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A group of 43 national security experts published an open letter on Jan. 11 criticizing news organizations and scientific publications that dismissed the possibility that the COVID-19 pandemic might have been the result of a lab leak.
The letter is addressed “To the editors, authors, and contributors to major scientific, medical, and journalistic publications worldwide.” The addressees include The Lancet, Nature Medicine, The New York Times, and TIME magazine.
The letter was coordinated by the Vandenberg Coalition, and included signatures from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), former U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Former U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger, and analysts from the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and other security and foreign policy analysts.
“Leading scientific journals censored dissenting voices; many science writers at major news outlets promoted narratives or asserted conclusions unsubstantiated by evidence; reporters failed to make even cursory attempts at surfacing potential conflicts of interest of their sources,” the letter states.
“This served to hamper national and international policy discussions about how to mitigate against future pandemics of any origin—natural, accidental, or deliberate.”
A House Oversight Committee veteran said the delay in publicizing President Joe Biden’s retention of classified documents from his time as vice president amounts to election interference.
“The documents were allegedly discovered on Nov. 2. The midterms are on Nov. 8. To me, this is election interference by omission,” Mike Howell said in a Jan. 11 interview with The Epoch Times.
“Does anyone think if this had been President Trump or any other Republican, the news wouldn’t have been leaked immediately for political gain? We needn’t wonder—just look at all the affirmative updates, releases, and leaks in the Trump case,” he said in a Jan. 10 statement.
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed an executive order banning indoctrination and critical race theory (CRT) in the state after being sworn in as governor.
Schools must “educate, not indoctrinate” students and that the state’s education policies need to “protect children and prepare them to enter the workforce,” according to the executive order, obtained by the Daily Caller.
CRT controversially teaches that America is fundamentally racist, promotes skin color as a person’s primary characteristic, and assigns moral fault to individuals—usually white people—solely based on their skin color.
CRT has been a controversial ideology meeting resistance from parents and communities across America, who argue that it teaches a distorted definition of what racism has traditionally meant.
Sanders’ executive order, signed Jan. 10, declares CRT “antithetical to the traditional American values of neutrality, equality, and fairness.”
A U.S. senator is questioning a top agency's public statements over safety signals for the COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), claimed in 2022 that safety monitoring revealed no “unexpected safety signals” for the vaccines.
But the results to which she was referring showed hundreds of safety signals, or adverse events potentially linked to the shots.
The Epoch Times obtained the results through a Freedom of Information Act after the CDC refused to release them.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is now wondering why the CDC expected so many signals after vaccination.
In a Jan. 10 letter citing The Epoch Times article on the results, Johnson demanded the CDC explain how it determined what is and is not an “unexpected safety signal.”
“The American people have a right to know the extent to which your agency was aware of and tracked COVID-19 vaccine adverse events. Your lack of transparency is unacceptable. Without immediately providing complete and reliable information about COVID-19 vaccine adverse events, you are obstructing Congressional oversight and leaving the public in the dark,” added Johnson, who was stonewalled when he requested the monitoring results.
The CDC did not respond to a request for comment.
How do you trust a government that continuously sidesteps the Constitution and undermines our rights? You can’t.
When you consider all the ways “we the people” are being bullied, beaten, bamboozled, targeted, tracked, repressed, robbed, impoverished, imprisoned and killed by the government, one can only conclude that you shouldn’t trust the government with your privacy, your property, your life, or your freedoms.
Well over one-third of Europeans have been left struggling to pay their bill amid the ongoing cost inflation crisis, a government survey has revealed.
A survey conducted on behalf of the European Union has found that well over one-third of Europeans have at one point struggled to pay their bills in the year prior to the poll taking place.
Although unseasonably warm weather on the continent has meant that the bloc has largely avoided major power shortages, huge numbers of EU citizens have nevertheless struggled to deal with the heightened price of food, fuel and services caused by the ongoing energy crisis.
The scale of such financial difficulty is easily seen in the results of the bloc’s latest Eurobarometer survey, with the EU-wide study revealing that 39 per cent of people struggled to pay at least one bill.
Fighter from the DPR Leonid returned from Ukrainian captivity as a result of an exchange at the end of 2022. In his interview, he described tortures used by the Ukrainian military. During the first interrogation by Ukrainian soldiers, he was stabbed, electrocuted and had his finger cut off.
