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The US Administration authorized the handover of US-made weapons to the Azov nationalist regiment [deemed terrorist and outlawed in Russia], The Washington Post reported, citing a US Department of State statement.

According to the report, the Azov regiment passed a vetting under the so-called "Leahy law" that prevents US military aid from going to foreign units found to have committed major human rights violations. The Department of State found "no evidence" of such violations, the statement says.

The agency has not yet responded to a TASS request to provide the mentioned statement.

Back in 2017, then-President Donald Trump signed a law on federal government funding, which included an amendment, which prohibited the Pentagon from spending funds, allocated for military aid to Ukraine, to provide any aid to the Azov. This ban has repeatedly been prolonged since.

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by Tyler Durden

It is somewhat surprising (but also not surprising given energy scarcity fears) that after two-and-a-half years of war, hundreds of thousands of lives tragically lost, and brutal grinding warfare which has also killed many civilians on both sides... that the oldest and biggest economic link between Russia and Europe is still in place: the transit of Russian gas through Ukrainian territory.

A five-year agreement which is set to expire by the end of 2024 has remained uninterrupted, though the share of Russia’s pipeline gas in EU imports has steadily diminished. Yet the reality is that if Europe hopes to diversify away from dependency on Russian LNG, establishing the necessary alternate infrastructure is a costly and lengthy process.

Bloomberg reported Monday that European officials are currently discussing plans to keep the gas flowing through a key Russia-Ukraine pipeline, and that Ukraine - which has hit desperation given its dire wartime energy needs and situation - favors it.

At this point from Kiev's perspective there are equally bad options which requires pragmatically seeking the least worst-case scenario. 

Bloomberg acknowledges that Ukraine's "transit revenue amounted to about $1 billion in 2021 — providing crucial funding for the war-ravaged economy." If pipelines and supporting infrastructure aren't used then they are likely to fall derelict or also can more easily become military targets for Russia.

Oleksiy Chernyshov, chief executive of Ukraine’s state-run Naftogaz, was quoted in the report as saying it must be remembered that "Ukraine has incredible infrastructure of transit and storage gas, which should be used, and Ukraine is predisposed to use this infrastructure because it brings a lot of advantages."

Main buyers of Russian gas continue to be Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and Italy — all of which have continued to put ideological questions related to the war in the back-seat compared to the pressing and vital energy needs of the population and of industry

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Palestinians in central Gaza have accused Israeli forces of executions and mass killings during a major attack to free four Israeli captives.

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The United States and Poland are creating a group to counter Russia and support Ukraine in the information space, the press service of the US State Department has announced.

The new foreign policy propaganda body of the collective West will be based in Warsaw. It is expected to be joined by other like-minded countries, primarily for coordinating Ukraine policy in the information space. According to the department, the group will also fight alleged "information manipulation" by Russia. It did not specify which states would be included in the group.

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Washington “cannot afford” to allow Russia to achieve victory in the Ukraine conflict as this would mean losing direct access to vast mineral assets, US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has said.

In an interview with ‘Face the Nation’ on CBS on Sunday, Graham accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of being a “megalomaniac” who is attempting to “re-create the Russian Empire by force of arms,” starting with Ukraine. He further claimed that if Moscow wins the current conflict, it will then take over Ukraine’s wealth and share it with China. Graham described that prospect as “ridiculous,” suggesting it would be better if this “gold mine” were available to the US instead.

“They’re sitting on 10 to $12 trillion of critical minerals in Ukraine. They could be the richest country in all of Europe... If we help Ukraine now, they can become the best business partner we ever dreamed of, that $10 to $12 trillion of critical mineral assets could be used by Ukraine and the West, not given to Putin and China,” Graham stated.

Webmaster addition: 

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Four visiting college instructors from Iowa were brutally stabbed in an attack in China on Tuesday morning. 

The educators from Cornell College, in Mount Vernon, were on a teaching exchange program with a partner university, Beihua, in Jilin City.

The group had been visiting a temple in Beishan Park when they were attacked by a man with a knife. There were no reports of a motive. 

Iowa Representative Adam Zabner told Reuters his brother was one of the victims from Cornell College in Iowa. The other victims have not yet been publicly identified.

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M Ukraine's armed forces are expected to begin receiving the first of dozens of F-16 fighter jets within weeks. In total over 60 are expected to arrive from Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands - at a moment Ukrainian pilots are still undergoing lengthy and highly technical training programs in the Europe and the United States.

 But decision-makers in Brussels and Kiev already fear that they will make for highly attractive targets for Russian long-range and aerial strikes before they ever see aerial combat in Ukraine's skies. "Ukraine may keep some of the F-16 fighter jets it’s set to receive from its Western allies at foreign bases to protect them from Russian strikes," a senior Ukrainian military officer was cited in the Associated Press as saying Monday. Likely the jets will be "hidden" hosted at bases in Romania and Poland, which are both NATO countries. 

