Hieronymus Bosch The Conjurer 1502
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) points out that according to the UN, about six times more children have been killed in Gaza in just three weeks than have been killed in Ukraine during the entire war
Van Hollen reports that someone he knows well in Gaza just had four children killed pic.twitter.com/lZtLE4un0o
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) November 1, 2023
Italian Prime Minister admits that European leaders are tired of the Ukraine war and need a way out.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) November 2, 2023
We spend more money on higher education than any other country—and yet, they’re turning our students into Communists and terrorist sympathizers.
It’s time to offer something dramatically different… pic.twitter.com/4FTigNH6LX
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) November 2, 2023
Nebenzia says Israel is an “occupying power” in Gaza and as such has no right to self-defense.
Israel says it’s not an “occupying power,” “given that the State of Palestine is a partially-recognized state and is classified as a “non-member observer state” by the United Nations..”
Is that why the two-state solution was never implemented? To deny them their rights?
“We do not deny Israel the right to fight terrorism. But fight terrorists, not civilians..”
Vassily Nebenzia called the US and its allies out for utter hypocrisy on Wednesday. According to the Russian ambassador, in crisis situations, Western countries are quick to lecture others to comply with humanitarian law and establish investigative commissions; they also rush to “impose sanctions against those who use force only as an extreme measure to stop the years-long violence.” However, in the case of Gaza, the US stayed mum about “the horrifying destruction in Gaza, which exceeds everything that they criticize in other regional contexts multifold – strikes on civilian facilities, the death of thousands of children and the horrifying suffering of civilians amid a total blockade.” The only focus of the US and its satellites is Israel’s right to self-defense, Nebenzia pointed out.
Still, there is the legal rub, according to him: under the international law Israel “does not have the right to self-defense” as an “occupying power” as per the International Court consultative ruling of 2004. Nebenzia then clarified that Russia recognizes “Israel’s right to ensure its security”, emphasizing the necessity of “a fair resolution of the Palestinian problem based on recognized UN Security Council resolutions.” “Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia is correct in stating that Israel is an occupying state, whose occupation of Palestine has been declared illegal in countless United Nations resolutions,” Professor Alfred de Zayas, a former UN Independent Expert on International Order, told Sputnik. “Israel’s obligation under Security Council Resolution 242 of 22 November 1967 is to withdraw from the occupied territories and to allow the practical implementation of the right of self-determination of the Palestine People, an inalienable right anchored in articles 1,55, Chapters XI and XII of the UN Charter as well as in Article 1 common to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).”
“It is important to recall the ruling of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of 9 July 2004 reaffirming the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people and documenting the serial violations of the UN Charter and international law perpetrated by Israel. Notwithstanding the clear language of the ICJ, Israel has not implemented any of the specific ICJ rulings, and has been able to flout the UN again and again because the United States has abused its veto right in the Security Council (approximately 80 times!) to shield Israel from condemnation and UN sanctions,” the retired UN independent expert continued. De Zayas observed that within the framework of the court’s rulings, Israel doesn’t have the right to self-defense, but should be guided by international regulations for an “occupying power.” The issue has repeatedly been raised at the UN by Palestinian diplomats.
On May 21, 2021, UN Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine Riyad Mansour insisted in his letter to the international body that “the principle of self-defense cannot be applied by Israel to itself in the occupied territory of the State of Palestine.” “As reaffirmed by the Security Council in its resolution 1860 (2009), the Gaza Strip is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967,” the letter read. Mansour argued that as an “occupying power” Israel is “bound by the relevant provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and all other relevant provisions of international law, including United Nations resolutions.” International law stipulates that “occupying states” have increased responsibilities to protect local populations and are obliged to provide them with the basic health and safety supplies.
However, from Israel’s viewpoint, it’s not an “occupying power,” given that the State of Palestine is a partially-recognized state and is classified as a “non-member observer state” by the United Nations. Tel Aviv does not agree with the concept that it has “occupied” the Gaza Strip since 1967, arguing that it had completely withdrawn from the region in 2005 and that the region has been ruled by Palestinian factions since then.
