"The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they are realities, and are often even more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are." -- Niccoló Machiavelli, "The Discourses." 1517.
China needs a "recalibration" of its zero-COVID strategy in order to bring the world's second-largest economy back on track, as the Yuan plummets and threat of a recession looms, one senior official with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged Wednesday.
Concerns over a global recession increased following reports last month that China’s goal of hitting 5.5% GDP growth in 2022 was far from attainable and would likely top at 3.2%, with some suggesting it could be as low as 2.8% – a drop from 8.1% GDP growth in 2021.
"Under the zero-COVID strategy, China weathered the initial impact of the pandemic well, allowing the economy to recover swiftly from the early-2020 lockdowns," IMF's First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath said in a statement released Wednesday.
For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, a majority of Americans dying from the coronavirus were at least partially vaccinated, according to a new analysis of federal and state data.
The waning efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and increasingly contagious strains of the virus being spread to elderly and immunocompromised people have resulted in more deaths among those who have taken at least one vaccine dose, a Washington Post analysis published Wednesday finds.
"Fifty-eight percent of coronavirus deaths in August were people who were vaccinated or boosted," the Post reported.
When most people think of the National Science Foundation (NSF), they think about the US government investing tax dollars in grand advancements in mathematics, aerospace and engineering.
But under the Biden administration, the fastest-growing field of NSF grant funding appears to be the science of censorship.
At Foundation for Freedom Online, we previously reported the strange fact that the exact two universities who partnered with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to censor the 2020 election received a $3 million joint grant from the National Science Foundation just months after the election ended.
China on Thursday reported a record number of daily Covid infections, as a nationwide surge in cases heaps pressure on the country’s increasingly unpopular zero-tolerance approach to the virus.
The National Health Commission (NHC) recorded 31,444 locally transmitted cases on Wednesday – surpassing the previous peak of 29,317 recorded April 13 during Shanghai’s months-long lockdown.
The surge is being fueled by outbreaks in multiple cities and comes despite a refusal by authorities to end tight infection controls even in the face of an increasing – and unprecedented – backlash against their hardline approach of incessant lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing mandates.
President Joe Biden demanded Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stop the 'freedom convoy' that protested at the US-Canada border against vaccine mandates, right before Trudeau invoked emergency powers to end it.
Trudeau is set to testify in Ottawa on Friday regarding his decision to clear out the convoy as part of the Canadian government's investigation into the PM using those powers.
The trucker protest grew until it closed vital trade routes along the Canada-U.S. border and shut down key parts of the capital for more than three weeks. But all border blockades were ended on February 14.
This is a legitimate question. According to the New York Times’ 1619 Project, according to what is taught in US universities and public schools, and according to what the American left and those influenced by them believe, to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate the racism of white supremacy. As this belief is growing and not shrinking, how much longer before Thanksgiving becomes a day of atonement for racist sins?
Erasing national holidays is a way of erasing a culture. As Thanksgiving grows increasingly offensive to people of color, as Easter, once a Christian celebration of the Resurrection, disappears into baskets of candy for children, and as the celebration of Christmas is increasingly confined to the home, the three major holidays in the United States rot away, leaving the culture unsupported by public celebrations.
It is the total failure of the American intellectual class not to see this.
The recent decision by the United States Department of Justice to open an investigation into the killing, last May, of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is not a game-changer, but important and worthy of reflection, nonetheless.
Based on the long trajectory of US military and political support of Israel, and Washington’s constant shielding of Tel Aviv from any accountability for its illegal occupation of Palestine, one can confidently conclude that there will not be any actual investigation.
A real investigation into the killing of Abu Akleh could open up a Pandora’s box of other findings pertaining to Israel’s many other illegal practices and violations of international – and even US – law. For example, the US investigators would have to look into the Israeli use of US-supplied weapons and munitions, which are used daily to suppress Palestinian protests, confiscate Palestinian land, impose military sieges on civilian areas and so on. The US Leahy Law specifically prohibits “the US Government from using funds for assistance to units of foreign security forces where there is credible information implicating that unit in the commission of gross violations of human rights.”
The head of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) returned to Israel on Thursday after five days of talks with US officials in Washington that were focused on Iran and said joint military operations between the US and Israel will be “significantly expanded.”
“In order to improve our capabilities in the face of challenges in the region, joint activity with the US Central Command will be significantly expanded in the near future,” IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said, according to The Times of Israel.
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi’s trip to the US came amid soaring tensions with Iran as the US is ramping up sanctions on the Islamic Republic and expressing support for protesters inside the country. Kohavi said that Israel will “continue to act at an accelerated rate against the entrenchment of the Iranian regime in the region.”
Earlier this week, Kohavi held talks with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and CIA Director William Burns. Kohavi said that he stressed to the US officials that the US and Israel should step up planning for joint attacks on Iran.
