Thought for the day
Moscow does not care whether Western countries recognize the four new Russian regions or not, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday.
"We do not care at all [about the West’s recognition]," Russia’s top diplomat said. "Of course, the entire world had better face this new reality, it was inevitable," Lavrov said.
Russia’s top diplomat said there were a huge number of legal arguments cementing the principle of equality and the right of peoples to self-determination, referring to the UN Charter. He also pointed to the UN General Assembly’s declaration which clearly obliged everybody to respect the territorial integrity of countries where governments acknowledge the right of an individual country to self-determination and represent the entire population.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has drawn attention to the fact that Ukraine, while voicing fears his country might join combat operations, has brought up to 15,000 troops to the Belarusian border.
"In other words, Ukraine has not just barricaded itself. It has built a wall. It constantly conducts optical, radio-electronic, and radio-technical reconnaissance of our territory, troops and facilities. Often their drones violate the state border. At the same time, they never stop worrying: ‘What if Belarus goes to war?’ There have been constant provocations on the border," Lukashenko said at a conference on military security on Tuesday. The BelTA news agency quotes him as saying that Ukraine has pulled "a force of up to 15,000 troops to the Belarusian border and is creating road blocks and fire emplacements."
Lukashenko stressed that in Belarus there was no need to declare mobilization, contrary to what the opposition was speculating about.
The line for promoting NATO's potential in the Asia-Pacific region (APR) using any tools is clearly taking shape, Nikolai Nozdrev, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Third Asian Department (3AD), said in an interview with Sputnik.
"If we look at the decisions of the June summit of the alliance in Madrid, concerning the globalization of the organization's 'zone of responsibility,' it becomes clear that the line for promoting its potential in the APR, using any tools, is already clearly taking shape," Nozdrev said.
He said the process is based on regional partners - Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, which are considered by Washington, London and Brussels as connecting elements of the global bloc architecture they are designing in line with Euro-Atlantic standards.
The Ukrainian army has been using US-made weapons outlawed under international conventions to shell the territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic, the LPR militia’s spokesman Andrey Marochko told TASS on Tuesday.
Earlier on Tuesday he said that on Monday Ukrainian forces attacked the city of Starobelsk with a US-made HIMARS multiple launch rocket system. The rocket was filled with shrapnel - tungsten balls.
"In the course of the investigation [conducted by the officers of the LPR mission at the Joint Center for Control and Coordination for issues related to Ukraine’s war crimes], it was found out that the Ukrainian forces used NATO’s shrapnel-filled ammunition," he said. "I want to stress right away that this type ammunition is prohibited by all conventions."
Marochko also drew attention to "another remarkable fact: the rocket that hit a childcare center in Starobelsk was made in 2017."
"This is a confirmation that in defiance of all conventions the Americans continue to produce and use ammunition that is prohibited by international law," he said.
Foreign politicians deliberately keep silent about the neo-Nazi atrocities and the extermination of the civilian population of Donbass, Russia’s Prosecutor-General Igor Krasnov said in Hanoi on Tuesday.
"Some foreign statesmen deliberately keep silent about the neo-Nazi rampage in Ukraine and the extermination of the civilian population of Donbass. Let me stress that it was these atrocities committed by the Kiev regime that left our country with no choice other than to conduct a special military operation to protect innocent civilians," he said.
Krasnov stressed that many foreign counterparts "groundlessly refuse to cooperate with the Russian side, including in the fight against crime."
"This is a dead-end approach. It is unconstructive and allows criminals to escape from punishment by hiding on the territories of other states," he said.
The accession of four new regions provide Russia with well-established defensive positions just as Ukraine and the US appear bent on escalating the conflict indefinitely while quashing all prospects for peace, former Pentagon adviser Karen Kwiatkowski told Sputnik.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday signed a decree on the impossibility of holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had called for ceasefire negotiations after signing accession agreements with regional leaders last week.
Meanwhile, the US is arming Ukraine at a break-neck pace, with President Joe Biden going so far as to issue an executive order to the Pentagon on Monday that waives statutory requirements in order to expedite and expand weapons production and purchases.
