Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev has issued ultra-provocative words claiming that it's not fundamentally Ukraine that Russia is at war with, but that the Russian military is facing all of NATO inside Ukraine.
"The events in Ukraine aren’t a clash between Moscow and Kiev. It’s a military confrontation of NATO, first of all the US and Britain, with Russia. Fearing a direct engagement, NATO instructors push Ukrainian men to certain death," he said in a fresh interview with state-owned newspaper aif.ru.
Patrushev continued by describing Russia's military as geared toward seeking to "free its regions from occupation and must put an end to the West’s bloody experiment to destroy the fraternal people of Ukraine."
"We are not at war with Ukraine because we can’t have hatred for ordinary Ukrainians by default," he stressed. He then presented Russian and Ukrainian heritage and closely bound up together, according to state media:
"Get this: the Ukrainian language is one of the official languages in Crimea. Ukrainian cultural centers, Ukrainian folk song and dance groups continue to exist in many cities. A considerable number of people in the south of the Far East regard Ukrainian culture as their own, given a large proportion of migrants from the times of Stolypin," he said, referring to Pyotr Stolypin, a prime minister of the Russian Empire in the early 1900s, who oversaw a resettlement policy.
... a soap opera. In fact, as usual, it begins to look increasingly risible.
The U.S. is considering sending Stryker armored combat vehicles to Ukraine in an upcoming aid package to help Kyiv fend off an expected Russian spring offensive, according to two people familiar with the discussion. The news follows the Biden administration’s announcement last week that it will send 50 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, a powerful tracked armored vehicle that carries an autocannon, a machine gun and TOW missiles. ...While Strykers are not as powerful or protective as tanks, the eight-wheeled armored fighting vehicle built by General Dynamics Land Systems can operate in snow, mud and sand, though off-road mobility is somewhat limited by its lack of tracks.
Ah, yes. Anything but modern Abrams tanks.
Crude oil prices could exceed $140 per barrel yet this year if China’s economy fully reopens, hedge fund manager Pierre Andurand said on Friday.
Andurand sees the possibility of crude oil demand growing by more than 4 million barrels per day this year—a 4% increase over last year. This far exceeds crude demand growth set out for 2023 by other oil market forecasters.
“I think oil will go upwards of $140 a barrel once Asia fully reopens, assuming there will be no more lockdowns, Andurand said, adding that the “market is underestimating the scale of the demand boost that it will bring.”
Andurand’s forecast goes against the trend that crude oil prices set so far this year. During the first week of the year, crude oil prices tumbled by 9% in the first two trading days in what was the worst start to a year since 1991.
Last week, Andurand said in a tweet that oil demand could increase between 3 and 4 million bpd this year, aided by the switch from oil to gas.
House Republicans on Tuesday will take the first step in the new Congress toward boosting oversight of both the Chinese government and the Biden administration.
China is widely viewed as America’s most immediate threat economically, militarily and strategically. China’s grip on the global supply chain and strategic resources has been growing for years, and China has been making major acquisitions around the world that experts say enhance both its economic prowess and its military capability.
On Tuesday, Republicans will call up a resolution from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy establishing the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and China.
The committee’s mission will be to “investigate and submit policy recommendations on the status of the Chinese Communist Party’s economic, technological, and security progress and its competition with the United States.”
Today is our day off, but this just came across and we wanted you all to see it before we wrote on it. Early this morning Bloomberg did a post describing the “who” bought all the gold recently. TD Securities did a more comprehensive report on it today1, including the “why” part.
Just now Zerohedge also posted an excellent write up of that report. In doing so they provide insight as why this gold is being hoarded. From: 'A Sanctions-Evasion War-Chest Ahead Of Taiwan Invasion' - Why Is China Hoarding Gold Again?
[T]he role of gold may be changing as first Russia, then other countries (China) seek to force out the petrodollar and replace it with petrogold, a move which would finally lead to substantial price upside for the yellow metal which has gone nowhere in the past 2 years.
Certainly if an invasion or threat of one were to happen, China would have to shore up its FX reserves with Gold.
