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French labor unions have been holding several days of mass strikes and protests against raising the retirement age, in a test of the momentum driving defiance to Emmanuel Macron’s signature economic reform... which is hardly surprising: France is one of the biggest "western" bastions of socialism.
As Bloomberg reports, the country’s rail operator, SNCF, said only one-third of high-speed TGVs were running and urged people to work from home. Subway and commuter trains serving the capital were severely disrupted, with limited service on most lines. Many schools were also closed.
Protesters also blocked three oil refineries operated by TotalEnergies SE and strikes by Electricite de France SA’s workforce took more than 3 gigawatts of nuclear-reactor capacity offline. Air France-KLM’s French arm said it had scrapped 10% of short-haul flights.
When President Biden introduced his Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) last summer, he surprised the world with the extent of the climate commitments within it While supposedly aimed at inflation reduction, the legislation also provides extensive political support and funding for the green transition, providing tax cuts, subsidies, and other incentives for companies looking to use cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels. The EU has long been hailed as the leader in the switch to renewable energy, encouraging other countries worldwide to follow in its footsteps when it comes to climate pledges and policies. However, following the introduction of the IRA, pressure on the EU grew to introduce its own far-reaching, region-wide climate policy. After several months, it appears that the EU is ready to launch a transition policy that will provide the funding needed to keep up with the U.S. in the race to green. The EU has announced plans to reduce restrictions on tax credits for renewable energy projects in response to Biden’s IRA. Following mounting public pressure to expand its climate policy following the introduction of the new U.S. law, the European Commission (EC) has stated that it aims to loosen state aid rules to encourage greater investment in production facilities in the green energy industry. However, this kind of major policy shift requires broad support from its 27 member states, which often slows down the introduction of new laws.
“Since the organization launched a major campaign against apartheid one year ago, Israeli forces have killed almost 220 Palestinians, including 35 in January 2023 alone,” Amnesty said in the statement, adding that the Israeli system of apartheid “is causing so much suffering and bloodshed”.
Amnesty also pointed out that “the international community’s failure to hold Israeli authorities to account for apartheid and other crimes has given them free rein to segregate, control and oppress Palestinians on a daily basis”.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) published a report in January which outlines the consequences that US arms deliveries to Ukraine had on its own stockpiles. The conclusions of the report will surely galvanise factions in the US political system that are against the sending of arms to Ukraine because Washington is not prepared for a large-scale conflict with China.
According to the report’s authors, events in Ukraine make it clear that an armed conflict between two Great Powers is bound to develop into a protracted war, and not only on the battlefield, but also in industry, which must supply the front with everything it needs without interruption from arming soldiers to high-precision missiles and bombers.
Seth G. Jones, director of CSIS’s International Security Program, wrote in another report:
“As the war in Ukraine illustrates, a war between major powers is likely to be a protracted, industrial-style conflict that needs a robust defence industry able to produce enough munitions and other weapon systems for a protracted war if deterrence fails.”
He warned that the US defence industry lacks adequate surge capacity for a major war as it is operating in a peacetime situation rather than the current competitive security environment.
“The United States has been slow to replenish its arsenal, and the DoD (Department of Defense) has only placed on contract a fraction of the weapons it has sent to Ukraine,” Jones said.
Webmaster addition: Short version; the US is running out of weapons!
By May 2020, it had become apparent that the standard practice of putting COVID-19 patients on mechanical ventilation with ventilators was a death sentence
Between 50% and 86% of COVID patients placed on life support ended up dying
By May 2020, doctors had also found that high-flow nasal cannulas and proning led to better outcomes than ventilators
The World Health Organization promoted the use of ventilators as a way to purportedly curtail the spread of virus-laden aerosols, thereby protecting other patients and hospital staff. In other words, suspected COVID patients were sacrificed to “protect” others
The matter becomes even more perverse when you consider the fact that many “COVID cases” were patients who merely tested positive using faulty PCR testing. Hospitals also received massive incentives to diagnose patients with COVID and put them on a ventilator
By May 2020, it had become apparent that the standard practice of putting COVID-19 patients on mechanical ventilation with ventilators was a death sentence.1 As early as April 9, 2020, Business Insider reported2 that 80% of COVID-19 patients in New York City who were placed on ventilators died, which caused a number of doctors to question their use.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s wife charged public schools across the country to screen her documentaries, making as much as $1.5 million, according to a new report.
