"When the speech condemns a free press, you are hearing the words of a tyrant!" -- Thomas Jefferson

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Source: public - JAKE HURFURT


British military officials also spread misinformation to the US, treated citizen-victims of their spying as foreigners, and considered embedding government censors within social media companies

Gen. Nick Carter, former Chief of Defense Staff (2018-2021) (left); Boris Johnson, former Prime Minister; Ben Wallace, former Minister of Defense (right) (Getty Images)

In January 2021, the UK government said that members of its infamous “77th Brigade do not, and have never, conducted any kind of action against British citizens.”

But it did. And thus it lied.

In 2022, the NGO I work for, Big Brother Watch, began investigating the UK government's efforts to monitor social media posts and demand their censorship by the platforms. Over the next few months, we filed dozens of Freedom of Information requests, including for information on the 77th Brigade.

In other words, we discovered that the UK government had, in the name of fighting misinformation, spread disinformation.

The Army unit was not just involved in “countering misinformation,” it led the effort. The 77th Brigade monitored social media platforms throughout 2020 and worked alongside soldiers from the Royal Air Force (RAF).

The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) did not respond to requests to comment for this piece.

MoD created the 77th Brigade in 2015 to serve as its “information warfare” or “psychological operations” unit. The 77th Brigade would consist of “a new generation of ‘Facebook warriors’ who will wage complex and covert information and subversion campaigns,” reported the Financial Times in 2015.

When the Army created the 77th Brigade, its leaders told British Members of Parliament (MPs) that its job was to “build stability overseas,” not spy on citizens at home.

How did the UK military evade the ban on spying on UK citizens? A whistleblower from the 77th Brigade, who spoke to Big Brother Watch on condition of anonymity, said it did so by pretending that the British citizens who UK soldiers were spying upon could, perhaps, be foreigners

 “To skirt the clear legal issues with a military unit monitoring domestic dissent,” the whistleblower told us, “the leading view was that unless a profile explicitly stated their real name and nationality, which is, of course, vanishingly rare, they could be a foreign agent and were fair game to flag up.”

By “flag up,” the whistleblower referred to the process by which UK government officials sent content to social media companies that they thought should be censored.

As in the United States, UK government officials insist that the flagging of social media content by officials was legal because the officials were just making suggestions, not demanding censorship.

But Facebook’s oversight board said in 2022 that government demands for censorship are hard to ignore.

And during a 2022 House of Commons debate on the UK’s Orwellian-titled “Online Safety Act,” then-Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries told MPs that the CDU was in “daily” contact with social media firms as part of work to remove content.


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by Tyler Durden

The Biden administration has reacted to Russian President Vladimir Putin's significant cabinet shake-up announced Sunday, wherein Putin tapped Andrey Belousov, a former deputy prime minister who specializes in economics, to move into the position of defense minister. Sergei Shoigu meanwhile has been moved to head Russia’s Security Council at the expense of Nikolai Patrushev. Shoigu can be seen as having in essence been given a promotion.

This big shuffle was unexpected, and the surprise has been registered in European capitals and Washington, with the US saying that this shows signs of "desperation" for Moscow sustaining the high costs of the Ukraine invasion.

"Our point of view is that this is further indication of Putin’s desperation to sustain his war of aggression against Ukraine, despite it being a major drain on the Russian economy and the heavy losses of Russian troops, with some estimates as high as 315,000 casualties," State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said to a press briefing Monday.

Then First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov meeting with Putin last year.

"The Kremlin’s mobilization of its war of aggression against Ukraine has caused so many families to suffer," he stated. "Russia started this unprovoked war against Ukraine. Putin could end it at any time by withdrawing his forces from Ukraine."

To be expected, Britain is also joining in on the US critique, with current and former officials agreeing that Putin's decision-making shows signs of 'instability'

Christopher Steele, a former MI6 intelligence officer, said the reshuffle suggested there was "serious instability right in the heart" of Russia’s regime.