Shipping rates in the Black Sea have risen by 20% since the start of the year as war risk insurance premiums increase, Reuters reported, citing unnamed industry sources.
What’s more, some insurers have stopped providing coverage for ships and planes moving goods to and from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. Reinsurers have also pulled out of the region on heightened risks, the report noted.
The Black Sea, which is shared by Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, and Turkey, is a major oil and oil product shipping artery.
“The effect of (the exit of reinsurers) is reducing (underwriting) capacity in the market for war risk and will mean people will pay more this year,” one of the Reuters sources explained.
Russia has ramped up oil production from the Sakhalin-1 project and expects the field to soon pump at the full level of 220,000 barrels per day (bpd) after the project’s previous operator, U.S. supermajor ExxonMobil, quit Russian operations, an industry source with knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Monday.
Currently, oil production at Sakhalin-1 is around 150,000 bpd, or 65% of its capacity, according to Reuters’ industry source. Output is set to hit the 220,000 bpd peak level in “three to four weeks,” the source added.
The Scandinavian countries are continuing their militarized posture in response to the Russian war in Ukraine, with Sweden's government being the latest to issue a surprise announcement and unusual move, given its longtime peace and prior stance of historic neutrality.
On Monday Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson unveiled that new steps are being taken to reintroduce conscription for civilians, toward bolstering the country's emergency response services, given new realities as a result of Russia's military action in Ukraine.
Ooh, things are getting to be fun! Nothing like watching geopolitical jousting out in the open. Here, we have the US (and NATO) attempting to push around Türkiye, a country that holds far too many cards to meekly accept Western dictates. The immediate contratemps that has just heated up is Türkiye’s threat to block Sweden’s bid to join NATO, which any NATO member can bar. Türkiye demanded that Sweden stop supporting what Türkiye deems to be Kurdish terrorists and made specific requests, including extraditions. It seemed highly unlikely that Sweden would be willing to accede to all of Türkiye’s demands, and Sweden just said so:
Conventional wisdom is that Türkiye will eventually knuckle under and will waive Finland and Sweden in. It would be too monstrously embarrassing and would worsen rifts in the bloc otherwise. But Türkiye will need some sort of bribe to go along. And is has to be visible for the sake of Erdogan depicting that he go something in return for his partial climbdown on his Kurdish terrorist position. But what might that sweetener be?
If you were to read only, say, the likes of the Economist, you’d have the strong impression that Türkiye was a vassal state that doesn’t know its place.
SB Tactical, one of the most popular AR-15 pistol brace manufacturers, appears to have been hit with a data breach, where customer data, including names, addresses, and credit card information, was leaked online.
A snapshot of an email from SB Tactical's customer support has surfaced on Reddit and Twitter in the last few days detailing "a data security incident that may involve unauthorized access to your personal information."
"SB Tactical was recently informed by law enforcement that our website was compromised. It is possible that your credit card number, expiration date, CCV code, cardholder name, address, phone number, and email address were exposed," the email said.
The pistol brace manufacturer has sold millions of units and is arguably one of the most popular stabilizing brace brands in the US. The email continued by indicating "the timeframe of the compromise to be between September 19, 2022, through December 13. 2022."
U.S. drug regulators acknowledged deviating from the normal vaccine approval process when dealing with Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot, according to newly disclosed documents.
Weeks after Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced they started a rolling submission of documents for approval of their COVID-19 vaccine, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration official penned a memorandum authorizing the release of a Biologics License Application (BLA) number for the shot even as regulators weighed whether to approve the BLA, one of the documents shows.
“This deviation from our normal practice is done to facilitate product labeling and distribution and is consistent with other Center practices to facilitate vaccine delivery during the declared Public Health Emergency,” Christopher Joneckis, the FDA’s associate director for review management, wrote in the June 17, 2021, memo. “When providing the license number, we should communicate that this license number does not constitute any determination by FDA on the application.”
