About 4,000 members of the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division are still deployed in Romania as part of a military buildup in Eastern Europe that President Biden ordered last year, as the Pentagon is still deciding whether to maintain current troop levels.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that some 101st soldiers are stationed at a base near the Romanian city of Constanta on the Black Sea while others are further north, just a few miles from the Ukrainian border, and are simulating fighting Russia in Ukraine.
In exercises with Romanian troops, the Times report said the 101st soldiers are firing artillery, launching helicopter assaults, and digging trenches similar to those on the front lines in Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast.
The deployment marks the first time the 101st has been sent to Europe since World War II.
Israel’s new foreign minister, Eli Cohen, spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday and passed a message from the US, The Times of Israel reported.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken held his first call with Cohen on Monday. An Israeli diplomatic official told the Times that Blinken was aware of the planned call with Lavrov and asked Cohen to pass a message, the contents of which the Israeli source did not disclose.
Blinken has barely spoken to his Russian counterpart since the February 24th invasion of Ukraine as the Biden administration has largely abandoned diplomacy with Moscow. The only known discussion between Blinken and Lavrov of the war took place in July and focused on a prisoner swap, not the war in Ukraine.
Drone advances in Ukraine have accelerated a long-anticipated technology trend that could soon bring the world’s first fully autonomous fighting robots to the battlefield, inaugurating a new age of warfare.
The longer the war lasts, the more likely it becomes that drones will be used to identify, select and attack targets without help from humans, according to military analysts, combatants and artificial intelligence researchers.
That would mark a revolution in military technology as profound as the introduction of the machine gun. Ukraine already has semi-autonomous attack drones and counter-drone weapons endowed with AI. Russia also claims to possess AI weaponry, though the claims are unproven. But there are no confirmed instances of a nation putting into combat robots that have killed entirely on their own.
Experts say it may be only a matter of time before either Russia or Ukraine, or both, deploy them.
Svetlana fled the war in Ukraine in March, crammed into the back of a truck with her 6-year-old child and other refugees under bombardment by Russian forces. Invited to Israel by a close family friend, she hoped to recover and begin a new life in the Holy Land.
A few months after arriving, she said, she was raped by the man who wrote the letter of invitation that had gotten her out of the war zone.
“She was sleeping and he woke her up and roughly dragged her into his room,” says Olga Udovichenko, whom Svetlana later approached for help at the Volunteer Help Center for Refugees from Ukraine in Haifa. “She suffered deeply from both the war and the rape — but here she could barely get any assistance from the authorities. Instead of help she encountered a maze of bureaucracy and lost any motivation she had to hold the man to account and seek justice.”
Svetlana is one of over 47,000 Ukrainians — the vast majority of them women — who traveled to Israel since the start of the invasion but who are not eligible for citizenship under Israel’s Law of Return, according to Israel’s Welfare Ministry. Of these, only approximately 15,000 currently remain in Israel, with the rest having chosen to leave. Not a single Ukrainian fleeing the war has been accorded refugee status by Israel.
As the chaos on the House floor continued into the third vote on Tuesday, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) nominated Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for the Speakership for a third time. As 19 Republicans revolt against McCarthy in hopes of getting recessions, they have begun to rally behind Jordan who is seen as a more conservative option for the Republican leadership. Roy is one of those members leading the fight. During his nomination speech, Roy emphasized the need to change the status quo and stand up for America.
“So this is what the chamber looks like when we are actually debating and the bodies are in the chairs,” Roy began in reference to the over 430 members in the House chamber. “How many times have we been down here giving speeches and there isn’t a soul in the chamber? Yet this is what it takes to get 435 people in the chamber and have an actual debate.”
“The American people are watching and that’s a good thing. What we’re doing is exercising our rights to vote and have a debate and have a discussion about the future of this country through the decision of choosing s Speaker. This is not personal,” he emphasized. “This is about the future of the country. It is about the direction of the country.”
Mahmoud Al Khajah at his Jerusalem office on March 2, 2021. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
A visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the United Arab Emirates slated for next week has been postponed until February, Hebrew media reported Tuesday.
Reports of the postponement came shortly after the Gulf state condemned Israel over a Tuesday morning visit by new National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir to the Temple Mount holy site in Jerusalem.
Associates of Netanyahu denied any connection between the incidents, however, saying the visit had been postponed due to logistical considerations, according to the Ynet news site.
The Chinese government, whose draconian “zero COVID” policy forced people to stay in their homes for as long as 100 days at a time, lashed out at countries around the world that will require COVID testing for travelers from the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The state of Missouri will execute Amber McLaughlin on Tuesday evening, making her the first transgender woman to be executed in the United States after Gov. Mike Parson declined to grant clemency.