He told Sky News that Patrushev being removed from his role as secretary of the Russian Security Council was "astonishing".

"It’s important to understand that he’s been one of Putin’s closest allies, former head of the FSB and so on for many years... and was rated by people to be probably the second most powerful man in Russia after Putin himself,” he said.

"I think what this indicates is not just a reshuffle along normal governmental lines. It’s really quite serious instability right in the heart of this regime”.

And yet, when it comes to the war itself, there's clear consensus even in Western press that Russia is advancing deeper into Ukraine.

Claire's Observations:  When the Brits start trotting out  Christopher Steele, he of the "piss dossier" which accused President Trump of collusion with Russia https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/press/rep/releases/icymi-the-fbis-dossier-deceit, you know it's the British Government which is"desperate" and potentially "unstable" right now!!!!

Russia is about to overtake Karkhiv, and how long before Kiev itself is over-run?!?  

And yes, Blinken is there in Kiev today, to "show solidarity" with its government; https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13415085/Blinken-visits-Ukraine-U-S-support-Kyivs-fight-against-Russias-advances-Congress-approved-60-billion-aid-package.html That being said, however,  I will predict, very fearlessly, that he is going to get the" heck out of Dodge" just as quickly as his jet can get him out of there, because he knows, in no uncertain terms what is coming, and this "aid" is way too little, and way too late, to change facts on the ground.

Is US/NATO foreign policy about to have its "Saigon Moment" in Ukraine?!?  Were I a betting person, I would not bet against it right now.

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Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki gave a cruel Mother’s Day gift to the 13 Gold Star families who famously watched President Joe Biden repeatedly stare at his watch during the dignified transfer of their loved ones at Dover Air Force Base almost three years ago — by calling them liars — all to hawk her new book.


Mark Schmitz, whose son Jared was one of the 13 American service members killed in Afghanistan on August 26th, 2021, told Townhall that Psaki “will be hearing from our attorney, [and] so will her publisher…to the fullest extent of the law,” adding that “what she wrote was absolutely disgusting and clearly only for political and financial gain at the expense of grieving Gold Star families.”

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One government climate scientist made the mistake of blurting out the real end-game of so many radical environmental activists in a bid to preserve the planet: Killing off the human population.

Bill McGuire, a Professor of Geophysical & Climate Hazards at University College London (UCL), authored a tweet Sunday that lamented the fact carbon emissions were not falling nearly as fast as needed and suggested solving the “climate crisis” with a deadly pandemic to wipe out swaths of the human population.

“If I am brutally honest, the only realistic way I see emissions falling as fast as they need to, to avoid catastrophic #climate breakdown, is the culling of the human population by a pandemic with a very high fatality rate,” he wrote.

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Authored by Jonathan Turley,

I gave up shame years ago.” Those words from actor John Lithgow appear to have been taken to heart by Hillary Clinton who has severed any sense of self-awareness or shame in her public comments. Lithgow, who played Bill Clinton in Broadway production of Hillary and Clinton, appears to have inspired the subject of his play. In a recent interview, Hillary Clinton heralded the prosecution of former president Donald Trump in Manhattan as “election interference” by keeping “relevant information” from voters before an election. For those of us who criticized Clinton for the funding of the infamous Steele dossier, it was a perfectly otherworldly moment.

In the interview, Clinton went after the Supreme Court for delaying a trial of Trump despite the push by Special Counsel Jack Smith for a verdict before the election. She then left many in disbelief with the following statement:

“And the one going on now currently in New York is really about election interference. It is about trying to prevent the people of our country from having relevant information that may have influenced how they could have voted in 2016 or whether they would have voted.”

In the same election, it was Hillary Clinton’s campaign that lied about funding the Steele dossier and then hiding the funding as a legal expense through then Clinton General Counsel Marc Elias.

