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"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." -- Greek proverb
HOW FAUCI AND PHARMA KILLED PATIENTS AND PERVERTED MEDICINE
Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took his fight against liberalism deep into the Democratic territory of California on Sunday, part of a national road show as he lays the ground for an expected White House bid.
DeSantis has been meeting with wealthy donors in recent days and burnishing his national credentials in a series of speeches boasting about his achievements in Florida while lambasting the “woke ideology” of leaders in Democratic strongholds including California and New York.
DeSantis, who is expected to announce a presidential run in the next few months, has made a war on liberalism a central theme of his governorship and a way to appeal to the Republican base.
While he has not yet announced a White House bid, one candidate who has – former Republican President Donald Trump – clearly views DeSantis as a major potential threat as the Republican nominating contest kicks into gear. Trump has already launched personal and political attacks on DeSantis as the race for the Republican Party’s 2024 White House nomination begins to heat up.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will make his first trip to the early nominating state of Iowa on Friday as he tests the waters for a presidential bid, only days before fellow Republican and former President Donald Trump is slated to campaign there.
Florida Governor and likely 2024 Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis poses for a selfie after speaking as part of his Florida Blueprint tour in Pinellas Park, Florida, U.S. March 8, 2023. REUTERS/Scott Audette
Iowa could be particularly crucial for DeSantis, who is expected to jump into the 2024 White House race later in the spring. The state will hold the first Republican nominating contest early next year, and a win there would show DeSantis is a viable candidate against Trump.
The former president is highly popular in the state and holds a large organizational advantage due to his two previous presidential campaigns.
DeSantis will appear at events in Des Moines, the state capital, and the river town of Davenport that will be moderated by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. The trip is part of a series of events he has staged across the country in recent weeks as he builds his national profile and courts deep-pocketed donors.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) was informed on Friday that its monks and clergy had until March 29 to vacate the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, after a government commission decided they were violating the terms of their lease from the state. The church has refused, saying there are no legal grounds for the eviction.
Founded in 1051, the Pechersk Lavra (‘monastery of the caves’) is considered the most prominent Orthodox Christian site in Ukraine. Legally it is the property of the state, as a national historic preserve, and administered by the UOC under a 2013 agreement with the government.
According to a memo from the Ministry of Culture, published by multiple Ukrainian outlets, a commission established by President Vladimir Zelensky’s decree in December had determined that the UOC is in violation of the deal, and therefore must turn the monastery over by the end of March.
The Ukrainian military dropped a bomb equipped with the US-made JDAM guidance kit in the area of Kurdyumovka near Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut by Ukraine) in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) to test the possibility of employing it from Soviet-made aircraft, Yan Gagin, military-political expert and adviser to the acting DPR head, told TASS on Friday.
"These are air-launched bombs. Originally, they were made for NATO aircraft. Ukraine has no such aircraft. We believe that this could have been a combat test with a non-standard carrier. This can apply, in particular, to MiG-29 multirole fighters," he said.
The MiG-29 is one of the few aircraft that the Ukrainian military could have used for dropping the JDAM-equipped bomb. Ukraine employs these multirole fighters for launching HARM anti-radiation missiles, he said.
Ukraine’s Klimenko Time media outlet reported earlier on Friday that the Ukrainian military had employed the JDAM bomb in Donbass for the first time. In its confirmation of this report, the media outlet posted a video clip of the explosion that is spreading on Ukrainian Telegram channels. Neither the Kiev regime nor its military has yet officially confirmed the information on the use of the JDAM bomb.
Russia’s move to expose the United States’ military and biological activities made many countries wonder about the real reasons for the presence of US research facilities on their territories, Chief of Russia’s Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Troops Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov said on Friday.
"The Russian Federation's disclosure of US military and biological activities outside its national territory makes a growing number of countries wonder about the real reasons for the presence of US research facilities on their territory," he pointed out at a briefing.
Kirillov noted that in December 2022, the Philippines’ Makabayan opposition bloc had called on the country’s Congress to investigate the Pentagon’s activities at the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Tarlac City. "The parliamentarians’ appeal points out that the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has overt and covert military objectives in the Philippines, which may not coincide with Manila’s interests. In their appeal, the MPs demand that the US military begin to examine the work of the Department of Justice, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Health, as well as the national defense agency," the Russian general said.
Chief of Russia’s Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Troops Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov announced the names of Ukrainians involved in US military biological programs at a briefing on Friday.
