I need to reach a wider audience!
I need to reach a wider audience!
"I don't have a problem with anyone being rich. I have a problem with people who cannot feel they are rich unless everyone else is made to be poor." -- Michael Rivero
Yousaf beat devout Christian Kate Forbes to become the next leader of the governing SNP party, despite being strongly disliked among the Scottish electorate...
Humza Yousaf has won the Scottish National Party leadership contest and will succeed the outgoing Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister of Scotland, despite being disliked by almost half of Scots, according to recent polling.
The Scottish health secretary will become the first Muslim to attain the role. He narrowly beat colleague and practicing Christian Kate Forbes by 52 to 48 percent once second preference votes were counted after outsider Ash Regan was eliminated in third place.
The 37-year-old is expected to be formally sworn in as Scotland’s sixth first minister at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Wednesday, subject to a procedural parliamentary vote on Tuesday.
On Monday Der Spiegel reported that 18 Leopard 2 battle tanks have been received by the Ukrainian government, after the tanks were successfully delivered at the Ukrainian border.
Previously Defense Minister Boris Pistorius had promised that the the battle tanks would be in Ukrainian hands by the close of March. The German media report also noted that about 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles were also delivered.
The Democrats say that Jan. 6 was the worst attack on American democracy since the Civil War. They call it an insurrection, but if it was indeed the worst since 1865, no one but a fool would dare claim it even remotely approached the scale of the bloody war between the states.
And if you weren’t a fool, you might conclude that Jan. 6 was nothing like an insurrection. It wasn’t violent in the sense of an armed rebellion. It wasn’t organized. And it didn’t seek to overthrow the government, but to protect the Constitution. In more ways than not, it was a defense of American democracy, not an attack on it.
In every particular, Jan. 6 was a pale shadow compared to the Civil War. To start with, it lasted less than six hours, whereas the Civil War lasted four long years. The war between the North and South cost the lives of 620,000 soldiers and another 50,000 civilians. The Jan. 6 incursion at the U.S. Capitol, on the other hand, claimed the lives of just two women protesters, Ashli Babbitt and Roseanne Boyland. Among the defenders of the Capitol, police officer Brian Sicknick died after suffering two strokes the next day, but without a direct known connection to the riot. Two other protesters died of natural causes during the siege, and four law officers died by suicide in the months following the attack. If you count all of those as legitimate casualties of Jan. 6, then the total comes to nine compared to a minimum of 670,000 in the Civil War.
It would be impossible to exaggerate the stark differences between Jan. 6 and the Civil War.
A Kansas meat packing company has recalled approximately 3,436 lbs of boneless beef chuck product due to potential contamination with E. coli, according to the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
A routine FSIS inspection of a sample of ground beef made from the boneless beef chuck tested positive for this strain of E. coli, also known as STEC O103, after which the the Harper, Kansas-based outfit issued the recall.
The U.S. government has released the licensing agreement it hammered out with vaccine manufacturer Moderna but has refused to confirm many payment details.
Moderna agreed to pay the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to license spike protein technology the company included in its COVID-19 vaccine, the contract confirms.
Moderna resisted for years acknowledging the work by government researchers on the spike protein but relented in late 2021 and announced the contract during an earnings call on Feb. 23.
Moderna said it provided a “catch-up payment” of $400 million to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the NIH, under the agreement.
The newly disclosed contract says that Moderna would pay the NIH a “noncreditable, nonrefundable royalty in the amount of Four Hundred Million dollars.”
Portions that would confirm Moderna’s statement that the company would pay “low single digit royalties” on future sales of its COVID-19 vaccines are redacted.
The contract, running 34 pages, has key sections redacted as to future royalties.
Documents the FBI recently released show that a lawyer for the agency expressed her reservations about a draft version of U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Oct. 4, 2021 memo that initiated a controversial federal effort to investigate alleged harassment at school board meetings around the country.
The documents, which the America First Legal Foundation (AFL) recently obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, showed FBI attorney Miriam Coakley expressed her hope that Garland and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) would reconsider their actions.
“Not sure if you’ve seen this/weighed in—it was just raised to my attention,” Coakley wrote in an Oct. 4, 2021 email to Corey Frazier Ellis. Ellis was serving at the time as chief of staff for FBI Director Christopher Wray before Garland appointed him in December of that year to serve as the Interim U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina.
“I hope DOJ reconsiders,” Coakley added in her email.
