On 2 January, Israel’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Eli Cohen signaled a policy shift with Russia after relations soured due to the war in Ukraine since early 2022.
Cohen announced that Israel would take a step back on the conflict and no longer publicly condemn Russia.
“On the issue of Russia and Ukraine, we will do one thing for sure – speak less in public,” the foreign minister said.
While Cohen announced that Israel would continue to supply humanitarian aid to Ukraine, he also said that Israel would draft a “responsible” policy on the war and “will prepare a detailed presentation to the security cabinet on this issue.”
The Israeli foreign minister reiterated that Israel was seeking better relations with Russia and said he would call his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on 3 January. This would mark the first phone call between the countries’ foreign ministers since the start of the war.
any tombstones were damaged Tuesday by unknown vandals at the Protestant Mount Zion Cemetery in Jerusalem, the Israel Police said.
Police said in a statement that officers arrived at the scene after receiving a report of vandalism. Photos handed out by police showed toppled gravestones and broken masonry.
Security camera video shared on social media showed two apparently Jewish men wearing kippot pulling over tombstones or dropping rocks and masonry on graves to damage them.
Russian sappers have begun another round of explosives clearance operations in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
According to an MoD press statement released Wednesday, the current mission, which will run until March, will see the clearance of some 56 hectares of land (over 138 acres), plus the training of Laotian sappers.
The current mission is the Russian sappers’ fifth, with previous operations seeing Russian forces clear and destroy over 2,200 explosive objects across an area of over 140 hectares (346 acres) in the central Laotian provinces of Bolikhamsai, Khammuan and Xiangkhousang. Russian troops have also already trained about 100 Laotian troops in mine-clearance.
The sappers’ mission in Laos is complicated by a range of environmental factors, including tropical, heavily overgrown forests, large number of insects and poisonous snakes, as well as unexploded ordinance – ranging from cluster munitions to human being-sized bombs, buried at depths up to 170 centimeters (five-and-a-half feet).
Russia and the Soviet Union before it have dispatched sappers to hot spots across the world over the course of many decades, deploying to countries ranging from Algeria and Angola to Syria. The Laos mission began in 2018.
Twitter engaged in widespread censorship of prominent scientists and medical experts for posting content that contradicted the official COVID-19 narrative, according to the latest “Twitter Files” document dump, released Dec. 26, 2022, by investigative reporter and author David Zweig.
Much of this censorship came at the behest of the Biden administration, according to Zweig, who said internal documents revealed that the Biden administration was “very angry” that Twitter didn’t engage in more censorship.
Prior installments of the “Twitter files” focused on political censorship and the widespread use of secret blacklists and shadow banning, the direct involvement of agencies such as the FBI in such censorship on Twitter and Twitter’s collusion with the Pentagon and U.S. military to protect accounts perpetuating propaganda.
Only a limited amount of COVID-19-related content was previously revealed as part of the ongoing release of the “Twitter files,” primarily information that Stanford University professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, an outspoken critic of COVID-19 vaccines and lockdowns, was placed on a blacklist by Twitter.
Benjamin Netanyahu and his assortment of Jewish supremacists, homophobes, and far-right religious zealots were sworn in on December 29. His new government has exposed Israel for what it has always been – an undemocratic, illiberal, ethno-religious state constructed on stolen Palestinian land.
The coalition of extremists that Prime Minister Netanyahu has assembled to solidify power and to save himself from prison, may look new, but the supremacist ideology on which Israel was founded is not. The current government is the end product of 74 years of Zionist violence against the Indigenous Palestinian people.
Israel’s pogroms against Palestinians, which began with the country’s establishment, have continued unabated in the ghettos of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. The "new" Likud government promises to be even tougher on the already beleaguered Palestinians.
A Swedish police officer has claimed that children as young as 14 are being arrested for firearm violence and that eight in ten arrested in Stockholm are under the age of eighteen.
Max Åkerwall, deputy commander for firearm violence at the Stockholm police, has claimed that violent crimes involving criminal gangs are being increasingly perpetrated by children under the age of eighteen as gangs recruit younger and younger members.