Siebel Newsom’s non-profit released four films, for which she is credited as a writer and director, advocating for "gender justice." Siebel Newsom's "gender identity" films are produced through her for-profit operation, Girls Club Entertainment, which is then licensed by the nonprofit The Representation Project, to public schools. The Representation Project claims that they fight "sexism through films education, research and activism."
Oh No! The FBI agent recently arrested for taking bribes from a Russian oligarch also ran the office that looked into crimes related to Hunter Biden’s illegal representation of Chinese spy Patrick Ho.
There are no coincidences. The New York Post reported:
The wife of an ex-FBI agent arrested this week for allegedly helping a Russian oligarch has something in common with Hunter Biden — their lacrosse-playing daughters, data stored on the first son’s infamous laptop reveals.
Pamela McGonigal and Biden both received at least 29 emails related to the Next Level Lacrosse program and other activities associated with the sport from Oct. 7, 2014, to May 7, 2015, according to a search of the first son’s messages.
Two of Biden’s daughters with his first wife Kathleen Buhle — Finnegan and Maisy Biden — were midfielders on the varsity lacrosse team at the exclusive Sidwell Friends private school in Washington, DC, according to online records.
Project Veritas is at it again, this time exposing a potential Pfizer mRNA vaxx fertility scandal.
Great hashtag too.
Over 2.2 million views so far.
The news about the vaxx just seems to get worse and worse nowadays.
There’s a reason many online referred to this thing as the “beastly jab” way back when it came out.
O’Keefe’s latest scoop was going viral on Twitter but may have been suppressed.
The video, which TGP decided not to post because it is too gruesome, shows the driver of a white Lexus quickly accelerating, striking the cyclist and sending him flying into the air.
The driver, a black male identified as 39-year-old Vanroy Evan Smith of Long Beach, quickly exited his vehicle and stabbed the victim.
Several Good Samaritans jumped into action and detained the murder suspect, according to witnesses, ABC 7 reported.
The victim, identified as 58-year-old Michael John Mammone, a Laguna Beach ER doctor, died at the hospital.
Well, it’s big in Japan...
That is what proponents of California’s high speed rail project say when asked about the whys and wherefores of the system. In other words, if it works somewhere else it will work here.
That argument, though, falls in the face of a rather basic fact: California and Japan are different.
It is true that Japan’s high speed rail system, first begun in 1964, actually makes money – a lot, in fact. The iconic first line, Shinkansen Tokaido, alone carries 90 million people a year and has an operating profit of about $4.4 billion dollars. That does not include capital costs, but teasing that number out after 60 years of operation and the privatization of the route in the late 1980s is extremely difficult – suffice to say the deal has “worked” for the owners.
There are multiple other Shinkansen lines in Japan, most of which also realize an operating profit (the latest expansion to Hokkaido – the very large island north of the Japanese mainland – has proven to be problematic, though.)
Nearly one year in, that notion has officially been dispelled.
“We are fighting a war against Russia,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said this week.
Baerbock was trying to assuage NATO allies’ frustration over German reluctance to send Leopard 2 tanks into Ukraine. She can now claim vindication. In a reversal of its initial position, the German government has announced it that will deliver Leopard 2 tanks to the Ukrainian army.
To overcome German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s jitters, the White House engaged in an about-face of its own, approving the shipment of 31 US-made M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Scholz had insisted on conditioning any German tanks to a similar US commitment. Up until this week, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin was “dead set against providing” the M1s, and declared there to be “no linkage between providing M1s and providing Leopards.” Austin had argued that the M1s are too cumbersome for Ukraine, requiring costly jet fuel, heavy maintenance, and lengthy training.
Just last month, a senior US defense official declared that “even one M1 was out of the question,” according to the Washington Post. When used by US troops in Iraq, the M1s were “hard for us to sustain and maintain,” the official noted. For Ukraine, “it would be impossible.” Even last week, senior Pentagon official Colin Kahl dismissed the prospect of sending the “very complicated” M1, because “we should not be providing the Ukrainians systems they can’t repair, they can’t sustain, and that they, over the long term, can’t afford.”
