COMING UP SHORT THIS MONTH.
Thought for the day
"I just wonder what it would be like to be reincarnated in an animal whose species had been so reduced in numbers than it was in danger of extinction. What would be its feelings toward the human species whose population explosion had denied it somewhere to exist.... I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus." -- Prince Philip, in his Forward to "If I Were an Animal" - United Kingdom, Robin Clark Ltd., 1986.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called Israel a “savage power” and insisted his country’s nuclear program is peaceful in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
Raisi further said the US had trampled the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers. He also vowed to obtain justice for the US assassination of Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general killed by a drone strike in 2020.
“The region has not seen an occupying savage power such as the Zionist regime in its midst in the past,” Raisi said. “The killing of children and women are present in the dark report card of the Zionist regime. It has managed to form the biggest prison in the world in Gaza and the expansion of settlements and housing illegally on Palestinian territories.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a partial military mobilisation in Russia for the seven-month-old war in Ukraine, warning it is “not a bluff”.
In a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, Putin said he was defending Russian territories and that the West wanted to destroy the country. He said Russia would use all the means at its disposal to protect its territory.
Russians fearful of being conscripted by the Russian military's partial mobilisation, announced by President Vladimir Putin, have purchased all direct flights between Moscow and Istanbul for the next three days.
Turkish Airlines don’t have available seats for a direct flight until Sunday and the cheapest flight is 81,000 roubles ($1,340). At the time of publication, Pegasus, a low-cost Turkish airliner, only had one available flight, on Saturday, with a price of $1,599.
Russian national airline Aeroflot also has no available seats until Sunday, and the cheapest direct flight is $1,217. Indirect flights are routed via awkward destinations, and are going for $2,500.
All economy seats have gone, leaving only business class available for customers.
Russia has released U.S. citizens Alexander Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27, in a prisoner exchange brokered by Saudi Arabia, a family representative told Reuters on Wednesday.
The pair, both from Alabama, were captured in June while fighting in eastern Ukraine where they went to support Ukrainian troops resisting Russia's invasion.
Russia on Wednesday released 10 foreign prisoners of war captured in Ukraine, following a mediation by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi foreign ministry said.
Drueke and Huynh were believed to be the first U.S. citizens confirmed captured by Russia's forces in eastern Ukraine when they were reported missing in mid-June.
In the last few months, the U.S. Air Force has modified Ukrainian MiG-29s to carry Western anti-radar missiles, turned U.S. strategic bombers into cargo carriers, and transformed airlifters into long-range strike aircraft, officials said this week, as Russia and the changing Indo-Pacific security environment have forced the service to think outside the box.
The modifications to the Soviet-era MiG-29s, which were done by an undisclosed Air Force contractor, will allow Ukraine to wield U.S. AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles. It’s one way to get Kyiv Western-compatible capabilities without the policy decision on whether to provide Ukraine U.S. fighter aircraft, and the Air Force is interested in seeing what else can be done, said Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown Jr.
“These are the conversations I want to make sure we are having,” Brown said at the Air & Space Forces Association’s annual conference outside Washington, D.C.. “Whether we decide to do it or not, I think we actually need to have the conversations on some of these to see what options there are.”
NATO has brought in reserve troops assigned to its KFOR peacekeeping mission to Kosovo for training, one of the mission commanders said, as a deadline approaches in a spat between the Serbian minority and the government that may spark fresh unrest.
KFOR's regional commander east, Colonel Christopher Samulski, told reporters the reserves had been brought in "as part of normal contingency planning." Samulski spoke at Camp Bondsteel, one of KFOR's bases.
The U.S. officer did not give any concrete figures of how many reserve troops have arrived in Kosovo but spoke of a "battalion-size" unit. A battalion usually comprises between 500 and 1,000 troops.
The British government has ordered an update of its defense and security review published last year and hopes to complete a revised plan by the end of 2022, Prime Minister Liz Truss has announced.
