Sep 282023
 
 September 28, 2023  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  44 Responses »


Claude Monet The Pond at Montgeron 1876

 

Trump Rages At “Deranged” NY Judge’s ‘Corporate Death Penalty’ Decision (ZH)
Trump Says Net Worth ‘Much Greater’ Than Financial Statements (JTN)
Real Estate Insiders: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Worth At Least $300M, Not $18M (NYP)
Russian “Alabuga” Complex to Be “More Powerful Than a Nuclear Bomb” (Zlatko)
US’ Ukraine Reforms is Signal to Zelensky That His Time is Up (Sp.)
US Aid to Ukraine May Dry Out, But Not Because of House GOP (Sp.)
Is World War III About to Start? Part II: The MIC and Deep State (Cook)
Western Left Abandoned The People To Fuel NATO’s Carnage (Rogatyuk)
Ukraine Offered To Strike Iran And Syria – Guardian (RT)
Fauci Was ‘Smuggled’ Into CIA HQ To “Influence” Covid-19 Origins Probe (ZH)
EcoHealth is a “CIA Front Organization” (ZH)
100s Of Pages Of Newly Released Memos Spark Fresh Biden Corruption Charges (ZH)
FBI Refuses To Release Nationwide Voter Registration Fraud Probe Docs (JTN)
Disappearing Americans (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

Paperclip

 

 

Canada nazis

 

 

 

 

Tucker Bill O’Reilly Short&Long

 

 

Jimmy Dore

 

 

 

 

“From 2011-2021, the Palm Beach County Assessor appraised the market value of Mar-a-Lago at between $18 million and $27.6 million because of various land use restrictions. The judge simply restated the appraisal which is an undisputed fact.”

The assessor, and now the judge, are the only people who claim the assessment is correct. Everyone else puts the value at 20-30 times that, if not more.

They’re simply trying to bankrupt Trump, and think a 10-day window is enough: “..must dissolve all business interests in the state and exit within 10 days..”

They think they can sell off his property for cheap.

Trump Rages At “Deranged” NY Judge’s ‘Corporate Death Penalty’ Decision (ZH)

Right on cue, in a stunning decision on Tuesday, a New York State judge found – with no trial or jury – that Donald Trump, his family, and his business, theTrump Organization, was liable for fraud, and ordered what experts in New York financial crimes say amounts to the dissolution of his company. In a 35-page ruling, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron (D) revoked the New York “business certificates” belonging to the Trump Organization and any other New York-based business run by Trump or his family – while ordering that an independent third party will be tasked with “managing the dissolution of the cancelled LLCs.” “It’s a staggering judgement,” said John Moscow, a former financial crimes prosecutor for the Manhattan district attorney’s office. “It means you are no longer a company, and the judge is appointing someone to take over the assets and distribute them as the court sees fit.”

“It’s comparable to once a person dies. A dead person can’t sell property. Only the executor of the estate can do that – or in this case, the receiver.” Experts are calling it the “corporate death penalty.” As Sundance at TheConservativeTreehouse.com put it: “All the banks and lenders did their own due diligence on the financing. All operational loans and business loans were paid back. There were no defaults or banking interests adversely impacted. There are no victims of what the State calls “fraud,” yet the judge is ruling the Trump organization must dissolve all business interests in the state and exit within 10 days.” As you might expect, President Trump was enraged, blasting “The widespread, radical attack against me, my family and my supporters have now devolved to new, un-American depths,” calling Engoron “deranged” and James a “completely biased and corrupt ‘prosecutor.’”

“We are rapidly becoming a communist country, and my civil rights have been taken away from me,” he continued. “This is Democrat political lawfare and a witch hunt at a level never seen before.” Trump plans to appeal the decision, his attorneys said. “Today’s outrageous decision is completely disconnected from the facts and governing law,” Christopher Kise, a lawyer for Trump, said in a statement. “President Trump and his family will seek all available appellate remedies to rectify this miscarriage of justice.” Eric and Don Jr. Trump took to X to slam the Judge’s valuation of his father’s Mar-a-Lago resort, which Trump claims is over a billion dollars, but Engoron ruled is worth between $18 million and $27.6 million – which is absurd when you look at the surrounding property values.

 

 

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“..the Florida property “IS WORTH POSSIBLY 100 TIMES THAT AMOUNT..”

Trump Says Net Worth ‘Much Greater’ Than Financial Statements (JTN)

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday said his net worth is “much greater” than that shown on his financial statements, which he says contained a “disclaimer clause” stating that the information should not be relied upon, after a New York judge found that the former president, his two eldest sons and his businesses could be held liable for fraud in the state attorney general’s civil case against them.Trump wrote on Truth Social: “In addition to the fact that my Net Worth is much greater than the number shown in the Financial Statements, there is a POWERFUL Disclaimer Clause … explaining that there should be no reliance placed on these Financial Statements, but instead everyone should do their own independent research, analysis, and due diligence.” He also said banks understood the clause and there were no problems with it.

Judge Arthur Engoron ruled Tuesday that New York Democrat Attorney General Letitia James demonstrated that Trump, his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, several of the family’s entities and former employees, could be liable for “repeated and persistent fraud by preparing, certifying and submitting to lenders and insurers false and misleading financial statements” in violation of New York law. Trump specifically took issue with Engoron’s evaluation of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, which the judge said could be worth as little as $18 million, citing an appraisal from the Palm Beach County Assessor.

Trump said in a separate Truth Social post that the Florida property “IS WORTH POSSIBLY 100 TIMES THAT AMOUNT” and that the judge’s “anger & hatred is politically motivated & unprecedented by those who watched!” James is also attempting to get $250 million in damages from Trump and the other defendants in the case, as well as an order barring the former president and his two eldest sons from being leaders at New York-based companies. That trial is set to begin Oct. 2.

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“..a 2-acre wooded lot at 1980 S. Ocean Blvd., just 5 minutes from Mar-a-Lago, is currently listed for $150 million. Mar-a-Lago, situated at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd., dwarfs this lot tenfold and operates as a commercial business..”

Real Estate Insiders: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Worth At Least $300M, Not $18M (NYP)

A New York judge’s Tuesday ruling valuing Donald Trump’s sprawling, headline-making Florida estate at $18 million has left industry experts perplexed. In his verdict, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron delivered a bombshell ruling that the former president committed fraud by inflating the value of his wealth, with details including the monetary value associated with Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. This decision, which came down without a jury, has sent shockwaves through political — and real estate — circles, especially that $18 million base value for the property. One prominent Palm Beach real estate broker, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Post, “It’s utterly delusional to think that property is only worth $18 million.”

The insider added, “If that property were on the market today, I would list it at around $300 million, minimum … at least. He also has the separate golf course minutes away.” Engoron’s verdict holds Trump, 77, along with his family and his business empire, the Trump Organization, liable for fraud — a central allegation in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against the defendants. In a 35-page judgment, Engoron sided with James, asserting that Trump had made unequivocally false statements in official documents to secure favorable terms with financial institutions. Notably, Trump’s claims, such as his triplex penthouse in Trump Tower being 30,000 square feet when it was closer to 11,000, were also described by Engoron as “fraudulent” given their significant discrepancies.

However, the ruling raised eyebrows when Engoron, a Democrat who ran unopposed in the general election on Nov. 3, 2015, evaluated the worth of Trump’s prized Mar-a-Lago Club resort at $18 million, ruling that the property was inflated by 2,300%. He cited a basic Palm Beach Assessor valuation that ranged from $18 million to $28 million between 2011 and 2021, with industry sources saying it fails to take into consideration the fair market value. This valuation is far from Trump’s 1985 purchase price of $10 million, $8 million less than what the judge declared it was worth today. There are also nearby comps. To put it in perspective, a 2-acre wooded lot at 1980 S. Ocean Blvd., just 5 minutes from Mar-a-Lago, is currently listed for $150 million. Mar-a-Lago, situated at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd., dwarfs this lot tenfold and operates as a commercial business with around 500 members as part of the golf club.


Eric Trump: “These homes are about 1/30 the size of Mar-a-Lago, not on the beach (let alone the beach and intercostal), don’t span from once side of the Palm Beach Island to the other… it is a travesty of justice and an embarrassment to the court.”

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X thread.

Russian “Alabuga” Complex to Be “More Powerful Than a Nuclear Bomb” (Zlatko)

In Russia, the development of a missile equipped with a high-frequency generator of significant power is underway, which would allow neutralizing the enemy without firing a single shot. In the West, “Alabuga” is referred to as “secret weaponry” that is “more powerful than a nuclear bomb” and capable of “disabling entire armies.” The electromagnetic missile can disrupt all enemy electronics within a radius of 3.5 kilometers. “The military plans to install this weapon on state-of-the-art Russian drones to deter enemy aircraft.

Among other uses, such a system could be employed to destroy missile warheads and communication devices on aircraft. Additionally, it disables tank loading mechanisms, detonates artillery shells inside gun turrets, and eliminates enemy soldiers hiding underground at depths of up to 100 meters using radiation,” Daily Star reported this already in 2017. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently mentioned the development of weapons based on new physical principles at the Eastern Economic Forum.

“Even when it comes to security matters, weapons based on new physical principles will ensure the security of any country in the near historical perspective. We understand this perfectly well and are working on it,” the president stated. Moreover, this summer, Russian troops already received the “Listva” remote-controlled mine-clearing vehicles. They can detect and disable radio-controlled mines using super high-frequency emissions.

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“..the elimination of corruption in Ukraine is the number one priority: reforms in this sphere should be accomplished within a three-month timeframe…”

US’ Ukraine Reforms is Signal to Zelensky That His Time is Up (Sp.)

Earlier this week, Deputy White House National Security Adviser for International Economics Mike Pyle sent a draft list of reforms to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, as per Ukrainian media. The document was also forwarded to the multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform, a group of organizations including the EU, G7 governments, and the main international financial organizations, including the IMF, the World Bank, and others. Later, the US Embassy in Ukraine confirmed that Kiev had been “provided a proposed list of priority reforms for discussion and feedback at the multi-donor coordination platform in Brussels”. The document titled “Reforms Linked to Conditions on US Assistance” details the necessary changes in order of urgency – 0-3 months, 3-6 months, one year, and 18 months.]

Some of the provisions have additions in italics, like “EU MFA [macro-financial assistance] conditionality”; “IMF Structural Benchmark”; “requirements for Ukraine to begin EU accession process”; and “IMF MEFP [Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies]” suggest that the list covers not only US assistance, but also aid from Western-led international organizations. The document clearly indicates Ukraine will further lose its sovereignty in favor of EU and NATO institutions. Per the White House list, the elimination of corruption in Ukraine is the number one priority: reforms in this sphere should be accomplished within a three-month timeframe.
· Ukraine has to reform the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), in line with the parameters of the IMF structural benchmark.
· Increase the number of detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) by at least 300; provide them with wiretapping capability; and preserve the agency’s “independence and exclusive investigative authority over high-profile corruption matters.”
· Reinstate mandatory asset and financial disclosure requirements for public officials, judges, and political parties.
· Select new head of the National Agency for Corruption Prevention (NACP).
· Complete the High Council of Justice (HCJ) reboot by establishing a Service of Disciplinary Inspectors with direct and meaningful participation of independent experts to restore the HCJ “disciplinary function.”

Furthermore, in the three-to-six month timeframe, the Kiev regime has to expand the number of judges on the nation’s High Anti-Corruption Court; establish a new specialized court (the High Administrative Court of Ukraine [HACU]) for administrative cases against national state agencies; reform Ukraine’s Supreme Court (SC). Remarkably, at the same time, Kiev is required to “limit” the powers of the infamous Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) “to those associated with counter-intelligence, counter-espionage, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism,” and reshuffle the agency. “Create a credible disciplinary committee and replace staff who do not meet ethical and professional standards,” the document reads. “Enhance parliamentary and civilian oversight of SBU. Restructure process for requesting lawful intercept (wiretapping), and allow other institutions to conduct judicial intercept separate from SBU.”

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The Pentagon plays tricks.

US Aid to Ukraine May Dry Out, But Not Because of House GOP (Sp.)

The Biden administration wants the US Congress to pass a $24 billion package for Ukraine along with other spending initiatives as soon as possible. Washington has already committed over $110 billion in Ukraine assistance to date. While House Republicans appear skeptical about further financial and military assistance to the Kiev regime, which has failed to succeed with its summer counteroffensive, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy proposed to pass a stopgap measure to avoid a looming government shutdown. September 30 is the deadline. GOP lawmakers have signaled that they won’t include any funds for Ukraine in their stopgap bill. On September 22, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Capitol Hill to lobby for a hefty multi-billion package.

Even though McCarthy (unlike his predecessor Nancy Pelosi) did not provide the Ukrainian president with an opportunity to address the House, he held a conversation with Zelensky. The day after the meeting with Zelensky, McCarthy told reporters in the Capitol that he had decided to keep the $300 million in Ukraine aid in the Pentagon funding bill, adding that another spending measure set for the State Department and foreign operations would also include money for Kiev. The development is by no means surprising, according to retired US Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, a former analyst for the US Department of Defense. “The Pentagon has stated that Ukraine funding and aid would continue unabated by any government shutdown, and this includes the payment of salaries for tens of thousands of Ukrainian government employees and bureaucrats – even as paychecks for US government employees, and bureaucrats can and likely would be held back in the event of a shutdown,” Kwiatkowski told Sputnik.

“I think this is a Pentagon and administration attempt to remove the ability of the Congressional GOP Freedom Caucus to argue that they desire to pay American salaries, before they pay Ukrainian ones – by saying we (the Biden admin) are paying Ukrainian salaries no matter what you (the House America First-types) do.” When it comes to the larger $24 billion package, the former Pentagon analyst has a sense that “if serious negotiations are forced on Speaker Kevin McCarthy, they will find a way to reduce this amount, or to separate this aid out for separate and subsequent Congressional consideration.” The Biden administration has publicly promised this aid to Ukraine, but they do not control the appropriations – the House does, she emphasized.

“However – the Pentagon could simply provide it to Ukraine using a recalculation ‘trick’ and devaluing of past aid in the amount of $24 billion. I give this a 50% chance of happening in some way,” Kwiatkowski said. For example, in late June, the Pentagon said that it had overestimated the value of the arms it supplied to Kiev by $6.2 billion over the past two years. Four weeks earlier, the US Department of Defense cited an accounting error of at least $3 billion. Eventually, the “surplus” simply went back into the Pentagon’s pot allocated for Ukraine within the president’s drawdown authority (which allows providing Kiev with weapons directly, without Congressional approval).

“I think there is a good chance Ukraine will be able to wring out much of the promised $24 billion – but that the political battle, here in the US, to make that happen will reveal much to Congress and the American people about both the shady accounting ‘principles’ of the Pentagon and the honest situation in Ukraine,” Kwiatkowski said. Still, trouble is brewing for Kiev: it seems like many in Congress on both sides of the political aisle are beginning to understand the practical and political need for Kiev and Washington to end the conflict immediately, according to the former Pentagon analyst. She suspects that “the truth about the terrific loss on the battlefield and in Ukrainian military capability in the past 18 months is getting to the various committees in both the House and the Senate.”

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“.. the MIC is probably the principal economic engine of the U.S. as a whole..”

“So are we going to tell what adds up to tens of millions of people, sorry, your services are no longer needed? Good luck with that.”

Is World War III About to Start? Part II: The MIC and Deep State (Cook)

Today about 2.1 million people are employed by the defense industry. According to Acara Solutions, a major MIC recruiting firm, their average annual salary is $106,700, 40 percent higher than the national average. The companies they work for produced revenues in 2022 of $741 billion. How much of their production is high-priced junk, no one knows. The performance of U.S.-produced armaments in the Ukraine conflict does not seem impressive. No modern U.S. weapons have ever been tested in an industrial-type war against an equal adversary. The MIC also includes active-duty uniformed personnel of 1.37 million and reserves of 849,000. There are 750 U.S. military bases in more than 80 countries outside of the U.S. More than 100,000 U.S. military personnel are stationed in Europe.

Annual salary and benefits of the military are currently $146 billion per year, escalating with COLAs compounded at two to three percent annually, sometimes more. Some former U.S. military personnel are assumed to be fighting in Ukraine as mercenaries or helping direct the fighting from safe locations like Kiev or Lvov. Then there are the civilian employees. According to the DoD, it employs more than 700,000 civilians “in an array of critical positions worldwide,” with compensation totaling about $70 billion. According to the Government Accountability Office, we may also add 560,000 contractor employees, whose compensation is typically higher than the career workforce. We can also add hundreds of thousands of executives, managers, employees and contractors of the three-letter Deep State agencies, such as the CIA, NSA, DEA, FBI, and now DHS, etc., who interface with the MIC day in and day out and are part of the same fabric of state-sanctioned force and enemy identification and interdiction.

Added to the above are members of Congress who vote on military budgets and make the laws that protect the MIC from accountability, lobbyists who pressure those members to cast votes favorable to their MIC clients, private sector financial service employees who handle the retirement accounts of the MIC multitude, foreigners who are employed at overseas bases, and various scoundrels and hangers-on. I would include in the latter category the multitude of MIC cheerleaders from Hollywood who produce trashy spectacles like Top Gun. On top of everything else, there are millions of retirees drawing annuities in excess of what most working-class Americans earn, many of these retirees double- or triple-dipping with lucrative jobs in business or government.

Each of the above individuals supports multiple family members, workers, and vendors within the civilian economy who, with the ripple effect and velocity of money, keep entire towns, cities, states, regions, and industries afloat. An example is building the F-35 that has workers assembling it in 350 congressional districts. It is probably no exaggeration to say that given the vast exiting of civilian U.S. factories and jobs over the last half-century to cheap-labor countries abroad, the MIC is probably the principal economic engine of the U.S. as a whole. So are we going to tell what adds up to tens of millions of people, sorry, your services are no longer needed? Good luck with that. And isn’t it obvious that all these people, especially the higher echelons, are going to do everything within their power to persuade us that their jobs are so essential that without them we will shortly be overwhelmed and eaten alive by every “enemy” on the planet?

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The real warmongers.

Western Left Abandoned The People To Fuel NATO’s Carnage (Rogatyuk)

After the breakout of the First World War, the Second International and the numerous socialist organizations affiliated with it across Western Europe threw their weight behind their governments’ new military adventurism and became completely oblivious to the suffering of their fellow man at the hands of their countries’ economic and political elites. More than a century later, many of their modern-day counterparts have joined the chorus of Western governments, and their respective military-industrial complexes, in their proxy war hymn against Russia. And some of them have gone as far as giving a standing ovation to a literal member of the Waffen-SS, Yaroslav Hunka, when he was presented as a “veteran who fought for Ukrainian independence against Russia during WWII” in the Canadian parliament. It seems that even praising Nazis has become an acceptable part of the Western progressives’ discourse against all things Russian.

While many of the social democrats of the 1970s and 80s throughout Western Europe strongly opposed NATO’s expansionism and the presence of US military bases, the modern-day progressive and green parties go out of their way to roll out the red carpet for foreign soldiers on their soil. The examples are numerous. There’s Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign minister from the Greens, who made headlines around the world for admitting that Germany is “fighting a war against Russia,” the former prime minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, who attended the funeral of a well-known neo-Nazi leader in Ukraine, Mette Frederiksen of Denmark, the first to pledge F-16 jets to Kiev, and Spain’s Pedro Sanchez, one of the first to promise Zelensky Leopard tanks.

In the United States, the Squad – a group of relatively young members of Congress elected in 2018 and 2022 on a progressive left-wing platform – was once considered something of an alternative to the Democratic Party establishment, but has equally fallen under the spell of the siren war song of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Except for criticism of the delivery of cluster munitions and depleted uranium shells and supporting Bernie Sanders’ proposal to cut military spending, the Squad has consistently voted in favor of progressively bigger and bigger military aid packages to Kiev, while largely ignoring the threat posed by the various neo-Nazi armed groups in Kiev’s employ.

Even the trade unions, long considered the backbone of the anti-war movement, are not immune to the whims of the mass Russophobia and the warmongering spirit of the progressive and liberal leaders. The British Trade Union Council’s resolution urging Rishi Sunak’s government to commit further arms deliveries and financial assistance to the regime in Kiev is a stab in the back for the Stop the War coalition and millions of British workers who view the cost-of-living crisis as far more important than the delivery of military aid to a government that has thrown the rights of its own workers back to the 19th century with the new law 5371.

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Imagine dreaming of WWIII because you think it will save you.

Ukraine Offered To Strike Iran And Syria – Guardian (RT)

The Ukrainian government urged its Western backers last month to conduct missile strikes on drone factories in Iran and Syria, offering to launch the attacks itself if given the weapons to do so, according to a document seen by The Guardian. The document in question was handed to G7 governments by Ukrainian officials in August, the British newspaper reported on Wednesday. In it, the Ukrainians claimed that kamikaze drones used by Russian forces are built by Iranian manufacturers in Iran and Syria, and contain Western components. Kiev has alleged that Russia uses Iranian-made Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 drones, and that these contain 51 and 57 Western-made parts respectively.

“Among the manufacturers are companies headquartered in the countries of the sanctions coalition: the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Japan, and Poland,” the document reportedly stated. Russia denies using Iranian drones, insisting that the Shahed-like craft it launches at Ukrainian military and infrastructure targets are designed and made in Russia. According to The Guardian, the report recommended “missile strikes on the production plants of these UAVs in Iran [and] Syria, as well as on a potential production site in the Russian federation.” “The above may be carried out by the Ukrainian defense forces if partners provide the necessary means of destruction,” the document continued.

While Israel occasionally strikes military factories in Syria and is widely believed to be behind similar attacks in Iran, it is highly unlikely that the US or its allies would consider a direct attack on Iran. Likewise, it is unlikely that Ukraine would be given the long-range missiles necessary for such an operation, considering the US has even expressed reservations about providing Kiev with missiles capable of hitting targets inside Russia. Additionally, Moscow claims that Ukraine has lost 83,000 men since June in its failing effort to breach Russian defensive lines near Zaporozhye and Donetsk. With losses mounting, the chances of Ukraine being able to fight foreign forces 1,500km away are extremely slim.

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He financed it all.

Fauci Was ‘Smuggled’ Into CIA HQ To “Influence” Covid-19 Origins Probe (ZH)

Dr. Anthony Fauci was smuggled into CIA headquarters, “without a record of entry,” where he “participated in the analysis to “influence” the Agency’s” Covid-19 investigation, according to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. Fauci’s alleged CIA meeting was revealed in a Tuesday night letter from Subcommittee Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) to the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services, which demands documents, communications and other evidence between Fauci and the CIA. This allegation is even more interesting in light of a report from two weeks ago that the CIA bribed analysts to say Covid-19 did not originate in a Chinese lab. According to a ‘senior-level’ CIA whistleblower, the agency ‘tried to pay off six analysts who found SARS-CoV-2 likely originated in a Wuhan lab if they changed their position and said the virus jumped from animals to humans.’

“According to the whistleblower, at the end of its review, six of the seven members of the Team believed the intelligence and science were sufficient to make a low confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” reads the letter from Wenstrup. “The seventh member of the Team, who also happened to be the most senior, was the lone officer to believe COVID-19 originated through zoonosis. “The whistleblower further contends that to come to the eventual public determination of uncertainty, the other six members were given a significant monetary incentive to change their position,” the letters continue, adding that the analysts were “experienced officers with significant scientific expertise.”

Wenstrup and Turner also asked for documents and communications between the CIA and other federal agencies, including the State Department, FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Energy Department. In a separate letter, the House committee leaders identified former CIA Chief Operating Officer Andrew Makridis as having “played a central role” in the COVID investigation and asked him to sit for a transcribed interview. -NY Post In June, the US Intelligence Community declassified a 10-page report on COVID origins, in which it found “biosafety concerns” and “genetic engineering” taking place in Wuhan, but that most of its “agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not genetically engineered.” As the Committee noted on Tuesday;

Dr. Fauci’s questionable presence at the CIA, coupled with recently uncovered evidence that he, Dr. Fauci, “prompted” the drafting of “Proximal Origin” — the infamous paper that was used to attempt to “disprove” the lab leak theory — lends credence to heightened concerns about the promotion of a false COVID-19 origins narrative by multiple federal government agencies. Chairman Wenstrup is seeking all documents and communications related to Dr. Fauci’s access to CIA facilities and CIA employees as it relates to these allegations. Also, after becoming aware of additional information, the Select Subcommittee is requesting Special Agent Brett Rowland appear for a transcribed interview regarding Dr. Fauci’s purported movements to and from the CIA. As mounting evidence continues to imply that federal government officials covered-up the origins of COVID-19, investigating any improper influence will ensure future accountability of not only the intelligence community, but also public health officials.

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“..NAIAD, under the direction of Dr. Fauci, went ahead with the research in Wuhan, China and at several sites across the U.S…”

EcoHealth is a “CIA Front Organization” (ZH)

According to a January, 2022 Twitter (now “X”) thread by [former EcoHealth Alliance scientist Andrew] Huff, who worked at EcoHealth from 2014 to 2016, “I knew in December of 2019 that COVID was likely a lab leak.” Huff then claimed that “Not only is EcoHealth Alliance a CIA front organization, but the United States of America is primarily responsible for COVID, not China.” Huff also told Fox Business in January: “This was actually a failed intelligence operation. We were actually trading China advanced biotechnology for access to and collect intelligence on their bioweapons laboratory. I believe. I can’t prove that but a number of agencies that I discuss in the book, including Dr. Peter Daszak telling me he worked with the CIA.” From Huff’s book, “The Truth About Wuhan”:

“These discussions resulted in publications indicating that Dr. Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, was working with the CIA, and that the biological agent commonly known as COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) had been in development at EcoHealth Alliance since 2012, and other evidence suggested that SARS-CoV-2 began earlier than 2012. The development of SARS-CoV-2 included several prominent US-based scientists and US academic institutions that received funding from numerous federal government agencies and private non-governmental organizations to complete the gain of function work on SARS-CoV-2.”

Huff also posted a document obtained by Project Veritas and published in January of 2022 purportedly authored (and not denied) by Maj. Joseph Murphy (USMC), which states “SARS-CoV-2 is an American-created recombinant bat vaccine” which was “created by an EcoHealth Alliance program at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).” Project Veritas has obtained a separate report to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense written by U.S. Marine Corp Major, Joseph Murphy, a former DARPA Fellow. The report states that EcoHealth Alliance approached DARPA in March 2018, seeking funding to conduct gain of function research of bat borne coronaviruses. The proposal, named Project Defuse, was rejected by DARPA over safety concerns and the notion that it violates the basis gain of function research moratorium. According to the documents, NAIAD, under the direction of Dr. Fauci, went ahead with the research in Wuhan, China and at several sites across the U.S. -Project Veritas

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Impeachment inquiry starts today.

“..the Biden family foreign influence peddling operation suggests an effort to sway U.S. policy decisions.”

100s Of Pages Of Newly Released Memos Spark Fresh Biden Corruption Charges (ZH)

[..] Republicans have portrayed the initial hearing as merely a summary or review of the evidence obtained to date, but Mr. Comer announced Sept. 26 that his panel received in response to subpoenas two previously unknown wire transfers to Hunter Biden from Chinese businessmen with numerous links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). “On July 26, 2019, Hunter Biden received a $10,000 wire from Wang Xin. On August 2, 2019, Hunter Biden received a $250,000 wire from Jonathan Li and Tan Ling. Both wires originated in Beijing and Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home is listed as the beneficiary address for both wires,” Mr. Comer said in a statement. The transfers directly contradict claims by the President and Hunter Biden’s lawyer that no funds were received from China.

In addition, Mr. Comer pointed out that “evidence shows Joe Biden developed a familiar relationship with Jonathan Li during his vice presidency and prior to these payments to Hunter Biden. Devon Archer, a Biden business associate, described [to the oversight committee in closed-door testimony] how Joe Biden met with Jonathan Li in Beijing, China, had a phone call with him, and later wrote college recommendation letters for his children.” Then on Sept. 27, Mr. Smith’s panel made public 700 pages of additional evidence provided by two IRS whistleblowers who were deeply involved in the government’s long-running investigation of Hunter Biden’s failure to pay taxes on income he received in 2014 and 2015.

The Ways and Means panel made the new evidence public following a closed-door executive session in which all 18 Democrats opposed the release. The new materials made public by Mr. Smith indicated the Biden family received at least $19 million in income from entities in at least 23 countries around the world which was channeled through 20 shell companies. The income was ultimately received directly or indirectly by multiple members of the Biden family, including the president while he was vice president.

The materials also included numerous references in emails and telephone messages to the senior Biden playing an active role in what Mr. Smith described to reporters during a Capitol Hill news conference following the executive session as “a complex and lucrative enterprise operated by the Biden family to enrich themselves to the tune of at least $20 million, with much of Hunter Biden’s share going unreported for taxes.” Mr. Smith further claimed the new evidence makes clear that “then Vice President Joe Biden’s political power and influence was ‘the brand’ that Hunter Biden was selling all over the world. Even more alarming, the Biden family foreign influence peddling operation suggests an effort to sway U.S. policy decisions.”

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“The material you requested is located in an investigative file which is exempt from disclosure.” Like for the next 5 years?!

FBI Refuses To Release Nationwide Voter Registration Fraud Probe Docs (JTN)

The FBI took over a 2020 probe into voter registration fraud that began in Michigan but has denied a Freedom of Information Act request regarding the investigation, citing an exemption in that law regarding ongoing investigations. According to the dozens of pages of police reports from the Muskegon Police Department and Michigan State Police, a firm called GBI Strategies was under scrutiny as an organization central to alleged voter registration fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The matter was initially investigated by city and state authorities before the FBI took over. Contacts between local law enforcement and the FBI continued into 2022 but there is no evidence of what happened after that in the memos obtained by Just the News through requests made under Michigan’s own Freedom of Information Act.

Last week, the FBI denied a Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts request from Just the News regarding records from the investigation into GBI Strategies. The request sought “copies of all reports, documents, and records about GBI Strategies, including all communication and correspondence regarding investigations of GBI Strategies with Michigan government officials, city and state law enforcement agencies in Michigan, and all other state government officials and law enforcement agencies involved in investigations of GBI Strategies.” The FBI’s response partially reads: “The material you requested is located in an investigative file which is exempt from disclosure.”

The FBI cited 5 U.S. Code § 552(b)(7)(A) for exempting disclosure of the records, specifically, “records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information … could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.” The agency’s response continued: “The records responsive to your request are law enforcement records; there is a pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding relevant to these responsive records, and release of the information could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

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“As a nation, the United States no longer exists. What was once a country is today just a geographical location.”

Disappearing Americans (Paul Craig Roberts)

Washington lies to American citizens for the benefit of non-citizens and well-connected citizens such as Big Pharma, agri-business, and the military-security complex. To prove the point, the anti-American Biden Regime’s “Justice” Department is suing Elon Musk for hiring American Citizens instead of immigrant-invaders. The anti-American Biden Regime calls immigrant-invaders “asylees” and “refugees” and although they do not have green cards, that is, permission to reside and work in the US, the anti-American Biden Regime gives the immigrant-invaders equal footing with American citizens and green card holders to employment rights. Elon Musk, a patriot who wishes to employ American citizens is being sued for employing Americans instead of immigrant-invaders. This is the fate of Americans under the America-Hating-Democrats. Here is what the Biden Department of “Justice” said:

“Our investigation found that SpaceX failed to fairly consider or hire asylees and refugees because of their citizenship status and imposed what amounted to a ban on their hire regardless of their qualification, in violation of federal law,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Our investigation also found that SpaceX recruiters and high-level officials took actions that actively discouraged asylees and refugees from seeking work opportunities at the company. Asylees and refugees have overcome many obstacles in their lives, and unlawful employment discrimination based on their citizenship status should not be one of them. Through this lawsuit we will hold SpaceX accountable for its illegal employment practices and seek relief that allows asylees and refugees to fairly compete for job opportunities and contribute their talents to SpaceX’s workforce.”

Dear insouciant Americans: This is what the Biden Regime’s “Justice” Department is telling you: Your citizenship as an American citizen means nothing whatsoever. Your status as an American citizen places you on the same level, or even lower, than the status of an immigrant-invader. If you hire an American Citizen instead of an immigrant-invader you have violated US law! Insouciant Americans send their sons and daughters to fight for rights of immigrant-invaders who have turned our country into a Tower of Babel. Take a moment and consider, what was the consequence of the fake “war on terror” other than massive acceptance of “refugees” from our own attacks on the Middle East and North Africa? What is the consequence of our war against Russia in Ukraine other than millions of immigrant-invders into the US and Europe?

Every time the anti-Americans who rule us launch a war, whether against “terror,” or “to build democracy,” or against “Putin reconstructing the Soviet Empire,” we get more boatloads of immigrant-invaders who demand rights at the expense of American citizens. Washington’s wars and open borders have destroyed the cohesiveness of American society and the homogeneousness of the American population. The anti-Americans in Washington have turned the United States of America into a Tower of Babel. As a nation, the United States no longer exists. What was once a country is today just a geographical location.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Trevi

 

 

 

 

Butterfly

 

 

DogDucks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1707258166101066190

 

 

 

 

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Sep 212023
 
 September 21, 2023  Posted by at 1:54 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  10 Responses »


Théodore Géricault The Raft of the Medusa 1819

 

 

A short comment on an all too familiar sort of MSM article about US politics these days. This article, a few days old, comes from Gary O’Donoghue, Washington correspondent, BBC News.

The MSM must concede that Hunter Biden is under investigation. Now that it’s official, they can no longer hide it. Time for plan B. This is the BBC, more MSM than anyone. The new narrative is that both political sides are being probed now, supposed to make us think there’s a sort of balance, a neutrality.

And the DOJ is some kind of impartial office (just like the FBI and CIA). Even though the entire alphabet soup has been directed squarely against Trump for 8 years now. The result is that they list the charges against the two sides as follows: 91 against Trump, one -small one- against Hunter, and zero against Joe Biden (he’s not even mentioned here).

Not one word about Joe Biden’s own involvement in what Hunter is accused of. Not one word about the laptop. Or about the tens of millions of dollars the House Commitee says the Biden family received from foreign sources. Ergo: Trump is much worse than Hunter. And Joe never put a single finger wrong.

What Hunter Biden Charges Mean For The President

Politically speaking, there are currently two Americas. One is outraged and horrified that the former president, Donald Trump, is facing 91 federal and state criminal charges in what they see as a deep state conspiracy orchestrated in part by Joe Biden’s Department of Justice. The other believes that very same justice department has spent five years unfairly pursuing Mr Biden’s son, Hunter, over his tax affairs and behaviour while a self-declared and repentant drug addict. In other words, both Americas believe the department responsible for enforcing the laws of the land has been taken captive by the other side and is hopelessly politicised.

“..improper and partisan interference..” but not from the Democrats…

Hunter Biden’s lawyer responded to the news that his client had been indicted on three federal gun charges by accusing the prosecutor of bending to “improper and partisan interference” from Trump-supporting Republicans. Meanwhile, Andy Biggs, one of those conservatives in Congress, suggested the charges were simply a manoeuvre to make it look like the justice department was fair. “Don’t fall for it. They’re trying to protect him from way more serious charges coming his way!”, he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Republicans only focus on Hunter because of Trump’s “legal jeopardies”. Not because of the laptop contents. Which the FBI sat on for 5 years, and we would never have known about if the repair shop owner had not given a copy to Rudy Giuliani. The FBI were busy targeting Trump, after all. Hunter’s “legal woes” are only “a blow in a personal sense to his father”. Surely not because his father pops up a thousand times in the laptop in comprimising ways,

Hunter Biden’s legal woes will of course be a blow in a personal sense to his father and his family. But the ramifications go much further than that. Republicans have for some time known that the president’s son is a vulnerability. Exploiting that has the power not just to significantly rile up Joe Biden, but also to help distract from their own problems with Mr Trump’s legal jeopardies. Add to that the fact that most Democrats, when asked, are far from happy that Mr Biden is running for the White House again in 2024. Hunter seems like just another reason for some continuing to press for the 80-year-old president to step aside for the next generation.

But wait, this is not about Hunter, it’s about Trump. And it’s certainly not about Joe. Nothing Hunter did could possible be as grave as Trump’s actions. Why else would there be 91 charges against him?

All this means that the outcome of Hunter Biden’s case will play a significant part in what promises to be a turbulent election year. But Republicans face something of a dilemma. It’s true that the three gun-related charges are felonies rather than misdemeanours; and it’s true that further charges could come relating to Hunter Biden’s tax affairs and foreign dealings. But none of it currently quite rises to the scale and quantity of Donald Trump’s alleged crimes. So any attempt to weaponise Hunter Biden’s problems could simply invite the American people to compare and contrast. Also, as Democrats will no doubt continue to point out, Hunter Biden is not running for dog catcher, let alone to be President of the United States.

