Thought for the day
"Americans deserve the freedom to choose a life without surveillance and the government regulation that would make that possible. While we continue to believe the sentiment, we fear it may soon be obsolete or irrelevant. We deserve that freedom, but the window to achieve it narrows a little more each day. If we don't act now, with great urgency, it may very well close for good." -- Charlie Warzel and Stuart A. Thompson, New York Times
Cary Mamola is certainly doing his part to show the world what life is like for criminals in Chicago, where, if you do the crime, you don’t do any time!
The head of Ukraine's state nuclear energy company said on Wednesday he was taking charge of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, and urged workers at the plant not to sign any documents with its Russian occupiers.
Energoatom chief Petro Kotin made his comments in a video address posted on the Telegram messaging app despite Russia saying it plans to supervise the plant's operations.
The video address followed the brief detention by Russian forces of the Ukrainian who had been in charge of the plant, where Ukrainian staff are still working.
"All further decisions regarding the operation of the station will be made directly at the central office of Energoatom," Kotin said. "We will continue to work under Ukrainian law, within the Ukrainian energy system, within Energoatom."
Retired St. Louis Police Captain David Dorn was murdered in June 2020 outside of Lee’s Pawn and Jewelry in North St. Louis City.
The European Union needs to quickly intervene in its gas and energy markets, including by imposing a price cap on wholesale gas, to avoid a spiral of deindustrialization and social unrest amid sky-high energy prices, Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told the Financial Times in comments published on Thursday.
The EU will look to reform the electricity market to decouple the dominant influence of gas on the price of electricity, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in the middle of September.
“These are all emergency and temporary measures we are working on, including our discussions on price caps,” the Commission's president said, without referring to specific price caps on gas, or Russian gas only.
Commenting on the need to adopt measures as soon as possible, Belgium’s De Croo told FT that if the EU didn’t intervene in the gas market, “we are risking a massive deindustrialization of the European continent and the long-term consequences of that might actually be very deep.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has decreed Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant is a Russian federal asset, absorbing all facilities and employees as the Kremlin’s push in the east loses momentum against Ukrainian forces.
The nuclear facility, the largest in Europe, was captured by Russian forces in March, with Ukrainian employees running day-to-day operations under siege conditions that have the world’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, concerned about the facility’s vulnerability to disaster.
In a decree published Wednesday by Russia’s Tass news agency, Putin ordered the official takeover of Zaporozhye nuclear assets, stating: "The Russian government shall take measures to establish federal ownership of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant and other facilities necessary for its operation."
Hollywood can’t stop their need to make everything woke. In a new Scooby-Doo cartoon movie on Prime Video, Velma comes out as a lesbian.
Russia is lobbying for a secret ballot instead of a public vote when the 193-member U.N. General Assembly next week considers whether to condemn Moscow's move to annex four partially occupied regions in Ukraine after staging what it called referendums.
Ukraine and allies have denounced the votes in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia as illegal and coercive. A Western-drafted U.N. General Assembly resolution would condemn Russia's "illegal so-called referenda" and the "attempted illegal annexation" of the areas where voting occurred.
"This is a clearly politicized and provocative development aimed at deepening the divide in the General Assembly and bring its membership further apart," Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia wrote in a letter to U.N. states, seen by Reuters.
For the first time in 20 years, a Russian cosmonaut rocketed from the U.S. on Wednesday, launching to the International Space Station alongside NASA and Japanese astronauts despite tensions over the war in Ukraine.
“We’re so glad to do it together," said Anna Kikina, Russia’s lone female cosmonaut, offering thanks in both English and Russian. “Spasibo!”
She was among the three newcomers on the flight, alongside Marine Col. Nicole Mann, the first Native American woman to orbit the world, and Navy Capt. Josh Cassada. They were joined by Japan Space Agency’s Koichi Wakata, who is making his fifth spaceflight.
“Awesome!" radioed Mann. “That was a smooth ride uphill. You’ve got three rookies who are pretty happy to be floating in space right now.”
Britain and Poland are investigating possible cooperation in the development of a surface-launched, long-range missile in the latest step towards strengthening their ties in the defense sector.
The two nations announced their intention to take a look at forming a partnership at the end of a visit Oct. 5 to Poland by British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace for talks with his Polish counterpart, Mariusz Błaszczak.
The FBI has raided the home of another pro-life advocate, this time targeting a pro-life man and his family after he prayed and sang outside an abortion business last year.
