Oct 202022
 
 October 20, 2022  Posted by at 8:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Schooner and three masters 1886

 

American Advisor To Ukraine’s Military Reveals War Goals (RT)
Ukraine Tries To Capture Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (RT)
US Lifts Ban On Funding ‘Neo-nazi’ Ukrainian Militia (JPost)
Europe’s Ultimate Choices On Ukraine (OR)
Bill Ackman Proposes Peace Plan For Ukraine And Russia (RT)
A Few Updates About The NATO Crusade Against Russia (Saker)
Europe Compensated All Gas Volumes Cut By Russia – Ursula Von Der Leyen (Az.)
EU Countries Urged To Share Gas (RT)
Hungary Opposes ‘Dangerous’ EU Gas Plan (RT)
Europe To Face Worse Gas Crisis In 2023 – Qatar (RT)
Ukraine’s Most Nationalist Region Once A Pro-Russian Hotbed (Plotnikov)
Biden Family Got $5 Million Interest-free, Forgivable Loan From China (JTN)
Net Zero: Doubling Down On Stupid (TT)
Ladapo Dismisses CDC Adding COVID Vaccine to Childhood Schedule (FV)
Ladapo: mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Shouldn’t Be Given to Young Men (ET)

 

 

 

 

Under the seabed

 

 

 

 

Covid implants

 

 

 

 

Kari Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ukraine will refuse to negotiate with Russia and fight to return to its 1991 borders..”

Russia will refuse to go back even to 2014.

The US is aiming for forever war.

American Advisor To Ukraine’s Military Reveals War Goals (RT)

Ukraine will refuse to negotiate with Russia and fight to return to its 1991 borders – established following an independence vote ahead of the collapse of the Soviet Union – according to Dan Rice, an American citizen advising the commander in chief of Kiev’s armed forces. Speaking to CNN’s Erin Burnett for an interview on Tuesday, Rice appealed to Western states for additional arms shipments to Ukraine, adding that while the country desperately needs air defense systems and aircraft, it has no interest in diplomacy with Moscow. “[Russia is] trying, in my opinion, to get to the negotiating table, to try to go back to the 2014 lines,” Rice claimed. “Ukraine won’t have it. Ukraine wants all of their land back, back to the ‘91 lines.”

Ukraine’s 1991 borders would include four formerly Ukrainian provinces – Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye – as well as Crimea, all of which have voted to join the Russian Federation in a series of referendums. Crimea’s was held in 2014 soon after the ‘EuroMaidan’ revolution ousted Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich, while the other provinces voted to leave Ukraine last month. Despite Rice’s assessment of Moscow’s position, the Kremlin has made clear that it has no intention of reversing the referendums, with Russian President Vladimir Putin recently stating that while he is prepared to negotiate with Kiev, “the choice of the people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson will not be discussed.”

Russia’s most recent call for negotiations came last week, when Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested Moscow’s goals could be achieved diplomatically and that it remains “open” to talks. However, he added that “it takes two sides to have a dialogue,” saying negotiations are unlikely given the “very, very hostile stance” toward Russia by Ukraine’s Western backers. A US Marine combat veteran and West Point graduate who now runs the consulting firm Thayer Leadership, Rice went on to voice hopes that Poland would provide its “old Russian fighters”to Ukraine in exchange for American F-16 jets, claiming the aircraft are currently “mothballed” and would come at no cost to the US taxpayer.

“The biggest thing they need right now is air defense systems – both missiles and aircraft. We really need the Ukrainian Air Force to be restocked,” he continued. “We [the United States] are putting in a lot of air defenses, they are just getting there though.” Rice was tapped to serve as a special advisor to Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander in chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, back in June, reportedly at the general’s “personal invitation.” His own LinkedIn page notes that he works in an “unpaid/voluntary role,” and says he will use his official access to “research the Ukrainian military leader development and learning, and how the culture changed between 2014-2022.”

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”Russia formally included the plant in its civilian atomic energy infrastructure earlier this month.”

Ukraine Tries To Capture Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (RT)

Kiev launched an amphibious operation against the Russian city of Energodar in Zaporozhye Region, a senior local official has reported. Ukrainian commandos used around 30 speed boats overnight to cross the Dnepr River, targeting the city, Vladimir Rogov said, as cited on Wednesday morning by Russian media. “After artillery shelling of the city, they attempted to land, including to capture the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. The fighting continued for several hours, at least three or three and a half. The assault was fended off,” he said. Earlier in the day the city administration reported Ukrainian artillery attacks on several key facilities in Energodar, including the city administration building, an access road, and a transformer station crucial for its power supply. The latter was disabled, causing a blackout, the head of the city administration, Aleksandr Volga, said.


Energodar is located in Zaporozhye Region, one of four former Ukrainian regions that voted to become part of Russia last month. Energodar has been under Russian control since March. The Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, the largest facility of its kind in Europe, is located on the shore of the Dnepr just outside the city. The site was the focus of a diplomatic spat between Russia and Ukraine, with both sides accusing each other of attacking it and risking a nuclear disaster. Kiev also claimed that Russia was stationing heavy weapons at the facility, which Moscow denies. Russia formally included the plant in its civilian atomic energy infrastructure earlier this month. The provincial capital, the city of Zaporozhye, remains under Ukrainian control and served as the staging ground for the amphibious operation, according to Rogov.

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It takes the Jerusalem Post to report on this. Everyone else has re-defined neo nazis.

US Lifts Ban On Funding ‘Neo-nazi’ Ukrainian Militia (JPost)

Congress is reported to have recently repealed its ban on a Ukrainian militia accused of being neo-Nazi, opening the way for American military assistance. Last June, Congress passed a resolution intended to block American military funding for Ukraine from being used to provide training or weaponry for the Azov Battalion, an independent unit that had been integrated into the former Soviet Republic’s national guard and was taking part in operations against Russian- backed rebels. Called a “neo-Nazi paramilitary militia” by Congressmen John Conyers Jr. and Ted Yoho, who cosponsored the bipartisan amendment, the battalion has been a source of controversy since its inception.

With the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on its unit flash – which resembles a black swastika on a yellow background – and founders drawn from the ranks of the paramilitary national socialist group called “Patriot of Ukraine,” the group would have been a fringe phenomenon in any Western nation, but with its army unequipped to face the separatist threat in the east, Kiev actually integrated Azov into its military forces. According to a report in The Nation, the Pentagon lobbied the House Defense Appropriations Committee to remove the Conyers-Yoho amendment from the 2016 defense budget, claiming it was unnecessary as such funding was already prohibited under another law. However, The Nation asserted that the law in question, known as the Leahy Law, only prohibits funding to groups that have “committed a gross violation of human rights,” which would not apply in this case.

The news that the Azov Battalion is now legally able to receive American aid has enraged the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which last week successfully blocked the battalion from holding a recruitment meeting in Nantes, France. “This step is hardly surprising to anyone who has been following the growing danger of Holocaust distortion in post-Communist Europe, and especially in the Baltics, Ukraine and Hungary,” said Wiesenthal Center Jerusalem office head Efraim Zuroff. “In recent years, the United States has purposely ignored the glorification of Nazi collaborators, the granting of financial benefits to those who fought alongside the Nazis, and the systematic promotion of the canard of equivalency between Communist and Nazi crimes by these countries because of various political interests.”

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“By refusing to take a balanced approach, the EU is disqualifying itself to be an honest broker on peace negotiations that sooner rather than latter will need to start in the conflict.”

Europe’s Ultimate Choices On Ukraine (OR)

EU’s decisions in support of Ukraine have purportedly been taken in the name of democracy, the rule of law and western values and against a military action by Russia considered unprovoked and illegal. The EU appears to have been also concerned about the unsettling of post-World War II borders – or rather the national frontiers that followed the end of the Cold War – and has expressed unfounded fears that Russia’s actions in Ukraine are the prelude for further aggression in Europe. Deep down, through its actions against Russia the European leadership psyche seems to have had a cathartic release, unleashing an old Russophobia manifested in Europe over decades if not centuries, melting together Czarist Russia, the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation in an effort to portray and convince the average European about an inherent Russian malignity that needs to be rooted out once and for all.

In its one-sided defence of Ukraine, the EU has been unwilling to recognize and accept the civil war character of the Ukraine conflict, Russia’s legitimate security concerns and its ongoing warnings about it over years, the historical background of a conflict rooted on the mistreatment of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population that worsened since the US sponsored Ukraine coup in 2014 and its failure to support a diplomatic settlement in 2015 – i.e. the Minsk agreements -, in which they played a mayor facilitating role. The EU ignores the deep flaws of the current Ukraine government and the society it has tried to create, both defined now by blatant corruption, political persecution of opposition and an ultra-nationalist ideology, all this hardly reflecting so-called European values.

Sadly, the EU has been incapable to develop an autonomous and justly self-serving European alternative in the conflict and has become hostage of the US hegemonistic agenda. By refusing to take a balanced approach, the EU is disqualifying itself to be an honest broker on peace negotiations that sooner rather than latter will need to start in the conflict. Non-European countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia are now taking the lead, reflected for instance in the recent Russo-Ukrainian prisoner exchange, a prominent role unthinkable only a few months ago which is embarrassing for Europe given its traditional place in diplomacy.

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“It just saddens me to see death and destruction with no apparent end date or opportunity for resolution.”

Bill Ackman Proposes Peace Plan For Ukraine And Russia (RT)

Ukraine should recognize Crimea as part of Russia and renounce its bid to join NATO for the sake of peace, US billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has said. Just like SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk before him, Ackman was immediately criticized online for suggesting that Kiev should be ready to make concessions in order to end the hostilities. “Crimea was part of Russia until 1954 and is largely comprised of ethnic Russians, which was apparently why the world did little when Russia annexed it back in 2014,” Ackman, the CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, tweeted on Monday. He added that the borders should return to where they were prior to February 24, when Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring country and before four former Ukrainian regions voted to join Russia.

He added that the West should then help Kiev with its recovery, while the country should stay outside of NATO. “Thousands of lives will be saved and resources can be invested to rebuild [Ukraine] rather than in a war that will only lead to more destruction and death,” the billionaire wrote. “If there is a viable path to peace, we should pursue it. Each day the conflict continues, the risk to the world rises.” After receiving criticism online, Ackman clarified his stance on Tuesday. “Yesterday, I suggested that a reasonable peace settlement might be a return to the borders as of [February 24], a Marshall Plan to rebuild [Ukraine], and [Ukraine’s] decision to not join NATO. Then the knives came out. I was accused of being an appeaser and worse,” he wrote.

I ask: is [Ukraine] better off in a continued prolonged war that leads to 1,000s more [Ukrainian] deaths and the leveling of the country or does some kind of negotiated settlement make sense? … I am by no means an expert. It just saddens me to see death and destruction with no apparent end date or opportunity for resolution. “In a negotiated settlement, both parties must concede something or there is no opportunity for resolution. What is the least that both parties can concede that is acceptable for both? What am I missing in my analysis? What better ideas do you have?” Ackman argued.

