After ugly earnings from Walmart yesterday, terrible earnings and guidance from Target, both of which confirmed the US consumer is now tapped out, moments ago the company which has served as the backbone of the internet for the past 30 years and is the biggest maker of computer-networking equipment, the $200-billion CISCO, reported earnings which wiped out about 20%, or $40 billion, from its market cap in seconds.
First, here is what the company reported for the just concluded 3rd fiscal quarter, where things were ugly, if not terrible:
According to a May 13 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo, threats have been made to "burn down or storm" the Supreme Court building.
The threats come as protesters have spent weeks outside the homes of conservative justices, who have been relocated along with their families for their protection.
The DHS memo carefully explains that rhetoric supporting violent extremism does not itself constitute extremism.
"The mere advocacy of political or social positions, political activism, use of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent tactics does not constitute domestic violent extremism or illegal activity and is constitutionally protected," it reportedly reads.
A DHS spokesperson told Fox News that the agency is "committed to protecting Americans' freedom of speech and other civil rights and civil liberties, including the right to peacefully protest," adding "DHS is also committed to working with our partners across every level of government and the private sector to share timely information and intelligence, prevent all forms of violence, and to support law enforcement efforts to keep our communities safe."
Webmaster addition: Biden Admin Wants a Wave Of Summer Violence Over Roe v. Wade
The increase in deaths not attributed to COVID-19 in the working-age population during the summer and into the fall of last year hit white-collar workers more than the blue- and grey-collar ones, according to life insurance data.
In the white-collar sector, mortality jumped 24 percent in the period the data pertained to (April 2020-September 2021). Less than 64 percent of those were attributed to COVID-19. In the blue-collar sector, mortality increased by 19 percent, of which over 80 percent was attributed to COVID-19.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will soon conduct large-scale exercises in the Baltics, with thousands of troops from more than a dozen nations set to take part in war games just 40 miles from the nearest Russian military base.
Dubbed "Hedgehog," the drills will kick off later this week in Estonia and run until June 3, meant to simulate a Russian invasion. They will involve 15,000 troops from 14 countries – including the United States, Britain, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Norway, as well as non-NATO members Ukraine, Georgia, Sweden and Finland.
“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech.” - Benjamin Franklin
Beware of those who want to monitor, muzzle, catalogue and censor speech.
Especially be on your guard when the reasons given for limiting your freedoms end up expanding the government’s powers.
In the wake of a mass shooting in Buffalo, NY, carried out by an 18-year-old gunman in military gear allegedly motivated by fears that the white race is in danger of being replaced, there have been renewed calls for social media monitoring, censorship of flagged content that could be construed as dangerous or hateful, and limitations on free speech activities, particularly online.
As expected, those who want safety at all costs will clamor for more gun control measures (if not at an outright ban on weapons for non-military, non-police personnel), widespread mental health screening of the general population and greater scrutiny of military veterans, more threat assessments and behavioral sensing warnings, more surveillance cameras with facial recognition capabilities, more “See Something, Say Something” programs aimed at turning Americans into snitches and spies, more metal detectors and whole-body imaging devices at soft targets, more roaming squads of militarized police empowered to do random bag searches, more fusion centers to centralize and disseminate information to law enforcement agencies, and more surveillance of what Americans say and do, where they go, what they buy and how they spend their time.
Missouri lawmakers passed legislation that prevents state licensing boards from disciplining doctors who prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.
Sponsored by Rep. Brenda Kay Shields (R-Mo.), HB 2149 also bars pharmacists from questioning doctors or disputing patients regarding the usage of such drugs and their efficacy.
With a convincing 130–4 vote in the House, HB 2149 passed both chambers on May 12 and currently heads to the office of Gov. Mike Parson to be potentially signed into law.
“The board shall not deny, revoke, or suspend, or otherwise take any disciplinary action against, a certificate of registration or authority, permit, or license required by this chapter for any person due to the lawful dispensing, distributing, or selling of ivermectin tablets or hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets for human use in accordance with prescriber directions,” reads the draft of the bill (pdf).
Last week, we shared extensive empirical evidence that the US housing market is starting to crack when we quoted regional managers from John Burns Real Estate Consulting, all of whom agreed on one (or more) of three things: i) Demand is slowing, namely entry-level due to payment shock; ii) Investors are pulling back; and iii) Ripple effect of rising rates starting to hit move-up market. Here are some excerpts:
Dallas builder: “Interest lists are shrinking or buyers are truly pausing.”
Houston builder: “Many first-time buyers simply no longer qualify with the increase in interest rates, as their debt-to-income ratio gets out of whack.”
San Antonio builder: “Traffic has been cut in half since the hike in rates.”
Raleigh builder: “Investor activity has slowed dramatically.”
Provo builder: “Investors are evaluating the investment more critically than in the past.”
Washington DC builder: “Traffic half what it was in March. Worried about first time buyers. Many fewer REAL buyers than number of people collected on interest list last 6 months. Certainly more attempts [from buyers] to negotiate.”
Seattle builder: “Pause by a large population of buyers. To achieve our desired [sales] pace, we had to make price adjustments. Rates starting to knock people out of qualification.”
Day 2 of the Michael Sussmann trial started with some housekeeping. Here are the rulings of note:
Robby Mook, who has a scheduled vacation in Spain, will testify on Friday. He’s a defense witness.
Evidence of Steele’s meetings with Sussmann and Fusion GPS in July 2016, and his tasking to conduct research on Alfa Bank, according to the judge, “can come in.” The judge observed they are “relevant to Mr. Sussmann’s activities for the campaign and his attorney-client relationship, as far as it went, with the campaign as it relates to Alfa-Bank.”
Onto the witnesses. We start with the short testimony of Deborah Fine.
Fine began working for the Hillary Clinton Campaign (aka Hillary for America) as “one of several deputy general counsels” in May 2016. She answered to Marc Elias, the campaign’s general counsel.
After being presented with calendar entries confirming her daily calls with Fusion GPS, she testified that she worked with them as “part of my work for the campaign.” In fact, she regularly interacted with Glenn Simpson and co-founder Peter Fritsch. Fine conceded that Fusion GPS were seemingly free to conduct research on their own, stating she “personally didn’t direct them” to accomplish specific tasks.
On cross, she admitted she didn’t now if Marc Elias spoke to anyone else at the Clinton Campaign about the activities of Fusion GPS. She was out of the loop regarding efforts to bring the Alfa Bank allegations to the NY Times or to the FBI.
The cost of living crisis will trigger an increase in crime and officers should use their “discretion” when deciding whether to prosecute people who steal in order to eat, the new chief inspector of constabulary has said.
“The impact of poverty, and the impact of lack of opportunity for people, does lead to an increase in crime. There’s no two ways about that,” Andy Cooke said as inflation hit a 40-year high of 9%.
When asked how policing could avoid being seen as the arm of an uncaring state, he said forces across England and Wales were skilled in dealing with the tensions and dynamics of their communities.
“What they’ve got to bear in mind is what is the best thing for the community, and that individual, in the way they deal with those issues. And I certainly fully support police officers using their discretion – and they need to use discretion more often.”
Justice-designate Ketanji Brown Jackson said she was “shocked” by the leaked Supreme Court draft decision that would repeal Roe v. Wade.
“Everybody who is familiar with the court and the way in which it works was shocked by that. Such a departure from normal order,” she told the Washington Post in an interview published Monday.
Jackson, 51, refused to answer whether the leak is a “good thing or a bad thing” and said she does not “have any comment” on the rallies outside the homes of several Supreme Court Justices.
