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"Americans have the will to resist because they have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." -- Yoshimi Ishikawa, Japanese author, in the LA Times 15 Oct 1992

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President Biden vowed Friday that former President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax cuts would lapse next year if he’s re-elected and “stay expired” — meaning higher taxes for middle class and low-income Americans — prompting a hasty walk-back by aides.

Biden, 81, lambasted Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which permanently lowered corporate taxes from 35% to 21% and temporarily lowered personal income tax rates through 2025, as a giveaway to the rich in a speech to electrical union members in Washington.

“[Trump] was proud, very proud of his $2 trillion tax cut when he was president that overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and the biggest corporations and exploded, exploded the federal debt,” Biden said of his predecessor ahead of their expected November election rematch.

Image removed.

President Biden speaks at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Construction and Maintenance Conference in Washington, DC, on Friday, April 19, 2024. Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI/Shutterstock

“There is no exaggeration here: It’s going to expire and if I’m re-elected, it is going to stay expired,” the president added.

Biden’s apparently off-the-cuff remark did not reflect a change in policy, the administration insisted to The 

he president is simply reiterating what’s in his budget. He would let the Trump tax cuts for big corporations and the richest Americans — those making more than $400,000 — expire, and extend the tax cuts for those making less than $400K,” a White House official said.

“In fact, his budget would further cut taxes for the middle class and working families. He has said that repeatedly and in every budget. Trump and Republicans are responsible for the egregious and fiscally reckless cliff that is in the Trump Tax Cuts —they are the reason taxes will raise for the middle class after 2025.”

However, the Tax Foundation says that Americans would be hit by across-the board income tax hikes if the TCJA is allowed to lapse.

“Congress has less than two years to prevent tax hikes on the vast majority of Americans from taking place,” the foundation said in a blog post last month promoting a calculator tool that allows people to determine their own likely tax hike.

If the Trump tax cuts are allowed to expire, the Tax Foundation found, a single person making $30,000 per year would pay $253.75 more in taxes in 2026, while one making $75,000 per year will be billed more than $1,700 more than they paid in 2025.

Tags: ECONOMY, TAXES
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Back in November last year, the US military was in the process of deploying new medium-range missile systems to the increasingly contested Asia-Pacific region.

At the time, General Charles A. Flynn, a four-star commanding officer of the US Army Pacific (USARPAC), stated that the deployment was officially slated for 2024 and that their purpose was to “deter China from invading Taiwan”.

More importantly, Flynn revealed that the US Army would deploy a missile launcher that will be able to fire the land-based version of the medium-range “Tomahawk” missile. Still, he refused to disclose where exactly the systems would be deployed, leaving many analysts to speculate about the possible location. There was even speculation that such missiles would be stationed directly in Taiwan. However, it seems that the United States chose not to go that far (at least not yet), although the latest deployment isn’t much better in terms of strategic impact on China’s security.

Namely, the system in question, officially named “Typhon”, has been sent to the Philippines.

The US Army deployed the elements of its latest land-based medium-range missile system overseas for the first time to take part in a military exercise in the island country. Apart from the aforementioned subsonic “Tomahawk” cruise missiles, “Typhon” also carries the supersonic SM-6 multi-purpose missiles. The latter is used by the US Navy as part of its shipborne “Aegis”, a combined SAM (surface-to-air missile) and ABM (anti-ballistic missile) system that can also be used in a secondary anti-ship role. Precisely the SM-6 gives it such a capability, meaning that it can hit both airborne and surface targets. Because of such multirole capabilities, “Typhon” can use the missile for land attack missions. Various American military sources suggest that such systems will be “permanently based in China’s backyard”, a clear indicator that the US plans to escalate its aggression.

