WILL BE BACK LIVE MONDAY!
"Freedom is never given, it must be taken." -- Michael Rivero
Thousands of workers at hospitals, schools and railways across Sri Lanka have gone on strike to protest against high costs of living, including increased taxes imposed as a precondition for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout, amid the country’s worst financial crisis in decades.
Schools on Wednesday cancelled term tests and outpatient departments at hospitals closed due to the public sector work stoppage that involved more than 40 trade unions. Fewer vehicles were seen on roads.
China's efforts to broker improved relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have caught the US by surprise, with officials, and members of the Washington establishment, scrambling to brush off concerns that American influence in the region is waning.
On Monday, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said the US supported the talks "every step of the way," and downplayed China's role in burying the hatchet between the regional foes.
"This was not about the PRC [People's Republic of China]. This was about what Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia committed to."
Israel’s regional policy has long been based on hegemony, superiority and arrogance. Leaders Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu often repeated the notion of an alliance based on “Israeli brains and Arab money”, while also promoting the concept of protecting Arab regimes with Israeli intelligence technologies and strategies for economic peace.
The aim was always twofold: to achieve normalisation and bolster Israel’s regional influence, and to accelerate the disappearance of the Palestinian cause.
For Israel, Iran presented an opportunity to ally with Arab states on both an economic-security basis and a strategic basis, with regards to confronting their “mutual enemy”. In this way, Israel has sought a multilateral strategy: a regional alliance under the auspices of the US, seeking to declare war on Iran and overthrow the regime.
A bipartisan pair of US senators introduced a resolution on Wednesday that would require President Biden's administration to report on Saudi Arabia's human rights record and possibly cut off all US security assistance to the kingdom, as ties between Riyadh and Washington continue to fray.
Democrat Chris Murphy and Republican Mike Lee drew upon a provision of the US Foreign Assistance Act, which allows Congress to vote to request information on a particular country's human rights practices.
Senator Lee called the proposal a “simple and fair request” for the State Department to provide more insight into the status of human rights in Saudi Arabia.
“US weapons don't belong in the hands of human rights abusers,” he said in a statement. “The [American] people and their elected representatives have a right to know the types of activity we are tacitly supporting.”
China, Russia and Iran are holding joint military exercises in the Gulf of Oman, the Russian and Chinese defence ministries announced on Wednesday.
The exercises, which will last from Wednesday to Sunday, aim to enhance the respective militaries' abilities to conduct "joint maneuvers” and daytime and night-time artillery firing, according to the Russian military. The navies are also training on liberating captured ships and assistance to vessels in distress.
The drills come days after China brokered a surprise reconciliation agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, setting the stage for restored diplomatic ties between the two foes and enhancing Beijing’s clout in the Middle East.
While Washington said it supports efforts to de-escalate tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, it has tried to downplay China’s role in the talks.
“Hate crime” is a made up legal category meant to prop up the systemic racism mythology.
Next to Russiagate neo-Mccarthyism, MSNBC loves nothing more than crowing about the supposed prevalence of “hate crimes” in an America captured by the specter of “White Supremacy™.
Exhibit A: the MSNBC clip below in which news actor Alex Wagner and guest, Rep. Judy Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, lament a Congressional investigation into Dominic Ng.
Ng was appointed to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Business Advisory Council but is currently under investigation for ties to the Chinese Communist Party. The relevant portion we’re discussing here — the race-baiting over “hate crimes” — begins at the 3-minute mark.
This eBook by Graeme MacQueen contains a collection of his articles and essays on the attacks of September 11, 2001, the subsequent anthrax attacks, and analyses of other false flag operations. They are profoundly important and shatter the official versions of those events. No one reading this book can come away from it not convinced that the U.S. government is a terrorist state. MacQueen’s conclusions are not based on rhetoric but on a deep empirical analyses, facts not propaganda. With this volume, Graeme MacQueen takes his place alongside David Ray Griffin as a prophet without honor in his own time. History will declare him a hero. To write the following introduction is a great honor, for my esteem for Graeme and his work is immense.
The UN’s special envoy for Yemen said Wednesday that he sees a renewed momentum toward ending the war following the surprise normalization deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran that was brokered by China.
The Saudis and Yemen’s Houthis have been in Omani-mediated talks on reaching a settlement to the war or extending a ceasefire that expired in October 2022. “Intense diplomatic efforts are ongoing at different levels to bring the conflict in Yemen to an end,” UN special envoy Hans Grundberg told the UN Security Council.
“We are currently witnessing renewed regional diplomatic momentum, as well as a step change in the scope and depth of the discussions,” he added.
While the war in Yemen is viewed in the West as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Tehran is not nearly as involved as Riyadh. Iran supports the Houthis politically but denies Western allegations that it is arming the Zaydi Shia group.
In chapter 21 of St. Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus proposes a moral dilemma in the form of a parable: A man asks his two sons to go to work for him in his vineyard. The first son declines, but later ends up going. The second son tells his father he will go, but never does. “Who,” Jesus asks, “did the will of his father?” Although I am loath to argue that Jesus’s point in this parable was an economic one, we may nonetheless derive from it a moral lesson with which to evaluate economic systems in terms of achieving the common good.