Anadolu Agency Serhii Holubtsov, who is head of aviation for Ukraine's air force, confirmed that "a certain number of aircraft will be stored at secure air bases outside of Ukraine so that they are not targeted here." He described that warplanes kept outside of Ukraine can be used for further training of Ukrainian pilots, and can be held in reserve in instances where jets actively engaged in combat have to be grounded for repairs. "This way, we can always have a certain number of aircraft in the operational fleet that corresponds to the number of pilots we have," he said. "If there are more pilots, there will be more aircraft in Ukraine." But we might ask: what's the point? Zelensky has since the start of the war been begging the West to "close the skies". The F-16s were pledged toward that end (as a 'compromise' short of the West directly setting up a NFZ), but they haven't even arrived yet and Kiev is essentially going to hide many of the expensive aircraft from the start. It was once thought that US-made fighter jets could be used for Ukrainian forces to go on the offensive against entrenched Russian front lines, but that doesn't look like it's going to the case. 

Stationing the transferred warplanes at airfields outside Ukraine also increases the chances of Moscow stumbling into a direct shooting war with NATO. Kremlin officials, including President Putin himself, have long warned Russia will strike airbases from which attacks against Russian forces are launched, even if outside of Ukraine's borders. Last year Putin began warning of Western aircraft, "If they are stationed at air bases outside the Ukrainian borders and used in combat, we will have to see how and where to strike the assets used in combat against us." 

He underscored that this "poses a serious danger of NATO being further drawn into the conflict" - and has also highlighted that the F-16s are capable of carrying tactical nukes. Thus, he said at the time, both the planes and foreign host bases themselves of necessity become a "legitimate target."

Claire's Observations:  If these US fighter jets are so vulnerable to Russian attack, why are they being sent in the first place?!?  What were the people thinking who design them, that  these fighter-jets would only be used against third world countries with no real way of fighting back?!? This is utterly insane thinking, and why was it swallowed whole, by the military folks who OK'd their development?!?!  

The "Hopium/Changium" magical thinking in DC and beyond, has got to stop.  If the F-16 cannot fight and win decisively, against the best of what China and Russia can offer for combat in the next 20 years, what the hell are they good for?!?


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A popular pizza chain is joining other businesses in leaving California to avoid the state's high taxes and cut costs. 

Blaze Pizza is relocating its headquarters from Pasadena to Atlanta which will reduce its state corporate tax rate by more than a third.

The company, which has 330 restaurants across 38 states and six countries, has claimed the relocation will spark the 'next wave of growth'. 

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South Korean troops were forced to fire warning shots after a contingent of 20 North Korean soldiers briefly crossed the border this week, Seoul's military said this morning in the latest escalation of tensions at the line.

The worrying incursion over the line that separates the two militaries took place in an overgrown area of the heavily fortified border area.

Relations between the two Koreas - technically still at war as the 1950-1953 conflict ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty - are at one of their lowest points in years.

The North has in recent weeks sent hundreds of balloons full of trash and faeces into the South, while Seoul has installed loudspeakers along the border to broadcast anti-Kim Jong Un propaganda in Cold War-style campaigns.

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Hal Turner Remarks:

Just so all of you grasp what's taking place here, the United States and our NATO vassals, are making more and more trouble for Russia, inside Ukraine.

So now Russia is demonstrating to us they can make trouble for us . . . . HERE . . . . inside the United States.

While what __we__ are doing in Ukraine is causing the actual deaths of Russian soldiers, Russia has not ---- yet ---- decided to bring death to OUR people.   Notice I said "yet."

This is what the US Congress and the US President are causing.  While THEY play "the sport of Kings (war" in Ukraine, we the American people are the ones they are endangering HERE, inside our own country.

If we get attacked here, inside America, by Russian forces, the sole and exclusive BLAME rests on members of the United States House of Representatives, the United States Senate, and the present illegitimate occupant of the Presidency.   

They have been warned over and over again by Russia, to stop what they're doing.  Yet Congress not only ignores the warnings, they up-the-ante and do even worse things.  Sooner or later, once the Russians have had enough, they're going to show us that they are as powerful - if not more - than we are.  

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F-16 fighter jets and any airfields they are based at will be legitimate targets for the Russian military if they participate in combat missions against Moscow’s forces, the chairman of the Russian State Duma Defense Committee, Andrey Kartapolov, has warned.

The comments come as Kiev prepares to receive the first delivery of US-made fighter jets from its Western backers, after Ukrainian pilots were trained to fly them.   

