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Thought for the day
"Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that… the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience." -- Aldous Huxley, 1949
Another one bites the dust...
Less than two weeks since Ravil Maganov, the vice president and chair of the board of directors of Russian oil giant Lukoil, died after falling out of a sixth floor hospital window in Moscow, another Russian energy executive has been found dead in mysterious circumstances.
39-year-old Ivan Pechorin, managing director of Putin's Far East and Arctic Development Corporation, fell off the side of a boat while sailing in the waters close to Russky Island near Cape Ignatiev, according to Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda.
On Tuesday the Kremlin addressed widespread speculation and rumors that President Vladimir Putin is planning to issue a full declaration of war as Russian forces pull back from Kharkiv, in a Ukraine counteroffensive that Kiev leaders and their Western allies are hailing as a major success. A war declaration would trigger mass mobilization and a draft.
"Russia is not planning to declare a mass national draft for the war in Ukraine," the Kremlin stated, amid reports its forces are suffering fatigue, low moral and manpower shortages. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasized this is not under discussion at this point: "Not at this point. No, we are not discussing that," he said when asked about widespread reports, as quoted in TASS news.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and other officials shall not “take any action to implement or enforce H.B. 2243 in a manner that would remove any voter’s eligibility to vote in the 2022 general election or disqualify any otherwise-valid ballot on the basis of H.B. 2243,” U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, a Clinton appointee, said in the Sept. 8 order.
Bolton accepted a joint agreement and proposed order outlined by the Arizona Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander for Equity Coalition and state officials, including Hobbs and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, presented to the court earlier on Sept. 8.
The officials and the coalition, which sued over the legislation in August, agreed that “the provisions of H.B. 2243 should not operate in a manner that would prevent any voter from (1) voting in the upcoming November 2022 general election or (2) having their vote be counted.” Hobbs and Brnovich also decided that the changes to the state election code shouldn’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2023, because one of the laws that the legislation is amending isn’t effective itself until then.
“While we are pleased with this early agreement that protects the right to vote in the next election, we remain steadfast in our commitment to continue to fight both of these voter suppression laws for the long term,” May Tiwamangkala, an official with the coalition, said in a statement. “We are in this fight to protect the rights of all voters in our state, including those from the AANHPI communities.”
The Kiev Security Compact would end up "enslaving the European Union," so that the bloc never recovers, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Sputnik radio on Wednesday.
"This compact, these so-called working groups would get EU countries caught in such a knot, tying their hands so that they would end up hellishly enslaved and subsequently never restore their economic growth and development, nor even their former glory for that matter as well," the diplomat elaborated, taking aim at the Kiev Security Compact published on Tuesday.
A number of provisions mentioned in the compact, specifically those regarding weapons supplies, are already being implemented "on a much larger scale," Zakharova remarked.
"Weapons have been supplied to Ukraine non-stop," the diplomatic agency’s Spokeswoman continued. "The financial assistance being channeled to Ukraine in all of its forms, be it money transfers, or loans and so on, is unprecedented in recent history," she pointed out.
Politically we have the man that occupies the White House, Joe Biden, targeting Republicans by telling his leftist base that "MAGA" Republicans, are a threat to the very nation.
For the record, I find it very disturbing that to Democrats, the very term "Make America Great Again," causes them fear and mental anguish, when the entire country should want this nation to be great.
So, while politically Biden himself has escalated the ongoing "civil" war, pushing Americans one step closer to all out war in the streets, economically we are on the edge of complete destruction.
The Biden regime and their puppets in the media continue to smile and claim, gas prices are down, therefore inflation is lessened, yeah!!!!!
They ignore gas prices are still far higher than they were when Biden took office. Also please note the warnings from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that gas prices may surge yet again during the winter.
They ignore that more people are having to work multiple jobs just to survive and afford food which has seen price hikes at unprecedented levels.
Once again, Kiev makes clear its intentions to continue the war against Russia. On September 13, the Ukrainian government published a national security plan that provides for the extension of Western aid for decades. In the text, it is suggested that NATO states should continue to support Kiev in a variety of ways, including investments in the defense industry. In practice, the Ukrainian state has made an official statement that it intends to expand the conflict indefinitely, which makes any form of negotiation for peace impossible.
