Samuel Melton Fisher Asleep 1902
The federal court judge presiding over Hunter Biden’s case seems extremely uncomfortable that the plea deal is far too generous to Hunter — which is what the IRS whistleblowers have been saying — and she might reject it altogether, a very rare move
Fox News' @GriffJenkins has the latest info on Hunter Biden's plea deal falling apart:
"This deal would possibly give Hunter some immunity to future charges, and [the judge] is not okay with that." pic.twitter.com/ITY9gZSCjN
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) July 26, 2023
Patel plea deal
BREAKING: Kash Patel breaks down the collapse of Hunter Biden's plea deal after Federal Judge strikes it down:
"They just canned the plea agreement…which to me tells me the DOJ tried to bury the FARA conviction." pic.twitter.com/9Beyn3zlgT
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) July 26, 2023
This is the most alarming political ad I've seen this year.
I encourage you to give me your reaction. pic.twitter.com/k2rmNHfhxT
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) July 25, 2023
“I’m beginning to think that many American generals also know and learn about warfare from the entertainment industry, from Hollywood..”
Having blown over $95 billion on arms to Ukraine, Western countries have increasingly started talking about their inability to keep providing Kiev with weapons and ammo at the same pace as they have up to now. Some European countries have calculated that their armies would be able to fight a full-scale war for as little as 24-48 hours after their sending weapons and ammo inventories to Kiev. Earlier this month, President Biden admitted to media that the United States was deploying cluster bombs to Ukraine because it was running low on conventional 155 mm artillery ammunition. The admission sparked harsh criticism from former President Donald Trump, who blasted Biden for essentially revealing that the emperor has no clothes.
“Let me put it this way: We have witnessed, in the last 15 months, a ‘21+ mature audiences only explicit’ demolition of the American military mythology and American technological mythology,” Andrei Martyanov, a veteran Russian military analyst and best-selling author, told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. “Those people from the think tanks [predicting the weakening of the Russian MIC], most of them never served a day in the armed forces. And to quote General Robert Latiff, author of the book Future War, ‘everything that the American public and politicians know about warfare is primarily from the entertainment industry.’ I’m beginning to think that many American generals also know and learn about warfare from the entertainment industry, from Hollywood. Those people are absolutely unprepared and not equipped to operate with basically what amounts to operational values, and they don’t even understand what they’re looking at,” Martyanov stressed.
Characterizing the field of Russia studies in Western countries as “basically a wasteland” today, Martyanov suggested that they don’t have the ability to comprehend realities on the ground because they take their primary data from Kiev, which falsifies it, and from “pseudo-academic shysters” in US academia whose “only task is to rewrite and then reiterate what Russia is and what is history, especially of the 20th century, is, and sell it to the public and policymakers.” [..] “The point is, just to give you a technological example…that the United States in terms of air defenses…is not even in the same league with Russia. In terms of cruise missiles, again, the United States lags here not by years, it lags by generations. And the same goes for armor, the same goes for operational concepts and things of this nature, and even in electronic warfare,” the observer stressed.
“For the average American political scientist who grew up with their Wall Street type economy, that’s the one I think they studied, they operate with gross domestic product numbers which are provided by Wall Street and shysters from the economic schools. They still cannot even grasp the idea” that the US could be weaker than its adversaries, Martyanov said. “For example, Russia produces as much steel as the United States. And it produces six times more aluminum…And when you look at these fundamental economic and military indices, how can you explain it? [Meanwhile] they still believe that they are the number one economy in the world, while China actually dwarfs the United States.”
“Anybody else would have said by now, no more death. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are dying… but there’s no humanity in these people. They don’t care..”
Boris Johnson was sent to Ukraine by Joe Biden to stop any negotiations with Russia.
The United States made it very clear to Ukraine, you will not be neutral, we will give you everything you need.
