US appears to be in the process of transferring its Patriot air defense missile system to Ukraine. CNN in its article, “Exclusive: US finalizing plans to send Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine,” claims the US will approve and then quickly ship the system or systems into Ukraine in just days after the decision is made.
Paradoxically, CNN admits that training the large numbers of Ukrainians necessary to operate the system will take months. This has left analysts speculating that in fact NATO personnel already familiar with the system will operate it merely posing as “Ukrainians.”
This represents a significant escalation. While Western forces are believed to be covertly operating across Ukraine against Russian forces in a variety of roles, Western personnel operating an ever-growing number of sophisticated weapons may lead to mission creep in terms of other sophisticated Western weapons including Western aircraft and tanks entering the conflict with Western operators behind the controls.
The decision to send Patriot missiles follows a now steady tempo of Russian missile and drone strikes across Ukraine targeting military and dual-use infrastructure including the power grid. The Western media admits Ukraine’s own Soviet-era air defense systems are dwindling in number and running low on interceptor missiles.
Jonathan Cox faced an agonizing decision. He was scheduled to teach two classes this past fall at the University of Central Florida that would explore colorblind racism, the concept that ostensibly race-neutral practices can have a discriminatory impact. The first, “Race and Social Media,” featured a unit on “racial ideology and color-blindness.” The second, “Race and Ethnicity,” included a reading on “the myth of a color-blind society.” An assistant sociology professor, Cox had taught both courses before; they typically drew 35 to 40 undergraduates apiece.
As recently as August 2021, Cox had doubted that the controversy over critical race theory — which posits, among other things, that racism is ingrained in America’s laws and power structure — would hamstring his teaching. Asked on a podcast what instructors would do if, as anticipated, Florida restricted the teaching of CRT in higher education, he said that they would need to avoid certain buzzwords. “What many of us are looking at doing is just maybe shifting some of the language that we’re using.”
But a clash with state law seemed inevitable, once Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, proposed what he called the strongest legislation in the nation against “the state-sanctioned racism that is critical race theory.” Last April, DeSantis signed the Individual Freedom Act, also known as the “Stop Woke Act,” into law. It bans teaching that one race or gender is morally superior to another and prohibits teachers from making students feel guilty for past discrimination by members of their race. And it specifically bars portraying racial colorblindness — which the law labels a virtue — as racist. A DeSantis spokesperson, Jeremy Redfern, told me in an email that the law “protects the open exchange of ideas” (italics in the original) by prohibiting teachers from “forcing discriminatory concepts on students.”
Recently, a school District came under fire for implementing a rule that many said discriminated against transgender students.
Of course, the case wound up in a higher court. This time, the court has backed the red school District.
Fox News reports, “The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced its 7-4 decision on Friday, ruling that the St. Johns County School Board did not discriminate against transgender students based on sex, or violate federal civil rights law by requiring transgender students to use gender-neutral bathrooms or bathrooms matching their biological sex.”
The decision was divided by political party. Republicans sided with the School District, stating that there was no discrimination. However, Democrats sided with Drew Adams. Drew Adams is a biological female that sued the school District after being denied access to the boy’s bathroom.
A man is charged with murder after he allegedly attacked a dollar store employee with a machete in northwest Ohio Sunday afternoon. Officers with the Upper Sandusky Police Department were called to the Dollar Tree at 1120 East Wyandot Avenue for a report of a man waiving a machete around inside the store.
Officers arrived at the store and found 22-year-old Keris Riebel dead at the scene. The man, who police identified as 27-year-old Bethel Bekele, left the store before police arrived. One of the officers found the suspect a short time later on South Fifth Street and arrested him. Investigators learned Bekele entered the store with the machete and struck Riebel multiple times. The weapon was found at the scene.
Police said the motive behind the fatal machete attack is unclear. Detectives are looking into whether Riebel and Bekele knew each other. 10TV spoke with the victim’s family who said they are devastated by the loss of Riebel. They say she was a newlywed and describe her as “an amazing, kind and sweet young woman who lit up the world with her smile.” Residents of the tight-knit community say they are horrified by this loss. “It’s like terrifying to see something like this in Upper Sandusky, because this is a nice community,” said resident Jason Pierce. The Chief of Police Jason Lucas said nothing like this ever happens in Upper Sandusky. The last murder was in 2001. The Wyandot County Major Crimes Unit is currently investigating the incident. Police said additional charges could be forthcoming once the investigation is complete.
Southwest Airlines left thousands of travelers stranded over the holidays.
While there were other flights from other airlines that were canceled, the vast majority of them were from Southwest airlines. According to one Fox News contributor, it’s because of capitalism.
