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"Corporations, like religions, make noble the basest instincts of man." -- Michael Rivero
Lotifi Hassan Misto was going about his business herding sheep in Syria’s Idlib province May 18 when a US drone strike blew him to smithereens.
Pentagon officials immediately trumpeted ‘We murdered an al-Qaeda leader bent on terrorizing the homeland’. That could well have been a recorded response that has been played hundreds, maybe thousands of times since the War of Terror began 22 years ago this September.
But the Pentagon fable quickly fell apart when family members came forward to defend Misto and were backed up by terrorism experts. They told the Washington Post Misto was likely not affiliated with al-Qaeda.
A Pentagon official offered an ‘oops’ stating “We are no longer confident we killed a senior AQ official. But another official claimed the person they killed was al-Qaeda without offering an iota of evidence. “Though we believe the strike did not kill the original target, we believe the person to be al-Qaeda.” With that the Pentagon has gone silent, refusing to release any details of the sheepherder killing attack.
Argentina is in talks to renew and potentially expand its currency swap line with China, a central bank source said on Wednesday, as the South American country battles tumbling foreign reserves that threaten its ability to meet payments.
The country has free access to some $5 billion as part of the China currency swap agreement that totals 130 billion yuan ($18.81 billion). The two countries activated the usable portion in January to help bolster Argentina's embattled peso.
The government source said the central bank was "advancing towards the renewal of the swap and discussing the possibility of increasing the unrestricted amount", with the aim to have an agreement ready to sign by the end of May.
The IRS opened an examination of journalist Matt Taibbi’s 2018 tax return on Christmas Eve of last year — three weeks after he exposed sensitive documents about government officials pressuring Twitter to censor content.
The House Judiciary Committee said Wednesday it obtained that detail and other information about the case from the IRS following the outcry over a tax agent visiting Taibbi’s home on March 9, 2022 — the same day he testified to Congress about the “Twitter Files.”
Documents provided to the committee “raise more questions than they answer,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel in a letter requesting that he make further disclosures.
The IRS told the committee it was trying to ensure the reporter wasn’t the victim of identity fraud, Jordan wrote.
In the aftermath of the first round of elections in Turkiye, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a speech on 23 May where he vowed that the opposition will be “erased from politics,” in what was seen as a threat to his main rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
“We will attack the polls on May 28 … opposition leaders will be erased from politics,” Erdogan said at a rally of his supporters in Malatya ahead of the runoff election scheduled for this coming Sunday.
At the start of the month, Erdogan’s government launched a crackdown on politicians, journalists, lawyers, and activists affiliated with the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), who have endorsed Kilicdaroglu.
Erdogan’s latest remarks come two days after the formal endorsement of Erdogan by Sinan Ogan, an ultranationalist third-place contender in the elections. With Erdogan already in the lead in the first round, it is expected that Ogan’s endorsement has pushed the president further up in the race.
Israeli occupation forces blocked all the entrances of Al-Mugayyier village, to the east of Ramallah, for the 12th day in a row, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Local sources told WAFA that Israeli forces continued to block the main entrances of the village, preventing the villagers from entering and leaving it and forcing them to take long detours to reach their destination.
Germany’s Commerzbank AG has suspended its correspondent banking relations with at least three Lebanese financial institutions citing a “lack of profitability,” according to unnamed banking sources that spoke with Lebanese daily L’Orient-Le Jour.
But despite the claims made by the German bank, experts believe this is a “pretext” and say the decision is more likely a result of Lebanon’s possible grey-listing by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) over money laundering concerns and the issuance of a red notice by Interpol against Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh.
Speaking to Al Akhbar, monetary advisor Ghassan Shammas also revealed that banks in the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and the rest of the Scandinavian countries have adopted a “de-risking policy to end or reduce their dealings with Lebanese commercial banks.”
While the “de-risking” policy is usually adopted as a precautionary measure by banks over poor profitability or money laundering concerns, fears are mounting that this could snowball into a complete severance of relations by western banks given the complete inaction of Lebanon’s political class to address the dire economic crisis.
