COMING UP SHORT THIS MONTH.
Thought for the day
"The more you weigh, the harder you are to kidnap. Stay safe. Eat cake." -- Unknown
Although the porous Iraqi-Syrian border stretches for over 600 kilometers, about half of it – in practice – is not subject to the authority of either state. Over the years, this lack of comprehensive border control has given rise to a number of security threats to both nations, not least the persistent presence of ISIS elements in border regions.
From the Iraqi side, there has been a pro-active approach in countering this low-level terrorism with the establishment of two defensive lines by the Joint Operations Command, in addition to concrete barriers and watchtowers.
Smuggling from Syria into Iraqi border towns is another salient feature of current border activities, and one which presents both a threat and an opportunity for the US-led international coalition whose forces operate on both sides of the border.
If a week is a long time in politics, 24-hours can seem like an eternity, especially when a White House administration is confused by basic historical facts.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris amply illustrated this Thursday when she ended her four-day trip to Asia with a journey to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the Korean Peninsula.
During the stop she confused onlooks by asserting the United States has a “strong alliance” with “the Republic of North Korea.”
Webmaster addition: Whatever Biden's mental disorder is, it appears to be contagious!
NATO on Thursday said leaks from the Nord Stream gas pipelines appeared to be sabotage and vowed a “determined response” to any attacks on critical infrastructure.
“All currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless and irresponsible acts of sabotage,” the Western military alliance said in a statement.
“These leaks are causing risks to shipping and substantial environmental damage. We support the investigations underway to determine the origin of the damage,” it said.
Last night, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com received Dr. Anthony Fauci’s FY2021 financial disclosures from the National Institutes of Health.
The documents contain a wealth of previously unknown information. For example, the Fauci household’s net worth now exceeds $12.6 million – up $5 million from 2019 through 2021.
In January 2022, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall forced open Dr. Anthony Fauci’s unredacted FY2019 and 2020 financial disclosures. The release followed a heated Senate exchange between Fauci and Marshall that concluded with Fauci calling the senator a “moron.”
It was Fauci’s “code red moment” when America’s ‘top doctor’ melted down on national television in the Senate hearing. (When Marshall cited ‘Forbes,’ that was our research on Fauci’s financials published in my then-column at Forbes.)
During the American Civil War Russian Tsar Alexander II helped save the Union by sending two naval squadrons to New York and San Francisco and placing them at the service of President Lincoln. A symbolic statue of these events is located in downtown Moscow, showing the two men shaking hands.
In 1918 America also sent two military units to Russia’s North Western and Far Eastern ports of Arkhangelsk and Vladivostok to fight the Bolsheviks, but their missions turned out to be a failure.
As a result, diplomatic relations between the two nations were broken and restored only in 1933 with the USSR – the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the new name Russia had used since 1922.
Just three weeks ago we observed how the 2022 Hurricane season had neared its halfway point without any hurricanes making landfall on the coast of the United States.
All that is about to change and with a bang: As the powerful Hurricane Ian bears down on Florida which is rapidly evacuating ahead of landfall, it threatens to further destabilize a homeowners-insurance market already teetering on the edge of disaster.
The storm is expected to make landfall along the southwest Florida coast late Wednesday or early Thursday, and could send seawater coursing through the streets of Tampa.
Treasury Secretary Yellen has been out on the campaign trail, calling for higher taxes on individuals and US companies. The Secretary thinks the government needs to collect more taxes, even though her own Department just reported that federal tax collections are at record high levels.
According to the Treasury Department’s monthly budget report, total federal tax receipts in the first eleven months of fiscal 2022 totaled $4.4 trillion, an increase of $823 billion, or 23%, over the same period last year. Total federal taxes are on track to reach nearly $5 trillion, an incredible 45% increase in the last two years. Taxes as a percent of GDP will reach 19.6%, the second-highest level since World War II.
Treasury also reported that corporate tax receipts are projected to reach $404 billion, the highest level ever, and nearly twice as much as the amount collected in 2020. Corporate taxes as a percent of GDP are now 1.7%, equal to the modern average (2000-2016) and higher than the 40-year average (1980-2020).
The ex-Soviet state of Moldova must boost defences because Russia is not respecting its neutrality, pro-Western President Maia Sandu has told national television.
“Moldova is a neutral country, … but now Russia does not respect our neutrality, keeping its military on the territory of Moldova. We therefore need to strengthen our defence capability,” Sandu said.