The Blaze reports, “Outdated systems and brutally cold winter weather are being blamed for the problems, but that is no consolation to stranded travelers.”
Some blame the transportation department. According to The Blaze, “Republicans, and even some Democrats, are partially blaming Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for the meltdown. They argue he has abdicated his vocational responsibilities, which include responding to transportation crises.”
Russian forces have just suffered what may be their single biggest loss of the war in an attack, after a Ukrainian strike killed multiple dozens, or possibly hundreds, of newly mobilized troops in the east of the country. Moscow is now pointing to a US role in the devastating attack.
"Russia’s Defense Ministry said Monday that Ukrainian forces used a U.S.-supplied Himars rocket system to destroy a facility used as a base for mobilized troops in the city of Makiivka," The Wall Street Journal reports of the attack in Russian-occupied Donbas.
Morocco has imposed an entry ban on all travelers from China due to the soaring COVID-19 infection rate in the country following Beijing’s abrupt u-turn on its strict zero-COVID policy.
Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement that the entry ban would apply to all arrivals from China, regardless of their nationality, and will take effect from Jan. 3 until further notice.
“This exceptional measure in no way affects the sincere friendship between the two peoples nor the strategic partnership between the two countries to which the Kingdom remains firmly attached,” the ministry said.
The ban aims to prevent a new wave of contamination in the country, it stated, adding that Morocco “closely followed” the virus situation in China through regular and direct contact with the Chinese side.
Morocco also extended its state of emergency until Jan. 31 to allow local authorities to impose measures to tackle the virus spread. The African nation has continued to renew its state of emergency since adopting it in March 2020.
Morocco became the first nation to ban arrivals from China after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) lifted its zero-COVID policy last month.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva warned on CBS's 'Face the Nation' in an interview aired on Jan. 1 that a third of the global economy will be in recession this year and investors must prepare for "a tough year, tougher than the year we leave behind."
Kristalina explained recession risks are elevated "because the three big economies, US, EU, China, are all slowing down simultaneously." She added that some countries will avoid recession, though "it would feel like a recession for hundreds of millions of people."
"Our big worry is that with the economy slowing down globally, we are projecting global growth to go down to 2.7%, maybe even lower next year," she said. In 2021, global growth was 6%. It slumped to 3.2% in 2022 and continues to decline as central banks worldwide unleash the most aggressive monetary policy tightening scheme in a generation to get inflation under control.
Georgieva added the US might avoid a recession, but the situation looks bleaker in Europe, which has been hit hard by the war in Ukraine, she said. "Half of the European Union will be in recession," she warned.
A peer-reviewed study published by National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers in the eBioMedicine journal on Monday reveals that adequately hydrated individuals could live longer and develop fewer age-related chronic diseases.
"The results suggest that proper hydration may slow down aging and prolong a disease-free life," Natalia Dmitrieva, Ph.D., the study's lead author and researcher in the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of NIH, said in a statement.
Dmitrieva and her team used health data spanning three decades of 11,255 adults and analyzed their serum sodium levels which fluctuate with fluid intake. Consuming more fluid will lower serum sodium levels. They found that adults with higher sodium levels were more prone to develop chronic illnesses and show signs of advanced biological aging than those with lower sodium levels. Adults with higher sodium levels were more susceptible to death at a younger age.
Serum sodium levels above 142 mEq/L increased the risk of chronic diseases like heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation, peripheral artery disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, and dementia by up to 64%. But adults with serum sodium levels between 138-140 mEq/L had a much lower risk of such fatal diseases.
"People whose serum sodium is 142 mEq/L or higher would benefit from evaluation of their fluid intake," Dmitrieva said. She added that most people could increase their fluid intake to reduce sodium levels.
Former President Trump has last week hinted that he'll hand-grenade the 2024 presidential election for Republicans by running as a third-party candidate.
Trump shared an American Greatness article by Dan Gelernter which suggests that establishment Republicans would do everything in their power to prevent Trump from winning again, and that voters like Gelernter would rather vote for Trump on a third-party ticket even if it means losing the election.
Happy New Year! Welcome to a special on the idea of a perhaps we are seeing a peak in the Pax Americana.
Pax Americana implies that America has become the dominant empire as Rome once was, or perhaps on a more comparable basis, as Britain used to be. In financial markets and elsewhere, the question is asked where we have entered an era of decline for the US.
