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In the wake of the covid pandemic lockdowns and mandates, many western nations and states in the US witnessed a new eye opening level of government intrusion into the daily lives of citizens. Some, however, dealt with worse scenarios than others.
New Zealand in particular has popped up time and time again over the past couple of years with some of the most draconian restrictions on the public, and sadly the trend has not stopped just because the pandemic lockdowns stopped. The island nation seems to be intent on setting the standard for authoritarian policies and government micromanagement, and a series of recent laws are driving home the reality that they do not intend to relent.
Flashback: In 2018, New Zealand banned all offshore oil drilling exploration in the name of instituting a "carbon neutral future", meaning tight energy restrictions are forthcoming in NZ as the decade progresses.
In 2019, NZ banned all semi-automatic weapons after the Christchurch mosque shootings, punishing millions of law abiding citizens for the crimes of one man. Video evidence of the Christchurch shootings is suspiciously illegal in NZ, and anyone caught viewing or downloading the event can be prosecuted. The gun bans were enforced just in time for the pandemic lockdowns.
In 2020, the government introduced internet censorship legislation which would give them the power to selectively filter "dangerous content." Most of the provisions were ultimately scrapped after a public backlash, but future censorship remains a priority for the government.
An obvious barrier to adopting wind and solar power for electricity supply is their intermittency - when the wind isn’t blowing, and the sun isn’t shining, substitute sources are required. This issue is given much attention by conservative media, as it should.
Yet one of the less well-known roadblocks for these renewable technologies is frequency control, even though it becomes a critical concern much sooner.
Since the 1890s, electricity networks and devices all around the globe have used alternating current (AC) systems, which means that the flow of electricity in the system is repeatedly changing direction.
In Australia, it alternates 50 times a second, that is, at a frequency of 50 Hertz (in the USA, it is 60 Hertz).
Supplying electricity at a consistent frequency is very important because appliances and electronics on the network are designed for a specific frequency/voltage input. Therefore, they can be damaged by the wrong electricity supply.
As a rule, networks would rather supply no electricity than bad electricity. Automated controls through the electricity system will disconnect the supply if the frequency or voltage is “off-spec.”
The German Federal Ministry of the Interior engaged scientists from several research institutes and universities for political purposes in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.
It commissioned researchers from the Robert Koch Institute and other institutions to create a calculation model on the basis of which the Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer (CSU), wanted to justify tough coronavirus measures.
The information is contained in more than 200 pages of internal correspondence between the management level of the Ministry of the Interior and the researchers, received by the German newspaper WELT AM SONNTAG.
A group of German lawyers fought for e-mail in a legal dispute with the Robert Koch Institute that lasted several months.
The Republic of South Africa (South Africa) has given Russia and China permission to conduct naval exercises off its coast. This is reported by Fox News.
Joint exercises called Operation "Mosi" ("Smoke") will be held in the period from February 17 to 26. They will involve three Chinese ships, two Russian ships and a South African naval platform.
The shadow defense Minister from the opposition Democratic Alliance party criticized the decision of the South African government. In his opinion, the exercises of Moscow and Beijing may give the impression of "South Africa's bias."
"It is obvious that this may alienate us from other important trading partners, from the West. This is in the interests of Russia," he said.
Earlier, the naval exercises of Russia and China "Maritime Cooperation-2022" were completed in the East China Sea. The military trained to free the captured vessel and improved joint search and rescue operations at sea, conducted joint tactical maneuvering, as well as communication training. In total, more than 10 combat exercises were performed together.
Deputy head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev believes it’s shameful that participants in the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos are discussing tank supplies to Ukraine.
"What a shameful situation, to say the least. The Davos forum is discussing… tank supplies to Ukraine," he wrote on Telegram on Tuesday. "People used to discuss other things in Davos. Like the economy and stuff like that," Medvedev noted.
According to him, "the good thing is that there are neither Russian nor Chinese businessmen there this time."
Medvedev pointed to Polish President Andrzej Duda’s remark about the creation of a coalition of Western countries for the delivery of armored equipment to Kiev. "They probably hope that ‘a tank coalition’ will bring Ukraine’s division closer, which is what the Poles dream about," he assumed. "But then instead of creating a coalition, they should draft a collective document announcing the surrender of the rotten Kiev regime for the sake of saving people’s lives and specifying the future makeup of what will be left of Ukraine," the Russian Security Council’s deputy chief suggested.
Santa Monica, a beach city in Los Angeles County, is known for its tourism, shopping, restaurants, and world-renowned pier that features a roller coaster, games, and a Ferris wheel. But some residents and business owners are sounding the alarm on an increase in crime and homelessness.
