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"I have a serious drinking problem. My wife won't let me drink!" -- Michael Rivero
When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power last year, he never mentioned plans to overhaul the country’s judiciary. But a little-known Jerusalem think tank had been preparing for the moment for years.
The Kohelet Policy Forum, founded by an American Israeli and funded by a U.S. libertarian billionaire, quietly authored and helped introduce the far-reaching package of judicial changes that has sparked a national crisis and driven hundreds of thousands of Israelis into the streets.
Likud member Keti Shitrit, in a recent interview with Israel’s Channel 13, said Netanyahu’s party never internally discussed the judicial overhaul bills supplied by Kohelet before fast-tracking them through the parliament.
“It wasn’t us that prepared it; it was Kohelet Forum,” she said on a special TV broadcast covering the mass anti-government protests, adding that the group has been providing “materials” to right-wing politicians for years.
The meeting was the only time Mark got any answers from the DOJ about his brother's death. Three years later, he still doesn't know exactly how Epstein died and why it's taken the government that long to share its answer to that question.
Mark Epstein told Insider that even though he's Jeffrey's next of kin, he hasn't been able to obtain certain medical records, including the care reports filled out by EMTs who evaluated his brother's corpse.
The public hasn't gotten answers either. Epstein flew at the heights of power, consorting with presidents and princes while at the same time abusing scores of girls. His death in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons represents one of the most shocking failures of federal law enforcement in history. How could the Justice Department let him just slip away?
The Justice Department's Office of Inspector General launched an investigation after he was found dead. But more than three years later, the office still hasn't released its report into the circumstances of Epstein's death.
The circumstances surrounding the flare-up in Syria between the US occupation forces and pro-Iranian militia groups remain murky. President Biden claims that the US is reacting, but there are signs that it is likely being proactive to create new facts on the ground.
The US Central Command claims that following a drone attack on March 23 afternoon on an American base near Hasakah, at the direction of President Biden, retaliatory air strikes were undertaken later that night against “facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.”
However, this version has been disputed by the spokesman of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council who accused Washington of “creating artificial crises and lying.” The Iranian official has alleged that
“Over the past two days, American helicopters have carried out several sorties with the aim of increasing instability in Syria and transferred Daesh (Islamic State) terrorists in the territory of this country.”
The biggest global news story in 2021, 2022, and now in 2023 is that people around the world are dying in ever great numbers as the pandemic winds down. This is just the opposite of what was expected since COVID-19 mortality was largely in the elderly and those with many medical problems, the viral illness should have had a “culling” effect leaving 2022 and now 2023 to have decreased mortality.
Multiple sources of data suggest the swell in mortality occurring is not just among the elderly. Edward Dowd’s book “Cause Unknown”: The Epidemic of Sudden Deaths in 2021 & 2022 numerous sources of insurance data are cited suggesting death claims among working age persons are skyrocketing.
Aarstad et al have published an ecological analysis demonstrating that deaths tracked with increased COVID-19 vaccination rates. But as the authors point out, these observations are not conclusive that the vaccines independently are responsible for the alarming trend.
The March 13 Biden-Albanese-Sunak summit in San Diego to demonstrate alliance solidarity and to sign the multi-billion AUKUS (Australia, United Kingdom, US) nuclear submarine deal accelerated the pace of the U.S. and China sleepwalking toward catastrophic war. Compounding the dangers that came with the creation of the alliance in 2021 as part of the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific military buildup, the new deal also adds to the mountain of obstacles blocking the way to the U.S.-Chinese cooperation that is essential if the climate emergency is to be reversed, the world’s nuclear arms races stanched, and if the planet’s two most technologically advanced nations collaborating to prevent pandemics and discover cancer cures.
The San Diego deal was designed to seal the southern flank of what Chinese President Xi Jinping describes as the West’s “all-round containment, encirclement, and suppression” of China. Initially, the U.S. is to sell Australia three and possibly more nuclear powered and nuclear-capable Virginia class submarines in the 2030s. A decade later the U.S. subs will be augmented with nuclear-powered submarines built by Britain and Australia with advanced U.S. technologies. In addition to deepening dangerous military tensions and provocations across the Indo-Pacific where an accident or miscalculation could trigger World War III. At an estimated cost of $268 to $368 billion, the submarine deal is a massive windfall for the three powers’ military-industrial complexes at the cost of spending for climate resilience and essential human needs. And even before Australia takes command of the most advanced U.S. and British nuclear submarines, Australian harbors will host U.S. and U.K. nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed submarines as that land down under becomes a forward-based repair and maintenance hub for the United States’ seventh fleet.
Egyptian dissidents abroad have told Middle East Eye they are being denied the right to renew their passports and identity documents as a means of pressuring them to return home to Egypt.
