"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their Country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." -- Thomas Paine December 23, 1776
Iraq's ministry of education allegedly plans to shut down all its schools for the Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs) north of the country, upsetting pupils and their families as most of the Arab families cannot return to their original places due to security reasons.
Thousands of Iraqi families, mostly Sunnis, were displaced to the Kurdistan region provinces after the Islamic State(IS) took over nearly a third of Iraq's territories in 2014. Although Iraq announced the defeat of IS in 2017, the IDPs are unwilling to return to their original places due mainly to the lack of basic public services and concerns over being targeted by the Iran-backed Shia militias.
Turkey’s foreign minister on Tuesday again threatened to “take action” against Greece if it continues to arm its Aegean islands which Ankara says should remain demilitarized in line with international treaties.
Mevlut Cavusoglu’s comments follow reports of military exercises by Greece on the Aegean islands of Rhodes and Lesbos. Turkish officials insist the deployment of soldiers or weapons on some islands close to its coast are in violation of their nonmilitary status according to international law.
Athens says it needs to defend the islands against a potential attack from Turkey. It notes that Turkey has a sizeable military force on the western Turkish coast just across form the islands.
Speaking during a joint news conference with his Romanian counterpart, Cavusoglu said continued violation of the treaties would open their sovereignty up to debate and force Turkey to defends its rights.
Jordanian authorities arrested at least 30 teachers and activists on Monday, in addition to Sufyan Tell, a member of the country's political opposition.
The activists were arrested by security forces on their way to a protest in front of the Ministry of Education. Most of those detainees were released a few hours after their arrest, Jamal Jeet, a Jordanian lawyer familiar with the file, told The New Arab.
Teachers and activists were attempting to protest the forced retirement of teachers and call for their reinstatement, as well as for the re-opening of the Jordanian teacher's syndicate.
Afghan girls will be allowed to take their high school graduation exams this week, an official and documents from the Taliban government indicated Tuesday — even though they have been banned from classrooms since the former insurgents took over the country last year.
According to two documents from the Taliban ministry of education, obtained by The Associated Press, the decision applies to 31 out of Afghanistan's 34 provinces where the winter school break starts in late December.
Ehsanullah Kitab, head of the Kabul education department, said the exams would take place on Wednesday. He provided no other details and it was not clear how many teenage girls would be able to take the exam.
On Monday, the U.S. Navy announced that it will lower its entrance test standards, the latest in a series of quiet changes intended to address hiring challenges.
About 80 percent of Americans of prime recruiting age are ineligible for military service due to obesity, criminal records and other obstacles, and the remainder have many non-military options to choose from in a robust job market. This year, the Navy needs to convince about 38,000 eligible Americans to enlist, and it is making some headline-grabbing changes in order to do it.
In November, the service raised the maximum enlistment age from 39 to 41, the statutory limit. Effective Monday, it has also told recruiters that it will accept candidates who score well below average on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), the standard test administered in all U.S. military recruiting.
For candidates with a high school diploma, the Navy's minimum allowable performance on the AFQT is now set at the 10th percentile, lower than 90 percent of all test results. This is the statutory minimum, and it is below historical standards for the armed forces. Previously, the Navy drew the line at the 30th percentile.
Congress is poised to use the annual defense policy bill to eliminate the Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate — a major concession by President Biden’s Democratic allies that helps clear the way to passing the sweeping package before year’s end.
In a compromise with Republicans, House Democrats are allowing language into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that repeals the coronavirus vaccine mandate for U.S. service members a year after it was enacted, House Armed Services Committee ranking member Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) confirmed to The Hill Tuesday.
The attacks on Monday hit targets hundreds of miles inside Russia, the deepest Ukrainian drone strikes in Russian territory since the February 24 invasion. Later on Monday, Russia launched another massive missile barrage across Ukraine, targeting energy infrastructure.
An international vaccine passport, digital identity, a social credit system and a central bank digital currency (CBDC) form a digital control system that will lock down the population in perpetuity
Facial recognition is an essential part of the control structure, as it’s the “password” to your digital identity.
