A record 38% of Americans had to put off their medical treatment in 2022 because of cost, a Gallup poll showed on Tuesday.

"The percentage of Americans reporting they or a family member postponed medical treatment in 2022 due to cost rose 12 points in one year, to 38%, the highest in Gallup’s 22-year trend," the pollster said.

Respondents noted that sometimes they had to postpone their treatment even in very difficult health situations.

Webmaster addition:

Posted on: Jan 18 08:46

With Peru's capital bracing for two days of anti-government protests starting Wednesday, President Dina Boluarte called on the demonstrators flooding into Lima to gather "peacefully and calmly" – even as they demand her resignation.

The South American country has been rocked by over five weeks of deadly protests since the ouster and arrest of her predecessor Pedro Castillo in early December.

Thousands of protesters from rural areas are descending on Lima this week to keep up pressure against the government, often defying a state of emergency declared to try to maintain order.

With tensions mounting, many poor and Indigenous demonstrators were already making their presence felt Tuesday in the capital, where police used smoke canisters against marchers who gathered ahead of the larger mobilizations.

Posted on: Jan 18 08:45

Now, though, in a scenario familiar to any sci-fi fan, the experiment seems to have run amok: The bots have betrayed the humans.

Specifically, it turns out the bots are no better at journalism — and perhaps a bit worse — than their would-be human masters.

On Tuesday, CNET began appending lengthy correction notices to some of its AI-generated articles after Futurism, another tech site, called out the stories for containing some “very dumb errors.”

An automated article about compound interest, for example, incorrectly said a $10,000 deposit bearing 3 percent interest would earn $10,300 after the first year. Nope. Such a deposit would actually earn just $300.

More broadly, CNET and sister publication Bankrate, which has also published bot-written stories, have now disclosed qualms about the accuracy of the dozens of automated articles they’ve published since November.

Webmaster addition: Next obvious step is an AI Editor!

Posted on: Jan 18 08:43

“The idea of a neutral Ukraine under these conditions is no longer meaningful,” Kissinger, 99, told the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday. Kissinger, long an opponent of Ukraine’s membership of the organization, has softened his stance on the issue in recent months. 

Kissinger, a former secretary of state and national security adviser, said he believes in maintaining dialog with Russia while the war continues, with a view toward ending fighting if Ukraine is able to recapture territory that President Vladimir Putin’s forces seized after the Feb. 24 invasion. He warned against direct conflict between the west and Russia and stressed the importance of allowing Russia to rejoin the international system. 

Posted on: Jan 18 08:40

The Kiev government is plotting new measures, aimed at discriminating and ultimately eliminating the canonic Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said.

"By the available information, a bunch of further initiatives are being prepared at the moment, which aim at discriminating the communes and parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, depriving this Church of its historical and legal name, and even completely eliminating it," he told Tuesday’s session of the UN Security Council, initiated by Russia to discuss human rights in Ukraine.

Posted on: Jan 18 08:39

The potential stablecoin aims to enable cross-border transactions instead of fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar, the Russian ruble or the Iranian rial...

The Central Bank of Iran is reportedly cooperating with the Russian government to jointly issue a new cryptocurrency backed by gold.

According to the Russian news agency Vedomosti, Iran is working with Russia to create a “token of the Persian Gulf region” that would serve as a payment method in foreign trade.

The token is projected to be issued in the form of a stablecoin backed by gold, according to Alexander Brazhnikov, executive director of the Russian Association of Crypto Industry and Blockchain.

The stablecoin aims to enable cross-border transactions instead of fiat currencies like the United States dollar, the Russian ruble or the Iranian rial. The report notes that the potential cryptocurrency would operate in a special economic zone in Astrakhan, where Russia started to accept Iranian cargo shipments.

Russian lawmaker Anton Tkachev, a member of the Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications, stressed that a joint stablecoin project would only be possible once the digital asset market is fully regulated in Russia. After multiple delays, the Russian lower house of parliament once again promised to start regulating crypto transactions in 2023.

