Man Ray Le Violon d’Ingres 1924
“..it continues to thrive, sustaining itself by constantly instigating warfare and conflicts..”
NATO expansion in Europe has eroded the continent’s security and was the key reason for the Ukraine conflict, Zhang Hanhui, China’s ambassador to Moscow, said in an interview released on Thursday. Speaking to the TASS, Zhang stated that the US-led military bloc had been “fanning the flames everywhere, destroying stability and engaging in separatism,” with turmoil in Kosovo, Libya, and Afghanistan being prime examples. “The five [NATO] expansions to the east seriously affected the post-Cold War order and security in Europe and became the main reason for the escalation in the Ukraine crisis,” he said.The envoy went on to describe NATO “as a relic of the Cold War” which should have ceased to exist when it ended. “However, it continues to thrive, sustaining itself by constantly instigating warfare and conflicts… Wherever NATO stretches its diabolical paws, people will die and there will be no peace.”
Zhang stated that in recent years the alliance had set its sights on expansion in the Asia-Pacific under the guise of helping countries exercise their right to collective defense, a strategy that he said “causes great concern and strong objections from the regional countries.” He claimed that NATO “has long turned into a geopolitical tool of the US”, and that the bloc’s expansion to the east and into the Asia-Pacific, “is meant to support American hegemony.” Washington, according to Zhang, wants NATO to have more clout in the Asia-Pacific so that it “could suppress and deter China and Russia.” “The Cold War mentality and confrontation between the camps have long run counter to the demands of modern times,” he added, saying that NATO’s regional expansion “will only increase regional tensions, widen the trust gap… provoke a stand-off between different camps and even a new Cold War.”
Moscow has for many years viewed NATO’s creeping expansion as a threat to its national security while Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the possibility of Ukraine eventually joining the bloc was one of the key reasons for the military campaign in the neighboring country. Kiev formally outlined its NATO ambitions several years ago and applied to join the bloc last autumn after four of its regions overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in public referendums. However, the alliance has been reluctant to approve the application or set a timetable for Ukraine’s accession, citing the ongoing hostilities.
Say a prayer. Call Washington.
Chilean-American reporter Gonzalo Lira, who claimed he would attempt to flee Ukraine after being subjected to physical abuse and extortion in custody, has gone missing, a source has confirmed to RT. Lira, a vocal critic of the Ukrainian government, resurfaced this week, months after being arrested by the nation’s security service, the SBU. In a series of posts on Twitter and YouTube, he stated his intention to cross the border into Hungary and apply for political asylum. In a series of tweets yesterday he claimed he had been kept incommunicado in pre-trial detention since early May. He also claimed he had been deprived of sleep, beaten and tortured by other inmates, on instructions from prison authorities.
Lira apparently never made it across the border. Mark Sleboda, a political analyst and frequent guest on RT, confirmed to the channel that Lira was stopped by Ukrainian border guards and has not been heard from since. Lira had previously claimed that he had been released on bail after months in detention and ordered not to leave the city of Kharkov. However he added that he had his passport and was not wearing an electronic shackle, contrary to the terms of his release. “Maybe I’m being set up by them so they can justify putting me away in a labor camp – so no one will ever know about their sordid extortion scheme,” he said. “I simply don’t know.”
In the event that he would cross the border in to Hungary, Lira expected Ukraine to issue an international arrest warrant for him for skipping bail. He added that he hoped Hungary would be willing to defy Kiev and not hand him over, unlike other EU nations. “If you don’t hear from me in the next 12 hours—whelp! I’m on my way to a labor camp!” he concluded. There have been no further updates on his social media since. Lira has been accused by Ukraine of “publicly justifying” the Russian military operation and “disseminating fakes [false stories] about the war in Ukraine”.He claims the charges were bogus and that he did nothing but explain his opinions about Kiev’s policies and report what was happening in the country.
“Whether his [Trump’s] belief in fraud was right or wrong, whether the legal theory of sending this back to the states was right or wrong, he had the right under our First Amendment to believe and advocate those positions..”
Former US Justice Department prosecutor Ronald Sievert told Sputnik that the new indictment against former President Donald Trump is not solid and criminalizes his constitutional right of free speech. On Tuesday, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Trump with four criminal counts in connection to special counsel Jack Smith’s probe into his alleged role in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. “As a DOJ [Justice Department] prosecutor for 25 years, I am very disturbed by this indictment,” Sievert said. “I thought there would be something solid in there, but as I read it, all I saw was that they were indicting Trump for taking a position in the election with which they, the prosecutor and Ds [Democrats], disagreed.”
Trump faces one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, one count of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, one count of obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and one count of conspiracy against rights”. Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to remain in power. So for more than two months following Election Day on November 3, 2020, the Defendant spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won. These claims were false, and the Defendant knew that they were false,” the indictment stated. However, Sievert, who noted he has not supported Trump for the Republican nomination, said the new indictment appears to be criminalizing free speech.
“Whether his [Trump’s] belief in fraud was right or wrong, whether the legal theory of sending this back to the states was right or wrong, he had the right under our First Amendment to believe and advocate those positions,” Sievert said.
