Sep 272023
 
 September 27, 2023  Posted by at 9:04 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  46 Responses »


Frederick Carl Frieseke Girl In Blue Arranging Flowers 1915

 

Hersh Reveals US Motive For Destruction Of Nord Stream Pipelines (MoA)
Biden Planned On Blowing Nord Stream Before Ukraine Conflict Began – Hersh (RT)
Nord Stream Blast: Why the West Still Can’t Name the Culprit (Sp.)
Canadian Parliament Speaker Resigns After Honoring Ukrainian Nazi (RT)
Russian Foreign Ministry Responds To Canada Honoring Nazi Veteran (RT)
Nazi Hunter: Canada Failed Miserably in Bringing Nazis to Justice (Sp.)
Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander Seen Alive and Well (Sp.)
Nothing Is Off Table To Get Ukraine Into EU – Parliament President (G.)
How Russia Will Deal With American Tanks in Ukraine (Sp.)
US Judge Finds Trump Committed Fraud by Inflating Wealth, Assets (Sp.)
Hunter Biden Sues Rudy Giuliani for Spreading Contents From Laptop (Sp.)
Hunter Biden Used Dad’s Classified Doc House For $250K China Wire Transfer (ZH)
EU Warns Elon Musk After X Found To Have Highest Rate Of Disinformation (G.)

 

 

 

 

NYC Sanctuary

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Russell

 

 

 

 

On the first anniversary of the Nordstream blast, lots of articles. Also about “alternative explanations”. But Sy Hersh doesn’t make things up. That’s not his MO at all.

“And thus followed the ultimate fear: that America would lose its long-standing primacy in Western Europe.”

Hersh Reveals US Motive For Destruction Of Nord Stream Pipelines (MoA)

It was no surprise to the agency’s secret planning group when on January 27, 2022, the assured and confident Nuland, then undersecretary of state for political affairs, stridently warned Putin that if he invaded Ukraine, as he clearly was planning to, that “one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.” The line attracted enormous attention, but the words preceding the threat did not. The official State Department transcript shows that she preceded her threat by saying that with regard to the pipeline: “We continue to have very strong and clear conversations with our German allies. … The German leader was considered then—and now—by some members of the CIA team to be fully aware of the secret planning underway to destroy the pipelines.

What I did not know then, but was told recently, was that after Biden’s extraordinary public threat to blow up Nord Stream 2, with Scholz standing next to him, the CIA planning group was told by the White House that there would be no immediate attack on the two pipelines, but the group should arrange to plant the necessary bombs and be ready to trigger them “on demand”—after the war began. “It was then that we”—the small planning group that was working in Oslo with the Royal Norwegian Navy and special services on the project—“understood that the attack on the pipelines was not a deterrent because as the war went on we never got the command.” After Biden’s order to trigger the explosives planted on the pipelines, it took only a short flight with a Norwegian fighter and the dropping of an altered off-the-shelf sonar device at the right spot in the Baltic Sea to get it done.

By then the CIA group had long disbanded. By then, too, the official told me: “We realized that the destruction of the two Russian pipelines was not related to the Ukrainian war”—Putin was in the process of annexing the four Ukrainian oblasts he wanted—“but was part of a neocon political agenda to keep Scholz and Germany, with winter coming up and the pipelines shut down, from getting cold feet and opening up” the shuttered Nord Stream 2. “The White House fear was that Putin would get Germany under his thumb and then he was going to get Poland.”

All of this explains why a routine question I posed a month or so after the bombings to someone with many years in the American intelligence community led me to a truth that no one in America or Germany seems to want to pursue. My question was simple: “Who did it?” The Biden administration blew up the pipelines but the action had little to do with winning or stopping the war in Ukraine. It resulted from fears in the White House that Germany would waver and turn on the flow of Russia gas—and that Germany and then NATO, for economic reasons, would fall under the sway of Russia and its extensive and inexpensive natural resources. And thus followed the ultimate fear: that America would lose its long-standing primacy in Western Europe.

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“We realized that the destruction of the two Russian pipelines was not related to the Ukrainian war..”

Biden Planned On Blowing Nord Stream Before Ukraine Conflict Began – Hersh (RT)

US President Joe Biden initially planned on destroying the Nord Stream gas pipelines to deter Russia from launching its military operation in Ukraine, American journalist Seymour Hersh reported on Tuesday. However, Hersh alleged that the sabotage operation went ahead later not to deter Russia, but to harm the German economy. The Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, which connected Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, were destroyed in a series of underwater explosions exactly a year ago on Tuesday. Competing theories have emerged as to who was to blame, with mainstream media in the West blaming a Ukrainian commando unit and Seymour Hersh claiming that the CIA carried out the operation under direct orders from Biden.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Hersh alleged that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan convened a series of meetings in late 2021, tasking intelligence officials with coming up with a means of deterring Russian President Vladimir Putin from sending troops into Ukraine. “The White House’s policy was to deter Russia from an attack,” an intelligence source told Hersh. “The challenge it gave to the intelligence community was to come up with a way that was powerful enough to do that, and to make a strong statement of American capability.” By January, as Russian forces were massing on the Ukrainian border, the CIA had “solved the problem,” the source said. With a plan in place to plant remotely-detonated explosives on the pipelines under the Baltic Sea, Biden warned in early February that in the event of military action by Russia, “there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”

Following Biden’s statement, which was delivered alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the CIA team tasked with sabotaging the pipelines received new orders, Hersh claimed. Instead of immediately destroying Nord Stream, the team was instructed to plant the explosives for detonation at a later date. “It was then that we understood that the attack on the pipelines was not a deterrent because as the war went on we never got the command,” a member of the team told Hersh. “We realized that the destruction of the two Russian pipelines was not related to the Ukrainian war,” the source continued. “But was part of a neocon political agenda to keep Scholz and Germany, with winter coming up and the pipelines shut down, from getting cold feet and opening up.”

According to Hersh’s earlier reporting, CIA divers planted the explosives last summer with the help of the Norwegian navy, using a NATO exercise in the region as cover. By the time the bombs were triggered in September, the flow of Russian gas to Germany via Nord Stream 1 had already been slowed to a trickle by Russia in response to Western sanctions, while Nord Stream 2 was never certified to begin operation by Scholz’s government. However, with the German economy heavily dependent on Russian gas, Biden reportedly feared that Scholz would choose reproachment with Moscow over support for Ukraine. “The President of the United States would rather see Germany freeze than [see] Germany possibly stop supporting Ukraine,” Hersh declared earlier this year.

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“Giraldi said that he feels that Hersh’s narrative is “correct in every detail.”

Nord Stream Blast: Why the West Still Can’t Name the Culprit (Sp.)

Gas leaks from the Nord Stream pipeline system were detected on 26 September 2022, with the EU leadership admitting that this could be the result of a “deliberate attack”. Two days later, on 28 September, the Kremlin announced that Russia was ready to consider applications from EU countries for a joint investigation into the Nord Stream incident. However, not only did the West snub Moscow’s request but also blamed Russia for destroying its own pipelines. Later, European and American officials backtracked on their accusations but fell short of naming a potential perpetrator. On 12 October 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the incident “an act of international terrorism”. Meanwhile, as gas prices soared and US energy producers secured lucrative LNG contracts with European countries, it became clear that Washington had been the major beneficiary from the Nord Stream destruction. Furthermore, the US leadership had previously issued several threats that it would destroy the pipelines.

“We know that the United States President Joe Biden, threatened openly that he would stop Nord Stream 2 if the Russians were to militarily intervene in Ukraine,” Philip Giraldi, former CIA station chief and now an executive director of the Council for the National Interest, told Sputnik. “That was repeated by Victoria Nuland, who was Number Three at the State Department. She said basically the same thing. So we had the President and a senior official both saying that they would stop the pipeline if this were to happen. So we have a statement coming from the government itself saying it would do this.” “And then I would say on top of that, the United States – given its military capabilities – had the capability to do this. They sent divers down to attach explosives and to arrange for a drone satellite that would ignite the charges and blow up the pipelines.

“It had the capability to do it. And it also had the motive, which was basically to weaken Russia’s ability to use its energy resources to affect politics in Europe. So this is what it was all about,” Giraldi continued. On 8 February 2023, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh dropped a bombshell, detailing an apparent plot by Team Biden and the US intelligence community to blast the Nord Stream pipelines with the help of Norwegian operatives. Reflecting on Hersh’s version, Giraldi said that he feels that Hersh’s narrative is “correct in every detail.” “And I can confirm to you that Sy Hersh, whom I know somewhat, has excellent sources inside CIA and inside the Pentagon. So what he’s telling us comes straight from people who know about it,” the CIA veteran said.

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Scapegoat.

Canadian Parliament Speaker Resigns After Honoring Ukrainian Nazi (RT)

Canadian House Speaker Anthony Rota stepped down on Tuesday after a Nazi veteran was his invited guest at a speech by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. The invitation has faced widespread condemnation. Rota apologized on Monday for the presence of 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka at Zelensky’s address to Canadian lawmakers on Friday, but refused to resign. Although lawmakers from all parties – including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – cheered and applauded Hunka at the event, calls for Rota’s resignation grew over the weekend as the incident drew worldwide attention, particularly from the governments of Russia and Poland. Rota eventually announced his resignation on Tuesday afternoon, stating that he would leave his position at the end of Wednesday’s session.

“The work of this house is above any of us. Therefore, I must step down as your speaker,” Rota said. “I reiterate my profound regret for my error.” Politicians from the opposition New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois parties issued the loudest demands for Rota’s resignation, with New Democrats leader Peter Julian describing the invitation as “an unforgivable error which puts the entire House in disrepute.” Trudeau, who leads the Liberal Party, of which Rota is a member, did not call for the speaker’s resignation, but described the ceremony as “deeply embarrassing for the House and for Canada.” During the event, Rota hailed Hunka as “a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero… who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians.”

Rota did not mention that Hunka fought in Hitler’s elite Waffen SS, but the nonagenarian was identified by the Associated Press as a member of the First Ukrainian Division, a volunteer unit created by the Nazis in 1943. Also known as the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, the unit is known to have committed atrocities against Jews and Poles during its campaign on the Eastern Front. “There should be no confusion that this unit was responsible for the mass murder of innocent civilians with a level of brutality and malice that is unimaginable,” the Toronto-based Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) said in a statement on Sunday.


The Ukrainian Postal Service is now issuing stamps of Waffen SS Nazi Galicia Yaroslav Hunko

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“..the ultra-liberal ideology propagated in Canada and permeated with hatred for Russia, its culture, religious and traditional values, essentially has the same roots as Nazism.”

Russian Foreign Ministry Responds To Canada Honoring Nazi Veteran (RT)

The Canadian Parliament’s public celebration of a Ukrainian Nazi veteran last week is a cynical abuse of the memory of the victims of Nazism and an example of the blatant Russophobia embraced by the Canadian government, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on Tuesday. The message comes after the Canadian House of Commons on Friday gave a standing ovation to 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka, a member of the 14th Waffen Grenadier division of the SS, which was responsible for countless war crimes during the second half of World War II. The commemoration took place during a visit by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the incident was “the best possible way to characterize the regime of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has embraced unbridled Russophobia.”

After facing backlash from Jewish and Polish communities over the incident, House Speaker Anthony Rota apologized for inviting the Nazi veteran, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the situation as “profoundly embarrassing.” The Russian ministry stressed, however, that despite Canada’s apologies, “the fact remains that the ultra-liberal ideology propagated in Canada and permeated with hatred for Russia, its culture, religious and traditional values, essentially has the same roots as Nazism.” Moscow added that it was “no coincidence” that Canada has monuments to Ukrainian nationalist leaders while the government allows the overwhelming majority of Nazi veterans like Hunka, who was granted asylum in Canada after the end of World War II, to live out their days “in safety, honored and cared for (in particular, by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland) as ‘fighters against Russian Communism.’”

The ministry concluded its statement by stressing that the “hostile actions” of the Canadian government, such as the continuous expansion of anti-Russian sanctions and blacklists of Russian nationals will not be left unanswered and that Moscow will not tolerate the fact that “Canadian liberals are flirting with Nazism.” “We expect that healthy forces in Canadian society will speak out against the ‘Nazification’ of history and daily life encouraged by the country’s officials, which goes hand-in-hand with aggressive Russophobia,” it said.

Russia to Canada

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“Canada is not a unique situation. Ten thousand Nazi war criminals emigrated to the United States, thousands to Australia, Great Britain, and in fewer numbers to New Zealand.”

Nazi Hunter: Canada Failed Miserably in Bringing Nazis to Justice (Sp.)

Ninety-eight-year-old Ukrainian Nazi veteran Yaroslav Hunka, who fought in the ranks of the Schutzstaffel’s (SS) 14th Waffen Grenadier Division, was enthusiastically hailed by Canadian lawmakers and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The incident triggered a wave of fierce criticism, prompting House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota to apologize for featuring a Nazi soldier in the Canadian legislature. Sputnik reached out to Dr. Efraim Zuroff, a legendary Nazi hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the director of its Israel Office, to ask why the scandalous honoring of a Nazi became possible in a modern Western state. “It’s no secret that hundreds, at least hundreds, if not thousands of people who committed Holocaust crimes and/or collaborated with the Nazis were able to emigrate to Canada,” Dr. Zuroff told Sputnik.

“And by the way, Canada is not a unique situation. Ten thousand Nazi war criminals emigrated to the United States, thousands to Australia, Great Britain, and in fewer numbers to New Zealand.” Dr. Zuroff is unfamiliar with the particular case of Yaroslav Hunka, but it is still well known that the Waffen SS Galicia Division was “very involved in the mass murder of Jews and Poles in eastern Poland and Galicia,” he pointed out. “And it’s a very sad thing that the heroes, the leadership of the Ukrainian nationalists during World War II, which was headed by Stepan Bandera, for example and the UPA*, the army raised by the Ukrainians to fight with the Germans, with the Waffen SS, which was led by Roman Shukhevych, these are the heroes of Ukraine,” the Nazi hunter highlighted.

It is common knowledge that Nazi Germany played the lead role in the Holocaust – the systematic state-sponsored killing of European Jews in the Second World War. Still, Westerners are not fully aware of the incredibly important role played by local collaborators in the mass murder of the Jewish people, according to Dr. Zuroff. Nazi Germany’s Einsatzgruppen, mobile killing units organized by the SS (tasked with the “final solution of the Jewish question, i.e. the genocide of the ethnic group), “covered an area from Tallinn in the north of Estonia, all the way down to Odessa, near the Black Sea, a front of 1,500 kilometers, and murdered 1.5 million, primarily Jews, in less than two years,” the expert said.

“There were only several thousand people who served in the Einsatzgruppen, and they were working in territory, which they didn’t know the language, they didn’t know the topography. They needed help from the locals,” he explained, adding that this help was provided. “And they’re [locals] the ones who carried out these murders, in many cases without any Germans present. We know in Lithuania, for example, that there were less than a thousand Germans in Lithuania. In Lithuania, there were 220,000 Jews who lived under the Nazi occupation, of whom 212,000 were murdered, 90% of them by shooting near their homes.”

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The Black Sea Fleet command convenes in an underground bunker.

Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander Seen Alive and Well (Sp.)

Western media reported that Russian Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Viktor Sokolov was killed in Ukrainian attack on Sevastopol, citing Ukrainian officials, without verifying the information. Ukraine used several British-sourced Storm Shadow cruise missiles to target the HQs building of the Russian Fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea last Friday. Russian Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Viktor Sokolov has turned up alive and well, taking part in a Defense Ministry board meeting alongside Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday. Sokolov’s appearance follows claims in dozens of Western media outlets quoting Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces claiming that he had been killed in last week’s strike on the Black Sea Fleet’s HQ in Sevastopol.

The Russian Defense Ministry said six people were injured in the September 22 attack, with one person unaccounted for and the HQ’s historic building suffering damage. These figures are a far cry from estimates made by Kiev – which claimed that dozens of servicemen and officers were killed and over 100 injured. US reconnaissance forces were spotted in the area near the HQ two days prior to the attack, prompting Russian and US military observers to tell Sputnik that they suspect direct NATO involvement in the strike. The UK approved the delivery of Storm Shadow cruise missile systems to Ukraine in May, with Ukraine’s armed forces subsequently using them liberally, including to attack built-up civilian areas in the Donbass. Despite generous arms deliveries, intelligence and other support to Kiev, the United States and most of its allies refuse to admit that the Ukrainian crisis is a NATO proxy war against Russia.

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Where do they find these people?

Nothing Is Off Table To Get Ukraine Into EU – Parliament President (G.)

The European Union must begin a major wave of change to prepare for the arrival of Ukraine as a member state, the leader of its parliament has said, with “nothing off the table”, including removing trade tariffs and giving Kyiv access to internal markets before full membership. Speaking exclusively to the Guardian, Roberta Metsola, an MEP from Malta who became the European parliament’s youngest ever president last year, said she expected member states to begin formal negotiations with Ukraine as soon as December. “If they are going fast, we should match that speed,” she urged. Metsola was the first political leader to visit Ukraine after Russia’s invasion, meeting the country’s president, President Zelenskiy, in Kyiv on 1 April 2022, when the capital was still under curfew and surrounded by tanks.

She has made the images of that encounter a symbol of her presidency: a poster of the pair in military green, shaking hands, hangs over the Parliament courtyard. Defying caution and outright antagonism from some member states, she has given unequivocal support to Ukraine’s attempt to join the EU, a process which has advanced even as the country’s attempts to join Nato have stalled. Ukraine is one year into a what many expect will be four or five year journey. But Metsola reflects fresh thinking among some EU leaders that the bloc needs to accelerate access to Ukraine- and the Balkan states that have also applied- in order to curb the risk of Russian interference in these former Soviet territories.

“Pushing the can down the road” on enlargement will only fuel nationalism and the far-right, she warned. “It increases the extremes on the political spectrum, the Euroscepticism. Campaigns in accession countries are fought, and lost or won, on the basis of the dream and hope of the EU.” Metsola wants formal talks to begin before Christmas. The decision rests with EU ministers, who will meet formally in December after a public report in October on Ukraine’s progress in reforming its judiciary, curbing corruption and opening its markets. “I expect a concrete outcome because the worst signal could be that we have given these people targets and deadlines which we can’t meet ourselves,” said Metsola.

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They strip off the protective parts before shipping them to Kiev.

How Russia Will Deal With American Tanks in Ukraine (Sp.)

Ukraine has received some of its long-promised Abrams tanks, with the rest scheduled to be delivered later this fall. The long wait began in January, when US President Joe Biden announced that a battalions’ worth of America’s best tanks would be sent to “improve” Ukraine’s “ability to maneuver in open terrain.” The Abrams are the last of three NATO heavy tank platforms to be delivered to Ukraine to date, with Washington using promises about their deployment to get the alliance’s European members, particularly Germany, to approve the sending of their Leopard series MBTs (hundreds of Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 tanks have been sent to Kiev since then). The UK also joined in, sending 14 of its fearsome Challenger 2s – boasting the status of one of the only major MBTs in NATO armies’ service never to have been destroyed by the enemy in battle.

Russian forces taking on Ukraine’s NATO-equipped army during the summer counteroffensive soon changed all that, with dozens of Leopard 1 and Leopard 2s knocked out, and at least two of Britain’s “unbeatable” tanks taken out in fierce fighting in Zaporozhye after finally appearing on the battlefield earlier this month. [..] The Abrams tanks that Ukraine is getting aren’t up to the same standard as those used by the US military. While its tanks are receiving the same controversial depleted uranium munitions which the US and NATO have already successfully used to poison vast swathes of the former Yugoslavia and Iraq, they are not equipped with the same layer of ultra-thick DU armor plates for enhanced protection of the tank and its crew that US Army Abrams have.

Ukraine’s Abrams are made from refurbished hulls and turrets from California’s Sierra Army Depot, with their DU armor plating removed for secrecy reasons. With the tanks proving vulnerable to enemy anti-tank systems even with the DU armor installed, Russian forces should have no problem using any or all of the above-mentioned weapons systems to target them.

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Wonder what’s in the tax filings (not inflated numbers!). Wonder if the banks saw those. And if not, why.

US Judge Finds Trump Committed Fraud by Inflating Wealth, Assets (Sp.)