After Coakley contacted him, Ellis raised the issue to Norman Wong, the then director of the DOJ’s Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA), writing “we are asking that the memo be revised,” to which Wong replied: “It’s a little too late.”
The World Bank said in a new report that Ukraine’s reconstruction will cost at least $411 billion over the next ten years, a number that will rise as the war drags on.
The report said the $411 billion figure should be seen as a “minimum as needs will continue to rise as long as the war continues.”
World Bank Vice President Anna Bjerde previously estimated the reconstruction would cost between $525 billion-$630 billion, but the report issued Wednesday was more precise and was produced jointly with the US and Ukrainian governments.
After the new report came out, Bjerde said Ukraine’s reconstruction will take “several years” and will require public investments “complemented by significant private investment to increase the available financing for reconstruction.”
Earlier this month, a judge ruled that two different lawsuits against JPMorgan Chase over the bank’s ties to deceased “financier” and pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein, would be allowed to advance in U.S. Courts. One of these cases, brought against the bank by the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), has been a particular focus of independent media since the new year began, in part because the Attorney General of the USVI, Denise George, was fired from her post just days after she filed that case.
In a hearing in the USVI case against JPMorgan earlier this month, a USVI lawyer argued that the CEO of JPMorgan – Jamie Dimon – “knew in 2008 that his billionaire client [Jeffrey Epstein] was a sex trafficker.” The lawyer, Mimi Liu, also stated that former JPMorgan Jes Staley also knew this about Epstein at the time, but noted: “This case was not just Jes Staley … there will be numerous documents that go far beyond his office to the executive suite.” Liu also asserted that “Staley knew, Dimon knew, JPMorgan Chase knew” about Epstein’s criminal activities against minors.
While the bank has disputed that Dimon knew anything about Epstein’s accounts at the bank or what he was really up to at the time, this Unlimited Hangout investigation – a multi-part series – will reveal that Dimon’s rise to the top post at JPMorgan was intimately linked to the very same group of people who enabled Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking activities as well as his extensive financial crimes.
The Department of Energy's reported conclusion that SARS-CoV-2 most likely leaked from a Chinese lab, affirming the FBI's assessment, is not the only recent evidence for the hypothesis still dismissed as a conspiracy theory by some establishment scientists.
Anthony Fauci discussed "the outbreak and chimeras" — fragments from different viruses stitched together into a new creation — with an American scientist collaborating with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in February 2020, Freedom of Information Act documents suggest.
Previous FOIA disclosures imply that Fauci, then-director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, played an unacknowledged role in a paper concluding that COVID-19 emerged naturally.
Walt Disney Company began 7,000 layoffs in a letter sent to employees Monday, as CEO Bob Iger works to save the company some $5.5 billion.
Several major divisions of the company - Disney Entertainment, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and corporate - will be impacted, according to a person familiar with the matter. The layoffs will also affect Disney workers across the globe, and not just in the United States.
Iger had previously announced the layoffs throughout the company after he took back over as CEO in November.
Still, OpenAI is keeping everything that happens within its search API separate from the rest of its infrastructure just to be sure. It can’t visit websites that aren’t available through Bing’s “safe mode,” and it won’t visit sites that request not to be crawled in their robots.txt files.
Secondly, it can now run the code it writes. OpenAI has given it a working Python interpreter, sitting in a “sandboxed, firewalled execution environment,” along with some disk space, which stays available for the duration of your chat session, or until it times out. It can also now upload and download files.
So if you ask it a question that requires some serious number crunching, it’s now capable of coding up a piece of software specifically for the task, and running that code to complete your task. You can supply it with data in certain file formats, and it’ll perform operations on that data and give you something back again, potentially in a different format if that’s what you ask for.
This is pretty bonkers stuff. It’ll take a spreadsheet and make annotated graphs for you. It’ll accept JPGs, tell you what they look like they are, and write and run code to resize those images or convert them to grayscale.
In an outstanding piece of political-theoretical writing, titled ‘The Threat of Big Other’ (with its play on George Orwell’s ‘Big Brother’) Shoshana Zuboff, succinctly addresses the main issues of her book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism – The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power (New York: Public Affairs, Hachette, 2019), explicitly linking it to Orwell’s 1984.
