigrant-invaders. According to official numbers, immigrant-invaders recruited from 160 countries by NGOs financed with federal tax dollars are entering unopposed our country monthly in numbers equivalent to the population of Pittsburgh.

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“..intransigent Sunnis, who don’t know their place of half devil and half child in the Pax Americana’s scheme of things..”

Take up the NATO Man’s Burden. Send Forth The Worst Ye Breed (Hayes)

Fast forward to Easter 2024 and consider this report by Irish state broadcaster RTE on Israel’s latest attack on the Zaynab shrine. Note how this Irish government outlet (feebly) argues that Israel is entitled to attack the shrine and to hell with the collateral human damage because it is a Hezbollah (read Shia) stronghold. The reality, had these genocidal apologists bothered to check, is that Hezbollah have to guard all Shia locales because Israel and their NATO proxies continually attack them and slaughter every and all Shias that they can. Think of a Russian Orthodox Church in Western Ukraine and you get the picture. I asked a good friend of mine, a female secular Sunni tour guide, if the Zaynab shrine was always so heavily guarded. She said that prior to NATO’s war against Syria, it only had normal security, the type that would be common in the mid West of the USA. Syria, before NATO launched its genocidal war against it, was considered one of the safest countries one could travel in. And that was probably their mistake, that it looked like easy meat for NATO’s cut throats.

But let’s forget Syria and Maaloula (which the Western media conveniently forgot about once Hezbollah and the Syrian Army freed it from NATO’s nun-torturing proxies). Let’s move on to Gaza or, rather to the BBC’s sickening coverage of it, as exemplified by examples of the BBC’s complicity in this most disgusting of war crimes. The sufferings the people of Gaza are enduring is the plainest example there is today of a war crime committed by war criminals, who should answer for their crimes. That the BBC considers Gaza is just some sort of pedantic philosophical talking point is a criminal indictment of the BBC on a par with anything the Nazis stood accused of in Nuremberg. And then there is NATO’s most recent criminal attack on Moscow, which is brilliantly addressed here by British maverick Russell Brand, who uses [an] article from WSWS, which often features in this site’s Editor’s Picks.

Although Brand easily and convincingly argues that NATO’s instant denials of Ukrainian intelligence involvement in these terror attacks are not in the least credible, Maaloula, Zaynab, Gaza and a million other places show that the criminal case against NATO goes much further and deeper than that. We have, in essence, two great forces operating against each other in the West. On the one hand, we have the business model of NATO and Israel, which see themselves fulfilling their manifest destiny by cleansing the lands they conquer of Shias, Armenian Christians, and elderly Russian monks and nuns. Their logic is quite simple. By cleansing the Middle East of its minorities, NATO can argue that the war there is between their pampered Israeli puppets and intransigent Sunnis, who don’t know their place of half devil and half child in the Pax Americana’s scheme of things.

On the other side of the ledger sheet, you have the Armenians, the Assyrians, the Mandaeans, the Shia, the Yezidi, secular Sunnis and many more who just want to live out their lives in peace, observing the customs their ancestors have observed since the dawn of time. This is not so much the Clash of Civilizations NATO’s mouthpieces harp on about but NATO, being utterly devoid of civilisation, trying to wipe everything from Maaloula and Zaynab to Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Masha and Mishka from the face of the earth. Hyperbole? Consider the case of former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the man who flew to Kiev to order the cross dressing Zelensky to fight to the last pregnant woman. This “cultured” man suggested that Palmyra, one of the jewels in Syria’s cultural crown, be allowed fall into ruin but that it should be recreated in some British controlled virtual world or other. True to form, this modern day Kipling has not a thought on how Palmyra, Maaloula or Zaynab fit into the greater glory of Greater Syria and the entire Fertile Crescent. Johnson would make a good Israeli, brash, boorish, and so arrogantly full of piss and wind that he is.

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“..John Kirby said the US did not know whether American-supplied weapons were used in the Israeli strike..”

US Reluctant to Cut Off Israel’s Arms Pipeline (Sp.)

Despite the verbal rhetoric and political fanfare emanating from the White House over Israel’s actions in Gaza, the Biden administration shows no willingness to cut off Tel Aviv from Washington’s arms supplies. While Biden urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take steps to minimize civilian harm in the war against Hamas, at no point during a recent phone call did he specifically threaten to limit US arms shipments, according to media reports. Biden “has the power to limit any foreign arms deliveries, even those previously approved by Congress,” the New York Times noted. But there was no specific “or else” delivered by Biden to Netanyahu during their exchange, the outlet added, citing officials. The call itself was inevitable, prompted by a wave of outrage over Israel’s deadly strike on the World Central Kitchen (WCK) humanitarian convoy in Gaza.

The Israeli strike killed seven WCK workers from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Palestine, as well as a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Their humanitarian convoy was traveling in a “deconflicted zone” in two armored vehicles emblazoned with the organization’s logo and a soft-skinned vehicle when it was attacked. The team had just unloaded more than 100 tons of food aid it had brought into Gaza. After the strike, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israeli troops had “unintentionally harmed non-combatants” in Gaza, adding that “this is what happens in war. The flood of official statements from the White House stands in stark contrast to the detachment the US has shown in the face of the escalating civilian death toll in Gaza since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict escalated in the wake of the Hamas attack on October 7. 32,916 Palestinians have died since hostilities began, according to Gaza health officials.

U.S. President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that the strike on humanitarian workers and the overall humanitarian situation in Gaza were “unacceptable.” White House national security communications adviser John Kirby said the US did not know whether American-supplied weapons were used in the Israeli strike. The US is the largest supplier of arms to Israel. It will account for 69% of Israel’s arms imports between 2019 and 2023, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The US signed a ten-year military agreement with Israel in 2016 that guarantees Israel $3.3 billion a year to purchase weapons from the US. An additional $500 million per year is earmarked for missile defense. “The continued supply of the world’s most advanced weapons technology will ensure that Israel has the ability to defend itself from all manner of threats,” former President Barack Obama said at the time.

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“Berlin and Paris Should Spearhead Efforts To End The Bloodshed..”

Ex-German Chancellor Calls For Diplomatic Solution To Ukraine Conflict (RT)

Berlin and Paris should be leading the way toward a negotiated solution to the Ukraine conflict, Gerhard Schroeder, who served as German chancellor between 1998 and 2005, has argued. The veteran politician also refused to disavow his long-time friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that it could make him a good mediator in the current situation. In 2014, Schroeder threw a birthday party in St. Petersburg, with the Russian leader in attendance. Back in 2006, he became the head of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream AG, later also accepting a role on the board of Russia’s Rosneft energy giant. Schroeder stepped down from the latter post several months after the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began in February 2022. In an interview with Suddeutsche Zeitung published on Thursday, the 80-year-old expressed the view that it is still possible to secure a peace deal. “I am firmly convinced that [President] Putin is also interested in that,” Schroeder clarified.

The former German chancellor told the newspaper that he did not believe the conflict would spread further beyond Ukraine, or that it would lead to the use of nuclear weapons. He also lauded German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for refusing to provide long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine. However, according to the politician, Germany and France should do more on the diplomatic front to end the bloodshed. Schroeder also expressed cautious optimism over the fact that there is now talk within the ruling Social Democratic Party about potential ways out of the Ukraine conflict, such as the freezing of the hostilities. In an interview with the press agency dpa last week, he similarly named diplomacy as the only way out of the crisis.

Speaking of his personal ties to the Russian president, Schroeder said: “We have worked together sensibly for many years. Perhaps that can still help to find a negotiated solution.” The former chancellor has previously called for a diplomatic resolution, claiming that Western Europe “failed” to seize the opportunity to push for peace in March 2022 during talks between Kiev and Moscow in Istanbul. Around the same time, Schroeder himself reportedly traveled to Türkiye and Russia on a “peace mission.” Russia has repeatedly asserted that it is in principle ready to engage in peace negotiations with Ukraine. According to Moscow, Kiev and its Western backers, however, have been setting unrealistic preconditions for talks.

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But the career puppet also says: “real peace” can only be achieved with a Ukrainian victory..”

Ukraine May Have To Compromise With Russia – Stoltenberg (RT)

Ukraine may ultimately have to agree to some kind of compromise with Russia to end the conflict, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said. In an interview with the BBC published on Saturday, the NATO chief reiterated that the West must support Ukraine in the long term “even if we believe and hope that the war will end in the near future.” He added that Western countries should invest in Kiev’s defense capabilities to make it more resilient in the event of future hostilities. At the same time, he signaled that it was up to Ukraine to choose when and under what conditions to seek peace with Russia. “At the end of the day, it has to be Ukraine that decides what kind of compromises they’re willing to do,” Stoltenberg said, adding that the West’s role is to help Kiev reach a negotiating position that could produce an “acceptable result.”

That said, Stoltenberg emphasized that he was not pushing Kiev toward any concessions, adding that “real peace” can only be achieved with a Ukrainian victory. Earlier this week, the NATO boss made a strong plea to support Kiev in the long term, urging the bloc’s members to “rely less on voluntary contributions and more on NATO commitments.” According to several reports, Stoltenberg proposed a five-year €100 billion ($107 billion) military aid package to Ukraine. The exact details of the initiative are reportedly now under discussion. Throughout the conflict, Russia has maintained that it is open to talks with Ukraine. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky banned any negotiations with the current leadership in Moscow after four former Ukrainian territories overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in the autumn of 2022.

The Ukrainian leader has been advicating a ten-point ‘peace formula’ demanding that Moscow withdraw its troops from territory Kiev claims as its own, as well as for a tribunal to be established to prosecute Russian officials for alleged war crimes. Moscow has dismissed the initiative as “detached from reality.” In an interview with Politico on Saturday, Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, claimed that while Ukrainians were tired of the conflict, they would vehemently oppose any compromise with Russia. However, last month Zelensky suggested that a return to Ukraine’s 1991 borders was no longer a precondition for negotiations with Russia. Nevertheless, he still insisted that Kiev must regain the territory it lost to Moscow in 2022. Moscow has said Ukraine must take into account the fact that its borders have changed drastically since the start of the hostilities.

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“The greatest lie of all is the one about Russia having its sights on European countries to invade and conquer..”

Stoltenberg’s Dido Moment Might Put A Halt To West’s Lies (Jay)

Lying seems to be the ubiquitous theme now of NATO and western elites so I can be forgiven. Those were, of course the immortal words of Dido from the song White Flag – a narrative which would work well with the NATO supremo who you could easily imagine singing along too at the lights in Oslo in his Volvo estate with the “baby on board sticker” on the rear window. In reality, ponder what the old fool really said. “The sooner we can convince Moscow that it will not win on the battlefield, the sooner we can reach a peace agreement in which Russia understands that it cannot win the war, but must sit down and negotiate an agreement in which Ukraine becomes a sovereign, independent state.” Interesting how the official line is shifting all the time. Our man Jens is now talking about Russia “not winning” compared to Biden just a few weeks ago who told press room wasters that “Putin was losing in Ukraine”.

But here is our NATO man actually now calling for peace talks as it becomes embarrassingly patent that NATO has nothing to celebrate on its birthday and that Ukraine is falling village by village, town by town, to Russian forces. Of course Ukraine and NATO are both banking on the Americans signing off a 60bn dollar of military aid for Ukraine, as though that will make a difference to a war machine which siphons off so much which arrives in Kiev, leaving some pundits recently writing about how much even the staplers in government ministries are being stolen each day, such is the depth and severity of the crisis. But it’s the lying and level of lying which is astonishing. As Anthony Blinken stunned journalists just recently by saying that “Ukraine will join NATO” – perhaps the biggest lie ever of the entire war as western leaders know this is impossible and can never happen, without, that is the full defeat and exit of Russian forces. Actually it’s the second biggest lie.

The greatest lie of all is the one about Russia having its sights on European countries to invade and conquer which is something that Stoltenberg constantly says but not one EU leader believes which is evident in their irresponsible depletion of their own missiles. Macron also plays a key role in the manufacture of these untruths with his recent success in convincing journalists to write up the “we could send French troops into Ukraine” when, in fact, he packed that statement with so many caveats that he really didn’t say it at all. What is clear is that there is a state of panic now which is palpable from the West in general and that Macron, as well as NATO leaders, are having informal talks – or at least are having talks about possible talks – with Russia over some sort of what the Americans like to call an “off ramp” for Ukraine and the West. You could call it a “white flag” which has probably left you humming the song.

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“..rebuking US lawmakers for what he called an “immature approach” to the conflict and global security as a whole..”

Kiev ‘Hostage’ To US Politics – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine’s issues have become caught up in US domestic politics and this jeopardizes its ability to fight against Russia, President Vladimir Zelensky has complained. At this stage Kiev, he explained on national TV on Saturday, would agree to any kind of support from Washington, even in the form of a loan. Zelensky expressed hope that the US Congress would eventually approve a supplemental aid package for Kiev which has been in limbo for months worth of tens of billions of dollars. Describing the long-awaited assistance as critical, Zelensky said he believes that “we can get a positive vote from the US Congress.” “Unfortunately, we are hostage to the fact that this is the electoral process… Russia’s war against Ukraine has today become an internal political issue in the United States,” he complained, rebuking US lawmakers for what he called an “immature approach” to the conflict and global security as a whole.

The Ukrainian president also signaled that Kiev would accept assistance from the US in the form of a loan. “You know, one senator was recently there, and he asked: would you agree to loan money? Let’s be frank: we will agree to any option,” he said, adding that Ukraine’s fate is hanging in the balance. Zelensky was referring to senior Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who traveled to Kiev last month to promote the loan idea first put forward by GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. Graham claimed at the time to have been direct with Zelensky, telling him, “it’s not unfair for me to ask you and other allies: Pay us back down the road, if you can.”

Later, Politico reported that while Kiev is ready to consider the proposal, some Ukrainian officials find it “somewhat offensive.” US President Joe Biden has been urging Congress for several months to approve his aid package which would earmark $60 billion for Ukraine. Many Republicans have opposed the measure, demanding more efforts to strengthen security on the Mexican border. However, House Speaker Mike Johnson signaled earlier this month that the package could come up for a vote soon with “some important innovations,” including a proposal to extend a loan to Ukraine, as well as seizing frozen Russian sovereign assets and transferring them to Kiev. Moscow has described the blocking as “theft” and warned of retaliation if the funds are seized.

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UK Foreign War Secretary David Cameron also gets involved in domestic US politics?!

UK To Pressure US House Speaker On Ukraine Aid (RT)

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron is planning to use his upcoming trip to the US to persuade House Speaker Mike Johnson to unblock a $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine, the Telegraph reported on Sunday, citing sources at the Foreign Office. The additional funding has been delayed for several months due to political in-fighting in Congress. Cameron will fly to Washington, DC next week to meet with Johnson, as well as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Telegraph said. “If Congress does not help Ukraine, Ukraine will lose the war,” President Vladimir Zelensky warned earlier this week, following multiple complaints about the shortage of ammunition on the battlefield. Cameron renewed his appeal to keep helping Kiev in a piece for the Telegraph on Sunday, arguing that the West must “stop” Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Ukraine must win this war. If Ukraine loses, we all lose. The costs of failing to support Ukraine now will be far greater than the costs of repelling Putin,” Cameron wrote in an op-ed co-authored with French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne. He previously argued on social media that the security of the US, UK and EU is “on the line in Ukraine.”

Earlier this year, the British government stepped up its military assistance to Ukraine, pledging $3.2 billion in military aid, while the EU unveiled a plan to provide €50 billion ($54 billion) in loans and grants. House Republicans, however, have so far refused to advance the aid bill sought by President Joe Biden, arguing that the White House should agree to tougher border security measures. Johnson said before Congress went on a two-week Easter break that he was working on “important innovations” to the proposed legislation, signaling that the bill could be put to a vote soon. Russia has repeatedly said that no amount of foreign aid will change the course of the conflict in Ukraine, and will merely increase the risk of a further escalation.

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“..abandon the car near the border” and then call their handler for further instructions..”

FSB Reveals Crocus City Attackers’ Plan To Escape To Ukraine (RT)

Two escape routes were prepared in Ukraine for the terrorists who attacked a packed concert hall outside Moscow last month, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Sunday. The FSB showed snippets from interrogation videos, in which the suspects confessed that they were promised money in Kiev. On March 22, four Tajik nationals opened fire inside the Crocus City Hall music venue and then set the building on fire. A total of 145 people were killed and more than 500 were injured in the attack. The suspected assailants were detained the next day while trying to flee to Ukraine by car, the authorities said. More suspects were arrested in the following days, most of them of Tajik origin. The jihadist group Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) has claimed responsibility for the attack. FSB chief Aleksandr Bortnikov, however, suggested that the US, UK, and Ukraine may also be linked to the attack, possibly using Islamists as proxies. Ukraine and its Western backers have denied any involvement.

In the interrogation videos aired on Russian TV, the suspects said that they were following instructions from the handler they knew as Sayfullo. The authorities are currently working to determine his identity. The handler told the suspects to escape to Ukraine where they expected to receive 1 million rubles each ($11,000), they said. “Sayfullo told us that guys would wait for us at the Ukrainian border and that they would help us to cross the border and arrive in Kiev,” suspect Muhammadsobir Fayzov told his interrogator. According to investigators, the suspects took the M3 highway that leads to the border with Ukraine, but were eventually intercepted about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from Ukraine’s Sumy region.

Suspect Shamsidin Fariduni said that they were told to “abandon the car near the border” and then call their handler for further instructions on how to cross into Ukraine. Russian officials said previously that a “window” for crossing the border had been arranged on the Ukrainian side.The FSB said on Sunday that the Ukrainians were conducting “demining activities” near the villages of Chuykovka and Sopych, which points to two possible escape routes. According to investigators, the suspects were expected to destroy their vehicle and cross the border on foot, using woodlands as cover. Russia’s Investigative Committee said earlier this week that pro-Ukrainian images were discovered on the phone of one of the suspects.

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“Such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident and must cease immediately,” Grossi was quoted as saying..”

IAEA Chief Calls Attack on Zaporozhye NPP Violation of Security Principles (Sp.)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi characterized the recent drone attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) as a violation of nuclear security principles and called for an end to such “reckless attacks” Sunday. The IAEA confirmed minor damage to the sixth power unit of the plant as a result of the drone attacks. “This is a clear violation of the basic principles for protecting Europe’s largest [nuclear power plant]. Such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident and must cease immediately,” Grossi was quoted as saying in the IAEA statement. Earlier in the day, Ukrainian kamikaze drones attacked the territory of the power station immediately after an inspection carried out by IAEA experts, the plant’s press service said. The attack left three of the facility’s workers injured, with one of them sustaining serious injuries, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said.

The IAEA had previously confirmed damage to the plant in a separate statement. “IAEA experts confirmed physical impact of drone attacks at ZNPP today, incl. at 1 of its 6 reactors,” the agency said. “One casualty reported. Damage at unit 6 has not compromised nuclear safety, but this is a serious incident with potential to undermine integrity of the reactor’s containment system.” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the international community must respond to Ukraine’s attack, calling it “an act of nuclear terrorism.” “The world community must realize and react to an act of nuclear terrorism on the part of the Kiev regime,” Zakharova said on Telegram. The Zaporozhye nuclear plant, constructed in the 1980s by the Soviet Union, is Europe’s largest and one of the world’s largest. The massive power station is reportedly now completely reliant on a single 750-kilowatt line for external power after previous attacks.

A connection to outside electricity is necessary to ensure the plant is able to cool its reactors – an interruption in the delivery of power could precipitate a catastrophic meltdown. Russia took control of the sensitive asset in March 2022 and it has endured Ukrainian fire ever since. Ukrainian drones, missiles, and artillery have all been used against the plant by Kiev, which has repeatedly attempted to reassert control. Kiev claims Russia is storing weapons at the power station and using it as cover to attack Ukrainian troops. Observers worry Ukraine may create a disaster at the plant, blaming Russia and spoiling newly-Russian territory. Kiev has repeatedly employed US-provided cluster munitions during fighting in the Donbass, raising the prospect of unexploded bomblets creating a hazard for decades to come.

Read more …

Long from Brenner.

Morality Challenged (Michael Brenner)

Is there now a moral void at the heart of Western societies? That question haunts us as governments in the United States and Europe act as accomplices in Israeli’s atrocious crimes against the Palestinians. The Jewish state’s conduct meets the standard of genocide as stated in the United Nations Convention on Genocide of which they all are signatories. Confirmation is likely to come soon in a conclusive determination by the International Court of Justice. The ICJ already in January recognized a prime facie case for genocide. The UN’s top court ordered Israel to take all measures to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza. The ICJ found it did have jurisdiction on the matter, and decided there was a plausible case under the 1948 Genocide Convention. At least some of the acts and omissions by Israel “fall within the provisions of the (Genocide) Convention,” the judges said.

The ICJ issued a set of stipulations “to protect the rights claimed by South Africa that the Court has found to be plausible,” including “the right of the Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide.” One reasonably expected that the stark moral issues thereby highlighted – along with subsequent atrocities – would spark an animated, anguished public debate as a prelude to decisive action. Yet, the political class in its near totality disregards or sublimates them. Silence reigns. Gaza exhibits singular features that set it apart from other relatively recent instances of systematic, targeted attacks on civilians. One, the West’s response is not one of indifference leading to passivity – as in regard to Ruanda.

Governments have been active participants in Israel’s indiscriminate punishment of the Palestinians. They provide Israel with vast amounts of weapons critical to their military assault; they offer unqualified political support and diplomatic cover; they acquiesce in the siege that prevents foodstuffs, medicines and other humanitarian aid from entering the strip – causing mass famine and disease among the civilian population; they lend credence to crude propaganda lines from Jerusalem without question or qualification: the phony rape stories, alleged Hamas nests in hospitals, etc. etc..; they pressure their mass media to publicize those fabrications as hard news; and they suppress both public demonstrations and individual calls for measure to alleviate Palestinian suffering – instead, denouncing them as pro-Hamas and/or anti-Semitic. Germany, France and now Britain have gone so far as to criminalize public expressions of anti-Zionist viewpoints.

Read more …

“..trying to force people to become like us..”

Col. Macgregor Urges US to Stop ‘Marching’ Into Foreign Countries (Sp.)

Former Pentagon Adviser Col. Douglas Macgregor said Sunday the United States should stop “marching” into foreign nations to expand their political influence. “We need to stop marching into other peoples countries and trying to force people to become like us,” Macgregor said on the X social media platform. Earlier this week US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed the US-led NATO alliance is a defensive organization that has “no designs” to seize the territory of any other country in the world. NATO has carried out bombings and interventions in countries including Libya, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan over its 75-year history.

The alliance also partnered with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to sponsor Operation Gladio, a covert program that backed far-right paramilitaries throughout Europe. In March, the Russian Mission to the United Nations requested a Security Council meeting to mark the 25th anniversary of the bombing campaign carried out by NATO against Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War in 1999. Several US-aligned states raised objections to the proposed meeting, saying it was not relevant under the UN Security Council agenda category of “threats to international peace and security.”

Read more …

The judge really wants to go after Tucker Carlson.

Appeals Court Vacates ‘Disinformation’ Monitoring Of Jan. 6 Defendant’s Computer (ET)

A sentencing requirement that Jan. 6 defendant Daniel Goodwyn have his computer monitored by the government for “disinformation” has been vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The court on March 26 published a mandate sending the case back to U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to remove the computer monitoring requirement he issued as part of the sentencing judgment in the case on June 15, 2023.
“Judge Walton had no legal basis to issue the special condition,” Carolyn Stewart, Mr. Goodwyn’s attorney, told The Epoch Times in an April 3 email. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the judge “plainly erred” in imposing the computer monitoring. Judges Gregory Katsas, Naomi Rao, and Bradley Garcia issued a per curiam order vacating the monitoring provision.

Judge Walton, when imposing a 60-day jail sentence in June 2023, said Mr. Goodwyn spread “disinformation” during a broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on March 14, 2023. Judge Walton ordered that Mr. Goodwyn’s computer be subject to “monitoring and inspection” by a probation agent to check if he spread Jan. 6 disinformation during the term of his supervised release. The judge also referred to Mr. Goodwyn spreading alleged “misinformation,” using the term interchangeably with “disinformation.” Mr. Goodwyn, 35, of Corinth, Texas, pleaded guilty on Jan. 31, 2023, to one misdemeanor count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. The charge could have meant up to a year in prison. On June 6, 2023, Judge Walton sentenced Mr. Goodwyn to 60 days in prison, a year of supervised release, a $2,500 fine, and a $500 restitution payment.