Iran and Russia are among the countries that banned their residents from using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and stablecoins like Tether (USDT) for payments. At the same time, Iran and Russia have been actively working to adopt crypto as a tool of foreign trade.

Posted on: Jan 18 08:32

Russia is calling upon the United Nations to provide active assistance to efforts to release human rights activist Yelena Berezhnaya, held in custody in Ukraine, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said.

"Ukrainian rights activist Yelena Berezhnaya who had spent 8 years studying and documenting the evolvement of neo-Nazism in Ukraine and addressed the Security Council in March last year, was arrested by Ukrainian special services and still remains in custody on absurd charges of state treason. We repeatedly drew the attention of the Secretary-General and Security Council to this egregious case. We call on the UN leadership to step in and help set her free," he told Tuesday’s session of the UN Security Council, initiated by Russia to discuss human rights in Ukraine.

Nebenzya went on to say that "in the territories controlled by [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky’s regime, mass political repressions, detentions of civil activists and rights advocates are in full swing."

"Any expression of disagreement with the official position is extirpated," he added.

Posted on: Jan 18 08:30

 A Crimean senator said she could understand the rationality behind the resignation of Ukrainian Presidential Aide Alexey Arestovich that may prompt others from the Zelensky team to quit.

"Arestovich’s resignation was inevitable amid the growing social dissatisfaction with the country’s government. He was the first to go and he will be followed by others from the [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky team, because there will be increasingly more [social] unrest and distrust of the government," Russian Federation Council member for Crimea Olga Kovitidi told TASS.

However, Kovitidi added, Ukraine’s rhetoric on Crimea and Russia will generally remain unchanged in the wake of Arestovich’s departure and may only get tweaked as soon as Zelensky steps down.

Earlier on Tuesday, Arestovich announced his resignation. Writing on his Facebook page (owned by the US-based corporation Meta, outlawed as an extremist organization in Russia), he explained that he had made a fundamental error which, to him, spelled resignation.

Posted on: Jan 18 08:29

After President Biden's lawyers found classified documents at an office he used at a DC think tank, His Justice Department considered, and then declined, a plan to have FBI agents monitor a search for classified documents at his residences, in order to 'avoid complicating later stages of the investigation,' and because Biden's attorneys 'had quickly turned over a first batch and were cooperating,' the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Instead, the DOJ decided that it would be just fine for Biden's lawyers to conduct the additional searches by themselves, and would agree to immediately notify the Justice Department if they found any other potentially classified records - after which law-enforcement authorities would take them.

The arrangement meant that FBI agents wouldn't bear witness to things such as the volume, or contents, of whatever might turn up. This is, of course, the same FBI that participated in a plan (and fabricated evidence) in a plot to frame former President Trump as a Russian asset, and then ran cover for the Bidens during the 2020 US election - telling social media companies that Hunter Biden's laptop, or anything like it, was likely Russian disinformation.

In the week since news reports first surfaced about the documents, the incident has drawn parallels to the discovery of a much larger number of documents at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, which federal agents obtained a warrant to search in August after more than a year of negotiations between Mr. Trump’s lawyers, the National Archives and the Justice Department and after Mr. Trump’s lawyers said all documents had been returned. -WSJ

Posted on: Jan 18 08:25

Pretty much expected, but squealing from self-righteous West will be heard even in the neighboring galaxy.  


Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Tuesday, allowing certain companies to disregard the votes of shareholders from so-called ‘unfriendly’ countries when making corporate decisions. The document, published online on a legal information portal, will apply to companies in the energy, mechanical engineering and trade sectors with annual revenue of more than 100 billion rubles ($1.46 billion). It will remain in force until the end of 2023. According to the new law, management of the companies will be able to make decisions without counting the votes of shareholders from ‘unfriendly’ countries. To qualify, however, the companies must meet a number of criteria. One of these is that other countries or international organizations must have imposed sanctions against the owners or beneficiaries of such companies. Another criterion is that foreign persons with ties to unfriendly states have interests of 50% or less in the authorized capital or shares in such companies. In case nationals from unfriendly states are members of a company’s management authority, other shareholders will have the right to pass a resolution without counting their votes, the document said.