“..yesterday President Putin made a statement that I think is the most severe statement that we’ve heard from a Russian president ever, when he said that the Palestinians are fighting and the reason the Palestinians are being killed is because [of] the governments that are behind Israel, and that Russia is fighting those people in Ukraine right now.”
On Tuesday, Israeli media reported that the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence, which is equivalent to the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), had drawn up a plan to completely relocate all 2.3 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip to Egypt. The proposal, created on October 13, suggests pushing all Gaza residents across the border into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, where tent cities will be established, followed by the construction of permanent cities. It would create a “humanitarian corridor” of an undefined nature, as well as a security zone on the Israeli side of the border to prevent Palestinians from returning to Israeli territory. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed the outrage over the report, saying it was nothing more than a “concept paper” or hypothetical exercise and that the ministry has no power to suggest policy in Jerusalem.
However, the Israeli Defense Ministry has already ordered more than 1 million Gazans to leave the northern half of the Gaza Strip as it prepares for an all-out attack on Gaza City, where it expects to meet Hamas in a decisive battle that will destroy the organization. Hamas has governed the Gaza Strip since it won elections in 2006, and its militants helped carry out a cross-border raid on October 7 that killed more than 1,300 Israelis. In response to the news, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova urged that “we are talking about millions of civilians.” “Everyone is exhausted: Israelis, Palestinians, neighbors in the region, sympathizers of both around the world,” she said. “And why? But because one country judged itself as having the right to decide the destinies of millions according to its own plans. And when such an approach led absolutely everyone to a dead end, it turned out that the United States did not bear any responsibility for what it had done. It’s Halloween for them.”
“It’s clear that it is an intentional leak,” Laith Marouf, award-winning broadcaster and journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon, told Radio Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Tuesday. “It is trying to normalize, within the Western audience, this concept of ethnically cleansing Palestinians from their land. So we have to sometimes be wary when these leaks come out and understand that they were intentionally released.” “Until now, without removing the Palestinians of Gaza, out of Gaza, the Israelis have already killed upwards of 12,000 – because there’s 2,000 people under the rubble – and have displaced a million-and-a-half people inside Gaza. So the number of displaced Palestinians in this war has surpassed the number of displaced Palestinians in 1948 – because in 1948, the Israelis expelled, removed 800,000 Palestinians. Now, we’re past that number and we’re approaching very fast the number of Palestinians that the Israelis massacred in 1948: 15,000 dead.”
“So you have to understand that this is already a second ‘Nakba’, a second catastrophe, for the Palestinians that could be bigger than the first one. And people are seeing this happening live on television this time, so there is no way anybody can deny that this has happened. And there is nobody in the West – in terms of authorities, regimes, governments, institutions – that wants to even stop this, they are all actually finding reasons to allow more of this to happen. Therefore, the only thing that the Palestinian people can do is the same thing that they’ve always had to do: stand up for their rights and fight back the oppressor, the genocider, the occupier or the colonizer and who is behind them.” “You see, yesterday President Putin made a statement that I think is the most severe statement that we’ve heard from a Russian president ever, when he said that the Palestinians are fighting and the reason the Palestinians are being killed is because [of] the governments that are behind Israel, and that Russia is fighting those people in Ukraine right now. So this is aligning, right now, Russia’s future and its battle [in Ukraine] with the battle of the Palestinian people against the Zionists and the imperialists behind them,” Marouf said.
“And, you know, we are entering right now a stage that is different. And of course, everybody’s waiting for Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s speech, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, on Friday, to show us what’s the next chapter in this battle. But nothing’s going to stop, no war is going to stop, the Americans are not going to stop the Zionists from committing this genocide and therefore, be prepared for what’s next.” Recently in an interview with US-based media, Vijay Prashad, the executive director of the Tricontinental Institute think tank, said that soon, the outrage across the Middle East over Israel’s war in Gaza would reach such great heights that their own governments “will not be able to contain their population.”