He pointed out that the Russian Defence Ministry had earlier announced the names of some participants in US military biological programs, including officials from the US Department of Defense, US biotech companies and Pentagon contractors. "Today, we would like to add representatives of Ukrainian state institutions and private companies involved in US military and biological programs to this list," Kirillov said.
According to him, one of them was Sergey Morgun, Head of the Sanitary and Epidemiological Department of the Ukrainian armed forces and one of the organizers of interaction between the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). He was one of the leaders of the U-P-8 project supervising hantavirus research.
Kirillov went on to mention Vladimir Kurpita, Head of the Public Health Center, who had managed interaction between Ukrainian specialists and DTRA, organized the collection of biological samples from Ukrainian citizens and their transfer abroad. The Russian general also noted that Irina Demchishina, Head of Reference Laboratories at the Ukrainian Health Ministry’s Public Health Center, had acted as an intermediary in interaction with Pentagon contractors Black & Veatch and Metabiota and supervised the implementation of DTRA projects of UP and TAP series.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the latest reports in the Western media about the alleged involvement of a "Ukrainian oligarch" in the explosions on the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines "incoherent babble."
"When they threw in the last wave of stories in the American and to some extent in the German press regarding a new version [about the causes of the emergency on gas pipelines] - about "the Ukrainian oligarch, who had better confess himself," [and that they] "did not want to talk about Ukraine’s involvement, because it could spoil German-Ukrainian relations" and all that jazz: this is incoherent babble," he said.
In an interview with "The Great Game" program on Channel One, the Russian top diplomat noted that even if one accepts the rationale about the "Ukrainian fingerprint" mentioned in the media, it will raise some questions in Germany.
"The burghers will wonder: why do I need this Ukraine at all, if they blow us up, whoever he (the saboteur - TASS) may be - an agent of Kiev, paid for by someone from abroad, or just a lone ranger, why do I need to send Leopards there, why do I need to admit this country into NATO?" Lavrov said.
Ahead of anticipated regional escalations in the coming months, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin landed in the Kingdom of Jordan on Sunday, kickstarting yet another high-profile Middle East visit this year. Despite Washington’s efforts to impose its agenda, its current approach may prove to be too out of touch to make a tangible difference.
The Pentagon Chief arrived in the Jordanian capital on a tour aimed at assuring regional allies of US policy commitments, despite the Biden administration's focus on combating Russia and China. Austin’s visit was originally tailored to be geared towards visiting Tel Aviv, Cairo and Amman, but has also included a surprise visit to Baghdad.
The visit is the second high-profile US Middle East tour this year, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken also leading a delegation to the Holy Land in late January. Unfortunately for Blinken, his delegation's visit, which partially focused on calming tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories, has so far proven to have been a flop, with violence continuing to escalate in the West Bank.
Viewing Africa with double standards is part of why Africans are breaking their ties with Europe, Martin Jay writes.
The paternalism isn’t uniquely France’s. It’s a malaise of western elites and viewing Africa with double standards is part of why Africans are breaking their ties with Europe.
The row in front of the cameras was thrilling as it was unprecedented. The president of Congo made the point in front of the journalists that France’s foreign minister’s comments about the president’s election being some kind of compromise of democracy was unacceptable as France itself is guilty of election irregularities. But they are not reported with the same zealous paternalism and are not even presented the same way as they are in reality, but distorted by media. Macron responded that the foreign minister’s comments were distorted and that the French media doesn’t represent France, a point which Felix Tshisekedi did not accept at all, which raised a round of applause from the journalists present in Kinshasa.
It was Macron’s last day of his Africa tour and one which he will remember as being a PR disaster. The point of the tour was to shore up support from old allies on the continent but, in this context, it could hardly be a success when you look at the YouTube footage of the DRC press conference.
The West was looking for some sort of pretext to "get its claws into" Russia after Moscow had come to be seen as too independent a player in the international arena, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
"[The West] was waiting for a pretext to get its claws into Russia. They were waiting for a chance to do this because they had begun to see Russia as too independent a player, which, if perhaps not building up as much economic power as China or India, was nevertheless among the leading world economies and holds rather weighty moral and political stances in the international arena, advocating from a position of justice on those issues that are of critical importance for the developing countries," he said in an interview with the "Bolshaya Igra" ("The Great Game") public affairs program on Russia’s Channel One television.
