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"A decision based on knowledge produces less commotion than one based on emotion." -- Jim Tanner
Rafael - not his real name - is a massive internet nerd. At 59 years old, he is active on all the main social media platforms, dabbles in cryptocurrencies and even calls himself an influencer.
But that is not all he does online.
Rafael is also part of a group of Venezuelans being paid by the state to tweet propaganda.
He spends at least 30 minutes a day posting pro-government content. "The aim is to amplify the information the government puts on Twitter," he explains.
Every day, Venezuela's ministry of communications tweets a "hashtag of the day", which is repeated not only by elected officials' accounts and state sympathisers but also by "digital troops" like Rafael, who are paid to share propaganda. "You have to space it out to avoid being blocked. I do about 100 in the morning and 100 more in the afternoon," he says.
"The idea is to maintain a collective narrative. The fight against the enemy [the West] still exists," explains Prof Félix Seijas from the Central University of Venezuela.
US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland told an audience in Kiev on Thursday that Washington has been helping plan the Ukrainian ‘counteroffensive’ against Russia for almost half a year.
“Even as you plan for the counteroffensive, which we have been working on with you for some 4-5 months, we are already beginning our discussions with [the] Ukrainian government and with friends in Kiev – both on the civilian side and on the military side – about Ukraine’s long-term future,” Nuland told the Kiev Security Forum via video-link from the State Department.
She added that the attack will be “likely starting and moving concurrently” with events such as the NATO summit in Lithuania, scheduled for July 11.
Failed presidential candidate and political fossil John Kerry, a Democrat, is back in the news for ominous comments he recently made about how the only way for leftists to achieve their “net zero” climate goals is for farmers all around the world to stop growing food.
The illegitimate Joe Biden regime’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, Kerry told an audience at the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) AIM for Climate Summit the other day that “we can’t get to net zero, we won’t get this job done, unless agriculture is front and center as part of the solution.”
According to Kerry, he and other world leaders’ “lives depend” on farmers ceasing their operations. This will lower agriculture “emissions,” Kerry added, noting that he does not even call it climate change anymore – “it’s not change; it’s a crisis.”
Frericks, who spent 10 years at the company, predicted it has a tough road ahead.
“When I first joined, it was the world’s largest private equity firm that happened to sell beer. It was a very merit-based culture,” Frericks said.
He added, “If you take a look at the 10 principles when I first joined, they said, ‘This is a meritocracy, we recruit people better than ourselves.’ If you take a look at their 10 principles now, they say, ‘We’re judged by the diversity of our teams.’”
Anheuser-Busch’s current 10 principles have nothing to say about hard work or being the best.
United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, at a Press Conference attended by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, admitted this afternoon "Ukraine is LOSING on this battlefield."
Search Engines like Google seemed to go into instant Censorship overdrive when videos like the one below started coming out. Clearly, Google does not want anyone knowing what Hal Turner Radio Show listeners have known for months! Ukraine __ is __ losing.
Here's the remark made during today's press conference:
“That’s exactly in our unit right now. Our commander has just been killed. It was our company commander, Yegor, who killed the battalion commander, Anatolyevich, with a shot to the head.
Yes, all… that’s it… he’s dead.
Because they wanted us to a be meat shield, and Yegor stuck up for all of us. It was our company commander! Yegor got this done for us.”
The video was originally published by an unofficial Russian resource around 11:30 p.m. local time. There is a possibility that it is a fake response to the video of the allegedly murdered Russian border guard at a border checkpoint in the Belgorod region of Russia. However, unlike the confirmed fake from Belgorod, there are too many details in this video. The man lying on the ground does not look like an “actor” at all.
At no point since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945, has humanity been closer to the unthinkable. All the safeguards of the Cold War era, which categorized the nuclear bomb as “a weapon of last resort”, have been scrapped.
