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"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." -- Greek proverb
The Catholic Church is open to reviewing its thousand-year-old practice of celibacy, Pope Francis has suggested.
He said the ban was only 'temporary' and there was also 'no contradiction' for a priest to marry.
Celibacy was made a requirement by the Catholic Church in the 11th-century for financial reasons, as clergy without children were more likely to leave their wealth to the church.
US regulators are discussing a mechanism which would help avoid a repeat of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) insolvency at other lenders, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing sources close to the discussions.
According to the report, the US Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) could create a fund that would allow regulators to backstop more deposits at banks that are facing problems. A number of lenders focused on the venture capital and startup communities have already seen their stocks plunge following the news of SVB’s collapse, sparking fears about their financial health.
Regulators see the mechanism as contingency planning to avoid panic, and have reportedly already discussed the plan with banking executives. No further details have been disclosed, and no official comment regarding the regulation has been made.
As the war between Russia and Ukraine continues, Biden keeps sending military equipment and ammunition to Ukraine. There is no end in sight, and Biden has even said as much.
Yet here in the United States, arms manufacturers can’t keep up with demand, and our own armed forces are already running dangerously low.
At what point does someone in Washington step up and demand that our own national defense is at risk?
By now most have already heard about the Silicon Valley Bank's collapse, the second largest bank failure in U.S. history.
On Friday, March 10, 2023 we started seeing reports of people lining up to get their money out of SVB, and within hours we're seeing reports that the bank had been seized by the Feds. That quickly businesses that used the start up bank, at least the ones that didn't get their money out in the days before the reports, lost billions.
Tech companies that were using SVB are suddenly left wonder how to pay their employees, as layoffs are expected as soon as next week, while Americans watching this unfold are left wondering what comes next.
Top that off with the reports showing for nine months SVB had no head of "risk assessment" until January 2023, and the "woke" Chief Risk Officer for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Jay Ersapah, who self describes as a "queer person of color from a working-class background," was too busy organizing LGBT events to notice the warning signs.
Ukraine foils the process of creating a safety zone around the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP), Vladimir Rogov, a senior official of the Zaporozhye regional administration, told Sputnik on Sunday.
"The regime of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky foils any progress in creating a security zone around the ZNPP, refusing to give any guarantees to prevent the shelling of the nuclear power plant and its satellite city Energodar. The plant's safety is guaranteed by two components: the absence of shelling by the militants of the Ukrainian armed forces and the proper protection provided by the Russian national guard," Rogov said.
He added that Kiev demands the demilitarization of the plant's vicinity in order to take advantage of the moment, take local residents hostage, seize the nuclear facility and create a bridgehead for the offensive.
NewsGuard, a left-wing media monitoring organization which claims to rate the credibility of news websites, was awarded nearly $750,000 from the Department of Defense in 2021 according to publicly available records.
The revelation comes in the latest "Twitter Files" post by Matt Taibbi.
In a series of posts detailing internal communications among Twitter executives, Taibbi suggests a collaboration of government and the company of what appears to be a coordinated effort to censor or slant information available to the public and individuals — particularly conservatives.
Two U.S. agencies he identified included the State Department's Global Engagement Center and the Department of Defense.
Taibbi was concerned about the government grants to an organization that targets news outlets, writing:
"Some NGOs (non-governmental organizations), like the GEC-funded Global Disinformation Index or the DOD-funded Newsguard, not only seek content moderation but apply subjective 'risk' or 'reliability' scores to media outlets, which can result in reduction in revenue."
The mood first started shifting against the US among its allies on the European continent late last year, as both officials and diplomats began to accuse Washington of profiteering out of the Ukraine crisis via energy and weapons sales, while their own stockpiles were "almost empty" and critical defense capabilities were lacking.
The conflagration in Ukraine and the western push to pump the Kiev regime with military support has laid bare the "appalling state" of the European continent’s own defense capabilities, a US publication has noted. Furthermore, the present developments have thrown the spotlight on the European defense industry's overly high dependence on the United States.
Although the United States and its allies sent well over $100Bln in military and economic assistance to Ukraine in 2022, and have announced billions in new aid over the first months of 2023, Europe's own armed forces “lack the basics needed for conventional warfare in their own backyards”, the columnists stated.
The SWAMP people in Washington DC do not like journalists like Tucker Carlson exposing their nefarious activities. They hate seeing a light shined on their unscrupulous agendas.
For instance, Jesse Waters exposed that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made millions of dollars on “insider trading” of defense contract stocks that she supported with her votes over the 20-year war with Afghanistan and Iraq. She made millions and lived the “high life” in Washington DC, while our young soldiers died to the tune of 7,500 combat deaths and 114,000 suicide deaths over that 20 year period.