A New York state judge on Tuesday found former US President Donald Trump liable for fraud in a civil lawsuit that accuses the one-time commander of intentionally inflating his wealth and asset value. The 35-page ruling, brought forward by the New York Attorney General’s Office, determined Trump and company submitted multiple misleading valuations for real estate assets in official statements to insurers and other financial institutions in order to secure favorable loans and lower insurance premiums throughout the years. Properties listed in the suit included Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Florida resort, his golf course in Scotland, Trump Park Avenue, and his Seven Springs property in New York’s Westchester County, among other sites.

“In defendants’ world, rent-regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can evaporate into thin air,” Judge Arthur Engoron wrote in the decision. “That is a fantasy world, not the real world.” In granting a partial summary judgement to NY Attorney General Letitia James, Engoron outlined that such business maneuvers violated the law and as such canceled the business certificates of Trump and listed defendants, including those of his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. Also named were Allen Weisselberg, who served as the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, and company executive Jeff McConney. Additionally, Engoron ordered individual sanctions of $7,500 against lawyers who represented the listed Trump defendants and required that within 10 days’ time each defendant submit three independent receivers to manage the dissolution for the business certificates.

The Trump camp has argued claims laid out in the civil filing are barred due to the statute of limitations, with lawyer noting banks involved in the Trump-affiliated deals were far from victims as the same entities turned profits. The former president has also rejected committing any wrongdoing, instead claiming James’ suit is a politically-driven attack. The Tuesday ruling, which denied a request by Trump to end the civil fraud lawsuit, did not settle six other claims at the center of James’ lawsuit. In fact, a non-jury trial set to start on October 2 will address the remaining key points. The New York attorney general is seeking about $250 million in damages and is looking to enforce a ban on Trump doing any business in the Empire State.

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He should have given the laptop to WikiLeaks.

Hunter Biden Sues Rudy Giuliani for Spreading Contents From Laptop (Sp.)

The lawsuit, which relies on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, was filed in the Central District of California. Neither Rudy Giuliani nor Hunter Biden live in that district and the alleged crimes took place in Delaware. Whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld told Sputnik the choice was the result of “venue shopping.” Embattled first son Hunter Biden is continuing to file lawsuits against individuals he blames for the release of the contents of a laptop he reportedly abandoned at a Delaware computer repair store. The lawsuit is against former New York City mayor and Donald Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. The suit, filed in the Central District of California, accuses the former mayor of “looking for, hacking into, tampering with, manipulating, copying, [and] disseminating … data that was taken or stolen,” thereby violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

It is the latest string of lawsuits brought by Hunter Biden against individuals surrounding his laptop. He also sued the owner of the non-profit Marco Polo, which has been publishing the contents of the laptop, the owner of the computer repair shop where Biden reportedly abandoned the laptop and the FBI for allegedly violating his privacy when two FBI agents told Congress and the media they were concerned the agency was slow-walking the investigation. The laptop in question first made headlines in October 2020, shortly before the 2020 presidential election. Reportedly, the computer repair shop owner had given the laptop to the FBI months before, but after not hearing anything about it on the news, contacted Giuliani’s lawyer at the time Bob Costello and provided him a copy of the computer’s hard drive. Costello is also a defendant in Biden’s latest lawsuit.

Contents of the laptop were published by the New York Post, showing the future first son smoking what appears to be crack cocaine, fornicating with suspected prostitutes and other salacious details. Further reporting on the laptop revealed emails related to Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals and financial records showing the Biden family received millions of dollars from foreign businesses, including those in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, China and Russia. Some of the email and text messages found on the iPhone backup implied that current US President Joe Biden may have joined in on some business calls with his son and references to payments made to “the big guy” have been pointed to by critics as proof the elder Biden was more involved in his son’s business deals than the president claimed. As recently as August, the US president has reiterated he “never talked business” with his son.

The laptop was originally called “Russian disinformation” by multiple media outlets in the United States, and more than 50 former senior intelligence officers signed a letter saying it had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” One by one, the various outlets who discredited the laptop as disinformation quietly admitted it was legitimate and a former CIA official testified to the House Judiciary Committee that former Biden campaign adviser and now-Secretary of State Antony Blinken “played a role in the inception.” Giuliani’s spokesman Ted Goodman pointed to the changing story of the laptop’s detractors when responding to the lawsuit. “Hunter Biden previously refused to admit ownership of the laptop. I’m not surprised he’s now falsely claiming his laptop hard drive was manipulated by Mayor Giuliani, considering the sordid material and potential evidence of crimes on that thing,” Goodman said.

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My son is the smartest man I know.

Hunter Biden Used Dad’s Classified Doc House For $250K China Wire Transfer (ZH)

Hunter Biden used his Dad’s Delaware home where classified documents were found strewn about the garage to receive more than $250,000 in Chinese wire transfers, according to the House Oversight Committee. The wires were from Wang Xin and Jonathan Li, the latter of whom ran a Chinese private equity fund (BHR) which Hunter was listed as being on the board of directors. Hunter also arranged for a meeting between Li and Joe Biden while Joe was VP, while Joe allegedly gave Li’s son a letter of recommendation. Here’s the breakdown of events from the Committee:

• 2009-2017: During his time as Vice President and prior to later payments to Hunter Biden, evidence shows Joe Biden developed a familiar relationship with Jonathan Li. Devon Archer, a Biden business associate, described how Joe Biden met with Jonathan Li for coffee in Beijing, China, had a phone call with him, and wrote college recommendation letters for his children.
• April 25, 2019: Joe Biden announced his candidacy in the 2020 presidential election.
• July 26, 2019: Wang Xin wired $10,000 with Joe Biden’s home listed on the wire.
• August 2, 2019: Jonathan Li wired $250,000 with Joe Biden’s home listed on the wire.
• October 13, 2019: George Mesires, who served as Hunter Biden’s lawyer, stated, in part, that Hunter Biden served with BHR “only as a member of its board of directors,” which was purportedly an “unpaid position.”
• October 22, 2020: During a presidential debate, Joe Biden said, “My son has not made money […] in China.”

Of note, Hunter was living at the Wilmington house while he was raking in millions of dollars from CCP-linked business dealings. Hunter was living there… Seamus Bruner (researcher for legendary bombshell-dropper Peter Schweizer), reports via Breitbart News, that “While addicted to drugs, cavorting with prostitutes, and making deals with businessmen tied to the highest levels of Chinese intelligence, Hunter Biden lived in the house where Joe Biden stored classified documents.” Second, the Washington Free Beacon reported in January that photos from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop place him at the Wilmington House in July, 2017. Of note, the classified documents were reportedly brought to the house in January of that year. The photos ‘are the most concrete evidence to date’ that Hunter – who was actively negotiating a deal with a CCP-linked Chinese energy company – had access to areas of his father’s home where classified documents were stored.

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I know there’s the EU’s Code of Practice on Disinformation, and I know there’s the Digital Services Act, but I don’t know who decided that Musk is violating either.

Oh, and it’s basically all Russia Russia. Ring a bell? It’s like Trudy reacting to the Nazi he celebrated by saying we should all be wary of Russian disinformation. Same thing. Diversion. Squirrel!

EU Warns Elon Musk After X Found To Have Highest Rate Of Disinformation (G.)

The EU has issued a warning to Elon Musk to comply with sweeping new laws on fake news and Russian propaganda, after X formerly known as Twitter was found to have the highest ratio of disinformation posts of all large social media platforms. The report analysed the ratio of disinformation for a new report laying bare for the first time the scale of fake news on social media across the EU, with millions of fake accounts removed by TikTok and LinkedIn. Facebook was the second worst offender, according to the first ever report recording posts that will be deemed illegal across the EU under the Digital Services Act (DSA), which came into force in August.

Nevertheless, Facebook and other tech giants, including Google, TikTok and Microsoft, have signed up to the code of practice the EU drew up to ensure they could get ready in time to operate within the confines of the new laws. Twitter left the code of practice but it is obliged under the new law to comply with the rules or face a ban across the EU. Mr Musk knows he is not off the hook by leaving the code of practice, said the European commissioner Vera Jourova, who is responsible for the implementation of the new anti-disinformation code. There are obligations under the hard law. So my message for Twitter/X is you have to comply. We will be watching what you do.

X, formerly Twitter, is the platform with the largest ratio of mis/disinformation followed by Facebook, she told reporters. The 200-page report is an account of the work the large platforms have done in the first six months of 2023 to prepare for compliance with the new law and lifts the lid on the behind-the-scenes efforts made by Facebook and others to crack down on Russian propaganda, hate speech and other disinformation. The Russian state has engaged in the war of ideas to pollute our information space with half truth and lies to create a false image that democracy is no better than autocracy, said Jourova.

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This five-month-old bar-tailed godwit smashed the record for long-distance migration following a non-stop, 11-day flight from Alaska to Tasmania: a 13,560 km journey beating the previous record, a godwit which flew 13,000 km

 

 

Burzynski

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sep 172023
 


Henri Cartier Bresson Paris 1952

 

BLM vs Proud Boys: The Shocking Hypocrisy Of US Law (Robert Bridge)
Trump Decries ‘Double Standard’ in Documents Case (ET)
Court Documents Reveal Number Of Trump Private Messages Disclosed By X (RT)
Jeffrey Sachs: US Sanctions Against Russia and China Destined to Fail (Sp.)
‘Ground War’ in Ukraine May Be Over – Macgregor (Sp.)
Kiev’s Requests for Arms Exceed NATO’s Production Capacity (Sp.)
Ukrainian Army Lost 9 Out Of Every 10 Troops – Conscription Officer (RT)
NATO Says It Can Deploy 3.5 Million Soldiers If Attacked (RT)
Zelensky Issues Warning To EU Neighbors (RT)
Zelensky Political Rival Charged With Treason (RT)
Orban Explains What Might Force West To Want Peace In Ukraine (RT)
Currency Wars Versus Gold Standards (Macleod)
Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger Sign Charter to Create Defense Alliance (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Obama Bush
https://twitter.com/i/status/1703116084801413435

 

 

 

 

Tucker Carlson: “Criticize the drug companies, question the war in Ukraine, and you can be pretty sure this is going to happen.”

 

 

Russell

 

 

 

 

Captcha
https://twitter.com/i/status/1703082692609204482

 

 

I’ve come to the conclusion that America today is the living manifestation of “Universe 25”. Russia is not. Unless we change course, and get back to basics, we’re screwed. Russia wins by default—meaning that they’re not even trying to win. We’re just losing on our own.
– Scott Ritter

 

 

 

 

“America is looking more like a bona-fide banana republic than ever before.”

BLM vs Proud Boys: The Shocking Hypocrisy Of US Law (Robert Bridge)

Between May 2020 and January 6, 2021, the United States experienced two tumultuous events – one at the hands of liberals, the other of conservatives – that resulted in many millions of dollars in property destruction, as well as injuries and loss of life. Yet just one side in those battles suffered severe legal consequences for its actions. During the Black Lives Matter/Antifa riots that swept the US in the summer of 2020 following the police killing of George Floyd, protesters went on a rampage and stormed various government buildings in Portland, Oregon. One of the attackers, Kevin Benjamin Weier, 35, was arrested for setting fire to the federal courthouse. Many (right-wing) commentators have described that willful destruction of government property, and the assorted acts of violence by other protesters, as seditious acts against the US government.

For over 100 days the protesters kept Portland residents under a state of siege, as Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler seemed unwilling or unable to halt the violence. That should come as no surprise considering that the Portland City Council slashed millions from the police budget, and even ordered the police to stop using tear gas in a futile attempt to appease the mob (Note to Portland: it’s impossible to appease a mob). Finally, President Donald Trump shocked liberal sensitivities by sending in federal agents to help restore order and arrest the perpetrators. So what happened to Antifa member Kevin Benjamin Weier and his motley crew of anarchists? While many protesters around the country had their prison bail paid by Hollywood celebrities, Mr. Weier, whose felony charge made him eligible for 10 years in the slammer, together with a hefty $250,000 fine, was ultimately sentenced to two years’ probation and a $200 fine. In other words, about the same slap on the wrist that a Los Angeles shoplifter could expect to receive.

Just six months after the BLM/Antifa protests had subsided, the American people were treated to yet another historic display of pent-up passions as thousands of disaffected Trump supporters descended upon the Capitol Building in Washington, DC to express their outrage over an election they believed had been stolen. While there were many scenes of chaos and pandemonium, with rioters breaching the entrance and carrying out acts of vandalism and looting, everything was not quite as it had seemed. Two years after the storming of the Capitol Building, 40,000 hours of surveillance videotape from that day were finally released, and the images show that the establishment media had been cherry-picking the worst scenes for public consumption.

“Taken as a whole, the video record does not support the claim that January 6th was an insurrection,” remarked Tucker Carlson, the first journalist to expose the tapes in their entirety. “In fact, it demolishes the claim.” Although there was undoubtedly a group of hooligans among the thousands of January 6th protesters responsible for wreaking a lot of havoc, the overwhelming majority of the participants “were not insurrectionists,” Carlson continued. “They were orderly and meek. They were sightseers.” Such a conclusion will be very difficult for most people to believe, but that’s only because the media continually broadcasted the most damning images from the Capitol Building, reinforcing the narrative of seditious rioters.

Now compare that harsh ‘made for television’ portrayal of January 6 with CNN’s “Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Protests” style of reporting it used to downplay the severity of the George Floyd protests. And while the Democrats and aligned media continue to sell the January 6 riot as a violent right-wing insurgency, as they pursue their primary goal of putting ‘dictator’ Donald Trump behind bars, the only person to suffer a violent death on January 6 was a protester named Ashli Babbitt, a 36-year-old military veteran. A Capitol Police officer shot her in the neck, with a later explanation by the department stating that he had “potentially saved Members [of Congress] and staff from serious injury and possible death.”

All things considered, the damage done by left-wing protesters during the George Floyd protests were far worse than the crimes committed by the Trump supporters on Capitol Hill. That becomes more evident when it is considered that acts of arson, vandalism, and looting that occurred between May 26 and June 8 caused approximately $1-2 billion in damages nationally, the highest recorded amount from civil disorder in US history. Meanwhile, the monetary damage caused by the Capitol Building protesters was just over $2.7 million. Meanwhile, as we have already discussed, there have been no serious criminal charges filed against the members of Black Lives Matter and Antifa, which brings us to the most hypocritical part of this story.

This week, Enrique Tarrio, the former chairman of the far-right organization Proud Boys, who wasn’t even in Washington, D.C. on January 6, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for plotting to keep Trump in power by force after he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden. Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the similar-minded group the Oath Keepers, and one-time Proud Boys leader Ethan Nordean, were both handed 18-year sentences. The three men were found guilty of breaking the seditious conspiracy law, which was enacted after the Civil War to arrest Southerners who continued to take up arms against the US government.

In order for prosecutors to win a seditious conspiracy case, they must prove that two or more people conspired to “overthrow, put down or to destroy by force”the US government, or that they plotted to use force to challenge government authority. Although the case has already been settled, the jury is still out for many political pundits who, pointing to the January 6 surveillance videos, argue that the case for violent insurrection is weak at best. Now, with former President Donald Trump heading for court on March 4, 2024, just eight months before the presidential election, America is looking more like a bona-fide banana republic than ever before.

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“This is all about the Presidential Records Act,” President Trump said. “I’m allowed to have these documents. I’m allowed to take these documents, classified or unclassified. And frankly, when I have them, they become unclassified. “People think you have to go through a ritual—you don’t. At least, in my opinion, you don’t.”

“Hillary Clinton destroyed documents while under subpoena—while under subpoena—and wasn’t even charged. … Does it make you angry?” “Yeah,” he replied. “Yeah, it makes me angry.”

Trump Decries ‘Double Standard’ in Documents Case (ET)

President Trump is facing criminal charges in two federal cases relating to his handling of classified documents and his challenge of the 2020 presidential election results. Two additional cases have been brought by Democrat prosecutors in New York and Atlanta, though the former president holds that those cases were also brought in coordination with the Biden Department of Justice. “These are Biden indictments,” he said. “This is a guy that is grossly incompetent—I don’t even believe it’s him. It’s the people, the fascists that’s around him. Because I don’t believe he’s smart enough to do this, if you want to know the truth.” In the documents case, brought by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, President Trump stands accused of willful retention of national defense information, obstruction, and making false statements.

But the case, according to the former president, revolves around a “fake crime.” “They create a fake crime, and then they say, ‘Oh, you obstructed.’ This is a fake thing that they’ve done,” he said. Pointing to the Presidential Records Act of 1978, he contended that the law gives him the authority to decide which records he can keep. As support for those claims, President Trump cited a similar case involving audio recordings that President Bill Clinton kept in a sock drawer. The recordings were made during President Clinton’s time in office, but when government watchdog group Judicial Watch sued to obtain access to them, a federal judge dismissed the case. The 42nd president, the judge ruled, had the authority to decide which records qualified as personal and which were presidential.

“This is all about the Presidential Records Act,” President Trump said. “I’m allowed to have these documents. I’m allowed to take these documents, classified or unclassified. And frankly, when I have them, they become unclassified. “People think you have to go through a ritual—you don’t. At least, in my opinion, you don’t.” Further noting that the statute in question is civil rather than criminal, he asserted, “I did absolutely nothing wrong.” President Trump has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges filed against him. But while he may not be worried about a conviction, one emotion he admitted to feeling was anger. Ms. Kelly, noting that he had not been accused of destroying classified documents, said: “Hillary Clinton destroyed documents while under subpoena—while under subpoena—and wasn’t even charged. … Does it make you angry?”

“Yeah,” he replied. “Yeah, it makes me angry.” President Trump noted that Ms. Clinton smashed her cell phones and destroyed tens of thousands of emails after receiving a congressional subpoena, yet former FBI Director James Comey concluded that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges against her. “Yeah, there’s a double standard in this country, and the people aren’t standing for it,” he said. “People get it.”

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“X lost its appeal and was found to be in contempt of court for delaying its compliance with the search warrant, leading to the $350,000 fine being imposed.”

Court Documents Reveal Number Of Trump Private Messages Disclosed By X (RT)

X, the social media network formerly known as Twitter, provided access to at least 32 of Donald Trump’s private messages as part of an investigation into the former US president’s alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to recently unsealed court filings. Separate court documents from August previously stated that federal prosecutors had received“some volume” of Trump’s private messages. The exact number – 32 – was revealed on Friday as part of a court filing submitted by X, in which it is seeking to appeal a $350,000 fine for failing to comply with the terms of a search warrant. The content of the messages remains unclear. The warrant, which was served on the social media giant in January, gave X ten days to submit Trump’s data from between October 2020 and January 2021, a time span which the filing noted “includes the November 2020 presidential election and the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.”

In addition to the search warrant, X was also issued with a so-called nondisclosure order designed to ensure that Trump was not aware that prosecutors had gained access to his private messages. This was, the court filing said, to prevent “destruction of or tampering with evidence, intimidation of potential witnesses or serious jeopardy to this investigation.” However, X told the investigation that it would be unable to comply with the search warrant as it had not been given enough time to do so. The company also objected to the nondisclosure order due to what it said was the “intense publicity around the investigation.” “Indeed, the materials Twitter produced to the government included only 32 direct-message items, constituting a minuscule proportion of the total production,” prosecutors said.

They added that the nondisclosure request was not a “hypothetical consideration” given alleged attempts by Trump to obstruct another federal investigation into his supposed mishandling of classified government documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Trump denies all wrongdoing in each of the cases against him. “The former president propagated false claims of fraud (including swearing to false allegations in a federal court filing),” prosecutors wrote in a legal brief, adding that he had “pressured state and federal officials to violate their legal duties, and retaliated against those who did not comply to his demand, culminating in violence at the US Capitol on January 6.” X lost its appeal and was found to be in contempt of court for delaying its compliance with the search warrant, leading to the $350,000 fine being imposed.

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“The more energetic and dynamic part of the world, the faster growing part of the world quantitatively, is not on the US-European side of the story..”

Jeffrey Sachs: US Sanctions Against Russia and China Destined to Fail (Sp.)

