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"Gold is a pretty metal, soft and easy to work with for artists and with come interesting electrical properties, but otherwise rather useless other than as a symbol of wealth and power. If an alien race wanted to conquer the Earth (although one has to wonder what there could possibly be here on Earth worth the trouble) all they would have to do is start handing out 500 pounds of gold to every living human being and the financial/political foundations of our civilization would crumble overnight. I am not convinced that would be a bad thing in the long term" -- Michael Rivero
Goldman Sachs' traders said they think the pain in European banks is "simply a function of market selling leveraged and opaque business models post CS, with some discomfort on what may roll out of 1Q IB earnings following the spike in rates vol. There’s also 7% of the loan book in CRE (EUR33bn), of which 51% in the US. Total office exposure is 34%, which is the market’s core area of concern, so could say the range for US office is EUR5.5-11bn"
The House GOP is now setting its sights on two former prosecutors who resigned from the Manhattan DA's office over the handling of his investigation into former President Trump.
Attorney Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne sought to prosecute Trump in 2022 and resigned after Bragg rejected their legal theories.
But Bragg has since reversed course -- last week Trump announced he expected to be arrested this week, which has not happened.
There's been a number of new developments including tit-for-tat warnings and threats following the International Criminal Court's (ICC) last Friday issuance of an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The most blistering and alarming attack on the Hague-based court this week has been from former Russian president and current deputy chairman of the security council Dmitry Medvedev, who said any attempt to actually arrest Putin would be an act of war.
Amazon's palm-reading payment technology was first introduced at numerous Whole Foods locations in California, enabling customers to pay for their groceries by scanning their palms at checkout terminals rather than using cash or a card. Now Panera Bread is experimenting with Amazon's cashless payment system as the war on cash marches on.
On Wednesday, Panera Bread announced plans to roll out a "contactless payment method" to several stores with additional locations in the coming months. The bakery-cafe chain has over 2,000 locations, and its loyalty program has 52 million members.
Here is Technocracy: “one of the latest attempts by EU institutions to pull power away from member-states’ national governments.” Technocracy eschews nation-states and participation of ordinary citizens through traditional political processes. The “Chinafication of Europe” is well underway.
The total engineering of society must necessarily start with ubiquitous surveillance with data tracking, as in China. ⁃ TN Editor
A European Parliament vote for bloc-wide digital IDs is the latest step towards the “Chinafication of Europe”, an MEP has claimed.
Cristian Terhes, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Christian Democratic National Peasants’ Party, has described the European Union’s latest push for cross-border digital IDs as another move towards the “Chinafication” of the bloc.
While elites around the world – those in political power and in control of top financial institutions – are very much rallying around the plans to introduce central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), in Florida, the state's governor has a different take on where things should be headed.
In fact, radically different – Governor Ron DeSantis thinks CBDCs should be banned.
Addressing a press conference from behind a podium that had the words “Big Brother's Digital Dollar” attached to it, DeSantis repeated what critics of the CBDC push keep saying.
And that is, that the centralized form of digital money controlled by governments is basically a powerful surveillance tool, and that this, rather than any convenience it might offer, could be the key reason it is getting so much support from some high places.
But according to the Florida governor, who is rumored to be considering running for president, CBDCs are “all about surveilling Americans and controlling behavior of Americans.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded his Russian visit on Wednesday without much progress on peace in Ukraine. China, however, has pushed for deeper trade and investment links with its northern neighbor using its own currency. That suggests the path of least resistance for yuan internationalization now runs through Moscow instead of London or Singapore.
China and Russia are committed to “significantly” increasing trade volumes by 2030 and pledged to steadily boost the proportion of local currency settlement, according to a joint statement released Tuesday. That might sound like cheap political talk, though a closer look at developments since the war in Ukraine shows the Chinese currency is already making major inroads in all walks of Russian financial life.
The US has offered Slovakia attack helicopters and Hellfire missiles as a reward for sending Ukraine Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets.
Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said the deal would be for 12 Bell AH-1Z attack choppers, 500 AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles, and training. The sale is worth about $1 billion, and under the offer, the US would provide $660 million in financing, and Slovakia would pay $340 million.
The Censorship-Industrial Complex represents the greatest threat to free speech online in living memory, and Craig Newmark is bankrolling it.
The billionaire founder of Craigslist, Craig Newmark, is using his fortune to further shape journalism into partisan activism to help Democrats win elections. He is the nation’s leading financier of the “mis”- and “disinformation” industries and is now the largest private stakeholder in America’s legacy journalism schools.
The most recent Twitter Files released by Matt Taibbi add a deeply disturbing new layer to the story. They show Newmark is at the very heart of an incestuous web of government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and corporate media institutions operating in concert to censor political opponents on social media. Newmark is financing the largest coordinated assault on American free speech in living memory.
USA Today has picked a trans-identified male as it’s ‘woman of the year’ for a second time running, and this time it’s someone who advocates for child sex changes.
The media outlet has chosen Leigh Finke as its ‘woman of the year’ for Minnesota. Finke was the first transgender legislator to be appointed to the Minnesota House of Representatives in November.