This could have ended in April. pic.twitter.com/Qlev9nY1ic
— Douglas Macgregor (@DougAMacgregor) July 26, 2023
Col. Douglas Macgregor always tells it like it is. See the full interview below with Judge Napolitano as well as clips with Turley. Basically, a peace treaty was signed, Russian territories with mostly Russian people would be part of Russia. Putin started pulling his troops out. But the Deep State and the Big Guy want to keep the con going, costing lives and American tax dollars. And then… Ret. Col. Douglas Macgregor: “The message that Jake Sullivan and President Biden have sent to Moscow is ‘Gentlemen, you’re going to have to march west. Nothing will stop until you make it clear unambiguously that you’ve won.’ Unfortunately, that’s what they’re saying. These people are not reasonable. They’re not rational. Anybody else would have said by now, no more death. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are dying… but there’s no humanity in these people. They don’t care”
“Zelensky ran for president. He was a comedian. He had no political experience. Why did he win? Because he ran on one issue: signing the Minsk Accords.”
There is no chance of Russia losing the proxy war with NATO in Ukraine, the West fomented the conflict and a peace agreement is needed immediately to prevent further bloodshed, Democratic presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has said. “Russia’s not gonna lose this war. Russia can’t afford this – it’d be like us losing a war to Mexico. They are not gonna lose the war,” Kennedy said, speaking at a televised town hall Tuesday night. “Go look at what Russia did in Stalingrad in order to preserve its territorial integrity. Russia’s been invaded three times through the Ukraine. The last time, Hitler killed one out of every seven Russians. They’re 400 miles from Moscow. We already have Aegis missile systems within 12 minutes of Moscow.
We wouldn’t tolerate that if the Russians did it [like] in 1962 when they put them in Cuba,” the candidate added, referencing the Cuban Missile Crisis, during which time his late uncle, John F. Kennedy, was president. “The more disturbing thing,” Kennedy said, “is that on two occasions the Russians tried to sign a peace agreement with [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky,” and both times the West sabotaged it. The candidate pointed to the 2015 Minsk Agreements, which Zelensky expressed interest in before being talked out of it by the US in 2019, and the 2022 draft peace deal reached after talks in Belarus and Turkiye. “In 2019, France Germany and Russia all agreed to the Minsk Accords. That year, Zelensky ran for president. He was a comedian. He had no political experience. Why did he win? Because he ran on one issue: signing the Minsk Accords.
As soon has he got in there, Victoria Nuland and the White House told him he couldn’t do it,” Kennedy recalled. “Then,” in February 2022, he noted, Russia sent “40,000 troops in. That’s not enough to conquer the country. Clearly, [Putin] wanted somebody to come to the negotiating table.” Russian and Ukrainian negotiators met in Istanbul, hammering out a draft peace deal. After that, “Putin in good faith began withdrawing troops from Ukraine. What happened? We sent Boris Johnson over there to torpedo it. Because we don’t want peace, we want war with Russia,” RFK Jr. stressed. The Democratic politician also pointed out that the current crisis has its origins in the end of the Cold War. “We promised in 1992, the Russian leadership said… ‘We’re gonna withdraw 400,000 troops from East Germany and we’re gonna allow you to reunite Germany under NATO,’ which is a hostile army.
That’s a huge concession for them. ‘One commitment that we want,’ is what the Russians said, ‘is that you will not move NATO to the east.’ James Baker, who was then secretary of state under [George H.W.] Bush, famously promised ‘We will not move NATO one inch to the east.’ Well since then, we’ve moved it 1,000 miles and 14 countries. Now when we started that plan in 1997, Bill Perry, who was the secretary of defense under the Clinton administration, said ‘If you move NATO to the east, I am resigning because you are forcing the Russians to come to war with us.’ George Kennan, who’s the most important diplomat in American history, the architect of the containment policy [after] World War II, said the same thing. You do not need to make an enemy out of Russia,” Kennedy said.
“Due to inexperience, he ordered his platoon to advance directly into minefields. Only just over half of the platoon returned..”
Many Ukrainian soldiers who underwent a six-month training in NATO countries are lost in action, Colonel Markus Reisner, a military strategist from the Ministry of Defence of Austria revealed in an interview with a German television channel. “I recently spoke to a Ukrainian comrade: in a neighboring unit, their commander was a 47-year-old reservist. Due to inexperience, he ordered his platoon to advance directly into minefields. Only just over half of the platoon returned,” he recounted. According to Reisner, such a mistake severely affected the morale of the Ukrainian troops. The Austrian officer also expressed his opinion that the first phase of the Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed.
