Israel and Hezbollah have been actively fighting on the Lebanese-Israeli border for several weeks now. There are casualties even among Lebanese civilians.
However, Lebanese politicians and experts believe that Lebanon is not ready to carry on prolonged hostilities with Israel.
'Beirut Isn't Ready at All to Handle Such a Development'
Despite regular shelling by the Israeli army of populated areas in southern Lebanon, near the border with Israel, Lebanon is not ready to be drawn into a full-scale war with its neighbor, Dr. Ohannes Geukjian, Associate Professor of Political Studies & Conflict Resolution at the American University of Beirut, told Sputnik.
"No, the area of southern Lebanon is not prepared for continued involvement in hostilities with Israel and Beirut is not ready at all to handle such a development. The position of several Lebanese parties and the current caretaker government are not in favor of war with Israel. Given the financial and economic collapse of Lebanon, the country cannot cope with the repercussions of another war. Lebanon is bankrupt and the caretaker government is bearly able to provide the needs of the Lebanese [population]. We are not in 2006, when the Gulf countries funded the rebuilding of the destroyed areas and the infrastructure of the country," he explained.
Western currencies have been almost completely phased out in Russia-China trade, as nearly all payments between the countries are now carried out in rubles and yuan, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov announced on Monday.
Since the introduction of Western sanctions on Moscow, Russia and China have accelerated the use of their own currencies in trade. According to Belousov, 95% of all transactions between Russia and China are now carried out in one of the countries' national currencies, and given the rapid expansion of mutual trade and cooperation, this percentage is likely to grow.
Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, will join an emergency video conference with other BRICS leaders on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing escalation between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas militant group, the Kremlin said in a statement on Monday. The presidential administration provided no further details about the upcoming event.
Earlier on Monday, the office of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that he will chair an extraordinary joint meeting on the situation in Gaza. South Africa currently chairs the BRICS group, which also includes Russia, China, Brazil, and India.
In addition to the regular BRICS members, the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates were invited to join the event as well.
Recently, the 2002 ‘Letter to the American people’ by then-Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden went viral on TikTok after young Americans rediscovered it and, apparently, became disillusioned with their country. This was because Bin Laden had, we may assume, some astute observations about the US – at least as far as some young people see it.
It turns out, of course, that Bin Laden was not only a very well-educated man but also wrote quite a lot. Daniel Dumbrill, a China-based social-media influencer, clued his audience on X (formerly Twitter) into one of Bin Laden's other letters, where he specifically mentioned current US President Joe Biden and why he, the leader of a terrorist outfit wanting to overthrow the US, actually preferred then-Vice President Biden to President Barack Obama.
President Joe Biden and China's Xi Jinping are planning to meet again following their four hour talk in San Francisco that cemented agreements on fentanyl and defense contacts, the White House said Monday.
National security spokesman John Kirby told reporters another high stakes meeting was on the agenda as he defended Biden's comment last week where he stood by calling Xi a 'dictator.'
The comment did not go over well in China's state-run media, although Xi Jinping gave a speech to American CEOs Wednesday immediately after his sit-down with Biden where he declared China is 'ready to be a partner and friend of the United States.'
Investor sentiment surveys are expressing overwhelming positivity, suggesting a rosy outlook, while economic surveys paint a contrasting picture, indicating a deteriorating situation. This stark dichotomy between investor optimism and the grim economic reality underscores a perplexing divergence in current perceptions.
How did the Left go from defending the free speech rights of neo-Nazis to demanding censorship, falsely accusing their opponents of being fascists, and seeking their incarceration?
When Donald Trump became president, Democrats predicted the worst.
“Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy,” David Remnick wrote in the New Yorker the day after the election.
Trump, Remnick said, was an authoritarian who disdained civil liberties and whose election was “surely the way fascism can begin.”
On Tuesday, Republican presidential contender Nikki Haley went on television and declared that it was absolutely necessary to deanonymyze the internet, justifying the idea as a “national security” prerogative.
"Every person on social media should be verified by their name" because of "national security,” she said on a Fox News voter panel.
Webmaster addition: "But we don't need ID to vote because it's racist!"
A growing number of Americans think that ivermectin is an effective COVID-19 treatment, according to a recent survey from a university.
About 26 percent of respondents believe that the drug—long used to treat parasites—can treat the virus,according to the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center. That's up from 10 percent who thought the same in September 2021.
The percentage of people who called that statement "false" also rose to 37 percent in November 2023, up from 27 percent in September 2021, the survey found. The overall number of people who aren't sure declined, from 63 percent to 38 percent in the same time period.
Without elaborating, the survey's authors said that the 26 percent "incorrectly" said that ivermectin is effective, while it has pointed to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) statements saying the agency has not authorized or approved the drug for preventing or treating COVID-19, and it has claimed that data shows it isn't effective against the virus. It has been approved to treat a variety of other illnesses, namely ones caused by parasites, while the World Health Organization (WHO) has regarded it as an essential medicine to treat a number of different ailments.
Webmaster addition: I wish the government was this interested in limiting the use of Fentanyl!
The Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) is opening an investigation into Media Matters for potential fraudulent activity.
Under the Texas Business Organizations Code and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the OAG will vigorously enforce against nonprofits who commit fraudulent acts in or affecting the state of Texas.
Attorney General Paxton was extremely troubled by the allegations that Media Matters, a radical anti-free speech organization, fraudulently manipulated data on X.com (formerly known as Twitter).
“We are examining the issue closely to ensure that the public has not been deceived by the schemes of radical left-wing organizations who would like nothing more than to limit freedom by reducing participation in the public square,” said Attorney General Paxton.