“After all, there is nothing in the Constitution about drug addicts being unable to bear arms.” Gotta love that line.

One intriguing aspect of Hunter Biden’s case is that his lawyers clearly believe the plea deal that broke down in July could still be resurrected – and that the recent expansion of Second Amendment rights by various courts could be an element in his defence. After all, there is nothing in the Constitution about drug addicts being unable to bear arms. That would be an extraordinary irony given where most Democrats stand on gun control.

“..seven months of existing investigations into Hunter Biden..” Again, the FBI has had the laptop for 5 years. What more can you say? Jim Jordan just yesterday in the House: “We have an investigation run by Mr. Weiss that not only had a sweetheart deal rejected, but according to The New York Times, there was an even sweeter earlier deal with Mr. Biden where he would not have to plead guilty to anything. Four and a half years and all that..”

Thursday’s indictment came just days after Kevin McCarthy, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced an impeachment inquiry into President Biden – a move dismissed as a political stunt by the White House. Mr McCarthy said there were “serious and credible allegations” into the family’s business dealings and President Biden’s conduct. And Republicans will hope this new inquiry implicates the president in the peddling of power and corruption. So far, however, seven months of existing investigations into Hunter Biden have produced snippets from former business partners, an FBI informant and a couple of IRS agents, but nothing that comes close to a real smoking gun.

The reason for the impeachment inquiry vs Joe Biden is not to get rid of him, or even “win a vote”, it’s to establish a record. The Senate would never agree to impeach him, just like it didn’t Donald Trump when the GOP had a majority. But the record is crucial. Pelosi and Schiff knew it, and now so does the GOP.

That may change when the subpoenas begin to fly, but the Republican majority in the House is so slim, that it is far from certain that Republicans would win an impeachment vote on the House floor, if it got that far. What is certain, is that the once-clear distinction between the political and legal systems has become increasingly blurred. And that’s a major problem, according to Randy Zelin, adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School. “Somebody woke up one day and said, boy I have a new toy and that is called the federal criminal justice system, where I’m going to use the criminal system to punish people who don’t agree with my politics,” Prof Zelin told the BBC. “I think the sole influence here is that this country is being torn apart by this never-ending battle.”

This is how the media today wants you to see it. But where were they during the Steele dossier days? Or any of the other anti-Trump shenanigans? Remember, they never proved a single thing against him. They just “won” some votes in theaters where they had a majority. And now they’ve come up with 91 new charges in the theaters that the DOJ and FBI have been turned into. Vs zero for Joe Biden. And one puny one for Hunter. Hey, we have an election coming up.

I suggested recently that there wouldn’t be a US election in 2024. But trying to imagine what would happen if they attempted to have one, replete with Dominion machines and mail-in ballots, I’m starting to wonder if there will be a country left next year to hold an election in.

The two sides are so far apart (not really of course, they’re still neighbors, it’s all in the head), that they may as well live in different countries. And then one day they actually might. 1861 is not that long ago.

 

 

 

 

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Sep 132023
 
 September 13, 2023  Posted by at 9:07 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  41 Responses »


Michelangelo Pietà 1498 (he was 23 years old)

 

McCarthy Launches Biden Impeachment Inquiry (ZH)
Republicans Fear Giving Biden Popularity Boost With Impeachment Probe (Sp.)
Trump Charges Are Political Persecution – Putin (RT)
Trump Demands Judge in Jan. 6 Case Stand Down (Sp.)
Fani Willis Bankrolls Private Attorneys For Trump Prosecution (WE)
Tucker Tears Into Politicians’ “Betrayal Of American Democracy” (ZH)
Ever More Deadly Arms to Ukraine Reeks of Desperation – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Africa Will Never Forget That The West Caged Its Children – Putin (RT)
Kiev Reiterates Grain Threat To Poland (RT)
Pocahontas Threatens Musk With Investigation For Blocking Ukrainian Attack (RT)
Nuland: US ‘Supports’ Ukraine Targeting ‘Russia’s Most Precious Assets’ (Sp.)
Ukraine Missile Attack in Sevastopol Leaves 24 People Injured (Sp.)
CIA Bribed Analysts To Change Wuhan Lab-Leak Conclusions (ZH)
France Bans iPhone Over Radiation Concerns (RT)
The Mackinder Strategic ‘Bible’ Reconsidered (Crooke)

 

 


Today Health Canada approved a Moderna fall booster for COVID-19 for all Canadians over the age of 6 months.

 

 


The new FDA approved covid shots were tested. On four rats. Yes, four rats. Four. Rats.

 

 

 

 

Tulsi Watters


https://twitter.com/i/status/1701362658329645541

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paxton Trial

 

 

Schumer

 

 

 

 

McCarthy sounds like a girl here. Maybe better not ask Trump what he thinks.

And Dave Collum: “Could you take a brief moment to release the 41,000 hours of J6 tapes? The longer you wait the worse you look…”

McCarthy Launches Biden Impeachment Inquiry (ZH)

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday announced that the House will open an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden over a variety of alleged crimes, skipping a formal House vote he had previously teased. According to McCarthy, Reps. James Comer and Jim Jordan will spearhead it. “Biden used his official office to coordinate with Hunter Biden’s business partners, about Hunter’s role in Burisma – the Ukrainian energy company,” said McCarthy, adding “it appears that the president’s family has been offered special treatment by Biden’s own administration.”

Senate RINOs are downplaying an impeachment inquiry against perhaps the most corrupt president in US history, citing a ‘distraction’ from 2024 election issues such as the economy and border security. In truth, they’re nothing more than uniparty shills protecting their preferred candidate at any cost against the return of the highly disruptive Orange Man Bad. “It really comes to how do you prioritize your time? I don’t know of anybody who believes Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will take it up and actually have a trial and convict a sitting president,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) a member of the Senate GOP leadership team, in a comment to The Hill, adding that House Republicans can already investigate Biden without launching a formal impeachment inquiry.

“Since they got the majority, they got the chairmen of the various committees, they could do all of that now without going to a formal inquiry,” he continued. “Members of the House don’t really care what I think. All I can tell you, it’s unlikely to be successful in the Senate. “Rather than doing something they know is unlikely to end the way they would like, maybe they want to emphasize other things.” Cornyn was joined by GOP Whip John Thune (SD) and Marco Rubio (FL), the latter of whom suggested that attempting to impeach Biden would be frivolous, and “should generally be avoided for the interest of the country.”

“It can’t become routine,” Rubio continued, adding “There are countries like Peru that routinely now impeach whoever the president is, and it’s become almost a national sport.” Yes Marco, the sitting US President is suspected of taking bribes from a Ukrainian oligarch in exchange for abusing his position as then-VP, and his son – with no practicable skills in any art – appears to have been his family’s international bag man for more of the same, but let’s not make this into a ‘national sport.’

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“Biden’s either going to have to cut a deal and promise not to run again, or perhaps resign, but we are at the beginning of this process..”

Republicans Fear Giving Biden Popularity Boost With Impeachment Probe (Sp.)

US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced on Tuesday the launching of an impeachment inquiry into US President Joe Biden. The leading Republican said there were “serious and credible allegations” about Biden’s conduct and the alleged “culture of corruption” surrounding the Biden family’s foreign business dealings. At the center of the issue is the president’s son, Hunter Biden, long the subject of journalist investigations and Republican denunciations, and questions about Joe Biden’s relationship to Hunter’s business dealings, especially during Joe’s time as US vice president and since he became president in 2021. Republicans have for years promised to launch such an inquiry once they won a majority in the US House of Representatives again, but that majority was reached in early January following the November 2022 midterm elections.

McCarthy became House speaker at that time after hammering out a nebulous set of promises with a pro-Trump faction of the House GOP Caucus – a faction that is increasingly upset with his performance. Democrats have accused Republicans of giving in to the agenda of former US President Donald Trump, who was impeached in 2019 on accusations he abused his power by pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to reopen a probe into the Bidens, including claims that in 2016, then-VPOTUS Biden forced Kiev’s prosecutor-general into closing a previous investigation of Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine. Ted Rall, a syndicated editorial cartoonist, opinion columnist, graphic novelist, author, and co-host of The Final Countdown, told Radio Sputnik’s Political Misfits on Tuesday that while some elder GOP lawmakers are hesitant for the moment over fears they might accidentally help Biden’s reputation ahead of the 2024 election, “Republicans will soon see that this is going to be to their advantage.”

“I think a lot of Republicans are suffering from Clinton Hangover Impeachment Syndrome. This didn’t go well for the Republicans in 1998, [former US President] Bill Clinton left office wildly popular, and they’re worried that something similar could happen. The only thing is: it’s not 1998, it’s a different world now,” he said, noting that when it came to Clinton’s impeachment, the facts were clear. “Here, most liberal Democrats and many moderates – or, for that matter, everyone who’s not a news junkie – doesn’t really know or has been following the story of this Hunter Biden laptop, which has been carefully siloed as a new ‘Benghazi malarkey’ as Biden would say. But that’s not true,” Rall said. “Beyond what McCarthy may or may not want, as the inquiry proceeds, it’s going to be impossible not to move forward with hearings simply because there are too many actionable facts.”

“The call for impeachment, under the most basic definition of the term in the Constitution, which specifically references bribery – I think they’re going to have to impeach him,” Rall asserted. “I think even the Republican senators are going to warm up to it and I think if all the facts are ultimately heard, President Biden’s either going to have to cut a deal and promise not to run again, or perhaps resign, but we are at the beginning of this process,” which he said “has no place to go but ‘down’ for President Biden.” Rall noted there was “a lot to get to the bottom” of in the case.“If my son sells me as a brand, then collects money by doing that, are you effectively bribing me? Especially if I’m 80 years old and I care deeply about my son’s finances and his ability to carry on after I’m gone? That’s a question I think hasn’t been answered and I think we need to answer,” he explained.

Read more …

“As for the persecution of Trump, well, in today’s conditions, in my view, that’s a good thing. Because it reveals the rotten American political system, which should not be able to claim it can teach others about democracy. “Everything that is happening to Trump is the political persecution of a political rival. That is what it is. And it is happening in the eyes of the US public and the whole world. They have exposed their domestic problems. In this sense, if they are trying to fight us, it is good because it shows, as they used to say in Soviet times, the beastly appearance of American imperialism, its beastly snarling grimace.”

Trump Charges Are Political Persecution – Putin (RT)

The numerous criminal charges against former US President Donald Trump amount to persecution and showcase the “rot” in the American political system, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated. The US in its current state “cannot claim the right to teach others democracy,” the Russian leader said on Tuesday during a panel discussion at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. “The things that are happening to Trump are persecution of a political competitor… That is what it is. And it is done in the full view of the US public and the entire world,” he added. The controversy is beneficial to Russia in the sense that it “exposes” Washington “for what it is,” according to Putin.

The US government chose to be hostile to Moscow and has propagandized its population into perceiving it as such, he argued. “[The US] demonstrates what they called in Soviet times ‘the bestial scowl of imperialism’,” he joked. Moscow does not expect any substantial change in US foreign policy vis-a-vis Russia, regardless of who takes the White House after next year’s election, the president said. “[Trump] was accused of having a special relation with Russia, which is total nonsense and bulls**t. But he was the president who introduced the most sanctions against Russia,” Putin noted.

The American elites predominantly perceive Russia as an existential enemy, Putin believes. The country also has friends in the US, who want good relations and share Russia’s views on traditional values, the president added, but those voices are being suppressed. Since leaving office, Trump has been charged with numerous crimes at both the federal and state level, ranging from election tampering to inciting the January 6 Capitol riot to financial improprieties. The businessman-turned-politician, who is considered the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for presidency, has said that his legal woes amount to a “witch hunt” by his opponents.

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She’s hated him for years, laments the fact that he’s walking around free.

Trump Demands Judge in Jan. 6 Case Stand Down (Sp.)

Former President Donald Trump has filed a motion in a Washington, DC, court demanding Judge Tanya Chutkan recuse and disqualify herself from his January 6 criminal case, court documents showed. “President Donald J. Trump, through undersigned counsel, respectfully moves to recuse and disqualify the Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan,” Trump’s attorneys said in the court document on Monday. The motion cites what Trump alleges is Chutkan’s compromised impartiality as cause for recusal. “Although Judge Chutkan may genuinely intend to give President Trump a fair trial — and may believe that she can do so — her public statements unavoidably taint these proceedings,” Trump attorney John F. Lauro wrote in the motion.

“The public will reasonably and understandably question whether Judge Chutkan arrived at all of her decisions in this matter impartially,” the motion said, adding that “the law and the overwhelming public interest in the integrity of this historic proceeding require recusal.” US law dictates that judges recuse themselves from any legal case in which they have a personal bias, potential prejudice, or their impartiality could be “reasonably” questioned. A 1994 Supreme Court ruling determined that only in rare cases are judges ever forced out of a legal case; in fact, it must be proved the official demonstrates “deep seated favoritism or antagonism that would make fair judgment impossible.”

Chutkan has given both sides in the case until Thursday to respond to the motion, with the Trump camp given until Sunday to issue its subsequent reply. Trump is presently facing multiple indictments ranging from alleged fraudulent business practices, mishandling classified documents and efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The former president has repeatedly voiced his innocence in each case, underscoring that legal filings are part of a larger political attack intended to shutter his chances at serving a second term in office.

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Taxpayer money.

“..paid massive sums to private sector attorneys for their services..”

“..it avoids the statutory requirements for the appointment of assistant district attorneys, who are paid a fixed salary, and also avoids the administration of an oath of office..”

Fani Willis Bankrolls Private Attorneys For Trump Prosecution (WE)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has paid massive sums to private sector attorneys for their services, and a portion of those relate to investigating and prosecuting former President Donald Trump, according to county records. Nathan Wade, Willis’s lead prosecutor in the case, has raked in more than half a million dollars from the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office from January 2022 to August 2023, according to a payment history. Christopher Campbell, Wade’s colleague at Wade & Campbell Firm, has been paid $116,670 from April 2021 to August 2023, the same records show. Terrence Bradley, a former colleague of Wade’s, was paid $74,480 from May 2021 to June 2022, according to the records.

Wade, a defense attorney who can bill by the hour, was hand-picked by Willis roughly two years ago to serve as special prosecutor in the Trump case. Wade is a former Cobb County fill-in municipal court judge who ran for Cobb County Superior Court and was defeated in 2012, 2014, and 2016. Willis chose Wade over career prosecutors who work on salaries, and while the legalities of that have not been questioned at this stage, some, like Phil Holloway, an Atlanta-based attorney for more than two decades, have found the use of Wade to be “unorthodox.” “It’s certainly unorthodox and appears to be a cash cow for any lawyer paid by the hour,” Holloway said. “I’ve been practicing criminal law in Georgia for 24 years, and I’ve never seen such an arrangement.”

One of the co-defendants, former Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer, highlighted in a court filing on Thursday the hefty payments to private prosecutors, asking for Judge Scott McAfee to schedule a hearing “regarding improper contact by special prosecutor’s law firm.” [..] Shafer’s attorney in the court filing said it also violated an “anti-contact” rule, noting that “the harassing, or mocking and intimidating nature of the firm’s communication with Mr. Shafer causes grave injury to the appearance of fairness and propriety of this proceeding.” [..] Holloway observed that Wade could skirt the typical obligations of public servants while working as outsourced counsel. “For starters, it avoids the statutory requirements for the appointment of assistant district attorneys, who are paid a fixed salary, and also avoids the administration of an oath of office,” Holloway said. “The oath of office is intended to protect the public from malfeasance by public officials and carries a criminal penalty if violated.”

Read more …

Sounds like 2028.

Tucker Tears Into Politicians’ “Betrayal Of American Democracy” (ZH)

In a brief clip dropped last night, Tucker Carlson rages (in his inimitable manner) that the current system of governance in the US does not genuinely reflect the majority’s will but benefits a small group of people with power. “Most governments are run by a small group of people for their own benefit without reference to what the majority wants,” he says. Carlson highlights, based on public opinion polls as evidence, that there is often a disconnect between what the people want and what their leaders prioritize: “Take a look at the latest Gallup poll, pick a poll. What are the top 10 issues for people in the United States and then compare those to the priorities of your leaders.”

The former Fox News host takes aim at Governors Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Greg Abbott of Texas as case examples of this disconnect. Regarding Whitmer, who he calls a “low IQ lunatic”, Carlson says her priorities are not in line with the majority of her constituents, specifically regarding social issues like “misgendering”: “The things that people care about, Gretchen Whitmer couldn’t care less about.” Abbott, who Carlson calls a “liar, and betrayer of your own people”, is accused of not taking significant action on illegal immigration, despite having the resources to do so:

“Don’t you have a National Guard? Why don’t you seal the Border? Oh, it’s very complicated. No, it’s not.” Carlson concludes that this deviation from public will is a betrayal of American democracy. “It’s not just frustrating; it’s a betrayal of the core promise of the country, which is the people rule,” he proclaims; suggesting that the current situation represents a “criminal act,” and, in what some have suggested sounded the most like a campaign/stump speech, urges the audience to reconsider their belief that a majority vote will automatically translate into action or law.

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“..anybody who looks at the situation on the ground in Ukraine knows that Ukraine is losing, Russia is winning. And literally there’s nothing that can be done to prevent a Russian victory..”

Ever More Deadly Arms to Ukraine Reeks of Desperation – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Over the past year-and-a-half, the US and its NATO allies have adopted a cautious, “two steps forward, one step back” approach to arming Kiev, first assuring that various weapons (be it cluster munitions and long-range cruise missiles or tanks and F-16 fighter jets) would not be sent, citing the danger of escalation tensions with Russia, and then announcing their delivery weeks or months later. “The Biden administration seems to be going through a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-type phase when it comes to the nature of the weapons that it’s willing to provide to Ukraine,” Scott Ritter, a veteran former US Marine Corps intelligence officer, UN weapons inspector, and military analyst, told Sputnik. “A year ago, the Biden administration was very reticent about providing certain categories of weapons out of fear to create the potential of an escalation between the United States, between NATO and Russia over Ukraine.

“The last thing the United States wanted, or so the Biden administration said, was a direct war with Russia.” “Today, all of those inhibitions seem to have been swept away. We see the United States providing M1 Abrams tanks. We see the United States authorizing the delivery of F-16 fighters. And now the United States is considering to provide Ukraine with the ATACMS long-range missile system or the guided multiple launch rocket system, a 45-mile range rocket system delivered by the HIMARS system that has extreme accuracy and could deliver cluster munitions. This, of course, follows on the heels of the decision by the Biden administration made earlier this year to provide Ukraine with the cluster variant of the 155-millimeter artillery shell,” Ritter said.

Desperation over sobering battlefield realities and a desire to “harm Russia,” rather than hopes that the new long-range weapons could turn the tide in the conflict, are the main motivators behind the Biden administration’s escalation strategy, the observer believes. “The Ukrainians, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, have suffered 71,000 casualties over the course of the last four months in a failed counteroffensive effort. And there’s nothing about the nature of these weapons that would improve Ukraine’s chances on the battlefield. These weapons that are being provided are being provided to provide Ukraine with the potential of doing harm to Russia. The ATACMS missiles being provided, simply put, to strike the Crimea Bridge, to destroy that bridge, to enable Ukraine to strike targets deep in the Russian rear area – airfields, command posts, logistics. This is a dramatic escalation of the conflict,” Ritter stressed.

“Why is the Biden administration doing this? Frankly speaking, it’s out of an act of desperation. Look, anybody who looks at the situation on the ground in Ukraine knows that Ukraine is losing, Russia is winning. And literally there’s nothing that can be done to prevent a Russian victory. The provision of ATACMS rockets, the GMLRS rocket system isn’t going to change the outcome on the battlefield. What it will do is provide Ukraine the opportunity to inflict more harm on Russia,” and that, Washington may be hoping, will put political pressure on Moscow domestically, the observer explained.

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“As late as 1957, “people from Africa were taken to Europe in cages… You can’t watch that without tears. Children sitting in cages, displayed for everyone to see..”

Africa Will Never Forget That The West Caged Its Children – Putin (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin remarked on Tuesday that African nations will always remember the dark chapter of Western colonial oppression when European powers trafficked children from the continent, putting them on display in cages. He also noted that these same countries are trying to push their former dominions into indentured servitude. Speaking at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Putin said he was sure it would not be too difficult for Russia to restore close relations with Africa to the level of the Soviet era when Moscow provided the continent with ample economic aid. The Russian leader argued that African countries remember Moscow’s help in the struggle for independence and that Moscow had never acted as a colonizer.

“Our cooperation has always been based on either mutual grounds or the desire to help,” he said. However, Putin noted that these countries remember not only Soviet aid but also Western ruthlessness. As late as 1957, “people from Africa were taken to Europe in cages… You can’t watch that without tears. Children sitting in cages, displayed for everyone to see,” Putin recalled. “No one in Africa will ever forget it.” The Russian president said the West has not abandoned its subjugation attempts. “Even now, they are trying to boss around and pursue their generally neo-colonial policies,” Putin said, explaining that Western countries have imposed trillions of dollars worth of loans on the region. The West has concocted a credit system with African countries which “by definition… does not allow them to pay back their loans. These are not credit relations; this is some kind of [punitive] indemnity,” he added.

However, Russia adheres to a different approach, which gives it an advantage in fostering ties with its partners worldwide, Putin argued. Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointed out that African countries are ready to talk with their Western counterparts. However, the latter should not expect spectacular results if they reduce dialogue to “patting on the back” while failing to address the continent’s “pressing needs.” To foster closer ties with the region, Russia hosted a landmark Russia-Africa forum in St. Petersburg this summer that produced many bilateral agreements in various fields. Dozens of African delegations also attended it despite what Moscow described as “unprecedented pressure from the West” to skip the summit.

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Poland is one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters. But it won’t kill its own farmers.

Kiev Reiterates Grain Threat To Poland (RT)

Kiev does not want to harm Polish farmers, but it will lobby for its right to export grain into the EU nation under World Trade Organization rules, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal has declared. On Tuesday, the chair of the Ukrainian government reiterated Kiev’s warning that it would seek arbitration if Poland maintained a ban on imports. The current temporary restriction, which was imposed by the EU in May, is set to expire on Friday. “We have no intention of harming Polish farmers,” he stated on X (formerly Twitter). Warsaw’s stated policy of keeping the ban in place would be a “violation of trade law in the interest of political populism before the elections,” he added. Poland is set to hold a general election in October, with the ruling Law and Justice party seeking a third term at the helm.

Earlier in the day, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki pledged to make sure that Ukrainian grain would not “flood” his nation, causing distress to local producers. That will be the case regardless of what the EU decides, he assured. When asked about Shmygal’s remark by local media outlets, government spokesman Piotr Muller said Warsaw would maintain the embargo at the national level if its appeal to the EU to renew the ban failed. The Polish government adopted a formal message to the European Commission arguing its case on Tuesday. Brussels’ ban had de facto legitimized prohibitions imposed nationally by Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia. Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania have said they intend to reimpose national bans if the EU prohibition expires.

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Do your homework first?!

Pocahontas Threatens Musk With Investigation For Blocking Ukrainian Attack (RT)

US Senator Elizabeth Warren has called on Congress to investigate Elon Musk over his refusal to enable a Ukrainian drone attack on the Russian naval fleet in Crimea. Despite condemnation in Washington, Musk has defended his decision to cut satellite service to the Ukrainian military. “The Congress needs to investigate what’s happened here and whether we have adequate tools to make sure foreign policy is conducted by the government and not by one billionaire,” Warren told reporters at the US Capitol on Monday. Musk and other Big Tech CEOs are due to meet with US lawmakers to discuss artificial intelligence on Wednesday. However, the subject of the hearing has been overshadowed by news that Musk intervened last year to prevent six Ukrainian naval drones from hitting Russian ships at the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

The Ukrainian military had been using SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service for communications and guidance since the beginning of the conflict with Russia. When Musk learned that the drones were en route to Sevastopol, he ordered SpaceX engineers to shut down the service within 100km of the Russian peninsula, CNN reported on Thursday, quoting an upcoming biography of the billionaire. As a result, the drones “lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly,” the report claimed. Ukrainian Digital Transformation Minister Mikhail Fedorov then begged Musk to turn the signal back on via text messages, but Musk refused.

“If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation,” the billionaire explained last week, adding that he never allowed the service to be activated near Crimea in the first place. Musk’s explanation caused outrage in Kiev, with President Vladimir Zelensky’s top aide accusing the SpaceX CEO of “committing evil.” In the US, CNN anchor Jake Tapper argued on Sunday that Musk had “effectively sabotaged” an American ally, and asked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken if he should face “repercussions” for thwarting the attack.

Blinken refused to condemn Musk, but several members of Congress have spoken out against the billionaire. Musk “cannot have the last word when it comes to national security,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed told reporters on Monday. At the time of the thwarted attack, Musk was bankrolling Ukraine’s access to the Starlink network. The Pentagon has since stepped in to partly fund the program, and Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said on Monday that future contracts between the military and private firms like SpaceX will likely include “assurances” that these technologies can be used for offensive purposes.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1701424181580124577

Elon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1701648627297362426

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”..Nuland’s words showed that this was “no longer about Ukraine,” but about “an undeclared hot war with Russia.”

Nuland: US ‘Supports’ Ukraine Targeting ‘Russia’s Most Precious Assets’ (Sp.)

US Acting Deputy Secretary of State and Russophobic hawk Victoria Nuland appears to have let slip that the Biden administration supports Ukraine’s strikes targeting Russian territory. In a video clip circulating on social media, Nuland, who just recently visited Ukraine’s capital, can be heard saying that one “axis” of Washington’s strategy in it proxy war with Moscow in Ukraine is to “put some of Russia’s most precious assets at risk.” This comes amid reports that Washington will be sending long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to the Kiev regime. However, earlier in September, a Pentagon official told Sputnik no decision had been made to supply Ukraine with ATACMS.

According to US media, the Defense Department has warned that its own ATACMS arsenal is relatively small, and the missiles are already deployed to other areas, such as the Korean Peninsula, and therefore their transfer to Ukraine would jeopardize US combat readiness in other regions. In response to the clip on social media, users commented that Victoria Nuland appeared intent on unleashing a “nuclear war” – something that the career civil servant along with US President Joe Biden and senior White House and State Department officials have been repeatedly accused of. Netizens remarked that Washington has “never shown willingness to talk meaningfully with Moscow,” and warned that Nuland’s words showed that this was “no longer about Ukraine,” but about “an undeclared hot war with Russia.”

Others on social media recalled Nuland’s role in the 2014 coup in Ukraine, when the country’s democratically elected government collapsed, and a pro-Western regime was installed. Then-Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland is remembered for strolling the streets of Kiev with Geoffrey Pyatt, the then-US ambassador, handing out free cookies. Later, in February 2014, on the eve of the Euromaidan coup, in a telephone conversation she famously quipped, as per a leaked call, “Yats is the guy!” referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a politician who got less than seven percent of the vote in the 2010 Ukrainian presidential election, but would be selected as the first prime minister of the post-coup government.

Nuland has been one of the most avid proponents of Kiev massively hitting Russian military installations in Crimea, considering them to be legitimate targets, as per her remarks on February 16, 2023. Crimea became a Russian region after a referendum was held there in March 2014 following a coup in Ukraine. The Russian leadership has repeatedly stated that Crimean residents democratically, in full compliance with international law and the UN Charter, voted for reunification with Russia. Furthermore, the United States considers it important to provide Kiev with the military “of the future,” Nuland had said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank.

In response, Igor Girenko, press secretary of the Russian embassy in the US, said Nuland’s comment that the United States supports Ukraine targeting Russian military installations in Crimea shows Washington’s direct involvement in the Ukraine conflict. After both Washington and London agreed to supply the Zelensky regime with longer-range missiles, they claimed that Kiev had promised not to attack Russian soil with them. However, as Kiev’s counteroffensive falters, the risk of a “desperation” attack outside the Donbass is growing, pundits told Sputnik.

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“..intended to serve as psychological crutch and do not pose a meaningful military intiative.”

Ukraine Missile Attack in Sevastopol Leaves 24 People Injured (Sp.)

Russian air defenses repelled an overnight attack by the Ukrainian armed forces on the city of Sevastopol in Crimea, Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said early Wednesday. Razvozhayev indicated that he is on scene near the area where a fire broke out in the city’s industrial district, detailing that operational services were on site at the Sevastopol shipyard. The governor added that 24 people sustained injuries as a result of the missile strike, four of whom were identified as being in “moderate condition.” The Sevastopol official further said there is no threat to civilian facilities as a result of the fire. The situation in the air continues to be monitored as all operational services remain on standby, he went on to underscore.

A subsequent release issued by the Russian Ministry of Defense stated the overnight strike by the Kiev regime included the use of 10 cruise missile and three drone boats. “Tonight, the Ukrainian armed forces conducted a strike against the shipyard named after Ordzhonikidze in the city of Sevastopol using 10 cruise missiles and attacked a group of ships of the Black Sea Fleet during the movement in the sea using drone boats,” the ministry said. “Air defenses destroyed seven cruise missiles, and the Vasily Bykov patrol ship destroyed all drone boats. As a result of cruise missiles hitting the shipyard, two ships, which were in repair, were damaged.”

Over the last several months, Ukraine has repeatedly carried out drones strikes against Russian territory, more recently in the face of its failed counteroffensive. The Russian government has referred to the repeat drone attacks as a “nuisance” as experts have stressed that such efforts are intended to serve as psychological crutch and do not pose a meaningful military intiative.

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“The CIA bribing CIA officers to hide the CIA’s work on COVID is simply the most CIA thing you’ll ever hear!”

CIA Bribed Analysts To Change Wuhan Lab-Leak Conclusions (ZH)

A ‘senior-level’ CIA whistleblower has come forward to allege that the agency bribed analysts to change their opinion that Covid-19 most likely originated in a lab in Wuhan, China, according to the NY Post. The whistleblower told House committee leaders that his agency ‘ tried to pay off six analysts who found SARS-CoV-2 likely originated in a Wuhan lab if they changed their position and said the virus jumped from animals to humans,’ according to a Tuesday letter from the chairmen of two House subcommittees investigating the pandemic response and US intelligence, Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) and Mike Turner (R-OH). The pair have requested all documents, communications and pay info from the CIA’s Covid-19 Discovery Team by Sept. 26.

“According to the whistleblower, at the end of its review, six of the seven members of the Team believed the intelligence and science were sufficient to make a low confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” reads the letter from the House panel chairmen. “The seventh member of the Team, who also happened to be the most senior, was the lone officer to believe COVID-19 originated through zoonosis. “The whistleblower further contends that to come to the eventual public determination of uncertainty, the other six members were given a significant monetary incentive to change their position,” the letters continue, adding that the analysts were “experienced officers with significant scientific expertise.”

Wenstrup and Turner also asked for documents and communications between the CIA and other federal agencies, including the State Department, FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Energy Department. In a separate letter, the House committee leaders identified former CIA Chief Operating Officer Andrew Makridis as having “played a central role” in the COVID investigation and asked him to sit for a transcribed interview. -NY Post In June, the US Intelligence Community declassified a 10-page report on COVID origins, in which it found “biosafety concerns” and “genetic engineering” taking place in Wuhan, but that most of its “agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not genetically engineered.”

As the Post points out, however, several scientists at the WIV fell ill in late 2019 with symptoms “consistent with but not diagnostic of COVID-19,” according to the intelligence report, which concluded that the CIA and another intelligence agency “remain unable to determine the precise origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, as both hypotheses rely on significant assumptions or face challenges with conflicting reporting.” ot all former US intelligence officials agree with the declassified report – such as former DNI John Ratcliffe, who told Congress that the “lab leak theory” was the “only” credible explanation for the pandemic. “My informed assessment as a person with as much access as anyone to our government’s intelligence … has been and continues to be that a lab leak is the only explanation credibly supported by our intelligence, by science and by common sense,” he told the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic in a hearing.

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Why only France? Why only Apple?

France Bans iPhone Over Radiation Concerns (RT)

Apple must withdraw all iPhone 12 models from the French market immediately, the National Frequency Agency (ANFR) announced on Tuesday, accusing the popular smartphone of emitting far more electromagnetic radiation than European Union regulations allow. “The ANFR expects Apple to deploy all available means to put an end to the non-compliance. Failure to act will result in the recall of equipment that has already been made available to consumers,” the agency said. According to the regulator, tests at an accredited laboratory revealed that the phone exceeded the specific absorption rate (SAR) value mandated by the EU, which is four watts-per-kilogram (W/kg), when held in hand or in a trouser pocket. The “body” SAR, when the phone is in a jacket pocket or a bag at least 5mm away, was within the 2 W/kg limit, however.

Apple must immediately stop the sale of iPhone 12 models and get ANFR approval if it makes updates to them to ensure compliance, the regulator added. ANFR inspectors have been authorized to check “all distribution channels in France” for the banned device, starting Tuesday. The iPhone 12 was introduced in October 2020 and has continued to be popular due to a lower price point than the subsequent models. Apple says the model has a SAR of 0.99 W/kg when measured by the EU standard. Earlier on Tuesday, the California-based Apple announced the iPhone 15 line of devices, featuring the USB-C connector in order to comply with an EU mandate adopted in 2022.

The US Federal Communications Commission has yet to comment on the French announcement. The FCC has a SAR limit of 1.6 W/kg. sFrance’s radiation crackdown comes after several months of bad news for Apple. Last week it was reported that China has banned government employees from bringing iPhones or any other foreign devices into the office or using them for work purposes. Russian officials were advised to stop using iPhones in July, while the state military industry banned them outright, citing security concerns. Later that month, a class action suit in the UK accused the US-based company of monopolistic behavior regarding fees charged by the app store.

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“..absent Ukraine, Russia would never become the heartland power; but with Ukraine, Russia can and would..”

The Mackinder Strategic ‘Bible’ Reconsidered (Crooke)

In 1997, Zbig Brzezinski, the original ‘driver’ behind the making of Afghanistan as a quagmire of ‘mud’ into which Russia was to be dragged, wrote his celebrated book, The Grand Chessboard. It was a work that ‘forever’ embedded the Mackinder doctrine of ‘he who controls the Asian heartland controls the world’ into the U.S. zeitgeist. Tellingly, its subtitle was American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Brzezinski had already written in his book that absent Ukraine, Russia would never become the heartland power; but with Ukraine, Russia can and would. Thus, Mackinder’s doctrine, ‘He who controls the heartland’ dictum, was codified into U.S. ‘cannon law’ – never to permit a united heartland. And Ukraine became seen as the hinge around which heartland power revolved.

Brzezinski further ordained that this ‘Grand Game of Chess’ was to be one of pure U.S. primacy: “No, no one else plays”, he insisted; it is a game purely for one. Once a chess piece is moved; ‘we’ (the U.S.) simply turn the board the other way around – and move the other side’s chess pieces (for ‘them’). There is ‘no other’ in this game”, Brzezinski warned. This is today’s dilemma – It is so long since Brzezinski originally formulated the Mackinder notion, that classical diplomacy has become etiolated. It was Henry Kissinger however, that gave Mackinder its celebrated twist: ‘He who controls money controls the world’ was to become the dollar and banking financialised hegemony. But, Kissinger, in this, was wrong from the ‘get go’. It always has been: ‘He who has manufacturing capacity, raw materials, food, energy (human as well as fossil) and sound money can change the world’.

But Kissinger simply ignored those adjunct conditions, and based the U.S. instead in the creation of a global ‘spider’s web of weaponised dollars (touch it, and the sanctions gossamer poisons you). Additionally, this system was multiplied through Wall Street parsing out access to trillions in newly created money only to the compliant. Kissinger did, however, evolve the doctrine of ‘triangulation’ in a nod to Mackinder: The U.S. should seek to ally with either Russia versus China, or be with China, in opposition to Russia. But never to let China and Russia conjoin against the West. The heartland must always be fractured. These ‘rules’ are imprinted on Washington’s mental circuits. Yet the notions that underpin them have little validity today. Land mass, militarised states (heartland Asia) versus the naval powers (the Atlanticists) hardly reflects today’s more abstract instruments of power.

[..] The present conflict in Ukraine has underlined the deficiencies in hegemonic power that specifically arise from a neglected manufacturing base. Mackinder, were he here today, might thus need to adjust his model, distinguishing between the land that is ‘outside’ the one set of economic policies (the BRICS-led Asian, African and global Southern bloc), and that which is ‘inside’: i.e. within a ‘coastal’ debt-led, consumerist paradigm.