Touted as the biggest defense review since the Cold War when it was unveiled in March 2021, Britain’s update of strategic aims and capabilities has been overtaken by events following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Europe is drawing up plans to hit Russia with fresh sanctions amid demands for a swift response, after Vladimir Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons in his war against Ukraine.
The Russian dictator announced a major escalation on Wednesday, including the mobilization of 300,000 Russian reservists and a warning that he will use “all resources” at his disposal to win. “This is not a bluff,” Putin said.
Condemnation among Western allies was immediate. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called Putin’s plan a sign of “desperation” while French President Emmanuel Macron said the Russian leader was making “a new mistake.” Speaking at the U.N. in New York, U.S. President Joe Biden said Putin's threats should "make your blood run cold."
Webmaster addition: Why not? I mean, look how well the last sanctions worked!
There are four possible scenarios for how everything could unfold:
1) Armenia remains in the CSTO and doesn’t receive US military equipment;
2) Armenian remains in the bloc but ends up receiving such aid;
3) Armenia announces its withdrawal from the bloc;
4) Armenia unilaterally hosts US forces and is kicked out of the CSTO.
US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Armenia and the very warm welcome that she received while in that country prompted speculation among some that America is attempting to “poach” this Russian ally from the CSTO mutual defense pact. Secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigoryan expressed dissatisfaction with the bloc’s response to Azerbaijan’s undeclared “special military operation” from earlier this month, declaring that his country’s expectations weren’t met despite having thought that an intervention similar to the one carried out in Kazakhstan in January could be in the cards.
Armenian Parliament Speaker Alen Simonyan, meanwhile, compared the CSTO to a gun that doesn’t fire and said that Azerbaijan therefore isn’t deterred by it.
He ominously noted that Armenia has drawn conclusions from the latest events, but just like Grigoryan, Simonyan also downplayed the possibility of withdrawing from the bloc. In response to Pelosi’s quip in the Armenian capital that her hosts “were disappointed they got fact-finders and not protection”, mission chief Col. Gen. Anatoly Sidorov stated that the organization “prioritizes political-diplomatic methods” and is “not in a rush to draw the saber.”
Carmen Obeso was pulling weeds at a strawberry field in Ventura County, California when she smelled something strange. Nearby she spotted a machine spraying pesticides; soon, her eyes were watering and she felt sick to her stomach. Obeso, a Latina farmworker, reported the incident to her crew leader and was evaluated at an on-site health care clinic. A doctor there reassured her that she had not been exposed to anything harmful, and the company expected her back at work the following Monday.
But Obeso didn’t feel better by the next week, nor in the weeks that followed. Her eyes continued to water and felt gritty, and her vision was changing. She knew something was wrong, but the on-site physician still insisted she was fine. Finally, Obeso went to see a different doctor, who confirmed that her eyes had been affected.
It has been two years since the spray incident, and Obeso said in a recent interview that her vision continues to worsen. She is almost blind in sunny conditions unless she wears shaded glasses, she said.
Image: Carmen Obeso stands in a strawberry field in Ventura County. Photo by Teresa Gomez.
Now, instead of working in the fields, she volunteers with farmworker advocacy groups, and is one of a growing number of Hispanic/Latino farmworkers pushing for improved working conditions, including protections for pesticides.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed his NATO-member country’s intention to become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), suggesting Ankara is seeking alternatives to its problematic ties with the West.
Erdogan, who made the remarks after attending last week’s SCO summit in Uzbekistan, was also quoted as saying by the Turkish media that the SCO’s 2023 meeting in India will be a venue to discuss this prospect further.
A deadly cholera outbreak in Syria has killed at least 39 people and infected hundreds more this past month, health officials said Wednesday, raising concerns about whether the war-torn country can put a stop to its spread.
The U.N. and Syria’s Health Ministry have said the source of the outbreak is believed to be linked to people drinking unsafe water from the Euphrates River and using contaminated water to irrigate crops, resulting in food contamination.
The outbreak hit government-held parts of the country as well as the areas in the northeast. Syria’s health services have suffered heavily from its yearslong war and much of the country is short on cleaning water supplies.