Sanctions have failed to bring Russia to its knees, as the nation’s economy has proved to be far more resilient than Western policymakers ever imagined. Back in March-February 2022 they projected that a bunch of restrictions would be effectively a knockout punch against the Russian economy, that they would bring military production to a halt and that they could even potentially cause mass political unrest. None of that has materialized. Why did Western analysts get Russia so wrong? “When it comes to Russia, the idea that this would be some kind of a ‘knockout blow’ for the conflict in Ukraine was utterly naive and predictably a failure,” renowned economist and Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs told Sputnik. “But I think the Russian economy also was clearly vastly underestimated. And what the West gets wrong on all aspects of the Ukraine crisis is that the world is not united with the West. The West is just a small part of the world. Most of the world wants to stay clear of this crisis.”

[..] While Western sanctions have failed to cripple Russia’s economy and hinder China’s rise, they at the same time have given a boost to the development of the two countries, prompting them to explore new markets, develop new technologies and forge new partnerships. For instance, over the past two years, one has seen Chinese auto companies become major players on the international market, even overtaking German car producers. And one of the major markets for Chinese cars has been the Russian market, in large part because last year a lot of Western brands, a lot of Japanese brands left the Russian market, which created a void that the Chinese companies could fill.
“Well, I think certainly there is a huge boomerang effect of these sanctions. Europe is the biggest loser of the sanctions, this is for sure, because Russia’s low-cost production, both of primary energy certainly, but also of fertilizers and many other commodity-based manufactured goods going to Europe are now going to China and going to the rest of Asia. And Europe is in outright recession,” said Sachs.

“If there is a particular loser from all of this, it’s the German industry which had probably the closest symbiotic relationship with the Russian economy over the last 30 years,” added the professor. Germany is the only G7 nation that will see economic contraction this year, according to the IMF. The IMF attributes the trend to weak production output as well as a contraction in two consecutive quarters (Q4 in 2022 and Q1 in 2023). The latter factor prompted international economists to conclude in mid-July that the country had fallen into a technical recession. The destruction of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines, as well as Berlin’s decision to follow in Washington’s footsteps and slap energy sanctions on Russia, backfired on German manufacturers, leading to relocation of businesses and, eventually, deindustrialization.

“All of the fervor against Nord Stream, for example, was a part of the US desire to ensure that Germany and Russia never got too cozy economically,” Sachs remarked. “And as Russia therefore turns to the broader BRICS world and the rest of the world, it’s those countries that benefit from these linkages,” the professor continued. “And it’s Europe that is absolutely left behind. One of those beneficiaries is China. Clearly. Because China is a crowded, densely populated economy with natural resources, but on a per capita basis, relatively low. So it’s very complementary with Russia. Add in the common shared high-tech element, and that’s an added benefit of this increasingly strong relationship between China and Russia on the economic side, because there is a lot of technology transfer that can go in both directions.

Add in the building of infrastructure across Eurasia, connecting Russia and China in a number of ways. That also is of great strength.” So, in the end, the Western sanctions policy has not led to any kind of a deep, prolonged crisis for either Russia or China. Quite the contrary, according to the professor. “The more energetic and dynamic part of the world, the faster growing part of the world quantitatively, is not on the US-European side of the story,” Sachs concluded.

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Terror strikes and long-range missiles do not win a war….

‘Ground War’ in Ukraine May Be Over – Macgregor (Sp.)

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine may be about to move to a new phase amid the severe losses sustained by the Kiev regime forces, warns former senior Pentagon adviser Col. Douglas Macgregor. With thousands of Ukrainian losses during the ongoing “counteroffensive”, Kiev appears to be “desperate for manpower” and is trying to rectify this problem by “forcing people into uniform inside the country that are not really capable of fighting” and attempting to repatriate Ukrainians of military age from overseas, Macgregor said during an interview with Norwegian political scientist Glenn Diesen. “So I think the Ukrainian ground war, for all intents and purposes, is either at a standstill or perhaps even over,” he remarked.

Macgregor did point out, however, that Kiev may instead resort to attacking Russia with long-range weapons acquired from Western sponsors, such as Storm Shadow and Taurus missiles, with the colonel suggesting that the recent Ukrainian attack on Sevastopol was an example of such a strike. He noted that this course of actions does not bode well for Ukraine as it essentially helps convince Moscow that the Ukrainian conflict can only be resolved through military means. Macgregor also lamented that the US leadership mulls what other armaments “short of a nuclear weapon” they can use via the Ukrainians instead of attempting to negotiate a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian conflict with Russia. “The Russians would love to sit down and talk to somebody who is willing to examine where we stand – no one will do it,” he said. “So this is why I call this phase of the war, it’s no longer the Ukrainian phase, it is now the Biden phase of the war. And the Biden phase of the war is long range strikes.”

He warned that such long range strikes into the Russian territory will not convince the Russians to acquiesce to the US’ demands, as the strategists in Washington apparently believe. “If anything, it is going to persuade the Russians that they must attack and attack decisively to the west,” Macgregor stated. Finding itself unable to defeat the Russian forces on the battlefield, the regime in Kiev has resorted to carrying out terror strikes against population centers and civilian infrastructure in Russia. While so far these attacks were mostly conducted using drones and Soviet-era ordnance, as well as by sending teams of Ukrainian terrorists across the border, odds are high that Kiev may also start actively using for these purposes the long-range missiles provided by its NATO sponsors.

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Again, this would take years to address.

Kiev’s Requests for Arms Exceed NATO’s Production Capacity (Sp.)

Chair of the NATO Military Committee Adm. Rob Bauer on Saturday admitted that Ukraine’s requests for weapons and ammunition, as well as the volume of defense production used in Ukraine, are “huge” and exceed the production capabilities of the alliance. “The volume of the weapons and the ammunition that Ukraine requires is huge … The scale and the volume of what is used is going beyond our production capacity,” Bauer said at a press conference in Norway. The Military Committee Chair also said that NATO countries that decide to supply weapons and ammunition to Ukraine have to think about the risks for their own security.

“When they think about giving away weapons or ammunition, they have to think on the decision itself, ‘Am I giving away?’. Second, what is the risk that I take against my own readiness in NATO, in my own country,” Bauer said. In this regard, the military official called on the NATO countries to address issues of increasing production capacity in the defense sector more quickly and efficiently. Moscow has condemned foreign military supplies to Ukraine. In April 2022, Russia sent a diplomatic note to all NATO countries on the issue of arms supplies to Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has warned that any cargo containing weapons for Ukraine will become a legitimate target for Russia.

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… and we’re out of soldiers.

“..out of 100 people who joined the units last fall, 10-20 remain, the rest are dead, wounded or disabled.”

“..conscription of people with such severe conditions as hepatitis, HIV without symptoms, and clinically treated tuberculosis..”

Ukrainian Army Lost 9 Out Of Every 10 Troops – Conscription Officer (RT)

Up to nine out of ten Ukrainian draftees who joined the army a year ago were either killed or wounded in action, a senior conscription officer in the Poltava Region said on Friday, according to local media. Speaking at a meeting of Poltava City Council, Lt. Colonel Vitaly Berezhny, who serves as acting head of the territorial center of recruitment and social support, admitted that local authorities are struggling with their conscription campaign, having fulfilled the mobilization plan by only 13%, which puts the city in last place in the whole region. Berezhny was quoted by local media outlet Poltavshina as saying the military urgently needs reinforcements, as “out of 100 people who joined the units last fall, 10-20 remain, the rest are dead, wounded or disabled.”

To remedy the manpower shortage, the officer suggested rolling out draft notification posts in a bid to “establish the presence of conscripts.” He added that the region was also planning to create a large mechanized brigade, and urged local deputies to assist in the effort. Ukraine announced a general mobilization shortly after the start of Russia’s military campaign in February 2022, banning most men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country. In August, former Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov said Kiev had not yet fulfilled its existing mobilization plan, suggesting there was no need for another draft drive. However, earlier this month, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry issued a decree allowing the conscription of people with such severe conditions as hepatitis, HIV without symptoms, and clinically treated tuberculosis.

At the same time, Ukrainian authorities embarked on a massive campaign against corruption in the country’s conscription system, with President Vladimir Zelensky recently firing all regional military conscription officials. Berezhny’s acknowledgment comes amid Ukraine’s counteroffensive that has been underway for more than three months but has failed to gain significant ground. Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin estimated Ukraine’s losses at more than 71,000 troops. He also suggested that Kiev could enter into negotiations with Moscow only when it comes close to running out of resources to throw at Russian defences, but concluded that Ukraine would need those talks only to restore its battered military potential.

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Please don’t ask how battle-ready those troops would be… Good thing nobody is planning to attack NATO.

Logos: “.. you do not have the time to prepare for an attack if the attack happens. And it is not us planning the attack, it is the opponent planning the attack. If they attack, you have to be ready..”

NATO Says It Can Deploy 3.5 Million Soldiers If Attacked (RT)

NATO, in accordance with its new defense plans, can deploy 300,000 soldiers in the first month of a potential attack on the bloc, while the total number of the alliance’s military personnel could reach 3.5 million people, Chair of the NATO Military Committee Adm. Rob Bauer said, Report informs via Sputnik. “If we are talking about collective defense, you do not have the time to prepare for an attack if the attack happens. And it is not us planning the attack, it is the opponent planning the attack. If they attack, you have to be ready. Therefore, we need more soldiers at high readiness … We are talking, in NATO as a whole if Finland and Sweden have joined, of about 3.5 million soldiers in the alliance. So the 300,000 is the number … that we foresee at high readiness available for basically the first 30 days if it is necessary,” Bauer told reporters at a press conference with Norwegian Chief of Defense Gen. Eirik Kristoffersen.

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“We won’t listen to Berlin, von der Leyen… because it’s in the interest of the Polish farmers.”

Zelensky Issues Warning To EU Neighbors (RT)

Kiev will respond if EU countries decide to impose unilateral restrictions on Ukrainian grain in contravention of decisions made in Brussels, President Vladimir Zelensky has said. On Friday, the European Commission opted not to extend a ban on deliveries of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia. The curbs, which were introduced in May, expired on September 15. While the Bulgarian authorities supported the move, the other four EU member states said they would now introduce restrictions at national level due to the need to protect their agricultural industries. Zelensky wrote on Telegram that he had talked to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the phone, telling her that he was “deeply grateful” to her for “keeping her word and maintaining the rules of the free market.”

The decision by Brussels not to extend the ban “is an example of true unity and trust between Ukraine and the EU. Europe always wins when the rules work and the treaties are fulfilled,” he said. However, the Ukrainian leader added that “now it’s important [to make sure] European unity also works on a bilateral level; that the neighbors support Ukraine” amid its conflict with Russia. If Poland, Hungary, Romania or Slovakia make decisions that “violate EU law, Ukraine will respond in a civilized way,” Zelensky warned, without specifying the countermeasures to which Kiev may resort to protect its interests. After learning about the ruling by the European Commission on Friday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Warsaw would “extend the ban on Ukrainian grain. We won’t listen to Berlin, von der Leyen… because it’s in the interest of the Polish farmers.”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced a similar plan, saying he was preparing for “a serious fight in Brussels” over the grain issue. Warsaw and Budapest have vigorously resisted deliveries of Ukrainian grain, despite having quite opposite views on the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Poland has been one of the main backers of Ukraine in the EU, providing the country with weapons and insisting on increasingly harsh measures against Russia, while the Hungarian authorities have consistently criticized the bloc’s sanction on Moscow as ineffective, and insist on a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

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He banned almost all opposition. And the one he didn’t touch now turns out to be a Russian collaborator?!

Zelensky Political Rival Charged With Treason (RT)

Member of the Ukrainian parliament and former emergency-services minister Nestor Shufrich has been arrested and is being held on charges of treason issued by a court in Kiev, the country’s capital. According to footage from Friday’s hearing published by outlet RBK-Ukraine, the judge has ruled that Shufrich will stay behind bars for the next two months. The politician, who was a member of the Opposition Platform-For Life party before it was banned as pro-Russian on the orders of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky last summer, has also been denied bail. Earlier in the day, masked operatives from Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) arrived at the MP’s home, informing the 56-year-old that he’s suspected of treason and searching the premises.

The SBU said in a statement that its investigators have “collected a well-argued evidence base about the anti-Ukrainian activities” of Shufrich. According to the agency, the parliamentarian was an agent of Moscow whose main task was to promote pro-Russian sentiment in Ukraine through his media appearances. “He systematically disseminated the Kremlin’s narratives, that the Ukrainian state is allegedly an artificial entity, that Ukraine and Russia have a single history, and that Ukrainians and Russians are supposedly ‘one nation,’” the SBU claims. According to local media, items with Soviet and Russian symbols, including medals, ID cards and the Saint George’s ribbons with which Russians celebrate World War II victory, were found in the search of Shufrich’s home.

The lawmaker also allegedly owned a collection of Russian military uniforms. The investigators also reportedly found a 2014 document that details a plan for the autonomy of Donetsk and Lugansk Regions. Both territories, as well as Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, officially became part of Russia last year after referendums. Kiev and its Western backers have labeled the votes a “sham.” Shufrich has been an MP since 1998, appearing in six iterations of the Verkhovna Rada. He also held the post of Ukraine’s Emergency Services Minister in 2006-2007, and in 2010, and was also deputy head of the country’s National Security and Defense Council, from 2010 to 2012.

Russian political analyst and former MP Sergey Markov suggested that Shufrich’s arrest might be a sign that Ukraine is preparing to stage a presidential election next year after all. President Zelensky said earlier that the vote will not be held as the country is under martial law. Shufrich used to be “one of the most pro-Russian MPs and one of most vivid critics of Zelensky,” but amid the conflict between Moscow and Kiev he “fully backed” the president, Markov wrote on Telegram. The analyst said that the MP is being detained by Ukrainian authorities over concerns that he “could suddenly run [in the election] and steal some of the Zelensky’s former voters,” who are disappointed in the president.

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“If there is something that might force European capitals to reconsider their position on the conflict, it is the further deterioration of the economic situation on the continent..”

Orban Explains What Might Force West To Want Peace In Ukraine (RT)

European nations might eventually forgo their support for Kiev’s military efforts in the ongoing conflict with Russia due to their own economic hardships, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told nationwide Kossuth Radio on Friday. The conflict that has lasted for more than a year and a half is affecting the European economy, which “will not be like we want it to be” for as long as it goes on, Orban told the radio’s ‘Good Morning, Hungary!’ show. Yet, “war supporters are in the overwhelming majority” among EU governments, he pointed out. If there is something that might force European capitals to reconsider their position on the conflict, it is the further deterioration of the economic situation on the continent, the prime minister believes.

Most people in Europe already share Hungary’s position on the issue, which is anti-war, he claimed. Economic setbacks could force these people to “exert pressure” on their governments, he added. “Deterioration of the economic situation in the West will force countries to stand up for peace,” Orban said. According to the Hungarian prime minister, the outcome of next year’s US presidential elections might also heavily affect the West’s general position on the issue. “There are two possibilities: … the presidential candidates will either support the war or announce the end of the war,” he said. Orban said he believes that a US president is fairly capable of “putting an end” to the conflict.

That does not mean that Europe should just “wait for a fairy to end the war with a magic wand,” he added. The prime minister criticized the European approach to the conflict so far by saying that “181 billion of European money” has been spent on supporting Kiev but “we have not come any closer to peace.” It is unclear if he referred to dollars or euros. According to Ukraine Support Tracker data regularly published by Germany’s Kiel Institute for the World Economy, the EU institutions and EU nations together pledged a total of €131.9 billion ($139.8) for Ukraine between January 2022 and July 2023.

The UK, Norway and Switzerland, which are not part of the EU, together pledged an additional €23.31 billion ($24.8 billion) over the same period, bringing the total amount of European commitments to €155.21 billion ($165.66), data provided by the Kiel Institute showed. Viktor Orban has long maintained that the West was making a mistake by pursuing military confrontation with Russia in Ukraine. He has repeatedly stated that there could be no military solution to the conflict, adding that the US and its allies need to stop arming Kiev and seek peace with Russia instead.

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“It allows for the creation and destruction of credit determined solely by the needs of the Russian people, both as businessmen and consumers.”

Currency Wars Versus Gold Standards (Macleod)

In the middle of a war, usually a government suspends its gold standard. This would suggest that Russia can only consider a gold standard after its special operation in Ukraine is over. But the modern equivalent of a gold standard, the currency board, has been successfully established in modern times in nations with far worse budget deficits than Russia. Russia was in the fortunate position of a budget deficit of only 2.3% of GDP last year, despite military spending. This year, military spending has soared, and at a guess the deficit will be about 5% of GDP this year, but government debt to GDP will still be about 20%.

Anything other than ball-park numbers for the Russian economy are difficult to come by, and the volatility of the rouble is a further analytical hazard. But some of these numbers are not substantially different from where Britain was economically in 1816, when a return to the gold standard was planned — the exception being her estimated debt to GDP number, which at nearly 200% was ten times that of Russia today. Therefore, there is no reason why Russia cannot put the rouble onto a gold standard immediately.

In doing so, the objective is simple: to ensure that the purchasing power of circulating credit retains its value in terms of goods and services with as little fluctuation as possible. It would allow savers to accumulate credit balances in their bank accounts, and for businessmen to calculate the profitability of their investments with greater certainty. With income tax currently at a flat 13% rate and corporation tax at 20%, in these conditions economic progress will advance surprisingly rapidly. And there is every reason to expect Russia would quickly become an economic counterweight to the sheer power of China, rather than living off the depletion of her natural resources. It is necessary not just for Russia to distance herself from the fate of the western fiat currency system, but also for President Putin’s legacy.

The method of ensuring monetary stability is equally simple: to bind credit denominated in roubles to gold, which both in law and naturally is the money of the people. It is the highest form of credit, there being no counterparty risk. Its purchasing power in the general sense has held steady through millennia. Importantly, it removes the currency from political control and dollar influences. It allows for the creation and destruction of credit determined solely by the needs of the Russian people, both as businessmen and consumers.

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Message to Macron.

Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger Sign Charter to Create Defense Alliance (Sp.)

The leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have signed a charter establishing an alliance of Sahel states to create a collective defense architecture, Mali’s interim president for the transitional period, Assimi Goita, said on Saturday. “I have signed today with the leaders of Burkina Faso and Niger the Liptako Gourma Charter, establishing the Alliance of Sahel States to create an architecture of collective defense and mutual assistance for the benefit of our people,” Goita said on X. An attack on the sovereignty or territorial integrity of one or more parties to the charter will be regarded as aggression against the other parties and will require their assistance, including the use of military force, the document read. The parties also commit to fighting terrorism and organized crime on the territory of Sahel states, the charter added.

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In 1913 Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin all lived together in Vienna

 

 

 

Gorilla babies

 

 

 

 

Buffalo

 

 

Flik flak
https://twitter.com/i/status/1702752462971572660

 

 

 

 

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Aug 112023
 
 August 11, 2023  Posted by at 5:55 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  21 Responses »


Eugène Delacroix Liberty Leading the People 1830 (French Revolution of 1830)

 

 

In January 2023, US special counsel Jack Smith applied for -and received- a subpoena for Twitter, specifically for all of Donald Trump’s utterances at the site through the years, including the ones he may have never published. Note: the subpoena came long after Trump left Twitter. And no, it wasn’t X then, and therefore it is not now. He wrote it when it was Twitter. Important. Trump left Twitter (was cancelled) on Jan 8 2021, Elon Musk bought it on October 27 2022, and renamed it “X” in late July 2023. Just so we get our horses and dogs in line.

Special counsel Jack Smith received his Twitter/Trump subpoena with the added provision that it had to be entirely secret, not even Twitter or Trump could know. US District Court Judge Beryll Howell gave Smith what he wanted, agreeing that if Trump’s years-old Twitter past was known, he would become a flight risk. But both Smith and Howell knew this was absolute nonsense. Not only is Twitter the last place you turn to when you have nefarious secrets to hide (it’s the opposite!), but the man is running for President, for God’s sake! And because of some 5 year old -or so- tweets he would pack in the family and disappear to an -underground- bungalow on Vanatua, never to be heard from again?

I would put this down as the moment when it became impossible for the US to have a presidential election in 2024. We’ve had some 8 years of this anti-Trump circus now, non-stop, Hillary, Pelosi, Adam Schiff and Robert Mueller, yada yada yada, but I don’t think we’ve reached the point before where the elections might as well be cancelled. We’re there now though. And that is a BIG point. We’ve let it come far too far. We’re in slapstick territory.

