Sep 022023
 
 September 2, 2023  Posted by at 8:56 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  38 Responses »


William-Adolphe Bouguereau La naissance de Vénus 1879

 

Happenings Await (Jim Kunstler)
White House Preparing For Biden Impeachment – NBC (RT)
Biden Dragged US Into Proxy War With Russia That Moscow Is Winning – MTG (Sp.)
Rise of BRICS ‘Devastating’ For US – MTG (RT)
Nikki Haley Calls US Senate ‘Most Privileged Nursing Home In The Country’ (G.)
Conflict Should Be Transferred To ‘Russian Territory’ – Ukraine Spy Chief (RT)
US To Send Depleted Uranium Munitions To Ukraine – Reuters (RT)
How Much Do Mercenaries Make in Ukraine? (Sp.)
Only 10% of Western Firms Have Left Russia – Austria (RT)
African Coups Expose And Unravel A Web Of Western Meddling (Marsden)
Russia Inherits Prigozhin’s African Odyssey (Bhadrakumar)
History’s Starting to Rhyme – The Fight for Uranium (Jim Rickards)
JPMorgan Flagged Over $1 Billion In Suspicious Epstein Transfers (ZH)
BRICS and the Future of Humanity (Solo)

 

 

 

 

Sachs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697822863548612813

 

 

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Tucker
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697603136276598857

 

 

DAX Anthony
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697712291163058624

 

 

 

 

17% of Americans got the latest booster. They’ve seen enough.

“..the party will be so badly damaged by then that it will have no other option except to let Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., in to drive out the remaining demons..”

Happenings Await (Jim Kunstler)

In what might be one of his last official acts, “Joe Biden” announced last week that Americans would be “encouraged” to get a new-and-improved mRNA vaccine booster against the new Covid virus strain EG.5 “Eris” (named after the Greek goddess of strife and discord). The “president,” said he asked Congress for funding “for a new vaccine that is necessary, that works…. It will likely be recommended that everybody get it no matter whether they’ve gotten it before or not.” Say, what…? Did the earlier vaccines not work, Joe? Most assuredly they did not. The shots injured, disabled, and killed a great many people, and it staggers the rational mind that the CDC is still pushing these shots. You might conclude that they’re pretending this didn’t happen to evade responsibility. After all, what would be the consequences if these officials admitted that all the previous Covid vaccines were ineffective and harmful?

And what would be the reaction of the 81.3 percent of the population who got at least one dose of the previous vaccines and the 65.6 percent who are “fully vaccinated” with two or more shots? (Note, statistics from the CDC.) I’ll tell you what would happen: the CDC officials and a great many other persons on the public payroll would be in court on criminal charges. And doctors and hospitals would be subject to so many lawsuits they would never again have time to actually practice medicine, while millions of people with damaged immune systems and wrecked organs take flight like so many black swans flapping into the setting sun of their own prematurely attenuated lives. If you care to be astounded, listen to this talk that Dr. Peter McCullough gave to an audience in New Hampshire a few days ago, calling out all the principals who devised the Covid-19 fiasco by name: Ralph Baric, Anthony Fauci, Peter Daszek, and Francis Collins, and then describing exactly how the dastardly act and the cover-up went down.

Speaking of happenings this autumn, expect the war in Ukraine to come to an end. The news media might omit to inform you about this, but it awaits. Russia will not trumpet its victory, so as to avoid inflaming America’s crazed neo-cons. Rather it will just quietly take charge of its successfully neutralized neighbor, make provision for some sort of administration over what remains of the rump state — in a way that affords Russia a sense of permanent security — at the same time that Russia commences new negotiations separately with several European nations to reestablish realistic relations.

The US will be delicately hung out to dry on this. Short of resorting to nuclear World War Three, there is nothing the US can do about it — except for the Democratic Party to blame the whole sorry thing on “Joe Biden” as he is forced to resign from office pending that aforesaid impeachment threat. No other explanation for the end of our Ukraine project will be required. The party of chaos will flounder a while in the very chaos that it induced, trying laughably to switch out Kamala Harris for Gavin Newsom — or some other ploy to stay in business. But the party will be so badly damaged by then that it will have no other option except to let Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., in to drive out the remaining demons and save the venerable old org from suicide.

If you think that these various momentous happenings won’t affect the financial markets and the banking system in the coming season, prepare to be amazed. This is how America truly gets to feel the pain, and this might be how the pitchforks finally come out for the people who wrecked our country.

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Nobody believes McCarthy will actually do it. “He ain’t no Nancy”. He’ll ask for a vote first.

White House Preparing For Biden Impeachment – NBC (RT)

The White House has brought together two dozen legal and media experts to combat an expected Republican effort to impeach US President Joe Biden, NBC reported on Friday, citing a White House aide familiar with the administration’s strategy. According to eight inside sources, the counter-impeachment strategy has reportedly been under development for several months as House Republicans have attempted to investigate the president and his son, Hunter Biden, and their foreign business entanglements. The White House aide who revealed the project to NBC also shared its ultimate goal: to present any impeachment inquiry as an “evidence-free partisan sham that shows a [Republican Party] penchant for chaos.”

The administration’s response will show that its opponents are “out of touch,” one official explained, by juxtaposing Republican attacks on Biden with the president’s work on “economic issues” that affect ordinary Americans. The team has been constructed to prevent any impeachment inquiry from interfering in White House business, the aide explained. This is supposed to allow administration officials to concentrate on their jobs without being “bogged down in the minutia of ongoing investigations.” “Never in modern history has an impeachment been based on no evidence whatsoever,” the aide told the news outlet, implying that taking on the Bidens would constitute such an impeachment.

White House aides on the counter-impeachment team have reportedly spent August’s vacation researching Republican talking points, putting together a message and response team to fight back. They have commissioned polls and studied political ads in the hope of disseminating a unified message supporting Biden to the Democratic Party. The Republican investigation into Biden and his son initially focused on the younger Biden’s alleged crimes, which – according to evidence gathered from a laptop he left in a Delaware repair shop, at least – include influence peddling and corruption as well as more pedestrian drug, gun, and prostitution offenses.

Hunter Biden has not been convicted of anything related to the current investigation, though he was about to enter a guilty plea on tax evasion and gun charges last month before a judge balked at the sweetheart deal he had worked out with prosecutors which would see him avoid a custodial sentence or felony conviction entirely. An issue for an impeachment would be the extent to which the elder Biden was involved in his son’s business deals in countries like Ukraine and China, deals which were directly affected by the policies Joe Biden was making as Vice President under then-president Barack Obama. While the president has denied any knowledge of or participation in his son’s professional activities, email records, as well as the testimony of Hunter Biden’s former business partner Devon Archer, contradict his public statements on the matter.

Comer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697067369770758613

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MTG is, let’s say, a unique voice.

Biden Dragged US Into Proxy War With Russia That Moscow Is Winning – MTG (Sp.)

Republican firebrand Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has consistently spoken out against sending more arms supplies to Ukraine. After the Biden administration signed off on the delivery of DPICM cluster munitions to Kiev in July, the congresswoman warned that Washington was dragging the US into an unwanted war with Russia. US President Joe Biden has every single American “involved in a proxy war with Russia” that Moscow “is winning,” Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) told an audience gathered at a town hall meeting in Floyd County on August 31. The politician, who has been staunchly opposed to how the Biden administration has been bankrolling the regime in Kiev, told constituents: The Republican politician went on to point out that the intelligence community was blatantly “lying” to Americans, claiming that Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, wants to “take over Europe.” “If that was the case… He would be much more aggressive in the war, and he’s not,” the politician, also known by her initials, MTG, emphatically stressed.

“Now, I’m old enough to remember, and I know you are. Every single foreign war America has been involved in… What did we see on television? … Bombing after bombing. Remember all that? Do you guys remember we watched the rockets being fired… We watched troops fighting… How many of you have been able to watch the war in Ukraine that you’re paying for on the nightly news? None of you. You want to know why? America is being lied to about that war. Here’s the tragedy. They’re losing. Russia is winning. That’s the truth,” stated the Georgia congresswoman. MTG weighed in on the cost-of-living issues plaguing the people of America, saying that “energy bills are going up, your groceries are going up… inflation is hurting you. You’re watching your retirement money shrink to nothing because inflation’s going up.” Pointing out that the US federal government was mired in debt “worth $32 trillion,” she queried: “Are we going to end up in another war?”

[..] Reacting to the latest exorbitant military assistance for Ukraine announcement, Marjorie Taylor Greene told the gathering on constituents on August 31: “Washington has sent $113 billion over there. 113 billion. I voted no to every single penny of it. No, I said, no.” She added that there were “innocent people dying every single day” in the Ukraine conflagration. Indeed, despite the massive military assisstance to Kiev, the Ukrainian counteroffensive that started in June has brought no tangible results so far, with the costly Western-gifted weapons destroyed by Russia’s military. The Ukrainian military has sustained tremendous losses, including over 43,000 troops dead and even more wounded. “… But what funding that war means is means we are funding death. We are funding the murder of innocent people,” the congresswoman stressed to the crowd. If the “arrogant leaders” in Washington continue to fund the Ukraine conflagration at the rate they are doing it now, it’s “going to drag on for decades,” said MTG.

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She’s not wrong here.

Rise of BRICS ‘Devastating’ For US – MTG (RT)

As BRICS gains momentum, the US economy becomes weaker because the members of the grouping can circumvent American sanctions and trade in their own currencies, Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene said on Thursday. Speaking to her constituents in Georgia, the Republican congresswoman lashed out at the administration of US President Joe Biden, which she said is turning a blind eye to the rise of BRICS – an economic group which consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa and accounts for more than a quarter of global GDP. The Republican firebrand claimed that while the Washington is “doing… nonsense” – including providing all kinds of support to Ukraine which is locked in a conflict with Russia – “there are other countries in the world, powerful countries, organizing together because they are tired of the United States.”

In this sense, the BRICS countries are making serious trade agreements “where they are saying: we’ll buy from you, you’ll buy from us, we don’t care about US sanctions and we’ll sell to one another, buy and sell in our own currency, not the US dollar,” she stated. “This is one of the most devastating things that can happen to all of us,” Greene claimed. As BRICS becomes more powerful, the US dollar gets weaker, she said. “And you know what happens to all of us? We’re going to go broke,” the congresswoman predicted, adding that this dynamic will negatively affect the retirement plans and personal savings of ordinary Americans. “What is going to happen to our children, when the US dollar means nothing anymore, because Russia, and China, and India with its huge population of billions of people have more buying power in their own currencies than we do?

This is a very serious concern,” Greene said. The congresswoman’s remarks come on the heels of a historic BRICS summit in South Africa, where the group agreed to an unprecedented expansion, admitting six new countries – Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – which will become full-fledged members in 2024. In a declaration summarizing the summit, BRICS, which has historically positioned itself as an alternative to Western-dominated international institutions, reaffirmed its commitment to inclusiveness, while expressing support for the “legitimate aspirations” of African, Asian, and Latin American countries to play a more prominent role in the global arena.

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“An old political saying, that the word “Senate” comes from the same Latin word as “senile”, is circulating again.”

Nikki Haley Calls US Senate ‘Most Privileged Nursing Home In The Country’ (G.)

The US Senate is “the most privileged nursing home in the country”, the Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said. The former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the United Nations, 51, was speaking to Fox News a day after the Republican leader in the Senate, 81-year-old Mitch McConnell, suffered a second freeze in a month, this time while speaking to reporters in Kentucky. “What I will say is, right now, the Senate is the most privileged nursing home in the country,” Haley said. “I mean, Mitch McConnell has done some great things, and he deserves credit. But you have to know when to leave.”

On Thursday, the congressional physician said McConnell was clear to work, perhaps while suffering the after-effects of concussion, sustained in a fall in March, or dehydration. Other falls have been reported, including a “face plant” at a Washington airport, but McConnell has said he will complete his current six-year term, his seventh, which ends in 2026. It was reported on Thursday that some Republican senators were discussing whether to force a confrontation on the issue of their leader’s health. Haley said: “No one should feel good about seeing [McConnell’s freezes] any more than we should feel good about seeing Dianne Feinstein, any more than we should feel good about a lot of what’s happening or seeing Joe Biden’s decline.”

Feinstein, 90, is a Democrat and the senior senator from California. Her health and mental capacity long in question, she has said she will retire next year. Biden, 80, is the oldest president ever elected and would be 86 by the end of his second term if he wins re-election. A recent poll showed that more than 75% of Americans think he is too old to run again. This week, the Guardian reported a claim in a new book that Biden has privately admitted he is occasionally tired. The current Senate is the oldest in US history. An old political saying, that the word “Senate” comes from the same Latin word as “senile”, is circulating again.

Polling shows support for upper age limits for elected officials. Haley has called for mental competency tests for candidates over 75, though aiming such remarks more at Biden than Trump, the 77-year-old Republican frontrunner. “I wouldn’t care if they did [tests] over the age of 50,” Haley told Fox News. “But these people are making decisions on our national security. They’re making decisions on our economy, on the border. “We need to know they’re at the top of their game. You can’t say that right now, looking at Congress.”

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Russian hardliners are going to get tired of this.

Conflict Should Be Transferred To ‘Russian Territory’ – Ukraine Spy Chief (RT)

Kiev should bring the ongoing hostilities with Moscow to Russian territory, the head of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) has said, contradicting Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s earlier statement. Both officials’ comments, however, come as Moscow has repeatedly accused Kiev of staging numerous “terrorist attacks” inside Russia. In an interview with Ukrainian TV anchor Natalya Moseichuk, Kirill Budanov touted a transfer of military action to Russian territory as an “excellent idea.” “The war must be extended to other territory – which for us is clearly Russia – and other areas where they have influence,” he said. According to Budanov, such a tactic would help Ukraine stretch and paralyze Russian forces. “The wider the operations are, the better,” the intelligence official added.

Budanov’s remarks starkly contrast with Zelensky’s comments last month when he ruled out attacks on Russian territory, explaining that this “would pose a great risk that we would be left alone” without the West’s help. Around the same time, however, Mikhail Podoliak, a top aide to the Ukrainian leader, said that Kiev’s Western backers supported the destruction of “everything Russian” in the territories it deems “occupied,” including the Crimean Peninsula, a statement the Kremlin shrugged off as wishful thinking. Russian territory, including Moscow, has come under recurring drone raids targeting civilian facilities in recent months. Ukraine has stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attacks, with Podoliak blaming “unidentified” aircraft instead.

In addition to aerial attacks, Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of attempting to stage incursions into border regions, resulting in intense skirmishes and civilian deaths. In one notable example, in May, a Ukrainian saboteur group infiltrated the Belgorod region, killing one civilian and injuring several others. Kiev claimed this was an operation conducted by the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), comprised of neo-Nazi militants and another collaborationist group called the “Freedom of Russia Legion.”

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Yeah, attack Russian territory with these…

US To Send Depleted Uranium Munitions To Ukraine – Reuters (RT)

The US is set to become the second country after the UK to greenlight shipments of depleted-uranium shells to Ukraine, according to Reuters, despite concerns that such munitions could have a dramatic negative effect on public health and the environment. The munitions are intended for US Abrams tanks, first of which are expected to arrive in Ukraine in the coming weeks, the agency reported. According to several unnamed US officials and a “document” cited by Reuters on Saturday, the depleted uranium shells will be part of the next multi-million dollar arms donation expected to be announced next week. The reported plan follows another highly controversial US move to cluster munitions to Ukraine, which had been criticized even by some of Washington’s closest allies.

Should the US approve depleted-uranium shells for Ukraine, it would follow an earlier move by the UK, which announced similar shipments in March. The UK’s decision left Moscow furious, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying that the delivery would be “taking this escalation to a new and very serious stage.” Russia’s embassy in London accused the US and its allies of being willing to turn Ukraine into “not only an anti-Russian military shooting range, but also a radioactive landfill.” When these toxic shells first showed up in Ukraine, Moscow warned that the UK “will be held accountable” for the irreparable harm caused to civilians and soldiers alike. However, both UK and US officials have disputed health hazards associated with DU shells – which use a dense uranium core to improve their armor-piercing capabilities – and deny studies that the weapons were linked to a spike in cancer and birth defects in Iraq.

In the wake of the British move, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow would respond by placing tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus. He noted that in this respect Moscow’s actions do not differ from those of the US, which has nuclear weapons deployed in five European countries. Moscow said it will only remove these weapons if the US removes its own nuclear missiles from Europe and dismantles the infrastructure associated with them. Ukraine’s Western backers claim that they are not directly participating in the conflict in Ukraine, and have avoided providing certain weapons – notably fighter jets and long-range missiles – that would risk provoking a direct clash with Russia. Nevertheless, they have sent Kiev more than $100 billion worth of arms, while ignoring Moscow’s repeated warnings that every subsequent weapons package brings the US and NATO closer to active participation in the conflict. Furthermore, by enabling Ukraine’s drone attacks on Russian civilians, Western nations have become “sponsors of terrorism,” according to the Kremlin.

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How much of your money, that is.

How Much Do Mercenaries Make in Ukraine? (Sp.)

The Russian military has reported a major uptick in Ukraine’s recruitment of foreign mercenaries. Estimates on just how much these ‘soldiers of fortune’ get paid vary wildly, from less than $1,000 a month to $2,000 per day. Sputnik did a little digging and spoke to a pair of veteran military experts to try to get to the bottom of things. A Bundeswehr vet who volunteered to fight alongside the Ukrainian Army gave a tell-all interview to German media recently, revealing the surprisingly low going rate of foreigners taking part in NATO’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine “It depends on how much time you spend on the front lines. There is a principle of combat payments – that is, they pay for each day spent in battle…Per month, it turns out to about €2,000-€2,500 euros. For Ukraine, this is quite a lot,” the mercenary said.

He added that troops who spend more time on the front can get even more, up to about €3,000 (or $3,260), per month. The merc’s testimony seems to match up with figures put out in February by Russia’s Investigative Committee, which has been collecting information on potential war crimes in Ukraine. According to investigators’ figures, foreigners in Ukraine receive between 30,000 and 100,000 hryvnia (about $815-$2,710). The Investigative Committee launched criminal cases against 160 mercs from 33 different countries, including Georgia, the US, Latvia, Israel and Sweden related to suspected crimes against Russian troops and civilians.

The ballpark figures have also been separately confirmed in an investigation by French media this summer, which uncovered that mercs attached to Ukraine’s infamous International Legion receive a base salary of €500 euros, and up to €3,000 a month when they’re on the front lines. Volunteers also complained about having to pay out of pocket for vehicles, supplies and even small arms, notwithstanding the nearly $100 billion in aid doled out by the West to date for weapons. The monthly figures are a far cry from the smattering of information reported during the early stages of the crisis last year, including reporting by British media in March 2022 on payments of up to $2,000 per day plus bonuses for multilingual former soldiers willing to head to Ukraine to engage in extraction operations.

It also challenges the traditional range of “security contractor” job postings, which similarly cite a pay rate of $500-$1,000 per day, equivalent to a six-figure salary when annualized (assuming that the fighter lives that long). “$1,000-$2,000 a month, I think, is kind of low. If you told me that’s for a day, I’d say okay, I can see that. Maybe a little on the high side, but up to that amount for a commander or something, yes, I can see that. But if you’re talking on a per month basis, actually it’s quite low for a mercenary type of situation,” Earl Rasmussen, a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel-turned international consultant with over two decades of military experience, told Sputnik.

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“Schallenberg said Russia would remain important for the EU, urging the bloc’s lawmakers to “get real.”

Only 10% of Western Firms Have Left Russia – Austria (RT)

More than 90% of Western businesses that were present in Russia before the conflict with Ukraine broke out are still operating in the country, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said on Thursday. In an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Schallenberg also highlighted Russian companies are still active in Austria and Germany, while Vienna’s dependence on gas supplies from the sanctions-hit country remains high. “Exit from the Russian market is a far more complicated process than it is often described,” Schallenberg said. Austria’s reliance on Russian gas supplies has been reduced but still amounts to 50%, the minister said, stressing that the landlocked country cannot build LNG terminals, unlike some fellow EU member states.

“All in all, only 12% of Austria’s energy requirements are covered by Russian gas supplies,” the minister added. “We have created strategic gas reserves, and won’t face intermittent power outages during the upcoming winter.” Earlier this year, Schallenberg said Russia would remain important for the EU, urging the bloc’s lawmakers to “get real.” The minister defended the right of Raiffeisen Bank International, Austria’s second-largest lender, to continue operating in Russia, as it is one of only two foreign banks that is systemically important for the Russian economy, along with pan-European commercial bank UniCredit. “To think that there won’t be Russia anymore and we can decouple in all areas is delusional,” he stated in a March interview with Reuters.