This is the second time in recent weeks that the FBI has raided the home of a pro-life family — with the first case involving pro-life advocate Mark Houck, whose family was raided after an altercation at a Philadelphia abortion business last year where he accidentally pushed down a man who was verbally accosting his 12-year-old son.
This time, FBI officials raided the home of pro-life advocate Chet Gallagher after he peacefully advocated for the protection of unborn babies at an abortion facility in Tennessee last year.
Gallagher participated in a “rescue” at the Carafem abortion facility in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee where he and other pro-life advocates prayed and sang in a hallway of a building that houses multiple medical business but also the abortion company.
India’s Home Minister Amit Shah has rejected the possibility of dialogue with arch foe Pakistan over Kashmir during his second visit to the Indian-administered part of the disputed region since its autonomy was scrapped three years ago.
“Some people tell us to talk to Pakistan,” he said while addressing supporters at a rally in the Baramulla district on Wednesday. “Why should we talk to Pakistan? We will not talk.”
The US Navy has tapped Raytheon Missiles & Defense to upgrade the computer-controlled and radar-guided weapon systems of South Korea’s surface warships.
The $49-million deal, part of the US government’s foreign military sales program, procures four MK-15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS) Block 0 to Block 1B Baseline 2.
The systems upgrade will benefit South Korea’s Sejong the Great-class guided missile destroyer and other warships in development under the Korean Destroyer Next Generation project, Military Aerospace reported.
A fan who made a Hitler salute at an Australian soccer match was banned for life on Wednesday, with the sport’s governing body saying it had zero tolerance for “offensive behavior.”
The man, who has not been named publicly, was among a group of supporters at the Australia Cup final in Sydney on Saturday caught on camera making fascist gestures and reportedly chanting far-right Croatian songs.
Football Australia said one spectator has been identified and handed a lifetime ban from any future games it sanctions, including national team, A-League and Australia Cup fixtures.
While the international press treats the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines as a news item, we analyze it as an act of war against Germany and the European Union. Indeed, the three gas supply routes to Western Europe have been cut off simultaneously, while at the same time a new gas pipeline has been opened to Poland.
Just as Mikhail Gorbachev saw in the Chernobyl disaster the inevitable break-up of the USSR, so we believe that the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines marks the beginning of the economic collapse of the Union.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s decree to enforce the National Security and Defense Council’s decision to the effect it is impossible to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin blocks the path to a peace settlement and is fraught with tremendous risks of the conflict’s escalation and more casualties, the board chairman of the Foundation for the Support and Development of the international discussion club Valdai, Andrey Bystritsky, told TASS.
"The situation following Zelensky’s statement has turned from bad to worse. In this way, he is trying to retaliate against Russia for recognizing the referendums in the DPR, the LPR, and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions and letting these territories join Russia," he said. But the Ukrainian president’s reaction, in his opinion, is extremely risky. "De facto Kiev receives proposals, including some from the Russian president, for a ceasefire. A ceasefire might be established right away," the expert believes.
Bystritsky stresses that Zelensky’s decree has blocked the path to negotiations: "De facto he has created a situation where the negotiations can be considered as unrealistic."
The source and purpose of these "strange lights" has been identified: Russia's PERESVET Laser Anti-Satellite System.
The military nature of the lighting became evident when the same light pattern hit the skies in Moscow, Murmansk, and Omsk, Russia as the world was paying attention to the lights in Belgorad.
These laser systems are "anti-satellite" insofar as they can "dazzle" any recon satellite orbiting within 1500 kilometers of earth!
By "Dazzle" we mean "Temporarily blind" the satellite, making it impossible for the satellite to "see" anything on the ground for tens-of-miles in all directions of its typical fly-by.
At this hour, I am told that with the area covered by the light emissions from Belgorad, Omsk, Moscow, and Murmansk, US/NATO surveillance satellites NOW CANNOT SEE A FULL FIFTY PERCENT OF RUSSIAN NUCLEAR MISSILE SILOS.
President Biden’s boast shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that the world stood united against Moscow’s aggression is increasingly detached from reality. Indeed, it has reached the point of deserving mockery. Walter Russell Mead, a scholar at the Hudson Institute, provided a devastating, early assessment of how Washington’s effort to isolate Russia was failing. "The West has never been more closely aligned. It has also rarely been more alone. Allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization plus Australia and Japan are united in revulsion against Vladimir Putin’s war and are cooperating with the most sweeping sanctions since World War II. The rest of the world, not so much."