(MSNBC/via YouTube)

The Clinton campaign staff has never been known for transparency. Buried in the detailed account is a  footnote stating that Elias “declined to be voluntarily interviewed by the Office.” Likewise, John Durham noted that “no one at Fusion GPS … would agree to voluntarily speak with the Office” while both the DNC and Clinton campaign invoked privileges to refuse to answer certain questions.

Elias, his former partner Michael Sussmann, and the campaign were later found involved in not just spreading the false claims from the Steele dossier but other false stories like the Alfa Bank conspiracy claim.

It was Elias who managed the legal budget for the campaign. We now know that the campaign hid the funding of the Steele dossier as a legal expense.

New York Times reporter Ken Vogel said that Elias denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier. When Vogel tried to report the story, he said, Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman declared, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”

Elias was also seated next to John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, when he was asked about the role of the campaign, he denied categorically any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Even assuming that Podesta was kept in the dark, the Durham Report clearly shows that Elias knew and played an active role in pushing this effort.

Elias is now ironically advising Democratic campaigns on election ethics and running a group to “defend democracy.” He is still counsel to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) headed by Rep. Suzan Kay DelBene, D-Wash. Elias was later severed by the Democratic National Committee from further representation and has been previously sanctioned in federal court in other litigation.

Notably, the Federal Election Commission sanctioned the Clinton campaign for hiding the funding as a legal expense. The Clinton campaign litigated the issue and insisted that the term is broadly used to cover a wide array of payments through counsel. That is precisely what the Trump team is arguing in the Manhattan case.

Lying to the media and hiding the funding was a conscious effort to hide “relevant information that may have influenced” voters. With the help of the media, these false stories were spread throughout the country and later were used to start the Russian collusion investigation

Claire's Observations:  I love the stench of hypocrisy and irony in the morning!  

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Ex-White House press secretary Jen Psaki is being forced to retract a false claim in her new book that President Biden did not check his watch during the dignified transfer of 13 US troops killed in the Afghanistan withdrawal.

In her May 2024 book “Say More,” Psaki attacked her former boss’s critics, who she said seized on the cringe-worthy moment to make “him appear insensitive, concerned only about how much time had passed,” claiming he “only looked at his watch after the ceremony had ended.”

Axios first reported on the book’s inaccuracy. Photos, videos and media fact-checkers at the time of the ceremony had already confirmed Biden’s snub of the fallen troops’ families.

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Authored by Kevin Stocklin via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The World Health Organization (WHO) has watered down some provisions of its pandemic agreements ahead of the upcoming World Health Assembly on May 27. Critics in the United States, however, say the changes don’t do enough to address the concerns over the policy.

Provisions in prior drafts of the WHO pandemic treaty and International Health Regulations (IHRs) together aimed to effectively centralize and increase the power of the WHO if it declares a “health emergency.”

The release of the latest draft of the amendments, dated April 17, are the first public update on the IHR draft, which was initially made public early 2023.

In most areas, and for all of those which most concerned us from a legal perspective, the interim draft reflects a major retreat by the WHO Working Group from the text of the original proposals,” write English solicitors Ben and Molly Kingsley in an April briefing paper regarding the new amendments.

Some WHO-watchers remain wary, however.

“Practically all the bad things are still there,” Dr. Meryl Nass, a U.S.-based physician and vocal critic of the WHO agreements, told The Epoch Times.

“The language is gentler, but since there is so much to be decided later it is not clear the gentler language is meaningful,” Dr. Nass said.

My best guess is that they are desperate to get something passed, so the options are likely to be either a vanilla version of the treaty … or a delay. But they fear delay because people are waking up.”

The WHO and its advocates—including celebrities, politicians, and religious groups—have launched a global campaign urging the 194 member states to sign the documents.

“Give the people of the world, the people of your countries, the people you represent, a safer future,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a May 3 Geneva meeting. “I have one simple request: please, get this done, for them.”

He urged any countries that don’t support the agreements to refrain from encouraging other states to oppose it.