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It all fell apart with the murder of Gaddafi.

African Coups Expose And Unravel A Web Of Western Meddling (Marsden)

French prosecutors have just charged former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who spearheaded Western support for the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, over alleged Libyan financing of Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign. Time sure does fly! It seems like it was just yesterday that the Libyan leader was visiting Sarkozy at the Élysée in the wake of Sarkozy’s 2007 election victory, insisting on making himself comfortable in a traditional Bedouin tent on the lawn of the lavish state guest house. Sarkozy had made a trip to Tripoli himself just a few months earlier, barely weeks after taking office. His spokesman called France and Libya’s anti-terrorist cooperation a “longtime common combat.”

But suspicions about Sarkozy’s motives for leading the regime change charge arose in 2012, when Libyan intelligence officials implicated French agents in the capture and killing of Gaddafi in October 2011, alleging a cover-up related to Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign. Anonymous European officials also started singing the same tune to the Western press. When former US president Barack Obama took office in 2009, Paris insiders said that, given his focus on containing China, Obama delegated much of Africa to the French and Brits – who promptly screwed things up. And Obama was still talking about those screwups in 2016 when he told The Atlantic in an interview that he “had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity, being invested in the follow-up,” in the wake of the French- and UK-backed coup against Gaddafi.

Obama underscored, in the same interview, just how easy it was to “purchase France’s involvement in a way that made it less expensive for us and less risky for [America]” – just by allowing Sarkozy to take credit for the coup. The idea that France or a French president can be “purchased” seems relevant here. These events in Libya should also raise questions about the recent coup in Gabon and the role of France in creating the conditions that ultimately gave rise to it. As with Libya and Gaddafi, Sarkozy also seemed to have an odd fixation with Gabon, making three visits to the country between his election in mid-2007 and February 2010, including shortly after Ali Bongo took power in 2009, with 42% of the vote, in the wake of his father Omar’s death. Kind of weird for a French president whose predecessor, Jacques Chirac – who loved Africa so much he built the Musée du Quai d’Orsay in tribute to it – had lamented his lack of interest in the continent.

“The main interest of my trip is to reaffirm loyalty. I want to show that France is faithful,” Sarkozy said during one of those visits to Gabonese President Ali Bongo in 2010. In the wake of these new corruption charges, it seems that French “loyalty” in the case of Libya may have been tied directly to French presidential or special interests. And, by some accounts, that could also be the case with Gabon.

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“More than anyone, the CIA and Kiev had a score to settle and wanted Prigozhin dead… Projecting Russian influence into Africa is a crucial part of Putin’s foreign policy, and Wagner is the key to this success..”

Russia Inherits Prigozhin’s African Odyssey (Bhadrakumar)

Africa, especially west Africa, has a strong sense of collective identity. Trends in one country have a way of spreading across the continent. Therefore, It might or might not be a coincidence that the military takeover in Gabon on Wednesday came just a day after French President Emmanuel Macron took a tough stance vis-a-vis the generals in power in Niger. Macron not only scoffed at the generals’ demand seeking removal of the French envoy in Niamey and the French troops numbering 1500 personnel in that country but threatened to attack Niger. Apparently, Macron meant business. AFP had reported last week the stern warning by the spokesman for the French general staff, Colonel Pierre Gaudillière, that “French military forces are ready to respond to any resurgence of tension that would undermine French military and diplomatic bases in Niger” and that “measures have been taken to protect these bases”.

But the generals in Niamey hit back despatching a communication to the French foreign ministry that Macron’s envoy, Ambassador Sylvain Itté “no longer enjoys the privileges and immunities attached to his status as a member of the diplomatic staff of the French Embassy”; his “diplomatic cards and visas” and those of his family members “are cancelled”; and, the Niger police “have been instructed to proceed with the expulsion” of Itté. It is a humiliating rebuff to Macron. He has no option now but to dial back his threat. A bloodbath in Niger to vent his anger at the deportation of his ambassador will be disastrous for France’s international standing. Besides, a “known unknown” factor also comes into play which will make Paris (and Washington) think twice — the ghost of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. This needs explaining.

Although no credible source has linked Russia to the coup in Niger, its strong connection with interventions in African countries — Central African Republic, Sudan, Mali and Libya — through the Wagner group leaves unanswered questions. This of course brings up the circumstances of the plane crash of Prigozhin in mysterious circumstances, which Russian investigators now estimate as an act of sabotage. There is no question that Prigozhin was an obstacle to the US/NATO plans in Africa. John Varoli, former foreign correspondent for New York Times, Bloomberg and Reuters TV (who was based in Moscow from 1992 to 2013 and was “trained as a US foreign policy expert with a focus on Russia and Ukraine”) wrote a riveting blog in Substack recently where he concluded on the following lines:

“More than anyone, the CIA and Kiev had a score to settle and wanted Prigozhin dead… Projecting Russian influence into Africa is a crucial part of Putin’s foreign policy, and Wagner is the key to this success. Relations with African leaders are built on Prigozhin’s personal charisma… Likewise, by eliminating Prigozhin and his top officers, NATO has dealt a blow to the Kremlin’s ambitions in Africa… Like with any high-profile assassination, we will never know the full truth. But one thing is for certain — the U.S., certain NATO members and Ukraine benefit the most from Prigozhin’s demise, while the Kremlin gains absolutely nothing. All available information points to Western involvement and guilt.”

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All roads lead to Africa.

History’s Starting to Rhyme – The Fight for Uranium (Jim Rickards)

Another conflict with escalatory potential involves the state of Niger, located in the Sahara desert. A recent military coup d’état overthrew the elected government several weeks ago (although the coup leaders contend the election was fraudulent). Some surveys show that the military junta enjoys broad popular support. Niger is France’s largest supplier of uranium, while France is one of the largest builders of nuclear power plants in the world. France desperately needs to restore order in Niger, including forcing the junta to step aside and reinstate the elected government. France has special forces including the French Foreign Legion ready to intervene. However, France does not want to proceed unilaterally, and is trying to recruit African allies to join the invasion.

The most significant regional grouping is the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which includes both Francophone states like Senegal and Côte D’Ivoire and important Anglophone states such as Nigeria. France is recruiting ECOWAS to participate in its invasion of Niger. ECOWAS members are divided on the idea. In any case, ECOWAS action would require approval of the African Union and possibly the United Nations as well as weeks of mobilization. So no military action is likely for several months at the earliest. There’s no evidence that Russia was involved in the Niger coup, but Russia certainly stands as a major beneficiary. Russia is the other large manufacturer of nuclear power plants in addition to France. Russia gets its uranium from inside Russia, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian republics. (Russia also owns large amounts of U.S. uranium deposits obtained in a deal authorized by Hillary Clinton in exchange for huge donations to the Clinton Foundation).

If Russia can cut off France’s access to Nigérien uranium, it will tighten its hold on global uranium supplies and enhance its position as a provider of nuclear power plants. There is some talk now (not confirmed) that Russia may offer support to the Nigérien coup, including possible deployment of the Wagner Group mercenary army. That would greatly complicate any plans for French or ECOWAS involvement. Again, we would have the specter of Russia (via Wagner) and France (a NATO member) squaring off in a war for uranium in the Sahara desert. The escalatory potential is obvious. By the way, the bloodthirsty Victoria Nuland visited Niger recently and was not warmly received. She departed the country empty-handed. No doubt she left some threats of U.S. support for the French behind.

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“The only reason that JPMorgan after 16 years reported the $1 billion in suspicious transactions was because he was arrested and then he was dead..”

OK, what makes them suspicious? And isn’t there a law that says these MUST be reported -when they happen, not 16 years later?!

Also: what are the names on the transfers? We don’t get even one?

JPMorgan Flagged Over $1 Billion In Suspicious Epstein Transfers (ZH)

JPMorgan flagged over $1 billion in suspicious transactions linked to deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, which the bank reported to the US government, the US Virgin Islands has claimed in its lawsuit against the bank. “JPMorgan was a full-service bank for Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking,” said Mimi Liu, an attorney for the USVI, which says the enormous sum bolsters key allegations in their legal action against the bank, which they say knowingly benefited from Epstein’s wrongdoing, Bloomberg reports, noting that this is the first time in the case that the ‘sheer volume of Epstein’s financial activity at JPMorgan over a 16-year period has been disclosed.’ The suspicious activity was detailed in a 2019 filing to the US Department of Treasury, a USVI attorney told a federal court in Manhattan on Thursday.

The filing was made after Epstein died in a Manhattan jail cell a month after his arrest on sex trafficking charges. Epstein had been with the bank from the late 1990s through 2013, when they finally cut ties with him. Epstein notoriously trafficked some of his victims to a private island in the USVI. JPMorgan denies that it let Epstein’s activities slide, and says it reported around 150 cash transactions to a federal regulator between 2002 and 2013. Last month, the USVI told the judge in the case that the bank facilitated over $1.1 million in payments from Jeffrey Epstein to “girls or women,” many of whom had Eastern European surnames. Over $320,000 of the payments were made to “numerous individuals for whom JPMorgan had no previously identified payments,” Singer wrote, accusing the bank of failing to disclose the payments until after the end of discovery – the period in which parties in a lawsuit exchange evidence.

The bank claims that’s irrelevant, because the USVI doesn’t have legal standing to claim JPMorgan obstructed a trafficking investigation because it wasn’t a victim. That said, Liu is urging the judge in the case to decide various claims in the USVI’s favor without a trial. “The only reason that JPMorgan after 16 years reported the $1 billion in suspicious transactions was because he was arrested and then he was dead,” she said. JPMorgan claims they had no idea what Epstein was up to – pointing to depositions from current and former employees who say they had no knowledge of the trafficking. “There is hotly disputed testimony and evidence,” said Feliia Ellsworth, an attorney for the bank.

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BRICS and human rights.

BRICS and the Future of Humanity (Solo)

In Egypt, there are over 60,000 political prisoners and arbitrary detentions. There is also torture, enforced disappearances, death sentences; the persecution of independent journalists and the repression of any dissent are the order of the day. In Iran, the protests following the murder of the young Masha Amini were brutally repressed, leading to several death sentences after show trials. Here too, arrests (often of journalists, accused of documenting protests and abuses), torture, and enforced disappearances, not to mention discrimination against women and the persecution of gays and lesbians are widespread. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy where human rights are systematically violated, freedom of expression is attacked and women are discriminated against by law.

Here too there are unfair trials, arbitrary detentions and death sentences often imposed for simply participating in sit-ins and protests. With the bombings in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has also caused massacres of civilians and one of the most serious humanitarian crises in the world. In the UAE, consensual same-sex relationships between adults are criminalized and political dissidents are subjected to abuse, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment. Press freedom is hindered and limited by controls and bans. In India, democracy is degenerating into an increasingly totalitarian form and aims to transform a multilingual and multireligious country into a monolithic entity dominated by a fanatical Hindu party. Protests and dissent are repressed and religious and ethnic minorities persecuted.

As of 2022, the NGO Reporters Without Borders ranks China as one of the ten countries in the world with the least freedom of the press. In Russia, conscientious objectors and all those who refuse to participate in the war against Ukraine are persecuted, arrested and imprisoned. Brazil, Argentina and South Africa are the only BRICS members to have abolished the death penalty. China invaded Tibet in 1950 and annexed it in 1959, bloodily suppressing the revolt of the population; a situation that continues today. Russia has been carrying on an invasion war in Ukraine for over a year that has caused thousands of dead and wounded and terrible devastation, which is countered by an equally criminal warmongering policy by NATO, the European Union and the United States.

Currently, only Brazil and South Africa are among the 92 signatories and 68 states parties to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Among the remaining BRICS members India, Russia and China are nuclear powers with expanding arsenals.

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Skull moth
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697615347153510622

 

 

Jump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697496204093899175

 

 

Alpaca
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697525148222464375

 

 

Pelican
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697670469904675303

 

 

Sea slug
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697636709955936532

 

 

Dogfather

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 142023
 


Edward Hopper Railroad sunset 1929

 

The Rape of Lady Justice (Patrick Lawrence)
Trump 1st POTUS in 40 Years Who Feds Didn’t Help Archive Classified Docs (GP)
Trump Could Turn Latest ‘Bizarre’ Bid to Jail Him to His Advantage (Tweedie)
Special Counsel Lied in Trump Indictment (Lee Smith)
Is Special Counsel Smith Singing to an Empty Room? (Turley)
Putin: Ukraine Fails in All Directions of Counteroffensive (Sp.)
Why Can’t Western Weapons Save Day for Ukraine’s Counteroffensive? (Sp.)
US to Provide Ukraine With Depleted Uranium Rounds for Abrams Tanks (Antiwar)
West Told Us ‘To Kill As Many Russians’ As Possible – Ukrainian MOD Chief (RT)
Pentagon Will Replace Destroyed Ukrainian Armor – US State Media (RT)
Nord Stream Scoop, Ukraine and Nuclear War – Ray McGovern (SchP)
US Using Ukraine As ‘Iron Baton’ – Moscow (RT)
Safety On Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant Ensured After Dam Breach – Operator (RT)
House Oversight Panel Subpoenas Former Hunter Biden Associate Devon Archer (ET)
Macron Asks For Invitation To BRICS Summit (RT)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Ep. 3
https://twitter.com/i/status/1668761705982066688

 

 

Ukraine counteroffensive advances…

 

 

Cruz

 

 

Marco Polo

 

 


This map, spanning over 600 million light years on a side, shows that our Milky Way Galaxy is on the edge of the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies, which is connected to the Great Attractor — an even larger grouping of galaxies

 

 

Disinformation
https://twitter.com/i/status/1668637917399621633

 

 

Georgescu

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1668784894946803713

 

 

Putin: We were forced to try to end the war that the West started in 2014 by force of arms. And Russia will end this war by force of arms, freeing the entire territory of the former Ukraine from the United States and Ukrainian Nazis. There are no other options. The Ukrainian army of the US and NATO will be defeated, no matter what new types of weapons it receives from the West. The more weapons there are, the fewer Ukrainians and what used to be Ukraine will remain. Direct intervention by NATO’s European armies will not change the outcome. But in this case, the fire of war will engulf the whole of Europe. It looks like the US is ready for that too.

 

 

 

 

“..the leading Republican candidate who handily defeats the enfeebled incumbent in every poll so far conducted.”

The Rape of Lady Justice (Patrick Lawrence)

Now we have a Miami grand jury handing up indictments on 37 charges related to the documents case. Of these, we must note, 31 counts come under the Espionage Act of 1917. This escalates matters very considerably. A former president and a current contender for the presidency now faces the gravest charge for which American law provides. Trump now keeps company with, among others, Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden — others charged under the Espionage Act since the Wilson administration passed this unambiguously unconstitutional law to silence those critical of America’s entry into World War I a century and some ago.

The D.A. in Atlanta is currently investigating, with a view to possible indictments, allegations that Trump interfered in Georgia during the 2020 presidential election. Jack Smith, the special counsel running the Mar-a–Lago investigation, has another one going in Washington, where a grand jury is considering indicting Trump on charges he incited whatever the liberals are calling the protests of Jan. 6, 2021, these days — a coup, a riot, an insurrection, who can keep track? These are criminal cases. On the civil side, there is the preposterous case of E. Jean Carroll, a never-heard-of-her writer who won a $5 million judgment last month based on her claim that Trump assaulted her in a Bloomingdale’s dressing room in (are you ready?) the early 1990s, yet 15 years earlier than the wholesome Stormy alleges she had her go-around with The Donald. Carroll, keeping the ball in the air, is now going for an additional $10 million in damages.

I will no longer use “the former president” to describe the former president. From here on out it will be “the leading Republican candidate” to run against the enfeebled Democratic incumbent next year. Make that “the leading Republican candidate who handily defeats the enfeebled incumbent in every poll so far conducted.” How’s this for a succinct second mention? There is most certainly a revenge factor behind this legal onslaught against the leading Republican candidate who handily defeats …. Democrats have never got over Trump’s triumph over Hillary Clinton seven years ago, when history was supposed to end and orthodox neoliberalism was to reign without challenge as it is now and ever shall be amen. Trump Derangement Syndrome lives, in short.

But we must look forward to understand events on the legal side over the past couple of months. What we now witness is an open-and-shut case of liberal authoritarians’ misuse of the judiciary to keep Donald Trump out of the political process because they are correctly uncertain they can defeat him by way of it. I am all but convinced that the Biden Justice Department does not give much of a damn whether or not the cases against Trump end in convictions. If I am right, the objective is to keep him tied up in judicial rope until the election next year is fought and won. We are already hearing from the nitwittier of mainstream commentators, Rachel Maddow among them but not alone, that it would be fine were Justice to drop all charges providing Trump commits not to run next year.

Parlatore

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“NARA didn’t assist Trump’s team in archiving documents during the transition — unlike it did for the five prior presidents — then made a criminal referral over the documents it didn’t assist in archiving?”

Trump 1st POTUS in 40 Years Who Feds Didn’t Help Archive Classified Docs (GP)

As we all now know, former President Donald Trump has been indicted on 37 counts of willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements after a special counsel investigation. However, was the president set up by the federal government? That is a possible defense that floated into a letter to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in April by Trump’s attorneys, in which they allege the National Archives and Records Administration “has become overtly political and declined to provide archival assistance to President Trump’s transition team” — the first such incidence of this to happen in 40 years. And there’s a reason why NARA usually aids presidents in the transition.

As The Associated Press noted in a January piece about the Presidential Records Act, the Classified Information Procedures Act and other statutes in question here, Trump is “hardly the first president to mishandle classified information.” For instance, while the Presidential Records Act was signed by President Jimmy Carter, it didn’t apply to his administration. The AP reported Carter “found classified materials at his home in Plains, Georgia, on at least one occasion and returned them to the National Archives, according to the same person who spoke of regular occurrences of mishandled documents. The person did not provide details on the timing of the discovery. “An aide to the Carter Center provided no details when asked about that account of Carter discovering documents at his home after leaving office in 1981.

” It’s notable that Carter signed the Presidential Records Act in 1978 but it did not apply to records of his administration, taking effect years later when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated,” the AP’s account continued. “Before Reagan, presidential records were generally considered the private property of the president individually. Nonetheless, Carter invited federal archivists to assist his White House in organizing his records in preparation for their eventual repository at his presidential library in Georgia.” In a letter to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio in April, former Trump lawyer Timothy C. Parlatore argued that NARA’s cooperation with the outgoing Trump administration differed starkly with what the agency had done with every president since Carter.

“When President Trump left office, there was little time to prepare for the outgoing transition from the presidency. Unlike his three predecessors, each of whom had over four years to prepare for their departure upon completion of their second term, President Trump had a much shorter time to wind up his administration,” Parlatore wrote. “White House staffers and General Service Administration (‘GSA’) employees quickly packed everything into boxes and shipped them to Florida. This was a stark change from the standard preparations made by GSA and National Archives and Records Administration (‘NARA’) for prior administrations.”

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“There’s no more conversation about the other candidates,” he added. “You’ve made Donald Trump the nominee by indicting, effectively.”

Trump Could Turn Latest ‘Bizarre’ Bid to Jail Him to His Advantage (Tweedie)

Federal charges against Donald Trump will only keep him in the media spotlight and help his bid for the presidency, commentators say. Trump is due to appear at a federal court in Miami later in Tuesday for the first hearing over boxes of White House documents found in an FBI raid on his Florida mansion at the Mar-a-Lago golf resort. Writer and editor Jim Kavanagh told Sputnik that the charges would only help Trump as the Republican primaries to select a candidate for the 2024 election loom. “For some reason, they’re terrified of Donald Trump. This is what this just demonstrates, their political fear of Donald Trump. And that’s going to be the problem,” he said. “Clearly they hate Trump for some bizarre reason,” Kavanagh said.

“Normally people in his position, people who are oligarchs or people who are party presidents, even when they do investigations of them, they do the limited hangouts. They don’t go too far with it.” In the wake of charges levelled against Trump in New York for alleged campaign finance violations, the editor of online magazine The Polemicist said President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party administration and “never-Trump” Republicans were looking for any charges to pin on the former president. “I think what it does is it proves to everybody that they’re afraid of Donald Trump,” Kavanagh said. “And that’s the most damning thing I can think of, damning for the Democrats and damning for the American political situation as a whole, that Donald Trump is such a big political presence.”