Russia calls for a ceasefire, the US does not.
The bloodshed in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict must be stopped immediately to prevent the conflict from spreading to the entire Middle East, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said during the General Assembly special session on Palestine. “First of all, it is necessary to stop the bloodshed and to prevent the crisis from engulfing the entire region. Otherwise, the conflict will never be stopped,” he said. Nebenzya also called to “let the mediators work on a diplomatic solution, including the prompt liberation of hostages.”
“One will have to walk down this path sooner or later; the only question is how many innocent people will die in the meantime,” he noted. The situation in the Middle East has escalated abruptly after an armed infiltration of HAMAS militants from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The HAMAS movement considers this attack a response to the actions of Israeli authorities towards the Al Aqsa Mosque at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Israel announced a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip and started carrying out strikes on the enclave and certain areas in Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also taking place in the West Bank.
“.. instead proposing a temporary humanitarian pause..”
So Hamas will free the hostages and Israel can move in unhindered.
US President Joe Biden has refused to call for a ceasefire in the Israeli-Hamas conflict, instead proposing a temporary humanitarian pause. Biden was speaking to an audience of some 200 people when a woman, who later identified herself as rabbi Jessica Rosenberg, shouted, “If you care about Jewish people, as a rabbi, I need you to call for a cease-fire right now.” The incident was captured on video and shared by the Jewish Voice for Peace account on X (formerly Twitter), claiming that Rosenberg was speaking on behalf of thousands of Jewish Americans who “refuse to allow a genocide to be carried out in [their] name” The president responded by stating that he believes “we need a pause” and explained that it means to “give time to get the prisoners out,” apparently referring to the foreign nationals currently stuck in Gaza.
Rabbi Rosenberg was then escorted off the premises, after which the president said he understood her emotions and acknowledged that “this is incredibly complicated” for Israelis and the Muslim world. “I supported a two-state solution; I have from the very beginning,” he said. He added, however, that “the fact of the matter is that Hamas is a terrorist organization. A flat-out terrorist organization.” In an earlier speech in Minnesota on Wednesday, Biden reiterated Washington’s support for Israel’s right to “defend itself” following the October 7 Hamas attack, which took the lives of over 1,400 Israelis. Previously, the president repeatedly insisted that the US would stand by Israel “no matter what.” At the same time, the US State Department has continuously rejected calls for a ceasefire, arguing that it would only benefit Hamas.
Washington’s unconditional support for the Jewish State has, in turn, sparked growing criticism and accusations of disregarding the atrocities being committed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) against the civilian population of Gaza. According to the latest estimates by local health officials, as many as 9,000 people have so far been killed in IDF strikes on Gaza over the past three weeks. Meanwhile, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, has dismissed Washington’s argument about Israel’s right to self-defense, explaining that “as an occupying power, it does not have such a right” as per the advisory ruling of the International Court of Justice in 2004. He stressed, however, that Russia nevertheless recognizes Israel’s right to ensure its security.
Wait till OPEC closes the taps.
The global economy could be doomed to take a major hit if the conflict between Hamas and Israel escalates, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing a top economist at Ernst & Young, one of the world’s leading consulting and accounting services firms. Gregory Daco, chief economist at EY-Parthenon, Ernst & Young’s global strategy consulting arm, told the NYT that in the “worst-case scenario,” the expansion of military action in the Middle East would entail “severe”consequences for the world economy, such as a moderate recession, a plunge in stock prices and a loss of $2 trillion.
Oil prices are likely to rise to $150 per barrel from the current $85, Daco added. Last month the World Trade Organization (WTO) warned that global GDP could drop 5% in the longer term if the world splits into two trading blocs as a result of the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas. The WTO also slashed its 2023 forecast for global trade growth to 0.8% from the previously estimated 1.7%, citing a deepening manufacturing slowdown.
