The United States Air Force is claiming that China is building up its military to prepare for a potential war with the U.S., and he said America must optimize its forces to counter the rising threat. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall on Monday warned that the U.S. must be ready for a “kind of war we have no modern experience with,” though he stressed, “war is not inevitable.”
Kendall said it was vital for the U.S. to prepare for war because China is developing its forces at a rapid pace. China has also created two new military branches: a force designed to counter aircraft carriers, airfields, and other critical assets, and a strategic support service that works to achieve information dominance in the space and cyber domains. The Air Force secretary said, “China has been reoptimizing its forces for great power competition and to prevail against the U.S. in the Western Pacific for over 20 years.”
Recent comments from a wealthy Australian property developer named Tim Gurner are going viral on social media right now for the unusual frankness with which he discusses the inherent conflicts of interest between the working class and employers, saying workers who’ve grown lazy and arrogant during Covid need to experience economic pain in the form of unemployment to rein them in and put them in their place.
“You know, tradies [Australian slang for tradesmen] have definitely pulled back on productivity,” Gurner said. “They have been paid a lot to do not too much in the last few years. And we need to see that change. I think the problem that we’ve had is that we have people who decided they didn’t really want to work so much anymore through Covid.”
President Biden's administration is facing criticism for planning to send a letter to major news organizations, including CNN, the New York Times, and Fox News, urging them to increase their scrutiny of House Republicans.
The letter specifically targets the impeachment inquiry launched by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy into President Biden's alleged involvement in his son Hunter Biden's foreign business deals. McCarthy claims that President Biden lied to the American people about his knowledge of his family's foreign business dealings and alleges a culture of corruption. However, the White House's attempt to influence news organizations' editorial strategies has raised concerns about government interference in the media.
Journalist Matthew Keys expressed his disapproval of the White House's actions, stating that the government should not be encouraging or influencing newsrooms' editorial strategies. He also pointed out that this move by the Biden administration reflects a lack of confidence in the news media, which is consistent with public sentiment in recent years.
On Wednesday, journalist Julie Kelly, who has made a name for herself covering January 6th and the various trials associated with the participants from that day, released never-before-seen footage showing police officers leaving entrances unguarded and then opening from the inside.
"UNSEEN FOOTAGE: DC cops retreat from position on upper west terrace around 2:30 on January 6. They had been attacking the crowd with gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets for over an hour," Kelly wrote on X. "They left that door unprotected. Moments later, it was opened from inside…"
"At least 300 individuals entered that doorway after police left the scene," she explained.
"Inside, several Capitol police officers stood by as people streamed into the building," Kelly reported. "They did not try to shut and lock the door or instruct people to leave. (Highlighted person is Ethan Nordean, sentenced to 18 years)."
Often, after the demise of political figures, their troubling histories are whitewashed in the name of respecting their memories and the feelings of their families. The passing of former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Wednesday has been no exception.
Western media responded to the news of her death with a plethora of obituaries eulogising her achievements. Countless statements have been released, by governments, institutions and public figures, celebrating the “trailblazing” politician for being the first woman to hold the office of Secretary of State and for receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Former President Bill Clinton, under whom Albright served as America’s top diplomat, referred to her as “a passionate force for freedom, democracy, and human rights”. President Joe Biden, meanwhile, proclaimed she “was always a force for goodness, grace, and decency – and for freedom”.
For me as an Iraqi, however, the memory of Albright will forever be tainted by the stringent sanctions she helped place on my country at a time when it was already devastated by years of war. Millions of innocent Iraqis suffered terribly and hundreds of thousands died because of the sanctions which, in the end, achieved almost none of Washington’s policy objectives. As we remember Albright’s life and achievements, we must also remember those innocent Iraqi lives lost because of her policy decisions.
The most prominent memory of Albright that I have in my mind is from an interview she gave to CBS 60 Minutes in 1996.
In that now-iconic interview, veteran journalist Lesley Stahl questioned Albright – then the US ambassador to the United Nations – on the catastrophic effect the rigorous US sanctions imposed after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait had on the Iraqi population.
“We have heard that half a million [Iraqi] children have died. I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima,” asked Stahl, “And, you know, is the price worth it?”
“I think that is a very hard choice,” Albright answered, “but the price, we think, the price is worth it.”
With this response, Albright showed that she sees innocent Iraqi children as nothing more than disposable fodder in a conflict between the US administration and the Iraqi leadership.
