WILL BE BACK LIVE MONDAY!
"Everyone has their price. What's surprising is...how low it is" -- Napoleon
After French President Emmanuel Macron pushed through pension reform without a vote in parliament, the backlash has been fierce, and there is now a good chance that a no-confidence vote this week could collapse his government. Even if he survives the vote, commentators say that Marine Le Pen has never been in a better position, with the conservative populist emerging as the “victor” in the fierce debate over pension reform.
Macron’s decision to turn to Article 49.3 of the French constitution, which allows him to bypass parliament and increase the retirement age from 62 to 64 via decree, had been labeled the “nuclear option” by the French press.
For many years, the successive leaders of Kyrgyzstan could not capitalize on their country’s strategic location along the shortest route connecting China to Central Asia and further onward to the Middle East and Europe. Now, hopes are cautiously mounting that this might be changing. Current Kyrgyzstani President Sadyr Japarov is determined to redefine his country’s role in regional and wider international relations, as evidenced by his signing of agreements with the likes of Uzbekistan and China, among others, regarding improved cooperation on infrastructure and transit development (Akipress.com, February 7, 2022; Newscentralasia.net, January 28). This renewed optimism is based on the announced plans that, by the end of 2023, Kyrgyzstan will begin the construction of its part of the strategic China–Kyrgyzstan–Uzbekistan railway line (The Diplomat, September 26, 2022). Although the details of the funding mechanism for this project remain unclear, Kyrgyzstani officials are confident that all matters will be gradually resolved.
In January 2022, just around the time the Fed announced it was launching its most aggressive tightening campaign since Volcker, we warned "remember, every Fed tightening cycle ends in disaster and then, much more Fed easing"
Fast forward to just over a week ago, when the Fed tightening cycle indeed ended in disaster when SIVB became the first (of many) banks to fail, triggering a chain of dominoes that culminated with today's collapse of Credit Suisse - a systematically important bank with $600BN in assets.
And then, at 5pm, the easing officially began, because while a bunch of laughable macrotourists were arguing on FinTwit whether last week's record surge in the Fed's discount window was QE or wasn't QE (answer: it didn't matter, because as we said, it assured what comes next), the Fed finally capitulated, just as we warned over and over and over that it would...
The White House has come out against a ceasefire in Ukraine ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Moscow to potentially mediate between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his counterpart in Kyiv.
Xi is due to arrive in Moscow on Monday and is expected to speak virtually to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky following his talks with Putin. Xi’s trip comes after Beijing released a 12-point peace plan for Ukraine that called for the two sides to cease hostilities and for peace talks to begin.
Zelensky expressed openness to China’s proposal, but it was immediately rejected by President Biden.
“We don’t support calls for a ceasefire right now,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Friday, according to Newsweek. “We certainly don’t support calls for a ceasefire that would be called for by the PRC in a meeting in Moscow that would simply benefit Russia.”
Two important and revealing news stories appeared on the same day in late February. One announced that the United States and its allies imposed yet another round of economic sanctions on Russia. The other reported the conclusion of U.S. intelligence officials that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is considering selling military drones to Moscow. That story was even more specific than Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s statement a week earlier that Beijing was contemplating providing Russia with “lethal support”—including weapons and ammunition—to help the Kremlin’s war effort in Ukraine. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas‐Greenfield subsequently told the press that both President Biden and Secretary Blinken had conveyed warnings to their Chinese counterparts that such a move would be a “game‐changer” in U.S.-PRC relations.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Ankara would approve Finland’s NATO application before the country’s May election. Erdoğan made the announcement after meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Ankara.
Finland submitted a joint application with Sweden to join the North Atlantic alliance last May. While most members of the alliance wanted to expedite membership for the Nordic countries, Turkey resisted due to Helsinki and Stockholm’s support for Kurdish groups that Ankara views as terrorists.
In June, Turkey signed a trilateral pact with the two Nordic countries that would see Sweden and Finland join NATO. However, Ankara has repeatedly said that it could not admit the two countries into the alliance because Sweden was not living up to their end of the agreement.
As the 20th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq approaches, a leading research institute on Wednesday said that "the total costs of the war in Iraq and Syria are expected to exceed half a million human lives and $2.89 trillion" by 2050.
The Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs said that "this budgetary figure includes costs to date, estimated at about $1.79 trillion, and the costs of veterans’ care through 2050."
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the White House in Washington, D.C. on Saturday afternoon to demand a stop to endless U.S. wars and the "War Machine," two days before the 20th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
The anti-war demonstration was the second of its kind in the American capital in less than a month.
"It's just a terrible mistake," Claudia Lefko, a protester from Northampton, Massachusetts, told Xinhua when asked to comment on the Iraq War. "The country is a ruin. We've destroyed it ... The Iraqis are still suffering the consequences."
