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The European Commission announced on Tuesday that it will set up the first strategic reserve of equipment and supplies, available to any EU member in response to potential chemical or nuclear incidents. The stockpile will be located in Finland, within easy reach of the Baltic states.
European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said the conflict in Ukraine “confirmed the need” to set up the stockpile, which “will provide the EU with a significant safety net enabling a quick and coordinated response at EU level.”
BlackRock, the world's biggest asset manager, has faced increasing backlash about environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing. A handful of US states have pulled billions of dollars from BlackRock funds over accusations of "greenwashing," hurting the fossil fuel industry and turbocharging America's "woke" culture.
On Tuesday, BlackRock's Larry Fink told Bloomberg TV at the World Economic Forum in Davos that ESG investing has been tarnished:
"Let's be clear, the narrative is ugly, the narrative is creating this huge polarization. "
"We are trying to address the misconceptions. It's hard because it's not business any more, they're doing it in a personal way. And for the first time in my professional career, attacks are now personal. They're trying to demonize the issues."
The world's oldest 2,000-year-old runestone has been unearthed in the Hole municipality in Norway, making it several hundred centuries older than previous discoveries.
The sandstone rock, measuring some 30 by 30 centimeters, was found during the excavation of an ancient burial ground in late 2021, at Tyrifjorden in northwest of Oslo, prior to the construction of a railway line, but took a while to analyze.
According to Oslo's Museum of Cultural History, the carbon dating of bones and wood found in a nearby grave suggested that the runes were etched sometime between year one and 250 AD.
China has successfully carried out a systematic test on a cutting-edge transportation system involving an ultra-high-speed maglev train running in a low vacuum pipeline, according to media reports on Sunday.
Three navigation tests have been completed in accordance with the test procedures thanks to the use of a super-navigation vehicle, and all systems work normally when the speed exceeds 50 km per hour on the 210-meter test route.
Researchers working on the project in Datong, Central China's Shanxi Province indicate that they aim to build an ultra high-speed mega transport system running in low vacuum pipelines by combining railway and aerospace technology, read an earlier report from the Science and Technology Daily on October 20.
The team from the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) hopes they will eventually be able to operate maglev trains in a tube with extremely thin air - meaning they would "fly on the ground" at speeds that rival planes.
“She loved teaching students, doing research, running multiple vaccine clinics and sharing her passion and knowledge with others,” the obituary said.
“I suspect that you will continue to hear coming from the United States additional packages of security assistance, additional weapons and capabilities for Ukraine – perhaps as soon as the end of this week,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told CNN.
Kirby didn’t elaborate on the contents of the package but said that the U.S. was concentrated “on trying to make sure that we are giving Ukraine what they need in the fight that they’re in.”
“We’re gonna continue to modulate these packages so that they’re most appropriate for what Ukraine needs and if we can’t provide that, we’re working with other allies and partners to see if they can,” Kirby added, reports CNN.
The BRICS club of emerging economies wants to find a way of bypassing the dollar to create a fairer payment system that would not be skewed toward wealthier countries, South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor told Sputnik.
"We have always been concerned by the fact that there is a dominance of the dollar and that we do need to look at alternative… The systems currently in place tend to privilege very wealthy countries and tend to be really a challenge for countries, such as ourselves, which have to make payments in dollars which costs much more in terms of our various currencies. So I do think a fairer system has to be developed and it's something we're discussing with the BRICS ministers in the economic sector discussions," she said.
Pandor said that one of the reasons why BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — set up the jointly-run New Development Bank (NDB) in 2014 was to find an alternative to the dollar-based payments architecture.
A pair of House Republicans are calling on Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi to testify about her part in the security failures at the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021.
“The reason there wasn’t a proper security presence on that day goes right to the speaker’s staff and the speaker’s office. As you go back and look at the communications, there’s this pattern that develops where the Sergeant of Arms is meeting with Pelosi’s staff. Many of those meetings, Republican staff wasn’t allowed to be there, but they had this pattern where everything had to run through her office, her staff, before the Sergeant of Arms could make a decision,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said when speaking about House Republicans’ report detailing security failures at the Capitol that day.
