Islamist militants in Mali began a blockade of Timbuktu by cutting road access in August and then shut off river and air routes in an offensive that has put the city once again on the frontline of a jihadist insurgency.
The bombing began soon after. On Sept. 21, witnesses said rockets hit a hospital, killing two children, and landed near a school where survivors of a passenger boat attack that killed more than 100 people were sheltering.
"Our worry is the shelling," businessman Sory Touré said in Timbuktu, which was occupied by jihadists a decade ago. "It creates a real psychosis and leaves a lasting impression. I have this fear within me."
Since the United Nations began winding down its peacekeeping mission in July, al Qaeda affiliated militants launched an offensive in central Mali, fighting has resumed between the army and Tuareg rebels from the north and, in the east, Islamic State-allied insurgents have continued to carry out attacks.
The Army wants as many as one-third of its future enlisted recruits to have college degrees and plans to create two new jobs — one enlisted, one warrant officer — to keep high-performing recruiters looking for them, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said Tuesday.
As the Army faces recruiting challenges, the service is also going through “a moment of transformation” with potential changes to the entire force structure and overall modernization, Wormuth said in a roundtable with reporters.
“There are a lot of things happening that are outside of the United States Army’s ability to control: the declining percentage of young Americans who are eligible to join the military, the declining propensity,” Wormuth said. “What we’ve really tried to focus on since this is an existential issue for us is, what can we change right now?”
The Pentagon’s 2024 budget calls for funding bumps for recruiting and advertising by hundreds of millions and calls for a DOD report on efforts to expand military eligibility “by eliminating unnecessary disqualifying standards and modifying the recruitment standards and waiver process.”
Webmaster addition: Why would anyone with a college degree want to join the Army?!?
India has told Canada to remove 41 of its 62 diplomats in the country, an official familiar with the matter said Tuesday, ramping up a confrontation between the two countries over Canadian accusations that India may have been involved in the killing of a Sikh separatist leader in suburban Vancouver.
The official, who confirmed an earlier report from the Financial Times, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs declined to comment, but ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had previously called for a reduction in Canadian diplomats in India, saying they outnumbered India’s staffing in Canada.
Pakistan on Tuesday ordered all illegal immigrants, including 1.73 million Afghan nationals, to leave the country or face expulsion after revealing that 14 of 24 suicide bombings in the country this year were carried out by Afghan nationals.
It was not immediately clear how Pakistani authorities could ensure the illegal immigrants leave, or how they could find them to expel them.
Islamabad's announcement marks a new low in its relations with Kabul that deteriorated after border clashes between the South Asian neighbours last month.
"We have given them a November 1 deadline," said Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti, adding that all illegal immigrants should leave voluntarily or face forcible expulsion after that date.
The president-elect of the Maldives said he will stick to his campaign promise to remove Indian military personnel stationed in the archipelago state, promising he would initiate the process.
Mohamed Muiz told his supporters gathered Monday night at a celebration of his election victory that he wouldn’t stand for a foreign military staying in the Maldives against the will of its citizens.
“The people have told us that they don’t want foreign military here,” he said.
It’s a serious blow to India in its geopolitical rivalry with China in the India Ocean region, where the Maldives’ presidential runoff election Saturday was seen as a virtual referendum on which of the regional powers would have the biggest influence on the archipelago. Outgoing President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who was elected president in 2018, was battling allegations by Muiz that he had allowed India an unchecked presence in the country. Muiz’s party, the People’s National Congress, is viewed as heavily pro-China.
The US Department of Defense has issued an unclassified paper incorporating critical approaches to mitigate weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The strategic report outlines known WMD threats and offers “tailored” solutions with associated authorities, allies, and operations to counter them and recover from their effects.
Under the plan, the US will focus on specific priorities to guarantee the security of the homeland from such attacks, deter WMD use against the US and its partners, enhance the Joint Force to manage chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) environments, and prevent new WMD threats.
Egyptian state security forces detained dozens of young people in the early hours of Tuesday, 3 October, in Marsa Matrouh province who protested against the deteriorating decade-long socioeconomic conditions, hours after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced his intention to run for a third term in forthcoming December elections.