Joneckis said the decision stemmed in part from the FDA having granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the shot in late 2020. That means the FDA “is familiar with and has reviewed much of the information provided in the BLA application,” which primarily consisted of data used in the application for emergency clearance, he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government has wasted no time implementing its ultra-nationalist agenda, including adopting a seemingly petty ban on displaying the Palestinian flag and shaking the foundations of Israel’s democracy with a proposed legal assault on the Supreme Court.
After barely two weeks in power, the most hard-line and religious government in Israel’s history already is fomenting divisions at home and barreling toward conflict with the Palestinians and Israel’s allies abroad.
“We are not waiting, and I think the citizens of Israel already feel this,” Netanyahu told lawmakers in his Likud Party on Monday. “We formed a different government, with different policies, and we run things differently.”
Just days after taking office, his national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, visited Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site — a hilltop compound revered by Jews and Muslims. While Ben-Gvir respected existing norms that bar Jewish prayer at the site, the visit was seen by many as a provocation given his past calls for giving Jewish worshippers greater access. It drew Palestinian condemnations and angry statements from the United States and Israel’s own Arab allies.
Israeli Border Police officers were filmed throwing a stun grenade without cause at a Palestinian man who lost his left eye as a result of the explosion. The video — which was taken on Jan. 2 in the area of Asira ash-Shamaliya in the north of the occupied West Bank, and which went viral on social media in the days following the incident — showed 20-year-old Abdullah Rawajbeh leaning on his car and smoking a cigarette on the side of a road when a military jeep drives toward him with the door open. Suddenly, the video shows a grenade being thrown his way, leading Rawajbeh to recoil.
“I work with my brother in road paving,” Rawajbeh told +972 a few days after the incident. “While we were working, dozens of army jeeps and bulldozers passed by, so we stopped to look at them. My brother was filming the convoy from inside the vehicle when suddenly threw a stun grenade at me, and it exploded in my face. People ran to me, called for first aid, and I was taken to the hospital. The doctor told me after some tests that there was nothing they could do — my eye was gone. I had an operation and they removed it. I’m blind. In a few weeks they will insert a glass eye, for the sake of appearance.”
Two years ago, Morocco and Israel signed the US-brokered "Joint Declaration," thus officially recognizing Israel and instating diplomatic ties. Though other Arab countries had already done the same, the Moroccan official recognition of Apartheid Israel was particularly devastating for Palestinians.
Years ago, a close Moroccan friend told me that the "first time" he was arrested was during a solidarity protest for Palestine in Rabat which took place many years ago.
The reference to the "first time" indicated that he was arrested again, though mostly for other political activities, suggesting that Palestine, in many ways, has become a local struggle for many Moroccans.
Whenever Moroccans protest for Palestine, they would do so in large numbers, sometimes in their millions. Such solidarity has historically served as the foundation of regional and global solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.
Though ordinary Arabs have always considered Palestine a core struggle, the relationship between North Africans and Palestine is, in many ways, unique and rooted.
Members of the Arizona Legislature and the Arizona Freedom Caucus turned their backs on Katie Hobbs, walked out of her yearly State of the State address Monday, and slammed her in a new statement for the “election riddled with violations of Arizona law” and her embrace of “the left’s extreme, woke agenda.”
They also criticized her “preference to illegally legislate via executive order” and her “willingness to exploit the levers of power in our state.” State Senator Jake Hoffman said that Katie Hobbs’ far-left, woke agenda “elevates her actions to tyrannical.”
Hobbs was nowhere to be found after her speech, likely hiding from the media.
Hobbs was also nowhere to be found after she gave her inaugural address on Thursday. However, The Gateway Pundit correspondent Jordan Conradson had the opportunity to speak with incoming Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes after incoming Attorney General Kris Mayes ran away from questions. Fontes claimed that the 2022 Election in Maricopa County was “perfectly good” and that machines did not fail on Election Day — An obvious lie!
Remember how many Democrats clamored for President Donald Trump's tax returns to be released because they believed it would show proof that he was somehow in cahoots with Russia and Vladimir Putin?
Now his tax returns have been obtained and are public. And...
There's nothing about Russia. At all.