In 2017, the well-known Egyptian journalist Hosam Yahia, then based in Qatar, tried to renew his passport a year before it expired. The Egyptian embassy in Doha gave him a one-year renewal instead of the standard seven years, which surprised him.
When Yahia asked for a reason, embassy staff said he was due for conscription, despite having submitted the necessary documents proving his exemption. They promised him that the next time he renewed his passport, it would be for seven years.
In the following months, a local Egyptian media campaign was launched against the Qatari state-backed Al Jazeera channel and Egyptians who work there, including Yahia.
Any Palestinian following the developments in the Israeli protest movement against “the judicial coup” will require nerves of steel to withstand the hypocrisy on display. The protests are estimated to be 100,000 people strong, politicians are jumping over tables in the Knesset, and former army Chief of Staff Yair Golan is calling for a state of “civil disobedience.” Only yesterday, Netanyahu dismissed Defense Minister Yoav Gallant after he voiced opposition to the judicial reforms, and angry protestors took to the streets in Tel Aviv and other cities and shut down highways. The army has been going through its own crisis ever since military reservists, especially those in the Air Force, joined the protests. If that wasn’t enough, large sums of money are being transferred out of Israeli banks for fear of the effects that the judicial reforms might have on the Israeli economy and on the value of the Israeli Shekel. As for gall, that was hardly in short supply in Yuval Noah Harari’s op-ed telling Netanyahu to “stop your coup or we’ll stop the country.” It’s as if Harari has never heard of al-Issawiyya, which continues to be strangled by the Hebrew University where he teaches, or of oppression and occupation, which wasn’t reason enough to warrant speaking of halting the state.
A sculpture of the coat of arms of the British royal family, created with the blood of four Afghans, is to be “projected” onto the walls of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London by Russian artist Andrei Molodkin to protest Prince Harry’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan.
The prince’s recent memoir “Spare” caused significant controversy after he said in it that he had killed 25 Taliban fighters while serving as an attack helicopter pilot.
He added that the figure was “not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me,” and that he had thought of the fatalities as akin to taking “chess pieces.”
Last week I participated in an online forum called US CBDC—A Disaster in the making? It was hosted by Sustany Capital’s Christian Kameir, and we had a very productive discussion about the policy aspect of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
While our panelists agreed that there is very little chance the Fed will launch a fully functional CBDC in the next year or two, we did not necessarily agree on whether that was good or bad.
I believe that the Fed should not launch a CBDC. Ever. And I think that Congress should amend the Federal Reserve Act, just to be on the safe side. (Kudos to Rep. Emmer (R-MN).) That position puts me at odds with the army of consultants who have been churning out papers and proclamations on CBDCs, most of whom seem only to question when the Fed will launch a CBDC.
In one of the more shocking hypocrisies of this year so far, Charles III, King of England – considered to be a strong supporter of organic farming and environmental causes – has given his Royal Assent to a biotechnology ‘innovation’ which will provide an open book for UK firms to alter the genome of animals and plants, so as to create novel engineered species and biotech ‘foods’.
In taking this step Charles has committed an open act of betrayal of all bona fide farmers, and particularly of organic farmers.
The Genetic Technology Precision Breeding Act 2023 was given the royal go ahead on 23rd March, 2023.
This piece of legislation will, for the time being, be unique to the UK, as such animal and plant biotech deformations are not allowed in the EU and many other countries.
The global energy transition is off track to prevent the worst impact of the climate emergency, according to the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency, and a fundamental course correction is required to successfully pivot away from fossil fuels.
A report published by IRENA on Tuesday said an additional $35 trillion of investments in transitional technologies would be needed by 2030 to curb global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
This temperature threshold refers to the aspirational goal of the landmark Paris Agreement.
A radical trans activist group along with a D.C.-based Antifa group will be gathering on April 1 at the Supreme Court to protest for the transgender community at an event called “Trans Day of Vengeance.” Trans identifying female Noah Buchanan and non-binary activist Tsukuru Fors are leading their group Trans Radical Action Network to D.C. and promoting the event through social media. Antifa group, Our Rights DC, joins the trans group to “stop trans genocide.” In a TikTok video by Buchanan, she states the event is about bringing back the phrase, “we’re here; we’re queer, and we’re not going anywhere.”
French authorities on Tuesday conducted raids in and around Paris in what they say is a possible tax fraud case that may have cost governments more than €100 billion ($108 billion).
A spokesperson for France's Financial Prosecutor's Office (PNF) said the raids, which began at 9:30 a.m. and were still ongoing at midday, targeted four French and one international bank on suspicion of money laundering and fiscal fraud.
The banks being investigated are: Societe Generale , BNP Paribas, Exane, Natixis and HSBC.