Ackman’s comments came as more public figures in the West have been making suggestions for a possible peace deal between Russia and Ukraine. Venture capitalist and tech entrepreneur David Sacks tweeted on Sunday that the US should propose a ceasefire based on the February 23 lines and guarantee that Ukraine will not join NATO. Musk offered his own vision of a peace settlement this month, which includes Ukraine recognizing Crimea as Russian territory. Kiev and Western officials quickly blasted Musk for what they considered to be a plan that heavily favors Moscow.

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“..while most of the US and NATO forces are a sad joke, the US nuclear triad and the USN’s submarine force are both still world class and extremely dangerous and capable..”

A Few Updates About The NATO Crusade Against Russia (Saker)

What we are seeing is the creation of two parts of our planet: the AngloZionist Hegemony (in which only the USA and Israel have agency, the rest are colonies, occupied countries, volunteer slaves, etc.) and the Multipolar Free World. While the two blocks are not technically at war with each other, in reality they already very much are. Russia and Iran are bearing most of the military burden while other free countries quietly try to either stay out and keep a low profile or, even more quietly, assist China and rest of the Multipolar Free World to prevail economically. Of course, the AngloZionist Hegemony is using every means it has to subvert not only Russia, but also China, Iran and any other country daring to declare even a modicum of sovereignty.

The eventual and inevitable outcome of this confrontation is not in doubt, at least not to those who are aware of reality. It is not the outcome which I fear (in fact I await it with great anticipation!) but the potentially enormous costs of defeating the West’s last Crusade (last time Russia lost 27 million people, most of them innocent civilians, and that did not even do the full job – hence today’s war). I will never stop repeating that while most of the US and NATO forces are a sad joke, the US nuclear triad and the USN’s submarine force are both still world class and extremely dangerous and capable (and US SSNs come with not only anti-submarine and anti-surface capabilities, but also with land-attack missiles).

This is why it is absolutely crucial for Russia to turn up the pain dial steadily but SLOWLY. Those dimwits who constantly advocate for “firm Russian actions” and simply “hit them hard!” are clueless civilians from countries who never won a real war adn who have no idea whatsoever about modern warfare or about the immense risks their warmongering hysterics create for our entire planet. I can sincerely say that I thank God that Putin is a very careful type who fully understands that there are no “quickfix solutions” to denazifying and demilitarizing the AngloZionist Hegemony. And yes, Russia will continue to unilaterally and gradually rotating up the pain dial, and Russia will do so without feeling the need to seek approval from those who have never won a war but who believe that wars are won by “showing toughness”.

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Ursula counts on your gullibility. Just look at this nonsense: “the market has really changed, from a pipeline gas market to a LNG market.”

The EU has cut itself off from pipeline gas. Now all it has is LNG. But that hasn’t changed “the market”, only the EU.

And now the US is talking about a export ban….

Europe Compensated All Gas Volumes Cut By Russia – Ursula Von Der Leyen (Az.)

Compared to September 2021, in September 2022, Russia has cut 80 percent of its pipeline gas supplies, said President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary on the preparation of the European Council meeting of 20-21 October 2022, according to the Commission. “But Europe has been able to compensate all that. We have diversified towards our trusted partners, like for example Norway and the United States. We have increased the savings. And it is good, we achieved in September a reduction of 15 percent. We have filled our storages up to 92 percent. We did not give in to this blackmail. We made it. And I think we can be proud of that. We resisted. That is important. But we also see that resisting Russian energy coercion comes at a price. European families have seen their gas bills skyrocketing. And our companies are struggling to keep up competitiveness. It is not only about the competitiveness in the Single Market – that is also important. But it is also about the global competitiveness that our companies are fighting for,” she said.


Ursula von der Leyen recalled that in March, the Commission proposed to the Council the option to cap gas prices. “At that time, this did not gain any traction. But today, we are coming back to this. So what is the model? The current benchmark determining gas prices is TTF. TTF is only focused on pipeline gas. What we see now is that the market has really changed, from a pipeline gas market to a LNG market. So we need a new, a specific price benchmark for LNG. The Commission will now develop this complementary benchmark together with the European regulator. But this takes time. So in the meantime, as a stop-gap measure, we will limit prices at TTF. We call this the market correction mechanism. Yesterday, we proposed guiding principles as a first step. On this basis, we will prepare the operational mechanism in a second step. This is concerning the price cap at wholesale level,” she said.

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“According to von der Leyen, the EU has managed to reduce its “huge dependency on Russian gas” by two thirds in eight months..”

EU Countries Urged To Share Gas (RT)

European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen has called on EU member states to jointly purchase gas in order to avoid competition that could push prices even higher. “Instead of outbidding each other, Europeans should buy gas together. For this, we will purchase together gas at {the} EU level… We do this because we have learnt the lesson. We literally saw in August, at the height of the filling season, how member states were outbidding each other and prices were spiking. We definitely can be smarter than this. So pooling our demand is a must,” Leyen said on Wednesday at the European Parliament session in Strasbourg. Her comments come a day after the EC announced a new emergency package of measures aimed at lowering gas prices and ensuring the EU’s winter energy supply.


Joint gas purchases are part of the plan, as is the introduction of binding “default rules” for member states to share gas in the case of an emergency. “We know that some member states are more directly exposed than others to Russian gas. The situation is especially challenging for landlocked countries in Central Europe. But in the end, in our single market with highly integrated supply chains, a disruption in one member state has a massive impact on all member states. So, sharing gas in a crisis is critical,” she stated. According to von der Leyen, the EU has managed to reduce its “huge dependency on Russian gas” by two thirds in eight months, and also to diversify supplies. However, she noted that this has come “at a high price” and urged the bloc to invest in “home-grown sources of energy” in order to maintain competitiveness.

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“Hungary has a long-term contract for gas supplies with Russia’s Gazprom, and the country “is guaranteed to receive 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Russia.”

Hungary Opposes ‘Dangerous’ EU Gas Plan (RT)

The European Commission’s proposal on joint gas purchases by EU member states is a risky move, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto warned on Wednesday. “The European Commission’s proposal is unsuitable and even dangerous… threatens to further cut gas supplies to Europe,” he stated in a video address posted to his Facebook page. The minister urged Hungary not to accept the “risky” proposal, which could only lead to a drop in supplies and an increase in energy prices. He stressed once more that Hungary opposes another “dangerous” notion – a price cap on Russian gas, which “would mean that the Russians would stop supplying natural gas to Europe.”

“According to simple economic principles, if we increase the quantity of a given product in a market, its price will decrease, but if we decrease the quantity of the product, the price will increase. Therefore, the amount of natural gas on the European market should be increased. It would be necessary for as much natural gas as possible to arrive in Europe from as many sources as possible,” he added. The minister said that Hungarian gas storages are currently 50% full, which means that the country has enough gas reserves for six months. He called this an “outstanding” result compared with other EU countries. Reuters, citing Aurora Energy Research analysts, recently reported that even a 100% gas storage level would only sustain the bloc for about three months.

Hungary has a long-term contract for gas supplies with Russia’s Gazprom, and the country “is guaranteed to receive 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Russia.” Also, at the end of August Hungary signed an additional two-month contract for the supply of up to 5.8 million cubic meters of Russian gas per day starting on September 1.

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“You just don’t have enough volume to bring [in] to replace that gas for the long term, unless you’re saying ‘I’m going to be building huge nuclear [plants], I’m going to allow coal, I’m going to burn fuel oils’”

Europe To Face Worse Gas Crisis In 2023 – Qatar (RT)

Europe is facing a shortage of natural gas over the next several years due to the break-up of trade with Russia, the energy minister of Qatar, a leading global exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has said. Replacing all Russian gas with other sources doesn’t seem like a viable strategy, Saad al-Kaabi told the Financial Times in an interview published on Tuesday. If “zero Russian gas” flowed in to the EU, as Brussels intends, “I think the problem is going to be huge and for a very long time,” he said. “You just don’t have enough volume to bring [in] to replace that gas for the long term, unless you’re saying ‘I’m going to be building huge nuclear [plants], I’m going to allow coal, I’m going to burn fuel oils’,” the minister explained. The EU leadership prides itself on having reduced the share of Russian gas in the bloc’s mix from some 40% to just 7.5% in seven months.

Brussels hopes to massively ramp up supplies of LNG and increase piped imports from Norway and Algeria to fully eliminate reliance on Russian energy. The surge in demand from Europe is meeting some resistance from traditional markets for LNG in Asia. China has reportedly ordered its state importer not to re-export excess gas due to concerns over a possible deficit in the winter. Kaabi warned in the interview that while European nations had accumulated enough gas in storage facilities to make it through the upcoming winter relatively unscathed, there is no certainty that this will be the case in future seasons. The energy crisis may be “much worse next year,” unless Russian gas is imported, he said. “This coming winter, because of the storage capacity being full, it’s fine,” the Qatari official stated.

“It’s really replenishing the reserves, or the storage, for next year that’s going to be the issue.” Next year and the following year, even up to 2025, are going to be the issue. Commenting on the challenges that the Europeans are having in securing supplies from his nation, the minister said Doha was concerned about losing the EU market in the future because of its larger goal of moving away from fossil fuels. Europe needs to “get off the discussion that gas is not needed for a long time,” he suggested, “because everybody who’s going to invest in the gas sector, they’re looking at 25, 30, 40-year horizons to invest and to get reasonable returns on the investments.” QatarEnergy, the state-owned company that Kaabi also heads, prefers long-term contracts for 15-20 years in foreign trade.

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Love good history lessons.

Ukraine’s Most Nationalist Region Once A Pro-Russian Hotbed (Plotnikov)

“In the last decade of the 19th century, despite all its own difficulties in terms of national and economic life, Galicia became the center of the Ukrainian movement. In Russia’s Ukrainian lands, it played the role of a cultural arsenal with respect to Russia’s Ukrainian lands, where the means to bring about a cultural and socio-political revival of the Ukrainian people were created and improved,” Mikhail Grushevsky, a historian who was one of the first ideologists of Ukrainian nationalism, wrote in an article entitled Ukrainian Piedmont, back in 1906. Today, it is difficult to dispute his assertions. During the 20th century, western Ukraine, which Galicia is part of, was the main center of Ukrainian identity and the engine driving Ukrainization in the rest of the country’s regions.

But the history of the Galician lands does not begin at the end of the 19th century. It has roots in the deep past, tracing back to the very origins of Russia. After the first partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772, Galicia came under the rule of Austria. Vienna needed to build an administrative system for the region, most of which was inhabited by Slavs. To do this, the Austrian authorities skillfully played on the incongruities between the Catholic Polish population (mainly townspeople and nobles) and the Orthodox peasantry. Seeing the latter as possible agents of Russian influence, a campaign was launched to Polonize them.