The first reactor of Ukraine's Khmelnytskyi nuclear plant has been reconnected to the country's power grid, regional governor Serhiy Hamaliy said.
The Khmelnytskyi plant disconnected from Ukraine's grid on Wednesday after Russian strikes on the country's power system, Ukrainian officials said. (Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic, writing by Max Hunder; Editing by Jon Boyle)
Iran told the UN on Thursday that it had no choice but to act in self-defence by striking Kurdish rebel groups in northern Iraq, state media reported.
The Islamic republic has launched a series of cross-border missile and drone strikes on Iranian-Kurdish opposition groups, based in Iraq, which it blames for stoking protests back home over the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini.
"Iran recently carried out operations against terrorist groups in northern Iraq as it had no other choice than to use its natural right to defend itself in the framework of international law to protect its national security," Tehran's permanent representative to the UN wrote to the United Nations Security Council.
The Indonesian government has announced plans to procure Boeing F-15 jets, reinforcing its pledge to increase military interoperability with the US.
As part of a defense treaty between the countries, Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto expressed his government’s continued support of the US military presence in the Indo-Pacific.
“The United States has always been a good friend to us in our times of need,” Subianto said. “We thank, again, the United States government for the great assistance given to us during the pandemic, COVID 19.”
The announcement was made following a state visit by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III, who said that frequent bilateral meetings with Indonesia further strengthen ties that “stretch back more than 70 years.”
Dr. Thomas Binder is a Swiss cardiologist with over 34 years of experience in treating respiratory infections. He received a doctorate in immunology and virology, specializing in internal medicine and cardiology, from the University of Zurich. Binder is an intelligent man who was deemed insane by the Swiss government for speaking out against COVID regulations.
Dr. Binder has been an outspoken critic of COVID restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic. On April 9, 2020, the cardiologist criticized the government’s response to COVID and provided his own analysis of the virus. He posted his thoughts on his private website, and the post received over 20,000 views.
Three days later, a day before Easter, 60 armed police officers and 20 members of the Kantonspolizei Aargau’s anti-terrorism unit forcibly removed Dr. Binder from his home.
Authorities searched through the doctor’s online activity and could not find anything to use against him. However, an emergency room doctor who was working with the authorities arrived and diagnosed Dr. Binder with “corona insanity.” He was locked away in a mental asylum for questioning the COVID narrative.
Yet, he refuses to be silenced. He is now a member of the Doctors for COVID Ethics and the German Physicians and Scientists for Health, Freedom, and Democracy. I applaud him for still speaking against coronavirus mandates despite the government’s pitiful attempt to silence him.
Webmaster addition: Just like in the old Soviet Union!
The head of Brazil's electoral authority on Wednesday rejected the request from President Jair Bolsonaro and his political party to annul ballots cast on most electronic voting machines, which would have overturned the Oct. 30 election.
Alexandre de Moraes had issued a prior ruling that implicitly raised the possibility that Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party could suffer from such a challenge. He conditioned analysis of the request on the presentation of an amended report to include results from the first electoral round, on Oct. 2, in which the party won more seats in both congressional houses than any other, and he established a 24-hour deadline.
Earlier Wednesday, party president Valdemar Costa and lawyer Marcelo de Bessa held a press conference and said there would be no amended report.
Malaysia's newly appointed Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim signs documents after taking the oath during the swearing-in ceremony at the National Palace in Kuala Lumpur, 24 November 2022 [Courtesy of Malaysia's Information Department]
Anwar Ibrahim has been sworn in as Malaysia’s 10th prime minister, marking an incredible comeback for a man who was first lined up for the job in the boom years of the 1990s before he was suddenly sacked and jailed.
The 75-year-old veteran politician took the oath of office in front of King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at the palace in Kuala Lumpur shortly after 5pm (09:00 GMT) on Thursday afternoon, hours after he had been named to the top job by the monarch.
Two newly elected Lebanese lawmakers, including an activist who had pledged to fight corruption, lost their parliament seats on Thursday following an appeals process before the country's Constitutional Council.
On 24 November, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani revealed that the Islamic Republic has formed a panel under the interior ministry to investigate the deaths caused by ongoing protests.
Bagheri Kani made the announcement during a diplomatic visit to India, where he also revealed that at least 50 members of the security forces have been killed and hundreds have been injured as a result of street violence gripping Iran since the death of Mahsa Amini in mid-September.
The Iranian official did not provide further details about the investigative panel.
His announcement came on the heels of the judiciary issuing several more death sentences against “rioters” who were allegedly found guilty of “killing or injuring security forces, damaging public property, and endangering national security,” according to the state-run Mizan News Agency.
