“The politics of the destruction of the gas-line – whether it’s an act of war or what – but it was a slap in the face of Europe, saying, you know, “if you’re not going to play ball with me in Ukraine,” said the president… “I don’t care if it’s going to be harder for you to keep your people wealthy and warm.” Basically, that’s what he’s done. And that’s the real input of the story.” -- Seymour Hersh

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In the face of increased scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators, TikTok, owned by Beijing-based tech giant ByteDance, has hired Biden-connected consulting firm SKDK.

SKDK is a public affairs and political consulting firm that is considered the most well-connected left-leaning firm in DC.

Several top former employees at the firm now hold mid- to top-level positions in the Biden administration.

One of its co-founders, Anita Dunn, has been working as a senior adviser to the White House since last May, Politico reported.

She was also part of Biden's 2020 campaign. Other former SKDK employees in the Biden administration include Interior Department press secretary Tyler Cherry, deputy White House communications directors Herbie Ziskend and Kate Berner, and deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh.

Scrutiny into TikTok's ties to Beijing has been ongoing for a few years and a bipartisan effort to ban the app from government devices was successful.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:31

A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urging that the US should take a “hard look” at sending F-16 fighter jets to Kyiv.

“After speaking with US, Ukrainian, and foreign leaders working to support Ukraine at the Munich Security Conference last month, we believe the US needs to take a hard look at providing F-16 aircraft to Ukraine,” the senators said in the letter.

The letter was led by Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and was also signed by Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Tim Kaine of (D-VA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), and Ted Budd (R-NC).

Other NATO countries are ready to send fighter jets to Ukraine, including Poland, which is willing to send its Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:30

Washington DC is abuzz with speculation over which Biden family member got a cut of a $3 million wire transfer to Hunter Biden associate John "Rob" Walker, just weeks after Joe Biden was no longer Vice President in 2017.

According to House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) - who last week said that evidence of CCP money flowing to the Biden family was "as bad as we thought," - revealed that bank records obtained via a subpoena have implicated a "new Biden family member" in the ongoing investigation into the first family's finances.

Comer told Fox News that Walker received a $3 million wire from two individuals tied to the Chinese Communist Party, which he then divvied up between Biden family members.

"The very next day after that wire was received, the Walker account started transferring money into three different Biden family members’ accounts, including a new Biden family member that’s never before been identified as someone being involved in the influence-peddling scheme," Comer told host Sean Hannity (as part of several recent interviews on the network).

Posted on: Mar 16 08:29

A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) official assesses that China’s growing pessimism over its relationship with the US is making Beijing prepare for a future war it would rather not fight, Voice of America reported Wednesday.

“China doesn’t want to start a fight with us over Taiwan,” Doug Wade, the head of the DIA’s China Mission Group, said at a virtual event hosted by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.

“They will if they have to … they haven’t ruled it out,” Wade added. China’s official position is that it seeks “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan but doesn’t rule out using force.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:28

Infants and children 6 months through age 4 who received the three-dose primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are now eligible for a fourth dose — Pfizer’s bivalent booster shot.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday amended the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of Pfizer bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine for the younger age group, but only for those children who received the three-dose series before the FDA authorized Pfizer’s bivalent Omicron booster as the third shot in the primary series.

Under the amended authorization, children can receive their fourth shot two months after completing the three-dose primary series.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:27

As Tokyo spins up its defence industry for the country's largest military expansion since World War Two, it has run into a challenge: some of Japan's best-known brands are reluctant to invest in the military side of their businesses.

Japan, which renounced war in 1947, last year unveiled a five-year $315 billion military expansion to deter Beijing from using force in the East China Sea amid growing concern that Russia's attack on Ukraine - which it calls a "special operation" - could embolden China to invade Taiwan.

But a key part of Tokyo's strategy hinges on persuading commercial firms such as Toshiba Corp, Mitsubishi Electric Corp and Daikin Industries Ltd, which for decades have quietly armed its Self Defence Forces (SDF), to ramp up production.

In a country with an ingrained public sentiment against militarism, that is proving a hard sell for some of its suppliers, according to Reuters interviews with six government and company officials.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:24

The Polish military has deployed anti-tank barriers on its borders with Russia and Belarus to prepare for a potential escalation of the war in Ukraine.

Poland could be heavily affected by the conflict should it spread beyond Ukraine’s borders.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak recently tweeted photos showing his country’s security measures to protect its border with Kaliningrad Oblast.

He said the move is part of Warsaw’s deterrence strategy.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:23

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced $331m in new humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia during a visit to Addis Ababa aimed at improving the United States’ relations with the East African country.