This document looks like an alternative to Ukraine’s unfeasible accession to NATO. Since 2014, Kiev has been planning to join the Western military alliance, but, despite the country having been used several times to attack Russian citizens and destabilize Moscow’s strategic environment, NATO has never really seemed interested in approving such a membership. By the rules of the alliance, states in conflict cannot be accepted, since NATO is a collective security pact that establishes that all members must cooperate with each other in case of war in any of the states. As Kiev had been in a civil conflict for the past eight years, membership would be impossible.
Obviously, this project became even more unrealistic with the start of the Russian special military operation. Despite actively helping Ukraine with military and financial assistance, the Western Alliance would not allow Kiev to gain membership as this situation would create an obligation for all other members to send troops to fight Russia. Then, faced with the impossibility of joining the alliance, the Zelensky government established a document of guarantees to create conditions for cooperation between Kiev and NATO.
The recently released document establishes the signing of the Kiev Security Compact, of which, among others, the US, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Canada, Poland and Turkey would be signatories. This would allow various NATO powers to act in an integrated manner with the Ukrainian Defense Minister, despite the fact that the country is not a real member of the alliance. It is still determined that other bilateral pacts must be concluded, seeking to reinforce a policy of collective security. The text, however, makes it clear that Kiev will continue to seek its entry into NATO, with such pacts being just a way of establishing conditions of integration at a time when membership is not possible.
A new YouGov/Economist poll asking Americans about the likelihood of various "dire political scenarios" found that half the country think that within ten years the US will no longer be a global superpower and there will be a "total economic collapse."
Among 15 potential future scenarios involving instability or political violence, the one that most Americans consider likely in the next decade is that the U.S. ceases to be a global superpower (50% say this), followed by a total collapse of the U.S. economy (47%). Each of the 15 dire scenarios is considered somewhat or very likely in the next decade by at least 20% of Americans.
[...] 37% of Americans say [a civil war] is at least somewhat likely to occur.
In this first instalment of a new series, Iain Davis and Whitney Webb explore how the UN’s “sustainable development” policies, the SDGs, do not promote “sustainability” as most conceive of it and instead utilise the same debt imperialism long used by the Anglo-American Empire to entrap nations in a new, equally predatory system of global financial governance.
The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is pitched as a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.” At the heart of this agenda are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.
Many of these goals sound nice in theory and paint a picture of an emergent global utopia – such as no poverty, no world hunger and reduced inequality. Yet, as is true with so much, the reality behind most – if not all – of the SDGs are policies cloaked in the language of utopia that – in practice – will only benefit the economic elite and entrench their power.
This can clearly be seen in fine print of the SDGs, as there is considerable emphasis on debt and on entrapping nation states (especially developing states) in debt as a means of forcing adoption of SDG-related policies. It is then little coincidence that many of the driving forces behind SDG-related policies, at the UN and elsewhere, are career bankers. Former executives at some of the most predatory financial institutions in the history of the world, from Goldman Sachs to Bank of America to Deutsche Bank, are among the top proponents and developers of SDG-related policies.
Are their interests truly aligned with “sustainable development” and improving the state of the world for regular people, as they now claim? Or do their interests lie where they always have, in a profit-driven economic model based on debt slavery and outright theft?
Last week, foreign correspondents in Israel were invited to participate in a rather strange event, a Zoom call with Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs, chief of Central Command – conducted in Hebrew.
An interpreter was on hand to deliver the officer’s message in English, but the entire situation caused some consternation. The remarks themselves did little to clear things up.
The virtual news conference was called in an effort to get ahead of international coverage of the publication of the IDF’s investigation into the fatal shooting of Shireen Abu Akleh.
After Fuchs admitted there was a high possibility that the Palestinian American journalist was shot by an Israeli soldier who mistook her for an armed Palestinian, he also cited mitigating circumstances such as the massive gunfire in the area. A reporter for the BBC was compelled to interrupt the commander and challenge that claim.
Ukraine has made major requests for new weapons it wants from the US, including a longer-range missile system, as it plans to launch more offensives in 2023, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
According to a document presented to US lawmakers, among the weapons Ukraine wants is the Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, a surface-to-surface missile system that has a range of about 190 miles, significantly longer than any arms Washington has provided Kyiv up to this point.
