Thought for the day
"Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that… the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience." -- Aldous Huxley, 1949
Beijing has issued a protest in response to US President Joe Biden’s latest remark that Washington could use its military to defend Taiwan. China considers the self-governing island to be a part of its inalienable territory that is temporarily controlled by separatists.
On Monday, China’s foreign ministry said it “deplores and firmly opposes” Biden’s comment, adding that it has lodged “stern representations” with Washington.
Taipei, in turn, welcomed the US president’s remark, which it took as confirming Washington’s “rock-solid security commitment to Taiwan.”
The polar opposite reactions came after Biden replied in the affirmative when asked by a journalist whether Washington would deploy its military to defend Taiwan.
Steve Bannon on Sunday labeled Democrat gubernatorial candidate John Fetterman a satanist for urging the release of hundreds of hardened criminals from prison to prey on the defenseless.
Any potential war over Taiwan would be a protracted conflict and require both the United States and Taiwan have a large number of munitions prepositioned to win it, Rep. Mike Gallagher said on Monday.
"We have to assume that any war over Taiwan would be a protracted conflict which not only means American forces will go Winchester rapidly but Taiwan itself will need large stores of munitions pre-positioned and ready to replace losses ahead of time," Gallagher said during a Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments event.
"And, in my opinion, that only magnifies the need for a massive pre-war expansion in munitions productions [in the United States]."
A Honduran illegal immigrant who has been deported three times from the United States has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing women and girls on a hiking trail in the Fairfax, Virginia area, Northern Virginia authorities said.
Kiev troops subjected the Donbass republics to almost daily shelling long before the start of the Russian special military operation at the end of February of this year. Civilians are frequently the victims of attacks carried out by Kiev's military and its national battalions, as the shelling often targets residential areas.
Alejandro Kirk, a special correspondent for teleSUR and HispanTV news channels in Donbass, has told Sputnik in an interview that people living in the republics are aware of the fact that "a Ukrainian projectile can fall at any time and anywhere," as he was wounded during a Ukrainian attack on Donetsk this weekend.
Kirk expressed his belief that such shellings are "punitive attacks," since "they punish ordinary people just for living here."
“On Saturday, September 17, around noon, we heard explosions in the city center. As in many other cases, with other colleagues, we ran to report. When we arrived at Lenin Square, the central square of the city, there was another explosion nearby, a van caught fire," the journalist recounted the events. "I went to the van to find a more accurate, more informative shot. There were two people in the car. Based on experience, I did not think that another projectile would hit the same place, but I was wrong."
The seismometer on InSight has picked up more over 1,300 marsquakes. The sensor, supplied by the Centre National d'Études Spatiales of France's space agency, is so sensitive that it can pick up seismic waves thousands of kilometers away. But on September 5, 2021, the cause of the waves was definitively identified as an impact for the first time.
NASA has for the first time recorded the peculiar sound of a meteoroid slicing through the atmosphere of another planet and smashing to the surface of Mars, the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced on Monday.
According to a news release, the audio clip combines "seismic and acoustic waves" that were discovered after a space rock struck Mars on September 5, 2021.
The sound, which lasts for only about three seconds, starts with a hiss as the rock soars into the air and concludes with "bloops."
With his country beset by a growing energy crisis, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has elected to return home instead of staying in the United States for the United Nations General Assembly meetings later this week.
"The president will no longer be attending the UNGA due to the unfolding energy crisis at home," Vincent Magwenya, a spokesperson for the South African president, told Sputnik on Monday. "The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation will now lead the South African delegation and deliver the South African statement."
Ramaphosa traveled to Washington, DC, last week to meet with US President Joe Biden to discuss a range of issues, including the country’s energy crisis. Ramaphosa used the occasion to speak out against attempts by Washington to change his government’s neutral position on the Ukraine crisis and condemn Russia’s special operation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attempted the same last month in Pretoria and was trounced by his South African counterpart, who told him to be “equally concerned” with the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian authorities.
The new discovery revealed that the tuatara, the prehistoric reptile which has almost entirely been replaced by lizards, would have been about 16 centimeters from nose to tail, fitting curled up in the palm of an adult human hand. It likely survived on a diet of insects and other invertebrates.
A new discovery of an extinct species of lizard-like reptile that belonged to the same ancient lineage as New Zealand’s living tuatara reptile has left researchers stunned.
