On this episode of The Whistleblowers, John Kiriakou speaks with Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer. While working in the Cayman Islands as an employee of Julius Baer, he exposed financial crimes. In blowing the whistle, Elmer believes he was acting in the public interest. Since then, he has been pursued for breaking the draconian Swiss banking secrecy laws. His family has been severely harassed. Under investigation since 2005, he has already served 220 days in prison, and is still being pursued by judges of the high court in Zurich.
The Heat Initiative, a nonprofit child safety advocacy group, was formed earlier this year to campaign against some of the strong privacy protections Apple provides customers. The group says these protections help enable child exploitation, objecting to the fact that pedophiles can encrypt their personal data just like everyone else.
When Apple launched its new iPhone this September, the Heat Initiative seized on the occasion, taking out a full-page New York Times ad, using digital billboard trucks, and even hiring a plane to fly over Apple headquarters with a banner message. The message on the banner appeared simple: “Dear Apple, Detect Child Sexual Abuse in iCloud” — Apple’s cloud storage system, which today employs a range of powerful encryption technologies aimed at preventing hackers, spies, and Tim Cook from knowing anything about your private files.
Something the Heat Initiative has not placed on giant airborne banners is who’s behind it: a controversial billionaire philanthropy network whose influence and tactics have drawn unfavorable comparisons to the right-wing Koch network. Though it does not publicize this fact, the Heat Initiative is a project of the Hopewell Fund, an organization that helps privately and often secretly direct the largesse — and political will — of billionaires. Hopewell is part of a giant, tightly connected web of largely anonymous, Democratic Party-aligned dark-money groups, in an ironic turn, campaigning to undermine the privacy of ordinary people.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., appeared at a General Motors plant in Wentzville, Missouri, earlier this week to join members of the United Auto Workers on the picket line against the Big Three automakers. There, he called himself “pro-worker,” challenged the companies to give workers a pay raise and more time off, and said he’s with the workers “100 percent.”
While he is rallying against the Big Three now, he has previously received campaign contributions from the automakers. During his first run for Senate in 2018 and through 2020, Hawley’s PAC received $8,500 from GM’s PAC, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission. His Senate campaign received $3,500 from Ford’s PAC and another $1,000 from a GM executive during that same time period. His PAC and campaign received an additional $13,000 from PACs associated with Toyota, a Japanese company notorious for running non-union shops in the United States.
Asked about the donations, a spokesperson for Hawley pointed to the senator’s 2021 promise to no longer accept money from corporate PACs.
As one of only seven commercial facilities currently operating in the United States, Braven Environmental is at the vanguard of the growing chemical recycling boom. An Intercept investigation, however, found numerous issues at its Zebulon facility.
A review of meeting minutes, permit applications, and compliance documents reveals that Braven misled the public about the risks of its pyrolysis operation and has potentially endangered human health and the environment through “significant noncompliance” with hazardous waste management regulations. While the ACC has touted Braven as a sustainable success story, documents also show that much of the company’s pyrolysis oil was not converted into useful plastic or fuel — it was disposed of as highly toxic waste.
“Chemical recycling is really a greenwashing technique for burning up a bunch of petrochemicals in a new way, and it’s releasing tons of air pollutants into the environment,” said Alexis Luckey, executive director of Toxic Free NC, in an interview. “What we’re talking about is incinerating carcinogens and neurotoxicants in a community.”
A ministry statement said some 20 targets of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, were “destroyed” in the aerial operation, including caves, shelters and depots.
Earlier, suicide bomber detonated an explosive device near an entrance of the Ministry of Interior Affairs, injuring two police officers. A second assailant was killed in a shootout with police Sunday, the interior minister said.
An news agency close to the PKK said he group has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing.
Archaeologists discovered the world's oldest wooden structure, said to be almost half a million years old.
A team of archaeologists unearthed a simple wood structure along a riverbank in Africa. At the dig site, researchers found two bush willow tree logs that appeared to have been manipulated by ancient humans approximately 476,000 years ago. The archaeology discovery makes it older than homo sapiens – believed to have emerged around 300,000 years ago.
Scientists believe that the high water levels from the nearby Kalambo Falls and fine sediment encased the structure to help preserve the wood.
The study of the oldest wooden structure was published in the journal Nature, and declared that archaeologists had discovered "the earliest evidence for structural use of wood in the archaeological record."