The effect, however, turned out to be exactly the opposite. Galician Russophilism was born amidst the Polonization drive in the first half to the middle of the 19th century, when Poles played the dominant role in the cultural and social life of the region. The local Rusyn population gave up hope of finding a way to integrate into the Austrian Empire without losing their traditions and culture, so they began to look for new meaning in the East. Moreover, in the period between the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815) and the Crimean War (1853-1856), Russia really was the hegemon of continental Europe. Austria itself called on Russian troops to help suppress a Hungarian uprising. For the Rusyns, the power of the neighboring empire was obvious, and they perceived Russia as a place where they could occupy a privileged position as part of the national majority, and not be second-class subjects.

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Lending a whole new meaning to the term ‘conflict of interest’.

“..assisting them with potential business deals and investments while Joe Biden was Vice President; however, that work remained intentionally uncompensated while Joe Biden was Vice President..”

Biden Family Got $5 Million Interest-free, Forgivable Loan From China (JTN)

President Joe Biden has made waves this fall with his plan to forgive hundreds of billions of dollars of student loans, shifting the burden to taxpayers. Five years earlier, his family cashed in on a zero-interest, forgivable loan of its own from an energy company in communist China, according to evidence in the possession of the FBI. The loan arrangement, confirmed in documents obtained by Just the News and also new information released by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), shows the Chinese energy firm CEFC Beijing International Energy Company Limited understood the transaction would benefit Joe Biden’s family (referred to as “BD family” in the emails), but it also was creating heartburn with its own compliance/risk management officers.

The Chinese company’s leaders “fully support the framework of establishing the JV (joint venture), based on their trust on BD family,” stated a July 26, 2017 email from a CEFC official to Tony Bobulinski, a Hunter Biden business partner at the time. The email was written in part to explain why there had been a delay in getting the money to a firm called SinoHawk associated with the future president’s son and brother, Hunter Biden and James Biden, respectively. “The delay of wire is caused by the details on the JV building, as follows: 1) the positioning and strategy of the JV are not made fully clear to CEFC 2) 5 million is lent to BD family in the 10 million charter capital. How will this 5 million be used (or the 10 million as a whole)? This 5 million loan to BD family is interest-free,” the email stated.

“But if the 5 M is used up, should CEFC keep lending more to the family?” the email inquired. “If CEFC lends more, they need to know the interest rate for the subsequent loan(s).” The CEFC official went on to explain the nebulous transaction was raising worries with the company’s compliance officers. “Because of the reasons above, the risk management department of CEFC is showing concerns on the operation of SinoHawk, hence the delay of the wire,” CEFC’s Raymond Zhao wrote. At the time of the transaction, Joe Biden had already left the White House as vice president, was a private citizen and was planning for his eventual 2020 presidential run. Bobulinski has said in media interviews that Joe Biden was a silent partner in the Chinese transaction, identified in internal documents as “the big guy” who might get 10% of the deal.

Grassley on Monday released a letter he sent to the FBI that contained a summary of an October 2020 interview Bobulinski gave to the FBI concerning the Chinese loan transaction. According to Grassley, the $5 million Chinese transaction was paid to a Hunter Biden-connected firm in August 2017, one month after the email obtained by Just the News. Bobulinski told the FBI that some of the Chinese money paid in 2017 was actually deferred compensation for work Hunter and James Biden had done while Joe Biden was still vice president, Grassley wrote. Grassley and Sen. Ron Johnson previously have said some $6 million paid in spring 2017 was appeared to be for pre-2017 work.

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“..gas power stations are doing the heavy lifting of grid balancing and wind backup. It wasn’t cheap before the war in Ukraine and it’s not cheap now.”

Net Zero: Doubling Down On Stupid (TT)

Most of my thinking lately dwells on the impossibility of Net Zero. Green energy lobbyists have ramped up the propaganda in recent months, doing all they can to obscure the reality of Net Zero. There are now endless debates as to the true cost of wind energy. Carbon Brief is pushing the line that wind energy is “nine times cheaper”. Andrew Montford of Net Zero Watch has a crack at this dodgy number. Montford’s analysis is often quite good. Personally I think the argument needs to be reframed. Costing energy is an imprecise science because it’s fraught with complexity. The slam dunk argument against wind energy is when we frame it as intermittent versus dispatchable energy. I argue that the cost of building and operating windmills is not a standalone figure.

We must also consider the cost of grid balancing and the various energy storage technologies. Energy storage is in its infancy. It is not cheap. It is not going to get cheaper any time soon. In all probability it’s going to remain a pricey affair for decades to come. There will be shortages of lithium and battery grade nickel in the next five to ten years, leading to production and supply chain problems. In the interim gas power stations are doing the heavy lifting of grid balancing and wind backup. It wasn’t cheap before the war in Ukraine and it’s not cheap now. Moreover, as we’ve dismantled our conventional power generation, we’ve lost a great deal of spinning reserve for short term grid balancing so we’re now having to build standalone flywheels – simulating the spinning metal mass of a power station turbine.

The demonstrator is set to cost £25m. The more intermittent energy we add the more it destabilises the grid so we could end up needing dozens of these contraptions. Elsewhere the renewables sector is looking at conversion of surplus wind energy (at times of low demand) into hydrogen which would then be piped to gas stations and converted into methane. Again, this is not past the demonstrator phase, so we have no real world data on costs and conversion losses. One analysis has it that the technology to convert power to hydrogen and back to power has a round-trip efficiency of 18%-46%, In comparison, two mature long-duration technologies, pumped-storage hydropower and compressed air energy storage, boast round-trip efficiencies of 70%-85% and 42%-67%, respectively.

A more technical paper, assessing German research, concludes that the balancing of fluctuations of renewable energy though green hydrogen seems feasible only up to a level of several GWh per day. “However, the German government’s idea of replacing a significant share of conventionally produced electric energy in the order of TWh with hydrogen does not stand up to scientific analysis”. In short, there is no current cost effective technology capable of mitigating intermittency caused by wind and solar.

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“The CDC panel voted 15-0 to add the Covid “vaccinations” to the Vaccines For Children program. Tomorrow they vote to move to the childhood schedule. ”

Ladapo Dismisses CDC Adding COVID Vaccine to Childhood Schedule (FV)

Amidst the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) upcoming vote to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the Vaccine for Kids program along with being on the childhood vaccine schedule, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo declared any decision will have minimal, if any, impact on the Sunshine State. The CDC is set to meet with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to vote. “Regardless of what [CDC] votes [Wednesday] on whether COVID-19 vax are added to routine child immunizations – nothing changes in FL,” Ladapo declared. “Thanks to [Gov. Ron DeSantis], COVID mandates are NOT allowed in FL, NOT pushed into schools, & I continue to recommend against them for healthy kids.

Ladapo recently recommended against men aged 18-39 receiving the mRNA COVID vaccines, citing a rise in cardiac risk to the tune of 84%. “Results from the stratified analysis for cardiac-related death following vaccination suggests mRNA vaccination may be driving the increased risk in males, especially among males aged 18 – 39,” the review from the Florida Department of Health says. “As such, the State Surgeon General recommends against males aged 18 to 39 from receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Those with preexisting cardiac conditions, such as myocarditis and pericarditis, should take particular caution when making this decision,” Ladapo’s office announced.

“Studying the safety and efficacy of any medications, including vaccines, is an important component of public health,” Ladapo said. “Far less attention has been paid to safety and the concerns of many individuals have been dismissed – these are important findings that should be communicated to Floridians.” Shortly after the surgeon general tweeted the announcement, Twitter blocked users from seeing it before restoring it. Ladapo took to social media Monday morning to combat critics and skeptics of the new release. “I love the discussion that we’ve stimulated. Isn’t it great when we discuss science transparently instead of trying to cancel one another?” he said. “I’m going to respond to the more substantive critiques.”

Tucker CDC

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Only the state can mandate. But most will follow the CDC criminals.

Ladapo: mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Shouldn’t Be Given to Young Men (ET)

Studies and other data show that the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines should not be given to young men, Florida’s surgeon general says. Florida health officials recently analyzed data on vaccinated state residents and detected a sharp increase in heart-related deaths among males aged 18 to 39 after vaccination. The state is now recommending that population, with exceptions, should not get one of the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. “In young men, from 18 to 39, it clearly was a signal for increased risk,” Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program. “That was the main finding.” [..]

Taken together with other research that has found young vaccinated males experiencing heart inflammation at higher rates than unvaccinated young males—including studies from Scandinavia, England, and the United States—Florida officials decided to issue the new recommendation, which contradicts guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “There are a number of studies that are indicating that these vaccines, mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular and cardiac events. And we just added to that with another one,” Ladapo said.

“While our study is not definitive—and we never claimed it was—the fact that there is so much evidence that is consistent with our findings very obviously means that you need to consider whether doing … COVID-19, mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations, including them in a strategy, a public health strategy for young men at this point in the pandemic, makes sense. … It doesn’t make any sense. And obviously, should not be giving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to young men at this point in the pandemic,” he added later. The official statement communicating the updated Florida guidance says that the benefit of vaccination for young males is likely outweighed by the “abnormally high risk of cardiac-related death.” It noted that the other available COVID-19 vaccines were not linked with the risk.

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Baby Bear Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 


Saturn the Moon Jupiter and its moons

 

 

Reindeer cyclone

 

 

 

 

Fever

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 312022
 
 August 31, 2022  Posted by at 8:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  89 Responses »


Henri Matisse Bathers by a river 1909-16

 

UK Inflation May Top 22% Next Year – Goldman Sachs (RT)
Thousands Of UK Pubs ‘Face Closure’ Without Energy Bills Support (G.)
Greek PM: Resources Against Energy Hikes Not ‘Infinite’ (K.)
The Real Problem Is That Europe Doesn’t Have Any Energy Supplies (Every)
China Is Aggressively Reselling Russian Gas To Europe (ZH)
Poland Warns Of EU ‘Implosion’ Over Ukraine Conflict (RT)
US Urges Shutdown Of Nuclear Plant Slated For IAEA Inspection (RT)
Ukraine Targets Possible IAEA Route To Zaporozhye – Local Official (RT)
EU Has No Alternative To Russian Energy – ex Saudi Aramco VP (RT)
Promised “Major Ukrainian Counter-attack” Ends In Disaster (Saker)
Ukraine & the Politics of Permanent War (Chris Hedges)
France Accuses Russia Of Using Gas As ‘Weapon Of War’ (RT)
The SCO: Half The World’s Population To Forge The New World Order (Trenin)
FBI Put The Hunter Biden Story Right In Facebook’s Lap (Devine)
Top FBI Agent Resigns Amid Claims He Shielded Hunter Biden From Probe (NYP)
Three Ways the Psychotic Covid Panic Narrative Was Created (DS)
Fauci’s Presence Is No Longer Politically Sustainable (CHD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pizza Hut

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dies suddenly

 

 

 

 

Soon the Debt Rattle will live up to its original name again.