McLaughlin, 49, will die by injection for the 2003 killing of former girlfriend Beverly Guenther in St. Louis. She was convicted of first-degree murder in 2006, and a judge sentenced her to death after a jury deadlocked on punishment. A later appeals court ruling reinstated the death penalty.
An Associated Press article published this week lamented that “Unless Missouri Gov. Mike Parson grants clemency, Amber McLaughlin, 49, will become the first transgender woman executed in the U.S.”
The piece, republished by The Washington Post, ABC News, CBS News, and many more, is referencing the case of Scott McLaughlin, a man who was convicted in 2006 of stalking, raping, and killing his former girlfriend Beverly Guenther.
In fact, Mclaughlin only began “transitioning” three years ago, according to the AP report– while incarcerated, and with the help of another transgender inmate.
The piece begins with an appeal to McLaughlin’s plea for clemency rather than McLaughlin’s undisputed heinous crime.
McLaughlin is scheduled to die by injection Tuesday. Despite the media’s angling, Gov. Parson says it will indeed occur as planned.
“McLaughlin’s culpability in Ms. Guenther’s murder has never been in question,” Parson said in a statement. “McLaughlin’s conviction and sentence remains after multiple, thorough examinations of Missouri law. McLaughlin stalked, raped, and murdered Ms. Guenther. McLaughlin is a violent criminal. Ms. Guenther’s family and loved ones deserve peace. The State of Missouri will carry out McLaughlin’s sentence according to the Court’s order and deliver justice.”
Democrat Katie Hobbs took the oath of office on Monday to become Arizona’s governor. During a private ceremony at the state Capitol, Hobbs formally took over from outgoing Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who is leaving office because of term limits.
During the swearing-in ceremony, Hobbs burst out in laughter as 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Roopali Desai sought to administer the oath. Her mother was standing across from the governor and holding what appeared to be a Bible.
A last minute decision by the Illinois Supreme Court will not allow the state to abolish the cash-bail system. Set to take effect on January 1, 2023, the SAFE-T Act was postponed by the court. The Act would have eliminated the cash-bail system through “a provision known as the Pretrial Fairness Act.”
The incredibly progressive and liberal Act received criticism from both parties for fear that ending the system would be a danger to public safety. “The Illinois supreme court has not set a date to hear appeals in the case, so it’s unclear when or whether the provision eliminating cash-bail will take effect” reports National Review.
Kankakee County chief judge Thomas Cunnington ruled in favor of 64 counties whose lawsuits against the state were consolidated, finding that “the appropriateness of bail rests with the authority of the court and may not be determined by legislative fiat.”
The state’s Democratic-appointed attorney general, Kwame Raoul, appealed the decision Friday, seeking to overturn Cunnington’s ruling.
Jeffrey Younger has lost his court case to prevent his ex-wife from taking their son to California, where he could be medically transitioned. Younger has been trying to stop this from happening for years, and said that he has now reached the end of the line.
He wanted the courts to stop his ex-wife from taking the children to California and to protect his boys from medical mutilation at the hands of their mother, who is a pediatrician. The courts prevented him from forcing the mother to bring the boys back from California. Younger has accused her of using the children to help advertise her "inclusive," "gender affirming" practice.
This after Judge Kim Cooks, on October 24, said that both parents should have a "joint managing conservatorship," which each able to have "a say in his medical treatment,"The Texan reported.
The custody case was before the Supreme Court of Texas, which ruled against Younger. Younger had issued a petition on December 16 to try to retain his parental rights after his ex-wife, Dr. Anne Georgulas, took the boys to California.
California has a law in place, starting on Sunday:
Children in that state will not be returned to their home state in the event that the home state would prevent the children from being medically transitioned to present as the opposite sex.
Fortville police arrested an accused burglar who was caught in the act by the homeowners — and then returned to the house for a second time.
Police received a call from the homeowners on December 16. A married couple said they had returned to their home on Mill Street from a funeral around 8:45 p.m. and noticed all the lights were on in their house.
When the woman went into a bedroom, she noticed a blanket had been pulled back on the bed, and drawers in the room had been opened and appeared to have been rummaged through.
According to court documents, the woman then noticed the suspect, Michael Warren, 49, of Indianapolis, lying between the wall and the bed.
As her husband retrieved a firearm, police said Warren ran off. At that point, Fortville police were called.
After police got information from the homeowner and left to search for Warren, court documents state Warren returned to the home.
Police said the homeowner once again pulled a firearm and ordered Warren outside of the home where he was taken into custody.
The $68 billion Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust (BREIT) will receive a $4 billion bailout cash infusion from the University of California. BREIT has been in turmoil for the last two months. Blackstone sent a letter to investment advisors and portfolio managers in late November to calm down wealthy clients after redemptions soared. The New York-based investment manager enforced a redemption cap of 2% of NAV that could be redeemed per month or 5% per calendar quarter to prevent further panic.