Indeed, why some foreign national who is a shareholder of a strategic corporation have any voice in the corporation which is Russian by nature and main capital? Pretty reasonable, if you ask me. Obviously the West will not like it, but--too bad. 

Posted on: Jan 18 08:25

In the wake of the covid pandemic lockdowns and mandates, many western nations and states in the US witnessed a new eye opening level of government intrusion into the daily lives of citizens.  Some, however, dealt with worse scenarios than others. 

New Zealand in particular has popped up time and time again over the past couple of years with some of the most draconian restrictions on the public, and sadly the trend has not stopped just because the pandemic lockdowns stopped.  The island nation seems to be intent on setting the standard for authoritarian policies and government micromanagement, and a series of recent laws are driving home the reality that they do not intend to relent.  

Flashback: In 2018, New Zealand banned all offshore oil drilling exploration in the name of instituting a "carbon neutral future", meaning tight energy restrictions are forthcoming in NZ as the decade progresses.  

In 2019, NZ banned all semi-automatic weapons after the Christchurch mosque shootings, punishing millions of law abiding citizens for the crimes of one man.  Video evidence of the Christchurch shootings is suspiciously illegal in NZ, and anyone caught viewing or downloading the event can be prosecuted.  The gun bans were enforced just in time for the pandemic lockdowns.     

In 2020, the government introduced internet censorship legislation which would give them the power to selectively filter "dangerous content."  Most of the provisions were ultimately scrapped after a public backlash, but future censorship remains a priority for the government. 

Posted on: Jan 18 08:21

An obvious barrier to adopting wind and solar power for electricity supply is their intermittency - when the wind isn’t blowing, and the sun isn’t shining, substitute sources are required. This issue is given much attention by conservative media, as it should.

Yet one of the less well-known roadblocks for these renewable technologies is frequency control, even though it becomes a critical concern much sooner.

Since the 1890s, electricity networks and devices all around the globe have used alternating current (AC) systems, which means that the flow of electricity in the system is repeatedly changing direction.

In Australia, it alternates 50 times a second, that is, at a frequency of 50 Hertz (in the USA, it is 60 Hertz).

Supplying electricity at a consistent frequency is very important because appliances and electronics on the network are designed for a specific frequency/voltage input. Therefore, they can be damaged by the wrong electricity supply.

As a rule, networks would rather supply no electricity than bad electricity. Automated controls through the electricity system will disconnect the supply if the frequency or voltage is “off-spec.”

Posted on: Jan 18 08:20

The German Federal Ministry of the Interior engaged scientists from several research institutes and universities for political purposes in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

It commissioned researchers from the Robert Koch Institute and other institutions to create a calculation model on the basis of which the Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer (CSU), wanted to justify tough coronavirus measures.

The information is contained in more than 200 pages of internal correspondence between the management level of the Ministry of the Interior and the researchers, received by the German newspaper WELT AM SONNTAG.

group of German lawyers fought for e-mail in a legal dispute with the Robert Koch Institute that lasted several months.

Posted on: Jan 18 08:18

The Republic of South Africa (South Africa) has given Russia and China permission to conduct naval exercises off its coast. This is reported by Fox News.

Joint exercises called Operation "Mosi" ("Smoke") will be held in the period from February 17 to 26. They will involve three Chinese ships, two Russian ships and a South African naval platform.

The shadow defense Minister from the opposition Democratic Alliance party criticized the decision of the South African government. In his opinion, the exercises of Moscow and Beijing may give the impression of "South Africa's bias."

"It is obvious that this may alienate us from other important trading partners, from the West. This is in the interests of Russia," he said.

Earlier, the naval exercises of Russia and China "Maritime Cooperation-2022" were completed in the East China Sea. The military trained to free the captured vessel and improved joint search and rescue operations at sea, conducted joint tactical maneuvering, as well as communication training. In total, more than 10 combat exercises were performed together.