On April 15, US Army Pacific (USARPAC) announced the arrival of one battery (or at least a part of it) to the Philippines where it participated in the Salaknib 24 military exercise. This specific “Typhon” system was sent on April 7 and it belongs to Battery C, 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, which is part of the Long Range Fires Battalion assigned to the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force (MDTF) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. Footage shows a single trailer-based containerized launcher towed by a HEMTT (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck) being loaded on a USAF C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft from the 62nd Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and then being unloaded in the Philippines. A “Typhon” battery consists of up to four launchers, a mobile command post and other auxiliary vehicles and equipment. The system also uses the Mk 70 Mod 1 launchers derived from the highly controversial Mk 41 VLS.

Namely, the Mk 41 vertical launch system (VLS) was one of the reasons why the INF Treaty fell apart, which recently led Russia to respond to the US escalation by testing its own previously banned intermediate-range missile.

The Mk 41 can fire a plethora of weapons, be it for SAM, ABM or any other system. It’s also part of the “Aegis” air and missile defenses, including its land-based “Aegis Ashore” variant. It can be argued that its most disturbing feature is that it can also fire purely offensive missiles such as the infamous “Tomahawk”. The problem is that there’s no viable way to know what sort of missile is in the VLS and the US has repeatedly refused to allow on-site inspections of its alleged “missile shield” in Eastern Europe. This effectively forced Russia to create countermeasures, particularly in the form of its unrivaled hypersonic missiles. China has a similar problem with such VLS, particularly now that the missiles have been deployed on land.

The US military openly describes the “Typhon” as a “strategic weapon system that would be used against higher-value targets like air defense assets and command and control nodes”. If based on Luzon, the largest and most important island in the Philippines, the system would have more than enough range to reach southern and southeastern China, including the island of Hainan which is crucial for extending control over the strategically important South China Sea. However, American military sources are complaining that too many countries have outright refused to allow the deployment of the “Typhon” on their territory. Still, this doesn’t seem to serve as a clear deterrent to the aggressive Pentagon planners, as they’re also deploying similar weapons with other service branches, including the US Marine Corps (USMC), which also has land-based “Tomahawk” launchers, albeit on a completely different platform, the 4×4 Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).

Tags: CHINA/TAIWAN, CORPORATE MEDIA, CURRENT EVENTS, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Tags: COMPUTERS/INTERNET, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
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Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, EUROPE, NATO, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Recommendations for action against Israeli units were sent to Blinken in December, according to one person familiar with the memo. “They’ve been sitting in his briefcase since then,” another official said.

A State Department spokesperson told ProPublica the agency takes its commitment to uphold U.S. human rights laws seriously. “This process is one that demands a careful and full review,” the spokesperson said, “and the department undergoes a fact-specific investigation applying the same standards and procedures regardless of the country in question.”

The revelations about Blinken’s failure to act on the recommendations come at a delicate moment in U.S.-Israel relations. Six months into its war against Hamas, whose militants massacred 1,200 Israelis and kidnapped 240 more on Oct. 7, the Israeli military has killed more than 33,000 Palestinians, according to local authorities. Recently, President Joe Biden has signaled increased frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the widespread civilian casualties.

Multiple State Department officials who have worked on Israeli relations said that Blinken’s inaction has undermined Biden’s public criticism, sending a message to the Israelis that the administration was not willing to take serious steps.

The recommendations came from a special committee of State Department officials known as the Israel Leahy Vetting Forum. The panel, made up of Middle East and human rights experts, is named for former Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chief author of 1997 laws that requires the U.S. to cut off assistance to any foreign military or law enforcement units — from battalions of soldiers to police stations — that are credibly accused of flagrant human rights violations.

The Guardian reported this year that the State Department was reviewing several of the incidents but had not imposed sanctions because the U.S. government treats Israel with unusual deference. Officials told ProPublica that the panel ultimately recommended that the secretary of state take action.

Claire's Observations: These recommendations will be enforced,  when pigs discover they are aerodynamic!!!!!

