The US State Department and Treasury announced on Thursday a large sanctions package targeting Moscow’s trade with some of Washington’s allies and partners. The aim of this new sanctions package, one of the largest yet, is to block off Russia’s access to money, financial channels and Western technology allegedly being used to bolster the Kremlin’s war effort.
Among those targeted are over 150 businesses and individuals from Russia to Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Georgia. Also in the crosshairs are the Russian energy sector, including Arctic liquified natural gas projects, mining, as well as factories repairing and manufacturing Moscow’s arms.
Washington penalized a recently established company in the UAE, for instance, which is said to be providing technology and engineering for Russia’s Arctic LNG 2 project. Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov has said that bilateral trade between the UAE and Russia grew to $9 billion last year, an increase of almost 70% during 2022.
James O’Brien, the head of the State Department’s Office of Sanctions Coordination, told the Associated Press that Foggy Bottom’s goal is to “restrict Russia’s defense capacity and the liquidity it has to pay for its war.”
The Economist report reads: “Curtailing aid to Ukraine will only prolong the war, Mr Zelensky argues. And it would create risks for the West in its own backyard. There is no way of predicting how the millions of Ukrainian refugees in European countries would react to their country being abandoned. Ukrainians have generally ‘behaved well’ and are ‘very grateful’ to those who sheltered them. They will not forget that generosity. But it would not be a ‘good story’ for Europe if it were to ‘drive these people into a corner.'”
Zelensky also said in the interview, published on September 10, that anyone who is not supporting Ukraine is with Russia. “If you are not with Ukraine, you are with Russia, and if you are not with Russia, you are with Ukraine. And if partners do not help us, it means they will help Russia to win. That is it,” he said.
We’ve just learned that the office of the prosecutor and the “security service” of Ukraine have published press releases claiming to have put a stop to the activities of the “vicious Russian propagandist Yurii Sheliazhenko.”
Yurii Sheliazhenko has been formally charged by the Ukrainian government with the crime of justifying Russian aggression. The evidence is this statement which explicitly condemns Russian aggression.
Next week, Yurii will face prosecution in Kyiv, and members of World BEYOND War will be there to deliver a petition — please sign it now! — asking that the prosecution be dropped. If you can get to Kyiv next week and support Yurii, please contact us.
Federal elections officials appeared to have finally closed the door on bogus allegations that Rep. Matt Gaetz was involved in sex trafficking.
Newsmax reported on Wednesday that the Federal Election Commission tossed out a complaint filed against Gaetz by Cris Dosev, a Republican who has twice challenged Gaetz for his Panhandle congressional seat.
Dosev claimed the Fort Walton Beach Republican wrongfully used campaign contributions to cover legal expenses related to a 2020 Justice Department investigation of the sex trafficking allegations.
Federal investigators ended the probe in February and declined to charge Gaetz because there was no evidence he had sex with a 17-year-old girl, as was alleged by an anonymous source. Gaetz repeatedly proclaimed his innocence.
The House returned to session this week after the summer recess and only has until the end of the month — two weeks — to pass the 12 funding bills necessary to avoid a government shutdown.
In lieu of a long-term spending bill, the White House has urged lawmakers to pass a continuing resolution, a stopgap measure which would maintain current funding levels until a larger agreement is reached. In addition to the money needed to keep the government running, President Joe Biden’s $25 billion supplemental spending request for Ukraine also hangs in the balance.
The House Freedom Caucus, the roughly 50-member bloc of Republicans, has voiced strong opposition to a stopgap measure. In August, the group released a list of demands that would be necessary for them to approve the spending bills on the table. Included in the group’s statement from last month — which required the support of 80 percent of its members — is a rejection of “any blank check for Ukraine in any supplemental appropriations bill.”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration and Senate Republican leadership have endorsed legislation that ties Ukraine-related assistance with increased disaster relief funding in an emergency spending package.
An American envoy and a Bahraini academic posed for the camera at a Washington hotel in October 2020, grinning ear to ear. They held a copy of an agreement between the U.S. State Department and the King Hamad Global Center for Peaceful Coexistence to combat antisemitism in Bahrain. Ellie Cohanim, then the U.S. assistant special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, called it “a model for a society that actively espouses religious freedom, tolerance and diversity of peoples.”
