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Thought for the day
"There is no worse mistake in public leadership than to hold out false hopes soon to be swept away. The British people can face peril or misfortune with fortitude and buoyancy, but they bitterly resent being deceived or finding that those responsible for their affairs are themselves dwelling in a fool's paradise." -- Winston Churchill
Republican lawmakers are feeling vindicated for opposing a $40 billion Ukraine aid package after a CBS News report showed that only 30% of the Western weapons flooding into the country are actually making it to the front lines in Kiev’s conflict with Russia.
“This [is] one of the reasons I voted ‘no,’” US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) said on Twitter in a retweet of the CBS News post. Greene was among 57 House Republicans who voted against the massive aid bill, which passed overwhelmingly in May with the support of all Democrats and most GOP lawmakers. Eleven Republicans opposed the bill in the Senate, where it passed by an 86-11 margin.
The CBS story noted that with nearly $60 billion in US and Western European aid approved for Ukraine since Russia’s military offensive began in February, most of the weaponry has failed to get through to Ukrainian fighters. Getting weapons to the troops involves navigating a complex network of “power lords, oligarchs [and] political players,” the outlet cited Lithuanian aid group founder Jonas Ohman as saying. Amnesty International senior crisis adviser Donatella Rovera told CBS that “there is really no information” on where the weapons are going.
Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) said such scrutiny had been dismissed prior to the CBS report. “How many people were called Russian bots for saying this exact same thing since March? Now, when CBS says it, it’s perfectly fine. Whatever the case, glad the facts are out now. The majority of the Ukraine aid is a scam.”
The shelling of the Zaporozhye NPP by the Kiev government forces create a radioactive threat for Ukraine and the entire Europe, the Russian embassy in Washington said in a statement on Sunday.
"We paid attention to the disinformation campaign unfolding in the US media in order to attribute responsibility for the situation with the Zaporozhye NPP to our country. It is indiscriminately claimed that the Russian military launched artillery strikes on the territory of the nuclear power plant," the embassy said.
"We note that this is not the first provocation by Kiev at radiation-hazardous sites. The shelling of the Zaporozhye NPP by the Ukrainian armed formations is deliberate. In order to discredit Russia, the Ukrainian authorities do not shun anything, creating a real threat to the nuclear security not only of Ukraine, but of Europe as well," it said.
According to Russia’s Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response, Ukrainian nationalists launched an artillery strike on the territory of the nuclear power plant on August 5. Two high-voltage power lines and a water pipeline were damaged as a result of the shelling. "Only thanks to the effective and timely actions of the Russian military in covering the nuclear power facility, its critical infrastructure was not affected," the Russian embassy in the US said.
US-based Google has notified Russia’s state hi-tech corporation Rostec about blocking of its YouTube channel citing previously imposed sanctions, the Russian company said in a statement.
"Google notified us today about the blocking of Rostec’s YouTube channel and cited sanctions as a reason," Rostec said in its statement.
"It was a channel about the Russian engineering, our engineers and our technical innovations. The channel had about 45,000 subscribers and hundreds of thousands viewers annually," the company stated.
"This is an obvious example of how the Western democracy works in reality. This is not a democracy, but its imitation, when the freedom of an opinion is being strangled and mouths are being shut. There is no force and truth in such actions," the statement added.
Russia’s hi-tech state corporation Rostec also added that it was prepared for a possible elimination of its YouTube channel and copied all of its previously published videos to Rutube channel.
Guo Wengui, also known as Guo Haoyun, and by his English names Miles Kwok and Miles Guo, is a politically connected, self-proclaimed exiled Chinese billionaire who tried to start a U.S.-China war.
On Feb. 15, the billionaire filed for Chapter 11, personal bankruptcy protection in US Bankruptcy Court in Bridgeport, CT, listing assets of just $3,850 and liabilities between $100 million and $500 million. Guo’s declaration came after a Hong Kong money manager, Pacific Alliance Group, sued him over unpaid debts.
That certainly didn’t add up. Only three months after filing for bankruptcy, Guo had spent nearly $2 million on legal fees. Yet on May 11, he filed a waiver of personal bankruptcy with the court through his lawyer, stating he had no more funds to pay his legal fees.
During the bankruptcy hearing, Guo claimed he owned no house, no car, and no credit cards. That certainly didn’t square up with the lavish lifestyle he flaunted on social media – replete with mansion, private jet and yacht.
So is this story really about bankruptcy? Or a very elaborate ruse?
A majority of Britons fear the energy and cost of living crisis will end with people unable to heat their homes in winter dying and riots on the streets.