Tags: IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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The New Arab Staff

Sheikh Jarrah is a key area of occupied East Jerusalem where settlers have sought to take over Palestinian property [Mustafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency/Getty-file photo (8 September 2023)]

Israeli courts have recently sided with Jewish settler groups in ruling to expel nearly three dozen Palestinians from homes in Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah.

The two neighbourhoods are key areas of occupied East Jerusalem where settlers have sought to take over Palestinian properties.

Israeli authorities and settlers have long wanted to strip Palestinian Muslim and Christian East Jerusalem of its ethnic and religious identity and turn it into a Jewish-Israeli area.

Noam Sohlberg, a Supreme Court judge, decided last week that 15 Palestinians must leave their Silwan home, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

The Israeli court claimed the home was the property of the settler organisation Ateret Cohanim, which obtained the interests of a trust that allegedly purchased the site before the creation of Israel in 1948.

Claire's Observations:  Judge Sohlberg, a word, sir;  if you are evicting people from their homes, where, please, are they supposed to go?!?  In this article, there appeared not a word to address that issue. Are they supposed to survive in tents somewhere?!? And where, please, is that place?!?  I am sure you have actually thought this issue through, right?!?    The refugee camps are being bombed and shot up, to insure that no one can live there anymore.

I am waiting, and listening for your response, sir.

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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In a bid to stabilize gas prices amid the upcoming summer driving season and Presidential election, the Biden administration wants to ensure that the United States remains on a steady economic course. White House economic adviser Lael Brainard emphasized the administration's commitment to maintaining gas prices within current ranges during a statement on Thursday, according to Reuters, without elaborating on how that would be achieved.

In the past, steps to keep gasoline prices in check included attempts to strong-arm OPEC/OPEC+ to boost crude oil production and selling off hundreds of millions of barrels of crude oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

With summer fast approaching, gas prices traditionally tend to rise due to increased demand for travel and transportation. However, concerns about potential spikes in prices ahead of this year's presidential election have prompted the administration to address the issue preemptively. Brainard's remarks underscore the administration's recognition of the importance of affordable fuel for American consumers and businesses—particularly in an election year.

The administration's focus on stabilizing gas prices aligns with broader efforts to support economic recovery and mitigate inflationary pressures. Maintaining affordable gas prices is crucial for sustaining consumer purchasing power and bolstering business operations.

Brainard's statement comes amid ongoing global uncertainties surrounding energy markets, including geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and Israel and Iran and Hamas

Claire's Observations:  Looking at the volatility of escalating tension in the Russia/Ukraine war, and the Middle East being about as calm and collected as is an out-of-control rocket, one has to wonder how much impact the By-di-Bye's Administration can have on this issue. But right now, nearing the end of April, anything is possible to inflame either, or both, situations to the point where gas prices will spike, and consumers will know who to blame, no matter what kind of codswallop comes out of the mouths of the Bidenistas

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, ECONOMY, ENERGY, GULF/OTHER OIL, MIDDLE EAST, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com,

Why are global health officials issuing such ominous warnings about the bird flu?  Do they know something that the rest of us do not? 

H5N1 has been circulating all over the planet for several years now, and it has been the worst outbreak that the world has ever seen.  Hundreds of millions of birds are already dead, and now H5N1 has been infecting mammals with alarming regularity.  The good news is that so far it has not been a serious threat to humans, but could that soon change? 

According to the World Health Organization, the possibility that H5N1 could start spreading among humans is an “enormous concern”

The increasing spread of bird flu to humans is an ‘enormous concern’, the World Health Organization has warned.

The virus, an extremely deadly H5N1 subtype, has caused devastating declines in bird populations following its emergence in Europe in 2020.

It has since jumped to mammals such as cows, cats, seals and now people, raising the risk of the virus mutating to become more transmissible.

The fact that so many different types of mammals are now being infected is definitely alarming.

