"They [the media] are news-as-entertainment professionals – packaging glossy corporate content for maximum distribution and big bucks. The goal is not objective reportage. Their targets are quantifiable and highlighted in a business plan somewhere. Success is based on a simple formula: stay within parameters "understandable" to a wide audience that devours sound bites and familiar storylines on the hour, every hour.

Like trained seals whose every desire, instinct and buying pattern has been measured by corporate media's marketing department for the consumption of its advertisers, the audience demands satisfaction – and western media delivers it." -- Sharmine Narwani

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Authored by Pepe Escobar,

February 24, 2022 was the day that changed 21st century geopolitics forever...

Exactly two years ago this Saturday, on February 24, 2022, Vladimir Putin announced the launching – and described the objectives – of a Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine. That was the inevitable follow-up to what happened three days before, on February 21 – exactly 8 years after Maidan 2014 in Kiev – when Putin officially recognized the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

During this – pregnant with meaning – short space of only three days, everyone expected that the Russian Armed Forces would intervene, militarily, to end the massive bombing and shelling that had been going on for three weeks across the frontline – which even forced the Kremlin to evacuate populations at risk to Russia. Russian intel had conclusive proof that the NATO-backed Kiev forces were ready to execute an ethnic cleansing of Russophone Donbass.

February 24, 2022 was the day that changed 21st century geopolitics forever, in several complex ways. Above all, it marked the beginning of a vicious, all-out confrontation, “military-technical” as the Russians call it, between the Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder, its easily pliable NATOstan vassals, and Russia – with Ukraine as the battleground.

There is hardly any question Putin had calculated, before and during these three fateful days, that his decisions would unleash the unbounded fury of the collective West – complete with a tsunami of sanctions.

Aye, there’s the rub; it’s all about Sovereignty. And a true sovereign power simply cannot live under permanent threats. It’s even feasible that Putin had wanted (italics mine) Russia to get sanctioned to death. After all, Russia is so naturally wealthy that without a serious challenge from abroad, the temptation is enormous to live off its rents while importing what it could easily produce.

Exceptionalists always gloated that Russia is “a gas station with nuclear weapons”. That’s ridiculous. Oil and gas, in Russia, account for roughly 15% of GDP, 30% of the government budget, and 45% of exports. Oil and gas add power to the Russian economy – not a drag. Putin shaking Russia’s complacency generated a gas station producing everything it needs, complete with unrivaled nuclear and hypersonic weapons. Beat that!

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There are reports of a mass casualty event in Gaza City on Thursday, with Hamas claiming at least 104 Palestinians killed and several hundred wounded or injured (though casualty numbers have fluctuated in the immediate aftermath). However, Israel is disputing local accounts of what happened and says people died following a stampede caused by Palestinians rushing aid trucks.

There are several different versions of what happened, but all accounts agree that mayhem was unleashed when some 30 humanitarian aid trucks containing food were positioned on the street under Israeli protection. Gaza has been on the brink of famine, and so reportedly hundreds of people rushed toward to trucks hoping to obtain something.

Desperate Gazans seeking food, aid and shelter, via Times of Israel

And that's when according to The Guardian, "An Israeli source said Israeli troops opened fire on Thursday at 'several people' among a crowd that surrounded aid trucks in the Gaza Strip after feeling under threat."

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Wikipedia has downgraded tech website CNET's reliability rating following extensive discussions among its editors regarding the impact of AI-generated content on the site's trustworthiness, as noted in a detailed report from Futurism. The decision reflects concerns over the reliability of articles found on the tech news outlet after it began publishing AI-generated stories in 2022.

Around November 2022, CNET began publishing articles written by an AI model under the byline "CNET Money Staff." In January 2023, Futurism brought widespread attention to the issue and discovered that the articles were full of plagiarism and mistakes. (Around that time, we covered plans to do similar automated publishing at BuzzFeed.) After the revelation, CNET management paused the experiment, but the reputational damage had already been done.

