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"Alone among all of Earth's life forms, humans alone perceive the absolute inevitability of their own mortality. For thousands of years, con artists have exploited that fear of the inevitable end of life, offering for sale various magical escapes from the grave, and all the acolytes have to do is surrender their money, their obedience, and their sanity." -- Michael Rivero
On Sunday, Conservative House Republicans got really mad at the compromise agreement between Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden to raise the debt ceiling.
According to The Hill, the bill sets certain spending limits on discretionary non-defense spending and grants Republicans some of what they wanted on issues such as work requirements for certain social services programs.
“This is a good strong bill that a majority of Republicans will vote for. You’re going to have Republicans and Democrats be able to move this to the president,” McCarthy stated.
However, several Republicans strongly criticized the agreement.
“No real cuts to see here. Conservatives have been sold out once again,” Senator Rand Paul said.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem issued a letter on May 25 to the governing board that oversees the six public universities in the state. In it, she lamented about the situation of higher education in the country, and challenged the board to a series of actions to “show the nation what quality higher education is supposed to look like.”
Among several points, the Republican governor told the board it should ban drag shows on university campuses, and, separately, remove all preferred pronouns in school materials, as well as remove all mandates that compel people to use preferred pronouns.
However, what appears to be the priority is the first point of action she raised, which is that the board should aim to raise graduation rates across its six universities to 65 percent by 2028, compared to the current graduation rate of 47 percent. Meanwhile, in 2020, the national graduation rate was 63 percent.
The song “Boycott Target” by conservative rappers Forgiato Blow and Jimmy Levy hit #2 on iTunes’ hip-hop chart on Monday, riding a wave of conservative backlash against the big-box retailer over its Pride Month merchandise aimed at children.
The song features repetitive lyrics about how Target is “targeting your kids” with propaganda and demands an end to the LGBTQ “agenda.” Its music video shows the rappers sauntering around a Target store mocking LGBTQ-themed merchandise (including rainbow-labeled bottles of alcohol and ‘inclusive’ tampons) and surplus Bud Light.
As of Monday, the clip had racked up 4.3 million views on Twitter alone. A retweet from Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) helped draw attention to the single, as has Blow’s relentless promotion on social media.
Last Monday night, one week ago, a young migrant from Chesterfield, Missouri drove a U-Haul truck and attempted to ram his way through a White House barrier. his plot failed and police arrested the young man in shorts. Police investigators then pulled an apparent Nazi flag from a U-Haul truck after the crash near the White House and laid it on the street for photographers. It was a white supremacist attack!
As Kristinn Taylor reported — Eyewitnesses say the truck was driven twice into a barrier before stopping. The incident took place at the north side of Lafayette Park at 16th and H St, NW. Police laid out the flag on the sidewalk near the truck, apparently for the media to film, before folding it up and taking it away.
Internet users immediately were suspect. The only thing they found in the truck was a Nazi flag? This was too convenient for Joe Biden and the FBI’s narrative of the dreaded white supremacist threat in America. It smelled like another fed operation.
Not too long ago, Mitt Romney issued threats towards former Rep.Tulsi Gabbard, who had raised concerns about US funding of biolabs in Ukraine.
In March 2022, Senator Mitt Romney accused former Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard of spreading “treasonous lies” for simply talking about the biolabs in Ukraine funded by the United States.
“There are 25+ US-funded biolabs in Ukraine which if breached would release and spread deadly pathogens to US/world,” she said at the time.
“We must take action now to prevent disaster. US/Russia/Ukraine/NATO/UN/EU must implement a ceasefire now around these labs until they’re secured and pathogens destroyed,” she added.
Tulsi Gabbard made her statement based on testimony from the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in Eurasia, Victoria Nuland.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Monday signed a bill into law that creates harsher penalties for anyone who engages in gay sex, and President Biden has threatened sanctions against the country as a result.
While engaging in homosexual acts is already illegal in Uganda, the new law adds offenses to the list and contains harsher penalties, The New York Times reported.
Anyone trying to have same-sex relations could face up to 10 years in prison, according to the new law, which also calls for life imprisonment for anyone who does engage in it.
