As we noted in June, Europe seized a record amount of cocaine in 2020 - in which Belgium saw the greatest amount intercepted of any country, followed by The Netherlands, and Spain.
This year, Belgian customs agents have seized so much blow - particularly at the Antwerp port - that it's overloading their incinerators, according to local outlet VRT News.
Last year, 90 tonnes of cocaine were seized at the port of Antwerp alone, a figure which is likely to surpass 100 tonnes before the end of 2022.
Drugs seized by Belgian officials are destroyed in specially licensed incinerators which are kept at undisclosed locations to thwart criminals seeking to stage a raid at one of the sites.
The Federal Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Flemish liberal) told VRT News that drugs that are seized are closely monitored “The storage of the batches of cocaine seized is the responsibility of the customs service. These batches are of course closely monitored by the police, customs and other services. They do everything necessary to limit the security risk. However, there has been something of a bottleneck as there have been so many seizures and also because just one incinerator was in use. Moreover, you cannot burn these batches in bulk, in one go, in large quantities as this would cause issues with the filters at the incineration plant." -VRT
Webmaster addition: Would love to be downwind of that! :)
Jack Smith, who on Nov. 18 was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to be special counsel in two probes involving former president Donald Trump, is a veteran prosecutor with the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Most recently, Smith was the chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague responsible for investigating and adjudicating war crimes in Kosovo. Prior to the Hague, he was the vice president of litigation at HCA Healthcare, one of the largest health providers in the United States.
In a statement following Garland’s announcement, Smith said he intends to conduct the investigations and any prosecutions that may arise from them “independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice.”
“The pace of the investigations will not pause or flag under my watch. I will exercise independent judgement and will move the investigations forward expeditiously and thoroughly to whatever outcome the facts and the law dictate,” Smith said.
European refiners now seem to have more crude oil than they need - with the early panic about Russia’s dwindling oil exports - and the world’s subsequent oil shortage - proving to be overblown.
Crude oil traders have pointed to Europe’s ability to source crude oil from Latin America, the Middle East, and the United States as the main cause for European refiners breathing a sigh of relief.
Asia, too, has scooped up less crude oil than analysts were predicting, thanks to China’s never-ending battle to obtain the elusive zero-covid goal.
Europe’s imports of Latin American crude have averaged 313,000 bpd so far this year, up from 132,000 Refinitiv Eikon data shows. In July, the average was well above that, at 600,000 bpd. From the United States, Europe has taken 1.1 million bpd on average this year, compared with just 800,000 bpd last year. Europe’s Iraqi oil imports are 20% higher from July-November compared to the same period last year.
The supply overages are weighing on prices. Brent prices have slumped nearly $9 per barrel since this time last week. One European crude oil trader told Reuters that European refiners “seem to have overbought in November and December, probably because of fears around Urals.” In addition to these fears causing panic purchases, weeks-long strikes at French refineries and a rash of refinery maintenance also curbed the call for crude oil in Europe as runs slowed.
A simple crypto rule to live by: any token or exchange that has a CEO, identifiable individual or development team associated with it is not real crypto; it's the antithesis of crypto.
This substack has been warning for quite some time that all of these centralized exchanges are nothing more than grifting operations, IRS reporting nodes and CIA black ops money laundering facilitators.
I have been warning since around 2019 that Tether is the single most egregious crypto scam out there. It is far worse than FTX, with Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) and his team of scammers having had direct ties with Tether. The sordid cadre of snake oil salesmen behind Tether makes SBF look like an ethical player.
Tether is made possible by the CIA, and in particular the Democratic party of the illegitimate Federal government that has been laundering money to Ukraine using both FTX and Tether.
A new lawsuit filed by New Civil Liberties Alliance, a non-profit founded to "protect constitutional freedoms from violations by the Administrative State," alleges that the Massachusetts Public Health Department secretly installed MassNotify, a spyware app, on residents' Android devices as a measure to 'fight Covid.'
An attorney for the plaintiffs, Peggy Little, said, "This 'android attack,' deliberately designed to override the constitutional and legal rights of citizens to be free from government intrusions upon their privacy without their consent, reads like dystopian science fiction—and must be swiftly invalidated by the court,' Just the News reports.