"Demonstrations broke out in Alexandria street, the major commercial street in the northwestern capital city [also named Marsa Matrouh] against the rising prices and human rights abuses we have been surviving, following a concert of a popular singer," a local tribal source told The New Arab on condition of anonymity.
"Boxes of groceries and money gifts were distributed among the attendees after the concert, as tribal leaders and senior members of the two parties gave speeches in support of Sisi's nomination," the source added. "At that moment, and, in less than 10 minutes, many of the young attendees flew into a rage, shouting anti-regime slogans against the rising prices of basic commodities and repressive security measures taken against the locals for months now."
At least one in five children arriving in South Sudan from Sudan are malnourished and more than 90% of arrivals haven’t eaten in days, the U.N. food agency said Tuesday.
The World Food Program said that nearly 300,000 people have arrived in South Sudan in the last five months — the majority of whom are South Sudanese. South Sudan plunged into civil war in 2013, forcing thousands of its citizens to flee to neighboring countries, including Sudan.
“We are seeing families leave one disaster for another as they flee danger in Sudan only to find despair in South Sudan,” says Mary-Ellen McGroarty, WFP’s country director in South Sudan.
By now I sincerely hope that you have all been watching the exposure of the #PlasmidGate scandal unfold on twitter and various other platforms. If you haven’t I’m going to summarise it for you as briefly I can:
When Pfizer and Moderna said that they produced an “RNA vaccine” and that an “RNA vaccine” meant that anything they injected into you would have a short lived (days) effect at most, it was a lie.
When the media, the regulators and the government said it “isn’t gene therapy” without knowing what was actually in the product, that was also a lie.
The primary reason that this is now proven to be a lie is that multiple laboratories around the world have proven that those COVID vaccines contain therapeutic levels of plasmid DNA. DNA lasts for ever and if it integrates into your genome, you will produce its product forever. There is no definition of gene therapy anywhere in the world that this process would be excluded from.
For more details on #Plasmidgate outside of twitter I would refer you to the original substack from Kevin McKernan here and the whole testimony of Dr Phillip Buckhaults here.
Just for background, it’s important to know what plasmid DNA is – it’s the lab-based circular DNA particles that is replicated in big vats of poo and then used to create the mRNA that goes into your “short lived” vaccine.
It’s a lab tool so should never be in a drug injected into a human. It’s not allowed to be there. It’s like having a drug that requires arsenic as a substrate to make it, and then throwing the leftover arsenic into the actual drug that gets injected into you.
The Russian Investigative Committee has charged Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kirill Budanov and several other military commanders in absentia for authorizing drone attacks on Russian territory, placing all individuals’ names on the wanted list, the law enforcement agency’s press service told TASS.
"Criminal charges have been filed against the Head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate [GUR], Kirill Budanov; Ukrainian Air Force Commander Nikolay Oleshchuk; Ukrainian Naval Forces Commander Alexey Neizhpapa; and Commander of the Ukrainian 383rd Unmanned Aircraft Regiment, Sergey Burdenyuk. They are being charged in absentia with committing crimes under Part 2, Article 205 of the Russian Criminal Code ("Terrorist Act"). It was also established that the defendants had involved servicemen subordinate to them in the commission of these crimes," the press service stated.
Angola’s government has introduced a visa-free regime for Russian nationals, aiming to boost tourism and investment opportunities, news outlet Izvestia reported on Tuesday, citing Vladimir Tararov, Moscow’s ambassador to the African nation.
“On September 29, a presidential decree was signed on the abolition of tourist visas with a number of countries, including Russia. On the same day it came into force immediately after publication,” Tararov told Izvestia.
Last month, the Russian diplomat told the media that the Angolan government had proposed a bill that was awaiting parliamentary approval that would abolish visa requirements for citizens of G20 countries.
Germany and Lithuania are working on creating a road map for the deployment of a brigade of German soldiers to the Baltic state, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced in an interview with the news outlet ERR on Monday.