The US has previously denied requests from Ukraine to send ATACMS over concerns they could be used to target Russian territory. But Washington has demonstrated throughout the conflict its willingness to escalate support for Kyiv despite the risk of provoking a response from Moscow.
The HIMARS systems that the US has been sending Ukraine have a range of 50 miles and were provided with the condition that they won’t be used to hit targets inside Russia, although the restri
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the plenary session of the 2022 Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on September 7. Photo: TASS Host Photo Agency via Reuters
A group of St Petersburg local politicians who called for President Vladimir Putin to be sacked over the war in Ukraine faces the likely dissolution of their district council following a judge’s ruling on Tuesday, one of the deputies said.
Nikita Yuferev said the judge decided that a series of past council meetings had been invalid, paving the way for it to be broken up by the regional governor.
Another council member, Dmitry Palyuga, said the same court then fined him 47,000 roubles (US$780) for “discrediting” the authorities by calling for Putin’s removal. Court officials could not be reached by telephone for comment.
Four more members of the Smolninskoye local council are due to appear in court in the next two days.
The heaviest fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia since the 2020 Nagorono-Karabakh war erupted early Tuesday morning, leaving at least 99 dead.
Armenia said Azerbaijan started the violence by launching intensive artillery shelling against Armenian military positions.
Azerbaijan claimed that its shelling was a response to “large-scale subversive acts” on the border that included attacks on its military.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that 49 Armenian soldiers were killed in the fighting, but he expects the total to rise. Azerbaijan said 50 of its servicemembers were killed in the flare-up.
There is no reason to be so trustful of Washington’s national security establishment, according to Michael Anton, a conservative Republican, former national security official under President Donald Trump, professor, and author of “The Flight 93 Election.”
In fact, this blind trust and support have led to an unaccountable yet powerful bureaucracy, not to mention destructive forever wars and potentially more to come.
Anton delivered these remarks Tuesday at the National Conservatism conference, which, as I’ve written earlier, has been focused mostly on domestic issues. But Anton’s speech capitalized on the Right’s concern for the entrenched “deep state” — which he described as made up of pro-government, mostly Democratic status quo careerists sharing both spiritual and geographic space in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) metro area — to warn about the dangers of a foreign policy and national security on autopilot that serves only that deep state’s interests.
President Joe Biden has approved another big spending package on arms for Ukraine, this one worth nearly $3 billion. He justified the expenditure with the usual lofty rhetoric: “Today and every day, we stand with the Ukrainian people to proclaim that the darkness that drives autocracy is no match for the flame of liberty that lights the souls of free people everywhere.” This, after toadying up to the criminally aggressive Saudi dictatorship.
Kiev warrants support. But what is the administration’s strategy? To fuel the war as long as governments are willing to fight and people are willing to die? Ukraine already has been ravaged by war. No one benefits from another endless war or frozen conflict.
The Biden administration has made no effort to pass European defense responsibilities to where they belong: the Europeans. For years, prosperous European allies have refused to take responsibility for their own defense, preferring to free ride on America.
Defense trade groups, seeking to sway Congress to add more for defense in a continuing resolution, say record-high inflation is costing the Pentagon $6 billion per month, endangering military readiness and throwing tech development plans off course.
The Aerospace Industries Association, National Defense Industrial Association and Professional Services Council ― which represent thousands of defense contractors ― asked congressional appropriators in a letter Monday to factor inflation into the CR and add money to allow new programs to start.
-The United States has given Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a visa to travel to New York for the United Nations' annual gathering of world leaders next week with half the delegation Moscow requested, a Russian diplomatic source said on Tuesday.
Moscow had asked Washington for 56 visas, according to a Sept. 2 letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres from Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia. The Russian diplomatic source said on Tuesday the United States had approved 24 visas.
Nebenzia had also noted in his letter that the flight crew for Lavrov's plane had not received visas. It was not immediately clear if Washington had granted visas for the Russian flight crew or if Lavrov would be expected to fly commercial airlines to New York.
Any damage inflicted on Ukraine's power and heating systems will seriously exacerbate living conditions this winter, especially for an estimated 6.9 million internally displaced people, the United Nations' migration agency said on Tuesday.