WHO ambassador and former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown on March 20 lauded “a high-powered intervention by 23 former national presidents, 22 former prime ministers, a former U.N. general secretary, and 3 Nobel Laureates … to press for an urgent agreement from international negotiators on a Pandemic Accord.”

Mr. Brown called for unified global action to “expose fake news disinformation campaigns by conspiracy theorists trying to torpedo international agreement for the Pandemic Accord.”

He refuted criticisms that the pandemic treaty and IHR amendments would cede any sovereignty from member nations to the WHO

Claire's Observations:  One has to wonder;   how much is WHO Ambassador Brown, being compensated, and will that go up if WHO gets this "vanilla" treaty signed on 27 May (falling as it does on the Monday right before the US's Memorial Day Holiday)?!?

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In 2014, the academic journal Electoral Studies published a groundbreaking study by three scholars who estimated how frequently non-citizens were illegally voting. Based on data for the 2008 presidential and congressional elections, the study found that:

  • “roughly one quarter of non-citizens” in the U.S. “were likely registered to vote.”
  • “6.4% of non-citizens actually voted.”
  • 81.8% of them “reported voting for Barack Obama.”
  • illegal votes cast by non-citizens “likely” changed “important election outcomes” in favor of Democrats, “including Electoral College votes” and a “pivotal” U.S. Senate race that enabled Democrats to pass Obamacare.

The study’s voter registration rate was estimated with data from two key sources:

  1. A national survey in which 14.8% of non-citizens admitted that they were registered to vote.
  2. A database of registered voters that reveals what portion of the surveyed non-citizens “were in fact registered” even though “they claimed not to be registered.”

By combining these data, the author’s “best” estimate was that 25.1% of non-citizens were illegally registered to vote.

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The US Navy once again showed up for exercises on the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, which for some reason was transferred to Denmark by the USSR in 1946 after the victory over the Third Reich. As in September 2023, the Americans recently again brought there their Mk70 modular ground-based mobile container missile system, capable of launching Tomahawk cruise missiles and Raytheon Standard SM-3 and SM-6 quasi-ballistic missiles.

With their belligerent actions, the United States and NATO as a whole are trying to show Russia that they are capable of “closing” the Baltic waters to it. The Americans brought a pair of the mentioned launchers back on May 5, using a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft from the US Air Force. The next day, at the Almegards Kaserne base, they showed them to the media, and during the exercise, elements of “combat deployment” to “protect sea convoys” were practiced.

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The missile system does not protect the Ukrainian Armed Forces from Russian Iskander and Zircon missiles, an expert has affirmed.

Western models of the Patriot air defense missile system cannot counter Russia's Zircon and Iskander-M. ballistic missiles, British expert Alexander Mercouris said on his YouTube channel.

"It's clear that the Patriot missile system cannot defend against Iskander-M ballistic missiles and it cannot defend against Zircon hypersonic missiles which the Russians have now demonstrated in battle, and it's probably vulnerable to other Russian missiles like the Kinzhal as well. So, it's not going to change the situation in the skies over Ukraine," the expert emphasized.

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Kiev has invited Poland to participate in a massive privatization of its assets that is expected to begin this summer.

The invitation extended by the Ukrainian government to Poland to purchase industrial facilities in Ukraine may be interpreted as a sign that Kiev regime officials are considering an exit strategy, said Vladimir Olenchenko, a senior research fellow at the Center for European Studies at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Olenchenko also speculated that Ukraine may first and foremost seek to put assets in Western Ukraine, relatively close to the Polish border, up for privatization.

“That might beget a supposition that, if that privatization comes to pass and some large assets would become Polish, then the new Polish owners would receive an official pretext for petitioning the Polish authorities [to send troops to Ukraine],” he said.

Webmaster addition: The last official act of any government is to loot the nation! Zelensky knows he is losing, so he is cashing out!

