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Southwest Airlines left thousands of travelers stranded over the holidays.
While there were other flights from other airlines that were canceled, the vast majority of them were from Southwest airlines. According to one Fox News contributor, it’s because of capitalism.
The Blaze reports, “Outdated systems and brutally cold winter weather are being blamed for the problems, but that is no consolation to stranded travelers.”
Some blame the transportation department. According to The Blaze, “Republicans, and even some Democrats, are partially blaming Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for the meltdown. They argue he has abdicated his vocational responsibilities, which include responding to transportation crises.”
Russian forces have just suffered what may be their single biggest loss of the war in an attack, after a Ukrainian strike killed multiple dozens, or possibly hundreds, of newly mobilized troops in the east of the country. Moscow is now pointing to a US role in the devastating attack.
"Russia’s Defense Ministry said Monday that Ukrainian forces used a U.S.-supplied Himars rocket system to destroy a facility used as a base for mobilized troops in the city of Makiivka," The Wall Street Journal reports of the attack in Russian-occupied Donbas.
Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement that the entry ban would apply to all arrivals from China, regardless of their nationality, and will take effect from Jan. 3 until further notice.
“This exceptional measure in no way affects the sincere friendship between the two peoples nor the strategic partnership between the two countries to which the Kingdom remains firmly attached,” the ministry said.
The ban aims to prevent a new wave of contamination in the country, it stated, adding that Morocco “closely followed” the virus situation in China through regular and direct contact with the Chinese side.
Morocco also extended its state of emergency until Jan. 31 to allow local authorities to impose measures to tackle the virus spread. The African nation has continued to renew its state of emergency since adopting it in March 2020.
Morocco became the first nation to ban arrivals from China after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) lifted its zero-COVID policy last month.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva warned on CBS's 'Face the Nation' in an interview aired on Jan. 1 that a third of the global economy will be in recession this year and investors must prepare for "a tough year, tougher than the year we leave behind."
Kristalina explained recession risks are elevated "because the three big economies, US, EU, China, are all slowing down simultaneously." She added that some countries will avoid recession, though "it would feel like a recession for hundreds of millions of people."
"Our big worry is that with the economy slowing down globally, we are projecting global growth to go down to 2.7%, maybe even lower next year," she said. In 2021, global growth was 6%. It slumped to 3.2% in 2022 and continues to decline as central banks worldwide unleash the most aggressive monetary policy tightening scheme in a generation to get inflation under control.
Georgieva added the US might avoid a recession, but the situation looks bleaker in Europe, which has been hit hard by the war in Ukraine, she said. "Half of the European Union will be in recession," she warned.
A peer-reviewed study published by National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers in the eBioMedicine journal on Monday reveals that adequately hydrated individuals could live longer and develop fewer age-related chronic diseases.
"The results suggest that proper hydration may slow down aging and prolong a disease-free life," Natalia Dmitrieva, Ph.D., the study's lead author and researcher in the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of NIH, said in a statement.
Dmitrieva and her team used health data spanning three decades of 11,255 adults and analyzed their serum sodium levels which fluctuate with fluid intake. Consuming more fluid will lower serum sodium levels. They found that adults with higher sodium levels were more prone to develop chronic illnesses and show signs of advanced biological aging than those with lower sodium levels. Adults with higher sodium levels were more susceptible to death at a younger age.
Serum sodium levels above 142 mEq/L increased the risk of chronic diseases like heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation, peripheral artery disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, and dementia by up to 64%. But adults with serum sodium levels between 138-140 mEq/L had a much lower risk of such fatal diseases.
"People whose serum sodium is 142 mEq/L or higher would benefit from evaluation of their fluid intake," Dmitrieva said. She added that most people could increase their fluid intake to reduce sodium levels.
Happy New Year! Welcome to a special on the idea of a perhaps we are seeing a peak in the Pax Americana.
Pax Americana implies that America has become the dominant empire as Rome once was, or perhaps on a more comparable basis, as Britain used to be. In financial markets and elsewhere, the question is asked where we have entered an era of decline for the US.
Conventional thoughts on Pax Americana link the decline of the British Empire with the rise of the America. I think this analysis is wrong. The decline of the British Empire saw the rise of two new empires, the US and the Soviet Union. In military terms, the Soviet Union was largely responsible for the the defeat of Germany in World War II, and the Soviet Union and Chinese assistance saw US forces turned back in the Korean War of 1950 to 1955, and defeated in Vietnam War. The US centred trading system only incorporated North America, Western Europe, and some parts of East Asia. Most of the rest of the world was either socialist on non-aligned. If this is at odds with how you think of modern history, then I would recommend Eric Hobsbawm series of books: Age Of Capital 1848 -1875, Age of Empire 1875 - 1914 and Age of Extremes 1914 - 1991. Hobsbawm is probably correct in marking 1991 as the beginning of Pax Americana. Not only did it mark the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was also when the first Gulf War demonstrated to the world that US military power was far beyond the capabilities of all other powers, but also the integration of the world into a single trading system - globalization. First military domination, then financial domination. Or as in Dark Knight Rises when Bain askes Daggett, “Do you feel in charge?”, are politics and military really in charge or finance and corporates? The former is really in charge in my view. If we look at Russian invasion of Ukraine, financial sanctions matter far less than the ammunition that the US is providing.