The writer called the obsession with attacking Trump “bizarre.” “The franticness, the obsessiveness with which they need to feel the need to attack this guy is bizarre to me,” Kavanagh said. “It demonstrates their weakness. They’re helping him, they’re helping to keep him at the center of the political conversation… there’s no use to this for anybody.” Attorney Steve Gill told Sputnik that while federal prosecutors had a strong case against Trump, the case was still “obviously politically motivated.” “The only reason Melania didn’t testify is she would have had to have talked about why did the FBI agents ramble around in her underwear drawer,” Gill said, while Trump could legitimately ask when the Justice Department would act “over all of the documents Joe Biden was stashing completely unsecured in his garage.”

The attorney also stressed that the charge sheet against Trump was excessively long. “Out of the 15 boxes that were at Mar-a-Lago, they’re talking about 131 documents, so they’re overcharging,” Gill said. “Of these 37 counts, 31 of them are repetitive. So they have to keep saying the same thing over again.” Fellow attorney Robert Patillo believed Trump was guilty, but asked why the Democrats and the “deep state” would risk making Trump more popular by casting his as a martyr. “This makes Trump look like he’s persecuted, makes Trump seem that he’s the victim in this situation,” Patillo said. “So why would you want a political persecution against Trump that helps him in the polls, to basically clear of the entirety of the Republican field.”

Ramaswamy

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“..they’re so desperate to avoid Judge Cannon, they lied on the form,” says Patel. “They went forum shopping for a jurisdiction favorable to their case.”

Special Counsel Lied in Trump Indictment (Lee Smith)

The Justice Department’s special counsel team led by Jack Smith lied in the 37-count indictment filed last week against former president and GOP 2024 frontrunner Donald Trump. Page 45 of the 49-page document is a form that prosecutors are required to submit with the indictment. Question number eight asks, “Does this case relate to a previously filed matter in this District Court.” If yes, the questionnaire continues, who was the judge? The correct answer of course is yes. In August, Trump brought a suit in the southern district of Florida to request a special master to review the classified documents seized by the FBI in its raid on his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago. Nevertheless, under the signature of Assistant Special Counsel Jay Bratt, the Smith team answered no — even though the DOJ’s classified documents case is directly related to Trump’s suit.

“They just flat-out checked the ‘no’ box,” says former Trump administration senior official Kash Patel. The one-time federal public defender and federal prosecutor explains that “the indictment requires information for the district court that the prosecutor must be helpful on to facilitate case flow, like asking if there’s a related case. And the rules says that a related case must go the same judge.” The judge in the previous case was Aileen Cannon. Appointed to the bench by Trump in 2020, she ordered the DOJ to stop its review of the seized documents and appointed the special master that the former President requested. Despite an appellate court overturning her decision, “they’re so desperate to avoid Judge Cannon, they lied on the form,” says Patel. “They went forum shopping for a jurisdiction favorable to their case.”

And according to Patel, formerly based in Miami where he tried dozens of cases, that wouldn’t be hard to find. “There are two dozen, maybe 30 judges in that district who would have loved to preside over the trial of the century. Instead, the special counsel drew the one judge they didn’t want to draw, where it should have gone anyway, Judge Cannon.” The court rotation, or “wheel,” randomly landed the case on Cannon’s desk. And now the pathologically anti-Trump mob is directing its fire at her, demanding she recuse herself. “Even if she is personally convinced that she could preside impartially and without any bias or appearance of bias,” Cannon must recuse herself, said Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe. Failing to do so, Tribe told the media, “would violate a federal law regarding a judge’s impartiality.” And if she doesn’t go willingly? Deep State blocking back Norman Eisen says that the chief judge of the district court should strip the case away from her.

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“..Trump may have a better chance running on this case than defending against it..”

Is Special Counsel Smith Singing to an Empty Room? (Turley)

For almost two years, I have written that the most serious threat against Trump would come out of Mar-a-Lago. That torpedo has now hit. Trump’s team is fooling itself if it does not recognize that this has caused damage below the waterline. All indictments tend to diminish with time and adversarial process. As of this writing, we have not heard yet from the defense on these allegations. However, the indictment is full of quotes from lawyers and others made under oath or to federal investigators. If false, either would be grounds for criminal charges. It could also get worse. Trump’s aide, Walt Nauta, has also been charged. According to reports, the Justice Department pressured Nauta and his lawyer for him to flip as a government witness.

Indeed, the defense has charged that prosecutor Jay Bratt suggested that the Justice Department might sink Nauta attorney Stanley Woodward’s application for a federal judgeship unless his client cooperates and changes his testimony. This indictment is clearly designed to concentrate Nauta’s mind on cooperation. If he were to flip (as the person who allegedly moved or concealed these documents), Trump would face a potentially insurmountable case. The problem for the Justice Department is that it has made itself unbelievable in the eyes of many in the public. After years of overt bias and targeting of Trump, polls show that the majority of Americans view the FBI as a politically compromised organization. The use of this type of speaking or “talking” indictment is clearly directed more at the public than at the court or the defendant.

The Justice Department usually prefers a bare-bones indictment, to withhold a full account of its evidence before it has to turn it over to the defense. Smith wanted to show the public that it can trust the government, despite its behavior over the last seven years, as shown most recently by the report of Special Counsel John Durham. This is also the reason Smith turned this indictment into a virtual picture book for public consumption. The Justice Department has left little room for trust among many citizens, and Smith is hoping that these images can change that perspective. But this indictment is likely to do better in the court of law than it does in the court of public opinion. Just as many have Trump fatigue, many also have DOJ fatigue.

This is the third consecutive election in which Trump is being hounded by allegations of crimes. It was immediately preceded by a clear political prosecution in New York State. In other words, the DOJ may have long ago lost the room for this production. That does not mean that Trump can face this deluge of 37 counts and come out dry. The odds favor the government in this type of case. Yet the question is whether there will be a case to prosecute after November 2024. Indeed, whatever the merits of a self-pardon, Republican candidates are already indicating that they would also consider pardoning Trump themselves if they are elected. That is why Trump may have a better chance running on this case than defending against it.

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Putin had a meeting with “military correspondents”.

Putin: Ukraine Fails in All Directions of Counteroffensive (Sp.)

Kiev is so far failing in all directions of their counteroffensive, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, adding that the Ukrainian military has suffered heavy casualties. “The enemy was not successful in any of the directions. They have heavy losses,” Putin said during a meeting with military correspondents. The president mentioned that the Ukrainian military is currently attacking at the Shakhtyorsk and Vremevka directions “but fail to reach the front line.” In total, Ukraine is attacking from four directions, Putin added. “This is a large-scale counteroffensive using, as I said quite recently publicly, reserves prepared for these purposes. It has been going on since [June] 4, and continues to this day, right now,” Putin said. The president also noted that the Ukrainian forces” lost more than 160 tanks [during their counteroffensive], while we lost 54. Some of them can be recovered and repaired.”

“According to my calculations, this is about 25% or maybe 30% of the volume of the equipment that was delivered from abroad, that is about it. It seems to me that if they objectively calculate them, they will agree with this number, but as far as I have seen from open sources, Western sources, that is almost what they say, I think. So the offensive is underway, and the results today are what I just said,” Putin told military correspondents Ukraine lost 160 tanks and 360 armored vehicles during the counteroffensive, and this is only what Moscow sees, the president added. “As for armored vehicles, there are even more serious [losses]. They have lost over 160 tanks and over 360 armored vehicles of various types during this time. This is just what we register. There are also losses that we do not see, which are inflicted by high-precision long-range weapons on clusters of personnel and equipment. So in fact, there are more of them, these losses, on the part of Ukraine,” Putin concluded.

The Russian president noted that with Kiev importing all its weapons and equipment from foreign countries Ukraine’s defense industry will soon completely cease to exist since it is producing nothing. “Ukraine’s defense industry will soon completely cease to exist. What are they producing? They are importing ammunition, equipment, weapons, everything. So one cannot live and last long. That is why the issue related to demilitarization is in a very practical dimension,” Putin highlighted. Russia definitely had no interest in the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant (HPP), this tragedy had entailed severe consequences for new Russian regions, and the responsibility for this lies with Kiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “But as we understand, we are definitely not interested in this, because these are serious consequences for those territories that we control and which are Russian — this is the first point.

And the second point — well, unfortunately, I will say a strange thing, but nevertheless, unfortunately, it slowed down their counteroffensive in this direction. Why do I say unfortunately? Because it would be better if they were advancing there. It is better for us, because it would be really bad for them to attack there. But since such a flood occurred, then, accordingly, the offensive did not take place,” Putin told reporters. The president stressed that the Ukrainian side was to blame for the tragedy at the Kakhovka HPP. “Well, it is clear who is to be blamed, the Ukrainian side was striving toward this. You know, I am not going to say things 100% now that I am not sure about, because by and large we did not record big explosions before the destruction occurred, at least that is what I was told. But they purposefully repeatedly attacked with HIMARS Kakhovka HPP. Maybe they had planted some kind of explosives there, I do not know now,” Putin said.

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“Having met with Russian technology, Western technology turned out to be not on par, neither in terms of armament, nor in armor, nor in maneuverability..”

Why Can’t Western Weapons Save Day for Ukraine’s Counteroffensive? (Sp.)

The first days of the well-advertised Ukrainian counteroffensive have borne no tangible results prompting disappointment among Western military analysts. What’s behind the failure? “I would say that the counteroffensive is less than what [the West] expect[s],” Michael Maloof, former senior security policy analyst in the US Office of the Secretary of Defense, told Sputnik. “The extent to which the Ukrainians are undertaking any so-called counteroffensive is more of a probing action than an actual assault and onslaught.” Per Maloof, the failure could be largely attributed to poor planning, lack of manpower, resources and training. The Ukrainian military has so far failed in all directions of their counteroffensive, despite receiving billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment from the US and its NATO allies.

In the first week alone, the Kiev regime forces lost thousands of casualties, along with more than a dozen of German Leopard 2 tanks, nearly two dozen of US-made Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and several French AMX-10 RC light tanks. The pictures of destroyed Western military equipment have already been circulated by the media and social networks. The Russian armed forced has destroyed a vast amount of Ukraine’s military equipment since day one of the special military operation, including: 442 airplanes and 238 helicopters, 4,585 unmanned aerial vehicles, 426 air defence missile systems, 9,939 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, 1,122 combat vehicles equipped with MRLS, 5,100 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 10,927 units of special military equipment, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

“For some reason, the West believed that the appearance on the battlefield of Western equipment, especially Leopard tanks, would confuse the Russian army, and the Russian army would give up its principles, but the West miscalculated he,” Anatoliy Matviychuk, military expert and retired colonel, who has experience in combat operations in Afghanistan and Syria, told Sputnik. Matviychuk has drawn attention to the fact that the Russian military has repeatedly participated in local conflicts and peace missions starting from 1979. Therefore, despite all the shortcomings of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian military equipment has undergone development and is up to date in terms of modern warfare challenges. “Having met with Russian technology, Western technology turned out to be not on par, neither in terms of armament, nor in armor, nor in maneuverability,” said the expert He placed special emphasis on maneuverability flaws of Western armored vehicles.

Per him, the Eastern European military theater with its freeze, river floods, mud, swamps and other critical weather conditions became a serious challenge for the NATO military equipment. The Ukrainian military has faced a plethora of logistic problems including that the German 60-ton battle tanks could not cross some of Ukraine’s bridges. Europe and the world have suddenly realized that Western-style equipment is not “second to none” in many respects, that it has its own shortcomings, along with its advantages, according to the military analyst. Russia’s relatively rapid obliteration of Western weapons and lack of any tangible victories on the front could affect weapons supplies, according to Sputnik’s interlocutors. “I think countries will begin to see that whatever they’re putting into the mix is getting destroyed rather quickly,” said Maloof.

“Bradleys have already been destroyed. They are sitting ducks. Some Leopard tanks have been destroyed already. The countries that have them cannot continue to supply unless they go into a war time production. And their economies cannot support that right now. They’ve got to start facing reality. They’re not doing that despite the political rhetoric of support. And I think this gives Ukraine a very false sense of not only bravado but a false sense of support. That is not going to continue, because reality dictates otherwise. Look, the European industries are hurting because they on their own cut off their nose to spite their face by cutting off all oil and gas from the east, from Russia. Their quality of life has depreciated greatly. This is going to affect Europe for decades to come.”

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Completely bonkers. They just hired a few people to say it’s harmless.

US to Provide Ukraine With Depleted Uranium Rounds for Abrams Tanks (Antiwar)

The Biden administration is expected to provide Ukraine with controversial depleted uranium ammunition for use with US-made Abrams tanks, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Depleted uranium is a byproduct of enriched uranium and is extremely dense, making it a good material for penetrating armor. But depleted uranium is radioactive, and it’s been linked to cancer, birth defects, and environmental damage in areas it’s been used, including Iraq, where US forces frequently fired the toxic munitions and the impact is still being felt today. According to the Journal report, there has been a debate within the White House over whether or not to provide Ukraine with depleted uranium rounds. Some officials have raised concerns about the criticism the US could face for providing weapons that might cause health and environmental damage.


The Pentagon has been pushing for the US to arm the Abrams tanks it sends to Ukraine with depleted uranium. The US is refurbishing old Abrams tanks that are expected to arrive in Ukraine by the fall. US-made Bradley Fighting Vehicles can also be armed with depleted uranium, earning them the nickname “tank killer.” Earlier this year, the White House refused to say if it would provide Ukraine with Bradleys armed with the controversial ammunition. The UK has sent depleted uranium rounds to Ukraine for use with the British-made Challenger 2 tanks. The British took the step despite Russian warnings that it would treat Ukraine’s use of the radioactive ammunition the same as a dirty bomb. Russian President Vladimir Putin said his decision to deploy nuclear weapons to Belarus was a response to the UK arming Ukraine with depleted uranium.

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“We were said, ‘No, dig trenches and kill as many Russians as you can before it’s over.”

West Told Us ‘To Kill As Many Russians’ As Possible – Ukrainian MOD Chief (RT)

In the initial days of the conflict in Ukraine, Kiev’s Western backers wanted its forces to make do without military aid and “kill as many Russians” as they could before admitting defeat, Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov has told Foreign Policy magazine. Before NATO leaders pledged to back Ukraine’s war effort for “as long as it takes,” the quantity and quality of arms that the West was willing to send to Kiev was unclear in the days and weeks after Russian forces entered the country. “We asked, ‘can we have stingers?’” Reznikov told Foreign Policy in an interview published on Tuesday. “We were said, ‘No, dig trenches and kill as many Russians as you can before it’s over.’ People thought our victory was impossible.”

Now, Reznikov boasted, Ukraine has been given “Bradleys, Strykers, Abrams, Leopards, and more,” and will soon be equipped with American-made F-16 fighter jets. The White House maintains that American arms deliveries to Ukraine – worth more than $40.4 billion to date – are intended to help Kiev score as many battlefield successes as possible before the conflict is eventually settled at the negotiating table. However, some American officials and lawmakers are more direct with their views. “The Russians are dying,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky during a visit to Kiev last month. “It’s the best money we’ve ever spent.” The Kremlin called Graham’s statement “cannibalistic,” and Russian officials have repeatedly pointed to similar utterances from the Ukrainian government as proof that the military operation must be seen through to its conclusion.

Reznikov told Foreign Policy that Ukraine intends to drive Russian forces back to Ukraine’s pre-2014 borders, which would involve capturing the historically Russian territory of Crimea. He insisted that Russia would not defend its land with nuclear weapons – as Russian nuclear doctrine prescribes – calling the nuclear threat “a bluff.” Despite their promises to retake Crimea, Ukrainian troops are currently faltering as they attempt to breach Russian defensive lines near Zaporozhye. The Russian Defense Ministry estimates that Kiev has lost thousands of troops and scores of Western-provided vehicles in more than a week of attacks without the cover of air support. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the losses of the Ukrainian army “impressive” and blamed the country’s government for taking actions that pushed the situation to the current “tragic” state.

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“.. it may take months or years before the weapons, which come under the banner of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, are contracted by the department..”

And then it still needs to be manufactured..

Pentagon Will Replace Destroyed Ukrainian Armor – US State Media (RT)

The Pentagon will announce on Tuesday a new presidential drawdown of its stockpiles in support of Ukraine’s fight against Russia, Voice of America has reported, citing anonymous officials. The $325 million worth of equipment will include Stryker and Bradley armored vehicles that “can replace those damaged and destroyed in the Ukrainian counteroffensive currently underway,” defense sources told the US government-funded outlet on Monday. The upcoming aid package is set to become the 40th of its kind since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict started in February 2022. Washington has allocated over $100 billion for Ukraine-related spending, including some $40 billion in direct assistance.

In addition to new armored vehicles, the new package will include munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), the sources said. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley are visiting Brussels this week to attend a series of NATO meetings. One of the gatherings will be of the so-called Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a key vehicle for coordinating weapons supplies to Kiev by Washington and its allies. Last week, the Pentagon announced the allocation of an additional $2.1 billion in weaponry for Ukraine, though the hardware in that package must be manufactured rather than drawn from American stockpiles.

Bloomberg suggested that it may take months or years before the weapons, which come under the banner of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, are contracted by the department. Last week, Kiev launched its long-expected counteroffensive, pitting its Western-provided tanks and other weapons against Russian defensive positions. So far the thrust has been largely unsuccessful and costly, a fact acknowledged even by some media outlets sympathetic to Ukraine. sMoscow perceives the conflict as part of a US-led proxy war against Russia. It has warned that flooding Ukraine with weapons simply increases the cost of the war but will not alter its outcome.

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“No one has refuted what he had said. They’ve just offered alternative stories.”

Nord Stream Scoop, Ukraine and Nuclear War – Ray McGovern (SchP)

Let’s begin with Hersh’s report. I know Sy Hersh, he’s a friend of mine. There’s no better reporter or meticulous observer of the rules of reporting, namely protecting your sources, that there’s no one better. Okay. And that’s why precisely why sources come to Sy, so to speak. So he had it right, in my view. No one has refuted what he had said. They’ve just offered alternative stories. Okay. Now, about three weeks after Sy issued his report on Substack. No publication would receive and publish it. Fewer of prize winning. Revealer of My Lai in the works and no one would publish science. That speaks volumes as well. Anyhow, three weeks after, as I recall, I had an opportunity to brief the U.N. Security Council. Professor Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia first briefed them via video stream and then I briefed them in person.

They’re sitting around that horseshoe desk. I couldn’t stop thinking about Colin Powell, and anyhow. So I reached them. And the morning of the briefing, we had a paper circulated by the Danes and the Germans and the Swedes saying, We’re deep into our investigation of the Nord Stream pipeline blow up. We don’t need any help. We got it covered. We certainly don’t need a U.N. Security Council to get involved. We got we got a cover that was circulated to everyone on the Security Council that morning. Okay. So those were the talking points. They got the memo, so to speak. Okay. So everybody talked to those talking points. And the Russian ambassador Nebenzya, said, you know, this is kind of hard to understand. Here’s an act of war. Here’s the U.N. Security Council established precisely for the purpose of looking into these things.

And, you know, it’s sort of hard. What’s the hesitation? And and the Chinese representative gave him very, very strong support. I noticed that the Brazilian representative was sitting just about four people down from me, was sort of shuffling his feet and hemming and hawing. And what he said was very mediocre, like, I don’t know, pretty much I don’t really have instructions. Well, that that put that judgment off for a couple of weeks. I think about three weeks since there was a resolution had to be acted on. And so the vote finally came. And when I saw the vote, I saw I first saw the reports. Hey. Russia, for. China, for. Brazil, for. Anybody against? Nobody against. Nobody against? The 12 were all abstentions. Good. You setting a new record for abstentions, though?

Ray McGovern

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“The US is demanding “a result from neo-Nazis – to break through the Russian positions,” no matter the cost, Antonov claimed..”

US Using Ukraine As ‘Iron Baton’ – Moscow (RT)

The US has no plans to push for a peaceful settlement of the Ukraine conflict, and is instead using Kiev as a weapon against Russia to achieve its own goals, Moscow’s ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Antonov, claimed on Tuesday. In a statement on Telegram, the envoy warned Washington is “being deeper and deeper dragged into the abyss of the Ukrainian crisis,” after the US unveiled its latest security assistance package to Kiev worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Antonov accused the US of pushing the situation in Ukraine to “an even greater tragedy” while pressuring dozens of other countries to supply Kiev with weapons in a bid to inflict “a strategic defeat on Russia on the battlefield.”

