Jul 092023
 


Carl Frederik Aagaard View to the Amalfi Coast c1860 (woodblock)

 

Biden Admin Lying ‘About Everything to Do With Ukraine’ – RFK Jr. (Sp.)
Tucker Carlson Hopes Trump & RFK Jr. Win 2024 Nomination (Sp.)
‘Russian Victory’ Worse Than Civilian Cluster-bomb Deaths – Pentagon (RT)
Cluster Munitions Will Change Nothing for Ukraine (Scott Ritter)
Supplying Cluster Bombs To Ukraine Is Wrong – Spain (RT)
Germany Set Against Ukraine’s Bid for NATO Membership (Sp.)
France’s Macron Has Changed Mind About NATO – Bloomberg (RT)
France Blocks NATO Plans For Japan (RT)
Turkish Release Of Ukrainian Neo-nazis A Deal ‘Violation’ – Kremlin (RT)
BRICS Needs Qualitative Expansion, Says Russian Lawmaker (Sp.)
Biden Told China’s Xi To ‘Be Careful’ After Putin Meeting (RT)
Hell on Earth – A Mercenary’s Life In Ukraine (RT)
Terrorist Regime: Moscow Reacts to Kiev Admitting Attack on Crimean Bridge (Sp.)
DeSantis Ruined His Campaign With Attack On “pro-LGBTQ” Trump (Blankenship)

 

 

 

 

The film “Sound of Freedom” was written before anyone heard of qanon. And the real-life story it is based on is years older than that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker Sund
https://twitter.com/i/status/1677426193744707586

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

“We [US] wanted the war, for the reasons that Biden has said… The real reason for the war in Ukraine is regime change in Russia..”

Biden Admin Lying ‘About Everything to Do With Ukraine’ – RFK Jr. (Sp.)

The federal government under the administration of Joe Biden has been blatantly lying to the Americans “about everything to do with Ukraine,” said Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in an interview for Judge Andrew Napolitano on his Judging Freedom podcast. “This was a sell job that they gave us on Ukraine,” insisted the 2024 Democratic candidate for US President. “The Russians tried to avoid a war… wanted to sign the Minsk Accords – a reasonable document – to keep NATO out of Ukraine, with Ukraine remaining neutral… That we [US] remove the Aegis missile systems from Romania, Poland, and that the murder…the wholesale killing of ethnic Russians in the Donbass by the Ukrainian government that America put in power stop. Those are all things that we should have agreed to,” stated the nephew of assassinated former US President John F. Kennedy.

He added that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky won in 2019 by promising to sign the Minsk accords. The complex series of measures negotiated by Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine in 2014-2015 in a bid to put an end to the armed conflict between the Kiev authorities and the breakaway region of Donbas. Moscow repeatedly stated that Kiev was not fulfilling the deal, for example not granting self-government to the Russian-speaking region of Donbass. In February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted he never intended to implement the Minsk agreements, with former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Former French President Francois Hollande, who participated in the Normandy format, admitting the same.

“It is existential for the Russians… they have a legitimate national security interest,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. pointed out, referring to Moscow’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine. “We [US] wanted the war, for the reasons that Biden has said… The real reason for the war in Ukraine is regime change in Russia,” RJK Jr. emphasized in the interview on the Judging Freedom podcast. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. previously slammed decades of policy conducted by the US and NATO toward Ukraine and Russia for fueling the current conflagration. “We have neglected many, many opportunities to settle this war peacefully,” Kennedy said in June during a live town hall event with NewsNation.

He added that Washington had turned the ongoing conflagration in Ukraine into a proxy war waged by the United States against Russia. “We were told this was a humanitarian exercise. … But when President Biden was asked why are we over there, he said for regime change of [Russian President] Vladimir Putin,” the 2024 White House hopeful underscored. Weighing in on remarks by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who said last year that Washington wanted “to see Russia weakened,” RJK Jr. scathingly remarked: “That is the opposite of a humanitarian mission, that is a mission about a war of attrition.”

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“Trump is the only person with stature in the Republican Party really who is saying, ‘Wait a second, why are we supporting an endless… [conflict] in Ukraine?”

Tucker Carlson Hopes Trump & RFK Jr. Win 2024 Nomination (Sp.)

Tucker Carlson hopes that Democratic candidate for US President Robert Kennedy Jr. and former POTUS Republican 2024 hopeful Donald Trump win their respective nominations. “Bobby Kennedy and Trump will both have a very tough time getting the nomination… I’m hoping that both of them will [win], of course,” Carlson said in an interview with English comedian and actor Russell Brand on Friday. “I’m hoping that their message will be heard… I don’t know. I don’t even know what I hope for in the process itself, but I want them to be heard. And they can now be heard. Because there are channels of information that people can tune into and listen,” the prominent reporter added. Carlson, who emphatically told the host that he “loves Trump,” dodged a question regarding the potential outcomes of the primaries, set to start early in 2024.

However, he insisted that in 10 years, “we’re going to see Trump’s emergence as the most significant thing to happen in American politics in 100 years because he reoriented the Republican Party against the wishes of Republican leaders.” Regarding Trump, the former anchor insisted that the Republican hopeful was right about the Ukraine crisis, saying: “Trump is the only person with stature in the Republican Party really who is saying, ‘Wait a second, why are we supporting an endless… [conflict] in Ukraine?” The journalist likened Donald Trump and RFK Jr. to Ross Perot and Teddy Roosevelt, respectively. “Teddy Roosevelt grew up rich. Of course, in New York, Trump, Bobby Kennedy is famous, [from] one of [the] most famous families in the world, in modern history, the Kennedys, and certainly the most famous family in Democratic politics,” he said.

“So these are people who know how the system works because they benefited from the system. And so their critique is much more meaningful and much more effective, I would say, because they can bear witness to what they have seen,” Carlson underscored. Trump, who is seeking an Oval Office comeback after losing the 2020 election to Biden, is a frontrunner in the Republican primary race that includes Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and his former vice president, Mike Pence. Others in the GOP ballgame include former South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and several “longshots” in the fray. As for the much narrower 2024 Democratic field, leading it is White House incumbent Joe Biden. At 80, he is the oldest sitting president in US history, and can hardly boast of an approval rating barely above 40%.

His rival for nomination is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., nephew to assassinated former US President John F. Kennedy. Incidentally, according to a YouGov survey, RFK Jr. boasts the highest favorability rating of all the current 2024 presidential candidates – 49 percent of respondents saw him favorably in June.

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Same for a nuclear bomb?

‘Russian Victory’ Worse Than Civilian Cluster-bomb Deaths – Pentagon (RT)

US fears of Russian success on the battlefield outweigh concerns that deliveries of cluster bombs to Ukraine could result in civilian casualties, a senior Pentagon official acknowledged on Friday. Speaking to reporters, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl defended the White House’s decision to approve another $800 million weapons package for Ukraine, including cluster munitions. The weapons are banned in more than 100 countries. When they detonate, the munitions release many small bomblets over a wide area. A percentage of bomblets fail to detonate on impact, however, and unexploded elements pose severe risks to civilians for years after fighting ends.

Asked if the Pentagon has assured its allies that the munitions will not cause excessive civilian harm, Kahl replied: “I’m as concerned about the humanitarian circumstance as anybody, but the worst thing for civilians in Ukraine is for Russia to win the war. And so it’s important that they don’t.” He added that Kiev had promised not to use cluster munitions in civilian-populated urban areas and to keep records of where the weapons are deployed to make future de-mining efforts easier. The official also portrayed the deliveries as a stop-gap measure until Kiev’s Western backers can ramp up production of conventional shells. In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, US President Joe Biden described the decision to supply the controversial shells to Ukraine as “difficult.”

He said that it was in part motivated by the fact that both Kiev and Washington recognise a deficit in ordinary ammunition, adding that Ukraine “needed” cluster munitions to prevent Russia from stopping its ongoing counteroffensive. Commenting on the announcement, Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the US, called the move “a gesture of desperation,” adding that the West does not want to admit that Ukraine’s counteroffensive is faltering. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reacted by posting a clip of former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki from late February 2022, days after the start of the Ukraine conflict, saying that the use of cluster munitions could potentially be regarded as a war crime.

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“..when employed in real-life situations, the “dud” rate of the sub-munitions will be much higher—often up to 20%..”

Cluster Munitions Will Change Nothing for Ukraine (Scott Ritter)

The Biden administration has announced that it will be authorizing a new tranche of military support for Ukraine Totaling around $800 million, it will also feature Bradley and Stryker fighting vehicles, air defense missiles, and anti-mine equipment—and hundreds of thousands of 155mm artillery dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) rounds, the M864. The United States has, prior to the recent announcement, refused to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine for one simple reason—much of the world, including many of America’s NATO allies—views cluster munitions as representing an unacceptable risk to civilian life due to the high occurrence of “dud” munitions (i.e., munitions that fail to detonate on impact).

As a result, cluster munitions continue to kill long after the battle where they were employed has ended. The victims tend to be civilians who stumble upon these munitions and inadvertently set them off. While the US has refused to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), an international treaty that prohibits all use, transfer, production, and stockpiling of cluster munitions, it has recognized the need to develop cluster munitions with a designed “dud” rate of less than 1% to minimize the post-conflict risk to civilian populations. For this reason, the US military stopped using the M864 in 2016, replacing it with an improved DPICM round. While the M864 round does not meet the 1% “dud” threshold set by the US Dewhen employed in real-life situations, the “dud” rate of the sub-munitions will be much higher—often up to 20%partment of Defense for DPICM munitions, the Biden administration touts the fact that the M864 has a “dud” rate of less than 2%, which given the urgency of the need for artillery shells by Ukraine, is deemed to be an acceptable departure from the US norm.

However, like virtually every statement made by the United States regarding the conflict in Ukraine, the claim that the M864 DPICM rounds being sent to Ukraine are comprised only of batches “certified” as possessing a “dud” rate of less than 2% is a calculated lie. The tests cited—five of them, conducted between 1998 and 2020—were carried out at the KOFA firing range, located within the US Army’s Yuma Proving Ground, in Arizona, using the Terminal Ballistics Evaluation Area, which possesses a prepared and instrumented impact area optimized for data collection. This range employs a surface area consisting of hard-packed, flattened dirt designed to maximize point-detonating fuses such as those employed on the 24 M46 and 48 M42 dual-purpose anti-materiel/anti-personnel sub-munitions contained in each M864 round.

However,. Rough terrain, mud, soft soil, trees, and bushes all conspire to prevent the sub-munitions from detonating. Moreover, given that the lifespan of a 155mm artillery shell is 20 years, and that production of the M864 round, which began in 1987, terminated in 1996, the vast majority of the M864 artillery shells being provided to Ukraine have reached or exceeded their expiation date, which means that there is an increased probability that many of these shells will not perform as designed.

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“Through the cluster munition deliveries, Washington de-facto becomes an accomplice in mining [Ukraine’s] territory and will share full responsibility for the deaths… of both Russian and Ukrainian children.”

