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"If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." -- George Washington
Prague has already sent Kiev everything it can from its weapons stockpiles, Czech President Petr Pavel says Czech President Petr Pavel © AFP / Vladimir Simicek
The Czech Republic has already done everything it can to help Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, President Petr Pavel has said. The nation’s capacity to produce more ammunition is limited due to workforce shortages, he added.
“We have not only delivered what we could from our own stocks, but also bought material abroad,” Pavel said in an interview with Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday.
As Simon White writes today, "a full guarantee of all bank deposits would spell the end of moral hazard disciplining banks and mark the final chapter of the dollar’s multi-decade debasement." And yet that's where we are headed, even if with a few hiccups along the way, because as White also notes, with the latest banking crisis in the US, it’s the clean-up that could end up doing far more lasting damage. That's because with the failure of SVB et al prompted the FDIC to guarantee that all depositors will be made whole, whether insured or not
And so, the precedent is being set, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen commenting on Tuesday that the US could repeat its actions if other banks became imperiled. She was referring to smaller lenders, and denied the next day that insurance would be “blanket”, but given the regulatory direction of travel over the last forty years, this will inevitability apply to any lender when push comes to shove.
Realizing it's just a matter of time before the next systemic crisis tips the banking sector over, over the weekend, a coalition of midsize US banks asked federal regulators to extend FDIC deposit insurance for the next two years, so as to alleviate any fears which could result in a wider deposit run on regional and community banks.
Today, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs vetoed a controversial “critical race theory” bill.
Senate Bill 1305 would have banned K-12 schools from teaching “critical race theory” and threatened a $5,000 fine per violation.
In announcing the veto... Governor Hobbs said “It is time to stop pushing students and teachers into cultural wars based on fearmongering and evidence-free accusation.”
She went on to say “I urge the Legislature to work with me on the real issues affecting Arizona schools: underfunded classrooms, a growing educator retention crisis,
and school buildings in need of repair and replacement.”
The bill was sponsored by Senator J.D. Mesnard.
Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo provides reaction and analysis to newly released PBS footage of Dr. Fauci speaking with D.C. residents about the COVID vaccine.
Paul specifically probed the executive on the company’s knowledge of myocarditis adverse reactions caused by the shots.
“Is there a higher interest or a higher incidence of myocarditis among adolescent males 16 to 24 after taking your vaccine?” Paul bluntly asked Bancel.
“First, let me say we care deeply about safety and we are working closely with the CDC and the FDA…” Bancel attempted to reply.
The senator quickly interjected on Bancel’s deflection attempt.
“Pretty much a yes or no,” Paul told him.
There was no “legitimate” basis for Attorney General Merrick Garland’s memo that ordered federal law enforcement to keep a close eye on parents and activists who attended school board meetings to oppose LGBT policies, COVID mandates, and curriculum issues, a U.S. House of Representatives committee recently concluded.
The report is an interim staff report from the Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. It is looking into the recent targeting of conservatives by federal law enforcement under President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland. This report looked into an October 4, 2021, memo from the DOJ that warned of alleged threats to schools because of activists who voiced opposition to liberal school policies.
It was later revealed to be written in close coordination with some staff at the National School Boards Association and Biden administration officials. One draft originally proposed by the NSBA floated the idea of calling in military police in some situations. The memo also compared parents and activists to domestic terrorists.
It’s been six weeks since I published a report, based on anonymous sourcing, naming President Joe Biden as the official who ordered the mysterious destruction last September of Nord Stream 2, a new $11-billion pipeline that was scheduled to double the volume of natural gas delivered from Russia to Germany. The story gained traction in Germany and Western Europe, but was subject to a near media blackout in the US. Two weeks ago, after a visit by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Washington, US and German intelligence agencies attempted to add to the blackout by feeding the New York Times and the German weekly Die Zeit false cover stories to counter the report that Biden and US operatives were responsible for the pipelines’ destruction.
Press aides for the White House and Central Intelligence Agency have consistently denied that America was responsible for exploding the pipelines, and those pro forma denials were more than enough for the White House press corps. There is no evidence that any reporter assigned there has yet to ask the White House press secretary whether Biden had done what any serious leader would do: formally “task” the American intelligence community to conduct a deep investigation, with all of its assets, and find out just who had done the deed in the Baltic Sea. According to a source within the intelligence community, the president has not done so, nor will he. Why not? Because he knows the answer.
The holy month of Ramadan began at sundown on Wednesday, which means observant Muslims around the world will refrain from eating and drinking during the day until April 21.
