"Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought! Strike against manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder! Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human beings! Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction! Be heroes in an army of construction." -- Helen Keller, 1940

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The U.S. Supreme Court “quietly” handed American veterans a big win in a 7-2 ruling earlier this month.

The ruling pertained to the GI Bill, and it “could have a massive positive effect on America’s veterans, our communities, and our nation for years to come,” said Tommy Marquez, a Navy vet, former senior House staffer, and current board member of The Pipe Hitter Foundation, a group that assists in the protection of the rights and freedoms of men and women in uniform.

Marquez said that the nation’s highest court ruled that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) improperly calculated GI Bill benefits for retired Army Captain James Rudisill, who now works in federal law enforcement.

Now an FBI agent, Rudisill falls into a group of veterans who have accrued credit under two iterations of the G.I. Bill. One variant applied to those who had served before the attacks on September 11, 2001. After the attacks, Congress passed new legislation regarding the additional benefits.

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With the closing arguments set for Tuesday in the trial of former President Donald Trump, defense attorneys are in a rather curious position.

There is still debate among legal experts as to the specific crime that District Attorney Alvin Bragg is alleging.

Trump’s lawyers are defending a former president who is charged under a state misdemeanor which died years ago under the statute of limitations. It was zapped back into life in the form of roughly three dozen felonies by claiming that bookkeeping violations — allegedly hiding payments to Stormy Daniels to ensure her silence about a supposed affair with Trump — were committed to hide another crime.

But what is that second crime?

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According to Bloomberg, citing maritime security firm Ambrey and a US defense official, a bulk carrier flying under the Marshall Islands flag was attacked in the southern Red Sea on Tuesday. This incident occurred as Israeli forces advanced further into the south of Gazan city of Rafah. The culprits behind the maritime incident were likely Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis.

The 750-foot-long Greek-owned vessel is currently taking on water and leaning to one side. The ship was targeted about 54 miles southwest of the Yemeni city of Hodeida, according to Ambrey. It was hit with three missiles. There were 80,000 tons of cargo on board, yet no information was given on what the ship was hauling. 

Vessel-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg shows that Laax was approaching the Bab al-Mandab Strait during the attack. The ship is currently broadcasting "ARMGUARD ONBOARD" as its destination, possibly in an apparent attempt to prevent boarding. 

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It’s the final stretch of former president Donald Trump’s hush money trial out of New York.

After more than four weeks of testimony and witnesses, the case will soon be in the hands of the jury.

Prosecutors and lawyers for former president Trump will each make their closing arguments in the case. It’s their final opportunity to address the jurors.

“Unlike Joe Biden, I don’t throw people in jail for disagreeing with me. I don’t do that,” said Trump.

Trump took shots at his democratic rival Joe Biden as he continued on the campaign trail over the weekend and looked ahead to his fate in the hush money trial.

“Imposing a strict gag order in order to keep me from talking about their crimes and their unconstitutional acts,” said Trump.

Webmaster addition: I predict that if Trump is convicted, the government will stage a violent riot or riots to discredit Trumpers,

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Americans scouting sales online and in stores may find more reasons to celebrate the return of warmer weather. Major retailers are stepping up discounts heading into the summer months, hoping to entice inflation-weary shoppers into opening their wallets.

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Central banks’ monetary policies are the most perverse government intervention. Their consequences are dire, last for a very long time, and people don’t perceive them as problems or don’t comprehend the damage they are doing. Monetary policy (monetary expansion and artificially low interest rates) has five main consequences that harm overall living standards.

Price Inflation

This is the most obvious consequence, and yet, it is very misunderstood by voters. If the money that is effectively circulating in the economy (i.e., M1 and M2, or for a better perspective, the true money supply) increases, price inflation tends to increase. The expansion of the money supply destroys consumer purchasing power and makes people poorer over time.