Wikipedia maintains a page called "Reliable sources/Perennial sources" that includes a chart featuring news publications and their reliability ratings as viewed from Wikipedia's perspective. Shortly after the CNET news broke in January 2023, Wikipedia editors began a discussion thread on the Reliable Sources project page about the publication.

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China has the most diplomatic posts abroad out of any country in the world, according to the Lowy Institute’s 2024 Global Diplomacy Index, published Sunday. Close on its heels comes rival global superpower, the United States.

As Statista's Anna Fleck shows in the following chartChina and the U.S. are the world heavyweights when it comes to diplomatic efforts, with a total of 274 and 271 posts abroad, respectively. China overtook the U.S. as the world’s leading diplomatic nation back in 2019 and has maintained the position ever since.

Infographic: China Tops Global Diplomacy Index | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

According to the institute, Beijing has a higher number of diplomatic postings than Washington in Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, as well as Central Asia, following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is ahead diplomatically in Europe, North and Central America and South Asia. Both nations are now matched for posts in the Middle East and South America.

A number of so-called middle powers are also strengthening their networks though. Türkiye rose to rank three this year (up from rank 5 in 2023), while India is now in position 11 (up from rank 12 in 2023). These two countries have the fastest growing networks of the Index. Of India’s 11 new posts since 2021, eight of them have been in Africa.

The 2024 Global Diplomacy Index reveals the diplomatic networks of 66 countries and territories in Asia, the Group of 20 (G20) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD

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Nothing good can come from allowing the government to sidestep the Constitution.

Unfortunately, the government has become an expert at disregarding constitutional roadblocks intended to protect the rights of the citizenry.

When these end-runs don’t suffice, the government hides behind the covert, clandestine, classified language of national security; or obfuscates, complicates, stymies, and bamboozles; or creates manufactured diversions to keep the citizenry in the dark; or works through private third parties not traditionally bound by the Constitution.

This last tactic is increasingly how the government gets away with butchering our freedoms, by having its corporate partners serve as a front for its nefarious deeds.

This is how the police state has managed to carry out an illegal secret dragnet surveillance program on the American people over the course of multiple presidential administrations.

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Authored by Marina Zhang via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Dr. Clarice Saba, an otorhinolaryngologist in Brazil, developed sudden hearing loss in her right ear a week after receiving her first dose of the COVID-19 adenovirus vaccine.

I did all the exams and could not find any other reason other than because of the shots,” she told The Epoch Times.

Several studies have linked sudden hearing loss to the vaccine, with the most comprehensive study coming from France. Four hundred cases of post-vaccine sudden sensorineural hearing loss were evaluated, with 345 medical reports assessed by two audiology experts for potential causality.

[Sudden sensorineural hearing loss] after COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are very rare adverse events,” the French authors concluded, adding that these rare adverse events “do not call into question the benefits of mRNA vaccines but deserve to be known given the potentially disabling impact of sudden deafness.”

Accumulated Damage

While the cause of hearing loss is unknown, it is usually assumed to be induced by damage to the cochlear, a fluid-filled, spiral cavity in the inner ear that helps process sounds into electrical signals in the brain.

This assumption is based on the fact that cochlear implants, which mimic the work of a natural cochlear, are highly successful in treating hearing loss.

The cochlear is a highly sensitive part of the ear and can accumulate damage from aging, loud sounds, viral infections, and certain chemicals and medications.

These exposures may restrict oxygen to the blood supply of the cochlear, reduce blood flow, increase oxidative damage, or form lesions in the cochlear tissue.

It is not known how COVID-19 and its vaccines may cause hearing loss. Some studies have proposed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus may replicate in the ears and cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves there. Case studies evaluating hearing problems in COVID-19 patients found inflammation of the inner ears, inflamed cochlear and vestibular nerves, and bleeding of the ears.

