"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem." -- Howard Zinn, debate versus Charles Frankel - 1970
Bloomberg reports that Ghana, Africa’s second-largest gold producer, ordered large mining companies to sell 20% of the metal they refine to the nation’s central bank, as the government embarks on a plan to barter bullion for fuel.- Source
Reuters adds: If implemented as planned for the first quarter of 2023, the new policy "will fundamentally change our balance of payments and significantly reduce the persistent depreciation of our currency," Vice President Bawumia said. "The barter of gold for oil represents a major structural change," he added.
This comes at a time when debt ridden Ghana is struggling to make payments and is in the middle of a renegotiation with the IMF to those ends. Here are some thoughts on The Ghana Gold announcement. Why it is good for Gold, what some bears are saying, and one risk worth noting.
The blowing up of Nord Stream (NS) and Nord Stream 2 (NS2) – everybody knows who did it, but the suspect cannot be named – took to the next level the two-pronged imperial project of cutting off cheap Russian energy from Europe and destroying the German economy.
From the imperial perspective, the ideal subplot is the emergence of a US-controlled Intermarium – from the Baltic and the Adriatic to the Black Sea – led by Poland, exercising some sort of new hegemony in Europe, on the heels of the Three Seas Initiative.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted new rules on Nov. 25 that will prohibit the import or sale of Chinese communications equipment deemed to pose an unacceptable risk to national security.
The new rules will bar equipment from Chinese telecom firms Huawei and ZTE from being imported into or sold in the United States. The order will also prohibit telecommunications equipment and video surveillance equipment produced by Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua, as well as the companies’ subsidiaries or affiliates
This fall, the New York City Department of Education initiated a partnership with the consulate of the Dominican Republic to address a shortage in bilingual educators in the City’s public schools. The program allows Dominican teachers to qualify for cultural exchange visas with a commitment to teach in the city.
The current size of the British Army is only sufficient if its goal is to “stay at home and tootle around,” Britain’s Defense Secretary Ben Wallace warned on Thursday.
Speaking to The Times newspaper following a meeting in Oslo with Allied counterparts on-board the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, the U.K. defense minister urged for the country’s defense to be properly funded amid concerns of future cutbacks of personnel.
“If we just want to stay at home and do a bit of tootling around, we’ve got an armed forces big enough,” Wallace told the newspaper, explaining that Britain’s “international alliance of 30 people,” otherwise known as NATO, continued to act as Britain’s military deterrent.
Protests in China over President Xi Jinping's zero-tolerance Covid-19 measures have intensified - expanding from Beijing and the far western Xinjiang region to several other major cities, including Wuhan, Shanghai, and the eastern city of Nanjing, according to video and photos circulating on social media.
The weekend protests followed Friday demonstrations in Urumqi, the capitol of Xinjiang, after a deadly fire killed residents who were locked inside following lockdowns which have lasted more than 100 days. Officials have reported 10 deaths in the fire, however citizens have reported up to 40 who perished.
According to local sources, the Turkish bombardment – although ongoing – has decreased significantly as of the last few days. The sources added that this is due to the current US mediation between Turkey and the Kurdish militant group. "Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar received the US ambassador, Jeffry L. Flake, at the ministry’s headquarters in Ankara," the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement on 24 November, without further clarification.
had the ability to accept a detachable magazine and possessed two of the following five features: (1) a folding or telescopic stock; (2) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon; (3) a bayonet mount; (4) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; or (5) a grenade launcher.
This definition permits some adjustments to be made to rifles, such as an AR-15, that would make them completely legal (or “compliant”). Rifles that comply must have a fixed stock. Stocks cannot be telescopic or folding. A pistol grip is incompatible with a compliant rifle. Compliant rifles typically have a stock that has additional material added to it, so the pistol grip is attached to the stock or is extended far enough to prevent the shooter from wrapping around it with their thumb. The maximum number of rounds the rifle’s magazine can hold is 10. Any more than that is regarded as a high-capacity magazine. The rifle may not have a flash suppressor.
