July 8 was a muggy day in the ancient capital of Japan. Shinzo Abe, the most powerful figure in Japanese politics, was delivering a stump speech for a local Liberal Democratic Party candidate in front of the Nara Kintetsu railway station when suddenly a loud bang rang out, followed by an odd cloud of smoke.
The response was incredible. Among those in the unusually large crowd gathered, not a single person ran for cover, or hit the ground in terror.
Abe’s body guards, who stood unusually far away from him during the speech, looked on impassively, making no effort to shield him, or to pull him to a safe location.
A few seconds later, Abe crumpled and collapsed to the ground, lying there impassive in his standard blue jacket, white shirt, now speckled with blood, and trademark blue badge of solidarity with Japanese abductees in North Korea. Most likely he was killed instantaneously.
Only then did the body guards seize the suspect, Yamagami Toruya, who was standing behind Abe. The tussle with Yamagami took the form of a choreographed dance for the television audience, not a professional takedown.
Yamagami was immediately identified by the media as a 41-year-old former member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force who had personal grievances with Abe.
Yamagami told everything to the police without hesitation. He did not even try to run from the scene and was still holding the silly hand-made gun when the bodyguards grabbed him.
Even after Abe was lying on the pavement, not a single person in the crowd ran for shelter, or even looked around to determine where the shots came from. Everyone seemed to know, magically, that the shooting was over.
On Thursday, January 5, Israeli forces shot and killed Amer Abu Zaytoun, 16, from Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. Abu Zaytoun is the fourth Palestinian and the third minor to be killed this year, a continuation of last year’s lethal military campaign, Operation Break the Wave.
In 2022, 173 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank at the hands of soldiers and settlers, making it the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005.
Thames Water has today published an interactive map showing sewage dumping via storm overflows in real-time, after pressure from environmental campaigners. The scale of current failings in the system is pretty remarkable, with Thames Water saying the move shows they are “absolutely committed to protecting and enhancing our rivers.”
Naturally, Guido thought to check locally and see the state of SW1’s waterways. It turns out that the storm overflow on Horseferry Road has been pouring sewage into the Thames for nine hours now, starting at 6.45am.
In the ongoing drama of the Republican majority selecting a new Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, only a handful of the GOP members in the newly installed 118th Congress seem to be in tune with the vast majority of American conservatives.
While former House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California has long been favored by the D.C. Republican leadership to replace outgoing Democrat Nancy Pelosi, many grassroots conservatives fear that McCarthy is a creature of the D.C. swamp rather than a disrupter who is ready, willing, and able to bring much needed change to the legislative body.
So far, McCarthy has lost on six consecutive roll-call votes, with more votes scheduled for today.
Mounting pressure is being placed the 20 or so holdouts, not only from Elon Musk (who recently expressed support for McCarthy on Twitter) but also from Fox News anchor Sean Hannity. But other prominent Republicans and conservative activists have countered those moves by writing a letter of support for those who are resisting McCarthy.
Dr. Robert W. Malone, a disruptor in his own right, warned yesterday that McCarthy appears to be beholden not only to the entrenched D.C. duopoly, but outside the borders of this country to giant multinational corporations and the World Economic Forum (WEF), which embraces an array of anti-human policies and is the driving force behind the global elites’ plan for a “Great Reset.”
A professional football player who argued that refusing COVID jabs should be illegal has died suddenly.
38-year-old Uche Nwaneri, who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the National Football League (NFL) and called for the imprisonment of those who refused to take the COVID-19 vaccines, was found dead in his wife’s home in Lafayette, Indiana on December 30.
Nwaneri was found “unresponsive in a bedroom” by his wife at “about 1 a.m. Friday,” according to a local news report. An initial autopsy report “indicated there were no signs of foul play” and that “preliminary results indicate a possible heart attack, pending toxicology results.”
As with all military conflicts, it is rarely the case that the outside observer knows the “whole story.” Regarding Russia and Ukraine, the story is more complicated than news-cycle soundbites can give justice to.
The recent Eastern European conflict has many layers to it, and one of those might the West’s hatred of traditional Biblical morality, which is manifesting itself in a knee-jerk reactionary position against Russia and for Ukraine. A tweet by the top spy in the UK alleges that LGBT issues are at the heart of the matter, and, a recent sermon by the Patriarch of Moscow makes essentially the same claim, only from the other side.