Vladimir Putin’s statement on February 21st, 2022 was a response to US threats to use nuclear weapons on a preemptive basis against Russia, despite Joe Biden’s “reassurance” that the US would not be resorting to “A first strike” nuclear attack against an enemy of America:
“Let me [Putin] explain that U.S. strategic planning documents contain the possibility of a so-called preemptive strike against enemy missile systems. And who is the main enemy for the U.S. and NATO? We know that too. It’s Russia. In NATO documents, our country is officially and directly declared the main threat to North Atlantic security. And Ukraine will serve as a forward springboard for the strike.” (Putin Speech, February 21, 2022, emphasis added)
in July 2021, the Biden administration launched its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) which was formally announced in October 2022.
The 2022 NPR includes what is described as a “nuclear declaratory policy of the United States”.
The 2022 NPR largely confirms the nuclear options developed by the Obama and Bush administrations predicated on the notion of preemptive nuclear war raised in President Putin’s speech.
The underlying US nuclear doctrine consists in portraying nuclear weapons as a means of “self defense” rather than as a “weapon of mass destruction”. the NPR does not rule out the possibility of a “first strike” nuclear attack against Russia. According to the US Congress Research Service:
Sixteen people including Ukraine's interior minister and other senior ministry officials were killed on Wednesday when a helicopter crashed outside Kyiv in the town of Brovary, the national police chief said.
The governor of the Kyiv region said earlier on Wednesday that a helicopter crashed near a nursery and a residential building earlier on Wednesday.
Two children were among the dead and 10 of them were in hospital, officials said.
NATO is using the Ukraine crisis as an excuse to build up its forces in Eastern Europe and deploy weapons which are being aimed at Russia and Belarus, Moscow’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claimed on Thursday during a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Viktor Khrenin.
"Additional military contingents and military infrastructure are being deployed, combat training and reconnaissance activities are being activated near the borders of the Union State (of Russia and Belarus)," Shoigu said, adding that the US-led military bloc has already launched the next stage of its expansion, and is now modernizing military infrastructure in Eastern and Central Europe.
Shoigu also noted that Western governments are intentionally “doing everything possible in order to stretch out and escalate the conflict in Ukraine” by continuing to provide military aid to Kiev’s armed forces.
Kiev may be plotting to stage a false flag operation in which a spent nuclear fuel depot in Kharkov would be blown up so as to then pin the blame on Moscow, a source familiar with Ukrainian plans told TASS on Thursday.
"Given the Kiev regime’s lack of success on the battlefield in its confrontation with Russia, there is a high probability that they will attempt to stage yet another headline-making false flag. They may blow up a storage facility for spent nuclear fuel in Kharkov and afterwards accuse Moscow of bombing the nuclear facility," the source warned.
"Given the absence of any harsh response to Kiev’s terror attacks on Russian soil from the UN, the OSCE or other international organizations, it is entirely possible that the [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky regime will decide to carry out such an inhumane plan," he added. "Any such potential disaster could cause damage not only to eastern Ukraine, but also to Russia, Belarus, and EU countries," he maintained.
Invoking the 14th Amendment to lift the borrowing cap on the US debt ceiling as a way to work around slow-moving negotiations is not an option, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told CNN Friday, the administration’s most definitive response yet to an unlikely option demanded by some progressives.
“The question was whether the United States would use the 14th Amendment and I think the president and (Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen) have been very clear that that will not solve our problems now. So, yes, that is a no,” Adeyemo said when asked about the prospect by CNN’s Poppy Harlow on “CNN This Morning.”
Some progressives have called for President Joe Biden to invoke the amendment – which says, in part, that the “The validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned” – but such an action would risk a constitutional crisis and swift legal action. The president has previously said he believes the federal government has the “authority” to do so but that he doesn’t consider invoking the 14th Amendment as an imminent solution.
British Cycling is to ban transgender women from the female category of its competitions following a nine-month review and consultation.
Under a new participation policy that the governing body said was "predicated on fairness", such athletes will compete in an 'open category' with men.
Female races will be "for those whose sex was assigned female at birth".
The changes will prevent riders such as Emily Bridges potentially being part of the British women's team.
Last year Bridges - the country's highest-profile transgender cyclist - was stopped from competing in her first elite women's race by the UCI, cycling's world federation, despite meeting the rules at the time.