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The Islamic Resistance in Lebanon - Hezbollah announced on Sunday that it had targeted several Israeli occupation sites along the border with occupied Palestine, revealing the use of a new heavy rocket for the first time as part of its operations named "Jihad Mughniyeh", in tribute to the martyr Jihad Mughniyeh, son of renowned leader martyr Imad Mughniyeh.

The Resistance announced that its fighters targeted with anti-tank guided missiles the surveillance equipment at al-Malikiyah site at 7:35 pm, confirming a direct hit.

In that regard, Al Mayadeen's correspondent in South Lebanon reported direct gunfire from Lebanon toward the targeted site.

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by Tyler Durden

Greedflation is a myth, and Democrats are well aware of this. However, they will never acknowledge that corporate greed isn't the root cause of inflation, as greed tends to be constant in the economy. What changed is the overstimulation of the economy through failed Bidenomics, which involves spending $1 trillion every 100 days. 

In the early days of Russia's 'special operation' in Ukraine, the Biden administration was able to scapegoat any failed economic policy on the 'Putin Price Hike' narrative - but not so much anymore - as they've pivoted the propaganda cannon from Putin to mega-corporations through their cheerleaders at leftist corporate media outlets. Now it's all about popular buzzwords 'greedflation' and 'shrinkflation.' 

Shown below via Bloomberg data, headlines featuring 'greedflation' in corporate media spiked in the summer of 2023, right around the time the administration launched the Bidenomics propaganda campaign. We all know Bidenomics has stoked a complete inflation shitstorm. However, Biden's team is giving greedflation one last shot ahead of the November presidential elections to deflect blame on corporations for why working poor Americans can no longer afford to pay rent, eat at restaurants, afford the $1,000 monthly auto loan, and any other luxuries they were accustomed to before the worst inflation mess since the 1970s. Basically, Goldman's brightest warned the other day: low-income consumers are in trouble. 

We suspect the greedflation narrative won't stick—just like the failed Bidenomics campaign—because Americans are waking up to the out-of-control spending in Washington, DC. 

But anyway, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who once identified as a Native American, and other leftist lawmakers penned a very public letter (all about optics) to the Biden administration, requesting the immediate use of executive action to lower food prices. 

"We commend the important steps your administration has recently taken on this issue, including steps to combat illegal and unfair corporate behavior, encourage competition in the food and grocery sectors, and more. The federal government should use every possible tool to lower food prices," Warren and other lawmakers wrote. 

They continued, "We believe you can exercise your executive authority to take additional action to address rising food prices without congressional action. Americans are facing sky-high food prices, caused by excessive price gouging by food and grocery giants." 

Democrats begging for price controls sounds like what communist or socialist lawmakers in third-world countries do. Yet, these lawmakers never learn a proper lesson (look at Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela), where imposing price controls triggers shortages or surpluses, longer lines, lower quality products, and, of course, misallocation of products. 

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An all-out Israeli offensive on the Gaza city of Rafah would provoke “anarchy” without eliminating Hamas, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday, as Washington stepped up a pressure campaign against such an assault.

Separately, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan emphasized Washington’s concerns about an offensive in a call with his Israeli counterpart, Tzachi Hanegbi.

“Mr. Sullivan reiterated President Biden’s longstanding concerns over the potential for a major military ground operation into Rafah, where over one million people have taken shelter,” a White House readout of the phone call said.
It said Hanegbi “confirmed that Israel is taking US concerns into account,” but did not elaborate.

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COVID Propaganda Roundup: The latest updates on the “new normal” – chronicling the lies, distortions, and abuses by the ruling class.

Leaked internal Pfizer email confirms separate vaxx batches for employees

Last year, I reported here that Pfizer executives were forced to admit under penalty of perjury in front of the Australian Senate that company employees received “specially imported” vaxx doses, bypassing the regulatory inspection process — even though there was no shortage of general vaxx supply at the time and no other legitimate reason for the secretive carve-out.

