"The executive power in our government is not the only, perhaps not even the principal, object of my solicitude. The tyranny of the legislature is really the danger most to be feared, and will continue to be so for many years to come. The tyranny of the executive power will come in its turn, but at a more distant period." -- Thomas Jefferson, Democracy in America
Ukraine's deputy defence minister claimed that Kyiv's forces could reach Crimea by Christmas and end the war by spring, a news report has stated. Volodymyr Havrylov suggested that it is likely that the Ukrainian army could “step in Crimea” by the end of this year.
Ukraine's energy chief has suggested that civilians should leave Kyiv this winter if they want to offer help to the country in dealing with the crippling energy crisis, a news report has claimed. Maksym Tymchenko, chief executive of DTEK, said Ukraine cannot supply enough heat and power for all of its population to survive winter because Russian missile attacks had destroyed key infrastructure.
Russia urges international organizations to condemn the execution of Russian prisoners of war by Ukrainian soldiers and to conduct a thorough investigation, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Friday.
"We demand that international organisations condemn and thoroughly investigate this shocking crime. No atrocity committed by Ukrainian military units will remain unpunished. All those guilty and their accomplices will be identified and punished accordingly. Nobody will escape retribution," the Russian diplomat said, commenting on the video showing Ukrainian soldiers "mercilessly shooting unarmed Russian POWs," which has gone viral on the Internet.
"These shocking videos are further evidence of the crimes committed by Ukrainian neo-Nazis. Ukraine is flagrantly violating international humanitarian law, specifically the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War and international human rights laws, including the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment," she said.
At a time when Musk is cutting hundreds if not thousands of workers on a weekly basis, early on Friday Europe delivered some unexpected news to the world's richest man: according to Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, Musk will have to increase the number of moderators in Europe, a continent which long ago gave up all pretense of having free speech.
“He is in the process of reducing a certain number of moderators, but he will have to increase them in Europe,” Breton told Franceinfo in an interview, Bloomberg reported.
Breton added that Musk “will have to open his algorithms. We will have control, we will have access, people will no longer be able to say rubbish.”
Webmaster addition: The fastest way to bring down a dictatorship is to force it to act like one where everyone can see it!
After Germany’s “first” public television network, ARD, compared Elon Musk reducing Twitter censorship to “letting rats out of their holes,” Germany’s “second” public television network, ZDF, has now compared Musk to Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels! (The network’s name Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen literally means “Second German Television.”)
Thus, last Friday, ZDF’s would-be comedy program, the “Heute Show,” posted the below tweet and photoshop.
Former President Donald Trump responded to Friday’s big news that the Justice Department was handing over its criminal investigations into him to a special counsel to avoid potential political bias by claiming that the DOJ was being “weaponized” against him.
The Washington Post slammed President Joe Biden in a statement Friday for shielding Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from a lawsuit on Thursday over his involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, one of the newspaper’s columnists.
Two weeks ago, the election in Brazil led to protests that continue today.
Tens of thousands of protestors are gathering across the country to show their disdain for the election fraud that led to the Communist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva being named President.
The Ministry of Defense filed a report on November 10 that said, “It is not possible to say the electronic voting system is free from the influence of malware that could affect its outcome.” In an unsurprising but upsetting response, the Supreme Court turned on the report by claiming it was causing protests. No investigation was done, according to Gateway Pundit.
In 2021, California's Independent Legislative Analyst's Office forecasted the state would have a $97 billion budget surplus for the 2022 fiscal year.
However, the latest release from the Legislative Analyst's Office indicated a $25 billion deficit for the coming year. The dramatic change from surplus to deficit has prompted many to ask what could cause such an incredible swing in the state budget.
The Office noted that a challenging economic environment was responsible for the acute change. Nonetheless, they refuse to admit this is a budget crisis, citing that the state has $37.2 billion in various savings accounts.
Elon Musk is well-known for his extreme work style.
Most have heard stories about him sleeping on the floor at businesses he owns, demanding insane work hours for employees, and more. It is no surprise that this is now being seen on Twitter, causing a mass exodus of Twitter employees.
Webmaster addition: Elon Musk is hardly alone in his demands. Many computer animation companies now expect a 60 hour work week!
Jack Smith, appointed special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday, spent years as a prosecutor for the Department of Justice under former President Barack Obama and in the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
Republican Senators Joh Hawley and Rand Paul took the heads of the FBI and the Department Of Homeland Security to task Thursday, with Hawley at one point directly telling Christopher Wray that he should have been fired a long time ago.