Modern history presents us with two divergent models of economic arrangement: socialism and capitalism. One of these appears preoccupied with the common good and social betterment, the other with profits and production. But let us keep the parable in mind as we take a brief tour of economic history.
The idea of socialism, of course, dates back to the ancient world, but here I will focus on its modern incarnation. And if we look to socialism’s modern beginnings, we find it optimistic and well-intentioned. In contrast to contemporary varieties that tend to bemoan prosperity, romanticize poverty, and promote the idea that civil rights are of secondary concern, at least some of the early socialists sought the fullest possible flourishing of humanity—which is to say, the common good.
A half-century before Karl Marx published the Communist Manifesto, there was Gracchus Babeuf’s Plebeian Manifesto (later revised by Sylvain Marechal and renamed the Manifesto of the Equals). Babeuf was an early communist who lived from 1760 to 1797 and wrote during the revolutionary period in France. Although he was jailed and eventually executed, his ideas would later have an enormous impact. And his explicit political goal had nothing to do with impeding prosperity. To the contrary, he wrote:
The French Revolution was nothing but a precursor of another revolution, one that will be bigger, more solemn, and which will be the last… We reach for something more sublime and more just: the common good or the community of goods! No more individual property in land: the land belongs to no one. We demand, we want, the common enjoyment of the fruits of the land: the fruits belong to all.
A drawn-out back and forth between Ukraine, the U.S. and European NATO countries in January led to the first pledges for deliveries of Western-made tanks to the Ukrainian military.
However, as Statista's Katharina Buchholz reports, at the end of March, only one full battalion will have been delivered to Ukraine from Europe instead of the planned two as even promises from countries pushing for the deliveries were taken back or delayed.
Earlier this week, Ukrainian soldiers finished a four-week training on German-designed Leopard 2 tanks in Spain, making the country's military ready to receive the tanks. Poland will have provided 14 Leopard 2 units by the end of the month - some of which have already arrived in Ukraine -, while Germany and Portugal will have delivered 18 and 3, respectively. This is according to the Ukrainian online publication Defense Express. In fact, Poland is hoping to deliver 16 more tanks it is currently fixing up by the end of April, according to Bloomberg. Spain itself is attempting to get six out of the 10 promised Leopard 2 tanks, which are currently mothballed, ready for delivery this spring.
At a total count of 57, these deliveries would still fall short of the 62 tanks needed for two Ukrainian tank battalions.
"A little Napoleon with no Grande Armee threatens war with Russia and China while the UK doesn’t have enough troops to defend its own borders, Iraq War 20 years on and Imran Khan with the murderers at his gates
Multimillionaire California Governor Gavin Newsom failed to disclose his ties to Silicon Valley Bank while lobbying the White House and the Treasury Department over a pending bailout, The Intercept reported on Tuesday.
The White House “acted swiftly and decisively to protect the American economy and strengthen public confidence in our banking system,” Newsom said in a statement. What Newsom didn’t mention is that it also protected his own companies if they held over $250,000 in deposits.
CADE, Odette, and PlumpJack, three wineries owned by Newsom, are listed as clients of SVB on the bank’s website. Newsom also maintained personal accounts at SVB for years, according to a longtime former employee of Newsom’s who handled his finances, and who requested anonymity to avoid professional reprisal.
Opponents of a controversial judicial overhaul sought by Israel's government demonstrated on Wednesday at Ben Gurion airport ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's departure on an official trip to Germany.
"Dictator on the run" and "Don't come back", read placards held up by demonstrators near the airport, where a convoy of cars bearing Israeli flags circulated between the terminals, making them difficult to access, an AFP correspondent reported.
The Israeli parliament, or Knesset, voted Tuesday to approve a bill in first reading that would, among other things, allow lawmakers to scrap Supreme Court rulings with a simple majority vote.
After a highly acclaimed run in North America, Roger Waters will take his “This Is Not a Drill” tour across Europe. The long journey includes shows in Germany, with the final concert in the country originally planned to take place in Frankfurt on May 28. On February 24, however, Frankfurt’s city council and the Hessian state government announced the cancellation of the Frankfurt concert, for “persistent anti-Israel behavior,” and called Waters an antisemite.
The cancellation of Waters’s concert is a threat to free speech and artistic freedom. It is designed to silence legitimate criticism of Israel’s government emanating from the world human rights community and within Israel itself. Waters’s music has captivated the world for more than five decades. Over that time, he has also become a respected human rights advocate. In response to the decision by Frankfurt’s city council, artists and human rights leaders, including Peter Gabriel, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Susan Sarandon, Alia Shawkat, and Glenn Greenwald, have signed a petition calling on the German government to uncancel the concert.
Saudi Arabia's finance minister, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, said on Wednesday that Saudi investments in Iran could happen "very quickly", following a reconciliation deal between the two countries last week which was brokered by China.