Israel's public prosecution announced that it would oppose the early release of long-term Palestinian prisoner Walid Daqqa on the grounds that he suffers from terminal cancer.
Daqqa, who has been detained since 1986, was diagnosed with a rare type of bone marrow cancer several months ago and has been in and out of hospitals due to successive health setbacks.
Israel's Prison Service's (IPS) medical administration said after diagnosing him that "his days are numbered and there is an immediate risk to his life".
Sana Salama, Daqqa's wife, told Middle East Eye that the 60-year-old prisoner is currently in intensive care receiving intensive antibiotics to treat a new lung infection.
The head of a new US State Department unit tasked to coordinate efforts aimed at countering Beijing reportedly plans to step down next month, the department’s second high-ranking official with a China portfolio to announce a departure in less than two weeks.
Rick Waters, head of the State Department’s recently created Office of China Coordination, and known informally as its “China House”, will leave the position just six months after it was established to manage what Secretary of State Antony Blinken called “the scale and the scope of the challenge” posed by the country.
“Secretary Blinken has benefited tremendously from Rick’s expertise on China and Taiwan over the past two years and is grateful for his work establishing China House,” Bloomberg cited State Department spokesman Matthew Miller as saying, without giving a reason for the departure.
Just when one is tempted to conclude that Ukraine’s sycophantic backers in the West can’t embrace policies that are more detached from reality, leading figures in that faction manage to plumb new depths of absurdity. The latest example is a May 22 Wall Street Journal op-ed by Bernard-Henri Lévy. He fumes that one of Vladimir Putin’s chief weapons in his war against Ukraine “is Russia’s status as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, which entails the power to block any resolution. It’s a legacy of World War II and the decision to reserve this status to the five victors, including the Soviet Union.”
But “the Soviet Union no longer exists,” Lévy emphasizes. Consequently “Russia’s permanent membership and the veto power it confers have no legal basis.” After delineating Russia’s “war crimes” since 1991 (real or exaggerated) while ignoring similar international behavior by the United States and its European allies, Lévy finally comes to the meat of his proposal. “Ukraine can and should inherit the rights of a fallen Russia. Remove the Russian Federation from its seat as a permanent member and transfer it to Ukraine.”
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky made an unexpected trip to Britain last week on a whistle-stop tour of European capitals, pleading for more powerful and longer-range weapons to use in his war against Russia.
What was hard to ignore once again was the extent to which the UK is playing an outsize role in Ukraine.
Last year, shortly after the start of the war, the then-prime minister, Boris Johnson, hurried to Kyiv – presumably on Washington’s instructions – apparently to warn Zelensky off fledgling peace talks with Moscow.
At around the same time, the Biden administration made clear it favored an escalation in fighting, not an end to it, as an opportunity to “weaken” Russia, a geo-strategic rival along with China.
Since then, the UK has been at the forefront of European efforts to entrench the conflict, helping to lobby for the supply of weapons, training and military intelligence to Ukrainian forces.
The United States is widely monitoring one of the western regions of Iraq's Al-Anbar to build its second military base in the province after the Ain Al-Assad base, an Iraqi security source revealed, as cited by local media outlets.
The media suggested that the US chose Al-Jazira area to construct its military bases due to its large oil and gas fields, as well as other mines.
According to the reports, the area is one of Iraq's completely safe regions and has not witnessed any attacks for a long time.
Informed Iraqi sources had previously revealed that the US occupation forces are not planning to withdraw from Iraq and are attempting to expand the Ain Al-Assad base by obtaining lands around it.
US Central Command claimed they killed a senior al-Qaeda leader in a May 3 drone strike when announcing it on Twitter even though they had no confirmation of who died, CNN reported Tuesday.
The victim of the drone strike turned out to be 56-year-old Lotfi Hassan Misto, a father of 10 who was killed while herding his sheep in the Idlib countryside. Relatives and neighbors said he had no affiliation with al-Qaeda, and terrorism experts told The Washington Post there was no evidence that he did.