Before I continue, nothing that I will write in this piece is to suggest that Vladimir Putin is a good man, or that Volodymyr Zelensky is a good man, or that Putin is a bad man with a bad country, or that Zelensky is a good man with a good country.
It is possible to support innocent civilians who are harmed by military action, while at the same time not taking a side in favor of further military action, reactionary or otherwise.
Webmaster addition: Oh yes, this is a war over LGBTQ rights. Send them to fight!
Some three centuries ago, Voltaire visited the Netherlands. Guess what? This French Enlightenment thinker and staunch defender of the freedom of expression did not have a high opinion of that country. He said there were just canaux, canards, canailles, meaning canals, ducks and scoundrels. The French word canard not only translates as "duck,” but it also means what today is called "fake news.”
Three centuries later, nothing much has changed. The canals are still there, in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden, Delft and elsewhere, to the delight of foreign tourists. The news media almost exclusively carry fake news, and the country is being run by a bunch of desperate scoundrels: the junta led by Mark Rutte.
Of course, like the rest of the EU and European NATO states, the Rutte junta is neither independent nor sovereign. It enjoys no more independence than the current "Belinsky” (according to Joe Biden) regime in the Ukraine. That is, like Zelensky, Rutte has to carry out orders from Washington DC, either directly or through the EU Commission at Brussels and the World Economic Forum at Davos. So far, Rutte has served his foreign masters rather well. In 2011 he ordered the Netherlands Air Force to take part in the rape of Libya and the massacre of at least 60,000 Libyan civilians. In 2014 his government helped carry out the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, killing almost 200 Dutch citizens. And it must be said the subsequent show of bringing home the bodies of the victims in a grand procession and burying them in an ugly graveyard adorned with kitschy symbolism, followed by setting up a kangaroo court for the trial of the alleged perpetrators (Russians, of course!), all of that must truly have been to the taste of the overlords in Washington.
Similarly, Rutte has performed well in leading the roll-out of the local edition of Bill Gates' great Covid-show. He also duly broke open the Dutch market for US-based big pharma, presiding over the programmed killing off of thousands of Dutch citizens, as well as the transformation of medical doctors into authorized drug pushers. So far, so good.
On Wednesday, Massachusetts State Police released a statement following the sudden deaths of three officers within four days last December 2022.
Three active-duty Law Enforcement Officers, Officer John F. Santos (25) of The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department, Officer Sean Besarick (48) of the Brockton Police Department, and Officer Christopher A. Davis (42) of the Stoughton Police Department died suddenly last week.
Read the statement below:
This week has been a difficult one in the Massachusetts Law Enforcement community.
Three active-duty Law Enforcement Officers, all from South Shore communities, passed away suddenly within the last seven days.
One of whom, 25-year-old Officer John F. Santos of The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department, would have been a member of the Massachusetts State Police 88th Recruit Training Troop. He would have undoubtedly served a long and distinguished career with this department.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered Russian forces to implement a unilateral ceasefire for Orthodox Christmas beginning at noon on Friday and lasting through Saturday, but Ukrainian officials have rejected the idea of a truce.
Putin’s order came after the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, called on both sides to stop fighting for Orthodox Christmas, which is celebrated on January 7.
“Taking into account the appeal of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I instruct the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation to introduce a ceasefire regime along the entire line of contact of the parties in Ukraine from 12:00 on January 6, 2023, to 24:00 on January 7, 2023,” Putin’s order reads.
The Israeli army has informed Palestinian officials of their imminent plans to forcibly displace more than 1,000 Palestinian residents, including some 500 children, in the Masafer Yatta area of the southern occupied West Bank, according to human rights organisations and Palestinians in Masafer Yatta.
The Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) had green-lit the plan in May 2022, in a decision that concluded a legal battle the residents waged for more than 20 years against their displacement.
Kiev forces have reportedly begun using Bonus artillery cluster rounds against Russian troops in the special military operation zone in Ukraine.
On January 4, Russian sources shared photos showing an undetonated submunition of a Bonus round that was found on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
The cluster round was jointly developed by Bofors of Sweden and Nexter of France to provide a long-range, indirect fire, top attack capability against armoured vehicles. The development began in 1985 and the round entered production in the early 1990s.