Texas Republican Rep. Troy Nehls issued a similar response: “And Nancy Pelosi. You do have questions you need to answer … Nancy, we’ll get you, and we’ll fly you back from Italy once you’re the ambassador,” Nehls said as he joked about prior reports speculating that President Biden was considering offering the U.S. Ambassador to Italy post to Pelosi.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden are facing a showdown in their first major legislative clash since Republicans took control of the House, as they prepare to do battle over whether or not to increase the country's eyewatering $31.4 trillion debt limit.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the US will hit its cap on Thursday, January 19. Once that happens, she will not be able to issue new debt without congressional action. In the meantime, the department will use 'extraordinary measures' to keep the government afloat - a move that is expected to last until June.
Once those funds are exhausted, the US will be at risk of defaulting, unless Congress and the White House agrees to lift the limit on the government's ability to borrow.
Webmaster addition: "Woe is us! Woe is us! But ... we have to spend more of your money!" -- The Guvmnt
The Department of Justice (DOJ) considered having FBI agents monitor President Joe Biden’s lawyers as they rifled through classified documents before ultimately rejecting the idea, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Tuesday.
Biden’s lawyers found classified materials at the Penn Biden Center think tank in Washington, D.C., just before the midterm elections. The president’s legal team then conducted a search of Biden’s properties for other such materials. The president’s lawyers and the DOJ discussed the possibility of having FBI agents monitor the search but later decided against it, according to the WSJ.
Webmaster addition: What? No FBI agents going through the undies drawer?!?
Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida commenced 2023 with a tour of G7 countries, having visited France, Italy, the UK, the US and Canada. Holding the Presidency of the US-centric group for this year, Kishida will host its summit in Hiroshima in May.
While a lot of his trips focused on preparing ground for the summit, Kishida notably signed scores of defence deals along the way, showing how the visit ties in with Japan’s ultimate ambition right now: Rearmament.
Since the end of World War II, Japan’s military power has been limited by its constitution to be strictly defensive. The country renounced the right to settle disputes via armed conflict and ruled out having an army or fighting a war abroad. This has posed limitations on defence spending, but also made Japan reliant on the United States for its security. However, now these limitations are all but defunct, even if they still exist on paper. Tokyo has the well-equipped Japan Self-Defense Forces, effectively a standing defensive army, and has recently pledged to double its defence spending by 2027 and to attain “second strike” capabilities with an eye on both China and North Korea, spurring on a regional arms race.
Organized criminal gangs active in the Netherlands and France, mostly made up of Moroccan migrants, are blowing up ATMs in Germany at a record pace in highly professional robbery operations. In 2022, government statistics indicate that they blew up 500 such machines, with statistically more than one machine being blown up every day.
Cash remains popular with Germans, and to feed this demand, banks operate nearly 100,000 ATMs located throughout the country, with the machines routinely containing between €50,000 and €100,000. Criminal gangs are taking advantage of this, and they are willing to use extreme methods to gain access to this money. These criminal networks are said to meticulously plan their operations out, including initial surveillance, demolition, and the getaway. Police also say they act with brutality and ruthlessness, putting human lives at risk.
In fact, these migrant gangs are blowing up banks with such powerful explosives, that they are destroying entire buildings. In some cases, they have blown bank vault doors up to 30 meters away, underlining how powerful these blasts can be. Police say the danger facing Germans is unprecedented, as many of these banks are located in residential buildings.
A newly released video from Project Veritas has revealed Teaching Lab Director Dr. Quinton Bostic bragging about violating Georgia’s ban on teaching critical race theory (CRT) in schools through the curriculum he sells to districts in the state.
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe revealed that Bostic had his teaching license revoked around 2017, when he was a literacy educator. Bostic now works for Teaching Lab as a content manager "with a $15 million budget dedicated to creating more 'equitable' curriculums."
O’Keefe added that Bostic now sells curriculum he made to schools in Georgia, and that he has "multiple private companies where he profits of the curriculum that he sells."
