Jun 052021
 


Brassaï Cat 1945

 

Vaccine Spike Protein Travels From Injection Site, Can Cause Organ Damage (CHD)
Patent Filed For Covid Vaccine Just After Contagion Emerged (NYP)
Ok, Now We’re Done (Denninger)
State Department Officials Told Probing Wuhan Lab Opens Pandora’s Box (DM)
The Pentagon Gave $39 Million To Dr. Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance (DM)
Daszak In Charge Of The Lancet’s Task Force To Investigate COVID Origin (SN)
Biden Says He’s ‘Very Confident’ In Fauci After 1000s Of Emails Revealed (Fox)
The Rise and Fall of Dr. Fauci (Howie Carr)
What If the “Big Lie” Is the Big Lie? (Kunstler)
Biden Rejects New Republican Infrastructure Offer (R.)
US Judge Overturns California’s Ban On Assault Weapons (AP)
Facebook Faces Antitrust Investigation in EU, UK (HE)
‘Over Confident’ US Risks Going Down Same Path As Soviet Union – Putin (EN)

 

 

A rare photo of Schrödingers cat.

 

 

“Research obtained by a group of scientists shows the COVID vaccine spike protein can travel from the injection site and accumulate in organs and tissues including the spleen, bone marrow, the liver, adrenal glands and in “quite high concentrations” in the ovaries.”

Vaccine Spike Protein Travels From Injection Site, Can Cause Organ Damage (CHD)

COVID vaccine researchers had previously assumed mRNA COVID vaccines would behave like traditional vaccines. The vaccine’s spike protein — responsible for infection and its most severe symptoms — would remain mostly in the injection site at the shoulder muscle or local lymph nodes. But new research obtained by a group of scientists contradicts that theory, a Canadian cancer vaccine researcher said last week. “We made a big mistake. We didn’t realize it until now,” said Byram Bridle, a viral immunologist and associate professor at University of Guelph, Ontario. “We thought the spike protein was a great target antigen, we never knew the spike protein itself was a toxin and was a pathogenic protein. So by vaccinating people we are inadvertently inoculating them with a toxin.”

Bridle, who was awarded a $230,000 grant by the Canadian government last year for research on COVID vaccine development, said he and a group of international scientists filed a request for information from the Japanese regulatory agency to get access to Pfizer’s “biodistribution study.” Biodistribution studies are used to determine where an injected compound travels in the body, and which tissues or organs it accumulates in. “It’s the first time ever scientists have been privy to seeing where these messenger RNA [mRNA] vaccines go after vaccination,” Bridle said in an interview with Alex Pierson where he first disclosed the data. “Is it a safe assumption that it stays in the shoulder muscle? The short answer is: absolutely not. It’s very disconcerting.”

The Sars-CoV-2 has a spike protein on its surface. That spike protein is what allows it to infect our bodies, Bridle explained. “That is why we have been using the spike protein in our vaccines,” Bridle said. “The vaccines we’re using get the cells in our bodies to manufacture that protein. If we can mount an immune response against that protein, in theory we could prevent this virus from infecting the body. That is the theory behind the vaccine.” “However, when studying the severe COVID-19, […] heart problems, lots of problems with the cardiovascular system, bleeding and clotting, are all associated with COVID-19,” he added. “In doing that research, what has been discovered by the scientific community, the spike protein on its own is almost entirely responsible for the damage to the cardiovascular system, if it gets into circulation.” When the purified spike protein is injected into the blood of research animals, they experience damage to the cardiovascular system and the protein can cross the blood-brain barrier and cause damage to the brain, Bridle explained.

Read more …

Everything about this stinks.

Patent Filed For Covid Vaccine Just After Contagion Emerged (NYP)

A Chinese Communist Party military scientist who got funding from the National Institutes of Health filed a patent for a COVID-19 vaccine in February last year — raising fears the shot was being studied even before the pandemic became public, according to a new report. Zhou Yusen, a decorated military scientist for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who worked alongside the Wuhan Institute of Virology as well as US scientists, filed a patent on Feb. 24 2020, according to documents obtained by The Australian.

The patent -lodged by the “Institute of Military Medicine, Academy of Military Sciences of the PLA”- was filed just five weeks after China admitted there was human-to-human transmission of the virus, and months before Zhou died under mysterious circumstances, the report noted. “This is something we have never seen achieved before, raising the question of whether this work may have started much earlier”, Prof. Nikolai Petrovsky from Flinders University told the paper. Adding to the intrigue, Zhou later died under mysterious circumstances in May last year – something being looked into as part of the international investigation ordered by President Biden, the paper insisted. Despite being an award-winning military scientist, there were no reports or tributes, with him just listed as “deceased” in a Chinese media report in July and a December scientific paper.

Before working for the PLA, Zhou had strong ties to the US, doing postdoctoral research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and collaborating with the New York Blood Center, the report said. Zhou worked closely with the Wuhan lab at the heart of increasing international focus over its possible links to the pandemic, as well as its now-notorious “bat woman” lead scientist, Shi Zhengli, the report said. The close working relationship between the pair supports declassified US intelligence released in January that said the Wuhan lab was conducting “secret military activity,” The Australian said.

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Karl’s take on the article above.

Ok, Now We’re Done (Denninger)

“A Chinese Communist Party military scientist who got funding from the National Institutes of Health filed a patent for a COVID-19 vaccine in February last year — raising fears the shot was being studied even before the pandemic became public, according to a new report. Zhou Yusen, a decorated military scientist for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who worked alongside the Wuhan Institute of Virology as well as US scientists, filed a patent on Feb. 24 2020, according to documents obtained by The Australian.” So what do we now know? • China’s military was in fact involved at the Wuhan lab. It was not just a civilian operation. • The lab’s scientists knew not only the sequencing of the virus but in addition had a patentable way to create an alleged vaccine before the pandemic was public.

• It takes time to draft patents and figure them out. Quite a lot of time, in fact — not a couple weeks or months. • The PLA, China’s military, did file said patent with Zhou’s name on it. • It takes time to prove up patent material, including in the case of a vaccine. To patent something you must be able to demonstrate it; you cannot patent ideas, only embodiments of ideas. In that case you would have to prove immunogenicity which isn’t instantaneous; it takes weeks or even months to get through original science on this with animals and then humans, which means the date of knowledge was not February 24th it was months or even further before that.