The aid package was made public during a visit by Blinken to a United Nations logistics warehouse in the Ethiopian capital on Wednesday after he met with the country’s leaders.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:22

If you have ever wondered, “where do America’s spies come from?” the answer is quite possibly the Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) at Georgetown University. It is only a modestly-seized institution, yet the school provides the backbone for the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, State Department, and other organs of the national security state.

From overthrowing foreign governments and conducting worldwide psychological operations to overseeing drug and gun smuggling and a global torture network, the CIA is perhaps the world’s most controversial and dangerous organization. All of which begs the question, should an educational institution have any formal relationship with it, let alone such a storied school as Georgetown?

Yet, with more than two dozen ex-CIA officials among its teaching staff, the school tailors its courses towards producing the next generation of analysts, assassins, coup-plotters and economic hitmen, fast-tracking graduates into the upper echelons of the national security state.

The CIA has also quietly funded the SFS, as journalist Will Sommer revealed. The agency, based in Langley, VA, secretly donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund the department’s work, despite Georgetown insisting on its website that this money came from anonymous donations from individuals.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:22

Washington vehemently opposing the foreign agent law is unsurprising. Thousands of organizations, including media outlets and rights groups in Georgia, have received funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and U.S. Agency for International Development – which Power now incidentally leads – over the past three decades. Any reform that would further expose this hardly hidden but little acknowledged or understood fact might raise difficult questions about the independence of these entities and the sinister purposes they serve evermore.

That these organizations have a vested interest in keeping their U.S. financing under wraps was amply demonstrated by their pronounced presence at the forefront of the protests in Tbilisi. Many staffers at NED-funded NGOs also took to social media to shriek disapproval of the prospect of having to disclose their foreign funding – despite their employers in some cases already doing so voluntarily anyway.

As luck would have it, right when the thousands gathered outside Tbilisi’s parliament building appeared on the verge of storming the building, the Georgian government scrapped the foreign agent law. What accounts for the protesters’ visceral aversion to having to openly admit their relationship with NED by law?

Posted on: Mar 16 08:21

It's no surprise that a bank focusing on woke politics failed, former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell told Newsmax on Monday.

In his interview with "Prime News," Grenell said that "whenever you have an administration that is going to completely concentrate on diversity, equity, [and] inclusion-type of programs, you're going to have a huge problem."

Grenell continued: "Look, people go to a bank because they want to, you know, have loans; they want banking services. And yet this small bank had 1,500 climate-related loans. For a small bank, that's a lot. That's probably too much, and I think that's what was happening is that they were having too many people that we're looking at the peripheral issues and not at the substance."

The New York Times reported that Silicon Valley Bank issued billions of dollars to more than "1,550 technology firms" working in areas such as solar, "hydrogen and battery storage projects."

Posted on: Mar 16 08:18

Last week the Senate Democrat majority was hospitalized with Senator John Fetterman dispatched to a psych ward and Senator Dianne Feinstein, who doesn’t seem to know where she is, hospitalized for shingles. Fetterman and Feinstein didn’t let being hospitalized slow them down and went right on co-sponsoring bills even though the former had to be hospitalized because he couldn’t take care of himself and the latter no longer recognized colleagues.

Even in the Senate, Fetterman couldn’t understand what was being said and Feinstein wasn’t aware that she had announced her retirement. Despite that there are press releases from their offices and they’re cosponsoring legislation as if they’re functional and able to make decisions.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:17

Political author Dick Morris waged on Newsmax that the rush to rescue depositors of Silicon Valley Bank or, more precisely, a bank directly associated with Silicon Valley, which he terms as the "Democratic stronghold of the world," is as big a "crony payoff as you possibly can have."

"I think that the Silicon Valley Bank is enjoying a charmed life because it's in Silicon Valley," Morris told "American Agenda" on Monday.

"It's the Democratic stronghold of the world. And 99% of their people are probably Democrats and depositors that raised hell they're all democratic donors, so this is as crony a payoff as you possibly can have."

Morris's statement comes after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen proclaimed to CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the government's assistance to depositors is not a bailout, which some experts have deemed a game of semantics in order to quash fear of spreading contagion.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:16

One of the biggest financial stories of the moment is the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. And now Goldman Sachs is being pulled into the drama.

The investment bank is set to receive more than $100 million dollars after the failure of SVB, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. That’s because Goldman bought $21.4 billion of debt from the beleaguered bank, which came at a loss of $1.8 billion to SVB. (A spokesperson for Goldman declined to comment to the Times.)

Posted on: Mar 16 08:15

The United States Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission were investigating whether Signature Bank failed to prevent money laundering before the firm collapsed on Sunday.