Supplying Cluster Bombs To Ukraine Is Wrong – Spain (RT)

Cluster munitions should not be used by Ukraine “under any circumstances,” Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles said on Saturday. One day earlier, the US announced that it would send the controversial ordnance to Ukraine amid a shortage in conventional shells. “Spain, based on the firm commitment it has with Ukraine, also has a firm commitment that certain weapons and bombs cannot be delivered under any circumstances,” Robles told reporters after a rally in Madrid. Spain says “no to cluster bombs and yes to the legitimate defense of Ukraine, which we understand should not be carried out with cluster bombs,” Robles added, according to Reuters.

The White House announced on Friday that President Joe Biden had authorized the delivery of an unspecified number of dual-purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICM) to Kiev, based on the “unanimous” recommendation of the president’s national security team. The shells, which can be fired from Ukraine’s NATO-supplied 155mm artillery, scatter many small ‘bomblets’ over a wide area, some of which fail to immediately explode and pose severe risks to civilians for years after fighting ends. Cluster munitions are banned by more than 120 countries, although the US, Ukraine, and Russia are not parties to the ban. Biden’s decision was also criticized by Germany and the UK. However, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Friday that sending these weapons was necessary to “bridge” the gap until Kiev’s Western backers could increase production of conventional 155mm shells.

Speaking to CNN later on Friday, Biden was more blunt. “It was a very difficult decision on my part,” he said, claiming that he signed off on the supply because “the Ukrainians are running out of ammunition.” Last year, then White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki described Russia’s alleged use of similar ordnance as “potentially a war crime.” Moscow was dismissive of the news. Cluster bombs are “yet another ‘Wunderwaffe’ [wonder weapon] Washington and Kiev are betting on, without thinking about the harsh consequences,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a press briefing on Friday. “Through the cluster munition deliveries, Washington de-facto becomes an accomplice in mining [Ukraine’s] territory and will share full responsibility for the deaths… of both Russian and Ukrainian children.”

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“Berlin doesn’t want to see [Russian President] Vladimir Putin potentially test Article 5.”

Germany Set Against Ukraine’s Bid for NATO Membership (Sp.)

Germany plans to insist during the upcoming NATO summit in Lithuania that Ukraine should not be granted NATO membership, UK media reported on Saturday, citing an alliance source. The source said that Berlin plans to urge other NATO members during the Vilnius summit on July 11-12 that they should focus on security assurances to Kiev, and not NATO membership, in order not to risk a war with Russia. “Berlin is stand-offish at the prospect of offering immediate membership,” the source told The Telegraph, adding that Germany “wants a process and time to develop guarantees to essentially block membership,” since “Berlin doesn’t want to see [Russian President] Vladimir Putin potentially test Article 5.”


According to The Telegraph, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union are currently working on “Bucharest-plus” – a series of bilateral security offerings to Kiev – instead of offering Ukraine NATO membership. Individual offers of security guarantees to Kiev would then be combined into an umbrella deal, a “Memorandum of Understanding,” endorsed by NATO and the EU, the newspaper said, adding that, according to sources, it would be the “next best offer” to Kiev.

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Germany says no, Macron turns around and says yes. Is this a game?

France’s Macron Has Changed Mind About NATO – Bloomberg (RT)

By backing membership for Ukraine, the French president is trying to court Eastern European support, the newspaper’s sources said French President Emmanuel Macron © Nicolas Economou / Getty Images French President Emmanuel Macron realizes that Eastern European states are becoming more influential within NATO, and has shifted his rhetoric on the bloc to match them, Bloomberg reported on Saturday. Macron recently backed a “path” to NATO membership for Ukraine. Before the conflict in Ukraine began, Macron was regarded as one of Europe’s most NATO-skeptic leaders. He proclaimed the bloc “brain dead” in 2019, and spent his first term in office repeatedly calling for the establishment of a “true European army” independent from the US.

Even throughout the first year of the conflict, Macron stayed in phone contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin and distanced himself from “Anglo Saxon” leaders, whom he said seek to “annihilate” Russia. However, his rhetoric has since changed. In May, Macron called on NATO leaders to offer Kiev a “path” to full membership in the bloc, and declared that the EU and NATO should expand their military cooperation “as quickly as possible.” The shift was a calculated one, Bloomberg reported. Citing a diplomat from Eastern Europe, the newspaper explained that “positioning France alongside Ukraine’s fiercest supporters, Poland and the Baltic states, helps to fill the gap left by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s more cautious approach.”

A French diplomat framed Macron’s apparent conversion in more ideological terms, stating that the president “has understood he needs to be on the right side of history,” in Bloomberg’s words. In order to convince NATO’s eastern members, Macron will need to back his words with actions, the newspaper claimed. Although France was one of the first NATO members to provide Kiev with armored vehicles, France will likely need to up its spending on Ukraine to beyond its current level of 0.3% of GDP, Bloomberg suggested.

However, anonymous French officials told the newspaper that Macron’s government is already examining how its nuclear arsenal could “contribute to Ukraine’s security guarantees.” While offering to protect Ukraine with nuclear weapons would be a seriously escalatory step, some officials Bloomberg spoke to regarded Macron’s recent statement as “hot air.” With his attempts to dissuade Putin from sending troops to Ukraine failing last year and his offer to help China negotiate a peace deal languishing, one anonymous official explained that Macron is enthusiastically backing NATO expansion simply because everything else he has tried “hasn’t worked.”

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This is about China.

France Blocks NATO Plans For Japan (RT)

Paris has refused to approve a scheme to open a NATO liaison office in Japan, arguing the bloc should not extend itself beyond the North Atlantic, according to an Elysee Palace official cited by Politico. “NATO means North Atlantic Treaty Organization,” the official told journalists on Friday, warning against blurring the lines and emphasizing that even the notorious Article 5 of the bloc’s treaty specifically refers to maintaining the “security of the North Atlantic area.” “We are not in favor as a matter of principle,” the official added. “As far as the office is concerned, the Japanese authorities themselves have told us that they are not extremely attached to it.” French President Emmanuel Macron personally believes that the body’s charter imposes geographic limitations which bar NATO from expanding into Asia, according to a recent report by the Financial Times.

Back in May, Japanese Ambassador to the US Koji Tomita said that Japan was “working” towards opening a NATO liaison office in Tokyo, which would become the bloc’s first in Asia. The scheme has been discussed intermittently since 2007, when Japan’s then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe first visited NATO’s headquarters, and was raised again in recent months. Tokyo has steadily increased its cooperation with the bloc over the years, opening its first NATO branch office in Brussels in 2018. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida became the first Japanese leader to attend a NATO summit last year. Japan, as well as Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, have also been invited to the 2023 summit that will take place in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 11 and 12, as the bloc shows increased interest in the Indo-Pacific in recent years.

China objected to NATO’s creeping expansion, claiming that the bloc should remain within its own sphere of influence and not seek to grow its presence in Asia, arguing the region “does not welcome bloc confrontation or military blocs.” Russia, which strongly opposes NATO’s expansion in Eastern Europe, also criticized the bloc’s attempts to extend its activities into Asia. In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the push by the US and its allies to create what he called a “global NATO” resembled the actions of Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan in the 1930s before the outbreak of World War II.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1676314362024263682

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Putin trusted Erdogan.

Turkish Release Of Ukrainian Neo-nazis A Deal ‘Violation’ – Kremlin (RT)

Allowing former commanders of the neo-Nazi Azov regiment to return to Ukraine is a “direct violation” of a 2022 prisoner swap deal between Moscow and Kiev that also involved Türkiye, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday. Earlier the same day, the five previously interned Azov commanders flew from Türkiye to Ukraine aboard President Vladimir Zelensky’s plane. The Ukrainian leader hailed the development as a “return of heroes” and published a video of the five men boarding his aircraft on Facebook. Zelensky had arrived in Türkiye on a short visit after an invitation by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Both the Ukrainian and Turkish sides breached the provisions [of the deal] in this case,” Peskov said, commenting on the developments. He also said that Moscow had not been duly informed of Ankara’s decision to hand over the five Ukrainians. Türkiye was apparently “forced” to take this step ahead of the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, the Kremlin spokesman said, adding that the Turkish leadership had to demonstrate “solidarity” with the military bloc and that Moscow was “well aware” of that. “Yet, a breach of an agreement flatters no one,” the official stressed. Ankara has so far not commented on the developments.

Under a major prisoner exchange agreement reached in September 2022, five commanders, including top Azov leaders, were to stay in Türkiye until the end of the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. At that time, Zelensky himself explicitly stated that Kiev had agreed to that condition. Erdogan then offered the five Ukrainians protection. All of them were captured by the Russian forces and Donbass militias in spring 2022 following the lengthy siege of the Azovstal steel plant in the Azov Sea port city of Mariupol.

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“..a pool of reserve currencies, which should show itself – I think it will be after the summit in August..”

BRICS Needs Qualitative Expansion, Says Russian Lawmaker (Sp.)

On Friday, Belarusian Ambassador to Brazil Sergey Lukashevich has passed a note to the Brazilian government conforming Minsk’s desire to become a full-fledged member of BRICS. The bloc, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, needs more countries, but they must be a good fit and not just selected artificially simply for the sake of getting “more flags,” said Andrey Klimov, deputy head of the Russian upper chamber’s committee on foreign affairs, adding that it is worth considering different formats for membership. According to the senator, it would not be right to force the process.

“In fact, there are many applications, but the main goal is to consolidate the efforts of sovereign powers that play a huge role in their continent and even in the world. To force this artificially is probably not very right, although some would like to have more countries, more flags, more numbers of some kind. I am still in favor of adding quality,” Klimov said. He cited the example of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which did not expand quickly, and recalled that BRICS initially consisted only of Russia, India, and China. “Time will tell how the BRICS will develop. We already have a New Development Bank of BRICS, it is getting on its feet, a pool of reserve currencies, which should show itself – I think it will be after the summit in August,” he said.

“If we just follow some information agenda and think about PR, it will hardly give us any added value. In this regard, we will move towards a formula that is closer to me – BRICS+. Countries have the right to work in the BRICS format in different areas, from sports to finance, and one can become a member of the BRICS New Development Bank without joining BRICS. Participation in the championships organized by BRICS without being part of the organization is also possible,” Klimov noted.

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He must have been very impressed.

Biden Told China’s Xi To ‘Be Careful’ After Putin Meeting (RT)

US President Joe Biden called on his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping ‘to be careful’ after Xi visited Moscow back in March, the American leader has told CNN. In extracts from the interview released on Saturday, Biden said he had highlighted what he called the Asian giant’s dependence on European and US investments. “I said: This is not a threat. This is an observation,” Biden told CNN. “Since Russia went into Ukraine, 600 American corporations have pulled out of Russia. And you have told me that your economy depends on investment from Europe and the United States. And be careful. Be careful,” he added.

Following their Moscow talks, Putin and Xi signed documents on deepening the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership and economic cooperation. Both governments emphasized their readiness to work towards a trade volume of $200 billion or higher, with national currencies increasingly being used in a bid to de-dollarize trade. The conflict in Ukraine was discussed during the Moscow visit as well, with China maintaining its neutral position. Beijing has repeatedly criticized the West’s “abuse” of unilateral economic sanctions and has made efforts toward a peaceful resolution in Ukraine, proposing a twelve-point peace plan. In May, a Chinese special envoy visited several countries, including Russia and Ukraine, in an effort to broker an end to the conflict.

