COULD USE SOME END-OF-THE-MONTH DONATIONS! THANKS!
Posted on: Feb 04, 2023
"When the people seek a change in the direction of government, and through voting successive changes in administrations, there is no change in the direction, then you know there is a conspiracy." -- Thomas Jefferson
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced on Saturday that the House would vote on a Pentagon funding bill that includes aid for Ukraine. Initially, the Congressman said the $300 million in aid for Kyiv would be voted on separately from the annual Department of Defense spending bill.
Congress is seeking to pass spending bills before funding for the government runs out at the end of the month. Politicians are warning that if legislation is not passed by then Washington will enter a “government shutdown.” Despite the connotation, most of the American government will continue to function even if Congress does not provide funding. Last week, the White House announced that military aid to Ukraine will persist whether there is a “shutdown” or not.
Both houses of Congress recently passed significantly different versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). As that bill is likely to face significant debate, it is unlikely to pass prior to the end of the month when current funding runs out.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that French will remove its troops and ambassador from Niger, as the military junta that took over the country in July wants French forces out.
“France has decided to bring back its ambassador, and in the coming hours our ambassador and several diplomats will return to France,” Macron said on French TV, according to AP. “And we will put an end to our military cooperation with the Niger authorities.”
The comments show France is backing down from its hardline position on the military junta that ousted Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum. Macron previously strongly backed threats from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to intervene militarily if Bazoum was not reinstated and rejected demands for the French ambassador to leave Niger.
A new group formed to rally GOP support for Ukraine released an ad this weekend that said US spending on the war in Ukraine is good for the US because it “weakens” Russia.
The ad was made by Republicans for Ukraine, a campaign launched by Defending Democracy Together, an organization led by neoconservative Bill Kristol. The effort comes as support for arming Ukraine is waning among GOP voters, with a recent CNN poll finding 71% of Republicans were against Congress authorizing more Ukraine aid.
Webmaster addition: The war is weakening the US, and at a faster rate!
A former teacher and youth hockey coach in Carlsbad, California was sentenced to almost 16 years in prison after he was found guilty on Tuesday for playing a role in baiting children into sending sexually explicit images and circulated them online.
Ben Phillips’ childhood memories include basketball games with friends, and neighbors gathering in the summer shade at their St. Louis housing complex. He also remembers watching men in hazmat suits scurry on the roofs of high-rise buildings as a dense material poured into the air.
“I remember the mist,” Phillips, now 73, said. “I remember what we thought was smoke rising out of the chimneys. Then there were machines on top of the buildings that were spewing this mist.”
As Congress considers payments to victims of Cold War-era nuclear contamination in the St. Louis region, people who were targeted for secret government testing from that same time period believe they’re due compensation, too.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Army used blowers on top of buildings and in the backs of station wagons to spray a potential carcinogen into the air surrounding a St. Louis housing project where most residents were Black. The government contends the zinc cadmium sulfide sprayed to simulate what would happen in a biological weapons attack was harmless.
President Joe Biden will host a second summit with Pacific island leaders this week, part of a U.S. charm offensive to block further Chinese inroads into a strategic region Washington has long considered its own backyard.
During the three-day meeting, the U.S. will announce diplomatic recognition for two Pacific islands, promise new money for infrastructure, including to improve Internet connectivity via undersea cables, and honor regional leaders at an NFL game.
Biden held an inaugural summit with the islanders at the White House a year ago and was due to meet them again in Papua New Guinea in May. That plan was scrapped when a U.S. debt- ceiling crisis forced Biden to cut short an Asia trip.
At last year's summit with 14 Pacific island nations, Biden's administration pledged to help islanders fend off China's "economic coercion" and a joint declaration resolved to strengthen their partnership, saying they shared a vision for a region where "democracy will be able to flourish."
A four-year-old Palestinian child was injured in a Jewish settler attack in Masafer Yatta, south of the southern occupied West Bank city of Al-Khalil (Hebron), the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Jihad Nawajaa, the head of the Susiya village council, said that illegal Israeli Jewish settlers chased the shepherds in Masafer Yatta and injured Usayyed Khaled al-Hadar, 4, throwing stones at him and pepper-spraying him, causing burns to his face.
The Israeli military carried out drone strikes late on Friday on what it alleges are three Hamas targets in the besieged Gaza Strip, where protesters have had confrontations for several days with Israeli forces along the separation fence.
According to the The New Arab’s sister publication Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, the Israeli drone fired several missiles targeting a Hamas outpost on the eastern border of Gaza City.
The aircraft also allegedly struck an outpost belonging to the movement in the eastern part of the Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented a new map erasing Palestine during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) 78th session on Friday.
The illustration showed a "new Middle East" wherein the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip appeared to be part of Israel.
An earlier erroneous map shown by Netanyahu also included the Palestinian territories as part of Israel in 1948.
Israel did not control the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, or the Gaza Strip following its violent creation in 1948 on 80 percent of historic Palestine. It illegally occupied them in 1967, and continues to do so in what is known as the longest occupation in modern history.
Some 400 extremists stormed the Muslim holy place in under an hour, led by former Knesset member Rabbi Yehudah Glick, a source in the Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem told The New Arab's Arabic sister service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
The settlers carried out rituals and prayers near the Bab Al-Rahma prayer hall and held dancing and singing circles at the gates of Al-Aqsa, the source said, despite the longstanding status quo agreement governing the site restricting prayer to Muslims.
China’s exports of two rare minerals essential for manufacturing semiconductors fell to zero in August, a month after Beijing imposed curbs on sales overseas, citing national security.