A Monday Bloomberg TV segment on the Ukraine war with an expert who has in the recent past advised three UN Secretaries-General didn't go the way the Bloomberg hosts thought it would. Jeffrey Sachs, who is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, posited the United Stats was likely behind the sabotage attacks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines when asked about it.
The top UN adviser said during the live interview, "The main fact is that the European economy is getting hammered by this, by the sudden cut-off of energy. And now to make it definitive - the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline, which I would bet was a US action, perhaps US and Poland." Sachs added: "That is speculation" - before being cut-off mid sentence by show host Tom Keene, who looked a bit flabbergasted and frustrated over the perhaps unexpected turn in the interview...
Journalist Glenn Greenwald noted Monday that talks to deescalate or end the conflict in Ukraine are virtually nonexistent because the legacy media and political elites have nurtured an atmosphere where to do so is considered ‘unpatriotic’.
Speaking to Tucker Carlson, Greenwald stated “There is a very real threat of a nuclear exchange, or even a direct confrontation with Russia and the United States. And over what? Over who governs and rules, not even Ukraine, but the Donbas, the eastern region in Ukraine, where a majority of people actually identify as ethnic Russians and want to be part of Russia.”
Greenwald continued, “Yet there’s almost no debate about whether we should be sending huge amounts of money there and risking the lives of American citizens through the possibility of a nuclear war.”
“Because everyone knows that the minute you step up and step out of line, there’s a hoard of people ready to call you unpatriotic, or a traitor, or an admirer of Vladimir Putin, as I know is being done with our very segment right this minute by all those Media Matter people and all those other people online,” the journalist continued.
“It’s a really repressive atmosphere and squashing a debate that we absolutely have to have,” Greenwald further urged.
Over the past two years, houses nationwide were going like hotcakes, with sellers often receiving tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking price. Buyers often waived inspections and picked up some of the sellers’ costs in dire hopes of securing that coveted single-family home.
While the current landscape has changed due to higher interest rates, many parts of the country are still seeing bidding wars, and home prices are not yet experiencing a sharp decline. With inventory still lower than normal, many buyers remain hungry for a piece of the American dream.
However, some experts are cautioning would-be homeowners about quickly jumping into the home-buying pool without first doing their homework. “Listing prices are still high, and combined with the higher mortgage interest rates, people are going to be overpaying for their homes,” Andre Stewart, CEO of InvestFar, a real estate marketplace and database firm, told The Epoch Times. “It’s important for them to review their budget and make sure they’re not getting in over their heads.”
In the present market, the average homebuyer can expect to pay up to 25 percent more than in 2021. “It’s one thing if you’re buying a home to live in it for a very long time, but most people live there for five to 10 years, and then resell it,” said Stewart. “You want to make sure you’re going to make money on that sale.”
According to the office of New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, the four states are sending 500 soldiers to help secure the border. The units will act under the command of the 941st Military Police Battalion, which already has 44 soldiers in place.
An additional 120 soldiers from the 237th Military Police Company will be deployed to set up surveillance sites along the border to block the laundering of drugs, weapons, and money into the U.S. by Mexican cartels, according to the release.
The units will cover a 250-mile stretch where illegal immigrants have been flooding into the U.S.
Lt. Col. Carla Raisler, director of public affairs for the Kentucky National Guard, told The Epoch Times that she was surprised Sununu released specific details about the deployment.
“Due to the security concerns of where the soldiers are inside the US border, we do not generally release information about the units or the size or their movements for security reasons to keep them and their families safe,” said Raisler.
“What it’s about is they’re going to know more about your mental makeup than you do, and that’s scary,” he told The Epoch Times on Oct. 1.
Apps backed by the Chinese state, like TikTok—which is targeting the prized Gen Z and Alpha cohorts—are not only collecting data from their users, but giving Beijing a complete understanding of the mental state of the users who will be our next generation of leaders, according to Miller.
The former Trump administration advisor was in Sydney for CPAC Australia - the Conservative Political Action Conference.