Federal prosecutors had asked for 90 days in jail, 36 months of supervised release, a $25,676 fine, and $500 in restitution. The recommended fine amount represented proceeds of a GiveSendGo web page Mr. Goodwyn uses to raise funds for his legal fees. Mr. Goodwyn asked for a sentence of time served with three months of supervised release. He received credit for three weeks he spent in pretrial detention, but not for the 13 months he spent in home detention. He completed his incarceration at the Federal Correctional Institution at Bastrop, Texas, on Aug. 25, 2023. Mr. Goodwyn said the Court of Appeals made the correct decision. “Judge Walton’s imposition of the computer monitoring restriction is inconsistent with American law and tradition,” Mr. Goodwyn told The Epoch Times. “It’s unbelievable, in my opinion, that he would unlawfully order feds to spy on me in direct violation of the First and Fourth Amendments, under threat of locking me back up in prison.”

[..] During the sentencing hearing, Judge Walton criticized Mr. Goodwyn for having the “false impression” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Donald Trump. “And there is just no proof whatsoever that that was, in fact, the case,” the judge said, according to the official court transcript for the June 6 portion of the hearing. It was Mr. Goodwyn’s appearance on Mr. Carlson’s Fox News program that drew some of the sharpest fire from Judge Walton. He called Mr. Carlson a “lightning rod” who “has said and done things that I think clearly have been divisive.” Mr. Carlson gave the impression “that individuals who have been charged in reference to the events on January 6th of ‘21 have been treated unfairly,“ the judge said. ”And I see no evidence that, in fact, was the case.”

When being interviewed by Mr. Carlson, Mr. Goodwyn “made no attempt to correct the record,” Judge Walton said. “And when Carlson suggested that all the defendant did was go into the Capitol and walk around for less than a minute and leave, that just wasn’t correct. And that misinformation that is disseminated to the American public has contributed to the discord that now exists in our country in reference to the presidential election and what occurred on January 6th.”

Read more …

“You’re going to save my country. We could never repay you.”

Elon Musk Says X Will Defy Order From Brazil’s Supreme Court (ET)

Owner of X Corp. Elon Musk said on the platform on April 6 that the company had decided to lift all restrictions on Brazilian accounts targeted by an order from the nation’s Supreme Court. “We are lifting all restrictions. This judge has applied massive fines, threatened to arrest our employees and cut off access to X in Brazil. As a result, we will probably lose all revenue in Brazil and have to shut down our office there. But principles matter more than profit,” Mr. Musk wrote, explaining X’s decision. The announcement came in response to reporting by investigative journalist Michael Shellenberger and colleagues David Ágape and Eli Vieira, titled “Twitter Files Brazil.” In his reporting, Mr. Shellenberger cited records released by X, formerly known as Twitter, during Mr. Musk’s 2022 takeover that allegedly show that “Brazil is engaged in a sweeping crackdown on free speech led by a Supreme Court justice.”

Sitting members of Brazil’s Congress and journalists were among those named by Brazil’s highest court for censoring, Mr. Shellenberger said of his findings, which he has shared on X He named lower house members Carla Zambelli of former President Jair Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party and Marcel van Hattem of the NOVO party as targets of orders targeting posts that the court deemed misinformation. According to the internal files that Mr. Shellenberger shared, Twitter in Brazil was threatened with a $30,000 fine. The company had one hour to remove the congressmembers’ posts or pay the court for noncompliance. The article reports that the justice had even been jailing individuals without trial for their social media posts. According to Mr. Shellenberger, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes allegedly made demands to Twitter to allow access to its internal data, in violation of Twitter’s own policies on the handling of user data.

He also allegedly ordered that Twitter deplatform the individuals responsible for the specific posts that he wanted censored “without giving users any right of appeal or even the right to see the evidence presented against them.” Brazil’s “Twitter Files” also show that the justice “sought to weaponize Twitter’s content moderation policies against supporters of then-president [Jair Bolsonaro],” Mr. Shellenberger said—a similar trend to what the “Twitter files” revealed was happening to former President Donald Trump and conservative voices in the United States. The origin of the order to censor Brazilians’ posts was also revealed in the internal Twitter files, he said. He said Justice de Moraes, Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court, and Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court declined to respond to the report.

Last year, Justice de Moraes also ordered an investigation into executives at social messaging platform Telegram and Alphabet’s Google, who were in charge of a campaign criticizing a proposed internet regulation bill. Mr. Musk said of Brazil’s Twitter Files, which he released to Mr. Shellenberger, “This aggressive censorship appears to violate the law & will of the people of Brazil.” Journalist Paulo Figueiredo, a contributor to The Epoch Times who was censored by the court order, replied: “You’re going to save my country. We could never repay you.” He had replied to an earlier post urging X to not comply with the court order, saying the independent platforms Rumble and Locals did not comply. “You’re powerful enough to make a difference,” Mr. Figueiredo said.

Rogan X

Read more …

For running the company into the ground.

Outgoing Boeing CEO Bags $33 Million Pay-Off Despite 737 Max Accidents (Sp.)

Boeing’s departing CEO Dave Calhoun’s 2023 pay package jumped by 45 percent to about $33 million, according to an annual proxy statement filed on Friday. Boeing reported that Calhoun’s compensation mainly consists of deferred stock options. Boeing’s share price has slumped almost 30 percent this year as of March 29, 2024 following the mid-air blowout of an Alaska Airlines B737 MAX 9 jet door plug on January 5. A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that Boeing failed to correctly install the four bolts required to secure the door on the Alaska jet. The revised figure for Calhoun’s overall earnings in 2023 totalled $24.8 million. The departing CEO pocketed $22.6 million the previous year, according to the regulatory filing.

The Seattle-based planemaker is in financial and regulatory trouble after several accidents with its B737 Max short-medium haul airliners. It has suffered a drop in new orders and mounting concerns over quality control and corporate governance raised by regulators and customers. Last February, an expert panel found Boeing’s safety practices “inadequate and confusing” and noted a “disconnect” between the company’s senior management and front-line workers. In March, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) probe found multiple issues within Boeing’s 737 Max production, including quality control violations by major supplier Spirit AeroSystems. The FAA conducted 89 product audits of which 33 failed, totalling 97 instances of noncompliance. Based on FAA findings, Spirit AeroSystems underwent 13 audits, failing seven.

Calhoun was appointed CEO of Boeing in January 2020. His 2023 pay-packet is his highest yet, despite the transnational corporation’s litany of woes. sFollowing the Alaska incident, Boeing’s executive compensation committee adjusted the payment structure for top officials in 2024. Executives in the commercial aircraft division will now have their pay split into 60 percent based on operational performance and 40 percent based on financial performance. Previously, three-quarters of pay was based on financial metrics.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1776616386048983117

https://twitter.com/i/status/1776606901611933760

 

 

Birx

 

 

Baby elephant
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776687801632952388

 

 

Toddler puppy

 

 

Hawk mallard

 

 

Horse
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777095055255433356

 

 

Toothpaste
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777182076950974843

 

 

PolyGlu

 

 

Table cloth

 

 

 

 

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Apr 152023
 
 April 15, 2023  Posted by at 11:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  4 Responses »


Brian Griffin Memorial to the Conquerors of Space, Moscow, Russia 1974

 

 

 

Andrew Korybko:

 

Brazilian President Lula was successful in reaching an agreement to de-dollarize his country’s trade with China, the significance of which was earlier explained in the context of his country’s grand strategy here, but failed to convince his counterpart to join a so-called “peace club” on Ukraine during their summit. This is no small shortcoming either since it was promoted by his Foreign Minister as one of the reasons behind his trip in an interview that he gave to the Financial Times (FT) late last month.

Globally prominent outlets such as Bloomberg, France24, the US Government-run “Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty” (RFERL), and others all accordingly reported that this issue would be high on the agenda during Lula’s talks with President Xi. His supporters on social media also went wild getting everyone’s expectations up about this as well, even though “Brazil & China Are Poles Apart When It Comes To Their Envisaged End Games In Ukraine” so it was never likely that anything would come of this.

While China, India, and South Africa have consistently abstained from anti-Russian UNGA Resolutions, Brazil bucked the BRICS trend by always voting against Russia except when it came to suspending it from the Human Rights Council. Lula became the first BRICS leader to personally condemn Russia in his joint statement with Biden back in February, after which he ordered his diplomats to vote in support of the latest anti-Russian UNGA Resolution later that same month.

Foreign Minister Vieira was obviously well aware of the sharp differences between Brazil and China’s officially envisaged end games to this conflict yet he still made it seem to FT like there was a chance that the People’s Republic would tacitly support his country’s position via participation in the “peace club”. That was nothing more than wishful thinking, which belied Brazilian diplomats’ refusal to acknowledge China’s principled approach to this conflict since they in hindsight seemed to assume that it was flexible.

Reality slapped them and their supporters in the face upon the publication of the joint Brazilian-Chinese communique on Friday, which can be read in English on the official website of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs here. The ninth paragraph of that document will now be shared in full so as to prove Lula’s failure to sway President Xi to his country’s side contrary to the unrealistic expectation that Vieira set for his trip when talking to the FT late last month:

“Both parties stated that dialogue and negotiation are the only viable way out of the crisis in Ukraine and that all efforts leading to a peaceful solution to the crisis must be encouraged and supported. Brazil received in a positive way the proposal by China that offers reflections conducive to the search for a peaceful solution to the crisis. China received in a positive way the efforts by Brazil in favour of peace. The parties made an appeal for more countries to play a constructive role in the promotion of a political solution to the crisis in Ukraine. The parties decided to keep in contact on this matter.”

As can be seen, absolutely nothing of tangible significance came from Lula’s over-hyped “peace club” proposal. This paragraph of their joint statement is purely perfunctory and simply acknowledges their shared interest in peace without touching upon their sharp differences in terms of how this should be achieved. The “positive way” in which China “received” “the efforts by Brazil in favour of peace” is similar in spirit to Russia’s reported support of the optics connected to Lula’s peace rhetoric.

What’s meant by this was explained more in detail here last week but just refers to Russia and China’s interest in showing the world that the international community wants peace as soon as possible instead of indefinitely perpetuating this proxy war. Their soft power interests in no way even remotely imply endorsement of Lula’s envisaged end game as articulated in his joint condemnation of Russia with Biden and the anti-Russian UNGA Resolution that he ordered his country’s diplomats to vote in support of.

China wasn’t ever going to be manipulated into de facto taking the US’ political side in this conflict against Russia by dint of joining Lula’s “peace club” and thus extending credence to his hostile demand that their shared BRICS partner immediately withdraw from all the territory that Kiev claims as its own. Doing so would have discredited President Xi’s signature peace proposal that his diplomats unveiled on the one-year anniversary of the conflict and which he discussed at length with President Putin in March.

Lula therefore failed in his function as Biden’s “Trojan Horse” for tricking the Chinese leader into informally adopting an anti-Russian policy, but this unfriendly gamble didn’t spoil their much larger success in agreeing to de-dollarize bilateral trade. About that, while it’s indisputably a positive development that’ll accelerate the global systemic transition to multipolarity, his Finance Minister Fernando Haddad made it clear that neither this nor the trip in general were aimed against the US.

In his own words, “It doesn’t make sense to get closer to China and move away from the United States. We want the best relations with the United States and the European Union.” This aligns with the insight that was hyperlinked to in the introduction regarding Brazil’s grand strategy, which was elaborated upon in this piece here from Friday that discusses the significance of Lula’s reported plans to launch a global influence platform in joint partnership with the US Democrats.

To summarize, he believes that Brazil can “balance” – however clumsily and imperfectly – between de-dollarizing with China and aggressively propagating liberalglobalism across the world with the US, thus enabling his country to preemptively avert potentially disproportionate dependence on either. Relations with Russia are limited in this paradigm to commodities (including energy investments) and cooperation on BRICS’ new reserve currency, which are important but pale in comparison to China and the US’ roles.

All told, the grand strategic significance of Lula’s de-dollarization success with China far outweighs his failure to trick it into tacitly adopting an anti-Russian policy by joining his proposed “peace club”, but the second-mentioned outcome still deserves to be discussed. Those who expected this to happen must cogently account for the fact that it didn’t occur, though without resorting to the conspiracy theories that have become popular among his supporters, if they want to retain a semblance of credibility.

 

 

 

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Apr 042023
 
 April 4, 2023  Posted by at 10:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  8 Responses »


Georgia O’Keeffe Red poppy No. VI 1928

 

Andrew Korybko:

 

The Old Cold War Paradigm Is Irrelevant In The New Cold War”, which Indian Professor of International Relations Rajesh Rajagopalan just discovered, but it’s important for everyone else to be aware of this as well. Unlike during the Old Cold War where the US and USSR competed to promote their capitalist and communist worldviews correspondingly, the New Cold War is being fought over whether the global systemic transition continues evolving towards multipolarity or retains most of unipolarity’s trappings.

Multipolar conservative-sovereigntists (MCS) respect every country’s sovereign right to develop according to whichever models they’d like while unipolar liberal-globalists (ULG) want to force everyone to apply Western models. For the most part, the Sino-Russo Entente and the Global South embrace MCS while the US-led West’s Golden Billion and its vassals promote ULG. There are a few notable exceptions, but this insight represents the simplified geopolitical-ideational fault lines of the New Cold War.

Intrepid readers can learn more about the dynamics of this competition in the following analyses:

* 15 May 2022: “What’s Dishonestly Smeared As ‘Russian Propaganda’ Is Just The Multipolar Worldview

* 5 August 2022: “The Russian Foreign Ministry Comprehensively Explained The Global Systemic Transition

* 29 October 2022: “The Importance Of Properly Framing The New Cold War

* 9 March 2023: “Towards Tri-Multipolarity: The Golden Billion, The Sino-Russo Entente, & The Global South

* 21 March 2023: “China’s Global Civilization Initiative Is Its Response To The West’s Liberal-Globalism

The abovementioned analyses add context to Russia’s new foreign policy concept that can be read here.

The present piece focuses on the 58th paragraph and its four subclauses concerning Russia’s relations with Latin America, which are of relevance to the Western Hemispheric dimension of its grand strategy as articulated in the preceding hyperlinked document from 31 March. For everyone’s convenience, this part of that detailed policy paper will now be shared in full below prior to analyzing its importance in the larger context:

“58. Given the progressive strengthening of the sovereignty and multifaceted potential of Latin American and Caribbean states, the Russian Federation intends to develop relations with them on a pragmatic, de ideologized and mutually beneficial basis, giving priority attention to:

1) supporting interested Latin American states under pressure from the United States and its allies in securing sovereignty and independence, including through the promotion and expansion of security, military and military-technical cooperation;

2) strengthening friendship, mutual understanding and deepening multifaceted mutually beneficial partnership with the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Republic of Cuba, the Republic of Nicaragua, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, developing relations with other Latin American states, taking into account the degree of independence and constructiveness of their policy towards the Russian Federation;

3) increasing mutual trade and investment with Latin American and Caribbean States, including through cooperation with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Common Market of the South. The Central American Integration System, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas, the Pacific Alliance, and the Caribbean Community;

4) expanding cultural, scientific, educational, sports, tourism and other humanitarian ties with the states of the region.”
 
Immediate attention should be drawn to the open sentence about the “pragmatic, de ideologized and mutually beneficial basis” of Russia’s envisaged relations with Latin America. This approach perfectly aligns with the precepts of MCS, particularly Moscow’s respect for its partners’ right to develop according to whichever models they’d like. In practice, this means that Russia’s comparatively more right-wing socio-cultural policies at home aren’t an impediment to expanding ties with left-wing states.

That explains why it’s extremely close with Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, all three of which have either abstained from or voted against anti-Russian Resolutions at the UNGA since the start of Moscow’s special operation. It also signals Russia’s intent to continue exploring the expansion of mutually beneficial economically driven relations with Brazil in spite of their increasingly diverging worldviews under Lula’s third term as explained in detail citing official sources in these analyses here and here.

Unlike the US’ ULG, Russia’s MCS policymakers don’t care how their country’s partners organize their economic, political, and/or socio-cultural systems, hence why they’re extending an offer of support to strengthen their sovereignty via military-technical and other means despite their different models. All that’s important for the Kremlin is that its partners remain reliable and continue respecting Russia’s legitimate interests without criticizing them or meddling in its related affairs.

Should they continue to do so and this pragmatic worldview expands further throughout the region, then the geopolitical-ideational basis will be more solidly established for comprehensively advancing Russia’s relations with those regional integration platforms mentioned in the third clause above. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is the most promising of them all, however, and Venezuelan President Maduro’s expectations of its future global role complement Russian interests.

The final clause regarding people-to-people ties is important for sustaining both sides’ mutually beneficial cooperation in the New Era, the present decade of which can also be described as the Age of Complexity. Ideologically driven disinformation agents are already at work trying to brainwash Latin Americans into thinking that Russia’s comparatively more right-wing socio-cultural policies at home preclude the possibility of any left-wing governments ever pragmatically cooperating with it.

According to this information warfare narrative, it would allegedly be a “betrayal” of their movements’ beliefs to work together with any country that holds polar opposite ones in some respects, the notion of which is weaponized by the US’ ruling liberalglobalists to divide-and-rule Russia and Latin America. The so-called “New Left” that’s rising in the region differs from the “Old Left” in the sense that the former are largely insincere in their working-class rhetoric and care more about fighting “culture wars”.

Their obsession with so-called “critical race theory” and aggressive propagation of non-traditional sexual relations onto all members of society (including children) take precedence over tangibly improving the living conditions of the population whose economic interests they purport to represent. These causes are the same as those that are being imposed by the US’ Democrats onto their own people and aggressively propagated across the world, hence these movements’ informal alliance with one another.

Upon falling under the influence of the US’ liberal-globalists, the Latin American “New Left” (which the Workers’ Party’s elite during Lula’s third term can also be characterized as per the prior analyses earlier shared in this piece) gradually began to align with their ally’s foreign policy. This explains why the Brazilian leader became the first BRICS one to personally condemn Russia in his joint statement with Biden from February and decided to continue Bolsonaro’s policy of voting against it at the UNGA.

At the same time, however, the “Old Left” that’s represented by Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and also Bolivia (which for whatever reason wasn’t mentioned by name in Russia’s new foreign policy concept despite being a reliable partner) continues setting a positive geopolitical-ideational example. They’re more focused on tangibly improving their people’s living conditions than on fighting “culture wars”, hence why they remain resistant to the US Democrats’ influence, unlike the Workers’ Party’s elite.

Accordingly, they haven’t voted against Russia at the UNGA either, once again unlike Lula’s Brazil. The emerging challenge across Latin America will therefore be for the “Old Left” to positively influence the “New Left” at least in the geopolitical sense of appreciating the mutually beneficial importance of pragmatically expanding ties with Russia despite pressure from their newfound US ideological ally to distance themselves from it and vote against Moscow at the UNGA.

It’s with this imperative in mind that Russia’s official de-ideologization of its relations with Latin America deserves maximum attention. Those “New Left” movements that continue falling under the US Democrats’ pernicious geopolitical influence due to their overlapping ideational interests will ultimately end up doing some of that declining unipolar hegemon’s bidding in the New Cold War. The failure to stop and reverse this Hybrid War trend could ultimately doom all of Latin America to US vassalhood.

 

 

 

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Feb 242023
 
 February 24, 2023  Posted by at 10:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  73 Responses »


Constantin Brancusi Portrait of George 1911

 

China Unveils Roadmap To End Ukraine Conflict (RT)
China Publishes Its Proposals On Ukrainian Crisis Settlement (Az.)
Elon Musk Accuses Victoria Nuland Of ‘Pushing War’ In Ukraine (RT)
US Seeks To Discuss New START Implementation With Russia – Nuland (TASS)
19% Of Americans Have Confidence In Biden’s Handling Of Ukraine Conflict (SN)
Russia-EU Relations ‘No Longer Exist’ – Moscow (RT)
Moscow Analyzes Brazil’s Peace Initiatives On Ukraine (TASS)
Seymour Hersh Explains Why US Blew Up Nord Stream (RT)
Why Putin Went to War — One Year Later (Lauria)
Google Accused Of Destroying Evidence In Antitrust Suit (RT)
Hunter Biden’s Latest Rebrand Is Just Smoke And Errors (Turley)
The Immediate Need To Screen Blood For mRNA And Spike Protein (Horowitz)

 

 

 

 

Tedros

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short version…

China Unveils Roadmap To End Ukraine Conflict (RT)

The international community should encourage all efforts to end the Ukraine conflict peacefully, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a 12-point political roadmap published on Friday. In a statement on its website, the ministry urged each side to “stay rational and exercise restraint.” “All parties should support Russia and Ukraine in working in the same direction and resuming direct dialogue as quickly as possible, so as to gradually deescalate the situation and ultimately reach a comprehensive ceasefire,” the document said. “All efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis must be encouraged and supported,” the plan stressed, adding that Beijing would “continue to play a constructive role” in the matter.

China called for abandoning “the Cold War mentality,” arguing that “the security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs.” There is “no simple solution to a complex issue,” the proposal said, and countries should “prevent bloc confrontation” and work towards building “a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture.” Beijing warned against “armed attacks” on nuclear power plants and called on the parties to “resolutely avoid man-made nuclear accidents.” China also said it opposes sanctions that are not approved by the UN Security Council. “Unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure cannot solve the issue; they only create new problems.”

Unlike many Western countries, ChinaA has refused to condemn Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and has not imposed economic restrictions on Moscow. Chinese officials have stressed that Beijing wants to find a peaceful solution rather than fuel the conflict by sending weapons to Kiev. Russia sent troops to Ukraine exactly a year ago, citing the need to protect the people of Donbass and Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-2015 Minsk peace accords. Ukraine, meanwhile, accused Moscow of unprovoked aggression. Ceasefire negotiations effectively broke down by April 2022. Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi traveled to Moscow this week, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin later said that he was expecting Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Russia sometime in the future.

Read more …

… and long version…

Pepe Escobar: “On the Chinese peace proposal. A post-mod epigone of Diogenes, the Cynic would say, with a nod and a wink: The ONLY thing that really matters for Beijing are the New Silk Road corridors across Eurasia. This war is bad for business. Over and out.”

China Publishes Its Proposals On Ukrainian Crisis Settlement (Az.)

The foreign ministry of China published its proposals for a political settlement of the crisis in Ukraine on its website on February 24, Report informs referring to TASS. The 12-point settlement plan, put forward by the Chinese side, includes a call for de-escalation and ceasefire. “All sides should show rationality and restraint, avoid fueling tensions or taking steps to aggravate the conflict, avert further escalation and prevent the situation from spinning out of control, assist contacts between Russia and Ukraine and resumption of direct dialogue, promote gradual de-escalation and detente until the fire and hostilities cease completely,” the document says. “Peace negotiations should begin. Dialogue and negotiations are the only way to settle the crisis in Ukraine. All efforts aimed at resolving the crisis peacefully need to be encouraged and supported.”

Besides, China urges to pay attention to, and ease in a proper way legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries. “Cold War mentality should be abandoned. Security of one country should not be ensured through harming the security of other states, and regional security cannot be maintained through strengthening and expansion of military blocs,” the Chinese foreign ministry said. “Legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries should be taken into account, and properly eased.” Also, Beijing urges to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and prevent it from spreading. “The humanitarian crisis needs to be resolved. All measures that help to mitigate the humanitarian crisis need to be encouraged and supported. Humanitarian missions should be conducted in accordance with the principle of neutrality and impartiality, in order not to politicize humanitarian issues,” the document says, adding that safety of civilians needs to be properly ensured.