Before that, 60 Minutes reporter Steve Kroft caught her red-handed at a news conference where he asked her if her stock trading wasn’t malfeasance. She answered that she was above board on all her dealings and she was legal in her activities. It makes you wonder why those two wars took 20 years to lose.
Of course, you cannot help remembering that the CIA and FBI dreamed up the Trump-Russia collusion scandal as certain agents tried to derail the Trump presidential run. Those same agencies continued with the Mueller investigation that spent millions to find out that it was all a cooked-up fraud. Trump might be a self-absorbed narcissist, but he’s All-American. He actually secured our southern border and did a lot of good things for America.
In the past two nights, journalist Tucker Carlson, one of the finest investigative men in the field, exposed the “real” aspects via video records of what “really” happened on January 6th. He exposed the lies, the fraudulent activities and complete farce of the Liz Cheney-led Congressional investigation seeking to drag Trump into the gutter.
The brutal spell of weather plaguing the Golden State continued Saturday as floodwaters surged over a levee and sent residents of an agricultural town stumbling.
Over 1,000 Californians were forced to evacuate Saturday morning after a levee failed and the small town of Pajaro was flooded by a torrential storm that drenched the Central Coast’s Monterey County.
Dramatic footage posted on social media showed early-morning rescues being carried out for residents who’d become trapped in their parked vehicle by rising floodwaters.
Silicon Valley Bank was aptly named: It held the funds of hundreds of U.S. tech companies and was a crucial player in the valley’s economy. But on Friday, it became the second largest bank failure in U.S. history after a rapid run on its deposits. Some $175 billion in customer accounts were taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which is now tasked with returning money to the bank’s customers.
But more than 85% of the bank’s deposits were uninsured, according to estimates in a recent regulatory filing. That’s because FDIC deposit insurance is meant for everyday bank customers and maxes out at $250,000. Many Silicon Valley startups had millions, or even hundreds of millions of dollars deposited at the bank—money they used to run their companies and pay employees. Right now, nobody’s sure how much of that cash is left.
The tech sector was already wading through a harsh macroeconomic climate, with layoffs abounding and stock prices sinking precipitously. Silicon Valley Bank’s downfall is likely to exacerbate those problems—and could threaten the wider economy. “It’s like a Lehman Brothers moment for Silicon Valley,” says one Silicon Valley startup founder whose company has millions of dollars tied up in SVB. “It feels like something that never should have happened, because it’s such a trustworthy entity.” The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are worried about losing customers over their ties to SVB.
U.S. cryptocurrency firm Circle has $3.3 billion of its $40 billion of USD Coin reserves at the collapsed lender Silicon Valley Bank, the company said in a tweet on Friday.
The stablecoin company’s announcement comes after startup-focused SVB collapsed on Friday in the largest bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis, roiling global markets and stranding billions of dollars belonging to companies and investors.
Traders have been on guard this week for signs of contagion in the financial sector and beyond from troubles for SVB and crypto-focused Silvergate, which this week disclosed plans to wind down operations and voluntarily liquidate.
While the Biden administration’s weakness and decline in military readiness concerning China goes unreported or under-reported in the United States, those nations most vulnerable to Chinese aggression and intimidation are aware of the rising risk of war.
When nations assess their national security status, they analyze all alliances and associations, including military, economic, etc. A critical aspect of that analysis will be the United States and its ability and willingness to fulfill its strategic security obligations.
Fading US Security Guarantees in the Region
Today, those obligations, first and foremost, involve the threats that China and its de facto proxy, North Korea, pose to the region. Every national security advisor or minister of defense in the Asia-Pacific region that relies on U.S. security guarantees must ask themselves, “Are we as secure today as we were yesterday under American security guarantees?”
In other words, the governments in Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Canberra, and Manila all see the growing threat coming from China. These governments’ actions indicate that they’re all questioning their belief that the United States will be able to defend them.
Unfortunately, most are increasingly unsure about America’s ability to defend them. In the Pentagon, however, the answer is definite, No, we will not be able to protect you.
Americans’ already-negative opinions of Russia have soured further in the past year, dropping from 15% holding a favorable view to 9%. The current reading for Russia is the lowest Gallup has measured since it first asked about the “Soviet Union” in this format in 1989.
Monkeys in modern-day Thai forests create stone artifacts uncannily similar to those crafted by early humans — challenging the established narrative of human cultural evolution.
A new study published on Friday in Science Advances suggests the possibility that a critical hallmark of human tool use happened by accident — potentially blurring the line between tool use by early humans and our primate relatives.
Banks across America are sitting on $620 billion of 'unrealized losses' - assets which have decreased in value but have not yet been sold - - the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation warned.
News of the worrying shortfall came amid the closure of Silicon Valley Bank - the largest collapse since Washington Mutual in 2008.
