Pablo Picasso Olga in a hat with feather 1920
In their own words… pic.twitter.com/qBKtOuai3m
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) December 5, 2022
BIS warns of $80 trillion of hidden FX swap debt https://t.co/NDze7QM4hI pic.twitter.com/TPLbdc5Gt2
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 5, 2022
“If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.”
• Musk Blasts New York Times for Hate Speech Report on Twitter (ET)
Twitter owner Elon Musk blasted a New York Times report claiming problematic content and hate speech was on an “unprecedented” rise on the platform following his takeover, countering earlier claims by the billionaire. According to findings by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the Anti-Defamation League, and other groups, the NY Times reported that slurs against black Americans increased from 1,282 times a day to 3,876 times. Posts against gay men and Jews went from 2,506 times to 3,964, and 61 percent, respectively during the two weeks after Musk bought Twitter. Musk replied in a tweet that the report was “Utterly false.” The NY Times report has, till now, gotten over 44,000 likes, while the Musk response garnered 346,000 likes, and nearly 21,000 retweets.
“Elon Musk sent up the Bat Signal to every kind of racist, misogynist and homophobe that Twitter was open for business,” said Imran Ahmed, the chief executive of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, in the report. “They have reacted accordingly.” The outlet said that accounts related to the terrorist group ISIS were coming back on the platform, along with QAnon supporters who have received verification symbols.“This reporting is such garbage,” said Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow and director of the initiative on critical race theory at the Manhattan Institute. “The experience on Twitter is pretty much the same as it was before, plus a few ‘edgy’ accounts being reinstated. The left-wing journalists want to create a false narrative to justify more censorship. It’s transparent and pathetic.”
Musk has reiterated his view that hate speech will not be tolerated on the platform, and that there will be no “free-for-all hellscape” regarding speech. However, he has also upheld free speech on Twitter by uncensoring prominent conservative personalities like former president Donald Trump, investigative news organization Project Veritas, and satire site The Babylon Bee.This has irked many on the left who advocate for banning these accounts under the pretext of hate speech.“By ‘free speech’, I simply mean that which matches the law,” said Musk earlier in the year. “I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.”
Trying to get Musk. Two sides: one, animal tests are a sensitive issue. But two: enabling people to see, and hear, and walk, everyone’s in favor of that.
• Musk’s Brain Chip Company Under Federal Investigation – Media (RT)
Elon Musk’s Neuralink Corp, a firm specializing in brain implants, is facing a federal probe due to alleged “animal-welfare violations” during product tests, Reuters reported on Monday, just days after the billionaire announced a new timeline for human clinical trials. The US Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General launched the probe sometime in “recent months” after federal prosecutors said Neuralink could be violating the Animal Welfare Act, the outlet reported, citing government documents and multiple sources familiar with the investigation. The Animal Welfare Act regulates the treatment of certain animals used in research and commercial product testing, prohibiting inhumane practices which cause unnecessary suffering or death.
According to more than 20 current and former Neuralink employees, as well as dozens of internal company documents, Musk has pushed researchers at his brain chip firm to “accelerate development,” in some cases resulting in “botched experiments.” “Such failed tests have had to be repeated, increasing the number of animals being tested and killed,” employees told Reuters, adding that the number of animal deaths is higher than it needs to be “for reasons related to Musk’s demands to speed research.” At least four experiments involving 86 pigs and two monkeys were “marred” due to “human error” in recent years, meaning the tests had to be conducted again, resulting in more animal deaths. The errors were caused by “a lack of preparation by a testing staff working in a pressure-cooker environment,” employees added.
While regulatory filings show that Neuralink has passed all prior federal inspections, sources told Reuters the company does not keep exact records for the number of animals it kills during testing. The full scope of the USDA probe is not yet clear, however, and it is unknown whether the inquiry is directly tied to the complaints raised by Neuralink employees. Reports of the ongoing investigation came just days after Musk declared that US regulators could soon approve human testing for the Neuralink brain implant, claiming human trials may begin in just six months. The exact timeline remains hazy, however, as Musk has hinted at upcoming human trials before.