“..including their wives, brothers, sisters, children and parents.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Israeli intelligence agencies to track and assassinate all political and military Hamas leaders two weeks ago, US journalist Seymour Hersh said in his blog at the Substack website citing unnamed sources. Citing one “well-informed Israeli,” Hersh claims that Netanyahu tasked both the overseas intelligence agency and the internal security agency with this mission. According to the source, Israel persecutes families of Hamas political and military leaders, including their wives, brothers, sisters, children and parents.
The situation in the Middle East has escalated abruptly after an armed infiltration of HAMAS militants from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The HAMAS movement considers this attack a response to the actions of Israeli authorities towards the Al Aqsa Mosque at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Israel announced a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip and started carrying out strikes on the enclave and certain areas in Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also taking place in the West Bank.
Want to use Red Cross to find the hostages?
Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has criticized what he called the “unbalanced focus” of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), amid the IDF’s offensive in Gaza. He also blasted the Geneva-based aid group for failing to rescue Israeli hostages being held by Hamas. “The Red Cross has no right to exist if it does not succeed in visiting the hostages being held captive by the Hamas,” Cohen said in a telephone conversation on Wednesday with ICRC director Miriana Spolijaric, according to a summary released by Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Israel has said that about 240 of its citizens were seized by Hamas in its October 7 cross-border raid, most of whom remain unaccounted for in the besieged Palestinian enclave, which has been targeted with massive retaliatory strikes by the IDF for several weeks.
“The Red Cross must act decisively and with a clear voice and utilize all leverage it has to push for a visit to the hostages as soon as possible,” Cohen said, according to the transcript, noting that “children, women and Holocaust survivors” are among the captives. Cohen accused the aid organization of showing an “unbalanced focus” on Israel throughout the conflict. “The Red Cross’ reputation is at stake if it cannot secure a visit to those being held captive by Hamas,” he said. The Red Cross defended its work on Thursday, with spokesperson Alyona Synenko telling NPR that “when the bombs continue to fall, it is also impossible for our teams to do their jobs.” “For us it is a priority to get access and to visit all the hostages. The amount of suffering they endure is also unimaginable. We have been constantly calling on the Hamas authorities to give us access so that we can provide medicine, that we can give news to the families of the hostages.”
“We cannot do that unless we are given the needed humanitarian space and the access to be able to do our job,” Synenko said. “We cannot force our way through bombs. We just need all the parties to show goodwill and also to respect their obligation under the international humanitarian law.” The Red Cross, which has been involved in supplying humanitarian aid to Gaza, has also cautioned Israel over civilian casualties – however, Cohen claimed that Israel “is bound by international law and acts in accordance with it.” Palestinian officials say that more than 9,000 people have so far been killed by Israeli air strikes on Gaza, and that about 70% of those killed are children, women and the elderly.
“..It’s doubtful these nations will now be keen to embark on yet another counterterrorism mission alongside the same forces that they just expelled..”
Last week, standing beside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to Jerusalem, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested recycling the global coalition of 86 nations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) to focus on Hamas. “Hamas is a terrorist group, whose objective is the destruction of the state of Israel. This is also the case of ISIS, of Al-Qaeda, of all those associated with them, either by actions or by intentions,” Macron said, betraying a short and selective memory. The stated goal of IS wasn’t to eradicate Israel – it was to establish a caliphate in Syria and Iraq, then broaden it into Arab countries. IS was first and foremost a threat to the stability of Syria – the same country whose government the US and its Western allies actively hindered in its fight against terrorism by making a failed attempt at overthrowing President Bashar Assad through Pentagon and CIA-backed training and equipping of “Syrian rebel” jihadists.