• That means they were working on this even before that time because to work on a vaccine you have to know you must or would want to work on it in the first place. This in turn means they knew damn well there was a virulent virus in the wild prior to that date, or they released it or intended to release it into the wild on purpose. Nobody comes up with a vaccine for a virus you intend to and have confined entirely within a laboratory in animal or cell culture testing; that’s worthless. Without an isolate to create a vaccine for and a virus outside of a lab environment where vaccination becomes a “thing” that might be required and thus have value why would you do the work to create one?

What’s the timeline on all this? Many, many months or even a couple of years. That means either the virus was “out” for many months to a couple of years before February of 2020 (not a month or two) or the Chinese intended to release it in the fall of 2019. In either case the evidence is now overwhelming that this was not a virus that “magically appeared” one fine day in late December. That is not just improbable anymore — it is now, on the manifest weight of the evidence, impossible. Further, the person who filed the patent died under “mysterious circumstances.” Gee, I wonder why? Let me guess — did he shoot himself in the back of the head twice?

Next up is exactly what sort of vaccine patent we’re talking about here? Specifically how is it that the “stiffened” areas in the viral vector and mRNA shots we’re using in the US came to be known and proved up? How did Moderna and Pfizer know they needed to do that? That sort of study takes months if not years too, not days or weeks, to both come up with it and then prove it actually works as expected.

[..] Oh wait — the manufacturers didn’t bother with all of making sure it worked as expected, did they? Nope! It sort of works as expected. Yes, the shots produce antibodies – lots of them. But they also cluster in multiple organs where we were told it would not; we were told it would remain in the deltoid muscle where the injection was delivered. That it remained in the muscle was false; the science was not done and it appears we were just told it would do so without evidence. Now, due to a leaked document out of Japan we know the shots do not stay where intended and they bioaccumulate in other places, including the ovaries and spleen and yet this, which was a direct contravention of the predicate upon which the EUAs issued did not lead to immediate revocation. Oh no, the FDA doesn’t care when claims about where it is contained to in the body turn out to be false!

Read more …

Fauci, Daszak, PLA, CCP, Pentagon, we could go on.

State Department Officials Told Probing Wuhan Lab Opens Pandora’s Box (DM)

At least four State Department employees said in separate interviews that they repeatedly were ‘warned’ that an investigation into a possible COVID-19 leak from the Wuhan lab would ‘open Pandora’s Box;’ and reveal that the U.S. funded gain-of-function research there. It ‘smelled like a cover-up,’ Thomas DiNanno told Vanity Fair. DiNanno, the former acting assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, was one of four State Department officials who told Vanity Fair they wanted to investigate the possibility that COVID-19 spread after it escaped from the Wuhan lab. The others were David Asher, David Feith and Miles Yu. But they were muzzled by other State Department officials as well as the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation and even ‘ostracized,’ Yu told Vanity Fair.


The lab leak was touted by then-President Donald Trump and other right-wing leaders, but was deemed impossible by a ‘scientific consensus’ in a letter signed by 27 scientists, published on February 19, 2020 in the medical journal The Lancet. After that, the Wuhan lab theory was considered to be at best a conspiracy – some even considered it racist – so it wasn’t discussed as a realistic origin of COVID-19 until recently. Yu, the State Department’s principal China strategist, found the government’s and scientists’ silence ‘maddening,’ Vanity Fair reported. He said, ‘Anyone who dares speak out would be ostracized.’ Asher, now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who ran the State Department’s day-to-day COVID-19 origins inquiry, told Vanity Fair it became clear that ‘there is a huge gain-of-function bureaucracy’ inside the federal government.

Read more …

Plus $64.7 million from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), $13 million from Health and Human Services, $2.3 million from the Department of Homeland Security, and $2.6 million from the National Science Foundation.

The Pentagon Gave $39 Million To Dr. Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance (DM)

The Pentagon gave $39 million to a charity that funded controversial coronavirus research at a Chinese lab accused of being the source for Covid-19, federal data reveals. The news comes as the charity’s chief, British-born scientist Dr. Peter Daszak, was exposed in an alleged conflict of interest and back-room campaign to discredit lab leak theories. The charity, EcoHealth Alliance (EHA), has come under intense scrutiny after it emerged that it had been using federal grants to fund research into coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. The U.S. nonprofit, set up to research new diseases, has also partly funded deeply controversial ‘gain of function’ experiments, where dangerous viruses are made more infectious to study their effect on human cells.

A political storm broke when former president Donald Trump canceled a $3.7 million grant to the charity last year amid claims that Covid-19 was created in, or leaked from, the Wuhan lab funded by EHA. But federal grant data assembled by independent researchers shows that the charity has received more than $123 million from the government – from 2017 to 2020 – and that one of its biggest funders is the Department of Defense, funneling almost $39 million to the organization since 2013. Exactly how much of that money went toward research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology is unknown.

Grants from the Pentagon included $6,491,025 from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) from 2017 to 2020 with the description: ‘Understanding the risk of bat-borne zoonotic disease emergence in Western Asia.’ The grant was categorized as ‘scientific research – combating weapons of mass destruction.’ The news comes as the charity’s chief, British-born scientist Dr. Peter Daszak, was exposed in an alleged conflict of interest and back-room campaign to discredit lab leak theories The majority of the DoD funding came from the DTRA, a military branch with a mission to ‘counter and deter weapons of mass destruction and improvised threat networks.’ EHA also received $64.7 million from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), $13 million from Health and Human Services, which includes the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control, $2.3 million from the Department of Homeland Security, and $2.6 million from the National Science Foundation.

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He gets to lead everything, including the ivestigation into himself.

Daszak In Charge Of The Lancet’s Task Force To Investigate COVID Origin (SN)

Revered scientific journal The Lancet has created a ‘task force’ to investigate the origins of the coronavirus that caused a global pandemic, yet it has decided to employ as it’s leader the very guy who funded the dangerous gain of function research at the Wuhan lab and subsequently allegedly ‘bullied’ other scientists into avoiding looking into the lab as a potential source of the outbreak. In the wake of renewed scrutiny of the lab leak hypothesis, the Lancet’s task force will reportedly “focus on analyzing data on all of the theories put forward on the origins of COVID, on the reasons why SARS-CoV-2 was able to break out of Wuhan and spread globally, and on the most plausible strategies to prevent future pandemics.”