The former prosecutor said he would expect an “objective” judge or judges would throw the case out. Federal judge Tanya Chutkan, who was nominated by then-President Barack Obama, is assigned to oversee Trump’s case. Chutkan is the only federal judge in Washington to issue sentences to convicted January 6 rioters that were longer than what prosecutors had requested, according to media reports. Trump is summoned to appear in federal court in the US capital on Thursday to face the new charges.
Trump has argued that the newly unveiled indictment against him is the latest attempt by the “Biden crime family” and the weaponized US Justice Department to interfere in the 2024 presidential election. The new indictment comes amid a number of other probes into potential misconduct by Trump, including his alleged mishandling of classified documents, which are all taking place in the middle of his presidential campaign for the 2024 presidential election. sTrump is by far the Republican Party’s leading candidate, according to the latest poll data from Real Clear Politics.
“..Hunter’s ability to reach out during business meetings to the then-VP was the “pinnacle of power in DC”.
Tucker Carlson dropped a shocking interview on Wednesday with Devon Archer, two days after the former Hunter Biden associate testified before Congress, where he admitted that he and Hunter Biden essentially traded on the Biden name, but also claimed that ‘the big guy’ wasn’t involved. Tucker begins by asking Archer if he thinks Hunter could have succeeded as well in his business endeavors if he was not the son of the vice president. Archer trod a little carefully at first, reflecting on Hunter’s law school background but then admitted: “The brand of Biden adds a lot of power when your dad’s the Vice President.”
Archer also confirmed “yes, I can definitely say that” then vice-president Biden knew there were officials in the room when he got on the speakerphone with Hunter Biden – the 20 or so times that Archer recalls. “So Joe Biden, who is very much a product of Washington, of course must have known that he was calling into effectively a business meeting,” Carlson said. “Something’s happening. He must have understood that that was kind of what his son was selling.” “Well that’s hard for me to speculate,” Archer answered. ” “But like, just to keep it to the facts, Joe Biden, then the sitting Vice President knew that there were Hunter’s business associates in the room,” Carlson pressed.
Ep. 12 Part 1. Devon Archer pic.twitter.com/ElEzAZtBcA
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 2, 2023
“Yeah, I think I can definitively say at particular dinners and meetings, he knew there were business associates and he, or if I was there, I was a business associate too. So I think, you know, any of the other colleagues from the DC office or New York were there,” Archer said. He also said that Hunter’s ability to reach out during business meetings to the then-VP was the “pinnacle of power in DC”. Understanding a regulatory environment means selling access… most people interpret it that way. …the power to have that access in that conversation, and it’s not in a scheduled conference call and it’s a part of your family, that’s like the Pinnacle of power in DC. -Devon Archer
“…if you’re sitting with a business associate and hear the vice president’s voice, that’s prize enough…that’s pretty impactful stuff,” Archer continued, adding that it was “an abuse of soft power.” Archer also admitted that he “flew too close to the sun” and “got burned” by the Biden family – and that it’s “disingenuous” to act unsure as to why Ukrainian energy giant Burisma hired Hunter, who served on its board from 2014 – 2019.
“There is no way to know if the calls were orchestrated, but they were “powerful..”
Devon Archer, a former associate of Hunter Biden, said on Wednesday that the calls between then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son during the latter’s foreign business calls constitute an “abuse of soft power.” Earlier this week, Archer provided testimony to lawmakers on Joe Biden’s connection to his son’s foreign business deals. Lawmakers provided split opinions on Archer’s testimony, with some claiming it exonerated Joe Biden while others claimed it was further evidence of wrongdoing. Archer testified that Joe Biden joined Hunter and his business associates at least 20 times either in person or via speakerphone.
“In the rearview, it’s an abuse of soft power,” Archer said during an interview with Tucker Carlson. Biden knew there were business associates at certain dinners and meetings, Archer said. Congressman Dan Goldman said following Archer’s testimony that Biden often did not know who was present during the interactions. There is no way to know if the calls were orchestrated, but they were “powerful,” Archer said. Archer’s testimony comes amid investigations by lawmakers into potential criminal activity by the Biden family, including bribery and influence peddling. Joe Biden has repeatedly denied discussing foreign business deals with his son.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a phone conversation on Wednesday that the Black Sea Grain Initiative lost its meaning due to a complete absence of progress on implementation of the agreement’s part that concerned Russia, the Kremlin said “Vladimir Putin outlined Russia’s principled position in connection with the termination of the ‘package’ agreements on the export of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports and the unblocking of supplies of Russian food and fertilizers. It was noted that the agreement’s extension has lost its meaning in the conditions of a complete lack of progress in the implementation of the Russian part of the grain deal. The readiness to return to the Istanbul agreements was confirmed as soon as the West actually fulfills all the deal’s obligations towards Russia,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
The Russian president also told his Turkish counterpart that options for the supply of grain to countries in need are being worked out. “It was emphasized that, taking into account the needs of the countries most in need of food, reliable options for the supply of Russian grain, including on a free-of-charge basis, are being worked out. This issue was substantively discussed at the second Russia-Africa summit recently held in St. Petersburg. The readiness for cooperation in this area with Turkey and other interested states was expressed,” the Kremlin said. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said in late June that the United Nations admitted it can do nothing regarding three of the five key issues Russia wants resolved in order to extend the grain deal, including reconnecting the Rosselkhozbank to the SWIFT payment system.