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has urged the EU to acknowledge that Türkiye does not stand a chance of ever becoming a member of the bloc. He emphasized the need to discontinue the stagnant accession process while suggesting that Brussels explores alternative avenues to deepen its relationship with Ankara.
In an interview with Germany’s Die Welt newspaper published on Tuesday, Nehammer said: “We are for further convergence between Ankara and Brussels, but Türkiye’s full membership in the EU is not imaginable for us.”
“It is important that we treat each other honestly, and that also means to formally end the accession negotiations that have been frozen for years and to develop a new concept for neighborly cooperation,” the head of government clarified. The Austrian chancellor emphasized that Ankara remains an essential partner of the EU.
The instant news arrived on planet Earth that Russia’s Luna 25 spacecraft had crashed into the moon, and 50,000 Western journalists began overheating their keyboards. Any Russian mishap causes a feeding frenzy at Russophobia propaganda mission control, somewhere deep under the White House. And now, Art Technica has proclaimed Russian President Vladimir Putin “a disastrous space leader.” Meanwhile, Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale (Bullwinkle and Rocky’s arch enemies) are disheartened their Fearless Leader might be slipping.
When I read the headline “The failure of Luna 25 cements Putin’s role as a disastrous space leader,” a vision came over me. For an instant, I saw Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov and President Putin chuckling a repeating one after the other Kosmicheskiy lider (Space leader). Just when all 8 billion of us knew things couldn’t get nuttier, Russia’s leader is no good in space, either. In all seriousness, we are at a point where the propaganda circus is all about the clowns entertaining us. There is no longer (if there ever was) any substance to the rubbing.
But wait. What about Sergey Valerievich, Soyuz MS-22 TPK commander and ISS-68 commander, up in space with his colleagues Dmitry Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio? What about Boeing and NASA being unable to compete with Elon Musk’s SpaceX because of goof-ups like lining the inside of the Starliner cabin with flammable tape? So far, Boeing has reported a staggering $1.1 billion in losses on the Starliner. Does this make President Joe Biden an evil space commander too?
What about looking back in history? When the Spacecraft Challenger disintegrated 46,000 feet (14 km) above the Atlantic Ocean, killing all seven astronauts, was Ronald Reagan impeached over faulty booster expansion o-rings? Then there was Apollo 1, which caught fire in a practice run on the launch pad, killing all three U.S. astronauts. It was 1967, and President Lyndon Johnson was not labeled a bad space commander-in-chief! Even when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it reentered the atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts on board in 2003, George W. Bush wasn’t blamed or even embarrassed.
The first U.S.S.R. mission to explore the planet Venus (Venera 1 and Venera 2) were lost in space due to failed telemetry. Still, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was not transformed into some version of a fumbling Darth Vader. The Soviets pressed on and eventually launched the first human-made probe (Venera 7) to transmit data from the surface of Venus.
One can only imagine what would have changed had Popular Mechanics or another scientific magazine labeled Khrushchev or his successor, Leonid Brezhnev, “disastrous space leaders!”
So, Luna 25 malfunctions, and the spacecraft smashes into the moon. The overall cost to the Russians is about $130 million. And, of course, Vladimir Putin cannot take command of space for a while longer. Ars Technica, interestingly, is a subsidiary of Advanced Publications, which is owned the mega-rich Newhouse family, descendants of immigrants from the Russian Empire.
Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, the transgender ex-journalist from the US who is now a spokesperson for Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces, has issued yet another bizarre and unhinged statement on behalf of the Ukrainian military.
The military spokesperson is vowing that Russia's "propagandists" will be "hunted down" in a message which was published days ago, but which is now going viral and being mocked.
Ashton-Cirillo said in the clip, "Next week, the teeth of the Russian devils will gnash ever harder, and their rabid mouths will foam an uncontrollable frenzy as the world will see a favorite Kremlin propagandist pay for their crimes."
"And this puppet of Putin is only the first. Russia's war criminal propagandists will all be hunted down, and justice will be served, as we in Ukraine are led on this mission by faith in God, liberty, and complete liberation," he said.
The message appeared to be on the occasion of Ukraine's criminal trial against detained Chilean-American journalist Gonzalo Lira. In May, Lira was arrested for a second time by the SBU and has been in detention since then, reportedly on charges of "justifying Russia's aggression, denying/glorifying Russian war crimes, and undermining Ukraine's leadership and Defense Forces."