“Restaurants, which are the main anchor tenants of Santa Monica—they’re having to let their employees go because 90 percent of residents in Santa Monica will not come to the Promenade anymore,” Santa Monica resident John Alle, with the Santa Monica Coalition, told The Epoch Times. “They’re afraid, and they feel the promenade garages are full of feces, urine, people camped out doing drugs, syringes—so they’re going to other cities.”
Alle said it is expensive for businesses to stay afloat in the city because employees are afraid to park in the parking garages. Some business owners are trying to help by paying for their workers’ Uber drive to work, which adds up to be a pricey bill, he said.
Last week, Alle said his car was broken into in one of the parking garages.
“It’s a big problem,” he said.
The coalition points to homelessness as the primary problem deterring tourists and causing businesses to suffer.
Hello from the 45th SHOT Show at the Venetian Expo and Caesars Forum in Las Vegas. Today is day one of four, and more than 2,500 exhibitors from the firearm and outdoor industry are showing off new innovative products.
SHOT Show is the largest firearms trade show of its kind in the world. It's closed to the public -- but we're going to show our readers some of the exhibits that stood out.
We first came across AeroVironment's Kamikaze Switchblade drone (infamous since the Biden administration is sending thousands to Ukraine).
Webb was launched with the aim of looking back in time to the dawn of the universe so it can capture what happened a couple of hundred million years after the Big Bang.
It will spend more than a decade at an area of balanced gravity between the sun and Earth called L2 exploring the universe in the infrared spectrum, allowing it to gaze through clouds of gas and dust where stars are being born.
Robotics company Boston Dynamics is pledging not to support the weaponization of its products and calling for its competitors to do the same.
In a new letter, the firm said recent efforts to weaponize their robots - such as a Russian inventor who strapped a submachine gun to a Unitree robot and filmed it shooting targets - had added to the urgency of their declaration.
'We pledge that we will not weaponize our advanced-mobility general-purpose robots or the software we develop that enables advanced robotics and we will not support others to do so,' the letter, which was signed by six other companies, including Unitree, states.
Webmaster addition: Suuuuure...
President Joe Biden smiled and laughed Tuesday as he ignored a barrage of questions about the classified documents scandal that has engulfed his administration while a shocking new report detailed a deal made by the Justice Department to keep the FBI away from the search.
The grinning Biden stayed silent at the end of his meeting with Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte - while the media asked about the sensitive files found at his D.C. think tank and garage at his Wilmington home.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal revealed on Tuesday that the Justice Department considered having FBI agents monitor Biden's personal attorneys as they searched his Wilmington and Rehoboth homes but decided against it, deciding Biden's lawyers were cooperating with them.
A photo of U.S. President Joe Biden's Delaware mansion taken in 2019 has emerged showing the residence unguarded by Secret Service at the same time classified documents were believed to be in his garage.
The pictures taken by Fox News from the street outside Biden's Wilmington home on April 19, 2019 - the same day he announced his candidacy for president - show a deserted guard shack and empty parking spots near the gate that leads to the residence.
At least six classified documents have been found at the President's private home in Wilmington, some of which appeared to have been haphazardly stored in boxes stacked in his garage alongside his Corvette.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed Tuesday she has been 'forthcoming' as she was grilled about the classified documents found in Joe Biden's possession - but she repeatedly referred questions to other federal entities.
She argued the president has been answering questions on the matter - on the same day he sat, smiling in silence, as he ignored inquiries being asked by the press. In an Oval Office meeting with Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Biden smirked as shouting reporters were led from the room.
Meanwhile, Jean-Pierre argued that 'we have addressed multiple questions from here. Multiple questions have been answered by the President.'
The press secretary has been in defensive mode - with her answers getting snappier and snappier - as the White House has struggled to explain how the various tranches of classified material were discovered in Biden's now shuttered D.C. think tank and in his Wilmington, Delaware, home.
Additionally, officials have struggled to explain why the discoveries weren't promptly disclosed publicly, saying they followed a 'process' and immediately notified the National Archives, a private federal agency.
President Joe Biden’s Justice Department reportedly permitted the president’s personal attorneys to search for classified documents in separate locations without security clearances or the FBI present.
Critics have questioned why Biden’s personal attorneys were initially looking for classified documents. Others have questioned why the president’s legal team was continuing to search his home Thursday for classified documents after a special counsel was appointed earlier that day.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the initial search, authorized by DOJ, involved people with no security clearance looking for potentially classified material. “Mr. Biden’s legal team prepared to search his other properties for any similar documents, and discussed with the Justice Department the prospect of having FBI agents present while Mr. Biden’s lawyers conducted the additional searches,” the report said.
“Instead, the two sides agreed that Mr. Biden’s personal attorneys would inspect the homes, notify the Justice Department as soon as they identified any other potentially classified records, and arrange for law-enforcement authorities to take them,” the report added.