China produces about 80% of the world’s gallium and about 60% of germanium, according to the Critical Raw Materials Alliance, but it didn’t sell any of the elements on international markets last month, Chinese customs data released on Wednesday showed. In July, the country exported 5.15 metric tons of forged gallium products and 8.1 metric tons of forged germanium products.
When asked about the lack of exports last month,He Yadong, a spokesperson from China’s commerce ministry told a press briefing Thursday that the department had received applications from companies to export the two materials. Some applications had been approved, he said, without elaborating.
The curbs are indicative of China’s apparent willingness to retaliate against US export controls, despite concerns about economic growth, as a tech war simmers.
The head of Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council, an umbrella group of heavily armed and well-financed militias, said Friday that he will prioritise the creation of a separate country in negotiations with their rivals, the Houthi rebels.
Aidarous al-Zubaidi’s comments, in an interview with The Associated Press, come days after the conclusion of landmark talks in Riyadh between the Houthi rebels and Saudi Arabia, which leads a coalition fighting them in the country’s civil war. The remarks signal that his group might not get on board for a solution without inclusion of a separate state's creation.
Al-Zubaidi has a dual role in Yemeni politics — he is vice president of the country but also the leader of a separatist group that has joined the internationally recognised coalition government seated in the southern city of Aden.
His trip to the high-level leaders meeting of the U.N. General Assembly was aimed at amplifying the call for southern separatism, which has taken a backseat to discussions aimed at ending the wider war. Earlier this year, the head of the country’s internationally recognised government brushed aside the issue.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, defended Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) on Sunday after Menendez was hit with federal corruption charges last week, saying that the charges against former President Donald Trump were just as serious and prosecutors needed to “prove” their case.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, announced on Friday that they would upgrade relations to a "strategic partnership".
The announcement was made following Assad's first official visit to China in almost two decades, in what was a rare trip abroad for the Syrian president, who until recently was an international pariah.
"Today, we will jointly announce the establishment of the China-Syria strategic partnership, which will become an important milestone in the history of bilateral relations," Xi told Assad, according to a readout from state broadcaster CCTV.
The announcement was made by the Chinese president in the southern city of Hangzhou, which is hosting the Asian games over the next two weeks.
"Faced with an international situation full of instability and uncertainty, China is willing to continue to work together with Syria, firmly support each other, promote friendly cooperation, and jointly defend international fairness and justice," said Xi.
China has reiterated its position that a ceasefire and peace talks are the “only way” to end the war in Ukraine, which began with Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.
“Cessation of hostilities and the resumption of peace talks is the only way to settle the Ukraine crisis,” Vice President Han Zheng told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at its annual meeting.
It’s virtually guaranteed that the Kiev regime will get the MGM-140 ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System), a US-made tactical/theater ballistic missile system with a maximum engagement range of approximately 300 km and a supersonic speed of up to Mach 3. While its capabilities are far from Russian counterparts, such as the now legendary “Iskander” with a hypersonic speed (up to Mach 8, with maneuvering capabilities for its missiles) and a range of approximately 500 km, this is still enough to jeopardize Russian supply lines, as well as civilian settlements deeper within Moscow’s territory. The ATACMS can also be fired from two platforms, namely the tracked M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) and the wheeled M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), both of which have been delivered to the Neo-Nazi junta forces well over a year ago.
When paired with adequate ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) assets, which NATO fields extensively, particularly in the vicinity of Russian borders, the ATACMS can be quite a challenge. Its battlefield performance can be significantly amplified through the effective usage of real-time ISR data that essentially acts as a major force multiplier. This is where the legal “grey areas” of warfare get even more complicated. Namely, Moscow is doing its best to keep the scope of the SMO localized, but NATO continues to escalate, as evidenced by the resurgent presence of its ISR platforms around Russia’s borders, particularly in the Black Sea. The Russian military already shot down some of NATO’s ISR platforms, resulting in several months of pause in flights close to the SMO zone. However, the belligerent alliance recently restarted this highly destabilizing practice.
Moscow is perfectly aware that the political West controls the Kiev regime’s targeting, even issuing orders which Russian assets are to be attacked. The sole reason why Russia hasn’t responded by shooting down all NATO ISR platforms in the relative vicinity of its forces is that it wants to avoid escalating the conflict. However, the US-led political West sees this as a weakness and an opportunity to hurt Russia, because the way the Ukrainian conflict is being conducted is highly beneficial to NATO. Namely, the way that the political West is engaged in hostilities in Ukraine would simply be impossible in a shooting war with Moscow. The reason is quite simple. One of the very first targets for Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) would be NATO’s ISR platforms. Precisely these are responsible for the vast majority of data being relayed to the Kiev regime.
Fox News host Maria Bartiromo grilled Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) during a contentious interview on Sunday, saying that he was allowing his “personal vendetta” against House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) take him to the point where his opposition to a short-term spending bill to avoid a shutdown was actually helping Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and the Democratic Party.
Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said he has no interest in running against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) after the 69-year-old lawmaker was indicted on federal corruption charges last week.
Violence-wracked Somalia is seeking a three-month delay in the planned reduction of African Union troops after suffering "several significant setbacks" in its fight against Al-Shabaab militants, according to a government letter seen by AFP.
Somalia's national security adviser wrote to the United Nations requesting a 90-day delay in the second phase of a pullout that provides for the departure of 3,000 troops by the end of September.
"The Federal Government of Somalia formally requests a technical pause in the drawdown of the 3,000 African Union Transition in Somalia (ATMIS) uniformed personnel by three months," the letter said.
A diplomatic source confirmed its authenticity and another source close to the issue also told AFP that such a request had been made.
The military government that seized power in Niger has accused United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of “obstructing” the West African nation’s full participation at the U.N.'s annual meeting of world leaders in order to appease France, Niger’s former colonizer, and its allies.