Polling commissioned by the More in Common group — whose director Luke Tryl said the results should be “a wake-up call to our next Prime Minister” that “people want help now” — found that some almost nine-tenths of Britons believe the crisis will impact their day to day lives. Shockingly, around three-quarters believe there will be deaths this winter as people find themselves unable to afford their heating bills and succumb to the cold.
Eighty per cent believe people will resort to shoplifting to keep their heads above water, 70 per cent believe people will simply refuse to pay their bills, and over half — 51 per cent — believe things will degrade to the point that their are riots in the streets, The Sun reports.
You can always tell how important narrative control is by watching the way people react when their control of the narrative is jeopardized.
Empire apologists are raging at Amnesty International for pausing its aggressive facilitation of western imperialism to issue one brief criticism of the way Ukrainian forces have been endangering civilian lives with their warfare tactics against the Russian military.
Amnesty is far from the first to highlight this extensively documented issue; that Ukrainian forces have been deliberately positioning themselves in civilian populations without taking proper measures to protect noncombatants is a concern that has been voiced repeatedly since the war began and reported on by both mainstream western news outlets and the United Nations.
Nevertheless, Amnesty’s claim that “Ukrainian forces have put civilians in harm’s way by establishing bases and operating weapons systems in populated residential areas, including in schools and hospitals” has drawn fire from Ukrainian officials, from mass media pundits, from the brainwashed rank-and-file on social media, and from President Zelensky himself.
The President of the Dutch police union, Jan Struijs, says the Netherlands has become a 'narco-state,' in which drug dealing criminals are operating a parallel economy which has had deleterious effects - including higher housing prices, and legal businesses turning into fronts for money laundering.
"I call the Netherlands a narcostate 2.0 because the drugs pump so much money into the legal economy that it takes over," Struijs told Swedish broadcaster SVT, adding "It undermines democracy but also the economy."
Webmaster addition: You know. just like here in the US!
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has voiced concerns over a potential disaster at Europe’s largest nuclear power station, after Russia accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the plant in the country’s southern Zaporozhye Region on Friday.
Kiev claims that Moscow – which holds the area – is using the facility as a “shield” for its soldiers.
“Any attack to a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing. I hope that those attacks will end, and at the same time I hope that the IAEA will be able to access the plant,” Guterres said at a press conference in Tokyo on Monday morning, without blaming either side.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Saturday it was “extremely concerned” by the Friday shelling of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. Targeting the facility with any “military firepower” amounts to “playing with fire, with potentially catastrophic consequences,” the UN nuclear watchdog’s director general, Rafael Grossi, said.
Post by Rob Renfroe via Facebook. “Below I announced that The Woodlands Methodist voted to disaffiliate today by a 96% margin. Now, word just in, the Texas Annual Conference’s second largest church, Faithbridge, has announced the results of the vote it took today. They voted to leave by a vote of 100%.” (Added 8-7-2022)
On Saturday, July 30, just after 9pm, thunderous explosions rocked central Donetsk. Shortly after, there were announcements that air defense had shot down Ukrainian-fired missiles containing 'butterfly' (or 'petal') mines. Given that over 300 of these explosives are packed into each of the Ukrainian-fired rockets, central Donetsk could literally become a minefield if they successfully landed.
Social media and Telegram warnings urged residents to stay inside and wait for Emergency Services to clear the streets and sidewalks – which they began doing during the night. But come daylight, untold numbers of these tiny devices still remained. More warnings were issued to stay at home – better to be late for work than lose a leg. Residents that absolutely have to go out are advised to keep their eyes down to watch where they step, avoid grassy areas, and walk extremely carefully.
Usually when a government starts taking your weapons you begin to lose other freedoms. Also, assault style weapons aren't the problem, I could do more damage with an LPG tanker, some chains and locks for doors, some road flares,and a cutting torch.The whole idea is ludicrous, these laws won't stop homegrown terrorists and people with mental health issues. I’ve owned firearms since I was 5 and had received my first single shot .22. I've never posted a picture of myself holding my weapon on social media.
Zaporozhye Region will hold a referendum on whether to secede from Ukraine and request joining Russia, the head of its administration announced on Monday.
Evgeny Balitskiy said that he had signed an order to organize the plebiscite during a regional forum held in the city of Melitopol. Over 700 representatives from various parts of the Ukrainian region approved the idea, according to RIA Novosti.
Earlier comments by administration officials indicated the referendum may be held as soon as mid-September.
Russian forces took partial control of the region during the initial offensive against Ukraine launched in late February. The eponymous city located in the north of the region on the Dnepr River remains under Ukrainian control.
Officials in Kherson Region, another Russia-controlled part of Ukraine, voiced similar plans to put to a vote the proposal of breaking away from Kiev and seeking to join Russia.