Federal investigators in Washington DC and Manhattan, New York were specifically looking into the bank's dealings with cryptocurrency clients, to assess if the institution took sufficient steps to detect potential money laundering, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources.

It is not clear what came of the investigation, but the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was forced to take over operations of the bank on Sunday when it could not meet the demands of customers withdrawing their funds.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:14

Credit Suisse shares soared by over 35% on Thursday after the company secured a $54 billion lifeline from the Swiss National Bank to shore up liquidity and investor confidence.

JPMorgan analysts still said the loan from the SNB would not be enough to soothe investor concerns and 'status quo was no longer an option', leaving a takeover for Credit Suisse - especially by rival bank UBS - as the most likely outcome.

Credit Suisse shares were indicated at 2.3 Swiss francs ($2.48), up 35% from Wednesday's close. 

Posted on: Mar 16 08:14

Credit Suisse shares soared by over 35% on Thursday after the company secured a $54 billion lifeline from the Swiss National Bank to shore up liquidity and investor confidence.

JPMorgan analysts still said the loan from the SNB would not be enough to soothe investor concerns and 'status quo was no longer an option', leaving a takeover for Credit Suisse - especially by rival bank UBS - as the most likely outcome.

Credit Suisse shares were indicated at 2.3 Swiss francs ($2.48), up 35% from Wednesday's close. 

Posted on: Mar 16 08:09

 El Salvador’s government sent 2,000 more suspects to a huge new prison built especially for gang members Wednesday, and the the justice minister vowed that “they will never return” to the streets.

The tough statement came as the administration of President Nayib Bukele asked for yet another extension of an anti-gang emergency measures that would take the crackdown into its 13th month.

Over the last 354 days, about 65,000 people have been arrested in the antigang campaign. Human rights groups say that there have been many instances of prisoner abuses and that innocent people have been swept up in police raids.

The government announced the mass inmate transfer with a slickly produced video posted on social media. It showed prisoners forced to run barefoot and handcuffed down stairways and over bare ground, clad only in regulation white shorts. They were then forced to sit with their legs locked in closely clumped groups in cells.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:08

Americans need to be prepared to eat a lot less beef, because the size of the national cattle herd is steadily shrinking.  And of course this is happening in the context of a much larger crisis.  As I detailed in a previous article, even CNN is admitting that we are currently in the midst of “the worst food crisis in modern history”.  But even though children are literally dropping dead from starvation on the other side of the planet, a lot of people here in the United States refuse to take this crisis seriously.  As long as their stomachs are full they think that everything is just fine.  But the truth is that conditions are also starting to get tight here in the United States.

According to the latest biannual report from the USDA, the number of beef cows in this country has fallen to the lowest level since 1962…

Posted on: Mar 16 08:07

Macgregor: "The last thing Americans need is a war. No more political and military incompetence, ineptitude, corruption. They want an economy that works, and they're not going to stand around and watch the financial system go under. They want real leadership, not a cardboard cutout President."

Posted on: Mar 16 08:06

The US has the lowest life expectancy of all G7 nations, according to an alarming league table.

Seventy years ago people in America could expect to live until they were 68, with the country ranking 13th globally behind the likes of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Although the average person now lives a decade longer than in 1950, progress has stalled compared to other developed nations.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:06

The Biden administration has threatened to ban TikTok in the US unless its Chinese owner sells its shares in the app.

It is the first time the administration has explicitly threatened a ban and represents a shift in its attitude towards the platform, which Republicans have said is a national security threat for the way it harvests data from US citizens.

The demand was made by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States and specifies that TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, sell its stake in the US version of the app.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:04

Pakistan's ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan tells AFP the government wants him behind bars in order to stop him taking part in elections due later this year. Riot police halted an attempt to arrest the 70-year-old former leader and onetime star cricketer, ending a siege of his residence after violent clashes with hundreds of his supporters.

Posted on: Mar 16 08:01

Mr. Hirofumi, Yanagase speaks out:

“Compared to 2021, the number of deaths has increased by more than 140,000. Compared to 2020, the number of deaths has increased by 210,000…the highest number since World War II”

Japan has been flooded with people complaining of feeling ill after receiving the COVID vaccine

“Amazingly, even though more than 2000 people have died after vaccination, more than 99% of these deaths cannot be evaluated”

According to our calculations, the percentage of reported deaths after COVID vaccine is more than 38 times higher in comparison with the flu vaccine

Posted on: Mar 16 08:01

Every cause has its effect; every effect has its cause; everything happens according to law; chance is but a name for law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the law.” —Kybalion

It is no coincidence that within 48 hours, two California commercial banks failed. The not much talked-about Silvergate Capital, a central lender to the crypto industry, declared on March 8, 2023, it would wind down its operations. On March 10, the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), primary lender for tech-startups, collapsed.