“It is necessary to increase humanitarian aid to relevant areas, improve the humanitarian situation, ensure prompt, safe and unhindered humanitarian access and prevent the crisis from spreading,” the Chinese foreign ministry said. Besides, China supports the prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine and calls for creating favorable conditions for that. “The protection of civilians and prisoners of war needs to be ensured,” the ministry said. “China supports a prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine, all sides should create more favorable conditions for that.” The document emphasized that all parties to the conflict should adhere to the international humanitarian law, avoid attacks on civilians and civilian facilities, protect women and children and defend the basic rights of prisoners of war.

It also calls for ensuring that grain exports to the global market continue: “All sides must honor the agreement on grain transportation via the Black Sea – signed by Russia, Türkiye, Ukraine and the United Nations – in a balanced, all-encompassing and effective form.” The document also urges to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and avoid a nuclear crisis, and calls to maintain security of nuclear power plants. “Strategic risks need to be reduced. Nuclear weapons must never be used, a nuclear war must never be unleashed. It is necessary to resist the use of nuclear weapons and threats to use it, to prevent nuclear proliferation and to avert a nuclear crisis,” the document says. “China strongly opposes attacks on nuclear power plants and other civilian nuclear facilities. We call upon all sides to respect the international law, including the Convention on nuclear safety.”

On top of that, “China opposes development and use of biological and chemical weapons by any country, under any circumstances.” Also, the foreign ministry of China opposes any unilateral sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine, imposed without a relevant decision of the UN Security Council. “Unilateral sanctions [should be] stopped,” the document says. “We oppose introducing any unilateral sanctions without the UN Security Council’s decision. “Stability of supply and delivery chains needs to be ensured. All sides should duly protect the existing system of the global economy, oppose attempts to politicize, instrumentalize and weaponize it,” the statement continues. It also calls for a joint effort to mitigate the crisis and its effects on global cooperation in the sectors of energy, finance, food trade and transport.

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“.. Trump called Nuland and “others like her” in the Biden administration “warmongers and ‘America Last’ globalists.”

Elon Musk Accuses Victoria Nuland Of ‘Pushing War’ In Ukraine (RT)

“Nobody is pushing” the conflict in Ukraine more than US State Department official Victoria Nuland, Twitter CEO Elon Musk said on Wednesday. Nuland, who largely orchestrated the pro-Western coup in Kiev in 2014, is now backing military strikes on the Russian territory of Crimea. Nuland’s declaration last Thursday that Russian military bases in Crimea are “legitimate targets” for Ukrainian forces was received by the Kremlin as proof of “US involvement in the Ukraine conflict.” In a post on Telegram, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that Moscow would respond to such attacks “using weapons of any kind.” “Nobody is pushing this war more than Nuland,” wrote Musk, who has previously warned that nuclear war could break out unless Ukraine abandons its claims to Crimea and both sides agree to peace talks.

Nuland’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict predates Russia’s military operation, ordered one year ago on Friday by President Vladimir Putin. As assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs in 2014, Nuland helped organize the coup that saw Ukraine’s democratically-elected president, Viktor Yanukovich, replaced with the pro-Western Pyotr Poroshenko, who then began a campaign of military repression against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk.= During the coup, Nuland handed out cookies to protesters in Kiev and promised pro-Western politicians military aid and a billion-dollar loan guarantee program. In an infamous leaked call between Nuland and then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, the two discussed which person should replace Yanukovich from a list of opposition politicians.

After leaving the State Department during Donald Trump’s presidency, Nuland is now serving as President Joe Biden’s deputy secretary of state for political affairs. In recent months, she has endorsed regime change in Russia, celebrated the US’ alleged destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, and called for the indefinite flow of arms into Ukraine. sMusk is not the only prominent American to condemn Nuland’s role in instigating the conflict in recent days. In a campaign video released on Tuesday, former President Donald Trump called Nuland and “others like her” in the Biden administration “warmongers and ‘America Last’ globalists.” Nuland was “obsessed with pushing Ukraine towards NATO,” he declared, claiming that the conflict would have “never happened if I was your president.”

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Washing her hands.

US Seeks To Discuss New START Implementation With Russia – Nuland (TASS)

The US authorities would like to get back to inspections as part of the New START nuclear arms control treaty and have a chance to discuss with Russia the implementation of this agreement, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said in an interview with Washington Post. When asked if Russia’s suspension of the treaty would make any difference for the US in terms of behavior, the top State Department official said: “We will not [do this] and we’ve made that clear to the Russians.”


According to Nuland, Washington has “no intention or need” to resume testing. “We would like to get back into mutual inspections. We would like to get back to a place where we can sit at a table and talk about implementation [of the treaty],” she said. Nuland also assured that the US is not interested in rebuilding its nuclear weapons. The top State Department official said the US is trying to understand what Russia’s decision on suspending its participation in New START would mean in practical terms.

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Can’t enter a war with those numbers.

19% Of Americans Have Confidence In Biden’s Handling Of Ukraine Conflict (SN)

An Associated Press and NORC poll has found that fewer than 20 percent of Americans have a “great deal” of confidence in the way Joe Biden is involving the U.S. in the Ukraine conflict. The survey reveals that only 19 percent of the public have a “great deal” of confidence in Biden’s ability, while 37 percent say they have “only some” confidence,” and 43 percent have “hardly any” confidence.

The poll also found that only 42 percent approve of the way Biden is handling the U.S.’ relationship with Russia, while 54 percent disapprove. The poll also found that a quarter of respondents believe the U.S. shouldn’t be playing any role in the war, with a further 49 percent saying that the U.S. should only have minor role. Just 26 percent believe the U.S. should be playing a major role.

The poll also found that while 59 percent of Democrats said they were in favour of sending government funds directly to Ukraine, just 21 percent of Republicans concur. The figures represent a decrease in support among both groups, as last year 63 percent of Democrats and 28 percent of Republicans said they were in favour. The findings come after Biden’s probable 2024 opponent Donald Trump declared that he would negotiate a peace deal and end the conflict within 24 hours, as well as ousting all the “demented warmongers and globalists” currently occupying the U.S. National Security establishment.

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“..Never in the history of Europe has the continent been so “subservient” to the US..”

Russia-EU Relations ‘No Longer Exist’ – Moscow (RT)

Relations between the European Union and Russia are practically nonexistent, consumed by the abyss of EU subservience to the US, the Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council on Thursday. Moscow had said in June 2022 that the “bottom had fallen out” when it came to relations with Brussels, Nebenzia said in his speech at the UN. “It turns out there was an entire abyss below still, that swallowed up not only our relations – which are basically nonexistent now – but also the EU itself,” he said. “A year after completely severing ties with our country, the GDP growth of the EU has stuck near zero. At the same time, record inflation rates are measured by double-digit indicators. Rejoicing that it jumped off the ‘Russian gas needle,’ the EU got hooked on ‘hard drugs’ – expensive American liquefied natural gas,” the Russian diplomat added.

Nebenzia also accused the EU of openly discussing how to dismember and destroy Russia. Earlier this week, the Estonian prime minister suggested Russian history needs to be rewritten and its population re-educated, to protect Europe from “Russian imperialist dreams.” Never in the history of Europe has the continent been so “subservient” to the US, Nebenzia argued, pointing to last September’s sabotage of Nord Stream. “Things have come to the point where Brussels has silently swallowed that its closest ally blew up the main gas pipeline, which was also paid for by European investors,” he said, adding that EU members are even covering up inconvenient truths in order to shield the US.

The twin pipelines running under the Baltic Sea were built to supply the continent with Russian natural gas via Germany. Denmark, Sweden and Germany have refused Russian requests for information about their investigation into the blasts. In an article published earlier this month, American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed the US and Norway had conspired to destroy the pipelines and described how they carried it out. Russia has called for a UN investigation into the sabotage. The US has denied any responsibility for the Nord Stream bombing.

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BRICS. India next.

Moscow Analyzes Brazil’s Peace Initiatives On Ukraine (TASS)

Moscow is studying Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s peace proposals for Ukraine, but it is taking into account the evolving situation “on the ground”, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said in an interview with TASS. “We took note of the President of Brazil’s statements on the subject of possible mediation in order to find political ways to prevent escalation in Ukraine, correcting miscalculations in the field of international security on the basis of multilateralism, and considering the interests of all players. We are examining initiatives, mainly from the standpoint of Brazil’s balanced policy, and, of course, taking into consideration the situation ‘on the ground’,” he said. Galuzin emphasized the importance of Brazil’s view, which is Moscow’s strategic partner both bilaterally and globally.


“We are interacting constructively in the BRICS, G20, UN and its Security Council, where this nation is now represented as a non-permanent member,” he added. Russia appreciates Brazil not supplying weapons to Kiev despite US pressure, Deputy Foreign Minister emphasized. “I would like to emphasize that Russia values Brazil’s balanced position in the current international situation, its rejection of unilateral coercive measures taken by the US and its satellites against our country, and the refusal of our Brazilian partners to supply arms, military equipment, and ammunition to the Kiev regime,” he said. “At the same time, we can see how Washington is putting pressure on Brazil. Such sovereign stance deserves respect,” Galuzin added. Earlier, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stated that the country’s officials had no intention of transferring weapons and ammunition to third countries to be used in the Ukrainian conflict.

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“It’s not going to help the war. What he was doing it for, was to prevent Germany and Western Europe, in case the winter came quickly, from opening up the pipeline..”

Seymour Hersh Explains Why US Blew Up Nord Stream (RT)

US President Joe Biden ordered the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines in order to make sure Germany could not change its mind about sanctions against Russia and weapons shipments to Ukraine, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said in an interview with ‘Going Underground’. Earlier this month, Hersh published an article that blamed the US and Norway for the series of explosions that disabled both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, the pipelines under the Baltic Sea built to supply Western Europe with Russian natural gas. In an interview with Afshin Rattansi this week, Hersh said the US intelligence community hatched the plan “in late 2021,” before the escalation of hostilities in Ukraine.

When Biden and Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland both publicly spoke about “stopping” and “ending” Nord Stream 2, however, Hersh claimed the spies were upset, “because it was supposed to be a covert operation.” “The people who did this thing in the intelligence community, they initially thought it was a great idea,” Hersh told Rattansi. According to his story, the bombs were planted in June, during the scheduled BALTOPS 2022 naval exercise off the Danish island of Bornholm. The bombs went off in late September, as Ukraine was facing “a serious issue” on the battlefield. “It’s not going to help the war. What he was doing it for, was to prevent Germany and Western Europe, in case the winter came quickly, from opening up the pipeline,” Hersh said.

The rationale for the mission was “to make sure that Europe keeps on supporting NATO and keeps funneling arms into what is clearly a proxy war against Russia that’s being fought right now,” he added. Asked whether Moscow had somehow missed the American involvement, and focused on the UK instead, Hersh said he had not spoken to anyone in Russia. One thing he could say is that it would be “absolutely insane” for Russia to blow up its own pipeline. Just about everyone in the pipeline business agrees with that assessment, he added. The White House, the Pentagon and the State Department have all disavowed Hersh’s article as “fiction” and denied all accusations of US involvement in the attack on Nord Stream. Russia has called for an independent UN investigation into what it described as an act of international terrorism.

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“It is the start of the final collapse of Western colonialism.”

Why Putin Went to War — One Year Later (Lauria)

It is instructive to compare Russia’s war aims expressed on Feb. 24, 2022 to the state of the conflict today — a year long war of attrition that Russia is slowing winning on the ground. But what was unleashed a year ago today is far from settled and is fraught with supreme danger for all of humanity. The West’s economic war, intended to spur Russians to overthrow their government, has failed spectacularly. The ruble did not collapse despite sanctions on the Russian central bank. Nor has the economy. Instead an alternative economic, commercial and financial system that excludes the West is rising with China, India and Russia in the lead, and most of Asia, Africa and Latin America taking part. It is the start of the final collapse of Western colonialism.


The sanctions instead backfired on the West, especially in Europe. The West is on the outside looking in. The information war has failed across the world. Only the United States and Europe, which consider itself “the world,” believe their own “information.” Even The New York Times on Thursday recognized this. Washington itself is split between realists who want a diplomatic solution and neoconservatives who keep “doubling down” on supporting Ukraine in the slim hope that it can win on the battlefield, without sparking a direct NATO-Russia war. There will either be a negotiated settlement in which Ukraine loses territory; a total Russian victory; or a third world war, potentially the final war.

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“Google systematically destroyed an entire category of written communications every 24 hours.”

Google Accused Of Destroying Evidence In Antitrust Suit (RT)

The US Department of Justice has accused Google of “systematically” destroying records linked to ongoing antitrust litigation, saying the company failed to preserve its internal communications despite a previous order to do so. In a legal filing issued in a Washington, DC federal court on Thursday, DOJ officials said Google has refused to change a feature on its company chat which automatically deletes employees’ logs, adding that it “falsely” claimed to have ended the practice back in 2019. “Google’s daily destruction of written records prejudiced the United States by depriving it of a rich source of candid discussions between Google’s executives, including likely trial witnesses,” said DOJ attorney Kenneth Dintzer.

While the government said Google was required to end the auto-delete function under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the company did not “preserve potentially relevant chats,” meaning that for nearly four years since the antitrust case was launched, “Google systematically destroyed an entire category of written communications every 24 hours.” The DOJ has asked the court to rule that the tech giant violated a civil procedure guideline, and requested a hearing to determine how to penalize Google and demand more information about its internal communications.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Google said it “strongly” rejected the allegations, with a spokesperson arguing its teams have “conscientiously worked for years to respond to inquiries and litigation.” They added that the company has “produced over 4 million documents in this case alone, and millions more to regulators around the world.” The antitrust case against Google was opened in 2020, when the Justice Department said the company is a “monopoly under traditional antitrust principles” in the search engine industry and “must be stopped.” While the government argued the firm has used its market power to disadvantage smaller competitors, Google later slammed the suit as “deeply flawed,” insisting it would “do nothing to help consumers.”

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“..as Joker stated in The Dark Knight, Madness … is a lot like gravity. All it takes is a little push.”

Hunter Biden’s Latest Rebrand Is Just Smoke And Errors (Turley)

Welcome to the latest Hunter Biden reboot. Call it Dark Biden rises. Hunter has long been a reclamation project for the media and the Biden team. Despite ample evidence that he and his family may have engaged in one of the largest influence-peddling operations in history, the media have struggled to find a redeeming image for someone who’s committed his life to a toxic mix of nepotism, narcissism and narcotics. First there was “Hunter: the wrongly accused international businessman.” This blanket denial of wrongdoing was maintained by his father and dutifully repeated by the media. Hunter Biden did “nothing wrong,” and reporters pressing questions of corruption were immediately attacked. Then came “Hunter Biden: victim of Russian disinformation.”

Before the 2020 election, the media repeated the false claim that the Hunter laptop was likely “Russian disinformation.” Despite the denial of American intelligence and self-verifying emails on the laptop, the media accepted without question the dubious claims of former intelligence figures pushed by longtime Democratic operatives. Then it was “Hunter Biden: heroic recovering addict.” As the media denials became more difficult to maintain, Biden released a book that detailed his struggle with drugs and debauchery. The media again launched into the same fawning, unquestioning mode. Now we have the Dark Biden. Hunter’s handlers are reinventing Hunter in a more menacing image. He is an edgy and aggressive antagonist ready to fight fire with fire against Republicans.

A team was assembled to reportedly attack potential witnesses and critics. With a possible criminal indictment and congressional investigations looming, Hunter the wronged businessman or Russian victim or recovering addict will not do. Hunter appears to have acquired lawyers by the gross, including high-profile lawyer Abbe Lowell. Lowell recently sent out a letter that caused a stir by not only confirming the authenticity of the laptop but threatening a host of critics. Lowell categorically refused to turn over a single document to House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.), saying there was no “legitimate legislative purpose” for the investigation. He left open the possibility the House might convince Hunter to cooperate.

It’s all bravado and the posturing will be even less credible in the future when he backs down. Congress clearly has a legitimate interest in investigating whether millions of dollars from foreign interests, including some connected to foreign intelligence, were funneled to the Biden family to influence President Biden. [..] Despite the considerable risk, Hunter is keeping to his new character. He has not shared information on his art sales. Now his art dealer, Georges Berges, has also reportedly refused to provide the House Oversight Committee with identities of the buyers. It won t work. Indeed, it is a strategy that could lead to a criminal charge entirely separate from the underlying allegations. It just shows, as Joker stated in The Dark Knight, Madness … is a lot like gravity. All it takes is a little push.

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This issue will explode.

The Immediate Need To Screen Blood For mRNA And Spike Protein (Horowitz)

You might be part of that small percentage of adults who were smart enough to avoid the COVID gene therapy and lucky enough not to have it forced upon you to keep your job. But what happens if you ever need blood in the hospital? Or what about those who got the jabs but were lucky enough to have the spike protein leave their systems without much harm? What if you were forced to accept more spike protein through blood transfusions due to a medical emergency? New research points to the imperative for state lawmakers to pass laws requiring that blood banks screen out spike protein from the blood supply. Danish microbiologists published a shocking finding this week in the Journal of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology.

They took samples of blood from 108 hepatitis C patients, and one of the discoveries was that “full-length or traces of SARS-CoV-2 spike mRNA vaccine sequences were found in blood up to 28 days after COVID-19 vaccination.” Lest you think that they were picking up on spike protein from natural infection still lingering in the blood, the researchers meticulously distinguished not just between infection- and vaccine-induced spike protein, but even between the genetic codes of Pfizer and Moderna. It turns out five of those detected were positive for the Pfizer nucleotides and five had the Moderna ones. “To our knowledge, our study is the first to detect Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccine sequences in blood after vaccination, and therefore provides new knowledge regarding the timeframe in which the mRNA can be detected,” observed the authors.

One the one hand, we should be thankful that most did not have detectable spike protein circulating in the blood plasma. But the fact that they found it in 10% of the samples (and contrasted to a control group) raisess the obvious question: How many blood supplies in the blood banks from the general population have spike protein, and if this sample detected spike protein up to 28 days (the extent of the study period), how much longer can it potentially last? Remember, the bombshell study from Stanford last year found spike antigen remaining in germinal cells up to 60 days after injection, and researchers did not study beyond that time frame. Even more disturbing, a study by St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix found exosomes containing spike protein were detectable for up to four months after vaccination. Another paper in Frontiers in Immunology revealed the detection of some spike in monocytes for 15 months!

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Birds

 

 


Elephant throws a 500 kg buffalo into the air like a rag doll – Kim Maurer

 

 

Horse chicken
https://twitter.com/i/status/1628618176425775104

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 112023
 
 January 11, 2023  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  86 Responses »


Dorothea Lange Ex-slave with long memory, Alabama 1937

 

Zelensky Achieves Unique Results In The Destruction Of Ukraine (Zadorozhnaya)
Wagner Group Claims Full Control Of Soledar (RT)
What Would It Take? (Saker)
A Rift in the Lute? (Batiushka)
G7 Seeks Two Price Caps For Russian Oil Products (RT)
G7 Wants To Force India To Accept Russian Oil Price Cap – Reuters (RT)
The Ukrainian Crisis And Europe – The Opinion Of Experts (Milacic)
Why The CIA Attempted A ‘Maidan Uprising’ In Brazil (Escobar)
Biden’s Classified-Records Headache Is Garland’s Nightmare (Turley)
Biden May Have Taken Secret Documents For His Book (Turley)
We Now Have Evidence Pfizer Committed Fraud (midwesterndoctor)
Excess Deaths In 2022 Among Worst In 50 Years (BBC)

 

 

 

 

Tucker op-ed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you read one thing today… Alyona Zadorozhnaya, translated for the Saker. Devastating.

Zelensky Achieves Unique Results In The Destruction Of Ukraine (Zadorozhnaya)

By the end of 2022, Vladimir Zelensky has achieved unique and in many ways tragic results. He managed to reduce the population of Ukraine to the level of a century ago, put the country in bondage to the West and deprive fellow citizens of the elementary benefits of civilization. What other “successes” could be added to Zelensky’s track record? In 2023, a catastrophic drop in the birth rate is expected in Ukraine. This was stated by the director of the Ptukha Institute of Demography and Social Research, academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Ella Libanova. According to her, by 2030 the population will decrease to 35 million people, and the reduction process has been going on since 1994. At the same time, Libanova assures that 34-35 million people still live in Ukraine.

However, these figures are questionable. The number of refugees who arrived in Russia from the territory of Donbass and Ukraine has already exceeded five million people. In the summer, according to the UN, there were about 6.3 million Ukrainian citizens who left the country in all the European states. Experts are convinced that Libanova gives inflated figures – and already today there are significantly fewer people living in Ukraine than she claims.. “Even before the start of the SVO, it was difficult to understand how many people really live in Ukraine. Official figures were around 40 million people, while in reality there were approximately 33 million people, if not less,” economist Ivan Lizan told the newspaper VZGLYAD. “From 2016 to 2019, Ukrainians were leaders among those who obtained primary residence permits in Poland. Every year, up to 500 thousand people “flowed out” this way. Also, do not forget that a large number of their refugees have recently moved to Europe,” the expert emphasizes.

“Thus, there are at best 25-27 million people left in Ukraine, which is comparable to the population as of the 1920s of the last century. Mostly men remained in the country, because they were simply banned from traveling abroad,” the source notes. “I am sure that these trends will continue in 2023. We will also observe internal migration. In those areas of the front where the situation is heating up, people will run away. As, for example, from the Kiev–controlled part of Donbass, local residents fled to Dnepropetrovsk,” the economist claims. “A terrible situation is developing in the labor market. State employees mostly live on bare salaries. Teachers who are forced to move to other regions of Ukraine due to the proximity of hostilities have enough money only to pay for rented housing,” says Lizan.

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Bakhmut is next.

Wagner Group Claims Full Control Of Soledar (RT)

Units of Wagner Group have taken control of the “entire territory” of Soledar, the head of the private military company Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed on Tuesday evening. Fighting is still going on in the center of town, where an unknown number of Ukrainian soldiers has been encircled. “There is a cauldron in the center of town, where urban fighting is taking place,” Prigozhin said in a statement released to the media. “We’ll announce the number of prisoners tomorrow.” He added that only Wagner “and no other units” had taken part in the storming of Soledar. A video showing two Wagner fighters standing calmly outside the town administration building was released on social media earlier in the day.


Such recordings, usually accompanied with geospatial coordinates, have commonly been used during the conflict to announce territorial control. Named after its salt mines, Soledar had around 10,000 residents before the conflict. The Ukrainian army turned it into a strongpoint after being pushed out of Popasnaya in mid-2022. Russian control over the town creates problems for Kiev’s forces in the embattled bastion of Artyomovsk, which Ukraine has renamed Bakhmut. Prigozhin said last week that his objective was not necessarily to take the towns, but “the destruction of the Ukrainian army and the reduction of its combat potential.” On Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky acknowledged that the situation in Soledar was “very difficult” and called it “one of the bloodiest spots along the front line,” but vowed that Ukrainian troops would continue to hold “no matter what.”

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“..it appears that 40% of the Ukrainian electrical grid is down forever, since nobody (except Russia) can replace the extremely heavy (and costly) transformers..”

What Would It Take? (Saker)

NATO did “celebrate” the Orthodox Nativity, but in its own way. First, a few headlines:
Remember the truce offered by Russia? It was rejected. Instead we got this:
• Donetsk shelled in first minute of Christmas truce – authorities
• Two Serbs shot in Kosovo Christmas Eve attack
And, just to clarify, NATO uses Serbia as a defenseless victim to show Russia what it can do to its allies, the message being, as Stoble Talbott said, “after Serbia, you are next”, so the link here is strong. NATO did not stop at that, it also continued its policy of persecutions, see these headlines:
• Zelensky sanctions over 100 Russian public figures
• Zelensky deprives Orthodox priests of citizenship – media.
Speaking of issues of freedom of religion, NATO is planning to completely ban the parishes which used to have an autonomous status under the Moscow Patriarchate, which then turned against Moscow and condemned the SMO. But that was not enough, so, just like in NATO occupied Kosovo, the persecution of Orthodox clergy and faithful is both a “feel good” operation for Orthodoxy-haters and a “message” to Moscow. NATO did not stop at that, it also announced yet another military aid package for Banderastan: (no translation needed I suppose)

None of that will be enough to make a difference, but there are many more such “aid” programs being discussed, so NATO wants to continue to draw out this war for as long as possible and fight the Russians down to the last Ukrainian. Not that any of this did any good to “Ze” and his gang: having rejected the Russian truce, the Ukronazis are now loosing the towns of Soledar and Artemovsk (see here for details), which are not only tactical victories for the Russians, but this now threatens the operational defenses of the Ukronazis which will have to fall back on what we could call a “third line of defense” if they want to restabilize the front.