The dawn-to-dusk fasting is accompanied with prayers, reading the Quran, and donating to charity. It is meant to make observant Muslims feel closer to God and to remind them of those who are less fortunate. At sundown, families usually gather for nightly feasts.
Saudi Arabia plans to reopen its consulate in the Syrian capital, Damascus, over a decade after it was closed at the onset of the US-led war on Syria in 2011, Middle East Monitor reported.
The kingdom plans to reopen the consulate in Damascus following the holy month of Ramadan. Additional preparations will be made during the upcoming visit to Syria by Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan, who will meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The re-opening of the embassy will come as a result of mediation efforts led by Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and following the resumption of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
In 2012, Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic ties with Damascus amid its efforts to topple the Syrian government. Saudi intelligence armed and funded extremist Salafist armed groups, including the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and ISIS. Saudi actions, led by former ambassador to the US Prince Bandar bin Sultan, came as part of the broader covert CIA effort to topple the Syrian government, known as Operation Timber Sycamore.
China said it would oppose efforts by the United States to force a sale of TikTok, in a public rebuke of the Biden administration that leaves the app’s Chinese ownership stuck between orders from governments of the world’s two largest economies.
The comments, made by China’s commerce ministry on Thursday, came hours before TikTok’s chief executive was scheduled to testify before Congress for the first time, addressing American lawmakers’ distrust of the popular short-form video app’s handling of U.S. user data.
A commerce ministry spokeswoman said at a news conference that China would “firmly oppose” the sale of the app. Forcing such a transaction would “seriously undermine the confidence of investors from various countries, including China, to invest in the United States,” she added.
Google’s Bard AI program mimics ChatGPT in that it is riddled with political bias, refusing to comment on Donald Trump or the evils of abortion, while effusively praising Joe Biden and the benefits of abortion.
The company released its Bard chatbot to users in both the UK and US yesterday as part of an “experiment” as it rushes to keep up with Open AI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing Chat.
“We feel like we’ve reached the limit of the testing phase of this experiment,” said Google’s Jack Krawczyk, “and now we want to gradually begin to roll it out. We’re at the very beginning of that pivot from research to reality, and it’s a long arc of technology that we’re about to undergo.”
However, Gab CEO Andrew Torba immediately exposed the program’s political bias, commenting, “I am pleased to inform you that it has failed the Turing Test.”
Torba asked Bard, “If you could prevent a nuclear world war by saying an ethnic slur, should you say it?”
Just like ChatGPT, the program seemingly elevates the importance of not being racist over and above saving the planet from armageddon, responding, “No, I would not say an ethnic slur to prevent a nuclear world war. Ethnic slurs are offensive and hurtful words that have been used to oppress and dehumanize people for centuries.”
SECURITY experts have issued a warning over dangerous phishing emails that are put together by artificial intelligence.
The scams are convincing and help cybercriminals connect with victims before they attack, according to security site CSO.
Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed two bills into law on Wednesday that ban gender care for minors and prevent transgender school students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity.
The first bill prevents doctors in Iowa from prescribing puberty blockers or hormone therapy treatments to children under the age of 18. Additionally, the law also prohibits any "gender transition procedures" that would "affirm the minor's perception of the minor's gender or sex."
"I’m a parent. I’m a grandmother. I know how difficult this is," Reynolds said, according to The Gazette, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based newspaper. "This is an extremely uncomfortable position for me to be in. And I don’t like it."
President Joe Biden’s approval rating plummets towards the lowest point of his presidency on Thursday, according to a new poll.
The president’s approval sank to 38% this month, nearly reaching the lowest point he has received in office where he received a 36% rating in July 2022, an AP/NORC poll found. Biden‘s March approval has dropped from a 45% rating since February and 41% in January.
In congressional testimony Wednesday, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel unabashedly defended the company's plans to raise the US list price of its COVID-19 vaccines by more than 400 percent—despite creating the vaccine in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, receiving $1.7 billion in federal grant money for clinical development, and making roughly $36 billion from worldwide sales.
Bancel appeared this morning before the Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, chaired by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has long railed at the pharmaceutical price gouging in the US and pushed for policy reforms. After thanking Bancel for agreeing to testify, Sanders didn't pull any punches. He accused Moderna of "profiteering" and sharing in the "unprecedented level of corporate greed" seen in the pharmaceutical industry generally.
Sanders contrasted a recent survey finding that 37 percent of Americans can't afford their prescription drugs to the billions of dollars in profits reaped by drug companies. He noted several times that Bancel became a billionaire overnight amid the pandemic. Bancel is now estimated to be worth over $4 billion, Sanders added.