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According to the commission’s interim president Jessika Padilla Rivera, Puerto Rico’s elections commission began evaluating its Dominion Voting Systems contract after software glitches miscalculated vote totals in the June 2 primaries.

After US Now Dominion Voting Systems Sparks Election Scandal In Puerto Rico 1


Following the contentious primaries on the island, hundreds of anomalies were found, prompting Puerto Rico’s elections commission to announce on Tuesday that it is evaluating its contract with a US electronic voting company.

The Dominion Voting Systems-supplied machines were miscalculating vote totals due to a software glitch, according to the commission’s interim president, Jessika Padilla Rivera.

While the June 2 primary results that accurately identify the winners are uncontested, in several situations, the machine-reported vote totals were less than the paper ones, and in other cases, the machine-reported totals reversed or indicated zero votes for certain candidates.

“The concern is that we obviously have elections in November, and we must provide the (island) not only with the assurance that the machine produces a correct result but also that the result it produces is the same one that is reported,” Padilla said.

In Puerto Rico’s primaries, over 6,000 Dominion voting devices were utilized. According to the business, software problems were caused by the digital files that were used to export the machines’ results.

The elections commission and Dominion have a contract that expires on June 30.

The vice president of the House of Representatives for Puerto Rico, José Varela, requested that Padilla attend a public meeting on Thursday to discuss the problems.

“We cannot allow the public’s confidence in the voting process to continue to be undermined as we approach the general elections,” he said.

The issues brought up memories of the island’s disastrous 2020 primary, where the government was forced to delay voting in a first for the U.S. territory due to a shortage of ballots in some places

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Source: cryptogon



Old habits die hard:

Founded in 1899 in Boston, United Fruit quickly grew to be the dominant force in the region. In addition to the banana plantations and railway, it also ran the post office and the telegram service. By the 1930s, with a dictator in power, United Fruit had amassed hundreds of thousands of acres of Guatemalan land. It was the country’s single largest landowner. Its reach was so ubiquitous that people called the company El Pulpo — the octopus.

The company Chiquita was formed out of a defunct United Fruit in the 1980s. It’s no longer a US company. It’s now based in Switzerland and owned by Brazilian firms. But, it is still a huge banana producer. And the brand is still everywhere in the United States.

Via: BBC:

A court in the United States has found multinational fruit company Chiquita Brands International liable for financing a Colombian paramilitary group.

The group, the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), was designated by the US as a terrorist organisation at the time.

Following a civil case brought by eight Colombian families whose relatives were killed by the AUC, Chiquita has been ordered to pay $38.3m (£30m) in damages to the families.

Chiquita said in a statement that it intended to appeal against the jury’s verdict, arguing that there was “no legal basis for the claims”.

The jury in the case, which was heard in a federal court in South Florida, found Chiquita responsible for the wrongful deaths of eight men killed by the AUC.

The AUC engaged in widespread human rights abuses in Colombia, including murdering people it suspected of links with left-wing rebels.


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by Tyler Durden

Israeli soldiers have been filmed firing a trebuchet across the Lebanese border. A trebuchet was common in medieval and ancient times as a siege engine utilizing a long arm and leverage to launch projectiles. Though the footage of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops firing a flaming projectile over a large border wall at first appeared either a joke or PR stunt, the Israeli army on Thursday actually confirmed it was genuine.

The IDF explained in a statement that the weapon is for localized use and is intended to start fires which can flush out Hezbollah fighters hiding in thick brush just near the border. "This is a local initiative and not a tool that has come into widespread use," the IDF statement said. "The area on the Lebanese border is characterized by boulders, thickets, and dense thorn vegetation, which poses a challenge to the IDF forces deployed in defense."

The Telegraph has noted further that "In this case, the device may have been used to clear dense vegetation in the border area which could help the army prevent terrorists infiltrating Israel, suggested Emanuel Fabian, the Times of Israel military correspondent, who initially posted the video." Throughout the more than eight-month long conflict, fires have erupted on both sides of the border, but especially in the north of Israel - with hundreds of acres having been burned, the result of hundreds of projectiles fired by Hezhollah. In south Lebanon, the IDF has at various times reportedly used incendiary drones, Molotov cocktails, and white phosphorous to set fires aimed at Hezbollah positions. Watch the IDF's strange historical throw-back weapon in action...