The billionaire entrepreneur has voiced hopes the brain implant will allow paralyzed people to walk again and the blind to regain their sight, among other medical miracles. While the new technology has yet to be tested on people, Musk has demonstrated the brain chip on more than one occasion, including an April 2021 presentation in which a macaque monkey purportedly played a video game using its mind alone.
“We’re telling Russians what to do, I mean it’s ridiculous, given what we’ve done.”
• Oliver Stone Explores Causes Of Ukraine Conflict (RT)
The US turning Ukraine into an anti-Russian country since 2014 is the root cause of the current conflict, award-winning film director Oliver Stone said in an interview with the Serbian daily Politika, published Monday.“Who are we to point fingers at anyone?” Stone told his interviewer ahead of the Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he chairs the jury. “We’re telling Russians what to do, I mean it’s ridiculous, given what we’ve done.” What is currently happening in Ukraine is “not simple at all,” Stone added, but it’s getting reduced in the West to “Russians invaded.” There is no mention of anything that has been happening in the Donbas since 2014, or how many people were displaced because the US was arming Ukraine.
“Since 2014, Ukraine was no longer neutral but anti-Russian, and that’s what disrupted the balance,” Stone told Politika, adding that “every war has causes and consequences” if one one is willing to pay attention. The ‘Snowden’ director has also produced two documentaries about the events in Kiev, ‘Ukraine on Fire’ in 2016 and ‘Revealing Ukraine’ in 2019. Both have faced bans, boycotts and attacks over the course of this year. The US is quick to condemn any country in the world when it supposedly violates the “rules-based international order,” but “America breaks all the rules whenever it wants and you know it,” Stone told his Serbian interviewer.He expressed regret for voting for Joe Biden, saying the “grandpa” turned out to be very dangerous, with a “dream” of regime change in Moscow so the US can control Russia again as it did in the 1990s.
Barack Obama’s choice of Biden as his running mate in 2008, in order to appease the establishment Democrats, was “a huge mistake,” Stone said. He also argued the only hope for the US would be the emergence of a third party, as both Democrats and Republicans are beholden to the military-industrial complex. Stone’s most recent documentary, ‘Nuclear,’ addresses the role of atomic energy in dealing with climate change. It will also be shown at the RSIFF. Asked if he was still a rebel, Stone replied he was getting old and having troubles with his eyesight and hearing, but he prefers to “live on my feet than die on my knees.”
“Ukraine is spending the money really well; that’s why they’re winning..”
• Calls for Ukraine Aid Oversight are ‘Russian Propaganda’ (Antiwar)
Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the head of the House Armed Services Committee, said Saturday that the growing calls for more oversight of the billions of dollars the US is spending on Ukraine are “part of Russian propaganda.” While the majority of Republicans strongly favor continuing to arm Ukraine, even the more hawkish GOP members have said they favor increased oversight for the aid. Smith said that the concern from Republicans for more transparency “makes me a little crazy.” “Ukraine is spending the money really well; that’s why they’re winning,” Smith said at the Reagan National Defense Forum, according to Defense News. “Yes, we need oversight, but we don’t need that as an excuse to not fund what we’re doing.”
Last month, a small group of House Republicans opposed to arming Ukraine led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) introduced a bill that would require an audit of the funds that the US has spent on the war so far. Greene said that if she needed to, she would reintroduce the legislation after the next Congress is sworn in this January. The White House is looking for Congress to approve $37.7 billion in new Ukraine aid during the lame-duck period. If authorized, the new funds will bring total US spending on a proxy war on Russia’s border to about $105 billion.
“The Saratov base lies some 600 kilometers east of Ukraine..” What missiles are they using for this?