As many know, I have written and spoken extensively about the dangers of transhumanism, also rebranded by the military as human augmentation or human enhancement. One of my more recent essays was titled Physicals, Virtuals, Machines and Overlords: Is the dark vision of a new caste system for the fourth revolution inevitable?
The constraints on this research currently lie solely with the informed consent and normal bioethics regulations needed on any clinical trial. In fact, the SIENNA report was commissioned to study the ethical guidelines of such research, and the report essentially falls back on the same regulatory processes currently in place, which can be found in my essay “Ethical Parameters for Human Enhancement?”.
The fact is that despite the current clinical trial processes already in place, these rapidly developing technologies fall under that old saying, “Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do something.”
Mexico's president said the US government's destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines and the ongoing political persecution of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange shows the US State Department's accusations of human rights violations in Mexico "should not be taken seriously."
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador dismissed a report by the US government on Tuesday accusing his administration of human rights violations as "lies."
The State Department issued its annual report Monday on "Human Rights Practices." The publication criticized the Lopez Obrador administration's treatment of journalists and claimed that in Mexico, "impunity and extremely low rates of prosecution remained a problem for all crimes, including human rights abuses and corruption."
For the last 30 years the U.S. considered the Middle East as its backyard. Twenty years ago it illegally invaded Iraq and caused 100,000nds of death and decades of chaos. Now China, by peaceful means, changed the balance in the Middle East within just one month.
Today China's President Xi arrived in Moscow for three days of talks with Russia's President Putin. An article by President Putin was published in the People's Daily while Russian media published a signed article by President Xi.
The U.S. is afraid that China's peace initiative for Ukraine will gain ground. It has openly come out against a cease-fire and peace talks. I had thought that was for Ukraine to decide?
At the White House on Tuesday, a reporter told Kirby that Uganda's parliament had passed an "anti-homosexual bill" and that Ugandan officials planned to attend an African summit to discuss and promote the passage of similar laws in other African states.
He also said that Russia was potentially backing such laws as a "wedge" against the U.S. and because the Biden administration "is currently engaging with Africa on other issues, is this a concern for the U.S.?"
Kirby replied, "President Biden has been nothing but consistent about his foundational belief in human rights, and LGBTQ+ rights are human rights."
You know the famous quote attributed to Maya Angelou, "When a person shows you who they are, believe them." Turns out, it applies to politics and politicians, too. This week, two California lawmakers got into a Twitter spat over gender identity legislation and the role of parents—those pesky people in charge of their children—and what one of them said really demonstrated his character and beliefs.
On Monday, state Senator Scott Wiener (CA-11), a Democrat representing San Francisco, “A DeSantis-style bill was just introduced in CA to require teachers/counselors to inform parents if a kid id's as a gender not on birth certificate. Even if the kid isn't ready to come out to their parents. Even if ratting the kid out risks violence at home. Nope, not in CA.”
Bill Gates is becoming a menace.
He will not leave us alone.
And he’s learned all the wrong lessons from Covid.
At this point he is worse than merely clueless. As one of the world’s 10 richest men and controller of a $50 billion charitable honeypot, Gates has the power to drive public health policy in dangerous directions.
He appears hellbent on doing so.
White House Secret Service reportedly recommended that New York state authorities pursue a virtual arrest of President Donald Trump in a pending case by the Manhattan district attorney, citing a “tremendous amount of danger” by attempting a physical arrest at his residence in Florida.
Sources speaking with Fox News said the meeting, held at NYPD headquarters on Monday, encompassed an all-hands-on-deck effort required to execute the first criminal arrest of a president in the nation’s history. Should a physical arrest be needed, the Secret Service would take the lead.
By leaking news of an impending indictment, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has brought a host of logistical nightmares on officers involved in the case.
The Sumner County Library Board has voted to terminate their library director, Allan Morales, in a 4-3 decision, after his and his staff’s conduct during a February stop on Kirk Cameron's Freedom Tour.
Mayor John Isbell confirmed to the Tennessean that the decision to fire Morales was related to the event. The February 25 event, held in collaboration with Brave Books, was held at the Hendersonville Library and included former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines and Missy Robertson of "Duck Dynasty." On Facebook, Cameron praised the event despite the "unkind pushback" from one librarian.
President Joe Biden's approval rating has dropped to nearly its lowest point since taking office, a new poll from the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (AP-NORC) reveals.
Currently sitting at 38%, his approval rating has taken a sharp dive from 45% in February, a troubling sign for the president amid the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank and the looming threat of a recession.
Israelis have taken to the streets en masse in protest against the government’s proposed changes to the judicial system, blocking roadways across the country and intensifying a months-long campaign decrying the move.
Thousands of people carrying flags and signs marched on a Tel Aviv thoroughfare on Thursday, stopping traffic in the middle of the workday. A small group burned tyres on the street outside a seaport, briefly blocking trucks. Police forced demonstrators from the road in front of a conference centre in central Israel.
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Four months prior to the invasion of Iraq, I found out that the George W. Bush administration was selling the war to the American people based on a lie.
I was attending the 1st Marine Division birthday ball in Primm, Nevada, where a former U.S. Central Command commander, recently retired, was our guest of honor.