Bigger Government

Government spending and indebtedness are intensified due to expansionary monetary policies (since central banks buy government bonds). More resources are allocated to pay for politicians’ and bureaucrats’ luxurious lives and for government programs that, at their best, are more expensive compared to a free market solution. Governments don’t have an incentive to allocate the resources efficiently (since they can just raise taxes, go deeper into debt, or print money), so anything that it does ends up being more expensive than it would have been without monetary intervention.

Financial Assets Become Overpriced

Monetary policy is behind the major financial crisis and its precedent asset bubbles.

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On Monday, former President Donald Trump submitted a court motion requesting the judge in his classified documents case to reject special counsel Jack Smith’s call for a gag order.

Additionally, Trump asked for sanctions to be imposed on the special counsel and all government attorneys involved in the decision to file what he described as an “unconstitutional” request to silence him.

In a motion filed in a Florida court on May 27, former President Trump’s attorneys opposed special counsel Jack Smith’s recent request for Judge Aileen Cannon to impose a gag order on Trump.

Smith’s request cited potential danger to law enforcement following Trump’s critical remarks about the “deadly force” authorization for the 2022 FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago property.

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What is good for defense contractors is not necessarily good for the military, nor the taxpayer, they are supposed to serve. Consider the F-35 program, which was supposed to deliver a jet that would make all other military jets obsolete. It has yet to do so, and the failures of the program sustainability speak to the idea that we need diversity in our procurement.

For one thing, too many F-35 sit idle. At a recent congressional hearing, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall claimed that “55% is the number we have for operational availability” of F-35s. That percentage sounds low; imagine if your car would get you to work only 55% of the time. You would be looking for another option!

But things are even worse than that for the F-35 program. Under further questioning, Kendall and his team admitted that fewer than a third of F-35s are “fully operational.” That tracks with a report from the Project on Government Oversight, which reported this year: “The Pentagon’s top testing office, the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E), recently released its office’s annual report, which showed that the F-35 program has a fleet-wide full mission capable rate of only 30%.”

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The main stream media (MSM) in Europe and the US is deathly silent as a court determines the PCR test legally useless to test for Covid.  

The Landmark legal ruling finds that Covid tests are not fit for purpose. So what does the MSM do? They ignore it

Four German holidaymakers who were illegally quarantined in Portugal after one was judged to be positive for Covid-19 have won their case, in a verdict that condemns the widely-used PCR test as being up to 97-percent unreliable.

Earlier this month, Portuguese judges upheld a decision from a lower court that found the forced quarantine of four holidaymakers to be unlawful. The case centered on the reliability (or lack thereof) of Covid-19 PCR tests.

The verdict, delivered on November 11, followed an appeal against a writ of habeas corpus filed by four Germans against the Azores Regional Health Authority. This body had been appealing a ruling from a lower court which had found in favor of the tourists, who claimed that they were illegally confined to a hotel without their consent. The tourists were ordered to stay in the hotel over the summer after one of them tested positive for coronavirus in a PCR test - the other three were labelled close contacts and therefore made to quarantine as well.

Unreliable, with a strong chance of false positives

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Hunter Biden used Joe Biden's appearance at a Sandy Hook memorial service to arrange a meeting between his dad  and his Chinese business partners, new texts reveal.

The messages come from a fresh tranche of documents released by Congress on Wednesday, given to them by IRS agents who investigated the First Son.

On December 12, 2017 Hunter wrote on the Chinese messaging app WeChat to Liu Yadong, a top executive at Chinese oil giant CEFC, to arrange a meeting with his father.

'Can you meet this evening early,' Hunter wrote. 'My father will be in New York also and he wants me to attend the Sandyhook memorial service with him and I would like him to meet you along with my uncle [Jim Biden] and then you and I can talk let me know if that works.'

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Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) said over the weekend that if Republicans control the entire federal government in 2024 that there will be major changes coming to border security and the number of illegal aliens in the U.S.

Donalds made the remarks during a Sunday interview on “Fox News Sunday” with Shannon Bream when asked about what promises he could make to the American people about what will change if Republicans run the tables in November.