The lawsuit alleges the Massachusetts Public Health Department worked with Google, starting in June 2021, to install the software surreptitiously on over one million Android phones. MassNotify can only be found through the devices' "settings" function and then navigating to "view all apps" and is not readily visible on the screen.
According to the class-action suit, the software was installed without search warrants and the Massachusetts Public Health Department would reinstall it if a user found it and deleted it.
"MassNotify is a voluntary service and users can opt in or out at any time. MassNotify is not automatically turned on and will not be enabled unless you explicitly choose to opt in," according to the Massachusetts Public Health Department's website.
Swedish investigators announced Friday the conclusion of their formal investigation into the Nord Stream pipeline blasts on September 26. To nobody's surprise, the investigation has concluded the natural gas leaks which rocked European energy markets and resulted in tit-for-tat accusations between Moscow and the West was the result of "gross sabotage".
While not naming a culprit, the Swedish final report of this initial stage of the inquiry uncovered evidence of "foreign objects" placed on the pipelines.
Overflight of sabotage site, via Al Jazeera stillframe.
"During analyzes carried out, residues of explosives have been identified on several of the foreign objects seized," the report said.
The Swedish Prosecution Authority's statement said, "In the crime scene investigations carried out on site in the Baltic Sea, the area and the extensive damage to the gas lines as a result of the detonations have been extensively documented."
Russia has denied responsibility, while at the same time pointing the finger at Washington or its allies. Swedish investigators say they will now work toward establishing who was behind the sabotage:
"The advanced analysis work is still in progress – the aim is to draw more definitive conclusions about the Nord Stream incidents,"the agency said."The investigation is extensive and complex and will eventually show whether anyone can be suspected of, and later prosecuted for this."
A series of revealing texts and tweets by Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced CEO of FTX, the once high-flying but now belly-up crypto exchange, had the following to say about his image as a do-gooder: it is a “dumb game we woke westerners play where we say all the right shibboleths and so everyone likes us.”
Very interesting. He had the whole game going: a vegan worried about climate change, supports every manner of justice (racial, social, environmental) except that which is coming for him, and shells out millions to worthy charities associated with the left. He also bought plenty of access and protection in D.C., enough to make his shady company the toast of the town.
As part of the mix, there is this thing called pandemic planning.
That’s right: there were deep connections between FTX and Covid that have been cultivated for two years. Let’s have a look.
Earlier this year, the New York Times trumpeted a study that showed no benefit at all to the use of Ivermectin. It was supposed to be definitive. The study was funded by FTX. Why? Why was a crypto exchange so interested in the debunking of repurposed drugs in order to drive governments and people into the use of patented pharmaceuticals, even those like Remdesivir that didn’t actually work? Inquiring minds would like to know.
Ronna Romney McDaniel is the current Chair of the Republican National Committee. McDaniel just blew another huge victory for the Republican party and the country. Yet, the party elites want to keep her as chairwoman.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Friday announced that Twitter’s new policy is “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach,” which is an idiotic meme that’s been repeated ad nauseam by Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
“New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach,” Musk said. “Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter. You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet.”
“Note, this applies just to the individual tweet, not the whole account,” he added.
You don’t have freedom of speech if you’re not allowed to speak in the public square.
Shadow banning and “deboosting” speech deemed “hate” is the equivalent of locking someone trying to speak out at a town square in a soundproof box and then telling them they have “free speech” within the box.
Just because “speech” and “reach” rhyme does not make it sound logic.
Webmaster addition. This author is correct. Freedom of speech is an absolute. What Musk has apparently been coerced to do is permitted speech. Frankly, being one of the many people who cheered on Musk's acquisition of Twitter, I am feeling great disappointment. We are seeing just how powerful the deep state has become and how desperate they have become to control your minds.
The dates were announced by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, who suggested Friday that the talks could lead to higher-level negotiations with the US. The State Department said earlier in November that the US and Russia had agreed to hold talks under the bilateral consultative commission (BCC), an implementation body established by the New START.
The New START treaty puts limits on the deployment of warheads, missiles, and bombers and includes an inspection regime. But according to the State Department, the inspections were paused in March 2020 due to Covid-19 and haven’t been resumed since.
Footage captured by a thermal drone shows an army of illegal migrants entering the U.S. at Eagle Pass, Texas, yesterday with the reporter who captured the footage noting that it happens “every morning”.