One month ago, weeks before the crypto sector was shaken by the crushing FTX bankrun which led to a quick and painful bankruptcy, and revealed that one of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges and its “JPMorgan-esque” owner were nothing but hollow shells of fraud, another bank was suffering from a far bigger bank run.
Readers will recall that in mid-October we reported that the Fed was quietly wiring increasingly greater dollar amounts to the Swiss National Bank – which eventually peaked at around $11 billion weekly – which in turn was then using these dollar swap lines to plug USD funding holes within one or more Swiss commercial banks.
We have heard all about the many cases of myocarditis and pericarditis post-injection, as well as recipients repeatedly testing “positive” for the virus even after doing the deed. But there is another concerning side effect occurring in the “fully vaccinated” for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that is rarely mentioned: blindness.
The latest data out of the United Kingdom suggests that a growing number of fully jabbed people are losing their eyesight. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Yellow Card system currently shows 163 cases of total blindness among people who got jabbed with the Pfizer-BioNTech needle, along with an additional six cases of central vision loss and four cases of sudden visual loss.
Twenty-one people also reportedly now suffer from “blindness transient” specifically caused by the Pfizer injection. This adverse reaction involves visual disturbance or loss of sight in one eye for a few seconds or even minutes at a time.
The arrival of fierce winter conditions in Ukraine is set to mark a pivotal moment in the Russian invasion as thousands of Kremlin soldiers are at risk of “freezing to death”. Defence and security analyst Professor Michael Clarke reported that mobilised Russian troops have not been provided with the essential thermal uniforms needed to survive the harsh weather as a Siberian anticyclone threatens to plunge temperatures to a “life-threatening” low. However, Ukrainian civilians have also been placed at risk after Moscow strategically targeted the electrical grid, triggering widespread blackouts and cutting off access to heating as the winter looms. Professor Clarke declared: “The battle is on, it’s a new form of warfare now, it’s the winter war that’s starting.”
Webmaster addition: I think you have that backwards. I have no doubt that Putin is providing equipment and energy to his forces to stay warm. It is the Ukrainians, with a collapsing energy grid, who will freeze to death in their homes! Putin is going to let winter fights his war for him!
Today I joined Senators Hanson, Antic, Rennick and Canavan in sponsoring a motion that would have forced the government to publish the Pfizer contracts. These contracts have cost taxpayers billions of dollars and include unspecified indemnities for harm big pharma’s products cause.
Ironically, the “my body my choice” greens teamed up with labor to block this motion that would have ensured transparency and accountability around the products that were mandated into people’s bodies.
CNN host Alisyn Camerota and a guest on the network struggled with the gender non-conforming identity of the Colorado “Club Q” shooting suspect.
Networks like CNN adhere to identifying people with their “preferred pronouns” and advance radical gender theory, but seem to have abandoned these rules when it comes to the nightclub shooting. Notably, the legacy media painted the shooting as a targeted hate crime against the LGBT community before recent developments about the alleged shooter, who will not be named per Daily Wire policy.
“The attorneys for the shooter are now saying that the shooter is non-binary, and the shooter would like to use the pronouns ‘they/them’ for the court and all court papers, and that’s what [redacted]’s attorneys are saying. Do you have any thoughts on that?” Camerota asked CNN guest Natalee Bingham, according to Post Millennial. The guest, who identifies as a trans woman, is a friend of a victim in the tragic shooting.
“I think that it’s completely ludicrous,” Bingham responded. “I believe they’re just saying that because they want to have the easy way out on this. That’s really, really offending, especially being a transgender woman myself, that a male, which it was obvious with the mugshot, that’s a man.”
Local media reports that authorities said the shooter faces five counts of first-degree murder after deliberation and five counts of a bias-motivated crime that caused bodily injury. Prosecutors suggest the shooting is considered a hate crime based on the bias-motivated crime charge.
The suspect also claims that he is “non-binary” and he uses “they/they” pronouns, according to court documents.
The suspect changed his name after turning 16 years old to distance himself from his criminal father, who is also a porn star and has a history of meth addiction. The suspect’s mother was previously accused of arson.
The suspect’s generated backlash online over remarks that he made in relation to learning that his son attacked a gay bar.
“And then I go on to find out it’s a gay bar,” the father said. “I said, ‘God, is he gay?’ I got scared, ‘S***, is he gay?’ And he’s not gay, so I said, ‘Phew …’”
As is the case every year, the White House put on its annual “Turkey Pardon.” Though, this year, the pardon is going to cost 21% more thanks to Biden’s inflation! Joe attended the event and spoke to the farmer who provided the soon-to-be free bird.
The farmer had the marked displeasure of having to speak to Joe Biden. I’m not sure why anyone would want to have a conservation with this Democratic puppet-in-chief. If anyone still is holding out hope that Biden’s mental faculties are up to snuff, this video will shatter that.