He said that China-based companies, and by default the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), now have access to all user information, including credit card details and passwords, from their apps like TikTok, and at the same time, will be conducting “psychographic analysis of an entire generation of people.”
“So, let’s say my oldest daughter is 13 and they start tracking her when she starts an account. A decade later, she’s going through college, they then have a decade of psychographic analysis data on someone they know,” he said.
The United States and South Korea have "answered" Tuesday's ultra-provocative North Korean launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile which flew directly over Japan, triggering nationwide emergency alerts warning Japanese citizens to take shelter.
Yonhap news is reporting that allied militaries of S.Korea and the US have now launched 4 surface-to-surface missiles into the East Sea, in a clear and rare "response to the provocation" from Pyongyang, during the overnight hours (local time). There are simultaneous though unconfirmed reports that one of the South Korean missiles may have failed or crashed soon after launch:
Reagan approved plan to sabotage Soviets gas pipeline in 1982
The below article is from 1994 and obviously speaks to the lengths that certain elements in Washington (during the Cold War – and now) would be willing to go to in order to achieve its political and economic ends in Russia.
In January 1982, President Ronald Reagan approved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfers of technology that contained hidden malfunctions, including software that later triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian natural gas pipeline, according to a new memoir by a Reagan White House official.
Thomas C. Reed, a former Air Force secretary who was serving in the National Security Council at the time, describes the episode in “At the Abyss: An Insider’s History of the Cold War.” Reed writes that the pipeline explosion was just one example of “cold-eyed economic warfare” against the Soviet Union that the CIA carried out under Director William J. Casey during the final years of the Cold War.
At the time, the United States was attempting to block Western Europe from importing Soviet natural gas. There were also signs that the Soviets were trying to steal a wide variety of Western technology. Then, a KGB insider revealed the specific shopping list and the CIA slipped the flawed software to the Soviets in a way they would not detect it.
“In order to disrupt the Soviet gas supply, its hard currency earnings from the West, and the internal Russian economy, the pipeline software that was to run the pumps, turbines, and valves was programmed to go haywire, after a decent interval, to reset pump speeds and valve settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to pipeline joints and welds,” Reed writes.
“The result was the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space,” he recalls, adding that U.S. satellites picked up the explosion. Reed said in an interview that the blast occurred in the summer of 1982.
Who’s to blame for all the turmoil in the UK’s financial markets?
While the popular refrain pins the blame on Downing Street, a careful scrutiny of the events of the past few days will show that Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng just stepped on a land mine that had been long planted.
The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation plans to let any industry in the country to accept bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for international trade without restriction, per a report from local media outlet TASS.
Ivan Chebeskov, director of the Financial Policy Department for the ministry, explained in a recent interview.
"We are going to allow international settlements in cryptocurrencies for any industries without restrictions."
The Rutherford Institute has issued a public comment opposing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule on “Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities,” which seeks to force healthcare workers to provide abortion and gender transition services, among other things. The proposed rule purports to affirm and implement the Biden Administration’s perspectives on nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as reproductive healthcare including abortions. However, Rutherford Institute attorneys warn that any attempt by the government to compel healthcare workers to provide services against their professional judgement, religious convictions, and conscience is unconstitutional.
“Healthcare workers should not face penalties for refusing to perform controversial medical procedures like abortions and gender transition services which go against their deeply held religious or ethical beliefs,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “As the U.S. Supreme Court recognized, ‘Governments must not be allowed to force persons to express a message contrary to their deepest convictions.’ Even more so, governments must not be allowed to force individuals to perform acts that are contrary to their convictions.”
For months, I have been confident that Europe would suffer a financial crisis and a depression, as in a real economy catastrophe accompanied by a market crash. It might not be that severe and lasting as 1929, but the breadth would mean there would not be 1987 quick bounceback nor a 2008 derivatives crisis concentrated at the heart of the banking system. Even though that looked like financial near-death experience, the same factors that made it more acute in many respects also made it easier for the officialdom to identify and shore up the key institutions that took hits below the water line.
The short version of what follows is things are looking even worse now, and on multiple fronts.
