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Maybe it’s time for the Israeli government to put a moratorium on Mossad-based startups. Israeli intelligence services have been the petri dishes for a particular strain of techbro — ones who have the smarts to create zero-click exploits but none of the common sense needed to cull baddies from their customer lists.
Months of negative press got NSO blacklisted by the US government. It also got it investigated in its homeland, finally resulting in the Israeli government (reluctantly) limiting who the company could sell to.
NSO isn’t the only malware merchant with Israeli roots. Candiru — another recipient of US sanctions — calls Israel home. So does Cytrox, yet another exploit developer with ties to Israeli intelligence services. Cytrox was at the center of a recent domestic spying scandal in Greece, with its malware being used to target opposition leaders and journalists. This culminated in Greek police forces raiding Cytrox’s local office, presumably as part of the ongoing investigation.
Now there’s another Israeli spyware maker making the wrong kind of headlines, as Fanny Potkin and Poppy McPherson report for Reuters.
Embalmers Baffled After Finding Numerous Long, Fibrous Clots Inside Corpses - Something Isn't Right Here.Several embalmers across the United States reportedly have been noticing a strange phenomenon that started sometime after the COVID-19 pandemic hit of seeing long, “fibrous” and “rubbery clots” inside the corpses they prepare
The talisman animal of the Lunar Year of the Rabbit is based on an ancient Chinese myth, shared by the much of the rest of Asia, of a beautiful young princess named Chang’e exiled for her indiscretion, perhaps for talking with a stranger, from the Emperor’s court to spend her remaining life on the Moon. On that barren rock, her loneliness was relieved by a white rabbit named Yu Tu (Jade rabbit, jade being most precious substance to the Emperor). The rabbit consoled her and romped around cheerfully to ease the loneliness of exile. During the spring festival, the Japanese folk tales have it that on the full moon a shadowy rabbit can be clearly seen swinging a wooden mallet to pound glutinous rice into mochi, a gooey soft cake for the forlorn princess to enjoy. The story has no ending since both the princess and the rabbit are presumably still up there, despite the extreme efforts of the Chinese space program’s rover named Yu Tu to explore its surface and craters even on the dark side of the Moon, perhaps in search of physical evidence proving the Chinese were the first to inhabit the Moon and therefore making China its rightful owner.
All states supplying Kiev with weapons are responsible for this, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday in comments on EU discussions on the possibility of supplying German tanks to Ukraine.
"This whole legal balancing act that we see now, and the exchange of statements between European capital cities… European capitals, including Warsaw, are now threatening Berlin with international exclusion and much more. All this suggests that anxiety among the members of the alliance is increasing all the time, keeps growing. But here, of course, all the countries that are directly or indirectly involved in pumping weapons and in raising the technological sophistication of Ukraine, they are all responsible for this in one way or another," the Kremlin spokesman said.
"The main thing, however, is that the Ukrainian people will have to pay for all these actions, for all this pseudo-support," the spokesman stressed.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday that Germany is coordinating with allies on the supply of tanks to Ukraine. On Friday, defense ministers from some 50 countries met at Ramstein Air Base in Germany to discuss further assistance to Kiev. Germany’s defense chief Boris Pistorius told the Phoenix TV channel that no decision on Leopard 2 supplies to Kiev had been made. He also said that there was no unified coalition interested in supplying Leopard tanks to Ukraine. However, he did not rule out that such a decision could be made in the next few days.
North Korean authorities have warned of extreme weather conditions in the country as a cold wave sweeps the Korean peninsula.
Temperatures are likely to dip below -30C in the northern regions, which are also the poorest part of the country, the state radio broadcaster said.
Coastal areas are also expected to see high winds, according to state media.
South Korea too has issued a cold wave warning and northern China has been experiencing record low temperatures.
Temperatures are also expected to drop to their lowest in a decade in Japan this week.
While North Korea has been affected by extreme or adverse weather much like other places, little is known about the impact of this on its people.