Biden’s CNN interview comes as US relations with China are far from calm, with Taiwan and security concerns in the Asia-Pacific region among the key issues exacerbating strained ties. President Biden himself provoked a diplomatic incident in June, when he called his Chinese counterpart a “dictator” during a speech. While the US president dismissed concerns that his comment could hinder efforts to improve relations, the Chinese embassy issued a formal protest in response, and foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning denounced the remark as an “open political provocation.”

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“..mercenaries sent by the West to assist the nationalist regime in Kiev… are not entitled to the status of prisoner of war under international humanitarian law.”

Hell on Earth – A Mercenary’s Life In Ukraine (RT)

For veterans of US wars in the Middle East, adapting to an enemy like Russia has proven difficult. Earlier this year, an Australian mercenary fighting against Wagner Group forces in Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) described the Russian private military company as a “near peer” opponent to any Western military, while several Americans have reported Russian shelling as orders of magnitude more intense than anything they experienced in their previous combat tours. “[The artillery] is nonstop,” a former US Marine told ABC News in February. “It’s been nonstop. All day and night. The life expectancy is around four hours on the frontline.” “This is my third war I’ve fought in, and this is by far the worst one,” another former Marine toldThe Daily Beast last week. “You’re getting f**king smashed with artillery, tanks. Last week I had a plane drop a bomb next to us, like 300 meters away. It’s horrifying s**t.”

Those behind the front are often just as likely to be killed. As many as 20 foreign mercenaries, including several Colombians and at least one American, died in a Russian missile strike on a temporary brigade base in the Donbass city of Kramatorsk last month. “If we discover such gatherings, for example, as in Kramatorsk, we will destroy them, because these are people who have declared war on us,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after the strike. By April 2022 there were just under 7,000 foreign mercenaries from 63 countries operating in Ukraine, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. By May of this year, that number had fallen to 2,500. It is unclear how many foreigners have been killed, captured, or deserted since last April. With the Ukrainian military reportedly unwilling to collect even its own dead along hot sectors of the front line, the families of foreign fighters can wait for months for closure.

This was the case for the family of Irishman Finbar Cafferkey, whose remains were found near Artyomovsk this week, three months after he was reported dead. According to the Irish Times, “it may be months” before Ukrainian authorities return Cafferkey’s body to Ireland. For those captured alive, the situation is no less severe. Mercenaries are not entitled to any protections under the Geneva Convention, as British citizens Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner found when they were captured by Donetsk People’s Republic forces last year and sentenced to death. While both men were eventually repatriated in a prisoner swap, the Russian Foreign Ministry has reminded would-be volunteers that “mercenaries sent by the West to assist the nationalist regime in Kiev… are not entitled to the status of prisoner of war under international humanitarian law.”

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“Now they have embarked on a plan for ‘their own salvation’- systematic infliction of damage to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant,” added Maria Zakharova..”

Terrorist Regime: Moscow Reacts to Kiev Admitting Attack on Crimean Bridge (Sp.)

Detonation of a truck bomb on the 19-km bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula to the region of Krasnodar on the Russian mainland on October 8, 2022, killed three people, causing part of the road section to collapse into the sea. Kiev refused to take responsibility, yet its officials had gloated over the attack in Twitter posts. “Terrorist regime,” was the succinct response of Russia’s Foreign Ministry to Ukrainian deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar’s admission that Kiev had carried out the attack on the Crimean Bridge in autumn of 2022. “273 days since we struck the first blow on the Crimean Bridge to disrupt the logistics of the Russians,” Maliar had written on Telegram on Saturday. “Now they have embarked on a plan for ‘their own salvation’- systematic infliction of damage to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant,” added Maria Zakharova, the official spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, in a Telegram post.

Previously, a huge threat of a sabotage at the ZNPP from Kiev amid its stuttering counteroffensive was emphasized by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Up until now, the Kiev regime has refused to claim responsibility for the attack on the 19-km long bridge – the longest in Europe and connecting the Crimean peninsula and mainland Russia’s Krasnodar region. Crimea reunited with Russia in March 2014 after a referendum in which over 96% of the peninsula’s voters said “yes” to reunification. The bridge was opened by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in May 2018. A truck was blown up on the road section of the Crimean Bridge on 8 October, causing two car spans partially to collapse into the sea. Seven fuel tanks of a freight train on the adjacent rail section caught fire. Three people were killed. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the blast on Crimean Bridge a terrorist attack aimed at destroying civilian infrastructure.

Immediately after the attack, Russian authorities announced a series of measures to repair damage and ensure stable transport ties between Crimea and Krasnodar Territory. Putin signed a decree Saturday night to step up security for transport crossing through the Kerch Strait, as well as electricity and energy infrastructure in the area. At the time, Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, hinted at Kiev’s responsibility for the terrorist incident in a series of meme-riddled posts on social media. Presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak had gloated that the attack on the bridge was just “the beginning” and that “everything illegal must be destroyed” and “everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine.”

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“It portrays him as an LGBTQ+ ally, which the ad frames as something bad, with DeSantis as the community’s enemy, which is somehow good.”

DeSantis Ruined His Campaign With Attack On “pro-LGBTQ” Trump (Blankenship)

Ever since former President Donald Trump announced his new campaign for the White House in November last year, many (including myself) believed that DeSantis had a chance to surpass him. This optimism was not only based on the polls but also on the feedback I got from individuals residing in deeply conservative regions of the country. However, DeSantis’ campaign faced some initial setbacks, leading to a decline in his poll numbers. The latest poll from Echelon Insights in June shows him at 16% support, while Trump stands at an impressive 49%. Things are obviously not going as planned for the governor. It is crucial to understand that politics can be a complex game, and negativity seldom leads to success. Unfortunately, DeSantis has been running a campaign that emphasizes division and conflict instead of unity and growth.

This approach does not align with good political strategy, regardless of how you analyze it. Look no further than the recent anti-Trump ad published by the unofficial DeSantis War Room and shared by the official DeSantis campaign. The ad, which has so far garnered over 25 million views on Twitter, takes a negative stance toward Donald Trump’s purported support for the LGBTQ+ community. It portrays him as an LGBTQ+ ally, which the ad frames as something bad, with DeSantis as the community’s enemy, which is somehow good. While some might argue that Republicans do not need the support of the LGBTQ+ community to secure victory in 2024, this assumption is mistaken. The US is a country that does not openly condone hatred, and it is a country that, by and large, tends to have less conservative social views than the rest of the world and is also based on secularism.

Instead, to be a conservative demands a certain level of tact and finesse in political life. A candidate cannot merely declare themselves against any group of people and expect societal acceptance or political success, either by the groups they attack or society as a whole. However, they can certainly support policies that at least claim to address the concerns of the community they might dislike deep down while still upholding conservative values, thereby appealing to a broader base of support.

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Plimer

 

 

 

 

African Union
https://twitter.com/i/status/1677418332805292032

 

 

Water scooter

 

 

Croc

 

 

 

 

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Jul 082023
 


Lawrence Alma-Tadema Women of Amphissa 1887

 

Ukraine – Biden Again Escalates (MoA)
US Giving Cluster Munitions To Ukraine In ‘Desperate Gesture’ – Envoy (TASS)
Germany To Refrain From Sending Cluster Munitions To Ukraine (TASS)
Austria Has ‘Clear Position’ On Cluster Munitions For Ukraine – FM (RT)
NATO Needs Ukraine Offensive To Succeed To Prove New Plans’ Viability (TASS)
NATO Allies Still Discussing What To Offer Ukraine At Vilnius Summit – WaPo (TASS)
Keep Ukraine Out Of NATO, US Experts Argue (RT)
G7 Justice Ministers Agree To Help Fight Corruption In Ukraine (Az.)
Baltic, Polish Leaders Warn NATO Of Threats From Belarus (Az.)
IAEA Experts Find No Indications Of Mines At Zaporozhye NPP – Grossi (TASS)
How To Create a Fake News Cycle (Pierre Kory)
Father of Our Country (Jim Kunstler)
The SCO Welcomes A New ‘Global Globe’ (Pepe Escobar)
Judge Says Trump Can Be Deposed in Former FBI Agent Peter Strzok Lawsuit (ET)
Musk’s Twitter Tells Zuckerberg’s Threads To ‘Cease And Desist’ (SN)

 

 

 

 

Caviezel

 

 

 

 

Meloni

 

 

Hunter prosecutors
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676957766920077314

 

 

 

 

Ugly stripper
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676957919169089537

 

 

 

 

Rogan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676977672465809410

 

 

Tucker


https://twitter.com/i/status/1677381223784538114

 

 

 

 

“Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

 

 

 

 

If there were any evidence of Russia using cluster munitions, it would be on every frontpage today.

Ukraine – Biden Again Escalates (MoA)

The Washington Post says that the U.S. will now give cluster munition to Ukraine.” President Biden has approved the provision of U.S. cluster munitions for Ukraine, with drawdown of the weapons from Defense Department stocks due to be announced Friday.” The munition will be 155mm grenades, Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM), that can be fired by ‘western’ provided artillery. The decision, likely illegal, was made because the U.S. and its allies have run out of other 155mm munitions: The move, which will bypass U.S. law prohibiting the production, use or transfer of cluster munitions with a failure rate of more than 1 percent, comes amid concerns about Kyiv’s lagging counteroffensive against entrenched Russian troops and dwindling Western stocks of conventional artillery.

]It is accompanied by false statements that Russia has used such ammunition in Ukraine: “It follows months of internal administration debate over whether to supply the controversial munitions, which are banned by most countries in the world. Cluster weapons explode in the air over a target, releasing dozens to hundreds of smaller submunitions across a wide area. More than 120 countries have joined a convention banning their use as inhumane and indiscriminate, in large part because of high failure rates that litter the landscape with unexploded submunitions that endanger both friendly troops and civilians, often for decades after the end of a conflict. The United States, Ukraine and Russia — which is alleged to have used them extensively in Ukraine — are not parties to the convention. Eight of NATO’s 31 members, including the United States, have not ratified the convention.

It is well documented, by Human Rights Watch and others, that the Ukrainian military has used cluster munitions. There is nothing to support a claim that Russia has done so. The Pentagon has rejected claimed evidence of Russian cluster munition attacks: “Commenting on videos depicting alleged Russian cluster munition use, DOD officials stated during a March 1, 2022 press conference that “we’ve seen the same video that you have but we have not assessed that it is definitive with respect to the use of cluster munitions. So we are not in a position to confirm the use of cluster munitions at this time.” In a similar manner, a DOD official stated during March 3, 2022, press conference that DOD was still unable to confirm Russia’s use of cluster munitions.”

Psaki cluster

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We have left the civilized world behind.

US Giving Cluster Munitions To Ukraine In ‘Desperate Gesture’ – Envoy (TASS)

The US decided to supply cluster munitions to Ukraine out of despair, but the move won’t affect Russia’s determination to achieve the goals of its special military operation, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Friday. “Cluster munitions are a desperate gesture. This measure tells the story that the US and its satellites have realized they are powerless. However, they do not want to admit their own failures and the failure of the attempts of Ukrainian forces to conduct an offensive against Russian regions. Hence this latest madness on their part,” he said. The diplomat said he believes that by raising the stakes in the Ukrainian conflict, Washington is bringing humanity closer to a global conflict.