Conventional thoughts on Pax Americana link the decline of the British Empire with the rise of the America. I think this analysis is wrong. The decline of the British Empire saw the rise of two new empires, the US and the Soviet Union. In military terms, the Soviet Union was largely responsible for the the defeat of Germany in World War II, and the Soviet Union and Chinese assistance saw US forces turned back in the Korean War of 1950 to 1955, and defeated in Vietnam War. The US centred trading system only incorporated North America, Western Europe, and some parts of East Asia. Most of the rest of the world was either socialist on non-aligned. If this is at odds with how you think of modern history, then I would recommend Eric Hobsbawm series of books: Age Of Capital 1848 -1875, Age of Empire 1875 - 1914 and Age of Extremes 1914 - 1991. Hobsbawm is probably correct in marking 1991 as the beginning of Pax Americana. Not only did it mark the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was also when the first Gulf War demonstrated to the world that US military power was far beyond the capabilities of all other powers, but also the integration of the world into a single trading system - globalization. First military domination, then financial domination. Or as in Dark Knight Rises when Bain askes Daggett, “Do you feel in charge?”, are politics and military really in charge or finance and corporates? The former is really in charge in my view. If we look at Russian invasion of Ukraine, financial sanctions matter far less than the ammunition that the US is providing.
McCloskey and his wife, Patricia McCloskey, both personal injury lawyers, pleaded guilty in June 2021 to misdemeanor charges for assault and harassment, respectively, over an incident in 2020 where they wielded guns as self-defense measures at their property while watching Black Lives Matter protesters walk through their private, gated neighborhood.
They were required to pay maximum fines totaling $2,750. As part of the plea agreement, the two also surrendered the guns they wielded—a Colt AR-15 rifle and a Bryco pistol.
After their convictions, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, on July 30, 2021, pardoned the couple and shortly following the move, McCloskey filed a lawsuit in St. Louis City Circuit Court seeking to have the guns returned and the fines paid back to him and his wife.
Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty rejected the request on Dec. 28, saying that the governor’s pardon doesn’t have any impact on the plea agreement the couple had agreed to.
Inflation has been top of mind over the last year, looming over every aspect of the economy. But how has inflation actually impacted the prices of everyday goods like bread and butter or gas and public transportation?
If anyone expected that the bursting of the crypto bubble and the resulting unprecedented tidal wave of failure and fraud would somehow be confined to 2022 we have some bad news.
As if the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire wasn't bad enough, its fallout just got much messier after digital-asset entrepreneur and Facebook billionaire, Cameron Winklevoss, accused fellow crypto businessman Barry Silbert of “bad faith stall tactics” and the commingling of funds within his conglomerate that Winklevoss says have left $900 million in customer assets needlessly in limbo since FTX’s meltdown.
Regional media is reporting that Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah is in a Beirut hospital and said to be in serious condition, setting off intense speculation over the fate and future leadership of the powerful Lebanese Shia paramilitary group with ties to Iran.
Israeli media is claiming that Nasrallah suffered a stroke after an important Friday speech was unexpectedly canceled. Nasrallah is among the most powerful and prominent leaders in Lebanon and throughout the region, seen as head of an Iran-backed terror organization by Israel, the US, and much of the West. However, he's hailed as a "hero" by many from Syria to Iraq to Iran as part of the 'axis of resistance'.
Israel's far-right national security minister on Monday postponed a planned visit Islam's third-holiest site amid warnings from the country's opposition leader and Palestinian officials that such a trip would have deadly consequences.
The Times of Israel reports Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir temporarily put off a promised visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem – which sits on what Jews call the Temple Mount, Judaism's most sacred site since biblical times – after speaking with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the right-wing Likud party.
The previous day, Ben-Gvir vowed to visit the contested site – which has been illegally occupied by Israel for over half a century – sometime this week, possibly as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Monday that 63 Russian soldiers were killed in a Ukrainian rocket strike in the eastern Donestk Oblast in one of the deadliest Ukrainian strikes against Russian troops of the war.
According to Moscow, Ukraine used US-provided HIMARS rocket systems in the attack, which targeted the city of Makeyevka. According to RT, the strike hit a temporary housing facility used by Russian forces in the Donbas.
“The Kiev regime delivered a strike firing six projectiles from the US-made HIMARS multiple rocket launcher on a Russian unit near Makeyevka in the Donetsk People’s Republic. The attack … left 63 Russian service members killed,” the Russian Defense Ministry said, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
The Russian Defense Ministry didn’t say when the strike took place, but Ukraine’s armed forces said it struck a vocational school building housing Russian troops in Makeyevka on Sunday. Ukraine claimed the strike killed 400 Russian soldiers, much higher than the casualties confirmed by Moscow.
The F-15s are being sent to the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel under US Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT) as part of a program that deploys US aircraft to allied bases instead of US ones.
According to The Times of Israel, the IAF said that the F-15s would participate in exercises with Israel’s fleet of F-35 stealth fighters this week that will simulate strikes “deep inside enemy territory,” suggesting the drills will simulate attacks on Iran.