Speaking during a private sector forum of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, Jadaan said that “there are lots of opportunities for Saudi investments in Iran.
“We don't see impediments as long as the terms of any agreement would be respected,” he added.
The news that Riyadh is seriously considering investing in Iran, a country heavily sanctioned by the West, is likely to raise eyebrows in Washington, historically one of the kingdom's closest allies.
Hunger and malnutrition are rising sharply in Syria and more than half its population is short of food after 12 years of war, economic pressures and last month's earthquake, the World Food Program said on Wednesday.
"The situation is worse than ever in Syria, the United Nations agency's Middle East director, Corrine Fleischer, told Reuters.
About 55% of Syria's population of some 12.1 million people are food insecure and a further 2.9 million are at risk of sliding into hunger, a WFP report said.
A week ago an interesting story surfaced briefly in the news about how the developing Republican presidential candidate bids by Nikki Haley and others had been attacked over the past eleven months by possibly as many as hundreds of thousands of false automated personas, referred to in the trade as “bots,” on Twitter and other internet based social media. Interestingly, the activity was discovered and shared with Associated Press by an Israeli internet security company called Cyabra, which also claimed that the “bots” generation seem to have originated in three separate networks of false Twitter accounts. The accounts appear to have been created in the United States and it is believed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications are increasingly being used to create completely lifelike fake personas, extremely difficult for security filters and censors to detect.
The article claimed that those thousands of electronically generated non-persons had been programmed to disparage Haley and Ron DeSantis and others, often using “fake news” or alleged leaks of embarrassing personal information, while also praising the virtues of Donald Trump. The apparent intention was to build popular support for Trump by exploiting the social media sites’ algorithms to reach a large audience at the expense of the other possible GOP candidates. There are also concerns among some Republicans that the effort to give life to the Trump campaign by materially impacting on online political discussion might possibly be orchestrated and paid for by major outside interests that could actually be either foreign or criminal. Of course, as the operation has been exposed by an Israeli company, the possibility exists that the story is itself at least in part a false flag to plausibly deny any involvement by the Jewish state if that were to be demonstrable.
A court in the Pakistani city of Lahore has ordered the immediate halt of a two-day operation to arrest former Prime Minister Imran Khan until Thursday morning.
Security forces first attempted to take the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party into custody on Tuesday afternoon after an Islamabad court issued an arrest warrant to ensure his attendance in court by March 18. Khan has repeatedly skipped hearings in a case related to selling state gifts.
A team of defence scientists in Beijing says it has simulated an intercontinental ballistic missile attack against the United States mainland by North Korea.
The North Korean missile could hit the central US in 1,997 seconds, or about 33 minutes, if the US missile defence network failed to intercept it, according to the simulation.
Similar studies conducted by Chinese scientists in the past have not usually named specific countries or locations, especially when the findings were made available to the public.
The German military is suffering from a greater shortage of weapons and equipment than before Russia's invasion of Ukraine a year ago, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces said in her annual report on Tuesday.
"The Bundeswehr has too little of everything, and it has even less since (Russia's invasion on) Feb. 24, 2022," Eva Hoegl, who acts as an advocate defending the rights of the troops, told reporters in Berlin.
She denounced the government for being slow not only in spending the 100 billion euro special fund set up last year to bring the forces back up to scratch, but also in replenishing the military's stocks after rushing arms to Kyiv.
Narrator: After more than 100 days of a violent insurrection in 2020 Portland (where more than half of those who were arrested for the violence would be extricated by the Federal Government because they were on the “right-side” of the racial justice crusade), the consequences for the law-abiding three years later were obvious. Axiomatic. [Nike BEGS Portland mayor for police protection to reopen shuttered community store plagued with retail theft, Post Millennial, February 17, 2023]:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu, on Wednesday over the downing of the US MQ-9 Reaper drone in the Black Sea.
It marked the first time since October that the two military leaders spoke, as high-level engagement between the US and Russia has been rare since the invasion of Ukraine was launched in February 2022.
“I just got off the phone with my Russian counterpart, Minister Shoigu,” Austin told reporters at a press conference alongside Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.
Officials with the Russian oil company Transneft say they've uncovered a failed bomb plot to sabotage the Druzhba oil pipeline and maim civilians in the western Bryansk region of Russia.
Transneft spokesman Igor Demin told TASS on Wednesday that two explosive devices were found at a pumping station. The devices, while they didn't detonate, had some degree of damage due to the likelihood they were dropped from drones, he explained.
"The character of the explosive parts — metal balls — indicates that the organizers of this sabotage did not intend to damage equipment, but rather to kill people, namely civilian workers at a pumping station on the Druzhba [pipeline]. Investigations are underway," Demin said.
The station in question, identified in Bloomberg as the Novozybkov station, "hasn’t been used for oil pumping so far this year; its reservoirs are empty," according to reports. Demin noted that no part of the station was damaged.
So the DC media will just ignore this whopper of a lie?! @JoeBiden said gay people were national security threats when he was a Senator. He also campaigned against gay marriage as VP.