Last month, the Senate verified Jackson, the first Black female justice, to the high court to replace Justice Stephen Breyer, 83. Jackson said she feels prepared for the “momentous” role but stressed there is some pressure in being the first.
Organizers hoping to remove Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said Wednesday that they have collected a substantial portion of signatures and were on the "cusp" of qualifying the effort to bring the matter before voters.
The Recall George Gascon campaign has so far collected more than 450,000 signatures as of Sunday, it said. That leaves the group with 50 days left to collect the remaining number of the 566,857 signatures needed from registered voters.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann is currently on trial for lying to the FBI about his role in pushing data pertaining to alleged communications between Trump and the Russian Alfa Bank. According to Special Counsel John Durham, Sussmann lied when he brought that data to the FBI’s General Counsel James Baker as part of the Clinton campaign’s efforts to trigger an FBI investigation of her opponent, Donald Trump. Specifically, Sussmann allegedly wrote Baker a text message claiming he was not representing anyone in providing the information when, in fact, he was representing the Clinton campaign.
In a surprising move, Sussmann’s defense team last week disclosed three sets of handwritten Department of Justice (DOJ) notes of a March 6, 2017 meeting between high-ranking DOJ and FBI officials. Durham gave the notes written by DOJ officials Tashina Gauhar, Mary McCord, and Scott Schools to Sussmann’s team as part of Durham’s discovery obligations.
While the notes contain a one-line hearsay suggestion that may cast doubt on Sussmann’s earlier claim that he was not representing anyone, their broader significance lies in what they reveal about the FBI’s strategy in the months leading up to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday ahead of meetings in Germany with health ministers from other G7 countries.
"He is fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, and is experiencing mild symptoms. He will continue to perform his duties as HHS Secretary, working in isolation," HHS spokesperson Sarah Lovenheim said in a statement.
"HHS has consulted with, and taken every step advised and required by, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and German public health authorities."
Florida AG Ashley Moody, who led the nationwide effort to disband the Disinformation Governance Board says the Biden Administration underestimated the American people when they tried to launch the initiative. Moody shared her thoughts on Fox & Friends First Thursday morning.
“I think they underestimated the American people. And those of us that were paying attention to their calculated, orchestration to mislead the public…Americans have had enough —I’ve had enough,” Moody says. “I think you’re going to see a November like we’ve never seen.”
“The White House needs to remember that this government is merely ‘We The People.'”
A Washington state school board director is slated to host a "Queer Youth Open Mic Night" for children ranging from ages 0-18 at a sex shop.
"All queer youth (0 to 18 years old) are invited to share poetry, music, or a story at our open mic night. Sign up for a performer spot ahead of time, 5-minute time limit," a Facebook post from the sex shop WinkWink in Bellingham, Washington, says.
WinkWink is described as a "woman-owned, identity-inclusive sex shop" that is "sex-positive, body-positive, and gender-affirming." The sex shop is owned by Jenn Mason, the school board director for the Bellingham School District, KTTH radio host Jason Rantz reported Wednesday.
The Biden administration is considering using Obamacare to force some health insurers to cover in-vitro fertilization for gay couples who want children. The administration would update the Affordable Care Act to change "the definition of infertility often used by insurance plans to determine…
Georgia has seen record-breaking turnout for early voting despite passing an election security law last year that critics panned as "voter suppression" and President Biden said harkened back to the era of "Jim Crow"
"The record early voting turnout is a testament to the security of the voting system and the hard work of our county election officials," Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said of the numbers Wednesday. "As Secretary of State, I promised to strike a strong balance between access and security in our elections, and these numbers demonstrate that I kept that promise and that voters have confidence in Georgia’s elections."
Georgia has seen 539,297 people cast ballots as of Tuesday, far outpacing the 182,684 by this point in the 2018 midterm primary elections, according to data compiled by Georgia Votes.
Webmaster addition: More signs of election rigging?
One of the most galling aspects of the Hunter Biden laptop saga is that the 51 former intelligence officials who played such a critical role in suppressing The Post’s stories and giving Joe Biden cover before the 2020 election have never been brought to account.
The “Dirty 51” lied by painting our stories as Russian disinformation in an Oct. 19, 2020, letter they signed and delivered to Politico five days after The Post exposé and three days before the final presidential debate of the election campaign.
They used the institutional weight of their powerful former roles to legitimize partisan political propaganda designed to smear The Post and everyone associated with the story and dissuade the rest of the media from looking deeper into the laptop.
The letter, titled “Public Statement on the Hunter Biden emails,” and signed by former CIA Directors John Brennan, Leon Panetta and Mike Hayden, former acting CIA Director Michael Morell, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and other ex-spooks, claimed the material on Hunter’s hard drive “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” although not one of them had seen it.
At least 135 teachers and teachers’ aides have been arrested so far this year on child sex-related crimes in the U.S., ranging from child pornography to raping students.
An analysis conducted by Fox News Digital looked at local news stories week by week featuring arrests of teachers and teachers’ aides on child sex-related crimes in school districts across the country. Arrests that weren't publicized were not counted in the analysis, meaning the true number may well be higher.
The analysis found that at least 135 teachers and teachers’ aides have been arrested in 41 states between January 1 and May 13, which works out to about an arrest a day on average.
The vast majority of the arrested educators were men.
Central banks…why bother? Inflation is here and it cannot be contained. US inflation is touching a 40-year high, the UK has hit the 40-year high, and the EU’s has already hit an all-time high.
Figures of 8%, 9%, and 7% respectively are bad enough. This gives people strong enough reason to want to abolish central banks.
But the pain of rising expenses is made so much worse by the fact that no central banker has put their hands up and admitted they got it wrong.
So many are pointing to Putin and the pandemic as reasons for these record numbers.
With this in mind, we ask do we need central banks at all. Because if they can’t protect the value of the currency for the sake of the average saver and spender. Also, admit that they don’t know what to do then what are they here for?
A REPUBLICAN-BACKED super PAC on Tuesday fell short in its bid to intervene in a Democratic primary against Pennsylvania state Rep. Summer Lee, a 34-year-old Black woman and rising star in the party, who fended off a tsunami of outside money to best anti-union attorney Steve Irwin. The spending, from a GOP-backed super PAC linked to AIPAC — the American Israel Public Affairs Committee — left Irwin behind by less than 1,000 votes.
A super PAC funded by the pharmaceutical industry blew more than a million dollars in an effort to salvage the career of former Blue Dog Coalition Chair Kurt Schrader, the Oregon Democrat who cast the deciding vote against drug pricing reform in the House Energy and Commerce Committee and organized with Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., to derail President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. His opponent, Jamie McLeod-Skinner, lambasted him repeatedly as the “Joe Manchin of the House.” Because Oregon votes by mail, and some ballots were blurred and unreadable in areas favorable to Schrader, results may not be known until early next week, but despite a funding disparity of some 10 to 1, the incumbent is on the ropes.
I struggled significantly to breastfeed my first child, and when she was six-months-old, my milk could no longer support her growing needs. Baby formula became an absolute necessity.
Even though I more-and-more successfully breastfed each of the three babies that followed and learned how to get off to a great start with breastfeeding, at that point in time, we both reluctantly and gratefully relied on baby formula to help her grow.
The problem was, however, that about a week after we had made the switch to full-time formula, the entire water supply to our beautiful city of millions of people became tainted with e-coli and was utterly undrinkable. Bottled water was severely limited.
And as you likely know, no water = no formula = no food for our infant daughter.
The deliberate blocking of a wide range of early intervention therapeutics was a fraud – and a homicidal one at that.