Prior to the festivities at a closed door meeting in a large, empty conference room with the division's officers, he shocked many of us when he said, "Marines, there is no ongoing WMD program in Iraq, but you are going to war anyway."
For all their careers as diplomats, Alon Liel and Ilan Baruch advocated Israel’s case. Both served as Israeli ambassadors in South Africa, and Liel rose to be director-general of the foreign service.
Today, they are using all their diplomatic skills to destroy their government’s case before the international community, and last week were in London ahead of an expected visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday.
Liel and Baruch are on a mission: to alert MPs and British Jews who support Israel to what is happening. They say the fate of 5.3 million Palestinians under occupation and the fate of Israeli Jews are both in the balance as Israel lurches towards an openly declared and law-based Jewish supremacy.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told Congress at a Thursday hearing that the Pentagon’s 2024 budget request will help the country prepare for a future war with China.
Milley insisted the Pentagon’s massive $842 billion budget request is meant to deter war but said it will also prepare the US military to fight one. He told the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense that deterring and preparing for a conflict “is extraordinarily expensive, but it’s not as expensive as fighting a war. And this budget prevents war and prepares us to fight it if necessary.”
The Pentagon identified China as the “most comprehensive and serious challenge to US national security strategy” in the 2022 National Defense Strategy, and lately, US military leaders have been speaking more explicitly about how they’re preparing for a direct war with China despite the risk of nuclear war. President Biden has also vowed to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.
Gen. Michael Langley, the head of US Africa Command (AFRICOM), was grilled by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Thursday about African soldiers who received US military training and went on to carry out coups.
Langley insisted only a “very small number” of Africans who receive US training later go on to be involved in coups against civilian governments and said the programs focus on “core values.”
When asked by Gaetz if the US shares “core values” with Guinea coup leader Col. Mamady Doumbouy, Langley replied, “Absolutely … In our curriculum, we do.” Doumboy and his forces carried out a coup in 2021 while US Green Berets were in the country training them, and he still leads Guinea to this day.
Pakistan’s election authorities have delayed the election for a crucial regional assembly after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s government refused to provide the necessary funds and polling staff citing financial constraints.
The elections for the legislative assembly in the country’s most populous Punjab province, which were to be held on April 30, were delayed until October 8, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced on Wednesday.
Israel’s parliament on Thursday passed the first of several laws that make up its contentious judicial overhaul as protesters opposing the changes staged another day of demonstrations aimed at ringing an alarm over what they see as the country’s descent toward autocracy.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition approved legislation that would protect the Israeli leader from being deemed unfit to rule over his corruption trial and claims of a conflict of interest surrounding his involvement in the legal changes. Critics say the law is tailor-made for Netanyahu, encourages corruption and deepens a gaping chasm between Israelis over the judicial overhaul.
The legal changes have split the nation between those who see the new policies as stripping Israel of its democratic ideals and those who think the country has been overrun by a liberal judiciary. The government’s plan has plunged the nearly 75-year-old nation into one of its worst domestic crises.
Oil prices may be trading in a sweet spot for buyers, but it will take years to replenish the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said.
When the Biden Administration sold off 221 million barrels of crude oil from the SPR last year, the idea was to buy oil to replace what was withdrawn. In October of last year, the Administration announced that it would repurchase crude oil for the reserve when prices were at or below about $67-$72 per barrel. The move would be dual purpose in that not only would it replenish the nation’s depleted reserves, but it would boost demand when prices were low instead of sending them into orbit at a time or regular prices.
In December, the Administration said that it had plans to make the first of these repurchases. The Administration issued a solicitation for 3 million barrels of sour crude oil, with bids due by December 28. Contracts were to be awarded by January 13. At the time, WTI was trading around $74 per barrel. It later declined the finalize its own buyback plan, saying that it did not get offers that met its terms for price or quality.
The United States is "actively" working on re-establishing a diplomatic presence in Libya, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday, although he declined to provide an exact time on when the U.S. embassy can be reopened.
Libya has had precious little peace since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi and paved the way for a 2014 split between rival eastern and western factions. The last major bout of conflict ended in 2020 with a ceasefire.
Washington shut its embassy in Tripoli in 2014 and moved to its mission to neighbouring Tunis following intensifying violence between rival factions. U.S. Special Envoy for Libya, Richard Norland, has operated out of the Tunisian capital, and took occasional trips into Libya.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday there were no plans to remove Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, a move made by his predecessor days before leaving.
"We are not planning to remove them from the list," Blinken said at the House Foreign Affairs Committee after a question from a lawmaker of the rival Republican Party.
"If there is to be such a review, it will be based on the law and based on the criteria in the law established by Congress," Blinken said. "It's a very high bar."
Israel is currently undergoing one of the biggest domestic crises in its 75-year history as a result of new legislation being pushed through its parliament aimed at limiting the power of the country's judiciary.
The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made a judicial overhaul a priority since it came into office earlier this year.
Right-wingers in Israel have long complained about the ability of the judiciary to overrule bills passed by the Knesset, claiming it has a left-wing bias and is too willing to back the rights of minorities over the majority.