The US is demanding “a result from neo-Nazis – to break through the Russian positions,” no matter the cost, Antonov claimed. The envoy also suggested that the White House was keen to demonstrate “success” in the fight against Russia in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election. “Americans are not ready to stop at anything. They are not interested in negotiated solutions. Nobody is bothered about the fate of Ukraine, which is used only as an iron baton against Russia.” However, the ambassador insisted that Western weapons would not turn the tide of the conflict, warning that the arms “will again be turned into a pile of twisted metal.”

On Tuesday, the administration of US President Joe Biden unveiled a new $325 million military assistance package, bringing the total value of security assistance provided to Kiev since the start of the conflict in February 2022 to more than $40 billion. As part of the measure, the US has committed to supply Ukraine with additional rocket and artillery munitions, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, and two-dozen armored vehicles. The announcement came after Ukraine launched its long-expected counteroffensive against Russia. Kiev’s troops have thus far failed to gain any ground and have suffered heavy losses, according to the Defense Ministry in Moscow.

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Next false flag target?

Safety On Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant Ensured After Dam Breach – Operator (RT)

Russia will ensure the safety of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant following the Kakhovka dam disaster, Renat Karchaa, an adviser at the country’s national nuclear operator Rosenergoatom, said on Tuesday evening. “We can say with high confidence that the nuclear safety of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant will be maintained in full,” Karchaa told TV channel Rossiya-24. He added that a mobile pumping station was being delivered from a nuclear plant in Smolensk in order to help cool the reactors if necessary. Five of ZNPP’s six power units are shut down. One reactor is currently producing a low level of power to keep the facility operational. Normally, the plant relies on the Kakhovka Reservoir for water to cool its reactors. The Kakhovka hydroelectric dam, which sits close to the front line separating Russian and Ukrainian soldiers, broke on June 6, flooding the city of Novaya Kakhovka, as well as Kherson and surrounding areas.


The water levels have since gradually dropped, according to Vladimir Saldo, a top Russian regional official. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi warned earlier that the destruction of the dam could disrupt the normal functioning of the ZNPP. He said on Sunday that the water level by the Zaporozhye Thermal Power Plant, which is located not far from the nuclear facility, had decreased significantly, however, “water pumps continue to be operable.” Grossi, who arrived in Kiev on Tuesday, plans to visit the nuclear power plant and assess the risks. Moscow and Kiev have blamed each other for the dam disaster. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Ukrainian troops “repeatedly” fired rockets at the dam during their conflict with Russian forces.

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Archer knows a lot. Like Hunter, he was also on Burisma’s board. Will he sing?

House Oversight Panel Subpoenas Former Hunter Biden Associate Devon Archer (ET)

The House Oversight Committee has issued a subpoena to Devon Archer, the former long-time business partner of Hunter Biden, as part of its ongoing investigation into the business dealings of the Biden family. The committee, led by Chairman James Comer, is particularly interested in Archer’s involvement in the family’s international business deals, which included countries like China, Russia, and Ukraine. The subpoena compels Archer to testify at a deposition before the panel on June 16, focusing on attempts by foreign nationals to influence high-ranking U.S. officials’ family members through financial incentives. In a letter to Archer’s attorney, Comer emphasized the importance of Archer’s role, highlighting his multiple meetings with then-Vice President Biden, including at the White House.

“Both information that the Committee has reviewed and public reporting indicates that Mr. Archer played a significant role in the Biden family’s business deals abroad, including but not limited to China, Russia, and Ukraine,” Comer wrote. “Additionally, while undertaking these ventures with the Biden family, [Mr. Archer] met with then-Vice President Biden on multiple occasions, including in the White House. Mr. Archer’s testimony is critical to the Committee’s investigation.” The committee’s investigation aims to obtain communications and documents that could shed light on potential financial crimes or misconduct involving the Biden family’s foreign business dealings.

In his letter, Comer accused the Biden family of receiving significant amounts of money from foreign companies without providing clear legitimate services. “Mr. Archer is associated with corporate entities that the Committee has identified and the Biden family’s role in each of them,” Comer wrote. “Furthermore, he has significant information regarding the purpose of these companies and knowledge of relevant documents related to the Committee’s investigation.” The committee seeks to reform government ethics and disclosure laws to ensure transparency into the income, assets, and financial relationships of immediate family members of vice presidents and presidents, Comer said.

Watters

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Like inviting Putin to NATO.

Macron Asks For Invitation To BRICS Summit (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron has asked South African President Cyril Ramaphosa for an invitation to the upcoming BRICS summit in Pretoria, French newspaper L’Opinion reported on Monday. Macron’s recent attempts to win over his African counterparts have fallen flat. Macron raised the possibility of attending the summit during a phone call with Ramaphosa earlier this month, L’Opinion stated, citing sources in the Elysee palace. According to one “well-informed” source, Ramaphosa was non-committal. “Presence at this summit was mentioned during the conversation between the two leaders, but Pretoria gave no indication of whether or not to extend this meeting to other international leaders,” the source said.

If Macron were to attend the summit, he would be the first leader of a G7 nation to do so. BRICS leaders and Macron apparently share a desire to overhaul the global financial and geopolitical order, with Macron hosting a conference in Paris next week aimed at overhauling the financial system to better benefit the developing world. Ramaphosa is due to attend the conference, and a cordial meeting between him and Macron could set the stage for the French president to make history in Pretoria. However, Macron’s relations with the rest of the BRICS bloc – Brazil, Russia, India, and China – are fractious at best, and Paris has sent mixed messages to these nations. For example, Macron has called for peace negotiations in Ukraine and put himself forward as a potential mediator, yet has backed a Ukrainian-drafted peace plan that Russia categorically rejects, while continuing to send heavy weapons to Kiev.

Likewise, Macron has asserted that Europe must not follow the US into a confrontation with China, and has opposed the opening of a controversial NATO liaison office in Japan. However, he signed a joint communique with other G7 leaders last month labeling China “the greatest challenge to global security and prosperity in our time,” a position identical to that of the US. Meanwhile in Africa, Macron’s condemnations of Russia have irritated France’s former colonies on the continent, who see Russia as a more reliable partner than their former master. Since the term was first coined in 2001, BRICS has grown from an acronym into an informal alliance that has overtaken the US-led G7 bloc in its share of global GDP, has its own development bank, and counts Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Argentina among 19 prospective members.

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10-year old girl

 

 


This is the Sacra di San Michele, a 1,000 year old monastery in the mountains of northern Italy. It is one of the greatest achievements of Medieval architecture, and it inspired Umberto Eco to write The Name of the Rose…

 

 

MELO

 

 

Buffalo

 

 

STOP
https://twitter.com/i/status/1668688202293452807

 

 


Blue Penguins are the smallest type of penguin. Adults grow just to an average of 33 cm (13 in) in height and 43 cm (17 in) in length. Due to their small size and bright color they are often called Fairy Penguins

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 262023
 


Vincent van Gogh Tulip fields 1883

 

Can a Woke Military Win Wars? (Kimball)
The Status Of Ukraine’s Much-hyped ‘Counteroffensive’ Against Russia (RT)
Ukraine Risks Losing Western Support If Counteroffensive Fails – NYT (RT)
British Depleted Uranium Already In Ukraine (RT)
West Turning Ukraine Into ‘Radioactive Landfill’ – Embassy (RT)
US May Be Preparing Biological War Against Russia – Patrushev (TASS)
G7 Ban On All Exports To Russia ‘Not Doable’ – FT (RT)
China Doesn’t Want Peace In Ukraine, Czech President Warns (Pol.eu)
Russia Lists Obstacles To Moving UN From New York (RT)
Lavrov: West’s ‘Schizophrenic Logic’ And UN Head’s Letter (TASS)
Will America Win From De-dollarisation? (Fazi)
Decision on Trump Indictment to Be Announced ‘In the Near Future’ (ET)
FDA: Vaccines Don’t Have to Prevent Infection or Transmission (ET)
Whistleblower: US Govt Is ‘Middleman’ In Child Trafficking Op (Fox)
Just 3% of Australians Know the Great Barrier Reef is at a Record High (DS)

 

 

 

 

Ed Dowd M2
https://twitter.com/i/status/1650984403202625536

 

 

Tucker Zelensky
https://twitter.com/i/status/1650651758249533441

Tucker JFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1650841641375223810

 

 

 

 

Biden by Trump

 

 

Rostov
https://twitter.com/i/status/1650760804923211776

 

 

 

 

Choice:
1) We want to win.
2) We only want to win if everybody uses the right pronouns.

Can a Woke Military Win Wars? (Kimball)

For a couple of years now, the U.S. military has had a serious recruitment problem. That isn’t really a surprise. Our leaders have injected the entire menu of radical “woke” ideology into the tissues of the military establishment. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, worries about “white rage” and supports teaching critical race theory to the troops. When Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin took office under President Joe Biden, he issued a 60-day “stand down” order to the entire military in pursuit of battling “extremism” and achieving “equity” in the military. In March 2022, the Biden administration announced a new policy under which people suffering from gender dysphoria would not only be allowed to serve in the military but also would have their “gender reassignment” surgery paid for by taxpayers.

Traditionally, conservative families, especially conservative working-class families, supplied a large percentage of military recruits. Those families aren’t thrilled by the intrusion of such politically correct sentiments into an institution hitherto marked by its commitment to traditional moral and martial values. They aren’t interested in sending their children to be catechized by anti-American Marxists or apostles of sexual exotica. The Biden administration seems blissfully unaware of this reality. At least, I assume it’s unaware of what two retired Army generals called “a major threat to our national security.” Otherwise, it would be difficult to explain Biden’s recent executive order regarding “environmental justice.” According to the White House, the new order is part of the administration’s “whole-of-government effort to confront longstanding environmental injustices and inequities.”

Of course, we live at a time when everything is potentially racist. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg even argued that highway designs in the United States are “racist.” So it should come as no surprise that “environmental justice” is really just an aspect of “racial justice.” “For far too long,” the executive order reads, “communities across our country have faced persistent environmental injustice through toxic pollution, underinvestment in infrastructure and critical services, and other disproportionate environmental harms often due to a legacy of racial discrimination including redlining.” And let’s not forget the other big-ticket item on the agenda of the left: “climate change.” “These communities with environmental justice concerns face even greater burdens due to climate change,” the White House stated.

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“..only 20,000 of the 100,000 troops assembled are actually combat-ready..”

The Status Of Ukraine’s Much-hyped ‘Counteroffensive’ Against Russia (RT)

So far, Ukraine’s planned military assault, originally announced for November 2022, has been postponed indefinitely. Foreign sources differ in their assessment of Kiev’s readiness for a counterattack against Russia and agree that it is difficult for the Ukrainians to gather enough forces. What is stopping the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) from advancing now? One of the main problems preventing the AFU from carrying out the announced offensive is considered to be a lack of experienced personnel. A large portion of the combat-ready, equipped and motivated cadre units of the AFU (as well as the NGU and Territorial Defense) have already been destroyed in Mariupol, Artemovsk, Soledar, Popasnaya, Lisichansk, Severodonetsk and during the battles in the Kherson and Kharkov regions in the summer of 2022. Meanwhile, a new grouping of equal professionalism and equipment levels has not yet been formed. However, NATO and US officials differ in their estimates of the number of AFU formations.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said after the Rammstein Contact Group meeting earlier this year that Western countries had managed to prepare nine armored brigades. This figure is questionable, however, as at least 837 tanks would be needed for that size of a deployment. After Rammstein, Austin reported deliveries of 230 battle tanks, suggesting a deliberate misrepresentation of the size of the Ukrainian group. How many reserves has the AFU built up? Michel Goya, a French army colonel and renowned expert on modern warfare and combat innovation, disagrees. He estimates that no more than three or four Ukrainian brigades could realistically be trained and armed by NATO and the US in the time frame allowed. At the same time, the recently popular estimate of the number of Ukrainian reserves for a counterattack at 200,000 looks doubtful, since in this case the AFU forces would have to exceed the combined US and NATO forces at the time of the attack on Iraq in 2003 by 30,000-40,000 (at that time it was 160,000 men).

The most likely figure is 80,000-100,000, which have been trained both inside and outside Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s military operation. There is an important caveat. Apart from the combat experience and capabilities of the grouping, it is not clear which forces are the combat-ready vanguard and which are support units (the so-called “tooth-to-tail” ratio). If the AFU is planning an offensive like the US in Iraq, only 20,000 of the 100,000 troops assembled are actually combat-ready, the rest are support and sustainment forces.

What difficulties does the AFU face? The conceptual problem of the offensive is the lack of surprise. AFU units are waiting in all directions – from Artemovsk to Kherson, so it is extremely difficult to surprise Russian forces in such a situation. Moreover, the movements of the Ukrainian army are well monitored, and it is almost impossible to accumulate a group of 20,000-150,000 troops unnoticed in such conditions. If they abandon massing their soldiers, and spread the forces across the front, all the advantages of large numbers are lost. An additional difficulty is time. Delaying an offensive means not only guaranteeing the loss of Artemovsk/Bakhmut, which is being cleared at the rate of two or three blocks every 24 hours, but also disrupting the plans of foreign partners and nullifying all the financial and military aid provided so far. Moreover, every day that the AFU’s offensive is delayed is an extra day for the Russian army to prepare and reinforce.

Prigozhin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1650908155440775188

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Ukraine never had a chance, but they got the support regardless.

Ukraine Risks Losing Western Support If Counteroffensive Fails – NYT (RT)

Ukraine is far from guaranteed to succeed in a counteroffensive against Russia despite receiving Western weapons, training, and intelligence support, the New York Times has stated. An underwhelming outcome would likely prompt Kiev’s backers to press it to negotiate for peace, the newspaper predicted. Kiev has long touted an upcoming push as the next decisive phase of the conflict with Russia. The NYT claimed on Monday that the offensive could be launched as early as May, although Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal recently assessed that it might not get underway until the summer. According to classified documents shared as part of the Pentagon leaks, Ukraine is planning to use 12 combat brigades of about 4,000 troops each in its renewed campaign against Russian forces.

The US and its allies have helped train nine of those units, with soldiers being taught to use Western-provided equipment and receiving tactical advice at American military facilities in Germany. Ukraine’s partners are also expected to provide it with intelligence for the proposed assault. “Everything hinges on this counteroffensive,” Alexander Vershbow, a former US ambassador to Russia and senior NATO official, said of the future operation. “Everybody’s hopeful, maybe over-optimistic. But it will determine whether there is going to be a decent outcome for the Ukrainians.” Kiev has ruled out negotiations with Moscow until it recaptures all the territories that it claims as its own. However, even with all Western help, “big gains are not guaranteed, or even necessarily likely,” the NYT warned.

The newspaper cited Ukrainian battlefield losses, heavy expenditure of munitions, and Russian troops digging in and preventing the enemy from using Western-taught warfare as working against Kiev. After the push is over, “there is little chance that the West can recreate the buildup… for the foreseeable future” the report argued. The US and its allies have largely exhausted their military inventories after flooding Kiev with military aid, causing gaps that are unlikely to be filled until next year, experts assessed. Meanwhile, Russia is ramping up pressure against Ukraine despite previous setbacks, meaning that “the window to make significant gains… may not remain open indefinitely,” the NYT stated. With larger reserves at its disposal, Moscow could emerge victorious in the conflict, it acknowledged.

Politico previously reported that the White House was bracing itself to mitigate the fallout from a potentially poorly-executed Ukrainian counteroffensive. A temporary truce could give Kiev time for a military buildup before another offensive at a later point, US officials claimed to the outlet.

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“Asked whether the government has a responsibility to “help clear up depleted uranium rounds” used in Ukraine after the conflict, the minister stated it has “no obligation” to do so..”

British Depleted Uranium Already In Ukraine (RT)

The UK government has already started shipments of depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine, Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said, noting that the British military would not attempt to track where the weapons are used. In response to questions from Scottish MP Kenny MacAskill, Heappey confirmed on Tuesday that DU munitions for the UK-made Challenger 2 tank had already arrived in Ukraine, though declined to comment on Kiev’s “usage rates for the rounds provided.” “We have sent thousands of rounds of Challenger 2 ammunition to Ukraine, including depleted uranium armour-piercing rounds,” he said, adding the weapons “are now under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU)” and that the Defence Ministry “does not monitor the locations from where DU rounds are fired by the AFU in Ukraine.”

Asked whether the government has a responsibility to “help clear up depleted uranium rounds” used in Ukraine after the conflict, the minister stated it has “no obligation” to do so, instead stressing “Ukraine’s immediate needs.” While Heappey has claimed the health and environmental risks posed by depleted uranium are “low,” citing the “monitoring of UK military veterans” performed for a government study in 2007, more recent research suggests the munitions could carry health hazards after all. The United States used DU ammunition heavily during its two wars in Iraq, with some researchers claiming the weapons could be linked to a spate of birth defects later observed in the country. According to Doug Weir, an expert with the Conflict and Environment Observatory, when DU penetrators strike a target, “they fragment and burn, generating chemically toxic and radioactive DU particulate that poses an inhalational risk to people.”

Both the US and UK governments have long disputed the alleged dangers, however. In March, British and American advisers oversaw special training for Ukrainian troops for how to handle DU rounds, which will primarily be used for the Challenger 2 tank. London previously vowed to send a total of 14 of the tanks to Ukraine, though it is unclear whether any have reached the battlefield. Moscow has repeatedly urged against foreign arms shipments to Kiev, namely the British DU munitions, with the Foreign Ministry condemning London for “absolute recklessness, irresponsibility and impunity.” Last month, the Russian military also warned that the use of uranium shells is likely to “cause irreparable harm” to the health of Ukrainians and inflict “tremendous economic damage to the agro-industrial complex” in the region, citing the weapon’s impact in Iraq.

Tucker USnukes

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“..given the “chemotoxic and radiotoxic” properties of DU. Moscow has urged foreign powers to cease all weapons shipments to Ukraine..”

West Turning Ukraine Into ‘Radioactive Landfill’ – Embassy (RT)

Russia has condemned the UK’s decision to send depleted uranium shells to Ukraine, saying the move marks an “all-out escalation” after the British Defence Ministry confirmed the radioactive weapons were already in Kiev’s hands. Moscow’s UK embassy issued a statement on Tuesday after senior official James Heappey acknowledged that the British DU munitions had arrived on the battlefield, to be fired from Challenger 2 tanks also supplied to Ukraine. “James Heappey’s comments are a grim testament to the ruthlessness of the Anglo-Saxons’ policy of all-out escalation of the ‘proxy conflict’ they themselves unleashed in Ukraine,” it said. “He cynically stated that London is not monitoring the deployment of these weapons and has no obligation to eliminate the consequences of their use following the end of the conflict.”

“It has by now become self-evident that the West intends this country to become not only an anti-Russian military “shooting range,” but also a radioactive landfill – with all the ensuing grave consequences for the health of local residents and the environment in the region”. The embassy went on to say that the British government would be responsible for the effects of the “toxic ammunition” and could not escape accountability by passing them off to Ukrainian forces. In an interview with RT last week, Russia’s envoy to Britain, Ambassador Andrey Kelin, warned that DU munitions will be a “terrible thing… for the agriculture and for the people” of Ukraine, saying radioactive residue could contaminate the country’s water and soil “for at least six generations.”

Both UK and US officials have disputed the purported health hazards associated with DU shells – which use a dense uranium core to improve their armor-piercing capabilities – and deny allegations that the weapons were linked to a spike in cancer and birth defects in Iraq. Heappey has claimed depleted uranium carries only “low” health and environmental risks, pointing to a 2007 government study. He later added that the Defence Ministry would make no effort to track where Ukrainian forces use British-supplied DU rounds, and had “no obligation” to assist clean-up efforts after the conflict.

However, according to Doug Weir, an expert with the Conflict and Environment Observatory, uranium munitions generate “chemically toxic and radioactive DU particulate” when they strike hard targets, adding that the dust poses “an inhalational risk to people.”Other recent research has also indicated the weapons could produce “adverse health outcomes” given the “chemotoxic and radiotoxic” properties of DU. Moscow has urged foreign powers to cease all weapons shipments to Ukraine, arguing the aid would not deter its military aims but only prolong the conflict. After the UK announced its decision to supply depleted uranium rounds to Kiev last month, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Western nations would like to “see Ukraine completely destroyed” and are acting with “absolute recklessness, irresponsibility and impunity.”

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May sound a bit crazy, but Patrushev is not crazy.