The socially catastrophic lockdowns made no difference whatsoever to the outcome other than to increase human misery to the point of never before levels of suicide, death from alcoholism, and drug overdose not to mention the forcing of at least 150 million of the world’s already-struggling into extreme poverty.
The rushed-by-fraud-and-hysteria vaccines, based on speculative, garbage science, are not effective.
The vaccines are proving to be dangerous and are already known to be doing more measurable harm to certain populations (like boys and young men) than CoVid has.
The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland is slated to have immense security measures for its elite participants, including 5,000 military personnel and a strictly enforced no-fly zone.
According to Reuters, for the security of the global elite, Switzerland has offered 5,000 members of its military to aid the local police force during this year’s WEF annual meeting from May 22 and May 26. As of right now, many soldiers are already erecting large security fencing around the meeting compound while members of the Swiss Air Force are set to fly overhead during the conference to ensure a no-fly zone is maintained.
The globalist conference will feature as many as 2,000 political and industry leaders, who will convene to discuss their plans for “pandemic recovery, tackling climate change, the future for work, accelerating stakeholder capitalism, and harnessing new technologies.”
His plan to buy Twitter is now on hold after billionaire Elon Musk came to the conclusion that most of Twitter is just artificial intelligence (AI) robots posing as human users.
Based on his team’s assessment, Musk believes that up to 90 percent of Twitter’s entire platform is fake. The vast majority of its “daily users,” it appears, are automated spam bots that the tech giant uses to induce mass formation psychosis and other forms of brainwashing.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is likely behind the AI bot front on Twitter. These same spam bots are also likely present on other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram as well.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson continues to dominate in the ratings, but perhaps surprisingly, the conservative host is drawing the most young viewers in all of cable news.
Despite the best efforts of Democrats and the liberal media to slow the tide, Carlson’s primetime show is leading the way in drawing viewers in the key 25-54 year old demographic.
The numbers, according to Adweek, show Carlson’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” bringing in 508,000 viewers in the coveted demo, easily topping network colleague Laura Ingraham, whose show “The Ingraham Angle” hit 387,000.
Overall, the conservative anchor’s show saw 3.16 million viewers, second only to “The Five” with 3.30 million.
Fates of Ukrainian militants who surrendered at the Azovstal steelworks will be decided in court, the DPR Head Denis Pushilin said.
"As for war criminals, and those who are nationalists, if they laid down arms, their fate will be decided in court. No matter what emotions some people might feel, and I know that opinions differ, if the enemy laid down arms, his further fate is decided by a court. If it's a nationalist criminal, it's a tribunal," Pushilin said during his visit to Mariupol.
He specified that not only commanders, but also those who acted on their commands and who stick to the Nazi ideology in their actions and deeds, especially in relation to civilians, are considered war criminals.
Almost a thousand of Ukrainian militants at the Azovstal steel works have laid down arms, the DPR Territorial Defence HQ said earlier.
We all know that Democrats and the left love to operate on the premise of “never let a good crisis go to waste.” But now, as the midterm elections are looming before them, they are working off of another cliche: make hay while the sun shines.
Translation: silence your opponents before they hand you a historic butt-whoopin’.
The latest event the left is working off of is the unfathomable shooting at a Buffalo, New York grocery store last week. Ten people were killed for doing nothing but making an innocent trip to the store.
But for Democrats, it became midterm election gold. Look no further than the latest completely deranged segment on MSNBC, replete with calls to “jail” people who share “misinformation” and to designate the Republican Party as a “domestic terrorist” group.
Disney’s favourability rating has taken a massive dive since last year, a new poll has revealed, which sees the company’s approval collapsing from 77% to an embarrassing 33% amongst respondents.
Unsurprisingly, these are not the results that mainstream media outlets wanted to focus on.
For context, the poll was commissioned by NBC News and conducted by Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies from the 5th of May through the 10th of May, asking a total of 1,000 adults a series of questions in relation to politics, political figures, and Disney.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenski, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, President and Vice President of the United States — Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, respectively — as well as former President Donald Trump are amongst the political figures mentioned in the poll.
The British comedian Ricky Gervais has never been afraid to speak out against cancel culture. He did so once again last night while appearing on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” where he shut down the cancel culture mob by saying that “smart people” don’t get offended by jokes.
Hacking Democracy looks at how votes are counted in the US and the irregularities that occurred during the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. This documentary tracks Bev Harris and Kathleen Wynne of the Black Box Voting election watchdog group, who set out to uncover just how far the electronic voting system can be tampered with.
Wynne films a secret video of Harris finding audit records from a voting machine inside a trash bag in Volusia County. They also caught election workers from Cuyahoga County, Ohio on tape admitting that the initial 3% recount ballots were not selected at random.
This documentary shows that there are multiple ways to alter voting results. One method relayed was to amend the database file with the total number of votes. Another technique tested was to hack the computer code and add minus votes to one candidate in a race so the other person wins.
A quarter of Britons have resorted to skipping meals as inflationary pressures and a worsening food crisis conflate in what the Bank of England recently dubbed an “apocalyptic” outlook for consumers.
More than four in five people in the U.K. are worried about rising living costs and their ability to afford basics necessities like food and energy over the coming months, according to a new survey released Tuesday.
In a survey of 2,000 Britons conducted by Ipsos and Sky News, 89% said they were concerned about how the cost-of-living crisis would affect the country as a whole over the next six months, while 83% were concerned about their personal circumstances.
The UK government admits that the COVID-19 Experimental mRNA "vaccine" has damaged the natural immune system of those who have been double-dosed.
The government has confessed that double-vaxxed (or more) people, will never -- ever -- be able to acquire full natural immunity to COVID variants - or possibly any other virus.
Keen observers of this COVID debacle are now saying "The real pandemic will now begin" because all the people whose immune systems are permanently damaged, may not be able to fight-off __any__ future viral infection!
In its Week 42 "COVID-19 Vaccine Surveillance Report," (Direct Link HERE) the UK Department of Health admits on page 23 that:
"N antibody levels appear to be lower in people who become infected after two doses of [the vax]."
It goes on to say that this drop in antibodies is essentially - get this - permanent.
Russia said Tuesday that 265 Ukrainian soldiers holed up in Mariupol’s besieged Azovstal steel plant had “surrendered,” contradicting Kyiv’s account that the evacuated soldiers would be exchanged later.
The fate of the fighters is now uncertain, with Ukraine calling for an immediate prisoner swap and Russian lawmakers calling for them to be criminally prosecuted.
“The surrender of fighters from the Azov nationalist unit and Ukrainian servicemen blocked in the Azovstal plant in Mariupol began yesterday,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a daily briefing.
Russia’s military said 265 fighters, 51 of whom were seriously wounded, “laid down their arms.”
Those in need of medical assistance were sent to a hospital in the town of Novoazovsk, which is controlled by pro-Russia separatists, it added.
The Russians captured the sea side city of Mariupol in late April, which consisted of all the parts of the city inhabited by regular folks and the government buildings. A remnant of the Azov Battalion–a proven neo-Nazi organization–retreated into the bowels of the Avostal Steel plant. Initially, the Russians set up a security cordon around the massive facility and seemed prepared to wait them out. But Russia changed its mind and its operation and re-commenced a ferocious artillery, bomber and missile barrage with the intent of killing the Azov remnants or forcing their surrender.
Between 270 and 300 Azov members opted to survive and surrendered today to the Russians.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has confirmed in its social networks, on Tuesday evening, that its servicemen holed up at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol have been ordered to surrender.
“The garrison “Mariupol” has completed the assigned combat mission. The highest military command issued an order to the commanders of the units located at Azovstal to save the lives of the personnel,” the Ukrainian military statement explained. According to Kiev, while holding positions at Azovstal, its soldiers prevented Russian troops from operating in other theaters.