Leaked secret US documents have revealed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been planning to escalate the current confrontation with Moscow by invading Russian villages, targeting Russia beyond the Donbass and the current conflict zone with longe-range missiles and even blowing up the Druzhba pipeline which provides NATO member Hungary with Russian oil, according to the Washington Post. Kiev’s plans for further exacerbating the crisis cross a number of red lines and should be a problem for Washington too, as US President Biden has already made clear to Zelensky that he and his Western allies want neither “to go to war with Russia” nor “a third world war”. However, paradoxically, the US seems to be pushing for precisely such escalation.
The possible scenarios are quite worrisome. In addition to the aforementioned developments, according to the same leaks, Ukraine was also planning to attack Russian forces in Syria, which would mean making the Eastern European conflict spill into the Middle East and thus risk spiraling out of control across Western Asia and subsequently maybe even the Caucasus, too. Some analysts have already pointed out that the Russian-Ukraine confrontation potentially intersects with the South Caucasus, which is already the stage for today’s Armenian-Azerbaijani war.
According to Pulitzer Prize winner American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh’ report, countries in the region such as Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the Czech Republic, led by Poland are pressuring Zelensky to find a compromise and end the crisis, even by resigning himself if needed.
Common sense and science are gradually prevailing.
Last week, the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board announced it would be revising its current guidelines regarding so-called " gender -affirming care" for minors because it no longer considers them to be evidence-based. The board also acknowledged that the growing number of teenage girls identifying as male post-puberty remains under-studied.
Under the proposed updated guidelines, the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and transition-related surgery would be restricted to research contexts and no longer provided in clinical settings. Norway joins Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom in introducing greater safeguarding for children. In the United States, eight states thus far have banned affirmative care for individuals under 18, with Tennessee being the latest to pass such legislation.
It's good that more professional organizations are recognizing the experimental nature of this approach in children. An existing body of research shows that most kids with gender dysphoria grow to be comfortable in their bodies upon undergoing puberty and that those wishing to transition suddenly post-puberty may be experiencing a social contagion. These studies have been dismissed because they don't fit the preferred activist narrative.
A group of Ukrainian saboteurs attempted to blow up more than 30 supports of high-voltage power lines of Leningrad and Kalinin nuclear power plants. The first of them is located in the Leningrad, and the second one in the Tver region (Central Russia).
If high-voltage power lines had been exploded, the nuclear reactors of the stations would have been shut down. The operation of the nuclear power plants would have been disrupted, FSB said.
Terrorists managed to explode one and mine four power lines of the Leningrad NPP, and also planted improvised explosive devices underneath seven power lines of the Kalinin NPP.
According to the FSB, there were three people in the group. Two of them were detained. The detainees were identified as 45-year-old Alexander Maystruk and 49-year-old Eduard Usatenko, both of them citizens of Ukraine. Another member of the group, 60-year-old Yuri Kishchak, has been put on the wanted list — he is currently in Belgium.
See more at https://english.pravda.ru/news/hotspots/156718-nuclear_power_plants/
The conflict in Ukraine may continue for decades if the very essence of its neo-Nazi government is not eliminated, the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, told reporters during a visit to Vietnam.
"This conflict is for a long time, for decades, maybe. It is a new reality, new living conditions," he said.
He is convinced that if the incumbent Kiev regime remains in power, "there will be, say, three years of truce, two years of conflict and then everything will go over again." "The very essence of the neo-Nazi rule in Kiev needs to be eliminated," he added.
Former US Congressman Ron Paul has said that President Joe Biden’s Ukraine debacle will go down as “one of the greatest foreign policy disasters in US history.”
In an article published on Monday, Dr. Paul, a three-time presidential candidate slammed the Biden administration’s policy on “Project Ukraine,” for which he said Congress has already authorized $100 billion.
“The Biden Administration’s profligate domestic spending is a battleground for Republican lawmakers, however when it comes to endless spending on Project Ukraine, with a few exceptions the two parties are in lockstep,” he wrote.