Russia has stationed peacekeeping troops in Transdniestria since the early 1990s, when an armed conflict saw pro-Russian separatists wrest most of the region from Moldovan control.
The U.S. government has acknowledged for the first time that five FBI confidential informants were involved with the Oath Keepers, but prosecutors failed to disclose that none of the sources provided evidence of guilt, a defense lawyer said on Sept. 26.
FBI officials have repeatedly declined in congressional hearings to say whether there were agents or confidential human sources (CHSes) in the crowd when the U.S. Capitol was breached on Jan. 6, 2021. But in pre-trial communications in the Oath Keepers seditious conspiracy case, prosecutors disclosed there were five sources informing on the Oath Keepers, David Fischer, representing defendant Thomas Caldwell, said in the new filing.
“What the Government knew—but only recently disclosed to the Defendants—was that none of the CHSes provided evidence of guilt on the part of the Oath Keepers as an organization, or the individual Defendants in this case,” Fischer said.
They may vote for lawmakers who would love nothing more than to disarm the populace, but a growing number of liberal women are embracing the Second Amendment so they can protect themselves.
"Our society and climate is changing… it’s just better to be prepared for your own safety and protection. That’s how we feel," said Laronya Day, who organized a lady's shooting day at Fortune Firearms in Southern California for herself and six other African American women in their early 50s.
"Do you have some friends who would be totally turned off by this?" CNN asked participant Charlean Ward. "Absolutely," she replied. "That’s their choice; I’m exercising my choice."
Brandi Joseph, owner of Fortune Firearms, led the women in a two-hour-long firearms training course, where she taught them about everything from which handguns are best suited for self-defense, to loading and disarming techniques. The women repeatedly loaded bullets into magazines, inserted them into the gun, chambered a round, and then did it all in reverse, before Joseph let them move on to live firing at paper targets.
Four Palestinians have been killed and more than 40 others injured during an Israeli military raid on a refugee camp in Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank.
The raid began with dozens of Israeli military vehicles entering the camp at approximately 9am (06:00 GMT).
Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday said he doesn’t believe the US and NATO would intervene if Russia launched a nuclear strike in Ukraine over fears of a "nuclear apocalypse" despite recent comments from US officials.
Medvedev, a former Russian president, also reiterated that Moscow believes it has the right to use nuclear weapons if Russia’s existence is threatened.
It has become a regular occurrence within the mainstream media these days to suggest that ties between Russia and China have been “strained” over the conflict in Ukraine and that Russia may lose the support of its ally soon. In most cases these reports are highly exaggerated and based on official comments that are taken completely out of context.
After the recent meeting between Xi and Putin in Uzbekistan, very little was said by China in regard to Ukraine, other than some short and prefabricated appeals for peace and diplomacy. Such comments are generally made for the sake of international appearances and have no bearing on China's actual agreements with Russia. There is no break in the alliance – The CCP doesn't care about Ukraine, it cares about its own interests, and those interests include vast supplies of energy resources and other commodities purchased from Russia at a discount.
Former Swiss intelligence officer and NATO adviser Jacques Baud on the next phase of the Russia-Ukraine war and new allegations that the US and UK undermined a peace deal that could have ended it.
The West’s aim “is not the victory of Ukraine, It’s the defeat of Russia,” Baud says. “The problem is that nobody cares about Ukraine. We have just instrumentalized Ukraine for the purpose of US strategic interests — not even European interests.”
Guest: Jacques Baud. Former intelligence officer with the Swiss Strategic Intelligence Service who has served in a number of senior security and advisory positions at NATO, the United Nations, and with the Swiss military.
MEP Nathalie Louiseau of France is lobbying for individual sanctions on all observers of the Russian-organized referendums in the Donbass region. She has singled out journalist Vanessa Beeley not only for her coverage of the vote, but for her reporting on the foreign-back war against Syria’s government.
A French Member of European Parliament (MEP), Natalie Louiseau, has delivered a letter to EU High Representative of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Borrell, demanding the European Union place personal sanctions on all international observers of the recent votes in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and certain Russian-controlled territories in eastern Ukraine.
Obtained by The Grayzone from an EU source, the letter is currently being circulated among European parliamentarians in hopes of securing a docket of supportive signatures.
A new respiratory virus discovered among Russian bats, known as Khosta-2, is covered in spike proteins that can infect human cells using the same entryways as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. But not surprising at all is that Khosta-2 is reportedly “resistant” to the “vaccines” already available for COVID-19.