Jen Psaki Net Worth is $27 Million US Dollars. Jen Psaki is the White House secretary under the current Biden administration. Jen Psaki began her career in 2001 with the re-election campaigns of Iowa Democrats Tom Harkin for the U.S. Senate and Tom Vilsack for governor. Jen Psaki owns top luxury car brands like Jaguar and BMW. As the secretary of the White House, Jen Psaki draws an annual take-home salary of over $180,000. Jen Psaki also owns many assets and house properties in Washington and California. In November 2020, Psaki left CNN and joined the Biden-Harris transition team. You Should see Secrets of Nancy Pelosi’s Wealth.
Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislators have caused a stir with their plan to increase taxes to pay for the state’s unquestionably decrepit infrastructure of roads and bridges. Instead of thinking of this as a new transportation tax, however, Californians should see it as a pension tax, given the extra money plugs a hole caused by growing retirement payments to public employees.
Consider this sobering news from the CalMatters’ Judy Lin in January: “New projections show the state’s annual bill for retirement obligations is expected to reach $11 billion by the time Brown leaves office in January 2019 – nearly double what it was eight years earlier.” That’s the state’s “annual bill,” i.e., the direct costs taken from the general-fund budget. That number doesn’t even include those “unfunded” pension liabilities that according to some estimates top $1 trillion.
That’s more than double the $5.2 billion a year the Brown administration hopes to raise from a plan that would boost gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon, raise the vehicle-license fee by $25 to $175 a year (depending on the value of the vehicle), impose a $100 annual fee on electric cars because they don’t currently pay gas taxes and include a large hike on diesel fuel. Money is fungible, so if the state overspends on pensions, it has to make it up somewhere else.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Breitbart News Daily that America has to borrow the money to send $40 billion in aid to Ukraine.
Breitbart News Daily host Alex Marlow spoke with Paul as the Senate remains poised to pass legislation that would send $40 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine while Americans grapple with inflation and food shortages. Paul has “single handedly” worked to hold up the Ukraine package, contending that the package needs an inspector general to ensure that the billions of dollars are spent wisely.
Consortium News is in London as the home secretary decides whether to extradite Julian Assange. Watch Stella Assange’s address at the Home Office plus a CN Live! interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson.
Stella Assange spoke to about 300 protestors on Tuesday outside the Home Office in London, where Home Secretary Priti Patel will decide by May 31 whether to extradite imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, to the United States. He faces up to 175 years in prison for revealing America’s war crimes and other dirty secrets. On Tuesday, Assange’s lawyers made their final submissions to Patel. Following Stella Assange’s address, CN Live! spoke for 22 minutes with WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson. Interview and photos by Joe Lauria. Videos by Cathy Vogan.
NBC’s Meet the Press just aired an absolutely freakish segment in which the influential narrative management firm Center for a New American Security (CNAS) ran war games simulating a direct U.S. hot war with China.
CNAS is funded by the Pentagon and by military-industrial complex corporations Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, as well as the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, which as Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp notes is the de facto Taiwanese embassy in the U.S.
The war game simulates a conflict over Taiwan which we are informed is set in the year 2027, in which China launches strikes on the U.S. military in order to open the way to an invasion of the island. We are not told why there needs to be a specific year inserted into mainstream American consciousness about when we can expect such a conflict, but then we are also not told why NBC is platforming a war machine think tank’s simulation of a military conflict with China at all.
The special military operation in Ukraine has been at the center of the ongoing information war between the political West and Russia for nearly 3 months now. Unequivocal support for the Kiev regime is an absolute must for the political and mass media elites in NATO and EU countries. Within this framework, portraying the Ukrainian crisis as a sort of defeat for Russia has been the norm. To keep this narrative, Western mainstream media spend most of their time desperately trying to twist reality. But to do that more effectively, they need absolute dominance, not just in their own media space, but around the globe.
Keeping the narrative in the political West is made possible by simply banning or suppressing any alternative source of information. In such a media climate, getting reliable information has become a laborious task. To ease the effort, we have decided to talk to Colonel Wolf, a retired military officer and former member of an air defense unit of the Yugoslav Army. Colonel Wolf has been in the military for 40 years before retiring and has extensive combat experience, including against a vastly superior air force, as he had fought to defend his country from US and NATO airstrikes in 1999.
On December 25, the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun published a government document dated December 20 about Japan's intention to develop small nuclear warheads. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki immediately refuted the report's authenticity, saying, "The government does not know anything about the existence of the document." Nevertheless, the question of a Japanese nuclear bomb remains open.
After coming to power, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet announced their intention to make a fundamental change in military policy. What was hushed up before is turning into a national program. Using the North Korean threat as an excuse, the government is urging the nation to give up the constitution's pacifist clauses, embark on the formation of powerful armed forces, put a legal stamp of approval on the right of the Japanese army and navy to participate in military operations in any part of the world together with the United States, and set up a government intelligence service modeled after the CIA.
Joe Biden leaves Thursday for his first trip as president to Asia convinced that the confrontation with Russia has reinvigorated US leadership, while wary that a rogue North Korean nuclear test could tear up the optimistic script.
The Democrat is going to South Korea, then Japan on Sunday to hold summits with the leaders of both countries, as well as joining a regional summit of the Quad group -- Australia, India, Japan, and the United States -- while in Tokyo.
During the first leg, he will visit US and South Korean troops, but will not make the traditional presidential trek to the fortified frontier known as the DMZ between South Korea and the unpredictable, isolated dictatorship of North Korea, the White House said.
Japan’s nuclear regulator on Wednesday approved plans by the operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant to release its treated radioactive waste water into the sea next year, saying the outlined methods are safe and risks to the environment minimal.
The plan was submitted by the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings in December based on the government’s decision last year to release the waste water as a necessary step for the ongoing plant cleanup and decommission.
A massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011 destroyed the Fukushima plant’s cooling systems, causing the meltdown of three reactors and the release of large amounts of radiation. Water that has been used to cool the three damaged reactor cores, which remain highly radioactive, has since leaked but was collected and stored in tanks.
There is still concern in the community and neighboring countries about the potential health hazards of the release of the waste water that includes tritium — a byproduct of nuclear power production and a possible carcinogen at high levels.
Russia’s Security Council is aware of the great risks posed by the special pseudo-scholarly infrastructure that generates myths about the Ukrainian nationalists’ allegedly "heroic struggle."
"After World War II thousands of Western Ukrainians, many of them Nazi collaborators, fled the territory of Ukraine to the United States, Canada and Latin America, where large diasporas emerged in the second half of last century," the deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Alexander Venediktov, said at a meeting with foreign ambassadors in Moscow on Wednesday.
He stressed that "in this environment there emerge and multiply myths of a ‘heroic struggle’ by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, OUN (outlawed in Russia) for independent Ukraine and, what is still more important, a whole pseudo-scholarly infrastructure has been created to enhance this narrative. Harvard Ukrainian Studies has become one of the largest such centers," Venediktov said.
“Everyone started shooting two, or three shots at a time. It went on for fifteen, twenty minutes. We had no choice. We were ordered to shoot both on the police and demonstrators without any difference.” – Testimony of one of the snipers, hired to fire down into the crowd in Maidan Square.
“Euromaidan” the uprising in Kiev, in 2014 was presented to the public, as a democratic revolution. What it really was, a bloody coup by the Obama/Biden administration, to overthrow a democratically elected government. 
The EU’s European Commission on Wednesday announced a plan to completely wean itself off of Russian energy imports by 2027 that will cost the bloc $220 billion.