 

Think of it as a boxing match. In the one corner, we have the former champion/president, wearing the slightly widened red trunks. At age 77, he looks somewhat bruised and battered, but he doesn’t look beaten- yet. What’s noticeable though is that his corner is empty, except for Melania cleaning his brow, not even his own party is there to support him. There are some 90 million Americans behind him, but they are at home.

In the other corner, the defending champion, in blue trunks, weighing in at about 25 pounds and falling, looks a little lost. But behind him in his corner he has thousands of operatives: his entire party, plus the CIA and NSA and FBI and DOJ. And all the newspapers and TV channels and social media in the country. And all the judges and prosecutors, the DAs and GAs, it’s a veritable love-in. The guy in the blue trunks could be braindead and he’d still win. And I wish I was a cartoonist, and could capture the entire image in one frame. I can see it in front of my eyes, but I can’t draw it.

 

Where the boxing analogy goes astray is that in this case the blue side is allowed to harass the red side before, during and after the (preparations for) the fight, and during the fight itself. You can’t a have a free and fair fight, and a level playing field, if some “blue operatives” can put shackles on the ankles and wrists of the red candidate, or even lock him up while he’s preparing for the bell to ring. If the system allows him to be a candidate, it must also allow him to prepare for his candidacy, in the same way that his opponent can. That is not happening.

US special counsel Jack Smith has announced that the US plans to drag Trump before court after court starting January 2 2024. At least 3 major indictments (will be a dozen) , likely many more, and at my last count, 82 charges (it’s impossible to keep up). Smith can then finger pick any of these charges to put Trump in custody, whenever he feels like it. The judges are almost all “blue”, and so are the jury pools: New York and DC. And this is while he’s supposed to be campaigning!

And also: Trump allegedly already spent $40 million on legal expenses. But what if Trump doesn’t have $40 million? We could argue the $40 million should be spent on his campaign. Look at Imran Khan, guys, who was just convicted to a 3-year prison term in Pakistan on US directives. Like Trump, he is the most popular political candidate in his nation, and they got him on selling necklaces when he was PM.

That is Trump’s future too. And hence, the end of American democracy. He doesn’t stand a chance. And if he doesn’t, the system doesn’t, and you don’t. You’re fine as long as you agree with the boot stomping on your neck, and you maybe even enjoy it. But if you don’t, Jack Smith and his ilk – and Obama, Hillary, Adam Schiff, Pelosi, the whole gang, will come with charges and indictments directed at you.

You’re on the verge of the abyss. if you want to take your chances with what you might find down there, fair enough. But always know that you have a choice. And that, if somehow they do manage to stage a presidential election in November 2024 as things stand now, it’ll be fake from A to Z. Grow a pair, people, grow a backbone. You’re going to need them.

 

 

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Aug 062023
 
 August 6, 2023  Posted by at 9:11 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  37 Responses »


El Greco St. Paul and St. Peter 1595

 

Asians Are Less ‘Humane’ – Ukrainian Security Chief (RT)
Who is Responsible for Ukraine’s Failed Counteroffensive? (Scott Ritter)
What Should Russia Expect From Saudi Arabia’s Ukraine ‘Peace Summit’? (RT)
Ex-Pakistani PM Imran Khan Jailed For Three Years (RT)
DOJ Seeks Protective Order in Election Case (ET)
A Successful Prosecution Would Fold Space And Time (Taibbi)
Niger Junta Turns To Wagner For Help – Media (RT)
X to Fund Legal Bills of People ‘Unfairly Treated’ for Posts, Likes on X (Sp.)
Austrian PM Proposes Constitutional ‘Right to Cash’ (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full German Nazism, complete with Untermenschen etc. This is what you fund.

Asians Are Less ‘Humane’ – Ukrainian Security Chief (RT)

Russians are “Asians” and, therefore, lack the “humanity” that Ukrainians purportedly possess, Aleksey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, has claimed. The top official made the remark as he spoke live on Ukrainian TV, which has been heavily censored and turned into a state-approved “broadcasting marathon” amid the ongoing conflict. “I’m fine with Asians, but Russians are Asians. They have a completely different culture, vision. Our key difference from them is humanity,” Danilov stated. The security chief, as well as other top Ukrainian officials, have repeatedly made hateful remarks about Russians during – and even well before – the ongoing hostilities between the two countries broke out back in February 2022.


Danilov has repeatedly promised to “kill” Russians anywhere across the globe, with similar extreme statements consistently made by Mikhail Podoliak, the top aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Podoliak has repeatedly claimed that all Ukrainians universally “hate Russians,” as well as voiced calls to “kill Russians” on a daily basis. Similarly radical remarks have been repeatedly made by the Ukrainian military spy chief, Kirill Budanov, who also expressed the same urge. Threats by the latter have been addressed by Russia’s permanent envoy to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, who branded them a “blatant example of hateful remarks, Russophobia and incitement of violence based on nationality.”

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“.. the fetid stench of rotting corpses, abandoned by their comrades who fled for their lives.”

Who is Responsible for Ukraine’s Failed Counteroffensive? (Scott Ritter)

On a normal summer’s day, the road to Rabotino would be empty, save for the odd combine tractor and the vehicles driven by farmers and their families as they tend to the fields of crops they had planted in spring. The summer’s heat would reflect off the horizon, creating glimmering mirages, while the still air would echo with the chirping of birds and the buzzing of insects. On a normal summer’s day, the road to Rabotino would resemble paradise. Today, the road to Rabotino can best be described as a highway to hell: the serene landscape scarred with craters made by artillery shells, bombs, and mines. Fields that once grew crops intended to feed the world now seem to produce another crop—the torn, burned-out hulks of Ukrainian tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and other military vehicles of all shapes and sizes.

The air buzzes not with bees, but bullets, and the sky above is torn by the sound of shells passing overhead, on their way to their intended target, often consisting of a new crop of military metal waiting to be consumed by fire. The smell of fresh soil, young crops, and flowers of the field has been replaced by the fetid stench of rotting corpses, abandoned by their comrades who fled for their lives. The Russian Ministry of Defense has assessed that, since the Ukrainian counteroffensive began in early June, the Ukrainian Army has suffered some 43,000 casualties, with more than 4,900 pieces of equipment, including 1,831 tanks and infantry fighting vehicles (among which are included 25 German-made Leopard tanks and 21 US-made M-2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles) having been destroyed.

Russian casualties, while unspecified, have been alluded to by President Putin, who stated that the kill ratio was 10:1 in Russia’s favor. That equates to 4,300 casualties: the brutal blade of war cuts both ways. The casualties suffered by Ukraine roughly align with the casualties suffered by German forces during their offensive operations against the Soviet Army in the battle of Kursk, fought in the month of July and August 1943. The Kursk battle was one of the largest during the Second World War.This should give one an idea of the scope and scale of the violence which has transpired in and around the village of Rabotino, and elsewhere in the Zaporozhye and Donetsk regions where Ukraine and Russian forces are confronting one another.

When an army suffers a defeat of the scope and scale of that suffered by Ukraine near Rabotino, and in other fields and villages across the line of contact with Russia, it is normally incumbent upon the leadership of the defeated forces to ascertain the reasons why the defeat occurred, and then to undertake remedial action to correct the problems identified.It came weeks after being on the receiving end of criticism from their erstwhile allies and partners in NATO, who provided Ukraine with both the material used to equip the Ukrainian Army, and training on how this equipment was to be used in battle against the Russians.

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Where’s China?

What Should Russia Expect From Saudi Arabia’s Ukraine ‘Peace Summit’? (RT)

Political expert Andrey Dubnov:

The goal of the conference is not to formulate “agreements acceptable to all parties.” Russia has not been invited to this event, and this makes sense, because otherwise the meeting would have been doomed to failure. It is obvious that Moscow’s position has been articulated; the last time it was expressed was at the Russia-Africa summit. Moscow’s main position is essentially an arrangement that can be called a ceasefire, based on Russia’s retention of the Ukrainian territories now organized as four Russian regions. It is difficult to imagine that Moscow is prepared to abandon this as its main negotiating position. On the other hand, Kiev’s stance on peace is articulated as being possible only if Russia withdraws its troops to the 1991 borders. With such positions of the parties, a general meeting would be pointless.

What is the purpose of the summit in Saudi Arabia? Since this initiative comes mainly from Kiev and is backed by the US, it is now about consolidating the whole wider world – not just the West, but the big South, including the BRICS member countries (India, Brazil and South Africa). It is an attempt to find a consolidated expression of support for the Ukrainian peace plan. Within this “formula of support” there are some limits regarding the flexibility of Kiev’s negotiating position: under what conditions it is ready to give up its categorical demand to return to the 1991 borders and to compromise with Russia? Clarifying this kind of flexibility may be one of the ulterior goals of this conference. But practice shows that such diplomatic conferences look first and foremost like big, big PR. Diplomacy needs silence and confidentiality. The Saudi initiative does not yet provide for this silence and confidentiality, so it is still more of a political meeting than a search for a diplomatic solution to the problem.

President Vladimir Zelensky’s peace plan will be at the center of the Saudi initiative. Within this framework, an attempt will be made to somehow find acceptable windows in which Kiev, I repeat, will be prepared to make further compromises with Moscow. But at the end of the day, everything will depend on the outcome of the military operations on the ground, which are being actively pursued. No peace plan for Ukraine can become a reality without China’s participation. The meeting in Saudi Arabia could be a precursor to a financial and economic assistance plan to rebuild Ukraine. This is how the plan to help Afghanistan began at the Bonn conference many years ago.

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Remarkable how similar his story is to Trump’s. One man vs the establishment.

Ex-Pakistani PM Imran Khan Jailed For Three Years (RT)

Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan was issued with a three-year jail sentence by an Islamabad court on Saturday after he was found guilty on corruption charges. The verdict means that Khan, who claims the prosecution was politically motivated, will not be able to contest elections later this year. In a pre-recorded statement released on X (formerly Twitter), Khan told his supporters: “I have only one appeal, don’t sit at home silently.” Judge Humayun Dilawar declared in court that Khan, 70, had “deliberately submitted fake details” after he was accused of illegally profiting from the sale of gifts he received while serving as Pakistan’s head of state between 2018 and 2022. After issuing the three-year custodial term, the judge also ordered Khan to be banned from politics for a period of five years.

Following the verdict, Khan, who was not in court, was arrested at his home in Lahore and taken into police custody. The claims against the former prime minister are a case of “political victimization,” according to his lawyer Intezar Hussain Panjutha. “Khan was not given an opportunity to defend himself and say his side of the story,” he said after the verdict. “We wanted to provide witnesses in his favor but he was not allowed this opportunity. Khan was not given a fair trial.” Khan’s barrister, Gohar Khan, added in comments to The Dawn newspaper that the court’s verdict had been a “murder of justice.” However, opponents of the former politician appeared to celebrate the court’s judgment outside the building, with some chanting: “Imran Khan is a thief.” More than 150 cases have been brought against Khan, the former sports star turned populist political figure, since he was ousted from office last April following a no-confidence vote. He has denied all wrongdoing.

Barring a successful appeal, Khan’s conviction means he will be prohibited from standing in Pakistan’s general elections, which are expected to take place in October or November. Khan, who had unsuccessfully called for early elections to take place, has previously stated his belief that Pakistan’s military authorities have attempted to obstruct his Tehreek-e-Insaf party from regaining political power. It’s the second time in recent months that Khan has been arrested. Around 100 paramilitary troops were involved in his detention last May in connection with one of the numerous cases against him. Khan has alleged that Pakistan’s military is responsible for attempts to subdue his political influence. He has also claimed that the United States has conspired with Pakistan’s government to prevent him from returning to political power.

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“IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”

DOJ Seeks Protective Order in Election Case (ET)

Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith on Aug. 4 requested the federal judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s case to issue a “protective order” in light of a social media post made by the former president. The Aug. 4 Truth Social post by Mr. Trump said, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Following this, Mr. Smith urged U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan to “enter a protective order governing or restricting discovery or inspection” of case details, to restrict what Mr. Trump can share publicly about the case and evidence. “Such a restriction is particularly important in this case because the defendant has previously issued public statements on social media regarding witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him,” argued Mr. Smith in a filing, citing the Truth Social post.


“If the defendant were to begin issuing public posts using details—or, for example, grand jury transcripts—obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case,” Mr. Smith said, adding that such posts may influence jurors.A spokesperson for Mr. Trump responded immediately to the filing implying that the post was not a retaliation against Mr. Smith’s charges. “The Truth post cited is the definition of political speech, and was in response to the RINO, China-loving, dishonest special interest groups and Super PACs, like the ones funded by the Koch brothers and the Club for No Growth,” said the brief statement.

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“I don’t care about a link… I have a much better link,” and “I have a lot of friends in Detroit… Detroit is totally corrupt.”

A Successful Prosecution Would Fold Space And Time (Taibbi)

Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment is a case within a case, a prosecutorial enchilada filled with things for people of all political persuasions to hate. The outside is a shell of a conventional conspiracy prosecution, and these parts are genuinely damaging for Donald Trump. Inside, it’s a deranged authoritarian fantasy, at times reading more like a 45-page Louise Mensch tweet than an indictment. This radical core is somehow scarier than the allegations against Trump and co-conspirators like Rudy Giuliani, John Eastment, Sidney Powell, Jeffrey Clark, and Kenneth Cheeseboro. Despite early criticism describing the case as entirely about protected speech, Special Prosecutor Jack Smith’s case does focus on some overt acts, and these sections are buttressed by witnesses who could be convincing across the spectrum.

Former Arizona Speaker of the House and onetime Trump supporter Rusty Bowers will describe being asked not to certify the results by, among others, Trump and Giuliani. Ronna McDaniel, chair of the RNC, will say she was told votes by so-called “fraudulent electors” would only be deployed if election litigation was successful. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is rumored to be running for president and took instant advantage of indictment news Tuesday, will testify Trump told him, “You’re too honest,” in response to prods to refuse to certify the outcome.

If Smith simply focused on those damaging episodes in states like Arizona, Michigan, and Georgia, or on Trump’s interactions with Pence, this prosecution would be an easier sell to the general population. Instead, Smith has tried to pen a Unified Field Theory of insurrection that would massively expand the meaning of concepts like incitement to include false statements, tweets, and other forms of protected speech, down to classic Trumpisms like “I don’t care about a link… I have a much better link,” and “I have a lot of friends in Detroit… Detroit is totally corrupt.”

In fact, if rumors are true and the four counts filed by Smith this week are later complemented by a superseding indictment, this document may end up expanding the definition of “seditious conspiracy” to include those things as well. As Adam Kinzinger said this week, he hoped additional counts will hold Trump “accountable” for all the actions of January 6th. It’s not hard to read this and see the framework of an argument that Trump’s ideas, tweets and “knowingly false statements” were elements of the same conspiracy to “violently disrupt” the election for which people like Oath Keepers Elmer Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs have already been convicted and sentenced to 18 and 12 years in prison, respectively. A successful prosecution would fold space and time to make legal speech felony violence.

Read more …

Flammable.

Niger Junta Turns To Wagner For Help – Media (RT)

One of the leaders of last week’s coup in Niger has reportedly sought the assistance of Russian defense contractor Wagner Group PMC as the junta nears a deadline to either return the country’s ousted president to power or face a possible military intervention by neighboring nations. General Salifou Moody allegedly made the request during a visit to neighboring Mali, where he met with a Wagner representative, the Associated Press reported on Saturday, citing French journalist Wassim Nasr, a senior research fellow at the Soufan Center. The meeting was first reported by France 24, and Nasr said he had confirmed the talks with a French diplomat and three people familiar with the matter in Mali.

“They need (Wagner) because they will become their guarantee to hold onto power,” Nasr told the AP, claiming that Wagner is considering the request. Neither Wagner nor Russian government officials have commented on the junta’s alleged request for help from the contractor. The Kremlin said on Friday that any interference in Niger from powers outside the region wouldn’t likely improve the situation. “We continue to favor a swift return to constitutional normality without endangering human lives,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has called the coup a “justified rebellion of the people against Western exploitation.”

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has threatened to send troops into Niger if the coup leaders don’t return President Mohamed Bazoum to power by Sunday. Bazoum has been under house arrest since his ouster and has asked the US “and the entire international community” to restore his government. The militaries of several ECOWAS members, including Nigeria, have agreed on a plan for their intervention in Niger. Wagner has become a major player in the African security landscape, though it’s unclear how its influence on the continent stands after its failed mutiny against Moscow in June. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the future of the contracts Wagner signed with various African countries is a matter for those client governments to decide. The firm’s troops have reportedly operated in such countries as Mali, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Mozambique and the Central African Republic.

Mali and Burkina Faso are among the ECOWAS member states that have sided with the Niger junta following the coup. Bazoum accused the two neighbors of employing “criminal Russian mercenaries.” African Freedom Institute President Franklin Nyamsi warned in an RT interview on Thursday that if ECOWAS carried out its threat to send troops into Niger, it would be seen as a declaration of war on the junta’s allies, including Mali and Burkina Faso. Such a conflict could escalate dramatically as the warring factions seek help from the world’s military superpowers, he said, adding, “We are now at the door of a world African war.”

Read more …

Wonder how the idea would work out in practice.

X to Fund Legal Bills of People ‘Unfairly Treated’ for Posts, Likes on X (Sp.)

US billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk pledged on Saturday that his social media platform, X (formerly known as Twitter), will pay legal bills of those people who were “unfairly treated” at workplaces by their employers for posts and likes on the platform. He added that there would be “no limit” to funding the bills and called on people to inform the platform of such cases. “If you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, we will fund your legal bill,” Musk said on X. In late October 2022, Musk finalized the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, a US company founded in 2006 and headquartered in San Francisco, California. Twitter Corporation ceased to exist as a separate company as a result of its merger with X Corp. founded by Musk in 2006. In late July, Twitter’s logo was changed from a blue bird to a black-and-white X logo. Musk specified that the new logo symbolized “the imperfections in us all that make us unique.”

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“..the right to cash was worthless if “there won’t be a single ATM left in Austria..”

Austrian PM Proposes Constitutional ‘Right to Cash’ (Sp.)

As cashless payment methods proliferate across Europe, Austrian Prime Minister Karl Nehammer has moved to legally preserve paying in the old-fashioned way, with banknotes and coins. Speaking on Friday, the conservative Austrian leader proposed a “constitutional protection of cash as a means of payment,” saying he would direct Finance Minister Magnus Brunner and the country’s central bank to come up with a plan in the coming months to ensure a “basic supply” of cash remains in the economy. “Everyone should have the opportunity to decide freely how and with what he wants to pay,” he said. “That can be by card, by transfer, perhaps in future also with the digital euro, but also with cash. This freedom to choose must and will remain.”

“More and more people are worried that cash could be restricted as a means of payment in Austria,” Nehammer said, adding that people have a “right to cash.” Nehammer noted that his comments are in response to claims circulating on social media that the country could soon do away with cash payments, forcing customers to use bank cards or payment apps. According to the Austrian leader, €47 billion is withdrawn from ATMs every year in Austria and the average Austrian carries €102 in cash. Further, two-thirds of payments under €20 are made in cash, he said. Roughly 9.1 million people live in the Central European country, which is part of the European Union and the Eurozone.

The debate isn’t new to Austria, and Nehammer’s proposal was criticized by both left and right politicos. Philip Kucher, an MP from the Social Democratic Party, said the right to cash was worthless if “there won’t be a single ATM left in Austria,” while the right-wing Freedom Party accused the prime minister of stealing their idea. While the Eurozone nations have been increasing options for cashless payment, the European Central Bank has also committed itself to preserving cash as a payment form. The Eurosystem Cash 2030 strategy was launched in 2020. A study published by the ECB in March found that within the Eurozone, cash is still the most frequent payment method, accounting for 59% of transactions. However, 55% of consumers said they preferred cashless payments. They also found that the value of card payments had exceeded the value of cash payments for the first time, rising to 46% of transactions.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jul 312023
 
 July 31, 2023  Posted by at 9:32 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  53 Responses »


Henri Gervex Rolla 1878

 

Nuclear War No Worse Than Climate Change – Blinken (RT)
DOJ Tries To Jail Key Hunter Biden Witness Devon Archer (NYP)
Elon Musk Says Russia, Ukraine Should Start ‘Turning Other Cheek’ (Sp.)
Zelensky Frustrated Over Downing of US-Made HIMARS Missiles by Russia (Sp.)
UK Training Elite Ukrainian Force To Seize Crimea Before Christmas (RT)
Veteran US Army Officer Sizes Up Russia’s Naval Power Against US, China (Sp.)
Germany May Face Irreversible Deindustrialization – CDU Chair (Sp.)
Ye Restored To X (RT)
‘Facebook Files’ Show Biden Admin Even Targeted Jokes For Censorship (Turley)
Former US President Trump Spends $40 Million On Legal Fees (Az.)