This new respiratory virus cannot be neutralized by our current medicines including monoclonal antibodies either. What perfect timing. Now big pharma and the ruling class can work together to create yet another injection they can use fear to force on the public again.
Scientists warn that another pandemic might be triggered by a deadly animal virus spilling over to humans. And based on writings in the medical journal Plos Pathogens, authors want to begin creating another vaccine. “Critically, our findings highlight the urgent need to continue development of new, and broader-protecting sarbecovirus vaccines,” the authors wrote.
Webmaster addition: Here we go again...
This article was originally published by Cassie B. at Natural News.
Recent headlines touted a drop in the price of natural gas, but a severe shortage and much higher prices could well be on the horizon in the U.S., experts warn.
The price of natural gas fell by almost a dollar per million British thermal units after railway companies and trade unions reached a tentative deal that averted a strike that could have been devastating. However, it appears that prices at home and abroad will spike during the winter as inventories remain well below seasonal averages and a major shortage looms.
At Russia’s request, the UN Security Council will convene a meeting on Friday to discuss the apparent attacks on the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines that caused Russian to begin pouring into the Baltic Sea.
“Russia has requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council due to subversive acts against Nord Stream’s two lines,” Dmitry Polyansky, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the UN, wrote on Telegram.
Moscow has rejected claims from Ukraine and some Western officials that it was behind the attack on the pipelines that Russia has invested billions in building. Suspicion has fallen on the US for the blasts after Radek Sikorski, a Polish member of European Parliament and Russia hawk, thanked the US for the incident on Twitter.
Russia said on Wednesday that its “special military operation” in Ukraine will continue at least until it captures all of the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.
Donetsk is home to the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), which was first established in 2014, following the US-backed coup in Kyiv. The DPR and other Russian-controlled areas in Ukraine are expected to be absorbed by Moscow after referendums that concluded on Tuesday.
“The least I can say with an absolute clarity is that you all know well that not the whole territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic has been liberated. We are speaking here about the territory within its 2014 borders,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
Not satisfied with imposing anti-free speech and potentially discriminatory rules on law schools, the American Bar Association (ABA) supports prohibiting practicing lawyers from engaging in speech that could offend someone in a favored protected group, on pain of losing their law licenses.
We’ve been covering the ABA’s advocacy for anti-free speech and discriminatory ideology. During the past year, we’ve particularly focused on ABA’s abuse of its status as law-school gatekeeper to impose wokeness on law schools. You can find our previous coverage of the ABA here:
Continuing to reel from public protests and the international rebuke for their handling of them, Iran is going down the path so many others have tried, seeking a military solution.
To that end, Iran fired artillery at Kurdish groups in the area along the Iraqi border, killing 13. The attacks centered on Koya, east of the Iraqi Kurdish city of Irbil.
While the Kurds are seemingly unrelated to this issue, Iranian officials are claiming that they are fueling the latest unrest, and suggested that they are smuggling weapons to the protesters.
Iran also sent a drone in a direction of Irbil, and with Iraq requesting US action they shot down the UAV. CENTCOM said Iran’s indiscriminate attacks were a threat to stability.
The UN envoy for Yemen on Tuesday warned of the risk of more fighting breaking out in Yemen if the warring parties don’t agree to extend the current ceasefire, which is due to expire on October 2.
Fighting has been reported on the ground, and both sides have accused the other of violating the ceasefire. But Saudi airstrikes in Yemen and Houthi attacks inside Saudi Arabia have not been reported for months, marking the longest period of calm since the US-backed Saudi coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015.
UN envoy Hans Grundberg made the warning after holding talks with the Saudi-backed Yemeni presidential council in Riyadh and with Houthi officials in Oman. “We are at a crossroads where the risk of a return to war is real and I am urging the parties to choose an alternative that prioritizes the needs of the Yemeni people,” he said.
"The United States strongly supports the human rights of all Iranian women, including the right to peacefully assemble and to express themselves without fear of violence," Jennifer Gavito, deputy assistant secretary for Iran and Iraq at the State Department, said during an event hosted by The Atlantic Council.
"We will continue to enforce sanctions on Iranian entities perpetrating these human rights abuses, such as those imposed last week on Iran's morality police."
Amini, a Kurdish-Iranian woman, died in hospital earlier this month after being arrested in Tehran by the special police unit that monitors women's clothing.