• Bases Deep Inside Russia Rocked By Explosions; New Airstrikes Hit Ukraine (ZH)
Monday saw another major escalation in the Ukraine war as Russian media reported that explosions rocked two air bases in Russia, suggesting Ukrainian forces could be seeking to launch missiles deep into Russian territory, though the exact cause or type of weapon behind the explosions are unknown. It could also possibly be another “sabotage attack” such that was previously seen in the Crimea. One of the Russian bases struck reportedly hosts nuclear-capable strategic bombers being utilized in airstrikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure. The Associated Press details in the aftermath of the blasts, “Russian state RIA Novosti news agency said three servicemen were killed and six others injured, and a plane was damaged, early Monday when a fuel truck exploded at an air base in Ryazan, in western Russia.”
The report underscored that “The base houses long-range flight tankers that serve to refuel bombers in the air.” The other base that was hit is being identified as in the Saratov region. The Saratov base lies some 600 kilometers east of Ukraine, so both the bases are relatively deep inside Russian territory. Moscow meanwhile has taken quick, decisive action – once again launching a barrage of major airstrikes on Ukrainian cities, targeting particularly energy infrastructure as part of the stated purpose of degrading Ukraine’s power supply going into winter. For days Ukrainian officials have been warning the population to brace for new major attacks.
Air raid alert sirens sounded Monday across the country. “The enemy is again attacking the territory of Ukraine with missiles!” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, an official with the Ukrainian president’s office, wrote on Telegram. According to more from the AP: “Media reports referred to explosions in several parts of the country, including the cities of Odesa, Cherkasy and Kryvyi Rih. In Odesa, the local water supply company said a missile strike cut power to pumping stations, leaving the entire city without water.” Civilians are sheltering in underground places like metro stations, especially in the populous Ukrainian capital… Ukraine has so far counted a handful of deaths from Monday’s fresh round of Russian strikes. It’s expected that power and water access in many parts will be impacted more severely given most estimates have already put the national energy grid at 40% disabled.
Straight from Brussels to Beijing. EU suicide pact.
• The G7 Cap on Russian Oil Is a Subsidy to China (Lacalle)
There are many mistakes in the G7 agreement to put a cap on Russian oil. The first one is that it does not hurt Russia at all. The agreed cap, at $60 a barrel, is higher than the current Urals price, above the five-year average of the quoted price and higher than Rosneft’s average netback price. According to Reuters, “the G7 price cap will allow non-EU countries to continue importing seaborne Russian crude oil, but it will prohibit shipping, insurance, and re-insurance companies from handling cargoes of Russian crude around the globe, unless it is sold for less than the price cap”. This means that China will be able to purchase more Russian oil at a large discount while the Russian state-owned oil giant will continue to make a very healthy 16% return on average capital employed (ROACE) and more than 8.8 billion roubles in revenues, which means an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) that more than doubles its capex requirements.
This misguided cap is not only a subsidy to China and a price that still makes Rosneft enormously profitable and able to pay billions to the Russian state in taxes. It is a big mistake if we want to see lower oil prices. With this cap the G7 have created an unnecessary and artificial bottom to old prices. The G7 did not want to understand why oil prices have roundtripped in 2022: Competition and demand reaction. By putting a $60 a barrel cap, which is a bottom price, the G7 have almost made it impossible for prices to reach a true bottom if a demand crisis arrives. On the one hand, the G7 has taken 4.5 million barrels a day, the estimated Russian oil exports for 2023, out of the supply picture with a minimum -and maximum- price, but additionally has made OPEC keener on cutting supply and raising their exports’ average realized oil price higher.
