Iraq’s foreign exchange rate has steadily declined over recent years, falling to lows which are severely damaging the Iraqi economy. Ironically, this comes at a time when the foreign reserves meant to back the Iraqi dinar’s global position are at a near-term high.
Starting with the 2003 US invasion and occupation, the Central Bank of Iraq has remained closely linked to the US Federal Reserve. This was one of several long-term linkages meant to ensure the US retained strong sway over the future Iraqi economy to react to any tensions, and in the increasingly likely event that the US feels like increased mucking about regionally.
The US regime got it in its head that Syria and Iran were using the relatively free economy of neighboring Iraq for money laundering. That’s not an entirely unreasonable suspicion, as many Iranians are heavily invested in the Iraqi economy after the damage done to Iran’s economy by US sanctions. Trying to rein this in, the US Federal Reserve is keeping a tight grip on the foreign reserves it holds “for” Iraq.
The other day I stumbled across a 2014 opinion piece in The Guardian titled “It’s not Russia that’s pushed Ukraine to the brink of war” by Seumas Milne, who the following year would go on to become the Labour Party’s Executive Director of Strategy and Communications under Jeremy Corbyn.
I bring this up because the perspectives you’ll find in that article are jarring in how severely they deviate from anything you’ll see published in the mainstream press about Ukraine in 2023. It places the brunt of the blame for the violence and tensions in that nation at that time squarely at Washington’s feet, opening with a warning that the “threat of war in Ukraine is growing” and saying there’s an “unelected government in Kiev,” and it only gets naughtier from there.
I strongly recommend reading the article in full if you want some perspective in just how dramatically the mass media has clamped down on dissenting ideas about Ukraine and Russia, beginning with the frenzied stoking of Russia hysteria in 2016 and exploding exponentially with the Russian invasion last year. I doubt there’s a single paragraph which could get published in any mainstream outlet in the media environment of today.
On her wedding day, Sally Abujumeiza could not let go of her phone. Her father, kept apart from her under Israeli policy, was on the other end of a video call throughout the party.
"The wedding day was one of the saddest days in our life," Sally's mother, Tassahil Abujumeiza, told Middle East Eye. "She cried all day long."
In 2009, when 24-year-old Sally was 10, her father, Qassem Abujumeiza, left his hometown of Gaza for work in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, around 80 km away.
Back then, the tailor factory manager thought it would take him a few days to arrange for his family in Gaza to join him in Ramallah. Fourteen years later, the family is still waiting for unification.
An illegal Jewish settler assaulted on Thursday a Palestinian boy from the town of Huwwara, near the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Suleiman al-Mukhtar, the boy’s father, told WAFA that an illegal Jewish settler driving in Huwwara stopped his vehicle and pepper-sprayed his 14-year-old son Faysal, who was standing on the side of the street when the settler passed by.
Jewish settlers, protected by the army and with a green light from their racist government, have recently escalated their violence against Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories.
According to a report issued by the Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission, Israeli occupation forces and Jewish settlers carried out more than 700 attacks against Palestinians and their properties during the month of January.
Serbia’s populist president warned during a chaotic parliamentary session on Thursday that the Balkan nation could become a European “pariah” state if it rejects a Western plan for normalizing relations with Kosovo.
President Aleksandar Vucic faced a hostile reception from the right-wing opposition, which urged parliament to reject the plan and accused him of betraying Serbia.
The plan hasn’t been made public formally, but Vucic said it stipulates that Serbia wouldn’t object to Kosovo’s inclusion in international organizations, including the United Nations, though it wouldn’t have to formally recognize its statehood.
“I haven’t signed anything. I said we will continue with the talks,” Vucic said. “People need to understand … Would we become a European pariah? Yes, we would.”
Energy giant Shell has announced record annual profits nearing $40bn, after oil and gas prices surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February.
The British company’s earnings in 2022 were the highest in its 115-year history, a milestone that has angered many Britons struggling with a cost-of-living crisis largely driven by inflated energy bills.
Boeing has been awarded a $1.6 billion contract to provide guidance subsystem support for US Minuteman III Intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
Work will be performed at Hill Air Force Base in the state of Utah, and is expected to be completed by Feb. 1, 2039, the Department of Defense said in a statement.
The Minuteman III, which has been in service for 50 years, is a warhead-equipped missile that can carry a nuclear bomb during wartime.
The Pentagon carried out a routine test of the missile on September 7. The operation had been announced in advance in order to avoid any flare-up of tensions with Russia in the midst of its war in Ukraine.