By the end of 2022, there will be 1 billion data collecting surveillance cameras in the world, all connected to the internet and artificial intelligence (AI). Cameras and audio recording devices in cell phones, automobiles and smart appliances also collect and share data.
All these data are then used to give each person an individual score, based on their behavior, expression and interaction with the world. Ultimately, your social credit score, will dictate what you can and cannot do, what you can buy and where you can go.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is an absolutely crucial component, without which the control system cannot work. The easiest way to push against this system is to starve AI of data by refusing to use technologies that collect and share your personal data.
Here’s the mainstream narrative: The status of the war in Ukraine is best understood as a competition between the narrative and reality.
The narrative consists of what you hear from mainstream media, the White House, the Pentagon and official sources in the U.K., France, Germany and both EU and NATO headquarters in Brussels.
The reality consists of what’s actually going on based on the best available sources. Let’s consider the narrative first.
According to the White House, EU and NATO, things are going relatively well for Ukraine. The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have advanced in eastern Ukraine along a line that runs parallel to the Russian fortified lines between Donetsk and Luhansk.
Ukraine has also reoccupied the regional capital of Kherson, which lies strategically on the Dnieper River, and is Kyiv’s main access to the Black Sea and international trade.
Based on these advances, the narrative says that Russia is in retreat, Russian troops are demoralized, Putin is in jeopardy of being replaced and complete victory for Ukraine is just a matter of time.
The narrative is then used as a basis for increased financial aid from the United States (over $60 billion and growing) and increased weapons shipments from NATO members. President Zelenskyy touts these accomplishments in his customary green T-shirt on video presentations to the U.N., G20 and other international audiences.
Here’s the reality…
The actual situation on the battlefield is almost completely at odds with the narrative. Ukraine did make advances in the east, but they were against lightly defended Russian positions on or near open terrain.
The Russians organized an orderly retreat to fortified lines and let the Ukrainians have the open land. Russia withdrew from Kherson because they regarded it as a nonstrategic salient.
President Joe Biden is threatening the returns of 401(k) savings accounts, risking millions of workers’ comfortable retirements.
If you put money into a 401(k), beware. Until now, the law always required fund managers entrusted with your savings to invest the money where it’s expected to get the top profit for you. Period. But late last month, Biden’s Labor Department announced a rule change that goes into effect at the end of January. It will allow fund managers to invest your money in the stocks of companies that favor left-wing policies, even if they earn a lower return.
It’s legalized theft. The future earnings on your retirement nest egg are being sacrificed to advance a woke agenda.
A lower return means you’ll have to work more years before retiring or start putting more into your 401(k) — or settle for a lesser standard of living in the final years of your life.
The secretary of the United Kingdom’s Home Office, which regulates immigration, recently caused a scandal by referring to the nonstop immigration of mostly Muslim migrants as an “invasion.” On Oct. 30, 2022, Suella Braverman said:
The British people deserve to know which party is serious about stopping the invasion on our southern coast and which party is not… Some 40,000 people have arrived on the south coast this year alone, many of them facilitated by criminal gangs, some of them actual members of criminal gangs. So let’s stop pretending that they are all refugees in distress: the whole country knows that that is not true…. I’m utterly serious about ending the scourge of illegal migration and I am determined to do whatever it takes to break the criminal gangs and fix our hopelessly lax asylum system…
Needless to say, such frank assertions “sparked an instant backlash from all sectors of the globalist establishment in Britain, from the legacy media to politicians in both the Labour Party and the Conservatives.”
“Goblin mode” has been chosen by the public as the 2022 Oxford word of the year. The term, which refers to “a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations”, has become the first word of the year to have been decided by public vote.
Given a choice of three words (or phrases/hashtags – “word” is defined fairly loosely), narrowed down by lexicographers from Oxford University Press (OUP), more than 340,000 English speakers around the world cast their vote.