In a highly anticipated development last month, the Ukrainian forces finally launched the much-awaited counteroffensive. This strategic move had been eagerly anticipated for several months, with President Zelensky making multiple announcements about its impending implementation. Despite Kiev’s readiness to sacrifice hundreds of its soldiers, Ukrainian troops have encountered formidable resistance in their pursuit of strategic objectives. As of the current situation, they have not succeeded in breaching the initial line of Russian defenses, known as the “Surovikin Defensive Line,” underscoring the complexity of the conflict with both sides locked in a tense and high-stakes struggle for dominance.
“Russian power,” he concluded, “is not necessarily a bad thing.”
Secret diplomatic talks are ongoing between former senior U.S. national security officials and high-ranking members of the Kremlin, a former U.S. official directly involved in the talks has confirmed to The Moscow Times. Earlier this month, NBC first reported the existence of these back-channel discussions, which involve former U.S. officials engaging in discreet exchanges with the Kremlin, as well as a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in an effort to lay the groundwork for negotiations to end the war in Ukraine. Known as track 1.5 diplomacy, these covert discussions enable both sides to understand each other’s red lines and mitigate potential conflicts, serving as a crucial link between official government negotiations (track 1 diplomacy) and unofficial expert dialogues (track 2).
The Moscow Times has since spoken to one of the individuals directly involved in these talks. The former U.S. official agreed to speak on condition of anonymity given the confidential nature of the discussions. “There is an eminent need for track 1.5 diplomacy when the world gets closed off as it has now,” the former official said. Meetings between the U.S. and officials in the Kremlin have been taking place at least twice a month, often through an online format. “I have been visiting Moscow at least every three months,” the former official said. When it came to the Kremlin’s willingness to lay its cards on the table, the former official stated: “We were given some access to the Kremlin’s thinking, though not as much as we would have liked.”
From his vantage point, sitting across from senior Kremlin officials and advisers, it was apparent that the greatest issue was that the Russians were unable to articulate what exactly they wanted and needed. “They don’t know how to define victory or defeat. In fact, some of the elites to whom we spoke had never wanted the war in the first place, even saying it had been a complete mistake,” he said. “But now they’re at war — suffering a humiliating defeat is not an option for these guys.” “It was here that we made clear that the U.S. was prepared to work constructively with Russian national security concerns,” the former official added, breaking from the official U.S. line of squeezing Russia financially and isolating it internationally so as to prevent it from continuing its war against Ukraine.
“An attempt to isolate and cripple Russia to the point of humiliation or collapse would make negotiating almost impossible — we are already seeing this in the reticence from Moscow officials,” he said. “In fact, we emphasized that the U.S. needs, and will continue to need, a strong enough Russia to create stability along its periphery. The U.S. wants a Russia with strategic autonomy in order for the U.S. to advance diplomatic opportunities in Central Asia. We in the U.S. have to recognize that total victory in Europe could harm our interests in other areas of the world. “Russian power,” he concluded, “is not necessarily a bad thing.”
To stay in power, he needs martial law to continue. For that, he needs the war to continue.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Wednesday proposed to extend the state of emergency, thereby effectively canceling the parliamentary elections scheduled for October. Zelensky announced martial law on February 24, 2022, and has been extending it ever since. The most recent 90-day extension was announced on May 20, and is due to expire on August 18. If the Verkhovna Rada approves Zelensky’s latest request, this will see the emergency extended through November 15. Ukrainian law calls for parliamentary elections no later than October 29, with a 60-day campaign season starting on August 28. However, it also forbids campaigning and voting during martial law. Another extension would cut into the campaign season for the presidential elections, currently scheduled for March 2024.
“If we have martial law, we cannot have elections. The constitution prohibits any elections during martial law,” Zelensky announced in May. The following month, he told the BBC that “elections need to happen in a time of peace, when there is no fighting.” Some of Ukraine’s supporters in Europe and North America have been critical of the possible cancellation of elections. Ukraine should prepare for a vote as soon as possible, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) head ‘Tiny’ Kox said in an interview in May. “Although democracy is far more than only elections, I think we all agree that without the elections, democracy cannot properly function,” Kox said at the time.