“I went to refill my combat kit, we were looking for ammo as we ran out of them, I just did not think that they (note. AFU fighters) will be there in this wood line. I was told that the wood line was already ours. I moved 10 meters from the position and I ran into them and they captured me. At first I was kept in a garage in some settlement, I don’t even know what kind of settlement it was. They tortured me until the morning there. And in the morning they took me to another settlement, I suppose that this was Avdeevka.
They beat me, wounded me in the leg. mostly they beat me up.”
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Thursday said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has lost a moral right to say what’s right and what wrong.
She made the statement in response to the German minister’s attempt to accuse Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of lying.
"After so many years of lies about the desire to comply with the Minsk accords, continuing to lie now, Annalena Baerbock has lost a moral right to talk about what is truth and what is lies," the Russian diplomat said on Telegram.
NATO prepares a deployment Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) surveillance planes to Bucharest, Romania. The aircraft are scheduled to arrive on January 17, 2023 and are going to support the Alliance’s reinforced presence in the region and monitor Russian military activity.
“…there must be no doubt about NATO’s resolve to protect and defend every inch of Allied territory,” said NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu. “Our AWACS can detect aircraft hundreds of kilometres away, making them a key capability….”
….NATO has increased its air presence in eastern Europe with additional fighters, surveillance aircraft, and tankers. Since February 2022, NATO AWACS have conducted regular patrols over eastern Europe and the Baltic Sea region to track Russian warplanes near NATO borders.
The Polish government has approved the formation of a new infantry unit, operating primarily in the northeastern Podlaskie Voivodeship (province) bordering Belarus.
The 1st Legions Infantry Division will be based out of Łomza province. The headquarters will be at Ciechanów, Masovian Voivodeship.
The US prison at Guantánamo Bay opened 21 years ago this Wednesday. For 21 years, the extrajudicial detention facility has held a total of 779 men between eight known camps. In two decades, Guantánamo grew from a small, makeshift camp of chainlink cages into a maximum-security facility of cement bunker-like structures that costs close to $540m a year to operate.
Twenty-one years is a long time – a generation was born and came of age in that time. Four American presidents have served. The World Trade Center was rebuilt.
During that time, the US military, the CIA and other intelligence agencies experimented with torture and other human rights violations. Soldiers and even leaders committed war crimes. The US Congress researched, wrote and released a report documenting torture, abuse and inhumane treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo and at black sites around the world, while also making it impossible to close Guantánamo.
Of those 779 prisoners held at Guantánamo, we know that nine died there; 706 have been released or transferred out; 20 have been recommended for transfer but remain there; 12 have been charged with crimes; two have been convicted; and three will be held in indefinite law-of-war detention until someone demands their release.
A human rights monitoring group has released a new report finding at least 87 Yemeni civilians were killed with American or British weapons during a 14-month period. The Oxfam report reviewed 1,700 attacks on civilians and found Saudi Arabia used US or UK weapons in over a quarter of those incidents.
For this report, Oxfam reviewed incidents that occurred between January 2021 and February 2022. The author of the report, Martin Butcher, Oxfam’s Policy Advisor on Arms and Conflict, said, “[t]he intensity of these attacks would not have been possible without a ready supply of arms. That is why it’s vital the UK government and others must immediately stop the arms sales that are fuelling war in Yemen.”
Butcher reported the American or British arms were used by the Saudi military to kill 87 civilians, bomb 19 medical facilities, and displace over 300 people. The Oxfam study found that of the over 1,700 attacks on civilians during that 14-month window, a quarter were committed with US and UK weapons.
A clause in the coalition agreement between Likud and Religious Zionism says the government will instruct the head of the army's Central Command to enable assets currently held by the Civil Administration to be transferred to their pre-1948 Jewish owners. This move is expected to facilitate settlement expansion and allow Israel to gain control over Palestinian-leased buildings.
According to estimates obtained by the NGOs Peace Now and Bimkom, this move could affect about 13,000 dunams (3,250 acres) of land in the West Bank and about 70 buildings in Hebron, said to be owned by Jews before 1948.
Most of the land is in Gush Etzion (Bethlehem area) and north of Jerusalem, but other plots are in the area of Nebi Samuel, Batir and Beit Furik. Several parcels of land are in Area B, which is defined as land under Palestinian civil control and Israeli military control according to the Oslo Accords.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday defended the planned judicial overhaul recently unveiled by his government while hinting there may be limits to how much he will tolerate protests against his government.
“We are not weakening the judicial system, we are strengthening all our systems, democracy and the rule of law that are all dependent on the correct balance between institutions,” Netanyahu said at a press conference during which he presented his coalition’s economic plans.