The Bonus is a 155 mm NATO artillery round that consists of a 47-kilogram heavy artillery projectile containing two autonomous, sensor-fused, fire-and-forget submunitions.
The Famous-class medium endurance USCGC Spencer arrived in Praia, Cabo Verde for a scheduled port visit, Jan. 2, 2023.
This port visit marks the first stop for Spencer, while employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) area of operations. Spencer’s visit to Praia demonstrates NAVAF and the U.S. Coast Guard’s commitment and longstanding partnership to work with our African partners…in the Atlantic Ocean. During the port visit, Spencer will embark maritime counterparts from Cabo Verde, Senegal and The Gambia.
We don’t need the crystal ball to bet on the next crisis in North Africa. The growing tension between Morocco and Algeria will add to the Libyan chaos and the institutional collapse of Tunisia. With a third wheel: Israel. Tel Aviv has become a strategic partner of Rabat and for Algeria this situation is becoming a factor of national security.
Since the summer of 2021, Algeria has unilaterally severed diplomatic relations with Morocco, accusing the Moroccan kingdom of “hostile acts”. Rabat contests this decision which it deems completely unjustified. The main dispute between the two Maghreb countries concerns the territory of Western Sahara. The status of this former Spanish colony, considered a “non-autonomous territory” by the United Nations, has pitted Morocco against the Saharawi separatists of the Polisario Front, supported by Algiers, since the 1970s. Rabat, which controls almost 80 percent of this territory, supports an autonomy plan under its sovereignty. Instead, Polisario is calling for a self-determination referendum under the aegis of the UN. In the background is also the Palestine dossier: Algeria supports the Palestinian cause and judges Morocco’s growing cooperation, especially in the military sphere, with the “Zionist entity”, i.e. Israel, as extremely negative.
At the end of 2022, the King of Morocco Mohammed VI attempted to defuse tensions, inviting the President of Algeria, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, to Rabat for a “dialogue session”. But that meeting never took place.
Has the Marvel Cinematic Universe already seen its best days?
According to a recent poll on Twitter, not only do some fans believe that, a rather sizable chunk of fans believe it.
First, the poll in question, which you can see here:
You need a Twitter account to vote, but should you partake in that poll, you’ll see that (as of this writing) of the 53,000 votes cast, roughly 77 percent voted “Yes” and a mere 23 percent said “No.”
While there is still nearly a full day left on the poll, it’s hard to see that poll creeping back to anything close to 50-50.
Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev believes that Kiev has rejected ‘the hand of Christian mercy’ by refusing Moscow's proposed Christmas truce. However, according to him, this situation will pose ‘less trouble and slyness’ to the Russian armed forces.
"A hand of Christian mercy was extended to the Ukrainians on the great holiday (Christmas, which is celebrated in Russia on January 7 - TASS). Their (Kiev’s - TASS) leaders rejected it. I think most of our servicemen taking part in the special military operation exhaled when they heard the refusal <...> to cease fire on Christmas Day. Less problems and slyness," the politician wrote on Friday on his Telegram channel.
Medvedev noted that he felt sorry for the people who were deprived of the opportunity to go to church. "But pigs have no faith and no innate sense of gratitude. They understand only brute force," he noted.
Joe Biden spoke Thursday at the White House on new “border security” measures before his trip to El Paso on Sunday. During his remarks, Biden once again called Kamala Harris “President Harris.”
Mask wearing, social distancing and working from home could be introduced by ministers to ease pressures on the NHS, as some experts call for Britons to start adopting Covid-era measures. The Mail has more.
The NHS is facing record winter pressures due to rising rates of Covid and flu, staff shortages and too few beds, while experts fear an Omicron sub-variant will drive a surge in infections, piling even more pressure on the already-crippled health service.
Health chiefs and scientists have already advised adults and pupils to stay at home if they are unwell, don masks if they must go outside when sick and called for the booster rollout to be widened in a bid to ease NHS demand.
Now, ministers are said to be considering issuing fresh guidance to wear masks on public transport, work-from-home and socially distance if the health service “is at risk of collapse”. Hospital bosses have already warned the crisis will continue to Easter but said measures used in the darkest days of the pandemic are not yet needed.