UK Inflation May Top 22% Next Year – Goldman Sachs (RT)

Inflation in Britain could jump above 22% in 2023 if gas prices continue to grow, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing Goldman Sachs analysts. The bank’s economists estimate that if prices keep rising, the UK may be forced to hike its energy cap by a further 80% in January, which would in turn push inflation up to 22.4% and cause a 3.4% drop in the country’s GDP. Moreover, even if energy prices stabilize, analysts say the peak inflation rate will be around 14.8% in January, which is enough to plunge the country into a recession. According to Bloomberg, investors expect drastic measures from the Bank of England in the coming months to battle inflation, including a key rate hike of up to 4.25% from the current 1.75%. Goldman Sachs’ inflation forecast tops the previous one made last week by Citigroup, which expects inflation in the UK to surge to 18.6% next year, and the Bank of England’s expectation of 13%.

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“..Let’s not forget that for most licensees the pub is not just their business but also their family home.”

Thousands Of UK Pubs ‘Face Closure’ Without Energy Bills Support (G.)

Thousands of pubs face closure without urgent government support to soften the blow from soaring energy bills, the beer industry has said, putting jobs at risk in a sector still battling to recover from the Covid pandemic. The bosses of companies owning almost half of the UK’s 47,000 pubs said tenants were already giving notice because they could not cope with energy bills, which are due to rise more than fivefold in some cases. Unlike households, businesses do not benefit from a cap on what suppliers can charge for gas and electricity, leaving many firms facing oblivion without state intervention. In a letter to the government and the Conservative leadership candidates, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, the British Beer and Pub Association said mass job losses were inevitable in the absence of help for an industry that employs 940,000 people.

Nick Mackenzie, the chief executive of the 3,100-strong pub chain Greene King, said the energy bill blow had come just as the sector was battling back from the ravages of the Covid-19 lockdowns, which hit hospitality particularly hard and left many with punishing debts. “While the government has introduced measures to help households cope with this spike in prices, businesses are having to face this alone, and it is only going to get worse come the autumn,” Mackenzie said. “Without immediate government intervention to support the sector, we could face the prospect of pubs being unable to pay their bills, jobs being lost and beloved locals across the country forced to close their doors, meaning all the good work done to keep pubs open during the pandemic could be wasted.” His counterpart at St Austell Brewery, Kevin Georgel, said thousands of pubs could be forced to call last orders for good.

Chris Jowsey, the chief executive of Admiral Taverns, said the impact was frightening. He said: “One of our licensees reluctantly gave notice to leave his pub after the cost of electricity increased by 450%, making it impossible to trade profitably. Let’s not forget that for most licensees the pub is not just their business but also their family home.”


“I got this electricity bill today, how in the name of God is this possible, we’re a small coffee shop in westmeath”

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Early warning: you’re on your own.

Greek PM: Resources Against Energy Hikes Not ‘Infinite’ (K.)

The Greek economy does not have “infinite” resources to keep offsetting the impact of skyrocketing energy prices, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told ministers on Tuesday, warning of a “tough” winter ahead. “Any steps we take will be measured so that temporary needs do not undermine national imperatives… If we have succeeded in supporting society so far, to the best of our ability, it is precisely because we exhaust the fiscal limits, without abolishing them,” the prime minister told a cabinet meeting at his office in Athens. The prime minister hailed the European Commission’s announcement on Monday that it intends to introduce a series of reforms to the energy market to contain runaway prices, but warned against delaying any such initiatives.


“Every day that passes without a joint approach to the energy crisis makes the problems for all Europeans grow,” said Mitsotakis, who had presented Brussels with list of such reform proposals earlier in the year. The energy crisis, added Mitsotakis, is a concerted assault against the West by Russia, which “is seeking to create social turmoil and political instability inside the countries opposing its plans by applying economic pressure.” He added that Greece is among the countries being targeted by Moscow for taking Ukraine’s side in Russia’s ongoing invasion. “Mr Putin is doing nothing to hide it, and neither is Mr Erdogan, who has publicly stated that he would like a different government in Athens,” Mitsotakis added, referring to Russian and Turkish presidents, respectively.

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“The brutal lesson is that neoliberalism is like a chocolate teapot..”

The Real Problem Is That Europe Doesn’t Have Any Energy Supplies (Every)

Of course, the real problem is that Europe doesn’t have any energy supplies to force state or private capital into – or at least not ones it is prepared to tap: indeed, Germany’s economy minister says the “bitter reality” is that Russia will not resume gas supply. Enjoy those stocks you have built up at huge expense, because there will be far less flow ahead. As such, what power source will the EU link electricity prices to? Solar panels, in winter when northern Europe’s energy requirements are at their highest? Burning the M&Ms that unicorns excrete? Underlining the point, Brent oil prices rose 4% to over $105 yesterday before retreating slightly (and wheat and corn went up 3-4% too, showing that central banks are still behind the curve on that front); Iraq slipped into chaos, with the US airlifting its personnel out of another Greater Middle East embassy(!); it was rumored OPEC+ may announce a production cut ahead; that the US might have to dip into its Strategic Petroleum Reserve even more – as if there can’t be a real crisis that demands its use ahead; and US Department of Defence spokesman Kirby warned he was concerned about the possibility of energy shortages ahead.

The brutal lesson is that neoliberalism is like a chocolate teapot – it looks amazingly sweet until things get ‘hot’, and then it serves no purpose at all. Yet industrial policy/corporatism/fascism/Common Prosperity also needs to be based on the real, and realpolitik, not the ideal. If the EU throws de facto MMT/printed money at energy subsidies within a neoliberal framework with no concrete, achievable plan for more energy supply (of what? From whom?) then it is simply going to drive global energy prices higher, many EM into the ground – some of whom are located close to Europe, EUR well through the parity floor, and inflation still into the sky. So let’s hope there is joined-up thinking behind their latest proposals. Relatedly, the title of today’s Daily, ‘The Power of the Powerless’ (which I have used before) addresses the energy situation in Europe, but was also the title of a political pamphlet by dissident Vaclav Havel against communist Czechoslovakia.

He argued the first step to bringing down the regime was for a powerless greengrocer not to place the state-backed sign saying, ‘Workers of the World, Unite!’ in his window. If Europe (and others) had done the same with certain neoliberal-approved signs they arguably would not be in the critical mess they are in now. Finally, and also linked to the Daily title –as even the ECB agrees with me!– military reports are that a Ukrainian Kherson counter-offensive has begun. Market participants who have read any history will know that watching the success or failure on that key front will likely also be key to the global geopolitical and inflation outlook longer term. Far more so than most central bank warble, regardless of how much power they like to think they have.

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“.. the move was to “protect the legitimate business rights and interests of the relevant importers and exporters..”

China Is Aggressively Reselling Russian Gas To Europe (ZH)

One month ago, we were surprised to read how, despite a suppressed appetite for energy amid its housing crash and economic downturn (for which “zero covid” has emerged as a convenient scapegoat for emperor Xi), China has been soaking up more Russian natural gas so far this year, while imports from most other sources declined. In July, the SCMP reported that according to Chinese customs data, in the first six months of the year, China bought a total of 2.35 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – valued at US$2.16 billion. The import volume increased by 28.7% year on year, with the value surging by 182%. It meant Russia has surpassed Indonesia and the United States to become China’s fourth-largest supplier of LNG so far this year!

This, of course, is not to be confused with pipeline gas, where Russian producer Gazprom recently announced that its daily supplies to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline had reached a new all-time high (Russia is China’s second-largest pipeline natural gas supplier after Turkmenistan), and earlier revealed that the supply of Russian pipeline gas to China had increased by 63.4% in the first half of 2022. What was behind this bizarre surge in Russian LNG imports, analysts speculated? After all, while China imports over half of the natural gas it consumes, with around two-thirds in the form of LNG, demand this year had fallen sharply amid economic headwinds and widespread shutdowns. In other words, why the surge in Russian LNG when i) domestic demand is just not there and ii) at the expense of everyone else?

“The increase in Russian LNG could be a displacement of cargoes going to Japan or South Korea because of sanctions, or weaker demand there,” said Michal Meidan, director of the China Energy Programme at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. One thing that was clear: China wanted to keep its arms-length gas dealing with Russia as unclear as possible, which is why the General Administration of Customs of China stopped publicizing the breakdown in trade volume for pipeline natural gas since the beginning of the year, with spokesman Li Kuiwen confirming that the move was to “protect the legitimate business rights and interests of the relevant importers and exporters”.

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Bet on it.

Poland Warns Of EU ‘Implosion’ Over Ukraine Conflict (RT)

A burgeoning divide within the EU on the Ukraine conflict could implode the bloc, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told French media on Monday. This is because certain member states would prefer to seek peace rather than sticking with Kiev until it prevails in its fight against Russia, the Polish leader said. Speaking to Le Figaro newspaper, Morawiecki indicated that Russia would endeavor to persuade the West to end the hostilities in Ukraine and get back to “business as usual,” taking advantage of divisions among EU members on the matter. “So yes, a threat of implosion exists. That is why it is so important to maintain a dialogue between us, to find compromises and a common denominator,” he said.

On Monday, Morawiecki met with French President Emmanuel Macron. According to the Polish prime minister, the two discussed the Ukraine conflict, how to “force Russian troops to withdraw,” as well as the EU’s economic woes. The Polish leader said he and Macron share a common vision for strengthening the bloc’s military capabilities. However, Morawiecki admitted that he and the French leader have a number of differences over Ukraine, saying that while they both believe that European unity should be defended, Macron would do better to talk less to Russian President Vladimir Putin and more to Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky. “My view is that Zelensky deserves all the French support, because he is fighting for the most important European values, for freedom, justice, sovereignty. He should be the main recipient of phone calls from the Elysee Palace,” Morawiecki noted.

He also said that if Poland held the rotating EU presidency, it would push for the seizing of Russian assets, which are now just frozen, because “this type of sanctions could really threaten Russia.” Morawiecki’s comments come after the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, admitted on Sunday that the bloc would encounter “major challenges” due to the anti-Russian sanctions that it slapped on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict. Meanwhile, Politico reported on Monday that Germany and France had spoken against a full visa ban on Russian nationals, which has apparently frustrated some Russia hawks in the EU, who are calling for a stronger pushback against Moscow.

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Of course in an energy crisis, you shut down your biggest nuclear plant.