Thousands of miles away, in Bahrain itself, Sheikh Zuhair Jasim Abbas was sitting in a solitary confinement cell. His family had not heard from him since July. They would not again for several more months. According to a UN panel, the Shi’a Muslim cleric was allegedly beaten, starved, sleep-deprived, chained, attacked with water hoses, forbidden from using the bathroom, threatened with execution, and prevented from practicing his religious rituals.
The Abraham Accords, the diplomatic agreements between Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, have been hailed as a victory for religious tolerance. The image of Muslims and Jews dancing together has convinced American policymakers from both parties that peace is breaking out across the Middle East. The Biden administration is reportedly offering the Saudi government a huge bribe — perhaps even a commitment to go to war on the kingdom’s behalf — to get Saudi Arabia into the Abraham Accords as well.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman seems to sum up the Biden administration’s logic: that a Saudi-Israeli agreement would “open the way for peace between Israel and the whole Muslim world” and “dramatically reduce the Muslim-Jewish antipathy born over a century ago with the start of the Jewish-Palestinian conflict.”
But the Abraham Accords are attached to a social order that is deeply unequal, divided along ethnic and religious lines. While Israel allows foreign Muslims to visit Jerusalem, it rules over millions of Palestinians against their will. (That conflict is more about nationalism in the here and now than “Muslim-Jewish antipathy.”) And while some monarchies in the Persian Gulf are beginning to embrace foreigners of different religions, those same states — especially Bahrain — treat their native Shi’a Muslims as a potential fifth column.
The commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa told reporters Wednesday that the US is considering moving its drone base in Niger following the July 26 coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
“There are several locations I’ll say that we’re looking at, but nothing’s firmed up. We have talked to some countries about it,” said Gen. James Hecker, according to Defense One.
The US’s main drone base in Niger, known as Air Base 201, cost $110 million to build and $20 million – $30 million each year to maintain. According to The Intercept’s Nick Turse, who focuses on US military operations in Africa, Air Base 201 is “the linchpin of the US military’s archipelago of bases in North and West Africa and a key part of America’s wide-ranging intelligence, surveillance, and security efforts in the region.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with U.S. President Joe Biden during his trip to the United Nations General Assembly next week, a statement from the prime minister's office said on Thursday, without specifying the exact location of the meeting.
Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, Turkish President Recep Erdogan, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, according to his office.
The statement also said Netanyahu would deliver an address to the General Assembly on Friday morning.
Webmaster addition: Place your bets on how many standing ovations Netanyahu gets from the trained seals in Congress!
“Working in lockstep with the Ukrainian government, our allies and partners, international financial institutions, and the private sector, she will drive the United States’ efforts to help rebuild the Ukrainian economy,” Biden said in a statement. “This includes mobilizing public and private investment, shaping donor priorities, and working to open export markets and businesses shut down by Russia’s brutal attacks and destruction.”
Pritzker, a native of Chicago with Ukrainian family roots, heir to her family’s Hyatt hotel fortune and a prolific fundraiser for Democratic party candidates, served as secretary of commerce during the Obama administration.
Webmaster addition: How about reconstruction aid for the US? Starting with the dilapidated and dangerous rail system!
Mali's ruling junta has cancelled festivities planned for the anniversary of the country's independence celebrated on September 22.
The announcement was made public Wednesday following a council of ministers.
Last year, Guinea's ruling military leader attended the military parade organized for the festivities of Mali’s 62nd independence anniversary.
During Wednesday's council of ministers, Mali’s military leader ordered the government to allocate the funds planned for this year's festivities to help victims of a series of recent attacks and their families.
The council also discussed the possible mobilisation of reservists.
Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview with ABC News that he has “lots of regrets” over the way the US ended its 20-year of conflict in Afghanistan and “in the broader sense, the war was lost.”