SVB was immediately taken over by federal regulators. It is the largest bank failure since the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008. Relatively unknown outside of the Silicon Valley, SVB was the 16th largest US commercial bank with US$ 209 billion in assets at the end of 2022.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has assured SVB insured depositors that they will have access to their full funds within the FDIC-fixed limits of US$ 250,000 per depositor.

However, the FDIC total fund covers only about 2% of the $9.6 trillion in US-insured deposits.

What happens when other banks collapse at the same time and uninformed depositors believe their deposits up to US$ 250,000 are safe? But then find out that they are not?

Posted on: Mar 16 07:59

Our thoughts are with the people of Iraq, who’s country has been literally destroyed by US-NATO.

It’s a hegemonic agenda which consists in transforming countries into territories. 

March 2023 marks 20 years since the US-UK led war on Iraq in 2003. And that war is still ongoing. 

Historically however this war on Iraq did not start in 2003. It was preceded by the so-called “Gulf War” in 1991 (The First War against Iraq)

And in 2014, a Third US led War against Iraq was launched under the banner of Obama’s 2014 “counter-terrorism bombing campaign”.  

It’s permanent warfare. And now Joe Biden is preparing the fourth stage of this war against the people of Iraq.

Posted on: Mar 16 07:58

The problem with both the German reporting and that of The New York Times (whose source was clearly referring to the same data reported by the German reporters) is that the Andromeda narrative doesn’t hold water.

Take, for instance, the Tom Clancy-like tale of derring-do that has four allegedly Ukraine-affiliated divers defy physiology by conducting dives that would require the use of a decompression chamber for them to survive an ascent of 240 feet (the depth of the Nord Stream pipelines that were destroyed). A rule of thumb is that decompression takes approximately one day per 100 feet of seawater plus a day.

This means that the team of divers would have required three days of decompression per dive. But to decompress, one needs a decompression chamber. For a dive involving two divers, the Andromeda would have to have been outfitted with either a two-person Class A decompression chamber, or two single-person Class B chambers, as well as the number of large oxygen bottles needed to operate these chambers over time. \

A simple examination of the interior cabin space of the Bavarian C50 yacht would quickly dispossess one of any notion that either option was viable.

Simply put — no decompression chamber, no dive, no story.

Posted on: Mar 16 07:57

U.N. nuclear watchdog inspectors have found that roughly 2.5 tons of natural uranium have gone missing from a Libyan site that is not under government control, the watchdog told member states in a statement on Wednesday seen by Reuters.

The finding is the result of an inspection originally planned for last year that "had to be postponed because of the security situation in the region" and was finally carried out on Tuesday, according to the confidential statement by International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi.

IAEA inspectors "found that 10 drums containing approximately 2.5 tons of natural uranium in the form of UOC (uranium ore concentrate) previously declared by (Libya) ... as being stored at that location were not present at the location," the one-page statement said.

Posted on: Mar 16 07:54

The 1999 legislation had repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, a pillar of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” which was put in place in response to the climate of corruption, financial manipulation and “insider trading” which led to more than 5,000 bank failures in the years following the 1929 Wall Street crash. 

Effective control over the entire US financial services industry (including insurance companies, pension funds, securities companies, etc.) had been transferred to a handful of financial conglomerates – which are also the creditors and shareholders of high tech companies, the defense industry, major oil and mining consortia, etc.

Moreover, as underwriters of the public debt at federal, state and municipal levels, the financial giants have also reinforced their stranglehold on politicians, as well as their command over the conduct of public policy.

Rather than taming financial markets in the wake of the storm, Washington was busy pushing through the US Senate legislation, which was to significantly increase the powers of the financial services giants and their associated hedge funds.

Posted on: Mar 16 07:53

Let’s pause right here for a moment. This is far from the first time that the CEO of a questionable bank was sitting on the Board of a Federal Reserve Bank. As Citigroup CEO, Sandy Weill, was burying the bank under off balance sheet vehicles that would eventually crater the bank in 2008; send its stock price to 99 cents in early 2009; and require the largest bank bailout by the Fed in U.S. history, Weill was also serving on the Board of Directors of the New York Fed. And while Jamie Dimon was CEO of JPMorgan Chase and it was losing what eventually grew to $6.2 billion of bank depositors’ money in wild derivative bets in London, Dimon was also sitting on the Board of the New York Fed. Even when there was a big public uproar over Dimon’s presence on the New York Fed Board as the London Whale derivatives scandal came to light, Dimon remained in place.

Posted on: Mar 16 07:53