It also states that “The Task Force will review thoroughly and objectively all publicly available evidence, particularly the peer-reviewed literature, and conduct interviews with key leaders in science, medicine, policy and civil society.” ‘Objectively’. Right. Dr Peter Daszak, who is heading up this task force, is perhaps the least suitable scientist on the planet to objectively analyse the data, given his track record. Daszak, as President of the EcoHealth Alliance, shovelled at least $600,000 to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the past few years to play around with coronaviruses inside the lab through the now infamous ‘gain of function’ research. Daszak, who also works for the World Health Organisation, is on record admitting that he was involved with manipulating coronaviruses.

Daszak notes that “coronaviruses are pretty good… you can manipulate them in the lab pretty easily… the spiked proteins drive a lot about what happens. You can get the sequence you can build the protein, we work with Ralph Baric at UNC to do this, insert into the backbone of another virus and do some work in a lab.” No wonder then that Daszak as lead investigator for the WHO investigation determined within 3 hours of visiting the Wuhan lab in February 2021 that there was ‘nothing to see here’?

Read more …

They’re stuck with each other, and with Daszak, PLA, CCP, Pentagon.

Biden Says He’s ‘Very Confident’ In Fauci After 1000s Of Emails Revealed (Fox)

President Biden said he is “very confident” in Dr. Anthony Fauci amid Republican attacks on his chief medical adviser after the revelation of thousands of his emails from the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The president was updating reporters as he departed Rehoboth Beach, Del., and when he walked out of the room, one shouted to ask if he is “still” confident in Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Moments later, Biden popped his head back in the room and said, “Yes, I am very confident in Dr. Fauci.” Fauci’s emails, which are heavily redacted, have prompted Republicans to demand answers from the NIAID director about why he did not more aggressively pursue the theory that coronavirus could have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China.


In one February 2020 email, he also said wearing a mask was “not really effective in keeping out the virus,” though the disease expert has already admitted he downplayed the effectiveness of masks in part so that supply would not run low for medical professionals. At the same time, Fox News has confirmed that State Department officials seeking to demand transparency from the Chinese government say they were explicitly told by colleagues not to explore the WIV’s gain-of-function research because it would bring unwelcomed attention to U.S. government funding of it. “We’ll let him speak for himself,” press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday when asked about Fauci’s emails. “He’s been an undeniable asset in our country’s pandemic response,” Psaki said. “It’s obviously not that advantageous for me to relitigate the substance of emails from 17 months ago.”

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“These Fauci emails are certainly revealing, so revealing, in fact, that the Washington Post isn’t posting them.”

The Rise and Fall of Dr. Fauci (Howie Carr)

“Fauci Lied, People Died.” If you still occasionally run into some unrepentant Karen glaring at your unmasked following-the-science face, just scrawl the above words on your raggedy mask and wear it one final time. Karen won’t bother you anymore, because what can Karen say after the release of all the Fauci emails from last year? Dr. Anthony Fauci, a hack’s hack since 1968, is many things, but on the level is not one of them. Consider his response to a February 2020 email from a Cornell University professor of medicine who wrote him: “We think there is a possibility that the virus was released from a lab in Wuhan.” Fauci responded by forwarding the prescient warning to one of his minions: “Please handle.” A month later, a government-funded physicist sent Fauci a warning that China was sending out false data, among other things.

Once again, Fauci dismissively fobbed off this 911 call to an underling: “Too long for me to read.” Of course it was. You know how hard it is to concentrate on scientific data when you’re in the green room having the makeup applied for your third or fourth TV live shot of the day. Especially when you’re 80 years old. These Fauci emails are certainly revealing, so revealing, in fact, that the Washington Post isn’t posting them. Almost as revealing are the endless redactions, as if there’s some national security issue here when he’s been pitched by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Fauci is still being defended by the Democrat operatives with press passes — the “serious people,” as ABC hack Jonathan Karl described his fellow cheerleaders last week. But the reality is, his upcoming so-called book, which at 80 pages is almost as short as he is (67 inches high), was pulled this week from the two biggest online booksellers, five months ahead of its publication date.

The publisher claimed that “Expect the Unexpected” had been “prematurely posted.” Yeah, right. At least Gov. Andrew Cuomo had his abysmal $5.1-million COVID tome published before he was busted as a total fraud. Fauci’s book got torched before it even reached the public. The publisher’s sell sheet described him as “one of the world’s greatest medical minds,” but now he ends up the same authorial class as O.J. Simpson and Clifford Irving — their faux books didn’t make it out of the gate either. Fauci joins the long list of great anti-Trump saviors who have been, you’ll pardon the expression, debunked. Like, say, Michael Avenatti, Michael Cohen, Omarosa, Mary Trump, Robert Mueller, Christine Blasey Ford, Julie Swetnick, Lt. Col. Vindman, etc.

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“All Joe Biden’s handlers can do now is fade Dr. Fauci out, keep him off the cable channels, and hope the public can be distracted with some new nonsense.”

What If the “Big Lie” Is the Big Lie? (Kunstler)

Maybe now that Dr. Tony Fauci has begun to spill the beans on his doings in service to the Wuhan virology lab, the phrase “conspiracy theory,” flogged by the media as jauntily and incessantly as by the soviet kommissars of yore, will have worn out its welcome. In a sane polity, Dr. Fauci would be cooked. He looks circumstantially like an epic villain of history, who promoted and funded dangerous research activities knowingly, which led to an international disaster that killed millions of people and destroyed countless livelihoods and households, perhaps even the whole global economy, when all is said and done — and he appears to have lied at every step along the way. As a practical matter, what is the “Joe Biden” admin going to do about him? Throw him under the bus? I don’t think they can at this point.

Dr. Fauci has come to represent not just the falsehoods employed around the Covid-19 fiasco but more generally the long campaign against truth itself by a grossly illiberal Jacobin Democratic Party seemingly out to punish and destroy Western Civ. Whether the Covid-19 pandemic was an overt tactic in that campaign, or just the result of Dr. Fauci’s catastrophic bad judgment, remains to be revealed. But at least half the country will conclude that there’s some connection between the terrible losses suffered in the pandemic year and the political bullshit they were force-fed in the four-year effort to defenestrate Donald Trump. All Joe Biden’s handlers can do now is fade Dr. Fauci out, keep him off the cable channels, and hope the public can be distracted with some new nonsense. You also have good reason to doubt that Merrick Garland will do anything but look the other way and whistle.