“The current level of American provocations is indeed off the charts, bringing humanity closer to a new world war. The United States is so obsessed with the idea of defeating Russia that it does not realize the gravity of its actions. They are only increasing the number of victims and prolonging the agony of the Kiev regime,” he went on to say. The ambassador stated that Washington turned a blind eye to civilian casualties, paid no regard to the concerns of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and shrugged of the objections from its allies.

“The cruelty and cynicism with which Washington has approached the issue of transferring lethal weapons to Kiev is astounding. The administration completely ignored experts, human rights activists, and lawmakers that voiced the theses that the move would be inhumane. It turned a blind eye to civilian casualties. Now there is a risk that the submunitions will be blowing up innocent civilians for many years ahead because of what the US is doing,” Antonov said. He said he believes that the funneling of Western weapons into Ukraine will not be able to affect Russia’s efforts to achieve the goals of its special military operation, “which aims to eradicate threats to the security of the Russian Federation, including Nazism that has been nurtured in Ukraine.”

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Not even Baerbock wants to touch them.

Note: the article mentions 2 foreign ministers. There’s only 1: Baerbock. Pistorius is Defence Minister.

Germany To Refrain From Sending Cluster Munitions To Ukraine (TASS)

Germany will continue to abide by the Convention on Cluster Munitions and refrain from sending the weapons to Kiev, Reuters quoted German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock as saying in Vienna on Friday. Her remark came a day after US officials said the Biden administration was planning to provide Ukraine with the munitions. “I have followed the media reports. For us, as a state party, the Oslo agreement applies,” Baerbock told reporters, when asked to comment on Washington’s plans regarding cluster munitions for Kiev. Germany’s top diplomat is taking part in the OSCE High-Level Conference on Climate Change being hosted by the OSCE secretary general in Vienna.

German Foreign Minister Boris Pistorius also opposed sending cluster munitions to Kiev at a news conference in Bern. “Germany has signed the convention, so it is no option for us. As for those countries that have not signed the convention – China, Russia, Ukraine and the US – it is not up to me to comment on their actions,” Reuters quoted Pistorius as saying. On Thursday, a number of Western media, including the New York Times, Reuters, and CNN, reported that a decision was made to send cluster munitions to Ukraine and that the announcement will be made on Friday, July 7. The Pentagon said later that the United States was poised to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions that pose the least threat to the civilian population.

When detonated, cluster munitions scatter dozens of small bomblets over a large area. If unexploded, these bomblets will present a threat to civilians for years to come. The Convention on Cluster Munitions was signed by 123 countries in the Norwegian capital in 2008 and took effect on August 1, 2010. By now, 110 countries have ratified it. In Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine have not signed the document. According to Human Rights Watch, the real dud rate of cluster munitions is often way higher than formally declared by the military, potentially leading to numerous casualties among the civilian population.

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“[They] can inflict immense damage to the civilian population years after a conflict..”

Uber weasel “Jens Stoltenberg said, however, that the military bloc does not have a specific position on the issue..”

Austria Has ‘Clear Position’ On Cluster Munitions For Ukraine – FM (RT)

Vienna strongly opposes providing Kiev with cluster bombs, as they can cause suffering to civilians for many years after the fighting is over, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg told journalists on Friday. Schallenberg’s comments come amid media reports about Washington’s alleged plans to greenlight such deliveries in the near future. “We have a clear position,” the minister said as he arrived at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Climate Conference. “These are the munition systems that are banned at an international level,” he added, comparing cluster munitions to anti-personnel mines. “Cluster bombs are still lying around for years [after a war has ended]. We have seen this in the Middle East. [They] can inflict immense damage to the civilian population years after a conflict,” Schallenberg said.

The Austrian minister also warned Western leaders about the message they would send to the world by supplying Kiev with such controversial armaments. “As the West, we must pay utmost attention to what signals we are sending,” he said. He added that support for Ukraine was necessary, but insisted it “must be correct support.” Western media reports have suggested in recent weeks that Washington is preparing to bolster the Ukrainian army’s firepower with cluster munitions from its vast Cold War-era arsenal. According to the various reports, some US officials believe it could help Kiev’s troops breach Russia’s defenses, as Ukraine’s much touted counteroffensive has so far failed to achieve any significant results. The Pentagon said on Friday that the US was considering providing Ukraine with bombs that have a lower dud rate – the proportion of bomblets that fail to initially explode. The potential decision was criticized by some Western human rights NGOs and even some of Washington’s allies.

On Thursday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) spoke against the possible delivery, warning that it would “inevitably cause long-term suffering for civilians.” On Friday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock also expressed a negative attitude to the idea, saying that Germany is sticking to the Oslo agreements that banned cluster munitions. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, however, that the military bloc does not have a specific position on the issue precisely because its members have different opinions on the matter. Cluster bombs carry smaller explosive submunitions that are released in flight and scattered across a target area, and are typically used against personnel and lightly armored vehicles. They also tend to leave behind undetonated ‘duds’ that can remain in former conflict zones for decades. This prompted more than 110 nations, including many NATO members, to ban cluster bombs under a UN convention back in 2008.

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They’ll just invent a narrative.

“..at least nominal success of the Ukrainian counteroffensive is so important for the US and NATO..”

NATO Needs Ukraine Offensive To Succeed To Prove New Plans’ Viability (TASS)

NATO needs the Ukrainian offensive to succeed in order to confirm the viability of its new military plans, which will be presented to the alliance’s leaders during the July 11-12 summit in Vilnius and which will act as a basis for military spending planning, a representative of the Brussels military expert community told TASS Friday. “The Ukrainian counteroffensive uses the same equipment and tactics that the alliance’s military plans, prepared for the Vilnius summit, are based upon. For the first time since the Cold War, these plans prepare NATO for a large-scale military conflict in Europe instead of operations to extend power to remote regions via actions in limited theaters of war.

The Ukrainian counteroffensive, which started five weeks before the NATO summit, must tangibly prove the combat viability of the alliance’s military equipment and tactics in a real conflict with a most capable enemy,” the expert, who opted to remain anonymous, told TASS. “Should the offensive fail, the principles that lie in the foundation of the recently created military plans will be challenged.” The expert acknowledged that Kiev lacks “NATO’s main bargaining chip – powerful aviation and naval forces, which play a key role in the alliance’s military planning.” “However, in parallel to the Ukrainian offensive, Europe held the Air Defender 2023 exercise – the largest in the last 30 years – which involved up to 300 aircraft. They practiced large-scale air operations against a technologically developed enemy.

“Thus, NATO practiced the air component simultaneously with the Ukrainian counteroffensive, but in a training mode instead of a combat one,” the expert continued. According to the expert, a failure of the counteroffensive in Ukraine “will cause the participants of the NATO summit in Vilnius to understand that the recently developed military plans already require improvement, at least in their ground component.” Furthermore, “there are no guarantees that the air component, which was not tested in combat against an equal adversary, is just as far from being perfect.” According to the expert, this may lead to “a decline in NATO member states’ trust in the new ‘collective defense’ plans, developed by the alliance’s staffs.”

“That is why at least nominal success of the Ukrainian counteroffensive is so important for the US and NATO,” he underscored. “Of course, the [NATO] allies have no room to maneuver right now. Whatever doubts they may have, they are unable not to adopt the new military plans at the summit, because NATO currently has no alternative paths for development right now. Therefore, the consequences of a failed Ukrainian counteroffensive will be psychological rather than practical. It will create numerous small tension points during the negotiations about the specific parameters of military spending increases, the assortment and volumes of military procurement, the level of support to Kiev, and will escalate the competition between US and European military-industrial complexes for future defense orders,” the expert noted.

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“Washington has reportedly been maneuvering for months “to lower Kiev’s expectations,” as it focused the conversation on “security guarantees, rather than a NATO expansion..”

NATO Allies Still Discussing What To Offer Ukraine At Vilnius Summit – WaPo (TASS)

Members of the North Atlantic Alliance are still negotiating what exactly to offer Ukraine at their Vilnius summit on July 11-12, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing diplomats. According to the newspaper, officials in the United States and its NATO allies have described evolving proposals for bilateral or multilateral agreements as “mutual defense pacts or security memorandums.” Others at NATO question Ukraine’s readiness for membership, with Kiev still having a long way to tackle its “chronic problem with corruption.”


Washington has been maneuvering for months “to lower Kiev’s expectations,” as it focused the conversation on “security guarantees, rather than a NATO expansion, WaPo said. The Biden administration sought “to shift the debate toward long-term security pact” as an alternative to membership, with no NATO ally apparently being “willing to send its soldiers to fight in Ukraine,” the newspaper explained. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on June 7 that there is a process for the admission of any member, including Ukraine, to NATO and that the United States is not going to get ahead of that. The alliance’s chief Jens Stoltenberg has said that Ukraine joining NATO “in the midst of a war” is not on the agenda.

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If “we” don’t do it, Russia will.

Keep Ukraine Out Of NATO, US Experts Argue (RT)

Welcoming Ukraine into NATO would force the US to choose between nuclear war with Russia or abandoning its security commitments to Kiev, two American analysts claimed on Friday. “The security benefits to the United States of Ukrainian accession pale in comparison with the risks of bringing it into the alliance,” Justin Logan and Joshua Shifrinson of the libertarian Cato Institute wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine. If Ukraine were to join the alliance amid the ongoing hostilities, Logan and Shifrinson argued, the US and all of NATO’s European members would immediately be pulled into open war with Russia, with the potential for a nuclear exchange. However, even if the conflict were to be resolved, Ukraine and Russia will still have competing territorial claims, and a membership offer would risk reigniting the conflict, this time with NATO as a direct participant, they added.

“Under these circumstances, an American commitment to fight for Ukraine would be open to question,” they continued. If Ukraine were a NATO member and US policymakers chose not to intervene on its behalf, the bloc’s entire collective defense principle would be undermined, resulting in “a true credibility crisis for NATO.” Furthermore, with the US protected by its nuclear arsenal and the vast Atlantic Ocean, the two analysts argued that America faces no direct threat from Russia, while Ukraine – due to its geography – forms “a bulwark” between Western Europe and Russia “irrespective of NATO membership.” “American time, attention, and resources are needed elsewhere,” Logan and Shifrinson wrote, concluding that “the United States should accept that it is high time to close NATO’s door to Ukraine.” Since the 2008 Bucharest Declaration, NATO’s official policy is that Ukraine will become a member of the bloc at an unspecified future date.

Kiev, however, is unhappy with this non-commitment, with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky reportedly threatening not to attend NATO’s upcoming summit in Lithuania unless the US-led bloc offers “concrete” security guarantees or a roadmap to full membership. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has already ruled out a membership offer at the Vilnius summit. French President Emmanuel Macron, however, has called on the alliance’s leaders to offer Kiev bilateral or multilateral security guarantees, as well as a “path” to full-fledged membership. British Defense Minister Ben Wallace and a number of Eastern European leaders have called for Ukraine to be fast-tracked into the bloc without the usual “membership action plan” that prospective members must complete. The White House, meanwhile, maintains that Ukraine “would have to make reforms to meet the same standards as any NATO country before they join.”