The video shows scores of migrants lined up ready to cross into the U.S. under cover of darkness.
Fox News reporter Bill Melugin tweeted out the footage Thursday, noting that there have been over 1,400 crossings in the Del Rio sector alone in the past 24 hours, and close to seventy thousand since the beginning of last month.
Ankara blamed the Kurdish militant group PKK for the Istanbul bombing, which killed six people and wounded at least 81. For their part, the PKK and its affiliates have denied any role in the attack.
Dozens of people were reported killed in Turkey’s strikes in Syria, although there are conflicting reports about the casualties. The US-backed Kurdish-led SDF reported one of its fighters was killed along with 13 civilians.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) had a conflicting report that said 14 militants were killed in airstrikes in SDF-controlled areas. The SOHR is also reporting that 12 Syrian government soldiers were killed by Turkish airstrikes in other areas, but that number isn’t confirmed.
China has said it is “open” to a defence ministers’ meeting with the US at a regional security forum, in another apparent signal that Beijing wants to revive lines of communication after a spike in tensions.
Chinese Defence Minster Wei Fenghe and his US counterpart Lloyd Austin will both be in Cambodia for the five-day Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), where China and the US are “dialogue partners”.
Asked whether a meeting might take place between the two, a Chinese defence ministry spokesman said: “China is active and open to exchanges with the US during the [ADMM-Plus], and relevant departments of the two sides are maintaining communication and coordination on this.”
In late-July 1956, three months before the Suez Crisis, British Prime Minister Anthony Eden wrote a letter to U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower. At this stage it had become clear that Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser wanted to seize the Suez Canal, a key global shipping route and at that time still under the control of the British. “We cannot afford to allow Nasser to seize control of the canal,” Eden wrote, “If we take a firm stand over this now, we shall have the support of all the maritime powers. If we do not, our influence and yours throughout the Middle East will, we are convinced, be irretrievably undermined.”
The situation in the South China Sea today is very different to the situation in Egypt in the summer of 1956. The British at the time could be confident that Nasser was indeed moving to nationalize the Suez Canal. Today, despite much noise emanating from Washington, it is by no means clear that the Chinese have any intention of seizing the island of Taiwan with military force. Yet one can imagine that letters very similar to the one written by Eden are being written in Washington and read in capitals all over the world.
In 1956 the British sensed, correctly, that if they fought for the Suez Canal and lost this would precipitate a sharp decline in British influence in the world. Today America senses something very similar with respect to Taiwan. This feeling has built up in Washington because of what can only be described as the dismal failure of U.S. foreign policy strategy in Europe. This failure has become manifest in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Biden administration said on Thursday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should have immunity in a lawsuit filed against him in the US over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
In a court filing made by Department of Justice lawyers late on Thursday at the request of the US State Department, the crown prince’s recently appointed role as prime minister was cited as grounds for immunity.
“The State Department recognises and allows the immunity of Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman as a sitting head of government of a foreign state,” the court filing reads.
It added that in making the determination, the State Department “takes no view on the merits of the present suit and reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of the heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi”.
Uncle Sam now has nuclear weapons held to humanity’s head. Washington’s recently released Nuclear Posture Review clarified that launching nuclear weapons in a first strike is indeed on the table, to “achieve U.S. objectives if deterrence fails.” This came after President Joe Biden acknowledged that his administration’s proxy war in Ukraine has brought humanity closer to nuclear “Armageddon” than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
This month, the Pentagon announced it is setting up a new command, based in Germany, overseeing the training and equipping of Ukraine’s military during its fight with Russia. The command is named Security Assistance Group-Ukraine, or SAG-U. TheNew York Times reported the command will give the proxy war a “formal structure…roughly modeled on U.S. train-and-assist efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past two decades.” The American people may have largely rejected the “forever wars” of the last twenty years, but the American Empire is eager to launch “long term” conflicts with Russia and China.
A possible reason for the decision to establish this new command may be to obscure the level of funding going to the proxy war, making it more difficult for American civilians and journalists to discern where the money comes from and just how much is being spent.
The UNICEF in a report expressed concerns over the humanitarian, climate and economic challenges in Afghanistan, saying that 13.1 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance in the country.
According to UNICEF: "24.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. 13.1 million children in need of humanitarian assistance. 1.1 million severely acutely malnourished children under the age of five years expected to need SAM treatment."