In a statement to RIA Novosti published on Monday, Kartapolov clarified that if the F-16s “are not used for their intended purpose” or are simply held in storage at foreign airbases with the intent to transfer them to Ukraine, where they will be equipped, maintained, and flown from Ukrainian airfields, then Russia would have no claims against its “former partners” and would not target them.  

However, if the jets take off from foreign bases and carry out sorties and strikes against Russian forces, both the fighter planes and the airfields they are stationed at will be “legitimate targets,” according to Kartapolov. 

“As for [our ability] to shoot [them] down, we can shoot down anyone, anywhere,” the MP insisted. 

Kartapolov’s statement comes after the chief of aviation of Ukraine’s Air Force Command, Sergey Golubtsov, stated in an interview with Radio Liberty on Sunday that some of the F-16 fighter jets donated to Kiev by the West would be stationed at foreign airbases. 

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Yesterday, a Ukrainian GAZ-66 truck with "military" license plates illegally crossed the border into Hungary from the Zakarpattia region of Ukraine. Local border guards found the truck and detained 32 Ukrainian citizens.

It turned out, the truck was filled with new Ukraine Army "Recruits" - men who had been forcibly grabbed off streets in Ukraine, held for three days, given uniforms, and sent to the front lines to die.

The men took a military truck across a field in Zakarpattia, entered Hungary, and surrendered to Police in Hungary.

The government of Hungary has granted the men asylum.

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France appears increasingly isolated in its decision to intervene directly in the Ukrainian conflict. Not even major Western powers are willing to openly confront Moscow on the battlefield, given the high likelihood of a catastrophic war arising as a result of such a move. Now, Berlin is already signaling that it will not support the French move.

According to the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, the German government is preparing to publicly refuse its support for France’s anti-Russian military initiative. The outlet, citing sources familiar with state affairs, claims that French officials are pressuring several NATO members to cooperate in sending troops to Ukraine. Reports show that the French army’s chief of staff, General Thierry Burkhard, wrote a letter calling on the US and at least 10 other NATO countries to join Paris in intervening in Ukraine.

Germany, however, was not included in the French general’s letter, the sources say. This means that German officials have most likely already made it clear, in secret, to their French counterparts that they are not interested in directly participating in the conflict with Russia. According to the sources, during negotiations in Brussels, Germany, along with other countries such as Italy and Spain, ruled out the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine. If the pressure continues, Germany is expected to make a public statement denying aid to France.

Webmaster addition: The recent European elections, which saw a hard shift to the right, may throw a bucket of ice water on Europe's enthusiasm for war!

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  • Ukrainian forces fired at least 12 ATACMS tactical missiles from the Nikolaev region towards Crimea;
  • Ukrainian forces fired several missiles at S-400 air defense system in Dzhankoy;
  • Ukrainian forces fired several missiles at S-300 air defense systems in Chernomorskoye;
  • Ukrainian forces fired several missiles at S-300 air defense systems in Yevpatoria.
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Some of the F-16 fighter jets that Kiev expects from the Western countries will be deployed at safe airfields outside Ukraine, Sergey Golubtsov, the chief of aviation of the Ukrainian Air Force Command has said.

"There is a certain number of airplanes [F-16s] that will be at safe bases, not in Ukraine, so that they should not become targets here. This will be our reserve in case we need to replace defective aircraft and during maintenance work," he said in an interview with the Ukrainian service of Radio Liberty radio station (recognized in Russia as a foreign media agent and included in the register of undesirable organizations).

Golubtsov also said that Ukraine would need at least two Patriot air defense systems, two NASAMS air defense systems, and several self-propelled Gepard air defense systems to protect the F-16s’ airfields.

Webmaster addition: So Sergey claims the F-16s in other countries will be safe from attack, then turns around and admits the planes will have to have defensive systems. They WANT Russia to attack those F-16s in order to widen the war!

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Russian and Egyptian naval ships plan to hold joint exercises during a visit of Russian warships to Alexandria, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

According to the ministry, the ships that called at Alexandria are the Guards Missile Cruiser Varyag and frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov. As part of the call, on Russia Day, June 12, the Varyag will host a reception with representatives of the Egyptian Navy Command.

"The call of Russian warships will last to June 14 and will end with a bilateral Passex exercise with Egyptian naval ships. The ships will practice elements of joint maneuvering, conduct training in communication and inspection," the ministry said.

The call of Russian warships at Alexandria is another practical step in strengthening Russian-Egyptian naval cooperation, according to the ministry.

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Alastair explores the historical context that has shaped modern Israel, the ongoing conflicts and peace processes, and the broader implications for the Middle East and beyond. Alastair provides unique perspectives on the challenges and opportunities facing Israel today, from security concerns to socio-political developments.