But perhaps cows would not be getting infected if we were not literally feeding them chicken crap…https://www.yahoo.com/news/avian-flu-outbreak-raises-disturbing-100052234.html

As epidemiologists scramble to figure out how dairy cows throughout the Midwest became infected with a strain of highly pathogenic avian flu — a disease that has decimated hundreds of millions of wild and farmed birds, as well as tens of thousands of mammals across the planet — they’re looking at a standard “recycling” practice employed by thousands of farmers across the country: The feeding of animal waste and parts to livestock raised for human consumption.

“It seems ghoulish, but it is a perfectly legal and common practice for chicken litter — the material that accumulates on the floor of chicken growing facilities — to be fed to cattle,” said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist with Consumers Union.

It is not known if eating chicken crap is why so many cows in so many different states are being infected with H5N1.

But at a time when the bird flu is running rampant among chickens and turkeys, it seems very foolish to take chicken crap and feed it to our cows.

In any event, now there is a lot of panic about the potential for an H5N1 outbreak among humans.

Authorities at the WHO are warning that the death rate would be “extraordinarily high” if such an outbreak were to occur…

Experts at the WHO said humans face an ‘extraordinarily high’ mortality rate if the strain were to take hold, currently killing more than half of those infected.

I agree.

The bird flu is very dangerous, and if it starts spreading among humans on a widespread basis a lot of people will die.

So why are U.S. taxpayer dollars being used to fund experiments in China that are specifically designed to make bird flu viruses even more deadly?  The following comes from an extremely shocking Daily Mail article

Lawmakers are demanding answers after it was revealed the US is sending taxpayer dollars to a Chinese army lab to make bird flu viruses more dangerous to people.

Eighteen members of Congress are demanding answers from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) about the project, which was first revealed by DailyMail.com.

It is part of a $1million collaboration between the USDA and the CCP-run Chinese Academy of Sciences – the institution that oversees the Wuhan lab at the center of the Covid lab-leak theory.

Tags: CHINA/TAIWAN, CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
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by Tyler Durden

Friday, Apr 19, 2024 - 05:50 PM

Reuters is reporting a "massive" blast at an Iraqi base used by Iran-linked militias south of Baghdad in the overnight hours (local). 

"A huge blast rocked a military base used by Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) to the south of Baghdad late on Friday," army sources said to Reuters.

by Tyler Durden

Friday, Apr 19, 2024 - 05:50 PM

Reuters is reporting a "massive" blast at an Iraqi base used by Iran-linked militias south of Baghdad in the overnight hours (local). 

"A huge blast rocked a military base used by Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) to the south of Baghdad late on Friday," army sources said to Reuters.

 

Few other details have been given, but images are widely circulating online showing what indeed appears to be a very large-scale strike.

A number of regional correspondents have been quick to identify it as an American military airstrike; however, given the events of the night prior (the 'limited' attack on Iran), others are speculating it was the Israelis behind it.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, IRAN, IRAQ, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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by Tyler Durden

Friday, Apr 19, 2024 - 06:00 PM

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) has introduced the "Defund NPR Act" to pull federal funds from National Public Radio, after veteran journalist Uri Berliner - who resigned this week following a suspension for penning a scathing article which exposed the network's far-left bias, including the fact that the outlet's DC bureau employs 87 registered Democrats and no Republicans, the Daily Caller reports.

What's more, NPR CEO Katherine Maher - who once bragged about taking censorship orders from the feds as the head of Wikipedia, and said during a Ted Talk that "truth" is a "distraction" which is "getting in the way of getting things done," was called out for years worth of woke diatribes on X (formerly Twitter), including calling herself "someone with cis white mobility privilege," anger towards white men for flying business class, and defending looting.

"NPR’s new CEO is a radical, left-wing activist who doesn’t believe in free speech or objective journalism. Hoosiers shouldn’t be writing her paychecks. Katherine Maher isn’t qualified to teach an introductory journalism class, much less capable of responsibly spending millions of American tax dollars," Banks told the Daily Caller shortly before introducing the bill.