Under the plan, the EU would work to import more non-Russian gas, accelerate plans to use more renewable energy, and put in more effort to save energy. “We are taking our ambition to yet another level to make sure that we become independent from Russian fossil fuels as quickly as possible,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.
The $220 billion includes $90 billion for investments in renewable, $30 billion for power grids, $59 billion for energy saving and heat pumps, and $27 billion for hydrogen infrastructure. The EU would also invest $10 billion for gas infrastructure and $2.1 billion for oil infrastructure.
Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has whipped up U.S. opposition against Vladimir Putin like a would-be Stonewall Jackson.
Even before the invasion, on February 22, 2022 Graham announced he’d be working with his Democratic colleagues to “create a task force of the Department of Justice, Department of State, Treasury, and maybe DOD to go after [Russian] oligarchs,” adding, “I want to see cops take apartments, fine art, and seize yachts from a bunch of thugs and crooks. I want to put money on the table to have more weapons for Ukraine to fight. I want more protection when it comes to cyber, and I want to go at this big and I want to go at it hard.”
In the wake of the invasion, on March 3 Graham introduced a Senate Resolution condemning Vladimir Putin and other members of the Russian state as war criminals. The Resolution, which unanimously passed the Senate on March 15, also proclaimed support for investigations of Russian war crimes pending in the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This proclaimed support comes despite the fact that the U.S. has repeatedly undermined the courts’ jurisdiction over itself and investigations it disproves of.
Israeli police arrested over 50 Palestinians in Jerusalem in the past 48 hours, the Jerusalem Detainees Families’ Committee’s spokesperson, Amjad Abu Assab, told The New Arab.
The arrests happened in the aftermath of the funeral of 23-year-old Palestinian Waleed Al-Sharif, late on Monday, after Israeli police stormed the funeral with dozens of police personnel at the Sahira Gate cemetery.
Confrontations erupted between mourners and Israeli police, who threw stun grenades, tear gas and fired rubber-coated bullets. Some 16 Palestinians were injured according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. Six Israeli policemen were injured after Palestinian mourners threw stones and fire works at them, according to Israeli media.
Russia’s Foreign Minister made bizarre comments shared on social media last week saying that if people are losing sleep over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, they could compare Ukraine to Palestine.
Sergei Lavrov, one of President Vladimir Putin's closest allies, said he saw advice on Telegram from the Middle East claiming that to "calm down" amid the conflict, you can imagine the war is happening in Africa or the Middle East.
"Imagine Ukraine is Palestine, imagine Russia is the United States," he said in a video which has now been watched more than 80,000 times.
When I sat down on Sunday as I normally do to go through the previous week's emails and to sort the "blogables" and "honourable mentions," I ran across this very interesting email (and article) from W.G., and the header of the email said "Is Natostan cracking?" I thought that was such a good headliner I read the article he sent along with it, and it's one of those "quiet but important" articles because it foretells a world of geopolitical mischief, and the financial instability that goes with it. If you're looking for geopolitical or political reasons for the "great crypto-crash of '22" (see last Monday's blog), this may be it:
Now I grant you, trying to figure out exactly what it going on in this war in the Ukraine is difficult. Both parties to the conflict, Russia and the West, have ramped up the propaganda efforts tremendously, though in my opinion, the propaganda efforts seem much more intense on the part of the west. To read some of the speculations going around on the internet, Russia's on her last legs, Mr. Putin is undeniably sick, and a coup could topple him any minute now. There are even similar rumours about Mr. Xi suffering brain aneurisms and about to be toppled, &c &c.
But the article above paints a rather different picture. Consider its 8 points:
Illinois has become the first midwestern state to ban so-called 'ghost guns,' with officials claiming the untraceable firearms are tied to rising crime.
Governor JB Pritzker, a Democrat, signed the new law on Wednesday in a ceremony at St. Sabina Church in Chicago, with Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other officials in attendance.
Ghost guns are often made using 3D printers to fabricate key firearm parts that lack serial numbers, and the new law bans making, buying or selling such weapons.
Webmaster addition: Like most government projects, this will not accomplish anything. Home-built guns account for just .3% of gun crime. Crime is soaring because the government does not want to punish criminals but does want to punish law-abiding gun owners!
A former Black Lives Matter leader admitted the charity was not prepared to handle such a large influx of what she called 'white guilt money' donated after the murder of George Floyd - and argues mistakes made with the funds are now being 'weaponized against her.'
Patrisse Cullors, who co-founded the charity in 2013, said BLM saw an unexpected 'tsunami of funding' - to the tune of $90 million - after Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police in 2020 and argued the charity did not have the infrastructure to support the donations.
'It was a major shock,' she told MSNBC's Into America podcast Monday. 'You know, contrary to what, you know, has been reported, much of the funding that came in was from individual donors. That was a lot of white guilt money. There's a lot of white folks being like, 'We just got to put the money.''
The Justice Department has closed a probe into a public affairs firm that did work on behalf of the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma which had Hunter Biden serving in a lucrative post on its board of directors, according to a new report.
The firm, Blue Star Strategies, was not found to have committed wrongdoing, the Washington Post reported.
However it did submit a filing that acknowledged it had done work on behalf of Burisma and owner Mykola Zlochevsky back in 2015 and 2016, although its earlier forms did not report it.
President Joe Biden was blasted by outraged parents who believe his 'incompetent' administration waited too long to address the nationwide baby formula shortage that has left families scrambling to find ways to feed their infants.
Biden, on Wednesday evening, invoked the Defense Production Act to boost baby formula production and issued a directive for planes to bring in supplies from overseas, after growing pressure from Congress.
In addition to invoking the Cold War-era law to compel suppliers to direct resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer, Biden announced 'Operation Fly Formula.'
The fact is, Zelensky would rather shame the west into precipitating WWIII than own up to the fact that the aggressive anti-Russian actions of his own government fostered the calamity that now besets his country. Those foolish actions include his pledges to forcibly take back Crimea, join NATO, and re-acquire nukes – along with the launch, before Russia’s February 24th invasion, of an all-out offensive against the Russian-speakers of the Donbas.
Western politicians have been taking advantage of the largest conventional military conflict on European soil since World War II to crack down on civil liberties at home and drag their countries closer to an open conflict with a nuclear power. The domestic measures Western governments have pursued have been particularly breathtaking.
For example, the European Union has already banned Russian state media outlets such as RT and Sputnik for allegedly spreading disinformation. In the United States, which has stronger free speech protections, the assaults against freedom of expression had taken a more corporate hue. For example, Big Tech juggernauts such as Google have enthusiastically blocked channels receiving funding from Russia.
Even more egregious have been the actions of EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organization members such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia. These countries have criminalized any behavior that could be construed as being in support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As news of the COVID pandemic winds down around the world, we’re suddenly seeing warnings of another pandemic brewing — bird flu, aka avian influenza (H5N1)
Natural bird flu is notoriously harmless to humans, but Bill Gates and Dr. Anthony Fauci have, for many years, funded research to develop a bird flu pathogen capable of infecting humans
Some of that research has been undertaken in Pentagon-funded biolabs in Ukraine
Gates funded research by Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka, in which the bird flu virus was mixed with the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) virus, creating an airborne hybrid capable of completely evading the human immune system, effectively rendering humans defenseless against it
The U.S. and other countries have already started stockpiling H5N1 vaccine, and the H5N1 vaccine Audenz is being marketed “for 2022.” As if on cue, the first-ever H5N1-positive case was identified in the U.S. at the end of April 2022
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that President Biden’s border policies would secure him “honorary” membership in a Mexican drug cartel.