Russia has also continued with her strikes, including an absolutely huge explosion at the NATO base in Ochakovo and a retaliatory attack following the HIMARS strike which killed nearly 100 Russian soldiers. The retaliatory attack was aimed at two barracks in Kramatorsk and, according to the Russian, it killed 600 Ukronazis soldiers. Finally, it appears that 40% of the Ukrainian electrical grid is down forever, since nobody (except Russia) can replace the extremely heavy (and costly) transformers needed to reconnect that grid (now all electrical power is local, with no means to distribute it through the grid).

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“Civil war in the USA. Bankruptcy in the UK. Collapse in Germany. Revolt in France and Southern Europe. Chaos in Eastern Europe. The end of NATO.”

A Rift in the Lute? (Batiushka)

There is no such thing as racial superiority among modern woke Americans, only of moral superiority. This is in fact even more insulting and condescending nonsense, which means the acceptance of ‘our’ values, i.e. ‘freedom and democracy’. Thus, Victorian London imposed the Puritan Englishman as the model for salvation (‘wash more often and your skin will become as white as ours’), whereas ‘liberal’ Washington says ‘wear jeans and trainers, eat at MacDonalds, drink coca cola and watch Disney, and you too will be saved, even though you are the wrong skin colour’. Same old, same old. Among the Victorians there were politicians with personalities: Palmerston, Disraeli and Gladstone, the only one adored by Bulgarians. Of course, the first two were obnoxious imperialists – but they did have personalities.

Among them we can also include the Kurd-gassing Churchill and the Pinochet-loving Thatcher. They were Victorians in their mentality. Racist to the core. But they did have personalities. It seems now that they were the last of the line. After Thatcher came a series of nonentities, the believing in his own delusions Blair and then in 2022 the three geniuses: Johnson, whose name is now a synonym for a buffoon; Truss, who gave the world a new word, a ‘Trussism’, e.g. ‘Peru is the capital of Africa’ or ‘Inflation is overcome by printing more money’; and then there is the Indian banker, sunny Sunak, not quite a billionaire, but well on his way. Say no more.

Such British geniuses should recall that the neocons who run NATO and then think that if they extend their war in the Ukraine and hope to drag it out for a decade or so, that will destroy Russia. Clearly, they live not in the real world, but in a virtual world. The longer it lasts, the greater the damage to the West. This is what they will create: Civil war in the USA. Bankruptcy in the UK. Collapse in Germany. Revolt in France and Southern Europe. Chaos in Eastern Europe. The end of NATO. The trouble is that, as Col. Douglas MacGregor always quotes his Spanish NATO friend as saying: ‘The USA is not another country, it is another planet’. Having been to different parts of the USA four times, visiting from the Old World, I can confirm the words of the Spanish officer.

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Exercise in futility.

G7 Seeks Two Price Caps For Russian Oil Products (RT)

The Group of Seven (G7) coalition will seek to set two price caps on Russian refined products in February, one for products trading at a premium to crude oil and the other for those trading at a discount, a G7 official said, Report informs via Reuters. The coalition – which consists of Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States, plus the 27-nation European Union – introduced a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian crude from Dec. 5, on top of the EU embargo on imports of Russian crude by sea. From Feb. 5, the coalition will also impose price caps on Russian products, such as diesel, kerosene and fuel oil, to further reduce Moscow’s revenue from energy exports and its ability to finance its invasion of Ukraine. But capping Russian oil product prices is more complicated than setting a price limit on crude alone, because there are many oil products and their price often depends on where they are bought, rather than where they are produced, the official said, asking not to be named.

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India is an independent country.

G7 Wants To Force India To Accept Russian Oil Price Cap – Reuters (RT)

The G7 intends to impose two price caps on Russian petroleum products in February that will target refined products trading at a premium to oil and those which are being sold at a discount, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing an unnamed G7 official. Additional restrictions would come on top of the previously agreed upon price ceiling on oil products, such as diesel, kerosene and fuel oil, which is due to come into force on February 5. Late last year, the EU, G7 countries, and Australia introduced a price cap on Russian seaborne oil exports, which bans Western companies from providing insurance and other services to vessels transporting Russian oil unless the cargo is purchased at or below the set price. Imposing a price ceiling on refined products is more complicated than capping crude alone, the official told Reuters, explaining that the price of oil products “often depends on where they are bought, rather than where they are produced.”


Meanwhile, India may also join the Russian oil price cap if crude costs go above $60 per barrel, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday, citing the country’s oil ministry and industry officials. Oil supplies to India, which remained Russia’s top importer for three months in a row as of December, have not been affected by Western sanctions, as the country is buying crude at a discount with prices standing between $53 to $56 per barrel, the outlet said, quoting sources familiar with the matter. Russia supplied a record 1.17 million barrels a day to New Delhi in December, up from November volumes by 24%, according to oil-flow tracking data from energy intelligence company Vortexa. Indian authorities, however, are “weighing options” to slash oil imports from Russia if the EU imposes additional restrictions for nations buying crude from the sanctioned country or if the price crosses the set limit of $60 per barrel, according to the outlet.

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“Treating Ukrainian soldiers in German hospitals is a good sign of humanity. Sending weapons and training soldiers has nothing to do with humanity.”

The Ukrainian Crisis And Europe – The Opinion Of Experts (Milacic)

Since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, we have been bombarded with mass information and opinions about the war and Europe’s attitude towards it. As someone who deals with geopolitics, I carefully followed the conferences and debates of European experts and politicians and their arguments. That is exactly why I would recommend the online conference and debate that was held on January 5th. The information presented in the debate is very interesting for anyone dealing with the Ukrainian crisis and European policy towards the crisis.

Hansjörg MÜLLER (former member of Bundestag from AfD): Training soldiers makes Germany participant of the war. A Bundestag council stated that Russia would be right if attacking Germany in the framework of international law, because Germany started participating in anti-Russian aggression. Treating Ukrainian soldiers in German hospitals is a good sign of humanity. Sending weapons and training soldiers has nothing to do with humanity. It is act of aggression of war. Regarding the peace opposition in Germany: about 40 percent of German citizens do not believe the media propaganda that Russia started the war. Every history has its prehistory. The war did not start 24.2.2022, but six days earlier, when Ukraine started to shell Donbass 10 times more than before.

The prehistory for that is the illegal coup on Maidan, which was financed and operated by the Americans. In Bratislava conference NATO drew a red line where Baltic States, Ukraine and Belarus should be dragged into NATO. All this started in the beginning of the 20th century, when the Anglo-Saxons realised that if the German empire develops further, there will be a power independent of Anglo-Saxon control of seaways, which was the initial spark of the WWI. The ongoing crisis is nothing more than continuation of the ongoing Anglo-Saxon aggression against Germany and Russia for more than 120 years. Land-Lease of 1941 was renewed in 2022. Who provoked this war? It is the Anglo-American weapons industry. There will be no regime change in Russia. The main questions is: who has bigger warehouses and production of weapons. When Russia wins, it will be a change for the new financial system and a big blew for the US.

Patrick POPPEL (geopolitical expert from Austria): Austria is part of the West in this conflict and supporting the interest of NATO. NATO is supporting Ukraine. Austria is a neutral country by constitutional law but in practice not. Also during the pandemics, many politicians worked against the law and the constitution of Austria. People in our government and the media are not neutral. Neutrality is the special weapon of Austria. This neutrality was given to us by Russia, because SovietUnion liberated us. Austria was kept outside NATO and Warsaw Pact and given a constitution of neutrality. Supporting Ukraine is a big mistake because Austria is loosing the reputation of neutral country.

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BRI.

Why The CIA Attempted A ‘Maidan Uprising’ In Brazil (Escobar)

The failed coup in Brazil is the latest CIA stunt, just as the country is forging stronger ties with the east. A former US intelligence official has confirmed that the shambolic Maidan remix staged in Brasilia on 8 January was a CIA operation, and linked it to the recent attempts at color revolution in Iran. On Sunday, alleged supporters of former right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro stormed Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court, and presidential palace, bypassing flimsy security barricades, climbing on roofs, smashing windows, destroying public property including precious paintings, while calling for a military coup as part of a regime change scheme targeting elected President Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva. According to the US source, the reason for staging the operation – which bears visible signs of hasty planning – now, is that Brazil is set to reassert itself in global geopolitics alongside fellow BRICS states Russia, India, and China.

That suggests CIA planners are avid readers of Credit Suisse strategist Zoltan Pozsar, formerly of the New York Fed. In his ground-breaking 27 December report titled War and Commodity Encumbrance, Pozsar states that “the multipolar world order is being built not by G7 heads of state but by the ‘G7 of the East’ (the BRICS heads of state), which is a G5 really but because of ‘BRICSpansion’, I took the liberty to round up.” He refers here to reports that Algeria, Argentina, Iran have already applied to join the BRICS – or rather its expanded version “BRICS+” – with further interest expressed by Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Indonesia. The US source drew a parallel between the CIA’s Maidan in Brazil and a series of recent street demonstrations in Iran instrumentalized by the agency as part of a new color revolution drive: “These CIA operations in Brazil and Iran parallel the operation in Venezuela in 2002 that was highly successful at the start as rioters managed to seize Hugo Chavez.”

Straussian neo-cons placed at the top of the CIA, irrespective of their political affiliation, are livid that the “G7 of the East” – as in the BRICS+ configuration of the near future – are fast moving out of the US dollar orbit. Straussian John Bolton – who has just publicized his interest in running for the US presidency – is now demanding the ouster of Turkey from NATO as the Global South realigns rapidly within new multipolar institutions. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his new Chinese counterpart Qin Gang have just announced the merging of the China-driven Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Russia-driven Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU). This means that the largest 21st century trade/connectivity/development project – the Chinese New Silk Roads – is now even more complex, and keeps expanding.

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“..some of those experts have rushed to distinguish the two cases and assure us that there really is no comparison..”

Biden’s Classified-Records Headache Is Garland’s Nightmare (Turley)

The Justice Department reportedly is investigating the discovery of 10 classified documents found in an old private office used by President Biden when he served as vice president. The discovery could not come at a worse time for the Justice Department — or a better time for former President Trump. While there are significant differences in the number of the documents involved in each case and the reported response of the Biden and Trump teams, the underlying allegation — removing and retaining classified material — is the same. Moreover, there remain questions that are likely to be pursued by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in the coming weeks. Those questions not only deal with the scope of the alleged violations but the increasingly conflicted and irreconcilable positions of Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding the Biden and Trump investigations.

Biden’s lawyers have said they found the documents just days before the midterm elections and are “cooperating with the National Archives and the Department of Justice regarding the discovery of what appear to be Obama-Biden Administration records.” The White House Counsel’s Office notified the National Archives on Nov. 2 of the discovery as it was closing out a Washington office, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, that Biden used as part of his relationship with the University of Pennsylvania after he left the vice presidency in 2017. That academic appointment itself is considered controversial by some Biden critics. Biden was made an honorary professor from 2017 to 2019 and reportedly paid nearly $1 million for a few visits to the school. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he was paid $371,159 in 2017 and $540,484 in 2018-2019. He has used the appointment to claim the status of a professor in speeches.

The newly discovered material reportedly includes some top-secret files with the “sensitive compartmented information” designation, also known as TS-SCI, which is used for highly sensitive information obtained from intelligence sources. There is no accusation of false statements or obstruction in this instance, both of which are being investigated in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago matter. However, the incident further highlights AG Garland’s unintelligible position. This controversy will again raise prior cases of knowing or negligent removal of classified material by government officials and the relatively light punishment given in even some of the most egregious cases. After the raid on Mar-a-Lago, experts and pundits went into a frenzy about Trump being given an “orange jumpsuit,” and some insisted that even a misdemeanor conviction should bar him from office. It is not clear if the same view (which I criticized then) will now apply to Biden — but some of those experts have rushed to distinguish the two cases and assure us that there really is no comparison.

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“.. Biden insisted “if I had intended to cheat, would I have been so stupid?” Many are likely to be asking the same question in the weeks ahead.”

Biden May Have Taken Secret Documents For His Book (Turley)

“How that could possibly happen, how anyone could be that irresponsible,” President Biden, struggling to find words to express his revulsion at the very idea of moving classified material to Mar-a-Lago in a “60 Minutes” interview. “And I thought what data was in there that may compromise sources and methods.” So how does Biden explain the roughly dozen documents found sitting in a closet at a private office supplied by the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement? For the moment, he is not saying anything at all. It is easy to understand why. According to reports, the clearly marked classified documents include those at the highly classified “Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information” (TS/SCI) level. The documents reportedly include material related to Iran, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. When the documents on such subjects were found at Mar-a-Lago, media experts immediately opined that Donald Trump may have sold material or was endangering national security for a book or vanity.

For two days, Biden has refused to answer questions from reporters as his allies in the media struggle for a spin out of this scandal. His silence is hardly surprising. Biden has always been better at expressing revulsion than responsibility. Time and again, he has literally rushed before cameras to denounce others, often without basis, for alleged crimes. He has not waited for investigations, let alone trials. For instance, when mounted agents were falsely accused of whipping migrants in Texas, the president was there. Even though the whipping story was clearly refuted by the available videotape, Biden rode the wave of media outrage, declaring: “It was horrible what — to see, as you saw — to see people treated like they did: horses nearly running them over and people being strapped. It’s outrageous. I promise you, those people will pay.” This week, the president appeared on the southern border and held a photo op with border agents. Yet he has never had the decency to apologize to the agents who were cleared of all whipping allegations. Instead, his administration is still seeking to punish them on other grounds.

Biden may have to take responsibility for this debacle, but he faces a potential criminal charge. While Attorney General Merrick Garland has again refused to appoint a special counsel, any acknowledgment of Biden’s knowledge or interaction with the documents could have serious legal ramifications. These documents may have been relevant to his last book. The book, “Promise Me, Dad,” released in November 2017, was marketed as his insider view of America’s relations with countries like Iran and Ukraine: “As vice president, Biden traveled more than a hundred thousand miles that year, across the world, dealing with crises in Ukraine, Central America, and Iraq.” If he worked off these documents, it is impossible to deny the violation — or his hypocrisy in his comments on Mar-a-Lago.

He is now the subject of the same inquiries he raised with CBS’s Scott Pelley: “I thought what data was in there that may compromise sources and methods. By that, I mean, names of people helped or et cetera.” The fact is past cases of the removal or mishandling of classified material have not resulted in major prosecutions. Yet many in the Democratic Party and the media have insisted on criminal charges in the Mar-a-Lago case, including barring Trump from office for even a misdemeanor conviction on unlawful possession. Biden has previously weathered scandals, often by denying culpable intent. When accused of plagiarism, for instance, Biden insisted “if I had intended to cheat, would I have been so stupid?” Many are likely to be asking the same question in the weeks ahead.

Dem top lawyer Aug 2022

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“..although by all reasonable standards, Pfizer and Moderna should be criminally convicted for allowing such a dangerous vaccine on the market (they clearly knew the vaccines had to be dangerous), nothing has been done..”

We Now Have Evidence Pfizer Committed Fraud (midwesterndoctor)

Fraud is a huge allegation to put forward, so since that time we did our best to vet the discovery and sent it out to independent parties who could validate it prior to publishing. Based on the feedback we have received since publishing this, I am no longer sure if one of my allegations holds (that the image being a digital straight line means it was not representative of the actual proteins present) as there was an additional approach to evaluating this we were not aware of at the time of publication. I still believe the central allegation (that the vaccines do not contain what was advertised) holds true and is critically important to understand, but we do not presently have the information to determine if the numerous suspicious characteristics we specifically identified in Pfizer’s western blots could be explained by something besides fraud.

One of the things that is less appreciated about governance is that governments will never have the resources to address every single problem that arises in their territory. Because of this, governments inevitably prioritize addressing problems which would otherwise cause them to lose money, and will prioritize protecting the (typically financial) interests of the upper class who support government officials (e.g., by paying for their election). This has lead to the curious phenomena whereby there are much harsher penalties for institutional level fraud than there are for an institution harming members of the general public. For example, as I have tried to show throughout this Substack, pharmaceutical companies frequently commit egregious harm against consumers and clinical trial participants, but in spite of this, most of our institutions will refuse to prosecute them for this conduct.

Conversely, one of my friends who is a paralegal in the industry has told me that pharmaceutical companies have to be honest with their investors, or they can and will be sued for financial fraud. For this reason, you can get typically get the most accurate information on their products by reviewing what pharmaceutical companies share with their investors. Similarly, although by all reasonable standards, Pfizer and Moderna should be criminally convicted for allowing such a dangerous vaccine on the market (they clearly knew the vaccines had to be dangerous), nothing has been done. However, Brook Jackson is currently pushing through a whistleblower lawsuit against Pfizer which makes the case that Pfizer conducted their clinical trials in a fraudulent manner, and by extension, committed fraud. The sale of the vaccines to the US government was predicated upon their clinical trial data and thus if that data was fraudulent, Pfizer’s sales constitute fraud.

Because fraud has much greater standing in our legal system than harming the general public, Brook’s lawsuit is critically important, and if it succeeds in proving fraud on Pfizer’s end, can collapse this entire vaccination campaign. Likewise, Brook has an even stronger case if a smoking gun were to be present which: 1) Showed that Pfizer beyond a shadow of a doubt intentionally committed fraud. 2) This fraud directly undermined the entire basis for their product. So understandably, we wanted to make sure our allegations were correct before moving forward.

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Does mention the vaccine, but only to insist that couldn’t be it.

Excess Deaths In 2022 Among Worst In 50 Years (BBC)

More than 650,000 deaths were registered in the UK in 2022 – 9% more than 2019. This represents one of the largest excess death levels outside the pandemic in 50 years. Though far below peak pandemic levels, it has prompted questions about why more people are still dying than normal. Data indicates pandemic effects on health and NHS pressures are among the leading explanations. Covid is still killing people, but is involved in fewer deaths now than at the start of the pandemic. Roughly 38,000 deaths involved Covid in 2022 compared with more than 95,000 in 2020. We are still seeing more deaths overall than would be expected based on recent history. The difference in 2022 – compared with 2020 and 2021 – is that Covid deaths were one of several factors, rather than the main explanation for this excess.

So what else might be going on? A number of doctors are blaming the wider crisis in the NHS. At the start of 2022, death rates were looking like they’d returned to pre-pandemic levels. It wasn’t until June that excess deaths really started to rise – just as the number of people waiting for hours on trolleys in English hospitals hit levels normally seen in winter. On 1 January 2023, the president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine suggested the crisis in urgent care could be causing “300-500 deaths a week”. It is not a figure recognised by NHS England, but it’s roughly what you get if you multiply the number of people waiting long periods in A&E with the extra risk of dying estimated to come with those long waits (of between five and 12 hours).

It is possible to debate the precise numbers, but it’s not controversial to say that your chances are worse if you wait longer for treatment, be that waiting for an ambulance to get to you, being stuck in an ambulance outside a hospital or in A&E. And we are seeing record waits in each of those areas. In November, for example, it took 48 minutes on average for an ambulance in England to respond to a suspected heart attack or stroke, compared to a target of 18 minutes. Some of the excess may be people whose deaths were hastened by the after-effects of a Covid infection. A number of studies have found people are more likely to have heart problems and strokes in the weeks and months after catching Covid, and some of these may not end up being linked to the virus when the death is registered. As well as the impact on the heart of the virus itself, some of this may be contributed to by the fact many people didn’t come in for screenings and non-urgent treatment during the peak of the pandemic, storing up trouble for the future.

[..] The rise in cardiac problems has been pointed to by some online as evidence that Covid vaccines are driving the rise in deaths, but this conclusion is not supported by the data. One type of Covid vaccine has been linked to a small rise in cases of heart inflammation and scarring (pericarditis and myocarditis). But this particular vaccine side-effect was mainly seen in boys and young men, while the excess deaths are highest in older men – aged 50 or more. And these cases are too rare – and mostly not fatal – to account for the excess in deaths.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1612944674322321409

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Bollywood

 

 

 

 

Bowie

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 242022
 
 December 24, 2022  Posted by at 10:09 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  27 Responses »


Edvard Munch Christmas in the brothel 1904-05

 

Santa and Satan (Kunstler)
What Should We Make Of The Latest Muppet Show In DC? (Saker)
Kiev Is Mulling Peace Plan, WSJ Reports (RT)
Kremlin Comments On Kiev’s Purported Peace Plan (RT)
US Has Nothing To Lose, Everything To Gain, From Longer Ukraine Conflict (Luk.)
NATO Armies Drained By Ukraine Conflict – Media (RT)
In for a Pound (Schryver)
The US Love For Ukraine Or Hate Against Russia? (Awan)
Russia Sets Its Own Gas Price Cap For EU (RT)
Russia Warns Of Oil Production Cut (RT)
Mass Twitter Suspension Of Accounts Criticizing Zelensky Visit To Congress (PM)
Can China Help Brazil Restart Its Global Soft Power? (Escobar)
United States Attorney Announces Extradition Of SBF To US (SDNY)

 

 

It’s Christmas Eve and all we can talk about is war. The next step once the last Ukrainian dies, as Gonzalo also says, may well be to push Poland forward as the -willing- next proxy. Because the Poles do have the equipment, and the personnel to operate it.

Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

 

Rob Reiner

 

 

Gonzalo Will Poland Be The Next Proxy

 

 

 

 

Pelosi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1606110816540819457

 

 

 

 

Slowak flag

 

 


stationary slit vision

 

 

 

 

Krampus.

Santa and Satan (Kunstler)

The Santa we know came from a mashup of ancient pre-Christian Teutonic and Norse folk figures (Wotan, Odin) with the 4th century Greek bishop, St. Nicholas, a humble giver of gifts to children. That evolved in 19th century Anglo-America, with help from Washington Irving, Charles Dickens, and Clement Moore, into the jolly fat man in a fur-lined cloak, chortling merrily amid the platters of roast goose and baskets of sugarplums. And then, of course, the Santa character was retooled and stylized by the big advertising mills of mid-20th century Madison Avenue into the red-suited icon who functioned as a cosmic delivery-man to suburban houses where the little ones dwell, efficiently distributing Red Ryder BB guns and Barbie Dolls from sea to shining sea out of his reindeer-powered express vehicle, circling the entire globe in a single breathless night of glittering snow and shining stars, plangent with countless wishes from little hearts.

Strange to relate, in some corners of Europe, St. Nick acquired a traveling companion named Krampus. The two went from house-to-house in the dark hours of St. Nick’s name-day (Dec. 6) interrogating children as to their conduct. Dark and hirsute with horns, cloven hooves, and a darting red tongue, this monster acted the “bad cop” of the roving pair, badgering the little ones about their naughty or nice doings, and whacking them with a birch rod if he didn’t like their answers. If especially displeased, he stuffed kids into a basket for transport to Hell. A Krampus-like character reemerged in America this pre-Christmas week in the figure of Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, who flew halfway around the world in a US government-issue magic sled to meet up with his chum, the new Santa Claus, “Joe Biden,” alleged current president of our land.

Mr. Z, still tricked-out in his wartime olive-green togs and scrufty beard, was here to lecture the boys and girls of Congress about being naughty or nice vis-à-vis “democracy” in his distant land, lately under a siege of angry bears. Ukraine did nothing to make the bears angry, you understand. They just lumbered in from the forest one day and started busting stuff up, as bears will. Ukraine has already received many gifts from Santa’s workshop, formerly known as the USA, toys much more impressive than any Red Ryder BB gun, for sure: howitzers, Javelin missiles, Stinger missiles, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), Phoenix Ghost tactical drones, Switchblade tactical drones, Puma surveillance drones, Vampire anti-drone systems, Mi-17 helicopters, Harpoon coastal defense systems, and much more. (How did Santa fit it all in his sack?)