“This balance that we find in all countries around the world has been somewhat broken, as you know, in Israel, and we have to return it in a responsible way and that’s what we will do,” he added.
According to the Palestinian President’s Office for Jerusalem Affairs, around 13,000 Palestinians that reside in the city have been threatened with being displaced to pave the way for the construction of Jewish-exclusive homes, museums, social spaces, and synagogues.
The adviser to the Palestinian President’s office, Ahmed Al-Ruwaidi, issued a statement on 11 January remarking that the Israeli authorities are preparing for local excavations and the opening of tunnels around the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in a bid to expand Israeli settlements in the vicinity.
Ruwaidi urged UNESCO to investigate Israel’s violations of Jerusalem’s cultural heritage.
“Despite the importance of the decisions issued by this organization, its decision to send an investigation committee has not been implemented because the occupation authorities have previously prevented the arrival of its delegation to Jerusalem, which does not justify the continued delay,” Ruwaidi said.
Last month, a Haartez report disclosed that Tel Aviv refused to grant 13,000 Palestinians residency in Jerusalem.
Tens of thousands including many opposition MKs and prominent public figures are expected to attend a mass demonstration in Tel Aviv on Saturday night in protest of the government’s judicial reforms.
“It is the duty of every citizen to join the fight for the homeland, its security and future, for the values of the Declaration of Independence, for equality, for the brotherhood of man, his dignity, his rights and his freedom,” according to a flyer distributed by the Black Flags movement, which is organizing the demonstration. It also included the slogans “No to Dictatorship” and “This is a True Alarm.”
Party leaders who announced they would attend the “Fighting the Coup d’État” protest at Habima Square included National Unity chairman and former defense minister Benny Gantz, Labor chairwoman Merav Michaeli and Ra’am chairman Mansour Abbas. Many opposition MKs from these parties and Yesh Atid also said they would attend. Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman did not commit out of concern of being linked to some of its left-wing messages.
When intense combat unfolds in the east of Ukraine, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu vowed on January 10 to expand the country’s weaponry and advance aviation technology and increase drone production.
Earlier this month, President Vladimir Putin ordered Shoigu to create a report on how military units are supplied, including details of weapons and equipment delivered to the military and suggestions for enhancing the defense ministry’s operations.
The order was given in the wake of some significant losses incurred by the Russian military on the battlefield.
It had become imperative for Russia to bolster its military preparedness when NATO countries were pledging robust weapon systems to Ukraine in the recent military packages. The NATO military aid that started in February 2022 when Ukraine was invaded will soon equal Russia’s 2022 defense budget.
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has started implementing a new law in the sanctuary state of California that allows recently-arrived border crossers to police American citizens as law enforcement officers with local, county, and state agencies.
Last year, Newsom signed S.B. 960, which only requires that law enforcement officers in the state have a work permit to be employed in the United States — removing residency requirements that mandated law enforcement officers be either American citizens or green card-holders that had at least filed to become naturalized American citizens.
India’s army chief said on Thursday the border situation with China is stable but unpredictable after a nearly two-and-a-half-year standoff between tens of thousands of soldiers from both countries in the eastern Ladakh area.
Gen. Manoj Pande told reporters the countries were continuing to talk both at the diplomatic and military levels, and that India’s military maintains a high level of preparedness.
“We have adequate forces. We have adequate reserves in each of our sectors to be able to effectively deal with any situation or contingency,” Pande said.
“I would say the situation is stable and under control, yet unpredictable,” he said.
Pande added that the Russia-Ukraine conflict has impacted the supply of spare parts for India’s military but did not provide more details. He also spoke about India’s reliance on equipment from these countries.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that security force members were complicit in letting an anti-government mob ransack the seat of power in Brasilia, and promised to weed out hardcore supporters of his predecessor.
The task of screening out those actors will be complex, his senior aides said, but investigations have begun to see who was responsible for letting backers of former President Jair Bolsonaro storm and vandalize the presidential palace.
"There were a lot of people who were complicit in this among the military police. There were many people from the armed forces who were complicit," Lula told journalists. "I am convinced that the door to the palace was opened to allow these people in, because I did not see that the door was broken."
"The Venezuelan president insisted that the "aggression" from abroad "is a threat to recolonize" the country.
Maduro, thus, denounced that the oil activity is under persecution "with the aim that Venezuela does not have the resources it should freely receive to invest them in its economy and in the social rights of the people".