Posted on: Jan 18 08:17

Deputy head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev believes it’s shameful that participants in the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos are discussing tank supplies to Ukraine.

"What a shameful situation, to say the least. The Davos forum is discussing… tank supplies to Ukraine," he wrote on Telegram on Tuesday. "People used to discuss other things in Davos. Like the economy and stuff like that," Medvedev noted.

According to him, "the good thing is that there are neither Russian nor Chinese businessmen there this time."

Medvedev pointed to Polish President Andrzej Duda’s remark about the creation of a coalition of Western countries for the delivery of armored equipment to Kiev. "They probably hope that ‘a tank coalition’ will bring Ukraine’s division closer, which is what the Poles dream about," he assumed. "But then instead of creating a coalition, they should draft a collective document announcing the surrender of the rotten Kiev regime for the sake of saving people’s lives and specifying the future makeup of what will be left of Ukraine," the Russian Security Council’s deputy chief suggested.

Posted on: Jan 18 08:15

Santa Monica, a beach city in Los Angeles County, is known for its tourism, shopping, restaurants, and world-renowned pier that features a roller coaster, games, and a Ferris wheel. But some residents and business owners are sounding the alarm on an increase in crime and homelessness.

“Restaurants, which are the main anchor tenants of Santa Monica—they’re having to let their employees go because 90 percent of residents in Santa Monica will not come to the Promenade anymore,” Santa Monica resident John Alle, with the Santa Monica Coalition, told The Epoch Times. “They’re afraid, and they feel the promenade garages are full of feces, urine, people camped out doing drugs, syringes—so they’re going to other cities.”

Alle said it is expensive for businesses to stay afloat in the city because employees are afraid to park in the parking garages. Some business owners are trying to help by paying for their workers’ Uber drive to work, which adds up to be a pricey bill, he said.

Last week, Alle said his car was broken into in one of the parking garages.

It’s a big problem,” he said.

The coalition points to homelessness as the primary problem deterring tourists and causing businesses to suffer.

Posted on: Jan 18 08:15

Hello from the 45th SHOT Show at the Venetian Expo and Caesars Forum in Las Vegas. Today is day one of four, and more than 2,500 exhibitors from the firearm and outdoor industry are showing off new innovative products. 

SHOT Show is the largest firearms trade show of its kind in the world. It's closed to the public -- but we're going to show our readers some of the exhibits that stood out. 

We first came across AeroVironment's Kamikaze Switchblade drone (infamous since the Biden administration is sending thousands to Ukraine).

Posted on: Jan 18 08:12

Since launching on Christmas Day 2021, NASA's $10 billion (£7.4 billion) James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has beamed back astonishing images of the cosmos with unprecedented detail. 

Webb was launched with the aim of looking back in time to the dawn of the universe so it can capture what happened a couple of hundred million years after the Big Bang. 

It will spend more than a decade at an area of balanced gravity between the sun and Earth called L2 exploring the universe in the infrared spectrum, allowing it to gaze through clouds of gas and dust where stars are being born. 

Posted on: Jan 18 08:08

Robotics company Boston Dynamics is pledging not to support the weaponization of its products and calling for its competitors to do the same. 

In a new letter, the firm said recent efforts to weaponize their robots - such as a Russian inventor who strapped a submachine gun to a Unitree robot and filmed it shooting targets - had added to the urgency of their declaration.

'We pledge that we will not weaponize our advanced-mobility general-purpose robots or the software we develop that enables advanced robotics and we will not support others to do so,' the letter, which was signed by six other companies, including Unitree, states. 

Webmaster addition: Suuuuure...

Posted on: Jan 18 07:59

President Joe Biden smiled and laughed Tuesday as he ignored a barrage of questions about the classified documents scandal that has engulfed his administration while a shocking new report detailed a deal made by the Justice Department to keep the FBI away from the search.

The grinning Biden stayed silent at the end of his meeting with Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte - while the media asked about the sensitive files found at his D.C. think tank and garage at his Wilmington home.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal revealed on Tuesday that the Justice Department considered having FBI agents monitor Biden's personal attorneys as they searched his Wilmington and Rehoboth homes but decided against it, deciding Biden's lawyers were cooperating with them.