Significantly, at the time she reminded readers that Orwell’s goal with 1984 was to alert British and American societies that democracy is not immune to totalitarianism, and that “Totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere” (Orwell, quoted by Zuboff, p. 16). In other words, people are utterly wrong in their belief that totalitarian control of their actions through mass surveillance (as depicted in 1984, captured in the slogan, “Big Brother is watching you”) could only issue from the state, and she does not hesitate to name the source of this threat today (p. 16):
For 19 years, private companies practicing an unprecedented economic logic that I call surveillance capitalism have hijacked the Internet and its digital technologies. Invented at Google in 2000, this new economics covertly claims private human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioural data. Some data are used to improve services, but the rest are turned into computational products that predict your behaviour. These predictions are traded in a new futures market, where surveillance capitalists sell certainty to businesses determined to know what we will do next.
This is a big story that will probably fly under the radar. That’s too bad because it gets at the underlying scammy nature of the climate change movement.
Every time a state government or a corporation announces a particular environmental target, most of the time what they mean is that they’re going to make some small changes and then they’ll buy some offsets or credits to compensate for the rest.
For example, makers of actual cars were forced to buy credits from Tesla by California so that working-class drivers were financing luxury car owners. Airlines now routinely announce that they’re buying offsets which means a portion of your ticket is going to pay off some company that is supposedly doing some environmentally sound. Your power company buys credits resold by some company that’s supposedly running wind farms in Wyoming (that nobody needs) which doesn’t mean that you’re using wind power, but that you’re paying for someone else to use wind power to atone for your use of fossil fuels.
Obviously, this is already a scam. And the few sincere environmentalists who believe the sky is actually falling denounce it as such. But it’s an incredibly lucrative scam that moves billions if not trillions of dollars around.
Leaked emails show that the White House was intent on pressuring messaging platform WhatsApp to censor private conversations about ‘vaccine skepticism’.
The revelation is perhaps even more alarming than the Biden administration’s efforts to shut down dissent on public social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, because the lobbying pertained to information exchanged between as a few as two people.
The leaked emails were featured in a Substack article written by journalist and author David Zweig.
From March 2021 onwards, Rob Flaherty, the Biden White House’s Director of Digital Strategy, demanded WhatsApp owner Meta explain the actions it was taking to intervene in private conversations about the COVID vaccine between WhatsApp users.
When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power last year, he never mentioned plans to overhaul the country’s judiciary. But a little-known Jerusalem think tank had been preparing for the moment for years.
The Kohelet Policy Forum, founded by an American Israeli and funded by a U.S. libertarian billionaire, quietly authored and helped introduce the far-reaching package of judicial changes that has sparked a national crisis and driven hundreds of thousands of Israelis into the streets.
Likud member Keti Shitrit, in a recent interview with Israel’s Channel 13, said Netanyahu’s party never internally discussed the judicial overhaul bills supplied by Kohelet before fast-tracking them through the parliament.
“It wasn’t us that prepared it; it was Kohelet Forum,” she said on a special TV broadcast covering the mass anti-government protests, adding that the group has been providing “materials” to right-wing politicians for years.
The meeting was the only time Mark got any answers from the DOJ about his brother's death. Three years later, he still doesn't know exactly how Epstein died and why it's taken the government that long to share its answer to that question.
Mark Epstein told Insider that even though he's Jeffrey's next of kin, he hasn't been able to obtain certain medical records, including the care reports filled out by EMTs who evaluated his brother's corpse.
The public hasn't gotten answers either. Epstein flew at the heights of power, consorting with presidents and princes while at the same time abusing scores of girls. His death in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons represents one of the most shocking failures of federal law enforcement in history. How could the Justice Department let him just slip away?
The Justice Department's Office of Inspector General launched an investigation after he was found dead. But more than three years later, the office still hasn't released its report into the circumstances of Epstein's death.
The circumstances surrounding the flare-up in Syria between the US occupation forces and pro-Iranian militia groups remain murky. President Biden claims that the US is reacting, but there are signs that it is likely being proactive to create new facts on the ground.
The US Central Command claims that following a drone attack on March 23 afternoon on an American base near Hasakah, at the direction of President Biden, retaliatory air strikes were undertaken later that night against “facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.”
However, this version has been disputed by the spokesman of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council who accused Washington of “creating artificial crises and lying.” The Iranian official has alleged that
“Over the past two days, American helicopters have carried out several sorties with the aim of increasing instability in Syria and transferred Daesh (Islamic State) terrorists in the territory of this country.”