US May Be Preparing Biological War Against Russia – Patrushev (TASS)

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev urged Russia on Tuesday to counteract US efforts to launch a biological war against it and other countries. “Specific biological research being used by the United States in developing military programs requires the closest attention of our scientific community,” Patrushev said, urging proactive efforts to counteract preparations for a biological war against Russia and other countries. Patrushev elaborated on technological breakthroughs that he said “may affect the global balance of power further down the road.” He referred to “an avalanche-like increase in global research in the sphere of IT and quantum technology, as well as AI.” “Experts claim that the use of such technologies can [lead to] and has already prompted a social transformation,” the top Russian security official said, calling for a thorough analysis into the problem.

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Cut it out already..

G7 Ban On All Exports To Russia ‘Not Doable’ – FT (RT)

A US proposal for G7 nations to introduce a complete ban on exports to Russia has met with strong opposition from the EU and Japan, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed officials. According to the outlet, a draft statement prepared for a three-day G7 summit in Hiroshima in May includes a bold proposal to replace the current sector-by-sector penalties against Moscow with a full export ban, albeit with exemptions for areas such as agricultural and medical products. The US is reportedly pushing the plan amid concerns that existing sanctions contain loopholes that allow Moscow to continue importing technology from the West. However, lawmakers from Japan and EU member states reportedly suggested in a preparatory meeting last week that the measure would be impossible.


“From our perspective it is simply not doable,” said one official who spoke to the FT on condition of anonymity. Last week, Bloomberg reported that G7 nations were discussing a potential outright ban on most exports to Russia as part of a broader agenda to tighten economic pressure. Since February 2022, the EU alone has adopted 10 packages of anti-Russian sanctions in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has warned against a blanket export ban, arguing that it could result in a full-scale global economic crisis. Former Russian president and current deputy chairman of the National Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, warned that Moscow could quit the Black Sea grain deal if the G7 imposes a total ban on exports to Russia.

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He’s literally straight out of NATO.

China Doesn’t Want Peace In Ukraine, Czech President Warns (Pol.eu)

China cannot be trusted to mediate peace between Russia and Ukraine, Czech President Petr Pavel is warning, telling POLITICO that Beijing benefits from prolonging the war. His comments come as China is trying to position itself as a peacemaker in Ukraine, recently floating a vague roadmap to ending the conflict. And while most Western allies have been skeptical of the overtures, some countries like France insist China could play a major role in peace talks. Pavel, a former general and senior NATO leader, was unequivocal, however. When it comes to Ukraine, he argued, China only wants what’s best for itself — and, for now, that’s more war. “I believe that it is in China’s interest to prolong the status quo,” Pavel said, “because it can push Russia to a number of concessions.”

Beijing, he said in an interview late last week, can get cheap oil, gas and other resources from Moscow — in exchange for its “no limits” partnership with the Kremlin. “It is also good for China that the West is probably becoming a little bit weaker by supporting Ukraine,” he added. Pavel’s remarks seemed prescient when, only hours after he spoke, China’s ambassador to France provoked indignation by proclaiming that former Soviet countries have “no effective status” in international law — a comment that came in response to a question about whether Crimea belongs to Ukraine. Although Beijing on Monday distanced itself from the remarks, the incident has stoked the heated conversation around whether China can ever help bring peace to Ukraine. “I don’t think,” the Czech leader said, that “China has a real interest to resolve the war in a short time.”

Pavel, who took office as president last month, said Beijing is using the war to learn. “China is taking lessons out of the conflict every day,” Pavel said. “They closely follow what Russia is doing, how the West is reacting.” Pavel, who chaired NATO’s military committee from 2015 to 2018, won the Czech presidential race earlier this year on a pro-Western platform. Now, he is using his knowledge of the alliance’s inner workings and his extensive military experience — highly unusual for a European leader — to advocate for more effective support for Ukraine and a more nuanced approach to NATO defense policy. During a visit to Brussels last week, Pavel floated the idea of creating a new proposal for extending defense companies’ production lines — possibly using a mix of national and European subsidies — so that they could have extra capacity to draw upon in times of crisis.

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“a lot of reasons” why national governments are reluctant to leave the largest city in the US, with one of them being that “they have real estate there..”

Russia Lists Obstacles To Moving UN From New York (RT)

UN member states are against the idea of moving the organization’s headquarters out of New York City mainly due to financial limitations, according to Pyotr Ilyichev, a high-ranking official at the Russian Foreign Ministry. “[Russia] would, of course, like to relocate [the UN HQ] to some other more neutral spot, like Geneva or Vienna, but many member states don’t want to leave New York,” Ilyichev, who heads the Department of International Organizations at the ministry, said on Monday. According to the diplomat, there are “a lot of reasons” why national governments are reluctant to leave the largest city in the US, with one of them being that “they have real estate there. It’s hard for them to sustain two [UN] missions, so they have everything situated in New York. Those are more of the financial and economic reflections.”

Russia is “thinking” about moving the UN headquarters out of New York, where it has been located since the formation of the global body in 1951, he said. “The Austrians and the Swiss are more neutral” compared to the Americans, Ilyichev stated. Besides its New York-based headquarters, the UN also has offices in Geneva, Vienna, and Kenyan capital Nairobi. A Russian delegation headed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had difficulties with obtaining US visas to attend UN Security Council (UNSC) meetings in New York on Monday and Tuesday. The country’s journalists were denied permits to enter the US by the American authorities altogether, without any explanation.

Lavrov argued that such behavior by the US isn’t worthy of a UN host nation. The Americans have just “chickened out,” he suggested, while promising that the move won’t be left unanswered by Moscow. Russia, which currently holds the presidency of the UNSC, had planned some “major newsbreak events” in New York this week and barring the pool of the country’s reporters from participating was completely unacceptable, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said. When asked about the possibility of relocating the UN headquarters to another country on Monday, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov replied that it was “an issue of additional thinking, additional analysts.”

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“The Americans have started the de-dollarization process.”

Lavrov: West’s ‘Schizophrenic Logic’ And UN Head’s Letter (TASS)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has branded as schizophrenic the West’s statements that talks between Russia and Ukraine will be possible only after Kiev’s counteroffensive at a news conference in New York. The minister said that Moscow declared all its goals during the special military operation, but would like to learn what the West is up to in Ukraine. He also urged those who theoretize about the possibility of the Third World War to show responsibility. Among other things, the minister also spoke about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s possible response to a letter by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Below are Lavrov’s main remarks, made at a news conference to sum up the results of his visit to the United States within the framework of Russia’s presidency in the UN Security Council.

“Now, this funny theory has emerged: let us we (Western nations – TASS) ensure Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive and then we will ask Ukraine, [President Vladimir] Zelensky to begin talks. But this is schizophrenic logic. We don’t want any threats to our security to come from Ukrainian territory and these threats have been accumulating there for years, especially after the state coup in February 2014.” Speaking about whether achieving peace in Ukraine is possible this year, he said: “Hopes and expectations are not what I’m paid for.” Russia declared all its goals during the special military operation, but would like to learn what the West is up to in Ukraine, and “would also like to hear from our Western colleagues, as a reciprocal move, what goals are they pursuing there.”

[..] Ukraine’s urgent accession into the European Union will expose the organization’s true goals, the Russian foreign minister said. It “will prove that its membership is not about meeting some kind of criteria, that it is a purely geopolitical game of grabbing as many territories as possible that are unclaimed or about to become unclaimed.” Meanwhile, the European Union “is militarizing on the double and is turning into an aggressive entity dead set on containing Russia.” This affects, among other things, the union’s admission policies: “This is what the European Union is like now: if you are conducting anti-Russian policies, your chances [of membership] are very good.”

In Lavrov’s words, “sanctions against Russia are indeed such that no one has ever seen and could hardly imagine, but for us it is a clinched question. We are well-placed for not depending on such behavior of Western colleagues that have proved the lack of deal-making skills.” “Preparations are underway for a new round of the global dominion war, or rather the war for an attempt to maintain global dominion. It may probably slow down the natural process of the formation of multipolar world order, but not for long.” “The shift to settlements in national currencies bypassing the dollar, the euro and the yuan, to digital currencies can no longer be stopped, and the future of the international currency financial system, including the IMF, the World Bank, remains to be seen,” he said. “”The Americans have started the de-dollarization process.”

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“As Wolfgang Münchau wrote, by weaponising international reserves, the US had “taken the biggest gamble in the history of economic warfare..”

Will America Win From De-dollarisation? (Fazi)

The most important element in the debate over the utility of Western sanctions against Russia, is also the most ignored. The sanctions regime mostly comprises of restrictions that have been deployed before, such as export bans and the freezing of certain assets. Even the controversial exclusion of a number of Russian banks from the main international banking message system, SWIFT, was not exceptional, having already been used against Iran. But the freezing of Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves, worth around $300 billion — about half of its overall reserves — was significant. While the US had behaved similarly with Afghanistan, Iran, Syria and Venezuela, none of these targets was remotely as powerful as Russia: a member of the G20, and the world’s largest nuclear power. Likewise, none of the 63 central banks that are members of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel — known as the central bank of central banks — had ever been the target of financial sanctions, not even during the Second World War.

At the time, the decision received relatively little attention. Future historians, however, will look back on it as the trigger that set in motion one of the biggest snowball effects in history, one which now threatens the very foundations of the American Empire. In our age of fiat money, reserves aren’t held in the form of physical dollars (or other currencies) stashed in the vaults of foreign central banks. They are simple IOUs — a credit recorded in the accounting sheets of the Federal Reserve and other central banks. In the dealings between countries, just as in the dealings between individuals or companies and commercial banks, trust is therefore fundamental: just as you would never deposit your salary in a bank if you had even the remotest fear that it might freeze or confiscate your money, no country wants to hold reserves which may be snatched away at any moment.

This move, therefore, violated an almost sacred principle: the neutrality of international reserves. The message was clear: from now on, the US would stop at nothing to punish countries that stepped out of line or defied Western diktats. And if this could happen to Russia, a major power whose central bank reserves were mostly earnings from sales to the West, it could happen to anyone. As Wolfgang Münchau wrote, by weaponising international reserves, the US had “taken the biggest gamble in the history of economic warfare”. In one fell swoop, he noted, the US had “undermined trust in the US dollar as the world’s main reserve currency”, and encouraged China and Russia to “bypass the Western financial infrastructure”. For non-Western nations — especially China, which is heavily exposed to US assets — disengaging from the dollar, and more in general from the US-led international monetary and financial system, acquired a sudden urgency.

De-dollarisation was not something that would happen overnight, that much was clear. But the wheels of history were set in motion. It is no coincidence that most of the world’s nations didn’t join the West in slapping sanctions on Russia, but quietly started strengthening their ties with Russia and China in an effort to reduce their dependence on the dollar-centric system. In just over 12 months, the world has undergone a greater tectonic shift, in geopolitical terms, than it has in decades: the long-heralded post-Western international order — comprising the BRICS and dozens of other countries making up most of the world’s population — has finally become a reality. The US, as former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers recently said, is lonelier than it has ever been.

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“Willis characterized Trump’s wording during the call as evidence of “criminal disruption” of the 2020 election, and has based her case on charges around that allegation..”

“The President participated in two perfect phone calls regarding election integrity in Georgia..”

Decision on Trump Indictment to Be Announced ‘In the Near Future’ (ET)

A Georgia district attorney wrote in a letter dated April 24 that she intends to announce potential indictments resulting from a probe into former President Donald Trump and his associates for alleged interference in the 2020 election with his calls for investigations. “In the near future, I will announce charging decisions resulting from the investigation my office has been conducting into possible criminal interference in the administration of Georgia’s 2020 General Election,” Fani Willis, District Attorney of Fulton County, Georgia, wrote in a letter addressed to Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat on Monday. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported the letter. Willis wrote she would announce the charging decisions between July 11 and Sept. 1.

Willis’s Monday announcement was the latest update in the special-purpose grand jury investigation she launched in 2021 and led thereafter. While the grand jury proceedings had occurred behind closed doors, the probe is believed to center on a 2020 phone call between Trump, Trump’s legal team, and Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his team. “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state,” Trump allegedly told Raffensperger during the phone call on Jan. 2, 2021, a transcript of which was released by media organizations.

Willis characterized Trump’s wording during the call as evidence of “criminal disruption” of the 2020 election, and has based her case on charges around that allegation. The grand jury heard testimony from Trump’s former associates, including Rudy Giuliani and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Trump has denied all allegations of wrongdoing on his part. The grand jury was discharged in January. In early February, the Fulton County Superior Court released a portion of the jury panel’s report, which did not include the list of names to whom indictments were recommended. Emily Kohrs, the grand jury’s foreperson, told media outlets in February that the group recommended indictments.

“The long awaited important sections of the Georgia report, which do not even mention President Trump’s name, have nothing to do with the President because President Trump did absolutely nothing wrong,” Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung told CNN in a following statement in February. “The President participated in two perfect phone calls regarding election integrity in Georgia, which he is entitled to do—in fact, as President, it was President Trump’s Constitutional duty to ensure election safety, security, and integrity,” Cheung added.

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Redefine the redefinitions..

FDA: Vaccines Don’t Have to Prevent Infection or Transmission (ET)

Vaccines don’t have to prevent infection or transmission to be cleared in the United States, the country’s top regulatory agency said in a new document. “It is important to note that FDA’s authorization and licensure standards for vaccines do not require demonstration of the prevention of infection or transmission,” Dr. Peter Marks, a top official at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said in the document. Marks was writing as he rejected nearly all recommendations from a group of experts that advised the FDA to update the labels for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines are traditionally known as drugs that prevent an illness. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for years said a vaccine is a product that “produces immunity” while vaccination is an injection of an infectious organism “in order to prevent the disease.”

The agency changed its definitions after people correctly noted that COVID-19 vaccines do not prevent infection. The Coalition Advocating for Adequately Labeled Medicines, a group of experts, had called for the FDA to make clear that the COVID-19 vaccines don’t prevent infection or transmission. “There is a widespread (but inaccurate) notion that efficacy against infection and transmission have been established by substantial evidence, and that these vaccines contribute to herd immunity,” the group said, pointing to claims from President Joe Biden, the head of the CDC, and Dr. Anthony Fauci that vaccinated people would not get sick or infected. Biden, for instance, falsely said in 2021 that “you’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.”

“To remedy this situation, language clarifying that phase III trials were not designed to determine and failed to provide substantial evidence of vaccine efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 transmission or death must be added to labels,” the coalition said. SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19. While it’s uncommon to include in product labeling what a product has not been proven to do, there are cases where it’s necessary due to inaccurate assumptions, the coalition said. They pointed to the FDA stating that the influenza medicine Tamiflu “has not been shown to previous serious complications of influenza” after the drug’s manufacturer said it reduced complications by nearly half.

Marks rejected the request, writing that the petitioners included “selected statements by U.S government officials suggesting that vaccination against COVID-19 may prevent infection or transmission” but omitted statements from Fauci and others that later acknowledged vaccines don’t prevent infection or transmission. “In responding to your Petition, we are not agreeing or disagreeing with any of the statements that are selected in the Petition,” Marks said. “Rather, we are observing that the statements referenced by the Petition do not demonstrate a commonly held belief that the clinical trials provided substantial evidence of efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We are not convinced that there is any widespread misconception about this.”

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“Today, children will work overnight shifts at slaughterhouses, factories, restaurants to pay their debts to smugglers and traffickers. Today, children will be sold for sex,..

Whistleblower: US Govt Is ‘Middleman’ In Child Trafficking Op (Fox)

A House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Wednesday will feature the testimony from a whistleblower who will warn lawmakers that the U.S. has become the “middleman” in a multibillion dollar migrant child trafficking operation at the border. The hearing, “The Biden Border Crisis: Exploitation of Unaccompanied Alien Children,” will be held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement and will examine the surge in unaccompanied children (UACs) at the southern border. According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics, the number of UACs who arrive at the border has swelled from 33,239 in fiscal year 2020 to more than 146,000 in fiscal year 2021 and 152,000 in fiscal year 2022. So far in fiscal year 2023, there have been more than 70,000 encounters of unaccompanied children.

When child migrants are encountered at the border, they are transferred into the custody of Health and Human Services (HHS) and then united with a sponsor – typically a parent or family member already in the U.S. According to Customs and Border Protection statistics, the number of unaccompanied children who arrive at the southern border has surged since fiscal year 2020. But the Biden administration has been rocked by a number of reports that officials have been unable to make contact with more than 85,000 child migrants; and more recently, administration officials reportedly ignored signs of “explosive” growth in child labor. A number have been forced into indentured servitude to pay back smugglers and have worked in dire conditions.

The Wednesday hearing will hear from three witnesses: Tara Lee Rodas, a HHS whistleblower formerly with an inspector general’s office; Sheena Rodriguez, founder and president of Alliance for a Safe Texas; and Jessica Vaughn, director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies. Rodas will warn of a problem that predates the administration but has increased significantly during the recent migrant crisis, according to a copy of her written testimony obtained by Fox News Digital. “Today, children will work overnight shifts at slaughterhouses, factories, restaurants to pay their debts to smugglers and traffickers. Today, children will be sold for sex,” she will say. “Today, children will call a hotline to report they are being abused, neglected, and trafficked. For nearly a decade, unaccompanied children have been suffering in the shadows.”

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“For decades, scientists and their media messengers have hyped up the temporary loss of coral to secure grants and promote political causes..”

Just 3% of Australians Know the Great Barrier Reef is at a Record High (DS)

Three-quarters of sampled Australian green voters believe the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is doing worse than usual, with 44% stating the coral is at a record low. Overall only 3% of all Australian voters knew that the coral was at a “record high” – the correct answer following two years of record growth that has broken all previous records. These findings are not a surprise, since the true picture on the reef has been downplayed, even hidden, by mainstream interested parties in the media and in science. The results come from a survey carried out by the Australian Environment Foundation (AEF) and is the work of coral authority Dr. Peter Ridd and science journalist Jo Nova. They note that the poor scores reflect badly on media coverage that reports every local coral bleaching event, but rarely the rapid recovery.

“It’s almost as if Australians have been subject to years of misinformation,” they say. The silence on the health of the corals is “deafening”. Jo Nova has an idea why the media work so closely with the science establishment to suppress the real story: “Corals are thriving but Australians are spending half a billion dollars to save them.” As atmospheric scientist Richard Lindzen says, the climate narrative is absurd, but trillions of dollars say it is not absurd. It can be argued that few scientific propositions are more absurd than the suggestion that the recent gentle warming spell is leading to the destruction of coral reefs around the world. In a recent report, Dr. Ridd noted that the IPCC said in 2018 “with high confidence” that corals would decline worldwide by 70-90% if temperatures rose just 0.4°C.


Data on coral in many parts of the world are less reliable than for the GBR, but Ridd said it seemed that across the globe there has not been a major drop in coral cover to date. Corals grow in waters between 24°C and 32°C, and in fact often grow quicker in higher temperatures. But they dislike sudden changes in local water temperature caused by natural weather events such as El Niño oscillations. As a result they often bleach, but the evidence suggests they rapidly return to health as natural conditions become more stable. On the GBR, conditions have been testing until recently with powerful El Niños causing rapid temperatures changes, and cyclones smashing the shallow corals. For decades, scientists and their media messengers have hyped up the temporary loss of coral to secure grants and promote political causes surrounding climate Armageddon. It obviously worked – and is still working.

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White blood cells

 

 

 

 

Rotation

 

 

 

Different
https://twitter.com/i/status/1650581322640027648

 

 

 


Ospreys have vision that is well adapted to detecting underwater objects from the air. Prey is first sighted from above the water, after which the bird hovers momentarily and then plunges feet first into the water

 

 

Octopus

 

 


The Megalodon is an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 23 to 2.6 million years ago. Fossil remains suggest that it reached a maximum length of 20 meters

 

 


Secretary bird

 

 

High road
https://twitter.com/i/status/1650798507609972736

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 242023
 


Gustav Klimt Pine forest II 1901

 

US Facing New Global Reality Post Xi-Putin Summit, Says Expert (TASS)
US ‘Uneasy’ About China’s Peace Plan For Ukraine – Media (RT)
Pompeo Warns Of Biden Administration’s ‘Enormous’ Mistake (RT)
The ‘Junior Partner’ Meme Gives No Insight To Real Changes (MoA)
‘The United States of America Is Our Enemy,’ Says Medvedev (TASS)
Medvedev Says Diplomacy Doesn’t Always Work, Special Op Was Right Move (TASS)
Effects Of Depleted Uranium In Ukraine Cannot Be Controlled – Zakharova (TASS)
Nato Chief: West Must Brace To Support Ukraine In A Long War (G.)
Ukraine Deployed Over 80,000 Servicemen Around Bakhmut – Prigozhin (TASS)
Ukraine Welcomes ICC Office (RT)
Hungary Says It Won’t Arrest Putin (RT)
House Judiciary Committee Expands Probe Into Alvin Bragg (PM)
CIA Planted Nord Stream Stories in NYT, German Outlets – Hersh (Celente)
Biden Played Direct Role in Addressing Hunter’s Business Deals (Turley)
FOIA Document Shows Government Anticipated Mass Vaccine Injuries (Horowitz)

 

 

 

 

Marseille
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638887827999174656

 

 

OZ

 

 

 

 

Blinken
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638925911905955841

 

 

AI

 

 

 

 

“..the US and the entire West have to consider this rapidly changing international environment, and that it may be better to cooperate with it, rather than to lose more and more influence by opposing this peace plan..”