On Sunday night, the San Francisco Police Officer’s Association posted on Twitter that the officers were told they “were not welcome” at the Pizza Squared restaurant.
According to the union, they contacted the owners about the “shameful and hateful actions of one of their employees.” […]
“When our shift manager told us about the incident after it happened, we expressly told him we didn’t share his views & that he was out of line. He was fired at the end of the day.”
Senior Pentagon officials told lawmakers in the House Armed Services Committee last week in a classified briefing that Ukraine is unlikely to retake Crimea from Russia, POLITICO reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the briefing.
The briefing reflects other recent reporting that said US officials don’t think Ukraine has the capability to take the peninsula, which Russia has controlled since 2014. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said back in November that the probability of Ukraine kicking Russia out of the territory it captured since last February and Crimea is “not high.”
Milley reiterated this point on January 20. “I still maintain that for this year it would be very, very difficult to militarily eject the Russian forces from all –– every inch of Ukraine and occupied –– or Russian-occupied Ukraine,” he said.
Iraq’s foreign exchange rate has steadily declined over recent years, falling to lows which are severely damaging the Iraqi economy. Ironically, this comes at a time when the foreign reserves meant to back the Iraqi dinar’s global position are at a near-term high.
Starting with the 2003 US invasion and occupation, the Central Bank of Iraq has remained closely linked to the US Federal Reserve. This was one of several long-term linkages meant to ensure the US retained strong sway over the future Iraqi economy to react to any tensions, and in the increasingly likely event that the US feels like increased mucking about regionally.
The US regime got it in its head that Syria and Iran were using the relatively free economy of neighboring Iraq for money laundering. That’s not an entirely unreasonable suspicion, as many Iranians are heavily invested in the Iraqi economy after the damage done to Iran’s economy by US sanctions. Trying to rein this in, the US Federal Reserve is keeping a tight grip on the foreign reserves it holds “for” Iraq.
The other day I stumbled across a 2014 opinion piece in The Guardian titled “It’s not Russia that’s pushed Ukraine to the brink of war” by Seumas Milne, who the following year would go on to become the Labour Party’s Executive Director of Strategy and Communications under Jeremy Corbyn.
I bring this up because the perspectives you’ll find in that article are jarring in how severely they deviate from anything you’ll see published in the mainstream press about Ukraine in 2023. It places the brunt of the blame for the violence and tensions in that nation at that time squarely at Washington’s feet, opening with a warning that the “threat of war in Ukraine is growing” and saying there’s an “unelected government in Kiev,” and it only gets naughtier from there.
I strongly recommend reading the article in full if you want some perspective in just how dramatically the mass media has clamped down on dissenting ideas about Ukraine and Russia, beginning with the frenzied stoking of Russia hysteria in 2016 and exploding exponentially with the Russian invasion last year. I doubt there’s a single paragraph which could get published in any mainstream outlet in the media environment of today.
On her wedding day, Sally Abujumeiza could not let go of her phone. Her father, kept apart from her under Israeli policy, was on the other end of a video call throughout the party.
"The wedding day was one of the saddest days in our life," Sally's mother, Tassahil Abujumeiza, told Middle East Eye. "She cried all day long."
In 2009, when 24-year-old Sally was 10, her father, Qassem Abujumeiza, left his hometown of Gaza for work in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, around 80 km away.
Back then, the tailor factory manager thought it would take him a few days to arrange for his family in Gaza to join him in Ramallah. Fourteen years later, the family is still waiting for unification.
An illegal Jewish settler assaulted on Thursday a Palestinian boy from the town of Huwwara, near the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Suleiman al-Mukhtar, the boy’s father, told WAFA that an illegal Jewish settler driving in Huwwara stopped his vehicle and pepper-sprayed his 14-year-old son Faysal, who was standing on the side of the street when the settler passed by.
Jewish settlers, protected by the army and with a green light from their racist government, have recently escalated their violence against Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories.
According to a report issued by the Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission, Israeli occupation forces and Jewish settlers carried out more than 700 attacks against Palestinians and their properties during the month of January.