Some experts are advising Britons to already start limiting their contacts, socially distance and not go into the office to limit the spread of winter viruses.
When it comes to nightmare scenarios for the United States, a nuclear attack from a foreign power has to rank among the worst possible choices. While the likelihood of such a strike is low, that does not stop experts from trying to prepare for any possibility. A new story by Business Insider lists the following six cities as the most likely to be at risk in the vent of a future nuclear attack on the United States: 1) Chicago, Illinois 2) Houston, Texas 3) Los Angeles, California 4) New York, New York 5) San Francisco, CA 6) Washington, DC
After more than $20 trillion in stimulus plans since 2020, the economy is going into stagnation with elevated inflation. Global governments announced more than $12 trillion in stimulus measures in 2020 alone, and central banks bloated their balance sheet by $8 trillion.
The result was disappointing and with long-lasting negative effects. Weak recovery, record debt, and elevated inflation. Of course, governments all over the world blamed the Ukraine invasion on the nonexistent multiplier effect of the stimulus plans, but the excuse made no sense.
Commodity prices rose from February to June 2022 and have corrected since. Even considering the negative effect of rising commodity prices in developed economies, we must acknowledge that those are positives for emerging economies and, even with that boost, the disappointing recovery led to constant downgrades of estimates.
If Keynesian multipliers existed, most developed economies would be growing strongly even discounting the Ukraine invasion impact, considering the unprecedented amount of stimulus plans approved.
Now we face a 2023 with even more disappointing estimates. According to Bloomberg economics, global growth will decline from a poor 3.2 percent in 2022 to a worrying 2.4 percent in 2023, significantly below the pre-covid-19 trend but with higher global debt. Total global debt rose by $3.3 trillion in Q1 2022 to a new record of over $305 trillion—mostly due to China and the US, according to the Institute of International Finance.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was frank about her feelings after she and her fellow justices ended their last term, expressing dismay Wednesday following rulings that included the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Sotomayor is one of three liberal justices on the Supreme Court, along with Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson. The other six were all appointed by Republican presidents, including three in the span of four years by former President Donald Trump.
"I did have a sense of despair about the direction my court was going," Sotomayor said in an hour-long conversation that was part of The Association of American Law Schools' annual meeting, according to Reuters.
Authored by structural biologist Panagis Polykretis, and board-certified internist and cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough, the study’s cited data found that from 2021 to 2022, at least 1,616 cardiac arrests have been globally documented in vaccinated athletes, with 1,114 of those being fatal.
The global data also showed that between 2021 to 2022, former and current American athletes made up 279 of the mortalities.
Athletes have a lower chance of cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death as compared to nonathletes. A 2016 U.S. study calculated that nonathletes, compared to athletes, have a 29 times higher chance of sudden cardiac death.
For some reason, climate change is only affecting black individuals to collectively commit gun violence across America.
That’s at the macro level. At the micro level, climate change is now the primary link to almost exclusive black gun violence in Kansas City, Missouri.
Structural racism, redlining and disinvestment… now joined by climate change as a reason for black violence. [Is climate change linked to gun violence? A new study shows how KC area is impacted, Kansas City Star, January 2, 2023]:
On the hottest day of 2022 in Kansas City, three people were shot and killed. Three more were shot and survived, the Kansas City Police Department said. The temperature clocked in at 101 degrees on July 23, according to Jared Leighton, a lead forecaster with the National Weather Service in Kansas City. With 171 homicides, this year became the second deadliest on record in Kansas City — and some of those fatal shootings may be linked to an unexpected cause: climate change.
Researchers analyzed more than 116,000 shootings in 100 cities and found that nearly 7% could be attributed to days with above-average temperatures, not only in the summer, but also at other times of the year when it was unseasonably warm. In Kansas City, Missouri, the percentage of shootings tied to days with above-average temperatures was 6.13%, while in Kansas City, Kansas, it was 7.86%, according to the study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
“An increase in warmer temperatures and more frequent extreme heat events due to climate change may create environments with higher risk of firearm violence in the future,” the study said. Researchers concluded that the findings “underscore the importance of exploring heat mitigation strategies as tools to reduce shootings.” Experts have theorized that warmer temperatures increase stress hormones and lead to more interactions between people.