Many creative minds have discovered countless ways to transform basic AR-style rifles into completely compliant weapons. Today, several states have their own assault weapons bans with similar or identical provisions as the 1994 federal ban. In these states, the ownership of AR-15s and such is not at all uncommon. The same went for gun owners during the federal ban from 1994–2004.
The reality of compliant assault weapons is a strong indicator that the assault weapons ban did not work, outside of some inconveniences for gun owners. Any owner could easily convert a compliant rifle into a fully functional (and illegal) one using minimal tools and labor. And many, including mass shooters, take advantage of this. The 1994 ban led to a sharp increase in the demand for assault weapons, which initially increased prices. But after an increase in production, prices began to fall to their previous state. A 2002 study showed:
In the short-term, the federal AW ban reduced the availability of AWs to criminal users by increasing the cost of these weapons in primary and, presumably, secondary markets. However, the ban also stimulated production increases for AWs and legal substitute models, resulting in a post-ban decline in prices.
After markets had ignored for months the rising tension between China's artificial Covid Zero lockdowns - which are there not to protect the economy from covid as even the wokest mask-breathers realize by now that the latest diluted iteration of Wuhan's most infamous export is no different than the flu...
Zelensky's decree on mobilization does not apply to Ukraine's western regions. For example, only 40 men were called up in Ivano-Frankivsk, and 30 — in Lviv.
It is mainly Russian-speaking citizens that go to the front as a result of the total mobilization in south-eastern Ukraine. Kyiv considers them to be potentially dangerous thus tries to destroy them in the hostilities, the source told the news agency.
On November 16, the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) extended martial law and general mobilization in Ukraine for 90 days, until February 19, 2023.
Anna Malyar, deputy head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, said that the authorities of the republic did not plan to conduct a new wave of mobilization, since "there is no need for new soldiers, and the situation at the front remains stable." She did not rule out that the Armed Forces of Ukraine may need more people in the future.
On November 17, it was reported that the Armed Forces of Ukraine were planning to mobilize citizens of military age in Kherson and on the right bank of the Dnieper.
See more at https://english.pravda.ru/news/hotspots/154909-ukraine_mobilisation/
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, speaking at an economic forum in Berlin, said that happy times for the West were over.
The head of the German government means stable economic growth and low inflation.
It is the growth of Asian economies that appears to be the real cause of the economic crisis in Europe, the German chancellor said. The coronavirus pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine could only catalyse those trends. They did not trigger the crisis that the EU found itself in.
Olaf Scholz did not mean the Chinese economy alone. Asian countries have been producing cheap goods for European, North American and Chinese markets for decades, Scholz said. The level of average purchasing power in Asia has grown significantly during those years.
Nowadays, Asian countries have become competitors in the field of energy, raw materials, and technologies, the German chancellor said.
See more at https://english.pravda.ru/world/154876-scholz_happy_times/
Western countries have begun to feel the approaching consequences of the aid provided to Ukraine, Guardian columnist Simon Tisdall wrote.
According to him, a "huge humanitarian and migration crisis" is coming to Europe, which will challenge every EU member. In many European cities, people are protesting against anti-Russian sanctions. The negative consequences of the conflict in Ukraine are beginning to affect Western countries, and Kiev risks losing support, the journalist said. "But it's only November. The worst winter for everyone is still ahead," he warned.
As the observer noted, the pace of arms supplies and loans to Ukraine is already slowing down. The West is depleting its weapons stocks, and the supply of more modern samples is "limited by production problems."
Numerous Chinese-language accounts, some dormant for months or years, came to life early Sunday and started spamming the service with links to escort services and other adult offerings alongside city names.
The result: For hours, anyone searching for posts from those cities and using the Chinese names for the locations would see pages and pages of useless tweets instead of information about the daring protests as they escalated to include calls for Communist Party leaders to resign.
In comments to POLITICO, a senior EU official said, “The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the US because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons.”