"NPR was a liberal looney bin under the last CEO John Lansing, and it’s about to get even nuttier. It’s time to pull the plug on this national embarrassment. Congress must stop spending other people’s hard-earned money on low grade propaganda," Banks added.

 

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS
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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Apr 19, 2024 - 06:40 PM

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is caught in one of the worst aviation crises in American history, as Boeing jets fall apart in mid-air and while on the runway. The latest near-disaster happened when a JetBlue flight nearly collided with a Southwest Airlines flight at Washington, DC's Reagan National Airport on Thursday morning. 

For any Zero Hedge readers who are aviators, you already know that as a pilot in command in airspace controlled by a tower, you're putting complete trust in air traffic controllers to guide you on the most effective path possible without hitting other planes. 

But that was almost not the case on Thursday morning when air traffic control instructed Southwest Airlines Flight 2937 to cross runway four at the airport while JetBlue Flight 1554 took off. 

The audio is absolutely shocking. For any pilot, it sends shivers down your spine...

DCA TOWER: JetBlue 1554, Stop!

DCA GROUND: Southwest, Stop! Southwest 2937, Stop!

Southwest Pilot: We stopped. We were cleared to cross runway 4.

JetBlue Pilot: We're stopping, JetBlue 1554

This is not the first operational error by towers across US airports. In February 2023, a landing FedEx cargo plane nearly collided with a Southwest passenger at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas. 

On Friday, FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker directed controllers to take ten hours off between shifts and a minimum of 12 straight hours off before a midnight shift. 

Every pilot should be concerned about the FAA's latest DEI hiring spree of folks with "hearing, vision, missing extremities, partial paralysis, complete paralysis, epilepsy, severe intellectual disability, psychiatric disability, and dwarfism" problems.

Claire's Observations:  I used to love to fly, as my late Dad was a very diligent aircraft instrument mechanic who NEVER signed off on an instrument until it calibrated absolutely perfectly.  I used to think everyone in the industry had the same very high standards.

But I am having an industrial-strength palm to forehead moment, at velocity, upon reading/hearing this. Henceforward, getting  from Point A to Point B, I think Mike and I will be driving our 10 year-old Hyundai, and adopting a Cuban mechanic; they can make older cars last nearly forever!! :-)

 

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS
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Authored by Charles Kennedy via OilPrice.com,

The director of the FBI has warned that the Chinese state has its sights set on U.S. critical infrastructure to compromise U.S. economic and national security.

Speaking at the Vanderbilt Summit on Modern Conflict and Emerging Threats, Christopher Wray said:

“The PRC [People’s Republic of China] has made it clear that it considers every sector that makes our society run as fair game in its bid to dominate on the world stage, and that its plan is to land low blows against civilian infrastructure to try to induce panic and break America’s will to resist.”

The head of the FBI also explained that the Chinese state has taken a hybrid approach to its efforts to weaken the United States, involving cybersecurity, counterintelligence, and crime.

The motivation for these efforts, according to Wray, was “driven by the CCP’s aspirations to wealth and power,” and the desire to “seize economic development in the areas most critical to tomorrow’s economy,” including through illegal means, such as theft.

With regard to critical infrastructure specifically, Wren said “The fact is, the PRC’s targeting of our critical infrastructure is both broad and unrelenting.”

“It’s using that mass, those numbers, to give itself the ability to physically wreak havoc on our critical infrastructure at a time of its choosing,” the head of the FBI also said.

Wray referred to an ongoing hack attack dubbed Volt Typhoon which had opened up access for the hackers to a number of U.S. companies including pipeline operators. China, however, has denied any connection to Volt Typhoon, which Beijing said was a ransomware group, per a Reuters report.