The announcement made by CENTCOM on Twitter said: “At 11:42 am local Syrian time on 3 May, US Central Command Forces conducted a unilateral strike in Northwest Syria targeting a senior Al Qaeda leader. We will provide more information as operational details become available.”
Unnamed Pentagon officials told CNN that the announcement was ordered by Gen. Erik Kurilla, the commander of CENTCOM. One official said Kurilla’s subordinates urged him to hold off on the tweet until they knew who they killed, although two other officials denied that happened.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Wednesday that cooperation between Russia and China has reached an “unprecedented high” due to pressure both nations are facing from the West.
“Today, relations between Russia and China are at an unprecedented high level,” Mishustin said in talks with Chinese Premier Li Qiang in Beijing.
“They are characterized by mutual respect of each other’s interests, the desire to jointly respond to challenges, which is associated with increased turbulence in the international arena and the pattern of sensational pressure from the collective West,” Mishustin.
Biden administration officials have said that the US is looking into reports of US military equipment being used in a cross-border raid that was launched from Ukraine into Russia’s Belgorod region.
Both Russia and the militias that launched the attack said US armored vehicles were used in the raid. But the Biden administration is claiming the reports aren’t confirmed.
“We are looking into those reports, but as I’ve said, we have not yet reached any conclusions about them,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said at a press briefing on Wednesday. Miller refused to say what potential consequences there would be for Ukraine if US equipment were used in the attack or if there would be any at all.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is aiming to strike a deal soon with the White House on raising the debt ceiling, he indicated to reporters Wednesday afternoon.
McCarthy said staff planned to meet at the White House “to try to finish up the negotiations” between House Republicans and President Joe Biden that day and made clear that spending cuts remain a condition of any debt ceiling hike.
The speaker also caveated that “there’s a number of places that we are still far apart.”
House Republicans passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act in April, which would raise the debt ceiling through early next year while drastically reducing spending. The bill’s provisions include blocking Biden’s student loan bailout, rescinding recent funding to the IRS, repealing climate-related parts of the Inflation Reduction Act, and expanding work requirements for welfare recipients.
The cuts are meant to help rein in government spending that, according to Republicans, has driven growth of the national debt, which stands at $31 trillion.
Republicans in the House are rallying behind Speaker Kevin McCarthy in his negotiations with President Joe Biden over the debt ceiling, as conservative leaders are circulating a memo encouraging McCarthy to “hold the line” on critically important spending reforms as the essential core of any deal with the White House.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) – a leading House conservative – circulated a memo to his GOP colleagues on Wednesday outlining the popularity of the major spending reforms in Speaker McCarthy’s debt ceiling plan, undoing the attempted gaslighting of congressional Republicans by sharing the polling data associated with key spending reductions showing that a majority of Americans support lowering spending to 2022 levels or below.
Conservative leaders nationwide reviewing that material are now circulating a memo of their own showcasing the highlights of that “Dear Colleague” congressional memo, gathering signatures from policy and opinion leaders nationwide to reinforce the GOP’s confidence in both chambers that the majority of Americans stand with them on these demands for fiscal sanity, with a final memo to be released late Wednesday.
The Ukrainian intelligence service says it’s attempting to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin. A high-ranking official admitted to actively plotting the Russian leader’s assassination after a recent drone attack on the Kremlin.
“Putin is noticing that we are getting closer and closer to him,” Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate, told Welt in an interview. He added, Putin is number one on the kill list “because he coordinates and decides what happens.”
The Ukrainian intelligence official claimed his agency had failed to kill Putin because he “stays holed up.” Skibitsky suggested another attempt could be made soon as the Russian leader “is now beginning to stick his head out.”
Ukrainian officials have admitted to previously attempting to kill Putin. Last year, Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, in an interview with Ukrainska Pravda claimed, “There was an attempt to assassinate Putin…[It was an] Absolutely unsuccessful attempt, but it really happened… It was about [March 2022].”