Smithsonian researchers published their findings in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology and revealed that the new species, called Opisthiamimus Gregori, once inhabited Jurassic North America about 150 million years ago alongside dinosaurs like Stegosaurus and Allosaurus.
A number of US lawmakers expressed their outrage following the US Army's suggestion for soldiers to take advantage of food stamps amid high food prices, Fox News reported.
The US Army has recently released new guidance for soldiers who experience financial problems and suggested they apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, which provides food-purchasing assistance to low-income households.
With inflation affecting everything from gas prices to groceries to rent, some soldiers and their families are finding it harder to get by on the budgets they have set and used before, the report cited Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston as saying in the guidance on Monday.
Soldiers of all ranks can seek guidance, assistance, and advice through the Army’s Financial Readiness Program, the report said.
SNAP is one of the assistance types provided by the Army’s Financial Readiness Program with income eligibility ranging from a gross monthly income of $1,396 for a household of one to $4,839 for a household of eight, the report said.
Ron DeSantis has furiously slapped down a Texas sheriff who launched a criminal investigation into his flying 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha's Vineyard.
The Florida governor pointed out the hypocrisy of Democratic Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar for probing him when it was in his jurisdiction where 50 migrants died in a trailer-tractor over the summer.
He challenged fellow politicians and voters to find similar levels of outrage at that shocking incident - as well as huge numbers of migrants drowning in the Rio Grande - as what he has been facing for his stunt.
Nine million people in Japan have been told to evacuate their homes as the country is hit by one of the worst typhoons in its history, killing two and leaving 300,000 homes without power.
Nearly 90 people have been injured by Typhoon Nanmadol, which brought ferocious winds of up to 145mph and record rainfall to the west of the country yesterday.
Transport has been disrupted, manufacturers have been forced to suspend operations and tens of thousands of people spent last night in emergency shelters.
Beer drinkers across the US are staring glumly into their pints, knowing the costs are likely to rise due to a nationwide shortage of carbon dioxide - thanks in part to issues at a Mississippi volcano.
The extinct volcano, the Jackson Dome, has since 1977 provided carbon dioxide to the food industry, among others.
Yet in recent months the supply has become contaminated due to raw gas from a mine seeping in, meaning it cannot be used in food.
Webmaster addition: But, but, but ... I was told by the climate freaks that CO2 is BAD!
Wyoming GOP Rep. Liz Cheney has introduced her own version of legislation to reform the Electoral Count Act that she says would prevent future attempts by former President Trump or others to try to 'steal' a presidential election.
The legislation, which follows a separate effort in the Senate, comes after experts identified ambiguities in the 1887, which sets out the procedures for certifying and counting the electoral votes for president.
Trump leaned in imprecise language in his repeated demands that former Vice President Mike Pence refuse to accept votes that were counted and certified by states.
A Florida police department has announced that they seized enough fentanyl to kill 1.5 million people during a recent drug bust.
Dania Beach, Florida – A 50-year-old mother was arrested for joining in on a beating of an 11-year-old student.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has been accused of hypocrisy for harshly criticizing migrant transports from Texas and Florida, despite previously running his own initiative to bus homeless people away from San Francisco.
Newsom, a Democrat, engaged in a public war of words with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis after last week's high-profile flights carrying Venezuelan migrants to Martha's Vineyard.
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Newsom demanded a criminal probe into Florida's airlift, calling it a 'morally reprehensible' and possibly illegal attempt to 'humiliate and dehumanize' the group of about 50 migrants.
National Guard troops have rescued more than 900 people, some from the roofs of their home on Monday after Hurricane Fiona unleashed more rain on Puerto Rico on Monday, a day after the storm knocked out power and water to most of the island.
The troops rescued hundreds of people who found themselves stranded. Meanwhile, the governor warned that it could take days to get the lights back on.
In Cayey, the Puerto Rico National Guard's 65th Infantry rescued 21 elderly and bedridden people at a car home due after landslides threatened the home's structure and residents' safety.
More than 30 Senate Republicans asked Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday to give the federal prosecutor who has been investigating Hunter Biden for several years “special counsel protections and authorities.”
The group, which includes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, wrote in a letter to Garland that the move is warranted because the criminal investigation involves President Joe Biden’s son. They also contended it would “avoid the appearance of impropriety.”
Giving U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss special counsel authority would also “provide additional assurances to the American people that the Hunter Biden investigation is free from political influence,” the letter argued.