Waters, 78, who is currently on a solo tour, branded Biden with the provocative title during a montage played at his rock show.
The British musician got into a heated debate with CNN host Michael Smerconish over the weekend after the journalist questioned Waters' decision to include Biden in the provocative segment of his show.
Waters justified including Biden in his war criminal montage by saying the US president committed a 'huge crime' by not encouraging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to negotiate and put an end to 'this horrific, horrendous war.'
China’s military announced fresh military drills on Monday in the seas and airspace around Taiwan a day after the scheduled end of its largest ever exercises to protest against last week’s visit to Taipei by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
China’s Eastern Theatre Command said it would conduct joint drills focusing on anti-submarine and sea assault operations - confirming the fears of some security analysts and diplomats that Beijing would continue to maintain pressure on Taiwan’s defences.
Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week infuriated China, which regards the self-ruled island as its own and responded with test launches of ballistic missiles over Taipei for the first time, as well as ditching some lines of dialogue with Washington.
The duration and precise location of the latest drills is not yet known, but Taiwan has already eased flight restrictions near the six earlier Chinese exercise areas surrounding the island.
Shortly before the latest drills were announced, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, telling him she was moved by his determination to visit despite China’s military pressure.
TikTok is facing calls to remove videos of a controversial influencer and former Big Brother star who has been accused of spreading misogynistic 'rape culture' content to audiences as young as 13 on the platform.
British-American kickboxer Andrew Tate, 35, was raised on an estate in Luton, England, as the son of a catering assistant and an American chess master Emory Tate.
But in the last three months the Chicago-born described as the 'king of toxic masculinity' has been searched on Google more than Donald Trump or Kim Kardashian. Today, he's worth an estimated £24million, with millions of social media followers.
He also has thousands of acolytes emulating him in his £39-a-month 'Hustler's University' - where self-described experts use Discord servers to promise followers get rich quick schemes using cryptocurrency, property or e-commerce.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) let a U.S. Senate adviser kill key parts of Democrats’ promised drug pricing legislation, as Schumer has become the Senate’s second largest recipient of pharmaceutical industry cash.
On Saturday, the Senate's parliamentary adviser Elizabeth MacDonough — who Schumer can remove — issued a non-binding advisory opinion saying Democrats should remove provisions in their spending bill that would punish drugmakers for inflating their prices for patients in private health insurance plans. The provision could have saved $40 billion, according to one estimate.
“The exclusion of the private insurance price limits means there is little left that will reduce costs for the vast majority of Americans who receive health insurance through their private sector employer,” reported Politico.
The United States and its European allies have committed tens of billions of dollars in military and economic support for Kiev over the past five months. Moscow has warned repeatedly of the dangers of weapons falling into the hands of black marketeers and making their way onto the international arms black market.
CBS News has curiously deleted a bombshell documentary which uncovered that just “30%” of the military assistance sent to Ukraine by Western countries during the first months of the conflict with Russia actually reached the front lines.
Upon clicking on the link to the documentary, called “Arming Ukraine,” users are greeted with a “The page cannot be found” error.
Revelations from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop shed light on multi-million dollar schemes involving peddling of access to Joe Biden while he was serving as vice president. Originally reported by the NY Post in late 2020, the story was falsely dismissed as “Russian disinformation” by scores of ex-intel officials and buried by mainstream media.
The ongoing federal investigation into Hunter Biden could jeopardize his father President Joe Biden’s chances in a 2024 re-election run, CNN anchor Brian Stelter warned on Sunday.
During a segment on CNN's "Reliable Sources", Stelter spoke with his guest, Michael LaRosa, the former press secretary for First Lady Jill Biden, citing a New York Times column by Maureen Dowd on August 6 urging the 46th POTUS not to run for re-election.
In her opinion piece, titled, "Hey, Joe, Don’t Give It a Go," Dowd urged the president to leave office, adding that "he’s a logical one-termer."
With no electricity at home, five-year-old Alaa Qaddoum ventured outside on Friday afternoon to escape the stifling heat indoors.
Playing with friends in the vicinity of Abu Samra Mosque in the Shujaiya neighbourhood north of Gaza, everything seemed normal to Qaddoum as worshippers prepared for the Asr afternoon prayer.
Then, in a matter of seconds, Israeli fighter jets bombed the area, killing her among others, making Alaa among the first victims of Israel's latest bombing campaign on the besieged Palestinian enclave.
Elon Musk on Saturday challenged the CEO of Twitter to a “public debate” over how the social media company counts fake accounts and spam bots.
Musk laid down the gauntlet in a series of tweets replying to remarks regarding his countersuit against San Francisco-based Twitter over his effort to withdraw from the $44 billion deal to buy the company.