"We started to attack a country already destroyed by years of sanctions," Lefko continued. "There was no work. There was no infrastructure. The country was already destroyed, and we just put it further into the ground."
US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief, General Michael Kurilla, said on 16 March that the Russian air force has increased the frequency of “unprofessional” and “unsafe” flyovers of US occupation bases in Syria.
“They fly over our bases with ground attack aircraft with weapons on them in an attempt to try to be provocative,” Kurilla said, calling the flyovers “unsafe, unprofessional, and not what we expect of a professional air force.”
Around 900 US troops are still deployed in the Levantine nation, controlling nearly a third of the country and a large portion of its oil fields. Their deployment is illegal under international law as it was not approved by the government in Damascus and was launched by abusing Washington’s Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).
Contrary to the illegal US occupation and their hijacking of Syria’s resources, the Russian army has been present since 2015 after Damascus requested military assistance to push back against ISIS and other US-sponsored extremist groups.
China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang has told his Ukrainian counterpart that Beijing is concerned about the war with Russia spinning out of control and urged talks on a political solution with Moscow.
Qin told Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba that China wanted to see peace negotiations advance, during a rare phone conversation on Thursday, the foreign ministry in Beijing said in a statement.
A US-led invasion of Iraq began on March 20, 2003, with a force of 150,000 US troops, followed in number by UK troops as well as Australian and Polish soldiers.
Millions of protesters in countries around the world were not convinced that the war was justified, pouring onto the streets of their cities to condemn what they believed was an “unjust, illegitimate” war.
Here are some pictures of the protests against the invasion of Iraq that took place from 2003-2010.
Russia's Wagner mercenary group plans to recruit approximately 30,000 new fighters by the middle of May, its founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Saturday.
He said in an audio message on Telegram that Wagner recruitment centres, which he said last week had opened in 42 Russian cities, were hiring on average 500-800 people a day.
He gave no evidence to support the numbers, which Reuters could not independently verify.
Prigozhin's men have sustained heavy losses while leading Russian efforts to capture the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, which has held out since last summer in the longest and bloodiest battle of the year-long war.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed on Sunday to establish a mechanism to curb violence during a meeting aimed at preventing already surging violence from escalating further when the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins later this week.
In a statement issued at the end of a meeting in Egypt that was also attended by U.S., Egyptian and Jordanian officials, the parties also emphasized the necessity of both Israelis and Palestinians preventing any actions that would disrupt the sanctity of Holy Sites in Jerusalem during Ramadan.
The parties reaffirmed the necessity of de-escalation, and reconfirmed commitments made at a previous meeting in Aqaba last month. These included an Israeli commitment to stop discussion of any new settlement units for four months, and to stop authorisation of any outposts for six months.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the military’s chief of staff on Sunday to contain a wave of protest from within the ranks over a contentious government plan to overhaul the judiciary.
Netanyahu’s remarks come as Israel is embroiled in a major crisis that has sent tens of thousands of people into the streets protesting every week for the last two months. The divide over Netanyahu’s plans to change the legal system has not spared the country’s military, its most trusted institution, where many reservists have pledged not to show up for duty under what they see as impending regime change.
Starting Sunday, more than 700 elite officers from the Air Force, special forces, and Mossad said they would stop volunteering for duty. The typically taboo talk of refusal to serve in a military that is compulsory for most Jews and is highly respected by the Jewish majority underlines how deeply the overhaul plan has divided Israel.
Pakistani police stormed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s residence in the eastern city of Lahore on Saturday and arrested 61 people amid tear gas and clashes between Khan’s supporters and police, officials said.
Senior police officer Suhail Sukhera, who led the operation in an upscale Lahore neighborhood, said police acted to remove a barricade erected by members of Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party and his defiant supporters. He said they blocked the lanes around Khan’s residence with concrete blocks, felled trees, tents and a parked truck.
Khan was not in the home, having traveled to Islamabad to appear before a judge to face charges he sold state gifts while in office and hid his assets. The judge postponed that hearing until March 30.
Sukhera said baton-wielding Khan supporters attempted to resist police by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails and a man on the roof of Khan’s residence opened fire. At least three police officers were injured.
Here's What You Need to Know: While Russia’s military is smaller than during the Cold War, it still fields a powerful force of howitzers, multiple rocket launchers and ballistic missiles.
The U.S. Army’s big guns have problems.
The Army’s field artillery is outgunned by Russian weapons. And, it would face difficulties in knocking out entrenched North Korean artillery, or mobile Iranian weapons.