US Urges Shutdown Of Nuclear Plant Slated For IAEA Inspection (RT)

Senior US officials have urged a full shutdown of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is under Russian control. A “controlled shutdown” of the facility “would be the safest and least risky option in the near-term,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told journalists on Monday. The same call came from an unnamed senior US defense official, who briefed journalists the same day. The power plant and the city of Energodar that hosts it have been under Russian control since March, though Ukrainian civilian workers continue to operate the facility. For several weeks now, the site has been under constant artillery and drone attacks. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of being behind the strikes.

Kiev has also claimed that Russian forces have used the Zaporozhye facility as a military base and have deployed heavy weapons there, which Moscow has denied. This week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, is expected to visit the plant for an on-site inspection. The agency’s delegation will be led by its head, Rafael Grossi, and may arrive at the site as soon as Wednesday. The Soviet-built Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is the largest facility of its kind in Europe. It hosts six of Ukraine’s 15 power-generating reactors, which are spread across four plants. The facility reached its full capacity of over 6,000 MW for the first time in December 2021, when all of its VVER-1000 units became operational at the same time.

At the moment, only reactors five and six remain online. Despite hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, the Zaporozhye plant supplies power to parts of Ukraine controlled by both sides, according to the head of the Russia-allied administration of Zaporozhye Region, Vladimir Rogov. The Russian military suggested in mid-March that shutting down the reactors could become necessary due to Ukrainian attacks on the plant. Such a proposal was voiced by Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov, who heads the unit of the Russian armed forces trained in dealing with the consequences of the use of weapons of mass destruction, including radiation contamination.

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Surprise: Zelensky says it’s the Russians.

Ukraine Targets Possible IAEA Route To Zaporozhye – Local Official (RT)

Ukrainian forces are shelling a potential route of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission, which is set to examine the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant this week, local authorities claimed on Tuesday. Zaporozhye Region council member Vladimir Rogov told RIA Novosti that “Ukrainian nationalists are targeting locations that could be visited by the IAEA mission in Energodar,” where the plant is located. He added that “[Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky’s regime also started a military operation in the south of the country,” which raises concerns for the safety of the IAEA mission. Rogov also said Kiev’s forces have shelled the NPP’s resort house that could accommodate the IAEA delegation.

On Monday, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi announced that an expert group would visit the NPP this week to assess the damage sustained by the plant and check the safety and security systems. Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant has been under Russian control since March. Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of attacking the plant, while warning that the shelling could trigger a disaster that would eclipse the Chernobyl incident. Kiev insists, however, that Russian forces are shelling the site while stationing military hardware there. On Sunday night, Ukrainian forces shelled Energodar, the city where the plant is located, local officials said.

They claimed that the attack, which injured nine people and deliberately hit a number of residential houses, was meant to torpedo the upcoming IAEA mission. “This provocation by Kiev-controlled militants is aimed at derailing the visit of the IAEA chief to the Zaporozhye NPP,” they said at the time. Also on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Kiev’s forces attempted a counter-offensive in Kherson in southern Ukraine, but “failed miserably.” The ministry went on to say that the Ukrainian army had attempted to attack in three directions, but made no gains and suffered “great losses,” which included dozens of tanks and armored fighting vehicles.

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“Russia may recover a lot sooner than Europe.”

EU Has No Alternative To Russian Energy – ex Saudi Aramco VP (RT)

There’s not enough capacity in the world to replace Russia’s gas supply to the European Union, while Moscow has plenty of markets to sell its energy to, the former executive vice president at Saudi Aramco, Sadad Al-Husseini, told CNBC on Monday. “The US doesn’t have the LNG capacity to replace Russia’s exports to Europe,” he said, noting that power bills across the EU are set to soar this winter. According to Al-Husseini, that could lead to serious problems on the global energy market. “This situation is a new world, and it’s not a very good one for energy,” he warned. “In any case, there isn’t enough LNG capacity in the world to make up for the Russian exports to Europe,” the former executive said, adding that, “It will take years for the EU to find resources to replace Russian supply.”


As regards to Moscow losing EU buyers, he noted that, despite Western sanctions, there are “plenty of alternative markets” for Russian energy, including China, Japan, or India. Meanwhile, Europe does not have alternative energy sources, he said, “while the US is maxed out already, North Africa has got problems,” and OPEC is also running out of spare capacity. “So, it’s a global problem,” he said. The official suggested that, while the Russian economy may suffer under Western sanctions, the rest of the world will be suffering with them. However, he stressed that “Russia may recover a lot sooner than Europe.”

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@imetatronink:
“• 48 tanks
• 83 armored vehicles
• ~1200 soldiers
A massacre.
This will be the final AFU “offensive” of the war.”

Surprise: Zelensky says it’s a big success.

Promised “Major Ukrainian Counter-attack” Ends In Disaster (Saker)

(machine translation) The Defense Ministry called the losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces during the failed offensive of Ukraine near Kherson Ukrainian troops attempted an offensive in the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions, as a result, the AFU units suffered heavy losses, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters. “Today, during the day, on the direct instructions of Zelensky, Ukrainian troops attempted an offensive in the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions in three directions. As a result of the active defense of the grouping of Russian troops, the AFU units suffered heavy losses,” TASS reports. The ministry added that “the enemy’s losses in manpower amounted to more than 560 servicemen, another attempt at offensive actions of the enemy failed miserably.”

According to the Defense Ministry, the Russian Armed Forces destroyed 26 Ukrainian tanks, 23 infantry fighting vehicles, nine other armored combat vehicles, shot down two Su-25 attack aircraft. Earlier on Monday, Deputy head of the administration of the Kherson region Kirill Stremousov said: the AFU has been shelling several settlements of the Kherson region since Sunday evening. Schools, social infrastructure were destroyed, residential buildings were damaged, the official confirmed. But there is no question of any APU offensive on Kherson, statements in the Ukrainian media – “this is some kind of illusion, a movie,” Stremousov pointed out.

As the head of the Kakhovsky district, Vladimir Leontiev, in turn, reported, the AFU inflicted more than 10 missile strikes on Novaya Kakhovka, including residential buildings and schools. Some strikes were carried out from HIMARS, residential buildings and a school were damaged, the head of the district said. Aviation, missile troops and artillery hit nine control points of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the day, including on the territory of the Mykolaiv region, the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, said on Monday.

‘Now is the time for Russian soldiers to flee’: Zelensky

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“Day and night, the drums of war never stop beating.”

Ukraine & the Politics of Permanent War (Chris Hedges)

No one, including the most bullish supporters of Ukraine, expect the nation’s war with Russia to end soon. The fighting has been reduced to artillery duels across hundreds of miles of front lines and creeping advances and retreats. Ukraine, like Afghanistan, will bleed for a very long time. This is by design. On Aug. 24, the Biden administration announced yet another massive military aid package to Ukraine worth nearly $3 billion. It will take months, and in some cases years, for this military equipment to reach Ukraine. In another sign that Washington assumes the conflict will be a long war of attrition it will give a name to the U.S. military assistance mission in Ukraine and make it a separate command overseen by a two- or three-star general.

Since August 2021, Biden has approved more than $8 billion in weapons transfers from existing stockpiles, known as drawdowns, to be shipped to Ukraine, which do not require congressional approval. Including humanitarian assistance, replenishing depleting U.S. weapons stocks and expanding U.S. troop presence in Europe, Congress has approved over $53.6 billion ($13.6 billion in March and a further $40.1 billion in May) since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion. War takes precedence over the most serious existential threats we face. The proposed budget for the CDC in fiscal year 2023 is $10.675 billion while the proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is $11.881 billion. Our approved assistance to Ukraine is more than twice these amounts.

The militarists who have waged permanent war costing trillions of dollars over the past two decades have invested heavily in controlling the public narrative. The enemy, whether Saddam Hussein or Vladimir Putin, is always the epitome of evil, the new Hitler. Those we support are always heroic defenders of liberty and democracy. Anyone who questions the righteousness of the cause is accused of being an agent of a foreign power and a traitor. The mass media cravenly disseminates these binary absurdities in 24-hour news cycles. Its news celebrities and experts, universally drawn from the intelligence community and military, rarely deviate from the approved script. Day and night, the drums of war never stop beating. Its goal: to keep billions of dollars flowing into the hands of the war industry and prevent the public from asking inconvenient questions.

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You put in the sanctions. That backfired. Well, you always know who to blame. Problem is, when people are cold and dark, they will look at you.

France Accuses Russia Of Using Gas As ‘Weapon Of War’ (RT)

French Energy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher on Tuesday accused Moscow of using its gas exports as a weapon after a reduction of Russian supplies to France was reported. “Very clearly Russia is using gas as a weapon of war and we must prepare for the worst case scenario of a complete interruption of supplies,” the minister told France Inter radio. EU governments are trying to fill up gas storages to avoid shortages during the fast-approaching heating season, and any supply shortfalls from Russia, which is still a large source of gas for the bloc, are met with increased worry.


Earlier on Tuesday, Le Figaro reported that, according to a press release from French energy supplier Engie, Russia’s Gazprom has cut gas supplies because of an unspecified contractual dispute. Furthermore, the Russian energy major is slated to halt supplies to the EU via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline due to maintenance from Wednesday to Friday. French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Monday warned domestic companies that they would be the first to face energy rationing in the event of shortages of natural gas or electricity, and called on them to draft energy saving plans by September.

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Look at the future.

The SCO: Half The World’s Population To Forge The New World Order (Trenin)

Over 20 years after it began as an attempt at cooperation between five-Russian led post-Soviet states and an emerging China, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has become a major global institution, representing close to half of the world’s population. From September 15-16, Samarkand, one of the ancient centers of human civilization, will host the annual summit of the group. The Uzbek presidency’s priorities include strengthening the SCO’s capabilities in assuring regional security and stability; promoting friendship and good-neighborliness; raising its global profile; countering threats in the information and ideological spheres; expanding parliamentary links; energizing economic interaction; enhancing connectivity; intensifying cultural and humanitarian contacts; and raising the general effectiveness of the collective and its mechanisms.

All of this looks impressive, but quite anodyne, and the documents to be formally approved at the summit do not promise any major sensations – beyond the long-expected admission of Iran as the SCO’s ninth member state. Yet the environment in which the Samarkand summit will be held differs greatly even from last year’s gathering in Dushanbe. Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has led to a proxy war between Moscow and Washington. Meanwhile, Sino-US relations, already confrontational, have become palpably strained over the recent visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. sNATO’s new strategic concept adopted last June in Madrid describes Russia as the most significant and direct threat, and China – for the first time – as a challenge to Western interests, security and values. As a result, the international community has moved visibly closer to a Cold War-style division between two camps in an intensifying rivalry over the world order.