According to the top Russian diplomat, the West is loath to listen to Russia’s criticism of its attempts to "live at the expense of others" in the post-colonial era.
The Daily Mail reports that Fairfax County Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the country. Yet, this school system is going out of its way to ban students of certain racial makeup from being able to get involved with college prep programs. These programs could help them receive the services they require to prepare for college.
The Daily Mail reports that the School District is under fire after sending out a letter about the college prep program only to families of Black and Hispanic families. The state’s attorney general has already investigated the school system because they withheld merit awards from Thomas Jefferson High School students.
The school is known as TJ by the locals and is one of the top-performing public schools in the United States. Woke teachers within the school say that they withheld some of the merit awards from students to bring about what they call “equality” in education.
Since its establishment, the World Health Organization (WHO) has assumed the role of an advisory entity in the international health domain. Since 2005, the WHO established International Health Regulations (IHR) as the main compliance tool to ensure that public health emergencies would be handled swiftly. The COVID pandemic perfectly illustrates how powerful the WHO already is.
However, a new set of amendments (pdf) proposed by state members of the WHO was published at the end of 2022, seeking to enhance the WHO’s power under the guise of the IHR. This, in addition to a newly proposed Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) (pdf) and the addition of a pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (WHO CA+) clause (pdf) in the INB, raises several red flags on the paradigm shift the WHO is undertaking, from playing the role of an international health advisory body to becoming a global regime acting in the name of health.
Why? Like for the mRNA technology gene injection, why develop this, these chimera deadly coronaviruses?
Was this developed in a lab? Yes. US lab, likely. This one paper, and their 2015 ‘NATURE’ paper, shows clearly that COVID virus was developed in collaboration between U.S. and Chinese researchers (main funding by US) and this collaboration played a key role in creating SARS-CoV-2.
In the NATURE paper below Menachery et al. describe exactly how they created the chimeric deadly COVID like virus.
The president of Silicon Valley Bank appeared before Congress in 2015 to argue that his bank should not be subject to scrutiny - insisting that 'enhanced prudential standards' should be lifted 'given the low risk profile of our activities'.
Greg Becker, president of SVB, on Friday watched as his bank collapsed and was placed under government control - becoming the second-largest bank to fold, after Washington Mutual in 2008.
Yet hours later it emerged Becker had convinced Congress to lessen the scrutiny of businesses like his. But anyone with deposits over a quarter of a million dollars with Silicon Valley Bank now faces losing all their money above the $250,000 protected by a federal law.
Uvalde’s district attorney has joined the Texas Department of Public Safety in fighting the release of public records related to last year’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, arguing that all of the families who lost children want them withheld. But attorneys for a vast majority of the families are refuting that claim, saying that the information should be made public.
“These Uvalde families fundamentally deserve the opportunity to gain the most complete factual picture possible of what happened to their children,” wrote Brent Ryan Walker, one of the attorneys who represents the parents of 16 deceased children and one who survived, in a court affidavit filed Tuesday evening.
Numerous news organizations, including The Texas Tribune and ProPublica, are suing DPS for records that could provide a more complete picture of law enforcement’s response to the shooting, which left 19 students and two teachers dead in the border community.
Joe Guarino rescued an entire industry with help from what some called “divine” intervention.
A little-known lobbyist from Virginia, Guarino was hired in 2007 by the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries, the trade association for nonprofit alternatives to medical insurance founded on Christian principles. Health care sharing ministries take fees from members, which are then used to pay other members’ health bills.
At the time, the industry had been tainted by a scandal involving one of the largest ministries in the country, the Christian Brotherhood Newsletter, based outside Canton, Ohio. State authorities won $14 million in civil judgments against two of its top leaders for enriching themselves instead of paying the medical bills of its members. A ProPublica investigation last month revealed that many of the Brotherhood’s executives, including Daniel J. Beers, were involved years later in the launch of a second scandal-plagued ministry, Liberty HealthShare.
The Washington-based alliance was looking to Guarino to repair the industry’s reputation and pass laws to fend off a looming movement to regulate the business. The lobbying effort is an example of how the ministries have quietly worked over the years to shield themselves from consumer protection laws and preempt government oversight.
A few months ago, Leonard Leo laid out his next audacious project.
Ever since the longtime Federalist Society leader helped create a conservative supermajority on the Supreme Court, and then received more than a billion dollars from a wealthy Chicago business owner to disburse to conservative causes, Leo’s next moves had been the subject of speculation.