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There is a bridge in Brooklyn.

G7 Justice Ministers Agree To Help Fight Corruption In Ukraine (Az.)

Justice ministers from the Group of Seven nations have agreed to support anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine to push forward reconstruction work in the country, Report informs referring to NHK World-Japan. They met in Tokyo on July 7. This is the first stand-alone gathering of the G7 justice ministers in Japan. They condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the strongest terms. They agreed to work closely with Ukraine to hold Russia accountable for alleged war crimes, by supporting investigations and prosecution. The participants also discussed corruption in Ukraine. Cases include senior government officials being dismissed after they were accused of graft. Observers are afraid that the corruption could hamper rebuilding efforts in the country. The justice ministers decided to set up a Japan-led working group to analyze and propose what kind of anti-corruption measures would be effective.

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“..cooperation between Moscow and Minsk undermines the security of the region and the entire Euro-Atlantic area..”

Baltic, Polish Leaders Warn NATO Of Threats From Belarus (Az.)

Presidents Gitanas Nauseda of Lithuania, Andrzej Duda of Poland and Egils Levits of Latvia have sent a joint letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and member states’ leaders to warn them of the threats posed by the developments in Belarus, Report informs via LRT. The three leaders say that cooperation between Moscow and Minsk undermines the security of the region and the entire Euro-Atlantic area, Nauseda’s office said in a press release on Friday. The presidents note that Russia has been using Belarus’ territory and its resources for its illegal and brutal war of aggression against Ukraine, which shows increasingly closer military integration between the two countries.= “Its recent manifestation has been the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus. It presents an escalatory move in the context of the war in Ukraine and a direct threat to the security of our community,” the letter reads.

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Methinks Zelensky’s been told off.

IAEA Experts Find No Indications Of Mines At Zaporozhye NPP – Grossi (TASS)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts have checked a wider section of the perimeter of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant’s (ZNPP) cooling pond, finding no indications of mines and explosives, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said in a statement on Friday. “International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts have received additional access at the site of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), without – so far – observing any visible indications of mines or explosives,” the statement reads. According to Grossi, the experts were able “to check a wider section of the perimeter of the ZNPP’s large cooling pond than previously.” They also “visited the isolation gate separating the cooling pond from what remains of the Kakhovka reservoir.” In addition, the IAEA experts “went to the gate separating the discharge channel of the nearby Zaporozhye Thermal Power Plant (ZTPP) from the reservoir.”


“So far, they have not seen any mines or explosives. But they still need more access, including to the rooftops of reactor units 3 and 4 and parts of the turbine halls. I remain hopeful that this access will be granted soon,” Grossi said.On July 5, IAEA experts requested additional access to the power plant’s facilities, which is necessary to confirm the absence of mines and explosives at the Zaporozhye NPP. Earlier, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused Russia of allegedly plotting a terrorist attack on the Zaporozhye NPP. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov slammed Zelensky’s allegation as yet another lie. Renat Karchaa, advisor to the CEO of Russian state nuclear power corporation Rosenergoatom, said that the Ukrainian leader’s statement might be an indication that Kiev is preparing to attack the ZNPP in order to drag NATO further into the Ukrainian conflict.

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“Rolling Stone’s coverage took the cakes..”

How To Create a Fake News Cycle (Pierre Kory)

The report quoted a doctor claiming that patients overdosing on ivermectin were backing up rural hospitals. Supposedly people coming to the ER with serious injuries – even gunshot wounds – could not access care. The story was laundered through countless media outlets and blue checks, who were already skeptical of ivermectin because of its association with Trump and his supporters. In their eyes, a bunch of MAGA lunatics overdosing on “horse de-wormer” were killing grandma. Six days later, the hospital where the doctor worked confirmed that the story was a total fabrication. There were no ivermectin overdoses – none – and the doctor hadn’t worked at the hospital in more than two months.

This was easily the sloppiest and most brazen hit job the media pulled during the pandemic. But Rolling Stone’s coverage took the cakes. The outlet used a photo portraying people lined up outside wearing winter clothes – wrong season. As the saying goes, “A lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.” To this day, Rolling Stone still hasn’t taken the story down. It simply changed the headline and slapped on a disclaimer. The whole debacle presents a neat lesson in how to create a fake news cycle. It goes like this.

Step one: Identify a public tool, such as poison control centers, that are easy to manipulate. These organizations have a public hotline and email address that anyone can use to report a problem. The reports are logged as “adverse events,” but they are not easily confirmed and typically will be tabulated for public records whether or not they have been verified. This is exactly what happened with the Oklahoma story. The local poison control center was deluged with fake calls from people claiming they overdosed on ivermectin.

Step two: Deploy “independent,” seemingly credible voices to validate and embellish the false claims. Doctors are among the most trusted professionals, but having a medical degree doesn’t make you an honest broker. Many doctors struggle to earn a living practicing medicine, and sadly some – like the Oklahoma ER doc – will stoop to industry or political hit jobs if it pays the bills. And doctors willing to go on the record expressing concern about a health scare – ivermectin overdoses – are all a reporter needs for a juicy scoop.

Step three: Coordinate with institutional allies to add legitimacy – FDA, American Medical Association, and GAVI (The Vaccine Alliance) – to add credibility and fan the flames with outraged public statements and targeted ad buys. Reporters can pose questions to their representatives at televised briefings, which carried more significance during the pandemic.

Finally, step four: Activate the echo chamber in mainstream and social media. Twitter influencers who live and play in the Acela corridor can talk to each other in the green rooms of cable news studios and glitzy Beltway gatherings. They can pat each other on the back for exposing the crazies and conspiracy theorists.

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“Joe Biden,” the personification of a failed state.”

Father of Our Country (Jim Kunstler)

Consider for a moment, and be grateful for, how perfect “Joe Biden” is as president of this foundering republic. He and his family project the rectified essence of every depravity now driving the life of our nation to some murky bottom, where it may be forced to assess its sorry state, repent, and perhaps recover (or just give up and die). There he stands, without ambiguity or conscience: “Joe Biden,” the personification of a failed state. As a criminal enterprise, for instance, the Biden family influence-peddling operation among foreign powers reflects exactly the racketeering character of corporate America today — which is to say, making money dishonestly, and often for doing nothing. In America’s biggest industry, finance, this is absolutely the case.

You may have forgotten what finance is, and what it’s supposed to do: namely, to lend money for activities intended to produce things of value, useful things that people need and want, sometimes even public works that benefit everyone in society. American Finance now is in the business of receiving free money (loans at minimal interest) from government-chartered central banks (issuing “credit” from nowhere), that banks, hedge funds, private equity outfits, and sundry freebooters can roll into instruments such as interest-yielding bonds (loans back to government) and derivatives (algorithmic bets derived, abstracted from, and tuned to market movements) magically multiplying money that finally produces nothing of value — though it may translate into yacht purchases, alimony payments, luxury suites at ballparks, private Caribbean islands, and traffic in humans for use as sex toys.

The Biden business model also applies nicely to medicine and higher education, two endeavors saturated in prestige and pomp, like the doings in the White House, but which, similarly to that hotbed of policy and action, in the case of medicine, produces shocking amounts of unnecessary death (est. 251,000 a year from iatrogenic treatment errors), and in the case of higher ed, the production of specious and harmful Big Ideas — while both endeavors expand like turbo-tumors within the dying body of an expiring manufacturing economy.

As in the Biden model, dishonesty is now the keystone in both “Meds” and “Eds.” Our public health officialdom hasn’t stopped lying about the Covid-19 episode since it began, and in every aspect from the origin of the disease (if that’s even what it was), to the deaths statistically attributed to it, to everything about the “vaccines” cooked up to stop it. In turn, those officials coerced America’s doctors into withholding the best treatments (ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine) while applying deadly protocols (remdesivir plus intubation) guaranteed to kill hospital patients — which the government then rewarded with gargantuan bonus payments.

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“Lukashenko proposed total integration of the SCO and BRICS ..”

The currency’s almost there.

The SCO Welcomes A New ‘Global Globe’ (Pepe Escobar)

The 23rd summit of the heads of state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), held virtually in New Delhi, represented History in the making: three BRICS (Russia, India, China), plus Pakistan and four Central Asian “stans” (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan), finally and formally, welcomed the Islamic Republic of Iran as a permanent member. And next year will be Belarus’ turn, as confirmed by India’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Vinay Kvatra. Belarus and Mongolia took part in the 2023 summit as observers, and fiercely independent Turkmenistan, as a guest. After years of US “maximum pressure,” Tehran may now finally get rid of the sanctions dementia and solidify its leading role in the ongoing process of Eurasia integration.

Arguably, the star of the show in New Delhi was Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has led his country since 1994. Old Man Luka, unbeatable in the headline-stealing department, especially after his mediator role in the Prighozin saga, may have coined the definitive slogan of multipolarity. Forget the western-termed “golden billion” which in fact barely reaches 100 million; embrace now the “Global Globe” – with a firm focus on the Global South. As the clincher, Lukashenko proposed total integration of the SCO and BRICS – which in their upcoming summit in South Africa will be heading the BRICS+ way. And it goes without saying, this integration also applies to the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU). The next step for the “Global Globe” – what the collective west dismissively qualifies as “the rest” – is to work on the complex coordination of several development banks and then the process to issue bonds linked to a new trading currency.

The main ideas and the basic template already exist. The new bonds will be a real safe heaven compared to the US dollar and US Treasuries, and will imply accelerated de-dollarization. Capital used to purchase those bonds should be used to finance trade and sustainable development, in what will be a certified, Chinese-style “win-win.” The SCO declaration made it clear that the expanding multilateral body is “not directed against other states and international organizations.” On the contrary, it is “open to broad cooperation with them in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, the SCO Charter and international law, based on consideration of mutual interests.” The heart of the matter is of course the drive towards a fair multipolar world order – the polar opposite of the Hegemon-imposed “rules-based international order.” And the three key nodes are mutual security; trade in local currencies, and eventually, de-dollarization.

BRICS currency
https://twitter.com/i/status/1677477551579492352

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“This comes one day after the DOJ asked a final time to block Mr. Trump from being deposed..”

Judge Says Trump Can Be Deposed in Former FBI Agent Peter Strzok Lawsuit (ET)

Former President Donald Trump can be deposed in a lawsuit filed by former FBI agent Peter Strzok against the Department of Justice (DOJ), a federal judge ordered on Friday. Mr. Strzok’s lawsuit alleges wrongful termination following the debunked Russia collusion investigation and claims that he was fired at Mr. Trump’s direction. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, agreed with the request to depose Mr. Trump in a brief order on July 6. This comes one day after the DOJ asked a final time to block Mr. Trump from being deposed.

“Given the limited nature of the deposition that has been ordered, and the fact that the former President’s schedule appears to be able to accommodate other civil litigation that he has initiated, the outcome of the balancing required by the apex doctrine remains the same for all of the reasons previously stated,” Ms. Jackson wrote in her brief order. Under the “apex doctrine” in U.S. law, high-ranking government officials, such as the president, enjoy a degree of immunity from being compelled to provide testimony or evidence in legal proceedings. In May, Ms. Jackson ordered a stay on the deposition of Mr. Trump until FBI Director Christopher Wray was deposed in the lawsuit. DOJ lawyers previously argued that Mr. Wray, a lower-ranked official, should be deposed first as any evidence that he provided could mean that Mr. Trump would not have to testify.