“A couple of things,” Donalds responded. “Trump had the border secured when he was President of the United States. When Joe Biden came in, the first thing he did was rip up the border policy simply because they were put in place by Donald Trump. It was a very stupid decision by Joe Biden. The country has suffered as a result.”

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On Monday, Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said France was planning to send instructors to Ukraine to train Ukrainian troops, a step that would mark a significant escalation of NATO involvement in the proxy war.

“I am pleased to welcome France’s initiative to send instructors to Ukraine to train Ukrainian servicemen,” Syrskyi wrote on Telegram after speaking with French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu, according to Reuters.

“I have already signed the documents that will enable the first French instructors to visit our training centers shortly and familiarize themselves with their infrastructure and personnel,” he added.

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Sweden has given Ukraine the green light to use Swedish weapons in attacks on Russian territory, a move that’s seen as an effort to influence other NATO countries that supply long-range missiles to do the same, The Defense Post reported on Monday.

Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson was asked about the possibility of Ukraine using Swedish weapons on Russian territory and replied, “Ukraine has the right to defend itself through military actions aimed at the enemy’s territory as long as the military actions comply with the laws of war.”

Since Russia’s February 2022 invasion, Sweden has provided Ukraine with about $3.5 billion in military aid, including anti-ship missiles, anti-tank launchers, and Archer self-propelled howitzers. According to the Ukrainian news site Defense Express, the Archer howitzers could hit targets up to about 37 miles if armed with GPS-guided Excalibur artillery shells. However, Russian electronic warfare has rendered the Excalibur shells ineffective.

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The White House on Monday appeared to justify the Israeli strike on displaced Palestinians in Rafah that hit a tent camp and killed at least 45 people, including many women and children.

In a statement on the massacre, a White House National Security spokesperson called it “heartbreaking” but also said Israel had the “right” to go after Hamas and backed Israeli claims that the strike also killed two Hamas fighters.

“The devastating images following the IDF strike in Rafah last night that killed dozens of innocent Palestinians are heartbreaking,” the spokesperson said, according to CNN. “Israel has a right to go after Hamas, and we understand this strike killed two senior Hamas terrorists who are responsible for attacks against Israeli civilians.”

According to Doctors Without Borders, the Israeli strike hit a camp in western Rafah that was designated a so-called “safe zone” by the Israeli military. Gaza’s Health Ministry said the dead included at least 12 women, eight children, and three elderly people.

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Deir el-Balah, Gaza – Sadeel Hamdan was just about six weeks old when Israel launched its relentless war on Gaza.

Now she lies silently on a paediatric hospital bed in Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital – weak, intubated, her belly swollen and skin jaundiced.

Three months ago, doctors managed to get her name on a list of patients who badly needed to leave Gaza for treatment overseas.

But then, just days before she was to be evacuated, Israel invaded Rafah and closed the only crossing available for the sick to leave the besieged enclave, trapping Sadeel and many others.

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The Israeli legislature plans to hold a vote on a bill that would name the UN Aid Agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) as a terrorist organization. Since October 7, Israel has killed hundreds of UNRWA staff in Gaza and alleged the group has ties to Hamas. 

The Knesset plans to hold the preliminary vote on the law this Wednesday. MK Yulia Malinovksy explained the bill, “The purpose of this bill is to declare UNRWA as a terrorist organization for all intents and purposes as well as order the termination of the relations [and the cooperation] of the State of Israel with the agency, either directly or indirectly.”

If the law passes the initial vote, it will still have to pass the first, second, and third readings. 

Since October 7, Tel Aviv has targeted UNRWA on the ground in Gaza and in the international press. Amid the Israeli onslaught, the aid agency has reported that nearly 200 of its staff have been killed in Gaza. 

Israeli officials have also smeared UNRWA to give cover for its slaughter of civilians in Gaza. In January, the International Court of Justice issued a preliminary ruling that it was plausible that Tel Aviv’s mass slaughter in Gaza was a genocide. That same week, Tel Aviv claimed that UNRWA aided Hamas’s attack on Southern Israel. 

