"The first panacea of a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permeant ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists." -- Ernest Hemingway
As Europe faces the twin challenges of an economic and immigration crisis, parties across Europe known for their strong stance against mass migration are seeing a massive boost in popularity, and Austria is no different. Now, a new poll shows the conservative Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) tying for the top spot for the first time since 2017.
This summer, the left-wing SPÖ was still leading in all the polls by up to 8 percentage points, but the party is currently suffering a substantial drop in support, according to a wave of new polls, including one from the Lazarsfeld Society which shows the FPÖ party, led by Herbert Kickl, is now tied for first place with the SPÖ at 26 percent. In second is the conservative ÖVP at 21 percent, which currently rules the country in a coalition with the Green Party, which is at 11 percent.
Herbert Kickl, the leader of FPÖ, is enjoying a surge in support over his twin stances against migration and sanctions on Russia.
The Department of Homeland Security has been working to influence big tech platforms. This became originally evident when the Biden administration launched the ill-fated Disinformation Governance Board early in 2022, but has been a focus of their efforts even beyond that now-defunct unit, and before.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit that revealed via appended meeting minutes that former Microsoft executive Matt Masterson, who was formerly an official with DHS, told a DHS director in February 2022 that "Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov't. It's really interesteding how hesitant they remain." This according to The Intercept.
Prior to 2020, it was reported that DHS met with Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, and other platforms in order to coordinate "content moderation" operations. These meetings were part of an ongoing initiative which saw collusion and collaboration between DHS and big tech to determine how "misinformation" would be dealt with on those platforms.
Areas that came under this purview included the withdrawal from Afghanistan, undertaken disastrously by President Joe Biden in August 2021 as well as the origins of the Covid-19 virus, which became controversial enough that users were kicked off social media platforms for expressing the hypothesis that the virus originated in a Wuhan, China lab. A Senate report found last week that this was the most likely scenario. Information that could undermine trust in financial institutions was also targeted.
In a new threat, the rogue military commander, Khalifa Haftar, says that he is "close to taking a decisive decision to determine the path towards restoring the state."
In a speech delivered during a visit to the Al-Jufra region, Haftar, who is approaching his eighties, said he is ready to wage another war "to liberate the country" if peaceful efforts to expel foreign forces fail.
"We will move in line with the will of the Libyan people after all previous tracks brought us to a dead end and disappointing results."
He urged the Libyan people to uphold the right to self-determination and not to pin their hopes on foreign agendas, hinting that specific parties want to prolong the crisis with "flimsy pretexts and suspicious initiatives."
Ironically, Haftar, who -according to UN reports- sought help from Chadian, Sudanese, Syrian, and Russian mercenaries to take over the western region in April 2019, is demanding the removal of all foreign forces from Libyan territory, warning that if peaceful efforts fail, he will lead a decisive battle to liberate the country.
As he put it, the current landscape in Libya has changed and calls for a radical change are growing louder.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov said his government is willing to talk with Pope Francis, the United States, and France to find a solution to the war in Ukraine.
“We are willing to discuss all this (the situation in Ukraine) with the Americans, with the French, and with the pontiff,” Peskov said during a daily telephone news conference Oct. 25.
The Russian official was referring to the proposal by French President Emmanuel Macron, who on Monday asked the Roman Pontiff to call Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Joe Biden, and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill to “promote the peace process” in Ukraine.
In a statement to Le Point magazine, Macron said he encouraged “Pope Francis to call Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill, but also Joe Biden. We need the United States to come to the table to promote the peace process in Ukraine.”
The long-awaited unclassified U.S. 2022 National Defense Strategy has finally appeared. As expected, much of it is devoted to describing how to counter the dire threats to U.S. interests posed by China’s military (the People’s Liberation Army).
While avoiding the kind of shrill, inflated rhetoric so common in Trump-era security documents, the 2022 NDS unsurprisingly continues past broad-brush characterizations of China as an aggressive nation working hard on all fronts to weaken the U.S. and refashion both the Indo-Pacific and the (undefined) international system to suit its authoritarian interests.
There is arguably a greater emphasis in this NDS on the threats to homeland defense, thus reinforcing the existing narrative of China as a comprehensive security challenge to the United States. And this, of course, is seen to require a comprehensive, heightened effort not only to prevent Chinese aggression but to counter Chinese influence virtually everywhere.
