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"'Congress shall make no law respecting an institution of religion.' -- The First Amendment to the Constitution
A Nativity scene (or a Menorah for that matter) is not a law, it is a decoration. And on that basis, even though I myself am an atheist, I do not have a problem with Nativity scenes on government property, other than they are a reminder that those are the people we are bombing to steal their oil.
I do draw the line at the Ten Commandments being on display on government buildings with its prohibitions against lying, theft, and killing, as that clearly is a case of false advertising!" -- Michael Rivero
Leaked secret US documents have revealed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been planning to escalate the current confrontation with Moscow by invading Russian villages, targeting Russia beyond the Donbass and the current conflict zone with longe-range missiles and even blowing up the Druzhba pipeline which provides NATO member Hungary with Russian oil, according to the Washington Post. Kiev’s plans for further exacerbating the crisis cross a number of red lines and should be a problem for Washington too, as US President Biden has already made clear to Zelensky that he and his Western allies want neither “to go to war with Russia” nor “a third world war”. However, paradoxically, the US seems to be pushing for precisely such escalation.
The possible scenarios are quite worrisome. In addition to the aforementioned developments, according to the same leaks, Ukraine was also planning to attack Russian forces in Syria, which would mean making the Eastern European conflict spill into the Middle East and thus risk spiraling out of control across Western Asia and subsequently maybe even the Caucasus, too. Some analysts have already pointed out that the Russian-Ukraine confrontation potentially intersects with the South Caucasus, which is already the stage for today’s Armenian-Azerbaijani war.
According to Pulitzer Prize winner American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh’ report, countries in the region such as Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the Czech Republic, led by Poland are pressuring Zelensky to find a compromise and end the crisis, even by resigning himself if needed.
Common sense and science are gradually prevailing.
Last week, the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board announced it would be revising its current guidelines regarding so-called " gender -affirming care" for minors because it no longer considers them to be evidence-based. The board also acknowledged that the growing number of teenage girls identifying as male post-puberty remains under-studied.
Under the proposed updated guidelines, the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and transition-related surgery would be restricted to research contexts and no longer provided in clinical settings. Norway joins Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom in introducing greater safeguarding for children. In the United States, eight states thus far have banned affirmative care for individuals under 18, with Tennessee being the latest to pass such legislation.
It's good that more professional organizations are recognizing the experimental nature of this approach in children. An existing body of research shows that most kids with gender dysphoria grow to be comfortable in their bodies upon undergoing puberty and that those wishing to transition suddenly post-puberty may be experiencing a social contagion. These studies have been dismissed because they don't fit the preferred activist narrative.
A group of Ukrainian saboteurs attempted to blow up more than 30 supports of high-voltage power lines of Leningrad and Kalinin nuclear power plants. The first of them is located in the Leningrad, and the second one in the Tver region (Central Russia).
If high-voltage power lines had been exploded, the nuclear reactors of the stations would have been shut down. The operation of the nuclear power plants would have been disrupted, FSB said.
Terrorists managed to explode one and mine four power lines of the Leningrad NPP, and also planted improvised explosive devices underneath seven power lines of the Kalinin NPP.
According to the FSB, there were three people in the group. Two of them were detained. The detainees were identified as 45-year-old Alexander Maystruk and 49-year-old Eduard Usatenko, both of them citizens of Ukraine. Another member of the group, 60-year-old Yuri Kishchak, has been put on the wanted list — he is currently in Belgium.
See more at https://english.pravda.ru/news/hotspots/156718-nuclear_power_plants/
The conflict in Ukraine may continue for decades if the very essence of its neo-Nazi government is not eliminated, the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, told reporters during a visit to Vietnam.
"This conflict is for a long time, for decades, maybe. It is a new reality, new living conditions," he said.
He is convinced that if the incumbent Kiev regime remains in power, "there will be, say, three years of truce, two years of conflict and then everything will go over again." "The very essence of the neo-Nazi rule in Kiev needs to be eliminated," he added.
Former US Congressman Ron Paul has said that President Joe Biden’s Ukraine debacle will go down as “one of the greatest foreign policy disasters in US history.”
In an article published on Monday, Dr. Paul, a three-time presidential candidate slammed the Biden administration’s policy on “Project Ukraine,” for which he said Congress has already authorized $100 billion.
“The Biden Administration’s profligate domestic spending is a battleground for Republican lawmakers, however when it comes to endless spending on Project Ukraine, with a few exceptions the two parties are in lockstep,” he wrote.
“One thing is sure: we can count on Congress to throw good money after bad,” he noted.
Dr. Paul the “Project Ukraine” to Washington’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which he said also ended in disaster.