China must be exceedingly happy. The Asian giant will secure a long-term supply at al attractive price from Russia and sell refined products globally at higher margins. Sinopec and Petrochina will find enough opportunities in the global market to secure better margins for their refined products while guaranteeing affordable supply in a challenging economic situation. When I read this news about “price caps” I wonder if bureaucrats have ever worked in a global competitive industry. They may have not, but they certainly employ thousands of “experts” that may have told them that this is a clever idea. It is rubbish. If the G7 really wanted to hurt Russia’s finances and exports the way to do it is to encourage higher investment in alternative and more competitive sources. However, what is happening is the opposite. G7 governments continue to impose barriers to investment in energy as well as place regulatory and wrongly called environmental burdens that make it even more difficult to guarantee diversification and security of supply.
Protect from whom?
• Norway And Germany Ask NATO To Protect Underwater Gas Pipelines (Remix)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Haar Støre have called on NATO to protect underwater pipelines and communication cables by creating a special coordination structure, according to Deutsche Welle. “Pipelines, telephone and internet cables are vital communications for our states; their safety should be given top priority,” Scholz said following his meeting with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre on the eve of the Berlin Security Conference. He added that the recent attacks on the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines have shown how high the risks are in this area. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the initiative. “We have increased security measures in the wake of the recent Nord Stream sabotage, and it is vital that we do even more to ensure that our maritime infrastructure is protected against future attacks,” Stoltenberg said.
Norway’s prime minister also said his country would direct some of its gas export revenues to help Ukraine and other countries affected by the global energy crisis. The rise in energy prices caused by the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine has brought additional profits to Norway. Scholz thanked Norway for the 10 percent increase in gas deliveries to Germany, as Berlin tries to make up for reduced deliveries from Russia. Scholz also said his country would continue to be a leader in defending Europe and European freedoms. “No aggressor should doubt that we have a firm intention to defend every one of our allies and every inch of alliance territory with all the forces at our disposal,” said the German chancellor.
Meanwhile, German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann confessed that Germany may have contributed to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine because it supported the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. “Knowing what we know today, the decision to proceed with Nord Stream 2 after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 was Germany’s contribution to the outbreak of war in Ukraine,” Buschmann said in a welcome address to a meeting of G7 justice ministers in Berlin. He added that it was Germany’s duty to “confront this truth directly” and “draw the right conclusions” from it.
Domestic currencies are used in a lot of trade bewteen many countries, away from the USD. It gets to add up.
• Russia and China Shift Further Away From Dollar (RT)
Russia and China are increasingly switching to their national currencies in trade, with nearly half of the two countries’ transactions carried out in rubles and yuan, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has revealed. The statement was made during a video conference with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday, with Mishustin expressing hope that the use of the national currencies instead of the US dollar and euro will grow further.“This transition… will be actively gaining momentum. This is the kind of settlement that should prevail. This is the logic of a sovereign economic and financial policy of a multipolar world,” he said. Mishustin noted that despite external pressures and unfavorable economic conditions, trade between the two countries has seen double-digit growth, and in the first ten months of the year, trade turnover was up by almost a third and is now close to $150 billion.
“This is already higher than last year’s figures. In the long term, as the leaders of the two countries agreed, we will reach $200 billion or more,” he stated. In recent years, Russia and China have been ramping up the use of domestic currencies in mutual settlements in an effort to move away from the US dollar and euro. Moscow has been steadily pursuing a policy of de-dollarization in foreign trade and has increased the use of the yuan. In addition to the Chinese currency featuring more frequently in trade settlements, some Russian companies have begun issuing yuan-denominated bonds, while a number of banks are offering deposits in the currency.
“..despite their gaslight and smoke-screens, the global bankruptcy approaches its nauseating climax..”
• Some Lights Go Out, Some Lights Go On (Kunstler)
Have Americans grokked that virtually all of the mis-and-dis-information bombarding them lo these many years actually comes from the government and the news media channels that serve it? What we’ve got now in this country is a Mind-Fuckery Industrial Complex waging a psy-ops war on the people of this land. Why is that? Essentially, to cover-up past crimes against the country by public officials. Twitter, pre-Musk, was a major accomplice and enabler of all that, and suddenly it’s not — to the horror of everyone in charge at our nation’s seat of government. The main crimes revolve around selling-out America’s future one way or another — “Joe Biden” and Company being only the most blatant perps in the big picture.
