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"All terrorist actions are staged incidents, because acts of terror alienate the very people whose support the people blamed for the terror act need." -- Michael Rivero
Video below shows about three thousand Australians turning-out in Sydney today, to protest NATO and show their support for Russia! The large group was peaceful and determined to let their country know their position: NATO is wrong, Russia is right, and the war in Ukraine must stop.
This week on Tuesday, President Biden met with the Congress to negotiate on whether to raise the debt ceiling. What hangs in the balance is 87,000 new IRS agents. Whatever happens in these negotiations, the outcome is going to affect your life. I am going to explain how, this week on Wolves and Finance.
The joint communiqué released by the Group of Seven leaders during the summit over the weekend in Hiroshima, Japan, took aim at China over several issues, but President Biden said Sunday that he expects a “thaw” in relations with Beijing.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan recently held a meeting with China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi. But for months beforehand, Beijing essentially cut off high-level contacts with Washington after Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a planned trip to China over the Chinese balloon that wound up over US territory in February due to unexpected weather.
Biden noted that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to maintain high-level communication when they met in Bali, Indonesia, last November. “And then this silly balloon that was carrying two freight cars’ worth of spying equipment was flying over the United States, and it got shot down, and everything changed in terms of talking to one another. I think you’re going to see that begin to thaw very shortly,” he said.
China on Friday warned against the introduction of “geopolitical games” in the South Pacific following the announcement that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Papua New Guinea next week.
The U.S. opted to send Blinken after President Joe Biden canceled what was to have been a historic stop in Papua New Guinea as well as a visit to Australia for a meeting of leaders of the so-called Quad partnership so he can focus on debt limit talks in Washington.
The administration has made putting a greater focus on the Pacific region central to its global outreach, largely to counter China’s growing influence there.
The head of Russia's Security Council Nikolai Patrushev will hold talks on Monday with Chen Wenqing, member of the Chinese Communist Party's Politburo who oversees police, legal affairs and intelligence, the Russian RIA state news reported.
This would be Patrushev's first meeting with Chen Wenqing, RIA reported. In October, Chen Wenqing was named the party secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, China's top security post with oversight of the police, judges and spies.
Patrushev, a former chief of the FSB internal security service, is widely seen as one of the most hawkish members of Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle.
Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein made sweeping gains in Northern Ireland’s local elections, repeating its success from last year’s assembly elections, when it became the largest party for the first time.
With counting completed late Saturday, Sinn Fein, which seeks unification of Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland, took 144 of 462 local government seats — an increase of 39 from the last local government elections in 2019. Its main rival, the Democratic Unionist Party, captured 122 seats, while the centrist Alliance Party had 67.
Michelle O’Neill, Sinn Fein’s vice president, said the results were “momentous.” She added that her party’s success was a message from voters that Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government, which has been paralyzed for over a year, must get back to business.
When Israel launched its five-day assault on Gaza earlier this month, Palestinian hospitals were immediately pushed into crisis mode.
Already under-equipped following 16 years of an Israeli-led blockade, medical workers scrambled to evacuate patients receiving urgent care to make way for those wounded from the new air strikes.
Medical supplies and medicine that were already rationed to meet the needs of Gaza's two million people began to run out quickly.
And with Israel closing crossings with Gaza - preventing the entry of fuel, aid, and other supplies - doctors were bracing for the worst.
I know Romanian corruption. When I was exiting the country after investigating its collapsing economy in 1987, I made sure to bribe every guard who searched my luggage at the Bucharest airport with a pack of Kent cigarettes. But I neglected to give a pack to the soldier on the tarmac as I walked to my Lufthansa flight. He was soon screaming and waving his submachine gun in my direction. Whoops.
After the fall of communism, the U.S. State Department launched a program to help Romania and other East European governments curtail corruption. Vice President Joe Biden masterminded that effort from 2009 to 2016. The program was a smashing success.
Romania remained profoundly corrupt, but Biden family members received more than a million dollars from Romanian businessman Gabriel Popoviciu. He was convicted for corruption even though Hunter Biden flew to Bucharest to testify on his behalf before the National Anticorruption Directorate.
The Australian government said it would provide surveillance drones and other high-tech equipment to the Philippines to boost its maritime patrol capabilities.
The announcement was made following the visit to Manila of Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong to meet with her Filipino counterpart Enrique A. Manalo.
The military aid package builds on the already deep and wide-ranging maritime security ties between the two allied countries, Wong said.