As for Al-Qaeda, Israel was even reportedly at one point helping treat wounded militants from the group who were fighting their common enemy, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, in Syria – in turn effectively hindering the fight against IS, as Syria and Hezbollah worked to destroy it. The Global Coalition against Daesh (another name for IS), founded in 2014, explicitly excluded Russia, whose invitation by Damascus to help it eradicate the terrorist threat can be largely credited for Syria’s stabilization, and the fact that it’s rare to even hear any talk of IS anymore. Russia’s involvement in neutralizing the terrorist group, coupled with former US President Donald Trump’s refusal to continue funding Washington’s incursion into Syria, beyond hunkering down in the oil-rich Kurdish part, was the ultimate key to IS’ defeat. So with apparently little left for it to do now, Macron recommends that the coalition that mostly sat and watched – while Russia, Iran, and Syria did the heavy lifting – take on Hamas.
Who does he think is going to do the work this time? Russia, which is still excluded from the coalition? Syria, which has recently taken incoming missile fire from Israel? Iran’s Hezbollah allies, who lost 1,000 men fighting IS in Syria – and whom Netanyahu has placed in the same basket as Hamas as an enemy of Israel? Good luck with that. So with the most effective anti-IS fighters excluded from fighting Hamas, who’s left in Macron’s proposed coalition? There’s the Global South, including some African countries that just kicked out French troops for their own failed counterterrorism missions which had led to multiple coups and the flourishing of jihadism. It’s doubtful these nations will now be keen to embark on yet another counterterrorism mission alongside the same forces that they just expelled.
Then there are all those members of the international community who are quietly thinking what United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres dared to say aloud last week – that Hamas’ brutal attack on October 7, which left close to a thousand civilians and hundreds of military and security personnel dead, “did not happen in a vacuum.” He was, of course, hinting at Israel’s longstanding, UN-recognized oppression of civilians in Gaza. His statement begs yet another question: Is Hamas really a global threat? Or is it just Israel’s problem?
“Seems like a call for war on Iran. I voted No.”
The House on Wednesday passed a resolution that suggested the US would use force against Iran in the future in the name of preventing the country from acquiring nuclear weapons. The resolution says a nuclear-armed Iran is “unacceptable” and declares that it’s the policy of the US to “use all means necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” A US intelligence report recently affirmed that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons, but reality doesn’t stop Iran hawks in the US and Israel from constantly hyping up the threat of a non-existent Iranian nuclear weapons program. The same officials do not officially recognize that Israel possesses a nuclear arsenal.
The resolution passed in a vote of 354-53, with 50 Democrats and three Republicans voting against the measure. Explaining his opposition, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) because it seemed like a call for war. “Yesterday Congress passed a resolution (354 to 53) that claims Iran possesses all it needs for a nuclear weapon,” Massie wrote on X. “The same resolution says the US should ‘use all means necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.’ Seems like a call for war on Iran. I voted No.” The resolution pointed to Iran’s uranium enrichment at 60% and its stockpiles of enriched uranium as evidence it could make a bomb. But in order to make a nuclear weapon, uranium needs to be enriched at 90%, and there’s no sign Tehran is considering taking that step.
If The Army Says Fight The War, Russians Agree – If The Kremlin Says Stop, Russians Agree On Conditions The Army Decides.
Russians have never had a higher level of confidence in the Army since the end of World War II, according to a national poll just published by the independent Levada Centre of Moscow. This also means a record level of confidence in the General Staff to outwit the principal enemy of the country, the United States, and defeat it and its allies on the Ukrainian battlefield. Most Russians now believe this war will take the Russian Army at least another six months, and more likely a year to finish. This new poll signals that most Russians believe it prudent not to fight the US with the same intensity in two long wars at the same time – in the Ukraine and in the Middle East — because the Army has decided so. This is despite the overwhelming Russian support for the Palestinians in their fight for survival against Israel. No poll is allowed to measure and publish this support, and the emotional reaction the majority of Russians feels towards the operations of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the US military to destroy the population of Gaza.
