“The illusion of freedom will continue for as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will take down the scenery, move the tables and chairs out of the way, then they will pull back the curtains and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” – Frank Zappa

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“Our next response will be immediate and at a maximum level in case the Israeli regime embarks on adventurism again and takes actions against the interests of Iran,” Amir-Abdollahian told CNN’s Erin Burnett in an exclusive interview in New York on Thursday.

A summary of the interview is as follows:

Speaking from the Iranian Permanent Mission at the United Nations, Amir-Abdollahian said, Iran sincerely hoped Israel would not repeat “the previous egregious error.” 

“If the Israeli regime commits the grave error again, our response will be decisive, definitive and regretful for them,” Amirabdollahian said, noting that this warning had been communicated to the White House via the Swiss Embassy in Tehran.

“We do not seek to create tension and crisis or increase such situations in West Asia and we sincerely hope the Israeli regime does not repeat the previous egregious error,” he said.

The details of a potential “maximum response” have been planned by Iran’s armed forces, he added.

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Early on Friday, Iran activated its air defence systems after reports of explosions in Isfahan province. According to Iranian state media, three small drones were shot down over the city of Isfahan.

And while no one has officially claimed responsibility for the aerial attack and the Iranian government has not assigned blame, it is not difficult to hazard a guess as to its origins, given Iran’s recent launching of hundreds of drones and missiles at Israel. This, mind you, took place purely in retaliation for the lethal April 1 Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria.

United States media outlets have reported confirmation from anonymous US officials that Israel was indeed the source of the latest attacks. For his part, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani – chairman of this week’s G7 meeting in Capri, Italy – has asserted that the US informed its Group of Seven partners that it had received a “last minute” warning from Israel re: impending drone action in Iran.

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Satellite images and photographs shared on social media show extensive development and construction at two outposts the Israel Defense Forces is building on the strategic road that divides the Gaza Strip into two.

The army calls the construction of these outposts in what it calls the "Netzarim Corridor" as a long-term achievement. The whole corridor is referred to as something that is here to stay.

The Netzarim Road, in the heart of this corridor, bisects the Gaza Strip. The outposts were built along this road, which is intended to enable the IDF to control the movement of Palestinians from the south to the north and launch operations in different parts of the Strip.

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For years, the radical settlers who committed arson, physical attacks or even pogroms on Palestinians were regarded marginal extremists, and widely condemned. But as once-fringe vigilante terror becomes lethally routine, Israelis are failing to respond

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A hearing held earlier this week in New York by the Council’s immigration and hospital committees saw black migrants who have arrived in the city airing their grievances about public services they have been provided, including food and accommodation, with one woman even complaining that New Yorkers won’t learn Congolese languages.

The hearing drew over a thousand immigrants, mostly from countries in Africa, and many illegally in the country, with some claiming that they had been promised money, green cards or work visas if they attended.

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Voting along party lines, the United States Senate buried impeachment proceedings targeting the Jewish Homeland Security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas.

All 51 senators caucusing with Democrats voted on Wednesday to adjourn the impeachment before proceedings started. All 49 Republicans voted against adjourning, with one voting present on one count of impeachment.

The vote brings to an end attempts to impeach Mayorkas over how he has handled undocumented migrants entering the US from Mexico. The impeachment in the US House of Representatives barely passed in February, 214-213 — and even then, the first vote failed. Rep. Mike Johnson, the Republican from Louisiana who is House speaker, had to bring it up for a vote a second time.

Jewish groups had expressed alarm at the impeachment process, noting repeated invocations during the impeachment hearings of the Great Replacement theory, a baseless conspiracy theory whose original version claims that Jews are behind an effort to replace the populations of majority-white countries with immigrants of color.

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Russia sees no need to resolve the Ukraine crisis on the basis of the slightly edited so-called ‘Zelensky formula,’ which is being promoted by the West, as this is thimblerigging and a scam, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Sputnik, Govorit Moskva (Moscow Speaking) and Komsomolskaya Pravda radio stations.

"We attended a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Palestine in New York [in January]. I have known him (Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis - TASS) for a very long time, he used to be president," Lavrov said. "Ignazio Cassis also went to the [UNSC] meeting and asked for a one-on-one meeting. We did not make the meeting secret as we were photographed and then the delegations left us."