Apart from drones, Canberra will provide technical assistance and initiate capacity-building exercises for the Philippine Coast Guard.
It also vowed to support women’s leadership in maritime security.
“We want a region that is predictable, that operates by standards and laws in which sovereignty is respected,” Wong explained.
Hundreds of people fleeing the fighting in Sudan cross the main border post at Metema in western Ethiopia every day.
Around 15,000 people from sixty different countries have crossed over between April 21st and May 7th.
Redin Abdela Ahmed, a student from Khartoum, was one of them.
"We have to live together, suffer together, share our stuff with each other, because it is going to be a temporary situation and we are hoping to get a better life than this. I've spent about nine days here."
He says the authorities are trying to look after them.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s last-minute participation Sunday in the Group of Seven summit has brought intense global attention to Russia’s invasion of his nation. But it has also worried atomic bomb survivors who said the high-profile visit overshadowed a rare chance to push world leaders to focus on nuclear abolishment.
Zelenskyy’s inclusion at the G7 gathering of the richest democracies — and his pursuit of more weapons and other support for Ukraine, rather than a diplomatic pursuit to end the war — sends the wrong message, activists and victims said.
“Zelenskyy’s visit is not appropriate for Hiroshima, which is a peace-loving city,” said Etsuko Nakatani, an activist whose parents survived the Hiroshima atomic bombing in 1945.
China’s president Xi Jinping on Friday laid out an ambitious plan for co-operation with Central Asian countries on defence and security, pushing into a region traditionally seen as Russia’s backyard at a moment when Moscow is distracted by the war in Ukraine.
Hosting his first in-person summit with leaders of the group of Central Asian countries known as the “C5”, Xi also offered to increase transport and energy ties with the region. The group consists of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
“Xi stressed that China is ready to help Central Asian countries improve their law enforcement, security and defence capacity building in an effort to safeguard regional peace,” state news agency Xinhua reported.
The Ministry of Oil and Minerals of the Sanaa government signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese firm, Anton Oilfield Services Group, and a representative of the Chinese government, to allow oil exploration in the Republic of Yemen, Saba News reported on 21 May.
The memorandum of understanding comes after many negotiations and coordination with several foreign companies to convince them to invest in the oil sector of the war torn country.
The Minister of Oil and Minerals, Ahmed Dares, has called on investment companies to visit Yemen to see the potential investment opportunities, advantages and facilities that investment in the sector would provide.
Minister Dares noted that negotiations are ongoing with several international companies to enter the field of oil exploration in Yemen, and work will be done to finalise memorandums of understanding with several of them.
He noted the efforts of the ministry to encourage investments and development in this vital sector for the benefit of the country.
Bahrain and Lebanon are to restore diplomatic relations after a year-and-a-half break prompted by a spat over the conflict in Yemen.
Bahrain and other Gulf countries followed Saudi Arabia in recalling their diplomats towards the end of 2021 after a Lebanese minister criticised Riyadh's military intervention in the war in Yemen.
Manama, a staunch ally of Riyadh, also called on its citizens in Lebanon to leave the country.
The tiny Gulf kingdom said on Saturday that it was bringing an end to the impasse, a move welcomed by Beirut.
Two Saudi astronauts will be travelling to the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time on a private mission to carry out a number of experiments, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Rayyanah Barnawi, the first female Arab astronaut and breast cancer researcher, and fighter pilot Ali al-Qarni are scheduled to blast off in a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in the US state of Florida on Sunday.
As the final days of the holy month of Ramadan approached, Muqtada al-Sadr busied himself with preparations for his annual itikaf, a period of reflection to be spent in the great mosque of Kufa.
To those around him, it seemed clear he was trying to divert his attention away from events in the world outside the walls of his home in central Najaf's Hanana.
It has been almost a year since the influential Shia cleric announced his withdrawal from politics. Over the past few months, as a new Iraqi government was formed without his participation, he resolutely refused to enter into any political dialogue or receive visitors trying to speak to him about developments or issues the country was facing.
While the American public and even some U.S. politicians have been sounding the alarm recently over the dangers of the potential future rollout of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), and the loss of all privacy in any financial transactions, a new blockchain financial network that was launched in 2019, before COVID, has been gaining momentum here in 2023 and is now being used in dozens of countries around the world with over 1.5 million users.
And it is now being launched in the United States: World ID with the Worldcoin cryptocurrency.
World ID is not some concept for the future. It is already here, and already being used around the world with the World App and Worldcoin, for both financial transactions and “World ID checks.”