That’s the conclusion of a report on U.S. Army artillery—or ground fires—capabilities by the think tank RAND Corporation, which examined an Army artillery arm that has suffered two decades of neglect since the Pentagon began focusing on counterinsurgency in the early 2000s. During that time, aircraft and helicopters replaced artillery as the main source for fire support during small-unit operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, while highly trained gunners were relegated to infantry duties such as manning checkpoints.
Kuwait’s Constitutional Court has ruled that last September’s parliamentary election, in which the opposition made gains, was void and that the previous assembly must be reinstated.
The move on Sunday comes at a time of renewed friction between the elected parliament and government and follows the reappointment this month of the country’s prime minister, whose government had resigned in January in the standoff with parliament.
Police in the Pakistani capital filed charges Sunday against former Prime Minister Imran Khan, 17 of his aides and scores of supporters, accusing them of terrorism and several other offenses after the ousted premier's followers clashed with security forces in Islamabad the previous day.
For hours on Saturday, Khan's followers clashed with police outside a court where the former prime minister was to appear in a graft case. Riot police wielded batons and fired tear gas while Khan's supporters threw fire bombs and hurled rocks at the officers.
More than 50 officers were injured and a police checkpoint, several cars and motorcycles were torched. Police said 59 of Khan's supporters were arrested during the violence.
Khan never actually appeared inside the court to face charges that he had sold state gifts received while in office and concealed assets.
US Congresswoman Betty McCollum said on Saturday that more and more Americans reject their government’s complicity in Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian children and families.
“More than ever before, Americans do not want the U.S. to be complicit in Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian children & families,” McCollum said in a tweet, adding:
“Not $1 of U.S. aid should be used to imprison Palestinian children in military detention facilities, or used to tear down their homes.”
The US Rep. was commenting on a recent poll by Gallup News which has found that 49% of US Democrats sympathize more with Palestinians compared with 38% who sympathize with Israelis, which represents an 11% increase over the past year alone.
Early in the declared Covid19 Pandemic, America’s medical community — and this included America’s pharmacies — coalesced around a system of outlawing medicines known to be effective, safe and inexpensive, notably ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine In time, it became obvious that withholding early treatment was crucial for the pharmaceutical industry’s project to vaccinate the world against a claimed Covid19 virus.
Had the effectiveness of inexpensive and available medicines been widely seen, the pretext for ‘Emergency Use Authorization’ of a warpspeed-produced experimental product would have vaporized. With a trillion dollar global vaccination project at stake, that couldn’t be allowed, so the lies of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine being toxic were authoritatively enforced.
The policy descended (and continues to descend) from administrative networks within the Department of Health and Human Services, (notably CDC and NIAID) to the states. These networks are part of, and fed by, an international complex involving the World Health Organization, itself under the control of international pharmaceutical interests focused primarily on vaccines, as well as on gene manipulations sold under the deceptive banner of “vaccine”.
This multi-pronged, vaccine-focused universe now includes research universities and medical schools, medical societies and fraudulent medical journals showcasing ghost-written “scientific” articles. A key player is the discipline of Public Health, a politicized field posing as objective science, enforcer of official narrative and hurler of the “misinformation” epithet at dissenters. And of course there is the compliant media. And money, endless rivers of it.
What is going on?
When a “fact check” vigorously denies something, it is very often true. Sure enough, a fact check denying the link between COVID-19 vaccines and testicular cancer exists (click here).
The fact check says “there is no evidence” but admits: “Grain of Truth: Four football players from the German first league have got testicular cancer since the spring of 2022.”
Except it’s not just 4 German football players (one article claims it’s actually 14). It’s also rugby players, skiers, cricket players, etc.
It’s athletes as well as non-athletes:
The US CDC indicates that 92% of adults have taken one or more COVID-19 vaccine injections. Among those, 92% have been with an mRNA product (Pfizer or Moderna). All recipients have been blinded to the complete ingredient list no one knows exactly what has been injected into the human body.
There are some fundamental points known about mRNA. Natural RNA is made of two purines adenine and guanine and two pyrimidines cytosine and uracil. The replacement of uracil with its ribose ring (uridine) with N-1-methyl-pseudouridine, a synthetic product makes the genetic code for the Wuhan Spike protein better stabilized on lipid nanoparticles, long-lasting, and very efficient in terms of evading cellular destruction and able to undergo repeat reading by ribosomes for continued protein synthesis. Morais et al indicate that both Pfizer and Moderna chose development strategies replacing all uridine units with pseudouridine, making the entire strand completely “unnatural” to the human body. Thus vaccine consultants, companies, and patients unfortunately gambled on how long mRNA would be active within the human body. We now understand the quantity and duration of the disease-promoting and potentially lethal Spike protein cannot be known because the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of mRNA were not characterized.