Ryanggang, North Hamgyong and South Hamgyong, the country's poorest provinces and those expected to be most vulnerable to climate shocks, are all located in the north.
The idea to store munitions on the territories of Ukrainian nuclear power plants could only have been thought up in the United States, since the Ukrainian side cannot but see the hazards of such actions, Renat Karchaa, an adviser to the head of Russia’s Rosenergoatom nuclear power engineering company, said on Monday.
He doubted that such an idea could have come from Ukrainian nuclear sector specialists because "such games can lead to a really awful disaster." "Such plans are hatched far from Ukraine. These plans can only originate from the United States because they won’t be affected should anything happen. Only those who don’t care at all about the consequences can take such monstrous steps," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.
The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service said earlier on Monday that Ukrainian troops are storing munitions coming from Western countries, including HIMARS rockets, on the territories of nuclear power plants hoping that Russia, realizing the danger of a nuclear catastrophe, would never target these facilities and if a stray Ukrainian air defense rocket incidentally falls there and causes a blast, it can be blamed on Russia.
The West has long aimed to destroy everything Russian, the FM has said
The current situation in Ukraine shows that the conflict between Russia and the West can no longer be defined as a “hybrid war” but is instead approaching being a real one, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
Speaking at a press conference following a meeting with his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor, Lavrov also noted that this “almost real” war was something that the West “has been preparing for a long time against Russia.” The minister claimed that Western powers are seeking to destroy everything Russian, from the language to the culture that had existed in Ukraine for centuries, and even forbid people from speaking their native language.
Lavrov went on to point out that such practices have become commonplace throughout Ukraine and that the country’s last two presidents, Pyotr Poroshenko and current leader Vladimir Zelensky, have both turned into “presidents of war” and “Russophobic leaders” after gaining power, despite running their presidential campaigns under the promise of establishing peace.
The minister also recalled that Ukraine has adopted laws that prohibit using the Russian language in education, media, and even in everyday life. “And this is all supported by the West,” Lavrov said, adding that this support extends to neo-Nazi marches with swastikas and symbols of banned Nazi divisions being held across the country.
Saudi-led coalition shelling in Saada’s Shadaa district reportedly killed two civilians and injured four on 22 January, an Al-Mayadeen correspondent said.
The news was also reported by Yemen’s Al-Masirah TV, affiliated with the Ansarallah resistance movement and the National Salvation Government (NSG) based in Sanaa.
According to Al-Masirah, these latest Saudi truce violations have sent the death toll from coalition shelling in Saada this month up to seven, with 91 injured so far.
However, the Saudi-led coalition has denied these reports. Saudi general and coalition spokesman, Turki al-Maliki, said in a statement that “allegations of the Houthi militia that there is border shelling on the directorates (Monabbih) and (Shadaa), and that there are civilian casualties, are baseless.”
EU foreign ministers agreed Monday to spend an extra 500 million euros ($540 million) from their common coffers on arms for Ukraine, diplomats said, as Kyiv pleads for heavier weapons.
The accord will take the total committed to supplying Ukraine’s military from common EU spending to 3.6 billion euros, which is separate from national spending by individual member states.
Overall, European nations have pledged more than 11 billion euros on weapons for Ukraine, EU officials say, less than half of what the United States is spending.
The latest tranche of funds comes as Germany faces intense pressure over its hesitation to give battle tanks to Ukraine.
Human Rights Watch charged on Monday that new Israeli rules for foreigners entering the West Bank risked turning the occupied territory into "another Gaza," cutting residents off from the outside world.
The regulations, which have faced waves of condemnation from the European Union and United States, have also been clouded by uncertainty.
Israeli said the rules, which came into force in October, are aimed at clarifying the procedures surrounding West Bank entry and are being implemented on a two-year trial basis.
They were also revised last year amid widespread criticism.
Despite those revisions, HRW said the measures "threaten to further isolate Palestinians from loved ones and global civil society."
Israeli forces detained 16 Palestinians from various parts of the occupied West Bank on Monday morning, the official news agency WAFA reported.