Claire's Observations:  One has to wonder why the IDF hasn't used a toxic defoliant like "Agent Orange" to get rid of the brush; the only logical conclusion here, is that Israelis don't want to poison the Lebanon/Israeli border area, because they are looking at annexing it.  Remember:  the Litani River,  firmly on the Lebanese side of the border, is only 5 kilometers (3.5 miles) from the Israeli border, and having water from that river would greatly improve Israel's water situation.

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Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Across the media, journalists have recognized that the Hunter Biden laptop is authentic and, as established early by American intelligence agencies, not “Russian disinformation.” With the authentication of the laptop in the Delaware trial as “real” and untampered, most media has chosen to walk away with a slightly embarrassed shrug. Not the Washington Post. Its columnist, Philip Bump, was one of the most prominent purveyors of what the U.S. government now calls a “conspiracy theory.” This week, Bump ran another column to assure liberals that they were right all along about the laptop story.

In 2021, when media organizations were finally admitting that the laptop was authentic, Bump was still declaring that it was a “conspiracy theory.” Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Bump continued to suggest that “the laptop was seeded by Russian intelligence.”

After Bump had a meltdown in an interview when confronted over past false claims, I wrote a column about the litany of such false claims, including the laptop conspiracy theory.

The Post surprised many of us by issuing a statement that they stood by all of Bump’s reporting, including the laptop conspiracy theory. That was in August 2023.

Well, Bump is back.

In his column, Bump takes after various people calling the media to account for burying this story before and after the election, including myself.

In hitting Sean Hannity for a recent segment, Bump makes a common evasion among laptop deniers:

“One is that he is conflating the laptop presented as evidence at the trial, the one obtained by the FBI in 2019, with the ‘laptop’ that was the source of the New York Post story.”

For those of us who have covered the laptop since the story ran at the New York Post, it is as maddening as it is mendacious.

At the time of the story, some of us noted that the contents of the laptop could be confirmed since these emails and messages involved third parties. Some quickly confirmed the contents as authentic. The Bidens had long been accused of influence peddling and special dealing off of Joe Biden’s positions as senator, vice president, and president.

Moreover, as the media was referencing the debunked letter of former intelligence officials on this possible likely Russian disinformation, American intelligence quickly confirmed that there was no such evidence to support that claim.

The media ignored the actual intelligence agencies in favor of former intelligence officials who were organized by Biden campaign operatives to release the letter. Biden then cited the letter to refuse to answer questions about his son’s influence peddling and unlawful conduct.

Claire's Observations:  One of the primary psychological components essential for a Dementocratic operative, is having had their conscience surgically removed; in this, Bump absolutely radiates having had that done, by spewing old, dead, false information as though it has some possible relationship to the truth, which is yet another lie.

Bravo, Bump; just keep throwing whatever shred of credibility you might have had at one point, right on to the ground, and grinding it into the dust.  But sir, there will be a point, in your process..... when the cognitive dissonance becomes way too much to bear; and frankly, that is a mental burden I would not want to inflict on anyone.

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by Tyler Durden

Individuals in the top 11 most expensive states in the U.S. need an annual income exceeding $100,000 to live comfortably.

This map, via Visual Capitalist's Bruno Venditti, shows how much income single adults need to live comfortably in each U.S. state. SmartAsset calculated the income needed using the cost of necessities sourced from the MIT Living Wage Calculator, last updated on Feb. 14, 2024.

In this case, “comfortable” was defined as the annual income required to cover a 50/30/20 budget, allocating 50% of earnings to necessities such as housing and utility costs, 30% to discretionary spending, and 20% to savings or investments.


Claire's Observations:  These numbers are more than a little terrifying, are they not?!?

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Authored by Andrew Thornebrooke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Prince, a member of the hacking group Red Hacker Alliance who refused to give his real name, uses a website that monitors global cyberattacks on his computer at their office in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China, on Aug. 4, 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images)

A China-linked cyber campaign that infiltrated a Dutch defense network last year is much larger than previously thought and has infiltrated tens of thousands of government and defense systems in Western nations, according to the Dutch government.