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1685608840748789760

 

 

Trump ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

Idiot.

Nuclear War No Worse Than Climate Change – Blinken (RT)

The threat of nuclear annihilation is no more serious than the threat of climate change, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has claimed. Blinken’s critics argue that Washington is risking nuclear war by arming Ukraine. In an appearance on 60 Minutes Australia on Sunday, Blinken was asked whether nuclear war or climate change represented “the greater threat to humanity.”“Well, you can’t, I think, have a hierarchy,” he replied. “There are some things that are front and center…including potential conflict, but there’s no doubt that climate represents an existential challenge to all of us.” “So for us, this is the existential challenge of our times,” he continued, adding that this “doesn’t mean that in the meantime there are not severe challenges to the international order like Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”

With July set to go down as the hottest month in history, the UN has called for “accelerated action” to reduce carbon emissions, including a global end to coal use by 2040. Earlier this summer, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry demanded an overhaul of the world’s agricultural system to reduce carbon emissions from farming in a bid to avert “half a degree of warming by mid-century.” In Ukraine, however, President Joe Biden’s administration continues its policy of open-ended support for Kiev’s military. The US and its NATO allies have armed Ukraine with long-range missiles and are currently discussing the supply of American-made fighter jets to Kiev, amid repeated warnings from Moscow that such weapons dramatically raise the chances of an all-out war between Russia and the West.

Kiev’s forces have also made repeated attempts to target Russian nuclear power plants, the Kremlin warned earlier this month, accusing Ukraine and its sponsors of “nuclear terrorism.” In the US, warnings about the imminent threat of nuclear conflict have primarily come from the isolationist wing of the Republican Party. Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and former President Donald Trump have been two of the loudest voices calling for an end to the US’ support for Kiev, with Trump declaring in April that the world was facing “the most dangerous period” in history because of nuclear weapons and “incompetent” leadership in Washington. “Every day this proxy battle continues, we risk global war,” Trump said in March, arguing that “we should support regime change in the United States” to avert this risk.

Read more …

Confusing.

DOJ Tries To Jail Key Hunter Biden Witness Devon Archer (NYP)

The Justice Department is pushing for Devon Archer to report to prison — just days ahead of the former Hunter Biden business partner’s hotly anticipated congressional testimony, according to new court documents. Manhattan federal prosecutors on Saturday filed a letter requesting a judge set a date for Archer, 58, to start his one-year sentence in a fraud case unrelated to the first son’s various scandals. The request came after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Archer’s 2018 conviction last Tuesday on two felony charges for his role in a conspiracy to defraud a Native American tribe. Archer — who is set to deliver closed-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee on Monday about Biden — had been challenging the conviction.


In light of the appeals court ruling, the DOJ “respectfully requests that the defendant be ordered to surrender, at a date and time determined by the Court, to a facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons to commence his term of imprisonment,” reads the letter to Judge Ronnie Abrams. Archer’s attorney, Matthew Schwartz, said Sunday his client would still testify on Capitol Hill as planned despite allegations the DOJ letter was an intimidation tactic. “We are aware of speculation that the Department of Justice’s weekend request to have Mr. Archer report to prison is an attempt by the Biden administration to intimidate him in advance of his meeting with the House Oversight Committee,” Schwartz said in a statement, per Politico. “To be clear, Mr. Archer does not agree with that speculation,” Schwartz added. “In any case, Mr. Archer will do what he has planned to do all along, which is to show up on Monday and to honestly answer the questions that are put to him by the Congressional investigators.”

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“there are no angels in war..”

Elon Musk Says Russia, Ukraine Should Start ‘Turning Other Cheek’ (Sp.)

Entrepreneur Elon Musk believes that Ukraine and Russia should act according to an old Christian principle of ‘turning the other cheek’ and should forgive each other to get out of the vicious cycle.”The thing is that people in Ukraine and in Russia can find a million reasons to hate the other side, if you just look at the history,” Musk said on Friday in an online conversation on X platform. “So this is why you know, the Christian principle of turning the other cheek is a very wise one because if you do not ultimately forgive your enemy, you’re stuck in a cycle of retribution forever.” There has to be some realism and we cannot label Russia as “pure devil” and Ukraine “pure angel” because “there are no angels in war,” Musk added.


“As we speak the flower of Ukrainian youth is dying in trenches,” the entrepreneur continued. ‘Turning the other cheek’ is an old Christian phrase that has its origin in the Sermon on the Mount in the New Testament. One should respond to the other with retort. Elon Musk had an online discussion on his newly named platform “X” with the American entrepreneur and a candidate in the 2024 Republican Party presidential primaries Vivek Ramaswamy on Friday. Musk spent a considerable amount of time talking with Ramaswamy about the Ukrainian crisis. Ramaswamy voiced his opinion that NATO should not admit Ukraine and that the Pentagon’s leadership needs new people.

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“We did not understand that the Russian population actually supports its government,” Macgregor underscored.”

Zelensky Frustrated Over Downing of US-Made HIMARS Missiles by Russia (Sp.)

Over the past few months, the Russian air defense systems have destroyed a whole array of Kiev’s HIMARS missiles in the special military operation zone in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is uneasy over the fact of the Russian air defenses successfully downing advanced missiles that the US delivers to Kiev, foreign policy expert and former Pentagon adviser Douglas Macgregor has told a YouTube channel. “The Russian air defenses are superb, is the best word that I can come up with. There is no such thing as perfect integrated air defenses; something will always get through, but overwhelmingly, they manage to shoot down HIMARS [High Mobility Artillery Rocket System] and all sorts of missiles,” Macgregor said.

According to him, Russia downing HIMARS missiles prompted “the frustration that we saw in Mr. Zelensky,” who was “furious, angry, and distraught.” “The losses inside his country are horrific; it’s only American cash that really sustains this Ukrainian state. It’s on life support and a humane thing would be to put an end to it and negotiate […],” Macgregor added, in an apparent reference to the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF)’s massive death toll. The remarks followed the ex-Pentagon adviser’s interview with another YouTube channel, in which he referred to Russia-related mistakes the US made before getting involved in the Ukraine conflict.

“[…] They [in Washington] were wrong about Russia. They did not understand what were they dealing with. They thought that Russia was still the backward, confused, chaotic state that it was in the 1990s. They missed entirely all of the things that had been done in the last twenty years by [Russian President] Vladimir Putin and his supporters. I’m not here to say that everything that they’ve done is perfect or has worked brilliantly, but it very definitely recovered Russia from the ash-heap of history. At the same time, we did not understand that Russians had maintained this large scientific and industrial base to produce and manufacture military equipment. We did not understand that the Russian population actually supports its government,” Macgregor underscored.

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2,000? Know how big Crimea is?

UK Training Elite Ukrainian Force To Seize Crimea Before Christmas (RT)

British instructors are training an elite Ukrainian unit that is supposed to help Kiev retake Crimea, the Sunday Express has claimed, citing sources. Ukrainian officials have been talking for months about plans to take back the Russian peninsula during its much-hyped counteroffensive, which has so far failed to live up to expectations in the West. According to the report, more than 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers comprising “an elite commando brigade” arrived at a training camp in Devon in southwest Britain to prepare for an attack that is supposed to “recapture Crimea before Christmas.” The brigade is expected to “form the tip of the spear” and will be supported by two other forces, the tabloid’s sources claimed.

The Express also noted that the operation would involve combined strikes from air, land, and sea, with Kiev’s armored formations attempting to breach Russian defenses while being backed by long-range attacks using Western-supplied missiles. An unnamed senior defense source told the paper that UK instructors aim to teach Kiev’s troops how to use NATO tactics to “shape the battle space” before committing forces for a decisive thrust. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky outlined Kiev’s ambition to reclaim Crimea through a major counteroffensive back in late April. However, when Ukraine launched its push against Russian lines in the early days of June, it failed to gain any ground and suffered heavy casualties, according to Moscow.

Despite apparent problems with the counteroffensive, Kirill Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence, claimed on Saturday that Kiev would take Crimea “soon,” without giving an exact timeline. Last year, he already predicted that this would happen in the spring of 2023, a projection that failed to come true. Meanwhile, in March former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that, should Ukraine attempt to seize back Crimea, Moscow could resort to “all means of protection,” including its nuclear arsenal. The Crimean Peninsula overwhelmingly voted to rejoin Russia in a public referendum in 2014 following a Western-backed coup in Kiev. Neither Ukraine nor Western countries have recognized its results.

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“..only 5 percent of the components for military shipbuilding are “dependent on foreign imports.”

Veteran US Army Officer Sizes Up Russia’s Naval Power Against US, China (Sp.)

Today, Russia celebrates Navy Day, a national holiday that is observed annually nationwide on the last Sunday of July. This year’s Navy Day is being celebrated as Russia continues to upgrade and enhance its naval capabilities, despite the US-led West doubling down with their endless economic sanctions. Yet even as Washington and its allies seem willing to pull all the stops in its economic war against Russia, it seems that the West’s sanctions failed to harm Russia’s naval projects, says Earl Rasmussen, a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel and an international consultant “Sanctions have had little impact on modernization efforts,” Rasmussen told Sputnik, referring to Moscow’s drive to upgrade its naval capabilities. “Russia has taken steps to move weapon and defense security manufacturing to be based on internal/domestic capabilities.”

He pointed out that Alexei Rakhmanov, who heads the United Shipbuilding Corporation, earlier revealed that the West’s sanctions against Russia’s shipbuilding industry were feeble and had next to no effect whatsoever, brading them “practically unnoticeable,” since only 5 percent of the components for military shipbuilding are “dependent on foreign imports.” According to Rasmussen, the Russian Navy is currently considered “the third strongest globally after the United States and China to include a strong submarine presence,” and while many of its elements are either aging or are nearing their “life expectancy,” Russia’s efforts “have focused on the modernization of both new and upgraded forces.” “Several surface vessels are under development and will soon see active surface. Additionally, developments are underway with submarine modernization across 6 different submarine classes/types each providing unique capabilities to include the ability to carry [the] newest weapon systems,” the US veteran remarked. “Russia’s submarine modernization is the largest since WW2.”

He also argued that growing naval cooperation between Russia, China and Iran should be a cause for concern for the “foreign policy and defense makers” in Washington. “One of the main concerns for decades has been the potential of Russia and China developing an alliance. The current US administration policies have accelerated this partnership as well as adding Iran,” Rasmussen mused. “Hence, three of the strongest regional players globally seem more aligned than ever with increased cooperation and strategic alignment. Current western policymakers seem to be living in a world of past years and have not come to fully appreciate today’s reality.” Rasmussen’s remarks come mere days after the conclusion of the Russo-Chinese joint naval exercise dubbed North/Interaction–2023 in the Sea of Japan. This exercise involved Russian and Chinese warships and their crews practicing a variety of tasks such as convoying ships, anti-submarine warfare and naval combat.

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Wannabe Green.

Germany May Face Irreversible Deindustrialization – CDU Chair (Sp.)

The German economy is expected to be the worst-performing among the G7 nations this year, with the country’s GDP likely to plummet by at least 0.3%. Germany is facing further economic decline and deindustrialization, Friedrich Merz, the chairman of the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has told a German news agency. He pointed to the country’s grim economic indicators, including a summer rise in unemployment, a contraction in industrial production and a 16% increase in bankruptcies in the first half of 2023. “Germany is losing competitiveness. This is not an abrupt process that triggers an overnight economic crisis [and] instead, we are experiencing a gradual process of deindustrialization in our country. You have to take this very seriously [because] something is happening here at the moment that may no longer be reversible. The federal government must react to this now,” Merz warned.

The CDU chairman spoke after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claimed earlier this week that Germany would be the worst-performing major economy in the world this year as the country’s manufacturing sector remains under pressure. According to the IMF, the German economy will suffer the only contraction in the Group of Seven (G7) before the end of the year, with the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) expected to fall 0.3%. The IMF earlier forecast that growth in Germany’s GDP would stay near zero in 2023, before gradually increasing to between 1% and 2% in the period of 2024 to 2026. This was echoed by Clemens Fuest, president of the Munich-based Ifo economic research institute, who told a US news agency that “it looks like the German economy is really having a hard time getting out of this recession.”

The Ifo earlier reported that the German Business Climate Index declined to 87.3 points in July versus last month’s 88.6 and the consensus forecast of 88.0. The index is calculated on the basis of a survey of about 9,000 German enterprises and remains the main indicator of the economic situation in the country. Paolo Raffone, a strategic analyst and director of the CIPI Foundation in Brussels, told Sputnik in this context that “long term, reliable, low cost and abundant energy supplies from Russia have been pivotal to German industrial sector development and strength.” He added that the destruction of the North Stream pipelines in September 2022 was “highly symbolic (cutting German energy ties with Russia and Eurasia) and it has had tremendous consequences for the German economy.”

Raffone warned that “without the convenient Russian energy supplies, Germany has entered (again) a period of industrial difficulty that impacts the general economy and the life of people.” Gunnar Beck, a member of the European Parliament for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) part, for his part, told Sputnik that Nord Stream’s collapse and Berlin’s move to join the West’s energy sanctions against Russia are “not the only source of Germany’s declining economic fortunes.”

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Just 5 years ago (or even 1?!), nobody would have had any idea what this headline meant.

Ye Restored To X (RT)

Kanye West was reinstated to X on Saturday after the social network formerly known as Twitter was provided with assurances that the controversial rapper will not use the platform to spread anti-Semitic or otherwise offensive content, the Wall Street Journal reported. West, legally known as Ye, was suspended from the social network – newly rebranded by owner Elon Musk – late last year, shortly after he posted an image of a swastika merging with a star of David. The ban was overturned on Saturday – a move which came after Musk restored numerous prominent Twitter accounts that had been suspended under its prior ownership. According to the Wall Street Journal, who cited an anonymous source close to the situation, X has been assured that West’s newly restored account will not be used to distribute anti-Semitic rhetoric.

He has not yet posted to the social network as of Sunday afternoon. West’s formal suspension from Twitter followed a string of anti-Semitic statements in interviews and on social media last year, including an October tweet in which he said he would go “death con 3” on members of the Jewish community. His account was locked by Twitter afterwards, before he was later readmitted to the platform. Shortly after his return last year, West praised Adolf Hitler and the Nazis on Twitter before posting the swastika image which appeared to lead to his suspension. Elon Musk declared at the time: “I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended.”

In March, West said that he “liked Jewish people again” while speaking about the movie ‘21 Jump Street’ featuring the American actor Jonah Hill. West will not be allowed to monetize his account under the terms of his readmission to Twitter, the WSJ added in its Saturday report. Elon Musk announced earlier this year that certain high-profile content creators would receive a share of revenue from advertisements linked to their posts. 24-time Grammy Award winner West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016 and has spoken about his struggle with mental health. He was released from a high profile partnership with sportswear company Adidas in October following public backlash against his offensive statements. This came just days after West said in an interview that, “I can say anti-Semitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me.”

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“Facebook executives were facing the same insatiable government desire for censorship..”

‘Facebook Files’ Show Biden Admin Even Targeted Jokes For Censorship (Turley)

COVID-19, the flu and the common cold all walk into a bar. The bartender asks, “what is this? Some kind of sick joke?” Indeed, it is one of the many COVID-19 jokes that raged on the internet during the pandemic. What citizens did not know is that the Biden administration was tracking the laugh lines for censorship, along with other views it found neither funny nor helpful.The newly released “Facebook Files” revealed a concerted effort by the Biden administration to censor not just false information, but also true information, along with jokes that its functionaries simply found annoying. Months ago, I testified before Congress on censorship after Elon Musk’s release of internal Twitter communications, also known as the Twitter Files.

I warned that the government was engaging in “censorship by surrogate,” using corporate allies to do indirectly what it is legally prevented from doing directly. Facebook had refused to open its own files on government censorship efforts. That came to an end when the House Judiciary Committee finally moved to hold Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress. The resulting Facebook Files confirmed what many of us have suspected for years. Indeed, the emails proved to be a mirror image of what had occurred at Twitter — a massive effort by the government to pressure the company to censor its critics and other dissenting voices. Facebook executives used similar language to lament the “overwhelming” effort of the government to censor citizens and its unwillingness to take “no” for an answer.

Over at Twitter, executives described a deluge of demands for censorship from federal officials at the FBI and other agencies. One official wrote that “[t]he FBI has some folks in the Baltimore field office and at HQ that are just doing keyword searches for violations. This is probably the 10th request I have dealt with in the last 5 days.” In January 2020, Twitter’s then-director of policy and philanthropy, Carlos Monje Jr., expressed unease about the pressure coming from the FBI. “They are probing & pushing everywhere they can (including by whispering to congressional staff),” he said. One email from August 2022 sent “long lists of newspapers, tweets or YouTube videos” deemed to be voicing “anti-Ukraine narratives.” Even satirical and comedy sites were reportedly designated by the government for removal.

Now we know that Facebook executives were facing the same insatiable government desire for censorship. In an April 2021 email, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s president for global affairs, wrote to colleagues that Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser to Biden who was steering COVID-19 policy, “was outraged — not too strong a word to describe his reaction — that [Facebook] did not remove this post.” The post was actually a humorous meme shared by a user named Timothy McComas. It featured actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s character from the film “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” pointing at a TV with a beer and cigarette in hand. The caption read: “10 years from now, you will be watching TV and hear…. ‘Did you or a loved one take the COVID vaccine? You may be entitled…’”

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Campaign funds.

Former US President Trump Spends $40 Million On Legal Fees (Az.)

Former US President Donald Trump’s political action committee is expected to report on Monday that it has spent about $40 million in legal fees in the first half of 2023 to defend Trump and his advisers, among others, the Washington Post reported, Report informs. The New York Times separately reported that the PAC has sought the return of $60 million it made to another group supporting Trump, a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

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Moonwalk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685700030710116352

 

 

tail

 

 


Discovered by researchers with the Census of Marine Life at a depth of 2,750 meters, this sea cucumber is so transparent that its digestive tract is on spectacular display

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 272023
 
 July 27, 2023  Posted by at 8:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  82 Responses »


Samuel Melton Fisher Asleep 1902

 

Russian Military Emerging Bigger, Stronger From Ukraine War – Martyanov (Sp.)
Ukraine ‘Offensive’ Has Not Helped – They Already Lost The War – Macgregor (WF)
West ‘Torpedoed’ Ukraine Peace ‘Because We Want War With Russia’ – RFK Jr.
NATO-Trained Ukrainian Soldiers Being Wiped Out – Austrian Military Expert (Sp.)
US Official Shares Details of Secret ‘Track 1.5’ Diplomacy With Moscow (MT)
Zelensky Uses Martial Law To Avoid Election (RT)
West Using Dollar As Weapon – Putin (RT)
Cash Is King Of The Thieves In The Ukraine (Helmer)
Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal Falls Apart (DeMartino)
Inside Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal (Will Scharf)
Neither East Nor West: Turkiye’s Travails As A ‘Swing State’ (Bhadrakumar)
Elon Musk’s X Seizes @X Account From Longtime Twitter User (Sp.)
EV Suspected In Fire Of Massive Cargo Ship Carrying 3,000 Cars (ZH)

 

 

 

 

The federal court judge presiding over Hunter Biden’s case seems extremely uncomfortable that the plea deal is far too generous to Hunter — which is what the IRS whistleblowers have been saying — and she might reject it altogether, a very rare move

 

 

Patel plea deal

 

 

 

 

Trump ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m beginning to think that many American generals also know and learn about warfare from the entertainment industry, from Hollywood..”