The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines induce the body to make COVID-19 spike proteins. Research in animal cochlear cells has shown that the spike protein damages the cochlear. Spike proteins also share structural similarities with over 28 human proteins. Therefore, some studies on hearing loss speculate that proteins in the ears, including within the cochlea, may be structurally similar to spike proteins, leading to autoimmune damage when the body mounts its immune response.

The spike proteins in the COVID-19 vaccines are also prone to causing microclotting, where the blood becomes more viscous and “sludge-like,” according to internal medicine physician Dr. Jordan Vaughn. Viscous blood moves more slowly, reducing oxygen exchange in the blood and leading to stress on the nerves and cells in the ears.

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The refugees whose impact this series will examine are, in the first place, the Jews who immigrated to Britain in the later decades of the 19th century. Small numbers of Jews already lived in Britain before a much larger wave of Ashkenazi immigration from Eastern Europe occurred over several decades from the 1870s. Immigration was somewhat inhibited by the Aliens Act of 1905. As Jews were most of the arriving immigrants at that time, they were most affected. Still, more continued to arrive, a large number already had, and today, according to government statistics, Jews number around three hundred thousand in Britain, somewhat less than half of one percent of the population.

By the beginning of the 20th century, a narrative in which these recently-immigrated Jews were refugees from Russian persecution and anti-Jewish violence had become commonplace. As David Cesarani has described, this was always largely mythical:

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The Supreme Court hand-delivered Donald Trump a big win on Wednesday.

Legal expert Jeffrey Toobin, who is by no means a Republican, agreed the Supreme Court's decision to hear the former president's argument that presidential immunity protects him from criminal prosecution is a "gift" — whether or not the court ultimately agrees with him.

It's a "gift," Toobin explained, because the timeline almost certainly means there will not be a trial before Election Day.

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Widely circulating video from the aftermath (warning: disturbing images)

There are reports of a mass casualty event in Gaza City on Thursday, with Hamas claiming at least 104 Palestinians killed and several hundred wounded or injured (though casualty numbers have fluctuated in the immediate aftermath). However, Israel is disputing local accounts of what happened and says people died following a stampede caused by Palestinians rushing aid trucks.

There are several different versions of what happened, but all accounts agree that mayhem was unleashed when some 30 humanitarian aid trucks containing food were positioned on the street under Israeli protection. Gaza has been on the brink of famine, and so reportedly hundreds of people rushed toward to trucks hoping to obtain something.

Desperate Gazans seeking food, aid and shelter, via Times of Israel

And that's when according to The Guardian, "An Israeli source said Israeli troops opened fire on Thursday at 'several people' among a crowd that surrounded aid trucks in the Gaza Strip after feeling under threat."

Quickly in the aftermath, and as gruesome videos emerged from the scene, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement condemning what he described as "the ugly massacre conducted by the Israeli occupation army this morning."

Palestinians say that Israeli troops shot indiscriminately into the crowd and used the aid trucks in a kind of "ambush" - while Israel's military says people were killed in a "stampede for aid" and "crowd crush," and that some of the deaths were the result of Israeli soldiers being under immediate threat. 

Claire's Observations:  This was a brilliantly staged example of the "like shooting fish in a barrel" tactic of the IDF; and of course, it was all the Palestinians' fault, that the IDF shot so many of them!!!

But if the Palestinians hadn't been near starvation in the first place, why would they have been rushing the trucks?!? What a brilliant ploy, and executed with cold, calculating perfection by the IDF.

And I do not give a flying Frisbee how "grisly" these images may be; US citizens need to know the degree to which they are complicit in this genocide, and peacefully, petition their government to stop the madness, by stopping the delivery of the bombs and bullets which are aiding and abetting Israeli genocide of the Palestinians.  Bring it!!


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According to records from the Federal Election Commission, Jeff DiSantis, a Democratic operative, and Fulton County Deputy District Attorney received a sum of $131,335 through four separate payments. These payments were made in exchange for consulting services provided to Representative Gabriel Amo (D-RI), a former Biden White House aide known for collaborating with local elected officials.