The US-led sanctions campaign on Russia has backfired on Europe as it has ratcheted up energy prices to the point where Europeans may face blackouts this winter. On top of the energy situation, European leaders also fear they will lose out on investments due to unprecedented subsidies included in the US’s Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed into law in August.
Two-thirds of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have depleted their stockpiles by sending weapons to Kiev, according to an alliance official. Even larger NATO states are struggling to meet the demands of Ukraine’s war effort.
The New York Times reported on Sunday the North Atlantic alliance is struggling to meet Kiev’s battlefield needs. According to one NATO official, 20 out of 30 members are “pretty tapped out” regarding their ability to supply Ukraine with additional weapons. While larger states like the US, France, Germany, and Italy have the ability to arm Ukraine, those governments have also resisted sending specific weapons systems requested by Kiev.
Ukraine has sought long-range surface-to-surface missiles known as ATACMS from Washington. However, the White House has rebuffed the request out of concerns the munitions could be used to hit Russian territory.
Part of the cause of the dwindling arms supply is the massive demand for artillery. Currently, Ukrainian forces are firing thousands of rounds daily, but the US can only produce 15,000 rounds per month. Camille Grand, a defense expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told NYT, “[a] day in Ukraine is a month or more in Afghanistan.”
The shocking success of the racist-fascist party Religious Zionism in the Israel election three weeks ago has caused an earthquake inside the pro-Israel lobby in the United States. And that earthquake has allowed Joe Biden to take unprecedented –for him– baby-steps to confront the Israeli government.
In fact, the Biden administration appears to be scripted by J Street, which is trying to replace AIPAC in the Israel lobby as the true representative of American Jews.
There’s a lot to unpack there. Let’s review the sequence.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on 26 November that large reinforcements of US military troops and equipment made their way into northern and eastern Syria, coming in from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) through the illegal Al-Waleed border crossing.
“These reinforcements consist of about 100 trucks, which crossed the city of Qamishli and headed towards US bases in Tal Baidar and Qasrak, south of Hasakah,” the SOHR said.
According to the SOHR, this is the sixth US military convoy to enter northern and eastern Syria this month, “coinciding with the Turkish ground and air escalation in those areas.”
It added that the previous day, on 25 November, reinforcements were also seen entering areas under the control of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia, under the supervision of coalition troops.
Before Fulla al-Masalmeh, a 15 year-old autistic girl from the West Bank town of El Bireh, was shot to death by IDF soldiers about two weeks ago, she was missing for hours.
Masalmeh was shot while riding in a car driven by a 26-year-old Palestinian, Anas Hassouna. According to the army, the driver sped up toward the soldiers and in response, they opened fire at the vehicle.
Hassouna, who was also wounded in the incident, was arrested. He denied that he had sped up toward the soldiers, and was released from custody a few days later, when the army could not conclude that he intended to perpetrate a terror attack.
New York City pharmaceutical heiress Annabella Rockwell is claiming that her mother paid a $300-a-day "deprogrammer" after believing her daughter had been "brainwashed" by attending an all-female elite liberal college that left the young woman "totally indoctrinated" and estranged from the parents who raised her.
"I left school very anxious, very nervous, very depressed and sad," Rockwell, now 29, recently told the New York Post. "I saw everything through the lens of oppression and bias and victimhood. I came to the school as someone who saw everyone equally. I left looking for injustice wherever I could and automatically assuming that all White men were sexist. My thoughts were no longer my own."
Rockwell, a former competitive figure skater who grew up on the Upper East Side, told the Post that at first she was elated to attend Mount Holyoke College — a $60,000-a-year women’s institution in rural Massachusetts — in 2011.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said that the Jan. 6 committee will have to "scrub" some evidence from its final report before Republicans take over the House next year.
In an appearance on CNN's State of the Union, Schiff discussed the activities of the House Jan. 6 committee, on which he sits. CNN host Dana Bash reminded Schiff that Ohio Republican Jim Jordan will be made head of the Judiciary Committee in a few months and has promised to go through all the evidence left out of the final report. Asking if all evidence will be made public, Schiff insisted there will be transparency — to a point.