US Facing New Global Reality Post Xi-Putin Summit, Says Expert (TASS)

A German political activist urged the United States and its Western allies to pay heed to rapid changes underway in the international arena following Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s Moscow visit. In an interview with TASS on Wednesday, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the US-based Schiller Institute, said that China’s peace proposal “is not only endorsed by Russia, but is supported by the entire Global South.” “The initial reaction of [US] President [Joe] Biden was to reject it, as did some other leaders of the EU. But it is now becoming clear to the whole world who is trying to establish peace, and who is trying to prolong and escalate the war,” Zepp-LaRouche emphasized, when asked whether the Chinese leader’s visit to Russia could usher in peace in Ukraine.

According to her, Western establishments “are still completely underestimating the reality that there is a powerful renaissance of the non-aligned spirit occurring right now.” “The countries of the Global South are determined to end colonialism for good in its new cloth, and they do not want to be drawn into a geopolitical conflict between the US and Russia, or between the US and China, with whom many of them have very beneficial economic ties,” she underscored. Zepp-LaRouche praised as spectacular China’s diplomatic success “in getting Saudi Arabia and Iran to return to diplomacy and cooperation,” and said that Beijing had proven that “it can be a surprising peacemaker.” “So, the US and the entire West have to consider this rapidly changing international environment, and that it may be better to cooperate with it, rather than to lose more and more influence by opposing this peace plan,” she noted.

In February, the Chinese Foreign Ministry published a position paper on a political settlement of the crisis in Ukraine. The twelve-point document includes calls for a ceasefire, respect for the legitimate interests of all countries in the field of security, settlement of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, the exchange of prisoners of war between Moscow and Kiev, as well as the cancellation of unilateral sanctions imposed without a corresponding decision of the UN Security Council. In the published document, China described dialogue and negotiations as the sole way of resolving the crisis in Ukraine and called on all parties to support Moscow and Kiev in “moving toward each other”, urging a resumption of direct dialogue as soon as possible. The world community should create conditions and provide a platform for the resumption of talks, the document emphasized.

Following talks with Xi on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that many provisions of China’s peace plan on Ukraine could be used as a basis for the conflict settlement whenever the West and Kiev were ready for that. At the same time, he pointed out that so far, “no such readiness” could be seen.

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“..with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claiming that China does not have “much credibility” on the issue..”

US ‘Uneasy’ About China’s Peace Plan For Ukraine – Media (RT)

There is a “sense of unease” in the White House about the consequences of its dismissal of the Chinese peace plan for Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing an unnamed official in the administration of President Joe Biden. In February, the US publicly brushed off the roadmap for peace presented by China for the conflict between Russia and its neighbor. However, Bloomberg reported that Washington now fears it could be “backed into a corner” by Beijing’s proposals, with the Biden administration said to be concerned that it has created the impression that the US does not want peace. America’s stance could be used by Beijing to convince nations that are weary of the conflict that the US has no interest in ending the hostilities, Bloomberg added.

“China will likely ramp up messaging that the US is opposed to a ceasefire, that the US is opposed to the end of the war,” former Pentagon official Bonny Lin, who is now a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the media outlet. The Bloomberg report follows a three-day visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow this week, during which he held extensive talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Moscow had previously welcomed the Chinese peace initiative for Ukraine, and during this week’s talks Putin expressed his readiness to discuss and build upon it. He also reiterated that Moscow is willing to seek a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

The peace plan presented by China called for the resumption of talks between Moscow and Kiev. It also condemned unilateral sanctions, and urged the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations to be upheld. Along with Washington, other Western powers largely brushed off the initiative, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claiming that China does not have “much credibility” on the issue. However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken did later admit that the plan includes “positive elements.” Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized the Biden administration for failing to prevent what he described as a “wedding” between Moscow and Beijing. Downplaying the increasingly close ties between Russia and China “is an enormous strategic mistake,” Pompeo insisted.

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“They have allowed the Russians and the Chinese to come together in this way and it presents enormous risk to the US and every citizen..”

Pompeo Warns Of Biden Administration’s ‘Enormous’ Mistake (RT)

The Biden administration is making “an enormous strategic mistake” by downplaying the importance of rapidly expanding Russia-China ties, Mike Pompeo, who served as US secretary of state under Donald Trump, has said. The alliance between Moscow and Beijing “may be a shotgun wedding, but they’re still married,” Pompeo told Fox News on Wednesday. “To hear the White House play this down as if it’s insignificant or unimportant is an enormous strategic mistake,” he said. Pompeo, who was speaking hours after Chinese Xi Jinping concluded his landmark visit to Moscow, where multiple deals were signed, stressed that China has been “getting energy at a discounted price” from Russia.

“Think about that. American manufacturing companies are paying full freight for energy today and the Chinese are getting a 15, 20% discount on each barrel of oil, allowing them to continue to dump their products here in America,” he explained. The former secretary of state also claimed that “at least for today, the Chinese Communist Party is providing lethal assistance to Ukraine, almost certainly.” He was apparently referring to Russian forces fighting Ukraine, not Kiev itself. Weapons for Ukraine are being provided by the US and its NATO allies, together with funds, intelligence and training for troops. Beijing has previously denied claims that it’s supplying or planning to supply arms to Moscow amid its conflict with Kiev, calling such allegations by Washington “false.”

Russia has also insisted that it relies on locally made weaponry in its military operation. “Now, the Biden administration has failed. They have allowed the Russians and the Chinese to come together in this way and it presents enormous risk to the US and every citizen,” Pompeo continued. Commenting on Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said he didn’t believe that there was an alliance between Moscow and Beijing, reiterating his earlier suggestion that it was just “marriage of convenience.” Russia’s President Vladimir Putin sees “a potential backer” in Xi, but “whether it results in anything, we’ll see,” Kirby remarked during a briefing on Tuesday.

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“..changes “the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years.”

“A hundred years ago the world had just seen off a big war. Four big empires, the Russian, German, Austria-Hungarian and the Ottoman had suddenly vanished. The U.S. had stepped onto the international scene..”

The ‘Junior Partner’ Meme Gives No Insight To Real Changes (MoA)

Is there really a ‘junior partner’ in the Russian Chinese relations? Does Russia really need China more than China needs Russia? Well, who of two, Russia and China, has all the stuff that is needed for a modern life? I mean energy, minerals, commodities, foodstuff plus the abilities to retrieve and process all of them into useful products. It is obvious that Russia has all this stuff right within its borders. China, on the other side, is mostly importing these things through rather fragile sea routes. China has a naval problem that can only be solved with Russian weapons. So who is really in need of whom? China has obviously more people than Russia. But for all the Chinese riches these are still less well off than the people in Russia.

On purchase power parity base (PPP) Russia’s GDP per capita in 2022 was $31,962 while China’s was $21,291. When the Russian GDP per capita is 50% higher than the Chinese one can it really be a ‘junior partner’ in this? I don’t think so. I believe that Russia and China see themselves as equals. That is certainly true for the relation between President Putin and President Xi. Two equals who together do great things: As he left a state reception at the Kremlin on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping turned to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and said the world was undergoing changes “the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years.” “And we are the ones driving these changes together,” he said. “I agree,” Putin replied, shaking hands with the Chinese leader in an exchange that was captured on camera.

A hundred years ago the world had just seen off a big war. Four big empires, the Russian, German, Austria-Hungarian and the Ottoman had suddenly vanished. The U.S. had stepped onto the international scene. In China the Kuomintang and the Communists founded the United Front to beat the rampant warlords the imperialists had created. (Russia helped with that.) Those were indeed times of great changes. We now see similar changes in this world. The U.S. empire and its proxies are in decline. The BRICS countries, led by Russia and China and rising, now have a bigger GDP(PPP) than the G7. Times have changed. The arrogance of the ‘west’ has ruined its own position in the world. A multitude of other powers have established themselves and are taking over. Russia and China together will see to that. Can the ‘west’ do something about this. I could. If it became humble and truly aware of its own position and of those of the rest of the world. But I for now see no way that it is going to happen. Certainly not anytime soon. Certainly not as long as its political discussions are made up from unfounded memes.

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“..the US’ position “is perfectly logical.” “What I can’t understand is the position of European leaders who are unable to make decisions that benefit Europeans..”

‘The United States of America Is Our Enemy,’ Says Medvedev (TASS)

The United States is currently a hostile country that seeks to cause as much damage to Russia as possible, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said. “They are our rivals, and today – let’s put it bluntly-they are our enemy. The United States of America is our enemy,” Medvedev pointed out in an interview with Russian media outlets, including TASS, and users of the VKontakte social media network. However, he pointed out that unlike EU nations, the US holds “a consistent stance.” “They are trying to cause us as much damage as possible, and, where feasible, even tear our country apart and put Europe under their spell in the worst way so that it is unable to move at all,” the Russian Security Council deputy chairman noted, adding: “The reason is that sometimes, the leaders that come to power there start getting clever, either withdrawing from NATO or suspending membership or doing something else.”


The Americans have now achieved their goal, Medvedev went on to say, pointing out that the US’ position “is perfectly logical.” “What I can’t understand is the position of European leaders who are unable to make decisions that benefit Europeans. All of their decisions benefit either certain rival political groups or the Americans,” the deputy secretary of the Russian Security Council said. He emphasized that European nations “are no longer an independent subject of international law as they have simply become a cash cow for the United States at the expense of their taxpayers.” “And they are doing it not even for ideological reasons, but out of stupidity and cowardice,” Medvedev concluded.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1639160121841385472

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“As a result, Russia would get a neighbor “who is not only a member of an unfriendly bloc but also plans to produce nuclear weapons..”

Medvedev Says Diplomacy Doesn’t Always Work, Special Op Was Right Move (TASS)

There are situations where agreements are counterproductive and one needs to take steps like launching a special military operation, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Russian media outlets, including TASS, and users of the VKontakte social media network. “In my view, it makes no sense to negotiate in certain situations. One must ignore it, and in some cases make decisions like the one that was made on February 24 last year because agreements can be counterproductive in certain cases,” Medvedev pointed out, when asked if Moscow needed to make agreements with the countries that failed to see Kiev’s crimes.

According to him, Moscow tried for decades to convey some simple things to the West. “Guys, the Soviet Union collapsed. Yes, it’s sad but that is what happened, both because of the Soviet leadership’s incompetent policy and your external interference. The country fell apart but ties did not, and the people remained the same. How do you imagine that? Ukraine becoming part of NATO?” he said, clarifying Russia’s message. Meanwhile, Ukraine “had its own nuclear weapons complex,” Medvedev went on to say. As a result, Russia would get a neighbor “who is not only a member of an unfriendly bloc but also plans to produce nuclear weapons,” he noted. “I would like to point out that Ukraine’s leader spoke about this shortly before the start of the operation, in late 2021.

So do you want us to put up with it? Particularly in a situation where we have a dispute over Crimea because we consider it part of our land and they regard it as their territory. So imagine them joining NATO and launching a large-scale operation against our country under NATO’s umbrella – we cannot accept this,” Medvedev stressed. The politician stressed that Russia had proposed a draft agreement on security guarantees to Western countries. “They responded ‘no’,” Medvedev said. In his opinion, “the current ramifications are much more complicated than they would have been” had the document been signed last December.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1638809561045037057

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Iraq and Kosovo tell the story.

Effects Of Depleted Uranium In Ukraine Cannot Be Controlled – Zakharova (TASS)

Radiation effects of depleted uranium shells, should these be used on the territory of Ukraine, will be impossible to control, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday. “Now the impact of used weapons and shells will be impossible to control either for neighboring states or for the states of the region. This simply cannot be done,” she said, while commenting on London’s intention to provide shells with depleted uranium to Kiev.


“It is possible to participate in the exchange of intelligence, it is possible to ask Washington to control the Kiev regime to ensure it should not carry out strikes at the territory of Poland or shoot down aircraft of some other countries, it is possible to do many other things, but no one can give instructions to radiation, it’s impossible to negotiate with it, there is no way of controlling it.” Zakharova recalled the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plant disasters. “Both tragedies still have dire consequences. Their scale is different, but the lesson is the same: it’s impossible to come to terms with radiation,” she added.

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Take from the Guardian. “..to enable the Ukrainians to retake territory to liberate more and more and more land..”

Nato Chief: West Must Brace To Support Ukraine In A Long War (G.)

Vladimir Putin has no immediate plans for peace in Ukraine and so the west needs to brace itself to supply lethal aid to Kyiv for a long time to come, Nato’s secretary general has warned in an interview with the Guardian. Jens Stoltenberg said the Russian president was engaged in “a war of attrition”, and said he wanted Nato members to agree that spending 2% of GDP on defence as a minimum at the alliance’s next summit, in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. The fierce fighting, currently centred around Bakhmut, in eastern Ukraine, demonstrates Russia is willing “to just throw in thousands and thousands more troops, to take many casualties for minimal gains”, the Nato head said.

“President Putin doesn’t plan for peace, he’s planning for more war,” Stoltenberg continued, adding that Russia was increasing military industrial production and “reaching out to authoritarian regimes like Iran or North Korea, and others to try to get more weapons”. As a result, the US, UK, France, Germany and other western states had to be prepared to support Ukraine with weapons, ammunition and spares over a long time. “The need will continue to be there, because this is a war of attrition; this is about industrial capacity to sustain the support,” the secretary general said. At present, the combat was so intense that Ukraine’s use of artillery shells – 4,000 to 7,000 a day to Russia’s 20,000 – was outrunning western manufacturing.

“The current rate of ammunition expenditure is higher than the current production rate,” Stoltenberg said, although new contracts meant that was changing. Earlier this week, EU members agreed to supply Ukraine with a million rounds of shells, enough for six months or so. But heading into what is expected to be his final summit, Stoltenberg said he wanted Nato members to be prepared to spend more to reverse Russia’s invasion. Nato’s annual report, out on Tuesday, acknowledged that only seven of 30 member states – the US, UK, Poland, Greece and the Baltic countries – met the current defence spending target of 2% of GDP in 2022. France at 1.89% and Germany at 1.49% fell short, although both have committed to increases.

[..] A serious effort by China to act as a mediator in the conflict must be accompanied by an attempt “to understand Ukraine’s perspectives”, the Nato chief said, and to “engage with President Zelenskiy directly”. But while welcoming any peace initiative, he complained that Beijing had not yet condemned the Russian invasion. Stoltenberg thought the west had provided enough military equipment, including tanks, fighting vehicles and rocket artillery, “to enable the Ukrainians to retake territory to liberate more and more and more land” seized by Russia after the initial invasion in February 2022. The goal, he emphasised, was “to enable the Ukrainians to launch an offensive and to retake territory” although he said Nato was not a party to the conflict, with alliance members making their own decision on providing weapons and leaving battlefield calculations to Ukraine’s commanders.

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“..and prepared reserves of about 200,000 people..”

Ukraine Deployed Over 80,000 Servicemen Around Bakhmut – Prigozhin (TASS)

The Ukrainian armed forces have gathered over 80,000 servicemen around Artyomovsk (the Ukrainian name of the city is Bakhmut – TASS), Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner private military company, said in a video published on his press service’s Telegram channel on Thursday. “As of today, the enemy has deployed more than 80,000 [servicemen] around Bakhmut. This grouping is in Seversk, Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Druzhkovka, Konstantinovka and Chasovoy Yar,” Prigozhin said. “The Ukrainians received a very large amount of various NATO equipment, various armored vehicles, Leopards tanks, which everyone is talking about, and prepared reserves of about 200,000 people,” he added.


According to Prigozhin, with the help of the accumulated forces, in addition to military action in Artyomovsk, the Ukrainian armed forces may try to strike the first blow in the direction of Belgorod. “They will try to go near Belgorod,” he theorized. The founder of the Wagner private military company indicated the Svatovo – Kremennaya contact line, where, in his opinion, they may try to “reach Valuiki.”

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Ukraine, like US and Russia, never ratified the Rome Statute. But it does get an ICC office?! And to look only at Russian “crimes”?

Ukraine Welcomes ICC Office (RT)

Ukraine’s prosecutor-general signed an agreement on Thursday to allow the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open a representative office in Kiev. Andrey Kostin called it a “significant beginning” in the country’s relationship with the ICC, though Ukraine has still not signed the Rome Statute to accept its jurisdiction. “I am convinced that we will not stop until all those guilty of international crimes committed against Ukraine are brought to justice,” including the Russian military and political leadership, Kostin said after meeting with ICC Secretary Peter Lewis. The prosecutor’s visit to The Hague comes just days after the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and children’s rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, alleging that the evacuations of children from the combat zone amounted to “forcible transfer of population.”

Kostin also praised ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan, a British lawyer, for “tirelessly standing guard over justice,” and said Ukraine and the court were “building a more just world”together. The ICC itself acknowledged that Ukraine is not a party to the Rome Statute, the 1998 international treaty that established the ICC. However, the court noted that Kiev has selectively accepted its jurisdiction for alleged crimes committed beginning in November 2013 – when US-backed protests against the government, later known as the Maidan revolution, began – and for an indefinite period thereafter.

Russia never ratified the Rome Statute, and Moscow has responded to the warrant by saying the ICC has no authority or legitimacy. Former president Dmitry Medvedev said that the charges signaled a “complete collapse of international law.” Russian authorities have also initiated criminal proceedingsagainst Khan and ICC judges Tomoko Akane, Rosario Salvatore Aitala and Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez, involved in issuing the warrant. The ICC also revealed that referrals for the alleged crimes in Ukraine came from a collection of countries, mainly EU and NATO members or otherwise allied with Washington. The US itself was not directly involved, however, as it too does not recognize the court. The US withdrew its signature in 2002 and passed a law allowing for a military invasion of The Hague in case any Americans or allies were detained there.

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Hungary did ratify Rome, but turns its back on the arrest warrant.

Hungary Says It Won’t Arrest Putin (RT)

While the Hungarian government has yet to take an official position on the International Criminal Court’s war crimes warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, the prime minister’s chief of staff said on Thursday that the country’s constitution wouldn’t allow for its enforcement. “We can refer to the Hungarian law, and based on that we cannot arrest the Russian president … as the ICC statute has not been promulgated in Hungary,”said PM Viktor Orban’s chief of staff, Gergely Gulyas, addressing reporters during a press conference in Budapest. “These decisions are not the most fortunate as they take things towards further escalation and not towards peace,” Gulyas said in reference to the ICC warrant, qualifying it as his “personal, subjective opinion.”

Last week, the ICC called for the arrest of Putin and Russian children’s rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, accusing them of personal, command and indirect responsibility for “forcible transfer of population,” referring to Moscow’s efforts to evacuate children from the combat zone. Ukraine cheered the move, accusing Russia of “kidnapping” children. Moscow responded by saying the ICC has no authority or legitimacy, as Russia never ratified the 1998 Rome Statute that established the court. Former president Dmitry Medvedev said that the charges meant a “complete collapse of international law.” Russian authorities have also initiated criminal proceedingsagainst the ICC’s head prosecutor and three judges involved with the warrant.

Ukraine never ratified the Rome Statute either, but the government set up after the US-backed coup in 2014 announced it would accept its jurisdiction for crimes allegedly committed by Russia on its territory. Hungary did ratify the Rome Statute, and was actually among the NATO countries and other US allies that sent the ICC a criminal referral on Ukraine on March 2, at least according to the court. Washington was not directly involved, however, as the US does not recognize the ICC either. After withdrawing its signature on the Rome Treaty in 2002, the US Congress passed a law allowing for the use of military force to rescue any American or member of an allied military, should they be detained in The Hague.

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“Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is “having trouble” convincing members of the grand jury to hear the case..”