The campaign, dubbed COATHANGER, has been linked to communist China and it exploited a zero-day vulnerability in the FortiGate firewall system used by the Netherlands and other nations on many government networks. Zero-day vulnerabilities exist when a software update is first deployed.

Dutch intelligence’s original report, released in February, said that damage from the breach was limited because of “network segmentation,” which separates an affected system from the nation’s wider defense network.

The Netherlands’ National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) announced on June 10, however, that the Chinese cyber campaign is far larger than previously thought.

NCSC said that COATHANGER compromised 20,000 systems across dozens of Western governments, international organizations, and a large number of companies within the defense industry.

Moreover, the statement said, the attackers used the intrusion to install malware on some of those compromised targets to guarantee continued access to those systems. The malware still has not been cut off.

“This gave the state actor permanent access to the systems,” the statement reads. “Even if a victim installs FortiGate security updates, the state actor continues to have this access.”

“It is not known how many victims are actually malware installed. The Dutch intelligence services and the NCSC consider it likely that the state-owned actor could potentially expand its access to hundreds of victims worldwide and has been able to carry out additional actions such as stealing data.”

Likewise, the Dutch statement said that “it is likely that the state actor still has access to systems of a significant number of victims at the moment” and that organizations should take measures to mitigate the possible fallout from that access

Claire's Observations:  The question is not why China may be doing this; the question is, why is Western  software so damned vulnerable to it, and what is really being done to make these software systems as "bullet -proof as possible?!?

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GOP Lawmakers Seek To Block US Funding For Rebuilding Gaza

by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jun 13, 2024 - 10:20 PM

Several initiatives were introduced for a vote in Congress on Wednesday meant to block the Biden administration from using taxpayer dollars for future Gaza reconstruction.

One key provision was introduced as an amendment to the 2025 National Defense Authorization Act. It was led by Republican Reps Brian Mast, Claudia Tenney, and Eli Crane - and was subsequently passed by a simple voice vote, though Democrats opposed the amendment. 

Via The Hill

Mast is a well-known pro-Israel hawk who at one point prior to entering Congress even volunteered to serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), though not in a combat capacity.

"They are absolutely at war with one of our major and best allies anywhere across the globe," said Mast of Palestinians on the House floor before the vote. He asserted that it is "nonsensical" to suggest rebuilding the place that's been largely destroyed by Israeli and American bombs for much of the past year.

"Any group that takes control of the Gaza Strip following this war will have ties to terrorism and be opposed to the existence of our ally — Israel," said Congressman Mast further. 

"Given this reality, even one penny of American tax dollars used to build or rebuild infrastructure in Gaza will just be going to subsidize the next attack on Israel. Our tax dollars should be going to support our allies, not terrorist entities holding American citizens hostage," he added.

Currently there are still 5 American citizens (who hold dual Israeli citizenship) still in Hamas captivity in the Strip (though some may be deceased).

These same Republicans have long complained that Biden's $300 million humanitarian pier project is also a waste. Due to inclement weather it has actually been out of commission longer than it's been in operation.

Claire's Observations:  The only way Mast, et al will see their way clear to supporting a renewal of American taxpayer reconstruction in Gaza, is to ethnically cleanse it of Palestinians, so that Israel can start rebuilding an "Israeli-only" Gaza. 

But if other close-by Muslim countries refuse to take them in, because they are mired in their own economic messes, what then?!? As complete a genocide against all Palestinian Muslims as can be accomplished by the IDF?!?  

Folks, this is what Mast and his minions, would love to see happen; that we are witness to the US government's complicity in this slaughter, is utterly abominable to me, and yet I hear so very few, particularly those in the bowels of DC, speaking out against it.

As an American who loves her country, this breaks my heart.  Are we not supposed to be for freedom; peaceful self-determination; the rule of law; and fiscal and moral responsibility on the part of world leadership?!?

Where did "... except in the case of Israel and the Palestinians" creep murderously  into that credo, please?!?  Was it actually 7 October, or way before this incident (which we now understand the IDF and Mossad allowed to happen) took place?!?