"Some in the US have been using origin-tracing of cyberattacks as a tool to hit and frame China, claiming the US to be the victim while it's the other way round, and politicizing cybersecurity issues," the Chinese embassy in Washington said, as quoted by Reuters.

Claire's Observations:  Director Wray, a word please.  What strikes me as odd, is not that the Chinese government is poking and prodding US infrastructure, but what is making our infrastructure so vulnerable to these attacks to begin with, and what is your agency doing, please, to fix this?!?

Is your "solution"  More intrusive FBI surveillance, as if there is not already too much of this going on right now?!?   Because, most generally, that is the "one size fits all" solution to these issues you seem to advocate.

Tags: CHINA/TAIWAN, COMPUTERS/INTERNET, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS
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Authored by Sina McCullough via The Epoch Times 

Imagine starting your day with a bowl of cereal that could be silently affecting your family’s health. Recent studies show that chlormequat, a pesticide linked to reproductive issues, has been found in popular breakfast cereals like Quaker Oats and Cheerios. As this substance infiltrates the American food supply, the potential risks to our health and future generations loom larger, raising urgent questions about the safety of our everyday food choices.

In a study published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology on Feb. 15, 2024, researchers revealed alarming findings regarding the prevalence of chlormequat.

Chlormequat was detected in the urine of 4 out of 5 people or 80 percent of Americans tested. Additionally, 92 percent of oat-based foods tested contained chlormequat, including Quaker Oats and Cheerios.

This study—the first to report urinary chlormequat measurements in adults living in the United States—highlights the possible widespread presence of chlormequat and the necessity for transparency and further investigation into potential health implications for consumers.

(Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock)

 What Is Chlormequat?

Chlormequat, widely known in the salt form as chlormequat chloride, is an agricultural chemical first registered in the United States in 1962 as a plant growth regulator. Plant growth regulators are chemical substances employed to control and regulate plant growth, flowering, and fruit yield, according to a 2006 study in the International Journal of Andrology.

Chlormequat application in grain crops results in reduced stem height, thereby minimizing the occurrence of lodging (bending over), which can reduce the efficiency of the harvesting process.

Chlormequat is the world’s most common plant growth regulator according to a 2020 study published in Toxicology. “Chlormequat is often the most detected pesticide residue in grains and cereals, as documented by monitoring surveys spanning several years,” according to the 2024 study. It is approved for use in Europe and parts of North America.

In the United States, chlormequat is permitted exclusively for use on ornamental plants and is prohibited for application on food crops grown within the country. Therefore, the presence of chlormequat in Cheerios and other oat-based foods sold in the United States raises questions regarding its introduction into the food supply chain.

How Did Chlormequat Enter the US Food Supply?

In April 2018 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allowed chlormequat into the food supply by establishing acceptable food tolerance levels for chlormequat chloride in imported oats, wheat, barley, and select animal products. This action allowed for the importation and sale of those agricultural products even if treated with chlormequat.

Consequently, U.S. consumers may unknowingly be ingesting tainted imported foods—potentially exposing themselves to chlormequat or its residues.

 

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
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Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times 

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) is refusing to release additional information about an agreement it reached over a COVID-19 vaccine that has earned it at least $400 million.

Syringes of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at a vaccination site in Los Angeles, on Feb. 16, 2021. (Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)

The NIH declined to provide any materials in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Epoch Times.

The NIH withholds the entirety of the records as they are protected from release,” Gorka Garcia-Malene, an NIH officer, told The Epoch Times in a letter.

She cited an exemption outlined in the act that allows government agencies to partially or fully withhold information.

“In this case, exemption 3 incorporates 35 U.S.C. 209 (f), which reads in relevant part, ‘No Federal agency shall grant any license under a patent or patent application on a federally owned invention unless the person requesting the license has supplied the agency with a plan for development or marketing of the invention, except that any such plan shall be treated by the Federal agency as commercial and financial information obtained from a person and privileged and confidential and not subject to disclosure under section 552 of title 5,’” Ms. Garcia-Malene wrote.