That said, the SCO is unlikely to become the non-West’s version of NATO. While the US-led bloc is now more united than ever in its effort to preserve the order built and developed in the heyday of its global dominance, non-Western nations do not display anything similar to that sort of unity, hierarchy, and internal discipline. Russia and China, although they both reject US global hegemony, pursue very different grand strategies and – despite their public declarations of a cooperation that “knows no limits,” and a partnership that is “more than an alliance” – are careful not to damage their other important connections – e.g., China’s with the US and EU; and Russia’s with India – as they cooperate with each other. Moreover, China and India, not to mention the latter and Pakistan, while all members of the SCO, view each other as major security threats.

Despite such diversity and complexity, however, the SCO, at the start of its third decade, is not only still in business, but is steadily getting more active and becoming more attractive to others. In 2001, it started at six; after 2017, the membership expanded to eight, with another 20 countries or so listed as observers, dialogue partners, or in the process of joining. Iran’s accession this year is spurring the interest of Turkey and a number of Arab countries, notably the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Qatar. The SCO community could potentially include much of the Eurasian continent between Belarus and Cambodia. Such enlargement carries obvious risks in terms of even wider diversity of interest, conflict, and frictions between the countries that aspire to join. Yet, the example of China and Russia; India and Pakistan finding the SCO useful to their interests is a convincing argument for accession.

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“..how did the FBI know about our story weeks before it was published, maybe even before we were told about the laptop by Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer Bob Costello?”

FBI Put The Hunter Biden Story Right In Facebook’s Lap (Devine)

Since our story had nothing to do with Russian disinformation, what made Facebook think it was the “dump” the FBI warned them about? We asked Facebook: “Was there mention made in the FBI briefing of Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Ukraine or a laptop?” Facebook’s answer was curious. “The FBI shared general warnings about foreign interference — nothing specific about Hunter Biden.” Note the omissions. Whatever was said, the briefing must have been specific enough for Facebook to recognize immediately that our story was exactly what the FBI was warning about and move at record speed to throttle it.

At 11:10 a.m. the morning the story went live, Democratic operative Andy Stone, Facebook’s communications manager, issued a statement on Twitter announcing “we are reducing its distribution on our platform” while the story is “fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners.” All morning the bombshell story had been the subject of frenetic commentary from journalists on twitter. But Stone’s announcement killed it stone dead. Twitter followed Facebook’s lead and locked The Post’s account for two weeks. Mission accomplished. Polls show that the outcome of the election may have been different if the story had not been censored.

[..] the question is, how did the FBI know about our story weeks before it was published, maybe even before we were told about the laptop by Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer Bob Costello? Were they spying on John Paul Mac Isaac, the owner of the Delaware Mac repair shop where Hunter had abandoned his laptop in April 2019? Mac Isaac believed he was under surveillance after he first contacted the FBI on October 9, 2019, via his father, to tell them he had the laptop and was concerned about evidence of crimes he believed it contained. The FBI’s response was oddly hostile. sWhat followed was a curious visit to his Delaware home by FBI agents Mike DeMeo and Joshua Wilson of the FBI’s Baltimore office a month later, and again to his store on December 9, this time with a subpoena for Hunter’s water-damaged laptop and a hard drive clone of its contents which Mac Isaac had made.

[..] We don’t know whether Mac Isaac was under FBI surveillance. But we don’t have to speculate about Rudy Giuliani. We know the FBI spied on the former mayor’s cloud for two years from May, 2019, a month after he began working as then president Donald Trump’s personal attorney. A year after raiding Giuliani’s Upper East Side apartment last April, ostensibly over FARA violations, the FBI returned all his devices, without charging him, and told the New York Times he was no longer under investigation. So the FBI had access to all Giuliani’s emails and iMessages for two years. Were they spying on Giuliani in order to spy on Trump? Unfortunately for them, Trump rarely writes emails or texts so they came up empty there. But it is possible that they saw the email to Giuliani from his lawyer Bob Costello at 4.28 p.m. on Aug. 27, 2020, telling him of Mac Isaac’s “amazing discovery.”

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Instrumental in Russiagate, too.

Top FBI Agent Resigns Amid Claims He Shielded Hunter Biden From Probe (NYP)

A top FBI agent at the Washington field office reportedly resigned from his post last week after facing intense scrutiny over allegations he helped shield Hunter Biden from criminal investigations into his laptop and business dealings. Timothy Thibault, an FBI assistant special agent in charge, was allegedly forced out after he was accused of political bias in his handling of probes involving President Biden’s son, sources told the Washington Times on Monday. The agent was escorted out of the field office by at least two “headquarters-looking types” last Friday, the sources said. Thibault, a 25-year-veteran, had already been on leave for a month after the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), started raising concerns about whistleblower claims the FBI had obstructed its own investigations into the first son.

In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray in July, Grassley said Thibault and FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten were allegedly involved in “a scheme” to “undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden by falsely suggesting it was disinformation.” Thibault also allegedly tried to kill off a valid avenue of investigation of possible Hunter Biden criminality up until at least one month before the Nov. 2020 election, according to Grassley. “Thibault allegedly ordered the matter closed without providing a valid reason as required by FBI guidelines…. [and] subsequently attempted to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future,” Grassley wrote. It was the same month The Post first started reporting on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, which included troves of emails related to his shady overseas business dealings.

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“..we counted 14 different ways of attributing deaths to COVID-19..”

Three Ways the Psychotic Covid Panic Narrative Was Created (DS)

Throughout restrictions which Lord Sumption called a “catastrophe”, we were exposed to the mantra of ‘follow the science’. But unfortunately, the only ‘science’ that seems to have been followed in the major decisions is that of modellers and government departments. Models are akin to opinions. If they are science, the evidence they provide sits on the lowest rung of the ladder. Modellers are accountable to no one; most have never seen a patient in their lives as they have no clinical background, which impedes their understanding of how people behave. Individuals are not herds of buffalos. Some modellers have a consistent track record of getting their predictions dramatically wrong with (again) catastrophic consequences.

Since the start, we have looked at the evidence underpinning the fear-generating narrative pushed by the Government, some politicians, the media and many Twitterati, who overnight forgot the principles of scientific investigation, equipoise or uncertainty and the work of many pioneers in respiratory virus epidemiology spanning a century. The psychotic narrative rests on three legs of what we call the Covid narrative stool. The first leg is the number of cases. We have shown that misuse of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based on a superficial understanding amplified the number of ‘cases’ as many of these were not likely to be infectious at all. The second leg was the hospital pressure theme. Here using data which should have been available (but are not), we have shown that up to 40% of hospital cases were infected while in hospital, a phenomenon which shows no sign of abating. The data from three devolved nations and our interpretation have been serialised on our website.

Finally deaths. A death in epidemiology is the one inevitable outcome you can observe and tally. The question is: what caused it? This is called attribution. Looking at the data from freedom of information requests made by an alert public and the response at times by patronising authorities, we counted 14 different ways of attributing deaths to COVID-19. The first prize for the most bizarre was the Care Quality Commission’s: it left it to the care provider to decide the cause of death. So it is possible that administrators decided what role SARS-CoV-2 played in your grandmother’s death. In one health authority’s case, deaths of people who tested ‘negative’ were rolled into the Covid total.

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“..even if he was “only right five percent of the time,” it still means “we were lied to five percent of the time.”

Fauci’s Presence Is No Longer Politically Sustainable (CHD)

While Dr. Anthony Fauci claims he’s stepping down to “pursue the next chapter” of his career, an attorney who has been pursuing legal accountability for Fauci’s actions believes it’s because “his presence is no longer politically sustainable.” Fauci announced on Aug. 22 that he is stepping down from his positions as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Laboratory of Immunoregulation and as chief medical adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden. “The huge pop we are all hearing is the global opening of champagne bottles celebrating Fauci’s departure,” attorney Thomas Renz told The Epoch Times.

Renz is the lead attorney in several major cases brought against the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, the Biden administration and Fauci himself; regarding forced vaccine mandates, the COVID-19 lockdowns, mask mandates, business closures, alleged hospital negligence, vaccine injuries to military personnel and civilians and efforts to censor the truth about COVID-19. While his assertions have been dismissed as “false,” “rich in conspiracy theory” and “based on faulty data due to a database glitch,” Renz responded to critics that even if he was “only right five percent of the time,” it still means “we were lied to five percent of the time.”

According to Renz, the whole COVID-19 playbook used by the government and the liberal media to force compliance of restrictive protocols is filled with inaccuracies and inconsistencies. While Fauci demanded the use of masks and social distancing because these measures were supposed to prevent the spread of the virus, numerous studies and scientists say otherwise. The CDC admitted in August 2020 that “sustaining social distancing interventions over several months might not be feasible economically and socially.” Fauci himself has flip-flopped numerous times on the effectiveness of wearing masks. Democrat politicians who imposed mask mandates, lockdowns, quarantines and rules barring indoor personal-care services were frequently caught doing precisely what they forbade others to do.

UK Funeral Director John O’Looney

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The very first Calvin and Hobbes.

 

 

Biden WMD

 

 

 

 

Tucker Carlson – This isn’t bad policy; this is nuts

 

 

Kagu

 

 

Flying fox young bats ride clinging to their mother’s breast with their mouth, even though some young are two-thirds the weight of their mothers & quite capable of flying on their own. Photo: Hemant Kumar.

 

 

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Jul 032021
 


Julian Assange turns 50 today, in isolation

 

Polymerase-specific T Cells Expand In Seronegative SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Mxiv)
Clot Death Risk To 18-39s From AZ Vaccine Is 2x Covid Death Risk (IE)
French Senate Considers Mandatory Covid Vaccines For Adults Aged 24-59 (RT)
Bali Swept Up In Indonesia’s Harsh Lockdown Despite 71% Vaccination Rate (RT)
Tech Giants Still Not Coming Clean About Covid-19 Disinformation, Says EU (TC)
Vatican In Push Against Vaccine Scepticism (RT)
“Intellectual Capture?” On YouTube’s Demonetization of Bret Weinstein (Taibbi)
Stumbling Toward Reality (Kunstler)
Natural Resource Drain Created By “Net Zero Emission” Targets (ZH)
Biden Aide Charges “Sabotage” Of Harris (Axios)
New Emails Raise New Allegations of Influence Peddling By Hunter Biden (Turley)
Key Assange Witness Recants – With Zero Corporate Media Coverage (Fair)

 

 

Delta Case Fatality Rate in UK appears 8 times higher among the fully vaccinated than the unvaccinated

 

 

Early intervention

 

 

In the strongest immune systems, T cells kill the virus so fast the body has no time (or reason) to create antibodies. So an antibody test will raise an alarm: there are none! A PCR test will likely show the virus though, even though it’s dead. You can’t win. Both test results will lead to a call for a vaccine.