PNF representatives said the investigations are linked to legally dubious "cum cum" practices in which banks create overly complex legal structures as a way to allow wealthy clients to skip out on tax obligations for dividends.
Authorities say Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, BNP Paribas subsidiary Exane, Natixis and the British banking behemoth HSBC are suspected of aggravated tax fraud laundering. Moreover, BNP and Exane are suspected of aggravated tax fraud.
Tuesday's raids are linked to PNF investigations opened in December 2021.
A staffer for Sen. Rand Paul was stabbed and seriously injured in Washington, D.C., on Saturday and a suspect has since been arrested, according to police and Paul's office.
"This past weekend a member of my staff was brutally attacked in broad daylight in Washington, D.C.," Paul, R-Ky,. said in a statement to ABC News on Monday. "I ask you to join [wife] Kelley and me in praying for a speedy and complete recovery, and thanking the first responders, hospital staff, and police for their diligent actions."
Paul's office has not publicly identified the staffer.
National Public Radio has become a parody of itself.
NPR recently ran a news article about how the World Athletics Council, the governing body for international track and field competitions, will henceforth prohibit biological males who “identify” as females from competing in women’s sports.
The article had this line which, for readers with common sense, might produce a chuckle:
“At the center of the issue is whether transgender women athletes have a physical advantage over other female competitors, even after lowering their testosterone levels,” NPR reported. “But there is limited scientific research involving elite transgender athletes—which the council also acknowledged.”
Do biological men have a physical advantage over women? Is the sky blue? Are we going to need more studies to figure this out?
President Joe Biden opened up a speech Monday to celebrate Women’s History Month by ranting about his love of ice cream.
Biden was hosting an event at the White House to recognize the U.S. Small Business Administration Women’s Business Summit, announcing additional resources to help women small business owners and expanding the number of Women Business Centers networks.
“Thank you, my name is Joe Biden. I’m Dr. Jill Biden’s husband and I eat Jeni’s Ice Cream, chocolate chip. I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream,” Biden said. “By the way, I have a whole refrigerator full upstairs. You think I’m kidding? I’m not.”
New emails uncovered in the ongoing Missouri v. Biden litigation reportedly show that the Biden Administration’s censorship efforts extended to Facebook to censor private communications on its WhatsApp messaging service.
In recent months, the Twitter Files revealed an extensive and secret effort by the FBI and other agencies to censor citizens on social media. I testified on that effort. Democratic members oppose efforts to investigate the full scope of this effort and even denounced those calling for greater transparency as “Putin lovers” and apologists for insurrectionists and racists. Yet, the evidence of an extensive censorship and blacklisting effort by the Administration continues to mount.
Facebook (now known as Meta) is accused of working with the government to target citizens with dissenting views on Covid and the pandemic.
According to emails obtained through discovery, Biden’s Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty pressed Facebook executives to be more aggressive with censorship. Flaherty reportedly objected that “I care mostly about what actions and changes you’re making to ensure you’re not making our country’s vaccine hesitancy problem worse…I still don’t have a good, empirical answer on how effective you’ve been at reducing the spread of vaccine-skeptical content and misinformation to vaccine fence sitters.”
Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, warned Monday that Moscow possesses weapons capable of wiping out an enemy, including the United States.
“Russia is patient and does not intimidate anyone with its military advantage However, it possesses advanced unique weapons capable of destroying any enemy, including the United States, in case of a threat to its existence,” Patrushev said, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
Moscow’s military doctrine allows the use of nuclear weapons if Russian officials believe Russia is facing an existential threat. Patrushev added that Russia would be able to respond to a pre-emptive nuclear strike launched by the US.
Opposition to Joe Biden’s proxy war to destroy Russia has entered the 2024 US Presidential election – from stage Right. And the growing anti-interventionist sentiment among grass roots conservatives and libertarians is alarming Establishment warhawks on both "left" and "right." They are furious.
Their anger boiled over when Tucker Carlson asked likely GOP presidential candidates for their positions on the cruel war steeped in the blood of Ukrainian proxies; he posted their replies on Twitter. There were only two who opposed the war, Donald Trump and Ronald DeSantis.
The announcement by Vladimir Putin over the weekend that Russia will deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus marked a further escalation of potentially cataclysmic tensions over the war in neighboring Ukraine. As the Associated Press reported, "Putin said the move was triggered by Britain’s decision this past week to provide Ukraine with armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium."
There’s always an excuse for nuclear madness, and the United States has certainly provided ample rationales for the Russian leader’s display of it. American nuclear warheads have been deployed in Europe since the mid-1950s, and current best estimates say 100 are there now – in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.
The US Air Force has awarded Raytheon a $320-million contract to produce and deliver 1,500 GBU-53/B StormBreaker air-to-surface “smart” munitions.
The work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, through June 2027.
