Back live Wednesday!
Family members of the victims of the 2020 Beirut port blast have tried to break into the Justice Palace in the Lebanese capital as they protested against the lack of progress in the investigation over the explosion.
At least 218 people died on August 4, 2020, after hundreds of tonnes of ammonium nitrate detonated in the largest non-nuclear explosion recorded in history.
Israel has continued to step up its near-daily raids across the occupied West Bank, killing scores of Palestinians over the past year.
The spike in killings comes as part of intensified nightly raids by Israeli forces, particularly in the northern occupied cities of Jenin and Nablus, under the banner of crushing limited Palestinian armed resistance.
A group of left-wing politicians in Peru have submitted a motion of impeachment against President Dina Boluarte over her handling of nearly two months of protests following the removal of her predecessor Pedro Castillo.
Some 56 people have died amid violent confrontations between protesters and the security services.
Several sources of data emerged in 2021 pointing to a biopharmaceutical public health disaster with the COVID-19 vaccine campaign.
Pfizer recorded 1223 deaths occurring shortly after administration of their product within the first 90 days of use starting December 10, 2020. Pantazatos and Seligmann reported an excess in all-cause mortality from vaccine administration and US census data during 2021 between 146k and 187k, with a midpoint of 166k deaths.
By the end of December, 2021, the CDC VAERS system had reported ~8K with an under-reporting factor of 30, the casualty estimate from that source was 240k. In a recent paper published in BMC Infectious Diseases, Dr. Mark Skidmore used a valid representative survey to learn from population reporting. A total of 22% knew of someone who was seriously injured by the vaccine and the estimate based upon deaths attributed to the vaccine by respondents was 278K deaths.
Dear President Biden:
We are aware that the just-reported decision to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine responds to Berlin’s coy insistence that “you go first.” Now Leopard tanks from Germany and other allies will also be sent. Trouble is that those few that make it into Ukraine will be late to the party.
What your advisers should have told you is that none of the newly promised weaponry will stop Russia from defeating what’s left of the Ukrainian army. If you have been told otherwise, replace your intelligence and military advisers with competent professionals – the sooner the better.
It has long been clear that you have not been adequately briefed on two issues of major importance: (1) the war in Ukraine, and (2) the strategic partnership between Russia and China. We chose this genre of “ALERT MEMORANDUM” because we want to prepare you for a major shock. Russia’s winter offensive is about to roll over the Ukrainian army. At that point, unwelcome choices will have to be made. Off-ramps must be sought – again, the sooner the better.
I interviewed virologist Dr. Byram Bridle, Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, Guelph University, Ontario
He points out that there is no evidence of benefit. If anything, all the evidence shows the vaccines INCREASE risk of infection, hospitalization, death
According to Professor Bridle, at best, there are no benefits for the COVID vaccines.
But the data shows they make the problem worse in every metric: infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. You’ve been completely misled by the medical community about these vaccines.
There isn’t a single “expert” in the world who is willing to show Professor Bridle that he got it wrong.
Covert training camps in the Jordanian desert are currently the site of British and American trainers developing young Lebanese men, loyal to the Christian warlord, Samir Geagea, according to chief editor of Al Mariah magazine, Fadi Abu Deya. In an interview given to Al Jadeed TV, Abu Deya claimed Geagea is sending fighters to Jordan for military training which is supported by the US and UK. Gegea’s media office has denied this allegation and has threatened to file a lawsuit against Abu Deya. The militia is allegedly tasked with attacks on Hezbollah, the Lebanese resistance group.
However, from a reliable source inside Lebanon, Israel’s Mossad are training fighters loyal to Geagea in his headquarters at Meraab, Baalbek, and Dahr Al Ahmar.
In May 2008, Geagea told the Lebanese media Al Akbar that he had 7,000 to 10,000 fighters ready to face off with Hezbollah, and was asking for US support. Lebanon continues to be one step away from a new civil war along sectarian lines.
German Leopards are sent to Kiev – so “Der Spiegel” (24.1.2023) – Chancellor Scholz has decided for more killing against all odds. Against the vast majority of the German people. Against the will of the vast majority of the people of the west. Against the vast majority of the people of the world.