Mr. Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who is also suing the DOJ and FBI, played key roles in the FBI Crossfire Hurricane investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mr. Strzok also played a role in the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to send classified information. Mr. Strzok reportedly changed key language in the conclusion of the Clinton email investigation from “grossly negligent,” which would have been a crime, to “extremely careless,” which may have exonerated Ms. Clinton. Special counsel Robert Mueller fired Mr. Strzok in 2018 after around 10,000 text messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page were discovered.

The messages sent between 2015 and 2016 revealed the pair expressed strong anti-Trump bias in critical comments about Mr. Trump and his supporters as the two were working on the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. The messages also exposed an alleged affair between the two. The FBI special counsel probe ultimately concluded that the Trump campaign did not collude with the Russian government to get elected. However, corporate media outlets aired several unfounded claims about Mr. Trump that came from what appeared to be anonymous sources within the FBI and DOJ. The DOJ had argued that there was no evidence Mr. Strzok was fired at Mr. Trump’s direction, contending that his deposition “is not appropriate.”

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“Twitter will seek “both civil remedies and injunctive relief without further notice to prevent any further retention, disclosure, or use of its intellectual property by Meta..”

Musk’s Twitter Tells Zuckerberg’s Threads To ‘Cease And Desist’ (SN)

Twitter has sent a cease and desist letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg warning that legal action will be taken in light of theft of protected intellectual property and trade secrets by Meta’s new Twitter clone Threads. Elon Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro delivered the letter which accuses Meta of “systematic, willful and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property.” “Over the past year, Meta has hired dozens of former Twitter employees,” the letter continued, adding “Twitter knows that these employees previously worked at Twitter; that these employees had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information; that these employees owe ongoing obligations to Twitter; and that many of these employees have improperly retained Twitter documents and electronic devices.”

“With that knowledge, Meta deliberately assigned these employees to develop, in a matter of months, Meta’s copycat ‘Threads’ app with the specific intent that they use Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property in order to accelerate the development of Meta’s competing app, in violation of both state and federal law as well as those employees’ ongoing obligations to Twitter,” the letter further asserts. Twitter “intends to strictly enforce its intellectual property rights, and demands that Meta take immediate steps to stop using any Twitter trade secrets or other highly confidential information.” Twitter will seek “both civil remedies and injunctive relief without further notice to prevent any further retention, disclosure, or use of its intellectual property by Meta,” the letter futher notes.


“Please consider this letter a formal notice that Meta must preserve any documents that could be relevant to a dispute between Twitter, Meta, and/or former Twitter employees who now work for Meta,” the letter also states, adding “That includes, but is not limited to, all documents related to the recruitment, hiring, and onboarding of these former Twitter employees, the development of Meta’s competing Threads app, and any communications between these former Twitter employees and any agent, representative, or employee or Meta.” Musk tweeted that “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swimmer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676969690864943107

 

 

Big Elephant

 

 

Friendship
https://twitter.com/i/status/1677140775115554822

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 222023
 
 March 22, 2023  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  52 Responses »


Rene Magritte Memory 1948

 

Ukraine Planning Major Attack On New Russian Territories – Bild (RT)
Republicans Demand Cluster Munitions For Ukraine (RT)
Putin Warns UK Against Plan To Supply Depleted Uranium To Ukraine (RT)
Russia Urges OPCW To Heed Info On Chemical Weapons At Kramatorsk – Envoy (TASS)
Ukraine Afraid To Criticize China – Politico (RT)
United States Trying To Paint Russia As An Enemy – Patrushev (TASS)
Direct Conflict Between NATO, Russia To Lead To World War – Hungary FM (TASS)
Hungary Blocks Joint EU Statement On Putin’s ICC Arrest Warrant (RT)
Hungary Gives Ukraine EU, NATO Membership Ultimatum (RT)
US/Russia/China Standoff Big Opportunity For Second-tier Powers (Bordachev)
US Does Not Let Ukraine Even Consider Negotiating – Moscow (RT)
Russia Ready To Switch To Yuan In Foreign Trade – Putin (RT)
Switzerland Risks Becoming ‘Financial Banana Republic’ – Industry Expert (RT)
Indonesia To Ditch Visa And Mastercard (RT)
Alvin Bragg Prepares the Ultimate Frankenstein Indictment (Turley)
Alvin Bragg Caught Hiding Nearly 600 Pages Of Exculpatory Evidence (GP)
Trump to Be Indicted Wednesday, Arraignment Next Week (GP)

 

 

 

 

Nap McGovern

 

 

 

 

Kirby
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638236804905070602

 

 

 

 

Debt

 

 

Djokovic

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Kiev’s backers are reportedly providing it with intelligence data as well as training, logistical support and weapons..”

Ukraine Planning Major Attack On New Russian Territories – Bild (RT)

Russia and Ukraine and are approaching a decisive period in their conflict, with Kiev aiming to sever the Russian land bridge to Crimea this spring, Germany’s Bild newspaper has reported. The tabloid cited an anonymous NATO source who claimed the bloc is providing Ukraine with everything it needs to retake its former territories. In a report on Tuesday, Bild quoted a “leading” NATO official as stating that the alliance’s analysts expect the conflict to reach a climax in the spring and summer. The official expressed confidence that heavy weaponry being delivered to Ukraine will be brought to bear in several counteroffensives as early as May. “The coming six months will be a key period in the war not only for Ukraine, but also for the allies,” the unnamed source predicted.

While refusing to go into detail regarding planned operations, the official asserted that Ukrainian forces will focus their efforts on the regions of Zaporozhye and Lugansk. The main objective of the offensives will be to “sever the land bridge to Crimea,” the NATO source added. The official claimed that Ukraine is likely to mount counteroffensives in other regions as well, which will either be genuine or merely serve as distractions to preoccupy the Russian military. According to the Bild report, NATO is not ruling out a scenario in which Ukraine would attempt to retake Crimea, which joined Russia in 2014 following a referendum. “Kiev has the right to recapture all Ukrainian territory,” the official insisted.

In an effort to ensure the new offensives are successful, Kiev’s backers are reportedly providing it with intelligence data as well as training, logistical support and weapons. Speaking to the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita on Monday, Czech President Petr Pavel said that the “window of opportunity” for Ukraine would only be open until the end of this year. The former general, who served as chair of the NATO Military Committee until 2018, argued that with elections approaching in the US in 2024, Washington is likely to reduce defense aid to Ukraine. Pavel said he expected European nations to follow suit. “Ukraine will only have one attempt to launch a major counteroffensive,” the Czech president claimed, adding that should this effort fail, “it will be extremely difficult to obtain funds for the next one.”

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Cluster munitions and depleted uranium. What is wrong with us?

Republicans Demand Cluster Munitions For Ukraine (RT)

Four Republican congressmen have entreated US President Joe Biden to send cluster munitions, a controversial weapon banned in 110 countries, to Ukraine, dismissing concerns about escalating the conflict as misplaced in a letter to the White House on Tuesday. The Biden administration shouldn’t hesitate to send cluster munitions – specifically dual purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICM) – because of “vague concerns about the reaction of allies and partners and unfounded fears of ‘escalation’,” Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Alabama) wrote in their letter. After all, they said, other countries have already sent such weapons without triggering Russian retaliation.

Acknowledging the weapons’ horrific effects, the signatories argued that while Ukrainian leaders are “aware of the risks to non-combatants,” the “existential threat posed by Russia’s invasion and daily acts of barbarity” is more important. Additionally, they claimed, “d,” US DPICM are equipped with “technologically advanced measures” that limit collateral damage. A 2008 UN treaty banned cluster munitions in 110 countries, including three-quarters of NATO member nations. It has been signed by another 13 countries, though neither Russia, Ukraine, nor the US are on that list. Ukraine is the only country where the deadly devices are currently in use, and both sides have been accused of deploying them in the conflict.

Aside from one attack in Yemen in 2009, the US has not used cluster munitions since it invaded Iraq in 2003 and has not produced any since 2016. Central Command has admitted the hundreds of smaller bombs they contain are often left unexploded across the strike area, posing risks similar to landmines to anyone – especially children – who encounter the odd-looking little “petal mines.” While the White House initially balked at Kiev’s request for DPICMs in December, it stopped short of a hard “no,” and the issue is reportedly still under consideration if the US runs out of available ammunition to ship overseas.

In April, 27 members of Congress denounced Russia’s alleged use of cluster munitions, calling them “barbaric and indiscriminate weapons” and urging Biden to join the UN convention. The current policy, they said, was “wholly unacceptable given what we know about the immediate and long-term damage done to societies on which they are deployed.” While the Republican Party’s 2022 campaign platform stressed curtailing the Biden administration’s blank check to Kiev, the Pentagon announced another $350 million in weapons just this week, to be drawn from the US’ own stockpiles.

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Opening the door to radioactive material.

Putin Warns UK Against Plan To Supply Depleted Uranium To Ukraine (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned London against the planned delivery of depleted uranium (DU) armor-piercing tank rounds to Ukraine, saying the weapons will be treated by Moscow as containing “nuclear components.” Putin commented on British plans to include DU munitions in a forthcoming delivery of Challenger 2 main battle tanks as he spoke alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping following talks in Moscow on Tuesday. “I would like to note that if this happens, then Russia will be forced to react accordingly, bearing in mind that the collective West has already started to use weapons with a nuclear component,” he stated. A similar warning was issued by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on the sidelines of the Russia-China talks, who said the move would bring the world yet another step closer to a nuclear disaster.

“Another step has been taken, and there are fewer and fewer left,” Shoigu told reporters. The looming delivery was announced on Monday by Annabel Goldie, the UK minister of state at the Ministry of Defence, as she responded to a written inquiry on the matter. She confirmed the plans to deliver DU rounds to Kiev, lauding them as a highly effective weapon. “Alongside our granting of a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, we will be providing ammunition including armor-piercing rounds which contain depleted uranium. Such rounds are highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles,” Goldie said. The DU munitions have long been the subject of international controversy, with critics of their use highlighting the toxicity and radioactivity of the material. Depleted uranium is used to make the hardened cores of armor-piercing rounds, excelling in this role due its high density. The round’s core evaporates on impact, turning into aerosol and contaminating the environment with uranium.

The UN has already expressed alarm over the UK plans. Farhan Haq, a spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told a media briefing that the international body had long voiced concerns about the consequences of DU use, as well as about those who supply such weaponry. These munitions were actively used by NATO during the First Gulf War, as well as during the bloc’s aggression against former Yugoslavia, both in the form of tank and aircraft artillery shells. The use of the munitions was acknowledged by NATO in a 2000 report, with the US-led bloc revealing that it had used some 10 metric tons of the material in Yugoslavia – and 300 metric tons in Iraq. The report acknowledged that the material poses a threat due to its toxicity in an “aerosol form,” but insisted the DU was not “particularly highly radioactive.”

Putin DU
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638213480787456002

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The OPCW has shown which side it’s on.

