China’s President Xi Jinping arrived in Saudi Arabia on 7 December for a three-day-visit to bolster bilateral cooperation by signing agreements valued at $29.26 billion.
The kingdom’s monarch King Salman invited the Chinese president to “bolster historic ties and strategic partnership between the two countries.” Xi received a warm welcome as the Saudi government coordinated with its air force to have pilots paint Riyadh’s skies with the colors of the Chinese flag upon his arrival.
A Saudi Arabian women's rights activist has been sentenced to 17 years in prison, despite having already completed his sentence earlier this year, the US-based rights organisation Freedom Initiative has reported.
In April 2021, Saudi Arabia's Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) sentenced Mohammed al-Rabiah to six and a half years in prison, with two years suspended, on charges related to his activism and defence of women's rights.
He was expected to be released in late September when his prison term (including his time awaiting sentencing) expired, but his case was transferred back for a retrial to the SCC, which sentenced him to a further 17 years, Freedom Initiative tweeted on Tuesday.
Another company considered part of traditional and wholesome Americana may have fallen prey to woke ideology. American Girl, which has sold millions of books and dolls to American girls for nearly 40 years, has now released a book that teaches girls that they may not, in fact, be girls after all.
Amendments introduced in the US House of Representatives making sales of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye contingent on a series of conditions were removed in the final defense spending bill.
A conference committee made up of House and Senate members finalized the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill, which includes the 2023 defense budget.
According to the final version of the draft text obtained by Anadolu Agency, which will be voted on by both chambers of Congress, the amendments submitted by a group of representatives were dropped from the bill.
The move came after two amendments introduced by Democratic Senators Bob Menendez and Chris Van Hollen tying F-16 sales to Türkiye on some conditions were removed from the Senate version of the annual US defense spending bill.
The amendments sought to impose several restrictions on the sale of F-16s and modernization kits to Türkiye, including not to use the fighter jets to violate Greece’s airspace and requiring the Biden administration to certify that the sale would be in national interests.
In libraries across the United States, toddlers are frequently invited to sit and listen to men dressed as women advance LGBT propaganda. Kids can show up at their local library to learn how to become drag queens.
The House is expected to vote on the legislation this week, and it could be brought to the floor as soon as Thursday. Once the House approves the bill, it will be sent to the Senate, then to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
The massive $858 billion bill represents an 8% increase from the 2022 NDAA, which was also larger than what Biden requested. The $858 billion includes $817 billion for the Pentagon, and the remaining funds go toward military spending for other departments.
Notable amendments packed into the NDAA include $10 billion in military aid for Taiwan that will be dispersed over five years. The aid is in the form of Foreign Military Financing, a State Department program that gives foreign governments funds to purchase US-made military equipment.
Parents Sarah Perkins and Josh Sabey took their 14-week-old child to the emergency room just after 2 a.m. last July, concerned about a fever. However, what followed was a series of inspections that would eventually lead to child protective services taking custody of the small child in the middle of the night, a Washington Post investigation reveals.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday narrowly voted down a bill that would audit the tens of billions of dollars that Congress has approved to spend on the war in Ukraine.
The bill was rejected by the Democrat-led panel in a vote of 26 to 22. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and a small group of Republicans who oppose US aid to Ukraine, but it received strong support from more hawkish Republicans.
Republican Reps. Thomas Massie (KY), Matt Gaetz (FL), Barry Moore (AL), and Andrew Clyde (GA) cosponsored Greene’s bill.
"Shark Week" — that beloved TV special that sinks its teeth into everything shark-related each summer — has joined the ever-growing conga line of familiar things woke folks insist are actually racist and sexist.
There is a good reason why Gadi Eisenkot, a former head of the Israeli military, expressed alarm last week as Benjamin Netanyahu awarded unprecedented powers over the occupation to a far-right settler party in his new government.
Eisenkot claimed that the army was in danger of “falling apart” if Netanyahu so openly politicized its role. But that is not the real reason he and the other generals are so worried. They understand that Netanyahu is about to blow apart the security rationale that for so long obscured their racist oppression of the Palestinians under their control.
Ben-Gvir is a high-profile supporter of Kahanism, the virulently anti-Arab ideology of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane. His political faction is now the third largest in the Israeli parliament and the linchpin of Netanyahu’s new coalition.
The Loudoun County School Board fired Superintendent Scott Ziegler following a grand jury report regarding the district's handling of two sexual assaults committed by a biological boy who claimed to be transgender, Fox News Digital reported.
Because war is uncertain and reliable information is sparse, no one knows how the war in Ukraine will play out. Nor can any of us be completely certain what the optimal course of action is. We all have our own theories, hunches, beliefs, and hopes, but nobody’s crystal ball is 100 percent reliable in the middle of a war.