The downfall of Dr. Fauci is a watershed moment. There were so many more authorities caught lying over the past five years, but who got off scot-free — Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, James Comey (actually, the whole FBI and DOJ E-suites), John Brennan, James Clapper, Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissman, Adam Schiff, and the editors and producers of the news media, plus the execs of social media — who not only disabled the truth at every opportunity, but just about destroyed the public’s grip on reality.

The result has been an utter collapse of authority in this land, so that now nobody who runs anything is credible, from the current pitiful president of the USA, to most elected and appointed officials, judges, corporate CEOs, college deans and presidents, and now “The Science” itself. Just remember: there is still a sizable faction in America of people who are deeply interested in ascertaining the truth about a lot of things. They are aiming to get at it, too, for example, the truth about the 2020 election. Maybe now you can begin to see why this is important.

Read more …

Boondoggle.

Biden Rejects New Republican Infrastructure Offer (R.)

President Joe Biden and Republicans entered the weekend sharply at odds over how to craft an infrastructure deal that could satisfy their camps, imperiling the odds of a bipartisan deal. Democrat Biden shot down a new proposal from the main Republican negotiator on infrastructure, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, that increased spending by about $50 billion over their last offer, the White House said. Biden rejected the offer, saying it “did not meet his objectives to grow the economy, tackle the climate crisis, and create new jobs.” Republicans had previously offered roughly $257 billion in new spending, short of the $2.25 trillion Biden initially offered and suggested he might bring down to as low as $1 trillion.


And while the two sides agreed to speak again on Monday, the White House also strongly signaled that they may seek a path forward with other Republican lawmakers or even with only Democrats. “He indicated to Senator Capito that he would continue to engage a number of Senators in both parties in the hopes of achieving a more substantial package,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. Up until now, Capito has been Biden’s primary negotiating partner. Monday’s conversation will be their third in a week. Biden is eager to show that he made a good-faith effort at a bipartisan deal, sources said, but he risks creating division among Democrats, some who believe he is giving up too much to Republicans. Democrats hold narrow majorities in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

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This guy likes the arms a bit too much.

US Judge Overturns California’s Ban On Assault Weapons (AP)

A federal judge Friday overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons, ruling that it violates the constitutional right to bear arms. U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states and by the U.S. Supreme Court. “Under no level of heightened scrutiny can the law survive,” Benitez said. He issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of the law but stayed it for 30 days to give state Attorney General Rob Bonta time to appeal. Gov. Gavin Newsom condemned the decision, calling it “a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period.”


In his 94-page ruling, the judge spoke favorably of modern weapons, said they were overwhelmingly used for legal reasons. “Like the Swiss Army knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle,” the judge said in his ruling’s introduction. That comparison “completely undermines the credibility of this decision and is a slap in the face to the families who’ve lost loved ones to this weapon,” Newsom said in a statement. “We’re not backing down from this fight, and we’ll continue pushing for common sense gun laws that will save lives.”

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“Are you watching, America?”

Facebook Faces Antitrust Investigation in EU, UK (HE)

The United Kingdom and European Union opened formal antitrust investigations into Facebook’s classified-ads service, Marketplace. Both the European Commission and the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority said Friday they are investigating whether Facebook revamps data gathered from advertisers who buy ads in order to give illegal advantages to its own services, the Wall Street Journal reports. The cases look specifically at how Facebook uses the data it collects, and whether that would put the company at an advantage in the promotion of its own services in neighboring markets. The U.K. is also investigating whether Facebook uses advertiser data to give similar advantages to its online-dating service. “In today’s digital economy, data should not be used in ways that distort competition,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief.


A Facebook spokesman said its services will “continue to cooperate fully with the investigations to demonstrate that they are without merit.” Though the EU has been informally investigating the Big Tech giant for some time, if the Commission or the U.K.’s CMA finds evidence of any wrongdoing, they can then file formal charges. The new cases are part of a new series of antitrust enforcements throughout Europe. The European Commission filed formal charges against Apple last month for abusing its control over the distribution of music-streaming apps, including Spotify. In November, the EU also filed formal charges against Amazon for using nonpublic data gathered from third-party sellers to unfairly compete against them. Are you watching, America?

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“We don’t have any issues with the U.S. But it has an issue with us..”

‘Over Confident’ US Risks Going Down Same Path As Soviet Union – Putin (EN)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday accused Europe and the U.S. of hypocrisy over criticism of the response to anti-government protests in Russia and Belarus and warned that America was at risk of following the path of the Soviet Union. In a speech at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Putin discussed Russia’s relations with the U.S. ahead of a meeting with President Joe Biden, describing them as “at an extremely low level now.” He criticised sanctions against Russia as well as allegations that Moscow interfered in the U.S. election and said that Washington and Europe had double standards in criticising the police crackdown against protesters in Moscow and Belarus in recent months. “We don’t have any issues with the U.S. But it has an issue with us,” he said.

“It wants to contain our development and publicly talks about it. Economic restrictions and attempts to influence our country’s domestic politics, relying on forces they consider their allies inside Russia, stem from that.” Ties between Russia and the U.S. have sunk to post-Cold War lows over Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, accusations of Russian interference in elections, and cyberattacks that U.S. officials allege had Russian origins. Putin reiterated that Russia rejects accusations of interfering in U.S. presidential elections, and he spoke critically of the U.S. response to the Capitol attack, which took place as Congress prepared to certify that Biden had defeated then-President Donald Trump in November.

“They weren’t just a crowd of robbers and rioters. Those people had come with political demands,” he said. Putin pointed out that the heavy charges against hundreds of participants in the attack were filed even as the U.S. and its allies strongly criticized Belarus’ crackdown on anti-government protests. He charged that even as the West has criticized Russian authorities for a harsh response to anti-Kremlin demonstrations, protesters in Europe have faced an even tougher police response, with some shot in the eye by what he mockingly called “democratic rubber bullets.” Later, during a call with journalists, Putin criticised the United States as being overconfident and drew a parallel with the Soviet Union.