Webmaster addition: This is starting to feel like a repeat of the 2009 failed US coup against Iran.
Germany's gas consumption rose too much last week to levels higher than in previous years, and without considerable gas conservation—including from households—Europe's biggest economy will find it difficult to avoid gas shortages this winter, Germany's Federal Network Agency, Bundesnetzagentur, said on Thursday.
Starting from today, the agency—the regulator to impose rationing in case of severe shortages—will publish weekly figures about gas consumption in Germany. Last week's consumption from businesses and households at 483 GWh/week was well above the average seen throughout the 2018 to 2021 period when it was 422 GWh/week. Last week, German gas consumption rose by 14.5 percent compared to the average of the previous years, mostly because that week was colder than comparable weeks in the past four years.
However, the savings needed to avoid gas shortages should be achieved regardless of temperatures, the German regulator said today.
Webmaster addition: What? Did they run out of books to burn?!?
Iranian oil industry contract workers have warned the government to end its crackdown on protesters or they will strike, a move that could cripple a key sector of the economy.
"We support the people's struggles against organized and everyday violence against women and against the poverty and hell that dominates the society,” the Organizing Council of Oil Contract Workers said on September 26.
Iran has been roiled by unrest that has spread to more than 80 cities and towns, including in the northwest, where 22-year-old Mahsa Amini lived before eyewitnesses and family said she was beaten -- and later died -- after being seized by the morality police in Tehran on September 13.
Labor protests in Iran also have been on the rise in recent months in response to declining living standards and state support as crippling Western sanctions wrack the economy.
Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law [Getty]
Israel continued its defiance of a 2016 UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate halt to all settlement activity in lands the Palestinians want for their future state, advancing plans for construction of nearly 2,000 housing units in the last three months, the UN Mideast envoy said on Wednesday.
Tor Wennesland told the council that no progress was made by Israelis and Palestinians on other demands in the resolution - preventing all violence against civilians, refraining from acts of provocation, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, distinguishing between Israeli territory and territories occupied since the 1967 war, and exerting “collective efforts to launch credible negotiations.”
Webmaster addition: Imagine my shock...
The elevation of Mohammed bin Salman to prime minister of Saudi Arabia, days before the Biden administration was set to decide whether to grant him immunity in the final court case over Jamal Khashoggi's murder, has been accused of being a ruse to shield the crown prince from justice.
On Tuesday, King Salman ordered a reshuffle in which the crown prince, sometimes referred to as MBS, became prime minister, a post traditionally held by the king, in a move designed to protect him from litigation, according to plaintiffs in the US lawsuit.
"There is one reason, and only one reason, MBS has now added 'prime minister' to his many unearned titles: a desperate gambit for immunity in the lawsuit we've brought for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi," tweeted Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Democracy for the Arab World Now (Dawn).
Back in July, Utah County Sheriff’s office announced that County Attorney David Leavitt and his wife were subjects of a child sex abuse investigation approximately 10 years ago involving ritualistic sexual abuse. Dozens of victims stepped forward at the time to make allegations against at least 15 members of the community.
At least 10 armed groups in Colombia, including former members of the FARC rebels who reject a peace deal and the Clan del Golfo crime gang, have agreed to participate in unilateral ceasefires, the government said on Wednesday.
President Gustavo Petro, who took office in August, has promised to seek "total peace" with armed groups, fully implementing a 2016 peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and meeting with dissidents and gangs.
"Each group with its own identity, nature and motivation is expressing its disposition to be part of a total peace, in this exploration phase we've asked them not to kill, not to disappear people and not to torture," Danilo Rueda, the government's high peace commissioner, told journalists at an impromptu press conference. "We are moving ahead."
The Navy has found more traces of jet fuel in the drinking water aboard the USS Nimitz after declaring the water safe following an initial leak into the ship’s potable water supply.
The Navy said last week that “traces of jet propellant-5 (JP-5)” leaked into the drinking water supply for sailors aboard the USS Nimitz on Sept. 16 “while operating off the coast of southern California.”
The crew “immediately took action” and deemed that the water was safe to use on Sept. 19, Lt. Cmdr. Adam Demeter, spokesman for the USS Nimitz, told Task & Purpose last week.
“After conducting a thorough flush and inspection of its potable water system, fresh water has been restored to the ship,” Demeter said in a statement on Sept. 21. “The water onboard the ship is safe for use and the health and wellbeing of all of our sailors is a top priority.”