Central banks closed out 2022 with reported net purchases of 28 tons of gold in December. Including large unreported purchases, this brought total central bank gold buying in 2022 to 1,136 tons. It was the second-highest level of net purchases on record dating back to 1950, and the 13th straight year of net central bank gold purchases.
China officially started buying gold again in November and made another large purchase of 30 tons in December. That raised China’s total gold reserves to over 2,000 tons for the first time.
The Chinese central bank accumulated 1,448 tons of gold between 2002 and 2019, and then suddenly went silent. Many speculate that the Chinese continued to add gold to its holdings off the books during those silent years.
There has always been speculation that China holds far more gold than it officially reveals. As Jim Rickards pointed out on Mises Daily back in 2015, many people speculate that China keeps several thousand tons of gold “off the books” in a separate entity called the State Administration for Foreign Exchange (SAFE).
According to a survey by Cambridge University and YouGov, unfavorable views of China have reached new highs in many countries.
As Statista's Katharina Buchholz reports, out of 26 countries surveyed, negative views of China prevailed in 16 and were shared by an increasing number of respondents in those places since the poll started in 2019.
Once an idea reserved for the pages of dystopian sci-fi novels, brain hacking is already here. The elites in Davos appear to be interested in harnessing this technology to further their questionable agenda...
At a recent World Economic Forum (WEF) presentation, those in attendance were told that attempts to decode the human brain was already well underway. As Tim Hinchcliffe, a man who has been sounding the alarm on the WEF’s plans for years, noted, the presentation came five years after historian Yuval Noah Harari told those in Davos that human beings were entirely hackable. We are, in a nutshell, walking, breathing, living algorithms, according to the academic. Harari’s vision, at the time, was a thing of feverish fantasy. Now, though, this fantasy is fast becoming a reality.
At the WEF Annual Meeting 2023, The Atlantic’s CEO Nicholas Thompson chaired a session called “Ready for Brain Transparency?” The session opened with an Orwellian-inspired video showing a scenario in which employees’ brainwaves were monitored and decoded. Besides using the information gathered to evaluate employee performance, brainwaves were decoded to assess whether or not any individuals had participated in criminal activity.
Following the video, Duke University’s Nita Farahany, an expert on both the ethical and legal implications of emerging technologies, explained to the audience that methods of decoding brainwaves already exist. Certain technologies, she said, already allow powerful organizations and governments to “pick up and decode faces that you’re seeing in your mind—simple shapes, numbers, your PIN number to your bank account.”
Tank warfare has evolved. The large force-on-force armored battles that were the hallmark of much of WWII, the Arab-Israeli conflicts, which served as the foundation of operational doctrine for both NATO and the Soviet Union (and which was implemented in full by the United States during Operation Desert Storm in 1991), has run its course.
Like most military technological innovations, the ability to make a modern main battle tank survivable has been outstripped by the fielding of defensive systems designed to overcome such defenses. If a modern military force attempted to launch a large-scale tank-dominated attack against a well-equipped peer-level opponent armed with modern anti-tank missiles, the result would be a decisive defeat for the attacking party marked by the smoking hulks of burned-out tanks.
Don’t get me wrong: tanks still have a vital role to play on the modern battlefield. Their status as a mobile bunker is invaluable in the kind of meat-grinder conflicts of attrition that have come to define the current stage of large-scale ground combat. Speed and armor still contribute to survivability, and the main gun of a tank remains one of the deadliest weapons on the modern battlefield.
The United States and its NATO allies are slowly drifting into a war against Russia. The Biden administration and some of our NATO allies, while feigning caution and prudence, have gradually increased their involvement in Ukraine’s war effort. Some Western strategists talk of defeating Russia and forcing Vladimir Putin from power, even trying him as a war criminal. Victory, they say, is just around the corner as along as we continue to arm Ukraine.
I’m reminded of a memorable scene in the movie Nicholas and Alexandra. Russia’s generals and politicians are confidently planning the mobilization of millions of troops against Germany on a huge table-size map. Against the advice of elder statesman Count Sergei Witte (brilliantly played by Sir Laurence Olivier), Tsar Nicholas II orders a general mobilization. Witte, old and gray, slumps in his chair and softly repeats the word “madness.”
Witte had convinced the Tsar in 1905 to negotiate an end to the Russo-Japanese War that was driving Russia to revolution. If Russia mobilized in late July 1914, Germany, France and England would mobilize, too. “Nobody will be able to stop,” warned Witte. And when Witte senses that the Tsar and his generals are not listening to him, he prophetically warns: “None of you will be here when this war ends. Everything we fought for will be lost. Everything we love will be broken […] Tradition, virtue, restraint—they all go […] And the world will be full of fanatics and trivial fools.”