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Fluoride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 062023
 
 July 6, 2023  Posted by at 9:17 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Nicolai Dubovskov Hushing (Calm Before the Storm) 1890

 

NATO Contingent May Be Deployed To Ukraine After Vilnius Summit (TASS)
French General Forecasts Failure Of Ukrainian Counteroffensive (TASS)
White House Issues NATO Warning To Ukraine (RT)
The CIA’s Blind Spot about the Ukraine War (Arkin)
Kremlin Wars Of ‘High Threat’ Of Nuclear Sabotage By Ukraine (RT)
Russians Increasingly Believe West Wants To Destroy Their Country (Timofeev)
Medvedev Names How Ukraine Conflict Could ‘End In Days’ (RT)
China Doubted We Shot Down Hypersonic Missiles – Kiev (RT)
Kremlin Denies Media Report That Xi Warned Putin Not To Nuke Ukraine (RT)
Germany Concerned About Western Escalations in Ukraine (LI)
Federal Judge Rules Against Biden Admin Attack on Free Speech (Ramos)
China Warns Chipmaking Export Curbs ‘Just The Beginning’ (RT)
Culprit Who Brought Cocaine to White House May Never Be ID’d (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Grossi

 

 

Biden RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676632549806731265

 

 

Censorship
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676625507167657984

 

 

Arestovich
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676660447146131456

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..NATO countries “will find in the days remaining before the summit the wording that will not disappoint Ukraine..”

NATO Contingent May Be Deployed To Ukraine After Vilnius Summit (TASS)

A NATO contingent may be deployed to Ukraine after the alliance’s summit due to be held in Vilnius on July 11-12, Vladimir Rogov, leader of the We Are Together With Russia movement, told TASS on Thursday. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said earlier that Ukraine would not receive an invitation to join the alliance at the summit in Vilnius, but NATO countries “will find in the days remaining before the summit the wording that will not disappoint Ukraine” and it would not be a mere pledge to admit it to the bloc after the combat operations are over.

“Zelensky’s plans include a nuclear false flag attack to try to push through a NATO summit decision to deploy a limited contingent of occupational forces from Poland and the Baltic republics. It will be the legalization of the occupation in a format of ensuring nuclear security on the territory controlled by the Zelensky regime. Such a formula is being looked at the [Ukrainian] presidential office,” Rogov said. As for territories where such a contingent can be deployed to, Rogov noted that Poland is interested in Western Ukrainian regions. Ahead of the NATO summit, Kiev has intensified rhetoric about its striving to join NATO. However, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that Ukraine cannot join the alliance as long as it is in a state of an armed conflict.

According to the NATO chief, the Vilnius summit will bring Ukraine closer to the alliance and it plans to set up a Ukraine-NATO Council during the summit. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said that the non-invitation to join NATO demotivates the Ukrainian army. His office warned that Zelensky would not go to the summit if the NATO leaders “don’t demonstrate courage” on the issue of Ukraine’s membership. Meanwhile, Russian presidential press secretary said earlier that Kiev’s striving for NATO membership demonstrate its unwillingness and inability to settle the conflict at the negotiating table. He stressed that Russia will continue efforts to ensure its security, which excludes NATO’s expansion by means of admitting Ukraine and thus approaching the Russian border.

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“Ukraine’s greatest vulnerability is its people, or rather a lack of them. Its best fighters have long been dead.”

French General Forecasts Failure Of Ukrainian Counteroffensive (TASS)

Ukraine’s counteroffensive is doomed to fail as the Russian military has the edge over its adversary in all respects, Jean-Bernard Pinatel, a retired French general and the owner of the company called LexisNexis Business Information Solutions, said in a video interview provided to TASS. “I absolutely do not believe in the success of the Ukrainian counteroffensive. The Russians have a significant air superiority. But they also have an advantage on the ground. Even the Ukrainians themselves admit that they fire 4,000 shells a day, while Russia fires 20,000,” said Pinatel, who specializes in Russia and the Middle East. The general also said that the ratio of losses in equipment and personnel is 5 to 1 in favor of Russia. According to Pinatel, the Kiev regime is severely hampered by its lack of human resources.

“What we are witnessing today is a confrontation between a nuclear power and a country that, of course, is sponsored by the Anglo-Saxons, but which does not have significant technical and human potential,” he said. “And I don’t think that the biggest disadvantage Ukraine faces is so much the amount of military equipment, which, by the way, is not always of high quality, because the West supplies Kiev with outdated equipment. Ukraine’s greatest vulnerability is its people, or rather a lack of them. Its best fighters have long been dead.” The general said he believes that, provided NATO doesn’t directly step into the conflict, Kiev’s defeat is only a matter of time. The West’s policy of prolonging the Ukrainian conflict “is only leading to more casualties,” Pinatel said. “Conversations about helping Ukraine until it wins are completely stupid and nonsensical. It will achieve nothing and will only increase the number of deaths among young Ukrainians and Russians,” he said. However, the US and Europe do not care, the retired French general said, because their main goal is not the victory of Ukraine, but the weakening of Russia. Western sanctions, according to Pinatel, have done the most damage to Europe itself.

“Europe cannot do without Russian gas,” he pointed out. “The global gas market, the European market in particular, cannot do without Russian supplies. Before the crisis, Europe used to consume 200 billion cubic meters of Russian gas, while North America supplied only 2 billion. Who are you going to replace Russia with?” Europe is now facing an economic crisis, the general said. “By the winter of 2022, Germany had managed to fill its gas storage facilities, which lasted it through the cold season, but it will not be enough for the next year,” he said. “And many German companies have already closed their doors because of high gas prices. If Germany goes into recession, all of Europe, and France in particular, will be in trouble, because the Germans are our main economic partners.” Russia, on the contrary, is flourishing and developing economically, working hand in hand with Africa and Asia and developing partnerships, according to Pintel.

“This is because Russia is independent of the rest of the world in every way, be it raw materials, grain or energy, but the capitalist world cannot do without the resources supplied by Russia,” he explained. “This war has weakened Europe more than Russia.” European leaders, the retired general went on to say, expected “the whole world to impose sanctions against Russia, but in reality, only about thirty countries have done so, and all the rest are using this opportunity to strengthen the partnership with Moscow.” He said strife is rampant in the bloc of countries that have joined forces against Russia. “The Americans undoubtedly want to hobble economic cooperation between Europe and Russia, which would take away their domination on the international stage. The US strategy is to create a new Berlin Wall between Russia and Europe, but now that wall runs through Ukraine,” Pinatel said.

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Cold feet?

White House Issues NATO Warning To Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine must implement “reforms” before it can even consider joining the NATO bloc, the White House has said, suggesting that even when the conflict with Moscow is resolved, membership for Kiev could still be far off as it struggles to meet the organization’s standards. Asked whether Ukraine would be offered a “clear pathway to NATO membership” at an upcoming summit in Lithuania next week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that Kiev still had many hurdles to clear before it could seriously think about becoming a member. “The president has said this over and over again: Ukraine would have to make reforms to meet the same standards as any NATO country before they join,” she said at a Wednesday briefing.

And while Washington remains committed to NATO’s open door policy, she noted that “any decision” on NATO expansion must be supported by all members of the bloc. While Jean-Pierre did not specify the reforms Kiev would need to make, Biden previously stated that the military bloc would not “create special conditions for Ukraine to join,” arguing it would be required to meet the same criteria as any other nation seeking membership. “I think they have done everything to demonstrate the ability [of] military coordination, but there is a whole question, is their system safe, and is it not corrupt?” the president said last month. He went on to ask whether it meets “all the standards that any other country in NATO meets?”

Despite those prior comments, during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg last month, the two leaders reportedly discussed a scheme to simplify the accession process for Ukraine. Under Stoltenberg’s plan, the country would not be made to complete a “membership action plan” typically required of applicants. While other Eastern European states went through the procedure before being admitted, NATO’s most recent member, Finland, was spared the process after applying to join last year. Multiple US media reports have stated that Biden appeared “open” to the idea, though some outlets, like the New York Times, suggested Washington would seek an alternative to full NATO membership for Kiev, instead proposing an ‘Israel model’ based on the US relationship with the Jewish state.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has opposed any “substitute for NATO” and reportedly even told Western partners at some point that he would not attend the upcoming NATO summit unless the bloc offered “concrete” guarantees or a roadmap to full membership. NATO’s official position on Ukrainian membership remains unchanged since 2008, when it declared that Ukraine “will become a member” at an unspecified point in the future. While Kiev formally applied to join last September, little progress has been made since. Some US and allied officials have suggested the issue should be resolved only after the conflict with Russia is over, as Ukraine joining NATO would place the bloc at war with Russia. Moscow has repeatedly said that it views NATO’s expansions to the east as a threat to its security, and has listed Ukraine’s neutrality as one of the conditions for any lasting peace between the two countries.

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Newsweek.

“Is the CIA on the ground inside Ukraine?” he asks rhetorically. “Yes, but it’s also not nefarious.”

The CIA’s Blind Spot about the Ukraine War (Arkin)

One of the biggest secrets of the Ukraine war is how much the CIA doesn’t know. The Agency is as uncertain about Volodymyr Zelensky’s thinking and intentions as it is about Vladimir Putin’s. And as the Russian leader faces his biggest challenge in the aftermath of a failed mutiny, the Agency is straining to understand what the two sides will do—because President Joe Biden has determined that the United States (and Kyiv) will not undertake any actions that might threaten Russia itself or the survival of the Russian state, lest Putin escalate the conflict and engulf all of Europe in a new World War. In exchange, it expects that the Kremlin won’t escalate the war beyond Ukraine or resort to the use of nuclear weapons. America’s stance is under threat because the near-mutiny by Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group, raises the question as to whether Moscow has run out of options.

“Putin’s back is really against the wall” a senior defense intelligence official tells Newsweek, warning that while the CIA fully grasps how much Russia is stuck in Ukraine, it is very much in the dark with regard to what Putin might do about it. With talk of Russian nuclear weapons possibly being deployed to Belarus, and in light of Prigozhin’s public exposure of the terrible costs of fighting, something that Moscow has suppressed, the official says that it is a particularly delicate moment. “What is happening off the battlefield is now most important,” says the official, who was granted anonymity in order to speak candidly. “Both sides pledge to limit their actions, but it falls to the United States to enforce those pledges. This all hinges on the quality of our intelligence.”

“There is a clandestine war, with clandestine rules, underlying all of what is going on in Ukraine,” says a Biden administration senior intelligence official who also spoke with Newsweek. The official, who is directly involved in Ukraine policy planning, requested anonymity to discuss highly classified matters. The official (and numerous other national security officials who spoke to Newsweek) say that Washington and Moscow have decades of experience crafting these clandestine rules, necessitating that the CIA play an outsize role: as primary spy, as negotiator, as supplier of intelligence, as logistician, as wrangler of a network of sensitive NATO relations and perhaps most important of all, as the agency trying to ensure the war does not further spin out of control.

“Don’t underestimate the Biden administration’s priority to keep Americans out of harm’s way and reassure Russia that it doesn’t need to escalate,” the senior intelligence officer says. “Is the CIA on the ground inside Ukraine?” he asks rhetorically. “Yes, but it’s also not nefarious.”

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The threat is still alive.

Kremlin Wars Of ‘High Threat’ Of Nuclear Sabotage By Ukraine (RT)

A possible Ukrainian attempt to sabotage the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in Russia’s Zaporozhye Region would lead to “catastrophic” results, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has claimed. The situation around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian control since March 2022, remains “tense,” Peskov told journalists on Wednesday. “Really, there’s a high threat of sabotage by the Kiev regime; sabotage that might lead to catastrophic results,” Peskov warned. According to the spokesman, an attack on the facility cannot be ruled out because the Ukrainian leadership “has many times shown its readiness to stop at nothing” to achieve its goals. Peskov said one example was the collapse of the Russian-controlled Kakhovka dam in early June, which Moscow has blamed on Kiev. The incident had “horrific consequences,” the Kremlin spokesman noted.

The destruction of the dam led to flooding on both banks of the Dnieper River and caused multiple deaths. Ukraine has claimed that the incident was caused by Russia. “All measures are being implemented to resist the threat [to the Zaporozhye nuclear plant],” Peskov added. Renat Karchaa, a senior official at Russian nuclear power plant operator Rosenergoatom, warned on Tuesday that Kiev was planning to strike the Zaporozhye facility with long-range high-precision munitions and kamikaze drones. Intelligence obtained by Rosenergoatom suggests that Kiev could also attempt to target the plant with a Soviet-made Tochka-U tactical ballistic missile loaded with radioactive waste, Karchaa claimed. Moscow and Kiev have repeatedly accused each other of shelling the Zaporozhye plant throughout their conflict.

The Russian Defense Ministry also claimed to have repelled several attempts to retake the station by Ukrainian assault units, which reportedly approached the facility on boats via the now-drained Kakhovka reservoir. The Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant has returned to the spotlight in recent weeks after senior officials in Kiev claimed that Russia was preparing a nuclear incident at the facility. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky alleged that Moscow wanted to cause a “radiation leak” at the plant, while presidential aide Mikhail Podoliak accused the Russian military of mining the plant’s cooling pond. Peskov previously rejected those claims as “yet another lie.” The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, recently visited the facility and said that “no mines were observed at the site” during his inspection.

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“The goals are believed to be defeating Russia, wrecking its military potential, restructuring its statehood, reshaping its identity and possibly eliminating it as a state, in its current form..”

Russians Increasingly Believe West Wants To Destroy Their Country (Timofeev)

There is an increasingly widespread view in Russia that the goal of the US – and the “collective West” it leads – is to achieve a “final solution” to the “Russian question.” The goals are believed to be defeating Russia, wrecking its military potential, restructuring its statehood, reshaping its identity and possibly eliminating it as a state, in its current form. For a long time, this view remained on the periphery of foreign policy thinking. However, much has changed in the past year and a half. Today, this perception of the West’s goals has gone mainstream. Indeed, it seems quite rational, when placed into the proper context. Meanwhile, Russia itself is pursuing a similar sort of policy towards the Ukrainian state, the existence of which in its former form and borders is perceived in Moscow as a key security challenge.

The historical experience of the last century shows that inflicting total defeat on an enemy and then rebuilding its statehood is the rule rather than the exception in foreign policy practice. There is an important difference to the conflicts of the 18th and 19th centuries, when military defeat of the enemy was seen as a way of extracting concessions from it, but not of rebuilding its very foundations. The experiences of the 20th and 21st centuries are not always linear, but their repetition is obvious. Germany’s defeat in the First World War led to a palpable reshaping of its statehood, determined more by internal contradictions, which grew from the military loss. Germany’s surrender after the Second World War had far more radical consequences. The country was divided, stripped of its foreign policy autonomy and almost completely rebuilt.

Military defeat and subsequent occupation also led to the reformatting of the other large powers, Japan and Italy. The Soviet Union, as a victorious country, was a key player in resolving the “German question.” The USSR was also active in establishing socialist regimes in countries liberated from the Nazi occupation. The subsequent Cold War made this redrawing more difficult. Every attempt was met with resistance from the West. Sometimes the battle ended in a draw, as in Korea. Sometimes the Soviet Union got the upper hand – it helped to inflict a painful defeat on the US in Vietnam, for example. In other situations, the US was successful, for example in supporting anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan. The collapse of the Soviet Union gave Washington a free hand. Despite Moscow’s rhetoric that the Cold War had ended in victory for both sides, the reality was different.

Many of the former socialist countries were quickly integrated into Euro-Atlantic structures with the active help of new local elites and broad public support. Russia itself loudly proclaimed a desire to return to the ‘civilized world.’ The US-led collective West was given carte blanche to reshape a vast area, which they not unreasonably saw as a result of their bloodless victory over the Soviet Union.

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“..if Washington and its allies stopped the deliveries..”

Medvedev Names How Ukraine Conflict Could ‘End In Days’ (RT)

The ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev has been dragging on for so long because of continued Western arms shipments to Ukraine, Russian former president Dmitry Medvedev told TASS on Wednesday. “If NATO, primarily the US and its vassals, had stopped supplying weapons and munitions to Ukraine, the [Russian] special military operation would have ended in mere months,” Medvedev told the news agency. It can still end “in days,” however, if Washington and its allies stopped the deliveries, he added. Medvedev said that any war, regardless of its scale, could end “very quickly … if a peace treaty is signed or if one does what the Americans did in 1945, by using their nuclear weapons and bombing Japanese cities.” The US strikes did stop hostilities at the time, though he noted that “the price was 300,000 civilian lives.”


The US nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki claimed up to 80,000 lives each. The long-term consequences of the attacks, including radioactive contamination, might have brought the estimated number of victims up to 166,000 in Hiroshima and 140,000 in Nagasaki. Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy head of the Russian Security Council, warned that Russia would prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, even if it meant engaging in a “permanent” conflict. Moscow has demanded its security concerns be respected when it comes to NATO expansion, he said, adding that “Russia’s existence is at stake” and it would not hesitate to stop this threat “one way or another.” The former president also spoke against US nuclear weapons deployment to Poland, warning that it could trigger a nuclear conflict. Earlier, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called on NATO to include Warsaw in the bloc’s Nuclear Sharing Program.

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Not just China.

China Doubted We Shot Down Hypersonic Missiles – Kiev (RT)

When Kiev announced shooting down a Russian hypersonic missile, people in Washington were exhilarated, but a visiting Chinese official didn’t believe the claim and left before he could be shown proof, according to Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov. The reactions were described by The Financial Times on Wednesday, based on the minister’s account. Reznikov’s department claimed it had intercepted a Russian Kinzhal missile for the first time in May, using a US-made Patriot anti-missile system. Kiev has since reported downing over a dozen such weapons, which Moscow mocked as not corresponding to reality. The Ukrainian official declared that his nation had proven that hypersonic weapons can be defended against, showcasing in the process the advanced capability of NATO systems.

He claimed that when he delivered the news of the first success to a US official, the response was: “Fantastic!” But Li Hui, China’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, who was visiting Kiev in mid-May, was skeptical about Kiev’s ability to down Kinzhals, Reznikov explained. “I proposed that if there are doubts, we are ready to provide proof,” Reznikov told the newspaper, adding that Li left the country without viewing the purported evidence. The Kinzhal is an air-launched hypersonic missile, which is believed to be derived from the quasi-ballistic ground-launched Iskander projectile. The Russian forces have used both types of weapons against military targets in Ukraine, though details about hypersonic strikes have been scarce.

In May, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said the number of Kinzhal missiles, which Kiev claimed to have intercepted, was larger than the number actually fired by the Russian side. Some military experts have suggested that Ukrainian officials were misrepresenting debris from Iskander missiles as coming from Kinzhals, when presenting them as evidence of successful intercepts. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has claimed that the Patriot system’s capability made it uniquely important for his country’s defense. He told The Wall Street Journal last month that Ukraine needed 50 batteries – which cost an estimated $1.1 billion apiece – for sufficient protection.

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The FT publishes some weird pieces these days.

Kremlin Denies Media Report That Xi Warned Putin Not To Nuke Ukraine (RT)

The Kremlin has dismissed “fictitious” claims in the Western press that Chinese President Xi Jinping warned his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, not to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. The claim was reported by The Financial Times, based on anonymous diplomatic sources. “I cannot confirm that,” Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Wednesday, when asked about the FT article. He suggested that official statements regarding Xi’s “important” visit to Moscow in March were “sufficient” to make conclusions about its nature. According to FT, Chinese officials have “privately taken credit for convincing the Russian president to back down from his veiled threats of using a nuclear weapon against Ukraine.”

The newspaper alleged that “deterring Putin” from an atomic strike was a key part in Beijing’s diplomatic strategy regarding Europe. The Chinese government has blamed Western policies, including the expansion of NATO in Europe, for the Ukraine conflict, rejecting the Western view that Russia’s military operation was “unprovoked”. It has also publicly urged Moscow not to use its nuclear capability. The purported warning from Xi to Putin gave supporters of Kiev confidence that “China is backing up its public rhetoric behind closed doors,” the FT article said. Moscow has called the Ukraine conflict part of a wider Western proxy war waged against Russia. Putin, as well as other senior Russian officials, have repeatedly cited the Russian nuclear doctrine, which allows the use of such weapons to prevent an existential threat to the Russian state.

Western officials and media outlets have framed those remarks as indicating a possible nuclear attack against Ukrainian forces. However, Putin has stressed that he is against the idea of a limited nuclear strike for any purpose other than saving the nation from destruction.“First of all, we have no need for that. Second, the very speculation about this is a factor that lowers the threshold for the use of the weapon,” he explained during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum last month. The Russian leader added that his recent decision to station some Russian tactical weapons on the territory of ally Belarus was meant as deterrence against “those who think they can inflict a strategic defeat on us,” referring to the stated US goal in Ukraine.

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“..we were once again in agreement that the Alliance must never become a party to a conflict..”

Germany Concerned About Western Escalations in Ukraine (LI)

Top German officials have voiced anxiety regarding Western escalations in Ukraine, signaling that Berlin will push back against the most provocative proposals. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany was reluctant to send longer-range weapons to Ukraine over concerns the arms will be used to attack Russian territory. London has provided Kiev with Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missiles which have a range of more than 155 miles. According to recent reporting, the White House is also closing in on a decision to provide Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), munitions capable of striking targets roughly 200 miles away. Last month, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu warned the West that Ukraine using long-range weapons to attack the Crimean Peninsula could lead to a direct war between Moscow and NATO.

“The use of these missiles outside the zone of our special military operation would mean that the United States and Britain would be fully dragged into the conflict and would entail immediate strikes on decision-making centers in Ukraine,” he said. Berlin is now receiving requests from Kiev to provide Taurus KEPD 350 missiles, an air-launched missile with a range of over 300 miles. Scholz said Germany is considering the request. = Germany has faced intense pressure throughout the war due to Berlin’s occasional reluctance to provide Kiev with all requested aid. However, officials have repeatedly caved to Kiev’s demands. In one example, Germany resisted sending its Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, but quickly reversed course after Poland, the UK and the US pledged to send their own advanced tanks. Dozens of its Leopard 2s were ultimately provided.

Some of the German tanks have already been destroyed on the battlefield and Kiev is asking Berlin for replacements. Meanwhile, the American Abrams tanks have not yet arrived in the country due, in part, to a lengthy refurbishment process. Berlin has also pushed back on plans to give Ukraine an official timeline for NATO membership at an alliance summit in Vilnius next week. In an interview published in Rzeczpospolita on Monday, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said the military bloc could not resolve the issue until the conclusion of the war with Russia. “In my recent meetings with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, we were once again in agreement that the Alliance must never become a party to a conflict,” he said. “Therefore, we will not be able to answer the question of Ukraine’s accession to NATO as long as the war continues in Ukraine.” Pistorius went on to explain that Germany is committed to supporting Ukraine’s war effort for as long as the conflict continues, noting that Berlin would deliver dozens of older Leopard 1 tanks in the coming weeks.

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“..the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’”

Federal Judge Rules Against Biden Admin Attack on Free Speech (Ramos)

Judge Terry Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana ruled that several federal agencies and officials from the Biden administration cannot collaborate with social media companies in restricting certain speech. Doughty wrote in his introduction to the ruling, “If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history.” The ruling states officials and agencies from the Biden administration are restrained from communicating with social media firms “for the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech posted on social-media platforms.”

The ruling does not restrict the government from speaking to companies regarding criminal activity, national security threats, voter suppression, foreign attempts to influence elections and other malicious activity. The lawsuit brings up issues such as COVID-19 health policies, the origins of the pandemic, election security, Hunter Biden’s laptop and others as those targeted for suppression. Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey described the case as the “most important First Amendment lawsuit in a generation.” Doughty wrote in the ruling, “The Plaintiffs have presented substantial evidence in support of their claims that they were the victims of a far-reaching and widespread censorship campaign,” and, “This court finds that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their First Amendment free speech claim against the Defendants.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement, “The evidence in our case is shocking and offensive with senior federal officials deciding that they could dictate what Americans can and cannot say on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other platforms about COVID-19, elections, criticism of the government, and more.” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Director of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and other State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials were named in the injunction. Doughty also likened the evidence to a dystopian scenario. Specifically, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period perhaps best characterized by widespread doubt and uncertainty, the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’”

Biden Big Tech

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..gallium and germanium..

China Warns Chipmaking Export Curbs ‘Just The Beginning’ (RT)

China’s export controls on key components for computer chip manufacturing are “just the beginning,” an influential trade policy adviser warned on Wednesday. Earlier this week China announced that starting next month, special licenses will be required to export gallium and germanium, two key metals used to make computer chips. Speaking to the China Daily newspaper, former Vice Commerce Minister Wei Jianguo said that should Washington place tougher technology restrictions on Beijing, the government will escalate the countermeasures. The decision to restrict the export of industrial products and materials containing gallium and germanium was made after thoughtful consideration, he added. The comments follow a report by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that the US plans to restrict China’s access to cloud computing to close a loophole that allows Chinese artificial intelligence firms to bypass the current chip export control rules.


Cloud services allow customers to gain powerful computing capabilities without buying advanced equipment, such as chips. Washington and Beijing have been involved in a dispute over semiconductors and other advanced technologies for several months. Reuters reported in May that US officials were considering tightening a rule designed to slow the flow of artificial intelligence chips to China by clamping down on the amount of computing power the chips can have. Last October, Washington introduced export control rules, effectively cutting China off from certain semiconductor chips made with US equipment. China retaliated in May, by banning memory chips manufactured by Micron, the biggest US producer. This week, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for “stable and smooth functioning of regional and industrial supply chains” ahead of US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s visit to Beijing to discuss economic issues between the two nations.

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Ha ha ha. We have no idea!

Maybe Hunter can invite Zelensky for a slumber party.

Culprit Who Brought Cocaine to White House May Never Be ID’d (Sp.)

Sunday evening, a small baggie of white powder was found in the West Wing, prompting a brief shutdown of the White House campus. Preliminary tests determined the substance was cocaine, allowing the White House to be reopened and the bag shipped out for further analysis. As the US Secret Service undertakes its investigation into who brought a bag of cocaine to the White House, an unnamed law enforcement official has told US media the culprit may never be found. On Tuesday, lab results confirmed that the substance was cocaine. While the Secret Service and the White House have refused to say exactly where the baggie was found, both have said it was located at a heavily trafficked area. The Secret Service described it as a “work area of the West Wing” while White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said it was in an area frequented by guests and noted tours had taken place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“Where this was discovered is a heavily traveled area, where many […] West Wing visitors come through this particular area,” Jean-Pierre said during Wednesday’s White House briefing. “I just don’t have anything more to share, it is under investigation by the Secret Service, this is in their purview.” Jean-Pierre added the White House has “confidence the Secret Service will get to the bottom of this.” US media outlets have reported on an unnamed official familiar with the investigation who said it is possible the investigation may not discover who brought the illicit substance into the White House because of the area’s high traffic between government officials and tourists. “It’s gonna be very difficult for us to do that because of where it was,” the official reportedly said. The Secret Service said they are reviewing visitor logs and video cameras as part of the investigation. A reporter noted on Wednesday that the baggie remains at the lab for additional tests, including for fingerprints and DNA.

Jean-Pierre refused to answer a reporter’s question about whether US President Joe Biden wanted the culprit to be prosecuted if the investigation reveals the source of the cocaine. “I am just not going to get into hypotheticals from here, let’s let the Secret Service do their job, it’s under their purview,” she said. Biden and his family were not in the White House when the cocaine was discovered – that includes the president’s son Hunter Biden, who at the time was vacationing at Camp David with his father and first lady Jill Biden. However, Hunter Biden, who has a well-documented history of cocaine use, including multiple instances that were caught on video, was at the White House on Friday. At the Wednesday briefing, Jean-Pierre noted all visitors to the White House have to go through security checkpoints; however, she was not asked by reporters and did not clarify if that applies to members of the first family.

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Crowned pigeon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676578997411500034

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 032023
 


Henri Matisse The Dessert – Harmony in Red 1908

 

As France Rocked by Riots Again, Macron Looks Like ‘Spent Force’ (Sp.)
France To Shut Internet Services To Control Riots (R.)
Macron Asks Ministers to Restore Order in France (Sp.)
A Matryoshka of Psyops: General Armageddon Is Not Going Anywhere (Pepe Escobar)
Value of Wagner State Contracts Revealed By Russian Media (RT)
CIA Sees Ukraine Crisis As Unique ‘Opportunity’ (RT)
Ukrainian Commander Complains About French Tanks – AFP (RT)
Families Of Fallen Ukrainian Soldiers Demand More Cemeteries (RT)
US Congress May Need To Impeach Supreme Court Judges – AOC (RT)
Ukraine Could Become World’s First Cashless Economy – Official (RT)
Major Revaluation Of Gold & Precious Metals Is Imminent (Von Greyerz)
Nothing Can Stop Currency Crisis & War Crisis – David Morgan (USAW)
Jim Rogers: De-Dollarization Fuelled by Soaring US Debt (Sp.)

 

 

Happy birthday Julian

 

 

 

Caviezel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1675534694643904512

 

 

 

 

Tom Renz
https://twitter.com/i/status/1675189276995190784

 

 

Grossi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1675509498117586945

 

 

Vaccine, anyone?

 

 

Trump gender
https://twitter.com/i/status/1675403134133321728

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He still hasn’t declared a state of emergency.

As France Rocked by Riots Again, Macron Looks Like ‘Spent Force’ (Sp.)

France has already seen five consecutive nights of violence after the shooting of 17-year-old driver of Algerian descent Nahel Merzouk by a police officer. What do the immigrant riots mean for the country and Emmanuel Macron’s presidency? “Immigrant riots are an already old and frequent occurrence in France where a large legal and illegal population of mostly African and Near Eastern origin has not been successfully assimilated and does not regard itself as French,” Come Carpentier de Gourdon, geopolitical analyst and convener of the editorial board of World Affairs, told Sputnik. “The second or third-generation youth is troublesome, frustrated and aggressive as it has internalized grudges against the former colonizers and thinks it has a right to live by its own rules. Its educational level is generally low and work opportunities are few.”

“Drug dealing has become very prevalent in many low-income peripheral neighborhoods and brought much illegal wealth to the ring leaders of the local gangs (…) In one sentence, many of those immigrants belong to broken tribal societies where ethnic and religious solidarity is the main bond and where the values of civility and respect for a ‘foreign’ elected and bureaucratic state structure are largely meaningless.” Nahel Merzouk, the teenager of Algerian descent, was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop on June 27. As per the Daily Mail, the passenger who was with Nahel in the car at the time of the shooting, broke his silence on July 1, claiming that one of the police officers threatened the teenager and allegedly told him: “Don’t move or I’ll put a bullet in your head.” The passenger went on to claim that the second officer said: “Shoot him.” The first officer allegedly hit the teenager with the butt of his gun two times. After that Merzouk released the break and was then shot down.

The 38-year-old police officer who killed Merzouk has been put under investigation over charges of voluntary homicide. The policeman’s lawyer disputed claims that the officer had threatened to shoot the teenager in the head before firing. Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) subjected Paris to criticism, as Merzouk’s death became the third fatal shooting by law enforcement officers during traffic stops in France in 2023, and the 21st since 2020, according to the mainstream media. The teenager’s death became a pretext for nationwide protests. On July 1, around 45,000 French policemen were deployed throughout the country. The protests spilled over into Switzerland and Belgium. Over 100 rioters attacked shops and police officers Lausanne, while in Belgium’s capital Brussels, protests kicked off on 30 June and proceeded relatively peacefully.

Commenting on the unfolding havoc in France, leader of the right-wing French Reconquete party, Eric Zemmour, stated: “We are in the early stages of a civil war. This is an ethnic revolt…. The French are witnessing what it means to be the product of mad immigration.” “Police brutality is more of a pretext than a real cause for most rioters, despite real cases of abuse of power and unjustified violence,” said de Gourdon. “Lawbreakers of immigrant origin seek to use their identity to claim virtual immunity. They often refuse to obey police summons on the grounds that they are discriminated against and many threaten and insult the police. They thus put themselves in the situation of being suspects and dangerous and those who are law-abiding among them get painted with the same brush.”

If organized crime and drug-related gangs hijack the protests, it could pose a serious challenge to French national security, warned Paolo Raffone, a strategic analyst and director of the CIPI Foundation in Brussels. “The appearance in the riots of Kalashnikovs is not a good sign,” Raffone told Sputnik. “Many countries in Europe live under enormous economic distress that has left social scarfs and divide lines within the society. This situation is the result of the neoliberal privatization policies enforced by the EU and the governments over the past 30 years. After the terrorist legislation enacted in 2001 and the austerity policies after 2008, the pandemics and the central banks’ rise of interest rates to combat the inflation, the situation is generally steaming up in all European countries. Emulation processes may easily occur if triggered by an accident.”

 

 

GADDAFI (2011): “If instead of a stable government which guarantees security, these bands linked to bin Laden take control, the Africans will move in a mass towards Europe and the Mediterranean will become a sea of chaos.”

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How to get popular.

France To Shut Internet Services To Control Riots (R.)

The French government decided to shut down internet service in certain areas amid riots turned violent to prevent the spread of false information. Police officials quoting France Interior Ministry said the ban on social media is to secure the life and property of the citizens. The French Police said landline and mobile service will be restored. Rioting across France was less intense overnight, the interior ministry said on Sunday, as tens of thousands of police were deployed following the funeral of a teenager of North African descent whose shooting by police has sparked nationwide unrest. The government poured 45,000 police onto the streets to try to keep a lid on a fifth night of unrest after Saturday’s funeral of Nahel, a 17-year-old with Algerian and Moroccan parents, who was shot during a traffic stop on Tuesday in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.


Since then rioters have torched cars and looted stores, but also targeted town halls, police stations and schools – buildings that represent the French state. President Emmanuel Macron postponed a state visit to Germany that was due to have begun on Sunday to handle the worst crisis for his leadership since the “Yellow Vest” protests paralysed much of France in late 2018. He was due to meet his ministers on Sunday evening to review the situation, the presidency said, after the prime minister said on Friday the government’s “crisis unit” had been activated until further notice.

Cheap labor

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What can they do that he cannot?

Macron Asks Ministers to Restore Order in France (Sp.)

French President Emmanuel Macron, during a meeting with ministers on Sunday night, called on them to do everything possible to restore order in France amid ongoing unrest, local TV reported. Macron met with French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and several other ministers at the Elysee Palace on Sunday evening to discuss the situation in the country. A local TV channel cited participants in the meeting who said that Macron had asked the prime minister, the interior minister and the justice minister to continue doing everything possible to restore order in France. Macron also said that the French government must continue supporting law enforcement officers and members of special services who have been mobilized over the past five days.


A source told the channel that Macron was planning to receive more than 220 mayors of the communes affected by the riots at the Elysee Palace on Tuesday. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Friday that more than 45,000 law enforcement officers, including special units, were involved in the fight against riots in France, while over 300 police officers and gendarmes were wounded in the first three days of unrest in the country. France Info reported citing a government source on Saturday that French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne had urged all cabinet ministers to return to Paris and stay there amid ongoing unrest in the country. On Friday, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the French government to “seriously address the deep problems of racism and discrimination in law enforcement” after a 17-year-old was killed by police in France.

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“..there are no heavy weapons to be confiscated. Already on Monday, June 26, Wagner had moved their heavy weapons to Belarus..”

A Matryoshka of Psyops: General Armageddon Is Not Going Anywhere (Pepe Escobar)

To clear the fog, let’s start with a roundup of the usual “winner” suspects. First one is undoubtedly Belarus. Due to the priceless mediation of Old Man Luka, Minsk is now gifted with the most experienced army in the world: the Wagner musicians, masters of conventional (Libya, Ukraine) and non-conventional (Syria, Central African Republic) war. That is already inflicting the Fear of Hell in NATO, which is suddenly facing in its eastern flank a super pro army, very well equipped, and de facto uncontrollable, and on top of it hosted by a nation now equipped with nuclear weapons. Simultaneously, Russia props up dissuasion on its western front. Like clockwork that is leading NATOstan to invest in ballooning military budgets (with funds it doesn’t have). That process happens to be a key plank of Russian strategy since at least March 2018.

And as an extra bonus Russia creates a 24/7 threat to the whole of Kiev’s northern front. Not bad for a “mutiny”. Way more complex is Russia’s internal dynamics. Putin’s current and subsequent difficult decisions may entail loss of popularity coupled with loss of internal stability -depending on the manner Kremlin-defined strategic victories are presented to Russian public opinion. Whatever 24/7 NATOstan mainstream media spin may come up with, the Kremlin’s official explanation for June 24 boils down to a Prighozin demonstration: he was just trying to shake things up. It’s way more complicated than that. There were strategic gains, of course, and Prighozin seems to have followed a very risky script that in the end favors Moscow. But it’s still too early to tell.