Martial law was declared in several areas of military-run Myanmar on Thursday, a day after authorities extended a state of emergency throughout the country wracked by violence that some U.N. experts have described as a civil war.
State-run MRTV television broadcast an announcement by Aung Lin Dwe, secretary of the military’s State Administration Council, imposing martial law in 37 townships across eight of the country’s 14 regions and states. Eleven of the townships are in Sagaing region and seven in Chin state, areas in the northwest where fighting has been fiercest between the army and guerrillas belonging to pro-democracy People’s Defense Forces and their allies in ethnic minority militias.
The army has been struggling to contain a nationwide insurrection by opponents of military rule who took up arms after peaceful protests against the army’s Feb. 1, 2021, seizure of power were suppressed with lethal force. The military has declared martial law before, most notably in early 2021 in Yangon, the country’s biggest city, after which violence escalated against protesters. According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an independent watchdog group that tracks killings and arrests, at least 2,948 civilians have been killed since the army takeover.
China, only the third country to put a man in space after the Soviet Union and United States, is to build ground stations on Antarctica to back its network of ocean monitoring satellites, state media said on Thursday.
FILE PHOTO: Astronaut Liu Yang waves as she is out of a return capsule of the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft© Thomson Reuters
China's global network of ground stations to support a growing number of satellites and outer space ambitions has drawn concern from some nations that it could be used for espionage, a suggestion China rejects.
In 2020, Sweden's state-owned space company, which had provided ground stations that helped fly Chinese spacecraft and transmit data, declined to renew contracts with China or accept new Chinese business due to "changes" in geopolitics.
China Aerospace Science and Technology Group Co. is to build the stations at the Zhongshan research base, one of two permanent Chinese research stations on Antarctica, after winning the tender with its 43.95 million yuan ($6.53 million) bid, state-controlled China Space News reported.
On January 19, during one of its raids in the Occupied West Bank, the Israeli military arrested a Palestinian journalist, Abdul Muhsen Shalaldeh, near the town of Al-Khalil (Hebron). This is just the latest of a staggering number of violations against Palestinian journalists, and against freedom of expression.
A few days earlier, the head of the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate (PJS), Naser Abu Baker, shared some tragic numbers during a press conference in Ramallah. "Fifty-five reporters have been killed, either by Israeli fire or bombardment since 2000," he said. Hundreds more were wounded, arrested or detained. Although shocking, much of this reality is censored in mainstream media.
The murder by Israeli occupation soldiers of veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11, was an exception, partly due to the global influence of her employer, Al Jazeera Network. Still, Israel and its allies labored to hide the news, resorting to the usual tactic of smearing those who defy the Israeli narrative.
Muhammed Bazza has been queueing for petrol in the blazing sun for four hours, while Alexander Okwori has spent the last two waiting at an ATM.
Bazza said he had woken up at 4:30 am to try to beat the petrol queues, but it didn’t work – shortly after 10 am, when he was just 10 metres (30 feet) from the petrol pump, he was told to leave.
Hunter Biden is making a bold move by asking the Federal Government and the Delaware Attorney General to go after individuals who shared personal information from his laptop.
According to the letter sent by his lawyer to the Justice Department, Hunter Biden is targeting close allies of former President Donald Trump, including John Paul Mac Isaac (the laptop repair store owner), Rudy Giuliani, his attorney Robert Costello, Steve Bannon, Garrett Ziegler, Jack Maxey, and Yaacov Apelbaum.
Robert Costello, a lawyer for both Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon, told CBS News the letters to the Justice Department and Delaware were a "frivolous legal complaint trying to intimidate."
The news of Hunter Biden’s request has sparked a heated debate between political factions on either side of the aisle. While some view the move as a necessary step to protect his privacy and the right to information, others view it as a political ploy to silence his detractors.
It’s still unclear at this point whether there will ever be a complete reckoning with all the misinformation, disinformation and outright lies that were spread by authorities in government, media and the corporate sector about COVID and vaccines during the pandemic. But one mea culpa DID recently appear in Newsweek, penned by Texas MD/Ph.D student Kevin Bass, who explained at length how lives were lost and confidence in institutions undermined by the knowing spread of false information and defamation of anyone who contradicted the COVID narrative.
A new report compiled by the Center for Biological Diversity has revealed that the number of households having their electricity disconnected by power companies as a result of not being able to pay soared between 2021 and 2022.
Leading the way among states who report such data is Illinois, whose main electricity providers shut down power for nearly 300,000 households between January and October 2022, a massive increase over the previous year.
According to the report, disconnects in Illinois rose 26 percent from 2021 to 284,720 in the first ten months of 2022. The state's two largest electricity providers, Exelon’s Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and Amaren, accounted for the vast majority of shut-offs.