BASEDPolitics’ Brad Polumbo writes, “Yet what’s more important is what Trump’s tax returns did not show: any corrupt connection to Russia. Democrats for years suggested that the real reason Trump wouldn’t release his tax information was because it would show that Putin had something on him.
Just for an example, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in 2018, 'The president has refused to release his tax returns, but these bizarre actions that he has taken, which seem so to indicate that President Putin has something over President Trump, something personal, and it might be financial. We need to see the tax returns.'
Well, now we have them, and Trump’s tax returns show nothing of the sort. It’s not exactly new at this point for Democratic warnings about Trump-Russia collusion to later prove baseless, but it’s still worth revisiting just how far removed from reality their claims were.”
Journalist Alex Berenson released another ‘Twitter Files’ drop: How Scott Gottlieb – a top Pfizer board member – used the same Twitter lobbyist as the White House to suppress debate on Covid vaccines.
Including help from fellow head of the USDA!
Dr. Scott Gottlieb – former FDA Commissioner-turned-member-of-board-of-directors of Pfizer, pressured Twitter to censor former NY Times reporter and author Alex Berenson for questioning the mRNA vaccines.
Pfizer made billions of dollars off of its mRNA Covid vaccines.
During a COVID-19 EU hearing last October, Pfizer’s President of International Developed Markets, Janine Small, admitted that the vaccine had never been tested on its ability to prevent transmission, contrary to what was previously advertised.
During the hearing, when asked by Dutch politician Ross if the Pfizer COVID vaccine tested on stopping the transmission of the virus before it entered the market, Janine Small responded while smiling,
“Regarding the question around did we know about stopping immunization before it entered the market? No. We have to really move at the speed of science to really understand what is taking place in the market.”
This statement was confirmed by an unredacted Pfizer agreement from a FOIA request with the Slovenian government.
“The Participating Member State acknowledges that the Vaccine and materials related to the Vaccine, and their components and constituent materials are being rapidly developed due to the emergency circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to be studied after provision of the Vaccine to the Participating Member States under the APA,” according to the documents.
“The Participating Member State further acknowledges that the long-term effects and efficacy of the Vaccine are not currently known and that there may be adverse effects from the Vaccine that are not currently known.”
On January 9 the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) determined that WhatsApp (a messaging platform owned by Meta Platforms) could proceed with its lawsuit against the Israeli spyware company NSO Group Technologies. The NSO Group’s request for immunity had already been rejected by lower courts before reaching SCOTUS.
Meta sued the NSO Group in October 2019 over its Pegasus hacking technology. Meta alleges that Pegasus allowed users to access WhatsApp servers and surveil some 1,400 individuals illegally.
In 2021 a reporting consortium investigated an NSO Group data leak (initially obtained by the Paris-based Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International) and discovered that Pegasus had been used by at least twenty authoritarian governments to spy on activists, journalists, and attorneys. Among the findings was news that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates surveilled the family of slain Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, before and after his murder.
I have said on national TV throughout the COVID-19 vaccine campaign that no young person should receive a shot because the risks far outweigh the benefits. Chiu et al published a report where both cardiac symptoms and ECG changes were recorded after the first and second injections. The results are alarming. After the second injection of mRNA 17.1% of students reported cardiovascular symptoms.
If you are so unfortunate to live in California, get out quickly. The state government is insane. Indeed, you could say criminally insane. Aside from water, electricity, earthquake and wildfire problems, the state has legislated away doctors’ judgments about how to best treat their patients, and the Woke governor’s state task force on reparations for blacks wants to rob California residents of $2,225,000,000,000 in order to give the 2,225,000 blacks who reside in California $1,000,000 each. As soon as blacks hear about this, practically the entire black population of the US will move to California. See this.
In 2020 the US black population was 41.1 million, raising the cost to California taxpayers to $41,100,000,000,000 if blacks all decide to become millionaires by moving to California. This reparations sum is 11.4 times larger than California’s GDP in 2022. Only a dumbshit like California’s governor Gavin Newsom could come up with a task force this stupid. Of course, it was the dumbshit voters in California who elected him and refused the effort to recall him. So one could easily conclude that the voters deserve to pay the reparations. It serves their stupidity right.