Hawley also targeted Wray for previously leaving a committee hearing early so he could go on a vacation.
“You were at the Senate Judiciary Committee. You remember that I think so. We had to cut that hearing short. We’re supposed to do two rounds of questions. You said you had to be somewhere, so we cut it short. Republicans were not able to ask second round as we had been informed we would,” Hawley noted.
The Senator continued, “The press reported shortly thereafter that the reason that the hearing had to be cut short is because you were flying on a Gulfstream jet for a personal vacation in the Adirondack. Please tell me that’s not accurate.”
It was accurate.
“You left an oversight hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee required by statute so you could vacation with your family,” Hawley declared, adding “I find that absolutely unbelievable and, frankly, indefensible.”
Warsaw’s decision to deny Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov his participation in a meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in the Polish city of Lodz on December 1-2 is unprecedented and provocative and incompatible with the status of the organization’s chair, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
"The decision by Poland as the OSCE current chair to deny Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov his participation in a meeting of the Council of OSCE Foreign Ministers in the city of Lodz on December 1-2 is unprecedented and inflammatory. It is incompatible with the status of the chair of the organization, in which 57 countries participate as sovereign and independent states under the conditions of full equality," the ministry said.
In the wake of Warsaw’s decision, Russia’s Permanent Representative at the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich will lead the Russian delegation at the organization’s ministerial meeting, it said.
The European Parliament has prepared a resolution recognizing Russia as a "terrorist state" - to be subject of a vote held during a session in Strasbourg next week, according to a spokesperson's briefing at a Friday news conference .
The largely symbolic resolution was drafted by the center-right European People's Party (EPP) and cites Russia's "intimidation and destruction of Ukrainians as a nation," according a draft previously seen by Euronews.
The political blocs Renew Europe and the European Conservatives and Reformists are also said to be backing a formal declaration which could come as early as next Wednesday.
While not legally binding, the resolution can be used for the EU to slap further sanctions on Moscow, and can create momentum for other countries like the UK to adopt the 'terror state' label for Russia. However, the UK has so far resisted these calls from some individual British politicians and officials.
So far, the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been the first to legally recognize Russia as a terrorist state.
The Biden administration has also thus far resisted some isolated Congressional calls to do so, as the Kremlin has warned such a measure would destroy all ties and communications. It would make negotiated settlement in Ukraine almost an impossibility.
The West does not want to rupture relations with Russia completely, which is fraught with World War III, so they prod Kiev into holding talks with Moscow, but Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky does not want them in order not to acknowledge the fact of Ukraine’s break-up, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday.
Medvedev pointed out that no one, including the Polish, had not been taken in by Ukraine’s "clumsy attempts" to shift responsibility for the missile incident in Poland to Russia. According to the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, it largely proves that "everyone is exhausted from the Kiev regime" and especially from Zelensky, who "is constantly stirring up tensions" and "demanding more and more handouts in money and arms."
"The United States, NATO and the European Union are unwilling to eventually break up with Russia, which is fraught with World War III. Hence the increasingly frequent attempts to circumscribe and talk sense into Kiev, and to push it out to enter into negotiations," Medvedev wrote.
The EU has frozen Russian assets worth 68 billion euros. Politico writes about this with reference to the document of the European Commission.
"Belgium accounts for 50 billion euros out of 68 billion euros," the publication said. It is followed by Luxembourg, where assets worth 5.5 billion euros were frozen.
At the same time, the EU does not know the exact size of the frozen national reserves of the Russian Federation. In the document, they are estimated at an approximate amount of 33.8 billion euros.
Earlier, the EU countries have already frozen 17.4 billion euros of assets of Russian business. This was reported in October by the European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders. According to him, 90% of this amount was distributed among seven EU countries. We are talking about Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Luxembourg.
For the first time since February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin has gathered permanent members of the Security Council for a face-to-face meeting instead of an online format.
"We have a planned issue today: the Ministry of Emergency Situations proposes to discuss issues of improving civil defense. Let's start working," Putin said at the beginning of the meeting.
According to the photos posted on the president's official website, the meeting was held in a hall in the Kremlin. The event was attended by Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and others.
The last Security Council meeting of this type took place nine months ago. After that, on February 21, Putin signed decrees on the recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (TNR and ONR), as well as treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with the republics.