A key sub-plot is how the Dance of the Oligarchs will proceed. Independent Russian media was already expecting some – treasonous – players, including state functionaries, to buy their one-way ticket when the going got tough (or to say they were “ill”, or refuse to answer important calls). The Duma – fed by Bortnikov’s FSB – is already working on a hefty list. The Russian system – and Russian society as well – see people like these as supremely toxic: in fact much more dangerous than the demshiza (a term that mixes “democracy” and “schizophrenia”, applied to globalist neoliberals). On the military front, it gets even more complicated. Putin has charged Defense Minister Shoigu to compile the list of Generals to be promoted after The Longest Day. To put it mildly, for quite a few people, from many different persuasions, Shoigu has become a toxic element in Russian politics.

Wagner – rebranded, and under new management – will continue to serve Russia’s interests via Minsk, including in Africa. Old Man Luka, wily as ever, has already firmly stated there won’t be any provocations against NATO via Wagner. Wagner recruiting bureaus will not be opened in Belarus. Belarussians may join Wagner directly. As it stands, most of Wagner fighters are still in Lugansk. For all practical purposes, from now on the Russian government won’t have anything to do, militarily and financially, with Wagner. Additionally, there are no heavy weapons to be confiscated. Already on Monday, June 26, Wagner had moved their heavy weapons to Belarus. What remains – and had not been moved during The Longest Day – was returned to the Ministry of Defense (MoD).

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$10 billion is real money. Russia’s total defense budget is some $80 billion.

Value of Wagner State Contracts Revealed By Russian Media (RT)

Evgeny Prigozhin’s holding, which includes the Wagner Group, has enjoyed substantial benefits from working for the Russian government, securing contracts worth hundreds of billions of rubles, Dmitry Kiselyov, the head of the Rossiya Segodnya media group, said on Sunday. Speaking on air during his weekly news program, Kiselyov said that Prigozhin’s Wagner private military company “has received a little more than 858 billion rubles ($9.8 billion) under the contracts it signed with the state.” He added that under other contracts, Prigozhin’s holding Concord, which is also engaged in the catering and media business, had provided services to the tune of 845 billion rubles. “This does not mean that they have earned so much, but it is still indicative of the scale of the business and the scale of ambitions,” Kiselyov noted.

He went on to point out that Prigozhin’s company had a strong media clout, adding that some people might have had the impression that the Wagner Group was the most capable frontline unit Russia had. Stressing that he did not want to “detract from anybody’s merits,”Kiselyov recalled that regular Russian units had been faster in capturing the heavily defended city of Mariupol than Wagner troops were in seizing the Donbass stronghold of Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine). His remarks come after Russian President Vladimir Putin noted on Tuesday that the Wagner Group was completely dependent on state support. He claimed that for the last year the Russian authorities had allocated 86 billion rubles to pay wages and provide incentives for Wagner fighters.

At the same time, according to the Russian leader, Prigozhin’s Concord company received 80 billion rubles from the state in a year for supplying food products to the army. Last month, Prigozhin accused the Russian Defense Ministry of staging a deadly missile strike on a Wagner camp, and vowed retaliation. The ministry denied the allegation. His troops proceeded to capture several military installations in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, with some forces driving on towards Moscow. However, Prigozhin stopped his advance as part of a deal mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. According to the agreement’s conditions, the Russian government consented to drop a criminal case against the PMC leader, and permit him to relocate to Belarus.

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“..the spy agency was simply “wasting American taxpayers’ dollars” as attempts to divide Russian society from abroad won’t work..”

CIA Sees Ukraine Crisis As Unique ‘Opportunity’ (RT)

America’s top intelligence official has openly cheered the alleged internal discord that he claims is rising in Moscow because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, saying the CIA has been given an historic opportunity to recruit spies and undermine President Vladimir Putin’s government. CIA director William Burns claimed on Saturday at a Ditchley Foundation lecture in the UK that “disaffection with the war will continue to gnaw away at the Russian leadership beneath the steady diet of state propaganda and practiced repression.” “That disaffection creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us at CIA, at our core a human intelligence service. We’re not letting it go to waste,” he added.

Burns noted that the CIA launched a Telegram channel in May to recruit military officers, government officials and scientists who can provide intelligence on the Russian leadership and economy. “We had 2.5 million views in the first week, and we’re very much open for business,” he said. Moscow insisted at the time that the spy agency was simply “wasting American taxpayers’ dollars” as attempts to divide Russian society from abroad won’t work, according to Ambassador Anatoly Antonov. Washington is betting that the Ukraine crisis will stir enough division to help turn potential Russian intelligence sources against President Putin. Burns made his speech one week after private military contractor Evgeny Prigozhin ended his brief rebellion against Russia’s top generals.

The aborted mutiny was far less “bloody” than US officials had expected, according to CNN. Burns has insisted that Washington played no part in the uprising, but argued that Prigozhin’s short-lived revolt was “a vivid reminder of the corrosive effect of Putin’s war on his own society and his own regime.” Putin said last week that the Russian people reacted to the crisis by showing unity, spoiling the hopes of foreign enemies that the nation would be “split asunder and drown in a bloody feud.” Putin’s approval rating among Russians was little changed at 81% after the aborted insurrection, even according to the independent pollster Levada Center, which had been listed as a foreign agent in Russia since 2016.

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“This is what liberty, equality and brotherhood look like.”

Ukrainian Commander Complains About French Tanks – AFP (RT)

A Ukrainian military commander has reportedly raised concerns that light combat tanks supplied to the former Soviet republic by France aren’t suitable for attacks against Russian defensive lines because their thin armor can easily be pierced by artillery shells and other weapons. Touted earlier this year by Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov as a “sniper rifle on fast wheels,” the French AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicle has proven “impractical” during Kiev’s current counteroffensive against Russian forces, Agence-France Presse (AFP) reported on Sunday. One four-man crew has died because of the tank’s thin armor, which can easily be pierced by Russian weaponry, a Ukrainian battalion commander told the media outlet. “Unfortunately, there was one case when the crew died in the vehicle,”said the 34-year-old Ukrainian major, whom AFP identified only by his call sign, Spartanets.

“There was artillery shelling, and a shell exploded near the vehicle. The fragments pierced the armor, and the ammunition set detonated.” Reznikov was filmed in April riding in an AMX-10 RC, which was among the Western weaponry rushed to Kiev this spring for a long-awaited counteroffensive that finally began in June. “These fast, modern machines with powerful guns will aid us in liberating our territory,” Reznikov said in a Twitter post thanking French President Emmanuel Macron and Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu. “This is what liberty, equality and brotherhood look like.” However, Spartanets said the French tanks have proven to be ineffective in front-line assaults. “The guns are good, the observation devices are good, but unfortunately, there is thin armor, and it is impractical to use them in the front line,” he said. Just sending out the vehicles so they get destroyed, I consider it is impractical and unnecessary because it’s primarily a risk for the crew.”

The Ukrainian commander added that the AMX-10 RCs also has been plagued by breakdowns in their gear boxes, possibly because of their use on dirt roads. Kiev’s troops received one month of training in France, which wasn’t adequate to master operating the vehicle, he said. The 20-ton AMX-10 RC travels on wheels, rather than tracks. It was developed in the 1970s for armed reconnaissance and attacks on tanks. The French military is in the process of replacing its fleet of AMX-10 RCs with the more modern EBRC Jaguar. Thousands of Ukrainian troops have been killed in the counteroffensive, which has failed to breach Russia’s defensive lines. Dozens of Western-supplied armored vehicles have been destroyed, including German-made Leopard tanks and AMX-10 RCs, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The New York Times reported last week that 17 of the 113 Bradley fighting vehicles supplied to Kiev by the US have been damaged or destroyed.

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“..management of the site had decided to exhume unmarked graves from World War I, as it ran out of space..”

Families Of Fallen Ukrainian Soldiers Demand More Cemeteries (RT)

A small-scale protest, staged by families of fallen Ukrainian soldiers, including members of the notorious neo-Nazi Azov regiment, was held in the heart of Kiev on Friday. The protesters gathered in the Independence Square (the Maidan), urging Ukraine’s authorities to build a national military cemetery. The protesters carried portraits of their fallen relatives, as well as displayed several banners. One of them read “Government, where’s the Ukrainian Arlington?” while another said “Military cemetery cannot wait.” One large banner also stated “National military cemetery must emerge in Bykovnya in 2023,” referring to promises to create such a site in the aforementioned Kiev suburb, previously voiced by top Ukrainian officials.

“The construction of the national military cemetery, promised by the authorities this year, has not even started. The authorities must hear us and understand that the cemetery for the soldiers who died in this war cannot wait,” one of the event’s organizers, the head of civic group ‘Heart Out,’ Vera Litvinenko, said during the rally, as quoted by local media. Litvinenko’s son was killed during the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has been raging on since February 2022. Lack of space to bury fallen soldiers has apparently been an issue for Ukraine for some time already. Multiple videos circulating online show rows of fresh graves emerging at the burial sites all across the country.

In some locations, authorities have to exhume old graves to make room for the newly deceased, the New York Times reported last month. For instance, a groundskeeper at one of the cemeteries told the newspaper that the management of the site had decided to exhume unmarked graves from World War I, as it ran out of space.Both Ukraine and Russia have been tight-lipped on their frontline casualties, each claiming that their opponent has sustained significantly more than they report. Moscow has repeatedly accused the collective West of pushing Kiev into waging war “to the last Ukrainian,” warning that the continuous flow of military aid to the country is only bound to increase the cost of war for Ukrainians.

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“..abusing its power with “authoritarian” rulings..” Nuff said.

US Congress May Need To Impeach Supreme Court Judges – AOC (RT)

US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) has accused the Supreme Court of abusing its power with “authoritarian” rulings on such issues as abortion, LGBTQ protections, and race-based college admissions, arguing that lawmakers should consider impeaching justices for breaking laws. She told CNN on Sunday that if Chief Justice John Roberts does not voluntarily testify in a congressional probe of alleged ethics violations by Supreme Court judges, lawmakers should consider issuing subpoenas to demand answers. The New York Democrat also called for imposing more stringent ethics guidelines to help maintain a proper balance of power among the nation’s three branches of government. “There also must be impeachment on the table,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We have a broad level of tools to deal with misconduct, overreach, and abuse of power.”

The congresswoman made her comments after a string of rulings last week in which the nation’s high court struck down President Joe Biden’s plan to wipe out $400 billion in student loan debt, blocked colleges from admitting students based on skin color, and upheld the free-speech rights of a Christian graphic artist who refused to offer her services for same-sex weddings. She also cited last year’s decision overturning Roe v Wade, a landmark 1973 ruling that had protected abortion as a constitutional right. “The courts, if they were to proceed without any check on their power, without any balance on their power, then we will start to see an undemocratic and, frankly, dangerous authoritarian expansion of power in the Supreme Court, which is what we are seeing now,”Ocasio-Cortez said.

For instance, the court’s ruling on refusing services for same-sex weddings stripped away “the full personhood and dignity of LGBTQ people,” she said. “These are the types of rulings that signal a dangerous creep towards authoritarianism and centralization of power in the court.” Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the far-left “Squad” group of Democrat representatives have called for expanding the court to 15 justices, arguing that “democracy is in crisis” because six of the nine current judges were appointed by Republican presidents. Biden, who would get to appoint six left-leaning justices in such a scenario, said on Thursday that expanding the court would harmfully politicize the judicial branch.

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That doesn’t seem to rhyme with corruption. How are you going to pay the 10% to the Big Guy?

Ukraine Could Become World’s First Cashless Economy – Official (RT)

Ukraine is considering imposing a complete ban on the circulation of cash in the country in a bid to stamp out corruption, the Deputy Head of the Presidential Office, Rostyslav Shurma, revealed on Wednesday. Speaking at the London Ukraine Recovery Conference, he said his government will present a roadmap on “whether we will do it or not.” The politician expressed hope that “the decision will be ‘yes’,” adding that such a measure would help prevent bribery. “These are very deep and serious discussions within our team, the prime minister and the president. We want to become the first totally cashless economy,”Komsomolskaya Pravda in Ukraine quoted Shurma as saying. The initiative could become a “very effective instrument for liquidation of 95-99% of all corruption cases”in Ukraine, according to the official.


Economists, however, have expressed doubts over the scheme. Ukrainian financial analyst Aleksey Kushch noted that a ban on legal tender would prompt a flow of the hryvna into dollars, triggering a collapse of the national currency. Moreover, he pointed out that hard cash becomes the only means of payment during power outages. In Ukraine “people have been paying bribes through offshore companies for a long time, so cash has no effect on corruption,” the head of the Ukrainian Analytical Center, Alexander Okhrimenko, argued. He claimed that Shurma was engaging in “meaningless publicity and just said something stupid.” According to the analyst, around 40% of settlements in Ukraine are currently conducted in cash.

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“I have never seen a more obvious situation during my soon 60 years in investment markets. ”

Major Revaluation Of Gold & Precious Metals Is Imminent (Von Greyerz)

We have been in the physical precious metals market for almost 25 years for wealth preservation purposes. During that time gold has gone up 6-12 times in most Western currencies and silver slightly less. As the premier company for bigger wealth preservation investors in physical gold and silver, outside the financial system, we have had a very exciting journey so far. But looking at the last 23 years I am very clear that in spite of greater returns in physical gold than most investment classes and much lower risk, the real moves haven’t even started yet. I have never seen a more obvious situation during my soon 60 years in investment markets.

Although some of the precious metals mining stocks will vastly outperform physical gold and silver, we will stick to what we know best in order to serve our esteemed clients as well as future wealth preservation investors. In coming years, most investors will lose a major part of their investments and net worth as they hold on to their conventional investments. For a quarter of a century I have been standing on a soap box, imploring investors to protect their wealth. During that time we have seen The Nasdaq lose 80% in the early 2000s and the financial system being a few minutes from implosion in 2008. But with the help of finger-snapping $10s of trillions into existence, most markets have remained strong. Still, the (almost) Everything Collapse is hanging over us and this time finger-snapping money into existence is unlikely to help.

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“..you cannot go from one fiat phony currency, lie-based system into another one that is digital only.”

Nothing Can Stop Currency Crisis & War Crisis – David Morgan (USAW)

Economic analyst and financial writer David Morgan went against the majority of financial gurus and predicted at the end of 2022 that there was no way the Fed was going to cut interest rates. He said on USAWatchdiog.com in December, “Cut Interest Rates & Dollar is Done, Toast, It’s Over.” Fed Head Jay Powell said this past week the Fed was raising interest rates at least two more times to “fight inflation.” This was a direct hit by Morgan. Morgan sees a coming currency crisis and a war crisis. Morgan explains, “Yes, we have both a currency crisis and a war crisis. Let’s start with the currency crisis. My favorite phrase for what is going on is ‘All fiat currency fails.’

We have never seen a time in all of recorded history that an unbacked currency does not go basically and effectively to zero. When you say that ‘All fiat fails,’ there is a subgroup that says, yeah, but not the U.S. dollar. . . .I don’t know how many people have given me pushback on that statement from all over the world. . . . When I say fail, I don’t mean it goes to absolute zero. What it means is a currency fails and a new system is implemented. . . . History is on my side. . . . The precursor to this is what takes place. Substitution. What is substitution? Crypto currency and gold and silver, of course. . . . and things like people going off grid. All of these are indicators of how to mitigate the end of the U.S. dollar or the end of the currency crisis. We have this all over the place. . . . Sooner or later, there will be a run for the exits. Where are the exits? Crypto currencies, gold and silver, barter clubs or the BRICS currency.”

Morgan contends you just cannot run into an alternative to the U.S. dollar because there are going to be supply disruptions for everything. You might not be able to get what you need no matter how much money you have. So, be prepared in every way you can. Morgan also says, “The Great Reset is what the bankers want, but the Great Reject . . . will come from many who will not want to go down that way. That’s what is going to be the most interesting because anyone who is awake, and there are more people waking up all the time, they will understand that you cannot go from one fiat phony currency, lie-based system into another one that is digital only.”

On the war crisis, the dark powers running the world want war. Why? Morgan says, “It covers up all the things that are wrong, and it also takes them off the hook. It was the war. The war did it. All wars are bankers’ wars, and they are on both sides. They make money regardless. . . . The main things are profit, but it also is mitigating their responsibilities. They can get most people to think that it was the war that caused all this poverty, and, of course, the war will do that. . . . They don’t have a real conflict with Ukraine and Russia. They just need a way out, and it is the most profitable way out. They are going to default on all this debt, and this is how they are going to do it.”

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“This is not a good time to be a young American. I’m an old American. It’s a good time to be an old American because I don’t have to pay the debt. But my kids are going to have to pay the debt..”

Jim Rogers: De-Dollarization Fuelled by Soaring US Debt (Sp.)

The US president declared on Wednesday in a Chicago speech that “Bidenomics is working.” Per Joe Biden, his economic policies have prevented the nation from sliding into recession, driven the strongest recovery among the developed economies, and managed to tame inflation. Nonetheless, just 34% of Americans believe that the country’s economy is in good shape, according to NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. One needs to be cautious when listening to politicians taking credit for taming inflation and saving the day, according to Jim Rogers, a legendary American investor. “I would concur that the worst is yet to come,” Rogers told Sputnik. “It always comes later after normal fluctuations and corrections. I do not agree with the White House that everything is okay now, and I certainly don’t agree that they should take credit for it. To look back at previous inflation anywhere in the world, you will see it goes up, down, up, down. This is the way markets work.”

The crux of the matter is that the US is the largest debtor nation in the history of the world, said the investor. Indeed, the US national debt has reached over $32.3 trillion, or $96,702 for every single person in the country. “Every nation in history that has gotten into that kind of situation has wound up having problems,” Rogers explained. “We have printed a lot of money, we have borrowed and spent a lot of money, which is wonderful for the short term, but eventually we have to pay the price. Inflation is going to get worse. The debt problems are going to get worse, and the US is going to suffer. This is not a good time to be a young American. I’m an old American. It’s a good time to be an old American because I don’t have to pay the debt. But my kids are going to have to pay the debt and they will have a lot of problems.”

Even though DC policymakers are insisting that the US economy is too big and too important to default, and so technologically advanced that it could keep growing despite soaring debt, the reality could be harsher than they dare imagine, as per the investor. To illustrate his point, Rogers referred to the 1980s, when inflation was similarly bad. Then Federal Reserve Chair Paul A. Volcker resorted to sharp interest rate hikes that exceeded 19% by January 1981. It worked at the time. However, in 1983, the United States was still a creditor nation, Rogers pointed out. “The inflation now is worse,” the investor said. “Now the United States is the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. So, sure, things are okay at the moment, but ‘at the moment’ is not going to last forever. Somebody has got to pay this debt. Somebody has to print more money. Somebody has to borrow more money. And when you borrow huge amounts of money, interest rates will go higher and higher, inflation will go higher because so much money has been printed.”

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In 1878, Isabella Bover, a renowned French model, was carefully selected to embody the spirit of the Statue of Liberty. This iconic statue, a gift from the generous people of France to their American counterparts, was intended to symbolize the enduring friendship and commemorate the momentous occasion of America’s centenary in 1876. Isabella Bover’s captivating presence became the face that would forever grace this monumental masterpiece, representing the shared values of liberty and freedom cherished by both nations.

 

 

Humpback

 

 

Leopard sleep

 

 

Great white
https://twitter.com/i/status/1675533770340855808

 

 

Swans

 

 


Canada is so big, it’s easternmost city (St. John’s) is closer to Venice, Italy (4833km) than it is Vancouver (5004km). Source:

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 262023
 
 June 26, 2023  Posted by at 8:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  53 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn The standard bearer 1636

 

FSB Spooked The CIA On Prigozhin Coup (Bhadrakumar)
US Ambassador To Moscow Contacts Russian Diplomats Over Wagner Crisis (TASS)
US Intelligence Knew Of Wagner Plot Days In Advance, Briefed Congress (ZH)
Putin Says He Deals With Special Military Op Issues 24/7 (TASS)
Lavrov Slams Biden’s, Zelensky’s Nuclear Remarks On US Nuclear Threat (TASS)
Russia, Internal This Time (Denninger)
A Wild, Conspiratorial, Fantastical View of World Politics (Cook)
J.K. Rowling’s Moment of Truth (Rachel Lu)
IRS Whistleblower Reveals Names of Witnesses to Show AG Garland Lying (CTH)
Joe Biden Used Secret Global Cell Phone While He Was VP (GP)
FBI Knew Hunter Biden’s Laptop Was ‘Reliable’ Before Smearing It (Sp.)
The Designated Defendant: Was Hunter Biden Always the Fall Guy? (Turley)
Why Julian Assange Must Be Freed (Matt Taibbi)
Biden Would Need His Pound of Flesh From Assange (Lauria)

 

 

Everyone in the west appears to fall over each other declaring the Wagner story a “coup”. If it was, Prigozhin is an exceptionally inept man. What was he going to do when he got to the outskirts of Moscow?

They also claim Putin comes out brutally damaged. You sure he’s not the big winner? It’s okay to admit you don’t know things. I’m doing it right here and now.

 

 

I’m still looking at this map. It makes so much sense.

And a take like this one:

“Putin scammed the world by faking the coup to fool NATO and eliminate disloyal high ranking military inside Russia without protests from other officials. The ploy also duped Ukraine into advancing, thinking Russia was weak, thus revealing their entire offensive. If that’s what he did it was a genius military tactic that will go down as one of the greatest moves in military history.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bucky
https://twitter.com/i/status/1672961473553874947

 

 

 

 

Extermination

 

 

 

 

“Blinken has piled up a consistent record for being horribly wrong on his assessments on Russia — starting from the deathly blow the ‘sanctions from hell’ were expected to give to the Russian economy; Putin’s hold on power; Russia’s catastrophic defeat in Ukraine; Russian military’s deficiencies; Kiev’s inexorable military victory, and so on..”

FSB Spooked The CIA On Prigozhin Coup (Bhadrakumar)

Just as the CIA or most intelligence organisations do, the FSB also psychoanalyses the remarks of their targets for profound meanings. They do that routinely and have trained analysts who do only that. It wouldn’t have escaped the attention of Russian intelligence analysts that Prigozhin’s ranting and ravings from Donetsk from last autumn and winter began originally on the operational aspects of the Bakhmut war front in Donetsk oblast, but incrementally began acquiring political overtones, culminating finally in his incredible statement that the raison d’être of the special military operation in Ukraine since February 2022, was all baloney. Even more strangely, this man who physically witnessed the Battle of Bakhmut, came to the bizarre conclusion that Kiev or Nato had no mala fide intentions toward Donbass or Russia.

Therefore, the ‘known known’ here is that the Russian intelligence was under instructions to be in ‘listening mode,’ give the eddies a free flow in the Battle of Bakhmut where Wagner was in the driving seat. (Interestingly, though, at some point, much to Prigozhin’s annoyance, Moscow also began deploying regular troops selectively on the Bakhmut front alongside the Wagner fighters. ) On Saturday, top US intelligence officials sprang into action to brief the media as it emerged that Russian authorities were literally waiting with a road map to squash Prigozhin’s coup attempt. Even the Chechen militia was put on standby. The crucial element in the deal struck with Prigozhin has been that he will not be prosecuted but must simply get lost. And where else could his exile be arranged better on Planet Earth than in Belarus under the benevolent eyes of President Alexander Lukashenko?

Now, we may get to know at some point from Lukashenko, who struggles to keep secrets for long, as to when exactly would Putin have taken him into confidence on a ‘need-to-know basis.’ It strains credulity that such a complex dealmaking was possible within a clutch of hours via tortuous 3-way negotiations between Moscow, Minsk and Rostov-on-Don even as the renegade Wagner column was approaching Moscow. An intriguing sub-plot here is that amidst all this heavy traffic, Lukashenko also negotiated with Nurusultan Nazarbayev, the former Kazakh dictator who headed a pro-western regime in Astana and was ousted from power after reigning for nearly three decades, following the failure of a similar US-backed coup attempt like Prigozhin’s in the winter of 2021-2022, which too was crushed with the help of the CSTO forces (Russian troops) led by a Russian general.

On the previous day, in fact, Putin had spoken with two Central Asian leaders — Kazakh President Jomart Tokayev and Uzbek President Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev. Did he share any crucial intelligence? In fact, both these countries have been facing western plots for regime change lately. By the way, Given Moscow’s preoccupations in Ukraine, Chinese President Xi Jinping has stepped in to take a hands-on role to consolidate the stability and security of the Central Asian region. (Please see my recent articles — China takes leadership role in Central Asia ; An “Axis of Seven” to supplement SCO ; and, Russia, China take holistic view of the Pamirs and Hindu Kush. Clearly, something was seriously afoot in Kazakhstan, which is sandwiched between Russia and China and is the most crucial piece of real estate in geopolitical terms in Central Asia.

In all probability, this was what the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken alluded to when he told ABC on Sunday that the situation with the attempted coup in Russia “is still developing… I don’t want to speculate, and I don’t think we saw the final episode.” That said, however, Blinken has piled up a consistent record for being horribly wrong on his assessments on Russia — starting from the deathly blow the ‘sanctions from hell’ were expected to give to the Russian economy; Putin’s hold on power; Russia’s catastrophic defeat in Ukraine; Russian military’s deficiencies; Kiev’s inexorable military victory, and so on.

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“..we had some engagement with the Russians over the weekend to make sure they understood their responsibilities when it comes to looking out for the safety and security of our personnel in Russia..”

US Ambassador To Moscow Contacts Russian Diplomats Over Wagner Crisis (TASS)

US Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy got in touch with Russian foreign ministry officials amid the situation around PMC Wagner but US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has no contacts with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the CBS television channel said on Sunday, citing its sources. According to CBS, contacts with Russia were carried out both between Ambassador Tracy and the Russian foreign ministry and at several other levels. However, there were no contacts between the two countries’ top diplomats. When asked about contacts with the Russian side, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview with CBS, “I instructed my own team at the President’s behest to engage with the Russians, first and foremost, to make sure that they understood their responsibilities in terms of protecting our own personnel, ensuring their safety and well-being, as well as any American citizens in Russia.”

“So a number of people have engaged to make sure that the Russians got that message,” he noted. When asked whether US President Joe Biden would reach out to Russian President Vladimir Putin or whether the CIA director had any contacts with Russian intelligence, he said, “I’m not gonna get into any diplomatic contacts that we may have or have had, I can tell you that, on my instruction, on the President’s instruction, we had some engagement with the Russians over the weekend to make sure they understood their responsibilities when it comes to looking out for the safety and security of our personnel in Russia. Very important that we do that, and we did that.” No response has come from the US Department of State to TASS’ inquiry about Ambassador Tracy’s contacts with Russian diplomats.

In the evening of June 23, several audio recordings were posted on PMC Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Telegram channel. In particular, he claimed that his units had been allegedly attacked and blamed the military leadership of the country. In connection with these statements, the Federal Security Service (FSB) opened a criminal case over calls for an armed rebellion. The Defense Ministry dismissed the claims about alleged strikes on the “rear camps of the PMC Wagner” as false. In his address to the nation on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the PMC Wagner’s actions as an armed mutiny and treason and vowed that measures against the trouble-makers would be tough.

Later on Saturday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, in coordination with Putin, held talks with Prigozhin, which yielded a de-escalation plan. Later, Prigozhin said that PMC Wagner was halting its advance to Moscow to return back to its field camps. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a criminal case against the Wagner chief would be dropped, while Prigozhin himself would go to Belarus. Besides, the Russian authorities pledged not to prosecute PMC Wagner troops who took part in the mutiny because of their “combat merits.”.

Read more …

More Blinken assessments.

US Intelligence Knew Of Wagner Plot Days In Advance, Briefed Congress (ZH)

While over the past months Prigozhin has made his personal hatred for Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and top general Valery Gerasimov well known, the intelligence that Washington supposedly had seems very specific and appears to have accurately predicted events, a mere few days before they unfolded. While the Kremlin has thus far refrained from blaming the tumultuous events on US or NATO countries, it has indirectly hinted and warned that the West could exploit the situation. “The attempted armed mutiny in our country has aroused strong disapproval in Russian society, which firmly supports President Vladimir Putin,” a Foreign Ministry statement said Saturday. “We warn the Western countries against the slightest attempts to use the internal situation in Russia for achieving their Russophobic aims. Such attempts are futile and evoke no support either in Russia or among soberly-minded political forces abroad.”


But soon after, Secretary of State Blinken did just that, in Sunday news shows pushing the talking point that the Wagner mutiny exposed “real cracks” in Putin’s government: Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said the short-lived rebellion from Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin “shows real cracks” within Russia as it wages its war on Ukraine. “Prigozhin himself, in this entire incident, has raised profound questions about the very premises for Russian aggression against Ukraine in the first place, saying that Ukraine or NATO did not pose a threat to Russia, which is part of Putin’s narrative. And it was a direct challenge to Putin’s authority. So this raises profound questions. It shows real cracks,” Blinken said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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“.. the president shared that he “has been staying up quite late lately.”

Putin Says He Deals With Special Military Op Issues 24/7 (TASS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he keeps the situation of the special operation under control around the clock. “Of course, I pay priority attention [to the special military operation],” he told journalist Pavel Zarubin. “This is how the day begins and this is how it ends,” Putin pointed out during an interview with the “Moscow.Kremlin.Putin” TV program, recorded on June 21. When asked if he can get a report on important issues at 3 a.m., for example, the president shared that he “has been staying up quite late lately.” “Of course, I always have to be in touch. That’s the way it goes. Always, I’m always in touch. Close by,” he concluded.

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“I cannot be responsible for the psychological state of people who repeatedly, daily prove their inadequacy..”

Lavrov Slams Biden’s, Zelensky’s Nuclear Remarks On US Nuclear Threat (TASS)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called statements by US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky on the nuclear threat allegedly emanating from Russia a “turbulent stream of consciousness” not worth commenting on. “It’s hard for me to comment on what the US president has been saying lately, as it is for other observers in general who are wondering how to interpret it all. I wouldn’t put too much weight on verbal escapades that have no basis in fact right now,” the top Russian diplomat said in an interview with the “Moscow.Kremlin.Putin” TV program, according to an excerpt posted on Sunday on journalist Pavel Zarubin’s Telegram channel.


Lavrov called Zelensky’s statements “even more turbulent stream of consciousness.” “I have no medical background. [Head of the European Commission] Ursula von der Leyen has a medical degree. I cannot be responsible for the psychological state of people who repeatedly, daily prove their inadequacy,” Lavrov added. Earlier, Biden said during a speech in California that he believed the threat of Russian leader Vladimir Putin using tactical nuclear weapons was real.

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“These people are under the foolish belief that a man with 6,000 nuclear weapons at this control will back off and let them put ours 5 minutes away..”

Russia, Internal This Time (Denninger)

You can look at Putin as whatever you’d like but the fact of the matter is that this is a nation with thousands of nuclear weapons and, whatever your view of Putin is, he is one of the more-moderate members of the government in Russia. If he is deposed by force or worse, there’s a no-BS civil war that occurs over there who knows what comes out of that. The odds that it will be “more-friendly” to the United States than what we have now, never mind NATO, are very poor, and what’s worse is that both we and all the other NATO nations are likely interfering in a covert manner and everyone involved over there in this thing knows it. It is entirely reasonable that if Putin is deposed the US and NATO will be given a 24 hour ultimatum to remove everything they have to the Polish border or beyond and if they don’t it and the land under it will be destroyed with tactical nuclear weapons.

If you think that’s crazy you’re wrong. It is in fact very possible. Further, there is no “polite” or “conventional” response to such a threat available to us or anyone else. We either comply or its on, for real. Do realize there are people over there who consider NATO’s continued additions toward Russia, and the fact that each puts the flight time for a surprise attack closer and closer to Moscow and other major cities, an existential threat to the nation and its survival as a political entity. We would no more put up with China entering into a treaty with Mexico to put nuclear weapons on the Rio Grande or in Tijuana — within howitzer range of San Diego — than we should expect Russia to put up with us doing essentially the same thing.

Mike Pompeo is an idiot. So is Lindsey Graham. They have a right to their opinions but attempting to execute them as policy should earn them a permanent stay in prison — and in solitary confinement at that. This is wildly preferrable to a bunch of smoking holes in the ground and plumes of radiation drifting over what was a “fruited plain.” These people are under the foolish belief that a man with 6,000 nuclear weapons at this control will back off and let them put ours 5 minutes away. The problem is that in the event this goes sideways in Russia one or more people may wind up with the ability to actually use one or two. That is a much higher risk, and further, I’d like Pompeo to tell me what he thinks we would do if China and Mexico stuck some boom-booms within a few miles and a couple of minute flight times from a US city.

We all know that the United States would never tolerate that, yet this is exactly what we think NATO should be able to do over there. That is not a multi-polar or even bi-polar world when it comes to national power; it is a unipolar world where we set an agenda and everyone else must follow “or else.” sThat’s dumb.

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“Of course, Trump had the opportunity to pardon Assange and others but failed to do so. Now it’s his turn.”

A Wild, Conspiratorial, Fantastical View of World Politics (Cook)

Tucker Carlson dates the beginning of the plot to the Republican candidates’ debate in Greenville, SC, on February 16, 2016, when Trump said we never should have been in Iraq when we went to war in 2003. Trump said the U.S. “destabilized the Middle East.” He said, “They lied. There were no weapons of mass destruction. They knew there were none.” To be fair, in his June 13, 2023, broadcast, Tucker Carlson did not use the word “assassination.” But he did say that the intent was for Trump to die in prison. So I think “assassination” is a fair word. Regarding the 2024 presidential election, the only individual the Controllers and Deep State have to cling to is the corrupt, doddering Joe Biden, with enough baggage to sink an ocean liner. Even more laughable is his parody of a vice president, Kamala Harris.

But also appearing out of nowhere is a legitimate rival to the Biden/Harris comedy team in Robert F. Kennedy Jr., scion of the family that earlier stood in the way of Controller/Deep State rule but whose stalwarts were blotted out by assassinations–JFK, RFK, and, yes, I believe, JFK, Jr. All the foregoing should be seen against the observation that the Controllers/Deep State will stop at nothing in trying to destroy anyone who stands in their way in furthering their project of ruling the world now and forever. But cracks have been appearing in their façade for over a decade, the most glaring being the 2007-2008 financial collapse, the failure of the “War on Terror,” punctuated by Biden’s 2021 flight from Afghanistan, and now the Ukraine fiasco.

With the images of Joe and Hunter Biden, overlaid by those of Kamala Harris, Victoria Nuland, and Volodymyr Zelensky, as the public faces of the clique of plutocrats and gangsters who rule over us, we gain a new appreciation of the gravity and danger of the present moment. To return to Trump, he brought the “War on Terror” at least to the stage of winding down. Cutting funding for ISIS in Syria, ordering plans to evacuate Afghanistan, and his refusal to implement his advisers’ intent to bomb Iran may testify to his reluctance to march in lockstep with the Controllers’ program. Trump’s advisers openly bragged about refusing to obey his orders to pull troops from Syria. Whether he was fully cognizant of the subversion of the Minsk agreements by the coup-installed government of Ukraine and its NATO/Neocon consiglieri appears questionable.

Back to the latest indictments, the entire concept of “classified” documents is a trap resembling flypaper, ideal for ensnaring those ignorant of the danger in handling them. By some estimates, fifty million documents are given the “classified” stamp each year, with the stamp being used selectively to send its victims to prison. But until we see the contents of the documents in Trump’s possession and gain a fair assessment of exactly how their misuse by him aided and abetted our “enemies,” the indictment is objectively meaningless. Of course, by definition the documents are verboten to the hoi polloi such as ourselves, so we will never see them. Yet the indictments may serve their purpose, which is to lock up Trump for the rest of his life. [..] Of course, Trump had the opportunity to pardon Assange and others but failed to do so. Now it’s his turn.

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Fighting cancel culture.

J.K. Rowling’s Moment of Truth (Rachel Lu)

J. K. Rowling is not a witch. She acquitted herself well in her recent “trial,” a podcast series hosted by The Free Press, detailing the explosive controversy between history’s most famous children’s author and liberal progressive activists. The Witch Trials tells the story of Rowling’s rise to fame and her fall into (progressive) infamy. It’s the sort of podcast I had to turn off whenever my kids climbed into the car. There’s a good bit of profanity, as well as “adult themes.” Nevertheless, I found the story of Rowling’s battle with gender ideologues oddly inspiring. In an age when so many have cowered before the cancel mobs, Rowling stood by the truth.