The National Institutes of Health is running a Phase 1 clinical trial on an experimental mRNA universal influenza vaccine developed by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center.
Although the vaccine is only in very early clinical trials, the U.K. government already has committed to a £1 billion deal with Moderna to buy the mRNA vaccines for flu and other respiratory viruses over the next 10 years, John Campbell, Ph.D., reported on his YouTube show.
“This really is quite bizarre in my view,” said Campbell, a retired nurse teacher in England who hosts a popular YouTube show that explains evolving science on COVID-19 and related issues.
“Why don’t we get the trial data first and then think about giving the thousand million pounds [£1 billion]” for the mass manufacture of the vaccines, he asked.
An investigative report released on Thursday has documented survivor testimonies and specified locations of the mass graves where victims of the massacre in the Palestinian village of Tantura are buried.
The victims were killed in ethnic cleansing operations carried out by Zionist militias during the Nakba of 1948.
The report, entitled "Tantura", is the first of its kind, and follows a year and a half of work carried out by human-rights focused investigative group Forensic Architecture, Adalah Legal Centre, and the Tantura People's Committee.
It includes archival materials, oral history maps, an interactive platform, and pictures of the coastal village, which was situated south of Haifa before the Nakba. Four sites believed to hold mass graves have been identified by the report.
Israeli forces punitively blew up the home of slain Palestinian Mutaz Khawaja in the village of Ni’lin, in the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah on Tuesday, May 23. Khawaja’s family home was located on the second floor of an apartment building, and was home to five people. According to Wafa news agency, a large number of Israeli troops raided the village of Ni’lin, sparking confrontations with local residents. Israeli forces reportedly fired live ammunition and tear gas at locals, injuring two people. Khawaja was killed in March 2023 after he carried out a shooting that killed one Israeli and injured at least one other on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv. Israel’s policy of punitive home demolitions have long been criticized by human rights groups as “court sanctioned revenge” against Palestinian families, and a form of collective punishment. Israel claims the policy to be a “deterrent” measure against “terrorism”, but Israeli military officials have previously made recommendations to the government that the practice did not in fact deter attacks against Israelis.
The UAE has become a hub for Russia’s gold trade since western sanctions cut Russia’s traditional export routes and the Emirates positions itself as a neutral player in the Ukraine war.
The Gulf state imported 75.7 tonnes of Russian gold worth $4.3 billion in the year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine - up from just 1.3 tonnes during 2021, according to Russian customs records first reported by Reuters.
China and Turkey were the next biggest destinations, importing about 20 tonnes each between 24 February 2022 and 3 March 2023. Together with the UAE, the three countries accounted for 99.8 percent of Russian gold exports, according to trade data reviewed by Reuters.
The disclosure underlines how states like Turkey and the UAE have become an economic lifeline for Moscow as it faces isolation in the West.
The rising waters came as a relief at first, for both the tiny community living on the islands in the southern Kakhovka Reservoir and for everyone who had feared the low levels risked a meltdown at the nearby Russian-occupied nuclear power plant.
Since mid-February, the water level in the reservoir has steadily increased, according to data from Theia, a French geospatial analytical organisation. An Associated Press analysis of satellite imagery showed the water has now risen so high that it is washing over the top of the damaged Russian-occupied dam downstream.
The waves first covered the natural shoreline, and then submerged the marsh grasses. Next, they came for Lyudmila Kulachok’s garden, then Ihor Medyunov’s guest room. The wild boars fled for higher ground, replaced by waterfowl. Medyunov’s four dogs have an ever-smaller patch of grass to roam, and Kulachok serves meals on a picnic table sloshing through the murk in waders.
Sens. Ted Budd, Thom Tillis and seven other lawmakers demanded answers Wednesday on why their constituents continue to die from Camp Lejeune’s toxic waters while the Department of Justice and the Navy refuses to settle their claims.
On Wednesday, the lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and Attorney General Merrick Garland voicing concerns about delays in settling claims and lawsuits filed by veterans, military personnel and their families affected by toxic waters on the base in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
“It is imperative that the Navy Judge Advocate General and Department of Justice act expeditiously to ensure these individuals receive the justice they deserve without undue delay,” the lawmakers wrote.
On May 22, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the country may be unable to service its debt by June 1 unless Congress raises its ceiling or suspends it. In turn, President Joe Biden ruled out the declaration of default. At the same time, despite all the predictions of doom and gloom, the US could benefit from a default, especially to wreak havoc on the international economy and competitors.
In the US, the amount of public debt is limited by law. Currently, it has reached $31.4 trillion. It is up to the US Congress to raise the national debt ceiling, but this year the issue became a major contention between Republicans and Democrats. The Republican party, with a majority in the House of Representatives, set a condition: it will vote to raise the ceiling if the Democratic government accepts significant cuts in budget spending.