Since the international insanity began three years ago in the Spring of 2020, several compelling theories have emerged regarding those who have used this time to suppress freedoms and control the population.
For example, Debbie Lerman has effectively argued that lockdowns in the US were not about health, but about counter-terrorism. The state response is to control the population, and not let go of those controls once they are in place.
Aaron Kheriaty has effectively argued that we have entered a new realm of the Security State, all our actions monitored, tracked, and controlled.
Most disturbing of all, Jeffrey Tucker has effectively argued that scientific consensus has overwritten individual choice, giving us a vaccine which we all would be required to take, and which naturally leads to eugenics.
In reading these kinds of well-positioned articles, and the reactions to them on social media, it’s easy to get the impression that we have entered a truly Brave New World, one which did not formerly exist, and is an entirely new phenomenon.
The simple fact is that they are not new ideas. Man desires power over man. But even the parts of the recent attacks on humanity that may seem new are not entirely new. As outlined in the articles above, one such idea is that the government and companies have been performing psyops against us, to control our emotions and dictate our actions.
Former Australian PM Paul Keating has eviscerated Australia’s deal to buy nuclear submarines from the U.K. and U.S., saying there is no Chinese threat to defend against, despite the war hysteria stirring in Australia, writes Joe Lauria.
Paul Keating, a former prime minister of Australia, has boldly contested the establishment consensus that Australia needs to spend A$368 billion to buy nuclear submarines as protection against a China Keating bluntly says is not a threat.
The former Labor premier has defied the conventional wisdom, saying the U.S. opposes China only because Beijing has committed “the high sin in internationalism – it has grown as large as the United States,” a fact the “exceptional state” can’t accept. By subordinating itself, Australia is forfeiting its sovereignty to rely on Britain, which abandoned its former colony years ago, to build nuclear submarines that serve U.S. — and not Australian — interests.
“China does not present and cannot present as an orthodox threat to the United States. By orthodox, I mean an invasive threat,” Keating said in a speech to the Australian National Press Club on Wednesday. He said:
“The United States is protected by two vast oceans, with friendly neighbours north and south, in Canada and Mexico. And the United States possesses the greatest arsenal in all human history. There is no way the Chinese have ever intended to attack the United States and it is not capable of doing so even had it contemplated it. So, why does the United States and its Congress insist that China is a ‘threat’?
Australia has “absolutely not” given the US any commitment as part of the Aukus negotiations that it would join its top security ally in a potential future war over the status of Taiwan, the deputy prime minister has said.
Richard Marles made the comment as he continued to defend Australia’s multi-decade plan to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, with help from the US and the UK, at a total cost of up to $368bn between now and the mid-2050s.
Marles, who is also the defence minister, said on Sunday that China’s rapid military buildup “shapes the strategic landscape in which we live”.
He told the ABC’s Insiders program the Aukus submarines would back up Australia’s interest in protecting trade and freedom of navigation and flight in the South China Sea.
Australia’s AUKUS submarine will be armed with hypersonic missiles able to travel up to 25 times the speed of sound in what Defence Minister Richard Marles has declared heralded the “reshaping” of the Australian Defence Force.
The merits of the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine was launched directly on the military today as Mr Marles together with Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy addressed a forum of serving and civilian personnel who will bring the AUKUS pact to reality.
Many of those attending were from the Garden Island Fleet Base East on Sydney Harbour while others had travelled from Defence headquarters in Canberra.
The first wave of defenses designed to counter complex missile threats against Guam will include radars, launchers, interceptors, and a command-and-control system, and they’ll be place on the island next year, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency director said this week.
The MDA asked for more than $800 million in its fiscal 2024 budget request, released Monday, to develop and begin constructing its architecture to defend Guam against a range of threats including ballistic, cruise and hypersonic missiles. Nearly half of that money would continue the design and development of the architecture.
On March 19, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid an unannounced working visit to Mariupol to inspect a number of locations in the city and talk to local residents.
The president arrived in Mariupol by helicopter, accompanied by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin. The surprise visit marked the first time Putin has been to the Donbass region, since it de facto broke away from Ukraine nine years ago.
Update (1315ET): The Washington Post reports that Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said Saturday morning there had been no “notification” of an indictment and said Trump’s supporters should attend a rally he is holding next week in Texas for his 2024 reelection.
Susan Necheles, a lawyer for Trump, said his remark about the timing of his arrest was gleaned from media reports on Friday about local and federal law enforcement players expecting to convene early next week to discuss security and logistics related to Trump’s expected indictment.
“Since this is a political prosecution, the District Attorney’s office has engaged in a practice of leaking everything to the press, rather than communication with President Trump’s attorneys as would be done in a normal case,” Necheles said in a statement.