Now, Leo declared in a slick but private video to potential donors, he planned to “crush liberal dominance” across American life. The country was plagued by “woke-ism” in corporations and education, “one-sided journalism” and “entertainment that’s really corrupting our youth,” said Leo amid snippets of cheery music and shots of sunsets and American flags.
Sitting tucked into a couch, with wire-rimmed glasses and hair gone to gray, Leo conveyed his inspiration and intentions: “I just said to myself, ‘Well, if this can work for law, why can’t it work for lots of other areas of American culture and American life where things are really messed up right now?’”
State and local officials in Wisconsin said they were horrified to learn of the conditions leading up to the 2019 death of an 8-year-old Nicaraguan boy on a dairy farm, as well as the flawed law enforcement investigation that followed. Now they say they want to address some of the issues highlighted by a ProPublica investigation, published last month, into Jefferson Rodríguez’s death.
“What happened should never have happened,” said state Rep. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, a Milwaukee Democrat whose mother’s family worked as migrant farm laborers in Wisconsin in the 1960s.
Jefferson was run over late one summer night in 2019 by a worker operating a skid steer on a farm in rural Dane County, about a half-hour north of Madison, the state capital. It was the worker’s first day on the job, and he told us that he had received only a few hours of training. Our investigation showed how the authorities who investigated Jefferson’s death wrongly concluded that his father had run him over.
The New Mexico Corrections Department has lost track of nearly two dozen prisoners in its custody who are serving life sentences for crimes they committed as children, an error that could keep these “juvenile lifers” from getting a chance at freedom under a bill likely to be passed by the state Legislature within days.
As the legislation was being drafted, ProPublica asked the department for a list of all state prisoners who were sentenced to life as juveniles. Using court records, the news organization then identified at least 21 such individuals not on the state’s list. Many of them had been locked up for decades.
Denali Wilson, a staff attorney at the ACLU of New Mexico who helped discover the problem, said such carelessness on the part of the state government makes it plain that “when you throw away kids in adult prison, they are lost.”
Last year, when the Colorado legislature passed a bill aimed at protecting residents in disputes with their homeowners associations, lawmakers had one key goal in mind: reducing the number of foreclosures filed by HOAs.
So far, the reform appears to have had its intended effect. An analysis of state court data by Rocky Mountain PBS and ProPublica shows that HOAs filed 47 foreclosure cases in the nearly six months between Aug. 10, when the law took effect, and the end of January. That’s a significant drop from the same period for the previous four years, when an average of 281 cases per year were filed.
During the 10 weeks between the reform bill’s signing and its implementation, HOAs appear to have been in a rush to start foreclosure motions, filing 151 cases, compared to an average of 98 cases per year in the same 10-week period for the previous four years.
Norfolk Southern allows a monitoring team to instruct crews to ignore alerts from train track sensors designed to flag potential mechanical problems.
ProPublica learned of the policy after reviewing the rules of the company, which is engulfed in controversy after one of its trains derailed this month, releasing toxic flammable gas over East Palestine, Ohio.
The policy applies specifically to the company’s Wayside Detector Help Desk, which monitors data from the track-side sensors. Workers on the desk can tell crews to disregard an alert when “information is available confirming it is safe to proceed” and to continue no faster than 30 miles per hour to the next track-side sensor, which is often miles away. The company’s rulebook did not specify what such information might be, and company officials did not respond to questions about the policy.
The National Transportation Safety Board will be looking into the company’s rules, including whether that specific policy played a role in the Feb. 3 derailment in East Palestine. Thirty-eight cars, some filled with chemicals, left the tracks and caught fire, triggering an evacuation and agonized questions from residents about the implications for their health. The NTSB believes a wheel bearing in a car overheated and failed immediately before the train derailed. It plans to release a preliminary report on the accident Thursday morning.
Last month, Brenda Foster stood on the railroad tracks at the edge of her yard in East Palestine, Ohio, and watched a smoky inferno billow from the wreckage of a derailed train. The chemicals it was carrying — and the fire that consumed them — were so toxic that the entire area had to evacuate. Foster packed up her 87-year-old mother, and they fled to stay with relatives.
With a headache, sore throat, burning eyes and a cough, Foster returned home five days later — as soon as authorities allowed. So when she saw on TV that there was a hotline for residents with health concerns, she dialed as soon as the number popped up on the screen.