Zelensky ran on a peace platform in 2019 and won with 73% of the vote. Soon thereafter, his newly formed party – named after the TV show in which he played a fictional president of Ukraine – won a supermajority in the Verkhovna Rada as well. By late 2020, he had pivoted away from the notion of peace in Donbass and began to openly talk about a military solution for “occupied territories.”
Within three months of the conflict with Russia escalating, in May 2022, Zelensky enacted a law that allowed him to ban any political parties merely accused of being “pro-Russian,” without any right to appeal. He has outlawed a dozen parties since then, including the formerly largest parliamentary opposition bloc. Earlier this month, the Federal Intelligence Service of Switzerland accused Zelensky of attempting to “politically eliminate” Kiev mayor Vitaly Klitschko ahead of next year’s presidential election. The FIS cited “credible intelligence” to say that Zelensky was “showing authoritarian traits” which may lead to Western pressure, according to a classified report leaked to the outlet NZZ.
The BRICS bank headaches.
Setting up alternative financial institutions is a difficult but necessary endeavor at a time when Washington has weaponized the US dollar, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, at the meeting with New Development Bank head Dilma Rousseff. The former president of Brazil, who took over the former BRICS Development Bank in March, was in St. Petersburg to meet with Putin ahead of this week’s Russia-Africa summit. “I have no doubt that, using your rich experience in government and knowledge in this area, you will do everything to develop this institution, which I think is very important today,” Putin told Rousseff. “In current conditions, this is not an easy job, given what is happening in world finance and the use of the dollar as a tool of political struggle,” he added.
Putin underscored that the economic bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is not aimed against anyone, but working together in mutual interest, including in finance. He pointed out that BRICS members are already increasingly settling accounts in national currencies. Rousseff agreed that this approach should be implemented by developing countries in general. She also said that the biggest challenge to developing nations is the ability to raise funds for projects of national interest, from social service to environmental issues. This issue, she argued, gets neglected as everyone focuses on the debt problem. The US accounts for some 20% of global economic output, but more than 50% of world currency reserves are held in dollars.
That percentage has actually shrunk over the past year, as the financial sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict – including the freezing of sovereign reserves and blocking of SWIFT access – raised concerns in other countries that such measures might target them in the future. Last October, Putin argued that the US had “discredited the institution of international financial reserves” by weaponizing the dollar, first by monetary emissions and then by “stealing” Russian funds. Since then, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has agreed that sanctions might drive some countries to abandon the dollar. “The long historical era of the dominance of the American dollar is coming to an end,” Andrey Kostin, head of Russia’s VTB bank, said in an interview last month. While most Western economists don’t see any other currency capable of replacing the greenback, Putin hinted in June that BRICS was working on a reserve currency of its own, perhaps based on a commodities basket.
“This is Zelensky’s pyramid”..”No IMF member state has ever been allowed to take a six-times multiple of its borrowing quota at this money volume..”
President Vladimir Zelensky has enough fingers to count that $115 billion is worth almost three times more than $41.3 billion. The first number is the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) calculation of “external support over 2023–27 involving sizable official financing in the form of grants and concessional loans, as well as debt relief.” This includes “SDR [Special Drawing Rights] 11.608 billion (577.01 percent of quota, about US$15.6 billion).” No IMF member state has ever been allowed to take a six-times multiple of its borrowing quota at this money volume except for the Ukraine. Nor has any IMF member state ever been authorised by the IMF board of directors to stop new domestic bank lending and postpone all borrowing obligations (“current debt standstill”) for at least another three years from this Christmas.
The resulting money pile the IMF calls “the wartime liquidity surplus”. Converting this into the Ukrainian banks’ profit line and diverting that into individual cash and assets, Kiev officials have told Reuters to report as the “Ukraine banks’ robust health.” “Across the banking sector,” the New York-based propaganda agency reports, “deposits are as abundant as they’ve ever been, and the country’s lenders have found ways to remain profitable.” This is being done, they explain, by borrowing more and more in government bonds at a 25% interest rate guaranteed by more IMF money flowing into the central bank; lending less and less to zero for customers; and ignoring the increasing pile-up of defaulted, non-performing, or fraud loans.
