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What happens when a long-standing nuclear deal between two major powers comes to an abrupt end? The recent termination of the 1993 treaty on scrapping atomic weapons between Russia and Japan has stirred up tensions and raised concerns about peace and disarmament.

Tags: JAPAN, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WMD
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At long last it appears that the worst days of the COVID pandemic may finally be behind us. Despite early predictions of a lasting urban exodus, people are heading back. But the pandemic has brought some lasting urban changes – including the attribution of streets once use for cars and parking to bike lanes, parklets and restaurants.

One of the biggest urban ideas to emerge from the pandemic is the idea of the 15-minute city or 15-minute neighbourhood. Developed by French urbanist Carlos Moreno, 15-minute city refers to a place where all the necessities of daily life – shops, schools, workplaces, doctor’s offices, parks, libraries, restaurants and other amenities – are located in a short 15-minute walk or bike ride from home. In this way, each neighbourhood becomes an ‘isochrone’, an area that can be explored within a given time, giving all residents access to their needs a convenient walk away.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, ECONOMY
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Media reports coming from russian on May 23, 2024, claimed that Ukrainian killer drones were able to damage the Voronezh-DM over-the-horizon radar station, which is located near Armavir in the Krasnodar region of russia. This radar is part of the russian early warning system supposed to counter a strategic missile strike. Now the confirmation comes from the photos that have appeared in the public domain. They indicate the very fact of damage dealt to the Voronezh-DM, and that some hits also landed on the staff accommodation buildings. The scale of destruction is unclear.

The uniqueness of this situation lies not only in the functional purpose this valuable equipment serves but also in its specifications: target detection range of Voronezh-DM is declared to reach 6,000 kilometers; besides ballistic and cruise missiles, the system is said to be capable of spotting "space objects."

Webmaster addition: This leaves Russia with a huge gap in their radar coverage towards the Middle East. Russia would be vulnerable to a nuclear first strike from a submarine in the eastern Mediterranean or from Israel. In addition, Israel could launch on Iran and Russia would not be able to warn them. This is being blamed on Ukraine, but the loss of this radar station does not benefit Ukraine in any military way.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WMD
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Wind speeds fell dramatically in 2023, slowing turbines and decreasing renewable energy production across the United States even as billions of dollars were invested in building new wind power plants.

Wind energy proponents say breezes have increased in 2024, but critics warn the 2023 dip demonstrates the risks to the stability of the energy grid when it is even partially reliant on renewable sources tied to the weather.

“The intermittent, weather-dependent nature of wind turbines make them such a bad fit with the grid,” said Ken Davis, a corporate executive with more than 40 years experience in the electric and gas industry.

According to the government-run U.S. Energy Information Administration, electricity generation from wind turbines fell for the first time since the 1990s, dropping despite the addition of 6.2 gigawatts of new wind capacity added by new wind turbines.

Tags: CLIMATEGATE, EDUCATION, ENERGY
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Convicted fraudster and former Baltimore District Attorney Marilyn Mosby will avoid jail time for perjury and mortgage fraud after facing up to 40 years in prison.

U.S. District Court Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby said the fact that Mosby is a mother of two daughters helped motivate her decision to sentence the former prosecutor to 12 months of home detention, three years of supervised release, and 100 hours of community service in lieu of prison, WBAL TV reported.

Though Mosby has maintained her innocence, she was found guilty of taking advantage of the CARES Act — the first coronavirus relief bill — in May 2020, taking $36,000 from the city’s retirement account then and putting it towards purchasing a $428,000 rental property in Florida, Breitbart News reported.

Prosecutors proved that Mosby lied about having a federal tax lien when purchasing the Longboat Key property and also falsely said that it was a second home, which lowered the interest rate. 

Furthermore, she also lied about receiving a $5,000 gift from her then-husband, Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby, to obtain a mortgage loan. Prosecutors brought evidence that showed she transferred the funds to him and then sent the money back to herself to make it look like it was a present. 

The disgraced DA lost her reelection bid in 2022 following her indictments, while Nick Mosby was never charged but said he “made mistakes” and was not a “perfect person” following his ex-wife’s convictions. 

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Thousands turned out for former President Donald Trump’s rally in the Bronx, the Trump campaign announced on Thursday.

“25,000 PATRIOTS IN THE BRONX FOR @realDonaldTrump!” the Trump campaign announced alongside pictures from the rally, showing a sea of supporters:

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Sudan war intensifies as wave of arrests hits Gedarif

Army-aligned intelligence targets activists and 'foreigners' in eastern Sudan, while death toll rises in Darfur's El-Fasher

Image removed.

A member of the security services in Gedarif, eastern Sudan, 3 April 2024 (AFP)

By Oscar Rickett

Army-aligned Sudanese security forces have carried out a wave of arrests targeting alleged Rapid Support Forces (RSF) collaborators and revolutionary activists in eastern Sudan’s Gedarif state. 