The top adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Mikhail Podoliak, blamed “Russian propaganda” on Wednesday for reaction to his remarks about China and India having “low intellectual potential” and allegedly not understanding the world properly.
“Classic Russian propaganda: take it out of context, distort the meaning, scale it up to separate target audiences with conflict provocation,” Podoliak said on X, formerly Twitter.
He did not, however, deny saying what he said in a widely shared interview with a Ukrainian outlet on Tuesday.
“The problem with these countries is that they do not analyze the consequences of their own moves. These countries, unfortunately, have low intellectual potential,” Podoliak had said, adding that just because India has a lunar exploration program, that “does not mean that this nation understands what the modern world precisely is.”
His remarks drew criticism from many Indians on X, while the Chinese Foreign Ministry demanded a clarification.
The US Consulate General in Krakow is soliciting Polish outlets to write about Ukrainian refugees “returning and rebuilding,” it emerged on Wednesday. Washington is offering $50,000 for the year-long project.
The project “to promote coverage in Poland by local and regional media representatives of stories in Ukraine” was first spotted by a Telegram channel based in Belarus. It can be found at the website of the US embassy in Poland, under the designation WAW-NOFO-FY23-05.
It was unclear when the solicitation was originally posted. However, the deadline for submissions is end of the day Friday, September 15.
The Czech Republic announced on Wednesday that it would not send military-age men who arrived as refugees back to Ukraine to be conscripted. Germany, Austria and Hungary have already made similar declarations.
European conventions exclude extradition for charges such as desertion or draft evasion, Czech Justice Ministry spokesman Vladimir Repka told the outlet iDnes. However, he added that if Ukraine files individual extradition requests citing a specific criminal act they may have committed, Prague may give them more consideration.
Hungary has ruled out any extraditions outright.
“We are not investigating any Ukrainian refugees to determine if they have been called up for military service. Hungary will not extradite them to Ukraine,” Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén told the outlet ATV on Wednesday. “All refugees from Ukraine are safe in Hungary.”
Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) mocked a reporter on Tuesday who asked him for his reaction to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announcing an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden over allegations of corruption.
Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis said in an interview this week that if he is elected as the next President of the United States, he will direct the military to shoot cartel operatives trying to break through the border wall on the southern border.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, backed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) decision to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, saying that the corruption surrounding the Biden family needed to be “untangle[d].”
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley says that while the Biden administration started the political battle over abortions for service members, she does not support Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) holding up hundreds of military promotions in protest of the administration’s policy allowing expense-paid travel and up to three weeks leave for an elective abortion.
All thirty-one NATO countries plus Sweden are reportedly gearing up to conduct the bloc's biggest military drills since the Cold War in early 2024. Sputnik reached out to Michael Maloof, a former security policy analyst with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, to get a sense of the risks posed by the exercises.
British business media reported Monday that NATO plans to hold large-scale exercises across Germany, Poland and the Baltic countries between February and March of 2024, with the drills' pretext being to practice "repelling Russian aggression" against allies. The drills, dubbed Steadfast Defender 24, are set to involve up to 41,000 troops, 50 warships, and to feature between 500-700 air combat missions, according to sources familiar with the plans.
The exercises are the first of their kind since 2021, with the alliance previously mostly avoiding large-scale exercises in Russia's direct vicinity amid concerns about Moscow’s possible reaction amid repeated warnings by Russian Foreign Intelligence that some NATO countries may be preparing to transform the Ukrainian proxy conflict into a direct shooting war with Russia.
America's middle class is being systematically eviscerated. When the Federal Reserve pumped trillions of dollars into the financial system during the pandemic, most Americans didn't realize what that would do to them. That money certainly made the wealthy a whole lot wealthier, but it also dramatically increased the cost of living for the rest of us. So now inflation has been rising much faster than paychecks have, and the cost of living has become exceedingly oppressive.Â In fact, last year we witnessed the largest decline in real median household income in more than a decade.
The official tally is in and it is brutal: Americans suffered the biggest drop in household income in 2022 in a dozen years.
Real median household income was $74,580 in 2022, a drop of 2.3 percent from the prior year, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.
This is the biggest drop in household income since 2010, when it household income fell 2.6 percent. That means it is worse than the pandemic decline of 2.2 percent. It is the fourth worst year in records going back to 1985.