This is Zelensky’s pyramid, even Reuters and its Ukrainian banker sources imply, though the IMF staff cannot bring themselves to say so. “In the current context, Ukrainian bankers note, the choice makes sense. “’We will only survive if the government survives,’ [Privatbank chief executive Gerhard] Boesch sums up.” The big money number dwarfs the Pentagon’s most recent estimate that “the Biden administration has committed more than $41.3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s invasion in February 2022.” The new July 7 number includes deliveries of Patriot missiles, HIMARS rockets, cluster bombs, and “dual-purpose improved conventional munitions, or DPICM”. Using the banker’s term, the Pentagon announcement declared “the Ukrainian forces have effectively leveraged assistance…So we will continue to provide Ukraine with the urgent capabilities that it needs to meet the moment, as well as what it needs to keep itself secure for the long term from Russian aggression.”
That was quite a dirty trick they tried to pull. He would have gotten away with murder.
President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, is facing federal charges over information found on a laptop that he abandoned at a computer repair shop. His defense team and prosecutors earlier reached a plea agreement that was widely blasted as too ‘lenient’ by Republicans figures. An earlier plea deal agreement made between prosecutors and Hunter Biden’s defense team fell apart on Wednesday after the presiding judge questioned its constitutionality and prosecutors revealed that Biden is still under investigation. The first son appeared before US District Judge Maryellen Noreika on Wednesday, when he was expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges after his legal team and prosecutor David Weiss agreed to a deal that would have suspended a felony gun charge.
Noreika raised concerns that she believed the deal would be ruled unconstitutional. The agreement stipulated that if Biden broke any of the terms, Noreika would act as an arbiter to decide if the gun charge would be reissued. The district judge noted the executive branch – not the judicial branch – is in charge of when to charge a person, and said she was concerned Biden may lose his immunity if the accord was ruled unconstitutional. Biden’s defense attorney Chris Clark said the stipulation was necessary to prevent the case from becoming further politicized if the government were to bring up the gun charge again. While Noreika said she understood his concerns, the official noted she was unaware of any case law that would support the agreement.
Another bombshell came in the case when Noreika asked Weiss whether Biden was still under an investigation, to which Weiss responded that he is but could not provide additional details on the matter. Weiss later remarked it was a possibility that Biden could be hypothetically charged for violating the Foreign Agents Registry Act. Asked if the deal would shield Biden from a prosecution stemming from that ‘possibility,’ Weiss indicated it would not, although Clark disagreed. Weiss responded by noting that “then there is no deal,” to which Clark replied: “As far as I’m concerned, the deal is null and void.” Biden ultimately submitted a not guilty plea after Noreika relayed that she could not say whether she would in fact accept the plea deal.
The judge said she would need to order a fact-finding mission on the deal and asked both sides for a briefing but did not set a date. She also did not rule out the possibility of agreeing to all terms of the current deal after gathering more information. Weiss and the Biden legal team could also hammer out a new plea deal that satisfies Noreika’s concerns. Prosecutors say Biden received taxable income of over $1.5 million for both 2017 and 2018 and owed more than $100,000 in taxes for each year, but did not pay any taxes either year. Officials also say he lied about his drug use on a purchase form for a firearm, which is what led to the felony gun charge that was supposed to be suspended under the terms of the plea deal. Last week, two whistleblowers with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) alleged during congressional testimony that the yearslong Justice Department investigation into Hunter Biden was fraught with misconduct and political favoritism.
Twitter (X?) “thread”.
Based on conversations with people who were in the courtroom today, and my experience as a former federal prosecutor, I think I know the full story of what happened with the Hunter Biden plea agreement blow-up this morning. Bear with me, because this is a little complicated: Typically, if the Government is offering to a defendant that it will either drop charges or decline to bring new charges in return for the defendant’s guilty plea, the plea is structured under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(A). An agreement not to prosecute Hunter for FARA violations or other crimes in return for his pleading guilty to the tax misdemeanors, for example, would usually be a (c)(1)(A) plea. This is open, transparent, subject to judicial approval, etc.