At least 16 Ethiopians, most of whom are undocumented refugees, and 23 Sudanese were detained on Monday as part of an operation aimed at enhancing “security and stability” through document checks and other measures. 

A local activist told Middle East Eye that, as part of a separate campaign, six of her fellow activists, four of them resistance committee members, had been arrested and are currently locked in a police station. She said that a climate of paranoia about "foreign influence" was partly the reason the Ethiopians had been targeted.

Since the war between the army and the RSF broke out on 15 April last year, many activists have been forced to flee Gedarif and the resistance committees, which are at the heart of the Sudanese revolution and which have been coordinating emergency mutual aid groups throughout the war, are no longer working in the city of Gedarif, the state's capital. 

In a statement, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) said that the military intelligence unit of its Second Infantry Division had, along with other security forces, “targeted several locations, markets and neighbourhoods” on Monday to “control foreign presence, review national identity documents, inspect suspected properties and conduct other security measures".

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, PROTESTS/ REVOLUTION, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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A couple in Montana claims that without a warrant, social workers took their teenage daughter, who wanted to transition to a boy.

As the couple, identified as Todd and Krista Kolstad, are mired in a lawsuit regarding the case, they sent a cease-and-desist letter on Monday to the state’s Lt. Gov. Kristen Juras asking that she stop making false statements and issue an apology, the Daily Montanan reported on Tuesday.

The couple’s attorney sent the letter the same day they filed a case in federal district court “alleging that social workers with the State of Montana’s Child Protective Services deceived a state court judge in order to seize the Kolstads’ 14-year-old child without a warrant, and, in the process, ignored their religious freedoms,” the article said.

The child was reportedly removed from her home in 2023 after threatening to commit suicide. The couple and the young teen had been “at odds” over the question of if the girl should be allowed to undergo a gender transition.

However, the couple said their religious beliefs do not allow transgenderism, while alleging that officials shoved their religious freedom aside:

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
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Many Americans do not plan to enjoy a summer vacation in President Joe Biden’s America, a Fox News poll found in May, underscoring the economy as the number one 2024 issue for voters.

The Fox News poll found:

  • Of the 55 percent who are not taking a summer vacation, 73 percent do not have enough money to do so.
  • Seventy-two percent said higher prices impact their summer plans.
  • Fifteen percent do not have time and must remain focused on the daily grind.

The last time a pollster asked Americans this question, in 2010, of those who were not going on vacation, only 51 percent cited a lack of cash, while 20 percent blamed a lack of time, Fox News reported.

Tags: ECONOMY
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Stand-up comedian and actor Dave Chappelle drew cheers from his audience in Abu Dhabi on Thursday by reportedly calling the Israeli war on Hamas terrorists in Gaza a “genocide.”

The capital of the federation of seven sheikdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the Arabian Peninsula delivered the audience that cheered on Chappelle’s observations.

AP reports the full crowd at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena cheered as DJ Trauma, who accompanied Chappelle on the trip, played the song “My Blood is Palestinian” by the Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf.

About halfway through in a wide-ranging comedy set Chappelle, a Muslim, initially said he had been told by his friends either to discuss the war or not.

From the audience, a woman screamed: “Free Palestine!” The crowd cheered, according to the outlet.

Tags: ISRAEL, MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Media Matters, a nonprofit organization that smears conservatives, announced Thursday it laid off dozens of employees, including management and journalists, and appeared to cite its legal battle with Elon Musk as cause for the dismissals.

Musk’s X social media platform sued Media Matters in November over its efforts to link ad placements on the platform to neo-Nazi content, Breitbart News reported, a strategy the radical organization used to initiate boycotts against the income streams of conservative media companies.

The suit triggered Attorneys General Ken Paxton of Texas (R) and Andrew Bailey of Missouri (R) to investigate the nonprofit for potential illegal activity by allegedly “manipulating data on the site formerly known as Twitter,” the New York Post reported.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Homeownership is becoming an increasingly expensive endeavor in the United States. The average cost of homeowners insurance has soared to $1,915 per year. This figure is based on a 40-year-old homeowner with good credit and $300,000 worth of coverage. However, the cost varies significantly across states.

Tags: ECONOMY
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Described as "the 26 words that created the internet," Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act catches a lot of flak for a piece of legislation that is largely responsible for online platforms' willingness to host discussion forums. In its absence, social media companies and message boards would likely return to the previous era of either allowing anybody to say anything, or else taking legal responsibility for every insult and slur posted on their platforms. That would probably mean the end of online discourse as we know it—which may be what happens if proposed bipartisan legislation "sunsets" Section 230.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, DICTATORSHIP
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Donald Trump is charged with 34 felonies in New York because he allegedly falsified business records to conceal "another crime." In the run-up to Trump's trial, which began last month and is expected to conclude next week, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was cagey about exactly what that other crime was. His prosecutors suggested several possibilities without picking one in particular, and they are still hedging on this crucial point.