“Of those who have now been detained in the Stockholm region, about 80 per cent are under the age of 18,” Åkerwall said, the newspaper Expressen reports.
“Previously, the people were 20-25 years old, in 2022 we have seen that the age creeps down and down. Now we see that they are 14-17 when they commit these crimes,” he added.
Swedish gang expert Fredrik Gårdareadded that criminal gangs are increasingly recruiting younger members saying, “More and more younger people are in custody, which is a change in recent years. Previously, there were lighter penalties for children and teenagers, but this has changed.”
A German doctor was sentenced late Monday to two years and nine months in prison for illegally issuing more than 4,000 people with exemptions from wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic.
A regional court in the southwestern town of Weinheim confirmed Tuesday that the doctor was convicted of “issuing incorrect health certificates” to people from across Germany, most of whom she had never met or examined.
In addition to the prison sentence she was handed a three-year work ban and ordered to pay 28,000 euros ($29,550), the sum she had received for issuing the medical certificates. Her office assistant was fined 2,700 euros.
“The process is more reminiscent of a sale of certificates than a medical procedure,” the court said in a statement. It noted that she was not faulted for providing certificates to her existing patients.
During the trial the defendant had argued that wearing masks was harmful to people´s health.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán called for the dissolution of the European Parliament after it was alleged that leading leftist parliamentarians took bribes from the Sharia state of Qatar.
The growing corruption scandal at the heart of the European Union, in which former European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili, among others, was arrested by Belgian police for allegedly accepting cash from Qatar in return for advocating for the Islamist Kingdom’s interests in Brussels should result in reforms to EU institutions, Viktor Orbán argued.
In a press conference from Budapest on Wednesday, the populist Hungarian leader said: “We have disputes with the European institutions, and we want to transform them.”
“But the fact that they lose their credibility, that this hypocritical character – well known to us by the way – comes to the surface, this destroys the strength of the community to which we also belong”, Orbán said, declaring: “Hungarians want to abolish the European Parliament.”
Republican Jewish Coalition CEO Matt Brooks is furious with the GOP "infidels" who voted against Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House and is threatening them with "consequences."
On Tuesday, 20 Republicans voted against making McCarthy the next speaker over three separate roll calls.
"When all the dust settles I hope the infidels pay a real prices for all the chaos and problems they're causing," Brooks said on Twitter. "Actions should have consequences."
Journalist Matt Taibbi released more Twitter files on Tuesday: How Twitter let the Intelligence community in
2. In August 2017, when Facebook decided to suspend 300 accounts with “suspected Russian origin,” Twitter wasn’t worried. Its leaders were sure they didn’t have a Russia problem.
3. “We did not see a big correlation.”
“No larger patterns.”
“FB may take action on hundreds of accounts, and we may take action on ~25.”
4. “KEEP THE FOCUS ON FB”: Twitter was so sure they had no Russia problem, execs agreed the best PR strategy was to say nothing on record, and quietly hurl reporters at Facebook:
5. “Twitter is not the focus of inquiry into Russian election meddling right now – the spotlight is on FB,” wrote Public Policy VP Colin Crowell:
Merkel and Macron’s admission that they negotiated the Minsk Agreement in bad faith, to buy time for Ukrainian aggression, means Russia no longer trusts the West and WW3 is inevitable. Don’t tell the sheeple.
Mercouris: “Something Big Is On the Way”
“The Russians have decided there is no way to negotiate an end to this. No one will negotiate in good faith; therefore we must crush the enemy. And that’s what’s coming.” Colonel Douglas MacGregor (9:35 minute)
Israel’s relationship with the United States is inarguably its most crucial in the diplomatic arena. Newly inaugurated Foreign Minister Eli Cohen thankfully understands that.
Cohen, in his first phone call in his position to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it plainly, emphasizing that Israel’s relationship with the United States and its maintenance is a top strategic priority.
Blinken is the key man standing at the forefront of Israel and the US’ ongoing diplomatic communications and the voice of the Biden administration when it comes to foreign policy, and Cohen told him what he was undoubtedly hoping to hear, amid trepidations about Israel’s new government.
Alternative proteins are foods produced from plants or animal cells, or by way of fermentation. These innovative products are designed to taste the same as or better than conventional animal products while costing the same or less.