We should be deeply concerned that, in the midst of what US President Joe Biden has described as the greatest risk of Armageddon since the Cuban missile crisis, Russia and NATO are this week conducting virtually simultaneousexercises of their nuclear forces, including live (conventional) missile launches. Both Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin no doubt believe the risks involved in signalling their resolve this way are manageable, but experience during the Cold War suggests otherwise.
An “experienced” analyst working at the National Security Agency developed a surveillance project about a decade ago that resulted in the unauthorized targeting and collection of private communications of people or organizations in the US, newly unearthed documents show.
An investigation into the matter, which hasn’t been previously reported, found that the analyst “acted with reckless disregard” and violated numerous rules and possibly the law, according to a 2016 report by the NSA’s Office of Inspector General. The agency released the report in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
The inspector general’s report sheds new light on unauthorized surveillance and lax oversight at a secretive agency whose global eavesdropping methods have faced intense scrutiny for vacuuming up massive amounts of data — including on Americans, who are protected by US law from being surveilled without authorization. The IG’s investigation unfolded as the first news stories were being published based on leaked classified documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The report said that Saudi officials have shared intelligence with Washington and in response to the warning, the US, Saudi Arabia, and several other countries in the region have put their militaries on higher alert.
At this point, there’s been no indication that Iran is planning to attack Saudi Arabia besides the Saudi claim. Riyadh often blames Tehran for Houthi attacks on the kingdom, but those operations are a response to the US-backed war the Saudis have been waging on Yemen since 2015.
Washington insists on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and will never accept Pyongyang as a nuclear weapons state, the State Department said. The US also repeated warnings that North Korea would soon test a nuclear weapon.
Asked if the United States would “eventually recognize North Korea as a nuclear state” during a Monday presser, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters “That is not our policy. I do not foresee that ever becoming our policy.”
“The complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula has been our objective since the conclusion of our DPRK policy review last year,” Price continued. “That has not changed. I don’t foresee that changing going forward.”
The U.S. is aiming to send Ukraine the “Vampire” counter-drone system by mid-2023, with a contract award expected within months, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.
The Pentagon on Aug. 24 announced it would send the system, a laser-guided-missile launcher that can quickly be installed in a civilian truck bed, as part of a larger arms package. But despite Russia’s expanded use of Iranian-made kamikaze drones to target Ukraine’s power stations and other key infrastructure, the Pentagon hasn’t yet approved a contract to deliver the system.
A Palestinian woman holds an olive tree in the West Bank village of Qalandiya. (Photo: Anne Paq, ActiveStills)
Jewish settlers on Tuesday attacked Palestinian women harvesting their olive crops in the village of Qaryout, near Nablus, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Ghassan Daghlas, a local official, said that settlers attempted to steal the olive crops the women harvested as Israeli soldiers detained village residents who wanted to help the women ward off the settlers.
Over 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.
President Joe Biden railed off two false statements in two sentences during a speech in Florida on Tuesday.
The 79-year-old President first claimed that there’s a war ongoing in Iraq, confusing the nation with Ukraine as he outlined his excuse for crippling inflation and sky-high gas prices gutting Americans at the pump.
After correcting himself, followed up the misstatement by falsely taking on the mantle of a Gold Star father for himself.
The decorative candles Yaroslav Vedmid bought more than a year ago were never meant to be lit, but the dried wax that now clings to them attests to how they’ve been used almost nightly — a consequence of power cuts across Ukraine.
Seated at the dinner table with his wife in a village on the outskirts of the capital, Kyiv, the two can’t count the number of times they’ve eaten in the dark since Russian attacks triggered the blackouts beginning in early October. Moscow has openly declared its intention to target the country’s energy infrastructure and drive the nation into the cold.
“When you’re relying on electricity, the worst thing is that you can’t plan … Psychologically it’s very uncomfortable,” said Vedmid, a 44-year-old business owner in Bilohorodka. The cuts are getting longer — nearly 12 hours of outages a day, he said.
Fox News reports, “A Democratic prosecutor in the Chicago area sounds the alarm over a criminal justice reform law. The new reform law will tie the hands of prosecutors, effectively destroying Illinois’s criminal justice systems.”
The article explains, “The Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today Act was signed by Illinois Governor Pritzker, D-Ill., in 2021 and is set to go into effect next year. It will implement sweeping reforms to Illinois’ criminal justice system. However, it has drawn massive criticism from law enforcement professionals across the political spectrum.”
Whether it’s a transgender ideology or going against the 2nd amendment, they are not stopping. One parent puts a school on blast for encouraging children to go against the 2nd amendment.