In 2010, the U.S. economy was just coming out of the horrible recession that we had just experienced in 2008 and 2009.
A series of high-profile trials against ringleaders of the Capitol riot culminated last week in the sentencing of former Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio to 22 years in prison. More than 1,100 people have been already charged, but the investigation into the riot is far from over, writes the BBC's Mike Wendling.
On 6 January 2021, Evan Neumann was near the front of the crowd that stormed into the US Capitol.
Wearing a red Maga hat and a gas mask, he assaulted at least four police officers, punching them and bashing them with parts of a metal barricade.
According to a criminal complaint, he swore at officers, called them "murderers" and shouted: "I'm willing to die, are you?"
Mr Neumann, 51, was eventually indicted on 14 counts related to the riot, but before he could be arrested, he had fled the US.
He later appeared on camera in Belarus, where he had just been granted political asylum. "I am very very grateful," he told Belta, the Belarussian state-owned news agency, "and it is bittersweet, like eating cranberries." He has denied the charges against him.
I just finished analyzing each of the 15,197 nursing homes providing data to the CDC. It turns out that for every nursing home where there was an IFR mortality improvement, there were 6.6X where the rates were worse by a comparable amount. This is an utter disaster for the narrative. If the vaccines worked, it should have been the other way around. This is why all the pro-vaccine advocates avoid this data at all costs. A 6.6 odds of getting worse isn’t likely to have happened by chance (1126 homes vs. 169 homes).
The data is aligned with the first-hand anecdotes. For example, at Apple Valley Village the people who worked there saw a massive number of deaths right after the vaccines rolled out: the largest number of deaths in their history: 50 people in January 2021 which is roughly 1 out of every 3 residents in a single month. In a normal January, they will get just 5 deaths. How do “they” explain that? Apple Valley Village isn’t returning any phone calls. They don’t want to talk about it. I wonder why? Neither does anyone else. Professor Morris doesn’t want to talk about it at all.
In a significant development on Monday, four Californians, including a prison inmate, admitted to charges of conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.
Their admission comes in connection with their involvement in a fraudulent scheme that swindled nearly $25 million in Covid-19 relief funds from the California Employment Development Department (EDD).
The group, comprising of one inmate and three Los Angeles residents, exploited the pandemic situation to their advantage. They used the personal identification details of numerous individuals to lodge fraudulent unemployment insurance claims, thereby amassing a fortune.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) identified the mastermind behind the operation as Telvin Breaux, a 32-year-old inmate at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi. Breaux orchestrated the entire operation from his prison cell, with the assistance of his accomplices - Fantasia Brown, 35, Shanice White, 29, and Holly White, 29.
The head of the medical service of the Far-Right unit Da Vinci’s Wolves of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Alina Mykhailova, spoke about the difficult situation and, even more surprisingly, admitted to huge losses on the front.
“We are suffering great losses. There is no romance in this. What is happening at the front now is something you will not read in the news,” she said in an interview with Ukrainian media on September 12.
Mykhailova added that for the first time in her life, she was ready to give up absolutely everything and talk to anyone so that her battalion would survive. She also admitted that there is no prospect of a Ukrainian victory in the near future.
“The population is very calm with statements that today or tomorrow there will be victory. It will not happen today, nor tomorrow, nor, unfortunately, in a year,” Mykhailova, who is also a deputy in the Kiev City Council, concluded.
Since the beginning of June, the Ukrainian military has been conducting a counteroffensive in Donetsk, Artyomovsk and Zaporozhye with NATO-trained brigades and Western military equipment. However, they have achieved no success.
Although Mykhailova did not give a casualty figure, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently revealed that the counteroffensive has stalled and led to over 75,500 Ukrainian casualties – shocking for only four months of active combat. Many American and European journalists and military experts also argue that Kiev’s counteroffensive failed and noted the effectiveness of Russian defences.
US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley pointed out on September 10 that Ukraine may only have about 30-45 days of fighting left. However, despite this small timeframe left in the regular fighting season and the huge losses suffered by Kiev, the US and NATO are not fazed and continue to send more military shipments and money into the financial blackhole that Ukraine has become.
The Ukrainian military will be unable to advance any further from their already paltry gains once the season changes. Ukraine and the West have exhausted their ammunition stockpile, and they cannot get supplies quickly enough. Effectively, the Ukrainians cannot do much at this point, even if they want to.