Russia says US diplomats at the embassy in Moscow are spreading fake news about the Russian war with Ukraine.
Citing a senior Russian Foreign Ministry source, TASS news agency reported that an official note, which accused the US Embassy of interfering in Russia's internal affairs, had been delivered to the diplomatic mission on Tuesday.
The note was a harsh message to Lynne Tracy, the new US ambassador to Moscow, who arrived in the Russian capital last month. Tracy had reportedly been told she must strictly adhere to Russian law when making any statements about Russia's armed forces in Ukraine.
The note accused US diplomats of making "inappropriate" statements about the Russian leadership. It also warned that US diplomats purportedly engaging in "subversive activities" would be expelled.
The news demonstrates law enforcement agencies’ continued targeting of the encrypted phone industry, part of which has served organized criminal syndicates for years. The Dutch police specifically have been behind many of these hacks and shutdowns, working on other investigations into companies such as Ennetcom and Sky.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) proposed a revenue procedure this week cracking down on service industry's reporting of tips.
The so-called Service Industry Tip Compliance Agreement (SITCA) program would be a voluntary tip reporting system in which the IRS and service industry companies cooperate, according to the announcement Monday. As part of the proposal, the IRS will give the public until early May to provide feedback on the program before implementing it.
"Those 87,000 new IRS agents that you were promised would only target the rich..." Mike Palicz, the federal affairs manager at Americans for Tax Reform, tweeted. "They're coming after waitresses' tips now."
Hunter Biden’s Manhattan art dealer is refusing to provide any information about the buyers of the first son’s paintings to a congressional committee investigating the Biden family’s business dealings, The Post has learned.
In a Feb. 6 letter to Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, a lawyer for art dealer Georges Berges raises “concerns” about complying with the committee’s demands to see records about clients who have purchased Hunter’s work.
Refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in prison.
The committee, which is probing President Biden’s international and domestic business dealings, is set to begin hearings Wednesday.
The Post has seen the letter from attorney William Pittard, who represents Berges and Georges Berges Galleries LLC. It notes that providing information about the buyers would violate White House rules that were set up specifically to deal with the sale of Hunter Biden’s artwork in 2021.
It’s been a rough few months for the tech industry. There have been tens of thousands of layoffs, hundreds of billions in value lost on Wall Street and a high-profile scandal at a crypto company that has shaken faith in that young market.
But in a conference center on Microsoft’s sprawling campus, Tuesday was a moment for swagger. Executives and engineers from Microsoft and a small research lab partner called OpenAI unveiled a new internet search engine and web browser that use the next iteration of artificial intelligence technology that many in the industry believe could be a key to its future.
This new artificial intelligence became a fascination for millions of people two months ago when OpenAI released a chatbot called ChatGPT. Capable of answering questions, writing poetry and riffing on almost any topic tossed its way, ChatGPT provided the tech industry with a jolt of excitement in the middle of its biggest job contraction in at least 15 years.
The enthusiasm around OpenAI’s technology — as well as the work of several competitors expected to hit the market soon — reminds tech veterans of other moments that have turned Silicon Valley on its head, from the first iPhone and the Google search engine to the Netscape web browser that set the stage for the commercialization of the internet.
Lawsuits claiming hair relaxer products sold by cosmetics giant L’Oreal USA Inc. and other companies could cause cancer will be consolidated. According to a Monday order from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, 57 lawsuits have been filed against the US subsidiary L’Oreal SA and subsidiaries of India-based companies Godrej SON Holdings Inc. and Dabur International Ltd.
According to court records, the lawsuits claim that the products made by the companies to straighten textured hair contain dangerous chemicals and that the manufacturers were aware that those chemical were unsafe, but marketed and sold their products nevertheless.
Last year, a US National Institutes of Health study claimed that women who regularly used hair relaxer products were at higher risk of uterine cancer.
In his second State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Biden is slated to outline a series of actions the federal government is taking to crack down on the smuggling of fentanyl along the southern border, where Mexican cartels have sought to traffic thousands of pounds of the deadly synthetic opioid into the U.S. over the past year alone.
Mr. Biden is expected to argue his administration is disrupting the trafficking of fentanyl into the U.S. by increasing scanning technology at official border crossings, broadening the government's collaboration with delivery companies to identify suspicious packages and enlisting the help of other countries in curbing overseas production of the drug, the White House said.