          RelatedPfizer Gave Australian Employees COVID Shots From Separate Batch Than Used For General Population

Via Infowars (emphasis added):

A leaked email from January 2021, provided exclusively to Infowars, explained to colleagues and contractors at Pfizer’s Pearl River research site that site-essential workers would be offered COVID-19 vaccinations that are ‘separate and distinct’ from the doses Pfizer committed to governments worldwide.

‘I am pleased to inform you that we will begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible on-site essential colleagues and contractors over the next several weeks,’ reads the leaked Email. ‘Eligible on-site essential contractors will be notified, either by e-mail or by their Pfizer sponsor, and will receive instructions for registering for an on-site appointment as well.’

The vaccine doses to be used for this program are separate and distinct from those committed by Pfizer to governments around the world and will not impact supply to national governments in any way.’”

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In mid-2022, we set up a news alert for terms like “cricket protein” and “cricket burgers.” Since then, there have been occasional peaks with a whole lot of valleys in interest as Americans generally aren’t excited about the prospects of getting their necessary protein from bugs.

There was a spike that started shortly after news broke that bird flu was being transmitted to cattle. On the surface this makes sense, but it was conspicuously odd that there was no spike when bird flu was limited to poultry. Surely Americans would be concerned about their sources of protein whether it was beef or chicken affected, but media coverage didn’t reflect that.

What’s really happening is not a greater concern for beef. It’s a media- and government-manufactured concern that is coinciding with the planned push for insect proteins in America. This falls into the same trend that has “nutritionists” claiming beef is bad for our health, “journalists” pretending like Americans are turning away from beef, and “scientists” claiming cattle are the biggest cause of global warming.

Webmaster addition: 

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Authored by Thomas Brooke via ReMix News,

The Salafist group organizers claimed unfair censorship after strict conditions were imposed on Muslims calling for a caliphate in Germany and against anti-Semitic rhetoric...

Thousands of Islamists took to the streets of Hamburg again on Saturday for what organizers called a “defense of Islamic values” in the face of political intimidation and media censorship.

The protest was organized by Muslim Interaktiv, a group under investigation by Hamburg’s domestic intelligence agency for “extremism.” It claimed on its social media accounts that over 6,000 Muslims had turned out to participate, although police estimates put the figure closer to 2,300.

The demonstration was in response to recent attempts by German politicians to restrict the group’s activities after a recent march in the port city sparked outrage amid calls for Germany to become a caliphate under Sharia Law, and participants chanted anti-Semitic slogans.

Muslim Interaktiv claimed it wanted to “set an example” to protect “Islamic identity,” and posted that the requirement for Muslims to “commit to Western values” was the “lie of the year.”

The demonstration was allowed to take place under strict conditions, which included a wholesale ban on anti-Semitic rhetoric, calls for a caliphate using any medium, and a ban on any incitement of hatred or violence.

Organizers called the conditions ahead of the march “repressive” and revealed it had been seeking legal advice to take action against the measures imposed on the group.

Attendees held placards claiming they were being censored by the German government

Claire's Observations:  if German Muslims do not want to commit to "Western values", they should be shown the proverbial door, and immediately!!  And what the people protesting in this manner just seem to blatantly ignore, is the immigration is a privilege; not a right!!!!!!!

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Several leading studies have confirmed that people who have been injected with Covid mRNA shots are now testing positive for human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV).

The issue has now been corroborated by multiple leading experts and scientific studies.

World-renowned cardiologist and epidemiologist Dr. Peter McCullough has responded to the findings by issuing an alert to the public to raise the alarm about the discovery.

During a recent interview, McCullough warned that nine studies so far have also concluded that Covid injections are triggering a spike in positive HIV tests.

McCullough clarified that the shots are not giving people HIV or AIDS, indicating a false positive.

However, he explained that the positive tests after receiving the mRNA injections are triggered because people are suffering from immunodeficiency.

He noted that the shots are actually triggering a spike in vaccine-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (VAIDS).