Speaking at an unrelated press conference in Okaloosa County, DeSantis panned Biden for allowing a Trump-era border control measure to end and argued that the country’s southern perimeter has come undone.
“He is violating his own oath of office by allowing massive numbers of people to come across the border illegally,” DeSantis said. “Those border communities are just getting killed down in southern Texas with everything coming in.”
DeSantis said porous borders are accelerating America’s fentanyl crisis and that narcotics are flowing over the border unchecked.
The project leader for several taxpayer-funded studies of Chinese bats and coronaviruses predicted the COVID-19 outbreak would max out at 20,000 cases, most of which would be "mild," according to largely unredacted emails provided to Just the News under the Freedom of Information Act.
They show EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak frequently communicated with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) officials from January-May 2020. The often-chummy messages provide his initially rosy projections, update them on his media interviews and suggest what Director Anthony Fauci should tell reporters.
He also sought their help getting EcoHealth's research deemed "essential" during New York City's lockdown and combating "conspiracy theories" that later harmed Daszak's work, including the lab-leak theory that experts considered plausible from the start.
Less than five months after firing more than 700 employees who failed to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by its self-imposed deadline, Mayo Clinic is facing a lawsuit from one former employee.
In early January the Rochester-based health system confirmed it had fired more than 700 employees – roughly 1 percent of a total 73,000 across all of Mayo Clinic locations.
Former employee turned plaintiff Shelley Kiel has filed a complaint to demand a jury trial, alleging Mayo Clinic didn’t have any case-by-case analysis or individualized interactive process to consider religious exemptions, and that their terminations were pre-determined.
A vast swath of North America from the Great Lakes to the West Coast is at risk of blackouts this summer as heat, drought, shuttered power plants and supply-chain woes strain the electric grid.
Power supplies in much of the US and part of Canada will be stretched, with demand growing again after two years of pandemic disruptions, according to an annual report. It’s among the most dire assessments yet from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, a regulatory body that oversees grid stability.
“It’s a pretty sobering report, and it’s clear the risks are spreading,” John Moura, director of reliability assessment and performance analysis, said in a press briefing. “I certainly do think it's our most cautionary tale here.”
The US Space Force plans to form three new squadrons in the next two years to bolster its intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.
The announcement was made by Space Operations Command Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting during an online discussion hosted by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies on Tuesday.
He revealed that the new squadrons would include a threat analysis squadron, a targeting squadron, and a PED (processing, exploitation, and dissemination) squadron.
“Think of missions like space domain awareness, electromagnetic warfare, missile warning, operational-level command and control, defensive cyber capabilities, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, satellite communications, precision, navigation, and timing, orbital warfare — and then we also run the bases from which we operate,” Whiting explained.
During a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky this past week, President Emmanuel Macron insisted that France would step up its military and humanitarian support for Ukraine.
There is no question that Macron is committed in this respect. Following his re-election during the final round against challenger Marine Le Pen, he was adamant about his desire to work actively during his second term to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, while always maintaining close coordination with his European partners and allies. He also indicated France’s readiness to contribute to an agreement that provides security guarantees for Ukraine.
Of course, a key part of this support is the supply of weapons. Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, France has always refused to specify exactly what type of armaments it was sending to Kiev.
The secret was finally revealed by Macron himself during an interview he gave on Thursday 21stApril to news media outlet Ouest France.
ust two weeks before Israeli forces assassinated beloved Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, the International Federation of Journalists, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate and the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians had submitted a formal complaint to the International Criminal Court accusing Israel of systematically targeting Palestinian journalists.
“The targeting of journalists and media organisations in Palestine violates the right to life and freedom of expression,” said Anthony Bellanger, the general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists.
In a moment when the Israeli government’s propaganda machine is working hard to keep mainstream news organizations mired in reporting on Israeli efforts to raise questions about who shot the bullet that killed Abu Akleh, we must insist on understanding her killing within the broader and ongoing context of Israeli violence against Palestinian journalists.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee emerged from Tuesday’s primary races in North Carolina and Pennsylvania with mixed results. Two of its three endorsed candidates emerged victorious, both in North Carolina, while its candidate's progressive opponent won in Pennsylvania despite unprecedented efforts to sway voters against her candidacy.
The results provide a Rorschach test of sorts for the sustainability and staying power of pro-Israel organizations’ attempts to dramatically alter Democratic primary races via previously unimaginable levels of spending. The pro-Israel groups spent millions of dollars on attacks ads – the majority of which had nothing to do with Israel – against their preferred candidates’ progressive challengers, causing significant alarm among those already concerned with the tone of the debate surrounding the Democratic Party’s support for Israel.
A US citizen and four Chinese intel officers were charged with acting as Chinese secret police to harass, stalk and spy on US residents critical to China.
“According to court documents, Wang Shujun, 73, of Queens, New York; Feng He, aka Boss He, of Guangdong; Jie Ji, of Qingdao; Ming Li, aka Elder Tang and Little Li, of Guangdong; and Keqing Lu aka Boss Lu, of Qingdao, allegedly participated in an espionage and transnational repression scheme in the United States and abroad.” the DOJ announced on Wednesday.
Crackpot lounge singer Nina Jankowicz, who has been wrong about every major issue the past 6 years, submitted her resignation letter on Wednesday.
“Scary Poppins” has been wrong about everything but she is a committed leftist.
In her letter of resignation, the Trump-hating leftist said, “It is deeply disappointing that mischaracterizations of the board became a distraction from the Department’s vital work, and indeed, along with recent events globally and nationally, embodies why it is necessary.”
Israeli authorities on Wednesday said they have given the go-ahead for flag-waving Jewish nationalists to march through the heart of the main Palestinian thoroughfare in Jerusalem’s Old City later this month, in a decision that threatens to re-ignite violence in the holy city.
The office of Internal Security Minister Omer Barlev said the march would take place on May 29 along its “customary route” through Damascus Gate.
Each year, thousands of Israeli nationalists participate in the march, waving Israeli flags, singing songs and in some cases, chanting anti-Arab slogans, as they pass by Palestinian onlookers and businesses.
Barlev’s office said the decision was made after consultations with police.
Russian default risk surged as investors began to digest the possibility that the Biden administration will fully block bond payments from the country to US investors from next week.
The move, if confirmed, may be the final straw in Russia’s debt saga after almost three months of war in Ukraine, pushing the country into its first foreign default in a century.
Insurance on Russian sovereign debt — used to protect investors against non-payment — jumped on Wednesday, signalling a 90% chance of a default within one year. That probability rose from 77% on Tuesday, according to ICE Data Services.
The leader of an Israeli far-right group called for the demolition of the Dome of the Rock Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Bentzi Gopstein, the founder and leader of Lehava, published the controversial post online in which he called on Israeli settlers to unite on "Jerusalem Day" on 29 May to break into Al-Aqsa and start dismantling the revered Muslim landmark and pave the way for building a Jewish temple at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
"Jerusalem Day, which falls on 29 May, is the day the demolition of the Dome of the Rock will begin," Gopstein wrote.
"Jerusalem Day" is an annual Israeli holiday celebrated on the 28th day of the month of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar, commemorating the city's “unification” when the Israeli military occupied East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed the Palestinian city in violation of international law.
The European Commission proposed on Wednesday an extra 9 billion euros ($9.5 billion) in EU loans to Ukraine in 2022 to keep the country running and to set up a 'RebuildUkraine' Facility of grants and loans, modelled on the EU's own recovery fund.
The money would be borrowed by the Commission on the market against guarantees from EU governments under its macro-financial assistance programme to keep Ukraine going until the end of June as it struggles to fight off Russia's invasion.