Posted on: Jan 18 07:58

A photo of U.S. President Joe Biden's Delaware mansion taken in 2019 has emerged showing the residence unguarded by Secret Service at the same time classified documents were believed to be in his garage.

The pictures taken by Fox News from the street outside Biden's Wilmington home on April 19, 2019 - the same day he announced his candidacy for president - show a deserted guard shack and empty parking spots near the gate that leads to the residence.

At least six classified documents have been found at the President's private home in Wilmington, some of which appeared to have been haphazardly stored in boxes stacked in his garage alongside his Corvette.

Posted on: Jan 18 07:56

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed Tuesday she has been 'forthcoming' as she was grilled about the classified documents found in Joe Biden's possession - but she repeatedly referred questions to other federal entities.

She argued the president has been answering questions on the matter - on the same day he sat, smiling in silence, as he ignored inquiries being asked by the press. In an Oval Office meeting with Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Biden smirked as shouting reporters were led from the room.

Meanwhile, Jean-Pierre argued that 'we have addressed multiple questions from here. Multiple questions have been answered by the President.'

The press secretary has been in defensive mode - with her answers getting snappier and snappier - as the White House has struggled to explain how the various tranches of classified material were discovered in Biden's now shuttered D.C. think tank and in his Wilmington, Delaware, home. 

Additionally, officials have struggled to explain why the discoveries weren't promptly disclosed publicly, saying they followed a 'process' and immediately notified the National Archives, a private federal agency.

Posted on: Jan 18 07:54

President Joe Biden’s Justice Department reportedly permitted the president’s personal attorneys to search for classified documents in separate locations without security clearances or the FBI present.

Critics have questioned why Biden’s personal attorneys were initially looking for classified documents. Others have questioned why the president’s legal team was continuing to search his home Thursday for classified documents after a special counsel was appointed earlier that day.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the initial search, authorized by DOJ, involved people with no security clearance looking for potentially classified material. “Mr. Biden’s legal team prepared to search his other properties for any similar documents, and discussed with the Justice Department the prospect of having FBI agents present while Mr. Biden’s lawyers conducted the additional searches,” the report said.

“Instead, the two sides agreed that Mr. Biden’s personal attorneys would inspect the homes, notify the Justice Department as soon as they identified any other potentially classified records, and arrange for law-enforcement authorities to take them,” the report added.

Posted on: Jan 18 07:53

The Pentagon said Tuesday it is not pursuing back pay for service members who were discharged from the military for not complying with the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for the military.

“Right now, we are not currently pursuing back-pay to service members who were dismissed for refusing to take the COVID vaccination,” Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said during a press briefing.

Ryder also claimed that the mandate was “lawful” — despite unanswered questions over whether Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ever sought and received a presidential waiver to mandate a vaccine that was approved by the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization, as the law requires.

Austin had promised to seek such a waiver before issuing the mandate in August 2021, but the DOD has not clarified whether this happened or not, as Breitbart News has previously reported. Instead, a senior defense official at the time insisted the EUA-only vaccine and the FDA vaccine were “interchangeable.”

Posted on: Jan 18 07:50

Over half of men who surgically “transition” experience so much pain they need medical attention, according to a new study.

Vaginoplasty, a surgery that typically involves inverting the penis and clearing a void between the urethra and rectum to create a fake vagina, often results in significant medical complications.

Fifty-five percent of men who pursue the surgery report being in so much pain that they need medical attention, even a year post-operation, according to a study from the Women’s College Hospital in Ontario, Canada. The study tracked 80 patients and checked in with them three months and five years after the operation.

Pain is not the only byproduct of genital mutilation. In fact, nearly 43 percent reported “bleeding,” nearly 34 percent reported “sexual function concerns,” and 32.5 percent reported “vaginal discharge.”

Often, patients are not made aware of these side effects before choosing to go forward with the notoriously complicated surgeries.

Posted on: Jan 18 07:48