“We should not, we have no right and we cannot allow ourselves to be carried away by emotions,” President Vladimir Putin announced on October 30. “We must clearly understand who in reality is behind the tragedy of peoples in the Middle East and in other regions around the world, who has been organising this lethal chaos and who benefits from it. In my opinion, it has already become clear to everyone, as the masterminds brazenly act in the open. These are the current ruling elites in the United States and its satellites who are the main beneficiaries of the global instability that they use to extract their bloody rent. Their strategy is also clear. The United States as a global superpower is becoming weaker and is losing its position, and everyone sees and understands this.”
This is the president running for re-election in five months’ time, speaking directly to Russian voters, reflecting what the polls on his desk tell him they already believe. The Levada pollsters report there is a small increase in war weariness across the country, with 56% now saying they favour the start of peace talks soon, compared with 48% measured a year ago, in September 2022. This, however, reflects public belief in the success of the Army in defeating the Ukrainian-NATO counteroffensive, and in advancing Russian control of the new Donbass territories and along the front line from Kharkov to Odessa. “In October 2023,” Levada reports, “62% of Russians across the country believe that the special military operation is progressing successfully (12% very successfully, 50% rather successfully), over the past 5 months their number has increased slightly. The opposite point of view is held by 21%.”
“The crews of the armored groups are 100% former employees of the Wagner PMC..”
Kamerton unit has been created from among former Wagner PMC fighters within the Chechen special forces named Akhmat, said the deputy commander of the detachment with the call sign “011”, Report informs via Russian media. The unit is said to include PMC commanders, an armored group, artillerymen and assault groups. The crews of the armored groups are 100% former employees of the Wagner PMC. Approximately 60% of the assault units consist of former Wagner employees, including commanders, said the deputy detachment commander.
Ukraine keeps talking about a stalemate, and Russia keeps saying there’s no such thing.
Ukraine will not make any progress in its fight against Russia unless some new technology emerges to give it a decisive advantage, the country’s top military commander, General Valery Zaluzny, told The Economist this week. He conceded, without the appearance of a ‘wunderwaffe,’ that Moscow is in the better position, given its larger population and greater resources. “Just like in the First World War, we have reached the level of technology that puts us into a stalemate,” he said of the ongoing conflict, as quoted by the British magazine on Wednesday. Despite the hopes of Kiev supporters and Ukrainian officials, “there will most likely be no deep and beautiful breakthrough,” he predicted. The conflict may “drag on for years” and “wear down” the country.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov disagreed with Zaluzhny on Thursday, stating that Russia was not in a stalemate and would keep pursuing its “special military operation” against Ukraine. Kiev should have long acknowledged that expecting a Russian defeat was “absurd,” he added. The situational awareness that both sides have thanks to the use of drones makes surprise concentration of forces impossible, Zaluzhny believes. NATO textbooks and predictive models, which were used to plan the summer counteroffensive, have been proven wrong, the general claimed. “Four months should have been enough time for us to have reached Crimea, to have fought in Crimea, to return from Crimea, and to have gone back in and out again,” he said, referring to optimistic forecasts.
The commander has found that an old Soviet military textbook on how to deal with entrenched enemy forces had offered a better explanation of why both sides are now “in stupor,” he said. Zaluzhny’s office shared with The Economist a nine-page essay, in which he makes suggestions on how Ukraine could get into a better position against Russia and possibly avoid attrition warfare. His proposed technological solutions include using drones with trap nets to catch Russian UAVs, ground GPS signal stations to counter Russian jamming, and robotic vehicles armed with plasma torches for demining. The general, who is an outspoken advocate of drone warfare, was “enthused” by recent conversations with Eric Schmidt on the issue, the report said. The former CEO of Google has been advising the US government on how advanced digital technology could improve military capabilities.
This week, Time exposed a disconnect between Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s push to keep fighting and the realities on the ground. Some frontline commanders have been defying orders to advance and “just want to sit in the trenches and hold the line,” a presidential aide told the magazine. A report in The Times last Sunday suggested that Zaluzhny may share this sentiment. A rumor circulating among Ukrainian security sources claimed the general had called for the counteroffensive to be stopped, but Zelensky refused.