Below we’ll discuss the rapidly accelerating real economy crisis, which is exacerbated by central bank tightening as pretty much the only line of defense against inflation that is almost entirely the result of a multi-fronted supply shock.1 Needless to say, the Fed raising interest rates (which Bernanke recognized as necessary in 2014 to tame bubbly asset prices but then lost his nerve) does nothing to get more chips from China or magically cure Covid-afflicted staffers so they can show up at work. But it will whack all sorts of speculators and financial firms who have wrong-footed their interest rate positions.
Russia's grain harvest is set to grow by about 5 million tonnes a year thanks to its incorporation of four Ukrainian territories, Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said on Tuesday.
"Considering the arable land that exists there, I think at least 5 million tonnes of grain will be added to the Russian savings box. I also think that we'll get other crops," he was quoted as saying by the state news agency TASS.
The Kremlin said that President Vladimir Putin was likely to sign laws on Tuesday to annex the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, representing about 18% of Ukraine's internationally recognised territory.
All are partly or mostly occupied by Russian forces after an invasion that has sharply reduced Ukraine's grain crop and disrupted shipping in the Black Sea, as well as triggering a barrage of Western economic sanctions against Russia.
The US Supreme Court will be hearing two cases that are seeking to hold social media companies responsible for their role in contributing to militant attacks - which if successful, could set a huge precedent.
On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it will decide whether or not social media platforms can be held liable for their users' posts. The court is expected to announce its decision before the court recesses for the summer late next June.
The cases were filed by relatives of victims of attacks in France and Turkey. One of the cases involves Nohemi Gonzalez, a 23-year-old American who was studying in Paris in 2015. In November of that year, she was one of the people killed in the attack at La Belle Equipe bistro during the attacks claimed by the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
Gunmen and bombers targeted the French national stadium, the Bataclan concert hall, restaurants and bars almost simultaneously, killing 130 people and wounding hundreds.
On 4 October, the Islamic Endowments Department in occupied Jerusalem reported that hundreds of settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque under strict protection from Israeli authorities.
According to the Palestinian News and Information Agency (WAFA), 300 Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in successive groups via the Mughrabi Gate.
The settlers carried out provocative acts and were allowed to perform their religious rituals in the courtyard under the protection of Israeli occupation forces, while many Muslim worshipers were forcibly removed from the area.
According to local reports, “dozens of settlers blew the trumpet between the graves of Muslims in the Bab al-Rahma cemetery, which is adjacent to the eastern wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque,” where hundreds of settlers performed Talmudic rituals.
Europe is facing a deepening energy crisis as it prepares for a cold winter. Gas prices have reached record highs, and supplies are running low, stoking fears.
Here is what to know about the energy crunch and what is coming up in the next few months.
Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to authorize large construction projects in the West Bank in favor of Israeli settlers, as he continues to escalate in his attempt to garner support ahead of the elections.
Netanyahu, along with 30 members of the far-right Likud party, signed a declaration that calls for the development of settlements in the West Bank, under the slogan of “Moving Eastward.”
Politicians from Shas, United Torah Judaism, the Religious Zionist, and the Jewish Home party joined Likud in their support of the declaration announced by the Sovereignty Movement.
The signatories of the statement pledge to use all parliamentary tools at their disposal to implement these construction projects, including the undertaking of all necessary changes to laws in favor of facilitating the settlers’ projects.
However, despite the historic and political claim to the West Bank by Israelis, the declaration is intended to solve a pressing economic crisis in Israel rather than just fulfill a prophecy.
Jewish settlers on Tuesday chased Palestinian shepherds off their pastures in the Khillet Makhoul community, in the northern Jordan Valley, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Aref Daraghmeh, a local activist, told WAFA that Jewish settlers chased the shepherds as solidarity activists were in the area to monitor the settlers’ harassment of the Palestinians.
Katie Halper recorded a segment for The Hill’s Rising defending Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib from attacks over calling Israel an apartheid state. The Hill presents itself as a channel that opposes cancel culture and censorship. Halper says she was told that The Hill has a ban on opinion videos about Israel. When she pushed to have it aired as a show segment, she says she was fired.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday that China is seeking to “normalize” its stepped-up military activity around Taiwan, including Chinese flights over the median line, which came in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visiting the island.