Russia Urges OPCW To Heed Info On Chemical Weapons At Kramatorsk – Envoy (TASS)

Russia urged member states of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to pay serious attention to the information on Ukrainian Neo-Nazis plotting a provocation with chemical weapons in Kramatorsk, Russia’s Permanent Representative at the OPCW and Ambassador to the Netherlands Alexander Shulgin told an online briefing on Tuesday. “Much attention [at the OPCW Executive Council’s session] was paid to the issue of the threat of a chemical provocation in Ukraine. We fully used the materials of the briefing by Chief of the [Russian] Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Troops Igor Kirillov and reported about Ukrainian nationalists’ preparations for chemical provocations at the factory in the area of the city of Kramatorsk on Ukrainian territory,” the envoy said.


The report pointed to “hazardous chemicals and actually the US Army’s service weapons BZ of psychotropic effect,” Shulgin said. “We called on the member states to pay serious attention to this information and make relevant conclusions,” he said. The Americans together with their allies denied all these facts and “tried to present the situation in a way that allegedly Russia was on the point of using chemical weapons,” the envoy pointed out. The Russian side responded by rejecting all these accusations, he said. “We cited facts to show that the Americans can hardly teach us how to treat the chemical convention. We gave a long list of wrongdoings by the Americans who themselves breach the chemical convention,” Shulgin stressed, recalling that the United States had “secretly destroyed chemical munitions from the arsenals of Saddam Hussein in Iraq” and citing other facts.

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“Beijing criticized Russia for sending troops into Ukraine, but also blamed the US and NATO’s expansion in Europe for triggering the crisis.”

Ukraine Afraid To Criticize China – Politico (RT)

Ukraine has refrained from criticizing China over its close ties with Russia in the hope of attracting future investment from Beijing, Politico has claimed. This stance comes in stark contrast to the angry tirades that Kiev has directed at the likes of Hungary and Germany for their perceived lack of anti-Russian zeal, according to the media outlet. In an article on Tuesday, Politico reported that besides the desire for Chinese investment, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is seeking to maintain lucrative trade relations with the Asian economic powerhouse, and is eyeing Beijing as a potential mediator in the conflict with Russia.

The media outlet quoted Aleksandr Merezhko, the head of the Ukrainian parliament’s foreign policy committee, as explaining: “There is fear that if we start criticizing China more harshly, Beijing will use it as an excuse to strengthen its aid to Russia, and even start providing military aid.” Beijing has consistently rejected claims that it intends to offer lethal aid to Moscow, and has accused Washington of “spreading false information” by alleging that China is weighing up weapons deliveries. Last month, China put forward its own peace proposal on the first anniversary of the conflict in Ukraine. Politico noted that Zelensky reacted to Beijing’s 12-point plan by saying that his country “can work on it with China.”

This response was in marked contrast to the way Ukraine’s Western backers dismissed the proposal out of hand, according to the media outlet. Merezhko argued that Zelensky’s current strategy toward Beijing is prudent, though he holds out “little hope of real help from China.” At present, relations between Kiev and Beijing have reached crisis point, the official told Politico. Merezhko cited China’s consistent refusal to distance itself from Russia, as well as the fact that Ukraine “has clearly chosen the path of Euro-Atlantic integration.” This effectively pits Kiev against Beijing, Merezhko argued.[..] Beijing criticized Russia for sending troops into Ukraine, but also blamed the US and NATO’s expansion in Europe for triggering the crisis.

Xi 100 years
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638254349817114662

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Trying?!

United States Trying To Paint Russia As An Enemy – Patrushev (TASS)

The United States and its minions are trying to turn the world against Russia by sowing hatred against the country and attempting to discredit it, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev said on Tuesday. Patrushev noted that an independent Russia, which defends the interests of a multipolar and just world, “does not suit the United States, which hides behind its own made-up theory of American exceptionalism, as it has gotten used to toying with the norms of international law, dictating to and imposing its own values and terms on the rest of the world, to have vassals instead of partners.” “That is why, by painting Russia as the enemy, the United States and its minions are sowing hatred towards our country and its people, are trying to discredit the Russian world and force the international community into a confrontation with our country,” he added.

“Toward that end, all manner of dirty, vile methods for conducting information warfare are being utilized: bald-faced lies, baseless and unsubstantiated accusations, and staged incidents, such as, for example, those in Bucha, Mariupol and Kramatorsk. Moscow was even initially accused of blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines,” he said. “All of this is directed at forcing neoliberal values on us in place of traditional Russian spiritual and moral values that have stood the test of time over many centuries, to deprive our people of pride in their own country and its centuries-long history, as well as to undermine the social cohesion that was a crucial element in defeating fascism in 1945,” Patrushev continued.

He pointed out that those now proclaimed as the winners of World War II were the same countries that waited to open a second front until June 1944, when the Red Army was already “within a stone’s throw from Berlin.” Ukraine and a number of other European countries are tearing down monuments and memorials to heroes of the Great Patriotic War, while at the same time glorifying Nazi collaborators, Patrushev continued. “By encouraging neo-fascism, the collective West is seeking to consign all of the terror and misery wrought by the Nazi ideology to oblivion. Tomorrow will mark 80 years since the tragedy in Khatyn, where fascists burned all the residents of that village alive, including 75 children. We will never forget this,” Patrushev concluded.

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“Hungary refused to participate in the joint funding of ammunition supplies to the Ukrainian army.”

Direct Conflict Between NATO, Russia To Lead To World War – Hungary FM (TASS)

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has warned NATO countries against engaging in a direct conflict with Russia following a meeting with the bloc’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Tuesday. “According to the current arrangement, NATO is not engaged in the war in our vicinity. This is how it is now. A direct conflict between NATO and Russia would lead to another world war,” Szijjarto wrote on Facebook (banned in Russia as it is owned by Meta Corporation designated as extremist by the Russian authorities). Hungary’s government said after the start of the conflict in Ukraine that it would not send weapons to Kiev, and also called for resolving the issue solely by peaceful means. On Monday, Szijjarto reiterated this position at an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels. He added that Hungary refused to participate in the joint funding of ammunition supplies to the Ukrainian army.

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“Budapest’s position is likely to come up when EU leaders meet for a summit in Brussels this week..”

Hungary Blocks Joint EU Statement On Putin’s ICC Arrest Warrant (RT)

Hungary has blocked European Union member states from issuing a joint statement about an international arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to people familiar with the matter, Report informs referring to Bloomberg. Budapest’s veto meant that the EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, instead released a statement in his own name “taking note” of the decision by the International Criminal Court. “The EU sees the decision by the ICC as a beginning of the process of accountability and holding Russian leaders to account for the crimes and atrocities they are ordering, enabling or committing in Ukraine,” Borrell said in the statement published on Sunday evening. EU justice ministers issued their own statement supporting the ICC decision on March 20, which Hungary did not sign.


The ICC issued arrest warrants for Putin and his commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, for alleged war crimes relating to the abduction of children from Ukraine. Officials in Kyiv are investigating more than 16,000 suspected cases of forced deportation of minors, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said last week, and so far only around 300 have been brought home. The warrants are mostly symbolic for now, and Moscow has dismissed the move. Budapest’s position is likely to come up when EU leaders meet for a summit in Brussels this week. Draft conclusions seen by Bloomberg currently state that the leaders’ council “takes note of the arrest warrants recently issued by the ICC, against Russia’s president and his commissioner for children’s rights, for the war crime of unlawful deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.” That’s similar to the wording Borrell used.

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150,000 ethnic Hungarians live in modern Ukraine’s Transcarpathian Region..

Hungary Gives Ukraine EU, NATO Membership Ultimatum (RT)

Ukraine will not be allowed to join the EU or NATO until it restores the rights of ethnic Hungarians living in its Transcarpathian Region, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday. Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, Szijjarto added that the US-led military bloc was violating its own rules by pushing ahead with a set of meetings involving the Kiev government despite Budapest’s objections. “I would like to say that we will not support any significant integration movement of Ukraine towards the EU or NATO until the rights of the Hungarian ethnic community that it had prior to 2015 are restored in Ukraine,” the foreign minister told reporters.

Around 150,000 ethnic Hungarians live in modern Ukraine’s Transcarpathian Region, just across the border from Hungary. Budapest will not give up on them “under any circumstances,”despite pressure from both sides of the Atlantic to do so, Szijjarto added. He also objected to the convening of the NATO-Ukraine Committee on ministerial level despite Budapest’s objections. “This decision violates NATO’s unity and procedures for the unity of will,”Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said on Tuesday, referring to the bloc’s consensus requirement.

Szijjarto has voiced his objections to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, but agreed to attend the April 4 meeting for the “opportunity to discuss minority protections.” Hungary became a member of NATO in 1999 and joined the EU in 2004. In recent months, Brussels has withheld funding from Budapest in an attempt to compel the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban to implement a set of policies championed by the bloc, which he has rejected as harmful. Hungary has consistently argued for a negotiated end to the hostilities in Ukraine. Budapest continues to prohibit any transit of weapons or ammunition through Hungarian territory, and has not agreed to supply Kiev with arms or ammunition.

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“..the West believes that, if it succeeds against its main adversaries, Russia and China, it can easily regain control over everyone else..”

US/Russia/China Standoff Big Opportunity For Second-tier Powers (Bordachev)

We are currently dealing with a confrontation in which the opposing sides are comparable military powers – Russia and the United States, although the latter is acting through intermediaries. Russia is also a major player in the global markets for energy, food and a range of other commodities for which demand is stable. Standing behind Russia is China, which, like Moscow, is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and wields considerable influence in the world. In other words, we have a unique example of a struggle in which the forces of the adversaries are roughly comparable, although the superiority of the West, in many areas, is considerable. And we do not know how the countries of the world majority would behave if the US and Europe launched an offensive against a weaker opponent – Iran or another country of comparable size, for example.

It is therefore impossible to speculate on the extent to which the assertiveness of those countries which ignore US orders now would have manifested itself in a different situation. This could be important in the future, as new conflicts involving a major nuclear power cannot be ruled out. In general, it is difficult to determine how much of the behavior of most countries is restrained by their own capabilities. It is generally accepted that this has become the main determinant of the actions of a wide range of states, from the wealthy monarchies of the Gulf to those of Southeast Asia. But there is no denying that their degree of dependence on the infrastructure of the outgoing liberal world order, led by the United States, remains very high.

Undoubtedly, the dramatic events of 2022 have set in motion the aspirations of many medium and small powers to gain practical tools for their autonomy. But they still have a long way to go. Perhaps this is why the West believes that, if it succeeds against its main adversaries, Russia and China, it can easily regain control over everyone else. And until the comparative individual capabilities of small and medium-sized states become serious enough to allow them to be truly self-reliant, Western self-confidence will continue to push the US and Western Europe into confrontational behavior. At the moment, the majority of the world’s countries are seeking short-term gains from the general turmoil caused by the struggle between the great powers. But the extent to which such tactical gains can form the basis of a long-term strategy is unknown.

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“We’re always for peace and dialogue, and we firmly stand on the right side of history,” Xi stated.”