If Garland honors the request, it could give Republicans and Democrats in Congress insight into the grounds for any future decision by Weiss on whether to prosecute Hunter Biden. Lawmakers might not otherwise get that justification if Weiss is not granted special counsel status.
Republican senators signaled tentative support for additional Ukraine aid that the Biden administration has requested following a classified briefing on Monday night, though senators are expected to nix other top White House priorities from the upcoming stop-gap bill to keep the government open.
The Biden administration has asked for $12 billion in aid to Ukraine to be added to the continuing resolution that’s needed to keep the government open past September 30.
GOP support is essential because at least 10 Republican votes would be needed to break a filibuster attempt.
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said Monday evening that negotiators are still discussing the makeup of a package for Ukraine, but that it would be about $11 billion which could include humanitarian, economic and military assistance.
Sen. Mike Rounds, a Republican from South Dakota and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he is “open for the discussion” about adding $12 billion in additional Ukraine aid to the continuing resolution, while GOP Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, another member of the panel, said he believes the aid shouldn’t be tied to it.
The Bexar County sheriff launched a criminal investigation Monday into the transfer of migrants by plane from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida’s governor amid rising migration.
Border Patrol arrest figures, released Monday, show numbers almost topped out at 2 million, on pace for an annual record with only one month remaining in the fiscal year. Border Patrol arrests at the southern border had previously hit 1.6 million for 2000 and 1.7 million last year. At the end of August that number was 1,977,769.
Monday afternoon, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said he has opened up a criminal investigation against the individual or individuals who “lured under false pretenses” 48 newly arrived migrants in San Antonio to fly to Martha’s Vineyard last week.
(Reuters) - MyPillow Inc Chief Executive Mike Lindell must face a defamation lawsuit brought by a voting machine company that the Trump ally falsely accused of rigging the 2020 U.S. election, a Minnesota federal judge ruled on Monday.
Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright denied Lindell and MyPillow's motion to dismiss the lawsuit by Smartmatic USA Corp, finding ample evidence that Lindell ignored publicly available information that contradicted his theories.
Judge Wright also found sufficient evidence that Lindell knew or should have known his statements were false and acted with "actual malice" in promoting them, a key legal threshold in defamation cases.
Lawyers for the defendants did not immediately respond to inquiries Monday.
An attorney for Smartmatic, J. Erik Connolly, told Reuters in a statement the company was pleased with the ruling.
"Mr. Lindell continues to spread disinformation and, by doing so, jeopardizes secure and accurate voting in the United States and elsewhere. It must come to an end," Connolly said.
A supervolcano responsible for the largest eruption over the past 5,000 years, has been cranked up a level on the alert stakes.
Taupō in New Zealand has not covered the nation's north island in lava, rock and ash for nearly 1,800 years but scientists have noticed a shift in its activity.
The alert level for the formidable supervolcano has been raised from 0 to 1 in out of six, for the first time since the measuring system was introduced in 1994.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announced a drug bust they say contained enough fentanyl to kill 1.5 million adults.
“JSO Narcotics Unit seized 3 kilos of fentanyl, 1.26 kilos of cocaine & over 6,000 counterfeit pills containing fentanyl; enough fentanyl to kill 1.5 MILLION adults,” the Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter Monday.
The post was accompanied by a photo of seized drugs, with the sheriff’s office saying it was recognizing the “great work” of its officers.
The announcement comes just days after police in Flagler County, Florida, which is just over 70 miles south of Jacksonville, announced the arrest of a fugitive with enough fentanyl to kill over 100,000 people, according to Fox 35.
In that case, 52-year-old Adrian Rivers was arrested with over 200 grams of fentanyl and other drugs.
Amazon has been determined to reduce the size of its massive fulfillment network in North America as consumers pull back on spending. Now the e-commerce giant has "suspended" construction work of new logistic centers in Spain, according to local news website El Confidencial.
For some context, Amazon spent billions of dollars doubling its fulfillment network's size in North America during the virus pandemic. MWPVL International Inc., which tracks Amazon's real-estate deals, said the company canceled plans to open 42 US facilities totaling almost 25 million square feet this year.
The reductions didn't stop in North America. Amazon has also canceled European expansion projects, mainly in Spain, as slowing e-commerce sales growth means the company is undergoing belt-tightening measures.