Polymerase-specific T Cells Expand In Seronegative SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Mxiv)

Individuals with likely exposure to the highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 do not necessarily develop PCR or antibody positivity, suggesting some may clear sub-clinical infection before seroconversion. T cells can contribute to the rapid clearance of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronavirus infections1–5 . We hypothesised that pre-existing memory T cell responses, with cross-protective potential against SARS-CoV-26–12, would expand in vivo to mediate rapid viral control, potentially aborting infection. We studied T cells against the replication transcription complex (RTC) of SARS-CoV-2 since this is transcribed first in the viral life cycle13–15 and should be highly conserved. We measured SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in a cohort of intensively

monitored healthcare workers (HCW) who remained repeatedly negative by PCR, antibody binding, and neutralisation for SARS-CoV-2 (exposed seronegative, ES). 16-weeks postrecruitment, ES had memory T cells that were stronger and more multispecific than an unexposed pre-pandemic cohort, and more frequently directed against the RTC than the structural protein-dominated responses seen post-detectable infection (matched concurrent cohort). The postulate that HCW with the strongest RTC-specific T cells had an abortive infection was supported by a low-level increase in IFI27 transcript, a robust early innate signature of SARS-CoV-2 infection16.

We showed that the RNA-polymerase within RTC was the largest region of high sequence conservation across human seasonal coronaviruses (HCoV) and was preferentially targeted by T cells from UK and Singapore pre-pandemic cohorts and from ES. RTC epitope-specific T cells capable of cross-recognising HCoV variants were identified in ES. Longitudinal samples from ES and an additional validation cohort, showed pre-existing RNA-polymerase-specific T cells expanded in vivo following SARS-CoV-2 exposure, becoming enriched in the memory response of those with abortive compared to overt infection. In summary, we provide evidence of abortive seronegative SARS-CoV-2 infection with expansion of cross-reactive RTC-specific T cells, highlighting these highly conserved proteins as targets for future vaccines against endemic and emerging Coronaviridae.

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But the benefits still outweigh the risks, says the Irish health body. Who are these people?

Clot Death Risk To 18-39s From AZ Vaccine Is 2x Covid Death Risk (IE)

The HSE has admitted a greater risk of blood clotting in younger people still exists for the AstraZeneca vaccine, but that risk is now outweighed by a need to speed up public vaccination. A new modelling study published in the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC) medical journal has concluded that the dangers presented to younger people by the AstraZeneca vaccine are greater than the benefits. The study, published in the weekly edition of the Eurosurveillance journal, models four months of a vaccine distribution strategy in France involving Vaxzevria (commonly called AstraZeneca) from May 2021, and concludes that using the vaccine on the entire adult population there would avert 10 deaths from Covid among 18-39-year-olds, but would be associated with 21 deaths from blood clotting in the same age grouping over the same time period.


“Our results highlight the clear benefit of the distribution of Vaxzevria towards the population aged 55 years and older and provide valuable insight for public health decision making,” the study concludes. Last April, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee’s (Niac) recommended that AstraZeneca should only be given to people over the age of 60 in Ireland due to the risk of very rare blood clots and the fact older people are more susceptible to severe Covid infection than their younger counterparts. The move followed a wave of similar decisions across other European health bodies as details of the clotting risk solidified. However, in light of dire projections earlier in the week from Nphet concerning the potential spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19, the HSE announced that from Monday, July 5, all 18-34-year-olds will be able to avail of Janssen vaccines, administered by 750 pharmacies.

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Illegal. Simple.

French Senate Considers Mandatory Covid Vaccines For Adults Aged 24-59 (RT)

The French Senate is considering implementing obligatory vaccinations for those aged 24-59 to help the country weather the anticipated next spike of coronavirus infections in what would be a fourth wave of cases. The body published a report from its Common Mission of Information on Thursday, advocating for mandatory vaccinations of young to middle-aged adults on the grounds it could significantly lower hospitalization rates and deaths. The report issued a stern warning: “act now to limit impact”. The report follows Prime Minister Jean Castex’s announcement on Wednesday that he will consult elected officials and chairmen of parliament on the compulsory vaccination of caregivers, with senators pushing for this to also include 24-59 year olds.


The age group was chosen as over 90% of people infected with Covid are under 60 in France, the Pasteur Institute said. To prevent hospitalization rates rising like last year, the Institute found that among 12-17 year-olds, a 30% vaccination rate was needed, and 70% among 18-59s. A vaccine uptake of 90% for those over 60 was deemed necessary. However, France’s vaccination campaign – which has prioritized those most susceptible to catching Covid, such as healthcare workers and people over 65 – is lagging behind these targets. Among 18-29 year-olds, 15.36% are fully vaccinated. Just under a quarter of those aged 30-49 have been inoculated, while the figure rises to half among 50-64 year olds.

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260 million people stretched out over countless islands. Give them IVM.

Bali Swept Up In Indonesia’s Harsh Lockdown Despite 71% Vaccination Rate (RT)

Hundreds of roadblocks and checkpoints have been erected across Indonesia as authorities attempt to enforce a harsh lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19, which has surged in the country in recent weeks. “We are setting up [patrols] in 21 locations where typically there are crowds,” Istiono, the head of Indonesia’s national traffic police, who goes by only one name, told reporters on Friday night. “Where there are street stalls and cafes, we will close those streets, maybe from around 6pm until 4am.” The beefed-up patrols and roadblocks will focus on the islands of Java – the country’s most populous, where the national capital of Jakarta is located – as well as Bali, a common tourist destination.

Some 21,000 police officers and soldiers will enforce the new restrictions, according to a police spokesman cited by Reuters. They will also administer random coronavirus tests at checkpoints. The move comes soon after President Joko Widodo declared a new lockdown earlier on Friday, set to last into late July, though it could be extended. The order requires all “non-essential” businesses to shut their doors, while Java- and Bali-based students will have to learn from home if possible. Parks, malls, indoor restaurants and places of worship, among other public spaces, have also been closed.= Some exceptions were made for those who are both vaccinated and test negative for the virus, as they were permitted to travel long-distance in the affected areas.

Indonesia is currently facing one of Asia’s worst coronavirus outbreaks, tallying more than 20,000 cases each day in recent weeks – many believed linked to the Delta variant first observed in India – and that only accounts for those verified by testing. The country has smashed its own daily infection record for the last 12 days, according to Reuters, reporting 25,830 cases on Friday, as well as a high of 539 fatalities. While a national vaccination drive is underway, largely relying on a shot developed by China’s SinoVac, only about 5% of Indonesia’s 260 million-strong population has been fully immunized against the virus, according to figures compiled by Our World in Data. That amounts to about 13.7 million people.

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“They simply cannot police themselves alone.” Orwell.

Tech Giants Still Not Coming Clean About Covid-19 Disinformation, Says EU (TC)

European Union lawmakers have asked tech giants to continue reporting on efforts to combat the spread of vaccine disinformation on their platforms for a further six months. “The continuation of the monitoring programme is necessary as the vaccination campaigns throughout the EU is proceeding with a steady and increasing pace, and the upcoming months will be decisive to reach a high level of vaccination in Member States. It is key that in this important period vaccine hesitancy is not fuelled by harmful disinformation,” the Commission writes today. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, TikTok and Twitter are signed up to make monthly reports as a result of being participants in the bloc’s (non-legally binding) Code of Practice on Disinformation — although, going forward, they’ll be switching to bi-monthly reporting.


Publishing the latest batch of platform reports for April, the Commission said the tech giants have shown they’re unable to police “dangerous lies” by themselves — while continuing to express dissatisfaction at the quality and granularity of the data that is being (voluntarily) provided by platforms vis-à-via how they’re combating online disinformation generally. “These reports show how important it is to be able to effectively monitor the measures put in place by the platforms to reduce disinformation,” said Vera Jourova, the EU’s VP for values and transparency, in a statement. “We decided to extend this programme, because the amount of dangerous lies continues to flood our information space and because it will inform the creation of the new generation Code against disinformation. We need a robust monitoring programme, and clearer indicators to measure impact of actions taken by platforms. They simply cannot police themselves alone.”

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You would think the pope has better thinngs to do?!

Vatican In Push Against Vaccine Scepticism (RT)

The official bioethics academy of the Catholic Church has come forward alongside a host of global medical associations to demand an end to the “myths and disinformation” interfering with the fight against Covid-19. The Pontifical Council of Life (VPCL) and several international physicians’ groups spoke with reporters on Friday in what was described as an “all-out effort” to set straight the disinformation surrounding the vaccine’s place in religious doctrine, insisting the pharmaceutical mixture was not only safe and effective but also ethical under the Catholic faith. While acknowledging that some reluctance to take the jab in “disadvantaged communities” was linked to previous “breaches of trust in medical research” and overall “suspicion” of pharma firms, Friday’s joint statement said a “more pernicious form” of vaccine hesitancy was fueled by “unfounded and misleading claims and myths” and amplified on social media.


“Considered one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine, vaccines play a vital role in the prevention of infectious diseases,” they said. The groups noted the problem becomes even more complex given the vaccine skepticism within many religious groups, and even the medical community, calling for a united front against disinformation among spiritual leaders and healthcare professionals. All relevant stakeholders must exhaust all efforts to confront vaccine hesitancy by sending a clear message about the safety and necessity of vaccines and counteracting vaccine myths and disinformation The statement followed a day-long online seminar sponsored by the VPCL, along with the World Medical Association of France and the German Medical Association.

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Fitting on Assange’s Bday.

“Intellectual Capture?” On YouTube’s Demonetization of Bret Weinstein (Taibbi)

YouTube’s decision with regard to Weinstein and Heying seems part of an overall butterfly effect, as numerous other figures either connected to the topic or to DarkHorse have been censured by various platforms. Weinstein guest Dr. Robert Malone, a former Salk Institute researcher often credited with helping develop mRNA vaccine technology, has been suspended from LinkedIn, and Weinstein guest Dr. Pierre Kory of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) has had his appearances removed by YouTube. Even Satoshi Omura, who won the Nobel Prize in 2015 for his work on ivermectin, reportedly had a video removed by YouTube this week. There are several factors that make the DarkHorse incident different from other major Silicon Valley moderation decisions, including the fact that the content in question doesn’t involve electoral politics, foreign intervention, or incitement.

The main issue is the possible blurring of lines between public and private censorship. When I contacted YouTube about Weinstein two weeks ago, I was told, “In general, we rely on guidance from local and global health authorities (FDA, CDC, WHO, NHS, etc) in developing our COVID-19 misinformation policies.” The question is, how active is that “guidance”? Is YouTube acting in consultation with those bodies in developing those moderation policies? As Weinstein notes, an answer in the affirmative would likely make theirs a true First Amendment problem, with an agency like the CDC not only setting public health policy but also effectively setting guidelines for private discussion about those policies. “If it is in consultation with the government,” he says, “it’s an entirely different issue.”

Asked specifically after Weinstein’s demonetization if the “guidance” included consultation with authorities, YouTube essentially said yes, pointing to previous announcements that they consult other authorities, and adding, “When we develop our policies we consult outside experts and YouTube creators. In the case of our COVID-19 misinformation policies, it would be guidance from local and global health authorities.”