Russian Military Emerging Bigger, Stronger From Ukraine War – Martyanov (Sp.)

Having blown over $95 billion on arms to Ukraine, Western countries have increasingly started talking about their inability to keep providing Kiev with weapons and ammo at the same pace as they have up to now. Some European countries have calculated that their armies would be able to fight a full-scale war for as little as 24-48 hours after their sending weapons and ammo inventories to Kiev. Earlier this month, President Biden admitted to media that the United States was deploying cluster bombs to Ukraine because it was running low on conventional 155 mm artillery ammunition. The admission sparked harsh criticism from former President Donald Trump, who blasted Biden for essentially revealing that the emperor has no clothes.

“Let me put it this way: We have witnessed, in the last 15 months, a ‘21+ mature audiences only explicit’ demolition of the American military mythology and American technological mythology,” Andrei Martyanov, a veteran Russian military analyst and best-selling author, told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. “Those people from the think tanks [predicting the weakening of the Russian MIC], most of them never served a day in the armed forces. And to quote General Robert Latiff, author of the book Future War, ‘everything that the American public and politicians know about warfare is primarily from the entertainment industry.’ I’m beginning to think that many American generals also know and learn about warfare from the entertainment industry, from Hollywood. Those people are absolutely unprepared and not equipped to operate with basically what amounts to operational values, and they don’t even understand what they’re looking at,” Martyanov stressed.

Characterizing the field of Russia studies in Western countries as “basically a wasteland” today, Martyanov suggested that they don’t have the ability to comprehend realities on the ground because they take their primary data from Kiev, which falsifies it, and from “pseudo-academic shysters” in US academia whose “only task is to rewrite and then reiterate what Russia is and what is history, especially of the 20th century, is, and sell it to the public and policymakers.” [..] “The point is, just to give you a technological example…that the United States in terms of air defenses…is not even in the same league with Russia. In terms of cruise missiles, again, the United States lags here not by years, it lags by generations. And the same goes for armor, the same goes for operational concepts and things of this nature, and even in electronic warfare,” the observer stressed.

“For the average American political scientist who grew up with their Wall Street type economy, that’s the one I think they studied, they operate with gross domestic product numbers which are provided by Wall Street and shysters from the economic schools. They still cannot even grasp the idea” that the US could be weaker than its adversaries, Martyanov said. “For example, Russia produces as much steel as the United States. And it produces six times more aluminum…And when you look at these fundamental economic and military indices, how can you explain it? [Meanwhile] they still believe that they are the number one economy in the world, while China actually dwarfs the United States.”

Martyanov

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“Anybody else would have said by now, no more death. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are dying… but there’s no humanity in these people. They don’t care..”

Ukraine ‘Offensive’ Has Not Helped – They Already Lost The War – Macgregor (WF)

Col. Douglas Macgregor always tells it like it is. See the full interview below with Judge Napolitano as well as clips with Turley. Basically, a peace treaty was signed, Russian territories with mostly Russian people would be part of Russia. Putin started pulling his troops out. But the Deep State and the Big Guy want to keep the con going, costing lives and American tax dollars. And then… Ret. Col. Douglas Macgregor: “The message that Jake Sullivan and President Biden have sent to Moscow is ‘Gentlemen, you’re going to have to march west. Nothing will stop until you make it clear unambiguously that you’ve won.’ Unfortunately, that’s what they’re saying. These people are not reasonable. They’re not rational. Anybody else would have said by now, no more death. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are dying… but there’s no humanity in these people. They don’t care”

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“Zelensky ran for president. He was a comedian. He had no political experience. Why did he win? Because he ran on one issue: signing the Minsk Accords.”

West ‘Torpedoed’ Ukraine Peace ‘Because We Want War With Russia’ – RFK Jr.

There is no chance of Russia losing the proxy war with NATO in Ukraine, the West fomented the conflict and a peace agreement is needed immediately to prevent further bloodshed, Democratic presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has said. “Russia’s not gonna lose this war. Russia can’t afford this – it’d be like us losing a war to Mexico. They are not gonna lose the war,” Kennedy said, speaking at a televised town hall Tuesday night. “Go look at what Russia did in Stalingrad in order to preserve its territorial integrity. Russia’s been invaded three times through the Ukraine. The last time, Hitler killed one out of every seven Russians. They’re 400 miles from Moscow. We already have Aegis missile systems within 12 minutes of Moscow.

We wouldn’t tolerate that if the Russians did it [like] in 1962 when they put them in Cuba,” the candidate added, referencing the Cuban Missile Crisis, during which time his late uncle, John F. Kennedy, was president. “The more disturbing thing,” Kennedy said, “is that on two occasions the Russians tried to sign a peace agreement with [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky,” and both times the West sabotaged it. The candidate pointed to the 2015 Minsk Agreements, which Zelensky expressed interest in before being talked out of it by the US in 2019, and the 2022 draft peace deal reached after talks in Belarus and Turkiye. “In 2019, France Germany and Russia all agreed to the Minsk Accords. That year, Zelensky ran for president. He was a comedian. He had no political experience. Why did he win? Because he ran on one issue: signing the Minsk Accords.

As soon has he got in there, Victoria Nuland and the White House told him he couldn’t do it,” Kennedy recalled. “Then,” in February 2022, he noted, Russia sent “40,000 troops in. That’s not enough to conquer the country. Clearly, [Putin] wanted somebody to come to the negotiating table.” Russian and Ukrainian negotiators met in Istanbul, hammering out a draft peace deal. After that, “Putin in good faith began withdrawing troops from Ukraine. What happened? We sent Boris Johnson over there to torpedo it. Because we don’t want peace, we want war with Russia,” RFK Jr. stressed. The Democratic politician also pointed out that the current crisis has its origins in the end of the Cold War. “We promised in 1992, the Russian leadership said… ‘We’re gonna withdraw 400,000 troops from East Germany and we’re gonna allow you to reunite Germany under NATO,’ which is a hostile army.

That’s a huge concession for them. ‘One commitment that we want,’ is what the Russians said, ‘is that you will not move NATO to the east.’ James Baker, who was then secretary of state under [George H.W.] Bush, famously promised ‘We will not move NATO one inch to the east.’ Well since then, we’ve moved it 1,000 miles and 14 countries. Now when we started that plan in 1997, Bill Perry, who was the secretary of defense under the Clinton administration, said ‘If you move NATO to the east, I am resigning because you are forcing the Russians to come to war with us.’ George Kennan, who’s the most important diplomat in American history, the architect of the containment policy [after] World War II, said the same thing. You do not need to make an enemy out of Russia,” Kennedy said.

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“Due to inexperience, he ordered his platoon to advance directly into minefields. Only just over half of the platoon returned..”

NATO-Trained Ukrainian Soldiers Being Wiped Out – Austrian Military Expert (Sp.)

Many Ukrainian soldiers who underwent a six-month training in NATO countries are lost in action, Colonel Markus Reisner, a military strategist from the Ministry of Defence of Austria revealed in an interview with a German television channel. “I recently spoke to a Ukrainian comrade: in a neighboring unit, their commander was a 47-year-old reservist. Due to inexperience, he ordered his platoon to advance directly into minefields. Only just over half of the platoon returned,” he recounted. According to Reisner, such a mistake severely affected the morale of the Ukrainian troops. The Austrian officer also expressed his opinion that the first phase of the Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed.


In a highly anticipated development last month, the Ukrainian forces finally launched the much-awaited counteroffensive. This strategic move had been eagerly anticipated for several months, with President Zelensky making multiple announcements about its impending implementation. Despite Kiev’s readiness to sacrifice hundreds of its soldiers, Ukrainian troops have encountered formidable resistance in their pursuit of strategic objectives. As of the current situation, they have not succeeded in breaching the initial line of Russian defenses, known as the “Surovikin Defensive Line,” underscoring the complexity of the conflict with both sides locked in a tense and high-stakes struggle for dominance.

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“Russian power,” he concluded, “is not necessarily a bad thing.”

US Official Shares Details of Secret ‘Track 1.5’ Diplomacy With Moscow (MT)

Secret diplomatic talks are ongoing between former senior U.S. national security officials and high-ranking members of the Kremlin, a former U.S. official directly involved in the talks has confirmed to The Moscow Times. Earlier this month, NBC first reported the existence of these back-channel discussions, which involve former U.S. officials engaging in discreet exchanges with the Kremlin, as well as a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in an effort to lay the groundwork for negotiations to end the war in Ukraine. Known as track 1.5 diplomacy, these covert discussions enable both sides to understand each other’s red lines and mitigate potential conflicts, serving as a crucial link between official government negotiations (track 1 diplomacy) and unofficial expert dialogues (track 2).

The Moscow Times has since spoken to one of the individuals directly involved in these talks. The former U.S. official agreed to speak on condition of anonymity given the confidential nature of the discussions. “There is an eminent need for track 1.5 diplomacy when the world gets closed off as it has now,” the former official said. Meetings between the U.S. and officials in the Kremlin have been taking place at least twice a month, often through an online format. “I have been visiting Moscow at least every three months,” the former official said. When it came to the Kremlin’s willingness to lay its cards on the table, the former official stated: “We were given some access to the Kremlin’s thinking, though not as much as we would have liked.”

From his vantage point, sitting across from senior Kremlin officials and advisers, it was apparent that the greatest issue was that the Russians were unable to articulate what exactly they wanted and needed. “They don’t know how to define victory or defeat. In fact, some of the elites to whom we spoke had never wanted the war in the first place, even saying it had been a complete mistake,” he said. “But now they’re at war — suffering a humiliating defeat is not an option for these guys.” “It was here that we made clear that the U.S. was prepared to work constructively with Russian national security concerns,” the former official added, breaking from the official U.S. line of squeezing Russia financially and isolating it internationally so as to prevent it from continuing its war against Ukraine.

“An attempt to isolate and cripple Russia to the point of humiliation or collapse would make negotiating almost impossible — we are already seeing this in the reticence from Moscow officials,” he said. “In fact, we emphasized that the U.S. needs, and will continue to need, a strong enough Russia to create stability along its periphery. The U.S. wants a Russia with strategic autonomy in order for the U.S. to advance diplomatic opportunities in Central Asia. We in the U.S. have to recognize that total victory in Europe could harm our interests in other areas of the world. “Russian power,” he concluded, “is not necessarily a bad thing.”

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To stay in power, he needs martial law to continue. For that, he needs the war to continue.

Zelensky Uses Martial Law To Avoid Election (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Wednesday proposed to extend the state of emergency, thereby effectively canceling the parliamentary elections scheduled for October. Zelensky announced martial law on February 24, 2022, and has been extending it ever since. The most recent 90-day extension was announced on May 20, and is due to expire on August 18. If the Verkhovna Rada approves Zelensky’s latest request, this will see the emergency extended through November 15. Ukrainian law calls for parliamentary elections no later than October 29, with a 60-day campaign season starting on August 28. However, it also forbids campaigning and voting during martial law. Another extension would cut into the campaign season for the presidential elections, currently scheduled for March 2024.

“If we have martial law, we cannot have elections. The constitution prohibits any elections during martial law,” Zelensky announced in May. The following month, he told the BBC that “elections need to happen in a time of peace, when there is no fighting.” Some of Ukraine’s supporters in Europe and North America have been critical of the possible cancellation of elections. Ukraine should prepare for a vote as soon as possible, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) head ‘Tiny’ Kox said in an interview in May. “Although democracy is far more than only elections, I think we all agree that without the elections, democracy cannot properly function,” Kox said at the time.

Zelensky ran on a peace platform in 2019 and won with 73% of the vote. Soon thereafter, his newly formed party – named after the TV show in which he played a fictional president of Ukraine – won a supermajority in the Verkhovna Rada as well. By late 2020, he had pivoted away from the notion of peace in Donbass and began to openly talk about a military solution for “occupied territories.”

Within three months of the conflict with Russia escalating, in May 2022, Zelensky enacted a law that allowed him to ban any political parties merely accused of being “pro-Russian,” without any right to appeal. He has outlawed a dozen parties since then, including the formerly largest parliamentary opposition bloc. Earlier this month, the Federal Intelligence Service of Switzerland accused Zelensky of attempting to “politically eliminate” Kiev mayor Vitaly Klitschko ahead of next year’s presidential election. The FIS cited “credible intelligence” to say that Zelensky was “showing authoritarian traits” which may lead to Western pressure, according to a classified report leaked to the outlet NZZ.

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The BRICS bank headaches.

West Using Dollar As Weapon – Putin (RT)

Setting up alternative financial institutions is a difficult but necessary endeavor at a time when Washington has weaponized the US dollar, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, at the meeting with New Development Bank head Dilma Rousseff. The former president of Brazil, who took over the former BRICS Development Bank in March, was in St. Petersburg to meet with Putin ahead of this week’s Russia-Africa summit. “I have no doubt that, using your rich experience in government and knowledge in this area, you will do everything to develop this institution, which I think is very important today,” Putin told Rousseff. “In current conditions, this is not an easy job, given what is happening in world finance and the use of the dollar as a tool of political struggle,” he added.

Putin underscored that the economic bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is not aimed against anyone, but working together in mutual interest, including in finance. He pointed out that BRICS members are already increasingly settling accounts in national currencies. Rousseff agreed that this approach should be implemented by developing countries in general. She also said that the biggest challenge to developing nations is the ability to raise funds for projects of national interest, from social service to environmental issues. This issue, she argued, gets neglected as everyone focuses on the debt problem. The US accounts for some 20% of global economic output, but more than 50% of world currency reserves are held in dollars.

That percentage has actually shrunk over the past year, as the financial sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict – including the freezing of sovereign reserves and blocking of SWIFT access – raised concerns in other countries that such measures might target them in the future. Last October, Putin argued that the US had “discredited the institution of international financial reserves” by weaponizing the dollar, first by monetary emissions and then by “stealing” Russian funds. Since then, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has agreed that sanctions might drive some countries to abandon the dollar. “The long historical era of the dominance of the American dollar is coming to an end,” Andrey Kostin, head of Russia’s VTB bank, said in an interview last month. While most Western economists don’t see any other currency capable of replacing the greenback, Putin hinted in June that BRICS was working on a reserve currency of its own, perhaps based on a commodities basket.

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“This is Zelensky’s pyramid”..”No IMF member state has ever been allowed to take a six-times multiple of its borrowing quota at this money volume..”

Cash Is King Of The Thieves In The Ukraine (Helmer)

President Vladimir Zelensky has enough fingers to count that $115 billion is worth almost three times more than $41.3 billion. The first number is the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) calculation of “external support over 2023–27 involving sizable official financing in the form of grants and concessional loans, as well as debt relief.” This includes “SDR [Special Drawing Rights] 11.608 billion (577.01 percent of quota, about US$15.6 billion).” No IMF member state has ever been allowed to take a six-times multiple of its borrowing quota at this money volume except for the Ukraine. Nor has any IMF member state ever been authorised by the IMF board of directors to stop new domestic bank lending and postpone all borrowing obligations (“current debt standstill”) for at least another three years from this Christmas.

The resulting money pile the IMF calls “the wartime liquidity surplus”. Converting this into the Ukrainian banks’ profit line and diverting that into individual cash and assets, Kiev officials have told Reuters to report as the “Ukraine banks’ robust health.” “Across the banking sector,” the New York-based propaganda agency reports, “deposits are as abundant as they’ve ever been, and the country’s lenders have found ways to remain profitable.” This is being done, they explain, by borrowing more and more in government bonds at a 25% interest rate guaranteed by more IMF money flowing into the central bank; lending less and less to zero for customers; and ignoring the increasing pile-up of defaulted, non-performing, or fraud loans.

This is Zelensky’s pyramid, even Reuters and its Ukrainian banker sources imply, though the IMF staff cannot bring themselves to say so. “In the current context, Ukrainian bankers note, the choice makes sense. “’We will only survive if the government survives,’ [Privatbank chief executive Gerhard] Boesch sums up.” The big money number dwarfs the Pentagon’s most recent estimate that “the Biden administration has committed more than $41.3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s invasion in February 2022.” The new July 7 number includes deliveries of Patriot missiles, HIMARS rockets, cluster bombs, and “dual-purpose improved conventional munitions, or DPICM”. Using the banker’s term, the Pentagon announcement declared “the Ukrainian forces have effectively leveraged assistance…So we will continue to provide Ukraine with the urgent capabilities that it needs to meet the moment, as well as what it needs to keep itself secure for the long term from Russian aggression.”

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That was quite a dirty trick they tried to pull. He would have gotten away with murder.

Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal Falls Apart (DeMartino)

President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, is facing federal charges over information found on a laptop that he abandoned at a computer repair shop. His defense team and prosecutors earlier reached a plea agreement that was widely blasted as too ‘lenient’ by Republicans figures. An earlier plea deal agreement made between prosecutors and Hunter Biden’s defense team fell apart on Wednesday after the presiding judge questioned its constitutionality and prosecutors revealed that Biden is still under investigation. The first son appeared before US District Judge Maryellen Noreika on Wednesday, when he was expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges after his legal team and prosecutor David Weiss agreed to a deal that would have suspended a felony gun charge.

Noreika raised concerns that she believed the deal would be ruled unconstitutional. The agreement stipulated that if Biden broke any of the terms, Noreika would act as an arbiter to decide if the gun charge would be reissued. The district judge noted the executive branch – not the judicial branch – is in charge of when to charge a person, and said she was concerned Biden may lose his immunity if the accord was ruled unconstitutional. Biden’s defense attorney Chris Clark said the stipulation was necessary to prevent the case from becoming further politicized if the government were to bring up the gun charge again. While Noreika said she understood his concerns, the official noted she was unaware of any case law that would support the agreement.

Another bombshell came in the case when Noreika asked Weiss whether Biden was still under an investigation, to which Weiss responded that he is but could not provide additional details on the matter. Weiss later remarked it was a possibility that Biden could be hypothetically charged for violating the Foreign Agents Registry Act. Asked if the deal would shield Biden from a prosecution stemming from that ‘possibility,’ Weiss indicated it would not, although Clark disagreed. Weiss responded by noting that “then there is no deal,” to which Clark replied: “As far as I’m concerned, the deal is null and void.” Biden ultimately submitted a not guilty plea after Noreika relayed that she could not say whether she would in fact accept the plea deal.

The judge said she would need to order a fact-finding mission on the deal and asked both sides for a briefing but did not set a date. She also did not rule out the possibility of agreeing to all terms of the current deal after gathering more information. Weiss and the Biden legal team could also hammer out a new plea deal that satisfies Noreika’s concerns. Prosecutors say Biden received taxable income of over $1.5 million for both 2017 and 2018 and owed more than $100,000 in taxes for each year, but did not pay any taxes either year. Officials also say he lied about his drug use on a purchase form for a firearm, which is what led to the felony gun charge that was supposed to be suspended under the terms of the plea deal. Last week, two whistleblowers with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) alleged during congressional testimony that the yearslong Justice Department investigation into Hunter Biden was fraught with misconduct and political favoritism.

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Twitter (X?) “thread”.

Inside Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal (Will Scharf)

Based on conversations with people who were in the courtroom today, and my experience as a former federal prosecutor, I think I know the full story of what happened with the Hunter Biden plea agreement blow-up this morning. Bear with me, because this is a little complicated: Typically, if the Government is offering to a defendant that it will either drop charges or decline to bring new charges in return for the defendant’s guilty plea, the plea is structured under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(A). An agreement not to prosecute Hunter for FARA violations or other crimes in return for his pleading guilty to the tax misdemeanors, for example, would usually be a (c)(1)(A) plea. This is open, transparent, subject to judicial approval, etc.

In Hunter’s case, according to what folks in the courtroom have told me, Hunter’s plea was structured under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(B), which is usually just a plea in return for a joint sentencing recommendation only, and contained no information on its face about other potential charges, and contained no clear agreement by DOJ to forego prosecution of other charges. Instead, DOJ and Hunter’s lawyers effectively hid that part of the agreement in what was publicly described as a pretrial diversion agreement relating to a § 922(g)(3) gun charge against Hunter for being a drug user in possession of a firearm. That pretrial diversion agreement as written was actually MUCH broader than just the gun charge. If Hunter were to complete probation, the pretrial diversion agreement prevented DOJ from ever bringing charges against Hunter for any crimes relating to the offense conduct discussed in the plea agreement, which was purposely written to include his foreign influence peddling operations in China and elsewhere.