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On April 16th, Foreign Affairs published an investigation, documenting in forensic detail how in May 2022 Kiev was a signature away from a peace deal with Russia “that would have ended the war and provided Ukraine with multilateral security guarantees,” which was scuppered by Western powers. The outlet attributes the failure of negotiations to “a number of reasons” - although it’s unambiguously clear the biggest was British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offering President Volodymyr Zelenskyy the blankest of blank cheques to keep fighting.

For two years, claims and counterclaims have abounded about these peace talks, initiated almost immediately after the conflict began, and why they collapsed. Independent journalists and researchers, the Kremlin, and some foreign officials involved, assert that a favorable settlement was within reach, only to be scuttled at the 11th hour by Western actors. By contrast, Kiev, its supporters, and proxy sponsors have strenuously denied that negotiations were ever taken seriously by either party, while claiming Moscow’s terms were completely unacceptable.

Foreign Affairs has now validated what anti-imperialists have consistently contended. Amicable peace could’ve been achieved in Ukraine at the earliest stages of the proxy conflict, on terms favourable to both parties. Western powers responsible for sabotaging negotiations in service of weakening Russia knew that all along. Yet, they kept this inconvenient reality consciously concealed until now, when the war is unambiguously an unwinnable lost cause for all concerned, bar Moscow.

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The Palestinian Civil Defence in Gaza says the death toll from an overnight Israeli attack on the tents of displaced Palestinians in Rafah has risen to 45 as the attack sparks condemnation across the Arab and Western world.

In scenes grimly familiar from a war in its eighth month, Palestinian families on Monday rushed to hospitals to prepare their dead for burial after the Sunday night attack set tents and rickety shelters ablaze. Women wept as men held prayers beside bodies in shrouds.

“The whole world is witnessing Rafah getting burned up by Israel and no one is doing anything to stop it,” Bassam, a Rafah resident, said via a chat app, of the attack in an area of western Rafah that had been designated a safe zone.

The attack took place in the Tal As-Sultan neighbourhood, where thousands were sheltering after Israeli forces began a ground offensive in the east of Rafah more than two weeks ago.

Many of the dead were women and children, the health officials said, adding that the death toll was likely to rise as some injured people with severe burns were in critical condition.

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Amnesty International on Monday urged the International Criminal Court to investigate as war crimes three recent Israeli strikes that killed 44 Palestinian civilians, including 32 children.

Last week the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, applied for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top Hamas leaders on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Amnesty said three Israeli strikes - one on the al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza on 16 April, and two on Rafah in southern Gaza on 19 and 20 April - are "further evidence of a broader pattern of war crimes" committed by the Israeli military in Gaza.

"The cases documented here illustrate a clear pattern of attacks over the past seven months in which the Israeli military has flouted international law, killing Palestinian civilians with total impunity and displaying a callous disregard for human lives," said Erika Guevara-Rosas, senior director at Amnesty.

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Gaza hospitals are reduced to practising "medieval medicine", a British surgeon recently returned from the bombarded Palestinian territory said on Monday.

"It's absolutely true to describe it as medieval medicine. It is what you would hear about or read about what would be happening in Europe maybe 300, 400 years ago," Dr Khaled Dawas, head of gastrointestinal surgery at University College London Hospitals, told AFP in an interview.

Dawas described dire conditions in Gaza, with medical staff operating virtually without supplies, power supplies intermittent and patients lying on the floor.

He returned at the end of April from his two-week stint to help overstretched Palestinian hospital surgeons -- his second wartime stay there, following one in January.

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While several countries are reintroducing compulsory military service, some EU politicians would welcome a uniform reintroduction across the EU.

Hungarian news portal Divány has rounded up the countries that have reintroduced conscription.

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The collective shrug with which the Western media and political class noted the attempted assassination of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico has been telling.

Can you imagine the outrage and emotion that would have been expressed by Western powers if not Fico but a pro-Ukraine, anti-Russian leader within the EU had been attacked? The new orders for weapons that would have been presented to the arms manufacturers, the troops that would have been deployed, the sabers that would have been rattled?

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