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Colombia's President Gustavo Petro has suspended coal exports to Israel amidst the ongoing conflict in Gaza. This decision aims to pressure Israel to halt its military operations, highlighting Colombia's significant role in Israel's coal supply chain. With over $320 million worth of coal exports to Israel in 2022 alone, this suspension could have far-reaching consequences.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Chief of Staff Andrey Yermak is reportedly calling the shots in the country amid the ongoing war with Russia. Multiple Ukrainian officials have complained to British daily The Times about the growing power of Vladimir Zelensky’s chief of staff Andrey Yermak, who they say de facto runs Ukraine. Yermak has also been accused of orchestrating the ouster of General Valery Zaluzhny in February, because he saw him as a rival. So, who is Andrey Yermak? Why is referred to as Zelensky’s “right-hand” man?

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Thanks to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, we indeed seem to be rushing headlong into a major war—possibly a World War Three, possibly the world’s first (and perhaps last) nuclear war. Ukraine leadership and their Western backers seem hell-bent on fighting to the last man, and Vladimir Putin, as an old-school Cold Warrior, seems equally determined to press ahead until achieving “victory.” The cause seems hopeless for Ukraine, who cannot reasonably expect to prevail in an extended conflict with one of the largest militaries on Earth. At best, they may bleed Russia over a period of months or years, but only at the cost of massive blood-letting themselves. It seems that Ukraine will be the loser in this struggle, no matter what comes.

In the Western media, we are presented with a remarkably simplified storyline: Putin is an evil warmonger who simply wants to extend Russian territory; to this end, he is exploiting events in Ukraine, deploying his military ostensibly to support the Russian-speaking districts of Luhansk and Donetsk in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. But this is just cover, they say, for his mad quest to rebuild the Russian empire. In pursuit of his goal, he is willing to inflict any amount of material damage and kill any number of civilians. Fortunately, say our media, Putin has thus far been largely contained; the brave Ukrainian fighters are constantly “reclaiming” land, Russia’s advance has “stalled,” and indeed, Russia seems to be in danger of losing.

Consequently, the US and its allies must do all they can to “aid” and “support” the brave Ukrainians and their beleaguered but heroic leader, Volodymyr Zelensky. No amount of money, no assortment of deadly weaponry, no military intelligence, is too much. Like World War Two, this “war” is an unconditional struggle of Good versus Evil; therefore the West, as the moral paragon of the world, must step up, undergo sacrifice, and ensure that Good prevails.

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In January of this year, a Russian A-50 airborne early warning aircraft was hit by an American Patriot anti-aircraft missile system. This information was shared by Colonel, Deputy Chief of Staff of the 10th Air and Missile Defense Command of the US Army Rosanna Clemente.

The officer said that the defenders of the Ukrainian state used aerial ambush tactics. According to her, the fighters were specially prepared for this - in the middle of the night, the instructors activated the Patriot battery, the order was given to go to the firing position, “work out,” and then retreat.

The colonel added that Ukraine is currently armed with up to a battalion of Patriot air defense systems. “Some of them are used to protect stationary objects, others move and do truly historical things. I have not seen this in 22 years of work in air defense,” she emphasized.

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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the slain leader of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, was subjected to "sexual torture" during his time in US custody back in 2004, claims his widow.

Umm Hudaifa, currently detained in a Baghdad prison, shed light on her life alongside Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in an interview with BBC published on Monday.

Before he was held in 2004, al-Baghdadi was “religious but not extremist” and “conservative but open minded,” Umm Hudaifa said who is currently under investigation in an Iraqi jail for her ties to Daesh.

She claimed that a year-long detention in US-run Camp Bucca caused a significant change in Baghdadi’s personality, as he was reportedly arrested after founding a militant group to purportedly combat US and allied occupation forces in Iraq. She said that he told her that during his detention, he was subjected to something “you cannot understand.”

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According to a report by the news network, “The purpose of the national American Miss program is to grow confidence and foster a positive self-image.” This despite the fact that the level of obesity displayed by Milliken is linked with all manner of horrible diseases like diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and certain cancers. Respondents weren’t very impressed with the result. “Dang I didn’t realize this was a cattle auction,” wrote one. “This 500 pound woman is supposed to be a role model to kids,” added another. Some expressed gratitude for the fact that at least Milliken is a biological female, unlike the winner of Miss Maryland USA, who is a man. “She practiced 365 days? What? Eating?” remarked another.
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The retail industry has been a challenging battleground lately, with consumers facing high inflation and economic uncertainty. Target, one of America's retail leaders, recently reported troubling financial results impacting the entire industry. In their latest earnings report, Target revealed concerning trends highlighting the economic challenges affecting consumers and businesses. With its iconic bull's-eye logo displayed in nearly 2,000 stores nationwide, the retail giant has always been seen as an indicator of the U.S. economy's health. When a company as influential as Target begins to struggle, it serves as a warning that requires action from consumers, investors, and policymakers.
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