According to official Palestinian sources, the isreali occupation forces rounded up Palestinians and ransacked their family houses in several West Bank refugee camps, including Jazalone, Nur Shamas, and Dheisheh.
In the Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, Isreali forces detained a 13-year-old Palestinian minor.
Other arrest campaigns were carried out in Hebron (Al-Khalil), Nablus, Janin, and the Jordan Valley.
Israeli forces frequently raid Palestinian houses almost on a daily basis across the West Bank on the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians, triggering clashes with residents.
How could we have allowed things to deteriorate this badly? For a moment, I want you to imagine that you have just arrived in a major city in a foreign country. Unfortunately, instead of the shiny new buildings and beautiful homes that you expect to see, there is trash, filth and the sound of police sirens everywhere that you go. After walking a few blocks, you stumble upon one of the dozens of open air drug markets that are freely operating in that particular city. Many addicts are lying on the ground wherever they suddenly passed out, others with visible gaping wounds are staggering around like zombies, and you even spot one enterprising addict that has decided to take a dump right in the middle of the street. Of course there are used needles scattered everywhere, and you try not to step on them. You decide that it is time to leave, but it is already too late, because protesters behind you and in front of you have started to clash with the police. Moments later a police car is set on fire, and you can smell tear gas in the air. Thankfully, you are able to scramble to safety, and eventually you find your way back to your hotel room and lock the door. When you turn on the news to see what they are saying about the chaos in the streets, you are amazed to discover that it is being reported that the protests were “mostly peaceful” and that everything is just fine.
Sadly, what I have just detailed is not a description of a major city in a foreign land.
Rather, it is a description of what daily life is now like in many of the largest cities here in the United States.
“Rather than teaching these kids about math, English, and science…, these kids are being used and abused to help these people achieve some kind of sick agenda that they have,”
Chiaradio sent a complaint to the state’s attorney general. Still, he also confronted the school board directly with images of the pornographic materials contained within the books with which he takes issue. He stated that the district stepped in and attempted to block the images from being seen at the event. This is something that Chiaradio believes proves his point. If the district doesn’t want the materials to be seen, then one has to wonder why these materials are permitted in the high school library.
When Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) this weekend endorsed bolstering Social Security by ending a payroll tax exemption for the rich, he was backing a proposal pioneered by progressive lawmakers more than two decades ago.
The question now is whether President Joe Biden — who has pushed Social Security cuts in the past and whose new chief of staff touted such cuts — will seize the opportunity to shore up the system’s revenue, or instead try to strike a deal with Republicans to slash the program.
During a Sunday CNN interview, Manchin was asked about Republicans’ potential push to cut Social Security. He responded that the “easiest and quickest thing we can do is raise the cap” that stops charging Social Security taxes on income over $160,000 per year.
Israel is angry that envoys from the European Union and other Western countries visited Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque last Wednesday, Israel Hayom reported on Sunday.
According to the Israeli newspaper, the delegation, which included around 30 diplomats from EU countries, Canada, Australia, and Argentina, did not coordinate with the occupation authorities.
Instead, it was reported, they coordinated with the Islamic Waqf of Jerusalem, which is the religious administrative body covering the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa.
The former FBI counterintelligence agent charged with helping a Russian oligarch evade US sanctions has been freed on bail.
Charles McGonigal, 54, walked free from Manhattan federal court on Monday on a $500,000 personal recognizance bond, following his arrest Saturday on charges laid out in two newly unsealed indictments.
One of the indictments, filed in Manhattan, accused McGonigal of violating US sanctions laws by working for Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire crony of Vladimir Putin, following his 2018 retirement from the FBI.
The other charges, filed in Washington DC, allege McGonigal took $225,000 in cash bribes from an unnamed former Albanian intelligence agent while leading the counterintelligence branch in the FBI's New York field office.
McGonigal, who retired in 2018, played a role in sensitive and high-profile investigations, including Robert Mueller's probe into Russia's purported ties to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.