“Joe Biden” promised another fifty-billions of dollars to Mr. Z’s bear-extermination project, with the further objective of dethroning the king of all bears, the wicked Putin, who glowers at the world from the mouth of his faraway Kremlin Cave. Then, in Congress Wednesday night, before a coast-to-coast TV audience, Mr. Z tuned-up our elected boys and girls in the great House chamber, forked tongue darting, to tell heart-wrenching tales of bear-provoked terror. He played them like the very keys of a harpsichord — a trick he has performed before with an interesting twist on Ukrainian television. The elect of our land stood and cheered, ready to proclaim Ukraine the fifty-first state. Mr. Z stole a smooch from the ruler of Congress, the winsome Ms. Pelosi, and then disappeared in a puff of smoke that left a tang of sulfur wafting on the stale air.


To underscore his seriousness, and using his secret powers, Mr. Z arranged for a bomb-cyclone storm to roar out of the North Pole a few days after his departure to give Americans a little taste of what it’s like to sit in the cold and dark at Christmas time — because the USA is such a blessed land as to have no problems of its own, and needs to be reminded about the sufferings of the less fortunate. And so it goes this Yuletide of 2022 in our charmed and exceptional country. The elves at Clusterfuck Nation wish you all a merry little Christmas!

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“..Russia has been preparing non-stop for a full-scale continental war since at least 2014..”

What Should We Make Of The Latest Muppet Show In DC? (Saker)

Since Dubya and Obama the White House has been occupied by weak and frankly clueless leaders, hence the various interests groups which control DC run “their own foreign policy”. So, like vectors, the various goals and means of the key actors add up to create a “sum vector” which can *look* like “a policy” or “a plan”, but it is no such thing. What is true of the US is even MORE true for NATO. Hence the Poles pulling at their chain like rabid dogs to the horror of the comparatively sane(er) Europeans. I fully agree with Andrei Martyanov – the folks in charge in the West are totally clueless and they have absolutely no idea how to walk away from the mess they created.

The Neocons probably would prefer a worldwide nuclear war to a Russian victory, but non-Neocon actors might not want to die for a sick, narcissistic, gang of ignorant yet self-worshiping thugs. Who will prevail? I have absolutely no idea. I am not sure anybody else knows either. What I do know is that Russia has been preparing non-stop for a full-scale continental war since at least 2014. Defense Minister Shoigu has declared that next year Russia will add five new artillery divisions, eight bomber aviation regiments, one fighter regiment, three motor-rifle divisions, two air-assault divisions, and six army aviation brigades to the Russian armed forces!

And, by the way, these “artillery divisions” will be what is called “high power” brigade/division in Russia, that is to say that they get the very heavy weapons, like 203mm and 240mm self-propelled mortars. Something which the newly recreated First Guards Tank Army (a “Shock Army” in Russian military terminology) would need to further increase its huge firepower power. And did I mention that Russia has fully modernized her nuclear triad and that key weapons factories in Russia are now working for 6 days weeks with 3 shifts working non-stop?

Zel DC

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Kiev and NATO can make any ‘peace plan’ that they know Russia won’t accept.

Kiev Is Mulling Peace Plan, WSJ Reports (RT)

Ukraine may present its vision of peace around the last week in February, near the first anniversary of Russia’s offensive against the country, the Wall Street Journal has reported. The US newspaper, citing European and Ukrainian diplomats, claimed President Vladimir Zelensky and his team are currently working on such a formula. In its article on Thursday, the media outlet alleged that the Ukrainian leadership wants to strengthen its position at the negotiating table by making gains on the battlefield against Russia before unveiling any peace proposals. The topic of peace and how Ukraine sees it was high on the agenda of US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Zelensky during the latter’s visit to Washington on Wednesday.

However, according to the Washington Post, citing an anonymous senior US official, the discussion was largely “academic,” as the US and Ukraine believe Russia is not interested in any such negotiations at this point. Addressing G20 leaders in Indonesia last month, President Zelensky laid out a ten-point peace plan, which called for, among other things, the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and an “all for all” prisoner swap. The Kremlin, in turn, insisted that Kiev must recognize the “reality on the ground” as a prerequisite for any peace negotiations. In Moscow’s eyes, this reality includes the new status of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions as parts of Russia.

Unnamed Western officials cited by the Wall Street Journal had suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing to launch a renewed offensive in the coming months and is not interested in any peace talks before he sees how those efforts pan out. Meanwhile, speaking to journalists on Thursday, the Russian head of state said that Moscow’s “goal is not to ramp up this military conflict, but, on the contrary, to end this war, that is what we are striving for and will strive for.” Putin noted that the sooner hostilities in Ukraine come to an end, the better, as the “intensification of fighting leads to unnecessary losses.”

The Russian president went on to insist that the Kremlin has never refused to engage in peace talks with Ukraine. He claimed that it is the leadership in Kiev that “has forbidden itself from” going down this road. This is an apparent reference to a decree signed by Zelensky in early October, according to which Ukraine will not negotiate with Moscow as long as Putin remains in power there. The decision came in response to Moscow officially signing agreements with the Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples’ Republics as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, which joined Russia after holding referendums. “One way or another, all armed conflicts end with some negotiations on the diplomatic track,” Putin argued on Thursday. He also expressed hope that those “who are opposing us” realize this as soon as possible.

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“..all that he has said until now did not take into account the reality on the ground..”

Kremlin Comments On Kiev’s Purported Peace Plan (RT)

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that Russia considers previous comments made by Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky about the possibility of peace talks as detached from reality. He’d been asked on Friday to comment on media reports about a new peace plan being formulated by the leader’s office. “We are not aware of it,” the official told journalists during a briefing. “We have heard Zelensky’s statements about various steps, a peace plan. But all that he has said until now did not take into account the reality on the ground, which one simply cannot ignore.” The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the Ukrainian government could reveal a new peace proposal sometime in February.

The Ukrainian leadership wants to achieve some battlefield victories first, to strengthen its position, the newspaper’s sources in the governments of the US and Ukraine claimed. Zelensky last month made public what he termed a peace plan for his nation during a speech to the G20 leaders, who were meeting in Indonesia. It involved full withdrawal of Russian troops from all territories that Kiev considers under its sovereignty. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the time that the terms were “unrealistic and inadequate” and that Zelensky’s speech was full of “militant, Russophobic and aggressive rhetoric.”

Zelensky was asked about a “just peace” ending the conflict, during a press-conference in Washington that he held this week alongside US President Joe Biden. He replied that he didn’t know what that term meant, before declaring that no amount of reparations would compensate for the losses of some Ukrainians, who want revenge on “inhumans.” Biden intervened to declare that both he and Zelensky ultimately wanted peace. US policy states a strategic defeat of Russia as a primary goal in the crisis. Russia and Ukraine were on the brink of reaching a ceasefire agreement in early April. But Kiev’s Western backers reportedly declined to support the deal that Kiev brought to the negotiation table. Moscow said the US and its allies derailed the talks so that they could inflict more damage on Russia, disregarding Ukraine’s interests.

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The last Ukrainian.

US Has Nothing To Lose, Everything To Gain, From Longer Ukraine Conflict (Luk.)

Putting aside the pomp, the theatricals designed tug at the heart strings and the rhetorical chatter, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s visit to Washington could indeed be a milestone for the “European security” framework. A recent article by veteran German-American diplomat Henry Kissinger offered a new perspective in that he claimed a neutral status for Ukraine can no longer serve as a subject for negotiation, as the subject is no longer relevant. Ukraine is forming a powerful and capable armed force, actively assisted by the West, primarily the US, so its formal status – whether it’s a member of NATO or not – no longer matters. It is America’s de facto, if not de jure, military ally, in addition to having unique practical experience in a direct large-scale confrontation with Russia. One might add: it is motivated to pursue it.

Elaborating on this thought, it is reasonable to assume that, for the US, it’s even more comfortable for Ukraine to remain outside the formal alliance, as it expands the space for political-military action. There are no legal commitments, the level and scale of support can vary according to the situation at any moment, and the degree of Kiev’s loyalty to Washington as the main guarantor of resources is likely to exceed even that shown by Warsaw or the Baltic states. As will the degree of dependence on external aid. Ukraine, like Poland and the Baltics, is likely to become increasingly distrustful of continental Western Europe, as Kiev will interpret its inevitable internal contradictions as an implicit desire to make peace with Russia.

For the US, this sort of “land-based unsinkable aircraft carrier” will come in handy. Such a trained and loyal satellite, on the one hand beside Russia and on the other pointing towards Western Europe – and Kiev’s narrative that thanks to its efforts, the rest of Europe can live in peace and not under Russian bombs – opens up many opportunities. The territorial configuration of Ukraine in this context is unimportant to Washington. Moreover, the preservation of part of the internationally recognised Ukrainian territory under Russian control cements the conflict, and leaves the rump with a reason to fight on.

For this it should be equipped and trained, but all its wishes don’t necessarily need to be fulfilled. As for preparing its forces, it is crucial, for Washington, to enhance Ukraine’s own capabilities so that any subsequent phases of the confrontation can continue without the direct involvement of US and NATO units. This is a very significant point. The scheme is, in principle, quite rational. There is no guarantee that it will work, because Russia has the power to prevent it (even if, so far, this hasn’t been very visible), but there are few risks for the US. And the notorious European security system – the reform of which was Russia’s key demand a year ago – if it ever comes back on the agenda, it will be under very different circumstances. The old approaches and demands will no longer apply.

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“We are really low… and we’re not even fighting..”

NATO Armies Drained By Ukraine Conflict – Media (RT)

The fighting in Ukraine has “exposed flaws in US strategic planning” and “revealed significant gaps” in the US and NATO military industrial base, the Washington Post reported on Friday. As Kiev’s forces consume more ammunition than the West can produce, the Pentagon seeks to cope by training them to fight more like Americans. “Stocks of many key weapons and munitions are near exhaustion, and wait times for new production of missiles stretches for months and, in some cases, years,” the Post noted, as part of a narrative about how the US has funneled some $20 billion in military aid to Kiev just this year. Only $6 billion of that has been in new weapons contracts, while the rest came from the Pentagon stockpiles.

The US military-industrial complex can make about 14,000 rounds of ammunition for the 155-mm howitzers, the Post quoted US Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, while Ukrainian forces go through about 6,000 a day during heavy fighting. The US military-industrial complex is “in pretty poor shape right now,” Seth Jones of the Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) told the Post. “We are really low… and we’re not even fighting,” Jones said, adding that in scenarios where the US is facing China or Russia in a conventional conflict, “we don’t make it past four or five days in a war game before we run out of precision missiles.” Washington’s allies in Europe are in similar shape, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Michal Strnad, owner of a Czech ammunition conglomerate, said Ukraine chews through 40,000 rounds a month, while all of the European NATO members put together can produce 300,000 a year. “European production capacity is grossly inadequate,” Strnad said, adding that it would take up to 15 years to restock at current production rates, if the conflict were to somehow end tomorrow. Moscow has repeatedly warned the US and its allies that shipments of increasingly modern and long-range weapons could lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO, and accused the West of prolonging the conflict and causing civilian deaths in Ukraine. While Western officials have demanded a ramp-up of production for months, recent EU legislation blocked many investments into weapons manufacturing by designating it “not sustainable,” according to the Journal.

Germany is now in the process of funding a factory in Romania that could produce both NATO and Soviet-caliber ammunition for Ukraine. The Pentagon is trying to deal with the problem by training Ukrainian troops to “fight more like Americans” and use different tactics, according to the Post. “I think if we can train larger formations — companies, battalions — on how to employ fires, create conditions for maneuver, and then be able to maneuver like you’ve seen [the US military] maneuver on the battlefield, then I think we’re in a different place. Then you don’t need a million rounds” of artillery, a senior US official – who did not wish to be named – told the outlet.

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“..Russia has unswervingly adhered to the three primary war objectives Putin articulated in his February 24th speech.”

In for a Pound (Schryver)

In his February 21, 2022 speech, Putin meticulously recounted the relevant history of the region dating back multiple centuries, and focused specifically on the events that followed in the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In addition to Putin’s history lesson, he makes particular reference to a detailed proposal Russia delivered to the United States and its NATO allies in mid-December 2021 – a proposal that effectively amounted to a “final warning”; a last-ditch effort to avoid war in Ukraine. Consider his words carefully, and particularly in light of how Russia has unswervingly adhered to the three primary war objectives Putin articulated in his February 24th speech.

“Last December, we handed over to our Western partners a draft treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on security guarantees, as well as a draft agreement on measures to ensure the security of the Russian Federation and NATO member states. The United States and NATO responded with general statements. There were kernels of rationality in them as well, but they concerned matters of secondary importance and it all looked like an attempt to drag the issue out and to lead the discussion astray.

We responded to this accordingly and pointed out that we were ready to follow the path of negotiations, provided, however, that all issues are considered as a package that includes Russia’s core proposals which contain three key points. First, to prevent further NATO expansion. Second, to have the Alliance refrain from deploying assault weapon systems on Russian borders. And finally, rolling back the bloc’s military capability and infrastructure in Europe to where they were in 1997, when the NATO-Russia Founding Act was signed. – Vladimir Putin, Address by the President of the Russian Federation, February 21, 2022” I submit we can confidently assume Putin was as deadly serious on February 21, 2022 as he was on February 24, 2022; that he was not bluffing; that he was resolved to “raise the stakes” commensurate to whatever was required to achieve the objectives he had so carefully articulated.

I submit that his domestic popularity AND the support of his generals correlates closely to the perception that he will not waver from those objectives, and that it has only been the misplaced sense that he might be failing, or at least stumbling, or that he might even pull back from his stated objectives that has resulted in meaningful criticism arising from his domestic supporters, be it in government, the military, or the general public. I further submit that, in my estimation, it is precisely the burgeoning faith that Putin will resolutely pursue and achieve his stated objectives that has resulted in the unprecedented willingness of China, Iran, India, and other geostrategically important Eurasian and Global South nations to not only openly support Russia in this conflict, but to also, in many instances, openly defy imperial decrees forbidding military and commercial relations with Russia.

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“..may keep them engaged for a prolonged time to make Russia suffer economically..”

The US Love For Ukraine Or Hate Against Russia? (Awan)

The US is not sincere with Ukraine nor in love. If the Americans love Ukraine, they might have provided unlimited weapons and advanced weapons to make Ukraine win. But, this is not their intention, not their goals. Actually, they are in hate with Russia and wanted to counter the revival of Russia through Ukraine and may keep them engaged for a prolonged time to make Russia suffer economically. The US put sanctions on Russia to harm it economically. Sanctions proved counterproductive and the Russian economy has not suffered at all. Its trade has remained the same, but, the trading partners have changed, China, India, Pakistan, and many other countries are becoming bigger trading Partners with Russia. Pushing out from the SWIFT banking system has no impact on its financial transactions as China has compensated and provided them with alternates.

It Oil and Gas export has not reduced, and India and China have been importing much more. Furthermore, the increase in Oil and Gas prices in the international market has become supported the Russian economy. On the other hand, Europe has been victimized by the Ukraine war. The Fuel and Food prices have jumped much high. Few European countries are providing subsidies to their citizens but not all of the European countries are rich enough to extend subsidies to their citizens. As a result, many Europeans are suffering. The public in Europe is turning against the Ukraine war and demanding the end of this war immediately. There are protests and agitations in some European capitals and slogans are heard against NATO and withdrawal from NATO.

The current leaders in Europe are bound under the agreement to support NATO and Ukraine’s war. But, it is predicted that in the upcoming some of the political parties may come up with the idea to promise the public to end the war, end NATO support or exiting from NATO, etc., may win the general elections. It is pretty sure that public sentiments will dominate in the next elections and visionary politicians will make bold decisions. There is an awareness in the public that blindly following the US is not the ultimate goal, but, must think about national interests. War in Europe is not desired, no one wants it and the public may reflect their anger at the time of voting. The next elections will be decisive and may change the fate of not only Europe but the whole world. Geopolitics might be changed completely. It is a matter of time only, public sentiments must be respected at all costs.

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“..partially relieves state energy major Gazprom from fulfilling its obligations to its foreign partners..”

Russia Sets Its Own Gas Price Cap For EU (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Thursday that partially relieves state energy major Gazprom from fulfilling its obligations to its foreign partners who hail from countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow. According to the decree, published on the official government portal, Gazprom and its subsidiaries are prohibited from paying for gas, or for its production and transport, from joint projects with its EU partners in Russia if the amount of payment is higher than the cost established by the Russian government. The decree targets Gazprom’s joint ventures with Germany’s Wintershall and Austria’s OMV. In partnership with the two companies, Gazprom is developing two large natural gas deposits in Russia, the Yuzhno-Russkoye and the Urengoyskoye fields.


The regulation has been introduced retroactively, and so is enforeceable from March 1, 2022, and will be effective until October 1, 2023. The government has been charged with setting a price limit within ten days. Both Germany and Austria are members of the EU, which imposed multiple sanctions against Russia in connection with Ukraine. Head of Wintershall Mario Mehren said in April that Russia had crossed red lines in its partnership with European companies, which means the end of “an era of long and intensive economic cooperation” between Russia and Germany. However, over the summer he said that his company has no plans to quit its joint ventures in the country. OMV has refused to make new investments in Russian projects and has announced plans to review its participation in the Yuzhno-Russkoye field, where it owns a 25% stake. Both companies have yet to comment on Putin’s decree.

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“..right now, we’d rather take a risk of a production cut than stick to the policy of selling in line with the threshold.”

Russia Warns Of Oil Production Cut (RT)

Russia will not sell oil to countries that impose a price cap on its crude exports, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak warned on Friday. According to Novak, Moscow may respond by reducing oil production by 500,000-700,000 barrels a day in early 2023. Russia is the world’s third biggest oil producer and the cuts would equate to roughly 5-6% of the country’s daily output. The G7 and EU’s $60-per-barrel ceiling on Russian seaborne crude came into force on December 5. The measure, along with a ban on EU imports of seaborne Russian flows, is aimed at curbing the Kremlin’s revenues. Russian oil cargoes that are traded above the threshold cannot access some key services from Western companies, including insurance.

“We are ready to partially cut our production early next year,” Novak warned in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel. “We’ll try to find some common ground with our counterparts to prevent such risks. But right now, we’d rather take a risk of a production cut than stick to the policy of selling in line with the threshold.” The official described the potential production drop as “insignificant” [to Russia], reiterating that Moscow will not sell its crude to those who apply the Western price cap. Russian producers are able to reroute their exports to competing markets, including Asia, as the nation’s energy is still in high demand globally, Novak stressed.

On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin told reporters he will sign a decree on the nation’s response to the cap next week, which will feature “preventive measures.” Russia’s full-year oil production in 2022 will probably grow to 535 million tons, equivalent to around 10.74 million barrels per day (bpd), according to Novak. Data shows that in November, the country’s average daily output hit an eight-month high of 10.9 million bpd. Meanwhile, experts have warned that an output cut by Russia could tighten the global energy market as demand in China, the world’s largest oil importer, is forecast to rebound.

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Ukrainian bots?

Mass Twitter Suspension Of Accounts Criticizing Zelensky Visit To Congress (PM)

Zelensky brought his flag and his ask for cash and weapons to Congress during the prime time hours on Wednesday night, much to the fawning of American legislatures. In response, many who are critical of the massive expenditure to Ukraine, and of the US involvement in a war against Russia at all, took to Twitter to express their disdain. They were banned, and many speculated that it was bots who were to blame. Many accounts shared a photo of the two most powerful women in American politics, Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who are second and third in line for the presidency respectively, hoisting high the flag of Ukraine in the US Congress while Zelensky spoke to that body. Dozens of accounts were summarily banned after criticizing the visit, Zelensky, the US’ involvement in Ukraine, and the horrifying vision of the Ukrainian flag being raised in Congress.

Zelensky was treated to cheers, a standing ovation, and multiple rounds of applause. The flag being raised above Congress added insult to the injury of Zelensky asking for cash, in addition to his stating outright that no matter what the US was giving him it would not be enough. “I’m now getting reports of tons of accounts that were locked out our tweets that were taken down for posting images of Zelensky’s speech last night and being critical of him Seems to be a mass takedown campaign by Twitter,” Jack Posobiec reported. This after prominent account ALX was suspended pending deletion of his tweet criticizing Ukraine, Pelosi and Harris. Elon Musk replied to Posobiec’s post about ALX, saying that he was looking into it as the “tweet doesn’t violate ToS.”

Posobiec offered “Update, could be a mass-reporting situation by trolls or state actors.” The idea is that the tweets critical of Zelensky could have been the target of a mass-reporting campaign, with the intention of silencing anti-Zelensky sentiment on the platform. Former Trump administration official who served in the State Department and the Department of Defense William Wolfe said he was “back after an entirely arbitrary and unfounded suspension.” He had tweeted out the photo of Harris and Pelosi as well, saying “When we say ‘clown world’ this is what we mean.” For that tweet, he was slapped with a 12 hour ban. The Columbia Bugle simply tweeted the photo with “Bring a check next time,” and that caught a ban. The report from Twitter said the ban was for “Violating our rules against posting or sharing privately produced/distributed intimate media of someone without their express consent.” But of course, the image was a screen shot from the live broadcast of Zelensky speech, and Congress’ shilling for Zelensky, that was broadcast across many channels.

 

 

Tucker clapping

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“..an extraordinary story trespassed by Sisyphean tasks..”

Can China Help Brazil Restart Its Global Soft Power? (Escobar)

The return of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for what will be his third presidential term, starting January 1, 2023, is an extraordinary story trespassed by Sisyphean tasks. All at the same time he will have to fight poverty; reconnect with economic development while redistributing wealth; re-industrialize the nation; and tame environmental pillage. That will force his new government to summon unforeseen creative powers of political and financial persuasion. Even a mediocre, conservative politician such as Geraldo Alckmin, former governor of the wealthiest state of the union, Sao Paulo, and coordinator of the presidential transition, was simply astonished at how four years of the Bolsonaro project let loose a cornucopia of vanished documents, a black hole concerning all sorts of data and inexplicable financial losses.

It’s impossible to ascertain the extent of corruption across the spectrum because simply nothing is in the books: Governmental systems have not been fed since 2020. Alckmin summed it all up: “The Bolsonaro government happened in the Stone Age, where there were no words and numbers.” Now every single public policy will have to be created, or re-created from scratch, and serious mistakes will be inevitable because of lack of data. And we’re not talking about a banana republic – even though the country concerned features plenty of (delicious) bananas. By purchasing power parity (PPP), according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Brazil remains the eighth-ranked economic power in the world even after the Bolsonaro devastation years – behind China, the US, India, Japan, Germany, Russia and Indonesia, and ahead of the UK and France.

A concerted imperial campaign since 2010, duly denounced by WikiLeaks, and implemented by local comprador elites, targeted the Dilma Rousseff presidency – the Brazilian national entrepreneurial champions – and led to Rousseff’s (illegal) impeachment and the jailing of Lula for 580 days on spurious charges (all subsequently dropped), paved the way for Bolsonaro to win the presidency in 2018. Were it not for this accumulation of disasters, Brazil – a natural leader of the Global South – by now might possibly be placed as the fifth-largest geo-economic power in the world.

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No wonder they’re eager to sing.

United States Attorney Announces Extradition Of SBF To US (SDNY)

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the extradition of SAMUEL BANKMAN-FRIED, a/k/a “SBF,” yesterday from the Bahamas.[1] Also unsealed are the guilty pleas of CAROLINE ELLISON, former CEO of Alameda Research, and GARY WANG, co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of FTX. ELLISON and WANG pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams on December 19, 2022, to charges arising from their participation in schemes to defraud FTX’s customers and investors, and related crimes, and are cooperating with the Government.


U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Last week, we announced charges against Samuel Bankman-Fried for a sweeping fraud scheme that contributed to FTX’s collapse and for a campaign finance scheme that sought to influence public policy in Washington. As I said last week, this investigation is very much ongoing, and it’s moving very quickly. I also said that last week’s announcement would not be our last, and let me be clear once again, neither is today’s.” FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said: “With the pleas announced today, Ms. Ellison and Mr. Wang admitted they were willing participants in schemes to defraud FTX.com’s customers and backers out of their money. The FBI will continue to seek justice for the victims of this case. No matter how fraudsters dress it up or sell the scam, we will continue to make every effort to ensure those responsible for the scheme are held accountable in our criminal justice system.”