The Pentagon said Tuesday it is not pursuing back pay for service members who were discharged from the military for not complying with the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for the military.
“Right now, we are not currently pursuing back-pay to service members who were dismissed for refusing to take the COVID vaccination,” Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said during a press briefing.
Ryder also claimed that the mandate was “lawful” — despite unanswered questions over whether Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ever sought and received a presidential waiver to mandate a vaccine that was approved by the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization, as the law requires.
Austin had promised to seek such a waiver before issuing the mandate in August 2021, but the DOD has not clarified whether this happened or not, as Breitbart News has previously reported. Instead, a senior defense official at the time insisted the EUA-only vaccine and the FDA vaccine were “interchangeable.”
Over half of men who surgically “transition” experience so much pain they need medical attention, according to a new study.
Vaginoplasty, a surgery that typically involves inverting the penis and clearing a void between the urethra and rectum to create a fake vagina, often results in significant medical complications.
Fifty-five percent of men who pursue the surgery report being in so much pain that they need medical attention, even a year post-operation, according to a study from the Women’s College Hospital in Ontario, Canada. The study tracked 80 patients and checked in with them three months and five years after the operation.
Pain is not the only byproduct of genital mutilation. In fact, nearly 43 percent reported “bleeding,” nearly 34 percent reported “sexual function concerns,” and 32.5 percent reported “vaginal discharge.”
Often, patients are not made aware of these side effects before choosing to go forward with the notoriously complicated surgeries.
The European Commission announced on Tuesday that it will set up the first strategic reserve of equipment and supplies, available to any EU member in response to potential chemical or nuclear incidents. The stockpile will be located in Finland, within easy reach of the Baltic states.
European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said the conflict in Ukraine “confirmed the need” to set up the stockpile, which “will provide the EU with a significant safety net enabling a quick and coordinated response at EU level.”
BlackRock, the world's biggest asset manager, has faced increasing backlash about environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing. A handful of US states have pulled billions of dollars from BlackRock funds over accusations of "greenwashing," hurting the fossil fuel industry and turbocharging America's "woke" culture.
On Tuesday, BlackRock's Larry Fink told Bloomberg TV at the World Economic Forum in Davos that ESG investing has been tarnished:
"Let's be clear, the narrative is ugly, the narrative is creating this huge polarization. "
"We are trying to address the misconceptions. It's hard because it's not business any more, they're doing it in a personal way. And for the first time in my professional career, attacks are now personal. They're trying to demonize the issues."
The world's oldest 2,000-year-old runestone has been unearthed in the Hole municipality in Norway, making it several hundred centuries older than previous discoveries.
The sandstone rock, measuring some 30 by 30 centimeters, was found during the excavation of an ancient burial ground in late 2021, at Tyrifjorden in northwest of Oslo, prior to the construction of a railway line, but took a while to analyze.
According to Oslo's Museum of Cultural History, the carbon dating of bones and wood found in a nearby grave suggested that the runes were etched sometime between year one and 250 AD.
China has successfully carried out a systematic test on a cutting-edge transportation system involving an ultra-high-speed maglev train running in a low vacuum pipeline, according to media reports on Sunday.
Three navigation tests have been completed in accordance with the test procedures thanks to the use of a super-navigation vehicle, and all systems work normally when the speed exceeds 50 km per hour on the 210-meter test route.
Researchers working on the project in Datong, Central China's Shanxi Province indicate that they aim to build an ultra high-speed mega transport system running in low vacuum pipelines by combining railway and aerospace technology, read an earlier report from the Science and Technology Daily on October 20.
The team from the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) hopes they will eventually be able to operate maglev trains in a tube with extremely thin air - meaning they would "fly on the ground" at speeds that rival planes.
“She loved teaching students, doing research, running multiple vaccine clinics and sharing her passion and knowledge with others,” the obituary said.
“I suspect that you will continue to hear coming from the United States additional packages of security assistance, additional weapons and capabilities for Ukraine – perhaps as soon as the end of this week,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told CNN.
Kirby didn’t elaborate on the contents of the package but said that the U.S. was concentrated “on trying to make sure that we are giving Ukraine what they need in the fight that they’re in.”
“We’re gonna continue to modulate these packages so that they’re most appropriate for what Ukraine needs and if we can’t provide that, we’re working with other allies and partners to see if they can,” Kirby added, reports CNN.
The BRICS club of emerging economies wants to find a way of bypassing the dollar to create a fairer payment system that would not be skewed toward wealthier countries, South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor told Sputnik.
"We have always been concerned by the fact that there is a dominance of the dollar and that we do need to look at alternative… The systems currently in place tend to privilege very wealthy countries and tend to be really a challenge for countries, such as ourselves, which have to make payments in dollars which costs much more in terms of our various currencies. So I do think a fairer system has to be developed and it's something we're discussing with the BRICS ministers in the economic sector discussions," she said.