“You know what the problem is? I will tell you as a former citizen of the former Soviet Union. What is the problem of empires — they think that they are so powerful that they can afford small errors and mistakes,” he said. “But the number of problems is growing. There comes a time when they can no longer be dealt with. And the United States, with a confident gait, a firm step, is going straight along the path of the Soviet Union.”

Read more …

 

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Jun 042021
 


Pieter Bruegel the Elder Dulle Griet, also known as Mad Meg 1563

 

Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins (Vanity Fair)
How Amateur Sleuths Broke the Wuhan Lab Story and Embarrassed the Media (NW)
Fauci Kept Funding Daszak’s Experiments after Trump Canceled Grant (NF)
Fauci Defends China, Doubles Down On Animal Origins Of Covid (DM)
Ex-CDC Director Threatened For Saying Covid-19 Likely Originated In A Lab (DM)
Where’s The Tar and Feathers? (Denninger)
Covid-19 Cases Hit Lowest Point In US Since Pandemic Began (Axios)
EU Purchases Its First Monoclonal Antibodies Cocktail For Covid-19 (RT)
The Netherlands Used Children As A Weapon In The Fight Against Corona (AD)
Delhi Reports Over 1,000 Cases Of ‘Black Fungus’ Amid Shortage Of Drugs (RT)
Nord Stream 2 To Cost Kiev $3 Billion In Transit Fees A Year – Zelensky (RT)
Russia’s $186 Billion Sovereign Wealth Fund Dumps All Dollar Assets (ZH)

 

 

When both Vanity Fair and Newsweek come out with in-depth articles about the very same topic (in this case how the DRASTIC group reported the lab leak theory), at the very same moment, that makes me nervous.

What also makes me nervous is the one-dimensional attention for Fauci. Much as I dislike the man, it starts to feel as if others are hiding behind him.

 

 

“Ivermectin is an off-patent drug that is one of the most widely used drugs in the world, and we know it is able to reduce Covid-19 symptoms at any stage of the disease by about 90%, so there is no need for vaccines.”

– Michael Yeadon, former CSO of Pfizer

 

 

 

Kory

 

 

“The idea of a lab leak first came to NSC officials not from hawkish Trumpists but from Chinese social media users..”

Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins (Vanity Fair)

The idea of a lab leak first came to NSC officials not from hawkish Trumpists but from Chinese social media users, who began sharing their suspicions as early as January 2020. Then, in February, a research paper coauthored by two Chinese scientists, based at separate Wuhan universities, appeared online as a preprint. It tackled a fundamental question: How did a novel bat coronavirus get to a major metropolis of 11 million people in central China, in the dead of winter when most bats were hibernating, and turn a market where bats weren’t sold into the epicenter of an outbreak? The paper offered an answer: “We screened the area around the seafood market and identified two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus.”

The first was the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which sat just 280 meters from the Huanan market and had been known to collect hundreds of bat samples. The second, the researchers wrote, was the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The paper came to a staggeringly blunt conclusion about COVID-19: “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan…. Regulations may be taken to relocate these laboratories far away from city center and other densely populated places.” Almost as soon as the paper appeared on the internet, it disappeared, but not before U.S. government officials took note.

By then, Matthew Pottinger had approved a COVID-19 origins team, run by the NSC directorate that oversaw issues related to weapons of mass destruction. A longtime Asia expert and former journalist, Pottinger purposefully kept the team small, because there were so many people within the government “wholly discounting the possibility of a lab leak, who were predisposed that it was impossible,” said Pottinger. In addition, many leading experts had either received or approved funding for gain-of-function research. Their “conflicted” status, said Pottinger, “played a profound role in muddying the waters and contaminating the shot at having an impartial inquiry.”

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The bat lady returns.

How Amateur Sleuths Broke the Wuhan Lab Story and Embarrassed the Media (NW)

If there is a moment when the DRASTIC team coalesced into something more than its disparate parts, it would be this thread. In real time, for all the world to see, they worked through the data, tested various hypotheses, corrected each other, and scored some direct hits. The key facts quickly came together. The genetic sequence for RaTG13 perfectly matched a small piece of genetic code posted as part of a paper written by Shi Zhengli years earlier, but never mentioned again. The code came from a virus the WIV had found in a Yunnan bat. Connecting key details in the two papers with old news stories, the DRASTIC team determined that RaTG13 had come from a mineshaft in Mojiang County, in Yunnan Province, where six men shoveling bat guano in 2012 had developed pneumonia. Three of them died.

DRASTIC wondered if that event marked the first cases of human beings being infected with a precursor of SARS-CoV-2—perhaps RaTG13 or something like it. In a profile in Scientific American, Shi Zhengli acknowledged working in a mineshaft in Mojiang County where miners had died. But she avoided connecting it to RaTG13 (an omission she had made in her scientific papers as well), claiming that a fungus in the cave had killed the miners.

[..] One of those scientists was Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard who recognized the value of the information DRASTIC was producing and began to interpret it for scientists and nonscientists alike in crisp explainers on Twitter that made her a star science communicator. Chan acknowledged the group’s accomplishments in a long thread on Twitter. “Without the work done by the DRASTIC team, I don’t really know where we would be today with the origins of covid-19,” she wrote, adding, “The work of these outsiders…has had a measurable impact on the scientific discourse.” That scientific discourse jumped tracks on January 6, 2021, when the University of Washington virologist Jesse Bloom, one of the country’s most respected COVID-19 researchers, became the first major scientific figure to publicly legitimize DRASTIC’s contributions.

“Yes, I follow the work,” he tweeted, sending tremors through the scientific establishment. “I don’t agree [with] all of it, but some parts seem important & correct.” Bloom singled out Mona Rahalkar’s paper on the Mojiang mine, then added that in the early days of the pandemic, “I thought lab escape very unlikely. Based on subsequent work, I now say quite plausible.” Other scientists pressured Bloom to reconsider, but he held his ground, and the wall of silence began to crumble. In May, 17 scientists from Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, and other leading institutions, including Chan, joined Bloom in a letter in Science calling for a thorough investigation of the Wuhan lab. On nearly the same day, The Seeker struck again. Visiting a database hosted by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, he searched for all theses supervised by Shi Zhengli. Boom. Three hits. “I got it on my first try,” he says. “Not sure why no one else thought of this before, but I guess no one was looking.”