This is par for the course for the FBI, whose modus operandi has historically been to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” perceived threats to the government’s power.
Indeed, the FBI has a long history of persecuting, prosecuting and generally harassing activists, politicians, and cultural figures.
Back in the 1950s and ‘60s, the FBI’s targets were civil rights activists, those suspected of having Communist ties, and anti-war activists. In more recent decades, the FBI has expanded its reach to target so-called domestic extremists, environmental activists, and those who oppose the police state.
In 2019, President Trump promised to give the FBI “whatever they need” to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism, without any apparent thought for the Constitution’s prohibitions on such overreach.
That misguided pledge sheds a curious light on the FBI’s ongoing spree of SWAT team raids, surveillance, disinformation campaigns, fear-mongering, paranoia, and strong-arm tactics meted out to dissidents on both the right and the left.
There were in fact two main U.S. provocations.
The first was the U.S. intention to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia in order to surround Russia in the Black Sea region by NATO countries (Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria Turkey, and Georgia, in counterclockwise order).
The second was the U.S. role in installing a Russophobic regime in Ukraine by the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, in February 2014. The shooting war in Ukraine began with Yanukovych’s overthrow nine years ago, not in February 2022 as the U.S. government, NATO, and the G7 leaders would have us believe.
The decision of Russia and Belarus on retaliatory measures in the military-nuclear sphere was made in the context of an extremely serious escalation of threats on the western borders of the two countries, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Thursday.
"In the context of an extremely serious escalation of threats on the western borders of Russia and Belarus, a decision has been made on retaliatory measures in the military-nuclear sphere," Shoigu said at a meeting of CSTO defense ministers in Minsk.
The Iskander-M operational-tactical missile system, which can use both conventional and nuclear missiles, has been transferred to the Belarus military, the minister noted.
As part of its month-long focus on adolescent health, the Biden administration is promoting a document that tells Planned Parenthood and other taxpayer-funded family planning offices how to talk to minors about sex without their parents overhearing, and how to secretly deliver birth control to adolescents without parental knowledge or consent.
Federally-funded guidelines instruct adults to pause before discussing sex with minors and to ask, “Are you alone in the room?” These instructions specify tactics to follow “if you’re really having a hard time getting a parent” to leave the room during the sex talk. They suggest children as young as 13 discuss sex with groups like Planned Parenthood in a parked car or communicate in writing, so their parents cannot hear the adults’ side of the conversation. And they encourage offices to have vans roam neighborhoods giving minors federally funded contraceptives; to mail birth control to adolescents in “plain, unmarked packaging;” and/or to have teenagers receive contraceptives at public meet-up places.
A federal grant recipient admitted the cloak-and-dagger sex discussion is necessary, because “parents might not agree with some of the things that we’re talking about.”
The new phenomenon of unusually virulent and fast-acting cancers and a massive increase in AIDS – what can be done about mitigating the damage from mRNA and spike protein.
House Republicans passed a resolution that would overturn President Biden's student loan forgiveness plan on Wednesday.
The resolution, brought forth by Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., passed 218 to 203 - with two Democrats joining Republicans: Rep. Jared Golden, Maine, and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, Wash.
The Biden proposal was expected to bring relief for up to 40 million borrowers who could have qualified for as much as $20,000 in forgiveness. The plan has been mired in legal troubles and is now before the Supreme Court.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre turned defensive during her briefing on Wednesday, snapping at a question about why the president was heading to his rural retreat at the weekend as the country faces a debt meltdown in just eight days.
She fielded questions as negotiators remain deadlocked on negotiating a debt ceiling deal, and markets plunged amid fears of U.S. default.
Officials forecast that calamity is now only a week away.
'On the debt ceiling, you used words like catastrophic and devastating today, but the president again is going to Camp David this weekend and then going to Delaware. If the situation is so dire, then why is the president...' said a reporter before being cut off by the press secretary.