Police arrested pro-choice demonstrators who harangued churchgoers outside a famed Catholic church in New York City.
Video shows the demonstrators berating parishioners outside The Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in lower Manhattan on Saturday.
The activists confronted the Catholics at the church gates, banging on the bars and screaming: "Tell those Nazis to come out' from the church gates."
Gas prices have been falling since mid-June as demand has dropped to levels not seen since the early days of the pandemic, according to AAA.
Prices have continuously reduced since June 14, when the average price hit a record high of $5.01 per gallon in the U.S.
On Thursday, the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped eight cents to $4.13.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken began his three-nation tour of Africa Sunday by visiting a museum in South Africa commemorating how the country’s Black youths helped to end white racist rule.
Blinken’s visit to Africa is seen as part of a competition between Russia and Western powers for support from African countries over the war in Ukraine. His trip to Africa follows recent tours by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and French President Emmanuel Macron.
South Africa is one of many African countries that have maintained a neutral stance on the war and have not publicly criticized Russia.
After an early morning arrival, Blinken visited the Hector Pieterson memorial in Soweto township, on the outskirts of Johannesburg, which honors a student killed in 1976 when protesting South Africa’s regime of racial oppression, apartheid, which ended in 1994.
Blinken laid a wreath at the memorial accompanied by Pieterson’s sister, Antoinette Sithole. He also toured the museum, which contains artifacts, photographs and videos of South Africa’s struggle against apartheid.
The United Nations special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories says Israel’s air raids on the besieged Gaza Strip “not only are illegal but irresponsible”, calling for a diplomatic solution to the latest bout of violence, which began on Friday when Israel launched air attacks on Gaza City.
“The situation in Gaza is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis,” Francesca Albanez told Al Jazeera.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s provocative visit to Taiwan is part of the U.S. escalation against China in what, in Pentagon geography, is referred to as the Indo-Pacific, i.e., the region stretching from the west coast of the United States to that of India. Here RIMPAC, the world’s largest naval exercise under U.S. command, is underway, with naval and air forces from 26 countries participating. It is directed against what the Pentagon calls “Chinese aggression,” accusing Beijing of preparing against Taiwan a military operation similar to that conducted by Russia in Ukraine. In this way, Washington is fueling, after the one in Ukraine, other hotbeds of war to hinder and break the Great Eurasian Partnership, which, proposed by President Putin in 2015, is being implemented with a series of projects of which the New Silk Road, promoted by China, is the backbone.
The International North-South Transport Corridor connects Russia to India and other Asian countries via Azerbaijan and Iran, along a much shorter, and therefore cheaper, route than the Atlantic and Mediterranean routes. US and EU sanctions against Russian oil and gas exports are thus thwarted. Another project underway is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which opens access to the Arabian Sea to Chinese exports, and could extend to Afghanistan, a country the US and NATO have tried in vain to control through a costly and bloody 20-year war.
The growing economic integration of Eurasia, which encourages negotiated conflict resolution and intercultural dialogue, contributes concretely and substantially to the transition from the unipolar to the multipolar world, which the U.S. and other major powers in the West are trying hard to prevent.
Former Democrat Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Tore Into Vice President Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor, over her response to the imprisonment and sentence of WNBA star Brittney Griner in Russia.
“With today’s sentencing, Russia continues its wrongful detention of Brittney Griner. She should be released immediately. @POTUS and I, and our entire Administration, are working every day to reunite Brittney, as well as Paul Whelan, with loved ones who miss each of them dearly,” the vice president said.
The vice president was immediately called on her hypocrisy by many on Twitter.
“Two things: How many people are still incarcerated for the same offense because of you? And you’re high right now aren’t you?” Chad Prather said.
“It’s not a wrongful detention. If you break the law, you pay the price. If you go to a different country, learn the laws before you go. How many people did Harris imprison for weed when she was AG of Failifornia?” Kimberly Morin said.
Tesla, Space X and Starlink CEO Elon Musk stunned the tech world when he decided he wanted to purchase Twitter, stunned them again when he said he wanted to back out of the deal, and now just stunned them again.
The CEO said that the Twitter deal should go ahead if the tech giant can provide proof of how it sampled 100 accounts and proved they are real.
It came in response to a tweet from cybersecurity and data analyst Andrea Stroppa who said “Clearly, from Twitter SEC filings, mDAU is the key metric. It is the key metric for its business rev. And its market value; mDAU is an ad hoc metric, created to protect Twitter’s interests. No competitor uses something similar.
“When @elonmusk requested more information about spam and fake accounts; Twitter provided a vague response. Then provided outdated data; Then offered a fake data set (not real “firehose”); Then provided a cleaned data set where they already suspended the malicious accounts,” she said.