The death penalty is the law’s sentence for anyone convicted of “aggravated homosexuality,” which means "same-sex relations with children or disabled people, those carried out under threat or while someone is unconscious,” according to the Times.
Jane Fonda called for men to face “arrest and jail,” blaming white men specifically for effects from the “climate crisis,” at a high-profile film festival over the weekend.
“It is a tragedy that we have to absolutely stop. We have to arrest and jail those men — they’re all men [behind this],’ Fonda, 85, said at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday. The longtime far-left activist added there, “would be no climate crisis if there was no racism.”
“White men are the things that matter and then everything else [is] at the bottom,” she went on to say.
Responses to her comments led to Fonda’s name becoming a Twitter trend on Memorial Day, much to the dismay of veterans who remember her infamous meeting with North Vietnamese troops during the height of the war in Vietnam. In 1972, Fonda posed for photos atop an NVA anti-aircraft gun that was used to shoot down American warplanes.
US Senator Lindsey Graham’s name has been trending on social media in recent days. As exposed in a video circulating on the internet, on May 26, during a trip to Ukraine, the Republican allegedly said that killing Russians was a good investment. Obviously, the statement generated controversy and all sorts of reactions, including state measures on the part of Russia. However, the lack of clarification on the case leaves many questions unanswered.
In the aforementioned video, the senator seems to say: “And the Russians are dying… it’s the best money we’ve ever spent.” At the time, Graham was personally speaking to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. It is known that Lindsey led an American delegation on an official trip to Kiev, in which topics of interest to both countries in the context of the current conflict would have been discussed. The meeting at which the controversial phrase was allegedly voiced took place during this trip.
There are no means to prove the veracity of the video. Some analysts have claimed that there is a media editing connecting Graham’s words. According to some experts, the mention of the death of Russians and the comment about money were not originally in the same sentence. However, as well as there is no proof to believe in the edited version that circulates on the networks, there is also no full and official version to verify what was actually said by the Senator. Therefore, there is no certainty about what happened at the meeting.
A donor with deep ties to Ukraine loaned Joe Biden’s younger brother half-a-million dollars at the same time the then-vice president oversaw U.S. policy toward the country, according to public records reviewed by POLITICO.
The 2015 loan came as Biden’s brother faced financial difficulties related to his acquisition of a multimillion-dollar vacation home, nicknamed “the Biden Bungalow,” in South Florida.
There is no indication that the loan influenced Joe Biden’s official actions, but it furthers a decades-long pattern, detailed in a POLITICO investigation earlier this month, by which relatives of the former vice president have leaned on his political allies for money and otherwise benefited financially from the Biden name.
Wilmington's University and Whist Club quickly settled a lawsuit claiming that as the pandemic raged last summer, employees were made to work without pay and instructed to seek unemployment benefits from the state.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in January on behalf of two former managers at the club, was settled earlier this month.
It named the club and its owner, John Hynansky, the multimillionaire founder of the Winner Group auto dealerships and owner of one of the largest auto importers in Ukraine, as defendants. Jeffrey Weiner, an attorney representing Hynansky and the club, declined to comment.
Ron Poliquin, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs, said the settlement bars him from discussing the lawsuit.
Uriel Araujo, researcher with a focus on international and ethnic conflicts
Even though there is as of now not much prospect of the conflict in Ukraine coming to an end (and US interests actually profit from making it perpetual), there is much talk already about “rebuilding” the country. In a November video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed it would take no less than $1 trillion to rebuild it.
It is strange to talk about rebuilding anything when the West itself rejects any peace plan, but, be it as it may, under such a “reconstruction” banner, lots of cash have been flowing into Ukraine, a nation infamous for being Europe’s most corrupt country. Much the same way a large part of the weaponry sent to Kiev has been ending up in Africa and the Middle East, through black markets, (and, in fact the Pentagon could not account for billions worth of arms), one could only suspect from the very beginning that something similar may occur when it comes to huge amounts of cash. By December 2022, the total amount of US dollars sent there totaled about $68 billion or even more, and the funds should keep coming this year.