House Judiciary Committee Expands Probe Into Alvin Bragg (PM)

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent letters Wednesday to former special prosecutors Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz demanding documents and testimony relating to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s “unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority” amid the reported impending indictment of former President Donald Trump. Dunne and Pomerantz both resigned from their positions in the DA’s Office in January 2022 after Bragg’s initial reluctance to move forward with charges against President Trump. Since leaving the DA’s office, Dunne and Pomerantz have publicly criticized Bragg for refusing to aggressively prosecute the former president and now have even opened a law firm to bring lawsuits to prevent Trump from holding future office.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) wrote in the letters “Your criticisms of Bragg’s investigation were widely reported. It now appears that your efforts to shame Bragg have worked as he is reportedly resurrecting a so-called ‘zombie’ case.” The letters asked Pomerantz and Dunne to turn over documents related to the Trump investigation, including communications with federal agencies and other staffers in the DA’s office and sit for transcribed interviews by the morning of March 27. On Monday, Jordan, Reps. Jim Comer (R-KY) and Bryan Steil (R-WI), the chairs of the Oversight and House Administration Committees sent a letter to Bragg requesting his testimony and documents which included the communications of Pomerantz and Dunne.

Jordan wrote, “In January 2022, soon after you took office, you expressed doubts about President Trump’s case and suspended the investigation.” News broke Wednesday that the grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump for his alleged involvement in a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election was told not to show up and would reconvene on Thursday amid reports that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is “having trouble” convincing members of the grand jury to hear the case.

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“..the explosions occurred in an area that had toxic seafloor sediments, which could prove to be worse for the marine life than the release of CO2..”

CIA Planted Nord Stream Stories in NYT, German Outlets – Hersh (Celente)

Seymour Hersh, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday that the CIA planted stories about the Nord Stream pipelines sabotage in the New York Times and German magazine Die Zeit in a coordinated effort to discredit his story that it was the Biden administration behind the attack.“The disinformation professionals inside the CIA understand that a propaganda gambit can only work if those on receiving are desperate for a story that can diminish or displace an unwanted truth. And the truth in question is that President Joe Biden authorized the destruction of the pipelines,” an American intelligence source told Hersh. Hersh’s original story went into detail on how the U.S. and Norway allegdly carried out the elaborate bombing.

His theory is that President Joe Biden was concerned Germany would turn back to Russia for its natural gas if there was a cold winter and restart the pipeline. The White House called Hersh’s story completely false. Hersh brushed off the report in The New York Times that blamed the attack on a “pro-Ukrainian group.” Hersh seemed unimpressed with the report and laughed when reached by The Trends Journal. He joked, “I always thought either Somalia or Nepal were behind it.” The Times’s report cited unnamed U.S. officials who said they reviewed new intelligence about the pro-Ukraine group with no known ties to the Ukrainian government. Ukraine also denied any role in the attack. The paper said: The review of newly collected intelligence suggests they were opponents of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, but does not specify the members of the group, or who directed or paid for the operation.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said it supports Russia’s draft resolution that calls on the UN to launch an international investigation into the blast, according to The Global Times. The blast was an environmental disaster. Phys.org wrote, “the explosions took place near the Danish Island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. It has previously been estimated that more than 115,000 tons of natural gas escaped the damaged pipeline in just six days, with a greenhouse gas contribution of approximately 15 million tons of CO2—or the amount of carbon that can be absorbed by roughly 580 million trees in a year.” The report noted that the explosions occurred in an area that had toxic seafloor sediments, which could prove to be worse for the marine life than the release of CO2.

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“While many Democrats repeatedly stress that influence peddling is not criminal, it is corrupt and the Bidens appear to be a class in themselves..”

Biden Played Direct Role in Addressing Hunter’s Business Deals (Turley)

Some of us have written for two years that President Biden’s denial of knowledge is patently false. It was equally evident that the Biden family was selling influence and access. There are emails of Ukrainian and other foreign clients thanking Hunter Biden for arranging meetings with his father. There are photos from dinners and meetings that tie President Biden to these figures, including a 2015 dinner with a group of Hunter Biden’s Russian and Kazakh clients. People apparently were told to avoid directly referring to President Biden. In one email, Tony Bobulinski, then a business partner of Hunter’s, was instructed by Biden associate James Gilliar not to speak of the former veep’s connection to any transactions: “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u [sic] are face to face, I know u [sic] know that but they are paranoid.”

Instead, the emails apparently refer to President Biden with code names such as “Celtic” or “the big guy.” In one, “the big guy” is discussed as possibly receiving a 10 percent cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm; other emails reportedly refer to Hunter Biden paying portions of his father’s expenses and taxes. Bobulinski has given multiple interviews that he met twice with Joe Biden to discuss a business deal in China with CEFC China Energy Co. That would seem obvious evidence. In addition, the New York Post reported on a key email that discussed “the proposed percentage distribution of equity in a company created for a joint venture with CEFC China Energy Co.” That was the email on March 13, 2017 that included references of “10 held by H for the big guy.”

The new emails show that, as early as 2015, [former Biden Communications Director Kate] Bedingfield told Hunter’s top financial lieutenant Eric Schwerin via email that Joe Biden approved a statement regarding Hunter’s board position. Yet, for years, Biden’s communications office repeated his denial of any involvement or knowledge. That stands in contradiction to Bedingfield’s 2015 email acknowledging that “VP signed off on this — will give this quote to reporters in my name shortly.” Bedingfield left the White House in 2023. The White House has continued the categorical denials. When confronted by Fox’s Fox News’ Peter Doocy on the transfer records showing millions sent from China, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded: “Look, I’m just not going to respond to that from here. Look, we have heard from House Republicans for years and years and years how — the inaccuracies and lies when it comes to this issue. And, I don’t even where to begin to even answer that question because, again, it’s been lies and lies and inaccuracy for the past couple of years and I’m just not going to get into it from here.”

The only reason that Biden would even attempt to maintain this clearly false defense is that he could count on a supportive media to blunt any attacks and limit inquiries. Of course, there is a difference with the Sgt. Schulz defense. Schultz was harmless and comical. The Biden influence peddling allegations is neither. Despite the striking lack of interest of many in the media, this is about millions of dollars paid to the First Family by foreign sources, including some with foreign intelligence ties. Influence peddling has long been the favored form of corruption in Washington. While many Democrats repeatedly stress that influence peddling is not criminal, it is corrupt and the Bidens appear to be a class in themselves. Yet, even with the clear contradiction of the President’s repeated statements to the public, Democrats still oppose any investigation into the alleged influence peddling. What made Sgt. Schultz funny is precisely why the Biden defense is collapsing. The refusal of the media to see what is now in plain view will convince no one. At some point, Democratic leaders will have to recognize the obvious or join the Bidens (and many journalists) in this cast of this theater of the absurd.

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In several steps, VAERS was massively expanded. They knew.

FOIA Document Shows Government Anticipated Mass Vaccine Injuries (Horowitz)

[..] as Hebrew University Professor Josh Guetzkow reveals, not only did the CDC know about the vaccine injuries blowing up VAERS at record levels (even before the general public had access to them), the agency contracted with defense contractor General Dynamics to handle the database in anticipation of record use. Then, when the vaccines were released, the CDC had to up the contract to account for even more entries, yet showed no moral qualms about continuing with the campaign without disclosing these revelations to the public. Guetzkow, who has secured numerous FOIA’ed documents both in the U.S. and Israel throughout COVID, posted 69 pages of FOIA’ed documents and contracts from General Dynamics Information Technology to the CDC’s immunization safety office.


Thanks to his work, we already know from the previous FOIA’ed documents that the CDC’s $9.45 million contract with General Dynamics in August 2020 stated that officials anticipated 1,000 adverse event reports a day, with 40% of them being serious. Yet, like a cold serial killer soullessly counting his casualty list, the CDC was completely fine with going through with this campaign, as if it were the price that had to be paid to worship the spirit of the age – the modern-day Moloch. However, this document shows that as early as Jan. 15 – when most people still could have avoided these shots – the CDC was aware of record-setting reports that crushed even the agency’s initial cold-hearted, morbid expectations.

As you can see from page 8 of the pdf, General Dynamics warned the CDC that VAERS had blown through the expected 1,000 cases per day and even reached a level above 4,500 – to the point that GD couldn’t process the data. Mind you, they were never concerned with the human toll, just the logistics of the contract labor. They predicted a need for “reforecasting of staffing needs” to process all these reports. Already in December 2020, when the shots were only available for select people like doctors, there were over 19,000 reports and close to 344,000 website visits. It’s hard to see how this wasn’t organic from people genuinely in pain because there was no organized campaign in the United States to inform people of VAERS at the time. I myself (who obsessively focused on this) hadn’t heard of it until two months later.


By Feb. 15, General Dynamics reported a continued record-setting pace of reports and website visits, to the point that workers had to expand their VAERS ID reports to allow for seven digits instead of six. In April, officials reported that they had to hire an additional 200 staffers to deal with the backlog and continue to process 25,000 reports per week, well beyond the threshold they originally contracted for. As eligibility for the shots expanded for all age groups, they continued to process over 30,000 injury reports a week, yet the CDC never said a word about it. Not only did officials not take the products off the market, they began mandating them over late summer 2021, with some mandates that remain in place to this very day.

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20,000 year-old fossilized human footprints were discovered in Australia in 2006: they indicate the hunter who made them was running at ~37 km/h (or 23 mph), the speed of a modern Olympic sprinter, but barefoot and in sand

 

 

Black hole sound

 

 


The Ili pika (Ochotona iliensis) is a critically endangered species of mammal in the family Ochotonidae, endemic to northwest China. It was discovered in 1983: this is the first documented photo in 20 years, taken in 2015

 

 

Full frontal flip

 

 


Claude Monet in his Giverny garden in 1899.

 

 


What the inside of a tardigrade looks like
Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa, Corinna Schulze and Ricardo Neves

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 232023
 


Gustav Klimt Pine forest I 1901

 

In Moscow, Xi And Putin Bury Pax Americana (Escobar)
Multipolarity Was Triggered By The 2003 US Invasion Of Iraq (Kneissl)
Why Hypersonic Weapons Change Everything (Krainer)
EU ‘Delusional’ In Its Push To ‘Decouple’ From Russia – Austrian FM (RT)
Results Of Xi’s Visit To Russia Matter, Not Western Reaction – Kremlin (TASS)
China Gives US Advice On Ukraine (ZH)
West Wants Ukraine To Be Destroyed – Moscow (RT)
West Brings Humankind Closer To Nuclear Armageddon – Antonov (TASS)
UK’s Depleted Uranium Plan Threatens All Of Europe – Moscow (RT)
Russia Calls On US Not To Escalate Situation (TASS)
Russia, China Reject Import Of ‘Color Revolutions’ To Central Asia (TASS)
Russia and China Sign Long-Term Nuclear Deal (RT)
Macron Will Not Seek Re-election, Ready To Sacrifice His Popularity (TASS)
US Trying To ‘Cover Up’ Nord Stream Sabotage Role – Seymour Hersh (RT)
US Must Respond To Nord Stream Accusations – Mexican President (RT)
Elon Musk Urges US To Guarantee All Bank Deposits (RT)
Hunter Biden Used FBI Mole Named ‘One-eye’ To Tip Him Off To China Probes (NYP)

 

 

 

 

Nuland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker Moderna
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638700326537535489

 

 

Rand Paul Blinken

 

 

 

 

Gaddafi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638532760477528064

 

 

 

 

 

 

IVM

 

 

 

 

Very few in the west have an overview of how the world changed last weekend.

“..the Russian position remains ironclad: demilitarization, Ukrainian neutrality, and enshrining the new facts on the ground. In parallel, the Russian Foreign Ministry completely ruled out a role for the US, UK, France, and Germany in future Ukraine negotiations: they are not considered neutral mediators.”

In Moscow, Xi And Putin Bury Pax Americana (Escobar)

What has just taken place in Moscow is nothing less than a new Yalta, which, incidentally, is in Crimea. But unlike the momentous meeting of US President Franklin Roosevelt, Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in USSR-run Crimea in 1945, this is the first time in arguably five centuries that no political leader from the west is setting the global agenda. It’s Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin that are now running the multilateral, multipolar show. Western exceptionalists may deploy their crybaby routines as much as they want: nothing will change the spectacular optics, and the underlying substance of this developing world order, especially for the Global South. What Xi and Putin are setting out to do was explained in detail before their summit, in two Op-Eds penned by the presidents themselves. Like a highly-synchronized Russian ballet, Putin’s vision was laid out in the People’s Daily in China, focusing on a “future-bound partnership,” while Xi’s was published in the Russian Gazette and the RIA Novosti website, focusing on a new chapter in cooperation and common development.

Right from the start of the summit, the speeches by both Xi and Putin drove the NATO crowd into a hysterical frenzy of anger and envy: Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova perfectly captured the mood when she remarked that the west was “foaming at the mouth.” The front page of the Russian Gazette on Monday was iconic: Putin touring Nazi-free Mariupol, chatting with residents, side by side with Xi’s Op-Ed. That was, in a nutshell, Moscow’s terse response to Washington’s MQ-9 Reaper stunt and the International Criminal Court (ICC) kangaroo court shenanigans. “Foam at the mouth” as much as you like; NATO is in the process of being thoroughly humiliated in Ukraine.

During their first “informal” meeting, Xi and Putin talked for no less than four and a half hours. At the end, Putin personally escorted Xi to his limo. This conversation was the real deal: mapping out the lineaments of multipolarity – which starts with a solution for Ukraine. Predictably, there were very few leaks from the sherpas, but there was quite a significant one on their “in-depth exchange” on Ukraine. Putin politely stressed he respects China’s position – expressed in Beijing’s 12-point conflict resolution plan, which has been completely rejected by Washington. But the Russian position remains ironclad: demilitarization, Ukrainian neutrality, and enshrining the new facts on the ground. In parallel, the Russian Foreign Ministry completely ruled out a role for the US, UK, France, and Germany in future Ukraine negotiations: they are not considered neutral mediators.

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“..orientation comes from Orient.”

Multipolarity Was Triggered By The 2003 US Invasion Of Iraq (Kneissl)

In the run-up to the Iraq invasion, there was a great deal of division among UN Security Council (UNSC) members. US Secretary of State Colin Powell presented questionable evidence of Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, while the foreign ministers of Germany and France publicly opposed the aggression, for which they occasionally received applause in the Council. China and Russia, who vehemently opposed the war, began coordinating their decisions and responses, in part because of their respective oil interests in Iraq. This cooperation between Moscow and Beijing set the stage for a coordinated multilateral approach between the two nations. Both governments understood that a war would open Pandora’s box, leading to the collapse of Iraqi institutions and resulting in widespread regional disharmony.

Unfortunately, this is precisely what happened. The subsequent years saw weekly attacks, an expansion of Salafi terror groups like Al Qaeda, the rise of ISIS in 2014, and perpetual internal Iraqi conflict. Anyone familiar with the country‘s conditions was aware of the looming catastrophe when the illegal invasion of Iraq began on 20 March, 2003. Twenty years to the day, Chinese President Xi Jinping will embark on a three-day state visit to Moscow, and the focus will extend beyond bilateral energy relations, which have been a consistent priority since 2004. As previously stated in their joint declaration in Beijing in February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart aim to coordinate their foreign policy and advance it together. Their discussions may also touch on the Ukraine dossier, although media expectations in the west may be overestimated.

It may be pure coincidence that the meeting coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Iraq invasion. Yet it also highlights how extensively Russian and Chinese strategies have intertwined over the past two decades. Today, increasingly, “orientation comes from Orient.” Cooperative geostrategic leadership and sound alternative propositions to resolve global conflicts are being shaped in Beijing and Moscow – because the old centers of power can offer nothing new. Twenty years after the US invasion of Iraq, a failed ‘war on terror,’ the proliferation of extremism, millions of dead and displaced in West Asia, and never-ending conflict, China and Russia have finally teamed up to systematically advance their view of the world, this time with more resolve and global clout.


Brzezinski 1997

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“Russia is the only country in the world that has deployment-ready hypersonic missiles – not one but three types..”

Why Hypersonic Weapons Change Everything (Krainer)

It was in 2018 that Vladimir Putin took the stage to present Russia’s new hypersonic weapons. The term “hypersonic” refers to missiles that fly at speeds of 5 mach and higher. At the time, many in the west dismissed Putin’s claims and thought it was a bluff. We now know that he wasn’t bluffing. Russia is the only country in the world that has deployment-ready hypersonic missiles – not one but three types: Zircons, Kinzhals and Avantguards. Domazet explained why these weapons are radical game changers in warfare. Namely, in World War 1, tanks were the game changing military technology. Since World War 2, it’s been the air-force. Aircraft carrier strike groups have been an irresistible force wherever they travelled, dominating the seas ever since. But hypersonic precision missiles have rendered that force obsolete overnight.

The main military front in today’s global conflict, according to Domazet, are the Anti-Ballistic (ABM) batteries which the US has set up on the Poland-Romania axis, and the Russians on the North Pole-Kaliningrad-Crimea-Syria axis. These are defensive systems, conceived to intercept incoming nuclear missiles (though they can easily be converted to offensive nuclear missiles). However, today’s ABM systems are only effective against missiles flying at speeds up to mach 3.5 (3.5 x the speed of sound). Russia’s new Kinzhal missile flies at speeds of mach 12 to mach 15 and nothing in western defensive arsenals can stop its strike. During the war in Ukraine, Russia staged a stunning demonstration of its power.

The first Kinzhal strike, delivered one month after the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine, was perhaps the most significant: Russian forces targeted a large weapons depot in Ukraine which had been built during the Soviet times to withstand a nuclear strike. It was buried 170 meters (over 500 ft) underground and protected by several layers of armored concrete. The Kinzhal flies at altitudes of between 20 and 40 km, with a maximum range of 2,000 km. When above target, it dives perpendicularly and accelerates to 15 mach, generating enormous kinetic energy in addition to its explosive payload. That first strike with a single Kinzhal missile destroyed Ukraine’s nuke-proof underground weapons depot. This was a message for the west.

[..] Western intelligence estimated that Russia had some 50 Kinzhals at the start of the war in Ukraine, and thus far it has used only 9 of them. Last week, they fired six Kinzhals in a single salvo. That too, was a message. Here’s how Domazet explained it: United States have 11 aircraft carrier strike groups. Of these, fewer than half will be active at any one time (while others are in dock for maintenance, or in preparation). Firing six Kinzhals in one go is military-speak for, “we have the capability to sink ALL of your aircraft carriers at once.”

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“91% of Western companies are still in Russia and doing what is sensible: waiting, containment, ring fencing.”

EU ‘Delusional’ In Its Push To ‘Decouple’ From Russia – Austrian FM (RT)

Russia will always remain important for Europe, Austria’s foreign minister told Reuters on Wednesday as he defended Raiffeisen Bank’s continued operations in the sanctioned country. Alexander Schallenberg made his comments after the US sanctions authority launched a probe into the Austrian lender over its business related to Russia last month. “Let’s get real,” he said. “91% of Western companies are still in Russia and doing what is sensible: waiting, containment, ring fencing.” Raiffeisen Bank International is Austria’s second-largest lender and, despite sanctions, still plays a critical role in the Russian economy.


It’s one of only two foreign banks on the Russian central bank’s list of 13 systemically important credit institutions. The other is UniCredit, a pan-European commercial bank. “To think that there won’t be Russia anymore and we can decouple in all areas is delusional,” Schallenberg told Reuters, adding that while Austria would loosen ties, this “can’t happen overnight.” Schallenberg also discouraged Europe from introducing further sanctions against Russia. “It is a very blunt weapon,” he said. “We’ve had massive sanctions packages. Give them time to work.”

Bulgaria

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“Dmitry Medvedev [..] pointed out that he was pleased that most Westerners were furious about Russia-China high-level talks..”

Results Of Xi’s Visit To Russia Matter, Not Western Reaction – Kremlin (TASS)

It is the results of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia that matter, not the Western coverage that was predictably hostile, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday. “Undoubtedly, the most important thing is not the West’s reaction after all, but the results of these talks that have taken place. The main thing is the results of the state visit itself,” the Kremlin spokesman said. “As for the reaction of the Western countries, it is practically on all issues nothing but unfriendly and deeply hostile, this is not a secret to anyone. The coverage of this important visit is not an exception,” Peskov stressed.


Chinese President Xi Jinping was on a state visit in Russia from March 20 to 22. On Monday, he had a tete-a-tete informal meeting with Putin, which lasted for 4.5 hours. On Tuesday, the Chinese leader met with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and then arrived in the Kremlin for official talks with Putin. The leaders signed two joint statements after the talks. They both pointed out that the talks were successful. Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, who was part of the expanded circle of Russian delegates at the talks, pointed out that he was pleased that most Westerners were furious about Russia-China high-level talks.