“It didn't end the way I wanted it. That didn't end the way any of us wanted it,” Milley said. “Look, at -- when the enemy is occupying your capital ... that's a strategic setback, strategic failure. That's what I testified to in public. And there's no way you can describe that as a strategic success.”
"There is no doubt that America failed in Afghanistan; they didn't come here to leave without obtaining anything after twenty years. They had great goals, but the resistance of the Afghan people and the efforts of the Afghan people caused their defeat,” said Islamic Emirate spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid.
Some military analysts said the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan was irresponsible.
"When a powerful nation leaves a territory, there should be a strategy, they should follow the procedures, and they should consult the people. Not in the way that we saw at the beginning, where there was a power vacuum and no responsible administration after they left," said Mohammad Matin Mohammadkhail, a military analyst.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell blamed Kosovo on Thursday for a failure to implement a deal with Serbia on normalising relations between the two former wartime foes.
Borrell spoke after talks in Brussels with Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on the plan, which was agreed earlier this year but soon stalled.
"It was not possible to bridge the difference today," Borrell said after the meeting.
He said Kurti "was not ready to move forward" with setting up an association of Serb-majority municipalities, which would give them more autonomy and to which Pristina committed during a 10-year-long EU-sponsored dialogue with Belgrade.
The UN special envoy for Sudan who was declared unwelcome by the country’s military rulers announced his resignation Wednesday in a final speech to the UN Security Council, warning that the conflict between Sudan’s two military leaders “could be morphing into a full-scale civil war.”
Volker Perthes, who had continued to work outside Sudan, said the fighting shows no sign of abating, with neither side appearing close to “a decisive military victory.” He also said the violence in Sudan’s western Darfur region “has worsened dramatically,” with the warring parties blatantly disregarding human rights and civilians being targeted based on their ethnicity.
Perthes warned of “the risk of a fragmentation of the country,” pointing to a myriad of compounding crisis, including Darfur, the cross-border mobilisation of tribes, fighting in the country’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile provinces between the Sudanese military and rebels and rising tensions in eastern Sudan.
Russia on Thursday said the United States was hypocritical to criticise President Vladimir Putin's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because Washington had sown chaos and sent weapons to allies across the world.
"The United States has no right to lecture us on how to live," Russia's ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, said in a statement.
For the United States and allies, the burgeoning friendship between Kim and Putin is a concern: Washington has accused North Korea of providing arms to Russia, but it is unclear whether any deliveries have been made.
The United States, Antonov said, had built up a coalition in Asia, expanded military drills near the Korean peninsula and was supplying billions of dollars of weapons to Ukraine.
"It is time for Washington to throw its economic sanctions into the rubbish dump," Antonov said. "Maintaining the unipolar dominance so beloved by American officials is no longer possible."
Palestinian citizens of Israel are poorer and less healthy than Jewish citizens, data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) shows.
The report, released on Tuesday in the run-up to the Jewish new year Rosh Hashanah, found that while only 7.6 percent of Jewish Israelis felt poorer over the last year, the number for Palestinian citizens stood at 43 percent.
Another CBS report published earlier this year found that 53 percent of Palestinian households are likely to live in poverty compared to 18 percent of Jewish households.
In the job market, Palestinian men face serious challenges and only 50 percent have a job compared to 64 percent of their Jewish counterparts.
U.S. and Cuban officials made progress on a range of issues during high-level talks in Washington this week but were unable to narrow differences over the biggest disputes between the countries, Cuba’s vice foreign minister said on Thursday.
Cuba’s main concerns are that it remains on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism and the Biden administration’s continuation of Washington’s Cold War-era economic embargo against the Communist-ruled island.
In an interview with Reuters, Cuban Vice Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez de Cossio said: “We believe that it is unreasonable for the United States to continue to carry out a policy with which it disagreed before coming into office, that they know is hurting the Cuban population as a whole."
He said progress was made in talks on migration issues and cooperation in law enforcement, health, science and technology. “We welcome them, but they're not the defining factor, the overriding issue,” De Cossio told Reuters.