Chinese hackers have struck 'critical' US infrastructure, Microsoft revealed today in a campaign that targeted Guam sparking fears that Beijing is preparing to black out communications on the strategic base for an assault on Taiwan.
The tech giant said that state-backed hackers, dubbed 'Volt Typhoon', had been active since at least mid-2021 and are waging an ongoing breach of 'critical infrastructure organizations in Guam and elsewhere in the United States.'
The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) confirmed that China was behind the breach across multiple government and private sector organizations.
Primary care providers across the U.S. were bribed with incentive programs to coerce patients into getting the toxic COVID shot. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield paid doctors $50 for each Medicaid patient aged 6 months and older, who got the experimental jab
Doctors have been financially incentivized to vaccinate children for a long time. In 2016, Blue Cross Blue Shield paid pediatricians a $400 bonus for each patient that completed 10 vaccinations before their second birthday, provided 63% of their patients were fully vaccinated
“Client and family incentives” also exist. In 2015, the Community Preventive Services Task Force recommended boosting vaccination rates by giving small, inexpensive incentive rewards to patients
Bribery is also par for the course when it comes to vaccine mandates. Pfizer paid undisclosed sums to front groups that advocated for COVID jab mandates, thereby hiding their conflict of interest
While the COVID-19 pandemic furthered many globalist goals, it inadvertently tanked childhood vaccination rates. To get childhood vaccination rates back on track, a global alliance has launched “The Big Catch-Up” initiative. It’s touted as the largest childhood immunization effort ever
At first glance at these images, you'd be forgiven for mistaking them as works of art from the latest trendy art exhibition.
But the images are very much real and were created by combining photos from two of NASA's most powerful telescopes.
The James Webb Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory both captured dazzling view of two galaxies, a nebula, and a star cluster.
By combining the images, these cosmic wonders can be seen in their full glory.
'When multiple NASA telescopes observe the same cosmic region, the universe's true colours are revealed,' NASA said.
Several GOP legislators have joined with Democrats to push a draft migration and amnesty bill that supercharges the flow of foreign visa workers into the white-collar careers sought by many striving U.S. graduates.
Three GOP legislators have endorsed the combined amnesty and visa worker giveaway: Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), and Rep. María Elvira Salazar (R-FL).
Alongside the amnesty for many millions of blue-collar migrants, “What they’re doing is further deflating wages of white-collar workers,” said Kevin Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech Workers, an advocacy group for U.S. graduates, adding:
It’s another race to the bottom … No-one [in the establishment] seems to care that in the medical profession, and in all the other white-collar professions, wages are being deflated as people are being muscled out of jobs by the [visa worker] migrants.
Declassified U.S. State Department documents prove that MSM and the U.S. government are deceiving the public. Russia is only asking for the same kind of security that the US demands for itself.
When the smoke finally clears, President Biden’s Ukraine debacle will go down – along with Afghanistan and Iraq – as one of the greatest foreign policy disasters in US history. Hundreds of thousands have been killed on both sides in the service of the US neocons’ long standing desire to “regime change” Russia.
And let’s not forget that $100 billion authorized by Congress to finance the neocons’ “Project Ukraine.”
With Russian control established in the strategic city of Bakhmut over the weekend, the neocon Ukraine project – like all neocon foreign policy projects before it – looks to be progressing rapidly toward failure. But that won’t stop the Biden Administration from attempting to extort more money from an America already teetering on the brink of economic collapse. And let’s not forget the battle over the “debt limit” raging in DC.
The Biden Administration’s profligate domestic spending is a battleground for Republican lawmakers, however when it comes to endless spending on Project Ukraine, with a few exceptions the two parties are in lockstep. At least when looking at Republican party leadership.
One thing is sure: we can count on Congress to throw good money after bad. After all, 20 years fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan got us…the Taliban in Afghanistan! With a cost of perhaps three trillion dollars. But the military-industrial complex and the think tanks pushing war and the mainstream media glorifying war all got paid well.