Internet researchers Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory revealed in late August that over 150 false personas and media websites formed in the United States had been removed in recent years by Twitter and Facebook.
Major social media firms discovered and removed phony accounts believed to be operated by the US military in violation of the platforms’ policies, prompting the Pentagon to request a thorough examination of how it conducts clandestine information warfare, the Washington Post reported on Monday.
According to the report, after the White House and some federal agencies expressed growing concerns over the Defense Department’s attempted manipulation of audiences abroad, Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, reportedly instructed the military commands that engage in psychological operations online last week to provide a complete accounting of their activities by next month.
The US Central Command (CENTCOM) is one of the agencies whose operations are under investigation, the undisclosed sources claimed, despite the fact that the researchers from Graphika and Stanford did not link the phony accounts to the military.
The takedowns of bogus accounts happened during the last two or three years, per the report. The researchers did not specify when the takedowns happened. They claimed several were recent and involved articles from the summer that promoted anti-Russian narratives by referencing the Kremlin’s “imperialist war” in Ukraine and announcing the conflict’s direct effects on Central Asian nations.
Importantly, they discovered that overt accounts actually drew more followers, and that false personas, which used strategies allegedly popular in nations like Russia and China, did not acquire much traction. With its headquarters in Tampa, CENTCOM oversees military operations in 21 Middle Eastern, North African, Central Asian and South Asian nations.
Now, that the hysteria with "losing" Balakleya and Izyum (quotation marks are deliberate) due to this famous VSU "offensive" has subsided, and once the issue of the Kherson catastrophe for VSU is considered, we may confidently state that the whole thing was very deliberate on Russian side. Fast backward to the start of SMO--this is for those who already forgot--and recall what was the main issue then? Right, if you recall--it was the question of how Russian Army will be "taking" urban centers, such as Kiev or Kharkov. This was also the issue of both Pentagon planners and Western propaganda which was build prior to SMO on the assumptions (wrong ones) that Russians will go for jugular and start taking down regime by means of taking its main cities. Naive (and incompetent) people, what can one say. They thought that prodding Russia to get into the cities where they prepared (for Pentagon and British General Staff it means hiding behind civilians) "defenses" Russians would bleed and provide a copious amount of propaganda fodder.
There was one issue with that--Neither US nor UK ever fought real defensive battles on a strategic level, Russians wrote a book on them. They didn't read this book in D.C. and in London. Apart from inevitable peeling off VSU "defenses" in Donbass, with all those towns and hamlets turned into one huge fortified area (укрепрайон) where VSU could and did hide behind the backs of civilians, Russian Army never went INTO any large urban center as Western planners hoped for using a primitive cliche thinking that if Russians took Grozny, Russians and SAA took Aleppo, Russians took Crimea, then they surely would take Kharkov, Kiev etc. So, for Pentagon "thinkers" who do think in cliches, the fact that every Soviet and Russian officer was and is taught to apply historic military lessons CREATIVELY (творчески применять уроки военной истории к современной войне) to the modern war, was and is unknown. After all, the image of Russian automatons with arithmometers who cannot think beyond the framework of instructions...
The Republic of Slovenia will send 28 M-55S tanks to Ukraine, according to a statement published on the government’s website on Monday.
In a telephone conversation, Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, "in the spirit of solidarity with the Ukrainian people," agreed that Kiev would receive 28 Slovenian M-55S tanks. In return, Ljubljana will obtain from Berlin 40 military transport vehicles, including 35 heavy 8x8 hook loaders and five heavy water tankers, the statement reads. According to it, "the ring exchange will also strengthen defense cooperation between Slovenia and Germany."
Slovenia’s online newspaper 24 ur reported that the republic would supply to Ukraine tanks, stored by the country’s army.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his French counterpart Catherine Colonna discussed on Monday the situation in Ukraine, focusing on the need to ensure the safety of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported after their phone call.
"In the furtherance of the telephone contact of the Russian and French presidents on September 11, the foreign ministers discussed in detail the situation in Ukraine, focusing on ways to ensure the safety of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant," the ministry said.
The Kiev regime’s bombardments of the power plant expose Europe to the risks of a nuclear disaster, Lavrov told the French foreign minister.
"Lavrov said that the Kiev regime continues to use Western-supplied weapons to bombard civilian infrastructure facilities, including the ZNPP, thus exposing Europe to the risks of a nuclear disaster," the Foreign Ministry wrote it its news release.