Check the date. They pled guilty 11 months ago

CAROLINE ELLISON, 28, is charged with and has pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, each of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; two counts of wire fraud, each of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. GARY WANG, 29, is charged with and has pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Tucker SBF

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RT
https://twitter.com/i/status/1606347049284165632

 

 

Paramount

 

 


The rainbow starfrontlet (Coeligena iris) is a species of hummingbird in the “brilliants” tribe Heliantheini. Males have a glittering yellow-green forecrown that transitions through golden yellow to blue on the crown

 

 

All time favorite

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 072021
 
 July 7, 2021  Posted by at 9:01 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  98 Responses »


Damien Hirst Spiritual Day Blossom 2018

 

CDC Insists Benefits Of mRNA Vaccines Still “Clearly Outweigh” Risks (ZH)
Ultra-Contagious Lambda Variant Detected In Australia (NZH)
A Thread On Vaccines! (Neary)
Military Members Say They’ll “Quit” If Army Mandates COVID-19 Vaccine (ZH)
Adjuvant Quercetin Supplementation For Early-Stage COVID-19 Infection (Dove)
Santa Clara County Revises Official COVID-19 Death Toll Down by 22% (CBS)
Brazil’s Lower House Allows Breaking Vaccine Patents In Case Of Emergency (RT)
Dershowitz Predicts Charges Against Trump Org’s CFO Will Be Tossed (ZH)
The Wealth Effect Creates Wealth Disparity (WS)

 

 

Someone tweeted this graph and said: early treatment can’t be far off.

 

 

Ioannidis

 

 

Just the fact that they feel they need to re-state it says enough.

CDC Insists Benefits Of mRNA Vaccines Still “Clearly Outweigh” Risks (ZH)

With a new round of data out of Israel seemingly confirming what we have been reporting for weeks now, fresh questions are emerging about the efficacy of the mRNA vaccines (those produced by Pfizer and Moderna) and whether they’re truly 90%+ effective, as advertised. As the number of confirmed COVID cases topped 184MM, the Israeli health ministry shared preliminary data appearing to confirm that these vaccines are less effective at preventing infection via the Delta variant. Although the data must still be peer reviewed, the Israelis went so far as to proclaim that the true efficacy number is closer to 64%. To be sure, the vaccines continue to mostly prevent severe infection and death (though they’re only 93% effective at this, less than the 100% number initially touted by their corporate parents).

Now, with President Joe Biden publicly addressing the administration’s ongoing effort to combat COVID as case numbers continue to creep higher in the US, the CDC has chimed in – right on cue – to remind the world that the benefits of everybody taking the vaccine still far outweigh the risks posed by the rare (but sometimes deadly) side effects that have now also been documented. As we reported, the FDA now recognizes that the rare heart inflammation seen in some patients, including members of the military, have been linked to mRNA vaccines. So, with criticism and skepticism directed at the US-made vaccines mounting, the CDC on Tuesday tried its hand at a little damage control.

Per Bloomberg: “The benefits of messenger RNA Covid-19 vaccines clearly outweigh the risks despite heart complications seen in a relatively small number of mostly young men, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roughly 1,200 cases of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart wall, were reported in people who received mRNA vaccines, the CDC said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Tuesday. But with about 296 million doses of mRNA vaccines having been administered as of June 11, the benefit is clear in all populations, including adolescents and young adults, the researchers reported.”

For the Biden Administration, the stakes have never been higher. COVID cases are rising, and many are blaming Southern and western states with lower vaccination rates as a potential vulnerability that could ignite another wave of COVID.

Tucker life expectancy

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Reaction? More lockdowns. Which have failed for 18 months now. And what are they trying to achieve? How long can you separate the entire country from the world? Until you reach zero, and then you can open and start all over again?

Ultra-Contagious Lambda Variant Detected In Australia (NZH)

The world’s most transmissible Covid-19 strain has found its way into Australia – with worrying research revealing it may be even more infectious than the Delta variant. The Lambda strain has puzzled World Health Organisation scientists after it spread to nearly 30 countries in the last four weeks. The mutation was originally discovered in Peru and is related to 81 per cent of the country’s cases since April. Peru currently has the highest Covid mortality rate in the world. In Australia, the variant was detected in an overseas traveller who had been in hotel quarantine in New South Wales in April, according to national genomics database AusTrakka. Early research shows it has not spread among the community in Australia.

Lambda has just started to make its way into the community in the UK, with six cases reported on Monday. It is a worrying sign for the UK, which has recently relaxed Covid-19 restrictions after 37 million people received at least one dose of a vaccine. The country had returned to normality in recent weeks, with pubs flooded by revellers enjoying their country’s recent success at Euro 2020. However, these civil liberties could change if the highly transmissible Lambda strain spreads across the community. Professor Pablo Tsukayama of Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, Peru, said the strain has exploded in Peru, suggesting “its rate of transmission is higher than any other variant”. His claims were backed up by a report by Jeff Barrett from London’s Covid-19 Genomics Initiative at the Welcome Sanger Institute.

“Lambda has a unique pattern of seven mutations in the spike protein that the virus uses to infect human cells. Researchers are particularly intrigued by one mutation called L452Q, which is similar to the L452R mutation to contribute to the high infectiousness of the Delta variant,” Barrett told the Financial Times. There is also concerning research that current vaccines are not as effective in neutralising the new strand, according to a report from scientists at the University of Chile in Santiago. “Our data show for the first time that mutations present in the spike protein of the Lambda variant confer escape to neutralising antibodies and increased infectivity,” they wrote in a pre paper report published last week.

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official Product Information file from the European Medicines Agency

A Thread On Vaccines! (Neary)

Many people have already taken the AstraZeneca vaccine, or want to take it. So I thought I’d read its official Product Information file from the European Medicines Agency. Some might call this “the small print”. Here is what I learned: Firstly, is it safe for children? “The safety and efficacy of Vaxzevria in children and adolescents (less than 18 years of age) have not yet been established. No data are available.” How about people with weak immune symptoms – is it safe for them? “The efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine have not been assessed in immunocompromised individuals, including those receiving immunosuppressant therapy. How long does protection last? The EMA says that ongoing clinical trials will tell us: “The duration of protection afforded by the vaccine is unknown as it is still being determined by ongoing clinical trials.”

How about older people – will the vaccine work for them? Many of them have already taken it, of course. This is what the document says: “Currently available clinical trial data do not allow an estimate of vaccine efficacy in subjects over 55 years of age.” Sounds important! And for pregnant women: “There is limited experience with use of Vaxzevria in pregnant women. Animal reproductive toxicity studies have not been completed. Based upon results from the preliminary study, no effects are expected on development of the fetus.” Again, later in the document: “Animal studies of potential toxicity to reproduction and development have not yet been completed. A preliminary reproductive toxicity study in mice does not show toxicity in dams or foetuses.” Hopefully the animal trials will show it is safe!

How about studies relating to the risk of cancer and genetic mutations? “Neither genotoxicity nor carcinogenicity studies were performed. The components of the vaccine are not expected to have genotoxic potential.” Adverse reactions: – headache (52.7%) – fatigue (53.0%) – muscle pain (43.9%) – malaise (44.4%) – feverishness (33.5%), fever (7.6%), – chills (32.2%) – joint pain (26.6%) – nausea (22.2%). Most reactions were “mild to moderate in severity and usually resolved within a few days” And now the results: In the control group, 3% suffered “Covid” with at least one symptom. In the vaccinated group, 1.2% suffered “Covid” with at least one symptom. None of the vaccinated group were hospitalised by Covid, versus 0.2% of the control group (8 people out of 5,210) It has the medical equivalent of a provisional driving licence: “This medicinal product has been authorised under a so-called ‘conditional approval’ scheme. This means that further evidence on this medicinal product is awaited.”

https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/product-information/vaxzevria-previously-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca-epar-product-information_en.pdf

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“I’ve been contacted by members of our voluntary military who say they will quit if the COVID vaccine is mandated”

Military Members Say They’ll “Quit” If Army Mandates COVID-19 Vaccine (ZH)

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) said he was informed by some members of the U.S. military that they would quit if the armed forces mandated a COVID-19 vaccine, coming after a report claimed that Army headquarters told commanders to prepare for mandatory vaccinations in September. “I’ve been contacted by members of our voluntary military who say they will quit if the COVID vaccine is mandated. I introduced HR 3860 to prohibit any mandatory requirement that a member of the Armed Forces receive a vaccination against COVID-19. It now has 24 sponsors,” Massie wrote on Twitter. He didn’t provide more details.

It isn’t clear how the service members could quit or how many would try to do so. Once a member reports to their first duty station, they are obligated to stay within the service of the armed forces. If a service member leaves without approval, they can be declared AWOL, or absent without leave. The Republican lawmaker was referring to a report published by the Army Times over the weekend that detailed an executive order sent by the Department of the Army Headquarters that commands should be prepared to administer COVID-19 vaccines starting as early as Sept. 1. The date is contingent on when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues its full approval of the vaccines. The Army Times reported that it had obtained the directive, HQDA EXORD 225-21, COVID-19 Steady State.

“Commanders will continue COVID-19 vaccination operations and prepare for a directive to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for service members [on or around] 01 September 2021, pending full FDA licensure. Commands will be prepared to provide a backbrief on servicemember vaccination status and way ahead for completion once the vaccine is mandated,” the directive reads. An EXORD is a directive issued by the president to the defense secretary to execute a military operation.

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Didn’t see this about quercetin before. We use it to make sure zinc gets into the cell.

Adjuvant Quercetin Supplementation For Early-Stage COVID-19 Infection (Dove)

The current pandemic, known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) triggered by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), is provoking devastating health, psychological and financial consequences worldwide.1–3 Although several vaccines have been developed, due to limitation in their manufacturing and distribution capacities, the desired globally “herd immunity” still appears to be a distant mirage. In addition, the constant mutations in SARS-CoV-2 put the effectiveness of these vaccination campaigns at serious risk regardless of its speed.4 The current antivirus agents being used, including hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, lopinavir/ritonavir, have not shown any conclusive benefits.

New possible treatments that are safe, affordable, and worldwide available targeting the SARS-CoV-2 are therefore urgently required.6 SARS-CoV-2 proteases, like 3-chymotrypsin-like protease (3CLpro), papain-like protease (PLpro), RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, spike (S) protein and human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) are considered possible targets for developing effective anti-COVID-19 drugs.7 Recently, molecular docking studies have suggested the possible binding interaction of quercetin with the 3CLpro, PLpro, and S-hACE2 complex.8–12 Some recent results, obtained by biophysical techniques, appear to support the results of the molecular docking studies.

Quercetin, a flavonol not naturally present in the human body, is the most abundant polyphenol in fruits and vegetable and is widely used as a dietary supplement to boost the immune system and promote a healthy lifestyle. Quercetin is characterized by three crucial properties: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory. The combination of these actions allows quercetin to be a potential candidate to support all unhealthy conditions where oxidative stress, inflammation and immunity are involved.

Read more …

That’s not much.

Santa Clara County Revises Official COVID-19 Death Toll Down by 22% (CBS)

On Friday, Santa Clara County health leaders announced a drop in its COVID-19 death toll by nearly a quarter after it refined its approach in reporting the data. The county reported that it had reviewed each COVID-19 fatality and was only counting those whose cause of death was from the virus and not those who tested positive for COVID-19 at the time of death but did not necessarily die from the virus. The new approach meant that the death toll dropped by 22%, specifically from 2,201 to 1,696 deaths. “It is important to go back and do this accounting to see if COVID was actually the cause of death,” said University of California San Francisco Prof. of Medicine and Infectious Disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi.


“I think that transparent communication is an upside, I mean, in the sense that it’s true that if we did this across the nation, it would bring our death rate lower. A downside of that, could be that people will say, ‘Well, it wasn’t as serious as you said.’” The refined approach in Santa Clara County comes as county officials try to figure out the true impact of the virus on the community. Last month, Alameda County health leaders refined their approach to reporting COVID-19 deaths as well and also registered a drop in that county’s death toll by about a quarter. “In the midst of everything COVID people were sort of putting down that cause of death as COVID,” Gandhi said. “It is important to go back and do this accounting to see if COVID was actually the cause of death.”

Read more …

Why break patents of experimental drugs?

Brazil’s Lower House Allows Breaking Vaccine Patents In Case Of Emergency (RT)

The lower house of the Brazilian Congress has voted for a bill that would legalize the violation of patents for vaccines and medications in the event of a national health emergency. It will now go back to the Senate for approval. On Tuesday, the Chamber of Deputies voted 425 to 15 in favor of PL 12/2021. Sponsored by Aécio Neves da Cunha, a Social Democrat from Minas Gerais, the bill would authorize Congress to issue patent-breaking licenses “in case of a public health emergency,” without the approval of the head of state. President Jair Bolsonaro has opposed the proposal. The bill will now return to the Senate, which will decide whether to approve amendments adopted during Chamber debate. “There is an understanding that the changes… we introduced in the bill will also be incorporated in the Senate, which will maintain the text that we have negotiated here,” Neves said, according to Reuters.


One significant difference from the original is that patent holders will no longer be required to provide biological material to companies licensed to violate intellectual property under the emergency rules. The provision was declared “impractical,” “arbitrary” and in violation of Brazil’s constitutionally guaranteed principle of free enterprise. Another amendment would see IP holders compensated to the tune of 1.5% of the net sales involving the infringed medication or vaccine. The law was hailed by the Brazilian branch the NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF). The measure “improves the current patent law, authorizing the application of compulsory licensing in a more complete and efficient manner, in this health emergency and others,” said MSF’s Brazilian coordinator Felipe Carvalho.

Read more …

“You can’t get a city district attorney indicting somebody for failing to pay federal income taxes when the IRS hasn’t even gone after him..”

Dershowitz Predicts Charges Against Trump Org’s CFO Will Be Tossed (ZH)

Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz says he believes federal tax fraud charges filed in New York City against The Trump Organization’s longtime finance chief will end up being dismissed. “You can’t get a city district attorney indicting somebody for failing to pay federal income taxes when the IRS hasn’t even gone after him,” Dershowitz said in a July 3 interview with Newsmax. “One of the charges, a major charge, is grand larceny against the United States government. “That shows the extent to which they are prepared to stretch existing law and the Constitution to give them authority over federal taxes. It’s absurd.”

On July 1, The Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, were charged in what New York prosecutors called a “sweeping and audacious” tax fraud scheme in which Trump’s company and Weisselberg allegedly cheated the state and city out of taxes by conspiring to pay senior executives off the books by way of fringe benefits, such as apartment rent and car payments. Prosecutor Carey Dunne said in court that the alleged scheme was “orchestrated by the most senior executives” at the firm and got “secret pay raises at the expense of state and federal taxpayers.” Weisselberg and attorneys for The Trump Organization have pleaded not guilty.

Ahead of the unsealing of the criminal indictment on July 1, The Trump Organization criticized Manhattan prosecutors for what they claimed was a partisan criminal investigation designed to hurt Trump politically. In a July 1 statement, The Trump Organization said the probe “is not justice; this is politics.” Dunne pushed back on the claim, saying that “politics has no role in the jury chamber, and I can assure you it had no role here.” Alan Futerfas, a member of The Trump Organization’s defense team, disagreed. “I believe the political forces driving today’s events are just that. It’s political, politically driven, notwithstanding the statements by my colleague at the DA’s office in court today,” Futerfas said.

Read more …

The Fed will end the US if the US doesn’t end the Fed first.

The Wealth Effect Creates Wealth Disparity (WS)

“The ‘wealth effect’ is the notion that when households become richer as a result of a rise in asset values, such as corporate stock prices or home values, they spend more and stimulate the broader economy,” the NBER said. And yes, after making about 10% of the population a lot richer and producing immense concentration of wealth at the top 1%, there are some minor trickle-down effects on the rest of the economy. Meanwhile, the already immense wealth disparity in the US between the top 10% and the bottom 50% – or worse still, the top 1% and the bottom 50% – blows out. Turns out, the lower 50% of Americans holds practically no stocks, no bonds, and very little real estate, according to the wealth distribution data from the Federal Reserve.

And these folks cannot benefit at all from the wealth effect. For them, life (such as housing) just gets more expensive as a result of the wealth effect. From the Federal Reserve’s data, as of Q1 2021: – The average household in the richest 10% owns $2.6 million in stocks and $1.2 million in real estate. – The average household in the richest 1% holds $16 million in stocks and $4 million in real estate. – The average household in the bottom 50% holds essentially no stocks, no bonds, and only small amounts of real estate. The wealthiest 1% is where the real concentration of wealth takes place. – The wealthiest 15 US individuals have a combined wealth of $2 trillion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index (June 2021). They benefit more than anyone from the wealth effect.

The Wealth Effect purposefully increases asset prices. But only the top 10% of households have significant amounts in assets. The bottom 50% hold nearly no stocks because they don’t make enough money to put anything aside. Many of these people live from paycheck to paycheck. But the Wealth Effect also makes housing more expensive – both buying and renting – and thereby the bottom 50% disproportionately pay for the Wealth Effect. For the bottom 50%, the Wealth Effect is a negative. This chart is from my Wealth Effect Monitor.

Read more …

 

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– Fyodor Dostoevsky

 

 

Best Selfie Ever

 

 

Blinken Assange

 

 

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Apr 162021
 


Edvard Munch Spring in Johan Karl Street 1944

 

Blood Clots As Prevalent With Pfizer, Moderna Vaccine As Astrazeneca (MW)
Risk Of Rare Blood Clotting Higher For Covid-19 Than For Vaccines (Oxford)
EU Commission To End AstraZeneca and J&J Vaccine Contracts At Expiry (R.)
India’s COVID-Vaccine Woes — By The Numbers (Nature)
Brazil’s P1 Coronavirus Variant Mutating, May Become More Dangerous (R.)
Norwegian Experts Recommend Stopping Further Use Of AstraZeneca Vaccine (RT)
Ireland May Delay 2nd Vaccine Doses Amid J&J Delays, AstraZeneca Age Limits (RT)
Poland Starts J&J Covid Vaccine Rollout Amid Objections, Health Concerns (RT)
37 People In Denmark Seek Compensation Over Covid Vaccine Side Effects (RT)
Rapid Covid Testing In England May Be Scaled Back Over False Positives (G.)
Is Boris Lauding Lockdowns Because He’s Planning Another For October? (Clark)
‘Vaccine Passports’ Can’t Be Requirement For Travel, Says EU (F.)

 

 

Another one of those days where there’s just too much news. So I split it up in this Covid Rattle and a Debt Rattle that will follow imminently.

 

 

Despite all the bad news, here’s what I think will happen in much of the northern hemipshere, following this graph from Daniel J. Wilson at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (see Debt Rattle April 13)

 

 

Around June 1, in many countries the viral load will have fallen off a cliff. Summer will be much less dangerous than winter. Makes sense. Whether Covid will return in autumn will depend largely on what we do to make people’s immune systems stronger. Vitamin D plays a large role in that, but so do exercise and healthy food.

 

 

Just as everyone starts banning AstraZeneca, turns out mRNA “vaccines” are just as bad. And just as poorly tested.

Blood Clots As Prevalent With Pfizer, Moderna Vaccine As Astrazeneca (MW)

A study by Oxford University found the number of people who receive blood clots after getting vaccinated with a coronavirus vaccine are about the same for those who get Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as they are for the AstraZeneca vaccine that was produced with the university’s help. According to the study, 4 in 1 million people experience cerebral venous thrombosis after getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, versus 5 in 1 million people for the AstraZeneca vaccine. The risk of getting CVT is much higher for those who get COVID-19 — 39 in a million patients — than it is for those for get vaccinated. AstraZeneca’s vaccine use has been halted or limited in many countries on blood clot concerns.

Read more …

But the report this is based on comes from Oxford, one of the makers of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Risk Of Rare Blood Clotting Higher For Covid-19 Than For Vaccines (Oxford)

Researchers at the University of Oxford have today reported that the risk of the rare blood clotting known as cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) following COVID-19 infection is around 100 times greater than normal, several times higher than it is post-vaccination or following influenza. The study authors, led by Professor Paul Harrison and Dr Maxime Taquet from Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry and the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre, counted the number of CVT cases diagnosed in the two weeks following diagnosis of COVID-19, or after the first dose of a vaccine. The then compared these to calculated incidences of CVT following influenza, and the background level in the general population.

They report that CVT is more common after COVID-19 than in any of the comparison groups, with 30% of these cases occurring in the under 30s. Compared to the current COVID-19 vaccines, this risk is between 8-10 times higher, and compared to the baseline, approximately 100 times higher. The breakdown comparison for reported cases of CVT in COVID-19 patients in comparison to CVT cases in those who received a COVID-19 vaccine is:

• In this study of over 500,000 COVID-19 patients, CVT occurred in 39 in a million patients.
• In over 480,000 people receiving a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), CVT occurred in 4 in a million.
• CVT has been reported to occur in about 5 in a million people after first dose of the AZ-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine.
• Compared to the mRNA vaccines, the risk of a CVT from COVID-19 is about 10 times greater.
• Compared to the AZ-Oxford vaccine, the risk of a CVT from COVID-19 is about 8 times greater.

However, all comparisons must be interpreted cautiously since data are still accruing. Paul Harrison, Professor of Psychiatry and Head of the Translational Neurobiology Group at the University of Oxford, said: ‘There are concerns about possible associations between vaccines, and CVT, causing governments and regulators to restrict the use of certain vaccines. Yet, one key question remained unknown: ‘What is the risk of CVT following a diagnosis of COVID-19?’. ‘We’ve reached two important conclusions. Firstly, COVID-19 markedly increases the risk of CVT, adding to the list of blood clotting problems this infection causes. Secondly, the COVID-19 risk is higher than we see with the current vaccines, even for those under 30; something that should be taken into account when considering the balances between risks and benefits for vaccination.’

Read more …

Pfizer is winning.

EU Commission To End AstraZeneca and J&J Vaccine Contracts At Expiry (R.)

The EU Commission has decided not to renew COVID-19 vaccine contracts next year with AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Italian daily La Stampa reported on Wednesday, citing a source from the Italian health ministry. “The European Commission, in agreement with the leaders of many (EU) countries, has decided that the contracts with the companies that produce (viral vector) vaccines that are valid for the current year will not be renewed at their expiry,” the newspaper reported. It added that Brussels would rather focus on COVID-19 vaccines using messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, such as Pfizer’s and Moderna’s.


A spokesman for the EU Commission said it was keeping all options open to be prepared for the next stages of the pandemic, for 2022 and beyond. “We cannot, however, comment on contractual issues,” the spokesman added. Later on Wednesday the President of the European Commission said the EU was in talks with Pfizer and BionTech for a new contract for 1.8 billion doses, confirming a Reuters report from last week. “We need to focus on technologies that have proven their worth. mRNA vaccines are a clear case in point,” she added.

Read more …

India is not winning. Wonder what went wrong there. Note: 1.4 billion is a lot of people.

India’s COVID-Vaccine Woes — By The Numbers (Nature)

India, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of vaccines, is facing a COVID-19 vaccine crunch, partly due to an explosion of cases linked to new variants. This spells trouble for many countries relying on Indian-made vaccines supplied through the World Health Organization’s COVAX initiative for equitable access to vaccines. On 12 April, India reported 168,912 new COVID-19 cases, its highest daily total yet. It has now had more than 13.5 million confirmed cases in total, overtaking Brazil as the world’s second-worst hit country, behind the United States. “While new variants are surfacing in India, a decline in COVID-appropriate behaviour such as wearing masks and social distancing is adding to their faster spread,” says Randeep Guleria, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.

By 14 April, more than 111 million people had been vaccinated in the country (see ‘The race to vaccinate’). But in March, fears of vaccine shortages led to the government temporarily halting exports of a version of the University of Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine known as Covishield, which is produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), based in Pune. The SII, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccine components, was expected to provide many of the doses for COVAX. But a fire at a facility in January is part of the reason that it hasn’t yet been able to live up to its production target of 100 million doses per month. Currently it produces between 60 million and 65 million per month.