The biggest global news story in 2021, 2022, and now in 2023 is that people around the world are dying in ever great numbers as the pandemic winds down. This is just the opposite of what was expected since COVID-19 mortality was largely in the elderly and those with many medical problems, the viral illness should have had a “culling” effect leaving 2022 and now 2023 to have decreased mortality.
Multiple sources of data suggest the swell in mortality occurring is not just among the elderly. Edward Dowd’s book “Cause Unknown”: The Epidemic of Sudden Deaths in 2021 & 2022 numerous sources of insurance data are cited suggesting death claims among working age persons are skyrocketing.
Aarstad et al have published an ecological analysis demonstrating that deaths tracked with increased COVID-19 vaccination rates. But as the authors point out, these observations are not conclusive that the vaccines independently are responsible for the alarming trend.
The March 13 Biden-Albanese-Sunak summit in San Diego to demonstrate alliance solidarity and to sign the multi-billion AUKUS (Australia, United Kingdom, US) nuclear submarine deal accelerated the pace of the U.S. and China sleepwalking toward catastrophic war. Compounding the dangers that came with the creation of the alliance in 2021 as part of the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific military buildup, the new deal also adds to the mountain of obstacles blocking the way to the U.S.-Chinese cooperation that is essential if the climate emergency is to be reversed, the world’s nuclear arms races stanched, and if the planet’s two most technologically advanced nations collaborating to prevent pandemics and discover cancer cures.
The San Diego deal was designed to seal the southern flank of what Chinese President Xi Jinping describes as the West’s “all-round containment, encirclement, and suppression” of China. Initially, the U.S. is to sell Australia three and possibly more nuclear powered and nuclear-capable Virginia class submarines in the 2030s. A decade later the U.S. subs will be augmented with nuclear-powered submarines built by Britain and Australia with advanced U.S. technologies. In addition to deepening dangerous military tensions and provocations across the Indo-Pacific where an accident or miscalculation could trigger World War III. At an estimated cost of $268 to $368 billion, the submarine deal is a massive windfall for the three powers’ military-industrial complexes at the cost of spending for climate resilience and essential human needs. And even before Australia takes command of the most advanced U.S. and British nuclear submarines, Australian harbors will host U.S. and U.K. nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed submarines as that land down under becomes a forward-based repair and maintenance hub for the United States’ seventh fleet.
Egyptian dissidents abroad have told Middle East Eye they are being denied the right to renew their passports and identity documents as a means of pressuring them to return home to Egypt.
In 2017, the well-known Egyptian journalist Hosam Yahia, then based in Qatar, tried to renew his passport a year before it expired. The Egyptian embassy in Doha gave him a one-year renewal instead of the standard seven years, which surprised him.
When Yahia asked for a reason, embassy staff said he was due for conscription, despite having submitted the necessary documents proving his exemption. They promised him that the next time he renewed his passport, it would be for seven years.
In the following months, a local Egyptian media campaign was launched against the Qatari state-backed Al Jazeera channel and Egyptians who work there, including Yahia.
Any Palestinian following the developments in the Israeli protest movement against “the judicial coup” will require nerves of steel to withstand the hypocrisy on display. The protests are estimated to be 100,000 people strong, politicians are jumping over tables in the Knesset, and former army Chief of Staff Yair Golan is calling for a state of “civil disobedience.” Only yesterday, Netanyahu dismissed Defense Minister Yoav Gallant after he voiced opposition to the judicial reforms, and angry protestors took to the streets in Tel Aviv and other cities and shut down highways. The army has been going through its own crisis ever since military reservists, especially those in the Air Force, joined the protests. If that wasn’t enough, large sums of money are being transferred out of Israeli banks for fear of the effects that the judicial reforms might have on the Israeli economy and on the value of the Israeli Shekel. As for gall, that was hardly in short supply in Yuval Noah Harari’s op-ed telling Netanyahu to “stop your coup or we’ll stop the country.” It’s as if Harari has never heard of al-Issawiyya, which continues to be strangled by the Hebrew University where he teaches, or of oppression and occupation, which wasn’t reason enough to warrant speaking of halting the state.
A sculpture of the coat of arms of the British royal family, created with the blood of four Afghans, is to be “projected” onto the walls of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London by Russian artist Andrei Molodkin to protest Prince Harry’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan.