So they put the facts in the plea agreement, but put their non-prosecution agreement in the pretrial diversion agreement, effectively hiding the full scope of what DOJ was offering and Hunter was obtaining through these proceedings. Hunter’s upside from this deal was vast immunity from further prosecution if he finished a couple years of probation, and the public wouldn’t be any the wiser because none of this was clearly stated on the face of the plea agreement, as would normally be the case. Judge Noreika smelled a rat. She understood that the lawyers were trying to paint her into a corner and hide the ball. Instead, she backed DOJ and Hunter’s lawyers into a corner by pulling all the details out into the open and then indicating that she wasn’t going to approve a deal as broad as what she had discovered.

DOJ, attempting to save face and save its case, then stated on the record that the investigation into Hunter was ongoing and that Hunter remained susceptible to prosecution under FARA. Hunter’s lawyers exploded. They clearly believed that FARA was covered under the deal, because as written, the pretrial diversion agreement language was broad enough to cover it. They blew up the deal, Hunter pled not guilty, and that’s the current state of play. And so here we are. Hunter’s lawyers and DOJ are going to go off and try to pull together a new set of agreements, likely narrower, to satisfy Judge Noreika. Fortunately, I doubt if FARA or any charges related to Hunter’s foreign influence peddling will be included, which leaves open the possibility of further investigations leading to further prosecutions.

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Erdogan paints himself into a corner.

Neither East Nor West: Turkiye’s Travails As A ‘Swing State’ (Bhadrakumar)

The Russian Foreign Ministry website featured two press releases last week on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s conversations with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts, Hakan Fidan and Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, respectively. The conversations took place at the initiative of the Turkish and Iranian sides. Lavrov’s conversation with Fidan was business-like and formal, while with Amir-Abdollahian, Russia’s top diplomat, was in a noticeably relaxed freewheeling exchange — “trust-based” and signaling “mutual interest in closely coordinating the approaches” to world politics. The alchemy of the Russian-Turkish relationship has distinctly changed, whereas, the strategic partnership with Iran has consolidated and a high level of maturity and predictability is visible.

One recent factor that corrupted the Russian-Turkish relationship is the Kremlin’s unilateral decision to let the Black Sea Grain Initiative expire on 17 July. Ankara tried behind the scenes to avert the moment, but the Russian decision was not Turkiye-centric. Therein lies the hope — and the despair. Russia has since offered that a new grain deal with Turkiye might be possible if Moscow’s demands are met, announcing works on new export routes. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reciprocated by calling on western countries to “follow up on Putin’s expectations.” However, the crisis of confidence in the Russian-Turkish relations has a geopolitical dimension, and it concerns the war in Ukraine. Succinctly put, Turkish foreign policies have lately displayed a nuanced “westernism” that affects vital Russian interests.

Indeed, there is no plausible explanation for the sudden visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Istanbul on 8 July, the sudden release of notorious Azov commanders who were in Turkish custody per an understanding with Russia on the exchange of prisoners, or the plan to set up a co-production venture in Ukraine for Turkiye’s Bayraktar drones. One way of looking at such a sharp Turkish turnaround could be that interest groups in Turkiye’s defense industry are being manipulated by Zelensky. Erdogan’s open support for Ukraine’s NATO membership is blatant tokenism. The big picture is that Zelensky, with encouragement from the US, is looking for opportunities to erode the mutual trust and confidence that has accrued in the Turkish-Russian relationship over recent years, thanks to the hands-on diplomacy between Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Anyway, on the eve of the NATO Summit in Vilnius (11-12 July), where Erdogan was expected to meet up with US President Joe Biden (and Zelensky), Lavrov made Moscow’s concerns known to Foreign Minister Hakan in a phone conversation initiated by the latter. The Russian readout said: “The sides exchanged opinions on the regional agenda and prioritized the latest developments around Ukraine, including the situation regarding the return of Azov battalion “ringleaders” from Istanbul to Kiev. The Russian side drew the attention of Ankara to the fact that continued deliveries of military equipment to the Kiev regime amounted to a destructive course. It was noted that subsequent steps could only bring about negative consequences.”

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Doesn’t look elegant.

Elon Musk’s X Seizes @X Account From Longtime Twitter User (Sp.)

The user who once held the @X account on the Elon Musk-owned social media site formerly known as Twitter and recently renamed “X” had his account taken by the company and was offered little in return. X reportedly took over the account on Tuesday night, which previously belonged to San Francisco photographer Gene Hwang, who opened the account in 2007, the year after the platform launched. The email informing him that his account had been taken over by the newly rebranded firm said it would let him pick any unclaimed or inactive usernames, and offered fan merch and a trip to the company’s headquarters in return.

“Additionally, as a reflection of our appreciation, you will also be provided with a selection of X merch and an exclusive visit to X’s HQ to meet members of our team,” the email read, which Hwang shared with US media. Hwang said he does not plan to take X up on its offer, and suggested he may ask for the bird on the sign the company is dismantling outside its main office. The @X account has since been posting as an official account of the site. Hwang seems to have moved to @x12345678998765.

However, X may run into issues with its new name. Trademark lawyers have said that a simple trademark will make it more difficult for Musk to sue companies that use the letter X for their own branding On the flip side, Musk may find his trademark being challenged by other tech giants. As previously reported by Sputnik, both Meta* and Microsoft hold trademarks for “X.” Google and Xfinity also own trademarks related to X. While none seem to be directly related to the services X currently offers, if Musk moves forward with his current plan to make X the “everything app” there may be some crossover that could cause another company to challenge his trademark.

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It’ll keep burning for days. What do the insurers think of this?

EV Suspected In Fire Of Massive Cargo Ship Carrying 3,000 Cars (ZH)

A fire on a ship carrying 3,000 cars off the Netherlands coast is suspected of being started by an electric vehicle and killed one sailor, “could burn for days,” the Dutch Coast Guard told AFP News. The fire broke out late Tuesday night on board the roll-on, roll-off ship the Fremantle Highway off the northern Dutch coast. “The fire could still burn for days,” stated a coastguard official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The ship is being cooled to keep it stable. “Only the side of the ship is being sprayed, not the deck,” said the official. Fremantle Highway is carrying 3,000 vehicles. Of those vehicles, 25 are EVs, a coastguard official told the NOS public broadcaster, adding there is suspicion that one of those 25 EVs started the blaze.

Rescue ships and helicopters have evacuated 23 crew members. However, one individual lost their life due to the fire. Should the vessel sink, “it would be a disaster of the highest order,” the daily paper De Telegraaf said. Bloomberg ship tracking data shows Fremantle Highway left the German port of Bremen on Tuesday. The vessel appears to have deviated off course around 5 pm local time Tuesday, an indication of possibly when the fire broke out. “Currently several parties including salvagers and the Dutch authorities are looking at minimizing the damage as much as possible,” the Coast Guard said.

Shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen warned earlier this year: “Shipping companies are facing an added concern with the increasing demand for electric vehicles. Fires onboard vessels can have catastrophic consequences, and battery fires are extra potent and dangerous. Li-ion batteries generate extreme heat when they malfunction, often reaching temperatures of 800 degrees Celsius or higher. This heat can quickly spread to nearby combustible materials, causing a rapid fire that’s challenging to extinguish. Controlling battery fires is nearly impossible and might indicate Fremantle Highway could burn for days, if not longer.

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Tucker Ice Cube

 

 

Always one
https://twitter.com/i/status/1684307786325262343

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 262023
 


Andy Warhol Mick Jagger 1975

 

Glimpses Of An Endgame In Ukraine (Bhadrakumar)
Major Advancements For Russia, Ukraine On Its Last Legs – Macgregor (WF)
Even Strong Western Economies Turn Into Colonies – Zakharova (TASS)
Who Can Give Security Guarantees To Ukraine? (MoA)
IAEA Discovers Anti-Personnel Mines Near Zaporozhye Nuke Plant (TASS)
NATO Countries Using Ukraine to Get Rid of Outdated Weapons (Sp.)
The Polish Response To Putin’s Challenge (Helmer)
Zelensky Associate Was Present at Biden Bribery Meetings (GP)
Biden Claims To Have ‘Ended Cancer’ (RT)
Biden’s Dog Attacks 8 White House Staffers in Cover-Up (Sp.)
Biden Changes Long-Standing Position on Hunter’s Foreign Deals (Turley)
Hunter Biden’s Memoir Became Source of Tax Evasion Evidence (Sp.)
Members and the Media Panic as the Biden Scandal Mounts (Turley)
Twitter Rebrand to ‘X’ Fraught With Permit, Trademark Issues (DeMartino)
Musk: ‘X Will Become Most Valuable Brand on Earth’ (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

RFK Hannity
https://twitter.com/i/status/1684030867264643072
https://twitter.com/i/status/1684017271012995075

 

 

Azov

 

 

 

 

Tucker Ice Cube


https://twitter.com/i/status/1684017033174827008

 

 

 

 

“..Polish leadership’s concern, paradoxically, will be that Donald Trump may not return as president in 2024..”

Glimpses Of An Endgame In Ukraine (Bhadrakumar)

It is one thing that the Russian people are well aware that their country is de facto fighting the NATO in Ukraine. But it is an entirely different matter that the war may dramatically escalate to a war with Poland, a NATO army that the US regards as its most important partner in continental Europe. By dwelling at some length on Polish revanchism, which has a controversial record in modern European history, Putin probably calculated that in Europe, including in Poland, there could be resistance to the machinations that might drag NATO into a continental war with Russia. Equally, Poland must be dithering too. According to Politico, Poland’s military is about 150,000 strong, out of which 30,000 belong to a new territorial defence force who are “weekend soldiers who undergo 16 days of training followed up by refresher courses.”

Again, Poland’s military might doesn’t translate into political influence in Europe because the centrist forces that dominate the EU distrust Warsaw, which is controlled by the nationalist Law and Justice Party whose disregard for democratic norms and the rule of law has damaged Poland’s reputation across the bloc. Above all, Poland has reason to be worried about the reliability of Washington. Going forward, Polish leadership’s concern, paradoxically, will be that Donald Trump may not return as president in 2024. Despite the cooperation with the Pentagon over the Ukraine war, Poland’s current leadership remains distrustful of President Joe Biden — much like Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

On balance, therefore, it stands to reason that the sabre-rattling by Lukashenko and Putin’s lesson on European history can be taken as more of a forewarning to the West with a view to modulate an endgame in Ukraine that is optimal for Russian interests. A dismemberment of Ukraine or an uncontrollable expansion of the war beyond its borders will not be in the Russian interests. But the Kremlin leadership will factor in the contingency that Washington’s follies stemming out of its desperate need to save face from a humiliating defeat in the proxy war, may leave no choice to the Russian forces but to cross the Dnieper and advance all the way to Poland’s border to prevent an occupation of Western Ukraine by the so-called Lublin Triangle, a regional alliance with virulent anti-Russian orientation comprising Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, formed in July 2020 and promoted by Washington.

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Article is bits and pieces thrown together, but still interesting.

Major Advancements For Russia, Ukraine On Its Last Legs – Macgregor (WF)

The same people driving this war in Eastern Europe and Ukraine are the people dominating the financial markets, dominating media and ultimately shaping policy for our government.. Government by donors. This is entirely a function of people with a lot of money. – Douglas MacGregor Ret. Col. Douglas Macgregor: “[Putin] represents, in the minds of many people around the world, someone who has decided to challenge not just American military and political hegemony, but American and Western financial hegemony.

Macgregor

The World Bank and associated institutions have effectively been puppets for the US… We talk all the time about the Chinese supposedly blackmailing people by lending them lots of money and then holding them accountable. Well, we do the same thing, only we do it in more subtle ways that are actually more damaging to the society, because we’re very intrusive… The bottom line is this is a new era that is coming, and they’ve already got 40 plus nations willing to join this new currency. India, China and Russia, of course, are at the center of this, at the core of it. And this is seen as a rebellion against our financial dominance. That has been so, from their standpoint, certainly destructive in so many ways for so long.”

WAKE UP: If Russia was the aggressor against Ukraine, the situation would be different now, and we would see Russians on the borders of Poland after they destroyed Ukraine, but this did not happen, because the Russians do not want this. – Col. Douglas Macgregor “It’s stupid to threaten Russia with nuclear weapons,” – said Douglas Macgregor, ex-adviser to the head of the Pentagon. “The Russians can flood the Atlantic with their submarines, as well as the Pacific Ocean, where they will be supported by the Chinese Navy..”

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They’re no longer strong.

Even Strong Western Economies Turn Into Colonies – Zakharova (TASS)

Even economically strong and developed Western countries have turned into colonies, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday. “Western countries, even strong and developed economies, have become colonies,” the diplomat noted, addressing a Russian-African women’s forum. “The most interesting thing is that European Union nations and NATO countries have already become neo-colonies. They are economically strong; they have a long history of democratic development, and many have given birth to democratic freedoms in the past. However, today, they are not just dependent, but they are completely subordinate to the will of their metropolis – that is, the Anglo-Saxon world – in terms of the economy, politics and morality.


However, the world is unwilling to follow the old path, get back on the same old track and repeat the same mistakes,” she added. “We are not only fighting for ourselves; we are fighting for the future of the world, deciding whether it will be a free world or we will return to the colonial past,” Zakharova noted. Still, the diplomat pointed out that Russia and Africa weren’t ready to sacrifice freedom for material benefits the way some Western countries did. “Although we appreciate material welfare, there are more important things. Welfare turns against humans when there is no internal freedom, free will, and an understanding of what’s good and bad,” Zakharova emphasized.

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How about Russia?

Who Can Give Security Guarantees To Ukraine? (MoA)

In 2013 the European Union pressed the Ukraine to sign a free trade agreement with it. Russia, which was the biggest trading partner of Ukraine, made a counter offer that was financially better and had less political restrictions attached to it. Then President Victor Yanukovych of Ukraine had to reject the EU agreement. The U.S., together with the German secret service BND, had long standing ties with the right-wing groups in west-Ukraine which had previously cooperated with Nazi Germany and had been attached to the German Nazi-Wehrmacht. The CIA reactivated these groups and instigated a violent color-revolution in Kiev. That revolution led to a civil war as large parts of the ethic Russians in east Ukraine rejected the new regime that had been installed by a west Ukrainian minority.

While the ethnic Russians in Ukraine lost control over most of their original areas they also soon defeated what was left of the Ukraine army. They did so twice. Since 2015 the conflict was stalled. The Minsk agreements, under which Ukraine was supposed to became federalized, were signed, but Ukraine stalled their implementation. Meanwhile the U.S. and Britain used the time to reinstate and rearm the Ukrainian army. By 2021 the Ukraine was ready to attack the People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. Russia activated its army and warned that it would have to interfere with such plans. The imminent launch of an Ukrainian attack was called off. In early 2022 the U.S. gave the Ukrainians a green light to launch their long planned attack. Russia intervened and the current war started.

The U.S. plans behind the war expected that the pre-coordinated western sanctions that immediately followed would ruin Russia, that Russia would be shunned by the rest of the world and that a military defeat of the Russian army would lead to regime change in Moscow. The Ukraine expected that, after winning a war against its separatists, it would immediately become a member of NATO. Neither of the (totally unrealistic) expectations was met. The Ukraine is now obviously losing the war. It will soon need to sign a capitulation like ceasefire agreement with Russia. But who or what can guarantee that any such agreement will be held up? NATO membership is no longer an option.

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Whose are they?

IAEA Discovers Anti-Personnel Mines Near Zaporozhye Nuke Plant (TASS)

Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have observed directional anti-personnel mines on the periphery of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), the agency’s Director General Rafael Grossi said. According to him, while inspecting the site on July 23, the IAEA experts saw some mines located in a buffer zone between the site’s internal and external perimeter barriers. The experts reported that the mines were in a restricted area that plant personnel cannot access. No mines were discovered within the site. “As I have reported earlier, the IAEA has been aware of the previous placement of mines outside the site perimeter and also at particular places inside. Our team has raised this specific finding with the plant and they have been told that it is a military decision, and in an area controlled by military,” Grossi said.

According to him, “having such explosives on the site is inconsistent with the IAEA safety standards and nuclear security guidance.” That said, the IAEA experts concluded that “any detonation of these mines should not affect the site’s nuclear safety and security systems.” On June 22, ahead of Grossi’s visit to Russia, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused Russia of plotting a terror attack on the Zaporozhye NPP. He said as much to the United States, Brazil, India, China, European, Middle East and African countries but provided no evidence to back up his allegation.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov refuted these allegations as yet another lie. According to Renat Karchaa, adviser to the CEO of Russian state nuclear power corporation Rosenergoatom, Zelensky’s statements may indicate that Kiev is plotting a terror attack or a strike on the ZNPP in a bid to drag NATO into the conflict. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said on June 23 that Russia was alarmed over Kiev’s repeated allegations that Russian forces were mining the nuclear facility.

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And they don’t produce enough to replace them.

NATO Countries Using Ukraine to Get Rid of Outdated Weapons (Sp.)

NATO countries have been pumping weapons into Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict with Russia, but most of them are outdated and have been mothballed for decades, military expert and former high-ranking NATO artillery officer Pierre Henrot told Sputnik. “NATO countries in fact only send their oldest equipment to Ukraine and take the opportunity to replenish their armament for their armies with new generations of equipment. Examples abound: the Poles, who are the most committed alongside Ukraine, to the point that they are talking about entering western Ukraine themselves, provided very early [on] all their Soviet-era tanks to the Ukrainians and have just received for the Polish army a first contingent of American Abrams tanks, brand new and manufactured for them,” Henrot said.

Other countries have also provided decommissioned equipment, including 88 German Leopard 1 tanks that were withdrawn from arsenals in 2003, and French AMX 10-RC light tanks that were developed in the 1970s and have been decommissioned by the French army as well, the former officer added. “The worst is probably the delivery by France of VAB armoured infantry vehicles (Vehicules de l’Avant Blindes), in a four-wheeled version, which invariably gets bogged down in the autumn mud. Entering service in 1979, it has proven to be a rolling coffin for Ukrainian infantry over the past year,” the expert further explained. Some countries, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania, also sent Ukraine all their Soviet MiG or Sukhoi fighters, he said.

Another problem with such ragtag deliveries is that the spare parts and ammunition for such weapons are often different and incompatible with one another, Henrot pointed out. “It is as if the NATO partners were getting rid of their outdated weapons, already mothballed,” the former officer said. However, some of Western military aid is useful for the Ukrainian military, and of good quality, the expert noted, adding that it is usually equipment for small arms, bulletproof vests and night sight systems, as well as US-made Stingers and Javelins. “Where the Americans provided suitable and effective weapons, it was with the 2,000 portable anti-aircraft Stingers delivered or with the 10,000 Javelin anti-armor weapons provided; formidable weapons in the hands of infantrymen. It is the same for the NLAW [Next Generation Light AntiTank Weapons], a useful weapon on the battlefield,” he stated.

At the same time, the Western countries often lack sufficient capacities to produce weapons required by the Ukrainian military, Henrot mentioned. “NATO countries fail to keep up with the production of ammunition for artillery and even for small arms. Again, the variety of calibres is very large; it’s a headache, but above all, there are not enough production chains, and industrialists are reluctant to launch production units for an effort that could stop quite quickly, and they have not received a firm long-term contract from Western governments,” the expert explained. Henrot believes that the recent widely criticized decision of the United States to send cluster bombs to Ukraine is the demonstration of the same problem. “The Americans for their part have almost openly admitted that it was their last ammo in stock and that they have nothing left to deliver,” Henrot concluded.

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“The Polish authorities, who are nurturing their revanchist ambitions, hide the truth from their people. The truth is that the Ukrainian cannon fodder is no longer enough for the West.”