The International Monetary Fund estimates Ukraine needs around $5 billion a month for basic operations and the EU expects the United States and other G7 countries Britain, Japan and Canada to chip in. The G7 will discuss it at a meeting in Bonn on Thursday and Friday.
"The EU will continue to provide short-term financial support to Ukraine to meet its needs and keep basic services running," Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said.
An online video released by the youngest son of Egypt’s late autocrat Hosni Mubarak in which he declared that his family had been cleared of corruption charges by the ‘EU courts and beyond’ has sparked mixed reactions over the past hours.
In the video, launched Tuesday evening from Abu Dhabi, Gamal Mubarak described the charges against him and his family as being “false allegations of corruption.”
Russian attack drones supported by artillery units eliminated a Ukrainian firing position of US-made 155mm M777 howitzers near the settlement of Podgornoye, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday.
"In the area of the settlement of Podgornoye, the Russian teams of unmanned aerial vehicles and artillery reconnaissance systems established the coordinates of a firing position of US-made 155mm M777 howitzers used by the Ukrainian military. The operators of unmanned aerial vehicles delivered a missile strike on the firing position of the battery of American howitzers, damaging several guns," the ministry said in a statement.
After the missile strikes by the Russian drones, the Ukrainian forces tried to hide in a forest and shelter the towed M777 howitzers there, the ministry said.
"As soon as the Ukrainian militants concentrated prime movers and guns in the forest, they came under an artillery strike. All the equipment and American howitzers were eliminated," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Russia on Wednesday said it was using a new generation of powerful lasers in Ukraine to burn up drones, deploying some of Moscow's secret weapons to counter a flood of Western arms.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018 unveiled an intercontinental ballistic missile, underwater nuclear drones, a supersonic weapon and a laser weapon.
Little is known about the specifics of the new laser. Putin mentioned one called Peresvet, named after a medieval Orthodox warrior monk Alexander Peresvet who perished in mortal combat.
Yury Borisov, the deputy prime minister in charge of military development, told a conference in Moscow that Peresvet was already being widely deployed and it could blind satellites up to 1,500 km above Earth.
Tensions between Beijing and Tokyo are about to ratchet further amid widespread reports that the United States and Japan have prepared a statement calling for both to "deter and respond to" China's aggressive military activities in the Indo-Pacific region.
The statement is expected to be released as President Joe Biden visits Tokyo to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida early next week. Biden will travel to South Korea and Japan from May 20 to May 24, the White House previously announced.
Crucially, according to Nikkei, "The statement to be released after their Monday meeting in Tokyo will also clarify America's resolve to defend Japan if it is attacked, including with nuclear weapons."
The meeting will mark Biden's first face-to-face meeting with the Japanese PM Kishida, coming at a crucial moment that the anti-China stance of both countries have steadily growing over recent years.
When Biden last year met with then-Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the two issue a joint statement calling for stability in the "Taiwan Strait" - which was viewed as a provocative term by China given it was the first joint US-Japan statement to invoke Taiwan in many decades.
A massive plume of dust referred to as a Saharan Air Layer (SAL) could reach U.S. Gulf Coast states this weekend, according to AccuWeather.
On Tuesday, weather models show SAL traversing the Atlantic. The expectation is this enormous plume of dust will sweep across the Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico by the end of this week, reaching the U.S. Gulf Coast by Saturday.
The US military could gain access to the self-declared state of Somaliland’s Berbera port and airfield, The South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday.
The report came after President Biden ordered the deployment of up to 500 US troops to Somalia, gearing up for an escalation in the US war against al-Shabaab. Last week, top Pentagon officials visited Somaliland, which is a de facto independent state inside the internationally recognized borders of Somalia.
Included in the US delegation was Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, the head of US Africa Command (AFRICOM). Townsend and other officials toured the port and airfield in Berbera and met with Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi.
“That assessment and this visit are a part of routine efforts to assess potential operating locations to be able to prepare for contingencies, exercise readiness or adjust force posture as needed,” AFRICOM said in a readout of Townsend’s trip.
As if we needed any more evidence that the Supreme Court case, NYSRPA v. Bruen, will expand gun rights, New York politicians are sounding the alarm that a pro-gun ruling could have a significant impact.
We've been covering NYSRPA v. Bruen for a while now, for those unaware. The case deals with what's known as "may issue" licensing schemes regarding concealed carry permit issuance in liberal states.
In states with a "may issue" system, you as a citizen must provide a "good and substantial reason" as to why you "need" to carry a firearm. Often this system is used to deny average citizens a permit to carry, as self-defense is not a "substantial" enough reason.
In contrast to the rest of the United States, where the vast majority of states are "shall issue." Also, in comparison to "May Issue," a "Shall Issue" system leaves the burden of proof on the State as to why a citizen shouldn't have a permit. Simply, "Shall Issue" means that you can receive a license if you can legally own a firearm.
Also worth mentioning is that now in 25 States, "constitutional carry" has been implemented, making the need for a permit completely irrelevant. If you can legally own a gun, you can lawfully carry that gun. We're currently seeing a push for more states to nix their permit requirements, including Florida.
The US Navy amassed a show of force in the waters near China. Top Western officials worry that Beijing could launch a military takeover of Taiwan after learning lessons from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The USS Ronald Reagan carrier and USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike groups, the USS America expeditionary strike group, and the amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli operate around the Philippine Sea to Japan to Western Pacific, according to the latest fleet tracking report by USNI News.
China's Tencent News reports the US Navy's increasing show of force "means that the US military will conduct more military operations in the waters surrounding our country in the next few weeks."
The arrival of warships in the region comes as the USS Port Royal, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, was followed by China's Eastern Theater Command while sailing through the Taiwan Strait on May 10.
Earlier this month, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) held a war exercise surrounding the island of Taiwan. PLA's combat preparedness has concerned top US intelligence officials about mounting risks Beijing is preparing to invade Taiwan.
Having suffered historic loss after historic loss, and dropping 23% through the end of April after plunging 39% in a catastrophic, for the hedge fund 2021, Melvin Capital went for the Hail Mary last month when it tried to sneak a "high water mark" exemption and get paid a performance fee by his massively underwater investors, even though the fund is like half a mile below its high water mark. It didn't work when LPs unanimously told Gabe Plotkin to do something anatomically impossible, and so - having run out of options - the "superstar" hedge fund investor, who Steve Cohen said was one of the best traders he had ever met, decided to call it a day.
According to Bloomberg, Mevlin - the once high-flying hedge fund that lost billions of dollars after its bearish wagers were caught up in a Reddit-fueled short squeeze - told investors that it plans to wind down funds and return cash to investors.
“The past 17 months has been an incredibly trying time for the firm and you, our investors,” founder Gabe Plotkin wrote.
“I have given everything I could, but more recently that has not been enough to deliver the returns you should expect. I now recognize that I need to step away from managing external capital.”
“Whatever we did to make the Chinese angry, we have to stop doing it, because it’s hurting us.”
That was an argument that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) heard from an executive at an airplane maker recently after China stopped buying their planes and switched to Europe. The company blamed the switch on U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.
American companies’ dependence on the Chinese market is one leverage that the communist regime uses to pressure the U.S. administration to adopt policies friendly toward Beijing, according to Rubio. Beijing’s goal, he said, is to pursue its military ambitions, be it the takeover of Taiwan or to supplant the United States as the sole global superpower, unimpeded by Washington.
“So just imagine we’re getting to that point, China’s decided they’re going to go in [and invade Taiwan] and they say to America, it’s very simple. If you get involved in Taiwan or for that matter, Japan or whoever else’s territory we want to go after, we are going to cut you off these things. And you depend on these things,” Rubio said in an interview with EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program due to premiere at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 17.