Serbia’s populist president warned during a chaotic parliamentary session on Thursday that the Balkan nation could become a European “pariah” state if it rejects a Western plan for normalizing relations with Kosovo.
President Aleksandar Vucic faced a hostile reception from the right-wing opposition, which urged parliament to reject the plan and accused him of betraying Serbia.
The plan hasn’t been made public formally, but Vucic said it stipulates that Serbia wouldn’t object to Kosovo’s inclusion in international organizations, including the United Nations, though it wouldn’t have to formally recognize its statehood.
“I haven’t signed anything. I said we will continue with the talks,” Vucic said. “People need to understand … Would we become a European pariah? Yes, we would.”
Energy giant Shell has announced record annual profits nearing $40bn, after oil and gas prices surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February.
The British company’s earnings in 2022 were the highest in its 115-year history, a milestone that has angered many Britons struggling with a cost-of-living crisis largely driven by inflated energy bills.
Boeing has been awarded a $1.6 billion contract to provide guidance subsystem support for US Minuteman III Intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
Work will be performed at Hill Air Force Base in the state of Utah, and is expected to be completed by Feb. 1, 2039, the Department of Defense said in a statement.
The Minuteman III, which has been in service for 50 years, is a warhead-equipped missile that can carry a nuclear bomb during wartime.
The Pentagon carried out a routine test of the missile on September 7. The operation had been announced in advance in order to avoid any flare-up of tensions with Russia in the midst of its war in Ukraine.
Martial law was declared in several areas of military-run Myanmar on Thursday, a day after authorities extended a state of emergency throughout the country wracked by violence that some U.N. experts have described as a civil war.
State-run MRTV television broadcast an announcement by Aung Lin Dwe, secretary of the military’s State Administration Council, imposing martial law in 37 townships across eight of the country’s 14 regions and states. Eleven of the townships are in Sagaing region and seven in Chin state, areas in the northwest where fighting has been fiercest between the army and guerrillas belonging to pro-democracy People’s Defense Forces and their allies in ethnic minority militias.
The army has been struggling to contain a nationwide insurrection by opponents of military rule who took up arms after peaceful protests against the army’s Feb. 1, 2021, seizure of power were suppressed with lethal force. The military has declared martial law before, most notably in early 2021 in Yangon, the country’s biggest city, after which violence escalated against protesters. According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an independent watchdog group that tracks killings and arrests, at least 2,948 civilians have been killed since the army takeover.
China, only the third country to put a man in space after the Soviet Union and United States, is to build ground stations on Antarctica to back its network of ocean monitoring satellites, state media said on Thursday.
FILE PHOTO: Astronaut Liu Yang waves as she is out of a return capsule of the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft© Thomson Reuters
China's global network of ground stations to support a growing number of satellites and outer space ambitions has drawn concern from some nations that it could be used for espionage, a suggestion China rejects.
In 2020, Sweden's state-owned space company, which had provided ground stations that helped fly Chinese spacecraft and transmit data, declined to renew contracts with China or accept new Chinese business due to "changes" in geopolitics.
China Aerospace Science and Technology Group Co. is to build the stations at the Zhongshan research base, one of two permanent Chinese research stations on Antarctica, after winning the tender with its 43.95 million yuan ($6.53 million) bid, state-controlled China Space News reported.
On January 19, during one of its raids in the Occupied West Bank, the Israeli military arrested a Palestinian journalist, Abdul Muhsen Shalaldeh, near the town of Al-Khalil (Hebron). This is just the latest of a staggering number of violations against Palestinian journalists, and against freedom of expression.
A few days earlier, the head of the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate (PJS), Naser Abu Baker, shared some tragic numbers during a press conference in Ramallah. "Fifty-five reporters have been killed, either by Israeli fire or bombardment since 2000," he said. Hundreds more were wounded, arrested or detained. Although shocking, much of this reality is censored in mainstream media.
The murder by Israeli occupation soldiers of veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11, was an exception, partly due to the global influence of her employer, Al Jazeera Network. Still, Israel and its allies labored to hide the news, resorting to the usual tactic of smearing those who defy the Israeli narrative.
