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"If a government cannot prove the honesty and accuracy of the elections by which they claim authority over the people, then the people are neither legally nor morally obligated to obey that government's dictates nor to pay its bills nor to send their children to die in that government's wars, and may with full moral justification resist with lethal force efforts to coerce said dictatorship, looting, and conscription." -- Michael Rivero
Major stores continue to back out of crime-ridden San Francisco, with a disturbing report showing 95 retailers downtown - more than half the total - have closed since the start of the COVID pandemic.
At least one more is set to, with Williams-Sonoma announcing they'll shut down in 2024.
Out of 203 retailers open in 2019 in the city's Union Square area, just 107 are still operating, a drop of 47 percent in just a few pandemic-ravaged years.
Among the heavy hitters, Brooks Brothers, Ray Ban, Christian Louboutin, Lululemon and Marmot have all packed it in.
A top central banker has warned of the damage the rush to ‘Net-Zero’ risks doing to Europe’s economy, and illustrates the point by noting erasing Europe’s built heritage would be necessary to meet extreme green demands.
Among comments by Paolo Angelini, deputy governor at the Bank of Italy about European Net Zero targets which, in his opinion, risk doing more harm than good, the central banker articulated what level of change would actually be needed from Europeans to meet those demands.
Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk is “absolutely entitled” to censure left-wing billionaire George Soros “without being labeled an antisemite,” according to former New York state assemblyman Dov Hikind, who accused Soros himself of “legitimiz[ing] antisemites.”
In a post from Wednesday, Hikind, who serves as chairman of Americans Against Antisemitism (AAA), highlighted the error of automatically attributing any criticism of the Democrat megadonor to antisemitism.
Anti-gun zealots say a lot of dumb things about the Second Amendment.
That’s one reason why Mark W. Smith’s Second Amendment YouTube channel The Four Boxes Diner™ has become so popular.
With over 15 million views, his videos provide YOU with the information needed to debunk the left’s myths about our fundamental right to bear arms.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman will attend the secretive Bilderberg Meeting, an annual gathering of over 100 political and corporate leaders from Europe and North America, which has announced AI as a key item on its agenda this year.
Altman isn’t the only Big Tech figure in attendance. Other participants include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and Google DeepMind head Demis Hassabis.
Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), will also attend. As noted in a congressional hearing last week, CISA played a key role as a source of government pressure in the Big Tech censorship regime that harmed President Trump’s chances in the 2020 election.
President Joe Biden left for overseas, leaving Vice President Kamala Harris to be briefed about the continuing debt ceiling talks.
Biden left for Japan on Wednesday as Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and the White House continue negotiating a potential debt ceiling deal.
In his stead, Biden left Harris to participate in a “virtual briefing” on the debt limit negotiations.
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna McDaniel released a statement excoriating the Biden administration’s lack of leadership in the negotiations.
“While Joe Biden has left the country, border czar Kamala Harris is now involved in debt ceiling negotiations despite presiding over the worst border crisis in history,” McDaniel said in a written statement. “The Biden-Harris administration’s lack of leadership creates crisis after crisis, leaving American families to suffer the consequences, but they don’t care.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace today warned the world is facing a wider conflict as a range of adversaries around the world - from Russia to China - pose a threat to our future safety.
Wallace said by the end of the decade, the world will be a 'more dangerous, unstable place' in his starkest warning yet that there could be a World War Three.
He warned that a 'conflict is coming', pointing to how there could be a wider conflict between NATO and Russia in the future as well as the threat posed by a 'rising China' and African extremists.
The atomic process that powers the sun has the means to alter how we harness energy to power our world, but conquering the physics of containing a fusion reaction has proven to be enormously difficult. Yet the nation that creates a genuine, sustained, fusion reaction will own the future.
Not to be confused with a fission hydrogen bomb (that splits the nuclei of atoms into smaller atoms), physicists explain that a controlled fusion reaction (that combines the nuclei of atoms) creates temperatures up to one hundred million degrees Celsius. It is difficult to conceive of mastering a reaction that is almost ten times the temperature at the Sun's center. However, researchers in multiple nations have created what is called a tokamak reactor that uses enormously powerful magnetic fields to contain the reaction for milliseconds of time. Part of the challenge is how to use less energy to create that reaction than the energy required to sustain it.
The short, "non-physicist" explanation of this process is that it allows nuclear fusion to heat hydrogen at extraordinary temperatures that, in turn, create a superheated plasma gas. The energy and heat produced by this reaction can ultimately be used to generate steam that turns turbines of any size for any purpose. The amount of fusion fuel needed to produce enormous amounts of energy is a mere fraction of what fossil fuels would require and creates no pollution in the atmosphere or radioactive waste. Nor, to create fusion, would we have to depend on hostile nations to ensure supplies of that ever-abundant element, hydrogen.
But the report is actually significant in delivering the nail in the coffin to the Russia Gate narrative that so many people bought into for so long.