"He told me (and that was right after Davos where on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, they held another Copenhagen-format meeting [on Ukraine] requested by the Ukrainians), ‘Did you see how I was speaking to the press after the meeting?’ the minister asked. I said, 'How?' 'I stated that as a result of that regular meeting on the Ukrainian 'peace formula,' we came to the conclusion that it is meaningless without Russia'."

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Providing new military assistance to Ukraine from the United States will not help prevent the inglorious end of the Kiev regime, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said on Saturday.

"That’s what happens when the head of state doesn’t care about his own people and sells out his country. Nothing to celebrate here," he wrote on his page on the social network X.

Calling Ukraine the anti-Russian "private military company," the diplomat said that now it "will function a little longer, more money will be pocketed, more weapons stolen, and tens of thousands of Ukrainians will go to meat grinder." "But the inglorious end of the Kiev regime is inevitable, regardless of this new package and all the futile efforts of its US and NATO backers to keep it alive," he stressed.

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The decision by the US House of Representatives to pass a military aid bill for Ukraine will not stop the Russian Army's advance to recover territory Kiev claims as its own, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said.

The US House approved a $61 billion package for Ukraine after months of delays and political wrangling. Kiev's forces have been suffering setbacks on the battlefield it claims is due to ammunition shortages. 

Medvedev, who serves as the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, argued that “the vote of gleeful American bastards” will only prolong the fighting and “increase the number of victims of this war.”

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Earlier this week, reports surfaced that the US warned Israel against an attack in Rafah, the southernmost city of Gaza where 1.5 million Palestinians have fled as Israel heavily bombed every other region.

Fears that Israel still plans to invade the last remaining refuge for Palestinians displaced from Israel’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza, are growing after an Israeli airstrike on the city reportedly killed 10 people on Friday, mostly women and children.

“This is a world devoid of all human values and morals,” Ahmed Barhoum told The Associated Press, who lost his wife, and five-year-old daughter, as well as his sister, brother-in-law and their three children in the bombing.

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A drag queen recently embraced by Vice President Kamala Harris has been accused of sexual assault and rape by five different people, according to a new report.

In June 2022, Harris hosted a “Pride Month” event at the vice presidential residence, where former RuPaul’s Drag Race participant Darius Pierce (stage name “Shangela”) was invited to speak. At the time, the media hailed the event as “historic,” with the two posing for selfies and Pierce later thanking Harris “for being an authentic ally” of the LGBT movement.

Now, however, the association has taken on a decidedly more problematic connotation for the Biden administration thanks to a Rolling Stone report published on Monday, which reveals that “four people allege” that Pierce “either sexually assaulted them or attempted to have sex with them when they were too inebriated to consent,” and a “fifth person claims Pierce attempted anal penetration in a bathroom closet despite rejecting his advances.”

The accusers, all between the ages of 18 and 32, say the incidents were prefaced by Pierce drinking alcohol with them for hours on end, from 2012 to 2018 in both the United States and United Kingdom.

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The Canadian Department of National Defence has suspended a “transgender” military chaplain it previously celebrated after he reportedly sought to grope a male soldier at the Royal Military College while drunk.

On March 28, the government highlighted Canadian Armed Forces Captain “Beatrice” Gale, a man who “identifies” as a woman, for “International Transgender Day of Visibility.” The military’s “first openly transgender chaplain” has been “a vocal advocate” for the so-called “rights” of transgender-identifying members, according to the press release, resulting “in policy changes that contributed to more inclusive gender-affirming medical care for CAF members.”

“I hope that being a transgender chaplain [sic] sends a message to the 2SLGBTQI+ community that the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service cares,” he said. “That it cares for that community.”

Just weeks later, however, the chaplain is generating a different kind of publicity.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz could supply Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine without sending German military specialists to operate them, the head of Airbus’ defense division has told Der Spiegel. Scholz has insisted that the need for German personnel prevents him from sending the missiles to Kiev.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and his officials have been asking Berlin for Taurus missiles for almost a year, but Scholz has thus far refused to consider the request. Speaking to the news agency dpa in February, the chancellor claimed that German military technicians would have to be deployed to Ukraine to operate the air-launched missiles, making them active participants in the conflict with Russia.