The president will also urge Congress to pass a law that would increase criminal penalties for traffickers who alter the chemical makeup of fentanyl in hopes of evading federal regulation and prosecution, the White House added in a preview of the president's remarks.
Monday’s devastating earthquakes killed hundreds of Syrians and shattered critical infrastructure already battered by the West’s decade-long dirty war against the Middle Eastern nation. But Washington has refused to budge on its sanctions, which aptly bear the name of an ancient Roman emperor known for his cruelty.
The United States will not be lifting its Caesar Act sanctions or other restrictions against Syria following Monday’s quakes, State Department spokesman Ned Price has indicated.
“First, I would like to start today by echoing the president and secretary in expressing our deepest condolences to the people of Turkey and Syria following the devastating earthquakes in Kahramanmaras, in southeastern Turkey,” Price said in a briefing Monday. “We stand in solidarity with our allies, our partners, and the people of Turkey and Syria affected by those terrible events.”
Price clarified that this “solidarity” doesn’t extend to the Syrian government. Asked why Washington wasn’t ready to coordinate aid with Damascus directly, the spokesman suggested that it “would be quite ironic, if not counterproductive, for us to reach out to a government that has brutalized its people over the course of a dozen years now.”
For decades, the gender of God has prompted debate within the Church, with many calling for male pronouns He and Him, as well as reference to Our Father, to be scrapped in favour of either gender neutral or female alternatives.
Now, in what would mark a departure from centuries of tradition, bishops are to launch a project “on gendered language” referencing God in church services later this year.
The move has been criticised by conservatives, who have warned that “male and female imagery is not interchangeable”. However, liberal Christians have welcomed it, claiming that “a theological misreading of God as exclusively male is a driver of much continuing discrimination and sexism against women”.
The US has ruled out contacting the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad despite this week’s devastating earthquakes. Türkiye and Syria have been offered aid from numerous other countries after the natural disaster caused widespread destruction.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters on Monday that Washington is “a partner to the people of Syria” but claimed it would be “ironic, if not even counterproductive, for us to reach out to a government that has brutalized its people over the course of a dozen years now.”
Webmaster addition: This does not look good to the rest of the world.
Reports coming from inside the Ukraine ministry of Defense claim President Volodomyr Zelensky was summonsed to serve in the Ukraine Military, four times in 2014 and 2015, but never reported as ordered.
Today, he is President of Ukraine, sending tens-of-thousands of soldiers to their deaths against Russia.
From sources inside the Ukraine Ministry of Defense (verbatim):
"We inform that the citizen Zelensky V.A. has been registered in the military Register of conscripts in the Territorial Center for Recruitment and Social Support of the United Metallurgy-Dolgintsev District of Krivoy Rog since 22.12.2008 and to this day, military rank - soldier, military registration specialty - clerk of Records", - noted in the Ministry of Defense.
"For the convocation during the mobilization, summonses were sent to the citizen Zelensky V.A.: 15.04.2014, 23.06.2014, 15.08.2014, 10.05.2015 to the address indicated in his registration documents. The citizen Zelensky V.A. did not come to the convocation office when he was summoned."
This four-time conscientious objector /or perhaps more appropriately "Draft-Dodger," became the commander-in-chief.
A new poll released just before the State of the Union speech from President Joe Biden has revealed that the incumbent Democrat’s support within his own party has utterly collapsed. The new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that in spite of his insistence on a 2024 run, his position may no longer be tenable.
A fire broke out at a factory belonging to the Edge Autonomy company, which provides drones to Ukraine, on Tuesday, according to Latvian reports. Three people were injured in the fire.
The factory is located in Mārupe, on the outskirts of the capital Riga. Photos from the scenes showed flames and a heavy plume of smoke visible from outside the facility.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) revealed he’s defending Texas against an onslaught of illegal immigrants by completing Donald Trump’s former project of erecting a wall along the southern border.
In a social media post Sunday, Abbott showed construction crews making progress installing 30-foot high sections of steel fencing meant to keep out illegal intruders.
Scientists have discovered a hidden layer of Earth, which sits 100 miles below the surface and covers at least 44 percent of the planet.
This previously unknown region of molten rock is part of the asthenosphere, located under tectonic plates in the upper mantle, which forms a soft boundary that allows the solid rock slabs to move.
While the discovery is significant, it shatters long-held theories that molten rocks influence the asthenosphere's viscosity.