Specifically, the Republicans propose cutting tax credits for the purchase of electric cars and the installation of solar panels, as well as reducing public spending on the repayment of educational loans. For Democrats, if they want to win the 2024 presidential election on their terms, these conditions are unacceptable.
During the G7 summit held from 19 to 21 May in Japan, US President Joe Biden gave permission for other countries to deliver F-16 fighter jets - manufactured by the U.S. company Lockheed Martin- to Ukraine.
As Statista's Martin Armstrong notes, the "historic" decision, welcomed by Ukrainian President Zelensky, the delivery of these planes developed in the 1970s and currently used by 25 countries, had so far been blocked by Washington.
If these deliveries become a reality, it would allow Kiev to replenish its air combat capabilities, after the loss of about 60 of the roughly 100 combat aircraft it had at the beginning of the Russian invasion.
A senior ally of President Vladimir Putin warned on Friday that the West was seriously underestimating the risk of a nuclear war over Ukraine, cautioning that Russia would launch a pre-emptive strike if Ukraine gets nuclear weapons.
Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine has triggered the deadliest European conflict since World War II and the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Russia, which has more nuclear weapons than any other state, has repeatedly said the West is engaged in a proxy war with Russia over Ukraine that could escalate into a much bigger conflict.
Japan scrambled fighter jets Thursday after Russian “intelligence-gathering” aircraft were detected off its coasts along the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan, the country’s Joint Staff said.
One Russian aircraft traveled from Japan’s north down along part of its west coast, while the other took a similar route along the opposite coast and returned the same way, the Joint Staff said in a brief statement.
“In response, fighters of the Air Self-Defense Force’s Northern Air Force and other units were scrambled,” it added.
There was no further information on the incident, which comes days after Japan hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 in Hiroshima.
Vietnam on Thursday accused a Chinese survey vessel and its escorts of violating its sovereignty, and demanded that Beijing remove the ships from its waters.
Vietnam and China have long been embroiled in a territorial dispute over a potentially energy-rich stretch in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway through which more than $3 trillion of commerce passes annually.
"Vietnam demands that China immediately remove the survey ship Xiang Yang Hong 10, Chinese coast guard ships and fishing vessels out of Vietnam's waters," foreign ministry spokesperson Pham Thu Hang said in a government statement.
"Vietnam has made contact with China several times and implemented measures in accordance with international law and Vietnamese law to ensure lawful and legitimate rights and interests of Vietnam," the statement added.
With the acrid smell of burning tyres hanging in the air, Conakry resident Mariame Diallo pointed to blood splatters on a wall where she said her teenage brother was shot at close range during a protest in the capital against Guinea’s military government on May 11.
“I will never forgive those who killed him,” she said between bouts of quiet crying.
Clutching a bag of blood-soaked clothes that she hopes will be used for a police investigation that has yet to begin, she recalled how her apprentice brother, Boubacar, fearing the anti-government demonstrations, stayed at home, only to be shot dead by police in front of the family house.
A spokesman for the Guinean government did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comments on Thursday.
A study published Wednesday revealed that Seoul, South Korea, lost one in ten of its pediatric clinics in the last five years, a dramatic reduction largely attributed to the nation’s catastrophically low birth rate.
South Korea has the world’s lowest fertility rate as of 2022: 0.78 children per woman throughout her childbearing years, down from 0.81 in 2021 and well below the 2.1 children per mother demographers believe necessary for any country to maintain its current population.
A study published last year suggested that South Korea will lose over half its population by 2100 if fertility rates remain as they currently are. South Korea is believed to currently be home to about 52 million people.
Tuesday, during an appearance on FNC’s “Hannity,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) warned the FBI and IRS were trying to suppress the whistleblowers who had stepped forward about how the Hunter Biden investigation was handled.
“Congressman Jordan, let me start with you,” host Sean Hannity said. “All right. So, first, we have — I thought we had whistleblower protection laws in this country, and I also thought that Democrats love to even hearsay whistleblowers, but they only apparently like whistleblowers if they’re going after Donald Trump. We now have allegations by both FBI whistleblowers and IRS whistleblowers that they’re not being protected by the laws in this country and that the retaliation has taken place. What can you tell us about it?”
“No, they’re trying to cross him, and you’re exactly right, Sean. It was an anonymous whistleblower who was behind the whole impeachment of President Trump a few years ago,” Jordan replied. “So they’re trying to crush these guys because they’re coming forward and not only tell us about the double standard in the attack on President Trump but the attack on we the people. That’s the scariest part of all. But if you step back and think about this double standard for a second, Sean, think about this, seven years ago, it was Jim Comey, Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok who went after President Trump and his campaign with no probable cause, no predicate, no evidence whatsoever. Mr. Durham told us that this past week.”