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Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, provided testimony on Monday that could potentially dismantle the prosecution’s narrative in the Manhattan District Attorney’s high-profile case against the former president. Cohen’s admission in court suggested that Trump was not overly concerned about the Stormy Daniels story, challenging the foundational claims of the case.

Cohen, once a close confidant and legal counsel to Trump, has been a central figure in the legal saga involving hush money payments allegedly made to silence Daniels, the porn star claiming the encounter with Trump in 2006. The payments so far have been portrayed by the prosecution as a desperate attempt by Trump to prevent damaging information from derailing his 2016 presidential campaign. However, Cohen’s recent testimony paints a different picture, indicating that Trump viewed the allegations as irrelevant to his campaign’s outcome.

Cohen said that Trump didn’t care about the story being embarrassing, suggesting that Trump was confident the story would hold no weight if he won the election. This could critically impact the prosecution’s case, which hinges on proving that Trump actively engaged in a cover-up to influence the election results.

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Washington’s reckless spending comes with a cost to US taxpayers. While the fed may simply roll over their debt and issue new debt to pay off the old, the American public is on the hook for immediate liquidity every single year via taxation. The misconception that Biden would only target the wealthy needs to be dispelled as a recent study reveals that 63% of new audits targeted Americans earning under $200,000.

Now, Biden initially claimed he would send his troop of IRS agents to target Americans earning double that amount. The billionaire class was not targeted, as 80% of all audits were on filers earning under $1 million. Yes, there are far more taxpayers in the middle and lower brackets. However, the IRS merely claimed they would prioritize hunting higher earners; they never explicitly said they wouldn’t come after ALL Americans.

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On Tuesday, we shortly commented the flash crash and the (assisted) recovery of the Japanese Yen between Friday and Monday, 26-29 April, on the GnS Economic’s Deprcon Outlook. In this entry, I will detail the reasons behind the crash, which go way back in history starting from the post-WWII growth model of the Japanese economy, leading to the the financial crash of early 1990s. They imply that the currency crisis of Japan is far from over.

Boom and bust

The Japanese economy was devastated in the Second World War, which created a need for a major reconstruction effort. Japanese also switched their model of governance to democracy, which laid the foundation for a stable society supportive of investments. The economic boom after WWII was fueled by financial regulation that kept the nominal interest rate below inflation and successful economic reforms that supported, e.g., neutral recruiting of labor and education. The mandarins at the Ministry of Finance issued ceiling on interest rates of both lending and deposit rates, which led to a notable investment boom. Export sector grew fast with the composition of the exports changing from toys and textiles to bicycles and motorcycles and further to steel, automobiles and electronics over the decades.

Japanese government began to deregulate the financial sector in the early 1980's, following a global trend. Also, in the mid-1980's, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) tried to aggressively limit the appreciation of yen (because it decreased country's trade surplus), by cutting interest rates. These led to a rapid growth in the supplies of money and credit. A financial boom ensued.

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The situation around Ukraine and the confrontation between Russia and the West is increasingly reminiscent of a spiral of escalation. This term in international relations refers to a situation in which two sides are slowly but persistently moving towards outright war through gradual steps ostensibly aimed at containing the other side. Responsible Statecraft magazine writes about this in an article by political scientist Connor Echols.

As the conflict drags on, hawkish elements in the West and Russia have managed to force their leaders to take steps once considered sufficient to lead to further escalation.

In fact, Moscow is upping the ante with nuclear threats, and NATO and Russia are moving closer to direct confrontation as hopes for negotiations remain futile.

The mere mention by Russian leader Vladimir Putin of the risks of using nuclear weapons in response to America’s actions in Ukraine and in the world was enough to cause a nervous reaction in the West. Such statements are very worrying for Washington, which is trying to avoid any escalation of a direct war between NATO and Russia.

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Migrants filmed gang rape of Belgian teen and posted videos on Snapchat; it is the second known gang rape in the same city now revealed.