Compared to conventionally produced proteins, alternative proteins require fewer inputs such as land and water and generate far fewer harmful effects such as greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.
Some of these products are available to consumers today, including numerous plant-based and fermentation-derived options. Others, such as cultivated meats, are in the process of being developed for widespread and low-cost consumption.
Former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday morning for a three-day visit, during which he will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
Rasmussen, who also served as Denmark’s prime minister, was welcomed by MOFA Department of European Affairs chief Vincent Yao upon his arrival at Taoyuan International Airport at around 7:08 a.m.
During his scheduled stay from Tuesday to Thursday, Rasmussen, founder of the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, will also meet with Vice President Lai Ching-te, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, lawmakers and think tank scholars, MOFA said in a statement.
Ukraine is losing its sovereignty and independence, and talks with its leadership will not be worth a thing, as long as the country is being externally governed, Chairman of the State Duma (the lower house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky wrote on his Telegram channel on Monday, commenting on a statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The NATO chief earlier told the BBC that the West should continue providing its military assistance to Ukraine to force Russia to sit down and negotiate as well as to recognize Ukraine as a sovereign and independent European nation.
According to Slutsky, "Ukraine, though self-destructing, is still a country, and nobody is challenging this status. The goal of the special military operation is to protect our citizens from the Kiev neo-Nazi regime’s aggression, not to destroy Ukraine."
Guy Verhofstadt, the ex-Prime Minister of Belgium and the member of the European Parliament, openly recognized that the anti-Russian sanction policy of the EU completely failed, the Hungarian news channel M1 said in a comment on the European lawmaker’s tweet.
"9 packages of sanctions and the effect is less than 0," Verhofstadt tweeted earlier. The European lawmaker that "frequently criticizes Hungary and its government and politicians standing for national interests, recognized for the first time over the long period that sanctions taken to break Russia down turned out to be inefficient," the M1 channel said, having showed the lawmaker’s tweet.
"We are rewarding Russia for its war against us," the ex-Prime Minister of Belgium said, citing a publication in the Politico news outlet, which had prepared a chart of trading indicators for Russia and the EU from February to August 2022. It followed from the chart that Russia had increased the trade turnover with all EU member-states, excluding Denmark, Finland and Baltic States. In particular, the trade turnover between Russia and Germany gained 33% (20.7 bln euro). The trade turnover with Poland moved up by 24% to 10.4 bln euro. "One picture says it all," Verhofstadt added.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman just told a sceptical Lobby that it was a fact that global healthcare systems are facing significant strain and this was not unique to Britain. Though, as is often the case with the British media, it’s worth looking beyond the usual horizon of the M25. As a winter strain hits the NHS, press coverage is awash with catastrophic headlines. The BBC repeats claims that the NHS is “on a knife edge” as The Guardian decries an “intolerable crisis” – their columnists, unsurprisingly, are clamouring for healthcare to be put on a “war footing”. The BMA has been quick to capitalise on the whipped-up frenzy, accusing the government of making a “political choice” leading to patients dying unnecessarily, as Labour pins it on “mismanagement”. The Liberal Democrats are urging the government to pointlessly recall parliament early…
That the prevalence of health system pressures is a global phenomenon is borne out in the world’s headlines:
The European Central Bank’s decision to raise interest rates in the Eurozone is likely to lead to a collapse of the Euro and to a severe economic crisis in Italy, analysts have warned. Some described the ECB’s policy decision as “kamikaze” and said it would condemn the Eurozone to a prolonged recession. Earlier in December, the ECB announced it would be raising three key interest rates by 50 basis points from December 21.
The standard interest rate has risen from 2 to 2.5 percent, while banks borrowing money from the ECB will now be faced with a charge of 2.75 percent.
The ECB governor justified the hikes as necessary in order to bring inflation under control.
Currently, the EU has an inflation rate of just over 10 percent, caused in large part by higher energy and food prices.
Gabriel Makhlouf said the priority of the bank was to return inflation sustainably towards its 2 percent target.
However, the move has been heavily criticised by some of the leading financial institutions in the West, who are predicting a severe run on the Euro.