“Metaverse” was the second choice, followed by “#IStandWith”. Goblin mode was a landslide victory: it was selected by 318,956 people, making up 93%of the overall vote.
The campaign of Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has issued a blistering response after being rebuked by a federal judge appointed by then-President Barack Obama, who also imposed a fine after filing an election-related lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge John Tuchi of the District of Arizona rejected a Lake lawsuit earlier this year and then moved to fine her attorneys and those of Republican Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem last week.
“Imposing sanctions, in this case, is not to ignore the importance of putting in place procedures to ensure that our elections are secure and reliable,” Tuchi wrote in his order. “It is to make clear that the Court will not condone litigants ignoring the steps that Arizona has already taken toward this end and furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation about, and distrust in, the democratic process.
“It is to send a message to those who might file similarly baseless suits in the future,” Tuchi’s order noted further.
FTX founder and former chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried and Caroline Ellison, head of its now-defunct trading affiliate, have tapped defense attorneys as U.S. authorities probe the crypto exchange's collapse, according to a spokesperson for Bankman-Fried and a source familiar with Ellison's selection.
Bankman-Fried has retained Mark S. Cohen, of Cohen & Gresser, Bankman-Fried's spokesperson Mark Botnick said in an emailed statement. Cohen could not be reached for comment.
Ellison, who ran trading firm Alameda Research, has hired Washington-based law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr to represent her, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. Neither Ellison nor spokespeople for the firm responded to requests for comment.
Regulators around the globe, including in the Bahamas where FTX is based and in the United States, are investigating the role of FTX's top executives including Bankman-Fried in the firm's stunning collapse, Reuters has previously reported. The crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy last month after a liquidity crisis that saw at least $1 billion of customer funds vanish.
The popular American Girl doll brand is facing backlash for pushing kids into changing their gender in a recent book marketed to young girls.
The recently released book, titled A Smart Girl's Guide: Body Image, contains lines that give advice to prepubescents on how to change their gender - seemingly without their guardians' blessing.
Parents have since based the book's contents as 'deceptive and dangerous,' citing the messages it looks to sending to its impressionable demographic.
The 96-page handbook - billed as a 'guide' - is marketed to girls aged 3 to 12, and instructs them on how to make permanent changes to their bodies, and to embrace that they may be unhappy in the bodies they were born with.
Police have today raided an alleged far-right German terror group led by a man claiming descent from an ancient royal line accused of plotting to overthrow the government and install him as monarch.
Prince Heinrich XIII, 71 and thought to belong to the House of Reuss, was named among 25 people arrested after police raided 130 locations including a palace in the state of Thuringia - the ancestral seat of the family.
Prince Heinrich XIV Reuss of Greiz, current head of the House of Reuss-Greiz, denounced his relative after the raids - branding him a 'confused old man' who left the family 14 years ago and has not been in contact since.
San Francisco supervisors voted Tuesday to put the brakes on a controversial policy that would have let police use robots for deadly force.
It's a stunning U-Turn just days after their approval of the plan generated fierce pushback and warnings about the militarization and automation of policing.
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to explicitly ban the use of robots in such a fashion for now. But they sent the issue back to a committee for further discussion and could vote in the future to let police use robots in a lethal manner in limited cases.
Anyone who ever thought that the compassionate response to extreme human suffering is a society that helps people find permanent release from their pain may want to look at some of the horror stories coming out of Canada recently.
To be clear, euthanasia laws in the US are nothing like those of its neighbor to the north. But American acceptance of the practice has been growing for decades despite warnings that legalized suicide is a slippery slope toward a calamitous debasement of human life.
Canada, a country that prides itself on its open-mindedness and tolerance, has the most permissive rules on euthanasia in the world – and the results have been frankly terrifying.
California made news last week when Governor Gavin Newsom’s reparations committee called for giving descendants of slaves (meaning all black people in their view) $223,000 each due to “housing discrimination.” Now some Democrats in New York want to follow California’s example.