Airbus Defense and Space CEO Michael Schoellhorn believes that Scholz has no desire to give the missiles to Ukraine, and is using the need for German involvement as an excuse.

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In a dramatic break from his party’s hardline conservative base, US House Speaker Mike Johnson this week praised the country’s deep state, called Russia, China, and Iran an “axis of evil,” and vowed to put his job on the line to funnel more than $60 billion to Kiev.

For months, Johnson has resisted bringing a $95 billion foreign aid bill to a vote, arguing that neither he nor his fellow Republicans could support the bill – which would give $14 billion in military aid to Israel and $60 billion to Ukraine – without it being tied to an overhaul of US border security.

However, after a series of recent meetings with US intelligence chiefs, Johnson has changed his tune.

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It's not the easiest thing for a person to step away from their peer group and question the dogmatic political path the mob has chosen to follow.  When it comes to the woke left, stepping out of line is doubly difficult because any deviation from the approved ideology usually means immediate cancellation and excommunication (one's career is in danger).  Only a few years ago it would have been unheard of for a mainstream celebrity to break from the progressive pack and speak publicly about inconvenient truths.  Those few that did were quickly blacklisted.

Consider the bizarre leftist war on Star Wars actress Gina Carano, who expressed conservative views on the trans issue and was told she had to participate in a company sponsored Zoom struggle session.  The message was clear:  She was expected to sublimate herself in front of a crowd of 45 finger-wagging LGBT people in order to make amends.  When she refused and continued defending her personal conservative ideals online, she was made an example of and cast out of Hollywood. 

Bill Maher is, if anything, clever about his timing like most comedians.  His rebellion against the woke mob has been carefully crafted in a way that has allowed him to avoid outright cancellation.  It's not as impressive a revolt as Gina Carano's because the risk today is far less, but at least he's willing to address the obvious hypocrisy within the social justice crowd and admit that maybe, just maybe, conservatives had it right all along.  

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On April 20, Hezbollah attacked eight sites of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and settlements along the border with Lebanon.

In separate statements, the group said its fighters targeted two buildings occupied by Israeli troops in the settlement of Shlomi and two others in the settlement of Metulla. It also announced attacks against gatherings of the IDF close to the settlement of Even Menachem, in the Ruwaisat al-Alam site and on Mount Adathar.

Moreover, the group announced that it had shelled the Hadab Yarinsite and destroyed surveillance equipment of the IDF in the sites of al-Raheb and Hanita.

The attacks were carried in support of the Palestinian people and resistance in the Gaza Strip as well as in response to recent Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon, Hezbollah noted in its statements.

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  • Ukrainian shelling killed a pregnant woman and wounded three other civilians in Novato Tavolzhanka;
  • On the night of April 20, Russian forces shot down 26 drones over the Belgorod region. 5 more UAVs were destroyed during the day;
  • Russian forces shot down 10 drones over the Bryansk region;
  • Russian forces shot down 8 drones over the Kursk region;
  • Russian forces shot down 2 drones over the Tula region. In the evening, Ukrainian small-sized military balloon was also destroyed in the region;
  • Russian forces shot down 1 drones over the Smolensk region;
  • Russian forces shot down 1 drones over the Ryazan region;
  • Russian forces shot down 1 drones over the Kaluga region;
  • Russian forces shot down 1 drones over the Moscow region. In the evening, Ukrainian small-sized military balloon was also destroyed in the region.
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Jewish singer and actress says the single, which will be used as the end title for a new series on the Holocaust, will show ‘that even in the darkest of times, love can triumph’

Webmaster addition: Here comes the flood of "Feel sorry for Israel" schmaltz!

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President Joe Biden claimed this week that young children often give him the middle finger whenever he is driving through neighborhoods or rural areas. Speaking to a group of supporters at a campaign event in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, The 81-year-old president said that he usually sees 7- and 8-year-olds flipping the middle finger whenever he’s driving around.

He made this claim while speaking against yard signs that say “F Biden.”

“I’ve never thought I’d see a time when I’m going through a — a neighborhood or a rural town that’s in the West and see big signs that have a Trump sign in the middle that says ‘F Biden’ and having a little kid standing with his middle finger — seven years old, eight years old,” Biden stated, adding, “Well, I promise, it happens all the time. It’s not who we are.”