Former President Donald Trump is warning that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine could end up starting World War III.
The United States is providing nearly $200 million in additional humanitarian assistance through international organizations and non-government partners in Mexico and Central America, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday.
"Our assistance will support the humanitarian and protection needs of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, stateless persons, and vulnerable migrants in Mexico and Central America," Blinken said in a statement.
Washington has provided more than $594 million to the region since fiscal year 2018, he added.
New York Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday announced a new lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and his family.
A mother said in a now-viral TikTok that a Joann Fabrics employee made several derisive comments about her son while they were shopping for fabrics to make him a dress — prompting the company to fire the worker.
Piper Phillips, 37, a dressmaker of four years who also goes by @Palousedressco on TikTok, took her 7-year-old son to their local Joann Fabrics store in Moscow, Idaho, on September 7 to pick up materials for his dress.
Phillips said she wanted to cheer up her son after she received a call from his school's principal saying bullies taunted him for wearing a dress.
House Judiciary Committee Democrats voted to support NON-CITIZENS the right to vote in our elections.
They want open elections to match their open borders.
They TRULY hate this country.
The vote to insert this language that would prevent illegals from voting was shot down by Democrats in a 21 to 12 vote.
Democrats INTEND for illegals to vote in America.
NOT ONE Democrat voted with Republicans on the McClintock Amendment.
Let the whole world vote! Why not?
The historic fraud in the 2020 election wasn’t enough for these demons.
A well-known writer and advice columnist from New York who claims that former President Donald Trump raped her in the 1990s plans to file a sexual battery lawsuit under the state’s new Adult Survivors Act, CBS News reports.
In a court filing as part of her ongoing defamation lawsuit against Trump, E. Jean Carroll, now age 78 and living in Orange County, says she intends to sue the former president on Thursday, Nov. 24, when the new law takes effect.
The Adult Survivors Act provides a one-year window for adult victims of sexual abuse to file a claim, even if it occurred decades ago.Carroll made headlines in June 2019 when she detailed the allegations in a cover story for New York Magazine titled "Hideous Men," in which she alleged that Trump assaulted her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman.
The excerpt was taken from her book “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal.”
Webmaster addition: This woman looks like a relic of the 1990s 'male bash' feminism and clearly has an ax to grind!
Webmaster addition: The US provoked this war back in 2014 when the US government backed a coup against Yanukovitch!
The euro sank to a two-decade low of $0.9810 on Thursday.
The euro plummeted to a two decade low© Provided by DW - South Africa
It came after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the partial mobilization of reservists in an escalation of the war in Ukraine and after the Federal Reserve enforced another stark interest rate hike as a response to soaring inflation.
The Federal Reserve also forecast that more hikes were coming, which left many market experts surprised.
It was the first time since October 2002 that the euro to dollar ratio hit 0.9814.
The European Central Bank (ECB) had joined the push to fight inflation just recently, but has struggled to fully curb it.
A federal appeals court on Wednesday granted a request from the Justice Department to allow its investigators to regain access to the roughly 100 documents bearing classification markings that were seized by the FBI during its search at former President Donald Trump's Florida residence.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit agreed to put on hold a lower court's order that kept the subset of sensitive records off-limits for the Justice Department to use for investigative purposes, pending the review of the materials by an independent arbiter known as a special master.
In its 29-page opinion, the panel said it agreed with the Justice Department that the federal district court in South Florida likely erred in blocking investigators' use of the classified records and then requiring them to submit the sensitive documents to the outside arbiter for review.
While Biden's administration focuses on what causes migrants to leave their home countries and come to the U.S., it has failed to implement policies aimed at stopping the flow of illegal immigration over the southern border.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price, however, told Fox News on Wednesday that results cannot be achieved in short timelines – despite the nearly two-years of Biden's presidency.
Webmaster addition: Note how everyone avoids the word 'illegal' when discussing the problem.
A Malaysian defense contractor nicknamed 'Fat Leonard' who orchestrated one of the largest bribery scandals in US military history has been arrested in Venezuela after fleeing before his sentencing.