According to CNN, "The wood pieces were too old to be directly dated using radiocarbon techniques. Instead, the team used a technique called luminescence dating, which involved measuring the natural radioactivity in minerals in the fine sediment that encased the wood to figure out when it was last exposed to sunlight."
On Monday 16th of March 2020, when Boris Johnson first proclaimed, “You must stay home,” I very meekly said “OK!” And the chances are that you did too.
Polling from the time shows that self-reported compliance with the stay-at-home orders was high – a finding broadly corroborated by mobility data, which has the marked advantage of not depending on respondents’ honesty about following the law (Ganslmeier et al. 2022; Jackson and Bradford 2021).
In itself, however, this data alone does not tell us why an unprecedented suspension of our civil liberties enjoyed such high levels of compliance.
There are, however, surveys that do provide some insight (see, for example, Jackson and Bradford 2021; Foad et al. 2021; and Halliday et al. 2022) and amongst their more surprising findings is that instrumental considerations – that is, personal fear of the virus or of coercion by the State – may have been relatively unimportant in driving compliance with the lockdown rules. Instead, they found that, in general, people followed the rules because (1) they were the law and (2) because they provided us with a shared understanding of what was good and right to do, which many of us seem to have internalised (Jackson and Bradford 2021).
The first of these is not particularly surprising. The law enjoys a ‘reservoir of loyalty’ amongst Brits who are therefore already predisposed to respect its edicts just because they have been made law (Halliday et al. 2022, p.400).
This, however, does not explain the second driver of compliance. That is, it does not explain why we bought into lockdown laws and willingly accepted them as the basis of our public morality – to the point that we even often justified our non-compliant behaviours as nonetheless remaining within the ‘spirit of the law’ (Meers et al. 2021). It does not explain why we looked upon the sanitised, terrorised redrawing of society and saw that it was good. It is worth briefly revisiting, with the benefit of cooled heads and hindsight, what exactly this looked like.
When western nations rolled out a grand plan to throttle Russian oil imports and impose sanctions on Kremlin energy exports, we - and many others - laughed: after all, we have repeatedly seen how toothless western sanctions are when seeking to contain "rogue regime" oil profits, from Iran (which is pretty much selling oil to China at max capacity) to Venezuela and onward. One year later, our laughter has been well justified, because as the FT reports, "Russia has succeeded in avoiding G7 sanctions on most of its oil exports", a shift in trade flows that will boost the Kremlin’s revenues as crude rises towards $100 a barrel, and as Russian Urals prices hit $80, the highest level in over a year.
It’s estimated that there are nearly 1.4 million kilometers (0.9 million miles) of submarine cables in service globally. They ensure emails, content, and calls find their way, linking colossal data centers and facilitating worldwide communication.
Currently, there are 552 active and planned submarine cables:
Submarine cables harness fiber-optic technology, transmitting information via rapid light pulses through glass fibers. These fibers, thinner than human hair, are protected by plastic or even steel wire layers.
Cables usually have the diameter of a garden hose, but often with added armor near the shore. Coastal cables are buried under the seabed, hidden from view on the beach, while deep-sea ones rest on the ocean floor.
Length varies widely, from the 131-kilometer CeltixConnect cable, connecting Dublin, Ireland, and Holyhead, UK, to the sprawling 20,000-kilometer Asia America Gateway cable, connecting San Luis Obispo, California, to Hawaii and Southeast Asia:
Outraged parents have condemned the local mayor’s decision to accommodate up to 80 asylum seekers in containers on the grounds of a primary school in the German town of Monheim am Rhein.
Dozens of local residents attended a recent question time of the local council to voice their displeasure over the controversial move proposed by Mayor Daniel Zimmerman’s administration and expressed their concerns for child safety, calling the plans both inappropriate and unacceptable.
Starting next spring, a cohort of migrants will reside in containers located on the school grounds, which are no longer used for educational purposes.
In response to the protestations of locals, the council cited economic factors as a primary reason for the move, insisting that the estimated €150,000 it would cost to convert the containers into housing was substantially lower than the cost of renting private accommodations, where around 80 percent of the migrants recently received by the municipality currently reside.
“We simply can’t keep up with renting anymore,” a city press spokesperson told parents at the meeting.
Beware, the crisis at the southern border may be much worse than it appears...