ViAqua Therapeutics, an Israeli-based biotechnology startup, has secured $8.25 million in funding for its oral RNA-based shrimp vaccine
The vaccine targets white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), which leads to a 15% reduction in global shrimp production each year
ViAqua plans to administer its RNA-based product via coated feed; the RNA molecules can inhibit gene expression, silencing disease-affected genes
Shrimp lack an adaptive immune system, the type that “remembers” exposures to infectious agents, so it’s long been assumed that shrimp cannot be vaccinated; now it’s becoming clear that shrimp do have some defense against viruses, which is only beginning to be understood
The risks of tinkering with shrimp genetics, and using mRNA shots in pigs, cattle and other animals intended for food, are completely unknown
On the verge of a catastrophic US defeat as predicted by Col. Douglas MacGregor, it might have only been a matter of time before Ukraine would attempt to ratchet up the conflict and launch a major attack against Russia’s state-of-the-art naval base in the Crimea located at Sevastopol on the Black Sea.
The pre-dawn attack was a direct hit inside the base’s dry dock area and caused “severe damage’, perhaps beyond repair, to Russia’s most substantial naval assets including unknown fatalities. The attack deployed three UK-supplied Storm Shadow missile strikes along with unmanned drones as a Ukraine spokesman told Reuters ‘we confirm that a large landing vessel and submarine were hit; we do not comment on the means used for the strike.”
Under international rules of war, Russia has total justification to respond directly to the UK as purveyor of the weapons in what was clearly a deliberate military attack – which is, of course, exactly what the warmongering US neocons are hoping for.
The question remains why Ukraine would initiate such a blatantly suicidal attack sure to stir a major response from Russia; as if inviting a no-holds-barred nuclear retaliation, although, no doubt, finding a way to accuse Russia as the aggressor for escalating the conflict into a full fledged WW III.
That demented concept only makes sense if it can be within the realm of the believable that certified lunatics are in control of US, NATO and western foreign policy with a willingness to sacrifice its own country, its own population and rest of the world in order to forestall the 2024 election. Crazy….or maybe not.
The United States Supreme Court has temporarily halted an injunction that restricts the administration of President Joe Biden from collaborating with social media giants on the removal of false or misleading content.
Julian Assange is still imprisoned; journalism’s future is still in jeopardy.
Delegates from Australia’s parliament are headed to Washington to appeal to the U.S. Congress on behalf of the Wikileaks founder. While anyone who recognizes the injustice of Washington’s insistence on extradition of the jailed journalist and publisher, this effort by representatives of several parties may be too late. In any event, it is very late.
This Australian door did not open until the 2022 election of Anthony Albanese, who replaced Scott Morrison, the nation’s uncompromising Prime Minister.
For many years the campaign to gain justice for Assange was largely centered in London, with activists focusing their attention on a succession of legal appeals to the British court that could have freed Assange from prison and denied U.S.’s extradition order. Legal actions were buttressed by supporters who included vocal celebrity journalists appealing for justice on the grounds that this case was basically about a free press, and that the extradition, based on the U.S. 1917 Espionage Act, was inapplicable. Free speech advocates fear indictment of Assange by U.S. courts would set a dangerous precedent that would threaten the integrity of the entire profession.
President Joe Biden delivered remarks on the economy in Maryland today with Democrat Maryland Governor Wes Moore. During his speech, Biden made an odd remark about Moore, stating, “Gov, my problem is your biceps are a little small.”
During another portion of Biden’s speech, the President began violently shouting, screaming at the top of his lungs as a vein appeared on his forehead. Biden seemed to lose his cool. He can be quoted as shouting, “Same exact drug, made by the same exact company!”
The screaming seemed to come out of nowhere, and drew an audible gasp from the audience.
Webmaster addition: Biden is crumbling under the pressure!
Multiple students at a Florida high school are facing charges after fights broke out on the grounds on September 12.
District spokesperson Corey Dierdorff confirmed that 14 students were involved in two brawls that broke out at Zephyrhills High School in Pasco County at lunch time. One brawl took place in the hallway and the other in the cafeteria.
According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, 13 students are now facing charges which include battery and disruption of school function. The students could also face 'discipline' from the district.