“In the future, the activities of Chinese Communist military aircraft and ships entering our air defense identification zone, crossing the median line, and approaching maritime areas close to the island will gradually become more normalized,” the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said.
Since Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan at the beginning of August, China has been regularly flying warplanes across the median line, an unofficial barrier that separates the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. It was drawn by the US in the 1950s, but China had generally avoided crossing the line since then.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “gift” to NATO as the war in Ukraine has made many alliance members make plans to increase military spending.
Wallace made the comments at the Warsaw Security Forum, a two-day conference that started on Tuesday. According to The Associated Press, Wallace said that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, European leaders became complacent and that Putin has become “in a sense, a gift to NATO.”
Wallace said Putin serves as a “pantomime villain” who reminded Europe that there is “really is somebody out there who really, really wants to not only challenge us but wants to inflict violence.”
For years, NATO has been pushing its European members to increase their military spending to at least 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP), a goal many alliance members did not meet. But since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, NATO countries are announcing plans to invest more in their militaries.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday signed a decree that ruled out any talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, declaring they would be an “impossibility.”
The decree was first put forward by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. According to the Ukrainian newspaper Ukrainska Pravda, the decree states “the impossibility of holding negotiations with the president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.”
The move formalized comments that Zelensky made on Friday following Putin’s approval of annexing four Ukrainian territorites. “He does not know what dignity and honesty are. Therefore, we are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia,” Zelensky said.
Dead in the Waters?
Pink Floyd co-founder and perennial pot-stirrer Roger Waters rocked the boat yet again after claiming that he’s on a Ukrainian “kill list” over his controversial political views on the ongoing Russo-Ukraine war. The 79-year-old English rocker dropped the bombshell conspiracy theory during an interview with Rolling Stone.
“Don’t forget, I’m on a kill list that is supported by the Ukrainian government,” declared Waters, who has repeatedly blamed Ukraine and the west for instigating the conflict. In September, the “Another Brick in the Wall” singer wrote an open letter to Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska in which he criticized “extreme nationalists” in Ukraine for having “set your country on the path to this disastrous war.” He also criticized the west for supplying Ukraine with weapons, even labelling President Joe Biden a “war criminal” who is “just getting started.”
Jen Psaki is usually wrong, not because she’s stupid, but because she’s an ideologue, a rabid partizan, and statist zealot. And, she seems to savor a well placed lie. But that’s expected from a former White House press secretary, and William and Mary graduate, who spent her entire tenure contorting the borders of reality, gleefully creating fictions to explain Joe Biden’s precipitous decline into senility.
Joe Biden has always been a dummy. Obama admitted it when he commented on Lunch Bucket Joes’ propensity to always screw things up. Biden is a comic book character inked and colored by media hacks and stooges like Psaki.
Jen’s recent statement is a concession to the spectacular proportion of Joe Biden’s failures. To ignore this would produce a lie that would simply be too big to sustain its own mass — even Psaki has to face the facts at some point:
“If it is a referendum on the president, they [democrats] will lose. And they know that.”
Director General of the Zaporizhia NPP Igor Murashov recently became very popular in the Mainstream Media. The Ukrainian media blamed Russia of illegal detention of the head of the largest nuclear power station in Europe. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sounded the alarm. Today, the truth was revealed.
On October 1, the head of the National Nuclear Power Generating Company of Ukraine Energoatom, Pyotr Kotin, accused Russia of detaining Murashov by a Russian patrol in the city of Energodar. He noted that Murashov is a “licensed person” who bears primary and exclusive responsibility for the nuclear and radiation safety of the Zaporozhye NPP. The IAEA demanded Russia to clarify the situation.
On October 3, the head of the IAEA Mariano Grossi said that the director of the Zaporozhye NPP was freed. “I welcome the release of Igor Murashov… I have received confirmation that Mr. Murashov has returned safely to his family,” he wrote.
The Russian side has not officially commented on the situation until today.