“One thing is sure: we can count on Congress to throw good money after bad,” he noted.
Dr. Paul the “Project Ukraine” to Washington’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which he said also ended in disaster.
The National Institutes of Health is running a Phase 1 clinical trial on an experimental mRNA universal influenza vaccine developed by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center.
Although the vaccine is only in very early clinical trials, the U.K. government already has committed to a £1 billion deal with Moderna to buy the mRNA vaccines for flu and other respiratory viruses over the next 10 years, John Campbell, Ph.D., reported on his YouTube show.
“This really is quite bizarre in my view,” said Campbell, a retired nurse teacher in England who hosts a popular YouTube show that explains evolving science on COVID-19 and related issues.
“Why don’t we get the trial data first and then think about giving the thousand million pounds [£1 billion]” for the mass manufacture of the vaccines, he asked.
An investigative report released on Thursday has documented survivor testimonies and specified locations of the mass graves where victims of the massacre in the Palestinian village of Tantura are buried.
The victims were killed in ethnic cleansing operations carried out by Zionist militias during the Nakba of 1948.
The report, entitled "Tantura", is the first of its kind, and follows a year and a half of work carried out by human-rights focused investigative group Forensic Architecture, Adalah Legal Centre, and the Tantura People's Committee.
It includes archival materials, oral history maps, an interactive platform, and pictures of the coastal village, which was situated south of Haifa before the Nakba. Four sites believed to hold mass graves have been identified by the report.
Israeli forces punitively blew up the home of slain Palestinian Mutaz Khawaja in the village of Ni’lin, in the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah on Tuesday, May 23. Khawaja’s family home was located on the second floor of an apartment building, and was home to five people. According to Wafa news agency, a large number of Israeli troops raided the village of Ni’lin, sparking confrontations with local residents. Israeli forces reportedly fired live ammunition and tear gas at locals, injuring two people. Khawaja was killed in March 2023 after he carried out a shooting that killed one Israeli and injured at least one other on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv. Israel’s policy of punitive home demolitions have long been criticized by human rights groups as “court sanctioned revenge” against Palestinian families, and a form of collective punishment. Israel claims the policy to be a “deterrent” measure against “terrorism”, but Israeli military officials have previously made recommendations to the government that the practice did not in fact deter attacks against Israelis.
The UAE has become a hub for Russia’s gold trade since western sanctions cut Russia’s traditional export routes and the Emirates positions itself as a neutral player in the Ukraine war.
The Gulf state imported 75.7 tonnes of Russian gold worth $4.3 billion in the year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine - up from just 1.3 tonnes during 2021, according to Russian customs records first reported by Reuters.
China and Turkey were the next biggest destinations, importing about 20 tonnes each between 24 February 2022 and 3 March 2023. Together with the UAE, the three countries accounted for 99.8 percent of Russian gold exports, according to trade data reviewed by Reuters.
The disclosure underlines how states like Turkey and the UAE have become an economic lifeline for Moscow as it faces isolation in the West.
The rising waters came as a relief at first, for both the tiny community living on the islands in the southern Kakhovka Reservoir and for everyone who had feared the low levels risked a meltdown at the nearby Russian-occupied nuclear power plant.
Since mid-February, the water level in the reservoir has steadily increased, according to data from Theia, a French geospatial analytical organisation. An Associated Press analysis of satellite imagery showed the water has now risen so high that it is washing over the top of the damaged Russian-occupied dam downstream.
The waves first covered the natural shoreline, and then submerged the marsh grasses. Next, they came for Lyudmila Kulachok’s garden, then Ihor Medyunov’s guest room. The wild boars fled for higher ground, replaced by waterfowl. Medyunov’s four dogs have an ever-smaller patch of grass to roam, and Kulachok serves meals on a picnic table sloshing through the murk in waders.
Sens. Ted Budd, Thom Tillis and seven other lawmakers demanded answers Wednesday on why their constituents continue to die from Camp Lejeune’s toxic waters while the Department of Justice and the Navy refuses to settle their claims.