“[Zelensky] knows that Western patience is limited for his maximalist demands that Ukraine must recover all territory” that it has lost since 2014, the British newspaper claimed. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, Kiev’s troops have suffered over 90,000 casualties since June 4, the day the counteroffensive started. The Ukrainian Army has also lost some 600 tanks and nearly 1,900 armored vehicles over the same period, he said during a security conference in China on Monday. Moscow sees the hostilities as part of a US proxy war against Russia, in which Ukrainian troops are being used as “cannon fodder.” It blames the West for derailing a negotiated resolution in the early months of the conflict, and instead choosing to push Kiev to fight “to the last Ukrainian.”
“New participants are first involved in discussions on such seemingly neutral issues as food, energy, nuclear and environmental security, and then they [the supporters of Ukraine] pass it off as support for the whole ‘formula,’ the central element of which is the defeat and punishment of Russia..”
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s statements that his so-called peace formula is supported by more than 140 countries are another lie, a senior Russian diplomat told TASS. “Speaking at the UN General Assembly in September, Zelensky said that his ‘peace formula’ is supposedly already supported by more than 140 countries. Of course, this is another lie,” Alexey Polishchuk, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second CIS Department, pointed out. He added that Ukraine and the US are attempting to use “deception and blackmail” to get the countries of the Global South to support the “formula.”
According to Polishchuk, Kiev and Washington are “trying to lure new countries into their anti-Russian club, and at the same time to kill really constructive proposals, peace and humanitarian initiatives of other states.” Kiev is actively trying to promote a settlement plan proposed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which does not take into account Moscow’s position. Relevant international consultations, to which Russia was not invited, were held on June 24 in Copenhagen, Denmark, and on August 5-6 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The most recent meeting at the level of national security advisors took place on October 28-29 in Malta. “There is no practical point in such meetings,” the diplomat stressed.
“The so-called Copenhagen format is a mechanism invented by Kiev and the West to impose Ukrainian ultimatums. It is incapable of leading to peace,” he pointed out. Polishchuk recalled that the Malta meeting was the third after Copenhagen and Jeddah. “Their added value is close to zero,” he stressed. At the same time, the senior diplomat pointed to the fact that at such meetings “unscrupulous techniques are used.” “New participants are first involved in discussions on such seemingly neutral issues as food, energy, nuclear and environmental security, and then they [the supporters of Ukraine] pass it off as support for the whole ‘formula,’ the central element of which is the defeat and punishment of Russia,” he concluded.
Lawyers can do one case at a time.
The Florida federal judge presiding over former US President Donald Trump’s classified documents case hinted that she is open to a delay in the case, a move that prosecutors have been arguing against. Judge Aileen Cannon set the trial’s schedule in July, with a start date set for May 20. But at a hearing on Thursday, she floated the possibility of delaying portions of the pre-trial process, which could push back the actual trial date. It’s believed it could be likely postponed until after the 2024 election, a result Trump’s lawyers have been attempting to achieve. “I’m just having a hard time seeing how realistically this work can be accomplished in this compressed period of time, given the realities that we’re facing,” Cannon said during the hearing. Trump’s lawyers argued they needed more time to prepare for the trial due to Trump’s several other pending legal cases, two others of which are focused on alleged attempts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.
Officials have raised concerns that cases may potentially overlap and make it much more difficult for the Trump camp to properly handle the list of cases. Cannon did not mention moving the trial date back, but any delay in the pre-trial process could cascade to the trial date, pushing that back as well. “It’s very difficult to be trying to work with a client in one trial and simultaneously try to prepare that client for another trial,” Trump lawyer Chris Kise said. “This has been a struggle and a challenge.” Prosecutors working for special counsel Jack Smith, who is heading both the Jan. 6 and classified documents case, have argued against Cannon delaying the Florida case because the Washington, DC, case focusing on Trump’s role in attempting to overturn the 2020 results may likewise be delayed.