If there had been any remaining doubt about the WIV’s pattern of deception, these new theses put it to rest. They indicated that the WIV researchers had never believed a fungus had killed the Mojiang miners, contradicting Shi’s remarks in Scientific American and elsewhere. In fact, WIV researchers had been so concerned about a new SARS-like outbreak that they’d tested the blood of neighboring villagers for other cases. And they had known the genetic sequences for the eight other SARS-like viruses from the mine—which could have helped researchers to understand more about SARS-CoV-2 in the early days —long before the pandemic started, and had kept the information to themselves, until DRASTIC called them out.

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THIS should be investigated. Fauci as a state within a state.

Fauci Kept Funding Daszak’s Experiments after Trump Canceled Grant (NF)

Peter Daszak, who studied controversial “gain of function” experiments on coronavirus elements in Wuhan, received $7.5 million from Anthony Fauci after Trump cancelled his grant. Last April, reports emerged that the EcoHealth Alliance, an organization run by one Peter Daszak, was involved in funding and collaborating with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where researchers were examining coronaviruses extremely similar to the one behind the COVID-19 outbreak, and allegedly engaging in “gain of function” research relating to them. In an April 17th press conference, President Trump confirmed that a grant worth around $3.7 million since 2015 given to Daszak’s group by the National Institute for Health would be ended “very quickly” following the reports.

Only one week later on April 24th, all future funding for the EHA was cut, and they were ordered to stop spending the $369,819 remaining from its 2020 grant. “At this time, NIH does not believe that the current project outcomes align with the program goals and agency priorities,” Michael Lauer, the agency’s deputy director for extramural research, wrote in a letter to EcoHealth Alliance officials. From within the treasure trove of 3,200 pages of emails obtained from Anthony Fauci, one email can be found from Daszak, who thanked Fauci for dismissing the lab leak theory as being simply conspiratorial the day after President Trump announced the funding would be cut.

[..] Only a few months later in August, Fauci, who along with being put in charge of America’s response to COVID-19, is the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the NIH, helped confirm that Daszak’s organization would receive a new grant of $7.5 million to study coronaviruses as part of a new network. The CREID network, which contains 11 institutions including the EHA, “coincidentally” will continue to study the emergence of coronaviruses in Southeast Asia. Fauci said that the network will help “enable early warnings of emerging diseases wherever they occur, which will be critical to rapid responses,” while Daszak boasted that they will be working in rural hospitals, according to a statement, “in remote parts of Malaysia and Thailand to get to the front line of where the next pandemic is going to start.”

Video of Anthony Fauci announcing “NIH Lifts Funding Pause on Gain-Of-Function Research” at a NIAID Advisory Council meeting on January 29, 2018.

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That train has passed.

Fauci Defends China, Doubles Down On Animal Origins Of Covid (DM)

Dr. Anthony Fauci doubled down on claims that the coronavirus likely originated from an animal then was transmitted to humans in a Thursday morning interview on CNN, despite increasing speculation that it leaked from a China lab. Fauci, who served under former President Trump and President Joe Biden, continues to fight the idea that he downplayed theories that the virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology after a trove of emails exchange at the beginning of the pandemic revealed he was warned about a potential lab leak. ‘I have always said and will say today to you … that I still believe the most likely origin is from an animal species to a human,’ Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday on CNN.

Although he said he’s keeping an open mind about the possibility of a lab leak, Fauci said it was ‘far-fetched’ to think the Chinese would kill their own people. ‘The idea, I think, is quite far-fetched that the Chinese deliberately engineered something so that they could kill themselves, as well as other people. I think that’s a bit far out.’ In a separate Thursday morning interview on MSNBC, Fauci said they want to definitively find the cause of the coronavirus pandemic – whatever that origin is – but pointing the finger at China isn’t going to help. ‘It’s in China’s interest to find out exactly what it is,’ Fauci said. ‘Obviously, you want openness and cooperation. One of the ways to get it is not to be accusatory. Try to get a forensic, scientific and investigational approach. I think the accusatory part about it is only going to make (China) pull back more.’

Fauci was asked during the MSNBC interview if he thought it was in China’s best interest to hide information if the origin was a lab leak or if it was designing a weapon. He sidestepped, saying no matter what he says, ‘it will be taken completely out of context,’ which he said has already happened after more than 3,200 of his emails from January to June 2020 were obtained and published by Buzzfeed on Tuesday. The emails showed leading virus experts warned him COVID-19 may have been created in a lab while he publicly played such claims down.

GoF

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“The former director of the Centers for Disease Control received death threats from fellow scientists..”

Ex-CDC Director Threatened For Saying Covid-19 Likely Originated In A Lab (DM)

The former director of the Centers for Disease Control received death threats from fellow scientists after he said during a TV interview that he believed COVID-19 originated in a lab, according to an interview released Thursday. Robert Redfield, who served as the CDC director under Donald Trump when the pandemic began, told CNN on March 26 that he thought the most likely ‘etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory – you know, escaped.’ He said he wasn’t insinuating that there was ill intent, but that was his opinion. After that 10-second sound bite, he told Vanity Fair he was ‘threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis.’ At the time, the Wuhan lab leak was widely considered a ‘fringe theory’ at best, in favor of transmission from an animal to a human.

The Vanity Fair article said ‘death threats flooded his inbox’ from strangers who said he was being racist to prominent scientists, even some he considered friends. One told him to ‘wither and die,’ Vanity Fair reported. ‘I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science,’ Redfield said. Stephen Goldstein, an evolutionary virologist at the University of Utah, wrote an opinion piece on Webpagetoday on April 5 shooting down Redfield’s assertions on CNN. ‘Questions are undoubtedly going to persist about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 until, and if, a definitive answer is uncovered (and perhaps beyond),’ Goldstein wrote. ‘Until then, it’s imperative that leaders in science, public health, and government continue to call for rigorous study and stick to the science of viral evolution and viral ecology in their public commentary. ‘One of the fundamental principles of a life in science is to admit what you don’t know, and never be afraid to look it up. That’s where Redfield falls short, unfortunately on a big stage.’