In Hunter’s case, according to what folks in the courtroom have told me, Hunter’s plea was structured under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(B), which is usually just a plea in return for a joint sentencing recommendation only, and contained no information on its face about other potential charges, and contained no clear agreement by DOJ to forego prosecution of other charges. Instead, DOJ and Hunter’s lawyers effectively hid that part of the agreement in what was publicly described as a pretrial diversion agreement relating to a § 922(g)(3) gun charge against Hunter for being a drug user in possession of a firearm. That pretrial diversion agreement as written was actually MUCH broader than just the gun charge. If Hunter were to complete probation, the pretrial diversion agreement prevented DOJ from ever bringing charges against Hunter for any crimes relating to the offense conduct discussed in the plea agreement, which was purposely written to include his foreign influence peddling operations in China and elsewhere.
So they put the facts in the plea agreement, but put their non-prosecution agreement in the pretrial diversion agreement, effectively hiding the full scope of what DOJ was offering and Hunter was obtaining through these proceedings. Hunter’s upside from this deal was vast immunity from further prosecution if he finished a couple years of probation, and the public wouldn’t be any the wiser because none of this was clearly stated on the face of the plea agreement, as would normally be the case. Judge Noreika smelled a rat. She understood that the lawyers were trying to paint her into a corner and hide the ball. Instead, she backed DOJ and Hunter’s lawyers into a corner by pulling all the details out into the open and then indicating that she wasn’t going to approve a deal as broad as what she had discovered.
DOJ, attempting to save face and save its case, then stated on the record that the investigation into Hunter was ongoing and that Hunter remained susceptible to prosecution under FARA. Hunter’s lawyers exploded. They clearly believed that FARA was covered under the deal, because as written, the pretrial diversion agreement language was broad enough to cover it. They blew up the deal, Hunter pled not guilty, and that’s the current state of play. And so here we are. Hunter’s lawyers and DOJ are going to go off and try to pull together a new set of agreements, likely narrower, to satisfy Judge Noreika. Fortunately, I doubt if FARA or any charges related to Hunter’s foreign influence peddling will be included, which leaves open the possibility of further investigations leading to further prosecutions.
Erdogan paints himself into a corner.
The Russian Foreign Ministry website featured two press releases last week on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s conversations with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts, Hakan Fidan and Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, respectively. The conversations took place at the initiative of the Turkish and Iranian sides. Lavrov’s conversation with Fidan was business-like and formal, while with Amir-Abdollahian, Russia’s top diplomat, was in a noticeably relaxed freewheeling exchange — “trust-based” and signaling “mutual interest in closely coordinating the approaches” to world politics. The alchemy of the Russian-Turkish relationship has distinctly changed, whereas, the strategic partnership with Iran has consolidated and a high level of maturity and predictability is visible.
One recent factor that corrupted the Russian-Turkish relationship is the Kremlin’s unilateral decision to let the Black Sea Grain Initiative expire on 17 July. Ankara tried behind the scenes to avert the moment, but the Russian decision was not Turkiye-centric. Therein lies the hope — and the despair. Russia has since offered that a new grain deal with Turkiye might be possible if Moscow’s demands are met, announcing works on new export routes. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reciprocated by calling on western countries to “follow up on Putin’s expectations.” However, the crisis of confidence in the Russian-Turkish relations has a geopolitical dimension, and it concerns the war in Ukraine. Succinctly put, Turkish foreign policies have lately displayed a nuanced “westernism” that affects vital Russian interests.