Fox News reports, “The concerned parent, Darcey Geissler, sent Fox News Digital the essay that made a case for gun control. Geissler called the assignment a poorly written and legally inaccurate essay in response to the principal. It was written by an adult parading as a child and is used to advance a political agenda once again.’”
The parent explained this wasn’t a great way to teach persuasive writing. Fox News says, “Geissler told the principal directly in an email, “When I was in law school, our first assignment on persuasive writing - a skill necessary to be a lawyer - was on whether or not a misspelling in a deed was sufficient to pass a title. Not exactly a sexy or emotional issue. We were not handed Roe v. Wade, the 2nd amendment, or climate change, even though we were law students with significant education and life experience.”
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday did not concede defeat in his first public remarks since losing Sunday's election, saying protests by his supporters were the fruit of "indignation and a sense of injustice" over the vote.
Brazil’s Supreme Court has ordered police to remove roadblocks erected by supporters of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who still has not publicly acknowledged his election defeat to left-wing rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Justice Alexandre de Moraes on Tuesday called on the Federal Highway Police to disperse the blockades, which were organised primarily by truckers, a key Bolsonaro constituency.
The highway police said truckers had blocked highways at 271 points, partially or fully, as part of protests that have spread to 23 of Brazil’s 26 states in the wake of Bolsonaro’s loss to Lula in Sunday’s election.
The police force said another 192 roadblocks had been cleared.
Egypt’s sharp devaluation of the pound last week has left millions of impoverished citizens wondering how to make ends meet as prices of basic commodities continue to soar.
As Egypt gears up for hosting the Cop27 UN conference on climate change in Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday, spending billions on logistical preparations, Mohamed Belal, 41, a railway worker who lives in an impoverished home on Warraq Island, Giza, is counting how his salary won’t be enough to cover his and his family’s expenses till the end of the year.
Israel will snatch swathes of Palestinian land near Nablus in the occupied West Bank for the expansion of an illegal Israeli settlement, an activist said.
A military order strips three Palestinian villages of around 616 dunams (152 acres) of land so the Eli settlement can be expanded, said Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank.
The impacted villages are Qaryout, As-Sawiya and Al-Lubban Ash-Sharqiya, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
It comes as Nablus and surrounding areas came under a three-week Israeli blockade.
The Central Bank said that the banking system in the country is getting back to normal levels, and urged citizens to remain supportive of the banking sector in the country.
Haseebullah Noori, press director of Da Afghanistan Bank (Central Bank), said that the banking sector is out of the crisis now. The Central Bank instructed citizens to open their bank accounts and said they can withdraw their money without any restrictions.
“Those who want to open a new bank account, they can do so whenever, if they want to, without any restrictions. There has been further work done in this regard,” he said.
However, residents of Kabul expressed frustration and said that they are facing challenges in withdrawing their money from the banks.
“If the money is not withdrawn on time, and the client has a patient who is in a critical situation, the patient might die because they need money to be withdrawn,” said Jamal Nasir, a resident of Kabul.
“Those who want to have a business, they need more money, but the bank doesn’t provide more than 20,000 Afs,” said Fawad, a resident of Kabul.
Prominent jailed Egyptian activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah has begun a full hunger strike ahead of the COP27 climate summit, as supporters say he will be either dead or free when world leaders convene in Sharm el-Sheikh next week.
Abd el-Fattah said in a letter to his family that he would start a zero-calories hunger strike on Tuesday and stop drinking water from November 6, when global climate talks are set to kick off in the Red Sea town.
The government of Pakistan has approved a deal worth nearly $112m to import 300,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia to meet its domestic shortfall.
The deal endorsed by the Economic Cooperation Committee on Monday comes as Pakistan struggles to balance its fragile economy and manage the aftermath of devastating floods this summer that killed more than 1,700 people and affected some 33 million.
Early exit polls show former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is poised to return to power in a Tuesday vote that reportedly had huge turnout - the largest the country has seen in over two decades.
Israel is on edge waiting for the results after five rounds of voting in three-and-a-half years, which still has yet to produce a clear winner and new government; instead there's been nothing but gridlock and power-sharing arrangements so far.
The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on Oct. 31, leaving in place a federal appeals court ruling that allowed the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to require the wearing of masks on airplanes, trains, and buses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the TSA abandoned its mask mandate in April, the decision allows a Dec. 10, 2021, ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to remain on the books as a legal precedent that the government may rely upon in the future.