Since its initial debut, 1.5 million people have joined the World App pre-release, more than 500,000 of which use it every month. On a typical day, it sees around 60,000 transactions and 25,000 World ID checks among other actions from over 100,000 people in a handful of countries. Today we’re excited to introduce Phase I of World App, and to make it globally available for the first time. (Source.)
Why have so many people around the world so quickly signed up for a World ID?
Because they are being offered free cryptocurrency, and in some cases even free money in their local currencies, by using their new World ID.
And what do they have to do to receive this free money?
They just have to have their eyeball scanned by the Worldcoin “Orb” which will then create their unique World ID.
Last Saturday the Washington Post published an exposé of classified American intelligence documents showing that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, working behind the back of the Biden White House, pushed hard earlier this year for an expanded series of missile attacks inside Russia. The documents were part of a large cache of classified materials posted online by an Air Force enlisted man now in custody. A senior official of the Biden administration, asked by the Post for comment on the newly revealed intelligence, said that Zelensky has never violated his pledge never to use American weapons to strike inside Russia. In the view of the White House, Zelensky can do no wrong.
Zelensky’s desire to take the war to Russia may not be clear to the president and senior foreign policy aides in the White House, but it is to those in the American intelligence community who have found it difficult to get their intelligence and their assessments a hearing in the Oval Office. Meanwhile, the slaughter in the city of Bakhmut continues. It is similar in idiocy, if not in numbers, to the slaughter in Verdun and the Somme during World War I. The men in charge of today’s war—in Moscow, Kiev, and Washington—have shown no interest even in temporary ceasefire talks that could serve as a prelude to something permanent. The talk now is only about the possibilities of a late spring or summer offensive by either party.
But something else is cooking, as some in the American intelligence community know and have reported in secret, at the instigation of government officials at various levels in Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, Czechoslovakia, and Latvia. These countries are all allies of Ukraine and declared enemies of Vladimir Putin.
This group is led by Poland, whose leadership no longer fears the Russian army because its performance in Ukraine has left the glow of its success at Stalingrad during the Second World War in tatters. It has been quietly urging Zelensky to find a way to end the war—even by resigning himself, if necessary—and to allow the process of rebuilding his nation to get under way. Zelensky is not budging, according to intercepts and other data known inside the Central Intelligence Agency, but he is beginning to lose the private support of his neighbors.
House lawmakers took part in a contentious debate over how stablecoins should be regulated at a hearing held by the Financial Services Committee’s digital assets panel - where there were also some hopeful signs from both sides.
At the heart of the debate on May 16 was the level of involvement of state regulators and the Federal Reserve.
Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.), who chairs the Subcommittee on Digital Assets, supports legislation that gives more power to state regulators, while Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the overall committee, advocates for a leading role for the Federal Reserve in the Democratic proposal.
Hill challenged a previous notion put forth by Waters that yielding oversight to the states would be a step backwards in establishing a clear legal framework.
Beauty is supposedly in the eye of the beholder.
Still, Artificial Intelligence, also known as AI, has its interpretation of what the "ideal" male and female should look like, according to a report published by The Bulimia Project.
The Daily Caller reports when The Bulimia Project was published is unclear, but the results are pretty...literally.
According to the report, the project used data cultivated from postings on social media. One of the project's goals was to determine how psychology played a role in social media's ability to distort body imagery. The project used multiple AI technology platforms, which included Dall-E 2, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion.
The U.S. State Department has offered free therapy to employees affected by a system glitch that assigned random pronouns to staff members in emails.
Greece's government bonds and stocks gained Monday as market-friendly Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis received a strong vote from the people compared to his opposition in Sunday's national election.
Mitsotakis' center-right New Democracy received 41% of the vote versus 20% for the leftist Syriza party of former premier Alexis Tsipras. However, Mitsotakis was short of achieving a majority in parliament, but political analysts expect he will secure a single-party government in the next elections in about a month, according to Bloomberg.
Privacy authorities from the European Union have slapped a record-breaking fine of 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) on Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, for sending user data to the US. Authorities have also given a deadline by which Meta must cease all personal data transfers across the Atlantic.
The Irish Data Protection Commission revealed that Meta breached the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when it transferred the personal data of Europeans to the US without sufficiently protecting them from "surveillance programmes" operated by the US government.