In response to a Ukrainian counter-offensive in the east and south of the country in recent days, Russia has stepped up shelling of power stations and other infrastructure, causing blackouts in the city of Kharkiv and elsewhere.
"Any attempt to damage those facilities will have a terrible impact on the capacity to heat those cities," Antonio Vitorino, director general of the International Organization of Migration (IOM) told a group of reporters in Kyiv.
Musleh al-Shaer (left) sits beside a pictorial tribute to his daughter Layan, a victim of Israel’s latest major attack on Gaza.
It was a scorching afternoon in Gaza.
Layan al-Shaer, 10, wanted to play on the seashore.
“It was her idea that we go to the beach,” Layan’s mother Haala said. “She was so excited. ‘I want to have a trip to the beach before I go back to school,’ Layan told me.”
Using a van rented from a neighbor, several members of the extended family set off from where they live in the Khan Younis area.
Musleh, Layan’s father, stayed at home. Recalling how he waved at Layan as the van drove off, Musleh said: “I didn’t know that this would be the last time I would see the smile of my little girl.”
Soon after they had set out, a missile was fired at the truck from an Israeli drone. Israel had begun a major attack against Gaza on that day, 5 August.
While he was working on his land, a group of Israeli settlers armed with sticks, metal pipes, and M16s attacked Hafez Huraini and his son Muhammad. Hafez was badly injured, and both of his arms were broken. When a Palestinian ambulance arrived to evacuate him, the settlers slashed the tires, but the Israeli soldiers arrested Huraini, claiming he had hurt one of the settlers.
Two members of the Howeitat, a tribe in Saudi Arabia forcibly displaced to make way for the $500bn Neom megacity, have received lengthy sentences over their protests against the project, a UK-based rights group has reported.
Abdulilah al-Howeiti and his relative, Abdullah Dukhail al-Howeiti, were both handed a 50-year prison term and 50-year travel ban for supporting their family's refusal to be forcibly evicted from their homes in the Tabuk province of northwestern Saudi Arabia, according to Alqst.
The rulings in their cases, made by the Specialised Criminal Court of Appeal in August, come among a raft of similarly long sentences handed down by Saudi courts this summer.
The Emirati news website Al-Roeya has sacked dozens of editors and journalists after the publication of an article highlighting the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on the cost of living for low-income residents of the UAE.
Raseef22, a Lebanese news website that revealed the mass sacking last week, reported that employees, journalists and senior editors were fired, and some of them questioned, before Al-Roeya's main online sections were shut down last week.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is doing everything he can to help de-escalate hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.
"It is difficult to overestimate the role of Russia, and the role of Putin personally" in mediating between the two countries, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"The president is making every effort to contribute to the de-escalation of tensions on the border. These efforts are continuing," he added.
Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have blamed each other for overnight clashes along the border.
France will bring up the topic of clashes between Armenia Azerbaijan at the U.N. Security Council, the office of President Emmanuel Macron said, adding that Macron continued to urge both sides to stick to a ceasefire.
Armenia said on Tuesday that at least 49 of its soldiers had been killed in clashes along the border with Azerbaijan after a sharp escalation in hostilities which prompted Russia and the United States to call for restraint.
Along with the United States and Russia, France is co-president of the Minsk group, which mediates between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Two American advocacy groups filed a joint complaint on Monday asking France’s national anti-terrorism prosecutor and the UN to investigate Paris’ complicity in crimes against humanity in Egypt, according to investigative news website Disclose.
The two groups, Egyptians Abroad for Democracy and Code Pink, are calling for the investigation following revelations by the French website on Cairo’s alleged “execution of civilians” and indiscriminate air strikes over suspicion of smuggling across the border with Libya, made possible by intelligence provided by the French army to Egypt six years ago.
“It is hoped that the prosecutor will seize this opportunity to put an end to impunity for crimes committed by the Egyptian regime, including torture, with the complicity of French players, all within the opaque framework of arms contracts,” said Louise Dumas, one of the two lawyers involved in the joint complaints.
The outbreak of cholera in Syria presents a serious threat to people in the war-torn country and the region, a U.N. official said Tuesday, adding that urgent action is needed to prevent further cases and deaths.
The statement by the U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, Imran Riza, came after health officials in the country reported at least five deaths and more than two dozen cases in different provinces.