The money flow is significant because sources with direct knowledge of Fulton County’s office revealed DiSantis is a Biden plant inside a Fulton County office to target former President Donald Trump.

DiSantis’ payments were previously unreported.

DiSantis was working at the county DA’s office while operating a consulting firm named “20/20 Insights, LLC.” Sources revealed deputy district attorneys would likely have to sign an oath that prohibits them from working outside their county employment agreement. DiSantis’s oath, if he signed one, remains undisclosed.

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French economist Gabriel Zucman brought a $250-billion-a-year idea to top policy makers from the world's biggest economies Thursday: slap an international wealth tax on the super-rich.

Zucman, a 37-year-old ex-protege of renowned economist and inequality expert Thomas Piketty, was invited to outline his research on tax evasion by the ultra-wealthy at a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations, which is working to address the issue.

In an interview with AFP on the sidelines of the gathering in Sao Paulo, the UC Berkeley and Paris School of Economics professor discussed how billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos get away with paying zero income tax, how to change that, and why world leaders need to do it fast to save democracy.

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Zelensky is Jewish. He supports the Nazi Azov Battalion, the two Nazi parties, which have committed countless atrocities against the Jewish community in Ukraine.  

He belongs to a Russian-Jewish family. He was brought up as a native Russian speaker, who until recently was not fluent in Ukrainian. 

And the Western media in chorus are endorsing the Zelensky proxy regime without bating an eyelid. The Kiev regime is upheld as a democracy. 

And now this Jewish-Russian proxy president wants to “ban everything Russian”, including the Russian language (his mother tongue), the Russian media, the teaching of Russian in the schools.

He has been instructed by Washington to lead Kiev’s Neo-Nazi government, which is portrayed by the U.S. mainstream media including the NYT as a democracy. 

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On Wednesday, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, the presidential physician, disclosed the outcomes of Joe Biden's annual physical examination, affirming the absence of any new health issues.

Dr. O'Connor determined that Biden is "capable of performing his duties" and possesses the physical capacity to fulfill his role as the leader of the United States.

In a memorandum addressed to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Dr. O'Connor stated, "The President is in good health, and this year's evaluation did not reveal any new concerns." He further emphasized that Biden is fully capable of executing his responsibilities without any limitations or adjustments.

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This week the Financial Times has published contents of a cache of leaked classified Russian documents said to lay out the country's doctrine and strategy for tactical nuclear weapons use. Included in the documents is info on the Kremlin's minimum criteria for using tactical nukes.

The criteria outlined in the secret files range "from an enemy incursion on Russian territory to more specific triggers, such as the destruction of 20% of Russia's strategic ballistic missile submarines," according to FT.

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This is the single most important, dangerous and highly revealing statement from a top defense official in the West in a long time... It also demonstrates the precarious urgency of the moment and the huge stakes going into the November US election. The world truly stands on the precipice of a nuclear nightmare with the following fresh assertion of Biden's Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who said before Congress on Thursday: 

"If Ukraine falls, I really believe that NATO will be in a fight with Russia," Austin stated.

What's more is that this came the very day that Russian President Vladimir Putin warned things could easily spiral toward nuclear war in the scenario that NATO sends troops to Ukraine. Watch:

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George Galloway has won the Rochdale by-election for the Worker’s Party of Britain, overturning a Labour majority of 9,668.

Mr Galloway, a former Labour and Respect party MP, took almost 40 per cent of the vote and a majority of almost 5,700.

Rochdale represents Mr Galloway’s fourth different seat in parliament since 1987, an achievement which – he noted – emulates Winston Churchill.

In second place came independent candidate David Tulley, who won a stunning 6,638 votes and 21.3 per cent of the vote share.

The win is the climax to a highly chaotic by-election, marked by death threats, vandalism and candidates wearing stab vests.