And to the regime in Tel Aviv; gentlemen, when you began conflating "self defense" with genocide, you lost me, and a lot of other people who had previously been absolutely steadfast in their support of Israel, no matter what it had done to the Palestinians.

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Authored by Andrew Korybko via Substack,

Wednesday’s meeting between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg saw the two leaders reach an agreement on the bloc’s military aid to Ukraine. Hungary won’t oppose NATO’s decisions in this regard like it briefly did the EU’s in exchange for NATO not forcing Hungary to participate in a conventional intervention there, allow its territory to be used to facilitate that, and fund the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Simply put, they agreed to disagree and not interfere in the other’s affairs.

While some observers abroad who are favorable towards Orban might be disappointed by this, they’d do well to reflect on how unrealistic it was for them to imagine that he alone could stop NATO’s plans. The Hungarian leader has become a cult hero among Western dissidents who oppose the bloc’s proxy war on Russia through Ukraine after bravely warning over the past two years about how irresponsible and dangerous this policy is. His strongly worded statements perfectly channeled their views on this issue.

Nevertheless, he’s ultimately just one man in charge of a comparatively small country whose role in this proxy war is overshadowed by nearby Poland’s and neighboring Romania’s. It was therefore impossible for him to throw a wrench in NATO’s plans and all that he could ever hope for at best was to get public guarantees that Hungary wouldn’t be drawn into this imbroglio. That’s precisely what he received on Wednesday, which Stoltenberg gave him in an attempt to improve the bloc’s reputation.  

From NATO’s perspective and keeping in mind Hungary’s inability to stop a conventional intervention in Ukraine as well as prevent others from funding the Ukrainian Armed Forces, it made the most sense to leave that wayward member alone in order to deflect from allegations of bullying. Publicly pressuring Hungary to send its troops to Ukraine and let others transit across its territory despite how unpopular these policies are at home could draw negative comparisons between NATO and the Warsaw Pact

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Why Americans Aren't Buying Biden's "Strong Economy" Propaganda

by Tyler Durden

It's become a bit (or more than a bit) of a joke: Biden is doing everything in his power - and beyond that too now that Fed Chair Jerome Powell has admitted what we have been saying all along and that the White House has been "overstating" jobs - to prove to America just how great his "economic recovery" is, and the more he tries the more people hate it. 

And the funny thing is, the responses themselves are prima facie evidence of precisely the propaganda embedded in this discussion.

Consider that last October, the WSJ published an op-ed by the ultra liberal Alan Blinder titled "The Economy Is Great. Why Do Americans Blame Biden?" (his conclusion was "Inflation is lower, but some won’t be happy until prices come down too. That would be a disaster.") A few months later, in April, the even more liberal WSJ editorialist Greg Ip wrote "What’s Wrong With the Economy? It’s You, Not the Data." These desperate attempts to spark adoration for Bidenomics were a disaster, and in May the University of Michigan consumer confidence cratered the most since August 2021...

... forcing the WSJ to point out the painfully obvious: in an article from the editorial board titled "Why Biden Is Losing on the Economy", the WSJ capitulated and pointed out the glaringly obvious: "The average annual inflation rate during his Presidency is 5.5%. Under Trump it was 1.9%."

Alas, this moment of lucidity did not stop the propaganda express, and over the weekend Politico came up with what can only be described as pathetic pandering, writing that "Inside Biden’s orbit, the fear is that there’s little new the administration can do to change the perceptions of a stubborn electorate that’s living through an upswing — yet simply refusing to believe it." Translation: the deplorables are too stupid to appreciate just how great they have it.

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Authored by John & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“Take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties.”

- James Madison

James Madison, often referred to as the “Father of the Constitution,” once predicted that the Bill of Rights would become mere “parchment barrier,” words on paper ignored by successive generations of Americans.

How right he was.

Although Madison initially felt that the inclusion of a bill of rights in the originally ratified Constitution was unnecessary to its success, Thomas Jefferson persuaded him that “a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, & what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences.”

The Bill of Rights drafted by Madison—the first ten amendments to the Constitution—was a document so revolutionary at the time that it would come to be viewed as the epitome of American liberty.