Syria’s infrastructure has suffered severe damage since the country’s conflict began in March 2011 where residents of some areas have no access to clean water. The conflict has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced half the country’s pre-war population of 23 million, many of them living in tent settlements around the country.
Riza said that based on a rapid assessment conducted by health authorities and partners, the source of infection is believed to be linked to people drinking unsafe water from the Euphrates River and using contaminated water to irrigate crops, resulting in food contamination.
Israel offered cyber defense assistance to Albania on Monday, days after the Balkan state severed its diplomatic ties with Iran, citing accusations that the Islamic Republic carried out cyberattacks against the country in July.
Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll met with Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhacka on the sidelines of the Conference on Shaping Feminist Foreign Policy in Berlin, where he “offered to share our knowledge and experience in cyber defense” and “expressed Israel’s appreciation” for Tirana’s decision to kick out Iran’s diplomats, he said in a tweet.
“We will continue to tighten cooperation between Israel and Albania,” Roll added.
Webmaster addition: Seems like Israel had more to gain from the hacking than Iran did!
The Taliban said on Tuesday they had killed 40 rebel force members, including four commanders, in the northern Afghan province of Panjshir.
The Taliban proclaimed victory over the province in September 2021, weeks after they took over the capital Kabul as foreign forces withdrew.
Resistance groups have since said they have been carrying out operations in the area and clashing with Taliban fighters.
The Taliban has in the past denied widespread fighting, saying they have established control of the entire country.
China and India have agreed to withdraw their military troops from the disputed border area, near the latter’s Ladakh region in the Himalayas. Although there has been a lot of dialogue amid the tensions, this a somewhat surprising development, which, from an American perspective, could be the beginning of a nightmare. Both Beijing and New Delhi have issued similar-worded statements emphasizing the need to promote “peace and tranquility” in the region. Some friction points along the border still remain, however, particularly in Depsang and Demchok. In any case, this disengagement is the de-escalation of a series of frictions and military standoffs that had been going on since May 2020.
In 1962, both countries fought a war over the disputed area, but an agreement has never been reached. Tensions pertaining to this issue began to escalate in early 2020, after India accused its neighbor’s troops of invading the territory New Delhi claims as its own. Washington has been supporting India in this quarrel, and its State Department even accused Beijing of orchestrating the border clashes.
For the US, any increase in Indian-Chinese tensions has always been desirable, as part of the American Indo-Pacific Strategy. Moreover, the US-led QUAD or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue has been described by many as a “new NATO” for the region.
Residents of Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince sheltered at home on Tuesday as gun fire rung out, road blocks and burning tires were placed along city streets and protesters threw stones in an angry response to expected new fuel price hikes and crime.
The latest demonstrations come as inflation surged to its highest in a decade, chronic gang violence has left much of Haiti's territory beyond government reach, and outbreaks of bloody turf battles between rival gangs have left hundreds dead and thousands displaced.
The start of the school year has been postponed a month until October as parents struggle to make ends meet, and daily life for countless Haitians is punctuated by a seemingly endless search for fuel. Meanwhile, transit costs have soared, as have the prices for many food staples.
In an address to the Trondheim World Festival in Norway, John Pilger charts the history of power propaganda and describes how it appropriates journalism in a ‘profound imperialism’ and is likely to entrap us all, if we allow it.
In the 1970s, I met one of Hitler’s leading propagandists, Leni Riefenstahl, whose epic films glorified the Nazis. We happened to be staying at the same lodge in Kenya, where she was on a photography assignment, having escaped the fate of other friends of the Fuhrer.
She told me that the ‘patriotic messages’ of her films were dependent not on ‘orders from above’ but on what she called the ‘submissive void’ of the German public.
Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? I asked. ‘Yes, especially them,’ she said.
I think of this as I look around at the propaganda now consuming Western societies.
Of course, we are very different from Germany in the 1930s. We live in information societies. We are globalists. We have never been more aware, more in touch, better connected.
Are we? Or do we live in a Media Society where brainwashing is insidious and relentless, and perception is filtered according to the needs and lies of state and corporate power?
The United States dominates the Western world’s media. All but one of the top ten media companies are based in North America. The internet and social media – Google, Twitter, Facebook – are mostly American owned and controlled.