Muhammed Bazza has been queueing for petrol in the blazing sun for four hours, while Alexander Okwori has spent the last two waiting at an ATM.
Bazza said he had woken up at 4:30 am to try to beat the petrol queues, but it didn’t work – shortly after 10 am, when he was just 10 metres (30 feet) from the petrol pump, he was told to leave.
Hunter Biden is making a bold move by asking the Federal Government and the Delaware Attorney General to go after individuals who shared personal information from his laptop.
According to the letter sent by his lawyer to the Justice Department, Hunter Biden is targeting close allies of former President Donald Trump, including John Paul Mac Isaac (the laptop repair store owner), Rudy Giuliani, his attorney Robert Costello, Steve Bannon, Garrett Ziegler, Jack Maxey, and Yaacov Apelbaum.
Robert Costello, a lawyer for both Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon, told CBS News the letters to the Justice Department and Delaware were a "frivolous legal complaint trying to intimidate."
The news of Hunter Biden’s request has sparked a heated debate between political factions on either side of the aisle. While some view the move as a necessary step to protect his privacy and the right to information, others view it as a political ploy to silence his detractors.
It’s still unclear at this point whether there will ever be a complete reckoning with all the misinformation, disinformation and outright lies that were spread by authorities in government, media and the corporate sector about COVID and vaccines during the pandemic. But one mea culpa DID recently appear in Newsweek, penned by Texas MD/Ph.D student Kevin Bass, who explained at length how lives were lost and confidence in institutions undermined by the knowing spread of false information and defamation of anyone who contradicted the COVID narrative.
A new report compiled by the Center for Biological Diversity has revealed that the number of households having their electricity disconnected by power companies as a result of not being able to pay soared between 2021 and 2022.
Leading the way among states who report such data is Illinois, whose main electricity providers shut down power for nearly 300,000 households between January and October 2022, a massive increase over the previous year.
According to the report, disconnects in Illinois rose 26 percent from 2021 to 284,720 in the first ten months of 2022. The state's two largest electricity providers, Exelon’s Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and Amaren, accounted for the vast majority of shut-offs.
Both companies are investor-owned and have been criticized for increasing executives' salaries while working to make electricity more expensive for customers.
As the report states, ComEd imposed a 26 percent rate hike in October 2021, and gained permission from regulators in November 2022 to raise prices yet again by $199 million. All the while, customers were having their lights turned off for non-payment.
Montana’s Republican Senator Steve Daines sent a letter to the Department of Defense (DOD) demanding answers on the suspected Chinese spy balloon spotted above his state.
Daines sent a late letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday amid reports of the suspected surveillance balloon over U.S. airspace.
The Montana Republican called the high-altitude Chinese balloon a "concerning event" and told Austin that the "fact that this balloon was occupying Montana airspace creates significant concern that Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB) and the United State’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fields are the targets of this intelligence gathering mission."
Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., sent a late Thursday letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin demanding answers on the suspected Chinese spy balloon spotted above his state. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP)
Daines wrote that given "the serious nature of the event," he is "requesting a full security briefing from the administration on this situation."
"It is vital to establish the flight path of this balloon, any compromised U.S. national security assets, and all telecom or IT infrastructure on the ground within the U.S. that this spy balloon was utilizing," the letter reads.
Webmaster addition: This story doesn't feel right. Given that this is supposedly a balloon, it's path is easy to determine from the prevailing winds. Another point is that, whoever this balloon belongs to, if they don't have permission to be in US airspace, then it can be brought down safely by punching a small hole in the envelope. But this "China is over our heads watching us" feels more like fear porn than accurate reporting.
UPDATE: Turns out it's a weather balloon gone astray.
The Bank of England on Thursday hiked its interest rate for a tenth time in a row as global authorities race to combat sky-high inflation.
It also forecast a shallower-than-expected UK recession this year as the country faces a cost-of-living crisis.
The BoE voted at a regular meeting to lift its key interest rate by a half-point to 4.0 percent, the highest level since late 2008.
The pound dipped and the London stock market advanced in early afternoon trade, as investors digested a decision that was in line with expectations.
The European Central Bank also raised eurozone interest rates by the same amount Thursday, after the US Federal Reserve delivered a quarter-point increase Wednesday.