The Irish privacy watchdog pointed out concerns about NSA spy programs:
US futures are flat as we start a new week and inch closer to the debt ceiling x-date: as a reminder, according to Janet Yellen the US could be in default in just 10 days. At 8:00am ET , S&P futures were up 0.1%, near session highs, after trading in a narrow range overnight; the tech-heavy Nasdaq was pressured by losses on semiconductor stocks after China said products from Micron Technology had failed a cybersecurity review. Micron shares dropped more than 5% in New York premarket trading, dragging down other chipmakers, including Nvidia and Qualcomm. Asian markets are higher, while European stocks trade near session lows. Bond yields are higher, rebounding from session lows, while the USD is slightly in the green with commodities also erasing earlier losses. MegaCap Tech names are up slightly pre-market. McCarthy and Biden spoke on Sunday and will resume negotiations today. Fed’s Kashkari, a Fed dove turned hawk (and soon to turn dove again) is now open to holding rates steady in June; OIS now sees more than 80% odds of a pause at the June mtg. Biden expected ties with China to improve very shortly and considers lifting sanctions on Chinese Defense Minister.
A Russian official said Saturday that the Western plans to provide Ukraine with American-made F-16 fighter jets bring “colossal risks” after the US announced it would sign off on European countries delivering the aircraft.
“We see that Western countries are still adhering to the escalation scenario. It involves colossal risks for themselves,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, according to TASS.
“In any case, this will be taken into account in all our plans, and we have all the necessary means to achieve the goals we have set,” Grushko added.
During the last day of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, President Biden was asked about Russia calling the F-16 plan a “colossal risk.” He replied, “It is for them.”
Once again, the police state is up to its old tricks, stoking tensions over whether or not the government is forced to shut down, even partially, due to a default on the national debt.
Yet while these political games dominate news headlines, send the stock market into a nosedive, and put federal employees at risk of having to work without pay, nothing about these high-handed theatrics will diminish the immediate and very real dangers of the American Police State with its roadside strip searches, government surveillance, biometric databases, citizens being treated like terrorists, imprisonments for criticizing the government, national ID cards, SWAT team raids, censorship, forcible blood draws and DNA extractions, private prisons, weaponized drones, red light cameras, tasers, active shooter drills, police misconduct and government corruption.
Default or not, war will continue. Drone killings will continue. Surveillance will continue. Censorship and persecution of anyone who criticizes the government will continue. The government’s efforts to label dissidents as extremists and terrorists will continue.
The turn of the last century brought an age of revolutions, industrial warfare and nearly instantaneous communications across long distances. With these developments came an emphasis on another method of war: information war. This was the type of fight waged with what World War II Deputy Director of the Office of Censorship, Theodore F. Koop, called “Silent Weapons,” in a wartime memoir he published in 1946. Wrote Koop:
The censors’ shears were bayonets that not only formed a rear-guard national defense but also struck hard at the enemy in all three phases of warfare—military, economic, and psychological.
Koop would go on to run CBS News in Washington, DC. Well-known as a powerful media figure, he was also a trusted one, the man who hired Walter Cronkite.
Less well-known was that in 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower asked him to run a secret national censorship program intended for use in Cold War emergencies. He accepted the offer while still a network news executive, serving in that contingency role under Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.
House Republicans took to the podium on May 17 to condemn the Biden administration’s negotiation of global pandemic agreements that they say will grant additional power to the World Health Organization (WHO) and centralize authority in an organization they say failed the American public during the COVID pandemic.
Shortly thereafter, on May 19, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a report to member nations stating that, while the “re-emergence of epidemic-prone diseases continues to accelerate,” the WHO’s mandate regarding “health emergencies” must extend beyond pandemics to include hunger, poverty, ecological degradation, climate change, and social and economic inequalities.
The Director General wrote that member nations must establish a “global architecture for health emergency preparedness, prevention, response, and resilience (HEPR),” which includes “global governance, financing and HEPR systems.”
But GOP lawmakers disagreed with the WHO.
President Biden on Sunday met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, and announced a new military aid package for Kyiv that’s worth $375 million.
“I’m announcing the next tranche of US security assistance to Ukraine — a package that includes more ammunition, artillery, armored vehicles to bolster Ukraine’s battlefield abilities,” Biden said alongside Zelensky.
The funds for the new weapons package are being drawn from the $45 billion Congress authorized to spend on the war in December. Recent media reports said US aid for Ukraine might be exhausted by the end of the summer and that the White House will have to ask Congress for more.
However, the Pentagon has discovered an “error” that overvalued weapons sent to Ukraine by at least $3 billion, which could give the Biden administration more funds to work with.