[..] The magazine outlined the first moments Redfield heard about a mysterious new pneumonia affecting people in a Wuhan market from Dr. George Fu Gao, head of the Chinese CDC, on January 3, 2020. Redfield told Vanity Fair that he thought it was odd that family clusters were getting sick, and Gao later told Redfield that many cases had nothing to do with the market. That’s when it became apparent the virus was jumping from person to person, and Redfield told Vanity Fair he immediately thought of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He wanted to send researchers to the facility to rule it out, but the Chinese didn’t allow it, Vanity Fair reported. ‘A team could rule it out as a source of the outbreak in just a few weeks, by testing researchers there for antibodies,’ according to Vanity Fair.

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“All you need is for an entire profession involved in some very dangerous research to realize that they ****ed up and believe that through their ****up one percent or more of the population in their nation is about to die..”

Where’s The Tar and Feathers? (Denninger)

The so-called “MSM” isn’t even debating these parts of the email dump — they’re playing Ostrich instead, hoping they can bury it by “touting” all the “pressure” that was seen in the trove while ignoring that the archive damns not one man but entire professions including the vaccine/pharma connection. Yes, there is even evidence that the intentional refusal to look at and use existing drugs and the “decision” on how they were going to deal with this goes back that far, before the first American died. Bluntly put these people didn’t just ignore the evidence that accumulated by the summer months they literally ignored it all the way back to the start and thus it can be reasonably argued they are personally responsible for all of the deaths. If you want to know how you generate international hysteria you don’t need some cabal pulling a puppet string.

All you need is for an entire profession involved in some very dangerous research to realize that they ****ed up and believe that through their ****up one percent or more of the population in their nation is about to die with nothing they can do about it, and if it gets pinned on them as it should since they caused it every one of them deserves to be swinging from a rope. Oh, incidentally, Fauci also knew that masks in the general population were worthless. He pointed this out directly; that the virus was too small and would go right though it. His own words folks, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out but cannot say as “it’s against the consensus of experts”, according to Google, Facebook, Twitter and others, without being de-monetized, having videos pulled and risking being banhammered.

Now we know factually that Fauci stated this himself, so now the media and other “tech companies” are enforcing a position that the so-called “expert” generated with an intentional lie and they’ve maintained and forced that intentional lie for a year and are continuing to do so to this day. Now you know how the hysteria, cover-ups and outright lying happened. Now contaminate that with pharma money and you get what we’re doing now.

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This reads like a vaccine ad. “..the virus really is under control, nationwide and in every state, thanks almost entirely to the vaccines.”

But remember this graph, and remember they refused to use HCQ and ivermectin.

Covid-19 Cases Hit Lowest Point In US Since Pandemic Began (Axios)

The U.S. has brought new coronavirus infections down to the lowest level since March 2020, when the pandemic began. Nearly every week for the past 56 weeks, Axios has tracked the change — more often than not, the increase — in new COVID-19 infections. Those case counts are now so low, the virus is so well contained, that this will be our final weekly map. The U.S. averaged roughly 16,500 new cases per day over the past week, a 30% improvement over the week before. New cases declined in 43 states and held steady in the other seven. The official case counts haven’t been this low since Americans went into lockdown in March last year — when the pandemic was still new, no one knew how long this would go on, and inadequate testing meant that cases were undercounted.

Overall, roughly 33 million Americans — about 10% of the population — have tested positive for COVID-19. About 595,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S., making it deadlier for Americans than the past 80 years of wars and other armed military conflicts combined, including World War II. The U.S. largely failed to contain the virus until the vaccines arrived. Cities and businesses began shutting down last March. From there, the virus rolled into a second wave last summer, when cases climbed to over 65,000 per day, on average, and hospitals in many parts of the country said they were overwhelmed. That failure was then eclipsed in the winter, when hundreds of thousands of people per day were contracting the virus and deaths climbed over 3,000 per day for about a month.

But now, the virus really is under control, nationwide and in every state, thanks almost entirely to the vaccines. Just over half of American adults are now fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Cases and deaths are still soaring around the world, especially in the developing world, and the Biden administration is facing consistently mounting pressure to export more vaccines, now that the U.S. has contained the virus. The U.S. was never able to control the virus without vaccines, and it still can’t. The risk is still about as high as it’s ever been for unvaccinated people, as the Washington Post recently reported. An average of about 500 Americans per day are still dying from COVID-19, almost all of them unvaccinated.

There will still be some localized outbreaks in the U.S., especially in areas where relatively few people are vaccinated. But they will likely be small, and vaccinated people will be protected. Over time, the immunity from vaccines will likely wane, which, together with new variants of the virus, will likely require booster shots to stay ahead of another outbreak. For now, though, the U.S. has finally gotten the virus down to a level that just about every expert agrees is safe. Fewer than 20,000 cases per day, spread across the U.S. population of 331.5 million people, is a relatively low number of cases, and that number continues to improve across the board.

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Why not simply get ivermectin? Too cheap?

EU Purchases Its First Monoclonal Antibodies Cocktail For Covid-19 (RT)

The European Union has announced the purchase of 55,000 doses of the Roche-Regeneron Covid-19 drug, marking its first foray into potential treatments involving a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies. The EU announced it secured the shipment of the doses on Wednesday, as the bloc seeks to expand its portfolio of drugs and explores potentially promising treatments that can help in the fight against the virus. The deal was agreed earlier this year but the details were only confirmed on Thursday by an EU spokesperson, who said 55,000 doses of the single-shot treatment had been purchased. Roche stated that the company’s contract will cover 37 countries in Europe, including the UK and other non-EU nations. The cost of the shipment has not been made public by the EU or the pharmaceutical companies.


While the deal agreed between the companies and the EU is for the drug’s infusion version, there is also a shot that has been tested and developed. The Roche-Regeneron treatment is still awaiting formal approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) before the shipment is dispatched, with formal authorization expected between August and October 2021. The EMA is currently in the process of conducting a rolling review of preliminary data. The Roche-Regeneron Covid-19 treatment has already been granted emergency US approval for patients with mild to moderate symptoms, with Washington ordering 1.5 million doses. The monoclonal antibodies treatment seeks to replicate or boost the body’s natural immune response, helping to support Covid-19 patients who are at high risk of developing severe disease.

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Google translate. Holland closed schools not to protect children, but to make parents stay home. Think about how crazy that is.