It looks like the case will go to the jury with that central question unresolved. That's fine, according to a ruling that Juan Merchan, the judge presiding over the case, made this week.

For a verdict to be valid, Trump's lawyers argued, the jury should have to settle on a specific legal theory. The prosecution disagreed. Under "the standard application of the law," lead prosecutor Matthew Colangelo argued, jurors can convict Trump as long as they unanimously agree that he falsified business records with "an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof." In Colangelo's view, jurors do not have to agree on what that underlying crime was. Merchan sided with the prosecution, adding new complications to a case that was already convoluted and confusing.

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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The nation's political eyes this weekend will be affixed on a spectacle that rarely attracts significant attention: the Libertarian National Convention in Washington, D.C. But instead of coming to watch presidential candidates such as Lars Mapstead, Michael Rectenwald, Chase Oliver, and Mike ter Maat duke it out for the Libertarian Party (L.P.) nomination, journalists will be there primarily to see the presumptive nominee from the Republican Party: former President Donald Trump.

It's certainly unusual for small political parties to invite their most charismatic rivals to come try to steal their voters. (As Trump himself said in the Libertarian Party's press release announcing the speech, "If Libertarians join me and the Republican Party, where we have many Libertarian views, the election won't even be close….WE WILL WORK TOGETHER AND WIN!") The move was controversial among L.P. members and candidates alike.

"I don't think that's good for the party," Oliver says. "It makes it seem like we're the Republican J.V. team."

But the L.P. leadership faction that engineered the stunt, including National Chair Angela McArdle, counter that it has already reaped a nearly unprecedented amount of media attention, bolstering the finances of a party that for the past two years has been bleeding money and membership.  

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had no legitimacy following the expiry of his five-year term and this would raise a legal obstacle if Russia and Ukraine were to hold peace talks.

With Ukraine under martial law in the third year of Russia's full-scale invasion, Zelenskiy has not faced elections despite the expiry of his five-year term this week - something he and Ukraine's allies deem the right decision in wartime.

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA
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What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Five years and one month after first son Hunter Biden dropped off three damaged laptops at a repair shop in Wilmington, Del., and never returned to pick them up, a Delaware federal judge ruled that jurors at the 54-year-old’s upcoming trial on weapons charges can be shown damaging evidence about his illegal drug use taken from his hard drive, his iPhone and iPad and his own memoir.

As Hunter looked on in court — one day after attending a White House state dinner — US District Judge Maryellen Noreika in Wilmington ruled that the “laptop from hell” could not be barred out of hand based on his legal team’s claim it had been hacked and seeded with false information.

However, Noreika did rule that the first son’s attorneys can object to the introduction of specific pieces of information from the laptop as prosecutors — who say there is no evidence that the computer was ever compromised — seek to raise them during trial, which begins with jury selection June 3.

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, WHITE HOUSE
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VIDEO BELOW shows British MP Andrew Bridgen confirming on a radio show today: "We are actually at war with Russia now... They're not going to tell the people probably until July or August; maybe later."

"The whole thing's a pantomime in Parliament... It's not a race between the blue and the red team to see who crosses the finish line. This is a baton handover on all the big issues: Net Zero, Covid response, the WHO, the trans agenda."

Watch this.  3 minutes. 

Tags: GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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A recent trend of mega corporations rolling back prices and reintroducing deals has emerged. Whether this is potentially due to pressure from the White House ahead of elections or, as Goldman pointed out, "Consumer caution mounts as cracks in resilience theme emerge," there's growing evidence that working poor consumers are struggling in the era of failed Bidenomics.

About two weeks ago, after three years of 'McFlation' that sent the price of combo meals as high as $18, McDonald's weighed on new plans to reintroduce $5 combo meal deals. The report, initially from Bloomberg, specified the deal could include a McChicken or a McDouble, fries, and a drink. 

Elsewhere, Walmart, Target, and Aldi have lowered prices on thousands of everyday items, including staple foods. This comes in response to a spending slowdown among cash-strapped working-poor consumers who are drowning in insurmountable credit card debt and drained personal savings amid elevated inflation. 

Tags: ECONOMY
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The US government has determined that at least five Israeli security units committed gross violations of human rights prior to the latest war with Hamas, but Washington has no plans to impose sanctions or restrict military aid to West Jerusalem.

Monday’s announcement marks the first time Washington leveled such accusations against Israeli troops. All of the allegations stem from incidents that occurred long before the Israel-Hamas war began last October. Most of the incidents occurred in the West Bank, and none involved the Gaza Strip.

All Israeli units remain eligible for American aid, despite a law prohibiting the US from providing weapons or other assistance to groups that are found to have committed human rights violations. The Biden administration remains in compliance with the so-called Leahy Law because Israel has taken action against most of the units accused of wrongdoing, State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters in Washington, without identifying the units by name.

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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