“The court really cannot let and should not let the DC trial drive the schedule here,” veteran Justice Department national security prosecutor Jay Bratt argued in front of Cannon. “We don’t know what is going to happen in this case. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the DC case. That trial could disappear.” But Cannon noted she cannot predict what a different judge is going to do and does not want to put her trial on a track that could potentially interfere with another case. The Florida judge added that she will set a new timeline for the case “as soon as possible.”
Trump is accused of mishandling classified documents after leaving the White House in 2021, as well as trying to conceal the number of those documents from prosecutors. He has decried the trial and all of the legal cases filed against him as being part of political witch hunts. In addition to the two federal cases, Trump is also facing an election-interference case at the state level in Georgia and a state-level case in New York centering around hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. He and his company are also facing numerous civil suits.
Biden’s second-biggest donor.
After 15 days of testimony and about four and a half hours of deliberations, jurors found FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been found guilty on all seven counts related to fraud and money laundering, in a lower Manhattan courtroom. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 28, when he faces more than 100 years in prison if he receives the maximum on all counts. Bankman-Fried has indicated that he will appeal the verdict. The case was handed to the jury at approximately 3:15 p.m. on Thursday after US District Judge Lewis Kaplan read the jury roughly 60 pages of instructions. Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, founded FTX in 2019, two years after forming sister hedge fund Alameda Research. He was charged with seven counts, including wire fraud, money laundering, and securities fraud in connection with FTX’s spectacular implosion last year.
The trial, which progressed far more quickly than the anticipated run through Thanksgiving, has presented a stark transformation of the FTX founder from a “crypto genius” to an alleged criminal mastermind, as prosecutors and defense attorneys spar over the truth behind FTX’s collapse. The 31-year-old MIT graduate and son of two Stanford legal scholars had pleaded not guilty to all charges. “Every movie needs a villain,” proclaimed Mark Cohen, Bankman-Fried’s defense attorney, in a narrative-bending final plea that painted the prosecution’s portrayal of his client as grossly mischaracterized. Cohen argued fervently against the government’s claims, insisting that the FTX saga, while marred by a lack of risk management, does not equate to criminal conduct.
The courtroom, under the guidance of Judge Kaplan, saw a relentless pace, with days stretching past the usual hours in a concerted effort to wrap up proceedings. Jurors, now faced with the weighty task of determining Bankman-Fried’s fate, were reminded that the urgency from the bench wasn’t an attempt to rush judgment but rather an efficient approach to justice. The crux of the trial hinged on intent — did Bankman-Fried knowingly orchestrate a grand scheme to defraud? According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos, the answer lies in a “pyramid of deceit,” with $10 billion in customer funds vanishing into a black hole of personal indulgences and opaque financial maneuvers. “The defendant schemed and lied to get money, which he spent,” Roos told the court, dismantling the image of an earnest entrepreneur caught in a misstep.
Cohen’s defense strategy leaned heavily on the sworn testimony of Bankman-Fried himself, who took to the stand in what former prosecutor Renato Mariotti described as a deliberate attempt to downplay his involvement. “Meant to reduce his role,” Mariotti said, noting the pointed references to a youthful lack of experience and the burdens of leadership. The prosecution, meanwhile, painted a picture of a deliberate and cunning exploitation of trust, they left the jury with a resonating thought — Bankman-Fried “had the arrogance to think he could get away with it.” The litany of expenses paid for with customer money, from a $30 million Bahamian penthouse to a lavish $16 million for his parents’ home, stood as testament to a lifestyle funded by the alleged pyramid scheme.
Over the course of 3 days scientists pumped 10 tons of cement into an abandoned ant hill. After weeks of digging, the colony’s intricate & impressive structure is revealed. This one
[From: Ants! Natures Secret Power]pic.twitter.com/G71KrCYafP
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) November 2, 2023
Now and Then
NOW AND THEN – THE LAST BEATLES SONG (2023)
The most poignant, beautiful full stop to the greatest band in the history of music.
— Michael Warburton (@MichaelWarbur17) November 2, 2023
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