The rights of the people reflected in those ten amendments encapsulated much of Madison’s views about government, the corrupting influence of power, and the need for safeguards against tyranny.

Madison’s writings speak volumes to the present constitutional crisis in the country.

Read them and weep.  

“The accumulation of all powers, Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” — James Madison

“The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived.” — James Madison

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” — James Madison

“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.” — James Madison

“Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression.” — James Madison

“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” — James Madison

I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”— James Madison

In the years since the founders laid their lives on the line to pursue the dream of individual freedom and self-government, big government has grown bigger and the rights of the citizenry have grown smaller.

However, there are certain principles—principles that every American should know—which undergird the American system of government and form the basis of our freedoms.

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A YouGov survey found that Reform has increased support by two points to 19%. The Tories are on 18%. The poll was carried out after Rishi Sunak launched the Tory manifesto on Tuesday
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Welcome to Fear City.

Amid spiking crime and violent carjackings involving luxury vehicles in NYC — like last month’s “great first date” turned action movie, complete with guns shoved in the face of a $150,000 BMW-driving Romeo — well-heeled Gothamites worried about getting to the Hamptons this summer are clamoring for their own exclusive, secure “supercars.”

Among the most sought-after armored automobile suppliers is a former Austrian commando who helps give billionaires peace of mind by fortifying their homes, helicopters, superyachts and Range Rovers — to the tune of millions of dollars.

“People need to understand one simple fact: they need protection,” Matthias Fitzthum, CEO of Bespoke Home & Yacht Security, told The Post of the souped-up security measures he says any “ultra-high net worth” family would be crazy not to follow. “An alarm system isn’t protection — they need hardware to protect their family and themselves.”

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Everything NATO is doing today is a preparation for a possible clash with Russia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told Izvestia.

"Everything NATO is doing in this area today, to put it bluntly, is the alliance's preparation for a possible military clash with Russia," he said. "And the exercises that are being conducted show how all concepts of cooperative security have now been discarded and NATO has returned to Cold War-era security schemes," he pointed out.

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"JUNE 1, 2024: NOURISH CO-OP HAS A CEASE & DESIST ORDER FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND AT THIS TIME IS NOT ABLE TO SELL RAW CHEESE, RAW DAIRY, SOURDOUGH & RAW HONEY. We are working through the details and will keep everyone updated as we get more information."

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A US Department of Defense contractor's tantalizing encounter with a giant, glowing UFO has sparked 10 years of research and two patents inspired by his encounter.

Three witnesses, including that Pentagon engineer, report that they captured electronic evidence of a 'barbell' UFO, half the length of a football field, that glowed an eerie 'indigo' blue.

The craft, they said, flew silently over an old logging road in southwestern Ontario, Canada, on August 28, 2013, near where the trio had camped for a hunting trip. 

DailyMail.com spoke with the case's first investigators, who shared electronic data from the contractor's attempt to film the object — showing 'white noise' pulses in the video that recur in one-second loops identical to strobing light from the UFO itself.

Webmaster addition: This sudden surge of UFO and space alien stories is for a reason. 

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A leading data analyst has raised the alarm after uncovering evidence exposing a major cover-up of mass deaths of children who received Covid mRNA shots.

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) analyst Albert Benavides has blown the whistle after realizing that U.S. government data massively underreports the number of children who died from the injections.

VAERS is the national vaccine safety monitoring system that accepts reports of adverse events after vaccination.

The system is controlled by Democrat President Joe Biden’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

VAERS allows doctors, nurses, healthcare providers, health officials, and vaccine manufacturers to report adverse events that occur following vaccination.

Many VAERS reports list “age unknown” for people who were injured or died following a Covid mRNA injection.

After a deeper investigation into the data, Benavides found that report summaries often reveal the victim’s age.

However, VAERS doesn’t update the reports to reflect this.

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Joe Biden‘s ghostwriter, Mark Zwonitzer, admitted early last year to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that he deleted numerous audio records of interviews with the 81-year-old Democrat incumbent in part because of the special counsel investigation. At the time, Department of Justice special counsel Robert Hur was investigating whether Biden had mishandled and illegally retained classified documents after leaving the vice presidency. It is alleged some of these classified documents were shared, in a breach of national security, with Zwonitzer.