Exemption 4 protects from disclosure trade secrets and commercial or financial information that is privileged and confidential,” she added.

In February 2023, Moderna announced that it had paid $400 million to the NIH and would make additional payments in the future as part of a licensing agreement for spike proteins used in the company’s COVID-19 vaccine. The Epoch Times obtained a copy of the contract, which confirmed the payment but redacted details of the future payments.

The Epoch Times then lodged a new request, seeking more details about the future payments, which are said to be based on how many COVID-19 vaccines are sold.

Ms. Garcia-Malene was responding to the new request.

James Love, director of the nonprofit Knowledge Ecology International, said the information should be made public.

“The NIH put out several press statements about the royalty dispute with Moderna, and they should not now claim it is some secret confidential information. And when hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, the public interest in transparency is large too,” Mr. Love told The Epoch Times in an email.

There are a lot of NIH officials who resent transparency,” he added.

Inquiries to NIH spokespersons received away messages. Another request for comment, sent to one of the addresses provided in the away messages, was not returned.

Claire's Observations:  Imagine my (absolute absence) of shock.  One has to wonder under what circumstances  this information will be released,and what it will tell us about the nearly incestuous relationship between Moderna and the NIH.

And I use that description advisedly:  As reported by WaPo in 2020:

"Moderna, the Massachusetts biotech company leading the global race to develop a coronavirus vaccine, has failed to disclose government financial support in any of the 126 patents it has filed in its 10-year history, in apparent violation of federal law, according to a new report by activist researchers.

Moderna was founded in 2010 and has yet to win market approval of a drug. But its vaccine technology, which has been developed with a combination of U.S. taxpayer support and a large share of private investment, allowed it to be the first company to test its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in humans.

With a boost of nearly $1 billion in research and development money from the Trump administration, it has initiated Stage 3 clinical trials in tens of thousands of people and is sprinting toward seeking an emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration before the end of the year. It also has a contract to sell 100 million doses to the United States for another $1.5 billion. The key protein used in the vaccine was co-invented by the National Institutes of Health.

Before those developments this year, Moderna honed its messenger RNA technology on vaccines against other infectious diseases, including Zika and Chikungunya. That research was supported with grants of about $25 million by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), according to the report by Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), a nonprofit group that advocates to protect taxpayer investments in patents.

Moderna has not listed that government support in any patents, despite a requirement in the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act that companies disclose in patent applications when they have received government help, KEI said. Moderna also has not disclosed government involvement in any of 154 pending patent applications, KEI’s report said."

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
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Major War Just Narrowly Averted & Biden Already Mulls $1BN+ In New Arms For Israel

by Tyler Durden

Friday, Apr 19, 2024 - 10:00 PM

President Biden is mulling his first new major arms sales to Israel since the unprecedented Iranian missile and drone attack which targeted the country last Saturday.

Though the world just narrowly avoided witnessing a major regional war explode with Thursday night's Israeli 'limited' retaliation on the Islamic Republic, the White House apparently thinks the 'answer' is to pump Israel with yet more and more weapons and ammo, to the tune of $1+ billion.

AFP via Getty Images

"The Biden administration is considering more than $1 billion in new weapons deals for Israel including tank ammunition, military vehicles and mortar rounds, U.S. officials said, at a time of heightened scrutiny of the use of American-made weapons in the war in Gaza," Wall Street Journal reports Friday.

"The proposed weapons transfers—which would be in addition to those in a military aid deal currently before the Congress—would be among the largest to Israel since it invaded Gaza in response to Hamas’s attack that killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, on Oct. 7," the report continues.

This also comes while the administration has been talking out of both sides of its mouth - on the one hand condemning the immense civilian death toll in Gaza, and on the other vowing to remain firm in its "ironclad commitment" to Israel's defense.