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“Dr. Fauci’s role looks like a species of generic egomania with a top hat of greed (considering his financial interests in vaccines).”

Stumbling Toward Reality (Kunstler)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who answers to the title “The Science” in certain circles, said this week that there are going to be two Americas, the vaxed and the unvaxed. Earth to Dr. Fauci: we are already two Americas: the reality-onboard and the reality-optional. One reality is that vaccines developed at “warp speed” appear to have gnarly side-effects that can outweigh the risk of the disease they’re engineered to protect against. Another reality is that the Delta variant of SARS-Covid-19 is more contagious, but also weaker, less likely to result in hospitalization among the unvaxed. Yet another reality is that the Delta variant also infects the fully-vaccinated. Oh, what to do?

Consider not allowing yourself to be jerked around by US health officials who have trouble keeping their story straight, for instance, Dr. Anthony Fauci (a.k.a. The Science) who, records show, apparently assisted the bio-warfare division of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at the Wuhan lab in the development of a world-beating, gain-of-function bat virus — which, halfway through year-two of its run, seems to be following the usual trajectory of viral epidemics by growing weaker before it disappears altogether. And then we’ll see what happens longer-term among the vaxed, who were subjected to flurries of toxic spike proteins.

It’s the opinion of some — though not myself — that the Covid-19 episode was unleashed upon the world to allow “the elite” to execute a “controlled demolition of the global economy” so as to quash climate change (by reducing carbon emissions), and therefore ensure a brighter future for said elite, while cruelly throwing the rest of the world’s population overboard. Oh, I dunno…. Klaus Schwab and his minions of The Great Reset seem more like hapless control freaks than persons actually able to control anything, least of all the whole world. Dr. Fauci’s role looks like a species of generic egomania with a top hat of greed (considering his financial interests in vaccines). The reality is that the global economy, such as it’s a high-tech industrial economy, is shooting its own wad very nicely without a whole lot of assistance from alleged nefarious parties.

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Green turns sour.

Natural Resource Drain Created By “Net Zero Emission” Targets (ZH)

While the idea of implementing net zero emissions by certain deadlines has sounded great for the companies, countries and states that have set targets, the reality of making it happen is slightly more difficult. That’s what the U.K. is finding out after Natural History Museum Head of Earth Sciences Prof Richard Herrington penned a letter to the Committee on Climate Change on the vast amount of natural resources that will be necessary to make the conversion. The letter was delivered to Baroness Brown, who chairs the Adaption Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change. In addition to noting that the U.K. would need a 20% increase in UK-generated electricity, the release also notes that “to meet UK electric car targets for 2050 we would need to produce just under two times the current total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production.”

The letter reads: “The urgent need to cut CO2 emissions to secure the future of our planet is clear, but there are huge implications for our natural resources not only to produce green technologies like electric cars but keep them charged. “Over the next few decades, global supply of raw materials must drastically change to accommodate not just the UK’s transformation to a low carbon economy, but the whole world’s. Our role as scientists is to provide the evidence for how best to move towards a zero-carbon economy – society needs to understand that there is a raw material cost of going green and that both new research and investment is urgently needed for us to evaluate new ways to source these. This may include potentially considering sources much closer to where the metals are to be used.”

It then points out obvious challenges in meeting the needs of converting all cars and vans to electric vehicles, especially as it relates to cobalt: To replace all UK-based vehicles today with electric vehicles (not including the LGV and HGV fleets), assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation NMC 811 batteries, would take 207,900 tonnes cobalt, 264,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate (LCE), at least 7,200 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium, in addition to 2,362,500 tonnes copper. This represents, just under two times the total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production during 2018. Even ensuring the annual supply of electric vehicles only, from 2035 as pledged, will require the UK to annually import the equivalent of the entire annual cobalt needs of European industry.

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Strange battle going on.

Biden Aide Charges “Sabotage” Of Harris (Axios)

Top White House officials are mobilizing to defend Vice President Kamala Harris amid a gusher of leaks about dysfunction and infighting in her office. Driving the news: White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain told Axios in a statement: “The President’s trust and confidence in her is obvious when you see them in the Oval Office together.” Biden senior adviser Cedric Richmond said in an interview late Thursday night: “It’s a whisper campaign designed to sabotage her.” Their responses came after Axios approached the White House with new reporting about growing tensions between West Wing officials and the Harris team, including chief of staff Tina Flournoy.

Some White House officials have been frustrated by a series of missteps from Harris and increasingly public bickering in her orbit, which spilled out in a Politico story on Wednesday. Flournoy’s old boss, former President Bill Clinton, came to her defense with a statement calling her “an extraordinary person. 2024 is the elephant in the room. While Biden aides overwhelmingly believe he’ll be the Democratic nominee, they also know he’d be 81 when seeking re-election. An operation sometimes visibly out of sync with Biden’s — and missteps during a recent trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, following a scrutinized interview with NBC’s Lester Holt — have reignited questions from Harris’ 2020 primary bid.

Harris would be the presumptive nominee if Biden didn’t run. Administration sources believe it would be nearly impossible to unseat the first Black woman vice president. Yet many Democrats, including some current senior administration officials, are concerned she could not defeat whomever the Republican Party puts up — even if it were Donald Trump. One Democratic operative tells Axios’ Alayna Treene that most Democrats aren’t saying, “‘Oh, no, our heir apparent is f***ing up, what are we gonna do?’ It’s more that people think, ‘Oh, she’s f***ing up, maybe she shouldn’t be the heir apparent.'” Some Democrats close to the White House are increasingly concerned about Harris’s handling of high-profile issues and political tone deafness, and question her ability to maintain the coalition that Biden rode to the White House, sources tell Axios’ Hans Nichols.

Relations between the West Wing and the Vice President’s office are tense. Several administration officials used “shitshow” when describing Harris’ office, and contrast her operation with disciplined, virtually leakproof Biden aides. Some Biden officials view the Harris operation as poorly-managed and staffed with people who don’t have long-term relationships with her. They feel she’s gotten bad advice from her press and communications shop and think it’s telling that she’s already lost two advance aides and a digital director.

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“It is clear that Hunter Biden was selling access and influence. It appears that Joe Biden was aware of that effort. That is very serious.”

New Emails Raise New Allegations of Influence Peddling By Hunter Biden (Turley)

The new emails include references to the use of Air Force II by Hunter Biden to pursue the deals — a similar pattern revealed with regard to the China dealings. The emails detail a number of visits to Mexico, including a February 2016 flight on Air Force II with his father. On the plane was his business partner Jeff Cooper, who ran Illinois-based SimmonsCooper. That is one of the largest asbestos litigation firms in the country and Hunter was given 3 percent of Cooper’s venture capital firm Eudora Global, according to emails. President Biden’s brother (who featured in past controversial deals) was also reportedly involved in some of these efforts. These dealings continued into 2018 as Hunter pushed for deals with Slim. One text message from July 24, 2018 reads “Spoke to my dad about ‘Slim ask” and Cooper responds “Oh that sounds SO F’ING GOOD.”

It obviously does not sound quite so good if you are a reporter who has been repeatedly assured by President Biden that he had no knowledge or involvement in any dealings with Hunter. That was previously refuted by various sources. Hunter himself contradicted his father’s repeated denial. Then there are the emails referring to the “Big Guy”, which witnesses say was Joe Biden. Then there is Tony Bobulinski who stated that he personally met with Joe Biden to discuss Hunter’s business dealings. Bobulinski is repeatedly praised by Hunter Biden in the emails and identified as the person in control of transactions for “the family.” He has directly contradicted Joe Biden’s denial of any knowledge or involvement in his son’s dubious dealings.

The new emails contain additional information directly contradicting President Biden. In addition to earlier pictures from golf trips and references to his involvement or knowledge, new material refers to a notable dinner arranged in Washington, D.C. Hunter arranged for then Vice President Biden to have dinner on April 16, 2015 with his Ukrainian, Russian and Kazakhstani business associates. They appropriately chose a private room at Café Milano, a Georgetown restaurant that brags that it is “Where the world’s most powerful people go.” After the dinner, Hunter received an email from Vadym Pozharskyi, an executive with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, to thank him for introducing him to his father: “Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”

It is clear that Hunter Biden was selling access and influence. It appears that Joe Biden was aware of that effort. That is very serious. If these emails are false, this is a major story. If they are true, this is a major scandal. Presumably, however, this story will result in another run to the nearest ice cream shop for breathless coverage on the current frozen delights of the President.

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Lots of similarities between Assange coverage and that of vaccines.

Key Assange Witness Recants – With Zero Corporate Media Coverage (Fair)

A key witness in the Department of Justice’s case against Julian Assange has admitted that his entire testimony is false, a revelation that could be the death knell for US attempts to prosecute the Wikileaks founder. Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson, often known as “Siggi the Hacker,” made the confession to Icelandic outlet Stundin (6/26/21) last weekend. The article details how Thordarson, a convicted felon, pedophile and diagnosed sociopath, used his position to steal money from Wikileaks, and received immunity from prosecution from the FBI in a quid pro quo. Such a blatant and juicy piece of important news should have made worldwide headlines. But, instead, as of Friday, July 2, there has been literally zero coverage of it in corporate media; not one word in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC News, Fox News or NPR.

A search online for either “Assange” or “Thordarson” will elicit zero relevant articles from establishment sources, either US or elsewhere in the Anglosphere, even in tech-focused platforms like the Verge, Wired or Gizmodo. The other major development in the case, according to the Canary (6/30/21), is Jeremy Corbyn delivering a letter from 20 MPs to the prison where Assange is held, demanding the right to visit him and treating him as a political prisoner. The news is not some sort of esoteric knowledge known only to those carefully watching Icelandic affairs. The story trended worldwide on Twitter on the weekend, with a number of prominent accounts or figures like Wikileaks itself, Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald tweeting about it.

Not only that, Thordarson’s confession was well covered by alternative news sites with a tiny fraction of the resources establishment media have (e.g., Consortium News, 6/27/21; World Socialist Web Site, 6/27/21; Canary, 6/30/21). The story led Democracy Now!’s Monday show (6/28/21), which featured an in-depth interview with Assange’s legal advisor, Jennifer Robinson. This distinction once again highlights the gaping chasm between corporate and alternative media, suggesting that certain subjects are simply no-go zones for the former. It is not that the corporate press are completely uninterested in Assange. A number of outlets have covered the news this week that he and his partner Stella Morris are planning to get married (e.g., SBS, 6/27/21; Daily Mail, 6/28/21; Evening Standard, 6/28/21; London Times, 6/29/21). Yet none of these articles mentioned the far more consequential news about Thordarson and how it undermines the entire prosecution of Assange.

Read more …

 

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