St. Louis lawyer Mark McCloskey will not have his guns or the fines he paid returned to him even though he received a governor’s pardon in 2021, a Missouri judge has ruled.
Armed homeowners Mark and Patricia McCloskey, stand in front their house confronting protesters marching to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's house in the Central West End of St. Louis on June 28, 2020. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
McCloskey and his wife, Patricia McCloskey, both personal injury lawyers, pleaded guilty in June 2021 to misdemeanor charges for assault and harassment, respectively, over an incident in 2020 where they wielded guns as self-defense measures at their property while watching Black Lives Matter protesters walk through their private, gated neighborhood.
They were required to pay maximum fines totaling $2,750. As part of the plea agreement, the two also surrendered the guns they wielded—a Colt AR-15 rifle and a Bryco pistol.
After their convictions, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, on July 30, 2021, pardoned the couple and shortly following the move, McCloskey filed a lawsuit in St. Louis City Circuit Court seeking to have the guns returned and the fines paid back to him and his wife.
Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty rejected the request on Dec. 28, saying that the governor’s pardon doesn’t have any impact on the plea agreement the couple had agreed to.
If anyone expected that the bursting of the crypto bubble and the resulting unprecedented tidal wave of failure and fraud would somehow be confined to 2022 we have some bad news.
As if the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire wasn't bad enough, its fallout just got much messier after digital-asset entrepreneur and Facebook billionaire, Cameron Winklevoss, accused fellow crypto businessman Barry Silbert of “bad faith stall tactics” and the commingling of funds within his conglomerate that Winklevoss says have left $900 million in customer assets needlessly in limbo since FTX’s meltdown.
Regional media is reporting that Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah is in a Beirut hospital and said to be in serious condition, setting off intense speculation over the fate and future leadership of the powerful Lebanese Shia paramilitary group with ties to Iran.
Israeli media is claiming that Nasrallah suffered a stroke after an important Friday speech was unexpectedly canceled. Nasrallah is among the most powerful and prominent leaders in Lebanon and throughout the region, seen as head of an Iran-backed terror organization by Israel, the US, and much of the West. However, he's hailed as a "hero" by many from Syria to Iraq to Iran as part of the 'axis of resistance'.
Israel's far-right national security minister on Monday postponed a planned visit Islam's third-holiest site amid warnings from the country's opposition leader and Palestinian officials that such a trip would have deadly consequences.
The Times of Israel reports Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir temporarily put off a promised visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem – which sits on what Jews call the Temple Mount, Judaism's most sacred site since biblical times – after speaking with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the right-wing Likud party.
The previous day, Ben-Gvir vowed to visit the contested site – which has been illegally occupied by Israel for over half a century – sometime this week, possibly as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday.
As a young Indian herder growing up in the Himalayas, Tsering Angchok would let his prized goats graze on a meadow north of Pangong Lake’s crystalline waters — until China and India fought a battle there in 1962. Today, the lakeshore is home to a Chinese military base and, U.S. experts believe, new radar facilities and a base housing artillery emplacements for the People’s Liberation Army.
Angchok, now in his 70s, lives about 50 miles north of the lake. Here, too, the feeding ranges where villagers take their goats in winter have recently been put off-limits. Since this summer, the area has become part of a two-mile-wide buffer zone between Indian and Chinese troops.
Two years after India and China clashed in a series of border skirmishes, the recent establishment of buffer zones in the Himalayan region of Ladakh has been hailed as a significant step toward containing tensions between the two giant neighbors. But India’s steady withdrawal from its historically claimed areas has taken precious pastures away from the Changpas, a semi-nomadic Tibetan people famed for producing Pashmina cashmere wool — the “soft gold” once favored by Mughal royalty and Empress Josephine, Napoleon’s wife.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said on Monday that the Palestinian leadership should be on trial instead of Israel, accusing the Palestinian Authority of incentivizing terror attacks on Jews.
“The international community must send a clear message to the Palestinian leadership,” said Cohen in his inaugural address to Foreign Ministry diplomats and workers in Jerusalem. “Enough incitement in educational institutions and funding the murderers of Jews.”
Cohen made his remarks shortly after meeting his predecessor Yair Lapid, whose tenure as foreign and prime minister came to an end last week. According to the Foreign Ministry, the two discussed Israel-US ties, the Iranian threat and expanding the Abraham Accords.