The prince’s recent memoir “Spare” caused significant controversy after he said in it that he had killed 25 Taliban fighters while serving as an attack helicopter pilot.
He added that the figure was “not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me,” and that he had thought of the fatalities as akin to taking “chess pieces.”
Last week I participated in an online forum called US CBDC—A Disaster in the making? It was hosted by Sustany Capital’s Christian Kameir, and we had a very productive discussion about the policy aspect of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
While our panelists agreed that there is very little chance the Fed will launch a fully functional CBDC in the next year or two, we did not necessarily agree on whether that was good or bad.
I believe that the Fed should not launch a CBDC. Ever. And I think that Congress should amend the Federal Reserve Act, just to be on the safe side. (Kudos to Rep. Emmer (R-MN).) That position puts me at odds with the army of consultants who have been churning out papers and proclamations on CBDCs, most of whom seem only to question when the Fed will launch a CBDC.
In one of the more shocking hypocrisies of this year so far, Charles III, King of England – considered to be a strong supporter of organic farming and environmental causes – has given his Royal Assent to a biotechnology ‘innovation’ which will provide an open book for UK firms to alter the genome of animals and plants, so as to create novel engineered species and biotech ‘foods’.
In taking this step Charles has committed an open act of betrayal of all bona fide farmers, and particularly of organic farmers.
The Genetic Technology Precision Breeding Act 2023 was given the royal go ahead on 23rd March, 2023.
This piece of legislation will, for the time being, be unique to the UK, as such animal and plant biotech deformations are not allowed in the EU and many other countries.
The global energy transition is off track to prevent the worst impact of the climate emergency, according to the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency, and a fundamental course correction is required to successfully pivot away from fossil fuels.
A report published by IRENA on Tuesday said an additional $35 trillion of investments in transitional technologies would be needed by 2030 to curb global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
This temperature threshold refers to the aspirational goal of the landmark Paris Agreement.
A radical trans activist group along with a D.C.-based Antifa group will be gathering on April 1 at the Supreme Court to protest for the transgender community at an event called “Trans Day of Vengeance.” Trans identifying female Noah Buchanan and non-binary activist Tsukuru Fors are leading their group Trans Radical Action Network to D.C. and promoting the event through social media. Antifa group, Our Rights DC, joins the trans group to “stop trans genocide.” In a TikTok video by Buchanan, she states the event is about bringing back the phrase, “we’re here; we’re queer, and we’re not going anywhere.”
French authorities on Tuesday conducted raids in and around Paris in what they say is a possible tax fraud case that may have cost governments more than €100 billion ($108 billion).
A spokesperson for France's Financial Prosecutor's Office (PNF) said the raids, which began at 9:30 a.m. and were still ongoing at midday, targeted four French and one international bank on suspicion of money laundering and fiscal fraud.
The banks being investigated are: Societe Generale , BNP Paribas, Exane, Natixis and HSBC.
PNF representatives said the investigations are linked to legally dubious "cum cum" practices in which banks create overly complex legal structures as a way to allow wealthy clients to skip out on tax obligations for dividends.
Authorities say Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, BNP Paribas subsidiary Exane, Natixis and the British banking behemoth HSBC are suspected of aggravated tax fraud laundering. Moreover, BNP and Exane are suspected of aggravated tax fraud.
Tuesday's raids are linked to PNF investigations opened in December 2021.
A staffer for Sen. Rand Paul was stabbed and seriously injured in Washington, D.C., on Saturday and a suspect has since been arrested, according to police and Paul's office.
"This past weekend a member of my staff was brutally attacked in broad daylight in Washington, D.C.," Paul, R-Ky,. said in a statement to ABC News on Monday. "I ask you to join [wife] Kelley and me in praying for a speedy and complete recovery, and thanking the first responders, hospital staff, and police for their diligent actions."
Paul's office has not publicly identified the staffer.
National Public Radio has become a parody of itself.
NPR recently ran a news article about how the World Athletics Council, the governing body for international track and field competitions, will henceforth prohibit biological males who “identify” as females from competing in women’s sports.
The article had this line which, for readers with common sense, might produce a chuckle:
“At the center of the issue is whether transgender women athletes have a physical advantage over other female competitors, even after lowering their testosterone levels,” NPR reported. “But there is limited scientific research involving elite transgender athletes—which the council also acknowledged.”
Do biological men have a physical advantage over women? Is the sky blue? Are we going to need more studies to figure this out?