“Having StormBreaker in the warfighter’s arsenal provides unprecedented capability against moving targets, regardless of conditions,” Raytheon president of Air Power Paul Ferraro said.
The Israeli government is in crisis due to divisions over controversial plans to overhaul the country’s judicial system.
Tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets yet again on Sunday night in unprecedentedly large protests that rocked the coastal city of Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem.
The demonstrations were triggered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to fire his Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday evening after the latter expressed opposition to the prime minister’s proposed changes to the judicial system.
Thousands of mourners turned out in the occupied West Bank on Sunday to pay their respects to a Palestinian man who died in an Israeli prison last month, after their body was finally released.
Ahmad Abu Ali, 48, died in an Israeli hospital on 10 February following years of alleged medical negligence, The New Arab's Arabic sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.
The father of nine had various health problems related to his heart and diabetes and passed away around two years before he was due to complete his 12-year jail sentence.
"You shone bright Ahmed. You brought light on the country, Ahmed," his sister said upon receiving his body at his home.
"You lived honourably and died as a martyr."
Saudi oil giant Aramco announced on 27 March that it has signed an agreement with China for the building of an oil refinery and petrochemical complex in the far-eastern country’s northeast, aimed at supporting the growing Chinese demand for fuel and petrochemical products.
According to the Saudi newspaper Sabq, the total cost of the project will amount to $12.2 billion.
Construction is set to begin during the second quarter of this year, and the complex is scheduled to officially open by 2026. Currently, the project is awaiting the necessary administrative approvals.
In a statement, Aramco announced that it will be supplying 210,000 barrels of crude oil to the complex, which is being constructed in Panjin city, in China’s province of Liaoning.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party has slammed “incendiary remarks” by the country’s home minister against his political rival.
In an interview on Sunday with a local news channel, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, the second-most powerful official in the government, issued what many say are not-so-veiled threats to Khan, 72, who since his removal from power last year has been demanding immediate elections.
Another Pakistani court on Monday ruled in defense of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, granting him protection from arrest as lawsuits mounted against him. Police have charged the ousted premier with incitement to violence in several cases when his followers clashed with security forces this month.
The latest reprieve for Khan comes as a political crisis roils Pakistan, pitting the former cricket star turned Islamist politician against the government of his successor, Shahbaz Sharif, and spilling into violence in the streets.
Khan was ousted through a no-confidence vote in Parliament last April. Since then, the 70-year-old opposition leader has had more than 100 legal cases filed against him, including on charges of terrorism, incitement to violence and graft while in office.
During the first few weeks of the war in Yemen, Muhammad Naji knew his family would be pushed to the brink.
As bombs rained down on the Yemeni capital Sanaa, his family, like millions of others, hunkered down in the hope of making it through nights marked by devastating air strikes.
As Saudi-led air attacks laid waste to residential buildings, mosques, markets, factories, schools and hospitals; families such as his survived on whatever they could - usually morsels of food, even mouldy bread.
Now, despite a recent lull in fighting, Naji once again finds his family struggling to survive.
China spent $240 billion bailing out 22 developing countries between 2008 and 2021, with the amount soaring in recent years as more have struggled to repay loans spent building "Belt and Road" infrastructure, a study published on Tuesday showed.
Almost 80% of the lending was made between 2016 and 2021, mainly to middle-income countries including Argentina, Mongolia and Pakistan, according to the report by researchers from the World Bank, Harvard Kennedy School, AidData and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
China has lent hundreds of billions of dollars to build infrastructure in developing countries, but lending has tailed off since 2016 as many projects have failed to pay the expected financial dividends.
The Iraq War was spawned by a deadly combination of political depravity and media complicity. Unfortunately, on the twentieth anniversary of the war, both elements of that conspiracy are being whitewashed. Instead, politicians and their pundit accomplices are prattling as if the Iraq war was a well-intentioned mistake, not a crime against humanity.
In the days after 9/11, when pollsters asked Americans who they thought had carried out the 9/11 attacks, only 3 percent of respondents suggested Iraq or Saddam Hussein as culprits. But President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney worked ceaselessly to convince Americans that Saddam was the 9/11 culprit. Official propaganda trumpeting the Saddam/al-Qaeda link was the linchpin for exploiting 9/11 to justify war. A February 2003 poll found that 72 percent of Americans believed that Saddam was “personally involved in the September 11 attacks.” Shortly before the March 2003 invasion, almost half of all Americans believed that “most” or “some” of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqi citizens. Only 17 percent of respondents knew that none of the hijackers was Iraqi.
In his official notification of invasion sent to Congress (in lieu of a declaration of war) on March 18, 2003, Bush declared that he was attacking Iraq “to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.” Bush tied Saddam to 9/11 even though confidential briefings he received informed him that no evidence of any link had been found. Three years after the war started, Bush publicly admitted that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11.