The Netherlands Used Children As A Weapon In The Fight Against Corona (AD)

Due to the Dutch corona policy to close schools and thus keep parents at home, children have been used as a means to fight the epidemic. Our cabinet receives that hard slap on the fingers today in the annual worldwide children’s rights report, the KidsRights Index. According to the makers, the Netherlands has set a very bad example internationally, by not even trying to keep schools open safely. With all the consequences that entails for the mental health of our youth. The corona guidelines from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child have also been neglected. Youth has not been given any priority in Dutch policy, it sounds.

Statements by corona minister Hugo de Jonge, dated mid-December 2020, are presented as proof. Then De Jonge indeed mentioned on television as the reason why the cabinet decided to close the schools, that parents with children sitting at home will therefore start working from home more quickly. When parents take their children to school, that is another moment of contact, De Jonge explained at the time. “And we also learned from the first wave, when the schools were also closed, that the fact that primary education does not provide physical education also ensures that parents adhere better to another advice, namely: work from home as much as possible. ”, said the minister at the time.

“Children’s rights have been put in second place by the cabinet during corona time,” Marc Dullaert, founder of the international children’s rights organization KidsRights, now told this site. “They were the ankle bracelet for parents. These had to be kept at home in order to effectively fight the epidemic. At the expense of their mental health.” In the first phase, when everyone was looking for the right approach, this was understandable according to Dullaert. ,,But De Jonge’s statements came at a time when it was really no longer acceptable, in the second phase. And other countries – such as Belgium and Sweden – have done everything they can to keep the schools open, so there were alternatives on the table.”

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“..it has a fatality rate of around 54%..”

Delhi Reports Over 1,000 Cases Of ‘Black Fungus’ Amid Shortage Of Drugs (RT)

The number of cases of so-called black fungus, or mucormycosis, has almost doubled in Delhi over the past seven days, reaching 1,044 infections, the local health minister has said. The disease has particularly affected India’s Covid patients. A further 440 people have been diagnosed in the city since last week, when the number of afflicted patients stood at 600. Health minister Satyendra Jain said on Thursday that 89 people had succumbed to the disease in Delhi to date, while 92 others had recovered. The shortage of drugs to treat mucormycosis still remained a problem for the city of 29 million, the minister added. Cases of black fungus have been on the rise in India during the harsh second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.


As of May 25, the country saw 11,700 infections, which prompted several states to declare mucormycosis an epidemic. It also soon became clear that the health authorities didn’t have sufficient quantities of the antifungal drug Amphotericin B for the number of patients. Capitalizing on the weakened immune system in Covid sufferers, the fungi most commonly enter the human body through the nose and mouth before spreading to the lungs, heart, or brain. Its symptoms include facial swelling and black lesions – hence its name – and it has a fatality rate of around 54%. The spike in black fungus incidences among Indian coronavirus patients has been largely linked to the steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed during their treatment for Covid-19.

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The US did this to Ukraine.

Nord Stream 2 To Cost Kiev $3 Billion In Transit Fees A Year – Zelensky (RT)

The completion of the controversial Nord Stream 2 project will deprive Ukraine of about $3 billion annually, with the country’s pipelines no longer necessary for the transportation of Russian gas to Western Europe. That’s according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who told a delegation from the US Congress that America should do what it can to prevent Nord Stream 2 from being completed. Once finished, the pipeline will connect Germany directly to Russia via the Baltic Sea. It aims to protect Berlin’s energy security and make the process less reliant on third countries transiting gas, thereby lowering the price. As things stand, according to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, around 100km remains to be completed, which should be achieved by the end of 2021.


“Only the United States and the administration of President Joe Biden can prevent the completion and commissioning of Nord Stream 2,” Zelensky explained. “Nord Stream 2 will disconnect Ukraine from gas supplies, which means ‘disconnecting’ us from at least $3 billion a year… We will have nothing to pay for the Ukrainian Army.” According to the Ukrainian leader, without this money, the country will no longer have a “powerful and well-supplied army” to continue “defending Europe and European values.” The construction of Nord Stream 2 has been significantly hindered by US sanctions, with Washington imposing numerous packages of measures against companies involved in the building, maintenance, insurance, and certification of the project. The American authorities have claimed that its completion would “undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability.” However, some have accused the Americans of opposing the pipeline for economic reasons, as the country looks to increase its exports of liquefied natural gas to the continent.

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They’ll move into gold.

Russia’s $186 Billion Sovereign Wealth Fund Dumps All Dollar Assets (ZH)

Following a series of corporate cyberattacks that American intelligence agencies have blamed on Russian actors, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund (officially the National Wellbeing Fund) has decided to dump all of its dollars and dollar-denominated assets in favor of those denominated in euros, yuan – or simply buying precious metals like gold, which Russia’s central bank has increasingly favored for its own reserves. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov made the announcement Thursday morning at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “We can make this change rather quickly, within a month,” Siluanov told reporters Thursday.

He explained that the Kremlin is moving to reduce exposure to US assets as President Biden threatens more economic sanctions against Russia following the latest ransomware attacks. The transfer will affect $119 billion in liquid assets, Bloomberg reported, but the sales will largely be executed through the Russian Central bank and its massive reserves, limiting the market impact and reducing visibility on what exactly the sovereign wealth fund will be buying. “The central bank can make these changes to the Wellbeing Fund without resorting to market operations,” said Sofya Donets, economist at Renaissance Capital in Moscow. “This in some sense a technical thing.”

Jordan Rochester, currency strategist at Nomura International PLC, said, “This is a transfer of euros from the central bank to the wealth fund, we’ll then see the central bank the holder of the USDs and it’s up to them to manage it. No initial market impact.” The news isn’t a complete surprise: The Bank of Russia, Russia’s central bank, has steadily reduced its dollar holdings over the last few years amid increasing sanctions pressure from the US and Europe. That trend continued through President Trump’s term. Just a few days ago, we reported that the Russian parliament had just authorized the sovereign wealth fund to buy gold through the central bank. However, the central bank reports its holdings with a six-month lag, making it impossible to determine its current holdings.

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Brilliant Ali on how he wants to be remembered.

 

 


The red train, Landwasserviadukt, Switzerland. Drone photo by Sebastianmzh

 

 

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