Millennials worshiped Rowling in childhood. This comes through quite clearly in Witch Trials, as childhood fans gush about the way her books represented a “security blanket” through their childhood and adolescent growing pains. In a way, this is odd, because as children’s books go, Rowling’s are quite dark. Death is a major theme. Political oppression is rampant. Even “good” adults seem to be offering a tutorial in “failure to protect,” as Harry arrives each fall at Hogwarts brimming with eagerness to learn, only to be socially ostracized, plagued with death threats, or both. This is what gives today’s kids warm fuzzies?

Perhaps it is not really so strange. For all the grimness, Rowling gave her readers a universe that they found morally comfortable. Inclusion was always a major theme. The bad guys, a group of “pureblood” wizards, want to rule the world and ensure that their magical club is restricted to people of noble (magical) birth. They’re one part evil aristocrats protecting their privilege, and one part wand-wielding Nazis crusading under a “dark mark.” Meanwhile, the good guys are crusading for meritocracy, equality, and love, with side plots exploring the ethics of discrimination, especially against house elves (which some wizards regard as natural slaves).

At the same time, the Hogwarts universe explores at length the importance of personal identity. Children are initiated into the wondrous world of Hogwarts after discovering that they have an innate capacity for doing magic, and readers then get to follow these elite characters to their posh boarding school, where their unique abilities are further explored and refined. In the very hour of their arrival, their minds are probed by the magical “sorting hat” that assesses their character and places them within the proper House. As they continue at Hogwarts, Dumbledore’s Mirror of Erised shows each person his hopes and dreams, while spooky Bogarts display their greatest fears. Students eventually learn to cast a magical “patronus charm,” which brings forth a kind of animal-protector in a form that uniquely reflects the caster’s soul.

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“If Hunter Biden was caught not putting the foreign payments on his U.S. tax returns as income, and we know Joe Biden received the same payments, well, did Joe Biden list his portion on his income tax returns?”:”

IRS Whistleblower Reveals Names of Witnesses to Show AG Garland Lying (CTH)

Things are getting spicy in/around Main Justice in DC. On Friday, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Deputy AG Lisa Monaco denied any involvement interfering with the decisions made by USAO David Weiss regarding the investigation of the Hunter and Joe Biden bribery and tax fraud scheme. However, in response, the IRS whistleblower is now naming additional witnesses to Weiss’s statements. Through his attorneys, whistleblower Gary Shapley is now naming additional witnesses to the statements of USAO Weiss:

“In an October 7, 2022, meeting at the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Attorney David Weiss told six witnesses he did not have authority to charge in other districts and had thus requested special counsel status. Those six witnesses include Baltimore FBI Special Agent in Charge Tom Sobocinski and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ryeshia Holley, IRS Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gary Shapley and Special Agent in Charge Darrell Waldon, who also independently and contemporaneously corroborated Mr. Shapley’s account in an email, now public as Exhibit 10, following p. 148 of his testimony transcript. Mr. Shapley would have no insight into why Mr. Weiss’s would make these statements at the October 7, 2022 meeting if they were false. That Mr. Weiss made these statements is easily corroborated, and it is up to him and the Justice Department to reconcile the evidence of his October 7, 2022 statements with contrary statements by Mr. Weiss and the Attorney General to Congress.”

Someone is lying, and the whistleblower appears to have all his information well documented and cited. Mr. Weiss, Mr. Garland and Mrs. Monaco have some explaining to do. An interesting thought ran through my head last night as I was thinking about the Hunter Biden IRS agreement. If Hunter Biden was caught not putting the foreign payments on his U.S. tax returns as income, and we know Joe Biden received the same payments, well, did Joe Biden list his portion on his income tax returns? Just wondering….

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A “present” from Hunter. Joe couldn’t very well put it in his own name.

Joe Biden Used Secret Global Cell Phone While He Was VP (GP)

Peter Schweizer on Sunday dropped a bombshell during an appearance on Fox News with host Maria Bartiromo. Schweizer, author of “Secret Empires,” said Joe Biden was using a secret cell phone and it was paid for by Hunter Biden’s firm. “What is the line of communications between Hunter Biden and his business partners and Joe Biden when he’s Vice President of the United States?” Schweizer said. “It’s not the government phone. It’s not Joe Biden’s personal phone. We know from the laptop that Hunter Biden’s business paid for a private phone line that Joe Biden used while he was Vice President. Schweizer continued, “It was from AT&T. It was $300 a month. It was a global phone where you could access somebody anywhere around the world.”

Peter Schweizer said he shared the “phone number and account information with the people over at the House Oversight Committee.” “My hope is that the House Oversight Committee will subpoena those records,” Peter Schweizer said. Biden’s secret global cell phone was used to run a very lucrative international influence-peddling operation that included his entire family. House Oversight Chairman James Comer last month identified the NINE Bidens implicated in corruption. “Joe Biden’s son. Joe Biden’s brother. Joe Biden’s brother’s wife. Hunter Biden’s girlfriend/Beau Biden’s widow, Hunter Biden’s ex-wife. Hunter Biden’s current wife. And 3 children of the president’s son and the president’s brother. So we’re talking about grandchildren – a grandchild. That’s odd. Most people that work hard every day a grandchild doesn’t get a wire from a foreign national,” Comer said at a press conference last month.

James Comer said the Biden family received over $10 million from foreign nationals while Joe Biden was Vice President. The countries involved directly correlated with Joe Biden’s work as Vice President. This is textbook money laundering and influence peddling. “The Committee is concerned by the complicated, suspicious network of over 20 companies we have identified the Bidens and their associates used to enrich themselves,” Comer said. “Most of these companies were Limited Liability Companies formed DURING Joe Biden’s Vice Presidency.”

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“..the bureau received information about the device containing “evidence of white collar crimes” in October 2019 and quickly attributed the laptop to Hunter Biden..”

FBI Knew Hunter Biden’s Laptop Was ‘Reliable’ Before Smearing It (Sp.)

The FBI verified the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” months before the release of the Post’s October 2020 bombshell about the Bidens, according to IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley. The FBI determined that the infamous “laptop from hell” belonged to Hunter Biden as early as November 6, 2019, and by spring 2020 the bureau had concluded that there was “no reason to believe there is anything fabricated nefariously on the computer and/or hard drive,” according to a contemporaneous investigative memo by IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley. In late May, Shapley delivered testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee which was made public earlier this week. The IRS agent also presented a memo, penned by him in October 2020, and shared by independent media outlet Just the News on June 25.

The memo provides a detailed chronology of the FBI’s activities concerning the laptop in question, which was abandoned by the first son in a Delaware repair shop. As per the document, the bureau received information about the device containing “evidence of white collar crimes” in October 2019 and quickly attributed the laptop to Hunter Biden – codenamed “Sportsman” in the document – via Apple ID account/iCloud account and supporting evidence. “Financial records show Sportsman was around Wilmington DE shop at a cigar shop on the same day,” the memo said. “Other intelligence shows Sportsman was in the area. Computershop calls Sportsman to tell him to bring in an external hard drive to put recovered data on to. Sportsman returned to the shop with the external hard drive. Phone records show the shop called Sportsman and Sportsman called the shop around this time.”

Having taken possession of the device in December 2019, the agency started to scrupulously analyze its content which included messages, emails, pictures, and other types of files. By May 2020, FBI agents had little if any doubts that the collection of files was authentic and belonged to the younger Biden. However, when the New York Post released its October 2020 story stemming from the laptop’s content, the bureau and 51 ex-intelligence chiefs rubbished the bombshell as “Russia’s disinformation operation”. Before that, during all of 2020, the FBI warned Twitter officials about an allegedly forthcoming “Russian hack-and-leak” operation “involving Hunter Biden”, as per Twitter’s then-Head of Site Integrity Yoel Roth’s testimony. The bureau particularly referred to APT28, claiming that it’s a group of Russian hackers linked to Moscow’s intelligence services.

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Take one for the team.

The Designated Defendant: Was Hunter Biden Always the Fall Guy? (Turley)

Many have noted that Hunter Biden was an implausible business associate or board member to be working with various foreign companies. He had lived a life that was a toxic mix of nepotism and narcotics, by his own admission. According to his 2021 memoir, during the period when foreign companies were clamoring to give him millions of dollars, he was “drinking a quart of vodka a day” and “smoking crack around the clock.” He kept up that self-destructive lifestyle, he said, until his father’s 2020 presidential campaign began. When Hunter’s world began to collapse financially, his uncle, James (who has been implicated in influence-peddling in news reports and by House investigators) rushed to assure him that he and his father were arranging a “safe harbor” for him, according to one media report.

The alarm over Hunter cutting off contact was understandable as a family matter in dealing with a relative with a history of drug addiction. Yet Hunter also potentially represented something of a threat to a family that has long been accused of influence-peddling. Hunter has relied on his family and his father’s political associates to protect him. He reportedly paid his delinquent taxes with the help of a wealthy friend; other unnamed individuals paid huge sums for his art work. When Hunter’s gun disappeared near a school and local authorities were investigating, the Secret Service mysteriously showed up at a gun shop and asked for the paperwork tying him to the gun. When Hunter lost a laptop reportedly filled with incriminating emails detailing criminal conduct with drugs, as well as alleged evidence of influence-peddling, national security experts rushed forward to declare it was likely to be Russian disinformation.

Much of the media joined with an effective news blackout of the story. The FBI then allegedly sat on the laptop and did not appear to do a thing to investigate further. At every juncture, the wayward son of Joe Biden seems to be snatched from the jaws of disaster. Now, at the center of a swirling scandal of alleged influence-peddling, Hunter has emerged with a plea that brings a new meaning to the word “bargain.” He will plead guilty to two minor misdemeanor tax counts and a phantom felony count that will go away in time. Yet this may be the most vital role that Hunter has played for his family. He will declare himself guilty so the media and the political establishment can declare the scandal to be a closed matter: Nothing more to see here, other than a plea to a couple misdemeanors.

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“..If Assange is successfully extradited and convicted, it will take about ten minutes for it to happen again…”

Why Julian Assange Must Be Freed (Matt Taibbi)

At Parliament Hill in London Saturday, there was a demonstration on behalf of jailed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Present was the famed rendering of Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden made by sculptor Davide Domino. The statue includes an empty chair for the next whistleblower. I had the honor of standing on that chair to give a short address: I have a confession to make. Once. like a lot of journalists, I didn’t like Julian Assange. It wasn’t just that Wikileaks was breaking one huge story after another. He had fab hair. He wore skinny jeans. He even modeled at fashion week! What can I say? I was jealous. We’re in London, so I can quote Shakespeare, can’t I? “Beware the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”

Jealousy, that monster, impairs one’s thinking. It impaired mine. I didn’t have a reason to dislike Assange. So I invented one. I decided I didn’t like the concept of “radical transparency.” I thought: “You can’t just dump all of those secrets on the public. That’s irresponsible!” I was so brainwashed that I forgot, as many people do, that secrets do not belong to governments. That information belongs to us. Governments rule by our consent. If they want to keep secrets, they must have our permission to do so. And they never have the right to keep crimes secret. I’m an American. Many of you are from the U.K. In our countries, we’re building skyscrapers and huge new complexes to store our secrets, because we don’t have room to keep them all as is! Why do we have so many secrets? Julian Assange told us why. From an essay he wrote:

“Authoritarian regimes give rise to forces which oppose them by pushing against the individual and collective will to freedom, truth and self realization. Plans which assist authoritarian rule, once discovered, induce resistance. Hence these plans are concealed by successful authoritarian powers.” When governments become authoritarian, they inspire resistance. Techniques must then be developed to repel that resistance. Those techniques must then be concealed. In short: the worse a country is, the more secrets it has. We have a lot of secrets now. Julian Assange became famous as we were creating a vast new government-within-a-government, a system of secret prisons, extraordinary rendition, mass surveillance, and drone assassination. Many of these things we know about only because of Wikileaks. Ostensibly, all this secrecy was needed to fight foreign terrorism.

The brutal irony now is the architects of that system no longer feel the need to hide their dirty tactics. My government, openly, wants to put this man in jail for 175 years, mostly for violations of the Espionage Act. These include crimes like “conspiracy to receive national defense information,” or “obtaining national defense information.” What is “national defense information?” The answer is what makes this law so dangerous. It’s whatever they say it is. It’s any information they don’t want to get out. It doesn’t even have to be classified. What is conspiracy to obtain such information? We have a word for that. It’s called journalism. My government wants to put Julian Assange in jail for 175 years for practicing journalism. The government of this country, the U.K., is going to allow it to happen.

If they did this to Andrei Sakharov, or Nelson Mandela, every human rights organization in the world would be denouncing this as an intolerable outrage. Every NGO would be lining up to lend support. Every journalist would be penning editorials demanding his release. But because our own governments are doing it, we get silence. If you’re okay with this happening to one Julian Assange, you’d better be okay with it happening to many others. That’s why this moment is so important. If Assange is successfully extradited and convicted, it will take about ten minutes for it to happen again. From there this will become a common occurrence. There will be no demonstrations in parks, no more news stories. This will become a normal part of our lives. Don’t let that happen. Free Julian Assange.s

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“It might indeed be in Biden’s and the C.I.A.’s interests to wash their hands of this filthy endeavor once and for all.”

Biden Would Need His Pound of Flesh From Assange (Lauria)

Biden would need his pound of flesh from Assange if he would allow his administration to offer a plea. Assange would most likely have to plead guilty to something and serve more time, likely in Australia, before Biden would entertain ending the case. Though he was never charged for the Democratic National Committee or the C.I.A. leaks, Assange is the continuing target of their ire, and would be unlikely to look kindly on Biden letting him go, especially a year before a U.S. presidential election. Biden knows he’s wrong on Assange, if he can remember it. He clearly stated his position on Assange on Meet the Press in December 2010. Vice President Biden told the program that Assange could only be indicted if it could be proved he conspired to steal the published documents. That could not be proved and the Obama-Biden administration did not indict Assange.

The Trump administration did. But only on the original 2010 espionage charges. The U.S. indictment does not accuse Assange of stealing U.S. government documents, but only receiving them. If Biden stuck to his original principles he would have these charges dropped and let Assange go. But it’s political dynamite for him. The C.I.A. and DNC would likely be furious with Biden so he will need something in return to show them for letting Assange go. Whether that satisfies them is another matter. The last, long-shot possibility, is that the U.S. drops the case altogether. This is what Assange’s supporters, parliamentarians around the world, human rights and press freedom groups, journalists’ unions and even WikiLeaks‘ five corporate media partners have been calling for.

But until now it’s been like talking to a marble wall in Washington. Yet, developments in the UC Global case in Spain and the upcoming U.S. presidential election might provide conditions for the U.S. to want to get out of its pursuit of Assange. A recent development in the Madrid criminal trial against UC Global chief David Morales for violating Assange’s privacy by spying on him in Ecuador’s London embassy with 24/7 live surveillance for the Central Intelligence Agency as well on his privileged conversations with his lawyers has solidly confirmed the C.I.A’s role. Would Langley want that exposed at Assange’s trial federal court in Alexandria, VA, where U.S. media interest would be intense?

Also, would Biden welcome during a presidential campaign the protests in the plaza before the Alexandria courthouse, highlighting his administrations efforts to convict a journalist for publishing accurate information exposing U.S. state crimes, handing his political opponents a cudgel to expose his hypocrisy about defending press freedoms? It might indeed be in Biden’s and the C.I.A.’s interests to wash their hands of this filthy endeavor once and for all. (There is precedence for this in the Katharine Gun case.) In one way or the other, the coming weeks appear to be leading to a climax in the extradition phase of arguably the most important press freedom case in U.S. history.

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Patrick Moore

 

 

 

 

Duck

 

 

Sweet art
https://twitter.com/i/status/1672980825577537536

 

 

Komodo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1673056191621021696

 

 

All you need

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 052023
 


Rufino Tamayo Perro aullando (Howling Dog) 1960

 

Ukrainian Army’s Offensive Attempt Failed – Russian Defense Ministry (TASS)
Ukraine Lacks Weapons To Launch Counteroffensive – Zelensky Aide (RT)
Is the United States Losing Its Control of Ukraine? (Snider)
Belgium Questions Kiev About Attack Inside Russia (RT)
Biden’s Health Is A National Security Issue – Ex-White House Doctor (RT)
EU Desperate To Clamp Down On Musk’s Free Speech As ‘Disinformation’ (Marsden)
Elon Musk Uses Team DeSantis Twitter Community Notes to Undermine Trump (CTH)
American Airlines Struggles With Pilot Deficit, Grounds 150 Aircraft (ET)
What Are German Fighter Pilots Doing in China? (Spiegel)
Germany To Deploy Warships To Indo-Pacific (RT)
Lawmaker Probing J6: ‘People Of Interest’ May Have Withheld Critical Intel (JTN)
OPEC+ Countries To Perform Voluntary Production Cuts — Novak (TASS)
Wave Of Defaults Looming – Deutsche Bank (RT)
Police Omitted Folder Called ‘CIA’ From Laptop Of Assange Spy (El Pais)

 

 

Same person? Are we sure?

 

 

 

Woke Soros

 

 

 

 

Chemo

 

 

 

 

RFK Ukraine

 

 

 

 

Wokes

 

 

Website hosting Hunter Biden photo archive shut down for distributing child porn.

 

 

 

 

The start of the counteroffensive? The presence of Gerasimov in the frontline indicates Russia was not surprised.

Ukrainian Army’s Offensive Attempt Failed – Russian Defense Ministry (TASS)

The Ukrainian armed forces failed to achieve success in a large-scale offensive on five front sectors in the south Donetsk area, official spokesman of the Russian Defense Ministry Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said. “The adversary launched a large-scale offensive from the morning of June 4 on five sectors of the front in the south Donetsk area by bringing into action 23rd and 31st mechanized brigades from strategic reserves of the Ukrainian armed forces with support from other military units and teams,” the spokesman said. “The adversary’s objective was to break through our defense on the most vulnerable front sector, in its opinion. The enemy failed to perform its tasks and had no success,” Konashenkov noted.


The adversary used six mechanized battalions and two tank battalions, the defense ministry’s spokesman informed. “As a result of skilled and sophisticated action of the Battlegroup East, the Ukrainian armed forces lost more than 250 persons, sixteen tanks, three mechanized infantry combat vehicles and 21 combat armored vehicles,” Konashenkov stressed. He particularly noted that Chief of General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov was at one of frontline command posts in this area.

Counter

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They will never be ready.

Ukraine Lacks Weapons To Launch Counteroffensive – Zelensky Aide (RT)

Ukraine needs more weapons and ammunition to be able to carry out a successful counteroffensive against the Russian forces, the deputy head of President Vladimir Zelensky’s office has said. In an interview with British newspaper The Times on Saturday, Igor Zhovkva was asked why the much-anticipated operation by Ukraine, aimed at retaking land lost to Russia, still hasn’t been launched. “If you want to start a successful counteroffensive you need everything at your disposal, including artillery, armored vehicles and tanks, so probably we don’t have enough,” he replied. “More weapons is the No 1 topic in each and every conversation” that Zelensky had during his numerous foreign trips over the past month, Zhovkva, who is also the Ukrainian president’s top foreign affairs adviser, stressed. “Every country knows what kind of weapons we need from them, to protect our territory, stop the rockets,” the official added.

He also suggested that Russia has intensified its missile and drone campaign across Ukraine in recent months in a bid to deter the offensive by Kiev’s troops, which was expected to begin in spring. The UK “now is one of the leading countries in showing real incentive and courage in how to really bring victory to my country,” he stated, adding that other nations need to do more to assist Kiev. “Sorry, but the European countries are still too slow and not doing enough with sanctions” against Russia, Zhovkva insisted. Zelensky told the Wall Street Journal on Saturday that the Ukrainian military was “ready” for the counteroffensive, but did not say when exactly it will start. He also pointed out that Kiev would have wanted to see more weapons provided by the West, but that “we can’t wait for months” to launch the assault. Among other things, Ukraine needs 50 US-made Patriot air defense batteries to sufficiently protect its cities and troops on the battlefield ahead of the counteroffensive, Zelensky said.

With the price of a single Patriot battery estimated at $1.1 billion, the overall cost of the demand would be around $55 billion, which is more than the total amount of American military aid allocated to Kiev since the start of the conflict. The Ukrainian leader acknowledged that Russia’s air superiority would leave Kiev’s troops exposed and “a large number of soldiers will die” during the counteroffensive. Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of weapons, including sophisticated ones, to Ukraine by the US and its allies could cross “red lines,” leading to a major escalation in the hostilities. Russia argues that the provision of arms, intelligence sharing, and training to Kiev’s troops already means that Western nations are de facto parties to the conflict.

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That’s what the US would like everyone to think: We had no idea!

Is the United States Losing Its Control of Ukraine? (Snider)

In the very early days of the war in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was open to negotiating a peace. A proposed peace could have ended the war before tens of thousands of Ukrainians died and Ukraine’s infrastructure was devastated, on terms that satisfied Kiev’s goals. But the United States pressured Ukraine to go on fighting in pursuit, not of Ukraine’s goals, but of larger American ones. Putting an end to Ukraine’s negotiations with Russia, State Department spokesperson Ned Price remarkably said, “This is a war that is in many ways bigger than Russia, it’s bigger than Ukraine,” and insisted that Ukrainians go on fighting and dying for “core principles.” The United States got its way. Now a year later, with the war not going well for Ukraine and the country getting more and more desperate, Ukraine is forced to retreat to pursuing its own goals.

Ironically, that is increasingly taking the form of escalating the war in a way that now endangers American goals. Ukraine is now pursing its own security interests in a way that is extraordinarily dangerous to U.S. security interests. And they seem to be disregarding U.S. restrictions in pursuing them. Months of American permissiveness and failure to say no to Ukraine at each crossing of a red line has seemingly emboldened Ukraine to ignore U.S. limits and conditions on the use of American-supplied weapons. One of the key goals of the Biden administration is to stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes to defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity. That is Joe Biden’s promise to Ukraine. But a second key goal is to avoid being drawn into a direct war between NATO and Russia.

That is Joe Biden’s promise to Americans. A recent wave of Ukrainian attacks on the territory of Russia—not Donbas or Crimea, but the internationally recognized territory of Russia—threatens that promise and threatens the security of Americans. Ukraine has long promised “not to target Russian territory with weapons provided by the West.” They recently reiterated that promise, saying British supplied long range Storm Shadow cruise missiles “will be used only within Ukrainian sovereign territory and not inside Russia,” and when they provided the United States “flat assurances” that F-16 fighter-bombers won’t be used inside Russian territory.

But Ukraine did not keep those promises. In pursuit of their goals—understandably, since the U.S. insisted they postpone those goals and go on fighting the Russian military in pursuit of American goals—they have crossed the red line of U.S. limits and conditions on the use of American-supplied weapons and struck inside Russian territory. This defiantly independent military strategy is increasing the danger that the United States and NATO could get drawn into a war with Russia.

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There are videos that show ‘Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK)’ members speaking Polish.

Belgium Questions Kiev About Attack Inside Russia (RT)

Brussels is concerned over media reports claiming that weapons it sent to Kiev were used by militants to launch incursions into Russia, several Belgian media outlets reported on Sunday, adding that the government will demand an official explanation from Ukraine on the issue. Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder and Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib will “contact the Ukrainian authorities and ask for clarifications,” the defense minister’s office confirmed to Belgium’s RTBF broadcaster. The documents accompanying each weapons delivery from Belgium “explicitly state” that the military equipment can only be distributed to the regular armed forces and used only to “defend” Ukrainian territory, the media added. “These weapons are therefore not authorized for isolated groups that have an internal Russian agenda,” a Belgian official told another local media outlet, Le Soir.

The Belgian media also described the ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ and the ‘Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK)’ – two Kiev-backed militant groups that are said to be in possession of Western arms – as groups that have “neo-Nazi” members within their ranks. The RDK and the ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ were responsible for several incursions into Russian territory in March and May 2023. Photos and videos published by the militants from their raid last month, as well as images released by the Russian Defense Ministry in the wake of the clashes with the militants, suggested that their sabotage groups made use of US and Polish armored vehicles, as well as Belgian and Czech assault rifles. The Pentagon and the US State Department expressed doubts regarding the authenticity of the images.

On Saturday, the Washington Post reported, citing sources linked to US intelligence, that the militants did use weapons and heavy equipment supplied to Kiev by their Western backers. The May raid ended up with the Russian forces killing “over 70 Ukrainian terrorists” and destroying “four armored combat vehicles, and five pickup trucks,” the Russian Defense Ministry said at that time. The incursion resulted in one civilian death and 12 injuries, according to Russian authorities. On Sunday, the two militant groups sought to launch another cross-border raid into Russia’s Belgorod Region, its governor said. The militants were “dispersed” and pushed back into Ukrainian territory, the defense ministry said later the same day.

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He was Obama’s physician too. Bet he was listened to back then.

Biden’s Health Is A National Security Issue – Ex-White House Doctor (RT)

The White House is guilty of “malpractice” for allowing President Joe Biden to seek re-election while in such a state of physical and mental decline, former White House physician and Republican Congressman Ronny Jackson has told Fox News. Biden tripped and fell while leaving the stage after a commencement ceremony at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado on Thursday. Although the White House said Biden was “fine,” and had been surprised by a sandbag on stage, video footage showed the president apparently needing directions to find his way to the podium in the first place. “I don’t wanna sound like a broken record, but I’m just going to say it again: This man’s not fit mentally or physically to be our president, and it’s a bad situation for us,” Jackson told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Friday.

“I think his lack of physical ability and his physical decline is now starting to highlight the cognitive decline that we’ve been watching for so long now,” Jackson continued. “It’s a package that just doesn’t sell around the world, and it’s becoming a national security issue for us.”Jackson, who served as White House physician to Donald Trump and Barack Obama, has repeatedly warned about Biden’s mental health, declaring earlier this year that the 80-year-old president “doesn’t know where he’s at half the time and every day he brings us closer to an all-out war with Russia and China.” According to a recent NPR poll, 62% of Americans believe that Biden’s mental fitness is “a real concern about his ability to be president,” with 36% of Democrats and 69% of independents agreeing with this statement.

A Washington Post poll taken at the beginning of May also found that 62% of voters believe Biden to be in too poor a physical condition to serve effectively. Biden is already the oldest commander-in-chief ever to lead the US, and if elected in 2024 will be 86 years old leaving office. It “is just malpractice on part of the White House in the West Wing to allow this to be happening, for him to even be talking about running for another term,” Jackson told Hannity. “Somebody needs to be held accountable. People like Jill Biden and people that surround him and are supposed to love him and care about him, they should be doing something about this, and they should be stopping this because it’s a shame.”

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Breton: “I am the enforcer. I represent the law, which is the will of the state and the people..”

Idiot.

EU Desperate To Clamp Down On Musk’s Free Speech As ‘Disinformation’ (Marsden)

European Union officials are having a meltdown, all because Twitter CEO Elon Musk has withdrawn the platform from a “voluntary” EU code of conduct for tech firms to combat so-called “disinformation.” And they have yet to cite a single actual example of it. EU Internal Markets Commissioner Thierry Breton tweeted, “You can run, but you can’t hide,” citing a legal obligation to prevent disinformation from August. He’s basically treating Musk, a guy who builds rockets and cars in America, like an unruly schoolchild, with Brussels in the role of the principal. French Digital Minister Jean-Noel Barrot even threatened to ban Twitter from the EU in a recent interview, citing the “grave” threat of disinformation. They’re basically accusing Musk of pre-crime, like in the movie ‘Minority Report’ where Tom Cruise’s character is chased down by the state before having committed an offense.

The EU is seeking to bring the very long arm of its authoritarianism down on Musk and other private tech players – however far outside the EU they might actually be – who refuse to abide by Brussels’ “Code of Practice on Disinformation,” concocted in 2018 and revised last year. Breton is even heading to Silicon Valley to check in on them. “I am the enforcer. I represent the law, which is the will of the state and the people,” he said about his trip. Sounds like Mr. Enforcer could use a good humbling from the people he purports to represent, and what better way for it to be delivered than through Musk, who envisions Twitter as the voice of the people and a platform for truly free expression. By withdrawing from the code, Musk is just the latest example of what seems to be a trend.

Facebook’s parent company Meta has already laid off moderators. Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet, and others have also cut into their watchdog departments, citing cost-cutting measures. Perhaps policing narratives is bad for business. You have to wonder, though – if joining this EU pact is optional, then what exactly is the big deal? It’s not like there’s any guarantee that any of the signatories are actually reducing what the EU considers as disinformation. In fact, the whole concept of top-down policing of information flow raises suspicion about the potential marginalization of views and debates that oppose the establishment narrative. According to this EU code, tech platforms like Twitter are connected with “fact-checkers, civil society, and third-party organizations with specific expertise on disinformation.” The policy document adds that platforms also must report to an EU “Code Taskforce,” monitoring their efforts. Given that any such actors would implicitly have the EU’s stamp of approval, it’s not a stretch to imagine that they could effectively end up acting as enforcers or gatekeepers of the establishment narrative.

Musk himself is no stranger to this kind of systemic collusion between state actors and platforms to the detriment of contradictory debate and free information flow. It was his own release of the Twitter Files in the wake of his acquisition of the platform that brought to light the collusion between Twitter and Western government authorities to manipulate and censor public debate over Covid-19, for example, or to coordinate on certain narratives about geopolitical competitors (like Russia) – all under the guise of fighting “disinformation.” Speaking of which, it didn’t take long after Musk’s withdrawal from the disinfo code for the EU’s vice president for values and transparency – an Orwellian title, if there ever was one – to suggest that the ultimate beneficiary of Musk’s actions in withdrawing from the code wasn’t free speech and debate, but rather Russia.

“Bye, bye birdie,” Vera Jourova said. “Twitter has chosen a hard way to comply with our digital laws. Russia’s disinformation is dangerous and it is irresponsible to leave EU’s anti-disinformation code.” Right, because all facts and analysis that don’t align with the Western agenda has to be Russian, as these folks see it. The reasoning is just a step away from proclaiming Musk to be some kind of useful idiot for Russia, despite him also being a major Pentagon contractor.

Elon BBee
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665510653384163329
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665522404766957568

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Lawyer “sundance” has a elaborate theory. Can’t say I’m overly covinced.

Elon Musk Uses Team DeSantis Twitter Community Notes to Undermine Trump (CTH)

The issue of Twitter’s financial status speaks to the motives of Musk that later surface – like his relationship with Fox News billionaire Rupert Murdoch. Once you see the connections, suddenly everything makes sense. Musk and Murdoch have intersecting interests. Elon Musk is in desperate need of revenue for his social media platform Twitter. By his own admissions, Twitter is currently in the red on an annual basis between $1.5 to $4.0 billion; that may go as high as $5 billion, depending on what happens over the next six months. Currently losing $100 million/mo, Musk is limited on how much he can pull from his other companies to support Twitter, and with $1.5 billion in debt service alone on the $12.5 billion borrowed for the Twitter purchase, Musk needs an income stream quickly.

Advertising revenue has dropped 50%. This is the motive for Musk to hire Linda Jaccarino, the former head of NBC Universal advertising, to bring urgently needed revenue to a platform currently considered too extreme for the DEI-minded corporate advertising executives. Musk is also captive to contracts with Bezos’ Amazon (AWS) and Google cloud services for platform data processing support. Those very expensive contracts – $1 billion and $2 billion respectively – do not expire until 2025. In short, Musk needs revenue. For Twitter, this reality drives his decision-making. Enter, Rupert Murdoch. Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch owns Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and Harper Collins book publishing. Murdoch wants to control the outcome of the 2024 election and strongly supports Ron DeSantis on behalf of his Wall Street allies.

Murdoch financed DeSantis through the Harper Collins book deal, and Murdoch has turned his media outlets into advanced PR for the DeSantis campaign. The Murdoch media approach includes lengthy and friendly broadcast Fox News appearances, interviews and pundit advocacy, while the print side spins favorable stories. The Wall Street Journal and New York Post are doing the same. It is a full-court press to support DeSantis on behalf of the interests of Murdoch et al. Keep in mind, the RNC has given Fox News control over the kickoff GOP debate. Elon Musk needs money; this is not in question. Rupert Murdoch, supporting Ron DeSantis, wants control of the 2024 election outcome; also, this is not in question. These two facets form the baseline of a common interest.

Elon Musk launches the DeSantis campaign via Twitter Spaces – not accidental. Musk then uses his platform control mechanisms to amplify DeSantis and counteract the strong and visible platform support for Donald Trump. What outlet pushes the narrative that flows from the operation? Rupert Murdoch. NEW YORK POST – “Donald Trump’s 2024 election campaign’s claims are already being hit with Twitter’s new “community notes,” which fact-check or offer context to dubious posts. In May alone, Team Trump and their surrogates were slapped with community notes on at least seven occasions — and were often cited for posting flat-out lies.” Christina Pushaw is a registered foreign agent working for the DeSantis campaign. Ms. Pushaw went from working in Ukraine, for Volodymyr Zelenskyy, directly to working in Florida as Ron DeSantis’ press secretary.

Pushaw was the person who gathered the “influence operation” over the past two years on behalf of the DeSantis 2024 operation. That operation was visible in 2022, denied in 2022, then finally admitted two weeks ago. Now working for the DeSantis campaign, Christina Pushaw – a fellow traveler from the George Soros network and schooling – has organized the same type of influence campaign used in Ukraine to support Zelenskyy, only this time she is exploiting social media and specifically Twitter. This is why she spent so much time recruiting ‘influencers’ in 2021 and 2022, and even tried to deny she was doing it.

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Cause: vaxx mandates and vaxx injuries.

American Airlines Struggles With Pilot Deficit, Grounds 150 Aircraft (ET)

American Airlines, a leading carrier based in Fort Worth, is currently grappling with a significant challenge. The airline is unable to operate approximately 150 of its regional aircraft due to a persistent shortage of pilots, as revealed by CEO Robert Isom. Speaking at the Bernstein 39th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference, Isom stated, “We would deploy properly to markets that aren’t being served. We would do that today. It’s just we don’t have the pilots.” This issue arises at a time when the airline industry is witnessing a record demand for travel, particularly during the summer season. However, the capacity to meet this demand is constrained by the lack of pilots, leading to grounded planes and missed opportunities to capitalize on high ticket prices. Isom noted that the situation is more severe than the previous year when the pilot shortage began to significantly affect regional airlines as demand rebounded following the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking ahead, Isom shared that American Airlines expects to acquire more pilots for its regional network over the next 18 to 24 months. Once these pilots are onboard, the grounded aircraft will be reintroduced into service in a manner that is expected to generate favorable unit revenues. He stated, “American anticipates getting more pilots over the next 18 to 24 months for the regional network, and those aircraft would be put back into service in a fashion that is going to produce unit revenues that are very favorable.” However, the challenge of pilot shortage is not unique to American Airlines. The airline industry as a whole is projected to face a deficit of nearly 80,000 pilots by 2032, as per a report by Oliver Wyman.

[..] The Biden administration put pressure on airlines to require vaccines as part of a broader strategy to boost inoculation rates in the country in October 2021. “While we are still working through the details of the federal requirements, it is clear that team members who choose to remain unvaccinated will not be able to work at American Airlines,” Doug Parker, American Airlines chief executive, told employees in an Oct. 1, 2021 memo. According to a group of attorneys, doctors, and other experts—and a pilot who says his career ended due to adverse reactions from a vaccine—the Federal Aviation Administration has been breaking its own rule that states pilots should not fly after having taken medications that have been approved for less than a year, The Epoch Times reported in December 2021.

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Almost funny.

What Are German Fighter Pilots Doing in China? (Spiegel)

Bundeswehr fighter pilots usually enter retirement at 41, an age at which reflexes tend to grow duller and vision worse. Those who begin flying for the German Air Force at the age of 20 receive half of their final monthly salary as a pension once they reach 41. Most former pilots find it insufficient and look for secondary employment. The training of pilots in China began just over 10 years ago, with a former Bundeswehr pilot declaring a position at the Test Flying Academy of South Africa, which trains Chinese pilots. Sources in Berlin say the pilot did not transgress any formal restrictions with the move and point out that China at the time was not seen as an authoritarian rival. Germany was also providing official training to Chinese officers at the time. The naivete of this approach became clearer than ever last fall, when Australia arrested the American pilot Daniel Duggan.