Two key National Institutes for Health (NIH) executives in positions of influence on decisions about who gets grants from the agency received a total of 77 previously undisclosed royalty payments from outside firms between 2010 and 2014.
The secret royalty payments, which were first reported by The Epoch Times, are among thousands estimated to total at least $350 million paid between 2010 and 2020. Long-time NIH Director Francis Collins received 14 payments, Anthony Fauci, who heads NIH’s National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), received 23, and Clifford Lane, Fauci’s chief deputy, got eight payments.
Acting NIH Director Lawrence Tabak conceded during questioning last week by Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) that the undisclosed royalties have the “appearance of a conflict of interest,” but he insisted that the agency has sufficient internal safeguards to prevent such problems. Federal law and ethics regulations bar federal employees from activities that present either the appearance or an actual conflict of interest.
Dr. Michael Gottesman has been the NIH’s deputy director for intramural research (DDIR) since 1994. According to his official resume on the NIH website, Gottesman “coordinates activities and facilitates cooperation among the 24 Institute- and Center-based Scientific Directors to achieve the scientific, training, and public health missions of the NIH Intramural Research Program.
After failing to convince the Biden administration to ship NATO fighter jets to Ukraine, the military-industrial complex is now trying to coax the White House into sending unmanned fighter jets to counter Russia’s invasion. Kyiv reportedly met with the major defense contractor General Atomics about obtaining the “Hunter-Killer” MQ-9 Reaper drone, armed with Hellfire missiles, which the U.S. has infamously used in botched airstrikes that killed and maimed civilians in Afghanistan, Somalia, and other countries around the world. The company and Kyiv’s allies in Washington are appealing to policymakers to greenlight the export, despite the high risk of escalation that could turn the devastating war nuclear.
Take retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, dean of the influential and General Atomics-funded Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, who penned an op-ed in Forbes advocating for the U.S. to give Ukraine Reapers in March, before Kyiv’s interest was publicly known. He blasted skeptics who voiced concern about offering Poland’s MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, saying they’re “being cowed by Putin,” the Russian president.
In a phone call with The Intercept, Deptula reiterated his hawkish stance, arguing concern about conflict escalation “is being fed by the Russians through a very sophisticated information operations campaign to deter U.S. and NATO actions to assist the Ukrainians. Anything’s fair up to, but not including, the use of NATO forces in the conduct of hostile operations against the Russians.”
A little over a week ago, when looking at the latest consumer credit data from the Federal Reserve, we were shocked to learn that in March, credit card debt soared by a record $52.4 billion, the biggest monthly increase on record and more than double the expected change.
Summarizing our views on this historic surge in credit-fueled purchases, we said that "while this unprecedented rush to buy everything on credit at a time when there were no notable Hallmark holidays should not come as much of a surprise, after all we have repeatedly shown that for the middle class any "excess savings" are now gone, long gone...
Beginning at the start of April alongside Ramadan, the Yemen ceasefire has seen a hugely successful drop in the number of airstrikes and casualties. Humanitarian aid shipments are on the rise, and things are generally improving after seven years of war.
It was a two month ceasefire, and six weeks in there are just two weeks left. What happens then is of concern, but UN envoy Hans Grundberg is reporting that talks are already ongoing about the possibility of extending it beyond the end of May.
Two months of ceasefire was seen as really unlikely, and despite some claims of violations it is a testament to the success that an extension is now being negotiated. Continued calm and a step toward a permanent peace process seem like realistic possibilities.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby was grilled by reporters on Tuesday for the lack of accountability for a 2019 airstrike in Syria that killed dozens of people, including women and children.
Last year, The New York Times reported that a US airstrike in Baghuz, Syria killed up to 70 people, including 64 women and children, one of the highest reported casualty incidents in the US air war against ISIS. The Times report said the death toll was almost immediately known, and the strike was flagged as a possible war crime. But at every turn, the Pentagon did what it could to conceal the deadly strike, and a proper investigation never happened.
The Times report prompted Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to launch a new inquiry into the Baghuz strike led by Gen. Michael X. Garrett, a four-star who heads the Army’s Forces Command. The Pentagon released the results of the investigation on Tuesday, which said mistakes were made in the original inquiry but found no wrongdoing in the strike and did not call for disciplinary action.
Amid privacy concerns, payments giant Mastercard is rolling out the controversial biometric payment systems, allowing users to pay with the wave of a hand or a smile at a camera.
The payments giant said it is rolling out the biometric checkout programs to speed up checkout time and reduce queues. It also claims that biometric systems are more secure and hygienic than debit and credit cards.
“Once enrolled, there is no need to slow down the checkout queue searching through their pockets or bag,” Mastercard said while introducing the controversial tech. “Consumers can simply check the bill and smile into a camera or wave their hand over a reader to pay.”
Mastercard will begin testing its biometric checkout systems in Brazil, at five St Marche stores in the city of Sao Paulo. Interested users can register their biometrics via an app or in a store through Mastercard’s partner Payface.
A spokesperson said that it will soon roll out the biometric checkout system in the UK, and is also focusing on markets in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Most Americans didn’t understand that the exceedingly foolish decisions of our leaders would eventually have a major impact on how they live their lives every single day. But there are some of us that did. Many of us literally begged our politicians to stop borrowing and spending trillions upon trillions of dollars that we did not have. But they refused to listen. And many of us literally begged the officials at the Federal Reserve to stop pumping trillions upon trillions of fresh dollars into the financial system. Of course they wouldn’t listen to us either. Now our standard of living is steadily being eviscerated, and most of the population seems quite surprised that this is happening.
Flooding our economy with money was inevitably going to create an inflation crisis, and that is precisely what has happened.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that there are divisions between NATO members over the alliance’s plans to expand its military presence in Eastern Europe.
Poland and the Baltic states are seeking a significant expansion of NATO’s presence on their territory, while other NATO members, including France and Italy, are hesitant and don’t think Russia threatens alliance territory.
The Post obtained a confidential proposal from Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia that asks for a contingent of 20,000 troops to be put on standby to deploy to their territory if they come under attack.
Under the proposal, a brigade of 6,000 NATO troops would be deployed to each Baltic country, up from the roughly 2,000 NATO soldiers that were there before February. The plan would also station military equipment for the 20,000 troops on standby to use if they are activated.
Using individual-level data from the ATF I found that the percentage of guns used in a crime in Pennsylvania traced to a black buyer increased markedly in 2020. Also Pennsylvania recorded its worst homicide rate for at least 50 years in 2020.
In what some are calling an epic 'Freudian slip,' former President George W. Bush accidentally called the invasion of Iraq 'wholly unjustified and brutal' while speaking about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Bush made the embarrassing gaffe in a speech at his presidential center in Dallas, where he spoke about the importance of fair elections and slammed Russia's autocratic system.
'The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq,' Bush said, before shaking his head and correcting himself. 'I mean, of Ukraine.'
Well over a decade after the Obama-Hillary led NATO military intervention in Libya in 2011, which resulted in the overthrow and violent street execution of Muammar Gaddafi, the capital of Tripoli has once again fallen into chaos as gunfights between rival factions threaten a fragile truce.
For years oil-rich Libya has been fought over by two rival governments, one based in the east and the UN-recognized national government in Tripoli. This week's breakout in fighting began when according to Al Jazeera, "Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed prime minister three months ago by the East-based House of Representatives, arrived in Tripoli in the early morning hours with cabinet members and was reportedly accompanied by the Tripoli-based Nawasi Brigade militia."
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