Last June, AstraZeneca, which is based in Cambridge, UK, announced that it had licensed the SII to supply a total of one billion doses of Covishield for low- and middle-income countries. But only 64 million had been exported before the halt in exports last month, 28 million of which went to COVAX. Earlier this year, chief executive Adar Poonawala said on Twitter that the SII had been directed by the Indian government “to prioritise the huge needs of India and along with that balance the needs of the rest of the world”. India’s battle with a surge in cases could delay planned deliveries of Covishield to 64 lower-income countries through COVAX, according to a 25 March statement by initiative member Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a health partnership based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Read more …

Note: this article says: “Studies have shown the P1 variant to be as much as 2.5 times more contagious than the original coronavirus ..”

That makes much more sense than the recent piece that claimed the B117 variant was 67 times more contagious than the original.

Brazil’s P1 Coronavirus Variant Mutating, May Become More Dangerous (R.)

Brazil’s P1 coronavirus variant, behind a deadly COVID-19 surge in the Latin American country that has raised international alarm, is mutating in ways that could make it better able to evade antibodies, according to scientists studying the virus. Research conducted by the public health institute Fiocruz into the variants circulating in Brazil found mutations in the spike region of the virus that is used to enter and infect cells. Those changes, the scientists said, could make the virus more resistant to vaccines – which target the spike protein – with potentially grave implications for the severity of the outbreak in Latin America’s most populous nation.


“We believe it’s another escape mechanism the virus is creating to evade the response of antibodies,” said Felipe Naveca, one of the authors of the study and part of Fiocruz in the Amazon city of Manaus, where the P1 variant is believed to have originated. Naveca said the changes appeared to be similar to the mutations seen in the even more aggressive South African variant, against which studies have shown some vaccines have substantially reduced efficacy. “This is particularly worrying because the virus is continuing to accelerate in its evolution,” he added. Studies have shown the P1 variant to be as much as 2.5 times more contagious than the original coronavirus and more resistant to antibodies.

Read more …

Can you still follow it?

Norwegian Experts Recommend Stopping Further Use Of AstraZeneca Vaccine (RT)

The Institute of Public Health in Norway has recommended that the government stop using the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after a lengthy review of the jab. Oslo suspended its use on March 11.
In a press release on Thursday, the agency said that after considering, in collaboration with external experts, the continued use of the heavily-scrutinized Covid-19 jab, that it would no longer recommend its use. It said more evidence has emerged to suggest there is a link between the jab and very rare cases of potentially fatal blood clots. “Based on this knowledge, we have arrived at a recommendation that the AstraZeneca vaccine be removed from the coronavirus vaccination program in Norway,” Geir Bukholm, director of infection control at the National Institute of Public Health, said in the statement.


The institute noted that Norway has made great strides in vaccinating its elderly and those most at risk of Covid. Therefore, those who are yet to be vaccinated are younger and less at risk from the virus – but are also potentially more prone to thrombotic events linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. Those who have already received their first dose of the Anglo-Swedish jab will get a second shot from another vaccine manufacturer, the body stated. Also on Thursday, Health Minister Bent Hoeie said the government would not be drawn into a decision yet. “The government believes that we do not have a good enough basis for drawing a final conclusion that the AstraZeneca vaccine should be removed from the Norwegian vaccination program at this point,” Hoeie told a news conference.

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They must have found a different science.

Ireland May Delay 2nd Vaccine Doses Amid J&J Delays, AstraZeneca Age Limits (RT)

The Irish government has said it is considering whether to space out the administering of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in order to reach more people with a first dose as the country looks to open up from tough restrictions.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland on Thursday, the Irish deputy prime minister, Leo Varadkar, said it would make sense to space out the administering of the Pfizer shots, like in the UK, for those under 60 years old and in good health. The current interval between the administration of the two shots is 28 days, but some other countries have extended that to 12 weeks, allowing more people to be partially immunized against coronavirus in a shorter period of time. Research from the UK, before the country approved the Moderna jab, showed that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines greatly reduced the risk of hospitalization from Covid-19 after just one shot.


On Wednesday, Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said a decision on whether to spread the vaccines out would be made within the week. The possible move comes as the EU’s medicines regulator reviews the use of the single-shot J&J vaccine and after Ireland limited the AstraZeneca vaccine to those aged 60 and over. On Tuesday, J&J said it would be delaying shipments to Europe while the vaccine is being reviewed following its suspension in the US; its rollout is yet to start in the EU. Similar technology was used in the development of their vaccines, which have been linked to very rare cases of blood clotting. Meanwhile, the EU announced on Wednesday that the bloc would be receiving an additional 25% of vaccines doses in quarter two from Pfizer.

Read more …

It’s just lovely that every country’s experts reach different conclusions. Great for confidence.

Poland Starts J&J Covid Vaccine Rollout Amid Objections, Health Concerns (RT)

Polish health authorities began rolling out doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday, rejecting the concerns of the majority-Catholic country’s religious community and fears about the side effects of the jab. The government’s vaccine chief, Michal Dworczyk, confirmed the state’s vaccine rollout now included the Johnson & Johnson jab, stating health experts felt the benefits outweighed the side effects and they “have not received signals that there are problems or that patients are refusing [to take it].” Some 120,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have arrived in the country, with the first jabs from the consignment administered on Thursday.


On Wednesday, a senior official in Poland’s Catholic Church called on its members to reject both the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines over the use of abortion-derived cells in their manufacturing processes. Bishop Jozef Wrobel declared that the church has a “serious moral objection” to the use of vaccines that include cells “derived from aborted foetuses” in the manufacturing process despite the jabs not containing any abortion-related cells in their ingredients. The comments from Poland’s religious authority contradict earlier remarks from Pope Francis, who declared that it is “morally acceptable” to be vaccinated with jabs developed using the aborted cell-linked manufacturing process. Addressing similar concerns to the Polish Catholic Church, the Pope said that having the vaccine does “not constitute formal cooperation” with or support of abortion.

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“..if you have had a serious side effect and there is a temporal connection with the vaccination, then I would encourage you to seeks compensation from us..”

37 People In Denmark Seek Compensation Over Covid Vaccine Side Effects (RT)

Some 37 people in Denmark are requesting compensation over adverse effects they say were suffered after getting a Covid-19 jab. Most of the cases are related to AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which the country has stopped using. A total of 29 people have applied for compensation for side effects believed to be linked to the Swedish-British jab – which was renamed Vaxzevria last month – the Danish Patient Compensation Association said in a statement on Thursday. A further eight people applied for compensation in connection with the coronavirus jab made by Pfizer. The side effects cited in the applications range from mild fever and discomfort to such extreme conditions as paralysis, blood clots, miscarriage, and even death.

In Denmark, patients are eligible for state-sponsored compensations if they suffer rare or severe adverse effects of any medicines. The relatives of patients who have died can also receive compensation. “There are almost no drugs without side effects. That is why we have a safety net in Denmark that picks up the patients who are so unfortunate as to be affected by rare and serious side effects,” the director of Patient Compensation, Karen-Inger Bast, stated. The director also urged other people who might have suffered side effects to come forward with their complaints as well. She warned, though, that the health troubles must be serious in order to receive compensation.

“It is important to say that you do not receive compensation for mild and transient symptoms such as a little fever or pain in the arm. But if you have had a serious side effect and there is a temporal connection with the vaccination, then I would encourage you to seeks compensation from us,” Bast stated. The association’s announcement comes a day after Denmark became the first European country to completely discontinue use of AstraZeneca vaccine, citing “a possible link between very rare cases of unusual blood clots, bleeding, low blood platelets counts” and the shot by the drug maker. “Our overall assessment is there is a real risk of severe side effects associated with using the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca,” Danish Health Authority Director General Soeren Brostroem said.

Read more …

Painting rapid tests in a bad light? PCR is crap too, so no testing left?

Rapid Covid Testing In England May Be Scaled Back Over False Positives (G.)

Senior government officials have raised “urgent” concerns about the mass expansion of rapid coronavirus testing, estimating that as few as 2% to 10% of positive results may be accurate in places with low Covid rates, such as London. Boris Johnson last week urged everyone in England to take two rapid-turnaround tests a week in the biggest expansion of the multibillion-pound testing programme to date. However, leaked emails seen by the Guardian show that senior officials are now considering scaling back the widespread testing of people without symptoms, due to a growing number of false positives.

In one email, Ben Dyson, an executive director of strategy at the health department and one of health secretary Matt Hancock’s advisers, stressed the “fairly urgent need for decisions” on “the point at which we stop offering asymptomatic testing”. On 9 April, the day everyone in England was able to order twice-weekly lateral flow device (LFD) tests, Dyson wrote: “As of today, someone who gets a positive LFD result in (say) London has at best a 25% chance of it being a true positive, but if it is a self-reported test potentially as low as 10% (on an optimistic assumption about specificity) or as low as 2% (on a more pessimistic assumption).”

He added that the department’s executive committee, which includes Hancock and the NHS test and trace chief, Dido Harding, would soon need to decide whether requiring people to self-isolate before a confirmatory PCR test “ceases to be reasonable” in low infection areas where there is a high likelihood of a positive result being wrong. The accuracy of rapid coronavirus tests and how they should be deployed have been the focus of months of debate in the UK. The proportion of false positives – people incorrectly told they have the virus – increases when the prevalence of the disease falls. This happens because although the number of true positives is falling, the tests produce roughly the same number of false positives – meaning the proportion of incorrect results becomes greater.

Read more …

Is it lockdowns, vaccines or 50% of under-25s already carrying antibodies because the virus was so widespread? Fried of a friend in London says everyone he knows has “already had it”.

Is Boris Lauding Lockdowns Because He’s Planning Another For October? (Clark)

The prime minister’s claim that it was lockdown, and not the vaccine or seasonal factors, which led to the rapid fall in Covid cases and deaths in the UK should set alarm bells ringing very loudly. The Man in Black wanted us to be in no doubt during his interview this week with Sky News: it was the lockdown whatdunit. “It is very, very important for everybody to understand,” Johnson said, “that the reduction in these numbers, in hospitalisations, in deaths, in infections, has not been achieved because of the vaccination programme. “People don’t, I think, appreciate that it’s the lockdown that has been overwhelmingly important in delivering this improvement in the pandemic and in the figures that we’re seeing. And so, yes of course the vaccination programme has helped, but the bulk of the work in reducing the disease has been done by the lockdown.”

Repeat after Me: “The bulk of the work in reducing the disease has been done by the lockdown.. The bulk of the work…” Why is Johnson so keen to downplay the government’s roll-out of a mass vaccination programme and instead big-up lockdown? Some have said it’s because he fears legal challenges for locking us down again in early January and wants to get his defence statement in before the writ. But I think BoJo is looking forwards, not backwards. By stressing ’lockdowns work’ now, he is ‘nudging’ us towards accepting another shutdown of the non-virtual economy in autumn. There are already some pretty strong clues about what might lie ahead. As I’ve noted in previous articles, the extension of furlough has been an excellent guide over the last twelve months for what is going to happen – far better than the smug ‘inside the tent’ pundits who have assured us since last March that things would soon be getting back to normal.

In December, Chancellor Sunak’s extension of furlough until April was the giveaway – no pun intended – that we’d be locked down again in the New Year, and so it proved. On December 18, I correctly predicted the exact date (January 4) that Johnson would announce the new 2021 lockdown. In early March, furlough was extended again, until the end of September, despite the government assuring us all restrictions would be lifted on June 21. This suggests it’s odds-on that some form of restrictions will remain well past that date, because what happens in October? Why, the autumn/winter flu season starts. It would be so easy for Johnson at that point to say “We need another lockdown” to “protect the NHS” from another wave (the ‘third’ or ‘fourth’) or from a “variant of concern” of coronavirus.

Read more …

They call it the “Digital Green Certificate” instead. Same difference.

‘Vaccine Passports’ Can’t Be Requirement For Travel, Says EU (F.)

Travel is on the up and up. CBS News Travel Editor, Peter Greenberg reported that U.S. domestic airfares are rapidly increasing, as are hotel rates (not to 2019 levels yet, but certainly rising). Cruise liners are not waiting for CDC permission to set sail from U.S. ports and are instead repositioning cruises to leave from and visit non-U.S. ports (in the Caribbean, for instance). One cruise liner started selling tickets for its 2021/2022 world cruise, at $40,o00 a cabin, and the ship sold out in one day. And of course, there needs to be a way to verify that people are traveling safely without transmitting the virus to one place from another. In the EU, all 27 countries have agreed that coordination is necessary and that this will take the form of a Digital Green Certificate.

Crucially, however, the EU has agreed that people who don’t have this certificate shouldn’t be discriminated against–that’s why it isn’t called a passport or doesn’t have anything called vaccine near the title. Firstly, it’s to be called a Digital Green Certificate, able to be downloaded onto your phones. It’s not called a vaccination passport, because–the EU said Thursday–you don’t need to be vaccinated to get it. You can also get a certificate if you have had Covid-19 (and recovered) and if you have had a negative Covid-19 test before departure. That way, it doesn’t discriminate between those that have been vaccinated and those who haven’t. As reported by The Local, the EU plans to roll it out by mid-June, initially across the 27 EU bloc to citizens and residents, but also eventually to be compatible with non-EU countries.

Eduardo Santander, chief executive officer of the European Travel Commission, an association of national tourism organizations based in Brussels said: “Finally, we have a tangible solution to coordinating and harmonizing travel measures. I think other countries like the U.S. will also come up with their own technological solutions that will be compatible, and after a period of trials this summer, a global standard will be established.” Individual countries will also have a way of setting individual rules within the certificate. For example, Hungary uses Russia’s Sputnik vaccine, which most of the other EU countries do not, and so–under the certificate–they would be able to incorporate the vaccines they each want to use.

Read more …

 

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Mar 042021
 


Francisco Goya The Dog 1819-23

 

Biden Slams “Neanderthal-Thinking” Over Texas, Mississippi COVID Policy (ZH)
16 States Are Now Following The Science (Schachtel)
The War on ‘Misinformation’ Claims Two Victims (Pfeiffer)
Brazil’s Covid Outbreak Is Global Threat, Opens Door To Lethal Variants (G.)
Vaccines Tweaked For Covid Variants Fast-Tracked Safely – UK Regulator (G.)
Injuries Reported to CDC After COVID Vaccines Climb by 4,000 in One Week (CHD)
34 Spontaneous Miscarriages, Stillbirths After COVID-19 Vaccination (ET)
Danger of mRNA Vaccines To Elderly: 16 Deaths In Switzerland (GT)
Half Of French Care Home Workers Don’t Trust Vaccine (R.)
Dutch Health Council: “Too Early” For Advice On Vitamin D Against Corona (AD)
Drug Lobby Asks Biden To Punish Countries Pushing For Low-Cost Vaccines (IC)
How the NATO Alliance Is Fighting Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine (Helmer)
Finland Had a Patent-Free COVID-19 Vaccine Nine Months Ago – But.. (Jac.)
Covid-19 Virus Origin: The Mojiang Miners (SPR)
New York Rolls Out ‘Covid Passport’ At Event Venues (RT)
Giving Kids A Break Is The Best Way For Them To ‘Catch Up’ (G.)
Self Harm Claims Among US Teenagers Increased 99% During Pandemic (F.)

 

 

A bit overloaded today, so two separate Rattles. For all non-Covid news, check Debt Rattle March 4 2021.

 

 

 

 

He should perhaps try and keep the country together….

Biden Slams “Neanderthal-Thinking” Over Texas, Mississippi COVID Policy (ZH)

President Biden has slammed Texas and Mississippi for lifting COVID-19 restrictions, calling it “Neanderthal thinking.” “I think it’s a big mistake…It’s critical, critical, critical that they follow the science…” said Biden.
Newly minted CDC Director Rochelle Walensky wants residents of Texas and Mississippi to continue wearing face masks despite the governors there lifting COVID-19 restrictions amid a decline in cases. “I think we, the CDC, have been very clear that now is not the time to release all restrictions,” said Walensky during a White House pandemic briefing in response to a question about reopening Texas. “Every individual is empowered to do the right thing here, regardless of what states decide.”


On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott enraged the left after announcing that the state would lift its mask mandate and reopen businesses next week, while also banning counties from fining or jailing people who disregard local measures. Effective March 10, all businesses will be allowed to open at 100% of capacity, Abbott said during a media briefing in Lubbock on Tuesday. His executive order allows county judges to reinstate anti-virus rules should hospitalizations surge. “Too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities; too many small-business owners have struggled to pay their bills,” the Republican governor said. “It is now time to open Texas 100%.”

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…because people see things in different ways:

16 States Are Now Following The Science (Schachtel)

It took an entire year, but lockdowns and mask mandates are officially incredibly unpopular with half of the country, to the point that governors are rapidly making sweeping changes to their year-long COVID-19 policies. Jumping onto the coattails of pro-individual freedom leaders like governors Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) and Kristi Noem (R-SD), the governors of Mississippi and Texas decided Tuesday to announce an end to business restrictions and statewide mask mandates. Both Tate Reeves (R-MS) and Greg Abbott (R-TX), who had long taken a nanny state approach to the COVID-19 crisis, acted almost simultaneously to announce the end of statewide restrictions. The centrally planned solutions to COVID-19 have failed spectacularly, and the American people have taken notice of this reality.

Hundreds of millions have now been through a full year of government-imposed tyranny on both a federal and state level. Whether it was a travel ban, an endless series of lockdowns, mask mandates, countless emergency orders, business closures, and the like, not a single top-down order from the federal or state level did anything productive for the wellbeing of Americans. None of it worked. All of it served as a net negative. The people have noticed. Now that their constituents have had enough, politicians on the Right are fast departing from the COVID tyranny, and attempting to secure what is left of their political aspirations. Abbott and Reeves are not the only GOP governors moving fast in ending the restrictions, several other governors have recently acted to roll them back.

On February 12, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte lifted his statewide mask mandate. On February 8, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds lifted Iowa’s statewide mask mandate along with several other restrictions. On February 22, North Dakota took it a step further. Its legislative body took the bold step in voting to make mask mandates illegal. As of March 2, there are now 16 states that no longer have statewide mask orders. However, across the political divide, there remains no end in sight to the corona madness. Much of the Left continues to embrace and root on endless COVID-19 restrictions, and the hijacking of individual rights in the name of a virus. Governor Gavin Newsom of California took to Twitter in describing the end of restrictions as “absolutely reckless.” It took long enough, but it’s now official: Governors who continue to impose lockdowns and mask mandates are fast becoming as popular as Red Sox fans in the Yankee Stadium bleachers, at least in half of the country.

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Vit. D, ivermectin, HCQ get heavily censored on social media.

The War on ‘Misinformation’ Claims Two Victims (Pfeiffer)

The effort to manage COVID treatment information has its roots, in part, in a sad chapter in American science and journalism: The Trump endorsement last spring of hydroxychloroquine. In an instant, early treatment was turned into a right-wing myth of interest only to Fox News. The rest of the press was merciless in repeating assertions that a reliable pharmaceutical workhorse used for several diseases was dangerous for COVID. Multiple studies have since refuted that and shown effectiveness in early illness, something most people do not know. Dr. Mobeen Syed was among the first last March to explore HCQ’s potential in a YouTube video that went viral and landed him in a love-it/hate-it, right/left firestorm. “I started getting so many threats,” he said, prompting him to take the piece down himself.

After that, however, YouTube itself decided what the 250,000 subscribers to Drbeen Medical Lectures should see, removing videos willy-nilly, it seemed, on Vitamin D, remdesivir and, what others said was frequently censored, ivermectin. Among other examples of this new censorship trend: On Jan. 31, Facebook removed a page called Ivermectin for MDs Team, with 10,200 members from more than 100 countries. The last straw was a post on the Slovak Ministry of Health’s decision to allow use of ivermectin, which Facebook censors “believe is harmful to physical integrity,” the administrator wrote. Facebook also ruled that news of ivermectin approval by a southern state in Brazil violated its standards. Put another way, the social media giant did not like two independent government decisions and thought it knew better.

On Jan. 12, Twitter ruled a tweet by the Brazilian Ministry of Health — 1.2 million followers — was “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information.” Why? It urged people with COVID symptoms to “go to a Health Unit and request early treatment.” More egregious, YouTube recently expunged two videos posted by a U.S. Senate committee on Dr. Kory’s ivermectin testimony. Further, it purged a video in which a scientist discussed his review of ivermectin as part of a project for a World Health Organization-hosted agency called Unitaid. YouTube even removed a video on its censorship of ivermectin. In a hint at how vast the censorship is, Facebook asserted proudly in a Feb. 8 website post that it had “removed more than 12 million pieces of content on Facebook and Instagram containing misinformation that could lead to imminent physical harm.”

Seven of my posts, on an article I wrote with multiple links to the science of ivermectin, were stricken with that label. (I got off on a 14-hour posting ban.) My efforts were fruitless to get Facebook, Twitter or Google, which owns YouTube, to explain the methodology it uses to censor. In a public post, YouTube says it disallows information that “contradicts local health authorities” and the World Health Organization. Twitter maintains it culls “content that is demonstrably false or misleading and may lead to significant risk of harm.” But who actually decides on a video or post? Are algorithms by technicians making the decisions or scientists and doctors? Should government guidelines be the ultimate yardstick when these are evolving — and sometimes wrong?

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“This is about the world. It’s global.”

Brazil’s Covid Outbreak Is Global Threat, Opens Door To Lethal Variants (G.)

Brazil’s rampant coronavirus outbreak has become a global threat that risks spawning new and even more lethal variants, one of the South American country’s top scientists has warned as it suffered its deadliest day of the pandemic. Speaking to the Guardian, Miguel Nicolelis, a Duke University neuroscientist who is tracking the crisis, urged the international community to challenge the Brazilian government over its failure to contain an epidemic that has killed more than a quarter of a million Brazilians – about 10% of the global total. “The world must vehemently speak out over the risks Brazil is posing to the fight against the pandemic,” said Nicolelis, who has spent most of the last year confined to his flat on the westside of São Paulo. “What’s the point in sorting the pandemic out in Europe or the United States, if Brazil continues to be a breeding ground for this virus?”

Nicolelis said the problem was not simply Brazil – whose far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has repeatedly spurned efforts to combat a disease he calls a “little flu” – being “the worst country in the world in its handling of the pandemic”. “It’s that if you allow the virus to proliferate at the levels it is currently proliferating here, you open the door to the occurrence of new mutations and the appearance of even more lethal variants.” Already, one particularly worrying variant (P1) has been traced to Manaus, the largest city in the Brazilian Amazon, which suffered a devastating healthcare breakdown in January after a surge in infections. Six cases of that variant have so far been detected in the UK. “Brazil is an open-air laboratory for the virus to proliferate and eventually create more lethal mutations,” warned Nicolelis. “This is about the world. It’s global.”

The alert came as Brazil hurtled into the most deadly chapter of its year-long Covid crisis, with hospitals around the country collapsing or on the verge of collapse and the average weekly death toll hitting new heights. A record 1,726 fatalities were reported on Tuesday, the highest number since the pandemic began. “It’s a battlefield,” a doctor in the southern city of Porto Alegre told local television after his hospital’s intensive care unit and mortuary ran out of space. Nicolelis said Bolsonaro’s failure to halt the outbreak and launch an adequate vaccination campaign had created a domestic tragedy from which Latin America’s most populous nation was unlikely to emerge until late 2022.

“We’ve now gone past 250,000 deaths and my expectation is that if nothing is done we could have lost 500,000 people here in Brazil by next March. It’s a horrifying and tragic prospect but at this point it’s perfectly possible,” he said, predicting a traumatic month as public and private hospitals buckled. “My forecast is that if the world was appalled by what happened in Bergamo in Italy and what happened in Manaus a few weeks ago, it’s going to be even more shocked by the rest of Brazil if nothing is done.”

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What does that even mean when the first ones were never properly tested?

Vaccines Tweaked For Covid Variants Fast-Tracked Safely – UK Regulator (G.)

Coronavirus vaccines tweaked to deal with variants will be fast-tracked without compromising on safety or effectiveness, the UK’s regulator has said. The approach will be similar to the regulatory process for the modified flu vaccine, to deal with new strains each year, with a brand new approval not required. Scientists have previously said a Covid-19 variant resistant to the current crop of vaccines is likely to emerge at some point, but vaccines can be adapted quickly. The guidance states coronavirus vaccine manufacturers will need to provide robust evidence that the modified jab produces an immune response. However, lengthy clinical studies are deemed not to add to the regulatory understanding of their safety, quality or effectiveness and will not be needed.