He stands accused of having trained Chinese pilots, just like his German counterparts – allegations which Duggan denies. He is currently behind bars and may be extradited to the United States. British agencies also sounded the alarm last fall. According to a British Defense Ministry announcement, up to 30 former Royal Air Force officers are thought to have provided training to Chinese fighter pilots in the last several years. They received the princely salary of 280,000 euros each for their services. Because the pilots violated no applicable laws, London announced it would be introducing a legal reform. American investigators believe that the imprisoned pilot Duggan was recruited by the Chinese company Lode Tech, which was founded by businessman Su Bin, the son of an officer in the People’s Liberation Army. Su lived for many years in Canada, where he operated an aviation company with 80 employees.

As later became clear, he also spied on behalf of the Chinese state. Su developed a particularly keen interest in the construction blueprints for the C-17, a transport plane developed by Boeing for the U.S. military. In the summer of 2014, Su was arrested, subsequently confessing that he had spent six years secretly collecting information for China. He had been able to rely on an extensive network of contacts in the aviation industry, making it possible for him to identify particularly interesting engineers and other professionals for his handlers back in China. With the help of phishing emails, hackers employed by the state were then able to find their way into company computer networks. In total, they were able to steal 630,000 pieces of data related to the C-17.

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How did Germany become so belligerent?

Germany To Deploy Warships To Indo-Pacific (RT)

Germany will deploy two warships to the Indo-Pacific next year, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said at an international summit on Sunday, amid ongoing regional tensions involving China and Taiwan, as well as the disputed South China Sea. In an address at the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference in Singapore on Sunday, Pistorius declared that the maritime passage, through which around 40% of Europe’s foreign trade travels, must be respected. “To this end, the German federal government sent a frigate to the Indo-Pacific in 2021, and will again, in 2024, deploy maritime assets,” Pistorius said at the conference, which was attended by many of the world’s most influential defense officials.

These assets, Pistorius said, would comprise a frigate and a supply ship – but he stressed that the maritime deployment is not being undertaken to counter actions of any specific actor in the region. “To the contrary,” he continued, “they are dedicated to the protection of the rules-based international order that we all signed up to and which we all should benefit from.” Berlin and Beijing maintain key trade links, but the deployment of the warships to the South China Sea in 2024 could potentially lead to headaches as Germany seeks to juggle its security and economic interests.

In 2021, a German warship was deployed to the region for the first time in almost two decades. Other Western countries have also increased their military presence in the area amid concerns about Beijing’s territorial objectives, particularly in relation to Taiwan. Beijing has asserted that the South China Sea is its exclusive maritime zone. However, about seven years ago, a tribunal under the terms of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea firmly rejected Beijing’s territorial claim to the waters. Despite this, China has installed military outposts on at least three islands in the sea.

Last month, Beijing expressed its “significant displeasure” at a visit by German government minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger to Taiwan – which Beijing views as a breakaway province. China has frequently rebuked Western nations for engaging in diplomacy with leaders in Taipei, which it views as a part of its sovereign territory under the ‘One-China’ principle. On Saturday at the same conference in Singapore, Pistorius said he had “made it clear” to Beijing that he expected China to end its practice of enlisting former German military pilots to help train its own forces. This followed a report by German news magazine Spiegel on Friday, which said China had been receiving such training for years, and that security officials in Berlin were concerned that the military knowledge of German and NATO forces were being discussed.

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The only newsworthy part of the long article is at the bottom: it was all scripted.

Lawmaker Probing J6: ‘People Of Interest’ May Have Withheld Critical Intel (JTN)

Loudermilk also revealed that he is reviewing the work of the Democrat-led House Jan. 6 investigative committee that wrapped up its work last year, and has found some shocking evidence that much of its public hearings were stage managed. “We found out in the in the documents that I acquired from the Jan. 6 committee is the written script of every member of the committee. Just like you would have on a teleprompter or if you memorize a script for a movie,” he said. “And so every single aspect of their hearings was scripted for a Hollywood type of emotional appeal to the American people.”


He said Republicans now running the House administration committee are taking a different approach to elicit facts, no emotion. “We just recently had a hearing with the chief of the Capitol Police. There was nothing scripted about it,” he said. “We did have certain questions that we wanted to ask, but each member had their questions. The chief wasn’t given a script in advance. … These hearings from the January 6 Select Committee were Hollywood productions.”

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Voluntary? There’s some pressure being applied.

OPEC+ Countries To Perform Voluntary Production Cuts — Novak (TASS)

Commitments on voluntary reduction of oil production assumed by certain OPEC+ countries will be honored, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on the air with the Rossiya-24 TV channel. “The agreement has performance above the target lately because there is a range of counties not taking up their quotas. As regards the decisions made on voluntary reduction since May, third party source data will be available in mid-June but we see from discussions, from the exchange of opinions between heads of delegations, that these agreements are performed, including Russia performing in full scope. That is why I am confident that the reduction announced additionally since May 1 will be implemented,” Novak said. Russia will extend its voluntary oil production cut by 500,000 barrels daily until the end of December 2024, the deputy prime minister said earlier.

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The tightest Fed and ECB policy in 15 years is colliding with high leverage built upon stretched margins..”

Wave Of Defaults Looming – Deutsche Bank (RT)

A cycle of boom and bust will return this year and a wave of corporate debt defaults is imminent, particularly in the US and Europe, Deutsche Bank has warned. According to the bank’s annual study released on Wednesday, defaults by companies will become more commonplace compared with the last 20 years. Deutsche expects default rates to peak in the fourth quarter of 2024. The bank projected peak default rates to reach 9% for US high-yield debt, 11.3% for US loans, 4.4% for European high-yield bonds, and 7.3% for European loans. The estimated US loan peak default rate is a near all-time high, compared to a peak of 12% during the 2007-2008 global financial crisis and 7.7% during the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s, the study showed.

“Our cycle indicators signal a default wave is imminent,” Deutsche economists wrote. “The tightest Fed and ECB policy in 15 years is colliding with high leverage built upon stretched margins. And tactically, our US credit cycle gauge is producing its highest non-pandemic warning signal to investors, since before the GFC [Global Financial Crisis].” Strategists noted that the magnitude and length of the cycle could come as a surprise. “Although our forecasts just presume a return of the Boom Bust cycle, not a GFC-style shock,” they added.

Aggressive interest rate hikes by central banks, including the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank as they continue to fight runaway inflation, have raised global recession risks, Deutsche warned. The EU’s largest economy, Germany, has already entered recession. “We suspect the next recession will be the first since the US tech bubble to inflict more pain on credit markets than the real economy,” experts cautioned. “Corporate leverage is elevated. And global credit markets derive more of their revenue from manufacturing and the sale of physical goods than the real economy at large,” they concluded.

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Who cares what the judge orders?

Police Omitted Folder Called ‘CIA’ From Laptop Of Assange Spy (El Pais)

David Morales — the owner of the Spanish security company that spied on Julian Assange during his prolonged stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London — kept the work he did for the CIA on his laptop. It was all marked under the initials of the U.S. intelligence agency, according to a new examination of his MacBook, to which EL PAÍS has had access to. The word “CIA” appears several times on a Western Digital-branded external hard drive, on which Morales kept the projects and operations that his company — UC Global, S.L. — was contracted to deliver. Morales’ personal files, which were previously unknown to investigators, builds on the allegations and evidence that Morales — a former Spanish soldier — spied on the meetings that the WikiLeaks founder and his lawyers held at the Embassy of Ecuador to the United Kingdom, and sent that information to the U.S. intelligence agency.

These files were stored on a number of folders marked with the terms “CIA,” “Embassy” and “Videos,” along with other labels. The appearance of this new evidence has been a surprise in the case against Morales in Spain’s High Court, the Audiencia Nacional. None of these computer records previously appeared in the initial copy made by the police, when officers categorized the material seized from the security contractor when he was arrested in September 2019. All of this material was uploaded to a cloud storage system within the judicial systems, so that all parties involved in the case could review it. The arrest and indictment of Morales took place weeks after an investigation by EL PAÍS revealed the videos and audios that UC Global employees had recorded while the Australian was preparing his defense with his lawyers.

The discovery of these new clues about the CIA’s spying on the cyberactivist — who remains imprisoned in a London jail — is no accident. Assange’s lawyers found problems when downloading the records uploaded to the cloud. They managed to get Judge Santiago Pedraz — who is overseeing the case — to authorize a second copy of the material seized by the agents. A new digital document dump offered a clear picture that the police had not pieced together. Now, a report by the experts called by Assange’s lawyers credits the appearance of “a very relevant volume of material, which was not included in the original [police] copy.” Forensic analysis describes the copy of the hard drive as containing “multiple pieces of evidence.” In this second dump, the mentioned folders have appeared, including the one that UC Global labelled as “CIA.”

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David Martin

 

 


We have been going through a Long Singularity for a century and a half. To put that in context, as species, we spent 19,960 centuries making better types of stone hand axes. It isn’t surprising that it feels hard to keep up. https://www.oneusefulthing.org/p/becoming-strange-in-the-long-singularity

 

 

Mickey
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665048200149979139

 

 

Kingfisher

 

 

Duck

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 272023
 
 April 27, 2023  Posted by at 9:11 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  52 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Woman sitting in a armchair 1910

 

Pentagon Top Brass Pleased With Carlson Exit – Politico (RT)
Tucker Carlson Reappears In 8PM Time Slot, But Not With Fox (ZH)
Poland Seizes Russian Embassy And Trade Mission Funds (RT)
Russia Understands Western Sanctions Aren’t ‘Temporary’ – PM (RT)
Moscow Reacts To Xi-Zelensky Call (RT)
Kiev Could ‘Capture Small Russian Towns’ For Leverage – WaPo (RT)
Ukraine Conflict Helps Prepare For Potential China Clash – Pentagon (RT)
Zelensky’s Right-Hand Man Contradicts US General (RT)
Biden Threatens North Korea With Annihilation (RT)
The Historic US-Saudi Relationship Cannot Bounce Back (Sweidan)
Twitter, Tiktok And Instagram To Face Much Stricter Content Rules In EU (Az.)
Ex-CIA Boss Intervened On Russia Collusion In 2016, Benghazi In 2012 (JTN)
The RFK Jr. Tapes (David Samuels)
Musk’s Lawyer Invokes ‘Deepfake’ Defense (RT)
EU Countries Sinking In Debt – Bloomberg (RT)
Gold Leading ‘Revolt Against Dollar’ – Economist (RT)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor It’s over and Ukraine is doomed

 

 

 

 

RFK Tucker

RFK – Unavoidably unsafe

RFK pharma ads
https://twitter.com/i/status/1651222441715281921

 

 

Digital trap

 

 

“Alexander Dugin, a prominent Russian thinker, in a conversation with Al-Mayadin: The global structure is between two possible scenarios; The first scenario belongs to the year 2050, in which the complete and irreversible victory for globalization and the unipolar era and the emergence of the post-human era and the destruction of all types of humanity have been achieved. The second possible future is that we will win and everything will change and a multipolar world will emerge.

Russia is currently fighting the real devil, Joe Biden, George Soros, and Western crazies; We need to create a new network outside of Western control. We need the continuation of international relations in a successful global trade system, without Western domination. The world is not limited to the West and globalism does not necessarily have a Western meaning. I believe that we are on the verge of the global collapse of liberalism. Its main cause is the growth of internal contradictions in the world system; A new global network should be created based on justice and equality. Globalization is nearing its collapse and end.”

 

 

 

 

“What we absolutely won’t do is take personnel advice from a talk show host or the Chinese military.”

Pentagon Top Brass Pleased With Carlson Exit – Politico (RT)

Senior Pentagon officials have welcomed the departure of Tucker Carlson from Fox News, Politico has claimed. The popular host regularly criticized the US military’s diversity and inclusivity policies, claiming they were imposed at the expense of battle readiness. “We’re a better country without him bagging on our military every night in front of hundreds of thousands of people,” a senior Defense Department official told the news outlet on condition of anonymity. The source claimed Carlson had “made a mockery” of the free press and “repeatedly cherry-picked department policies and used them to destroy DoD [Defense Department] as an institution.” Commenting on Carlson’s exit from the conservative network, another official reportedly said: “Good riddance.”

The popular former prime-time host regularly accused the Pentagon of undermining US fighting capabilities for the sake of ideologically-motivated inclusivity, imposed under pressure from President Joe Biden’s administration. In a March 2021 segment, Carlson blasted the introduction of flight suits for pregnant aviators, suggesting that Washington was heading in entirely the wrong direction – unlike its rival Beijing. “While China’s military becomes more masculine as it assembles the world’s largest navy, our military needs to become, as Joe Biden says, more feminine,” Carlson said. “This is a mockery of the US military and its core mission, which is winning wars.”


The remarks triggered a rare direct rebuke by the Pentagon, with then-spokesman John Kirby responding: “What we absolutely won’t do is take personnel advice from a talk show host or the Chinese military.” “We know we’re the greatest military in the world today and even for all the things we need to improve, we know exactly why that’s so,” Kirby insisted. When asked by Politico what he thought about the reported glee at his departure among senior Pentagon officials, Carlson replied in a text message: “Ha! I’m sure.” The news that Carlson and Fox News were parting ways broke on Monday, shortly before his prime-time show was due to be broadcast. Neither party has offered an explanation for the split.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1651421792936894467

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“Where can you still find Americans saying true things? There aren’t many places left, but there are some – and that’s enough..”

Tucker Carlson Reappears In 8PM Time Slot, But Not With Fox (ZH)

After Tucker Carlson’s surprise split from Fox News, the #1 rated cable news host in history re-emerged from his home office on Wednesday to offer a stunning 8PM monologue covering his thoughts on the media landscape, and his future. According to Carlson, one of the things one notices when one takes a little ‘time off’ is “how unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are. They’re completely irrelevant. They mean nothing. “In five years we won’t even remember that we had them… and yet, at the same time, the undeniably big topics – the ones that will define our future – get virtually no discussion at all. War, civil liberties, emerging science, demographic change, corporate power, natural resources. When was the last time you heard a legitimate debate about any of those issues?”

“Debates like that are not permitted in American media,” Carlson continued, adding “Both political parties, and their donors, have reached consensus on what benefits them – and they actively collude to shut down any conversation about it. “Suddenly the United States looks like a one-party state,” Carlson said. Carlson doesn’t think this will last, however, noting that while the above is a “depressing realization,” he doesn’t think this is permanent. “Our current orthodoxies won’t last. They’re brain-dead. Nobody actually believes them. Hardly anyone’s life is improved by them. This moment is too inherently ridiculous to continue, and so it won’t.


The people in charge know this, that’s why they’re hysterical and aggressive. They’re afraid. They’ve given up persuasion – they’re resorting to force. But it won’t work. When honest people say what’s true, calmly and without embarrassment, they become powerful. At the same time, the liars who’ve been trying to silence them shrink – and they become weaker. That’s the iron-law of the universe; true things prevail.” Tucker rhetorically asked “Where can you still find Americans saying true things? There aren’t many places left, but there are some – and that’s enough. As long as you can hear the words, there is hope. See you soon.”

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Wild West.

Poland Seizes Russian Embassy And Trade Mission Funds (RT)

All the money in the accounts of the Russian embassy and trade office in Warsaw has been seized by the Polish prosecutor’s office, Ambassador Sergey Andreyev revealed on Wednesday. “We received a notification from the prosecutor’s office that the funds from the Santander Bank accounts of the embassy and the trade representation were transferred to the accounts of the prosecutor’s office,” Andreyev told RIA Novosti. Santander Bank then informed the embassy that it had “ceased cooperation” with the Russian government and closed the accounts, Andreyev added. There were “significant amounts” of both US dollars and Polish zlotys in both accounts, according to the diplomat. Andreyev called the incident “a flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” the 1961 treaty governing the rights and responsibilities of diplomats.

The Polish authorities had previously frozen the embassy account, citing suspicions that it might be involved in “money laundering or terrorism.” When this prevented the embassy from paying the lease on a recreational facility near Warsaw, the Polish authorities terminated the lease and seized the property in November 2022. Another property, a residence on 100 Sobieski Street, was seized last spring. Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski said at the time it should be handed to refugees from Ukraine. The Polish foreign ministry said the building was “illegally owned” by the embassy as it was not being used for diplomatic or consular purposes. The embassy’s explanation, that the building was unfit for occupancy as it needed repairs, was ignored.

Poland has also sought to confiscate the embassy-operated school in Warsaw, citing the same pretext. The Russian Foreign Ministry has protested both seizures as a flagrant violation of international law. Many EU and NATO countries have expelled dozens of Russian diplomats after the Ukraine conflict escalated in February 2022, but most did not go so far as to sever relations with Moscow. The US and its allies have insisted they are not actually involved in the conflict, even while they sent Kiev over $100 billion worth of weapons and financial aid.

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“..slapping Russia with restrictions to “disrupt the economy, hurt the people and hit their standard of living, ‘cancel’ Russia and strip it of the ability to choose its own path based on its peoples’ interests.”

Russia Understands Western Sanctions Aren’t ‘Temporary’ – PM (RT)

Russia’s leadership is well aware the nation is likely to live under Western sanctions for a long time, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Wednesday. The government is calculating all the risks associated with the existing and potential future restrictions and is ready for any scenario, he added. “We understand that sanctions are not a temporary phenomenon. They will not be lifted in an instant. Our former partners have gone too far to just turn around and retreat,” he told the ‘Znanie’ (‘Knowledge’) forum in Moscow. According to the prime minister, the US and its allies have been slapping Russia with restrictions to “disrupt the economy, hurt the people and hit their standard of living, ‘cancel’ Russia and strip it of the ability to choose its own path based on its peoples’ interests.”

The Russian economy has been weathering the sanctions push well so far and demonstrated its resilience, Mishustin said, adding that some industries still need to fully restore their production chains. The prime minister earlier told the State Duma that the downturn the Russian economy experienced in 2022 was not as drastic as had been predicted, adding that the nation is going back to economic growth now. The Russian government’s head also warned that the “sanctions war” ultimately led nowhere and only impeded global economic development. The world is now dominated by developments affecting every aspect of life, the prime minister said, naming the rapid development of information technologies used in various fields as one of such processes. “They [IT technologies] are now an important condition of long-term quality economic growth,” he said.

Last week, the head of the Russian Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, said that the Western sanctions Russia had to face last year were worse than “even the most pessimistic scenario.” Although no one could have predicted anything like that, both the Russian people and the country’s businesses demonstrated remarkable adaptability in the face of this new reality, she added. The US and EU have introduced a total of ten rounds of sanctions over the conflict. In December, the EU, along with the G7 countries and Australia, introduced a price cap on Russian seaborne oil, set at $60 per barrel.

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“She said Russian and Chinese visions for a path to peace were “broadly in tune” with one another. “The problem lies not with the lack of good plans,” Zakharova said.”

Moscow Reacts To Xi-Zelensky Call (RT)

Ukraine’s “unrealistic” demands are standing in the way of peace negotiations, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has stated. She made her comments in response to a question about the phone call between Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The leaders spoke on Wednesday for the first time since Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state in February 2022. Zakharova praised Beijing for its efforts to help restart meaningful negotiations. She said Russian and Chinese visions for a path to peace were “broadly in tune” with one another. “The problem lies not with the lack of good plans,” Zakharova said.

“The Kiev regime has so far not been receptive to any reasonable initiative aimed at a political and diplomatic settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. Its occasional agreement to hold negotiations is being tied to ultimatums with obviously unrealistic demands.” The spokeswoman blamed Kiev for the eventual breakdown of negotiations last spring when Russian and Ukrainian teams held several rounds of meetings. Kiev, meanwhile, has repeatedly said that negotiations can resume only after Russia surrenders its recently incorporated territories. Moscow has called such demands unacceptable. Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia in the wake of the 2014 coup in Kiev. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, did the same after holding referendums on the matter in September.

In October, Zelensky signed a decree that declared the “impossibility” of conducting negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Beijing, which unveiled a 12-point roadmap for peace in Ukraine in February, has maintained that the conflict can only end through dialogue. China, unlike many Western countries, has also refused to condemn Russia for its actions. China named diplomat Li Hui its special envoy to Ukraine and “other countries” on Wednesday. Xi said that the envoy would be tasked with conducting “in-depth communication with all parties on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.” Li was China’s ambassador to Moscow from 2009 to 2019. Zelensky, meanwhile, has appointed former strategic industries minister Pavel Ryabkin as the country’s new ambassador to China.

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“The profile of the unit published by the Post claims that Azov has “evolved” away from its neo-Nazi origins..”

Kiev Could ‘Capture Small Russian Towns’ For Leverage – WaPo (RT)

The interim commander of Ukraine’s Azov Brigade (the current incarnation of a former volunteer unit known for its neo-Nazi ideology) has said that Kiev’s forces could capture Russian towns and use them to put pressure on Moscow. In an interview with the Washington Post, Bogdan Krotevich was asked about Ukraine’s much-anticipated planned offensive against Russia. He was referring to the experience of Chechen militants in the mid-1990s who “adopted a strategy of capturing small Russian towns to use as leverage to recover Russian-held areas” during the military conflict in the southern Russian republic. The Ukrainian fighter said his country “may do the same,” the newspaper reported on Wednesday. It was not clear which episodes of the conflict in Chechnya Krotevich was referring to.

One of the most tragic examples of violence spilling outside of the Chechen Republic at the time came in June 1995, when a militant force led by Shamil Basayev raided the city of Budyonnovsk, taking over 1,000 civilians hostage at a local hospital. Another raid targeted the city of Kizlyar in Dagestan the next year, in which Chechen militants led by terrorist Salman Raduyev likewise resorted to hostage-taking. Dozens of people were killed in both cases. The Post’s article noted the desire of Krotevich and other Azov leaders to have more prisoner exchanges between Russia and Ukraine so that captured members of the unit can be returned. The man himself spent several months in Russian custody after he and other Azov fighters surrendered in the Donbass city of Mariupol. Krotevich was freed in a Türkiye-mediated swap last September.

“I came to the conclusion that the fastest way to release our prisoners is to take more Russian soldiers prisoner, and to end this war with our victory,” Krotevich stated. The profile of the unit published by the Post claims that Azov has “evolved” away from its neo-Nazi origins. Moscow regards the original Azov Battalion, which was created in 2014, and its successor organizations as a terrorist group. The unit was incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard early in its history and has now become one of nine ‘Attack Guard’ volunteer brigades. The Interior Ministry revealed them in February, touting service in the units as “an opportunity to dispose of enemies” of the country.

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Dress rehearsal.

Ukraine Conflict Helps Prepare For Potential China Clash – Pentagon (RT)

The Pentagon will use the lessons learned from supplying military aid to Ukraine to help Taiwan in a potential conflict with China, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks has said. “There are many advantages we’ve gained for a potential Pacific challenge from the Ukraine conflict,” Hicks told Bloomberg in an interview published on Wednesday. “We’re learning now to grow our industrial base and to study that industrial base, which has been for the last 60 years in a bit of a feast and famine cycle.” The conflict highlighted the difficulties of quickly procuring enough weapons and equipment for Kiev, Hicks explained. The US repeatedly used the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) to speed up the transfer of stockpiles to Ukraine and plans to do the same with Taiwan.

“We’re thinking about how we use those authorities right now to generate faster and higher-capacity delivery of munitions to provide to our forces in the Pacific,” Hicks said, adding that the Pentagon has “a clear strategy that’s focused on China.” Although the deputy secretary admitted that the US did not believe Beijing was planning an “imminent attack” on Taiwan, she maintained that the Pentagon was committed to “making sure that the (Chinese) leadership wakes up every day and says today is not the day to undertake aggression that threatens US interests.” In December, US President Joe Biden signed the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes $2 billion in military loans to Taipei. The law also allows Washington to muster an emergency stockpile of ammunition worth up to $100 million on or near the island.

Taiwanese Premier Chen Chien-jen said on Monday that negotiations of assembling “regional contingency stockpiles” were still ongoing. Beijing held large-scale military exercises around the island this month in response to a visit by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to the US. Beijing considers Taiwan – which has been ruled by a separate government since the late 1940s – its territory and views contact between local and foreign officials as meddling into its domestic affairs. China has also accused Washington of backing “secessionist forces” on the island. Chinese President Xi Jinping said last year that Beijing favored peaceful “reunification” with Taiwan but reserved the right to use force if necessary. The US supports the ‘One China’ policy by refraining from establishing formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan. At the same time, Washington has been selling arms to the local authorities and promised to defend the island in case of an invasion.

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“..98% of promised combat vehicles had already been delivered..”

Zelensky’s Right-Hand Man Contradicts US General (RT)

Ukraine still needs more weapons and equipment for the much-hyped spring “counteroffensive,” especially artillery ammunition, President Vladimir Zelensky’s adviser Mikhail Podoliak said on Wednesday. He disagreed with the US general commanding NATO forces in Europe, who told Congress earlier in the day that 98% of promised combat vehicles had already been delivered. General Christopher Cavoli gave that statistic to the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday morning. “I am very confident that we have delivered the materiel that they need and we’ll continue a pipeline to sustain their operations as well,” Cavoli added, responding to questions about the expected Ukrainian attack.

Podoliak challenged that assessment later in the day, speaking during a telethon hosted by Ukrainian television. He said only the Ukrainian General Staff can offer accurate numbers, and that Cavoli’s statistics weren’t up to date. “In my opinion, 98% is too much, too large a number. He proceeds from certain mathematical data, things he knows today,” the adviser said, referring to Cavoli. “There should be much more equipment, there is a real shortage of shells, especially of heavy calibers. We are trying to solve this problem.”

The current rate of supply allows the Ukrainian military to take “certain actions” at the frontline, Podoliak said, adding that there is “never enough” weapons and equipment when facing an enemy such as Russia. The much-anticipated counteroffensive may have already begun, he suggested, urging the public not to regard it as a single event but a large number of engagements on various fronts Multiple US outlets have sought to temper expectations about the Ukrainian attack over the past week, citing anonymous government officials worried about the political fallout from its possible failure. Last Friday, the White House even warned of a possible Russian offensive taking place instead.

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Biden=Trump.

Biden Threatens North Korea With Annihilation (RT)

US President Joe Biden declared on Wednesday that a North Korean nuclear attack on his country or South Korea would spell doom for Pyongyang. Under a new agreement between Washington and Seoul, the US would respond to such an attack with nuclear weapons, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol added. “A nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies or partners is unacceptable and will result in the end of whatever regime were to take such an action,” Biden told reporters at the White House. Speaking alongside Biden, Yoon declared that “sustainable peace on the Korean peninsula does not happen automatically.”

“We can achieve peace through the superiority of overwhelming forces and not a false peace based on the goodwill of the other side,” Yoon said, adding that in the event of a nuclear attack from the north, the US and South Korea would “respond swiftly, overwhelmingly and decisively using the full force of the alliance, including US nuclear weapons.” Biden’s words echo those of his predecessor, Donald Trump, who in 2017 warned North Korea that he would respond with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if the country threatened the US with nuclear weapons. Although the north tested a nuclear bomb a month later, Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to a detente and went on to meet several times, and the north’s missile tests came to a halt for most of Trump’s remaining time in office.

These tests have since restarted and ramped up. Pyongyang has test-fired more than 100 missiles since the beginning of 2022, and this month tested its first solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile and a nuclear-capable underwater attack drone. Officials in Washington and Seoul have claimed since last year that the north is gearing up for its seventh underground test of a nuclear weapon. Yoon’s predecessor, Moon Jae-in, largely went along with Trump’s policy of diplomatic outreach to Kim. Yoon, however, has taken a much more hardline stance on his neighbor to the north. In a speech in January, Yoon raised the possibility of his administration acquiring “our own nuclear weapons,” something that more than two thirds of South Koreans want, according to recent polls.

The agreement signed on Wednesday has brought an end to that idea, as it stipulates that Seoul will not pursue its own nuclear armament. Known as the ‘Washington Declaration’, the agreement boosts nuclear information-sharing between the US and Korea, and provides for more joint military drills and the deployment of nuclear-armed US submarines and bombers to South Korea on a rotating basis.

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“..all US efforts to persuade Riyadh to flood global oil markets have failed, and the Russians have managed to maintain both their exports and their economy..”

The Historic US-Saudi Relationship Cannot Bounce Back (Sweidan)

Since the Cold War era began, oil has been a key pillar of the Russian (and former Soviet) economy. It has long been a US priority to be able to influence prices as a pressure tool against Moscow. Since Saudi Arabia is considered an oil superpower, Washington’s cooperation with Riyadh – despite its own dramatically reduced Saudi oil imports – is at the heart of US economic strategies to counter Russia. For example, in the mid-eighties, during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the US asked the Saudis to flood oil markets in order to lower prices and undermine the oil revenue-reliant USSR. In 1986, oil prices dropped by two-thirds, from $30 per barrel to nearly $10 per barrel, ultimately crippling the Soviet economy and its geopolitical reach. But attitudes have sharply altered during the intervening 37 years.

Saudi Arabia now views the US as an energy market competitor due to Washington’s increased shale oil production and disinterest in boosting oil imports. Between 2010 and 2021, US shale oil production grew from approximately 0.59 million bpd to 9.06 million bpd. Riyadh’s response to this new geo-economic development was to raise oil production in 2016, with the aim of lowering prices to undercut the US shale industry, which operates at significantly higher costs. The Saudis indeed fear a declining role as a strategic supplier of global oil, in large part due to expanded US shale production and energy self-sufficiency. This has driven the Saudis to try and reimpose their oil superiority by lowering prices to undercut competitors with higher production costs – despite the short-term domestic damage caused by increased Saudi oil production.

To this day, Saudi Arabia continues to present an obstacle to US energy interests, and has instead found most common ground with Washington’s main adversaries – Russia, China, Iran – with whom Riyadh’s energy interests intersect. Contrary to expectations since the outbreak of the Ukraine war in February 2022, all US efforts to persuade Riyadh to flood global oil markets have failed, and the Russians have managed to maintain both their exports and their economy. It has become manifestly clear to Washington’s decision-makers that Saudi Arabia today is not the Saudi Arabia of 1985, willing to undermine its own revenues and energy interests in order to serve a US geopolitical agenda. Discussions in Washington today have likewise turned to the feasibility of maintaining the US commitment to Saudi Arabia’s security, particularly since Riyadh neither provides Americans with energy nor follows its political diktats.

Some believe that the US’ role of acting as a security guarantor in the Persian Gulf merely serves Beijing’s interests by securing China’s main energy sources. Yet others argue that a US military withdrawal from the Persian Gulf will create a vacuum filled by Beijing, which will keenly seek to ensure its own energy security. The one point of clarity, however, is that US-Saudi energy interests are no longer synergistic and that Riyadh’s interests line up far more closely with those of Beijing and Moscow. This remains a key factor driving Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy and economic diversification today. What remains to be seen is how far the Saudis – deeply and historically bound to western interests – will be willing to challenge the US’ regional hegemony as their goals diverge and Riyadh finds common cause with Washington’s rivals.

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“..a “Very Large Online Platform” (VLOP) or a “Very Large Online Search Engine” (VLOSE)..”

Twitter, Tiktok And Instagram To Face Much Stricter Content Rules In EU (Az.)

The list features platforms with more than 45 million monthly active users, which also includes certain services from Amazon, Google, Meta, Instagram and Microsoft. The volume of users puts the platforms under a new EU law, known as the Digital Services Act (DSA), imposing measures from August such as annual audits and a duty to effectively counter disinformation and hate content. In four months’ time, “these platforms and search engines will not be able to act as if they were ‘too big to care’,” Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, said in a statement. “This new supervision system will cast a wide and tight net and catch all points of failure in a platform’s compliance,” he added.

Platforms meeting the 45-million-plus threshold include Twitter, owned by US billionaire Elon Musk; Alphabet’s Google Search, Google Maps, Google Shopping and Google Play units as well as its YouTube subsidiary; and Meta’s Facebook and Instagram. Microsoft’s LinkedIn, Apple’s iOS App Store, online encyclopedia Wikipedia, messaging app Snapchat and creative image website Pinterest are also covered under the legislation. Under the DSA, they are categorised as a “Very Large Online Platform” (VLOP) or a “Very Large Online Search Engine” (VLOSE). Most of the companies on the list are US-based but Chinese-owned platforms TikTok and e-commerce site AliExpress also feature. The commission also listed German online fashion retailer Zalando. Breton told journalists today that his team will hold “stress tests” to check Twitter’s compliance readiness at the end of June.

He added that TikTok had also expressed an interest in cooperating to ensure compliance. The announcement follows a deadline in February for online companies to publish user figures in Europe. The DSA has a wide range of objectives, including forcing platforms to better protect children, strengthen transparency around digital services, prohibit the sale online of unsafe goods and allow users to have greater choice when online in the EU. The rules allow the EU to impose fines of up to six percent of the platforms’ annual global sales for repeated infringements. By 25 August, the 19 platforms must have an independent compliance system in place and give their first annual risk assessment to the European Commission, including how they plan to handle content on mental health and gender-based violence.

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Lying and cheating. Working for Hillary, Obama and Biden. For years. It’s a sad picture.

Ex-CIA Boss Intervened On Russia Collusion In 2016, Benghazi In 2012 (JTN)

Morell, a 33-year veteran of the CIA who retired shortly after Brennan took over in 2013, has now stirred controversies in three straight elections with actions that relied in part on his intelligence community ties. In September 2012, as Obama was seeking reelection in a close race against Republican Mitt Romney, Morell edited intelligence talking points to delete references to al Qaeda’s role in the deadly attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi. The edits ended up sending National Security Advisor Susan Rice onto the Sunday talk shows to make a false insinuation that an anti-Muslim video spurred the attack on Benghazi when in fact the CIA had strong evidence an al Qaeda-related arm had instigated it.

Republicans accused the former CIA chief of a cover-up. Morell defended his actions in testimony two years later, insisting his edits were not designed to be political but instead were well-meaning actions taken in the heat of a dramatic intelligence drama. “These allegations accuse me of taking these actions for the political benefit of President Obama and then secretary of state Clinton,” Morell testified. “These allegations are false.” But by that time, the talking points had become a major controversy in the 2012 election.

In 2016, Morell’s insertion into the Russia collusion narrative came as Brennan, his successor, was warning Obama the Clinton campaign was crafting a dirty trick. In declassified notes, Brennan recounted how during a July 28, 2016 meeting with Obama he relayed a warning that there was intelligence that Clinton was trying to conjure up a Trump-Russia scandal to distract from Mrs. Clinton’s email controversies. The Clinton campaign had helped fund the Steele dossier, it was later learned. “We’re getting additional insight into Russian activities from [REDACTED],” Brennan’s notes read. “Cite alleged approval by Hillary Clinton of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security services.”

Two months later, Brennan’s CIA would send a similar warning to the FBI, which was investigating Russian collusion based in part on the now-discredited Steele dossier. CIA is aware of an intercept “discussing US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning US presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering US elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server,” the agency wrote in a teletype to the bureau. Brennan’s warning to Obama was significant because just four days earlier the Clinton campaign — where current Biden National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan served at the time as a security adviser — put out a statement saying Russia hacked the Democrat Party documents to help Trump. Mueller’s probe found no proof Trump or his team played a role in the hack.

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Long read.

The RFK Jr. Tapes (David Samuels)

The heir to the family’s political mantle in the third generation of Kennedys was always Bobby. It was Bobby who became the leader of his tribe of orphaned brothers and sisters after their father’s death, trying and failing to make up for the absence of a charismatic father and the near-total absence of adult supervision. A friend who was close to the family in those years recalls visits to their home in Hickory Hill, Virginia, as like visiting a zoo—quite literally, with live sea mammals in the swimming pool, and animals of all shapes and sizes, frequently untamed, roaming freely throughout the house. Bobby’s hawks nested in the eaves and children climbed in and out of windows. Eventually, the friend’s mother forbade further visits, on account of it being too physically dangerous.

If the Kennedys were a kind of American royalty, then Bobby was their Prince Hal—charismatic and beloved, yet also dangerous and frequently out of control, a fatherless child who was trying to emulate the adult father figures who had been taken from him before he could truly understand who they were or what their brand of world-shaping masculinity meant. In 1983, Bobby was found nodding off in an airplane bathroom, and then pleaded guilty to heroin possession. The death of his brother David, who worshipped Bobby, a year later from a heroin overdose, made an uphill climb back to respectability seem even more unlikely, even after he got clean, and his decades of hard work as an environmental lawyer for Riverkeeper and the NRDC established him as one of the most effective environmental activists in the country.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, Bobby kept his name alive in political circles through a familiar striptease dance with the New York press, which was no doubt orchestrated in part by his best friend from college, Peter Kaplan, the sharp-eyed editor of The New York Observer: A dutiful accounting of his environmental good works ridding New York’s waterways of deadly toxins, a dash of Kennedy fairy dust, a tour of his falcons—falconry being a lifelong hobby, pursued with characteristic dedication—and a tantalizing hint of a possible future race for some political office that would re-up his star power and help promote his advocacy. Of course, he never ran—which prevented the publication of the inevitable attack articles ripping him to pieces.