According to Ukraine’s media reports, the Ukrainian investment company Dragon Capital and American multinational investment company BlackRock are involved in shady businesses. US giant BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, gained a strong foothold in the country in November upon signing a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Economy on marshaling funding aimed at the nation’s reconstruction. The company has some history: it was the target of accusations pertaining to corruption and environmental damage in Mexico, and its CEO, Larry Fink, has been under a lot of controversy since December.
Property in Crimea, Russia owned by former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk will be sold at an auction, the region’s governor, Sergey Aksyonov, said on Monday.
Aksyonov stated that the authorities were devising a legal framework for the measure and stressed that the assets of owners with “proven destructive activities” against the Russian state would be targeted.
“As for the auction, there will be many interesting lots … including resorts and manufacturing companies,” he told Russia 24. He did not go into details, but added that properties “owned by Yatsenyuk, Poroshenko, and others” would be sold.
The governor confirmed that the penthouse belonging to current Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky would be auctioned off as well. He added that officials chose to put the assets up for auction “not out of spite,” but because it was “only in the interests of [Russia] and Crimea, and their security.”
Kiev’s continuing attacks on Russian soil are aimed at provoking a “mirror response” from Moscow, the president has said
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will approve the complete return of Iran to the oil market, when sanctions against its oil industry are lifted, OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais said in an interview with Iranian agency Shana and the Iran Petroleum magazine.
"Indeed, we welcome the return of Iran’s oil production in the future, when sanctions are lifted. We look forward to that day," he said.
Al Ghais also noted that the oil market and demand for it are growing, adding that Iran is a responsible member of the organization.
Besides, Iran is one of the founders of OPEC and a "key player" on the global market, the secretary general said. However, sanctions seriously limit Iran’s production capacities, but, despite this fact, Tehran continues to play a major role in ensuring stable and reliable oil supplies, investing in both exploration and oil refining, as well as in petrochemistry.
Under former US President Donald Trump, the United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018. In November that year, sanctions against Iran, including restrictions on oil purchases, were completely reimposed, however, the US authorities issued temporary permissions to a series of countries to keep buying oil from Tehran. The permissions expired in May 2019 and were not extended.
More than 20 Hungarians from NATO's KFOR contingent were injured in clashes in the north of the self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo, seven of them seriously, Hungarian Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said.
Szalay-Bobrovniczky also said the injured Hungarian soldiers were being airlifted to Hungary for treatment.
"Hungarian soldiers are part of the NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, KFOR. Soldiers of the Hungarian army participating in the NATO peacekeeping forces were given the task of dispersing the crowd in the locality of Zvecan in Kosovo. Soldiers of different nationalities were also injured in the clash. According to information available at the moment, among them there are more than 20 Hungarian soldiers, seven of whom were [injured] seriously, but their condition is stable," Szalay-Bobrovniczky wrote on Facebook*.
After the drone attack on the Kremlin in Moscow earlier this month, UAV launches have been banned in Moscow and in many parts of the country.
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said several buildings in the Russian capital were slightly damaged this morning in a drone attack.
"In the early hours of this morning, a UAV attack caused minor damage to several buildings. No one has been seriously injured. All emergency services in the city are on the scene. Please only trust official sources of information and do not spread unverified information," Sobyanin said.
The Northern Fleet’s anti-submarine warfare ships practiced hunting down and destroying a notional enemy’s submarines during drills in the Barents Sea, the Fleet’s press office reported on Monday.
"A formation of anti-submarine ships from the Kola Flotilla of the Northern Fleet’s Combined Arms Forces employed anti-submarine warfare armaments in the Barents Sea during a scheduled tactical exercise. The ships’ combat teams practiced the objectives of hunting down and tracking a submerged enemy and conducted fire by a practice (training) torpedo against a simulated underwater target," the press office said in a statement.
The drills were held in a force-on-force format. One party involved a naval strike force comprising the large anti-submarine warfare ships Severomorsk, Vice Admiral Kulakov and Admiral Levchenko and the other party was made up of a nuclear-powered submarine and a diesel sub, it said.