On December 16th, 2022, the Japanese government led by Fumio Kishida issued new “defense guidelines” that will give the country the ability to launch offensive attacks on enemy bases overseas for the first time since its Asian empire was crushed in 1945 by the combined might of the United States and the Soviet Union.
The guidelines, fervently backed by the U.S. government and the DC think tanks representing the military industrial complex, are the last nails in the coffin of Japan’s Peace Constitution, which only allows Japan to take military action in self-defense. That document was imposed by U.S. Occupation forces after the war and has been in the cross-hairs of both the Pentagon and Kishida’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party since the 1970s.
The new “National Security Strategy of Japan” was spelled out in three key defense documents, and departs from the past in three critical areas. First, it declares that China is now Japan’s number one threat and poses “the greatest strategic challenges ever seen” in Tokyo. North Korea, which has traditionally been mentioned first as a hostile state, now represents a “severe and imminent threat.”
Ukraine has a new Western backer. It’s not a nation-state, or a military contractor. It’s the financial firm BlackRock.
Ukraine announced Wednesday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a video teleconference with BlackRock Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink. The pair apparently struck a deal to coordinate investment efforts to rebuild the war-torn nation.
A readout of the meeting on the Ukrainian president’s website boasted BlackRock’s involvement, calling the firm “one of the world's leading investment managers” and noted that it “manages client assets worth about 8 trillion dollars.”
Wendy dove into the homeless crisis in the city by explaining how the nearly open-air drug policies are bringing more tents onto the streets.
Portland currently has more than 700 homeless encampments across the city within less than 150 square miles, and the ordeal has also led to the skyrocketing use of cocaine, heroine, LCD and meth which officials decriminalized in 2020.
Two days ago Denise George the AG for the Virgin Islands filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase. In it she claims, “alleges that the bank should have known about Epstein’s illegal activity, and as part of its anti-money laundering procedures, should have reported their client to authorities. Instead, George accuses the bank of turning a blind eye to the sex trafficking operations that went on on Epstein’s private island in the USVI, Little St. James. “
Governor Albert Bryan fired the A.G. Of course he claims this had nothing to do with her lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase. Yet no justification for why she was fired was given.
Webmaster addition: That kind of juice only reinforces the theory that Epstein's Island was an intelligence operation.
Israel's extreme-right firebrand Itamar Ben-Gvir visited Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound Tuesday for the first time since becoming national security minister, his spokesman said, enraging Palestinians who see the move as a provocation.
"Our government will not surrender to the threats of Hamas," Ben-Gvir said in a statement published by his spokesman, after the Palestinian militant group warned such a move was a "red line".
The Palestinian foreign ministry said it “strongly condemns the storming of Al-Aqsa mosque by the extremist minister Ben-Gvir and views it as an unprecedented provocation and a dangerous escalation of the conflict".
The Ynet news website carried pictures of Ben-Gvir touring the site under heavy security.
The news from Israel is that the job of explaining Israel to America — hasbara, Hebrew for propaganda– just got a lot harder.
That’s because Israel swore in a government filled with messianic rightwing Zionists, two of them convicted criminals, and newly-returned prime minister Netanyahu, himself on trial for taking bribes, declared the new government’s basic principle is, “The Jewish people have an exclusive and unquestionable right to all areas of the Land of Israel,” including “Judea and Samaria.” Palestinians– you’re just interlopers here.
Israel’s friends here are struggling with the hasbara job. Stay calm; Netanyahu will control the extremists, some assure us. While Haaretz reports that leading American pro-Israel groups are trying to maintain a business-as-usual approach but are worried about what will shake loose. “Our love and commitment to the Jewish state transcends any one government, any one point in time, and any particular policy or statement,” the Jewish Federations said– in expressing “concerns.” While Israel Policy Forum fretted the extremists in the government will “stress U.S.-Israel relations” and “create rifts with North American Jewry.” Today Americans for Peace Now held a protest at the Israeli embassy.
Russia is committed to furthering its strong relations with the Kurdistan Region and supports the desires of the Region’s citizens to live in peace, the country’s consul told Rudaw while praising Kurdish authorities for their “positive” stance towards Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
“The relations between Russia and the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdish people are excellent, historic, and positive. Russia was always committed to Middle Eastern affairs and specifically Kurdish affairs and was always understanding to the interests of the Kurdish people and their desire to live in their lands with prosperity and peace,” Maxim Rubin, the Russian Consul General to Erbil, told Rudaw’s Nwenar Fatih late last month.
Rubin lauded the Region’s stance for what Moscow calls a “special military operation” against Ukraine, noting that Kurdish authorities have refrained from blindly siding with the West.
Ah, Sri Lanka.
In 2020: a beautiful, agriculturally self-sufficient island nation full of tea and tourists and holder of the highest “Environmental, Social, and Governance” (ESG) investor rating in the world.