Indeed, there is no plausible explanation for the sudden visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Istanbul on 8 July, the sudden release of notorious Azov commanders who were in Turkish custody per an understanding with Russia on the exchange of prisoners, or the plan to set up a co-production venture in Ukraine for Turkiye’s Bayraktar drones. One way of looking at such a sharp Turkish turnaround could be that interest groups in Turkiye’s defense industry are being manipulated by Zelensky. Erdogan’s open support for Ukraine’s NATO membership is blatant tokenism. The big picture is that Zelensky, with encouragement from the US, is looking for opportunities to erode the mutual trust and confidence that has accrued in the Turkish-Russian relationship over recent years, thanks to the hands-on diplomacy between Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Anyway, on the eve of the NATO Summit in Vilnius (11-12 July), where Erdogan was expected to meet up with US President Joe Biden (and Zelensky), Lavrov made Moscow’s concerns known to Foreign Minister Hakan in a phone conversation initiated by the latter. The Russian readout said: “The sides exchanged opinions on the regional agenda and prioritized the latest developments around Ukraine, including the situation regarding the return of Azov battalion “ringleaders” from Istanbul to Kiev. The Russian side drew the attention of Ankara to the fact that continued deliveries of military equipment to the Kiev regime amounted to a destructive course. It was noted that subsequent steps could only bring about negative consequences.”
Doesn’t look elegant.
The user who once held the @X account on the Elon Musk-owned social media site formerly known as Twitter and recently renamed “X” had his account taken by the company and was offered little in return. X reportedly took over the account on Tuesday night, which previously belonged to San Francisco photographer Gene Hwang, who opened the account in 2007, the year after the platform launched. The email informing him that his account had been taken over by the newly rebranded firm said it would let him pick any unclaimed or inactive usernames, and offered fan merch and a trip to the company’s headquarters in return.
“Additionally, as a reflection of our appreciation, you will also be provided with a selection of X merch and an exclusive visit to X’s HQ to meet members of our team,” the email read, which Hwang shared with US media. Hwang said he does not plan to take X up on its offer, and suggested he may ask for the bird on the sign the company is dismantling outside its main office. The @X account has since been posting as an official account of the site. Hwang seems to have moved to @x12345678998765.
However, X may run into issues with its new name. Trademark lawyers have said that a simple trademark will make it more difficult for Musk to sue companies that use the letter X for their own branding On the flip side, Musk may find his trademark being challenged by other tech giants. As previously reported by Sputnik, both Meta* and Microsoft hold trademarks for “X.” Google and Xfinity also own trademarks related to X. While none seem to be directly related to the services X currently offers, if Musk moves forward with his current plan to make X the “everything app” there may be some crossover that could cause another company to challenge his trademark.
It’ll keep burning for days. What do the insurers think of this?
A fire on a ship carrying 3,000 cars off the Netherlands coast is suspected of being started by an electric vehicle and killed one sailor, “could burn for days,” the Dutch Coast Guard told AFP News. The fire broke out late Tuesday night on board the roll-on, roll-off ship the Fremantle Highway off the northern Dutch coast. “The fire could still burn for days,” stated a coastguard official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The ship is being cooled to keep it stable. “Only the side of the ship is being sprayed, not the deck,” said the official. Fremantle Highway is carrying 3,000 vehicles. Of those vehicles, 25 are EVs, a coastguard official told the NOS public broadcaster, adding there is suspicion that one of those 25 EVs started the blaze.
Rescue ships and helicopters have evacuated 23 crew members. However, one individual lost their life due to the fire. Should the vessel sink, “it would be a disaster of the highest order,” the daily paper De Telegraaf said. Bloomberg ship tracking data shows Fremantle Highway left the German port of Bremen on Tuesday. The vessel appears to have deviated off course around 5 pm local time Tuesday, an indication of possibly when the fire broke out. “Currently several parties including salvagers and the Dutch authorities are looking at minimizing the damage as much as possible,” the Coast Guard said.
Shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen warned earlier this year: “Shipping companies are facing an added concern with the increasing demand for electric vehicles. Fires onboard vessels can have catastrophic consequences, and battery fires are extra potent and dangerous. Li-ion batteries generate extreme heat when they malfunction, often reaching temperatures of 800 degrees Celsius or higher. This heat can quickly spread to nearby combustible materials, causing a rapid fire that’s challenging to extinguish. Controlling battery fires is nearly impossible and might indicate Fremantle Highway could burn for days, if not longer.
Tucker Ice Cube
Ep. 11 Ice Cube X Tucker: the studio interview pic.twitter.com/fcSkF76l3a
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) July 27, 2023
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