According to the transcript of Zwonitzer’s interview with the FBI, the investigating agents asked him if ” the fact that a special counsel had been appointed and you had all these recordings was in your mind when you slid these documents over into the trash…” Zwonitzer, who acknowledged deleting several years’ worth of audio records of interviews with Biden, at first tried to deflect—merely stating he “was aware of the special counsel investigation when that happened.”

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The yuan/ruble exchange rate will now set the trajectory for other currency pairs on the Moscow Exchange (MOEX), including for the euro and dollar, the Bank of Russia (CBR) announced on Thursday.

The statement comes as the latest round of US sanctions prompted the MOEX on Wednesday to suspend trading in dollars and euros. The UK followed Washington’s lead on Thursday, introducing restrictions against the Russian financial system. Transactions in US dollars and euro will continue on the over-the-counter (OTC) market.

“The yuan/ruble exchange rate … will become a reference point for market participants. The share of the yuan in Moscow Exchange trading in May was 54%,” the Bank of Russia said. “Thus, the yuan has already become the main currency in exchange trading,” it added.

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The “lab leak” theory is in the news again. It is essentially revealed as a mainstream position now. As we always predicted it would be.

Two weeks ago the New York Times ran a long opinion piece endorsing it (we covered it in This Week).

Last week economist Jeffrey Sachs endorsed it in his 2-hour interview with Tucker Carlson,

and yesterday RFK jr endorsed it as part of his presidential campaign:

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On May 14, Alexey Pertsev, one of the lead developers of Tornado Cash (TC), was found guilty of money laundering by a Dutch court and sentenced to sixty-four months in prison. TC is a privacy-preserving protocol developed for the Ethereum blockchain: it allows users to deposit funds in a TC pool and withdraw them to a different address, thus making it impossible for external observers to track financial activity. TC is completely noncustodial, meaning that users are in control of their own money at every step of the process. In other words, developers do not have any technical means to control how individuals interact with the TC smart contracts.

Because of its privacy-preserving features, TC was sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control in August 2022: citing concerns with money laundering and terrorist financing, the United States government made it illegal for US citizens to use TC. Soon after the blacklisting by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Pertsev was arrested in the Netherlands; Roman Storm and Roman Semenov, the other TC lead developers, were arrested by US authorities in August 2023 and charged with money laundering and sanctions violations. The sentence against Pertsev creates a precedent that threatens not only developers’ freedom to write open-source code, but also users’ ability to transact without being tracked by unwanted third parties, including government snitches. The war on privacy waged by Western regulators is in full swing.

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A flotilla from the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet has begun training for long range strikes while en route to Cuba, where they will dock in the capital Havana just 350 kilometres off the coast of the United States. The small naval contingent is comprised of two combat vessels including the Yasen-M Class nuclear powered attack submarine Kazan, and the Gorshkov Class frigate Admiral Gorshkov, which represent by far Russia’s two most capable ocean going surface and submarine combatants. The Russian Defence Ministry reported that the ships delivered simulated long range strikes against enemy naval targets located over 600km away, with this following prior excesses by the Admiral Gorshkov simulating countering an air raid using its guns and anti-aircraft systems. The deployment of the ships to Cuba has been widely interpreted as one of many responses to escalating U.S. military support for Ukraine, including provision of longer ranged missiles and permitting them to be used against targets deep inside Russia, as well as providing personnel and targeting data by aircraft and satellite to facilitate attacks.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov referred to the United States as an “enemy” while speaking to reporters on Tuesday, in an apparent hardening of rhetoric between the two countries.

It remains unclear if the use of the word signals an official policy change, as the spokesman had previously argued that only President Vladimir Putin can make such decisions.

Washington’s refusal to allow former US marine, UN weapons inspector and RT contributor Scott Ritter to travel to St. Petersburg was “the latest manifestation of the rabid campaign to prevent US citizens from interacting with the Russian Federation” – which would only be “understandable” if it was somehow related to his former intelligence status, Peskov told journalists on Tuesday.

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