Business Insider reports that the recent layoffs at Facebook (now known as Meta) have caused a wave of confusion and tension among the remaining employees, with some reportedly making up their own tasks or skipping work because of unclear instructions.
On Wednesday, the latest round of layoffs at Facebook began with 21,000 workers expected to be affected. Despite CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s declaration of a “Year of Efficiency,” this decision has left a void of clarity among the remaining staff.
The current layoffs represent the third and supposedly final phase of the company’s most recent downsizing initiative. The tech and recruiting divisions have already laid off over 4,000 workers, and the business division is expected to lay off an additional 5,000 workers. This comes after a previous round of layoffs in November that led to the dismissal of 11,000 workers, or 13 percent of the company’s entire workforce.
The Gateway Pundit previously reported in May that then Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, along with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, filed a lawsuit (Missouri v. Biden) against the Biden Administration, including Biden himself, Anthony Fauci, the Department of Homeland Security, and nearly a dozen federal agencies and Secretaries. Schmitt has moved on to represent Missouri in the US Senate.
The suit alleges a massive coordinated effort by the Deep State (permanent administrative state) to work with Big Tech to censor and manipulate Americans – from average citizens to news outlets – on issues including the Hunter Biden Laptop from Hell, 2020 Election Integrity, COVID-19 origin and extent skepticism, COVID-19 vaccine skepticism, among other issues.
The Walt Disney Co. has reportedly begun laying off personnel overseas as it continues to eliminate jobs at home, with an additional 2,500 U.S. workers receiving pink slips this week.
Disney began notifying around 100 overseas workers this week that their jobs are at risk of elimination, according to a Deadline report. The staff are based in London and across the EMEA region — or Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The number of impacted workers is expected to be proportionate to the number of U.S. layoffs.
Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ethiopia’s Tigray region staged massive demonstrations on Tuesday to protest delays in returning to their homes, the continued presence of hostile tribal militia forces on their lands, and the suspension of humanitarian aid.
President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that he will nominate Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown Jr. to serve as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
At a White House ceremony, Biden described Brown as “a warrior descended from a proud line of warriors,” noting that Brown’s father served as an Army colonel in Vietnam and his grandfather was an Army master sergeant who led a segregated unit during World War II.
“No matter how complicated the mission, from helping build and lead the coalition now more than 80 nations strong to counter ISIS threats in the Middle East, to positioning our Air Force for the future in the Indo-Pacific, Gen. Brown has built a reputation across the force as an unflappable and highly effective leader, and someone who creates an environment of teamwork, trust, and executes with excellence,” Biden said.
Biden also praised Brown for his ethos while serving as Air Force chief of staff: Accelerate change or lose.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are enjoying millions in taxpayer-funded grants to facilitate illegal immigration throughout the United States, Reps. Lance Gooden (R-TX) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) say.
In a letter to the National Board of Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), Gooden and Jordan demanded a full accounting for all taxpayer-funded grants that have been awarded to NGOs.
“The surge of illegal immigration, fueled in part by NGOs like those on the EFSP National Board is unsustainable and unfair to law-abiding citizens and immigrants alike,” Gooden said in a statement.
The EFSP was initially created to help homeless Americans.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) should not resign from office despite her health travails. So says twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who has cautioned her to stay on in the face of Republicans who would seek to block Democrats from filling a vacancy on the Judiciary Committee and stall President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees.
“Here’s the dilemma: The Republicans will not agree to add someone else to the Judiciary Committee if she retires,” Clinton laid out to Time magazine Monday during an interview with Charlotte Alter at the Chicago Humanities Festival.
“I want you to think about how crummy that is. So I don’t know what’s in her heart about whether she really would or wouldn’t, but right now, she can’t. Because if we’re going to get judges confirmed, which is one of the most important continuing obligations that we have, then we cannot afford to have her seat vacant.”
New figures show the German economy suffered an unexpected dip in the first quarter of this year, putting the country formally into recession.
Data released Thursday by the Federal Statistical Office shows Germany’s gross domestic product, or GDP, down by 0.3% in the period from January to March. This follows a drop of 0.5% in Europe’s biggest economy during the last quarter of 2022. Two consecutive quarters of decline constitute a technical recession.
The figures are a blow to the German government, which last month boldly doubled its growth forecast for this year after a feared winter energy crunch failed to materialize. It said GDP will grow by 0.4% – up from a 0.2% expansion predicted in late January – a forecast that may now need to be revised downward.
Economists said high inflation hit consumer spending, with prices in April 7.2% higher than a year ago.