Pandor said that one of the reasons why BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — set up the jointly-run New Development Bank (NDB) in 2014 was to find an alternative to the dollar-based payments architecture.
A pair of House Republicans are calling on Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi to testify about her part in the security failures at the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021.
“The reason there wasn’t a proper security presence on that day goes right to the speaker’s staff and the speaker’s office. As you go back and look at the communications, there’s this pattern that develops where the Sergeant of Arms is meeting with Pelosi’s staff. Many of those meetings, Republican staff wasn’t allowed to be there, but they had this pattern where everything had to run through her office, her staff, before the Sergeant of Arms could make a decision,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said when speaking about House Republicans’ report detailing security failures at the Capitol that day.
Texas Republican Rep. Troy Nehls issued a similar response: “And Nancy Pelosi. You do have questions you need to answer … Nancy, we’ll get you, and we’ll fly you back from Italy once you’re the ambassador,” Nehls said as he joked about prior reports speculating that President Biden was considering offering the U.S. Ambassador to Italy post to Pelosi.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden are facing a showdown in their first major legislative clash since Republicans took control of the House, as they prepare to do battle over whether or not to increase the country's eyewatering $31.4 trillion debt limit.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the US will hit its cap on Thursday, January 19. Once that happens, she will not be able to issue new debt without congressional action. In the meantime, the department will use 'extraordinary measures' to keep the government afloat - a move that is expected to last until June.
Once those funds are exhausted, the US will be at risk of defaulting, unless Congress and the White House agrees to lift the limit on the government's ability to borrow.
Webmaster addition: "Woe is us! Woe is us! But ... we have to spend more of your money!" -- The Guvmnt
The Department of Justice (DOJ) considered having FBI agents monitor President Joe Biden’s lawyers as they rifled through classified documents before ultimately rejecting the idea, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Tuesday.
Biden’s lawyers found classified materials at the Penn Biden Center think tank in Washington, D.C., just before the midterm elections. The president’s legal team then conducted a search of Biden’s properties for other such materials. The president’s lawyers and the DOJ discussed the possibility of having FBI agents monitor the search but later decided against it, according to the WSJ.
Webmaster addition: What? No FBI agents going through the undies drawer?!?
Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida commenced 2023 with a tour of G7 countries, having visited France, Italy, the UK, the US and Canada. Holding the Presidency of the US-centric group for this year, Kishida will host its summit in Hiroshima in May.
While a lot of his trips focused on preparing ground for the summit, Kishida notably signed scores of defence deals along the way, showing how the visit ties in with Japan’s ultimate ambition right now: Rearmament.
Since the end of World War II, Japan’s military power has been limited by its constitution to be strictly defensive. The country renounced the right to settle disputes via armed conflict and ruled out having an army or fighting a war abroad. This has posed limitations on defence spending, but also made Japan reliant on the United States for its security. However, now these limitations are all but defunct, even if they still exist on paper. Tokyo has the well-equipped Japan Self-Defense Forces, effectively a standing defensive army, and has recently pledged to double its defence spending by 2027 and to attain “second strike” capabilities with an eye on both China and North Korea, spurring on a regional arms race.
Organized criminal gangs active in the Netherlands and France, mostly made up of Moroccan migrants, are blowing up ATMs in Germany at a record pace in highly professional robbery operations. In 2022, government statistics indicate that they blew up 500 such machines, with statistically more than one machine being blown up every day.
Cash remains popular with Germans, and to feed this demand, banks operate nearly 100,000 ATMs located throughout the country, with the machines routinely containing between €50,000 and €100,000. Criminal gangs are taking advantage of this, and they are willing to use extreme methods to gain access to this money. These criminal networks are said to meticulously plan their operations out, including initial surveillance, demolition, and the getaway. Police also say they act with brutality and ruthlessness, putting human lives at risk.
In fact, these migrant gangs are blowing up banks with such powerful explosives, that they are destroying entire buildings. In some cases, they have blown bank vault doors up to 30 meters away, underlining how powerful these blasts can be. Police say the danger facing Germans is unprecedented, as many of these banks are located in residential buildings.
A newly released video from Project Veritas has revealed Teaching Lab Director Dr. Quinton Bostic bragging about violating Georgia’s ban on teaching critical race theory (CRT) in schools through the curriculum he sells to districts in the state.
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe revealed that Bostic had his teaching license revoked around 2017, when he was a literacy educator. Bostic now works for Teaching Lab as a content manager "with a $15 million budget dedicated to creating more 'equitable' curriculums."
O’Keefe added that Bostic now sells curriculum he made to schools in Georgia, and that he has "multiple private companies where he profits of the curriculum that he sells."