Both companies are investor-owned and have been criticized for increasing executives' salaries while working to make electricity more expensive for customers.
As the report states, ComEd imposed a 26 percent rate hike in October 2021, and gained permission from regulators in November 2022 to raise prices yet again by $199 million. All the while, customers were having their lights turned off for non-payment.
Montana’s Republican Senator Steve Daines sent a letter to the Department of Defense (DOD) demanding answers on the suspected Chinese spy balloon spotted above his state.
Daines sent a late letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday amid reports of the suspected surveillance balloon over U.S. airspace.
The Montana Republican called the high-altitude Chinese balloon a "concerning event" and told Austin that the "fact that this balloon was occupying Montana airspace creates significant concern that Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB) and the United State’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fields are the targets of this intelligence gathering mission."
Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., sent a late Thursday letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin demanding answers on the suspected Chinese spy balloon spotted above his state. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP)
Daines wrote that given "the serious nature of the event," he is "requesting a full security briefing from the administration on this situation."
"It is vital to establish the flight path of this balloon, any compromised U.S. national security assets, and all telecom or IT infrastructure on the ground within the U.S. that this spy balloon was utilizing," the letter reads.
Webmaster addition: This story doesn't feel right. Given that this is supposedly a balloon, it's path is easy to determine from the prevailing winds. Another point is that, whoever this balloon belongs to, if they don't have permission to be in US airspace, then it can be brought down safely by punching a small hole in the envelope. But this "China is over our heads watching us" feels more like fear porn than accurate reporting.
UPDATE: Turns out it's a weather balloon gone astray.
The Bank of England on Thursday hiked its interest rate for a tenth time in a row as global authorities race to combat sky-high inflation.
It also forecast a shallower-than-expected UK recession this year as the country faces a cost-of-living crisis.
The BoE voted at a regular meeting to lift its key interest rate by a half-point to 4.0 percent, the highest level since late 2008.
The pound dipped and the London stock market advanced in early afternoon trade, as investors digested a decision that was in line with expectations.
The European Central Bank also raised eurozone interest rates by the same amount Thursday, after the US Federal Reserve delivered a quarter-point increase Wednesday.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday said sending fighter jets to Ukraine would require "months if not years" of training and that he was looking for the most effective way of helping Kyiv secure victory.
In a pre-recorded television interview to mark his first 100 days as leader, Sunak told TalkTV's Piers Morgan Uncensored the UK was "always talking to the Ukrainians about the right support they need".
"The issue is what is the support that we can provide that we think will make the most difference? ...That's why the decision I took as prime minister was to be one of the first countries in the world to provide heavy tanks to Ukraine... We were then followed by other countries."
Fighter jets, he said, were "incredibly sophisticated pieces of equipment that require months if not years for people to be trained on".
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has had a victory in the fight against far-left political propaganda in the state's African American History AP course. After DeSantis' criticism of the course, The College Board was forced to edit the controversial parts of the curriculum.
The course, which was initially designed to teach students about the history and culture of African American people, was found to have included elements of far-left political propaganda. This prompted DeSantis to call for the course to be changed or removed from the state's AP courses.
A U.S. government watchdog has issued a “deeply disturbing” fraud alert over the widespread use of “questionable” Social Security numbers (SSNs) to get pandemic loans.
The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) found that 69,323 potentially fraudulent SSNs were used to obtain $5.4 billion from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.
The shocking revelation dropped just days before a hearing by the Republican-led House of Representatives Oversight Committee on fraudulent pandemic spending was set to begin.
“What PRAC has discovered is deeply disturbing,” said Sens. Rand Paul and Joni Ernst, who are demanding an investigation into COVID-19 loan fraud. “The extent of the fraud could be far greater.”
Four young girls were sexually assaulted by a male teacher while at school in Michigan, authorities said.
Three of the students were blindfolded during the assaults, officials said, and the other girl was assaulted multiple times during her vision tests.
James Adam Baird, 43, of Plymouth, was arraigned in two different courts on Feb. 1 as the alleged assaults occurred in different districts.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worth said the first assault occurred Jan. 4, 2018 at a Garden City elementary school.
“It is alleged that (Baird) sexually assaulted the then 10-year-old victim multiple times while administering vision tests,” she said.
Webmaster addition: Sick. Just plain sick!
Every single person in government and the media that pushed these jabs participated in the most despicable crime — the maiming and murder of tens of thousands.
Today a good video by Stone Turner.