The Polish Response To Putin’s Challenge (Helmer)

[Putin] warned that President Vladimir Zelensky’s regime in Kiev may be contemplating a trade with Poland of the territory around Lvov in exchange for Polish military intervention to support Kiev against Russia: “Today we see that the regime in Kiev is ready to go to any length to save its treacherous hide and to prolong its existence. They do not care for the people of Ukraine or Ukrainian sovereignty or national interests. They are ready to sell anything, including people and land, just like their ideological forefathers led by Petlyura, who signed the so-called secret conventions with Poland in 1920 under which they ceded Galicia and Western Volhynia to Poland in return for military support. Traitors like them are ready now to open the gate to their foreign handlers and to sell Ukraine again.”

“As for the Polish leaders, they probably hope to form a coalition under the NATO umbrella in order to directly intervene in the conflict in Ukraine and to bite off as much as possible, to ‘regain’, as they see it, their historical territories, that is, modern-day Western Ukraine. It is also common knowledge that they dream about Belarusian land.” If that were to happen, Putin said Russia would support a Ukrainian regime replacing Zelensky and opposing the Poles. “The Polish authorities, who are nurturing their revanchist ambitions, hide the truth from their people. The truth is that the Ukrainian cannon fodder is no longer enough for the West. That is why it is planning to use other expendables – Poles, Lithuanians and everyone else they do not care about. I can tell you that this is an extremely dangerous game, and the authors of such plans should think about the consequences.”

The Polish state media have ignored Putin’s historical precedents and the deal-making underway between the Ukrainian military command and its Polish counterpart. The Polish commercial network TVN24, which is owned by the US media corporation Warner Bros. Discovery, broadcast a discussion with a think-tank academic and a retired military intelligence colonel. “‘The Russians are trying to drive a wedge between Poland and Ukraine,’ Agnieszka Legucka, an analyst for Russia at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, said in the Fakty po Faktach [Facts after Facts] programme. ‘Putin has recently been portraying himself as such an expert in history. Anyway, in 2019 he launched attacks on Poland, in particular when it comes to this historical dimension. He accused us of starting World War II,’ she said.

‘And Poland now, especially when it supports Ukraine so much both militarily and humanely, has become one of the countries that is attacked by the Russian authorities directly, including Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev.’ According to the expert, the Russians ‘are trying to drive a wedge between Poland and Ukraine. And the issue of the alleged separation of Ukraine and even Belarus is very eagerly raised by both Russian and Belarusian propaganda,’ she added.”

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“..if that document is true, who wants to believe that President Zelensky and his administration have not used that as leverage over Joe Biden..”

Zelensky Associate Was Present at Biden Bribery Meetings (GP)

Author Peter Schweizer went on with Jesse Watters on Monday night where he proceeded to drop another bomb on the Biden Crime Family. According to Schweizer, who wrote a best-seller “Secret Empires” on the Biden Family crimes, told Jesse that one of Vlodomyr Zelensky’s top officials was sitting in the room when they were discussing bribing the Bidens, Joe and Hunter. Ukrainian President Zelensky has a top official who was sitting in on meetings where they talked about bribing the Bidens. Schweizer suggests Zelensky is using this as leverage over the Biden regime for weapons and billions in US dollars. Peter Schweizer: We’ve been at this since 2018. ** They initially said there were no foreign deals. ** Then they shifted and said there were. There might have been foreign deals, but the Bidens made no money. ** Then it became Joe Biden didn’t know about any of the deals. ** Then it became Joe Biden didn’t participate in any of the deals. ** And now it’s that he was not in business with his son.


Look, the implications for this are huge, Jesse. If you look at that 1023 form that the FBI released, if that document is true, that document reveals that one of the people that was at those meetings that heard the conversations about bribing the Bidens worked for – President Zelensky. Who really wants to believe, if that meeting took place and that document is accurate, that that individual did not go and report to President Zelensky what he heard? And again, if that document is true, who wants to believe that President Zelensky and his administration have not used that as leverage over Joe Biden when it comes to negotiations on Ukraine policy? We may all have to start learning the Ukrainian word for compromise because this is a very clear indication of how this has shaped this administration’s policy towards Ukraine and also towards China. It is also convenient for Zelensky that there is not a team of US auditors in his country tracking where all of this money went.

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“Biden cured cancer in the same way that he marched for civil rights, was arrested trying to see Nelson Mandela, grew up in the black church, was raised in the Puerto Rican community, was a professor at UPenn, built the greatest economy in the world, and never spoke to his son about business..”

Biden Claims To Have ‘Ended Cancer’ (RT)

During a speech on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden seemed to claim that his administration had cured cancer. “I said I’d cure cancer. They looked at me like, ‘Why cancer’? Because no one thinks we can. That’s why. And we can. We ended cancer as we know it,” Biden said during a speech in the East Room of the White House. Biden was scheduled to speak about expanding Americans’ access to mental health care. After the cancer remark, he continued to talk about healthcare for military veterans, which is run by the federal government. The strange claim was quickly noticed by Republicans, who have often accused the 80-year-old Democrat of behaving as if afflicted by dementia. “Biden just told everyone that he cured cancer. I feel like that would have at least gotten a press release,” quipped Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado.

“Biden cured cancer in the same way that he marched for civil rights, was arrested trying to see Nelson Mandela, grew up in the black church, was raised in the Puerto Rican community, was a professor at UPenn, built the greatest economy in the world, and never spoke to his son about business,” tweeted Texas activist Christian Collins. Those were just some of the claims Biden had made over his 50-year political career that turned out to be tall tales. The longtime Democrat also has a history of misspeaking in public. Just last week, he introduced himself as an artificial intelligence. The week before, in Europe, he urged Russia to “stop attacking Russia.” Earlier this month, he also claimed that Moscow was “losing the war in Iraq.”


Biden’s elder son Beau passed away in 2015 from an aggressive brain cancer, which his father has publicly attributed to “burn pits,” a method used by the US military to dispose of garbage. Beau Biden was reportedly exposed to the toxic pits during his 2008 deployment in Iraq as a military lawyer, and earlier as a contractor in Kosovo. In February 2022, Biden announced a government program to find a cure for cancer, dubbing it a re-launch of the Obama administration’s 2016 ‘Cancer Moonshot’. The new program’s goal was to “reduce the cancer death rate by half within 25 years and improve the lives of people with cancer and cancer survivors,” according to the National Cancer Institute. In March this year, Biden had surgery to remove from his chest a “small skin lesion” that had “basal cell carcinoma,” according to the White House physician.

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I think I count 8 reported cases. In 4 months. Madness.

Biden’s Dog Attacks 8 White House Staffers in Cover-Up (Sp.)

Commander, President Joe Biden’s soon-to-be two-year canine, has been implicated in seven biting assaults within four months, attacking Secret Service and White House personnel, reports have claimed. A series of alarming occurrences featuring Commander have emerged, all of which were kept undisclosed until now. These incidents are reminiscent of attacks associated with Major, whom the White House claimed was handed over to the president’s close acquaintances in 2021 due to his biting spree. On November 3, Commander was at the center of a serious biting incident when he attacked a Secret Service uniformed officer, inflicting injuries on the arm and thigh before the victim was hospitalized.

The details of this incident were brought to public attention when relevant emails were disclosed to the conservative legal organization Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act. In another occurrence, Commander, broke the skin of another Secret Service member’s hand and arm. Additionally, Commander bit a security technician at President Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, the following month. “This is a special sort of craziness and corruption where a president would allow his dog to repeatedly attack and bite Secret Service and White House personnel. And rather than protect its agents, the Secret Service tried to illegally hide documents about the abuse of its agents and officers by the Biden family,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton noted. Reports suggest that Biden doubted the claims about Major attacking a Secret Service agent. Moreover, the White House has not revealed any biting events implicating Commander.

According to the reported emails, agents disclosed a series of incidents that occurred discreetly. On October 3, 2022, near the East Wing garden, Commander “inflicted a ‘friendly soft bite’ on [a Secret Service agent’s] forearm as [he] held the door open,” regardless “no skin was broken from the bite.” On the morning of October 5, 2022, the first recorded incident involved Commander hopping on an emergency response technician on the grounds of the presidential villa and biting their “arm/wrist area.” On November 10, a Secret Service Uniformed Division officer was bitten on the left thigh as First Lady Jill Biden walked Commander in the Kennedy Garden near the East Wing. Media sources reveal that the officer reported experiencing “bruising, tenderness, and pain” in the bite area. On November 14, one other Secret Service officer recounted an incident via email where they had to defend themselves as Commander charged toward them.

The officer described grabbing a black chair they were sitting on, making eye contact with the dog, and backing away to avoid being attacked. On December 11, Commander bit a Secret Service special agent in the Presidential Protective Division. This event transpired after the president yanked Commander’s leash following a movie. The agent reported being double-bitten, first on the arm with a 1.5cm cut and lesions, and a 1cm cut on their hand and thumb sustained from a second bite. On December 16, another Secret Service member was attacked and inflicted with canine bites, as indicated in a workplace injury form available to media sources. “I was walking across the complex, and a dog bit my left arm,” the officer wrote, expressing the wound as “Dog bite, superficial laceration, contusion, soreness, and bruising.”

On 2022’s Christmas Eve, a Secret Service inspector notified colleagues that another officer had been wounded at [undisclosed location] the day before. The inspector’s email cited that nearly every official in the room discussed specific incidents involving the First Family’s dog. On January 2 this year, an agency technical security investigator was the victim of an attack while responding to an alarm at the president’s Wilmington residence, frequently visited during weekends. “Commander squeezed his way through the door and immediately bit/latched onto the lower right side of my back,” the attack victim emailed. “These shocking records raise fundamental questions about President Biden and the Secret Service,” Fitton remarked.

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“The answer remains the same. The president was never in business with his son.”

That’s not “the same”. It is a big change from “I never talked to him about his business”.

Biden Changes Long-Standing Position on Hunter’s Foreign Deals (Turley)

Starting with his campaign for the presidency and continuing until this week, President Joe Biden has maintained one clear and consistent position on his son’s influence peddling schemes. As a virtual mantra, Biden — and the White House staff — have categorically maintained that he had no knowledge of any foreign dealings of his son. That has been proven to be a lie, but Biden continued to maintain the position. Yet, on the eve of the testimony of a key Biden associate, the White House has changed its position. Now the President is only claiming that he was “not in business” with his son.Some of us have written multiple columns over the last four years arguing that the President was clearly and knowingly lying in his denials of knowledge and discussions of these deals. Even when he made the statement, it was clearly untrue but most of the media shrugged and happily walked away.

Then the evidence began to mount. The laptop includes pictures and appointments of Hunter’s foreign business associates with Joe Biden. There is also a recording of Joe Biden discussing a Times report on Dec. 12, 2018, detailing Hunter’s dealings with Ye Jianming, the head of CEFC China Energy Company. He assures his son that “I think you’re clear” after lawyers worked on the New York Times before the story ran. There is also a recording of his uncle James assuring Hunter that he and his father were going to arrange for “safe harbor” for him as his world began to collapse. Then there is the July 30, 2017 Whatsapp message from Hunter Biden to one of his Chinese associates, Henry Zhao, the director of Harvest Fund Management and Communist Party official. Zhao was funneling money to Hunter’s firm BHR Partners. Hunter is quoted as writing:

“I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.” Nevertheless, the White House has maintained the total denial . . . until this week before the testimony of Devon Archer. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked by Fox News journalist Gillian Turner:

“Chairman James Comer today says that the Oversight Committee has evidence that the president in the past communicated directly with foreign business associates of his son Hunter Biden many times. Curious if the White House and the president still stand behind his comment that he’s never been involved and has never even spoken to his son about his business?” The response from Jean-Pierre was surprising: “So, I’ve been I’ve been asked this question a million times. The answer is not going to change. The answer remains the same. The president was never in business with his son. I just don’t have anything else to add.” It takes an utter contempt for the intelligence of the public to insist that “the answer remains the same” and then give an entirely new answer. However, that is only if most of the public is informed of the contradiction. None of the media in the White House press corp followed up on Turner’s questions when Jean-Pierre immediately moved on.

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“[Hunter Biden] was money laundering. He was racketeering. He committed wire fraud. He violated the Mann Act. The list goes on and on and on..”

Hunter’s plea deal covers two years of tax evasion. But “IRS agents saw evidence that the first son was engaged in tax evasion that “stretched back two decades.”

Hunter Biden’s Memoir Became Source of Tax Evasion Evidence (Sp.)

US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent Joseph Ziegler, who was known only as “Whistleblower X” in the Hunter Biden tax case prior to his testimony at the House Oversight Committee last Wednesday, said that some of the alleged tax evasion schemes in which Hunter Biden reportedly engaged in were detailed in his 2021 work, “Beautiful Things: A Memoir.” As per Ziegler, the opus showed that some of the expenses described by Hunter were for personal choices and not corporate benefit. “That’s almost the biggest component of this that I don’t think that the general public understands: You have statements being made in a book that are talking about going out to California, leaving your life and then going to start this new life. Yet, on your tax return you’re essentially stating things that are completely different,” Ziegler told the John Solomon Reports podcast.

The whistleblower said he and IRS supervisory agent Gary Shapley, also known as the first IRS whistleblower in Hunter Biden’s case, are gathering more documents to provide to Congress. The trove reportedly includes WhatsApp messages in addition to the one made public from 2017 in which Hunter invoked his father’s name to force his Chinese associate into forking out large sums of money. The whistleblower said there is evidence of US President Joe Biden’s association in the Hunter tax case. Earlier, the president repeatedly denied being related to his son’s business dealing or knowing anything about them. Ziegler told the media outlet that a family friend named Rob Walker told the FBI that then-Vice President Joe Biden attended a meeting with the Chinese executives, and that his son deducted as a business expense a hotel room in father’s name.

Ziegler highlighted his team was prevented from finding out whether Joe Biden actually used the room or was present at the hotel. “But what I think it’s important to know is that that was a deduction that was taken on Hunter’s tax return,” he said. Moreover, per the whistleblower, IRS agents saw evidence that the first son was engaged in tax evasion that “stretched back two decades.” “In my transcript, I talked about certain issues that Hunter had, I think, going back to the early 2000s,” he said.

In June, the younger Biden struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors on two minor tax crimes and a gun case. However, Republican congressmen said they are determined to get to the bottom of Hunter’s alleged crimes. Last week, House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer said he expects to file “between six and 10 criminal referrals” with the Justice Department related to Hunter after the congressional probe is completed.
“[Hunter Biden] was money laundering. He was racketeering. He committed wire fraud. He violated the Mann Act. The list goes on and on and on,” Comer alleged.

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Devon Archer is scheduled to testify on Friday. Will that happen? Will he be alive?

Members and the Media Panic as the Biden Scandal Mounts (Turley)

Now, Archer is expected to testify that Joe Biden participated in actual telephone calls with them. That will allow investigators to build further on the foundation Goldman laid. Archer will join other witnesses like Hunter’s business associate Tony Bobulinski, who said that he sat down with Joe Biden to discuss the deals. Bobulinski was instructed by Biden associate James Gilliar not to speak of the former veep’s connection to any transactions. No matter the severity of the revelations, the liberal media calls the investigations a “clown show.” Others have continued to tell the public that there remain no alleged ties from Hunter to President Biden despite emails, pictures and witness testimony. Yet it is becoming harder and harder to avoid these details.

With the possible testimony of Hunter’s business associates, the only hope is that Republicans might be convinced to “move on.” What was most notable about the question to Christie was the reference to the plea bargain. A year ago, I wrote a column on how the political and media establishment would likely use a “scandal implosion” approach as the evidence mounted over the corruption allegations. After the Democrats lost the House, there was a need to cap off the scandal and I suggested that the Justice Department would secure a light plea on a couple tax counts with little or no jail time. Members and the media would then declare the scandal closed and demand that we all “move on.” It is unnerving to see how the response unfolded so precisely as predicted. Members made repeated reference to the plea bargain to avoid further discussion.

Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D.-Md.) was positively irate that “We are doing this all over again for the Hunter Biden show to someone who has pleaded guilty and has taken responsibility for not filing taxes for two years. This is ludicrous. Beam me up, Scotty. There’s no intelligent life down here. None.” He then tore up papers in disgust. Members and the media were literally citing a plea bargain as dispositive, even as two lead investigators were saying it was fixed and politically influenced. Some in the media attacked these two IRS veterans as “so-called whistleblowers” (just as members previously attacked “so called journalists” for discussing censorship records). Others insisted that the allegations were still “unproven” or “unverified” while showing the same lack of interest in establishing the truth. Notably, these same media outlets did wall-to-wall coverage of the false Russian collusion claims in the Steele dossier.

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There’s a lot of X’s out there.

Twitter Rebrand to ‘X’ Fraught With Permit, Trademark Issues (DeMartino)

Later Sunday night, the logo began appearing in place of the social media site’s iconic bird logo for some users on some platforms. While the old Twitter branding remains for some users on some platforms, Musk promised in a Tweet (or an “X”) that the old branding would soon be gone completely. “And soon we shall bid adieu to the Twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds,” Musk wrote. Musk also changed his profile picture and the profile picture of the official “Twitter” account to the site’s new logo. X.com also now redirects to Twitter.com. X users responded to the delayed signage removal and the rebrand in general with a mix of mocking and indifference, while others took the opportunity to dunk on the city of San Francisco.

At present, there is also a question of whether the “X” branding is even available for Musk to use for social media sites. Both Microsoft and Meta* hold trademarks of “X.” The Meta patent lists the service as potentially “providing interactive websites featuring technology that enable online users to create personal profiles” that users can use “for broadcasting, transmitting, receiving, accessing, viewing, uploading, downloading, sharing, integrating, encoding, decoding, displaying, formatting, organizing, storing, caching, transferring and streaming of data, text, games, game content, digital media, images, music, audio, video and animations.” Another listed use for the Meta trademark of X includes “online social networking services.”

Microsoft’s patent, first filed in 2002, lists “on-line chatrooms” and “electronic bulletin boards” for users to share messages about video games and an online video game storefront. Both patents, particularly the Meta one, which seems related to a social media site, could cause legal problems for Musk, who has been in an online feud with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Musk has threatened to sue Meta for launching an X competitor called “Threads” and the two floated a potential cage fight being aired on Pay-Per-View.

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“Musk foresees these payment capabilities potentially becoming half of the global financial system.”

Musk: ‘X Will Become Most Valuable Brand on Earth’ (Sp.)

The rebranding of Twitter to “X” was announced over the weekend and near instantly began to face varying hurdles, from potential legal challenges to a barrage of criticism from users thrown off by the platform’s redesign. Some forecasts indicated the change could result in billions’ worth in losses for the firm’s value. Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of companies Tesla and SpaceX, announced his confidence in the success of X social media on Tuesday, vowing that the Twitter rebrand would make the platform the “most valuable brand on Earth.” Musk’s statement came in response to a US media article that estimated the rebranding could potentially decrease Twitter’s value by $4 billion to $20 billion.

Nevertheless, Musk remains undeterred, envisioning “X” as a comprehensive communication platform that also offers robust financial transactions. The potential integration of payment systems into Twitter/X has sparked speculation that users may soon be able to send and receive money directly through the platform. Musk foresees these payment capabilities potentially becoming half of the global financial system. While specific details about the payment systems have not been revealed, Musk emphasized the importance of executing them correctly for the magnum opus of Twitter/X to become a reality, noting his intentions to revolutionize the financial world. Linda Yaccarino, Twitter’s new CEO, has expressed enthusiasm about the transformation and hinted at more changes to come, signaling the company is just getting started.

Under Yaccarino’s leadership, the platform aims to fulfill its immense potential and meet the expectations of fans and critics alike. Since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, Musk has embarked on a series of changes to enhance the user experience and drive innovation on the platform. The rebranding to “X” was the latest in a series of moves aimed at revitalizing Twitter and positioning it as a leader in the ever-evolving social media landscape. With popular platforms such as TikTok vying for users’ attention, critics have underscored that the success of Musk’s rebranding strategy will undoubtedly face challenges as the viability of company’s future remains uncertain.

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Plimer

 

 

Viper
https://twitter.com/i/status/1683884068000215044

 

 

Peacock

 

 

Idolomantis diabolica
https://twitter.com/i/status/1683874828694982657

 

 


The exact moment the sunlight penetrates the wings of a Black and white Jacobin hummingbird revealing a secret of nature that cannot be seen with our eyes. No digital manipulation. IG: christianspencerphoto

 

 

Metallica
https://twitter.com/i/status/1683773227389140992

 

 

 

 

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