The international manhunt for Leonard Glenn Francis ended with his arrest by Venezuelan authorities Tuesday morning at the Caracas airport as he was about to board an airplane for another country, the U.S. Marshals Service said.
Interpol Venezuela Director General Carlos Garate Rondon said in a statement posted on Instagram that Francis came to Venezuela from Mexico. Rondon said he was headed to Russia.
The House on Wednesday passed a bill to reform the Electoral Count Act in ways Liz Cheney and other proponents say would clarify that the vice president's role in counting electoral votes is purely ceremonial, and is meant to head off future efforts to try to overturn election results.
It cleared the chamber on a mostly party-line vote, 229-203, with nine Republicans joining all Democrats to vote for it, even as Republican leaders 'whipped' against the bill.
'This bill will prevent Congress from illegally choosing the president itself,' said Cheney (R-Wyo.), who coauthored the bill with Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), who like Cheney sits on the House January 6th Committee.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a “partial mobilization” calling up 300,000 reservists effective September 21. He made clear that he no longer sees the Ukraine intervention as a limited “special military operation” but as a fight against “the entire military machine of the collective West.”
- “In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff,” Putin said in a televised address.
- The four partially Russian-occupied oblasts (regions) of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson will hold referenda on accession to Russia starting on Friday.
- Collective Western reaction was derision – “sign of failure,” said UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace; “panic,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte; “sign of weakness, sign of Russian failure,” said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken; “act of desperation,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz – topping all.
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia will be unable to win a nuclear war and would face unprecedented consequences if it used nuclear weapons.
- After fast and substantial gains last week, the Ukrainian offensive in the East/Center theater over the past three days has made minimal progress and lost momentum. The offensive in the South announced with fanfare (as a feint?) in late August has not taken off.
The move to grant George Floyd a posthumous pardon was denied by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Floyd’s lawyer was looking for a pardon for a drug conviction that has sat on his record since 2004. The arrest was made by a now-indicted ex-Houston police officer, Gerald Goines, who is under investigation, following a separate deadly drug raid that saw one Dennis Tuttle, 59, and his wife, Rhogena, killed.
In 2004, Floyd was arrested after selling $10 worth of crack in a police sting in which Goines was undercover. According to Allison Mathis, an attorney with the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, Floyd “was set up by a corrupt police officer intent on securing arrests rather than pursuing justice.”
The Biden Administration is on a path to breaking as many records as possible. There are record housing costs. They’ve managed to amaze us with inflation rates. However, this next record isn’t one that surprised us. It’s one they’ve managed to break!
Although Kamala Harris continues to tout that the border is safe, they have officially reached over 2 million migrant encounters this fiscal year. According to Red State, “Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) announced Monday that there were 199,976 migrant encounters in July, taking the total for this fiscal year to 1.946 million encounters.
But CBP sources tell Fox that since then, the number has surpassed the two million mark, a previously unhit milestone. 2021, the previous record-setting year, saw more than 1.7 million encounters. The reality is dire, and it continues to worsen.”
The magical world of Disney isn’t as magical anymore. At least that’s what 68.3% of Disney enthusiasts say because of rising costs, according to a new study conducted by the gambling website Time2play. The New York Post reported most survey respondents said a Disney World vacation is too pricey for their families and the theme park has “lost its magic.”
In 1971, a ticket to Disney’s Magic Kingdom cost $3.50. Today’s price should be around $26.50, adjusting for inflation. Instead, entry into one park is between $109 and $159.
The survey found that 50% postponed a trip to Disney due to soaring ticket prices in recent years. Some respondents still hope to go but expect to pay around 35.7% more than previous visits. “Out of reach” is how 92% of respondents felt about whether families could afford current Disney prices.
Prices have increased substantially at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and Disney World in
Orlando, Florida. Over the past 50 years, theme parks have increased their prices by 3,871%, according to the data tracking firm SJ Data Visualizations.
The Democrats are fiercely working to overhaul elections ahead of the midterms.