The minister announced several weeks ago that Berlin planned to send as many as 4,000 troops to Lithuania, which already houses around 1,500 German troops as part of a NATO battlegroup.
In the recent interview, he explained that the move was being done in order to show “solidarity and responsibility in the East Wing.”
Pistorius said that there was still a lot to do before the soldiers could be deployed, but stated that Germany and Lithuania expect to have a road map and a clear picture on how to proceed by the end of November or early December.
Over five hundred people gathered near Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and Munich on Tuesday for an anti-government demonstration marking German Unity Day.
Rallying under the theme, 'War and Peace and the Consequences for German Unity', many protesters carried banners and placards advocating for peace in Ukraine while expressing opposition to government policies, including the re-militarization of Germany.
"I'm fed up with the government, come on, they're destroying us, they're killing us. We have to leave immediately," said a protester.
"I'm mainly concerned with crisis intervention and resolving this armed conflict,” added a second. “From a purely political point of view, Germany is right in the middle, and America is shamelessly taking advantage of that.”
Pope Francis has once again sparked immense controversy with his widely perceived liberalizing policies and ambiguity related to hotly contested moral issues, this time angering conservative Catholics by appearing tosoften the Vatican's longtime ban on blessing gay couples, as a Wall Street Journal headline revealed this week.
The shift has unleashed a significant degree of confusion within the Roman Catholic world, with some leading conservative clerics and pundits accusing Francis of paving the way for eventual full 'recognition' of same-sex unions.
Those of us who are libertarians have a tendency to speak frequently of “the New World Order.”
When doing so, we tend to be a bit unclear as to what the New World Order is.
Is it a cabal of the heads of the world’s governments, or just the heads of Western governments?
Certainly bankers are included somewhere in the mix, but is it just the heads of the Federal Reserve and the IMF, or does it also include the heads of JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, etc.?
And how about the Rothschilds? And the Bundesbank—surely, they’re in there, too?
And the list goes on, without apparent end.
Certainly, all of the above entities have objectives to increase their own power and profit in the world, but to what degree do they act in concert? Although many prominent individuals, world leaders included, have proclaimed that a New World Order is their ultimate objective, the details of who’s in and who’s out are fuzzy. Just as fuzzy is a list of details as to the collective objectives of these disparate individuals and groups.
So, whilst most libertarians acknowledge “the New World Order,” it’s rare that any two libertarians can agree on exactly what it is or who it’s comprised of. We allow ourselves the luxury of referring to it without being certain of its details, because, “It’s a secret society,” as evidenced by the Bilderberg Group, which meets annually but has no formal agenda and publishes no minutes. We excuse ourselves for having only a vague perception of it, although we readily accept that it’s the most powerful group in the world.
This is particularly true of Americans, as Americans often imagine that the New World Order is an American construct, created by a fascist elite of US bankers and political leaders. The New World Order may be better understood by Europeans, as, actually, it’s very much a European concept—one that’s been around for quite a long time.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson is calling on the military to assist the police with tackling the rise in gang-related violence in the country, as fatal shootings and bombings claimed the lives of 12 people last month.
As Statista's Anna Fleck reports, in the latest move, the Swedish government said on Friday that it would authorize future military assistance to the police, following a meeting between Krisstersson and the heads of both forces on how to reduce violence from organized criminal gangs. It is not yet clear exactly which duties the military will take on.
"The wave of violence is unprecedented in Sweden, but it is also unprecedented in Europe, no other country has a situation like the one we have," Kristersson commented in a televised speech.
"The police cannot do all the work themselves."
According to the Swedish Police Authority's annual reports, last year a total of 62 people were killed by gunfire, marking the deadliest year for shootings since the authorities started publishing data in late 2016.
President Joe Biden held a call with the leaders of several allied nations to stress that weapon shipments to Ukraine cannot end for any reason. Some members of NATO recently expressed an unwillingness or inability to provide further arms to Kiev.