Nobody wants war, only the war profiteers. And the mega-rich, megalo-psychopaths. The WEF-people, so to speak. The “controlleurs” par excellence. The elites chosen few, maybe extraterrestrials, who are privileged wanting to safe our planet, à la John Kerry – see his speech at the WEF Davos 2023:
And why do we, the People, allow the war profiteers and those megalo-psychopaths who want to control the world and its resources with the ill-begotten riches, anyway debt-based riches, money worth anything, only because we, The People, accept it – tolerate these megalos, warmongers, war maker and outright murderers?
In order to tyrannize us, the dark cult — the Death Cult, you may as well call them — has to cull us people down to an easily manageable size, do away with the useless eaters, so to speak (Harari-Schwab-speak), so the ever-diminishing non-renewable resources will last longer for their, the Death Cult’s, ever more luxury-vaganza.
That’s why they need war, have been living off wars – big wars, for more than the last century.
Those are the ones who call War Peace and Peace War.
Because for them war is peace of mind. They are never touched by war, yet war brings them ever and always more riches, ill-begotten resources. We know that. But they don’t care.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer may have theoretically been exploring mutating the coronavirus themselves to develop future vaccines.
That’s according to a newly released video from investigative reporting outlet Project Veritas.
The company’s Twitter account posted a video Wednesday of a Pfizer employee, Jordan Trishton Walker, claiming that the company had internal discussions to that effect.
Israel’s defense minister signaled Friday that the military would stop its airstrikes if Palestinian militant groups halted rocket attacks, a day after the deadliest Israeli raid in decades raised the prospect of a major flare-up in fighting.
The limited exchange of fire between Gaza militants and the Israeli armed forces has so far followed a familiar pattern that allows both sides to respond without leading to a major escalation. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s instruction to the military to prepare for new strikes in the Gaza Strip “if necessary” also appeared to leave open the possibility that the violence would subside.
Midday prayers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, often a catalyst for clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police, passed in relative calm, despite a heavy police presence. Still, residents of the holy city and the occupied West Bank remained on edge.
The bombardments followed an Israeli raid in the flashpoint Jenin refugee camp that turned into a gun battle, which killed at least nine people, including seven militants and a 61-year-old woman.
The West is in a race against time to get newly available tanks to Ukraine - or face Europe being engulfed in war against Russia, experts have warned.
As Moscow prepares to launch a spring offensive against Kyiv’s troops, Germany has finally agreed to its Leopard 2 tanks being sent.
Berlin’s decision to send 14 of the world’s most deadly tanks to Ukraine means other western countries can follow suit with their own Leopard 2s.
Germany, the tanks’ licence holder, held back its offer for months.
Leading Russia expert Bruce Jones said: “This is absolutely a pivotal strategic moment in the war as the West now faces a severe time compression. Germany has delayed the process for some time... when it most matters.”
The third-generation German-made tanks are used by countries such as Poland, which is now sending some of its stock. Spain also said it will provide Leopard 2s, as well as Finland and the Netherlands.
The governor of Georgia on Thursday issued a state of emergency order over continued protests in connection to a proposed Atlanta police training facility.
The order from Governor Brian Kemp will last 15 days and includes the mobilization of 1,000 Georgia National Guards troops.
This comes a week after 26-year-old Manuel Teran, a protestor, allegedly shot a state trooper before gunfire was returned and he was killed. The trooper is expected to survive.
'Are you going to dance?' the president asked the first lady as the troupe ended their performance and there was an awkward pause.
'No, you're going to come up. ... Come on up Joe! No, you're not going to dance,' Dr. Biden replied, as the president teased he might do so. 'Believe me, you don't want to ruin the evening,' the first lady added.
Dr. Biden then invited the audience to a reception and expertly walked between her husband and reporters as they shouted questions about the documents debacle and whether he'd allow the FBI to search their Rehoboth Beach home.
The president touted that the White House was hosting the 'first Lunar New Year reception of this scale' during the Thursday evening affair and added that he had received California Rep. Judy Chu's blessing to hold the joyous event - in the aftermath of two mass shootings that took place in Asian-American communities.
'I spoke with Judy several days ago. I said, "Judy what should I do? Should I continue - should I be in California or should I still have this celebration?" And she felt very strongly,' the president said. 'She said we have to move forward. Her message was don't give into fear and sorrow. Don't do that. Stand in solidarity and the spirit of toughness, that's what this holiday is all about.'
Given the gargantuan level of gaslighting going on globally, it is difficult for us to judge whether the following is the most serious reframing of the entire COVID crisis yet or the most satisfyingly satirical take on the farcical narrative-managers op-eds we've ever read.