And so when Adam Schiff's budget mini-me piped up over the weekend to say that former President Donald Trump "has to be eliminated," eyebrows were raised over exactly what he meant.
"His rhetoric is really getting dangerous. More and more dangerous. And we saw what happened on January 6th, when he uses inflammatory rhetoric. Now, in his recent Truth Social posts, is incredibly, incredibly scary for anyone uh, that, might be trying to work in government - and, it is just unquestionable at this point that that man can not see public office again. He is not only unfit, he is destructive to our democracy, and he has to be eliminated," Goldman told MSNBC's Jen Psaki.
The US military will deploy new medium-range missile systems to the Pacific region next year for the purpose of “deterring” China from invading Taiwan, the commander of US Army Pacific Forces said on Saturday.
According to Defense One, Gen. Charles Flynn said the deployment will include a land-based version of the Tomahawk missile, which was previously banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a treaty with Russia the US withdrew from in 2019.
“We have tested them and we have a battery or two of them today,” Flynn said. “In 2024. We intend to deploy that system in your region. I’m not going to say where and when. But I will just say that we will deploy them.”
The INF Treaty previously banned the development of land-based missiles with a range between 310 to 3,400 miles. The US’s new land-based batteries that use Tomahawk missiles can hit targets of up to 1,000 miles. The US Marines Corps activated its first Tomahawk battery over the summer at a base in California.
Amos Hochstein, a senior adviser to President Biden, is in Israel to hold talks with Israeli officials on preventing a major war with Lebanon as fighting between Israeli and Hezbollah forces across the Israel-Lebanon border continues to escalate, Axios reported on Monday.
Hezbollah rocket strikes on Monday caused heavy damage to Israel’s Birant military base near the Lebanon border, but no casualties were reported. Israel’s military said it responded with fighter jets, helicopters, and tanks, which targeted Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon.
According to Axios, there’s growing anxiety in the White House that Israel’s military action could lead to a regional war. Some Biden administration officials believe Israel is trying to intentionally provoke Hezbollah to create a pretext for a wider war in Lebanon that can draw in the US.
From the outset, Paris sought to ensure an independent deterrent separate from that of the United States – and to develop sufficient nuclear firepower not to utterly destroy its presumed Soviet adversary in the event of war, but enough to dissuade an enemy from an attack on France. During the Cold War, France’s deterrent featured land, sea and air-based components, with the mission handed over entirely to the Navy in the 1990s.
“France is a member of NATO but thanks to General De Gaulle, we have kept a minimum of dependence toward NATO” as far as nuclear weapons are concerned, Colonel Jacques Hogard, a 26-year veteran of the French Army and Foreign Legion and Special Forces officer, told Sputnik, when asked about the origins of France’s independent deterrent.
France’s nuclear doctrine “guaranteed and still guarantees” the nation’s “independence as a nuclear power,” and was made possible “purely because of the will of General De Gaulle, who imposed it on the Americans,” Hogard explained.
The central point of the French nuclear deterrent is “precisely so as not to depend on the American umbrella,” with the matter constituting an “essential question” and key pillar of the France’s military doctrine, which concedes the possibility of alliances, but not at the expense of Paris’s strategic security, the expert said.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday showed up in Kiev during an unannounced visit, and at an awkward moment for US-Ukraine relations given President Zelensky has been publicly complaining over a decrease in artillery shell supplies, given they are now going to Israel for its war in Gaza.
"I was honored to meet with President @ZelenskyyUa in Kyiv today to reaffirm the United States’ steadfast support for Ukraine," Austin wrote on X. "We, along with our allies and partners, will continue to support Ukraine’s urgent battlefield needs and long-term defense requirements," Austin added.
This convenient shift of Washington and the Pentagon to talking mainly about "long-term defense" began occurring as it became clear Ukraine's counteroffensive was failing.
Lachlan Murdoch, who took the reins of Fox Corp. and News Corp. last week, met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev over the weekend. So what exactly prompted this trip?
Lachlan, 52, is the eldest son of now-retired Rupert Murdoch, an Australian-born American media mogul, who announced his retirement in September. Last week, Lachlan Murdoch officially became the sole chair of News Corp and the executive chair and chief executive of Fox.
Remarkably, the first foreign leader the new head of the media empire hastened to meet was none other than Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to Axios, Lachlan Murdoch traveled to the Ukrainian capital over the weekend, accompanied by two reporters – Benjamin Hall from Fox News and Jerome Starkey from the Sun.
Hall conducted an interview with Zelensky that is expected to be aired on Tuesday night's episode of "Special Report with Bret Baier," according to the media outlet.
Israeli warplanes delivered airstrikes on Hezbollah command centers and infrastructure facilities in Lebanon to retaliate launches from there, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said on Monday.
"In response to the launches from Lebanon toward Israel throughout the day, IDF fighter jets struck Hezbollah operational command centers and terrorist infrastructure," it said. "Additionally, earlier today, the IDF struck a terrorist cell in the area of Metula, northern Israel."
What the Israeli military did at the Indonesian Hospital has resulted in the complete loss of medical services in the north of the Gaza Strip, Munir al-Bursh, general manager of the Health Ministry of Gaza said in an interview with the Qatari TV channel Al Jazeera.
"The Israeli forces' attack on the Indonesian Hospital marks the end of any possibility to provide medical services in the northern Gaza Strip," al-Bursh said. "The hospital currently has at least 100 patients in need of urgent surgery, but health workers are severely limited in what they can do," he explained.
He also said that there are Israeli snipers in buildings adjacent to the hospital. "We are afraid that the massacre that Israel staged yesterday could be repeated," al-Bursh added.