A statement from the Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents of the University of California (UC Investments) and Blackstone announced a long-term strategic venture in which UC Investments will invest $4 billion in BREIT Class I common shares.
Blackstone and UC Investments have also entered into a separate strategic agreement that provides for a waterfall structure concerning the total return to be received by UC Investments on its investment. Blackstone will contribute $1 billion of its current holdings in BREIT to support an 11.25% minimum annualized net return for UC Investments over a 6-year hold period.
Blackstone's terms for UC Investments should be terrifying for all BREIT investors.
A highly upgraded Russian missile attack has taken place in the last 24 hours both in terms of intelligence and military methodology.
The Russians hit with at least 3 missiles military facilities in the city of Khmelnytskyi in western Ukraine. The transport and storage hub of Western weapons and the base of elite Ukrainian commandos were hit. There is information about dead western officers.
Russia used a "trick" to find out where Western weapons are stored. As soon as the information about the coordinates of the storage base arrived, he launched a missile attack.
Shortly thereafter, Russia launched waves of attacks with swarms of Shahed-136 (Geran-2) “kamikaze” drones pounding Kyiv for several hours.
According to information from WarNews247, Moscow has upgraded Iranian drones by adding a Glonass signal transceiver for precision strikes.
The "kamikaze" "Geran-2" drones flew in swarms from different directions
Countless videos from Ukraine show Kyiv at the mercy of the Shahed-136 with the air defenses of NASAMS, Gepards, IRIS-T and other Western systems unable to react.
Samples returned from the moon by a Chinese mission have been found to contain exotic igneous rock types associated with material ejected by tremendous impacts.
The exotic "clasts" were found in samples of lunar regolith (dust and dirt) gathered by the Chang'e 5 mission around Mons Rümker, in the northern part of the moon's Oceanus Procellarum ("Ocean of Storms") region.
Zeng Xiaojia, Li Xiongyao and Liu Jianzhong from the Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGCAS) found the clasts among 3,000 samples and 3.82 pounds (1.73 kilograms) of lunar regolith returned to Earth by the mission in December 2020.
Doctors in Japan are now investigating the causal relationship between the experimental Covid vaccine and the unprecedented numbers of people dying suddenly.
Two more professors are speaking out against the vaccine.
Professor Masataka Nagao of Hiroshima University School of Medicine in Japan, a medical specialist in forensic medicine, performed an autopsy together with authorities of more than a hundred bodies a year.
In his analysis of the people who died following vaccination, Dr. Nagao focused on a particular pattern.
When the police performed the autopsies on vaccinated people, they found that their bodies had temperatures of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).
“The first concern was that the body temperatures of the corpses were very high when the police performed the autopsy,” Nagao said. “The body temperatures were unusually high, such as 33 or 34 degrees celsius (91-93ºF).”
As many are making New Year's resolutions to eat healthier, would you try adding bugs to your diet?
In many cultures, eating insects is a part of their diet. In Asia, bugs are invading street food markets in Thailand and Vietnam. From cricket soup to worms you can get fried, battered, or sauteed with peppers, edible bugs are crawling into a popular nightcap snack.
Edible fired bamboo worms are displayed at Krua Phech Doi Ngam Restaurant, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2008.
(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
In Colombia, one region has a species of ant calledAtta laevigata, and one of the local names of the ant in Spanish roughly translates to “big-butt ant.” These expensive delicacies are deep-fried to give a crispy, crunchy outside paired with (their big butts) a juicy inside.
Bill Gates and big names in Hollywood are pushing to eat bugs as a way to prevent climate change. The argument is that bugs are high in protein and could replace the high intake of beef, chicken, and pork. Critics against eating meat say raising these animals is adding to pollution. Time magazine even came out with an article pushing bugs as a sustainable, healthy alternative to meat.
But is this political motivation enough to make this trend mainstream in countries that don’t normally have such a high appetite for insects and arachnids? Of course, if you could convince an entirely new part of the population to ingest insects, there would be a market to make money. So will the Microsoft founder's next place to score big bucks be with bugs?
Webmaster addition: When I was a kid, finding insect parts in food could result in the food provider losing their license!
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday failed to secure the necessary 218 votes to be the next House speaker, the first time in nearly a century that the majority’s nominee needed another vote.
Reps. McCarthy, R-Calif., Andy Biggs, R-Arizona, and Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., split most of the votes three ways. None of the nominees was able to reach the 218 vote threshold needed to secure a majority of votes.
McCarthy won a standing ovation from most Republicans on the House floor Tuesday as he was introduced by Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who nominated him to be the next House speaker.
"Under Kevin McCarthy’s leadership, House Republicans crafted a bold vision to put America back on track," she said.
Stefanik touted McCarthy’s pro-life and pro-Second Amendment stance, and said he’s "committed to stopping wasteful spending and shrinking the size of government."