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) received roughly $50 billion for medical research funding from Congress’ recent $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill. However, move over diseases and pandemics; that was so in 2020.
The Center Square reports “a closer look at the agency reveals that NIH is increasingly spending its time, and funds, on equity and LGBT issues as well as ‘systemic racism and inequities.” In 2020, the agency created a new category for research called social determinants of health.”
The category became an avenue to funnel millions of dollars through grants. The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities was “upgraded” from a center to an institute during the Obama administration. “We all have a responsibility to correct systemic racism and inequities,” NIH says on its website.
The Justice Department decided against having FBI agents watch over a search for classified documents conducted by President Biden’s lawyers at his Delaware homes — in part because his attorneys were deemed to be cooperating with the DOJ’s investigation, according to a report.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that DOJ officials also opted for the hands-off approach in order to avoid complicating future phases of the investigation and to not interfere with special counsel Rober Hur’s work.
According to the Journal, Biden’s attorneys were given permission by the Justice Department to search the 80-year-old president’s Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach residences for sensitive documents and notify the department if any were found in order so that law enforcement personnel could take custody of them.
If you found this program, it is likely that you or someone you love has taken it. Please know this class WILL NOT be about judgement. It is to be a place of HOPE to help those who had to take it or took it and now regret it. There ARE THINGS you can do to overcome the expression. There is always hope in Christ. He makes a way. Our Creator is not surprised by this unfolding so let's not waste time with more fear mongering and get to solutions. See you soon and God Bless.~ Tracey
As Republican Kari Lake appeals a legal defeat in her lawsuit challenging certification of her narrow loss in Arizona’s Nov. 8 gubernatorial election, she is alleging that ballot chain-of-custody issues occurred at Runbeck Election Services, a company that municipalities across the country use for outsourcing election operations.
Lake is appealing a ruling against her last month in her suit against former Secretary of State and current Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and Maricopa County election officials demanding the election result be set aside due to alleged failures and misconduct by the county. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson found that Lake failed to meet a legal standard of clear and convincing evidence that intentional misconduct changed the outcome of the election.
In her appeal, which challenges the legal standard applied by the trial court, Lake alleges that Maricopa County’s “massive violations of law and maladministration” included violating Arizona law’s chain-of-custody requirements by not having Election Day dropbox ballots counted at Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC) before going to Runbeck.
Lake’s appeal cites testimony from Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer in last month’s civil trial that Election Day dropbox ballots are not counted at MCTEC, but are instead “counted by our people at Runbeck because they have a high-speed counter because that’s the only day in which approximately 300,000 early ballots come in on one day.”
Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera is in hot water again with critics, this time over a hot take he posted to Twitter suggesting that the new Republican House majority was focused on the wrong thing — an investigation into President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden over past business dealings.
Also, Rivera was critical of the appointment of special counsels for both Presidents Biden and Trump regarding their possession of highly classified documents, perhaps in violation of federal law, at least in Biden’s case.
“Appointing a Special Counsel to investigate President Biden is as lame as it was to raid & relentlessly probe President Trump. Scold both of them. Revoke their library cards. Then, for the good of the country, move on. This case has 0 impact on the American people,” he wrote on the platform on Friday.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday responded to an accusation from the White House that Republicans were launching "hypocritical" investigations into President Biden's handling of classified documents, pledging that lawmakers would conduct oversight of the special counsel investigations into both Trump and Biden.
Speaking to reporters, McCarthy defended a new probe led by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, into Biden's alleged "mishandling" of classified records and the special counsel investigation into the matter. The White House blasted the House GOP probe Monday, telling Fox News Digital, "House Republicans are playing politics in a shamelessly hypocritical attempt to attack President Biden."
McCarthy answered the accusation of hypocrisy by contrasting how the Justice Department treated former President Trump with how Biden has been treated. He said that Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special prosecutor to investigate Biden only after "other people raised the issue," asking, "Are the same amount of agents investigating this that are investigating President Trump?