The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said researchers are in a better position to measure protection by looking at antibodies in the blood after vaccination, reducing the need to wait and see whether people in a trial become infected with the virus. It said this will “significantly reduce” the length of time it takes for the modified vaccine to be ready. The guidance from the Access Consortium – a group made up of regulatory authorities from the UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore and Switzerland – requires that, as well as evidence on immune response, the modified vaccines must be shown to be safe and of the expected quality. It says data from the original clinical trials and ongoing studies on real-world use in millions of people could be used to support any decision by the regulators.

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Harmless?

Injuries Reported to CDC After COVID Vaccines Climb by 4,000 in One Week (CHD)

The latest data made public by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) on deaths and injuries reported after COVID vaccines are in line with trends that have been emerging since the first data were released in December. Between Dec. 14, 2020 and Feb. 18, 2021, 19,907 reports of adverse events have been reported to VAERS, including 1,095 deaths and 3,767 serious injuries. About a third of the deaths reported occurred within 48 hours of vaccination, and 48% of the people who died became ill within 48 hours of being vaccinated. About 21% of the deaths were cardiac-related. As The Defender reported last month, Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, a pediatric rheumatologist, warned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December that mRNA vaccines like those developed by Pfizer and Moderna could cause inflammation of the brain and heart, and other injuries in ways not assessed in safety trials.

Of the reported deaths, 966 were reported in the U.S. and 129 outside the U.S. The average age of the deceased was 77.8, the youngest was 23. Of those who died, 53% were male, 46% female and 1% of the reports did not include gender. Of those who died, 56% received the Pfizer vaccine, and 43% got the Moderna vaccine. The number of serious adverse events reports increased by 641 this week, to a total of 3,767 between Dec. 14, 2020, and Feb. 18. Adverse reaction reports from the latest CDC data include: • 160 reports of adverse reactions affecting pregnancy, including 47 miscarriages/preterm births • 1,135 anaphylactic reactions, 64% of which were reported after a Pfizer vaccine and 35% after the Moderna vaccine • 257 reports of Bell’s palsy (Pfizer 71%; Moderna: 29%)


By comparison, during the same time period — Dec. 14, 2020 – Feb. 18, 2021 — VAERS received reports of 83 deaths following flu vaccines. According to the VAERS website, “it is important to note that for any reported event, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established … VAERS collects data on any adverse event following vaccination, be it coincidental or truly caused by a vaccine. The report of an adverse event to VAERS is not documentation that a vaccine caused the event.” VAERS is the primary mechanism in the U.S. for reporting adverse vaccine reactions. Reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before a determination can be made as to whether the reported adverse event was directly or indirectly caused by the vaccine.

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Or not harmless?

34 Spontaneous Miscarriages, Stillbirths After COVID-19 Vaccination (ET)

Thirty-four cases of pregnant women experiencing spontaneous miscarriages or stillbirths after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine have been submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). VAERS is a passive reporting system that allows people to submit a report of an adverse event after vaccination and is run by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Research funded by the CDC has shown that fewer than 1 percent of reactions from vaccinations are being reported on VAERS. Reports made to VAERS do not necessarily mean that a vaccine may have caused the event or reaction. Miscarriages are labeled as spontaneous abortions or abortions in the reporting system.

Many cases of spontaneous miscarriages occurred in the first trimester, or the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy, with 25 occurrences after being immunized with a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. While the four cases of stillborns occurred in either the second (weeks 13-27) or third trimester (weeks 28-40). According to Verywell Health, an online resource on health-related issues: “Research suggests that between 10% and 20% of women with a medically confirmed pregnancy will end in miscarriage. Eighty percent of these will occur during the first trimester.”

[..] Dr. Shelley Cole, MD, an OB-GYN and a member of America’s Frontline Doctors, says it’s concerning that a vaccine still in an experimental phase is being recommended to pregnant and lactating women and that science is no longer protecting them. “As an obstetrician-gynecologist, it is a concern,” Cole told The Epoch Times. “We’re [now] throwing science and the scientific medicine method out the window and jeopardizing pregnancies and future pregnancies.” “It concerns me that the CDC says that there are no studies, but it’s okay to get it and you don’t even need to discuss it with your doctor,” Cole added. “I mean this is the opposite of everything that the scientific models and methods, and standard of care has been for a century.”

[..] The politicization of the drug continues to overshadow studies that show hydroxychloroquine is safe and effective in treating COVID-19. According to c19study.com that tracks clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine around the world, all 27 hydroxychloroquine studies on early treatment reported a “positive effect and an estimated reduction of 65 percent in the effect measured (death, hospitalization, etc.)” However, the drug is “not effective when used very late with high doses over a long period.”

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They all go out of their way to claim there is no proof of a direct link between deaths, and “other adverse reactions”, and vaccines. But it’s a bit much.

Danger of mRNA Vaccines To Elderly: 16 Deaths In Switzerland (GT)

The deaths of 16 elderly people in Switzerland after being inoculated with Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines underscore the potential danger of mRNA vaccines to the age group, Chinese vaccine experts said, further calling for caution. At least 16 people died after receiving vaccines in Switzerland, the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products (Swissmedic) was quoted as saying by Sputnik in a report on Saturday. The agency said it had obtained about 364 suspected adverse drug reactions, with 199 incidents linked to the vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, and 154 to Moderna’s drug, said the report. Swissmedic said the average age of the deaths was 86 and most of them had pre-existing diseases, adding there was no evidence to suggest that the vaccines were the cause of death.


Chinese experts said the incidents should be assessed cautiously to understand whether the deaths were caused by the vaccines or other preexisting conditions in these individuals. Previously, Norway reported 23 deaths in connection with vaccinations, all of whom were over 80 years old. The COVID-19 vaccines from BioNTec/Pfizer and Moderna were used in Norway. A Chinese immunologist who requested anonymity told the Global Times that the large-scale use of mRNA vaccines carries the risk of causing abnormal immune dysfunction, allergy or even death, especially among the elderly and people with underlying diseases. The immunologist suggested individuals with preexisting conditions, the elderly and those with vulnerable immunity not be given vaccines.

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And neither do those in Germany and Switzerland.

Half Of French Care Home Workers Don’t Trust Vaccine (R.)

Around half of health workers in French care homes do not want to be vaccinated, according to the group of experts guiding the state’s vaccine rollout – compared to only 20% of the residents who have not been inoculated. If significant numbers of care home workers do not get the jab, they could transmit the disease to residents who are not vaccinated and at high risk of serious illness, say advocates for the elderly. One reason for the scepticism is that those recommending the vaccine are the same people – the French state – whom care home workers blame for their low pay and tough working conditions, said Malika Belarbi, a care worker and trade union official. “There’s a complete loss of trust,” she said. The issue is not unique to France. In Germany, care home operator BeneVit Group surveyed staff in November and found only 30% wanted to get vaccinated.


Peter Burri, head of ProSenectute, Switzerland’s biggest advocacy group for seniors, said at most half of nursing staff in the medical sector were willing to get inoculated. [..] Regulators around the world have repeatedly said speed will not compromise safety and vaccine developers have said they will not cut corners in testing for safety and efficacy. The quicker results have stemmed from conducting in parallel trials that are usually done in sequence and can take years. Trials for the shots developed by Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have shown only temporary side-effects. France’s state drug safety watchdog has said the procedure for approving the vaccines ensures they are safe and that it monitors side-effects and has seen nothing to warrant stopping their use.

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Google translate

“It seems as if we don’t care that people come to the hospital and die in the meantime.”

10 micrograms= 400 IU. Useless.

Dutch Health Council: “Too Early” For Advice On Vitamin D Against Corona (AD)

Based on the current state of science, according to the Health Council, it is “impossible to assess” whether taking vitamin D can contribute to the prevention of corona. “There is still too little useful research available on this,” said the government’s advisory body. According to the advisory board, sufficient research is available into the prevention of other acute respiratory infections. The chance of respiratory infections is about 10 percent lower if you take vitamin D. But the Health Council sees no reason in this to adjust the existing advice for taking vitamin D. Children up to four years old, women over 50 and men over 70 and pregnant women are already advised to take 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day.

This also applies to people who produce too little vitamin D in the skin because they get little sunlight or have dark skin. According to the Health Council, many people are not aware of the advice to these groups to take vitamin D. The council wants more attention to be paid to this. In October, several professors of immunology, scientists and doctors called on everyone via this site to take vitamin D. According to those experts, the chance that you will contract a corona infection is smaller and if you do become ill, the disease can be less serious. As a result of this attention to a possible role of vitamin D in combating the Covid-19 pandemic, the State Secretary of Health, Welfare and Sport has asked the Health Council for advice.

However, according to the Health Council, it is “still too early” for an opinion, because there is still too little research of sufficient quality. The scientists are aiming at studies in which vitamin D has been compared with a placebo. At least six such studies are currently underway, the first results of which are expected this spring. Sufficient research is available on vitamin D and the prevention of other acute respiratory infections not related to covid-19. There is some evidence that vitamin D supplements can help prevent these types of respiratory infections, especially in children between the ages of 1 and 16. But the council sees insufficient reason to advise everyone to take preventive vitamin D.

A large group of renowned experts expressed all their anger in December about the government’s wait-and-see attitude about vitamin D. More and more studies show, they say that vitamin D can reduce the chance of getting corona and that the infection is milder. . The wait-and-see attitude of governments goes down the wrong way with scientists. It “frustrates”, for example, professor of immunology at Wageningen University Huub Savelkoul. “There are more and more studies showing the benefit of vitamin D. I think it’s a kind of arrogance that the government wants to wait for a meta-study first. It seems as if we don’t care that people come to the hospital and die in the meantime. You should be careful with that comment, but that’s where my frustration is. “”

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Moral standards.

Drug Lobby Asks Biden To Punish Countries Pushing For Low-Cost Vaccines (IC)

President Joe Biden’s administration is being asked to punish Hungary, Colombia, Chile, and other countries for seeking to ramp up the production of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics without express permission from pharmaceutical companies. The sanctions are being urged by the drug industry, which has filed hundreds of pages of documents to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative outlining the alleged threat posed by any effort to challenge “basic intellectual property protections” in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The drug industry has sharply criticized any attempt to share vaccine patents or the technological knowledge needed to manufacture them, despite global need.

According to one estimate, wealthy countries representing just 16 percent of the world’s population have already secured more than half of all Covid-19 vaccine contracts. And current projections show that much of the middle-income and developing world will not achieve widespread vaccinations for years. Some projections predict that low-income countries such as Mali, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe may not achieve significant levels of vaccination until early 2024. The delay will undoubtedly cost countless lives and risk future, potentially dangerous mutations of the Covid-19 virus. The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, initial tests showed, is far less effective against the Covid-19 variant that has spread rapidly through South Africa, for example. A prolonged pandemic will also threaten to extend and exacerbate a global economic downturn.

In response, governments around the world are considering a temporary exemption to traditional intellectual property rights in order to rapidly produce coronavirus treatments at low cost, a demand intensely opposed by American lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry. The push by foreign governments to unilaterally set the price and pace of production of coronavirus vaccines, drug lobbyists with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, or BIO, argued, will place “American jobs and the workers who rely on them at risk, and impede scientific advances from reaching society.”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, another drug lobby group, requested that the Biden administration “pursue a variety of enforcement initiatives” and “use all available tools and leverage to ensure America’s trading partners” do not suspend traditional intellectual property rights in the fight against the coronavirus. BIO and PhRMA represent the largest drug firms in the world, including Pfizer, Gilead Sciences, and Johnson & Johnson. The two groups collectively spent more than $38 million lobbying federal officials last year, and member companies maintain extensive ties to prominent think tanks, lawmakers, and academics active in shaping the policy response to the pandemic.

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“The anonymous familiarity formula is a standard practice for anti-Russian fabrications by FT reporters; Bloomberg and Reuters too.”

How the NATO Alliance Is Fighting Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine (Helmer)

When the organ claiming to be the world’s leading financial newspaper conceals the large price subsidy for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by the NATO allies, in order to accuse Russia of price gouging the poor, you can be sure you are watching an information warfare attack. And when the concealment of the vaccine subsidy operation run by GAVI and COVAX hides the fact that the UK, US, and the Bill Gates (lead image, right) and Melinda Gates Foundation are paying 92% of the $10 billion scheme, then you realise that Covid-19 vaccines are a weapon of war. A war, not only against Russia, but also against China.

GAVI stands for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. Originally established with $750 million from the Gates Foundation in 1999, it is based in Geneva and Washngton, DC, and directed by an epidemiologist, Seth Berkley (lead image, centre). He’s an American doctor whose previous jobs were also funded by Gates and several NATO governments, and before that by the Rockefeller Foundation.COVAX is an acronym, created by GAVI, to stand for a multinational scheme of financing Covid-19 vaccine development in Europe and the US; then funding sale and distribution of these vaccines to low-income countries around the world. GAVI claims the scheme “is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.” Read more of GAVI’s version here.

Think of COVAX as a bank created by GAVI from money deposited by the NATO governments and either granted or loaned to client government which meet the bank’s eligibility criteria. GAVI’s website publishes a weekly update on what it calls the “Covid-19 vaccine race”. The best known of the 11 vaccines on the GAVI list and marked as medically approved are Moderna, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson (US); AstraZeneca (UK); Pfizer (Germany); Sinovac (China); and Gamaleya’s Sputnik V (Russia). The American and British vaccines are being promoted and funded by the GAVI-COVAX scheme; the Chinese and Russian vaccines are not.

Last Thursday, on February 25, the Financial Times, a Japanese-owned, London-based, and Lebanese-edited publication, claimed the cost price of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to the poorest of African Union (AU) country members was “three times more than the price of the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines, according to people familiar with the procurement process.” The anonymous familiarity formula is a standard practice for anti-Russian fabrications by FT reporters; Bloomberg and Reuters too.

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“The Finnish vaccine provides a striking case study of the many ways in which the contemporary patent-based funding model has slowed down vaccine development..”

“And typically, the choice is based on what applications they have a patent on, whether it’s the best option or not.”

Finland Had a Patent-Free COVID-19 Vaccine Nine Months Ago – But.. (Jac.)

We felt it was our duty to start developing this type of alternative,” says professor Kalle Saksela, chair of the Department of Virology at the University of Helsinki. “Back in the spring, I still thought that surely some public entity will get involved and start pushing it forward. Turns out that no situation is urgent enough to compel the state to start actively pursuing something like this.” Saksela’s team has had a patent-free COVID-19 vaccine ready since May 2020, which they dubbed “the Linux of vaccines” in a nod to the famous open-source operating system that also originated from Finland. The work is based on publicly available research data and predicated on the principle of sharing all new findings in peer-reviewed journals.

The research team includes some of Finland’s scientific heavyweights, such as Academy professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala of the A. I. Virtanen Institute, a former president of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, and academician Kari Alitalo, a foreign associated member of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States. They believe their nasal spray, built on well-established technology and know-how, is safe and highly effective. “It’s a finished product, in the sense that the formulation will no longer change in any way with further testing,” Saksela says. “With what we have, we could inoculate the whole population of Finland tomorrow.” But instead of exploring the potential of intellectual property–free research, Finland, like other Western countries, has continued to follow the default policy of the last several decades: to lean fully on Big Pharma.

In the mainstream narrative, the first-generation COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca are typically presented as an illustration of how markets incentivize and accelerate vital innovation. In reality, the fact that the profit motive is the overriding force shaping medical research has been devastating — particularly in a global pandemic. The Finnish vaccine provides a striking case study of the many ways in which the contemporary patent-based funding model has slowed down vaccine development, and how it currently hampers the possibility of conducting effective mass-inoculation campaigns. [..] “Different biotech firms would slap the spike protein onto some type of delivery mechanism, whether it was RNA technology or something else,” Saksela explains. “And typically, the choice is based on what applications they have a patent on, whether it’s the best option or not.”

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” It can explain most or all of the unusual properties of SARS-CoV-2, including its very strong binding to human ACE2 cell receptors and its rather low mutation rate, even without having to assume “gain of function” research (i.e. genetic engineering) — although the hypothesis doesn’t exclude this, either.”

Covid-19 Virus Origin: The Mojiang Miners (SPR)

Virologist Jonathan Latham and geneticist Allison Wilson have proposed a new hypothesis for the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been known since February that a bat virus called RaTG13, collected by the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in 2013, is the closest known relative of SARS-CoV-2. It has been known since May (to some) that RaTG13, previously known as BtCoV/4991, was found in bat feces in a mineshaft near Mojiang in southwest China, after six miners fell ill with Covid19-like pneumonia and three of them eventually died. The WIV itself didn’t disclose this link, however. On the contrary, in a March 2020 interview the famous WIV “bat woman” Shi Zhengli falsely claimed “a fungus” had caused the miners’ illness.

It is also known that RaTG13, despite its 96% similarity, cannot be the direct ancestor of SARS-CoV-2, as natural mutations in the environment would have taken at least several decades. But it has been shown computationally that RaTG13 can already infect human lung cells to some extent. Finally, it is known that the sick Mojiang miners, exhibiting severe Covid19-like pneumonia, were hospitalized for up to four months before being either discharged or dying back in 2012. Latham and Wilson now propose that the Mojiang miners were originally infected by RaTG13 and/or similar coronaviruses during their up to two week stay in the mineshaft inhaling aerosols from bat feces. RaTG13 then turned into SARS-CoV-2 (or a precursor virus) through mutations and/or recombinations in the lungs of the miners during their up to four month stay in the hospital.

Thus the infected lungs of the miners may have served as a ‘human incubator’ enabling RaTG13 to adapt to both the human ACE2 cell receptor and the human immune system in just four months instead of several decades as would have been expected in a natural (animal) environment. The Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2012/2013 received tissue and blood samples of the surviving or dead miners that may already have included SARS-CoV-2 (or a precursor). WIV virologists may then have been waiting five more years, until the completion of their BSL-4 (high security) lab in 2017/2018, before beginning to do research on what is now known as SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 may then have escaped, in autumn 2019, from the WIV lab, perhaps through an infected lab worker or animal cadaver, initiating what is now a global coronavirus pandemic.

This, in short, is the Latham-Wilson Mojiang Miners Passage (MMP) hypothesis. It can explain most or all of the unusual properties of SARS-CoV-2, including its very strong binding to human ACE2 cell receptors and its rather low mutation rate, even without having to assume “gain of function” research (i.e. genetic engineering) — although the hypothesis doesn’t exclude this, either.

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The “Excelsior Pass”… Whenever you see things like this, remember:

“..all we know about the vaccines is that they will very effectively reduce your risk of severe disease. We haven’t seen any evidence yet indicating whether or not they stop transmission.”

New York Rolls Out ‘Covid Passport’ At Event Venues (RT)

New York has launched a new Covid-19 ‘passport’ program at major event venues, with spectators asked to use a phone app to prove they’ve been vaccinated, as mandated under state guidelines, or else be barred entry. The “Excelsior Pass” was tested for a second time at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday during a New York Rangers game, functioning like a mobile boarding pass that conveys attendees’ vaccine and testing status. While it made its debut at the Barclays Center late last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled the project in an announcement this week, insisting the data on the pass would be kept “completely confidential.”

“The Excelsior Pass will play a critical role in getting information to venues and sites in a secure and streamlined way, allowing us to fast-track the reopening of these businesses and getting us one step closer to reaching a new normal,” he said, stressing that participation is “voluntary” for now. As an alternative to the mobile app, residents can also present a paper version of the pass to gain entry to events, both using a QR code linked to their health information. The code does not pass any sensitive medical data to event venues, but merely alerts when a pass is invalid. While it has only been tried at two locations, the state government hopes to expand the program further after the testing period.

As of February 23, New York’s pandemic restrictions require venues with more than 10,000 seats to ensure all staff and spectators receive either a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of an event, or to prove they’ve been fully vaccinated against the illness. The guidelines also force organizers to “collect contact information from all those in attendance to help inform contact tracing efforts,” though that is done separately from the new Excelsior Pass.

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Maybe you should question the way education is organized in the first place.

Giving Kids A Break Is The Best Way For Them To ‘Catch Up’ (G.)

Across the UK schools are again preparing for a phased or full return of pupils to the classroom. Most weary parents, compassionate teachers and lonely kids will be delighted to see this day come, but concerns remain about the effect that protracted school closures have had on our children and young people. Much of the debate has focused on how to help pupils “catch up” on their “lost learning”. This narrative is profoundly unhelpful and potentially damaging, due to the psychological pressure it places on children and young people. It’s our national obsession with summative assessment that makes children feel that they have “fallen behind” if they haven’t learned certain things at certain times. But in every year group, pupils are at various stages of cognitive, physical and emotional development.

There is no such thing as “behind”, there is only where children are at. Besides, if we truly believe that everyone can be a lifelong learner, then a few months of parents struggling to teach phonics is a brief bump on their educational journey. When I read recently of measures being planned to help children make up for lost school time through extended school days, tutoring and summer schools, my first instinct was that we should do the exact opposite. Pre-Covid research from the US has been referenced in support of extending school days, but studies have not provided evidence of positive impact on attainment. Research by the Education Endowment Foundation has highlighted limited evidence of small group tutoring benefiting learners who are “falling behind” and some small benefits of summer schools.

Whether the small gains seen in these studies could be replicated on a larger scale post-pandemic is as yet untested, and open to debate. Given limited time and resources, rather than hoping for a slight boost in standardised attainment scores, educators and government should focus instead on addressing the immediate impact of the crisis, with an eye to what interventions will help children most in the long term. Emotional wellbeing is fundamental and foundational for academic attainment. A stressed, anxious child will have difficulty learning anything. On the flip side, promoting wellbeing can boost academic outcomes. A meta-analysis of 213 school-based, social and emotional learning programmes demonstrated an 11% boost in results in standardised achievement tests.

The impact of lockdown on child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing is clear from research on previous school closures, within the health service, and in our own experiences as parents. Social isolation has exacerbated disadvantage and pre-existing vulnerability. It’s vital that long-term planning includes improving the availability and accessibility of therapeutic support for those who need it. Right now, we need to emotionally regulate before we educate.

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Is it the school closures, or is it banning them from meeting?

Self Harm Claims Among US Teenagers Increased 99% During Pandemic (F.)

The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the mental health of teenagers in the United States, according to an analysis of medical records and insurance claims conducted by non-profit FAIR Health, which found that overdoses, intentional self-harm claims, substance use disorders and claims for depression and anxiety disorders all increased substantially in 2020 compared to the prior year. FAIR Health analyzed data from over 32 billion private healthcare claim records, tracking month-by-month changes from January to November 2020 compared to the same timeframe in 2019. The most significant spikes were discovered early on in the pandemic, as the overall number of insurance claims for mental health issues among young people aged 13-18 in March and April of 2020, as a percentage of all medical claim procedures, was nearly double compared to the prior year.

Specifically, claims related to overdoses among that age group jumped up 119% in April 2020 versus April 2019, while claim reports for generalized anxiety and major depressive disorders rose 94% and 84%, respectively. Claims for intentional self-harm as a percentage of all medical claim rpeorts in the 13-18 age group increased 99.8% during that time frame. According to the study, these claims remained elevated through November. “We know that teenagers already have high rates of mental illness,” Dr. Jess Shatkin of the Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center told MedPage Today. “Now [with the pandemic], their parents are starting to struggle, with relationships, jobs, food security. It just ups the ante. We already see vulnerability, and this just makes them more vulnerable.”

While confirmed cases of Covid-19 and related fatalities can clearly be tracked, the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of human beings is not as easily quantifiable. The FAIR Health study’s authors cite infection-related fears, grief, economic instability, and social isolation as contributing factors that have triggered and intensified mental health issues. The numbers in the study align with previously reported data on this subject. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released last summer found that the prevalence of depression in June 2020 was approximately four times higher than in the second quarter of 2019, with anxiety about three times higher as well. Several other studies have also shown that young people have been particularly vulnerable to mental health issues due in large part to school closures, which have left them isolated from friends and teachers.

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