Before them was Hillary Clinton, with her purchase of the Democratic National Committee and previous lucrative ops during her turn as Secretary of State, like the Uranium One deal, the Skolkovo military tech transfer op, and then the Russia Collusion op to insure none of that would ever come to light. The whole Intel Community behemoth was neck deep in it, too, amping up the Russia prank into a four-year coup d’état. Remember, The New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting that Hillary’s little hoax was for-real. It’s all just gotten more grotesque since Mr. Trump was ejected in the souped-up 2020 election, with sideshows such as the ongoing race-and-gender hustles, the climate con, and the Green New Deal bullshit.
Covid-19, surely released on-purpose, was, as Ed Dowd avers, a cover for global bankruptcy. Nothing else explains the astounding coordination of so many governments acting the same way against their own citizens: lockdowns, vaxx mandates, vaxx passports, and all. The icing on that poison cake, of course, is that everything the public health officialdom told you about Covid-19 was patently untrue, and dishonestly so, not via omission or plain incompetence. In fact, the virus was made in a Chinese lab with the help of Dr. Fauci and colleagues. Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine did work effectively against it. The “vaccines” were not tested properly and turned out to be harmful. And now the Covid-19 melodrama is ending in a discernable death-of-the-vaxxed and the reveal of all those aforesaid lies, while, anyway, despite their gaslight and smoke-screens, the global bankruptcy approaches its nauseating climax.
No spare parts.
• A Warning -Which We Will Ignore- (Denninger)
Read this carefully folks…. “Municipality and county officials “have formed a plan for the night and the next few nights that we may be out of power. It’s a very serious situation,” Fields said. “So we’ve come to an agreement to best protect our citizens and to protect the businesses of our county, we’re going to implement a curfew tonight.” The power outage in Moore County is being investigated as a “criminal occurrence” after crews found signs of potential vandalism at several locations, CNN previously reported.” Two substations taken out with (presumed) small-arms rifle fire (e.g. bog-standard hunting rifles) from what obviously were a very small group of people, perhaps one or two at each location pissed off about who-knows-what.
Question: Why couldn’t this be immediately fixed? Answer: They don’t have spares for the parts that were damaged. It’s a gun folks, not a large blast that destroyed the land around the area. Equipment was damaged. Ok, so replace it and turn the power back on. That only works if you have the replacements, which they obviously do not. There is nowhere in this nation where you can’t drive a truck full of equipment across a single county in a couple of hours. Doing so requires you have the replacements. Why do they not have the spares?
Because we sent our supply lines overseas, we made no provisions to have spares, and the regulators at the state and federal level sat on their hands and played with themselves instead of requiring that providers of critical services, such as electricity, had a sufficient stock of spares to cover both routine failures and those caused by weather or low-grade assaults perpetrated by small numbers of people. This is the gross incompetence we have throughout our society. It is the manifestation of “oh nothing bad will ever happen so we don’t have to be prepared for it” that has shown up in all manner of other places, such as the cars that are completed except for chips in their engine computers without which they will not run, and thus they’re sitting in a field unsold.
“Will serve that after five years he’s serving on charges in New York, for a total of 19 years in prison.”
They made him their hero.
• Michael Avenatti Sentenced To 14 Years In Prison For Embezzlement (CNN)
Disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti was sentenced Monday to 14 years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $11 million in restitution for embezzling millions of dollars from four of his clients and obstruction. Avenatti pleaded guilty earlier this year to four counts of wire fraud for each client he stole from and one count of endeavoring to obstruct the administration of the Internal Revenue Code. Prosecutors said he obstructed the IRS’ effort to collect $5 million in unpaid payroll taxes for Tully’s Coffee. The sentence handed down by federal district Judge James Selna will begin after Avenatti completes a five-year prison term he’s currently serving after being convicted in two separate trials in New York.