National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby stated Biden spoke with the leaders of Canada, Italy, Japan, the UK, Poland, Romania, Germany, the European Commission, the European Council, and NATO on Tuesday. Kirby said the president expressed that “we cannot under any circumstances allow America’s support [for] Ukraine to be interrupted. Time is not our friend.”
Biden added that he was confident Congress would authorize an additional $24 billion in aid that the White House requested. While a majority of representatives in both houses continue to support aiding Ukraine, recent polling shows that 71% of Republicans, and 55% of Americans, do not want Congress to pass another multibillion-dollar bill to support Kiev.
A press release from UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said London was committed to supporting Kiev. It stated that he “outlined the UK’s ongoing military, humanitarian and economic assistance to Ukraine and stressed that this support will continue for as long as it takes.”
The US will run out of money to pay for Ukrainian government salaries and services within the next month if Congress does not authorize more Ukraine aid, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed US and Ukrainian officials.
The US and Ukraine’s other Western backers have been paying the salaries of about 150,000 civil servants in Ukraine. This has been done through a form of US support known as direct budgetary aid that is provided through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank.
According to the Journal, the World Bank has sent $23.4 billion to Ukraine through the program, with $20.2 billion funded by the US and $2 billion from the UK. USAID is expected to provide another $1.15 billion this month, but future disbursements are unclear.
Little is known about the high school student Manar Al Gafiri, an 18-year-old who, according to the exiled Saudi human rights group ALQST, was sentenced in August to 18 years in prison by the Saudi Specialized Criminal Court, in charge of trying terrorism crimes. Al Gafiri was still underage when she was arrested for tweeting in support of political prisoners in Saudi prisons and “human rights defenders, especially women who demand equal rights,” Carlos de las Heras, a specialist on Saudi Arabia at Amnesty International, confirms by telephone. This and other cases, he says, illustrate “a worrying increase over the last year of repression against those who use the internet to express opposition.”
The case of the jailed teenager is not even the most serious sentence handed down in Saudi Arabia for expressing dissent on social media. Since 2017, shortly after the current de facto Saudi leader, Mohammed bin Salman, was named crown prince, these alleged crimes have been considered “cybercrimes” and are likened to acts of terrorism. The same court that sentenced Al Gafiri sentenced a retired professor, Muhammad al Ghamdi, 54, to death on July 10 for his activity on X (formerly Twitter) and YouTube. On his two accounts on X, Al Ghamdi had a total of 10 followers. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Prosecutor’s Office accused him of criticizing the royal family.
“At approximately 11:50 pm today, Monday 10/2/2023, the Israeli enemy carried out an air attack on some of our armed forces positions in the vicinity of the city of Deir Ezzor,” a military source told SANA news agency.
The source said on top of the two wounded soldiers, there was some material damage. No details were provided on what the Israeli strikes targeted. The strike marks at least the 25th time Israel bombed Syria this year.
The Deir Ezzor province is partially controlled by the Syrian government. To the east of the Euphrates River, the province is occupied by US forces and the US-backed Kurdish-led SDF. In recent weeks, the SDF has been fighting against Arab tribes who oppose Kurdish rule in the region.
Hsu made the comments on Monday at the annual US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference, a closed-door event being held in Williamsburg, Virginia, from Sunday to Tuesday. According to the US-Taiwan Business Council, this year’s meeting marks the 22nd conference of its kind hosted in the US.
Taiwanese officials and China hawks in the US have complained about how long it takes for weapons Taiwan has purchased from the US to be delivered. There is supposedly a $19 billion “backlog” in arms sales for Taiwan going back to 2019, although major weapons sales typically take years to fulfill.
At times, Ukraine has been unwilling to negotiate an end to the ongoing war with Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has gone so far as to issue a decree banning negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
At other times, Russia has given up on negotiating. In a press conference at the United Nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lamented, if you insist “’on the battlefield’—well, let it be on the battlefield.”
And at times, Ukraine and Russia have been willing to negotiate with each other. The United States, though, has at no time been willing to negotiate. Instead, an administration that promised the world “a new era of relentless diplomacy” has delivered an unhappy pattern of obstructing negotiations.