You might think that this situation would encourage observers to approach the whole issue with a certain humility and give alternative perspectives a fair hearing even when they disagree with one’s own. Instead, debates about responsibility for the war and the proper course of action to follow have been unusually nasty and intolerant, even by modern standards of social media vituperation. I’ve been trying to figure out why this is the case.
What I find especially striking is how liberal interventionists, unrepentant neoconservatives, and a handful of progressives who are all-in for Ukraine seem to have no doubts whatsoever about the origins of the conflict or the proper course of action to follow today. For them, Russian President Vladimir Putin is solely and totally responsible for the war, and the only mistakes others may have made in the past was to be too nice to Russia and too willing to buy its oil and gas. The only outcome they are willing to entertain is a complete Ukrainian victory, ideally accompanied by regime change in Moscow, the imposition of reparations to finance Ukrainian reconstruction, and war crimes trials for Putin and his associates. Convinced that anything less than this happy result will reward aggression, undermine deterrence, and place the current world order in jeopardy, their mantra is: “Whatever it takes for as long as it takes.”
At least five attacks at electricity substations in the Pacific Northwest have been reported to the FBI in recent weeks.
The incidents came to light via a federal memo following a deliberate attack last week in Moore County, North Carolina, that left tens of thousands of people without power for days as seasonal temperatures fall.
In Washington state and Oregon, spokespeople for several energy companies - Puget Sound Energy, the Cowlitz County Public Utilities District and Bonneville Power Administration - confirmed the attacks occurred in November.
Webmaster addition: I smell a government psyop. Cause a blackout and blame Republicans or Russia for it.
For the third time in the last six years, proposals to expand the current Selective Service registration requirement to include young women as well as young men were included in versions of this year’s annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023, but were removed in back-room House-Senate leadership negotiations.
As in 2016 and 2021, this year’s proposals to expand Selective Service registration to women were bundled into 2,000-page drafts of the NDAA without any hearings or floor debate in either the House or Senate, and without any consideration of the alternative bipartisan proposal – which has yet to receive a hearing or floor consideration in either the House or Senate – to repeal the Military Selective service Act and end draft registration entirely.
The anti-war commentariat has focused primarily on the American arms industry, their voices being joined recently by European leaders who have made public allegations of war profiteering. Granted, there is something to this in light of the billions of dollars of weapons and munitions headed overseas. Still, there is another faction of the American power structure that has been content to stand aside and let the defense contractors take all the heat.
The U.S. government said Wednesday it is appealing a court ruling that would otherwise lift asylum restrictions that have become the cornerstone of border enforcement in recent years.
Dubbed 'Title 42' the enforcement rule first took effect in March 2020, denying migrants' rights to seek asylum under U.S. and international law on grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The Homeland Security Department said it would file an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, challenging a November ruling by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan that ordered President Joe Biden's administration to lift the asylum restrictions.
Webmaster addition: For Biden to reverse himself on this issue means he (or his puppet masters) realize they have pushed Americans right to the edge, and are afraid that what happened in Brazil might happen here!
Saudi Arabia is selling more oil to Europe, while Russia is chipping into the kingdom’s Asian market share, a rewiring of the energy trade that is likely to accelerate after the West imposed new penalties on Russian crude sales.
Saudi crude exported to Europe via Egypt’s Sumed pipeline and Saudi ports averaged 798,000 barrels per day (bpd) between October and November 2022, a 17 percent increase compared to the 663,000 bpd between January and February, before Russia’s Ukraine invasion, according to data shared with Middle East Eye by the Vortexa analytics firm.
The upswing comes as Europe looks to cut its reliance on Russian energy following the invasion of Ukraine. Seaborne crude exports from Russia to Europe have plunged to historic lows, hitting309,000 bpd in the 28 days leading up to 2 December - down from about 1.5 million bpd before the Ukraine invasion.
Lebanon has arrested 185 people suspected of collaborating with enemy state Israel since its economic collapse three years ago left many Lebanese desperate for cash, two security sources told AFP Wednesday.
That number has jumped significantly from a previous average of four or five arrests a year, one of the sources said.
"This is the first time that so many people have been arrested on charges of collaborating with Israel, and it's because of the crisis," said the other security source. Both were speaking on condition of anonymity.
Lebanon has been battered by a severe financial and economic crisis since 2019 that has seen the national currency crash, led banks to freeze deposits and plunged much of the population into dire poverty.
"This was a boon for the Israelis, who targeted Lebanese on social media with job advertisements for phoney companies," the second source said.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service operates the Internet Covert Operations Program, or iCOP. The Postal Inspection Service is the security arm of the postal service, and iCOP works to assess threats to its infrastructure, employees and customers by monitoring open source information.
"In order to preserve operational effectiveness, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service does not discuss its protocols, investigative methods or tools," the Postal Inspection Service told Fox News Digital.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) will be adding staff to keep up with claims made by veterans through a recently passed bill to expand benefits for veterans exposed to toxins during their military service. The VA is set to start processing Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act claims on January 1, 2023.