Apologies for the repetition, but it is almost impossible to get one’s head around how this “vaccine” hoax was made possible. The ‘safe and effective’ narrative was the biggest LIE ever told. The “science” was a big fat LIE. A lie repeated hourly on television by countless mouthpieces and authorities — paid for by Pharma.
Leaders are not leaders — they are puppets directed by powers above them. TV hosts are not presenters, they are no more than script-reading puppets. It proves once and for all that humanity operates in a hive-mind sheep-like way.
And this madness continues despite the EVIDENCE.
Future humans will look back to these times as the “dark ages” — the dark age of mass mind control, thought-abandonment, and “willful blindness”.
According to Blinken, Israel has every right to defend itself. The State Department said that all parties must “put an end to the cycle of violence”. The old meaningless mantra is still chanted.
Yesterday, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) killed nine Palestinians in a deadly daylight attack on Jenin in the occupied West Bank. A tenth Palestinian was shot and killed by the IDF in al-Ram while protesting the attack on Jenin.
The Palestinian health ministry identified three of those killed as housewife Magda Obaid, 61, Saeb Izreiqi, 24, and Izzidin Salahat, 26, while another twenty were wounded. Heavy artillery and explosives were used by the IDF which resulted in substantial property damage to homes and civic buildings.
Overnight, two rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. The Israeli military responded with airstrikes into Gaza, even though the rockets had been intercepted by the air defense system and no damage had been done.
Reform UK, the rebranded Brexit Party, called for an end to foreign ownership of Britain’s utility firms to prevent the taxpayer from being continuing to be “ripped off”.
Speaking from his newly formed campaign office in Hartlepool, where he will be standing for Parliament in the next general election, businessman Richard Tice said that the promise of Brexit — which he campaigned for alongside former Reform leader Nigel Farage — has been let down by the two major parties, most notably the “con-socialist” Conservatives (Tories), as he terms them.
In addition to failing to reduce mass immigration, both illegal and legal, Tice said that the post-Brexit Tory governments of Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have failed to take advantage of the economic opportunities that being free from the European Union affords the United Kingdom.
“They haven’t cut taxes, they haven’t cut VAT, they haven’t cut the environmental levies, they haven’t even cut some of the daft EU regulations,” Tice said.
British Gas has been found to have employed debt-collecting contractors who broke into the homes of vulnerable customers who fell behind on payments to forcibly install prepayment meters during the energy crisis.
An investigation by The Times of London in which a reporter was embedded clandestinely with British Gas contractors from Arvato, a debt-collecting firm tasked with installing prepayment energy meters for those late on their payments, has found that contractors broke into homes to do so.
In one instance, debt agents were seen using a locksmith, during below-freezing temperatures, to break into the home of a single father with three children in order to install a prepayment energy meter, meaning that if the family failed to top up their payments, their heating would be shut off.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanuahu met in Paris to discuss measures to deter Iran, the Israeli premier’s office said.
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met this evening with French President Emmanuel Macron. The two leaders discussed at length ways to confront the Iranian nuclear threat. PM Netanyahu stressed that deterrence with Iran and its proxies in the Middle East needs to be strengthened," the statement says. "Prime Minister Netanyahu also called for imposing significant sanctions on the Iranian regime and for the Revolutionary Guards to be included on the EU terrorism list."
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency William Burns believes that China will be the most serious geopolitical threat to his country in the coming decades, CBS journalist Olivia Gazis said in a series of Twitter posts.
The journalist quoted Burns as saying while addressing an event at the Georgetown University that "China remains the biggest geopolitical challenge the US faces in the decades ahead, and the biggest priority for CIA."
According to her, Burns also said new technologies were the "main arena" for competition with China, and the "main determinant of our future as an intelligence service.".
The old caucasus spa town of Kislovodsk was in terminal decline, much like the Soviet Union itself. It was late April 1991, and Secretary of State James Baker and those of us in his bone-tired delegation had just arrived from Damascus. We stumbled around in the evening gloom to find our rooms in the official guesthouse, long past its glory days as a haven for the Communist Party elite. My room was lit by a single overhead bulb. The handle on the toilet came off when I tried to flush it, and what trickled out of the faucet had the same sulfurous smell and reddish tint as the mineral waters for which the town was famous.
I walked down to Baker’s suite to deliver a briefing memo for his meeting the next day with the Soviet foreign minister. The suite was bigger and better lit, with similarly understated decor. Baker smiled wearily and glanced at the paper I handed him. It was covered with notes on all the issues before us: Germany’s peaceful reunification in the fall of 1990, the military triumph over Saddam Hussein little more than a month earlier, the increasingly precarious future of the Soviet Union.