As early as December 17, 2021, months before their invasion, Russia presented the United States with a proposal on mutual security guarantees that demanded NATO not expand into Ukraine. The proposal demanded that “The United States of America shall take measures to prevent further eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and deny accession to the Alliance to the former USSR republics.” A month later, on January 26, the United States rejected Russia’s central demand and formally declined to negotiate, insisting instead on “the right of other states to choose or change security arrangements.”
The European Union is gearing up to open negotiations with Ukraine on its future accession to the bloc with a formal announcement expected as soon as December.
According to three diplomats with knowledge of the plans, leaders are preparing to give Kyiv the green light to begin formal talks on joining the 27-country bloc before the end of the year.
Ukraine is at the heart of a major new push to expand the EU to as many as 35 countries. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in her annual address to Parliament last month that Ukraine's future was "in the Union."
Webmaster addition: Trying to drag Ukraine away from Russia and into the EU is what started this whole mess in the first place!
Uh… gulp… you thought it was bad when that experienced pilot ejected from one of the Air Force’s hottest “new” planes, the F-35 combat fighter, near — no, not China or somewhere in the Middle East — but Charleston, South Carolina. The plane then flew on its own for another 60 miles before crashing into an empty field. And that was without an enemy in sight.
Perhaps we should just be happy that an F-35 ever even made it into the air, given its endless problems in these years. After all, as Dan Grazier of the Center for Defense Information wrote, it’s now “the largest and most expensive weapons program in history.” Yet when it comes to something as significant as “mission availability,” according to the Congressional Budget Office, only about 26% of all F-35s, each of which now costs an estimated $80 million to produce and $44,000 an hour to fly, are available at any moment. Not exactly thrilling, all in all.
Hungary's Viktor Orbán has long been an opponent of the mainstay of EU policy on Ukraine, having also persistently criticized Kiev for discrimination against Hungarian minorities, and demanding that a 2017 law restricting the use of minority languages be changed. He's also refused to ratify Sweden's entry into NATO.
Orbán has further throughout the conflict stood against policies which escalate against Moscow, and has constantly warned against stumbling into a WW3 scenario involving direct NATO-Russia clash. He told Tucker Carlson in a recent interview that "the Third World War сould be knocking on our door so we have to be very careful." With Budapest having been a consistent thorn in the side of the EU, Brussels now wants to pay the Hungarians off.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) was founded fifty years ago. It has gained more and more prominence over the decades and has become one of the leading platforms of futuristic thinking and planning. As a meeting place of the global elite, the WEF brings together the leaders in business and politics along with a few selected intellectuals. The main thrust of the forum is global control.
Free markets and individual choice do not stand as the top values, but state interventionism and collectivism. Individual liberty and private property are to disappear from this planet by 2030 according to the projections and scenarios coming from the World Economic Forum.
Individual liberty is at risk again. What may lie ahead was projected in November 2016 when the WEF published “8 Predictions for the World in 2030.” According to the WEF’s scenario, the world will become quite a different place from now because how people work and live will undergo a profound change. The scenario for the world in 2030 is more than just a forecast. It is a plan whose implementation has accelerated drastically since with the announcement of a pandemic and the consequent lockdowns.
According to the projections of the WEF’s “Global Future Councils,” private property and privacy will be abolished during the next decade. The coming expropriation would go further than even the communist demand to abolish the property of production goods but leave space for private possessions. The WEF projection says that consumer goods, too, would be no longer private property.
There's a new, maritime dimension to the scourge of rampant crime in northern California cities, as homeless creeps are now taking to the water and preying on houseboats and yachts docked on San Francisco Bay, reports Fox News.
"Multiple vessels have been stolen and ransacked. Victims have had to resort to personally confronting the criminals to recover their property without the benefit of police support," said former harbor master Brock de Lappe at a recent municipal meeting. "Is this appropriate activity for a 79-year-old senior?"
The 3,000-slip Oakland-Alameda Estuary has been particularly hard-hit, as thieves use small boats to burglarize or steal private boats on the waterway. The pirates use stolen boats or old, abandoned dinghies to carry out their raids.