Project Veritas' James O'Keefe was physically assaulted after approaching Jordon Trishton Walker, Pfizer's Director of R&D, Strategic Operations, who had been caught on tape admitting to the fact that the company is exploring a way to "mutate" COVID via "Directed Evolution" in order to anticipate new strains for their Covid-19 vaccine.
When O'Keefe first approached him about his admission, Walker erupted in denial, exclaiming that "I was just lying to a person to impress them on a date." He then lunged for O'Keefe and his staff in what appeared to be an effort to take away the iPad that O'Keefe was holding.
The situation escalated when Walker urged the restaurant owner to call the police, but the restaurant owner asked O'Keefe to leave... which left Walker pressuring him to stay until the police arrived.
As Walker raged around the empty restaurant, he once again claimed: "I was on a third date with a man and like normal people you lie to impress a date..."
US dollar hegemony has long been a standard feature of the global financial and economic system. But developments in recent years and months (weeks, even) suggests there are more than a handful of countries who are looking to rely less on the US dollar. Instead countries who have long been at the mercy of the US dollar are looking to take their finances into their own hands…and gold is set to play a key role.
The U.S. and China are reportedly ‘taking steps to renew their engagement and cooperation … however, it is one step forward and 10 steps backwards.
The U.S. political dysfunction over raising the debt ceiling is the latest crack in rapidly disintegrating international cooperation.
China, one of the largest foreign holders of U.S. debt (China holds about US$870 billion in U.S. government debt), is weighing in on the issue by telling the U.S. to solve its own debt problems.
The comments came After U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called China a “barrier” to debt reform in Africa this week, Chinese officials in Zambia had a pointed response – get your own house in order. The Chinese Embassy in Zambia said on its website Tuesday “the biggest contribution that the U.S. can make to the debt issues outside the country is to act on responsible monetary policies, cope with its own debt problem, and stop sabotaging other sovereign countries’ active efforts to solve their debt issues” (Reuters, 01/23).
The U.S. and International Monetary Fund have put pressure on China to restructure debt owed by the world’s poorest countries.
The long-awaited winter energy crisis has finally hit…but it wasn’t in Europe after all. On Monday, almost the entirety of Pakistan was left without power when a misguided energy saving strategy by the government backfired. Runaway inflation, a severely weakened currency, and rapidly emptying foreign exchange reserves have left Pakistan on the brink of economic collapse. The country of 230 million people is plagued by overdue energy payments, and was seeking to cut costs by lowering energy use when the plan went off the rails, leaving people across the country without power or water for more than 12 hours.
First, while expressed in abstruse technical language, it shares a perspective with the most radical left-wing critiques of capitalism. Yellen goes 90 percent of the way to proclaiming, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”
Second, Yellen is not, of course, calling for a proletarian revolution. Rather, as Noam Chomsky has pointed out, “vulgar Marxist rhetoric is not untypical of internal documents in the government,” just “with values reversed.” In Yellen’s case, she is making the case for, as she writes, the positive “impact of heightened job insecurity.” A rise in worker insecurity in the mid-1990s meant everyone was too scared to ask for raises, which meant businesses wouldn’t need to hike prices, which meant even with the falling unemployment at the time, the Fed didn’t need to raise interest rates to slow the economy and throw people out of work.
Third, Yellen is not a monster. Indeed, from the perspective of regular Americans, she’s about as good as it gets at the summit of power. The problem, for those of us down here on the ground, is her overall worldview. She might personally want things to be nicer but is certain the science of economics places incredibly sharp limits on the possible, and all we can do is try to make small improvements within those limits.
The memo is titled “Job Insecurity, the Natural Rate of Unemployment, and the Phillips Curve.” Barker learned of it from references in the books “Maestro” by Bob Woodward and “Empathy Economics” by Owen Ullmann. Greenspan distributed the memo to the entire Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC — the group that decides interest rates — and it worked. As Ullmann puts it, “Yellen rescued Greenspan from his tight spot.”
Here’s the context in which Yellen was writing.
The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog on Thursday reported powerful explosions near Ukraine's Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station and renewed calls for a security zone around the plant.
A Russian official dismissed the comments by Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), saying they suggested Moscow could not uphold nuclear safety.
Russian forces seized the plant in early March, soon after invading neighbouring Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of firing around it near the front lines, prompting the IAEA to place experts at all of Ukraine's five nuclear stations.
Grossi, who visited Ukraine last week, said IAEA monitors routinely reported explosions near the plant.