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President Joe Biden’s contentious electric vehicle mandate is under fire in court. A group of 25 state attorneys general filed a lawsuit Thursday against the administration’s attempt to ram EVs down the throats of the American public.

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More than 2,100 people have been evacuated after a volcano eruption in Indonesia.

On Friday, more than 2,100 residents of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi who were close to an erupting volcano were evacuated because of the risk of ash, falling rocks, hot volcanic clouds, and a potential tsunami.

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Apple said it complied with orders from the Chinese government to remove the Meta-owned WhatsApp and Threads from its App Store in China. Apple also removed Telegram and Signal from China.

"We are obligated to follow the laws in the countries where we operate, even when we disagree," Apple said in a statement quoted by several news outlets. "The Cyberspace Administration of China ordered the removal of these apps from the China storefront based on their national security concerns. These apps remain available for download on all other storefronts where they appear."

The Wall Street Journal paraphrased a person familiar with the matter as saying that the Chinese cyberspace agency "asked Apple to remove WhatsApp and Threads from the App Store because both contain political content that includes problematic mentions of the Chinese president [Xi Jinping]."

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An AI test pilot has successfully flown a jet fighter in dogfights against human opponents. It's the latest development for DARPA's Air Combat Evaluation program, which is trying to develop aerospace AI agents that can be trusted to perform safely.

Human test pilots have a bit of a reputation thanks to popular culture—from The Right Stuff to Top Gun: Maverick, the profession has been portrayed as a place for loose cannons with a desire to go fast and break the rules. The reality is pretty far from that these days, especially where DARPA is concerned.

The agency instead wants a machine-learning agent that can safely fly a real aircraft autonomously, with no violations of training rules. After all, neural networks have their own reputation—at this point well-earned—for finding ways to exploit situations that hadn't occurred to humans. And the consequences when controlling a real jet fighter can be a lot more severe than just testing in silico.

In this case, the jet fighter is called the X-62A Variable Stability In-Flight Simulator Test Aircraft, or VISTA. It began life as an F-16D (Block 30) two-seater, which spent most of its 32-year career working at the US Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB.

Over the years, the plane, previously designated the NF-16D, has been modified to simulate the flight characteristics of other aircraft while in flight. "It has given almost a thousand students and staff members the opportunity to practice testing aircraft with dangerously poor flying qualities and to execute risk-reduction flight test programs for advanced technologies," said William Gray, chief test pilot of VISTA and the USAF Test Pilot School.

That made it a natural candidate for DARPA's ACE program, and in 2021, the process of modifying the aircraft began once again as it became the X-62A.

Webmaster addition: In the latest test, the AI defeated the human pilot in a dogfight!

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On Tuesday, Microsoft Research Asia unveiled VASA-1, an AI model that can create a synchronized animated video of a person talking or singing from a single photo and an existing audio track. In the future, it could power virtual avatars that render locally and don't require video feeds—or allow anyone with similar tools to take a photo of a person found online and make them appear to say whatever they want.

Webmaster addition: Seeing is no longer believing!

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Al Roker is set to face a lawsuit claiming the famed presenter and his production company fired a producer for complaining about not meeting DEI quotas. 

The longtime weatherman, 69, is accused of 'wrongfully and illegally' firing producer Bill Schultz, who is white, after Shultz says he called out alleged racial discrimination on Roker's children's show, Weather Hunters. 

Shultz, 47, an Emmy winning producer best known for his work on The Simpsons, said the show failed to follow diversity guidelines, including employing writers of color. 

In his $10 million lawsuit filed this week in New York, Shultz said the issue was 'surprising' because Weather Hunters is 'focused on an African American Family and was inclusively developed for PBS’s importantly diverse children’s audience.' 

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Caesar Duarte didn't flinch as an Amazon truck barreled down the busy 110 Freeway in Los Angeles, missing his makeshift home by just a few feet. 

The only thing that stood between Duarte's outdoor kitchen and speeding vehicles was a three-foot retaining wall and metal fencing. 

The 44-year-old mechanic and house painter said he has learned to deal with the danger and noise since he erected his homestead by the freeway about four years ago.

'It doesn't bother me, and also I have no choice,' Duarte told DailyMail.com. 'Everything is too expensive. Rent is too expensive, and right now it's hard to find jobs. 

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