The US administration has time and again said it has been urging Israel against escalating with Iran. The White House has also said it did not "greenlight" Israel's Thursday overnight attack, which reportedly targeted radar sites in Isfahan, which is home to a key Iranian nuclear facility.

As for the Gaza operation, Biden has still sought to press Israel to hold off on a Rafah ground offensive. And yet, the IDF is more ensconced in the Gaza Strip than ever. There are new reports of an Israeli military base being established in the heart of Gaza.

"Satellite images and photographs shared on social media show extensive development and construction at two outposts the Israel Defense Forces is building on the strategic road that divides the Gaza Strip into two," reports Haaretz.

"The army calls the construction of these outposts in what it calls the 'Netzarim Corridor' as a long-term achievement. The whole corridor is referred to as something that is here to stay," the report indicates.

Claire's Observations:  In the Hebrew language, the word "Netzarim" translates as "sprout", or "green shoot";  this military build-up firmly cements Israeli control of the road now making a united Gaza, a physical impossibility.

And the bombs and bullets By-di-Bye wants to send to Netanyahu's genocidal government?!?  Well, apparently, in the eyes By-di-Bye's handlers, not enough Palestinian women and children have died or been maimed for life.  That's precisely what these bombs will be doing, once shipped to the IDF at the Israeli War Ministry's command.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Tags: ECONOMY
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 In February 1869, two British prospectors, John Deason and Richard Oates, were digging for gold in central Victoria, Australia, when their ax struck something hard very close to the surface. When Deason bent down to examine the large stone he thought was in the way, he found an enormous gold nugget – the largest nugget that anyone had ever seen, and ever would see. The length of the nugget was two feet and width was about one foot.


 

Tags: AUSTRALIA, HIDDEN HISTORY, SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA
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In June 1867, James Glaisher, an English astronomer and meteorologist, and an avid balloonist, was floating over Paris in a balloon when he entered an area of dense cloud:

This was not the first time Glaisher had heard music while flying through the clouds. Five years ago, Glaisher took off in a balloon over the city of Wolverhampton, England. At an altitude of 12,700 feet, he clearly heard a band playing music.

In 1867, Glaisher, together with other balloon enthusiasts, in particular, Camille Flammarion – a French astronomer, and Gaston Tissandier – a French meteorologist, began a series of experiments with balloon flights, and in two days, Flew from Paris to Solingen near Cologne. , Glaisher mentions hearing music and various voices several times during this trip while floating above the ground at an altitude of thousands of feet. “As we passed over Antony and Boulainvilliers we were charmed by some excellent orchestral music; Then we were completely surrounded by clouds, and each of them was about 3,280 feet above the city.''

Tags: ARTS, ASIA, GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, HIDDEN HISTORY
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A man set himself on fire in front of the Manhattan courtroom on Friday as a CNN live broadcast reported on the jury being seating in former President Donald Trump’s trial.

Anchor Laura Coates said, “We have a man who has literally set fire to himself. A man hasn’t plays into himself outside of the courthouse just now, our cameras are turning right now, a man has now let himself on fire. Hi, are outside of the courthouse in Manhattan where we’re waiting history to be made. A full jury panel is done. We are watching a man who was fully emblazoned in the front of the courthouse today, we’re watching multiple fires breaking out around his body and person. We have seen an arm that has been visible, that has been engulfed in total flames. There is chaos and it’s happening. People who are wondering right now if people are in danger. I’m looking at across the courtyard, there is a man racing with and aid.”

She added, “We have members of security details, NYPD is rushing to the scene they are trying to come now, officers are on the scene, a fire extinguisher is right now present being put on this man. He tried to push out. People were climbing over barricade to try to separate the public, to put out the flame on this man. He had lit himself out and fire in front of the courthouse right now, we are watching as the, we can smell, the air. I can smell the burning two of some sort of a flesh. I can smell the burning of some sort of agent being used as well as an accelerant to put backfire.”

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
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