After disturbing reports of the gang rape of a 14-year-old Belgian schoolgirl by a gang of migrants sparked national outrage, a second gang rape within weeks of the first has now come to light in the Flemish city of Kortrijk

The 10 migrants accused of gang-raping a 14-year-old Belgian schoolgirl in the Flemish city of Kortrijk filmed the sexual assault on their smartphones and shared the images on the messaging platform Snapchat.

News of the heinous attack, believed to have taken place during the Easter holidays, first emerged in the Belgian press on Wednesday, but further facts have now come to light thanks to pressure from social media activists.

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In a telling slip of the tongue earlier this week, Joe Biden referred to the unprecedented rise in illegal immigrants entering the US as an “influx” of “Hispanic voters.”

During an interview with a Spanish radio show, Biden was talking about the border crisis, and stated “It’s even a bigger influx now in terms of Hispanic voters, or Hispanic – Hispanic citizens, who want to become citizens.”

Webmaster addition: U.S. Code, Title 18, Section 611, makes it a crime for non-citizens to vote in federal elections, and violations can result in fines, imprisonment, or deportation.

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North Korea will equip its military with a new 240mm multiple rocket launcher this year, state-run media said on Saturday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw on Friday a live-fire test of the "technically updated" version rocket system, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

The updated rocket launcher will be "deployed to units of the Korean People's Army as replacement equipment from 2024 to 2026.”

The KCNA said Kim also discussed ways to raise production of the new rocket launcher system and shells to "the highest level."

A "significant change" will be soon made in increasing the army's artillery combat ability, it added.

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Venezuela's armed forces have built a temporary bridge over the Cuyuni River, which marks a border between the Venezuelan territory and the disputed region of Essequibo, Domingo Hernandez Larez, the strategic operational commander of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela, said on Sunday.

He added that Venezuela would build schools, universities, medical centers in this territory.

"Territorial defense engineers crossed the Cuyuni River on May 10 over a military bridge to bring harmony and progress to our Guyana Essequibo territory," Larez said on his social media.

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Democrat Vice President Kamala Harris has railed against the “activist” Supreme Court which she claims is a threat to Americans’ “fundamental freedoms.”

Harris made the wild allegations during an interview published Thursday, Fox News reported.

Interestingly, she also insisted that she’s not an “alarmist.”

The VP has been outspoken against the court following the overturning of Roe v. Wade abortion.

Harris has made abortion rights her particular crusade since the 2022 decision and has taken aim directly at the high court.

“This court has shown itself to be an activist court,” Harris said to the New York Times.

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A part of a ten-story apartment building in the southwestern Russian city of Belgorod collapsed after being hit by fragments of a downed Ukrainian missile, killing at least eight people and wounding about 20.

Casualty figures are expected to rise as more people are believed to have been trapped under the rubble.

Below are key facts about the incident, known at this point.

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Waging Peace is designed to bring Americans to "remember" the good of US Russian relations in the spirit of the meeting on the Elbe River.

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After high expectations for U.S. electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, following big promises from market leader Tesla, plans have come crashing down as Musk scraps the company’s expansion scheme. Tesla announced this month that it would not be going ahead with plans for a major EV charging expansion programme. This followed hundreds of layoffs in April, which led many to question Tesla’s plans for sustained growth in the U.S. and global markets. The question now is whether other automakers will step in to roll out their own charging infrastructure across the country and whether this will lead the EV expansion to be severely delayed. 

This month, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk reversed the company’s plans to massively expand EV charging infrastructure in the U.S. This followed the lay-off of 500 employees in a team that was developing plans for U.S. charging infrastructure. The announcement has thrown the EV industry into turmoil and automakers question whether the U.S. charging infrastructure will expand at the pace needed to match rising EV uptake. It is uncertain whether other companies can step in to develop the charging capacity needed to ensure EV uptake continues to increase in the U.S. market. 

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