And then, as part of the larger “green” effort spurred on by international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), woke capital, and, seemingly, a desire to sit at the big table at the various and sundry global initiative conferences, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa banned the use of manufactured fertilizer in order to create a more climate-friendly sustainable farming sector. In April, 2021, the country went all-organic overnight.
What could possibly go wrong?
prices for food (especially rice) and fuel and other daily basics skyrocketed, the tea crop – and the hundreds of millions it earns in international trade – was decimated. The nation defaulted on its foreign debt, had rolling power blackouts, the tourists are staying away in droves, and Sri Lanka, already wracked by corruption and COVID, spiraled out of control.
The public’s response? Even though the fertilizer ban had already been partially rolled back, just last month Rajapaksa’s presidential palace was stormed by thousands of everyday Sri Lankans and he had to flee the country – last word was that he was holed up in Singapore.
The curtain is coming down on the brutal 11-year old Syrian conflict, which former US President and Nobel Laureate Barack Obama initiated, as the Arab Spring swept through West Asia two decades ago. The United States has suffered yet another big setback in West Asia as the year 2022 draws to a close. The unfolding Turkish-Syrian reconciliation process under Russian mediation is to be seen as a saga of betrayal and vengeance.
Ankara came under immense pressure from the Obama Administration in 2011 to spearhead the regime change project in Syria. Obama blithely assumed that Turkiye would gleefully serve as the charioteer of “moderate” Islamism for the transformation in West Asia. But Ankara took its time to calibrate its foreign policies to adapt to the Arab Spring before responding to the shifting landscape in Syria.
Erdogan was caught unprepared by the uprising in Syria at a juncture when Ankara was pursuing a “zero-problems” policy with Turkiye’s neighbours. Ankara was unsure how the Arab Spring would play out and remained silent when the revolt first appeared in Tunisia. Even on Egypt, Erdogan made an emotional call for Hosni Mubarak’s departure only when he sensed, correctly so, that Obama was decoupling from America’s staunch ally in Cairo.
Syria was the ultimate test case and a real challenge for Erdogan. Ankara had invested heavily in the improvement of relations with Syria within the framework of the so-called Adana Agreement in 1998 in the downstream of Turkish military’s massive showdown with Damascus over the latter harbouring the PKK [Kurdish] leader Ocalan. Erdogan initially did not want Bashar al-Assad to lose power, and advised him to reform. The families of Erdogan and Assad used to holiday together.
In Ashrafieh, the wealthy Christian neighborhood in east Beirut, there is a group of 300 young, muscular, and bearded men patrolling the streets from 6 pm. to 6 am. as part of Neighborhood Watch, but they have an extremist Christian ideology which many have termed neo-fascist. They call the group the Soldiers of God, and its members refer to themselves as the Guardian Angels.
According to an investigation carried out by Lebanese army intelligence, the Soldiers of God participated in the October 2021 massacre of 7 people, and the injury of 32 others who were Hezbollah and Amal supporters in Tayouneh, a neighborhood in Beirut. The report specified the names of the Soldiers of God members who participated and their connection to the Societe Generale Bank Group (SGBL). The report also stated the person in charge of coordinating the massacre was Lebanese Forces (LF) leader Samir Geagea’s head of security, Simon Musallam.
Lebanese security has deemed the Soldiers of God as a “Christian extremist group that may pose a danger in the future.”
While many want to concur with Professor Emily Oster‘s request for pandemic amnesty, those that are aware of what has been happening in our country since 2020 refuse to give up on those that may be in a slumber to the work that is ahead to expose The purveyors of propaganda and misinformation. 2020 will be a year that will live in infamy. A year that a medical condition was so hyper-politicized that it forced the country to take political sides as it pertains to a medical condition. Who could’ve seen that one coming?
In 2020 we were inundated with daily death counts on CNN and Fox News. Still, even though the death count has continued to rise after the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine, for some reason, the CNN and Fox News Covid death ticker has stopped notifying the American public that more have died since the vaccine was introduced. Why is the American public silent on matters like this? The experts appointed by the Trump administration have become commonplace names to American citizens, but will we ever know all that went on behind closed doors that have been kept from the public?
Everyone seems to want to blame Donald Trump for everything that’s happened in this pandemic, but didn’t he hire the presumed ‘best and brightest’ to bring us, as American citizens, the most expert advice he believed was available? Donald Trump got Covid, took recommended early treatment protocols, and even got the risky remdesivir antiviral treatment, and was still able to run the country from Walter Reed Memorial Hospital back in 2020, but two years later, his predecessor Joe Biden who wears masks all the time, and had been vaccinated four times, and, still got Covid, and only took the FDA drug Paxlovid, and got rebound Covid. Yet, the American public is left in the dark about the truth surrounding the failed vaccines, and the failed FDA approved drug causing rebound Covid.