On July 22, 2022, the United Nations and Turkey brokered the agreement with Russia and Ukraine to establish a humanitarian maritime corridor to transport grain and fertilizer from the Ukrainian Black Sea ports. Moscow has since agreed to extend the agreement several times despite criticizing the non-implementation of the portions of the agreement pertaining to Russia, but it then decided to let it expire on July 17.
Saving lives with bad intentions.
The European Union has warned developing countries that Russia is offering cheap grain “to create new dependencies by exacerbating economic vulnerabilities and global food insecurity,” according to a letter seen by Reuters on Wednesday, Report informs. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote to developing and Group of 20 countries on Monday to urge them to speak “with a clear and unified voice” to push Moscow to return to a deal that allowed the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine grain and to stop targeting Ukraine’s agricultural infrastructure.
“As the world deals with disrupted supplies and higher prices, Russia is now approaching vulnerable countries with bilateral offers of grain shipments at discounted prices, pretending to solve a problem it created itself,” Borrell said. “This is a cynical policy of deliberately using food as a weapon to create new dependencies by exacerbating economic vulnerabilities and global food insecurity,” he added.
“..the administration is a behind-closed-doors madhouse..”
At writing, we are 16 months and five days from the 2024 presidential election. If a week is a long time in politics, there is too strong a chance that the interim upon us will prove one of awful eventfulness. In my read, the risk of brazen lawlessness in the upper reaches of power and, in consequence, a constitutional crisis, is now greater than at any point in the postwar period. It is time to brace ourselves against this eventuality. Is there any other plausible conclusion as things now stand? I do not see one. Two reasons: One, the Democrats have emerged since Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016 as a party of liberal authoritarians intent on imposing their political hegemony on our republic by whatever means this project requires. Nothing is out of bounds, as these people have already demonstrated. Two, in what looks like one of the great political miscalculations in my lifetime, the Democrats are determined to stand a candidate in 2024 whose senility has been publicly on display for the past two years and change.
This is a combustible pair of realities. The second of these, President Biden’s failing mental condition, makes the first of these, the culture of authoritarian righteousness in the Democratic mainstream, very perilous. The party hierarchy has already declared Biden will not face any challenger in a primary debate—an openly antidemocratic regression without precedent since televised debates became essential to the political process during the Kennedy–Nixon contest in 1960. What else will come in this line, we have to ask. In my judgment, the Democrats’ willingness to let Biden run again is all too suggestive of what dangers and disorders may come between now and Tuesday, November 5, 2024. They appear determined, one way or another, to keep this man in the White House. This is not a thought with which one rests easily.
Things have gone very poorly for Joe Biden since he moved into the White House two and a half years ago. Yes, he continues to hide behind that carnival barker’s smile he plastered on as political equipment 50–odd years ago. But if the president and all the president’s men and women are not in the way of desperate at this point, they are in the way of insentient. In his Substack newsletter a few weeks ago, Seymour Hersh quoted one of his inside sources saying the administration is a behind-closed-doors madhouse. I see no reason to doubt this.
The US and its allies have mobilized their media for a war with Russia and operate them under de-facto military censorship, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. “There are a lot of serious media outlets [in the West], a lot of talented journalists, smart, professional, but now, since they unleashed this war against us, they absolutely live in a state of military censorship,” Peskov said. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman was part of a panel discussion dubbed ‘Elements of social engineering’ at a youth forum in Solnechnogorsk, a town about 45 kilometers northwest of Moscow. According to Peskov, Western outlets “receive instructions and manuals from their special services, they get leaks of information – which are mostly, very often, specially and professionally prepared falsehoods – and do this round the clock.”
The most influential media outlets in the world are “unfortunately the Anglo-Saxon media, American and British,” Peskov said. Russia has set out to compete with them “very gingerly, but quite successfully,” he added.Peskov said something similar in May, telling a Bosnian Serb TV station that the West “immediately became hysterical” and shredded their official commitment to freedom of speech when Russia tried to compete with their media monopoly. “They tore off all masks right away and showed there is no freedom of the press over there,” he told ATV at the time. “The moment any outlets became ‘uncomfortable’ to them, the moment they started presenting viewpoints different from their mainstream, they were banned.”
He also noted that the Kremlin has refused to give interviews to any Western media since early 2022, considering it pointless until those outlets start showing “at least some interest in the truth. The EU and Canada have outright banned all branches of RT and Sputnik as “Kremlin propaganda” shortly after the Ukraine conflict escalated. Several US-based social media platforms have followed suit. At last year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, then-YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki argued that “information can be weaponized,” so her company decided to extend the EU ban on RT and Sputnik globally, while continuing to operate in Russia so that Russians can get “independent news” from the West.
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