The PACT Act was created with the goal of expanding access to care and benefits from the VA to the 3.5 million veterans who served after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack and were exposed to toxic burn pits. Since it was passed in August, there have been many concerns about how the VA will make a smooth transition to implement the law without disrupting the department’s other services.
Most people are bewildered by what is a global energy crisis, with prices for oil, gas and coal simultaneously soaring and even forcing closure of major industrial plants such as chemicals or aluminum or steel. The Biden Administration and EU have insisted that all is because of Putin and Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. This is not the case. The energy crisis is a long-planned strategy of western corporate and political circles to dismantle industrial economies in the name of a dystopian Green Agenda. That has its roots in the period years well before February 2022, when Russia launched its military action in Ukraine.
Blackrock pushes ESG
In January, 2020 on the eve of the economically and socially devastating covid lockdowns, the CEO of the world’s largest investment fund, Larry Fink of Blackrock, issued a letter to Wall Street colleagues and corporate CEOs on the future of investment flows. In the document, modestly titled “A Fundamental Reshaping of Finance”, Fink, who manages the world’s largest investment fund with some $7 trillion then under management, announced a radical departure for corporate investment. Money would “go green.” In his closely-followed 2020 letter Fink declared,
“In the near future – and sooner than most anticipate – there will be a significant re-allocation of capital…Climate risk is investment risk.” Further he stated, “Every government, company, and shareholder must confront climate change.” [i]
In a separate letter to Blackrock investor clients, Fink delivered the new agenda for capital investing. He declared that Blackrock will exit certain high-carbon investments such as coal, the largest source of electricity for the USA and many other countries. He added that Blackrock would screen new investment in oil, gas and coal to determine their adherence to the UN Agenda 2030 “sustainability.”
During the discussions and negotiations before the invasion Russia had presented its redline position (s), repeating its very deep security interests being at stake with what had been happening in Ukraine especially since the coup there in 2014, to say nothing of the very long-term expansion of NATO eastward over the past twenty-five years. Russia wanted negotiations that essentially would have had Ukraine become a neutral nation, in other words, demilitarized and unaligned in that way. The United States under Mr. Biden, with NATO in tow, objected, indicating repeatedly that doing so would rob Ukraine of its sovereignty because it deserved the right to join with any alliance it wished. Mr. Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, State Department spokesperson Ned Price, then Press Secretary Jen Psaki, and NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, stuck to this position as if it were sacrosanct. It was empty. To be discussed, it later became a position Ukraine itself was willing to discard if peace negotiations offered promise.
Mr. Biden deceived the American public as well as the publics of other nations into believing that a nation’s sovereignty was totally and uniquely defined by its freedom to choose membership in a military alliance of its choosing. Austria and Switzerland, as examples of neutral nations, have clearly through decades not declared that their general sovereignty has been compromised. Any nation makes thousands of sovereign decisions over time – what kind of economic system it will have, its programs for social security, taxation, investments regulation, programs for low-income and poor residents, its political system, the nature of its constitution, postal system, educational system, energy policies, criminal system, foreign relations and the list goes on and expands over time with adjustments to any of them. Ukraine would have been doing the same as a neutral country, given security guarantees. Mr. Biden and his followers were spouting nothing but simplified rhetoric, worthy of being labeled a charade and likely cloaking unexpressed intentions.
A Reuters investigation published on Wednesday revealed that the Nigerian Army has run a secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the country's northeast since at least 2013.
The programme has involved terminating at least 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls, many of whom had been kidnapped and raped by Islamist militants, according to dozens of witness accounts and documentation reviewed by Reuters.
Dina Boluarte has been sworn in as Peru’s new president after left-wing leader Pedro Castillo was removed in an impeachment trial and arrested following his attempt to illegally shut down Congress.
The opposition-led legislature on Wednesday afternoon overwhelmingly voted in favour of removing Castillo, who earlier in the day had announced plans to “temporarily” dissolve the legislature and rule by decree.
When the Cienfuegos family landed at Los Angeles International Airport on Oct. 15, 2020, they looked excited and maybe a bit relieved. With the pandemic still ravaging Mexico, they had come to vacation in Southern California. Arranging such a visit wasn’t a problem, even on short notice: The patriarch, retired Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, had made powerful American friends during his six years as Mexico’s defense minister. When he needed a favor — like visas for his wife, daughters and granddaughters — he could still call someone at the Pentagon or the CIA.
But as the family approached the passport line, an immigration officer waved them to one side. A trim, middle-aged man — dressed, like the general, in a blue blazer and jeans — stepped forward and introduced himself in Spanish as a special agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Could he speak with the general privately? he asked.
The two men crowded into a small office with several other law-enforcement officers. “There is a warrant for your arrest, sir,” the agent said. “This is a copy of the indictment against you.”