Selna also ordered Avenatti to pay over $10 million in restitution to four clients and to the IRS. “Michael Avenatti was a corrupt lawyer who claimed he was fighting for the little guy. In fact, he only cared about his own selfish interests,” US Attorney Martin Estrada said in a statement following the sentencing. “He stole millions of dollars from his clients – all to finance his extravagant lifestyle that included a private jet and race cars. As a result of his illegal acts, he has lost his right to practice law in California, and now he will serve a richly deserved prison sentence.” Dean Steward, an attorney for Avenatti, said in a statement to CNN that the sentence “was overly harsh and uncalled for,” adding that his client described it in court as being “off the charts.”
[..] In pleading guilty earlier this year, Avenatti admitted to stealing millions of dollars from clients, including $4 million from a client with major disabilities. According to the indictment, after Avenatti negotiated settlements for the clients that required payment to go to them, he would lie to the clients about the terms of the settlements, instead depositing the funds into attorney trust accounts he controlled. He would then embezzle and misappropriate those funds, according to the indictment, and to prevent discovery of his scheme, he would tell clients the settlement proceeds hadn’t yet been paid, among other tactics.
The mainstream media is the enemy of the people.pic.twitter.com/4vlD0ygkuQ https://t.co/BIxWoaj6Ge
— Murray 🇺🇸 (@Rothbard1776) December 5, 2022
The MSM beat you to it.
• Facebook Threatens To Cancel News (RT)
Facebook’s parent company has threatened to quit carrying news on the world’s largest social media platform if US lawmakers pass a bill that could give media outlets more leverage in negotiating usage fees for their content. Members of Congress reportedly plan to add the media initiative – called the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) – to a must-pass annual defense authorization bill to help push it through. The legislation would make it easier for media outlets to negotiate collectively for a larger share of revenue from the ads posted on their content, a boost that could be especially significant for local newspapers and broadcasters.
“If Congress passes an ill-considered journalism bill as part of national security legislation, we will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether rather than submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard any value we provide to news outlets through increased traffic and subscriptions,” Meta spokesman Andy Stone said on Monday in a Twitter post. Stone argued that publishers and broadcasters put their content on Facebook because it boosts their profits. “No company should be forced to pay for content users don’t want to see and that’s not a meaningful source of revenue. Put simply: the government creating a cartel-like entity which requires one private company to subsidize other private entities is a terrible precedent for all American businesses.”
The JCPA has bipartisan support in the House and Senate, as well as bipartisan opposition. The News Media Alliance, an industry trade group that has lobbied for the JCPA, called Meta’s threat “undemocratic and unbecoming.” The group added that similar “threats were attempted before the Australian government passed a similar law to compensate news outlets, played out unsuccessfully, and ultimately news publishers were paid.” The American Civil Liberties Union is among the groups that have opposed the bill, claiming that it would create an “ill-advised antitrust exemption for publishers and broadcasters.” Critics also have pointed out that the bill doesn’t require that funds generated through social media fees be used for paying journalists.
Western countries wouldn’t know what to do with one.
• India Gets World’s First Gold ATM (RT)
Goldsikka Pvt Ltd launched its first Gold ATM with Technology support from M/s OpenCube Technologies Pvt Ltd, a Hyderabad-based startup company on December 3. This is India’s first and the world’s first real-time Gold ATM. Report informs via The Economic Times that unlike usual ATMs that dispense money, the Goldsikka ATM dispenses Gold coins. In what is India’s first gold ATM, people can insert their debit or credit cards into the Goldsikka and buy gold coins. The ATM has a capacity of storing 5kgs of gold. There are 8 available options for the quantity of gold starting from 0.5 grams to 100 grams. The Vice President of Goldsikka Pratap said, “Each ATM has a capacity of holding upto 5kgs of gold which is worth around Rs.2-3 crores.