In other words, only Washington’s network of security dependents signed on to its policy. Even a cursory look at a global map confirms that Mead’s observation remains valid. Outside of NATO and traditional U.S. partners in East Asia, virtually no governments have imposed economic sanctions on Russia, despite enormous pressure from the Biden administration. That void is graphic with respect to Central and South Asia, Latin America, and Africa – the developing countries in the so-called Global South.
The former Prime Minister of Ukraine has appealed to world leader's to follow Liz Truss's example of refusing to compromise with Russia and Vladimir Putin over Russia's illegal invasion of his country. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Volodymyr Groysman contrasted Ms Truss's speech at the Tory party conference with condemnation over Elon Musk's suggestion that Ukraine cedes territory to Russia as a compromise solution.
Former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski famously described Ukraine as a “geopolitical pivot” of Eurasia, central to both US and Russian power. Since Russia views its vital security interests to be at stake in the current conflict, the war in Ukraine is rapidly escalating to a nuclear showdown. It’s urgent for both the US and Russia to exercise restraint before disaster hits.
Since the middle of the 19th Century, the West has competed with Russia over Crimea and more specifically, naval power in the Black Sea. In the Crimean War (1853-6), Britain and France captured Sevastopol and temporarily banished Russia’s navy from the Black Sea. The current conflict is, in essence, the Second Crimean War. This time, a US-led military alliance seeks to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia, so that five NATO members would encircle the Black Sea.
The US has long regarded any encroachment by great powers in the Western Hemisphere as a direct threat to US security, dating back to the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, which states: “We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those [European] powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.”
Unfortunately, I can only give a very broad-brush treatment to this topic here, though it very much deserves keen attention about now. On Monday this week, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau signed a diplomatic note and delivered it to the German Federal Foreign Office, formally demanding $1.3 trillion in war reparations for damages suffered by Poland during WW2. The sum – indubitably calculated by experts – represents a cool $15,500 per man, woman and child living in Germany today and over $34,000 per man, woman, and child living in Poland.
Poland has spoken to the U.S. about sharing atomic weapons, President Andrzej Duda said, a provocative statement that comes as Western nations confront Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. and NATO have publicly stated that they have no plan to deploy nuclear weapons in countries that joined the alliance after the collapse of communism more than three decades ago. A White House official said they were unaware of the issue being raised and referred further questions to Poland’s government.
The Biden administration is seeking to walk a fine between supplying Ukraine with advanced weaponry while avoiding moves that would cause the Kremlin to further escalate the conflict. Poland, NATO’s largest member from the former Warsaw Pact, is one of the most vocal proponents of bolstering the alliance’s eastern flank.
British Home Secretary Suella Braverman on Tuesday vowed to do “whatever it takes” to stop illegal immigration across the English Channel.
In her first major speech as home secretary, Braverman told the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham that she wants to “cut [the] overall numbers” of immigration, adding the UK shouldn’t be “relying wholly on low skilled foreign workers.”
Invoking her own heritage as a second-generation immigrant, Braverman said her parents “embraced British values” and integrated into the community, which “didn’t mean abandoning their heritage.”
The home secretary said British people are “losing sight of the core values and the culture that made it so” and have been led “astray” by a combination of “unexamined drive towards multiculturalism as an end in itself” and “the corrosive aspects of identity politics.”
Over the last years, major steps have been taken by international organizations, companies, investors and governments alike to commit to climate change action. The focus has increasingly been put on the reduction of carbon emissions and water consumption. Billions of dollars are being invested in implementing industry or nationwide schemes to mitigate the effects of industries and governments. Still, there is more to be done to further contain the overall impact on climate. The need for climate adaptation, across a vast spectrum of issues such as flood and wildfire prevention, resilient agriculture, clean water supply, infrastructure modification, and population resettlement, is still not understood fully by the parties involved. As already stated in a report of the Climate Policy Initiative in 2021, climate adaptation initiatives receive only 7% of climate-related investment. At the same time, the business opportunities are clear, as Bloomberg reported that Bank of America analysts estimate that the climate adaptation market could be worth $2 trillion a year within the next five years.
There’s no question that future unbiased historians will rank Russian President Vladimir Putin's address on the Return of the Baby Bears – Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia – on September 30 as a landmark inflection point of the Raging Twenties.