The Durham report nevertheless is very limited in its focus on the FBI—and failure to investigate the role that the CIA and White House played in Russia Gate.
The CIA Director at the time, John Brennan, is known as the “godfather of Russia Gate.” Soon after the start of the FBI’s Operation Crossfire Hurricane, Brennan briefed Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) on alleged Russian election interference.
Reid then wrote to then-FBI Director James Comey, warning him not to ignore “the evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.” Comey apparently responded by initiating Crossfire Hurricane.
The post-9/11 War on Terror may have caused at least 4.5 million deaths in around half a dozen countries, according to a report published Monday by the preeminent academic institution studying the costs, casualties, and consequences of a war in which U.S. bombs and bullets are still killing and wounding people in multiple nations.
The new report from the Costs of War Project at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs shows "how death outlives war" by examining people killed indirectly by the War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.
"In a place like Afghanistan, the pressing question is whether any death can today be considered unrelated to war," Stephanie Savell, Costs of War co-director and author of the report, said in a statement. "Wars often kill far more people indirectly than in direct combat, particularly young children."
Before becoming the worst thorn in the Russian bear’s paw, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was decidedly pro-Russian, during one recently resurfaced interview declaring Ukrainians and Russians “brothers” and insisting that Russian speakers in Ukraine be allowed to continue speaking their language.
One of two Israeli-manufactured Iron Dome batteries owned by the Pentagon is ready to be deployed to Ukraine, a US general told the Senate on Thursday. Tel Aviv has so far refused to supply the anti-missile system to Kiev, for fear of provoking Russia and risking its ability to freely bomb Moscow’s ally Syria.
During a Senate Strategic Forces subcommittee hearing on Thursday, Senator Angus King pressed a senior Pentagon official on why Ukraine has not yet received the Iron Dome, noting the US role in creating the air defense system.
“We sent something like $3 billion to Israel to develop it… Wouldn’t this be a very important resource for the Ukrainians since their principal problem right now is missile defense?” the lawmaker asked.
China’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, was in Ukraine on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the prospect of peace talks and met with senior Ukrainian officials, including Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and President Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to the Ukrainian side, Kuleba told Li that Ukraine won’t agree to any deal that cedes territory to Russia. Kuleba “emphasized that Ukraine does not accept any proposals that would involve the loss of its territories or the freezing of the conflict.”
Ukraine and Russia are extremely far apart in their demands for a settlement. Kyiv wants Russia to withdraw from all the territory it has captured since launching the invasion last year and Crimea before talks can even happen. For their part, Moscow wants any peace deal to recognize the oblasts it has annexed as Russian territory.
A neo-Nazi accused of murdering immigrants has filmed himself in possession of five anti-tank rockets that Britain supplied to Ukraine, an investigation by Declassified UK has found.
Sergei Korotkikh can be seen with UK-made missile launchers in three videos posted to his Telegram channel. Campaign Against Arms Trade said the discovery is “very troubling”.
It adds to evidence that some weapons sent by Britain to Ukraine have ended up in the hands of extremist forces. Declassified recently uncovered another case where a jihadist convicted of torture had received UK missiles.
NATO is drawing up plans on how to fight a war with Russia for the first time since the Cold War.
According to Reuters, at the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius this July, alliance leaders will approve thousands of pages of secret military plans that will detail how to respond to a Russian attack.
The plans will be vastly different than anything drawn up during the Cold War as NATO has expanded from 16 members to 31 since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The documents will also outline how NATO members should upgrade their forces and logistics.
“Allies will know exactly what forces and capabilities are needed, including where, what and how to deploy,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said of the war plans.
Another sign of a possible consumer downturn is unfolding in India, recognized as the world's top polishing gem hub. The country is bracing for a challenging year as diamond demand from key markets in North America and Asia is expected to soften.
For the fiscal year ending in March, India reported a 10% drop in cut and polished diamond exports to $22 billion, driven primarily by inconsistent Russian rough-diamond supplies and waning demand in the US and China, according to Bloomberg, citing a new report from Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
US officials say the Biden administration has initiated an "unprecedented" effort bring the Pentagon and Israeli army into direct joint military planning.
"The Biden administration proposed to Israel a few weeks ago the idea of engaging in joint military planning concerning Iran, three U.S. and Israeli officials told Axios," according to the publication.
The Biden administration is preparing for the war in Ukraine to turn into a frozen conflict for years or possibly even decades, similar to the situation on the Korean peninsula, POLITICO reported on Thursday.
US officials have been discussing the possibility, including potential options for where to draw the lines for a frozen conflict that either side would agree not to cross. The report said the idea of freezing the fighting could be a “politically palatable long-term result.”
The administration is considering the possibility because they don’t expect Ukraine to regain much territory in its long-awaited counteroffensive. According to POLITICO, the US is expecting that the assault “won’t deal a mortal blow to Russia.”
Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ro Khanna (D-CA) led 37 other House Democrats in a letter that calls on President Biden to support the diplomatic progress in Yemen by declaring the US will not provide military support to the Saudi-led coalition in the conflict.