The people who arrived offered to test the air inside her home for free. She was so eager to learn the results, she didn’t look closely at the paper they asked her to sign. Within minutes of taking measurements with a hand-held machine, one of them told her they hadn’t detected any harmful chemicals. Foster moved her mother back the same day.
What she didn’t realize is that the page of test results that put her mind at ease didn’t come from the government or an independent watchdog. CTEH, the contractor that provided them, was hired by Norfolk Southern, the operator of the freight train that derailed.
And, according to several independent experts consulted by ProPublica in collaboration with the Guardian, the air testing results did not prove their homes were truly safe. Erin Haynes, a professor of environmental health at the University of Kentucky, said the air tests were inadequate in two ways: They were not designed to detect the full range of dangerous chemicals the derailment may have unleashed, and they did not sample the air long enough to accurately capture the levels of chemicals they were testing for.
The U.S. State Department has approved a diplomatic visa for right-wing Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.
Human rights groups had called on the Biden administration to reject Smotrich’s request after he called for the Palestinian village of Huwwara to be “wiped out” earlier this month. His comments came amid a surge of settler violence in the area that resulted in one Palestinian being killed, hundreds being injured, and huge amounts of property destroyed.
Over half a million Americans are currently homeless.
As Statista's Katharina Buchholz reports, after a period of progress and decline, the U.S. homeless population has increased slightly in 2020 and 2022, according to a report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The 2021 numbers were affected by shelters lowering capacity due to the Covid-19 pandemic during the count that takes places in the first month(s) of every year.
It now stands at 582,462 individuals with two thirds living in shelters. While the number of sheltered individuals in 2022 approached the 2020 pre-pandemic level again, the increase in the nation's homeless is primarily due to a rise in the unsheltered homeless population.
Around half of all unsheltered homeless people in the U.S. are located in California. The rates of unsheltered homeless populations are also high in other states on the West Coast. Tent cities are common occurrences in these states, and this very visible symptom of homelessness has proven divisive, and while some cities have embraced designated areas for camping as a solution for unsheltered people, others have recently cracked down on encampments, for example Sacramento, San Jose and Oakland.
Israel’s move to curb the power of the Supreme Court saw tens of thousands take to the streets in protest, escalating a crisis that has spread to the army and prompted US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to cut back a visit.
More than 20 people were arrested Thursday in the country’s biggest unrest in decades, according to police, following demonstrations in many cities across the country. Austin met his counterpart Yoav Gallant in an engagement near Tel Aviv airport to avoid any disruption, the Israeli defense ministry said.
“America’s commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad,” Austin said after the meeting, though he urged Gallant — as he had Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier — to take steps to de-escalate the violence. He said the US is disturbed by the violence and stressed democracy must have an independent judiciary.
Netanyahu, who regained power as head of a far-right coalition late last year, said his administration “will not allow anyone to screw up Israel’s democracy and cancel the decision of a majority.” That came after the chief of the army expressed alarm over a warning from soldiers that they are considering not showing up for duty.
This week, when the New York Times featured an opinion piece by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, it harmonized with a crescendo of other recent pleas from prominent American supporters of Israel. Bloomberg warned that Israel’s new governing coalition is trying to give parliament the power to "overrule the nation’s Supreme Court and run roughshod over individual rights, including on matters such as speech and press freedoms, equal rights for minorities and voting rights." Such a change would, Bloomberg added, undermine Israel’s "strong commitment to freedom."
Strong commitment to freedom? That would sure be news to the more than 5 million Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank.
The pretense is that what’s happening now with Israel amounts to a surprising aberration from its natural state. At times, the denial even rests on the tacit and absurd assumption that Jews are less inclined to commit atrocities than any other people. But recent events in Israel are continuing a long Zionist process that has been propelled by mixtures of valid yearning for safety and extreme ethnocentrism, with terrible results.
he South Korean government confirmed it approved export licenses last year for components sent to Poland and used in weapons bound for the Ukrainian army last year, contradicting Seoul’s current military aid policy that prevents selling arms to countries involved in armed conflict.
According to Reuters, South Korea delivered weapon components to Poland with the understanding they would be used to build howitzer artillery weapons that would eventually be sent to the Ukrainian army. South Korean officials refused to comment when the sale was completed last year, leaving open the possibility they were simply ignoring the sale.