The underlying honesty and clarity mirror his speech at the 2007 Munich Security Conference, but this time largely transcending the trappings of the geopolitical New Great Game.
This was an address to the collective Global South. In a key passage, Putin remarked how “the world has entered a period of revolutionary transformations, which are fundamental in nature. New development centers are being formed, they represent the majority.”
As he made the direct connection between multipolarity and strengthening of sovereignty, he took it all the way to the emergence of a new anti-colonial movement, a turbocharged version of the Non-Aligned Movement of the 1960s:
Based on new findings, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) data collected by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) found Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had more than 300,000 migrants enrolled in the federal's governments Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program, according to the Daily Caller. Each migrant enrolled in the program is monitored via phones and tracking devices and is set free in the US, pleased to roam as they wish.
As of Sept. 24, the ATD program had 316,700 migrants, up a whopping 266% from when President Biden took office in January 2021. An ICE PowerPoint slide shows each immigrant is given a phone with facial recognition technology and a GPS monitoring device that allows authorities to check in on the enrollee for compliance.
To anyone vaguely familiar with the colorful history of San Francisco in Victorian times, the mere mention of an “opium den” conjures up visions of dimly lit enclaves deep in the catacombs of Chinatown where hundreds of people languished about in self-induced euphoric stupors.
A scene from an old-time Chinatown opium den. (All Things Interesting)
Well, guess what, folks - the concept of the clandestine drug den operation is back, only this time it is being sponsored by the city and promoted by those particularly ambitious politicians seeking fame and fortune, and it is providing a menu that is far more reaching than just opium.
Several weeks ago, I was able to sneak into the Tenderloin Center located right in the middle of San Francisco at 1172 Market and Leavenworth, at UN Plaza. Not everyone is allowed in. This is the same Tenderloin Linkage Center that was the centerpiece of San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s much-touted plan to eradicate drug use, reduce overdose deaths, and “link” addicts to rehabilitation services.
With the exception of the common areas for showering and outdoor meals, this facility is specifically designed for the consumption of illegal drugs purchased by addicts in the black market. It is a drug den where anybody and everybody can come in to ingest, inject, smoke, or inhale any type of illegal drug that they themselves have acquired off the street from the black market.
Anthony Fauci, the head of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), defended his agency’s decision of awarding millions of dollars to an organization that has funded risky virus research in Wuhan.
The New York-based nonprofit, EcoHealth Alliance, received roughly $3 million in grants from the NIAID in late September, the largest annual amount the agency has awarded the group, despite scrutiny over EcoHealth’s partnership with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the facility that many believe may have started the pandemic.
“If something is peer-reviewed, gets a high recommendation for funding, you can’t arbitrarily decide, ‘I just don’t want to fund it’ because people don’t like them,” Fauci said in an Oct. 4 virtual webinar hosted by the University of South California’s Center for Health Journalism. “If they ever brought that to court, they could sue us and win that in a microsecond. So you’ve got to be careful.”
Following last week's rush to secure critical energy infrastructure across Europe against drone attacks, the FBI warned in a new report about drones being used for potential espionage and terrorism at critical US infrastructure facilities.
"[O]verflights can be an effective means of surveilling critical infrastructure because facility security personnel and law enforcement officers have limited options to detect and respond to" this type of drone activity, according to the FBI's report obtained by CNN.
In late July, multiple drones swarmed a Louisiana chemical facility in the middle of the night. The report said the drones hovered several feet above the facility before flying away.
The report cited another incident in March when a drone was surveilling a Louisiana pipeline. Law enforcement found the drone operator and discovered they had taken pictures of the critical supply line.
Faced with trade-war tariffs and sky-high inflation, the US fishing industry is getting 'crushed' right now.
Much of it is due to the amount of offshore processing done in China after fish are caught in US waters - which means the US companies catching them are paying high duty rates on various types of seafood, including salmon, tilapia, and tuna, crab and shrimp, according to the Epoch Times, which notes that American companies have been sending their ocean harvests to China for processing for more than a decade in order to take advantage of historically cheaper labor and operating costs.
In fact, some 65% of the estimated 6.3 billion pounds of seafood consumed by Americans every year is reimported - a move which saves US companies around 80 cents per pound of fish in labor costs. Given the roughly 30 million pounds of salmon alone being sent to Chinese processing plants, the savings add up.