Cell phone videos of the fights were being heavily circulated on social media before they were pull down. The videos show students piled up on each other and fighting while staff kept struggling to break up the fight. At some point, the fights also included the school's principal who was seen trying to break up the fights before she ended up on the ground.
Webmaster addition: More and more I am convinced that the Burisma scandal reaches far beyond just the Biden family! Are members of Congress voting to send your money to Ukraine just to protect themselves?
GOP lawmakers sent a letter this week to CIA Director William Burns after a whistleblower claimed that analysts probing COVID-19 origins were offered money to alter their stance that the virus likely came from a Wuhan lab leak.
Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., joined their House counterparts in demanding answers from Burns, such as all of the "documents and communications between or among the members of all iterations of the COVID Discovery Team(s) regarding the origins of COVID-19."
Paul told Fox News Digital in a statement Thursday, "This is one of the biggest cover-ups in our nation's history, and we deserve answers."
In just over 48 hours this week, President Biden faced a double-barreled onslaught of political and personal setbacks, as his son’s business dealings and personal struggles created new turbulence at a time when his advisers wanted to focus attention on the problems of former president Donald Trump and House Republicans.
On Thursday, Biden’s son Hunter was indicted on charges of making false statements and illegally possessing a handgun, paving the way for a criminal trial that could unfold as Biden pursues reelection. That came two days after House Republicans opened a formal impeachment inquiry centered on whether the president benefited from his son’s business dealings, although they have produced little, if any, evidence to that effect.
Neither the inquiry nor the indictment was unexpected, but the back-to-back developments underscored the challenges Biden faces as he runs for a second term. He faces no serious competition for the Democratic nomination, but some Democrats are growing increasingly concerned about his vulnerabilities, including his age, as polls show a tight race between him and Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination.
Republicans are escalating their COVID origins investigation, demanding that the Biden administration and other key players comply with their requests or else face being subpoenaed.
The ramp up of their investigation comes the same week that a CIA whistleblower told Congress the agency bribed its own analysts to say COVID-19did not originate in a Wuhan lab.
In a letter sent Thursday to HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra first obtained by DailyMail.com, the Republicans write they 'expect full and timely compliance' with their requests, which have gone unanswered since they launched the probe in February.
They are demanding documents between HHS and EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology - which were given U.S. taxpayer-funded grants to study bat coronaviruses through risky gain-of-function research.
They also want details on a series of conference calls and communications between top HHS officials and medical professionals, organizations and others regarding the origins of COVID.
The lawmakers also sent similar letters to individuals they say have 'in-depth knowledge' of COVID origins, including Dr. Anthony Fauci's former chief of staff Greg Folkers, EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak, and Gray Handley, who was the liaison between the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chinese.
About 13,000 US auto workers at Detroit's big three firms stopped making vehicles and went on strike Friday after their leaders couldn´t bridge a giant gap between union demands and automakers in contract talks.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) union's labor contract with Detroit's big three automakers expired at 11.59pm on Thursday, with it is demanding a 40 per cent pay rise for its 146,000 members over four years and a four-day work week not met.
Automakers have countered with offers that are roughly half of that increase. Starting workers are currently paid around $18.04 an hour.
Members began picketing at a General Motors assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri, a Ford factory in Wayne, Michigan, near Detroit, and a Stellantis Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio.
President Joe Biden made a bizarre claim in a speech Friday that he'd taught political theory at an Ivy League university - despite only serving there as a visiting fellow and honorary professor.
Biden, at 80, the nation's oldest-ever president, was speaking at Prince George Community College in Maryland Thursday for an economic address he meant to contrast what he calls 'Bidenomics' with the police of predecessor Donald Trump.
At one point, however, the president turned his speech to a common theme, that Democracy is 'under attack' when he suddenly discussed his time at the University of Pennsylvania.
'We got to fight for it,' Biden said. ''I taught at the University of Pennsylvania for four years and I used to teach political theory. And folks, you always hear, every generation has to fight for Democracy.'
However, while Biden served from 2017 to 2019 as the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Professor of the Practice, there is no record of him teaching classes.