Free Apple watches, bus and plane tickets all across the continental United States, and sophisticated lawyers standing by to counsel migrants on how to best navigate border officials’ scrutiny of asylum on the occasions when they are actually required to defend their asylum claims. These benefits being offered to illegal border crossers have left the public shocked, angry, and in many cases, feeling the issue closer to home than ever before. Many cities and states have also been overwhelmed as the consequences of the crisis have migrated well beyond the southern border states. Recently, New York City Mayor Eric Adams made news when he emphatically declared that the now-regular stream of migrants into the Big Apple “will ruin the City!”
It’s not just local budgets and social services that are being squeezed to the breaking point, although those are nothing to sneeze at and will have to be addressed. The increase in crime may be the biggest concern. Violent crime rates are up, and violent incidents are prominent on the nightly news. Less visible are the other criminal enterprises causing ripple effects. Human trafficking has gained more attention as its shocking reality is (very) slowly exposed. The recently released independent film, “The Sound of Freedom,” struck a chord for this very reason – human trafficking is striking too close to home for most Americans’ peace of mind.
Then there are the drugs. The opioid epidemic has gotten substantially worse in the last few years, with annual overdose deaths, after a slight decline from 2017 through 2019, increasing dramatically in the last several years. As if this isn’t bad enough, the opportunities for smuggling in other illegal contraband have increased as well.
The transportation of those wishing to leave Nagorno-Karabakh for Armenia is coming to its "logical conclusion," Armenian government spokeswoman Nazeli Baghdasaryan said on Sunday, adding that all those who wanted to leave the breakaway region after the recent escalation had already done it.
"The intensity [of the flow] has significantly decreased. We can say that the last people wishing to move to Armenia have done so and the process is coming to its logical conclusion," Baghdasaryan said.
Despite this fact, Yerevan will keep providing transportation for those wishing to leave the region.
As many as 100,514 people from Nagorno-Karabakh have arrived in Armenia since the recent escalation last week, Baghdasaryan said, adding that temporary housing had been provided for 48,649 people.
Billionaire Ray Dalio is warning the average American that the ruling class has put them in a “risky” financial situation. The debt crisis is getting worse by the second and a total collapse of the financial system is looming.
“We’re going to have a debt crisis in this country,” Dalio told CNBC according to a report by RT in an interview that aired Thursday. “How fast it transpires, I think, is going to be a function of that supply-demand issue, so I’m watching that very closely.”
Climate crisis activists have dreamed up a campaign that they bombastically call a “treaty” to ban advertising of high-carbon products – in other words, anything they, or their sponsors, don’t like. These groups are not working alone; they are politically funded and politically motivated.
They are making moves to ban advertisements of motor vehicles and air travel, and the latest “fossil fuel” adverts being targeted is meat. You read that right, meat is being treated the same as a “fossil fuel” according to the Council of the Dutch City of Haarlem which has included meat on their list of “banned fossil fuel endorsements.”
All over the United States, major cities are descending into a state of chaos. Every day, more migrants that came pouring through our wide open borders arrive in our inner cities, and many of them end up joining gangs or selling drugs. Meanwhile, more of our young people get hooked on drugs with each passing day. In the worst areas, you can see hordes of them literally staggering around like zombies because they have been drugged out of their minds. All of this addiction is fueling an unprecedented homelessness crisis. In fact, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that homelessness in the United States is growing faster this year than ever before. In this sort of an environment, it should be no surprise that violent crime is absolutely exploding all over the nation. If you choose to wander the streets of America’s hellish inner cities, you are literally taking your life into your hands, because a violent predator could literally be around the next corner. Unfortunately, we are still only in the very early stages of this crisis. It will inevitably get even worse in the months ahead as economic conditions deteriorate even more.
The most recent edition of the US Army War College’s academic journal includes a highly disturbing essay on what lessons the US military should take away from the continuing war in Ukraine. By far the most concerning and most relevant section for the average American citizen is a subsection entitled “Casualties, Replacements, and Reconstitutions” which, to cut right to the chase, directly states, “Large-scale combat operations troop requirements may well require a reconceptualization of the 1970s and 1980s volunteer force and a move toward partial conscription.”