UNICEF said that 79 percent of households have reported that they do not have sufficient water for their daily needs, including for drinking, cooking or bathing.
“My brother and I are working. We go to school and then work half of the day,” said Musa, a child laborer.
“I collect bottles of Pepsi every day and then take bread home,” said Hussien, 6.
“I don’t have heating materials. The price of everything is spiking,” said a resident of Kabul.
The Ministry of Economy (MoE) said that there is a need for investment in infrastructural projects in order to alleviate economic challenges.
Fatima, 8, is an orphan, who is selling bread on a street in capital city of Kabul. Fatima is in the second grade but she sees no clear future for herself, as the schools beyond grade six remained closed for female students.
“The money which I earn, I give it to my mother. As much as I work, I give it to my mother to bring us food,” Fatima said.
Many children are engaged in work and are deprived of education due to poverty that is rising across the country of around 40 million population.
“We should be helped so we stop being on the street and instead learn something,” said Arash, a child laborer.
“There is no work. Our economic condition is also not good, and thus I left the school,” said Sefatullah, a child laborer.
Commanders and soldiers within an elite unit stationed in the Jenin area of the West Bank have independently distributed leaflets over the last several days threatening to shoot Palestinians who cross the separation barrier.
Palestinian residents were warned that if they made "any mistake," the soldiers would harm them. The IDF renounced the act, calling it an "error."
A letter bearing the unit's insignia posted near the security fence reads in Arabic: "Beware! The special forces unit belonging to Golani has arrived in the area. If you cross the fence, fire will be opened directly at you. We advise you not to test our patience and abilities, otherwise you will regret it. Our special systems and our fighters follow you and see you throughout the day! We promise you that we will hurt you and will hold you accountable if you make any mistake!"
A North Carolina trucker has waged legal war against the entire police department of Phoenix, Arizona - after officers seized $39,500 in cash from him at a local airport alleging it was drug money.
The suit, filed in April by Triple J Trucking owner Jerry Johnson, demands the sum returned in full for what he slammed as 'false accusations' by the force, who seized the money during an August 2020 stop at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Johnson, the owner and operator of his Charlotte-based business, alleges that seizure was unjust, saying he had saved the money to purchase a new semi-truck.
After taking a public poll that drew over 15 million voters in 24 hours, Twitter owner Elon Musk decided, based on popular demand, to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s suspended Twitter account.
Invoking the Latin phrase “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” which translates to “the voice of the people is the voice of God,” Musk announced less than 30 minutes after the poll officially ended that the 45th president’s account would be brought back online.
When Trump’s Twitter account reappeared, all of his previous tweets, which stopped in January 2021 when he was initially suspended, became visible. Something interesting began happening within the comment sections of several of his older tweets, especially the most recent or “newest” tweet on his Twitter feed.
Addressing Jewish Republicans on Saturday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the West Bank was “not occupied territory” but rather a disputed area that is a historical homeland to Jews, as he talked up his Israel bona fides amid mounting challenges to Donald Trump’s control of the party.
DeSantis was a star attraction at this weekend’s Republican Jewish Coalition conference in Las Vegas, where he delivered a 25-minute speech on Saturday night while Trump was relegated to a less desirable timeslot and only appeared via video.
The popular Florida governor told the crowd about a trade mission he’d led to Israel, “the biggest trade mission Florida’s ever done.”
Webmaster addition: Ron? When was the last time you visited there?
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Sunday voiced agreement with the Biden administration’s decision to grant sovereign immunity to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, shielding the autocrat from a lawsuit over the 2018 killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
“What the administration has touted this week in granting sovereign immunity to Mohammed bin Salman is in keeping with the practice of custom of lawsuits involving foreign heads of state,” Cotton told “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream. “It would have been a major break if those customs did not grant that kind of immunity.”
Saudi Arabia has executed twice as many people in 2022 as it did last year, according to an AFP tally, highlighting a rise in capital punishment that is condemned by rights groups.
The latest execution was of a Jordanian national convicted of smuggling amphetamine tablets, the official Saudi Press Agency announced late Thursday.
Webmaster addition: Well, that's one way to deal with drug smugglers! I note that thousands of Americans are dying from smuggled Fentanyl and Biden does nothing, but after any shooting, Biden demands a gun ban for law-abiding Americans!