"The firing passed successfully and the submerged enemy was notionally destroyed. After the firing, the surfaced torpedoes were found and retrieved from the water by a torpedo recovery boat, which provided support for the exercise," the Fleet’s press office added.
Russian forces delivered a strike by high-precision weapons against Ukrainian military airfields, destroying enemy command posts, aircraft, armament and ammunition depots in the past day during the special military operation in Ukraine, Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov reported on Monday.
"At night, Russian forces delivered a multiple strike by air-launched long-range precision weapons against enemy facilities at airfields. The goal of the strike was achieved. All the designated sites were destroyed. The strike wiped out Ukrainian command and radar posts, aircraft, armament and ammunition depots," the spokesman said.
Washinton sources say the attack was done at the request of a US Senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham who recently called for the killing of all Russians.
Attacks were carried out by al Nusra/al Qaeda, by units with embedded US Navy SEALs using weapons supplied through US contractor Google Idea Groups in Hatay using transporttion supplied by the White Helmets.
American reconnaissance aircraft have been tracked over Latakia for the past 2 days and are believed to have guided the attack using artillery rockets modified to perform as HYMARS.
Russian news websites and accounts revealed: Colonel Obichvesti, commander of the Russian Special Forces in Syria, lost his life as a result of an unknown shooting at the central operations room in the town of “Al-Jub al-Ahmar” in the countryside of the city of #Latakia
At the G7 summit in Hiroshima, much was talking about “de-risking” from China – which seems to be the new preferred terminology. The summit joint statement said:
“we are not decoupling or turning inwards. At the same time, we recognise that economic resilience requires de-risking and diversifying.”
In the same spirit, US President Joe Biden, on May 21, stated: “we’re not looking to decouple from China, we’re looking to de-risk and diversify our relationship with [it].” The US state department describes “de-risking” somewhat more clearly as “the phenomenon of financial institutions terminating or restricting business relationships with clients or categories of clients to avoid, rather than manage, risk.”
Journalists Keith Johnson and Robbie Gramer in turn, writing for Foreign Policy, define de-risking this way:
“decoupling refers to the deliberate dismantling and eventual re-creation elsewhere of some of the sprawling cross-border supply chains that have defined globalization and especially the U.S.-China relationship in recent decades.”
The State Department has refused to say if it’s engaging with the Ukrainian government over American citizen Gonzalo Lira, who was detained by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) due to his political views on the conflict with Russia.
Lira has a popular YouTube channel and a large following on Twitter and Telegram. He is also a writer who has contributed to several media outlets, including Business Insider. Lira was born in California and is a dual citizen of the US and Chile and had been living in Kharkiv, Ukraine, throughout the war.
Lira is a critic of the Ukrainian government and was arrested by the SBU on charges of justifying the Russian invasion. “After the start of the full-scale invasion, the blogger was one of the first to support the Russian invaders and glorify their war crimes,” the SBU said in a press release referring to Lira.
The SBU also accused Lira of “discrediting the top military and political leadership and the Defense Forces of our state.” He was charged under sections 2 and 3 of Article 436-2 of Ukraine’s criminal code, which outlaws the “distribution of materials” that justify Russia’s actions going back to 2014.
Insurance company Lloyd’s of London has announced its exit from a net-zero alliance for insurers - the sixth such organization to have pulled out from the initiative within a week.
The Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), convened by the United Nations, seeks to commit group members, composed of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers, to fighting climate change. As part of this, members have to transition their insurance and reinsurance underwriting portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. On Friday, Lloyd’s of London quit the NZIA. This took the total number of members who have quit NZIA this week alone to six, which represents a fifth of the organization’s total of 30 members. Since March, a total of 10 members have quit NZIA.
The exodus of major insurance companies has raised questions about NZIA’s viability. None of the six firms that quit this week have made it clear why they left the initiative.
The insurance firms are said to have decided to pull out due to concerns about getting embroiled in disputes about net-zero initiatives in the United States. On May 15, attorneys generals from 23 American states sent a letter to 28 insurance companies asking for information about potential violations of antitrust laws.