An Industrial War of Attrition Would Require Vast Numbers of Troops
The context for this supposed need to reinstate conscription is the estimate that were the US to enter into a large-scale conflict, every day it would likely suffer thirty-six hundred casualties and require eight hundred replacements, again per day. The report notes that over the course of twenty years in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US suffered fifty thousand casualties, a number which would likely be reached in merely two weeks of large-scale intensive combat.
The military is already facing an enormous recruiting shortfall. Last year the army alone fell short of its goal by fifteen thousand soldiers and is on track to be short an additional twenty thousand this year. On top of that, the report notes that the Individual Ready Reserve, which is composed of former service personnel who do not actively train and drill but may be called back into active service in the event they are needed, has dropped from seven hundred thousand in 1973 to seventy-six thousand now.
A state energy reporter for Cowboy State Daily has revealed why Big Media is conspiring to panic the masses about “climate change.” Billions of dollars are given to the media every year to fabricate a case for total control over human cattle by panicking them about the state of the planet.
According to a recent article by Kevin Killough, the “monoculture of perspectives” on climate change and energy is due to the regular funding received by major media outlets directly or indirectly from billionaire foundations and global elites who are steering the world away from fossil fuels. They aren’t doing this for the good of the planet or for the health of humanity. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It’s hard to control and enslave humans mentally who are not living in a constant state of fear.
President Biden on Sunday told Congress to “stop playing games” and authorize the additional $24 billion in Ukraine aid that he’s requested, which would bring total US spending on the proxy war to about $137 billion.
Biden’s comments came after Congress passed a stopgap funding bill at the last minute on Saturday to avert a partial government shutdown that did not include money for Ukraine. The White House wanted the $24 billion in Ukraine war spending to be included in the bill.
“We cannot under any circumstances allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted,” Biden said. “We have time, not much time, and there’s an overwhelming sense of urgency … The vast majority of both parties — Democrats and Republicans, Senate and House — support helping Ukraine and the brutal aggression that is being thrust upon them by Russia. Stop playing games, get this done.”
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Sunday said that comments made by his defense secretary about sending troops into Ukraine for training are part of long-term planning, not something the UK would do in the “here and now.”
British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps told the Sunday Telegraph that he was discussing the idea of moving London’s training programs for Ukrainian troops from the UK into Ukraine. “I was talking today about eventually getting the training brought closer and actually into Ukraine as well,” Shapps said.
According to the Discord leaks and several media reports, the UK has had special operations forces inside Ukraine. The Times of Londonreported all the way back in April 2022 that British Special Air Service troops were training Ukrainians on anti-tank weapons outside of Kyiv. But the presence was never officially acknowledged by London, and an open British military deployment to Ukraine would mark a significant escalation of NATO involvement in the war.
In response to Shapps’ comments, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the potential British deployment would turn British military instructors into “legal targets” of the Russian armed forces. Medvedev said the British troops would be “ruthlessly eliminated, and this time not as mercenaries but as British NATO specialists.”
During the summer, many of the experts repeatedly assured us that the U.S. economy would be able to avoid a recession, but now reality is setting in. Credit conditions continue to tighten, home sales are falling, credit card losses are exploding, stores are closing all over the country, and the number of bankruptcies is rising to very alarming levels. Meanwhile, the cost of living continues to become more and more suffocating. If you have a gut feeling that very hard times are on the horizon, you are definitely not alone. As you will see below, a staggering 71 percent of all Americans currently believe that America is on the wrong track, and our economy is one of the biggest reasons why they feel this way. The following are 10 numbers which prove that the U.S. economy has hit a major pivot point…
A 15-year-old Michigan teen is facing two felony assault charges after she was caught on video launching a metal chair at her teacher's head during a heated argument with another student.
The teacher, who attempted to break up the fight, turned her back to the assailant when the chair was hurled at the educator, striking her in the head and causing her to drop to the floor where she did not move for approximately seven seconds.
The Genesee County Prosecutor's office made the arrest following the "unacceptable act of violence," which went viral last week, ABC 12 reports.
NATO has authorised additional forces for Kosovo, the military alliance said, following the worst violence in northern Kosovo in years.
Kosovo’s prime minister on Friday welcomed a NATO decision to bolster its troops in the volatile Balkan region, saying last weekend’s shootout that left four people dead illustrates Serbia’s attempts to destabilise its former province with the help of ally Russia.
While the timing of a potential deal normalising relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel remains unknown, talk of such a move is rapidly gaining momentum.