"Yesterday, eight strong detonations were heard at around 10 a.m. local time, causing office windows at the plant to vibrate, and more were audible today," he said in a statement.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday pushed Republicans against taking military spending off the table as the party looks for ways to tackle government funding in talks on how to address the debt limit this year.
While speaking at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Paul framed the partisan battle over the nation’s debt limit as an opportunity for Congress to enact significant fiscal reform.
The federal government and U.S. taxpayers are effectively underwriting massive returns for Lockheed Martin shareholders, returns so impressive that the weapons firm’s CEO, James Taiclet, boasted about how the company handed $11 billion over to shareholders in 2022 via share repurchases and dividend payments, creating “significant value for our shareholders.”
Taiclet, speaking on a January 24 earnings call, said that Lockheed, the world’s largest weapons firm, was “ending the year with a total shareholder return of 40 percent.”
Lockheed may be a for-profit, publicly traded, company but those stock buybacks, dividends and appreciated stock value are largely underwritten by U.S. taxpayers. The company’s 2021 annual report acknowledged that, “…71% of our $67.0 billion in net sales were from the U.S. Government.”
Political media critics often accuse journalists of being “stenographers” for those in power when they are seen as regurgitating what a government official says in an article without offering any critical assessment of that official’s claim or providing a counter claim from someone of similar expertise.
But sometimes, media outlets take this practice to a whole other level and effectively serve as government public relations firms, as illustrated when CNN, NBC News, and Reuters published stories this week on a joint U.S.-Israel military drill in the Middle East.
All three articles made exactly the same four points. First, that this was a “massive” drill that came together quickly:
In comments made to EU lawmakers this week, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi tried to raise the alarm about Iran’s civilian nuclear program, claiming that Iran could, if it so chose, fuel “several” nuclear weapons from its existing stockpile.
This accusation is a continuation of Grossi’s past suggestions, fueling immediate media frenzy about a proliferation threat, and showing a flagrant lack of understanding for the facts of a nuclear program, let alone the status of Iran’s stockpile.
Under the suspended JCPOA nuclear deal, Iran was to send excess uranium from its stockpile abroad to keep it from growing too large. With the US not in the deal, no one is taking that excess uranium, and the stockpile just keeps growing steadily, with some 70 kg of 60% purity uranium amassed at this point.
The important facts of the case, however, are more practical, and generally ignored in the press. The term “weapons-grade uranium” refers to uranium which could be used in an atomic weapon, and is of a minimum of 90% purity.
Iran’s highest level of enrichment, even years after JCPOA fell apart, is still only 60%, well short of weapons-grade. Iran has never even attempted to produce uranium more highly enriched than this, and its much-vaunted stockpile subsequently includes no weapons-grade uranium to fuel any weapons at all.
The IAEA is no doubt aware of all of this, but consistently presents the “highly enriched uranium” (HEU) of 60% as a problem. This both parrots US efforts to spin anything Iran does as a threat, and ignores the US role in the stockpile being so large in size in the first place. At the end of the day, 60% uranium is still no direct proliferation risk without substantial further processing, which Iran has neither attempted nor itself proven capable of.
Kosovo and Serbia should state by March whether they accept an international plan to normalise relations or face repercussions from the European Union and United States, the EU's envoy on the matter said on Wednesday.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a decade after a guerrilla uprising against Belgrade's repressive rule. Over the past decade, the two have been holding normalisation talks under EU mediation, with a successful outcome key to realising the aspirations of both to join the wealthy bloc.
Last week EU, U.S., German, French and Italian envoys have met leaders of both countries to try to convince them to sign an 11-point deal meant to defuse tensions lingering since the 1998-99 conflict.
Western powers have become impatient with the intransigence of both sides, fearing that frequent strife between minority Serbs in north Kosovo and the majority ethnic-Albanian government of Pristina could degenerate into a wider conflict.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) decided to immediately end the so-called security coordination with Israel, following a meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss today’s Israeli army’s massacre in Jenin, the official news agency WAFA reported.
Nine Palestinians were killed and 20 others were wounded by Israeli army gunfire on Thursday morning, during a brutal military raid into the city and neighboring refugee camp, the official news agency WAFA reported.
In a brutal assault on the Jenin refugee camp Thursday morning, Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians and injured over a dozen others, making it the deadliest day for Palestinians in 2023 and one of the single deadliest raids in the West Bank in years. A tenth Palestinian was killed later in the day in al-Ram during clashes with the Israeli army.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH), among those killed was an “elderly” woman identified as Magda Obaid, 61. Eight others were killed in the brutal assault on the camp.