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“..contrary to popular assumptions in the West, the global community stands by China on the side of diplomatically pursuing peace.”

China Gives US Advice On Ukraine (ZH)

Putin had told Xi that the peace plan “correlates to the point of view of the Russian Federation”; but the message out of Biden officials was “don’t be fooled” as it’s all about Moscow seeking to “freeze the war on its own terms,” in the words of Secretary of State Blinken. Also on Tuesday, NSC spokesman John Kirby said China is not an impartial mediator and that China “keeps parroting the Russian propaganda”. On Wednesday the Chinese foreign ministry hit back, charging that Washington is “adding fuel to the fire” of the conflict by its “continuous supply” of weapons to the battlefield. Spokesman Wang Wenbin was asked directly about Kirby and Blinken’s comments from the day prior.

“The US side claims that China’s stance isn’t impartial. But is it impartial to continuously supply weapons to the battlefield? Is it impartial to constantly escalate the conflict? Is it impartial to allow the effects of the crisis to spill over globally?” Wang said. “We advise the American side to rethink its own stance on the Ukraine issue, turn away from the erroneous path of adding fuel to the fire, and stop shifting the blame to China,” he added. The spokesman further insisted Beijing has “no selfish motives on the Ukraine issue, has not stood idly by… or sought profit for itself,” but that “what China has done boils down to one thing, that is, to promote peace talks.” He went on to assert that contrary to popular assumptions in the West, the global community stands by China on the side of diplomatically pursuing peace. According to a transcript:

“On the Ukraine issue, voices for peace and rationality are building. Most countries support easing tensions, stand for peace talks, and are against adding fuel to the fire. This is also China’s position. President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia is a journey of friendship, cooperation and peace. It has been warmly received internationally. We call on the US to reflect on its own role in the Ukraine issue, stop fueling the flames, and stop deflecting the blame on China.”

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“..if London follows through with its plans, 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.”

West Wants Ukraine To Be Destroyed – Moscow (RT)

The British government’s plans to send depleted uranium shells to Kiev for use in the conflict with Moscow show that Western claims of caring about peace and the future of Ukraine are lies, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has claimed. Speaking to Radio Sputnik on Wednesday she insisted that the statement by London is a sign of the “absolute recklessness, irresponsibility and impunity” of the US and Britain when it comes to international affairs. She stressed that munitions containing depleted uranium are not only more powerful and have greater penetrating ability, but they also contaminate the soil with radiation, delivering lasting damage to the environment and affecting many generations of people living in the area.

“Everything that we hear from those countries [the US and UK] about peace, the settlement of the conflict, the future of Ukraine, the well-being of the Ukrainian people – it’s all a lie, falsehood and absolute disorientation of the international community. In reality, the goal is completely different,” Zakharova said. After the UK announced plans to supply armor-piercing depleted uranium shells to the Kiev government, “there can’t be any doubts that we’re talking about is the strongly pronounced intention of the collective West, headed by the US and Britain, to see Ukraine completely destroyed,” she stressed. On Monday, Annabel Goldie, the UK Minister of State for Defense, said that “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.”

According to the official, such ammunition should be sent to Kiev because it is “highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles.” The announcement by Goldie is “yet another British provocation,” which is aimed at escalating the conflict in Ukraine to a new level, Zakharova said. It’s no coincidence that it was made during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, which were focused on international stability and the Chinese peace initiative for Ukraine, she suggested. The rounds containing depleted uranium are actually “weapons of mass destruction with a nuclear component,”the spokeswoman insisted, adding that “the WMD issue is part of Anglo-Saxon logic of destabilizing the global international situation.” She recalled how Washington’s unsubstantiated claims that the government of Saddam Hussein had been in possession of weapons of mass destruction became a pretext for the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

She also noted that NATO had used munitions with depleted uranium during its bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. “Some 15 tons of depleted uranium 238” were dropped on Yugoslav territory back then, and Serbia is still suffering from the fallout, reporting record numbers of some forms of cancer, Zakharova added. After the announcement of the deliveries of shells with depleted uranium to Ukraine, “we have no grounds anymore to doubt in principle who stands behind the activation, the launch of the conflict in Ukraine in all its phases. It is certainly the NATO-centric collective West, which is headed, in the first place, by the US and UK,” she insisted. Speaking about the issue on Tuesday, President Putin warned that if London follows through with its plans, 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.”

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“There is a continuous flow of lethal weapons to Ukraine, which are used to annihilate civilians, residential areas, schools, hospitals, kindergartens..”

West Brings Humankind Closer To Nuclear Armageddon – Antonov (TASS)

Western countries led by the US have decided to bring the humankind to the brink of a nuclear Armageddon, Russia’s Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said in Washington on Wednesday. He was responding to statements by US officials that depleted-uranium munitions are a standard type of weapons that’s been used for decades and doesn’t pose any heightened risk. “Commenting on this kind of nonsense is really hard. US officials have reached a new low with their irresponsible statements. There is a continuous flow of lethal weapons to Ukraine, which are used to annihilate civilians, residential areas, schools, hospitals, kindergartens,” Antonov said, according to a statement from the embassy.


“It seems that the enlightened West, led by Washington, has irrevocably decided to bring humanity to a dangerous line, beyond which a nuclear Armageddon is looming ever more distinctly.” According to a statement published on Monday, UK Minister of State for Defense Annabelle Goldie wrote in response to an inquiry from a member of the House of Lords that the British government would send Ukraine munitions containing depleted uranium and featuring enhanced effectiveness against armored vehicles. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia will have to react appropriately to the fact that the “collective West begins using weapons with a nuclear component.”.

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“..depleted uranium munitions, which can contaminate the battlefield and cause health risks for generations to come..”

UK’s Depleted Uranium Plan Threatens All Of Europe – Moscow (RT)

The British decision to supply depleted uranium munitions to Kiev is part of a dangerous trend that makes the Ukraine conflict a threat to the whole of Europe, Russian State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin has warned. “The war to the last Ukrainian could become a war to the last European,” the politician said in a social media post. Numerous Russian officials have claimed that Kiev’s Western backers are prepared to sacrifice every Ukrainian for their geopolitical interests. Volodin argued that Kiev’s acquisition of depleted uranium munitions, which can contaminate the battlefield and cause health risks for generations to come, could become a stepping stone to even more dangerous weapons. The next step “could be the use of a dirty bomb by the Kiev regime or the deployment of a tactical nuclear weapon,” added Volodin.

President Vladimir Putin expressed concern about the British decision earlier this week, warning that Russia “will be forced to react accordingly, bearing in mind that the collective West has already started to use weapons with a nuclear component.” The Russian military claimed last October that two organizations in Ukraine had been given instructions to build a so-called ‘dirty bomb’, using materials that Kiev has had access to since it was part of the Soviet Union. The Russian Defense Ministry provided a list of locations in Ukraine where nuclear fuel and nuclear waste is present. A dirty bomb has a conventional explosive core surrounded by a radioactive jacket, and when detonated, it causes serious contamination.

Kiev denied the allegations and invited the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, to inspect several of its atomic facilities, including the Eastern Mineral Enrichment Plant in Dnepropetrovsk Region and the Institute for Nuclear Research in the Ukrainian capital. IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi reported in November that monitors found no evidence of undeclared activities at those two locations or a third site, a rocket-building plant in the city of Dnepr. The British government announced on Monday that it will send Ukraine armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium, alongside Challenger 2 main battle tanks that had already been promised.

Lukashenko
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638487524862459904

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“They consider supplying the Kiev regime with even more lethal, longer-range, modern sophisticated systems. Thus, the United States once again shows itself as a party directly involved in the conflict..”

Russia Calls On US Not To Escalate Situation (TASS)

Russia urges the United States not to continue down the path of escalation, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters on Wednesday, commenting on the US Congress’ calls to supply Kiev with cluster munitions. “We call on the US side not to escalate,” he said, answering a question from TASS. The senior diplomat also pointed out that the US once again proved its direct involvement in the Ukrainian crisis by supplying Kiev with more and more lethal weapons. “They consider supplying the Kiev regime with even more lethal, longer-range, modern sophisticated systems. Thus, the United States once again shows itself as a party directly involved in the conflict,” the diplomat said.


Ryabkov pointed out that the US Congress didn’t even realize “what consequences such an initiative could lead to for the security of the US-led NATO and for any chances of potentially normalizing relations with Washington.” The Politico newspaper reported earlier that four high-ranking Republicans in the US Senate and the House of Representatives sent US President Joe Biden a letter, urging the American leader to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions.

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“The sides are ready to strengthen mutual coordination to support Central Asian countries’ efforts to ensure their sovereignty and national development..”

Russia, China Reject Import Of ‘Color Revolutions’ To Central Asia (TASS)

Russia and China reject attempts to organize “color revolutions” and foreign interference into domestic affairs of Central Asian countries, according to the joint statement signed by Russian and Chinese Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, after their talks in Moscow on Tuesday. “The sides are ready to strengthen mutual coordination to support Central Asian countries’ efforts to ensure their sovereignty and national development. They reject attempts to import ‘color revolutions’ and foreign interference into regional affairs,” the statement reads. The two leaders also lauded the positive contribution of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to regional security and the potential of cooperation between the CSTO and China to ensure peace and stability in the region.

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“China already operates five Russian nuclear reactors and currently has four more under construction..”

Russia and China Sign Long-Term Nuclear Deal (RT)

Russia and China are deepening their partnership in nuclear energy and will draw up a roadmap for cooperation in developing so-called fast-neutron reactors for decades to come, Russia’s state-run nuclear energy giant Rosatom announced on Wednesday. According to the company, the comprehensive program lays the ground not only for bilateral cooperation, but will essentially influence the shape of the global nuclear energy sector. The document signed between Rosatom and the China National Nuclear Corporation covers “key areas” and is focused on expanding current cooperation as well as launching new projects “related to fast-neutron reactors, the production of uranium-plutonium fuel and the management of spent nuclear fuel.”


The announcement of a long-term nuclear deal came among a raft of agreements presented during a three-day visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow. China already operates five Russian nuclear reactors and currently has four more under construction, which makes Russia the largest nuclear supplier to the country. Last year, Rosatom launched the construction of the Xudabu-4 reactor and the Tianwan-8 reactor in the Jiangsu province in eastern China. The reactors will be powered by third-generation pressurized water reactor technology supplied by Rosatom, with operations set to begin between 2026 and 2028, according to the agreement. The cost of construction at each site is estimated to be $1.7 billion.

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He should just leave.

Macron Will Not Seek Re-election, Ready To Sacrifice His Popularity (TASS)

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday against the backdrop of the pension reform unfolding in the country that he was ready to sacrifice his popularity for France’s interests as he did not intend to be re-elected. “I am not going to do another term, I cannot do it according to the Constitution. Between the opinion polls and the interests of the country I will choose the latter,” he told the TF1 and France-2 TV channels in an interview. “If I have to face unpopularity, I am ready for it,” he added. The head of the state admitted that he had a responsibility to “settle the understandable anger”, however, he pointed out that this anger should not turn into violence, which he said was unacceptable.


“Rallies, the participants of which show protest – this is legal. But its legality should not exceed the legality of democratic decisions, which come to life through the decisions of the people’s deputies,” Macron said. A draft pension reform to raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64 years was presented in January. This initiative sparked rallies and strikes across the country. On March 16, the head of the French cabinet, Elisabeth Borne, used her constitutional powers and announced that the bill would be adopted without a vote in the National Assembly (the lower house of parliament). This decision sparked a new wave of rallies, which often ended in clashes with the police.

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Hersh’s newest is behind a paywall.

US Trying To ‘Cover Up’ Nord Stream Sabotage Role – Seymour Hersh (RT)

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh claims the US intentionally provided false stories to the media to cover up Washington’s involvement in the destruction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline. In a post on his Substack blog, the veteran reporter claims the CIA was tasked with preparing a cover story in collaboration with German intelligence to provide the American and German press with an “alternative version” of the Nord Stream 2 explosions. “In the words of the intelligence community, the agency was ‘to pulse the system’ in an effort to discount the claim that Biden had ordered the pipeline’s destruction,” Hersh wrote, citing an anonymous source with access to diplomatic intelligence. He noted that the CIA had completed its task and, with the help of Germany, planted stories in the New York Times and German weekly Die Zeit. These referred to a supposed “ad hoc ‘off the books’ operation” carried out by a “pro-Ukrainian group,” which allegedly used a luxury sailing yacht to plant explosives on the Nord Stream pipelines.


“It was a total fabrication by American intelligence that was passed along to the Germans, and aimed at discrediting your story,” a source within the American intelligence community reportedly told Hersh. “The disinformation professionals inside the CIA understand that a propaganda gambit can only work if those on receiving are desperate for a story that can diminish or displace an unwanted truth. And the truth in question is that President Joe Biden authorized the destruction of the pipelines,” he added. In February, Hersh published a bombshell report on last September’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipeline blasts, accusing Washington of orchestrating the attack. The White House denied responsibility. Last week, several Western media outlets claimed the culprits may have been linked to Ukraine. Moscow dismissed the reports as “a coordinated media hoax campaign.”

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“the US has “never been ones to indicate that we are the government of the world or some kind of edict like that.”

US Must Respond To Nord Stream Accusations – Mexican President (RT)

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has argued that the US should respond to allegations that it sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines. The remarks came as the Mexican leader hit out at Washington following criticism of his country. “If we are talking about acts of violence, how is it that an award-winning journalist in the United States claims that the US government sabotaged the gas pipeline from Russia to Europe?” Lopez Obrador asked during a press conference on Tuesday. The Mexican president was referring to claims by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh that the Biden administration blew up the Nord Stream pipelines linking Russia and Germany last year. Lopez Obrador’s remarks came as part of a rebuttal to accusations of “violence” by Mexican authorities, made in an annual human rights report issued by the US State Department this week.

The report alleged “significant human rights issues” in Mexico and cited “credible reports” of unlawful or arbitrary killings by the police, as well as torture and forced disappearances. Lopez Obrador rejected the findings as “lies,” and noted Washington’s own list of alleged wrongdoings. According to the Mexican president, that includes the US extradition demands against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who remains in detention in the UK. In addition, Lopez Obrador pointed to failed American efforts to halt the opioid crisis plaguing the country, which caused over 71,000 deaths in 2022 alone from fentanyl-linked overdoses and drug poisonings. The Mexican leader went on to argue that “lying” and “politicking” is in Washington’s nature, and asserted that the US “do[es] not want to change, so they believe they are the government of the world, and they only see the speck in someone else’s eye and not the beam in their own.”

State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel responded to Lopez Obrador’s remarks by insisting that the US has “never been ones to indicate that we are the government of the world or some kind of edict like that.” Patel suggested that the Mexican police, military, and other government structures were responsible for serious acts of corruption and unlawful killings, which is why these issues were highlighted in the State Department report. Lopez Obrador, however, has repeatedly insisted that there is an “anti-Mexico” conservative element within the US government that is trying to inflame tensions between the two countries. “Mexico is safer than the United States,” Lopez Obrador insisted earlier this month.

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“..Moody’s downgraded its outlook for the US banking system from ‘stable’ to ‘negative,’ citing the “rapidly deteriorating operating environment.”

Elon Musk Urges US To Guarantee All Bank Deposits (RT)

Elon Musk has proposed a solution to the current banking crisis in the US. The government must do away with the current $250,000 insurance cap on all deposits to stop panicking clients from withdrawing their money, the Tesla CEO wrote in a Twitter post on Tuesday. His comments come in response to a media report that US officials are studying ways to temporarily insure deposits beyond the current limit, without having to get approval from Congress. “Absolutely required to stop bank runs,” Musk wrote. The banking crisis began in the US earlier this month with the sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a major US lender focused on the tech and startup sectors. Over 92% of deposits in the bank were uninsured and the lender was shut down by regulators after massive deposit outflows.

SVB’s failure caused the closure of another lender, Signature Bank. Panicked customers have withdrawn tens of billions of dollars in cash from the smaller banks and placed them with bigger lenders. The billionaire entrepreneur and head of Tesla, Twitter and SpaceX, first proposed the idea last week. “FDIC needs to change to unlimited coverage to stop bank runs… Right now,” he wrote on March 18. The government has guaranteed all deposits of SVB and Signature Bank customers. However, according to a recent study, nearly 200 American banks are facing similar risks. SVB, like many other banks, had invested billions in US government bonds when interest rates were at near-zero and suffered losses when the Federal Reserve hiked them in a bid to curb inflation.

The failures of SVB and Signature Bank sent ripples across the entire US banking industry. Many other financial institutions have seen their stocks plunge, with the six largest Wall Street banks losing around $165 billion in market capitalization, or some 13% of their combined value. Last week, credit ratings agency Moody’s downgraded its outlook for the US banking system from ‘stable’ to ‘negative,’ citing the “rapidly deteriorating operating environment.”

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“..Ye offered Hunter $1 million to be his “private counsel” and flew to China, leaving his wife, daughter, son, mother, and nanny in his $50 million penthouse at 15 Central Park West. He was detained in Shanghai three months later and disappeared.”

Hunter Biden Used FBI Mole Named ‘One-eye’ To Tip Him Off To China Probes (NYP)

Hunter Biden had an FBI mole named “One-Eye” who tipped off his Chinese business partners that they were under investigation, according to an Israeli energy expert arrested in Cyprus last month on gunrunning charges. The House Oversight Committee is investigating the explosive claims by Dr. Gal Luft, a former Israel Defense Forces lieutenant colonel with deep intelligence ties in Washington and Beijing, who says he was arrested to stop him from revealing what he knows about the Biden family and FBI corruption — details he told the Department of Justice in 2019, which he says it ignored. Luft, 56, first made the claims on Feb. 18 on Twitter, after being detained at a Cyprus airport as he prepared to board a plane to Israel.

“I’ve been arrested in Cyprus on a politically motivated extradition request by the U.S. The U.S., claiming I’m an arms dealer. It would be funny if it weren’t tragic. I’ve never been an arms dealer. “DOJ is trying to bury me to protect Joe, Jim, and Hunter Biden. “Shall I name names?” Luft remains in jail awaiting extradition to the US over what he says are trumped-up charges of arms trafficking to China and Libya, and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Through his American lawyer, Robert Henoch, Luft said he tried four years ago to inform the DOJ that Chinese state-controlled energy company CEFC had paid $100,000 a month to President Biden’s son Hunter and $65,000 to Joe’s brother Jim, in exchange for their FBI connections and use of the Biden name to promote China’s Belt and Road Initiative around the world.

Luft learned about the scheme through his own relationship with Hunter’s Chinese business partners, Patrick Ho and Ye Jianming, the chairman of CEFC. From 2015 to 2018, Luft organized international energy conferences in partnership with Ho’s think tank, the nonprofit China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC-USA), a front organization for Ye’s CEFC. Ye confided to Luft that Hunter had an informant in the FBI “or formerly of the bureau, extremely well placed, who they paid lots of money to [provide] sealed law enforcement information,” says Henoch. The FBI mole was called “One-Eye.” “One-Eye” told Ye that the Southern District of New York was investigating him and/or Ho in late 2017, and that “an Asian, an African, and a Jewish guy” were named on a sealed indictment, says Henoch. Soon after that tipoff, Ye offered Hunter $1 million to be his “private counsel” and flew to China, leaving his wife, daughter, son, mother, and nanny in his $50 million penthouse at 15 Central Park West. He was detained in Shanghai three months later and disappeared.

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Kubrick

 

 


The giant Pacific octopus is the largest octopus in the world: the largest individual on record weighed an impressive 270 kg and measured 9 m across in length. Along with 8 arms, an octopus also has 3 hearts and 9 brains

 

 

Dead leaf

 

 


Every row, left to right:
Eastern box turtle
Pancake tortoise
Bell’s hingeback tortoise
Radiated tortoise
Florida box turtle
Burmese star tortoise
Spotted turtle
Bourret’s box turtle
European pond turtle

 

 

Owls
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638248451367399435

 

 


Jonathan is 189 years old

 

 


Jacanas are colorful water birds with long legs and incredibly long toes/claws. The super-long toes spread the bird’s weight over a large area. This allows them to walk across floating vegetation, especially lily pads. This is a baby Jacana

 

 

 

 

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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Redfield
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638171628080168960

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Ibex

 

 

 

 

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