As the government scrambles to prevent contagion, the Federal Reserve announced on Sunday night that all depositors would get their money back.
“I’m very happy about the political decision to become a part of NATO,” says Lieutenant general Carl-Johan Edström, Chief of Joint Operations with the Swedish Armed Forces. On Thursday, he flew north together with the largest group of top NATO officers that ever has been at Norway’s land border with Russia.
“Now we can be a part of a huge NATO organization…at the moment with a war in Europe,” Edström says.
Visiting Stockholm this week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the accession of Sweden and Finland “is a top priority, and we are making progress.”
The officers from different countries and command structures of NATO came directly to Kirkenes airport from the ongoing exercise Joint Viking currently taking place in the Troms region, further west in Northern Norway.
"Two of the world’s most implacable enemies, Saudi Arabia and Iran, divided by religion, sign a China-brokered peace deal. And a cascade of businesses set to fail after the collapse of hipster bank SVB
Last month’s shockwave of resignations among top Ukrainian officials, caused by numerous corruption scandals, ended as quickly as it began. At the start of February, it seemed that Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov would become the ultimate victim of the purge. His imminent departure was openly discussed in the Ukrainian parliament and hints were even dropped by the President’s office.
His possible resignation was also discussed in leading international media. However, just two weeks later, the threat hanging over Reznikov disappeared when the politician met with Western leaders and plainly stated that he had no intention of leaving office.
How did Reznikov avoid being culled, what role did the visit of US inspectors to Kiev play in the process, and what was the big corruption scandal in the Defense Ministry of Ukraine all about?
Europe is in real trouble after the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline and failed western sanctions on Russia. This week we saw our clearest indication yet that the Russia-China alliance just launched the great energy reset on the West after a series of massive trade escalations led to new records.
Kiev has its hand in the unrest over the controversial foreign agents legislation in Georgia, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has claimed, urging Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to take care of his own country instead of fueling riots in Tbilisi. The PM made the remarks in an extensive interview with Georgia’s Imedi TV channel that aired on Sunday.
Garibashvili strongly condemned the support expressed by Zelensky towards the protesters, accusing him of yet again trying to open a “second front” against Russia in Georgia. Earlier this week, Zelensky issued a video address to Georgians, stating that every Ukrainian wishes a “democratic” and “European success” to the country.
“An even greater escalation of hostilities is expected in Ukraine, and many external forces are interested in opening a ‘second front’ on Georgian soil. How else to explain that the President of Ukraine Zelensky, during the conflict in his country, finds time to appeal to several thousand participants of a destructive action in Georgia?” Garibashvili wondered, urging the Ukrainian leader to “[take] care of himself and his country” first.
Before joining the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in 2007, Joseph Gentile served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Lehman Brothers’ Global Investment Bank before the public collapse in 2008.
Gentile worked at Lehman as the CFO, directing the accounting and financial needs in the Fixed Income division before he left in 2007 — just one year before it became one of the biggest banks to declare bankruptcy during the 2008 financial crisis.
Since leaving Lehman, before the major collapse, he has been serving as CAO at SVB.
After being founded in 1983, SVB, the tech sector-focused bank, collapsed last week when panicked customers suddenly withdrew tens of billions of dollars after the bank announced a loss of approximately $1.8 billion from a sale of its investments in U.S. treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.
Ultimately, regulators shut Silicon Valley Bank down, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) took control of the bank and said they would protect insured deposits.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has galvanized Ukrainian society in many unexpected ways, but perhaps one of the most remarkable is how it has advanced the rights of LGBTQ people.
On Tuesday, in a move that would have been nearly unthinkable a year ago, a Ukrainian lawmaker introduced legislation in the country’s parliament that would give partnership rights to same-sex couples. This legislation, along with a prohibition against anti-LGBTQ hate speech abruptly adopted in December, reflects a sharp rejection of Russia’s effort to weaponize homophobia in support of its invasion.
Silicon Valley venture capitalists are screaming for a bail out in response to the recent sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank — the second-largest bank failure in history, behind the collapse of Washington Mutual at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Saturday that the implosion of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the second largest bank failure in US history, created a deep crisis in the technology industry.
"I am closely monitoring the collapse of the American investment bank, Silicon Valley Bank, which has led to a major crisis in the high-tech world," tweeted the Prime Minister of Israel.
Netanyahu said that he's been in touch with senior Israeli tech figures following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in the United States.
"If necessary, out of responsibility to Israeli high-tech companies and employees, we will take steps to assist the Israeli companies, whose center of activity is in Israel, to weather the cash-flow crisis that has been created for them due to the turmoil," he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu said that the Israeli economy is strong and stable, adding "which finds expression in this crisis as well."Netanyahu, who is in Rome for an official visit, said he would discuss the extent of the crisis with his finance and economy ministers and the central bank governor once he returned home.