According to Defense for Children International Palestine, two of the Palestinians killed during the raid were children. DCIP identified them as Abdallah Marwan Juma’a Mousa, 17, and Waseem Amjad Aref al-Ja’s, 16. DCIP’s reports conflict with initial reports from the MOH, which reported Mousa to be 18, and al-Ja’s to be 22.
Israeli occupation forces killed nine Palestinians and injured at least twenty on Thursday during violent raids in the occupied city of Jenin and its refugee camp.
The raids began on the evening of January 25 and persisted into January 26, in what is being described as "one of the deadliest days" in the West Bank since last year.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC), several have been detained throughout the raids and transferred for interrogation by Israel’s security service. As a result of the incursions, intense clashes broke out between Israeli troops and resistance fighters, several of whom sustained bullet wounds.
An elderly woman has also been reported among the dead, according to security officials. Eyewitnesses have referred to the situation as a "massacre."
The Israeli army cut off the power supply to the Jenin camp, while also blocking journalists and ambulance teams from entering. Health officials have said that injuries are continuing to accumulate.
"There is an invasion that is unprecedented in the past period, in terms of how large it is and the number of injuries … The ambulance driver tried to get to one of the martyrs who was on the floor, but the Israeli forces shot directly at the ambulance and prevented them from approaching him," Wissam Baker, head of Jenin’s public hospital, told media.
The installation of wind and solar power projects is slowing down in the United States, with some projects being canceled over persistent cost issues and community animosity.
New utility-scale solar installations are estimated to have fallen by 40 percent in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to a report from research firm Wood Mackenzie. Utility-scale solar deployments in the third quarter of 2022 were 36 percent lower when compared to Q3, 2021, and 9 percent lower compared to Q2, 2022.
“The low installation figures are the result of previous project delays and continued supply chain constraints,” the report said.
During the third quarter, new wind installations are calculated to have crashed by 77.5 percent compared to the same period a year ago based on another report by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Between July and September, U.S. developers only added 501 MW of new wind power capacity, down 22 percent from Q3, 2021.
“No other third quarter saw lower wind capacity additions since at least 2015. The 4,500 MW of new wind capacity added in the first three quarters of 2022 is less than half of that added by the end of 2021’s third quarter, 9,223 MW,” the report states.
NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced a plan on Tuesday to test out a nuclear-powered thermal rocket engine which will enable NASA-crewed missions to Mars, according to NASA.
Artist concept of Demonstration for Rocket to Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) spacecraft, which will demonstrate a nuclear thermal rocket engine. Nuclear thermal propulsion technology could be used for future NASA crewed missions to Mars.
The program, called Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations, or DRACO, could allow for faster transit time, an increased payload capacity, and higher power for instrumentation and communication.
In a nuclear thermal rocket engine, a fission reactor is used to generate extremely high temperatures. The engine transfers the heat produced by the reactor to a liquid propellant, which is expanded and exhausted through a nozzle to propel the spacecraft. Nuclear thermal rockets can be three or more times more efficient than conventional chemical propulsion. -NASA
Timing is everything, and it may determine the fate of Georgia’s former president, Mikheil Saakashvili. Saakashvili was president of Georgia from 2004 to 2013, and governor of Ukraine’s Odesa Oblast in 2015 and 2016. He returned to Georgia on October 1, 2021 and promptly started a hunger strike to protest previous convictions and new charges against him, including battery, misappropriation, abuse of power, and embezzlement.
Recently, there has been a groundswell of protest to force the Georgian government, led by the Georgian Dream party, to free Saakashvili so he can seek medical attention in the U.S. or Europe for his deteriorating health. His dire condition may be caused by neglect and heavy metal poisoning, and a council of physicians convened by Georgia’s state ombudsperson Nino Lomjaria declared the prison clinic (Vivamedi Clinic) “fails to meet his medical needs.” His condition is likely worsened by petty harassment by the government, including turning off the electricity to the clinic.
Saakashvili demonstrated bad judgement in the past, by starting a war with Russia in 2008, and returning to Georgia despite earlier convictions and with new charges pending against him, despite an earlier pledge to not return. And he made it easy for the Georgian authorities by entering the country illegally, inside a cargo container. (Saakashvili was stripped of his Georgian citizenship in 2015 after he accepted Ukrainian citizenship.)