"The evidence will all be made public," Schiff said. "Now, we will have to make sure that we scrub that evidence for personally identifiable information, that the evidence that we provide protects people's security, it doesn't put them at risk. So, there are things that we're going to have to do along those lines."
The finance world has been rocked by the sudden and unexpected death of a young crypto founder at the age of just 30.
Tiantian Kullander, the co-founder of Hong Kong-based digital asset company Amber Group, died in his sleep on November 23, with the news confirmed on the company’s website “with the deepest sadness and a heavy heart”.
Kullander, known affectionately as “TT,” launched Amber in 2017 with a group of finance insiders, including former Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley workers.
In a clip posted by Inside the Classroom, Jill Biden said, "You turn down the news on the TV telling you about people who want to stop you from doing your job. And you put your shoulders back and you just go out and focus on your students. There is so much weight on all of you, but you carry it. Our schools are where policies become people."
Thousands of migrants are camped out in Mexico, waiting to rush the United States-Mexico border when the Title 42 public health authority — used to quickly remove illegal aliens — ends in a few weeks at the request of President Joe Biden’s administration.
This month, a federal judge struck down Title 42 — the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) authority first imposed by former President Trump in 2020 to allow Border Patrol agents to quickly remove illegal aliens arriving at the southern border.
Rather than appealing the judge’s decision, Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asked the court for five weeks to wind down Title 42.
As a result, reports indicate that thousands of migrants are waiting in Juarez, Mexico, as well as Tijuana, Mexico, in camps for Title 42 to end in the coming weeks so they can get their chance to rush the southern border.
But Biden's distance underscores a contradiction between his words and actions as he attributes his performance and agenda as president, in part, to Democrats holding on to the Senate and limiting Republican gains in the House.
After Democrats in competitive midterm elections dissociated from Biden amid poor approval ratings and a sputtering economy, the president continues to be a proverbial albatross around Warnock's neck, according to University of Georgia politics professor Charles Bullock.
"Republicans blame Biden for inflation, out-of-control immigration, rampant crime, and high taxes that will crush Georgia’s middle class," Bullock told the Washington Examiner. "Since, according to GOP ads, Warnock votes with Biden 96% of the time, the senator is an accomplice. The last thing that Warnock wants is to be seen standing beside Biden, which would reinforce the GOP ads that claim Biden and Warnock are working in unison."
The US trade and tech wars against China continued under President Joe Biden, who escalated export controls related to technology. The US wants to cut China’s access to advanced semiconductors and the equipment used to manufacture them in order to prevent their use for military purposes. The restrictions follow the CHIPS and Science Act, passed in August 2022 which showers $52 billion in subsidies on the US chip industry and grants over $200 billion in additional research and development (R&D) and science funding.
The alleged purpose of the US protectionist moves is to strengthen “national security” as revealed by the recent strategy, which singles out China as the main challenger to the world order upheld by the US. President Biden warned that the US faces a “decisive decade” in its rivalry with China in order to preserve a long-term competitive edge. Yet, a deeper analysis shows that the US policy is rather meant to contain China’s overall technological and economic progress. It also reveals the US government intentions to depart further from free-market solutions to bolster its economy, which reduces economic welfare and stokes the risk of military confrontation down the road.
Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party has signed its first coalition deal with Itamar Ben-Gvir's Jewish Power party as it seeks to build a new Israeli government with far-right parties following elections earlier this month.
The agreement, which would only come into effect if Likud reaches similar deals with other parties in order to secure a parliamentary majority in the Knesset, would see Ben-Gvir appointed to the new role of "minister of national security", with significantly extended powers.
Jewish Power will also receive the Negev and Galilee Development Ministry and the Jewish Heritage Ministry, according to the terms of the deal with Likud.
The Arab48 website said the deal between Netanyahu and Ben-Gvir was likely made to put pressure on Bezalel Smotrich's far-right party Religious Zionism party, an ally of Ben-Gvir, to give up some of his demands to join the coalition.