The wait for the next “Lehman Brothers moment” is over. On Friday, we witnessed the second-biggest bank failure in U.S. history. The stunning collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is shaking the financial world to the core.
As of the end of last year, the bank had 175 billion dollars in deposits, and approximately 151 billion dollars of those deposits were uninsured. In other words, a lot of wealthy individuals and large companies are in danger of being wiped out. In particular, this is being described as an “extinction-level event” for tech startups, because thousands of them did their banking with SVB. I cannot even begin to describe how cataclysmic this is going to be for the tech industry as a whole.
There is so much to cover, so let me try to take this one step at a time.
Last year, military conscription became an issue in both Russia and Ukraine. However, the extent has been completely different in the two countries. While in Russia the mobilization was partial, lasting barely more than a month and affecting around 300,000 people, according to official figures – a significant part of whom already had military experience – a completely different picture has developed in Ukraine.
Kiev instituted a general conscription drive which has been in force for more than a year. The exact number of those taken to the armed forces during this time is not known for certain and the process has been accompanied by numerous scandals.
Cases where law enforcement officers have applied force when handing out conscription notices and illegally delivered men to enlistment offices have given rise to public discontent. However, the Ukrainian authorities clearly have no intention of pausing enlistment because the situation remains critical at some sections of the front.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) are losing their grip on fortified areas around Artyomovsk (Bakhmut), and taking huge numbers of casualties, according to the Guardian and other media outlets. Meanwhile, Kiev continues to issue mobilization summonses and is sending people without proper training.
The fallout from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is beginning to spread around the world.
Startup founders in California’s Bay Area are panicking about access to money and paying employees. Fears of contagion have reached Canada, India and China. In the UK, SVB’s unit is set to be declared insolvent, has already ceased trading and is no longer taking new customers. On Saturday, the leaders of roughly 180 tech companies sent a letter calling on UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to intervene.
“The loss of deposits has the potential to cripple the sector and set the ecosystem back 20 years,” they said in the letter seen by Bloomberg. “Many businesses will be sent into involuntary liquidation overnight.”
This is just the beginning. SVB had branches in China, Denmark, Germany, India, Israel and Sweden, too. Founders are warning that the bank’s failure could wipe out startups around the world without government intervention. SVB’s joint venture in China, SPD Silicon Valley Bank Co., was seeking to calm local clients overnight by reminding them that operations have been independent and stable.
It’s certainly no secret that the United States has been trying to foment yet another conflict in the immediate vicinity of its geopolitical adversaries. This is particularly true in regards to Russia and China, the only near-peer rivals capable of not only resisting, but also challenging Washington DC’s disastrous hegemony. It is precisely this that makes both superpowers prime targets for encirclement and destabilization, with the end goal being either their complete dismantlement or, at the very least, weakening to a point where they would be forced to accept US dominance without much (or any) opposition. To accomplish this, the belligerent thalassocracy has been using everything at its disposal, from false narratives disseminated by the massive mainstream propaganda machine to more “hard power” schemes such as weapons deliveries and (in)direct military involvement.
Most observers have always seen the connection between Russia and China or, more specifically, between their interests in Ukraine and Taiwan, respectively. These legitimate interests (primarily relating to, but not limited to security) have been targeted by the US and its numerous vassals. Both Moscow and Beijing are perfectly aware of this and are working towards building closer ties, especially on a strategic level, to counter escalating US aggression while maintaining their respective foreign policy frameworks, which aren’t always 100% convergent in every aspect. However, this does not impede their growing cooperation in any way, as can only be expected from truly sovereign nations. This is causing a tremendous amount of frustration in Washington DC, prompting it to mobilize its propaganda machine to try and tarnish the (Eur)Asian giants’ reputation.
Friday’s announcement that Iran and Saudi Arabia had restored bilateral ties for the first time in seven years marks a major geopolitical development in the Persian Gulf.
As the region’s two main powerhouses, Tehran and Riyadh had found themselves supporting opposing sides in conflicts in both Syria and Yemen over the past decade, resulting in tensions that would culminate in the ending of diplomatic relations in January 2016, following the execution of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia; seen as the dominant Sunni power in the Islamic world, with Iran regarded as the Shia equivalent.
Thus, the restoring of diplomatic relations between both nations should lead to increased stability in a region beset by conflict over the past two decades.
Reaching beyond west Asia, Friday’s announcement also signifies the establishment of a new multipolar world order, with China having brokered the deal between both countries. With Saudi Arabia being a key US-ally and trading partner in the region, this may also indicate that should Washington now feel that Riyadh is moving into Beijing’s sphere of influence, it may vie for regime-change in Saudi Arabia in a bid to maintain hegemony in west Asia.
Indeed such an occurrence has a historical precedent.