The ATM machine dispenses coins ranging from 0.5 grams to 100 grams. There are 8 available options, including 0.5 grams, 1 gram, 2 grams, 5 grams, 10 grams, 20 grams, 50 grams and 100 grams. People can come here and get the coins directly instead of going to jewellery shops. These coins are 24-carat gold and 999 certified. The customers will get their investment returns at a live price without any wastage. The important feature of the ATM is prices are updated live. We take the London bullion market as our market year. The prices there are updated and displayed on the screen and so are the taxes. Today, we had a footfall of around 20 people till the afternoon. We are hoping that more people would use this,” he said.
Ursula’s best friend. What’s her take?
• Pfizer CEO Refuses To Testify To EU Parliament COVID Panel – Again (Pol.eu)
Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla has once again declined to testify before the European Parliament’s special COVID committee. That’s strike two. “Since the October COVID hearing, we have no further information to share with the Committee, so respectfully decline the invitation to again revisit these issues,” states the letter from Bourla dated December 2 and seen by POLITICO. Bourla previously pulled out of an appointment to testify before the committee in October, at which he was expected to face tough questions on how secretive vaccine deals were struck. That decision followed an audit report into the EU’s vaccine procurement strategy that raised new questions about contact between the pharma CEO and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that preceded a multibillion-euro vaccine contract.
On October 14, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed it had an ongoing investigation into the EU’s COVID vaccine purchases, but has not yet specified who is being investigated or which of the EU’s vaccine contracts are under scrutiny. At the October 10 COVI hearing, the company’s president of international developed markets, Janine Small, faced repeated questions from the committee on Bourla’s absence, one of which was even taped to some MEPs’ laptops. She also took questions on vaccine contract negotiations and the jabs themselves, including one from Dutch MEP Robert Roos (ECR group) about whether the vaccine was tested for its ability to prevent transmission before entering the market. That question — and Small’s answer — landed Roos an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News talk show.But, in the end, it seems Small was just no substitute for Bourla. So, on October 28, the COVID committee extended a second invitation to the CEO.
“Our committee felt that during the previous hearing with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, where Pfizer was represented by Mrs. Janine Small, important questions regarding the advanced purchase agreements between the European Union and Pfizer, which fall under the responsibility of the CEO and of which only he has the authority to respond to them, remained unanswered,” COVID committee chair Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D group) said in a statement today. “As chair of the COVI committee, I deeply regret Dr. Bourla’s refusal to discuss this matter with the Members of the European Parliament,” she said. “As a co-legislator of the European budget, the Parliament has the right to obtain full transparency on the modalities of these expenditures and the preliminary negotiations leading up to them.”
How do you explain the madness of something that should’ve never been approved in the first place? @DrAseemMalhotra @TuckerCarlson pic.twitter.com/Uf4tJv8Qby
— Texas Kate™ (@Texas_Kate) November 30, 2022
“By the standing of the @TheJusticeDept, I am now as indictable as Julian Assange.. I’d be happy to take that one to the Supreme Court.”
EXCLUSIVE: “Let me tell you a secret… I had possession of the all the Chelsea Manning information before it came out in the press” – Pentagon Papers whistleblower
Daniel Ellsberg says he was given leaked US diplomatic cables “as a backup” by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange pic.twitter.com/qQbjtzwkgK
— BBC HARDtalk (@BBCHARDtalk) December 5, 2022
A humpback whale and her calf captured on video by Paul Nicklen. pic.twitter.com/HP0gOAfzgC
— Fascinating (@fasc1nate) December 6, 2022
Newborn twins think they're still in the womb pic.twitter.com/kIt17hNUWn
— Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) December 4, 2022
This wild tiger shark has been greeting her favorite diver for 20 years — and after the pandemic separated them, she was SO excited to see him again 💙🦈 pic.twitter.com/GVnwqzoyL0
— The Dodo (@dodo) December 5, 2022
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