Asked last week how close a deal was, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said: "Every day we get closer."
But Saudi Arabia has long maintained that it wouldn't normalise ties with Israel until Palestinians got their own state - a reality that is even more unlikely under Israel's current far-right coalition government.
In recent months, US President Joe Biden's administration has spearheaded efforts to strike a deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel, which would have Riyadh follow in the footsteps of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, who normalised ties in 2020 as part of the so-called Abraham Accords.
But members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition have rejected any serious concessions to Palestinians, including the freezing of illegal settlement construction on occupied Palestinian land.
Israeli occupation forces assaulted Palestinian journalists and worshippers on Sunday, as hundreds of Israeli Jewish settlers forced their way into Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, in occupied East Jerusalem, to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
Sukkot is a week-long holiday, which started on September 29 and will continue until October 6.
In a statement, the Jordan-run Islamic Waqf Department said Israeli forces closed the Al-Mughrabi Gate, southwest of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, “after allowing 602 Jewish extremists” into the site.
Serbia has denied reports of a military build-up along the border with Kosovo, alleging a “campaign of lies” against his country in the wake of a shootout a week earlier that killed four people and fuelled tensions in the volatile Balkan region.
“A campaign of lies … has been launched against our Serbia,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in a video posted on Instagram on Sunday.
“They have lied a lot about the presence of our military forces …. In fact, they are bothered that Serbia has what they describe as sophisticated weapons.”
Earlier this week, the United States urged Belgrade to pull its forces back from the border with Kosovo after detecting what it called an “unprecedented” Serbian military build-up.
Serbia deployed sophisticated tanks and artillery on the border after deadly clashes erupted at a monastery in northern Kosovo last week, the White House warned. The European Union also expressed similar concerns.
Select members of Congress were informed of the agreements on Wednesday during a closed-door briefing with Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, who was in Washington to sign the deals.
The State Department did not publicize the agreements, but a State Department official confirmed the deals were signed in comments to the Examiner. The maritime deal will allow the US Coast Guard to patrol waters off Ecuador’s coast, an area where Colombian cartels transport cocaine.
The second agreement outlines the terms by which the US troops could be deployed to Ecuador, known as a status of forces agreement. The details of the agreement are not known, and it’s also unclear if it means a US troop deployment is imminent.
“That doesn’t mean we’re doing it, but it means we can, and it means that they’re making a very clear signal to us that they want more us involved,” said Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), an ultra-hawk who favors military intervention against drug cartels.
Muhammad Jibril Rummaneh, 17, was killed by Israeli occupation forces at the entrance to the illegal settlement of Pegasot, near the city of Al-Bireh.
A Palestinian teenager was killed and another wounded on Friday night after Israeli occupation forces opened gunfire at a vehicle near the city of Al-Bireh, in the occupied West Bank, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
According to local sources, Israeli troops set up an ambush for the vehicle at the entrance to the illegal settlement of Pegasot before they opened fire at the two young men who were inside the vehicle.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a speech released on Sunday that nothing would weaken his country's fight against Russia, a day after the U.S. Congress passed a stopgap funding bill that omitted aid to Ukraine.
Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said separately he had received reassurances about further military assistance in a telephone call with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
"Secretary Austin assured me," he wrote in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, using flags in place of country names, that U.S. support to Ukraine "will continue" and that Ukrainian "warriors will continue to have a strong back-up on the battlefield."
A Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesperson said Kyiv was working with its American partners to ensure a new budget decision would include funds for the country, and that U.S. support was intact.
Webmaster addition: Zelenskiy has to be blackmailing Biden!
Cavazos (formerly Fort Hood) is located not far from Killeen, Texas, and is the home to the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division, with over 34,5000 uniformed personnel and 48,500 family members. It is a city unto itself. And it can’t feed its residents.
The Military Times reported that the sprawling base had only two of its 10 major dining options open every day for junior enlisted personnel.
While the hot Texas summer rolled through central Texas, the base wasn’t able to provide its men and women in uniform with convenient dining, leaving thousands to spend an hour on the road traveling to and from a dining hall just to eat.
Although many enlisted have cars, many do not. Those who do not have a private car or could carpool with mates were left to find transportation via shuttle. Shuttles were available. Just one problem – that information wasn’t generally knowns to hungry soldiers. . . .