Running would have been messy. His sister Kerry was married to the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo—heir to another political dynasty whose name meant more in New York state than the name Kennedy did. Then it all came apart. In 2005, Kerry and Andrew Cuomo divorced. In 2010, Bobby separated from his wife, Mary Richardson, who had been Kerry’s college roommate at Brown and appeared to be suffering from substance abuse issues; a judge awarded temporary full custody of their four children to Bobby. In 2012, Mary Richardson hung herself. In 2013, Peter Kaplan died of cancer.

Meanwhile, Bobby Kennedy Jr. found success as an environmentally friendly venture capitalist along with a new cause: vaccines. In 2005, Kennedy wrote a blockbuster Rolling Stone magazine article titled “Deadly Immunity,” which presented compelling evidence of an ongoing vaccine safety cover-up led by U.S. national health bureaucrats, including transcripts of a 2000 CDC conference in Norcross, Georgia, where researchers presented information linking the mercury compound thimerosol with neurological problems in children. At its root, the case Kennedy made in his article was no more or less plausible and empirically grounded than the cases that he and dozens of other environmental advocates had been making for decades against large chemical companies for spewing toxins into America’s air, water, and soil, and then lying about it.

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“..the company’s defense could make all of Musk’s public statements “immune” from legal scrutiny simply because he is “famous.”

Musk’s Lawyer Invokes ‘Deepfake’ Defense (RT)

A judge has ordered Elon Musk to testify under oath about whether he made certain claims about his company’s electric cars, after Tesla lawyers said statements attributed to him by plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit could have been fabricated with ‘deepfake’ software. The ruling from California Judge Evette Pennypacker was handed down on Wednesday, part of a lawsuit against Tesla over the death of Walter Huang, who was killed in a car wreck involving one of the company’s vehicles in 2018. Musk was ordered to provide a three-hour interview under oath regarding some of his past comments about Tesla cars and their ‘Autopilot’ capabilities, as the CEO is alleged to have claimed that some models could “drive autonomously with greater safety than a person” at a conference in 2016.

The plaintiffs in the suit say the claims were misleading and that the self-driving features on Huang’s Tesla had failed, resulting in his death. The carmaker, however, maintains that Huang was on his cell phone before the crash and had disregarded warnings from the vehicle, denying any liability. Company lawyers also dispute the comments pinned on Musk, saying that he, “like many public figures, is the subject of many ‘deepfake’ videos and audio recordings that purport to show him saying and doing things he never actually said or did.” Though Huang’s family cited a 2016 YouTube video which appears to show Musk making the statement in question, Tesla’s legal team has opposed the CEO’s deposition, also stating that he cannot remember his past comments.

Judge Pennypacker said Tesla’s claims are “deeply troubling,” suggesting the company’s defense could make all of Musk’s public statements “immune” from legal scrutiny simply because he is “famous.” She warned similar arguments could allow celebrities and public figures to “avoid taking ownership of what they did actually say and do.” However, the judge’s order was tentative, meaning that another hearing will be held on Thursday to determine whether Musk will be deposed under oath. Such rulings are not uncommon in California courts, which frequently allow parties to offer additional arguments to dispute motions before they are finalized.

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Join the crowd.

EU Countries Sinking In Debt – Bloomberg (RT)

Countries in Eastern Europe have borrowed some $32 billion so far this year, three times more than during the same period a year ago, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. Poland has tapped overseas markets for nearly $9 billion, putting it second among emerging-market economies in terms of overseas borrowing, trailing only Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Romania and Hungary, which have borrowed a respective $6 billion and $5 billion, are the fourth and fifth largest emerging-market borrowers. This marks the first time in a dozen years that three Eastern European countries are among the top five overseas emerging-market borrowers.

The surge in borrowing is attributable to an increasing need to dole out subsidies due to the still-raging energy crisis, as well as soaring spending related to the military conflict in Ukraine, according to Bloomberg. Eastern European countries have had to build up their military capabilities and help refugees from the neighboring state. Meanwhile, hawkish policies pursued by key central banks have made it much more expensive to borrow in bond markets, even for highly rated nations. Poland is paying 5.5% in annual interest on a new 30-year bond, significantly above the less than 4% the same bond would have sold for back in 2021.

Rising interest rates are projected to add to the suddenly swelling budget deficits across Eastern Europe, inevitably putting more pressure on finances in the region. According to analyst estimates on Bloomberg, Eastern Europe’s budget deficit will surge to 4.3% of the region’s gross domestic product in 2023, up from the 1.3% recorded two years ago. The conflict in Ukraine “hits fiscal deficits from both sides,” Daniel Wood, a fixed income portfolio manager at William Blair International, told Bloomberg. “It lowers growth, which reduces revenue collection for the government, and on the expenditure side it has been necessary for governments to help those that have been hit hard by the cost of living.”

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“Some countries began to seek alternatives after seeing Russian assets frozen abroad and the country cut off from the SWIFT global financial messaging system. “Suddenly, it was clear that any nation could be a target..”

Gold Leading ‘Revolt Against Dollar’ – Economist (RT)

Central banks around the world are shifting away from the US dollar and turning their attention to gold as a safe haven asset, the chairman of Rockefeller International, Ruchir Sharma, has said. Prices for the commodity have surged 20% in the past six months, with demand coming not from “the usual suspects” such as large and small investors “seeking a hedge against inflation and low real interest rates,” but from “heavy buyers” like central banks, Sharma wrote in the Financial Times on Sunday. According to the investment expert, regulators are sharply reducing their dollar holdings and seeking a safe alternative. Central banks now account for a record 33% of monthly global demand for gold and are ramping up gold-buying more than at any time since data began in 1950, Sharma added.

“This buying boom has helped push the price of gold to near-record levels and more than 50% higher than what models based on real interest rates would suggest,” he explained, adding that “clearly, something new is driving gold prices.” Sharma pointed out that nine of the top ten central bank buyers are in the “developing world,” including Russia, India, and China. “Not coincidentally, these three countries are in talks with Brazil and South Africa about creating a new currency to challenge the dollar,” Sharma noted. He attributed the rush for the precious metal to increasing sanctions pressure exerted by the US and its allies, with as many as 30% of nations facing international penalties – up from 10% in the early 1990s.

“Thus, the oldest and most traditional of assets, gold, is now a vehicle of central bank revolt against the dollar,” Sharma argued. Some countries began to seek alternatives after seeing Russian assets frozen abroad and the country cut off from the SWIFT global financial messaging system. “Suddenly, it was clear that any nation could be a target,” Sharma wrote. According to the expert, the US saw sanctions as a “cost-free way to fight Russia,” but in reality the weaponization of the dollar has come at a cost for Washington as even allies such as Thailand and the Philippines have started to look for alternatives.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

CO2

 

 

 

 

Progress

 

 

 

9/11

 

 


Biologists found a marine green algae during a trip to the island in 2019. It took two years to identify it and give it a name: acetabularia jalakanyakae. The main feature of the species is that the plant is made up of one gigantic cell with a nucleus

 

 

Tippy taps

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 212023
 
 April 21, 2023  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  41 Responses »


Pierre-Auguste Renoir Dance at Bougival 1883

 

Dollar Finished – America in Danger – Charles Nenner (USAW)
NATO Chief: Ukraine’s ‘Rightful Place’ Is In The Alliance (AP)
British Depleted Uranium A ‘Terrible Thing’ For Ukraine – Ambassador (RT)
EU ‘Done’ With Russia Sanctions – Official (RT)
Europe is American Pawn – Türkiye (RT)
People In New Regions Fought For Many Years To Be Part Of Russia – Putin (TASS)
Whither Multipolarity in a Changing World Order (CP)
Blinken Played Central Role In Covering Up Hunter Biden Laptop Story (SAC)
The Digital Euro Could Usher In Total State Control (Glavinic)
Western Media Suddenly Hates Twitter’s ‘Government-funded’ Labels (Marsden)
“Why Does Brussels Hate Us?” Livid EU Farmers Hit Back At Green Agenda (ZH)
TikTok: Chinese “Trojan Horse” Is Run By US State Department Officials (MPN)
CDC Director Rewrites History Of Covid Vaccines (JTN)
Twitter Files: Dr. Anthony Fauci “Lied Under Oath” (ZH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFK jr CIA
https://twitter.com/i/status/1648841214521663491

 

 

 

 

Hrnaffnson

 

 

 

 

Tucker My Pillow

 

 

 

 

Mahbubani

 

 

 

 

“Nenner is predicting “30% of the people on Earth will die in the next war cycle. . . . We are like at the end of civilization of the United States.”

Dollar Finished – America in Danger – Charles Nenner (USAW)

Renowned geopolitical and financial cycle expert Charles Nenner has been warning his war cycles are going up. Nenner also predicted a few years back that, at some point, the U.S. dollar cycle would be headed down—way down. The future is here, and Nenner explains, “We have known each other for many years, and I said the dollar is going to hold up, but not anymore, not anymore. It is really in trouble. There is actually no reason to be in the dollar. They especially underestimate this BRICS situation, and all the countries will be forming an anti-dollar. . . . Saudi Arabia is coming onboard, and that means the end of the dollar as the reserve currency.” Nenner says his cycles see, “The dollar going down to 70 on the dollar index.” It’s a bit over 100 now, but it gets worse.

Nenner points out, “I don’t want people to get depressed, but I am really worried. If the U.S. does not rule the world any more. . . . They think they can still tell the world what to do. Physically, the Americans are in danger, and they don’t seem to understand that. . . . The economy is really going to suffer. If the dollar goes really low, we could have a small bounce in the economy because it’s good for exports. That’s just a fooling bounce for people. Longer term, it’s just finished.” Nenner says the signs are clear in the cycle that “America is at the end of empire. . . . The United States is going backwards, and it is not number one anymore.” On the war cycle, Nenner has been forecasting a huge loss of life coming. Nenner is predicting “30% of the people on Earth will die in the next war cycle. . . . We are like at the end of civilization of the United States.

It’s not that we are all going to drop dead, but it’s the end of civilization. The same issues that finished other countries like bad education, too many outstanding loans and people will become too lazy to really do hard work. That usually means the end of an empire.” Nenner also talks about the top in the real estate market and why commercial and residential are on their way down for a long time. Nenner also talks about a “coming Great Depression style crash” in the no-so-distant future. Nenner also brought up that big banks are contacting him to consult on buying physical gold because “they want to survive what is coming.” Nenner says big banks are building their own vaults to make sure governments do not confiscate their yellow metal. Nenner gives a sign to look for when the economy is going into a recession that has a 100% track record.

Finally, Nenner predicts, “We are going to have a bad dollar. That usually means people are going to dump their securities. . . . If you have China and Russia dumping their U.S. bonds, you are going to have a problem. What I see on my cycle is . . . . The rates that went up stop in June. . . . I am getting very worried because there might be a run for safety.” Nenner is worried about war, and not just in Ukraine. Nenner is looking at war in Taiwan, South Korea, and the Middle East with Iran. Nenner says, “I think you could have all these wars at the same time. . . . It’s endless possibilities. . . . I think they will all act at the same time. Wouldn’t you? You are waiting for the right moment, and if the United states get weaker and busy. . . . That’s the time to do whatever you want.”Nenner points out, “Warren Buffett sold most of his Taiwan semiconductor manufacturing shares last week.”

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This is a declaration of war.

NATO Chief: Ukraine’s ‘Rightful Place’ Is In The Alliance (AP)

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg defiantly declared Thursday that Ukraine’s “rightful place” is in the military alliance and pledged more support for the country on his first visit to Kyiv since Russia’s invasion just over a year ago. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Stoltenberg, who has been instrumental in marshaling support from NATO members, to push for even more from them, including warplanes, artillery and armored equipment. The Kremlin has given various justifications for going to war, but repeated Thursday that preventing Ukraine from joining NATO is still a key goal of its invasion, arguing that Kyiv’s membership in the alliance would pose an existential threat to Russia.

NATO leaders said in 2008 that Ukraine would join the alliance one day, and Stoltenberg has repeated that promise throughout the war, though the organization has established no pathway or timetable for membership. “Let me be clear, Ukraine’s rightful place is in the Euro-Atlantic family,” Stoltenberg told a news conference. “Ukraine’s rightful place is in NATO.” Zelenskyy said he was grateful for an invitation to a NATO summit in July in Vilnius, Lithuania, but said his country needs a roadmap for becoming a member. “The time has come for the (alliance’s) leaders to define the prospects of Ukraine’s acquisition of NATO membership, to define the algorithm of Ukraine’s movement towards this goal, and to define security guarantees for our state for the period of such movement — that is, for the period before NATO membership,” he said.

Stoltenberg said he and Zelenskyy discussed a NATO support program for Ukraine. “This will help you transition from Soviet-era equipment and doctrines to NATO standards and ensure full interoperability with the alliance,” Stoltenberg said. “NATO stands with you today, tomorrow and for as long as it takes.” He noted an announcement Thursday by Denmark and the Netherlands that they plan to provide Ukraine with at least another 14 refurbished Leopard 2 battle tanks by early 2024. He added that he expected countries to “make new announcements of concrete military support to Ukraine” at a meeting Friday in Germany.

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“That such a prominent paper as the Times found itself under “serious pressure” to remove the article shows the extent of censorship in the UK..”

British Depleted Uranium A ‘Terrible Thing’ For Ukraine – Ambassador (RT)

London’s decision to supply Kiev with depleted uranium (DU) ammunition will hurt the Ukrainian people the most, as they will have to live with the consequences of the toxic metal for generations, Andrey Kelin, the Russian ambassador to the UK, told RT on Wednesday. In addition to sending Ukraine main battle tanks, the British government has promised to deliver armor-penetrating ammunition made with DU, and has already trained some Ukrainian troops in its use. Ambassador Kelin told RT that he will “continue to explain” the harmful effects of the ammunition, including the drastic increase in cancer rates, birth defects, and the contamination of the water and the soil “for at least six generations.” “This is a terrible thing, and if it happens in Ukraine, it will be big trouble, for the agriculture and for the people that are living over there,” Kelin told RT. He admitted there is little chance that London will change its mind, because that would mean admitting a mistake.

Kelin made headlines recently when The Sunday Times published an extensive interview with him, only to quietly delete it several days later, without an explanation. The Russian Embassy subsequently published a copy of the article in full, to protest the censorship. “I have very controversial experience with dealing with British journalists,” the ambassador told RT, noting that sometimes they are “very aggressive” and ask loaded questions. The Times sent “a very experienced political observer”who spoke with him for an hour, and produced an article “reflecting in fact what I have said, without distortions or phrases taken out of context.” That such a prominent paper as the Times found itself under “serious pressure” to remove the article shows the extent of censorship in the UK, Kelin said.

Relations between Russia and the UK were dismantled by London, and Moscow intends to wait for the British to come to their senses before attempting to rebuild them. Normalization of contacts “is not an issue for today or tomorrow,”Kelin told RT, but for some point in the future. Anglo-Russian relations go back 450 years, he noted, and the full disruption “happens only when two countries are in a state of war.”This is not yet the case, even though the UK is getting more involved in the Ukraine conflict by the day “So far we haven’t seen any revelations of common sense on the part of official London,” Kelin said. However, even the British authorities recognize that it is important to maintain channels of communication, so the embassy’s work continues.

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“..Putin has likened the bloc’s attempts to cut itself off from Russian fossil fuels to economic “suicide.”

EU ‘Done’ With Russia Sanctions – Official (RT)

The European Union has exhausted its options for further economic restrictions against Russia, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing EU officials. The bloc has so far adopted ten rounds of sanctions in response to the Ukraine conflict and is currently working on an eleventh package of punitive measures against Moscow. Meetings between the European Commission and member state officials to informally discuss new actions will start on Friday, FT wrote. Officials working on further sanctions told the outlet that they are likely to be limited to expanding the list of individuals subject to asset freezes and travel bans, as well as steps to scale up existing measures by closing loopholes.

Most officials reportedly admitted that those parts of the Russian economy that were left unsanctioned are parts that one or more EU member states “can’t live without,” and thus measures targeting them would be vetoed. “We are done,” one of the officials told FT, adding: “If we do more sanctions, there will be more exemptions than measures.” New restrictions could reportedly target Russia’s nuclear fuel and services exports, but those would be opposed by some member-states, such as France, Hungary, and others. Sweeping EU sanctions have targeted various sectors of the Russian economy as well as individuals and entities. According to FT, almost 1,500 people and more than 200 entities are currently subject to asset freezes and travel bans.

The report indicated that the bloc’s restrictive measures have banned bilateral trade flows worth more than €135 billion ($148 billion), including energy imports from Russia, as well as exports of technology, machinery, and electronic goods. Some €21.5 billion worth of assets belonging to sanctioned individuals and entities has been frozen, alongside €300 billion of Russian central bank reserves. Many economists and politicians, however, have argued that the embargos harm the West more than Moscow. Hungarian President Viktor Orban has repeatedly called for “the failed policy of Brussels” to be changed, noting that the sanctions “didn’t fulfill the hopes that were pinned on them,” while Europe is “slowly bleeding.” Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has likened the bloc’s attempts to cut itself off from Russian fossil fuels to economic “suicide.”

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Soylu is campaigning for Erdogan.

Europe is American Pawn – Türkiye (RT)

Europe’s influence is waning and it is nothing but a “pawn” of the US, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has claimed. The official delivered the remarks as he met members of a youth association in Istanbul on Tuesday. Soylu argued that European leaders are becoming more and more discredited, while the continent is facing numerous issues, ranging from an aging population to dwindling economic output. He also alleged that Europe lost any international clout long ago, and has become nothing more than an American pawn. Known as an outspoken critic of Washington, Soylu asserted that the US itself continues to lose credibility. Washington is universally “hated” all around the globe, while Europe is facing a similar attitude – largely due to its subordination, according the minister. Europe is now particularly “hated” all across Africa, as local nations justifiably despise those who exploit them, Soylu claimed.

Ahead of a general election in Türkiye scheduled for May 14, the minister also criticized the Western model of democracy, insisting it has been damaged by ongoing turmoil in numerous Western countries. Soylu specifically pointed to political upheaval in the UK, which saw three prime ministers in quick succession last year. “We’re seeing that the [democracy] paint of Europe and America has peeled off,” Soylu stated. The dominance of the collective West no longer exists, yet the US and Europe are still trying to persist with old habits, Soylu claimed, before praising Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts to secure “full independence” for his country.

“What our President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is doing is to turn the history of the world,” the minister asserted. “Türkiye’s biggest goal is full independence, and Türkiye will reach that goal together with Erdogan.” Erdogan, who has been in power since 2003, first as prime minister and later as president from 2014,is seeking to secure a third term in May’s elections. He is opposed by Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who was selected by a broad alliance of six opposition parties. The incumbent president and his ruling AK Party are expected to face a stern challenge, particularly in the wake of the devastating earthquake that killed over 50,000 people across Türkiye’s in early February.

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“They are an example of loyalty to the Motherland and its interests and are now defending our historical territories..”

People In New Regions Fought For Many Years To Be Part Of Russia – Putin (TASS)

People in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions have fought for many years for the right to be a part of Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. People in the new territories “have fought for many years for the right to be with Russia,” he said at a meeting of the Local Self-Government Council. “For many years they have lived in absolutely different conditions of regional and municipal government, which are not like the conditions in Russia,” he went on to say.


The president said municipal officials working in the new territories should be treated with warmth and consideration and provided with “all the necessary assistance for the integration of the new regions into the unified system of Russia’s public government.” Putin also said “there are many volunteers among the municipal community, who decided for themselves to be there (in the area of the special military operation – TASS), where things are tough.” “They are an example of loyalty to the Motherland and its interests and are now defending our historical territories, protecting people in these territories,” the president continued.

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“The US juggernaut is lurching to war. Once pivoted to Asia, it does not appear to be equipped with a steering wheel, let alone brakes.”

Whither Multipolarity in a Changing World Order (CP)

A majority of the world’s population has remained neutral in the Ukraine conflict, despite strong US/western pressure. A host of non-western-aligned economies are making tentative steps to transacting commerce in currencies other than dollars, pounds, yens, or euros. A so-called Pink Tide in Latin America has replaced a number of conservative regimes. China is emerging not only as an economic power, but diplomatically has helped broker closer relations between traditional adversaries Iran and Saudi Arabia as well as floated a peace proposal for Ukraine. All these favorable developments foreshadow a change in the geopolitical climate. The vision of a multipolar world informs the progressive impulse for a better world. Such a world is possible only if the centrality of US imperialism is replaced by a new order.

Such a reordering is a necessary pre-condition for a better world. Currently a realignment is being led by major counter-hegemonic powers such as China and Russia and more regional powers such as Brazil and Iran (and before its dismembering by Libya in Africa). Multipolarity is not the ultimate goal, but it is an intermediary step in the struggle against imperialism. More than just a reshuffling of the deck of world power relationships is needed. Overarching the interregnum is the specter of US preparations for a war with China, perhaps as soon as the turn of this decade. The quasi-governmental RAND Corporation prepared the strategic planning document, War with China – Thinking the Unthinkable, commissioned by the US Army. Released in 2016, such a confrontation does not appear so unthinkable today. Even some mainstream sources recognize that the Ukraine conflict is but a prelude to war with China.

The US juggernaut is lurching to war. Once pivoted to Asia, it does not appear to be equipped with a steering wheel, let alone brakes. Opposition to such a confrontation is virtually absent at the elite level. Both parties of capital compete with each other over which can be more Sinophobic. The Democrats, in particular, used to have dissenting voices, but now have embraced neo-conservatism. They exhibit an imperialist unity that is the envy of the Tea Party Republicans. Meanwhile, a mass peace movement is AWOL. Oddly, the libertarian right is sounding more like peaceniks than some putative liberals who are shrieking “Slava Ukraini.” War with China is not inevitable; China could be blackmailed into accommodation. The US, meanwhile, is crazy enough to precipitate a nuclear apocalypse. Remember that just two days after Hiroshima came the capricious genocide of Nagasaki.

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Sue them all. Start with the 51 former intelligence officials, then work your way up.

Blinken Played Central Role In Covering Up Hunter Biden Laptop Story (SAC)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is being investigated by the Committee on the Judiciary and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for his prominent role in persuading 51 former intelligence officials to falsely discredit the “New York Post story regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop as supposed Russian disinformation” during the 2020 Presidential election. The intelligence assessment led to a nearly blanket censorship of investigative stories exposing the alleged corruption of President Joe Biden and his family and kept the truth hidden from the American people before the election, according to a letter released Thursday night by the committees and obtained by SaraACarter.com. During the campaign, Blinken was a senior campaign advisor to then former Vice President Joe Biden and recruited the direct assistance of then former Deputy Director of the CIA Michael Morell, who was one of the 51 signatories of the public statement.

Biden used this false letter signed by former senior intelligence officials, including five former heads of the CIA, from both parties, on October 22, 2020 to disparage President Donald Trump During the final presidential debate. Biden used the intelligence assessment that the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation against President Trump during the campaign. Despite legitimate calls by Trump to have the FBI investigate Biden’s deeply concerning family business ties with China and Ukraine, as well as other allegations contained in the laptop that did belong to his son Hunter Biden, the Biden campaign used its connections within the intelligence apparatus to cover up the evidence, the truth and keep it from the American people. Biden used the assessment signed by the intelligence officials to target Trump during the campaign’s last debate.

“They have said this has all the characteristics—four—five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except him and his good friend Rudy Giuliani,” said Biden during the debate and reiterated in Jordan’s letter to Blinken. The committees letter was sent to Blinken on Thursday and it contains transcribed parts of a recent interview the lawmakers had with Morell. [..] Former CIA chief Morell stated during his testimony to the lawmakers that he worked with Blinken in the hopes that then Vice President Biden would be elected to the presidency and not former President Trump.

“The Biden campaign and Anthony Blinken put together the bogus Hunter Biden letter and then used it during debates to ‘prove’ that the Hunter Biden story was fake. Have American voters ever been more blatantly lied to?” stated the Senior GOP Aide. The transcribed interview with Morell is stunning. According to sources who spoke with this reporter, Morell frequently had spoken both publicly and privately against former President Trump and according to one source, “his actions don’t surprise me in the least. It’s disgusting how someone of his stature and Blinken’s have trashed the American people and the Constitution.”

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“The authorities can and will collect information about anyone who sends money to your wallet, who you send money to, how much money you spend, when you spend it, where you spend it, and on what.”

The Digital Euro Could Usher In Total State Control (Glavinic)

I recently heard one of the most bizarre remarks by European Central Bank (ECB) chief Christine Lagarde that gave me migraines. She said that the eurozone could not go bankrupt, that this is technically impossible because the ECB can provide unlimited liquidity at any time. In plain English, when we run out of money, we print what we need. I admit I am probably a bit oversensitive. Counterfeiting is the very basis of our financial system, and the fact that the money we have right now is losing more and more purchasing power due to newly printed money need not concern me because I have none anyway. CBDC stands for “Central Bank Digital Currency.” PR consultants and journalists prefer to use the term “digital euro,” which is easier to remember and sounds nicer, but the trivialization of the term does not change the fact that behind all of this, total surveillance awaits.

The ECB’s planned digital euro works like Bitcoin on the basis of blockchain technology, but with a few key differences. Provided you have some, you can protect your money from inflation by holding it in the form of Bitcoin, you just need to have some tolerance for volatility. The Bitcoin blockchain is public and resistant to censorship because it is managed in a decentralized manner by a worldwide network of tens of thousands of computers, with no need for a central authority. Thus, unlike the fiat system, the amount in circulation cannot be increased by command. Bitcoin is transparent because every transaction is recorded in the public blockchain and can be viewed by anyone on the network. At the same time, the anonymity of the sender and receiver is preserved, as transactions are only tied to public addresses, not to individuals.

In contrast, the blockchain on which the digital euro is based is not public and is managed centrally. All transactions go through the European Central Bank (ECB) network, which means there is no transparency whatsoever. Already, no one really knows how many euros are in circulation because they can be printed at will by the ECB. The digital euro will not change this. Since almost all transactions already take place digitally, the question arises as to what benefit a euro on a private, centrally managed blockchain will have for the population. It is unclear who will benefit from the digital euro at all. Well, if you think about it a bit, it’s not so unclear anymore.

In the future, each of us will have a personally assigned account with the central bank. Every transaction can be tracked by the central bank and its associated authorities. The authorities can and will collect information about anyone who sends money to your wallet, who you send money to, how much money you spend, when you spend it, where you spend it, and on what. The authorities will know how often you go to the hairdresser, whether you have a subscription to the gym, whether you like to eat bananas, and how much money you spend on cat food.

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“The Western media outlets object to these tags being applied to them because they’ve long accepted the negative connotation that such tags carry..”

Western Media Suddenly Hates Twitter’s ‘Government-funded’ Labels (Marsden)

Recently, some media outlets have quit Twitter over what they see as unjust labeling, which leads to the question – where was their outrage when the same rules were being applied to their competition? Where was the Western fury when the social media platform was slapping labels of state affiliation or funding on media linked to Russia and China, like RT? Nowhere to be found. How about when the platform was extending that same labeling to individual journalists contributing to those platforms? Again, silent. It’s only now that they can’t object strongly enough. So what changed? The platform’s ‘newish’ owner, Elon Musk, woke up one morning recently and decided to level the playing field by slapping Western media recipients of state funding with the “government funded” label.

Britain’s BBC has protested its tagging, America’s National Public Radio rage-quit the platform over its new designation, and Canada’s CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) suspended posting. “Twitter can be a powerful tool for our journalists to communicate with Canadians, but it undermines the accuracy and professionalism of the work they do to allow our independence to be falsely described in this way,” CBC spokesman Leon Mar said. The Western media outlets object to these tags being applied to them because they’ve long accepted the negative connotation that such tags carry when they are exclusively applied to media or journalists linked to Russia or China. They didn’t care that the integrity of those journalistic competitors was smeared by a scarlet letter. They didn’t appreciate or support the coverage offered by those labeled platforms that offer alternative information and analysis to the mainstream Western establishment agenda and related narratives.

It apparently never occurred to the Western press – even to the CBC, which received $1.24 billion in 2021-2022 from the Canadian federal government – that they could be next in line for this kind of labeling. At least not enough for them to stand up against such labels. Why? A likely explanation is that they felt that social media platforms like Twitter would always fall in line with the Western establishment agenda and narrative. Also, that it was just an extension of the ongoing efforts to marginalize geopolitical competitors and alternative sources of information that might challenge them. Labeling of Western media makes no sense in that context, so they likely presumed that they were safe. However, Musk came along and opened Pandora’s Box, with Western media now haggling with him over precisely how much funding they ought to be able to get from the state without being slapped with a “state-affiliated” moniker. “Canadian Broadcasting Corp said they’re ‘less than 70% government funded,’ so we corrected the label,” Musk tweeted, stating that he had amended CBC’s label to “69% Government-funded media.”

Musk has also managed to make Western politicians denounce the tags, which they previously supported when it was used against press sources that they didn’t like. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hysterically played the class warfare card in defense of the CBC, accusing Conservative Party opposition leader Pierre Poilievre of cozying up to US billionaires (an obvious reference to Musk). Poilievre had written a letter to Twitter drawing attention to the fact that the CBC shouldn’t be left out of the labeling spree.

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“After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU almost immediately unveiled ‘Farm to Fork’ pollution targets..”

“Why Does Brussels Hate Us?” Livid EU Farmers Hit Back At Green Agenda (ZH)

European farmers are furious over a bullshit plan by the European Union which would force then to be treated as industrial plants, similar to steel mills or chemical works, in order to force them to cut greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution, the Financial Times reports Greek farmer Takis Kazanas, 66, and his four sons run a 230-acre ranch with 300 cattle ranch in the mountains overlooking the Thessalian Plain. While the farmers already capture biogas from cow dung, and use homemade manure vs. chemical fertilizer, Kazanas is one of many farmers up in arms over environmentalist bureaucrats who want to impose crippling new rules on them in order to cut emissions by 55% by 2030 vs. 1990 levels. “That’s what the EU says and that’s what I do,” says Kazanas, regarding the ‘earth-friendly’ measures he already employs. “Today, everyone blames cattle for methane production and pollution . . . I have a different opinion.”

“The sheer scale of the transformation that the European Commission is asking for in its Farm to Fork strategy — halving the amount of pesticides applied by 2030, cutting the use of fertilisers, doubling organic production and rewilding some farmland — would be remarkable even in less urgent times. Yet it comes as the war in Ukraine has upended global food markets, and as farmers face a cut in subsidies in the Common Agricultural Policy, the €55bn-a-year programme that has underwritten Europe’s food security since 1962. The EU argues that the agriculture sector is badly in need of environmental reforms. One senior EU official working on climate policy calls it “our problem child”. -FT According to Brussels, nitrous oxides found in fertilizer, as well as animal urine and poop, are a large part of the problem.

One problem facing farmers is thin margins between organic producers who survive on local trade, to pig farmers whose profits are being whittled away by international competition. As the Times notes, “even a small increase in the price of feed can wipe out annual profits.” After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU almost immediately unveiled ‘Farm to Fork’ pollution targets. According to a senior commission official, “the debate has changed.” The goals of the program, via FT, are to: • Cut the use of chemical and hazardous pesticides by 50% by 2030 • Reduce fertiliser use by 20% by 2030 • Lower by 50% the sales of antimicrobials for farmed animals and in aquaculture • Increase the amount of land devoted to organic farming to 25% in 2030 from 9.1% in 2020 • Bigger livestock farms to comply with clean air and water regulations that apply to heavy industry That said, farmers have banded together – and thanks to organized, well-funded campaigns, EU governments have softened their tone over what is becoming a new battleground over green ambitions.

Read more …

They’re everywhere.

TikTok: Chinese “Trojan Horse” Is Run By US State Department Officials (MPN)

For quite some time, TikTok has been recruiting former State Department officials to run its operations. The company’s head of data public policy for Europe, for example, is Jade Nester. Before being recruited for that influential role, Nester was a senior official in Washington, serving for four years as the State Department’s director of Internet public policy. Mariola Janik, meanwhile, left a long and fruitful career in the government to work for TikTok. Starting out at the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Janik became a career diplomat in the State Department before moving to the Department of Homeland Security. In September, however, she left the government to immediately take up the position of TikTok’s trust and safety program manager, a job that will inevitably include removing content and reshaping algorithms.

While there is no suggestion that Janik is anything other than a model employee, the fact that a U.S. government agent walked into such an influential position at the social media giant should be cause for concern. If, for instance, a high Chinese official was hired to influence what the U.S. public saw in their social media feeds, it would likely be the centerpiece of the TikTok furor currently gripping Washington. Janik is not the only former security official working on TikTok’s trust and safety team, however. Between 2008 and 2021, Christian Cardona enjoyed a distinguished career at the State Department, serving in Poland, Turkey and Oman, and was in the thick of U.S. interventionism in the Middle East. Between 2012 and 2013, he was an assistant to the U.S. ambassador in Kabul. He later left that role to become the political and military affairs manager for Iran.

In the summer of 2021, he went straight from his top State Department job to become product policy manager for trust and safety at TikTok, a position that, on paper, he appears completely unqualified for. Earlier this year, Cardona left the company. Another influential individual at TikTok is recruiting coordinator Katrina Villacisneros. Yet before she was choosing whom the company hires, Villacisneros worked at the State Department’s Office of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. And until 2021, she was part of Army Cyber Command, the U.S. military unit that oversees cyberattacks and information warfare online. Other TikTok employees with long histories in the U.S. national security state include: Brad Earman, global lead of criminal and civil investigations, who spent 21 years as a special agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigation and also worked as a program manager for antiterrorism at the State Department; and Ryan Walsh, escalations management lead for trust and safety at TikTok, who, until 2020, was the government’s senior advisor for digital strategy. A central part of Walsh’s State Department job, his own résumé notes, was “advanc[ing] supportive narratives” for the U.S. and NATO online.

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Twist: the vaccines were great, but the virus evolved. Don’t mention the injuries and deaths.

CDC Director Rewrites History Of Covid Vaccines (JTN)

As the feds abandon a one-size-fits-all COVID-19 vaccine strategy in the face of plunging booster uptake, growing research on serious adverse events and the first government payments to victims of the novel therapeutics, the CDC’s director is trying to rewrite history. In a hearing Wednesday, Rochelle Walensky told the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds her agency that COVID vaccines only stopped preventing transmission of the virus due to “an evolution of science,” contradicting her own agency’s uncertainty about the products during the early mass vaccination campaign and its contemporaneous data.

The exchange was prompted by Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) reminding Walensky that she told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow March 29, 2021 that CDC data suggest “vaccinated people do not carry the virus” or “get sick,” based on both clinical trials and “real-world data.” Walensky responded that the statement was true at the time, when the “wild-type” virus was dominant, but then revised it by saying “even if they got sick” infected people could not transmit COVID. Because of the “evolution of the virus” that’s no longer true, she told Clyde. Hearing watchers quickly noted the CDC pulled the rug out from Walensky three days after her Maddow interview in a statement to The New York Times. “The evidence isn’t clear” on transmission by “fully vaccinated” people, which is “possible,” the agency said.

Not only did Walensky falsely invoke the vaccine trials, which didn’t test for transmission, but the CDC may have been aware of breakthrough infections when its director denied they were possible. The CDC showed the Times a study that found “the vast majority” — not all — of nearly 4,000 vaccinated people remained uninfected two weeks after vaccination. It set up a breakthrough infection page as early as April 16 that reported about 5,800 cases “so far,” but didn’t tell CNN when it started receiving them. The number crossed 10,000 by month’s end. The FDA threw out a major pillar of its COVID strategy this week in its attempt to “simplify” vaccine recommendations, belatedly joining an international consensus that does not recommend vaccination across ages and risk levels.

It withdrew authorization for the original Pfizer and Moderna two-dose mRNA vaccines and told “most” vaccinated and even unvaccinated people they “may receive” a single bivalent dose. Among those already boosted with a bivalent, only elderly and immunocompromised people for now can get another dose. Unvaccinated children up to age 5 can get a two- or three-dose bivalent, while the number of bivalent doses will depend on monovalent vaccination history for other children, the FDA said. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, cited the high rate of natural and vaccine immunity in the general public in explaining the revision, while still recommending everyone “consider staying current” with bivalent doses.