In a major diplomatic breakthrough, the Saudis and the Houthis recently held talks in Sanaa, but a peace deal has yet to be reached. Amid the negotiations, US officials traveled to Saudi Arabia and, according to Axios, “underscored the US support for Saudi Arabia’s defense against threats from Yemen,” signaling the Biden administration is ready to support Riyadh if the war flares up again.
The House Democrats on Biden and his administration to “clearly and publicly state that the United States will not provide any further support in any form to any faction party to the conflict while diplomatic talks to end the war are ongoing and should they fail to reach a diplomatic settlement and return to armed hostilities.”
US military officials are walking back claims that a drone strike Central Command (CENTCOM) launched on May 3 in northwest Syria killed a senior al-Qaeda leader after evidence emerged that a civilian was killed.
When the strike was first launched in Syria’s northwest Idlib province, reports immediately emerged that the strike killed a sheep herder with no ties to any militant groups. The Associated Press spoke with family members and neighbors of the victim, Lotfi Hassan Misto, who insisted he was innocent.
According to The Washington Post, Misto was a 56-year-old father of 10, and the paper spoke with terrorism experts who said it was unlikely he was affiliated with al-Qaeda.
An open letter calling for a swift diplomatic end to the war in Ukraine was published on Tuesday in the New York Times. The letter’s 14 signatories consisted mostly of former U.S. military officers and other national security officials, including Jack Matlock, Washington’s former ambassador to the Soviet Union; Ann Wright, a retired U.S. Army colonel and former diplomat; Matthew Hoh, a former Marine Corps officer and State Department official; and Ret. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff.
Many are longtime critics of U.S. foreign policy and post-9/11 war policies.
The letter calls the war an “unmitigated disaster” and cautions that “future devastation could be exponentially greater as nuclear powers creep ever closer toward open war.”
With complete uniformity, Bellingcat’s media cheerleaders omit that the group is funded by NATO states and their contractors. And just as Musk suggested, Bellingcat has regularly promoted propaganda that advances its backers’ foreign policy objectives.
Since 2017, Bellingcat’s top financial donors have included the National Endowment for Democracy, a U.S. government organization founded by Ronald Reagan’s CIA chief, Bill Casey. From its inception, the NED has served as a front for US intelligence operations, including destabilization and regime change in targeted states. “A lot of what we do today was done covertly twenty-five years ago by the CIA,” the NED’s first director, Allen Weinstein, told the Washington Post in 1991. NED board members have included veteran neoconservative bureaucrats Elliott Abrams and Victoria Nuland.
Britain and Norway have agreed to increase cooperation on undersea capabilities, including countering threats to undersea infrastructure, the British government said in a statement on Thursday.
"The attack on the Nord Stream pipeline has determined even closer collaboration across our collective assets to detect and defend against subsea threats and ensure continued North Atlantic security," British defence minister Ben Wallace said in a statement.
Israeli settlers and politicians stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday morning, ahead of thousands taking to the streets of Jerusalem for a divisive annual ultra-nationalist march.
Security officers cleared the Qibli prayer hall of Palestinian worshippers following the Fajr dawn prayers, according to Palestinian media.
At 7am local time, the Moroccan Gate (Bab al-Magharib) to Al-Aqsa's courtyards was opened and hundreds of settlers stormed the holy site.
Several lawmakers were in their ranks, including Negev and Galilee Development Minister Yitzhak Wasserlauf, who belongs to the far-right Jewish Power party.
Russia has admitted “problems” with oil and gas revenues that have fallen to their lowest levels in years, underscoring the impact of western restrictions on Moscow’s primary engine for funding its war in Ukraine.
Finance minister Anton Siluanov acknowledged issues during a public video conference with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, blaming “all these discounts” in explaining why energy revenues fell by more than 50 per cent in the first quarter of this year.
“Russia’s non-energy revenues are on track for growth as planned, with the potential for a small surplus by year-end, but there is a problem with energy revenues,” said Siluanov.
Russian oil has traded at a discount to global benchmarks because of a G7-led price caps on Russian oil and refined petroleum products, which were imposed in December and February respectively.
Japan will treat two injured Ukrainian soldiers at a Tokyo hospital run by its military, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday, Tokyo's latest support measure following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The Self-Defence Force Central Hospital plans to admit them next month for rehabilitation treatment, the ministry said in a statement, without providing details about the nature of the soldiers' injuries or if the hospital would receive more wounded troops from Ukraine in the future.
This was the first time the hospital has treated foreign soldiers, a senior member of Japan's ruling coalition told Reuters ahead of the official announcement.
Ukrainian forces pushed back Russian occupiers north and south of Bakhmut in the 64th week of the war, successfully pressing a counterattack they had begun on May 9.
As Russian troops fell back on the flanks of the city, Wagner Group mercenaries continued to push through the eastern city itself, claiming much of the last Ukrainian foothold in its western suburbs.