On Wednesday, the lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and Attorney General Merrick Garland voicing concerns about delays in settling claims and lawsuits filed by veterans, military personnel and their families affected by toxic waters on the base in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
“It is imperative that the Navy Judge Advocate General and Department of Justice act expeditiously to ensure these individuals receive the justice they deserve without undue delay,” the lawmakers wrote.
On May 22, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the country may be unable to service its debt by June 1 unless Congress raises its ceiling or suspends it. In turn, President Joe Biden ruled out the declaration of default. At the same time, despite all the predictions of doom and gloom, the US could benefit from a default, especially to wreak havoc on the international economy and competitors.
In the US, the amount of public debt is limited by law. Currently, it has reached $31.4 trillion. It is up to the US Congress to raise the national debt ceiling, but this year the issue became a major contention between Republicans and Democrats. The Republican party, with a majority in the House of Representatives, set a condition: it will vote to raise the ceiling if the Democratic government accepts significant cuts in budget spending.
Specifically, the Republicans propose cutting tax credits for the purchase of electric cars and the installation of solar panels, as well as reducing public spending on the repayment of educational loans. For Democrats, if they want to win the 2024 presidential election on their terms, these conditions are unacceptable.
During the G7 summit held from 19 to 21 May in Japan, US President Joe Biden gave permission for other countries to deliver F-16 fighter jets - manufactured by the U.S. company Lockheed Martin- to Ukraine.
As Statista's Martin Armstrong notes, the "historic" decision, welcomed by Ukrainian President Zelensky, the delivery of these planes developed in the 1970s and currently used by 25 countries, had so far been blocked by Washington.
If these deliveries become a reality, it would allow Kiev to replenish its air combat capabilities, after the loss of about 60 of the roughly 100 combat aircraft it had at the beginning of the Russian invasion.
A senior ally of President Vladimir Putin warned on Friday that the West was seriously underestimating the risk of a nuclear war over Ukraine, cautioning that Russia would launch a pre-emptive strike if Ukraine gets nuclear weapons.
Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine has triggered the deadliest European conflict since World War II and the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Russia, which has more nuclear weapons than any other state, has repeatedly said the West is engaged in a proxy war with Russia over Ukraine that could escalate into a much bigger conflict.
Japan scrambled fighter jets Thursday after Russian “intelligence-gathering” aircraft were detected off its coasts along the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan, the country’s Joint Staff said.
One Russian aircraft traveled from Japan’s north down along part of its west coast, while the other took a similar route along the opposite coast and returned the same way, the Joint Staff said in a brief statement.
“In response, fighters of the Air Self-Defense Force’s Northern Air Force and other units were scrambled,” it added.
There was no further information on the incident, which comes days after Japan hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 in Hiroshima.
Vietnam on Thursday accused a Chinese survey vessel and its escorts of violating its sovereignty, and demanded that Beijing remove the ships from its waters.
Vietnam and China have long been embroiled in a territorial dispute over a potentially energy-rich stretch in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway through which more than $3 trillion of commerce passes annually.
"Vietnam demands that China immediately remove the survey ship Xiang Yang Hong 10, Chinese coast guard ships and fishing vessels out of Vietnam's waters," foreign ministry spokesperson Pham Thu Hang said in a government statement.
"Vietnam has made contact with China several times and implemented measures in accordance with international law and Vietnamese law to ensure lawful and legitimate rights and interests of Vietnam," the statement added.
With the acrid smell of burning tyres hanging in the air, Conakry resident Mariame Diallo pointed to blood splatters on a wall where she said her teenage brother was shot at close range during a protest in the capital against Guinea’s military government on May 11.
“I will never forgive those who killed him,” she said between bouts of quiet crying.
Clutching a bag of blood-soaked clothes that she hopes will be used for a police investigation that has yet to begin, she recalled how her apprentice brother, Boubacar, fearing the anti-government demonstrations, stayed at home, only to be shot dead by police in front of the family house.
A spokesman for the Guinean government did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comments on Thursday.