Uh… what? Joe Biden asked the farmer how many turkeys he raises. He responds with an impressive 9.5 million turkeys. So… I’m guessing he isn’t a small business owner? Someone who raises that many turkeys has to be part of a large, industrial, factory-farming system. The very thing environmentalists complain about all the time.
But he probably donated to the Biden campaign–so, there he is.
After telling the crowd that the farmer has 9.5 million turkeys, Joe makes the oddest and most off-putting comment ever. He said, “That’s like some of the countries I’ve been to.”
Now, we cannot begin to figure out what the heck this man is trying to say. Is that a joke? It might be a joke because you can hear some of the White House staff awkwardly laughing. But what’s the joke? Is Biden commenting on the population of some countries?
Is he being racist, comparing some countries to farms–or some people to turkeys?
It’s no secret that Thanksgiving is much more expensive this year–thanks to Joe Biden. The price of food has skyrocketed under the Biden administration. This is due to a variety of factors, mostly Biden’s failure to address the struggling supply chain–and other decisions that he made which have deliberately hurt the economy.
Reports indicate that everything from stuffing to turkey will cost Americans much more this year. And that’s not getting into the high price of just traveling to see family. But is Biden worried? Of course, not. When has he even shed a tear over Americans in need? In fact, one of his cronies just said Biden is “happy” with inflation.
And while some families struggle this year, Biden will be eating with a billionaire.
From New York Post:
For the second straight year, President Biden and his family will spend Thanksgiving at the Nantucket home of private-equity billionaire David Rubenstein…
Joe Biden, his wife Jill, and other family members were set to fly to the upscale Massachusetts island on Air Force One later Tuesday and remain there until Sunday, the White House confirmed over the weekend.
Last week, hours before the council unanimously voted to pass D.C.’s controversial criminal code reform, a criminal justice policy advocate who helped pass the bill was fatally shot and killed, Washington Post reported.
Kelvin Blowe, 32, was shot dead after a car crash just before 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday in Washington, DC.
Blowe is a member of DC Justice Lab, an organization that advocates for criminal justice reform in DC’s criminal legal system.
On the same day, the city council unanimously approved a bill he supported that reduced penalties for criminal offenses like robbery, burglary, carjacking, and firearm possession without a license.
Webmaster addition: You can slice the irony here with a knife!
This morning I wanted to share some thoughts from my friend, former sell side analyst Anton Wahlman.
He wrote me this morning making note of news I had already seen earlier today. Namely, that Beijing, the most prominent and well-known Chinese city with a population of 22 million, was going back into Covid lockdown.
“CGTN, a Chinese state-run news channel has just announced Beijing and other cities are going back into lockdown. Schools, restaurants, gyms and other facilities closed this week to stop the Omicron variant,” he wrote me.
Recall, back in April of this year, I wrote an article called “Something Is Rotten In The State Of Shanghai’s Latest Covid Lockdowns”, asking the question of why the country continues to be so interested in being able to lock down and open up its economy like Xi Jinping flipping a lightswitch on and off.
Anton wrote this morning that one of the great unsolved mysteries is why China keeps doing this. He asked “They can’t be this stupid or evil, can they?”
Well, maybe the answer is found inside Occam’s Razor: Yes, they really are this stupid and evil.
The US will likely return to Subic Bay, Philippines, 30 years after closing what was once the largest US military base in Asia, Kyodo News reported on Thursday.
The US is planning to build new military facilities in the Philippines as part of its effort to confront China in the region and is in talks with Manila to set up five new locations. The construction will be done under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), a military pact between Manila and Washington signed in 2014.
Since the US base in Subic Bay was closed, the area has become a bustling port overseen by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). Rolen Paulino, the head of the SBMA, told Kyodo that he would be “very surprised” if Subic Bay does not become an EDCA site, as “during war, time is of the essence.”
A general view shows illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. (File photo by Reuters)
Israeli prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly agreed to hand the so-called civil administration in the occupied West Bank to the far-right Religious Zionism party, a move that signals more extremism towards Palestinians and a breach of the Abraham accords concluded with some Persian Gulf states.
The Likud leader has decided to move the administration from the regime’s ministry of military affairs to the ministry of finance. His decision comes in order to appease his ally Bezalel Smotrich, who is a far-right member of the Knesset and leader of the Religious Zionism party, Haaretz reported.
The Times of Israel also reported that, Smotrich, the intended finance minister, is eager to take control of the agency and advance his agenda of expanding illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and thwarting Palestinian aspirations for an independent state in the territory.
The agreement was reportedly reached as part of the ongoing coalition talks between Netanyahu’s Likud and Religious Zionism, which stalled once more after the parties failed to reach an agreement on several other key issues.