US Does Not Let Ukraine Even Consider Negotiating – Moscow (RT)

Ukraine’s Western backers – and the US in particular – are doing their best to prevent Kiev from entering into any negotiations with Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. The official made the remarks on the sidelines of the talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Moscow on Tuesday. Peskov was asked to comment on recent statements by senior Western officials, who said any peace initiative for Ukraine, should it arise from the Russia-China talks, would be “unacceptable.” US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, for example, claimed any ceasefire in the current situation would only “ratify Russia’s conquest to date” rather than contribute to peace.

“Washington, European capitals, but first of all, Washington is filled with the desire not to let, under any pretext, [Kiev] enter into peace negotiations. They simply do not let Kiev even think about it,” Peskov said. Asked whether it was now ‘normal’ to incite war rather than call for peace, the spokesman responded affirmatively. “Now, when the masks are off, everyone shows off their bestial grin. Except for us and China.” During the talks, Russian and Chinese leaders discussed the 12-point roadmap for peace in Ukraine that was recently proposed by China. Putin has lauded the initiative, expressing his readiness to discuss and build upon it, while also reiterating Moscow’s desire to seek a diplomatic solution to the hostilities, which have been dragging on for over a year.

“We believe that many of the provisions of the peace plan put forward by China are consonant with the Russian stance and can be taken as a foundation for a peaceful settlement when they are ready for it in the West and in Kiev. However, so far we have not observed such readiness on their part,” Putin said after the meeting. The Chinese president has insisted that Beijing continues to maintain its position on the conflict and has urged both sides to stick to diplomacy and engage in dialogue. “We’re always for peace and dialogue, and we firmly stand on the right side of history,” Xi stated.

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Reason enough for the US to go to war.

Russia Ready To Switch To Yuan In Foreign Trade – Putin (RT)

Russia is ready to increase settlements in yuan in its foreign trade, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday during talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, who is in Moscow on a three-day official visit. “We are for the use of Chinese yuan in settlements between Russia and the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. I am sure that these forms of settlements in yuan will be developed between Russian partners and their counterparts in third countries,” Putin said. Two thirds of current trade between Moscow and Beijing is carried out in national currencies – the yuan and the ruble, the Russian president noted. China’s trade with Russia hit a record high in 2022, growing by nearly a third amid Western sanctions against Moscow. Bilateral trade is on pace to hit over $200 billion this year.


The latest data from the Bank of Russia shows the yuan has become a major player in Russia’s foreign trade, with its share in the country’s import settlements jumping to 23% by the end of last year from only 4% in January 2022. The yuan’s share in export settlements also surged, from 0.5% to 16%. “It is important that national currencies are increasingly used in mutual trade. This practice should be further encouraged, and the mutual presence of financial and banking structures in the markets of our countries should be expanded,” Putin added. Meanwhile, the share of the US dollar and euro in Russia’s export settlements last year dropped substantially, from 65% in January 2022 to 46% in December. In February, the Chinese currency overtook the dollar as the most traded currency on the Russian stock market for the first time ever, according to data from the Moscow Exchange.

Max Keiser
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638312091399471104

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“..A countrywide reputation with prudent financial management, sound regulatory oversight and, frankly, for being somewhat dour and boring regarding investments, has been wiped away..”

Switzerland Risks Becoming ‘Financial Banana Republic’ – Industry Expert (RT)

The troubles of once-major Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse is undermining Switzerland’s reputation as a global financial hub, says Opimas CEO Octavio Marenzi, as cited by CNBC on Tuesday. His warning follows a historic takeover of Credit Suisse by the UBS Group, its domestic rival. On Sunday the two banking giants announced a Swiss-government-brokered deal aimed at shoring up public confidence in the Western financial system and at averting a global crisis. UBS agreed to acquire the embattled bank for three billion Swiss francs ($3.2 billion) as part of a cut-price deal. “Switzerland’s standing as a financial center is shattered,” Marenzi reportedly said, adding that “The country will now be viewed as a financial banana republic.” “The Credit Suisse debacle will have serious ramifications for other Swiss financial institutions. A countrywide reputation with prudent financial management, sound regulatory oversight and, frankly, for being somewhat dour and boring regarding investments, has been wiped away,” Marenzi stated.


The landmark merger, which may well turn UBS into the world’s largest wealth manager, with more than $5 trillion in total invested assets, has nevertheless sparked concerns about the health of the acquired assets. Investors have been also raising fears about the write-off of $17 billion worth of Credit Suisse’s AT1 bonds, which was part of the merger deal. The move angered many debt-holders, who have been left empty-handed, and has revealed yet another banking-sector risk. Former European Central Bank vice president Vítor Constâncio has called the write-off decision a “mistake with consequences and potentially a host of court cases.” There are also concerns about the long-term benefits of the merger and the outlook for other banks in Switzerland, which has previously been viewed as a role model of sound banking.

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“..citing sanctions on Russia..”

Indonesia To Ditch Visa And Mastercard (RT)

The Bank of Indonesia is preparing to phase out Visa and Mastercard while introducing its own domestic payment system, Antara news agency reported on Monday, citing the regulator. Last week, Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged regional authorities to wean themselves away from foreign payment systems and start using cards issued by local banks. He argued that Indonesia needed to shield itself from geopolitical disruptions, citing the sanctions targeting Russia’s financial sector from the US, EU, and their allies over the conflict in Ukraine.“Be very careful. We must remember the sanctions imposed by the US on Russia. Visa and Mastercard could be a problem,” he said. Commenting on the initiative, the central bank’s spokesperson, Erwin Haryono, said that the regulator was in talks with local businesses “and the progress is about 90%,” adding that domestic cards will have many advantages, including lower fees.


Also, according to him, “offshore settlements and dependence on foreign payment networks such as US Visa or Mastercard will no longer be necessary.” Board member of the Indonesian Credit Cards Association (AKKI), Dodit Proboyakti, told RIA Novosti that Indonesia would apply the experience of Russia and its Mir payment system to promote the domestic financial network. Indonesia’s interbank system, GPN, currently supports only local debit cards and requires some adjustments to properly serve credit cards and international transactions, according to AKKI executive director Steve Marta. Moscow rolled out its own national card system, Mir, soon after the US first targeted the country with sanctions in 2014, and created the domestic National Payment Card System (NSPK) to smoothly take over all Visa and Mastercard transactions should the US-based companies pull the plug.

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“Not only did Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance, not bring this case, but Bragg himself stopped the prosecution..”

Alvin Bragg Prepares the Ultimate Frankenstein Indictment (Turley)

The scene from the 1931 movie “Frankenstein” came to mind this week as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg prepared an indictment of former President Donald Trump. It is the ultimate gravedigger charge, where Bragg unearthed a case from 2016 and, through a series of novel steps, is seeking to bring it back to life. Of course, like the good doctor, Bragg shows little concern over what he has created in his Frankenstein indictment. Bragg is combining parts from both state and federal codes.He is reportedly going to convert a misdemeanor for falsifying financial records into a prosecution of a federal crime. The federal crime is reportedly the failure to report a payment of $130,000 to former porn star Stormy Daniels to hush up an affair. That was just before the presidential election and Bragg is alleging that it was an effective campaign donation.

Bragg is attempting something that many lawyers think is as improbable as the reanimation of the dead. The Justice Department itself declined this prosecution and both the former chair of the Federal Election Commission and various election law experts have thrown shade on the theory. Not only did Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance, not bring this case, but Bragg himself stopped the prosecution. It was after one of Bragg’s lead prosecutors resigned and wrote a book on prosecuting Trump that pressure became too much for the district attorney, who grabbed his shovel and went to work. There are serious challenges to this prosecution, including an argument that time has expired under the statute of limitations.

The limit is two years for a misdemeanor and, even if he can convert this into a felony, it is not clear if he can meet the longer five-year limitation. Bragg will have to convince a court that Trump paid the hush money for the sole purpose of the election. As a married man and television celebrity, Trump had other reasons to try to avoid a scandal. That is precisely why such cases (like one against former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards) failed in prior prosecutions. However, the greater danger may come if he succeeds in moving this case to trial.

Costello Tucker

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“Wait a minute. You don’t have the hundreds of pages I handed over to Alvin Bragg over here? You only have six cherry-picked documents?”

Alvin Bragg Caught Hiding Nearly 600 Pages Of Exculpatory Evidence (GP)

Attorney Robert Costello, the former legal adviser to Michael Cohen, spoke to Tucker Carlson on Monday night after he testified to the Manhattan Grand Jury investigating President Donald Trump. Costello told the FOX News audience that he testified for two hours in front of Alvin Bragg’s Manhattan Grand Jury. Robert Costello told Tucker Carlson, “I spoke to the jury for two hours… It was clear to me the Manhattan Grand Jury did not want to get to the truth.” And it now is being reported that New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg was HIDING exculpatory evidence from the Grand Jury! According to FOX News legal mind Gregg Jarrett, Soros-funded DA Alvin Bragg HID nearly 600 pages of exculpatory evidence to the New York Grand Jury investigating President Trump.


Gregg Jarrett: I mentioned it yesterday, I think, when Bob Costello got into that Grand Jury room and told them, “Wait a minute. You don’t have the hundreds of pages I handed over to Alvin Bragg over here? You only have six cherry-picked documents?” You know, hiding from grand juries exculpatory information is reprehensible and unconscionable. And the conduct of Alvin Bragg and his henchman Mark Pomeranz, who specifically says in his book, “We’re targeting zombies because we don’t like his beliefs,” those guys should face disbarment proceedings. Once again the REAL crooks reveal themselves. And Jarrett is right. If there was a real justice system in the country, they should be disbarred. Via Hannity:

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Groundhog Day.

Trump to Be Indicted Wednesday, Arraignment Next Week (GP)

Former President Donald Trump will be indicted on Wednesday and asked to surrender for arraignment in New York next week, according to a new report. “There will be no arraignment this week,” an unnamed source, said to be familiar with the proceeding, told the Daily Mail on Tuesday. The Mail reports that “the former president, who is currently in Florida, is expected to be formally charged tomorrow, after which the Manhattan District Attorney’s office will reach out to Trump and his Secret Service detail to make arrangements for his surrender.” After being flown to New York, he will be fingerprinted, arrested, and a mug shot will be taken.

Harmeet Dhillon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1637975259163885571

On Tuesday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office responded to a letter sent by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan demanding that he testify before Congress about his “unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority.” The prosecutor’s office said that they will not be “intimidated” out of filing charges. “We will not be intimidated by attempts to undermine the justice process, nor will we let baseless accusations deter us from fairly applying the law,” a spokesperson for Bragg’s office told Fox News on Tuesday. “In every prosecution, we follow the law without fear or favor to uncover the truth. Our skilled, honest and dedicated lawyers remain hard at work,” the spokesperson added.


On Monday, Jordan had sent a letter to Bragg’s office saying, “in light of the serious consequences of your actions, we expect that you will testify about what plainly appears to be a politically motivated prosecutorial decision.” “Dear Mr. Bragg,” the letter began. “You are about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office. This indictment comes after years of your office searching for a basis — any basis — on which to bring charges, ultimately settling on a novel legal theory untested anywhere in the country and one that federal authorities declined to pursue. If these reports are accurate, your actions will erode confidence in the evenhanded application of justice and unalterably interfere in the court of the 2024 presidential election.”

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Kory IVM
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638247355139911697

 

 

 

 

RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638271365072445440

 

 

Ibex

 

 

 

 

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