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Fauci, on purpose, had no personal Twitter account.

Twitter Files: Dr. Anthony Fauci “Lied Under Oath” (ZH)

“A lot of people are spouting out a lot of things about me and Twitter,” Fauci told Fox News. “I’ve never had a Twitter account. I don’t intend on having a Twitter account, and I’ve had nothing to do with Twitter. So I don’t know what they’re talking about when they say that.” Fauci made similar claims during an almost 7-hour deposition. While under oath, the then-medical advisor to President Biden denied using Twitter or even paying attention to social media. “I don’t do social media.” “Since I don’t have a Twitter account, I don’t see tweets.” “I’m so dissociated from social media … I’ve never gotten involved in any of that.” “The social media and Twitter, I told you, I don’t have a Twitter account. I don’t tweet. I don’t do Facebook. I don’t do anything.”

Not true according to a new Twitter File uncovered during a visit to Twitter’s San Francisco HQ that shows Anthony Fauci…taking over the White House’s Twitter account. “Dr. Anthony Fauci did an account takeover for @WHCOVIDResponse,” reads a Twitter internal COVID-19 monthly update. Twitter’s monthly update also documented work they did with Johnson and Johnson on “messaging strategy” to help market the pharma company’s COVID-19 vaccine—action that happened only months after Twitter began removing and labeling tweets that they deemed vaccine “misinformation.” By the summer of 2021, Johnson and Johnson began a full court press, marketing multiple pharma products on Twitter. In a separate Twitter File, a senior Twitter attorney, who interfaced with the FBI on enforcement and removal of “disinformation,” praised Fauci to Twitter’s lawyers as America’s “leading trusted voice” on COVID-19.

A peek behind the paywall… “The Louisiana and Missouri attorney generals sued the federal government in May 2022 claiming agencies were colluding with social media companies to “censor and suppress free speech—including truthful information—related to COVID-19, election integrity and other topics under the guise of combating ‘misinformation.’” After a fierce legal battle, Louisiana and Missouri were allowed to depose Anthony Fauci under oath, during which he constantly claimed he could not recall information. The Biden administration has sought to keep the legal proceedings secret. Emails show that when a reporter contacted Fauci to ask why he could not recall key details about his handling of the pandemic during his deposition, Fauci emailed NIH colleagues, “So much for confidentiality.” The states released Fauci’s deposition last December, noting that Fauci said “I don’t recall” 174 times, including when asked about emails that he sent, interviews that he gave, and important documents he was shown.”

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Pandora

 

 


To avoid being heard by sharks (the reptile’s main predator), marine Iguanas can stop their own hearts for up to 45 minutes.

 

 

Bear cat

 

 

Bradbury

 

 

 

 

Dad
https://twitter.com/i/status/1648904958052278272

 

 

Happy and free
https://twitter.com/i/status/1649124922256392211

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 072023
 
 April 7, 2023  Posted by at 8:42 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  54 Responses »


John William Godward Dolce Far Niente (It’s Sweet Doing Nothing) 1909

 

Russian MP Suggests Swapping WSJ Reporter For Assange (RT)
Time Is Ripe For NATO To Retire – Zakharova (TASS)
‘The Sooner The Better’ – Ron Paul on Disbanding NATO (Dick)
Macron Failed To Change Xi’s Mind – Politico (RT)
Macron In China: Lecturing Xi Or Promoting French Business Deals? (Doctorow)
Blinken Can’t Reschedule His Trip to China After Canceling (Antiwar)
US, NATO Must Bear Responsibility For Crisis In Ukraine – China (TASS)
CIA Head Says US ‘Blindsided’ By Saudi-Iran Deal – WSJ (RT)
US Opposes NATO ‘Roadmap’ For Ukraine – FT (RT)
‘Secret’ NATO War Plan Leak Triggers Pentagon Probe – NYT (RT)
US, NATO Plans On Preparing Ukrainian Offensive Leak On Social Media (Az.)
EU Plan For Ukraine Ammunition Stuck On Details – Politico (RT)
‘Everything Russian’ Must Be Eradicated In Crimea – Zelensky Aide (RT)
Finnish Government Led By Sanna Marin Submits Resignation (TASS)
Bragg’s Case Against Trump: An Ed Wood Movie Come To Life (Turley)
The Shambolic Criminal Case Against Donald Trump (NC)
US Commercial Real-Estate Prices Could Tumble 40% (Az.)

 

 


Planet Ponzi: #SummitForDemocracy. One of the Four Has No Mandate & Was Not Elected. The 2nd Is About To Be Sacked (He Will Resign), 3rd’s Country Is On Fire & Popularity is below 15%, & The Last Has Stage 4 Dementia.

 

 

Nap w Larry Johnson

Long version:

 

 

Food mRNA

 

 


mRNA & Cows. Iowa State in the middle of a 5-year project for novel mRNA, funded by NIFA with certain goals: •Lower cost for wider use •More thermal-stable, for easy use on farms •mRNA delivered continuously by vaccine implant Repeat, DELIVERED CONTINUOUSLY BY VACCINE IMPLANT

 

 


Pepe Escobar: If you think this is not bad enough, the second phase of Paris strikes will start NEXT WEEK. Paris will be literally turned into a giant trash bin. Until the BlackRock pension “reform” is thrown out.

 

 

BlackRock

 

 

Comer

 

 

 

 

A journalist for a journalist.

Russian MP Suggests Swapping WSJ Reporter For Assange (RT)

If Moscow decides on a prisoner swap involving Evan Gershkovich, it should ask for Julian Assange’s release from a British dungeon, Russian State Duma Deputy Sergey Obuhkov said on Friday. Obuhkov, a Russian Communist Party MP, told reporters that some members of the Duma have already proposed offering political asylum to former US President Donald Trump and trading him for Gershkovich.“I say, let’s exchange him for Assange instead,” Obukhov told RIA Novosti. Russian authorities detained Gershkovich in Ekaterinburg on March 30, saying they caught him “red-handed” in an act of espionage. A Lefortovo court has ordered the Moscow bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal to remain in custody for two months. He is appealing the decision and will face the judges again on April 18.

Earlier this week, the district attorney in New York had the 45th US president arrested on charges of improper business bookkeeping, supposedly related to “hush money” paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels, which they allege somehow improperly influenced the 2016 presidential election. Trump has denounced the charges as a politically motivated “witch hunt.” Assange has been held in Belmarsh prison in south London since April 2019, after Ecuador canceled his asylum under pressure from the US. He had spent almost seven years in the embassy of the Latin American country, seeking refuge from trumped-up Swedish charges he called a front for US persecution.

After his arrest, Washington unsealed a years-old indictment charging the WikiLeaks publisher under the Espionage Act. He is wanted for the 2010 publication of the notorious ‘Collateral Murder’ video showing the US military killing civilians, as well as other US classified documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If extradited and convicted, Assange faces up to 175 years behind bars. Russia and the US last swapped prisoners in December, with Moscow releasing convicted drug smuggler and basketball star Brittney Griner in exchange for businessman Viktor Bout. Washington has faced criticism for not requesting the release of Paul Whelan, a retired US Marine serving a sentence in Russia for espionage.

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“..one can state with certainty that security and NATO are incompatible..”

Time Is Ripe For NATO To Retire – Zakharova (TASS)

NATO is trying to make the world a more dangerous place and in doing so it is resisting the emergence of alternative centers of power and increasingly asserting its global role and the ambition to spread its influence beyond the Euro-Atlantic area, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, adding that “time is ripe for the alliance to retire.” In this way Zakharova commented on the meeting of the NATO foreign ministers held the day before to mark the alliance’s 74th anniversary. “We hear the alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg speculate ever more often about a global role of the alliance. Everything is being done to make the world even more dangerous, to prevent the existence of alternative centers of power capable of undermining the hegemony of the West.


“In general, one can state with certainty that security and NATO are incompatible. In this regard, there is only one conclusion that readily offers itself – at 74 years of age it is time for the North Atlantic bloc to retire,” Zakharova said in a commentary the Foreign Ministry released on Thursday. She believes that NATO is trying to “usurp the entire system of European security through Finland’s accession.” “Finland has become another victim of the North Atlantic Alliance. The Finnish government decided to give up its longstanding neutrality in exchange for turning the country into a frontline zone, a bridgehead for deterring Russia in the Northwest. As we can see, NATO does not intend to stop there,” she added.

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“Does no one worry that this continued provocation of Russia might have negative effects in the future? Is it necessary?”

‘The Sooner The Better’ – Ron Paul on Disbanding NATO (Dick)

On March 30, 2004 — just over 19 years ago, then-Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) concluded a United Sates House of Representatives statement with a strong admonition regarding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and US involvement in it. Paul stated: “In conclusion, we should not be wasting US tax money and taking on more military obligations expanding NATO. The alliance is a relic of the Cold War, a hold-over from another time, an anachronism. It should be disbanded, the sooner the better.” Paul’s statement was made in opposition to a resolution (H.Res. 558) being considered on the House floor that day that welcomed “with enthusiasm” the addition of seven new members to NATO and encouraged consideration of adding more nations to NATO. The addition of these new nations all near the Russian border — Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia — made 2004 a big year in NATO expansion.

Regarding the addition of the seven new members to NATO in 2004, Paul made this particular warning: “The expansion of NATO to these seven countries, we have heard, will open them up to the further expansion of US military bases, right up to the border of the former Soviet Union. Does no one worry that this continued provocation of Russia might have negative effects in the future? Is it necessary?” This comment is prescient considering that such expansion of NATO and US military bases is a contributor to Russia’s decision last year to send its military into Ukraine, a development to which the US and several NATO nations have responded with a fervor of warlike declarations and actions.

The addition of more nations near Russia to NATO continued since 2004. Albania and Croatia were added in 2009, Montenegro was added in 2017, and North Macedonia in 2020. With the addition of Finland this week, 12 nations since 2004 have joined NATO — the same number of nations as founded NATO in 1949. NATO membership now comes in at 31 nations. And there is momentum to add more, including Sweden potentially quite soon.

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“According to Politico, Xi “looked impatient and annoyed” as Macron spoke, and “heaved several deep sighs” when Ukraine came up..”

Macron Failed To Change Xi’s Mind – Politico (RT)

Chinese President Xi Jinping was unmoved by the rhetoric of his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on the conflict in Ukraine, Politico reported on Thursday. Paris has tried both appeals and threats in order to pressure Beijing into denouncing Moscow, apparently to little effect. “I know I can count on you to bring Russia to its senses and everyone to the negotiating table,” Macron told Xi. Earlier, he told French reporters that “anyone helping the aggressor would be an accomplice in breach of international law.” Xi responded by saying China was “willing to jointly appeal with France to the international community to remain rational and calm,” and repeated Beijing’s position on the conflict. “Peace talks should be resumed as soon as possible, taking into account the reasonable security concerns of all sides with reference to the UN Charter… seeking political resolution and constructing a balanced, effective and sustainable European security framework,” he told reporters at the Great Hall of the People.

Macron broke protocol by speaking almost twice as long as Xi, and veered into demands that China condemn “the war waged by Russia against Ukraine.” According to Politico, Xi “looked impatient and annoyed” as Macron spoke, and “heaved several deep sighs” when Ukraine came up. The French president announced a trip to China just after Xi spent three days in Moscow, signing a series of agreements with Russian President Vladimir Putin. At one point, the smiling Chinese leader was overheard telling Putin that their two countries were driving change the world hadn’t seen in over a century. Meanwhile, problems piled up at home for Macron. A sanitation workers’ strike left Paris buried in uncollected garbage, while mass protests against retirement reform – which Macron imposed by decree, bypassing the parliament – continued across France. New polls showed his rival Marine Le Pen becoming more popular.

Macron is scheduled to travel with Xi to Guangzhou on Friday for more talks and a private dinner. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, whom Macron brought along to “showcase European unity,” met with Xi on Thursday but was not included in many of the bilateral meetings. Appearing at a press conference by herself on Thursday evening, Von der Leyen repeated the Brussels talking points without much regard for her hosts. She brought up Taiwan, saying that any threat of force to change its status was “unacceptable.” The EU official also argued that providing weapons to Russia would “significantly harm the relationship between the EU and China,” and that Brussels expects Beijing to “play its role and promote a just peace, one that respects Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty.”

Lukashenko

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Strictly business. Macron brought with him 50 CEOs of France’s leading corporations..

Macron In China: Lecturing Xi Or Promoting French Business Deals? (Doctorow)

If you picked up yesterday’s leading French newspapers Le Monde or Figaro, you might be excused for thinking that the sole purpose of President Emmanuel Macron’s three day visit to Beijing in the company of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is to lecture the Chinese leadership on its obligations as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to denounce the Russian military operation in Ukraine and to end all support for the Kremlin. There was no hint that Macron brought with him 50 CEOs of France’s leading corporations who were looking forward to signing business contracts that were prepared ahead of the visit. Last night’s digest of news sent to subscribers by The Financial Times summed this up nicely: “French president Emmanuel Macron has gone to Beijing in the latest attempt by a European leader to urge China’s Xi Jinping to withdraw support for Russian president Vladimir Putin.”

Of course, this interpretation of the meaning of the trip comes from those who fail to comprehend the stature of today’s Chinese leadership and its ability to enforce the millennial traditions of the country when dealing with the barbarians beyond its borders. China would never have agreed to receive Macron or von der Leyen if it perceived that their purpose was to deliver demeaning lectures about what Beijing should or should not do with respect to Russia. No, Xi, like Macron, had expectations of major new contracts with Airbus, to spite America’s Boeing, and with other French concerns which are desperate not to lose their privileged access to the Chinese market and to Chinese manufacturing capacities.

In my interview with Press TV of Iran’s evening program of news analysis yesterday, I was given the opportunity to explain why the trip has been misrepresented to Western audiences, and how any business deals that result from it will not be featured in our newspapers or state television channels, as would normally be the case in good times. At the conclusion of my time on air, I brought up another major event of the past month which also was blacked out by our broadcasters, namely the destruction of an underground bunker near the Western Ukraine city of Liviv by a Russian hypersonic missile Kinzhal, which cost the lives of more than 200 NATO generals and other high military officers, including about 20 Americans. That event, which first was announced very discreetly on Russian news tickers immediately following its execution, was again quietly and briefly mentioned on the Yandex ticker yesterday with respect to the “shipment in crates” of the recovered remains of those officers killed to their home countries in the West.

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They don’t pick up the phone.

Blinken Can’t Reschedule His Trip to China After Canceling (Antiwar)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is looking to reschedule his trip to China that he canceled over the Chinese balloon that wound up floating over the US, but Beijing is rebuffing the effort, POLITICO reported Wednesday. The POLITICO report said China has effectively frozen high-level contacts with US officials. An unnamed US official said that the Biden administration is also trying to schedule a call between President Biden and President Xi Jinping and send other high-level officials to China but isn’t having any luck. Before the balloon incident, the US and China were making a point to engage at a high level despite soaring tensions. But since Blinken canceled his trip, and the US shot down the balloon, which ended up over US territory due to unexpected weather, the progress on engagement with Beijing has been reversed.


After the US shot down the balloon in February, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin tried to contact his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, who has since been replaced. But China declined to take Austin’s call, and he hasn’t had any luck since then.Wei was replaced by Li Shangfu, a Chinese general who is under US sanctions for being involved in China’s purchase of Russian weapons. The sanctions make US-China military communication even more difficult, and the Biden administration has not signaled it will lift them. Tensions between the US and China soared even higher on Wednesday as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) hosted Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in California. China repeatedly warned McCarthy and Tsai not to hold the meeting and is expected to respond with more military drills around Taiwan.

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” The North Atlantic Alliance does not have the necessary status to reproach China or put pressure on it..”

US, NATO Must Bear Responsibility For Crisis In Ukraine – China (TASS)

The US and military alliances such as NATO should bear responsibility for the crisis in Ukraine, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a news conference on Thursday in the wake of statements by the alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg about the consequences for China in case of arms supplies to Russia. “As far as the responsibility for the Ukrainian problem is concerned, I believe it should be borne by the United States and military blocs like NATO. The North Atlantic Alliance does not have the necessary status to reproach China or put pressure on it,” she pointed out. Mao stressed that China was in favor of facilitating peace talks from the outset.


“History will eventually pronounce its verdict who really took a fair and correct position,” Mao Ning said. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference following a meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministers in Brussels on April 5 that serious consequences were in store for China, if it supplied weapons to Russia. He also said that China was working more and more closely with Russia. Stoltenberg mentioned the alliance’s close attention to joint sea and air patrolling and exercises in South Africa. He argued that all this required NATO should intensify partnership with Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.

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Coming together fast, now that the US is gone.

CIA Head Says US ‘Blindsided’ By Saudi-Iran Deal – WSJ (RT)

CIA Director William Burns told Saudi officials that the United States was caught off guard after the kingdom agreed to a normalization deal with Iran brokered by China, according to the Wall Street Journal. During an unannounced trip to Saudi Arabia this week, Burns “expressed frustration” with Riyadh and said Washington “felt blindsided” by its renewed diplomacy with both Iran and Syria, multiple unnamed sources told the Journal on Thursday. The foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia held talks in the Chinese capital on Thursday, where they discussed a number of issues related to the new initiative, including reopening embassies in both countries, designating ambassadors, and even a visit to Riyadh by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

After years of strife as regional adversaries, Tehran and Riyadh struck the normalization pact on March 10 following secret talks mediated by Beijing, agreeing to resume formal diplomatic relations after they cut ties in 2016. The deal marked a major diplomatic achievement for China and a significant shakeup for the geopolitics of the Middle East. Since the agreement was announced, top diplomats from Saudi Arabia and Iran have spoken on the phone at least three times, and hope to reach compromises on several outstanding issues – namely the war in Yemen, which has raged on for more than eight years and left hundreds of thousands dead. Tehran is also working to reestablish contacts with the United Arab Emirates, another Gulf monarchy long at odds with the Islamic Republic.

Earlier this week, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri said his country had appointed an ambassador to Abu Dhabi for the first time in nearly a decade. Riyadh is also reportedly seeking to reach a similar understanding with Syria, and hopes to invite President Bashar al-Assad for a visit later this year, according to Reuters. While the White House has welcomed the new diplomacy in public, Burns’ reported complaints to Saudi officials this week could highlight concerns over Beijing’s growing influence in the region. Tensions between Riyadh and Washington have also been on the rise since last year, when OPEC+ – a group of major oil exporters led by Saudi Arabia – opted to slash production. The move reportedly “angered” President Joe Biden, who claimed the cut would benefit Russia, another large energy exporter.

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It’s the Europeans who do not care (or understand?!)

US Opposes NATO ‘Roadmap’ For Ukraine – FT (RT)

US President Joe Biden’s administration has reportedly opposed efforts by some European allies to give Ukraine a clear “roadmap” for joining NATO, urging partners to focus on providing short-term aid to Kiev. The US is siding with Germany and Hungary in resisting efforts from such allies as Poland and the Baltic states to offer Ukraine deeper ties with NATO and clear support for its future membership in the Western military bloc, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing four unidentified officials involved in the negotiations. The issue has been under debate this week at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels, where alliance members are trying to lay the groundwork for the bloc’s leaders’ summit, which is scheduled for July in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Although NATO’s 31 members agree that membership can’t be offered to Ukraine in the short term – nor can it be seriously discussed amid the former Soviet republic’s current conflict with Russia – this week’s talks have exposed a clear divide over the group’s vision for Kiev’s postwar status, the FT said. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has warned that he will only attend the summit in Vilnius if he’s offered clear steps for Kiev’s ascension to NATO, such as security guarantees and deeper collaboration with the alliance. Bloc members agreed in 2008 that Ukraine would be allowed to join NATO at some point. Back then, the US was pushing for giving Kiev a clear timetable and an action plan for membership, the FT said, but France and Germany resisted on concerns that such a step would provoke Russia.

Diplomats attending this week’s talks haven’t been able to reach agreement on what Ukraine should be offered in a freshened statement on its NATO prospects. “We’ve got several weeks of hard negotiations ahead to close those gaps and craft a political outcome,” one official said. However, another noted, “The road [to Vilnius] is rocky.” Washington is concerned that deepening the alliance’s ties with Ukraine at this juncture would feed into Russian claims that the current crisis is a conflict between Moscow and NATO, the FT said. It also might spur Russia to escalate the conflict, possibly by deploying nuclear weapons. Russian officials have claimed that the US and its NATO allies promised after the Soviet Union’s collapse not to expand the bloc into Eastern Europe. Since then, the alliance has added 15 new members, all of which were former Soviet republics or part of Warsaw Pact nations.

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Two very different write-ups.

‘Secret’ NATO War Plan Leak Triggers Pentagon Probe – NYT (RT)

A leaked trove of classified documents outlining American and NATO war planning in Ukraine has sparked a US military investigation, the New York Times has reported. The briefing presentation slides, some marked “top secret,” show assessed troop strengths, timelines for arms shipments and ammunition expenditures, among other data. The files appeared on social media earlier this week, and while the source remains unclear, the leaks have set off alarms in the Pentagon, which has launched a probe to determine how the documents were obtained, the NYT reported on Thursday. “We are aware of the reports of social media posts and the department is reviewing the matter,” Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh told the outlet.

Officials said they are working to have the material removed from the internet, but had not succeeded as of Thursday night. One of the documents marked “top secret” provides the “Status of the Conflict as of 1 Mar.,”suggesting the slides are several weeks old. Though they do not describe any specific battle plans, the files offer a glimpse into US intelligence assessments for Russian and Ukrainian troop levels, timetables for training and equipment deliveries, weather data, as well as ammunition expenditures – including for the US-supplied HIMARS platform. The Pentagon has not previously disclosed the rate at which Ukrainian forces are using munitions for the weapon. Some of the documents appear to have been altered, with multiple different versions circulating online showing wildly varying estimates for losses on both sides of the conflict.

Another file lists 12 new Ukrainian combat brigades – which are usually made up of 4,000 to 5,000 troops – noting that the US and NATO bloc are training and supplying nine of them. Of those, the document states that six would be ready by the end of March, and the remaining three by April 30. If genuine the documents represent one of the most significant intelligence breaches since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and come as Kiev is reportedly preparing a major counter-offensive against Russian forces. One of the documents shows two possible routes into the Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. It is unclear when the counter-attacks are set to begin, but Ukrainian Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov recently claimed that the two sides would fight a “final” and “decisive battle”sometime in the spring.

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Pentagon war plan documents for Ukraine leaked. Most interestingly casualty numbers on the Russian side are significantly lower and on the Ukrainian side much higher than official US numbers reported by the propaganda media. The US Govt clearly knows Ukraine is losing the war.

US, NATO Plans On Preparing Ukrainian Offensive Leak On Social Media (Az.)

Classified war documents detailing secret American and NATO plans for building up the Ukrainian military ahead of a planned offensive were posted this week on social media channels, senior Biden administration officials said, Report informs referring to New York Times. The Pentagon is investigating who may have been behind the leak of the documents, which appeared on Twitter and on Telegram, a platform with more than half a billion users that is widely available in Russia. Military analysts said the documents appear to have been modified in certain parts from their original format, overstating American estimates of Ukrainian war dead and understating estimates of Russian troops killed.

The modifications could point to an effort of disinformation by Moscow, the analysts said. But the disclosures in the original documents, which appear as photographs of charts of anticipated weapons deliveries, troop and battalion strengths, and other plans, represents a significant breach of American intelligence in the effort to aid Ukraine. Biden officials were working to get them deleted but had not succeeded so far. “We are aware of the reports of social media posts and the department is reviewing the matter,” said Sabrina Singh, the deputy press secretary at the Pentagon.

The documents do not provide specific battle plans, like how, when, and where Ukraine intends to launch its offensive, which American officials say is likely coming in the next month or so. And because the documents are five weeks old, they offer a snapshot of time – the American and Ukrainian view, as of March 1, of what Ukrainian troops might need for the campaign. For example, one of the slides said 16,000 to 17,500 Russian soldiers had been killed while Ukraine had suffered as many as 71,500 troop deaths. The Pentagon and other analysts have estimated that Russia has suffered far more casualties, with closer to 200,000 killed and injured, while Ukraine has had more than 100,000 killed and injured.

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“..expanding production may be easier said than done..”

EU Plan For Ukraine Ammunition Stuck On Details – Politico (RT)

The “historic” agreement to deliver two billion euros ($2.14 billion) worth of artillery ammunition to the Ukrainian military is still being worked out, Politico reported on Wednesday, citing diplomats involved in the negotiations. Concerns over who will get the money are reportedly the main bone of contention. The plan, unveiled on March 20, envisioned the delivery of one million 155mm shells to Ukraine over the next 12 months. A package of one billion euros was earmarked for compensating EU members who would dip into their own stockpiles, and another billion for getting new shells made by military contractors, with orders organized and fast-tracked by the EU Defence Agency. The problem now is figuring out which contractors, according to the pro-NATO outlet.

France is reportedly insisting that only EU companies should be considered, but there is legal uncertainty as to who actually qualifies as an EU company. Greece and Cyprus are in alignment with the French position, which diplomats have attributed to a desire to avoid giving orders to Türkiye. Meanwhile, the European Commission also needs to “map out the capacity” of the bloc’s defense industry before finalizing the deal, as expanding production may be easier said than done. EU ambassadors who met on Wednesday weren’t able to make significant progress, several diplomats with knowledge of the negotiations told Politico. They did manage to finalize the text of the agreement to collect ammunition donations, however, which should be published next week.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell had proposed the ammunition plan, arguing in February that it was the most important issue. “If we fail on that, the result of the war is in danger,” he said at the time. The US, EU and NATO have all insisted they were not participants in the conflict, while also arguing that Ukraine must win and Russia “must lose.” Moscow has repeatedly warned the West to stop “stuffing” Kiev with arms and ammunition, arguing that they are only delaying the inevitable while risking open confrontation. Russia has already increased its own ammunition production, tripling the number of shells the US and EU plan to supply Kiev over a year-long period, President Vladimir Putin said last week.

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Look who we support…

‘Everything Russian’ Must Be Eradicated In Crimea – Zelensky Aide (RT)

Russian culture will be off-limits in Crimea if Ukraine regains control of the peninsula, Mikhail Podoliak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, has claimed. Podoliak said Kiev is planning on meting out legal punishments to Russian passport holders and other “traitors” living in the region. “As soon as we enter, we must eradicate everything Russian in Crimea,” Podoliak stated in an interview with Radio Liberty published on Wednesday. He argued that the predominantly Russian-speaking region should instead become part of the “Ukrainian cultural space.” Acknowledging that his views are among the most radical within the leadership in Kiev, Podoliak insisted that Crimean residents would not be able to read Russian literature or watch Russian movies, let alone speak Russian in public. Instead, the language would only be permitted in private, the official added.

According to Podoliak, those who refused to comply would have to leave. Locals would also face mass investigations and “legal punishments” for anyone who has switched from Ukrainian to Russian citizenship, as well as those deemed to be “collaborators and traitors” by the Ukrainian authorities.Podoliak argued that the process, which he described as “very powerful stabilization measures,” would be difficult. “We’re going to have to break it all down,” he said with respect to Crimea’s Russian identity. The presidential aide expressed confidence that Ukrainian forces would retake the peninsula within seven months, claiming that his outlook is “mathematically verified” and that Russia lacked the necessary resources to retain the region.

However, Podoliak did not rule out negotiations between Kiev and Moscow on Crimea, provided that the Kremlin first withdrew its troops from territory that Ukraine claims as its own. Crimea has been part of Russia since 2014, when residents voted overwhelmingly to reunify with Moscow soon after the Maidan coup in Kiev. There were fears among the ethnically Russian majority of the peninsula that Ukrainian nationalists who had come to power in Kiev would try to forcefully impose their language and culture on them. The peninsula was historically part of Russia since 1783, and was only transferred to Kiev’s administrative control by the Soviet authorities in 1954.

Orthodox

Mykolaiv

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She left the same day that Finland entered NATO… No coincidence.

Finnish Government Led By Sanna Marin Submits Resignation (TASS)

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has submitted the resignation of her government to President Sauli Niinisto, according to the Yle broadcaster. Marin’s government is resigning following her party’s defeat in the recent parliamentary election. It will serve as an interim cabinet until the formation of a new government. The process will begin next week under the guidance of the conservative National Coalition Party that won the election. Finland held its parliamentary election on April 2. Marin’s Social Democratic Party came third, gaining 19.9% of the vote and taking 43 seats in parliament. The National Coalition Party won the election, gaining 20.8%, while the Finns Party was second with 20.1%. The new parliament will begin work on April 11. Marin announced at a press conference on April 5 that she would step down as leader of the Social Democratic Party by the fall, when the party’s new leadership was elected. She added that she would remain a member of parliament.

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“..Bragg simply stated that he was not required to state the crime in the indictment…”

Bragg’s Case Against Trump: An Ed Wood Movie Come To Life (Turley)

“Filmmaking is not about the tiny details. It’s about the big picture.” Thus did the title character of the movie, “Ed Wood,” explain why arguably the worst filmmaker of all time was unconcerned with obvious gaps in logic, or scenes where cardboard tombstones toppled in graveyard scenes. Wood said he relied on the “suspension of disbelief” of his horror-film fans. If there is an Ed Wood school of prosecution, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg could prove to be its most apt pupil. Indicting Donald Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records, Bragg left out a small detail: The underlying felony Trump allegedly sought to conceal over and over. That, apparently, is left to the suspension of disbelief.

For many weeks, experts on both the left and the right expressed doubts that Bragg could charge Trump with falsifying business records, a misdemeanor with a now-expired two-year statute of limitation. To be able to file such a charge, Bragg would need to kick it up to a felony by alleging it was committed to conceal or further another crime — in this case, a federal campaign violation. The problem is that the Justice Department declined to bring such charges. The reason was likely due to a tiny problem: There is no campaign finance violation in Trump paying women to hush up alleged affairs. Moreover, even if there were a violation, Bragg is not a federal prosecutor. In other words, his case is as implausible as Wood’s cardboard tombstones.

When asked by reporters what crime was being referenced 34 times, Bragg simply stated that he was not required to state the crime in the indictment. Despite becoming the first prosecutor to charge a former president, Bragg felt no compulsion to explain the claim that kicked the misdemeanor up to a felony and allowed a longer statute of limitations. Bragg undoubtedly knew that New Yorkers would likely suspend disbelief when the name on the indictment was “Donald Trump.” After all, when Bragg ran for office, he was no more specific; he merely promised to bag Trump on some criminal charge. The actual crime would be named at a later date. Bragg also undoubtedly counted on Judge Juan Merchan suspending judicial disbelief by not asking for the full basis of the criminal charges.

Thus far, he appears to have been correct: Merchan set the next hearing for December, so Bragg has eight months to come up with an actual crime. Even if the judge ignores the glaring legal problems with this flawed indictment, he must decide where a trial should be held. The correct answer should be “Anywhere but Manhattan.” However, the judge is likely to deny that change of venue motion, and a denial would say a great deal about this case. Bragg’s cavalier attitude only magnifies the view that Manhattan is the wrong place for this trial. It is not simply that the district attorney ran on a pledge to indict this defendant. The problem is that he was elected on that pledge by the citizens of this district — the same citizens who would comprise the jury pool in Trump’s case.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1643999294532251649

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“..if New York courts nevertheless back this dodgy theory, it would show the rule of law is being tossed out the window to get Trump..”

The Shambolic Criminal Case Against Donald Trump (NC)

In simple terms, Cohen paid $180,000 to get what were sometimes called “bimbo eruptions” paid off. The Statement of Facts is not clear as to whose idea it was,2 but the Trump Organization doubled the amount to be paid to Cohen so Cohen could characterize it as income, not a reimbursement, then added a $60,000 bonus. That $420,000 amount was then paid in 12 monthly installments. That was billed monthly as a payment against a retainer agreement, even though there was no retainer agreement. Trump then allegedly confirmed this arrangement in person. The indictment gets to 34 counts by taking each of monthly payments Trump made to Cohen and each of the related entries in Trump Organization records as a separate count. Some experts have suggested Trump’s lawyers will get them consolidated into fewer counts.

To get to a first degree falsification, there has to be an intent to commit or aid in or conceal the commission of another crime. Oddly, the Statement of Facts discusses Team Trump pressuring Cohen not to cooperate in a Federal investigation but does not talk about obstruction of justice…..presumably because a New York prosecutor does not have standing to pursue obstruction of justice in a Federal investigation. And that begs the question of why the Department of Justice didn’t go that route. It’s exactly the one used with Clinton in l’affaire Lewinsky, and has the advantage of being simple to explain and prove. The Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg also mentions tax fraud in passing. That seems odd since the “fraud” here involved choosing have Cohen report income he never had and therefore pay unnecessary taxes.

Perhaps the supposed fraud instead is having the Trump Organization treat all of the payments to Cohen as tax deductible, when if they were all to effect payoffs to help the Trump campaign, they were Trump Organization/Trump personal contributions to the Trump campaign and hence not tax deductible. Since these deductions would ultimately reduce New York State and New York City income taxes, it would seem to offer a clear path to tying the alleged records abuses to another fraud. But you’d expect to see that presented more clearly in both the indictment and the Statement of Facts if so. The Statement of Facts instead bangs on about the payoffs to American Media Inc. (AMI), the parent of National Enquirer, to kill the stories for the benefit of Trump’s election efforts, and depicts that as trying to illegally influence the election. As many readers know, there are a lot of problems with trying to make that the actual or intended crime that turns a second degree records violation into a first degree one.

The first is that the election laws in question are Federal, and a New York state prosecutor lacks standing to enforce Federal law. This is even a more questionable approach since not only did the Department of Justice not pursue this case, the Federal Election Commission didn’t issue a civil fine either. Put it anther way, if New York courts nevertheless back this dodgy theory, it would show the rule of law is being tossed out the window to get Trump. The second is that Federal law requires that for a payment to be an election law violation, it must be made for the sole purpose of influencing the election. Recall the John Edwards case. Some election supporters paid his pregnant paramour $1 million during the election. The jury acquitted Edwards on one count and deadlocked on five others, apparently because the Edwards team argued the payments were not made exclusively to keep her quiet so as to help the election, but also to hide it from his wife, who was fighting a fatal case of cancer. They also argued Edwards had no idea these payments could be construed to be campaign-related (the donors didn’t send these monies to the election organization). Even the section of Bragg’s Statement of Facts contends that the payments were not made solely but “principal purpose of influencing the election.”

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Or more.

US Commercial Real-Estate Prices Could Tumble 40% (Az.)

Commercial real estate prices could plummet as much as 40% from their peak in a worse crash than the 2008 financial crisis, according to Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s chief investment officer, Report informs via the Market Insider. The grave outlook is based on a raft of headwinds buffeting the commercial real estate sector, including the work-from-home trend and higher interest rates making it harder for investors to refinance a mountain of looming debt. “MS & Co. analysts forecast a peak-to-trough CRE price decline of as much as 40%, worse than in the Great Financial Crisis,” Lisa Shalett said in the weekly Global Investment Committee note.

“More than 50% of the $2.9 trillion in commercial mortgages will need to be renegotiated in the next 24 months when new lending rates are likely to be up by 350 to 450 basis points,” she added. Shalett flagged an outsized risk to regional banks, given small and medium-sized banks hold 80% of US commercial real estate debt outstanding. High borrowing costs and tighter credit conditions caused by the banking turmoil could raise hurdles for big real estate investors as they seek to refinance a pile of loans. Nearly $450 billion in commercial real-estate debt is due to mature in 2023, according to data cited from Trepp by JPMorgan.

The Federal Reserve has raised benchmark interest rates to upwards of 4.75% from almost zero 12 months ago — the steepest jump in US borrowing costs since the 1980s. On top of that, hybrid and remote working trends since the breakout of COVID-19 have dampened consumer appetite for office spaces – and that’s weighing on real estate valuations. That could not only hurt building owners and their lenders, given their large loan exposure, but also “interconnected business communities, private capital funders and owners of any underlying securitized debt,” Shallet notes.

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Elasmotherium (“Thin Plate Beast”) is an extinct genus of rhinoceros endemic to Eurasia during the Late Pliocene through the Pleistocene, documented from 2.6 Ma to as late as 29,000 years ago in the Late Pleistocene

 

 

Crows

 

 


The Hubble Ultra Deep Field led to an estimate that the observable universe contained at least 200 billion galaxies. But a research from 2016 suggests that number is at least 10 times too low leading to a total of 2 trillion (2,000,000,000,000) galaxies: https://go.nasa.gov/3s40UOR

 

 

Dog stream

 

 

 

 

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