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The Hamas attack of 7 October 2023 prompting the ongoing war, was planned at least 3 years before by the US, UK and Israel. In the last four and a half months it has claimed some 35,000 Palestinian lives – of which 70% women and children.

At present, about 1.4 million Palestinians are amassed in or around Rafah, border town to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. They are starving, as Israel is preventing international food and water deliveries from entering Gaza. Up to 7 kilometers of trucks with life support for Gaza are reported to be blocked by Israel from entering Gaza through the Rafah gate.

Despite the extreme suffering and massive dying of Palestinians, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is adamant in officially declaring that no Palestinian refugees shall pass into Egypt. Juxtapose this to the following observations.

Aerial photographs show that massive tent cities have been and are being built in the Sinai desert, leading to the conclusion that the expected Arab and supposedly Palestinian ally, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has made a secret agreement with Netanyahu to receive the remaining Palestinians of Gaza – up to 1.4 million – under certain circumstances.

Expulsion of Palestinians into the Sinai desert would be the ultimate ethnic cleansing of the racist Zionist state of Israel. It would also mean another massacre the world has not seen in recent history.

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The US Army is cutting its force by 24,000 and restructuring to be capable of fighting the next major wars as it struggles to recruit new troops, according to a new service document titled "Army Force Structure Transformation." What's behind the overhaul?

The cuts will diminish the US Army's size from roughly 494,000 to 470,000 troops by fiscal year 2029. According to the US press, counterinsurgency jobs, which increased during Washington's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, will be slashed first.

"We [the US] are moving away from counterterrorism and counterinsurgency; we want to be postured for large-scale combat operations," US Army Secretary Christine Wormuth told reporters on February 27.

"They're once again looking to the older conventional type of warfare on the battlefields, such as what they're witnessing now in Ukraine," Michael Maloof, former senior security policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, told Sputnik.

Webmaster addition: 

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Ukraine has lost up to 600 soldiers in the Donetsk area over the past 24 hours, the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Thursday.

Over the given period, the Russian armed forces have repelled four counterattacks in the Donetsk region, the MoD reported.

"The enemy lost up to 600 troops, two tanks, two armored personnel carriers, including a US-made M113, and 10 vehicles [in the Donetsk area]," the MoD said in a statement.

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The Israeli army’s command has reinforced its group of forces along the Lebanese border deploying armored vehicles and more military personnel there, the Lebanon 24 news website reported.

According to the website, a tank convoy and armored personnel carriers were redeployed to border areas of the Upper Galilee on Thursday. The website links the deployment of tanks and additional mechanized patrols to the increasing intensity of hostilities between the two sides over the recent days.

The military group of the Shi’ite party Hezbollah earlier claimed responsibility for shelling Goren and Eilon in northern Israel. A military bulletin, which was posted on its Telegram channel, said that its fighters used multiple rocket launchers for shelling Israel.

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Russia will not discuss strategic stability issues with the US unless its national interests are taken into account, President Vladimir Putin said in his annual State of the Nation Address to both houses of the Federal Assembly, the Russian parliament.

The head of state slammed allegations of Russia’s plans to deploy nuclear weapons in space as bogus stories, while mentioning Russia’s new and advanced weapons systems. He also noted that the West would like to see a declining and dying entity in Russia’s place and warned "potential invaders" that their fate would be far more tragic than that of their predecessors.

TASS has gathered the key takeaways from what the head of state said.

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The West intends to do to Russia what it has done to Ukraine and many other nations – turn it into a dying, failed state, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed in a keynote speech on Thursday.

”The West, which has colonial habits and is used to igniting national conflicts all over the world, has intentions that go beyond stalling our development,” the Russian leader told the Federal Assembly, a gathering of leading Russian officials and public figures.

”In place of Russia, they want a dependent, withering, dying space, where they can do whatever they want,” he added.

The Russian people and its national unity in the face of foreign threats is what protects the nation, according to Putin. Meanwhile, the government has the job of protecting institutions at the foundation of national sovereignty.

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